Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Judgement Before the Second Coming of Christ - by pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2020/12/judgement-before-second-coming-of-christ.html
18 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Revelation 18:1-3)
Judgment is coming to a closing end, and the destruction of this rebellious world is nearly to its completion. Here again in this chapter it again speaks of Babylon. Is this the same Babylon that was spoken of in Chapter 17? Many believe that the Babylon of these two chapters are the same, but are they? Note that there are two divisions of end times concept of the Babylon that rises to rule the earth. The first is Mystery Babylon. She is considered a harlot, a whore which is signified by a woman in a religious order that deceived the world and has for the last nearly 2000 years. She is identified with Rome and is shown to be an adulterer, a woman that is defiled and worships false gods and leads other people into sin. She has held sway over kings and nations at different intervals of her history and in these last days, she rises from the ashes of oblivion, much like the Phoenix bird and retakes her glory lost in the past, but it is short lived. She rules with the Beast power for a set and pre-determined amount of time, before the political power of this time destroys her completely and burns her with fire.
Then there is secular, political, and commercial Babylon that is identified with a coastal city. Be she Mecca, New York City or some other powerful center of this ruling abomination called the Beast power, we are not sure, nor will we be sure this side of the coming of our Lord for the true Church of the Living God. As we have pointed out, this great city is the center of world economics. She is a marketplace that has grown ever more greedy and has lust for power. She is self indulgent and in the end, God Almighty destroys her completely for her sins and abominations.
Through a great portion of the coming Tribulation these two portions of Babylon are intertwined with each other. One having power over another to lead one as much as horse is led by a bridle. But it is an uneasy alliance, as they are not the same, but antagonist of each other, both lusting for supreme power. The coming Beast power has need of this religious power to forge the chains of those who it wishes to follow him and use this false religion as an agent of conquest, much as it was in the Middle Ages. But the Beast that rules the earth will need this false religion for just so long. Her usefulness will run out in the near future during the midpoint of the Tribulation and she will be burned with fire as we saw in Chapter 17.
15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)
This harlot religion has temporal power over the Beast, as the Bible shows that she rides the Beast, and controls him to a point and rules over all nations in religious affairs. Only one religion has more than a 1.5 billion people from all over the globe of all people, multitudes, nations, and tongues. She has spread her tentacles to all points of the globe and in the past, no one was able to withstand her. But this Tribulation power she holds over the political Babylon is short lived.
Mystery Babylon seems to be destroyed when the Anti-Christ comes into the Temple of God in Jerusalem at the mid point of the coming tribulation and proclaims himself as being God in the flesh. Then this religious portion of this unholy alliance will be needed no longer, as the dragon, Satan the devil, who has entered into the last dictator of this fallen world known as the Anti-Christ, will desire complete worship of himself (Satan) through a mortal man that he has possessed. It appears from scripture that a charade either real or manufactured is fostered upon a rebellious and evil population that believes this lawless man has been resurrected from some type of wound that brought him to near death. It will be a false resurrection to mimic what Jesus did 2000 years ago by the power of God, whether this resurrection of the Anti-Christ is real or a charade. Satan is very good as counterfeiting what God has done to make the unrighteous believe a lie.
BABYLON, REAL OR SYMBOLIC?
But as we study the concept of this great city called Babylon, are they literal cities or is she symbolic? That is a question we have to ask ourselves, as many believe that Babylon will be rebuilt again on a desert sands found in the backward country of Iraq. Note that any city built on the ruins of ancient Babylon would not completely fit the description of her having a sea faring port able to handle large merchant ships. Saddam Hussein had the mad notion of rebuilding ancient Babylon thinking that he was a modern king Nebachadnezzer and ruler of the Middle East and we know what happened to him. Many people believe that the New Babylon will be built on the Euphrates River and with the wealth of the Middle East oil, that could happen, but to be an economic power house that God speaks of, leaves large holes in that theory. Although, no one has stepped forward to attempt such a city. But from my viewpoint, being so close to what I feel is the season of our Lord's return, I don't see that kind of time being allowed for another city to emerge as a economic powerhouse for all the world to coincide with the description of her destruction in coming verse of this chapter.
As briefly mentioned in the last part of this study, our Lord equated the known world that hated Him and cautioned that it would hate those who follow Him, just as much to what this world will become.
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 the 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.” (John 15:18-19)
So there are two possibilities, as we have investigated and looked at different cities as being the center of the Beast power, either Rome, Mecca, or even New York, as New York is the center of world wide commerce at the present time. At this present time, the economy of the world is centered on the USA and its economic engine found in New York City, but that could change. It's possible, but highly unlikely, as another city would take years to achieve what the investors on Wall street and the New York economic hub of the world has become. Another possibility is that Babylon is symbolic of what Jesus spoke of as the end time world that revels in their rebellion and unrighteousness. The entire world is a combination of religion and commerce, so the symbol of Babylon “could be” this end time Beast power that covers the entire earth we now live on. In portraying the destruction of a city (Rome?), John describes in Chapter 17 God’s judgment on the great satanic system of religious evil that has corrupted the earth’s history. In chapter 18, the context seems to indicate that Babylon here is viewed in its political and economic character rather than its religious aspect. Although both portions of Babylon the Great are mentioned in various detail, jumping from one power to the other.
Looking at the opening verses, this “angel” which can be interpreted as “messenger” has a great shining appearance. Either the light He cast is from being in the presence of God, or this is Jesus Christ proclaiming that Babylon has fallen and will not rise again. It is a matter of a great moment, whether by this angel we understand as Jesus Christ, or a created angel; the description agreeth to Christ, but most likely agrees to a created angel.
The term ‘another’ (Gr.,allon) makes it clear that this angel is the same in kind as the angel of 17:1. So this most likely is one of the 7 angels that have the bowl judgments. Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen: He announces that Babylon is fallen, fallen and the phrase is “repeated like a solemn dirge of the damned. It becomes a dwelling place of demons: A sad fate for a once-great city.
Abundance of her luxury: Babylon’s sin was not only idolatry (referred to with the term fornication), but also pride, greed, and selfishly held wealth.
The concept is of man ruling himself and being blessed for his work on this earth for a “great economic city” either a location or speaking of the whole world has come to an end. This is “a prophetic picture of absolute desolation where the proud achievements of man become the demonic haunts of unclean and horrible creatures
4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” (Revelation 18:4-7)
COMMAND TO LEAVE BABYLON
This is a call to God's Tribulation saints to come out of those places where they should not be. It is akin to what God told Lot and his family to depart from the city of Sodom and flee to the mountains before God destroys her. The tribulation saints are in a place ripe for destruction. Those who are living during this time, are subject to the temptation and the evil that is perpetuated in the end time world that is headed for oblivion, and God commands His own to separate themselves from everything that pertains to the evil influence of these end time Gentile nations. Note that the inference is that those who believes on Jesus Christ at this time, are susceptible to loosing their salvation and ability to commit sin in God's sight and they could be caught up in the judgment that is coming. They are not sealed with God's Holy Spirit as the 144,000 Jewish evangelist were, but are in danger of falling back into the world system that God says depart from it. This is not true of the Church, who cannot lose their salvation, but those in the tribulation have no such guarantee.
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:10-14)
The church of the Living God has an irrevocable promise of being kept in His grace for any sin, past, present or future. What God has drawn to Jesus Christ and those who have been put into God's Hand cannot be removed.
27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
Tribulation saints must guard their salvation until the very end of this horrific time. So God is talking about a different set of people who are also called saints, which is another indication that the church is not here, as the Church was sealed and had a deposit of future glorification that is promised. The call to come out of Babylon and its sinful and worldly living has been repeated many times in scripture:
“Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Isaiah 52:11)
“ Flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life!” (Jeremiah 50:8)
“ My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord.”(Jeremiah 51:45)
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”(Ephesians 5:11)
But who is this “messenger” of God speaking of? Who are they to come out of? I believe He is speaking of religious and political Babylon that their sins have piled high as the Tower of Babel. There will be an end time false religion that has deceived mankind throughout the history of the world since Jesus ascended back to heaven and the right hand of the Father in glory. God has remembered her iniquities and has passed judgment upon her. This is more detail that John gives to report the destruction of the Harlot Church who has deceived the whole world to worship the image of the Beast.
The description of this Harlot Church is verses 6-7 is most telling of who this woman is and where she has had her headquarters for the last near 2000 years. Note her delicacies and her riches and how she has rewarded others by dealing treacherously with those who did not bow the knee to her. She will be rewarded double for what she has done. I see the complete destruction of this harlot church in flames, as God will use the political power of this earth to destroy her.
--Render to her just as she rendered to you: The ancient Greek word for render (apodidomi) means literally “to pay a debt” or “to give back that which is due.” God will give Babylon exactly what she deserves.
--Repay her double according to her works . . . mix for her double: Double restitution was required in the Old Testament in cases of theft (Exodus 22:4-9). This perhaps is a commentary on how Babylon has made her wealth – through dishonest dealings.
--Repay her double according to her works: This passage presents a three-fold sin. First, self-indulgence (lived luxuriously). Second, pride (glorified herself . . . sits as a queen). Third, avoidance of suffering (am no widow, and will not see sorrow). All these things are characteristic of worldliness and materialism.
--Therefore her plagues will come in one day: The destruction of religious Babylon will come suddenly and with completeness (utterly burned with fire).
8 “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.” (Revelation 18:8-14)
John goes back and forth speaking of the two Babylon's that are mingled together in this chapter. He speaks of religious Babylon and then commercial or political Babylon. Both receive judgment from God and in these preceding verses, you have the vision of a city of commercial marketplace that has dealt with the merchants of the world in what was valuable in John's day, as that is all he could describe, as our technological day was beyond his understanding. You also see a religious portion of Babylon who has deceived the whole world to worship the image of the Beast and to take his mark in their forehead and their right hand.
John witnesses the destruction of these great powerful cities in flames and their destruction in one hour. In your mind, you must separate the two Babylon's and not confuse one with another. The religious Babylon will be destroyed by the Beast power under the will of God, and the final political portion of the Beast power, God will destroy Himself. I can think of no other man-made weapon of destruction than a nuclear weapon, which is what many believe happens to these religious and political cities, which could level a city in one hour. The merchants of the earth stand at a safe distance from her destruction, as the heat and flames, and not to mention the radiation if this be a nuclear weapon that destroyed her, and they wail because the city is destroyed. That is one reason I have explored the one city in the USA, New York who is the economic hub of this modern world now and in the coming future and the city which could be Rome destroyed by the Beast power as he burns her with fire..
The political Babylon sounds eerily similar to what a person would see standing on a boat a long distance from the harbor of the New York City, who has the only port large enough to accommodate large merchant ships. This could come from a nuclear exchange or a pre-emptive nuclear strike from another country. We can only hypothesize of who this great city is, if she is indeed an actual city or a symbolic representation of God's divine judgment on the center of the Beast power and his government. Obviously, God is more than able to replicate a nuclear strike much as He did on Sodom and Gomorrah. Either God uses man to do His will, or completes the prophecy in Divine retribution for her iniquities with fire and brimstone raining from heaven. Thankfully, I won't see any of this to determine which is true as I'll be with Jesus in heaven awaiting the return to the earth of the saints of God, known as the Church of the Living God. Will you?
As we continue to read to the end of the chapter, the angel describes the death knell of Babylon and likens it to a mill stone thrown to the bottom of the sea, never to rise no more. The descriptions show that the center of commercial trade will never be found again.
20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” (Revelation 18:20-23)
This is either a complete destruction of an actual city or applied broadly to a worldly commerce found across the globe during this time of the coming Tribulation. But I find it telling to who and where this prophecy is directed at, as was mentioned, the political and the religious Babylon have been intertwined up to this point.
24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:24)
In verse 24, if this is an actual city, then I can think of only one city in this world that has all the attributes that have been described. Some will point a finger at Jerusalem as she has killed prophets and saints also, but she does not fit the description of a harlot religious system that has ruled the world, drowned herself in luxuries of gold, jewels, and much wealth, and has been the center of apostasy in the past ages and into the modern world. Only one religious organization has more gold in her vaults than even Fort Knox. And if you think hard enough, you will come to the conclusion that fits all points of the prophecy.
The chapter describes the complete destruction of the two Babylons: the religious portion and the commercial or political aspect of the ruling One World government that is a mixture of church and state, much as it was in the Middle Ages. Coming in the next chapter, the beginning reveals the coming victory of our Lord God, Jesus Christ over the Beast Power and its final death blow that will decimate all who come against a Living God. The beginning of chapter 19 is a continuation of the end of chapter 18, as the bible has no actual chapter breaks, as that is man's doing, but the end is near and we will discuss that next time, when we see Jesus coming back to earth in power and great glory. We are nearing the start of the coming Millennium and the reign of Jesus Christ for 1000 years to restore the earth to what was lost in the Garden of Eden, the complete beauty of His creation revived and made perfect. We have much to anticipate for and we await anxiously for the coming of our Lord to make this earth what it was in the time of Adam and Eve. Many things will change. The earth will not be subject to pollution and the evils of mankind. War will be no more, and the weapons of war will be changed into plow shares to become a agricultural society. I have a burden for anyone that may have to live through this horrific time, or die a horrible death....if you believe the following two passages found in your Bible, you won't have to, if you do it this side of the rapture.
But who will be those who populate the coming Millennial reign of Christ? We will discover that when we explore chapter 19 and 20 of the “Return of Jesus Christ and His Millennial Reign.” See you then.
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.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.' (John 3:16-19)
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.” (Romans 10:8-13)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying that you see none of this noted above and are found in Jesus Christ at His coming for His Church that could come very soon. I pray if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear then email me at email@example.com. Or visit me online for more biblical messages to help strengthen your faith in the times we live, God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
20 Numbers From 2020 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/20-numbers-from-2020-that-are-almost-too-crazy-to-believe/
2020 has been a year that none of us will ever forget. We experienced the worst global pandemic in 100 years, we witnessed the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, civil unrest erupted in major cities all over America, and we had one of the wildest presidential elections in our history. Other than that, it was a pretty quiet year. For a few moments, let’s take one more look back at the past 12 months. The following are 20 numbers from 2020 that are almost too crazy to believe…
#1 When 2020 began, nobody had ever heard of “COVID-19” because that term had not even been invented yet. But by the end of the year, there had been more than 83 million confirmed cases around the globe and more than 1.8 million deaths. Here in the United States, there have been more than 20 million confirmed cases so far and more than 350,000 deaths according to the official numbers. Of course nobody is sure if we can trust the official numbers or not, because just recently a politician in Austria showed that a cup of Coca-Cola can test positive for COVID-19.
#2 All of the masks that we have been wearing and discarding during this pandemic have taken a heavy toll on the environment. According to one study, more than 1.5 billion (with a “b”) masks will be dumped into the oceans of the world this year alone.
#3 The lockdowns that our politicians instituted to control the spread of COVID-19 resulted in an unemployment shock that was absolutely unprecedented. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 70 million new claims for unemployment benefits. That means that we have been averaging well over a million new claims per week since the first lockdowns went into effect. To put that into perspective, the old all-time record for a single week was just 695,000 and that was set all the way back in 1982. During this pandemic, we have been above that old record every single week, and now unemployment claims are starting to rise higher once again.
#4 Almost four out of every ten Americans do not plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but the federal government is going to spend 250 million dollars on an “information campaign” that is designed to convince them otherwise.
#5 The civil unrest that erupted all over America following the death of George Floyd ultimately sparked a crime wave that seems as if it will never end. According to an analysis of data from 57 big city police departments, the number of murders in those cities is up 36.7 percent compared to last year. In quite a few of those cities, new all-time records are being established in 2020, and many Americans are anticipating even more violence in 2021.
#6 Recent data from Moody’s Analytics indicates that approximately 12 million U.S. renters are now “at least $5,850 behind in rent and utilities payments”. Landlords all over the nation are in financial distress because of unpaid rent, and we could potentially see the greatest tsunami of evictions in all of U.S. history if and when all of the rent moratoriums are finally lifted in 2021.
#7 In 2020 we witnessed massively long lines at food banks all across America. In some cases, people were lining up as early as 2 AM in order to make sure that they would get something before the supplies were gone. Feeding America runs the largest network of food banks in the entire nation, and they were estimating that approximately one out of every four children in the U.S. would suffer from hunger by the time that 2020 was finally done.
#8 We haven’t seen an economic downturn this severe since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the middle class has been hit particularly hard. According to one recent survey, 2020 was a “personal financial disaster” for 55 percent of all Americans.
#9 But 2020 hasn’t been a financial disaster for everyone. In fact, Forbes recently published an article which celebrated 50 doctors, scientists and healthcare entrepreneurs that become “pandemic billionaires” in 2020.
#10 The U.S. government continues to waste money in some of the most crazy ways imaginable. I know that I shared this the other day, but I just had to include it in this article as well. According to U.S. Senator Rand Paul, the federal government has spent 6.9 million dollars to develop a “smart toilet” which uses a very small camera to identify your “analprint”.
#11 One of the reasons why so much crazy spending happens is because our politicians don’t actually read the bills that they pass. For example, the spending bill that the House of Representatives recently passed was 5,593 pages long, and members of the House were only given a few hours to look it over. Unsurprisingly, the bill passed the House by a vote of 359 to 53.
#12 When Barack Obama first entered the White House, the U.S. was 10.6 trillion dollars in debt. Now we are 27.5 trillion dollars in debt, and soon that total will hit the 30 trillion dollar mark. Needless to say, this is a recipe for national financial suicide.
#13 The decline of the U.S. family continued to accelerate in 2020. According to a recent Gallup survey, only 29 percent of Americans believe that “it is very important for couples who have children together to be married”.
#14 Americans have continued to get even bigger in 2020 as well. At this point, 73 percent of the entire U.S. population is either overweight or obese.
#15 The amount of control that the big tech companies have over our lives has gotten more than just a little bit frightening, but most Americans don’t seem to mind. In fact, one recent survey found that 2 out of every 3 Americans do not care if their smart devices are recording what they say and do at all times.
#16 But if anyone tried to take our smart devices away, then most of us would suddenly become very angry. Another recent survey found that the average person will spend a total of 44 years looking at digital devices during their lifetimes.
#17 The recent presidential election has deeply divided our nation. 96 percent of Democrats believe that Joe Biden was elected fairly, but only 20 percent of Republicans feel the same way.
#18 Joe Biden only won 16.7 percent of all counties in the United States. That was a new record low for a winning candidate, beating the previous record low of 22 percent which Barack Obama established in 2012.
#19 But Joe Biden also somehow won the most overall votes in U.S. history by a very wide margin. He received more than 81 million votes, which was about 12 million more votes than Barack Obama got in 2008 when he set the old record.
#20 On December 14th, the Electoral College voted to make Joe Biden the next president of the United States. Amazingly, that date is precisely halfway between the “Great American Eclipse” of 2017 and the “Great American Eclipse” of 2024. If you plot the paths of those two eclipses on a map of the United States, you will see that they combine to form a giant “X” across the heartland of America.
Nearing Midnight: The Gospel of Racism is Harming the True Gospel Message – Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Racial strife in America has reached such dangerous levels, we are likely headed to an uproar that will rival this summer’s Black Lives Matter riots. There are now millions of people who are so delusional about racism, they think we are living in the most oppressive time in our nation’s history.
They fail to comprehend that there was a time when people were legally defined as property, there were cities and places you could not enter if you were of the wrong race, and you could get lynched for saying the wrong thing to the wrong person.
Today, things are somehow worse because of the erroneous claims that Trump is the most racist president to occupy the White House. The media spotlighting of every time a cop kills a black person is an ongoing explanation of out-of-control racism. The greatest danger to the life of a Black male in America is from another Black male. The murder rate in many cities is at record levels.
I think Black Lives Matter is a demonic joke straight out of the pit of hell. Black lives only matter if white people are involved. If 60 black youths are killed during a July 4th weekend, the world’s media don’t care. If some celebrity was found to pose in black-face 30 years ago, the press would circle them like sharks.
I’ve been dumbfounded by the level of dingbats gaining political office. When Chicago elected a lesbian as mayor, I guess people didn’t realize that her sexuality would heavily factor in the coming decisions she would make.
Democratic New York Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman is a black man with very unique views on life. He believes the U.S. system of capitalism is a form of slavery.
“We’ve moved from physical chattel enslavement and physical racial segregation to a plantation economic system. One that keeps the majority of Americans unemployed, or underemployed and struggling just to survive, while the power elite continues to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few, and allow large corporations to pretty much run the world as multinational corporations,” said Bowman.
“The pandemic has revealed it. With almost 300,000 dead from the pandemic, disproportionately Black and brown, and Jeff Bezos is the first $200 billionaire. In the next six years, he might become the first trillionaire. That’s slavery by another name. It’s a system that’s not working, so we need a new system,” again said Bowman.
The fixation with racism has heavily invaded the churches. The Rev. Ralph West, founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston, Texas, recently said he is cutting ties with the Southern Baptist Convention over a recent statement from the denomination’s Council of Seminary Presidents denouncing critical race theory and intersectionality as incompatible with their beliefs.
West, who ministers to more than 24,000 families in three locations each week, made the announcement in an op-ed published in the Baptist Standard, which called on the seminary presidents to repent for bringing “division and confusion to the body of Christ” with their statement.
“The statement on critical race theory and intersectionality has soiled that good faith. I cannot maintain my affiliation any longer and therefore am withdrawing from Southwestern Seminary. Nor will I associate with the SBC any longer,” West said.
“What the SBC seminary presidents have done has brought division and confusion to the body of Christ. They must repent and seek reconciliation with those who can properly inform them of the wrong they have done. They must ask the Lord to open their hearts to hear the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how Jesus’ reign truly should impact our society,” he added.
I listened to several of West’s sermons from the last few months, and I can clearly say that he is gifted at appealing to the emotions of any crowd. He offers soothing words to people who are still on their way to hell. They don’t know the gospel’s message because Rev. West has been feeding them with a bastardized version of biblical texts for several years.
If you think Jesus came down to earth just to save mankind from the racist Roman Empire, you are immune to the true gospel message. Jesus came to die for all people who are equally lost in sin.
“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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
Read the Bible in 2021 … or starve spiritually - By Jerry Newcombe - https://www.wnd.com/2020/12/read-bible-2021-starve-spiritually/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=wnd-brief&utm_campaign=dailypm&utm_content=brief&ats_es=7ed3ab1f1a7bbeb2c843e9aa8d4bd787
Apparently, fewer Americans are reading the Bible daily. A Barna study on behalf of the American Bible Society came out a few months ago (during the time of COVID-19) that showed a drop in the number of Americans who claim to read the Bible every day – from 14% to 9%.
That seems strange since you would think that during the pandemic, when we have been forced to spend more time indoors, more of us would have found time to read the Scriptures.
It should also be noted that we are talking about at least 30 million Americans who carve out time every day to read the Bible. There's no other book that would rival that kind of readership.
I have found, as a Bible reader for about 45 years now, that reading the Scriptures is rewarding in and of itself. I was shocked, when I first started reading the Bible, how many daily words and phrases come right from its pages. "Turn the other cheek." "Do unto others." "Go the second mile." "My brother's keeper" and so on. There are easily a couple hundred words and phrases used all the time – even in our highly secular age – that first came from the Bible.
Reading the Bible is vital because through it, God speaks to us. Because He speaks to us, His Word is inexhaustible. What I mean by that is that you can read and re-read the same passages and learn something new from it. No other book is like that. No other book warrants re-reading and re-studying like the Scriptures.
There are many in our world today who pay a high price just to read the Bible. Many of them don't even have access to the Scriptures. Wendy Wright, the president of Christian Freedom International, a group that helps the persecuted church, notes that Christians at risk for persecution around the world today number about 260 million.
And many of them crave the Scriptures. Wendy gave me one example: "In North Korea, where citizens are indoctrinated to worship Kim Jong-un, 40 percent of the people are undernourished. Christians who escape desperately find ways to send food – and Bibles – to their countrymen. One man who miraculously escaped now risks his life to help others. He said, 'Rice is important. But Bibles are even more important.'"
In our own country, we have a rich tradition of many presidents and leaders who were regular readers of the Bible.
Take, for example, the sixth president, John Quincy Adams. Here was a man who did so much to fight against slavery in this country. After his presidency, he became a congressman (the only former president to do so). He invested time into a young congressman from Illinois, who served only one term, training him on the fight against the evil practice of slavery. That man was Abraham Lincoln. Adams was called "The Hell-Hound of Slavery."
Like William Wilberforce, who led the half-century crusade against slavery in England, and like Abraham Lincoln, Adams was a fervent reader of the Bible.
Adams wrote in his diary on Sept. 26, 1810: "I have made it a practice for several years to read the Bible through in the course of every year. I usually devote to this reading the first hour after I rise every morning. … My rule is to read five chapters every morning. … Extraordinary pressure or business seldom interrupts more than one day's reading at a time."
If busy presidents could carve out time to read the Bible, why can't we? If we're too busy to read the Bible, then we're too busy. Period.
For the Christian, reading the Bible is like eating. If you don't eat, you starve. If you don't spend time in God's Word, you ultimately starve spiritually.
So this coming year, find some plan to spend time reading and studying God's Word. It will drastically improve your walk with God.
I like a book from the 1940s from England, called "Search the Scriptures." If you use it every day, over a three year period, you will have studied the entire Bible cover to cover. I've used that book many times. Walk Thru the Bible and other ministries have developed schedules whereby people can plug into a daily plan to read the Word of God, daily. Find a plan and stick with it.
I heard a man say recently that reading that calendar day's chapter in Proverbs (with 31 chapters) every day turned his work life around, from failure to success.
Twenty years ago there was a national outdoor ad campaign on some 10,000 billboards with one-liners signed by "God." The stark white text on a simple black background were bold and thought-provoking. One of the billboard messages read: "Have you read my #1 bestseller? (There will be a test.) – God."
Daily Jot: Goodbye 2020 and challenge for 2021 – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Looking back on 2020, it was a year of great promise turned ugly. From COVID to lockdowns to racial issues to radical violence to a disputed election, America and Americans were under extraordinary pressure. We didn’t get a break. For the first time in history, healthy people were quarantined. The economy was locked down. The wheels of commerce were braked until they smoked. Medical science sent conflicting signals. The news media repeatedly lied. Politicians fought without resolve. And the end of the year is one that most people want to close out and forget, but that will not happen because there are so many unresolved issues ushering in 2021. We need to get a handle on this. We need leadership.
This country cannot continue to lead the world under the current environment. America will be a country, but its position in the world will be challenged, especially by China. The rest of the world looks to the United States as a leader for economy, liberty, individual rights, and innovation. Currently, all those areas are under threat because of emotionalism, cronyism, ideological bigotry and political intolerance. Judgment and common sense are clouded by conflicting concepts. Everywhere we turn, we are presented with a challenge to any traditional norm. Science is what the big companies with the big money pay for it to be. Mask, no mask. Vaccines that have no track record and are only considered 50% effective with tremendous side effects. And if you don’t wear a mask and take the vaccine, you are a social pariah.
2020 was a year where totalitarianism took a giant leap forward. COVID was the catalyst. Fear was the driver. It seemed to cause Americans to forget themselves. Who are we? What are we? From a Christian standpoint, we had better figure out who we are otherwise the time-tested freedom to worship the Lord freely in this country will be threatened. We had better figure out how to stand as Christians or there will be fewer and fewer opportunities to share the gospel and to do the work of faith around the world. We had better determine that Christianity is not feel-good, self-indulgence based on some erroneous concept of scripture, but rather a way of life that is lived as an example to others by the instruction of Christ. We need to realize that this country and the world around us is a reflection of us. We can be the difference.
Where is the perfect liberty in which Christ has set us free, if not in his salvation and the world changing power of that salvation? Can we not look at our lives with introspect and determine what it is we need to do to make this world a better place, then do it? Can we not begin with as Christ said in John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”? Can we not take it upon ourselves to “put away the childish things” and, as in Acts 17:6 be those who “have turned the world upside down”? There are so many in Christianity who say, “don’t be involved in politics,” “don’t be involved in business,” “don’t do this, don’t do that.” What about “doing” where the Lord has placed you, and making a positive difference where you can? These are the challenges for the year ahead.
Daily Devotion: Four Life-Changing Questions - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. —1 Corinthians 6:12
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/four-life-changing-questions/ - Listen
Youth is a relative term. To a 15-year-old, I’m an old person. But to a 90-year-old, I’m actually kind of young. When you stop and think about it, we’re all going to be a year older next year.
We’ll make decisions in January that will be played out by next Christmas. You decide the evening of your life by the morning of it. The stand you make today will determine what kind of stand you make tomorrow. It isn’t something mystical that you have nothing to say about.
Maybe the Lord has shown you an area in your life where you’ve been compromised spiritually. Often, it’s the little things that bring us down, not the outright sins. It’s the little things that ultimately lead to the big things. The so-called gray areas ultimately will lead us to those black-and-white areas.
Here’s the wrong question to ask about the things you’re not sure about: Can I still do this and be a Christian?
Rather, when you come to one of those areas and wonder whether it’s acceptable to God and whether it’s right for you to do, ask yourself four questions:
Does it build me up spiritually?
Does it bring me under its power?
Do I have an uneasy conscience about it?
Could it cause someone to stumble in their faith?
The apostle Paul wrote, “For whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23 NKJV). Another translation puts it this way: “If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning” (NLT).
You decide what principles you will live by and what road you will take. Why would you want to allow a potential area of compromise in your life? Every day we make hundreds, even thousands, of decisions as to whether we will sow to the flesh or sow to the Spirit. Choose wisely.
FROM THE HEART
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