Revelation 17: Babylon revealed – a warning for today - By Mark Creech - https://www.christianpost.com/voices/revelation-17-babylon-revealed-a-warning-for-today.html
There’s a small diner downtown where I live. They make the best hot dogs. I bellied up to the bar in front of the grill, waiting for my order while the short-order cook slaved away. A gentile elderly lady arrived and sat on the stool next to me. She ordered the lunch special. She was friendly and initiated conversation, asking me what line of work I was in. I responded that I was a minister, a preacher. With a facial expression somewhat averse, she said, “Oh my, I’m not a religious person. I believe religion is to blame for most of the wars and conflicts in the world. Don’t you agree?” “Well, I believe it certainly contributed to its fair share, but true religion, Christianity,” I said, “has been responsible for every major advancement of humanity.” At that point, someone she apparently knew greeted her and interrupted us. We never got to finish the conversation.
What I said to her, however, is true.
In their book, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born, the late Dr. D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcomb provide a historical overview of the extraordinary positive contributions Christianity has made through the centuries. They cite the impact it’s had on the value of human life, helping the poor, education, the founding of America, civil liberties, science, economics, health and medicine, morality, arts, and music.
Nevertheless, as Kennedy and Newcomb note, “Despite all the good the Church has done and continues to do, we’re reminded ad nauseum about the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the witch hunts — as if they are the sum total of the Christian record in history.”
To explain the excesses of un-Christian acts like the Crusades, the authors go on to “underscore the necessity of distinguishing between Christendom and Christianity.” They write:
“Christianity is comprised of those who have repented of their sins and truly believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. In times past Christendom was comprised of those people living in ‘Christian’ territories. Today, Christendom is comprised of true Christians and those professing Christians who have never experienced the saving grace of Christ. Many members of Christendom have lived lives that were totally unworthy of the name Christian.
“When people are unregenerate — that is if their hearts are not changed by Christ — they are prone to do all sorts of ungodly and inhuman things. It doesn’t matter whether they are atheistic Communists or clerics of the Church. And in the case of unregenerate Church leaders, their evil actions have brought the blame upon Christianity.
“There is a Church visible (Christendom) and there is a Church invisible (true Christianity). The church building in which we worship is part of the visible church of Christ. It may be seen by any passerby or any person who would come to look at it. Its membership consists of all who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. However, the Bible points out that the visible Church is not the real Church of Christ. The real Church of Christ is invisible, and it consists of all who truly belong to God as His elect — all those who will ever be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Judas Iscariot was a member of the visible Church of Christ, but not the invisible.”
In Jesus’ parable of The Wheat and Tares (Matthew 13:24-30), a farmer sows good seed into his field, but an enemy secretly sows tares among them. Both sprout and exist together, but at harvest time the farmer instructs his workers to first gather the tares and burn them, and then collect the wheat for storage. This symbolizes the final separation of the righteous (wheat) from the wicked (tares) at the end of the age. This teaches that in the Church there exist alongside each other those who genuinely believe and those who for various reasons have never truly been transformed by the grace of God.
The Lord knows who the real Christians and the non-real professing Christians are. Nevertheless, one thing is absolutely certain, it is the professors of faith and not the possessors of faith who have typically disgraced the Church. This is not to say that true Christians never have. Sometimes genuine Christians can be on the wrong side of an issue and grossly sin. Still, this is not characteristic of them throughout the centuries. It’s been just the opposite.
As Kennedy and Newcomb put it, Christendom produced the injustice; true Christianity helped bring about the change. For instance:
“Christendom produced the terrible witch hunts. Christianity produced Frederich von Spree, who risked jail for speaking out against it in Europe, and Rev. Increase Mather, who ended it in Salem, Massachusetts.
“Members of Christendom, along with corrupt Muslims in North Africa, initiated the slave trade to the New World. Christianity produced William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect that fought successfully to abolish the slave trade and President Abraham Lincoln, who helped end the practice of slavery in the United States.
“Christendom produced the Spanish Conquistadors, who decimated thousands in the New World. Christianity produced Bartholomew de las Casas, the Jesuit priest who spoke forcefully for the rights of the Indians.
“Christendom produced the colonization of the Third World, which sometimes involved oppression and exploitation. Christianity produced William Carey, Adoniram Judson, and David Livingstone, who did so much good to elevate these people from darkness.
“Within Christendom was produced the slums and inhumane treatment of child laborers of 19th century England. Christianity produced Lord Shaftesbury who worked tirelessly to improve their lot and to protect children through child labor laws.
“And on it goes, even to our own day. Many bad things are produced within the domain of the visible Church, but Christ can counterbalance these sins by working in the lives of even a faithful few.”
This is so important to understand as Revelation chapter 17 is opened.
Chapter 16 spoke of God’s seven bowls of wrath, and at the outpouring of the last bowl, one might expect the next event chronologically to be Christ’s return. However, in chapter 17, the scene cuts back to Babylon to provide indispensable information and context about its judgment. This pause and look backward is essential for understanding the broader narrative of Revelation and the ultimate defeat of evil forces before Christ’s return.
Let’s look at the first six verses of Revelation chapter 17, which read:
“One of the seven angels who had poured out the seven bowls came over and spoke to me. ‘Come with me,’ he said, ‘and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters. 2 The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality.’
‘So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it. 4 The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand, she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality. 5 A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.” 6 I could see that she was drunk — drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement.”
As previously discussed in Revelation chapter 14, some scholars interpret Babylon to be Rome, because of its political dominance over many nations, its luxury and riches, and its ruthless persecution of Christians. Other scholars see Babylon as apostate Jerusalem, which not only crucified the Savior but victimized and martyred Christ’s followers. Still, others understand Babylon as the literal rebuilt city of Babylon, which will become the headquarters for a powerful and corrupt religious and political system, aligning with the characteristics described in Revelation 17.
The view which seems to have the most merit though, is that Babylon is a symbol of all the false religious systems wed with political ones throughout history. Whatever Babylon is in the final days, it is the apex of a values system that dictates both politics and religion, merged into a federation of world unity. This system opposes God and directs people away from true religion, true Christianity, and genuine faith in Christ, which leads to a transformed life and distinctive living by the teachings of the Word of God.
To understand the Babylon of Revelation, one has to first know about the historical city of Babylon as described in the Old Testament. Babylon became a magnificent and influential city in Mesopotamia, located in present-day Iraq. It was known for its advanced civilization, impressive architecture, its legendary Hanging Gardens, and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
In the Bible, Babylon is representative of a rebellious and idolatrous mindset that opposes God’s authority and seeks self-exaltation. It embodies worldly values, materialism, pride, and opposition to divine truth, making it a symbol of spiritual and moral corruption.
The first Babylon was the city of Babel and was established by a mighty king whose name was Nimrod. The late Dr. M.R. DeHaan, formerly the teacher of the nationally broadcast Radio Bible Class, provides a basic explanation of Babel, the first Baylon’s connection to the one in Revelation:
“In Genesis 10 and 11 we have a detailed record of the rise of that political-religious system known to Bible students as Babylon. We are told that after the Flood the descendants of Noah, forgetting the lesson they should have learned, turned from God and moved to a region to the north of Palestine in the vicinity of the original Garden of Eden. It was called the land of Shinar and was in the region of the Euphrates River, one of the three principal rivers of the Garden of Eden.
“A certain man, Nimrod by name, seems to have been the leader of this great movement, and supported by a great company of followers, he began the building of a city which was to become one of the seven great wonders of the world…
“Then we are told that all the world was at that time of one speech. Men sought a federation of power that would make them secure in the earth for they said:
“‘Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth’ (Genesis 11:4).
“Here is the picture. Satan, in seeking to oppose the plan of God for a Kingdom and a Church, attempted to establish a kingdom and a church of his own. Nimrod was the first who attempted such a program on a grand scale. The name Nimrod means ‘rebel.’ He sought a world federation of religions centered at the Tower of Babel…The word ‘Babel’ means literally ‘the gate of God.’ That is what man called it. It was a denial of God’s way to heaven. The Lord had clearly revealed his way in Genesis 3:21 when he slew an animal, shed its blood, and used the skins to clothe the first sinners.
“God thus indicated the way of salvation. Man must be saved through the shedding of the blood of an innocent substitute and by the death of another, but the Babylonians denied this and added their own works and built a Tower that was to be a way to heaven and God, not by blood and death, but by the work of man’s hands. That was the spirit of Babylon. It was a denial of God’s way of grace. The dream of man separated from God, is a man-made way of salvation by works, a universal federation of nations under one dictatorial leader, a universal church that denies the blood, and a universal language dominated by a superstate, which will formulate the policies of both government and religion.
“The plan, however, did not succeed…”
The Scripture says that God intervened by coming down and confusing the languages so that the project for the Tower and everything it represented had to be abandoned and the people separated and dispersed and began to “fill the earth” as the Lord had previously commanded them.
DeHaan goes on to explain:
“Nimrod had called Babel ‘the gate of God.’ God came down and called it ‘confusion’ and blasted the plans for a superstate, but the spirit of Nimrod lived on in Babylonianism. Soon it asserted itself again in Egypt where Pharoah attempted to establish his superstate. Later Nebuchadnezzar made a similar attempt followed by Medo-Persia, Alexander, the Caesars, Constantine the Great with his union of church and state, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, and more recently, Hitler. Today the dream of mankind is still a federation of nations, a super organization — without God — that will bring the utopia of peace of which men have dreamed since the days of Nimrod.
“Satan’s final attempt to fulfill this dream will occur in the Tribulation after the Church is gone. When the true Church has been caught away [in the Rapture], Satan will produce the personal Antichrist, the false Christ of whom Nimrod was only a shadow, who will succeed in setting up a great super federation of nations to guarantee safety for the world…
“Man’s precarious position because of recent developments in the science of warfare has led them to believe that a strong federation is the world’s only hope. Not knowing or believing that the only hope for this old world is the coming of the Prince of Peace, they seek to bring it about by their own methods: one global policy, one global church, one global speech. Then will follow the catching away of the Church, and for a brief time Satan will rapidly attempt to fulfill his plans. The beast will appear and the woman, the false church of the Antichrist, described as ‘mystery, Babylon the Great.’”
DeHaan wrote those words in 1945, but they are as relevant as ever. Moreover, they simplify the subject and get to the heart of the matter.
The institution of the Church has its many challenges nowadays: declining attendance, changing cultural values, scandals involving church leaders, economic pressures, technological changes that complicate maintaining a sense of community, the rise of secularism and atheism, etc. Nevertheless, nothing has diminished the Church’s vitality and significance more today than a creeping apostasy.
Mainline denominations have moved away from traditional Christian beliefs and doctrines and embraced more liberal or progressive theological perspectives. These include denying the infallibility, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture, which have led to reinterpreting biblical teachings on core doctrinal issues like the divinity of Christ, his substitutionary death for sinners, his bodily resurrection, and salvation by grace through faith alone.
Some have departed from sound doctrine and abandoned the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality and proper sexual ethics, ordaining LGBTQ as clergy, performing same-sex marriages, and defending transgenderism. Too many Churches are aligned more with secular culture and values, having seriously compromised their Christian identity and committing spiritual adultery.
When Jesus comes again in the Rapture, he will take out of this world his faithful followers to Heaven — those who make up the true Church. Then the leftovers within the visible Church — the tares — those who were a part of the institution but never actually changed by a personal relationship with Christ as Savior and Lord, will remain. Ultimately, this crowd of religionists, presided over by unregenerate religious leaders, will be absorbed into an ecumenical body of a counterfeit faith that will be global and political, Mystery Babylon as it reads in most translations, or “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.”
True Christianity, rooted in the teachings of an orthodox biblical worldview, has historically been a force for tremendous good, contributing positively to human civilization and society on numerous levels. But Mystery Babylon, with its spiritual harlotry, has been the author of immeasurable suffering, and the damnation of nations and souls through the ages. In the end, it is intricately connected to the events leading up to Armageddon.
Why the Imbalance? - The Bias Against Israel Is Driven By Satan’s Desire To Invalidate God’s Word – By Amir Tsarfati - https://harbingersdaily.com/why-the-imbalance-the-bias-against-israel-is-driven-by-satans-desire-to-invalidate-gods-word/
In 2022, the United Nations General Assembly passed more resolutions critical of Israel than against all other nations combined. The General Assembly approved 15 anti-Israel resolutions last year compared to 13 resolutions criticizing other countries, according to the monitoring group UN Watch.
Russia was the focus of six resolutions condemning its invasion of Ukraine. North Korea, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Iran, and the US were hit with one resolution each. Saudi Arabia, China, Lebanon, Turkey, Venezuela, and Qatar, which have poor human rights records or were involved in regional conflicts, were not dinged by any resolutions criticizing them.
Why the imbalance? Why were there no resolutions against countries that execute dissidents? The question becomes even more perplexing when you consider that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and the only country that practices the free exercise of religion.
The answer is simple: Israel is pivotal to the end times scenario and the central focus of the coming Great Tribulation.
Psalms 94:14 KJV – “For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.”
The over-focus on the nation of Israel, by not only the UN but the rest of the world also, is spiritual and is driven by Satan’s desire to eliminate the Jews and thus invalidate God’s word.
Romans 11:1-4 KJV – “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.”
Of all the nations of the earth, God chose Israel as His own special people. Of all the nations of the earth, God brought His Son into the world through the nation of Israel. Of all the nations of the earth, salvation is offered to the world through the Jews, and the message of redemption came to the Jews first, then also to the Greek (meaning non-Jews or Gentiles).
The power of the Holy Spirit that came on Pentecost came to the Jews first in order that they might be witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea. Persecution began to arise and many Jews dispersed to Samaria and then on to the Gentile regions, and the message of salvation began to spread among the Gentiles and will continue unto the ends of the earth.
God is a God of order and we can take heart in the fact that all He promised to and about Israel is coming to pass just as He said it would. Jerusalem is where the church was born, as written in Acts 1:8, and the city is now a burdensome stone to all nations as prophesied in Zechariah 12:3. If there is a lesson that all of us should learn from the nation of Israel it is that God is faithful to His word.
Jesus came to the Jews first and then to the Greek, just as the Bible said the Messiah would. Those who tarried in Jerusalem, as Jesus told them to, received the power to be witnesses on Pentecost just as Jesus said they would. The church began to spread from Jerusalem to Judea then on to Samaria, and is continuing to spread to the ends of the earth, just as the Bible said it would.
If all that is true (and it is), then that means this is too:
Romans 8:28 KJV – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
The world is a mess right now but there is good on the horizon for those who love God. One day we will meet the Lord in the air, and from that point we will always be with the Lord. How do we know? Jesus said He would come again receive us unto Himself that where He is, we would be too. (John 14:3) He’s never yet failed to keep a promise, and Israel is the greatest proof of that we could ever need.
Hebrews 10:23 KJV – “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
Keep looking up. The future is far brighter than this present darkness, and the One who promised is faithful and has proven Himself to be so time and again. One day will be the day He will come for us, and we can and should live every day like it might be today!
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.
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A Terrorist State on The Brink of Nukes - How Did We Get Here? – Jonathan Tobin - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=6399
Iran has been in the news lately for a number of reasons. One is the Biden administration's latest instance of appeasement of the Islamist regime in which it paid $6 billion in frozen funds to it as a ransom to gain the release of five U.S. citizens. Another involves the revelations published last week in Semafor in which the world learned about Iran's influence operations in the United States and the way Biden administration officials like the currently suspended Robert Malley enabled them.
As important as those stories are, they pale in significance beside one that has yet to be even mentioned in The New York Times or The Washington Post. It involves the U.S. Department of Defense's 2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction report that was, in a typically deceptive strategy known as the Friday afternoon news dump, published late last week.
In an echo of past American intelligence failures, it assessed that Iran is "not pursuing a nuclear weapons program at this time." However, it added the following ominous statement, noting that Tehran now "has the capacity to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear device in less than two weeks."
In other words, the game is over. After a decade and a half of American and Israeli hand-wringing about Iran's quest for nuclear weapons--and knowledge about their program is necessarily incomplete because it has barred inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency from carrying out their already inadequate efforts to monitor what they are doing--Washington is acknowledging that Tehran has become a threshold nuclear power.
In theory, fear of American and/or Israeli military action--however unlikely the former might be--might permanently deter Iran from moving forward to put together a nuclear weapon in the 12 days the DOD's report says that they can do it. Alternatively, once that process is set in motion, it is theoretically possible that military threats or attacks could prevent the Iranian bomb from becoming a reality.
Let's leave aside that sort of unrealistic fantasizing about a resolute Western response to Iran or Israel finally acting on its statements that it would never allow Iran to possess a nuclear weapon. If the mullahs and their terrorist shock troops of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are that close to a nuke, there's very little chance that they will be stopped from assembling one if they wish to do so. There is equally just as little chance that the CIA or Israel's even more formidable Mossad will acquire this knowledge in time for someone to do something about it.
The Israelis, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the various defense and intelligence agencies there, have repeatedly promised that they would act to stop Tehran from getting to this point. By contrast, President Joe Biden has merely promised that Iran won't get a bomb on his watch--a pledge that he can be said to have kept, absent proof that the Iranians have not actually put together a nuclear device.
The triumph of containment
This means that whether anyone is prepared to formally acknowledge this new reality or not, the only viable option for dealing with a nuclear Iran is the one that many so-called foreign policy realists have been advocating for nearly 20 years: containment.
Supporters of containment, like the American Enterprise Institute's Kenneth Pollack, who wrote a 2013 book on the subject, have long asserted that short of launching a war that Israel may not be capable of fighting and the United States had no interest in after its bad experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, the only thing to do is to treat a nuclear Iran the way the West has other nuclear powers, including Russia and China.
In this scenario, instead of trying to roll back the clock to the point where their program could be stopped, measures are put into place to deter Iran from ever using it. Those who have preferred containment to pre-emptive actions have also proposed pressuring or somehow tempting Tehran to change with bribes that would entice it to become a more responsible player on the international stage rather than a rogue terrorist state.
Though both the Obama administration spoke about stopping a nuclear Iran, the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was its signature foreign-policy "achievement" was really about containment and not prevention because once it expired at the end of the 2020s, an Iranian bomb was a given.
Containment has always been predicated on the idea that while Iran's leaders were Islamists who sought Israel's extinction and hegemony over the Middle East, they were rational actors rather than fanatics who were prepared to risk their own regime's survival, as well as the devastation of their country, by using a nuclear weapon. There are reasons to doubt the wisdom of that assurance, but such debates are now officially moot.
Barring a decision for a strike against Iran by Netanyahu or a reckless Iranian announcement that will remove the ambiguity about their nuclear capability that the 12-day breakout period minimally preserves, containment is what Israel or America is left with. But the problem with this essentially defeatist strategy is that even if Iran never uses its nuclear weapons, the fact that they have them makes them far more powerful and potentially gives impunity to the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.
The debate about how best to pursue containment is an argument for another day. Right now, it's appropriate to ask--after all the promises, speeches, threats and analyses about how Iran could be prevented from becoming a threshold nuclear power--how this happened.
Since many of the same people who brought the world to this point are still in power in Washington, it's hardly irrelevant to discuss how and why they failed. Some people "lost" Iran; identifying them and demanding accountability for their abysmal failure is appropriate.
George W. Bush's and Iraq
Any discussion of the rise of Iran in the 21st century must begin with the George W. Bush administration.
One of the unintended consequences of the Iraq War was that it empowered Iran to a degree that would have been difficult to imagine if the barbarous Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq had been left in place. The war's remaining apologists can rightly assert that Saddam was a bloody tyrant, as well as a state sponsor of terrorism. Eliminating him was a just act and removed Iraq as a dangerous military power.
But Saddam was also Iran's sworn enemy, and as long as he was in charge in Baghdad, Iran had to be primarily concerned with the threat of a renewal of the war between the two countries. The American military victory in 2003 changed that equation, as well as gave Tehran the ability to have outsized influence in, if not control of, Iraq via a Shia population that had long been repressed by Saddam's Ba'ath Party.
While Iran's nuclear program predated the Iraq War and would have continued anyway, the war was an essential step towards the Islamic Republic becoming a regional power that could threaten the Gulf States and Israel, as well as keep its ally Bashar Assad in power in Syria. The disaster in Iraq also ensured that the American people would not tolerate anything that might mire them in a third war in the Middle East--something Iran knows.
Moreover, Bush's own disinterest in taking action against Iran at a point early on in its progress essentially ensured that American military power--the only force that we can be sure could take out Iran's nuclear program--was never going to be deployed against this nuclear threat.
Netanyahu's empty threats
Next, we must also acknowledge that Netanyahu must accept some responsibility for the triumph of containment.
That may seem counterintuitive since he has been a fervent advocate of tough action, including sanctions and military threats, against Iran, this entire time. Moreover, his eloquent and prescient advocacy for stopping Iran has helped mobilize opposition to the appeasement of Iran in both the United States and among the Arab states that now look to Jerusalem as an ally against the threat from Tehran.
It's equally true that the always-cautious Netanyahu passed on a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities back in 2012 when he was drawing red lines on cartoon bombs at the U.N. podium.
Israel did undertake covert actions to delay Iran's nuclear program, including the joint operation with the United States in which they introduced the Stuxnet virus into their system. But these were merely temporary measures. Israel's undercover work inside Iran (including its spiriting away of a warehouse full of records proving that Tehran had lied to the world about its actions and intentions) was amazing, but it was never going to be a substitute for taking out those facilities.
In his memoir, Bibi, he blames opposition from the leaders of the Israel Defense Forces and the intelligence agencies for the failure to strike Iran. He's right that Israel's prime minister isn't the commander-in-chief of the armed forces like an American president. But had he made it his sole priority, does anyone doubt that he could have enforced his will on the defense establishment?
He did not, and there were a lot of good reasons for that since Israel acting alone might not have permanently ended the Iranian threat and would have complicated its alliance with the United States, as well as endangered those entrusted with the mission. Still, the fact remains that like Bush, he didn't risk everything in order to stop Iran at a point where it was much farther away from nuclear capability. And that's one more reason why Iran succeeded.
Kerry's Iran collusion and Trump's failure
Another possible scapegoat is former President Donald Trump.
Obama apologists do blame Trump for withdrawing from the JCPOA and attempting to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear quest with sanctions and threats. They say his decision torpedoed an imperfect but still working plan to stop Iran without a viable alternative in place. That's mistaken because the Obama deal was a failure from the start and was going to have to be replaced sooner or later.
In the end, Trump failed during his four years in office to achieve a better Iran nuclear deal or to stop their efforts altogether. But the primary blame for that failure was not his. Had Iran believed that it had no alternative but to return to the negotiating table or to face complete isolation and economic ruin, Trump's plan would, at the very least, have had a chance to succeed.
They didn't believe that. The reason was that they were betting on Trump being defeated in 2020 and being replaced with a Democrat who would return to Obama's strategy of appeasement/containment. Had Biden acknowledged while running for president that the JCPOA was a sham and made clear that he would stick with pressure to get a better deal that would end the threat rather than merely kick the can down the road, Iran might conceivably have been left with no choice but to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Instead, he promised more appeasement.
Even worse than that, former Secretary of State John Kerry met repeatedly with the Iranians in 2018 and advised them to ignore Trump's moves and "maximum pressure" campaign. He assured them that if they merely sat tight and waited for 2021, they could have everything they wanted. They took his advice and that, as much as anything, is why Iran is now only 12 days away from a bomb.
Kerry's collusion with Iran wasn't merely ill-advised; his actions advising an enemy of the United States to thwart government policy was arguably one of the most disgraceful actions undertaken by an American in the history of the republic. That he got away with those actions, which are close to treasonous, and subsequently received the reward of another high office as Biden's climate czar only makes it worse.
While Americans spent three years being lied to by the media and the Democrats about Trump's supposed collusion with Russia, it was Kerry's open collusion with Iran that should have generated outrage rather than shrugs and yawns. The "echo chamber" that Obama staffers like Ben Rhodes created in the media ensured that Iranian appeasement stayed on track even after Trump won in 2016.
Obama's bad deal
Kerry doesn't stand alone as the man who is most responsible for ensuring that Iran became a threshold nuclear power. Former President Barack Obama came into office determined to realign American foreign policy away from traditional allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia, and his Iran appeasement did just that. It did have the unintended consequence of bringing Israel together with the Arab states in a way that made the Abraham Accords possible.
But in 2013, when Obama and Kerry began their initial secret negotiations with Iran, the international community had--thanks in part to Netanyahu's warnings--endorsed tough sanctions. With American leadership, that could have brought Iran to its knees. Instead, the United States wound up being the ones begging Iran for a deal and abandoning sanctions.
It took 20 years of bad decisions to bring the world to the point where everyone must acknowledge that Iran has succeeded, and Israel and the West failed.
But Obama, Kerry and their foreign-policy team that embraced Iranian appeasement must bear the primary guilt for this appalling and dangerous situation. Honest histories of this debacle--assuming a future in which anti-Trump and anti-Netanyahu partisanship is no longer assumed from the academy and supposedly reputable historians--will judge them harshly.
The consequences that will ensue from an Iran terrorist state that is only 12 days from a nuclear weapon are terrible, even unimaginable. In the years to follow, we will learn just how much their feckless policies, lies and collusion with Islamist murderers will cost the peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world in blood and agony.
Bad News, Good News, Best News! – Terry James - https://terryjamesprophecyline.com/2023/10/02/bad-news-good-news-best-news/
Each day I receive emails—sometimes many—that lament the times we’re in. These include most often the question of how much longer the terrible things going on—the stage being set for the Tribulation—will be allowed to continue. That is, how long will it be before Christ calls believers to Himself in the Rapture?
Many pin their hopes on Old Testament, Jewish holy days and traditions. When these don’t produce the Rapture, they can become quite downhearted. This, despite the fact that some excellent people these days who write and speak on things like the Feast of Trumpets make it clear that these could be times for the Rapture, but that the Rapture won’t necessarily be tied to any such event. These folks, whom I respect greatly, give these Jewish points of interest as showing just how close we must be to God bringing all things to a conclusion. They point to how near the Tribulation and Second Advent of Christ must be, saying we must be even closer the time of the pre-Trib Rapture.
Still some are dejected when these Jewish tradition dates pass and the Rapture hasn’t occurred. It is perceived in such cases as bad news.
And the bad news compiles one report upon another, adding to the sometimes fear-filled angst. The cries grow even louder: When will the Lord get us out of here?!
I suppose this is one way of “looking up” and “watching” as Jesus commanded (Luke 21:28 and Mark 13:37). But it isn’t a healthy “looking up” or “watching,” in terms of maintaining good and proper spiritual health.
And the bad news is indeed daunting. Some of the headlines found most recently in Rapture Ready News are fodder for that angst many Rapture Ready folks are expressing to me.
The Bad News
I Live in Sodom and You Live in Gomorrah
If the Lord were to visit Washington DC, he would find that there were not 50 righteous men, there were not 40 righteous men, not 30, not 20, not even 10 righteous men and just like Sodom and Gomorrah, we will surely be destroyed.
In Five Years AI Could Be So Advanced It Would Mean the “end of human-dominated history.” Yuval Noah Harari Says
Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Google DeepMind, and Yuval Noah Harari discussed how advanced AI will be in five years. After hearing Suleyman’s predictions, Harari said: “This is the end of human history. Not the end of history—the end of human-dominated history.” In other words, humans will no longer be the dominant life force on Earth as we have been since time began.
US Navy: China’s Shipbuilding Capacity Is 232 Times Greater Than US
China’s shipbuilding capacity is 232 times greater than the US, per leaked US Navy intelligence.
VIDEO LEAK: Arrested Child Trafficker Admits to Boarding School Used as Front for Organ Harvesting Network in Ukraine
In a video confession of a child trafficker who was caught on Ukraine-Slovakian border, the trafficker admits that he had higher involvement in the trafficking of kids from a boarding school in Perechyn, Ukraine.
SHOCKING INVESTIGATION: The COVID-19 Vaccines Cause a New Form of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome; Here’s All the Evidence
Here we present a series of strong evidence that the Covid-19 vaccines are causing recipients to develop acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or a novel condition with similar attributes that can only be described as Covid-19 Vaccine Induced Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (VAIDS).
I could have found much worse news had I wanted to take the time. These are just from one day’s news cycle from Raptureready.com.
Within my own concerns are the growing, satanically inspired assaults on children. I ask myself—as do many others so concerned: How long will this be allowed to continue before God says “Enough!”?
I believe the messenger who gave Daniel the instruction to “close up the book until the time of the end” was speaking of believers during our present day. We are to be the “wise” who are to “understand” the things taking place that signify the consummation of the age.
Unlike Daniel, who no doubt was for a brief moment disappointed that he would not be allowed to know how things would play out prophetically, we who are living in this late hour of the Age of Grace should joyfully embrace Jesus’ Words: “When you see all these things begin to come to pass…”.
Indeed, we have for quite some time seen these things begin to come to pass. The end-times markers are absolutely stunning in many cases. Those who are watching cannot miss the Good News!
The Good News
My great friend and mentor, the late Dr. Tim LaHaye, in asking different people to participate in writing commentary for the Bible whose publisher he reluctantly allowed to use his name as its title—The Tim LaHaye Prophecy Bible—asked me to write briefly on a particular verse. I believe that, in regard to Christians looking at the future in a healthy way rather than in an unhealthy way filled with fear, the passage I recall being assigned is close to being the perfect perspective from God’s Holy Word:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
This verse is all-encompassing, if we truly consider its meaning.
It tells us that, no matter what, everything we see of an evil nature will ultimately turn out to be used by our God in a way to benefit us. There is no need to worry. Our job is to fulfill the purpose He has assigned each of us.
As the late Charles Stanley always put it: “Obey God no matter what, and leave all the consequences to Him.”
The Best News
The best news, second only to the Good News of the Gospel itself, is that Jesus has promised the Rapture for which we are all prayerfully wishing. Again, His promise is the following:
And when you see all these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your head, for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)
Daily Jot: Stupidocrisy: Big alarm, no fire - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
US Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) allegedly set off a fire alarm in the Canon House Office Building to prevent a vote on the funding bill that would keep the government operating. There are several things wrong with this. First, the Democrats have been blaming Republicans for blocking efforts to prevent a government shut-down, but they are the ones who wanted to delay a vote to avoid the shut-down. In desperation, Bowman pulls a fire alarm to delay the vote. When he’s caught, he claims that in his rush to vote, he didn’t realize that he would trigger a fire alarm if he pulled the fire alarm, then he tells reporters that he thought the alarm would open the door. But it gets even more stupid.
Breitbart reporter Matthew Boyle did some checking around and multiple sources said that Bowman “ripped down two signs warning a second floor door in the Cannon House Office Building was for emergency use only before pulling the fire alarm and running out through a different door on a different floor.” Boyle reports, “In the photos of the double doors with glass windows, there are clearly two giant red signs on the door—they both say “EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY—PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS (3 SECONDS) DOOR WILL UNLOCK IN 30 SECONDS.” There is also another sign on a stand in front of the door that makes it clear this is an “EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY.”” Bowman tried to get out the door. When it didn’t open, he pulled the fire alarm. When the fire alarm went off, he turned and ran down the hall and out another door.
Now Bowman is circulating talking points to his Democrat colleagues in an effort to prevent the House from expelling or censoring him. In doing so, he is referring to House Republicans as “Nazis.” Bowman’s talking points, a copy obtained by Politico, say, “Republicans need to instead focus their energy on the Nazi members of their party before anything else. There are multiple insurrectionist supporters in Congress and more who supported a coup and support Trumpʼs Big Lie. That's what they should be focused on. Instead their focus on Rep. Bowman is an attempt to minimize January 6th.” Instead of taking responsibility, Bowman is shifting the blame to Republicans. He pulled a fire alarm when there was no fire and is blaming it on “Nazi” Republicans. Then he tried to say the talking points were not authorized by him.
The US Capitol Police are investigating. Right. “Title 22-1319. False alarms and false reports; hoax” of the DC Code says “It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to willfully or knowingly give a false alarm of fire within the District of Columbia, and any person or persons violating the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine not more than the amount set forth in Title 22-3571.01 (up to a $1,000) or by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.” He’s admitted to setting off the alarm, but he’s saying that Nazi Republicans made him do it. The Democrats are standing by him. Proverbs 10:23 says, “It is as sport to a fool to do mischief.” And so it is with Bowman and those who defend him…say it with me…Stupidocrisy.
Daily Devotion: Not One and the Same - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins. —John 8:24
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/not-one-and-the-same/ - Listen
According to the Bible, there will be a belief system during the tribulation period that everyone in the world will embrace.
This, of course, will exclude those who come to faith in Christ during the Great Tribulation. Though the church will have been raptured, God will continue to be at work. People will become Christians during this time, but it will be a bleak scenario.
God will raise up His representatives, two powerful witnesses. He also will send angels through the heavens who will proclaim the everlasting gospel. And He will raise up 144,000 messianic Jews to take the gospel around the globe.
People will come to faith, but it will be a very hard time to be a Christian, and many believers will be martyred. And the one-world religious system that most people will buy into perhaps will be a version of the spirituality movement that we’re seeing today.
For instance, in the days following 9/11, a lot of prayer services took place, including a televised interfaith service at Yankee Stadium. Bette Midler sang, and Oprah Winfrey, among others, spoke. To some degree, it’s great when we can get together and find what we agree on. And everyone should have the liberty to worship as they please.
But we also must be aware that interfaith prayer services aren’t necessarily a good thing. It’s one thing to have interdenominational services in which Christians set aside minor differences as denominations to come together and worship. Harvest evangelistic events, for example, are interdenominational. We get together to proclaim the gospel and worship Jesus Christ.
But interfaith services are a different matter altogether. We misrepresent and even insult God when we claim that all religions teach the same thing and that we’re all praying to the same God.
Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24 NLT). He was referring to the statement God made when He spoke to Moses from the burning bush (see Exodus 3:14).
Here’s what Jesus was saying: “I am equal with God. Unless you believe that I am God incarnate, that I am the Lord God, and that I am the only way to God, then you will die in your sins.”
The Bible teaches that Jesus was God in human form who died for the sins of the world. It teaches that Jesus is the only way to God, that God is personal, and that He can be known in a personal way.
If we’re going to proclaim the true gospel, then we must tell people this. It’s a divisive point with some. But it is one thing that we cannot compromise on as Christians.
Yet if we believe that all religions teach the same thing, then we obviously haven’t considered what they actually teach.
Today many people say they don’t really believe in any one religion, and they’ve found their own faith. But this, along with the seismic shifts that are happening in our culture, is a sign of the last days.
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