Monday, October 31, 2011

UNESCO grants full membership to Palestinian Authority

UNESCO and the Palestinians-

The Palestinians had lodged a request to the UN Security Council to become a full member state in the United Nations. At the same time, they put in a request to be a full member state in the cultural and scientific organisation of the UN called UNESCO. The vote for the statehood-membership to the organization UNESCO was held this morning in Paris and they granted membership to the Palestinian Authority.

BBC News: UN cultural and scientific organisation, Unesco, votes to allow Palestinian Authority full membership
"The Palestinian move is aimed at gaining momentum ahead of a UN Security Council vote in November on whether Palestine should become a full United Nations member state. Membership of Unesco - perhaps best known for its World Heritage Sites - may seem a strange step towards statehood, says the BBC's Jon Donnison, in Ramallah, but Palestinian leaders see it as part of a broader push to get international recognition and put pressure on Israel. The move comes a month after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked for Palestine to become a full UN member state.The UN Security Council is expected to vote on that bid in November. The United States has said it will use its veto.

107 votes for Palestinian UNESCO membership. 14 against. 49 abstain. US, Canada, Germany voted against Palestinian UNESCO bid; Russia, China, France voted in favor; UK abstained. Palestine gets UNESCO membership. Laughter in auditorium when Israel voted no. Huge applause when it passed.

CNN Reports: "22% of its funding in its regular budget comes from the United States, said Sue Williams of UNESCO's press office. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to UNESCO said U.S. funding stands at about $80 million annually. "Any recognition of Palestine as a Member State would not only jeopardize the hope for a resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but (it) would endanger the United States' contribution to UNESCO," said an October 13 letter signed by members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, which appropriates UNESCO's U.S. funding."

The funding could be cut off based on this US provision of U.S. code which states: "No funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or any other Act shall be available for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states."

I had read last week that the PA also plans to use UNESCO status to lay claim to Israel's Holy and Historical sites. The American Thinker reported thoroughly on this. In that article, they wrote:

"Although UNESCO has no power to confer statehood, Palestinian admittance to this U.N. body will be a launching pad to attack all Jewish and Christian historical claims to the land of Israel. UNESCO has already been complicit in Palestinian historical revisionism when it voted that two of Judaism's holiest sites, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb, are not Israel's heritage sites, but mosques. Palestinians will most likely leverage their UNESCO membership to claim the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Western Wall of the Temple as wholly Palestinian heritage sites. The Palestinian Authority has already issued a paper denying Jewish connection to the Western Wall. Palestinian claims to sacred Jewish sites can't possibly be based on religious connections. Consider that the Temple Mount is currently being used for picnics and soccer games by Palestinians, and when Palestinians gained control over Joseph's Tomb, they tried to burn it down -- twice. The purpose of laying claim to Jewish holy sites is to erase over 3,000 years of Jewish presence in the land. Denying Jewish history is a stepping stone to denying a Jewish future."

Very true.

It is interesting that the PA attempted several times before to gain membership to UNESCO and failed. It seems that it passed quite easily today.

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Now to prophetic meaning--

The time of the West is declining and the time of the Muslim nations is rising. This is prophesied. The Time of Jacob's Trouble as it is known (the Tribulation last 7 years) is about Israel. Israel is the hand on God's prophetic clock. These things must come to pass as it is prophesied that Israel on that last day will stand alone with all her enemies around her.

"A prophecy: The word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves." (Zech 12:1-3).

Why? So that they turn to their Messiah, the One whom they rejected but now call upon!

"For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, 'The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob'" (Rom. 11:25-26).

That verse tells us that Jews in Israel will be accepting Jesus as Messiah during the Tribulation.

"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[a] of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.' (Zechariah 12:10).

What a glorious God we worship. Though rejected for 2000 years, on that Day He will pour out grace. Not mete it out, not dribble it out, but POUR it out upon those who refused to know Him but now clamor for His grace.

The rapidity with which it is all lining up is stunning and more than awe-inspiring. It seems to me to be like a Mack Truck bearing down on a stranded turtle in the middle of the highway. I'm not looking for it. I'm not hoping for it. But if indeed this report is true that there are nukes in Libya; (and with all that yellowcake it was obvious that there likely would be) unstable, Sharia instituting, al-Qaeda flag planting, Libya- prophesied to be so much a part of the war and horror of the last days, then these wars seem more likely than ever to be near to us in time.

Why do we read & study prophecy and stay attuned to the news of the world in relation to it? Because we are commanded to be ready.

"So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44).

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28).

We study these things so we are not surprised.

"But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled." (1 Thessalonians 54-6).

We study these things so we can tell others.

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (2 Peter 1:19)

The Word is more sure than personal experience. The Word is more sure than even the news. The Word is the surest thing there is, the Word IS Jesus:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

Friends, the Word is sure. These things will come to pass. And there will only be two kinds of people, friends of Jesus in the Light (believers) and enemies of Jesus in the dark (unbelievers). The rift is growing and the time is coming to make sure of your salvation. In these uncertain times, two things are certain: they will happen exactly as foretold, and Jesus is our Holy God coming to retrieve the saved (1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15) and punish the wicked. (Isaiah 13:11). Make sure you are in the first group! Email me if you are not sure how. Or visit this link, "The Plan of Salvation."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nuclear weapons found in Libya

We know that massive quantities of yellowcake were found in Libya during the revolution/ousting of Gaddafi. I reported that here on September 27.

Then 4 days ago, Ynet News from Israel reported chemical weapons were found.

'Chemical weapons in Libya under guard'
"NTC finds chemical weapons, secures them following death of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. 'They are from Gaddafi's era and are under guard, until they can be handed over," says NTC official."

Tonight, Ynet News reports that "banned weapons" have been found.
"Libya's National Transitional Council chairman Mahmoud Jibril announced that banned weapons have been found in his country, reported Al Arabiya. (Roee Nahmias)"

The Jerusalem Post goes further and reveals that the banned weapons discovered were in fact nuclear weapons.
"The outgoing premier of Libya's NTC, Mahmoud Jibril said Sunday that nuclear weapons were found in the country, according to the Al Arabiya TV network, Israel Radio reported. Jibril also said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide further details on the weapons found in the next few days, according to the report."

I really don't see how the world will avoid what seems like the prophesied massive wars of the last days in the Middle East within 6 months. Or sooner. It seems to me to be like a Mack Truck bearing down on a stranded turtle in the middle of the highway. . I'm not looking for it. I'm not hoping for it. But if indeed this report is true that there are nukes in Libya; (and with all that yellowcake it was obvious that there likely would be) unstable, Sharia instituting, al-Qaeda flag planting, Libya- prophesied to be so much a part of the war and horror of the last days, then war seems more likely than ever to follow.

"I go to prepare a place for you"

Jesus concluded His ministry with His death on the cross and subsequent ascension to heaven, to be seated at the right hand of the Father. The right hand is illustrative of great strength and power. "Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy." (Exodus 15:6). Being seated denotes a concluded work. When we sit imports honour, as a king sits and his subjects stand. Sitting denotes pleasure, rest from labour and weariness. It evokes safety and security; one who is seated no longer need be on guard. As Gill's Exposition says, "What adds to the happiness of this is, that it is together with all the saints, and with Christ himself."

His hands have made the world and the heavens (Isaiah 48:13). His hands have made us (Psalms 73:23). His hands smote enemies. (Exodus 15:6). His hand saves. (Psalms 17:7).

Jesus said to the Jews that they will not see Him again until they cry out to Him (Matthew 23:39). He told the Disciples, “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 14:1-2)

So when Jesus left, He said He would prepare a place. He did not say that He would tell His angels to prepare a place. He didn't say that He would create a place. He said He would prepare a place. The Greek word for prepare in this verse is hetoimazó, meaning to make ready, to prepare.

Whenever you feel lost, small, storm-tossed, think of the John 14 verse. He goes to prepare a place for us. The God of the Universe whose hands have done so many things and will do so many things, whose hands smite enemies and create worlds, is using His hands to tenderly prepare for our arrival. He is preparing a place for us to dwell. That dwelling will be perfect, having been readied by the Perfect One. We will be partaking of the banquet of His glory forever.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Non-violent protesters do not deserve to be shot"

There is a Facebook meme going around attached to this photo:


Whenever anything  is promoted that is this inflammatory, so obviously designed both in picture and in word to generate a gut reaction instead of an intellectual response, I go on alert. Because it was associated with Occupy Wall Street, I was downright suspicious.

The meme-promoters likely hope to generate a response along the lines of, "Of course non-violent protesters don't deserve to be shot! Those bastards! Look what they did!" Well, before jumping into the fray, I needed context.

My initial response is that though this one may seem like a no-brainer to answer 'yes', there really are two sides to the story. Many OWS protesters are "violent" in other ways, such as illegally occupying private property, violating zoning rules, illegally using generators, failing to follow proper food handling procedures (putting eaters at risk), consuming or selling illegal drugs, destroying private property, etc. The list is long. I would need to know what this woman was actually doing before I determined whether she "deserved" to be hit with a rubber bullet...

And that is the other thing to note: the word "deserved" implies an emotional judgment is necessary on behalf of the viewer, but of course not on behalf of the law enforcement officer who made the call to fire the bullet.

Within 5 minutes I found that the photo, though titled 'occupy.jpg' has nothing to do with the Occupy Wall Street Protests. It was from an event that occurred in 2003: Police Attack California Anti-War Protesters
It is an AP article and here is the original caption of the billet ridden woman:
"A protester, who refused to give her name, bears the wounds after she says was hit by Oakland police weapon during a anti-war protest in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 7, 2003 outside the port area. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)"

The sympathy the meme-promoters hope to garner is an imagined scenario of the hapless and innocent protester writing on the ground and screaming in righteous wrath from her injuries. But she looked pretty conscious, sentient, and ambulatory here:
As far as what people "deserve", no, innocent protesters abiding by the law do not deserve to have excessive force leveled against them. The right of free speech in this country is still a value I hold dear. But by law-abiding people who are not engaged in violence themselves. This article from the 2003 incident describes law-breakers turning violent:

"More than 500 protesters gathered around 6 a.m. at the entrances to APL and Stevedoring Services of America (SSA), two shipping corporations that have military-related U.S. government contracts. Protesters said APL, an Oakland-based company, ships military cargo to Iraq. Seattle-based SSA won a $4.8 million contract last month to handle the aid cargo arriving at the Umm Qasr seaport in Iraq. ... Monday’s demonstration was the culmination of four days of anti-war action held around the nation and came on the heels of Saturday’s rally and march in Berkeley and Oakland, during which 9,000 people protested without conflict with police."

"Danielle Ashford, spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department, said police officers on Monday opened fire on protesters after warning them to disperse. She said most protesters heeded the command; those who did not, however, were fired on with what she called “less lethal weapons,” including wooden “bullets,” bags filled with small metal balls, and sting balls, which disperse rubber bullets and a minuscule amount of tear gas. Ashford said police force was necessary because protesters refused to disperse and were throwing rocks, metal bolts and small pieces of wood at officers. She added that many protesters climbed on trucks attempting to enter the port gate. “There is a difference between a peaceful protest on Saturday and this one,” she said. “This was a direct action to deliberately shut down the port.”

One commenter on a gun forum said,
"The instant a "demonstration" becomes a "riot", however (or the instant a single rock/bottle/whatever gets thrown), it's on like donkeykong and if you're caught in the middle it just plain sucks to be you (and it's your own damned fault)."

People, watch out for emotional manipulation, partial, or even false information from the Occupy movement folks. The above is a classic example of propaganda. "Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda is often biased, with facts selectively presented (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented."

The "did she deserve to be shot" poster is pure propaganda and that poster exactly fits the definition.

Public opinion is divided on the Occupy Wall Street movement. Many people understand and sympathize that the bankers should not have been bailed out, and the middle class got left behind. But equally, many do not like their illegal activities and believe that protests need to be lawful.

And before you jump in to discussions on social media on this issue, please do a few minutes of research to determine if you are being fed the whole truth. Social media is a great boon to society and is a valuable mechanism of free speech. But it just as easily can be falsified and manipulative. Don't YOU be manipulated.

Frozen Planet: amazing photos

Earlier today I posted some photos of the results of the latest Coronal Mass Ejection results of hitting earth: a Northern Lights storm that was so vast it was seen in half the states and all the way south to Texas. So at that time, I'd mused on the macro; the lights sparked by the sun so far away in space and our Creator 'out there.'

But now here is a look at the micro. Our Creator makes small things too! A wonderful series on BBC hosted Sir David Attenborough returns to tv with yet another series of glorious scenery and marvel from our world. This time, it's the polar regions. Here is a slide show of 19 photos from this latest episodes. Amazing!!

A couple of my favorites, that in my opinion, especially reflect His glory in creativity.

"Cameramen Doug Anderson and Hugh Miller created a bespoke underwater tripod which they bolted to the ice ceiling. They were able to get extraordinarily stable, macro shots of theses amazing ice formations or ‘ice chandeliers’, which were inhabited by millions of tiny ice fish whose bodies were full of anti-freeze. Under ice diving is not for the faint-hearted - it is the most high risk diving in the world. Our crew dived a record 110 times in one Antarctic season and spent hours under the ice capturing this magical world."


"Snowflake close up detail - this is filmed with unique macro technology developed especially for the shot."

He is so wonderful! Imagine how New Jerusalem looks!

Northern Lights come south for a visit

After completing the lowest minimum, the sun is entering one of the most active maximums in recent times. A burst on Monday hit the earth with a powerful blast and the resulting display was tremendous! The Auroras were seen all the way down to Texas and Alabama.

"A coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetic field on Monday, October 24 at approximately 2pm ET. This enabled the northern lights to be seen as far south as Arkansas, Tennessee, northern Alabama, northern Mississippi and North Carolina. For most, the aurora appeared as a red glow in the northern sky."

Below, photo by Jim Saueressig II,Burlington, KS, source here.


Below, Baileyton, AL, photo by Jonathan Stone, source here
Aren't they gorgeous!? From spaceweather.com--

"Auroras were seen or photographed in more than half of all US states including Alabama, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Montana, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Arkansas and California. Many observers, especially in the deep south, commented on the pure red color of the lights they saw. These rare all-red auroras sometimes appear during intense geomagnetic storms. They occur some 300 to 500 km above Earth's surface and are not yet fully understood."

"People in the United States are still talking about the spooky red auroras ignited by a CME on Oct. 24th; Northern Lights were sighted as far south as Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama. 48 hours later, the show was over in the USA, but not in Scandinaviia where residual auroras continued to flicker around the Arctic Circle. Norwegian photographer Ole C. Salomonsen took this picture on Oct. 26th:"


Wow, I love auroras. When God set His rainbow in the sky as a covenant, it is sort of like He is painting. (Genesis 9:13). And with the colorful northern lights, it is like He is painting, also.

Nemrut, Easter Island, Great Pyramid, and strange monuments to a god

On Sunday, October 23, 2011, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey. Shortly after the quake this headline appeared:

"Turkey fears volcano eruption" - "Turkish seismologists fear that the earthquakes that hit the province of Van on Sunday can cause eruption of Nemrut volcano located northwards of Lake Van, PanArmenian reported."

So I became curious as to what the volcano Nemrut is. Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program describes it as a stratovolcano whose last known  eruption was 1650. Huh, I learn something every day. In the course of looking into the volcano Nemrut I discovered some interesting archaeological things. Now, I've posted before about the interesting tableau at Gobekli Tepe, also in Turkey, 300 miles from where the earthquake struck and the location of Volcano Nemrut Dagi. I've mentioned that tradition holds that the Garden of Eden was in Turkey as well. Nemrut is another interesting archaeological place. It is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is often called "Turkey's Easter Island" because of the colossal statues. "The stone heads rise high over the surreal rocky scenery of Mount Nemrut in eastern Turkey, and what is most characteristic is that they resemble things that are thousands of kilometres away from Europe."


They date from the Commagene-era, 1st century BC. Wikipedia explains their purpose and origin: "Antiochus is famous for building the impressive religious sanctuary of Nemrud Dagi or Mount Nemrut. When Antiochus reigned as king he was creating a royal cult for himself and was preparing to be worshipped after his death. Antiochus was inspired to create his own cult in the Greek form of the religion Zoroastrianism. Antiochus left many Greek inscriptions revealing many aspects of his religion and explaining his purpose of action. In one inscription, Antiochus wrote erecting his tomb in a high and holy place should be remote from people and should be close to the gods and be in rank with them..."

Leaving Mount Nemrut, 'Turkey's Easter Island' for a moment, let's look at the monuments at the real Easter Island. The statue heads are called Moai, and they actually have bodies. They're not just heads.

"Moai are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500. The 887 statues' production and transportation is considered a remarkable creative and physical feat. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 33 ft high and weighed 82 tons."


Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D., reports from The Easter Island's Statue Project Excavation Season IV July-August 2011, "Our three main goals for statue (moai) RR-001-157 were to audit our drawings of very complex stratigraphic profiles, augment our existing photo-documentation as follow-up to Conservation Season II, and then to backfill the statue. We accomplished all of these goals." They found unique petroglyphs on some of the statues' backs.


Wow. Now that photo looks to be from a few decades ago but you get the idea of how tall the statues are.


Doesn't that photo above from the blog Love These Pics remind you of the silent sentinels at Nemrut? Click on the link to see 24 more incredible photos of the Easter Island Moai.

It is so interesting that these monuments are erected at the four corners of the world. Most are false monuments to self as god, or to a false god. God has placed within us a desire to worship something greater than ourselves. (Acts 17:27; Ecc 3:11). What we do with that desire makes all the difference. Antiochus erected monuments to himself as a god at Nemrut, Turkey. Pagan worship at the High Places had become synonymous throughout the land- and the bible condemns it.

"The ancient Canaanites, and other nations, worshipped the heavenly bodies and their idols upon hills, mountains, and artificial elevations. The Israelites were commanded to destroy these places of idol worship, De 12:2, but instead of this, they imitated the heathen, and at first worshipped Jehovah in high places, 1 Samuel 9:12 1 Kings 3:4, and afterwards idols, 1 Kings 11:7 2 Kings 17:10,11. Here also they built chapels or temples, "houses of the high places," 1 Kings 13:32 2 Kings 17:29, and had regular priests, 1 Kings 12:32 2 Kings 17:32. Different groves were sacred to different gods; and the high places were inseparably linked to idolatry." (source)

Now about these monuments, I often wonder about the Great Pyramid at Giza. Is it a pagan monument, or an homage to the One True and Great God? There is an obscure prophecy about Egypt, the Hebrew name, Mizraim. (Gen 10:6) and a monument. The prophecy is from Isaiah:

"In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them." (Isaiah 19:19-20).

The name Mizraim is thought to be a dual of matsowr; Mitsrajim, i.e. Upper and Lower Egypt. The land of Egypt used to be in two parts, Upper and Lower Egypt, and the Great Pyramid at Giza stands at the border of these. Nowadays, Egypt is one nation and the Pyramid is in the center of the nation. That is how a monument can be at the heart of the nation AND at the border. The Great Pyramid is at the center of the world, actually.

"The Great Pyramid stands at the exact centre of the world. It is midway between the west coast of Mexico and the east coast of China. Between the north cape of Norway and the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. It stands at the intersection of the 30th parallel, both latitude and longitude. The Great Pyramid was the highest buildings in the world for thousands of years until modern man began building skyscrapers such as the World Trade Center. If it were compared to a skyscraper, the Great Pyramid would be 42 storeys high. It contains enough stone to build a six foot high wall from New York to Los Angeles."

The Great Pyramid is "different from all the other pyramids in Egypt. For one thing it’s made of stone, not bricks, and is the only one that’s not solid. There’s a series of passageways and several chambers inside. All of the 80 or so other pyramids came later, are grossly inferior copies, and unlike the Great Pyramid were used as gigantic headstones covering the tombs of the Pharaohs. (The Great Pyramid never served as a tomb.)"

"The Great Pyramid originally had a face of polished white limestone consisting of 115,000 stones finished on all six sides to within .01 inch of perfectly straight. Cut on a bevel, they fit together with seams of less than 1/50th of an inch. They were then cemented together and polished to a high sheen. It’s said that the pyramid shone as if made of light itself and could be seen from over a hundred miles away. The entire structure rests on 4 foundation stones that fit into sockets cut into the bedrock. These stones are designed to compensate for changes in temperature. They keep the pyramid square and level at all times, and in fact it’s square on every course. It faces due North more accurately than we can position buildings today so that each side faces the four cardinal points of the compass. Its shadow has predicted equinoxes and solstices."

 Jeremiah 32:20 says [O Great and Mighty God]... "who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day." Does this prophecy and the one from Isaiah 19:19-20 reference the Great Pyramid? If they do then the Great Pyramid is an appropriately erected monument to the LORD while all others are pale counterfeits. I researched for three hours this morning in attempt to resolve whether the Great Pyramid is pagan or Godly and was unable. Of course better people than I have researched these things. Let me know if you know the answer!

Since the bible tells us we have a God-sized hole inside, desiring to worship something greater than us, it makes sense that humankind would build monuments. The fact that these strange monuments litter the world from Easter Island to Asia and places in between are a testament to that. Whether the supernatural eerie perfection displayed in the Great Pyramid is Godly at least we know that the Temple Solomon built was the most beautiful and Godly-designed monument in the world. He was the architect. His very Being was present there. Soon we will be where He is, and His hands once again have made a monument to Himself as a jewel, which is New Jerusalem sparkling and holding His precious cargo inside: us.

Sorry to be so wandering in this blog entry. I just wonder about these monuments' origins, and I ponder whether the Pyramid is the monument the prophesies mention as being the one that was set in Egypt for a sign and a wonder. Anyway, here is more information about Egypt in prophecy and in biblical history:

Egypt and the King of the South 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: class warfare plus wealth transfer equals antichrist conditions

The last years in this age on earth will be ruled by an evil dictator over a global economic empire: The Antichrist and the one world economic system. The current economic turmoil, riots, 'occupations, and wealth transfer is part of that last days scene, soon to be fulfilled. Before we look forward to examine these things, let's take a look back.

First, let us go to 2008. Obama is a Presidential candidate, campaigning. Many people suspected his socialist leanings from having been associated with socialists, (duh), allied with ACORN, with community organizing, and when he said to Joe the Plumber, "let's spread the wealth around." There was a severe pooh-poohing when the normal-thinking people said "AHA! Socialist! We knew it!" Socialism was dismissed as passe and Obama's connection with it ignored.

Nowadays, socialism is far from passe. It has become de rigueur. Imagine that. It is accepted, desired even, by these thousands of 'Occupy' folk. In just three short years, capitalism and corporation have become dirty words while socialism has been dusted off and given a new shine.

Let's go back even further to 1919-1920 and the rise of Italy's Benito Mussolini. Mussolini became a dictator at home and an international ally of Germany's Hitler throughout the Thirties and the Second World War.

"The Socialists, which by then had become the largest party, spoke theoretically of revolution, alarmed the conservatives, who quickly associated them with Communists. Thousands of agricultural and industrial strikes in 1919 and 1920 created a climate of class warfare and continual violence. Mussolini quickly shifted from leftist to rightist politics and began to gain support from middle-class industrialists who were fearful of working-class agitation and who objected to the agricultural strikes." Sound familiar? (Source: "Western Civilization: Since 1300 By Jackson J. Spielvogel.")

What is socialism? And what is its connection to the current violence in the Occupy Wall Street protests and riots? More importantly, is there a connection to the Tribulation and the last economic system yet to be fulfilled?

First, what is Socialism? "It is an economic doctrine, egalitarianism is the driving force behind socialism and communism. It is economic egalitarianism that seeks to remove the barriers of economic inequality by means of redistribution of wealth. ... The problem with this doctrine is ... a mistaken premise in economic egalitarianism which asserts that the rich have gotten their wealth by the exploitation of the poor." (source GotQuestions.org). We've certainly heard enough about that lately. They say "greedy corporations" are to blame for the mess we're in. They say 'evil banksters' put us here and we need socialism to get us out, because capitalism ain't working, they say.

The Tribulation will have a one world economic system. There will be very poor people, working all day just to buy a loaf of bread. (Rev 6:6). There will be the very rich possessing vast wealth, (Rev 18:17a) able to live luxuriously and trade in luxuries at will. (Rev 18.) The Occupy Wall Street protesters' hated "1%" will not disappear, but get wealthier and stronger.

The problem is, the Occupy Wall Street misguided are barking up the wrong tree, and in the end will not bring about their desired reforms but are in fact providing the platform for the Antichrist to appeal to the masses who clamor for 'social justice" (code for 'I want your money'). They will simply be on the losing end of a great wealth transfer, which history shows us happens every time socialism is attempted. Their grimy faces, currently spouting Hate Capitalism at filthy parks will soon be grimier, clutching the bars of the estate begging for scraps, much as Lazarus did at the Rich Man's gate, and the dig licked his sores. (Luke 16:19-31). Such will be the fate of Occupiers who call for evil corporations to be done away with. The Antichrist will comply- and then take the money for himself. But I get ahead of the story.

The connection to the current violence in the Occupy Wall Street protests & riots to the end time is seen in the following videos. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. (Winston Churchill)

THEN



You didn't know that America was engaged in violent class warfare in the Depression-era, did you? It was about Labor gaining a foothold, then a stranglehold on corporations. But it was not just about that. The Cleveland riots began as protests against foreclosures and evictions in a depressed housing market. By February of 1931 "Food riots" begin to break out in parts of the U.S. In Minneapolis, several hundred men and women smashed the windows of a grocery market and make off with fruit, canned goods, bacon, and ham. One of the store's owners pulls out a gun to stop the looters, but is leapt upon and has his arm broken. The "riot" is brought under control by 100 policemen. Seven people are arrested. The Humboldt Park 1932 riot was over rotten food.

The point is, and this should come as no surprise, "Research Shows That Austerity Can Lead to Riots". Writer Alain Sherter said in that article of austerity and anarchy, "Such events have many causes, of course. But one key contributing factor is economic shocks."

NOW


Even the language is the same. Skulls cracked then, skulls cracked now. Though ostensibly these altruistic Occupiers want financial justice for all, what they are really showing us is that they're poor (in their own eyes), or they're lazy, (relying on government programs which are now in danger of being cut, and/or a simple refusal to work for their wage) and they want what you have. And they're gonna get it, even if they have to break the law to do it.

I'd posed three questions,
What is socialism?
What is its connection to the current violence in the Occupy Wall Street protests and riots?
Is there a connection to the Tribulation and the last economic system yet to be fulfilled?

In the third question, yes, there is a connection. The Tribulation is about wealth transfer, because the time period is first ruled by the antichrist under the influence of the devil, (Rev 13:5-8) and later is ruled by the devil himself. The devil wants to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10). So of course he wants to steal your money, your comfort, your hope, and eventually your life. So, yes, he wants to destroy all the world's governments, economic systems, values, and finances. His plan for your life is to either take all from you or get you to sacrifice God's blessings on you. The protests in America now are not directed against the President, they are directed against God's blessings on this nation.

This effort will culminate in the Mark of the Beast, (Rev 13:16-17) which forces a person to accept the mark of worship and be able to participate in the last economy, or to refuse the mark of worship and starve or be beheaded, whichever comes first.

Between now and then, the economic situation will become more dire, which sparks more people to violence, which diverts resources of police and municipalities, which allows for higher crime elsewhere, while thousands are occupying parks and refusing to contribute to the very economy they want to become healthy again, and end up in freeloading and perversity, yearning for a leader with an answer. It is a downward cycle we saw with Mussolini, Hitler, and will find its culmination in the antichrist. It is not only started already, it is well on its way toward that imminent fulfillment:

This week the Pope called for economic justice and a centralized world bank. Funny, because the Vatican already IS a vastly wealthy centralized government. However, corporatism and big government go hand in hand. "The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises. A major document from the Vatican’s Justice and Peace department should be music to the ears of the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and similar movements around the world who have protested against the economic downturn."

As for the violence, Jesus said, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." (Mt 24:12). The rise of flash mobs and the helplessness of store owners to stop them is a smaller version of what has been given rise now: Occupy Wall Street mobs who practice lawlessness in an entire city or large parts of cities, and outnumber the police. Instead of fifty unruly teens storming the store against one store owner, it is 5000 unruly freeloaders storming a city block against an entire police force. Even HotAir said that resistance is futile. Futile was their word.

"The fences came down at Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza Wednesday evening during a general assembly meeting among “Occupy Oakland” protesters. At least 500 protesters gathered at the plaza to reclaim the site of their encampment, which was raided by police early Tuesday morning... At 7 p.m., around 50 to 100 protesters succeed in tearing down sections of the fence on the opposite side of the plaza from where the meeting is taking place. ... With public officials facing pressure from all sides in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and other “occupied” cities, the lesson from Oakland will most likely be that action will largely be futile without a large police presence extending for considerable time to come."

So we have economic depression, austerity abhorrence, riots, impotent municipal government to keep law and order, calls for wealth re-distribution, and disdain of capitalism. These conditions gave rise to evil dictators in the past, only too willing to exploit the misguidedness and greed of the people in prior times, and it will do so again. Except this last dictator will be the personification of evil.

Wouldn't you rather get to know the personification of Goodness? Jesus is that personification, literally incarnating into humanity to teach us what is needed to be cleansed from our misguidedness and our sins. Doing so is very simple. Not easy, but simple. "Believe on the One He has sent", and be saved. (John 6:29; John 3:16-17). Salvation means you're saved from hell, and to be saved you must first recognize what will send you to hell: your sins. If you want Jesus to forgive those sins, then be sorry you committed them and ask Him to cleanse you. He will. But don't wait too long. The antichrist is knocking at the door, and soon, Jesus will let him in.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Food scarcity, famine, and high prices (UPDATED)

Update at bottom

The Tribulation will be rife with plagues, and one of them is famine. (Rev 6:5-6). People will be hungry. They will die from it. Others will hang on, a full day's wage paying only for a loaf of bread. Scarcity will be the word. Jesus foretold it also in Luke 21:11, "There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven."

The world has experienced a plethora of natural disasters that have disrupted food growth. Other disasters have set up conditions (such as drought or flooding or acreage loss) that prevent food growth. It has been a perfect storm of conditions to set up the imminent fulfillment of the above prophecy.

Food prices are another thing that needs a look at. Despite massive losses of rice, soy, corn, beef and other commodities, prices have remained uncomfortably high but at least steady. According to the Wall Street Journal, that is about to change.

Prices Rising, for Better and Worse
Surge in Food Inflation Hits Both Consumers and Retailers
"Stable food prices have been a silver lining in the weak economy. That is changing fast. The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday said it expects retail food prices to increase 3.5% to 4.5% this year, after climbing just 0.8% in 2010, the slowest rate since 1962. The midpoint of the new USDA outlook signals the sharpest acceleration in the food inflation rate from one year to the next since 1978, and makes the increase itself the biggest since 2008, when prices rose 5.5%. The agency issues a monthly forecast for retail food inflation, which has been building for several months, and had been predicting an increase of 3% to 4% since February."

It's not only prices that are rising, but packaging is getting devious and deceptive. At one store I regularly shop, an admittedly huge deal has been the corn flakes. The box was 24 ounces, huge, and the price under two dollars, usually $1.95.

This time, I saw the tags lining the shelf, the sale starburst with the large price being touted, "ROLLBACK! $1.85!" 'So," I thought, "They lowered the price." I stretched up to grab a box and immediately noticed it was smaller and lighter than the one I have at home.

When I got back to the house, I pulled down the corn flakes I already had. Yup. Here is the evidence:

The old box was 24 ounces. The new box is 18 ounces. They shrank the box by six ounces! Egregious.

The Center for Media and Democracy wrote in 2008:
"Sneaky Manufacturers Shrink Packaging, While Keeping Prices the Same"
"Prices of your favorite grocery items are skyrocketing, but you probably don't know it. Many companies are using a sneaky way to raise prices without driving customers to less expensive brands: they are shrinking their packaging. A jar of Skippy peanut butter, for example, is the same height and circumference it has always been, but now has a hidden, inward "dimple" on the bottom that decreases the amount the jar holds by two ounces. Boxes of breakfast cereal appear to be the same height and width they've always been, but manufacturers have reduced the boxes' depth from front to back, decreasing the amount of cereal they hold. Rolls of Scott toilet tissue contain the same number of sheets as always (1,000), but the length of each sheet has been cut from 4 to 3.7 inches. A "six ounce" can of Starkist Tuna now holds just five ounces. When asked about the shrinkage, most companies point to higher costs for ingredients, manufacturing and fuel. Dan Howard, a marketing professor at Southern Methodist University, says the only way consumers can fight back against this sneaky way of increasing costs is to refuse to buy from manufacturers who engage in this deceptive tactic."

It's six of one, half a dozen of another, as the old saying goes. Whether you raise the prices or reduce the packaging, food is getting more expensive. It's just simply getting harder to live. But they ain't seen nothing yet. Repenting will take care of the worries anyone has about living - in this life or the next one to come. :)

Jesus is waiting for you.

UPDATE: The Arab Herald reports:
Thai floods may cause global rice shortage
Thailand’s flooding has wiped out as much as 14% of paddy fields, drastically reducing the export capacity of the world’s biggest rice exporter and potentially increasing global food prices. The worst flooding in the country in 60 years has destroyed 1.4 million hectares (3.5 million acres) and as much as 7 million tons of crops, the government says.


I believe the rapture will be soon

People have been asking about the imminence of the rapture. I personally believe it will be soon. I am not the only one who believes this. Hal Lindsey has been in a prophecy ministry for 50 years and believes it to be very soon. Jack Kelley has been studying it for over 20 and has said "soon." The two guys at the net's oldest rapture website, Rapture Ready, have been studying last days doctrines for over 25 years and believe no other time has been as ripe as this one. Pastor JD Faraq says we are in the last moments of the last days.

All the prophecy teachers I read say that we are in the prelude stage to rapid fulfillment of the prophesied Tribulation Time and very near the rapture. Jack Kelley summed it up thus: "For what it’s worth, I believe the world is experiencing the prelude to the seal judgments right now. They haven’t begun yet but the conditions necessary for them to happen are rapidly being met. It won’t be long until everything’s in place."

Hal Lindsey: "As I was preparing for tonight's program, I was struck with the speed with which the events are taking place precisely as the prophets predicted millennia ago."

The Rapture Ready guy said in August of the disasters this year: "It seems that we’ve reached a point where the kindness of God must be at a limit. If we can have nine calamities in less than eight months and still not get man’s attention, any more warning would be pointless. Only God knows for sure, but I think the judgment stage is very very near."

Then someone pinned me down and asked about timing. "Months, or years?" they asked. So I'll go out on a limb and if having to choose between months or years, I'll say I think we have months to go. I could well be wrong, it may be years. No one knows, because as Romans 11:25 instructs us, the fulfillment of the church age is dependent on a number God has in mind for His church, not a date nor an event. When the full number of Gentiles has come in, then we will be raptured. Acts 15:13-18 picks up, "after this I will return and rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down".

But I do not think I am wrong about the months part and here is why:

1. I don't believe the world can sustain too much more sin for too long. I'm not talking about pollution, but spiritual pollution and the chaos it brings. Things are stretching at the seams as it is. For example, in one city, the street lights were re-possessed due to unpaid electrical bills. Another city, this one in GA, deleted the entire public bus system. Topeka is so overwhelmed with crime they just announced they will no longer investigate nor prosecute domestic crimes. Detroit closed literally 50%, half, its schools. Children are being molested, kidnapped, and killed at an enormously high rate. There was an attempted kidnapping in my county in broad daylight and police and sheriffs sent out an urgent plea for witnesses. Ever growing numbers of people are dying from attempted theft of copper from electrical transformers. A few weeks ago several people in a nursing home died from overheating after copper was stolen from AC units. In other places, the entire AC unit is taken- one church had theirs stolen 4 times. A humane society lost all its dogs when their AC was stolen. No where is safe any more. Thieves are getting bolder, flash mobs are getting more violent, Occupy Wall Street is spreading around the world, chaos is almost or actually in fact broken out. Rome was on fire from riots. This level of crime and chaos cannot be sustained for long. Of course it will be completely unleashed after we are gone and the Restrainer is removed. If feels soooooo pregnant.

2. I think the rapture will be soon because the isolation of Israel is almost complete. Every Middle East nation mentioned in Tribulation or last days prophecy is in place to fulfill their prophetic roles. For example, Turkey recently quit seeking the West after 50 years of trying and is now overtly Muslim. After 100 years of enmity Turkey and Armenia suddenly made up. Iran is in possession of nuclear bomb making materials. Russia is revived (Gog-Magog) and is empire building. And so on. None of the above was even thinkable as short as five years ago.

3. The natural disasters have gotten to a point of severe intrusion on daily life to most of the global population. They are happening in almost overlap fashion, one upon another, stilling whole swathes of transport and impacting food production to a near-famine degree. I include the US in this position. Did you know that right now a third of Thailand, especially Bangkok, is flooded? We don't read in US media about the flooding in Thailand and the impacts to world rice production and to factory production of parts that we need, but it is going on, all that and more.

4. We can see clear indications over the prophetic horizon of imminent Seal Judgment fulfillments. (Rev 6). Jack Kelley mentioned that as well. If the Seal Judgments can almost be seen, and the church will be removed before the Tribulation begins, how much closer is the rapture? Close.

5. The attacks on the rapture doctrine are ramping up incredibly in these last ten years. It is almost a fever pitch now. If you even mention rapture these days, among Christians, you get the two-head look or an argument. Though the pre-tribulation rapture is not a foundational issue that should divide the brethren, a close and literal honest reading of the bible would clearly show that there will be a rapture and that it will be prior to the Tribulation. Satan's use of doubt on this issue has allowed Replacement Theology to creep in (proposes that the church has replaced Israel in God's plan); it steals the Christian's hope, it causes doubt and division, and lays the groundwork for a host of other false doctrines to enter in.

If I am wrong it impacts my faith not one bit. I will say the 'Lord is coming soon' until we are raptured, whether that be tomorrow or 10 years from now. But I don't think it will be that long. Look for Damascus to be destroyed as a startling sign of the rapture's imminence. I think that will happen soon...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blog Stats

I've posted one thousand, three hundred and one times (1,301). That's a lot of ideas. (Holy Spirit gave them)

Almost a million people have visited this blog. That's a lot of people. (Holy Spirit sent them)

My first post was just over two and a half years ago. That's a short time. (God knows the day and hour.)

I am so blessed when I see that many people have visited here. Even if they came to read a weird entry on UFOs and were not looking for Christ at all, the plan of salvation is prominent, and resources for left behind and tribulation chronology are listed up top. Just seeing the banner art of Jesus coming in the clouds might be enough to convict a person.

I'm humbled to see the Holy Spirit working in this blog as He does in so many others whose message is consistent with the Word. There's lots of blogs that get less traffic and lots of blogs and websites that get more. The numbers don't matter as much as the gratitude I feel for being used to promote Jesus and His message to us all, which is "Repent, then look up, for our redemption draweth nigh!"

More dead animals washing up

Oh how His creation is groaning!

Illinois officials report major fish kill on Little Wabash River
"Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois EPA are investigating the source of a major fish kill along the Little Wabash River in White County. Local sportsman Jack Emery of rural Carmi said he first started hearing about dead fish appearing in the Little Wabash a few weeks ago. However, in the past few days, the number of dead fish has exploded into the thousands."

More at link. No cause is found as yet.

Thousands of dead birds wash ashore at Wasaga Beach
Thousands of dead birds have flooded the shores of Georgian Bay in a scene that locals compared to the devastation from an oil spill. Dead loons, ducks and seagulls covered “every foot” of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park’s shorelines on Saturday, said local Faye Ego, who walks her dog there daily. “It’s like when you see the oil slicks,” Ego said. “It turns your stomach. It’s awful.” Between 5,000 and 6,000 dead waterfowl are scattered along a 3-kilometre stretch near Wasaga Beach, said Ontario Provincial Police Const. Peter Leon."

Wasaga Beach is on the shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario, north of Toronto. Wabash River is in southern IL at the border of Illinois and Indiana. Neither is close to the other. Both remain a mystery as yet as to a cause of the kills.

Some thoughts

I usually do a 'Friday This and That' of random or disconnected ideas in list and excerpt form, because I'm really tired on Friday nights and have little cognitive 'get up and go' by that time. But this Friday I'm going to be fine, because we're off from school. And, I'm tired tonight so here are some this and that thoughts. And the news, you know? Even though it's only Tuesday, it is pretty heavy already. Gaddafi and sharia and suddenly inflating volcanoes and Thailand inundated and a hurricane at the doorstep and Turkey quake and [drawing breath] I could go on but I won't. So here are a few thoughts.

We know that New Jerusalem is transparent. "having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper." (Rev 21:11). "The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass." (Rev 21:18). Recently scientists learned that gold, when reduced to the nano level, becomes clear. Not opaque, but transparent. This scientific article explains: "If, however, 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." I wrote more about it here.

I personally believe that the city is transparent so that the glory of God can be seen at all times.

But what about privacy? Max Lucado says of the transparent city, "Arguments will cease, for jealousy won't exist. Suspicions won't surface, for there will be no secrets. Every sin is gone. Every insecurity is forgotten."

Remember, before the fall Adam and Eve were naked and they were not ashamed. We will not be naked. The Tribulation saints are given garments of white (Rev 6:11) and so are the elders, (Rev 4:4). I believe we will have white robes too. Even still, there will be no need for privacy because there will be no shame. We will see God's glory everywhere, bright and sparkling.

I watched a very good half hour prophecy update from a very good pastor. Pastor JD Faraq in Hawaii made an interesting connection to something in his latest videocast. I've often said that making connections to things that exist is one thing, but making a connection to things that do not exist is another. But what isn't seen, or what isn't said is just as important as what is seen and what does exist. Pastor JD said that when Saddam Hussein was killed there were many effigies of President Bush that angry Muslims burned. However, there have not been any effigies burned of Obama after Bin Laden and Gaddafi were killed. Have you noticed that? I hadn't but when Pastor JD said it I suddenly realized that he is right. No effigies.

Is it because the Muslims understood we were a strong nation with a strong alliance to Israel. Nowadays they understand we are weak and not a friend of Israel.

He also said that the Occupy Wall Street protest isn't protesting the leader of America. They are protesting the blessings on America.

Why do we learn prophecy? What is it good for anyway? "And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe." So you may believe! (John 14:29).

Do not lose heart. Many prophesies have been fulfilled. Many more will be. The church has been redeemed but we are waiting for full repossession. We will be claimed though. How do we know this? The sure word of God.

"Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country.
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it." (Isaiah 46:9-11)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gay kiss sparks outrage

Lots to discuss here.

Homosexual kiss at school assembly prompts student walk-out, parental fury
"Members of the football team stomped out of a Hartford, Connecticut, high school assembly when a pro-homosexual advocacy play featured two boys kissing on stage. When the actors locked lips, reports Vanessa de la Torre for the Hartford Courant newspaper, “a piercing clamor rang through the auditorium. “There were screams and loud voices and a bit of feigned or real disgust. Dozens of students, mostly male and a few in their Owls football jerseys, hurried out of their rows and walked out. A few jumped over seats to leave.”

The play was a fantasy portraying the world as entirely homosexual, and the few heterosexuals that existed were in the closet, ashamed of their non-gayness. Of course, we know satan's agenda is to aim for exactly that. He comes to destroy the family to destroy the purity of marital sexual unions between the God-ordained one woman-one man inside of a marriage that God outlined for us. His agenda is to introduce perversity in all arenas and to saturate the culture with anything sexual goes.

It was good to see that there was a furor over the perverted display of males kissing in an auditorium where impressionable youth were attending. It was even nicer to see that it was in a school in New England, and not even the bible belt. The comment that 'all the play was trying to do was instill a sense of empathy toward gays and lesbians," was replied to by the principal that "our kids are not there yet." Well, good.

While we have empathy for gays who are in sin as we do for any person caught in sin, we do not celebrate sin. We do not accord it a normalcy. We do not allow it to pass without comment. And when it occurs in the church, any sin, any church, it defiles the church. Immorality in a church must be judged. (1 Corinthians 5:1-12) while immorality outside of the church will be judged by Jesus.

I listened to the trailer for the documentary "Agenda: Grinding America Down" and in it the statement was made that in just 40 years we have gone from Norman Rockwell's America to Hugh Hefner's America. So true. Within one generation the nation's morals have completely swapped, and who is to blame for that? Not the president, not the government's policies, not the parents so much, but satan. We fight not against the president. We fight not against the politicians' policies. We fight not against parents or leaders or bosses. We fight against powers and principalities and spiritual rulers of the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12). Satan knows what God expects and as a result he does the opposite. (John 10:10). Look how much we have let him.

Jesus mused to the Disciples that just prior to His Second Coming "will the Son of Man find faith upon the earth?" (Luke 18:8). Of course He knew the answer: the answer was no, not so much faith at all.  He said as a matter of fact, that it will be as it was in the Days of Lot. (Luke 17:28-29). So, what were the Days of Lot like?

Lot was Abraham's nephew who decided to go live near Sodom, (Gen 13:10-13) the worst city there ever was or ever will be, except for Babylon. Sodom and Gomorrah's depravity had reached such a level that there was an outcry against the cities and their sin was a very grave. (Gen 18:20). The angels that had 'come down' to see what the outcry was about and to judge the cities. However all the men of the city, from every quarter, surrounded the house, demanding that Lot present the "men" (angels) so that they could be raped. The perverted lust was very real and had turned the men into a mob, with violent rape threats made against Lot when Lot refused(Gen 19:4-5) The door was bulging with the pressure of the men trying to get at the fresh meat of new men to rape. (Gen 19:9).

Their perverted lust was so great that even after the angels struck the men blind, they still tried to get at them! (Gen 19:11). The mob wore themselves out trying to find the door.

The lesson here is that proper lust, when perverted, is a sin and sin, as we know, leads you. You become a slave to it. (John 8:34). The story of Sodom is one that shows us the bottom of the pit of where sin leads: to an out of control person and then to judgment.

Expand that picture of the men trying to get into the door where fresh men were staying, with a mob blindly clawing their way to the door and trying to batter it down. That will be the scene many times over when the Holy Spirit Restrainer is removed from the earth at the Rapture and men's passions and perversions get out of control during the Tribulation. The days of Lot.

I'm glad to see a semblance of restraint in Connecticut at that assembly-play and an outcry against such blatant sins. And I assure you, the outcry was not because the audience lacked empathy for the gays and lesbians portrayed in the play and by extension, all gays and lesbians, it was because there are still some people left who say such things are sins, and not to be tolerated. And let me assure you of this, the play organizer and writer was not trying to instill a sense of empathy for gays and lesbians, he was trying to desensitize us to the potent effects of perversion, to normalize it. I'm glad there are still some people around who just say no to sin's drug of perversion and depravity.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Belt of the Mother of God

I spent quite a bit of time in Europe, traveling. I wasn't saved then. I visited many churches, chapels, and cathedrals in Italy and France. One thing that always puzzled me was the veneration of relics.

Holy relics are defined by Wikipedia as something that "in religion, is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Shamanism, and many other religions. The word relic comes from the Latin reliquiae, meaning "remains" or "something left behind" (the same root as relinquish). A reliquary is a shrine that houses one or more religious relics."

Part of a body of a saint. I can't tell you how many times, in Catholic churches in some small Tuscan town, in a jar of liquid at the altar there would be a shriveled finger or a gray toe from some supposed saint. Ew.

According to Catholic, Greek, and other traditions, the mother of Jesus was a virgin all her life. This, despite the teaching of the bible that Joseph 'knew her not' until after Jesus was born, indicating that they did have marital relations. "Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS." (Matthew 1:24-25, emphasis mine)

This indication is supported by the fact that the bible further says that Jesus had brothers and sisters, and they are even named.

"Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?" (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). And again in Matthew 13:54-58 where his brothers are mentioned and named and his sisters mentioned too.

Well, Catholics and the Greek Orthodox believe that Mary was ever a virgin. Here is a prayer from the a pastor of a Greek Orthodox church related to Mary worship:
"O EVER-VIRGIN Theotokos, shelter of mankind, thou hast bestowed upon thy people a mighty investure, even thine immaculate body's raiment and sash, which by thy seedless childbirth have remained incorrupt; for in thee nature and time are made new. Wherefore, we implore thee to grant peace to the world, and great mercy to our souls.* THE MOST VENERABLE and full of grace Belt of our Blessed Virgin Mary, which is found at the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi in Agios Oros (Holy Mt. Athos), is the only precious souvenir that survives from her earthly life."

Theotokos is the Greek title they give Mary. Appealing to Mary to bestow peace on the world usurps Jesus' place as the identified Prince of Peace. (Isa 9:6). Imploring her to give mercy usurps Jesus as the only giver of mercy: "To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him." (Daniel 9:9). The prayer mentioned Holy Mt. Athos, that is the church that houses her belt. You heard me. Her belt.

It's bad enough that millions worship Mary in place of Jesus. But for those same many millions, they also worship her belt as a holy relic, the belt itself able to perform miracles and wonders. Mary worship is idol worship. Mary's holy belt is idol worship. The bible says not to do that. It commands us not to do that.

Exodus 20:4-5 -- "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"

Here is the story of Mary's belt.

Supposedly, when Mary died, Thomas missed the funeral. He came hurrying back, only to find her tomb empty. He searched for her and found the place where she was ascending to heaven. He called out, and Mary either descended on a little detour, or while on her way up, took off her belt and cast it to Thomas.

Today, people pray to the belt and ask it to bless them with children. Here is a video of the displaying of the belt. It is held in a church in Prato, Italy, and taken out and shown 5 times per year.


Now, the folks at Prato, Italy say that they have the entire belt, and the folks at Athos, Greece say they have the entire belt, which makes a dilemma. But nevertheless, throngs at both places clamor to see it at the duly appointed times per year it is taken out of its reliquary and shown to the people. The explanation from the Greek Orthodox pastor concludes: "...the Church attributes it honorary worship, as it does to the Holy Wood of the Cross of the Lord. The Holy Belt has the unique grace to cure women's sterility as well as cancer patients, with a ribbon that has firstly been blessed on the Belt and is subsequently worn by the sterile women and patients."

So why this explanation about Mary's Belt? Because it is on the move. It is entering Russia and everyone is very excited about the belt's appearance for the first time in that country.

"Putin welcomes Greek 'fertility-boosting' relic to Russia"
"Vladimir Putin on Thursday welcomed to Russia a highly revered Orthodox relic credited with fertility-boosting powers as his country struggles to halt a population decline. The relic venerated by believers as the belt of the Virgin Mary arrived on loan from violence-hit Greece in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg where hundreds, mostly women, waited patiently to pay their respects. ... Monks from the Vatopedi monastery accompanying the (relic) showed Vladimir Putin the reliquary containing the belt," the Russian government said in a statement. Arriving in Russia for the first time from its home on Mount Athos in Greece, the relic, whose full name is the Belt of the Mother of God, will remain in Russia's former imperial capital until Monday. Hundreds of people, mostly women, were standing in line in Russia's second city, also Putin's hometown, to see one of the most treasured Orthodox relics, which is believed to have miraculous powers to boost fertility."

The Voice of Russia says simply: "Mother of God's belt comes to Russia"
"Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has met a delegation of Greek monks in an airport in St. Petersburg. The delegation brought a belt which is believed to have belonged to Mary, the Mother of God, to Russia for worshiping. It is the first time that this relic is brought to Russia."

It was stated several times that the object is brought so they could worship it and so they could ask it to perform miracles of fertility. That makes it an idol and them idol worshiping idolaters. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) has a piece on Mary-worship here.

There is only one true God. There is only one intercessor between God and man. There is only one who bestows mercy There is one who covers the whole world with protection. It is Jesus. Not Mary.

If you watched the video above of the priests marching around the Prato square and the priest lifting up the belt to the people, you likely saw how ridiculous the spectacle was. It was ridiculous because God said not to worship anything other than Himself. And yet they hold up this garment and follow it. It is a direct rip-off of the biblical incident described in Mark 5:25-30:

"And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering."

Jesus later explains to the woman that it was her faith that made her well. It was not the garment. (v. 34)

Is it any wonder, then, that the world mocks us as ridiculous people as in this clip from Monty Python's Life of Brian? This clip is not is different as the clip of the parade of the Sacred Belt after it is removed from the Pulpit of the Sacred Girdle in the church. In the movie, an ordinary man named Brian becomes accidentally worshiped. He runs from crowds and in one scene, his shoe drops off. Immediately the crowds hold it up and attempt to determine the best way to imbue meaning into this plain, old garment. The Life of Brian is a completely blasphemous movie. But isn't worshiping anything aside from the one true God blasphemous, too? I'm not down on Catholics or Greek orthodox. I'm UP on Ten Commandments and the One True God.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

A God thing

God speaks to us in many ways. He speaks foremost though His son's Word. (Hebrews 1:2). Sometimes He speaks through another person, oftentimes if they are speaking of a verse themselves. He speaks through circumstances, such as through tragedy or chastisement. (James 1:2-5). Personally, I enjoy the song service at church or on the radio in listening to traditional hymns. (Ephesians 5:19). Most hymns are based on scripture, either directly or paraphrased.  Listening to these hymns gives me an opportunity to meditate on them all day, (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2).

Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Psalm 4:4

Sometimes I hear a hymn playing in the background of my dreams as I slumber at night. When I wake up, the song and its lyrics are strongly in my head, and I wake up humming. Aside from the fact that it is a joy to wake up with thoughts of Jesus on my mind, and gentle words that uplift and exalt Him, I also enjoy when these things happen for another reason.

I take it as a prompt to investigate what the Spirit wants to say. Therefore I go to my computer and bring up YouTube and listen to the song that was in my head, and read and sing the lyrics. Then I pray for the Spirit to open me up to a deeper understanding of the practical application of what He wants from me. Sometimes as I read a devotional or a bible chapter that day, or even a year later, the Spirit will then make a connection. It is how He grows us. It took me a long time to learn to pay attention to these prompts. It is the way He conforms us to His thoughts. (Romans 12:2).

So today I was blessed with the hymn "I Surrender All" in my head as I awoke. I got up and I listened to it on YouTube. I thought about the word surrender in relation to my life with Jesus. I prayed, asking Jesus to root out areas where I have not surrendered, where I would be holding onto flesh and selfishness. I hummed it as I made French Toast for breakfast. I then let the day begin and other thoughts come into my head as the more pragmatic things of the day crowded out the spiritual thoughts. 'Change the sheets', 'it's a nice day I think I'll go out and take some fall pictures', 'what am I going to put in the Prophecy Newsletter today?' And so on. But before I got up to do these things I decided to put on Pandora radio so I could listen to it as I made the bed and went about the morning chores.

I have had a computer problem for the last two weeks and only got my laptop back from repair a few days ago. I haven't used Pandora for all that time.

I have ten stations. The way Pandora works is that the last station I've left it on will begin playing a mix of songs related to the theme I'd chosen. There is an endless amount of songs on each station, I can listen all day and rarely is one repeated. I brought the station up and pushed back my chair to start chores. The first song was "I SURRENDER ALL."

I cried in awe and humility. I love how the Spirit works.

How has He been speaking to you lately?