IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Spirit of the Lord Came Upon Him, Part 1 - By Randy Nettles - https://www.raptureready.com/2021/06/04/the-spirit-of-the-lord-came-upon-him-part-1-by-randy-nettles/
Authors note: This is a repeat of an article I wrote about six years ago entitled The Spirit of the Lord. You can’t find it on the search engines anymore, so here it is again with a few additions.
The Church Age is the only epoch in mankind’s history where the Holy Spirit indwells and seals believers in a permanent manner, regardless of their works (or lack of) or sins. We are sealed from the moment of our conversion of faith until our death or translation at the Rapture. A true Christian of faith will never lose their indwelling of the Spirit of God. After the Rapture and during the end times of the Tribulation, the Holy Spirit will resume His role and duties as before the Church. See: https://www.gotquestions.org/Spirit-Old-Testament.html .
In Old Testament times (ending with John the Baptist), the Holy Spirit “came upon” men to empower them with strength to accomplish a specific task for God’s purposes. This indwelling or filling of the Spirit was selective and temporary. Once the task was completed, the Holy Spirit usually departed from that person. The possible exception to this condition was David, who retained the Spirit throughout his adult life according to 1 Samuel 16:13: “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.”
However, after committing the grievous sins of adultery and murder, David was worried that the Holy Spirit would depart from him, as recorded by his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit came upon men, irrespective of their spiritual condition, such as Saul, Jephthah, and Samson. In most cases, once the specific God-ordained task was complete or the recipient proved unworthy, the Spirit would depart from that individual. Take, for instance, the next verse after the Holy Spirit came upon David in 1 Samuel 16: “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him” (1 Samuel 16:14).
Most people have heard the story of David and Goliath, but have you ever heard the story of Samson and Goliath? Before the story begins, we need some background information regarding the newly formed nation of Israel. In about 1446 BC, Moses—the man of God—led his people out of Egypt by God’s power and guidance.
The people had been slaves of the Egyptians for approximately 215 years. Before his death, Moses entrusted his authority to Joshua and appointed him to be his replacement to rule over the children of Jacob. Joshua, the servant of God, was a great warrior and leader of ancient Israel; clearly, he learned from Moses.
In 1406 BC, Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and began the conquest of the Promised Land. After the death of Joshua, in approximately 1375 B.C, Israel began to be ruled by judges. These men (and one woman) were usually exceptional warriors and would lead the people of Israel in war against the neighboring pagan enemy nations.
“Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so.
“And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
“And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way” (Judges 2:16-19).
The Israelites began a series of cycles: sinning, worshiping idols, being punished, crying out for help, being rescued by a judge sent from God, obeying God for a while, and then falling back into idolatry again.
“And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years” (Judges 3:5-8).
God raised up a deliverer for Israel in about 1367 BC. His name was Othniel, the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. “And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died” (Judges 3:10-11).
Othniel was Israel’s first judge (not including Moses and Joshua). He served for forty years. This is the first time the phrase Spirit of the Lord is mentioned in the Bible. The recipient of the Spirit of the Lord was given a temporary and spontaneous increase of physical, spiritual, and/or mental strength. This was a supernatural occurrence that prepared a person for the special task at hand, usually delivering Israel from a life of slavery.
Ehud was Israel’s next judge and delivered his people from the king of Moab. Shamgar was the third judge of Israel and was a forerunner of Samson. “And after him (Ehud) was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel” (Judges 3:41).
The next judge was Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth. With the aid of her mighty commander-in-chief, Barak, they defeated the army of Canaan in about 1209 BC. She judged Israel for 40 years. In about 1162 BC, God called Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites. God communicated with Gideon by way of an angel of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet (shofar) to gather the tribes of Israel together to fight. This is the second mention in the Bible of the term “Spirit of the Lord.” With God’s help, Gideon defeated the Midianite army. He was offered a kingship by the men of Israel, but he refused them.
After Gideon’s death, the judges that delivered Israel were: Abimelech, Tola, Jair, and Jephthah. The third occurrence of ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah as he defeated several pagan armies. After Jephthah’s death, the judges that lead Israel were: Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon. After the death of Abdon, the Israelites again turned to idol worship.
“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but you shall conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore, beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: for you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13: 1-5).
The angel also appeared to Manoah later and repeated the message he had left with Manoah’s wife. Manoah did not know that he was an angel until they offered a burnt offering to the Lord: “And the angel did wonderously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to them. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord” (Judges 13:19-21).
“And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:24-25). This is the fourth mention of the phrase “Spirit of the Lord.”
The fifth mention of the phrase happens in Judges 14: 5-6: “Then Samson came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.
“And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle” (Judges 14:19). This verse is the sixth mention of the phrase.
The seventh time the “Spirit of the Lord” phrase is used occurs in Judges 16:14-16: “And when he (Samson) came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.”
Of course, you know the story of Samson and Delilah and how she used her charms on Samson so he would reveal the source of his strength. After his hair was cut, he was easily captured; for the Lord was departed from him. His vow and covenant as a Nazarite was broken. The Philistines gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with fetters of brass, and he was made to grind grain in the prison house. Samson, the mighty warrior, became a slave. However, his hair was slowly growing back.
The lords of the Philistines gathered together to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice that their god was able to deliver their great enemy, Samson, into their hands. Samson was brought before them so they could torture and humiliate him in public.
As you can well imagine, they had a packed house filled with men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. Even the nosebleed sections (roofs) were full of about three thousand men and women that were watching the spectacle.
They placed Samson between two main pillars. He asked the young lad who was holding his hand to place his hands on the pillars so he could lean upon them. “And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee; and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, on the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life” (Judges 16:28-30). Samson judged Israel for 20 years. His heroic death occurred in about 1055 BC.
Israel had two more judges after Samson… Eli and Samuel. After Eli’s death, Samuel became judge of Israel. He was also a prophet of God. As slaves under the Philistines, the Israelites cried to God for a king who would be able to deliver them. They wanted to be like the pagan nations around them, with their own king to rule them. God granted the people their wish in about 1050 BC and instructed Samuel to anoint Saul as Israel’s first king.
He was impressive on the outside, a good head taller than anybody else in Israel. He started out being a very good military leader and man of God. 1 Samuel mentions the Spirit of the Lord coming upon Saul two times, with Saul even prophesying once. These are the eighth and ninth mentions of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon an individual. Eventually, Saul disobeyed God several times and didn’t follow God’s commands and rules. Samuel prophesied God’s rejection of Saul as king.
God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint the son of Jesse (the son of Obed, who was the son of Ruth and Boaz) that God had chosen to be the next king of Israel. Jesse brought seven of his sons before Samuel, but Samuel told him that none of them was the one God had chosen. Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons, and Jesse replied that his youngest son was out tending the sheep.
When David was brought before the prophet, God told Samuel that the young shepherd boy was his choice as Israel’s new king. Samuel anointed David with oil, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. This is the tenth mention in the Bible of the phrase Spirit of the Lord.
9 Signs That Some Of America’s Long-Term Trends Are Starting To Become Very Serious Short-Term Problems - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/9-signs-that-some-of-americas-long-term-trends-are-starting-to-become-very-serious-short-term-problems/
Ignoring long-term problems can work for a while, but eventually they catch up with you. Over the years, I have written many articles about alarming long-term trends in our society that desperately needed to be addressed. Of course the vast majority of those long-term trends never got much attention, because our political system tends to reward politicians that focus on short-term issues. As a result, many of the long-term trends that I have written about previously have now gotten to a point where they have started to become very serious short-term problems. In this article, I would like to share 9 examples of this with you.
#1 I have been warning about exploding debt levels for as long as I have been writing about the economy. Most people know that the U.S. national debt has now crossed the 28 trillion dollar threshold, but hardly anyone is talking about the explosion of corporate debt that we have been witnessing in recent months. According to the Federal Reserve, total corporate debt in the United States is now up to a whopping 11.2 trillion dollars…
Before the pandemic, U.S. companies were borrowing heavily at low interest rates. When Covid-19 lockdowns triggered a recession, they didn’t pull back. They borrowed even more and soon paid even less.
After a brief spike, interest rates on corporate debt plummeted to their lowest level on record, bringing a surge in new bonds. Nonfinancial companies issued $1.7 trillion of bonds in the U.S. last year, nearly $600 billion more than the previous high, according to Dealogic. By the end of March, their total debt stood at $11.2 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve, about half the size of the U.S. economy.
#2 Needless to say, this level of corporate debt is not even close to sustainable, and we are starting to see a lot of prominent names go bankrupt. In fact, one of the largest mall owners in the entire country officially filed for bankruptcy on Sunday…
Washington Prime Group, a major mall owner of more than 100 locations across the United States, filed for bankruptcy, citing pandemic-related shutdowns.
The Columbus, Ohio-based company filed for Chapter 11 late Sunday, saying Covid-19 “created significant challenges” and that the move is “necessary.” Washington Prime secured $100 million in new funding to support its day-to-day operations so it can “continue in the ordinary course without interruption.”
#3 The standard of living in the United States has been going down for a very long time. Here in 2021, inflation is growing at a much faster rate than wages are, and this is squeezing middle class families like never before. One of the ways that families are dealing with this is by putting off major purchases, and that is one of the reasons why the average age of the vehicles on our roads has now reached an all-time record high…
The average age of vehicles on U.S. roadways rose to a record 12.1 years last year, as lofty prices and improved quality prompt owners to hold on to their cars longer.
It was the first time the average vehicle age rose above 12 years, according to data released Monday by research firm IHS Markit. While the average vehicle age has risen steadily over the last 15 years, the trend accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic partly because of a drop in new-car sales, IHS said.
#4 America’s growing homelessness crisis has accelerated greatly during the pandemic, and the big cities in California are being hit the hardest. At this point, it is really difficult to navigate through the streets of San Francisco without stumbling over a tent or stepping in human excrement…
For a city as opulent as San Francisco, it’s long been jarring to see the extreme poverty of those experiencing homelessness on its streets. If you walk around downtown, tents, makeshift cardboard beds and human excrement can be seen littering the sidewalks. Impoverished people lie on the ground as a blur of highly paid professionals whiz by.
#5 The homelessness crisis is also one of the factors that is fueling the dramatic rise in crime rates that we have been seeing all over the nation. Once upon a time, millions of eager tourists would flock to Venice Beach, but now the phrase “like hell went to hell” is being used to describe conditions at that once pristine tourist trap…
Year-to-date numbers show that robberies have nearly tripled since the same period last year. Homeless-related robberies are up 260 percent; homeless-related assaults with a deadly weapon is up 118 percent; property crimes and area burglaries are up 85 percent; and grand theft auto is up 74 percent.
According to Embrich, felony arrests are up 68 percent, while misdemeanor arrests have grown by 355 percent. But arrests aren’t enough: Suspects are often released back onto the streets within hours.
#6 The police are the ones that are supposed to protect us from crime and restore order when things get out of control, but now they are leaving public service in record numbers. After being endlessly demonized by leftist activists and the mainstream media, police officers are either retiring or resigning at a staggering rate….
Police retirements have risen by 45 percent in the past year, with officers opting out of forces across the country amid Black Lives Matter demonstrations that fueled anti-cop rhetoric.
The alarming statistic was revealed by the Police Executive Research Forum on Sunday, with the organization also revealing that resignations rose by 18 percent during the same twelve month period.
#7 Have you noticed that many of our cities are becoming disgustingly filthy? When I was growing up, I often heard the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness”, but you never hear anyone use it anymore. These days, filth and grime are everywhere, and that has resulted in widespread infestations. Many of our cities now have massive problems with rats and bed bugs, but Chicago is the worst of them all…
The Windy City is known for quite a few things: hot dogs, deep dish, baseball. But here’s one thing you probably don’t associate with Chicago: bed bugs. Turns out these tiny hitchhiking pests are quite fond of our city, according to the latest numbers available through Atlanta-based Orkin, a company that specializes in pest control services.
In fact, Chicago ranked no. 1 on the 2021 list, according to Orkin, reclaiming the top spot for the first time since 2017, when it slipped to no. 3, just behind Baltimore and Washington. For the sixth year in a row, Orkin also ranked Chicago the “rattiest” city in America.
#8 I have been writing about the drought in the western half of the country for years, but here in 2021 it is the worst we have ever seen. As I write this article, an astounding 88 percent of the West is officially in a state of drought…
Lakes at historically low levels, unusually early forest fires, restrictions on water use and now a potentially record heat wave: even before summer’s start the US West is suffering the effects of chronic drought made worse by climate change.
Eighty-eight percent of the West was in a state of drought this week, including the entire states of California, Oregon, Utah and Nevada, according to official data.
#9 When drought gets bad enough, it leads to water shortages, and we will want to watch developments in California very closely. Water supplies have gotten very tight throughout the state, and officials in Santa Clara County just officially declared “a water shortage emergency”…
Santa Clara County is in extreme drought. We can’t afford to wait to act as our water supplies are being threatened locally and across California. We are in an emergency and Valley Water must do everything we can to protect our groundwater resources and ensure we can provide safe, clean water to Santa Clara County residents and businesses.
To better deal with these threats and the emergency they are causing, today my fellow Board Members and I unanimously declared a water shortage emergency condition in Santa Clara County. This declaration, which is among the strongest actions we can take under law, allows Valley Water to work with our retailers, cities and the county to implement regulations and restrictions on the delivery and consumption of water. We also are urging the County of Santa Clara to proclaim a local emergency and join us in underscoring the seriousness of the threats posed by the extreme drought.
Over the past few years, America has been hit by crisis after crisis, and many are yearning for a return to the good old days. Unfortunately, that simply is not going to happen.
The United States is never going to be like it once was. Too many things have changed, and our culture has been radically transformed over the past several decades.
Many of the items that I have shared in this article are simply symptoms of much broader cultural problems. We are a deeply, deeply sick society, and it is getting worse with each passing day.
Nearing Midnight: The Coming Energy Crisis – Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
Oil is the world’s most important commodity market. Each year, 35 billion barrels of oil are produced at a value of $2.2 trillion. Right now, the price of oil is around $70 per barrel. Many option traders are placing heavy bets that the price of oil is going to reach $100 per barrel.
They have scooped up call options tied to Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude-oil prices reaching $100 by the end of next year. Oil prices haven’t topped that milestone since 2014 when a gush of U.S. crude depressed energy markets.
Global oil demand is set to rebound and remain robust for some time, BP’s chief executive Bernard Looney told Bloomberg News on the sidelines of an economic forum in Russia, reiterating views expressed by most forecasters and analysts.
“There is a lot of evidence that suggests that demand will be strong, and the shale seems to be remaining disciplined,” Looney told Bloomberg News at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “I think that the situation we’re in at the moment could last like this for a while,” the top executive of one of the world’s largest oil companies said.
As demand rises, there are increasing problems with the supply of oil. Exxon, Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell suffered significant defeats as environmental groups and activist investors stepped up pressure on the oil industry to address concerns about climate change.
In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a Dutch court found that Shell is partially responsible for climate change and ordered the company to sharply reduce its carbon emissions. Hours later in the U.S., an activist investor won at least two seats on Exxon’s board, a historic defeat for the oil giant that will likely require it to alter its fossil-fuel-focused strategy.
The Shell ruling, issued by the district court in The Hague, found that Shell must curb its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 compared with 2019 levels—and that the company was responsible not only for lowering its own direct emissions from drilling and other operations, but also those of the oil, gas and fuels eventually burned by consumers.
“This case does open the door for challenges to other energy-intensive sectors,” said Liz Hypes, an analyst at risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft. Other industries that could face lawsuits include agriculture, transport and mining, all of which are already being targeted by regulators and civil society over their emissions, Ms. Hypes added.
At present, none of the world’s largest oil and gas companies have disclosed how they will achieve the target of becoming a net-zero enterprise by 2050, more than five years after the Paris Agreement was ratified by nearly 200 countries.
Courts and activist investors can set all the mandates they want, but it’s not going to change the reality that the world will continue to run on oil for many more decades. There are one billion vehicles still on the road today.
Many European countries have a deadline to have all cars converted over to battery-powered by 2030. There’s no way to reach this goal with current technology. The power grid could not handle the load of charging millions of cars. We don’t have the basic metals to make all the batteries that those cars would need.
The electrical energy market is setting up for its own future crisis. Most of the coal plants that feed the biggest U.S. power grid will soon no longer be economical to run after prices in a key auction plunged to the lowest level in 11 years.
The PJM grid stretches from Chicago to Washington and serves more than 65 million people. Power plants bid for contracts to be available when electricity demand spikes. Those payments have been keeping many coal plants afloat. But more than 8 gigawatts of coal capacity failed to clear the auction after prices tumbled to $50 a megawatt-day for the year starting in June 2022, down from $140 a megawatt-day in the last auction in 2018.
U.S. utilities are shifting away from coal, and the PJM results may accelerate the decline. There are 340 U.S. coal plants that have gone dark in recent years or announced plans to close, according to the Sierra Club, and just 190 remain in operation.
By under investing in drilling, we are ensuring that the price of oil will skyrocket in the coming years. The rush away from coal will result in blackouts that equal to the one that struck Texas this past February.
When the world rekindles its love for fossil fuel, nations will likely turn to warfare to fulfill their need for energy. I think oil will be a key motivating factor in the Gog and Kings of the East invasions of the Middle East. I was searching my library to find my copy of John Walvoord’s Armageddon, Oil, and Terror: What the Bible Says About the Future. I could not find it. He is the one who first pointed out oil’s connection to prophecy.
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezek. 38:8-12).
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12).
Has Centralization of The Internet Become It's Achilles Heel? – David Wall - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4780
For an hour on the morning of June 8, dozens of the world's most-visited websites went offline. Among those affected were Amazon, Reddit, PayPal and Spotify, as well as the Guardian, the New York Times and the UK government website, gov.uk. Together, these websites handle hundreds of millions of users.
The issue was quickly traced to Fastly, a cloud computing company which offers a content delivery network to the affected websites. Designed to alleviate performance bottlenecks, a content delivery network is essentially a system of computers or servers that hold copies of data across various points of a network. When it fails, the websites it supports cannot retrieve their data and are forced offline.
The outage to Fastly's content delivery network appears to have been caused by an internal software bug that was triggered by one of their customers. Yet even though it was resolved within an hour, it's estimated to have cost Fastly's global clientele hundreds of millions of dollars.
This case illustrates the fragility of an internet that's being routed through fewer and fewer channels. When one of those major channels fails, in what is called a "single point of failure", the results are dramatic, disruptive and incredibly costly.
This hasn't been lost on cybercriminals, who know that one targeted hack can bring down or breach a number of organizations simultaneously. It's urgent we address this significant vulnerability if we're to avoid another global internet meltdown - but this time caused by criminals, not code.
Given that it came hot on the heels of the ransomware attack on the Colonial oil pipeline in the US, experts initially speculated that Fastly's outage could have been caused by a cyberattack.
It's easy to see why. Drawing upon an analysis of over 4,000 ransomware attacks, my research has revealed a massive acceleration in major cyberattacks that target organizations, conducted by ransomware gangs looking to extort cash from businesses they manage to hack.
These attacks are taking advantage of vulnerabilities caused by remote working arrangements. But there's also been a noticeable shift in attacks upon organizations like Fastly, which provide core services to other organizations and their own clientele.
This trend is unlikely to stop. Ransomware has become a sophisticated billion-dollar business, and attackers are supported by an increasingly professional ecosystem that's incentivized by the high yield generated by such attacks. A 2020 Verizon report found 86% of hacks are financially motivated, while less than 10% are motivated by espionage.
Two high-profile hacks that targeted organizations with access to thousands of other organizations have recently shown just how fragile centralized internet systems can be. The SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange Server hacks, which took place in early 2020 and early 2021 respectively, breached tens of thousands of companies. Both have been attributed to state-backed hackers, rather than ransomware gangs.
But cybercriminals have deliberately targeted multiple service providers and critical supply chains too in order to upscale the impact, and therefore the potential payout, of their hacks. Blackbaud, Accellion and other key online service providers have been victim to such attacks.
Centralization of the internet
All these particularly disruptive hacks are partially the result of the drive towards centralization of online services, which may be efficient for businesses, but is counter to the founding principles of the internet.
The initial appeal of the internet was that it was a distributed network designed to resist attacks and censorship. When released for public use in the early 1990s, the internet became popular for commerce as well as being regarded as a beacon of free speech. But market logic, rather than free speech, has driven developments since the early days.
Today, cloud computing firms and multiple service providers manage large chunks of internet traffic, causing single points of failure where internet flows can be accidentally or deliberately disrupted. Even something as simple as a typo can cause significant disruption, as was the case in 2017 when several of Amazon's servers - which power large swathes of the internet - went temporarily offline due to an inputting error.
We should take our hats off to Fastly for quickly rectifying the June 8 outage. But this case has revealed the dangers of consolidating key internet infrastructure, resulting in the emergence of costly single points of failure. It's another stern wake-up call for law enforcement and the cybersecurity community, giving renewed emphasis to the mission of the US and European ransomware taskforces.
Avoiding internet meltdowns
But are taskforces enough to address this problem? What this event has really shown is how firms like Fastly are in effect privately-owned public spaces, which not only blur the lines between business and national infrastructure, but have, in effect, become "too big to fail".
All this suggests that the solution to this dilemma must be found beyond multi-sector taskforces, requiring full-blown political debate over what we want the internet to look like in the latter three-quarters of the 21st century. If we fail to make that decision, then others will for us.
Daily Jot: Child abuse or normal? - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
The Hungarian parliament seeks to outlaw promotion of alternative sexual orientations to children. ABC News reports the legislation also bans showing pornographic material and any content portraying or promoting sex reassignment or homosexuality to anyone under 18.The alt sex special interests say that the legislation brings Hungary into the dark ages of anti-gay propaganda that results in discrimination. In other words, Hungary, like most other countries (including the United States), should allow the alt sex community to recruit children into their lifestyle from their various platforms in school systems under the guise of acceptance and normalization of identifying with dozens of alternative sexual orientations.
ABC quoted David Vig, director of Amnesty International Hungary, saying, “These proposals, which have dark echoes of Russia’s anti-gay ‘propaganda law,’ will further stigmatize LGBTI people, exposing them to greater discrimination in what is already a hostile environment.” Vig used the acronym—LGBTI–for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Here in the US, the acronym is LGBTQ, the “Q” standing for questioning—which in of itself is an expansion of the evangelical agenda of this community to young children who may have, and probably do have, questions about their sexuality. In America, there are laws on the books against adults who would children with sexual intentions. Yet, the LGBTQI community is allowed in schools to normalize the alternative sexual lifestyle—in other words, evangelize.
Vig says that the legislation seeks to crack down on child abuse, and by adding amendments to prohibit promoting sex reassignment or homosexuality to minors “appears to be a deliberate attempt by the Hungarian government to conflate pedophilia with LGBTI people.” Of course, the Hungarian government and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban are coming under international criticism for their efforts to “protect children from pedophilia.” LGBTQI rights groups are saying that such legislation is hostile to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. Human Rights Watch denounced the legislation saying that the government is trying to scapegoat LGBTQI people in order to sidestep a greater issue of human rights violations and authoritarianism. The Hungarian legislation is trying to prevent pedophilia AND sexual child abuse.
LGBTQI preying on children to normalize and gain acceptance of their sexual lifestyles is wrong. Their deceptive approach is to show that they are against bullying, do fun things, and are really good people so children should aspire to be like them. Since they are identified, and proudly so, by their sexual orientation, there is no question that children are exposed to the sexual nature of who they are. If a heterosexual person was doing such to minors, they would be arrested. So why do we let any one approach children in such a way? Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Those with evil intent know this as well as those with pure intent. Thus, the battle over the souls of children.
Daily Devotion: Focus on Jesus - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ —Matthew 25:21
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/focus-on-jesus/ - Listen
In the ancient Olympic Games, the winners didn’t receive gold, silver, or bronze medals like they do today. Instead, they were crowned with laurel leaves.
So if you were a runner nearing the end of your race, you’d see the emperor standing there holding the laurel leaves you hoped would be placed on your head. That was your reward.
Sometimes when people set goals, it helps them stay motivated by choosing a reward for themselves if they reach them. When I was in track and field in high school, I hated going to practice. But if I knew there was a pretty girl watching, it always helped my motivation.
In the race of life, we have an even better motive. Jesus Himself is watching us. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2 NKJV).
That is the key: looking unto Jesus. We’re not doing it for applause or fame or any other thing. We just want to hear Him say to us one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21 NKJV).
But what does it mean to look to Jesus? It means turning your eyes away from other things and fixing them on Him. For instance, if you really focus on something, everything else becomes somewhat blurry.
It’s the same when you’re using a camera. When you get your subject dialed in, the focus blurs out other elements so your subject stands out more clearly.
That’s what it means to look to Jesus. By looking to Him, you’re putting Him first. You’re filling your mind with the Word of God. And that can help you get through whatever you’re going through. Focus on Jesus.
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