Authoritarian axis rising, land temperatures, the dumb church, Bethlehem in danger

The Diplomat has a good article out this week. It explores the new axis of power and the reasons for its emergence. Any student of prophecy who understands the prophesied main aggressors and players in the run-up to and through the Tribulation will immediately understand the implications analyzed in this article.

Russia is a major player as well as the Kings of the East, the Asia-Pacific nations of the Orient. (Ezekiel 38:2-3; Daniel 11:44; 9:13-21; 16:12-16). Though throughout all of history the East has never formally allied with the Middle East, the Euphrates being a divider as well as a border. Russia has always been an aggressive force through history. We are seeing these important prophetic pieces coming together as this article outlines. The reasons for the authoritarian emphasis are also prophetic. The group rising to power certainly isn't democracy-friendly and we see that fact in the Tribulation with first the formation of the ten kings (Rev 17:12; Daniel 7:7-8) oppressing the world and then the final king of the antichrist as the ultimate expression of authoritarian power.

An Authoritarian Axis Rising?
"It isn’t the “axis of evil.” But a number of authoritarian states are showing a troubling tendency to look out for each other. It takes time for societies and policymakers to understand that a major shift in global affairs is afoot. But what we see clearly, in recent months, is the emergence of a new constellation of powers.By coordinating their policies, this grouping of powers is beginning to profoundly reshape global affairs, especially in the Asia-Pacific, Indo-Pacific, and Eurasian regions. Who are the members of this group? Today, it includes China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela. Such a concert of nations can only inject turmoil into the international system. It is a relatively new phenomenon that represents a radical shift in international politics, perhaps as momentous as the Soviet Union’s collapse two decades ago."

Why are the youth leaving the church in droves? Robin Schumacher explores the answer to this question in the Christian Post:

The Tragedy of the Dumb Church
"In short, it happens because much of the Church today is dumb. Don’t misunderstand me, I mean no disrespect when I use the term ‘dumb’. What I mean is that the Church is dumb in that they aren’t well educated in what they believe, fail miserably in fulfilling 1 Peter 3:15 that says all Christians should be prepared to give a reason for why they believe, and are woefully unable to handle any challenge to Christianity that comes from unbelievers or the cults."

This interesting article below talks not about the air temperatures, but the land temps and how these sparked and supported the many wildfires going on now in the American Midwest.

NASA's sizzling map of U.S. heatwave displays the burning temperatures that in just eight days broke the last 11 years' average
"While blazing wildfires throughout the central United States consume hundreds of homes and force thousands to flee into this weekend, a sizzling map captured by a NASA satellite only days before helps reveal why. ... Painting the central U.S. in red, the same area currently battling unrelenting wildfires, the map taken by NASA's Terra satellite brandishes a depiction of what they politely call: 'unusually hot weather.'

Below is a different map showing broken heat records, and the one I clicked on is where I live. It was 109 degrees yesterday.

One of only two borders in the Middle East under a peace treaty (Jordan is the other) Israel now looks to the ominous events in Egypt with the election of Mursi the Islamic Brother, and gulps. Israel Behind the News has an analysis-

Morsi Is Israel's Nightmare, But The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow "We have reached the moment feared by generations of Israeli Intelligence and GSS chiefs. The ultimate nightmare scenario is playing out in front of our very eyes -the same narrative that played a major role in the terror scenarios that starred in the secret war games of the IDF and the Israeli defense system for an entire generation. The moment when Egypt fell - into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. The inconceivable is materializing in front of our eyes. The “cliff” - Shimon Peres,[the Israeli President]‘s, nickname for Hosni Mubarak - has been washed to sea, and is being replaced by the Muslim flood. All this transpires in the largest Arab country, Israel’s major strategic peace partner, the regional anchor, the neighborhood balance factor. It’s over."

All is not well over at the other border, that is, Jordan and Syria. Turkey borders Syria too and Turkey hasn't been happy with the spillover for a while. Now it's Jordan's turn to ratchet up their concern. The Jordan Times has the news-

Jordan ‘tightening borders’ amid Syria spillover fears
"Jordan has tightened entry restrictions along its northern borders, security officials say, amid concerns that the ongoing influx of Syrian refugees may become a threat to the Kingdom’s national security. According to a security source, authorities have imposed a new policy barring the illegal entry of unaccompanied Syrian males between the ages of 18 and 40, turning away “dozens” from the border in the last two weeks. The new policy comes amid growing concerns in Amman of attempts by opposition activists and regime agents to infiltrate the growing refugee community — whose numbers officials place at over 140,000 — to carry out political or military activities on Jordanian soil. “There are fears that as the number of rebels and regime loyalists increases, Jordan may become a new battleground for their conflict,” said the security source, who preferred to remain unnamed."

Earthquake Shakes Baja, California
"News 11 has reports of a 4.9 magnitude rolling earthquake that shook Yuma and Imperial Counties around 8:30 P.M Saturday evening. It was centered near Guadalupe Victoria, Baja, California with the nearest larger cities being Yuma and El Centro. News 11 also recieved calls from viewers as far as Welton and the Foothills who also felt the rattle.There have not been reports of any damages or injuries but News 11 will continue to track down the details."

There actually have been 14 quakes at Baja, near Mexicali, where the large 7.2 quake occurred 2 years ago.

Bethlehem was in the news earlier this week too. When Russia's Putin visited  there Palestinian Authority's Abbas held a ceremony honoring Putin with a street in Bethlehem named after the Russian Czar.

Birthplace of Jesus added to UN's World Heritage in Danger list
"The United Nations (UN) Scientific, Cultural, and Educational Organization (UNESCO) has listed the Church of the Nativity, which sits on the site identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus, on its list of sites in danger, officials said on Friday."

Aren't you glad Jesus was born to seek and save the lost? I am. So those were some headlines for today. Enjoy your Lord's Day of worship, prayer, study, and family.