Thursday, July 3, 2014

(Updated) Isis captures oil field, aims for Jordan? Ebola out of control, SBC gay-affirming Pastor feted at White House, lauded for "progress"

(Update below)
I'm catching up on some news. I like to follow up with previously reported issues. Let's start with Danny Cortez, Obama, and the SBC.

In February of this year when Pastor Danny Cortez of California's New Hope Church (a Southern Baptist Convention affiliated church) told his congregation that his son had come out as gay and that he as pastor has been wrong to preach against homosexuality as a sin, his church split.

However, the bulk of the congregation voted to retain Pastor Cortez and go forward on a third way, in other words, not yes and not no but maybe (the lukewarm, middle of the road way?) in agreeing to disagree and focusing on other issues (besides sin?)

Albert Mohler, Jr., an American theologian and the ninth president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, published an essay declaring there is no third way.

This all came down just before the Southern Baptist Convention. The Bylaws of the SBC state that cooperating churches which dissent or vary from orthodox and agreed upon doctrines can be voted out of the denomination." The SBC Constitution states: "Among churches not in friendly cooperation with the Convention are churches which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior." This didn't happen at the Convention.

The excuse reason was that it all happened too close to the convention's opening and the leaders had not had time to review the situation formally nor properly. They did not want to make a hasty decision. OK, fine, but when no movement on the issue happened after the convention either, Al Mohler wrote another essay in effect saying, 'OK, time to get moving on this issue now'. (I interpreted it that way).

As of today, still nothing from the SBC. It is reported that the SBC Executive Committeee may take it up in September. May take it up.

Meanwhile the Homosexual lobby is not waiting around to take an advantage. Pastor Danny Cortez was almost immediately invited to the White House for Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) celebration to cap off Gay Month, hosted by Obama. The Baptist Press reported (and picked up by the Biblical Recorder) that Cortez was delighted to attend.

Pro-gay [SBC] pastor attends White House event (I added the 'SBC' to the headline)
The Los Angeles-area Baptist pastor whose church split after he announced he no longer believes all homosexual acts are sinful was President Obama's guest at the White House LGBT Pride Month reception June 30. Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, Calif., attended the reception with his son Drew, who Cortez said in a Feb. 9 sermon is gay. At the reception, Obama acknowledged open homosexuals serving in his administration and said 11 openly gay federal judges have been confirmed by the Senate, including 10 during his administration. Danny Cortez, pastor of New Heart Community Church in La Mirada, Calif., attended the reception with his son Drew, who Cortez said in a Feb. 9 sermon is gay. "This tremendous progress we've made as a society is thanks to those of you who fought the good fight,..."

Obama is exactly right, the "progress" the homosexual lobby has made in culture is due to either false Christians helpfully promoting satan's agenda, or true Christians standing by and doing nothing.

On another topic, I stopped following the ISIS event in the Middle East when the news reports and even twitter accounts posted photos without warnings of graphic nature. The photos were terrible, terrible.

That does not mean the issue is no longer important though. It is. It may have fallen off this blog and it may have receded into the background of world news, but ISIS is still capturing, advancing, and murdering. See this photo-safe news report from Israel's Arutz Sheva from today

ISIS Captures Largest Oil Field in Syria
Islamist group adds to its resources, seizing oil field and consolidating its hold in the Euphrates corridor from Iraq into Syria.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) continues to roll forward, adding to its collection of captured resources the Al-Omar Oil Field, the largest oil field in Syria located in the eastern Deir al-Zour province of the war-torn country, near the Iraqi border. The Islamist group has already amassed great assets during its blitz offensive in Iraq, seizing Iraq's largest oil refinery, a chemical weapons facility, and becoming the "world's richest terrorist organization" by looting 500 billion Iraqi dinars ($425 million) from banks in Mosul. Now, video footage uploaded to YouTube shows armed ISIS jihadists at the entrance to the field with their flag flying high, after having wrestled the field away from the Al-Nusra Front, a rival opposition force in Syria that is linked with Al-Qaeda, which ISIS broke off from. ... ISIS's lightning series of victories have given it control of a corridor on the Euphrates River ranging from the far-eastern Syrian town of Bukamal, located on the border with Iraq, on through the provincial capital of Deir al-Zour to the northwest from the border.
Additionally ISIS, which on Sunday declared itself an Islamic "caliphate" and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as "Caliph," has succeeding in winning pledges of allegiance by numerous rebel factions in the area.
I have not watched the video which accompanies the article. You're on your own with that one. Here is another news piece discussing how much territory ISIS has now
Sunni fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) Thursday gained control over the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ez-zor and now occupy an area five times the size of Lebanon in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (source)
 Where will ISIS go next? The Wall Street Daily reports,
You see, some early reports suggest Baghdadi may have a new target: the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is ruled from nearby Amman. Jordan is considered a constitutional monarchy, but King Abdullah II has the power to appoint 75 members of the Parliament directly. He also has the power to pass laws himself, and he is the head of both the state and the military. But while Abdullah II has all of the power, he doesn’t have strong support amongst the people. You see, Jordan has been the recipient of many refugees in recent decades, and the country is now brimming with Arabs from both Palestine and Syria. These people feel oppressed by the small, but controlling, Hashemite tribe… and that could spell trouble. Abdullah would be supported by his military and the United States, but not his Sunni Muslim population, which would likely be sympathetic to ISIS. On top of that, if ISIS controlled Jordan, it could surround Damascus, which is just 100 short miles north of Amman. In that regard, Jordan could be the key to winning in Syria.

I posted a couple of news reports about Jordan two weeks ago. (here, and here) I feel the ISIS group will go to Jordan for exactly the above described reason, and also Saudi Arabia. Jordan is prominent in prophecy for one simple reason is that the antichrist will conquer the world but God will not allow him to take Jordan. However, Jordan will not escape unharmed.

UPDATE: Daily Mail is reporting the following about Saudi Arabia:
Saudi Arabia has placed 30,000 soldiers on its northern border after 2,500 Iraqi soldiers reportedly quit their posts, leaving the country open to the threat of a lightning advance by ISIS militants.

As a matter of fact, Jordan is prophesied to be devastated (except for Petra). From Jordan it is but a small matter to conquer Lebanon (a proxy of Syria anyway) and then attack Israel, which would pretty much be the Psalm 83 battle.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar believes ISIS (ISIL) will go to Jordan next also. Dr Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. He definitely has the intellectual chops and professional credibility to make such a call. He said,
ISIL has never concealed its intentions regarding Jordan, created, as were Iraq and Syria, by European colonialism, and therefore deserving to be eliminated. The name of the organization expresses is goals, because “al-Sham” is the Levant, and that area includes Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.  In order to make its plans for Jordan obvious, the organization expanded its control in Iraq westward, up to the border between Iraq and Jordan, also conquering the border town of Turayvil. Its successes in Iraq and Syria awaken the “Jihadist adrenaline” in the marginal populations of Jordan and the demonstration in Ma’an expresses what is well-known: ISIS success draws the masses, especially those on the fringes of society, those who want to belong to something successful at last.  And if this successful thing brings an end to a suppressive regime, it is an even more worthy group to join.
 Of course it could all collapse tomorrow. Only God knows.

Drought: "Arizona's largest city has gone four months without any measurable rain, and neighboring New Mexico is in the midst of four years of severe drought."

Earthquakes: Quakes are still pounding Oklahoma.
USGS, Quakes this week, 2.5+

Big earthquakes double in 2014, but scientists say they're not linked. (Sure....sure.) There is a a 65 percent increase compared to the rate of large quakes since 1979. (larger than magnitude 7).
We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded," said lead study author Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California.  But even though the global earthquake rate is on the rise, the number of quakes can still be explained by random chance, said Parsons and co-author Eric Geist, also a USGS researcher.
The disease Ebola is "out of control" in parts of West Africa. Remember, Ebola is the disease with an extremely high mortality rate that melts your insides. Mortality of those who contract the disease range from 34% to 70%. Compared to the previous influenza epidemics, which were less than 0.1%, the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic had a mortality rate of 2.5%. Now perhaps, with that comparison in mind, it is easier to envision this verse's fulfillment:

"And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth." (Revelation 8b)

Keep praying, keep loving each other, and keep looking up. Have a safe and Hurricane Arthur-free Fourth of July Holiday!

7 comments :

  1. Like you stated in the post, only God knows. Seeing all these signs simultaneously, however, I can't help but get excited!
    Jennifer

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  2. Have you read The Hot Zone?

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  3. Sean Osborne is a born-again career Army guy who runs a blog called "Eschatology Today," and if you want to know the military details of what is going on in the Middle East, he's your go-to guy. Anyway, according to Mr. Osborne, Abu Bakr al-Qurayshi al-Husayni al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is now actually claiming to be the Mahdi that there's been so much hype about. I don't mean just sort of passively allowing his followers to *believe* he is, but openly saying it himself. He's claimed the title of Caliph Ibrahim, and has now officially stated that he is al-Mahdi, and that all Muslims are obligated to obey him.

    I looked, but couldn't find any other independent verification of this (not that I doubt Mr. Osborne's intel).

    Assuming this is true, I'd be interested to hear any opinions about how this might influence the prophetic scenario in the Middle East. I mean, if ISIS gets smacked down and Abu-Bakr turns out to be another Mahdi wannabe, that's one thing. But if ISIS continues to grow and expand and *win* under a man who openly claims to be al-Mahdi, what colors does that add to the prophetic palette in the near term?

    Just wondering...

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    1. Hi Greg,

      I agree, Osborn has the chops. He has military experience. I think I've mentioned him once ore twice on this blog. His analysis is very enlightening.

      You ask a great question. I am far from wise on the subject. The only thing that comes to mind is a reminder I've issued before. Rev 7:9-11 describes a 7th kingdom to arise. Many believe it could indicate a revived Ottoman Empire. I write about it here, kind of clumsily

      http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2011/07/ottomans-are-back-are-they-revelations.html

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    2. Greg Here is a link to an interesting article full of detail.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2679069/Saudi-Arabia-places-30-000-soldiers-border-wake-ISIS-threat-2-500-Iraqi-soldiers-quit-posts-boundary.html

      "On Tuesday, the leader of ISIS called on Muslims to come to the territory his group has seized to help build an Islamic state, declaring: 'The earth is Allah's.'

      Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who now refers to himself as Caliph Ibrahim following ISIS' claim it had established a caliphate in the Middle East, said in a 19-minute audiotape: 'Muslims, rush to your state. Yes, it is your state.'"

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  4. Thanks, Elizabeth. The Daily Mail article is pretty good. Of course, there is little or no mention of the al-Mahdi business in most mainstream media outlets (and even if there was, they'd probably just spin it to warn about the dangers of "religious fundamentalism").

    I listened to the audio clip from Abu Bakr that was posted in the article, and I'm not kidding, Elizabeth--it sent shivers down my spine. This man is extremely articulate and well-spoken; and even though I don't understand word one of Arabic, I could still sense the hypnotic "pull" in his voice and his articulation. Here's my personal favorite quote:

    "Some leaders tried to weaken Muslims, by invading their countries and killing their leaders [Bush, for one] and employing spies in the name of democracy and culture, peace, freedom and secularism and other fake slogans. These leaders are still trying to distance Muslims from their religion using such slogans. Terrorism is when the Muslims refuse these slogans; it is when Muslims obey Allah and live freely."

    So, peace is just a fake slogan, and what we call terrorism is just Muslims obeying Allah. {Calling evil good and good evil...)

    I'm certainly not an expert in this area either, which is why I tossed the question out there. It would seem to me, however, that if he actually tries to convince the Muslim world he's the Mahdi, (a) the Shias will never buy it in a thousand years (nor will a lot of the Sunnis from what I've read), and (b) it might serve to bring a lot of the Muslim world against him.

    We shall see.

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