Prophecy Update Newsletter
June 5, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Heaven Can Wait?
- Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8453
Is the Doctrine of Imminence still relevant? Part I
One would think that a key tenet of our faith in which all Christians could rally around, would be the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After all, isn't that what it means to be Christian? Or do we profess faith in a God we have no desire to ever meet? As mind boggling as it may seem, there are large sections of professing Christians who do not teach, preach, write, or even talk about our Lord's soon return.
The conundrum in our current reality, is that our Lord's return has become a controversial and even taboo topic most churches refuse to discuss openly. This seeming hostility towards the Lord's return is not accidental though, but by design. On the spectrum of things hated, Satan's hatred of this topic is infinitely more visceral than even the most diehard leftist liberal's hatred of President Trump.
So if we divide Eschatology (the study of last things) into two major sections, there would be the macro (large) view and the micro (small) view. One would think something as innocuous as the doctrine of imminence would be fairly non-controversial, given the abundant warnings laid out in Scripture to be ready. As is the situation with the macro-views of eschatology (Premillennial, Amillennial, and Post-Millennial), which divide over where Christ returns in relation to the Millennium, this doctrine of imminence most sharply divides amongst the micro-views within the Premillennial camp itself. It is the benchmark by which the Pre-Tribulation view distinguishes itself from the other premillennial rapture views such as Pre-Wrath, Mid-Trib, and Post-Tribulation Rapture. It is of imminence that the late Dr. John Walvoord writes,
The central feature of pretribulationism, the doctrine of imminency, is, however, a prominent feature of the doctrine of the early church ... [which] lived in constant expectation of the coming of the Lord for His church.
In his seminal research article speaking exhaustively about the issues surrounding the doctrine of imminence (i.e., any moment return of Christ at the Rapture), Dr. Gerald Stanton (contributing to the Pre-Trib Research Center) has done the yeoman's job of putting all the historical and current issues together of this topic. But because imminence is a pillar by which the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position distinguishes itself from other premillennial views, it has as of late, become controversial. To which, this article you now read will quote from research by Dr. Stanton for reference to compare. Quoting from the source document:
It is generally agreed that the Christian Church of the first three centuries was Premillennial, although the common term used was Chiliasm, from the Greek chiliad meaning "thousand." It is less clear when the concept of Christ's soon return was first explicitly stated as imminent which is a theological word rather than a Biblical. Richard Reiter has traced it to the Niagara Bible Conference of 1878, and more specifically to the five resolutions of the first general American Bible and prophetic conference held in New York City the same year. Article 3 stated: "This second coming of the Lord is everywhere in the Scriptures represented as imminent, and may occur at any moment." However, among the Niagara delegates arose three different definitions of imminent (1) Christ may appear at any moment, but this will be understood only by the final generation of the Church (A. J. Gordon). (2) Christ could return within the lifetime of any individual generation of believers (Samuel H. Kellogg). (3) "Imminent" requires "the coming of Christ for his saints as possible any hour" (Arthur T. Pierson).
I believe that we are most likely aligned to option number one and because of that, the concept of imminence went through roughly four stages:
To be clear, I am not proposing that the four mentioned above change the capacity for Christ to have returned at any moment, but only in our understanding of it. Seeing as we are still here some two-thousand years after Christ's ascension, clearly, there is more to this topic than just simply labeling it imminence and moving on. I propose that if we break down these time periods, we should be able to better understand how imminence has impacted all the many generations since the time Christ walked the earth in His First Advent.
Post-Ascension Imminence: 33-100AD
After the resurrection and just prior to Christ's ascension, His disciples approached Him and asked if, at this time, He would now restore the Kingdom to Israel. They did not ask when the Rapture would occur, as that had not yet been revealed through the Apostle Paul. Christ's response to their question then was...
...It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:6-8
At a minimum, Christ knew that His return would not precede the deliverance of the Revelation as given to John in 95AD which is why He addressed them as such in Acts 1. But from there, we also know that the Gospel did, in fact, begin to spread throughout the Roman Empire. It went as far East to India and China, and spread north and south of Judea both to the European and African continents. We also know that at the height of the Roman Empire, there were only around 200 million persons on the earth at that time.
The Apostles Peter, James, John, and Paul, along with Luke, Matthew, Mark, and Jude, contributed their writings under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to construct what we call the New Testament canon. Their expectation as believers in the first century was that since Christ had been in their lifetime so too should they should expect to see His return. There are two considerations to this I would like to include in this discussion:
But what wasn't known to them was what would be later revealed to the then, elderly and sole remaining Apostle, John, on the isle of Patmos in/around 95-96AD. What was revealed to John then was not even revealed to Christ in His humanity...namely, that no man knows the day or hour, but the Father only. To this, Clarence Larkin writes:
When Jesus was asked just before His death, when the things that He had prophesied against Jerusalem should come to pass (Mark 13:1-31), He replied in verse 32, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither (NOT YET) the Son, but the FATHER." But after His Ascension He received from the Father the information that the Disciples asked for, and before the close of the first century, while at least one of those Disciples was still living, the beloved John, He sent an angel messenger to impart to him, and through him to the Churches, the information that is "unveiled" in this Book of Revelation. Thus we see that the canon of Scripture would be incomplete without this message from Jesus to His Church after His return to Heaven. (Source) (Emphasis his)
Summary: Since their proximity in time to Christ and the events surrounding His crucifixion, resurrection, and conception of the church at Pentecost, it is only natural that they would cling tightly to the idea of a soon return of Christ. For example, our current generation is quickly passing away and those that lived through the atrocities of World War I and II, still remember in vivid detail the events of life during those times. But as their generation passes, the immediacy and first-hand knowledge of experience pass with it. As the memory of it fades, what remains is the writings and teachings that are continued long after the last eyewitness passes into eternity.
True Imminence: 100-1917 AD
From 100AD to the early 20th century, mankind truly had no idea of where they were on God's timeline. In 70AD, the Roman General Titus conquered and destroyed the city of Jerusalem along with its Jewish temple. In 135AD, the Roman Emperor Hadrian quelled another rebellion in what remained of Jerusalem, ushering in what we now call the Diaspora. Hadrian attempted to put the final nail in the coffin of the city, the people, and even the name of Israel. By the time John had been imprisoned on the isle of Patmos, Jerusalem as he had known it, hadn't existed for at least 25 years.
Seeing as he was there on the Mount of Olives when Jesus gave His discourse on the things to come, this destruction of Jerusalem wasn't a mystery to him. It may have been a shock perhaps watching it unfold, but it was not a mystery since Jesus had already said it would happen (Matt. 23:37-24:2; Mark 13:23; Luke 19:41-44). But with John, the last of the apostles passing into eternity, the nation of Judah and the city of Jerusalem long since destroyed and the Jewish people scattered, the Gospel began to flourish amongst the gentile communities who had no historical connections to the land itself. They had no remembrance of Christ personally, nor even now the apostles who walked with Christ. What remained of them were the disciples of the apostles of whom would become the early church fathers.
As such, from 100-430AD, the early church was largely premillennial. It wouldn't be until Augustine's book, "The City of God" was published and became part of the theological foundation for the newly developing Roman Catholic Church. While it contained many things (it was twelve books) and dealt with a myriad of topics, the one that may have had the most and lasting impact was the idea of Amillennialism. This taught that there would be no physical return of Christ to the earth, but that His Kingdom was spiritual, it was now, and it was in heaven. This promoted among other things, spiritual triumphalism and the necessity for God to rule through men. Needless to say, this deadened the idea of imminence amongst the lay people and the clergy. They no longer looked for Christ to return but rather, that they would be part of building the kingdom here on earth. Aside from the license to do much wrong in the name of God (Crusades, Inquisitions, papal abuses, etc.), people truly were in the dark ages about understanding where they were on God's timeline.
These eschatological dark ages would continue even through the Protestant Reformation as these new movements simply carried over the same eschatological teachings they had received while under the Roman Catholic system. It wouldn't be until the late 1600-early 1700s that teachers, pastors and the like began openly preaching and teaching about the return of Christ. The same could be said for the early Dispensationalist movement amongst the Plymouth Brethren in the early 19th century. As men began to return to a literal interpretation of scripture instead of being filtered through a denominational creed or Roman Catholic lenses, men and women began to earnestly look for the return of Christ. They did this because that is what a literal interpretation of Scripture points one towards. At the same time, there was an explosion of false Christian cults, sects, and other movements exploding upon the scene. As soon as Dispensationalism began to grow, along comes Joseph Smith and his "Latter Day Saints", the Seventh Day Adventists (which came out of the Millerites), Christian Science, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.
Summary: The church had largely forgotten the relevance of Israel, and began changing their focus to a "kingdom now" mentality. Those combined obscured man's ability to know when and where they were on God's timeline. But as men and women began to return to a literal interpretation, the imminence factor began to come into play once again. Countering that, Satan introduces a flood of false teachings and movements to confuse mankind on just how close they were getting to the end.
To be continued.
With an army of 27,000, Hamas terror chief Deif readies Gaza for war - By Avi Issacharoff -
The Strip's Islamist regime may not want conflict yet, but its 'chief of staff' is preparing for one. And some believe it is better equipped today than it was in 2014
If things weren't bad enough for residents of the Gaza Strip, the ocean - the only place where they could escape the heat and their suffering - has been declared off-limits to bathers in much of the area. The decision was taken by the Gaza municipality, citing the severe pollution of the beaches. Gaza's sewage-treatment plants have shut down due to the ongoing power shortage, and as a result, untreated sewage has been flowing into the sea.
"The only place we could go to have fun has been closed too," said T., a Gaza City resident, in a telephone interview. "There are a few beaches in the northern Gaza Strip where swimming is still possible, but they're far away. So where are we going to go? There's no pay, no power, no beach. We're swimming in shit," he added, laughing bitterly.
Anyone in Israel inclined toward schadenfreude about the Gazans' suffering might be advised to reconsider. The Mediterranean currents could easily carry Gaza's sewage to the beaches of Ashkelon, Ashdod, and farther north.
T. said that the despair is growing worse each day. "We're in the month of Ramadan. There were years when the streets were filled every night with people coming and going, just like in Ramallah." This year, by contrast, although younger Gazans still crowd the cafes, "people have no money to shop," said T. "There's no violence and the situation is relatively calm, but I wouldn't be surprised if one day you see people starting to march in desperation toward the Erez border crossing."
Hamas has also been talking of a potential mass march toward the Israeli border fence. The terror group held a so-called day of rage on Friday, and said it would continue into this week and that as part of it, Gaza residents would march toward the fence. Hamas's intention is to channel public anger toward Israel while sending the message to the Israelis that if the power shortage is not relieved soon, the situation could deteriorate into a full-scale conflict.
Still, the news out of Gaza is not all bleak.
First, Israel did not reduce the amount of electricity that it provides to the Strip on June 1, even though the Palestinian Authority asked Israel, which collects tax money on behalf of the PA and then transfers it on, to decrease the amount it deducts from that sum for paying Gaza's overdue electric bill.
The average resident of the Gaza Strip receives approximately four to six hours of electricity each day. If Israel had reduced the amount of electricity that it provides, this would have gone down to two to four hours each day. Evidently due to pressure from National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz, defense establishment officials decided to stop the planned reduction and wait.
Second, Hamas is doing everything in its power to prevent another round of armed conflict with Israel from breaking out. If we look closely at its behavior since Operation Protective Edge ended in August 2014, Hamas - an organization sworn to the State of Israel's destruction - is acting almost like Israel's own Border Police. While the purpose of the positions it has established along Israel's border may primarily be to keep a lookout on the enemy, they also prevent armed men who could perpetrate terror attacks against Israeli targets from getting near the fence.
Hamas has been working to prevent both terror attacks and rocket fire against Israel. Where it has not managed to prevent the latter, it has arrested and even tortured operatives of jihadist groups responsible for the fire from time to time. So-called "rebel" groups have been responsible for all the rocket-fire incidents that have taken place - 40 in all - since the end of the last war almost three years ago.
Hamas officials inspect the drivers who arrive at the Kerem Shalom border crossing from the Palestinian side to thwart any planned terror attacks there. They also speak with Palestinian fishermen before they go out to sea to make sure they do not leave the waters where fishing is permitted.
So much for the "good" news. Now for the rest.
Even as Hamas tries to avoid a conflict now, it is preparing intensively for the next war.
And there are some who believe its position today is stronger than it was in the summer of 2014.
Hamas is built like an army in every way. It has at its disposal 27,000 armed men divided into six regional brigades, with 25 battalions and 106 companies.
Of this military array, 2,500 armed men are members of the Nuhba, Hamas's elite unit. A third of these troops are intended to be sent to carry out attacks inside Israeli territory. These gunmen are supposed to strike from the sea (the naval commandos), from the air (using flying ATVs or motorized gliders, for example), and, of course, from the ground, mainly via cross-border tunnels, from which they would emerge to raid an Israeli residential community or army base in order to kidnap and kill.
The tunnels are the main focus of Hamas's military efforts.
Hamas invests even more in "defensive" tunnels - those it uses inside the Gaza Strip - than in the attack tunnels that are designed to penetrate into Israeli territory. It has tunnels inside Gaza thought to be dozens of kilometers long: an actual city beneath the Strip that will enable the entire rocket operation, as well as Hamas's command and control echelons, to continue to function even during severe aerial bombardment by Israel.
In charge of this entire effort is Mohammed Deif, the terror chief with nine lives. Born in the Khan Younis refugee camp 52 years ago, Deif has been a wanted man since the 1980s, when he was among those who set up Hamas's military wing.
Deif has been wounded several in assassination attempts. One of his wives and two of his children were killed in an Israeli attempt on his life during 2014's Operation Protective Edge.
Not only has he returned to his position despite his injuries, but Deif is also considered the military wing's supreme commander and is responsible for building Hamas's military strength and preparing it for war. While Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's overall Gaza chief, is considered a "defense minister" of sorts, Deif concentrates on the military sphere. He has set up a small general staff whose members include his deputy, Marwan Issa, military intelligence head Ayman Nofal, and several Hamas brigade commanders.
Deif and his "supervising minister" Sinwar - both of whom are considered radical even by Hamas standards - are cautious and in no hurry to start a war with Israel. This, despite the worsening situation in the Gaza Strip, the ongoing closure of the Rafiah border crossing, and the PA's threats to force tens of thousands of officials into retirement and cut the salaries of the ones staying on.
As far as the old-new Hamas headed by Ismail Haniyeh, Sinwar, and Deif is concerned, the main goal, at least for now, is not another war with Israel, but rather the survival of Hamas's regime in Gaza and a future takeover of Palestinian power centers - the West Bank and the PLO - in their entirety.
One reason Hamas is not eager for another conflict just yet is that Gaza's population has had its fill of war and catastrophe. The inhabitants of the Strip have adapted to the new situation of prolonged power outages, salary cutbacks, and so on, and, as always, have learned to survive.
For example, after the iftar and the tarawih - the evening break-fast meal and the prayer service afterward - the young people hurry off to Gaza's famous cafés, such as Gahwetna, on the Sheikh Ajlin neighborhood's polluted beach, and Habiba. The nargila is the item most in demand there, along with coffee, tea, and fruit juice. These establishments are for the young men - the shabab - only. Other places - such as the Al-Deira Café (on the Rimal beach), the adjacent Roots, and Level Up, on the eleventh floor of a building in the Rimal section - have a mixed clientele.
The threats by the PA in Ramallah to decrease fund transfers to Gaza continue to loom. T., for one, is sharply critical. "I don't know what Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) is trying to accomplish with the cutbacks and reducing the payments for electricity. He wants to punish Hamas, but he's actually punishing two million Gazans."
Iran Developing Advanced Nuclear Capabilities, Reducing Time to Weapon
- Adam Kredo - http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-developing-advanced-nuclear-capabilities-heightening-time-weapon/
Report: Iran stockpiling illicit nuclear parts to shorten time to weapon
Iran is believed to be developing advanced nuclear-related capabilities that could significantly reduce the time it needs to build a deliverable nuclear weapon, according to statements by Iranian officials that have fueled speculation among White House officials and nuclear experts that the landmark accord has heightened rather than reduced the Islamic Regime's nuclear threat.
The head of Iran's nuclear program recently announced the Islamic Republic could mass produce advanced nuclear centrifuges capable of more quickly enriching uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon. Work of this nature appears to violate key clauses of the nuclear agreement that prohibits Iran from engaging in such activity for the next decade or so.
The mass production of this equipment "would greatly expand Iran's ability to sneak-out or breakout to nuclear weapons capability," according to nuclear verification experts who disclosed in a recent report that restrictions imposed by the Iran deal are failing to stop the Islamic Republic's nuclear pursuits.
The latest report has reignited calls for the Trump administration to increase its enforcement of the nuclear deal and pressure international nuclear inspectors to demand greater access to Iran's nuclear sites.
It remains unclear if nuclear inspectors affiliated with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, have investigated Iran's pursuit of advanced centrifuges, according to the report, which explains that greater access to Iran's sites is needed to verify its compliance with the deal.
The report comes amid renewed concerns about Iran's adherence to the nuclear agreement and its increased efforts to construct ballistic missiles, which violate international accords barring such behavior.
"Iran could have already stockpiled many advanced centrifuge components, associated raw materials, and the equipment necessary to operate a large number of advanced centrifuges," according to a report by the Institute for Science and International Security. "The United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) need to determine the status of Iran's centrifuge manufacturing capabilities, including the number of key centrifuge parts Iran has made and the amount of centrifuge equipment it has procured."
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, bragged in April that Tehran is prepared to mass-produce advanced centrifuges on "short notice." Work of this nature would greatly increase the amount of nuclear fissile material produced by Iran, prompting concerns the country could assemble a functional nuclear weapon without being detected.
The issue is complicated by the lack of access international nuclear inspectors have to Iran's contested military sites, according to the report.
Salehi's declaration highlights the "profound weaknesses in the JCPOA which include lack of inspector access, highly incomplete knowledge of Iran's centrifuge manufacturing capabilities and output, and too few centrifuge components being accounted for and monitored," according to the report.
Iran already has manufactured more centrifuge parts than needed for the amount of nuclear work permitted under the agreement.
The terms of the agreement permit Iran to operate one advanced IR-8 centrifuge. However, Iran is known to have assembled more than half a dozen such centrifuges.
Iran also is working to construct IR-6 centrifuges, which also point to an increased focus on the production of enriched nuclear materials.
"These numbers are excessive and inconsistent with the JCPOA," according to the report. "Moreover, in light of Salehi's comments, the excessive production of [centrifuge] rotors may be part of a plan to lay the basis for mass production."
Iran's work on "any such plan is not included in Iran's enrichment plan under the JCPOA," according to the report.
Inspectors affiliated with the IAEA should immediately investigate the total number of centrifuge parts in Iran's possession and determine exactly how many of these parts are currently being manufactured, the report states. The IAEA also should attempt to keep tabs on any clandestine nuclear work Iran may be engaging in.
Iran may be misleading the world about its centrifuge production and it still has not declared all materials related to this work, as is obligated under the nuclear deal.
"A key question is whether Iran is secretly making centrifuge rotor tubes and bellows at unknown locations, in violation of the JCPOA, and if it takes place, what the probability is that it goes without detection," the report concludes.
Additionally, "the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) need to determine the status of Iran's centrifuge manufacturing capabilities, including the number of key centrifuge parts Iran has made and the amount of centrifuge equipment it has procured," the report states.
"They need to ensure that Iran's centrifuge manufacturing is consistent with the intent of the nuclear deal as well as the deal's specific limitations on advanced centrifuges," according to the report. "Moreover, the Iranian statement illuminates significant weaknesses in the Iran deal that need to be fixed."
When asked to address the issue, a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon that Iran's centrifuge work remains very "limited" under the nuclear agreement.
"Under the JCPOA, consistent with Iran's enrichment and enrichment and [research and development] plan, Iran can only engage in production of centrifuges, including centrifuge rotors and associated components, to meet the enrichment and R&D requirements of the JCPOA," the official said. "In other words, Iran's production of centrifuges and associated components are limited to be consistent with the small scale of R&D that is permissible under the JCPOA."
If Iran is in violation of the deal, the United States will take concrete action to address this once the Trump administration finishes its interagency review of the Iran deal.
"The Trump administration has made clear that at least until this review is completed, we will adhere to the JCPOA and will ensure that Iran is held strictly accountable to its requirements," the official said.
Qatar under Arab boycott for scheming with Iran - http://www.debka.com/article/26088/Qatar-under-Arab-boycott-for-scheming-with-Iran
Qatar has come under a far-reaching boycott at the hands of the most powerful Arab governments for taking Iran's side against its Sunni Arab fellows. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirate and Bahrain announced early Monday, June 5, that they were breaking off diplomatic ties and all land, sea and airports contacts with Qatar. Their nationals were told to sever business ties and quit the emirate, while Qataris were given 48 hours to leave those countries. This is the most serious diplomatic crisis to hit the Arab world - and split the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - in many years.
Qatar and its Al-Jazeera TV channel have long been a thorn in the sides of Doha's Arab fellows, accused of hosting and providing a platform for terrorist groups and extremists, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. However, as DEBKA Weekly revealed in its June 2 issue, the last straw which prompted this unprecedented Arab retribution was the intrigue hatched by Qatar's ruler Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to abort the US-Saudi initiative for establishing a Sunni alignment against Tehran.
President Donald Trump showcased its establishment during his visit to Riyadh on May 22.
A week earlier, the emir sent his foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to Tehran to carry his scheme forward. He was received on the spot by the Iranian powerhouse, Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iranian forces in Iraq and Syria. They put their heads together on a plan for torpedoing US operations in the two conflicted countries. They also discussed Doha's reward for its cooperation.
Qatar's rulers had no qualms about scheming against Washington, even though America's biggest air base in the Gulf region is located at Al Udeid southwest of Doha, their capital. Neither did the emir skip warmly shaking hands with Trump in Riyadh.
The Qatari rift with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt finally burst into the open shortly after President Trump ended his Middle East trip. On May 25, an article in Qatar's state-run news agency quoted the emir as criticizing the US, Saudi Arabia and their "client states" for attempting to stir up tensions with the "Islamic power" - Iran. Qatari's foreign minister was also quoted as announcing the withdrawal of its ambassadors from Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Later, Doha claimed the agency had been hacked and those statements were never made. But the row continued to escalate nonetheless. Saudi media accused Qatar of "betraying" its Arab brothers, stabbing them in the back when they staged groundbreaking events to demonstrate their unity.The Saudis, Egyptians and the UAE then blocked Qatari websites and broadcasters, including Al Jazeera, from their territories.
Behind the public recriminations, our sources reported that King Salman, Egypt's Abdel-Fatteh-El-Sisi and the UAE ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan delivered a firm ultimatum to the Qatari emir. He was warned of stiff penalties unless he toed the line and did the following:
1. Broke off all military and intelligence ties with Tehran.
2. Abrogated all the agreements he reached with Tehran - not only with regard to Syria and Iraq, but also other Arab countries, especially Libya.
3. Cancelled all the benefits and asylum arrangements Qatar extended to anti-Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood activists and deported them forthwith.
4. Severed Qatar's ties with the Palestinian fundamentalist Hamas group ruling the Gaza Strip and denied their leaders residence permits in Doha with their families. Last week, King Salman asked Egyptian President Abdul-Fatteh El-Sisi to refuse passage through Cairo for Hamas' new political bureau chief Ismail Haniyah, who was planning to move out of Gaza and settle in Doha with his family. A few Hamas officials were given notice to leave, but that did not meet the ultimatum's main demands.
The Saudi-UAE warning to the Qatari emir did not specify the penalties he faced for disobedience. The virtual blockade announced Monday may be the first course. Our sources in the Gulf disclose that a small-scale military operation against a Qatari target might still be on the cards. Neither do they rule out the undercover agencies of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE engineering a coup d'etat for unseating the Al-Thani clan in Doha.
It Makes Me Wonder - By Daymond Duck - http://www.raptureready.com/2017/06/04/it-makes-me-wonder/
It is common knowledge that 15 of the 19 terrorists that flew planes into the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 were from Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has even built a 9/11 Memorial & Museum to honor the 2,983 people that were killed.
It is common knowledge that the founder of al-Qaeda was Osama bin Laden, and he was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Former Pres. Barack Obama even boasted about killing him in May 2011.
It is common knowledge that there are more than 3,000 mosques in the U.S. and many of them were financed and built by Saudi Arabia. According to some experts, almost 100 of these mosques are radical Islamist mosques and yet as far as this writer knows, not even one has ever been shut down.
As a candidate for president, Donald Trump was strongly criticized for saying the U.S. might have to consider shutting down mosques for the hatred coming out of some of them. He was accused of infringing upon the religious freedom of Muslims.
It is estimated that there are almost 300 Muslim schools in the U.S. It is a fact that some teach the Wahhabi religion (kill the infidels, hate Jews, etc.) and nothing is done about it.
It is common knowledge that the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the world are launched by Muslims. But there is probably more criticism (called names such as hater, Islamophobe, etc.) of those who point this out than those who encouraged the killing.
Don't question it. Believe it. For whatever it is worth, it has been reported that in 2008, Pres. Tyyip Erdogan of Turkey said, "There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that's it. . . The mosques are our barracks, the minarets our bayonets, the cupolas our helmets, and the faithful our soldiers,"
But in 2015, it was reported that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said, "Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism."
It turns out that Pres. Trump was in Saudi Arabia when a Muslim fanatic named Salman Abedi exploded a bomb in Manchester, England. He killed 22 innocent people, maimed and injured dozens more. The sight of young girls with nails sticking in their faces must have been as horrible as the site of innocent people leaping to their deaths from the World Trade Center Towers.
Anyway, while in Saudi Arabia, Pres. Trump spoke to about 54 Arab leaders. He was talking about terrorism when he said, "This is a battle between good and evil. Drive them out of your places of worship, your communities, your Holy Land and the earth." He also said:
This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil. Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory-piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned.
It is my understanding that Islam is a religion of works. Muslims believe an angel records a person's good and bad deeds A person's good deeds must outnumber their bad deeds or they will not go to paradise.
But Muslims don't know whether their good deeds outnumber their bad deeds or not. So, they don't have an assurance of salvation unless they become a Jihadi. If they become a Jihadi and die in a holy war, they will go to paradise and they can take 14 family members with them.
Pres. Trump told the Arabs, "Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory-piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned."
Wow! Why did it take an inexperienced, possibly baby Christian, non-pastor to say that? Does Pres. Trump care more than our Christian leaders about how long Muslims live or where Muslims will spend eternity? And why were his remarks so well received by Arab leaders? It makes me wonder.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
Watchman Warning: Globalists and Climate Accords - By Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-6-3-2017/
Did Donald Trump single-handedly destroy humanity's future by announcing that he would begin the process of pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement? Nancy Pelosi seems to think so. She asked, "How is he ever going to explain to his grandchildren what he did to the air they breathe - assuming they breathe air?"
No air for the grandkids? That's a pretty extreme response. She also said that with this action, he was "dishonoring" God. As you can see, for her, global warming is a tenet of faith.
Hysteria breeds hysteria. CNN ran an opinion piece with the headline, "Trump to Planet: Drop Dead." The New York Daily News ran similar words in a massive headline, "Trump to World: Drop Dead." The Washington Post said that Trump's action "left the United States a global outlier." The ultra-liberal filmmaker, Michael Moore, tweeted, "Trump just committed a crime against humanity."
They're playing up the politics, but not the science. The shocking truth is that, even if you believe all the dogma regarding climate change, the Paris Agreement is little more than a symbol.
In the first place, it is voluntary. Popular Science said, "The agreement amounts to little more than a gentleman's handshake. The terms are entirely unenforceable."
In Article 3 of the agreement, the nation's promise to make "ambitious efforts" to reduce greenhouse gases. Who decides if their efforts are "ambitious" enough? Each country decides for itself. In other words, each one does what it wants. Also, countries choose for themselves when they will take these actions. That's because the agreement does not specify a timetable for each country's "ambitious efforts."
I use the word "agreement" because in the United States, this is not a treaty. The U.S. Constitution allows president's broad latitude in making agreements, but for such agreements to become treaties - and therefore binding on future Presidents - the Constitution requires that they be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. President Obama knew he had no chance of getting this deal ratified, so he never even tried to make it a treaty. Therefore, it is not binding on President Trump.
Second, the accord as written, can have little impact on the environment. James Hansen, known as the "father of climate change awareness," called the Paris agreement "a fraud." Al Gore acknowledged the accord's weaknesses, but promised that it is only the beginning. He said, "No agreement is perfect, and this one must be strengthened over time."
Third, the agreement has no teeth. There is no mechanism to punish countries that do nothing. The World Pensions Council said that the Paris objectives are "predicated upon an assumption - that member states of the United Nations, including high polluters such as China, the US, India, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Indonesia and Australia, which generate more than half the world's greenhouse gas emissions, will somehow drive down their carbon pollution voluntarily and assiduously without any binding enforcement mechanism to measure and control CO2 emissions at any level from factory to state, and without any specific penalty gradation or fiscal pressure (for example a carbon tax) to discourage bad behavior."
Last September, London's liberal Guardian newspaper warned, "Although the Paris agreement is an important step... following through on the goal of limiting climate change will require much more."
To environmentalists worried that the pact had little meaning, PBS explained at the time of the signing, "The Paris Agreement... is the first step." NPR's Adam Frank called the accord a "first step in developing a new set of behaviors for human civilization."
The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development ran an article in 2015 calling the Paris Agreement, "The first step in the long road ahead."
Right after President Trump began the lengthy process of pulling the U.S. out of the agreement, the New York Times ran an opinion piece by Brad Plumer. He wrote, "The 2015 Paris agreement was meant to be a first step in the long, grinding process of slowing climate change."
They repeatedly call Paris a "first step." Shouldn't that raise an important question? When someone tries to sell you a big, fabulously expensive "first step," isn't it prudent to ask, "What about the steps after that? Where does this lead?"
Obviously, the next steps must include enforcement. And that will change everything. When nations submit themselves to such enforcement, they will be taking the largest step yet toward ceding their sovereignty to a global entity.
The Paris Climate Agreement does not solve anything environmental. But it is a significant step toward global political control for European elites. That means, it is a step toward Antichrist.
The United States pulling out of the agreement seems to represent a brief reprieve. Believers in Jesus should see this time as an opportunity to spread the Gospel. We must work while it is yet day. Because night is quickly coming.
Daily Jot: Insane hatred and common sense
- Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
There is an ilk of people in the US who want to see the nation turned into a communist state and they are doing everything they can to foment a revolution. They are pawns of the globalist Marxist system, yet many haven't a clue of how they are being used. They angrily oppose all things good, defy common sense, and accuse anyone who doesn't agree with their warped viewpoints of the very evil that motivates their hearts. Case in point: In the wake of the most recent Islamic terror attack in London, President Donald Trump said America needs to ban the entry of people into the US who are from countries that sponsor terrorism in order to "help keep our country safe." Common sense, right? Not so fast.
The communist left came out of the woodwork calling Trump racist, an embarrassment to the office of the President, and a piece of [explicative for excrement]. Meantime, Kathy Griffin, the radical leftist representative of the Democratic Party's entertainment wing, held a news conference about her stunt of beheading the President. She played the victim by claiming that Trump "broke her" and that she is now being bullied by the Trump family for her actions. She also said she thought that Barron Trump, the President's minor child, is fair game for criticism and ridicule. Yet, radical leftist Bill Maher on HBO makes a racial slur to a US Senator and gets a free pass after blaming his comment on a lack of sleep.
So we have a President who says we need to put the security of our nation's citizens first by putting a travel ban in place for people coming from terrorist-sponsoring nations and the radical left calls him racist and worse. We also have a comedian who carries the banner for the entertainment industry's support of the Democratic Party symbolically beheading the President and then claiming she was driven to it by the President's actions. And the news media thinks these things are viable points in the national conversation-in fact, reporters at CNN, MSNBC, CBS and so on-fanned the flames of this unreasonable hysteria by making derogatory comments about the President. So much for unbiased journalism.
The fevered pitch of this crazed mania has become so uncontrolled it even prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to question the nonsense in a Sunday interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly, another vocal anti-Trump "journalist." Putin was very pointed: "You created a sensation out of nothing. And out of this sensation, you turned it into a weapon of war against the current president...have you all lost your senses over there?" 1 John 2:11 says, "He that hates his brother is in darkness and knows not where he goes because that darkness has blinded his eyes." These people are so driven by hate that they have lost all common sense and decency. It is a pitiful state of existence. As Jesus said, we should pray for our enemies. These people are truly lost and certainly need prayer, repentance, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Daily Devotion: For the Whole World
- Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Peter told them, "You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean." -Acts 10:28
It's very easy to rail against someone caught up in a certain sin until we personally know one of these people. It might be a close friend, or it might be a family member. Maybe we know someone who has a child who has gone astray. Maybe our own child has gone astray. And now all of a sudden when it is on our front porch, it isn't the same. Now there is a face attached to the sin. And it is much more difficult to be so disconnected, austere, and sharp.
I am not suggesting the sin is any less a sin. But I am saying that when it is connected to someone we know, we suddenly see it a little bit differently. There is a little more compassion for that person, and we want to help instead of simply condemn him or her.
God called Peter and the rest of the apostles to take the gospel to the whole world-not just to the Jewish world. But after six years had passed, this new group of believers was pretty much staying within the confines of Judaism.
This was not God's plan, because Judaism wa
s pointing to the fulfillment of Jesus as the Messiah. Everything found in the Old Testament, including the animal sacrifices, was pointing to something yet to be fulfilled-and that something was Someone. Jesus did not come to do away with the law but to fulfill it. He did that at the cross and His resurrection.
May God help us to go where He wants us to go, to whom He wants us to go, with the message He wants us to bring. So many have not yet heard the gospel. May we be the instruments He would use to bring the gospel to them.
FROM THE HEART
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