IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Church of Christ in the Last Days: Revisited – Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.net/post/the-church-of-christ-in-the-last-days-revisited
…Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:9-10
An open letter to Church of Christ elders (non-instrumental)
What an exciting time to be alive! We live in a day and age, when the only seeming constant, is change. Medical breakthroughs and the general standard of living, have raised life expectancy to levels not seen in millennia. New technology and social media platforms are constantly emerging and evolving at an exponential rate. This accessibility is allowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to reach those places missionaries either feared to tread or couldn’t in years past. This letter itself will reach every continent in a matter of seconds, and the ability to translate it is unlike anything we’ve had since the days of Babel. Such is the open door we currently have, but this open door will not remain open forever. The Bible is crystal clear on many things, one of which is that conditions on earth will go from bad, to worse, before they get fixed permanently by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. This is where Biblical Eschatology comes in.
Eschatology (bible prophecy) is the doctrine on the study of last things. It is a Greek word that is broken into two parts, éschatos meaning "last" and -logy meaning "the study of." Bible prophecy is broken into two parts: things predicted and fulfilled, and things predicted and not yet fulfilled. Like the other major doctrines within the realm of Christian theology, eschatology is unique, in that it makes up nearly 1/3 of the Bible. J Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy lists 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament, and 578 prophecies in the New Testament for a total of 1,817. These prophecies encompass 8,352 verses (out of a total of 31,103 verses) to equal 27% of Scripture (1). See here (2) for a sampling of chapters and verses of the prophetic texts.
Not only does eschatology make up such a large percentage, but it is distributed in such a way that it is in nearly every book of the Bible, from Genesis 3:15 to Revelation 22:19 with the exceptions of Ezra, Philemon, and 3 John. In fact, the most prophesied event in all of Scripture is not Christ’s first coming, but His second by a factor of 8 to 1. Christ’s return is mentioned in 17 Old Testament books, and 23 of the 27 books in the New. This means that in the New Testament alone, 1 out of every 30 verses teaches that Jesus is coming back to earth. Even Jesus referred to His own return 21 times.
Facts and figures are fine, but you’re probably asking yourself, what does Bible prophecy have to do with me and my church? First and foremost, Churches of Christ used to study this…a lot. The abandonment of the prophetic scriptures is a semi-recent development that frankly, makes little sense (More on this a little later on). One of the unique characteristics of eschatology is that it is uniquely tied in with every other major theological doctrine, from ecclesiology (the study of the church) to soteriology (the study of salvation).
We would be grossly remiss to neglect so great a doctrine, seeing its importance with every other biblical doctrine. I would equate neglecting prophecy to only reading two-thirds of a book, or only watching two-thirds of a movie. You might get a general idea, but you have no idea how things end. Additionally, let me share with you three points currently impacting the Churches of Christ (collectively) in the US in the 21st century.
1. Our nation is increasingly moving from an Acts 2 culture to an Acts 19 culture. What this means is that our nation is increasingly turning pagan. We are becoming more unchurched, de-churched, and increasingly hostile to the Gospel message. Again, the Bible predicts this would happen (2 Timothy 3, 2 Peter 3, Jude, etc.)
a. Unchurched happens when a society places little to no emphasis on the importance of religion or church in people’s life. The church becomes a non-factor in people’s lives. Furthermore, the less homogenous a population becomes, the more belief systems are thrown into the mix causing Christianity to just become “another” belief system.
b. De-churched happens when people who formerly attended, make a decision (for a variety of reasons) they no longer need God or church. Three major causes for people abandoning Christianity are confusion over what “Christian” means, people, confusing spirituality for Christianity, and people confusing religion for a relationship with Jesus Christ.
c. Hostility toward Christianity has been on the rise, particularly, through legal and political action, as well as the rise in popularity with post-modernism, secularism, and Marxism/socialism. But the bottom line is the Biblical worldview is increasingly put out from the marketplace of ideas and the public forum
2. Our church population is on the decline. While Barna Studies are showing evangelical church populations holding steady (pre-COVID), Churches of Christ (non-instrumental) in particular, are declining faster than others. Recent studies have shown that Churches of Christ lose an average of 2,400 members a month nationwide from 2016-2019. Ironically, this decline is at a time when other evangelical churches are seeing a growth in membership (Source)(3) (Source) (4) (Source) (5). The bottom line on this- aging populations, as well as decreasing newer, younger membership, will cause Churches of Christ to go extinct within a generation. Causes for the decline:
a. Older generation aging out
b. Lack of leadership roles for women
c. People wanting more experience-driven worship (i.e., entertainment)
d. Decline in church planting and discipleship
e. Pandemic fears and quarantines- older and vulnerable populations no longer feel it is worth the risk or necessary to attend in person
f. No emphasis on prophetic scripture
3. The world is becoming increasingly destabilized. Whether we are talking about the rise in violence/terrorism, political polarity, economic inflation/deflation, global pandemics, extreme weather events, or the national debt, people are becoming increasingly fearful of the future. People are desperately searching for answers, and increasingly, church pulpits are remaining silent for a variety of reasons (political correctness, confusion over eschatology, being labeled as fringe, etc.). The red flag issue here is that churches that remain silent, are increasingly being shunned by those seeking answers.
a. Declining memberships are driving denominations to turn to non-biblical measures to maintain membership populations (social justice gospel, “Woke” gospel, purpose-driven, seeker-sensitive, entertainment, etc.)
b. Silence from the pulpit on America’s precarious decline is increasing online ministries who focus on end-time/last days events. However, the downside is there is little to no quality control for what’s being put out there online
Bottom line: Bible prophecy offers both the reason why things are happening the way they are, as well as the solution for the world we are living in. There is a common saying that goes, things are not falling apart, they are falling into place. However, if you don’t study or are taught what these things are, things just appear chaotic and fearful. This is why prophecy exists- not to tickle our ears or our curiosity, but to settle our hearts on the things above.
Jesus stated on numerous occasions that He would tell His apostles things ahead of time so that when it happened, they would believe (John 13:19, 14:29, 16:4). The proper usage of Bible prophecy is for OUR edification, not God’s. He is omnipotent and already knows how everything will play out. We are finite and mortal, and presently living in enemy territory. Things are fearful and frightening, but we have God’s word as a lamp to our feet, and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105).
Not only this, people today are starving for information on the things to come. It is more preferable that this comes from a sound, biblical perspective. When churches refuse to teach on this, people will turn to other sources to find the answers they are searching for. There are plenty of cults, wolves, and other nefarious groups waiting to pounce upon these people who are just searching for the truth.
Departure from Restoration
The historical eschatology of many of the leaders from within the Restorationist movement was originally camped between either the Pre-Millennial view or the Post-Millennial. As far as I could tell, none were amillennial until at least the 1930s. The Post-Millennial view had men like Alexander Campbell (Millennial Harbinger) and Robert Milligan (Scheme of Redemption) as their chief proponents.
The Premillennial view had men like Barton Stone, David Lipscomb (university’s namesake), James A. Harding (university’s namesake), and R.H. Boll (Gospel Advocate) as their proponents. It wasn’t until Foy E. Wallace (source) 6 came along in the 1930s and 1940s that this began to change. He began an intense purging of these views while simultaneously promoting amillennialism. If that weren’t bad enough, he also promoted or endorsed keeping congregations racially segregated as well as rejecting pacifism throughout the Churches of Christ during this time. According to Church of Christ professor Lynn Mitchell (the University of Houston and Editorial board member of Leaven), this is when churches of Christ began their downward spiral.
Quote:Eschatology: Essential, Yet Essentially Ignored, Lynn Mitchell (Source) (7)
Eschatology died as a living concern among our churches because of at least four related developments: (1) the acceptance of the church-kingdom identity fostered by Tolbert Fanning and like-minded sectarians; (2) the powerful and brutal assault on millennial modes of thought and millennial thinkers, particularly premillennial, by the Foy E. Wallace Jr. cadre of de-eschatologizers; (3) the subsequent ruthlessly enforced triumph of amillennialism and the dogma of church-kingdom identity; and (4) the filling of the vacuum in eschatological thinking with inane, hybridized life-after-death language uninformed by biblical or systematic theology.
All we have left is ah-millennialism.
We are neither passionately radical nor invigoratingly hopeful.
From the 1940s onward, not only millenarianism but serious study of eschatology in general became "an excellent subject to let alone." I do not believe it is an exaggeration to suggest that the Churches of Christ, since the middle part of our century, have been living in a theological wasteland left by the systematic destruction of premillennial piety among us and the heartbreaking oppression of our premillennial brothers and sisters by the self-appointed suppressors of error and developers of nothing.
In Matthew 16:1-4, some of the harshest rebukes in all of Scripture are recorded, when Jesus chastises the religious leaders of His day for NOT being able to discern the signs of the times in which they lived. In Revelation 3:1-3, Jesus strongly chastises the Church of Sardis for not watching for His return. The command (not request) to watch is echoed over a dozen times in the Bible for believers. We are commanded to watch for His return, expecting it at any moment, because we know not the hour of our Master’s return. When churches fail to watch, or even able to discern the times in which they live, they overwhelmingly turn their focus back to earthly things.
But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. Luke 21:34
As the old maxim goes, nature abhors a vacuum. If Bible prophecy makes up nearly 30% of our Bible, and as a congregation, we refuse to teach on this 30%, what do we fill that void with? It has been my experience (in nearly a dozen Churches of Christ in three states), is that they fill it with teaching videos, busyness programs, and social justice endeavors. I taught a 12-week course on eschatology at a Church of Christ in Kansas years ago, not from any particular perspective, just a general overview, and I was astounded by how many seasoned church members approached me afterward to tell me they never knew any of it. I just said it’s in your bible, it’s all there. All I added was how views came into favor (or disfavor) over the past two millennia.
Having spoken to a number of elders and leaders within each of these Churches of Christ, I’ve been told on more than a handful of occasions that they did not want to study prophecy because it was too “divisive.” I reminded them that technically, every doctrine is divisive (Matt. 10:34), and will become increasingly divisive as our culture continues to nosedive into post-modern immorality. But historically speaking, Churches of Christ from the Restoration Movement on forward (as well as any number of other types of churches), have fought and divided on any number of issues:
Literally, all churches have fought and divided over an endless list of things. To say that we should avoid teaching 30% of the Bible because it has the potential to be divisive is wrong on a number of levels. First and foremost, we are to study the whole counsel of God, not just the parts we aren’t offended or troubled by. Secondly, if we are worried about not being politically correct, technically, the whole bible is politically incorrect. Someday soon, preaching the basic Gospel message is going to be considered divisive, because it is too exclusive to say that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to salvation. Churches today are already abandoning this wholesale for a more appealing, non-offensive feel-good message that is guaranteed to offend none and also save no one. (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:15)
Amillennialism, as an eschatological endeavor, is flawed on any number of fronts. It is a fact that the original eschatology of the early church was Premillennialism. Amillennialism didn’t even begin until Augustine published his book, City of God, in the early fourth century. It would go on to become THE eschatological position of the Roman Catholic Church from 431AD (the Council of Ephesus, until this day. Roman Catholic amillennialism promoted the idea that they were the kingdom, hence, the need for a Pope (i.e. the Vicar of Christ), that they should have a physical headquarters (i.e., the nation-state of the Vatican), and that their economic and political power should hold sway over the nations.
Although the Reformers (Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, et al) were able to break away from the RCC and their stranglehold over Christendom, they did little to address the issue of eschatology. For the most part, they just adopted RCC’s amillennial eschatology, and wouldn’t address it again for the next 100 years. Thus, like any academic venture, when starting from a faulty position (list below) it is nearly impossible to get the rest of your biblical doctrines aligned correctly.
Here is a list of things Amillennialism erroneously promotes
If these were true, then we have every right as Christians, to be confused and perplexed as to why our Kingdom is in such shambles. If these were true, then we have every right to be confused as to who these people are over in the Middle East, claiming to be Jews. If these were true, then we have every right to wonder why our righteous campaign to reclaim the earth, is faltering at every turn. We would have every right to question God’s motives if these were true…and it is a very good, advantageous thing for us now in the 21st century, to know these Amillennial positions are NOT true.
Here is a list of things the Bible does say:
So what can the Churches of Christ do?
It is my hope that the same passion to grow and learn in all things Christ that I have, would be shared by the rest of your wonderful congregations. If this seems daunting (changing directions from an eschatological position) or it seems like the opposition is too great, I would echo that every great movement, change, vision, has and will meet opposition.
Admittedly, I feel a little like Don Quixote myself in even broaching this subject with the elders across the country. I recognize that change can be painful, and change can be scary, but sometimes, change is necessary, especially, if we have wandered off the path. We should welcome this and challenge what we believe in a biblically consistent and authoritative manner (iron sharpening iron). Here are some practical things we can do as a congregation.
The Churches of Christ, who pride themselves on being like the early church, why then would it not keep their eschatology? Why would they not even keep the eschatological views of their Restorationist forefathers? I am not advocating that we only teach prophecy, but just that we don’t avoid it. The whole counsel of God, perfectly in tune with the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to serve its community in uncertain times. May we heed the spirit of prophecy, and aspire to Paul’s teaching that we may grow up into all things Christ.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— Ephesians 4:11-15
New government, new threats – Caroline Glick - https://www.jns.org/opinion/new-government-new-threats/
The day after Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett formed their government, Biden administration officials threw a diplomatic grenade at them. Last Monday, administration officials told reporters “unofficially” that U.S. President Joe Biden intends to appoint Hady Amr, his Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and the Palestinians, to serve as U.S. Consul General to the Palestinians—in Jerusalem.
To deploy Amr to Israel’s capital as consul, the administration will first need to open a consulate in Jerusalem. In accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1996, the Trump administration closed the consulate and turned the building into the Ambassador’s Residence following the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in 2019. And under the Vienna Convention, the United States must ask Israel to permit the opening of the consulate and accredit the head of mission.
The administration’s decision to deploy Amr to Jerusalem as ambassador-in-everything-but-name to a hostile, non-Israeli entity is a double assault on Israel. First, it sends the clear message that the Biden administration supports the division of Israel’s capital. Second, by sending Amr specifically to Jerusalem, the administration is making clear that it intends to legitimize and work with Hamas.
The administration’s now all-but-declared positions on Jerusalem and Hamas in turn strengthen Iran’s position in Palestinian society. They also legitimize the until-now unthinkable scenario in which the United States supports a Hamas takeover of Judea and Samaria. The administration’s deep-seated animosity toward Israeli sovereignty over unified Jerusalem makes clear as well just how hostile its positions are in relation to Israel’s strategic requirements and national rights to Judea and Samaria.
Although Palestinian Authority chairman and Fatah and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas initiated the latest round of war last month, he did not benefit politically or militarily from the onslaught against Israel. Hamas did.
An opinion poll published last Tuesday by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 77 percent of Palestinians believe Hamas won the latest round of war. If elections were held today, Abbas would be wiped out, receiving a mere 27 percent of the vote, while Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh would win the leadership with 59 percent of the vote. The only Fatah leader more popular that Haniyeh is convicted mass murderer Marwan Barghouti, the architect of the 2000-2004 Palestinian terror war. Barghouti is in prison, serving multiple consecutive life sentences for his direct command of murderous Fatah terror cells.
It is true that the Israel Defense Forces wiped out much of Hamas’s military machine in last month’s mini-war. But even in relation to Israel, Hamas emerged stronger from the last round of fighting than it was before it began its offensive. Israeli Arab imams aligned with Hamas through the Israeli Islamic movement incited pogroms against Israeli Jews throughout the country. Their actions demonstrated Hamas’s long arm of influence in Israel’s Arab community.
Events surrounding last week’s flag march in Jerusalem made clear Hamas’s strengthened position. Hamas threatened to reinstate its assaults on Israel if the government allowed Israeli citizens to parade through the capital carrying Israeli flags. Rather than ignore the warnings, the security establishment, the media and political leaders treated them like strategic threats. For days, Hamas’s threats dominated the discourse at all levels of the ruling class. The obsessive concern over the threats showed that despite the operational damage Israel caused to Hamas’s military infrastructure, Hamas today is deterring Israel, at least publicly, far more than Israel is deterring Hamas.
All of this brings us to the new government. Although Naftali Bennett is prime minister, the real power in the government is Foreign Minister and Prime Minister-designate Yair Lapid. Lapid controls 75 percent of the coalition to Bennett’s 20 percent. The last five percent of the 61-seat coalition is controlled by Mansour Abbas, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Islamist Ra’am Party.
In the ceremony at the Foreign Ministry marking Lapid’s entry into office, Israel’s effective leader laid out his priorities. His top three goals are to rebuild Israel’s ties with the Democrat Party, with the progressive U.S. Jewish establishment and with the European Union.
With regard to Iran, ignoring Republican opposition, Lapid said the U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear agreement was a done deal. Lapid said that Israel’s job is to prepare for the inevitable. The 2015 agreement provides Iran with an open path to a nuclear arsenal and enriches it through sanctions relief while placing certain restrictions on its nuclear activities for a limited period of time.
As for the Palestinians, despite the fact that the Palestinians have refused to negotiate with Israel for the past 13 years, and that in the meantime Israel made peace with four Arab states and formed an operational alliance with the Sunni Gulf states and Egypt against Iran, Lapid described the Palestinians and their conflict with Israel as the central axis around which all other regional issues rotate. What happens between the Palestinians and Israel, he said, will “define, to a large extent, all the other arenas.”
Lapid’s priorities dictate his policies. The tensions in Israel’s relations with the Democrats, the progressive American Jewish establishment and the European Union were never about personalities. They are and always have been about positions. Relations with all three became acrimonious because the Democrats, progressive Jews and the European Union embrace policiesthe nuclear deal and Palestinian statehood—that most Israelis consider dangerous to the state’s survival. The only way for Lapid to mend Israel’s relations with these groups is to adopt their dangerous policy preferences.
Although Israel has the power to reject a U.S. request to open a consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, and certainly has the power to reject pro-Hamas Amr as consul, Lapid’s desire to appease the Democrats will prevent him from doing either.
As for Iran, while Lapid told the Foreign Ministry officials who attended his inaugural speech, “Israel will prevent in every way necessary the possibility that Iran will attain nuclear weapons,” this commitment cannot be aligned with Lapid’s top three priorities.
Haaretz reporter Jonathan Lis wrote last week that in all likelihood, to advance the goals he set for himself, Lapid will seek to implement the diplomatic vision he laid out in a 2018 speech. In that speech, Lapid made the same claim that the Palestinians are the axis around which all other regional issues rotate. In keeping with this view, he called for Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians to receive U.S. support on Iran.
In his words, “I believe that a breakthrough on the Iranian issue depends on the Palestinian issue. We need to work to advance a diplomatic agreement with the Palestinians, only as part of a regional discussion.”
He went on, “Can we separate the Iranian problem from the Palestinian problem? Without progress vis a vis the Palestinians, can we enlist the [support of] the Saudi public, the U.S. Congress, American Jewry, the European Union and the money from the Gulf states? Netanyahu says we can. I tell you we can’t. Most security officials say we can’t.”
Lapid’s speech didn’t age well. In the months that followed he pronouncement, then President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem and moved the embassy to Israel’s capital. Trump left the nuclear deal and implemented his maximum pressure campaign against the ayatollahs. The Gulf States formalized their operational alliance with Israel through the Abraham Accords. The United States recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, acknowledged the legality of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and accepted Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria in the Trump peace plan.
In his speech last week, Lapid made clear that none of these events made the slightest impression on him. The path he intends to embark upon is based on ignoring the significance of everything that has been achieved.
This brings us to the opposition, which while controlling only 53 seats in the Knesset, represents the wishes of the majority of voters, who elected 65 right-wing politicians to represent them.
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his colleagues must base their platform for bringing down the Lapid government on a recognition of reality. Hamas’s clear influence over Israeli Arabs brings home the fact that a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem would foment Israel’s destruction. If the Hamas state in Gaza can foment anti-Semitic pogroms throughout Israel, a Hamas state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, along with Gaza, will represent a threat to the country that no government will be able to successfully surmount.
The opposition’s platform must begin then with a full rejection of Palestinian statehood. Instead, Netanyahu and his colleagues should adopt Bennett’s 2013 plan to apply Israeli law throughout all of Area C of Judea and Samaria.
Flowing from that, and from the Biden administration’s effective embrace of Hamas through Amr, the opposition must oppose completely the establishment of a U.S. consulate anywhere within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries. It must oppose all freezes in recognition of Jewish property rights in unified Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria.
Netanyahu’s meeting last week with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Christians United with Israel leader Pastor John Hagee was widely attacked by the anti-Netanyahu media. But it was a critical move. In his speech, Lapid effectively threw both Republicans and evangelicals under the bus. It is the duty of the opposition to maintain and strengthen Israel’s ties to both groups through frequent meetings and exchanges.
Lapid’s idea of linking U.S. policy toward Iran with the Palestinians flies in the face of a generation of strenuous efforts by successive Israeli governments to avoid linkage at all costs. Israel opposed linkage historically because it makes no sense. As the Abraham Accords and the Arab Spring before them made clear, regional affairs have nothing to do with the Palestinians and pretending they are linked is a recipe for strategic failure on all levels.
Today, given the Biden administration’s single-minded focus on realigning U.S. policy towards Iran and away from Israel and the Sunni Arab states, Lapid’s position is indefensible. There is no nuclear deal the administration will offer Iran that will protect Israel’s strategic interests even partially.
The new government both faces and invites new challenges and threats from Hamas, from Iran and from Washington. If he follows through on them, Lapid’s diplomatic policies will guarantee that his government will fail to meet them. Under the circumstances, the duty of the political opposition is to present a clear alternative approach and use the tools at its disposal to advance it.
Nearing Midnight: The Great “Mega-Drought” of 2021 – Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Many Western states are in the grips of a drought that is starting to have a major impact on the local economy. The dry period has lasted so long, it has been given the rank of “Mega-Drought.” A return to normal moisture levels would require months of heavy rainfall.
According to The Weather Channel, 89% of the Western U.S. is experiencing drought conditions. More than half — about 55% — of the West is experiencing the highest levels of “extreme” and exceptional” drought.
The state of North Dakota is in the second-worst level of drought, and ranchers are auctioning off their cattle by the thousands.
“Normally this time of the year, we’re probably looking at 400-600 head, and a lot of times would be every other week,” said former auctioneer Ron Torgerson.
Recently, more than 4,200 head of cattle were sold at Rugby Livestock and Auction during a two-day sale. Needless to say, ranchers in North Dakota don’t want to get rid of their cattle, but the drought has pushed prices for hay and corn so high that many of them simply have no choice.
Feeder Cattle prices have declined as herds are being sent to the slaughterhouse. As cattle herds shrink all over the western half of the country, beef prices will move significantly higher a few months down the road.
Record heat during the past few weeks has yielded no shortage of horror stories. Almond growers have lost whole orchards, and 17 million endangered salmon are being shipped to the sea because rivers are too hot to navigate.
Meanwhile, the drought continues to push the water level in Lake Mead into the danger zone. According to CBS News, Lake Mead has hit the “lowest level ever recorded.” Since most Western states get nearly zero amounts of rain during the summer, Lake Mead will continue to dry up for several months.
Formed in 1937 by the construction of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the U.S. The reservoir supplies water to 25 million people in Los Angeles, San Diego, Tucson and Las Vegas, per Reuters. Lake Mead has not been full since 2000, with water levels falling 140 vertical feet since then, and it is currently at just 36 percent of capacity.
The ability to produce electrical power at Hoover Dam has become a concern. Lake Mead has dropped so much that it has cut the dam’s hydropower output by nearly 25%. At some point, the dam could stop producing electricity altogether.
For the first time ever, the federal government is expected to declare a water shortage on the lower Colorado River later this summer. That will force automatic cuts to the water supply for Nevada and Arizona starting in 2022. Homeowners have higher priority and, at first, won’t feel the pain as badly as farmers will.
Dan Thelander is a second-generation family farmer in Arizona’s Pinal County. The water to grow his corn and alfalfa fields comes from Lake Mead. “If we don’t have irrigation water, we can’t farm,” he said. “So, next year, we are going to get about 25% less water; [this] means we’re going to have to fallow or not plant 25% of our land.”
Unless something changes, Thelander and other farmers in the region could potentially have all water cut off in 2023. That is just two years away.
Farmers in California are in far worse shape. Some have already been informed that they will not be getting any water allocated to them at all here in 2021. It is being projected that farmers in the state will not grow anything on 500,000 acres this year; that is really bad news because California grows more than a third of our vegetables and two-thirds of our fruits and nuts.
California’s groundwater situation is another factor that is putting pressure on food production. For decades, groundwater was pumped with no statewide limits. As the water level dropped, farmers have been drilling deeper wells to suck out more water to plant. We are now at a point where the groundwater levels are so low, many fields cannot be planted without access to surface water.
As I look back over the past decade, there has not been a single year that did not have a major disaster. Judging from 2020 and 2021, it now appears we are going to have multi disasters for any given future year. Since the tribulation hour will likely have monthly disasters, the rapture must be very near.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
On The Mean Streets Of America, The Gun Battles Never Seem To End… - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/on-the-mean-streets-of-america-the-gun-battles-never-seem-to-end/
Did you know that 296 mass shootings have happened in the United States this year? Needless to say, the vast majority of the mass shootings are taking place in our core urban areas, and at this point many of our largest cities are becoming open war zones. We desperately need more law enforcement officers on the streets, and as I wrote about yesterday, even some of our most liberal cities are now racing to “re-fund” the police. Crime rates spiked dramatically all over the nation in 2020, and they are skyrocketing even higher in 2021. But if you think that things have been bad so far, just wait, because we are being warned that “a bloody summer” is on the way…
“The spike in homicides and nonfatal shootings is extremely alarming,” said Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, who recently left the Houston Police Department and leads the Major Cities Chiefs Association, an organization of law enforcement executives. “One of the reasons we talk about a bloody summer ahead for our country is because it’s already been a very bloody year, a very deadly year for Americans.”
There is usually more violent crime when the weather is warmer, and we have definitely seen that so far here in the month of June.
Mass shootings are considered to be incidents in which at least four people are wounded, and during this past weekend we witnessed mass shootings in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, Virginia, Alaska, Louisiana, Minnesota, Texas and California.
They are happening with such frequency now that each one barely makes a blip in the news before the next one happens.
To me, the most disturbing incident during the weekend took place in Chicago…
And in another deadly shooting in the city on Saturday night, two individuals were attacked by a group of men after a crash took place at Humboldt Park, prompting a large crowd to surround Gyovanny Arzuaga’s vehicle.
He and his girlfriend, Yasmin Perez, were attending a Puerto Rican People’s Day parade in the park, Newsweek reported, when a group of two or three gunmen ambushed them and opened fire.
A video of the incident, posted to Twitter, purportedly shows Arzuaga surrounded by a group of men, who leave him lying unresponsive on the ground.
Words cannot really convey the true horror of that attack. If you have not seen the video footage yet, you can watch it right here.
When I first watched it, I could hardly believe what I was seeing.
There has always been violence in our streets, but nothing like this.
What in the world is happening to our country?
Overall, the number of shootings in the city of Chicago is up 18 percent so far this year.
I know that sounds bad, but other major cities are seeing much larger spikes.
In Philadelphia, the number of shootings is up 27 percent so far this year.
It is supposed to be “the city of brotherly love”, but it is rapidly becoming one of the most dangerous places in America.
In Atlanta, the number of shootings is up 40 percent so far this year.
But at least the Hawks are doing well, right?
In Los Angeles, the number of shootings is up 51 percent so far this year.
Crime is now the number one political issue in the L.A. area, and even tourist areas such as Venice Beach are being totally trashed.
In New York City, the number of shootings is up 64 percent so far this year.
As I discussed yesterday, in the Big Apple running gun battles even happen during broad daylight these days.
In Minneapolis, the number of shootings is up 90 percent so far this year.
I spent a lot of time in Minneapolis growing up, because I have a lot of relatives in the area. I can’t believe how far that once beautiful city has now fallen.
But there is one major city that even has Minneapolis beat.
In Portland, the number of shootings is up 126 percent so far this year.
Everywhere you look, there is chaos and violence, and what we have been through so far is just the beginning.
It is almost as if a significant percentage of the population has gone completely and totally nuts over the past couple of years. In this sort of an environment, you never know what some crazy person might do. Here is just one example…
A Bel Air homeowner is in shock after coming face to face with a violent naked man who broke into his house and killed the family pets.
Mat Sabz was home alone Thursday afternoon when his wife called to tell him that security cameras showed a naked man breaking into their home.
You have got to be really sick to want to kill somebody’s pets.
Sadly, right now there are vast numbers of really sick people running around out there, and many of them would kill you and your family without even thinking twice about it.
Up to this point in 2021, a total of 20,729 Americans have died as a result of gun violence, and by the time most of you read this article that number will inevitably be even higher.
Ironically, many of the cities that have the strictest gun laws also have some of the highest murder rates.
In Chicago, the number of gang members is more than ten times greater than the number of law enforcement officers, and that is causing enormous problems. The politicians can pass as many laws as they want, but violent criminals are going to remain heavily armed and they are going to retain the upper hand for the foreseeable future.
Of course Chicago is far from alone. Violent criminals are gaining the upper hand in communities all over the country, and meanwhile police officers are resigning in record numbers from coast to coast after being relentlessly demonized by the mainstream media for months on end.
Our society really is coming apart at the seams all around us.
Unfortunately, most Americans still do not understand what is happening. Most Americans still assume that things will eventually “return to normal”, but a “return to normal” is simply not in the cards.
Daily Jot: Snow White and the 7 sex orientations - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Snow White no longer has seven dwarfs representing her various moods, but rather at least seven sexual orientations—LGBTQI+–to ply young minds. Well, maybe Snow White won’t specifically be part of Disney’s “Pride Month Celebration,” but Disney is joining the ranks of companies normalizing the gay, lesbian, transgender agenda in its kids characters. Many consider this sexual abuse because characteristics identified with sexuality are used to groom minor children. Disney is using iconic characters to promote alternative sexual identification among young children. Critics say that if you went into someone’s living room and promoted sexuality to their minor children, you would be arrested. Why not Disney?
This is what Disney is saying, “We believe in the power of inclusive storytelling that brings us together and inspires us to live authentically, and Disney+ is committed to amplifying LGBTQ+ and BIPOC voices. We are proud to be a home for diverse creators, talent, and content; whether we’re celebrating our humanity as seen in Howard, connecting our families in Out, or reminding ourselves to love loud and sing louder in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Around the world, The Walt Disney Company proudly contributes towards organizations that support LGBTQ+ communities and people. Discover LGBTQ+ characters and stories in the “Celebrate Pride Month” content set now streaming on #DisneyPlus and join us in recognizing the community all month long with special spotlights, musical moments, laughter and love.” WOW!
Breitbart News reports: “Disney+ will host a LGBTQ Pride concert aimed at kids and starring drag queen Nina West, with performances of popular Disney songs that will reportedly be re-imagined with LGBTQ themes. Disney+’s This Is Me: Pride Celebration Spectacular, which is set to stream on YouTube and Facebook on June 27, will feature appearances by Kermit the Frog as well as pop stars Hayley Kiyoko and Todrick Hall. Other performances will include gender-fluid singer Alex Newell and gender non-binary performer Jesse James Keitel. Drag queen Jackie Cox is also set to appear during the concert. (Both West and Cox are alumni of RuPaul’s Drag Race.)”
According to Breitbart, “The event is intended to raise awareness of GLSEN, a LGBTQ youth advocacy group founded by Kevin Jennings, who is a former Obama administration official. Disney+ is recognizing Pride Month by spotlighting LGBTQ-themed programming. The streaming service recently debuted the short film The Little Prince(ss) about a gender non-conforming kid. As Breitbart News reported, the new comedy series Big Shots, starring John Stamos, featured a lesbian kiss between two high school characters.” As Christ said in Luke17:2, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” What adults do and how they choose to live their lives is between them and God, but grooming minor children for sexual lifestyles is horrible.
Daily Devotion: What’s Your Temperature? - by Greg Laurie – www.harevst.org
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. —Matthew 24:12
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/whats-your-temperature/ - Listen
If you’re not feeling well, one of the first things your doctor typically does is take your temperature. Why? Because your temperature indicates the state of your health.
In the same way, your spiritual temperature indicates your spiritual health. The Bible gives us only three categories: icy cold, miserably lukewarm, or burning hot.
First, there’s icy cold. Jesus said of the end times, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12 NKJV). This is basically someone who has a heart like stone. It would describe nonbelievers who have no interest in the things of God. They just don’t care.
Next, there’s miserably lukewarm. Believe it or not, this spiritual temperature is actually more offensive to Jesus than icy cold, which seems surprising. To the lukewarm church of Laodicea He said, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15–16 NKJV).
Those of us who drink coffee like it hot or iced. The same goes for tea. I also like milk hot or cold. But do any of us like these things lukewarm? Probably not. So here’s what Jesus was saying: “Lukewarmness makes me want to throw up.”
The final category is burning hot, and that’s the spiritual temperature we all should want to be. Describing their conversation with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, the disciples said, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32 NKJV).
What’s your spiritual temperature right now?
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