Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Bulls-Eye on America - By Pastor Mike Taylor -
"Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3)
8 "For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me." (Zechariah 2:8-9)
" I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land." (Joel 3:2)
We pray for those who have been hit hard by the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey, and it crosses our mind once again, "Why has this happened?" Then we see another hurricane forming in the Atlantic, Hurrican Irma that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and create another catastrophe for the inhabitants along its shoreline. But why Texas, which is the bastion of conservative principles, at least when you speak of the Republican party. But why not Texas,? For in God's eyes, He sees not political affiliation but what is hidden in man's moral closet, or as has been the case in the last 40 years, the immorality has come out of the closet and is on display on our streets for all to see (ie.) Homosexuality, lawlessness, murder, rape, and demise of the children within the womb of abortion.
IS GOD TRYING TO GET OUR ATTENTION?
As we approach the end of days for the rule of mankind upon this earth, we see environmental disasters all over this planet. Volcanoes that have been dormant for hundreds, if not thousands of years coming to life and causing devastation in their path. We see weather patterns that have not been this active in generations of the American people. I am a witness to the lack of a real summer this year, as we have had rainfall after rainfall, and many times way too much. Flooding of low lying areas even here in the Midwest and unseasonable cool weather. I have never witnessed such a summer as we have just experienced and what appears to be an early fall starting in August?? Isn't that supposed to be the "Dog Days of Summer" with its dry conditions and heat and humidity? Not this year. The environment we live in is not what we are used to. All the signs in the heavens and the predictions of something major that could happen in the near future. It gives a person a sense of pause and trepidation when they are bombarded with such news of our earth.
The convulsions of this planet are growing stronger and stronger and the elements of weather seem to have gone awry, which the Bible calls birth pangs. But it was prophesied it would be so, as scripture has told us.
"6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:6-8)
and again in Romans "22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." ( Romans 8:22)
Consider what is currently happening in our country of America. The connection between nature and human morality; "natural" disasters are acts of God in response to the moral condition of the people. If men will treat other men, created in the image of God in an immoral way, how will they treat the land, forests, rivers, lakes, and oceans? Because these things seemingly cannot fight back, man will abuse them with no fear of reprisal. But God says that the environment will fight back and vomit them out!
Instead of rain falling in a gentle mist, it will roar like an avalanche until the inhabitants cannot cope with it. The rivers will swell and flood the land in anger, washing the topsoil into the sea. In other areas, fire will sweep over forests and farmlands, destroying everything in its path. Windstorms like hurricanes and tornadoes will devastate the cities and countryside, endangering the lives and livelihoods of the people. Earthquakes will increase in both frequency and power, costing thousands of lives and billions of dollars of damage. These disasters will mount to such an intensity that the people of earth may seek remedy, but it will be too late. God will not pass by anymore.
11 "For, behold, the Lord commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts.
12 Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock:
13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?"(Amos 6:11-13)
"The great house" refers to the noble or wealthy family in society, and these "big names" will certainly be destroyed along with the common folk. The rich and powerful will not be able to escape the dreadful punishment God promises. God makes it clear that He has given the command to destroy them.
We should never forget that God's punishment had fallen upon Ancient Israel because of disobedience, rebellion, and sin. America and the British nations are rapidly following ancient Israel's example as they spiral downward to their destruction. We can see this pattern in the murder on the streets, bloody crimes like rape and mutilation in our once peaceful towns, AIDS and other sexual diseases rampant among all sectors of society, as well as sexual deviancy, perverse music, self-indulgence, drugs, and alcohol abuse. Wealth is being funneled into the hands of the few, and the poor and weak keep becoming poorer and weaker. These nations may look fine on the outside, but the cancer has spread from head to toe, and they have only so long before the disease proves fatal
Anybody who has been watching the news, knows there is nothing good to report, as the land and the people have succumbed to the lust of their flesh and their beastly tendency for violence. These riots in the streets that protest against an administration that is trying to steer this country back to its moral under pinnings and "Drain the Swamp"..as the culture of the Washington DC establishment has grown totally corrupt, but the left is putting as much resistance as it can muster to derail any attempt to thwart the plans of the Globalist who see POTUS Trump as a hindrance to their plans for a One World Government and a New World Order. Men like Senator John McCain and Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House have done anything they can to demonize the president and become traitors to their own party and its ideas. They and all like them, need to be voted out, ASAP.
IN THE LAST DAYS....
This flagrant disregard for morality is fostered by Satan the devil and has tempted men to give into their brutish tendencies as God told us it would be so.
1 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2nd Timothy 3:1-7)
Does that not sound like what is happening all over the planet, and has come to America where evil grows exponentially? I don't know about you, but the world has grown more evil since the time I was a youngster and has no likeness of what I grew up in. Evil is more prevalent in the larger metropolitan cities where the concentration of people are gathered, but even this immorality and evil behavior is filtering down to the Midwestern smaller cities and towns. Surely God will judge this nation, or He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah for their evil behavior if He gives this nation a pass. AND HE WON'T.
THE CAUSE OF ISRAEL WILL BE OUR DESTRUCTION
Although the moral behavior is causing God to bring judgment on this land and those around the world, one factor is causing even more calamity on our shores. Now I make no prediction of what God is thinking, as I am not God, but I see what has happened in our past when it comes to the treatment of one nation, the nation of Israel. I was reading on Google and was searching for disasters that might be related to the treatment of Israel. It came to no surprise when I read that after each attempt to divide the land of Israel even since the early 1990s when President H.W. Bush tried it, then Clinton, then George W. Bush, and Obama tried to bring a "two state solution" to the problems that Israel is experiencing with her Arab population that resides within her borders. Want to read how these calamities have happened on the heels of our meddling in the affairs of God's chosen people, Israel? Then go to this site and read what the environment had in store when some attempt to divide God's land here:
This is but one article that enumerates the many times that disaster has happened when American thinks they can broker a land for peace deal and push it upon Israel.
WHY DOES AMERICAN PERSIST?
The news speaks of yet another attempt to divide God's land by the current administration. You would think, if Trump is a Christian man, (as I have read that he gave his life to Jesus), someone would advise him on the foolishness of trying to jump start a "peace process" that has been doomed to failure by the last four administrations. It is impossible to attempt such a foolhardy thing as to negotiate with a party that has no desire for a two state solution. The Palestinian Authority headed by henchman, Mahmoud Abbas who is nothing but a terrorist on the order of the deceased Yasser Arafat, but wears a suit to look more legitimate, has not an ounce of interest in a two state solution. He only does as Arafat did. He appears to be interested in a political solution, but rejects any offer, as it has been done time and time again. Reason? The Arabs that have taken root in Israel want nothing short of driving Israel into the sea and drowning her. She will not settle for anything less, as per Muslim ideology states "All Muslim land conquered in the past, must be liberated." In the past, Islam cared very little for Israel as it was mostly forgotten. That is, until Israel started returning to their own land, then the Arabs wanted the land, because of their hatred of the Jewish people.
President Trump has again sent an ambassador to Israel in the form of his son-in law Jared Kushner and the news media reports :
"In a bid to restart a moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's adviser and son-in-law, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
Accompanied by a high-level American delegation, Kushner reiterated Trump's commitment to finding a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which Trump has referred to as "the ultimate deal."
Netanyahu said such a deal is "within our reach," and promised to work with the Trump administration 'to advance peace, stability and security in our region.'
But the short readout of the introduction provided by Israel's Government Press Office lacked clear specifics or any stated goals. The White House, in pursuing a peace deal, has yet to lay out a framework for negotiations following multiple meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders." CNN political news
Is there a link between this new effort on the part of the Trump administration and the recent Hurricane that hit Texas hard? If the past history of such attempts with subsequent environmental disasters on the heels of such a plan proves anything, it says to me "Don't mess with Israel" I have been long a proponent that Israel is the door to end time prophecy and Jerusalem is the key to unlocking that door.
In recent weeks, a new chapter in the madness of the World Community concerning Israel has flooded the news with its continued insanity. With all the problems we see in the Middle East with the civil war in Syria, the rise of ISIS killing Christians, and anyone that doesn't line up with their hateful ideology including Sunni Muslims, nuclear aggression by an insane leader in North Korea, Iran building nuclear facilities to manufacture a nuclear weapon to control the whole Middle East and still threatens Israel with annihilation, the U.N. has condemned Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria as illegal and demanding they return to their pre-1967 borders that are indefensible, giving up East Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall to the likes of the so called "Palestinians". Where are their world political priorities to single out Israel? What could possibly be in the mind of POTUS Trump when America has failed to reach any type of settlement with the two parties of this conflict?
Every time that the world thinks they are going to divide God's land or take punitive measures to unilaterally punish Israel in a "Land for Peace" initiative, tragedy has struck every time, and it is aimed primarily at the leader of the free world, the USA for its involvement in attempting to come against Israel. What will happen this time as America makes another attempt at coming against God's Holy Land? Just watch as Hurrican Irma boils toward the American mainland and having winds that are off the charts from last report of its progress toward landfall.
Is not Israel a sovereign country? Who are we to think that we can dictate to another country the terms of the disposition of their own lands within their borders? Would any country, nation, or union allow another outside nation to divide their country? How about let's let Mexico take back California, Arizona, and New Mexico because it used to belong to them? Would that work in anybody's playbook? No? I didn't think so. So why is Israel any different than any other country?
The answer is Satan has a hatred for Israel that will NEVER subside, as this nation of Jewish people is where the Messiah came from. This is the nation that God has chosen as His special people, above all nations on earth. This is Satan's attempt to make God out a liar, as if he can thwart what God said concerning Israel as always being before Him, then if Satan can destroy Israel, it might make God relent on Satan's final judgment in the Lake of Fire which he knows is coming.
AMERICA IN GOD'S CROSS-HAIRS
Not only has our country become lawless in many areas of the country as we have mentioned, with its moral decline and abomination before God in homosexuality and the murder of the innocent in abortions, but the sins of this country are stacking up to where the God of the Universe is waiting for the right time to bring the hammer of judgment down in a crushing blow that will send her reeling into a fiery inferno. Note that the Yellowstone super volcano is coming awake, according to volcanic seismologist and if she awakens, as did Mount St. Helens, the effect will destroy all life on this continent from the east to the west coast from starvation due to her effects of blotting out sunlight for many years. Not to mention her immediate destruction of super-hot volcanic ash that rains down on the states in a swatch a 100-mile radius or more.
THE WORLD BORDERS ON THE TRIBULATION
The prophet Daniel, and both Paul and John foretell a peace agreement with Israel that kicks off the Tribulation Period. Daniel says that a leader of the revived Roman Empire confirms a peace covenant between Israel and her enemies, which he breaks halfway through. Is this what will be the product of this coming attempt by another administration? What will become of this new plan for dividing God's land?
In context, one could assume the covenant involves a mutual defense agreement, since, after the walls come down, Ezekiel says this Russian-led Islamic alliance launches a sneak invasion against Israel. Ezekiel 38:13 says Israel's 'allies' launch what amounts to little more than a weak diplomatic objection.
...You see the Dominos lining up and each are beginning to fall, as the world flies head long into the coming Tribulation and the removal of God's church from this planet. The political news is moving so fast, that is hard to keep up. Russia in the Middle East making nice and continues to support Iran, fighting in Syria and the possibility of the Oracle of Damascus being fulfilled, the isolation and treachery heaped upon God's land and people....a coming war prophesied of the Gog-Magog invasion, and most likely bringing about a 7 year treaty with Israel because of the total devastation that rained down upon the invaders. Thus ushering in the coming 7 year tribulation that looms larger, as the puzzle pieces are ushered into place waiting for their act in world history to be orchestrated by the God of the universe that will bring to pass (Joel 3:2.)
The literal fulfillment of prophecies penned tens of centuries ago continue to unfold in our generation. Right down to details such as Israel's Tribulation status as a 'land of unwalled villages'.
The same Guiding Hand responsible for the prophecy of Ezekiel's unwavering accuracy (Ezekiel 37-39) and attention to detail also guided those prophecies that yet remain to be fulfilled. Don't let anybody steal away your excitement! We are that special, chosen generation who 'shall not pass away, until all be fulfilled." The time of Jacob's trouble is in the near future as the picture grows plainer and more into focus as time passes...
WHEN THE TRIBULATON COMES, WHERE WILL YOU BE?
If anything, those reading this commentary and can see what is happening on the ground for the USA, for Israel and the rest of the world should see with eyes wide open what is coming. .When these passages come to pass a war could break out any minute between Israel and the God of the Universe in this corner...and the Gog-Magog coalition in the other corner with an impotent USA that has been decimated from environmental disasters not be able to intervene.....when fighting starts, it will be a mass suicide of those who dare come against God's ancient people who He has gathered on the mountains of Israel. But just prior to that historical event, another most important event will take place, as all hell will break loose and the devil and his evil host will attempt to destroy all of mankind, and to secure worship for himself, as he has lusted for power reserved only for God Almighty when he brings the Anti-Christ upon the world scene.
7 "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8And THEN shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:" (2nd Thessalonias 2:7-8)
This is a prophetic warning that when the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel begins, most likely with the aforementioned "peace treaty" with Israel, the Anti-Christ will step front and center stage. But I see the Church being removed prior to this is you take a careful reading of scripture, when the man of sin is revealed the Holy Spirit is removed from this earth in its fullness and we who have His Spirit residing in each of us, will leave with Him. Why? Because Jesus said He would never leave us alone, or comfortless and my God cannot lie...We are leaving..and possibly soon...Some people scoff and think we are grasping at straws. But fear them not, we are not grasping at straws, or following vague and ambiguous prophecies that can be explained away by calling them 'interpretations.' This is the real thing.
"And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)
And brothers and sisters, the signs are all around us, screaming of their coming fulfillment. Be not those who slumber, but keep alert and watching, for our Lord will come when they least expect it.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, proclaiming the nearness of our Lord. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, contact me at email@example.com , or visit me online for more biblical messages at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com . God bless you all.
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET.
Roman Empire: Ominous Parallels with Modern America - By Bill Federer -
The fall of Rome was a culmination of external and internal factors.
Great Wall of China
By 220 A.D., the Later Eastern Han Dynasty had extended sections of the Great Wall of China along its Mongolian border. This resulted in the Northern Huns attacking west instead of east. This caused a domino effect of tribes migrating west across Central Asia, and overrunning the Western Roman Empire.
Illegal immigrants poured across the Roman borders: Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Franks, Anglos, Saxons, Alemanni, Thuringians, Rugians, Jutes, Picts, Burgundians, Lombards, Alans, Vandals, as well as African Berbers and Arab raiders.
Will and Ariel Durant wrote in "The Story of Civilization" (Vol. 3 - Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p. 366): "If Rome had not engulfed so many men of alien blood in so brief a time, if she had passed all these newcomers through her schools instead of her slums, if she had treated them as men with a hundred potential excellences, if she had occasionally closed her gates to let assimilation catch up with infiltration, she might have gained new racial and literary vitality from the infusion, and might have remained a Roman Rome, the voice and citadel of the West."
Loss of common language
At first immigrants assimilated and learned the Latin language. They worked as servants with many rising to leadership. But then they came so fast they did not learn Latin, but instead created a mix of Latin with their own Germanic, Frankish and Anglo tribal tongues. The unity of the Roman Empire began to dissolve.
The welfare state
"Bread and the circus!" Starting in 123 B.C., the immensely powerful Roman politician Gaius Gracchus began appeasing citizens with welfare, a monthly handout of a free dole (handout) of grain.
Roman poet Juvenal (circa 100 A.D.) described how Roman emperors controlled the masses by keeping them ignorant and obsessed with self-indulgence, so they would be distracted and not throw them out of office, which they might do if they realized the true condition of the Empire: "Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions - everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses."
Juvenal continued: "Tyrants would distribute largess, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce; and everyone would shamelessly cry, 'Long live the King.' ... The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them."
Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote: "The evil was not in bread and circuses, per se, but in the willingness of the people to sell their rights as free men for full bellies and the excitement of games which would serve to distract them from the other human hungers which bread and circuses can never appease."
The Durants wrote in "The Lessons of History" (p. 92): "The concentration of population and poverty in great cities may compel a government to choose between enfeebling the economy with a dole or running the risk of riot and revolution."
In "The Great Ages of Man - Barbarian Europe" (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 39), one Roman is recorded as stating: "Those who live at the expense of the public funds are more numerous than those who provide them."
The Circus Maximus and Coliseum were packed with crowds of Romans engrossed with violent entertainment, games, chariot races, and until 404 A.D., gladiators fighting to the death.
Gerald Simons wrote in "Great Ages of Man - Barbarian Europe" (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 20): "In the causal brutality of its public spectacles, in a rampant immorality that even Christianity could not check."
Church lost its role as conscience
Richard A. Todd wrote in "The Fall of the Roman Empire" (Eerdmans' "Handbook to the History of Christianity," Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Co., 1977, p. 184): "The church, while preaching against abuses, contributed to the decline by discouraging good Christians from holding public office."
Roman families had fewer children. Some would sell unwanted children into slavery or, up until 374 A.D., leave them outside exposed to the weather to die.
The Durants wrote in "The Story of Civilization", Vol. 3 - Caesar and Christ (Simon & Schuster, 1944, p. 134): "Children were now luxuries which only the poor could afford."
Immorality and infidelity
There was court favoritism, the patronage system, injustice in the legal system, infidelity, bathhouses rampant with homosexuality, sexual immorality, gluttony, and gymnasiums ("gym" being the Greek word for naked). 5th-Century historian Salvian wrote: "For all the lurid Roman tales of their atrocities ... the barbarians displayed ... a good deal more fidelity to their wives." (Great Ages, p. 13.)
Salvian continued: "O Roman people be ashamed; be ashamed of your lives. Almost no cities are free of evil dens, are altogether free of impurities, except the cities in which the barbarians have begun to live. ... Let nobody think otherwise, the vices of our bad lives have alone conquered us. ... The Goths lie, but are chaste, the Franks lie, but are generous, the Saxons are savage in cruelty ... but are admirable in chastity. ... What hope can there be for the Romans when the barbarians are more pure than they?"
Samuel Adams wrote to John Scollay of Boston, April 30, 1776: "The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals. 'The Roman Empire,' says the historian, 'must have sunk, though the Goths had not invaded it. Why? Because the Roman virtue was sunk.'"
As Roman virtue declined, the number of laws increased. Cornelius Tacitus wrote: "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
City centers were abandoned by the upper class, who bought up farms from rural landowners and transformed them into palatial estates.
The Durants wrote in "The Story of Civilization" (Vol. 3 - Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p.90): "The Roman landowner disappeared now that ownership was concentrated in a few families, and a proletariat without stake in the country filled the slums of Rome."
Inner cities were destabilized, being also plagued with lead poisoning, as water was brought in through lead pipes. ("Plumb" or "plumbing" is the Latin word for "lead.") The value of human life was low. Slavery and sex-trafficking abounded, especially of captured peoples from Eastern Europe. "Slavs," which meant "glorious" came to have the inglorious meaning of a permanent servant or "slave." (Great Ages, p. 18).
Welfare and government jobs exploded, especially with emperors wanting to honor themselves by leaving legacies of massive public building projects, such as bath houses, coliseums, parade grounds, etc.
Taxes became unbearable, as "collectors became greedy functionaries in a bureaucracy so huge and corrupt." Tax collectors were described by the historian Salvian as "more terrible than the enemy." (Great Ages, p. 20).
Arther Ferrill wrote in "The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation" (New York: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1986): "The chief cause of the agricultural decline was high taxation on the marginal land, driving it out of cultivation."
There was a loss of patriotism, wealth began to flee the Empire, and with it, the spirit of liberty. President William Henry Harrison warned in his inaugural address, 1841: "It was the beautiful remark of a distinguished English writer that 'in the Roman senate Octavius had a party and Antony a party, but the Commonwealth had none.' ... The spirit of liberty had fled, and, avoiding the abodes of civilized man, had sought protection in the wilds of Scythia or Scandinavia; and so under the operation of the same causes and influences it will fly from our Capitol and our forums."
More recently, John F. Kennedy observed, Jan. 6, 1961: "Present tax laws may be stimulating in undue amounts the flow of American capital to industrial countries abroad."
Rome's economy stagnated from a large trade deficit, as grain production was outsourced to North Africa. Gerald Simons wrote in "Great Ages of Man - Barbarian Europe" (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 39): "As conquerors of North Africa, the Vandals cut off the Empire's grain supply at will. This created critical food shortages, which in turn curtailed Roman counterattacks."
Exploding debt and coinage debasement
Rome was crippled by huge government bureaucracies and enormous public debt. Rather than curb out-of-control government spending, Roman emperors decided to debase coins by mixing them with cheaper base metals. This devalued their monetary system and caused exponential inflation.
The Durants wrote in "The Lessons of History" (p. 92): "Huge bureaucratic machinery was unable to govern the empire effectively with the enormous, out-of-control debt."
In "Great Ages of Man - Barbarian Europe" (NY: Time-Life Books, 1968, p. 20), Gerald Simons wrote: "The Western Roman economy, already undermined by falling production of the great Roman estates and an unfavorable balance of trade that siphoned off gold to the East, had now run out of money."
Rolf Nef of Global Research wrote on Jan. 15, 2007, "Falling Empires and their Currencies" (www.globalresearch.ca): "When empires fall, their currencies fall first. Even clearer is the rising debt of empires in decline, because in most cases their physical expansion is financed with debt. ... The common thing is that the currencies of each and every one of these falling empires lost dramatically in value. ... The Roman Empire existed from 400 B.C. to 400 A.D. Its history is the history of physical expansion, like the history of almost all empires. Its expansion was driven by a citizen soldier army, paid in silver coins, land and slaves from occupied territories. If there was not enough silver in the treasury to conduct a war, base metals were added to coin more money. That is to say, the authorities debased their currency which presaged the fall of the Empire. There was a limit to the expansion. The empire became over-stretched, running out of silver money, and eventually went under, overrun by barbarian hordes."
Richard W. Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, remarked before the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, California, May 28, 2008: "We know from centuries of evidence in countless economies, from ancient Rome to today's Zimbabwe, that running the printing press to pay off today's bills leads to much worse problems later on. The inflation that results from the flood of money into the economy turns out to be far worse than the fiscal pain those countries hoped to avoid."
Self-promoting, corrupt politicians
The Roman emperor usurped so much power that the Roman Senate, instead of ruling Rome, only existed to carry out the emperor's agenda. The Durants wrote in "The Lessons of History" (p. 92): "The educated and skilled pursued business and financial success to the neglect of their involvement in politics."
Though militarily superior and marching on advanced road systems, the highly trained Roman Legions were over-extended and strained fighting continual conflicts from the Rhine River to the Sassanid Persian Empire. Roman borders were over-extended and the military defending them was cut back to dangerously low ranks. Emperors realized that if they kept citizens preoccupied with endless external wars, the citizens would be distracted from complaining about internal problems and political strife.
Non-Roman citizens were enlisted in the Roman military, being offered citizenship in exchange for their military service. This led to a loss of patriotism and a diminished motivation to defend the Roman borders from invading Germanic tribes.
The Durants wrote in "The Story of Civilization" (Vol. 3 - Caesar and Christ, Simon & Schuster, 1944, p.90): "The new generation, having inherited world mastery, had no time or inclination to defend it; that readiness for war which had characterized the Roman landowner disappeared."
With the increase of invading hordes, Roman legions had to be recalled from the frontiers to protect Rome itself. It was at this time that young Patrick was kidnapped from Roman Britain and sold as a slave in Druid Ireland, which he later evangelized.
In 452, Pope Leo rode out to meet Attila and persuaded him not to sack Rome. This delayed the inevitable for only a few more decades. Finally, in 476, barbarian Chieftain Odoacer attacked, and Rome is considered to have officially fallen on Sept. 4, 476.
Lessons from the fall of Rome
John Stossel, host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network and author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed," wrote in his article on the fall of Rome (www.johnstossel.com): "Historian Carl Richard said that today's America resembles Rome. The Roman Republic had a constitution, but Roman leaders often ignored it. 'Marius was elected consul six years in a row, even though under the constitution (he) was term-limited to one year.'
"We have presidents of both parties legislating by executive order, saying I'm not going to enforce certain laws because I don't like them. - That open flouting of the law is dangerous because law ceases to have meaning. I see that today. - Congress passes huge laws they haven't even read (as well as) overspending, overtaxing and devaluing the currency.
"The Romans were worse. I object to President Obama's $100 million dollar trip, but Nero traveled with 1,000 carriages. Tiberius established an 'office of imperial pleasures,' which gathered 'beautiful boys and girls from all corners of the world' so, as Tacitus put it, the emperor 'could defile them.' Emperor Commodus held a show in the Colosseum at which he personally killed five hippos, two elephants, a rhinoceros and a giraffe. ..."
John Stossel continued: "To pay for their excesses, emperors devalued the currency. (Doesn't our Fed do that by buying $2 trillion of government debt?) Nero reduced the silver content of coins to 95 percent. Then Trajan reduced it to 85 percent and so on. By the year 300, wheat that once cost eight Roman dollars cost 120,000 Roman dollars.
"The president the Foundation for Economic Education, Lawrence Reed, warned that Rome, like America, had an expanding welfare state. It started with 'subsidized grain.' The government gave it away at half price.
"But the problem was that they couldn't stop there - a man named Claudius ran for Tribune on a platform of free wheat for the masses. And won. It was downhill from ther. ... Soon, to appease angry voters, emperors gave away or subsidized olive oil, salt and pork. People lined up to get free stuff."
John Stossel added: "Rome's government, much like ours, wasn't good at making sure subsidies flowed only to the poor, said Reed: 'Anybody could line up to get these goods, which contributed to the ultimate bankruptcy of the Roman state.'
"As inflation increased, Rome, much like the U.S. under President Nixon, imposed wage and price controls. When people objected, Emperor Diocletian denounced their 'greed,' saying, 'Shared humanity urges us to set a limit.' Doesn't that sound like today's anti-capitalist politicians? Diocletian was worse than Nixon.
"Rome enforced controls with the death penalty - and forbid people to change professions. Emperor Constantine decreed that those who broke such rules 'be bound with chains and reduced to servile condition."
John Stossel concluded: "Eventually, Rome's empire was so large - and people so resentful of centralized control - that generals in outlying regions began declaring independence from Rome. At FreedomFest, Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, also argued that America could soon collapse like Rome did. 'The parallels are quite ominous - the debt, the expansionist foreign policy, the arrogance of executive power taking over our country,' says Kibbe. 'But I do think we have a chance to ... alert people to the danger in imperial Washington and try to fight it. ...'
"Empires do crumble. Rome's lasted the longest. The Ottoman Empire lasted 623 years. China's Song, Qing and Ming dynasties each lasted about 300 years. We've lasted just 237 years so far. ... We've accomplished amazing things, but we shouldn't take our continued success for granted. Freedom and prosperity are not natural. In human history, they're rare."
North Korea's ultimatum to America - By Caroline B. Glick -
Washington and Pyongyang exchange threats as the latter continues to evoke the wrath of world powers with its latest nuclear test.
The nuclear confrontation between the US and North Korea entered a critical phase Sunday with North Korea's conduct of an underground test of a thermonuclear bomb.
If the previous round of this confrontation earlier this summer revolved around Pyongyang's threat to attack the US territory of Guam, Sunday's test, together with North Korea's recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental US, was a direct threat to US cities.
In other words, the current confrontation isn't about US superpower status in Asia, and the credibility of US deterrence or the capabilities of US military forces in the Pacific. The confrontation is now about the US's ability to protect the lives of its citizens.
The distinction tells us a number of important things. All of them are alarming.
First, because this is about the lives of Americans, rather than allied populations like Japan and South Korea, the US cannot be diffident in its response to North Korea's provocation. While attenuated during the Obama administration, the US's position has always been that US military forces alone are responsible for guaranteeing the collective security of the American people.
Pyongyang is now directly threatening that security with hydrogen bombs. So if the Trump administration punts North Korea's direct threat to attack US population centers with nuclear weapons to the UN Security Council, it will communicate profound weakness to its allies and adversaries alike.
Obviously, this limits the options that the Trump administration has. But it also clarifies the challenge it faces.
The second implication of North Korea's test of their plutonium-based bomb is that the US's security guarantees, which form the basis of its global power and its alliance system are on the verge of becoming completely discredited.
In an interview Sunday with Fox News's Trish Regan, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton was asked about the possible repercussions of a US military assault against North Korea for the security of South Korea.
Regan asked, "What are we risking though if we say we're going to go in with strategic military strength?... Are we going to end up with so many people's lives gone in South Korea, in Seoul because we make that move?" Bolton responded with brutal honesty.
"Let me ask you this: how do you feel about dead Americans?" In other words, Bolton said that under prevailing conditions, the US faces the painful choice between imperiling its own citizens and imperiling the citizens of an allied nation. And things will only get worse. Bolton warned that if North Korea's nuclear threat is left unaddressed, US options will only become more problematic and limited in the years to come.
This then brings us to the third lesson of the current round of confrontation between the US and North Korea.
If you appease an enemy on behalf of an ally then you aren't an ally.
And eventually your alliance become empty of all meaning.
For 25 years, three successive US administrations opted to turn a blind eye to North Korea's nuclear program in large part out of concern for South Korea.
Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all sought to appease North Korea's aggressive nuclear adventurism because they didn't believe they had a credible military option to deal with it.
In the 1980s, North Korea developed and deployed a conventional arsenal of bombs and artillery along the demilitarized zone capable of vaporizing Seoul.
Any US military strike against North Korea's nuclear installation it was and continues to be argued, would cause the destruction of Seoul and the murder of millions of South Koreans.
So US efforts to appease Pyongyang on behalf of Seoul emptied the US-South Korean alliance of meaning. The US can only serve as the protector of its allies, and so assert its great power status in the Pacific and worldwide, if it prevents its allies from being held hostage by its enemies.
And now, not only does the US lack a clear means of defending South Korea, and Japan, America itself is threatened by the criminal regime it demurred from effectively confronting.
Regardless of the means US President Donald Trump decides to use to respond to North Korea's provocative actions and threats to America's national security, given the nature of the situation, it is clear that the balance of forces on the ground cannot and will not remain as they have been.
If the US strikes North Korea in a credible manner and successfully diminishes its capacity to physically threaten the US, America will have taken the first step towards rebuilding its alliances in Asia.
On the other hand, if the current round of hostilities does not end with a significant reduction of North Korea's offensive capabilities, either against the US or its allies, then the US will be hard pressed to maintain its posture as a Pacific power. So long as Pyongyang has the ability to directly threaten the US and its allies, US strategic credibility in East Asia will be shattered.
This then brings us to China.
China has been the main beneficiary of North Korea's conventional and nuclear aggression and brinksmanship.
This state of affairs was laid bare in a critical way last month.
In mid-August, Trump's then chief strategist Steve Bannon was preparing a speech Trump was set to deliver that would have effectively declared a trade war against China in retaliation for its predatory trade practices against US companies and technology. The speech was placed in the deep freeze - and Bannon was forced to resign his position - when North Korea threatened to attack the US territory of Guam with nuclear weapons. The US, Trump's other senior advisers argued, couldn't declare a trade war against China when it needed China's help to restrain North Korea.
So by enabling North Korea's aggression against the US and its allies, China has created a situation where the US has become neutralized as a strategic competitor.
Rather than advance its bilateral interests - like curbing China's naval aggression in the South China Sea - in its contacts with China, the US is forced into the position of supplicant, begging China to restrain North Korea in order to avert war.
If the US does not act to significantly downgrade North Korea's offensive capabilities now, when its own territory is being threatened, it is difficult to see how the US will be able to develop an effective strategy for coping with China's rise as an economic and strategic rival in Asia and beyond. That is, the US's actions now in response to North Korea's threat to its national security will determine whether or not the US will be in a position to develop and implement a wider strategy for maintaining its capacity to project its economic and military power in the Pacific in the near and long term.
Finally, part of the considerations that need to inform US action now involve what North Korea's success in developing a nuclear arsenal under the noses of successive US administrations means for the future of nuclear proliferation.
In all likelihood, unless the North Korean nuclear arsenal is obliterated, Pyongyang's nuclear triumphalism will precipitate a spasm of nuclear proliferation in Asia and in the Middle East. The implications of this for the US and its allies will be far reaching.
Not only can Japan and South Korea be reasonably expected to develop nuclear arsenals. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other inherently unstable Arab states can be expected to develop or purchase nuclear arsenals in response to concerns over North Korea and its ally Iran with its nuclear weapons program linked to Pyongyang's.
In other words, if the US does not respond in a strategically profound way to Pyongyang now, it will not only lose its alliance system in Asia, it will see the rapid collapse of its alliance system and superpower status in the Middle East.
Israel, for one, will be imperiled by the sudden diffusion of nuclear power.
Monday morning, North Korea followed up its thermonuclear bomb test with a spate of threats to destroy the United States. These threats are deadly even if North Korea doesn't attack the US with its nuclear weapons. If the US does not directly defeat North Korea in a clear-cut way now, its position as a superpower in Asia and worldwide will be destroyed and its ability to defend its own citizens will be called into question with increasing frequency and lethality.
Iran, Turkey, and Russia Aren't Natural Friends. It's Up to the U.S. to Keep It That Way - Dov Zakheim -
One of the more curious and troubling developments in the course of the Syrian civil war has been Turkey's rapprochement with Russia and cooperation with Iran.
For centuries, Turkey and Russia were enemies, regardless of who ruled each country. To begin with, Russia considered itself (and still considers itself) the custodian of the true Eastern Orthodox Church after the fall of Byzantium to the Turks. The Ottomans regularly fought the czars, especially over Russian attempts to gain access to the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey remained neutral in World War II, which benefitted Nazi Germany as much if not more than Soviet Russia. And Turkey joined NATO, giving the alliance its longest border with the Soviet Union. There was never much love between the two countries.
Turkish relations with Iran were nearly as antagonistic for some 150 years, but subsequently transformed into mutual caution and suspicion. After all, Shia Persia never came under the control of the Sunni Ottomans. That the three countries have begun to work closely together to contain the Syrian civil war is more a function of their perceived perception of American weakness than of any upsurge in mutual love.
While the Trump administration has been more active in Syria than its predecessor, supplying weapons and support to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, and responding to Syrian use of chemical weapons with the April 2017 cruise missile attack on Syria's Shayrat airbase, the memory of the Obama "red line" still lingers. It is not at all clear how much further Washington is willing to get enmeshed in Syria in the short-term, much less in the medium and long-term.
Russia, on the other hand, has new, long-term leases for its bases in Syria. Iran has a much deeper vested interest in Syria and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad than Washington does in the ever-weaker Syrian opposition. And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fears Russia far less than his Ottoman and republican predecessors did, while his relations with NATO and the EU continue to deteriorate, commensurate with the increase in Turkey's human rights violations. Erdogan has actually threatened to review Turkey's alliance with NATO, something that would have been unheard of during the Cold War.
Russian relations with Turkey have grown increasingly warmer since a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24M all-weather attack aircraft over the Turkish border on Nov. 24, 2016. Turkey's relations with Iran remain proper, if cautious. And the Astana agreement that the three countries reached in May 2017, without active American involvement, has already resulted in three de-escalation zones in Syria.
It is certainly possible that this three-way partnership will be short-lived. The national interests of the three are not congruent. Much will depend on the United States, however. Should Washington remain active in Syria, or increase its efforts there, Turkey will be far less likely to abandon the West for other partners. If, however, the United States washes its hands of Syria, the Turkish-Russian-Iranian connection may be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Nearing Midnight: Houston's Third Occurrence a of 500-Year-Flood - Todd Strandberg -
Hurricane Harvey has been the fiercest hurricane to strike Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961-the most powerful Texas hurricane on record. What Harvey lacked in intensity, it more than made up for in rainfall. If you add up the highest rainfall for Hurricanes Katrina (16.33 inches); Andrew (13.9 inches); and Sandy (12.55 inches), they would not equal the over 50 inches of rainfall from Hurricane Harvey.
This storm has dropped more than 27 trillion gallons of water on Texas, triggering catastrophic, unprecedented flooding in the Houston area. The rains have broken numerous all-time records. There has simply never been a storm in U.S. history that has dropped so much rain over such a vast area of land.
The Weather Service office in Houston reported just over two feet of rain in 24 hours between 7 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday morning-making August the wettest month on record. Hurricane Harvey continued to be a named storm four days after making landfall. Prior to Harvey, there has never been a named storm that has managed to last even three days, according to Colorado State University tropical scientist Dr. Phil Klotzbach.
The record of records was the 51.88 inches measured at the Cedar Bayou weather station in southeast Houston. This is the highest storm total ever in the continental U.S. The previous record was 48 inches in 1978 by Cyclone Amelia, in Medina, Texas.
The eventual insured losses from this Category 4 hurricane will likely be well over $40 billion. Hurricane Ike in 2008 was only a Category 2 storm and resulted in $13 billion of insurance losses. Since only one in six residents have insurance, there's 100 percent chance of Congress passing a huge government assistance package.
It is going to take a long time for aid agencies to help get eastern Texas back on its feet. The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, predicted that the aftermath of the storm would require FEMA's involvement for years. "This disaster's going to be a landmark event," Long said.
The climate change lobby is already claiming that Hurricane Harvey is the result of global warming. The Gulf of Mexico, where warm water fuels hurricanes, had temperatures just under 90 Â°F. Most of the water in the Northern Hemisphere has been warmer than normal for the past year. For the first time in recorded history, the daily average surface temperature of the Gulf of Mexico never fell below 73 Â°F during last winter.
The frequency of hurricanes has been down over the past several years. We just ended a record 13-year-drought for not seeing a category three hurricane strike the continental U.S. The vast majority the of destruction from Hurricane Harvey is the result of it being penned in by two high pressure areas. The rain kept coming down in the same location because the upper air steering currents were in neutral.
I read a 2008 article that predicted warmer Gulf of Mexico water would result in more tornadoes. Yet we've had three recent years with record low numbers of twisters.
The flood that hit Houston is being called a 500-year-event. The thinking is that if you live in a flood plain, there is a 0.2 percent chance each year that your property could be overrun by water. The entire concept of a 500-year-flood desperately needs to be reevaluated.
In 2015, Houston was hit on May 26 (Memorial Day) by heavy rains that flooded 6,500 homes. It was called a 500-year-flood. Again, in 2016, Houston was hit on April 18 (tax day) by massive rains that flooded 9,800 homes.
Houston isn't the only city to get hit by "historic" floods with rapid frequency. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was hit with a 500-year flood in 2008, followed by a 100-year flood in 2016.
The people who manage flood planning may try to fix matters by calling Hurricane Harvey the 1000-year-flood. However, this flawed interpretation gives little comfort to people who have had to gut and rebuild their homes three years in a row.
The logical explanation for why Houston has had three so-called 500 year floods in a row may be the result of Bible prophecy. As we draw closer to the last days, calamities like Hurricane Harvey are going to occur with greater frequency.
Jesus said the arrival of the Tribulation hour can be likened to the contractions experienced by a woman about to give birth, as they increase with frequency and intensity. We can see these dynamics taking place worldwide affecting nearly every aspect of life. When Jesus foretold of these birth pangs He used the word "sorrows," in His Olivet Discourse in reference to end-time things to come.
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:3-8)
Is God Really All-Powerful? - Lee Strobel -
"What does it mean when we say that God is all-powerful?" Peter Kreeft asked, and then he answered his own question: "That means he can do everything that is meaningful, everything that is possible, everything that makes any sense at all. God cannot make himself to cease to exist. He cannot make good evil."
I like to refer to Kreeft as "the un-philosopher." Not that he isn't a philosopher; in fact, he's a first-rate philosophical thinker, with a doctorate from Fordham University, postgraduate study at Yale University, and thirty-eight years of experience as a philosophy professor at Villanova University and (since 1965) Boston College. He has taught such courses as metaphysics, ethics, mysticism, sexuality, and Oriental, Greek, medieval, and contemporary philosophy, earning such honors as the Woodrow Wilson and Yale-Sterling fellowships.
"So," I said, "there are some things he can't do even though he's all-powerful."
"Precisely because he is all powerful, he can't do some things. He can't make mistakes. Only weak and stupid beings make mistakes. One such mistake would be to try to create a self-contradiction, like two plus two equals five or a round square.
"Now, the classic defense of God against the problem of evil is that it's not logically possible to have free will and no possibility of moral evil. In other words, once God chose to create human beings with free will, then it was up to them, rather than to God, as to whether there was sin or not. That's what free will means. Built into the situation of God deciding to create human beings is the chance of evil and, consequently, the suffering that results."
"Then God is the creator of evil."
"No, he created the possibility of evil; people actualized that potentiality. The source of evil is not God's power but mankind's freedom. Even an all-powerful God could not have created a world in which people had genuine freedom and yet there was no potentiality for sin, because our freedom includes the possibility of sin within its own meaning. It's a self-contradiction - a meaningless nothing - to have a world where there's real choice while at the same time no possibility of choosing evil. To ask why God didn't create such a world is like asking why God didn't create colorless color or round squares."
"Then why didn't God create a world without human freedom?"
"Because that would have been a world without humans. Would it have been a place without hate? Yes. A place without suffering? Yes. But it also would have been a world without love, which is the highest value in the universe. That highest good never could have been experienced. Real love - our love of God and our love of each other - must involve a choice. But with the granting of that choice comes the possibility that people would choose instead to hate."
"But look at Genesis," I said. "God did create a world where people were free and yet there was no sin."
"That's precisely what he did," Kreeft said. "After creation, he declared that the world was 'good.' People were free to choose to love God or turn away from him. However, such a world is necessarily a place where sin is freely possible - and, indeed, that potentiality for sin was actualized not by God, but by people. The blame, ultimately, lies with us. He did his part perfectly; we're the ones who messed up."
"Rabbi Harold Kushner reaches a different conclusion in his bestseller When Bad Things Happen to Good People," I pointed out. "He says God isn't all-powerful after all - that he would like to help, but he just isn't capable of solving all the problems in the world. He said, 'Even God has a hard time keeping chaos in check.'"
Kreeft raised an eyebrow. "For a rabbi, that's hard to understand, because the distinctively Jewish notion of God is the opposite of that," he said. "Surprisingly - against the evidence, it seems - the Jews insisted that there is a God who is all-powerful and nevertheless all good.
"Now, that doesn't seem as reasonable as paganism, which says if there is evil in the world, then there must be many gods, each of them less than all-powerful, some of them good, some of them evil, or if there's one God, then he's facing forces he can't quite control. Until Judaism's revelation of the true God, that was a very popular philosophy."
"You don't think much of Kushner's God," I said, more as a statement than a question.
"Frankly, that God is hardly worth believing in. Do I have a big brother who's doing what he can but it's not very much? Well, who cares?" he said, shrugging his shoulders. "Practically speaking, that's the same as atheism. Rely on yourself first and then maybe God, maybe not.
"No, the evidence is that God is all-powerful. The point to remember is that creating a world where there's free will and no possibility of sin is a self-contradiction - and that opens the door to people choosing evil over God, with suffering being the result. The overwhelming majority of the pain in the world is caused by our choices to kill, to slander, to be selfish, to stray sexually, to break our promises, to be reckless."
Daily Jot: The brewing storm of North Korea and Iran - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
North Korea is once again threatening the nuclear annihilation of America. In testing yet another nuclear bomb, however, it may be North Korea at grave risk-not just from a possible preemptive military action from the United States. Chinese scientists, who have monitored the North Korean bomb tests, say the tests have occurred in the same site which now risks implosion and releasing toxic radiation across the region. While the world debates what to do with this terrible situation, it is important that we realize the history behind the North Korean nuclear program that history does not repeat itself. President Bill Clinton originally gave North Korea nuclear technology.
President Bill Clinton's long-held belief on nuclear weapons was that if everyone had them, nobody would use them and the world would be a safer place. On June 11, 1993, the US agreed to not use force or nuclear weapons against North Korea if it remained in the nonproliferation treaty. North Korea continued to develop its nuclear weapons program. On October 18, 1994, after 17 months of negotiations, Clinton signed a deal to give North Korea light water reactor nuclear technology if it stopped building nuclear weapons, saying, "Today all Americans should know that as a result of this achievement on Korea, our Nation will be safer and the future of our people more secure."
In his commitment to communist North Korea, Clinton is quoted as saying, "This US-North Korean agreement will help to achieve a long-standing and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula." Heritage Foundation archives document in an October 20 letter to North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il, (father of current dictator Kim Jong Un) Clinton vastly expanded America's commitments under the formal agreement to finance fuel shipments and reactors, ease its long-standing trade embargo and move toward first-ever diplomatic relations with North Korea. North Korea went on to develop nuclear weapons and to assist Iran in its nuclear weapons program.
Instead of having a safer future, the world is far more dangerous because of Clinton's reckless shenanigans. President Donald Trump is now faced with using military force and there is even a more far-reaching risk of radiation for the region. Thanks to Clinton, North Korea has lethal power, and future peace might only be secured with the price of many lives. Romans 12:18 says, "If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men." Peace is a two-way street, especially when millions of lives are at stake. Sadly, Trump may be forced to end what Clinton foolishly began. Sadly, history already is incubating a repeat for what the immediate past "president" did in Iran-another storm brewing.
Daily Devotion: Come and See! - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?" -John 4:29
There is a lot of power in the simplicity of a changed life. After Jesus spoke with the woman at the well in Samaria, she immediately went out and began to tell others. The Bible tells us that she "left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 'Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?' " (John 4:28-29).
Her testimony was so powerful that people believed as a result. The passage goes on to say, "Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, 'He told me everything I ever did!' " (verse 39). That is the power of a changed life.
When the Jewish leaders questioned the man whom Jesus healed, he replied, "I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!" (John 9:25).
It's so important when you can share the before and after of what God has done for you. Maybe people would never imagine that you used to be what you were or that you used to do what you once did, because you have been so transformed by Jesus Christ. And when you share that story, it can speak to them in a special way.
It is interesting how often the apostle Paul, who was a brilliant orator, a great communicator, and a wonderful intellect, would use his testimony to speak to people. When he was speaking before the Roman governor in Acts 24, he began with his own story of how he came to faith. Then he went to the essential core message of the gospel.
Your testimony, your story, is a way to begin building a bridge. It's a bridge to get to the bigger story, which is Jesus.
FROM THE HEART
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