Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
2017 Prophetic Events Recap - Paul Rolland -
A Little Background;
Everything is going along pretty much as it always has. Life continues to slide along, spooling out - unwinding like thread pulled from a skein of yarn. People are still getting up and going to work; some people are getting married and starting families; others are coming to the end of their lives. People are buying groceries, going on business trips, doing laundry, working on projects, paying bills, and simply doing the myriad of things that make up life in normal times. Heck, in the U.S., the stock market (DJIA) is at its high (recently passing 25,000), unemployment is very low and a major tax overhaul was just passed by the government. Some reports indicate that two million new jobs were created in the U.S. during 2017. Economically speaking, things are looking very good here in the Good 'Ole USA!
However, with increasing frequency, "normal times" aren't as "normal" as they used to be, are they? Our society is not as gentle as it once was. People are much more self-centered and callous. Children (and adults as well) are less respectful, a lot less kind than before; and our culture, indeed the entire world, is much less safe than it used to be. Natural disasters around the world in 2017 alone have created dread due to their immense size, frequency, intensity and scope of devastation. There is no denying these facts. There is a palpable fear that is growing within the hearts of everyone everywhere. Regardless of where one lives, there is an indefinable "something" that permeates the very air - a sense of looming danger that is disturbing and disquieting - a sense of an impending disaster that lies just beyond what we can see. As Shakespeare once said, it is obvious to anyone who is honest that "something wicked this way comes." Indeed, if you are honest, you too must admit that you can feel an ill wind of change headed our way.
From nature's perspective, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for natural disasters. They recorded 16 weather and climate disaster events across the United States, including 1 drought, 2 major floods, 1 major freeze event, 8 severe storms, 3 tropical cyclones, and 1 major wildfire. Overall, these events resulted in 362 deaths. The average number of annual catastrophic events in the past five years was 11.6, double the annual average in the 35 preceding years. The cumulative damage of these events totaled $306.2 billion, shattering the previous U.S. annual record cost of $214.8 billion. The NOAA also identified 710 natural catastrophes around the globe, significantly higher than the annual average of 605. The organization found that the disasters in the United States were by far the most costly, accounting for roughly half of all insurance payouts
Pieces of the eschatological puzzle continue to manifest daily. Even signs that are primarily Tribulation events are casting a shadow today. The following key prophetic news stories of 2017 highlight the fact that we are indeed 'the last generation living in the season of the end times'. The CONVERGENCE of all these signs indicates the season of the Tribulation and Jesus' coming is soon and time is increasingly becoming shorter prior to those events (and how much more so the Rapture/Harpazo of the Church!). We can look at the following lists and focus on "sighs of the times" rather than realize that they are 'signs of the times". The pieces of God's puzzle continue to fall into place, nothing is falling apart but instead falling into place!
1. The nation of Israel has been established (Ezekiel 36:22-24) / Jerusalem has become a "burdensome stone" and "cup of trembling" (Zechariah 12:2-9). On December 21, 2017, the United Nations united as one to stand against one city on the planet: Jerusalem. Twenty-five centuries earlier, the prophet Zechariah wrote these words from the Lord, "I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle" (Zech. 14:2). The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning US President Donald Trump's decision to name Jerusalem the capital of Israel. A total of 128 countries voted in favor of the measure, nine voted against it and 35 countries abstained. 1) The vote confirms international hostility towards a Jewish Jerusalem. 2) The vote reminds us that the biblical authors were inspired when predicting that an end-time coalition of nations would come against a Jewish Jerusalem. 3) The vote tells us that, just as Scripture indicates, the city of Jerusalem alone is the whole world's business. The entire world is attempting to divide God's covenant land Israel in half (via the "Two-State Solution'), which is the event that the Bible describes as the catalyst for God's coming judgement on all the nations (Joel 3:2). This division of land is supported by all major nations and the United Nations itself - literally all the nations are attempting to sever Israel from Judah, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights. Amazingly, the Bible takes this prophecy a step further and indicates that the "boundary stone" the nations try to move will include Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:3). Pope Francis used part of his 2017 Christmas message to the world as a call for a "two-state" solution regarding Israel and the Palestinians.
2. The Gog-Magog alliance went on fast-forward in 2017. Iran, Turkey, and Russia are uniting with a primary goal in mind - coming against Israel as foreshadowed in Ezekiel 38-39. Turkey's Erdogan threatened to "wipe out all Jews" after Trump's Jerusalem capital announcement. Putin is setting up bases in Syria and patrolling nuclear subs in the Mediterranean at a rate not seen since the cold war. Iran is aligning with Turkey and Russia. The Alliance of Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Ezekiel 38 predicts a latter-day invasion of Israel led by a coalition of Russia, Iran, and Turkey. On November 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Turkish President Erdogan met together at the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi to discuss the future of Syria, where all three have a significant military presence. They have no intent of leaving, only that of increasing their power in the nation. This public display of harmony between all three nations is exactly what we would expect ahead of the battle of Gog and Magog in light of Ezekiel 38-39. Such unity signifies, for example, that if Israel attacks Iran the other countries would respond as well. Russia made that clear a couple weeks ago, and now Turkey is also a part of this alliance. It is likely that this alliance indicates that the assault against Israel predicted by Ezekiel could become a reality in the coming months or years. The Times of Israel reported the warning Benjamin Netanyahu gave to Syrian President Bashar Assad. He said that if he allows Iran to set up a permanent military presence near Damascus, Israel will intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war. Netanyahu will attack if Iran continues to build up its forces so close to his nation's border. Satellite images confirm that Iran is setting up a large military camp near Damascus, just thirty miles from the Israeli border. The warning by Netanyahu is just one of many he has made regarding the expanding Iranian presence so close to Israel. Do you see how this could lead to a much greater conflict? With Russia and Turkey now so closely aligned with Iran, they would certainly join in responding to the attack along with the other Muslim nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 who seize the opportunity to take part in destroying Israel. The prophet says that God will lure Gog, the head of Russia, into the battle because of the spoil he could gain from the invasion (Ezek. 38:12). Until recent years, Israel has never possessed the type of wealth that would interest her enemies. Now they do. Israel possesses a large deposit of natural gas just off her shore and a massive reservoir of oil under the Golan Heights. These are exactly the two things Putin desires and needs to help his flailing economy. Furthermore, possession of Israel's oil would greatly enhance his standing as the world's new "energy czar," a title Putin recently appropriated for himself. Do you see the preciseness of Ezekiel's prophecy in these events?
3. A time when knowledge and transportation have greatly increased (Daniel 12:4); A highly publicized article in 2017 illustrated how some companies are offering their employees an implantable chip the size of a grain of rice (micro-chipping) to be placed in their hand. This is to enable the employee building access and to make purchases in the cafeteria. The company promises to not use the chip for employee geo-locating purposes outside of the work environment. These technological developments have profound implications for a one-world government and economic system. The idea of micro-chipping was so acceptable that people will soon be eager to micro-chipped, as if the device were as cool as new smart phone. It is forecasted that many people around the world will think nothing of accepting this technology into their bodies to enable global commerce. Additionally, a recent BBC exposÃ© into the network of facial recognition CCTV cameras in China's biggest city, Beijing, illustrates how effective a surveillance network is at identifying, tracking, and interdicting any targeted or wanted individual within minutes. All the more unnerving is China's progress in developing a system of ranking individuals based on a citizen score linking social media and big data to create a digital caste system for human beings. Something akin to a credit score showing your loyalty to the state. Broadband, satellites, television and live internet feeds fulfill the technological requirement for the world to be able to watch the events of Revelation 11 in regards to the prophetic ministry of the 'two witnesses' during the tribulation period. Brand New Way to Create Babies Without Sex; With new rules complicating male-female relationships, scientists claim they may have a solution that will allow the human race to continue - in vitro gametogenesis, the manipulation of skin cells to create a baby. IVG has been successfully tested by Japanese researchers on mice, which produced healthy babies derived from skin cells. The process begins by taking the skin cells from the mouse's tail and re-programing them to become induced pluripotent stem cells. These manipulated cells are able to grow different kinds of cells, and are then used to grow eggs and sperm, which are then fertilized in the lab. The resulting embryos are then implanted in a womb. Although similar to in vitro fertilization, IVG eliminates the step of needing pre-existing egg and sperm, and instead creates these gametes. But many experts in the reproductive field are skeptical of its potential outcomes and ethical compromises. "It gives me an unsettled feeling because we don't know what this could lead to," said Paul Knoepfler, a stem-cell researcher at the University of California, Davis. Knoepfler noted that some of the potential repercussions of IVG could turn into "cloning" or "designer babies." Other dangers could include the "Brad Pitt scenario," in which celebrity's skin cells retrieved from random places, like hotel rooms, could be used to create a baby. Potentially anyone's skin cells could be used to create a baby, even without their knowledge or consent. In an issue of Science Translational Medicine earlier this year, a trio of academics - a Harvard Law professor, the dean of Harvard Medical School and a medical science professor at Brown - wrote that IVG "may raise the specter of 'embryo farming' on a scale currently unimagined, which might exacerbate concerns about the devaluation of human life. "Although IVG has proven successful in mice, there are still some wrinkles that need to be ironed out before it is tested on humans. It will take at least another decade of bioengineering work, researchers say. In the meantime, those who want to make a baby the old-fashioned way will need to pay attention to the ever-changing rules governing courtship. Expanding Worldwide Trend - National Biometric Database. Russia is to start a biometric database for financial services starting next summer, the Central Bank of Russia said in a statement. The biometric database will incorporate images of faces, voice samples and, eventually, irises and fingerprints. Russia isn't the only country planning to implement a biometric database. China has also turned its nation into George Orwell's nightmare. China's Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the database, has amassed biometric information for more than 40 million people it was reported in 2015. The Communist country has the world's biggest database of DNA information according to a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) just this year. For comparison, in the US, the FBI's national DNA index has 12.7 million offender profiles. "Mass DNA collection by the powerful Chinese police absent effective privacy protections or an independent judicial system is a perfect storm for abuses," Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW said. "China is moving its Orwellian system to the genetic level." A follow-up report published earlier this month by the human rights watchdog group revealed that there was even a program which has gathered biometric data--including fingerprints, iris scans, blood-type, and DNA--on millions of residents in six regions in Xinjiang in 2017 under the guise of a free public health program providing physical examinations. Here in the U.S. the DHS is planning a biometric facial recognition database for border checkpoints and to create the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) to store 500 million people, including many US citizens' identities within its system. HART will no doubt link into the FBI's NGI (Next Generation Identification System.) The Electronic Frontier Foundation is currently working with allied organizations to oppose mandatory national ID cards and biometric databases. According to EFF's website, there is an expanding list of countries that have introduced biometric ID databases including Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Peru, and Spain. That list will soon include Russia, the U.S., and other countries within the European Union. Privacy will cease to exist and it will be a thing of the past.
4. Talk of building of the Jewish Third Temple (Tribulation Temple) escalated after Donald Trump's announcement concerning Jerusalem being Israel's capital. David Lau, the chief rabbi of Israel, is calling for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. "It's time to build" - a new tagline being employed by the Temple Institute - encapsulates the group's controversial mission to rally Jews to reconstruct the Temple that was the heart of their religion until its destruction 2,000 years ago. Everything is ready for rebuilding the Temple and re-instituting sacrifices except for the order to rebuild the temple itself. Israel is ready to build the Third Temple with just a moment's notice and it has taken many, many years to get to this point. The architectural plans are finished, actual descendants of Aaron have been identified for priestly service and trained, a temple service training school has already been established, the temple's altar has been rebuilt, the temple's cornerstone has been cut and is ready for installation, and the priestly garments and artifacts are ready for use. In order to provide the olive oil needed for certain grain offerings needed for service in the Third Temple, the recently reconstituted Sanhedrin is now planting olive trees near the Old City, including on the Mount of Olives. The re-budding of Israel continues in full force. Jacob Sheep, the actual breed of sheep from ancient Israel that went extinct from the land, are now back as of December 2016. The modern nation of Israel is quickly resembling ancient Israel, even down to its trees and sheep. The movement to restore Jewish rights to pray and worship on the Temple Mount is building. The Temple Mount Institute has a modular altar that could be assembled on the Mount in two hours, once given the green light. They performed a Passover sacrifice in full regalia offsite this past Pesach. Sometime in the first half of the 70th week, maybe at the onset, Jewish rights will be restored, thus setting up the stop to sacrifices in the "middle of the week" mentioned in Daniel. God does not bring to the very point of delivery and then not deliver (Isaiah 66:9)
5. Adultery, material greed, and the killing of innocent life will be commonplace (Revelation 17-18); Salacious sexual scandals followed one after another in 2017, most were publicized within Hollywood, Government and the Media. These scandals are but a part that reveal man's evil character and now reflects the end-time warnings of (Roman 1 and 2 Timothy 3). The Justice Department has launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices and the sale of fetal tissue. Over two years ago, citizen journalists at The Center for Medical Progress first caught Planned Parenthood's top abortion doctors in a series of undercover videos callously and flippantly negotiating the sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains," https://plam.org/planned-parenthood-harvests-baby-parts/. Iceland Goes For 'Nazi-Era Eugenics' To Wipe Out Children With Down Syndrome; The Daily Signal and others reported that Down syndrome is virtually disappearing in Iceland. "More accurately, people with Down syndrome are being eliminated in Iceland through abortion," the report said. "As prenatal testing becomes more and more widespread across the world, the number of babies born with Down syndrome and other conditions has decreased because when parents opt for screening that reveals an abnormality, many opt to end the pregnancy." However, in Iceland, "more than four out of five women have a prenatal screening test and close to 100 percent of women who received a positive test for Down syndrome chose to abort their child." "This is a trend closely followed by other Western nations including Denmark, France and even the United States. We should all be deeply sorrowful and outraged". The wealthiest 1 percent of the world's population now owns more than half of the world's wealth in 2017, according to a new report. The total wealth in the world grew by 6 percent over the past 12 months (2017) to $280 trillion, marking the fastest wealth creation since 2012, according to a Credit Suisse report. But that wealth around the world is increasingly concentrated among those at the top. The top 1 percent now owns 50.1 percent of the world's wealth, up from 45.5 percent in 2001. The world's millionaires are expected to do the best in the coming years. There are now 36 million millionaires in the world, and their numbers are expected to grow to 44 million by 2022. Planned Parenthood: We Did 321,384 Abortions; Got $543.7 Million in Tax Dollars. (CNSNews.com) - Planned Parenthood says its affiliates did 321,384 abortions in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2017, according to its newly released 2016-2017 annual report. In the same report, Planned Parenthood says its affiliates received $543.7 million in payments from government-"Government Health Services Reimbursements & Grants," the report calls them-in the year that ended on June 30, 2017. If Planned Parenthood had done its abortions non-stop 24-hours-a-day for the full year, they would have needed to abort approximately 37 babies every hour--or one baby every 98 seconds--to reach 321,384 abortions for the year.
6. Israel continued pounding targets (around Damascus) in Syria, foreshadowing the day when she will carry out the prophetic verse in Isaiah 17:1 - the destruction of Damascus. The Times of Israel reported the warning Benjamin Netanyahu gave to Syrian President Bashar Assad. He said that if Assad allows Iran to set up a permanent military presence near Damascus, Israel will intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war. Netanyahu will attack if Iran continues to build up its forces so close to his nation's border. Satellite images confirm that Iran is setting up a large military camp near Damascus, just thirty miles from the Israeli border.
7. An intensification of those calling evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20), evil is waxing worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13). Islam proposes itself a 'religion of peace' (despite very many well publicized articles of attacks and killings made around the world in the name of Islam). Leftists Push 'Drag Queen Story Hour' For Public Schools, Libraries; "Can everyone say, 'When I grow up, I want to be a drag queen'?" -Drag Queen Lil Miss Hot Mess. Sick and tired of little boys rejecting tutus and little girls embracing Barbie, left-wing activists are pushing for American children to engage with drag queens in publicly funded schools and libraries. San Francisco-based RADAR Productions and New York-based Feminist Press have teamed up to bring "Drag Queen Story Hour" to life, hoping to "defy rigid gender restrictions" while providing "unabashedly queer role models." As the campaign notes, Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is exactly what it sounds like: local drag queens-decked out in over-the-top, loud clothing and glitter-reading feminist-inspired fairy tales to young children. Transgender Gives Birth - Now Womb Transplants For Men Are Next; Trystan Reese, a transgender man living in Portland, Oregon, has given birth to a boy with his partner of seven years, Biff Chaplow. Their son, Leo Murray Chaplow, was born July 14. Reese, who was born female at birth, posted a video in March explaining his decision to carry a baby as a transgender man. "I'm OK with my body being a trans body," he said. "I'm OK being a man who has a uterus and has the capacity and capability of carrying a baby." However many transgender activists want to take the next step with womb transplants to enable anyone to have the ability to carry a baby. If a womb transplant is possible into a woman's body, medical science now knows of no reason why such a transplant should not be possible into a man's body as well. An expert on cutting edge reproduction procedures, Dr. Alghrani of Liverpool University's Health Law & Regulation Unit explained, in a recent interview, other ways in which the womb transplant procedure could stand reproductive science on its head. Not simply men who want to become women, but also gay men who want to experience childbirth, single men who receive donor eggs and then reproduce alone and even married heterosexual couples who want to share child-bearing roles, alternating between husbands and wives giving birth, perhaps with the same uterus. The concept of motherhood itself is under assault, a sentiment now being echoed by many all over the world. One such woman, Laura Perrins, a co-editor of The Conservative Woman, stated bluntly that male womb implantation "Will impinge on the meaning of motherhood and womanhood." The entire concept of gender is under attack through shifting pronouns, cosmetic surgeries and now the act of childbearing.
8. Signs in the sun, moon, stars (Luke 21:25-26); The 'Great' Revelation (12:1-5) Sign physically occurred on September 23, 2017. US total solar eclipse August 21, 2017; Americans donned special glasses to witness the first total solar eclipse in the 48 contiguous states since 1979. The path of the total eclipse ran from Oregon southeast across the country to South Carolina. It has also been determined that the US will receive another total solar eclipse in exactly 7 years. The two eclipses will form a perfect 'X' across the US. Three blue moons in succession (2017-2018); A succession of three supermoons will be visible in the night sky. This special astronomical event began last Sunday and will end with a super Blue Blood Moon on January 31, 2018, according to Charisma News. Supermoons occur when the moon is closer to the earth in its rotation, making it appear bigger than usual. The moon will appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter. The moon appears blue due to Earth's dark shadow. These unique astronomical occurrences have some religious leaders speculating that they could be prophetic signs. Booms/trumpet sounds heard throughout the world; Reports continue to emerge of booming sounds of mysterious origin echoing from the sky, from Colorado and Alabama to the Middle East, United Kingdom and Australia, according to News Corp Australia. A recent example occurred in Alabama, when a thunderous noise shook houses and frightened residents on Nov. 20. Other booms around the world, like the one in Alabama, remain unexplained. Locals in Cairns, Australia, were shaken by a loud rumble on Oct. 10. Then two weeks later, another boom was heard over the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Other mysterious sounds have been heard in as far reaching places as Michigan and Yorkshire, U.K. The strange sounds from the sky started back in 2008, are increasing and still being recorded today on videos by people all around the world. Some vary in intensity. Some resemble a loud engine, a rumbling, the slamming metallic door or even a lightning strike, others more like a groaning. So far scientists have not been able to give us a definitive explanation for the source of these strange noises.
9. Sea and Waves Roaring (Hurricanes/Typhoons) - (Luke 21:25); Typhoon Tembin leaves the Philipines with severe flooding and over 200 dead. Typhoon Damrey hit Vietnam, causing more than $1B in damage. Hurricane Harvey (Category 4) dropped a record 60 inches of rain in Nederland, Texas. Houston was flooded with more than 35 inches of rain. It is estimated that 70% of Harris County, which includes Houston, was flooded by at least 1.5 feet of water. 136,000 building structures were flooded. 72 people were killed and $180B in damage. Hurricane Irma (Category 4) was the most intense Atlantic storm to hit the United States in twelve years. Weeks after Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria delivered a second punch to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and elsewhere. 62 people were killed. Tens of thousands are without electricity. The "Bangladesh Monsoon" caused severe flooding that affected more than 40 million people across South Asia, including Bangladesh, India and Nepal. More than 24 million people were affected by some of the worst floods to hit South Asia (India) in decades. Large areas of land were completely submerged. More than 1,000 people were killed in Sierra Leone floods and landslides caused by heavy rains. Guangxi province in China had massive flooding that affected 14 million people.
10. Great Earthquakes in diverse places (Luke 21:11); Mexico City experienced two major earthquakes, back to back. This first earthquake registered 8.2, killed 98 people and affected more than 1.5 million people. The second earthquake was in and around Mexico City. It registered 7.1, killed 370 people and collapsed more than 40 buildings. Yellowstone, A 7.3 magnitude in Iran near the Iraq border killed more 630 people. As of November, 2017, a total of 12,527 earthquakes around the world were registered by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). 2017 earthquakes by magnitude include 1 (8.0-8.9), 6 (7.0-7.9), 106 (6.0-6.9), 1,424 (5.0-5.9), 10,990 (4.0-4.9). Combined, all these earthquakes have killed 1,232 people. The earthquake swarm at Yellowstone National Park super volcano is now one of the longest ever recorded. Almost 2,500 earthquakes have been recorded in the western part of the national park. Scientists are warning there could be a big increase in numbers of devastating earthquakes around the world in 2018. They believe variations in the speed of Earth's rotation could trigger intense seismic activity, particularly in heavily populated tropical regions. The link between Earth's rotation and seismic activity was highlighted by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula who presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. "The correlation between Earth's rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year".
11. Great fearful sights in diverse places - Volcanoes (Luke 21:11): December, 2017, there are 36 continuously erupting volcanoes worldwide and 50 volcanoes that have an issued warning due to minor activity. Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2017, erupting volcanoes included Shiveluch in Russia, Villarrica in Chile, Mount Sinabung and Mount Agung in Indonesia, Turrialba in Costa Rica, Piton de la Fournaise on RÃ©union Island, Kilauea on Hawaii, Popocatepetl and VolcÃ¡n de Colima in Mexico, Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska, Manaro Voui in Vanuatu, Mount Etna in Sicily, and more. On the Indonesian island of Bali, a volcano called Mount Agung is spewing ash 5.5 miles into the sky, causing flight cancellations and trapping thousands of tourists and locals on the island, even as the potential for a bigger eruption looms. Bali's international airport closure stranded close to 60,000 passengers and more than 100,000 people near the volcano were told to evacuate as explosions were heard more than 7 miles away.
12. Great fearful sights in diverse places - Fires (Luke 21:11); Southern Europe, western parts of Canada and California have been devastated by wildfires this year. The Thomas Fire in California is now the biggest in California's history, scorching more than 280,000 acres or 440 square miles (nearly the size of New York City). Thousands have been evacuated in northwestern Spain. 2017 was the deadliest year on record for wildfires killing people (105) in Portugal. Italy, France, Croatia, Spain and Greece were all swept by three times (3X) the average number of wildfires. Hundreds of homes were destroyed by wildfires in Siberia. Chile wildfires were unparalleled in the country's history according to President Michelle Bachelet. Even Greenland, not known for its hot, dry conditions, suffered an unprecedented blaze this summer. Scientists say wildfires are likely to become increasingly frequent and widespread (longer fire seasons, harsher, longer recovery).
13. Great Pestilences in diverse places (Luke 21:11); Deadly flesh-eating illness has infected over 500 people in Japan. Approximately 1,300 people have been killed by the Bubonic Plague (yes, you read that right) in Madagascar and has spread to Kenya, Ethiopia, Sought Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Reunion, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros. Yemen's Cholera outbreak is now the worst in history as the millionth case is recorded, at least 600,000 of these are children. This has become the largest and fastest spreading disease outbreak in modern history. 4,000 suspected cases are being reported daily. Here, in the U.S., the current opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crises in American history. Opioids are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old and have killed more people than guns or car accidents, and doing so at a pace faster than the H.I.V. epidemic did at its peak. Deaths involving synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyls, has risen 540% in just three years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also announced epidemics involving the ZIKA, Ebola and Yellow Fever viruses.
14. Great Famines (Luke 21:11); The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the United Nations was founded in 1945 with more than 20 million people in four countries at risk of starvation and famine. According to the U.N. humanitarian chief, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria are facing catastrophic shortages of food. Specifically in Yemen, two-thirds of the population (18.8 million people) need immediate aid and seven million are starving. Most famines are caused by nature, however, these famines are being caused by war.
15. Wars and rumors of war (threats of war (Mark 13:7)); Russia's submarines swarm the Mediterranean at highest rate since Cold War. Russia has begun developing permanent Syrian bases to host nuclear warships and warplanes. Russia is reportedly now building EMP weapons. In the Korean Peninsula, North Korea's war rhetoric and launching and testing of ballistic missiles has rattled the region and attracted worldwide scorn. Iran's nuclear program threatens the entire Middle East. Fatah, Hamas, ISIS, are terrorist organizations that are playing various roles in the chessboard of global conflict. We are reminded daily of the ongoing threats of major wars around the world. In 2018, worldwide defense spending will reach its highest level since the end of the Cold War, according to Jane's Defense Budgets Report published by IHS Markit on December 18. The report predicts that the world will spend $1.67 trillion in defense next year. This marks the fifth year in a row that global defense spending has risen significantly. As world conditions destabilize, many countries around the globe are reacting by increasing their defense spending. The causes for the increase are different by region, but in numerous regions, the trend is the same.
16. Lawlessness; Mexico; Raging cartel violence spreading throughout the country has marked 2017 as the bloodiest year since 1997 when the government began documenting such murders. The official figures, however, pale in comparison to reality since they do not account for the number of victims "disappeared" by cartel gunmen-including those who were incinerated or buried in clandestine graves. The new statistics released by Mexico's National Public Security System (SESNSP) revealed that for the year, the country suffered a total of 26,573 murders; 1,275 kidnappings; and 5,357 extortion cases. The 2017 murder total surpassed all previously recorded years since initial recording in 1997. While alarming, the statistics compiled by the SESNSP only take into account the crimes recorded by attorney general offices in Mexico's 32 states. The figures do not include the victims found in cartel killing fields and mass incineration operations like found in Coahuila. As Breitbart Texas reported, activists discovered thousands of human bone fragments in one of the killing fields. One of the issues in recording kidnapping and extortion cases is the general distrust among residents for state and local law enforcement. In Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, Michoacan, and Guerrero, state officials have a history of being infiltrated by the same cartels they are expected to fight. Despite modest improvements against corruption, the public's trust is still lacking. In Chicago, year-to-date, there have been 620 people shot & killed; 2,913 shot and wounded, or 3,533 total shot. A person is shot ever 2:26 minutes, a person is murdered ever 12:52 hours. 92.4% of all homicides are caused by gunshots. Baltimore just recorded 342 homicides in 2017, a new per capita record. Looking at homicides per capita in 2017, Baltimore is clearly the most dangerous large city in the U.S. with a murder rate that is more than 4x the average of other large cities and some 40% higher than the second most dangerous city of Detroit. To put things in perspective, the murder rate in Baltimore is now exactly tied with Venezuela at 57.2 murders per 100,000 residents. Both Baltimore and Chicago have experienced devastating spikes in homicides over the past two years. In 2017, there have been 307 mass shootings throughout the United States. 26 people were killed at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Spring, Texas. The worst mass shooting incident ever to happen in the U.S. occurred at a country music concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring 515 more during 2017. London, British Parliament went into lockdown after a man drove an SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stormed the Westminster Palace grounds on foot, armed with two knives. The attacker, a 52-year-old Muslim convert named Khalid Masood, stabbed and killed a police officer outside Parliament before a security guard shot him dead. In all, Masood's rampage killed five people and injured about 50. In an earlier text message, Masood reportedly said he was waging jihad against the West. Manchester, Fourteen thousand fans, many of them teenage girls, had gathered at a stadium to hear American singer Ariana Grande when a blast erupted in the foyer, killing 22 concertgoers and injuring hundreds of others. The attacker, identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, was the British-born son of Libyan parents. Abedi had returned to Libya with his father and two brothers in 2011 to support the uprising there against leader Muammar Qaddafi. Abedi later came in contact with members of an Islamic State cell in Libya, who may have inspired him to carry out the concert attack. New York City, With Halloween this year-also the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation-came a stark reminder that the days are evil: A man with a rented Home Depot truck drove onto a bike path in lower Manhattan, mowing down bikers and pedestrians, killing eight and injuring 12. The suspect, 29-year-old Uzbek national Sayfullo Saipov, had written Arabic notes pledging allegiance to ISIS, investigators said. Saipov was shot by police but survived the attack and is facing trial.
17. Christian affliction and martyrdom (Matthew 24:9); According to OpenDoors, each month, 322 Christians are killed for their faith, 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed and 772 forms of violence (beatings, abductions, rape, arrests and forced marriage) are committed against Christians. According to United States Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments simply because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Christians today face worse persecution than at any time in history, yet the UN and the international community are largely ignoring them. Persecution of Christians has reached a new high between 2015 and 2017 as groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram stepped up their attacks. Researchers focused on 13 countries, providing an overview of the state of religious freedom for the country's various denominations. In China, for example, Christians have come under increasing pressure as authorities try to force their religion to conform to Communist ideals. More than 2,000 churches have been demolished in the coastal province of Zhejiang, and police are still routinely detaining clergy. Christians have also been disproportionately affected by Islamist violence in the Middle East. In Iraq, more than half of the country's Christian population became internal refugees, while Syria's second city of Aleppo, which until 2011 was home to the largest Christian community, saw numbers dropping from 150,000 to barely 35,000 by spring 2017 - a fall of more than 75%. A report from the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions, determined that 90,000 Christians were killed for their beliefs worldwide last year (2016) and nearly a third were at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS. Others were killed by state and non-state persecution, including in places like North Korea. The study also found that as many as 600 million Christians were prevented from practicing their faith in 2016. Christianity Today reports the Russian parliament and Vladimir Putin approved a new law that includes the criminalization of sharing your faith. Christians in Russia won't be allowed to email their friends an invitation to church or to evangelize in their own homes if Russia's newest set of surveillance and anti-terrorism laws are enacted. The proposed laws, considered the country's most restrictive measures in post-Soviet history, place broad limitations on missionary work, including preaching, teaching, and engaging in any activity designed to recruit people into a religious group. To share their faith, citizens must secure a government permit through a registered religious organization, and they cannot evangelize anywhere besides churches and other religious sites. The restrictions even apply to activity in private residences and online. The Christian Post has compiled a list of major deadly attacks that occurred elsewhere around the world, illustrating the pain and tragedy that has befallen people simply for their faith in Jesus. Examples of these attacks;
- 48 Christians killed in 9 days in Nigeria. The Fulani attacks on believers continued throughout 2017, though one particular nine-day period in October saw as many as 48 Christians massacred in separate incidents. Church elder Dauda Samuel Kadiya of the Evangelical Church Winning All in Zanwrua explained how the Fulani broke through doors and destroyed houses and churches in the village. "Every one of us ran to save his life," Kadiya recalled. "I was shot at, but the bullet only bruised my hand." "Having set fire on my house, they went to the next house and did the same. They continued burning houses until they were done, he said.
- Al-Shabaab beheads 9 in Kenya. Al-Shabaab, the Somali-based terror group that has been attacking Christians and security forces in neighboring Kenya for years, beheaded at least nine Christians in Jima village in Lamu County on July 8. Around 15 of the radical extremists seized the nine men before beheading them, with a police source describing at the time that the believers were "slaughtered like chickens using knives." The terrorists were reportedly looking specifically for "non-Muslims" to kill, with the Kenya Red Cross helping civilians in the region flee as fears of the group's growing presence spread. Security officials pointed out that the beheading method of execution is something new for al-Shabaab, as for the past few years it has been associated mostly with IS.
- ISIS gunmen massacre 29 on way to monastery. Coptic Christians suffered another shocking attack at the hands of IS in May, when masked gunmen attacked two buses and a small truck in Minya province in Egypt as they were driving to a monastery. The radicals shot at believers and tried to force a number of them to renounce their religion, killing 29 people in the process. Some survivors, including children, later described how their fathers refused to abandon their faith in Jesus Christ despite being held at gunpoint, which cost them their lives.
- ISIS slaughters 47 on Palm Sunday. The most deadly attack on churches in 2017 occurred on Palm Sunday in Egypt, where the Islamic State terror group carried out bombings on two churches filled with worshipers. The bombing of St. George's Church in the northern city of Tanta killed 29 believers and injured another 78, where an explosive device was planted close to the altar, going off while the congregation was singing hymns. A suicide blast killed 18 and injured another 48 at St. Mark's Orthodox Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria soon after. IS, which increasingly turned its focus toward Egypt this past year, issued a chilling warning at the time stating that "a river of blood" from Christians is coming.
18. Many believers will fall away (1 Timothy 4:1-3) / Spiritual apostasy (Revelation 3:14-22); Once the very cradle of Christian civilization, Europe has embraced a secular future, and the residual memory of the Christian tradition is fading fast. The statistics documenting European secularization are now impossible to ignore. Ireland, still one of the least secular nations in Western Europe, has seen church attendance fall by at least 25 percent over the last three decades. Ireland is predominantly Roman Catholic, of course, but the paper reports, "Not one priest will be ordained this year in Dublin." On the Protestant side, the picture is not much better. Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, once the cradles of the Reformation, are now prime examples of Europe's secular shape. Throughout the European continent, Islam is the only religion growing in the number of adherents. According to the Center for the Study on Global Christianity, at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in suburban Boston, the decline in Christian influence "is most evident in France, Sweden and the Netherlands, where church attendance is less than ten percent in some areas." USA Today's cover story on the decline of Christianity in Western Europe raises the question of America's future. In many ways, America seems to be following the European example, though several years behind. Yet the pace of moral transformation in the United States may indicate that America is fast catching up with the European model of secularization. In what the Orthodox Christian Network calls an "alarming trend," The Wall Street Journal featured a page one article - Europe's Empty Churches Go on Sale, as the number of attendees has diminished over many years. "The closing of Europe's churches reflects the rapid weakening of the (Christian) faith in Europe, a phenomenon that is painful to both worshipers and others who see religion as a unifying factor in a disparate society." By example, the Netherlands is projected to close 2/3 of its Roman Catholic churches in the next decade. The closing of Europe's churches is a result of flagging faith and empty pews, but it is mostly Christians who are losing their faith. Several other religions have not experienced the same decline. Orthodox Judaism has remained relatively steady and primarily because of immigration, Islam has actually grown. European countries in general have seen substantial declines, but it is the Netherlands leading the way. The Catholic Church predicts that two-thirds of its churches will be retired from holy service within a decade and 700 Protestant churches are expected to be decommissioned within four years. In the United States, Americans who answer "none" when asked for their religious affiliation are the fastest growing "religious" group in the United States. About two-thirds of them say they are former believers. Americans raised in Christian households are turning away from the religion of their parents. Every denomination in the U.S. is losing both affiliation and church attendance. In some ways the country is a half-generation behind the declining rate of Christianity in other western countries like the U.K., Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, and the Netherlands. In those what were once churches are now art galleries, cafes and pubs.
19. Love for one another growing cold (Matthew 24:12); GOP Baseball Game Shooting; House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was among four wounded when a gunman opened fire on a House Republican charity baseball team as players practiced in Alexandria, Va.. Police killed the shooter, James Hodgkinson, 66, in a shootout following the attack. Hodgkinson had been a volunteer for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during the 2016 campaign and according to a witness had asked before the shooting whether the team practicing was the Republican team or the Democratic team. He fired 60 shots at the Republican players. Scalise was taken to a hospital in critical condition and, after a long recovery, returned to work on Sept. 28. Charlottesville Racial Tensions; White supremacists and neo-Nazis marching against the removal of a Confederate statue at a park clashed with antifa counterprotesters at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. A white supremacist killed one woman and injured 19 people when he drove his car into a crowd. Florida Drowning Video; A group of teenagers laughed and watched as a man struggled in the water of a pond. The man drowned, and his body was not found for days. The five teenagers did nothing to help him, not even call 911. The low-quality, 2.5-minute cellphone video was provided to The New York Times and also obtained by Florida Today. It shows a man flailing in the middle of a body of water as the teenagers describe his struggle and laugh at him from the shore. The teenagers are not visible. One of them, using an expletive, calls Mr. Dunn a junkie. Someone tells him not to expect any assistance: "Ain't nobody going to help you, you dumb bitch. You shouldn't have got in there," he says. Later, one of the teenagers appears to suggest that they call the police, only to be rejected by another. The police identified and met with all five, who ranged in age from 14 to 18. None appeared to show much emotion and were not remorseful. A 9-year-old autistic boy was left with a nail embedded into his skull after a group of bullies allegedly threw a wooden plank at him, his parents say. Romeo Smith's family told BBC News that the boy had been the target of older bullies for about a week before it escalated to the attack that left him injured on August 6. "As Romeo was walking away one of the lads came running up behind him and threw a bit of wood with a nail in it," said father Craig Smith, of Nottinghamshire, England. "I saw it just stuck there, in the back of his head and then Romeo started screaming and running towards me." About a one-inch section of the nail embedded itself in the back of the boy's head with the wood still attached, the Daily Mail reported. The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors gave him morphine and removed the nail. His mother told the Daily Mail that the nail had bent slightly when it hit his skull.
20. Homosexuality will be rampant (Luke 17:28-29), Unprecedented moral decay (Romans 1:24); Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has announced he will force all Swedish clergy to endorse and perform gay marriages. Australia's Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage in December, overcoming years of conservative resistance to enact change that the public had made clear that it wanted. The final approval in the House of Representatives, with just four votes against the bill, came three weeks after a national referendum showed strong public support for gay marriage. The new law expands on earlier legislation that provided equality to same-sex couples in areas like government benefits, employment and taxes, and it changes the definition of marriage from "the union of a man and a woman" to "the union of two people." It automatically recognizes same-sex marriages from other countries. Gay rights advocates praised the landmark vote even as they said it was long overdue. Gay sex in Vatican 'never been worse' than under Francis; ROME, July 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Not only are gay-orgies happening in the Vatican, but the extent of homosexual activity in the Vatican under Pope Francis' watch has "never been worse," a reliable senior member of the Curia told National Catholic Register's Ed Pentin. Pentin wrote earlier this week that this Vatican Curia member confirmed to him that "multiple sources" within the Vatican, including another senior curial figure, say that the report of a drug-fueled gay orgy right next to St. Peter's is true. "He said the extent of homosexual practice in the Vatican has 'never been worse,' despite efforts begun by Benedict XVI to root out sexual deviancy from the curia after the Vatileaks scandal of 2012," Pentin wrote in his report. News recently broke of a high-ranking monsignor, Luigi Capozzi, who was allegedly arrested some two months ago in the act of hosting a cocaine-fueled homosexual orgy in an apartment of the Holy Office, the same building in which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith operates. At the same time of the 2012 Vatileaks scandal - where leaked confidential Vatican correspondence allegedly revealed power struggles and intrigue at the highest levels of the Catholic church - a Polish priest released a paper in which he highlighted his discovery of what he called a "huge homosexual underground in the Church." Fr. Dariusz Oko said he first began to do research about external threats to Christianity, but then gradually discovered that the "enemy is not only outside the Church, but within it, as well." Oko said he uncovered homosexual cliques of clergy, even at the highest levels, that are formed by fear of exposure, lust for power, and money. "They know well, however, that they may be exposed and embarrassed, so they shield one another by offering mutual support. They build informal relationships reminding [one] of a 'clique' or even 'mafia,' [and] aim at holding particularly those positions which offer power and money," he wrote. "When they achieve a decision-making position, they try to promote and advance mostly those whose nature is similar to theirs, or at least who are known to be too weak to oppose them. This way, leading positions in the Church may be held by people suffering from deep internal wounds," he added. Oko said that once homosexual clergy achieve a "dominating position" in the Church's hierarchy, they become a "backroom elite" with "tremendous power in deciding about important nominations and the whole life of the Church." Among the rumors put forward at the time of Pope Benedict's decision to resign in 2013 was the revelation of the existence of an entrenched "gay network" that orchestrated "sexual encounters" and shady financial machinations within the Vatican. The Pope reportedly decided to resign the day he received a 300-page dossier compiled by three cardinals detailing the workings and sexual activities of a network of homosexual curial officials.
21. Revival of Paganism (False Gods); Major pagan god of Bible honored by world government; It was unveiled in London. It was displayed in New York, just steps away from Ground Zero. And now, the harbinger of the pagan god Baal has been used to welcome participants to a summit dedicated to "world government." The World Government Summit recently held a meeting in Dubai, bringing together some of the most important leaders in government and business to discuss international problems. This year (2017), it featured a reconstruction of the Arch of Palmyra, the Roman triumphal arch that once welcomed travelers to the ancient Temple of Baal in the Syrian outpost of the empire. Baal worship featured rites of child sacrifice and sexual immorality. The same group that recreated the Roman triumphal arch that once welcomed travelers to the Temple of Baal is now honoring another pagan deity. The United Arab Emirates, the Italian mission to the United Nations and the Institute for Digital Archeology have re-created a statue of the goddess Athena which once stood in Palmyra, according to Breaking Israel News. The exhibit, titled "The Spirit In the Stone," is being hosted at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. It's another move by globalist organizations to honor pagan deities, months after the reconstructed "Arch of Baal" went on a world tour, including being placed outside the G7 meeting of the world's industrialized nations. Joseph Farah, author of "The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age." States, "In fact, the gods of paganism are actually demons, according to the Bible. It's not something to be played with. "The question confronting us right now is: Why would the United Nations be involved in resurrecting these occult images and icons of the past? Do they not understand what this represents - the false gods of child sacrifice and all kinds of abominations and perversions?" Rabbi Elad Dokow, the head rabbi and lecturer at Israel's Technion Institute of Technology, was not surprised that the United Nations would feature a display of pagan symbols. "There is currently an unmistakeable rise of paganism and idol worship in the world, more than any other religion, and it is naive to believe this display is disconnected from this phenomenon," Rabbi Dokow told Breaking Israel News. "Paganism creates the ability for each man to create his own truth, as opposed to Judaism and Christianity, which state that there is an objective truth man must abide by. The UN, like paganism, is a place of subjective reality created by a vote." "What we are seeing in the world today is that every place Christianity grows weak, paganism and idolatry grow stronger, and where Christianity disappears, horrible things happen." Joe Kovacs, author of "Shocked By The Bible 2," says the whole sad spectacle is part of an old story. "The promotion of pagan gods is certainly nothing new, and it again shows we're all living in what I call 'Opposite World,'" he explained. "It's a world where most people do the very opposite action of what God has instructed. Our Creator tells us to have no other gods but Him, but folks do the opposite, honoring false gods. At CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva - a 2m tall statue of the Indian deity Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. The statue, symbolizing Shiva's cosmic dance of creation and destruction, was given to CERN by the Indian government. In choosing the image of Shiva Nataraja, the Indian government acknowledged the profound significance of the metaphor of Shiva's dance for the cosmic dance of subatomic particles, which is observed and analyzed by CERN's physicists. Paganism at the Washington Mall; The Catharsis on the Mall, titled a Vigil for Healing, was held as a politically motivated incarnation of the desert Burning Man Festival from which it evolved. The event featured a 70-foot long seven headed red metal dragon on wheels. The dragon, named for the ancient Egyptian god Abraxas, was clearly intended to reference Satan as described in the Christian Book of Revelations. The dragon, like many elements of the event, was previously used at Burning Man, a yearly festival held in the Nevada desert that attracts tens of thousands from around the world. Other pagan elements of the event included a 30-foot tall "non-denominational" wooden temple that was built and then burned to the ground. At the focal point, directly facing the Washington Monument, was a paper-mache sculpture of "Lord Shiva Natarja", a Hindu god described as "the cosmic ecstatic dancer". Though these could all be regarded as cultural or artistic elements, the religious connotations were intentional. "There's a deeply spiritual side to what we're trying to do," said Adam Eidinger, a local activist and organizer of the Catharsis events. "Having sacred fire on the mall is a very religious thing. At the basis of idol worship is man's desire to replace god, to be free of the constraints of morality imposed on him by God. It is a desire to be God. Controversy surrounded Catharsis on the Mall even in the planning stages. Organizers were issued a permit to erect a 45-foot tall, 16,000 pound, steel sculpture of a naked woman titled "R-evolution" in front of the Washington Monument, deliberately facing the White House. The organizers initially intended for the massive piece to stand for four months but the permit was later revoked by the National Parks Service on the grounds that the crane required to erect the statue might damage the grass and concrete in the Mall. Burning Man Festival (Nevada); is held for one week every year in late August. The Nevada festival attracted around 70,000 people this year, self-dubbed 'Burners', from around the world. The festival has a strongly spiritual basis with many alternative forms of worship being represented in micro-temples and altars. The week-long festival culminates in the eponymous ceremony in which a large wooden effigy of a man is burned. This ceremony, referred to among Druids as the 'wicker man', is almost universal amongst pagan cults and evolved as a replacement for human sacrifice. But the festival isn't free. Tickets in 2017 started at $425 per person. UNESCO funded yet a third project that replicated the Lion of al-Lat which is an ancient statue that stands almost 11 feet tall and weighing 15 tons. Early pagans believed the lion was the consort of the goddess al-Lat. It is believed al-Lat was the continuation of the earlier Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar Inanna; the goddess of sex and, in particular, extra marital relations.
22. Wickedness will be rampant as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-38); CRISPR and genetic manipulation. The past several decades have witnessed the advent of the genetic revolution and great good has come from it, but mankind continues to demonstrate its innate affinity for evil. Throwing aside moral and ethical restraints left and right, geneticists are now combining species against God's created order and are even developing three-parent babies, and babies resulting from two fathers or two mothers. If human/animal hybrids are not created yet, they are on the very, very near horizon. How long will God allow this to continue considering the very real possibility these children and hybrids may not have souls? Are they made in God's image or man's image? God intervened when angels began interbreeding with the human population. Hybrids seem to be another point of no return where judgment must ensue very quickly (see Genesis 6). The ethical dilemma also highlights the debate regarding the morality of 'designer babies', which would allow parents to pick the sex of their child and special features, attributes.
23. When asked about the signs of His coming and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3), Jesus responded, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree (Israel); When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves (starting to grow), ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors" (Matt. 24:32-33). This truth alone (the official expansion of Israel's borders and development of the nation) causes many students of Bible prophecy to know that it is near (close), even at the doors. It has taken 100 years (1917-2017), for the Fig Tree nation of Israel to have grown from a barren wasteland to a thriving nation of more than 7 million people. A 'March of the Nations' will take place in Israel on May 13-15, 2018, celebrating a historic date: the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the State of Israel.
We should be those who see, who are aware, who are watching and who are awake!
The signs are getting louder, stronger, closer together, more intense and more frequent, just like the birth pangs and contractions that were prophesied. Most within the 'Church' today are completely asleep and have no clue what's going on around then, and many who fancy they do are busy hurling rebuttals or casting doubt on the fulfillment of God's Word or mocking and disparaging those who are being obedient to the Holy Spirit by sounding the alarm. Oh, they may have a sense that the world is going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket (or soon will be). Yet, they shrug their shoulders and are not actively watching the signs for his return. This is exactly the situation that occurred among the Jews during Jesus' first appearing! They did not know the signs of the times of his coming arrival. They were caught off guard and Christ chastised them.
Christ Himself told us we would know the end is right at the door (Matthew 13:32-33), that we are to be alert (Mark 13:32-33); that we are to watch (Mark 13:37). And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10) "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Matthew 24:36) This verse may be the most misunderstood in all of the Bible and the cause of many to stop and look no further. Christ didn't say that you can't know anything about the time of the end. He didn't say that you can't know what will happen or what to look for and so don't try. Many in Christendom have choked by this point (if they even made it this far). Would that they study the prophets. Frustrating that they will not read, will not study and will not suffer anyone who would try to tell them what's in the book.
(Hebrews 10:23-25) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. (Revelation3:3) So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.
God is revealing these signs for a reason and the reason is because it's the season...
In His Service, Maranatha!
The Night Watchman Ministries
Nearing Midnight: Sounding of Sirens - Terry James -
When that funny, irritating noise coming from your TV set goes off, what is your reaction? I'm talking about that grating OINK!...OINK!...OINK! sound that disrupts whatever program you are watching or happen to have the television on while you do other things.
The noise is followed by an announcement: This is a test. This is only a test. If this had been an actual emergency... Well, you know what I'm talking about.
When that goes off, what is your reaction? I must admit that my first, instantaneous, thought is still: Could it be a nuclear attack?
This automatic reaction comes, I have little doubt, from the time of "duck and cover!"-the warning/instruction that dominated my days as a kid. We were told to get under our desks if at school, should the sirens sound announcing nuclear attack. We were told to jump off our bikes and try to get under something, get flat into a ditch, or hide behind anything available if we were out and about.
I've mentioned before in this column that when I was a sophomore in high school, the rumor had it that atomic war with the Soviets would happen on a certain Friday. It was cause of angst for some, but not all paid any attention to the rumor-or to the warnings to "duck and cover," for that matter. I guess I've always been a bit geopolitically sensitive...
So it was that I tried to imagine what the people of Hawaii must have experienced when their devices and televisions announced there were incoming nuclear missiles. The announcement said this wasn't a test-everyone should seek immediate shelter.
There was crying and gnashing of teeth, if I might use biblical language. People got under mattresses with their families or boarded themselves in garages. One grandfather herded his grandchildren into a sewer manhole. It was a time of anxiety far beyond anything I experienced as a child or have experienced since.
We think of how, if it had been an actual nuke headed to the beautiful islands of Hawaii, there would be no beauty remaining following the impact. It is almost unimaginable as to what that part of the islands would have looked like. But, it isn't beyond our imaginations, because we have the films of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs to graphically remind us of the results of such weaponry. We have the films of the Bikini tests in the 1950s that demonstrated the horrific destructiveness of nuclear devices far more powerful than the bombs used on Japan to end the war.
Thankfully, the feared attack on Hawaii was a false alarm. The people between the mattresses, in their garages, and in the manholes could emerge to consider how things could have ended so differently. We can hope that the accidental siren alert will serve as a wake-up call to everyone of just how short a time (less than twelve minutes from time of the alert) such devastation can come upon us.
There is devastation coming that has a much, much shorter time of arrival than 10-12 minutes upon a totally unsuspecting people. There will be no alert to forewarn those under this incoming destruction. That is, no OINK!...OINK!...OINK! will disrupt TV programs or announce on various devices what is about to occur.
However, the siren is blaring, warning that the catastrophic impact is about to take place. The siren has been sounding for some time. As a matter of fact, this column and a number of others have been sounding the siren alarm.
The devastation will far surpass what that nuclear-tipped missile would have caused, had it been an actual attack. The sirens of Bible prophecy have been sounding-especially in these end of days the secularists call the end times. The devastation, following this imminent, catastrophic event, will result in as much as three-fourths of people on earth perishing over a period of seven years.
Those upon whom this calamity is about to fall are oblivious to the sirens of warning. It's sad to say that many who should know about the coming time of destruction and should be issuing the warning refuse to do so. Not only that, they refuse to believe the impending disaster is a prophetic fact. They even make fun of the notion.
I'm referring, of course, to the preachers who claim to name the name of Jesus Christ, but who don't believe He is returning in a catastrophic way to planet earth.
These, if they have any opinion or care one way or the other, believe Christ will return and take over from the Church. The Church, they believe, will have made worthy His Kingdom, over which He will then reign.
Only, that's not what the Bible says. That Revelation 19:11 return is to a war-torn planet where most of its inhabitants have died in the violence and wrath of seven years of Tribulation.
Many of these type theologians will tell you they don't believe the book of Revelation even belongs in the canon of Scripture. There is, they will say, no Rapture-no time of great trouble ruled over by somebody known as Antichrist. That stuff is all to somehow be taken in a spiritual way, not literally.
Jesus will indeed come back to rule and reign over a planet that is much like it was in the time of Eden before the fall of man. But, He-not the theologians who think they will prepare the way for Heaven on earth-will do the restoration. When Christ calls all believers to Himself at the Rapture, that very moment devastation will begin to fall. It will be just like in the time of Lot, when he was removed from Sodom. (Read Jesus' words in Luke 17:26-30).
So, the siren of Bible prophecy goes unsounded, unheard by the vast majority of humanity. But, that siren is sounding more loudly every day in the Christ-sensitive ears of those spiritually attuned. That's why we present these commentaries. We want to sound the siren a devastating time is coming-and it could come at any moment.
One siren-signal is most prominent. Israel is being forced by Satan's globalist minions to give in to demands to divide God's land further. The Lord is on the cusp of taking the Church Home with Him. He will then again begin dealing with His beloved Israel. It will be a time of His wrath, while He purges those who are rebellious earth-dwellers and rescues for Himself a people to populate the millennial earth.
The sirens are sounding!
Pence's Biblical Knesset Address Affirms America's Christian Connection to Israel - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
For He has said: "It is too little that you should be My servant In that I raise up the tribes of Yaakov And restore the survivors of Yisrael: I will also make you a light of nations, That My salvation may reach the ends of the earth." Isaiah 49:6 (The Israel Bible™)
Vice President Mike Pence's address at a special session of the Israeli Knesset on Monday emphasized the unbreakable alliance between the US and Israel. But even more significant in his speech was his description of a common bond in the Bible between the respectively dominant religions of the US and Israel.
"We stand with Israel, because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny," Pence said in his address. "The people of the US have always held a special affection and admiration for the People of the Book."
"The Book" Pence was undoubtedly referring to was the Bible, which he said not only described the story of the Jewish people but also foreshadowed the story of America in a similar fashion.
"In the story of the Jews, we've always seen the story of America," he said. "It is the story of Exodus, a journey from persecution to freedom, a story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope."
Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a Likud Member of Knesset who is an advocate for religious equality on the Temple Mount, felt that Pence's reference to the Exodus was especially poignant, and he compared the vice president's connection with Israel to Biblical Jethro's connection to the Children of Israel.
"When we read about the Exodus, we learn about two kinds of people: Jethro, a non-Jew who saw the significance and came to join Israel, and Amalek who came to fight against Torah," Rabbi Glick told Breaking Israel News.
"We have seen these two types throughout history," he continued. "As Jews, we have an obligation to fight evil, those who promote violence and legitimize terrorism, and we also have an obligation to welcome those, like the Vice President, who join us."
As a representative of a "cherished friend" of Israel, Pence invoked a verse in Psalms, wishing Israel peace and security.
"The USA is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends. And so we will pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that those who love you be secure, that there be peace within your walls and security in your citadels."
Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim; "May those who love you be at peace. May there be well-being within your ramparts, peace in your citadels. Psalms 122:6-7
Pence described the original vision of America's first settlers, of a "New Israel" based on God's Covenant with Abraham and his descendants, the Jewish People.
"My country's very first settlers also saw themselves as pilgrims, sent by Providence, to build a new Promised Land," he noted. "The songs and stories of the people of Israel were their anthems, and they faithfully taught them to their children, and do to this day."
"And our founders, as others have said, turned to the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible for direction, guidance, and inspiration," he added.
Pence also stressed the Biblical importance for the US in bringing peace to the land of Israel, citing the Prophet Micah saying, "And we will work and strive for that brighter future, so everyone who calls this ancient land home shall sit under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid."
But every man shall sit Under his grapevine or fig tree With no one to disturb him. For it was God of Hosts who spoke. Micah 4:4
Pence also cited President Trump's recent acknowledgment of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and recognized the Biblical ties between the Jewish people and Jerusalem
"The Jewish people's unbreakable bond to this sacred city reaches back more than 3,000 years," Pence said. "It was here, in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, that Abraham offered his son, Isaac, and was credited with righteousness for his faith in God."
Though not stated explicitly in the Bible as the site of the Binding of Isaac, Jewish tradition maintains that it took place at the site where the Temples were later built.
"It was here, in Jerusalem, that King David consecrated the capital of the Kingdom of Israel," Pence continued. "And since its rebirth, the modern State of Israel has called this city the seat of its government."
At this point, Vice President Pence announced that the US government was planning on opening its new embassy in Jerusalem by the end of next year.
The Vice President also affirmed that the Jewish people held onto God's eternal covenant promising the Jewish people that they would return to Jerusalem and the rest of the land of Israel.
"The Jewish people held fast to a promise through all the ages, written so long ago, that 'even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens,' from there He would gather and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed," affirmed Pence, referencing several verses in Deuteronomy.
"Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there Hashem your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And Hashem your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers. Deuteronomy 30:4-5
As part of this process of returning to the land, he noted that just a few short years after the Holocaust, modern Israel developed at a remarkable pace. He described this seemingly miraculous growth by referencing a section of Isaiah.
"Can a country be born in a day, can a nation be born in a moment," Pence asked.
Who ever heard the like? Who ever witnessed such events? Can a land pass through travail In a single day? Or is a nation born All at once? Yet Tzion travailed And at once bore her children! Isaiah 66:8
When the Vice President discussed his efforts to bring about negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, he couched it in Biblical terms, describing it as "the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael ... coming together in common cause."
Vice President concluded his speech with wishes that "God bless the Jewish people, God bless Israel and God bless the USA."
Rabbi Glick, who had immediately responded at that point by shouting out, "God Bless you, Mr. Vice President," explained his overwhelming enthusiasm with the Biblical themes Pence touched upon in his speech.
"Pence praised God throughout this speech, and it was very inspiring to see how God is putting this together," Rabbi Glick said.
"This was what we saw in the Second Temple when Cyrus reminded us that we needed to return and build the Temple," he continued. "In a similar manner, President Trump and Vice President Pence are reminding us who we are and what is the essence of our lives."
Daily Jot: A conspiracy to end the presidency - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
News stories in recent days have revealed a pattern: There appears to be a legitimate conspiracy to end the presidency of Donald Trump, even before it started. The Democrat-motivated "Special Counsel" to investigate whether Trump and the Russians conspired to defeat the scandal-tainted Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton could have been just part of the conspiracy by the previous administration and the Clinton campaign to defeat Trump. The collusion with Russia is actually evidenced by the Clintons and a pay-for-influence scheme over US uranium transfers to Russia. The use of the secret court FISA by the ex "president" to spy on Americans, especially Trump, is also part of the conspiracy.
Information in the past week indicates that the ex "president," his Attorney General, Justice Department, the FBI, and the Clintons were all working schemes at the same time to derail Trump before he even got started. For example, smoking gun electronic messages, via email or text, "accidentally" between anti-Trump/pro Clinton FBI officials Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page have been. House Homeland Cybersecurity Chairman Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) tweeted that among thousands of FBI texts that he reviewed, "revealed manifest bias" against Trump and referenced a "secret society" of FBI officials that met the day after the election to plot against the newly-elected President.
Another aspect of the FBI's and Department of Justice possible collusion comes in the act of exonerating candidate Hillary Clinton of wrong-doing regarding her exposure of classified information over unsecured private computers-some of which ended up on her assistant Huma Abedin's sex-soliciting husband's computer which aided in convicting him of soliciting a minor. Ratcliffe told FOX News that text messages indicate then FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were coordinating the decision to exonerate Clinton in May, well ahead of the July 5, 2016 news conference. Lynch met with Clinton's former president husband Bill on the Phoenix airport tarmac for 20 minutes on June 26, just 10 days before Comey cleared Hillary Clinton.
Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Devin Nunes (R-CA) said in a statement concerning the 384 pages of new text messages between top FBI officials that "the contents of these text messages between top FBI officials are extremely troubling" as well as "the evident bias exhibited by those in charge of the investigation." It appears that it could be the Democratic Party that colluded to illegally influence the elections, and they included the Russians in their scheme, who also may have willingly participated. These events, if proven true, could represent a Constitutional crisis of an attempted coup with the complicity participation of the news media, which supported the false narrative. Let us pray that the words of Christ in Luke 8:17 prevail over this grave situation, "For nothing is secret, that not be made manifest."
Daily Devotion: Our Example to Follow - By Greg Laurie -
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. -Mark 9:2-3
The miracle of the Transfiguration wasn't that Jesus shined like the sun; the miracle was that He didn't shine like the sun all the time. When Jesus came to Earth, He never gave up His deity. But we might say that He shrouded His glory and laid aside the privileges of His deity.
Jesus Christ is God. He is a member of the Trinity, coequal and coeternal with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was God before He was born, and He remained God after He became man. His deity was prehuman, pre-Mary, and pre-Bethlehem.
Jesus laid aside not His deity, but the privileges of deity, to model what it is to be a servant. Paul told the believers in Philippi, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:5-7).
We are to follow His example. If Jesus could lay aside the privileges of divinity, then how much more should we, as human beings with sinful hearts, be willing to put the needs of others above ourselves?
This isn't easy. In fact, we could say that it's virtually impossible-apart from the power of the Spirit. This is not so much about imitation as much as it is about impartation-Christ Himself living in us and giving us His love and power. It's the only way we can put the needs of another person above our own, love people whom we really don't like all that much, or effectively die to ourselves. It seems impossible. But this is the way God has called us to live.
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
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