Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raw Video: Huge Waterspout Near Australian Coast

Just for cool watching purposes. I'm fascinated with waterspouts ever since I lived on a sailboat and saw one in North Carolina's Albemarle Sound. This video shows several from different angles. The definition for waterspout is: "A rotating column of water and spray formed by a whirlwind occurring over the sea or other body of water." The meteorological definition is "A small, weak tornado, which is not formed by a storm-scale rotation. It is generally weaker than a supercell tornado and is not associated with a wall cloud or mesocyclone. It may be observed beneath cumulonimbus or towering cumulus clouds and is the water equivalent of a landspout."

Here is the video from May 30th of a series of waterspouts approaching near the coastal suburb of Terrigal, on Australia's New South Wales coast. The original link at Yahoo/AP is here.



Food for thought: Here is Jack Kelley's answer to a reader's question, "Is God using the weather to judge us?

Q. I live near Joplin, MO where an F5 tornado struck last weekend. Please help me because I know as I go to Joplin and help with our church I will be asked why God allowed this to happen, and I would like to be able to answer them from God’s word. We don’t know why God allows storms or stops storms or why they hit where they do. But He is in control of them and He sees the big picture and He’s God who are we to question Him, so basically I feel confused. Also there are a lot of people saying that when disaster strikes it’s God’s judgment on their sin and if that’s the case wouldn’t all of us need to take cover because we are all sinners?

A. For me this is a simple issue. There was no bad weather before there was sin. You can make a circumstantial case from the Bible that it had never even rained on Earth before the Great Flood. Extreme weather is one of the enduring consequences of that judgment, so if you’re looking for someone to blame don’t blame God. Blame the one who brought sin into the world and made the judgment necessary. As far as weather is concerned the only thing God promised is that He would never destroy the Earth by water again (Genesis 9:13-15).

I also don’t think the Bible supports the “God is in control” idea in the universal sense in which most people think of it. Certainly it’s true that eventually God’s will is going to be accomplished on Earth and in Heaven, but for now the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19).

As for judgment, the Bible says when God uses weather as a tool of judgment men’s hearts will fail them for fear (Luke 21:26) and the hail stones will weigh 100 lbs. each (Rev. 16:21) so you really won’t want to be around when His judgments begin. Thankfully, God won’t judge the world until He has taken the Church out of the way (1 Thes. 1:10).---------end Jack Kelley's answer--------


Monday, May 30, 2011

Incredible shrinking Israel

The extent Israel will go for "peace", source The Israel News
Click on picture for enlargement, or look at original here.

According to the biblical borders set by God, this map approximates what Greater Israel should look like, and will one day after the Tribulation:

What a day that will be, when the nation loved by God is finally entering into its Kingdom reign with Him, with secure borders!

Taiwan 'prophet' unfazed by apocalypse no-show

Did you know that according to 'prophet' Wang, a 14 magnitude earthquake was supposed to occur in Thailand on May 10, 2011? On May 10, the apocalypse didn't show up.

Did you know that according to self-taught scientist and seer Raffaele Bendandi 'the big one' was supposed to level Rome on May 11, 2011? On May 11, the apocalypse didn't show up.

Did you know that according to self-styled bible interpreter Harold Camping, the rapture followed by the apocalypse was supposed to occur on May 21, 2011? On May 21, the apocalypse didn't show up.

Peter prophesied, "Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation' " (2 Peter 3:3-4). We all know that the media and the world's citizens did a good bit of mocking that the prophesied rapture did not occur on Camping's falsely predicted date. Peter was right, there are mockers and scoffers and there will continue to be mockers and scoffers. Their flippant and demonically gleeful rhetoric and behavior will climb to a fever pitch, eventually culminating in the Tribulation after the Two Witnesses are killed. At that time, "Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth." They will be so happy and mocking that the Witnesses' testimony did not come true they will give gifts literally over their dead bodies.

Not to fear, though, the Two Witnesses will be resurrected by the power of God and ascend in front of their eyes, the entire world in astonishment looking on. God's Word is always true.

The people who mock, say 'Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation' and believe that just because things seem to have always been the same they always will be the same are laboring under a psychological condition called "normalcy bias." As this mental state is defined, "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."

But Peter reminds us as his verses continue, that they forget that the world has NOT gone on as it always has since the beginning. They forget, there was no beginning, since God has always existed. But there was a beginning for humans, when God who existed prior to the world being made, but then it was made. They forget that there was another time when the world was destroyed by water. Things have certainly not been going along as they always have been. There have been two cataclysmic events that have interrupted the flow and progress of time. And there will be a Third.

Honest science recognizes that the surface of the earth unequivocally shows enormous total hydraulic cataclysm. Why else are there fossil shells on the top of mountains...or in the desert? Everything has not gone along since the beginning. Peter continues, "For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.' (2 Peter 3:5-7). Notice the word 'willfully.' This means that despite evidence that things have not gone on as always, they purposely sink into a preferred delusion so that their craven lusts can continue unabated.

Just because the LORD has not judged the world a second time doesn't mean He is never going to. As a matter of fact, in one sense 'Prophet' Wang is right, there will be a 14 mag quake.

"I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place." (Revelation 6:12-14). The Japanese quake of March 2011 was a 9.0 magnitude that moved the island 8 feet to the east and sank it by 16 feet. If every island and mountain is moved, that is a big quake, something on the order of a 14.0 mag I would guess.

In one sense, Bendandi is right, too, Rome will be leveled, likely in that same quake because the verse continues by saying that men hide in rocks and caves. In one sense, Camping is right, the rapture will occur. The fault comes in trying to predict a date. Peter reminds us that God's promise [of judgment] is not slack. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9). He is giving us time to repent.

Emily over at Extending Eager Hands pondered the plethora of self-proclaimed prophets these days. She wrote in a quick note, "I tend to distrust anyone who tacks the title "Prophet/Prophetess" in front of their name.  Perhaps this is wrong of me, but it makes my hair stand on end.  I understand this is a valid spiritual gift, but it's a gift, not a personage, right?" I responded, "In my experience, most people who tack 'Prophet' onto their name also are into revelatory experiences that usually begin like- "God showed me..." or "Jesus took me to heaven and said..." The Revelation from Jesus to us is closed (Jude 1:3), there are no new revelations. It is all in the bible, delivered to the saints once for all, and we are not to add nor take away from the Word. If any 'prophet' claims to have new information from Jesus, then you know immediately they are false. On the other hand, people who have the gift of prophecy exhort, educate, or explain the prophesies that are already IN the bible, by the strength of the Holy Spirit. Spirit driven saints who have been given the gift of prophecy tend to be humble, knowing that the things they say, write, or act upon are known to them only because the Holy Spirit has imparted this wisdom. It tends to be humbling rather than ego-boosting."

Peter again reminds us in the chapter previous to his famous mockers and scoffers passages, "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber." (2 Peter 2:1-2)

Final words from Peter on the subject, "You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."(2 Peter 3:17-18)


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blackbeard's anchor found

Remember as a kid being so entranced with pirates? At least I was. The success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series would indicate a widespread fascination with pirates. I lived on a sailboat for a couple of years and sailed up and down the east coast of the US and over to the Bahamas. You cannot live on a boat and not be captured by the legendary stories of east coast pirates of long ago: Captain Kidd, Anne Bonny, and Blackbeard. At each town we stopped and visited, the historical society or museum would have information about the local pirates. Anchoring our boat in Georgetown Bahamas' "Kidd's Cove," you can't help but look down and wonder if that shiny thing is an overlooked gold coin...

Well, someone looked down, and looked and looked and looked and they found the famous North Carolina pirate Blackbeard's anchor. CNN reports, "Dead men tell no tales, but the sea does, as shown Friday when an anchor was recovered from the wreckage of pirate Blackbeard's flagship. An expedition off the North Carolina coast hoisted the nearly 3,000-pound anchor, one of three belonging to the Queen Anne's Revenge. Crews were working in just 20 feet of water, according to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The Queen Anne's Revenge is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort in 1718. The ship was discovered in 1996, with piecemeal recovery of artifacts intensifying only a few years ago." More at link.

As a girl, of course, the attractive thing about pirates was the treasure chest. The all important treasure chest. What gal didn't love to play in mom's jewelry box? Dipping our hands into the necklaces and feeling them swing from your hands, and then to put them on? Put all of them on!
Source
Christians know that worshiping Jesus in person and being able to look on His face fully is the treasure for which we all long. But His grace extends to so much more and in His love He gives additional treasures. The beauty of heaven is difficult to capture in words, but these verses tell us that we will be in, around, and surrounded by jewels and stones of beautiful perfection!

"...behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius (AKA carnelian) in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads." (Revelation 4:2-4).

Wow! But that is just the beginning. The treasures of heaven continue. New Jerusalem is being prepared for us. "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:2-3)

John saw this dwelling place for the Bride: "...The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass." (Rev 21:18-21)

I wrote about transparent gold, here. I wrote in part, "Scientists have discovered that as the gold particle size is decreased, there are many intriguing phenomena. In one discovery if you shrink gold down to a nanoparticle, its properties change dramatically. Its color changes, it becomes a very good catalyst, and is no longer a metal - instead it turns into a semiconductor. Even today, ultra-thin gold is being used on buildings and air craft windows - thin film of gold display some unusual characteristics. When processed with ultra-thin sheets, gold becomes transparent. It allows green light waves to pass through but reflects infrared lights." Cool, huh?!

Below, some of the jewels mentioned in the verses. Whether these jewels will look the same or have the same properties as they do on earth is anyone's guess :)


The High Priest was required to wear a breastplate made a certain way, and embedded with each tribe's particular gem. (Exodus 28:15-29) Moses' brother Aaron was the first High Priest. "And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart when he goeth in unto the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually" [Exodus 28.29]"

 I used to belong to the Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society. We used to go with other members to quarries and mines and look for local gems. Maine is known for tourmaline, beryl, quartz, amethyst and other beautiful stones. It was a thrill to find even the tiniest gem, extracting it from the ground, cleaning it and admiring its beauty. I think to some degree we are all fascinated with stones and gems and oceanic treasures such as pearls. They are simply beautiful! When we get to our home and dwell as Jesus' bride, these stones and gems will be all around us, we will be walking on gold! Entering and exiting doors of pearl! Leaning against foundation walls that have emeralds and sapphires embedded in them! And guess what? Despite a lifelong fascination with pirates and their treasure, despite hunting for gems in the earth and polishing them to admire, despite saving up for jewelry to wear so that the gems can gleam in the light of day, once we get to New Jerusalem, we won't care anymore! The real jewel of heaven and earth is Jesus.

"There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light." (Matthew 17:2)

Hallelujah! May He shine forever, and may we forever be bathed in His glorious Light!

Handcuffed, body slammed, & arrested for dancing. Also, secret morgue

The people who say they are looking forward to an earth after the rapture with Christians gone are completely deluded about what kind of world it will be. It will be a world with no restraint against sin, with evil running rampant. Paul describes it this way, and his words can't even approach the terror of these upcoming days:
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."

People will be accusers and slanderers, and also truce-breakers. No relationship outside the home, as in business or professions, will survive mutual distrust, accusation, slander, and oh, yes, blasphemy. They will break treaties, and throw away promises, written and oral. No language, promises, verbiage or contracts will be sacred in the business and professional world.

The familial world will fare no better. 'Without natural affection' means unloving toward kindred and close family members. Mothers and fathers hating their children, children unloving toward parents. In the Tribulation passage in Mark 13:12, Jesus explains further: "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death." When a society breaks down that far, it indeed has broken down fully. Being on earth at that time, of thorough civil, no-holds-barred breakdown, is to me a fate worse than death. Nowhere will a person be able to turn for respite, care, love, or safety.

In government and politics, the world will be similarly dysfunctional. Oppression will rule the day. We are told of an antichrist who will take over, at first by flatteries (Daniel 11:21; 11:32). He will upset kings and take them over then take over the rest of the world. After he gains the world, he oppresses it by forcing all to take a mark of worship to himself, without which they cannot participate in the economy. (Rev 13:16-17).

With the progression of these verses and the awful picture they show you can clearly see that individual, family, professional, political, governmental relations are all corrupted in their entirety. Restraint is gone, brutality reigns supreme. This state of being will not come upon the world all of a sudden, even though the difference between pre-rapture world and post-rapture world will be abruptly different. The decline began long ago but as birth pangs that Jesus said would characterize the end of days, they increase like a stone rolling down a hill until the momentum is prevalent and unstoppable. These next clips and news excerpts show that oppression is here, in brutal form for what we consider today's world but in post-rapture Tribulation world people will look back upon and it will seem seem by comparison almost benign and gentle. The platform for the verses to spring from have been well-developed and oppression is ready now to fly from the nest.

On May 5, a Pima AZ SWAT team stormed Jose Guerena's home (with a warrant), kicked open the door, and fired 60 times. Twenty-two of those bullets entered Guerena's body. He was a veteran who had served honorably in Iraq, and no drugs were found to be inside the home. His wife and child, however, were in the home with him. He had not fired at officers nor was his weapon ever taken off the safety position. Controversy of this event abounds in Arizona, and rightfully so.

On CNN, the reporters had interviewed two different people who survived the Joplin MO tornado who were looking for missing family members. In a follow up story it turned out that their family members had been in a morgue all along, but the two people only wound up knowing about their loved ones' deaths because of back channels and from friends who had secret knowledge of who was in the morgue. Bizarre, I know. Many other family members are now clamoring to know about his secret morgue and want to know if their own family members are in it. So CNN went on a mission to find out and were summarily stopped by police. The reporter said it was a bizarre encounter with law enforcement, like trying to cross an international border without a passport. The action with law enforcement begins at :55 of this 1:55 clip but it is short enough to watch all the way through. Here is a partial transcript of what they found:

"There are some strange things going on here right now. The morgue, the morgue where these bodies are, is a secret morgue. It literally is a secret. If you call law enforcement and ask officials where the morgue is they will tell you we can't say, it's a secret. Families don't know where the morgue is. The families who do know where the morgue is are afraid to tell us because they are afraid of getting in trouble."



This next one really got to me, even after I had read the background and tried to understand the law and see both sides. I still hate it. Radio Host Adam Kokesh and several other activists participating in a flash-mob were arrested at the publicly-funded Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Their crime? Silently dancing, in celebration of the first amendment's champion. Courts had recently upheld a ban on dancing at the Monument. I understand wanting to maintain decorum, but a law to suppress any and all behaviors that may lead to indecorous behavior is not the answer. Neither is the apparently overreaching and sometimes brutal enforcement of such laws here in America, or anywhere for that matter. It was very disturbing to see the arrests but worse was the fact that we have such oppressive laws now, and such wide latitude for applying them. The Founding Fathers surely didn't envision this degree of minutiae and legal license to modify behavior to such a personal degree, did they? I mean, did they really have to body slam a guy? And the lineup of sitting, handcuffed men reminded me of the lineup of convicts in Iraq before they behead someone.

Here is Fox News article of the incident and then the disturbing video from Breitbart. (It is not graphic, only depressing)
"A group of people in Washington, D.C., protesting a recent court decision that says expressive dancing is the same as picketing and marching, were arrested for just that -- dancing, MyFoxDC reports. A dance-in at the Jefferson Memorial led to five arrests and a violent clash with U.S. Park Police. The incident was posted on YouTube and appears to show officers using force to push the arrestees to the ground. MyFoxDC reports that a spokesman for Park Police says the agency is investigating complaints officers overreacted. Despite the court ban on dancing in certain areas of national monuments, the protesters say they plan to be back next Saturday at noon."



In this instance, it looks like it did not happen in America, perhaps Spain or Portugal. I am not sure when it happened. The scene occurs on a soccer stadium field where a man holding a sign runs across an active game. Four security guards chase him down, sit on him, and handcuff him. While the four are huddled on the guy, one repeatedly beats the guy with his billy club. Horrified fans leave their seats and storm the field, chasing the security guys off. One falls down and is beaten in turn. I'm not condoning violence, but I was horrified to see such a dramatic level of force used against a man who had no weapon, was engaged in a usual prank, and was captured and subdued already. There was just no reason to beat him with a club.



The times in the Tribulation will be exponentially more brutal. An order of magnitude brutal. Anyone with a bit of power will use it for evil and not for the good. We see that power abuse now. Now let me say that I have respect for our local law enforcement and first responders. I am glad they do what they do and I know they do it with the public health, welfare, and safety in mind. Millions of good police officers work through every day with their lives on the line. But the fact is, we see more of an encroachment toward toward bullying as we creep ever closer to the day when restraint will be abandoned and Tribulation will be here.

In one sense these items may make it hard to trust Jesus to the level that is necessary for salvation. A person seeing how power is abused over and over from small people to the highest on earth- kings and presidents- must be wary of the Christian's call to submit to the absolute power of a Holy God. That is why we say you must have faith, not only in Jesus name and through His blood that He saved us and will forgive us our sins, but faith that His power is the highest also but the most gentle and loving. We trust that because He made us, and He knows us, that He wants the best for us and that only He knows that that 'best' is. No one else on earth by any name or in any powerful capacity, like a government or law enforcement position, knows what is best for us to the degree that Jesus does, and they never will. Trust HIM! He is the ultimate law enforcement official, the highest judge, and He will enforce all his laws in His court one day. Jesus can be your Defense Lawyer (Hebrews 7:25) or your Prosecutor. (Genesis 18:25). His love is such that you get to choose. I pray you choose Him, and not the antichrist. The times are bad now, and they will get worse, but in heaven with a gentle and just God, time will be no more but every moment will be wonderful. Join me.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Melon sized hail falls in Norman OK

Though we are not in the Tribulation yet and are not enduring judgment, it seems that judgment is creeping ever closer as we see precursors popping up, or in this case, falling down:

Melon-sized hail falls on Norman OK Tuesday
"The violent storms whipping through parts of the Midwest this week returned on Tuesday night, leaving 14 dead in three states. The deadly extreme weather killed eight people in Oklahoma, two in Kansas and four in Arkansas. The deaths follow the tragic tornado that left at least 122 dead in Joplin, Missouri. Winds reached more than 150 MPH, and melon-sized hail fell from the sky:
Meteorologist Garrett Lewis from KFSM News Channel 5 discusses it here:

"The supercell thunderstorms that hit central Oklahoma generated giant hail. The Storm Prediction Center Severe Reports shows recorded 6" diameter hail that day. This hailstone apparently fell in the Oklahoma City area near Norman (According to api.newson6.com & Yahoo News) Three of the twisters in that area have been rated EF4. The National Weather Service is evaluating an EF5 rating on at least 1 of the tornadoes. Hail is formed in the updraft of a thunderstorms. A supercell thunderstorm consists of strong upward motion in the updraft and cold sinking air in the downdraft. The stronger the updraft the larger the hail. Strong to violent tornadoes of EF3-EF5 will typically create giant hail like this. It's important to note that not all the hailstones were this large. Generally in a hail core the largest hailstones make up 10-20% of all hailstones falling. The rest were likely golfball to baseball size. Still... that's "one hail of a storm". -Garrett
Garrett PS NOTE: (I can't vouch for this picture's authenticity, as many of you have pointed out on Facebook... it DOES look like a frozen water balloon. I do believe the 6" diameter hail reports from Storm Prediction Center. Usually SPC & NWS does a good job weeding out the weirdo photoshop crowd. Largest "official" hail report from that day was 6" in Timken, KS, also 5" in DFW Metro)"

It is not hard to imagine what hail that size would do to your head if it fell down on you in 150mph winds. It is not hard therefore to imagine the terror and devastation of hail weighing 100pounds. "And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe." (Revelation 16:21)

More here on biblical "Language of God: Hail"

Mysterious loud boom in Philly causes panic

I've been reporting on a mysterious event that is happening in various US states at various times lately. It seems that a huge boom would occur that sounded like an explosion or an earthquake, but no explosion nor earthquake had happened. In some places it was proposed that a meteor had fallen but no meteor was in sight. Physical effects of these mystery booms are felt or seen, the ground briefly shakes, pictures swing on hooks, windows rattle. But there is no physical cause to attribute to the effects that are clearly seen and heard. Just a huge "BOOM". You can go to this link for a round up of news excerpts that report on previous booms in the last two months or so.

Another one happened in Philly last night and this one was loud. It caused panic. It was clearly seen and heard, so much so that a multitude of rescue and first responder vehicles arrived at the scene. But there was no scene.

Mystery Boom Causes Panic in Northeast Philadelphia – Video
One witness: 'It sounded like something above you, fell down.'
A mystery ‘boom’ that ‘may not have been explosion’ caused panic in northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County at approximately 9:30 PM, May 27, 2011, according to a local NBC report, with multiple fire trucks, EMS, and power companies racing to the ‘scene’. After reaching the area, no one could locate the source of an explosion. Also reported, house’s shook which led to speculation it may have been an earthquake. According to NBC 7 the USGS was unable to confirm the boom was an earthquake. Other speculation, a sonic boom which was heard in only northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County.
NBC 10 Philadelphia video news report:
‘Calls and emails flooded NBC 10 News after reports of several loud bangs. This is in northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. Fire and emergency units raced to the scene but it is still not clear what has happened here.’
The local NBC reporter:
‘This is a very strange situation out here you can see behind me there are multiple crews from the fire department and the police department as well as crews from PICO and PGW. This is the area of 9th and Fairdale Rd. in Northeast Philadelphia. Here’s what we know, at about 9:30 tonight the fire department started getting multiple calls of what some people described as a possible explosion. Some people I’ve been talking to at the scene said that it actually felt like a minor earthquake. Whatever it was at this point investigators have not been able to determine what that explosion was or if it even was an explosion but people said it lasted only a few seconds.’
One witness: ‘It sounded like something above you, fell down.’ Another witness: ‘It sounded like something hit the building, like a car. It was just a shake and that’s when the cops and everything were here. And someone said a house blew up and everyone came running out and no one knows what it is.’---end of report---

As the witness said, 'it sounded like something above you, fell down.' Is it the voice of the LORD, warning us? Making His presence known? I don't know but increasingly I am believing that it is. When one boom happens it is non-news, just a minor mystery upon which we shrug and go our way. When two happen in various places I go 'oh well, that's interesting.' I begin to perk up at three, because in my mind, it is a pattern now. When 20 or 30 happen now THAT is something we all should pay attention to. That all 30 (or so) have no visible cause, and when the event is investigated by officials from all scientific disciplines and no cause is found, it makes for a good case that it is supernatural. The US Geological survey explicitly stated each time none were quakes. Police, gas line men, drilling experts, all say that in their sphere the boom was not man-made from their particular activity. Military bases were contacted and no hot military exercises were ongoing in that location nor were there sonic booms the sounds could be related to.

Is God calling attention to Himself? It could be. When all man-made and earthly causes have been excluded, you look up. The presence of God in the earth is real. "The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon." (Psalm 29:5). His voice breaketh the cedars, He certainly can utter a sound again as He has done in the past and make Himself known. Prophetically, the end of the end time and certainly the Tribulation are a period when He has promised to make Himself known on earth to greater and greater degrees. It is a time when science and analytical rationality fly out the window as He supersedes these man made constructs and He demonstrates His power over both. As the witness said, if I may change one word in his observations, ''it sounded like something above you, came down.''



Friday, May 27, 2011

National debt is piled up to the moon

I read this headline on Reuters the other day and it reminded me of something from the bible.

"Pile of debt would stretch beyond stratosphere"
"President Ronald Reagan once famously said that a stack of $1,000 bills equivalent to the U.S. government's debt would be about 67 miles high. That was 1981. Since then, the national debt has climbed to $14.3 trillion. In $1,000 bills, it would now be more than 900 miles tall. In $1 bills, the pile would reach to the moon and back twice."

last update: 2008
On an earthly level, this news depresses me. The national debt is an issue that is pervasive and very negative on the US and the world, but it is so nebulous that most Americans don't, won't, or can't wrap their minds around it. The numbers become meaningless, after all, who can understand a trillion? But the profligate spending of the last generations has brought us to this. Though Bill Clinton made significant progress toward reducing the debt, the US government budget has actually not been balanced since 1957. That would be Eisenhower.

What does the bible have to say about living beyond our means?

"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him." (Luke 16:13-15).

It is plain to see that US citizens have served either one master alone (mammon) or have tried to serve two (Mammon and God of the Prosperity Gospel). The attitude of 'more-more-more,' of getting a bigger boat, wanton spending, shop till you drop, greed is good, Me generation has gone away from biblical principles of handling money. And our leaders (The Pharisees, metaphorically) love money even more and that is bad because they have control of the budget. Paul said that at the time of the end, we would be lovers of money:
"For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy" (2 Timothy 3:2).
 
But we are also told that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10)

As of 2008
 America is pierced with many sorrows. When we see homosexual marriage legalized, abortion increasing,  pornography becoming accepted and ubiquitous, we recognize these social ills as sins. But the money problem...it is more invisible simply because it is so nebulous. You can't see a debt. You can't hold a debt. Who does debt really harm, we wonder.
Money issues, unpaid debt, borrowing, lending at usury (credit card companies who charge 30% or more) and interest are all addressed in the bible. In certain circumstances, they are sins. Here is a good study on the monetary system that includes lending and debt that God initially set up.

In biblical times the Hebrews failed to obey the monetary laws God instituted, and today we are failing in the same way. We are failing so badly that the debt has piled up to the moon. This headline reminded me of several bible verses:

"I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." (Revelation 18:5). The Lord said in the next verse that they shall be paid back double. They did not know that they were borrowing against their sins at double interest rate!

Lest we tend to say that we ourselves, individually, have not piled up debt, nor lent, nor borrowed, nor spent, Prophet Ezra had a holy shame for the state of sin his nation was in. He prayed: "O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens." (Ezra 9:6). Gill's Exposition of the bible explains "our trespass is grown up unto the heavens; being done in an open, public, and insolent manner, and in such numbers, that they were, as it were, piled up in heaps, reaching to heaven, and calling down vengeance from thence. Ezra includes himself as being one of the same nation; and these sins being so common were become national ones, which involved all the individuals, and exposed them to the divine resentment."

If our debt is piled up as high as the moon, our national sin must surely crumble down upon our heads at double portion! Do you have a holy shame for the misuse of the wonderful assets the Lord gave us? His grace is such that in God's economy, debt is forgiven- sin debt that is, and His love extends even farther than from the moon and back: it extends to us and through us and for all eternity. Be wise in your financial dealings, pray to the Lord for our nation that the Pharisitical leaders who run things would have wisdom, and that we repent of individual and national fiscal abuse. Our gracious Lord hears our prayers. "O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech You; Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine, " (Psalm 80:14)


Blogger is having issues again

There are login issues, and that means I don't always have access to the administrative parts of the blog when I want in order to check comments or to post a new entry. Comments are not showing up, either. Blogger says they are working on these issues, so please be patient. If you do not see your comment, that is why. Unless it was a comment I deemed not appropriate nor discussion-enhancing and I deleted it. ;)

Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Into the tempest: would you cut away the lifeboat?

I was reading Acts 27 this morning and the sea faring language was a wonderful refresher of days when I lived on a sailboat. I'm sorry for posting much of the chapter, but here is today's text for discussion:

The Voyage to Rome Begins
1 And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. 2 So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us. 3 And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care. 4 When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5 And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board. 7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. 8 Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

Paul’s Warning Ignored
9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” 11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.

In the Tempest
Source
13 When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. 15 So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive. 16 And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty. 17 When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands , they struck sail and so were driven. 18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. 20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us , all hope that we would be saved was finally given up. 21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.”

27 Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land. 28 And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. 29 Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, when they had let down the skiff into the sea, under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off."

A lee shore is when the wind is coming across your boat and driving it into the rocky shore. You run aground and the waves then pound your boat to pieces. A lee shore is a scary position to be in. It is hard enough for sailboats these days but back then square rigged sails couldn't point into the wind even as much as triangular sails. In either case, with no engine all you could do is thrown out an anchor or two for drag, and try and tack away from the shore (making progress by long zig zags) by pointing into the wind as much as possible.

Now think about these sailors. It's been TWO WEEKS! They haven't eaten properly, then they ate nothing at all. You can't cook when the seas are that rough. You can't sleep, and all hands are needed to keep changing the sails for tacking. This is strength-sapping to the extreme and you are exhausted to begin with. You are literally battling the wind and waves, which, remember is late fall now so it is cold. ["After the Fast" is Yom Kippur, in Oct.] It is LOUD. A tempest isn't quiet. The rigging squeals, the masts creak, the boat pounds into the waves, the spray hisses, the cargo shifts. The seas roar. Captain yells, and the men moan. It is loud. They threw off cargo, they threw off rigging, which meant spare sails, ropes, and other items needed for sailing the boat. They even tied the ship together with ropes! ("undergird the ship") When all seemed lost, they got ready to let down the lifeboat.

These men were tired, cold, hungry, scared, and knew they were about to die. They had thrown off everything they could, and if they'd had Jonah on board, they'd likely have thrown him off too. When you are in that condition for as long as you are, it is survival mode. Your whole world narrows to getting through the next minute, coming up intact from the last wave. A lifeboat becomes your only vision, your only hope. Your only chance...and Paul told them to let it go.

Imagine the drama of that moment. The only thing between life and death in their view was that lifeboat. And yet...they listened to Paul and they cut it away.

Would you cut it away? Have you cut away all backups, lifeboats, safety nets? Are you making Jesus your only hope, your only life? He promised them life, and He promised you life eternal. His promises are good. If you are in the tempest, remember that Jesus is the lifeboat! And He will never leave your or forsake you.

"Post-apocalyptic landscapes" during this, the pre-apocalypse

Do you know who said this?

"We are living at a time when mankind seems to sense that the end of all things is very near. Just about everyone has a theory as to how the world is threatened and when that end might come. The media and the Internet are full of doomsday speculations concerning the New Age "Mayan Calendar" and the year 2012. Some scientists predict that Global Warming could wipe out life on Planet Earth within a certain number of years. At the same time, politicians work to halt the proliferation of life-destroying nuclear weapons before it is "too late." High profile news reports of economic downturns, crime, wars, tsunamis, earthquakes, and disease outbreaks cause people to question whether God is bringing judgment on the world."

I agree with this statement. We ARE living at a time when mankind seems to sense the end of things is nearing. The person who said that is Harold Camping, from his website We Can Know. Though I disagree with Camping's setting a date for the rapture, of course, I agree that the times are dire enough that people sense an imminence to...something. Christians know that imminence is judgment on the world, after the removal of the faithful believers in Jesus.

This year in the US is the most expensive year ever for natural disaster recovery. As I've mentioned before, reporters and weather men are running out of superlatives to describe the weather systems and disasters they are covering. "Worst ever" dropped off a long time ago. "Historic" got worn out fast as new events outpaced prior events, because history was made monthly or even weekly. Recently we were reading about 'epic' floods/tornadoes/landslides/eruptions/earthquakes. Even 'epic' doesn't' describe what we see anymore. This week, a new term to describe the devastation has arrived: "Post-apocalyptic".

The Australian Broadcast Company wrote this of the damage in Joplin MO from this week's tornadoes:
"The twister hit the town of Joplin with only 20 minutes warning, turning whole neighbourhoods into a post-apocalyptic landscape."

The Book of Eli, movie

Time Magazine reporter observed:
"I saw a man sifting through the rubble of what used to be Affordable Mini Storage. He was going through the remains of his storage unit, searching for anything salvageable in the post-apocalyptic landscape of our home town. He picked up a toy from the debris."

At Fox News, we read-
After daybreak, survivors picked through the rubble of their homes, salvaging clothes, furniture, family photos and financial records, the air pungent with the smell of gas and smoking embers. Some neighborhoods were completely flattened and the leaves stripped from trees, giving the landscape an apocalyptic aura. In others where structures still stood, families found their belongings jumbled as if someone had picked up their homes and shaken them."

Joplin MO

Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road'
Unfortunately for those who are already at a loss for words, the apocalypse hasn't even begun. But the use of that term to describe in visual terms what we have never seen before is telling. All we have are movies to conjecture what a devastated world would look like, and many of us have seen those films or ones like them. Here is a scene from The Book of Eli, a film starring Denzel Washington that was released last Memorial Day weekend. The summary- "A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind."

The Book of Eli
Joplin MO

Japan tsunami damage:

Bloomberg News

From Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road'
Each of these following three links uses the same phrase, that [parts of] Tuscaloosa Ala, Joplin MO, Denning Ark were "wiped off the map."

Post-apocalyptic is a good descriptive term, and each of the real scenes and the movie scenes mirror each other in some way. However, the apocalypse has not begun. How will newscasters describe the real post-apocalyptic events when the real apocalypse happens, if they are already using up comprehensible terms that come short of offering understanding to the minds of viewers, stunned at devastation unlike anything we have seen before?

I am not making any hidden allusion that the movies mean something in today's world. There is no hidden message here. The message is actually about language and the ability of men to visualize total earthly destruction without humanity's extinction, which is what the Tribulation actually is. These movies did a good job of visualizing a post-apocalyptic world for movie-goers' entertainment, but now it unfortunately has come close to the truth. No longer entertaining, hundreds of thousands of people are living it as reality. Reporters are increasingly at a loss to describe it. Mike Bettes of The Weather Channel is a veteran of thousands of tornado coverage stories, but in reporting Joplin MO tornado damage, he simply cried.

Folks, we are still PRE-apocalyptic. If you sense (correctly) that the real apocalypse is coming, whether you are of the ilk that believes in Edgar Cayce, Nostradamus, Mayan Calendar, Global Warming, the Final Imam, or Jesus Christ, you are correct, something is coming. I know what it is, too.

"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. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

That's the rapture! Though we do not know when that will be, we sense its nearness because our eyes are open and we see the signs the Lord said to look for appearing now with regularity and frequency. After the rapture, will be the Apocalypse. Here I quote Revelation 6-19, where the earth is devastated by earthquakes, 100 pound hail, disease, demonic attack on your physical person, torture, brutality, fires, and much more. Those two events will occur and you even have a choice as to which you would like to participate! If you sincerely believe you are a sinner rebelling against a just God, ask Jesus to forgive your sins and He will extend to you the pardon He bought for you in his own blood. You will be exempt from judgment and your sins will be wiped from the record. It will result in you being born again. You will enjoy a sweet and blissful time with Jesus in heaven while the apocalypse is happening down on earth.

Alternately, you can refuse to believe that you sin, that there is a Holy God who is judging you and will judge you, and you can choose to stay on earth for the apocalypse. If you like what you see in Japan, Joplin MO, Tuscaloosa, and Denning Arkansas, this option may appeal to you. If the reality of judgment begins to set in as it unfolds, you can appeal to the Holy Jesus and ask for forgiveness after the rapture, but do not wait until then. You may die, or you may have already been left with a hardened heart, Jesus having given you over to your desire to rebel and wallow in your sins. That is why we say now is the acceptable time of your salvation.

I plead with you to consider the reasons you are not saved but are reading this blog. The Spirit is pushing you, repeatedly, to understand the truths of His love, His justice, and His imminence. Do it today. He will not strive with man forever. (Genesis 6:3). You've seen the road ahead, and it is not pretty. You can traverse a road like Cormac McCarthy's, which is broad and leads to destruction, or you can tread the narrow way which leads to eternal life and a street of gold. Your choice!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spiritual warfare is real

I was at some friends' last weekend, at our Sunday School party at their home. After dinner we played a bible trivia game. Here is one of the questions:

"How many angels are named in the bible?" At first blush the answer seems easy. Can you guess? Pause.

Answer: Three. Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer. Most of the teams gave the answer as two, Michael and Gabriel. Those two are easy to remember, but we forget Lucifer, who is that old serpent, satan.

Luke 1:19 we read of the messenger angel Gabriel-
"The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news."

In Daniel 10:13 we read of Michael the warrior angel, who is an archangel-
"But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."

Paul reminds us of the hierarchies of angels, both good and fallen:
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" (Colossians 1:16)

Ephesians 6 is the famous chapter where Paul reminds us that we are in enemy territory here on earth, that the territory has a hierarchy, and that we are always at war, (whether we know it or not):
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

We often forget about Lucifer as an angel, his name means star of the morning, or shining one. Isaiah laments Lucifer's fall from the high holy place of guarding God's throne, to his low position of evil rebel destined for the hell (Matthew 25:41).

Hebrews and Revelation together show us that about a third of the angels fell with Satan. (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 12:3-9). Hebrews also reminds "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2). If angels visit us and engage with us on a personal and even intimate level ('hospitality' translated, "in one's home", "receive as a guest") then who is to say that we are always visited by the good angels? Sometimes we are visited by the bad ones, too. Probably more than sometimes, probably we're visited by them often.

I was in another friend's home the other night, and I mentioned that Dr. David Jeremiah's latest series is on spiritual warfare. She replied, "Oh! I don't even like to think about spiritual warfare!" I was stunned by this, she being a seasoned Christian. I remarked that we are at war whether we like to think about it or not! Because of sin, the earth is a battlefield. Satan and his angels battle for souls every day. 1 John 5:19 tells us that the entire earth is under the control of the evil one. In Luke 4:5-6 satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and in one of the temptations, offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus didn't rebuke satan for making that claim.

In Ephesians, Paul tells us to pray and to wear our spiritual armor. 1 Timothy 1:18 Paul tells Timothy to prepare for the battle. 2 Corinthians 10:2-4 describes the kind of war we Christians are in. There is war-like language all throughout the New Testament, referring to the fact that we ARE in a war. It is a spiritual war, but a war that has eternal consequences for each participant.

I was struck by the two incidents this week- the bible trivia question about Lucifer where it was so easy to forget he is really an angel, and the Christian who dismissed spiritual warfare topics as something unsavory she doesn't like to think about. Christian, be aware that we are dwelling in enemy territory, and this is not our home. We are unwanted intruders. We are under attack all the time. Not daily, but frequently and constantly. We are attacked by demons, by our own sin, and by the curse of the world. We are in a war and that war will not be concluded for us individually until we die or are raptured. That war for all of us as a body in Christ will not end until after the 1000 year Kingdom when satan will be let out of the pit, will foment one last war and he will be squashed and sent to the lake of fire forever.


But remember an even greater truth. Unlike every other warrior who ever fought in a war, we know the outcome prior to the war's end! We may be battling, but "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Jesus won the war for us, on our behalf and in obedience to the Father's will. Jesus is the victor, and through Him we win the war. So, battle on in confidence, but never forget we are in a war. Semper Fi!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Forget the rapture May 21, it's now the Mahdi June 5

Verrrry interesting article about what is happening in Iran, spiritually. I've reported before that there had been a rift between President Ahmadinajad and Supreme Leader Khamenei. I suspected that the rift began with the accidental release to the West of a documentary film outlining Iran's deeply-held eschatological (end time) beliefs. Of those beliefs, one analyst wrote, "The Shia Muslim Iranians view the current events in the Middle East as confirmation that their end time eschatology is correct. This confirmation is fueling their fervor and inciting them to further the final events to prepare for the arrival of their 'Mahdi'. As we know from the bible, the true events will include terrible wars, including Psalm 83 war and Gog-Magog- the latter of which the bible says Iran plays the major role. The purpose of the film is to make the case that Iran is prophetically destined to lead the war against Islam's enemies, which is as a prelude to the appearance of the Hidden Imam, also called the Mahdi, who brings the final victory for Islam and reigns over the whole world. It uses current events to argue that "the final chapter has begun" and the Mahdi's arrival is imminent", and the documentary they produced goes on to explain how and why. I wrote more about the documentary here and here.

Then in the last few weeks we have not heard about the rift between the President and the Supreme Leader, until today. and again the news has to do with their eschatalogical beliefs in the final days. Remember, Iran is a theocracy, and the Supreme Leader is supposed to be the final word on all matters, including and especially religious. The author of this piece is 'Reza Kahlili', the nom de plume for the CIA-infiltrated agent who was the person to obtain and release the Iranian documentary "The Coming is Near" to the west and has been analyzing and reporting on the fallout ever since. The article below is more fallout, with ominous prophetic indications.

Ahmadinejad’s Team Expects Arrival of 12th Imam … on June 5
"Increasing tensions between Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad intensified when hardline clerics exerted pressure on Ahmadinejad to obey the supreme leader as the ultimate authority. Those tensions were exacerbated with the arrest of over 25 of Ahmadinejad’s associates and loyalists, along with a high-level member of his inner circle. Supporters of the supreme leader are referring to Ahmadinejad’s group as “The Deviant Movement.” This “group” has announced that within the upcoming weeks a monumental event will turn the tide to their advantage. Based on a report from Iran’s Ayandeh, one of the officials within “The Deviant Movement” has informed his confidants that certain sources close to the “Mahdi’s Emergence Movement” have stated that an important event will soon change the course of operations to Ahmadinejad’s favor. According to interpretations offered by Ahmadinejad’s team, a high-ranking member of the Islamic Republic will meet with a climactic incident. This in turn will build up to the announcement of the “covert emergence” of the Twelfth Imam (or Mahdi) in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Hardliners critical of Ahmadinejad maintain that his team believes a covert emergence will commence on the 14th of Khordaad (June 5) in Medina, setting the stage for the announcement of the actual emergence in the next few years."

"Certain accounts have chronicled that prior to the official emergence of the Mahdi, he will appear covertly in Medina, and during a period of one to three years he will lay the foundations for the actual announcement of his appearance. The Deviant Movement states that: “At the time of the covert emergence, his regent (i.e., the supreme leader) will be deposed from his position.” Previously, Ali Mottahari — a pro-supreme leader member of the Islamic Parliament — criticized Ahmadinejad:"
Ahmadinejad believes that the covert emergence has, in fact, occurred. Therefore, he acts like he no longer needs the supreme leader and that he can disobey him, as he is taking his orders directly from the Mahdi himself.

There is more at the headline link. Kahlili ends with this: "Since Ahmadinejad’s ascent to power, talk of the emergence of the Mahdi has increased. A number of hardliners, who are installed within the halls of the presidency, are attempting to utilize the Iranian and global situation to demonstrate the signs of the emergence of the Mahdi and to prove that the Rapture is imminent. As I revealed recently, a secret Iranian documentary, The Coming is Upon Us, details the last condition for the reappearance as the destruction of Israel and the conquest of Jerusalem by Ahmadinejad. He has been portrayed as the mythical figure in centuries-old Hadiths, Shoeib-ebne Saleh, the Islamic commander who attacks Israel in the End of Times and creates the needed circumstances for the reappearance of the Shiite messiah, the 12th Imam Mahdi. The question is: Will the rifts in the Iranian leadership push Ahmadinejad and his team to draw Israel into an unwanted war to prove that he is that mythical figure and to facilitate the Rapture?"

We know from prophecy that Iran will play  a major role in fomenting attacks against Jerusalem and Israel at large in the very last days. We know that the Arab world, with Obama behind them, are enemies of Israel who have sworn to wipe them off the map. "See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you—" Psalm 83:2-5, a prophetic Psalm of the future, and that future is now.

Has there ever been a time when nations in a frenzy talked so much of the imminence of the Lord's arrival? Has there ever been a time when the prophetic pieces were lining up so closely? Has there ever been a time when millions eagerly looked forward as much as they do now to the appearance of their particular deity of worship? No. Now is the time. And time is running out. Therefore "for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU." Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION "--" 2 Corinthians 6:2

Now. Turn to Jesus and ask Him to forgive your sins, now. Forget rapture May 21. Forget Mahdi June 5. Today is the day of your salvation!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Housekeeping

It has been a while since I refreshed things on the layout and widgets of the blog. I took a nice person's suggestion and put a stand alone widget for the series I'd written called The Language of God. Despite the fact that the text color is black and nothing I can do seems to make it be blue for unvisited and then red when visited, they actually are links.

I changed the links on the right, of the end time signs Third Temple, Israel, etc. The pictures you see there under the headers are actually links to today's news for each of the major signs. I hadn't put in new links for a long time, I am sorry about that. I'll be changing those daily or almost daily now that summer is here and I have more time.

I used to have a video bar but I thought it was slowing down the loading of the pages so I deleted it. If you want it back, let me know. If you want anything else, let me know. As always, thank you for reading and for making suggestions.

Elizabeth

The Language of God: Still small voice

Here is a series you might enjoy: The Language of God. In the bible, God spoke in a number of ways to His people, or the announce His presence, or His displeasure. Weather was one of the ways He spoke. Since God is the same today, yesterday and forever, it stands to reason that He might be speaking in the same way today. But do we hear Him through the clutter? Do we listen for Him to speak in these same ways? The world has changed, but He has not. Here are previous entries in the series-

The Language of God: Thunder
The Language of God: Earthquakes
The Language of God: Lightning
The Language of God: Fire & Brimstone
The Language of God: Hail

Today we will examine the Language of God: The Still Small Voice!

It is a given that God is powerful. He has spoken in a number of ways that are loud! Thunder, hail, lightning, earthquake and fire are very noisy. You can't miss hearing those! In addition, Psalm 29 shows us from His own Word more ways He speaks:

Psalm 29, various verses--

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic.

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.

The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, “Glory"

The cedars of Lebanon were sturdy trees up to 130 feet tall. It would take a mighty voice to break those!

But then there is this voice: "Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice." (1 Kings 19:11-12)

The LORD breaks rocks! He topples cedars! He quakes the earth! The LORD is mighty, there is no doubt about that. But He is a personal God, too. He is not remote, dwelling on Olympus remotely and capriciously messing up men's affairs for their own entertainment's sake.

He is with us, that is His name: Emmanuel, God with us! When He wants to speak to our soul, to our heart, He speaks in a still small voice. He is loving of all humanity and He seeks to speak to us in the quiet of our hearts via the scriptures. To hear Him, though, a person should be quiet themselves. "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:6)

Though we pride ourselves these days on multitasking, we are really overdue for a de-cluttering. Multitasking simply means that we mask God's voice.

All that noise drowns out God's still, small voice by distracting us from His word. When we start listening to other things besides God then the still small voice that penetrates the clutter will be satan's, hissing, "Hath God really said...?" Once our ears are plugged up with noise, then our eyes are taken off God and we drift away from the straight and narrow path. Get your attention away from the tumult of the natural and unnatural world, and carve out a quiet space to listen to God by reading your bible. One way we do that is in the prayer closet. When you pray, you talk, but then how much do you listen for a response? Do you stay in a pose of quiet contemplation, focusing on the attributes of God while you wait on Him? Or is there music going on in the background? Television? Is your cell phone on?

Another way to hear His still, small voice is by reading the Word. Again, make sure the tumult is off. Read, and when you feel an impression, or when it seems that you want to ponder a verse for a while, it may indeed be the still small voice calling attention to a deeper truth He wants to impart from what he has already revealed.

I'm amazed by the speed and noise of our world today. When I was little, 40-35 years ago, the number one television program was Little House on the Prairie. If you watch it now, it seems unbearably slow and too stodgy and quiet. That is because it isn't fast-paced, it didn't have jazzy music and the editing preferred long slow scenes instead of quick cuts. But 35 years ago was not that long ago. Nowadays if something isn't happening on the tv, DVD, Playstation, Wii, cell phone or twitter it seems like life has stopped.

Our God is a personal God. He speaks to us in the quiet. Shhh.

My prayer today at church

O Father,
Let me live for You
Let me live by You
Let me live through You
Let me live in You

Why?...

I live because of You

Make Jesus your priority today. He is coming soon...


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stay on the right track!

Watch this, the first three minutes, and then I'll explain something.


I know, last week's news was pretty dark, right? It really was. The blog was full of terrible things happening in the world. I pondered last week's news all this week. I am gaining a new understanding each day, thanks to the Holy Spirit. Jesus said of the Time of Jacob's Trouble- "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it" (KJV). (Jeremiah 30:7). And again in Matthew 24:21, "He said "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." How can we comprehend a time that will have unequaled suffering? A time that has never been so bad on earth and never will be again? Students of history may be familiar with the Dark Ages, as Wikipedia says, 'a period of supposed intellectual darkness that occurred in Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire from the 5th to 15th centuries AD.' It was a time of wars, rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, barbarians sweeping down from the Mongolian steppes or the German Alps and razing whole cities and populations. It was a time of bubonic plagues where the dead were stacked in the streets. A time of sudden fires and early death and child mortality and torture and Inquisition and witchcraft and sickness and gloom. The Tribulation will not be equal to that. It will be worse.

Jesus spent a great deal of time not only in Chapter 24 of Matthew explaining in detail about these things, but in most of the bible. All of the Old Testament gears up to the time of this Tribulation. How? The Church Age is a time when the Age of Law was paused for 7 years. The Tribulation is actually a resumption of the Old Testament, God finishing His business with the Israelites for the last 7 years. We HAVE to know about it. We HAVE to understand what is coming. Why?

I believe it is important first and foremost to have a solid understanding of the end times and upcoming Tribulation because they are in the bible. Period. Everything in the bible is profitable for knowledge and education and reproof (2 Tim 3:16).

I believe it is important to know these things to even greater detail because we are that generation who will see the end of the Church Age and be raptured. We will experience an unequaled event that all of human history since the beginning has been aiming toward. We are that generation who will personally experience, alive, the result of Jesus' ministry on earth and on the cross: redeeming humanity with His own blood. We are the generation who will be going about our daily business, like every other generation that ever lived since Adam and Eve, but who will experience the interruption of time as Jesus Himself breaks through the veil and calls us up, snatching us up from the earth in a powerful event that defies all science, reason, and comprehension. Of course we should know about that moment, being the glorious recipients of it, and therefore can experience a great anticipation, joy, and hope that we can share with others in this dark time.

But should our knowledge of end time events stop there? No...

The Tribulation is God's judgment for sin. We are sinners. It is only through the grace of Jesus that we will not be experiencing that 7-year period of darkness and horror that we want to shy away from and not know about. But we must have clear eyes and stare steadily into the train wreck that is coming, knowing we will be saved from that wrath (1 Thess 5:9) but understanding thoroughly that if we were not saved we would be experiencing it ourselves, and justifiably so! Who are we to say, 'thanks Jesus, now I turn from the bible's descriptions of what will happen to everyone else because it upsets me too much to see it beginning to be played out on earth'?!

Finally, the scene from the movie Fireproof comes to mind. That is the clip, above. That was the latest movie from the Christian folks from Albany GA in which Kirk Cameron starred as a firefighter whose marriage was falling apart. There was a scene where two cars had crashed and one was crumpled and stuck on the train tracks. Two women were in the car. They were trapped in the vehicle. At first, one firefighter was talking to the woman, asking her if she was OK, telling her the method he was going to use that would free her. Then two other firefighters arrived on scene. A bunch of bystanders started milling round, in the background, not saying or doing anything, just watching. A few walked away, likely not wanting to see the physical results of what may happen next. The three firefighters then heard a train whistle. They could not see the train but they heard it. They began to hurry, hurry to get the car off the tracks, knowing there was no time now to get the women out of the car. As the train rounded the bend, some bystanders came to help, and they grunted and sweated to get the car off the tracks. More joined, still more. At the last second they got the car off the tracks just as the train came by, saving the women from sure crushing- just as surely as people will be crushed by 100lb hailstones (Rev 16:21) or houses falling on them (Rev 11:13) in the Tribulation.

These days are like that scene. People all around us are trapped in their sins, in bondage and chained to the tracks. Many Christians are simply bystanders, looking on but doing nothing to really help the ones in the path of destruction. Some walk away. But at first one helped then another and another. They risked themselves to help. Don't leave the job of salvation to just the fire chief (pastor) but it is all our duty to help those in the path of the wreck. Don't peer at people in a crushed car (the enslaved unsaved) and say "Ew, that's gonna be a mess" and walk away, covering your eyes even though you hear the train whistle. People all over the world are trapped in their sins just as the women were tapped in the car in the movie. Are the bible verses about the Tribulation and the news of today that match upcoming Tribulation events not worth reading because the grisly aftermath is easier to visualize now that the train is almost upon us? Let it not be so!

It takes all of us Christians to do the job: obeying the Spirit, being strong, and actually DOING something to help all the time everywhere, even though our eyes may be looking upon something unsavory or terrible while we do it. But we will not be helping if we never look at the train and know it's coming, nor if we refuse to stalwartly look at the coming indicators of the aftermath, by contrast knowing their fate!

The directions are simple: "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2. The more grateful you are, the more joy you have in what you have, and joy in what is to come.