Prophecy Update Newsletter
May 12, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Featured Article: The TRUE CONTENT of the FALSE COVENANT of the TRIBULATION
"Abbas has decided to sign peace deal with Israel" -- Is the Daniel 9:27 final-day peace deal in the works?
Abbas, in meeting with Putin, says Moscow must be part of peace process
Hamas assures critics Israel's destruction still its goal
The 'Mark' of the Beast
Have the Dark Ages Returned?
Daily Jot: Discerning the NBC interview with the President Daily Devotion: The Authority of the Scriptures
The TRUE CONTENT of the FALSE COVENANT of the TRIBULATION - by Bill Salus -
This is an article taken from the book entitled, Apocalypse Road, Revelation for the Final Generation.
The Treaty of Versailles signed on June 28, 1919, ended World War One. United Nations Resolution 181 of November 29, 1947, i.e. the Partition Plan, reestablished the Jewish State of Israel. The December 13, 2007, Treaty of Lisbon, established the constitutional basis for the creation of the European Union. These three monumental agreements of the 20th Century were significant because World Wars, the reestablished State of Israel and the Revived Roman Empire are relevant end times prophetic topics.
As notable as these three past accords were, they will all pale in comparison to a forthcoming covenant predicted in Isaiah 28:15-18 and Daniel 9:27. Something about this covenant, which will likely be confirmed soon in the 21st Century, causes the world to experience seven-years of its severest tribulation. During this period, many seas and rivers will turn into blood, the sun will scorch men with great heat and fire and great earthquakes will cause islands to crumble and mountains to topple. (Revelation 16)
What is it about the content of this covenant that provokes the Lord to pour out His wrath upon the earth? This article presents the biblical clues that seemingly identify the TRUE CONTENT of this FALSE COVENANT. This covenant kicks off what is commonly referred to as the "Seven-Year Tribulation Period," (Trib-Period), which is also called "Daniel's 70th Week."
THE TRIBULATION COVENANT
The primary verses that provide details about the covenant are listed below.
"Then he (the Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many for one (seven-year) week; in the middle of the week (after three and one-half years) He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate." (Daniel 9:27; emphasis added)
Daniel informs us that the Antichrist will confirm a seven-year covenant with many, meaning between Israel and some other party or parties. Moreover, the confirmer of the covenant will also be the one who annuls it by ending the sacrifices and offerings in the middle of the seven-years.
Daniel provides some important facts, but we turn to Isaiah to ascertain additional pertinent prophetic information.
"Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come to us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves." Therefore thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet; The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters will overflow the hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled, And your agreement with Sheol will not stand; When the overflowing scourge passes through, Then you will be trampled down by it. (Isaiah 28:14-18)
Isaiah points out the following crucial details:
* The leaders of Israel are "scornful men" at the time the covenant is ratified
* The other party of the covenant with Israel is "Death and Sheol"
* The reason Israel covenants is to avoid "the overflowing scourge"
* The covenant is deceitful, it is based upon "lies" and "falsehood"
* The covenant is made "hastily"
* The covenant will be "annulled"
* Israel will not avoid "the overflowing scourge," but will be "trampled down by it"
Bible prophecy expert Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum states the following concerning this problematic covenant.
"The Tribulation begins with Israel signing a seven-year covenant. Two key passages bear this out. The first passage is Daniel 9:24-27, the famous prophecy of the seventy weeks or seventy sevens of the prophet Daniel.... The second passage is Isaiah 28:14-22. In Isaiah 28:14, God calls the ones making this covenant scoffers. He considers them mockers rather than serious leaders. Isaiah 28:15 gives the reason for this and provides God's viewpoint of the covenant itself. It is obvious that the leaders of Israel will enter into this covenant to obtain some measure of security and to escape the overflowing scourge. Hence they will believe that entering the covenant will free them from further military invasions. However, God declares that this is not a covenant of life, but a covenant of death. It is not a covenant of heaven, but a covenant of hell. Rather than gaining security, they will gain a strong measure of insecurity."(i)
WHO ARE DEATH AND SHEOL?
We know from Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:14-18 that the Antichrist confirms a covenant between Israel and Death and Sheol. These two sinister characters bear a striking resemblance to the dual riders of the pale horse of the Apocalypse.
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades, (Sheol in the Hebrew), followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)
These two horsemen have authority over a quarter of the world's population to kill people. This could mean that they kill a quarter of mankind, or that they have governing authority over a quarter of mankind to kill an untold number of people. Whichever is the case, among those being killed are Christian believers. This is confirmed in the verses below.
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Revelation 6:10-11)
These slain souls appear to be the victims of Death and Hades. These saints have been martyred for believing and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, which must contradict the counterfeit gospel being presented by Death and Hades. Whoever Death and Hades represents, and whatever gospel they are preaching, it is not a message that the fifth seal saints agree with. However, according to Isaiah 28:15, the scornful leaders of Israel will be in agreement with it, at least for politically expedient purposes. They will agree, even if it involves lies and falsehood, to avoid the overflowing scourge being perpetrated by Death and Sheol/Hades.
In the Bible, death deals with the material departure of a being from its body and hades is concerned with the immaterial aspect of a person after death, which is their soul. Presently, when someone dies their soul is delivered to its destination, which is either heaven if they're saved or hades if they're not. However, the Death and Sheol/Hades that is martyring believers and that Israel signs a covenant with represents a tangible, rather than an intangible entity. Israel cannot confirm an agreement with a non-entity.
So, who does Death and Hades represent? Their identity is found by recognizing that there exists only two killing crusades of Christians after Death and Hades come into the world. These two are the Harlot and the Antichrist. Per Revelation 17:6, the Harlot is "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." Per Revelation 13:15-17 and 20:4, the Antichrist will kill believers for refusing to receive the "Mark of the Beast."
Unless Death and Hades represents a third campaign of Christian martyrdom, which is not likely, then it must find association with either the Harlot or the Antichrist. It can't be related to the Antichrist for two reasons.
1. The Antichrist is the White Horseman, (Rev. 6:1-2), and Death and Hades are the Pale Horsemen, (Rev. 6:7-8), of the Apocalypse. These two horses carry distinctly different riders who operate independent of each other. The Antichrist is given a crown and instructed to go out conquering and to conquer. Death and Hades are given authority over a quarter of the earth's population to kill, namely Christian believers.
2. The Antichrist's killing crusade doesn't start until the middle of the Trib-Period, but Death and Hades begin their targeted murders beforehand.
Therefore, based upon the minor premises above, the major premise is that Death and Hades seemingly finds association with the Harlot world religion. Or, more boldly and directly stated; DEATH AND HADES are associated with "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." If this is the case then whoever THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS represents, is the likely embodiment of the fourth horsemen of Death and Hades.
And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. (Revelation 17:5-6)
WHAT IS THE OVERFLOWING SCOURGE THAT CONCERNS ISRAEL?
What is the overflowing scourge that compels Israel to become a signatory to the false covenant? If Death and Hades represents the Harlot world religion, and if that system is perpetrating a killing campaign upon those who descent from it, then the obvious answer is that the scourge has a connection with the killing crusade of the Harlot. In other words, the Jews don't want Revelation 17:6 to read;... I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus and the BLOOD OF THE JEWS. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
The fact is, that like the Fifth Seal Saints won't believe the counterfeit gospel of the Harlot, neither will the Jews. Coming off decisive prophetic war victories in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38, which will have likely happened prior, they will be on a fervent quest to reinstate their ancient Mosaic Law. This means that they will want to build their third temple to perform animal sacrifices and offerings again, which they believe will hasten the coming of their Messiah. They don't now, and they won't then, believe in Jesus as the Messiah.
Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 are distinctly different prophecies. Psalm 83 is an ancient prophecy that predicts the conclusion of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It foretells that Israel will defeat their Arab neighbors in an epic war and end the oppression of those peoples once and for all. Ezekiel 38 prophesies that God will stop a massive invasion of Israel supernaturally. Because of both biblical wars, the Jewish state will be emboldened and recognized by the Harlot as a force that must be reckoned with.
(The Inner Circle map overlays the ancient names of Psalm 83:6-8 over their modern-day counterparts. Note that the Inner Circle is mostly comprised of Arab states and terrorist groups that share common borders with the Jewish state. These ancient civilizations have been Israel's most notorious enemies from time immemorial.)
(The Outer Ring map superimposes the historic names of the Ezekiel 38:1-5 coalition over their present equivalents. The arrows depict the location of the coalition members. Note that the Outer Ring of nations does not share common borders with Israel, include any of the Inner Circle countries or notable terrorist organizations, involve any of Israel's historic enemies, apart from Persia at the time of Esther, or incorporate many Arab states).
WHAT IS THE TRUE CONTENT OF THE TRIBULATION COVENANT?
If the wars of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 have concluded prior to the confirmation of the false covenant, then the content of the covenant does not likely concern the Arab-Israeli conflict. This bitter entanglement is probably over with because of these two major wars. The Dome of the Rock that presently sits on the Temple Mount and is an obstacle to the Jews for building their temple, will probably be destroyed or demolished after Psalm 83. It could easily vanish in little to no time. Additionally, there is nothing in the Scriptures that talks about the content of the covenant having anything to do with the Arab's and the Jews.
THE 3 CLUES ABOUT THE COVENANT AND THE TEMPLE CONNECTION
However, there are at least three important biblical clues that suggest that some of the content of the covenant is concerned with the building of the Jewish Temple. The first clue is contained in Isaiah 28:16-17. These two verses are sandwiched in between Isaiah 28:15 and 18, which are the verses referring to the overflowing scourge and the false covenant.
Therefore thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet; The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters will overflow the hiding place. (Isaiah 28:16-17)
These passages use terms like a "tried stone," a "precious cornerstone," a "sure foundation," a "measuring line" and a "plummet." These are terms that can find association with constructing a Jewish Temple. To build the Temple, you start with a tried stone that becomes the precious cornerstone. This cornerstone has a sure foundation built around it. The length and width dimensions of a building needs to be calculated with a measuring line, and the vertical accuracy of a structure is determined with a plummet, (plumb-line).
I interpret Isaiah 28:16-17 as a warning to the scornful rulers that drag Israel into being a signatory of this dreadful covenant. These leaders seem to think that they are going to build a Temple and hasten the coming of the Messiah, but Isaiah cautions them not to hastily enter into this covenant, because the Messiah, Jesus Christ, has already come as the, tried stone (1 Peter 2:4-8), precious cornerstone (Matthew 21:42, Ephesians 2:19-22,) and sure foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11).
A second clue is found in Daniel 9:27, which also is a proof text verse regarded with the false covenant.
"Then he, (the Antichrist), shall confirm a covenant with many, (the Harlot religion), for one week; (of seven years), But in the middle of the week, (after three and one-half years), He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering, (taking place in the Temple). And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate." (Daniel 9:27; emphasis added)
Jesus Christ foretells that this event predicted by Daniel happens in the holy place, which represents the Third Jewish Temple at the time.
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (Matthew 24:15-16)
The intimations in these related verses above, are that by the middle of the Trib-Period the Third Jewish Temple will exist. The Antichrist will make a bold statement by entering this Temple and stopping the priestly sacrifices and offerings occurring therein. This is in fulfillment of Isaiah 28:18, which says the false covenant will be annulled. What better way to dissolve a covenant than to void out its terms?
If the true content of the false covenant allowed the Jews to build their Temple and perform sacrifices and offerings inside of it, then the action taken by the Antichrist to go into the Temple and stop the sacrifice and offering terminates the contract.
A third clue is in the book of Revelation. Several important details are provided in these passages below concerning the benefits to both signatories of the covenant. These verses describe what happens in the immediate aftermath of the ratification of the false covenant.
"Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, 'Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.'" (Rev. 11:1-3, NASB)
The time frame of "forty-two months" is associated with one-half of the seven years of tribulation. The same increment of time is used in the ensuing verse but worded differently as, "twelve hundred and sixty days." It is commonly taught that both usages allude to the first half of the Trib-Period.
Thus, the very first thing that appears to happen as part of the implementation of the covenant, is that the Temple gets measured for its construction. The apostle John is given a measuring rod and instructed to measure the temple of God, alluding to the Third Temple. If the covenant called for the construction of the Temple, then this would be one of the first order of events. Measure it so that it can be built.
Isaiah 28:16 issues a stern warning for the Jews to not become a signatory of the FALSE COVENANT, but rather to recognize that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the TRIED PRECIOUS CORNERSTONE, the SURE FOUNDATION. Unfortunately, the Israeli leaders at the time will mock all the mounting evidence that supports this biblical truth! They will blatantly turn a deaf ear to the true gospel message of the 5th Seal Saints and a blind eye to their killings by the Harlot world religion.
Isaiah 28:18 declares that their scornful behavior will be to the detriment of the Jewish state. At that time, the Jews will trust that the content of the covenant will enable them to build their Third Temple. They will mistakenly believe that the completion of this Temple will cause the coming of their Messiah, who will promptly end the overflowing scourge being perpetrated by the Harlot. After their Messiah comes and promptly remedies the Harlot problem, the Jews expect that he will usher in the Messianic Kingdom, which is the high point of their Old Testament teachings. Unfortunately for these Jewish leaders, the Antichrist who confirms the covenant will be the one who annuls it!
The Antichrist will kill two religious birds with one stone in the Middle of the Trib-Period. First, he will enlist ten powerful kings to desolate signatory #2 of the covenant in Revelation 17:12-17. Shortly after eliminating Death and Sheol/Hades, which typologically represents the Harlot world religion, the Antichrist will enter the third Jewish Temple and stop the priestly offerings and sacrifices. This abominable act will ANNUL the FALSE COVENANT in fulfillment of Isaiah 28:18 and Daniel 9:27. Then, the Antichrist will proceed to eliminate signatory #1 of the covenant by committing the final genocide attempt of the Jews. Zechariah 13:8 informs that two-thirds of the Jews will be killed during this time.
In the end analysis, many Christian believers, Jews and the pagan Gentiles of the Harlot world religion are ultimately going to be killed at the cost of this terrible covenant. Israel's participation in this accord acknowledges their general acceptance of the Christian persecutions by the Harlot. Unwittingly, they and the Harlot trust the Antichrist to meet their mutually exclusive ends, which are the advancement of their own respective religious agendas. However, the Antichrist has his own different religious agenda as per Revelation 13 and elsewhere. Upon annulling the false covenant, his plans to entirely control the world are implemented.
Now we know why the TRUE CONTENT of the FALSE COVENANT amounts to nothing more than a truly BAD DEAL that comes out from the PITS of HELL!
(i) Dr. Fruchtenbaum quote was taken on 9/2/16 from this website: http://chafer.nextmeta.com/files/v6n1_3.pdf
'Abbas has decided to sign peace deal with Israel' -- Is the Daniel 9:27 final-day peace deal in the works? - Yaakov Katz -
Trump planning to launch new round of talks during his upcoming visit.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has crossed the Rubicon and voiced "unprecedented" readiness to reach a peace deal with Israel, sources close to the efforts to renew talks between Israel and the Palestinians have told The Jerusalem Post.
Abbas, according to the sources, made this clear to President Donald Trump during their meeting at the White House last week. The president plans to use his trip to Israel later this month to receive assurances from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he, too, is committed to a peace agreement.
Since his meeting with Trump last week, Abbas has changed his rhetoric, issuing a number of statements meant to reflect flexibility on previous demands. He has, for example, said that he would renew the talks under Trump's auspices without preconditions. In the past, he had said he would not negotiate with Netanyahu without a freeze to settlement construction.
He has also sent his advisers to the press to declare that the Palestinians are prepared to negotiate land swaps with Israel, a recognition that some West Bank settlements will remain part of Israel in the framework of a future deal.
Netanyahu, on the other hand, has largely remained quiet. The strategy within the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem seems to be to wait and hope not to be blamed for preventing the success of the peace talks Trump is planning to restart following his visit on May 22.
As reported earlier this week in Maariv and the Post, the person responsible for this change in Abbas is Ronald Lauder, the American billionaire and head of the World Jewish Congress, who is one of the closest people to Trump. Lauder has publicly said that he has known Trump for over 50 years and that he is a "great and true friend" of Israel.
Before Abbas met with Trump last week, he stopped by Lauder's house for dinner and got briefed on ways to win over the president. To some, it seems that Lauder has bypassed Sheldon Adelson as the most influential Jew in Trump's circle.
Lauder has been pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal for years and was in Cairo two months ago for a meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ahead of the Egyptian leader's visit to the White House. Lauder, sources say, seems to have been tapped by the president as something of a semi-official envoy to the region with an emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Politicians who spoke to Lauder at Sunday's Jerusalem Post Conference in New York later told the Post that he told them about his meeting with Abbas. At the same time, Netanyahu told confidants that he was furious over the American Jewish leader's involvement.
"You don't understand how much influence he has over Trump," the prime minister told a confidant in a private conversation this week.
"Out of the people around Trump, he is my biggest challenge to overcome."
Abbas, in meeting with Putin, says Moscow must be part of peace process - By Dov Lieber -
Two leaders participate via video link in inauguration of $40 million Russian-sponsored Putin cultural center in Bethlehem
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Sochi resort in Western Russia on Thursday, and said that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be "impossible" without the participation of Moscow in the peace process.
"It is impossible to solve the Palestinian issue without Russia's meaningful participation in the peace process. That is what we have been emphasizing at all international meetings," Abbas said in his meeting with Putin, according to the official Russian State news agency Tass.
Putin said Russia "will continue to give its full support to the resumption of direct dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis."
"The peaceful coexistence of the two states - Palestine and Israel - is an indispensable condition to ensure genuine security and stability in this region," Putin said.
Abbas, according to a report in the official PA news site Wafa, also reiterated that he is still willing to participate in a three-way summit with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow.
"We are ready to accept this invitation at anytime," Abbas said.
"We had planned to meet in Moscow, but he didn't show up," Abbas said earlier this month, referring to Netanyahu in the context of Russian efforts to set up such a meeting last year.
Netanyahu and Abbas have repeatedly declared their willingness for face-to-face talks, and blamed each other for dodging the proposed September 2016 meet-up in Moscow.
On Tuesday, in a press conference with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Abbas said he was willing to meet with Netanyahu under the auspices of US President Donald Trump, who he met earlier in the month.
Before their closed-door meeting, Abbas and Putin participated via video link in an inauguration ceremony of a Russian-sponsored $40 million cultural and economic center in Bethlehem. The center is named after Putin.
"The opening of the complex is not only a notable milestone in the development of the Russian-Palestinian relationship, but also evidence of the strong friendship between our countries and our nations," Putin told the inauguration ceremony.
Ziyad al-Bandak, the director of the new center, told Wafa that the complex is 15,000 square meters and has six floors.
He said that there is a sports and youth department that consists of judo, karate and Roman wrestling rooms, and a cafeteria. Another section is a music complex and contains a training and teaching hall.
Trump is slated to visit Israel and Bethlehem later in May, and is expected to separately meet Netanyahu and Abbas and use the visit to advance his goal of mediating negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. It is speculated that he may also seek to bring Netanyahu and Abbas together in the course of his May 22-23 visit, but no such plans have been confirmed.
Abbas Foreign Affairs Adviser Nabil Shaath told The Times of Israel on Monday that while the Palestinians are embracing a new round of US-backed talks, they are still committed to working with the wider international community to attain their goal of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.
Hamas assures critics Israel's destruction still its goal - By Dov Lieber -
Rejecting push-back over new policy paper, group's co-founder says 'no negotiations' over right to all of historic Palestine
Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar clarified Wednesday that his terror group's new political program, which some interpreted as accepting the idea of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, would not preclude Hamas from seeking to liberate all of historic Palestine, including Israel.
"If we liberate Palestine though the resistance until the 1967 borders, we will go directly to liberate the rest of Palestine and the territories of 1948, and there will be no negotiations," Zahar said at a conference in Gaza addressing international reactions to the new policy document, according to the Hamas-linked al-Resalah news site.
Zahar was likely responding to hardline critics of Hamas's new program, such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
"As partners with our Hamas brothers in the struggle for liberation, we feel concern over the document," Islamic Jihad's deputy leader, Ziad al-Nakhala, said Saturday.
"We are opposed to Hamas's acceptance of a state within the 1967 borders and we think this is a concession which damages our aims," he said in a statement on Islamic Jihad's website.
On Wednesday Zahar stressed that Hamas was not walking back its original principals, asserting, "If Hamas liberated 99.9% of the land of Palestine, it will not give up on the rest."
He added: "We cannot religiously, morally or nationally give up on one inch of the land of Palestine."
Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and the EU, adopted the new document on May 1 in an attempt to improve its standing in the international community.
The document, however, contains glaring contradictions.
It accepts the idea of a Palestinian state in territories captured by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967 but simultaneously reiterates the imperative to destroy Israel. It also dismisses the establishment of the State of Israel as "illegal," asserting a Palestinian claim to the entire Land of Israel, and a so-called right of return for all descendants of refugees. It also reserves the right to wage "resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine."
Israel has dismissed the new document as an attempt to "fool the world."
The "Mark" of the Beast - Wendy Wippel -
Facebook had a conference last week at which, unexpectedly, they offered up an apology for its negative effects, namely seducing us into paying more attention to the device we hold then to the ones we hold dear. Noble, I guess. But their solution may be out of the frying pan and into the fire. Literally.
Regina Dugan, head of Facebook Innovation, had this to say: "Smart Phones have been a powerful force in the world, but have had some untended consequences", she admitted. "It has allowed us to connect with people far away from us, but too often at the expense of those right next to us"....
And we'd all be better off if we looked up a little more."
I concur. So what's their answer?
Definitely not getting rid of the blasted things.
No. Dugan emphatically says, "This device is important!!" Apparently someday we'll all have new improved devices that work without mouthpieces at all. Or mouths, as far as that goes.
Facebook has hired dozens of highly specialized personnel-neural prosthetics experts, neural imaging engineers, and brain-computer interface engineers, in order to help them create a system in which you won't need to type messages or talk on the phone, because this new device will enable your brain to send messages to the recipient's brain without a mouthpiece or a keypad.
No grueling sessions of answering emails. You can just think your responses to your o colleagues.
I must admit that the first visual that popped into my head when I read this looked a lot like Herman Munster. Part skin, part science; with an obligatory metallic breastplate.
Or something similar.
Negatory, says Dugan. "That simply won't scale." Their goal is to develop a system that does not require surgery or implantation-possibly some kind of external sensor, maybe a wired sleeve that can translate thoughts and send them on to someone also wearing a "smart sleeve.", which would be able to translate.
Dugan admits, however, that this kind of technology does not, in fact- in 2017--, exist. Although some experiments in transmitting impulses in lower animals like mice have seen positive results, those involved sending neural impulses that successfully made a tail twitch on the other end.
A far cry from sending complex feelings or thoughts and having them fully transferred to another human.
Facebook proudly asserts that they are working on it, including tests that use lasers in order to capture the properties of neutrons in brain cells at the very moment that the cells fire. And other stepping stones to future methods of capturing thoughts by mechanical means, translating the thoughts, and recreating them in the recipients' brains.
Pretty heady stuff. But they dream big. Dugan says someday she'll be able to speak in Mandarin and have her message received in the recipient's brain, in Spanish.
Ah, the wonders of technology. Is this virtual Facebook village really right around the corner? Dugan says that there are a lot of hard formidable issues to overcome, but that "the risk of failure and the terrified feeling that comes with that is the price they pay for making something great".
Other experts say not so fast.
Although it's possible even now to visualize some kinds of brains signals, the process currently requires assistance from substantial hardware. Like MRI machines. Or implanted electrodes. And that's still a far cry from the ability to decode them or to send them to another person for perusal.
And, according to the experts, any attempt to read the mind will need to control the transmitting of information between neurons in the brain. And any attempt to decode that information will require some kind of implant.
At least an electrode.
Furthermore, when you think, brain activity is dispersed, with no specialization in specific areas. So decoding any thought would be a monumental task.
Feelings, however, are handled in a single area, the amygdala, so would be more amenable to untangling with an advent of more sophisticated technology.
Maybe the biggest challenge, however, (if you have a burning need to answer your emails without employing a keypad), is how to untangle the thought message you want to send to your boss from the random negative thought you had about your boss as you began to transmit.
How to control what thoughts go where. And what thoughts go when (Whatever that might look like when this newest wonder of facebook uploads.)
They have no idea how to handle this yet.
And there's the rub. Who would want to risk having every random thought they have broadcast, especially if its not possible to reliably ensure its delivery to the correct person?
And who could insure, that once this new Facebook "Device" enables mind reading, that it would always be used ethically, transmitting only what people chose to transmit and never ever used for reading someone's thoughts unawares?
We know better. And all of us alive in 2017 have witnessed incredible examples of the fury and vitriol unleashed on any who disagree with the mainstream views on human political figures.
And we know from Scripture the fury and vitriol prophesied to fall on those who disagree with the views held by the antichrist when the tribulation comes.
And we know from Scripture that the anti-christ, at some point, will require all to show their allegiance to the New World Order by acquiring a physical alteration, one that in addition to proving their devotion to their King, also allows them to buy and sell.
A physical alteration called the "Mark of the Beast" which also allows Beelzebub's faithful to buy and sell. And, it would seem, a physical alteration that may permit the Antichrist to read the thoughts of those who wear it.
For Christians and Jews, in the New World Groupthink. that Zuckerburg's Facebook largely created (and which they now, apparently, intend to make into a permanent part of human physiology). This would be-definitely in the last days, according to Scripture, and even now if the new device was ready to market-- a problem.
A Big One.
Which I guess is why God told us well in advance to steer clear.
Dugan assured Facebook's faithful that their vision for this new device "sounds impossible, but it's closer than you may realize".
From a purely prejudiced viewpoint, I hope so. Because that would mean we'd all be watching from the Mezzanine.
Mark Zuckerburg has his vision for the future. We have His Word. Our redemption gets closer every day. Let's make the time count!
Maybe it's not a coincidence that it's the "Mark" of the Beast. I'm just sayin...
Have the Dark Ages Returned? - by Grant Phillips -
The Dark Ages ruled the world from about 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D. Then with Martin Luther's 95 Theses of 1517 A.D. the light began to glimmer in Europe's spiritual lighthouse.
This light became brighter and brighter as men of devout faith in God spoke out for Jesus Christ and brought His Word to mankind. The common man, deprived of the Bible, was now able to read its precious words. Great preachers were born, and the light of God's Word was spread abroad. From Europe, across the channel to England and on to the new land, the United States of America.
England, and other countries, produced many missionaries, and closely on their heels, America followed suit. Soon, the United States of America was sending out more missionaries to foreign lands than any other country.
The light of the Gospel began to dim in America in 1962-63. Those were the years our Supreme Court ended official Bible reading and prayer in the public schools.
In 1973 the Supreme Court decided that it is a woman's right to have an abortion. As of January 21, 2015 there have been 57,762,169 babies murdered in their mother's womb, by cutting them up in pieces.
Fifty-two years later, in 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that gay and lesbian marriage was supported by our Constitution.
In 2016 the Obama administration openly supported transgender bathroom usage.
America today is the leading exporter of pornography. We are bleeding-out from broken marriages, murders, thefts, rapes, child molestation and may other depravities. Illicit drug usage is destroying the lives of millions. Criminals are being coddled while victims are often ignored.
May I ask, "What in the heck as happened to a country that used to be the leading exporter of missionaries for Jesus Christ to what we have become today? The answer is very simple. We have pushed God out of every area of our lives.
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12) Then again He said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." (John 9:5)
When a light is removed from a room there is nothing left but darkness. When "good" is removed all that is "bad" will quickly fill the space left vacant. Anyone who can't see that has no lights on in their soul.
I enjoy watching crime shows such as Forensic Files, Cold Case Files, New Detective, Snapped, Homicide Detective, etc. I am pleased that we have advanced as much as we have in forensic science. I like to know the perpetrators are caught and punished. I seldom agree with the light sentences, but at least they're caught. It is also good that the innocent are not railroaded into prison as easily as they were in the past.
I mention this because in watching these shows I am amazed at the depth of wickedness that has overtaken mankind. No act of the wicked is out of reach. We have sunk lower than animals in how we treat other people, and it's all because we said in 1963 we don't want God in our lives. The years 1962-63 showed what was really in our hearts, and our hearts have gotten blacker and blacker since then. We don't want God, but we do want every depravity imaginable.
There are a lot of God loving people in this country, but Satan's crowd is very quickly taking over. A country that was founded on the Bible and in general proclaimed Jesus Christ is now a spiritual outcast. We, as a nation, are the devil's mistress serving him at his beck and call. I know that those who love God are sick to be witnessing the moral rot all around us, while Satan's crowd blindly follows each other to hell.
Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
Therefore, the light still shines within those who love the Lord Jesus Christ. The Dark Ages that Europe experienced in the 1st and 2nd century is quickly creeping back in. It is a dark time and it is a frightening time for those who are not following the way of the world around us. The good news is this; the Bible is still available, the true Church is still lit up as a witness for Jesus, and He is coming soon to take us home.
As the true Church, our main concern is to live for Jesus regardless of the times, witness to the lost at every opportunity, and to get ready and be ready for our trip home.
None of us know when Jesus will return for us, but He has told us to be looking and to be ready. He can come on any day.
Why is the world getting darker? Satan knows he is running out of time. He is working overtime in an attempt to defeat Jesus Christ. Of course it will never happen. So he at least wants to drag as many as he can to hell with him.
Our heart goes out in sorrow at the millions today who are in the dark and don't even know it. We are not in the darkness. We are in the light, and need to help shed that light on them so they may see the Truth and be saved while they still can.
Daily Jot: Discerning the NBC interview with the President - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
NBC News' Lester Holt interviewed President Donald Trump Thursday night in his first major news interview since the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Holt obviously was pushing the mainstream news media narrative that the Russians influenced the presidential election and that Trump had a role in it. It was one of those interviews, where Holt, in his questioning, used terms such as "unsubstantiated" to imply that Trump was a liar about wire tapping claims and that he and Russia were not in collusion. Nowadays there is a Russian colluder behind every door and under every bed at the White House, according to the media and the extreme leftists who are trying to overthrow this government.
Immediately after the interview, NBC wrote a story that changed the contextual meaning of Trump's answers by tampering with Trump's quotes. Trump said in the interview, "This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it is an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won...This was an excuse for having lost the election." NBC omitted the part about Russia being a made up story and an excuse for losing the election. Instead it only quoted the last part of what Trump said--"'Cause all it is, is an excuse but I said to myself, I might even lengthen out the investigation, but I have to do the right thing for the American people." The story purposely hid the counter-narrative to the left's own unsubstantiated claims.
The story also omitted that Trump said the media misrepresents him with stories containing "false sources or sources that don't exist because of the way the media is," also adding context to Trump's answers. Then NBC proved his point by quoting unnamed "legal experts" and by actually serving as a platform to give the Democratic opposition a counter voice to the Trump interview by showing their hypocritical anger over Comey's ouster. Just last week, these same people were calling for Comey to be fired over mishandling Hillary Clinton's email scandal and for not accusing Trump of colluding with the Russians. Now that Trump fired Comey, these extremists want a special prosecutor named to impeach Trump.
During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the radical left generally ridiculed anyone who thought there was a communist threat and downplayed any accusation that Russia could possibly be infiltrating the US or influencing our election process. Today, when they want to pin the blame on someone for losing an election they thought they were going to win with ease, it's the Russians. And when they want to undermine the ability of Trump to govern, they tie him to Russia. And the news media, as exemplified by the NBC news story about the interview, is willing to alter quotes that change the context of the story to prove their point. This is deception and as Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Don't believe what the leftist media is reporting. They change the truth in the name of truth to foment rebellion.
Daily Devotion: The Authority of the Scriptures - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." -Isaiah 55:11
When I think of Billy Graham's preaching over the years, one thing comes to mind: he always quoted the Bible. How many times have we heard Billy Graham say, "And the Bible says . . ."? I've always loved that about him. He knows the authority of the Scriptures.
In the same way, Peter's message on the Day of Pentecost was great because it was scriptural. He quoted Joel 2:28-32 from memory, and he also quoted Psalm 16 and Psalm 110. Obviously Peter had committed great portions of Scripture to memory. Any Christian worth his or her salt should be able to stand up at a moment's notice and clearly articulate the gospel message without notes.
Why? Because someday you may find yourself in a situation where you'll need to break it down fast, where you'll be able to say, "Here's how you can get right with God and put your faith in Jesus Christ."
We need to know the Scriptures. I can't emphasize enough how important the Bible is when you are sharing your faith. As Isaiah 55 tells us, "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, . . . so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (verses 10-11).
We need to use the Scriptures as we share the gospel. As artists know how to use their pens and brushes (and nowadays, their computer programs), as cooks know how to use their knives and utensils, as soldiers know how to use their weapons, we need to know how to use the Word of God.
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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