Prophecy Update Newsletter
April 3, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Deus ex Machina - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8416
Here in the spring of 2017, we often have difficulty reconciling the prophetic pages of Holy Scripture with the reality of what we see daily in the news. We wonder what exactly that final world government, final world religion, and final world leader will look like. Much speculation has been put forth recommending this person or that religion, with supposed proof texts both from secular and scriptural sources, but the truth is, we will not know until it happens. But two instances will absolutely force an immediate change in the world. The first is the Rapture of the Church. The second is the final world system.
The Rapture of the Church
As most Christian watchers are already aware, we cannot know the day or hour of Christ's return. But we also know that we should be cognizant of the season of His return. The Apostle Paul writes but of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:1-2 NKJV). That word 'perfectly' in the Greek is "akribōs," and it means exactly, accurately, and diligently. The Prophet Jeremiah uses that same form of the word perfectly in Hebrew when writing chapter 23 verse 20 saying: The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
So Paul was saying that we would know exactly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. That might appear somewhat paradoxical at first, but then Paul gives some additional clues that shed light on the context.
For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thess. 5:3-4)
I believe that the Apostle Paul here is delineating between the time before the Tribulation (70th Week) and the time just shortly after. This cannot be speaking of the 2nd Coming of Christ (Rev. 19), because that entire period preceding it, is wracked with massive turmoil, upheaval, and supernaturally violent judgments. In other words, 1st Thessalonians 5:1-4 can't be speaking of the 2nd Coming because Paul states here that it would be like a thief in the night, which parallels what Christ had previously declared that no man could know the day or hour. How can it be like a thief in the night, when the Tribulation is marked out exactly to equal seven prophetic years of 360 day years, marked each by 12, 30 day months? (Daniel 7:25, 9:24, 12:11-12; Matt. 24:15; Rev. 11:2-3, 13:5)
Aside from the obvious benefits believers will experience at the moment of the Rapture, is the momentous transition the world will be thrust into in a matter of seconds just after the fact. The Rapture will be the ultimate black swan event, because most of the world's population either does not think it will happen, does not think it can happen, or does not care. What we as watchers don't know, is how long that transition point will be, between the moment after the Rapture occurs, and the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week (aka...the Tribulation). Everything at this time is speculation. It seems unlikely that the Tribulation will begin immediately after the moment of the Rapture. The reason for this is that the Rapture will by necessity, trigger a series of crisis points in just about every sector of human life; these need to be drawn into the final world system.
The Beast System
The New Latin term deus ex machina is a translation of a Greek phrase and means literally "a god from a machine." "Machine," in this case, refers to the crane that held a god over the stage in ancient Greek and Roman drama. The practice of introducing a god at the end of a play to unravel and resolve the plot dates from at least the 5th century B.C.; Euripides (circa 484-406 B.C.) was one playwright who made frequent use of the device. Since the late 1600s, "deus ex machina" has been applied in English to unlikely saviors and improbable events that bring order out of chaos in sudden and surprising ways. (Merriam-Webster)
The current rate of technological advancements is that computing power is doubling every 24 months. Computer efficiency is doubling every 18 months. Because of this, men like Elon Musk (businessman/futurist) fears that artificial intelligence (AI) will gain self-awareness and take over the world soon. In his view, the only way to counter this threat is to enhance humans to the point at which we equal with AI.
"If you assume any rate of advancement in [artificial intelligence], we will be left behind by a lot," he said at a conference last June. The solution he proposed was a "direct cortical interface"-essentially a layer of artificial intelligence inside the brain-that could enable humans to reach higher levels of function. (Winkler, 2017)
Essentially, we have to bioengineer technology into the human body if we are going to be able to compete with a fully autonomous AI system. So if you think back thirty years ago, the idea of embedding computers into the human brain seemed ludicrous. If we think back twenty years ago, this still seemed impossible. If you think back ten years ago, this seemed improbable, but potentially becoming feasible. Today it not only seems feasible and probable, now it seems inevitable given our dependency on cyber networks, digital currency, and the rapid integration of the internet of things. Still, Mr. Musk recognizes that-
The technology faces several barriers. Scientists must find a safe, minimally invasive way to implant the electrodes, and a way to keep them stable in the brain. It also isn't yet possible to record the activity of millions of the brain's neurons to decode complex decisions, or distinguish when someone wants to eat a bowl of spaghetti or go to the bathroom. Then there is persuading people to get elective brain surgery. In comments published by Vanity Fair on Sunday, Mr. Musk said "for a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we're roughly four or five years away." (Winkler, 2017)
But it is not just Mr. Musk who is diligently seeking this new endeavor of modifying the human brain. Facebook, Google, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are amongst the American entities pouring hundreds of millions of dollars along with harnessing some of the greatest researchers into doing just that.
The program, Neural Engineering System Design (NESD), stands to dramatically enhance research capabilities in neurotechnology and provide a foundation for new therapies. "Today's best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem," said Phillip Alvelda, the NESD program manager. "Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics." (DARPA, 2016)
Even still, DARPA was not doing this in a vacuum. It would seem that this endeavor was given the full 'two thumbs up' by the former administration known as the BRAIN initiative, which began back in 2013.
"If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas... Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy... Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer's... Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race." - President Barack Obama, 2013 State of the Union (Office of the Press Secretary, 2013)
What the nuclear arms race did for us in the 20th century, the race for and against artificial intelligence will do for us in the 21st. All the aforementioned quotes were simply to point out one inescapable fact-that while we go to work, pay our bills, live our lives, and watch and wait for the Lord to return, the world is pressing full steam ahead to make artificial intelligence a reality. Simultaneously, there are those who recognize the potential threat AI could present and are racing with equal fervor to get that technology into the human brain so as to enhance man into the next phase of our "evolution." Mankind will not experience that AI "breakthrough" moment until man cracks the code on quantum computing, which will fundamentally revolutionize the way information is processed. Although we are close, there is still that almost supernatural barrier preventing mankind from fully capitalizing on it. In fact, we are very close:
Google announced a breakthrough in the field of quantum computing Wednesday. The company thinks it's found a quantum algorithm that solves problems 100 million times faster than conventional processes. If confirmed, this discovery could not only lead to iRobot-style artificial intelligence but also advance the US space program by light years. (Tarantola, 2015)
If there is any correlation between the nuclear arms race and the artificial intelligence race, it is that time between breakthroughs rapidly increases. Nine years before the Manhattan Project, a Jewish-Hungarian scientist named Leó Szilárd discovers the nuclear chain reaction. By 1939, the Nazi's began their German Nuclear Energy Project. From there, if you look at the natural progression and timing of events for the production of the first atomic bomb, the only constant is the frequency and intensity of the sequence of events. These are just the highlights!
1942: Manhattan Project begins
1945: First test of the nuclear (Atom) bomb near Alamogordo, New Mexico
1945: (August 6th and 9th)-Little Boy and Fat Man dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan
1949: Russians conduct first atomic test "First Lightning"
1952: US test first fusion bomb Ivy Mike
1952: British test first nuclear bomb
1953: Russians test first hydrogen bomb
1954: US test first deliverable thermonuclear weapon at Bikini Atoll, code named Castle Bravo
In just 12 years, we went from the concept phase to three nations have nuclear weapon capabilities. The next decade, an additional three nations develop nuclear weapons as well as the US and Russia creating increasingly more devastating forms of nuclear weaponry. The difference between the nuclear arms race and the current artificial intelligence race is that whoever successfully and operationally develops AI first (which is predicated on successfully integrating quantum computing into it) is the winner. When I mean winner, I mean that AI, either out of self-preservation or at the behest of its governmental representation, will by default take every other system offline so as not to be challenged by any other form of AI. Where a nuclear exchange between the US and USSR was viewed as a zero-sum game, the AI race will become a winner-takes-all scenario.
The first nation to bring AI online is the winner because that system can take over every other system out there. Anything connected to the World Wide Web, or is connected to a cyber interface, is fair game. For the purpose of this article, I'll just refer to this final system as The Beast. The Beast could take over other nations power grids (if they are connected online) and shut them all down in a matter of seconds. It could launch a nation's missiles against itself, or blow them in place. The Beast could take over ships, planes, defense systems, and economic systems offline in minutes. As connected to the internet as this world currently is, there really isn't anywhere or anything anyone can do in the industrialized nations but submit to its authority. That is why this race has so much riding on it. Hence, why nations are spending insane amounts of time, energy, and money trying to be the first.
While the ancient Greeks may have had a rudimentary understanding of "a god from a machine" (Deus ex machina), Satan most likely didn't. I believe he recognized the potential early on in its ability to solve, unsolvable problems. What he lacked was omniscience and that God's agenda was to send forth His Son (Jesus) to become God in the Flesh, die for mankind's sins, and then be raised from the dead on the third day. By doing this, Jesus was now able to build a universal body of believers known as the Church. He keeps them entirely by the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, who acts both as a teacher/mentor as well as a Guarantee, sealing us as a purchase of His until the Day of our Redemption-the Rapture. (2 Cor. 1:21-22, Ephesians 1:13-15, 4:5).
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Revelation 13:15-18
The irony of this Greek tragedy is that the supposed mechanism of man's deliverance becomes the ultimate instrument of his enslavement. While mankind races recklessly forward trying to correct a perceived disadvantage humans have against artificial intelligence, they are doing this by introducing the very same technology into the human body that the Beast will one day use to extend his dynamic control over every person who has it installed. This is what believers know to be "the mark of the beast." Given what Scripture says about this final man (the Antichrist), it is unlikely the United States wins this race (Dan. 9:26-27). This, along with the supernatural backing by the ruler of this planet (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 1 John 5:19), is how the final system comes to control over the entire world.
Even So, Maranatha!
DARPA. (2016, January 19). Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide. Retrieved from http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2015-01-19
Office of the Press Secretary. (2013, April 2). Fact Sheet: BRAIN Initiative. Retrieved from https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/02/fact-sheet-brain-initiative
Tarantola, A. (2015, September 12). Google: We have proof that our quantum computer really works. Retrieved from https://www.engadget.com/2015/12/09/google-we-have-proof-that-our-quantum-computer-really-works/
Winkler, R. (2017, March 27). Elon Musk Launches Neuralink to Connect Brains With Computers. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/elon-musk-launches-neuralink-to-connect-brains-with-computers-1490642652
Hamas Threatens Israel After Assassination Of Senior Terrorist - by Jack Tonhaben - http://www.breitbart.com
Hamas' prime minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh vowed "divine punishment" on Saturday for the assassins of so-called military wing operative Mazen Faqha last week, and said his group was preparing "radical measures" against Palestinians caught collaborating with Israel.
Haniyeh said, "These murderers and their dispatchers will not escape divine punishment, punishment by the people and punishment by the resistance organizations."
"Assassinations do not frighten us," he added, according to a report on Channel 2 news.
The terror group has accused Israel of killing Faqha on March 24. Faqha was a Hamas operative released as part of a prisoner exchange that secured the release of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit from Hamas captivity.
Faqha was shot dead by men using guns with silencers near his home in southwest Gaza City. According to the Palestinians, he was shot four times in the head.
Israel did not comment on his assassination.
Haniyeh pledged that "every hand that hurt the martyr Mazen ... will be cut off."
The Hamas Interior Ministry, meanwhile, said, "Vigorous steps will be taken against the agents and collaborators of Israel in coming hours and days."
Iyad al-Bozum, the Palestinian ministry's spokesperson, said the measures may include arrests, trials and even executions.
On the Sunday after the assassination, the terror group established roadblocks near the Erez Crossing with Israel. On Monday, the roadblocks were opened for people entering Gaza City but remained closed for Palestinians wishing to leave the coastal territory.
Hamas was reportedly looking for the assassins, believing they never left Gaza.
On Wednesday, the group posted a video showing Israeli politicians and military figures with cross hairs on their faces. The officials shown included Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and others.
Faqha, 38, was released after serving nine life sentences for his role in planning a terror attack in 2002 in which nine Israelis were killed and 52 were wounded.
Originally from a small village in the West Bank, Faqha was head of a Hamas office tasked with launching terror attacks against Israel. His subordinates specialized in recruiting suicide attackers, collecting weapons and preparing explosive devices. After his release in the Schalit prisoner exchange he was expelled to Gaza.
His father said last week that Israeli authorities had contacted him repeatedly, telling him to warn his son against taking part in terror activities or there would be consequences.
Sisi as key to Arab anti-ISIS pact with Israel - http://www.debka.com/article/25993/Sisi-as-key-to-Arab-anti-ISIS-pact-with-Israel
US President Donald Trump's first face to face with Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi at the White House Monday, April 3, focuses on four main topics, debkafile reports: The fight against Islamist State terror rampant in Egyptian Sinai and neighboring Libya; topping up US military assistance to Cairo, aid for easing Egypt's dire economic straits and, finally, the effort to bolster normal relations between the Arab world (including the Palestinians) and Israel.
From the moment he assumed the Egyptian presidency in June 2014, El-Sisi has waged a never-ending war on Islamist terror against Ansar Beit-al Maqdis, which later pledged alliance to the Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. The Egyptian army has so far been worsted. The Egyptian president is not deaf to the criticism of the Second and Third Armies' failure to overcome a few thousand armed men, even though they can at a moment's notice raise several thousand more fighters from the Bedouin tribes of Sinai. US intelligence has rated the Egyptian forces as slow-moving and unwieldy; but for limited forays, its contingents preferring to sit safely in their barracks rather than risk going out and pursuing the enemy across the Peninsula.
Shortly before President El-Sisi's trip to Washington, the Egyptian air force conducted intense bombardments of ISIS concentrations around the northern town of El Arish, killing at least 14 terrorists, nabbing 22 and seizing large caches of roadside bombs. But they too long delayed bearding the Islamists in their main stronghold atop Mount Jabal Hala in central Sinai. ISIS is therefore free to move around the territory and strike at will, the while expanding its operations into Egypt proper.
The weekend air strikes came after months in which ISIS overran sections of El Arish, Sinai's biggest town (pop: 100,000). Their grip is such that Egyptian forces no longer dared venture into those lawless neighborhoods, especially at night. Earlier this year, terrible persecution including executions forced the few thousand indigenous Christians, most of them Copts, to flee their homes in El Arish. Egyptian forces proved unequal to safeguarding the US-led international observer force (MFO) monitoring the 1972 Egyptian-Israel peace treaty at a nearby station.
American military aid to Egypt stands today at $1.3bn a year. Even though the US president means to slash foreign aid programs, he may make an exception in this case and expand military assistance -, possibly in the coin of advanced military hardeware, given the country's unending frontline battle against Islamist terror.
Its presence in El Arish, 130km from the Egyptian-Israeli border, plants the peril on the doorsteps of Egypt's neighbors as well: Northern Sinai borders on Israel, its northwestern district shares a border with the Gaza Strip, abutting in the east on Jordan and in the southwest on Libya. The cities of western Sinai sit on the banks of the Suez Canal.
The Islamic State's Sinai affiliate is closely allied with Salafi organizations in the Gaza Strip and works hand in glove with its Palestinian Hamas rulers, especially in the lucrative arms-smuggling business.
Al-Baghdadi last year posted a group of Iraqi officers in his service to the Sinai contingent. They travelled through southern Jordan to reach the peninsula. The Islamist cells in Libya have moreover made ISIS-held turf in Sinai their safe highway for traveling undetected to their other strongholds across the Middle East.
To stamp out this sprawling, multi-branched menace, the Trump administration needs to bring Egypt, Jordan and Israel into a coalition for a sustained, common campaign.
The Obama administration, which boycotted President El-Sisi for persecuting Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, tried unsuccessfully to build Turkey, Egypt and Israel into a counterterrorism pact. The Trump administration, for which the Brotherhood is anathema, has a better chance. But first, relations between the Arab world and Israel need to be placed on a regular footing. Some groundwork already exists in the informal bilateral military ties Egypt and Jordan maintain with Israel. debkafile's military sources have revealed in past reports the limited give-and-take relations for fighting terror Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi maintain with Israel.
The US President's advisers recognize that before a broad, effective front against ISIS and Al Qaeda can be put together from these partial, often covert ties, progress is necessary towards normalizing relations between the Arab governments and the Jewish state, including the Israeli-Palestinian track.
Trump will certainly want to hear what role his Egyptian guest is willing to take for bringing this process forward. He will ask his next Middle East visitor, Jordan's Abdullah II, the same question, when he arrives in Washington Tuesday. As for the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, he was promised an invitation to the White House this month, but not yet been given a date. He is clearly being left to wait until the senior players in the region have had their say. Our Washington sources report that President Trump aims to complete his plan for bringing together Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel on a new footing by September.
Israel Takes Baby Step Toward Rebuilding Temple? - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1130
With June marking the 50th anniversary of Israel's reunification of the capital city of Jerusalem along with the Temple Mount, the Israeli government is considering a proposal to create a new foundation responsible for providing "research, information and advocacy" about the Jewish connection to what many consider the holiest site in all of Judaism - the place where the Temple stood until A.D. 70.
The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation was proposed by Culture Minister Miri Regev and Environmental Protection and Jerusalem Minister Ze'ev Elkin, with an annual budget starting at $550,000. It will be based on the government-funded Western Wall Heritage Fund, which administers the site adjacent to the Temple Mount - believed to be the retaining wall for the 35-acre foundation upon which the Temple was built.
The project is getting high praise from Israel advocates for rebuilding the Temple.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a target of an assassination attempt in 2014 for his Temple advocacy, said he welcomed the plan for a Temple Mount Heritage Foundation and has personally lobbied for its creation.
"We need to state clearly: The Temple Mount is the foundation of the history of the Jewish people and of the return to the land since the beginning of Zionism," he said.
Temple Mount activism has become an increasingly prominent issue in the Israeli political debate, even as Arab Palestinians have sought to deny any connection between the site and the Jewish Temple - in some cases, aided by the United Nations.
The foundation proposal makes direct reference to the attacks on the historicity of the Temple Mount.
"In recent years the State of Israel has been facing a delegitimization campaign based on a distortion of facts regarding the history, tradition and culture of the Jewish people," reads the explanation of the proposal.
"One of the peaks of this trend took place recently with the October 2016 UNESCO decision to attempt to nullify the connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount. In light of this trend, the government of Israel sees itself as responsible to prevent this disinformation and distortion of historical truth."
The controversial UNESCO resolution used only Muslim names for the Jerusalem Old City holy sites and was harshly critical of Israel for what it termed "provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity" of the area.
Lawmakers from both the right and left of the Israeli political spectrum slammed the decision and accused the U.N.'s cultural arm of anti-Semitism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision "absurd," while President Reuven Rivlin called it an "embarrassment" for UNESCO.
Today the Temple Mount is administrated by Jordanian Islamic clerical authorities, despite its recapture by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Muslims, however, call it the Noble Sanctuary and believe it is the spot where their prophet, Muhammad, ascended to heaven. Some claim it as the third-holiest site in Islam that houses the Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock shrine.
Jews and Christians are discouraged by Israeli authorities from praying on the Temple Mount so as not to enflame tensions with Muslims.
Recently, Regev unveiled the logo to be used in the upcoming celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli authority. The emblem features an Israeli flag flying atop the Old City walls and the Temple Mount and is accompanied by the slogan: "50 years since the liberation of Jerusalem."
Regev said her insistence on using the word "liberation" and not "reunification" in the logo's design sought to counter efforts to distort the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. Regev also stressed that part of the image featured "an Israeli flag that has returned to fly above the old city walls, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount."
A Major Escalation - By Daymond Duck - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/04/02/a-major-escalation-by-daymond-duck/
Several people have told me that they have been expecting the battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39) for a long time, but it hasn't happened.
They have heard that it is shaping up again and again, but the war has never come.
It is not that they want war. It is that they thought that it would have happened by now and it hasn't.
Anyway, things may have changed recently. At least, that is what some are saying.
A civil war has been going in Syria since March 2011.
It is unquestionably the deadliest conflict in the 21st century. According to some monitoring groups 465,000 people have been killed.
In September 2015, Russia decided to get militarily involved in Syria's civil war.
Since Syria shares a border with Israel, many prophecy teachers thought this could be the beginning of greater effort that would lead to the battle of Gog and Magog.
When Iran and Turkey got involved it seemed like the Battle of Gog and Magog had to be close because these nations will join Russia in that great latter days war.
Israel's leaders are well aware of Ezekiel's prophecy. They have long believed it would soon happen. They have built weapons, launched satellites and drones, trained emergency workers and troops, and they have kept some of those troops near their border with Syria in preparation for that great event.
Israel's leaders have also been in touch with Russia's leaders to try to avoid an incident that would trigger that war and get a lot of people killed.
Israel's leaders have made it known that they are not interested in trouble with Russia, but Israel won't allow foreign troops to establish bases on their border with Syria, Israel will retaliate if rockets or missiles land in Israel, and Israel will attack shipments of weapons from Syria and Iran to the terrorist group called Hezbollah.
It seemed like that was enough and things were kind of drifting along until the middle of March 2017.
That is when Israel saw a lot of activity at a large Syrian base that was too close for comfort to Israel's border with Syria.
Russia was moving helicopters and troops to the base. Iran was landing plane loads of weapons and supplies at the base. Syria, Iran and Hezbollah were sending troops to the base.
And it seemed like Syria, Iran and Hezbollah were under the impression that Israel would leave their troops, weapons and supplies alone because of the presence of Russia's helicopters and troops.
But Israel's leaders had said they wouldn't tolerate that and they meant it. On March 17, 2017, they sent four Israeli jets to strike the troops, weapons and supplies at the base.
In an unusual move, the next day Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu took to the airwaves to send a message to everyone-but primarily to Russia, Iran, Lebanon and Syria: Israel does not want a war, but Israel means business. There will be no foreign troops and bases near her border with Syria.
Russia called in Israel's Ambassador to tell him that Russia will not tolerate any more Israeli attacks on bases where Russian forces are present.
On March 19, Israel struck again. They killed a Syrian commander, and destroyed a weapons convoy and several Syrian sites.
Some said this was an escalation of the conflict between Israel and her enemies. The Israeli Military Intelligence website called DebkaFile reported that "This raised the stakes for a potential IDF clash with Russian forces in Syria" (Israeli-Russian clash over Hizballah's Golan grab; March 20, 2017).
It definitely shows that Israel is not going to back off.
Is the battle of Gog and Magog close?
Israel doesn't want war, but Israel knows that war is coming and there has been a major escalation of hostilities there.
It definitely looks like the battle of Gog and Magog is close, but it will only happen when God puts a hook in Gog's jaw to drag him and his allies to their defeat.
He can do that anytime He wants or delay it as long as He wants.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Watchman Warning: Sanctuary Cities and Christ - By Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-4-1-2017/
For many, the question of sanctuary cities and a border wall have become a theological debate. Many professing Christians have become part of the open border movement. They cite scriptures like Leviticus 19:33. "When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong."
Recently on NBC's Meet the Press, California Governor Jerry Brown said that a border wall is not a "Christian thing." He said, "We are going to do the right, human and I would even say the Christian thing from my point of view. You don't treat human beings like that. That is not what - Trump's supposed to be Mr. Religious Fellow and I thought we had to treat the least of these as we would treat the Lord. So I hope he would reconnect with some of his conservative evangelicals and they'll tell him that these are human beings and they're children of God, they should be treated that way."
These arguments and others raise an interesting question. What does God think of borders?
Nehemiah was an Israeli captive in Babylon. He served as King Artaxerxes' cupbearer. By his time, some Israelis had returned to Jerusalem. But Nehemiah learned that things weren't going well.
He wrote, "Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, 'The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.'" (Nehemiah 1:2-3 NKJV)
Nehemiah was horrified by the news - the Jews in Judah are "in great distress," and "the wall of Jerusalem is broken down." He said, "So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven." (Nehemiah 1:4 NKJV)
That's a strong reaction. Nehemiah wept and mourned "for many days." He fasted, and cried out to God. Why was his reaction so extreme? Because he loved Jerusalem and his countrymen, and he knew what it meant for the walls to be down.
Borders represent a nation's sovereignty, and lawful authority. The strategic implications of fallen walls are severe. Without border control, the enemy comes and goes at his will. Fallen walls mean the enemy has reign. Broken walls equal defeat.
When I say that broken borders allow enemies to come and go as they please, I'm not talking about a race or nationality. I am talking gangs, drugs, and terrorists.
One-world utopians long for a planet where there are no borders. A world without borders goes hand in hand with their desire for a one-world government. But most Americans still believe that to abolish borders would introduce the world to a new level of lawlessness and terrorism.
It boils down to a question of law versus anarchy. Since anarchy rewards the ruthless, and destroys the vulnerable, you can be sure that God stands on the side of law. And, in this case, that means borders.
Of course, you can be for sanctuary cities without wanting to completely abolish borders. But to destroy or ignore the laws protecting borders, tends to amount to the same thing as erasing border lines from the map. Erase the lines and you erase the nation.
When God told Israel in Leviticus 19:33 to do no wrong to the "stranger (who) resides with you in your land," He didn't mean to ignore law where the stranger was concerned. And He didn't mean Israel should invite an invasion army into their land.
Deuteronomy 10:19 says, "Show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt." This idea is reflected several times in the Old Testament. Not to put too fine a point on this, but the Israelites were not in Egypt illegally. They were there at the specific invitation of Pharaoh.
None of that means we should be harsh or cruel to those who are here illegally. God remains merciful and kind. He wants Christians to reflect this - not by destroying the rule of law, but by treating every person with dignity and respect. God loves the "stranger" in your land just as much as He loves you.
I do believe that many of those crossing into the United States illegally have been wronged, but not by those who want an effective border. They were wronged by those who put out a welcome mat at that border. They were wronged when American politicians and activists encouraged impoverished people to see the United States as the answer, then gave them the impression that their journey would be safe, their legal violation minor, and their rewards enormous.
I applaud Christians who are making a special effort to minister to illegal aliens in the United States. Every church with the means and opportunity to do so, should reach out to these people with material and spiritual help.
But, while we must treat everyone with care and dignity, it is consistent with God's laws and His character to protect a nation using effective borders.
Daily Jot: Republic under threat - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Some recent headlines belie common sense. Women wearing hijabs as a symbol of feminism in the US when the hijab could be considered a symbol of oppression and domestic violence against women around the world; women protesting health rights when in reality they are demanding the right to kill their babies in the womb; protesters and rioters violently beating people, smashing cars, and burning buildings, saying they are protesting fascism; Cities fighting to give sanctuary to criminals because they are in America illegally; Democrats saying they have never heard so many lies about a President, but they are the ones telling the lies...we could go on. These are signs that our Republic is under attack.
Never before have I seen such vitriol directed at a President. We are witnessing history being made-and not in a good way. Since World War II, nearly every US President (I think Reagan was the exception) has supported a globalist worldview for America. From the Cold War to Vietnam to skirmishes along the way to the current threads of crisis in the Middle East, America has supported a worldview of spreading democracy as a way to achieve world peace. Opening up trade with China, Japan, Korea, and promoting trade with Russia and others was supposed to keep the peace while enriching not only business, but also ways of life. For nearly the last 100 years, this globalist vision has been set in place.
The globalist vision also has been established and institutionalized throughout the government. It is anchored in the State Department, the Defense Department, the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Education, and even in the Department of Justice. This globalist vision appears to be a stronghold in the CIA, the FBI, Homeland Security, and other secret intelligence gathering agencies such as the National Security Agency. The Democratic Party and much of the Republican Party have embraced globalism to the point of advocating an unspoken form of communism. Donald Trump's "America First" mantra has exposed just how deep the globalist socialist roots have become in our society and government.
The mere threat of populism-of rejecting and tearing down the construct of socialist globalism that has become so imbedded in America's governmental lexicon-has brought the fury of the puppeteers and their puppets against all things that disagree with the globalist agenda. Normal, common sense, God-fearing, hard working, family-oriented people who can see the folly of this system, are labeled racists, bigots, misogynists, and a whole bunch of phobias. In short, the Constitutional Republic is under threat. The American way of life is under attack. It is so close to being overthrown. We need to pray and act. Romans 13:12 says, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." As it is written, "now it is high time to awake out of sleep."
Daily Devotion: Bad Company - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Peter swore, "A curse on me if I'm lying-I don't know the man!" And immediately the rooster crowed. -Matthew 26:74
Peter's denial of Jesus did not happen over a period of seconds or minutes, but over a period of hours. An hour had passed from the time the first person said, "You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean," to the time Peter made his second denial. He had ample opportunity to hightail it out of there, but he remained in this situation. It just reminds us of the fact that no person is safe from temptation except the one who flees from it. Peter, having been warned by Jesus Himself, of all people, should have avoided any place where he could be weakened. He definitely should have steered clear of all roosters. I would have said, "Are there any roosters here? Because I'm leaving if there are. The Lord mentioned a rooster."
Great men and women of God have been compromised by lowering their standards and allowing themselves to be drawn into sin. People like Solomon. Samson. David. They all found out the hard way. Are we better than they were? Are we more spiritual than they were? I don't think so.
If someone like Simon Peter was capable of falling, then surely we are. First Corinthians 15:33 tells us, "Bad company corrupts good character." Peter was around people who were dragging him down spiritually. Are you in a similar situation today? Have you entered into relationships where people are dragging you down? Maybe it's a romance. Maybe it's a close friendship. Are you finding yourself compromising your principles to fit in and not offend anyone? Perhaps you need to reconsider who your friends are. Perhaps you need to make some immediate changes.
Is bad company corrupting you?
FROM THE HEART
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