Saturday, March 31, 2012

Putin promises to protect Christianity worldwide

From Russia Today"Presidential candidate Vladimir Putin has promised to make the protection of repressed Christians in foreign countries one of his foreign policy priorities if he becomes president again. When Putin met with the representatives of Russia’s traditional confessions in Moscow’s main cathedral on Wednesday, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church told him that Christians are facing repressions all over the world. The head of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Illarion, said that every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the world, specifying that he was talking about such countries as Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and India. The cleric asked Putin to make the protection of Christians one of the foreign policy directions in future. “This is how it will be, have no doubt,” Putin answered."

I am reminded of another who is prophesied to come, boasting in flatteries and promises:

"And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries." (Daniel 11:21)

Not that Putin is the antichrist but perhaps a pale imitation of one. A forerunner. Seven months ago, Joel C. Rosenberg wrote "Putin Rising: but is he Gog?" regarding the March 4th election in Russia (which Putin won) and in that essay Rosenberg said,

"But should Putin come back, it will not bode well for Israel, the U.S., or Europe. Putin is a power-hungry, greedy, authoritarian, Czar wannabe. He is determined to expand Russian wealth, power and control over her neighbors. He has worked especially hard to build strategic alliances with Radical Islamic leaders and states in the Middle East. Over the years, people have asked me if Putin might be the Russian dictator referred to as “Gog” in the Biblical prophecies of “Gog and Magog” in Ezekiel 38-39. I suspect as Putin continues to re-emerge, those questions will begin to be asked again. Here’s my quick answer: It’s too soon to draw such a conclusion. There’s much more that would have to happen to indicate that Putin was the “Gog” of Bible prophecy. But there’s no question in my mind that Putin is Gog-esque."

Putin is back and I think he is looking more 'Gog-esque' by the minute.

And a few days ago it was reported that Putin will visit Israel in June, shortly after he is installed as President of Russia. Why? Rosenberg asked the same thing, as many are. We're all scratching our heads.

"Now comes a curious new development: Vladimir Putin will make a high-profile visit to Israel in June, not long after he is sworn in as Russia’s new president on May 7th. News reports indicate Mr. Putin’s first foreign trip upon reclaiming his power will be to the U.S. for the G8 summit on May 20. That makes sense. The U.S.-Russian relationship has widely been considered the most important bilateral geopolitical relationship on the planet since the end of World War II. But with all the other important countries and leaders in the world Mr. Putin could visit, why is he choosing to make meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu his first objective after his meeting with President Obama? What is the Russian leader’s motive? What does he want to accomplish, and why? Will Putin seek to pressure Israel not to launch a preemptive strike on Iran? Will he visit other countries in the epicenter on the same trip? Will he, for example, visit Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, as well? What about other countries mentioned in the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39? It’s too early to say, but a development well worth watching closely."

You betcha we'll be watching.

This time we are living in now is a time of severe deception. We are told that we will all be clamoring for peace, peace, looking for one who will flatter and solve the world's problems and accepting him when he arrives. But it is all a massive deception. Hitler was a deceptively gentle man who was well regarded by those with whom he met. And they believed him. Here are some of the reactions:

"William Manchester's biography of Sir Winston Churchill confronts us with the unpleasant and haunting reminders of Hitler, a man who came extremely close to being the Antichrist, yet deceived the world with his promises of peace. Listen to what Manchester wrote, "Thomas Jones who had been in and out of Whitehall for a quarter century wrote in his diary, `All sorts of people who have met Hitler are convinced that he's a factor for peace. He doesn't seek war but friendship. Meeting the press after he had been closeted with Hitler for an hour, Lloyd George said he regarded him as the greatest living German. A year later he wrote, "I only wish we had a man of his supreme quality at the head of affairs in our country today."" He's talking about Hitler. Nazi goals were even applauded by Anglican clergymen, a group of whom expressed, quote: "Boundless admiration for the moral and ethical side of the Nazi program, its clear stand for religion and Christianity and its ethical principles," end quote.

(source: The Coming of World Peace)

And Putin will make protection of Christians in the world a priority. Peace! Peace! It is right around the corner!

Clintonville booms are back, and exploding tiles at Watertown. "It was like 'Tremors' "

Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith put on his blog, Letter of Marque, the following, and titled it "Satan the Deceitful Copycat":

Gestatorialchair1
Pope Pius XII being carried to his throne in the Vatican.


Egypt-king-small
Pharaoh being carried to his throne.

Amazing, isn't it? Rosebrough's blog entry is accompanied by excerpts from a 500 year old document titled "A Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, Treatise Compiled by the Theologians Assembled at Smalcald - 1537" originally posted on the blog The Book of Concord. The treatise was compiled by Martin Luther as a rejection of the primacy of the Pope as vicar of Christ. Vicar means substitute, you know, defined as "anyone acting in the person of" as agent. The claims of the Pope were outlined at the beginning of the treatise and then the Lutheran confession was a biblical rejection of those claims and others dealt with in writing at Smalcald. See what the pope believes of himself:

"The Roman Pontiff claims for himself [in the first place] that
1] by divine right he is [supreme] above all bishops and pastors [in all Christendom].
2] Secondly, he adds also that by divine right he has both swords, i.e., the authority also of bestowing kingdoms [enthroning and deposing kings, regulating secular dominions etc.].
3] And thirdly, he says that to believe this is necessary for salvation. And for these reasons the Roman bishop calls himself [and boasts that he is] the vicar of Christ on earth."

I hope you reject those notions, too. Satan IS such a deceitful copycat.

In other topics, on March 19 on the blog I'd posted an essay exploring the weird booms plaguing a Wisconsin town. Its title is a direct copy of the same title the news articles used, "Something's rattling WI town". Weird booms had been variously upsetting, intriguing, or aggravating the people living there. That article on March 19 was posted a week after I'd posted a previous essay exploring the weird booms that are being heard all over the world, and I'd discussed the biblical foundation for spiritual warfare. Ultimately, I'd related the noises to possible spiritual warfare and asked the question 'Is spiritual warfare ramping up?'

After the mainstream media became entranced with the Wisconsin booms story the USGS intimated they were going to set seismometers around and see if it was an earthquake swarm that was causing the booms. They did research some and found one 1.5 quake. The mainstream media seemed satisfied with that explanation. I wasn't. Is it logical to relate an ongoing series of noises heard constantly for over a week to one quake with such a low seismicity they had to work hard to exclude truck rumbles from the data because they both sound the same? No. One minor quake can't explain ongoing noises. But they all packed up and left, the USGS and the news people and all the rubberneckers.

Then, two other things happened in or near Clintonville WI. First, the booms came back. Second, tiles from a kitchen restaurant started exploding in a town south of the boom town.

Mysterious Booms Return to Clintonville, Wisconsin?
"It was a bit more than a week and a half ago that residents of the town of 4,500 people west of Green Bay, Wis., said they were awakened from their sleep by loud booms that shook their houses. Night after night, there were more booms and more shaking. The United States Geological Survey finally said it recorded a 1.5-magnitude earthquake on the morning on March 20. It also recorded seismic activity the day before but could not pinpoint its location. The mystery brought reporters from across the country, including yours truly. ... This week, residents have been complaining about the booms returning to their small town. USGS said it has not been able to record any new activity and added that it has been windy in the area, which can create ground vibrations making small quakes difficult to record. There is discussion, but no decision, on placing a seismograph in Clintonville."

The short article goes on to say that thought the USGS has not been able to record a new quake they still say that the previous round of booms and the current round of booms are microquakes.

Clintonville residents shaken once again by booms
"Residents were shaken by booms again in a Wisconsin city where a small earthquake was recorded last week.Clintonville police say they received 65 calls Tuesday night between 10:35 and 11:40. City Administrator Lisa Kuss says residents reported some of the loudest booms yet. The reports had decreased since a flurry of calls early last week. The U.S. Geological Survey said a 1.5-magnitude earthquake struck March 20 in Clintonville. Geophysicist John Bellini says he looked at the nearby seismometers and was unable to detect anything Tuesday night. He says they are considering putting a seismometer in Clintonville to get a better reading of potential activity."

So the USGS heaved a sigh and installed the seismometers after all.

Clintonville installs 4 seismometers to help find cause of future booms
"Four seismometers have been installed throughout Clintonville, to help pinpoint the causes of any future booms or house-shaking.Experts blamed a series of small earthquakes for the booms that happened on 4 straight nights last week, and on Tuesday night of this week.One of those booms produced a quake that measured 1.5."

Then, in a town south of Clintonville, a local Catholic School had to close because the tiles on the floor started swelling, buckling, and then exploding. I am not making this up.

Watertown school, will reopen Monday
"A Watertown school will reopen Wednesday after some exploding tiles forced classes to be canceled Tuesday. Tiles in the cafeteria started to buckle and explode Monday at St. Henry's Catholic School."And I looked at the tiles on the floor. (They) were raising up and flying across the kitchen floor. So, we got out of the cafeteria and told the kids to go up to their classrooms. Eventually, they were evacuated," St. Henry's Cooking Manager Diane Dannenberg said. "It looked like the movie 'Tremors' where something was tunneling underneath the floor."Some described exploding, but the floor definitely buckled.The city's building inspector said the part of the building affected was built in 1952. Investigators are looking at all sorts of possibilities to explain why these tiles lifted off the ground. After 20 years as the city's building inspector, Joe Heimsch said he was baffled after first looking at this basement."

Here is a news spot on Youtube about the incident.


The inspector said that he "hopes" that its cause will be found to have been an improperly abandoned sanitary line. Or something.

You know, that weird booming and minor earthquake is only 90 miles from the Michigan town where a weird 600 foot, 4' deep crack opened up in the earth and no one knows why. It was in 2010, I'd reported on it then. I don't know if the two are linked, probably not. But the forums go crazy with this stuff. They say that the Clintonville incidents and the Watertown exploding tiles are linked. The newscaster even opened with mentioning both Clintonville and then turned tot he exploding tiles incident, mentioning them both in one sentence. They say on the forums of the exploding tiles on the kitchen floor in Watertown or Clintonville that it was: aliens, secret government tunneling, preppers making bunkers, aliens, the military shooting 50 caliber guns, and of course, aliens. LOL.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Random thoughts: Nephilim, myths, comments, compassion, children, and Jesus the Christ

I am very intrigued by the Nephilim spoken of in Genesis 6. Many people are, and I always get a lot of views on any essay I publish about them. I might research some more about the days of Noah, soon. When I was in high school I was fascinated by Roman and Greek mythology. I studied it all. The Titans, the Olympians ... Cronus was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son, Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus. Tartarus in the bible as we know is the place where Peter described the fallen angels being chained up. (2 Peter 2:4)

I believe the ancient myths are a vestigial memory of the fallen angels, the "mighty men of old" (Genesis 6:4) coming to earth and having supernatural powers ... and we know from the bible that they certainly did take the daughters of men, all that they chose. The myths reflect this lack of self-restraint too. That is practically all they did, always go after women who ended up bearing super-men half breeds like Hercules. Achilles, another demi-god, brings to mind the prophecy in Genesis 3, where God said to satan that satan will strike the heel, and in the myth the heel was the vulnerable spot (but just like all false religions, the truth is that the hero could not be overcome by striking His heel!!) It was just a temporary bruising, and Jesus crushed satan's head through His death and resurrection on the cross.

So I think there is weighty cultural memory and man-made myths stemming from the influx of the original fallen angels and their first interaction with humans as described in Genesis 6. I think the pyramids and the South American ziggurats are results of their superior intellect in building them and using humans to make monuments of worship for them.

The bible doesn't speak much of these events, just gives several tantalizing clues in a few verses. However we know that they and also man's evil were the cause of the flood. So SOMETHING had to have been going on! It will be interesting if Jesus lets us know what really happened when we get to heaven...and we can resolve all these tantalizing glimpses into full knowledge.

On another topic, I want to explain what kind of comments I allow and what will prompt me to delete some. This is not a complete explanation but it is the basic benchmark.

Some people will write in and say "you're crazy." Or "you're mental." If that is all they write I delete it. If they conclude their own cogent argument with that I'll usually allow it and respond.

Some people disagree with me by using a false and true misapplication of scripture to 'prove' their point. They'll say, "Judge not!" or "Touch not God's anointed!" or one of those oft-thrown around misunderstood and out of context verses. I will allow those and then explain the context of the verse and why they are using it incorrectly. I do both of the above so that others reading may learn an insight into the verse.

Some people write a long reply which shows me they are passionate about something, but say something in it that I just cannot allow to go forward. Yesterday someone wrote a long comment and there were many errors in their answer. That is OK, we're all learning. We could have a discussion. But he concluded by saying "Jesus is not God." I deleted it because arguing that would be a fulfillment of casting pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6). If someone has an incomplete or incorrect understanding of a verse, that is OK and can be discussed. If someone has come to such a false conclusion about the basics of who Jesus is, there is no argument, he has already condemned himself. It is a case of the saved arguing with the unsaved, offering holiness to a person who has already rejected it. I will not participate in allowing such falsity to go out to the unsuspecting. Nope. And worse, usually people who say such things have a website attached to their comment, and so I won't put that forward either.

Profanity never gets a pass. I delete those out of hand.

A new topic. This week was a really rough week. I work in a kindergarten section of an elementary school. We know that times are tight. Parents are stressed to the max to pay the bills to keep a home over their kids' heads and to put food on the table. Kids sense this and more often not only sense it but know it because of the open discussions he parents have in front of them. Yet kids are powerless to change their circumstances. They feel tenuous because their family situation is tenuous. They worry. Sometimes that worry comes out physically and emotionally and it makes for an adventuresome day at school. Today was like that. Please have care and compassion for other people, and for kids. If you're standing in line at a store or at a game or sitting in a restaurant, no one knows what the next person is going through, and everyone needs an extra dose of patience and for sure needs some love. Instead of mentally judging the parent or situation, pay their bill, or offer to help them with their groceries or simply smile.

In the middle of that tough week before our Spring Break, (which has started, yay!) here is a moment. Some of the kindergarten kids I work with had saved up their behavior rewards. If they save up for a short time they get ice cream or a pajama day. But if they save up for a long time they get the big prize, a pizza party. So they did, finally. They brought their beach towels and their sunglasses and we went outside on a 78 degree day with pizza and chips and soda. They spread their towels around and sat next to each other happily. They donned sunglasses and thought themselves so cool. They leaned back on elbows and looked at the clouds, saying "There's a dog!" or "I see a turtle! The pizza was served and they ate all they wanted. Afterwards we were all just lounging on the grass, and suddenly they broke out in song. They sang under the sun, and when they finished they laughed delightedly. Children laughing under the sun in joy is a Godly gift for which I am always thankful.

Last, remember always that Jesus is sovereign, loving, and He is coming! He is my Light and My hope. He is someone I cling to, look toward, and reside in. He is my all in all. Without Him I am nothing but in Him I am made perfect because His power is in me and brushes aside my weakness and is His manifest glory. Everything I accomplish is made possible from Him. Thank you, Jesus.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cultural decline and righteous perseverance

Prophecy says that as we near the very end days, the culture will worsen. (2 Timothy 3:1-5; Matthew 24:11-12,) and that the body of believers will grow less effective in the battle against satan, less of an example to a dark and dying world and less approved by God (1 Tim 4:1, Jude 1:8, Rev 2:4, Rev 3:16). We see this now.

Cash stolen from handicapped Cary boy collecting funds for wheelchair basketball
"Seated in his wheelchair, Nolan Turner, 12, staked out his neighborhood Thursday evening to sell water bottles and raise money to bring his wheelchair basketball team to his elementary school.“Everybody at school has been asking me what it’s like to (play basketball) in a wheelchair, and I want to show them,” the Briarcliff Elementary fifth-grader said.He had already collected more than $250 – kept in a bucket – of the $1,000 needed to bring the experience of playing wheelchair basketball to his schoolmates. But as he began to work the neighborhood near High Meadow Drive about 6:30 p.m., a man he didn’t recognize grabbed his money bucket and unhurriedly walked away, according to Cary Police Department Capt. Mike Williams. Nolan yelled and screamed at the man but was helpless to follow him."

Saints alive, that is horrible.

Police: Students Caught In Sex Act On School Bus
Actions Of 13-Year-Old Boy, 8-Year-Old Girl In Question
"Fishers police said an 8-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy were caught in a sexual act on a school bus. The girl’s parents are now trying to determine if the February incident was a rape or molestation.In a statement, police said a bus aid caught the girl and the boy “trying to have intercourse,” and that the “bus aid immediately separated the juveniles and informed the bus driver.”

Saints alive, that is worse than horrible!

Now this scene of unfettered greed and thievery:

Motorists scoop up armored car money, in scene witness calls ‘snow globe of cash’
"As many as 40 motorists stopped their cars and helped themselves to cash that fell out of an armored truck Friday morning along Interstate 270 in Montgomery County, according to authorities.A total of $5,795 fell out of an unsecured door of the truck, said Maryland State Police Sgt. Mark Cummings. As of 12:45 p.m., only $100 had been turned in to authorities, Cummings said. State police are offering amnesty for anyone who returns the money to the Rockville Barracks at 7915 Montrose Road in Rockville. “No questions will be asked,” Cummings said. One reason so many people may have scooped up cash is that the armored truck had continued down the road, and they may have considered it lost or abandoned money, Cummings said. The bills fell out in two plastic bags, which broke apart when they hit the road, he said. The Associated Press reported that attorney Heather Kelly, driving on Interstate 270 to her office in Frederick, saw two bags of currency and people frantically trying to collect the money. “It was in the traffic lanes and on the shoulders and just generally kind of like a snow globe of cash,” she told AP."

Before the first judgment, the flood, demons were rampant in the world. The fallen angels had mated with human women, all that they chose, (Gen 6:1-2) and the resulting situation was chaos. All the people on the earth were thinking of only evil continually. (Gen 6:5-6).

Imagine being on earth in those days when every person was doing and thinking evil. They hadn't finished one evil act before they were thinking of another. But Noah found favor with the LORD. (Gen 6:8). Despite all the temptations around him despite the daily pressures of remaining faithful Noah did it. He was the only blameless person, and he walked with God. (Gen 6:9). He was rewarded with His life, and with permanent righteousness and regard of the Lord. (Hebrews 11:7).

The time of Jesus's fleshly incarnation was a time of rampant evil and demon-infestation. He spent up to 25% of His time dealing with demons and sicknesses caused by demons. He sent the twelve apostles into the world with demon-casting abilities. (Luke 9:1-3). He called out that generation:

"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me." (Mt 17:17). Clarke's Commentary explains His comment: "These and the following words may be considered as spoken--"

"1. To the disciples, because of their unbelief, Matthew 17:20.
2. To the father of the possessed, who should have brought his son to Christ.
3. To the whole multitude, who were slow of heart to believe in him as the Messiah, notwithstanding the miracles which he wrought."

Demon infestation was everywhere and it was everywhere for the same reason as in Noah's generation: faithlessness. Demons aren't successful where there is great faith and a strong Holy Spirit presence of the Lord. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7).

But in the midst of that entire unbelieving generation was a righteous man. Simeon. "And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him". (Luke 2:26). There also was a man named Zacharias. He was the father of John the Baptist. He was a priest, having for generations been in the line of Aaron. He was not a Pharisee nor was he self-righteous. He was purely righteous, looking always for the Messiah and being with the Spirit.

It can't have been easy, being holy in a perverse generation, where the Lord had been silent and the Messiah all but forgotten. But the LORD had not forgotten Zacharias, nor did He forget Simeon. I can imagine that Simeon's life was kind of like Noah's. He was it the midst of people who practiced a legalistic and perverted religion, if they practiced one at all. Paganism was rampant. Demons were running wild. The People had not heard from the prophets in 400 years. Can you imagine being of a people who had heard from God constantly since the beginning, and yet had not heard from Him in 400 years? We get tired of waiting after 4 minutes. Yet Simeon and Zacharias persevered in righteousness and holiness. They persevered, and were rewarded.

We find the same thing true now. Evil is rising and that is because of demon-infestation. We are also a wicked and perverse generation, the last one (I believe) in advance of the Lord's Second Coming. It is hard to stay righteous in the face of all the temptations. It is hard to remain patient and loving in front of all the evil and hate. But we must. It is no excuse to faint and fail just because it is hard to remain faithful.

James 1:12 says "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."

Perseverance is evidence of belonging to Christ. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;" (John 8:31)

"But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Hebrews 3:6).

If Noah could do it in his wicked and perverse generation, if Simeon and Zacharias could do it in their wicked and perverse generation, we can do it. We have to do it. The promise of Jesus is that He will reward us, He is noticing our perseverance under trial. He loves us and embraces us, and will deliver us.

Persevere!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Aurora over Nebraska last night

This is the second time that I know of that the Northern Lights descended this far south. On October 25 2011 they descended as far south as Alabama!

This is from Spaceweather.com. I like the 30 second clip because of the contrast of the wind turbines and the time lapse stars.

"NORTHERN LIGHTS OVER NEBRASKA: A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, causing magnetic unrest and auroras at high latitudes. Last night faint Northern Lights descended all the way south to Nebraska. Click to view a movie of the display, photographed by Chris Allington of Crofton, NE:"

Iran rising

Persia figures prominently in the last days. This segment below is from Joel C Rosenberg's Q&A about the Gog Magog war (Ezekiel 38-39), in which Iran, Russia and Turkey with others attack Israel, and no one comes to her defense...except God Himself.

Will the War of Gog and Magog happen before or after the Rapture?
"The truth is we simply do not know the answer for certain, because Ezekiel does not say. Many of the theologians I have cited in this book believe the war will occur after the Rapture. In the novel Left Behind, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins describe the War of Gog and Magog as having already happened before the Rapture takes place. In The Ezekiel Option, I also chose to portray the war occurring before the Rapture."

"In Matthew 24:14, Jesus says, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (NASB). We also know from Ezekiel that God will use the War of Gog and Magog to display his glory to all nations and to pour out his Holy Spirit, particularly on the nation of Israel. As a result of the entire world seeing God defend Israel from the onslaught of the Russian-Iranian coalition, a dramatic spiritual awakening will occur around the globe. It would certainly be consistent with God’s heart for humanity that he would cause this cataclysmic moment to occur before the Rapture in order to shake people out of their spiritual apathy and/or rebellion and give them at least one more chance to receive Christ as their Savior before the terrible events of the Tribulation occur."

"But let me be clear: I believe that the Rapture could occur at any moment, and I would certainly not be surprised in any way if it occurred before the events of Ezekiel 38 and 39 come to pass. Christian theologians speak of the “doctrine of imminence.” This means that according to the Bible there is no prophetic event that has to happen before Jesus snatches his church from the earth. That is, the Bible teaches us that we should be ready for Jesus to come for us at any moment. I fully believe that. But it should be noted with regard to this doctrine that while no major prophetic event has to happen before the Rapture, that doesn’t mean no such event will happen first. Perhaps the clearest evidence of this truth is the rebirth of Israel. This major prophetic event was foretold in Ezekiel 36–37, yet its fulfillment happened before the Rapture. Thus, it is certainly possible that other events—such as the events of Ezekiel 38–39—could happen before the Rapture as well."

Persia (Iran) has always been opposed to God's people. The angel that came to Daniel was hindered by the prince of Persia (Daniel 10:4-21). Places in the world have fallen angels behind the leadership to spread evil amongst the people and to rule in oppression and fear, and in the invisible realms they hinder God's angels and try to oppose God's work. Iran has always been a place in the real earth and in the celestial realms that has been a stronghold of opposition against God's people.

Report: Iran planned to bomb Israeli ship in Suez Canal
"Iran had planned to bomb an Israeli ship while it crossed the Suez Canal, the prosecution in Egypt's state security court said, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Saturday.According to the report, two Egyptians were recently arrested and investigated for allegedly planning an attack on an Israeli ship in the Suez Canal."

Iranian weapons half Syria's Assad put down unrest
"Iran is providing a broad array of assistance to Syrian President Bashar Assad to help him suppress anti-government protests, from high-tech surveillance technology to guns and ammunition, U.S. and European security officials say.Tehran's technical assistance to Assad's security forces includes electronic surveillance systems, technology designed to disrupt efforts by protesters to communicate via social media, and Iranian-made drone aircraft for overhead surveillance, the officials said. They discussed intelligence matters on condition of anonymity. "Over the past year, Iran has provided security assistance to Damascus to help shore up Assad. Tehran during the last couple of months has been aiding the Syrian regime with lethal assistance - including rifles, ammunition, and other military equipment -- to help it put down the opposition," a U.S. official said."

Despite Iran's continual prayers that Islam prevail, despite the fact that Iran as repeatedly said that they want to wipe Israel from the map, despite the fact that Iran is inches away from obtaining a nuclear bomb and has said they have no hesitation to use it, despite myriad foiled plots against Israel AND the United States, some 1000 Israelis marched against the thought of striking Iran's nuclear bomb-making facilities--

Hundreds of Israelis march in Tel Aviv to protest war with Iran
"Hundreds of Israelis marched in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against a possible Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. The protest came amid a recent Facebook campaign linking Israeli and Iranian citizens in their opposition to war between the two nations. Campaign leaders, however, made it clear on their Facebook page that they had nothing to do with the Tel Aviv protest march."

Iran is in the news just about as much as Israel. Just as the bible said the world would be focused on these matters in the last days, we are.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nebuchadnezzar understands the power of a holy God

"Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” (Daniel 3:28-29)

THERE IS NO OTHER GOD. (He is holy and true).

There is no other God ABLE TO DELIVER. (Jesus saves)

There is no other God able to deliver IN THIS WAY. (His power is unsurpassed).

So what does all this mean?

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:15

One of God's judgments on people are false teachers

"False teachers are God’s judgment on people who don’t want God, but in the name of religion plan on getting everything their carnal heart desires. That’s why a Joel Osteen is raised up. Those people who sit under him are not victims of him but he is the judgment of God upon them. And they want exactly what he wants, and it’s not God." ~ Paul Washer

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.” 2 Timothy 4:3



What's up with all the crazy rants?

Some people went berserk these last couple of weeks. Normally this is not newsworthy. People are always going berserk, everywhere. These particular incidents made big news though. And in addition to being newsworthy I note a pattern. First, here are the three excerpts:

March 9: American attendant disrupts flight to Chicago
"An American Airlines flight attendant disrupted a flight Friday morning as it was about to take off from Dallas-Fort Worth en route to Chicago, saying over the aircraft intercom system that the plane was going to crash, alluding to 9/11 terrorist attacks and ranting about the airline's bankruptcy reorganization, passengers said. Passengers ended up restraining the female flight attendant in a forward seat of the cabin until the plane returned to the gate and airport police arrived. Two flight attendants were injured in the incident and were taken to a local hospital. No passengers were injured, and they were never in danger, an airline spokeswoman said. The flight attendant who caused the commotion shrieked as she was handcuffed by police and placed into a police car, passengers on the flight told the Tribune after they exited the plane at Chicago O'Hare. "I will never get that sound of her screaming out of my head," said Bethany Christakos of Plano, Texas. "It took a good 10 minutes, it felt like, to get her off of the plane."

March 11: US soldier arrives at Ft. Leavenworth
"The U.S. soldier accused of going on a rampage and killing 16 Afghan civilians in their homes, identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, arrived today at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.Bales, 38, a husband and father of two, was serving on his fourth combat deployment in 10 years, the first three in Iraq. He was on his first tour in Afghanistan, where he'd been since December. The combat veteran is accused of leaving his remote base Camp Belambay in the middle of the night Sunday and walking about a mile to an Afghan village where he broke into homes and killed 16 civilians, mostly women and children."

March 27: Hero: JetBlue Passenger Put Unruly Pilot in Chokehold
"...Gonzalez, 50, was sitting in the second row of JetBlue Flight 191 when the he saw pilot storm out of the cockpit and rush toward an occupied bathroom. The co-pilot quickly locked him out of the cockpit. After being locked out of the cockpit, the pilot began banging on the door, demanding to be let back in. "We got to get this plane down," Gonzalez remembered thinking. "This guy is nuts." Flight attendants struggled to control him and Gonzalez said the pilot began moving in the direction of the plane's emergency exit. "I just didn't want him opening up that door," Gonzalez said. "I knew if he got in there, we wouldn't be sitting here now." ... The passenger said it was a "crazy scene" that ended when a group of male passengers restrained the disorderly pilot at the front of the plane until it was able to land."

The pattern I notice in these and in precious incidents (remember another flight attendant who ranted then jumped down the emergency chute?) are that they are people who are are trained to protect civilians, and trained to endure stressful situations. Their job is to care for and protect the people in their charge. But they are cracking, and in very visible and unsettling ways. I mean, the UK Daily Mail put it this way-

"'We're all going down. Say your prayers': Berserk JetBlue captain has to be restrained by PASSENGERS after being ejected from cockpit in mid-flight and and running up and down screaming."

There is nothing more unsettling than to put your trust and care into someone else's hands and to think that they subsequently have gone nuts. It is worst on a plane, because you cannot get away. There is no escaping the crazy person, and when that crazy person is the one who is supposed to be flying the plane, it's a nightmare.

I have mentioned before that society's fabric is ripping. The last days of the last days, and the Tribulation Days are times when God intervenes and takes down all man-made constructs. This culminates in Revelation 18 and 19. This and the upcoming time is a time to show that people cannot depend on their government, cannot depend on weather models, cannot rely on medical personnel to know the answers (pestilence). They cannot rely on the ground under their feet. (earthquakes). Man cannot rely on other men, they will be increasingly stressed and desperately brutal. The verses in 2 Timothy 3 are made as a warning to the church:

"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 them."

If the people of God are only imitators of God and are in fact treacherous and brutal, how will people be acting who don't know God at all? Worse.

In addition, people in positions of authority, especially ones who are supposed to protect civilians such as pilots, flight crews, soldiers, and also EMTs, police, and firemen, are at the front lines of a society that is cracking. We put on them the expectations to protect and serve in any or all circumstances, but the circumstances these days are increasingly unpredictable and brutal. The stress is incredible, and the cracks are showing.

The orderliness of civilization is only a veneer that covers man's basic condition: sinner. See what happens to people when God gives them over to their base desires:

"being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;" (Romans 1:29-31).

The unbeliever often says that man is basically good and if just given a chance, will be truly good and get better as time goes on. But that is not true. When God gives them over to what they want, what they want turns out to be treachery, insolence and evil.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 mentions a “restrainer” that is holding back sin and lawlessness. The Restrainer, who is the Holy Spirit, will be removed from the earth at the rapture, allowing sin to have jurisdiction over mankind. What we are seeing, I believe, is the slow lifting of the Restrainer's hand. It will suddenly disappear at the rapture, and then people will really go berserk.

Any person who is not saved by repentance and submission to Jesus, can become saved if they accept that their original condition is one that includes all the above: treachery, evil, lawlessness...etc. That is what sin is, lawlessness in breaking God's commands. Here is an explanation of the true Gospel from GotQuestions:
--------
"The true gospel is the good news that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying that situation. But God, by His power, provided the means of man’s redemption in the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” But to truly comprehend how good this news is, we must first understand the bad news. As a result of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin. Because of man’s sinful nature, he does not and cannot seek God. He has no desire to come to God and, in fact, his mind is hostile toward God (Romans 8:7). God has declared that man’s sin dooms him to an eternity in hell, separated from God. It is in hell that man pays the penalty of sin against a holy and righteous God. This would be bad news indeed if there were no remedy.

But in the gospel, God, in His mercy, has provided that remedy, a substitute for us—Jesus Christ—who came to pay the penalty for our sin by His sacrifice on the cross. This is the essence of the gospel which Paul preached to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 15:2-4, he explains the three elements of the gospel—the death, burial and resurrection of Christ on our behalf. Our old nature died with Christ on the cross and was buried with Him. Then we were resurrected with Him to a new life (Romans 6:4-8). Paul tells us to “hold firmly” to this true gospel, the only one which saves. Believing in any other gospel is to believe in vain. In Romans 1:16-17, Paul also declares that the true gospel is the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” by which he means that salvation is not achieved by man’s efforts, but by the grace of God through the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Because of the gospel, through the power of God, those who believe in Christ (Romans 10:9) are not just saved from hell. We are, in fact, given a completely new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) with a changed heart and a new desire, will, and attitude that are manifested in good works. This is the fruit the Holy Spirit produces in us by His power. Works are never the means of salvation, but they are the proof of it (Ephesians 2:10). Those who are saved by the power of God will always show the evidence of salvation by a changed life."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Signs in the sun, moon, and stars

Funky things will be happening to the sun and the moon and the stars during the Tribulation. Lately, we have seen an uptick in solar activity, and certainly there seems to be an asteroid a day discovered, and each one that is discovered seems to have a trajectory bringing it closer and closer to earth.

The prophecies regarding the funky things happening to the sun such as it going dark are plentiful in the Old Testament and in the New:

Isaiah 13:10--For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.

Joel 2:31--The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Matthew 24:29-- [The Coming of the Son of Man] “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Revelation 8:12 [Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck] Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.

Jesus said that in advance of His coming that "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea." Luke 21:25. Here are a few newspaper articles about that funkiness in advance of the Tribulation (which of course will grow much worse during that 7 year period of judgment):

Here is a roundup from The Weather Channel titled "The ten weirdest things about March 2012 weather".
"To say March 2012 has been weird...strange...bizarre weatherwise has been, frankly, a gross understatement."
1. Record Heat -- An Understatement
2. Heaviest late-season snow
3. A Massive, Rapid Snowmelt
4. 80s...in Canada...in March!
5. All-Time March Heat ... Several Days in a Row!
6. Atlanta Pollen Count Tops 9,000
7. Michigan, Minnesota Tornadoes ... in March
8. Record Hailstone...in Hawaii!!
9. Chicago Record Streak
10. International Falls: The Melting Icebox

The planet Mercury is swelling up. It must have water weight gain this time of the month...

Mystery rising with Mercury
"Something besides volcanic eruptions and asteroid and comet impacts has sculpted the surface of Mercury -- an unknown process, possibly still going on today, that causes the ground to swell from the inside out.The evidence, collected by a NASA spacecraft orbiting the innermost planet, is scattered all over Mercury, including a dramatic finding that half of the floor of the biggest crater on the planet has been raised above the walls."

Hmmm, weird. I wonder what is making the planet Mercury swell up. I hope they find out. There is so much going on in the universe it boggles my mind! Yet God is in control of it all.

Solar storm dumps gigawatts
"A surge of infrared radiation from nitric oxide molecules on March 8-10, 2012, signals the biggest upper-atmospheric heating event in seven years. A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years."

From Spaceweather.com. a CME is a coronal mass ejection--
"INCREDIBLE SUNSPOT AR1429: Big sunspot AR1429, the source of so many strong flares and geomagnetic storms earlier this month, is still erupting. The active region produced a significant coronal mass ejection on March 24th at 00:39 UT. Because of the sunspot's location on the far side of the sun, this particular CME will not hit Earth. An animated forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab shows the trajectory of the expanding cloud.The leading edge of the CME is expected to arrive at the STEREO-B spacecraft on March 25th at 13:08 UT (+/- 7 hours). None of the inner planets will be affected.Since March began, sunspot AR1429 has propelled CMEs into every corner of the solar system, stirring up stormy space weather around every planet and spacecraft. If the sunspot remains active for another week or so, it will turn back toward Earth for a new round of geoeffective eruptions. Stay tuned."

Scientists are beginning to wonder if the giant asteroid Vesta is actually a planet
"For years, scientists have been calling Vesta an asteroid. Granted, it's a big asteroid — at 330 miles across, it's the second biggest in the solar system — but NASA's Dawn spacecraft recently got its closest look at Vesta yet, and according to Dawn's principle investigator Christopher Russel, astronomers have been finding it hard not to refer to the asteroid as a planet. Of course, the odds of the International Astronomical Union convening to name Vesta a planet (the same way they met in 2006 to reclassify Pluto as a dwarf planet) are basically zero. So instead, astronomers have taken to describing the massive asteroid as "transitional." But what's with all the confusion in the first place? Long story short: Vesta resembles a planet. And not just any planet; Vesta is home to a lot of features typically associated with terrestrial bodies like Earth."

"Transitional"?? LOL! Talk about not knowing and thus hedging your bets... As an aside, I always wondered why the scientists name the planetary bodies after mythological gods and none are named after the real bible heroes. You find Vesta, goddess of home and hearth; Venus, Roman goddess of love; Mars, Roman god of war; Pluto, Roman god of the underworld; Jupiter, Roman king of all gods; Mercury, messenger to the gods; Saturn, Roman god of agriculture (and origin of Saturnalia, a gift giving celebration held around the third week of December and in which some of its customs may have influenced the seasonal celebrations surrounding Christmas); Neptune, god of water and the see; Uranus is the ancient Greek god of the Heavens, but was dethroned by his son Cronus. Here is a link to the origin of the names for the planets, moons, and satellites.

Note the similarity of the ancient Greek and Roman myths to the truth of the bible account of the origin of the universe--

According to Greek mythology, the first god was Chaos. While the word Chaos brings certain images of mayhem and disorderliness to the English-speaking mind, the Greek god Chaos was just a big, empty, black, Nothing. Chaos was Nothingness, the Void, or empty space. After Chaos came the goddess Earth, who was known to the Greeks as Gaia, and to the Romans as Terra. Earth appeared out of nothing according to Greek mythology: "Chaos was first of all, but next appeared broad-bosomed Earth" (Hesiod, Theogony). To the ancients, of course, earth was not perceived as a planet, as it was not perceived to “wander” or move at all.Ge (Earth) was a virgin when she gave birth to her firstborn son, Ouranos, which means “Sky” in Greek. “Although the Roman name for the god Sky was Caelus, the Latin spelling of the Greek name Ouranos was “Uranus”. From this, we get the name of a modern planet..." (source)

It is interesting to see that when Vesta was discovered in 1807 the asteroid was thought of as a planet for about fifty years. It was declassified as a planet in the mid 1800s. So as I was saying earlier about the scientists, their information unfolds and as new facts are added their paradigms change. It's the missing link! No it's not! It's a planet! No, it's not! It's a new volcano! No it's not!

Are we not blessed with the bible which we can count on as total truth, all the time?! Aren't we blessed to have an unchanging Savior?! Keep looking up. The more funky things happening the more likely it is that He will call for us in the rapture. We don't know what day or hour, but the celestial funkiness and weather anomalies tells us that it may be the season...

Do you have a divided heart, or a whole heart?

Jesus at His zenith of popularity... Big crowds, laudatory accolades, and promises, promises by the naive:

"And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:61-62).

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary says of that verse, "As ploughing requires an eye intent on the furrow to be made, and is marred the instant one turns about, so will they come short of salvation who prosecute the work of God with a distracted attention, a divided heart. ... The expression "looking back" has a manifest reference to 'Lot's wife'."

You can imagine what a furrow looks like when a plow has swerved. Or a mower with the operator looking backwards. It soon gets crooked.

The 'don't look back' warning in Luke does bring immediately to mind the warning given to Lot and his family as they prepared to flee the imminent judgment at Sodom, that most wicked city. The angel told the family,

"Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” (Gen 19:17b).

Those directions are pretty clear. Don't look back. The family had been told in no uncertain terms that what was going to happen to the city. They knew it was judgment from God, and they knew they were in the presence of an angel who was delivering this message. you cannot get much higher than an authority than an angel sent by God, and you would think that a person would listen to the directions. When the judgment started, this is what happened:

"Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." (Gen 19:24-26).

She had a divided heart.

Now, the Lord is THE highest authority. And He told the would-be follower in Luke not to look back. He had discerned that the would-be follower already had a divided heart. You can't move forward while looking back. If you do, you mar your walk.

Jesus is the most beautiful treasure, the most glowing glory, the most perfect sight one could ever imagine. He is the most important person in the Universe, from all time and forever. The question is, why would you WANT to look back? Is there a possession Mrs Lot had that was worth more to her than her family around her? More important than an angel from God? More important than judgment behind and salvation ahead?

Of the young follower questioning Jesus, who was at his house that was more important than the Messiah?

In John 6, Jesus was talking with the disciples. A great many of them had been following Jesus for some time, including the Twelve. As Jesus was preaching about the bread and the blood, and saying that no one can come to Him unless it has been granted by the Father. It was a hard saying, hard to understand and hard to accept. The scriptures say,

"As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life."

Peter got it. He knew that there was nothing else on earth more important than the time He could spend with Messiah in person.

Do you have a divided heart? Where else would you go, once you found the key to eternal life, and the One who brings it? There is no place else to go, nothing else to have, not one thing of any iota of importance compared to Jesus. A divided heart is no heart. What was Mrs Lot looking at? What was back at Sodom that was better to mourn over than in looking back, rather than looking ahead at the angel who was leading them to safety? Who was better for the young would-be follower to be with than the most important Person of the universe??

My hope for myself and for you is to have a whole heart for Jesus.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Skit Guys: Follow video

My LORD and my SAVIOR. I follow YOU!



HT @dpbkmb

Mystery of the Malibu restaurant worker's death

This is an interesting story. The facts on the ground are constantly changing as new information comes in, and that is perfectly OK. What struck me about this story is how sensitive and skittish people are these days with anything resembling a Pestilence. We have all seen The Stand, or Contagion, or Epidemic or Outbreak...and we all know that behind featureless office building walls are labs experimenting with creating the next superflu or the next genetically mutated pestilence. When the headlines came out about this Malibu restaurant worker, the blogs lit up like the fourth of July. The story goes like this:

A restaurant worker at Guido's in Malibu was found dead in the alley behind his restaurant. He was in a pool of blood. Initial reports were that he was shot. Another report stated he was beaten to death as he took out the trash.

A day or so later it turned out that it was reported that the worker possibly died of a mysterious upper respiratory infection.

That's when things went bananas. Just the thought of a man who had worked a shift in its entirety, was performing a mundane task, then keeled over with his lungs melting inside him, was too much for people to take. Imaginations went wild. Forums and chat boards lit up. Contradictory reports were coming out all over the place.

"Sheriff's officials say a man found dead in front of a Malibu restaurant died from an upper respiratory infection, but the cause of that infection is still unknown. The L.A. County Coroner's Office is running toxicology tests that could provide more answers. Carlos Ivan Rodas, 32, was found Sunday night in front of Guido's restaurant on Cross Creek Road, where he worked. Rodas was found in a pool of blood outside the restaurant. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses said he had gone to take the trash out behind the restaurant, and then staggered to the front, where he collapsed. Initial reports from the scene indicated Rodas had been shot. A short time later, authorities amended that story, saying it appeared Rodas had been brutally beaten by a group of unidentified suspects. Then, on Wednesday, the sheriff's department changed the story a third time, saying Rodas likely died from an upper respiratory disease. Sheriff's officials also said it appeared there was no criminal conduct related to Rodas' death. The Coroner has not issued an official cause of death.Coroner spokesman Ed Winter said he could not discuss the findings because a security hold has been placed on the case."

And the coroner retracted the nugget that the guy died of upper respiratory disease and clamped down on all communications. A "security hold."

Malibu Restaurant Worker Found in Pool of Blood Died of Respiratory Disease [UPDATED]
"UPDATE 4:07 PM Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter has expressed dismay this afternoon regarding the LASD's release of information about Rodas' cause of death, according to CNS. Winter said he was "irritated at this," and explained that a sheriff's detective placed a security hold on the case, which barred anyone at the coroner's office from discussing the case. Winter added he could not confirm the information released by the LASD that indicates Rodas died of an "upper respiratory disease." Asked if an upper respiratory infection could indicate tuberculosis, Winter said it could, however he said it also could have been another kind of infection, reports CNS."

Finally the coroner's office took over and issued a statement on behalf of the City of Malibu--

"Over the last few days, the City has been in constant communication with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department regarding the tragic death of an employee at a local restaurant. In order to provide clear information and to help alleviate several conflicting reports surrounding the cause of death, the Sheriff’s Department issued a statement that the death appears to be respiratory in nature, but no other specifics have been given. In the interest of public safety, as well as the need to provide the community with information and the pressure to release information, the Sheriff’s Department provided preliminary assessments based upon witness accounts and the appearance of the scene."

"Initial assessments by medical, fire and law enforcement personnel led to the belief that a violent crime may have taken place. As in many investigations, until all of the evidence has been verified, the cause of death may be modified. As always, the first concern was for public safety in the actual event this was determined to be a homicide. The City is disappointed by the confusing and contradictory messages given to the media and public about this tragedy. The City’s goal is to get the most accurate and up to date information before disseminating it to the community."

"Public safety and public health are the City’s most important issues and the City is working hard to get the correct facts regarding this incident to allay any fears that may have arisen. The Sheriff’s Department and County Coroner are working diligently to determine the exact cause of death. The City will continue to collaborate closely with the Sheriff’s Department on communication to the public until the final medical report is issued that will separate the facts from fiction in this very confusing, yet tragic, case.Malibu Mayor Laura Rosenthal added, “The City extends our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Rodas’ family and friends during this very difficult time. A young man has died, no matter the circumstances, and we wish to respect the pain and suffering of his loved ones at this time. I will be working to get as much information as possible about this tragedy and make sure that our residents and community are safe.”

Just the fact that the City had to issue a statement to quell the immediate hysteria was pretty interesting. That there was so much immediate hysteria is also very interesting. We're all so skittish today, more than we realize, I think. Part of that is a deep distrust of what officials are telling us from day to day on both mundane and important matters.

Investigations continue, and nothing has emerged about the case in the last day and a half. The coroner said that they have to grow a culture and then test it, and that process takes time, about 4 weeks according to this report. The Health Department investigated the restaurant and it was declared a non-threat to public safety and is open for business. The only thing they will say is that it was not a homicide, and there were no external wounds on the worker. Creepy.

Meanwhile it is scary to think of all the diseases that are being cultured right now in petrie dishes in labs all over the world, especially Damascus, the Middle East's most advanced bio and chemical warfare labs.

I have mentioned before on my blog and in the DD newsletter that Damascus is home to advanced bio-labs and chemical warfare plants. With the unrest in Syria, those are at risk, either from insurgents or from simply being attacked purposely or accidentally, and bio-agents released. We could truly have an "Outbreak" situation on our hands. To that end,

US, Jordan mulling ways to secure Syrian bio-weapons
Washington, Amman are reportedly devising ways to keep Damascus' chemical, biological weapons caches out of terror groups' hand should Assad fall
"The United States and Jordan are reportedly discussing ways to secure what is believed to be Syria's substantial stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of Hezbollah or al-Qaeda, should Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime come to its end.Syria is believed to have one of the world's largest arsenals of nerve agents, including Sarin, cyanide, and mustard gas; and is one of only seven nations not to sign the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)".

Goodness, I hope they secure those labs!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Everything else will fade

From Twitter, John C. Knope: a man worth following--


A Heavenly Inheritance

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Jesus is our inheritance. There is no finer treasure in all the universe.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bird watching in Israel, and the Great Supper of the Dead

The Lord has certainly blessed Israel. I discovered some interesting things while reading a book on the natural history of Israel. if you ever take up a non-fiction book or encyclopedia of all the flora and fauna of that tiny nation it is really interesting. The wealth and diversity of animals, plants, and terrain in that tiny country is just amazing. In the old days, the ancient cartographers used to draw Israel in the middle of the map with Jerusalem as center. That placement is not only apt spiritually since Israel drives the entire world (Genesis 12:1-3) but is apt for natural history study, as well. The nation is at the junction of three continents, is between the temperate and the tropical zones, and has three climate types, (Mediterranean, Steppe, and Desert) and an incredible array of animals and plants.

The birds of the south and the north are funneled over Israel in their annual migratory patterns. They fly directly over Israel. Millions upon millions of them. Hundreds of millions. The city of Eilat mentioned in the article below is at the southernmost point of Israel-

Flight path to peril
"Each northern spring an awesome aerial torrent of 500 million birds pauses at a tiny fleck of a sanctuary at the tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, en route from the heart of Africa to the vastnesses of Europe and Asia. In the 1960s, Eilat, at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba, was recognised as the vital crossroads on the avian highway between three continents, a natural funnel through which the birds of Europe and Asia pour in millions on their way to winter feeding grounds in Ethiopia and around Lake Victoria. Of the three great migratory routes – over Gibraltar in Spain, across the Straits of Messina and down the Rift Valley from Turkey to Kenya – Eilat bestrides the largest and most important."

Israel: A crossroad for bird migration
"The unique location of Israel at the junction of three continents, has made it a "bottleneck" and a crossroad for bird migration, second to almost no other site in the world. Research over the past decade has shown that about 500 million migrating birds fly over Israel's narrow airspace. These birds migrate over Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and through Egypt to Africa."

Birdwatchers find heaven in superhighway Israel
"Bird migration is big in Israel. Per square kilometre, the country has one of the highest levels of bird traffic in the world. Every autumn, over 500 million birds cross Israel's airspace, heading south to warming weather in Africa."Israel sits on the junction of three continents," says Dr Yossi Leshem, director of Israel's International Centre for the Study of Bird Migration. "Politically, it's a disaster, but for bird migration, it's heaven. We have a huge bird bottleneck, a superhighway." Dr Leshem explains that most birds prefer to fly over land when migrating. It allows them to save energy by flying using warm thermal air rising off the land below.Many birds flying south from Northern Europe and Asia to Africa want to avoid the Mediterranean and Caspian seas and are therefore funnelled down over Israel..."

What an incredible blessing! But with that comes an incredible problem. The bird strikes were costing the Israeli Air Force 10 million dollars per year in damaged and downed aircraft. Passenger air transportation was at risk twice per year with the over 500 million birds flying over Israeli skies. Large birds pose a worse hazard. As this article from 2010 states, "About 80 percent of all White Storks in the world pass over Israel. The heavy birds can have an impact equivalent of more than 40 tons in a collision depending on the speed of the jet."

This article from last month, Feb 2012, explains the gains the Israelis have been making on technology that would make for a safer flight for both bird and man:

Israeli technology minimizes bird hits in flight
Tel Aviv: "Bird hits can be particularly nasty for an airplane, forcing it to land or send it crashing to the ground, often with devastating consequences. Now, fresh research has developed a digitized system with the ability to track migrating birds in real-time, minimizing the possibility of such collisions. Bird hits have claimed more than 200 lives worldwide since 1988, according to Bird Strike Committee US. The US Air Force also reported more than 5,000 bird strikes in 2007 alone. Researcher Yossi Leshem, zoologist at the Tel Aviv University, has developed a system to track migrating birds and minimize the possibility of collisions. Since the beginning of Leshem's programme, there has been a 76 percent drop in collisions - saving $800 million and countless lives since 1984, according to a Tel Aviv statement."

"Adapted from weather radar technology, Leshem's system has been implemented throughout Israel. It tracks birds' movements, then reports details of their coming and going, including the height at which they are flying, and which route they are taking. Based on this information, the Israel Air Force (IAF), which funds the research along with Israel's Ministry of Defence, can alter flight plans accordingly. With the third and final radar installed in the north of Israel two years ago, a flock can be followed 40 miles into Lebanon, Syria, or Jordan, and the IAF gives a two-hour advanced warning of the arrival of a flock."

Blessed again with an ingenious solution to a bountiful problem!

Now, prophetically, I was thinking of several verses about birds in the Tribulation:

"And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God," (Rev 19:17).

This moment occurs after Jesus bursts back onto earth on a white horse with His saints following, and slays all those hundreds of millions assembled at the battle of Armageddon. The angel then calls to the birds to come eat the dead. I'd often wondered about the hundreds of millions of dead and how or where the birds will come from to be able to match the numbers indicated in the verse of how many dead there will be to eat.

Also Ezekiel 39:17 at the end of the Gog-Magog war: "Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: 'Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood."

So in addition to being blessed to see highways of birds pass over each spring and fall, at the last day, when God calls to the birds of the air for the Great Supper, it is not so hard, now, to imagine there will be enough birds to fulfill the prophecy. God has already trained them.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Do not listen to Joel Osteen

I urge you to consider these days are dark with herds of savage wolves creeping in with destructive heresies. They prowl and pounce on the unsuspecting, and for the purpose of shredding God's people. Joel Osteen is one of those. "Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting'..." (Romans 16:17-18). This post is my urge to you. Let's begin:

From Chris Rosebrough's Letter of Marque:

In the late second century, Irenaeus of Lyons, wrote his classic apologetic tome Against Heresies to check, expose and combat the gnostic heresy of the Valentian sect. It is significant to note that the same scripture twisting tactics of the gnostic heretics are still being employed by today's heretics. Said Irenaeus, heretics:
"... adapt the good words of revelation to their own wicked inventions. And it is not only from the writings of the evangelists and the apostles that they endeavour to derive proofs for their opinions by means of perverse interpretations and deceitful expositions: they deal in the same way with the law and the prophets, which contain many parables and allegories that can frequently be drawn into various senses, according to the kind of exegesis to which they are subjected. And others of them, with great craftiness, adapted such parts of Scripture to their own figments, lead away captive from the truth those who do not retain a steadfast faith in one God, the Father Almighty, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
The persons perpetrating deceitful expositions are still around. They were then, and they are still doing it now. Joel Osteen is one. The Albany NY Times Union reports below on a recent event. I can't call it a revival and I can't call it a crusade and I can't call it a sermon. Osteen holds events:

12,000 relate to Osteen's pep talk
"For more than two hours, Pastor Joel Osteen wrapped 12,000 people in a warm embrace at the Times Union Center with his massively successful brand of feel-good "prosperity theology." Backed by a rock band and a heavily produced show that was more Broadway than tent revival, his message traded fire and brimstone for the equivalent of a corporate motivational speech. He was all praise and no damnation."

Osteen consistently demurs in preaching sin. He boasts that his cavernous Lakewood arena does not "have a churchy feel" and he deliberately declines to put crosses there so as not to cause an offense that would hinder someone from coming. (source).

"On the December 23, 2007, edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday brought up Osteen's lack of Scripture reference in his sermons, as well as his hesitancy to discuss sin as an integral part of life. Osteen responded: "And I am ultimately trying to do that, but I'm trying to teach people how to live their everyday lives, and so I do focus on it, probably not as much as some people would like." Osteen says that he chooses to focus on the goodness of God rather than sin." (source)

 Of focusing on only one part of the Gospel to the exclusion of others, Paul said,

"For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." (Acts 20:27).

Here is an explanation of that verse from Albert Barnes, 1798-1870, and an explanation as to why some preachers fail to preach the whole counsel of God. Though Barnes wrote this 160 years ago, it applies to Osteen today in a most uncanny way-

Barnes notes
"have not shunned - I have not kept back; I have not been deterred by fear, by the desire of popularity, by the fact that the doctrines of the gospel are unpalatable to people, from declaring them fully. The proper meaning of the word translated here, "I have not shunned", is "to disguise any important truth; to withdraw it from public view; to decline publishing it from fear, or an apprehension of the consequences." Paul means that he had not disguised any truth; he had not withdrawn or kept it from open view, by any apprehension of the effect which it might have on their minds."

"Truth may be disguised or kept back:

(1) By avoiding the subject altogether from timidity, or from an apprehension of giving offence if it is openly proclaimed; or,

(2) By giving it too little prominency, so that it shall be lost in the multitude of other truths; or,

(3) By presenting it amidst a web of metaphysical speculations, and entangling it with other subjects; or,

(4) By making use of other terms than the Bible does, for the purpose of involving it in a mist, so that it cannot be understood.

People may resort to this course:

(1) Because the truth itself is unpalatable;

(2) Because they may apprehend the loss of reputation or support;

(3) Because they may not love the truth them selves, and choose to conceal its prominent and offensive points;

(4) Because they may be afraid of the rich, the great, and the frivolous, and apprehend that they shall excite their indignation; and,

(5) By a love of metaphysical philosophy, and a constant effort to bring everything to the test of their own reason. People often preach a philosophical explanation of a doctrine instead of the doctrine itself They deserve the credit of ingenuity, but not that of being open and bold proclaimers of the truth of God.

Osteen fits all of the above. Most importantly, by Osteen's own admission, fails to preach the entire counsel of God. Let's look at some self-described approaches to preaching that Osteen himself has stated, and compare them to scripture:

In Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, Osteen wrote, “Our words are vital in bringing our dreams to pass. It’s not enough to simply see it by faith or in your imagination. You have to begin speaking words of faith over your life. Your words have enormous creative power. The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it.”

Isaiah would differ with that approach. He said of his mouth, "Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

Osteen's Web site says -"The Power of Words-“Your words affect your future. Speaking God's Word over your life can help you to live the life of victory that God has in store for you.”

Isaiah says, "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things." (Isaiah 59:2-3)

In Diana Keough’s interview from FaithfulReader.com, she asked about Osteen's then New York Times #1 bestseller Your Best Life Now. Osteen stated: “The main reason I decided to write it was to help people enjoy their life and to realize God has a good plan. I wanted people to see that you can be happy today --- that you can bloom where you're planted and enjoy your life right now.”

Solomon had some things to say about accumulating wealth and pleasure and happiness based on ephemeral earthly things of now, instead of pursuing the eternal:

"I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me."

"I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11)

Osteen said each day “you should declare good things. Just look in the mirror and say ‘I am strong, I am healthy, I’m rising to new levels, I’m excited about my future.’ ” (Joel Osteen, Discover the Champion in You, TBN, June 7, 2004).

"The image of the Lord had been replaced by a mirror.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Re-Post: Childlike faith in the end times

I was talking with a friend the other day. The economic times are so tough it is making it stressful for people to make job decisions. The times are rough on families emotionally, too. With tight budgets comes worry and stress.

If a person is saved by the blood of Jesus then by prayer and faith, all things are possible. You just need to take the step, and He will provide. What will He provide? More faith, strength, guidance, direction, comfort, and more. Here is a re-post of something I'd written three years ago. Things were tough then. They are tougher now. Have faith.
-----------------------------
You know how a child runs to their mom or their dad, tottering on those tiptoes, arms outstretched? And at the last minute, they jump. They jump into their parents' arms, fully knowing that they will land in safety and love.

Jesus urges us all to have a childlike faith. He did not mean have the faith of the child in only good times, when it's easy. He meant it for all the time, including, and especially for when times are hard. When times get tough and enemies of fear, trepidation, doubt surround you, ...even if the Lord has set a table for you that is in the midst of enemies, you shall be held dear to Him and He shall take care of you. But you must take that leap to get to His arms.

In the Third Indiana Jones movie I remember a scene where Indy had been following this treasure map. Bad guys were chasing him and they were right on his heels. He got to a place called the "Leap of Faith." It was a cavern with sheer walls on either side and one entry and no exit ... the map said to walk across. The span was too great for a man to leap. Wh-at?

I remember this like it was yesterday. I was not saved and this scene became a powerful image that stayed with me until I was saved. Indy closed his eyes, held a big breath, put out one foot like a Nazi goosestep, and propelled himself forward.

His foot landed on solid ground, How can this be? He looked at the invisible bridge from peeking to its side as far as he could lean, and it turned out it was not invisible after all, but camouflaged. It blended in perfectly with the background so it appeared as if no support was there. But it was.

Our eyes cannot see the supernatural protection we have, but if we keep propelling ourselves forward, we will find that the support IS there. No matter how close the bad guys come in their chase against us, He is there to provide a way across, through, and then beyond.

John 14:18 No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm-I will come to you. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.

Take a deep breath and keep walking, knowing with childlike faith that He is right beside you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Earthquake in Mexico today: Are there more earthquakes?

A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck today in Oaxaca, Mexico. Drudge noted the other day that despite travel warnings about the tenuous situation in Mexico for tourists, that Obama's daughter is vacationing in Oaxaca, anyway. The article from Montreal Gazette states,

"OAXACA, Mexico - The elder daughter of U.S. President Barack Obama is spending her spring break in the historic Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends, a state police official said. The young tourists, including 13-year-old Malia Ann Obama, are staying at a downtown hotel in this city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions, the official said. "We are here to block access to the hotel by other people and escort the vehicles that are carrying the visitors to tourism sites," the police official told AFP under the condition of anonymity. Malia Obama and her friend are guarded by 25 U.S. Secret Service agents as well as Mexican police, the official noted."

Though she was well protected from kidnappers, gangs, and terrorism while visiting Mexico, no one can prepare for an earthquake. Fortunately Miss Obama is all right, as are her friends.

The quake occurred today and is accompanied by many high-magnitude aftershocks.


5.1 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.1 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.3 OAXACA, MEXICO
7.4 OAXACA, MEXICO

The Mexico quake was said to be a strong one that lasted a long time. Thankfully as of this writing there are no major damages and no reports of casualties or injuries. Washington Post reports,

"A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico on Tuesday, shaking central and southern parts of the country, collapsing a pedestrian bridge and swaying buildings in Mexico City. Plaster fell from ceilings and windows broke in the center of the capital, but the president said there were no immediate reports of major damage. ... Frightened workers and residents poured into the streets of the capital just minutes after noon local time. Telephone service was down in the city and throughout the area where the quake was felt. ... In Huajuapan, Guerrero, near the epicenter, hotel owner Marco Antonio Estrada also reported shaken-up guests but no major damage. He said it was longest and strongest he ever felt. People ran out of their homes and cars."

There was also another earthquake today, a strong one rated at 6.2 at Papua Indonesia, listed on the USGS page for quakes the last 7-days.

Every time there is a strong quake, blog hits spike. People are curious about the connection to the end times and earthquakes. Many people wonder, is there a connection? Is there a Godly purpose to earthquakes? Yes. Yes there is.

God has used earthquakes for several reasons. Here are just a few. In the Old Testament, Mount Sinai 'trembled violently' before God spoke to Moses. (Exodus 19:18).

God used an earthquake to demonstrate the outcome of rebellion against Him. The ground opened, swallowing Korah and his men. (Numbers 16:31-32).

God used an earthquake to show that despite His power to create an earthquake, Elijah could also hear Him in the still, small voice. (I Kings 19:11).

The great earthquake at the time of King Uzziah was spoken of by Amos. Uzziah had grown insolent and haughty. The LORD used the earthquake to remind the king of the LORD'S power. That one was a judgment quake.

Of the Uzziah quake, scientifically, "Masonry walls best display the earthquake, especially walls with broken ashlars, walls with displaced rows of stones, walls still standing but leaning or bowed, and walls collapsed with large sections still lying course-on-course. Debris at six sites (Hazor, Deir 'Alla, Gezer, Lachish, Tell Judeideh, and 'En Haseva) is tightly confined stratigraphically to the middle of the eighth century B.C., with dating errors of ~30 years.…The earthquake was at least magnitude 7.8, but likely was 8.2…This severe geologic disaster has been linked historically to a speech delivered at the city of Bethel by a shepherd-farmer named Amos of Tekoa." (source: "Steven A. Austin, Gordon W. Franz, and Eric G. Frost, "Amos's Earthquake: An Extraordinary Middle East Seismic Event of 750 B.C." International Geology Review 42 (2000) 657-671)."

Zechariah links the Uzziah quake's strength to the last day quake when Jesus arrives in His second coming. As His feet land on the Mount of Olives, the mount splits in two, "Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley,For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah." (Zech 14:4b-5).

In Matthew 24:7 Jesus told His disciples (and us) that in the last days there would be earthquakes in various places as one of the sings of His coming. (Mt 24:7).

In Matthew 27:51-54 when Jesus died on the cross a great earthquake occurred, splitting the Temple veil in two and resurrecting many saints from their graves. This was a vivid demonstration of His power, and as a witness to the truth that Jesus is His Son.

So if God speaks using earthquakes for His reasons, and earthquakes are an end time sign used to get man's attention, are there indeed more earthquakes? As we get closer to the time of the rapture and afterward, the Tribulation judgments poured out in remaining unbelievers, have the number of quakes risen as one would expect? Yes.

Click to enlarge.

Using USGS data, I searched for the number of quakes in each magnitude per year, and compared against the USGS benchmarks in the first column. One can see the number of quakes exceed the USGS average number. They have exceeded the USGS average number in each magnitude since 2009.

Please understand that whether you believe in Jesus or not, He is coming. He is Creator. He holds the title deed to the earth, all the earth is the LORD'S and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1). He is King over you, and me. He can judge us, for who else is righteous? No, not one. He is lovingly sending earthquakes to remind us that He holds the deed to the earth and he can shake it as He wills. If you have been through an earthquake and have suffered loss or injury it doesn't feel loving. But it is. If an earthquake makes you think of the power of the Lord and of eternal things, and brings you to Him, that is loving. If you experience an earthquake and think of these things and decide that you hate God or you don't believe, that is loving too, because He gave you a chance to decide.

As the LORD said to Ezekiel about His messages, "As for them, whether they listen or not-- for they are a rebellious house-- they will know that a prophet has been among them." (Ez 2:5). Those who are experiencing all the earth signs and the Christian warnings from people like me and others, then whether you listen or you don't listen, you will know on the last day that God did everything possible to speak to your heart and offer you a way to salvation from His wrath. He sent the Law, He sent the Prophets. He sent His son. He sent His apostles. He sent His witnesses. He sent the Spirit. He sent His word. He sent signs and told us ahead of time.

In Matthew 24:25, in the same passage where He announced that there would be earthquakes in various places as a sign of His coming, and described the many other signs, a bit further on He said, "“Behold, I have told you in advance." This is so that when the things begin to happen, we know His word is true, and we can "Look up, for our Redemption draweth nigh!" (Luke 21:28.)