A Come to Jesus Moment – Part II – Randy Nettles - https://www.rev310.net/post/a-come-to-jesus-moment-part-ii
The death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ occurred in AD 33. Fifty days after Jesus rose from the grave and ten days after He ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples, and the Church was born. Before His departure, Jesus had promised His disciples they would receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them. The last thing He told them before He was taken up was, “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
However, two years later (AD 35), the Church was still primarily concentrated in Jerusalem. The number of converts was proliferating, and the disciples were having problems keeping up with all their duties. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word” Acts 6:2-4).
The young Church agreed and chose seven men of good reputation (deacons) for food distribution duties. One of the seven good men was Stephen, described as a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. “ And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen” (Acts 6:8). It is believed these signs and wonders were a gift/fruit of the Holy Spirit; in particular, he had the power to heal people.
Stephen was the first non-apostle who could heal people. Up to this time, only Peter, John, or one of the other apostles could heal people by the power of the Holy Spirit. Stephen was very knowledgeable concerning the Hebrew scriptures of the Tanakh and was also a good preacher. In Acts 6:9, we see Stephen debating some religious Jews called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia) regarding Christianity and how Jesus fulfilled many of the prophet’s words concerning the Messiah.
These members of the Sanhedrin were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which Stephen spoke, so they set up false witnesses to testify against him. The witnesses said, “This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses delivered to us. And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel” (Acts 6:13-15). Incidentally (but probably not), as the witnesses mentioned Moses, Stephen’s face started shining like an angel (just as Moses’s face had shone after he had talked with God on Mt. Sinai).
The high priest then asked Stephen if the words of the witnesses against him were valid. Stephen gave an eloquent speech regarding Abraham and the patriarchs and their faith in the Lord God. He then reminded them of their ancestor’s time in Egypt and how they became enslaved people in Egypt until God raised up the first prophet/judge Moses. Moses repeated God’s word to Pharaoh to let his people go. After the ten plagues sent from God against Pharaoh and the Egyptians, Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.
The Hebrews spent forty years wandering in the desert in their quest to reach the Promised Land because of their rebelliousness towards God. Stephen told the Sanhedrin,, “This is He
who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel (The Angel of the Lord or Yahweh) who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us, whom our fathers would not obey but rejected. And in their hearts, they turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as is written in the book of the Prophets” (Acts 7:38-42).
Stephen then reminded them of the apostasy of the children of Israel when they had come unto the land and how they had abandoned the Lord God and worshipped idols and heathen gods. He gave a brief history of the children of Israel under the leadership of Joshua, the judges, David, and Solomon, and how Israel had always resisted the Holy Spirit. Stephen couldn’t hold back his anger against the religious Jews anymore and shouted at them, “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it” (Acts 7:51-53).
When the Jews heard these things, they were “cut to the heart” and gnashed at him with their teeth. Stephen had driven them to a maniacal (possibly demonic), murderous rage. “ But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:55-56).
The veil that separates the earth from heaven had been temporarily opened for Stephen to see Jesus standing at the right hand of God. This was Stephen’s come-to-Jesus moment (literally), and what a glorious moment it was! I’ll bet that Stephen’s face was shining brightly at this time.
After Stephen’s declaration, they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord. They cast him out of the city, stoned him as he called on God, and then he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” Immediately before his death, Stephen emulated the Lord Jesus by asking for forgiveness for their murderous sin. Before Jesus’ crucifixion, he had prayed to the Father and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. And they divided His garments and cast lots” (Luke 23:34).
I believe that before Stephen’s lifeless body hit the ground, his spirit/soul fell into the loving arms of the Lord Jesus in heaven. I can imagine Jesus telling him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”
Stephen was the first Christian martyr after Jesus’ death, but he certainly wouldn’t be the last, as both the Jews and Romans would persecute them in the following years and decades to come.
Before the stoning of Stephen, the Jews had laid down their clothes (tunics, coats) at the feet of a young man named Saul, who was consenting to Stephen’s death. Saul of Tarsus was a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin. He was trained as a Pharisee under a man named Gamaliel. The Bible describes Gamaliel as a doctor of the law and a distinguished member of the Jewish Council.
Gamaliel was an unexpected ally for Peter and the other Apostles. Once the Apostles were put in prison for miraculously healing people and attracting multitudes of new believers, the angel of the Lord opened their prison doors and brought them out. He instructed them to go to the temple and speak to the people regarding Jesus the Messiah. The high priest and the council were furious and intended to kill them. Gamaliel stood up and said, “Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nothing: but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it; lest haply you be found even to fight against God” (Acts 5:38-39).
While he may have saved their lives, Gamaliel’s real motive was to keep the Council from being divided over them and avoid arousing the Romans. Saul showed no such restraint in dealing with the new Christian disciples. Stephen was one of these early disciples. The Bible says Saul was consenting unto his death. There was a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem at that time. Because of this persecution, most disciples were scattered abroad throughout Judaea and Samaria. “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3).
Saul even went to the high priest and received letters to travel to Damascus in Syria to bring back Christians in chains to Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying unto him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’
“And Saul said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you persecute: it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.’ [The phrase means that Saul was only hurting himself in his actions because he was rebelling against God.] And he trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what will you have me do?’ And the Lord said unto him, ‘Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told you what you must do.’” (Acts 9:3-6).
This was Saul’s great “coming to Jesus” moment. Saul had just witnessed the Shekinah Glory of the Lord, which was so bright it blinded him (as in the transfiguration – “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” – Matthew 17:2). As I described a come-to-Jesus moment in part I, this is a metaphor for a transformative moment or meeting – like a wake-up call, seeing the light, or an attitude adjustment. All of these metaphors describe Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus, especially “seeing the light.” You might say it was the light of the truth, “for Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). This was the start of Saul’s conversion to Christianity and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Like many come-to-Jesus moments, it can often result from a traumatic experience.
“And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink” (Acts 9:7-9).
The Lord spoke by way of a vision to a disciple by the name of Ananias and told him where he was to find Saul of Tarsus. Ananias was quite concerned because Saul’s reputation as a persecutor of Christians preceded him. “But the Lord said unto him, Go your way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:15).
Ananias did as the Lord commanded. He found Saul and relayed this message: “Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto you in the way as you came, has sent me, that you might receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:17). “And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized” (Acts 9:18).
Saul began preaching in the synagogues at Damascus that Jesus is the Son of God. Those who heard him were amazed that this was the same man persecuting the disciples in Jerusalem. The religious Jews in Damascus were so infuriated that they made plans to kill Saul, but he discovered their plot and escaped. Saul left Damascus and traveled to Arabia, where he lived for three years.
As a result of this miraculous transformation, Saul became known as Paul (his Greek name). Paul spent time in Arabia, Damascus, Jerusalem, Syria, and his native Cilicia, and Barnabas enlisted his help to teach those in the church in Antioch (Acts 11:25). Ironically, the Christians driven out of Palestine by Saul of Tarsus founded this multiracial church (Acts 11:19-21).
Eventually, Paul became known as “the apostle to the Gentiles” as he (and Barnabus) traveled throughout the Middle East and even to Rome, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ironically (or not), Paul wrote, “For so the Lord has commanded us: I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 14:37). Along the way, Paul duplicated many of Jesus’ miracles, including healings, freeing people of demon possession, and even raising the dead. He did this in Jesus’ name and by the power of the Holy Spirit (and not by the Law).
Paul wrote many of the New Testament books. Most theologians agree that he wrote Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philemon, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus. These 13 “letters” (books) make up the “Pauline Authorship (Epistles)” and are the primary source of his theology. Some scholars believe he also wrote Hebrews.
The book of Acts gives us a historical look at Paul’s life and times. Paul spent his life proclaiming the risen Christ Jesus throughout the Roman world, often at great personal peril (2 Corinthians 11:24-27). Paul became the greatest missionary, evangelist, and author the world has ever known. It is assumed that Paul died a martyr’s death in the mid-to-late 60s A.D. in Rome.
Saul/Paul started in life as a success in the eyes of the world. He was a devoutly religious Jew (a Pharisee), a scholar, and a Roman citizen. But in the eyes of the Lord, he was an utter failure in spiritual matters. He was merely a religious zealot…killing and imprisoning Jesus’ followers/believers because they did not conform to his interpretation of the law of Moses.
It took an act of God for Paul to understand His truth and to do His will. And what is the will of God? “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in Him may have everlasting life: and I will raise him at the last day” (John 6:40). Saul certainly saw the Son on the road to Damascus long ago, and his come-to-Jesus moment changed himself and the entire world.
Sometimes it takes a hard and painful lesson to be learned before one can come to Jesus spiritually. It could even be the “last call” before Jesus gives you over to a reprobate mind. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:28). Don’t miss your last call to come to Jesus. Do so now, for we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
“Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:13-14).
Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Nearing Midnight: Antichrist Spirit and Women – Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Today’s commentary is written in somewhat of a circumspect way. That is, it is offered with the cautionary note that the meaning I have a question about within the Scripture I will in due course reflect upon could be off the mark. Still, I believe that there is good evidence–swiftly growing evidence—that the perspective offered here likely has at least a due amount of, if not validity, at least a degree of credibility.
Looking from the vantage of my soon to be eighty years on the planet, the changes we’ve witnessed in our culture have been amazing. But from the year of my birth, 1942, until 1963 or so, the transition was relatively without societal disruption.
We had the constant fears associated with nuclear threat during the Cold War. There was the integration/segregation upheaval in 1957 and forward. But, again for the most part, it was a smoothly humming along culture and society in America.
Then, from 1963 onward, the American experience lurched from crisis to crisis, from protest to rioting. Then came the beginning of the development of national schizophrenia. And you and I have witnessed a volcanic eruption of upside-down cultural and societal thinking and behavior leading to this very moment.
Think of it…those of the leftist ideology go into an insane rage, shouting that the constitutional right to own guns must be destroyed for the children’s sake–so the children’s health and right to live is no longer threatened. Those of the same leftist ideology champion wholeheartedly the murder of 2,700 babies per day through abortion.
They say that people can be whatever sex they want to be–rather than how they come into the world gender-wise. They have inculcated even the youngest among us to think this way. If parents object to schools having this insane curriculum, the FBI of our nation gets involved—not to grab the culprits who are teaching our kids this madness, but to threaten the objecting parents as being domestic terrorists.
We have transvestites telling stories to kindergartners, seducing the little ones with stories of how alternate lifestyles are preferable over what was formerly the norm.
They give awards and trophies to men who compete against women in women’s sports and beat their women opponents by a mile, setting records in the women’s sports.
They are more and more saying adults can have sexual relations with children—that this is more natural than adults refraining from such activity.
They declare that men can have babies–that is, they can birth babies from their own bodies, the same as women give birth to babies.
And this is where I jump off into speculative prophecy that might or might not be on the mark. To me, the postulation, as I said, has, if not validity, at least credibility.
America and the world have gone insane–and just in the past decade or less, it has seemed to have made the leap into absolute depravity. We are now under the last-days oppression of the spirit of Antichrist. Of this, there is no doubt. This isn’t speculation. This is observable to any believer in Jesus Christ who seeks true discernment. We are seeing the way paved for that “man of sin, the son of perdition” to step onto the stage of history.
I believe we can discern this ever-increasing influence and imposition of the Antichrist spirit, in part, by considering the latest war on women.
That war, sparked and fueled by the Antichrist spirit, began, I believe, in those 1960s I mentioned earlier. The feminist movement, while purporting to be to win women greater standing and respect, instead inflicted upon the gender degradation and decline.
And now we see an intensification of the war taking place. I present the following as evidence.
These changes are just the latest example of the ongoing colonization of British healthcare by the transgender movement.
It has been a truly weird experience to watch women being pushed, inch by inch, out of spaces once reserved for them as the transgender movement advances through the culture. In order to ensure that men claiming to be women feel at home in their farcical appropriated womanhood, an entire dictionary of terminology has sprung up to replace the word “woman” and any other word that might indicate that women are … well, women. Thus, we now have “birthing persons.” “Pregnant people.” Women are “menstruators.”
Feminists have been forced to watch their erasure with some measure of horror — but if they protest, they are told they are TERFs (Trans-Exclusionary-Radical-Feminists, which means feminists who do not consider biological men in dresses to be their sisters) and shouted down — sometimes with violence, almost always with ugly threats.
And so it continues. In the UK, where gender ideology spread faster than Covid, the official advice on the websites of the National Health Service (NHS) have begun to excise the word “women” wherever it can be found. According to reportage by the Daily Mail, it is now “missing from the landing pages of three sections explaining cancers only found in biological women.” Information concerning ovarian, womb, and cervix cancers have been disassociated with “women” — despite the fact that only women suffer from these cancers…
These changes are just the latest example of the ongoing colonization of the NHS by the transgender movement—recently, NHS hospitals have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on gender neutral bathrooms, and midwifery students as Edinburgh Napier “were being taught biological men could get pregnant and trans men could give birth even if they have a penis … In a coursebook that has since been revised, trainee midwives were given detailed instructions on how to treat a male-to-female trans person during childbirth.
That’s impossible, of course, just as it is impossible for a man to give birth or contract cervical cancer. But none of that matters — only the feelings of trans activists matter now. (“UK healthcare system removes the word ‘woman’ from webpages about womb and ovarian cancer,” Jonathon Van Maronm, LifeSite News, April 26, 2022)
And here is my prophetic pondering on the matter of the war on women that is obviously ratcheting up at this time so near Antichrist’s coming on the scene.
I’ve always wondered over what is meant in the following Scripture, with regard to the reference to women.
Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. (Daniel 11: 37)
It is obvious that there is an attack on the God-created matter of gender (“male and female, He created them”–Genesis 1:27). Particularly, we have witnessed an assault on the importance of the female gender. My intellectual curiosity, and even more my spiritual intuition, leads me to ask whether this reference to women by the prophet Daniel (that Antichrist has no desire for women) is perhaps, in part, wrapped up in the war on women we are experiencing in these closing days of the age.
In God’s holy eyes, men and women have equal standing. Each has a divine purpose. Heaven is, and will be in the future, populated by men and women who are absolutely magnificent in every respect. (I have personally seen them, but won’t go into that again here.)
To be part of that glorious place Jesus has prepared for all who are prophetically destined to live there for eternity, in magnificent, new, perfect bodies, here is the only requirement:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)
How many Pentecosts, or Shavuots, do we have left? - By Joseph Farah - https://www.wnd.com/2022/06/many-pentecosts-shavuots-left/
Christians call it Pentecost.
Hebrews call it Shavuot.
What's the difference?
Maybe it's the one Holy Day, or feast day, proclaimed by God for which Christians and Jews agreed on the date this year, June 5, even though they don't have a clue about why.
Mysterious? You bet.
Confusing? And how.
It's also called the Feast of Weeks, if that makes it more complicated.
For many Christians, you've been told by your pastors that Pentecost was the day the "church" was born. That is incorrect. They are just plain wrong. There were no Christians involved on the day of the momentous events that took place on the day of Pentecost when 3,000 people were radically changed by the power of God, as told in the book of Acts.
The fact is that Pentecost was just the translation, in Greek, of Shavuot. Pentecost means 50 days, the counting of the omer from the date of Passover, and Shavuot, the original Hebrew, means seven weeks plus one day to determine the same Holy Day of the Bible.
They were all Jews no matter the language. They were gathered at the Temple in Jerusalem for the feast, which had been observed since Moses' time. But the events occurred a short time after the recently resurrected Jesus-Yeshua had met with hundreds of messianic Jews and the Apostles.
They were about to have an encounter with the Holy Ghost a few days later, the Messiah promised. They knew of the spirit from the Tanach, the Hebrew Scriptures. They had not yet experienced the power. But they recalled David and the prophets had.
In Acts 1:6, the Apostle were still full of questions. The last one they had before Jesus departed the last time from the Mount of Olives was "wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"
The last thing He told them were these words: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:7-8)
And he was taken up through the air with the Apostles watching, along with two angels.
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven," the angels told them.
They retreated to an upper room – Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, the son of Alphaeus, Simon Zelotes, Judas the brother of James and Mary the mother of Jesus.
Acts 2 begins: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." (Acts 2:1-5)
There were men from many nations and disparate languages – Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Crete, Arabia – even Rome.
They all heard in their own language.
Peter prophesied from the book of Joel the end times. He spoke of David, the great king of Israel who knew the spirit. And he spoke boldly.
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." (Acts 2:22-25)
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." (Acts 2:38-40)
This was not 3,000 Gentiles who had to repent – they were Jews, believing Jews, who had to forsake their sinful, wicked generation for not embracing their life-affirming, sin-forgiving Messiah.
The word "church" was not even known to them until hundreds of years later. History, which is only about 6,000 years old today, has played tricks on us. Most Christians don't believe in sin today. But that's what Jesus came to die for. And all of the apostles died forsaking sin – but some of us have forgotten it. Sin is the transgression of the law.
And these days, in these times, are growing more evil than imaginable. These are truly the end times.
You should expect, after one of these future Pentecosts, or Shavuots, or another of His holy days, one more great call of humanity. There may be just one determined, forceful demand – or cry. Jesus is coming back soon. He's going to expect you know what sin is – at the very least. It may be too late for you to repent. God has been patiently pleading with us to heed Him. He hasn't changed. He still believes what he always believed. If you're not sure about it, He says His commandments lead to LIFE – following them all and sincerely repenting when you don't.
We have the Bible for a reason. Do you give it another thought? You may not have another chance.
If you are not living for God – entirely, know that is what he demands. You may not think so. You may believe you're being a "good person" – but not if you are sinning and not repenting.
I wish I could say there are many calls to come.
The truth is, we are squandering them.
Do you see the signs all around us? Do you see any that disturb you? Do they remind you of the days of Noah? They will worsen, a little. Be prepared for the truth. How many but a small remnant will be saved from the fire that is coming. I want you to hear this call and respond. It's a matter of LIFE OR DEATH!
Russian and Chinese Nuclear Threats Put America on Notice – Judith Bergman - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=5406
Russia's war on Ukraine has brought renewed attention to Russia's nuclear arsenal and the risk of nuclear war, especially after Russian President Vladimir Putin placed his country's nuclear forces on high alert shortly after invading Ukraine on February 24.
Close to half of Americans are very concerned that Russia would directly target the U.S. with nuclear weapons, and an additional 3 in 10 are somewhat concerned about that, according to a recent poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Russia has the world's largest arsenal of nuclear weapons -- 6,255 warheads, compared to the United States' 5550 warheads -- according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 2021 yearbook. Russia has also been modernizing its huge nuclear arsenal for at least two decades, a process likely to conclude this decade.
Russia has not only been modernizing its nuclear triad; it has also been developing new types of nuclear systems. These include the Sarmat, the world's largest and heaviest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which can deliver up to ten nuclear warheads in the United States or Europe, and the Burevestnik, a nuclear-powered cruise missile designed to have "unlimited range" and dubbed "the flying Chernobyl," so called because of its nuclear reactor.
The new nuclear systems also include the Poseidon nuclear-powered autonomous (unmanned) underwater vehicle, and the Kinzhal, a hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile that can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and is designed to be launched from MiG-31 fighter jets. Russia said that it fired the Kinzhal in two attacks on Ukraine in March.
The Poseidon has a range of up to 10,000 kilometers, can be deployed on submarines, and be armed with either nuclear or conventional payloads. One report states:
"Russia could release the drone from its submarine off the U.S. coast and detonate it in a way that would 'generate a radioactive tsunami' that could destroy cities and other infrastructure along the U.S. coast."
Russian television recently featured Dmitry Kiselyov, described as Russian President Vladimir Putin's "mouthpiece", saying that Britain could be plunged "to the depths of the sea using Russia's unmanned underwater vehicle Poseidon. Such a barrage alone carries extreme doses of radiation."
An April 21 report by the Congressional Research Service states:
"In December 2020, Russia's President Vladimir Putin reported that about 86% of Russia's strategic nuclear force was made up of modern weapons, a number he expected to rise to 88% in 2021... Russia is modernizing its ICBM force, replacing the last missiles remaining from the Soviet era with new single warhead and multiple warhead missiles. According to U.S. estimates, Russia is likely to complete this modernization around 2022."
As part of its nuclear arsenal, Russia has nearly 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons, also known as non-strategic nuclear weapons. Tactical nuclear weapons are designed to be used on a battlefield, as opposed to strategic nuclear weapons, which are designed to be used against enemy cities, factories, and other larger-area targets to damage the enemy's ability to wage war.
By comparison, the US only has a few hundred tactical nuclear weapons. America's new Nuclear-Armed Sea-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM-N) would be another such tactical nuclear weapon -- more about that below -- but the Biden administration has decided to cancel it.
"Russia is adding new military capabilities to its existing stockpile of nonstrategic nuclear weapons, including those employable by ships, aircraft, and ground forces," Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) noted in 2019.
"These nuclear warheads include theater- and tactical-range systems that Russia relies on to deter and defeat NATO or China in a conflict. Russia's stockpile of non-strategic nuclear weapons [is] already large and diverse and is being modernized with an eye towards greater accuracy, longer ranges, and lower yields to suit their potential warfighting role.
We assess Russia to have dozens of these systems already deployed or in development. They include, but are not limited to: short- and close-range ballistic missiles, ground-launched cruise missiles, including the 9M729 missile, which the U.S. Government determined violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces or INF Treaty, as well as anti-ship and antisubmarine missiles, torpedoes, and depth charges."
Russia's stockpile of tactical nuclear warheads, according to Ashley, "is likely to grow significantly over the next decade."
Russia, of course, is not the only nuclear threat to the United States. China has accelerated its nuclear buildup to the extent that Admiral Charles Richard, Commander of U.S. Strategic Command told the Senate Armed Services Committee last April:
"For the first time in our history, the nation is on a trajectory to face two nuclear-capable, strategic peer adversaries at the same time, who must be deterred differently. We can no longer assume the risk of strategic deterrence failure in conflict will always remain low."
The US, on the other hand, is in several respects still at the beginning of its nuclear modernization. According to SIPRI:
"US offensive strategic nuclear forces include heavy bomber aircraft, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and SSBNs. These forces, together known as the triad, changed little during 2020. SIPRI estimates that a total of 3570 nuclear warheads are assigned to the triad, of which an estimated 1700 warheads are deployed on missiles and at bomber bases."
When it comes to the land-based ICBMs, a vital part of US nuclear deterrence, "As of January 2021, the USA deployed 400 Minuteman III ICBMs in 450 silos across three missile wings," according to SIPRI.
"The 50 empty silos are kept in a state of readiness and can be reloaded with stored missiles if necessary. Each Minuteman III ICBM is armed with one warhead... SIPRI estimates that there are 800 warheads assigned to the ICBM force, of which 400 are deployed on the missiles."
The Minuteman III ICBMs are badly in need of modernization -- they were built in the 1970s and were originally intended to last for just 10 years. The development of a next-generation ICBM, known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) has been decided, but the process has proven slow and the Air Force only expects the GBSD to begin replacing Minuteman III in 2029. According to General John Hyten, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the GBSD system will not achieve initial operational capability until 2030, or full operational capability until 2035.
"There's no margin left," Air Force Global Strike Command chief General Timothy M. Ray said last June. "We're just going to run out of time"
"It's going to take us 10 to 15 years to modernize 400 [intercontinental ballistic missile] silos that already exist," Hyten said in September 2021 about the GBSD program. "China is basically building almost that many overnight."
The Minuteman III has grave structural problems stemming from the fact that "the missile itself is 51 years old," but the launch capsules and other support facilities are "58 years old," according to Col. Erik Quigley, director of the Minuteman III systems directorate. The "brine Chiller lines", which cool the ICBM launch facility, for instance, are "severely corroded at all 400-plus sites," according to Quigley.
"But guess what? We don't attack that problem when we go do programmed depot maintenance out in the field. We just wait for them to break. And when they break, a missile site goes off alert, which is a huge problem."
The missiles, when inoperable, cannot be used.
The US normally tests the Minuteman III ICBMs four times a year. But in March, the Pentagon postponed a pre-scheduled test of a Minuteman III ICBM, for fear of provoking Russia in the midst of the Ukraine war. According Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby:
"In an effort to demonstrate that we have no intention of engaging in any actions that can be misunderstood or misconstrued, the secretary of defense has directed that our Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test launch scheduled for this week to be postponed. We did not take this decision lightly, but instead to demonstrate that we are a responsible nuclear power."
Admiral Charles Richard, Commander of U-S. Strategic Command recommended "that we maintain our normal set of operations," emphasizing that he needs the tests to "maintain confidence and reliability" in the Minuteman III, which faces growing reliability concerns as it ages and breaks down. Russia, however, could also interpret the postponement decision as weakness in the face of repeated Russian threats.
In the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, the Trump administration decided that a new Nuclear-Armed Sea-Launched Cruise Missile (known as the SLCM-N), a tactical nuclear weapon, needed to be added to the US nuclear arsenal to provide the US with "a needed non-strategic regional presence" that would address "the increasing need for flexible and low-yield options."
The missile was expected to begin development in 2022 and achieve operational capability in the late 2020s. The Biden administration, however, removed it from the FY2023 budget, while several generals have disagreed with that decision, arguing that it is needed against Russia and China.
"The current situation in Ukraine and China's nuclear trajectory convinces me a deterrence and assurance gap exists," Admiral Charles Richard wrote in a letter to lawmakers in April.
"To address this gap, a low-yield, non-ballistic capability to deter and respond without visible generation is necessary to provide a persistent, survivable, regional capability to deter adversaries, assure allies, provide flexible options, as well as complement existing capabilities."
Removing the SLCM-N from the nuclear arsenal also signals weakness. The Wall Street Journal wrote in an April editorial:
"The Trump Administration proposed the SLCM-N in 2018. Message to Mr. Putin: If you drop a nuke on NATO soil, the alliance has the will and ability to respond in kind. This reduces the risk Mr. Putin will use a nuke.... The Trump Administration said the U.S. might reconsider the SLCM-N if 'Russia returns to compliance with its arms control obligations, reduces its non-strategic nuclear arsenal, and corrects its other destabilizing behaviors.' How's that working out? Now Mr. Biden is surrendering this leverage--probably to placate progressives who are opposed to nuclear weapons as an article of faith."
Daily Jot: The Great Reset Part 2 COVID – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Yesterday’s Daily Jot closed with a clue as to how the Great Reset’s Stakeholder Capitalism, works. The narrative is to convince people that corporations, government and civic organizations can partner to make a fair, equitable and sustainable economy where everyone benefits. The clue was that corporations become so entwined in your life that they partner with the government to bypass voters and the US Constitution, trampling your rights to free speech and religious expression. At the same time, they make exorbitant profits without concern for any so-called “stakeholder,” except their own pocketbooks. Today we will examine how The Great Reset used COVID to demonstrate “stakeholder capitalism.”
On October 15, 2019, two months before the COVID outbreak was reported in China, WEF announced Event 201, a partnership with Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to simulate a response to a worldwide COVID pandemic. The simulation included worldwide lockdowns, biometric surveillance technologies, collapse of businesses, censoring “misinformation,” mass unemployment, and civil unrest. Among notable participants were representatives from Marriott International, the UN, World Bank, Chinese Center for Disease Control, Advisor to CIA and NSA, Lufthansa Airlines, US CDC, Johnson and Johnson, UPS, and NBCUniversal Media. Johns Hopkins stated: “For the scenario, we modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction.” Note that the Chinese CDC and the US CDC were involved in this simulation two months before the COVID outbreak was made public.
As recalled by Michael Rectenwald, Chief Academic Officer for American Scholars, at Hillsdale College on November 7, 2021, the Great Reset was officially announced in June 2020 at WEF’s 50th annual meeting in conjunction with Klaus Schwab’s book “COVID-19: The Great Reset.” Rectenwald says, “The book declared that COVID represents an “opportunity [that] can be seized”; that “we should take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to reimagine our world”; that “the moment must be seized to take advantage of this unique window of opportunity”; and that “[f]or those fortunate enough to find themselves in industries ‘naturally’ resilient to the pandemic”—think here of Big Tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon—“the crisis was not only more bearable, but even a source of profitable opportunities at a time of distress for the majority.””
Indeed, WEF’s members profited greatly from COVID, including all the major vaccine manufacturers, the aforementioned big tech companies, and many others. So much so that WEF wrote a story on its website bemoaning that “the world’s billionaires got significantly wealthier as the pandemic spread.” The article didn’t mention that its membership failed to hold accountability to the esoteric goals of WEF’s more fair, equitable and sustainable economy where everyone benefits, but instead called for a global “progressive wealth tax” to fund “a pandemic recovery.” Jeremiah 22:13 says, “Woe unto him that builds his house by unrighteousness.” And this is what is happening in this new WEF-instigated world order. In Part 3, the Daily Jot will explore how WEF’s engineered COVID response actually did reset the world at your expense.
Daily Devotion: A Hope-Filled Destination - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. —Romans 8:1
Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, because it gives us the answer to depression about the past, present, and future.
It tells us there is no condemnation for our past, because verse 1 says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). When we sin (and we all sin), the Devil will condemn us. And then we join in that condemnation and condemn ourselves.
Yet what does the Bible say? First John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NKJV).
So, if God tells us that He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, then we should accept that in our lives and believe that He has forgiven us.
Romans 8 also tells us there is no separation from God in the future. Paul wrote, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (verse 38 NLT).
Isn’t that a great promise? God will never stop loving us.
Lastly, Romans 8 assures us that all things in the present are working together for our good: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (verse 28 NLT).
So as Christians, we can be assured there is no condemnation for the past and no separation from God in the future. And whatever we’re going through God can ultimately work together for good. Romans 8 is a hope-filled destination, and it’s where we discover how to live this Spirit–filled life.
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