Monday, January 31, 2011

A closer view of the Jerusalem UFO

On January 30, I posted an entry about a UFO over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The entry contained two videos from the same vantage point of a hovering white light that suddenly descended to the top of the Temple Mount over the Muslim Dome of the Rock, then swooped upward and broke into tiny twinkling red lights. I maintained that if was not a hoax, then it was a demonic angel, for it was highly unlikely that the most contested piece of real estate amid the most heavily guarded air space would fail to shoot down an incoming like this UFO.

Another video has surfaced of the same UFO, but much closer, giving the UFO more credence that it is not a hoax. One bystander commented that it was so bright you could hardly look at it. Here is the 47 second vid:

Please read the previous entry for a biblical stance on what the UFO's mean.

Here be monsters! Several humungous storms affecting millions

Cyclone Yasi bearing down on the northeast corner of Australia, already flooded from weeks of rains.
In Australia/New Zealand, the folks down under are preparing for Tropical Cyclone Yasi. Queensland cyclone could be biggest ever seen. Now that's some headline! "Queensland premier Anna Bligh is warning residents to prepare themselves for a "frightening experience" as Cyclone Yasi approaches."

Other newscasters speak thus of the monster:

"Tony Eastley: If the size of the satellite image is anything to go by then Cyclone Yasi bursting in from the Coral Sea is a potentially highly destructive storm system. It's one of the largest tropical cyclones to approach the north Queensland coast for decades." Other forecasters are saying the storm is a "once in a lifetime storm." The storm is headed to already-flooded north Australia. Crops that may be wiped out are bananas, sugar, and of course tourism. Australia's economy and certainly the world's does not need another economic blow and more crops washed away in storms. The officials in Oz are really worried about Yasi. "Yasi will be worse than Larry" The article opens: "Severe tropical Cyclone Yasi will hit the north Queensland coast with greater ferocity than devastating Cyclone Larry, Premier Anna Bligh says. Ms Bligh, speaking after a meeting of the state disaster management group on Tuesday, said winds of more than 250km/h could be expected from the high category four system. By comparison Larry, which devastated Innisfail and surrounds in 2006, was a mid-level category four system. Larry damaged about 10,000 homes and caused $1.5 billion in damage." Yasi is Australia's Katrina.

In America, the headlines are also reporting on another monster storm. A once in a lifetime, record setting, deadly storm. This time it's snow and ice. "A monster winter storm took aim at a third of the nation Monday, threatening to lay a potentially deadly path of heavy snow and ice from the Rockies to New England, followed by a wave of bitter, bone-rattling cold that could affect tens of millions of people." Not just millions affected, but tens of millions. The Washington Post talks of the Midwest and New England being buried. "National Weather Service advisories and warnings are in effect in more than 20 states as a powerful storm gets organized in the Midwest. A blizzard warning is in effect for Chicago, where 12 to 20 inches of snow is possible. Other cities which may experience blizzard conditions include Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas City, and Detroit. The Chicago Tribune's Weather Center cautions: "Snowfall totals in excess of 12 inches coupled with winds of 25 to 40 mph will make long distance travel extremely dangerous if not impossible."

People in 20 states pinned down and buried, commerce at a standstill, plow rage erupting, lost business, lost is saying that a third of the United States' population could be affected. They are simply calling it "destructive", "colossal", "historic."

And remember a week ago, China and Mongolia suffered under their biggest storm in years, if ever. "Rescue workers evacuated thousands of rural residents from parts of northwestern China after extreme cold and blizzard conditions killed four people and left half a million snowed under, meteorologists said Monday. "In neighboring Mongolia, an official appealed for help from the international community as his country battles the most severe winter it has seen in three decades. Storms in China's far western Xinjiang flattened or damaged about 100,000 homes and more than 15,000 head of livestock were killed by the cold front that set in Sunday night."

Why all these monster storms? It's the end time, that's why. These increasingly large warnings from the God who holds all weather in His hands is warning us to repent. I know many of you have heard this before and I know you believe that weather is just weather. But by now, do you really believe that? The crazy weather, the constant storms, the outsized monsters parading across the globe and bringing chaos in their you really think all that is just a coincidence? It's not. After the rapture when Christians are gone (true born again believers that is) the storms will increase in an order of magnitude that will outstrip your ability to comprehend them. By then, the warnings of today will have turned to judgment tomorrow, and these monsters will seem like child's play in comparison.

The Good News is that Jesus is warning us because He loves us. His death on the cross was the punishment for sin's crimes, and He took that punishment. So far you may have rejected that pardon, but you have time to still take it before the storms I described a minute ago get truly bad. Email me and ask me more, if you want. But trust me, these monster, historic, record-setting storms will pale in comparison to judgment. You really need to think about what's going on in the world and entertain the possibility that us crazy born again bible thumpers just may be right.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My left-behind "Rapture Sheet"

Hello all,

I finished a project I've been working on all day. Like all Christians, we feel a burden for the lost. That is why we bring up Jesus to people even though we know some people will get aggravated or even reject us. Well, a few months ago the Holy Spirit gave me a burden for doing a certain project. You see, we will be raptured soon. I don't know exactly when, no one does. (Matthew 24:36 says "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.") But Paul said we who believe and are watching will not be surprised, "But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled." (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6). Both Paul and Matthew were speaking of the last moments of the Tribulation but the time period is the same, the rapture will come as the punctuation of the end of the Church age and as the opening bell for the Tribulation. "The Day" is the 7 year period of judgment on the world.

In finishing John MacArthur's book "Because the End is Near: An explanation of the Book of Revelation" the judgments on the unbelieving world were brought graphically home to me. You do not want your worst enemy to go through that. The rapture will happen at some point and since most people are at work 8 hours/day or longer, there is a one-in-three chance it will occur while we are at work. Imagine your colleagues' confusion, fear, grief. Some who know about Jesus but never repented will know what happened. Others will have no clue. They are the children of darkness Paul mentioned, who are asleep. How will they know what had happened? How will they know what to do?

You know those axes stationed on the wall at intervals in a case that says "In case of fire, break glass"?

I am following the burden from the Spirit to make a "Rapture Sheet". It is a one-page explanation of what happened, why it happened, and what the left behind people should do. It is one page, front and back. I am putting it inside a new bible, placing post-it notes on the salient bible verses, and wrapping in saran wrap with the title that says, "In case of rapture, open here". What more important fire extinguisher is there than the bible? The altered photo below is only a pun, of course I am not making glass cases. I plan to put several wrapped bibles at work, places where people sit at a common desk and use the phone. Maybe you have a break room or a lunch room or a common area to just quietly place a bible with its explanatory sheet inside, where it will be seen and the existence of it will sink in over the next months. When the moment comes maybe someone will say, "Hey! I saw a bible over there once, let's go get it!"
I understand that it's likely that when we all disappear, that people's first reaction will likely be to run for their car and go home, or to the day care to check on their kids. I know that. I also know that in many work places there are not even any Christians employed there, or so few that no one will miss us at first. But that doesn't matter. For a few dollars of new bibles and a few hours of prayer to let the right Spirit-led verses come to mind, and a few hours of writing, I can put bibles with rapture explanation in a place where it might help someone at the most critical moment in all of human history. Here is the "Rapture Sheet" below. Tell me what you think. Is it clear? Uncomplicated enough, but direct? If you like it, please feel free to copy it for yourself. Or, pray to the Spirit who will lead you to verses He knows people in your place of employment need.
Where did they go?

If you are reading this, then it means that the rapture occurred. The rapture is a term for the moment Jesus calls to His believers, resurrecting the dead in Christ and bringing the already living believers up to heaven to be with Him. Here it is in scripture:

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-52
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”

Why did it happen?

We were living in what was called the Church Age, AKA the New Testament times. In Old Testament times the people lived under the Law (The Ten Commandments.) The Old Testament folks had faith, but the faith was that their Messiah would come. Jesus the Messiah had not come yet. But in order to demonstrate that faith in the future promise of Messiah’s coming, and to be cleansed from their sins, they had to kill an animal twice a day and sacrifice it. Why? The blood is the life. (Deuteronomy 12:23). “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Leviticus 17:11). Then Jesus came, but the Jews didn’t recognize Him as Messiah, or those that did, rejected Him. When Jesus died, was resurrected and ascended into heaven, everything changed. Believers no longer needed to sacrifice because Jesus was the sacrifice. He shed His OWN blood for us! As a result of the Jews’ rejection of Him, Jesus has spent the last 2000 years building His church from Gentile peoples (Romans 11:25, Acts 15:14-17). Now the Church Age is over, He is returning His attention to the Jews, and now it is Judgment time for all of those left behind.

Why weren’t we taken?

You might wonder about people whom you thought were Christians who are still here. Not everyone who professed Jesus was truly saved. We cannot tell who is saved and who is not, but Jesus knows who is who. He took the true believers. Intellectual assent is not saving faith. Tradition is not saving faith. Church-going habit is not saving faith. Only true believers were taken. A true believer is described in John 6:29: “Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."God sent Jesus to die for your sins, as the eternal sacrifice to satisfy His justice. Sin must be punished, because it is a crime. Jesus took the punishment and paid the debt for all sins forever. As a result, you would have been pardoned- IF you had believed! But you chose to reject Jesus’ pardon, during the now concluded Church Age, or you added to belief in Him with a man-made rules or tradition. So, you are here now. John 11:25 “Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" I hope the rapture convinced you to believe it!

What will happen next?

Unfortunately, you are in for the roughest time that there ever was and ever will be. Jesus said “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24: 21-22). He is saying that if the Tribulation went on longer than 7 years surely EVERY person would die! The Tribulation is when Jesus will pour out His anger against sin and sinners. Christians do not have to endure it because we took the pardon and believed in Him before the rapture, or before they died. So Jesus removed us from this terrible time. Jesus will send increasingly terrible judgments on the earth to punish sinners. Starting now, ¼ of earth’s population will die in war and famines and diseases. Then another 1/3 will die, equaling half the globe’s population before the Tribulation is even half over! Your life is at extreme risk. If you die before asking Jesus forgiveness of your sins and becoming a believer in Him, you will go to hell forever. Sin is real. God’s judgment of sin is real. Satan is real. Hell is real. The coming Antichrist is real. Everything in the bible is real. Not any other book. Not the Mormon bible. Not the Catholic bible. Only the Christian BIBLE is truth!

What must I do to be saved?

You must repent. The jailer at Philippi saw the marvelous joy in Paul and Silas, even while they were chained in the lowest jail, and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you & your household.” (Acts 16:30-31). You have to believe that your sins prevented you from being raptured and will prevent you from going to heaven when you die. Sins are your wrong thoughts, words, and deeds against God. Everyone has wrong thoughts, words, deeds, so that means everyone sins! You need to be sorry for them, and have faith in Jesus. King David was sorry, in Psalm 38:4 he said: “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” Do you feel guilty for your sins? You should. They are crimes against a Holy God. Do as David did: “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.” (Psalm 38:18). In so doing you acknowledge that Jesus is the only person who CAN forgive them, having lived a sinless life and shedding His blood as the pure sacrifice for YOU. Once you do this, He will forgive you and then He will send the Holy Spirit to you to help you understand the bible. If you do not confess and come to faith in Jesus, the Bible will never make sense. And worse, you will be at risk from the lying delusion coming upon the whole earth.

What if I wait and see how things go before I confess and repent?

Don’t do it! A great delusion will come over the whole world and those who are not saved in faith by Jesus’ blood will believe the delusion. The bible says, “The coming of the lawless one (ANTICHRIST) is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)The Good News is, Jesus still loves you and wants you! If you repent and ask Him to forgive, He will. You’ll still go through the horrendous times, but when you die you will go to heaven and live forever with Jesus. Your first step is to repent & believe, and you will be saved from hell. Also, you will then understand the bible. The bible tells you what to do and what will happen next. The most important thing to remember is, JESUS LOVES YOU! Don’t mess it up again. Repent now!!!!!!!

UFO hovers over Temple Mount in Jerusalem: UPDATED

UPDATE: A third video has been posted, from tourists who were MUCH closer to the Temple Mount. They are American and you can hear their comments in English. Go here to view this 47 second video
Well, this is something. On January 28 2011, a video of an unidentified flying object was posted on youtube. The object was seen by two young men at the promenade of Armon Hantziv in Jerusalem, overlooking the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock. In the beginning of the video, the men notice a large and bright light hovering low in the sky. An added caption with arrow points to where the Temple Mount is on the night cityscape. The object is obviously pulsing and rotating, so it is immediately identifiable as NOT a planet.

23 seconds into the video, the object plunges straight down at an enormously fast rate, coming to a halt just above the lights of the city. There, it hovers for 20 seconds. At second 52, a white light flashes out of the object like a magnesium flare (remember those from science lab?) and the men exclaim loudly. The object immediately shoots straight back into the air and disappears. In its place, however, are twinkling red lights, about half a dozen. The camera focuses in on those and then the video ends. Watch below:

A day later, a second video appeared. This video is a closer view, though still panoramic, but shakier. In it, you can clearly see though, that as the object descends over the Temple Mount, it is rotating. As the object flashes its light, it is less bright than in video #1 but it is shown to be faster as it hurtles upward. The red twinkling lights are the same.

Let's think about this logically. First, there is always the distinct possibility that it is a hoax. There's always that. The world is full of liars who do this kind of thing for kicks. If it is not a hoax, then I have to believe that the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock are inside the most protected air space on the planet. Further, I do not believe that if it was a human aircraft, it would not have been allowed to hover for the length of time that it did. I also do not believe that we have manufactured air craft that can hover, dive straight down, and dive upward in straight trajectories at the speeds this object evidenced.

Setting aside that it may be a hoax, and taking out of the discussion that it was a human aircraft allowed to hover and dive unhindered over the most contested piece of real estate on the planet, then what was it?

I've long contended that UFO's when unexplained (ergo, not a weather balloon, swamp gas, light pillar etc) are demonic angels. The tribulation is a time of lying wonders. The antichrist will be inhabited by satan (who is an angel, remember) and seemingly resurrect the antichrist from his fatal head wound. Now that's a lying wonder. If angels can do that, what else can they do? Appearing for a few seconds as a diving light would be child's play.

Angels are powerful. They exist outside our dimension. They enter and leave our dimension at will. They sometimes look like humans, and sometimes they look like angels. In Revelation angels are mighty workers for God and against God. In one example, Rev 19:17 shows us an angel standing in the sun, speaking in a voice that can be heard on earth. In another example, Revelation 10:11 depicts an angel descending from heaven, the Mighty Angel, who stands with one foot on the sea and one foot on the land. Revelation 7:1 describes 4 angels standing at the 4 compass points of the earth, holding back the wind so that it did not blow on the earth. Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light so it is no surprise that his servants masquerade thus, also. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Finally, we are told that "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders," (2 Thessalonians 2:9)

I believe that these lights are those prophesied lying signs and wonders perpetrated by satan's servants, the demonic angels. If this particular UFO turns out to be a hoax, it does not alter the fact that by the time of the tribulation, there will be lying signs and wonders so powerful that almost the whole world will be astonished and follow the beast. (Rev 13:3)

Unusual v-shaped light pillars

I love celestial displays, especially auroras. I had the privilege of seeing them twice, once in Maine and once in Canada. Today reports on light pillars, which are common in winter, but these are decidedly UNcommon. Here is what they have to say:

V-TOPPED LIGHT PILLARS: Light pillars are a common sight around cities in winter. Urban lights bounce off ice crystals in the air, producing tall luminous columns sometimes mistaken for auroras. But the light pillars Mike Hollingshead saw on Jan. 26th near a corn mill in Blair, Nebraska, were decidedly uncommon. "They had V-shaped tops," he explains, "and some of the Vs were nested." Here is what he saw:

Pretty, aren't they! Here is more of an explanation from spaceweather:

"These light pillars are not just rare, they are exceptional!" declares atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "Ordinary pillars are produced by plate-shaped ice crystals roughly half way between you and the light source. These are different. Their rarely seen flared tops show that they were made by column shaped crystals drifting slowly downwards and aligned horizontal by air resistance." "The flares are a form of the upper tangent arcs that we sometimes see in daytime halo displays," he continues. "But even more exotic, some flares have a second one nested within them! Some ice crystal columns do not rotate but instead keep two of their prism faces improbably horizontal to give us the very uncommon Parry arcs of solar halo displays. The nested flares here are amazing and probably the light halo equivalent of Parry arcs."

I hope you understood all that. As for me, I caught "pretty" and 'exceptionally uncommon.' Expect more of the uncommon as we draw near to the rapture and then of course the skies will explode with awe-inspiring and fear-inducing displays as a matter of almost daily course. Here are a few of the celestial fireworks to come -

"I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood." (Rev 6:12)

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." (Matthew 24:29)

"After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree." (Revelation 7:1)

"Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water." (Revelation 8:10)

"Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. " (Revelation 8:12)

And more...but you get the idea. By the time the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8 come along, the weird and uncommon light pillars will look quaint and old fashioned, almost like a Morse Code machine next to an iPod.

The Lord is sending warnings to us for the purpose of awakening us to His presence. Throughout the Church Age, which began when He was resurrected and ascended into heaven, He has been drawing us to Him through grace. As the time draws to a close for this age to end, and the last 7 years of the Age of Law to conclude, He will pour out His wrath on the disbelieving and sinning world. Still, He will make opportunity to come to Him. These signs now and the signs to come are His way of communicating with us to repent. Repentance means that you understand He exists, He is moral and Holy, and that all the bad things you think, say, and do are a crime against Him and His Holiness. Unholy people will not enter heaven, but if you are sorry for your crimes, and ask Jesus to forgive them, He will. Jesus died as the sacrifice for sin for all time. Don't ask me why God set it up that there had to be sacrifices in the first place, I don't know the why of it. Only the fact of it. Jesus death satisfied God's standard for punishment and all you need to do is go through Jesus to enter heaven.

If you disbelieve all of this, then ask yourself three sets of questions: what makes you think you are good enough to go to heaven? What IS "good enough?" Is there an absolute standard? Since everybody you ask says they are good enough to get to heaven, does that mean everybody will be there? Child molesters don't think what they do is wrong. So where does someone draw the line?

Second, ask yourself why the world is going crazy. Because it most certainly is going crazy. These things happening are predicted and will continue to unfold just as the bible says.

The final question is, what will you do in response?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

About them FEMA camps

Our nation, and the world is no longer what it was. Riots in the Middle East lead directly to another, and over the past week the conflagration has ignited a regional revolution over there. In America, our rights and freedoms are being chipped away at in increasing pace. What was once a scalpel excision of rights from the Constitution is now a sledgehammer pounding. What with TSA pat downs and Government's dictatorial and arbitrary decisions to restrict our movements in and around the nation and world, it puts the fear of government into most people. Add to that, "watch lists," surveillance nation, prevention of entry at public places, denial of legal protest activity and banning of videotaping of law enforcement at work, we see clearly that Big Brother is here to stay.

The totalitarianism drift of this nation and all the other nations will result in earth's final dictatorship- the Antichrist's regime. It doesn't take a genius to see the totalitarian drift our own US government is taking, and it doesn't take a theological scholar to see that the earth's final human government will be a complete dictatorship. (Rev 13:3). In between the now and the then, people are becoming increasingly worried about a rumor of  "FEMA camps". These camps are allegedly locations around the nation that are reportedly being built, or have been built, to contain massive segments of the population in repressive times to come. The US government is reportedly fusing together the alphabet organizations (CIA-FBI-HSA-FEMA-NSA etc) to become one gargantuan monolithic governmental agency designed to hold the US populations in containment camps, perhaps to torture or even kill us. That is the rumor.

I do know about the FEMA camp rumors. Those rumors have been circulating for a very long time. I know that this week the heated rhetoric has ramped up even more and that people are getting fairly worried about it. Former Navy SEAL and MN Governor Jesse Ventura had a recent show on TruTV about it but a careful watching didn't really illuminate any further facts about the camps than any other show.The burial vaults that were allegedly piled up for use by the government featured on the show are actually burial vaults ... and they are stored at that location because they are, um, a burial vault manufacturing and storage facility.

Here is what the bible says: Luke 21:12- "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake." Hal Lindsey interprets that verse as happening beginning now and into and throughout the Tribulation. Watch his Hal Lindsey Report about it for 1-21-11 here to decide of you interpret it that was too. I don't. The parallel verse in Matthew 24:4-9 is more chronological "And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake."

Prior to Christians being persecuted all the previous signs will have occurred, and the famines and pestilences Jesus is talking about are depicted in Revelation 6, and there is no doubt that the tribulation has begun.

Additionally, the Olivet Discourse is given completely to the Jews for their understanding, because the church age will have ended and Gentile believers will have vanished. Notice the verse in Luke says that they will be delivered up to synagogues. Not churches. The rounding up as described in the Olivet Discourse and in Revelation 13 is separate and distinct from the normal persecution that Christians have always endured on this earth since Stephen's martyrdom in 34-35 AD. Revelation 13 says "The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed." By then, yes, some kind of containment facility will likely have been developed, because I cannot envision how all the peoples all around the world will be rounded up and contained until their murder unless there are some facilities to do so. Just as likely, existing jails will be used.

I won't write about the FEMA camps for a few reasons. I am not convinced we will be here for the coming Christian roundup and encampment, times that include persecution in prisons and death through martyrdom. (Although a case could be made that NOW is a tough time, it is a picnic compared to what's coming.) Secondly, I try really hard in the delivering of this blog's information not to add to the general confusion. I want to bring light to the situation, comfort in the face of what is coming. Also, I try to keep the focus on Jesus. FEMA camps are a rumor that is hard to pin down, doesn't add to anyone's general comfort, and is a sign that that doesn't stem from biblical knowledge and is better interpreted as being against the timing of the end time as opposed to occurring in the Tribulation.

Last, even IF we are sent to camps prior to the Tribulation (which I DO NOT believe) Jesus is still in our hearts and that would be a great place to be a light for Him. Many people became saved in the concentration camps in WWII. Luke 21:12b-15 goes on to say of the people put into prisons for His name's sake: "You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist."

I believe our Federal government has become our enemy. I believe that wholeheartedly. However I do not believe Christians will be rounded up and placed in government-run FEMA camps anytime soon. That is giving our government too much credit. Not for their will and intent, but for their ability to execute.

Jesus said not to worry. I am not worried about the FEMA camps. The FEMA camp conspiracy contributes to a climate of fear in the world. The scriptures contribute to a climate of peace in the heart. I choose peace.

Stop it!

This essay was published in January 2011

I listened to a great John MacArthur sermon that discussed how sin starts and what happens when we allow sin to continue without ending it at its root. MacArthur's sermon is titled "Hacking Agag to pieces" and you can listen to or read part one here, and part 2 here. I recommend it.

There is a section of the two-part hour long sermon that made me think of a Bob Newhart skit. In the skit from MadTV, Newhart is a psychologist seeing a patient for the first time. Now, here is the salient part of MacArthur's sermon about sin:
"Now what is he [Paul] saying? I'll tell you what he's saying. Stop lusting. It's not too mystical. Stop lusting. It's like 1 Corinthians 6:18, "Flee immorality." Do you want to put to death the lusts in your heart? Then stop entertaining them. Peter doesn't describe some complex program of therapy, he says quit lusting. Stop it. Put it out of your life. There's no point sitting around waiting for some heavenly power to erase lust. There's no point spending hours and hours or years and years looking for the right formula to chase away the demon of lust. Here's a most simple straight-forward means of killing sin, stop lusting...stop it. It's kind of like James 4 which says resist the devil and he'll flee from you. Stop lusting and you'll stop sinning."

Here is the Newhart piece which I believe makes a great companion to the MacArthur point about sin. Watch the first 2:40:

LOL! If you want to get the impact of the point, then listen to MacArthur's full part one of 'Hacking Agag to pieces'. Then think of the Newhart skit. We laugh at the moment when Newhart says "STOP IT!" but there is truth to those words. We engage in self-indulgent therapies for sins we maintain are generated outside of our bodies, not inside. We let them linger, run around, placate them because those sins are 'not our fault'. But MacArthur is right. There is no complex therapy that will help us stop sin. There is no divining rod to pass over us to erase it. It is up to us to stop it at the root. And that root is our thoughts. Do not think about your lusts. Do not entertain thoughts of them. STOP IT.

"Easy for you to say that!" you might make a charge against me. But I've been there. I'm still there. I have to work really really hard at not letting sinful thoughts enter into my head. When I find them, I have to work at telling my brain to "STOP IT". It's work. Paul said in Romans 6:12 "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts." Do not. It is as simple as that. "Present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." If you put on your armor, resist the devil, and guard your thoughts, "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:13b-14). And that is a very good place to be.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unrest in the Middle East: ripped from the pages of the bible (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Please go here for update as of 2-21-11, as events are moving so fast. Link also includes map.

There has been unrest, regime change, or heavy protesting taking place in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan and Lebanon over the last several weeks. Arutz Sheva reports, "With no fewer than five major areas of unrest/revolutions/regime changes going on in the Arab world, Arab satellite television, one of the mainstays of information dissemination in the Middle East, has been playing a major role in communicating news – or attempting, if not to suppress it, then at least to spin it."

Part of that suppression is Egypt's decision to shut off internet today in the wake of intensifying protests against the government. The people have been protesting President Hosni Mubarek, Egypt's President for nearly thirty years. As this Dallas Morning News editorial aptly titled 'Why we should care about Egypt protests' states, "American foreign policy in the Middle East, for the past four decades, has relied heavily on keeping certain dictatorships firmly in power -- Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan. We call most of them monarchies, but their rulers are not in power because of any kind of free and fair election. They survive because the U.S. government does everything in its power to keep them there. Despite all of our talk about democracy, it would be America's (and Israel's ) worst nightmare if the government of Hosni Mubarak were to suddenly fall from power and be replaced by a democratically elected government that truly represents the will of the Egyptian masses. Because the Egyptian masses are not predictable and could easily be swayed by the populist promises of Islamist parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Every single Middle Eastern country with a democratic form of government has experimented with the extremes -- even Israel. Eventually, voters learn to moderate their leadership, but it takes time. And when you're talking about the Middle East's most populist country with an extremely high poverty rate, it really could take Egyptians a long time to figure out what, exactly they want. In the meantime, Egypt risks lurching back and forth, and an elected Islamist government could well decide, for example, that it's No. 1 priority is to support its Hamas brothers in neighboring Gaza."

Unrest and collapsing peace talks in the Middle East are constant and troublesome, but revolutions and prophetic alliances being cemented before our eyes is quite another thing entirely. Tunisia, Algeria, and Sudan are northern tier African countries prophesied to ally with Turkey-Iran-Russia in the Gog-Magog battle Ezekiel describes in chapters 38 and 39. Joel C. Rosenberg discussed a growing concern of the tightening ties between Russia, Iran and Sudan, here.

As we know, last week Lebanon's government fell because of a governmental coup by the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Hezbollah is backed by Iran and Syria. Tunisia and Algeria are protesting economic hardships and the obvious graft and corruption of wealthy officials in the face of devastating poverty. Additionally, the Israel peace talks are widely acknowledged to have failed this month.

In a short article titled "Winds of Arab revolt reach Yemen" it was stated "Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Yemeni capital yesterday to demand the end of the three-decade rule of its President in the latest sign of rebellion sweeping the Arab world."

It seems that unrest, even revolutions, are catching. Yet Jesus told us in Matthew 24:7 that in the Tribulation nation would rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. The word for nation in this context is "ethnos", or 'race'. This means that civil war will be a norm in addition to country vs. country kinds of war. It is interesting to note that Yemen and Egypt's leaders have been in power for about thirty years, Tunisia's President has been in power for for 22, Yemen's president for 21 years.

There is a reason all these middle eastern nations are in the news just now. They are prominent in the last days and in the Tribulation. They are biblically prophesied to have a role in God's continuing plan of redemption and judgment. That they are nearly at the point of fulfilling that role now speaks to how close we are to the rapture.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Piano on sandbar, wood block on iceberg. How'd they get there? Strange and funny

Here are a couple of weird pieces of news that I found oddly synchronous this week. Odd, but of little consequence. Just something to tickle your brain's funnybone--

Mysterious grand piano found on Biscayne Bay sandbar
"Here's a mystery that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ``piano bar.'' A grand piano recently appeared on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay, about 200 yards from the Quayside condominiums off Northeast 107th Street. Whoever put it there placed it at the highest point of the sandbar so that it's not underwater during high tide. How and why the piano got there is a mystery. A grand piano weighs at least 650 pounds and is unwieldly to move, said Bob Shapiro, a salesman at Piano Music Center in Pembroke Park. ``You don't take it out there in a rowboat,'' Shapiro said. This much is clear: The piano isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Unless it becomes a danger to wildlife or boaters, authorities have no plans to haul it away." Photo Allison Diaz / for the Herald/ written by Laura Edwins

A chip off the old block
"I've heard the Southern Ocean attracts a hardy individual but a block of wood on an iceberg is ridiculous. This lonely piece of timber was spotted on the top of a small berg at 66 degrees south, just north of Commonwealth Bay. Wildlife watchers near Aurora Australis' bridge first thought it was a relaxing seal but it was soon apparent it was rectangular in shape. How it got to such a prominent position, instead of just floating around, is anyone's guess." Photo- Baffling: How did this block of wood end up on top of an iceberg? (Photo Credit: Jodie Smith)

"Since it is lifeless and non-magnetic, its baffling position won't be due to the fact that we are very close to the south magnetic pole. Yes, we are near the wandering point in the earth's surface where the geomagnetic field lines are vertical, rather than lying across the planet from pole to pole. Normal compasses don't work in this region. The one I have brought on board is now confused by all the iron in the ship. The south magnetic pole was positioned on the Antarctic continent 100 years ago. It has since wandered out to sea due to changes in the Earth's magnetic field." Article credit, Australia’s ABC News Online reporter Karen Barlow

How about that? Pretty cool, weird, odd, and interest-piquing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More on the rapture will be pre-tribulation, from John MacArthur

I am reading a wonderful book by bible teacher and pastor John MacArthur. MacArthur is a strict bible preacher, preaching the Word verse by verse. He has been a pastor for 50 years, and has preached from the pulpit at Grace Community Church for 40 years. He is the only preacher I can find who has preached the entire New Testament verse by verse. He is just concluding that wonderful work now.

MacArthur has also written many books and commentaries. The book of his that I'm finishing is called "Because the time is near: John MacArthur explains the Book of Revelation." It is understandable to the mind and uplifting to the spirit. As we near the chapter of Revelation that depicts the second coming, MacArthur takes a moment to explain why the rapture is different from the second coming, and why it will happen prior to the Tribulation:

"The second coming must be distinguished from the rapture of the church prior to the seven-year tribulation. At the rapture, Christ comes for His saints (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). At the second coming, He comes with them. At the rapture, Christ meets His saints in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17) to take them to heaven (John 14:2-3). At the second coming, He descends with them from heaven to the earth. (Zechariah 14:4)."

"Some attempt to harmonize those two distinctions by arguing that believers meet Christ in the air, then descend to earth to with Him. By so doing, they essentially make the rapture and the second coming the same event. But that view trivializes the rapture. There is not a hint of judgment in passages describing the rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, but judgment plays a prominent role in the second coming (Revelation 19:11; Revelation 15, Revelation 17-21.) The dramatic signs accompanying the second coming, such as the darkening of the sun and the moon, and the disruption of the “powers of the heavens” (Matthew 24: 29-30), are not mentioned in the passages describing the rapture. In its description of the second coming, Revelation 19 does not mention a rapture of living believers (1 Corinthians 15:51-52), or a resurrection of dead believers (1 Thessalonians 4:16)."

I hope this educates you, and encourages you.

Lebanon falling into the abyss

Washington Post reports today:
"BEIRUT - The Shiite armed movement Hezbollah cobbled together enough support Monday to appoint Lebanon's next prime minister, effectively ending nearly six years of rule by Western-backed leaders and prompting the United States to warn it could cut off aid to this key Arab nation. The apparent strength of Hezbollah marked an important political achievement for the group. It also signaled what appeared to be a significant shift for the country, away from alliances with the United States and Saudi Arabia, and toward Iran and Syria, which support Hezbollah."

The result of this is that Lebanon is suffering a "Day of Rage" as supporters of deposed Prime Minister Hariri protest. According to Lebanon's Naharnet News:
"Protests turned violent on Tuesday in Lebanon's Sunni bastion of Tripoli as frenzied demonstrators wrecked an Al-Jazeera van while protesting the likely appointment of Hizbullah-backed premier. Angry demonstrators set upon the vehicle, smashing the windshield and tearing down the satellite dish before setting it on fire, AFP reporters witnessed. Demonstrators also torched the mopeds of other media outlets considered close to the Iranian-backed Shiite group Hizbullah. Local television reported similar incidents in the capital Beirut but security officials could not confirm the reports. The incidents came as Sunni supporters of outgoing prime minister Saad Hariri held a "day of rage" to protest the likely appointment of Hizbullah-backed Sunni tycoon Najib Mikati to head the next government."

Hezbollah is a terrorist group. It is backed by terrorist nations Syria and Iran. Both Syria and Iran, as well as Lebanon figure into the end times. Psalm 83 predicts an alliance of nations abutting Israel to attack. Sometime in the last days also, Damascus is destroyed completely (Isaiah 17:1.) Damascus is Syria's capital. And in Ezekiel 38-39, Iran leads a confederation of nations to attack Israel. This second attack includes nations of Turkey, Russia, Armenia, the northern tier of African nations, probably Comoros Islands. It does not include the nations of Psalm 83, so it is interpreted that Psalm 83 happens first and Israel decimates them enough so that they cannot participate in the Gog Magog battle of Ez 38-39. We may be looking at the run-up to Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17:1 now.

Analysis by knowledgeable parties covering the Lebanon situation say Israel's response has been to monitor closely and send a recon team of Israeli commandos into Lebanon for a brief period last night. It is not known if or when Israel will respond, because they are staying totally tight lipped on military intentions. There was an emergency security meeting last Sunday from which no details were leaked or discussed.

Gunfire has been reported from Kola, Lebanon, and Al-arabiya reports: heavy clashed between protesters and Army in central Beirut. The vote has been completed and the pro-Hezbollah candidate wins for Prime Minister, ensuring a Hezbollah led pro-Syria, Iran-proxy government. This is basically the worst case scenario for Israel and by extension Lebanon since they will be the literal battleground.  It looks like the pro western Mar14 now have no role in government unless there is a sudden deal. As of this moment,  there has been a massive upsurge of violence and protest once the result of the vote became known.

With the collapse of Western-led peace talks with Israel and the "Palestinians", with the collapse of Western influenced peace talks with Iran over their nuclear program, and with the collapse of the tenuous Western-supported government in Lebanon, the tide is turning heavily against Israel and tensions are giving sway to violence and military conflicts. A UK official speaking anonymously said this morning that he thinks Lebanon is falling into the abyss. Pray!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dubai unfinished development sinks back into the sea

Note: the headline is all theirs.

The end of The World: Dubai island development sinks back into sea after being scuppered by financial crisis

It exemplified the booming property market and ambition of Dubai’s entrepreneurs. But after the global financial crisis led to the collapse of the emirate’s home-building market, a unique development known as ‘The World’ is reportedly facing Armageddon. The project, a man-made archipelago designed to resemble a map of the planet, is facing disaster as its islands have begun sinking, a tribunal heard this week. The development, which sits a mile and a half from the mainland, is all but vacant after investors who bought up its ‘nations’ saw their finances collapse after the economic crash.

The end of The World: A near-empty property development in Dubai is sinking
A company that ferries people to the islands is now seeking to withdraw from its contract with Nakheel, developers of The World, due to a lack of business and the erosion of the islands’ sands. Richard Wilmot-Smith QC, a British lawyer for Penguin Marine, told a property tribunal the islands are ‘gradually falling back into the sea’. He added there was evidence of the ‘erosion and deterioration of The World islands’. Only one of the ‘nations’ – Greenland is inhabited currently, with Dubai’s ruler owning a show home on the island. While Nakheel deny penguin Marine’s contention that the project is ‘dead’, the firm admits The World has slipped into ‘a coma’. ‘This is a ten-year project which has slowed down,’ he told the tribunal. ‘This is a project which will be completed.’ He added Penguin would see a return on its investment.

Facing extinction? This virtual photo of the Europe section of The World shows the dream of the Dubai project, not its sad reality
That's the price Penguin makes to stay in the game," he said. ‘They have the potential to earn millions.’ The tribunal found for Nakheel on Thursday, with full reasoning to come later. A spokesman for Nakheel insisted the islands were not sinking. ‘Our periodical monitoring survey over the past three years didn't observe any substantial erosion that requires sand nourishment,’ a statement said. The World has already experienced its fair share of problems, with the businessman who bought the Ireland residence committing suicide after the collapse of his company while a London businessman who paid £43million for the Britain island was jailed for seven years last year for bouncing cheques. The claims of the erosion of The World comes as a Reuters poll showed Dubai’s house prices are set to fall by another 10 per cent over the next two years. Property prices in the emirate have fallen 58 per cent from their peak in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Here is an interesting promo video for The World:

The World islands are next door to the more famous man-made palm looking islands:

Kind of reminds me of the sudden halt of the Tower of Babel.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What is happening to the world's agricultural industry? Pests, weather, and losses bring us to the brink of famine

What is happening to the global agricultural industry? We know that the terrible winter has taken a devastating toll on crops all over the world, but it has also taken its toll on acreage. In Sri Lanka, "this month’s floods washed away swathes of agricultural lands, taking away livelihoods of thousands of people." The situation report for the week ending January 13 states, "A total of 967,115 persons have been affected, with 18 deaths, two missing and 49 injured as of 12 January. A total of 195,919 persons are displaced in 493 temporary relocation centers in eight districts." According to the Asia Tribune, "the floods have inundated 200,000 acres of paddy lands in the 5 major paddy cultivation districts and it is estimated that rice harvest in the next season may go down by over 360,000 tons which could precipitate a food shortages in the country in the coming months."

Australia lost fields the size of Egypt in this current flooding season. Thousands of acres of ripe farmland have been lost, not to mention cattle and crops. On the other side of the world, "Parts of northern China are seeing their harshest winter in decades, with Beijing this month receiving its heaviest one-day snowfall in 59 years. Also Monday, Mongolia's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Zandanshatar Gombojav said most rural provinces in the poor, landlocked country sandwiched between China and Russia were covered by up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) of snow. He said nearly 800,000 animals had been lost while many transport routes were blocked by heavy snow."

Almost a million cattle, lost? That hurts.

Florida’s non-citrus crop losses from cold could total $370M
"Green bean prices have tripled in North Florida. Mustard greens are hard to find at any price. Cabbage is now going for 69 cents a pound, way more than the three-pounds-for-$1 usually available in January. The hikes in fresh vegetable prices are the most obvious signs for many Floridians that the exceptionally cold weather this winter has taken a big bite out of the produce supply chain. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has estimated 2.5 million cartons or cases of fruits and vegetables were lost during December — not including processed citrus. Officials said another 4 million cartons of produce are expected to be lost before the end of March. Those losses translate into more than $150 million of lost cash sales so far, according to agriculture department spokesman Sterling Ivey."

It is evident just from those few excerpts that the extreme weather has taken a serious toll on the agricultural industries around the world. Though all farmers expect weather-related setbacks, the deep losses and difficulties of weather struggles of record-setting events will be nearly impossible to recover from. We're talking millions upon millions of lost revenue, millions and millions of pounds of food, and that is not something the world recovers from easily, even if we were promised the best of conditions in the near term. And the conditions are absolutely going to get worse in the near term, that is a biblical promise. So you see where this is going.

But another kind of impact besides weather is also taking its toll on agriculture. Strange plant pestilences and diseases are cropping up all over the world, many of which ave never been seen before. These plant diseases are stumping scientists as to a remedy.

In New Zealand a new Disease Threatens New Zealand Kiwi Industry
"At ground level, a typed notice warns people not to enter the orchard since the discovery of a destructive canker, found in New Zealand for the first time last Monday. What the notice does not say is that pseudomonas syringae pv actinidae, usually known as PSA, has the country’s kiwi industry, worth 1.5 billion New Zealand dollars, or $1.2 billion, in a crisis mode."

Monsters & Critics reported about "the potential impact of a vine disease never seen before in the country."

Speaking of bacterial canker "never before seen", the same thing is happening in Oregon in the US, but this time with wheat:
Investigators baffled as wheat fields wither
The wheat mystery of Umatilla and Morrow counties
"The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are investigating the yellowing of upward of 40,000 acres of wheat in Umatilla and Morrow counties. So far, the cause is a mystery, and researchers do not know if the problems in the two counties are related. In early November, Umatilla County growers noticed wheat fields turning yellow and dying, OSU Extension soil scientist Don Wysocki said. Sixteen fields from three to 10 miles northwest of Pendleton were affected, Wysocki said. OSU Morrow County Extension associate professor Larry Lutcher said 30,000 to 40,000 acres of wheat in his county have plants with yellow or purple tips. The discoloration spreads inward and downward on the leaf. In some cases, plants are completely desiccated and will not recover."

And...speaking again of an incurable bacteria killing the crops and the plants and trees on which they grow, it is happening in Florida, as reported January 20, 2011:

Incurable bacteria poses threat to citrus trees
"While Florida farmers have lost some of their crop to cold weather for the second year in a row, they say a fast-spreading, incurable bacteria presents a greater threat to their trees and the citrus industry. Citrus greening has destroyed groves in the U.S., Brazil, Asia and Africa. Detected in Florida in 2005, it leaves fruit sour, malformed and unusable. Eventually, it kills the tree. The disease has been particularly devastating because it takes years for citrus trees to reach peak production, and the disease targets young trees, making it difficult for growers to replace those that have been lost. "It's probably one of the biggest negative impacts in Florida today, short of the housing collapse," said Louis Schacht, a Vero Beach farmer whose family has grown oranges for 60 years."

I emphasize that weather and pests are part of the normal hazards for farmers. However, the range, scope, and pure mystery of these events coming at so close a time to each other is what bears looking into. And I was struck by the similar language in these two agricultural press releases this week:

CBP Stops Agricultural Pest at Nogales Port 
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist discovered a potentially dangerous insect on fresh citrus leaves being brought into the U.S. from Mexico on Jan. 4, according to a CBP spokesman.
Brian Levin said the insect discovery was the first of its kind at the Mariposa Port of Entry near Nogales.

Destructive beetle unheard of in U.S. nabbed at San Diego Port
A beetle spotted by a sharp-eyed agriculture specialist at the Port of San Diego early this month turned out to be a highly destructive pest never before seen in the United States, federal officials reported Friday. On Jan. 3, the inspector discovered the tan-and-black insect lurking in a load of bananas in a maritime shipping container from Peru...

Do you get the idea that this is a losing battle? It is. Agriculture will wither all across the globe before too much longer. Accept Jesus as your Lord and ask him to forgive your sins and then He will do your battles for you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells

Good morning all! I have to run, headed to work, but I saw this and wanted to get it out there ASAP. Yellowstone is the site of a super-volcano. I wrote about a link between prophecy, volcanic activity, and scripture here. My, oh, my it seeks the birth pangs are increasing up to warp speed. Please, PLEASE get right with Jesus!

January 19, 2011:
Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells
Yellowstone National Park's supervolcano just took a deep "breath," causing miles of ground to rise dramatically, scientists report. The simmering volcano has produced major eruptions—each a thousand times more powerful than Mount St. Helens's 1980 eruption—three times in the past 2.1 million years. Yellowstone's caldera, which covers a 25- by 37-mile (40- by 60-kilometer) swath of Wyoming, is an ancient crater formed after the last big blast, some 640,000 years ago. Since then, about 30 smaller eruptions—including one as recent as 70,000 years ago—have filled the caldera with lava and ash, producing the relatively flat landscape we see today. But beginning in 2004, scientists saw the ground above the caldera rise upward at rates as high as 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) a year. (Related: "Yellowstone Is Rising on Swollen 'Supervolcano.'") The rate slowed between 2007 and 2010 to a centimeter a year or less. Still, since the start of the swelling, ground levels over the volcano have been raised by as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) in places. "It's an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high," said the University of Utah's Bob Smith, a longtime expert in Yellowstone's volcanism."

The article goes on to say that experts don't think there is any cause for alarm. They also say that such dramatic uplifts do not presage an eruption, and also that it is a natural part of Yellowstone's cycle. You can decide...there's more at link from NatGeo.

I wrote about Yellowstone as a volcano here, "Yellowstone shown to have plume on the rise"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More on why the rapture will happen pre-tribulation

Christians are being 'turned' by the promotion of the false doctrine that believers will go through all or part of the tribulation break my heart, because their angst is so unnecessary. Here is a short biblical response to that insidious, joy-stealing stance.

Now, some people say that the rapture itself is a made-up doctrine. I deleted a comment yesterday that was dismissive of the rapture, the commenter said "rapture isn't even in the bible." Well, bible isn't in the bible either. And the bible isn't a figment of my imagination, is it? Neither is the rapture. The word comes from the clearest explanation of this soon-event, 1 Corinthians 15:52, and in 1 Thess 4:14-17. The popular English word for the catching-up event is “rapture”, a word derived, as are so many English words, from the Latin language. In fact, when St. Jerome, who lived from approximately 347 to 419 AD, penned the Latin Vulgate translation of scripture, he used the verb rapiemur in I Thessalonians 4:17 as follows: "Deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur [suddenly caught up] cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus. I The 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up [rapiemur]."

"In the Greek translations of the bible, the verb harpazo is used a total of 17 times in the New Testament in a variety of ways, with several referring to the sudden nonconsensual seizure of human beings. The purpose of the above presentation of both the Greek and Latin translation of this verse is to stress that language should not be a barrier to understanding any concept that is established in scripture. Whether a particular English word is or is not found in the bible is not important. What is important is whether the concept is found. The original language in which the text was written reveals that the concept of the sudden catching up is valid." source

That taken care of, we can move to the bible and ask the people who claim the rapture won't happen before the tribulation several questions. As with any position taken of a biblical doctrine, it is important to ask the person to show scriptures that support their stance. In other words, make them prove it.

The pre-tribulation rapture is the only stance that is consistent with scripture. Believing anything else raises more questions than they answer. Like these:

1. Since the Tribulation is to punish sin (Dan 9:24), but God said that our sins are wiped clean (Acts 3:19), not remembered (Heb 8:12), and we are free from accusation (Col 1:22) why, then are we being punished?

2. The tribulation is a time of His wrath (Rev 6:17), so how do you reconcile that He said the church will not be enduring His wrath? (1 Thess 5:9)

3. If our salvation can be lost in the Tribulation, and it can, (Matt. 24:13 / Rev 14:12) how do you reconcile that God said not even the devil can snatch Church-age believers out of His hand? (John 10:29).

4. In post-rapture time, believers must offer sacrifices to demonstrate their faith, follow His commands, and attend the Feast of Tabernacles. (Rev. 14:12; Ez 40-46; and Zechariah 14:16-19). Since God is not the author of confusion (Jer 29:11; 1 Corinthians 14:33) then do post-rapture believers follow the Old Covenant or the New? Do they sacrifice or do they not sacrifice?

5. If as when the wrath begins with the opening of the seals, and at the 6th seal it's asked "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Rev 6:16) then why are believers told that"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."?

No, the only answer is that the Church age is a unique time in history. The Old Covenant was paused at the ascension of Jesus, not done away with. It was paused with 7 years to go. During that time, God has been building His church, "Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name." (Acts 15:17). And "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in." When that full number is reached and we are out of the way, "just as it is written: ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; "(Acts 15:16). After what? After taking a people for himself. He will return His attention to Israel, their hardening removed and the punishment to begin, then the rebuilding of David

Take comfort in all these things, brethren. It seems with the news of each passing day that we are closer to hearing the trumpet, and soon we will gather at His feet.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mystery of dying wheat in Oregon

There is an interesting story out of Oregon today:
Investigators baffled as wheat fields wither
Mysterious yellowing affects 40,000 acres of Eastern Oregon; new problem feared

"The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are investigating the yellowing of upward of 40,000 acres of wheat in Umatilla and Morrow counties. So far, the cause is a mystery, and researchers do not know if the problems in the two counties are related. In early November, Umatilla County growers noticed wheat fields turning yellow and dying, OSU Extension soil scientist Don Wysocki said. Sixteen fields from three to 10 miles northwest of Pendleton were affected, Wysocki said. They are "more or less but not completely contiguous," he said. Not every field in the area was affected. The area was predominately planted to soft white Clearfield variety ORCF-102, but other varieties were also affected, Wysocki said. "There's probably more than one thing going on in these particular fields, like in any field," he said."

"OSU Morrow County Extension associate professor Larry Lutcher said 30,000 to 40,000 acres of wheat in his county have plants with yellow or purple tips. The discoloration spreads inward and downward on the leaf. In some cases, plants are completely desiccated and will not recover. The symptoms have been observed in many fields in the county, Lutcher said, but do not appear tied to any particular location. "Most of the symptoms in Morrow County are unlike anything I have ever seen," Lutcher said." [emphasis mine. more at link above]

It is interesting in light of what is going on with wheat around the world. It is interesting in light of what prophecy says about wheat. Finally, it is interesting in terms of the allegory and symbolism of harvest used so often in the bible. First, here is what is happening with wheat around the world.

1. Ug99 is a wheat rust disease that was discovered in Uganda (Ug) in 1999. The stem, black or cereal rusts are caused by the fungus Puccinia graminis and are a significant disease affecting cereal crops. An epidemic of stem rust on wheat caused by race Ug99 is currently spreading across Africa, Asia and most recently into Middle East and is causing major concern due to the large numbers of people dependent on wheat for sustenance. The strain was named after the country where it was identified (Uganda) and the year of its discovery (1999). It spread to Kenya, then Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen, and is becoming more virulent as it spreads. Scientists are working on breeding strains of wheat that are resistant to UG99. It is virulent to the great majority of wheat varieties. Unlike other rusts, which only partially affect crop yields, UG99 can bring 100% crop loss. Up to 80% yield losses were recently recorded in Kenya.

However, that genetic work seems to be failing. "Four new mutations of  Ug99, a strain of a deadly wheat pathogen known as stem rust, have overcome existing sources of genetic resistance developed to safeguard the world's wheat crop. Leading wheat experts from Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, who are in St. Petersburg, Russia for a global wheat event organized by the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, said the evolving pathogen may pose an even greater threat to global wheat production than the original Ug99." That was from Science Daily, May 2010. So the wheat is being killed all over the world and there is nothing we have yet been able to do about it.

2. The Oregon wheat failure is interesting in light of prophecy. Wheat figures into end time prophecy quite starkly. In the Seal Third Judgment (Black Horse) it is said, "When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"Wheat will be in such short supply, a person will have to spend his entire day's wages just to get enough to feed him, never mind the family. Barely will also be in short supply. The Black Horse is famine, which will affect all the people on the earth, except the very rich.

3. The Oregon wheat failure is interesting in light of the bible's use of harvest and reaping. One example of the judgment God brings is the following from Joel 1:10-11- "The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails. Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed..." Matthew Henry says about that verse, "Let the husbandmen and vine-dressers lament, v. 11. Let them be ashamed of the care and pains they have taken about their vineyards, for it will be all labour lost, and they shall gain no advantage by it; they shall see the fruit of their labour eaten up before their eyes, and shall not be able to save any of it. Note, Those who labour only for the meat that perishes will, sooner or later, be ashamed of their labour. The vine-dressers will then express their extreme grief by howling, when they see their vineyards stripped of leaves and fruit, and the vines withered, so that nothing is to be had or hoped for from them, wherewith they might pay their rent and maintain their families. The destruction is particularly described here: The field is laid waste (v. 10); all is consumed that is produced; the land mourns; the ground has a melancholy aspect, and looks ruefully; all the inhabitants of the land are in tears for what they have lost..."

A less direct and a more symbolic use of wheat and harvest in the bible is in Matthew 13:30 parable of the wheat and the tares. Read it in its entirely in Matthew 13:24-30. "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (v. 30; KJV) This parable represents the present and future state of the church of Christ's gospel; His care of it, the devil's hatred against it, the mixture there is in it of good and bad, and the separation between them in the other world.

The LORD looks at the saved sheep as wheat, at the lost sheep as tares, and judgment as harvest time. (Rev 14:14). I think that it is very interesting that the wheat died in Oregon. It is dying elsewhere due to Ug99, it is dying in OR due to who knows why, and it is dying in places like Australia and Russia because of 'natural' disasters like floods and heat, respectively. The wheat is dying. It is dying in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. It is dying in Australia, Russia, and America. The wheat is dying, and soon and very soon, it will cost you everything to even obtain a fistful. Hunger is coming, and then the harvest. Are you ready?

I'm ready, because I know I will escape all these things. I will be raptured to Jesus when He calls us (read here) and I will be dining with Him at a wedding banquet while those who refused His offer of salvation by His grace will perish from famine on earth. If you ask Jesus to forgive your sins, and make Him LORD of your life, worthy to be obeyed and followed, you, too, will dine with the King. Or, you can choose to be harvested like chaff on the last day. As always, it is up to you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More animal die-offs; Pelicans, seals, cows. They're getting bigger

Pelicans turn up sick, dead off Jacksonville FL coast
Hundreds of Eastern brown pelicans, some with missing wings and frostbite, have been injured or killed in the St. Johns River the past couple of weeks in the Mayport area. The exact reason is unknown but the cold weather could have caused hypothermia when the birds landed in the water.

Yankton (S. Dakota) sees bird kill-off
It is estimated that more than 200 dead starlings were found in downtown Yankton Monday. However, it is not believed the deaths pose a threat to humans. Yankton Animal Control Officer Lisa Brasel estimated that she collected 200 starlings Monday, and employees of the city Parks and Recreation Department were also on the scene picking up deceased birds. The total number of corpses gathered up by city employees has not yet been compiled. “I talked to one of the local vets, and they said there is nothing wrong (with the birds),” said Brasel, who took specimens to a veterinary office.

200 dead cows found on farm in Stockton
"The Portage County Humane Society is trying to figure out what caused 200 cows in the town of Stockton to perish. Deputies were dispatched to the town just after 1 p.m. on Friday after they were notified of numerous dead cows lying in a field in the 8000 block of Fourth Avenue, according to a Portage County Sheriff's Department news release."

Hundreds of dead seals in Labrador Canada
People on the north coast of Labrador say scores of dead seals have been washing ashore since early December.  A conservation officer with the area's Inuit government estimated late last week that hundreds of adult and young seals have died in the area between Hopedale and Makkovik this winter. At the time, a federal seal researcher said the early birth of seal pups in Labrador may be an indication the area's seal population has grown too large. DFO researcher Garry Stenson said that seal population growth could lead to reproductive problems.

Whether the causes are supernatural or natural why are we surprised when the earth and its animals turn up dead and dying? We use the highly toxic chemical corexit, we spray chemtrails to rain down acid rain, we pollute the waters, we exhaust the water table, we fracture the earth in pursuit of natural gas (fracking). How did we get this way? Well, it wasn't always like this, but it didn't take long for things to turn bad.

All of creation groans under the curse. The curse is the curse God laid on the man, the woman, the serpent and all of creation when sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden. Eve, then Adam, ate of the fruit God said not to eat, thanks to the serpent’s influence and goading. Disobedience against God is a crime against God and He will always judge it. His justice then included a curse, and among the things cursed was all of creation.

Up until that time, Adam and Eve existed peacefully with all the animals. Adam named them, each one. The garden was perfect, His creation earth was "Good." God gave man dominion over the animals to rule gently (Gen 2:15; 19-20). Adam and Eve's physical life was undemanding, the rain/dew simply sprung up from the ground to water everything. There were no thunderstorms, washouts, or floods. There was no toil. The work was easy, we know this because when God cursed Adam and Eve He said Adam’s work will now be hard, "by the sweat of his brow.” (Gen 3:19)

Animals were gentle and non-carnivorous. After the curse, though, they became useful to man for food and clothing. We know this because the first death in recorded history was not Cain’s murder of his brother Abel. It was an animal. In Genesis 3:21 it is said “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” In order for there to be skins, there had to have been an animal it came from.

Is it any wonder that all creation groaneth? Romans 8:22, “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Sin has effects. Whether the strange animal deaths are supernatural from God or natural because of man’s abuse of the earth in sin, it all ends up being the same: curse.

Thankfully, He reverses the curse in the Millennium. Isaiah 11:6 says “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” Until then, we will suffer the effects of our sin and we will suffer the effects of His warnings prior to judgment. Animals will continue to die, waters will continue to be polluted, the air will continue to smog. The benefits to man of the land and the sea and the waters and the animals evaporated at the curse, and it literally has been downhill ever since.

I have no doubt that we will continue to see these massive animal die-offs spring up around the world. They perplex scientists. The reasons for the die-offs have variously included fireworks, stress, trauma, disorientation, overeating, failure to migrate, the cold, the heat, mass suicide, virus, no explanation, poison, and reproductive anomalies. No scientist has proposed the most likely reason for this happening: GOD. Soon, He says, "I will sweep away both man and beast; I will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea— and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble." (Zephaniah 1:3.) By then it will be too late for many people. Do not let it be too late for you. You see where this is going, He told us the end of the story. It will ALL be wiped away. From where we are now it won't get any better, only worse. Accept Jesus as your savior for your sins now, repent of them and ask Him to be your Lord. He will do it, and then you will never be wiped away, but you will be one of His children. You will see Him reverse the curse, and restore the earth.

Word of the Week: Propitiation

We're losing the meaning of our uniquely Christian words. Biblical illiteracy is high. People don't understand the meaning of founda...