Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
POWER IN THE BLOOD - by Pastor Mike Taylor -
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."( 1st Corinthians 6:19-20)
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."(1st Corinthians 3:16 -17)
Man was created in the image of God as is recorded in the first book of the Bible.
1:26 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."(Genesis 1:26-27)
But down through the ages, man has thought that he knew better than God, the lawgiver, the creator of all things. God instituted certain principles, laws of nature, and of Himself to guide men into His ways and to instruct them in righteous living. But the bible is full of stories of men who would not listen to the Words of God, but deviated according the sins of their flesh and their sinful nature, following instead according to the prince and power of the air and temporary ruler of this world, Lucifer....Satan the devil.
Man is made of flesh, but has a spiritual component that when deviating from the Law of God, is defined as sin. What is sin? Words such as Crime, Error, Foul, Wrong, and Vice come to mind. Each of these words name behaviors that fail to reach an accepted standard. Any group of people joining to accomplish a goal will establish a set of rules, laws, guidelines or principles to regulate proper conduct. When such a code is abused or ignored, a penalty is usually imposed.
It is no different when you speak of our Heavenly ABBA Father. God established a code of conduct called His Law, as defined by the Ten Commandments. It defined His perfect nature and His desire that man follow His way of living. Man has rejected God's way of living down through the ages and the penalty of not following God's perfect law, is death. Paul speaks of this in Romans, chapter 6,
23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."(Romans 6:23)
Jesus, the Substitute of what we all deserve.
In God's love for His creation, He gave us His only Son, knowing that we could not keep the Laws of God, as we are sold under sin. To transgress one aspect of the law is to transgress the whole law, as there is no difference when it comes to sin in God's eyes. The law was our school master to lead us to repentance, knowing that we were incapable of keeping the letter of the law. It was God's plan all along to redeem His creation to all that would look to His Son for payment of the sins past, present and future. God covered them all with one perfect sacrifice, His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
BATTLE FOR MAN'S SALVATION AND GNOSTICISM
In the very beginning of the early church, a heresy developed that men knew better than God. It was called Gnosticism, or secret knowledge, Gnosis. These heretics believed in dualism, or the battle between matter and spirit, good and evil, and light and darkness as defined by the body being bad, and the spirit being good. These early infiltrators of the early church professed that it didn't matter what you did within your body, as the spirit is what mattered. They believed that Jesus was not God in the flesh, as His flesh was corrupt and could not be our redeemer, but that salvation comes from in one of two ways:
» That the only way to attain true spirituality is to deny their flesh (matter) of anything that might tempt them to sin. Those who thought this way became ascetic or afflictions of their flesh.» The opposite extreme, that the things done in the body are inconsequential because only the spirit counts. These Gnostics often fell into licentiousness as defined "lacking legal or moral restraints especially : disregarding sexual restraints licentious behavior licentious revelers. 2 : marked by disregard for strict rules of correctness."
Bible shows that Paul battled this heresy in his epistles, especially in 1st Corinthians, Galatians and Colossians . The Apostle John battled it in all his writings. 1st John chapter 3, is one of those examples:
3 "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." (1st John 3:3- 8)
John argues against this heresy. Some in John's area of ministry seem to have believed that they could not sin in their flesh. Since their flesh, matter, was ultimately evil anyway, it could not be redeemed and was worthless. Thus, they concluded, anything done in the flesh had no bearing on one's salvation. I see that abounding even today in this cesspool we call the world. It surrounds us on every side. New Age Emergent churches are promoting a new gospel, a new way of following Jesus and the epitome of the Gnostic beliefs found in a religion that has survived 2000 years. Both feel they have "secret knowledge" of what God meant in His Holy Word and have redefined what is scriptural and what are the precept of mere mortal men.
THE LAODECIAN CHURCH GROWS STRONGER
I had the displeasure of reading an article by a supposedly Christian pastor who proclaimed that we must repackage the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to reach the people of today. Say what? So we must doll up the message to make it more palatable for the young people today? What's wrong with preaching the truth of Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Is there another way to enter into God's Kingdom other than the blood and body of Jesus Christ? NO!! Does that mean rock music in the church? Does that mean creating a mall type atmosphere that rivals any shopping outlet? Does that mean we must have tattoo parlors in the church? Yes, I said tattoo parlors. I had a dear lady write and report churches in her area are promoting tattoos right in the building of these churches. Some misled people of these new "enlightened" churches think they have the right to adorn their bodies with different colored inks that show they follow a "christian" message. I categorically reject this pseudo form of Christianity, as it glorifies the flesh, not the Savior. When would you paint graffitti with a spray can on the building you worship in? Would you paint a cross on the sides of the building and adorn the sanctuary with man-made symbols that deface the structure in various colored inks? Is it any different when you tattoo a cross or a crown of thorns across your back and say you are proclaiming Jesus? How can we reach the world that is dying, if we ourselves are identifying with them by our actions?
As a Christian, or one who professes knowing Jesus Christ, what is our duty when trying to live the Christian life? There is only One example that we are to live by and follow and that is our perfect example, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Would Jesus allow a tattoo being placed on His righteous body? Would he follow the sins of this world by doing what I see happening in today's emergent "enlightened" churches? It smacks of Gnosticism.
1st John chapter 2:
4 "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (1st John 2:4-6)
Peter reinforced that argument when he wrote in 1st Peter chapter 2:
21 " For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."(1st Peter 2:21-25)
Jesus our perfect example and the personage we must emulate. God told us in His Word that we must separate ourselves from the sins of the flesh and the ways of this world: 2nd Corinthians,
16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. "(2nd Corinthians 6:16-18)
THE WORLD IS DYING.
I am reminded daily when I see the amount of people in our hospitals that abuse their bodies with all form of addictions. I see people ravaged by alcohol addiction and drink heavily daily. I see people who get high on whatever their drug of choice is and there are many forms of chemical abuse that are legal. I saw a young person who damaged his body with a substance called K2, which is abusing bath salts by injecting it, smoking it, or inhaling it to get high. It destroys their brain, their internal organs, and respiratory systems. I see people who are grossly obese, who find comfort in food and gluttony and are diabetic and with failing organs. Or how about 1-2 pack a day smoker who destroys their lungs, heart, and open the door for cancers to invade? If the lost and dying world is suffering this type of destruction, should we not separate ourselves from this type of behavior with it's addictions and not even look like the rest of the world? If they can't see any difference in us, why would they choose this man, called Jesus Christ? If they can't see Jesus in you, then will they listen to your message? Probably not, but they will take your entertainment in the churches, but live like the devil the rest of the week.
THE MILLENNIALS OF OUR WORLD
I talk to young people who call themselves Christians, but are living with their boyfriend or girlfriend without the sanctity of marriage. How can one profess knowing Jesus Christ, when they live opposite of what He commanded and lived? Are they confused or do they just know better? Hey, everyone is doing it, right? So it must be OK? I see children being born out of wedlock into new types of families, or being raised by same sex couples and it's OK? Again, how can you reach a world that is dying from being lost in sin, when you indulge in sin yourself, and think it's alright? God plainly condemns this kind of behavior and the abuse of our bodies and our mode of living to the detriment of our very existence. Peter wrote according to the leading of God's Holy Spirit in 1st Peter,
14 "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."1st Peter 1:13-21)
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES, SPEAK OF A GLORIOUS EVENT
It is quite clear for all that are awake and see the events around us, that we ARE in the last days of this world's existence. Suddenly, without warning, your world will be turned upside down and you will either be found in Jesus Christ, or being bamboozled by the god of this world, you have followed another gospel, that is not of Jesus Christ. You will have been living your life according to what you think is best, not according to the clear commands of Jesus Christ or having His sacrifice applied to your life. I have tried to hammer home the message that this world is fast approaching the cliff of tribulation and all of us need to be getting our houses in order. If you profess Jesus Christ, as your Savior, then live like it. If you are playing a fool's game of following another gospel, or a false messiah, and abusing your bodies in ways that are in direct conflict with the clear teachings of the One who died for the entire world, Jesus Christ, then you may have a sad day approaching. When Jesus banishes you from His presence during the sheep and goat judgment at the Judgment Seat of our Lord, you will have no one to blame, but yourself:
33 "And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. .......(moving down)
25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, (ye who practice lawlessness) into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: ........
46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."(Matthew 25:33, 41, 46)
WHAT MUST YOU DO IF YOU PROFESS JESUS?
Christian, look at yourself. Do you follow the clear message of the Bible? Do you continue to make mistakes? Of course you do, but not according to the rest of the world, if you profess our Lord and Savior, but you do not live as the world does. You separate yourself from anything and everything that speaks of the lust of the flesh and follow the Holy Spirit, guiding your own spirit in righteous living. A Christian will not willfully sin according to the lust of his flesh, but seeks after righteousness. The truly converted man or woman is a new creature in Christ Jesus.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."(2nd Corinthians 5:17-19)
19 "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."(Romans 8:19-23)
Men are dying because they are abusing the body made in the image of God. They follow the god of this world and fall into every unclean practices that leads to death. They die prematurely and experience painful deaths. I know, because I've seen it, up close and personal.
How more should we who have been converted to follow the ways of God, abstain from anything that would look like the world? God will hold each of accountable for things done in our body, meaning he will reward, or withhold reward for each of His children who are truly converted, but never quite learned the lessons of righteous living. See the opening verses that started this sermon. He will sorely judge the haphazard Christian who abuses the body He resides in . He will also, judge those who follow a pseudo form of Christianity, but deny the power thereof as noted in the sheep and goat parable. To mouth the words of being a Christian, does not make it so. It is an inward change of the heart. You will look odd to the world, but Jesus warned each of us of that very fact: John chapter 15,
18 "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me."(John 15:18-21)
TO ALL WHO ARE SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL
To the lost and dying, that do not have the payment of their sins paid for by the blood sacrifice and broken body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, time is growing short. Jesus is right at the door waiting to gather His church unto Himself. Jesus said that the time would be as in the days of Noah. Look around you, does this world seem to be going mad? Is it not as Jesus said it would be? Truly, it is.
26 "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all."(Luke 17:26-29)
POWER IN THE BLOOD
With all that is happening in this world, men dying needlessly. People without hope of a better life that is coming. Not embracing what John 3:16 spoken of by our Lord Jesus. Our God and Kinsman Redeemer gave up His life on a cruel Roman cross for one purpose, and that is to shed His own precious blood for the salvation of many souls He would reclaim from the sin started in the Garden of Eden. God knew before the world was even formed, and time was created for mankind, that He would have give up His Glory for 33.5 years and come as our Righteous Redeemer. God knew that there was no other way, as man could not do it himself, no matter how moral one man might be....It is totally impossible, as I said, sin one time, and you have broken all the laws of God, as God looks at them all the same..to Him, sin is sin and nothing we can rid ourselves of. This concept draws my mind to the scriptural verse that was the purpose of Christ coming to save this God forsaken world.
3" For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:3-8)
When I was a boy, I recall a wonderful old hymn that spoke of what our Lord did for us:
There Is Power In The Blood
Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood
Would you o'er evil a victory win?
There's wonderful power in the blood
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb
Would you be free from your passion and pride
There's power in the blood, power in the blood
Come for a cleansing to Calvary's tide
There's wonderful power in the blood
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb
The precious sacrifice our Lord gladly laid down His life, to save mankind is found in shedding of blood, every last drop being spilled on the ground. For without shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness, which the Bible testifies through God's Holy Spirit.
22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Hebrews9:22-26)
FOLLOW JESUS, NOT ANY ONE RELIGION
Do not look at others who proclaim they are Christians, as some may be deceived. You might look to others for the way they live and use it as confirmation that you do not want this free gift of grace paid for nearly 2000 years ago. You will then make that choice independent of those you hold up as the reason you have not committed your life and heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. You will be solely responsible for the banishment into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Each of us are destined to be either in glory and in the presence of God Almighty, or be banished from His presence for all eternity.
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."(Philippians 2:9-12)
Each of us have been formed in the image of God. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior, must realize that their body is the Temple of God and we were bought with a very high price, hence my opening scriptures concerning this very fact. Those who have not accepted the free gift of salvation, do so at their own eternal peril. I extend an open invitation to all who will listen to that still, small voice inside your heart that draws you to the God who created you. Romans chapter 10,
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
Invite the Spirit of God into your heart to make Jesus Lord and Savior of your life. Become the Temple of God's Holy Spirit and flee from anything and everything that imitates anything found in this world that the rest of the world revels in to their own destruction.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying God's salvation in your heart and life. If there is anything I can counsel you on, pray with you about, or just a listening ear, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , for more biblical lessons on salvation and the soon return of our Lord Jesus.
God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus feet.
Palestinians: Silencing and Intimidating Critics - by Khaled Abu Toameh - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13477/palestinians-silencing-intimidating-critics
What does the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas do when it is not firing rockets at Israel or sending Palestinians to clash with Israeli soldiers along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel? It sends its security officers to arrest, interrogate, intimidate and harass anyone who dares to criticize Hamas.
It is not as if anyone was expecting Hamas to act differently. The terms democracy and freedom of expression have never been in Hamas's dictionary. For Hamas, it is either you are with us or you are against us. There is no third option for Palestinians living under Hamas's rule in the Gaza Strip, even for those who were previously associated with Hamas, but later changed their minds and dared to express a different opinion or, worse, criticize the Islamist movement.
In the past week alone, Hamas has arrested two Palestinian academics on suspicion that they voiced criticism of the group: professor of biology Salah Jadallah and writer Khader Mihjez.
Jadallah was arrested earlier this week after he posted a comment on Facebook in which he accused the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip of enjoying a comfortable life while Palestinians were wallowing in poverty and misery. In the December 19 post, he wrote: "It's a life of hypocrisy, lies and quackery when an official lives in luxury while his people are overstrained and impoverished." He went on to accuse the Hamas officials of stealing funds earmarked for the people in order to build villas and mansions for themselves.
On December 26, Jadallah's son, Mohammed, said that Hamas ordered his father remanded into custody and refused to release him on bail. "My father criticized corruption in general and was not talking about a specific person or family," the son said.
This was not the first time that Prof. Jadallah found himself in trouble because of his public criticism of Hamas. In March 2016, he was suspended from his job at the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip because of Facebook comments criticizing Hamas and the university administration.
The professor, according to Palestinian sources, was once considered a prominent figure in Hamas -- probably why Hamas takes him seriously. As someone who grew up in Hamas, he knows more than anyone else about the conduct of the group's top brass. Far from being an outsider or a political rival, Jadallah is the ultimate Hamas insider.
The second man, Mihjez, was detained by Hamas for several hours on December 26 -- apparently for criticizing the arrest of Jadallah. In one Facebook post, Mihjez asked: "What is the academic degree that the man who is interrogating Prof Salah Jadallah hold?" Because of this rhetorical question, Hamas summoned Mihjez for several hours of interrogation.
Two years ago, Mihjez was also arrested by Hamas after he wrote a series of articles in which he explained why he no longer supported the Muslim Brotherhood organization. Notably, Hamas is an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood.
A Gaza-based group called the Journalists Forum for Human Rights condemned the Hamas measures against Jadallah and Mihjez as a "violation of freedom of expression" and called on Hamas to explain why its men were harassing prominent figures in the Gaza Strip.
Commenting on the arrest of Jadallah, Hassan Asfour, a former Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet minister and columnist, said that most Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip shared the professor's criticism of the Hamas leadership, but were afraid to speak out:
"Professor Jadallah did not use a sword or bullets. What he said was not a secret. According to which logic was he taken away at night and thrown in detention centers that carry several names? What kind of message of terror is Hamas trying to impose on the Gaza Strip? Hamas is panicking, and that's why it won't allow any form of criticism of its policies. Intellectual repression and the confiscation of freedom of opinion, as well as preventing the exposure of corruption, is more dangerous to the society than any disease."
Another Palestinian columnist, Sami Fuda, also denounced the Hamas crackdown on its critics:
"Apparently, freedom of expression is unacceptable to the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip... The policy of intimidating and imprisoning writers will not deter them and is completely ineffective and unacceptable."
While these few Palestinians have expressed concern over Hamas's effort to silence its critics, international human rights organizations, including some that operate in the Gaza Strip, continue to turn a blind eye to this assault on public freedoms. They are either afraid of Hamas, or they do not give a damn about human rights violations unless they can find a way of pointing an accusatory finger at Israel. The silence of the international community toward human rights violations in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip allows the Islamist group to continue its policy of intimidation against its critics.
The Hamas measures against its critics are aimed at preventing Palestinians and the rest of the world from learning about the group's corrupt dictatorship. Hamas leaders want to continue living the good life while their people are facing devastating living conditions. The millions of dollars of Qatari cash that were delivered to Hamas in the past few weeks have further emboldened the group, giving it carte blanche to intimidate its critics.
Hamas is more interested in muzzling its critics than improving the lives of its people. Hamas leaders are more interested in padding their own bank accounts than in grappling with the problems of unemployment. Hamas is prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a rally marking the 31st anniversary of its founding, but says it cannot afford to provide financial aid to impoverished Palestinians. Meanwhile, any Palestinians who dare to ask Hamas the wrong questions will find themselves behind bars.
Nearing Midnight: Selective Justice and Entrapment leads to Tyranny - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
The federal government's prosecution against Michael Flynn has been a travesty from day one. He is the one who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian official. What got him into trouble is the simple fact that he was the national security adviser to President Trump and he was targeted by FBI agents to get dirt on Trump.
Flynn broke the law, but what everyone should understand is that the FBI didn't ask him these questions to learn the truth, because they knew the truth. They weren't trying to obtain more information; they were simply giving him an opportunity to lie. He was told he didn't need a lawyer. This was just a "standard" interview.
The FBI should be renamed the Federal Bureau of entrapment. After hearing James Comey bragging about how he nabbed Flynn, entrapment is the only way to describe this operation. Michael Flynn was a three-star general who served his country from 1981-2014. Oh, but now all the good has been wiped away by one tiny error. A liberal judge added to the insult against Flynn by asking prosecutors if they should have charged Flynn with treason. Judge Emmet Sullivan did realize his vindictive comment may have crossed the line, so he moved Flynn's sentencing back to March.
Comey, by his own self-admission, leaked privileged government information, he lied to congress, and he lied to the American people. He will never face jail time because we have developed a system of selective justice. The liberal media and the Democrats call the shots, and the Republicans can't do anything even though they controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency.
Nancy Pelosi recently said that a House committee will "take the first steps" toward obtaining President Trump's tax returns once Democrats take control of the House. "There is popular demand for the Congress to request the president's tax returns," Pelosi told reporters. "I'm sure the White House will resist, so the question is, 'Where do we go from there?'"
Pelosi has no right to gain access to Donald Trump's tax record. Unless there is clear indication of a crime, a court will be needed to force the president to turn over financial documents. A few years ago, her statement would get her into hot water with even the most liberal civil rights group.
Incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James said she has big plans to thoroughly investigate the business dealings of President Donald Trump and his family when she takes office next month. "We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law," James told NBC News.
She is even thinking ahead about counteracting any pardons that Trump may offer to people. "I have concerns with respect to the possibility that this administration might pardon some individuals who might face some criminal charges, but I do not want them to be immune from state charges," said James. To be able to press charges against anyone Trump may pardon, a bill to change New York's double jeopardy laws will have to pass. James, who campaigned on passing this bill, said she is confident it will pass "within the first 100 days."
This is great news for all the New York slumlords, gangsters, and other criminals. Letitia will be too busy investigating Trump to bother with them. Since this woman has clearly violated the code of conduct of what it means to be an Attorney General, she should never be allowed to take office.
I thought that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be too stupid to do any immediate damage to the government. When she was mocked by conservatives, she informed her political foes that she will have subpoena power once she takes office. "Please, keep it coming - it's definitely a 'very, very large brain' idea to troll a member of a body that will have subpoena power in a month," she said. It looks like lying to Congress will soon become the next great sin.
All this selective justice and entrapment doesn't disappear once Trump leaves office. If Mike Pence was to ever be president, he would become the new center of the political storm. Any Democratic president would likely have Republicans want their chance to take down a president. The most likely outcome is a system that uses state prosecution powers to establish a dictatorship.
Because all human government is doomed to fall into the hands of a global tyrant, I see the rapture as the only hope to escape from injustice. In God's Kingdom there is only truth and liberty.
Luke 21:36 says, "Watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man."
JESUS, OUR KINSMAN REDEEMER - Nathele Graham -
"For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham." Hebrews 2:16.
The Old Testament book of Ruth is a love story. It's also an Old Testament picture of a New Testament truth. Naomi had moved from Bethlehem to Moab with her husband and two sons. While in Moab Naomi's husband died and so did her two sons, who had both married Moabite women. This left her alone, except for her two Moabite daughters-in-law. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem and because they loved her, Orpah and Ruth, decided to go with her. Eventually Orpah turned back but Ruth continued on to Bethlehem. Naomi was in need of money because property she was entitled to had been sold. It wasn't a permanent sale because according to Jewish law it would return to the original owner in a jubilee year, but it could also be redeemed by a near kinsman. Naomi needed a kinsman to redeem the property for her. Until that could happen Ruth went into the fields to glean grain which was left behind during harvest. This was a common practice that allowed the needy to have food. Ruth went to a field owned by Boaz, who saw Ruth and took a liking for her. When Naomi found out that Boaz made sure that Ruth was able to glean plenty of food, she came up with a plan. Boaz was a kinsman and was qualified to redeem the property her husband had sold. Boaz fell in love with Ruth and was willing to redeem the land, but there was a kinsman who was a closer relative who would have the right of redemption. Although he was a closer relative he wasn't willing, so Boaz redeemed the property and married Ruth. Boaz and Ruth were the great-grandparents of King David. "And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David." Ruth 4:21-22. The book is only four chapters long but there are many deep studies that come from it. One is a picture of Jesus Christ, who is our Kinsman Redeemer.
What is a kinsman redeemer? When the Law was given to Moses there was one regarding redemption of property. "If thy brother be waxen poor and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold." Leviticus 25:25. Not only was land governed by the law of redemption, but if a person owed a debt that he couldn't repay then he would become a slave to the one he owed money to in order to pay off what he owed. The law assured that a slave would be well treated and slaves could also be redeemed by the next of kin. "After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself." Leviticus 25:48-49. A kinsman redeemer had to be the next of kin or a close relative, he had to have the means to pay the price of redemption, and he had to be willing. As described in the Book of Ruth, Boaz was a qualified kinsman, he was able to pay the price of the redemption, and he was willing to do it. This is a picture of Jesus. Boaz is a picture-type of Jesus, Naomi is a picture-type of Israel, and Ruth is a picture-type of the Gentile bride.
Why do we need redemption? "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1. God has always existed and nothing we see existed before God created it. There was no big bang or billions of years of evolution. God spoke the sun, moon, and stars into being. He created fish, birds, animals, and finally He created man in His own image. Jesus is God and He is the Creator of everything. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3.We have no concept of what the world was like at the beginning, but God saw it as good. Then Satan showed up. He lied, Eve was deceived, and Adam chose disobedience. Sin and death entered God's perfect creation. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" Romans 5:12. God is perfect and the ugliness of sin cannot stand in His presence. Because Adam had sinned there was division which no man could mend. Adam and Eve had attempted to cover their sin by works (covering their nakedness with fig leaves) but God gave them a different covering. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Genesis 3:21. Blood sacrifice was the only way to temporarily cover sin. Many years later Jewish Law gave great detail about sacrificing animals as sin offerings. Only animals were to be sacrificed but their blood could never bring full redemption. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." Hebrews 10:4. Even though Adam's sin brought separation it didn't stop God from loving people and desiring that the division be repaired. God did have a plan for full redemption.
The first step was to call out Abraham to be the father of the nation of Israel. When that nation was ready He called Moses to lead them to the land God had given to them. Before they entered the Promise Land God gave them the Law to instruct them as to how they should live. They had been in slavery in Egypt for centuries and had been surrounded by that pagan culture. The land they were about to enter was also filled with pagans who sacrificed humans and worshipped idols. The Israelites needed to be separate from the idol worshipping Gentiles and learn to live by God's standards. Make no mistake, Christians today also need to turn from the pagan practices that surround us. The Law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai and the Jewish way of life was established. The rituals and sacrifices were works and nobody is saved by works, but it served as a teacher. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Galatians 3:24-25. The Law gave instruction about how to live to please God, but nobody could ever perfectly conform to the Law. In fact, the Law didn't even come close to God's standard of perfection because no human can reach God's standards.
We need redemption. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23. We just can't be perfect enough to be able to stand before our perfect God. That's why Jesus chose to enter His creation. Jesus was fully God and fully human. This was accomplished when the human Mary, who was a virgin, was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Because Mary was human, Jesus was qualified to be our Kinsman. Because God was the Father of the Child, Jesus' blood was untainted by the sin that corrupts all of humanity. In this way Jesus met the requirements to be our Kinsman Redeemer. He willingly entered His creation, He was fully human so He was our kin, and He was able to pay the debt that we cannot pay for ourselves by shedding His pure blood as the once for all sacrifice for our sin. He did this because of the pure love He has for us.
The plan of redemption was conceived long ago. When Adam sinned that plan had already been decided upon. Long before the Law was given, Job proclaimed "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." Job19:25-27. The seed of Abraham was chosen bring the Redeemer into the world and the Law was given to show God's standards. Even then God knew that they would reject their Messiah. Because they rejected Him salvation was made available to anyone who accepts His sacrifice. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28. Salvation is only through Jesus' shed blood and it's free for the asking.
Have you accepted His sacrifice? There's no doubt that you've sinned, as have I. You can receive forgiveness for your sins and receive eternal life just by asking. First, admit you're a sinner. Even though we justify our own sins by making excuses, there's no excuse. We cannot be good enough by our own merit to stand before God. This may not matter to you now, but one day you will die. If you haven't accepted Christ for salvation you won't have a second chance. Your eternity will have been decided by your own choice. When you accept Christ, you must believe. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10, From the moment you honestly and truly believe then God no longer sees you through the ugliness of the sin in your life, but your sins have been forgiven because of faith in the shed blood of Jesus. That's really all there is to it, but keep in mind that your confession of faith should bring a change in your life. A new believer can't know every sin they've ever committed. They don't really know what sin is. That's where Bible study comes in. Scripture is for our edification. New believers need to be mentored by those who are mature Christians. Even mature Christians still sin and are still learning to follow Christ. We need to mold our life around Christ and not try to mold Him to us. All sin can be forgiven, but it needs to be confessed. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. There's no sin you've committed that is so bad that it can't be forgiven. Confess your sin, ask Him to forgive you, then turn away from that sin.
Jesus is the only way of salvation. Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Prophecy and government shutdown - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Here we are, how many days into the government shutdown? Quite frankly, I haven't noticed. Perhaps some of you have, I don't know. But just like all the other government shutdowns, nothing much has changed. People I know in charge of our national defense are still at their positions. Our nation is safe because the only real budget item the federal government is required to do is, as the preamble to the US Constitution says, "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty." The rest is left up to the states and the local government. All the add-ons by the federal government are beyond its charter-just saying.
The news media and the pro-government left are spastic about a government shutdown. Every day there is a new headline and a new angle, a new sob-story about how the hated dictator Trump is ruining America by shutting down the government. Over the long-term, a federal government shutdown would have a tremendous negative impact on the US economy. The federal government employs more than 2.7 million civilians, not counting those in the military. That's more than Walmart, Amazon, Yum China (Yum Brands), Kroger, Home Depot, Berkshire Hathaway, IBM, FedEx, UPS, Target, and General Electric, combined.
Now, I do not want to give any impression that those of you who work for the federal government do not have important jobs. So don't get angry and hit the "unsubscribe" button. My personal belief is that many federal jobs would be even better as private industry jobs-which would likely happen if the federal government did not provide the service. Essential services, such as waste removal, electric power, education, road upkeep, water, food, etc., are not entrusted to the federal government, and now you know why-a shutdown would cause real problems. The basic concept of a shutdown by the Congress or the White House is to get those who want more government, and are convinced they can't live without it, to agree to something the others want.
Government should not be God in our lives. As you can see, your life goes on without the federal government. In America, we might just focus too much on politics and government. As we remember Christ during this time of the year, maybe it is appropriate that the government is shut down. Isaiah 9:6-7 prophesies, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever." THAT's the government that never shuts down.
Daily Devotion: The Path to Personal Peace - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! -Isaiah 26:3
If you want to overcome fear and worry, then you need right thinking. In other words, think about what you think about.
We're told in Philippians 4:8, "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" (NLT). If you want personal peace, this is where it begins.
Why is the mind important? It's command central. With our minds we reach to the past through memories, and we reach to the future through imagination. We need to learn how to think properly and biblically. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ" (NLT).
The next time you're troubled, you might try talking to yourself. We need to tell ourselves to think biblically, because it doesn't always come naturally. For example, we see the writer's despair in Psalm 42: "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?" But then the writer continues, "I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again-my Savior and my God!" (verses 5-6 NLT).
Many of the Psalms are songs and prayers. They are honest. And as we read some of them, we may think, "I dare not pray that." But go ahead and pray that. Go ahead and say, "Lord, I am hurting right now. . . . I'm in pain right now. . . . I don't understand this right now. . . . I'm struggling with this right now."
The next time you're feeling down, the next time you think, "I don't know how I'm going to get through this situation," quote the Bible to yourself. Remind yourself of the truth of God's Word. That is what it means to think biblically.
FROM THE HEART
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