Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Alexa, Stop Listening! - By Britt Gillette -
In millions of homes throughout the world, Alexa is listening. Many of you know who I'm talking about, but for those who don't, Alexa is the name of the famous voice behind Amazon's most popular devices, such as the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show, and others. Millions of homes around the world feature these devices. And millions of additional homes have similar products such as Apple's Siri and Alphabet's Google Home devices.
Speaking to Alexa has become a huge convenience for many people. But what most users don't realize is Alexa is always listening. And more importantly, Alexa is often remembering. That's right. While Alexa won't respond unless you call to her by name, by her very nature, she's always listening. Otherwise, she wouldn't hear when you call her. But when you do, Alexa does more than listen. She records. Amazon's Echo devices constantly listen for the "wake word" - usually "Alexa" or "Amazon" (although users can customize their wake word). Once a device hears the wake word, it records your voice and stores the audio file on a remote server. Why? Amazon wants to create a profile it can use to improve its recommendations and sell you more stuff. And more sales mean more profits. To build this customer profile, Amazon captures and stores everything you say when Alexa is awake. You read that right. It's not a misprint. When awake, Alexa records and stores everything you say. Don't believe me? Then just check out these recent news stories. Together, they show just how intrusive Alexa is.
Alexa, "Do You Promise to State the Whole Truth?"
In 2015, James Bates claimed he awoke after a night of drinking and watching football to find his friend, Victor Collins, floating face down in a hot tub. Bates claimed it was a tragic accident. The authorities claimed it was murder. To prove it, they called an unusual witness - Alexa. The prosecutor subpoenaed the defendant's Amazon Echo recordings to find out. Following a short legal battle, Amazon provided the audio files. Prosecutors hoped to find evidence among those audio recordings to prove their case, but they didn't. In late 2017, authorities dismissed the murder charges against Bates.
More recently, Alexa became a possible witness in the January 2017 double-murder of two New Hampshire women. The judge ordered Amazon to turn over any recordings from the Echo device found at the crime scene, stating "The court finds there is probable cause to believe the server(s) and/or records maintained for or by Amazon.com contain recordings made by the Echo smart speaker..." Regardless of whether or not the recordings lead to a break in this case, one thing is certain. Your devices are listening to you. And that means millions of people have voluntarily placed eavesdropping devices in their own homes. Think I'm exaggerating? Then you definitely need to read this next story.
Alexa, "Spy on my Neighbor"
In Frankfurt, Germany, a man received access to over a thousand recordings of someone else's conversations when he asked Amazon to send him his own recordings. Amazon emailed him 1,700 audio files of someone else's conversations. When notified, Amazon deleted the files from the link, but they had already been downloaded. Amazon said it "resolved the issue" and promised to "further optimize" their processes.
To my knowledge, no other cases have been reported, so in all likelihood, this was a rare glitch. You probably don't have to worry about your neighbor hacking into your Alexa to spy on you - either on purpose or by accident. But the story shows it's possible. And that means you do need to worry. Not about your neighbor, but about your government.
The Rise of the Surveillance State
Many people have long foreseen the rise of an intrusive government surveillance state. What many failed to foresee is the willingness of so many people to aid in their own surveillance. Of their own free will, people are placing eavesdropping devices in their own homes, sometimes in their own bedrooms - allowing corporations, governments, and hackers to record their everyday conversations. And this willingness to give up personal privacy isn't limited to Amazon devices.
The latest doorbells record everyone who comes and goes from your house. Depending on their placement, they're capable of recording everyone who comes and goes from every house in the neighborhood. On Facebook, people upload personal pictures, location data, lists of friends, and large amounts of other personal information. While they might do it to share it with their friends, corporations, governments, and hackers can see it as well. Even if you avoid Facebook, Alexa, Siri, and other such services and devices, you'll find it hard to escape their watchful eye. Other people can upload pictures of you to Facebook. And even if they don't tag or identify you, Facebook often will. Through its facial recognition technology, it automatically tags people. And even if you don't have Alexa in your home, if you're in someone else's home or within earshot of an Alexa device, you're at risk of being listened to and recorded. Do you trust all this personal and private information in the hands of a large corporation? Maybe you do. But what about your government? And what about foreign governments who will find it more than easy to hack into these home devices?
As technology advances, these devices will become smaller, cheaper, and far more powerful. Cameras and microphones will become ubiquitous. And ever powerful forms of AI will search those camera and audio feeds for patterns. A government in control of such a system will know everything you do and say.
The Global Police State
As the world's corporations further develop these technologies, they set the table for a totalitarian global government. The Bible says such a government will appear in the last days (Daniel 2:40). It will trample and devour the whole earth (Daniel 7:23). No one will be able to oppose it (Revelation 13:4), and it will have such total control over daily life, no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:7). One man will rule this evil empire. He's known as the Antichrist. And Alexa is just the latest warning of his impending reign.
Is The IDF Ready For All-Out War?
- By Yaakov Lappin - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2891
The question of just how ready the Israel Defense Forces is for war has dominated Israel's headlines in recent weeks. The issue came to the fore following the stormy end to the 10-year tenure of the IDF Ombudsman, Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Brick.
Brick released a scathing report and multiple statements, claiming that the military's ground forces are grossly underprepared for conflict. He went as far as to say that "the IDF is undergoing a process of deterioration that has reached its peak in recent years," during an address last month to the Knesset's State Control Committee.
Brick's alarming assessments have been outright rejected by military chiefs, including the outgoing IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, and the Commanding Officer of the ground forces, Maj. Gen. Kobi Barak.
While Eizenkot has ordered the military to examine Brick's claims, he has consistently affirmed that the IDF's war readiness has improved dramatically in recent years. Eizenkot has focused his four years as chief of staff on improving readiness, meaning that Brick's criticisms are being leveled at the heart of his efforts and legacy.
Dr. Eado Hecht, a researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is a defense analyst specializing in military theory and military history, and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan. Hecht also lectures at the IDF Command and General Staff College.
Hecht told JNS that in general, he agrees with Brick and other critical voices who think the IDF is unprepared, but added that this is not a zero-sum argument. "There are areas in which the IDF has done excellent work, and there is a reason why foreign militaries come here to learn from it," said Hecht. "On the other hand, there are areas in which the IDF is not good enough."
Neglecting ground forces in favor of 'high-quality intelligence and long-range firepower'
Hecht explained that the way in which Brick and military command measure war readiness is different, and to understand this difference, it's necessary to dive into the IDF's history. The Second Lebanon War of 2006, he said, was the second-lowest point in the history of Israel's military.
The lowest point can be found in the years 1950 to 1953. "The difference between these two points is that while in 1950 to 1953, the IDF did not know how to conduct routine security missions and did not know how to conduct major wars, in 2006, the IDF knew how to do continuous security in an excellent manner, and hence, it defeated the Palestinians in the 'Ebb and Flow' War [the Second Intifada of 2000 to 2006]," said Hecht.
However, it was during those years of the Second Intifada that new concepts were taking hold, regarding the future of warfare. The concepts held that there will be no "big, high intensity wars" anymore, and in the unlikely event that such wars do occur, they should be fought with high-quality intelligence and through the use of long-range firepower, mostly delivered by fighter jets, to destroy enemy targets.
As a result, "the IDF deliberately neglected the necessary requirements for ground combat," said Hecht. By the time Lt. Gen. (ret.) Dan Halutz became chief of staff in 2005, the ground forces had suffered major neglect, leading to significant failures in the war that erupted with Hezbollah the following summer.
The strategic gains that Israel received from that war came "despite tactical failures," noted Hecht. Those failures led the next chief of staff, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Gabi Ashkenazi, to demand a "return to basics" for the ground forces. They underwent a major upgrade during Ashkenazi's tenure. But then, under the leadership of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and chief of staff Lt. Gen. (ret.) Benny Gantz, this trend was stopped, according to Hecht, and the older trend of focusing on airpower and intelligence, which dominated before the Second Lebanon War, made a comeback.
The current outgoing chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot "brought back Ashkenazi's trend," Hecht argued. "However, the reference point for Eizenkot and the general staff compares today's IDF to the military of 2006. Brick's reference points compare today's IDF to the military when it was at its peak, 40 to 50 years ago," he stated.
The bottom line, said Hecht, is that compared to its performance in 2006, the IDF of 2019 has "undergone a terrific improvement." At the same time, he warned, there is a need to take stock of the growing threat posed by Hezbollah, which today is equivalent to some five infantry divisions, in terms of relative power.
"Hezbollah is like the PLO and the Syrian army in Lebanon in 1982 combined. True, they [Hezbollah] do not have tanks, but they have many things that the Syrians and the PLO did not have then," said Hecht, pointing to powerful guided anti-tank missiles as one example.
"They are moving ahead with the fortification of southern Lebanon at a scale that did not exist before, and they are much more professional and skilled than the PLO was back then," he said.
According to public sources, in 2006, Hezbollah's forces in southern Lebanon were equal to perhaps two infantry brigades, and the organization was armed with far fewer anti-tank missiles, mortars and other powerful weapons. Hezbollah today is some six times more powerful than what it was in 2006, said Hecht.
Is the IDF's order of battle big enough for enemies on multiple fronts?
Crucial questions revolve around the IDF's ability to battle foes multiple fronts simultaneously.
"What will happen if the IDF needs to fight against more than only Hezbollah? If, for example, a rebuilt Syrian military faces it in the Golan Heights, backed-up by Shi'ite forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran? And, at the same time, Hamas begins bombarding our home front from the south? Does the IDF have a sufficiently large order of battle to deal with all of these enemies at the same time?
We would have to call up reserves against Hamas on its own. Against a smaller Hezbollah in 2006, we had to call up reserves. Since then, we have cut reserves very sharply--entire divisions and brigades have been cancelled," posed Hecht.
He cautioned that there were also open questions about how long it would take to get reserves to emergency weapons' storage facilities and the state of readiness among military vehicles in light of decreased maintenance personnel numbers.
While Eizenkot has placed a major renewed emphasis on the ground forces, "still, most of the focus is on increasing firepower. But is this firepower capable of giving the State of Israel the strategic reply it needs to force Hezbollah to cease firing and to prefer a ceasefire?" asked Hecht. "And until it does that, can this firepower decrease the quantity and efficiency of Hezbollah's [own] firepower on the Israeli home front?
The only way to effectively decrease Hezbollah's fire is through a large-scale ground offensive. To do that, the IDF needs to conquer a large hilly area, containing dozens of Shi'ite fortified villages and towns," said Hecht.
Each Shi'ite village, however, will likely have a Hezbollah force as big as one or two military companies, lying in wait.
"This is what the IDF's units will have to pass in order to reach the rocket-launch cells that are firing on the home front," added Hecht.
The IDF has greatly increased its war training, Hecht acknowledged, but according to Brick, these have not yet reached adequate levels, particularly among the Armored Crops and the Artillery Corps.
'We have made great improvements'
In one of his final speeches in uniform delivered on Dec. 23, Eizenkot gave an assessment of the situation. "At the end of 2018, the balance of Israel's national security is greatly improved," he said, while at the same time, an unstable region has created very high levels of explosiveness.
"Of course, this obligates us as a military to be at a very high level of readiness. We have made very big efforts to improve the IDF's readiness. The IDF is a very large military by any standards, especially when reserve forces are added to it. And there are very high costs for holding a military of this scale, particularly the ground forces, at a very high level of readiness."
Ultimately, stated Eizenkot, the IDF's capabilities have been greatly improved.
On Dec. 19, the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee released a report that followed its own investigation into the IDF's readiness. The report found that "the level of readiness in the IDF for war has significantly improved since [the 2014] 'Operation Protective Edge' [against Hamas in Gaza]."
The inquiry found that in almost every parameter, "there has been a dramatic increase in the level of readiness--whether in the number of training sessions, the ammunition inventory, replacement parts and others."
The report praised Eizenkot for leading a multi-year working program, dubbed "Gideon," which prioritized the building of combat divisions that can fight on any front.
Two days after that report, an inquiry launched by the IDF's own Comptroller, Brig. Gen. Ilan Harari, in response to Brick's scathing report, also found that the military's state of readiness has dramatically improved.
At the same time, the inquiry agreed with Brick regarding the need to make improvements in areas such as logistics, personnel, command and control systems, and the service of non-commissioned officers at war-storage facilities.
According to Channel 10 News, the inquiry called for an increase in the military's annual budget by 1.5 to 2.5 billion shekels ($400 to $667 million) to ensure that the ground forces remain in good shape.
"If the IDF is missing 2 billion shekels to complete its readiness in the list of aspects that it brings up, that means that Brick is actually correct," Hecht told JNS. "The IDF isn't ready."
Recent Spate of Biblical Plagues Has Experts Wondering If More Are On The Way - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - www.breakingisraelnews.com
"He sent signs and portents against Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants;" Psalms 135:9 (The Israel Bible™)
A recent wave of four Biblical plagues has many wondering if the remaining six are about to strike since, according to Jewish tradition, all of the plagues that struck Egypt will reappear before the final redemption.
First Plague: Water to Blood
Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. (Exodus 7:20)
More than any of the plagues that followed, the sight of crimson water has become deeply embedded in the collective unconscious and is readily associated with the Exodus. Although Pharoah's necromancers were able to duplicate Aaron's feat, the sight of the Nile-God turning to blood gave the Egyptians a taste of things to come.
Earlier this month, several cases of rivers turning blood-red were reported in different spots around the world, kicking off the New Year with Exodus aspirations.
Seventh Plague: Hail
Hashem said to Moshe, "Hold out your arm toward the sky that hail may fall on all the land of Egypt, upon man and beast and all the grasses of the field in the land of Egypt." Exodus 9:22
Last year ended with hail showing up in unexpected locations. Saudi Arabia was hit by baseball-sized ice balls, covering the sandy deserts. A short but intense hailstorm is Swaziland, South Africa killed a herd of cows. But even more shocking was the Biblical mixture of fire and ice that struck in Australia as ice storms were accompanied by lightning that set of bush fires.
Eighth Plague: Locusts
They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt. (Exodus 10:15)
Just last week Saudi Arabia suffered a massive infestation of bugs, most notably locusts. In a case of divine irony, the bugs arrived in time for the weekly Torah reading that described their role in the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Though many natural causes were blamed for the insects' appearance, images of the floor of the Great Mosque in Mecca covered in dead locusts evoked Biblical connotations.
Ninth Plague: Darkness
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt. (Exodus 10:21)
The total solar eclipse that transversed the continental U.S. in August 2017 ushered in one of the most catastrophic hurricane seasons in the nation's history. The country will not see another total solar eclipse until April 2024 but on January 21, a lunar eclipse with grave spiritual significance will pass over the country.
Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn
At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. (Exodus 12:29)
It may be that the most dreaded Tenth Plague is reappearing, or at least one disturbing aspect of it. In a recent article concerning the Messianic implications of do-it-yourself DNA testing, it was revealed that 20-30 percent of paternity tests reveal that the man doing the test is not the father of the child they are testing.
Rabbi Berger saw this an aspect of the redemption that was witnessed in the Exodus from Egypt. He noted that this technology-aided revelation of widespread infidelity closely resembles what was seen in Egypt just prior to the Exodus of the Hebrews. He noted that according to Jewish tradition, all of the plagues of Egypt would be revisited before the Messiah.
"During the Plague of the Death of the Firstborn, there were households with one father and one mother in which several, or all of the children would die," Rabbi Berger explained. "That was because they were all firstborn...to different fathers."
Hedge of Protection - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone needs protection from enemies and from invaders who want to take what isn't rightfully theirs. People put fences around their property to keep intruders out and security cameras take pictures of anyone who tries to breach the hedge of protection against human invaders. There's a more destructive enemy who seeks to utterly destroy you. That enemy is Satan. For those of us who have placed our faith in God, our protection comes from Him. "In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God." Psalm 62:7.
Scripture records many instances of God protecting the people who trust Him. Job was such a man. Job lived long before the Law was given to Moses, but he knew God. Scripture records that he was a man who tried his best to honor God. "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil." Job 1:1. Job had everything...a large family, much wealth, and he loved God. Satan sees people like Job as a challenge and tries to destroy them and their faith, but he is no match for God and cannot destroy anyone who has God's protection. "Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land." Job1:9-10. Satan couldn't breach the hedge of protection around Job but he wanted to destroy him. God knew that Job's faith would triumph over Satan's attack. Job's faith would only grow stronger. When the hedge of protection around Job fell, Satan attacked in every way possible. At first Job listened to worldly advice from friends. When he finally listened to God his faith was restored. "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." Job 19:25-27. Satan cannot destroy the soul of a person who has placed their faith in God.
God knows the importance of hedges and walls. Walls are built to protect from enemy invasion. In ancient times when the wall protecting a city was breached that city would fall to the enemy. This was true for ancient Jerusalem where the Jewish Temple stood. God had given the Jewish people the Law in order to protect them. Many of the Laws were to keep them separate from the pagan influence around them, while others were to help them prosper. Ignoring God's Law was, in fact, ignoring God and the hedge of protection He provided was compromised. The more pagan influence allowed in, the less protection God gives. There came a time when God's chosen people chose to ignore the Law. Because of that God allowed them to be taken captive by the Babylonians. When the wall of protection was breached Jerusalem was left in ruins. The wall of protection from enemy attack was reduced to rubble and the Temple was then destroyed. God eventually allowed the Jewish people to return to their land and they began rebuilding the city and the Temple. The problem they faced was that they didn't build a hedge of protection against the enemy...they needed a wall. Nehemiah was the man who God chose for this task. Nehemiah was Jewish but he held an important position in the Babylonian court at Shushan. He was cupbearer to the king of Babylon. When some men came from Jerusalem to visit him in Shushan, Nehemiah inquired about the rebuilding of Jerusalem and received some unsettling news. "And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire." Nehemiah 1:3.Without a wall to protect the city, the efforts to rebuild Jerusalem were useless. The enemy was able to attack at will. God used Nehemiah, a man of prayer who listened to God's guidance, to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem and protect all within from the enemy.
Is a hedge of protection a bad thing today? Governments should do everything possible to protect against an invasion from the outside, so walls of protection are still needed. Only fools invite attackers in. That's also true of Christians. Why would we allow the hedge of protection from God to be breached? We need to understand that God wants His Temple protected. His Temple? There's no Jewish Temple standing today because there's no need for one. Jesus was the once for all sacrifice that takes away sin...He sprinkled His own blood on the altar in Heaven. At the moment He gave up the ghost, the veil of separation was lifted. "And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." Mark 15:38. In 70AD the Temple was completely destroyed. Make no mistake, it will be rebuilt after the Rapture. Right now the Temple of God is not one built by men. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" 1 Corinthians 6:19. At the moment a lost sinner realizes their need for salvation through Jesus Christ and accepts Christ's sacrifice for redemption, he or she is sealed by the Holy Spirit and indwelt by Him. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," Ephesians 1:13. That seal cannot be broken, but the hedge of protection surrounding a Christian can be breached. If a Christian chooses to embrace worldly ways, the hedge of protection is weakened by his or her own choice.
God won't force you to do anything against your free will. Everyone has a choice to accept or reject Christ's sacrifice for salvation. Everyone also has a choice whether to walk according to His ways or walk in the ways of the world. His ways are found in Scripture. Nehemiah followed God's guidance and the wall was built in 52 days. Then it was time to restore the people. "And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law." Nehemiah 8:2-3. Once the Temple was protected by the wall the people needed to return to a right relationship with God. They needed instruction in the Law of Moses. When Jesus came to dwell among us He fulfilled that Law. We are no longer under the Law, but that doesn't give us the freedom to live in opposition to God. Before coming to a saving faith in Jesus we followed the ways of the world and the world follows the ways of Satan. Christians need to turn away from the wickedness of the world. "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Ephesians 2:2-3. The word "anastrepho" is translated "conversation" and means the way we conduct our life. Before coming to Christ lusts of the flesh ruled, but there should be a change after accepting Christ. Study Scripture to keep the hedge of protection strong. Turn away from the world and follow Christ.
Very few pastors today teach line upon line through Scripture to instruct their congregations in God's ways. Don't wait for your pastor to teach you. It's your individual responsibility to walk in the ways of the Lord. "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:25. No matter how long we have claimed to be Christians we can never study God's word enough. God's ways don't change even if man's laws "legalize" sin. The only way to keep yourself within God's hedge of protection is to not allow that hedge to be breached. Study Scripture and apply it to your life. Fellowship with other believers and encourage each other to stand strong on God's word. "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Ephesians 2:19-22. Christians are one in the Lord and He indwells all of us. We are His temple. Many liberal ideas are entering our congregations and the hedge of protection is being breached. By being "open minded" you allow the enemy in. Job understood that the enemy could cause no end of pain and suffering, but the protection of his eternal soul only came from God.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." 1 Peter 5:8-9. Everyone is plagued by Satanic attacks on our physical life but he can only attack your spiritual life if you allow the Holy Spirit's hedge of protection to become weak. If you've given your life to Christ, Satan can't take your salvation from you. Job faced many problems and when he listened to worldly advice he became weak. Nehemiah knew that Jerusalem would never be strong until a wall was built to keep invaders out and then the people had to understand God's Law. Christians need to keep strong by not allowing the ways of the world to weaken us. Brothers and sisters, be vigilant and walk in the ways of the Lord. Don't neglect the hedge of protection He provides.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Discerning truth in perilous times of manipulation - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
There is so much information available to us everyday that it is increasingly difficult to discern the truth. The big high tech firms are manipulating the news that you see and what you learn from your search results. Politicians, like always, twist the facts to their benefit. Propaganda is probably at an all time high. So how do you discern the truth? How do you make decisions in your life based on good information? What guides you? These are questions that are becoming increasingly important because deception is free and enticing while truth is expensive and fleeting. Fact of the matter is that we are living in an information age where free speech is so abused that lies affect who we are and what we do.
Breitbart News turned up an internal communication at Google admitting that there are huge teams in the organization working to censure information they deem is not appropriate for the public. Breitbart reports: "The comments came to light in a leaked internal discussion thread, started by a Google employee who noticed that the company had recently changed search results for "abortion" on its YouTube video platform, a change which caused pro-life videos to largely disappear from the top ten results. In addition to the "manual approach," [Daniel] Aaronson (Google's "trust and safety" team) explained that Google also trained automated "classifiers" - algorithms or "scalable solutions" that corrects "problems" in search results.
This was just one example. The communication, according to Breitbart, also showed interventions on"search results related to progressive activist David Hogg and Democrat politician Maxine Waters." A Google spokeswoman, however, insisted to Breitbart that "Google has never manipulated or modified the search results or content in any of its products to promote a particular political ideology." Google's CEO Sundar Pichai emphatically testified to Congress that there was no manipulation by Google, but the internal communication "took issue with Pichai's remarks, stating that it "seems like we are pretty eager to cater our search results to the social and political agenda of left-wing journalists."
People are influenced by what they read, hear and see. Decisions are made. Beliefs are developed. Powers are using the information superhighway to manipulate politics, shape values, and control decisions. The scale of this manipulation is historic because never before have people been so connected with so few companies controlling the information. So how do you discern the truth? As Christ said in John 16:13,"But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." Know your values and weigh everything against them. If it doesn't align, it is likely not true. That inner voice of the Holy Spirit guides us if we so allow it. In society the scales of truth are compromised, but in the Holy Spirit truth is pure.
Daily Devotion: Confident in the Captain - By Greg Laurie -
"So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said." -Acts 27:25
"So take courage! For I believe God." These are not the words of a person in denial. Nor are they the words of someone who's out of touch with reality. They were spoken by the apostle Paul . . . on a ship . . . in the worst part of a storm . . . without any tangible hope.
That is faith. We exercise it when things are unraveling around us and we say, "God is in control. I know He will get me through this, and I know that He's faithful." Nonbelievers don't get that at all. They don't understand the faith that a child of God can have under difficult circumstances.
Paul was confident because he knew that God was the Master of his circumstances and the Captain of that ship. He knew that God was in control.
In Luke's Gospel, we read about a time when Jesus told Simon Peter to launch out into the deep for a catch of fish. They already had been fishing for hours and caught nothing. But Peter said, "Master, we worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing. But if you say so, I'll let the nets down again" (Luke 5:5 NLT).
Then the Bible says, "And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!" (verse 6 NLT).
Here is the question: Will you let Jesus be the Captain of your boat? Maybe it's smooth sailing right now and things are good. Even so, there might be a storm in your future-and it might be a strong one. You might as well get ready for it. And you can take heart in knowing that you will not be alone. You belong to the Lord, and He will see you through every storm.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
1) We need your prayers!- We proclaim the Truth of the Word of God and we are under constant spiritual and sometimes even physical attack.
2) We need your encouragement!- We need to hear from you, let us know how the Lord is blessing you through this ministry so that we can share it with others.
3) We need your input! - If you have a prophetic article or story or if there is a news related item we missed, let us know.
4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
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