Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another sinkhole

 The planet has been plagued lately with a spate of explosions, oil leaks, and sinkholes. A chemical plant exploded in Athens GA yesterday, destroying the plant and sending plumes of toxic smoke into the air and chemicals into a nearby creek. I reported on two oil leaks the other day, one in Kalamazoo River in Michigan (800,000 gallons polluted the river and Lake Michigan). The other was in Louisiana, a tug crashed into an abandoned wellhead, and gas and oil spewed 100 feet into the air. And the sinkholes, goodness, the sinkholes! From China to UK to America to South America, the ground has been sinking, cracking, and simply pitting, into enormous holes that swallow cars, buildings, and whole intersections. The earth will crack up eventually, Isaiah talks about the earth reeling to and fro like a drunkard before it eventually cracks apart. It has been my contention that though we are not in the tribulation now, therefore no judgment is occurring (only warnings- to repent!) that we can see precursors to future prophesied activity. Peeking around the corner we see it all coming like a freight train.


[Above, Athens GA plant explosion.] Now, is it unusual that a chemical plant exploded? No. But the almost daily occurrence of these events from north to south, east to west, IS. Check out this headline from Time Magazine this week China's Industrial Accidents Quietly on the Rise: "A massive explosion in a southern Chinese city is only the latest in a series of industrial accidents that have hit China in recent weeks. While the country's economic boom has always been dogged by environmental and safety hazards, the frequency of disasters this summer has raised new questions about whether the country can maintain its pace of expansion without doing catastrophic harm to its people and the environment."

Here is today's sinkhole activity. I say 'today' because it seems to be occurring on a daily basis now. This one occurred yesterday in West Cumbria, in the northwest of England.

Twenty foot deep hole opens on main west Cumbrian road
"Traffic chaos in Whitehaven town centre is set to continue over the weekend as investigations take place into why part of a road collapsed.  Part of busy Inkerman Terrace collapsed last night, leaving a 20ft deep hole in the carriageway. A Cumbria Highways spokesman said this afternoon that further investigations are being carried out."

Whitehaven teen tells of shock road hole find
"Josh Pears was heading off on a  camping trip with friends and walking out of Whitehaven on Thursday evening when he noticed the hole in Inkerman Terrace. When he and his friends looked into the hole, which was a matter of inches across, they could see a pipe, but nothing beyond it, and even throwing coins into the darkness couldn’t help them work out how deep it was. The 16-year-old said: “All you could see was the pipe about a foot below the surface, and after that there was nothing. We were throwing pennies in but you couldn’t hear them landing. It could have gone miles down for all we knew."

When daylight hit, observers said, "The sudden appearance of the hole, alongside the Chase Hotel, spread about 12 feet across the street underneath the surface. Area engineer Karl Melville said this morning: “It’s just a huge hole. There’s nothing there at all. It’s lucky no one fell in to it.”

The Lord Jesus said that the end time would be characterized by birth pangs. The end time is technically the moment of Jesus' ascension through the clouds to the moment He returns. However, Jesus also said that birth pangs would increase as a sign that the end was nearing. He wants us to notice the time. He wants us to repent, for time grows short. He sends signs and warnings and prophecies, and they are listed in most of the Old Testament books and all but 4 of the New, so that we WOULD repent. Even if you are a Christian, check your walk with Him. Make sure you know where your final destination will be. He said that many will not be saved, even those who think they are saved. I know when the trumpet sounds and He calls for us, I am headed up! Do you know for sure?

The prophetic finish line

This example is used a lot in sermons and devotionals. It is an oldie but a goodie. I am asking you to think of the example I'll shortly give in terms of prophecy.

Florence Chadwick was a young woman in 1952 but had already swum the English Channel, both ways, and broke records doing it. That morning in 1952 she stood on the shores of California with intent to swim the 26 miles to Catalina Island. It was foggy. She was used to fog, rough water, and cold, having swum in these conditions since when was 11 years old so she was prepared for any conditions that may beset her on the long swim. It was so foggy that Florence could not see the support boats motoring around her to scare away the sharks. However after 15 hours of rough water stroke after stroke, she felt like she wasn't getting anywhere. Despite encouragement from her mother and others in the support boat next to her, Florence wearied and asked to be taken out of the water. She soon discovered that she was half a mile from her goal.
Above, the Lubec Maine shoreline. There is lighthouse in this photo. Can you see it? 
[Photo by EPrata]

At a news conference the next day Florence said, “All I could see was the fog.…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

Florence tried again two months later. This time, she made it because she said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam.

This is the same scene as above after the fog rolled away. [Photo by EPrata]

Prophecy is not meant to BE the fog. It is knowable, profitable, and given to us for all education. It is a light to keep in our heart as to the immutable existence of God, His eternal promises, and the goal for every believer, to reach the eternal Lighthouse. There are end of time prophetic utterances in most of the Old Testament and in every book of the New except for four. And three of those four are single-chapter letters to one individual. Jesus meant prophecy to be the mental image for us to hold dear as to the goal. Do not give up half a mile from the finish line! He is near, He is coming. Do not wander, drift, be swept away by currents taking you far from the goal. May every stroke of your swim toward eternity be as vigorous as the one before. Pray for that vigor. The Holy Spirit is there to help us:  "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" (John 14:16)

If you knew that the Rapture was tomorrow would it change your decision not to study the bible today? Not to pray? Not to help someone? If you knew it was next week, or next year, how differently would you act as a Christian? You're tired. We are all tired. The wages of sin splash up on us, and sometimes splash into us. It is wearying holding firm against the current. But keep the goal in mind!

Most marathon swimmers swim between 60 and 70 strokes a minute. Therefore, a 10-hour swim would require 42,000 strokes, and a 14-hour swim would require 58,000 strokes-an incredible feat. That is a lot of energy to expend to make the landing, reach the goal. There are sharks in the water wanting to make you their dinner. There is flotsam, waves, hindrances such as tide or current. But there is the Spirit in the boat next to you, helping, guiding, encouraging. There are angels flying around you to scare away the demons. If you become defeated it is only because you closed yourself to help, succumbed to temptation to drift, and forgot the vision. The shore is near, and the goal is within our reach. Keep swimming! And soon, He will lift us from the cold and tormenting waters of sin ...  and we will fly!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Archaeologists Uncover John the Baptist Relics in Bulgaria's Sozopol

Exciting news from Bulgaria today:

"Parts of St. John the Baptist's relics might have been discovered during archaeological excavations in Bulgaria's southern Black Sea town of Sozopol, report Bulgarian media. Archaeologists investigating the Sv. Ivan (St. John) island off Sozopol have found an exquisite reliquary – a relic urn – built in the altar of an ancient church bearing the name of St. John the Baptist. The reliquary has the shape of a sarcophagus and is dated end of 4th - beginning of 5th c. AD. It was discovered by the team of Prof. Kazimir Popkonstantinov. The church's name, as well as the fact that it had a special emperor's statute issued, has hinted to archeologists that it might actually contain St. John's relics. The urn is expected to be opened Sunday." more at link

And then... "One day after the unique discovery of an ancient marble reliquary, thought to contain the relics of St John the Baptist that archaeologists made on the island of St John near Sozopol, today the team has run into another finding. A mysterious stone box was unearthed from the same niche which contained the reliquary.  The box looks like a match box but is a bit larger. There are two inscriptions in Greek on it. The one reads: My Lord, help your servant, Toma and the other inscription, found on the other side of the box reads: Saint John. The stone container is full of soil and stirred archeologists in complicated reflections. “What we have discovered is strange and inexplicable. For now we do not know what it is, we are not sure about its purpose either. We can only guess that the stone box is a part of the reliquary..." source
 
Look a a map: I was struck by the dates and by the rapidity that Christianity had spread.
This spread is a miracle in itself. The changed lives resulting from its taking hold in cultures as divergent as Israel, Turkey, and the Baltics is also a miracle. It is a testament to the truth inherent in the Gospel, and the miracle of His death for our sins, the supreme miracle.

I am always surprised at people who deny Christianity's factual beginnings, proved in history, by likening it to fables. Fables don't spread so far and so fast. Fables don't stick, 2000 years later.

"Christianity began spreading initially from Jerusalem, and then throughout the Near East, ultimately becoming the state religion of Armenia in 301 , of Ethiopia in 325, of Georgia in 337, and then the state religion of the Roman Empire in 380. Becoming common to all of Europe in the Middle Ages, it expanded throughout the world during the Age of Exploration. Christianity has thus become the world's largest religion."

Jesus saves!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Two POUND hailstones fall in South Dakota!

Here's the story, amazing, and at the bottom, as always, the prophetic tie:

"Hail is one of the most damaging weather events capable of doing thousands of dollars worth of damage to homes and vehicles and utterly shredding crops. Last week in South Dakota the mother of all hail stones appears to have fallen – a beast weighing nearly two pounds and measuring 8 inches in diameter."

World Record Hailstone Weighed In Vivian "A small South Dakota town is being recognized for a big find after last Friday's storms. It was Friday afternoon when a line of thunderstorms fired up in central South Dakota. High winds, heavy rains and even a possible tornado rolled through the town of Vivian. But now days later, a hailstone picked up just moments after the storm is getting worldwide attention. The damage is proof that it wasn't a typical South Dakota thunderstorm. Holes were punched through the top of buildings, and Les Scott will never forget what it sounded like. "A guy throwing bricks at the house and many of them and it was scary," Scott said. Scott watched as massive hailstones pummeled the ground. Tuesday, the dents in the ground are still visible, some as large and deep as coffee cans. But when the hail stopped, a certain stone grabbed his attention."

"I just happened to see this one fall and the only reason I went out and got it is because it has all these fingers sticking out of it and I thought, 'Oh, that's weird.' So I thought I'd go get that one," Scott said. Scott originally wanted to make a daiquiri out of the hail, but decided to contact the National Weather Service instead. Tuesday, they were in Vivian. They carefully took the stone from the freezer and placed it in a cooler with dry ice. The next stop was at the post office where the hail had a date with the federally certified scale. Moments later, the hailstone weighed in at 1.9375 pounds."
“Officially, where records have been kept, this will be the U.S. record and world record for weight. So very impressive," Mike Fowle of the National Weather Service said.  But the inspection of the new world record hail wasn't done there. To ensure that the hailstone didn't melt, it was then measured while inside a freezer at a local convenience store.  The hailstone is down to 17 inches around, but was measured just a few days ago at 18 and a half inches. That is another world record number.  "I didn't think it was near that, but I'm glad I got it I guess. I'm just sad about the town of Vivian. I hope the insurance people help them out as much as they can because they need it," Scott said.  As impressive as the size and weight are, it may have topped two pounds when it fell from the sky. While Scott placed it in the freezer, the power was out for six hours following the storm, and it likely melted a bit in that time."

With all that damage I would have thought that the hail stones would with more than the 1.9 lbs and be bigger than 18 inches! They punched through roofs, made craters in the ground!



OK, so a world record hailstone was measured and verified. In the end time birth pangs, the pangs are ramping up. One of the indicators is frequency. More earthquakes, more often. More rain. More heat. More tornadoes. More, more, more. Another indicator are events that are "first ever"; rare, unexplained, or record-setting. Events that are obviously not a regular weather phenomenon and really cannot be explained away.

In the Language of God series I am writing, in "The Language of God: Hail" I explained how God speaks to us in some ways that are biblically shown to be His signature vocabulary and hail is one of them. It is threatened, used, prophesied and caused by God in many different situations in the bible. Military wins or losses, crop losses, phenomenon that affect one region but not another nearby were all done and also promised to be done in the future. I encourage you to read the piece for links to the verses. For now, I'll refer to the plague of hail that is prophesied to come in Revelation:

From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. (Rev 16:21)

The South Dakota news said the hail was likely larger when it initially fell. It was put in a freezer but the power out for 6 hours after the storm. Let's say the hailstone was twice as big, 4 lbs and 36 inches around. That is still PUNY compared to 100 pound hailstones to come! Imagine the devastation then.

People! The LORD is speaking! Are we listening?

The winepress of His wrath


Jesus often spoke in agricultural parables and allusions, knowing that the farmers, wine producers, wheat gatherers etc would understand. Not much has changed since the ancient days in terms of how wine is made, olives are gathered, wheat is sifted. Today's layperson, even a city dweller, can understand the simple comparisons He made with gathering wheat as living symbol of gathering His people.

There is one comparison He made which is simple but it is the most dreadful. It is the winepress of His wrath.

In old days the Israelites' wine production was a major industry. Ancient wine presses have been discovered all over the Middle East, and in and around modern day Israel. The grapes would be gathered, and placed in a rectangular pit entered from a cleaned mosaic floor. The floor of the press would be stone, also washed. The trite picture of people stomping on grapes is not so trite: the gentleness of the underside of the foot would crush the grapes enough to release the juice but not crush the bitter seeds, releasing tannins into the wine. The juice would be allowed to run down a slough, through a filter made of leaves and thorn ranches. Seeds and twigs removed, the second pressing would then involve a press of stone, like the one below. Notice the trough running around the rim of the stone, to catch the juice.


Recently a Giant 1,400-year-old wine press discovered in southern Israel. Its size and unusual shape indicated to archaeologists that it was used for a major export operation. The press, unearthed during an excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority, is one of the largest ever discovered in Israel.

The LORD has said that He is long-suffering but His patience will come to an end. The world will not end, but most of life as we know it will end. Most will die. He will finally rectify the issue of sin and deliver His children from it. Deliverance will come! But it will be at a terrible price. Read these verses which describe an event that will literally come:
"The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. (Revelation 14:19-20)."
1600 stadia is 180 miles. MILES of flowing blood. Will your blood be among the flow?

Isaiah asks the LORD where He has been that His garments should be bloodied. God answers:
"I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. (Isaiah 63:3)
And again in Revelation 19:15
"From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty."
He does this because the armies of the world are aligned to mow down the Jews, because they are assembled to fight Him, because they are rebellious and sinful and deserve Divine Justice. He does this to deliver the believers who dwell in such a dark time. He does this to avenge the martyrs who died in the Woman's drunken orgy of massacre and became drunk with their blood. "And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Revelation 17:6a). He does this because of the saints beheaded for the witness and testimony of the LORD and had not taken the mark. (Revelation 20:4)

Truly, it seems His wrath is nearly complete, it seems as though the moment of His Day is upon us. It seems the winepress is filling with sin and will be put to its prophetic use very shortly. The Day of the Lord is a time period, not just a day. During the entire time of The Day of the LORD He is at the same time sending out increasingly severe judgments upon the unbelieving while showing His fierce wrath and power so that those who rebel will come to Him. Many do come to Him, but still more will not.

The blessed hope is that if you believe NOW, during the age of Grace, you will not have to endure the terrible woes of the Tribulation nor see nor be within the winepress of His wrath. You will be raptured, meet Him in the air, and be led to heaven itself, where a place is being prepared for all believers. He loves you and made a way to dwell with Him forever. If you know and understand you are a sinner then you know and understand those sins will always disqualify you for heaven's citizenship with the Holy God and LORD of Justice unless you plea for forgiveness and repent.

It sounds trite, but really, repent, for the end is nigh.

Divorce is a violent act

Divorce results in the parties' violent actions as seen here:

Man allegedly forces ex-wife to swallow his wedding ring
"Police have charged Darryl Alan Roberts, 44, of Fairfield with domestic violence, saying he forced his ex-wife to swallow his wedding ring. Police say he joined his former wife and another woman for drinks June 23, but they left him at the Bangor pub after he became angry. Police told the Kennebec Journal that Roberts called his ex-wife 16 times, then showed up at her home, kicking in the door, punching her, threatening to kill her and making her swallow his wedding ring."

In Israel, an ex-husband murdered his three young children. "Itay Ben Dror, who confessed to stabbing his three young children to death on Saturday, apparently lay next to their lifeless bodies for more than 10 hours. During his interrogation, the father said the murders were premeditated, adding that he purposely chose to commit them on his ex-wife's birthday as an act of revenge after she refused to take him back. Of the situation prior to the killings, the authorities told her, "'Don't engage in a war in front of the children; leave the war for the court.'" The mother said she has nothing left to live for. She wants to see him behind bars. "Then I"ll join my children."

I don't mean that people act violently after a divorce because they are emotionally in turmoil. I mean that they act violently after a divorce because divorce itself is a violent act. Did you ever think of divorce as a violent act, and the parties' violence afterwards being only a visible side-effect of that violence? In the secular world we know that divorces at best are almost without exception emotion-filled, bitter experiences. At worst, they are like the situation in Israel with Itay Ben Dror who killed his kids. The language in the article used the word "war." And it IS a war, in the flesh on earth, for booty (furniture) and for territory (house) and for captives (children.)  It's also a spiritual war in the celestial realms to directly attack one of the most important foundations Jesus laid down: the family. Let's look at the language the bible uses:

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

Cleave is to adhere, cling, or stick fast. If you use wood glue and then after it dries, if you want to separate the two pieces that you made into one, you have to tear it apart by force, and they never come apart cleanly. There are splits in the wood, pits, damage.

The oft used phrase during marriage vows, "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate" comes from NIV Matthew 19:6. The World English Translation puts it this way: "So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don't let man tear apart." Tear apart. We see in Genesis that the man and woman (not man-man nor woman-woman) who are to be married cleave, stick, become ONE flesh. Splitting that apart causes damage because to separate something that has become one, into two, is violent. It requires tearing, pulling, splitting, cutting.

Marriage is a covenant between three people: man, woman, God. A covenant is an eternal promise, a sacred thing. God discusses it here, "You ask, 'Why?' It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. (Malachi 2:14). Satan hates any and all Godly covenants. Therefore marriage and the family become prime targets for satan's evil will to be done. Toppling the foundation of marriage and splitting apart a family through violence of divorce makes him positively gleeful. Still don't think divorce is violent? Look at the picture of this house whose foundation has been washed away:

"Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall." (Luke 11:17)

Why is divorce so violent? Satan is behind it. God said: "I hate divorce..." (Malachi 2:16). What God loves, satan hates. Ruining marriage and family rises to the very top of satan's evil to-do list

We know this end of the end time of anger and hatred and violence even in and among the family is coming. We were told: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Timothy 3:1-5). I wrote about the deeper meaning of the term 'without natural affection' here. It means without affection for those whom one would naturally feel affection for, like wives, husbands, children; those within the most intimate family unit.

Divorce begins because of sin, and sin is something we let into our lives. It is an open door. Wherever you live, city or country, if you leave your door standing wide open you are inviting thieves, varmints, and beasts. It is the same with sin. If you do not shut the door to it immediately, you are inviting demon thieves, demon varmints, and demon beasts into your soul.

Matthew Henry wrote "Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgment? but the day of the Lord will come."

Christian husbands, now is the time of testing. Your marriage is and will be under continual attack. Cherish your wife as your help-meet, making the choice to love her even though stresses from this sinful world wash up against your marriage. Wives, love your husbands, build them up, and serve them with joy and grace, even as Jesus serves us. Make the choice to love him, even though hurts and wrongs pile up in your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit to wash those wrongs away because love keeps no record of wrongs. Tallying them is an open door to sin. Standing up for the covenant you have established with and for the Lord does MUCH these days to refresh the weary souls around you. Stand, husbands. Stand, wives. Divorce is a violent and ugly thing, Let satan not push you off your rock.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Major oil leak causes state of emergency: 800,000 gallons spilled UPDATED

Sad news today from Lake Michigan/Kalamazoo River

Oil spill update: State of emergency declared as 800,000 gallons of leaked oil begins flowing through Kalamazoo County
Kalamazoo County officials declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon as more than 800,000 gallons of oil released into a creek began making its way downstream in the Kalamazoo River “I just came from Fort Custer and you can smell it now,” Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Pali Matyas said. “... It’s all rolling downhill and there are a lot of complications.”

This article reports, "U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, D-Mich., said he discussed the spill Tuesday with President Barack Obama at the White House. He called the spill a "public health crisis," and said he plans to hold hearings to examine the response. "The company was originally slow to respond and it is now clear that this is an emergency," Schauer told reporters on a conference call." Caption "A worker lifts oil-covered debris from the Kalamazoo River in Battle Creek Tuesday. A pungent odor is hanging over the Battle Creek area and the Kalamazoo River valley a day after 840,000 gallons of oil leaked into a creek that feeds into the river. The oil leaked Monday from a 30-inch pipeline that carries about 8 million gallons of oil per day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario, in Canada. AP credit"

This MI situation is not minor. And of course the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill isn't minor either. In addition to these large and visible spills, there has been a spate of pipe breaks, leaks, and explosions spilling gas and oil onto land and water lately, from the upper Midwest to PA to TX to the Gulf. You can do a search on this blog for "explosions" and many results will come up, if you want to see the previous articles.

I have been thinking about today's bible reading. He had led me to Obadiah. This is another of those chapters that have prophetic proclamations, then historical fulfillment of the events described, and are also waiting for its double fulfillment in the future. Here, Edom (Jordan) was a thorn in the side of Judah and Israel, often cheering on armies like the Assyrians when they battled the Israelites. More often, Edom allied with them, and worst, would pick and plunder the stuff that was left behind from previous plunderers. Edom laughed at Israel, and shouted self-confidently from their clefts in the rock (the great city of Petra). God saw this and made some promises in passages that not only spoke of retribution but exact retribution for exact deeds.

In verses 5-9 it describes thieves and pickers and robbers cleaning out Edom just as Edom had picked and robbed and stole from Judah. Even more clearly, God spelled it out in verse 12:

The Day of the LORD and the Future
"For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head." (NASB)

These verses are cross-referenced to Habakkuk 2:8, "Because you have looted many nations, All the remainder of the peoples will loot you." There is no escaping divine and exact retribution, It is repeated again in Jeremiah:

"Summon archers against Babylon, all those who draw the bow. Encamp all around her; let no one escape. Repay her for her deeds; do to her as she has done. For she has defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel." (Jer 50:29) Perfect justice. Like-judgment for like-sin.

I was musing all day about what would be America's fitting justice. Though we are not under judgment yet, because His wrath (judgment) has not begun and will not until the rapture and later Rev 6, we are still approaching that Day. The Day of the Lord is spoken of or referenced in almost every New Testament book. It is a time that most of the bible points to. That Day will come and America will be one of the nations to have perfect justice fall on her, as long-promised and as long-deserved. As we peek around the prophetic corner to that Day, perhaps we can already see some of the precursors and signs of what kind of judgment awaits the unbelieving left behind.

Would it not be fitting for a gluttonous and wasteful oil gobbling nation to be awash in oil that cannot be used? Would it not be fitting for us, who are so polluted by perversity and garbage, to have our lands become corrupted and trashed? I don't know what the LORD has in mind for America nor any nation in particular in terms of exact judgment, but we KNOW that we will be repaid as we have done. And that is scary enough.

UPDATE
At 5:57 an update was posted regarding another spewing well...

Tug vessel hits abandoned gas well in Barataria Waterway
JEFFERSON, La. -- The Coast Guard and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office are maintaining a two mile safety perimeter around a damaged wellhead in the Barataria Waterway south of New Orleans.
A mix of natural gas, contaminated water and light crude oil is spewing 100 feet in the air. According to the Coast Guard, the tug vessel Pere Ana C while pushing a dredge barge struck the abandoned wellhead around one Tuesday morning. "The issue for the region right now is we have gas coming out of an uncontrolled well head," said Coast Guard Captain John Arenstam. "We don't want to introduce into the region is an ignition source."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Signs in the sun, moon, and stars: God's powerful witness

The Sun has been acting strangely over the last two years. When it was supposed to have been active, it wasn't. When it was supposed to have been quiet, it isn't. Sunspots and solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME) are massive, or missing, but then produce flops for flares, or are small but produce unexpected ejections. It has zapped a satellite into a zombie, grown coronal holes so large it seems the sun itself would collapse, and the earth's upper atmosphere (magnetosphere) itself is unexpectedly collapsing.
A Puzzling Collapse of Earth's Upper Atmosphere
NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event in our planet's atmosphere. High above Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called "the thermosphere" recently collapsed and now is rebounding again. "This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years," says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). "It's a Space Age record." The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain. "Something is going on that we do not understand," says Emmert."
Well, today spaceweather.com reports on the sun. Again.

"Something bright and active on the far side of the sun is about to turn toward Earth. Magnetic loops towering over the eastern limb herald its approach:"

"NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture during the early hours of July 26th. The bright glow revealed by SDO's extreme ultraviolet camera comes from million-degree plasma trapped by overlying magnetic fields. A sunspot is likely at the bottom of it all. Or maybe two sunspots... NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft is stationed over the sun's eastern limb, and it sees a pair of active regions approaching single file. The one peeking over the limb now is actually the smaller of the two. Readers with solar telescopes should train their optics here."

We are told that there will be signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. (Luke 21:25).  We have seen strange and puzzling sun behavior, and that is according to the solar scientists. We have seen signs in the stars in the form of unusual meteors, comets, and planetary action in our galaxy and beyond. I mean, Jupiter lost a belt! And a flash so large appeared it stunned scientists, who do not know what it was! And just this weekend, we read, "NASA's Deep Space Camera Locates Host of 'Earths'". 700 new planets were discovered. Amazing!

Just about the only sign we have not seen is in the moon. But the other signs are there. We also know that in Revelation one of the plagues will be a sun so hot it causes men to combust with fire. Perhaps the magnetosphere will be burned off by then. Or perhaps God will simply cause it to happen instantly and supernaturally!

The age of Science has become a false god whom too many worship to the exclusion of the supernatural: an indwelling Holy Spirit ministry, a risen-from-the-dead, living Jesus, and a God who exists outside of time. These Three are supernatural, science cannot explain them. Science will never and cannot explain the Trinity. Soon, even today, events are occurring that science does not know how to deal with. A spate of deep-focus quakes? A sun that should be active but isn't? Comets that appear out of nowhere? Soon the supposed scientific orderliness will disappear. Supernatural realms will become more visible and as they do, humans will be less and less able to cope with the lack of scientific evidence to give them answers. They will not find their answers because they looked to their god Science instead of Holy God.

He will extinguish the sun in a moment! He will create 100 pound hailstones! He will turn the sun back on, and turn it up to scorching heat! He will make the very stars fall! He will turn the sea to blood! These events are God pouring out His wrath and authority on an unbelieving world. He has the power of the universe in His hand, and science will fail men, along with economies, finances, food, infrastructure, (have you read about three dam failures lately?) all the things men put their trust in for insulation against sinful lives. Now is the time for God to show His power in stripping away that insulation and showing men their puniness in the face of a wrathful God who exerts authority over the sun and moon, and stars, and universes and men. Trust Jesus, and escape all these things.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dating the rapture is unwise and unbliblical

Remember, the date of the rapture is not known because it is not a date, it's a number

It is wonderful to be eager for His call to us, and look forward to His coming. He said to be eager, and to look up when we see these signs begin to come to pass. (Luke 21:28)

Romans 11:25 Paul wrote that the church has a “full number”, and when that number is reached the Call will come for us to go up. "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in." The word 'full number' is from pleroo in the Greek, meaning 'finish (a period or task)'. The moment when we go is when the number has been reached.

So today is Tu'B'Av, a day some are looking to see as the rapture day. Tu'B'Av, of the 15th of July in the Jewish calendar was during the Second Temple period a popular holiday. It was and today still is a sort of Jewish Valentine's day. In olden days it matched up with the end of the grape harvest and the beginning of the  wheat harvest. Many are looking for the rapture Monday because of this festival day. It is well to hope that Tu'B'Av is the day, and no one more than me wants to go. So while it is worthy to research the festivals, to try and match our possible rapture to this festival or that one is fruitless, because the day is not what God is basing the rapture on, it is the number, a number no one knows.

Some thought Pentecost would be the date. It came and went and we are still here. Some thought it would be Tisha'B'Av, the Jewish date of catastrophes and lamentations. That date came and went and we are still here. 1988 came and went and we are still here. Every other date came and went and we are still here. One day will be the day, but because the number has been reached.

Now, it is true that many, including me, feel a pressure, an undeniable and almost unbearable stretching like an elastic band pulled to its limit. This earth really feels that way to us, like the tension before the climax of the movie at a drawn-out moment. I feel the rapture is close. I sometimes think I can hear the indrawn breath of the Trumpet Blower! Today, tomorrow, next month. Soon. But I do not know what day it will be, and it is un-biblical to date it. The Lord has said repeatedly not to do that. When the Jews asked Him if this was the moment for their long-promised kingdom, He replied, "So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority." (Acts 1:7) "For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. (I Thessalonians 5:4).  "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." (Matthew 24:42)

So could the rapture be tomorrow? Yes. But it may be Thursday. Or Christmas. Or any other day THE NUMBER has been reached. Don't date the rapture, because Jesus said not to. And on a human level, it causes a build-up and then the inevitable let-down. He did not intend for the rapture to be a let-down, but to look for the Blessed Hope with all eagerness. So just say:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dengue fever rears its head in FL, deep-focus quakes in Moro Bay

Jesus said that, "There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven." (Luke 21:11).

As I've said before, plague's existence isn't indicative of an end-time sign. Its spread, type, and location are. We look for patterns that are out of the ordinary in any or all cases. In my prophecy newsletter I sent out yesterday I reported that dengue fever has been popping up all over the Caribbean over the last several weeks.  Dengue fever is common, in season, in some of the Third World Caribbean nations, but not so much in Florida. However the pestilence's incidences are reaching epidemic proportions rapidly and early. In addition, Floridians are experience it too. It was reported that 5% of the population in Key West and environs came down with it. Now this becomes an unusual pestilence.

1000 exposed to dengue in FL
Five percent of the population of Key West, Florida -- more than 1,000 people -- have been infected at some point with the dengue virus, government researchers reported on Tuesday.

Dengue fever turns epidemic in Caribbean
Mosquito-borne dengue fever is reaching epidemic stages across the Caribbean, with dozens of deaths reported and health authorities concerned it could get much worse as the rainy season advances.

Dengue cases double over last year
Thousands of health workers and soldiers will destroy mosquito breeding areas across the country this weekend, worried dengue cases are on track to nearly doubled from last year, officials said Friday. At least 27 deaths have been reported, and health officials say more than 5,000 people have been diagnosed so far in 2010 with the virus that causes fever, headaches and extreme joint and muscle pain.

Dengue upsurge, failing health care system blamed
The failure of local health care systems is mostly to blame for the annual rise of dengue cases, Dr Colin Furlong, Head of the Medical Practitioners Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MPATT), said yesterday. With the advent of the rainy season, the country has again begun to see a flood of possible dengue cases, with one confirmed death two weeks ago, that of a 14-year-old boy. In Puerto Rico: Dengue running above epidemic threshold. Now, dengue fever is showing up in Central Florida.

On another topic, earthquakes, the Philippines experienced three deep-focus quakes of high magnitude tonight.

7.4 MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
7.6 MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.4 MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
7.3 MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
5.3 MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
4.9 MORO GULF, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES

Deep-focus quakes stump scientists because according to seismology, they are not supposed to be able to happen that deep. The Moro Bay quakes were 600 km deep. Scientists call these rare, deep quakes "seismic anomalies".
Most earthquakes are shallow. They are concentrated no deeper than 20-25 kilometers down. However, a few extremely deep quakes rumble at depths of about 600 kilometers. Geophysicists are really not certain what causes the very deep quakes, because at 640 kilometers rocks are so hot that they flow rather than snap under geological stresses. The more common, shallow earthquakes are generally created when rocks snap and fracture. Since the deep quakes seem to be concentrated in subducted slabs of terrestrial crust that plunge down deep into the earth's mantle, geophysicists suppose that the increasing heat and pressure applied to the descending slabs may cause "explosive" phase changes in minerals contained in the slabs. Phase changes often involve volume changes that, if sudden, might generate seismic waves. Too, water of hydration in minerals may be explosively turned into vapor. But this is all surmise at present. source

# Lower mantle: 49.2% of Earth's mass; depth of 650-2,890 kilometers (406 -1,806 miles)
# Transition region: 7.5% of Earth's mass; depth of 400-650 kilometers (250-406 miles)
# Upper mantle: 10.3% of Earth's mass; depth of 10-400 kilometers (6 - 250 miles)
# Oceanic crust: 0.099% of Earth's mass; depth of 0-10 kilometers (0 - 6 miles)
# Continental crust: 0.374% of Earth's mass; depth of 0-50 kilometers (0 - 31 miles).

Earthquakes with depths greater than 300 km between 1906 and 2004.

1907 Sea of Okhotsk 548km mag 7.7
1922 North Peru 664km mag 7.9
1932 Fiji 560 4.0km mag 7.7
1950 Sea of Okhotsk 339km mag 7.7
1954 Spain 630km mag 7.9
1956 Fiji 436km mag 7.6
1958 Peru–Bolivia 592km mag 7.6
1961 Peru–Bolivia 620km mag 7.7
1963 Peru–Bolivia 573km mag 7.7 
1963 Peru–Bolivia 573km mag 7.7
1970 Colombia 623km mag 8.1
1972 Celebes Sea 332km mag 7.7
1973 North Korea 593km mag 7.8
1994 Bolivia 647km mag 8.3
1994 Fiji 563km mag 7.6
1996 Flores Sea 589km mag 7.9
2002 Fiji 699km mag 7.7
2002 Fiji 631km mag 7.7

So you can see these kind of quakes are rare. To have three such in one night is highly irregular. May He come soon!

Obama woos Abbas and PLO, gives diplomatic upgrade

I read a news article this morning that is extremely disquieting. It portends much. As if anything else in the Middle East and Israel doesn't portend much these days, but this one stood out from the rest. And read to the end. There's a kick to it.

Palestinian mission in Washington granted title of 'general delegation' and given permission to hang PLO flag at entrance.
The U.S. announced this week that it would upgrade its diplomatic relations with the PA by granting its mission in Washington - which is actually a PLO mission - the same status it enjoys in most European countries: that of a PLO "general delegation." This is still a lower status than an embassy - a status the PA mission does have in many African and Asian countries, as well as some European and South American states. But it is a major step above what the PA has had until now. Prior to this decision, the PA mission in Washington was at a very low level from the point of view of protocol: Its diplomats did not have diplomatic immunity, and it was not even allowed to fly the PLO flag at the entrance to its offices. Now, its diplomats will enjoy diplomatic immunity and its offices will be able to display the PLO flag.
I'm going to give a little background, and it's important, because the end result is that news article which states that America is doing business with a Terrorist Organization, openly and notoriously.

The PA is the Palestinian Authority. It is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The West Bank and Gaza Strip is territory inside the borders of Israel that are not part of Israel but are under Palestinian Authority.

The article continues-
"This decision reflects our confidence that through direct negotiations, we can help achieve a two-state solution with an independent and viable Palestine living side by side with Israel," said White House spokesman Thomas Vietor. "We should begin preparing for that outcome now, as we continue to work with the Palestinian people on behalf of a better future."
When you hear two-state solution, it means splitting Jerusalem, carving off East Jerusalem and giving it to the "Palestinians." The "Palestinians" already have territory in Israel, so the two-state solution is really a misnomer. The territory known as the "West Bank" was originally part of the proposed Arab territories, but following the Arab-Israeli War this area was captured by Trans-Jordan (renamed Jordan in 1949). The West Bank was taken control of by Israel, during the Six-Day War in June, 1967 but never annexed by Israel. In 1988, Jordan ceded its claims to the West Bank to the Palestine Liberation Organization, as "the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."

The PA took the Gaza Strip back in 2007 at the Battle of Gaza and since then, most of the Gaza Strip is in control of Hamas with the Palestinian Authority stating it is officially no longer in control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas is an Arabic acronym  meaning "Islamic Resistance Movement." In the past, Ariel Sharon and the George W. Bush administration refused to negotiate with Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and then president of the PA, whom they asserted formed "part of the problem" (concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) and not of its solution. In 2005 United States classified Hamas as a terrorist organization. PLO of course is all about Palestinian Liberation (from the Jews). Both are terrorist organizations the United States of America is legitimizing by elevating their status diplomatically. Today's news about the wooing of the leader of Hamas is discouraging to say the least.
The PA has been seeking an upgrade in diplomatic relations ever since U.S. President Barack Obama took office last year. But after 18 months without progress, it was surprised to suddenly receive a letter from the State Department on Tuesday announcing that the U.S. had agreed. The letter was sent to Maen Areikat, who heads the PLO mission in Washington.
It certainly is not about peace. The PLO, Hamas, and even the Palestinian flag are all about war, terror, liberation, and revolt. Their flag is named revolt. "On October 18, 1948, the flag of the Arab Revolt was adopted by the All-Palestine Government, and was recognised subsequently by the Arab League as the flag of Palestine." (Wikipedia)

Oh say does that flag of Arab revolt still wave...over the land of Sharia, and the home of the unsaved?

The Americans began seriously considering the upgrade two weeks ago as one of several steps it intends to take in an effort to entice Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas into direct talks with Israel. ... A senior Palestinian official confirmed the upgrade, and stressed that this is more than a symbolic step. "This move will enable PLO officials and Palestinian diplomats to operate in Washington in an official and orderly manner," he said.
PLO officials operating in our nation's capitol in an orderly manner? Terrorists do not operate in orderly fashion. It is counter intuitive. However, this diplomatic success is part of a greater plan by the Palestinians, whose total focus, remember, is to destroy Israel. Compare the news article excerpted above to this one below, also out today:
Abbas: American Jews on My Side Now
American Jewish lobbyists have been convinced to take a pro-Palestinian Authority position, and to ask US President Barack Obama to turn up the pressure on Israel, according to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas made the claims while speaking at a meeting of the Fatah organization's central committee. "They promised they would go to Netanyahu and tell him to disassemble his coalition or announce that he agrees to a two-state solution,” he added.
The two-state solution would be to establish an Arab nation. Remember, Gaza and the West Bank are already given to the Arabs. Two-state solution would divide Israel in two and also divide her capital, Jerusalem. The two-state solution would also give Judea to the Arabs. Last year Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, "He [Israeli PM Netanyahu] knows very much that there will never be peace between Palestinians and Israelis without East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state."

Here is what God says about monkeying with Israel's borders and giving away land:

"I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land." (Joel 3:2)

The blood of the nations He assembles at Jehoshaphat will run as high as the bridles of horses for 180 miles, from Jehoshaphat to Petra. It is called The Harvest of the Earth:

"Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth's vine, because its grapes are ripe." The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses' bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. (Rev 14)

Beware the "two-state solution." DO NOT DIVIDE ISRAEL!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gay coach hired, fired, then offered his job back...at a Christian school

A Christian school in New Zealand fired a man whom they discovered was a homosexual. He was their netball coach and had been working for the school for a short time. The news today shows that the school was sanctioned, and as a result had to pay the homosexual coach an undisclosed sum, apologize, and take diversity classes. Here is one link/headline and the article's first paragraph:

New Zealand school sanctioned after firing sports coach for being gay
A New Zealand Christian school has been ordered to pay undisclosed compensation and apologize to a sports coach it fired because he was gay. Board members of Middleton Grange School in Christchurch — on New Zealand's South Island — will also attend courses on human rights awareness, school principal Richard Vanderpyl said Thursday.

This is a shame. Not only do organizations have the right to hire and fire, they have the right to fire people who do not meet their employment standards. Homosexuals do not meet the standards at a Christian School because Christian schools adhere to biblical standards. The bible's standard for same-sex unions are that they are an abomination to the Lord. You don't tell the children to maintain purity in opposite sex relations after marriage, and then set those standards aside and hire a homosexual who actively violates them. That is nonsensical.
The headmaster said, "We're thinking of the impact on him," Vanderpyl said. "We care for him and respect him."
The school was required to take a diversity class despite already having respected his "human rights" by hiring him, and they respected his human rights again by proclaiming to the world that he is a nice person and respected by the school. The school simply had an opinion on his chosen lifestyle, and was penalized for it, while the coach had an opinion on the school's culture, and was rewarded for it. This is a double standard.

And why does diversity only go one way? If gays are allowed to express their opinion in the workplace as to the appropriateness of their lifestyle, why was the homosexual man not required to take diversity training in order to better understand the Christian lifestyle? And ... why, knowing that the school was Christian and that it held to certain moral precepts, did the homosexual coach even apply for a job there in the first place? It's like a man applying to a women-only gym, and then suing for discrimination that he was denied entry. Or attending a vegetarian restaurant, ordering tofu fry, and then suing because hamburger isn't on the menu.

Other questions: Did the coach tell the hiring committee at the interview initially that he was gay? Or did that information come to the attention of the Administration later? If the coach hid the information from the hiring committee, then the coach is a liar.
The coach is quoted as saying, "It's hard enough to go through finding yourself and accepting yourself and being 'out' in the first place. Having to go through discrimination doesn't help," he said.
If it's so normal to be gay then why do the gays themselves have such a hard time with their orientation? Why does it take a lifetime to "accept one's self" if same sex sexual conduct is perfectly moral? And failing to meet Christian standards or morality is a perfectly legitimate basis for firing, otherwise, so many municipal charters, constitutions, oaths, and contracts would not state grounds for separability on moral turpitude. Many places, such as Michigan University, have for conditions of employment moral conduct and state as a matter of policy grounds for dismissal based on immoral conduct. Many contractual morals clauses can prohibit, for example, "actions violating societal norms," among other statements. Ask Tiger Woods.
"It is understood that the school board made the decision that he could not remain based on Christian teaching that homosexuality is a sin." He was pleased the people behind the decision had attended a human rights session "so they are aware what they did was wrong and don't do it again".
What they did was not wrong. Homosexuality IS a sin. In the legal world, morals clauses are written into employment contracts all the time. In the Employment world, you do not want someone who is morally decrepit to continue in employ. If the school had hired a teacher on the basis of having attained a Master's degree and it was discovered later that the information was presented falsely, that person would be fired. They lied. If an organization had hired a teacher on the basis of having attained a high GPA in college but it was discovered they had earned all A's from cheating on tests, they would be known to be a cheater and summarily fired. Willful and unrepentant sin of any kind should not be allowed to run rampant anywhere, but never in a Christian school of all places.

As for homosexuality, the demographics show that in Australia 2-3% identified themselves as homosexual in a survey conducted in 2006. In Canada in 2003, 1% identified themselves as homosexual. In the US, only 4% claimed homosexuality as their chosen sexual orientation. This article states the demographics problem well in discussing homosexual marriage: "Given that mentality, it is easy to understand the driving force behind this demand for gay marriage: the idea that people have some moral (and should therefore have some legal) right to state recognition for their personal identity. This is the heart of the matter because of its implications for democracy. Every democracy, by definition, consists of both a majority and one or more minorities. To argue that life is intolerable merely by virtue of being in the minority, in this case expressed by the exclusion of gay people from marriage, is to undermine the very foundation of democracy, especially in countries that supposedly celebrate their many minorities and promote cultural "diversity."

In America, 80% claim Christianity. Yet why are Christian voices increasingly dismissed in "diversity" discussions and human rights classes? Because Christians are increasingly censored. Anti-Christians want Christians silenced in the workplace. Christians who voice their opinion about the sinful practices are increasingly penalized, and that includes even within Christian workplaces and organizations!

Remember, Jesus said that believers will be mistreated, all the way from unfairness to persecution to martyrdom. We also know that the Christian standards will be increasingly trod upon as deception becomes the way of the world in the end time. (Mt 24:10-12). Christian, be prepared with an answer if you are asked in the workplace about any of the bible's standards for behavior, including homosexuality. Stand up for Jesus in decrying sin, but do so lovingly and with a spirit of humility and forgiveness. But be truthful, and be bold. His Word is true and we must live it, loving Him and hating sin. Don't be afraid to say what you stand for if you are asked, without fear or favor! He is with us:  "But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." (Proverbs 1:33)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Leviathan: against him, who can stand?

I recently reported on an amazing find in Peru: an animal that matches the biblical description of Leviathan in Job 41. The chapter of Job 41 is quite interesting in itself. God is describing an animal that seems to be familiar to people, Leviathan, with huge and sharp teeth, scales so tight air cannot pass through, (nor a spear), with power so great none dare attempt to catch it. He spends a page and a half describing all the amazing and powerful attributes of this animal, and ends the chapter saying this:
Nothing on earth is his equal—
a creature without fear.
He looks down on all that are haughty
he is king over all that are proud.
God is saying that if man dares not stand against Leviathan, how much less would he stand against a Mighty God? Click here for commentary on the chapter.

Above, the Leviathan well in the Eastern Med. 

I was re-reading Job 41 today and thinking about Israel ... and their recent huge natural gas find less than 100 miles off their coast. They named the find "Leviathan." Lebanon immediately claimed part of the find, and said that Israel was stealing it out from under them. This is typical behavior, but rather than chalk it up to Middle East tensions, here is a wonderful essay that brings the situation to another level, especially in light of prophecy. We know that a series of devastating battles occur at the end time just prior to the 7-year tribulation: Damascus is destroyed (Isaiah 17), a coalition attacks Israel (Psalm 83) and another coalition attacks Israel (Ezekiel 38-39). The result of all these battles and also unnamed others (Matthew 24:6) is that finally, a peace treaty is signed. It will be a false treaty though, confirmed by the then-unknown Antichrist, who will reveal himself 3.5 years later when He desecrates the newly re-built Third Temple.

In the run-up to these battles and wars, we assume the catalytic event will be on land. After all, Lebanon and Syria have thousands of missiles pointing at Israel now. Israel is rumored to be preparing a strike against Ian's nuclear facilities. Air space for strike fly-overs has been cleared or denied. Iran has sworn to annihilate Israel. Materiel in the form of missiles and tanks has been constantly in the news in terms of swaps, sales, and technological expertise between and among the Gog-Magog players. However, this essay points out something obvious. Obvious that is, the moment after you read it. The catalyst could start by sea.

In this excellent analysis of the naval situation in the Eastern Med, it is reported,
"Speaking last month on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah focused for the first time on the maritime rather than the ground capabilities of his group, boasting that Hezbollah is ready to 'wipe out Israel’s navy.' Hezbollah’s growing interest in developing maritime capabilities should not be taken lightly. It would not be surprising if in the coming months Hezbollah would improve its tactical sophistication at sea through acquisition of new weapons and occasional encounters with Israel’s navy. Upcoming flotillas under the Free Gaza banner would enable Hezbollah fighters to closely observe the Israeli Navy at work and identify its weak spots. Later, as the eastern Mediterranean becomes home to drilling rigs, pipelines and other infrastructure related to Israel’s gas operation Hezbollah could find multiple soft targets to attack. Such attacks could easily escalate into a regional war involving neighboring countries like Syria, Turkey and Iran.
How about that. Makes sense, doesn't it? As a matter of fact, when the BP well exploded then sank, the internet rumor on that day was that a North Korean sub had fired a missile at it. Oil rigs are soft targets...the pull of natural gas an incredible lure, and the analysis above immediately brings a new front into focus.

We know the end because God in His sovereignty showed us in His Word: there will be a series of wars in the Middle East started by Israel's ancient enemies that cause the final countdown to this epoch on earth. These enemies have never taken God seriously nor have they taken how seriously He takes attacks on Israel. Hearkening back to Job 41:8-10,
Lay your hand on him;
Remember the battle; you will not do it again!
"Behold, your expectation is false;
Will you be laid low even at the sight of him?
"No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him;
Will you be laid low even at the sight of him?
"No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him;
Who then is he that can stand before Me?
These enemies' expectations are false. They will dare lay a hand on Israel, and in doing so, they lay a hand on Leviathan. And before Leviathan, who can stand?

Scientists examine the skull of Leviathan, found in the high Peruvian desert.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Karachi beaches swamped with dying mulloscs. Every night.

File this one under: weird. Millions of seashells are being deposited nightly on beaches in Pakistan, and there are a myriad of reasons given. One report said that it was a late-reaction to the stirred waters of Cyclone Phet ... over a month ago ... and though no other cyclone has ever caused this kind of massive tidal deposit before. This report said that it started occurring before Cyclone Phet, and speculated that a toxic chemical has been dumped offshore. This report says that in addition to millions of live seashells washed ashore, a giant sea turtle now numbers among the decaying corpses. Another report states that the situation is getting dire, the shells on the beach are causing an extremely malodorous situation, and are causing injuries to beachgoers. In addition, the trucked-away shells and sand is heavy and an environmental concern

That the shells are washing up is a fact. That no one knows why is also fact. Could be nothing. Could just another one of those unexplained things that are happening in an increasingly strange world.


Residents have repeatedly complained about the smell. “We have tried to keep our doors and windows open,” said Fahad, a neighbourhood resident. “But the smell simply made our lives miserable.”


Sunday, July 18, 2010

After 2000 years, FRESH SHOWBREAD is being baked in Israel Today

Also, a major poll shows that more than half the public wants the temple rebuilt. Scroll down for that one

From the Temple Institute NEWS FLASH:
After 2000 years, FRESH SHOWBREAD is being baked in Israel Today
"And you shall take fine flour and bake it [into] twelve loaves. Each loaf shall be [made from] two tenths [of an ephah of flour]. And you place them in two stacks, six in each stack, upon the pure table, before the HaShem. And you shall place pure frankincense alongside each stack, and it shall be a reminder for the bread, a fire offering to the Lord. Each and every Sabbath day, he shall set it up before HaShem [to be there] continuously, from the children of Israel an eternal covenant. And it shall belong to Aharon and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, for it is holy of holies for him, among the fire offerings of the HaShem, an eternal statute." (Leviticus 24:5-9)

"Following intensive experimentation and in-depth research based on traditional Jewish texts, as well as other ancient sources, experts have succeeded in recreating the showbread that was placed by the priests on the golden showbread table inside the sanctuary of the Holy Temple, bringing Israel and the world one step closer to the renewal of the Divine service. For the first time since the Holy Temple was destroyed by the Romans 1,940 years ago, (in 70 CE), showbread, (lechem panim), has again been baked in the land of Israel. Following intensive experimentation and in-depth research based on traditional Jewish texts, as well as other ancient sources, experts have succeeded in recreating the showbread that was placed by the priests on the golden showbread table inside the sanctuary of the Holy Temple, bringing Israel and the world one step closer to the renewal of the Divine service."

Much more at link.

The Jews have not clamored for their temple, nor have kept the Laws of sacrifice since the day the temple was destroyed in Jerusalem in 70AD. Jesus said He would not return until the Jewish people acknowledge Him as Savior. That is an event that will occur just after the Abomination of Desolation. Though initially thrilled that the peace treaty the Antichrist makes strong (Dan 9:24-27) included allowing for a Temple and sacrifices, they realize their mistake in thinking him the Messiah when he stands in the Holy Place (temple) and desecrates it by declaring himself God. Then the persecutions begin, and they make the WWII Holocaust look like a picnic. It is in the wilderness, the rose red city of Petra, that the Jews flee to and finally, blessedly, realize that Jesus is the One and praise and accept Him as their Long-Promised Redeemer and Deliverer.

Just as the LORD is lifting His hand of protection in preparation for the closing of one phase of the Age of Man, (Church Age Dispensation) He is also lifting the hardening from the Jews and they are beginning to stir and hunger and thirst for the privilege of worship under the old laws. In the last few years, the Levite priests have been gathered, a school for training has been established, a practice sacrifice has been conducted, and altar built and consecrated, priestly robes and Temple implements made, and now the showbread baked. All they need is a Temple, though the Old Testament states that if they have their altar they can sacrifice anywhere. These heartbeats of the Old Law have been gathering steam over the last two years, and for the first time in centuries now More than half the public wants to see the Temple rebuilt!

"Half the Israeli public wants the Holy Temple to be rebuilt. This is the main finding of a poll commissioned by the Knesset Television Channel and carried out by the Panels Institute. The poll was taken in advance of this Tuesday’s national day of mourning, known as Tisha B’Av, on which the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, 2,000 and 2,500 years ago, respectively."

Lord is coming soon, it seems!

Dengue fever outbreak

Jesus said that in the end time there will be pestilences. (Luke 21:11). Now, just because a place here or there experiences the usual outbreak of seasonal whatever, it's not a cause for alarm nor a sign confirmed.  However, when we read of widespread outbreak, spikes in cases, or epidemics, we pay attention.

Dengue fever, a painful fever associated with the tropics, is running rampant in the Caribbean and also cases are up in the Keys of Florida:

1000 exposed to dengue in FL
Five percent of the population of Key West, Florida -- more than 1,000 people -- have been infected at some point with the dengue virus, government researchers reported on Tuesday.

Puerto Rico:
Dengue fever turns epidemic in Caribbean
Mosquito-borne dengue fever is reaching epidemic stages across the Caribbean, with dozens of deaths reported and health authorities concerned it could get much worse as the rainy season advances.

Dominican Republic:
Dengue cases double over last y
Thousands of health workers and soldiers will destroy mosquito breeding areas across the country this weekend, worried dengue cases are on track to nearly doubled from last year, officials said Friday. At least 27 deaths have been reported, and health officials say more than 5,000 people have been diagnosed so far in 2010 with the virus that causes fever, headaches and extreme joint and muscle pain.

Trinidad & Tobago:
Dengue upsurge, failing health care system blamed
The failure of local health care systems is mostly to blame for the annual rise of dengue cases, Dr Colin Furlong, Head of the Medical Practitioners Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MPATT), said yesterday. With the advent of the rainy season, the country has again begun to see a flood of possible dengue cases, with one confirmed death two weeks ago, that of a 14-year-old boy.

Puerto Rico: Dengue running above epidemic threshold
CDC weekly update shows dengue fever on the severe rise.

Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases which occur in the tropics, can be life-threatening, and are caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. It is also known as breakbone fever. (Wikipedia) "Dengue fever is caused by Dengue virus (DENV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus. A flu-like illness, Dengue fever is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no treatment for it and no way to prevent it from spreading. The Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health warned in a recent report, “dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness that has severe but rarely fatal symptoms, has shown up in Key West and could spread further up into Florida. About 5 percent of Key West residents or about 1,000 people were exposed to the dengue virus in 2009, and, so far this year, there have been 12 confirmed cases of dengue in the Key West area,” according to the report of CNN."

Dengue fever cases are also up in Columbia, which put out a state of alert. Officials in Zamboanga City, Philippines also put out an alarm due to the high number of cases of dengue fever. "The City Health Office raised Saturday the alarm status of dengue hemorrhagic fever in this city to "very high alert level" due to the soaring cases."

Another mosquito-borne disease is increasing, this time it's West Nile Virus, and it's hitting NYC: 
High levels of West Nile virus in NY
The Health Departments has detected high levels of the dangerous West Nile Virus in every borough except Manhattan.The number of mosquitoes testing positive for the virus is unusually high at this point in the season though there have been no human cases as of yet.

Today, July 18, 2010, the CDC put out an outbreak notice. On that page, if you click the link, are specifics as to where worldwide you'd be most at-risk, and tips for protecting yourself. Any spike in pestilences during this end time bears watching.

De-baptism all the rage, complete with hair dryer

U.S. Atheists Reportedly Using Hair Dryers to 'De-Baptize'
"American atheists lined up to be "de-baptized" in a ritual using a hair dryer, according to a report Friday on U.S. late-night news program "Nightline." Leading atheist Edwin Kagin blasted his fellow non-believers with the hair dryer to symbolically dry up the holy water sprinkled on their heads in days past. The styling tool was emblazoned with a label reading "Reason and Truth." Kagin believes parents are wrong to baptize their children before they are able to make their own choices, even slamming some religious education as "child abuse." He said the blast of hot air was a way for adults to undo what their parents had done."

Well, this is just so rife with opportunities to share the truth and also to clear up some misconceptions. First, I agree with Mr Kagin that parents are wrong to baptize their children when they are too young to decide for themselves. Infant baptism, sprinkling, is a corruption of the ordinance of baptism. Baptism is what a person does after they have come to believe in Jesus as the Sacrifice for their sins, and after they have repented of their sins and asked Jesus to forgive them. Believing on Jesus is a free choice for all, but no one who is an infant can consciously and purposefully make that choice.

Baptism is an outward expression of the changed life in a person, a change that begins immediately after believing. That's because the Holy Spirit is sent as a deposit of the guarantee of the eternal life to come, and the person is then sealed. From that moment on, no one can snatch them from God's hand, they are His forever.

Infant sprinkling is more of a dedication, an outward expression of the parents to demonstrate their intent to live Godly lives for their children and to raise them in the faith. It has no direct bearing on the child as far as salvation goes. You are only saved when you are born again, (John 3:3).

Further, before we all get our backs up, some religious education IS child abuse. No one can say that what happened in Jonestown Guyana, the feeding of cyanide to children in a mass suicide, wasn't child abuse. There are other cults that also force children into emotional, sexual, or psychological servitude. Islam comes to mind here, here, here, and so on. That last link was a report on Muslim child suicide bombers. Adults inculcate their children into hate, strap an explosive flak jacket on a 9-year-old, and blow him up, and American atheists are worried about some water sprinkled on them 20 years ago? I would hope that mature Americans would have a greater perspective on the world's real problems.

Left, de-baptism ceremony in 2008.

This report from July 18, 2010 asks, "What if you were baptized when you were an infant and decided to leave the faith later? According to the laws of many Christian religions, your baptism can never be reversed. That doesn’t sit well with many who have left Christianity." Here's a newsflash: most people who are baptised were never saved to begin with, including every baby that was ever baptised. If you aren't saved, you can't get UN-saved. Why? There is no such thing as an ex-Christian.

This gentleman who runs a blog called "Goosing The Antithesis", attended a "Freethought Convention: in 2008, and got de-baptised there. He wrote:
"I predict that my "de-baptism" (walking under a hair-dryer) will have precisely the same effect as my actual baptism."

I predict he is absolutely right. See, the problem is what he wrote here, "I have debated the issue of god-belief for a long time but honestly it was mostly an intellectual exercise for me. ... The best proof of that is that no one really believes in God. How could you? It's impossible to even conceptualize the idea of God, and you can't believe in what you can't conceptualize." He's right. But you don't come to faith by understanding God, he is beyond understanding. The mistake many make is denying God because they can't understand Him.

But do we believe in aerodynamics even though we don't understand it? That the lumbering, heavier than air jet, will lift off prior to the end of the runway? Yes. Gravity? Yes. Space-time, fourth dimensions? Yes. We can't conceptualize hyperdimensions but we still believe in them. Therefore this attitude of 'God is unknowable therefore he doesn't exist" is backward and tragic.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) And besides, His attributes do exist and can be conceptualized, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Rom 1:20)

You cannot intellectualize God. But you can conceptualize sin. Sin is what keeps us from heaven and is exactly the thing that we need to recognize before coming to a saving relationship with Jesus and subsequent baptism. Sin is something that we see, hear, feel, smell, and touch. It is present, evident, and real. It not only can be conceptualized, it is personal and is the biggest problem in a person's life. Until and unless a person recognizes his own sin as a rebellion against a Holy God, no amount of water will save them, and no amount of hair drying will either.

Do these people actually think that a hair dryer would reverse the promises of eternal life made by God upon submission to Him in baptism? Really? They must be out of their free thinking minds if they think one iota of an act they perform could or would neutralize anything God has done. But that's exactly why they go for de-baptism, because to them, baptism is an act of man, it's man telling God what to do with their gift to Him of being baptized. Instead, to a saved Christian, it is a sacred ordinance and a demonstration of obedient submission to a sovereign and powerful God. But to atheists, baptism centers around themselves, therefore de-baptism centers around themselves. Therefore both acts are null.

The tragedy is that their actions will have a devastating effect on their lives, and I am talking about their lives for all eternity. Life doesn't end at death. Rejecting God in this outward fashion only pushes these misguided and deceived people further into the lying arms of satan. Satan loves to get people to believe that God does not exist. He loves to tell people that baptism is not anything important. He loves to let people think that when you die, your life ends. It doesn't. God is real, and He loves each and every person on the earth and every person whoever lived. If you are not with God, you are against him, meaning, with satan. There is no middle ground. Every person going under the hair dryer is actually deluded by the greatest liar that ever lived. Fortunately, since the hair dryer is only a hair dryer, there is always a chance for every person to come out from under the lying influence of satan and walk in the Light with Jesus. As long as you draw breath there is a chance for you to be saved. Stop conceptualizing, and start believing! And if or when they get saved and become born again, the baptism pool will be filled for them, and joy at their submission to Jesus will be sung from one end of heaven to another.