Digging Deeper — The Bible: The Past, The Present, and The Future (Part 3)

FOCUS: The Bible provides a fascinating look at world history based on the lives of the descendants of Adam, primarily through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God did not sugar-coat His message to mankind. Instead He recorded ‘sin in action’ and ‘the gains of good,’ showcasing the countless flaws of human nature. He challenges us to learn from the past, put what we’ve learned into practice in the present, and understand that He has a plan for the future.

FOUNDATION SCRIPTURE: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 3:8).

(NOTE: All Scripture verses are taken from the New International Version 1984, unless otherwise stated.)

PROPHECY CONNECTION #3: Fulfillments in the Future

From the beginning, God has woven prophecy into the tapestry of His Word. Throughout the “middle” of the Bible, representatives of the Lord God have made predictions that have been fulfilled and are historically verifiable. And there are still quite a few that “watchers” are anticipating!

A. In the Garden of Eden, God foretold that “the seed” of Eve would prevail over “the offspring” of Satan (Genesis 3:15) — JESUS, a direct descendant of Eve and Adam, defeated the devil when He conquered death and rose from the grave THREE DAYS after His crucifixion, JUST AS HE FORETOLD (Matthew 12:40).

B. God foretold that ABRAM’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens (Genesis 15:5) — Abram’s son ISHMAEL, by his wife’s servant Hagar, became the father of twelve sons, ancestors of the modern-day Arab nations (Genesis 17:20; 25:12-18). The Lord God changed Abram’s name to ABRAHAM and promised that his descendants, through his son ISAAC, would inherit “the whole land of Canaan as an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8, 21). The promise was confirmed to Abraham’s grandson JACOB (Genesis 28:13-14), the father of twelve sons who became known as the 12 tribes of ISRAEL — a.k.a. Jacob (Genesis 29:31 – 30:20; 35:18; 32:28).

C. MOSES rescued the descendants of Israel from 430 years of slavery in Egypt — just as God had foretold (Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:40-42) — and the Lord led them on a journey that lasted 40 years. JOSHUA led them into the Promised Land (Joshua 1:1-5), and God worked through the Israelites to rid the land of people who had chosen to worship other gods, rather than the Lord God of Abraham (a.k.a. Abram).

D. The Lord God gave the Israelites two lists — the first promised BLESSINGS FOR OBEDIENCE (Deuteronomy 28:1-14); the second warned of CURSES FOR DISOBEDIENCE (Deut. 28:15-68). Unfortunately, the descendants of Jacob (a.k.a. ISRAEL) chose to abandon the laws God had given them, so He backed up His warning with disciplinary action: “… THE LORD WILL SCATTER YOU AMONG THE NATIONS, FROM ONE END OF THE EARTH TO THE OTHER.

1. The first diaspora (scattering) came in the latter 700’s B.C., when the Assyrians attacked the northern kingdom of Israel and the Lord God used the Assyrian armies to “remove them from His presence” (2 Kings 17:16-18a). These are commonly called the ” 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.” Only two of the twelve tribes, plus a remnant of each, remained in the Promised Land. They were collectively called “JUDAH” or “Jews.”

2. The second diaspora  happened in 586 B.C. when the Lord God used Nebachadnezzar of Babylon to fulfill a prophecy made through Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:4), that the Jews would be exiled from the Promised Land for 70 years. The Babylonians destroyed the first temple, built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. When the Jews were released from bondage in Babylon (exactly 70 years later), most of them returned to the Promised Land and rebuilt their temple, where they made animal sacrifices to the Lord God to atone for their sin.

3. The third diaspora began in 70 A.D. — after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, and witnesses documented His ascension into heaven. The second temple was destroyed just as Jesus had foretold (Matthew 24:1-2) and to this day has not been rebuilt.

There have been other “scatterings” of the Jews throughout world history. But the Lord God promised through His prophet Ezekiel that the descendants of Israel would one day be gathered back into the land that He gave to Abraham’s grandson, Jacob — ISRAEL (Ezekiel 37:14, 21-22; 38:8; 39:27-28) –– IN 1948, after World War 2, ISRAEL WAS ONCE AGAIN RECOGNIZED AS A NATION by a majority of the world. And in the 1967 Six-Day War, they recaptured Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, which was later returned to the Arabs.

E. The Lord God spoke through the prophet Ezekiel concerning a future battle — the nations vs. Israel!

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. (Ezekiel 38:14-16)

F. The Lord Jesus revealed that one man (and his assistant) will have global authority issued by the devil!

“… The dragon [the devil or Satan (Revelation 20:2)] gave the beast [the global ruler or ‘antichrist’] his power and his throne and great authority.… He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And HE WAS GIVEN AUTHORITY OVER EVERY TRIBE, PEOPLE, LANGUAGE AND NATION.  All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world….  Then I saw another beast [a.k.a the false prophet (Rev. 19:19-20)] , coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.  He exercised all the authority of the first beast … he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. HE ALSO FORCED EVERYONE, SMALL AND GREAT, RICH AND POOR, FREE AND SLAVE, TO RECEIVE A MARK ON HIS RIGHT HAND OR ON HIS FOREHEAD SO THAT NO ONE COULD BUY OR SELL UNLESS HE HAD THE MARK …” (Rev. 13:2b-17).

G. The prophet John foretold another battle when demons will gather the kings of the earth to Armageddon:

“… they [‘spirits of demons’] go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty….  Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon (Rev. 16:14-16).

John saw heaven opened and a rider on a white horse — KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. The rider [JESUS] and the armies of heaven will strike down the nations. Then the beast, the false prophet, and everyone who accepted the mark (Rev. 13:16-17) will be defeated and destroyed (Rev. 19:11-21).

H. John wrote that Satan will be locked up in “the Abyss” for 1000 years — known as “the Millenium”  — and those who were beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and the Word of God, and because they refused to worship the global ruler [‘the beast’] or take the mark required to buy or sell, will come to life and reign with Christ (Rev. 20:1-3).

I. After the Millenium, Satan will be released and once again will gather people for battle against Jerusalem, “the city God loves” … Then fire will come down from heaven and devour them, and the devil, “who deceived them” will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, known as “the second death” (Rev. 20:7-10).

J.  JUDGMENT DAY!

[John speaking] “I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. THE LAKE OF FIRE IS THE SECOND DEATH. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:11-15)

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WHAT’S THE POINT?

The Lord God has USED PROPHECY TO PROVE over and over again that “HE IS, HE WAS, AND HE IS TO COME ” (Revelation 4:8). He can be trusted to do what He has promised.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

It matters because the destiny of eternal souls is at stake.

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THINK ABOUT IT …

Will your name be found written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain?

Jesus said, “I AM the way and the truth and THE LIFE” … “REPENT for the kingdom of heaven is near” … I AM THE GATE for the sheep; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out [continued free will] and find green pasture” … “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [JESUS] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 14:6; Matt. 4:17; John 10:9; 3:16-21)

Digging Deeper: The Bible: An Amazing Family Tree! (Part 2)

(NOTE: All Scripture verses are taken from the New International Version 1984, unless otherwise stated.)

FOCUS: From beginning, through the middle, and to the very end, the Bible — above everything else — it is a documented genealogy of the bloodline connecting Adam and Jesus. (See Matthew 1:1-17.) Sin and death resulted from the choice Adam made. The choice Jesus made — a brutal death on a cross as payment for sin — re-established relationship with God and brought eternal life for those who will choose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God … the Messiah! Because of His sacrifice, Gentiles can now be “grafted” into the family tree and become “children of God.”

FOUNDATION SCRIPTURE: [Paul speaking] “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.  He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out,  ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 3:26-4:7)

PROPHECY CONNECTION #1: Peter’s Testimony

After Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven, Peter — one of Jesus’ closest friends — shared what he knew to be true with the people who had witnessed the miracle of Pentecost (see Acts 2) and the undeniable power of the Holy Spirit. Peter pointed out prophecy connections in Scripture, and he was given a vision concerning divine acceptance of non-Jews — proof that God had given permission to graft Gentiles into Abraham’s family tree!

A. Acts 2:22-3:

“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on HimDavid said about Him:

‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will live in hope,
   because you will not abandon me to the grave, 
   nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
   You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.  Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.… 

“.. let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ…. Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.‘”

B. Acts 11:1-18:

The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.  So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was.  I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air.  Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

“I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

“The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

“Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying.  The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’

“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said:John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?

When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.

PROPHECY CONNECTION #2:  John’s Testimony

John was Jesus’ best friend. He called himself “the one Jesus loved,” and John was with Jesus from the moment He was arrested until the moment He died on the cross (see John 18 – 19.) He actually entered the tomb and saw the linens that had wrapped Jesus’ dead body. (Google the “Shroud of Turin”!) And he was entrusted with a vision of the future, given to him personally by the risen Lamb of God, Jesus Christ …

A. Revelation 1:1-8:

[John writing] “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near…. Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Look, He is coming with the clouds, 
   and every eye will see him, 
even those who pierced him; 

 and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. 

            So shall it be! Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

B. Revelation 5:1 – 6:1 (abridged):

John watched as a scroll appeared in the right hand of God. Many scholars believe this scroll represents the deed to planet earth, which was forfeited to the devil when Adam disobeyed his Creator in the Garden of Eden and sin entered the world. Jesus is the only one worthy to “buy back” mankind because He is “the Lamb who was slain”! 

[John writing] Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.  I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.  Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David [Jesus, descendant of Judah and David], has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain [Jesus, sacrificed to atone for the sin of mankind], standing in the center of the throne … He came and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne….

“‘You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain, 
   and with your blood you purchased men for God 
   from every tribe and language and people and nation. 
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.’ …

“I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals …”

PROPHECY CONNECTION #3: Paul’s Testimony 

Paul was a powerful persecutor of Christ’s followers. He did not walk with Jesus or learn from Him as the other disciples did. Instead, Jesus’ Spirit spoke to Paul (then called “Saul”), and through a miraculous turn of events, gave him knowledge, insight and an unexpected commission …

A. Acts 9:15-31 (abridged):

The Lord said to Ananias [a disciple of Jesus], “Go! This man [Saul/Paul] is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may … be filled with the Holy Spirit.” ... [Paul] got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.  All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him … he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him …

But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

B. 2 Corinthians 11:24-31; 12:6-10:

It didn’t take Paul long to figure out that as a member of the family of God and a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, HE WOULD FACE PERSECUTION AND SUFFERING FOR THE SAKE OF JESUS’ NAME 

[Paul writing]  Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness….

Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

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WHAT’S THE POINT?

The Bible is documented evidence that the Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth has had a plan from the very beginning. (Google the “Dead Seas Scrolls.”) When He said to the serpent in the Garden of Eden — the devil in disguise — “I will put enmity you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers,” God was announcing the struggle that would ensue between Himself and the evil one that would play out down through the history of the world. And when He said, “He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel,” the Father was foreshadowing the crucifixion and resurrection of His Son, Jesus the Messiah. (See Genesis 3:15.)

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

For me, it matters because this information assures me that I’ve been adopted into God’s family through THE PROMISE  made to Abraham (father of the covenant), through Isaac (the miracle child),  through Judah (symbol of sovereignty), through David (king with a heart for God), and through the understanding — thanks to men like Peter, John and Paul — that Jesus IS the Son of Man AND the Son of God! So when I believed and was baptized, according to Jesus’ example, I became a child of promise and heir to everything my heavenly Father owns!

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THINK ABOUT IT …

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31).

Digging Deeper — The Bible: Good vs. Evil + Freewill

(NOTE: All Scripture verses are taken from the New International Version 1984, unless otherwise stated.)

FOCUS: As I was praying about writing Study #2 of this series, the Lord gave me an analogy to share…. When we think of good and evil in the Bible, it’s like two cars driving side by side in separate lanes with a dotted line between them. Let’s imagine that one of those lanes represents “right” behavior and the other represents “wrong” behavior. The dotted line down the middle symbolizes God’s gift of freewill. Both of the cars are speeding toward the same destination — eternity. They are allowed to change lanes as each driver desires.

At some point, they come to a toll booth — death — and are required to pay a fee. Neither of the drivers have what is required to pass through. The toll collector says, “Don’t worry, your admission has been paid for by the Son of God.” One driver understands that this is the only way he can pay the toll. He accepts responsibility as a true disciple of Christ and moves through to the next segment of the journey — on to the place that Jesus has been preparing for him. The second driver says, “I will not accept that. It ‘s foolishness.”

So, since there are no U-turns allowed on the road, the driver is instructed to pull-off into an unpleasant waiting area called “Hades” to hang out until further notice….

Keeping in mind that our goal is to look at the Bible through the lens of simplicity, let’s move on.

FOUNDATION SCRIPTURE: “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. “ (Romans 3:21-24).

PROPHECY CONNECTION #1: Good and Evil + Freewill, from the Beginning

Everything was GOOD in Adam and Eve’s world. They were both naked (completely innocent) and unashamed. Then a created being from the supernatural realm dropped in for a visit. The man and his wife had to make a choice: Cling to GOD’S GOOD “status quo” OR venture into the unknown and experience WHAT THE DEVIL PROMISED. In a fraction of a moment they both made a decision that rocked them to their very souls. Then it was God’s turn to respond. And the blame game began….

Genesis 3:8-24 (abridged version):

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

And [God] said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

The man said, “The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

SO THE LORD GOD SAID TO THE SERPENT, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you … I will put enmity [mutual hatred] between you and the woman, and BETWEEN YOUR OFFSPRING AND HERS; HE WILL CRUSH YOUR HEAD, AND YOU WILL STRIKE HIS HEEL.” ... 

To Adam He said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’  Cursed is the ground BECAUSE OF YOU … By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden … He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

PROPHECY CONNECTION #2: Good vs. Evil + Freewill in the Middle

As soon as the first couple was expelled from their perfect home, all hell broke loose! They had to fend for themselves in a hostile environment. Their first-born son, Cain, had tendencies toward evil; their second son, Abel, was intrinsically good. Evil prevailed, and Cain killed his brother Abel! So the Lord God told Cain that he would be “under a curse” and would be “a restless wanderer for the rest of his life.” So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod. But God had another plan for the first couple, now grieving over the loss of both of their sons….

A. Genesis 4:1-26 (abridged version)

… (verse 25) Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him SETH, saying, ‘God has granted me another child in place of Abel  [the intrinsically GOOD son], since Cain [the EVIL son, eventually removed from God’s presence] killed him. Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

AT THAT TIME MEN BEGAN TO CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.

B. Genesis 6: 1-8

As men began to increase and daughters were born, created beings from the supernatural realm once again began to influence mankind upon the earth….

… (verse 5) The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth and His heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth … for I am grieved that I have made them.”

But Noah — a direct descendant of Seth —  found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

C.  Genesis 5 through Malachi 4

Down through the centuries, scholars and lay people alike have debated whether the Bible’s Old Testament represents fact or fiction. But one thing is certain: its books contain invaluable lessons gleaned from the documented struggles between real men and women who have been allowed freewill by their Creator.  The Lord God tried to get the attention of mankind by sending messages from heaven through GOOD people like Noah, Abraham, and David. And through messengers called Prophets, like Samuel, Isaiah, and Daniel. But no one would listen. So He had to take drastic measures and meet people where they lived to SHOW them the difference between GOOD and EVIL, and remind them of how much He loves them….

The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of a Savior: He [will be] despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering…. Surely he [will] take up our infirmities, and carry our sorrows, yet we [will] consider him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But he [will be] pierced for our transgressions, he [will be] crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that [brings] us peace [will be] upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord [will lay] on him the iniquity [SIN] of us all.(Isaiah 53:1-6)

JESUS of Nazareth — a documented, direct descendant of Seth —  fulfilled every one of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of a Messiah to save individuals from spending eternity with the devil. (“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” — 1 John 3:8b) And everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life with God. (“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” — John 3:35-36)

The prophet Malachi foretold a day of vengeance: “‘Surely the day is coming, it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evil doer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the Lord Almighty…. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.  (Malachi 4:1-2)

 The prophet John described what that day will look like:  “The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their[b] wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” (Revelation 6:14-17)

PROPHECY CONNECTION #3: Good, Evil and Freewill at the New Beginning!

Jesus showed His GOOD friend, John, what things will be like AFTER THE  FINAL SEPARATION OF GOOD AND EVIL / the disciples of Jesus from the followers of the devil — anyone whose name is not found written in the book of life  (Revelation 19:10-15). 

Revelation 21:1-22:6 (abridged)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth … I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.’ [Just as He did in the beginning!]…

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WHAT’S THE POINT?

Once again we can see that the Bible can be simplified so that anyone who genuinely wants to hear it and understand God’s Word can have that opportunity. Once the “static” is removed from the communication line, the bottom line message concerning the history of God’s creation can be heard. Obviously we can only speculate when it comes to filling in the mysterious blanks. However,  we can know about God’s perfect plan, because of the proof that we’ve been given through His true prophets and the living testimony of His Son, Jesus Christ.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Jesus said, “Yes, I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20). But the word “soon” is relative. Most humans will meet Jesus at the moment of their earthly death. Some will actually live to see “the day of the Lord’s wrath.” Each individual will have their fate decided by the One who holds “the keys to  death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18). And some will be saved “as one escaping through the flames” of fire that “will test the quality of each man’s work” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

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THINK ABOUT IT …

It might seem odd that on the Day of the Lord men will shrink with fear and hide from “the wrath of the Lamb.” We don’t think of a lamb as something to be feared. Perhaps that’s why so many people feel comfortable disrespecting the Son of God.

But ask yourself, Am I one of those who will be cowering on that day that has been foretold by God’s true prophets? Or will I be among the “great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb” on the day of His wrath? Read Revelation 6:12-17, Matthew 24:29-31, Revelation 3:10, and Revelation 7:1, 9-17 … and think about it.

Copyright 2017 Paula Yingst

Meet the Rothschilds’ Bosses (Back to Babylon) …

A candid, first-person testimony concerning Illuminati history from a Jewish woman whose heritage hails to the Middle East.

Video links:


Rothschild Bank caught up in money-laundering scandal

 JULY 23, 2018 

Switzerland’s financial regulator has accused Rothschild Bank AG and its trust subsidiary of violating anti-money laundering law in relation to 1MDB, the troubled Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

According to the regulator, both Rothschild Bank AG and Rothschild Trust AG failed to check where assets from a client came from. The firms reportedly disregarded signs that the funds could be connected to money-laundering and took the money anyway. The companies run by the Rothschild family are also accused of reporting on the issue too late.

“Specifically, they were in breach of due diligence, reporting and documentation requirements,” Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said in a statement. “Finma will appoint an audit agent to review enhancements already put in place by the institutions.”

“We constantly strengthen our systems and procedures and are determined to continue to do so to identify and combat the increasingly sophisticated financial crime faced by the industry,” the bank’s spokesperson told Reuters in relation to the claims by FINMA. (RT)

LINK: https://www.miragenews.com/rothschild-bank-caught-up-in-money-laundering-scandal/

 

“Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
    happy is the one who repays you
    according to what you have done to us.”

(Psalm 137:8, NIV)

Blood moons in perspective …

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
 
The “Blood” Moons and the moon turning as blood
 
by Bill Wilson
 
My wife and I watched the eclipse of the moon Sunday night. It was kind of cloudy and there was no reddish cast to the moon as it went in and out of its eclipse. Other photos that I saw showed a reddish cast to the moon. There is significance to these reddish moons, but it may not be what was hyped. Remember, some people called them “Blood” moons and teachers pointed everyone toward Joel 2:31, Revelation 6:12 and Acts 2:20, which refers to Joel 2:31. The moons named “blood” moons by men, and the moon turning to blood as prophesied in the Bible are two different things. One is referring to “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” The other is a sign in the heavens that draws attention to the prophecies.
 
Joel 2:31 says, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes.” Revelation 6:12 is speaking of the Day of the Lord, and says, “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.” Isaiah 13:10, also speaking of that Day of the Lord’s coming, says “For the stars of heaven and its constellations shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in its going forth, and the moon shall not cause its light to shine.” Many prophets, including Ezekiel, Joel, and Amos, as well as Job and John speak of the same event when the Lord returns.
 
While extremely interesting, the reddish moons we have seen in recent time are not the way the moon is prophesied in the day of the Lord. First, there wasn’t a great earthquake. The sun did not turn as black as sackcloth, and the moon really didn’t turn as blood. Jesus said in Matthew 24:29-30 ,”Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory.”
 
Most importantly, the Lord did not return after the final tetrad moon. He will…eventually. I dare say, however, that there will be no doubt in the heavens when the Lord returns. It will be an awesome moment. But before he returns, there are certain events that scripture says will happen.
Paul writes in Thessalonians 2, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” This is very clear: 1) don’t be deceived, 2) falling away, 3) antichrist (beast) revealed, 4) sits in the temple as God. Keep watching. Keep praying. Keep reading your Bible. Keep discerning. And do not be deceived.
 
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
 
Bill Wilson
 

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 Interesting times in which we are living! As Bill Wilson advised: Keep watching. Keep praying. Keep reading your Bible. And most importantly KNOW what Jesus said about things that are controversial.
NHIM, Paula

Easter: Jewish Facts vs. Christian Traditions

TRAITOROUS TRADITIONS by Paula Yingst (2012)

from My Armor’s Kinda Rusty… Encouragement for Weary Warriors

 

HAVING TWO OF OUR granddaughters living with us has afforded a
whole new way to look at holidays and birthdays and pretty much every day
that carries with it a reason to regard it as special. To wake up on Christmas
morning and share in the exciting reveal of “Santa gifts” is such a priceless
honor for their Nana and Papa!

We all play the Santa game, but the girls know that Santa Claus is a fictional
character that simply adds fun to the joyous celebration of Jesus’ birthday.
And we all know that Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th in a
snowstorm. Thanks to the amazing collection of information on the Internet,
we can be “certain” that Jesus was actually born in April, either on the 6th or
the 17th… or maybe the 19th. But of course there’s the possibility that Mary
may have held off until October 9th. At any rate, we choose to join with other
Christians around the world and sing “Happy Birthday, dear Jesus” on the
date that has become most universally accepted.

I do remember, though, getting a bit huff y as a youngster whenever someone
challenged, “But how do you know that Jesus was born on December 25th?”
I would always confidently answer, “Because my church says so!” However,
during my teen years, as the traditional remembrances surrounding Easter
rolled around – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Resurrection on
Sunday morning – it began to bother me that all of that simply didn’t jibe
with what I was reading in my Bible. Truthfully, it really bothered me. And
as usual, I wasn’t able to find anyone, including pastors, who could give me
a satisfactory answer.

My problem was this: If Jesus said he would be in the grave for three days and
three nights (Matthew 12:40), why do we jump from the crucifixion on Friday
to the resurrection on Sunday. No matter how I tried to rationalize that, it
simply didn’t work. So for years I wondered: Why did Jesus say that?

I finally found the answer – you guessed it – after my fibromyalgia diagnosis,
during the time when I had no choice but to be still and let God teach me
some things that I’d been too busy to pick up on earlier. Lo and behold, into
my hands came a book titled, A Scientific Approach To Biblical Mysteries by
Robert W. Faid (1993; Guideposts and New Leaf Press). And in Chapter 6
– under the presumptuous title, “When Was the Crucifixion? It Wasn’t on a
Friday!” I found the answers I had been seeking for decades.

Once again we need to refer back to the fourth century and the Emperor
Constantine, who apparently forgot that Jesus himself was a Jew, because in
the year 325, he ordered all Jews to leave Rome. At that time, the Nicaean
Council ruled that Christians could have nothing to do with Jews, including
the celebration of Passover. Instead they instituted the pagan holiday known
as “Easter” to commemorate Christ’s death and resurrection in a non-Jewish
sort of way.

According to Jewish custom and the Gospel writers, here’s how it all went
down:

ON SATURDAY, (the Jewish Sabbath) Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt of
a donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 9:9). Christians
call this Palm Sunday.

ON SUNDAY, Jesus entered the temple and rebuked the moneychangers.

ON MONDAY, Jesus returned to Jerusalem and taught in the temple courts.
And Judas Iscariot promised to betray his Teacher for 30 pieces of silver,
fulfilling the Zechariah 11:12 prophecy.

ON TUESDAY, preparations were made for Wednesday’s evening meal,
called the Passover. So, Jesus sent two of his disciples to prepare a place for the
Seder, Tuesday’s ritual evening meal. (Christians call this the Last Supper.)

ON TUESDAY NIGHT after the Seder, Jesus and his disciples – minus Judas
Iscariot – went to pray at Gethsemene. Then they walked across the Kidron
Valley to an olive grove. Judas knew where they would be, and he led the
chief priests straight to Jesus. In the middle of the night, Jesus was arrested
for blasphemy, because he claimed to be the Son of God.

ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, Jesus was brutalized and sentenced to
death. He was nailed to the cross around 9 a.m.

ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, Jesus died at 3 P.M. (Mark 15:33). His
body was placed in a tomb before sundown in accordance with Jewish law.

JESUS’ BODY REMAINED IN THE TOMB FOR THREE DAYS:
Thursday was Passover and people were not allowed to travel. Roman guards
stood in front of the tomb. Friday was an additional Sabbath, always observed
on the day after Passover, according to Jewish tradition. Saturday was a regular
Sabbath with travel restrictions.

ON SUNDAY travel restrictions were lifted. Visitors were allowed at Jesus’
tomb and they saw that it was empty, except for the linen shroud and the cloth
that had wrapped Jesus’ head.

So there you have it. Another “truth illusion” implemented by the dictates of
men in authority and nurtured as fact throughout the passage of time.
But that was just the beginning of folklore which would ultimately shape our
minds and the world we currently live in.

“Thus you nullify the word of God
by your tradition that you have handed down.
And you do many things like that.”
— Jesus (Mark 7:13)

A RUST REMOVER: How does it make you feel that a majority of Christian
churches around the world still teach the erroneous doctrine that was put into
play back in Constantine’s day? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reconcile that
fact within yourself, know that God loves you in spite of it, and be at peace.
Now you know the truth.

Prophetic implications for 5777 / 2016-2017 …

Looking back on the first of the year 2017, this is interesting …

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This is lengthy. I’ve chosen what I see as most important for my readers to be aware of. I encourage you to follow the link at the end to the entire article and see if the Holy Spirit quickens in you as you read. God may have a different “word” for you as an individual….

Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

2017 is the year that swords will clash.
2017 is the year that swords will clash. (Getty Images )

 

 

The Hebrew year 5777 began Oct. 2, 2016. It is called “Rosh Hashanah.” I remember because I flew into Jerusalem to speak and arrived as the New Year began.

One of the other speakers, Chuck Pierce, was scheduled to speak. I always love to hear Chuck, especially his explanation of the meaning for the new year. He was supposed to share his insight into the new Hebrew year 5777, but had to cancel at the last minute. The conference host asked me to speak in his place. This forced me to do some quick praying and seeking. The subject matter was new to me, but as I pressed in, what I discovered lined up with my entire experience on the front lines of the political storm overtaking America.

Something struck me about the significance of this new year, 5777. There are three “7’s” in this Jewish new year. Interestingly, the number “7” in Hebrew is the letter zayin which represents both the number “7” and the word for weapon or “sword.”

But before we go there, let’s go back and establish what God has been doing during this past Hebraic decade. 2010 was the transition to the year 5770. Seventy is significant because the value of 70 is the same as the letter ayin which “means to see.” It is also the number of the nations. By the end of this Hebraic decade (2010-2020) we will fully see that God is after nations—sheep nations. We will also see that the devil is solidifying an alliance of goat nations in response. It is going to get very intense but very glorious.

We are getting spiritual eyes to see into the realm of God and the plan of God to disciple the nations. We are also seeing into the realm of the enemy and how the powers of darkness are working through fallen man to produce chaos and conditions ripe for Satan’s manipulation of nations and counterfeit of the kingdom. In summary: What we are “seeing” since 2010 is a decade of deeper prophetic perception coming upon the front lines of the body of Christ.

Looking at in 5777 we see “5” first. This is the year of supernatural grace (5) to engage the clashing of swords (7). The grace of God will give us access to the “rest” of God, which came on the seventh day. This grace/rest will keep us in a place of strength so we don’t wear out.

The clashing of heaven and hell will show up in the conflict of ideologies. The swords will collide as two incompatible spirit realms clash through vessels under their influence. This collision of kingdoms has already started in the political mountain, but will expand to all seven!

The Enemy Has Invaded America to Turn It Against Christ

The election cycle exposed something insidious about how the enemy has invaded America to turn it against Christ and Christian values. The parable of the “tares” tells us that Satan plants people “while men slept” (Matt. 13:25). Where does Satan plant them? He plants among the fields of harvest, at the gates of influence, where popular culture is formed through news media, Hollywood and academia. Pop culture is upstream, and politics is downstream. A new narrative about America was being formed upstream and new politicians were rising downstream to advance it.

God used a man in the business sphere and sent him into the sphere of government just like David was drafted to deal with a giant while working for his father’s family business. What does that tell you? Expect God to send outsiders into arts and entertainment to shake things up. Likewise, expect God to use youth (your children perhaps?) to shake up academia right on the campus. We will also see ministers shifting spheres into government to advance the kingdom! Many of you will see vocation shifts and geographic reassignments.

Things will change quickly. Do you remember where we were in 2015? An intimidating form of thought-tyranny was rising under the guise of “political correctness.” This continued until God released a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness in the form of a defiant political outsider named Donald Trump. The bias of media has now been exposed, along with the adolescence and irrationality of Hollywood celebrities. But there is a counter-punch coming from the dazed and desperate spirits operating in and through the progressive ranks. They are reorganizing as we speak….

I like what prophet Wayland Henderson says: “The meaning of the letters that represent 77 is a powerful truth God is about to display this year. The letters for 77 are the Hebrew letters ayin, which has a value of 70 and zayin, which has a value of 7.  Ayin and zayin spell the word ‘boldness.’ If we flip the letters to zayin ayin, it spells the word ‘fear.’ This will be a year that boldness will overcome fear through the power of intimacy with Yeshua.” 

In this new year, 5777, God will open up His word (logos) to you and reveal a “sword” (rhema) in the Scripture! When you see it, grab it. Speak what God gives you…. As the apostle Paul said, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17)….

The new gladiators are people with persuasive viewpoints. As there are three sevens (777), watch for alliances where swords will come together as one….

“Draw near to the fear of the Lord, for it is clean, enduring forever. Draw near to deliverance from evil. Cleanse your own land from the inhabitants who would occupy territory and exert pressure on your heart and mind to distract you from My ways. Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you with deliverance….

“This is, indeed, the year of the clashing of voices, of ideas, of words and of messengers, but know this—I am giving unto you My words and as you receive them, they shall become in you a sharp sword issuing out of your mouth. I am the issuing authority behind you, and I have given you spiritual credentials to access the high places of your assigned territory.

“You are authorized. Build a prayer shield, and you shall see sudden salvations and conversions as ‘trophies of grace’ come into My trophy room. Though man resists, the authority of My words in your mouth will scatter their strength. Be not afraid of their faces or their opposition, for I send you to occupy a space in the conversation that shapes the nations.”

I sense that what is happening in the government mountain, with a changing of the guard, is possible all over the nation. The Lord wants the church to take back as much territory as it has the maturity to hold. Critics of all things conservative, comedians in particular, are about to be shaken. In the past, they got away with whatever they wanted to say. They had zero resistance when they mocked those in authority. I see them being challenged by new voices turning tables on them. Likewise, universities will be challenged and administrators, trustees and even tenured faculty will be swept out as the righteous advance. You’ll get as much ground as you have the ability to hold.

But don’t expect this message to be welcomed or endorsed. This is a grass-roots movement, I suspect. By my estimate, 85-90 percent of leaders will be more comfortable in the “viewing box,” watching and commenting on the game. Only 10-15 percent will have the courage or clarity to actually “get onto the field” and take the hard yards. The good news is that the anointing and the platform of those with the spirit of David will expand. 

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE @ http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/prophetic-insight/28465-prophetic-word-2017-will-bring-a-clashing-of-heaven-and-hell

 *   *   *

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

(James 1:2-3)


21 Christians beheaded! (Revelation 20:4)

Egypt airstrikes target ISIS camps in Libya after mass beheadings

Egypt airstrikes target ISIS camps in Libya after mass beheadings

February 16, 2015

Cairo (AFP) – Cairo carried out air strikes against Islamic State group targets in Libya on Monday after the jihadists posted a video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians.

Egypt said a “tough intervention” was needed and with France called on the UN Security Council to “take new measures” against the jihadists in neighbouring Libya.

With Monday’s air strikes, Egypt opened a new front against the jihadists, who it is already battling in the Sinai Peninsula where scores of troops have been killed since the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who overthrew Morsi and has been criticised for a deadly crackdown on dissent, has presented Egypt as a key partner in international efforts against the jihadists.

Monday’s early morning air strikes hit IS camps and stores of weapons, the military said, hours after jihadists released gruesome footage of the beheadings that provoked outrage in Egypt….

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE @ http://news.yahoo.com/says-beheaded-egyptian-copts-libya-193850727.html

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PROPHECY CONNECTIONS …

[Jesus speaking] “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” (Revelation 2:10, NIV)

*   *   *

“Whoever has ears, let them hear.

 If anyone is to go into captivity,
    into captivity they will go.
 If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
    with the sword they will be killed.’

“This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.”

 (Revelation 13:9-10, NIV)

 *   *   *

“I [John] saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.” (Revelation 20:4, NIV)

NBC Censors Snowden’s critical 9/11 comments (2014)

“They found that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community… to detect this plot.”

NBC Censors Snowden's Critical 9/11 Comments from Prime Time Audience

Image Credits: YouTube

by MIKAEL THALEN | INFOWARS.COM | MAY 29, 2014

“You know this is a key question that the 9/11 commission considered, and what they found in the postmortem when they looked at all the classified intelligence from all the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States, to detect this plot,” Snowden said.

“We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.”

NBC’s decision to annex Snowden’s comments are unsurprising given the fact that the 9/11 attacks are exhaustively used by the federal government as the prime justification for surveilling millions of innocent Americans. Snowden remarked on the government’s prior knowledge of the accused Boston bombers as well, also cut from the prime time interview.

‘If we’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass-surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world, didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name, is that really the best way to protect our country or are we trying to throw money at a magic solution that’s actually not just costing us our safety, but our rights and our way of life,” Snowden said.

Despite countless government officials pointing to 9/11 foreknowledge, whether missed or ignored, establishment media outlets have continually worked to keep such voices out of relevant reporting.

Former NSA senior executive turned whistleblower Thomas Drake, who revealed unconstitutional surveillance programs targeting Americans in 2005, has repeatedly commented on NSA intelligence that would have “undoubtedly” stopped the 9/11 attacks.

“The NSA had critical intelligence about Al Qaeda and associated movements in particular that had never been properly shared outside of NSA,” Drake said in a recent interview. “They simply did not share critical intelligence although they had it.”

In a January letter to President Obama, Drake and fellow whistleblowers William Binney, Edward Loomis, and Kirk Wiebe not only detailed the agency’s foreknowledge, but the ensuing cover-up as well.

“The sadder reality, Mr. President, is that NSA itself had enough information to prevent 9/11, but chose to sit on it rather than share it with the FBI or CIA. We know; we were there,” the letter reads. “We were witness to the many bureaucratic indignities that made NSA at least as culpable for pre-9/11 failures as are other U.S. intelligence agencies.”

Outside of the NSA, countless intelligence officials have also commented on 9/11 foreknowledge and the federal government’s attempts to stifle any investigation into negligence and wrongdoing.

Former senior intelligence officer Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer, who attempted to inform the government after identifying the two terrorist cells later charged for the 9/11 attacks in 2000 during Operation Able Danger, was attacked and demonized by the Defense Intelligence Agency after informing Congress of the agency’s refusal to act.

“I had no intention of joining the ranks of ‘whistle blowers,’” Shaffer said in 2009. “When I made my disclosure to the 9/11 commission regarding the existence of a pre 9/11 offensive counter-terrorism operation that had discovered several of the 9/11 terrorists a full year before the 9/11 attacks my intention was to simply tell the truth, and fulfill my oath of office.”

Former FBI wiretap translator Sibel Edmonds, who had access to top-secret communications, told reporters in 2004 that the FBI had detailed 9/11 foreknowledge that specifically mentioned a terrorist attack involving airplanes.

“We should have had orange or red-type of alert in June or July of 2001. There was that much information available,” Edmonds told Salon. “There was specific information about use of airplanes, that an attack was on the way two or three months beforehand and that several people were already in the country by May of 2001. They should’ve alerted the people to the threat we’re facing.”

According to Edmonds, after the 9/11 attacks, FBI supervisors ordered translators to “work slowly” in order to ensure that the agency would get larger funding the next year.

The vast number of whistleblowers in the intelligence community not only gives credence to Snowden’s comments, but also exemplifies the NSA’s illegitimate growth since 9/11.

In a desperate attempt to gain the moral high ground, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed Snowden had aided terrorists during an interview on “Good Morning America” Wednesday despite having absolutely no evidence to support his accusation.

Despite the fact that the NSA leaks have proven the agency to be involved in issues unrelated to national security, such as economic espionage, the claim of using mass surveillance to stop terrorism deteriorates even further in light of recent decisions by the Obama Administration.

In 2013, President Obama waived a federal law designed to prevent the US from arming terrorists in order to provide military support to the “Syrian rebels.” Even with Syrian Revolutionary Front leader Jamal Maaroufadmitting that his fighters work alongside the Al-Qaeda aligned Jabhat al-Nusra, the Obama Administration has continued its unflinching support.

The president’s support of Al-Qaeda was so transparent during the Libyan overthrow that former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich publicly questioned why the US-backed “Libyan rebels” had placed an Al Qaeda flag over the top of the courthouse in Benghazi.

Whether it be issuing fake terror alertscreating domestic terror plots or allowing them to take place, the national security state will undoubtedly do whatever it can to continue its unabated growth towards total information awareness.

The Rapture Sequence

A PROPHECY CONNECTIONS STUDY by Paula Yingst (Copyright 2017)

(NOTE: All Scripture verses are taken from the New International Version, unless otherwise stated.)

FOCUS: Jesus’ timeline for the end of the age and the rapture

KEY SCRIPTURES: Matthew 24:1-31; Mark 13:1-27; Luke 21:5-28; Revelation 6:1-17, 7:9-14

PROPHECY PARALLELS IN THE GOSPELS:

An amazing similarity exists within the accounts by Matthew, Mark and Luke of Jesus’ “end of the age” scenario. In response to Jesus’ prediction that the temple complex, primarily rebuilt by Herod, would be destroyed, His disciples asked, “When will these things happen?” And Jesus gave them a basic timeline:

1. The second temple, rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, would be completely destroyed: “… not one stone will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” THIS PROPHECY WAS LITERALLY FULFILLED IN 70 A.D., when the Roman armies of Titus assaulted Jerusalem and burned down all the temple buildings. They pried apart every stone — just as Jesus foretold — to collect the gold leaf that melted from the roof. In 1968, excavations of the site uncovered large stones that had been literally “thrown down” by the invaders!

2. Jesus called the second block of time “the beginning of birth pains,” and He predicted that the following would occur:

— false teachers and false Christs would appear and deceive many
— wars and rumors of wars
— nations and kingdoms would rise up against each other
— famines, earthquakes, and pestilences in various places
— fearful events and great signs from heaven

HISTORICALLY VERIFIABLE EVENTS THAT PARALLEL THESE PREDICTIONS have been documented throughout recorded history, following the 70 A.D. destruction of the second temple and continuing through TODAY’S INTERNATIONAL NEWS REPORTS!

3. Jesus said, “AT THAT TIME” there would be increased persecution “to the point of death” for His faithful followers. And as “birthpains” increased, the following would happen:

— people would abandon their faith
— false prophets would deceive many people
— wickedness would increase
— parents, brothers, relatives and friends would betray each other
— THOSE WHO STAND FIRM WOULD BE SAVED
— the gospel would be preached in the whole world to ALL nations

4. Jesus refers to a specific event spoken of through the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:27) approximately 500 years before Jesus’ birth:

So when you see standing in the holy place [“on a wing of the temple”] THE ABOMINATION THAT CAUSES DESOLATION … then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains … for then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again.” The good news for believers is that this season of suffering will be “cut short.”

No specific historical time period is given by either Daniel or Jesus concerning WHEN this will happen. BUT Daniel gives us a clue: A coming ruler will confirm a seven-year covenant “with many.” And somewhere in the middle of those seven years, THE ABOMINATION THAT CAUSES DESOLATION WILL BE SET UP ON A WING OF THE TEMPLE.

For this prophecy to be fulfilled, the temple MUST BE REBUILT in Jerusalem!

5. Jesus ends His timeline with TWO INCREDIBLE SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS:

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DISTRESS OF THOSE DAYS ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; all the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

AT THAT TIME the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. AND HE WILL SEND HIS ANGELS WITH A LOUD TRUMPET CALL, AND THEY WILL GATHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matthew 24:29-31).

So according to Jesus — as documented by Matthew, Mark and Luke — this is the time sequence leading up to THE GATHERING OF HIS ELECT:

— The destruction of the second temple (fulfilled in 70 A.D.)

— Tribulation throughout the world (“birth pains”)

— Increased tribulation for the followers of Christ

The confirmation of a seven-year covenant “with many”

— The rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem (at some point)

Approximately 3 1/2 years after the covenant has been signed, a ruler will desecrate the temple by setting up an “abomination that causes desolation.”  And unprecedented “distress” will begin.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DISTRESS OF THOSE DAYS:

~ A “sign” signaling the coming of the Son of Man (Jesus) will appear in the sky.

~ ALL THE NATIONS of the earth will mourn as they witness Jesus’ coming.

~ There will be A LOUD TRUMPET CALL.

~ ANGELS WILL GATHER “HIS ELECT” FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE EARTH AND HEAVENS!

PROPHECY PARALLELS IN REVELATION:

Although the first three gospel writers recorded Jesus’ end of the age timeline, John is conspicuously silent. But when we compare Revelation 6 through 7 with the details documented in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, an amazing pattern appears as the Lamb (Jesus) opens six “seals” — unleashing “birthpains” and “the wrath of the Lamb” upon the earth:

Seal #1: The rider of the white horse represents DECEIT and CONQUEST (according to prophecy scholars).

Jesus foretold that deceivers would come, claiming the power and glory of Christ.

Seal #2: The rider of the red horse symbolizes WAR and BLOODSHED.

Jesus foretold “wars and rumors of wars” and conflict between nations and kingdoms.

Seal #3: The rider of the black horse releases ECONOMIC INSTABILITY and FAMINE.

Jesus foretold famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places.

Seal #4: The rider of the pale horse is named DEATH, and he is “given power over a fourth of the earth to kill” with the sword, famine, plague, and the wild beasts of the earth.

Jesus foretold that events would take place on earth which would result in death.

Seal #5: The Lamb reveals a place of honor for the souls of His martyred servants — under the altar of God!

Jesus foretold that His faithful witnesses would be hated by all the nations, persecuted and put to death.

ALL of these prophecies have been fulfilled in historically verifiable ways during the years following Jesus’ death and resurrection! And they continue to be fulfilled TODAY.

THE SIXTH SEAL releases a sign in the sky, strikingly similar to the one Jesus described to His disciples, which will signal the Son of Man’s appearance “with power and great glory.” AT THAT TIME, “He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and THEY WILL GATHER HIS ELECT from the four winds” (Matthew 24:30-31).

Notice the similarities in the following scriptures:

Isaiah 13:9-10 “See, THE DAY OF THE LORD is coming — a cruel day, with WRATH AND FIERCE ANGER — to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.”

Isaiah 34:2-4 “THE LORD IS ANGRY with all the nations; HIS WRATH IS UPON ALL THEIR ARMIES. He will totally destroy them, He will give them over to slaughter…. All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.”

Joel 2:29-32 “Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I WILL SHOW WONDERS IN THE HEAVENS and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion [the Temple Mount] and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”

Matthew 24:29 [Jesus speaking] “IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DISTRESS OF THOSE DAYS ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “

Revelation 6:12-17 — [John speaking] “I watched as He [the Lamb, Jesus] opened THE SIXTH SEAL. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then THE KINGS OF THE EARTH, THE PRINCES, THE GENERALS, THE RICH, THE MIGHTY, and every slave and every free man HID IN CAVES and among the rocks of the mountains. THEY CALLED TO THE MOUNTAINS AND THE ROCKS, ‘Fall on us and HIDE US from the face of Him who sits on the thrown and from the wrath of the Lamb. FOR THE GREAT DAY OF THEIR WRATH HAS COME and who can stand?’ “

Matthew 24:30AT THAT TIME the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH WILL MOURN. THEY WILL SEE THE SON OF MAN [Jesus] coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”

PROPHECY CONNECTIONS REVEAL THE SIGNS THAT WILL SIGNAL THE RAPTURE OF THE ELECT:

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DISTRESS OF THOSE DAYS … They will see the sign of the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. AND HE WILL SEND HIS ANGELS WITH ALOUD TRUMPET CALL, AND THEY WILL GATHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, from one end of the heavens to the other. Now learn this LESSON FROM THE FIG TREE: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. EVEN SO, WHEN YOU SEE ALL THESE THINGS, you know  that it [or, He] is near, right at the door.” — Jesus (Matthew 24:29-33)

[John speaking] “After this I SAW FOUR ANGELS STANDING AT THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH, HOLDING BACK THE FOUR WINDS OF THE EARTH … After this I looked and THERE BEFORE ME WAS A GREAT MULTITUDE THAT NO ONE COULD COUNT from every nation, tribe, people and language, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE AND IN FRONT OF THE LAMB. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands…. ‘These are they who have come out of THE GREAT TRIBULATION; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’… And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’ ” (Revelation 7:1-17).

After THE ELECT are safely transported to the throne of God, the Lamb (Jesus Christ) will open THE SEVENTH SEAL:

[John speaking] “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour…. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it upon the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Rev. 7:1).

There is one more Prophecy Connection that, I believe, seals the deal on whether this rapture sequence truly reveals the timing — apart from “the day or the hour” — of when “the sign of Jesus’ coming” will be revealed. Notice THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPET in the following prophecies:

Joel 2:1-6a –“BLOW THE TRUMPET in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD IS COMING…. a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor will ever be in ages to come…. At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale.”

Zephaniah 1:14-18a THE GREAT DAY OF THE LORD is near … That day will be a day of wrath … A DAY OF TRUMPET and battle cry … I will bring distress on the people…because they have sinned against the Lord…. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them ON THE DAY OF THE LORD’S WRATH.”

Zechariah 9:14-16“Then THE LORD WILL APPEAR OVER THEM; His arrow will flash like lightning. THE SOVEREIGN LORD WILL SOUND THE TRUMPET; He will march in the storms of the south and the Lord Almighty will shield them…. The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of His people.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 [Paul speaking] “We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. We believe that Jesus dies and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him…. The Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel AND WITH THE TRUMPET CALL OF GOD, and the dead in Christ will rise first [THE ELECT, gathered from “one end of the heavens to the other”]. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together [THE ELECT, gathered “from the four winds” … “at the four corners of the earth”] with Him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air [THE RAPTURE]. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words!”

THEN …

Revelation 7:1, 9-10 [John speaking] “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth holding back the four winds of the earth … and there before me was A GREAT MULTITUDE THAT NO ONE COULD COUNT, FROM EVERY NATION, TRIBE, PEOPLE AND LANGUAGE, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb … And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.'”

THE BOTTOM LINE: In my humble opinion, THE TRUMPET IS THE KEY that ties together all the prophecies which foretell the second coming of Jesus to “gather His elect.” And the words of the elder whom John spoke with — recorded in Revelation 7:13-15 — confirm that THE ELECT WILL BE GATHERED FROM OUT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

So how can YOU be ready for that event?

1. With a sincere heart, ask Jesus to forgive all the things that you’ve done in your life that He does not approve of — a.k.a. “sin.”

2. Accept His forgiveness and prepare to move on with your life. Because Jesus WILL BEGIN WORKING to cleanse you and change you from the inside out. Realize that other people may or may not sense the change, BUT YOU WILL RECEIVE ASSURANCE that Jesus is working in you!

3. Read your Bible, so that God can start communicating with you through His written Word. I suggest you start with John’s version of what happened leading up to Jesus’ death on a cross, beginning in John 8:12. Continue to read and underline verses that seem to stand out to you. Read Jesus’ testimony about WHO HE CLAIMS TO BE. Read about the man whom Jesus healed of physical and spiritual blindness, and pray that your eyes would be opened to TRUTH. Continue reading about the death and resurrection of one of Jesus’ closest friends. Read about the plot to kill the Son of God, who also called Himself “the Son of Man” because He could identify with the struggle with being human. As you read about Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, burial and resurrection, remember that John documented his eye-witness account of what happened!

4. Make time to pray. Set aside some quiet time each day to praise your Lord Jesus and to thank Him for shedding His blood to make YOU right with your holy Father God. Pray for courage and wisdom to discern truth in the midst of troubling events in our world. Ask God for physical and spiritual protection for yourself and your loved ones. Thank Him for promising eternal life to those who stand firm in their faith!

5. Understand that you are not alone! Believers all over the world are struggling with the powers of darkness in spiritual realms during these last days before Jesus’ appearing. If you need encouragement, please write to me in the comment section provided below.

Standing with you in Christ Jesus,

Paula