Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Bible Prophecy 2020 - Optimistic Pessimism - Todd Hampson/Toddhampson.com - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4209
I am an optimist by nature. I tend to look at the glass as half-full and I tend to have a natural hope for the future. But today I come to you as an optimistic pessimist. Let me explain. I have some great news to share, but first, I have to share some tough news.
Before a doctor can share treatment options, they must first give their patient the unadulterated truth. A doctor can't sugar coat the news that someone has cancer or a terminal illness. They are trained to separate themselves from the emotion of the moment to help their patients fully understand the reality of what they are facing.
Likewise, when a police officer has to share the news that a loved one has died, there is no simple way to say it. There is nothing they can do to lessen the impact of the terrible news. But the news still must be shared. I'm not a doctor or a police officer, but I have some blunt news to share, then some great news to follow.
THE BAD NEWS
OK, where do I start? The signs of the times are screaming at us through a global pandemic, constant contradictory misinformation about said pandemic, a national and global economy that is holding on by a supernatural thread, mideast turmoil with Israel at the center, locust plagues of Biblical proportions, marxist cancel-culture groups destroying our cities, major civil unrest in multiple countries, the worst humanitarian crisis (in Yemen) the world has seen in decades, the US and China butting diplomatic and potential military heads in the South China Sea, murder rates exploding as various cities defund the police, prisoners being let out of prison en-masse while churches are told they can't gather or sing, freedoms eroding before our eyes, and--worst of all--much of the church is floating down stream like a dead fish instead of being the salt and light it was called to be.
We seem to be watching our country struggle to survive right before our eyes. America--the greatest superpower of history--is not found in end-time Bible prophecy as a major player. Something terrible must happen to her before the tribulation begins.
Those are the cold, hard facts. Now, for some more bad news (don't worry, I'll get to the good news in a minute). First, I believe the next 3-6 months could be much more volatile than people are expecting. We simply must wake up to the fact that there is something MUCH larger at play in our country than mere political differences. Forget democrat vs. republican for a moment. What we're seeing is a globalist plan to take down America.
This plan has been in place for decades and has progressively ramped up the past 12 years to never-before seen levels. There are very real, very well organized, very intentional, very prophesied (if I can use that as a term), very powerful people behind the scenes fomenting division, disorder, lawlessness, and instability in America.
Globalists want to take America down because it will implode the world economy and they want to rise to power through order out of chaos. It's on our dollar bills, it's in their public speeches, it's out in the open. They don't even hide it any more.
Please research this for yourself and please prove me wrong. It's hidden in plain sight. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. Behind these globalists is an even bigger, more organized puppet master--Satan himself. Scripture tells us he is the "god of this world," the "ruler of the power of the air," and that he has levels of coordinated evil ranks in the unseen realm (Ephesians 6).
He knows (by studying prophecy) that the rapture of the church is on the near horizon and he is aggressively positioning his chess pieces on the board. Fortunately he's no match for God and is only working to fulfill prophecy.
So, what does this look like in the seen realm? It looks like more waves of chaos to come. Whether you like Trump or not, please--for a moment--remove his personality and your thoughts about him from the picture. Now, view these few facts with as little bias as possible.
We have an unexpected DC outsider in the White House who is a staunch Nationalist who understands (and pushes back against) the globalist agenda. That is the single fact that most people miss. The raw fact is that the president (love him or hate him) has thrown a major monkey wrench into the plans of the globalists--and they have been throwing a 4 year lawless temper-tantrum.
On a side note, if you want a bit of balance, I also feel the uptick of division in our country is related to Trump's "peace plan" which calls for the dividing of Israel's land [a bad thing], but that's another topic for another day. See Joel 3:2. Every time any American president get's close to officially calling for the dividing of the land--even with good intentions--we've seen tough times in America. I don't think this is coincidence.
Here's why I share all of that. The globalists play for keeps and they see their moment slipping away. Between now and the election they will likely leverage anything and everything they can to increase social and economic chaos in their attempts to get a globalist into the White House. Now, here's the rub. There is no good outcome.
If Trump gets in for a second term, the globalist temper tantrum will accelerate. Who knows what post-election plans the globalists--who see their moment slipping away--will implement. If Trump does not get in for a second term--they will move at lightning speed to get their agenda back on track. The gloves will be off. There will be no restraint. They don't want the moment to slip away.
An increased animosity toward Christians and Jewish people will increase (and already is). Freedoms (including religious freedom) will likely be trampled upon even more if we don't stand up. Aside from divine intervention, we could be in for some tough times in America.
I'm not a prophet, but the above is my prayerful, Holy-Spirit-led take on what could be to come. I pray I'm wrong. I pray that the pandemic and riots cease, that our country turns back to God en masse, and that we can catch our breath and return to stability and normal life. But you and I both sense in our gut that is not likely to happen. It seems we're nearing a tipping point.
THE GOOD NEWS
Now for some good news. All of this lines up 100% with end-time prophecy. Events in our day are converging like no other time in history. We have more reason to believe the Lord is coming in our lifetime (perhaps very soon) than any other generation of Christians in the history of the church. Every Old Testament prophet except Jonah predicted Israel would become a nation again in the last days.
Jesus indicated that the generation that sees Israel become a nation again would be the generation that witnessed all end-time events. I am 100% convinced that the rapture will occur prior to the revealing of the antichrist and the beginning of the tribulation period.
As for our country, I truly believe that the rapture of the Church (perhaps along with other events) is what ultimately weakens America, collapses the world economy, and prepares the way for the rise of the antichrist.
On this point, I've noticed a gigantic uptick in confusion and error about when the rapture will occur. The enemy is trying to create battlefield confusion at a time when we need to be crystal clear about the times and order of events.
Here are 7 reasons to firmly believe the rapture will occur before the tribulation. By the way, that doesn't mean we won't face some tough developments before the rapture. Look around. In case you haven't noticed, we're already in tough times.
1. We are not appointed to Wrath (1Thessalonians 5:9)
This and many other verses clearly say we are not appointed to wrath or that we will escape the coming wrath. The entire tribulation period is God's wrath. Jesus is opening the seals at the beginning and by the 6th seal judgment, the inhabitants of earth clearly state they know that it is God's wrath (Revelation 6:15-17).
2. Departure Before Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3*)
Scripture teaches a great falling away from truth in the end-times (1 Timothy 4:1,2 Timothy 4:3), but the Greek word in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 literally means "departure." Strong's concordance says the root word aphistémi means: to lead away, to depart from (Usage: I make to stand away, draw away, repel, take up a position away from, withdraw from, leave.) Another reason I feel this is referencing the rapture is that by saying a great falling away "must occur first" then that detracts from the doctrine of imminency (the consistent scriptural teaching that the rapture could happen at any moment).
3. Jewish Wedding Traditions
All of the symbolism related to end-time events mirrors ancient Jewish wedding traditions. Jesus used that tradition in his teachings. In ancient Jewish (specifically Galilean**) wedding traditions, the groom would leave the father's house, travel to the desired bride's home, pay a great price for the bride, have his offer accepted or rejected, become legal bound if accepted, and go back to the father's house to prepare a place for his bride.
At a specific time known only to the father he would send the son to fetch the bride. The groomsmen would announce the grooms arrival, then the bride would be lifted up on a seat to be carried away with the groom. The two would enter the wedding chamber for 7 days then there would be a great wedding feast after the marriage was consummated.
Space does not allow, but every single one of those details lines up with the order of key first-coming and second-coming events. Here is one key passage: John 14:2-3-- My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (**There is a great film that unpacks this beautifully called: "Before the Wrath" - available from Prophecy News Watch here.
The clearly taught doctrine that the Lord could return at anytime.
5. Our Blessed Hope
Titus 2:13 calls the rapture our "blessed hope." It is what we're looking forward to. Nowhere does scripture tell us to prepare to endure Hell on earth. Every instance of the Lord's return is painted as something we look forward to with joyous anticipation. Most believers in the tribulation period will be martyred. That is not a "blessed hope".
6. Old Testament Types
Two judgments clearly prefigure the final time of God's wrath on earth: the flood of Noah's day, and the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. In both cases, God removed the believers prior to judgment. There are many other types and figures that point to this pattern as well.
7. Rapture Designed to Encourage
In the main text on the rapture (1 Thessalonians 13-18), Paul concludes by saying, "Therefore encourage one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18)".
Now, here's THE Good News. Your sins can be forgiven and you can look forward to the rapture and eternity with the Lord in Heaven. If you have never accepted Christ, now is the time to ask him to save you and receive his free gift of salvation.
Sometimes we make it too complicated. Becoming a Christian is simply accepting Jesus is who he said he was (God in the flesh), and believing that his death and resurrection were for the purpose of paying your sin debt. We can't work for salvation, it has already been paid for. We simply need to receive the gift and trust in Christ.
So, as believers how now should we live? What can we do in these trying times? Here are a few marching orders.
First, it's no time to play around. This is not a playground, it's a battleground. We need to get serious with the Lord and serious about our faith. If you are a believer it's time to read your Bible seriously. It's time to seek the Lord sincerely and deeply. It's time to turn from anything that pulls us away from a quality relationship with the Lord.
Second, we simply MUST understand the times. If you are fuzzy on Bible prophecy, now is the time to get unfuzzy. God means what he says and says what he means. We CAN understand what the Bible teaches about prophecy and the end-times. Don't settle for anything less than clarity. Wrestle with Scripture in prayer until you have it.
Third, we must take it one day at a time. The weight of world events can be overwhelming. Swimming upstream and being a countercultural Christian who studies prophecy like the watchmen we were called to be is hard work. Most people won't get you. That is ok.
Be like Jeremiah and be prepared to say what God calls you to say even though most will misunderstand, ignore, or even mock you. You are not running the race for them. You are running for an audience of One! Spending time in his word and in prayer daily is critical. Focusing on one single day at a time is freeing as we trust our Savior for our marching orders for that day.
Fourth, if you're not a believer, now is the time to believe. Time is short. How short? I don't know, but I know that every breath is a gift and life has not guarantees. If you sense a stirring in your heart to come to the Lord, do not ignore it. Respond to the Holy Spirit who is drawing you to Jesus. I promise you He is real and the Bible is true. 100% of it! Soon enough, our faith will be sight!
Behold, I Come Quickly - C. Russell Yates -
Six times in Revelation Jesus says He is coming quickly, e.g. "And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12). So what does "come quickly" mean? I'll illustrate using the example of a pregnancy.
For nine months the baby is gestating until the time of delivery draws near. Once the birth pains start they become more intense and more frequent. If the baby could talk, he would say, "Behold, I come quickly."
After His ascension, Jesus said He would return. He gave signs that would precede His return, but He didn't specify the exact time. He did say, "No man knows the day or the hour." Should Christians just wait until it happens or does the Lord encourage a readiness on our part? Let's examine some passages. (Italics are my emphasis.)
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. ... But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:2,4)
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28)
Scripture is loaded with passages that encourage Believers to joyfully watch and wait for Christ's return. For forty years now I've looked for the Rapture-while going about the business of life! "Behold, I come quickly," is a passage the Lord quickened to me in the night, so let me continue my investigation.
God Doesn't Forget
The Lord has a habit of making promises, and then waiting a long time before keeping them.
* He promised Abraham He would make of him a great nation. Then He waited until Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 before sending Isaac.
* He promised Canaan as Abraham's inheritance. Then he sent the Israelites into Egypt where they became slaves. After 400 years he sent Moses to deliver them.
* At the Red Sea, the Israelites were trapped between the sea and the Egyptian army. The Lord parted the waters. The Israelites passed safely, but the Egyptians were drowned.
* After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD the Jews were dispersed throughout the world. Long ago the prophets foretold a re-gathering to their homeland-it happened on May 14, 1948.
Thy Kingdom Come
We Christians pray, "Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..." For what are we praying? We are praying for the Millennial Kingdom, which follows the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the defeat of the Antichrist.
Most of us Christians are much more concerned about our little kingdoms than we are about the kingdom of God. Furthermore, we don't want to be interrupted by the Second Coming. I offer the following illustration as a warning.
When Sodom was destroyed, the angels told Lot and his wife to flee for their lives and to not look behind. Lot's wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. How did she fail? She didn't want to be interrupted.
In Luke 17, we are told the coming of the Lord will be as it was in the days of Noah and the days of Lot. The second shortest verse in the Bible is Luke 17:32, Jesus said, "Remember Lot's Wife." I take that as a warning to Christians who pray the Lord's Prayer but don't want to be interrupted by its fulfillment.
Israel God's Timepiece
The Jews were chosen to reveal God to mankind. From Noah's son Shem descended Abraham-see Genesis 11. From then until the end, the Bible is focused on the Jews. Jesus is a Jew. Except for Luke and Acts, Jewish men wrote the Bible. God made the following promise to Abraham:
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)
Verse 3 contains a blessing for those who bless Israel and a curse for the anti-Semites. Israel was restored as a nation in 1948. Before Israel was restored, the land was barren and sparsely populated. Ezekiel foretold the restoration.
But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.
For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown:
And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: (Ezekiel 36:8-10)
And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden, and the desolate and ruined cities are become fenced and are inhabited. (Ezekiel 36:35)
Israel became a refuge for Holocaust survivors as told in Ezekiel 37, which is the "dry bones" chapter.
Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 37:9-12)
The passages from Ezekiel 36 and 37 have been fulfilled. Israel became a prosperous and mighty nation. But since January 2020, the entire world has descended into chaos.
The Turning Point
At this time the world is enduring medical and economic problems along with lawlessness. The Middle East is gearing up for war. We may be in the home stretch of "Behold I Come Quickly." Israel is still God's Timepiece. Let's consider the yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecies for Israel.
* The destruction of Damascus foretold in Isaiah 17:1.
* The battle of Gog and Magog foretold in Ezekiel 38-39.
* The rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, and a return to animal sacrifices.
* The rise of the Antichrist.
* The signing of a seven-year peace treaty with the AC.
* The start of the seven-year Tribulation period.
* Christ will be revealed to the Jews-See Zach. 12:10.
* After the Tribulation, the Millennial Kingdom will begin.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Nearing Midnight: Bringing up the Beast - Terry James -
Planet earth is undergoing a "reset" of observable dimension, as the term "reset" is used by secular pundits. "Stage-setting" is the term we biblical prophecy watchers use to describe the things taking place at a phenomenal pace. In both cases-secular and biblical-the "reset" or "stage-setting" has undeniably accelerated to quantum speed since the American presidential election of 2016.
Secular observers see the dynamic changes taking place as ideological transformation that occurs cyclically-like seasonal weather patterns that can bring great, destructive storms. From the biblical view, the "reset," the "stage-setting," is heading in one direction, and for a singular purpose. Movement at such a swift pace is being employed by evil's master strategist to bring to the world stage his final and most terrible tyrant of human history.
It's more than interesting, I notice, that those coming from the secular standpoint more and more use the word "beast" to describe this rise of powers in opposition to traditional Western cultural, societal, political, and religious norms. To my thinking, this is yet another proof that God's Word is truth. Even those who would no doubt gag at the thought that they were validating anything from the Bible can't help contributing to the outcomes foretold thousands of years ago.
I recently received an email containing an interesting article related to this. My thanks to Nancy, who apparently reads these commentaries.
The writer of the article Nancy sent seems to have no biblical knowledge as he gets into things going on in the "reset." While his article would be considered conspiracy-laden by those in most news media, the author-despite not knowing Bible prophecy, so far as I can tell-lays out well what is likely behind the scenes in Lucifer bringing the beast to power.
Again, it's the writer's use of the word "beast" that is most interesting. He makes no reference throughout his article to the beast of Revelation 13, yet that beast is the very entity to which he unwittingly is referring.
Here is the beginning of the article. I highly recommend that you read the entire piece.
Imagine, you are living in a world that you are told is a democracy - and you may even believe it - but in fact your life and fate is in the hands of a few ultra-rich, ultra-powerful and ultra-inhuman oligarchs. They may be called Deep State, or simply the Beast, or anything else obscure or untraceable - it doesn't matter. They are less than the 0.0001%.
For lack of a better expression, let's call them for now "obscure individuals".
These obscure individuals who pretend running our world have never been elected. We don't need to name them. You will figure out who they are, and why they are famous, and some of them totally invisible. They have created structures, or organisms without any legal format. They are fully out of international legality. They are a forefront for the Beast. Maybe there are several competing Beasts. But they have the same objective: A New or One World Order (NWO, or OWO).
These obscure individuals are running, for example, The World Economic Forum (WEF - representing Big Industry, Big Finance and Big Fame), the Group of 7 - G7, the Group of 20 - G20 (the leaders of the economically" strongest" nations). There are also some lesser entities, called the Bilderberg Society, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Chatham House and more.
The members of all of them are overlapping. Even this expanded forefront combined represents less than 0.001%. They all have superimposed themselves over sovereign national elected and constitutional governments, and over THE multinational world body, the United Nations, the UN...
Co-opted or created by the Beast(s) are also, the European Union, the Bretton Woods Organizations, World Bank and IMF, as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO) - and - make no mistake - the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It has no teeth. Just to make sure the law is always on the side of the lawless.
In fact, they have co-opted the UN to do their bidding. (Peter Koening, "The Deep State," The Global Reset - Unplugged. July 24, 2020, https://www.globalresearch.ca/global-reset-unplugged/5716178 )
As addressed in this column before, many are already falling under the delusion being foisted by those whom this secular-oriented author calls "beasts." Koening further relates:
The supremacy of these obscure unelected individuals becomes ever more exposed. We, the People consider it "normal" that they call the shots, not what we call - or once were proud of calling, our sovereign nations and sovereignty elected governments. They have become a herd of obedient sheep. The Beast has gradually and quietly taken over. We haven't noticed. It's the salami tactic: You cut off slice by tiny slice and when the salami is gone, you realize that you have nothing left, that your freedom, your civil and human rights are gone. By then it's too late. Case in point is the US Patriot Act. It was prepared way before 9/11. Once 9/11 "happened", the Patriot Legislation was whizzed through Congress in no time - for the people's future protection - people called for it for fear - and - bingo, the Patriot Act took about 90% of the American population's freedom and civil rights away. For good.
We have become enslaved to the Beast. The Beast calls the shots on boom or bust of our economies, on who should be shackled by debt, when and where a pandemic should break out, and on the conditions of surviving the pandemic, for example, social confinement. And to top it all off - the instruments the Beast uses, very cleverly, are a tiny-tiny invisible enemy, called a virus, and a huge but also invisible monster, called FEAR. That keeps us off the street, off reunions with our friends, and off our social entertainment, theatre, sports, or a picnic in the park. (Ibid.)
It's beginning to be more understandable how the beast of Revelation 13 will have little trouble ascending the steps of the platform that Satan's globalist minions are in overdrive preparing for when the Church leaves this world.
Your Phone Is Spying On You, And Companies Are Generating Secret "Surveillance Scores" Based On That Information - by Michael Snyder -
Nothing that you do on your phone is private. In this day and age, most of us have become extremely dependent on our phones, and most Americans never even realize that these extremely sophisticated little devices are gathering mountains of information on each one of us. Your phone knows what you look like, it knows the sound of your voice, it knows where you have been, it knows where you have shopped, it knows your Internet searches and it knows what you like to do in your free time. In fact, your phone literally knows thousands of things about you, and all of that information is bought and sold every single day without you knowing. And as you will see below, there are lots of companies out there that use information collected from our phones to create secret "surveillance scores" that are used for a whole host of alarming purposes.
It is really important to understand that your phone is a surveillance device. The reason why the advertisements on your phone seem so perfectly tailored for you is because of all the information that your phone has gathered on you previously.
To this day, many people are still amazed when they see an ad pop up for something that they were just talking with a friend about, but that doesn't happen by accident. The following comes from Fox News...
Perhaps you've been talking to a friend about an island vacation, when suddenly deals for the Maldives or Hawaii pop up on your Facebook feed. Or you are talking to your co-worker about yard renovations when advertisements for lawnmowers litter your Twitter, or maybe you were talking about why you stopped drinking and a random sponsored article about the growing trend of "elective sobriety" is suddenly in front of your eyes.
Industry experts insist that our phones are not actively "eavesdropping" on us, but they do admit that our phones are "actually spying on us" in other ways...
"It's easy to feel like our phone is spying on us. It is actually spying on us, but it is not eavesdropping," Alex Hamerstone, Government, Risk and Compliance practice lead at information technology security firm, TrustedSec, told Fox News via email. "The reason why we see ads pop up that seem to be correlated to the exact thing we were just talking about is because technology and marketing companies gather extensive amounts of personal and behavioral data on us, but it's not from eavesdropping - it's from surfing the web, shopping, posting on social media, and other things people do online."
Most Americans have come to accept targeted ads as a part of life, but what most people don't realize is that the information our phones gather is being used for far more intrusive purposes.
"Surveillance scores" are being created, and these "surveillance scores" seem quite similar to the "social credit scores" that China has been compiling since 2014.
In China, if you do good things like paying your taxes or taking a parent to the doctor, your social credit score will go up.
But there are also lots of things that will cause your social credit score to go down...
It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.
And if your social credit score gets too low, the consequences can be quite dramatic...
Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist.
Here in the United States, private companies are doing something very similar. Information collected from our phones is being used to create secret "surveillance scores", and selling those scores has become very big business. The following comes from the Houston Chronicle...
Operating in the shadows of the online marketplace, specialized tech companies you've likely never heard of are tapping vast troves of our personal data to generate secret "surveillance scores" - digital mug shots of millions of Americans - that supposedly predict our future behavior. The firms sell their scoring services to major businesses across the U.S. economy.
And just like China's system, high scores come with rewards and low scores come with punishments.
For example, your scores can determine whether or not someone will rent a property to you, whether or not you will be hired for a job, and even how long you will have to wait for customer service...
CoreLogic and TransUnion say that scores they peddle to landlords can predict whether a potential tenant will pay the rent on time, be able to "absorb rent increases," or break a lease. Large employers use HireVue, a firm that generates an "employability" score about candidates by analyzing "tens of thousands of factors," including a person's facial expressions and voice intonations. Other employers use Cornerstone's score, which considers where a job prospect lives and which web browser they use to judge how successful they will be at a job.
Brand-name retailers purchase "risk scores" from Retail Equation to help make judgments about whether consumers commit fraud when they return goods for refunds. Players in the gig economy use outside firms such as Sift to score consumers' "overall trustworthiness." Wireless customers predicted to be less profitable are sometimes forced to endure longer customer service hold times.
To me, all of this is extremely creepy.
Eventually, it may get to a point where you are basically a societal outcast if you are not willing to conform to a particular set of politically-correct standards, values and behaviors.
You may not get thrown in jail the moment you do something "unacceptable", but your phone will be watching you every step of the way.
Each mistake that you make will be recorded by your phone, and that information will be stored and used against you for the rest of your life.
I know that all of this sounds very strange, but without a doubt we are living in very strange times.
My advice would be to only use your phone when necessary, but of course the vast majority of the population will never listen to such advice.
Most of us have become highly addicted to these marvelous little devices, and in the process we are helping the elite construct a system of surveillance and control that is unlike anything ever seen before in all of human history.
Daily Jot: Stand up and be courageous - Bill Wilson -
Ephesians 6:13 exhorts, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." Many are writing with one question on their mind: "You say 'Enough is Enough', and that we need to take action, but what specifically can we do?" Many feel helpless to stand in the breech against the forces of evil that label you from the contents of their dark hearts. You need to first have a relationship with God through Christ. That is the start. It is more than just believing. It is knowing, personal, understanding. It's deep.
We are all works in progress. No matter how close we think we are with the Lord, we can get closer. We need to be able to listen and learn from the Lord, in order to be guided by the Holy Spirit to do his will. Standing during this time may well be different for me than it is for you. The Lord has gifted me with the ability to write and communicate. He may have given you the gift of hospitality or effective prayer. Now this is not saying that we all only have one gift. We may have many. I love to write, and I also love to help my wife with her loving gift of hospitality. She can write too, but she can really care for people. This is just an example. When we have folks to our home, we often talk about the condition of the world-from a Christ-centered viewpoint. In other words, we don't have to just exercise one gift, but as many as the Lord gives us.
Part of standing up is having your house in order. Do you have a relationship with the Lord? Are you taking time to be with the Lord in your daily walk? Do you study his Word? Is your house in order? Is there peace or chaos? Are you able to keep the peace? Being able to withstand the evil of the day requires spiritual, physical and mental strength and conditioning. Like an athlete preparing for competition, the mind, body, spirit and soul must be aligned to excel-this is even before taking the field of competition. In other words, how are you to influence others effectively if you are not adequately prepared? Yes, the athlete must work with his teammates in order to win victory, but that work is not effective unless the athlete is ready to go.
Understanding the heart of the Lord is important. He didn't jam his deity down people's throats. He didn't force people. He spoke truth in love. You can speak truth without escalating a bad situation. But you need to know the Lord's way. Knowing when a kind word will turn away wrath, and when to hit the mark with a swift arrow of truth. This doesn't mean picking verses out of the Bible and making them fit your argument, or calling others sinners. It means creating relationships based on the principles of Christ. Our country didn't arrive in this sour state overnight, and we are not going to be able to change it overnight, if at all. We are, however, asked to overcome evil with good. The Holy Spirit will direct your standing if you are willing to hear and obey. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Put on your armor of light. Stand up! Be courageous!
Daily Devotion: Divine Setups - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. -Matthew 10:32
Have you ever been in one of those situations where it seemed as though God set the scene for you to share your faith? I call them divine setups. I know when I'm in one because everything falls into place.
Quite honestly, I chickened out on some of those occasions. I didn't speak up, and I regretted it afterward.
You can probably think of times when you knew what you needed to say. You knew the right thing to say. But you didn't say it. You were paralyzed by fear.
We need to speak up for the Lord because one way we can deny Him is by not letting people know what we believe.
Of course, we've all had our moments of doubt. We've all had lapses where we denied Him. Even Peter denied the Lord, not once, not twice, but three times. He even took an oath saying that he never knew Jesus.
But that same Peter went out afterward and wept bitterly. And then he changed. According to church tradition, Peter was put to death on a cross as he hung upside down. He requested it that way, saying he wasn't worthy to die in the same manner that his Lord did.
God changed Peter, and God can change you and me.
Do people know that you're a Christian? Do your neighbors know that you're a follower of Jesus Christ? Do your family members know? I'm not talking about how many Christian T-shirts you wear or how many Christian bumper stickers you have on your car. I'm talking about your real lifestyle, the way that you are.
Could people say of you, "Yes, this person is a believer. I can see evidence of it"?
Are you speaking up for Jesus Christ? It isn't too late. You can start today.
FROM THE HEART
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