Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God is lifting His hand of protection

You may have heard the phrase, "God's hand of protection" or "He is lifting His hand of protection." It seems that is something God would do, keep a person or nation in the shelter of His hand. It seems logical to think that in His fierce wrath and anger that He would lift His hand. But is it biblical? Yes, it is.

In Lamentations 2, a chapter titled, God's anger at sin, we read in verse 3: "In fierce anger He has cut off All the strength of Israel; He has drawn back His right hand From before the enemy. (Lam 2:3a). In Psalm 74:11 we read, "Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? From within Your bosom, destroy them!"

In the news these days we read about and see devastating events, each more 'unusual', or 'destructive' or 'unprecedented' than the last. They are happening more frequently too, a major earthquake or flood or eruption each month, and each week. Pakistan is inundated. The flooding disaster has killed an estimated 1,600 people and affected up to 20 million. Disease is rearing its head and famine is on the horizon, all things Jesus said would occur in the last days as signs of His soon coming. (Luke 21:11).

When a devastating event occurs that affects such a large population, a nation, really, one has to wonder, "Is God lifting His hand from Pakistan? From China? From America?" As far as Pakistan goes, it does seem as though God is lifting His hand from them. It's the home of the Taliban, which Pakistan's President says the "world is losing the war against." Pakistan is epicenter to birthing ground if Islamic militant violence, violence that does not even take a respite when floods come. "Taliban guerrillas are taking advantage of the large-scale misery caused by the devastating floods in Pakistan by attempting to enlist 50,000 new fighters -- in return for food and medicine." Violent, Godless, duplicitous, insurgent, Pakistan may indeed be enduring the withdrawn hand of LORD GOD at this moment.

God promises to destroy nations in which the Jews had fled during the Diaspora (Jer. 30:11), He also described the six things He must accomplish as stated in Daniel's decree (Dan 9:24): "Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy."

One of the purposes of the tribulation is "to put an end to sin", and though we are not in the Tribulation yet, God is withdrawing His hand, because who among us as individuals or as nations have not sinned? Who among us deserves to have God's hand of protection still sheltering them from their own consequences? None. That He has not taken it away from all nations yet is the miracle. These devastating events are not "accidents" nor are they merely or the 'natural cycle of things.' Pakistan is, and soon other countries will be enduring events that are designed to focus our eyes on sin, and cause us to repent.

He is lifting His hand of protection from the nations of the world. No, things will never "get back to normal." They will only get worse. As the birth pangs inexorably contract, who will be the next nation to endure the consequences of sin, absent His hand of protection? America? "Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes." (Joel 1:14-15).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm looking at the numbers, and they don't look good

In the bible, there's a pattern to the proportions of people saved versus people lost. I just want you to think about the numbers, their proportions, even if I can't make a doctrine out of it. The pattern is still troubling enough.
In the days prior to the flood, the earth had become populated. With average life-spans regularly in the 900-year range, the population could easily have reached several hundred million. Only Noah and his family - eight people- out of millions were found to be righteous, and saved. (Gen 6:9-11)

Sodom and Gomorrah (and Admah and Zeboim) were cities filled with a populace engaging in perversion, corruption, and wickedness. God decided to condemn the entire population of these four cities because of their wickedness. They cared not at all for God nor His ways. (Genesis 19:24-25, Deuteronomy 29:23). Only Lot, his wife, and their two daughters were spared, and even at that, Mrs. Lot looked back, disobeying God and thus was condemned also. Out of the population of four entire cities, four people were spared. (And one of those turned out to be a false convert...)

In Matt 13:3-23; Mk 4:2-20; Lk 8:4-15, Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower. A farmer sows seeds, and the seeds fall on different kinds of ground. The seed is explained to be the Word of God, received in varying degrees of success by the hearers. Some seed fell on the path and it was either trampled or birds ate it. Other seeds fell on rocky ground and withered. Still other seed fell on ground where thorns grew and was choked. The last example was seed that fell on good ground, took root, and grew fruit for the Kingdom of God. These last seeds are Believers. Four kinds of ground, and only one grew into believers destined for the kingdom. One in four.

In Revelation, John is told to write seven letters to seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea. The purpose of the letters was first, literal, each church of that day had a special message they needed to hear. But in a double fulfillment, Jesus also wanted us to know that each church is a type and an age of church-going attitudes that also needed to hear the message through the ages. Of the seven churches/ages, only two were not rebuked: Smyrna and Philadelphia. Five churches were found to have been displeasing to the Lord. Five vs. two

In Matthew 7:13 Jesus warned, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." In verse 14 Jesus says, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Many vs. few.

In Revelation 20:12, John wrote that "I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books."

There are so many unsaved that their names take books to list them, but there are so few saved their names are contained in one book. Books vs. book.

What does this tell you? You can interpret it it however you feel the Spirit is telling you to interpret it, but I see that the pattern from Genesis to Revelation is many lost and few saved.

Therefore am going to take Paul's warning in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to heart and I urge you to do the same:
"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?"

If you are standing before God and He tells you that you failed the test, it is TOO LATE. Check yourselves now. If you have not accepted Jesus as Savior yet, do not wait any longer. Time is growing short. You can almost hear the trumpet call.

Volcano quiet for 400 years suddenly erupts

More later...

Long-dormant Indonesian volcano suddenly erupts

A volcano in western Indonesia spewed hot lava and sand high into the sky early Sunday in its first eruption in 400 years. Government volcanologist Surono, who uses only one name, said Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra province started rumbling a few days ago and the minor morning eruption has mostly stopped. It sent sand and ash up to a mile (1.5 kilometers) high but lava only moved near the crater. It caused no major damage "but only dust covered plants and trees," he said. He said Mount Sinabung last erupted in 1600, so observers don't know the volcano's eruption pattern and are monitoring it closely for more activity.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Behold, Damascus will be destroyed, it will be a heap of ruins!

In one sense, I hesitate to repeat what is clearly speculation. Israel has not, in fact, attacked anyone, and Israel is often accused of being about to attack someone. On the other hand, Jesus said the end time birth-pang signs would be characterized by "Wars and rumors of wars." (Matthew 24:6)

Report: Israel planning to attack Hezbollah arms depots in Syria
"Israel is planning to attack Hezbollah arms depots and weapons manufacturing plants in Syria, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported on Saturday. The report is based on Western sources who asserted that Israel has increased its military force level along the northern border in the Golan Heights and Mount Dov areas. The report cited European sources who claimed that recent Israeli unmanned aerial drone flights over Lebanon and Syria signal Israel's intentions to carry out operations in the area. According to the report, Israel plans to attack Hezbollah weapons depots, including ones deep inside Syria that store long-range rockets. The Al Rai report said that the situation on the Israel-Syria border is tense and that Syria could respond immediately to any Israeli attack and not demonstrate the restraint that it did after the Israeli Air Force bombed a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria in the fall of 2007. According to the report, Syria's military is on high alert and is strengthening its anti-aircraft defenses along the border with Israel and at strategic sites within Syria."

I take indicators of any attack against Syria, whether in Damascus, Golan Heights, or any other place, very seriously. In my opinion, one of the most clear and definitive last days sign before the rapture would be the prophesied destruction of Damascus. (two others being the Psalm 83 battle and the beginning of the Gog-Magog Ezekiel 38-39 battle). You can see that either an attack on Damascus would spin the Middle East out of control, or that a strike on any Syrian territory would spin things out of control and Damascus could wind up in a heap of ruins. Either way, heightened alerts are not good at this stage of the last days.

Damascus is the capital of Syria, Israel's neighbor to the north. Damascus is the world's oldest continuously inhabited city, it has never been destroyed or abandoned. Isaiah's prophecy in 17:1 states "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap." The prophecy does not specifically say that Israel will raze the city, but it will be ruined. It is a likely thought that Israel will be behind this action. That the end result will occur is not in question.

Why Damascus?

Damascus is strategically aligned with Iran, who funds the terrorist group Hezbollah. In addition, Damascus's interest in both biological and chemical weapons is long-standing. They are building weapons of mass destruction in the biological weapons facility they have constructed. Consultant to the NATO Defense Establishment in bio-warfare and counter terrorism expert Dr. Jill Dekker said that "Contrary to how the US State Department and other agencies tend to downplay the sophistication of the Syrian biological and nuclear programs, they are very advanced. Syria has always had the most advanced chemical weapons program in the Middle East." So Damascus is a mere 150 miles from Jerusalem, is well-funded by Iran, has a nest of Israeli-hating terrorists waiting to obliterate the nation, and is home to the most advanced bio-and chemical weapons facility in the Middle East. What's not to love?

"Operation Orchard" was an Israeli airstrike on a target in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria carried out just after midnight (local time) on September 6, 2007. American intelligence indicated the site was a nuclear facility with a military purpose, though Syria denies this. In any case, Israel decided not to stand for it and with precision, struck.

Now, that was one facility, Damascus is an entire city, admittedly harder to strike with completeness and precision (unless it is nuclear). Indeed, Damascus may not be destroyed in a military strike, it may be destroyed by an earthquake, or another unknown and unanticipated disaster. But when I hear credible reports of an impending strike, and see that Syria is on heightened watch, I watch too. And pray!

The Tragedy of Atheism

"Beulah! Peel me a grape!" Who could forget Mae West's famous quip in her second film, "I'm No Angel"? Her ribald lines, superficially innocuous, were delivered in a lazy, mocking elocution that had audiences either loving her bawdiness or up in arms over propriety. The line itself was hilarious because of the visual of Mae telling her black maid to peel the tiny fruit, an effort that was ridiculous but perfect in highlighting her character's gross self-centeredness.
"Bring me evidence, Beulah! And while you're at it, peel me a grape!"

'God! Peel me a grape!' Is the same attitude atheists exhibit today. Their mental laziness, mocking tone, and orders to bring them some evidence of God and then they'll think about it, only serve to highlight their gross self-centeredness in which they proudly luxuriate.

Imagine if you had a loving husband, your groom, who daily gave you beautiful gifts. Who served you, ministered to you when you were sick. Who told you that could trust completely and said he never would leave you. Where his loving effects on others around him were obvious. And one day, He came up to you and said, "I love you!" and you answered, "PROVE IT! BRING ME EVIDENCE!"

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. (2 Peter 3:3)

Worse, what if your 14-year-old son responded that way? If, there he was, in his well-appointed American bedroom, stuffed with laptop, digital camera, games, comfy bed, with his bank account passbook noting his growing college fund, and the key to the deposit box containing his inheritance. And you walked in one day, bringing him his supper that he wanted to eat in his room, and you lay it down and said, "Honey, I love you!" What if he answered, "PROVE IT! BRING ME EVIDENCE!"

I would think there would be punishments all around. I'd think he would receive a stern talking-to, and a grounding from his fun activities. And yet, our Lord, who has all power, does not respond this way. He patiently accepts mocking, self-centeredness, and constant demands for evidence that He has already provided (in His love and mercy). He has given us the world and we demand more.

Jesus, Lord of the Universe, Who has the worlds as a footstool for His feet, as your loving groom served us. He healed, ministered, told us in a thousand ways that He loves us and wants to be with us forever. He even dispensed with His own glory, and poured Himself into the form of a man, and washed feet, served food, and died for us whom He loves. Jesus still loves His children, all of them. And when you relate this eternal fact to unbelievers, they scream, "PROVE IT! PRODUCE SOME EVIDENCE!"

This selfish attitude should not surprise us. We are told by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that "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." This is an age of unrestrained revelry and self-indulgence. Humility, diligent searching, and submission are anathema to culture today. 

The tragedy of atheism is the hopelessness of the self. People who refuse to believe put their entire stock into their own strength, brain, abilities, and they say that any day now, the world will be better because of their own strength, brain, and abilities. It never will be, because we are sinners. But the proud refuse to accept their own sin as the stain that it is and humble themselves to Him who heals, loves, and saves.

The tragedy is that a whole class of people deliberately shrink their world to the provable and seen. Their world is of the brain, but not the mind. It is of the natural and not the supernatural, of the drearily provable and not the awe-inspiring mysterious. Their world is littered with decaying peeled grapes, while the believer's world is endless, eternal, and perfect. The tragedy is in thinking that peeled grapeskins is all there is to life, when they could have so much more. Even in Apostle Paul's day this attitude of 'serve me' was prevalent: "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles." (1 Corinthians 22-23)

Is this you? "Bring me evidence! But let me finish indulging in my debaucheries first..."

The tragedy is in the non-believer passively lying on a reclining Roman couch, demanding evidence when the bible says "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4). This is an active command, not a passively receptive one. He even told us how to do it:

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:1-5). Again, this verse is full of active verbs, not passive tenses indicating a lolling receptivity.

Atheist, get off your lazy duff and seek His face! He is right in front of you!

How do we accept Jesus? Admit your sin. Yes, we all do wrong things, and we should be sorry for those. Apologize to Jesus and ask Him to be your Savior (saving you from eternal separation from Him) and also your Lord, (humbling yourself and admitting you need Him to lead you in life). Immediately you begin to understand how low you really are in your sin, and how permanently you deserve to be low forever compared to His holiness and glory. However, immediately begins His gifts. Far from your worst fears realized, that this is a permanent abasement, (as it should be) instead in His mercy He will lift you up! He will give you good work! A plan for your life that spiritually you intuit as better than the one you created for yourself! Talents and abilities to accomplish this work! A guarantee of your place in heaven and an inheritance of eternal life! It is within your reach, non-believer. But first, you have to get off the couch.

Consider the sun

Wow! God's creation is so pretty! This is a sunspot, seen through a new, atmospherically corrective lens.

"This is a first light adaptive optics image from the New Solar Telescope (NST) at the Big Bear Solar Observatory in California. "With a 1.6-meter primary mirror, the NST is the largest solar telescope in the world," says Nicolas Gorceix of the observatory staff. "It has realtime correction for atmospheric distortion (adaptive optics), so we can see things in very high resolution--as small as 65 km wide on the sun. For perspective," he adds, "Earth is slightly smaller than the whole sunspot including the dark umbra and the daisy petal-like penumbra. The spot is surrounded by the sun's ubiquitous granular field [which shows the boiling motions of the sun's surface]."

"Researchers believe that high-resolution studies of sunspots can help them understand how sunspots evolve and anticipate when they're about to erupt. "Next year, we plan to upgrade the telescope with a much higher-order adaptive optics system to get even better images," says Gorceix. Stay tuned to the BBSO home page for updates."

source, spaceweather.com

I know you know the verses to Genesis 1:1-8, but just think of the beauty and complexity of the sunspot, ONE item in the entire universe, and think of all the people who insist that it all happened by accident and explosion, and pray for them. They are missing out on so much! Just seeing the stupendous planetary objects rotating gracefully in their habitations and understanding they were placed there by the Hand of God, they are missing a moment of fellowship with God. It is the same hand of God who made us, His children, His delight. Also, glory in the LORD GOD who made this expansive universe for us, yet who cares for us daily. We become so involved in our lives we forget to consider the sun, to consider the range of objects above out heads and under our feet that reveal His mind, whimsy, power, impressive creativity. And His understated, "And it was good." Yes, our universe, our planet, our lives, are indeed good.

The History of Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”  Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day."

 source, Astronomy Picture of the Day Aug 2006, NASA

Friday, August 27, 2010

Was Darwin wrong? a new study asks

Now here's a headline that ought to brighten the day of any Christian:

Darwin May Have Been WRONG, New Study Argues
"A new study published in Biology Letters argues that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution may have been wrong. While Darwin argued that competition was the key force driving evolution, a research team from the University of Bristol argues that "living space" is in fact the primary driver. Michael Benton, a co-author of the study, said his team concluded that "competition did not play a big role in the overall pattern of evolution. "Throughout geological time, patterns of global diversity of tetrapod families show 97 per cent correlation with ecological modes," Sahney writes in the Biology Letters article co-authored by Michael Benton and Paul Ferry.

That Darwin's theory, and remember it is only a theory, is being challenged at its most basic precept, is not cause for concern. Science almost always goes through iterations. Remember alchemy? Trying for almost a thousand years to turn lead into gold? For a long time scientists used to think the earth was the center of the universe. It was only 150 years ago we began to understand about germs. Even though DNA was discovered in 1859, it wasn't until the middle of the twentieth century that scientists accepted that DNA was the main part of heredity, not proteins. And every week it seems like, there is a new "missing link" that will solve the issues in evolution. Now there is a new key theory of evolution itself.

Science is not bad. It is good. But science should not be a religion. The failures and problems with the theory of evolution should cause any person, Christian or not, to realize that such a notion could never answer the fundamental question of the universe: where did we come from? We came from God, who formed us with His hands. It is laughable to think that we came from monkeys, or further, that one animal changes into another, as the theory of evolution proposes.

Publicly disbelieving in evolution these days provokes a more severe reaction than ever. People are not holding back their contempt for the notion of a God-formed world, their derision for people who accept it, and their mocking of our submission to His order of things. But we should not be surprised, we were told that in the last days, there would be mockers and scoffers.

2 Peter 3:3-4 states "knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” Jude 18-19 states "how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit..."

Along those lines,  in defending a young earth, faith in Jesus, and creationism, people have said the following to me lately:

"not just you - all believers in any supernatural systems have very simple processes at work."
"Wow, you are so blissfully ignorant. Have fun with that."
"I have a big problem when people get hope, meaning etc from a supernatural beings. I would rather they got those things from self-belief, their education and an understanding of the collective power of people."
"of course you think that. Your brain has engineered itself that way"
"please consider that thinking for yourself and looking around are unsettling but rewarding experiences"

Those are the mild ones. The ones that use profanity or hurl threats or insults, I blocked and/or deleted. Christian, things are going to get worse before they get better. The world will increasingly hate us and love satan. Please pray for your teenagers and young adults who are in college or living away from home and will undoubtedly be enduring such mocking at an overt and a covert level. They are most as risk. Pray for each other to be strong and willing to stand up for bible truths, no matter how unpopular they are in this fallen world. After all, God's Word is forever, and the fads and mistakes in different theories come and go, sometimes monthly. God's truth will never pass away, and neither will the Christian who believes!  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hanging on a tree, Jesus became curse for us

In Deuteronomy 21:23a it is written: "His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;)"

Jesus was hanged up on a tree.

In Acts 5:30: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree," Peter reminded the Jews of the curse. The weight of this knowledge would have been very heavy upon them.

Jesus became curse FOR us so that we would not have to endure the curse.

Repeated again in Acts 10:39- "And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree."

The Jewish leaders likely thought that Jesus’ disciples would give up after their leader was killed in such a cursed and embarrassing manner. And it was so. The crucifixion shattered the disciples’ hopes. They were dejected and said, “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21a). Can you imagine their confusion? Jesus never had lived like they thought Messiah would live: He ate with sinners, He did not perform ritual washing prior to eating, He spent time with lepers, He rebuked the religious leaders. He was not a conquering King they had surmised, but a quiet shepherd. They had gotten used to all that, His not living the way they had thought, but then Jesus didn't even die like they thought.

Philippians 2:6-11: "who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

HOW Jesus died is almost as important as the reason He died. He became curse for us, and sin is curse. The apostles preached the crucifixion constantly. One example is in 1 Corinthians 1:23- "but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness..." Sin is something God hates because "the sting of death is sin." (1 Cor 15:56). He does not want any to perish!

Brazil's rare column of fire

An extremely rare "fire tornado" raged across part of Brazil yesterday. In Aracatuba, in southern Sao Paulo state, a tornado of fire was seen during a brush fire. This is a rare event that occurs when a fire is whipped up by strong, dry air currents to form a vertical whirl. They can consist of a whirlwind of hot air around or within the flames or a vortex of fire itself, as the UK Telegraph explains.  Also known as “fire devils” or “fire whirls”, they can uproot trees up to 49 ft. Fire tornadoes are usually 30-200ft and a few meters wide, and last only a few minutes. But some of the largest can be more than a half a mile tall, contain winds over 100mph, and persist for more than 20 minutes.

There are two things here to consider. First, it is an example of yet another "extremely rare" phenomenon occurring in conjunction with a natural event. Increasingly these days we see headlines that say "unprecedented" or "rare" such as the numerous impact collisions on Jupiter, or floods in a place that gets less than two inches of rain in a year. In Ladakh, Himalayas, "a place where even a few raindrops are extremely rare and houses are flat-roofed and built with clay, the storms has caused the worst natural disaster in the region's history." Keep your eyes open for headlines that contain those phrases, or even contain the words "perplexed," or "stumped." Jesus said the signs on His return would include increasingly devastating natural events (Mt 24:7-8) and would gain momentum in frequency and intensity. The fire tornado is just such an example of a birth pang sign.

Second, I'd recommend watching the video a second time, while thinking about the LORD'S presence on earth as a column of fire. (Exodus 13:21) Imagine how it as for the Israelites to follow such a wonderful, fearful, and awesome phenomenon! What did they think about as they followed Him, and the fire burned but did not consume the ground beneath it? Were they in continual awe? Or did they become jaded and accepting of this miracle? How wonderful that our God cares about us so much He would lead them into a place of safety and a land perfectly suited for them. Jesus will do it again, He will manifest Himself on earth, smite the rebels, and lead us into a place of safety and love that He, Himself, prepared for us.

As for the news these days, we do not need to be perplexed nor stumped. Paul assured us that if we are walking closely with the Lord, and watching for the signs, "But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief." (1 Thess 5:4)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Signs in the sun, moon, stars: Jupiter impact

"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)

The planet Jupiter has been enduring some spectacular collisions lately. Another one occurred last night. According to spaceweather.com,

"FIREBALL ON JUPITER: On August 20th at 18:22 UT, two amateur astronomers in Japan independently recorded an apparent impact on Jupiter. Masayuki Tachikawa of Kumamoto city was first to report the event. His movie of the fireball shows the fireball scintillating (twinkling) along with other features on the planet -- persuasive evidence that this is a genuine event on Jupiter. Soon after Tachikawa made his report, Tokyo amateur astronomer Kazuo Aoki realized that he had recorded the fireball, too:

"The ~800 km separation of the two observers rules out an event near Earth and reinforces the association of the fireball with Jupiter. The most likely explanation: A small comet or asteroid hit the giant planet. This is the third time in only 13 months that amateur astronomers have detected signs of impact on Jupiter. The earlier events occurred on July 19, 2009, and June 3, 2010. Jupiter is getting hit more often than conventional wisdom would suggest, leading many researchers to call for a global network of telescopes to monitor Jupiter 24/7 and measure the impact rate."

Did you notice that line in there, "hit more often than conventional wisdom would suggest..." That is what birth pangs are all about, God's increasingly direct intervention into the world until finally at each increase more and more people realize that it is God doing these things. Until the end, when He has done all He will do and there are still some who refuse Him. Then He stops.

Keep looking at the signs! "He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times." (Matthew 16:2-3)

"Conventional wisdom" is man's wisdom, which we know is not worth anything compared to God. "For we were born yesterday, and know nothing, Because our days on earth are a shadow." (Job 8:9)

Our days may be a shadow but He is the Light! And He is shining it increasingly brightly on earth. Are you ready for it to get brighter? The future's so bright we gotta wear shades!

Monday, August 23, 2010

How long must the Lord tarry? Habakkuk asked the same thing

Any sensitive Christian these days must be feeling what I am feeling. The gravity of the times and the perilousness of the dwindling time for the lost weighs heavily on me. I mourn the lost: the hand of Jesus is outstretched to one and all, but many bat it away, or refuse to see it in the first place. The knowledge that millions will be lost forever is truly an ache in my heart. As the time of rapture grows closer, and their moment of deadline for choice grows nearer, that ache grows worse. Jesus said that many will be lost, the way is broad, and books will be opened (while the saved are so few their names can be contained in one book). Knowing how terrible hell is, and knowing how the perishing have to literally step over Jesus to get there, the pointlessness of their loss is absolutely crushing to me.

But we are told these days would come, and that they would be perilous: "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: "For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

The violence in the world is another ache. Some days the ache is only dull, other times, like today, the ache is sharp. The regard for human life is at a low, but I won't say an 'all-time low' because that low regard for life and the high violence will get worse during the Tribulation. In these last days of the Church Age, though, the violence is certainly bad enough. The commonness of child-murder in the form of abortion has lent itself to this low regard for life. Lately there have been so many shootings. Today we read, "A shooting in U.S. state of Virginia left three people dead and four injured, local police said Monday. Lowe said Sponaugle shot dead his own son and a nephew, while wounding four relatives including his wife. One of the wounded, a nephew, suffers life-threatening injuries." The killing was over property rights. In another mass shooting "[A]t the City Grill restaurant in Buffalo, New York left four people dead and four injured. The AP reports that one of the victims was celebrating his first wedding anniversary at the restaurant in the business in downtown Buffalo." As for the motivation in the Buffalo shooting, "Nobody knows why," Martin said. "Somebody else was just shooting in a crowd." In the Philippines, "A sacked cop hijacks a bus, takes hostages, and kills eight of them." His reason? He wanted his job back.

I hear of tragedies and shootings and rebellious atheism and hatred of Jesus, and I just weep for Jesus. He is so good, so kind, so patient, dying for us, and we simply spit at Him and His love. I was asking in prayer today "Why, Oh, Lord? Why do you wait so long? Why do the unjust prosper? Why do the children suffer?" and He led me to Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet asking the same questions 2700 years ago.

O LORD, how long shall I cry,
      And You will not hear?
      Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
      And You will not save.
      Why do You show me iniquity,
      And cause me to see trouble?
      For plundering and violence are before me;
      There is strife, and contention arises.
      (Hab 1:2-3)

The Lord replied:

“ Write the vision
      And make it plain on tablets,
      That he may run who reads it.
      For the vision is yet for an appointed time;*
      But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
      Though it tarries, wait for it;
      Because it will surely come,
      It will not tarry."

The *cross reference in His answer is to Daniel 8:17, which is: "So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, 'Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.' "

The LORD answered Habakkuk in chapter one that He was planning to take care of the immediate problem in Habakkuk's days, by raising up the Babylonians to punish the Israelites. But more importantly, God said in Chapter 2 that overall justice would come, but in the last days.

I pray that people will come to know Jesus' love. I also pray that His justice will be done. He will not be mocked. Killings and murders and knifings and beheadings and most important, hatred of God and His glory are equally tragic and troublesome to my spirit as those who refuse His love. He came as the Lamb. He will come again as the Lion. Are you ready? May His will be done.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jerusalem takes down a defense wall

"And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall." (Isaiah 22:10)

Isaiah 22 depicts a warning to the people of Jerusalem. It begins, "Oracle concerning the Valley of Vision". Jerusalem was known as the Valley of Vision because that is where God revealed Himself to the people. The People were preparing for war because the Assyrians were coming. They stocked up water in the Lower Pool. They gathered materiel such as weapons and chariots. They strengthened the wall by tearing own houses to use for materials. The people were busy, busy, busy. However, they were not doing the one thing they should have been doing: praying. They had not looked to God as their strength and protection, nor had they repented, and in this chapter God was telling Isaiah to chastise them for it.

From ancient times to now, outer city walls were used as a defense against marauding tribes or attacking armies. They provided a vantage point from which to defend the town, and also to watch out for coming trouble. They were almost always masonry, and thick. In Isaiah 21:6 we are told that a common practice was for a watchman to make rounds atop the wall and report on unusual activity. "Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, "Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees." (Also 2 Samuel 13:24). Nineveh's walls were 100 ft. high, with 1500 towers, and broad enough for three chariots abreast. Walls are important.

"and you will say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates," (Ezekiel 38:11)

However, by the time the last days arrive, Jerusalem is dwelling "safely", that is, confidently. Some of this misguided attitude may be due to her mental state because Jerusalem has vanquished Damascus in Syria (Isaiah 17:1) and has defeated a large coalition of neighbors who attack her (perhaps in retribution for Syria's defeat, Psalm 83). Israel relaxes her guard.

And her guard is not all that relaxes. For whatever reason, she had taken down her walls, bars, and gates. Israel never suspects the next attack, coming from a quarter she most assuredly should have suspected: Iran (Persia) and others: God says "I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush (Ethiopia) and Put (Libya) will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer (Turkey) with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah (Armenia) from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you." It is a big alliance that also includes Russia. (Ezekiel 38:4-5)

Which is why this article caught my attention:
AFP/Getty Image
Israel takes down wall near West Bank settlement
The Israeli military yesterday began removing part of an eight-year-old concrete wall which once protected an Israeli settlement from gunfire and shelling, citing sharply improved security as the reason. The Palestinian Authority pointed out that the move, which does not affect the much longer 450-mile separation barrier, will have no impact on the lives of local Palestinians. But it seized on it as making the case for a wholesale easing of restrictions on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

I am not a military expert, but it seems to me the situation in and around Israel is more tense than less. Is more fraught with military intrigue and subterfuge, than not. The Gaza Flotilla attack in which Israel Defense Force soldiers were summarily battered with pipes and shot at was only a month ago.  A Lebanese sniper shot an IDF soldier two weeks ago, when the soldier was simply pruning a tree. Yet Israel feels safe enough to remove a wall from behind which for many years snipers had shot and many attacks had come.

The people had fortified the walls in Isaiah's day when they had not consulted God. Their strength was misplaced. The Assyrians came and they defeated Jerusalem, despite her fortified walls. Today, they are taking down a wall when they had not consulted God, again placing their own strength and abilities in reading the situation above God's perspective. Israel's problem today is the same as it was 3000 years ago: they need God. He is their wall, their hedge. And though He is close to them, and will save them from the coming attack of Gog-Magog alliance, they are not close to Him. Yet. The Gog-Magog battle will change all that. But meanwhile, Israel's penchant for thinking her safe when she isn't, continues. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"For there will come false Christs..." Vissarion is one such false Christ

"Vissarion, who has proclaimed himself a new Christ, conducts a service during the "Holiday of Good Fruit" feast in the village of Obitel Rassveta (Cloister of Sunrise), southeast of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, August 18, 2010. Former police officer Vissarion gave up his original name of Sergei Torop and created a sect in 1991, whose members give up their property to join the construction of a so-called Sun City on the slopes of the mountain where their leader is."  REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Vissarion, who has proclaimed himself a new Christ, conducts a service during the "Holiday of Good Fruit" celebration in the village of Obitel Rassveta (Cloister of Sunrise), southeast of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, August 18, 2010. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Members of the religious sect led by Vissarion, who has proclaimed himself a new Christ, take part in a procession on the eve of the "Holiday of Good Fruit" celebration in the village of Petropavlovka, southeast of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, August 17, 2010.  REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop (born January 14, 1961) known by his followers as Vissarion (Виссарион), is a Russian mystic. He founded and heads a religious movement known as the Church of the Last Testament with its head church in the Siberian Taiga in the Minusinsk Depression east of Abakan, in the southern Siberia Kuraginsk district of Krasnoyarsk territory. He has around 4,000 followers (called Vissarionites) in around thirty villages in the immediate vicinity of his base at Sun City, while having approximately 10,000 followers around the world. Vissarion claims to be a reincarnation of Jesus. He teaches reincarnation, veganism, and the impending end of the world, or at least of civilization as we know it. His religion combines elements of the Russian Orthodox Church with Buddhism, apocalypticism, collectivism, and ecological values. His followers observe strict regulations, are vegans, and are allowed no vices such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Money is banned. The aim of the group is to unite all religions on Earth.

Jesus told the disciples that "many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." (Matthew 24:5) Jesus said this at the beginning of the Olivet Discourse, and these few sentences at the beginning prior to verse 9 or so mark the end time. After verse 9 discusses the Tribulation, but Jesus was speaking in general of the birthpangs at the beginning of the Olivet Discourse. That means now. And it is so, many have come in His name claiming to be Him or from Him when they are not.

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." (Col 2:8)

"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!" (Galatians 1:8)

The lost are easily led to a darker forest that the one they live in already. Please pray that these, and all the lost, are led back to the Light. Holy Spirit, let their eyes be opened!

The number of earthquakes is on the rise

Ask a scientist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) "are earthquakes on the rise?" and their answer is "As more and more seismographs are installed in the world, more earthquakes can be and have been located. However, the number of large earthquakes (magnitude 6.0 and greater) has stayed relatively constant." And: "Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant."

This is not true. Data is data. It cannot at the same time be extra sensitive & giving more information, yet be fairly constant and the data really stays the same. Those two statements are at odds with each other. Below their explanation about the number of large quakes staying constant, they present a chart. Not included in the chart data (but is included above it) is the number of average earthquakes for that particular magnitude. For the last eleven years, including this partial year, there would be 44 data points for quakes in the 5, 6, 7, and 8 magnitude. Of those 44, 22 are running above the average. Half of the categories are higher than average, which means it is not "fairly constant."
They continue

"A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day."

If we accept their explanation about advanced sensitive seismological instruments in more places are helping them to locate more earthquakes each year, let's cut off the data at 2005 and start from 2006 (meaning we look at three and a half years of data). I cannot believe that in the last three years the USGS has placed so many new seisomological pieces of equipment at every station so that the data would be gathered at such a dramatically increased pace. Looking at the last few years, we have 24 data points, and we are still running more than fifty percent above average.

*running ahead of average
red indicates categories exceeding annual average

You can search for yourself. The USGS allows data input by year, depth, magnitude, and intensity. I searched for year and magnitude. The USGS's insistence that earthquakes are not increasing is not supported by the data. I agree, one year of higher than average earthquakes in a category or two would be an anomaly. However, almost every category running higher than average for several years in a row, is not an anomaly. It is a pattern.

Christians know that one of God's signature languages is earthquakes. Throughout human history He has used them to demonstrate His power, His wrath, and His promises. A keyword search for "earthquake" in the bible results in many examples, here. One of them is:

"From the LORD of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire." (Isaiah 29:6)

One of them will be: "And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty." (Rev 16:18)

We are promised that the signs of the end will contain earthquakes: "For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs." (Mark 13:8)

Who are you going to believe? Man, who says everything is normal and earthquakes are not increasing? Or God, who said He will send earthquakes as a sign of the beginning of the birthpangs? I always believe God and I can see that earthquakes are increasing. This means Jesus will return soon, because we're promised that as soon as you see these things begin to happen, look up, for your Redemption draws nigh. Are you ready?

The Incredible Shrinking Moon

The moon is shrinking.
Fox News reports that "14 previously undetected small thrust faults -- the physical markers of contraction on the lunar surface -- were found to be globally distributed around the moon in thousands of photos returned by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. ... The surface is pushed together by internal forces," Watters told SPACE.com. "When it breaks, it literally thrusts material upward because the surface is contracting. That contraction, we think, is coming from internal cooling of the moon. We now know that's a global process, so it means the moon is shrinking globally -- very likely because it is continuing to cool."

Oh, really. A normal process? Maybe so. Or maybe not.

Luke 21:25 says that in advance of the Second Coming (not the rapture) there will be signs in the sun and the  moon and the stars. For a while now, the signs in the sun and the stars have been in some state of pre-fulfillment. We know that the prophesied birth pangs Jesus spoke of are the advance warning signals that will come to fruition subsequent to the birth, which is the beginning of the Time of Jacob's Trouble, AKA the Tribulation. However, that event will not begin suddenly without warning because, well, gestation, birth pangs, and labor are visible and knowable. So are the times of these signs.

I've seen signs in the sun in the form of extended and inexplicable solar minimum, a sudden cessation of the minimum to strong geomagnetic storms, sunspots so large they're visible to the naked eye, activity in the stars such as meteors and fireballs galore. But so far...so far...signs in the moon have been absent. Until this week's discovery.

At Gather.com, they wrote that "Astronomers say that the moon, which we rely so much upon for a little bit of light at night, is shrinking. The astronomers have spotted wrinkles all over the lunar surface."

An absent moon is one of the signs we see in Revelation, the book which depicts God's promised wrath against His people Israel and against unbelievers. In Revelation 8:12, the fourth Trumpet Judgment is, "the fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way." We DO rely on the moon for light at night as the reporter at Gather.com said. So will the Tribulation folks. Darkening the moon will cause disorientation of all kinds. It will confound scientists. It will interrupt the Believers who must follow the moon to determine the feast-times. And it will cause fear and dread to rise in the hearts of those who are delaying their decision to believe in Jesus or not. (The final decision of whether to take the Mark of the Beast will not come until Rev 13. Until then, people may still choose Jesus. After Rev 13, there will be no more fence-sitters; you will have taken the mark to worship satan, or you will have accepted Jesus blood of salvation.)

The scientist at the Fox News article tries to reassure us through the perspective of man's theories of science: "The incredible shrinking moon:  According to the study, there has been about 328 feet of change in the moon's radius over the course of about 1 billion years, said Watters." That the moon is shrinking is highly likely. That it has taken 1 billion years to do so is, of course, an error.

Soon, after the Rapture, the signs in the moon and sun and stars will be incontrovertible. In Joel 3:15 we know that during the time of Jacob's Trouble, "The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars lose their brightness." The God who "made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting" (Psalm 104:19) will no longer know the place of its setting, or, at least, people who dwell on earth will not see it set because it will be dark. Who can make the sun grow dark? Who can shrink the moon? Our Glorious Creator, and He does it for His purposes.

His purpose in this moment now is to show His power and glory in gentle ways as signs of the Trouble to come, so that all may come to repentance. Will you repent? Admit your sins (wrongs) and turn away from them? No one needs to dwell in the darkness of their life for one moment longer, not when the outstretched hand of Jesus is waiting to lift you into His Light.

[HT to Charlie for the heads up on this sign]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conduct unbecoming Christians

"Florida authorities have forbidden a church in Gainesville to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. If the church burns the Qur'ans it would suffer a financial penalty. This is due to the municipal law in Gainesville, which prohibits the burning of books in public. However, the church has announced that it plans to burn the books on September 11 in any case."

The church is non-denominational, and their Facebook page has a statement of intent on this day that call "International Burn A Koran Day:" "On September 11th, 2010, from 6pm - 9pm, we will burn the Koran on the property of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!" They say their mission is "To bring to awareness to the dangers of Islam and that the Koran is leading people to hell. Eternal fire is the only destination the Koran can lead people to so we want to put the Koran in it's place - the fire!"

How un-Christian can you get. How misguided can you be.

Though it is true that Islam is of the devil, so are all religions that do not acknowledge that Jesus is the one and only path to salvation. The Koran is not leading others to hell, satan is. Islam is not the enemy, satan is. Focusing on the symptom and not the cause is a mistake, and attacking it is worse. We are not to attack, but to resist. We are not to burn and hate, but to love. There is nothing that we as Christians can do that will be worse than the unbeliever's eternal torment, but engaging in hateful and negative behaviors this side of judgment is only a confirmation of the unbeliever's suspicion that Christians, under "their God," are intolerant.

When unbelievers use the word intolerant, they usually mean "unforgiving." Forgiveness is what marks the Christian from the rest of the intolerant world, because at the root of forgiveness is love. Who can forget the Amish extension of forgiveness to the murderer of their children and the family of the murderer? In 2006, a suicidal killer rounded up girls aged 6 to 13 inside their school, bound them, laid them down, and massacred them execution style. Several of the parents of the slain girls and others went to the father of the killer, and consoled him. The sobbing father of the killer took one hour to be consoled, but in his grief and shame the love of Jesus shined through the arms holding him. When the Amish instead urged all to forgive, it was a remarkable display of Christian love that reverberates to this day. Satan, that old enemy, had gotten inside the killer's head and influenced him to do a heinous thing, but the Amish response to this terrible event was love, not hate.

If the Amish had responded with pickets, or burnings, or clenched fists waving angrily, the reverberations for the Kingdom of God would not resound in His courts, but instead, be resounding in the hellfire that satan dwells in. Burning Korans is a senseless and pointless activity that only widens the gap between souls needing salvation and souls who should know better.

Muslims are not our enemy. Satan is our enemy. Muslims are simply lost souls waiting to be harvested. Our love and forgiveness could be the seed that the Holy Spirit grows into wheat, and not chaff destined for the fire.

Note the two images on this blog entry, the book burning far above and the prayer circle just above. Our children are watching you, Dove World Outreach Center. What image do you wish to be indelibly imprinted on their minds? One of forgiveness, or one of hate?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

John Bolton on Iran, movie IRANIUM

One of the most famous prophecies in the bible, after the antichrist's rising, is the Gog-Magog Battle. This is described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. A coalition of nations with Iran at the center, attack Israel in the last days. The coalition is comprised of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, northern African nations like Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, and some Isles unnamed. They powerfully attack Israel and Israel is on the verge of losing when God Himself intervenes in a visible and demonstrable way. He strikes the enemy bows from their hands and they fall. He sends a madness to the troops who immediately begin fighting each other. He sends several of His signature vocabulary in the form of earthquakes and hail. All the nations know He is the LORD. It is this act that brings Israel back into covenant relationship with Him, and is the moment that the Time of Jacob's Trouble begins. We will have been raptured by the end of the Gog-Magog battle, since the Time of Jacob's Trouble and the Church Age are separate. (Rom 11:25; Acts 15:14-17).

Iran (Persia) figures very prominently into the end time and Tribulation scene. That all eyes are on Israel now and also Iran, the tension in the Middle East being almost unbearable, and the prophesied war that will come, is bringing us to a moment that very soon will erupt into an endless conflagration the world will never have seen, and lo, never will again.

Here is Former Ambassador Bolton interviewed about the Iranian nuclear threat for the upcoming movie Iranium.

IRANIUM: 2 minute trailer

Hindenburg Omen has arrived, presaging an economic crash of Revelation-proportions

The economy is one of the indicator of the end times and the nearing of the Tribulation. During the Tribulation there will be devastating economic upheavals, so tremendous that the entire globe accepts a one world currency. Things have to be pretty bad for  people to give up their own national currency and throw their economies together. We know one economic condition that will be present is that much of the world has to work an entire day to earn enough to pay for a loaf of bread. How, exactly, the world goes from 192 individual nations with varying degrees of prosperity, their own currency, and economic ties and trades, to a desperate world crying for bread and accepting a one-world-currency, is not known. Some think that the disappearance of millions of Christians would be a catalyst for an economic crash leading to to those conditions. It does make some sense, that the sudden vacuum created once millions of people are gone from a viable economic system; employed and employer, contributor to the cash economy, producers and consumers, it may lead to such a crash. Another one is the Hindenburg Omen.

ZeroHedge wrote that "The Hindenburg Omen has arrived":

"Easily the most feared technical pattern in all of chartism (for the bullishly inclined) is the dreaded Hindenburg Omen. Those who know what it is, tend to have an atavistic reaction to its mere mention. Those who do not, can catch up on its implications courtesy of Wikipedia, but in a nutshell: "The Hindenburg Omen is a technical analysis that attempts to predict a forthcoming stock market crash. It is named after the Hindenburg disaster of May 6th 1937, during which the German zeppelin was destroyed in a sudden conflagration." Granted, the Hindenburg Omen is not a guarantee of a crash, and the five criteria that must be met for a Hindenburg trigger typically need to reoccur within 36 days for reconfirmation. Yet the statistics are startling: "Looking back at historical data, the probability of a move greater than 5% to the downside after a confirmed Hindenburg Omen was 77%, and usually takes place within the next forty-days." The last Hindenburg Omen occurred during the lows of 2009. Today, we just had another (unconfirmed) Hindenburg Omen. It is time to batten down the hatches - something big is coming."

"As a reminder, the 5 criteria of the Omen are as follows:"

"1. That the daily number of NYSE new 52 Week Highs and the daily number of new 52 Week Lows must both be greater than 2.2 percent of total NYSE issues traded that day.
2. That the smaller of these numbers is greater than or equal to 69 (68.772 is 2.2% of 3126). This is not a rule but more like a checksum. This condition is a function of the 2.2% of the total issues.
3. That the NYSE 10 Week moving average is rising.
4. That the McClellan Oscillator is negative on that same day.
5. That new 52 Week Highs cannot be more than twice the new 52 Week Lows (however it is fine for new 52 Week Lows to be more than double new 52 Week Highs). This condition is absolutely mandatory."

"Today, (August 12, 2010) all five conditions were satisfied."

The writer said that the last time the Hindenburg Omen appeared was June 2008 and within 120 days, the devastating rollercoaster and eventual crash of the world's markets occurred in the fall. But even worse, he said, "should the Omen be reconfirmed within 36 days, all bets are off."

The world's economic systems are creaking along, barely, with many nations (including ours in America) insolvent. How long this can continue only God knows. But the actual zeppelin Hindenburg crash in 1937 was fast, devastating, and complete. Just like the upcoming crash in store for non-believers will endure in the Tribulation.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Iran will begin fueling in three days

Uh-oh. All eyes are in Israel. Just like the bible said we would be in the last days.

Jerusalem Post: Obama won't hit Iran
Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton said he didn't see "any signs whatsoever that President Obama would make the necessary decision" to strike Iran's nuclear reactor, speaking in an interview with Israel Radio Tuesday. Bolton claimed Israel has only three days to strike before Russia "begins the fueling process for the Bushehr reactor this Friday," after which any attack would cause radioactive fallout that could reach as far as the waters of the Persian Gulf. In an interview with Fox Business Network earlier Tuesday Bolton had said the deadline was eight days, but he revised it to three in the Israel Radio interview, saying Iran and Russia had announced they would begin fueling on Friday. "It has always been optimal that military force is used before the fuel rods are inserted," Bolton explained. "That's what Israel did in Osirak in 1991, and when they attacked the North Korean reactor built in Syria." Israel bombed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981, and a Syrian reactor in 2007. However Bolton didn't see any indication that an Israeli strike was going to happen. "Obviously if Israel were going to do something it wouldn't exactly be advertising it. But time is short."

There is grave meaning in those three words that Former Ambassador Bolton used: Time is short. The entire period of the Time of Jacob's Trouble, or Daniel's 70th week revolves around Israel. Israel's struggle to survive. Israel's persecution. Israel's battles. We see that the world's eyes are turning to Israel and it is not liking what they see. Hating it as a matter of fact, both the nation and her people.

We know that the first and second seals are about conquering and about war. Peace is taken from the earth. The entire earth will not know peace until Jesus returns. The very end of the birth pangs Jesus mentioned would indicate imminent Tribulation are full of war: the Psalm 83 war, Damascus destroyed (Isaiah 17:1), the Gog-Magog battle. And then the 70th Week starts and things get really warlike. We have Kings of the North, Kings of the East. Armies marching, battles, wars, death, and more wars.

However it comes about, the Middle East tension is building and when it blows, it will blow sky-high and remain that way until Jesus comes at the final battle: Armageddon.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We are Ambassadors of Christ

You've all seen the statistics. The Barna Group, a leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture conducted research on the state of divorce among secular and Christian folk, and discovered that "born again Christians who are not evangelical were indistinguishable from the national average on the matter of divorce." It is statements like these and others on the matter of culture that in this day and age makes Christians indistinguishable from unsaved folks.

And that was not the Lord's intention at all.

Paul said we must be "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children." (Eph 5:1). Further, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. (Eph 5:8-10). Jesus wants to "present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." (Eph 5:27). We cannot be that clean, spotless church if we are rolling around in  muddy sin with like-acting people.

Did you know that we are disciples? Of course you did. Did you remember that we are also Ambassadors? It is a role that is outlined for us but is rarely remembered. Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 5:20: "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."

An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization. In everyday usage it usually applies to the ranking government representative stationed in a foreign capital. Ambassadors are ministers of the highest rank, with plenipotentiary authority to represent their head of state, defines Wikipedia. Ambassadors declare the will of their sovereign to the person, government, or king to which they have been assigned.

Our king is Jesus and our home which we represent is New Jerusalem. Think on this, don't let these words slide by: The All Knowing, All Powerful God, Creator of the Universe, chose US to be His representatives on earth. We represent the Holy and Blameless Almighty I AM. When I think about this commission, I straighten up. I throw back my shoulders, I smile, I am fervent but loving. If President Lincoln were to call you to the dais at his inaugural speech and designate you to be Ambassador to London, wouldn't you behave differently? Wouldn't the gravity and dignity of the commission weigh on you, and not wanting to let this honorable president down, wouldn't you dress your finest, clean up your language, and sail for England with his papers in hand, eager to represent all the best of America? I would. Ambassadors must behave in such a way that we bring so stain upon our nation.

So it is exponentially more dignified and important the commission God has designated for us as Ambassadors of God from New Jerusalem, to earth and its wrinkled, spotted, muddy people. If we control our mind, control our tongue and control our behavior (always beseeching the Spirit to contain us, for we cannot do it in our own strength) then we are remarked upon by the lost. We are easily distinguishable.

Unfortunately, Jesus said that the last church on earth, the Laodicean church as a model, will be neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. "I know your deeds," Jesus says, "that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." (Rev 3:15-16).

Christian, if you feel yourself waning, pray, appeal, and beseech the Holy Spirit to forgive you and strengthen you. Then, remember where our home is and Who we represent. How, then, can we be tepid? Be hot! Fervent, zealous with His love, and go represent!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mariana earthquake swarm has scientists, and locals, worried

Wake UP, people!

3 powerful earthquakes, 14 aftershocks rock Mariana Islands
"In a 24-hour period, the region of the Mariana Islands, near Guam, experienced three powerful earthquakes ranging from 6.3-magnitude to 6.9-magnitude. The region also has witnessed 14 aftershocks. Earthquakes have been the dominant natural disaster for the year 2010. Powerful earthquakes continue to rock nations all around the world. The Mariana Islands, near the nations of Guam and Micronesia, is the latest part to be hit. In a 24-hour period, the Mariana Islands region was hit by three earthquakes measuring at 6.3. 6.6 and 6.9-magnitude, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The agency has also recorded at least 14 aftershocks. The latest earthquake, 6.6-magnitude, was located 240 miles (390 km) southwest of Hagatna, Guam and 290 miles (465 km) northeast of Yap, Micronesia. The temblor’s depth was measured at 14 miles (22.5 km). There have been no immediate reports of injuries, deaths or significant damages. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has said there is no threat of a widespread tsunami, however, a small tsunami could occur 75 miles of the epicenter."

(note: originally this quake was rated as 7.2 and later downgraded. Most of the news headlines refer to the higher figure)
The above are red because United States Geological survey indicates red for eq's above 6.0

The normal average for annual earthquakes in the magnitude 7.0 to 7.9 each year is 15. It has been this average for  a century. The chart below shows USGS statistics for the last few years of earthquakes in the 7.0 -7.9 magnitude range.

2010 = 16 as of Aug 14, with 1/3 of the way still to go!
2009 = 16
2008 = 12
2007 = 14
2006 = 9

Earthquakes are increasing in every way imaginable. There are deep-focus quakes, these are the kind of quakes that occur deep in the earth that technically should not be able to occur. But they do, stumping seismologists. There are swarms, quakes in places that do not usually have them, and huge quakes popping all over the globe. What more to people want for a sign that God is near?!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Precursor to plague of beasts?

I mentioned before about the plague of beasts in Revelation. That blog entry is here. Imagine this: "I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:8). Imagine what it will be like when the LORD removes the restraint completely and allows animals to willfully rise up and attack. Matthew Henry said, "Note, When men revolt from their allegiance to God, and rebel against him, it is just with God that the inferior creatures should rise up in arms against men."

Today, Rabid bats attack 500 in Peru jungle
Bats infected with rabies have attacked more than 500 indigenous people in Peru's Amazon and four children likely lost their lives in an outbreak of the disease, the Health Ministry said Thursday. The attacks occurred in the village of Urakusa, in northeastern Peru, where the Aguajun tribe lives.

A well blew out in Louisiana, it's raining oil

I've noticed that there have been a spate of sinkholes (China, Guatemala and elsewhere), cracks in the earth (Mexico), and pipeline and well explosions (USA). I've discussed before that since we know the earth will crack up at the end of time, (Isaiah 18b-20) and then the LORD remakes the earth, that at some point those devastating earth changes will begin as low-grade birth pangs. We also know that during the Tribulation many geologic events occur, from 100 lb hailstones flattening everything, mountains melting away, rivers drying up, etc. So backing up one more step, from the Millennium, back to the Tribulation, and then back tot he end time just before the Trib, what events could be occurring that are a precursor to the more major earth-changes? Sinkholes, cracks, and blown wells.

Well, another well blew today. An eyewitness on CNN posted that a well in Louisiana blew, spewing oil 300 feet into the air, and the sou,d could be heard for three miles. Locals are being evacuated now.

Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight!

Up to 100 meteors an hour! From NASA:

"You know it's a good night when a beautiful alignment of planets is the second best thing that's going to happen. Thursday, August 12th, is such a night. The show begins at sundown when Venus, Saturn, Mars and the crescent Moon pop out of the western twilight in tight conjunction. All four heavenly objects will fit within a circle about 10 degrees in diameter, beaming together through the dusky colors of sunset. No telescope is required to enjoy this naked-eye event."

"The planets will hang together in the western sky until 10 pm or so. When they leave, following the sun below the horizon, you should stay, because that is when the Perseid meteor shower begins. From 10 pm until dawn, meteors will flit across the starry sky in a display that's even more exciting than a planetary get-together."

 Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA. Full article at NASA.

It is a great chance to see God's handiwork on display! Some things to think about as we see the planets come together and the stars fly:

Psalm 147:4 - He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.
Job 22:12 - Is not God in the height of heaven? Look also at the distant stars, how high they are!
Psalm 8:3-4 - When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
Genesis 1:14 - And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Kay Cude poetry: The Tunnel

Used with permission. Click to enlarge