Prophecy Update Newsletter
December 28, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
By Grace are You Saved, Not of Works - By Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2016/12/by-grace-are-you-saved-not-of-works.html
8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We have been having a discussion on a forum, and some get very belligerant over the issue of OSAS. It's a doctrine that causes some very strong opinions when you address the question, "Are we saved for all eternity and is "eternal security" a license to sin?"
I say "strong opinions" as men are mortal and the human nature of mankind is to want to be right. To challenge a long embraced doctrinal belief, even with scripture, is to threaten the intellectual part of a person and many people who resort to being antagonistic just can't handle being told they are wrong.
I had one lady on the forum make the following statement :
"So my line of thought is....
If you're Catholic and don't believe in eternal security (because you think it's a license to sin), yet you believe that you must go to purgatory for the purification of sin...
Why is it that those who believe in eternal security are looked down on because we know that we sin (as the Catholics do), but we believe that since salvation is given and not earned, we can't lose it ? "
And then you have the alternate belief of a religion who bases their salvation on a work based platform and denounce those who follow what scripture says and hold onto a legalistic viewpoint that they must obey their church. Thus they speak that their church is the final authority and not the Bible. We must raise the question proposed:
""What about someone who professes to be a Christian and accepts they are a sinner, and admits Jesus died for their sins -- yet they continue to live an unrepentant sinful life?" That's a good question. So what's the answer? Let us first define what the belief of "eternal security" actually is.
Taking the definition from a purely secular definition found on Wikipedia, the definition is pretty straight forward:
"Perseverance of the saints (also referred to as eternal security as well as the similar but distinct doctrine known as "Once Saved, Always Saved") is a teaching that asserts that once persons are truly "born of God" or "regenerated" by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, nothing in heaven or earth "shall be able to separate (them) from the love of God" (Romans 8:39) resulting in a reversal of the converted condition."
So since those of the "mother church" Roman Catholicism, and Evangelical Christianity both can't be right, we must turn to the final authority and what is found in your Bible...Now RCC will argue traditions and the writings of the "apostolic fathers", but when tradition contradicts the Bible, then the Bible takes precedence. But you must interpret the clear meaning of scripture through the Holy Spirit, as the doctrines of salvation are spiritually discerned.
18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1st Corinthians 1:18-21)
12 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1st Corinthians 2:12-14)
We all know someone that went to church, accepted Jesus, then fell away and right back into the life they were living before they got saved. They still talk about Jesus and use Christian buzzwords when around other Christians, but that is about the only visible extent of their conversion. That's question is on both sides of this doctrine of eternal security, Catholic as well as Evangelical.
Those who profess Jesus Christ, but still continue in sins of the flesh..some more, some less. They don't continue to gather at your local church, they may continue to smoke, they may have loose lips and say profanity either out of anger, or just habit, but claim to believe, or other various sins that are of this world...Are they really saved? Taking the arguments of those on the afore mentioned forums, the transformation of an angry, worldly person over a long, painful period didn't just happen...it didn't change them from their old habits into the glorious image of our Lord and Savior at the point of conversion. It take a long period of willing sacrifice and the question of salvation is not of works, but the question is, if there are no works after salvation, was the salvation real or imagined?
Can someone believe themselves to be saved and heaven-bound without demonstrating any kind of relationship with Christ? Quoting the forum post directly, can a person "just claim knowledge of the saving grace of God, but never put it into practice?"I have to sympathize with the person who posed the question, as living a Christian life in this world, is not easy because the transition and the transformation process from one extreme (a lost sinner) to the other (a changed life) is a painful process that some Christians prefer not to take the trip.
But is the process of transformation, evident by works, a requirement of salvation? For that is the question in the final analysis.
JESUS EXPLAINS THE DIFFERENCE
I want to explore a parable that Jesus told to those who condemned Him for eating with tax collectors who were the most hated of the Jewish society, as they were viewed as traitors by working for the Roman authorities.
We all know the story of the Prodigal Son, but to quickly summarize, Jesus spoke of a man with two sons. One demanded his inheritance and went off and lived a riotous, sinful life. The other son stayed home and worked for his father on the family farm. Ultimately, the younger son found himself in the pig pen competing with the pigs for the corn husk (the most foul unclean destiny for any observant Jew could imagine). Meanwhile, the elder son, (the more serious one) put his love for his father into action by working in the fields, obeying his father's commands, and served him faithfully.
The comparison is stark and deliberate and Jesus used the parable to make a point to those who questioned Him, and it sounds like some of the questions proposed on this forum by certain members. I don't believe the similarity is accidental. On one hand, we have an unrepentant, lustful, disobedient son squandering his inheritance on sinful living, shaming his father everywhere he goes. He cares about nothing but himself and wastes all that his father gave him.
On the other, we find the obedient, hardworking and honorable son, working at his father's business, because he loves his father. He isn't working at his father's business to earn his inheritance. He already has that by virtue of his sonship. He is working that hard out of love.
So when the disobedient, lustful son shows up and is received as an equal to the obedient son, the obedient son says, "How can this be?"
"And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf." (Luke 15:29-30)
So how is it that the one son who had left his father and the elder son who honored his father, and this sinful son who has just now returned and given a joyful welcome, are by any means equal?
ON first glance, the elder son has a legitimate point, but still the lesson is even though the elder son was obedient, he didn't do it for his inheritance, since it was his by being his father's son, but the younger son didn't loose his being his father's son by squandering away his inheritance either.
So from this parable that Jesus spoke in answer to those who made a difference between classes of people in the Jewish society, can we make the same comparison of those who claim to be Christian and have accepted Jesus as Personal Savior and ask the question ""Can a person be a son of God without putting their faith into practice?" would appear to be, yes. I am reminded of what Paul wrote at the end of Romans chapter 8 and it begs a closer examination of this doctrine:
32"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:33-39)
Nothing can separate us from the love of God...NOTHING...not even ourselves. Jesus said that He will loose none who He has chosen:
37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." (John 6:37-39)
There are no shades of gray when it comes to salvation. Either one is a child of God, or one is not. It is an issue of "relationship" not behavior. One does not work his way into a family relationship. It is not earned, it is given as a gift Nothing we can do will earn us salvation. Our works will not impart righteousness to our account. For Isaiah wrote :
6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities." (Isaiah 64:6-7)
One need not be in fellowship to still be part of that family. I know of many father and sons, or even daughters who have no fellowship to speak of, but that does NOT make them unrelated. They are still father and son/daughter. That does not change.
Which brings us to the next, and most obvious question. How does one enter into a family relationship with God?
"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? " And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:30-31)
"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." (Romans 10:9)
"I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24)
"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)
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Galatians 4:6)
("Abba" is the Hebrew equivalent to "Daddy" -- and that is how the Lord pictures the relationship between the Father and a Christian.)
Remember the time when you were first saved? I do very clearly. For each of us, there is the period of time before we were saved, and then the moments when we made that confession and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior, followed by all the time we have left on this earth. We are to repent of our sins at this moment of conversion, as that is the beginning of our conversion from what we were, into what we have now become...a child of God.
The English Bible translates repent from the Greek word metanoeo, which means, "to change one's mind" -- in this case, about one's sin. So an "unrepentant Christian" is an oxymoron. If one is a Christian, one has already changed one's mind about one's sin.
The moments that come afterwards cannot undo the moment that has already occurred. Hang with me here as I prove the point by following what God said, not what man believes is true from following their church's traditions.
There are some important points to understand when we look at the story of the prodigal son.
1) He is still his father's son, no matter what has happened.
The father assures the obedient son that all that the father has belongs to him.
28 "And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." Luke 15:28-32)
2. The prodigal son gets nothing but a warm greeting and a place to call home. The elder son's inheritance is fully intact. The obedient son lived a sheltered life, protected by the father and never suffered the indignities, pain, hunger, shame and guilt that racked the prodigal's life. The obedient son will always be in charge. The prodigal is grateful to have a bed.
3. We get another picture of the difference between the obedient son and the prodigal son in Paul's letter to the Corinthians describing such a scene in heaven before the judgment seat of Christ.
11" For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1st Corinthians 3:11-15)
This is a picture of the obedient son standing in front of his Savior and being confused why another who is there at all, because they didn't live like a Christian. (a prodigal son Christian) The obedient son receives the rewards for those things done in his body for the Father here on earth and those done for the Name of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He is rewarded for his struggles here on earth, for proclaiming the witness of Jesus Christ and being good stewards of the talents given to him and doing his Father's business.
Then comes the prodigal son...you know that Christian we all judged here on earth as not deserving any kind of reward, or even a place in heaven.
Note that he is also standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Not because of his obedience, but because of his status as a son. That status was extended to him, the moment he accepted Jesus as personal Savior. At the moment of salvation, he changed his mind about sin and accepted the free pardon extended to him. He asked Jesus into his heart, he was washed clean of all of his sins, past, present AND future. He was adopted into the family of God and was saved.
Now he stands before Jesus being judged for his rewards, or "inheritance" ...just as the prodigal son was judged as a son, but received nothing but a place to call home and a warm bed. His status as a son, has not changed, but he didn't do much for God in the life he lived. He may have been embarrassed to witness...he may have been a wall flower who didn't have much confidence and didn't rely on the strength God gives to those who ask. But he is still family. Note the last verse of the passage quoted in 1st Corinthians 3.
"If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Corinthians 3:15)
Note that he suffered loss....loss of rewards. But he himself will be saved, as THROUGH the fire. We don't know what heaven will be like, but those who just "get by" will not be given the responsibilities of a son to rule over God's Kingdom here on earth, and into eternity.
23 "His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:23)
42 "And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath." (Luke 12:42-44)
ETERNAL SECURITY MISUNDERSTOOD
Eternal security is NOT a license to sin, because your sin will find you out. If it be a habitual sin, it will kill your body. It will kill your witness for Jesus Christ and will kill your effectiveness for Christ. It may lead to disease, or it may lead to premature death. It will eliminate rewards handed out during Jesus Christ Bema Seat judgment.
Sin has consequences in this life, and it has consequences in the next life...In the next life, there will be Kings and princes allowed to rule, and there will be subjects and servants. There will be mansions, some greater than others....which suggest that some will end up with just an apartment and a place to call home. But being tried by fire and coming through the fire, as the scripture says "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." means he is allowed to live. Why? Because he is a son, and has Jesus found in his heart when he received the deposit of His Holy Spirit at conversion and repented of his past sins. We are saved by grace. Grace is defined receiving something you did not earn. Mercy is defined as something you earned but did not receive.
Being saved means literally being saved from "the second death" and not being cast out into outer darkness where Jesus described it several times, "where the worm dieth not, or the fire quenched". The rest is determined by your obedience and did you follow the commands of our Lord God? Did you conform to the image of His Son, or did you just get by?
THE WAR BETWEEN THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH
But if you follow the scriptures, you realize that no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to be perfect. You will still sin...maybe not to the level that you practiced before salvation, but in God's eyes, sin is sin....and Paul lamented in Romans chapter 7 of this very fact.
14 "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do............
22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." Romans 7:14-19, 22-24)
But moving on into chapter 8, Paul gives us even more truth of our inability to totally quit sinning in that we strive to follow the Spirit and subject our flesh to God's law though imperfectly.
1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Roman 8:1-2)
Not that we are free from the law of sin and death....its penalty, YES, but not from sin entirely...it's humanly impossible, because we are still mortal.
But those who strive to keep themselves from sin, are like the obedient son..Obedient Christians aren't wasting their time being good when they could be out partying. They are laying up for themselves treasures in heaven, like contributions to a heavenly 401k. ....
19 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)
You don't need a 401K to retire here on earth, but if you don't have one, you'll regret it...so it is with eternity..if you don't lay up treasure in heaven and receive nothing but a place to call home at the Bema Judgment seat. As a Christian, you don't have to have works to get to heaven, but in the future, you will regret it...for all eternity.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you find savings Grace and God's mercy..if you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me at email@example.com, or visit me online for more biblical teachings from the Word of God at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Obama's Betrayal of Israel at the UN - By Matt Ward - http://raptureready.com/soap2/ward77.html
Friday 23rd December, 2016, will go down in history as a day of infamy for the United States. America, under the leadership of Barack Obama, have finally, and irrevocably, betrayed Israel. Choosing to abstain from a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel, which declares all settlements outside the 1967 borders as illegal, Obama has effectively offered up Israel on a plate to her enemies at the United Nations.
How cruel, how tyrannical, that this lame duck president chooses to use his few remaining days in office to curse Israel. In defiance of all diplomatic protocol, Obama is hoping to present Donald Trump with a fait accompli when he assumes office in late January. At this point, there is nothing President Trump can do to aid Israel. The damage is already done.
Yet the betrayal goes deeper than merely a vote to abstain. Much deeper. The original motion of condemnation against Israeli "settlements" was tabled by Egypt, who quickly withdrew it due to pressure from president-elect Trump.
However, Obama and his team worked to out flank Trump. Obama went instead to New Zealand and Malaysia, getting them to table the motion in Egypt's stead. Trump was powerless to stop it.
The motion of condemnation was then tabled, the United States abstained, and the remaining UN Security Council members, sensing blood, pounced on Israel.
Israel are now completely isolated, they are legally exposed and have been wholly condemned by all the world. All of this to Obama's eternal shame.
Amongst other things this vote now means that the Wailing Wall, currently the most holy site in modern Judaism, this morning stands firmly on Palestinian land. The Temple Mount has been ripped from Israel's grasp and has been given to Islam.
It means that Jews living in Jewish East Jerusalem can now no longer build any homes and occupy their own ancient capital city. It means that Obama, and America because he leads them, have effectively divided the land God gave to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The so called "peace process" is now dead. This vote has ensured the failure of all potential future negotiations. This vote means that the Palestinians will now demand all settlements as their legal land, and that will be the starting point for all their negotiations. All future negotiations for peace will now begin with the understanding that the 1967 lines are the starting point, not the end point.
Before this vote, the best the Palestinians could have hoped for would have been an Israeli retreat to the 1967 borders.
Israel will now be expected, by the international community, to retreat back to the 1948 lines, not the 1967 borders. In international diplomacy, and Obama knows this well, this 1948 line is known by another term; it is known as the Auschwitz line. Any retreat behind this Auschwitz line is militarily indefensible.
Obama, in allowing this vote to progress without a U.S. veto, has knowingly endangered the continued existence of Israel itself as a viable state. He no doubt hopes that one day soon Israel will be forced to retreat behind a border that will not allow for the adequate protection of the Jewish State.
Obama has actively sought to bring about the conditions necessary for Israel's final destruction.
Barack Obama has cursed Israel. He hasn't simply abstained from a UN vote; he is actively attempting to seal Israel's future doom.
God is clear. Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, whoever curses Israel will be cursed. America, under Barack Obama's leadership have now, for the very first time actively cursed Israel. A red line has been crossed.
In my opinion, all we can now do is wait for the judgment that will now fall. It will fall on Barack Obama personally, and terrifyingly, on the United States corporately because he leads them, and there is nothing that Donald Trump can do to stop it.
Obama Takes Giant Step Toward Armageddon - By Daymond Duck - http://raptureready.com/featured/duck/dd260.html
God clearly made an unconditional covenant to give all (not part) of the land of Canaan to Israel for an everlasting (forever) possession and He also promised to be Israel's God (Gen. 17:7-8).
Following the return of Israel at the end of the age, God clearly said, "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people andfor my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land" (Joel 3:2).
In the last half of the Tribulation period, God will drag the nations into the Valley of Jehoshaphat for the battle of Armageddon because they have scattered the Jews (forced some of them off of the West Bank) and divided their land (created two-states out of the land of Israel; see Matt. 24:15-16).
In the last several weeks, there have been dozens of reports that Pres. Obama was scheming to stab Israel in the back before he left office. His sinister scheme has now come to fruition no matter how hard he and his anti-Semites pretend that they didn't want to do it.
But he did more than stab Israel in the back. He stabbed God in the back by calling His Word a lie and saying that the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, belongs to the Palestinians and not Israel.
He stabbed every American in the back by exposing the U.S. to the judgment of God for Mr. Obama's deliberate act of revenge (Obad. 1:15).
Christians need to pray that Donald Trump and a coalition of Republicans and Democrats can quickly reverse this global atrocity. That is a possibility because many prominent Democrats have rightly denounced Mr. Obama's ungodly action.
He stabbed the world in the back by making it a more dangerous place and dooming the armies of the world to destruction at the battle of Armageddon.
He stabbed the Palestinians in the back because they no longer have to negotiate with Israel and they will have to be defeated on the battlefield.
He stabbed Donald Trump in the back by making the Middle East problem worse than ever and harder to solve.
He stabbed himself in the back by doing something that the Bible clearly says will come back on him and there is plenty of solid evidence to show that it will happen.
The terrible deed of this servant of Satan was a previously planned Bible denying resolution in the UN Security Council on Dec. 23, 2016 demanding that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory. It said Israel's settlements are not legal and they are putting the two-state solution in jeopardy.
The way God sees it He gave the land to Israel and the Palestinians are the occupiers (Deut. 32:8-9). He knows the Palestinian Authority came into being in 1967. He knows that in the history of the world there has never been a Palestinian state and there will ultimately be one state not two when He gets through dealing with Israel's enemies for rejecting His will.
Pres. Obama could have vetoed this satanic document, but he contributed to its passage by having the U.S. Ambassador to the UN abstain. His decision to not vote was a decision to let it pass.
Understand that this is not the seven year covenant that begins the Tribulation Period (Dan. 9:24-27). It is interesting because of something the UN Ambassador said when she abstained, but there is nothing in the resolution about 7 years.
She said "We cannot stand in the way of this resolution in the quest for two states living side by side in peace and security." Saying "peace and security" is the same thing as saying, "peace and safety."
Understand that the Temple will still be rebuilt, the animal sacrifices will still resume, the Antichrist will still sit in the Temple, still say that he is God, and every jot and tittle of the remainder of God's Word will be fulfilled. But this is a giant step in the direction of the battle of Armageddon.
It is undeniable evidence that Jerusalem is a burdensome stone for the world (Zech. 12:2), a major sign that the Tribulation period is getting close, and by implication, solid evidence that the Rapture is not far off.
It is also important to note that Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "We do not accept, nor can we accept, this resolution." This implies more problems in the future, possibly war and more and greater judgment from God.
Finally, Donald Trump and several politicians have signaled their displeasure with the UN. The U.S. needs to stop throwing money down that corrupt rat hole and get out. January 21, 2017 would not be too soon for many Americans.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Our World: Obama's war against America - Caroline B. Glick - http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-World-Obamas-war-against-America-476598
In 1989, following her tenure as President Ronald Reagan's ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick described how the Palestinians have used the UN to destroy Israel.
Following outgoing US President Barack Obama's assault on Israel at the UN Security Council last Friday, longtime UN observer Claudia Rossett wrote an important article at PJMedia where she recalled Kirkpatrick's words.
In "How the PLO was legitimized," published in Commentary, Kirkpatrick said that Yasser Arafat and the PLO worked "to come to power through international diplomacy - reinforced by murder."
Kirkpatrick explained, "The long march through the UN has produced many benefits for the PLO. It has created a people where there was none; a claim where there was none. Now the PLO is seeking to create a state where there already is one. That will take more than resolutions and more than an 'international peace conference.' But having succeeded so well over the years in its campaign to delegitimize Israel, the PLO might yet also succeed in bringing the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, with consequences for the Jewish state that would be nothing short of catastrophic."
As Rossett noted, in falsely arguing that Obama's support for Friday's UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is in line with Reagan's policies, Obama's UN Ambassador Samantha Power deliberately distorted the historical record of US policy toward Israel and the PLO-led UN onslaught against the Jewish state.
As Rosett noted, in stark contrast to Power's self-serving lie, neither Reagan nor George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush would have ever countenanced a resolution like 2334.
Obama's predecessors' opposition to the war against Israel at the UN was not merely an expression of their support for Israel. They acted also out of a fealty to US power, which is directly targeted by that war.
It is critical that we understand how this is the case, and why the implications of Resolution 2334 are disastrous to the US itself.
Resolution 2334 is being presented as an "anti-settlement" resolution. But it is not an anti-settlement resolution.
Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and neighborhoods in Jerusalem are being used - as they always have been used - as a means of delegitimizing the Jewish state as a whole, and legitimizing Palestinian terrorists and Islamic terrorists more generally. Resolution 2334 serves to criminalize Israel and its people and to undermine Israel's right to exist, while embracing Palestinian terrorists and empowering them in their war to annihilate Israel.
America's historic refusal to countenance such actions at the UN Security was never a purely altruistic position. It was also a stand for American power and the inherent justice of American superpower status and global leadership.
Throughout most of its history, the UN has served as a proxy battlefield first of the Cold War, and since the destruction of the Soviet Union, for the war against the US-led free world. Beginning in the early 1960s, the Soviets viewed the political war against Israel at the UN as a means to undermine the moral basis for the US-led West. If Israel, the only human rights defending state in the Middle East, and the US's only stable ally in the region could be delegitimized, then the very coherence of the US-led Western claim to moral superiority against the totalitarian Soviet empire would be undone.
Hence, the first Soviet attempt at the UN to castigate Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement, as a form of racism was made in 1965, two years before Israel took control of Judea and Samaria and united Jerusalem in the Six Day War.
That attempt failed. But nine years later the wording first raised in 1965 was adopted by the UN General Assembly which passed resolution 3379 slandering libeled Zionism as "a form of racism."
With their automatic majority in the General Assembly and all other UN organs, the Soviets used the Palestinian war against Israel as a proxy for their war against America. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the Islamic bloc, backed by members of the former Soviet bloc, the non-aligned bloc and the Europeans continued their campaign. The only thing that kept them from winning was the US and its Security Council veto.
When Obama chose to lead the anti-Israel lynch mob at the Security Council last week, he did more than deliver the PLO terrorist organization its greatest victory to date against Israel. He delivered a strategic victory to the anti-American forces that seek to destroy the coherence of American superpower status. That is, he carried out a strategic strike on American power.
By leading the gang rape of Israel on Friday, Obama undermined the rationale for American power. Why should the US assert a sovereign right to stand against the radical forces that control the UN? If US agrees that Israel is committing a crime by respecting the civil and human rights of its citizens to live in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, then how can America claim that it has the right to defend its own rights and interests, when those clash with the views of the vast majority of state members of the UN? Following Obama's assault on Israel Friday, Senators Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz called for the US to end its financial support for the UN at least until the Security Council abrogates Resolution 2334. They are correct.
But it isn't anger at how Obama has and is expected to continue to use the Security Council to imperil Israel that should inform the incoming Trump administration's actions. Rather a determination to maintain US power and secure its national security requires that the UN be permanently defunded and defanged.
For eight years, through his embrace and empowerment of US enemies, betrayal and weakening of US allies, emaciation of the US armed forces and repeated apologies for America's past assertions of global leadership, Obama has waged a determined war against US superpower status. The last vestige of the strategic and moral rationale for US power was the protection America afforded Israel at the Security Council.
Now with that gone, it has become a strategic imperative for the US to render the UN irrelevant. This can only be undertaken by permanently defunding this corrupt institution and using the US's Security Council veto to end the UN's role as the arbiter of international peace and security, by among other things, ending the deployment of UN forces to battle zones.
Only by stripping the UN of its financial wherewithal to assault US allies and American interests and by denying it the institutional and operational capacity to serve as an arbiter of disputes morally and legally superior to the US can America protect its sovereignty and advance its interests.
Only by denying those associated with the UN the prestige that confers to an institution legitimized by democrat and autocrat alike can the incoming Trump administration rebuild America's reputation and power.
It is not surprising that Obama is carrying out the final act of his presidency at the UN. Obama has made no attempt to hide his desire to eliminate America's independence of action. By elevating the post of UN ambassador to a cabinet level position at the outset of his presidency, Obama signaled his conviction that this corrupt institution is the equal of the US government.
This early signal was transformed into an open policy when Obama used the Security Council as a means to bypass the US Senate in implementing his nuclear deal with Iran.
Now, by ignoring the near consensus position of both parties that the US should block anti-Israel resolutions from being adopted at the Security Council and plotting further action against Israel at the Security Council in his final weeks in office, Obama has made clear his position and his aim.
Obama is not leading the war against Israel at the Security Council simply to advance the PLO's war for the annihilation of Israel. He is acting in this manner to undermine the legitimacy of American power.
Obama's strategic campaign against his country can only be defeated by a counter campaign by his successor.
Luckily, by eschewing multilateral entanglements in favor of bilateral partnerships during his presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump has demonstrated that he understands the threat and will adopt the only possible means of countering it. To reassert and rebuild the rationale for American power, the Trump administration must permanently defund the UN and reject its legitimacy as an institution of global governance.
The UN Declares War on Judeo-Christian Civilization - by Giulio Meotti - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9655/un-israel-war
2016 has been a sumptuous year for the anti-Semites at the United Nations. The UN Security Council just targeted the only democracy in the Middle East: the State of Israel. The outgoing Obama Administration reportedly orchestrated what even Haaretz called a "hit and run" campaign in UN to denigrate the Jewish State and leave it to a fate where only conflict and hate loom. This is a cultural genocide that is no less dangerous than terror attacks. It is based on anti-Semitic lies and creates the atmosphere not for achieving "peace", as disingenuously claimed, but for perpetuating war.
UNSC Resolution 2334 is the culmination of a dizzyingly fruitful year for anti-Semites. Last November, committees of the UN General Assembly in a single day adopted 10 resolutions against Israel, the only open society in the Middle East. How many resolutions have been approved against Syria? One. How many against the rogue state of North Korea? One. How many against Russia when it annexed Crimea? One.
Hillel Neuer, of UN Watch, observed:
"Even as Syrian president Bashar Assad is preparing for the final massacre of his own people in Aleppo, the U.N. adopted a resolution -- drafted and co-sponsored by Syria -- which falsely condemns Israel for "repressive measures" against Syrian citizens on the Golan Heights. It's obscene."
Not a single resolution was approved for those states which really abuse human rights, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Venezuela, China or Cuba, not to mention many virtual tyrannies throughout Africa. Only one resolution was approved for the "Palestinian refugee properties", but not even a single mention for the property of the Iraqi Christians in Mosul.
Another resolution in this racist banquet of the United Nations concerned the "application of the Geneva Convention in the occupied territories". There are hundreds of territorial disputes in the world, from Tibet to Cyprus, but only Israel deserves to be called out?
According to the liars at the United Nations, the most evil country in the world is Israel. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad, and Jordan's Prince Zeid al Hussein are sponsoring even now a "blacklist" of international companies that have ties with Israeli companies in Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, to facilitate boycotting Israel in the evident hope of economically exterminating the only democracy and pluralistic nation in the region: the Jewish State.
The UN Envoy for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, suggested also including the Israeli army in the blacklist of countries and groups that regularly cause harm to children, along with Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Islamic State, the Taliban, and countries such as the Congo and the Central African Republic, infamous for their child-soldiers -- but of course not the Palestinians, who continue to promote using children as combatants and children as "martyrs". How is it that Western jurisprudence, created after the Second World War to prevent more crimes against humanity, is now being used to perpetuate more crimes and against democracies?
The UN women's rights commission condemned Israel as the world's only violator of women's rights. Not Syria, where Assad's forces use rape as a tactic of war, or the Islamic State, which enslaves women from religious minorities. Not Saudi Arabia, where women are punished if they do not wear the Islamic full-covering clothing in scorching temperatures, or drive a car or even leave the house. Not Iran, where "adultery" (which can include being raped) is punishable by being stoned to death. And if Palestinian men beat their wives, it's Israel's fault, argued UN expert Dubravka Simonovic with a straight face.
The UN's World Health Organization also singled out Israel as the only violator in the world of "mental, physical and environmental health", despite Israel being the only state in the world actually to give medical care to its enemies (ask Hamas leaders' children).
Canadian law professor Michael Lynk was then appointed as the UN's "impartial" investigator of alleged Israeli human rights violations despite his long record of anti-Israel lobbying, including his board membership on many pro-Palestinian organizations, including Friends of Sabeel and the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations.
Last October, the UN cultural agency, UNESCO -- by magically declaring ancient Biblical Jewish sites "Islamic", even though Islam did not historically exist until the seventh century, hundreds of years later -- pretended, with the villainous complicity of the West, to erase the Jewish-Christian roots of Jerusalem.
It is a dreadful manipulation to try erase all Jewish and Christian history, to make believe that all the world was originally and forever only Islamic. It is a jihad. That is what a jihad looks like. It is not just orange jumpsuits, beheadings and slavery. If one can erase and rewrite history, one can redirect the future. If you do not know where you are coming from, what values will you defend or fight for?
Names matter. If it is Jewish, then it is called "Judea and Samaria"; if it is "Palestine", you can say the "Jews stole it" and that Israel is a "colonialist construct" based on "injustice". Why then is no one is pointing to the entire continent of South America, conquered from the native Indians by Cortés, Pizarro and Europeans with guns?
The latest UN Security Council resolution against Israel is not only about "settlements", but the Old City of Jerusalem. Its members want to reset history not at 1967, but at 1948, the year Israel was born.
When Marcel Breuer and Bernard Zerfuss designed UNESCO's building in concrete and glass at the Place Fontenoy in Paris, and Pablo Picasso donated frescoes to it, they most likely imagined the rebirth of Western culture after the tragedies of war, the Holocaust and the Nazi nightmare. Never in any other spot on earth were words such as "education", "science", "culture", "freedom", "peace" and "brotherhood" repeated so many times. There was hope and commitment that the future would be better -- not worse. But the dream lasted no longer than the few minutes of the announcement.
The Soviet Union had in fact already stained UNESCO's cultural programs with the red of Communism, such as when UNESCO promoted a "new world information order", the goal of which goal was to end the dominance of the Western press -- presented as a "threat" to the "cultural identity" of "Third-World" nations. Under the Eiffel Tower, the authoritarian and anti-Western Third World then took control of the UN cultural center, which became, according with the Washington Post, "overly bureaucratic, costly, wasteful and imbued with an anti-Western, anti-capitalist bias".
Since then, Israel continues to be treated as a pariah by these ideological and corporeal criminals on the Seine. Even after that, in 1975 the UN body "tipped its hand" by propagating the anti-Semitic blood libel of "Zionism is racism".
Last month, the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, sported the famous checkered scarf, the keffiyah, a symbol of the "Palestinian resistance" (read terrorism). This is simply the continuation of the cultural obliteration of Israel, which is supposed to justify next its physical obliteration.
Last month, the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, sported the famous checkered scarf, the keffiyah, a symbol of the "Palestinian resistance" (read terrorism). This is simply the continuation of the cultural obliteration of Israel, which is supposed to justify next its physical obliteration. (Image source: UN/Manuel Elias)
The fate of Judeo-Christian civilization -- Christianity as well as Judaism -- on which all our values are based, is tied to the fate of the State of Israel. If Israel ceases to exist, so does Christianity. The world has been witnessing how the few Christians and other non-Muslims still remaining in the rest of the Middle East -- once the glorious Christian Byzantium -- are being slaughtered, now that the Jews and Greeks are gone.
The United Nations' war on the Israel's Jews is, at heart, a war against the West. The UN and its backers are briskly paving the way for the European Caliphate.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Christians Most Persecuted Religious Group on the Planet - Caitlin Burke - http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2016/december/christians-most-persecuted-religious-group-on-the-planet
Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, according to the Centre for Global Christianity.
Speaking on Vatican Radio, Massimo Introvigne, Director of the Centre for Studies on New Religions, said that around half a billion Christians in the world are unable to express their faith completely freely--with around 90,000 killed for their faith in 2016 alone.
Mr. Introvigne says about 70 percent of Christians killed in 2016 died in tribal conflicts in Aftrica--many of them Christians who refused to take up arms for reasons of conscience.
"The other 30 percent, or 27,000, were killed in terror attacks, the destruction of Christian villages, or government persecution," he said.
In March, the Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo reported that in just five years of conflict, the Christian population of Syria has been reduced by two thirds from 1.5 million to just 500,000, according to a Breitbart report.
The statistics referred to by Mr. Introvigne are due to be released next month by the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity.
There is some positive news to report--the number of Christians killed is down from 105,000 in 2015.
Daily Jot: The tale of two Americas - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The lame duck "president" is off on his last million-dollar-plus vacation at taxpayer expense. Against the backdrop of golfing, he talked some trash about the election. He told CNN, "'You know, I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that if I - if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it...they would say, "The vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one".' In other words, he's taunting President Elect Donald Trump, saying that he could have beaten Trump. He refuses to believe that it was his "vision" that America soundly rejected. Herein is a tale of two America's: the one of the Marxist Islamist "president" and the real America.
Here's a "president" who has run up the national debt to $19 trillion and change, a doubling of the debt since he took office. Record numbers of people have fallen out of the job market since he took office-some 14 million. Over 45 million people are receiving some form of government assistance, also a record. Record numbers of Islamic "refugees" and "immigrants" have entered the US via terrorist-sponsoring nations. Hundreds of thousands of people continue to illegally cross America's unsecured borders. Race relations have deteriorated. Laws have gone selectively unenforced. People are now without affordable health care. And the "president's" policy on and actions toward Israel is a disgrace.
Already, the President-Elect seemingly has done more for America in just a month of transition than the lame duck has done in eight years. His meetings have resulted in commitments for nearly 100,000 jobs, with tycoons from China and Japan bringing jobs to America, and Carrier, Ford, Panasonic, Tesla and a number of small businesses are gearing up to either keep jobs in America or create new ones under the optimism of Trump's economic plan. Meanwhile, the outgoing occupant of the Oval Office is preaching the socialist mantra that Americans better get accustomed to their jobs being taken by robots. Trump has also reassured Israel that things will change in American foreign policy when he takes office.
An AP poll indicated Americans weren't thrilled with 2016. "Only 18 percent said things for the country got better, 33 percent said things got worse, and 47 percent said it was unchanged from 2015." Fifty-five percent, however, said they believe things will be better for them in the coming year--a 12-point improvement from last year's poll." They cited the hope of more and better jobs as reasons for optimism. Many have expressed that it feels like a tremendous burden has been lifted in that the nation will not continue under the oppressive socialistic policies of the past 8 years. The lame duck "president," however, deceives himself and others. Proverbs 14:8 says, "The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit." And, hence, we have the tale of two Americas.
Daily Devotion: What God Can Do - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. -Colossians 1:13
Our society doesn't really have answers for all the problems we are facing in our country today. Ironically, our society seems to do everything it can to undermine the only one who can help us, and that is Jesus Christ.
There are people caught in our legal system as repeat offenders. There are judges who make the wrong decisions. There is the breakdown of the family. And all of these elements combined produce a society that can do very little to change a person's heart, if anything at all.
Rehabilitation efforts largely fail. In fact, the only real programs that seem to produce lasting change are faith-based, and more specifically, are being operated by Christians who are calling people to faith in Jesus Christ. Society doesn't have the answers.
Jesus met two men whose lives had been controlled and ruined by Satan. Society didn't have the answers. Enter the Savior, Jesus. What did He do? He sought them out in their graveyard and offered them hope. In fact, Luke's account of the story tells us what happened to one of the men who was delivered: "Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid" (Luke 8:35).
Why were people afraid?
They didn't know what to make of it. He was so transformed it frightened the people. They couldn't even imagine a guy like him could be changed in such a dramatic way.
It is such a glorious thing when Christ so transforms someone that you can't even imagine that person being what he or she used to be. You realize that it is the power of a changed life. And that is what God can do.
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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