Thursday, September 30, 2010

Has Israel already attacked Iran?

A nuclear Iran is unthinkable. Yet, we have been thinking it ever since it became obvious that Iran was nearing the tipping point. Their technological capability to enrich uranium, to enrich it again at double speed, to buy and trade uranium from Russia, and their promises to wipe Israel from the map made this nightmare scenario all too real. Nukes in the hands of a crazy puppet (or IS he???) who is directed by crazier Ayatollahs with no hesitation to obliterate Israel means only one thing:

Israel (and the US) must strike Iran before they have the nuke. At least, that is what all the military pundits have been saying, and loudly. In May, Maj. General Paul Vallely was certain that a Mid-East regional war would come this summer. The CIA thought Israel would strike Iran in August, and sent a memo to Obama saying so.

Biblical eschatologists know that the Gog-Magog battle is THE battle that ends the Church Age. It is THE war that brings Israel back into covenant with God. It is THE war that spawns the Covenant that the antichrist makes strong. No matter what happens prior, the very last moment the Church can be on earth is by the end of that battle against Israel by Iran-Russia, Turkey etc.

Therefore, we have all been waiting for the axe to fall. We've been looking for Israel to do something, since it seems obvious she is on her own with not even the US on her side. Iran is weeks away from a nuke! When will the bombs fly? When will we see bug-eyed reporters in the hot zone reporting on the latest exchanges between Israel and her enemies? Well, while we were all looking up, we should have been looking at our computers. There's a worm, and it may have been sent to Iran in just as deadly a package as a missile.

The Stuxnet 99 worm.

Iran Announces Bushehr Power Plant Delays Amid Stuxnet Speculation
"The announcement is raising eyebrows because of news last week that a mysterious and powerful computer worm -- called Stuxnet -- had infected computers at the atomic plant. Experts say Stuxnet is so sophisticated that only a team of developers supported by a nation state or a very wealthy private group could have created it. That diagnosis has in turn led to speculation that the worm was created specifically to attack Iran's nuclear program."

Hmmm, a powerful and sophisticated computer worm is affecting industrial plants, wreaking havoc and causing scientists and geeks from around the world to run about with clipboards. I am sure that War Rooms are being set up, too. This computer worm is so sophisticated it can override internal security measures and destroy from within. Imagine a computer worm that can override a nuke plant's cooling system. Or a train computer's switches and tracking overridden. A sewer plant shutting off the cleanup and gushing sewage into fresh water systems instead. Bridge tenders unable to open, or close bridges over waterways. Oil pipelines opened to spew oil in pristine areas, waterways, or cities. The dastardly possibilities are endless.

When Iran first made the announcement that their Bushehr nuclear plant, ready to go online in weeks, was experiencing delays, eyebrows went up. When it came out that the delay was because of a computer virus, then eyebrows really went up. It then came out that though other countries are affected, namely Indonesia and India, Iran was suffering the most infections, with 60% of computers in that nation defeated because of stuxnet malware.

Of course, Iran denied it. Then acknowledged it. But then said it wasn't so bad.

Iran Acknowledges Stuxnet Worm Infection
"Iran began loading fuel rods into the Bushehr plant in August. At that time, Ali Shirzadian, a spokesman for the country's atomic agency, said that Bushehr would be connected to the national grid in October or November. Soon after, though, Salehi announced that the fuel rods would be delayed until September, and then September became October. Salehi blamed the delay on the hot weather, saying the rods had to be loaded at night, according to Agence France-Presse. Analysis by security firm Symantec found that that 60 percent of Stuxnet's attacks occurred in Iran. Last week, Iranian officials confirmed reports that Stuxnet had infected 30,000 computers in the country, including personal computers used by staff at Bushehr, but they said the damage had not been significant. Today Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast shrugged off speculation that Bushehr was badly affected, Sky News reports.
"The first computer virus designed to damage targets in the real world has not hit Iran's nuclear power plant, the country's Government has claimed. The Stuxnet worm is the first known malicious software of its kind unleashed by computer hackers and has opened the door to a new era of cyber-warfare.  Experts say it is designed to destroy or sabotage factories, power plants, refineries or other industrial installations.  But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denied widespread suggestions the nation's Bushehe nuclear station had been badly affected."

Meanwhile, the world is awakening to the very real likelihood that the initial salvos of a de-stabilizing Middle East war may have occurred, quietly, with a whimper.

David Warren at the Ottawa Citizen wrote,
"It would appear that a significant thing has happened -- an act of war with extraordinary consequences -- without anyone getting visibly upset. Perhaps I am understating: but the cyber worm attack on the Iranian nuclear facility at Bushehr may well have put it out of commission as effectively as any cruise missile strike by the Israeli or U.S. air force."

Finger pointing at Israel began almost immediately.

Speculation on Israeli involvement in malware computer attack
"The theory among experts is that this "took the resources of a nation-state to create a piece of malware so sophisticated," Richard Falkenrath of Chertoff Group told Bloomberg this week. It is theoretically possible that the U.S. did this, he said, noting that this was a remote possibility. A more likely creator, he said, was Israel."

And this one:  Stuxnet code hints at possible Israeli origin

And today it seems that perhaps the worm has been traced to Israel

Stuxnet analysis supports Israel-Iran connection
"Speculation about the Stuxnet work has grown rampant in in the last week, as everyone from computer security experts to political scientists to divinity experts have weighed in on details of the worm, which was first identified in July. The story burst into the popular media after security and industrial control experts - looking at the capabilities and infection statistics from the Stuxnet worm -- suggested that it may have been a  targeted attack aimed at Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities, and each day has brought new revelations about the impact of the worm and its possible origins. ... Though most of the conversation about Stuxnet is still based on conjecture, O'Murchu said that Symantec's analysis of Stuxnet's code for manipulating PLCs on industrial control systems by Siemsen backs up both the speculation that Iran was the intended target and that Israel was the possible source of the virus."

It is very difficult to know with any surety which nation may have wrought havoc of this kind on another nation. But is Iran crazy enough not to need 100% proof? Could Iran retaliate conventionally? Ynet News out of Israel asks this most pertinent question:

Could Iran retaliate for apparent cyber attack?
Security experts believe Tehran will be reeling from effects of Stuxnet computer worm for a while, but warn it may try to strike back and 'set in motion a deadly game that catalyses a nuclear program'

"Iran has limited capacity to retaliate in kind to an apparent cyber attack that infected computers at its sole nuclear power plant, analysts say, but some worry it could seek to hit back by other means. Security experts say they believe the release of the Stuxnet computer worm may have been a state-backed attack on Iran's nuclear program, most likely originating in the United States or Israel. But they say the truth may never be known. Tehran officials say Stuxnet computer virus infected 30,000 computers in Islamic Republic. Computer experts estimate worm originates from US, Israel, UK France or Germany. Little information is available on how much damage, if any, Iran's nuclear and wider infrastructure has suffered from Stuxnet -- and Tehran will probably never share the full details. Officials said on Sunday the worm had hit staff computers at the Bushehr nuclear power plant but had not affected major systems there. Some analysts believe Iran may be suffering wider sabotage aimed at slowing down its nuclear ambitions, and point to unexplained technical problems that have cut the number of working centrifuges in its uranium enrichment program."

The times are uncertain, but God holds it all together by His Word and His Will. However, He made promises for certain things to be done by and to Israel which will affect the unbelieving world:

"Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place." (Dan 9:24) Those seventy weeks were paused at the Ascension of Christ, which suspended the Age of Law and brought in the Age of Grace. At some point, the Age of Grace will be fulfilled when the number of Gentiles is brought in (Romans 11:25) and the Age of Law will resume to its promised conclusion. NOW is the time to accept Jesus' offer of free salvation. That promise expires at the Rapture when the Age of the Law resumes and you are then responsible to maintain your own faith without indwelling aid of the Holy Spirit, in a Time of Jacob's Trouble that is so bad no flesh would remain alive on earth unless Jesus cut it short. And worse, you will be at risk of the believing the lie, that antichrist is savior and not Jesus, risking eternity in hell forever. I'd take His offer now, if you have not already. Jesus paid your sin-price. He redeemed you from the pit of hell to an eternity of glory and joy, all you need do is ask forgiveness of your sins and make Him your Savior. He is ready for you! Are you ready for HIM? The time draws near, please consider your eternal destiny now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scientitic American delves into our fascination with "the end"

Scientific American devoted their entire magazine this month to our fascination with 'the end.' According to the scientists, we focus on the end because of our pattern seeking brains, and also to feel special. In the September issue, the editors and writers take a hard look at all kinds of finales, including doomsday scenarios. The magazine presents 18 stories all devoted to the end, finality, sustainability, catastrophe, and doomsday. They opened with an editor's note, below:

Eternal Fascinations with the End: Why We're Suckers for Stories of Our Own Demise
"Welcome to "The End," at least as we know it. The features here, from the September 2010 issue, cover a range of topics, such as the decomposition of human flesh, the disappearance of cultures, the Earth's remaining natural resources, and apocalypse scenarios. Once again, the world is about to end. The latest source of doomsday dread comes courtesy of the ancient Mayans, whose calendar runs out in 2012, as interpreted by a cadre of opportunistic authors and blockbuster movie directors. Not long before, three separate lawsuits charged that the Large Hadron Collider would seed a metastasizing black hole under Lake Geneva. Before that, captains of industry shelled out billions preparing for the appearance of two zeros in the date field of computer programs too numerous to count; left alone, this tick of the clock would surely have shaken modern civilization to its foundations."

We have always been fascinated with life endings, planet endings, universe endings... Those who are not saved always wonder what comes after death, since they do not know. I used to wonder this question often myself, musing on the eternal question, 'is this all there is? Or is there something else?'

In 1970 we 'celebrated' our first Earth Day. Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Not the God who made the earth, but the environment, the result of His works. That early focus on environmental appreciation turned to hysteria, and doomsday movies centered around population explosion and earth sustainability came along, notably Soylent Green. This award-winning and popular movie depicted the investigation into the brutal murder of a wealthy businessman in a dystopian future suffering from pollution, overpopulation, depleted resources, poverty, dying oceans and a hot climate due to the greenhouse effect. Much of the population survives on processed food rations, including "soylent green." Tune out now if you do not want to know the ending of this movie. OK, here comes the spoiler. The processed food named 'soylent green' is people, it is made from human flesh. The film ends with the main character Charlton Heston screaming, "Soylent Green is people!" It became a catchphrase throughout the 70's.

In this article from the Scientific American issue devoted to "The End", "Laying Odds on the Apocalypse: Experts Assess Doomsday" the writers ask "Could modern civilization really come to an end? Experts take stock of eight doomsday scenarios."

Yes, civilization really will come to an end. The unsaved with their fascination with the end, yet at the same time denying they have a fascination with it, say "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:3) I think it is an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand our culture constantly depicts 'the end' in movies, TV shows, and films, and the public gobbles them up. On the other hand, mockers and scoffers mock and scoff at the notion that the world really will end, sneering that the world always has gone on and it always will. Methinks they doth protest too much.

As for eschatological Christians, that is, Christians in the branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind, are fascinated with the end for a reason: it IS the end. And we will see Jesus, the author of the beginning and the end because He is the Alpha and the Omega. We are a unique generation. We are the ones that will not see death, but be transformed alive to our promised glorified bodies, and dwell with our Savior forever. Who wouldn't be fascinated by THAT?!

Scientific American can look no further than the bible to discover what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen, even at the end. Here is a summation of all the prophetic verses in the bible: The ungodly will rebel, they will refuse Jesus' nail scarred hand of salvation, and they will meet their end. The end will come, not by overpopulation or asteroid or global warming. The end will come, and it won't be as stimulating as comfortable intellectual discussions from ivory tower editors and scientists publishing theories in magazines. The end will come, and it won't be as sexy as when they watched it in the movie theatres with fancy graphics and computer generated people. All one needs to do is look at the bible, and believe what it says. The end is there:

"looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!" (2 Peter 3:12)

"The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is thoroughly shaken." (Isaiah 24:19)

"The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope (Micah 1:4)

"By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3:7)

It is the end for the ungodly, but that is not the end! It is not the end for the Godly! Believers in Jesus will see the earth renewed! We will live!

Rev 21:1-6 - "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." He said to me: "It is done."

So. It is the end and it is the beginning. It is an Alpha and an Omega. I hope to see you there!!!

Update to "wealth skew" blog entry published on Sunday

Here is a blurb updating my recent post on Wealth Skew, the gap between rich and poor that is present now and will continue to its widest and worst in the Tribulation. A news article this morning confirms "Census finds record gap between rich and poor:" I posted the entry on Sunday and the news is from today, Tuesday. The original post is here and also contains the update. Please read the original post for the context & the bible verses...:) Also, the Census article is very interesting.

UPDATE
I found this news article this morning:

Census finds record gap between rich and poor:
The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession. The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

Monday, September 27, 2010

US Air Force officers claim UFO's visited, and messed with our nukes

The other day I posted a blog entry about how the Pope's Astronomer, Guy Consolmagno, said that he most certainly would baptize aliens, if he came across one, "no matter how many tentacles they have." It was the Astronomer's contention that aliens would certainly have a soul.

I made the biblical case that any off-planet life (with the exception of angels, does not exist. Read here for the bible verses that collectively show that ET's do not exist (except for angels, both the good ones and the bad ones.)

In another recent entry, I'd posted about a second incident at a Chinese airport that was closed because radar and eyewitnesses showed that an Unidentified Flying Object was causing a disturbance and fears that it would crash into oncoming planes forced the shutdown. I'd ended that entry with, "And since satan will have power to cause lying wonders, it would be no small matter for the fallen angels (demons) to make a craft appear in the sky and startle the locals. Someday they may land and say "take me to your leader."  If we are still on earth when that happens who would you tell them your leader is?" Remember this for an explanation in a moment....

And now on Sunday we read:

UN to appoint Earth contact for aliens
THE United Nations was set today to appoint an obscure Malaysian astrophysicist to act as Earth’s first contact for any aliens that may come visiting. Mazlan Othman, the head of the UN's little-known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), is to describe her potential new role next week at a scientific conference at the Royal Society’s Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire. She is scheduled to tell delegates that the recent discovery of hundreds of planets around other stars has made the detection of extraterrestrial life more likely than ever before - and that means the UN must be ready to coordinate humanity’s response to any “first contact”. During a talk Othman gave recently to fellow scientists, she said: “The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. Professor Richard Crowther, an expert in space law and governance at the UK Space Agency and who leads British delegations to the UN on such matters, said: “Othman is absolutely the nearest thing we have to a ‘take me to your leader’ person.”

My, isn't the UN efficient. Or maybe prescient? Today, Monday, we read that a group of ex-US Air Force  officers are meeting to urge the US Government to come clean about...UFO's. Their assertion is that they know we have been visited by aliens and the aliens even caused a temporary malfunction in our nuclear facilities. Here's the story from Military Times:

Former Air Force officers discuss UFO sightings
"WASHINGTON - Armed with declassified documents and vivid details, a group of former Air Force officers gathered Monday to go public with an assertion they have kept mostly under wraps for decades: that UFOs visited the bases they were stationed at and caused nuclear weapon system to temporarily malfunction. The group, convened by UFO researcher Robert Hastings, came to the National Press Club in Washington to discuss their individual experiences and to urge a government that tried to ignore and silence them when they came forward years ago to finally come clean. Hastings said he believes that visitors from outer space are fixating on nuclear weapons because they want to send a message: Disarm before the world destroys itself."

Where do you think this sudden interest in aliens and UFO's is coming from? Why do you think there is a serious spate of visible UFO's seen by authoritative people? Why do you think the UFO/alien issue is no longer relegated to the realm of the crackpot?

It is my theory that satan will attempt to use the UFO issue to explain where all the people went in the rapture. Alternately, he may try to prepare a fallen world for belief in the antichrist when he comes with "all power and lying signs and wonders." (2 Thess 2:9) In any case, it's plausible to assume that satan and his masquerading servants of righteousness (2 Cor 11:14-15) will present themselves after the rapture as higher-level beings ready and more than willing to intervene on our behalf, since we messed things up so badly thus far. What I do know is, the UFO phenomenon has been gaining mainstream attention since 2007 as the sightings have become more prevalent, more bold, and harder to ignore.

What will definitely be hard to ignore is the disappearance of millions of Christians. This event is known as the rapture and it is specifically described in the bible in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 -

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."

I am comforted, being a believer. This means I believe I am a sinner. I believe my sin keeps me from being able to enter heaven, where a Holy God resides. I believe the remedy for my sins is Jesus, who lived a sinless life and died on the cross as a substitute for me in taking the penalty for my sins. I believe He rose again on the third day and lives now as Savior and King, and I submit to His will for my life. I am a believer, and I and all believers who believe these things will be caught up when Jesus sounds His Trumpet. You can be with us, to go to the place Jesus has been preparing or His own to receive us in glory.

If you believe those things too, then pray them to Jesus out loud: because the bible says "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

If you do not then you will remain behind when we all go. And you will face the worst time that ever was, Jesus said, and this means even worse than the Flood. You will risk losing your soul forever to hellish outer darkness where you will weep and gnash your teeth in remembrance of the time you had to seek Him but squandered it. The time grows short

Sunday, September 26, 2010

UPDATED: Wealth skew is here: rich getting richer, poor getting poorer

Update at bottom.

As Russia re-awakens her old glory, America's old glory is fading. Many people ask if America is in the bible concerning the last days. I do not think she will be. We are certainly on the decline. Here is one devastating headline:

Iran Press: Americans lost 1.5 trillion in household wealth this quarter...
American households have lost 2.3 percent or $1.5 trillion of their net worth from April to June last quarter, according to the Federal Reserve. (!!!)

Another devastating headline:

Yahoo News/Census: 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty
The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty

CNBC/Cramer: Two US Banks fail, total for year now 127
State regulators closed two banks Friday, bringing the total number of U.S. bank failures for 2010 to 127.State regulators shuttered Haven Trust Bank of Florida ... State regulators closed North County Bank of Arlington, Wash.

Last week we read that "Federal regulators have seized six banks in the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast, bringing the number of failed U.S. banks this year to 125, officials said. Three of the seizures were in Georgia, which has had 45 bank failures since 2007, the most of any state since the recession began in December 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported. Fourteen Georgia banks have failed so far this year.  The failed Georgia banks are the Bank of Ellijay, First Commerce Community Bank, and Peoples Bank. Community & Southern Bank of Carrollton, Ga., assumed deposits at the three failed banks."

The US economy is failing, and Western nations in Europe are failing, but not everybody is failing. Many nations are experiencing growth.

India Business Standard: 'We have covered significant ground'
The Indian economy itself has been undergoing a remarkable transformation since the reforms of 1991, which deregulated the economy, internally, while liberalising trade and investment policies. Over the past decade, India has been one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world and, in recent years, has reached a growth trajectory of 8-9 per cent a year.

China Daily: Robust Chinese Economy Seen Chugging Forward
The economy will be on a good footing if it achieves a growth rate of 10 percent this year and the inflation rate is around 3 percent, the nation's top statistician said on Wednesday.

Bloomberg News: Brazil is fastest growing South American economy
Brazil’s economy added a record number of government-registered jobs in the first eight months of the year on a surge in investment, signaling Latin America’s biggest economy is growing rapidly. Yields jumped.

Wall Street Journal: Sweden's Reinfelt boosted by economy as vote approaches
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfelt heads into Sunday's general election on the crest of the sharpest economic recovery among Europe's major countries.

Poverty will exist in the Tribulation, but most things will be more or less the same as they are now, except more extreme. Jesus said in Luke 17:27 that "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all." There's money if people are marrying and living and building and eating and drinking.

The notion that everyone will be poor is a misnomer. I wrote more about it here:  "A Great Gulf Fixed: Goodbye Middle Class! Instead, what will happen is that there will be great wealth skew, the very rich and the very poor will exist side by side. The poor will cry, the rich will buy. It is a picture painted by the following verses:

Rev 6:6, the poor cannot afford bread but the rich still buy luxuries- "And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine."

James 5:1-5, the poor cry for their pay that the rich withheld at their expense: "Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.  You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter."

Revelation 18:11-13 depicts merchants mourning the loss of Babylon, the rich had bought her luxuries in a still-robust trade even at the end of the Tribulation:

"...cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives." And we can imagine the extreme poverty of the slaves and human lives who existed at the whim and pleasure of the very rich.

The difference is that people will not care that the poor are hungry and starving outside their doors. The rich simply whoop it up.

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

So the widening disparity of of certain nations' economies should not surprise us, it will be so in the Tribulation, more correctly named, The Time of Jacob's Trouble.

This article from California shocked and saddened me. The town in which the leaders raked in the money is one of the poorest in LA County.

Small town officials arrested over fraud in California
Eight officials from an impoverished Californian town were arrested Tuesday on charges of paying themselves vast salaries at the expense of local taxpayers, prosecutors said.  The eight, including former municipal manager of the town of Bell just south of Los Angeles, stand accused of using roughly 5.5 million dollars of public money to benefit themselves, through illicit loans.  "This was calculated greed and theft accomplished by greed and secrecy," said District Attorney Steve Cooley, after the officials were arrested mostly without incident. But while local people went hungry, town manager Robert Rizzo paid himself 787,000 dollars last year -- nearly twice as much as US President Barack Obama -- even though his town only has 38,000 residents, prosecutors allege.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has become inordinately richer while in her position this year, more than any other Congressman. She is 8 million dollars richer...

Rich Dems getting richer
According to The Hill’s analysis of financial disclosure forms filed last summer, the Speaker’s net worth rose more in 2009 than any other lawmaker’s, from $13.7 million in 2008 to $21.7 million in 2009.

Child Hunger, as seen at Wal-Mart
Bill Simon, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations: "And you need not go further than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it's real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m., customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items, baby formula, milk, bread, eggs, and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight, when ... government electronic benefits cards get activated and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher. And if you really think about it, the only reason somebody gets out in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it, and they've been waiting for it. Otherwise, we are open 24 hours — come at 5 a.m., come at 7 a.m., come at 10 a.m. But if you are there at midnight, you are there for a reason".

"What Wal-Mart calls the "paycheck cycle" has recently been "extreme," Simon said, with lots of shoppers at the beginning of the month and fewer at the end. Wal-Mart is also seeing an "ever-increasing amount of transactions being paid for with government assistance," he said..."

Children are going hungry, desperate parents roam Wal-Mart aisles at midnight, waiting for checks to clear so they can buy baby formula, and Nancy Pelosi somehow earned 8 million MORE this year than last. Earning money is not a problem. And even Jesus said the poor will always be with us. (Mt 26:11). It is the attitude about getting money and what you do with it that is the end time characteristic. The officials in Bell, CA stole from the public. The government in DC today is stealing from the public, at the very least by printing money with nothing to back it up, while spending more and more wantonly - causing a massive debt load on every person.

These economic times are not simply tough times that will turn around. It will not get better. It will only get worse...unless you are saved by grace of Jesus and will disappear in the blink of an eye, in the rapture! If you want to know more, or how to have a relationship with Jesus, please click here

------------------------
UPDATE

I found this news article this morning:

Census finds record gap between rich and poor:
The income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record as young adults and children in particular struggled to stay afloat in the recession.  The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What has Barack Obama done to America?

Artist John McNaughton paints "The Forgotten Man"

River Iska in Slovenia disappears overnight

Iska River in Slovenia Vanished Overnight

The Iska River in Slovenia vanished overnight. Residents reported hearing loud crashing and drumming sounds during the night and woke up to find the river was gone. Fish were found flopping on the dry river bed. The river may have moved underground after a crack opened in the riverbed. However, no earthquake was reported. There is a short CBS video about the vanishing river. Take a look here



Brilliant fireball over New Mexico caught on video

"A brilliant fireball lit up the night sky above parts of New Mexico and Texas this week in a fiery display recorded by a skywatching camera. The fireball, thought to be created by a small space rock, occurred Tuesday night (Sept. 21) at about 11:01 p.m. EDT (0301 GMT) and was captured in a video camera as the meteor carved its fiery trail across the sky. It lasted 23 seconds and covered parts of New Mexico and west Texas, according to the website Spaceweather.com. [Video of the Sept. 21 fireball below.] "I was inside at the time, but heard and felt the sonic boom," said radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft, who operates the all-sky camera 20 miles (32 km) outside of Santa Fe, NM that recorded the fireball as it flew overhead. At first, Ashcraft thought the sound was thunder, but no storms were expected. Then a phone call inquiry led him to check his camera's data, where he saw "a spectacular meteor occurrence."

This verse from Luke is a promise of something to occur in the Tribulation, but we can see activity in the sun, moon, and stars rising as we near the Day. Or, alternatively, fireballs such as these could be satan and one of his lying wonders.

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea..." Luke 21:25.
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, (2 Thess 2:9)


Here is Mr Ashcrafts's video. The fireball begins at about 8:00 position 9 seconds into the 30 second clip.

Nothing to see here, only a Muslim teen experimenting with bombs, please disperse

Teenager responsible for bomb near Islamic Center
PORTLAND, ME (NEWS CENTER) -- "Police say there were no injuries or damage caused by a chemical bomb that went off in a parking lot near the Islamic Society of Portland. The bomb went off in the lot between the Islamic Society and Back Bay Grill around 8:00 PM Tuesday night. Portland Police say Islamic elders came forward to tell them that a 13 year old from the Society was experimenting and was responsible for the bomb. Another bomb was also found undetinated [sic]. Police say it's unclear if charges will be filed against the teenagers."

Does it allay your fears any after reading headlines like these...

'Qaida gearing up for small-scale attacks in US'
Al-Qaeda likely to attempt 'less sophisticated terrorist attacks'
Terror Threat 'Most Significant Since 9/11'
US can absorb another 9/11 said Obama
France on alert for terror attacks

...to read that the Islamic elders said that the teens were experimenting with bombs at their Islamic Center? It doesn't make me feel any better. Oh, and that second bomb? It was found under a car at a nearby popular restaurant. Weasel Zippers did the digging and found a fascinating picture by putting together the puzzle pieces:

Maine: Muslim Prayer Room or Jihadi in Training Boom-boom room?
You make the call:
(WCHS6.com)–Police say there were no injuries or damage caused by a chemical bomb that went off in a parking lot near the Islamic Society of Portland. The bomb went off in the lot between the Islamic Society and Back Bay Grill around 8:00 PM Tuesday night. Portland Police say Islamic elders came forward to tell them that a 13 year old from the Society was experimenting and was responsible for the bomb. Another bomb was also found undetinated. [sic] Police say it’s unclear if charges will be filed against the teenagers.
"Hel-lo!  Unclear if charges will be filed????  Excuse me.  A similar case in Maine resulted in charges against Infidel teenagers all right!  (h/t FReeper wtd)"
(WMTW.com) — Windham police say a total of 13 chemical bombs went off in town Tuesday that resulted in two juveniles and an adult being charged with six counts each of criminal use of explosives, a Class C felony. No one was injured in the afternoon incidents.
Travis Carignan, 18, of Westbrook, was charged with criminal use of explosives. The juveniles were 16-year-old males who attended Windham schools, said Sgt. Peter Fulton of the Windham Police Department. The teens combined toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in Poland Spring water bottles for the explosives. A couple mailboxes were damaged by the bombs that went off throughout town.
"Oh, and about that second “undetinated [sic] bomb”? It wasn’t in a freaking mailbox – it was under a car at a nearby restaurant."
(WGME13.com) — The Portland Police Department is investigating a small explosion in the Bayside neighborhood. Officers responded to Portland Street around 8:00 o’clock on Tuesday night after a homemade chemical bomb went off near the Islamic Society of Portland and the Back Bay Grill. Police then found a second device underneath a vehicle that was parked nearby, but they were able to disable it before it exploded. Police say the homemade bombs were chemicals in a plastic bottle. No one was injured. Police say their investigation continues.
FYI –  The president of the Islamic Society of Portland is a SCIENCE TEACHER at a local high school.
“One of the rationales for (fasting) is, you feel the hunger and think, ‘What about those people who have nothing to eat?’” said Abdullahi Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Portland.
Ahmed, a science teacher at Deering High School who lives in Westbrook, came dressed in a business suit and a paisley tie. He is working on his doctorate at the University of Maine. He and his wife, a nurse, have four children. He said that as an American Muslim, he has a sense of belonging that eclipses the hostility of Terry Jones, the pastor in Florida who threatened to burn copies of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
We are in a war. We forget, but we are under constant attack. We know that since the beginning, we have been attacked on any and all fronts by Satan. Worse, our enemy, satan, has over a 6000 year head start on us here in the end of the end times. Paul spoke of our warfare in 2 Cor 10:3-4; "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses,"

It is a good warfare, "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:" (1 Timothy 1:18-19)

It is constant warfare: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (1 Peter 5:8)

Jesus in us is greater than anything. We do not fight with bombs nor with planes or with sword. We fight with prayer, appealing to Him Who is above all things to intercede. We fight with knowledge of His word. We fight with faith. It IS a time when satan will be doing his utmost to interrupt or break any Christian's faith and to prevent any faithless person from becoming a believer. It is a dangerous time, in the physical and in the supernatural. The principalities and powers are gathering for their final fight (Ephesians 6:12) because satan knows his time is short (Rev 12:12).

So be sober, be vigilant! DHS Chief Janet Napolitano said,  "Unlike large-scale, coordinated, catastrophic attacks, executing smallerscale attacks requires less planning and fewer pre-operational steps..." but also "there are fewer opportunities to detect such an attack before it occurs,"

In the coming days any one of us may suffer a spiritual attack. I see them rising in my own circle of friends. Little to big things; physical infirmities to character attacks to arguments and division at otherwise healthy churches. And according to those leaders in-the-know, attacks in the natural are also increasing and will increase. We may be caught in one of these "less sophisticated" attacks, riding a bus in Cleveland, or driving  over a bridge in Poughkeepsie, and become a victim or know someone who is a victim of such an attack. Because they are 'less-sophisticated' or smaller doesn't make them any less tragic to go through. But it is an opportunity to stand on Jesus' strength. It is an opportunity to pray in advance. It is an opportunity to follow Peter's command to be sober and vigilant. And following a biblical command is always good, no matter the circumstance surrounding  the need for it.

Mystery force in space perplexes NASA, pushes Pioneer 10 backward

Unknown force pushing Pioneer spacecraft backward
"A force in space is hindering the journey of a NASA spacecraft. Scientists have been baffled by a mysterious phenomenon that has prevented the craft from moving further into outer space. Described as a force that defies all laws of nature, they have said gravity laws may eventually need to be changed. Defying all previously-known theories about the universe, the strange force that gently pushes spacecraft away from outer space was discovered last year when the spacecraft Pioneer 10 was stopped in its path by the unknown phenomenon. Researchers for NASA have said the force could be a totally new phenomenon that does not fall under familiar titles such as gravity or electromagnetic power. A tangible scientific explanation has not been put forward for the fact that the Pioneer 10 left the solar system to start its voyage in a space where there is no solar radiation or planets to attract it toward their orbits. Pioneer 10, which travels more than one million kilometres per day, started slowing down in an area where it is not supposed to meet any obstacles. Pioneer 10 is the first spacecraft to have taken close photos of Jupiter, which it passed in 1973. In 1978, it traveled towards Pluto and reached it in 1983. It then left for a region called the Asteroid Belt, which is occupied by several irregular-shaped minor planets."

Is it so hard for the secular world to understand that they do not understand all things? Is it so hard to understand that God IS the fundamental force in the Universe? Is it so hard to understand that miracles do happen?

"One of the foremost challenges facing 21st century physics is to reconcile the theory of relativity, which explains large scale gravity, to quantum mechanics, the world of fundamental particles. Scientists agree that four fundamental forces govern nature — namely, gravity, electromagnetic force, strong and weak forces. Quantum mechanics asserts that there is a particle associated with each of these forces... Science demands that the theory of gravity respects the laws of quantum world. Matter at the fundamental level obeys the laws of quantum mechanics where the effect of gravity is small, and gravity follows the theory of relativity where the quantum effects are insignificant."

And yet, there is a new force exerting pressure on an assembled configuration of particles (Pioneer 10) that defy man's understanding of what we think we know. "...in a perplexing reversal of physics that could change the way we think about the universe, ... if the research in The Physical Review holds true, scientists could be looking at a new force that could re-write the laws of gravity."

God is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and of course He is the author and finisher of Science, having invented it. Genesis 1 tells us that He created Creation and all that is in it and 1 Col says, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (1 Col 15-17)

Dr Jonathan Sarfati at Creation Ministries wrote about science and miracles here:
"These [founders of modern science], like modern creationists, regarded ‘natural laws’ as descriptions of the way God upholds His creation in a regular and repeatable way (Col. 1:15–17), while miracles are God’s way of upholding His creation in a special way for special reasons. Because creation finished at the end of day 6 (Gen. 2:1–3), creationists following the Bible would expect that God has since mostly worked through ‘natural laws’ except where He has revealed in the Bible that He used a miracle. And since ‘natural laws’ are descriptive, they cannot prescribe what cannot happen, so they cannot rule out miracles. Scientific laws do not cause or forbid anything any more than the outline of a map causes the shape of the coastline."

Here are two examples of where God reveals in the bible where He used a miracle to seemingly defy science-

"Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairway, which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz, to go back ten steps." So the sun's shadow went back ten steps on the stairway on which it had gone down." (Isaiah 38:8)

"So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day." (Joshua 10:13)

The conclusion of the article discussing the Pioneer 10 mysterious force anomaly asks:  "It’s anyone’s guess what such a force could be. Could it be an effect of dark matter? Dark energy? Darth Vader? Whatever it is, it seems that the Force truly is with us – and we’re probing into its territory." All of creation is God's territory, and His force is very powerful indeed.
------------------------------

Ed note: I recommend the article by Dr Sarfati "Science and Miracles" here and I also recommend CS Lewis' book Miracles, in which Lewis makes a case for the reality of miracles by presenting the position that something more than nature, a benevolent creator likely to intervene in reality after creation, exists.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Supersized bands of locusts eating tons of crops in Oz

Luke 21:11-- "and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven."



Northern New South Wales suffering from locust plague
"Surveillance aircraft have captured images of "supersized" bands of locusts in northwestern NSW that are more than three kilometres in length. NSW Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan has released the footage of the locusts near Walgett, taken during the first aerial surveillance mission of the plague season. Mr Whan said there were now 102 confirmed locust reports across NSW, with aircraft on Wednesday detecting the insects in 16 locations near Walgett. "What we've seen from the footage is supersized bands of locusts, more than three kilometres long, eating fodder and crops in northern NSW," Mr Whan told reporters at NSW Parliament on Thursday. "This has confirmed our prediction that the northwest will be the first front in the battle against the locust plague. "It's critical that we actually get on top of those locusts and spray them while they're banding, before they actually take off." Mr Whan said the government would target spraying on the locust bands, saying once the pests took to the wing spraying was much less effective. The government has devoted $18.5 million to tackling what experts have warned could be the worst plague in 30 years. Enough insecticide has been stocked to treat half a million hectares, while more than 50 aircraft will be on standby over the spring and summer. Spraying in the state's northwest would begin in a couple of days, Mr Whan said. "Locusts emerge from the ground (and) it takes two-and-a-half to three weeks before they start banding together," he said. "Once they've banded, and they get a bit bigger, they then take to the wing, and that's when you get the swarms in the air. "(When they're banded) we actually have the opportunity of a couple of weeks to spray them on the ground." Known egg hatchings exist at Brewarrina, Bourke, Enngonia in the northwest, Nyngan in central NSW, and Wentworth in the southwest of the state, he said. "It is vitally important that we keep getting the reports in from farmers when we see them hatching," Mr Whan said. "That's when we know a couple of weeks later to start the surveillance." [emphasis mine]

The above scripture from Luke ("and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines...") is not an end time warning but a Tribulation promise. 'Plagues and famines' are in the same sentence phrase, and indeed those usually go together. Famine usually follows plague. Ezekiel 7:15 has the same pairing: "Outside is the sword, inside are plague and famine; those in the country will die by the sword, and those in the city will be devoured by famine and plague." Jeremiah 24:10 has the same: "I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their fathers.'" The pairing of famine and plague is seen frequently throughout the bible and accompanying those are often the word "sword," meaning 'war.' War, famine, and plague always means death on a grand scale. They are three of four of God's most severe judgments, so saith the LORD-

"For thus says the Lord GOD, "How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it!" (Deuteronomy 32:24)

Not only the Luke verse describes what's coming, but also Rev 6:8, and this time the fourth of the most severe judgments is included, beasts:

"I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth."  (Revelation 6:8)

I do not know if the locusts in Australia are part of a normal agricultural cycle or not, but I suspect not. The Minister of Interior used the word 'supersized' and said they were in a war against a plague. We see that kind of language more and more lately, the problems are getting worse, bigger, and more frequent. Like birth pangs do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Obama went to church to hear a Pro-Palestinian message

Obama went to church for the third time in a year...and the guest speaker happened to be a Pro-Palestinian speaker Dr Ziad Asali. From Israel Today

"Before last Sunday, US President Barack Obama and his family had only been to church a handful of times since he became commander-in-chief. And two of those visits were for Inauguration Day and Easter.
The Obama family’s sixth time at church in Washington, DC may also have been for a special occasion - to hear a pro-Palestinian activist teach about how Israel needs to surrender its biblical heartland for a phony “peace.” The president, his wife Michelle and their two daughters attended St. John’s Church, an Episcopal church just across the street from the White House, for the morning service on September 19. Low and behold, that is the same morning that guest speaker Ziad Asali of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) had the podium. Asali and the ATFP pretend to want a lasting two-state solution to the conflict, but also advocate the demographic destruction of the Jewish state by supporting the demand that Israel open its gates to millions of so-called “Palestinian refugees.” The ATFP blames Israel for the current situation, and wants it to apologize for its rebirth as a nation-state, while Asali draws moral equivalency between Palestinian terrorism and Israeli counter-terrorism operations. Asali and the ATFP are likewise linked to a number of unsavory pro-Palestinian figures who were once on Obama’s guest list. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US mainstream media ignored the fact that a Muslim with a thinly-veiled anti-Israel message was preaching on the day that the Obama family attended church for only the third time in the past year."

US News & World Report covered it, but is doing its best to convince us Obama is not a Muslim, beginning with their title:

Obama Goes to Christian Church

WASHINGTON - President Obama attended church on Sunday for the first time since April as an increasing number of Americans believe - falsely - that he is Muslim, not Christian. The entire First Family walked from the White House across Lafayette Square Park to St. John's Episcopal Church, the quaint house of worship informally known as the Church of the Presidents. The Obamas sat a few rows back from the altar among about 40 worshipers. The President and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with their daughters, went up for Communion. Obama last attended church in Washington on Easter Sunday, April 4. He has not joined a church in the capital, giving the reason that his presence - and that of his large entourage - would disrupt other people's worship. His low-profile Christianity may be playing into the Muslim myth, however. A Pew poll last month showed 18% of Americans - and nearly one-third of Republicans - wrongly believe Obama is a Muslim. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican who backed Obama, suggested yesterday the public doubts about Obama's religion have more to do with a weak economy. "I'll bet you a dollar if the unemployment rate was not 9.6%, but it was down to 4%, then you would find only 5% thinking he's Muslim," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Yeah, that's it. A high unemployment rate and the President's choice of religion are tied together. So why didn't anyone think Jimmy Carter was a Muslim?

What God says:

Zechariah 12:2-3 prophesies that Israel will be alone in the world, with no allies nor friends. We see this coming close to fulfillment today. Even their staunch friend and ally the US is abandoning them, and Obama can only be called a hostile enemy to Israel.

Many nations will try to remove Israel from her land and will fail. Not only will Israel have no friends in the world, but most of the world will be Israel's enemy. Psalm 83 says that many nations speak of wiping her off the face of the planet. "They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more." (Psalm 83:4)

At the very end, all the nations of the world will attack Israel. "Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. "On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves." But, as Zechariah 12:9 states, "On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem." Between now and when the LORD saves His nation, His land, and His people, it will only become more tense in the Middle East and lonelier for Israel. Pray for them!

Monday, September 20, 2010

No No Nostromo! Pope's Astronomer Would Baptize Aliens

"An official astronomer for the pope, Guy Consolmagno, told The Guardian that he would be willing to baptize space aliens, but "only if they asked" to be baptized. "Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul," he told the British newspaper."

via The Atlantic and The Guardian.

Sigh. Again, the earth and humans are unique in God's creation. Genesis 1 shows us that God created the earth before He even created the sun, the moon, or the stars. Acts 17:24, 26 states that “the God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands…he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” The verse doesn't say that humans inhabit earth and Alien Mama and babies live on Regulus.

Romans 8:19-22 says all of creation suffers under the curse of Adam and the first sin. This means that any aliens 'with souls' as the Pope's Astronomer says, would also be eagerly awaiting release from the curse of sin. But Jesus died for mankind (Hebrews 7:27) not moral beings on other planets. There are no moral beings on other planets, otherwise since Christ died for mankind and will ever only die once (Hebrews 9:26-28; 10:10), they would permanently suffer, having no remedy for their sinful state. And if they exist but are not living in a sinful state, it would render the verse above contradictory that all creation suffers from the curse.

The Pope's Astronomer should use his telescope to read his bible once in a while instead of gazing at non-existent moral beings on Pluto.

Just a little something to think about...

Angels. They exist. They were created by God and they serve God. There are multitudes and multitudes of them. (Heb 12:22).

The bible shows us that angels appear on earth as men, sometimes looking like ordinary men (Joshua 5:13-14; Mark 16:5), and at other times looking like something other-worldly, so much so that the people gazing upon them were gripped with fear, as was Zacharias in Luke 1:12. He was speechless before the angel who visited him. So were the keepers of Jesus’ tomb, 'who became as dead men when they saw the angel of the Lord' (Matthew 28:4).

When they appear to people on the earth sometimes they take on human form like in Genesis 18:1-19. Jesus  and two angels appeared as men and actually ate a meal with Abraham. Later two of the angels went on to Sodom and slept overnight at Lot's house. So we know they can incarnate, appear as men, and spend a period of time on earth.

We know that some angels fell, meaning, they sided with Satan in the angelic rebellion and were cast from their places in heaven. Satan's fall is described in Isaiah: "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12)

 A third of the angels fell with satan: "Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth." (Rev 12:3-4).

Though satan was cast out, he is god of this world (2 Cor 4:4) so being cast out doesn't stop satan from his intent to deceive us. He still pretends to be on God's side. "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14). Note the word 'masquerades' and 'light'. Masquerade means "An involved scheme; a charade; as in wearing a mask or disguise'. Of course he would pretend he is one of the good guys to an unsuspecting unbeliever, or even to a Christian. "It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness." (2 Cor 11:15). His servants are the fellow angels that followed satan in the war against God and also pretend to be one of the good angels. But they only want to deceive.

Hebrews 13:2 says we sometimes entertain angels unawares.

So the punchline is, if you were beset by an angel of light, how would you know he is one of the good guys, or one of the bad guys? There is a 1 in 3 chance he is one of the bad ones. How would you know? Would you be so gripped with fear that you just accept what the angel says? Would you be so filled with pride that one of these beings was sent to you that you would accept what he said without question? Would you be so entranced by their light that you unquestioningly accept they are from God?

The only way to know is to know the Word of God. John and Peter both warned of false teachers, and Jesus said they may come to us in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15; 1 John. 4:1; 2 Pet. 2:1). John said our duty is to "test the spirits," and Paul said: "Test everything. Hold on to the good." (1 Thess. 5:21).

Not all angels come in peace. Some are your enemy. Be watchful and test all things!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On the CA 'breakaway religious sect' waiting for the Rapture

Some major news this weekend was of the authorities' frantic search for 13 people who left behind letters indicating were going to seclude themselves somewhere and wait for the Rapture.

"Authorities in southern California searched a wide area early today after a breakaway religious sect of 13 people left behind letters indicating they were awaiting an apocalyptic event and would soon see Jesus and their dead relatives in heaven.Authorities in southern California searched a wide area early today after a breakaway religious sect of 13 people left behind letters indicating they were awaiting an apocalyptic event and would soon see Jesus and their dead relatives in heaven. ... The group left behind mobile phones, ID, property deeds and letters indicating they were awaiting "the Rapture". "

Actions like these bring up remembrances of horrific endings to previous cults where the leaders had taken people to secluded places and then they all committed suicide. Charismatic religious leader Jim Jones led his people down to Guyana and in the worst mass suicide in the world, 900 people drank cyanide laced Kool-Aid. It was the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the events of September 11, 2001, and one where the only Congressman died in the line of duty.  Jones had been a Methodist, even becoming a student pastor. Eventually Jones started his own church, naming it Peoples Temple Christian Church Full Gospel. In later biographies, Jones was said to be "obsessed with religion."

David Koresh by the age of 11, he had memorized the entire New Testament, and claimed to have become a born-again Christian in the Southern Baptist Church. He soon joined his mother's church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Somewhere he off the rails, eventually believing himself to be a final prophet and buying a property, turning it into a compound called "Ranch Apocalypse." There emerged allegations of child molestation. An apocalypse did occur there when the FBI closed in, surrounded it and there was a shoot-out and subsequent fire. 71 people died in the fire and 17 of those were underage children.

Marshall Applewhite suffered a near-death experience and after recovering, came to believe that he and his nurse, Bonnie Nettles, were "the Two", that is, the two witnesses spoken of in Book of Revelation 11:3 in the Bible. He started a UFO cult that combined Christian doctrine (particularly the ideas of salvation and apocalypse) with the concept of evolutionary advancement and elements of science fiction, particularly travel to other worlds and dimensions. Heaven's Gate members believed that the planet Earth was about to be recycled (wiped clean, renewed, refurbished and rejuvenated), and that the only chance to survive was to leave it immediately. His cult and 39 people perished under Applewhite's message of deception.

So when Reyna Marisol Chicas and her group left good-bye letters, and the remaining friends and family members knew there were small children with them, they became concerned. She had been attending a 'regular congregation' church and was known as devout but hardly fanatic. She was said to become increasingly religious after she separated from her husband four years ago.

I am so happy the group was found safe and that the children are unharmed. I am less than thrilled with the media depictions of Christians who focus on the full bible, including the end times events, but I can hardly blame them. Satan has done a good job perverting it and putting forward deluded people who take it to twisted ends. And of course the media will focus on these twisted ends and not the truth.

ABC News posted a tip sheet at the end of their article,  'How cults operate'
"What they do is convince people that life here is not any good anymore, that we've become inhumane or whatever the trick may be to convince people that life is not what it should be," Garrett said. "So as a result we're going to move on, were gonna be together in the afterlife, as this world, the material world disintegrates."

Life on earth is not good, it is filled with sin, it is hard, and it is a race we must endure. Paul used that word more than once- in Hebrews 12:1, 1 Corinthians 4:12; and 2 Timothy 4:5. So did Peter, in 1 Peter 2:20. Life is not as it should be, and it hasn't been since the garden. But that is not a trick, it is simply Truth. However, we can't pull up stakes and spiritually navel-gaze while we wait for Jesus. We are His Light which shines in us, and we must do all we can do to share that Light with all who are downtrodden and lost. Acting out in cultish ways only confirms to the lost that Jesus is not for them.

I also understand that secular people think the end time events are strange and anyone who speaks of them is strange too. I mean, Revelation says there will be demon-locusts biting people who want to die but can't, for five months. Hailstones weighing 100 pounds. Mass disappearances in a twinkling of an eye. Angels who fly around the world speaking of the Gospel. A one-world dictator who will be possessed by satan and bring destruction on us all. Yes. Those are weird things. But they are true.

What I am less than thrilled about is the conduct of the people involved in this event. Without the full fleshing out of the revealed facts yet, and there will be more as the days go on, the woman who apparently sparked the left-behind letters also left deeds to property and needed possessions. The bible tells us not to do that.

"...let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). I can understand being despondent over a divorce, lonely, or adrift in a career. But we are told to be "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith," (Hebrews 12:2). We must endure, "Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble," (Hebrews 12:12). Paul did not write that we should abandon the race, sit down on the sidelines, and wait for the end. The end will come whether we are holed up in a compound or whether we are sharing His light in the lost world by living as an example of compassion and love, and calmness and peace. The question is, when the end does come, will we be able to stand? Will He say, "Well done good and faithful servant"? Or will He say, 'You sat down a quarter mile from the end of the race...?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

UPDATED. Obama can't even SAY "God": at Hispanic speech, deliberately omits "Creator"

Update at bottom.

Friday night Obama spoke to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in a half-hour speech. When he got to the part about what unites us, you know, the Indians and the Mexicans and the Dutch and British and so on, even after "we didn't always get along," what eventually bound us together, what made us all Americans, are 'faith and fidelity to shared values we all hold so dear...' and then Obama speaks the first words to the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal..... endowed with certain unalienable rights, life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Notice anything missing?

Obama's version:
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal..... endowed with certain unalienable rights, life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

The American version:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

When he gets to the part on the teleprompter where it says "Creator," he pauses for a long time and narrows his eyes, slides his eyes away from the prompter, and continues by omitting Creator, practically spitting out the words in the rest of the sentence. I'm not kidding. A chill wind did blow. See below. Apparently we do not all share the same values, then.

Obama's glower.


Slide over to to 22:36 in time.


"You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!" (James 2:19)

HT to American Thinker.

UPDATE:

Thinking further about this. Obama should stand by our foundational documents AS WRITTEN, not leaving off words he doesn't like. Omit "Creator' today, 'equal' tomorrow? Look at how it changes:

Obama hypothetical version:
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal..... endowed by their Creator with certain rights, life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

The American version:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Obama hypothetical version:
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

The American version:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Secondly, it spends a drastic message. First, of course is what I as a believer find sacrilegious: omitting the Creator from anything is a bad message to send. But even more, that we can omit words we find distasteful from the foundational documents means we can change them. Today verbally. Tomorrow as written. And if we can omit words we find distasteful we can also add words we find tasteful. And if the Chief Executive can do it, so can governments of all kinds, on down from the Oval Office to the smallest village's charter.

In today's society, nothing is absolute. Truth, morals, right, wrong are all relative. Apparently also in our Chief Executive Officer's mind, are our most basic governmental principles are ripe for the editing. He showed it today. What will tomorrow bring?

The Singularity looms

Does the idea of creating human-like skin in the lab gross you out a little? Does it give you a disquieting feeling in your spiritual center? It does to me too.

I read this week of a breakthrough in the lab where skin that's sensitive to the touch is being developed at the nano-level:

Engineers make artificial skin out of nanowires
"Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a pressure-sensitive electronic material from semiconductor nanowires..."The idea is to have a material that functions like the human skin, which means incorporating the ability to feel and touch objects," said Ali Javey, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and head of the UC Berkeley research team developing the artificial skin....A touch-sensitive artificial skin would help overcome a key challenge in robotics: adapting the amount of force needed to hold and manipulate a wide range of objects."

Darwin has a lot to answer for. His Theory of Evolution proposed the notion that our humanity emerged from apes over time, and not God in a day. It took root and has been gaining ground in secular minds ever since it darkened the light of day in 1859. Humanity is becoming less a son of God every year and more a product of evolving technology achieved at the skill and will of man by himself. The nano-skin breakthrough is another advance toward the end of humans as biological beings. Why? The natural outcome of Darwinism at its end-point is a being that is not fully biological, but an amalgam of biological and man-made materials merged together into one being that transcends human limitations. This concept is the foundation of the Trans-Humanism movement, or Posthumanism.

 The Transhumanism entry at Wikipedia says, "after Charles Darwin "it became increasingly plausible to view the current version of humanity not as the endpoint of evolution but rather as a possibly quite early phase."
The Transhumanism manifesto states, "To a transhumanist, progress occurs when more people become more able to shape themselves, their lives, and the ways they relate to others, in accordance with their own deepest values. Transhumanists place a high value on autonomy: the ability and right of individuals to plan and choose their own lives." The complete removal of God from the biological creative process is completed in transhumanism, which really began in Darwinism.

Transhumanism is represented in culture by the logo:
When you see h+, you know it means Humanityplus (transhumanism). Humanity plus what? Think about it. Humanity plus what else? This?


That photo is why the notion of humans with prosthetic limbs plus nano-skin that can really feel make us uncomfortable. It is leading to the end result of Darwin's evolutionary theory which is a robotic-like human barely recognizable as the beings God created in Adam.

It is a world where humans are no longer flesh and bone. Where you can place a back-up a copy of your brain to an external hard drive. Life as we know it is changing from one where nurturing the soul is passe and stimulating the body is all that matters. We live on a planet with exponentially improving technology and soon it will outpace us. You might think the photo of the robot hosting a human in the womb is unrealistic...that producing skin at the nano-level (or any nanotechnological production) can't be a reality yet. Well, it is.

September 17, 2010: "Quantum computer chips are now a reality" "By using the principles of quantum mechanics, revolutionary design will be possible. CPU’s will have new structures because they will be able to run operations trillion times faster, but not using the old designs. Memory chips will be able to store much more data than before." It is the quantum computer's storage and processing capability that makes nano-production possible.

"But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase." (Daniel 12:4). This is a verse that relates to the end of the end times that we are now living in, but interpretations vary. Some think that because the verses immediately prior to this verse discuss end time prophecy, that it means that knowledge of end time prophecy will increase, and this is so. Suddenly these last few years, many people are keenly interested in and knowledgeable about end time prophecy, even the more mysterious and little-discussed verses in Daniel and Revelation. Others however, believe this verse means that the end time will be characterized by information overload, that technology will outpace human capacity to understand it, and eventually outpace its ability to control it.

As far as the second interpretation goes, this has been true also. Gordon Moore of the microchip company Intel once said in 1965 that computer processors will double their speed and power every five years and they will also halve in size. This is now known as Moore's Law and it has held true. Scientists do not think that the pace will slow until 2015 or after, if then. See accompanying photo for an illustration:

An Osborne Executive portable computer, from 1982, and an iPhone, released 2007. The Executive weighs 100 times as much, has nearly 500 times the volume, cost 10 times as much, and has a 100th the processing power of the iPhone.
Before Darwin proposed his evolutionary theory, humanity was separate and distinct from the animal kingdom, a special class of biological being created for relationship with God Himself, for His pleasure, for His glory. (Rev 4:11; Col 1:16; Gen 1:27). After Darwin, humanity was seen as simply animal. As time progressed, man became a different animal, but certainly was not created, not special, and sharing limitations just the same as the animals do, limitations which man himself must strive to overcome. God is not on the scene at all.

Far be it for me to point to one or the other of scientific advancement and claim it is a scourge. Pig valves were first used in human hearts in 1960 and were a blessing to many. Artificial heart valves were first implanted in 1961 and have been used ever since, praise Him. The Six Million Dollar Man was fictional TV program in 1974 in which the main character's right arm, both legs and the left eye are replaced by "bionic" implants that enhance his strength, speed and vision far above human norms: he could run at speeds of 60 miles per hour, and his eye had a 20:1 zoom lens and infrared capabilities. But Jesse Sullivan became the first real bionic man in 2001, when he lost both of his arms in a power-line accident, while working as a utility lineman. He is now equipped with two prosthetic arms: the right is a traditional prosthetic and the left is controlled by thought. I'm sure Jesse and his family are grateful for this technological advance. But because of the totality of these advances, humans may be on the verge of self-directed evolution and that is a very bad thing.

You can see that despite individual advances that enhance a person's life in the examples above, the sum total of these same advances are changing our humanity from one thing to another. We are not the biological beings God intended. I don't know where the stopping point is or should be, whether it should have been stopped in the past or in the future. God knows. But I often think about His statement in Luke 18:8b, "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” and His statement in Mark 13:20 "Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days." and I personally wonder, 'When the Son of Man returns, will He find biological humans? If He tarried would He even recognize us as the species that He created?'

Of course, we do "evolve" in a way that transhumanists mock like in the quoted excerpt just below. Sinful humans can become an amalgam of biological and supernatural: after asking forgiveness of our sins and accepting Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells us. We are more than biological at that point.

"In this way, the true-bluest Singularity-ecstatic transhumanists are not unlike the LaHaye-thumping Pop Eschatologists you're likely to meet in a Colorado Springs coffee bar: they want a transcendent story to believe in, and more, to be a part of," write the editors of H+ Magazine in their editorial, "Technological Trans-whateverism: On becoming a Christ-tard."

Our human limitations became something for man to solve through technology, not God to handle through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is a fork in the road of belief. The fork has long been looming, and now it is here. As always, which road you take is your choice.

[The Singularity definition]