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Prophecy Update Newsletter
September 22, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Arch of Ba'al - J.L. Robb - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8311
Ba'al was a bad boy in the false-god department 3600 years ago, maybe longer. His wife Ashteroth was not much better. They were both fertility deities and their world consisted of temple prostitution and human sacrifice as well as orgies and other forms of sexual decadence.
Ba'al was worshiped during the ancient Canaanite and Phoenician timeline. This important deity was considered the "giver of life" to mankind and mankind's flocks. The land of Canaan and its population were totally dedicated to Ba'al, who they considered the most important deity of the day with the exception of El, his father.
Canaan was the grandson of Noah and the land of Canaan was later given to the children of Israel by God, the real God. The Canaanites, in their zeal for Ba'al and the sex worship that came with it, may or may not be as evil as history has painted; but there is plenty of evidence. The Canaanites, in order to appease Ba'al, would kill their children and bury them in the foundations of their homes at the time of construction.
At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: "Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:
"At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates." Joshua 6:26 NIV
Starting in 1929, archaeological digs uncovered clay tablets in northern Syria and provided an education into the personality and purpose of Ba'al.
So what is the Arch of Ba'al?
There used to be an arch that stood before the temple of Ba'al in Palmyra, Syria, at least until ISIS came along recently and destroyed it in their obsession to blot out and rewrite history. An INFOWARS article explains that some believe this arch was actually a portal to the world of Ba'al, who some refer to as Satan. I suppose that would make it the Gate of Hell.
According to a CBN news article, the Institute of Digital Archaeology has announced the construction of a 48-foot-tall replica of the Victory Arch that once stood in front of the Temple of Ba'al.
Isn't that lovely?
Unless you have been in a cave the past week, most people know about the three terrorist attacks in New York City and New Jersey. These attacks were perpetrated on the citizens of the United States by none other than the descendants of Canaan, Islamic militants.
Now wouldn't you think, after the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 and the World Trade Center destruction of 2001, the continuing attempts to attack New York City and the successful attempts this past week, that the people of New York City would put a little more thought into building a replica of the Portal of Hell in Times Square? They think it is art, but it is idolatry.
This past week I was considering what I would write about and suddenly an article about the rebuilding of the Arch of Ba'al in Times Square came along. I knew little of this Arch, only the destruction of many historical and geological artifacts in Palmyra at the hands of Islamic extremists. Then a facebook friend sent me a history. His name is Bruce Tilson and his history of the Arch follows:
This is the history of the Arch. On Monday, September 19th, a reconstructed version of Palmyra's Arch Of Triumph (also known as the Monumental Arch) will be erected in New York City. Specifically, it will be located in City Hall Park in Manhattan. The organization behind this project is known as the Institute for Digital Archaeology, and they have confirmed the location and the date on their official website...
This arch was originally constructed in Palmyra, Syria by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in the 3rd century A.D., and it stood there until it was destroyed by ISIS in 2015. The following comes from the Wikipedia article about this arch...
The Monumental Arch, also called the Arch of Triumph or the Arch of Septimius Severus, was a Roman ornamental archway in Palmyra, Syria. It was built in the 3rd century during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus. Its ruins later became one of the main attractions of Palmyra, until it was destroyed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in October 2015. Most of its stonework still survives and there are plans to rebuild it using anastylosis...
Those that are familiar with ancient Middle Eastern deities already know that "Bel" and the "Baal" that we find in the Bible were one and the same. Here is more from Wikipedia...
Bel (/ˈbeɪl/; from Akkadian bēlu), signifying "lord" or "master", is a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in the Mesopotamian religion of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia. The feminine form is Belit 'Lady, Mistress'. Bel is represented in Greekas Belos and in Latin as Belus. Linguistically Bel is an East Semitic form cognate with Northwest Semitic Baal with the same meaning.
Back in April, the arch that stood directly in front of the Temple of Baal was supposed to be put up in Times Square, but fortunately that project was ultimately canceled. A reproduction of the Arch of Triumph (the arch discussed in this article) was put up in Trafalgar Square in London at that time, and there were rumblings that a reproduction of the Arch of Triumph would also come to New York at a later date.
Unfortunately, that has now become a reality.
So why are people getting so upset about some ancient arch that may be connected to an ancient god that nobody seems to worship anymore?
Well, the truth is that "Baal" is mentioned in the Bible more than 100 times. A very high percentage of current world religions can be traced directly back to this ancient deity and to ancient Babylon, and the practices involved in ancient Baal worship are "eerily similar" to things that go on in society today. The following comes from an excellent article by Matt Barber...
Ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants - men and women alike - would engage in bisexual orgies. The ritual of convenience was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of "mother earth."
The natural consequences of such behavior - pregnancy and childbirth - and the associated financial burdens of "unplanned parenthood" were easily offset. One could either choose to engage in homosexual conduct or - with child sacrifice available on demand - could simply take part in another fertility ceremony to "terminate" the unwanted child.
Modern liberalism deviates little from its ancient predecessor. While its macabre rituals have been sanitized with flowery and euphemistic terms of art, its core tenets and practices remain eerily similar.
We tend to think that we are vastly more "advanced" than the pagan idol worshippers of the ancient world, but is that really the case?
They killed their babies by the thousands, but we have killed our babies by the millions.
They had "free love" around the altars of Baal, but we have turned it into a permanent lifestyle.
Multitudes would gather around the altars of Baal to watch the bisexual orgies, but we have turned watching others having sex into a multi-billion dollar industry.
Just like ancient Israel, our society has turned away from following the God that created all things, and instead we are embracing the ways of the ancient pagan world. Unfortunately, there are very serious consequences for doing this. Just consider what Jonathan Cahn recently told George Noory during an interview on Coast to Coast...
"Western Civilization was once totally pagan and then in a sense it got cleaned up," Cahn said. "But what [one of these mysteries is] saying is, if it turns back away from God and turns to evil and immorality, it's going to be seven times worse than it was before. And how that translates is, before you had the Gospel you had Nero, you had Caligula. But when you have a post-Christian civilization, it's much more dangerous than a pre-Christian one. But that's when you produce Hitler's, you produce Stalin's, you produce ultimately the Antichrist. That's end-time prophecy. We are witnessing that as well."
I believe that it is quite appropriate that an arch that once served as a gateway to the Temple of Baal is going up in New York City on Monday, because we are going down the exact same path that ancient Israel once did.
Sadly, if we keep doing the same things that they once did, our ultimate fate will end up being very similar as well.
Sadly, it seems that is what the world population does. That is why we keep repeating history.
After world urges two-state solution, PM to present 'Israel's truth' to UN - By Raoul Wootliff - http://www.timesofisrael.com/after-world-urges-two-state-solution-pm-to-present-israels-truth-to-un/
Amid uptick in violence by Palestinian attackers, Netanyahu will address the GA on Thursday shortly after Abbas, Iran's Rouhani
Following numerous speeches by world leaders encouraging Israel to adopt the two-state solution, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United Nations General Assembly Thursday for his eighth speech to the annual plenary session.
The speech will come less than an hour after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to address the confab, amid a sharp uptick in attacks by Palestinians against IDF soldiers in recent days.
Also scheduled to speak before Netanyahu is Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has been a target of the Israeli leader's opprobrium in many past speeches to the world body.
Netanyahu is 15th on the roster of world leaders scheduled to speak in the Thursday morning session at the UN, and is expected to go up to the podium at about 12:40 p.m. New York time (7:40 p.m. in Israel). Rouhani is 12th on the list and Abbas 13th.
Before taking off for the UN headquarters on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he intended to urge world powers to unite in the campaign against terror.
"I expect from the international community a uniform standard in the war on terrorism," he said. "Today the entire international community says that there is a need to wage a determined and uncompromising fight against terrorism. And indeed, they must also support the determined and uncompromising fight against terrorism, and this moral clarity is necessary to both fight against - and defeat - terrorism."
The prime minister added that he would "present Israel's case, Israel's truth, Israel's justice and also Israel's heroism - the heroism of our soldiers, our police officers and our citizens, who are waging an uncompromising struggle against brutal terrorism," during his address to world leaders.
The prime minister's speeches to the UN assembly in the last several years dealt largely with the issue of Iran's nuclear program and trying to stymie the agreement between world powers and Iran that has, Jerusalem claimed, does little to push Tehran further from a nuclear weapon.
Last year he rebuked world powers for failing to challenge Iran over its threats to destroy Israel, accusing the international community of "deafening silence," as he himself stood in silence for 44 seconds, staring reproachfully at the crowd.
Thursday's speech comes a day after Netanyahu met with US President Barak Obama on the sidelines of the assembly, in what was likely the last encounter between the two in their current positions.
In their public remarks, the two displayed a jovial camaraderie with Obama only briefly mentioning peace efforts with the Palestinians and concerns over settlement building.
But behind closed doors, senior Obama administration officials claimed Obama was more pointed, raising "profound US concerns" that settlement-building was eroding prospects for peace. Netanyahu challenged that notion, said one official, adding that the two leaders had not "papered over" their differences.
In his own address to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama said that while the Palestinians should reject terror and incitement, Israel must recognize that it cannot "permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land."
"Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel. But Israel must recognize that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land. We all have to do better," he added.
A number of other world leaders also mentioned the Israel-Palestinian conflict, warning against the rejection of the two-state solution.
In the opening speech of the session, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the only solution to the conflict would be a two-state solution, and that the one-state option would "spell doom" for both sides.
On stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Ban said that prospects for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel "are being lowered by the day."
"It pains me that this past decade has been lost to peace. Ten years lost to illegal settlement expansion. Ten years lost to intra-Palestinian divide, growing polarization and hopelessness," he said, adding that West Bank settlements were "obstacles to progress."
"This is madness. Replacing a two-state solution with a one-state construct would spell doom: denying Palestinians their freedom and rightful future, and pushing Israel further from its vision of a Jewish democracy towards greater global isolation," said Ban.
Jordan's King Abdullah warned Israel would find itself in "a sea of hatred" if it did not accept a Palestinian state.
"No injustice has spread more bitter fruit than the denial of a Palestinian state. I say: Peace is a conscious decision," the king said. "Israel has to embrace peace or eventually be engulfed in a sea of hatred in a region of turmoil."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he planned to use recently strengthened ties with Israel to help encourage the peace process with the Palestinians, calling the implementation of a two-state solution an "obligation of the international community."
"There is a need to allow for the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the two-state solution," he told the UN General Assembly in New York. "It is an obligation of the international community toward the Palestinian children, if nothing else."
Egypt's president, veering off his written speech, urged Israel and the Palestinians to look to the "wonderful" example set by his country and the Jewish state and agree on a solution that lets them exist in peace as two neighboring states.
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi described the Israel-Egypt model as "a real opportunity to write a bright page in the history of our region to move towards peace."
Sissi said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was at "the core of regional instability" and called for a settlement based on a two-state solution leading to a Palestinian state.
Eastern Europe: The Last Barrier Between Christianity and Islam - By Giulio Meotti - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=668
Perhaps it was a coincidence that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and tipped to be the next Pope, chose September 12, the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey's Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, to deliver a most dramatic appeal to save Europe's Christian roots.
"Many Muslims want and say that 'Europe is finished'," Cardinal Schönborn said, before accusing Europe of "forgetting its Christian identity." He then denounced the possibility of "an Islamic conquest of Europe."
Konrad Pesendorfer, head of the Austrian Office of Statistics, said that by 2030, 40% of the population of Vienna will be foreign-born, thanks to internal demography and migration flows (60,000 arrivals in just one year).
Since the fall of Constantinople in 1453, much of Eastern Europe's Christian population spent centuries under Islamic occupation, particularly under the Ottomans. It now seems that the clock has reverted to 1683, when Ottoman armies were at the gates of Vienna.
It is not a coincidence that the fierce resistance of Eastern Europeans has been the main impediment to a unified response by the European Union to the migrant crisis. It was these Eastern states that forced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to halt the massive flux of migrants. Today, where there is no border, migrants keep coming en masse. In August alone, 23,000 migrants arrived in Italy.
Brussels is whipping up a propaganda war to cast the Western Europeans, who favor unvetted Muslim migration, as cosmopolitan and tolerant, and Eastern Europeans as a bunch of xenophobic bigots, if not outright neo-Nazis.
Europe's educated elite might do well to listen to their Eastern brethren. These countries, ironically, are the core of the "new Europe," the last to join the European project and the very countries, having escaped from authoritarian regimes, which should have revived it. Brussels' policy is now pushing this Eastern bloc back under Russia's sphere of influence.
The Eastern Europeans' reluctance to open the doors to massive Muslim migration can be explained by the economic crisis, falling birth rates, their relatively homogenous societies, the persecution of the Christians under Communism, memories of a conflict with Islam dating back to the Middle Ages, and the attempt by Brussels to impose a cultural agenda.
The European Parliament, in fact, has constantly passed resolutions pressuring conservative East European member-states such as Poland, Hungary and Croatia, to legalize same-sex marriage and abortion on demand.
The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, calls him "Viktator" Orbán. But Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, defiant, is going ahead with the construction of a wall on Hungary's border with Serbia.
When Communism fell, Hungary was the first country to open the Iron Curtain and let people out. Now it is first country to erect a fence to keep people out. Orbán is also planning an additional fence along that border.
Orbán is the Eastern nemesis of the European elite. No one else in Europe except him speaks about defending "Christianity." The "Visegrad-4," the alliance between Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia, want to distinguish between Christian and Muslim immigrants. Orbán has the support of Hungarian bishops who oppose Pope Francis' open-armed policy toward migrants.
In an opinion piece for the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, Orbán wrote:
"Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity."
Orbán's rebelliousness goes back to his student days in 1989, when he was at the funeral of Imre Nagy, who led the anti-Soviet insurrection of 1956 -- Orbán had the courage to demand the withdrawal of the communist invaders.
Orbán later led Hungary into NATO.
Son of a communist and a Calvinist mother, Orbán has a devout Catholic wife and five children. To those who question whether he is a reactionary, Orbán replies: "I eat with a fork and a knife, but we are not nice guys from the mainstream." For him, the European Commission is a kind of new politburo. "We did not tolerate being dictated to from Vienna in 1848 nor from Moscow in 1956 and 1990," Orbán said. "Now we're not going to allow ourselves to be dictated to by anyone from Brussels or anywhere else."
Orbán's speeches are full of historical references, as when he asked Hungarians to behave with the same courage shown by their ancestors "in the war against the Ottoman armies."
The Hungarian constitution is unique in Europe; it protects "life from conception" and says that marriages can take place only between a man and a woman.
Orbán's approach has been adopted by other ex-communist members of the EU. Poland's President Andrzej Duda complained about "dictates" from Brussels to accept migrants flowing into the Continent from the Middle East and Africa.
Meanwhile Poland's Law and Justice Party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, appealed "to an old historical viewpoint, according to which Poland is a bulwark for Christianity in the East and must save Europe from itself."
"Since its adoption of Christianity in 966, Poland has often played the role of Antemurale Christianitatis, a bastion of Christendom," according to Crisis Magazine.
"From halting the European advance of Mongols at the Battle of Legnica in 1241, to saving Europe from Muslim colonization when King John III Sobieski defeated the Turks at Vienna in 1683, this has been reinforced. Communism failed to extinguish Polish Catholicism, when John Paul II was elected pope in 1978 and inspired the rise of the Solidarity movement, which playing a crucial role in ending communism. More recently, Polish immigrants have filled hitherto empty pews in Western Europe. During the current Vatican synod on the family, Polish bishops have been among the most vocal defenders of tradition."
The prime minister of another Eastern European country, Robert Fico of Slovakia, said his country will accept only Christian refugees; that Islam "has no place" in his country and that "multiculturalism is a fiction."
Czech President Milos Zeman also attacked multiculturalism. Even Socratis Hasikos, Cyprus' interior minister, said that his country would accept refugees but wanted them to be Christians. For many Cypriots, the line that divides the island is a frontier between Greek Christianity and Turkish Islam, just as the Berlin Wall was a frontier between democracy and communism.
As the prestigious American Catholic magazine First Things noted, "in Hungary, Croatia, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, a pro-family, pro-life revolution and a rediscovery of Christian roots is occurring."
Like it or not, the last chance to save Europe's roots might well come from the former communist members of the EU -- those who defeated the Ottomans in 1699 and now feel culturally threatened by their heirs.
Cypriots know much better than the comfortable bureaucrats of Brussels the consequences of a cultural collision. Ask about their churches on the Turkish side of the island; how many of them are still standing?
Burned Mystery Scroll Digitally Unraveled Reveals Bible Unchanged for 2,000 Years - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever.'" Isaiah 40:8 (The Israel Bible™)
This week, incredible cutting-edge technology allowed archaeologists to finally read the contents of a burned 1,500-year-old scroll found near the Dead Sea in 1970. The remarkable discovery of verses from the Book of Leviticus, which matched, letter for letter, the Hebrew text still in use today, is the first instance of one of the Five Books of Moses ever found in a Holy Ark.
On Wednesday, researchers in Kentucky and Jerusalem announced in the Science Advances journal the success of new technology called 'virtual unwrapping'. A complicated and difficult process based on the technology used in medical CT scans, researchers said it "represents a significant leap forward in the field of manuscript recovery, conservation, and analysis".
The technique allowed scientists to read the Ein Gedi Scroll, a charred, ancient parchment discovered in an ancient destroyed synagogue on the shores of the Dead Sea more than forty years ago which has sat on a shelf, untouchable and indecipherable, ever since.
When the researchers saw the first results, it made for a startling revelation: the scroll contained the first eight verses of Leviticus, making it the earliest Torah writings ever found in the Holy Ark of an ancient synagogue and marking a significant discovery in Biblical archaeology.
Studies based on historical handwriting placed it at either the first or second century CE. When the researchers read the digitally enhanced text, they discovered that all of the words and paragraph breaks were absolutely identical to the Torah text still used today.
"This is quite amazing for us. In 2,000 years, this text has not changed," Emmanuel Tov, a participant in the study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told the Times of Israel,
"There are clear signs of continuity of tradition," Professor Tov said in an interview with National Geographic. "It can't be coincidental that the synagogue in Ein Gedi that was burned in the sixth century housed an early scroll whose text was completely identical with medieval texts. The same central stream of Judaism that used this Levitical scroll in one of the early centuries of our era was to continue using it until the late Middle Ages when printing was invented."
Torah-observant archaeologist Benyamin Storchan, who straddles the two worlds of science and religion, agreed. According to him, the discovery fits perfectly into Judaism's spiritual history.
"This a textual building block in the big story. The consistency of the text shows that we have an unbroken chain, the end result being present day Judaism," Storchan told Breaking Israel News.
The scroll was first discovered in 1970, when archaeologists were working near Ein Gedi, a natural spring oasis on the shore of the Dead Sea. They discovered the remains of a Jewish community dating back to eighth century BCE.
The small city had thrived until 600 CE, when it was destroyed and the buildings burned. In the remains of the ark of the synagogue, the archaeologists found a parchment rolled up but entirely burned, so damaged by fire that it was impossible to unroll it for inspection without the charred parchment crumbling into ashes.
The scroll was faithfully stored away by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) with little hope of ever being able to study what was written on them.
Forty years later, in 2015, computer scientists at the University of Kentucky developed software for unraveling damaged and delicate texts. Originally designed for deciphering Roman scrolls, the technique is even more successful with ancient Jewish texts written with ink containing a metal element that shows up more clearly on the X-ray scans.
Scroll fragment as it was delivered to The Lunder Family Dead Sea Scrolls Conservation Center, IAA.
The researchers scanned 100 sections from the charred remains of the Ein Gedi scroll, which had been rolled five times. Incredibly, they were able to create a digital image of the scroll and "unroll" the image without even touching it. The scan revealed two columns of writing, composed of 35 lines, 18 of which were preserved while the other 17 had to be digitally reconstructed.
Until 1947, the oldest known Biblical texts dated only to the tenth century. The Dead Sea Scrolls, written in approximately the third century BCE, provided a rare and exciting glimpse into even earlier ancient Jewish texts. Now, the Ein Gedi scroll is filling out that picture and confirming the authenticity of present-day texts.
Jewish scribal tradition ensures that discrepancies in reproduction do not occur. Holy texts are hand-copied letter for letter from accepted originals. Strict guidelines are given for writing techniques, shapes of letters, and breaks in the text, striving to maintain an unbroken chain from Sinai. The latest discovery is the closest Jews have yet come to proof that the chain has remained intact.
DISCLAIMER: We love Michael Snyder and appreciate his well-written and insightful articles, but we have to agree to disagree when it comes to his viewpoints concerning the Rapture and the Tribulation. We want to make it clear that we in no way endorse or approve of his Post Tribulation viewpoint nor his new book, "The Rapture Verdict." We believe that the Bible clearly teaches that the Church will not go through the Great Tribulation, but will be Raptured prior to the beginning of this time of Jacob's Trouble. Furthermore, we believe the Bible teaches that the Tribulation period can't even begin until we are taken out of the way! Some pre-tribulation ministries have completely banned Michael Snyder. For the time being, we will continue to post his very popular articles, but only with this disclaimer included.
A Second Night of Riots Rocks Charlotte as America Teeters On the Edge of Chaos - By Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/a-second-night-of-riots-rocks-charlotte-as-america-teeters-on-the-edge-of-chaos
Rioting and civil unrest are becoming a common occurrence in America. The city of Charlotte has been hit by a second night of violence even though authorities are desperately pleading for calm. What sparked the chaos in Charlotte was the shooting of a 43-year-old black man named Keith Lamont Scott. It appears that he was armed when he was shot, and the police officer that shot him was also black, but those facts have done little to ease the fury of the protesters. On Tuesday night 16 police officers were injured by rioters, including one that was hit in the face by a rock. Hopefully there will be fewer casualties by the time the violence on Wednesday night is over.
So far things don't look good though. The following is how USA Today is describing the violence that we have witnessed so far on Wednesday night...
A second night of dramatic protests gripped this North Carolina city Wednesday night, one day after a police-involved shooting of an African-American man led to angry demonstrations, smashed windows and trucks set ablaze.
Protesters beat against a police van and broke a window of the Ciity Smoke barbecue restaurant and bar downtown. Some yelled "hands up, don't shoot." Police tossed out smoke bombs. Protesters running outside of the Omni Charlotte Hotel said someone had been shot but that could not immediately be confirmed Wednesday night.
Later on it was confirmed that someone indeed was shot. In fact, local news is reporting that there is a pool of blood on the ground...
At least one person was injured in the confrontation, though it wasn't immediately clear how.
"They shot him," one witness told WBTV. "They tried to cover up his blood."
Firefighters rushed in to pull the man to a waiting ambulance.
Officers on bicycles surrounded a pool of blood on the ground and a few people threw bottles and clods of dirt at police.
Of course this follows an extremely tense night of violence and chaos that made headlines all over the globe. Just hours after Keith Lamont Scott was shot, hundreds of very angry protesters descended on downtown Charlotte...
Several hundred people blocked streets well after midnight, despite the use of tear gas by police in riot gear. Clouds of tear gas drifted over the crowd, and people coughed and fell back before walking toward police lines again multiple times.
They held signs that said "Stop Killing Us" and "Black Lives Matter," and they chanted "No justice, no peace." One sign read: "IT WAS A BOOK."
The scene was sometimes chaotic and tense, with water bottles and stones thrown at police lines, but many protesters called for peace and implored their fellow demonstrators not to act violently.
In addition to 16 police officers being injured, there were reports that rioters were hurling "rocks, bottles and traffic cones off interstate overpasses". A number of vehicles were hit, and injuries were reported.
This kind of mindless violence makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Those drivers had nothing to do with the shooting, but an object thrown at a vehicle from an overpass can literally kill someone.
How would killing a totally innocent person bring justice for Keith Lamont Scott?
Sadly, this is what happens when riots start. They all too often spin wildly out of control.
In addition to everything else, one group of protesters decided that it would be a really good idea to loot a Wal-Mart...
Protesters headed to the Walmart on N. Tryon in the University area after shutting down Interstate-85 at WT Harris Blvd. early Wednesday morning following the shooting death of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott.
Officers in riot gear blocked the entry to Walmart after it was broken into. Employees could be seen sweeping up shattered glass at the front entrance.
One employee told FOX 46 Charlotte some technology was stolen including, a flat screen television and iPads.
Once again, stealing televisions and iPads is not going to do anything to bring justice for Keith Lamont Scott. There are always people that see chaos as an opportunity to take advantage of others, and this is yet another example. We live in a society that is an advanced state of moral decay, and situations like this bring it to the surface.
What is truly unfortunate is that it sounds like the police actually followed correct procedure in this case. According to Police Chief Kerr Putney, Keith Lamont Scott was armed and refused to drop his weapon after repeated demands to do so...
Police Chief Kerr Putney said during a news conference that officers were searching for a suspect Tuesday when they saw Scott exit a vehicle with a handgun at an apartment complex on the city's northeast side. "The officers gave loud, clear verbal commands which were also heard by many of the witnesses. They were instructing the subject, once he got out of the vehicle, to drop the weapon... Mr. Scott exited his vehicle armed with a handgun as the officers continued to yell at him to drop it."
Unfortunately, we have gotten to a point where a riot is almost expected every time an African-American male is shot by police in this country. I think that Rush Limbaugh put it very well on his radio show...
It's a sad observation, folks. I'm telling you, a sad, sad observation but it's an observation that I don't think I'm alone in making. It seems like rioting is almost expected now when there is a cop shooting. A cop shooting, period. Don't care about the details. It seems like it's now axiomatic that there's going to be rioting or massive public protests or threats of rioting or threats of unrest every time the cops have to draw their weapons.
Without a doubt, police brutality in the United States is out of control, and this is something that I have been writing about for a very long time.
But rioting, looting and violence are not going to solve anything.
We desperately need to learn how to love one another, and we desperately need to come together as a nation to work on finding some solutions.
Instead, America is becoming increasingly divided, and anger and frustration are rising to unprecedented levels.
And if we are witnessing this much chaos now, while things are still relatively stable, what are things going to look like once economic conditions get really bad?
Our society is literally coming apart at the seams, and the chaos and the violence are going to get much worse than this. We wanted to push God out of every aspect of public life, and now we are beginning to see what that looks like.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
Live Unashamed for Christ - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Take a look around. What do you see? Everywhere you look you'll see people who flaunt sin. Lifestyles that should cause shame are paraded in front of us in stores, sports events, and in parks. We even invite the perversion into our homes via television. T-shirts carry pornographic messages and bumper stickers are vulgar. Children see these things and get the message that it's ok to use foul language or brag about sexual encounters. I, for one, am offended. Why is it that the lost people openly glorify vulgarity without shame, but Christians seem to be ashamed of Jesus? We sit quietly by as laws are passed that glorify sin and we don't want to cause trouble by confronting schools for teaching our children to accept ungodly morals. Are we afraid of reproach? "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." 1 Peter 4:14. Christians have dropped the ball. Not only have we dropped the ball but we've thrown it down like a hot potato. Are we more interested in placating those who follow Satan instead of winning these lost souls to Christ? As Christians, we need to know what God expects then live by His rules and eschew sin. We must stop living as if we are ashamed of Christ.
Sin is sin. It hasn't changed and God hasn't softened His opinion of it. It's somewhat understandable that people who haven't accepted Christ for salvation would keep right on sinning. They should be ashamed but they have no moral guidelines. On the other hand, Christians do have moral guidelines and should know what God wants. We need to follow Him instead of the world. While we live on this side of Heaven we'll continue to sin, but when we accept Christ for salvation we repent. Right? Did anyone explain to you what that means? Well, it doesn't mean that we suddenly know every sin we have ever committed and go through the list one by one saying "Forgive me for this sin and that sin". What it does mean is you change your mind about sin. You understand that you're a sinner saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It also means that you need to study the Bible for guidance. Any action or lifestyle that is not God ordained is sin. Period. Because of sin nobody can stand before the Most Holy God by their own righteousness. Only the righteousness of Jesus takes sin away and makes a person worthy to stand before God. Jesus was beaten unmercifully and hung on the cross to face death for your sins and mine. He hung there naked, with His beard plucked out and a crown of thorns forced upon His head. He took all of our sins upon Himself that day. He suffered this torture out of pure love for all of mankind. Without His sacrifice we would still be dead in our sins, so don't be ashamed of Him.. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16. Are you ashamed of Christ? The heathens aren't ashamed of following satanic ways, but quite often it's difficult to tell the Christians from the heathens. Many Christians like the fact that they are forgiven of sin, but they just don't want to give it up. That has to change.
People like to say "Don't judge me", but one day everyone will be judged by God. If you haven't earnestly accepted Christ for salvation then your judgment will be painful and eternal. If you do claim to be a Christian, then stop being ashamed of Him. You'll face Him one day. The judgment Christians face won't be one of condemnation, but one that judges what was done for Him. Everything that wasn't done for Christ will be burned up like wood, hay, and stubble. That's when the shame of how you lived in this life will become apparent. Get rid of the t-shirts that carry sinful messages, clean up your language, quit going to movies that glorify sin, and scrape those disgusting stickers off your bumper. That make your "more saved" but it will show that your aren't ashamed of Jesus. Stop and think for a moment about standing before the Creator of the universe awaiting His judgment of your works. Will you stand there wearing a t-shirt that glorifies sin? Will you have the punch line of a dirty joke written upon your heart instead of Scripture? Even if you don't have that t-shirt on, He knows you have it. Jesus knows the thoughts of your heart. He can see the friends you spend time with instead of spending time with Him. Christians are forgiven and our sins were washed away by His shed blood, but that isn't a license to continue in sin. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:1-2. How indeed. Are you ashamed of Him? If not then don't be ashamed to live for Him. Begin by recognizing the sin in your life and asking Him to help you to turn from it. Only through God's grace can we obtain salvation and we all need to serve Him better out of gratitude for what He did for us.
Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will bring salvation. Many Christians, though, seem to be ashamed of Him. Instead of honoring Him, many Christians join the unsaved in their activities. Is it easy to live a Christian life in a culture that glorifies sin and mocks our Lord? No, but that's no excuse for identifying with sinners. We can learn many lessons from the New Testament, but we can also learn from the Old Testament. God loves us, but He always judges sin. Noah lived among heathens, but he wasn't ashamed to live according to God's ways. Because he obeyed God and built the Ark, he and his family were saved through the judgment. Do you know the story of Lot? He lived in Sodom, a city that was crawling with homosexuals and sin. God judged their sin, but Lot was saved from that judgment because he didn't join in their sin. "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:" 2 Peter 2:6-9. Oh yes, God's judgment is coming again. Praise God, Christians will be Raptured prior to Daniel's 70th week, just as Lot was removed from Sodom prior to God's judgment. Lot made a bad decision by living in such a morally corrupt city, but he was vexed by the "...filthy conversation of the wicked..." (conversation means their way of life). Today is as wicked as Noah's day and Lot's. Heathens aren't ashamed of all the sinful things they embrace, but why do Christians join the sin? Christians salvation is not based upon how we live but upon our faith in Jesus Christ, but we need to be ashamed of our sin and strive to live more Godly lives.
The unsaved people around us need to hear the Gospel. That's how salvation happens. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. Chances are you live in an area that is filled with people who desperately need to hear the Gospel. Whether you live in England, France, South Africa, or the United States of America you live on a mission field. Speak up. When schools teach un-Christian subjects to the children, let your school teachers and administrators know that you are ashamed of them. Don't be ashamed to talk about Jesus and tell everyone what He did for you. We all have a testimony. You can't be taken seriously if you have the same appearance, embrace the same lifestyles, and talk in the same manner as the lost people around you. Don't be "holier than thou" but do strive to live as God's word teaches. Remember, God is love. Show His love to others by allowing Him to live through you. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye live in them." Colossians 3:5-7. In other words, before we were sanctified by accepting Christ's sacrifice for salvation we walked in sin. After accepting His free gift of salvation we begin the process of justification, which is the ongoing process of getting rid of the sin in our life. The process will continue until we are glorified, that is until we die or are Raptured. While living here on earth we need to be ashamed of the sin in our life and stop walking in it. We need to draw nearer to Christ.
It would make a big difference if Christians took their faith seriously. Sin isn't amusing, nor is it winked at by God. Peter tells us to get serious about our faith and turn away from former ways. "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:14-16. The word "conversation" means your way of living and "holy" means to be set apart from the ways of the world. When we accept Christ our life should be evidence of our faith. If someone judged you for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to prove your faith? Are you holy as our Saviour is holy? It's His righteousness, not our own, that saves us, but if you aren't ashamed of Him it will be reflected in the way you live.
Temptations will always come our way, but the closer we walk with Christ the easier it is to resist temptation. The lost and unsaved aren't ashamed to flaunt the sins of carnal lust and promote satanic lifestyles. If you're a Christian don't be ashamed of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Live your life so all can see that you aren't ashamed of Him.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The surge of dark side and your light - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
America is under a great attack from the dark side. Police killings, terrorist attacks, racial unrest, corruption, finger-pointing, demagoguery are all part of the obvious problems. It seems like the floodgates of evil have been opened and the demons are having a field day. Some will call it judgment, others will say it's consequences. Irrespective of your perspective, it is obvious that there are deep-rooted issues that need to be addressed. They are issues that have come to a head after years of bad leadership-both spiritual and political. Until there are changes in leadership, these types of issues will continue. We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results. This is how the dark side arises.
The question is, "What can we do?" Many want me to tell them what to do. That is not my charge, nor my calling. But I can encourage you. In the deepest darkest night, the ships in the ocean look upon the horizon for signs of danger. If they see a lighthouse, they know they are approaching land and must exercise caution. That little bit of light shines through the darkness and gives direction, hope and safety. Those of us who proclaim Christianity have a particular calling in times like these. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." Ephesians 5:8 says, "For you were once darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light."
Those who do not know the Lord cannot be held to the same standard as those of us who do. Yes, they need to obey the laws and understand that taking a life, or lives, is wrong. But in the absence of the light of the world, which is Jesus Christ, are their hearts changed beyond the law? Romans 10:13-15 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
You can make a difference. In fact, you are called by Christ to make a difference. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." America is experiencing a great darkness. Within you is the light of Christ. As Paul exhorts in Romans 13:10-12, "Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. And this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." While many seek a political solution to the darkness, the best remedy for the dark side is the Light of Christ. You have it. Share it as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Daily Devotion: When You're Unwilling - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. -Matthew 5:44-45
My mother was married and divorced seven times. I had the privilege of sharing the gospel with several of my mother's husbands, including Oscar Laurie, the man who adopted me. He came to faith in Christ, and I was very thankful for that. However, there was another husband of hers whom I will call Eddie. He was an alcoholic and almost killed my mother one night when he was drunk.
After I became a Christian, I sensed that God wanted me to share the gospel with Eddie. But I didn't really want to. I thought, He is a bad man, and I don't want to talk to him again. I don't want to see him again. But I went anyway. And I would like to say that it was a glorious experience and that he got down on his knees and accepted Christ. But I can't say that. He listened to me. He was nice. He was pleasant about it and said, "Well, you know I am glad this has happened for you, Greg." I invited him to come and hear me preach, but he again said no.
There may be someone like that in your life who has hurt you, someone who has disappointed you. And you think because of that, you don't ever want to talk to them again, much less share the gospel with them. But as believers, we are to overcome our personal prejudice and hang-ups. And instead of saying, "Never, Lord," we need to say, "Yes, Lord!" Be willing. See what God will do. They may react like Eddie. Or they may react like Oscar.
Maybe there is even someone right now whom you regard as an enemy. What can you do? You can share the gospel-and leave the results in the hands of God.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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