Friday, August 31, 2012

Will Israel launch an EMP over Iran? And what is NAM, anyway?

What a week! Can I just say that I work with the nicest and most thoughtful and fun bunch of people, ever? Thank you everyone for your kindness over the week, to me and others. I am a lucky gal.

Someone is praying for me. I can feel it. I am a blessed gal. Thank you prayer warrior, whoever you are!

I drove to work this morning under a brightening late summer sky, fog laying gently on the low fields, the grass glistening brightly on the higher hummocks. The cows were grazing and the sky was pink. I really wanted to get out and take photos, but the route to work has no shoulders along the road's edge and it would have been dangerous to stop. I think that was best in the long run. That way, I had to stay in my car and simply...enjoy.

Our God bequeathed peace to us through Christ. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27).

Here is the news. As you read it, let your heart not be troubled. His peace He bequeathed us.

Khamenei: Time for new world order
"The world," Khamenei said, "Is in transition towards a new international order and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) can and should play a new role."

Khamenei is Iran's highest Muslim cleric, the Supreme Leader of Iran. He is a Twelver Shi'a marja. He had also served as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1981 to 1989. In 2010, Forbes selected him 26th in the list of 'World's Most Powerful People'. So do not think for a moment that he is an out of date, tottering old guy in some backward, desert sands Third World nation. He is not only powerful, he is the real leader of a nation that has a heavy prophetic role to play in the last days, as per Ezekiel 38-39 regarding 'Persia'.

Now, you might have heard of the Non-Aligned Movement Khamenei mentioned. Here is what it's about, according to Wikipedia.

"The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2012, the movement has 120 members and 17 observer countries. "The national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics". The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations' members and contain 55% of the world population. Membership is particularly concentrated in countries considered to be developing or part of the Third World. The current chair is Chair is...wait for it... Iran, and the Secretary-General is Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran took over from Egypt at the NAM summit concluding today, and will hold the chairmanship through 2015.

At the NAM summit, attendance at the highest level included 27 presidents, 2 kings and emirs, 7 prime ministers, 9 vice presidents, 2 parliament spokesmen and 5 special envoys. It is not something to sneeze at. While American citizens are squabbling over Clint Eastwood's speech and picking on Honey Boo Boo, 120 nations got together and talked about a new world order.

The NAM is pretty funny considering that Iran is prophesied to ally with (by then) the world's only superpower- Russia, and with Turkey, which has the world's second largest army in NATO with 402,000 personnel, for the purpose of attacking Israel in the prophesied Gog-Magog war.

The Official motto of the NAM is below. Nice use of the Dove. It goes with NAM's motto:

"Lasting peace through joint global governance"

Hmmm, sounds like something an antichrist would say.

Remember the earthquake swarm down in southern California, central portion of Imperial Valley at the Salton Sea? That last weekend there were 100 quakes in the same day, some reaching 4 and 5 point magnitudes? Well the town that is in the middle of the swarm and is most affected, declared an emergency.

Brawley quake swarm, declares emergency
"The southern California town of Brawley has taken the unusual step of declaring a state of emergency after a swarm of earthquakes rattled nearly 20 mobile homes off their blocks and forced a slaughterhouse to close, the mayor said on Wednesday. It is uncommon for quake-hardy California cities to declare emergencies due to tremors, but Brawley mayor George Nava said the earthquake swarm is a unique case because it has lasted for days and caused millions of dollars in damage. The cluster of relatively small quakes, which are caused by water and other fluids moving around in the Earth's crust, began on Saturday evening and climaxed the next day with a 5.5 temblor, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."

Hurricane Isaac, New Orleans gays decadence festival, is it chance?
"The arrival of Hurricane Isaac exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina blasted New Orleans has some people wondering if there’s more to it than random chance, and suggesting the popular homosexual festival Southern Decadence may be part of a judgment from God. “A hurricane hitting a celebration of decadence … twice in seven years. What are the odds?” asks Robin Cox, a lifelong Gulf Coast resident. “Does it seem God has it in for New Orleans?” adds Mary Starkey. “Just contemplating why this has happened twice in seven years at exact same time of year.”

And...the inevitable mocking ensues-
God Too Lazy To Destroy New Orleans Homosexualistas A Second Time

I don't recommend you read the article. It is lowest, rankest blasphemy. The author obviously does not believe 2 Peter 2:6, "and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;" ... then the Lord knows "to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority." (2 Peter 2:6, 9b-10).

Praise the Lord, though, that people are making connections between these "coincidences." As in this next article, regarding the 7.6 quake that struck today off the Philippines.

"A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the Philippines' eastern coast late Friday, killing one person in a house collapse, knocking out power in several towns and spurring panic about a tsunami that ended up generating only tiny waves. ... "It was very strong. My house was making sounds," Bemruel Noel, a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, said in a telephone interview from Tacloban city on the eastern coast of Leyte island, where the quake set off a small stampede of residents. "You talk to God with an earthquake that strong," he said."

Yes, talk to God, and in that talk, repent!

In last week's Hal Lindsey Report, Hal made a comment that he thinks Israel may indeed use an electro-magnetic pulse to wipe out Iran's nuclear program. Hal said it was a way to bloodlessly solve the problem, and prophetically it keeps Iran in the game to ally with Russia to come back at Israel in the Ezekiel 38-39 war. I thought that was a sharp assessment and a good guess as to what may happen soon. And it would be soon, Iran's nuclear program is far along and the top officials are serious about using a nuke to wipe out Israel. Now here is other expert analysis that indicates the same, that it seems that Israel may be getting ready to launch an EMP (which is a nuclear missile detonated 100 feet in the atmosphere, instantly wiping out all electricity, chips, computers, and solid state appliances.)

Report: Possible EMP Strike on Iran?
U.S. sees signs Israel could use nuclear EMP attack against Iran
"U.S. intelligence agencies recently reported growing concerns that Israel will conduct a strike on Iran using a high-altitude nuclear burst aimed at disrupting all electronics in the country. The intelligence worries were triggered by recent publication of an article in the Israeli press suggesting the Jewish state should carry out an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack. U.S. officials said the article likely reflects official Israeli government thinking about a possible preemptive response to Iran’s expected emergence as a nuclear weapons state in the near future. Asked about the EMP report, an Israeli government spokesman declined to comment. A U.S. intelligence community spokesman also declined comment. A U.S. official said the article in question appeared Aug. 6 in the news outlet Israel National News. The article stated that an Israeli nuclear burst over Iran could “send Iran back to the Stone Age."

That has an interesting ring to it, sending them back to the Stone Age. It should be noted that when Ezekiel spoke of God putting bits in the horses and bringing them out, 'all your army your horses and horsemen' that it could actually be literal horses, if an EMP has been launched and all computer chips are wiped dead.

It should also be noted that Russia went with older, vacuum tube (valve) based equipment because it is generally much less vulnerable to EMP than newer solid state equipment. Soviet Cold War–era military aircraft often had avionics based on vacuum tubes due to both limitations in Soviet solid-state capabilities and a belief that the vacuum-tube gear would survive better. Hmmm.

In this 2006 article, a Russian WWII tank was pulled from a lake, and the people recovering the piece of old equipment were surprised to find that despite it being at a lake bottom for 56 years, there was no rust and all systems (except the engine) in working condition.

Or how about the 2010 UK Telegraph article that revealed that 200 abandoned Russian tanks were found in a a forest, compete with everything except the keys? "There are tanks all over the forest, abandoned," an unnamed reporter on the video says. "If you need one, come and get it." Locals in a nearby village said the tanks had been sitting there for almost four months covered in snow. The armoured vehicles were identified as a mixture of T-80 and T-72 battle tanks, the workhorses of the Russian army. "We were shocked," Pavel L, a local, told Russian media. "It is like you can sit behind the wheel, start up the engine and drive off and nobody would notice!"

Do a google search for "tank graveyard" and you'll be shocked at how many of these old vehicles are laying around, many of them useful after an EMP. Alternately, it could be that the next war will be a Stone Age war, with shields and swords and horses. It doesn't take much imagination to see the bind that Israel is in with respect to imminent obliteration and her desire to both save her nation yet refrain from much bloodshed. An EMP over Iran would do it. It doesn't take much imagination after that to see that Iran would make good on her threats to come after Great Satan if Little Satan acts up, and an EMP launched from an anchored cargo ship over the US would send us back to the Stone Age, too. And then it's on like Donkey Kong.

The Free Beacon article I'd linked to above isn't the only media outlet wondering if Israel will launch an EMP. The New English Review wondered the same thing 8 months ago when Israel launched a Jericho missile capable of reaching Iran.

"The Jericho III ICBM equipped with a nuclear warhead provides Israel with a powerful deterrent against a nuclear Iran. It gives Israel a credible Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) capability to loft a low kiloton yield warhead to an apogee over Iran that upon detonation would destroy the country’s industrial infrastructure, frying motherboards of hundreds of thousands of computers, disabling telecommunications, transportation and industrial systems. Doubtless an Israeli EMP attack would cause thousands of whirling centrifuges enriching uranium at the Natanz cascade hall and the Bushehr nuclear plant producing plutonium to be shut down. It might spare Iran’s vital oil and natural gas producing region in the Gulf. It would free Iran’s restive people from the nuclear nightmare of the Mullahs. If the EMP apogee was low enough, then according to Timmerman, it would largely spare Iran’s agrarian rural areas and the country's bread basket."

Something to consider. I hadn't really thought about the kind of wars Jesus prophesied would come (Matthew 24:6). Einstein said, "I do not know what weapons World War III will be fought with, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

Back to the Stone Age, indeed.

As terrible as it is, war has its time. It is written in Ecclesiastes 3:8 "A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

I'm looking forward to the time of peace. We believers already have spiritual peace, with Jesus, because through repentance and His blood, we believers are no longer in rebellion with God. The earthly wars will continue to come, and then will be a great time of peace, for 1000 years. Then, "And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

Hallelujah!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How does "For such a time as this" have meaning for us today?

I'm just in awe of the Lord these days. I sit stunned, day after day, at the prophetic news coming alive. There is no doubt that we are living in the last days, the end of time. There is no doubt that the events we are seeing are the very ones that were prophesied to occur just prior to the second return of Jesus Christ.

Therefore in addition to studying the prophesies and watching for His return as we are commanded, we also should ponder His plan and providence of His decision to station us here, now, for such a time as this.

Mordecai said to Esther, "For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

Now, we do not all have the terrible privilege of being the vehicle from which and through which God Himself brings deliverance to an entire people, as Esther was, but we do need to be mindful of the weight of time and the fact that God deliberately chose to put us here in this time, now. Do we take the time to thank Him? To ponder our role in these last days? To ask and seek His face as to why and what it is He wants us to do that is particular to this time, as opposed to other centuries He could have elected us to dwell in?

Gill's Exposition of the Bible explains of the Esther verse, "and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? he intimates that he believed that the providence of God had raised her to that dignity, that she might be an instrument of saving his people in the time of their distress; and this he said to encourage her to make the experiment."

Isn't that phrase, "God raised her to that dignity" a wonderful and at the same time, a terrifying thing to consider? We each have a dignity to perform in His name and for His name.

Wesley's Notes goes further:

"We should every one of us consider, for what end God has put us in the place where we are? And when an opportunity offers of serving God and our generation, we must take care not to let it slip."

For what end, my Lord and my God? For what end do you seek to have me serve in these last days?

And my favorite, Matthew Henry's Commentary punctuates the Esther verse with this comment:

"We are prone to shrink from services that are attended with peril or loss. But when the cause of Christ and his people demand it, we must take up our cross, and follow him. When Christians are disposed to consult their own ease or safety, rather than the public good, they should be blamed. The law was express, all knew it. It is not thus in the court of the King of kings: to the footstool of his throne of grace we may always come boldly, and may be sure of an answer of peace to the prayer of faith. We are welcome, even into the holiest, through the blood of Jesus. Providence so ordered it, that, just then, the king's affections had cooled toward Esther; her faith and courage thereby were the more tried; and God's goodness in the favour she now found with the king, thereby shone the brighter."

Yes, we are prone to shrink from service that carries with it dishonor, persecution, or even death. But shrink we must not do! We are put here for a service to Him that will allow Him to shine His goodness all the brighter.

There is no doubt that we are enduring terrible pressures of the days. Sometimes it feels that our shoulders seem unequal to the task of carrying them. But then,we do not have to carry these pressures! The Lord's yoke is easy and His burden is light, if we but cast our cares upon Him. His shoulders will carry the world's government (Isaiah 9:6). He carried the cross on His shoulders on the way to Calvary, and He placed all the sins of the people on His shoulders while He was ON that cross. He seeks and finds one lost sheep whilst the other 99 are grazing on the hill, and when He finds the lost one, puts it on His shoulders and carries it home to much rejoicing. (Luke 15:3). He can bear all things. And through Him, we can bear the days, too.

And what days they are! Let's take a look at some news:

MIDDLE EAST

Egypt broadens Sinai campaign to root out terror
"Egypt's military said on Wednesday it would broaden its offensive against militants in the Sinai Peninsula, a campaign that has raised concerns in Israel about the movement of heavy armor into the area near its border. Disorder has spread in Sinai since President Hosni Mubarak's overthrow last year. Analysts say Islamists with possible links to al-Qaeda have gained a foothold. This has alarmed Israel."

Israelis to 'lose' 300 meters to Sinai security
The IDF is set to issue orders that would convert an area of 300 meters within the Sinai border into a closed military zone
"Israelis will soon be banned from approaching too close to the Sinai border. A report on Army Radio Thursday morning said that the IDF was set to issue orders that would convert an area of 300 meters within the Sinai border into a closed military zone, which only soldiers and security personnel would be able to enter. The order would apply even to areas where the Sinai border fence is in place. The fence, much of which contains electronic sensors to detect intruders, is about three quarters complete."

Iran doubled capacity of bunker enrichment plant, ‘significantly’ hampers inspection, IAEA charges
"Iran has effectively shut down a probe of a site suspected of being used for work on nuclear weapons development while doubling the number of machines it could use to make the core of nuclear warheads at an underground bunker safe from airborne attack, the UN nuclear agency said in a report Thursday."

An IAEA report said the Fordo [nuclear] plant has around 2,000 centrifuges installed, compared with around 1,000 in May. This is terrible news. Joel Rosenberg has an essay tonight titled,

"Inside the debate: Should Israel Strike Iran in the next 10 Weeks? What Netanyahu, Barak and their critics are thinking"

Iran has repeatedly said they plan to wipe Israel off the earth. Iran's top officials and its theocratic clerics believe with all their heart that doing so is an Allah-given right, duty, and responsibility to show Allah their seriousness in preparing the way for the final Imam to arrive.

Israel has repeatedly said "Never again," this is their national motto. Yesterday Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Iran a “disgrace” to humanity, during a meeting Wednesday evening with the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Germany, David McAllister. “Seventy years ago, six million of our people were destroyed in an act of genocide. The world pledged ‘never again’ . . . It appears that many among the international community haven’t learned anything.” Netanyahu said that the Iranian “regime denies the Holocaust and is working to destroy the Jewish state. This regime oppresses its people, takes part in the butchering of innocent Syrians, and calls for death toAmerica, death to Israel.”

So sadly, "Never Again" will prove to be a hollow motto. Jesus said regarding the abomination of desolation, and as for the Jews in Jerusalem, "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." (Matthew 24:21-22).

Prophecy students know that 'Never Again' will soon change to "Not again!!"

PESTILENCE

Great rampaging diseases are prophesied to occur in the Tribulation. Disease will be one of the methods Jesus uses to judge the world and bring widespread death. (Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:8).

Right now, did you know that one of the worst outbreaks of West Nile virus to ever hit the United States is happening, and is continuing to expand?

4 dead so far as West Nile disease becomes epidemic in Michigan
"West Nile disease -- a mosquito-borne illness -- has reached epidemic proportions in Michigan, particularly in older suburbs that ring metro Detroit and Grand Rapids, state health officials warned Wednesday. Michigan's 80 cases this summer, including four deaths, rank the state as the sixth highest in the nation with the problem, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

West Nile Virus Cases Hit 1,590; Death Toll at 66
"Reports of West Nile virus infection in the country now total 1,590, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday - an increase of more than 40 percent in one week alone. CDC officials also reported during a Wednesday afternoon teleconference that 66 people have died from the disease so far. Of all of the cases reported thus far, 889 - or 56 percent - are classified as neuroinvasive, meaning patients develop meningitis, encephalitis or paralysis. These figures represent a striking increase from last week's report of 1,118 cases"

2,900 Yosemite visitors warned about possible exposure to deadly hantavirus
"About 2,900 Yosemite National Park visitors from around the world who stayed in Curry Village this summer have been notified about possible exposure to hantavirus, a mouse-borne illness that can develop into severe and often-fatal respiratory disease. People who stayed in the cabins from June 10 through Aug. 24 have been notified by e-mail or letter about possible infection, Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb told CBSNews.com. In addition, visitors who were planning on staying in the tent cabins in Curry Village at Yosemite have been re-booked in other locations, while the 91 cabins undergo sanitation and retrofitting."

John MacArthur believes that the prophecy will be fulfilled via rodents. He preached on "The Grim Reality of the Last Days," saying "Luke 21 also adds there will be plagues, terrors and great signs from heaven. You want plagues, how about the black death, 1300's in Europe, carried by rats, killed 60 percent of the population of Europe in excess of a hundred million people. How about 40 million plus in the great influenza, the early twentieth century. Great signs from heaven, terrors, fires, diseases, heat, cold, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, drought."

Well, we have all that now, including diseases, and in the Tribulation diseases will run away from being managed through medicine and bring death along for the ride.
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DROUGHT

Isaac rain may bring some drought relief

Praise the Lord, I hope it does!!!

"As Hurricane Isaac continues to pound the Gulf Coast with rain and wind, meteorologists say the storm could provide some much-needed hydration in parts of the country hit hard by drought. Isaac will bring "soaking downpours" to parts of Arkansas, Missouri and other Central states into the weekend, according to AccuWeather. The rain will arrive too late for summer crops, such as corn and soybeans, which were damaged by the hottest July on record. But the moisture could reach far enough westward to benefit some of the upcoming winter wheat crop, according to Dale Mohler, a meteorologist at AccuWeather."

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CULTURE

Girl, 10, charged with manslaughter in Maine

What a horrible thing!! Society has surely degeneration's too far when children are [allegedly] killing babies!

"PORTLAND, MAINE (AP) --— A 10-year-old girl was charged Thursday with manslaughter in the death of an infant whose mother said had ingested medication and been suffocated.  The girl, who is not being identified, is the youngest person to be charged with manslaughter in Maine in at least 25 years. The infant, Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, of Clinton in central Maine, had been left overnight with an adult baby sitter in nearby Fairfield."

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Back to Esther. When Mordecai tells Esther she may have been put here for such a time as this, what Mordecai is really doing is affirming Divine sovereignty. "He affirms divine sovereignty. He affirms his confidence in the revelation of God that he would preserve his people. But he also understands that Esther can perish and he can perish and many other Jews can perish if she doesn’t act. ... The invisible hand of God is evident everywhere" in the Book of Esther and His invisible hand is everywhere in the world today. No one, no matter how they attempt to destroy the people of God and the purpose of God, can succeed because God’s covenant love for Israel will be fulfilled, is being fulfilled. And the message for you is this. While you’re going through life and trying to make sure you fix all the little pieces of your life, understand this: that there is over and in, above and below your life a divine architect ordering every detail. And if you belong to Him and are in the covenant of His love, He is accomplishing His perfect will. And you can rest in that, you can rest in that."

"The Lord is still on the throne. These are challenging times, challenging days to live in. You can become pretty distressed about the way things are going, the way things are going in the world is chaotic, disconcerting, troubling, disturbing, distressing, some ways frightening. Not so in the kingdom. The divine architect is ordering our lives, those of us who belong to Him and are in covenant love with Him. He is ordering our lives to His eternal glory, every part. How wonderful to live in that confidence" (source)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Major General: Why Are Domestic Government Agencies Purchasing Enough Lethal Ammunition to Put 5 Rounds In Every American?

The American Government is buying ammo again. The US Forest Service has expressed a need for a large quantity of ammo, to be delivered within 30 days. Because, of course, all those wood nymphs and Keebler elves need handling at the wrong end of a hollow point bullet.

In actuality the response to the queries about why Forest Rangers need so much ammo is that they need the ammo for training and also for protection when investigating illegal grow farms and meth labs in the dark woods, which is legitimate, however the quantity is large and the haste is suspicious. So the list of agencies recently asking for ammo of the kind that is outlawed in even international conflicts (hollow point) are:

The Forest Service's request for rush bullets as noted above,
DHS's order of 750 million rounds of hollow point ammunition earlier this year...
The Social Security Administration's recent large request for 174,000 bullets for 295 agents with law enforcement training,
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency award of an ammo contract...
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) order of 46,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition... which brings forth the following questions about NOAA:

--Could not the US Government simply re-allot the ammunition from DHS?
--What is it about being a weather person that requires the training and use of a firearm?
--What future event is coming that makes the National Weather Service believes it needs to train and arm its employees?

and of the ammo requests overall, the Major General asked,

Major General: Why Are Domestic Government Agencies Purchasing Enough Lethal Ammunition to Put 5 Rounds In Every American? ...

Good question.

The American Thinker to mused on the fact that, Unusual Government Agencies Stockpiling Ammo. The writer was told that the ammo requests were a "clerical error."

Actually I am not a fan of government, but I am a big fan of God. Let's see what He has to say about governments, as related to us in His word: (The source I used is really good and I recommend reading the entire page of God and Government.)

God has instituted human government - Rom. 13:1; Prov. 8:15,16. Jesus recognized authority of government.
a. Caesar - Matt. 22:15-22
b. Pilate - Matt. 26:59; 27:1; John 19:11

Human government is answerable to God. The government is supposed to be servants of God - Rom. 13:6. If the government does not serve God or fulfill its duties to the people, government will be judged accordingly- judged of God for failure to act in God's authority - Ps. 2:2-6,10; Rev. 17-20.

It is important to remember that the authority of government does not depend on moral character of leadership. Government's authority is set up by God and just because we may not like what the current President or Prime Minister or King is doing, we must still operate under its authority.

That is not to say, however, that government's authority is unlimited, nor that we follow it blindly. There are legitimate causes for civil disobedience, see Acts 5:29.

We are not talking mere personal disagreement with ideology or policies, but legitimate causes which act on a Christian's conscience for civil disobedience.

Some Biblical examples are Daniel and prayer as in Dan. 6, Peter who was told by the Pharisees not to preach (Acts 5:27-30), and Paul in Acts 16:35-40 and Acts 17:7.

Is there ever legitimate time to resist, oppose, revolt, rebel, undermine, subvert in insurrection, or plot to overthrow government? ---end source material---

During the Tribulation, Christians will be facing that very question. The Beast who is the Antichrist will force all to receive a mark of worship on their forehead or hand. (Rev 13:16-17). Christians only worship God, so they will have to reject the government mandate to worship the Beast, and in so doing reject the entire government. It will be at a high cost; famine, and/or death by beheading.

Until that day every Christian will increasingly be asking themselves what is the limit of my participation in government? How far can I go or should I go in participating in it or rebelling against it?  But remember, the first century Christians were faced with evil emperor Nero, who hunted them and captured them and impaled them and lit them up for torches in his garden. The Christians were persecuted, disallowed to preach, pray, or even live. That situations is a far cry from ours in the new millennium of 2012 where we simply find the presidential choices distasteful.

Personally, when my government begins buying large swathes of ammo, I don't feel comforted. I feel uneasy. It makes me long for the day even more when the government shall be on His shoulders! I love the ideals behind democratic government, but soon after those ideals founded our land they became perverted and corrupted, as is the wont of the doctrines of men.

Soon the Lord will come and He will be the embodiment our government. Right now His kingdom is invisible but it will soon be made visible. "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6). This verse is not only a prophecy of the savior's birth but an affirmation of His lordship and rule. This verse looks to a time still future, during the Millennium, when Christ will reign over a literal, actual kingdom on earth that encompasses all the kingdoms and governments of the world (cf. Daniel 2:44; Zechariah 14:9).

Won't it be fantastic when all nations are subdued and there is no strife, no political rhetoric, no government oppression, no persecution? We won't have government agents arriving at your door to point a gun with hollow point bullets or a taser at you. All the guns will have been beaten into plowshares.

"He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4).

So when you hear reports of US government agencies buying bullets, we need not fear this evil trend. Jesus is coming. His government will be perfect. Meanwhile just remember to live diligently under the laws and rules of the day (Jesus did!), but also to pray for His arrival!

Syrian Rebels Claim to Take Over Chemical Weapons

Israel National News reported overnight, A statement published by the Syrian rebels says that they have taken over a military base and found missiles with non-conventional warheads.

"The Supreme Military Council of the Syrian rebels released on a statement on Tuesday which said that the rebel forces took control of an army missile base in Damascus, in which ten ready-to-launch missiles were found. Some of the missiles, according to the statement, were converted to carry non-conventional warheads."

“During the successful operation, the operatives of the Free Syrian Army found a large number of rockets ready for launching, with enormous destructive capability, and they were very surprised to find missiles that were converted to carry non-conventional warheads and which can be equipped with chemical or biological warheads,” said the statement which was translated by Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi."

"The Supreme Military Council of the rebels went on to claim that it had confirmed the report by examining photographic documentation of the scene."

---more at link---

If this is true, it portents an ominous next phase. Prophecy students know that one of the most compelling, clear, and unfulfilled prophecies is that  "Damascus will be destroyed, it will become a ruinous heap." (Isaiah 17:1.)

This is a clear prophecy because it apparently has no 'double fulfillment' than from which non-prophecy students and the secular world can argue to cloud the issue. Damascus is one of the world's oldest cities, if not THE oldest, and it has never been razed or destroyed in 5000 years. Therefore when it is destroyed, it will be a clear sign to the world that biblical prophecy is unfolding before our eyes. Not to mention being a tragedy of unimaginable proportions, seeing that millions of people live in the Syrian city.

The first thing this means is that Assad's assurances that he wasn't using chemical weapons nor readying them to use on his own people is a false statement.

Secondly, will Israel allow this situation to go unaddressed? If  Israel addresses it, how will they do so? A diplomatic attempt, a covert attempt, a blasting strike such as will fulfill the prophecy? However if you read the prophecy, it does not say who or how the city becomes a ruinous heap and ceases from being a city. It is in the passive tense, no matter what translation you read it in.

So is it that the rebels mishandle the weapons and they go off more or less accidentally? Will it be that the Syrian Assad supporters of the regime set them off? We do not know, and the waiting is agonizing.

On the one hand, we want prophecy to continue quickly because each fulfillment brings us closer to our blessed hope and a world released from the curse and Jesus openly worshiped by all, as he should be. On the other hand, to get there, billions will die, and no one is eager for that.

Jesus has it all under control, and He has since the foundation of the world. Our trust is in him, no matter the external circumstances. We know and understand prophecy will come to pass in His timing. While we celebrate prophecies like the babe Christ's birth, we mourn prophecies that will mean the destruction of millions of people, yet we trust in Him always. Our part is to be a light-filled witness, and to pray.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The celebrity culture and violent speech from celebrities is getting more satanically polluted

Speaking of incivility, I'd posted yesterday about the lack of courtesy in speech and relationships right now, in real life or online. Then I read this:

Ellen Barkin Hopes Hurricane Kills 'Every Pro-Life, Xenophobic, Gay-Bashing SOB' At The RNC

On Saturday, Cher joined the chorus of those calling for the rape of embattled Missouri Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) with a tweet saying it would be "karma" if he were sexually assaulted by a man with HIV or AIDS.

Samuel L. Jackson asks why Republicans were spared when hurricane Isaac veered away from their convention in Tampa.

Nice, real nice. Celebrities used to use their star power and public fascination with them for good. Now they use it for evil. Celebrities could be good people individually, or maybe they used to be good people, but we know that the trappings that celebrities are tempted by on a daily basis are numerous. It is likely after years of resisting, they would have succumbed by now. They are tempted by fame, pride, power, money, lust, drugs, jealousy... It is safe to say that Hollywood, Wall Street, the Oval Office/West Wing, and other places of high power, money and fame are places satan loves to inhabit precisely because of those temptations. Therefore, more often than not, what comes out of a celebrity is satan's agenda, and not God's. The three statements above certainly indicate a deep hatred in those people. Imagine, using your fame to promote death to those with whom you disagree!

The celebrity culture will culminate in the world's biggest ever celebrity, the biggest there ever was or ever will be. I know that to us Christians, Jesus is the biggest celebrity, but the world rejected Him. The world will go after the beast. They will be astonished and the whole world will follow him. (Revelation 13:3). He will be magnetic, flattering, charismatic, sought after and listened to. (Daniel 7:8, 7:20, 8:23...). Yet he will use his fame and celebrity status to promote himself and to deny God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Daniel 7:25). Eventually the celebrity Antichrist will actually bring death to those with whom he disagrees. namely, Jews and Christians.

The Tribulation will be a time where all sins will be at their fullest. So if there is a powerful man like the antichrist, he will be the most powerful. If there is a sin of blasphemy, it will be totally potent. If there is a tendency toward corruption, it will happen, and fully, too. Sin is allowed its day because the Restrainer is taken out of the way. Sin is allowed to go forth unrestrained. (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

However, the attitudes and behavior Christians are called now and at that terrible time to exhibit are contrary to the world's. For it is written, "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." (1 Peter 3:9).

Our first instinct is to repay an insult with an insult, but the Lord's way is to repay it with a blessing. Easy to read...hard to do. But it is oh, so important to do it the Lord's way.

Brawley, Southern California quake swarm update

"Earthquakes continue to shake the south end of the Salton Sea late Sunday in a seismic swarm that experts say is seen only twice a decade. “Our system is choking on so many earthquakes,” she continued. “This area of California is deep soils, and we do not get as precise data as we do over the rest of the state, and that makes our data a little less precise.” The scientist went on to say that it is all perfectly normal, it actually is a "classic swarm."

But the scientist below in a different article said they don't understand why these swarms come and go, or in this article, why the faults act differently north of LA than they do south of the Salton Sea.

Earthquake swarm puts California areas on edge
"A magnitude-4.2 earthquake rattled communities 100 miles east of San Diego on Monday night, despite observations from earthquake experts that a series of small to moderate earthquakes seemed to be slowing down and getting smaller in magnitude. ... The seismic activity is not unusual, but scientists have puzzled over the cause. The last significant swarm occurred in 2005, when a thousand quakes, the largest at magnitude-5.1, shook the south shore of the Salton Sea. In 1981, a cluster of quakes hit a region five miles to the northwest of Sunday's sequence, with the largest measuring a magnitude-5.8. The region was very active in the 1960s and 1970s."

"They seem to light up and turn off for reasons we don't understand," USGS seismologist Susan Hough said."

Photo Caption: El Sol Market on Main Street in Brawley, Calif., was hit hard by the earthquakes that hit throughout Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012- AP Photo/Imperial Valley Press, Brandy Ronek.

Every day we have a perplexed scientist roaming around his office with his hands in his hair, saying, "I just don't understand." Do a search for 'perplexes scientists' like I did. I got these results, some from this month and some from earlier in this year:
  • Surge in Squid Perplexes Scientists 
  • Mysterious black hole type perplexes, bewilders
  • Mysterious nodding head disease afflicts young Ugandans, perplexes scientists and residents
  • Strange gamma-ray objects perplex scientists
  • Dozens of Stranded Dolphins on Cape Cod Shores Perplex Rescuers
This perplexity of not understanding why there is suddenly a difference in regular planetary orbits, anomalies in weather cycles, earthquakes in diverse places, and odd behaviors of man and animal will only increase. Luke tells us,

"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves," (Luke 21:25).

The sea and waves roaring is not meant to be understood literally but as an image of the peoples in great distress and yelling in uproar as calamity after calamity rushes down on them like waves crashing upon the sand. The same metaphor is also used in Isaiah 8:7-8, and Revelation 18:15.

The word perplexity is from the Greek aporeo, and it means "at wit's end, at a loss, in difficulties, perplexed." These occurrences where no one can figure out why they are happening will only become more difficult to figure out...until they are all at their wit's end and at a loss.

Meanwhile the quake swarm at Brawley continues. The Imperial Valley Press reported yesterday, Brawley acts fast as quakes roll. San Diego Union-Tribune reports, "Schools are closed and residents of Brawley are being asked to conserve water as the town of 25,000 people braces Monday for what could be more earthquakes following a Sunday filled with some serious shaking."

That's our Lord, some serious shaking, before the judgment. Will you listen? He loves you, and wants you to come to repentance.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Incivility among Christians is rising at an alarming rate

I've noticed something over the last few weeks. The comments on my blog are getting harsh, uncivil, and sometimes just plain crazy. For the last few weeks I've been constantly thinking, "Boy, people sure are coming out of the woodwork!" Other bloggers and pastors are saying the same. The level of anger is often hair-trigger and the name-calling is really unconscionable.

I understand that we all are having pressures now. There are heightened economic pressures, emotional, social, employment...but that is no reason to be uncivil. We expect that from the world but not from the brethren. We need to be a light. Unfortunately, it seems that civility among and between Christians is going out the window.

Here is an example of a conversation I had with a person the other night on Facebook who says she is "a Christian whose boss is a Jewish Carpenter". I had made a comment on a Facebook prophecy page, a reaction to a posting by a person named Andrea E., regarding a report from a website called DEBKA.

Elizabeth Prata
DEBKA is not a reliable nor a credible source...sorry.

Andrea
Hey, I didn't like this comment. Debka file is reliable, and your comment is solely intended to harass. This is an end times prophecy forum/page and your comment is not needed.

Elizabeth Prata
I know this is an end time forum prophecy page. That is doubly why we should make sure not to be fringe but be sober in our thinking and right in our conversations. Debka is not a reliable source, sorry you don't like that but it is not meant to harass but to let you know that the information passed on that site is unsourced and usually incorrect. Here are comments from journalists in the field regarding DEBKA: "Yediot Achronot investigative reporter Ronen Bergman states that the site relies on information from sources with an agenda, such as neo-conservative elements of the US Republican Party, "whose worldview is that the situation is bad and is only going to get worse," and that Israeli intelligence officials do not consider even 10 percent of the site's content to be reliable. Cornell Law professor Michael C. Dorf calls Debka his "favorite alarmist Israeli website trading in rumors."'...sorry...

I think the best thing for you to do is simply inquire as to why I make a statement about a news outlet, and then I can share why, and then you can decide if my claims have merit... rather than accuse to motivations and harassment...let's be civil, shall we? My boss is Jewish Carpenter too, we are on the same team :)

Andrea
So are you claiming that all content on Debka's files are pathological lies? From my understanding, Debka does not have a particular agenda but rather relies on sources that connect with Arutz Shiva channel 7 Israel National News sources and Jerusalem Post sources as well. BOTH Jerusalem Post and Israel National News are reliable so that makes Debka reliable as well. Claiming that all or some of the content in their files/news updates are pathological lies is just ridiculous. I know the difference between Debka and lets say David Booth known as Sorcha Faal. Sorcha Faal reports are straight lies, but to say that Debka file is a pack of lies is ridiculous. Please give more information on Ronen Bergman. And if the information is proven accurate, I would be more than happy to remove the Debka file report from Aloha Bible Prophecies wall and NEVER post the files again, instead posting ONLY Israel National News and Jerusalem Post articles that NOBODY seems to be interested in as much...

Elizabeth Prata
I did not say DEBKA is a "pack of lies". I said they were not credible, their content is incorrect most of the time, and it is unsourced. Please consider these things - but not in anger...there is plenty of credible news around regarding Israel.

Andrea
I will not keep arguing with you, because you obviously do not seem to understand. Debka file's sources are the same sources from Israel National News Arutz Shiva channel 7 and Jerusalem post who share almost the same information on jpost.com updates. The sources are the same. To say that a source is not credible, and to say the content in Debka files are incorrect means the content is not truthful or lies. Does it not?? You are a school teacher, you should know the difference between a lie and incorrect content. I am not angry, it is just that Christian jihadists like you are solely out to poke fun of people online and it needs to stop. I wipe the dust off my feet, and that is NOT out of anger - its actually biblical...

And then she blocked me. My first block! I'll leave it up to you as to whether I earned it. I don't think I did.

I know the end time is ramping up to accelerated levels not only because of the outward signs Jesus, Paul, Peter and others said we'd see (Matthew 24, 1 Timothy 3, 1 and 2 Peter) but because of what is inside people coming out- especially Christians.

Christians are having knock-down drag out fights online and in real life over the timing of the rapture, baptism, Calvinism (that last one is causing fights among Christians to grow to epidemic proportions) and just about any other item, including the timing of the potluck or the color of the paper used for this week's bulletin. It is a shame, because we're given so many guidelines about the importance of taming the tongue. For example, the entire James 3 chapter is about taming the tongue. Christian blogger Christian Ballenger wrote of the James verses:

"The tongue is such a powerful part of the human anatomy. It is so potent, in fact, that the Bible declares that the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). When trying to make our tongues slaves to righteousness, it can sometimes seem like an uphill climb—something that I can more than attest. From the previous post, however, we know that we are called to display our covenant with Christ through our words, by the seasoning of our conversation with salt (Colossians 4:6). The words we utter are an offering to God, and not only do we want to please God by the things we say, but also to effectively testify our faith in Christ. In our efforts to conform the tongue into the likeness of Christ, we must first understand the “beast” that is the tongue. Its power is highlighted in James."

The importance of peaceful language is rendered later on in James:

"The wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceful, courteous, not self-willed, full of compassion and kind actions, free from favouritism and from all insincerity. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." (James 3:17).

Courtesy is far from found these days though. We should be seeking peace with each other in love and second of all bearing fruits which either sharpen each other or encourage each other.

1 Corinthians 13:5 says of love, "It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

Illustrator of 'St. Albans Psalter',
England, first half of 12th century
Courtesy is going out the door and the speech between Christians is becoming more like the world's. Many Christians are easily angered. I myself yelled at a kid on Friday. It was the first time ever, and was a shock to a colleague because I'm known for calmness and patience. She actually burst out laughing, it was so uncharacteristic of me. I felt so bad I went to the office and immediately confessed. Even our pastor said this Sunday that he and his wife found themselves yelling at each other, and were shocked into silence for a moment, because that is something they do NOT do. Satan would like nothing better than to besmirch our speech with harsh language, accusations of motivations, or name-calling to cause any lost person to say, "See? They're just like us. Jesus made no difference in their life, so why would He make a difference in mine?"

Above, illustration of Psalm 12:3-4: "May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

Paul warned Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 about Godlessness in the last days. Paul said that perilous times would come, and Paul was referring to the dangerous time within the church.

"Godlessness in the Last Days"

1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."

In August 2011 USA Today reported that "Incivility is a growing problem at work, psychologists say". As I said though, the secular world's incivility is not just a secular problem, it has infiltrated the Christian world and conversations between brethren are increasingly uncivil. Even Saddleback Church Pastor Rick "Warren Cancels a Presidential Forum, Citing Incivility." How's that for irony.

Christianity and incivility don't mix, Forum speaker tells BYU audience
“It is never an option to claim Jesus Christ as Savior and behave in an uncivil manner with anyone, under any circumstance,” Mark DeMoss said in Tuesday’s forum."

I agree. The bible is clear about our language. Though speech is one of the most difficult parts of life to control, it is the most necessary, according to the bible. James 3 is all about taming the tongue. The tongue is a rudder, James says in verse 4. It is small, but it steers the whole ship. What comes out of a person is what is in a person. I need that reminder as much as anyone. I need to make sure I have a pleasant tone and use good language and speech when talking with people, and not to gossip.

I was struck, though, with how quickly the conversation between myself and that Andrea Facebook person went. Shocked, really. Is this what passes for Christian conversation these days? Yes, all too frequently, if my the number of blog comments I delete out of hand is any indication. Just ask Joanna and Mark Petry about the harsh and uncivil speech used against them when they were unjustly excommunicated from their jobs and ministries at Mars Hill Church by Mark Driscoll. Joanna's story is heartbreaking and beautifully written, and unfortunately is a very common circumstance today. Fellow Christians are being dispensed with at an alarming rate, either "blocked", "unfriended" or excommunicated from Protestant churches under a false covering of it being "church discipline." This habit of disposal is all too common in the secular world. The attitude is "Hey, if you don't like that person, slam them verbally, kick them out and forget about it." People are not in relationships for the long haul anymore, and their language mirrors that attitude. Increasingly, this includes Christians.

The name-calling and accusations have to stop. Please let's use gentle language. Let us love one another with a gentle love and not with name-calling and harsh speech.

The Psalmist asked, "O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;" (Psalm 15:1-5)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

UPDATED-Strange story: lion on the loose in Essex England

UPDATED to include the conclusion. It is at bottom.
----------
The Guardian, Daily Mail, and BBC are reporting that a lion is apparently on the loose in the rural English town of Essex. Police have told residents to stay indoors as they use increased manpower and helicopters to try and capture it.

Several residents heard a loud roar, and one person took a photo as they spotted it in a field. The photo was shown to keepers at the Colchester Zoo and after seeing the picture they are taking the residents' reports seriously. However, the lion had not escaped from the Zoo, as all their lions are accounted for.

UK Guardian: Lion on the loose in Essex
"Police have warned residents to stay indoors after reports of a lion running loose in Essex. Thirty officers, including a firearms team, and two police helicopters were called to the scene of the sighting in fields off Earls Hall Drive in St Osyth, near Clacton. Officers from Essex police contacted experts from Colchester Zoo, who believe the reports to be genuine after being shown a photograph from a member of the public. However, police said the animal had not escaped from the zoo, as all its big cats had been accounted for."

Daily Mail: Hunt for lion on the loose in Essex
"A police spokesman said: 'The large cat, believed to be a lion, was seen in fields off Earls Hall Drive in St Oysth, near Clacton, just before 7pm on Sunday, August 26, 2012. Police are trying to establish where the lion may have come from. Anyone who sees the lion is advised to call 999.'

BBC: Police investigate lion sighting at St Osyth
Local resident Che Kevlin told the BBC: "I heard a loud roar at 10pm. It sounded like the roar of a lion." Armed police have been drafted into the area and two police helicopters are searching the area where it was spotted. Police said all the animals at Colchester Zoo had been accounted for. Asked about the possibility of the lion having escaped from a travelling circus, an Essex police spokeswoman said: "We are investigating where it may have came from but it is fairly safe to say that it did not escape from Colchester Zoo."

The thing that makes me shake my head (smh) is that folks on Twitter are laughing about this. It becomes immediately apparent that Essex is not a well-thought-of town...and even more strangely, within minutes of the police appeal to stay indoors, St Osyth was trending on Twitter and an account set up @EssexLion. The Lion now has a twitter account. Welcome to the twenty-first century version of concern: mocking, scorn, and sarcastic laughter. Some examples:

"There are many reasons to be glad that one does not live in essex. Tonight we can add "no risk of being confronted by a lion." to the list."

"There's a Lion loose in Essex? Oooh I hope it goes for the TOWIE cast first... "

"there's a lion in the uk? but it's in essex so that's basically natural selection taking it's place" [this tweeter had a cross in her avatar, too]

"The temptation for the residents of Essex to sing the lion sleeps tonight is only a whim away."

"sorry the lion ate my homework and my schoolbag"

So much for prayers and compassion for the people who are barricading themselves in their homes and RV's tonight... There was one report of a daddy who had heard the roar who was walking with his children. The Daily Mail report was:

"'The lion was in the middle of the field with its back towards me. When someone else screamed it turned around and you could see it from the side.' The van driver, from Romford, Essex, continued: 'I grabbed my children's hands and we ran towards our caravan. My children started to scream, “daddy, is the lion going to get us?” 'It was one million per cent a lion. It was a tan colour with a big mane, it was fully grown, it was definitely a lion. It was just standing there, it seemed to be enjoying itself."

Imagine how scary it is to have seen such a thing, how perplexing for the police to be tracking it, now in the dark, how unimaginable a thing it is to have to deal with predation of the highest order in a rural, sleepy town!

During the Tribulation, this will be a regular occurrence. Revelation 6:7-8 says-

"When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth."

Amazing times. I hope they catch this lion soon!!
-------------------

The UK Independent reported on how this story ended. Sort of ended...

Silly season goes out with a roar, but the Essex lion frenzy proves to be just a cat flap


And so it passes into myth, and joins the Beast of Bodmin, the Surrey puma and other such legendary creatures – the 24-hour wonder that was the Essex lion.

Yesterday, police called off the hunt for this prime example of the king of the jungle, allegedly seen in the somewhat unregal surroundings of a field adjoining a caravan park at St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea.

It was the biggest thing to happen to St Osyth since the North Sea floods of 1953. So the eventual police assertion of its non-existence – "we believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wild cat" – produced a palpable sigh of disappointment across the nation, which had quickly become obsessed with it, and in particular the media, which was suffering the effects of a late-onset, post-Olympics silly season.
In its short life, the Essex lion was near the top of every news bulletin. Sky News and the BBC news channel ran plentiful coverage until the hunt was called off, while the Daily Mail, expertly sensitive to the darkest fears of Middle England, gave it the whole front page for some editions of yesterday morning's paper, complete with picture of roaring male lion baring fangs. For this was an August Bank Holiday story that had everything. Not only was our beast an ABC, which is how Alien Big Cats are referred to by cryptozoologists, those amateur animal hunters convinced that the Yeti, the Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are all out there. It was the biggest ABC of all, carrying the suggestion of law-abiding citizens being torn to pieces and eaten.

Yum yum. But more than that, they would be torn to pieces and eaten in Essex – excuse me while I try to stop chortling – seen by some as Britain's most comical county...

Imagination ran riot as the mythical beast produced a Twitterstorm. An army of tweeters chuckled, tittered and guffawed online with Essex-lion jokes about big hair and tan-coloured skin. One message, from comedian David Schneider, read: "All I'm saying is I remember when we spotted our first fox in London, and now look how many there are." The @Essexlion spoof account attracted nearly 40,000 followers before Twitter suspended it.

But all the while, Essex Police were taking the suggestion of a lion on the loose seriously and had employed helicopters with heat-seeking equipment, armed officers and vets with tranquiliser guns (no figures were available for the cost of the operation). They had little choice. Witnesses swore it was a lion. Rich Baker, 39, from Romford, Essex, who was staying in a nearby caravan, said: "It was a million per cent a lion."

Yet eventually, the search drew a blank, and an Essex Police spokesman was forced to concede: "Nothing has been found to suggest that a lion was in the area."

In the Middle Ages, they had books called bestiaries, which were compilations of both real and mythical creatures, beautifully illustrated by monks. Maybe we need a British bestiary now. The Beast of Bodmin would go right in. So would the Surrey puma. And the Essex lion – why, that would have the place of honour.
-------------------

and that ends the Lion of Essex story!

UPDATED-Quake swarm hits Southern California: 42 and counting

Updated to include Weather Channel overview of the day, and a video. It's at bottom.
California border hit by earthquake swarm

There are 37 42 54 quakes on the swarm as of now, 4:00pm EST 4:09 4:46 Sunday. The quakes in bold are above 4.0 magnitude. (Any quake above 6.0 is listed in red.) Info from USGS page listing all quakes in the last 7 days above 2.5. Note: in the 8 minutes it took to put together this blog entry, five more quakes happened.

UPDATE: "99 earthquakes so far today in southern California, incl. a 5.3 and 5.5 earlier this afternoon and seven others mag 4+. No injuries."

Home video of one of the quakes:

Booms in the foothills a mystery

There is a report from Drudge about more sky booms, but this time people hear them coming from the ground. Previously, people in other locations have reported them coming from the sky. There have been so many booms, from so many places around the globe, for so long, that the name "Sounds of the Apocalypse" is widely recognized as the name for this phenomenon. I have reported on these booms myself many times. Do a Google search for sky noises, or booms, and you'll see how many times they have been heard around the world.

In one post, I explored that the noises could be leak-through spiritual warfare in the heavenlies ramping up and used the verses in 2 Kings for support text (here). I also wrote about the possibility that it was leak-through from the throne room, and used support text from Ezekiel 1:24a, here. Thirdly I mused that it could be a fulfillment of a Jeremiah verse, here, this being the verse from Jeremiah-

"A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 25:31).

I'll propose a fourth theory. Just as we do not know what is happening in the heavenly realms now, apart from what is written in the bible, we do not know what is happening in hell, or in Tartarus (the lowest gloomy dungeon where the fallen angels are being kept (Jude 1:6, 2 Peter 2:4). I wonder do the noises from hell leak-through to us here on earth? Are the fallen angels sensing the nearness of the day when they as the Revelation 9 locusts will be released and they make a great rushing sound?

"And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth." (Rev 9:1-3).

When that happens, and it has not happened yet, don't you think it would make a great noise? Yes, it does, and the bible tells us how great a noise they make:

"In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, their hair like women’s hair, and their teeth like lions’ teeth; they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle." (Revelation 9:7-9).

When an orchestra warms up before the concert, they make a cacophonous sound as each individual musician tunes his instrument. Then the conductor raises his baton and at once, they perform in harmony and in like movements. It is the same with an army. As each soldier jockeys his armor into position, there is a rumble and a noise as the preparations go on, which gets louder and more cacophonous as the moment nears when the Commander raises his hand to begin.

Before a football game, don't the fans, in their excitement, stomp their feet and pound the bleachers, making a great racket?

The "wondrous strange" thing about the coming of the prophesied locusts is that they have a king.

"They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon." (Revelation 9:11). Yet Proverbs 30:27 tells us locusts have no king. So the Revelation locusts are no ordinary locusts. Are they demons? Yes. They have a form and they have faces and they have armor and they have a sting of a scorpion even though they are called locusts.

John Phillips wrote, "Picture what the world would be like if we were to open the doors of all the penitentiaries of earth and set free the world's most vicious and violent criminals, giving them full reign to practice their infamies upon mankind. Something worse than that lies in store for the world. Satan cast out of heaven is now permitted to summon to his aid the most diabolical fiends in the abyss to act as his agents in bringing mankind to the footstool of the beast."

Are the locust-demons in the pit pounding their bleachers and rattling their chains and yelling as they sense the Day approaching where they will be let out to destroy the earth and its peoples? I don't know. Only God knows. The possibility of it reminds me of the famous quote from Hamlet. Upon seeing a ghost (demon) Horatio said to Hamlet, "O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!"

Hamlet replied, "... There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

The thing to remember about these booms is that what we see is not real. The life we are living is not the full story. There is more, much more, in God's realms than we see and experience. Paul said,

"as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Here is the report from Drudge. This time, the booms are coming from the ground, but they are not earthquakes. Or sonic booms. Or mining. They simply don't know what they are.

Source Of Loud Boom In Foothills A Mystery
EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) – People from all over El Dorado County say they’re hearing loud booms several times a week, but there are many theories on what is causing them. “I thought it was thunder,” said one person. “It’s definitely not thunder; too consistent. I thought it was just mining,” said another person. “I always considered them to be sonic booms from flying aircrafts for years,” said Loring Brunius, owner of Sierra Rock Diamond Quarry. People who live near Pleasant Valley say their days have been interrupted by loud booms, shaking the floor beneath them. “You can feel it in the ground, no question about it. But no one’s been able to figure out why,” said Pleasant Valley resident Peter O’Grady. “I tend to hear somewhere between four to six of these things during the weekdays usually between 11 p.m. and 2 p.m. “Boom, boom, boom, boom just like that,” said Lorren Gonzales, who lives near Pleasant Valley."

More at link.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scriptural interlude

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him." (1 Peter 3:18-20)

Soon, brethren, we will meet, over yonder, where the glory surrounds God's throne and Jesus walks with pierced feet.

Blurring the lines between humans and robots

I posted on Friday about a robot that has been developed which recognizes its own reflection. I'd mused on the implications of this, within the concepts of artificial intelligence, the location of the seat of consciousness, and recognition of sin and evil in ones' self. The nearer implication is the use of computers and artificial intelligence during the Tribulation when a one world commerce system is prophesied to be in place. The greater implication is the use of robots (droids and drones) in hunting humans and other evil uses. The greatest implication is man's Tower of Babel, and how far God will allow humankind to go in making a conscious creation.

Is it a coincidence that today I found a short (under 2 minute) Youtube video about the most human-looking robot ever created, and the discussion by its maker about where the seat of the soul is? In this video, the Japanese Professor who created a doppelganger robot says that it is because of their unique spiritual beliefs that they blur the boundaries between humans and robots. He says, "It's a question of where the soul is. Japanese people have always been told the soul can exist in everything and anything. So we don't have any problem with the idea that a robot, too, has a soul."

The implications of this are enormous. More portentous, in my humble opinion, than the inflammatory rhetoric that will spark a Middle East war imminently. When man makes a human looking robot, declares it has a soul, and sends it forth into the world (as the Professor in the video said he does) we have truly reached a moment when man supplants God as sole creator. God said in Genesis 11 in response to man's Tower building and claim of a "name", "this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them." (Genesis 11:6b). The Tower was built satisfy the spirit of man. God knew man needed Himself to satisfy the spirit, and He wasn't being a big party-pooper when He dispersed the people and confused the languages. "[N]othing they do will be impossible for them" means they will embark on a downward spiritual and societal spiral that will only lead to death, because they were doing it apart from Him.

Secondly, God is the only name. Man has no name. Man is the clay, he is the creation. God is the Creator, with all power and authority. Therefore God's name is holy and perfect.

"For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts." (Malachi 1:11).

"And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ " (Ezekiel 38:23

Man will never be allowed to share God's glory apart from God, it is His alone. Psalm 84:11 declares that He may share His glory, but it is not man's to claim, neither by "making a name" nor by creating creatures with "souls."

Watch and be stunned:



PS: robot is called a "doppleganger robot." Doppleganger is a German word for "double walker" , or a paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune.

Iran is getting closer to the bomb and closer to attempting to wipe Israel from the earth

I enjoy Hal Lindsey's video report each week. He brings a credibility and a gravitas to the prophetic issues that I find refreshing. He also has away of synthesizing various news reports into a picture that no one else reports and is always illuminating. In short, he's knowledgeable.

This week was particularly so. I found that the first segment, the 17 minutes he spent bringing us up to date on the Iran-Israel situation, was FULL of interesting insights. I won't steal his thunder but I'll mention only one thing that struck me.

The 'hate Israel-wipe them out' rhetoric from Iran is rising to a more obvious and frequent level than even Hitler's was just prior to the Holocaust. More on that in the video. It occurred to me though as Lindsey was describing the diaspora, that the LORD has brought about a see-saw situation.

Prior to 1947, the Jews were dispersed all over the world, while Muslims were fewer in number than they are today and were concentrated in the Middle East. It would have been impossible to "wipe out the nation of Israel" (Psalm 83:4) because the Jews were embedded in nations all around the world and to wipe them out they'd have to start a war or a pogrom in every nation. Sure, there were pogroms and holocausts which attempted to do that very thing, but if Hitler had succeeded in wiping out the Jews in Germany, there were still Jews in the US, Australia, Russia, Norway, etc.

Now the situation is turned around. The Jews are concentrated in Israel and more are pouring in every day. The Muslims are concentrated in the Middle East of course, but their numbers are growing exponentially all around the world. Muslims are in the US in great numbers (just ask the Dearborn MI neighbors), France, Africa, China, Russia, and the Balkans among other places.

When Iran's President Ahmadinejad says they can wipe out Israel with one storm, when the Ayatollahs say they will wipe the cancerous tumor that is Israel from the world and wipe out the Jews, when they say they long for even one nuclear bomb to drop on Israel, they have a better shot at fulfilling their hateful rhetoric now more than at any time previously.

Except that The Holy God of Israel is the protector of His people the Jews and they will never be wiped from the earth. All Israel will be saved, the remnant will acknowledge Jesus and be blessed with national salvation at the end of the Tribulation. (Zechariah 8:13; Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 45:17).

However, the situation is dire and getting darker by the day. The stream of messages even in just this month regarding the Muslims' intent to wipe out the Jews and the nation of Israel are serious and should be taken seriously. God did not include Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, and Ezekiel 38-39 in the bible for no reason.

Please do watch the first 17 minutes of this week's Hal Lindsey Report, it is heavy with prophetic insights. Lindsey makes a guess about what Israel's intention may be in how to deal with Iran, and I think Lindsey is completely right about it. You'll understand if you watch. The second segment deals with the terrible times and God's promises, which is also a comfort.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sinkhole swallows man; robot recognizes his own reflection

I found a 12-minute Youtube compilation of natural disasters that are happening in the world. The disasters you are about to see all happened within the last month. There is nothing bloody or gory. Just a plethora of disasters that are coming upon the world like birthpangs. Note how often you hear comments in the audio from people who say things like "this is unprecedented" or "I've never seen this in all my life."

I've reported on some of the disasters, like the Philippine floods or the Louisiana sinkhole. Below the video, is one news excerpt I expanded from the video that goes into more depth.


Here is a lengthier treatment of the moment in the video above where a sinkhole swallowed a man.

Sinkhole swallows man
"As Typhoon Saola trounces Taiwan, surveillance camera footage showing an unidentified man being swallowed by a sinkhole in Sansia District, Taiwan, has surfaced. In the video, the man can be seen walking along the street until -- within a split second -- the ground gives way and he disappears. A rescue operation reportedly was attempted, but according to CNN the man later died of his injuries."


I tried to screen cap it for those who can't or don't watch videos, but it really was a split second. On the video above, at second 7 he is walking jauntily along, and at second 8 on the video there is a gaping hole and a dead man under the rubble. Jonathan Edwards preached on this very thing in his famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

"If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost. ... for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ. -- That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell's wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take hold of; there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up. You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it".

Now ...here is something else. I've posted very few posts lately on the prophetic indicators for the Mark of the Beast partly because it depresses me and partly because by the time the Mark comes both the saved and the unsaved are so far along in the Tribulation these pre-rapture signs will mean little to the Tribulation survivors. But this one struck me.

Robot learns to recognise itself in the mirror
"NICO spends a lot of time looking in the mirror. But it's not mere vanity - Nico is a humanoid robot that can recognise its reflection - a step on the path towards true self-awareness."

Now if that doesn't give you chills, I don't know what will.

I am part of an interesting generation. I was born in 1960, before the space age. I remember the US astronauts on the moon in 1968. I lived most of my adult life before the internet, and personal computers only came along after college. I wrote my term papers on a typewriter and used a lot of white-out. Audio cassettes weren't even invented until 1962 and my family didn't use them until I was nearly in my teens. CD music, cellphones, cable television...all very new. I was 12 when Pong was invented and my dad brought it home. Now look where we are with computer games...

The ATM wasn't invented until I was nine and their use didn't become ubiquitous until I was a teenager. For most of my life, the notion of a one world payment system was simply unbelievable.

Now we are closing in on Artificial Intelligence. The major question in robotics and computering is "can machines ever become self-aware?" I propose that it is a moot question, because God would shut down the whole shebang before another "creation" with consciousness and intelligence appears on the scene. Once a robot is self-aware, would they then have to become cognizant of their own sin and then choose a savior? Of course not, the premise that God would allow man to create consciousness is ridiculous. But if a robot is that close to recognizing itself, how close are we to AI, and how close to the rapture? What will the Mark of the Beast look like...how will it work? The world doesn't have long to find out, I think.

Fortunately those who have repented of their sin will be carried safely up to heaven before all this crashes down and man lives with his folly. We will be made fully perfect, and that includes an awareness of the entire body of the Church to a degree we know about now cognitively but don't directly experience fully (due to our sin nature.) Best of all, we will see, know, and experience a life with Jesus the Savior clearly, and not dimly like we do now. (1 Corinthians 13:12-13).

Any person who repents will be in that blessed group of the Church Age believers who are raptured out. For those who fence-sit, or who outright refuse to believe, well, just think on this. If robots are becoming self aware, how long do you think it will take before kings, dictators, and evil men use them to hunt you down? ("Open the pod bay doors, HAL. ... I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.")

The disasters on the video, remember, occurred in just this last month. What does God have in store for the next month? We do know the near future holds wars and rumors of wars, pestilences, volcanic eruptions, floods, drought, hail, fires, pain, anguish and death. Doom and gloom? You betcha.

Jesus is HOPE and LIGHT! I prefer the hope and light to the doom and gloom. If you repent of your sins, and you are a sinner you know, and ask Jesus to forgive them, He will. He is a good savior. So when will the end come? Just because He hasn't judged men in wrath does not mean He won't. He has been patient up until now:

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9).

However that patience is coming to an end, and as a thief in the night, the end will come. The repentant will be given their reward and their relief, and the unrepentant will have given to them what they chose: the worst time the world has ever known or will ever know again. (Matthew 24:21). Like the Taiwanese man who was happily walking one moment and the next was dead under the rubble, Jesus will suddenly and without warning end His patience and begin His wrath. You really don't want to be here for that.