Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hal Lindsey tonight: rapture is so close

I was watching Hal Lindsey on HisChannel TV tonight, and he outlined the prophesies that are so rapidly unfolding in the Middle East. He said he is astounded at the conditions that will be present on earth during the Tribulation are appearing now, before our eyes. It means that the rapture is even closer. Lindsey said:

"For me the big story is how rapidly these events are unfolding. Folks, the end time prophesies are literally exploding before our eyes. That tells me the rapture of the church is even closer than we dared believe. It is so important to be prepared for that day. ... I'm so convinced that we are in the final days of this age..."

I sense the urgency also in Jack Kelley, who flatly stated the other day that it seems like the rapture can be any day and we will not have long to wait. (I'm NOT a "May 21" believer). It's just that after careful study of the bible and what we are told will happen by the God of the Universe, that it is plain to see that the days are here and the end is in sight. Most prophecy watchers are feeling a sense of urgency, for ourselves and also for the lost. As urgent as we feel the quickening of the Spirit and the imminence of the anticipated event, the lost are even more uninterested each day. I think of someone I know.

She is not saved and not interested in end time prophesies. I don't think she is interested in the bible except as an intellectual exercise and to instill proper Jewish upbringing to her sons. She wrote on Twitter a few weeks ago: 'I followed someone who was recommended, googled her and saw that she had written an end times essay. Ugh. End times. So not my thing. I quickly unfollowed.'

Now here is the ultimate irony. The ultimate tragedy. She will have to ENDURE the end time. It WILL be 'her thing' and so in her face that she will either convert, die, or go mad with the horror of it. The flippancy and arrogance of her dismissal of all end time biblical events, of the Word of a God she professes to believe in, is the horrifying thing. She will have to face the eternal consequences of her words.

The last days are here. We must be ready, believers and unbelievers. Believers need to remain confessed of their sins on a daily basis. Let nothing separate you from the direct line to God at this time. Stay abiding in Him who saves, protects, and loves. Non-Believers, you chortle at end time discussions. You mock and scoff. But you are the ones who will have to live it. Let the Holy Spirit who draws you tug at your heart one more time, and this time be prepared for His conviction. Because, you know, the Tribulation was designed since the foundation of the world to be YOUR THING.

Mississippi tributaries are flowing backards: officials call it epic flood

All Eyes on the Mississippi River
MEMPHIS: The Mississippi River continues to rise, so much so that its tributaries are starting to flow backwards. At Tom Lee Park, preps for Memphis in May continue knowing that the worst is still yet to come. It's a site not often seen; the Wolf River and Nonconnah Creek are flowing backwards. The swelling river cannot take on much more water. Gene Rench with the National Weather Service said all eyes are on the Mississippi. The tributaries flowing backwards are a big problem for the adjacent communities. "Right now the Mississippi river is in the process of going through what we call an epic flood, meaning it's more than historic, it's more than a 100 year flood, it's more like a 500 year flood," he said. "We could flood many homes, businesses, close down factories, people could drown." The river is more than two feet past flood stage; it rose two feet in the 24 hours following the storms. It's expected to crest at 45 feet around May 10th, right when Barbecue Festival teams are setting up their tents. ... As the Mississippi River rises to near-record levels, Tunica's nine casinos will shut down indefinitely, displacing about 10,000 workers and costing millions in lost dollars. The closure orders were issued Wednesday to ensure the safety of visitors and workers."

Oh, dear, this is a situation that calls for much prayer. Please pray that hearts are ready!!

Lost city found in Guatemalan rainforest

"The bible was written by stone age camel herders..." That is a paraphrase of one of the most frequently used excuses non-believers give me for not reading the bible. They say that man at the time of the bible, especially the earliest parts, were just incomprehensible musings of neolithic shepherds wandering the desert.

That excuse is bursting with illogic, but what are you gonna do? Non-believers don't want to believe. Faith is a choice. Anyway, I bring this up because I am a fan of archaeology.

Don't you ever wonder how the Great Pyramid at Giza was built? It defies technology, archaeology and man's understanding today of how they did it. As Jack Kelley wrote in his essay The Great Pyramid of Giza: "The Great Pyramid’s builder knew all the dimensions of Earth and had a command of engineering, astronomy, and mathematics that would be impressive even today." Some stone age shepherds, eh? Extra-biblical writings and traditions say that the first wave of builders of the Pyramid included Job, Shem, and/or Enoch.

These illogical things in the world kept me wondering about God and thus kept the door opened to His Truth. I always wondered how and why pyramids, monuments, and ziggurats were built, and all over the world, too. The Easter Island statures, the Great Pyramids, and the Mayan temples fascinated me, and still do. Far from the false depiction in history books that the world was populated only in the Middle East, and the Americas were an almost empty continent with a few teepees sprinkled here and there, the fact is, the word was full of worshiping, advanced civilizations. And let's not forget Atlantis, which archaeologists claim to have recently found.

If the bible was written by brainless stone age shepherds, then how and why did these fabulous monuments arise? Where did the peoples come from? Where did they go? I just knew there was more to the story.

There is a monument or temple of ancient origin on almost every continent. These ancient peoples were worshiping something. They had the technology and know-how to build massive monuments and places of worship that equal or even defy our understanding today. What would compel these people to construct such enormous structures, at great labor and cost? Is the urge to worship innate, I had wondered? Otherwise, how can it be explained that the urge to worship something greater than ourselves had arisen from such disparate cultures across such great distances and through epochs?

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20). It follows that, given the awareness of God universally evident in creation, no person can truly deny the existence of its Creator, even though they may try.

And this week the news articles published tell of yet another ancient worship site in Guatemala scientists have found. Holtun, or Head of Stone, in Guatemala was 'discovered' more fully by using advanced 3D holographic imaging, which stripped away centuries of jungle growth to reveal a "seven-story-tall pyramid, an astronomical observatory, a ritual ball court, several stone residences, and other structures."

Lost Mayan city discovered in rainforest
"According to research presented earlier this month, three-dimensional mapping has "erased" centuries of jungle growth, revealing the rough contours of nearly a hundred buildings. It has long been known to locals that something big is buried in the area, but it is only now that archaeologists have been able to uncover the secrets. Using GPS and electronic distance-measurement technology last year, the researchers plotted the locations and elevations of a seven-story-tall pyramid, an astronomical observatory, a ritual ball court, several stone residences, and other structures. ... Reese-Taylor, who called the new mapping study "incredibly significant", said Head of Stone, which has never been excavated, "was not a New York or Los Angeles, but it was definitely a Denver or Atlanta".

The city of about 2000 inhabitants flourished for about a thousand years, from roughly 950 BC to 900 AD, when it was abandoned.

I believe the original Pyramid was a godly effort and perhaps it is this to which the following Jeremiah verse points: "God has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and has made Himself a Name, as at this day".(Jeremiah 32:20).  All of the 80 or so other pyramids came later, are horribly inferior copies.

I further believe that the urge to worship is innate but absent faith in Jesus as God, it's easily perverted because of our sinful nature. The Nephilim took advantage of this urge and did pervert it, as shown in resulting worship practices such as infanticide, live sacrifices, bestiality, and worship of satanic rituals and idols. Their monuments, beginning with the Tower of Babel just after the Flood, continued to be built all over the world and it is likely their skill and knowledge that fomented the construction of such complex buildings.

More information on the Nephilim from Jack Kelley here. Chuck Missler explains, here. More info on the Guatemalan city, here.  More information on the Creator of everything, here.

There are so many mysteries about these ancient monuments and long-abandoned cities. I'm eager to learn more when we are raptured, glorified and are outside of time. Perhaps we will be able to view these events from our balcony seat in New Jerusalem. Perhaps we may learn why it was abandoned. Just as likely, my interest and curiosity may disappear like a vapor in the face of full glory of Jesus, and He may have many other things for us to learn instead of past history. But still, the mystique of a lost city found in the rainforest makes me wonder. What were they worshiping, and why? Didn't someone stand up and say, "Not MY baby!?" Didn't someone take the knowledge gained in constructing these magnificent structures and say, "I'm using this knowledge to the good!"

Sometimes I mourn because the bible says all the earth and its works will be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10) Not the Mona Lisa! Not the Taj Mahal! Not the lost city of Macchu Pichu! Then I realize, how silly. "However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him". (1 Corinthians 2:9). I can't wait to see what is next that will be MORE beautiful than what God has already created for us. And the soon-to-be-discovered city of New Jerusalem tops the list.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ahmadinejad may resign

In an interesting story yesterday, it seems that Iran's President Ahmadinejad has displeased the clerics (who really rule the nation) and especially has displeased Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In the story I published yesterday, it was stated that Ahmadinead may be fighting for his political life, and that the word "impeachment" has already been flung around. It was also stated that Ahmadinejad will be speaking in public in a few days. Read that update here.

In a story published by Haaretz today, it was stated that the speech Ahmadinejad is rumored to be making soon will in fact be a resignation speech.

Iran cleric warns Ahmadinejad not to overestimate his power
"The controversy started earlier this month after Ahmadinejad dismissed his intelligence chief Heydar Moslehi but faced a veto by Khamenei, who insisted that Moslehi should stay in his post. Ahmadinejad has not yet reacted to the issue and for more than week has avoided any public appearance and reportedly has not attended the weekly cabinet session. There are even rumors that Ahmadinejad is at his home in eastern Tehran and no longer at the presidential office and plans to resign."

For all the prophetic reasons that I mentioned yesterday, watching Iran ALWAYS bears astute attention. That nation is forecast to be a major end time player, and seeing this week's shake-up at the top holds high interest for all watchmen. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

There's a rift between Iran's President Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah; rumors swirl that Ahmadinejad will be out soon

Some significant news is occurring in Iran that's not getting a lot of play in Western reporting media. Iran's President is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Supreme Leader is Ayatollah Khamenei. Here is how one Iranian blogger described the role of the President:

'Seyyed Ahmad Alam al-Hoda, the Imam of Friday Prayers in Mashhad, said, "All the officials, ministers, Majles deputies, judiciary chief, and the president who want to serve the nation must obey the orders of the Supreme Leader. If they do not do so, their position has no legitimacy, even if people have elected them." He continued, "When people elect the president, their votes are just a bunch of zeroes. What gives meaning to the zeroes is the Supreme Leader's certification of the vote. Assembly of Experts member Seyyed Ali Akbar Gharebaghi compared the current situation to the one involving Abolhassan Bani Sadr, the Islamic Republic's first president, who was impeached in June 1981 after he clashed with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. "The most efficient model of governance is one with the Supreme Leader," said Gharebaghi. "Bani Sadr thought that because he had 12 million votes, he could oppose the Imam [Khomeini]. His problem was that he did not understand what it meant to oppose the Imam. He thought that the people voted for him, but did not know that without the Supreme Leader he had no legitimacy."

So the news is, there appears to be a problem between the Supreme Leader and their hand-picked puppet, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran's president and supreme leader in rift over minister's reinstatement
MPs call for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be impeached after his refusal to back Khamenei's judgment
"A rift is emerging between Iran's president and its supreme leader, prompting several members of the parliament to call for the impeachment of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has not been seen in public for days. Ahmadinejad has refused to appear at the presidential palace since Friday in what is being seen as a reaction to Ayatollah Khamenei's reinstating of a minister he initially "asked to resign". Under pressure from Ahmadinejad the intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, a close ally of the supreme leader, stepped down on 17 April but was reinstated when Khamenei asked him in a letter to stay. The president has not publicly shown his support for that decision and on Wednesday he refused for the second time to chair a cabinet meeting in which Moslehi was present. Ahmadinejad also reportedly cancelled an official visit to the holy city of Qom prompting reactions among conservatives that "the president was sulking". On Tuesday, Parliament News, a website run by Iranian MPs reported that "the plan to impeach Ahmadinejad has begun" in the parliament, with 12 MPs asking for him to be summoned before them."

Is Ahmadinejad fighting for his political life?

'Absent' Ahmadinejad to address nation next week: media
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has not appeared in public for more than a week, is to make a televised address to the nation within days, local media reported Thursday, citing an official. "Ahmadinejad will speak to the nation next week, and his comments are going to please the friends of the revolution and despair the enemies of the regime," several newspapers reported the vice-president in charge of parliamentary affairs, Mohammad Reza Mir-Tajedini, as saying.

Wow. Trouble in paradise? I guess so.

In relation to prophecy, Iranian politics always bears watching because Iran is forecast to be a terrible aggressor in the last days. The major event tripping the world into tribulation is Iran's attack against Israel, joined by allies Turkey, Russia, Libya, Northern Africa, Armenia, and others. Iran attacks Israel in a surprise that almost devastates Israel and it looks like it will be destroyed it forever. It would be destroyed except that at the last second God Himself supernaturally saves the nation. (Ezekiel 38-39.) The world sees clearly that God saved Israel and Israel realizes this too. "I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”’ (Ez 38:22b-23) Israel returns to covenant with God at that time. (Ez 39:7) Once she returns to Covenant, it means the warnings are over and the Tribulation has begun (Daniel 9:24-27). The church will be gone, ending the Church Age and re-starting Daniel's prophetic clock for the last 7 years to conclude the long-paused Age of Law.

Mahmoud Ahmadinajad's belligerence toward Israel is unparalleled. However, if he is not performing to expectations in some way, then the Supreme Leaders will have no issue with removing him and installing another puppet. In fact, some reports dribbling in claim that impeachment has already begun, as the UK Guardian article above reports.

Any time an unbalanced and megalomaniacal nation in the middle of the geographic region that is undergoing revolutions and overthrows, and is prophesied to be a catalyst for the worst wars the world has ever seen, you pay attention when they are reported to be having internal leadership problems! Grand Ayatollah Khomenei, the founder of the Islamic Republic, is quoted as saying that he had three goals for Iran: 1. Overthrowing the Shah; 2. Establishing an Islamic State; 3. Creating the situation for the return of the last Imam. The third goal's situation for the last Imam's return includes a world with no Israel.

It is very interesting indeed that Ahmadinejad has not been seen and that there are rumors of a new President appearing imminently. As with so many of the entrenched leaders in the Middle East this year, it seems that Ahmadinejad is not immune from a fall from power. But the question is, if Ahmadinejad is out, will the next President be even worse for Israel?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's stormy in the south tonight

We are in the middle of a terrible tornado outbreak. Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and other places have had their turn at enduring violent spring storms today. North Georgia is in the path for tonight, at the worst time: midnight to 3 AM. I'm ready as I can be, with my shelter prepped and flashlights having fresh batteries and such, but the storms are coming and it is what it is. It is a significant outbreak, one for the record books, the Atlanta Journal Constitution said.

We heard tonight that our pastor's brother in law in TN and his family are safe, thank God, but when they emerged from the shelter their house was gone. At times like this, I can really rely on Jesus. Either He will see me and my home safely through the storm completely unharmed. Or he can see me safely through but my home might be damaged and destroyed. Or I will be injured or die.

Before I was saved, one thing I could never understand is when the newscasters would interview the survivors of a tornado and they would say "Praise the Lord, we're so relieved" while they were standing in front of an empty foundation. I'd think that they were crazy.

But now I understand. Our lives are temporary and our possessions are His to begin with, blessed to receive at His bestowal. No matter my carnal circumstances, I am content. Paul and Silas sang in the lowest prison, waist deep in muck and sewage. No matter what happens tonight, I will sing. For God is still Great!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Don't be ignorant! said Paul

Paul warned his readers in three different Epistles not to be ignorant of something. In all three cases, the word is the same, agnoeó. It means ignorant of facts. In terms of comprehending the bible, there are certain things to be aware of. When imperatives are used, we need to be pay special attention. When a command is used, we should perk up to something we are being told to do, or not do. The Holy Spirit inspired all the bible writers to write these words, and the Holy Spirit is one part of the Triune God. So God is commanding something, and we have to PAY ATTENTION.

Paul said, "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in," (Romans 11:25). Barnes Notes explains the word 'mystery' thus:

"Ignorant of this mystery - The word "mystery" means properly what is "concealed, hidden, or unknown." And it especially refers, in the New Testament, to the truths or doctrines which God had reserved to himself, or had not before communicated. It does not mean, as with us often, that there was anything unintelligible or inscrutable in the nature of the doctrine itself, for it was commonly perfectly plain when it was made known. Thus, the doctrine, that the division between the Jews and the Gentiles was to be broken down, is called a mystery, because it had been, to the times of the apostles, concealed, and was then revealed fully for the first time."

Paul was explaining to the Jews that though the Gentiles were now coming in, God would not forsake the Jews totally. After all, Paul said Jesus had saved Paul, hadn't He? It wasn't over for the Jews, but Paul did remind them that God was now rejecting a large part of the nation because of their past rebellion. His attention and grace would be showered on the Gentiles, who were being grafted in. The Jews would remain hardened of heart - until the full number of Gentiles was met. But just as God had always done in the past, a remnant would be saved.

The Jews would receive their Kingdom as promised, but their entry into it must as always be by faith through His grace, not birthright. As for us today who have claimed salvation through Jesus - Whom we recognize as our Messiah - we will continue in the Church Age until the full number is filled and then we fly. It is why the rapture isn't a date, it is a number. It will not be May 21, unless that is the day that God has deemed the Church quota filled.

The second thing Paul said not to be ignorant about is spiritual gifts. "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:" (1 Corinthians 12:1-3). Paul was reminding the Church of the importance of the gifts, through which we accomplish the work the Holy Spirit wants us to accomplish to build up the church. (1 Corinthians 14:12) The gifts are important, they are given (which is a grace and a blessing) to build up the church (ditto) and they grow the Christian himself as well (bonus). explains, "a spiritual gift is the supernatural ability to carry out the work of Christ through his church."

And yet the spiritual gifts doctrine is precisely what many people are mixed up over. 'You must speak in tongues or you're not a real Christian." "What's my spiritual gift, let me take this questionnaire." People certainly are ignorant of the gifts, sad to say. Satan did a good job of mixing us all up on that. If we are mixed up as to the truth of the spiritual gifts, then we are not as effectively building the church, are we?

Thirdly, Paul warned the church not to be ignorant of the doctrine of Last Days and the Coming of The Lord. "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope." (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary explains:
"The leading topic of Paul's preaching at Thessalonica having been the coming kingdom (Acts 17:7), some perverted it into a cause for fear in respect to friends lately deceased, as if these would be excluded from the glory which those found alive alone should share. This error Paul here corrects."

What are the exact three things the Church is ignorant of? What are most arguments over these days? The rapture doctrine and what is forecast for Israel, the spiritual gifts doctrine (speaking in tongues and healing gifts, and the Charismatics, for example) and the doctrine of the Coming of the Lord. 

Paul said do not be ignorant three times, and yet in this day and age so many people are three times as ignorant as they ever were.

A solution for ignorance is available. The Spirit. He helps interpret scripture: 1 Cor. 2:1,14Eph. 1:17. If your house was on fire, you would call the fire department for help, wouldn't you? If a robber was breaking into your house, you would call the police department wouldn't you? Both are dire circumstances, signifying events that need an authority of higher power and skill to help you. And yet we so often fail to call the Holy Spirit, our higher authority possessing more skill and knowledge to bring to the situation than we could ever hope to see anywhere! Praise Him. Here is a good page outlining the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Ignorance leads to error. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29) Call on Him through prayer, and abide in the Spirit's power: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Is George Soros the enemy?

George Soros is not the enemy. The New World Order is not the enemy. Obama is not the enemy. Muslims are not the enemy. The declining dollar is not the enemy. The economy is not the enemy. The Fed is not the enemy.

SIN IS THE ENEMY. And satan, who is the father of sin and the father of lies. Keep it in perspective, people. Ranting and raving against the government or the International Monetary Fund or any other person or organization is misguided warfare. Oh, yes, we are in a war and there is an enemy. So make sure you confess and repent daily, walk vigorously with the Lord, and pray. These are dangerous times and the enemy is about. Polish your spiritual armor, because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, (Ephesians 6:12) remember, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ," (2 Corinthians 10: 4-5).

Sin. Everything is always about sin. And we combat sin by personal confession, strong growth in the Spirit to help us continue to resist it, and powerful prayers for salvation of others so they may enjoy the same fruits of resisting sin, for His glory!

Origin of Potter's Field

Jack Kelley wrote about the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus' death and resurrection in this week's essay. He mentioned something about the thirty pieces of silver that Judas tried to give back to the Chief Priests. Jack wrote:

"When the chief priests made their deal with Judas they didn’t realize they would be fulfilling a prophecy from Zechariah 11 in conspicuous detail."

"I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter (Zechariah 11:12-13)"

"The price was the same, the location of the transaction was the same, even the ultimate recipient was the same. After Judas had betrayed the Lord, he was filled with remorse. He returned the money by throwing it at the chief priests in the Temple (Matt. 27:5). This caused them a problem. They couldn’t take it back into the treasury because it was tainted. Since they were responsible for burying any travelers who died in the city, they used the money to buy a field they could turn into a burial ground. The man they bought the field from was a potter by trade. Matt. 27:6-7."

Here is the verse in full: --"Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients, saying: "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood." But they said: "What is that to us? Look thou to it." And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed, and went and hanged himself with a halter. But the chief priests, having taken the pieces of silver, said: "It is not lawful to put them into the corbona, because it is the price of blood." And after they had consulted together, they bought with them the potter's field, to be a burying place for strangers. For this the field was called Haceldama, that is, the field of blood, even to this day."

A potter's field is a place for the burial of unknown or indigent people. So, potter's field! Ta-DA! I love the bible, how it melds seamlessly into one story, both Old Testament and New.

God in a particle, gravity doesn't exist, and the world will end soon: all say ... physicists?

Some interesting physics news this week, and I balance that news against the scientific word found in the bible.

TV Scotland reports two titans of Astronomy though having divergent views, both agree that it's likely the earth won't survive the next few years.
Top astronomers warn the world could end within 90 years
"Two leading astronomers will put forward their stark predictions for mankind at the finale of the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The end of the world is nigh. That's what top astronomers will claim during a debate to end the 2011 Edinburgh International Science Festival. Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, believes civilisation has only a 50 per cent chance of surviving to 2100 without suffering a man-made catastrophe. And the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Professor John Brown, has an equally bleak outlook, fearing a random event from outer space is the most likely cause of our demise."

In one sense, they are right, the world won't survive; "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10). But there is nothing man can do to cause its demise. It is God who erases the earth. All one needs to do is look in the bible to see the truth of this science.

In 2 Peter the word for 'great roar' is roizēdon, a word that sounds like what it is. The word 'boom!' is a word that evokes the sound of that the verb is doing. Roizēdon is 'whizzz' or a 'rushing sound' like a balloon being quickly deflated. I am thinking that since Jesus is before all things and in Him all things hold together, (Colossians 1:17) then at His word he collapses all the forces of the universe, including thermodnynamics, and the universe along with the earth, melts. The bible is a great book of science.

In this next piece, a top theoretical physicist muses that gravity may not really exist. Is gravity there, or it is a force that we assume is there? It is not seen, only the effects are noted. What happens when gravity is not assumed? In other words, where does gravity come from?

Brilliant Physicist Explains: Guess What? Gravity Doesn’t Exist
"[H]e was also not very happy with the fact that we should just, well, assume that these things, these planets, attract each other and without even anything in between. So if there are two masses and empty space, there’s no, nothing that really happens between them, but still, they’re attracting each other. And he thought that was kind of mysterious and that it was something he would have liked to explain in a better way."

Mysterious is a good word for it!

In this NYT article, the question is posed, "But what if it’s [gravity's] all an illusion, a sort of cosmic frill, or a side effect of something else going on at deeper levels of reality? “For me gravity doesn’t exist,” said Dr. Verlinde, who was recently in the United States to explain himself. Not that he can’t fall down, but Dr. Verlinde is among a number of physicists who say that science has been looking at gravity the wrong way and that there is something more basic, from which gravity “emerges,” the way stock markets emerge from the collective behavior of individual investors or that elasticity emerges from the mechanics of atoms."

This is so intuitive it's blindingly clear. That the notion that gravity does not exist on its own but emerges FROM something else is the big 'aha' moment, in my opinion. And we who accept the bible as total truth know that the something from which gravity emerges is Jesus. "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:3) and "In Him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:17).

This next article has to do with the Higgs Boson particle and the Large Hadron Collider (particle smasher)  under the Alps at Switzerland and France. The Higgs boson is a hypothesised particle which, if it exists, would give the mechanism by which particles acquire mass.

World's Largest Atom Smasher May Have Detected 'God Particle'
"A rumor is floating around the physics community that the world's largest atom smasher may have detected a long-sought subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, also known as the "God particle." ... The Higgs boson is predicted to exist by prevailing particle-physics theory, which is known as the Standard Model. Physicists think the Higgs bestows mass on all the other particles — but they have yet to confirm its existence."

Scientists have postulated the existence of the particle as a means of resolving inconsistencies in current theoretical physics, and attempts are being made to confirm the existence of the particle by experimentation, using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and the Tevatron at Fermilab. The Higgs boson is the only Standard Model particle that has not been observed in particle physics experiments. I've always been curious as to a supposed metod by which scientist can't figure out something so they make something else up and then go looking for it, to the tune of millions of dollars. Now that's faith! But I am even more interested in why they call it the God particle, hmmm?

"One of the most brilliant simplifications I’ve ever come across is the term “the God Particle.” Physicists think this subatomic speck of matter, if it is ever found, could explain the mysterious code at the origin of the physical world. To know this would be to “know the mind of God,” as Einstein wanted to do. The Nobel Prize winning physicist Leon Lederman wrote a book with that name 15 years ago that was so interesting that even a physics klutz like myself (I almost failed it in high school…) read and enjoyed it."

Thus it becomes really obvious that science is its own kind of faith.

"Since our perspective determines what we expect to see, our physical senses are an almost worthless guide to the ultimate realities of life. This is why a person's philosophical perspective, or more to the point, the person's faith, is what really shapes his view of reality. This is also why science -- the study of the physical creation -- is always based on our spiritual or philosophical presuppositions. In other words, science is founded on faith."

If you want to know the mind of God, read the bible. If you want to know how the universe and the earth was created, read the bible. (Genesis 1) If you want to know why it holds together, read the bible. (John 1, Colossians 1) If you want to know why it is decaying, read the bible. (Romans 8:21). If you want to know how it will end, read the bible. (Rev 21-22). It's all there.

Friend, the God who melts the heavens and the earth with a fervent heat is the same God who holds your soul in His hand and gently awakens you to His presence. That is power! That is love! And He revealed Himself to us, through the Holy Word. All truth is there. It is a trustworthy Word. I applaud scientists in their search for understanding of how the universe works, but their search should begin with the bible. The Holy Spirit will take it from there.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Earthquakes already meet or exceed yearly averages, and it's only April

Just some data on earthquakes. All numbers are from the United States Geological Survey to the date of April 23, 2011. The data is USGS but the chart is one I put together. There were six 'major' earthquakes this week, over 6.0 magnitude. Most were in Japan near the stricken Nuke plant. [6.0, 6.1, 6.0] but also in the Solomon Islands (6.9), Kermedec Islands [6.6], and Indonesia [6.2].

In the first few months of this year, to date there have been 121 quakes between 6.0 and 6.9. The annual average for this magnitude is 134. We are near that average and it isn't even half the year gone yet. I am sure that this average will be exceeded because to date there has been an average of three or more of these size quakes PER WEEK.

There have been eight quakes in magnitude between 7.0 to 7.9. The annual average for earthquakes of this magnitude is 15, so you see we are also more than halfway to the average for this magnitude with less than half the year gone.

There has been one quake over 8.0. The annual average is 1. We have met the average already and that occurred within the first quarter of the year on March 11 with the Japan quake. I am sure that 2011 will also see an exceeding of this average.

Jesus said that the interim between when He ascended on a cloud and when He returned on a cloud IN GREAT POWER AND GLORY that there would be earthquakes in diverse places, and likened them to birth pangs. (Luke 21:11; Mt 24:7) Birth pangs increase in intensity and frequency the closer to the time of the birth.

click on the chart to enlarge

He lives!

I wrote yesterday about the death of Jesus and His proclamation to the demons in prison. I also wrote how Paradise was in the belly of the earth, distinct and different from heaven which is far above. On the third day, Jesus rose! He is alive, He is not in the tomb any more!

Immediately He appeared to the disciples, many times. Jesus ministered on earth after His resurrection. Acts 1:1-3 begins this way:

"The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God."

Then it came time for Jesus to leave earth, and He blessed the group one more time, and was lifted on a cloud to heaven --

"After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11)

So ended the Age of Law, and began the church age, the Age of Grace unto the all the world, including Gentiles. The Jews had rejected their Messiah, (Matthew 8:5-13 the Centurion's Faith, Parable of the Tenants (Matt. 21:33-46) and the Wedding Banquet (Matt. 22:1-14). Because of the Jews' unbelief, the Gospel was opened to the Gentiles. "For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:" (Rom 11:30). The Jews would be restored, which we have seen beginning in 1948, and they will be admitted to the Kingdom - if they have faith- not by birthright. But because of their unbelief, Jesus sent the Spirit to found His church and intended to take a full number of people unto Himself. (Romans 11:25). When that number is completed, He will call His church up to Him (the rapture) and He will return His attention to the unfinished business with the Hebrews, descendants of Abraham. That moment will begin the last 7 years of the Age of Law, paused all this time since Jesus ascended upon the cloud.

The angels said that we shall see Jesus return the same way as He left. That prophecy is stated in Luke 21:25-27 -- "The Return of Christ “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory."

Revelation 1:7 --"Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen."

When Jesus left on the cloud, the disciples went their way, rejoicing. When the earth people see Him return, they will not rejoice. He is coming in wrath, to judge. In between He has gifted the world with His presence in the form of the Holy Spirit, has breathed out the Holy Word in the form of the bible, and has raised up evangelists, missionaries and Christians to bring the Word of His Resurrection.

Jesus' triumph over death, His sacrifice of Himself as the Spotless Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, is incredible. That His majesty and power also contains such love for you and for me is even more incredible. What will you do with this information? What will you do with His gift? Will you accept it, and repent of your sins and become one of His children? Or will you reject it, being one of those who sees Him come in power and great glory, only to hide your face in shame at the squandering of His life-giving blood offered to you?

Today's celebration marks a celebration of a fact that is unalterable and forever: He lives! Will you?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jesus- where was He after death but before resurrection?

Christ was crucified, was taken off the awful cross and laid lovingly to rest in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb. He was cleaned, wrapped, inspected, and the tomb was closed with a large rock. (Mt 27:57-61; Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55)

What happened then? The bible is clear on what the people above the earth did. Mary and the women "rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment" after preparing spices and perfumes to later anoint the body. (Luke 23:56) Then they grieved.

What was Jesus doing? He wasn't in heaven (John 20:17), He didn't ascend until after He had shown Himself to the Ten, then later to all Eleven, to Mary, to Peter, and to the two going to Emmaus. (Luke 24:13-32; John 19:20-25; Luke 24:33-35). He told the thief on the cross that the thief would be in Paradise with Him later. (John 23:43). So Jesus was in Paradise. Where is Paradise?

Before Jesus' resurrection, all the saved dead went to Paradise, also known as Abrahams' Bosom, a place in the earth. Jesus Himself said He was going to be there three days as a sign. (Matthew 12:40). The story of Lazarus and the rich man also gives a glimpse. Lazarus the beggar died and was carried by angels to Abraham's side in Paradise. (Luke 16:22). The rich man who had ignored Lazarus all his life also died but he was "In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side." (Luke 16:23). The rich man begged to have a drop of water, or to send someone to his brothers to tell them to avoid this place, but Abraham said "And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'"

So we get a clearer picture of the belly of the earth, where there exists Paradise for the saved redeemed, hell for the unsaved lost, and between them, a chasm or a great gulf fixed. Below that there is Tartarus and then the abyss.

2 Peter offers a tantalizing clue of Tartarus, noting that after Jesus died:

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit, By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison." (1 Peter 3:18-19)

What spirits in prison? 2 Peter answers that question:

"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;" (2 Peter 2:4).

What sin did angels commit to be kept all this time in the lowest dungeon of hell?

"That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair and they took them wives of all which they were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." (Genesis 6:2, 4). The Hebrew translation for 'sons of God' is divine being, angel.

The gloomy dungeons Peter refers to is Tartarus. The word Tartarus is actually used in several translations. You might remember Tartarus in Greek mythology. Tartarus was a place of punishment under the earth, to which, for example, the Titans were sent. In Greek mythology, the Titans were the elder gods, the first gods, who ruled until their children the Olympians led by Zeus overthrew them. When the overthrow was complete, the Titans were sent to Tartarus, the lowest underworld. Do you see the similarities in the 'mighty men of renown' noted in Genesis and how these first angels who sinned could be seen by the populace as giants to be worshiped and feared? The cultural memory of those giants spawned the entire Greek mythologies, and later the Roman gods. Far from Tartarus being a mythological place written about by Greek god worshipers, it is a real place that satan later mythologized when he co-opted the cultural memory of the sinning angels and perverted it to false god worship.

Anyway, Tartarus is the lowest, deepest dungeon and the angels who had sinned are chained there. In other translations, the word Tartarus is "abyss" the Greek being abusso. Tartarus is a deep section of hell, reserved for these demons.
Graphic from "Revelation" by Frank Overton, Jr.

Jude also refers to this place, calling it darkness- "And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day" but the word darkness in Greek is zophos, meaning "murky, appalling gloom, referring to darkness so dense and foreboding it is "felt"; (figuratively) apocalyptic, gloomy darkness associated with the nether world bringing its indescribable despair (incredible gloom)."


Mt 8:29 and Luke 8:28 shows us that the demons know Jesus, and they know the appointed time of their doom. That is shown in the behavior of the Gadarene demoniac, who was host to a thousand demons. They talk amongst each other and news travels pretty quickly. They also know that Jesus is God and they fear Him. John MacArthur says that the demons have the most orthodox and conservative theology of us all. When Jesus got off the boat and walked to Gadara, the demoniac threw himself down in front of Jesus, saying, "When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me’"

Jesus asks their name, and they answer truthfully, and then "They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss." (Luke 8:31)

It is not likely that the sinning demons chained in prison would have been able to tap into the demon grapevine, being kept for judgment in the lowest pit, the abyss, in apocalyptic darkness. So we remember Peter's verse where it is written that Jesus preached to the demons in the lowest abyss.

Now, just imagine how it might have been topside at the moment Jesus died on the cross. Satan thinks he has succeeded in having Jesus killed and thinks he has foiled God's entire promise to redeem humanity through the Messiah. He and his minions must have been partying like there was no tomorrow. They must have been demonically gleeful, cackling, and swooping in hateful hilarity. It was a party.

Then Jesus shows up!

Jesus preaches to them!

Jesus heralds His victory!!!!!

Look at the word preached in Greek. It was not preaching unto salvation, that word is euaggelízō. It was not preaching the Good News. It means PROCLAIM! Strong's 2784 kērýssō – properly, to herald; to announce a message publicly and with conviction. Jesus, showing up in the middle of the demon-party, to say "YOU LOSE". His eye is on the sparrow, and though these demons are in the lowest dungeons, He has not forgotten them. Every creature under His sovereign eye is accountable whether they are before Him at His throne or far below Him in gloomy dungeons. When Jesus died, I believe this is the time Peter meant when he wrote that Jesus went to the spirits in prison and proclaimed. I am of the opinion that it was His victory He was heralding. Praise HIM!!

Jesus died, went to Paradise to give comfort to the patiently waiting redeemed, and to preach to the angels in the lowest dungeon. It's thought that when Jesus ascended to heaven, He gathered the waiting redeemed from Paradise, emptying it, and brought them to to heaven, where saved people who die now enter directly. Hell is still full of the unsaved dead, awaiting judgment, as well as Tartarus below that, with the sinning angels still waiting their day of judgment as well. But at least now they all know, they LOST. Jesus saves. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and His victory is complete. Because of this, ours is complete as well, if we believe.

Sinning Demon, YOU LOSE!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

How can I write a Good Friday message? The enormity of what Jesus did on that Friday long ago is too huge, the depth of my gratitude too great. How great the Father's love for us! I can't express it. I can only shake, and quake, and hang my head in shame at the part my sin played in that awful day, and then raise my head again and look toward Him in heaven rejoicing that HE LIVES!

He could have spoken us out of existence, and yet, He did not. He came down from lofty heights, “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases." (Mt 8:17). He taught, healed, ministered, rebuked, and drew men unto His very breast, with open arms and joy.

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood," (Revelation 1:5)

For a long time I didn't understand His love, that He knew me even when I didn't know Him. That He sought me personally, knowing my name and having formed a plan for my life. I certainly didn't understand the blood and His death on the cross. I refused to understand about sin.

But once I did, the floodgates opened. As each day goes by the power of our God's sacrifice of Himself on the cross amazes me more. And the resurrection, victory over sin, death, and life is the final ending to an age-long battle. What peace there is in Jesus. What unfolding love and eternal joy. It is indescribable. And all because of Good Friday, and its finishing event, Resurrection Sunday.

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe."  (Ephesians 1:18-19)

You can lay down your weary arms and conclude your battle with sin. It's what is making you so tired, you know. The struggle against that hole in your heart where Jesus should be, to fill it with something, anything, is tiring. We fill it with sin, but that hole should be filled with His love and His purpose for you. But first comes recognition of your sins, that you think, say, and do things that displease God. Ask Him to forgive those. Confess them. And submit to Him knowing His plan for your life is wonderful and beyond anything we could ever dream up. Today He died for you, for us. He hung there in agonizing pain, to pay the penalty for sin according to God's justice. The spotless lamb was chosen and sacrificed. Now all you need to do is join Him in His kingdom by confessing and repenting! Wouldn't you like to experience the real meaning of Easter with the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you, prompting you to new understandings and greater wonder of our precious Jesus? Hurry! Friday's here, but Sunday's coming!

Palestinian State push is a snowball turning into avalanche

I mentioned a week or so ago that Obama has been working on a new peace plan for resolution to the Middle East conflict between Everyone Else and Israel. I also mentioned that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming to the US to speak to a joint session of Congress in the first week of May, something that hasn't happened since the early 1990s when Clinton was President and Netanyahu was in his first term.

I noted that both men, Obama and Netanyahu, were separately working on a framework to a revived peace plan, and conditions were unclear at that time on who would unveil whose first. Well, it's Obama. Preempting the Israeli Prime Minister, Obama shared the framework of his new plan yesterday:

Obama's plan
"The White House has been working on a new peace initiative for the past three months, one that revolves around a few key principles. According to the article, if Obama does, in fact, present a peace initiative, it will discuss four terms of reference: Israel's acceptance of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders; Palestinian acceptance that there would be no right to return to Israeli land; Jerusalem as the capital of both states; and the protection of Israel's security needs."

Obama said three years ago that he would like to split Jerusalem. That the notion resurfaces now should not surprise us. Really, messing with Israel and splitting Jerusalem have been the ONLY concepts Obama has stuck to unswervingly since taking office. Here are the 2008 links to Gateway Pundit and Times of London and the quote:

"Barack Obama is to pursue an ambitious peace plan in the Middle East involving the recognition of Israel by the Arab world in exchange for its withdrawal to pre-1967 borders, according to sources close to America’s president-elect."

Pre-1967 borders means that Israel gives up the land that they won in the Six-Day war, Sinai Peninsula (which they already returned to Egypt), Gaza Strip (which they already handed to Egypt for Egypt to administer), the West Bank which is also known as Judea and Samaria and includes East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights bordering Syria.

Even some Israelis are calling for a Palestinian State with pre-1967 borders...
"Dozens of prominent Israeli artists and intellectuals declared their support for a Palestinian state on the streets of Tel Aviv on Thursday and quickly found themselves confronted by rightist opponents calling them “traitors” and, according to one report, “Jewish Nazis.” While angry confrontations between protesters on opposite sides of Israel’s gaping ideological divide are not unknown here, this one came at a delicate time, with international pressure growing on Israel to find a way back to peace talks with the Palestinians."

Clinton. Who will save peace process? (Photo: AFP)
Christians know the answer to that question. The antichrist will APPEAR to save the peace process by flatteries and deceit. (Daniel 7:20; Daniel 8:12; Daniel 8:23-25)... It will be a time when truth will be thrown to the ground, but he will fail, and it will not be human power that defeats him! (Daniel 8:25)

"And finally Jesus who is peace will institute His kingdom. Jesus will save the peace process! "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together..." (Isaiah 11:6)

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, ever forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this...” (Isaiah 9:6-7)


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The digital agenda for Europe includes a single European payment area. Mark of the beast infrastructure formed now

Let's start from the end and work backward. The near future: "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." (Rev 13:16-17) This is the famous Mark of the Beast verse. Many people refer to it as the "one world currency" or the "New World Order."

Though the verse does not explicitly say, the concept of a global economy is inherent in the verse. If the Beast has been granted power over all the people, tribes, tongues and nations (Rev 13:7b) and causes all to engage in a certain action, i.e. to worship him, (Rev 13:8) then it stands to reason that he has power over the global economy, also. If you have the Mark, you can participate in the economy. If you don't have the mark, you can't participate in the economy - in any way.

Let's skip back now to the past generation. Prior to the microchip's invention in 1960 it seemed impossible that these verses could come about. People in prior generations could not conceive of how one man could have economic power over all the people in the world. Remember, these were the days before computers, satellite television, the internet, global positioning systems, and cell phones. The world was still a big place then, and many of the globe's nations were little known to a non-traveling public.

In 1950 Europe had just finished a devastating world war and sovereignty was rampant. People loved their countries, having come so close to losing them, thanks to Hitler. And they wanted it to stay that way. But they also wanted economic prosperity. WWII had wiped them out.

The European Union was born in 1950 when an economic partnership between 6 nations over coal and steel was formed. Coal and steel were necessary components of the continent's re-build of the continent's WWII bombed-out infrastructure. Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were those partners, and it went so well that  by 1957 the European Economic Community, or "Common Market" was born.

Between the birth of the microchip born 1960 and the solidification of the Common Market in the same decade, the groundwork for Revelation 13's oppression through economic means was laid. In the 1970's the Common Market was expanded to nine with the inclusion of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. By the end of the 1970s the European Parliament was created and member states could directly elect their representative.

In 1989 the Berlin Wall came down and the European Union bloomed as East and West Germany were unified. No more Iron Curtain separated vibrant economies of the same continent, and the EU grew in stature and membership. 1993 was the seminal year, when the Single Market was completed with the 'four freedoms' of: movement of goods, services, people and money.

In the millennium 2000 decade, the euro was introduced, and the EU membership swelled to 27 nations. They adopted a constitution. With the collapse of communism and its doctrine of suppression of information, the internet became widely available to the lay-person.

But wait, there's more. Here's where it gets closer to the end point that we saw in Revelation 13. The EU has a plan, and it has been lately debated and this week it was legislated and accepted. The next plan includes 'pillars' named "Single Market Act," "Digital Single Market" and "European Stability Mechanism" - with implementation by 2012.

Thanks to some of the European nations that are not as deeply in debt as others, the EU is surviving the current fiscal crisis. However, they note that they were still impacted, notably by a large unemployed segment of the population - almost 10%. The Single Market Act was proposed and adopted by the European Commission this week. The Single Market Act proposes 12 key actions to boost European competitiveness and to unlock economic growth and jobs which, considering the crisis, we want to see adopted by the end of 2012. The 12 action items all of relate in some way to the free-flow of money, venture capital, and employees with payroll in and among member nations.

But HOW is the money, capital, and payroll to flow freely, you might wonder? The Digital Single Market, one of the founding pillars of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

"Transport, energy and electronic-communications networks are the backbone of the single market. Indeed, efficient infrastructures foster rapid free movement of people, goods and various types of energy and data (with the allocation of a sufficient radio spectrum) at a reasonable cost. Efficient economic integration relies on the integration of efficient infrastructure networks ... networks need to become smarter in order to improve energy transmission. New legislation must facilitate the establishment of a unified smart network..."

The infrastructure mentioned is no longer the coal and steel, quaint commodities of the old days of the burgeoning EU in 1950, but data networks, fast internet, and single European payment area.

The problem is that a French guy's credit card may not work in Bulgaria. A venture capitalist from Finland might want to start an annex to his business in the Czech Republic, and the data-transfer infrastructure as it stands now is too cumbersome. Hence, the 'Digital Agenda for Europe': in a nutshell, streamline the whole thing, NOW.

Single European Payment Area (SEPA) "will improve the efficiency of cross border payments and turn the fragmented national markets for euro payments into a single domestic one: SEPA will enable customers to make cashless euro payments to anyone located anywhere in the area using only a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments." Wikipedia, map at link. Timetable is completion by end of 2011. 1st meeting is in June 2011.

I gave you the short history so you could see how far and how fast the economic unification has come in one generation. Fifty years ago, a Christian reading the Revelation 13 verse could not conceive, nor comprehend how it would all work. This week, the European Single Market Act was passed. The Single European Payment Area is on the horizon, and once the 'infrastructure' is created, it would not take much for a smooth talker who was killed and resurrected to wow the world and slyly take over the whole shebang. Which, since we know the end from the beginning, he will do. And it looks like it won't be long.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This is how cool our bible is

Our pastor preached a prophecy sermon last week and I was thrilled with reading the many Day of the Lord references in the minor prophets of the Old Testament. I know that Isaiah preaches the Millennium Kingdom in Isaiah 11 and Isaiah 65. Ezekiel 38-39 shows us the Gog-Magog war to happen at the opening of the Day of the Lord and then chapters 40 & 41 the Kingdom. The Joel 3:2 command is well-known to prophecy students as the one where the Lord is angered because they have divided Israel, and as a result He will gather them all on the last day for judgment. Zechariah 12 promises all of Israel's enemies to be destroyed at the end of time, when Israel stands alone. Psalm 83 is a prophetic prayer and appeal for the smiting of Israel's enemies in a war yet to come.

But our pastor had preached on Obadiah 1 and the borders of the Land to be Israel's in the future. And Hosea 2 where the Israelites regain the "My People" status. And in reading Zechariah again, I noticed this:

Take a look at Zechariah 6:1-7

Four Chariots - "I looked up again—and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains—mountains of bronze! The first chariot had red horses, the second black, the third white, and the fourth dappled—all of them powerful. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?” The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. 6The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.” When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth."

Does that passage remind you of anything? It should.

First Seal: The Conqueror
1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Second Seal: Conflict on Earth
When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth
When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth."

Are the 4 chariots of Zechariah the same as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? I don't know. I just started reading. But isn't the bible a wonderful and infinite trove of new wisdom from God for us to learn? In His kindness, He testifies to Himself and in unfolding fashion, every time we open the Word we have an opportunity to learn something new. Compare these verses:

Revelation 1:5-8 -
"To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Zechariah 12:10-11 -
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo."

In a Sunday School class I used to attend a while ago at a former church, a lady used to come with her New Testament-only bible. It irked me to no end. And she was a pastor's wife! What message does it send to leave half the Word at home? Has not God told us of Himself in the entire book? Isn't all scripture profitable for teaching?

The entire bible is a jewel unparalleled. Jesus identified Himself as Truth (John 14:6). It is said in John 17:17: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Therefore His word is truth and entirely wonderful from Genesis to Revelation, the first and the last. Don't be afraid to delve into the beauty and wonder of the Old Testament books, especially the prophets. They are speaking to us now, this generation! They have words for us to hear truths for us to uncover. Though Obadiah, Hosea, Micah, Joel, Amos and the rest have entered into their eternal rest, their work in being the human instrument speaking His truth lives on.

Try this: get your bible. Pray. Be quiet and still. Concentrate, preparing your heart to have truth, wonder, and beauty revealed. Ask the Spirit to give you wisdom and it shall be given, without reproach! (James 1:5). The Lord blesses a seeking heart, opens the ears and widens the eyes. He didn't make His word unclear, but we are sinners who  see through a glass darkly. But remember, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (1 John 2:27). The same Spirit that breathed out the Word lives in YOU, and will help you understand.

After you pray, and be still, see where the Spirit leads you in the bible, and read. Don't worry if you do not understand it on first pass. Read slowly and meditatingly, savoring each word. Ask yourself questions. 'What does that mean?' 'Why was that word used there?'

And repeat, each day. Like stitching together a quilt, it gradually takes shape, with patience, attention, and diligence. And let the wonders unfold!

"Watercolor Cross" Wall Hanging Made for the St. Patrick School 2000 Auction

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mysterious rumblings unnerve residents

Out of Canada:

Windsor-Essex being hit by mysterious rumblings
"Ontario’s Environment Ministry is investigating reports of mysterious rumblings in parts of Windsor and Essex County. Nine formal complaints have been registered to the local ministry office and there have been numerous telephone inquiries, officials say. “I feel like I’m going mental,” said Sonya Skillings, a resident in the 3800 block of Poplar Avenue, just east of Windsor Regional Hospital’s Western Campus. “It’s in the ground and it feels like there is a subway under the house. It happens at all different times — in the middle of the night, as well.” The ministry has investigated underground blasting by at the Windsor Salt mine, but the company blasts only once a day Monday to Friday in mid-afternoon."

“We just want to know what the noise is,” said Skillings, a married mom to six-year-old and five-month-old boys. “It’s just weird that nobody knows. If it’s not the salt mines, then what is it?” Ministry of Environment officers have asked homeowners to keep a log in order to help find the source of the rumbling. The calls about the noise have come from nearly every corner in Windsor and the surrounding area, said Teri Gilbert, issues project co-ordinator for the local Environment Ministry office. “We have received a number of complaints and it seems widespread,” she said. “Most are from west Windsor, but also Amherstburg, South Windsor and Lakeshore. “In response we are working with a number of partners — the City of Windsor, federal government and Michigan state government — to determine the source. We have not been able to nail it down.” The ministry’s goal is to eliminate any possibility the vibrations are being caused by an industrial source on either side of the border."

"Mining activities by salt companies on either side of the border have been ruled out because “their operations are not coinciding with the times people are feeling these (vibrations),” Gilbert said. Homeowners and any neighbours they can enlist will log the noises and vibrations for at least the next month, she said. Another possibility could be overhead jets circling, landing and taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, but Skillings believes that’s not the case. “The vibrations definitely are more underground,” she said. “All I hear is the rumbling.” Gilbert indicated federal aviation authorities may be contacted once the Environment Ministry can rule out all industrial sources."

“It’s a mystery,” she said. “There appears to be no rhyme or reason to it.”

Sunday, April 17, 2011

University of Texas Investment Fund defects from paper currency: buys 1B in gold

Something happened Friday. It seems that it is significant. I am not familiar enough with global economics to be able to place it in a context for you, but it is something, my gut is telling me. The guys at Zerohedge noticed that during the week, gold prices were going funky. Silver was going stratospheric. Why? Economics is a causal relationship- when one thing happens it causes ripples elsewhere. No ever stands in a vacuum. So what was causing the commodity price to skyrocket in this way? Friday came the answer, and the Zerohedge guys call it a tipping point:

A Golden Tipping Point: University of Texas Takes Delivery Of $1 Billion In Physical Gold
"Tipping points are funny: for years, decades, even centuries, the conditions for an event to occur may be ripe yet nothing happens. Then, in an instant, a shift occurs, whether its is due a change in conventional wisdom, due to an exogenous event or due to something completely inexplicable. That event, colloquially called a black swan in recent years, changes the prevalent perception of reality in a moment. This past week, we were seeing the effect of a tipping point in process, with gold prices rising to new all time highs day after day, and the price of silver literally moving in a parabolic fashion. What was missing was the cause. We now know what it is: per Bloomberg: "The University of Texas Investment Management Co., the second-largest U.S. academic endowment, took delivery of almost $1 billion in gold bullion and is storing the bars in a New York vault, according to the fund’s board." And so, the game theory of a nearly 100 year old system of monetary exchange has seen its first defector, but most certainly not last. With an entity as large as the University of Texas calling the bluff of the Comex, the Chairman, and fiat in general in roughly that order, virtually every other asset manager is now sure to follow, considering there is not nearly enough physical gold to satisfy all paper gold in existence by a factor of about 100x."

I noticed their phraseology in saying that the event is a signal of a defection from our monetary exchange. Also, in the third sentence, they mention the black swan. The Black Swan theory was developed by Nassim "Nicholas Taleb to explain the disproportionate role of high-impact, hard to predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance and technology."

It's evident that we are entering into the realms of never-before-traveled territory in economics and finance. Not that economies haven't crashed before. Not that there hasn't been hyperinflation before. But never in such global proportions and never before when we have been so intertwined.

Forbes explains the University of Texas activity as a response to the falling dollar:

"It should come as no shock to financial markets that university endowments have followed in the wake of central banks and hedge funds to become the newest major investors in  precious metals like gold. Just as  central banks in China, India, Russia and many other nations view gold as a monetary reserve protection against the  falling dollar,  major academic institutions are  looking for new asset classes like precious metals and commodities  to produce returns that can be put to work as a source of funds  for a large portion of college operating expenses."

So Friday, UT invested 5% of its entire portfolio in gold. Did you know that last July, they invested 3% of their entire portfolio in gold? "The Houston Chronicle reports that the university bought the gold out of fears of "unstable international financial markets and the possibility of high inflation." It is relatively uncommon for a university to invest in gold, the value of which only increases through inflation." So by now, UT has at least 8% and likely 10% or more of its investments in gold. How many others are doing the same? Many, I suspect.

Thursday, Kyle Bass, a Dallas Hedge Fund Manager and representative of the UT Board, made the recommendation to buy more gold. In his reasoning, he's quoted as saying, "Central banks are printing more money than they ever have, so what’s the value of money in terms of purchases of goods and services,” Bass said yesterday in a telephone interview. “I look at gold as just another currency that they can’t print any more of.”

In don't know how large University financial institutions work normally, but in my experience, they work slowly. In this case, they bought the gold the next day. The next day.

Maybe it's facts like these that cause the haste:

It's clear that we're tanking. America's economy is on a downward slide and as a snowball rolls downhill it goes faster and faster. Do the people experiencing a crash ever know it at the time? The folks in 1929 didn't. They thought things would get better. When they didn't for two years, they finally woke up. By then the Depression was at rock bottom.

Refusal to believe what is happening in front of your eyes is called normalcy bias. There obviously are some people who see the coming crash and are doing something about it, like the folks at Univ. TX. Others see the coming spiritual crash and are taking steps to prepare, by converting from craven sinner to forgiven saint thanks to the blood of Jesus and their confession to the Lord. But most won't do anything different right up until the end. Normalcy bias is defined as:

"a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of the government to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation."

Does that sound like any unsaved person you have tried to talk with lately? Does that sound like any nominal Christian who refuses to heed the warnings to persevere? Jesus described the normalcy bias in the bible:

"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:26-29)

It seems hard to believe that as a third of the rivers and waters turn to blood, that as wars are happening all around, as millions have disappeared in the rapture, & etc., that people will continue to carry on expecting things to return to normal at some point. It won't.

The normalcy bias is described again, in 2 Peter 3:4 - "They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."" They say that since things have always remained the same that the rapture won't occur. Oh, but it will.

This week I listened to four sermons. One from my local pastor, another from John Hagee, from John MacArthur, and from Steve Hadley. They all preached the rapture. They all explained the prophesies. They all said the same things and interpreted the scriptures the same way. I glory in the Holy Spirit when things like this happens! I believe the Spirit is prompting the bible-teaching pastors to speak these things to encourage the body and to prepare us for His calling us 'up there.'

Things are not normal and each day that passes they get less normal, but the praise is, as each day passes, we are one more day closer to being with the Lord! Therefore, brethren comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

Prata's Place / Graceful Garlands: Gradual Growth

My title comes from Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland ...