Monday, August 31, 2009

Mysterious Tubular Clouds Defy Explanation

From Wired Science, Aug 24, 2009
These long, crazy-looking clouds can grow to be 600 miles long and can move at up to 35 miles per hour, causing problems for aircraft even on windless days. Known as Morning Glory clouds, they appear every fall over Burketown, Queensland, Australia, a remote town with fewer than 200 residents. A small number of pilots and tourists travel there each year in hopes of “cloud surfing” with the mysterious phenomenon. Similar tubular shaped clouds called roll clouds appear in various places around the globe. But nobody has yet figured out what causes the Morning Glory clouds. This shot was captured by photographer Mick Petroff from his plane near Australia’s Gulf of Carpenteria.

Perhaps this is the cause:
"and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven." Luke 21:11. The word for heaven in this case, in the original Greek, is 'ouranos', meaning not just sky, which you will find easily enough, but "sky inscribed with signs and signatures."

Thngs that make you go HMMMM.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jaycee Lee Dugard and her neighbors

At the time of the end (happening now in my opinion) the bible says that evil will rise and men will become accustomed to it, failing to defend honor, promote good, and protect children. We see this now with just a few of the latest news stories.

When you think of human trafficking, and child slavery, most Americans think of that song about One Night in Bangkok, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek denunciation of the city's moral corruption. Let me assure you that child slavery is not only in some far-off exotic country, it is in America. Here is one intro in a recent news story:
Human trafficking
Why is that human trafficking is so pervasive and yet so misunderstood? Why do we assume that it's really an "overseas" issue? Why do most people think of Cambodia or Thailand when the words "human trafficking" are uttered? It's not because it does not exist here in the United States--we know it does. As a matter of fact, the numbers are astounding: the sex trade is a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide. UNICEF estimates that approximately 1 million children around the world unwillingly become sex slaves every year. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that there are 200,000 U.S. citizens yearly, mainly children and young women, who are at high risk of being trafficked throughout the U.S for sexual purposes.
Shocked? I was. But in America?? Surely at the fringes, far away. It surely cannot be in my own Georgian backyard? Yes. It can.
Domestic Human Trafficking
Human trafficking has become a major concern specifically in Georgia for a number of reasons. First, Atlanta, Georgia is home to Hartsfield International Airport which is a central connection for most domestic and international flights. As such, traffickers are able to traffic a large volume of their victims both internally and internationally to and from Atlanta, Georgia. Second, Georgia has a large immigrant population that is undocumented. As such, traffickers are able to prey on these victims by extracting forced labor, domestic servitude and sexual services without any fear that the victims will contact the police department or immigration. Finally, Atlanta, Georgia is infamous for its large sex industry. Strip clubs, prostitution, and escort services are abundant. Consequently, all these reasons work together to create the perfect climate for human trafficking in Atlanta, Georgia.
The "perfect climate." If satan was giving the weather forecast, he would indeed declare this time and these places as having a perfect climate ... for evil. I wrote before how we as a nation and a world fail to cherish our children. And worst of all, when we suspect they are in trouble, in our own backyards, we do nothing. Read in this news article regarding the child kidnapped by a child molester and whose re-discovery and reunion with her parents took place this week 18 years later:
Neighbor Diane Doty said she could see the tents and often heard children playing in the backyard, the corner of which abuts her own backyard. She said she even suspected the children lived in the tents, but her husband said she should leave the family alone.
"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold." Mt 24:12. How can anyone live next to a child molester for 18 years, hear children playing in the yard, and do nothing? How can this event not exemplify the times of love gone cold that Jesus said would come?

We must stand in the gap. We must be advocates for the innocent, the downtrodden, the vulnerable. James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Just because the times are upon us does not mean we come to a standstill, waiting for the forces of darkness to overwhelm and eventually praying for rescue through death or rapture. No! We must do more, not less. We must do all we can, tirelessly, right up until the end. Pray for Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to you in greater quantity and to give you deep discernment. A child is waiting for one adult, one advocate ... to hear their cry.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mall goers watch woman burn, take photos

Our wonderful savior wrote the bible through men and He told us in Matthew 24:12 that in the time of the end, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold."

Did you ever start a job somewhere awful and the senior workers tell you, "ah, eventually you get used to it." It seems that we adjust to external conditions and that includes getting used to just about anything. But what we have become used to in these last days includes a cold-heartedness that defies the imagination of even the elders in the generation just prior to us, I would think. I came across this news piece today:

"Photos Of Burning Woman Signal Underlying Problem
Cecilia Casals is in critical condition after purposely setting herself on fire at the Mall of the Americas. What is more shocking is that many people stopped and took pictures of her burning body instead of helping."

What would prompt people to line the walkway and whip out their cell phones and photograph a woman in her agony? What would cause people to endanger the people in the mall and perhaps even the children of the people standing around taking photos close to the fire? And what do they plan to do with those photos? Put them in an album and say years later to the grand-kids, "Look, a woman was dying and I stopped to take a picture"?

A psychiatrist was interviewed in this news article, asked why people would do this, and he responded that he "believes your exposure to violence, whether in sports, violent reality TV or even the CBS4 newscast all plays a role in desensitizing our natural reactions." Yet even the news article headline seeks to find an answer to the cold-heartedness of the scene. Even the jaded reporters, people who are 'desensitized' to violent scenes, asked, "why?"

Desensitization. In other words, love grows cold. Jesus told us. One man did break the fire extinguisher case's glass case with his hand, cutting it badly, but used the device to put the fire on the woman out. The article goes on, "'You have a lot of violent events that occur that maybe make folks in those urban cores a little more immunized to it," this psychiatrist said. "Which means Torres isn't just a hero for putting this fire out, he's a rarity."

A man acting humanely is a "rarity." But we knew this would happen. We were told. The amazing mercy of our Lord comes into play here. He gave us a Word that shows His character, all of it. This Word tells us about ourselves (we are sinners). This Word is outside of time and balances in perfect cohesion from book to book, chapter to chapter, century to century. And most amazingly of all, this Word, this incredible gift of His word, tells us what will happen. The love for one another has grown cold, but we should not be surprised. We were told.

Pray for peoples' hearts to be softened, just a bit, enough to allow the Word to be planted there by a witness, a missionary, a circumstance. Though love has grown cold, the Word can and will warm it up, if they have but eyes to see and ears to hear. Pray for that. Please. Or those who stopped to photograph and watch this woman burn ... will themselves burn. And they will have an eternity remember the love they should have had.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jerusalem in prophecy

A number of interesting prophetic events have occurred this week. Prophecy isn't about one lone sign here or another sign there, it is about the totality of signs that create a picture that is described in the bible, and fulfilling the larger set of conditions God said would exist at the time of Jesus's return. I refer to Jack Kelley's excellent essay, Why study prophecy? for a good backgrounder.

Now, how to study prophecy is another matter. Scripture tells us that prophecy can and should be understood. The first thing to do of course, is pray for wisdom and understanding. 1 Peter 4 tells us, "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer" and Mark 13:33 says, "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." So prayer during study is central, both scriptures link prayer and study. Secondly, Old Testament pictures are New Testament Principles. 2 Peter 1:20 says , "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" which means that all one needs to understand a prophecy is already in the bible, elsewhere, so that you do not need to interpret it on your own. God has already done that for you. Scripture reveals scripture, and that includes prophetic scripture.

With that warning and exhortation in mind, the following scripture and news reveals the status of where we are today if we take the entire picture of the roadmap to New Jerusalem to heart. A Temple will exist in the last days-in Matthew we learn of the Holy Place, and also in and Acts 15:12-17 it speaks of the secret, that God will return His attention to Israel after the Church age is completed, so that the last year of weeks (7 years) may be fulfilled.
Matthew 24:15 says "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)...
Survey: 64% want Temple rebuilt
Almost two thirds of Israelis, including half of seculars would like to see Temple rebuilt, believe it is important to commemorate Tisha B'Av...

Muslim leader wants Temple rebuilt
In a historically unprecedented development, a famous Turkish Muslim leader and a prominent group of Israeli rabbis have joined together on one of their declared goals, to rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Adnan Oktar, who uses the pen name of Harun Yahya, is a controversial but highly influential Muslim intellectual and author with over 65 million of his books in circulation worldwide. Oktar recently met with three representatives from the re-established Jewish Sanhedrin, a group of 71 Orthodox rabbis and scholars from Israel, to discuss how religious Muslims, Jews and Christians can work together.

I believe that this next news item is of major, major prophetic import. Never before in 2000 years have there been more Jews inside Israel than outside. Three scriptures discuss the Israeli population at the time of the end:
Ezekiel 34:13: "I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land."

Is 11:11-12 "The Restored Remnant: Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth."

Jeremiah 23: 3, 8 "Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. [B]ut, 'As the LORD lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.' Then they will live on their own soil."
Israel soon to be larger than diaspora
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed a planeload of olim on Tuesday at Ben-Gurion Airport, telling them that "for the first time in 2,000 years, there are going to be more Jews in Israel than outside it."

Next, we have sacrifices about to begin. Daniel 9:27 describes time when the Antichrist stops the sacrifices. For sacrifices to be stopped, at some point sacrifices must have begun. The sacrifices certainly cannot begin until and unless there is an appropriate altar. And it looks as though both the altar and the sacrifices may happen soon.
Daniel 9:27 "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
Temple Insitute to built sacrificial altar
The Temple Institute will begin building the sacrificial altar on Thursday, Tisha B’av, a fast day when Jews mourn the destruction of the Temple some 2,000 years ago. The Temple Institute, which has already built many of the vessels for the Holy Temple, such as the ark and the menorah, has now embarked on a project to build the altar.

Will there be a peace plan confirmed soon that allows Israel to finally let down her guard and dwell securely? We have been wondering that for 60 years, but never before has such attention been paid to Israel, her Temple, her sacrifices, her population return, and her capitol city all in the same time frame and to this degree of intensity. Any peace plan presented and accepted during this time is of huge import and would likely be THE Covenant.
Ezek. 38:11 “I will invade a land of unwalled villages, I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people – all of them living without gates and bars.” (For more discussion on the meaning of the land of unwalled villages, go here).
US to present major Peace Plan in matter of weeks
Despite recent Arab statements opposing US demands for confidence-building steps towards Israel, the US anticipates it will have the pieces in place to formally re-launch the Arab-Israel peace process in the coming weeks.

Israel and Jerusalem is in the news, constantly. Why? Jack Kelley writes, "Jerusalem has no natural harbor. It isn’t situated astride any major trade route. Nor is it a gateway city. It’s not a banking or industrial or commercial or medical or hi-tech center. It has no natural resources. While it’s too hilly for an airport it doesn’t command any strategic high ground. It has nothing at all to commend it except for the fact the God chose it for Himself. And to Satan that makes it the most desirable piece of real estate on the planet." So that is why is Jerusalem in the news so much. Because God said it would be. And it is so:
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about.... Jerusalem twill be] a burdensome stone for all people....in that day will I make the governors of Judah...like a torch off re in a sheaf; and they shall devour an the people round about..." Zechariah 12:2,3,6
Fatah: We'll sacrifice victims until Jerusalem is ours
The status of Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian state is a red line that no Palestinian leader is permitted to cross, President Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah faction declared in the West Bank on Saturday. According to Israel Radio, the Fatah general conference, which convened in Bethlehem for a three-day gathering, adopted a position paper which also states that the Palestinian national enterprise will not reach fruition until all of Jerusalem, including the outlying villages, come under Palestinian sovereignty.

Friends, the news of Jerusalem tug-of-war, Israelites' aliyah, peace plans, temples, altars/sacrifices and all the rest of such intensity as described in scripture has never been seen on this earth all at once like it is today. I believe the time of the rapture is near at hand and the Age of Grace is coming to a close, leaving the world with the Age of Law, the Antichrist, and the Tribulation. It is no longer the time of languorous intellectual discussion about sin and Jesus's work on the cross as a hypothetical or historical event. It is the time for belief. It is the time for faith. It is the time of the open door to salvation and forgiveness of sin, for soon, after the rapture, it may be too late. And at such a time you may have eternity in hell to dwell on your previous intellectual discussions and cursory interest in the supposed historic figure of Jesus, rather than dwell with Him in person in complete faith and love and joy. Take that step today! Make it a matter of the heart rather than a matter of the mind. For no one is guaranteed a tomorrow and tomorrow may be the day of the Rapture!