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Prophecy Update Newsletter
July 20, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Is Brexit Mentioned in Bible Prophecy? - By Britt Gillette - http://raptureready.com/featured/gillette/bg74.html
In a June 23rd referendum, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU). The media labeled this British exit from the EU "Brexit." The vote surprised some who study Bible prophecy. After all, many pointed to the EU as the revived Roman Empire of the end times. Now, after the UK's vote, some have started to doubt that. But should they? Is Brexit a step backward for bible prophecy? Does it mean the EU isn't the alliance foretold for the end times?
No. If it happens, the exit of such a large and powerful nation will weaken the EU. But it hasn't happened yet. And while some say Brexit signals the end of the EU as the revived Roman Empire, I don't think so. To me, it's yet another reason to believe some form of the EU will become that empire. Why? Let's look at what the Bible tells us about the Antichrist and the empire he will use to rule the world.
The Last Empire
The Bible says one last empire will rule Israel. It will be the last human empire on earth. Daniel says the Messiah will destroy it with His coming (Daniel 2:44). But before that happens, Daniel gives us details as to what this empire will look like. It will be a kingdom:
· Often nations (Daniel 2:41, Daniel 7:7);
· Ruling the entire world (Daniel 7:23);
· From among the ancient Roman Empire (Daniel 9:26-27);
· Made up of weak and strong nations (Daniel 2:42);
· Of nations trying to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other (Daniel 2:43);
· That fails to hold together or "gel," just as iron and clay don't stick together (Daniel 2:43);
· Divided (Daniel 2:41).
A Global Empire
As this article is written, no empire rules the world. And that includes a global empire of ten nations or ten kings. So the EU in its present form is not the global empire foreseen by Daniel. However, it is most likely an early stage of the Antichrist's global empire. There are several reasons to believe this.
1) A Revived Roman Empire - The global empire foreseen by Daniel will be built on the ashes of the ancient Roman Empire. Why do I say this? First, the ruler of this global empire is the Antichrist. According to Daniel, the Antichrist will arise from the nation whose armies destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Daniel 9:26). Those armies belonged to Rome. So the global empire's ruler will come from Rome.
Second, when explaining Nebuchadnezzar's dream, Daniel describes five empires that will rule Israel before Jesus returns - Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and a ten nation alliance (Daniel 2:36-45). He describes each successive kingdom, but he makes no distinction between the forth kingdom and the ten nation alliance (Daniel 2:40-43). In other words, the ten nation alliance will be a new form of the forth kingdom-Rome.
Later, Daniel has another vision. This time, he sees four beasts, each representing a world power (Daniel 7). We know the forth beast is Rome because it conquers the third beast, Greece (Daniel 7:6). But we also know it will come back. Why? Because it "will rule the whole earth" (Daniel 7:23), and it will be ruled by the Antichrist (Daniel 7:24-25). Rome neither ruled the whole earth nor was it ruled by the Antichrist. Also, this empire is yet again described as a ten nation alliance (Daniel 7:20), and the ancient Roman Empire never took the form of a ten nation alliance.
Today, the EU sits on the ashes of the ancient Roman Empire. Ancient Rome occupied nearly every part of the current EU member nations, including Italy - home to Rome itself.
2) An Alliance of Weak and Strong Nations - The global empire described by Daniel will be made up of weak and strong nations. Does this describe the EU? Yes. As of this writing, the EU contains the world's 4th, 5th, and 6th largest economies (Germany, the United Kingdom, and France). It also contains the world's 103rd, 112th, and 136th largest economies (Estonia, Iceland, and Malta).
When it comes to military spending, the EU contains the world's 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 18th largest militaries (the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain). Yet, it also contains the world's 80th, 87th, 91st, and 93rd (Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia).
Alone, not a single EU nation is a world power. Together, they are the world's greatest economic power. Combined, their military spending is second only to the United States. No doubt about it - the EU is a superpower. It's a revived Roman Empire made up of weak and strong nations. And this is what the Bible says will exist just before Jesus returns.
3) A Divided Alliance, Loosely Held Together - The global empire described by Daniel will be divided (Daniel 2:41). It will struggle to hold itself together, just as iron and clay struggle to hold themselves together (Daniel 2:43). Do we see this type of alliance when we look at the EU? Absolutely!
Since its inception, the EU has been an odd collection of governments, economies, currencies, and militaries. From the Schuman Declaration in 1950 to the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, the rise of the EU has been marked by a struggle to agree on important issues. These include arguments over a single currency (the United Kingdom and Denmark opted out), disagreements over how to handle debt crises (the Greek bailouts), and disputes over open borders (the Syrian refugee crisis). Each step along the way, the EU struggled to survive.
And Brexit? Brexit is only the latest example of the EU's struggle to stay together, "just as iron and clay don't hold together." In the June vote, citizens of the UK voted to leave. Will they really leave? I don't know. Is the UK's exit mentioned in bible prophecy? No. Not directly. However, I believe Brexit serves as the latest example of the EU as a divided alliance (Daniel 2:41) - a union of weak and strong nations struggling to bond together (Daniel 2:43).
The word Brexit doesn't appear in the Bible. However, the Bible does mention a revived Roman Empire in the last days (Daniel 2:40-43, Daniel 7:23-24). It will be an empire made up of weak and strong nations (Daniel 2:42). It will be divided against itself (Daniel 2:41), and the effort of these nations to come together and strengthen themselves will be volatile and unstable (Daniel 2:43).
Does this sound familiar? It should. Sounds a lot like the EU, doesn't it? It's the story of an empire born from a decades-long process marked by division, volatility, and instability. The UK vote to exit from the EU is just the latest event in a process that signals the rise of a global empire. It's yet another sign Jesus is coming!
Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus: One Man's Search for Truth and Life Purpose as well as Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime. He's also the founder of End Times Bible Prophecy.
Erdogan's Staged Coup Has Resulted in A Purge of 50,000 Teachers, Judges, Soldiers and Government Officials - By Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/erdogans-staged-coup-has-resulted-in-a-purge-of-50000-teachers-judges-soldiers-and-government-officials
Barack Obama's "friend" in Turkey is a deeply corrupt radical Islamist dictator that has just staged a coup to consolidate his grip on power. As I have reported previously, 1,845 "journalists, writers and critics" have been arrested for "insulting" President Erdogan over just the past two years, and a couple of years ago he had a monstrous 1,100 room presidential palace built for himself that is 30 times larger than the White House. With each passing day, more evidence emerges which seems to indicate that the recent "coup" was a staged event meant to enable Erdogan and his allies to eliminate their enemies and solidify their stranglehold over the nation. At this point the number of victims of "Erdogan's purge" has hit 50,000, but the final number will not be known for quite some time.
Of course there is a possibility that the coup was not staged, but if it wasn't staged it was the worst military coup that I have seen in my entire lifetime. As Fox News has pointed out, not a single high level member of government was killed or detained...
Among the questions being asked are why coup plotters didn't execute the most basic steps in seizing power, like securing Erdogan and other top officials. Not a single member of his cabinet and inner-circle AKP party leadership was detained. Nor did coup plotters effectively take control of TV, radio and internet outlets. The government TRT station and CNN Turk were for a time occupied by alleged coup plotters, who quickly retreated as the putsch fell apart.
It is being reported that soldiers that took part in the coup claimed "that they thought that they were taking part in military exercises", and those running the "coup" allowed Erdogan's plane to fly across the country without incident. Here is more from Fox News...
Coup plotters also failed to secure most airports and other transportation hubs, didn't occupy or attack Erdogan's $600 million presidential palace, and failed to intercept his plane before, during or after he flew from one of the country's busiest and most accessible airports back to Istanbul. This despite the supposed active participation of top generals in Turkey's Air Force, which maintains a fleet of F-16 aircraft easily capable of tracking, intercepting or - if it came to it - shooting down Erdogan's plane.
There were opposition soldiers that did occupy Ataturk International Airport for a short time, but they suspiciously left just in time for Erdogan's plane to land.
So much about this supposed "coup" absolutely stinks, and that includes the fact that lists of judges, teaches, soldiers and government officials to be rounded up after the coup appear to have been prepared ahead of time. This is so obvious that even the EU commissioner in charge of Turkey's membership bid, Johannes Hahn, is commenting on it...
"It looks at least as if something has been prepared. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage," Hahn said.
"I'm very concerned. It is exactly what we feared."
So far, at least 50,000 people have been rounded up or stripped of their positions since the coup. The following breakdown of "the purge" comes from the BBC ...
*6,000 military personnel have been arrested, with more than two dozen generals awaiting trial
*Nearly 9,000 police officers have been sacked
*Close to 3,000 judges have been suspended
*Some 1,500 employees of Turkey's finance ministry have been dismissed
*492 have been fired from the Religious Affairs Directorate
*More than 250 staff in Mr Yildirim's office have been removed
Not included in that list are 15,200 education workers and 1,577 university deans that were just sacked...
But while Turkey's press is already mostly under Erdogan's control, it is the educational witch hunt fallout that is far more troubling, and just as expected over the past hour we have gotten a glimpse of just how extensive the Turkish's president cleansing of secular society will be, when the state-run Anadolu news agency reported that Turkey's ministry of education has sacked 15,200 personnel for alleged involvement with a group the government claims is responsible for Friday's failed coup.
Even more shocking, Anadolu reports that Turkey's Board of Higher Education has requested the resignations of all 1,577 university deans, effectively dismissing them. Of the deans dismissed, 1,176 worked in public universities and 401 in private institutions.
In addition, the teaching licenses of 21,000 teachers there were employed at private educational institutions have been revoked.
In one fell swoop, Erdogan is eliminating as much institutional opposition to his leadership as he possibly can. And not only is he stripping them of their jobs and arresting many of them, CNN is reporting that he actually wants to push for the death penalty for anyone that has any connection to "treason"...
Turkey's President refuses to rule out the death penalty for thousands of people arrested after a failed military coup Friday, despite warnings that reintroducing capital punishment could dash Turkey's chances of joining the European Union.
Speaking through his translator in an exclusive interview with CNN's Becky Anderson, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the failed military coup a "clear crime of treason."
The Turkish people have made it clear they want death for the "terrorists" who plotted the coup, Erdogan said in his first interview since the July 15 attempt.
Erdogan has been a radical Islamist throughout his entire political career, and his goal has always been to transform Turkey from a highly secular society into a highly Islamic one.
Sadly, now he has the power to do just that.
So what does the future hold for people of other faiths in Turkey? Well, we may have gotten some clues on the night of the alleged "coup"...
During the night of 15 July, unidentified assailants broke the glass panels in the door of the Malatya Protestant Church. The pastor, Tim Stone, said he thought someone with a grudge against the church had taken advantage of the general unrest.
Meanwhile, in Trabzon, on the northern coast, around 10 people smashed the windows of the Santa Maria Catholic Church, where in 2006 a priest, Fr. Andrea Santoro, was murdered. The attackers tried to break into the church, but a group of Muslim neighbors drove them away, before contacting a priest.
And as Erdogan continues to transform into a Turkish version of Adolf Hitler, he is putting his nation's membership in NATO in jeopardy. The following comes from the Telegraph...
In an ideal world, it would be in everyone's interests for Mr Erdogan to cease his efforts to turn Turkey into an Iranian-style Islamic republic, thereby allowing Turkey to retain its place at Nato's top table. But if he really is determined to pursue his radical Islamist agenda, then Nato will have no option but to rid itself of its troublesome Turkish ally.
What is happening in Turkey right now is truly chilling.
A country that is already a member of NATO and that was supposed to become a member of the European Union is rapidly becoming a hardcore radical Islamic dictatorship.
Let us keep a close eye on these developments, because ultimately they could have tremendous implications for Europe and for the entire Middle East in the years ahead.
Erdogan locks US airmen, nuclear arms in Incirlik - http://www.debka.com/article/25560/Erdogan-locks-US-airmen-nuclear-arms-in-Incirlik
Some 1,500 US airmen and their families have been locked in the southern Turkish air base of Incirlik together with a stock if tactical nuclear bombs since President Reccep Erdogan crushed an attempted coup on Saturday, July 16. In the four days up until Wednesday, July 20, therefore, no air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq have been staged that Turkish base.
This extraordinary situation, reported here by debkafile's military sources, whereby a large group of American military personnel are held virtual captive by an allied government, was almost certainly raised in the phone call that took place Tuesday between President Barack Obama and Erdogan. But the most outlandish aspect of this affair is that no American official has raised it in public - nor even by the administrations most vocal critics at the Republican convention which nominated Donald Trump as presidential candidate.
The situation only rated a brief mention in some Russian publications under the heading: "Turkish investigators enter & search Incirlik air base where US nukes are housed."
Our military sources report that deep bunkers located near the base's running strips house B61 tactical nuclear gravity bombs.
In the course of the massive sweep-cum-purge Erdogan is conducting in every corner of the country, hundreds of police officers accompanied by Ministry of Justice and Attorney General Office investigators are the only people permitted to enter the strategic air base, and only emergency cases may leave, after coordinating with the Turkish authorities.
The base is under virtual siege by large police contingents, cut off from electric power for several days except for local generators which will soon run out of fuel. This pressure appears to be Erdogan's method of turning hundreds of Americans on the base into hostages to force Washington into extraditing Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of orchestrating the failed coup from his place of asylum in Pennsylvania.
The victims of Erdogan's strategy of extortion are several US units deployed in Incirlik under squadron command. They include engineering, communication, logistics, air control, a military hospital with medical and operational facilities, air transportation and more.
The Turkish squadron and base commander, Brigadier Gen. Bekir Ercan, is under arrest, suspected of a senior role in planning and executing the coup, by assigning the aircraft and helicopters to support it, responsibility for the disappearance of a large number of aircraft and aiding the defection of air crews to Greece.
He is one of the more than 6,000 military personnel including fellow generals arrested on suspicion of active complicity in the coup plot.
By Wednesday, more than 50,000 people had been rounded up, sacked or suspended from their jobs by Turkey's government in the wake of last week's failed coup, including 9,000 police officers, the suspension of about 3,000 judges and widening Tuesday to include teachers, university deans and the media who are accused of links with Gulen.
However, fears for the fate of the US airmen trapped in Incirlik and the tactical nukes were exacerbated by the comments of two top officials of the Erdogan regime Tuesday.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim insinuated that the Americans may be viewed as partners, at least passive ones, in the conspiracy, in view of the use the plotters made of Incirlik for sending aircraft based there and arming them for the missions of intercepting the President's airplane (which was never realized) and bombing the Parliament building in Ankara (which was).
The Turkish Labor Minister, Süleyman Soylu, was more explicit: "This coup has America behind," he twitted in his Twitter account.
The Obama administration's caution over the scary Incirlik impasse appears to derive from trepidation, shared by Riyadh, Cairo and Jerusalem, that the autocratic Turkish ruler's Stalinist purge reaching into all branches of government and all walks of Turkish society is part and parcel of a comprehensive Muslim revolution underway in Turkey. An incautious word from Washington may quicken the process.
Nearing Midnight: Sea and Waves Roaring - Terry James - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
Jesus' Olivet Discourse prophecies continue to come alive while today's news flashes in lightning-like fashion across our television and computer monitor screens.
We most often consider the terrorism and pyrotechnics of Middle Eastern madness. We talk about Russia and Iran (Persia) preparing to fulfill the Gog-Magog prophecies as given in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.
Our efforts are often spent concentrating on what is happening with regard to the building one-world order in the areas of finance, religion and the many other ways such movement is manifesting.
We think in terms of the proliferating things happening within Europe --about the upheaval that seems to be rearranging for the prophesied revived Roman Empire. We look at monetary economic dynamics that are driving the world toward a global fiscal order that will eventuate in the 666 marks and numbers system of Revelation 13: 16-18.
Sometimes the natural order seems so disturbed that geophysical activity, such as earthquakes occurring simultaneously, floods raging and other phenomena erupting across the planet draws the attention of prophecy watchers. But, it is the creation called man that at present seems on the front-burner of prophetic progression --at least to this observer.
The Lord gave, during His prophecies of things to come as the time of His return in the Second Advent nears, a quite interesting description of the human condition at the very end of the age. The description seems to have a dual reference or application.
The particular prophecy of which I write is a foretelling by the Lord I believe we see developing at this very moment in time. It is building hourly in its virulence --in its evil, end times impact upon cultures and societies around the world. Here is Christ's prophecy.
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring." (Lk 21: 25)
It is parts b and c of this prophecy that I wish us to examine. Jesus foretold that there will be "nations in distress with perplexity." The "sea and waves" will be "roaring."
We have looked a number of times in these commentaries at the fact that nations across the world are in distress with perplexity. The financial upheaval going on has Europe to the point of near-dissolution. The "Brexit" is one such manifestation. The great turmoil in Greece and other EU countries make it clear that the western world is suffering a nervous breakdown of sorts. Our own nation is hard on the heels of the schizophrenia developing over there.
The next part of Jesus' prophecy foretells that the "sea and waves roaring" will be a prime marker of the last of the last days. By the time the Tribulation is full-blown the disturbances will bring planet earth to the point of total destruction. Only Christ's return will quell the "roaring."
"Sea and waves" can indicate the geophysical disturbances forecast for that era. But, it is the symbolic application that is much more the meaning in this case, I'm convinced.
"Sea and waves" in this case are symbolic of the peoples of earth. Jesus was saying they will, as a result of the "distress and perplexity" be "roaring."
Jesus indicated as given in Luke 21:28 that He will return (in the Rapture) when this indicator --and the others He gave as signals for His Second Coming at Armageddon-- "begin to come to pass."
John the revelator gave in the very first verse of the thirteenth chapter of Revelation the view of the Antichrist beast regime arising out of the "sea" of people that would be in tumult. It is the observation of a growing number of seasoned prophetic observers that the United States is now showing signs of being a part of this tumultuous "sea" of unrest that might soon bring history's most ferocious tyrant to power.
The "Black Lives Matter" protests are doing much to ratchet up civil unrest within the nation. The nucleus of that disruptive organization, many say, is made up of rabble rousers who are career thugs, paid by the likes of George Soros, who has openly said he favors upsetting the order of things that communist-style socialism might be brought forth in America.
Many more than just the "conspiracy nuts" are wondering increasingly whether the current unrest being fomented might be the prelude to this president calling for martial law even before the November presidential elections.
The coup attempt in Turkey punctuates Jesus' prophecy. That part of the world in particular is in great tumult, rearranging for fulfillment of things to come. The assaults on law and order -on the police in Baton Rouge that took the lives of officers and injured others is but the tip of the iceberg of the coming anarchy and chaos in our own nation as the end times play out.
Whatsoever is the outcome of this up heaving sea of human unrest we see heating up toward the boiling point, we can see Jesus' prophecy for the end of days percolating in these troubled times. I believe that this means Christ's Call "Come up here!" is very near indeed.
The Return of Ahmadinejad Could Trigger New Middle East Conflict - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=508
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to regain power in the 2017 election and descend the Muslim nation into even further extremism.
Ahmadinejad, the sixth president of Iran, held the post for two terms from 2005 to 2013 before constitutional limits forced him out. The hardliner repeatedly thumbed his nose at western countries regarding Iran's nuclear program.
Those clashes resulted in harsh economic sanctions being placed on the people of Iran, increasing poverty and the loss of social services.
During that time, he became a controversial figure on the world stage and was well known for bombastic and hate-laden speeches on the United Nations floor.
His final U.N. speech called for wiping Israel from the face of the Earth. As Joel C. Rosenberg of the Joshua Fund reported, "He aspires to be a mass murderer beyond the scale of Adolf Hitler.
He deserves to be in prison, or an insane asylum. His (Sept. 2011) speech before the U.N. General Assembly was further proof, if any more were needed.
He denied the Holocaust. He blasted the U.S. for bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice. He blamed the terrorist attacks 9/11 on the U.S. government."
During his final days in office, Ahmadinejad vowed to return with the "Hidden Imam," who according to Shi'ite belief will reappear to take control of humanity before Judgment Day.
Undoubtedly, should Ahmadinejad seize power in Iran, the country's baby steps toward normalized global relations would be washed away. Confrontation and a renewed aggressive nuclear program would resume in the already unstable region.
But even more disturbing, if Ahmadinejad truly believes his End of Days rhetoric that his return to power marks the coming of the Twelfth Imam sword, then Israel has far more to fear than the idle rants of a conservative lunatic.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his top military advisors have made clear they consider an Iranian nuclear program under Ahmadinejad to be one of the greatest threats they face.
If Ahmadinejad regains power, most analysts believe it will only be a matter of time before Israel feels it has no choice but to strike first.
It has vowed it will never allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons under a man who has promised to "wipe them out".
A comparison of his language shows a dark mirroring to speeches made by the genocidal maniac Hitler, who openly called for the subjugation of "mongrel races" and the extermination of Jews.
Ahmadinejad, on a world stage, called for the elimination of the "hegemonic" powers of the United States and Israel, whom he described as "the uncivilized Zionists."
Despite the fact that most U.N. representatives walked out during Ahmadinejad's pontifications, Israel's Ambassador Ron Prosor was quoted in by Reuters saying his remarks, nonetheless, should be taken as gravely serious.
"Ahmadinejad showed again that he not only threatens the future of the Jewish people, he seeks to erase our past," Prosor said in a statement. "Three thousand years of Jewish history illustrate the clear danger of ignoring fanatics like Iran's president, especially as he inches closer to acquiring nuclear weapons."
The similarities with Hitler indicate his re-election could be tantamount to spawning another death cult leader. And his second foray into power could come to fruition in the coming spring elections.
Re-electing Ahmadinejad would serve to validate his End of Days convictions and empower a radical extremist with nuclear capabilities.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Governments to Christians: Don't You Dare Speak Out Against the Sexual Sin In Society - By Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/governments-to-christians-dont-you-dare-speak-out-against-the-sexual-sin-in-society
In our upside down world, evil has become good and good has become evil. Once upon a time, everyone in society generally knew what was "right" and what was "wrong" even if they didn't always abide by the rules. But now the rules have been totally flipped on their head. If you choose to live a lifestyle that is morally wrong, you are celebrated by society, and if you choose to speak out against the sexual sin that is exploding everywhere around us then you are considered to be a "hater" and a "bigot". In fact, governments all over the world are now passing "hate speech" laws that are making it a crime to speak out against sexual sin. With each passing year it gets even worse, and those pushing this agenda forward are never going to be satisfied until those standing up for Biblical truth are locked away in prison.
And I was not exaggerating when I said that sexual sin is "exploding" in our society. One example of this is the stunning growth of "polyamory". The following comes from a recent article in the Guardian that highlighted how the city of Portland in particular has become a hotbed for those that are into the "poly lifestyle"...
Polyamory is the practice of intimate relationships involving more than two people with the consent of everyone involved. In recent years, polyamory is working its way to becoming a household term. Researchers have estimated that 4 to 5% of Americans practice some form of consensual non-monogamy. A 2014 blog post by Psychology Today revealed that 9.8 million people have agreed to allow satellite lovers in their relationships, which includes poly couples, swinging couples and others practicing sexual non-monogamy.
And in Portland - home to swingers' clubs, the most strip bars per capita, and annual porn festivals - it seems you can't throw a stone without finding a poly relationship. Although there's no official data supporting an exact number, various Meetup groups boast a few thousand members each, while other Facebook groups have hundreds.
Another lifestyle choice that has been experiencing tremendous growth is bisexuality. According to the New York Post, one study of 30,000 U.S. adults found that the number of Americans that have dabbled on both sides of the fence has more than doubled since 1990...
Bisexuality is booming, with the number of people who bed men and women more than doubling, a study says.
Some 7.7 percent revealed they had bi romps in 2014, compared to 3.1 percent in 1990.
And it isn't just the world that is embracing these alternative lifestyles.
Just check out what the western division of the United Methodist Church just decided to do...
Representatives of the United Methodist Church have elected their first openly gay bishop, in defiance of church prohibitions on homosexuality.
Rev. Karen Oliveto, senior pastor of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, was elected bishop of the church's Western Division at a conference Friday night in Scottsdale, Arizona.
"I think at this moment I have a glimpse of the realm of God," 58-year-old Oliveto said after her election, according to a news story from the church. "Today we took a step closer to embody beloved community and while we may be moving there, we are not there yet. We are moving on to perfection."
Of course a lot of Bible-believing Christians don't like where things are headed, and they are speaking out about it. Unfortunately, this is becoming more difficult to do all over the world. National, state and local governments all over the planet are passing new "hate speech laws" that are extremely strict, and many of these new laws are specifically targeted at Christians.
So if you say the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong place, you could actually be hauled off to prison.
Just today, I came across an article that talked about how 60 homes in Germany were recently raided by police in a "hate speech" crackdown...
Writing a blog or venting in social media about a topic deemed to be "Hate Speech" will leave yourself getting raided by the police in Germany. According to a report from Breitbart, German Police recently raided homes of 60 people suspected of writing what is deemed 'hate' speech on social media in Germany. This effort was coordinated by the Federal Criminal Police (BKA),consisting officers from 25 departments search across 14 states.
These police raids took place in efforts to fight against "verbal radicalization", according to the German government. These type of procedures have increased in the wake of Europe's migrant crisis. BKA President Holger Münch said attacks on migrant shelters were the result of "radicalization" on social media.
You may not think that such a thing could happen in North America, but you would be wrong.
In Canada, a new "hate speech" bill has just been introduced that would hit anyone found guilty of "hate speech" against transgender individuals with up to two years in prison...
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a bill that would criminalize anti-transgender speech, with violators receiving up to two years in prison.
The new bill, introduced May 17 on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, aims to amend the Canadian Criminal Code to expand the country's "hate speech" prohibitions to include any public speech or communication that "promotes hatred" on the basis of "gender identity" or "gender expression." It would also change the Canadian Human Rights Act to cover transgender people.
In New York City, new rules that were recently issued by the New York City Commission on Human Rights state that you could be fined up to $250,000 for each time that you offend a transgender individual.
According to the rules, "offenses" include such things as referring to a transgender individual by the wrong pronoun or not allowing a transgender individual to use the restroom of their choice.
More laws, rules and regulations like this are going to continue to be put into place, and it will eventually get to the point where those that wish to speak out about sexual morality are essentially banned from doing so.
Of course this is precisely what the Bible told us to expect during the last days just before the return of Jesus Christ. In my new book entitled The Rapture Verdict, I talk about the growing darkness in society and the coming judgment on the United States of America. But I also emphasize that God has a plan, and that a great move of God is coming even in the midst of all the darkness.
All throughout history, the world has tried to crush the church, but it has never worked.
And without a doubt, great persecution is coming, but we will never bend, we will never bow, and we will never deny the truth.
Daily Jot: The show in Cleveland - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Let me preface this Jot by saying that while I have read various accounts and have seen some video of the Republican Convention in Cleveland, I have not watched it live. For me, it's all a show. It's politics. Conventions are designed to showcase the party's platform and to gin up support from the various demographics needed to put together a victory in November. From blowhard pontificators to Muslims praying for peace, the GOP convention has something for everybody. It raises the caution flag for some. It solidifies support from others. Overall, it's politics. I didn't watch the convention. I won't watch the Democratic Party convention. Hot air. Ear tickling. Politicians. Come November, I know what to do.
Folks, there will be a lot of fur flying between now and November. It's a lot of noise. When you get down to it, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Many dislike the choices we have. The remedy to that has long passed as to impact the choices, one has to have early involvement in the local committees. Reagan-era Christian Republicans did this. Since that time, preachers have been preaching that Christians shouldn't be involved in politics. So we get what we get when we listen to the whitewashed sepulchers. The choice of the lesser of two evils is repulsive to many. But there is a choice and one is far more evil than the other. We are not electing a pastor-but we really don't do too well at that either-just saying.
When I look at the political landscape as it currently exists, there is no way that I personally can accept another four years of socialism on steroids and the possibility of putting communists in the majority of the Supreme Court. That would change the nature of our country for the next century-seriously. I'm particularly sensitive to the socialist/communist trend in the Democratic and Republican parties because this type of political system requires that religion and morals are abolished in submission to government. This is where our country has been heading. It is deeply disturbing, but unless those with the light of Christ can engage outside the four walls of their churches, the nation will continue in this direction.
To not participate in this election, in my opinion, is a cowardly act rather than one of principle. No offense intended to those who believe otherwise, but if you are offended, this kind of statement is hitting a raw nerve for some reason. We as Christians must start somewhere to bring this country back. God gave us the freedom to choose. Exercising that choice to the best of our values with what is before us is our liberty. Keep in mind that no man (or woman) will magically lead our country to morality, justice and righteousness. That must come from the hearts of the countrymen. And that results from the example of those who are disciples of Christ. As Ephesians 5:15-16 says, "See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Focus on substance, not the show.
Daily Devotion: What about Doubt? - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Look down from heaven, and see from Your habitation, holy and glorious. Where are Your zeal and Your strength, the yearning of Your heart and Your mercies toward me? Are they restrained? -Isaiah 63:15
Have you ever struggled with doubt? Doubt is not necessarily a sign that a person is wrong; it is a sign that he or she is thinking.
There are times in life when things don't make sense to us, even as believers. Maybe something happened and you scratched your head and asked, "Where is God in all of this?" Maybe you were praying about something, and God seemed to be silent. Or, He could have done something to fix your situation, but it seemed as though He were sitting on His hands, intentionally dragging His feet, or not even paying attention. That caused you to momentarily entertain doubt.
It has been said that doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. Sometimes we may think God is doing something that He really isn't doing. Or, we don't understand why He did a certain thing. When tragedy hits the life of a Christian, we wonder why. Why did God do this?
The problem is that we interpret God in light of the tragedy instead of the other way around. Rather than interpret God in the light of our tragedy, we must interpret our tragedy in the light of God. Remember that God is in control . . . that He loves you . . . that He can work all things "together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
We will realize in that final day when we stand before God that He never sat on His hands but, in fact, those hands were nailed to a cross. We will understand why He did or did not do what we wanted Him to do. Until that day, we need to trust and follow Him.
FROM THE HEART
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