Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Kept from the Hour of Trial - Alf Cengia -
Some time ago I saw an individual's anti-pretrib comments on various social media platforms. He wasn't just part of the usual anti-pretrib police. This man was promoting his new book, claiming to expose the fallacious pretrib rapture. I finally bit and downloaded the Kindle edition.
Whenever I read that Darby taught two ways of salvation; or that he relied on Margaret MacDonald; or that Harold Camping was a pretribber (he was amillennial) - I know the author is biased and/or hasn't done the homework. Such was the case here.
According to the book, one of the fallacies of pretribulationism is its appeal to Rev 3:10 as a rapture passage. The book's rebuttal draws from posttribulationist Robert Gundry's arguments. These include the meaning of the expression "tereo ek" as used in Rev 3:10 and John 17:15. Gundry argued for protection within the time of trial.
Note: Richard Mayhue has responded HERE. See also Jeffery Townsend's The Rapture in Revelation 3:10 and Tony Garland's commentary.
The book's prewrath author presented a similar conclusion to Marvin Rosenthal (The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church). Rosenthal contended that Rev 3:10 wasn't a watershed verse which determined the timing of the rapture - instead, Rev 3:9-10 dealt with the keeping from the temptation within the Great Tribulation.
Despite the claim of fallacy, at least two leaders of the prewrath system treat Rev 3:10 as a rapture passage. They (Charles Cooper & Alan Kurschner) agree that believers are raptured out of the world so as not to experience God's wrath, based on this promise.
Interestingly, Cooper even agrees with John Niemelä's premises regarding the grammar of Rev 3:9-10 (though not the timing). Niemelä suggests a revision of the punctuation, like so:
Verse 9) Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie - indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you because you have kept my command to persevere.
(The above underlined part is normally included in v 10 below)
Verse 10) I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Notice that this revised punctuation removes the condition for being kept from the hour of trial. Pretribulationism doesn't need this particular argument. But if correct, it counters the notion that persevering through the Great Tribulation is a precondition for exemption from God's wrath.
The promise to the Philadelphian Church applies to us today. In Niemelä's second presentation, he writes:
For almost 2000 years, physical death has been the means for preventing Church Age believers from living into the hour of trial. Christ kept His promise to the first century Philadelphians. In so doing, He has given a prototype of the way that He delivers the entire Church. The deliverance is Pre-tribulational. Thus far, death has been the means of deliverance. However, the final generation of the Church will receive its deliverance via the Rapture.
So the essential difference between Cooper's view and pretribulationism is a disagreement on what period constitutes God's eschatological wrath. For Cooper, God's wrath only occurs within a technically defined period, after "Antichrist's Great Tribulation."
Most premil posttribulationists see God's wrath only occurring during the Day of the Lord, just before the millennium. While pretribulationist Richard Mayhue concurs that the DotL occurs at the end of the 70th week, he also acknowledges that God's wrath is present throughout the seven years.
On the other hand, some scholars note that the DotL isn't always confined to a single, technical, moment. In Central Themes in Biblical Theology, Paul House writes that the NT writers saw the DotL as a possible past event, "potentially in the present, and future oriented in time." According to William Dumbrell:
The concept of the Day of the Lord, as considered by the prophets, is not singular in meaning; the connotation can be determined only by examining each context in which the phrase appears. ~ The Search for Order: Biblical Eschatology in Focus
This explains the differences in Joel's and Paul's DotL statements regarding the DotL (Joel 2:31; 1 Thess 5:2-3). Can anyone be in a state of "peace and safety" after the 2nd and 4th seal judgments?
God's wrath is present in the elements of the fourth seal. The language parallels Ezek 5:13-17; 7:3-19; 14:21. Why does John use Old Testament wrathful language in the 4th seal if such isn't the case? Or, as Robert Van Kampen asserted, for an event which exclusively affects the church and the Jews in order to purify them?
This isn't the kind of tribulation we ordinarily experience in the world (Rev 1:9). This is God's wrath.
God uses people and nations as instruments of His wrath. See Habakkuk chapters one and two as an example. There is no contradiction in God using Satan as His instrument of wrath. Neither does Satan's wrath in the 2nd half of the 70th week (Rev 12:12) cancel out God's wrath. Why would it?
Furthermore, Satan and the Lawless One are used by God as judgment because of rebellion and refusal to love the truth. Paul clearly affirms this in 2 Thess 2:7, 9-12.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie...
Hence, the Seal Judgments and the Great Tribulation form the trial which will test the world.
I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Rev 3:10
This isn't pretrib rapture wishful thinking. There are no hidden clauses in this promise. It doesn't say the church must suffer through Seal Judgments, or the Great Tribulation, before it is finally raptured.
For own their reasons, dedicated critics of pretribulationism strive to enforce provisos and stipulations to the promise of exemption. Perhaps it gives some a sense of moral higher ground.
As for me, I'll take Rev 3:10 at face-value. I want to live every day in anticipation of that shout (1 Thess 4:16-18).
Lord, come quickly!
The Rapture in the Lord's Table - Until He Comes! - David Pepe -
My dear friends, as we were taking communion at our local assembly, our dear pastor read 1 Corinthians 11:25-26 and the end part of that bible verse rang out to me as never before. Though I had knew that we were to take communion to, "proclaim the Lord's death until He comes", the Holy Spirit showed me the other side of the coin which I had never seen before until that night! The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart saying, "until your Jesus comes, until you (David) will be changed FOREVERMORE (John 14:6, 1 Cor. 15:51-57, Phil. 3:21, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, 1 John 3:1-4)! I thought to myself, "what a glorious hope of RIGHTEOUSNESS in the Lord's Table for ALL the blood brought saints of Almighty God who have placed their trust in the Lord Jesus as their Savior! His death, burial and resurrection has made possible my propitiation and my future redemption from my vile, corruptible, mortal body and has prepared for me a brand new heavenly body fashioned after His RIGHTEOUS one (Rom. 7:24-25, Phil. 3:21, 1 John 3:1-4)! My dear friends in Christ, if that ETERNAL TRUTH doesn't fire up the blood brought saints of Almighty God, what EVER will! What a picture the Lord has given us to remember as we partake at His Table of Remembrance of His death! Until He Comes! Until we are changed!
Christ's coming for His Church (at any moment) will be in the air at the Rapture as the Holy Scriptures clearly teach! The last phrase of this passage in 1 Corinthians 11:25-26 (until He comes) is not speaking of His second coming and His return to planet earth with His glorified Church and His angels to reign and rule for a thousand years (Isa. 2;11; Dan. 2:43-44; 7:13-14, Matt. 25, 2 Thess. 2:8, Rev. 19:11-21), but rather at His personal coming for His bride (His body of called out believers) at the Rapture - John 14:6, 1 Cor. 15:51-57, Eph. 4:13, Phil. 3:21, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, 1 John 3:1-4).
My dear friends, the Lord's table has become one of the most twisted teachings in Christianity! Apostates and unregenerate traditionalist have rejected the simple biblical teaching of the Lord's table and have replaced its simplicity and wonderful message with new ageism, mystic perspectives, work related "spirituality" and atonement rejecting doctrines. To truly understand Communion/the Lord's table, one must have received the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior and be born again as the Bible wonderfully, clearly and simply teaches (John 1:12; 3:3-7, Acts 4:12; 16:30-31, Rom. 10:9-13, Eph. 2:8-9). To truly understand the Lord's table, one must understand that the Lord Jesus gave His life for us as our propitiation and Lamb; and we by our own merits and works can NEVER redeem our self from our fallen state (Isa. 53, Matt. 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:17-20, 1 Cor. 11:23-2!5, Heb. 9-10, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:2, 4:10, Rev. 1:5).
Redemption is TOTALLY and SOLELY of Almighty God! We as fallen transgressors of the ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS spiritual and moral absolutes of Almighty God need desperately to be rescued, delivered and saved from our own fallen estate by His ETERNAL GRACE alone (Rom. 6:23; 7:24-25, Eph. 2:8-9)! That is why we as believers - who follow our Lord's command to partake of His table in total remembrance of Him and of His propitiatory death - rejoice in Him who is our Salvation! We rejoice in Him who is our Propitiation! We rejoice in Him who is our Redemption! We rejoice in Him who is our Life!; And we rejoice in Him who WILL change our vile and mortal bodies to heavenly RIGHTEOUS ones at His coming at the Rapture! Dearly beloved, ETERNAL GLORY and PRAISE to Almighty God in the HIGHEST! Who TRULY saves ALL who call upon His Name in RIGHTEOUSNESS!
Dear friends, we live in very turbulent times today (locally, nationally and globally), which are EXPONENTIALLY ACCELERATING due to the EXPONENTIAL growth in technology! What GREATER HOPE is there in our day as believers in Jesus Christ than to look for our Blessed Lord's soon return and trumpet blast as we remember our Lord's death, at His table, until He comes! Even so come Lord Jesus!
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Will Israel feel the heat of Trump's 'fire and fury' North Korea rhetoric? - By Yonah Jeremy Bob -
With tensions increasing between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, concern mounts over international spillover.
While most of the focus in the ongoing war of words between the Trump administration and North Korea is on whether it will lead to war between the US and Pyongyang, how might it impact Israel? Might it bring nuclear conflict or war closer to Israel's borders?
First, it is important to understand what is unique about the current competition between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong- Un over who can sound more bellicose.
Since the US dropped nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945, eight of the ''nuclear weapons club's'' nine countries have been extremely restrained when talking about nuclear weapons use.
Ironically, bombing Japan was so much more devastating than expected that it created a taboo that has held for decades.
The US and the USSR became even more careful after unintentional escalations and misunderstandings during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis almost led to worldwide nuclear winter.
Rather, even as nuclear weapons may be hinted to from time to time as an implied threat and to show determination, usually the threat is unspoken and any public words are carefully constructed.
Israel has been the most careful of all, not officially confirming its nuclear weapon's state status even as foreign sources consistently say that Israel has been a nuclear power since 1967 and now may have as many as 200 nuclear weapons.
Israel has worried that admitting its status could egg on its hostile neighbors to go after their own programs, much as Iran, Iraq and Syria have tried.
North Korea has been the one exception to the restraint rule, for years threatening its neighbors and the US with fiery rhetoric of nuclear destruction.
For better or for worse, the US and its allies never tried to match the North's rhetoric.
That all changed this week when President Donald Trump repeatedly threatened North Korea that it must cool its rhetoric or "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Since Trump's statement, there has been a heated debate in the US by top Republicans and Democrats about the consequences of Trump's decision to match North Korea's brash verbiage.
Some have applauded Trump, saying that neither engagement nor sanctions alone has succeeded at stopping Pyongyang's nuclear weapon's advancement.
A subset of those supporting Trump's approach also support military action against North Korea to accomplish regime change.
But almost all Democrats, some Republicans and many nuclear theorists believe Trump's statements about playing with a nuclear fire are far too dangerous.
They note in the recent US defense report that North Korea may be much closer to being able to strike US territories or even the continental US than was thought until recent months.
They add that even without nuclear weapons, North Korea's artillery and conventional missiles could kill millions of South Koreans and Japanese as well as hundreds of thousands of US servicemen and civilians abroad.
But how again does this impact Israel? First, if either the US or North Korea actually escalate into using nuclear weapons, the taboo on their use would be broken.
Nothing is more powerful at preventing nuclear weapons use than the taboo that no one can imagine the horrible consequences of their use.
Israel has one "enemy state" that already has nuclear weapons - Pakistan.
Pakistan has never expressed interest in actually fighting Israel, but if jihadists ever took control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, a dilemma debated already for years, a rogue nuclear strike on Israel might be more likely after a US-North Korea nuclear exchange.
Jihadists could be encouraged in general after seeing a weapon's immense destructive power to try more aggressively to steal a nuclear weapon from any of the nuclear club's countries to use against Israel or the US.
The motivation could be either hatred of Israel or a "safer" way to attack the West than directly attacking the US.
Iran is not far from nuclear weapons and many have theorized that some of its jumps toward obtaining a weapon can be credited to North Korea.
If North Korea is attacked with nuclear weapons or feels it is closer to being attacked, it may try to advance Iran close to the finish line. Iran crossing the nuclear threshold and using weapons against Israel would then be more likely.
Iran may also see less value to the 2015 nuclear deal once nuclear weapons are being used again.
Next, the wider Middle East nuclear arms race Israel has feared would be far more likely to happen if countries believed they were all now more at risk of being hit by nuclear weapons because the taboo was broken.
An entirely different, but dangerous, possibility is that Trump continues his bellicose threats, but does not follow through. This could encourage North Korea, Iran (which could drop the nuclear deal) and others to move forward more aggressively, if they viewed Trump as full of hot air. None of this means that Trump's high stakes gamble of matching the North's fiery rhetoric will not work. In fact, most of those opposing Trump's rhetoric merely suggest alternative policies that are more of the same ideas that have not slowed North Korea until now.
But right or wrong, and even as the nuclear taboo has not yet been broken, Trump has broken a taboo relating to nuclear rhetoric. The breaking of this taboo could haunt Israel down the road even if the current conflict has nothing to do with the Middle East.
America's strategic paralysis
- By Caroline B. Glick - http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Americas-strategic-paralysis-502121
It is obvious that Trump continues to seek a clean break with Obama's policies.
On Thursday morning, for the second time in so many days, North Korea threatened to attack the US territory of Guam with nuclear weapons. Taken together with Pyongyang's two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, and the US's Defense Intelligence Agency's acknowledgment this week that North Korea has the capacity to miniaturize nuclear bombs and so launch them as warheads on missiles, these threats propelled the US and the world into a nuclear crisis.
To understand what must be done, it is critical we recognize how we reached this point. We have arrived at the point where an arguably undeterrable regime has achieved the capacity to attack the US with nuclear weapons due to the policy failure of three successive US administrations.
The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all opted not to take concerted action against North Korea, instead embracing the easy road of appeasement. All three let the threat grow as they kicked the North Korean nuclear can down the road. They engaged in nuclear talks with Pyongyang that North Korea exploited to develop nuclear weapons and missile systems.
North Korea's threats and capabilities tell us that the can has reached the end of the road. It can be kicked no further.
Unfortunately, neither the State Department nor the US media seem to have noticed. Rather than consider the implications of North Korea's threats and its nuclear capabilities, the major US media outlets and Donald Trump's political opponents on both sides of the political aisle have opted instead to attack Trump.
The media and Trump's opponents all focused their responses to North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship on Trump's response to the threat. They stood as one in condemning Trump for responding to the ballooning threat by threatening on Tuesday to unleash "fire and fury like the world as never seen" against North Korea if it continues to threaten the US.
TV hosts and commentators bemoaned Trump's dangerous trigger finger. Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein said, "Isolating the North Koreans has not halted their pursuit of nuclear weapons. And President Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comments."
Sen. John McCain, one of Trump's Republican nemeses, similarly attacked Trump and intimated that the US lacks the capacity to follow through on his threats.
"I take exception to the president's comments, because you gotta be able to do what you say you're gonna do. I don't think that's a way you attack an issue and a challenge like this," McCain said.
For his part, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the media on Wednesday that Trump's statement was not a threat to use force, per se. It was, rather, an attempt to speak to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in a language he can understand, "since he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language."
Tillerson then said that the administration's policy remains the policy of its predecessors. The US seeks to renew nuclear talks with North Korea if it will just step back from the brink. Last week Tillerson said that the US is not seeking to overthrow the Kim regime. This was an extraordinary unilateral concession to a regime that is developing the means to conduct nuclear strikes against US cities.
What Tillerson's statement along with the response of the media and Trump's political opponents all make clear is that at a moment when the US is in critical need of a serious strategic discussion about North Korea, no such discussion is taking place.
And North Korea is not the only threat that the foreign policy elite in Washington - both in and out of government - is failing to address realistically or responsibly.
The absence of serious strategic discourse in the US is just as striking in everything related to Trump's handling of the Iranian threat.
Over the past several weeks, Israeli officials have expressed dismay at the terms of the July 7 Syrian cease-fire agreement the Trump administration concluded with Russia. As Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kupperwasser of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs explained in a pointed critique of the deal, the cease-fire "tacitly gave legitimacy to the prolonged presence of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces throughout the regions of Syria nominally controlled by the Assad regime."
Two weeks after concluding the pro-Iranian cease-fire deal, Trump met with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the White House. Ignoring the fact that Hezbollah and Iran control the Lebanese government, and that Hariri, consequently, serves at the pleasure of both, Trump embraced Lebanon as an ally. He pledged continued US support for the Lebanese Armed Forces despite the fact that the LAF is subordinate to Hezbollah. And he extolled Lebanon's war "against terror."
Last week Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah announced in a televised speech that the LAF in coordination with Hezbollah would be carrying out a strike against ISIS forces along the Syrian- Lebanese border. The LAF would attack from the Lebanese side. Hezbollah and Assad regime forces would attack from the Syrian side of the border.
Nasrallah did not mention that US special forces were fighting alongside the LAF troops. But they were. The Pentagon released photos of US special forces operating from an LAF base. And news agencies reported that US forces were accompanying Lebanese forces into battle.
In other words, the Trump administration has embraced the Obama administration's policy of viewing Iran and Hezbollah as allies in a common war against ISIS.
One of the lone voices who opposed this policy was Col. Derek Harvey. Trump's National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster fired Harvey from his position of Middle East director on the National Security Council last month.
According to a senior US national security source familiar with the issue, Harvey advocated that the administration recognize and act on the growing threat to US allies Israel and Jordan posed by Iran and Hezbollah in Syria.
This week it was reported that both Israel and Jordan briefed US officials involved in cease-fire negotiations and set out their objections to continued deployment of Iranian and Hezbollah forces in the country.
Harvey, the source explains, objected to the Pentagon's insistence on limiting its discussion of US operations in Syria to the campaign against ISIS. He said that Hezbollah and Iran must also be addressed.
Rather than consider his position, Harvey, the source says, was shot down by his colleagues from the Pentagon who accused him of being a warmonger.
And as a consequence, with US forces fighting side by side with Hezbollah in Syria, and so advancing Iranian control over Syria, the Trump administration's policy in the country has become substantively identical to that of its predecessor.
As to Iran's nuclear program, last month Trump again certified that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA nuclear deal. He did this despite the fact that he opposed recertification. Trump was allegedly was blindsided by his national security team McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Tillerson, who reportedly insisted that the US has no alternative at this time to maintaining its commitment to the deal that guarantees Iran will be in North Korea's position within 13 years.
National security sources in Washington dispute this claim. One source reveals that between Trump's electoral victory and his firing last month, Harvey developed a detailed plan for withdrawing the US from the nuclear deal but that McMaster prevented him from presenting his plan to Trump.
Whatever the case may be, the fact is that at least for the next 90 days, the Trump administration remains committed to Obama's Iranian nuclear deal.
Unfortunately, if the US does not act swiftly to forge and implement a strategy for denuclearizing North Korea, it may well face the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran in possession of ICBMs in much less than 13 years.
This is the case for two reasons. First, nothing happens in isolation.
If the US does not attach Trump's threat to attack North Korea to a credible strategy for removing North Korea's nuclear arsenal, then Iran will draw the appropriate lessons.
The second reason Trump's response to the North Korean nuclear crisis will directly impact the burgeoning nuclear threat of Iran is that there is strong circumstantial evidence that the two programs are connected. Indeed, they may be the same program.
Last week, after the UN Security Council passed a new sanctions resolution against North Korea, the regime's No. 2 official, parliament chairman Kim Yong Nam, arrived in Tehran for a 10-day visit.
In the past, CIA officials have claimed that Iranian observers have been present at North Korean nuclear tests. Iran also reportedly financed the Korean-built nuclear reactor in Syria that Israel reportedly destroyed in 2007.
Iran's Shihab-3 and Shihab-4 intermediate range ballistic missiles are based on North Korean designs. Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton recently revealed that during North Korea's 1999-2006 missile testing moratorium, Iran conducted missile tests for North Korea.
If the circumstantial evidence linking the two nuclear programs is correct, then whatever North Korea has will be possessed by Iran in short order.
It is certainly possible that there is more happening behind the scenes in Washington than anyone can possibly know. Far from the television cameras, US national security officials may be configuring strategic goals and programs that will enable Trump to abandon Obama's failed policies in relation to North Korea, Syria and Iran and move the US - and the world - in a safer and more secure direction.
Unfortunately, in light of Tillerson's claim that the US seeks to return to the negotiating table with North Korea, and given the administration's decision to continue to implement Obama's pro-Iran and pro-Hezbollah policy in Syria and Trump's second certification of Iranian compliance with Obama's nuclear deal, it is certainly easy to conclude that this is not the case.
As Kupperwasser noted in his essay on the dangers the US-Russian Syrian cease-fire deal pose to Israel and Jordan, Trump's abidance by Obama's pro-Iranian policies in Syria "worries Israel... because it casts doubt over the depth of American commitment, the ability of the Americans to deliver, or the relevance of the 'Art of the Deal' to the Middle East and international politics."
It is obvious that Trump continues to seek a clean break with Obama's policies. But as his critics' piling on against him following his threat to North Korea and the State Department's determination to maintain Obama's failed policy of appeasement toward Pyongyang both make clear, more than anything else, Trump needs advisers who are capable of helping him achieve this goal. He needs advisers willing to stand up to the pressure and the inertial force of the foreign policy bureaucracy and capable of having a serious strategic discussion about how to proceed in an international environment that grows more daunting every day.
Watchman Warning: Humanity and North Korea - By Hal Lindsey - http://www.hallindsey.com/ww-8-10-2017/
In the last few days, the United States and North Korea have engaged in a battle of blazing rhetoric. It's been a cold war of hot words.
After the UN Security Council passed a sanctions resolution against North Korea last week, the rogue state promised a "thousands-fold" revenge against the United States. They threatened to "turn the U.S. mainland into the theater of a nuclear war."
President Trump said, "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Acting as an accelerant on the blazing rhetoric was news that North Korea has now passed another milestone in its quest to make the U.S. mainland vulnerable to its nuclear weapons. On Tuesday, major media outlets, starting with the Washington Post, began saying that the Defense Intelligence Agency now believes North Korea has the ability to miniaturize nuclear weapons for use on ICBMs.
The report also says that the North Koreans have accumulated an astounding 60 nuclear weapons. We don't know how many of those are small and light enough to be carried on ICBMs. But now that they have the ability, they should be able to convert their arsenal into missile-ready warheads with some speed.
Wired Magazine summarized the story, then wrote, "The worst-case North Korea hypotheticals, in other words, have suddenly become all too real.... The list of hurdles keeping the country from directly threatening the continental U.S. (or virtually any part of the world) with an intercontinental ballistic missile has dwindled significantly."
One of the remaining hurdles may be the lower quality of North Korean missile guidance systems. With missiles, as with guns, hitting a target at greater distance requires greater accuracy. But that brings little comfort. Suppose the North fires at Los Angeles. They could miss widely and still hit Anaheim, Riverside, or Santa Barbara. Even "a miss" would instantly become one of the greatest disasters in American history.
Later Tuesday, the Koreans threatened an attack on the U.S. territory of Guam. Thursday, they said that it will be a warning shot that will hit in the water off the coast of Guam. Why play such a dangerous game? If they do anything nuclear, or if they hit Guam itself, it will almost certainly spell the end of North Korea in its current form.
U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, said, "The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people." He reminded Kim that the U.S. and its allies have the most "precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth."
This all seems like madness. Why would North Korea want to put its people, as well as other nations, in such danger?
Here's the thing about human beings. As a species, we don't change much. Fashions and technology give the illusion of change from generation to generation. But the fundamental human drives remain the same.
In the 1978 episode of Columbo called "How to Dial a Murder," a woman asks the detective why people murder. The Columbo character's answer pointed to base human motivations. It could fit any generation of humanity. He said, "Fear, jealousy, greed... all those things."
From Cain killing his brother Abel, to Hitler murdering six million Jews, the motivations remain roughly the same. We delude ourselves to think that humanity in 2017 is kinder or gentler than it was in World War II.
Human beings don't change, but our weapons do. They grow more powerful every year. Technology relentlessly marches forward. It has no conscience, no fear, and no self-control. If one person doesn't build the more powerful weapon, another one does.
Technology doesn't just make big, expensive projects possible. Over time, it makes those projects less expensive and more manageable. It takes what was once available to an elite few, and brings down the costs so that they are available to everyone. That's great when the phone in your pocket has more computing power than a million-dollar supercomputer from a few decades ago. It's not so great when rogue nations get nuclear weapons and ICBMs.
Technology has not improved human character, but it has made us vastly more powerful. I'm concerned about the people of our time - not because we are worse than previous generations, but because we are the same.
The Humanist Manifesto II from 1973 said, "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves." So, how's that project coming along?
The situation in North Korea is just one of many examples of a world teetering on the edge of the abyss. The situation will not go away on its own. And we cannot save ourselves. We must turn to God for salvation.
Nations need to turn to God, but I'm not speaking to nations right now. I'm talking to you. This is personal. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, "Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (NKJV)
In Acts 16:31, Paul and Silas said to the Philippian jailer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." (NKJV)
Friend, now is the time. Now - before it's too late.
New Graphene Electronic Tattoo for Tracking Internet of Things and Biometric IDs - By Nicholas West -
New biometric tracking methods seem to be rolled out by the day for policing, travel, banking, medical applications, and beyond.
February of last year I covered a development by a company called Chaotic Moon that was seeking "total integration" with their Tech Tats which they envisioned could be used to replace wallets, as well as to monitor your vital signs:
"We carry wallets around and they are so vulnerable. With the tech tattoo you can carry all your information on your skin and when you want your credit card information or your ID, you can pull that up automatically through the system
"Rather than going to the doctor once a year for your physical, this tech tattoo can be something you put on your body once a year and it monitors everything that they would do in a physical and it sends that to your doctor, and if there's an issue they can call you," Schneider said.
"So the tech tattoos can really tie in everything into one package. It can look at early signs of fever, your vital signs, heart rate, everything it needs to look at to notify you that you're getting sick or your child is getting sick."
However, the above system seems downright rudimentary compared with a new electronic tattoo technology being created from graphene by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.
The ultra-thin tattoo can be applied to the skin with water, is almost transparent, and yet could surpass the functions of today's bulkier wearable devices.
...because the ultrathin graphene tattoos can fully conform to the skin, they offer medical-grade data quality, in contrast with the lower performance of the rigid electrode sensors mounted on bands and strapped to the wrist or chest.
Due to the high-quality sensing, the researchers expect that the graphene tattoos may offer promising replacements for existing medical sensors, which are typically taped to the skin and require gel or paste to enable the electrodes to function.
Tests showed that the graphene electronic tattoos can be successfully used to measure a variety of electrophysiological signals, including skin temperature and skin hydration, and can function as an electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and electroencephalogram (EEG) for measuring the electrical activity of the heart, muscles, and brain, respectively.
But, as indicated below, its applications are not just limited to voluntary medical tracking. The functionality can be integrated into the emerging world of the Internet of Things, Smart Cities and more:
"Graphene electronic tattoos are most promising for potential applications in mobile health care, assisted technologies, and human machine interfaces," Kabiri Ameri said. "In the area of human machine interfaces, electrophysiological signals recorded from the brain and muscles can be classified and assigned for specific action in a machine.
This area of research can have applications for the internet of things, smart houses and cities, human computer interaction, smart wheelchairs, speech assistance technology, monitoring of distracted driving, and human-robot control.
Recently we have demonstrated the application of graphene tattoos for sensing human signals to wirelessly control flying objects. That demonstration will be reported in the near future."
Given the level of privacy that many people already have sacrificed for the conveniences of last-gen technology, we can only imagine how it will accelerate when even a microchip implant becomes a bulky relic.
Daily Jot: Headlines vs a prophetic people - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Here are some of today's headlines: China Warns America: Don't Go First; Scientists create mutant ants...Dozens of Female Employees Accuse GOOGLE of Gender Discrimination...Designer Shocks With Naked Fashion Show...Hollywood Billboard Features 43,412 Nude Scenes...ISIS to use Drones to Take Down Planes...Democrat Campaign Spokeswoman: No Interest in Working With Pro-Life Dems...Iran Not Living Up To Nuclear Deal...Disney Sued For Collecting Private Information From Children Via Game Apps...If you are looking to the news for any type of positive reinforcement, you won't find it. You will find pretty much the vilest of what humans do to themselves and to one another.
The 24 hour, seven days a week news cycle has denigrated itself into a repository for the very worst of humankind. In fact, it often is supportive of this malevolent movement that is sweeping the world. It's important that a prophetic people do not get caught up in this cycle and mantra. It's easy to do. Those who do may find themselves often depressed, argumentive, angry, fearful, anxious, empty, even paranoid. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." We must be discerning in these times, for they are truly waxing worse and worse. Remember that salvation is not found in politicians or business leaders. Peace cannot be achieved apart from the Prince of Peace.
Jesus told his disciples in John 16:32, "In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Then Jesus prayed in the Garden in John 17:14-21, "I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word."
Jesus is praying not only for his disciples, but for all of us ever to believe on him that we are not of the world, that we be kept from the evil of the world, and that we be sanctified by the Father's word, which is truth. We are not going to find much truth in the headlines or in politics or entertainment. It is all worldly and of the world. You will find truth in the Word of God. What's John 1:1 say?, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." There is a big difference between the words of the world that we find in the headlines and the Word of God which sanctifies us, sets us apart and keeps us from evil. A prophetic people know the difference and abides in the true Word.
Daily Devotion: God's Heart for Humanity - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." -Jeremiah 31:3
When my granddaughter Stella was a toddler, she wasn't very good at playing hide and seek. She would hide in plain view and say, "Papa, find me!" Meanwhile, I'd be looking right at her.
I'd say, "Stella! I can't find Stella! Where is Stella?"
She would jump out, laugh, and then go back to the same hiding place again. I played along with Stella to humor her.
In the Garden of Eden when God called out to His wayward son, "Adam, where are you?" was He oblivious to the whereabouts of Adam? Of course not. God knew exactly where he was. He was saying, in effect, "Adam, I miss our times together. Adam, why did you eat of the forbidden fruit? Adam, why are you hiding from Me? Adam, I want to talk with you."
That is the heart of God. He says in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together. . . . Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
If you want to see how God feels about this world, look at the trio of stories Jesus told in Luke 15. God is compared to a woman who lost a coin, a shepherd who lost a sheep, and a father who lost a son.
If we learn nothing else in the Bible, we learn that God loves humanity and longs for fellowship and friendship with us. We learn that God doesn't want any person to go to Hell, and the best evidence of this is that He poured His wrath on His Son, who had never committed a single sin, so that we could be pardoned.
God searches for us. He cares for us. And He wants us to know Him.
FROM THE HEART
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