Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Resurrection Project - By Matt Ward -
In 2014, a 14-year-old girl identified only by her initials "JS," died of a very rare form of cancer. She left behind two understandably bereft parents. But before she died, JS who was too young at the time to make a will, went to the High Court in London with a very unusual request. Her desire, which was ultimately granted, was that immediately after she died her body would be cryogenically frozen so that at some point in the distant future she might be brought back to life again.
The court ruled in her favour, stating that the girl's mother, who separated from her father, should become solely responsible for making the decision over the disposal of the young girl's body after death. In a letter to the court, JS stated that,
"I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done. I'm only 14 years old and I don't want to die, but I know I am going to. I think being cryo-preserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up, even in hundreds of years' time. I don't want to be buried underground. I want to live and live longer; and I think that in the future they might find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance. This is my wish." (1)
Presiding Judge, Mr. Justice Peter Jackson said, "She died peacefully in the knowledge her body would be preserved in the way she wished."
The father of the teenage girl, separated and divorced from her mother, initially opposed this move. His concern was for a future where this type of technology might actually work, and what would then become of his daughter if she were ever brought back to life,
"Even if the treatment is successful and she is brought back to life in, let's say, 200 years, she may not find any relative and she might not remember things. She may be left in a desperate situation - given that she is still only 14 years old - and will be in the United States of America."
In the end, though, he acquiesced to his daughter's final wishes. Therefore, at the point of her death, a process of cryogenic freezing began that would theoretically preserve the girl's body almost in perpetuity. When she died, professionals were directly on hand to begin the process of preparing her body for the cryogenic freezing process that lay ahead.
Immediately after death, JS was placed into an ice bath to cool her body before it was pumped full of "organ preservation solution." Her body was then flown to the United States of America whilst packed in ice.
Once at the cryogenics facility, her body was then further cooled down to a temperature of -110C over a period of hours using nitrogen gas. After this, and over the next few weeks, her body was slowly and methodically cooled further to a temperature of -196C, before finally coming to rest in storage vats of liquid nitrogen in "patient" storage bays. All this was in preparation for the day when they hope science and technology develop to the point where both her cancer can be cured, and her body be revived.
JS died on October 17, 2014. Her body arrived at the storage facility in Michigan eight days later. At the time, this 14-year-old girl then became the 147th "patient" at this site.
Life after death is increasingly becoming big business. Or perhaps the science of cheating death has become big business. Over the last 150 years, life expectancy in the western world has doubled from roughly 40 to 80 years of age, and science has high aspirations over where we go next.
Vast amounts of money are currently being spent in the quest to better understand what might lay behind that great veil separating life from physical death. Death is now and always has been the obsession of mankind. It would seem that we are reaching a point when science believes it can realistically think about mitigating against death itself, perhaps even try to reverse death.
This subject, life after death, that was once greeted with widespread skepticism, distain and derision within the scientific community, is now gaining swift acceptance in the mainstream. At the University of Southampton, scientists have just concluded a four-year study examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria. They found that up to 40% of patients, from a wide variety of backgrounds and faith systems, reported that they had "awareness" during the time of their clinical death states, before their hearts were restarted.
Whereas before these type of remembrances would be ascribed and written off by scientists and skeptics as the last actions of a dying brain, now science has come to understand, as Dr. Sam Parnia explains, "that the brain can't function when the heart has stopped beating" (2). If true, this therefore creates a problem. If the brain cannot function for more than mere seconds after the heart stops beating, where then do these detailed remembrances, sometimes lasting for minutes, come from, if not from the brain?
Dr. Parnia continued, "Conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn't beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped."
Of 2,060 cardiac arrest patients studied, 330 survived; and of 140 surveyed, 39 per cent said they had experienced some kind of awareness whilst being resuscitated. Some recalled seeing a bright light, or something like the sun shining in all its brilliance, and some remembered a sense of real peace.
Others, however, recalled a much more ominous experience. Others recounted a sense of overwhelming dread and impending doom, feelings of drowning or of being dragged through deep water, or of being pulled relentlessly downwards at ever-increasing speeds. (3)
Dr. Parnia believes that these types of near-death or post-death experiences are much more common than many believe. He concludes that the heavy sedation commonly used to alleviate pain and suffering as patients approach the end of their lives is stopping people communicating what they are experiencing and seeing just prior to their deaths.
Dr. Parnia has come to believe these experiences to be scientifically legitimate: "The four-year observational study used a three-stage interview process by which the researchers tested the accuracy of claims of visual and auditory awareness/memories during cardiac arrest and then objectively verified these claims." (4)
He concludes by stating that, "...estimates have suggested that millions of people have had vivid experiences in relation to death but the scientific evidence has been ambiguous at best... And a higher proportion of people may have vivid death experiences, but do not recall them due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory circuits."
Research Psychologist Dr. David Wilde, from the University of Nottingham Trent, agrees. He has spent the last few years compiling lists of data on individuals who have had "out of body" experiences with a view to establishing commonalities between them. He has collected a "really large...sample size" which he believes gives this work a new kind of scientific "validity."
Dr. Wilde's conclusions, like those of Dr. Parnia, may be disturbing to those who cling to entrenched non-supernatural worldviews: "There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died."
Dr. Mary Neal concurs, commenting that these experiences are not simple, normal recollections, but are "...qualitatively different type of memories."
Dr. Peter Fenwick, eminent neuropsychiatrist, also believes that these out-of-body, post-death experiences are indeed very common, and have been so throughout human history. Like Dr. Parnia, Fenwick states that, "During cardiac arrest, the brain is not functioning; however, many people have come out of their body to perceive what is going on around them." This leads Fenwick to conclude that, "this suggests that the mind and the brain can separate." (5)
"...this suggests that the mind and the brain can separate." This is exactly what the Bible has always taught. Man is a tripartite being, with a completely separate body, spirit and soul; and the Bible makes a distinction between all three. Man has a spiritual nature that is totally separate and distinct from the body in which it, for a time, dwells.
You are a triune being. "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
The Bible also talks of the breaking of a "silver cord," and that once this cord breaks, that is it (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7).
We have now reached a time in history, as happened eons ago during the reign of Nimrod, when mankind has all but abandoned God. This will only continue to get worse from this point on. Many are beginning to cling to the vain and completely false belief that through science we are perhaps reaching a point in time where we can mitigate against even death itself.
With the small exception of those who follow Jesus, the world today is rudderless and desperately lost. This ever-present fear of death, that has so dominated every culture and each individual since the dawn of creation, will increasingly come to dominate the minds of men and women as we move ever on towards the chaos of the tribulation period. From this point on, the world isn't going to get more stable, but more chaotic.
And then, one day very soon, a man will appear who will seemingly have overcome and defeated death itself. But this will not be through science, but through his own supernatural power. And the whole world will be utterly amazed by him. Here is a man who will seem to have an answer to the age-old question of death itself. Here, seemingly, is a man who has overcome death.
But it will be a deception, and almost the whole world will be ensnared by it. Multitudes will willingly follow him. He will cruelly exploit this eternal need in all men and women, their individual longing after eternity, in his supposed rise from death. To the people of the world, including scientists, his rising from the dead will be an empirically observable and demonstrable scientific fact. Yet these people, to their tragic doom, will have been deceived.
There is not now, nor ever will be, any other way under heaven by which men or women can be saved other than through Jesus Christ alone. Salvation is found exclusively in the name of Jesus.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
At some point, either in the near future or at the beginnings of eternity, every human being that has ever lived is going to realize that their entire lives were really only about one thing: what did they do with Jesus Christ whilst they lived? Did they accept him, or did they reject him? Did they live for him, or did they work against him?
God has put eternity into the hearts of all men and women, including yours and mine (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Each of us has a shared destiny, whether through rapture or death. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
The hour is obviously late. We are all short of time now. Yet God is patient, abundantly so, and wants no man or woman to leave this life without really, truly knowing Him. God "wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). That is why He tarries at this late hour, out of His patience and love for the lost.
He is desperate for reconciliation with you, for reconciliation with your loved ones, before that fateful day when the silver cord, when your silver cord, is finally and irrevocably severed. So remember God now, and turn to Him for healing. No matter who you are, or how wretched you have become, no matter how far you have backslidden and irrelevant of the depth of your sins, there is still a place to be found for you in His house. He is waiting for you even now.
"Remember him-before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7).
There is simply no escaping the fact, though many will still strenuously try to deny it, that you and I were created to be immortal. This is what the scientific experiments mentioned above are finally beginning to discover. Long after the sun and all the stars in the sky have withered and died, and millions of years henceforth, you will still be. The question is where exactly, and more importantly, who will you be with? Will you be with Jesus in His eternal kingdom, or will you not be found there?
When the silver cord is broken, that is the end of the matter. There are no more decisions to be made after that point. The die is cast for eternity, despite the desperate efforts of modern science to avert death, and the deceptions of what is soon to come.
God is the God of the living, not the dead (Mark 12:27). This very day He is saying, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
So, "...choose you this day whom ye will serve..." (Joshua 24:15).
For people like the young girl identified earlier only as "JS," despite her hopes and that of her family, it is too late. But not yet too late for you or your loved ones. Time is pressing as the end of this Gentile age fast approaches. Make that decision to stand with the Lord right now. Before the chaos comes.
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36).
On Israel's Nation-State Law - by Denis MacEoin -
On July 19, Israel's parliament, the Knesset, voted into law the Nation-State Bill. As Israel has never had a constitution, the bill became the latest iteration of the country's Basic Laws, in the form of Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. To many, this seemed like stating the obvious. Had not Israel been created in the first place for that very purpose? The only question was, "Why had it taken 70 years to turn the obvious into law?" Well, perhaps not the only question. The next one was "Why did 55 Knesset members vote against it, with two abstentions, with a narrow majority of 62 in favour?"
Once word got out to the outside world that the Israeli parliament had dared to enact such a definition of their state, it was, for many, as if the end of the world had taken place. As if they had never known that, since the time of the Bible, the land now called Israel was home to the Jews.
Just about everybody went out to condemn the bill as racist, discriminatory, anti-democratic, and opposed to Jewish principles of egalitarianism with non-Jewish citizens. NBC News ran a headline stating: "Israel 'nation-state' law prompts criticism around the world, including from U.S. Jewish groups". On the very day the bill was passed, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, claimed that:
"We've been very clear when it comes to the two-state solution, we believe it is the only way forward and any step that would further complicate or prevent this solution of becoming a reality should be avoided."
She did not say why Israel's being a Jewish state with equal rights for non-Jews would interfere with a future two-state solution. Rejection of such a solution has always come from the Arab and Palestinian side, never the mainstream Jewish side. Instead, Mogherini planned a meeting for September 4 with Israeli Arab lawmakers -- these being another group vociferously opposed to the new law. She does not appear to have invited any Jewish lawmakers to an equivalent meeting.
The European Union, a supra-national conglomeration that has done much good in advancing the rights of individual nation-states that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union as a means to preserving peace on the continent of Europe, has for many years taken an anti-Israel position that serves only to encourage Palestinians who launch wars and terrorist attacks precisely to prevent a two-state solution, all the while demanding the right to abolish Israel and create an exclusive Palestinian state "from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea", a call for massive ethnic cleansing or genocide.
Opposition to the nation-state law was also strongly expressed by Israeli Arabs, Israeli Druze, and many Israeli and American Jews, including the Jewish Federations of North America and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews -- in clear defiance of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, even though, for example, the United Kingdom officially exists as an Anglican state, without mistreating, at least officially, any of its minorities.
In Israel, artists, authors and purported intellectuals called for the cancellation of the law. Sometimes, the language used to describe the law passed the bounds of common decency. British Jewish socialist David Rosenberg, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, spoke in vile terms about three Jewish UK Labour Party MPs before slurring Israel's new law:
"If [Margaret] Hodge and her sisters in struggle, [Ruth] Smeeth and [Juliana] Berger, were not craven opportunists and selective anti-racists and defenders of human rights, they might have been speaking out more, or even at all, about the disgusting and openly racist nation state bill that the Israeli government has just approved..."
One Israeli Arab member of the Knesset, Zouheir Bahloul, resigned, predicting that other Arab MKs would follow suit. He claimed falsely that the law discriminated against non-Jewish minorities. On August 4, many Israelis, organized by Druze leaders, gathered in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to protest the law. It later emerged, however, that the rally was paid for and directed by the left-wing Anu group, a grantee of the New Israel Fund. According to Breitbart Jerusalem:
Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, issued a divisive statement calling the legislation "tribalism at its worst," a "slap in the face to Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel," and a "danger to Israel's future."
In other words, anti-Zionists tried to weaponize the new law to promote their existing agendas.
By contrast, in Saudi Arabia and the Maldives, only Muslims are allowed to be citizens. In both those countries, the open practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden -- even Christianity and Judaism, which are supposedly accepted by Islam. In Israel, members of all religions and ethnic groups are full citizens.
It probably should not be a surprise that many Arab and European leaders used the passage of the law as an excuse to further their anti-Zionist agenda, but the opposition of Israel's Druze community, always the most loyal to the state, with a long and admirable role in the Israeli armed forces, as well as the anger of so many Jews both in Israel and abroad, came as something of a shock.
There is no doubt, however, that this simple law does not change anything for anyone.
On August 8, during a special Knesset debate on the law, Zionist Union party activists, led by a former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, attacked the government, called for fresh elections, and "said the opposition would pass the Declaration of Independence as a basic law in lieu of the nation-state law." Whatever the problems abroad, there is little doubt that the decision to make Jewish identity a core part of Israeli law has intensified political divisions at a time when unity of purpose is essential for a country that still faces existential threats on several fronts.
Readers should consult the full text of the law in order to reach their own conclusions. But it may help to consider one or two key clauses from it as a starting point for our understanding of it. In reality, the only contentious clauses are those in Article 1:
A. The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established.
B. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.
C. The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
Surely we knew all this already. The passage of the law was done simply to give a firm legal basis for the creation of Israel in 1948 following the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. Its preamble states clearly that:
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. [Author's emphasis.]
As for "the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine", does not Israel's Declaration of Independence (May 14, 1948) clearly state that the State of Israel "will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions", and has not Israel done exactly that, as the Druze, Muslims, Christians, Baha'is and other minorities, can attest?
Why, then, do so many around the world claim that reinforcing the fact that Israel is a Jewish state will harm the lives of its non-Jewish inhabitants? In Iran, for instance, the large Baha'i minority suffers massive persecution, including imprisonment, execution, and much more, while in Israel, they have their international governing body and their holiest shrines, and bring in pilgrims from round the world.
Accusations levelled against the new law often include outright falsehoods. Daniel Pomerantz of Honest Reporting has identified a series of, shall we diplomatically call, "myths" about the law published by the New York Times, including that "Israel is a country where Jews enjoy rights that others don't have" and "a state in which Judaism is the only national expression permissible by law will, by definition, reject any minority member who wishes to be part of it". Of course, Judaism is not "the only national expression permissible by law" and more than in England the Anglican religion is. Additionally, go tell that to any of the religious and ethnic minorities who live unmolested in Israel, who serve in parliament, in the judicial system, in universities and across all sectors.
Those false accusations against Israel, however, draw attention to something else that has been grievously neglected in this debate: Israel is being wrongly condemned for something that not one Muslim state has ever been condemned for: identifying its nationality with its religion -- and in the case of those Muslim states, this is done frequently in a manner that excludes or restricts the rights, or even the very existence, of minorities.
There are currently four countries that officially identify as Islamic Republics: Iran, Pakistan, Mauritania, and Afghanistan. There have been four others, some very short-lived, in the past: the Comoros (1978-2000), the East Turkestan (1933), the Gambia (2015-2017), and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (1996-2000). All four of the current Islamic republics are dangerous places for non-Muslims to live, with laws against apostasy, against blasphemy (freedom of expression), and, in the case of Mauritania, prevalent slavery, all of which contradict international human rights standards. In those republics, as well as in monarchies with Islam as the official religion (such as Saudi Arabia), the persecution of heretical Muslims, Christians and Baha'is and others, is -- in direct contrast to Israel -- commonplace. The use of shari'a law to enforce human rights abuses banned under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, clamps down heavily on the lives of women, freethinkers, secularists, and all non-Muslims. Where capital punishments are carried out for non-criminal offences such as heresy, blasphemy and "sorcery", or floggings and stonings-to-death are imposed for moral infringements such as alleged sex outside marriage, including having been raped, there is a huge imbalance between Western democracies and many Muslim states.
In Saudi Arabia and the Maldives, only Muslims are allowed to be citizens. In both, the open practice of any other religion, even those (Christianity and Judaism) that are accepted by Islam, is forbidden. In Israel, members of all other religions and ethnic groups are full citizens, who may vote, serve as lawmakers and judges, and more, worship in protected holy places.
It is important to add that few Muslim states are democracies in the full sense. Several are outright monarchies or emirates: Morocco, Jordan, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait (an emirate where there is an elected parliament, but political parties are illegal), Qatar, Oman, and the 7-emirate United Arab Emirates. In the modern period, others have been or still are dictatorships: Syria, Iran (a theocracy, formerly a monarchy), Iraq, Libya, and Pakistan under Zia-ul Haq. It is only fair to state that the three most populous Muslim-majority nations (Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) are all democracies, and that some others are democracies, yet often threatened by coups d'état or growing Islamisation. Lebanon, which was a decent democracy, is now controlled by Hezbollah. Turkey, the first Muslim secular democracy, is run today by Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who recently acquired massive powers.
Furthermore, Islam is the official religion of many states: Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, Nigeria, the Maldives, Brunei, and Malaysia. Article 4 of the 2003 Amended Basic Law of the Palestinian National Authority reads:
1. Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect for the sanctity of all other divine religions shall be maintained.
2. The principles of Islamic Shari'a shall be a principal source of legislation.
3. Arabic shall be the official language.
It is worth noting a couple of things here. By "all other divine religions", the law means only Judaism and Christianity, which are the only faiths recognized in the Qur'an as divinely-revealed (though corrupted) beliefs. Israel does not impose such limitations on other religions. The elevation of shari'a religious law to a "principal source of legislation" can rule out democratic laws that contradict Islamic punishments for offences such as homosexuality, adultery, or blasphemy.
Israel, though a Jewish state, does not have an official religion -- not even Judaism. As such, it imposes no religious conformity on any of its citizens. There are secular Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Muslims who become agnostics or atheists, even those who openly leave Islam or convert to another religion, are far safer in Israel than in any Muslim country. Israeli laws -- for all of its citizens -- are made by members of the Knesset; there, the laws are debated openly and given force by an independent judiciary, just as laws are in other genuinely democratic countries such as the USA or the UK.
Finally, one crucial question remains. Several people, including many patriotic Israelis such as Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union party, the current leader of the opposition in the Knesset, or the Likud's MK Benny Begin, have expressed the view that the law should have included the phrases "full equality of rights for all its citizens" and "Jewish and democratic state", which might have reassured the non-Jewish population. The government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, insists that it was not necessary to do this, given the presence of such affirmations in the Declaration of Independence and other Basic Laws. There are strong arguments for and against repeating it yet again, but for the moment, that debate and others related to it remain deeply divisive. Might it not be wise to consider another Basic Law in which the issue of full equality and democracy may be made even more explicit than they already are? That is for the Israeli people to decide.
 See Nazila Ghanea, Human Rights, the U.N. and the Baha'is in Iran, Oxford, 2003.
 For a detailed study of the clash between shari'a-based "human rights" legislation and universal values, see Ann Elizabeth Meyer, Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, 5th. Ed., New York, Abingdon, 2013; see also, Anver Emon, Mark S. Ellis, and Benjamin Glahn, Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law, Oxford University Press, 2015.
Nearing Midnight: Why Does the Inflation Monster Refuse to Leave His Cage? - Todd Strandberg -
The traditional definition of inflation originally meant an increase in the money supply. When a nation printed more money, it would automatically drive up the cost of goods and services. At one point during the American Civil War, the Northern army had overrun the city that printed the South's confederate currency. During the time the South relocated its printing operation, inflation came to a halt.
For some strange reason the financial laws regarding inflation have been suspended in the US. Despite the fact that we have created more fiat money than any other time in our nation's history, inflation remains very tame. In 2008, the nation's banks had $301 billion on hand. Today, the cash pile of banks has reached $2.1 trillion. Over this same period of time, M2, the broadest measure of money supply, has gone from $7 trillion to $14 trillion.
The growing national debt should have also applied pressure on inflation. In the year 2000 the national debt was $5.6 trillion, in 2008 it had reached 10.5 trillion, and today it is $21.3 trillion. There once was a time when people would panic about reaching about every major monetary milestone. Lately, people have become so desensitized to the ballooning debt, the big numbers amass with little reaction.
The one area where it's normally impossible to ignore inflation is minimum wage laws. More and more Santa Claus politicians have driven up costs with freebies, like a $15 minimum wage or universal basic income. Once the cycle of inflation gets going, it feeds on itself. The "fight for $15" becomes the "fight for $20." Then it's "fight for $30," "fight for $40," "fight for $50," and so forth.
The massive increase in the money supply can be seen in the rankings of the very rich. In 1982, Forbes Magazine started its list of 400 wealthiest Americans. At the time, there were only 13 billionaires, and a net worth of $75 million was needed to be secured a spot on the list. Today, everyone on the list is a billionaire, and you have to be worth at least $3.0 billion to make the cutoff.
The richest person on the 1982 list was a ship maker, Daniel Keith Ludwig, who was only worth $2.0 billion. Sam Walton, the iconic founder of Wal-Mart, appeared with a net worth of $690 million (his family is now worth $118 billion). Legendary investor Warren Buffett was only at $250 million (currently worth $85 billion).
The current richest man is Jeff Bezos, and Forbes has recently estimated the Amazon founder has a net worth of $154 billion. A profound time of financial tranquility allows Bezos and thousands of other billionaires to sit peacefully on their wealth. If they all tried to spend their money at once, there would be a huge surge in inflation.
In 1980, the Hunt Brothers tried to control the silver market by buying up millions of ounces of the precious metal. At their peak, they controlled 150 million ounces of silver, which was only about 25% of global production. If Jeff Bezos wanted to control the silver market, he has the financial resources to buy the global silver production of the next 20 years.
Inflation is certainly no vanquished beast. It rages in many parts of the world. The nation of Venezuela currently has an annual inflation rate of 3,000,000 %. The countries of Turkey, Iran, Argentina, Libya, Egypt, and Angola all have an inflation rate above 20%.
I had already concluded about a decade ago that supernatural forces were protecting America from financial calamity. Because we seem to be the linchpin holding everything together, the U.S. needs to continue defying economic gravity.
The introduction of a trade war made the whole situation into a comedy. The Trump administration has a dispute with five major trading partners. Any one could trigger runaway inflation. Our luck remains freakishly positive.
The only explanation for why the economy has not collapsed is Bible Prophecy. God seems to be setting the world up for a major economic disaster that will allow the Antichrist to step in as a financial savior. Until the time is right, He will keep the inflation beast under lock. Because we are in such a profound state of financial peril, I think time is very short.
"And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark-the name of the beast or the number of its name" (Revelation 13:16-17).
Kings Of The East Prepare Their Silk Road To The Middle East - By Debalina Ghoshal -
China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - a term coined in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping to evoke the ancient Silk Road trade routes connecting China with lands to its west - should be cause for great concern in the West.
Although it is described by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as "a long-term project which, for years to come, will give China a key role in guiding and supporting cultural, economic, political, and trade developments around the world," it is actually part of China's increasingly apparent plan for regional and global hegemony.
The BRI, which "encompasses nearly 70 countries," seemingly aims to counter American influence by achieving dominance - not merely in the realm of trade and culture, but in strategic and military matters, as well -- in South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
China's hegemonic objectives are likely what has led Beijing not only to set its sights on countries such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, but on Syria, which "controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome." More recently, Syria also produced significant amounts of crude oil during peacetime.
As a result, China appears to be vying for the opportunity to play a key role in the reconstruction of Syria, which has been devastated by the bloody civil war that has been raging there for more than seven years. With much of the West making any funds it provides for the rebuilding of the war-torn country conditional on "a transition away from [Syrian President] Assad" - and with Assad making it clear that "his country would need foreign aid to help with the rebuild but that western companies were not welcome" - Beijing would, it seems, like to fill the vacuum. Offering both humanitarian aid and investments for reconstruction would be the perfect way for China to promote the BRI in Syria.
China's plans may involve investing in a railway from the port city of Tripoli in Lebanon to the Lebanon-Syria border, which "would provide China with a means to transport materials from Tripoli into Syria, where Beijing could not only take advantage of the politically contentious issue of reconstruction in the country, but also set itself up long-term as a regional power."
Without such a railway, the only other plausibly efficient entry points for Chinese goods into Syria are the Mediterranean ports of Latakia and Tartus. According to Lebanon's Daily Star:
"Syria has two major Mediterranean ports in Latakia and Tartous, but both present issues to Beijing. First, neither is deep enough to take large container ships. Second, Syria's powerful ally Russia has a major military presence in both, with an air base in Latakia and a naval base in Tartous."
In addition, China reportedly intends to build a railway through Iran and Turkey into Syria. Meanwhile in Greece, a Chinese state-owned company, Cosco, "purchased a controlling stake in the port of Piraeus, near Athens." Piraeus is the biggest and busiest port in Greece and the busiest container port in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Equally significant is that in July 2017, Chinese warships conducted live-fire drills in the Mediterranean, while on their way to take part in joint naval exercises with Russia, off the coast of St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. The growing military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow could pose an even greater threat now that China is moving to gain a foothold in Syria through the BRI.
If China were to invest large amounts of money into the reconstruction of Syria, which has long been a hub for terrorist groups, Chinese funds could easily fall into the hands both of corrupt members of the Assad regime and of Hezbollah, the regime's main supporting terrorist organization (also backed by Iran), as well as Hamas, which used to maintain an external headquarters in Syria. Chinese reconstruction funds could also be diverted to purchasing nuclear weapons technology from Iran and North Korea.
According to an analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "China's expanding maritime strategy and increasing assertiveness in land reclamation and territorial claims have been a key driver of a strengthening alignment," among members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between India, Japan, Australia and the US, which was established in 2007-2008. And well it should.
Contrary to President Xi's claim, the Belt and Road Initiative is not a benign project for world "peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit." It is a dangerous path towards what clearly seems China's wish for global domination.
Daily Jot: Conspiracy 2 - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
President Trump is now being criticized for his admission that anything he says will be twisted and used against him. In an interview with Reuters, Trump said he is faced with a perjury trap. Reuters reported that "The president expressed fears that investigators could compare his statements with that of others who have testified in the probe, such as former FBI Director James Comey, and that any discrepancies could be used against him." He said, "So if I say something and he (Comey) says something, and it's my word against his, and he's best friends with Mueller, so Mueller might say: 'Well, I believe Comey,' and even if I'm telling the truth, that makes me a liar. That's no good."
Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight of 18 charges connected to financial fraud. Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges associated with tax evasion, illegal contributions to campaigns, and paying off women with whom Trump had sexual relations. The Mueller Special Counsel levied these charges and "pressured," which in today's terms means legally blackmailed, these men into admitting guilt or not even presenting a defense. None of the charges are remotely related to the Russians conspiring with Trump to influence the US Presidential election. None. But this is the way of the world these days.
America spent eight years of the previous administration selectively enforcing laws; harassing conservative non-profits; doing under the table business deals with Russia; sending Iran billions of dollars in cash that bolstered its nuclear program and expanded its terrorist operations; voting scandals; sending taxpayer dollars to terrorists; and the list goes on and on. Yet, there were no investigations, Special Counsels or convictions. The only investigation is the current one, spawned from the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the previous Administration paying for a false dossier on Trump and using it to get the secret FISA Court to allow the administration to spy on Trump and his campaign.
There is plenty of bad stuff going around in government. We are in a period of great disruption. The information being reported all has a slant of bias to it. All the indictments and guilty findings are not related to the Mueller Russian probe, but they add up to one thing: Everyone doing illegal things is related to Donald Trump in some way. That, in the public's eye, makes Trump also guilty-even without evidence against him. I do not know if Trump is guilty of illegal business dealings. I know as sure as I'm writing this, Russia did not change the election outcome. But as Romans 16:18 warns, "good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." The coup-makers are using this noise to suit their own passion and to turn people away from the truth to pursue myths. Seek truth and be no deterred by the deceivers and evildoers.
Daily Devotion: Why We Should Pray - By Greg Laurie -
"And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' " -Luke 18:13
A young lawyer who had just opened his law practice was sitting in his chair behind his new executive desk, waiting for his first client to come in. When he saw a man walking toward his office, he picked up the phone and began talking to his imaginary assistant. He said, "Yes, I am so busy right now. Ask them to call back. I have so many clients, I just don't have time." He hung up the phone, sure that he had just impressed his first visitor.
"I'm from the phone company," the man said. "I'm here to connect your phone."
That's how it is for us when we try to impress God with things we say and do. Jesus told the story of two men who went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee who prayed, "God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess" (Luke 18:11-12 NKJV).
The other was a tax collector who simply said, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" (verse 13 NKJV).
Jesus said of the tax collector, "This man went down to his house justified rather than the other" (verse 14 NKJV). The primary problem of the Pharisees, the religious elite, was that prayer, for them, was theater. It was a performance. They would stand praying on a street corner, and sometimes someone would sound a trumpet. Jesus was saying that God doesn't care about things like that. They were so concerned with impressing people, but God wasn't impressed.
The value of prayer is that it keeps us in touch with God. Prayer is getting closer to God. And that is why we should pray.
FROM THE HEART
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