The Blessed Servant – Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.net/post/the-blessed-servant
Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” Genesis 37:9
Let’s take a trip back in time six years or ago to the year 2017. As many of you remember, there was much ado about the so-called September 23rd “Revelation 12 Sign” amongst many within our community. At the time I was still writing for the Omega Letter, and although I wasn’t swept up in any of the constellation hype of that day, I remember getting dismayed by the response by the so-called establishment ministries on “our side” for simply dismissing it out of hand as ‘astrology.’ I remember writing about ‘our side's response to this by saying:
…and if we are really being honest with ourselves, we would realize that 99% of the world thinks we Christians are already crazy for even believing in the Bible in the first place, and to an even greater degree, the Rapture. Why then are many respected prophecy teachers, experts, commentators, and pastors so quick to form a circular firing squad on our own at the first whisper of something they don’t understand?
And regarding the meat of the September 23rd phenomenon, which is the representation of the Church symbology in Revelation chapter 12, I concluded:
For my sense of well-being, if men like John Darby and H.A. Ironside could hold this view, and I have tremendous respect for their biblical knowledge and understanding, why is it so difficult for others to do the same? Is it because chapter 12 is nestled snuggly in the middle of chapters 6-19, for which many Pre-Tribulation scholars, pastors, and even I, had cordoned off as “tribulation territory?”
In conclusion, I wrote...
Have many within the Watcher community (become) guilty of becoming the very things we so often rail against? Are we becoming like the skeptics and mockers out there who ridicule everything they don’t understand?
Mixed feedback from our already tiny community came in the form of pats on the back and also quiet condemnations from those disagreeing with me. Regardless, my sentiments today remain the same as they did then...it would be prudent of us to wait and see how these things play out. Remember, Joseph's dream didn't immediately come to pass, but would, with 100% certainty, become fulfilled in the subsequent generations.
Now, you might be wondering why I’m bringing up a six-year-old story. The reason is that the entire August-September 2017 time frame (as well as that of the preceding years' blood moon tetrad, and other astronomical events leading up to that time), reminded me of something else…of Christmas.
It reminded me of what the star of Bethlehem must have appeared like to those people alive during Christ’s birth who didn’t understand what was happening. They looked up and saw this strange star for presumably as much time as it took the Wise Men to arrive there (days/weeks), and looked on with curious puzzlement. Now, to the Wise Men traveling from the east, it meant something specific: it was the sign that the ‘One born king of the Jews’ had finally arrived. To everyone else, it must have just appeared as a strange, out-of-place, celestial body.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matt. 2:1-2
The story goes that Wise Men from the East (most likely Parthian magi and astrologers) traveled a great distance to come and present gifts to the newborn king. Now, Parthia, formerly known as Persia, had been conquered by the Greeks several centuries earlier. But before the Greeks, the Persians had conquered the Babylonians. The Babylonians had been home to the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, who at one point, began killing all his wise men and their families for not being able to both tell him the dream he dreamt, as well as its interpretation…that was until a young Jewish slave came along and did just that (Dan.1:18-2:13).
The very interesting and often untold backstory is that after intervening on behalf of the wise men by both telling King Nebuchadnezzar his dream, as well as interpreting it, these wise men then became loyal to Daniel. After all, he not only saved their lives but their families as well. After Daniel was made number two in the kingdom (right under Nebuchadnezzar), he would have, over the course of his service there, taught these same wise men many things about his Jewish faith and religion (i.e., the Old Testament). In that, he would have shared with them the promise of a coming Messiah.
No doubt, Daniel would have begun in the book of Genesis, but pausing in chapter forty-nine, he would describe the patriarch Jacob’s blessings to his twelve sons, who would become the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. When Jacob came to bless Judah, he gave him an interesting prophecy. (see here for more detail)
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
Daniel would have almost certainly taught them the passage in Numbers 24:17, where the prophet Balaam prophesied that this same scepter would be accompanied by the sign of a Star (of which these wise men would one day follow) to know exactly where this One-born King of the Jews would be found.
“I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
And batter the brow of Moab,
And destroy all the sons of tumult
Furthermore, after many years, Daniel would come to receive the Seventy Weeks prophecy from the angel Gabriel (Daniel 9:24-27). Together with their understanding of the age requirements in Numbers and Leviticus (i.e., the age of thirty for temple service as found in Numbers 4:3-47), these loyal wise men (or magi) would have dutifully passed this knowledge down through subsequent generations of their offspring and would have had a decent understanding of when this Jewish king was set to arrive. In summary:
1. They (the wise men) knew who this special person was and that He was one born king of the Jews (Gen. 49:10)
2. They knew what to look for, in that a special star would mark His arrival (Num. 24:17)
3. They knew roughly when to be looking by taking Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy and backing up thirty years (Dan. 9:24-27)
4. They knew where to look (in Judaea) and more specifically, around Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
5. They knew why this Messiah was coming (Dan. 9:24)
But who else understood all that?
Apparently, no one else understood this since the wise men were the only ones there paying homage. The people who should have known, i.e., the Sadducees and Pharisees who served King Herod, neither connected the prophetic dots nor believed the prophecies that they did know (Matt. 2:3-6) since they butchered its interpretation. The star should have been an obvious sign to those who had the Old Testament because it clearly marked the key details about the arrival of their Messiah.
The Sun and Moon
According to Scripture, the sun and the moon still have their own respective roles to play in the closing moments of this age in which we now live. Aside from providing the terrifying signs of the end itself (Joel 2:31, Matt. 24:29, Luke 21:20, Acts 2:20, Rev. 6:12, Rev. 8:12, Rev. 12:1), the sun and moon also serve as a permanent reminder that God's covenant with the nation of Israel is unbreakable.
Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The Lord of hosts is His name):
“If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the Lord,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”
While the anomalous, yet seemingly benign September 23rd, 2017 “Revelation 12” constellation didn't result in apocalyptic results on said day, it might still have some future mystery to reveal to us. Even still, that event did not come alone. The month prior, on August 21st, 2017, another cosmic phenomenon occurred. This was the cross-continental full solar eclipse whose ‘path of totality’ began in Salem, Oregon, and ended in Charleston, South Carolina.
Even more intriguing is that this celestial phenomenon was not a one-off. Seven years later, on April 8th, 2024, another full solar eclipse is projected to once again cross the US, but this time starting in Mexico and crossing the US northeasterly to Canada forming an "X". The “X” as it were, ominously marks the spot in central Missouri, just to the right of the exact geographical center of the US (the exact center is actually Agra, Kansas). Interestingly, or perhaps divinely ironic, is that in the age of cancel culture, it is as if the universe is sending the United States a message that, it too, is about to be canceled.
IMG Source: https://nationaleclipse.com/maps/map_2017_2024.html
But does it actually mean that? If there is a divine message, what is it intended to reveal to us? Given all the existential problems that are already plaguing the United States and given our total absence in the pages of Bible prophecy, it might well mean this is a sign from God that America’s days are numbered. I don't know, but it is worthy of further investigation. Don't just take my word for it, the wisest man who ever lived once wrote,
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2
Thus, in summarizing all of my above points, it is to say, just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean we should automatically dismiss it out of hand. How many of us foresaw the total global lockdowns and events of 2020? None of us which I am aware of. It caught us all by surprise. And while half of our camp was quick (and eager) to throw wet blankets on the other half for ‘looking up’ and wondering what these strange cosmic events meant in 2017, we should all be more like Bereans and search these things out to see whether these things were so (Acts. 17:11).
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Matthew 24:36
In divine contradistinction, this verse has been the ‘go-to’ verse of choice for naysayers and skeptics alike for millennia. As discouraging as it appears on the surface, its purpose was necessary to temper the tendencies of believers to not prematurely chase after every sign and symbol as their sole ticket out of our earthly trials and tribulation. Furthermore, it would be the "proof text" to disavow any false teachers and prophets claiming to know exactly when that day would be.
However, once you get past the cursory reading of the passage, the main issue with continuing to use it as the catch-all verse is that later, revelatory passages seem to conflict with it. Scripture, as given to the Apostle Paul and even Jesus Himself seems to indicate that while we cannot know the specific day or hour of the Rapture, church-age believers in the latter generations should know the general time frame (the season) of His return.
But first, let us take note of what Jesus doesn’t say; “But of the day and hour no one knows or will ever know anything about the time of the end.”
Much to Rick Warren's chagrin, the above passage was written in the present tense and thus indicates the truth of what was known at that point in time (pre-Calvary). Many decades later, as indicated in Revelation 1:1, Jesus was given the full Revelation (apocalypse=unveiling) at some point after His death, resurrection, and ascension. This was what the Apostle John (then imprisoned on Patmos) was given in 95AD, to bear witness to and write down.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Rev. 1:1-2
In Revelation chapter one, Jesus Christ received the ‘Revelation’ from the Father, in which, He (Jesus) gives to an angel to give to John. John was then instructed to record and give to all the churches. In the military, we called this a ‘chain of custody’ and denote the serious nature of the message. Beginning this ‘Revelation ’Jesus reveals His true glorified form to John, nearly killing him. After restoring the elder John, Jesus then describes how the book is to be understood (Rev. 1:19). It is to be read as the things ‘he has seen’ (chapter 1), the things ‘which are’ (chapters 2-3) and the things ‘to come after’ (chapters 4-22). In chapters 2-3, Jesus gives John the seven letters to the seven churches. To the fifth church (Sardis) Jesus gives a stark and sobering warning:
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. Revelation 3:3 (my emphasis)
Contrasting that verse with Matthew 24:36, the opposite of not knowing what hour He will come is knowing the hour He will come. How could the church at Sardis be held accountable for knowing something that was unknowable? This then supports the passage in Hebrews 10:25 in that we will see the Day approaching.
…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb. 10:25 (my emphasis)
Well, if we truly had no way of knowing anything concerning our Lord’s return, both Hebrews 10:25 (the Day) nor Rev. 3:3 (the hour) couldn’t be true. In other words, how can we see the Day approaching if we had no way of knowing what or when that Day was? How could Sardis (now representing mainline protestant Christendom) be held accountable for knowing the hour, if they had no way to understand when that hour was? The Apostle Paul includes a similar theme in this epistle:
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 (my emphasis)
As we draw closer to ‘that Day’ (i.e., the day of Christ), we would be wise to take all things into consideration and test them against Scripture before dismissing them out of hand. Let us not be like the blinded Pharisees and Sadducees of Christ’s first advent, who missed the sign of His arrival (the star of Bethlehem) and whom He held personally responsible for not knowing the hour of their visitation (Matt. 16:1-4).
How much more will we be held accountable? We have both the Old and New Testaments; the full canon of God’s word. We have national Israel restored back to her ancient homeland. We have all of history at our fingertips. Now, we have the signs in the sun, moon, and stars, as well as the convergence of all these other signs piling on top of each other. How much more will we be held accountable for at least knowing the season of His return? Either these cosmic events are epochal coincidences, or they are intentionally designed to herald the end of our age…but they cannot be both.
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:24-27 (my emphasis)
The purpose of this article, as is with all my work, is simply to point to the nearness of the Blessed Hope in the sincere belief that it would encourage the saints and simultaneously provoke the unbeliever into actions leading to salvation. Nevertheless, while we watchfully remain in this season of hope, we must always temper our hope against the hype by staying in the word of God and testing everything by it. In the meantime, we are to be wise as serpents, and gentle as doves (Matt. 10:16) and always resisting the temptation of becoming the pharisaical gatekeepers of what is or is not worthy of investigation.
Our blessed hope has never been in a date or an event but in the God-Man Christ Jesus. When I hear so-called theologians and clergy try and dismiss the Rapture of the Church as a distraction from Jesus, I'm struck by their profound ignorance as if the Rapture was something distinct from Jesus. The Rapture of the Church is Jesus. It is believers being gathered together for the first time in two millennia, and meeting Christ in the air to go and be with Him forever more. For if our hope is not rooted in Christ and His soon return to fix this broken planet, then what is our hope?
No, our hope is not rooted in some idealized wishful thinking but it is a tangible, realistic certainty that the creator and sustainer of this universe will come back to us just like He promised (John 14:1-3, 1 Thess 1:10, 5:9, Rev 3:10, etc.). Furthermore, we must be physically transformed from our temporal, sinful, mortal bodies, to immortal, redeemed, and glorified bodies to live where Christ lives (1 Cor. 15:51-56, Romans 8:28-30, John 3:1-3).
While this hope in glory is only made possible through His death, burial, and resurrection, it doesn't just stop at redeeming us eternally from the consequences of sin and the ravages of death. This hope, as Paul states in Romans 8, will lift the curse from all of creation. It seems, aside from all of the signs we are getting here on the earth (Israel's miraculous national rebirth, Gog-Magog alignment, technological advancements, the global meteoric rise in the spirit of antichrist, etc.) that God is using creation itself (including the sun, moon, and stars) to give us signs that we are approaching the end.
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Romans 8:19-22
God will use the judgments found in Revelation 6-18 in the purging process of creation itself like a kind of divine terraforming. We see these "birth pangs" in the form of natural disasters and calamities increasing in both frequency and intensity. With regards to the Rev 12 "sign" and the past and upcoming solar eclipses (and other astronomical events), while many of these stand-alone events may not point to anything specific in and of themselves, when we step back and look at the bigger picture, it appears they are, once again, serving as harbingers heralding the end of our age.
Again, let us not be like the blinded Pharisees of Christ's day who couldn't see what was in front of them. Rather, let us be like the Wise Men from the east who found their hope in looking up and seeing from afar the things that herald the soon return of our Lord and Savior. The King of kings, Christ Jesus.
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Luke 12:37-40
There Is No Media Left In Israel… Only Propaganda – By Amir Tsarfati - https://harbingersdaily.com/worldview-with-amir-tsarfati-there-is-no-media-left-in-israel-only-propaganda/
Shalom from Galilee! Despite there being massive rallies in Jerusalem, more activity than usual at the Ramat David Air Base near my house, and a heavy rain of rockets from Gaza, it is a wonderful time to be here in Israel.
As I begin this portion of the article, I want to encourage you to watch my “Special Middle East Update: The War in Sudan” from yesterday. Not only does it have much more thorough information on several of the stories below, but I reveal how the burgeoning civil war in Sudan fits directly into biblical prophecy.
Kremlin Hit by UAV Attack
Last night at 3:00 AM, two UAVs penetrated Russian air defenses and reached the Kremlin. There, they were destroyed before they had a chance to cause any damage. Russia now claims that it was an attempt by Ukraine to assassinate Vladimir Putin, despite the Russian president not being on site and rarely visiting the Kremlin. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denied the accusation, saying, “We don’t attack Putin, or Moscow, we fight on our territory.”
Many in Russian leadership are demanding retribution, with former president Dmitry Medvedev saying that it is time that Moscow’s military takes out Zelenskyy himself. Outside of Russia and Ukraine, there are those who believe this may be a false flag attempt by Russia to justify political assassination or increasing the level of weapons. The fact that Tuesday will be the annual Victory Day parade celebrating the triumph over Hitler’s Nazis lends credence to this theory. Others believe it is a demonstration by Ukraine of their own power and Russia’s vulnerability.
Russia Unleashes Massive Air Attack on Ukraine
Over the last few weeks, Ukraine has been preparing for a large assault aimed at cutting the land bridge between Russia and Crimea. In the city of Pavlohrad, the Ukrainian army has been amassing a large quantity of airplanes, tanks, missiles, and troops. On Monday night, Russia hit the area with a large-scale air assault. A huge explosion was seen with many believing it was the weapons depot going up in an enormous fireball. Pavlohrad was not the only area struck. Missiles fell throughout the country causing great damage, including in residential areas. Then, on Wednesday, Russian missiles hit a supermarket in Kherson, as well as other civilian targets, killing 21 and injuring 48.
Israeli Strikes on Syria
Early Saturday morning, Israeli missiles struck the city of Homs, Syria, destroying a large weapons depot. Gathered intelligence indicated that it was likely that highly advanced Iranian weapons were being funneled by truck through Homs and on to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Two days later, Israel struck Aleppo putting its airport out of commission.
Nearly 100 Rockets Launched from Gaza
Early Tuesday, Islamic Jihad official Khader Adnan died after spending 86 days on a hunger strike in an Israeli prison. That afternoon, his terror organization began firing rockets into Israel. Before they were done, more than 100 rockets had flown over the border. Most harmlessly fell to earth. Several were brought down by the Iron Dome defense system, but one hit a construction site seriously wounding a Chinese worker. Many in Israel were disappointed with what they considered to be a weak response by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration. Others believe that the toned-down response was because the PM is preparing for something much bigger.
The War in Sudan Creates Hundreds of Thousands of Refugees
The intensifying war in Sudan has led to more than 330,000 Sudanese people being displaced from their homes within the country, while 100,000-plus have fled to neighboring nations. South Sudan claims to have brokered a seven-day cease fire starting today with both sides of the conflict preparing to send representatives. For more as to how Sudan fits into biblical prophecy and the Ezekiel 38 War, please watch my Special Middle East Update from yesterday.
Iranian President Visits Syria
After a twelve-year absence, the Iranian president made a visit yesterday to Syria. President Ebrahim Raisi was welcomed to Damascus by President Bashar al-Assad in what was likely a very uncomfortable meeting for the Syrian leader. For years, Tehran has been sending fuel and weapons and loaning billions of dollars to Damascus, and now it appears that the bill is coming due. However, since the financially destitute Syrian government cannot pay back the debt, it is probable that Iran will take land and military bases instead. While Raisi will leave with oil and trade agreements having been signed, there is no telling what other arrangements have been made that were not reported.
Hundreds of Thousands of Conservative Israelis Take to the Streets
It is remarkable how difficult it is to find a media story on the hundreds of thousands of conservatives who gathered in Jerusalem and other cities around Israel in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his judicial reform bill. Those that did cover it downplayed it, with the newspaper, Haaretz, going so far as to print the laughable headline, “Why the Turnout at Jerusalem’s Right-wing Rally Really Highlights Netanyahu’s Weakness”. However, if you want to read about the much smaller protests by anti-reform activists, the stories are just a quick Google search away. There is no media left in Israel. There is only propaganda.
India Becomes Europe’s Top Oil Supplier
It seems those sanctions against Russia’s energy sector are really paying off as India has now become Europe’s largest supplier of refined fuels.European countries will now bring in more than 360,000 barrels a day, beating out even Saudi Arabia’s numbers. In a one hundred percent, completely and totally unrelated story, India is now importing a record amount of Russian crude oil. Sooooo…..yeah.
Another ISIS Leader Goes Down
Turkish special forces cornered ISIS leader Abu Hussein al-Qurashi in a house in northwest Syria on Saturday. Rather than surrender, the terrorist detonated a suicide vest. Considering the next leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS] will be the fourth in four years, it is not likely that there will be many candidates putting up campaign signs in their neighbors’ yards.
The Streets of Paris Continue to Burn
French demonstrators used May Day to continue their fierce protesting against a rise in the retirement age. The new law, signed by President Emmanuel Macron last month, raised the minimum age from 62 to 64. At least 108 police were hurt and 291 people detained in the violent rallies across the nation.
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Dawn Of New Alliance of Nations As US Power Fades – Daisy Luther - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=6070
You may have heard the term "BRICS" when reading about world affairs and wondered what it was all about. As we watch the American dollar and economy lose power on the world stage, this alliance could quickly move to take its place, especially as other countries that used to be allied with us move over this bloc.
As a matter of opinion, I think that on the global stage, BRICS is a union we should watch, as there are several large economic powers involved that aren't exactly friends of the United States of America. Should this group continue to grow, it's possible that it could dramatically affect us with regard to world trade. And that's at the very least.
Let's look a little deeper into it.
What is BRICS?
BRICS is an economic alliance that has been around since about 2001. Jim O'Neill from Goldman Sachs coined the acronym BRIC to represent the original countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. By 2010, South Africa had been added, bringing us to the current acronym. O'Neill predicted that by 2050, the original four nations would be the dominant forces in the global economy. Investopedia explains:
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa ranked among the world's fastest-growing emerging market economies for years, thanks to low labor costs, favorable demographics and abundant natural resources at a time of a global commodities boom.
It's important to note that the Goldman Sachs thesis wasn't that these countries would become a political alliance (like the EU) or even a formal trading association. Instead, Goldman said they have the potential to form a powerful economic bloc, even acknowledging that its forecasts were optimistic and dependent on significant policy assumptions.
Still, the implication was that economic power would bring political power, and indeed leaders from BRICS countries regularly attended summits together and often acted in concert with each others' interests.
Interest faded in the BRICS countries by around 2015, as per Investopedia. But does that mean we should write them off, too?
BRICS is expanding.
For many years, the United States has been a primary global economic power, but as our star shines a little less brightly due to our economic difficulties, poor governmental management, and less than stellar relationships with several other countries, BRICS seems poised to step into the position our nation once held.
In 2015, at their 6th summit, the founding nations created the New Development Bank, with a currency pool of 100 billion USD and an additional reserve of another hundred billion. The countries also agreed to cooperate with one another in regard to credit and innovation.
This has expanded over the years, and the nations have cooperated in things like planning an optical fiber submarine communications cable system for BRICS countries so that the US could not spy on its communications. (Although plans are in place, it has not yet been built at the time of this writing.)
But now, with the war between Russia and Ukraine, and tensions with China, things seem to really be gearing up.
What countries are involved in BRICS?
Current members of BRICS are still the original ones.
But...the union seems intent on expanding, and other nations are in the midst of an application process. Multiple countries have asked to become a part of the bloc.
The nations that have formally applied for acceptance into the cooperative are:
United Arab Emirates
In addition, interest has been expressed by the following countries:
The original nations are meeting in South Africa on June 2nd and 3rd to discuss expansion.
Why do we care about BRICs?
Not a great deal has been mentioned about this in the news, but I believe that such a union is a very troubling sign. I've written before that the dollar is rapidly losing international trust and potentially even petrodollar status, and it seems as though a group such as this is well-poised to step into our place. Plus, a lot of these nations aren't exactly friendly to the United States in the first place. A formal alliance between countries like China, Russia, India, and Iran is troubling, particularly as our government has instituted brutal sanctions in the past.
Bloomberg has said it expects the growth of BRICS to surpass the economic expectations of the G-7, the economic group of which the US is the leader, which consists of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada.
Zero Hedge reports on several reasons this is concerning.
Per their analysis, while G7 and BRICS nations each contributed equally to global economic growth in 2020, the western-led bloc's performance has recently declined. By 2028, the G7 is expected to make up just 27.8 percent of the global economy, while BRICS will make up 35 percent.
The estimations came just a few weeks after the Deputy Chairman of Russia's State Duma, Alexander Babakov, revealed that BRICS is working on developing a "new currency" that will be presented at the organization's upcoming summit.
BRICS member states account for over 40 percent of the global population and around a quarter of the global GDP.
The interest from Global South nations to join the bloc comes at a time when more and more governments move away from the US dollar.
The greenback has become more unreliable for dollarized economies due to rising interest rates regulated by the US Federal Reserve (FED) and the bank's weaponization of the dollar through financial sanctions.
In addition, the west - especially Europe - is facing a growing energy crisis resulting from sanctions targeting Russian energy markets due to its invasion of Ukraine and the US sabotage of the Nordstream pipeline.
Add to this that several Central and South American countries are interested in joining the ranks of BRICS, and this alliance could quite literally be in our own backyard. While this is assumed to be strictly an economic alliance, what happens if there is a global conflict? Would this coalition carry over into that realm as well?
Sides are being chosen.
What it looks like to me is that sides are being chosen and lines are being drawn. The United States has powerful enemies. (And that's not even including the ones within our own borders who seem intent on destroying the very fabric of our culture.) While BRICS is not a threat to our way of life today, they could be a formidable foe in the very near future. While we lose economic power, they gain economic power. And in our modern world, that is everything.
For our entire lives, the United States has been on top of the global pyramid. One must wonder, when rivals begin to group together, how long we will keep that position.
Our concerns are not only within our system but also from alliances that could destroy our global economic power. This would be a crushing blow that would change everything from the price and availability of imports to the very fuel our country runs upon.
The expansion of the BRICS alliance is very important to watch. While we certainly can't personally influence the proceedings, our awareness can help us to be one step ahead in our preparations. This could eventually destroy our already volatile financial system. We always think we have time, but it looks to me like that presumed time is rapidly running out.
I Surrender All - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Most of us who have come to know Jesus still have sins we are dealing with. Unfortunately, some just continue to sin with no remorse and justify their actions. How often do you stop and really think about the sacrifice Jesus made for your salvation? He left His home in Glory to enter this sin-filled world to provide us with the only way to salvation. He willingly allowed Himself to be arrested on phony charges and to be tried in a kangaroo court. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” John 1:11.
He was found guilty at that unlawful trial, and beaten beyond recognition. He wasn’t crucified for His own sin (He had no sin), but was crucified for your sin and mine. He gave His all to save humanity from the sin that condemns us to Hell. Today we don’t give a lot of thought about spending eternity in Hell, but it is a real place with real pain and eternal suffering. It makes sense that when someone does something for you that you cannot do for yourself, you feel grateful. Jesus saved us from eternal death in the lake of Fire. Only He could do that, so shouldn’t we all be grateful? You cannot work to repay Him for His perfect love, but we can show our gratitude. How can you thank Jesus?
The only way to show our gratitude, is to surrender our lives to Him. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30. Sin is a heavy weight to bear. If you are prone to telling lies, then you have to remember your lies and lie some more to cover up the previous lies. If you steal, you will face prison time. If you are sexually permissive there’s disease that comes with that sin. Life lived in sin is a heavy burden. Why not surrender your life to Christ. You’ll be happier and healthier if you follow Him. You’ll also be doing the only thing that allows you to say “Thank You, Jesus”.
Judson W. VanDeVenter felt the pull at his heart to surrender his life to Jesus. He was an art teacher who was also a talented musician. He loved the Lord, and friends encouraged him to leave teaching and work full time for the Lord. After much consideration he decided to surrender to Jesus. He left teaching to became an evangelist and he also wrote hymns. One of his most well-known hymns is “I Surrender All”
All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
One day when Jesus was walking along with His disciples, a rich young man came running up to Him. He knew Jesus was a man who taught truth. The young man was concerned about his eternity and asked Jesus what he could do to inherit eternal life. The young man was of the mindset that he had to work for salvation. Of course, this happened before the cross. Jesus reminded him of the commandments. “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy Father and mother.” Mark 10:19.
These commandments all concerned human interaction. The young man was very pleased to say that he had kept these commandments since childhood. “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Mark 10:21.
We all have things we just can’t let go. Not all of the things we hold tight are material, some of these things are attitudes, lifestyles, or words we use. Are you filled with pride? Do you gossip? Do you use foul language? Examine your life and see what you need to surrender to Jesus. We are saved by our faith, but our walk and fellowship with Christ is closer if we surrender our sin to Him. You might even find that you have a talent, like Mr. VanDeVenter, and find a way to use your talent to glorify God.
All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at his feet I bow.
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
Jesus showed us the way to be humble. It’s important that we humble ourselves before Him and allow Him to shape our life and attitude. We need to learn humility. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10. One of the downfalls of humanity is craving worldly pleasure. It goes back to the Garden of Eden. When Eve had a chat with the serpent, he convinced her that God didn’t want her to eat the forbidden fruit because by eating it, she and Adam would be as gods. “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5.
In truth, God was protecting them from eternal death. Adam and Eve ate the fruit and were expelled from the Garden. God was right and the serpent was wrong. We aren’t like gods, but death has been our enemy ever since. That’s why Christ entered His creation and gave His life. There will come a time when God will be recognized as sovereign by all. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Romans 14:11. It is much wiser to bow before Him now and confess that He is God rather than wait for judgment day. Surrender all to Him.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that thou art mine.
When we surrender everything to Jesus, we haven’t lost anything. We may think that if we stop living a worldly lifestyle, we will lose our worldly friends. It’s true, that could happen. You might also be the example that your friends need to give their lives to Christ. Worldly ways come with a price. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36. Salvation only comes through Jesus, and when you make an honest confession of faith, the Holy Spirit is sealed within you. Although salvation is much more than a feeling, there are times when it’s good to “feel” saved. Those times usually come when we have done something to please God, such as saying no to sin, or when we’ve witnessed to someone who needed to hear the Gospel. The closer we walk with Jesus, the more we feel the Holy Spirit.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to thee,
Fill me with thy love and power,
Let thy blessing fall on me.
I know that I’ve truly accepted Jesus, and I pray that His power will dwell in me. I would love to have the discernment to know if someone needs to hear the Gospel message, and then be brave enough to start a conversation that leads someone to Christ. Fear is what stops me, and that fear needs to be surrendered to Jesus. I know I’m not alone. Many people hide behind gimmicks hoping a lost soul will get God’s message without actually hearing the Gospel. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14. Use words to share the Gospel, and let Jesus lead the conversation. It will be a blessing to you and also to the one with whom you share the Gospel.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory to his name?
It would have been an amazing thing to be with the disciples on the day of Pentecost. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1. Just being with like-minded believers is a blessing, but what was about to happen was incredible. “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.” Acts 2:2-3.
What joy they must have felt. Peter was there. Peter had denied knowing Jesus, but then Jesus met him on the shores of Galilee and restored his position with the others. Peter felt the forgiveness and love of Jesus deeply. Even though Peter had walked with Jesus for 3 years, he hadn’t surrendered his life to Christ. It was after Peter surrendered his life to Jesus, that he was able to serve Christ. It was Peter who stood up that day of Pentecost and put any lingering fear behind him. He spoke a sermon that was neither politically correct nor seeker friendly. It was to the point and touched the souls of at least 3,000 people. What joy there must have been in Jerusalem that day! We can only feel that joy when we surrender all to Jesus.
I surrender all,
I surrender all,
All to thee my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
What are you holding back? Think of the joy you’re missing out on by holding on to things that hamper your walk with our Lord. Surrender it all to Him.
God bless you all,
Recommended prophecy sites:
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Shredded birthday shirt - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
When I was 10, my dad, mom and myself along with some friends went on a trip to Lexington, Ky., to a quarter horse sale in early 1966. This was quite an experience because my parents wanted me to have a good horse for 4-H and showing. Dad spent $825 on My Holly String, a quarter horse mare, who was speed-rated on the track and had 90 days cutting horse training. It was the most we ever spent on a horse and I was so excited to get her home and start training for the show season. She was a quick learner and we began going to the early spring shows. All was fine as we were placing high in the competition and adding different types of classes. But we had a little set back that kind of snow-balled.
In a trail class, horses are judged on how they handle obstacles that might be found on the trail. One of such is a 24-inch jump. Holly took the jump like a jack rabbit and probably cleared it by three feet. But when she landed, I landed in the saddle wrong and my belt buckle broke my hand. That was the beginning of a long summer. First, there was the 4-H trail ride. Several of the kids wanted to race up the long gas well driveway in Rootstown to see whose horse was fastest. I tried to talk them out of it, but no, they had to know. I learned that you can take the race horse off the track, but you might not take the race out of the horse. I was a pretty scrawny kid with a broken arm and I did my best to hold her back. They were a couple hundred yards ahead, when Holly broke loose from my grip and beat them all. We all got into trouble for that.
With a broken arm, it’s difficult to hold a horse that is set on winning a race. It was something we had to work on. So over the next few weeks, we worked on control and also going over jumps. One summer day some of my horse buddies came over to go for a ride. We had over 100 acres with a lot of old trails. There was a path through the woods that was great for galloping. And once again, these friends decided to race to the barn (always a bad idea) and much to my protests, they broke ahead. I held Holly back pretty well. The others had high-tailed up and around the trees into the opening to the field, and I could see them rounding the pond headed to the barn. I was doing the best I could with one hand to hold Holly back.
Holly was fighting to run. She reared up and launched like a rocket. At that point, I was just the passenger. Rather than staying on the gallop path, she bolted to the left, nearly threw me, and cut right through a patch of thorn trees. Hanging on for dear life, I was praying to make it to the barn in one piece. When we got back to the barn, everyone was laughing at me. In raking through the thorn trees, my hat was mangled, my face was all scratched up, my jeans ripped, and the cowboy shirt I had recently gotten for my birthday was shredded to pieces. I must have been quite the sight. Well, after a rough start, Holly turned out to win a lot of ribbons and trophies. Proverbs 21:31 says, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.” I’ve a lot of stories about horses, and most of them prove this proverb to be very true.
Daily Devotion: A Holy Obsession - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own —Luke 14:33
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/a-holy-obsession/ - Listen
When one of my granddaughters was little, she loved to collect stuffed animals. Whenever I traveled, she asked me to bring one home for her. But one day when we were talking on the phone, she said, “Papa, I’m not obsessed with stuffed animals anymore. I’m just obsessed with talking to you.”
That warmed my heart. And I thought about how, as believers, we should feel that way about our relationship with God. We should all be able to say, “Lord, I’m obsessed with talking to You, walking with You, hearing from You, and knowing You.”
In Luke 14 Jesus made this statement: “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own” (verse 33 NLT). The New King James Version translates it this way: “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Does that mean it’s a sin to have a car or a house or money in the bank? Of course not. From the original language, we could also translate this verse “So you cannot become My disciple without surrendering your claim to everything you own.”
It’s a recognition that God is the owner. God is in control of it. We recognize that we’re simply stewards of what we have for a period of time.
To be His disciples, we must turn over the title deeds of our lives to Christ. We are not actually owners; we are stewards. Everything we have will be passed on to someone else one day.
It is not wrong to have a career, but it is wrong if a career has you. It is not wrong to have possessions, but it is wrong if your possessions have you. Things have their place, but not the most important place.
As Christians, our only real passion and obsession in life should be Jesus Christ.
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