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Prophecy Update Newsletter
August 19, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Every People, Language, and Nation - By Britt Gillette - http://raptureready.com/featured/gillette/bg75.html
When it comes to the end times, the Bible is clear. A global government will rule the entire earth (Daniel 7:23). It will be more than another superpower. It will rule the whole world. This not only makes it different from past nations, kingdoms, and empires of the world-it makes it completely unique.
Think about it. Of all the nations in human history, how many managed to set up a global empire? None. Ancient Rome held vast power and influence. But it didn't rule China. It didn't rule South America. It ruled large portions of the known world. But it wasn't a global empire. And the same is true for every other empire in history.
In the book of Revelation, John describes the power of this global empire and its ruler, the Antichrist. He says this empire will rule over "all people, tribes, and languages" on earth (Revelation 13:7). Its authority will be total and complete. No one will be able to buy or sell anything without permission (Revelation 13:16-17).
Think about that. What nation has ever held such awesome power? None. The power to control all buying and selling means even black markets will be shut down. Such power has never existed, and it doesn't exist now. Yet, the Bible says it will come.
Why do I bring this up? Because our generation is unique. It's the first in history with the means to set up a truly global government. Throughout history, huge obstacles have blocked the path to global empire. But today? Those obstacles disappear on an almost daily basis. Let's look at the top four and why our generation will be the first in history with the ability to set up a global empire like the one described in the Bible.
1) Language Barriers - Since the Tower of Babel, language has divided the world. Lack of a common language has been one of the greatest obstacles to a world empire. But thanks to technology, the language barrier will soon disappear. In Chapter 10 of my book Signs of the Second Coming, I wrote:
But soon, new technologies will enable us to eliminate language barriers forever. People will speak in their native language and, through a special earpiece, be heard in the listener's native language. It's only a matter of time, and once it happens, the language barrier will disappear forever.
That was two years ago. Since then, "soon" has become "now." In May, a start-up company called Waverly Labs started taking pre-orders for a device called The Pilot. So what is this device? According to the company, it's "the world's first smart earpiece which translates between users speaking different languages." The company's tagline? "A world without language barriers."
Again, these are only pre-orders. The actual product might not be as seamless as claimed. But even if it has rough edges, you know it's only a matter of time before such devices are commonplace. Earlier this year, Skype rolled out Skype Translate, with a goal of instantly translating phone calls and text messages. Reviews have been mixed, but the technology continues to advance. Again, it's only a matter of time. Soon, the dividing line of language will be gone forever.
2) Common Goals - In the past, distinct cultures separated people. Most nations had competing goals rather than common goals. However, two trends are changing that: Modern technology, and the need to survive.
With the rise of technology, the cultural divide is withering away. On-demand, anywhere, streaming of movies, music, books, and websites cross over borders. We have global sports stars, global movie stars, and global musicians. And all of this contributes to the rise of a single global culture.
Nationalism is on its deathbed. Fewer and fewer people buy into the notion their country is always right. Because of their education and travels, more and more people view themselves as "citizens of the world."
You can see this in the European Union. If you live in England, your passport no longer says "England." It says "European Community." Fewer and fewer people identify as French, Italian, or German. More and more identify as European. But the EU isn't alone. In other parts of the world, open borders are eroding cultural and linguistic barriers.
3) Enforcement - Another obstacle to global empire is law enforcement. After all, how do you police the entire world? The logistics are staggering.
With past technology, a global empire would be impossible. It would stretch armies, supply lines, and communications razor thin. Its influence would weaken with each step taken away from its center. Think of ancient Rome. It dominated Italy. It held total power over the Mediterranean. But the far edges of the empire? Constant trouble. Rebellion. Invasion. Weakness. Why? Because the more Rome expanded, the more land it had to control and defend.
Even in recent years, great powers have found it near impossible to rule a single nation. Think about how much harder it would be to rule the entire world. Think of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Or how about U.S. incursions into Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan? In each of these cases, mighty superpowers struggled to control third world nations. Given those examples, the idea of a global empire seems absurd. And for most of human history, a global empire has been absurd. But technology will soon change that. Don't believe me?
Just look at advances in warfare alone. Already we see the rise of robot fighters. Do a Google search of "robot cheetahs" or "robot soldiers," and you'll get an idea of what's coming. The use of such robots will make a global empire not only possible, but ruthlessly efficient. And surveillance? Spying will become easier in the future. Intelligence-gathering, mosquito-size robots already exist.
Soon, technology will give rise to "smart dust," nearly invisible particles capable of "seeing" and "listening" to everything. With the use of AI (think of IBM's "Watson" from Jeopardy), a global empire will be able to sort through billions and trillions of human interactions. Those deemed "inappropriate" or "forbidden" will be reported to the government. In such a world, just a few people with a robot army and AI could rule much of the world.
4) Regulation - The same AI that will make global surveillance possible will also allow a global empire to do away with bureaucracy. This has long been an obstacle to global rule.
Think about it. Just as the ancient Roman Empire struggled to control territory the larger it grew, it also struggled to govern the larger it grew. And the Roman Empire only touched parts of three continents. Imagine if it tried to rule the entire world. Talk about a bureaucratic nightmare!
Even if ancient Rome could have managed the logistics of a global empire, could it have really controlled every economic transaction in the world? No. Of course not. The Roman Empire couldn't even control every economic transaction in the City of Rome itself. Black markets were alive and well in ancient Rome, and they're alive and well today. But a day will soon come when black markets no longer exist, because the Bible says the revived Roman Empire will be so powerful no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:17).
How is this possible? It's difficult to say. But again, the most likely explanation is through the power of technology. Already, the majority of the world's financial transactions are electronic, and governments can see and track everything. Cash-only black markets do exist. But how much longer will cash exist?
Governments don't have a monopoly on new technology. Criminals have access as well, and it's becoming much more difficult to stop counterfeiting. When the average person can create currency identical to the original, what do you think will happen? Currency and coins will become worthless. And banking, buying, and selling will move to the only place where they can be protected - the electronic networks.
Obstacles to global empire have persisted for centuries. But they're under attack. Soon they'll be torn down forever. For those who understand Bible prophecy, this comes as no surprise. The Bible tells us a global empire will dominate the world in the years just prior to Christ's return (Daniel 7:25). It's no coincidence we see the pieces falling into place at the exact same time when we see an unprecedented convergence of end time signs.
Those signs include, but are not limited to: the restoration of Israel (Isaiah 11:12), the Jewish people in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), the worldwide spread of the gospel (Matthew 24:14), and dramatic increases in travel and knowledge (Daniel 12:4). Today, we see all these signs.
If the return of Jesus is near, we should see signs of a coming global empire right now. Is that what we see? I believe so. For all of human history, global government has not only been elusive, it's been impossible. But today, it's not only becoming possible. It's a foregone conclusion.
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.
Rushed evacuation of US nukes from Incirlik - http://www.debka.com/article/25613/Rushed-evacuation-of-US-nukes-from-Incirlik
In an earthshaking Middle East development, the United States has begun secretly evacuating the tactical nuclear weapons it had stockpiled at the southern Turkish air base of Incirlik and is transporting them to US bases in Romania.
The Obama administration has thus taken another step towards folding its tents in the Middle East.
In contrast, Moscow is rapidly expanding its air force footprint in the region with a new base in Iran following its facility in Syria. Advanced bombers and fighters are stepping up operations in both countries, while Russian warships carrying Kalibr cruise missiles gather in the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas.
debkafile's military and intelligence sources report that Washington decided to remove the nuclear arsenal to safety after talks between American and Turkish talks on release 1,500 US airmen serving at the base from the siege clamped down a month ago broke down. The airmen were running the US air campaign against ISIS in in Syria just 112km away.
The talks ground to a halt over Turkish insistence on assuming control of the nuclear arsenal and America's rejection of this demand.
The 50-70 B61 tactical gravity nuclear bombs were stored in underground bunkers close to the US bombers' air strips. Although this was not fully admitted by Washington, the US air and ground crews were held intermittently in lockdown since the President Tayyip Erdogan suppressed a military coup against him a month ago.
The deteriorations of relations between Ankara and Washington contrasted strongly with the Turkish-
Russian rapprochement, which Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin sealed in St. Petersburg on Aug.8. Since then, there have been calls for the Russian Air Force to be allowed to displace the US warplanes at Incirlik. This process has now begun.
Russian and Iranian Footprint Expands Across Middle East - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=577
In the wake of US pullbacks and hesitation abroad, both Russia and Iran have made significant moves to expand their military spheres of influence and protect power beyond their borders. Strategic moves into both Syria and Iraq have been seen before, but the recent moves raise concern both for their sheer size and permanent nature.
Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there were widespread and well-documented reports of Iranian military units fighting on behalf of the insurgents and waging a dirty war against both the coalition government in Iraq and American troops in particular.
Now that the Shiite government of Iraq is pushing back against the Sunni terrorist group of ISIS, Iran has been gracious enough to lend military aid in the effort to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.
What is shocking is not that two Shiite nations would aid each other against a brutal, terrorist Sunni enemy, nor even that the two nations fought a bloody war with each other from 1980 to 1988 that claimed over a million lives.
Instead, it is the scale of the aid that Iran has chosen to lend to its neighbor, which experts estimate to be between 80,000 and 100,000 troops among militia and mainline Iranian Army units.
The expansion of ISIS can clearly be seen as a threat not only to Iraq but Iran as well, as the terrorist group has shown its desire to expand across the region aggressively.
In this context, Iranian military assistance makes strategic sense, but the size of the force raises questions as to their ultimate agenda. In a classic power vacuum, the US has been replaced by one its regional foes as it dials down its military commitment to Iraq.
Thomas Joscelyn, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said in a recent interview, "The effect of the Obama administration's policy has been to replace American boots on the ground with the Iranian's. As Iran advances, one anti-American actor is being replaced with another."
These Iran-backed militias participating in the siege of Mosul have assumed responsibility for more than 6,000 attacks on US forces in Iraq. Iran has also committed its ground forces to supporting the brutal Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad alongside Russia.
Russia has been waging an air campaign in Syria for the past year but only recently has it raised the stakes by flying warplanes out of Iranian air bases, a first for both countries. For the first time since 1979, a foreign military is taking off from Iranian air bases.
Sorties flown from the Iranian air base Noji by Russian Tu22M3 bombers and Su-34 strike planes were directed at ISIS and Nusra Front terrorist groups within Syria. The base is being fortified with sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missile defense systems that would harden it and the surrounding area to attack from Israel or the United States.
Russia also announced this week that Syria would grant it a permanent air base near the Mediterranean, giving it the ability to challenge US naval supremacy there.
After the extended air campaign Russia has waged against the Syrian rebels on al-Assad's behalf, few could fault the dictator for granting such a concession that not only shows his gratitude but offers protection against Israeli warplanes that must now contend with the much stronger Russian air defenses when engaging Syria.
The base in Khmeimim, Syria will house the air strike power equivalent of a US carrier battle group and cement an alliance between the two nations against Western influence. The base is reported to host a battalion-size ground force and formidable air defenses and is being upgraded to accommodate the heavy Tu22M3 long range bombers.
On the one hand, the West could choose to celebrate the military will of both Russia and Iran to fight a common enemy such as ISIS and commit such levels of military resources to its destruction. Though not working with the United States or the Western military coalition, the short term goals of containing ISIS certainly align.
But on the other hand, these moves show both a a strengthening of regional anti-Western alliances and a newfound ability to project force that is set to challenge the US and its allies, especially Israel.
Some now see a Russian, Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian (and potentially Turkish) axis of power that is set to rise from the ashes of a declining European and Western hegemony in the Middle East.
Lutheran Church's Rejection of Israel Caused Louisiana Flooding Disaster, Suggests Hebrew Roots Radio - By Abra Forman August - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/74178/hebrew-nation-radio-lutheran-churchs-rejection-israel-brought-louisiana-floods/#6B7EFCHwWZd8g7HK.97
"And I, behold, I do bring the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is in the earth shall perish." (The Israel Bible™)
After historic flooding devastated Louisiana this week, a Hebrew Roots radio station suggested that the statewide disaster could be understood as divine retribution for anti-Israel resolutions passed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) in New Orleans last weekend.
"I think you can connect the dots," wrote a news editor for Hebrew Nation Radio in an article about the flooding. "There is a measure for measure principle here."
The article then linked to reports on the recent resolutions condemning Israel which were approved by ELCA at a triennial assembly in New Orleans on Saturday.
The resolutions, which accused Israel of occupying Palestinian territories and committing human rights abuses against Palestinians, called for a number of anti-Israel measures, including a demand that the United States government halt all aid to the Jewish state if Israel continued building "settlements" in Judea and Samaria.
The Lutheran Church also demanded that the US recognize the "State of Palestine" and called for divestment from Israeli companies.
The measures were passed by an overwhelming majority of 751-162.
The ELCA churchwide assembly began last Monday and concluded on Saturday. On Thursday night, torrential rain began to pound Louisiana. By Friday, most of the state had received over a foot of rain, with some locations seeing over 30 inches, reported NBC News.
Thousands have had to flee their homes, with about 30,000 people needing to be rescued.
The disastrous flooding constitutes "the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy" in 2012, said the American Red Cross.
So far, 13 people have been killed and 8,400 displaced, and 40,000 homes have been damaged by the torrents of water still streaming through Louisiana. On Sunday, President Barack Obama declared the flooding a major disaster, with 20 parishes included in the federal disaster zone. Relief efforts are estimated to cost up to $30 million.
As for the divine connection between the two events, for some, the correlation is clear.
"The storm and deluge came out of nowhere without any warning," pointed out the Hebrew Nation Radio article. "Folks are calling it 'an act of God'. I wonder what got Him stirred up? Connect those dots!"
It would not be the first time a connection has been made between events affecting Israel and natural disasters in the US. Parallels have also been drawn between the American-backed withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast eight days after Israel began dismantling Jewish communities in Gaza.
This week on 'The Hal Lindsey Report' - Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com
George Soros is a Hungarian-born, Jewish American billionaire. His family claims a fortune of $29 billion. George Soros uses that wealth to relentlessly undermine the moral principles upon which the United States and western civilization were founded.
Among other dangerous ideas, Soros has long been an advocate of "open borders." Some of the "philanthropic" groups he controls have contributed strongly to the migration crisis in Europe.
Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, calls the influx of Middle Eastern migrants an "invasion." He publicly places much of the blame on Soros. He said, "This invasion is driven by those activists who support everything that weakens the nation-state. This Western mindset and this activist network is perhaps best represented by George Soros."
That's from a top leader in his native Hungary! In fact, Soros criticizes his home nation for trying to "protect (its own) national borders."
Prime Minister Orban goes on to say that Soros is trying to destroy Western culture, especially its "Christian roots."
Further, Soros is a critic of the "war on terror." Not the terrorism, but the war on terrorism!
When George W. Bush was President, George Soros said, "The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States." Specifically, he stated that when President Bush declared the "war on terror" after September 11, "we set the wrong agenda for the world."
So the darling of the Left, the man who funds a disturbing number of left-wing and liberal American organizations like Black Lives Matter and MoveOn.org, among many others, thinks the "war on terror" is the "main obstacle to a stable and just world order."
Not "a stable and just world," but a "stable and just world order."
Why? Because George Soros is a "globalist" through and through. He wants a one-world government. He wants "one people" who think like him.
Recently, a batch of e-mails was leaked to the public. Not the ones from the Democratic National Committee, but from one of the prime organizations George Soros funds and controls: Open Society Foundation. The leaked communications give us a glimpse of the Soros agenda and confirm that he is a vicious, relentless enemy of Israel, as well as the U.S. and Europe.
Mr. Soros funds The Center for American Progress (CAP). This organization was founded by John Podesta, Bill Clinton's former Chief of Staff and currently Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman.
The leaked emails reveal that Soros used CAP to dig up dirt on prominent people who publicly criticize radical Islam. People like David Horowitz, Cliff May, Daniel Pipes, and Liz Cheney.
One of the emails discussed their objective of undermining Israel's "image as a democratic state before the international community."
What George Soros and the thousands who do his bidding don't seem to understand is that the "war on terror" is essentially a defensive action. The nations of the world fight radical Islamic terrorism in order not to be overrun by terrorists.
To call that "destabilizing" is not only absurd, it is stupid. Stop the fight against terrorism, remove our defenses, and you would not see stability. You would see anarchy.
But, then, maybe that is exactly what George Soros and his globalist buddies want!
A few weeks ago, right after British citizens voted to leave the European Union (an action called "British Exit" and shortened to "Brexit'), I said that even if the EU does not survive in its current form, you can be certain that something will replace it.
Well, a recent story in London's Express newspaper gives us a hint just what that "something" may be. Apparently, France and Germany (strange bedfellows) are working on a plan to do away with individual member states in the EU. Under their plan, "EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation systems or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels."
Not only does the plan call for national distinctions to be minimized, it proposes that Turkey be brought into the fold, and the EU seek to expand its influence into Africa and the Middle East. Then, it proposes to create an Army of Europe.
With the loss of their right to maintain their own armies, the member nations would be powerless to act on their own. That means a loss of national sovereignty and the voluntary surrender of their autonomy to a central power.
Sound familiar? Folks, despite what you may hear in the lapdog mainstream media, the rumblings of Antichrist have not diminished. They're getting louder!
Since 9/11, the "war on terror" has been an important issue in every presidential campaign. This year is no exception.
To preserve his legacy and essentially guarantee a "third term" for his programs and policies, President Obama tries constantly to dismiss concerns about terrorism. He assures us that, despite what we see on the nightly news, his anti-terrorism policies are working.
He reminds us that relatively few Americans are actually killed by terrorists. Despite the fact that death at the hands of terrorists is up 800% in the last five years (from 3,300 in 2010 to 30,000 today), you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being killed by a Muslim terrorist.
And that's true, I'm sure. But the President cannot deny that terrorism's influence is growing by leaps and bounds in the area where terrorism does its greatest damage: the hearts and minds of the terrorists' enemies.
That would be us, folks.
That's why many Americans and westerners live in a constant state of edginess -- listening for "shots fired" and watching for that moment when a terrorist begins a killing spree.
Just last week, entire shopping malls in New York and North Carolina were evacuated and JFK airport was shut down because people reported hearing "shots fired."
No shots were fired, but people were injured in the mayhem that ensued. And thousands of travel schedules were interrupted and passengers inconvenienced.
And we all know that military bases -- the homes of our "armed forces" -- have been closed off and evacuated because someone thought they saw a gun. Ironic, if not bizarre.
In today's world, the threat of terrorism always feels close. Radical Islamic terrorists have succeeded in putting everyone on edge. And that's a huge victory for them.
But they are succeeding in a way that is even more profound that that.
"Political correctness" and the desire among western leaders to seem open-minded, have combined with the jihadists' use of brute intimidation to make Islamic ideology off-limits to criticism.
You think this can't happen in America? The U.S. Attorney for Idaho has threatened the citizens of Twin Falls, Idaho, with federal prosecution if they even discuss a possible rape in their community. The case involves the alleged rape of a five year old girl by three underage Middle Eastern refugee boys placed in Twin Falls by the Administration.
And the government is importing thousands of Islamic refugees (almost no Christian refugees although the Middle Eastern Christians are suffering a true genocide at the hands of ISIS) -- many of them unvetted, military-aged young men -- into small American communities. And mostly in traditionally politically conservative states, effectively sowing seeds of terror in towns and communities across America.
You don't need me to tell you that these are disturbing and dangerous times. These are truly the "end-times." There can be no arguing that.
That's why it is critical that we understand -- and share with others -- how easy it is to become a part of God's "forever family." Because only those who are a part of that family will escape the terrible destruction that is destined for this earth.
If you have never accepted the free gift of pardon that Jesus Christ died to make available to you, do it now. If you honestly realize and acknowledge that you are a sinner and need salvation. If you believe that Jesus Christ is Who He claims to be, the Son of God, and that He died in your place and was resurrected from the grave, then you are ready to accept Him and become a part of His eternal family.
Just pray this prayer or put it into your own words. The key is that you truly mean it. "Father, I believe and receive Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He died on the cross to purchase for me. Please forgive me of my sin and cleanse me. Come into my heart as You promised. Make me what You want me to be."
If you prayed that prayer and truly meant it, you are now a part of God's eternal family. You are ready, not only to leave this world when Jesus Christ returns for His true followers, but you are ready to face daily life with His strength and joy and peace. Just ask Him to lead you and help you. He will.
Welcome to the family.
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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
Are Trolls Turning the Internet into A Festival of Hate? - By Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/are-trolls-turning-the-internet-into-a-festival-of-hate
Have you noticed that people say some of the most hateful things imaginable on the Internet? Earlier today, I came across a Time Magazine article entitled "How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet", and it made me reflect on my own experience as the publisher of a number of prominent websites. Over the years, I have often gotten to see what is really going on in some of the darkest hearts in our society. There are people that come to my websites that somehow think that making crude sexual remarks about the wives and children of people that they have never met is perfectly acceptable behavior. There are others that say incredibly vile things about people that have a different skin color than they do, and some people have a hatred for Christians and the Christian faith that is absolutely frightening. I can't understand why anyone would want to be like that, but apparently this kind of behavior is very widespread. In fact, one Pew Research Center survey discovered that 70 percent of all 18-to-24-year-olds who use the Internet have experienced harassment at some point.
Sadly, the truth is that the relative anonymity of the Internet allows people to reveal what is really in their hearts. For some people, the Internet magnifies the kindness and goodness that is in their hearts, but for others it does the exact opposite. From the safety of their own homes, they endlessly spew speech that is so abusive that it is hard to imagine that the person spewing it is actually human.
These people are commonly known as "trolls", and the following is how the Time Magazine article that I mentioned above describes these trolls...
Psychologists call this the online disinhibition effect, in which factors like anonymity, invisibility, a lack of authority and not communicating in real time strip away the mores society spent millennia building. And it's seeping from our smartphones into every aspect of our lives.
The people who relish this online freedom are called trolls, a term that originally came from a fishing method online thieves use to find victims. It quickly morphed to refer to the monsters who hide in darkness and threaten people. Internet trolls have a manifesto of sorts, which states they are doing it for the "lulz," or laughs. What trolls do for the lulz ranges from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats.
Whatever happened to treating other people the way that you would like to be treated?
When did the Golden Rule go out of style?
As our society becomes more evil, hearts all over the country are growing cold, and one of the results is that the Internet is being transformed into a festival of hatred. The same Time Magazine article detailed some particularly disturbing examples of troll hate...
They've been steadily upping their game. In 2011, trolls descended on Facebook memorial pages of recently deceased users to mock their deaths. In 2012, after feminist Anita Sarkeesian started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of YouTube videos chronicling misogyny in video games, she received bomb threats at speaking engagements, doxxing threats, rape threats and an unwanted starring role in a video game called Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian. In June of this year, Jonathan Weisman, the deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, quit Twitter, on which he had nearly 35,000 followers, after a barrage of anti-Semitic messages. At the end of July, feminist writer Jessica Valenti said she was leaving social media after receiving a rape threat against her daughter, who is 5 years old.
On a very basic level, the Internet allows people to reveal who they really are. Unfortunately, we are finding out that a lot of us are truly vile human beings. Some time ago, a team of Canadian researchers did some research on Internet trolls, and what they found out was quite alarming...
They conducted two online studies with over 1,200 people, giving personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their Internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the "Dark Tetrad" of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.
They found that Dark Tetrad scores were highest among people who said trolling was their favorite Internet activity.
It should be no surprise that our society is crawling with narcissists, psychopaths and sadists. For decades we have been pushing God out of every corner of public life, and as a result we have seen a moral decline that is absolutely unprecedented in our history.
So what can be done?
Is there a way that the trolls can be stopped?
Some big websites have stepped up their efforts to ban people that are advocating hatred and violence. For instance, the New York Times says that Twitter just suspended 235,000 accounts "that promoted terrorism"...
Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism over the last six months, as part of a continuing effort to keep people from using the social network for extremist causes, the company said Thursday.
"The world has witnessed a further wave of deadly, abhorrent terror attacks across the globe," Twitter said in a statement. "We strongly condemn these acts and remain committed to eliminating the promotion of violence or terrorism on our platform."
And I definitely applaud Twitter for that.
But where does the censorship stop? All too often, the definition of "extremists" goes far beyond violent terrorists.
Just consider what is happening during this campaign season. Virtually all of the big tech companies have engaged in some form of "pro-Trump censorship", and this was brilliantly detailed in a recent piece by Liz Crokin. The following is a short excerpt...
I began looking into how strong the bias and censorship runs in these forums after I did an interview on the pro-Trump podcast, MAGAPod. The show's host, Mark Hammond, was disappointed Apple wouldn't run his show without an "explicit" warning. Hammond's podcast didn't contain content that would be deemed explicit under Apple's policy, and most other shows in the News & Politics category aren't labeled as such.
On June 18, Hammond talked to Sandra, a representative from Apple. She explained that, since the description of his show is pro-Trump, his show is explicit in nature-because the subject matter is Donald Trump. So, an Apple employee concluded the Republican presidential candidate is explicit.
iTunes has dozens of podcasts discussing Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler-none of which is marked explicit.
And of course it probably won't surprise you to learn that Apple CEO Tim Cook is a huge Hillary Clinton supporter and recently hosted a $50,000 per plate fundraiser for her campaign.
So where do we draw the line?
On my websites, I try to let everyone have their say as much as possible. I very much believe in the "marketplace of ideas", and I very much believe that the interaction between light and darkness can produce some extraordinary results.
But that also means that I often allow people to say things that I find highly offensive.
I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do know that the problem is growing. As our society continues to come apart at the seams, the hatred on the Internet will continue to increase.
The Internet is used for all sorts of horrible things, but it can also be used to do great things as well. As the darkness rises, I would encourage all of us to choose to be lights.
In a world filled with hate, love is desperately needed.
So instead of responding to hate with even more hate, let us seek to become people of great faith, great hope and great love.
Daily Jot: Truth and the New American Future - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
There are so many Christians, some are readers of The Daily Jot, who despise Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. I have stated repeatedly, and I will do so once more, that a vote for a third party candidate or a non-vote in this election is a vote for Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton. It's not about the lesser of two evils. It's about a vision for America. One of those visions we have seen very clearly. It is one of victimization, class struggle, socialism, and godlessness. The other vision we have not seen play out, but there is hope in the platform, the on-record statements regarding policies, and commitment to take our nation away from the Islamic Marxist path of the past eight years.
People rightly say that Trump needs to filter how he says things. In a recent speech this is what Trump said about his mouth: "As you know, I am not a politician. I have worked in business, creating jobs and rebuilding neighborhoods my entire adult life. I've never wanted to learn the language of the insiders, and I've never been politically correct - it takes far too much time, and can often make more difficult. Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues."
He also said this: "But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth. I speak the truth for all of you, and for everyone in this country who doesn't have a voice. I speak the truth on behalf of the factory worker who lost his or her job. I speak the truth on behalf of the Veteran who has been denied the medical care they need - and so many are not making it. They are dying. I speak the truth on behalf of the family living near the border that deserves to be safe in their own country but is instead living with no security at all. Our campaign is about representing the great majority of Americans - Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Conservatives and Liberals - who read the newspaper, or turn on the TV, and don't hear anyone speaking for them. All they hear are insiders fighting for insiders."
These are things that past experience with Hillary Clinton tells us will never happen with her or her party's platform. It is wired differently. Some will say that they don't believe Trump; that he is a phony blowhard. The problem here is that Trump is saying the right things. Clinton is not. What is the best choice for America? A third party is not going to win. The winner will shape the New American Future, probably for the next 50 years or more with all the Supreme Court appointees that will occur. Exodus 18:21 says we should select leaders "out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness." You will need to discern which best fits this description. Pray, discern, act. Don't get mad at me. I'm just the messenger.
Daily Devotion: A Man of Sorrows - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. -Isaiah 53:3
I was watching a movie with my wife the other day. It was funny, but then it got sad in the end. I was kind of choking up and holding it back because I didn't want to cry watching a movie. That is the nature of men in general. We hold it back.
Sometimes it is even thought that it isn't manly to cry. But I have a two-word answer to that: "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). There was never a more manly man than Jesus of Nazareth. He truly was the man's man.
Even Pontius Pilate, after Christ had been scourged, said of Him, "Behold the Man!" (John 19:5). Look at what Jesus went through-the whipping, the scourging, the beating. Still, He carried that four-hundred-pound cross through the streets of Jerusalem after that loss of blood, after that trauma. He fell beneath the weight of it, and He got up again. That was a man like no other.
Yes, Jesus is God, but Jesus wept. He felt Mary and Martha's pain when Lazarus died, and He feels our pain, too. If it touches us, it touches Him. The Bible says, "[God] hears the cry of the afflicted" (Job 34:28). David wrote, "He does not forget the cry of the humble" (Psalm 9:12), and "the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry" (Psalm 34:15).
When God sees us cry, He cares. Jesus has walked in our shoes. Isaiah 53:3 says that He is "a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." It was our weaknesses He carried. It was our sorrows that weighed Him down. He felt our sorrow. He cares about our sorrow. And if it concerns you, it concerns Him.
Jesus weeps with us in our time of pain.
FROM THE HEART
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