Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Bend Until It Breaks - Pete Garcia -
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:26-31
Addressing the Greeks at Mar's Hill in Athens, the Apostle Paul begins his discussion by complimenting them (in a way) on how religious these stoics, Epicureans, and philosophers were, even going so far as to dedicate an altar to "the unknown god." Of interest to this article, is where Paul identifies a period of time known only as the 'times of ignorance,' which God overlooked.
While Paul doesn't specifically state which times these were, one could assume he was referring to the antediluvian period before Noah's flood and also afterward to the pagan civilizations who arose after the Tower of Babel global scattering (Gen. 11:1-10). But also take note that God no longer ignores or tolerates ignorance as an excuse any longer. It is apparent that at the fullness of times (Galatians 4:4-5), that generation were the recipients of both the fulfillment of the Old Testament (or the Tanakh) prophecies, as well as the physical manifestation of their promised Messiah. This is why Jesus was particularly harsh when rebuking Israel for their rejection of who was clearly promised to them in Scripture.
Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you." Matthew 11:20-24
By Paul's day, the Law had already been given to Israel some 1,500 years previous, and also all the prophets from Enoch to John the Baptist, through whom God spoke. The experts (Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees) led the people to almost overwhelmingly reject Jesus and His Gospel and going so far as to kill the One whom God sent by way of the pagan Romans. Even after the Resurrection, Jesus remained with the disciples in geographical Israel for another 40 days as proof that He was alive again.
Through Israel came the Messiah who fulfilled both the Law and the prophecies concerning Himself and He now commands all men to repent because judgment is coming. We can know judgment is coming with absolute certainty because God raised this Man Christ Jesus from the grave (Amos 3:7). This authentication to that generation (due to their rejection of Him), came by way of the sign of Jonah (Matt. 12:39), was given with the same level of divine authority that Jesus forgave the paralytic of his sins in front of Scribes. When they balked at this, He challenged them and said (paraphrasing here) is it harder for me to forgive his sins, or tell him to get up and walk? He then authenticated His power to forgive sins by telling the paralytic to get up and walk (Mark 2:1-12).
Invariably, every society, kingdom, empire, and nation that has ever existed has always moved along the same path towards self-destruction without exception. That is because all of the aforementioned are filled with people, and people are filled with sin. Without divine intervention, sin always corrupts and destroys. That is why there were even "times of ignorance" so soon after creation and the flood, because mankind willingly rejected the truth, thus searing their conscious for generations. Even then, God showed lenience. But man can only bend so far before he is completely broken. Nations can only delve so far into wickedness before they are brought to ruin. That is why we haven't seen a kingdom last more than a few centuries at a time. True, some empires such as the Romans or certain Chinese dynasties have lasted longer, but they never stay the same shape. They have to continually evolve in form in order to stay alive.
Man's sin is like a genetic error that keeps reappearing in the family tree. At its core lies the idea that man has the capacity to become like God. This becomes something our adversary the Devil masterfully and dutifully repackages and regurgitates on a regular basis. Every religion, ideology, philosophy, and worldview that teaches redemption apart from Jesus Christ, is antichrist at the core and is anathema. And if we believe the Bible to be true (I do), then the history of this world is one replete with man's continual rebellion against its creator God. This is why the world was given over to Satan in the garden. Man forfeited his right to rule (Luke 4:5-7), and thus Satan uses that authority to place a veil over reality shielding fallen man from the truth.
...and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:3
The spirit of antichrist is one which can mean either against or in place of Christ. It seeks to replace our one and only Savior (John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5) with one more amenable and palatable to man's darkened heart. We know one day that this spirit of antichrist will be personified into a single person, the Antichrist, and he will embody the totality of evil. If you think about all the depravity and wickedness in the world today (mass shootings, terrorism, abortion, rape, violence, corruption, etc.), and imagine it being embodied into a single person, you would have the Antichrist. No wonder he is called the son of perdition and the man of lawlessness.
But as man continues to pursue wickedness in an ever-increasing capacity, the world continually sinks lower and lower to find a savior who embraces (and even encourages) man's sinful state. (See for example) But in man's descent arises another idea. If man can be like God, shouldn't man also be the arbiter of his own morality? The most recent examples we have seen of this is human secularism, and it has tainted every fabric of our society. Humanism denies the divine and questions everything that is, regardless of how obvious a thing may be. Is it any wonder that we are having the issues we are today? And every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25). Tragically, we are witnessing probably the greatest assault on truth, Christianity, sexuality, gender identity, marriage, and family the world has ever seen.
Well, there was this one time before...Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Gen. 6:5).
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Luke 17:26-30
I know there is already a lot of commentary on 'the days of Noah and Lot' out in the ether sphere. I don't think I'm adding anything significant to the collective group-think for remnant believers (to borrow a coined phrase from Jan Markell). What I would add though, is that all cultures/societies/civilizations have a breaking point. Every nation and empire has a point of no-return. Sometimes these breaking points are determined by metrics measuring birth/death ratios. For example, if a nation drops below the 2:1 birth to death ratio, the survival of said nation may be at significant risk. If births drop below 1.7:1, a nation's ability to survive becomes unrecoverable.
Other less tangible things may also be used as a metric...such as morality (or what a nation deems as morally acceptable) may point to its demise. For example, the Third Reich legally and culturally pushed Anti-Semitism to the point to where they arrived at the Final Solution. So bad was this destination that even to this day, some 70 years later the swastika is still reviled as one of the evilest symbols ever devised, because of what it once represented.
There is another metric though, and that is the divine one. After committing the blasphemy of desecrating the temple "vessels", God's handwriting appeared on the wall of Belshazzar's courtroom. So shaken was he at witnessing this, that scripture records that not only would his knees not stop shaking, but his loins were loosed. King Belshazzar was instructed to bring in the now elderly Daniel, who explains both the words and the meanings behind them. He (and the Babylonian leadership) were weighed and found wanting, meaning that his kingdom would be taken from him that very night when the Medes and Persians infiltrated Babylon-proper and killed the royals.
And this is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN
This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." Daniel 5:25-28
Anne Graham Lotz and others have pointed out, that we are a nation under judgment. If that is true, what is the handwriting on the walls for us? Is it just one thing?
Scripture doesn't give one specific, but many. In God's mercy and generosity, He points to many things we believers could see as 'signs of the time.' Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilence, so on and so forth (Matthew 24). Paul and other apostles speak to the increasing moral corruptness of culture in general, and the rising tide of apostasy in the church as signs of the end. Jesus pointed out the lukewarm nature of the final stage of the church. These weren't mentioned for their peculiarity, but rather for their increasing frequency and severity.
Technically speaking, the state we are at now is one where man is at his most dangerous. This primarily because not only have we created the most dangerous weapons mankind has ever known, but we also lack the moral and ethical foundations to govern ourselves properly.
The main differences between our days vs. Noah's is that we do not need a global flood to wipe out humanity; we have the technological and biological means to do it ourselves. The proverbial bell was rung when we entered into the Atomic Age. We can't undo that. We can't undo the development and proliferation of chemical and biological Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). We can't undo the internet or computers. We have crossed too many red-lines technologically speaking, in regards to quantum physics, genetics, and artificial intelligence that can't be undone.
God gave mankind 120 years before the judgment of the flood. Ironically, it's been 120 years since the First Zionist Congress in 1897, when God began stirring the Jews to leave Europe and get back to their ancient homeland. Jesus used the parable of the fig tree when referencing Israel, and to the other nations as 'all the trees' (Luke 21:29). Will we get more time? Will these trees continue to bend, or is there a breaking point ahead?
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." Luke 21:25-28
Iran and Gulf nations prepare for war. Sudden reshuffle in Iran's top army, naval commands -
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir on Monday, Nov. 6 accused Iran of an "act of war" in reference to the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi missile attack on Riyadh airport Saturday.
On Sunday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei secretly ordered a significant reshuffle in the high commands of the Iranian army and navy. Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Dadras was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, with orders to boost the intelligence and operational preparedness of the Army. He came from the post of commander of ground forces.
In a separate notice, Khamenei promoted Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi to commander of the Navy, replacing Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who was elevated to Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for operational coordination.
DEBKAfile's military sources add: Sayari spent the last ten years developing the combat doctrine practiced by the Iranian Navy and Revolutionary Guards in the Gulf, which hinges on special forces, especially marines, for naval and ground warfare. He was responsible for the tactics and harassment that Iranian forces directed at US warships and warplanes operating in the Gulf.
Sayari hands these functions over to Rear Admiral Khanzadi, while himself joining the Army's General Staff as head of operations of Iran's armed forces.
Khamenei emphasized that all these appointments were approved by the chief of staff, Maj.-Gen Abdolrahim Mousavi.
This major reshuffle occurs at a time of high tension between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, on the one hand, and Iran, on the other. This week it rose to eve-of-war pitch.
Saud Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir accused Iran of orchestrating an "act of war" and asserted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had the right to defend itself. He went on to say: "The Iranians can't interfere in the affairs of countries in the region and expect to get a free pass. There is no doubt that missiles and suicide boats are coming from Iran to the Al Houthis.
"We want to avoid war [with Iran] at all costs," he said, but Iran continues to violate "every international law and every international norm." Iran is waging a war through its regional proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Al Houthis in Yemen, Jubair said, adding, "we must say enough is enough" to Iran.
The coming DEBKA Weekly out on Friday, Nov. 11, sheds light, with insights, on the mostly secret preparations underway in Iran, the Gulf Emirates and other parts of the region in the expectation of a flare-up of armed hostilities, that may infect other parts of the Middle East.
Is Saudi Arabia Heading for War with Iran? - By Michael Snyder - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1749
Is a major war in the Middle East looming on the horizon? Most of us living in the western world simply do not realize how much Saudi Arabia and Iran truly hate one another.
Saudi Arabia is the global center for Sunni Islam, and Iran is the global center for Shia Islam, and the two major sects of Islam have a history of bad blood that literally goes back for over a thousand years.
The Saudis and the Iranians are already engaged in "proxy wars" in Syria and in Yemen, and now a missile that was fired at Riyadh's international airport threatens to turn the conflict between the two regional powers into a hot war.
If you are tempted to think that I am exaggerating one bit, just consider what the New York Times is saying about this...
Saudi Arabia charged Monday that Iran had committed "a blatant act of military aggression" by providing its Yemeni allies with a missile fired at the Saudi capital over the weekend, raising the threat of a direct military clash between the two regional heavyweights.
The accusations represent a new peak in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran at a time when they are already fighting proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, as well as battles for political power in Iraq and Lebanon.
And Yahoo is reporting that the Saudis are saying that this missile attack "may amount to an act of war"...
On Monday, a Saudi-led military coalition battling Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen said it reserved the "right to respond" to the missile attack on Riyadh at the weekend, calling it a "blatant military aggression by the Iranian regime which may amount to an act of war".
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir also warned Tehran.
"Iranian interventions in the region are detrimental to the security of neighbouring countries and affect international peace and security. We will not allow any infringement on our national security," Jubeir tweeted.
For those that have not grasped the implications of what I am saying yet, let me break this down very simply for you.
If Saudi Arabia and Iran go to war, the United States will be involved in that war on the side of the Saudis.
It would be a war unlike anything we have ever seen in the history of the Middle East, and it is almost a certainty that weapons of mass destruction would be used in such a war.
Essentially, what we are talking about is the potential for World War III to erupt in the Middle East.
And all of this comes at a time when the biggest "purge" in the modern history of Saudi Arabia is taking place...
A campaign of mass arrests of Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen expanded on Monday after a top entrepreneur was reportedly detained in the biggest anti-corruption purge of the kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history.
The reported arrest of Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar followed the detention of dozens of top Saudis including billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in a crackdown that the attorney general described as "phase one".
The purge is the latest in a series of dramatic steps by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to assert Saudi influence internationally and amass more power for himself at home.
Some would say that the Saudis are "cracking down on corruption", while others would say that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is "consolidating power" prior to going to war.
In any event, this situation deserves our full attention, because it could ultimately result in a major regional war in which the United States is directly involved.
Our world: Saudi purges and duty to act - By Caroline B. Glick - http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-world-Saudi-purges-and-duty-to-act-513535
The recent political shakeup in Saudi Arabia has great implications for the country's future, especially on its relationship with funding terrorist organizations.
For 70 years, Saudi Arabia served as the largest and most significant incubator of Sunni jihad. Its Wahhabist Islamic establishment funded radical mosques throughout the world. Saudi princes have supported radical Islamic clerics who have indoctrinated their followers to pursue jihad against the non-Islamic world. Saudi money stands behind most of the radical Islamic groups in the non-Islamic world that have in turn financed terrorist groups like Hamas and al-Qaida and have insulated radical Islam from scrutiny by Western governments and academics. Indeed, Saudi money stands behind the silence of critics of jihadist Islam in universities throughout the Western world.
As Mitchell Bard documented in his 2011 book, The Arab Lobby, any power pro-Israel forces in Washington, DC, have developed pales in comparison to the power of Arab forces, led by the Saudi government. Saudi government spending on lobbyists in Washington far outstrips that of any other nation. According to Justice Department disclosures from earlier this year, since 2015, Saudi Arabia vastly increased its spending on influence peddling. According to a report by The Intercept, "Since 2015, the Kingdom has expanded the number of foreign agents on retainer to 145, up from 25 registered agents during the previous two-year period."
Saudi lobbyists shielded the kingdom from serious criticism after 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were shown to be Saudi nationals. They blocked a reconsideration of the US's strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia after the attacks and in subsequent years, even as it was revealed that Princess Haifa, wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to Washington at the time the September 11 attacks occurred, had financially supported two of the hijackers in the months that preceded the attacks.
The US position on Saudi Arabia cooled demonstrably during the Obama administration. This cooling was not due to a newfound concern over Saudi financial support for radical Islam in the US. To the contrary, the Obama administration was friendlier to Islamists than any previous administration. Consider the Obama administration's placement of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in key positions in the federal government. For instance, in 2010, then secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano appointed Mohamed Elibiary to the department's Homeland Security Advisory Board. Elibiary had a long, open record of support both for the Muslim Brotherhood and for the Iranian regime. In his position he was instrumental in purging discussion of Islam and Jihad from instruction materials used by the US military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The Obama administration's cold relations with the Saudi regime owed to its pronounced desire to ditch the US's traditional alliance with the Saudis, the Egyptians and the US's other traditional Sunni allies in favor of an alliance with the Iranian regime.
During the same period, the Muslim Brotherhood's close ties to the Iranian regime became increasingly obvious. Among other indicators, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president Mohamed Morsi hosted Iranian leaders in Cairo and was poised to renew Egypt's diplomatic ties with Iran before he was overthrown by the military in July 2013. Morsi permitted Iranian warships to traverse the Suez Canal for the first time in decades.
Saudi Arabia joined Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group in 2014.
It was also during this period that the Saudis began warming their attitude toward Israel. Through Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and due to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's leading role in opposing Iran's nuclear program and its rising power in the Middle East, the Saudis began changing their positions on Israel.
Netanyahu's long-time foreign policy adviser, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs president Dr. Dore Gold, who authored the 2003 bestseller Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism which exposed Saudi Arabia's role in promoting jihadist Islam, spearheaded a process of developing Israel's security and diplomatic ties with Riyadh. Those ties, which are based on shared opposition to Iran's regional empowerment, led to the surprising emergence of a working alliance between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE with Israel during Israel's 2014 war with Hamas - the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is in the context of Saudi Arabia's reassessment of its interests and realignment of strategic posture in recent years that the dramatic events of the past few days in the kingdom must be seen.
Saturday's sudden announcement that a new anti-corruption panel headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the near simultaneous announcement of the arrest of more than two dozen royal family members, cabinet ministers and prominent businessmen is predominantly being presented as a power seizure by the crown prince. Amid widespread rumors that King Salman will soon abdicate the throne to his son, it is reasonable for the 32-year-old crown prince to work to neutralize all power centers that could threaten his ascension to the throne.
But there is clearly also something strategically more significant going on. While many of the officials arrested over the weekend threaten Mohammed's power, they aren't the only ones that he has purged. In September Mohammed arrested some 30 senior Wahhabist clerics and intellectuals. And Saturday's arrest of the princes, cabinet ministers and business leaders was followed up by further arrests of senior Wahhabist clerics.
At the same time, Mohammed has been promoting clerics who espouse tolerance for other religions, including Judaism and Christianity. He has removed the Saudi religious police's power to conduct arrests and he has taken seemingly credible steps to finally lift the kingdom-wide prohibition on women driving.
At the same time, Mohammed has escalated the kingdom's operations against Iran's proxies in Yemen.
And of course, on Saturday, he staged the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri amid Hariri's allegations that Hezbollah and Iran were plotting his murder, much as they stood behind the 2005 assassination of his father, prime minister Rafiq Hariri.
There can be little doubt that there was coordination between the Saudi regime and the Trump administration regarding Saturday's actions. The timing of the administration's release last week of most of the files US special forces seized during their 2011 raid of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was likely not a coincidence.
The files, which the Obama administration refused to release, make clear that Obama's two chief pretensions - that al-Qaida was a spent force by the time US forces killed bin Laden, and that Iran was interested in moderating its behavior were both untrue. The documents showed that al-Qaida's operations remained a significant worldwide threat to US interests.
And perhaps more significantly, they showed that Iran was al-Qaida's chief state sponsor. Much of al-Qaida's leadership, including bin Laden's sons, operated from Iran. The notion - touted by Obama and his administration - that Shi'ite Iranians and Sunni terrorists from al-Qaida and other groups were incapable of cooperating was demonstrated to be an utter fiction by the documents.
Their publication now, as Saudi Arabia takes more determined steps to slash its support for radical Islamists, and separate itself from Wahhabist Islam, draws a clear distinction between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Given Saudi Arabia's record, and the kingdom's 70-year alliance with Wahhabist clerics, it is hard to know whether Mohammed's move signals an irrevocable breach between the House of Saud and the Wahhabists.
But the direction is clear. With Hariri's removal from Lebanon, the lines between the forces of jihad and terrorism led by Iran, and the forces that oppose them are clearer than ever before. And the necessity of acting against the former and helping the latter has similarly never been more obvious.
Nearing Midnight: Our Upside-down Reality - Todd Strandberg - http://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
For the past few years we have been locked in a relentless trend where the world's contact with reality has been continuously melting away. As we keep hitting milestone after milestone of craziness, there is no way to know how deep this world will descend into insanity.
Whenever I think the madness has leveled off, we get another event that reminds me that we are still hopelessly adrift. The terrorist attack in New York proves this point. It was "Oh no, not again" when the news flashed that several people had been killed by a guy driving a truck down a bike path screaming "Allahu Akbar."
The madman in question turned out to be Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a recent immigrant from Uzbekistan. He rented a small truck from a New Jersey Home Depot because he suddenly felt inspired to murder people. This idiot ended his rampage with him dancing around in the street, waving fake guns, so he could be gunned down and be sent off to his 42 virgins.
A few hours after the attack, New York Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo came before the cameras and offered the standard remarks for all Islamic terrorist attacks. These two clowns said this was a "lone wolf" who committed a "cowardly act of terror," but don't worry because "we're not going to let them win." We just need to "go forward stronger than ever."
The crazy part is that I lost track of how many times I've heard these talking-point statements. After each terror attack, there is always some liberal reporter who adds a new twisted observation to the insanity archive. In this case it was CNN's Jake Tapper. He said that the Islamic phrase "Allahu Akbar" can be said "under the most beautiful of circumstances." It must be very beautiful to look behind you and see a guy yelling it as he is driving a truck in your direction.
Another bit of lunacy is how Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov got into America. This monster entered the US through the Diversity Visa Program. It's a lottery that basically encourages people who hate America to come to our shores. The Democrats decided that we need people from every nation to come and join America's diverse melting pot. People living in I-hate-America-Stan are given free passage to come here and kill as they please.
The problem that the US has with recognizing Islamic terror is nothing compared to what is occurring in Europe. If you read Europol's last ten EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Reports (TE-SAT), you will find, year after year, that terrorism in Europe has been in sharp decline. Since the year 2007, terrorist events are down 75%. In 2007 there were nearly 600 terror attacks. By 2016 that number had dropped to 150 terror attacks.
The folks at Europol (European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation) are obviously on drugs. In the last two years, there were 150 and 140 people killed by Islamic terrorism. As late as 2011, there were zero reported deaths from terrorism in Europe. The increase in the number of dead from terror attacks in 2015-2016 compared to the period from 2007-2014 is a staggering 2,291%.
The cover-up of terrorism is the result of a change in the EU's definition of the word. For an incident to qualify as terrorism, there now needs to be the intent of "unduly compelling a government or international organization to perform or abstain from performing an act." Someone blowing himself up to kill others at a concert or driving over people for no logical reason simply doesn't count.
The blindness to reality is not just with terrorism. In Mexico, drug-related murders are out of control. Last year there were more than 20,000 killings. This year is on track to be worse, exceeding the 2011 record, which was thought to be the drug war's apex. The vast majority of those drugs come to America, and our media gives zero news coverage of the carnage.
As I've stated before, the only logical explanation for why the people of the world show little resistance to this invasion of evil is that we are clearly witnessing a form of end-time madness. The world has become so evil that demonic forces are able to control the minds of the lost. The level of insanity is now so profound, it should be absolutely clear to all believers that the end of the Church Age is very near.
"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Is Prayer Useless If It Can't Protect Christians at Church? Greg Laurie, Ronnie Floyd Respond - By Stoyan Zaimov - https://www.christianpost.com/news/is-prayer-useless-if-it-cant-protect-christians-church-greg-laurie-ronnie-floyd-respond-205726/
Is prayer useless if it can't protect Christians at church?
Prominent pastors are responding to that claim which was spurred by a debate on social media after the mass shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday.
"Granted, it's hard to understand why God would allow a tragedy like this to happen, especially in a church. Our hearts break for the families and friends of those who were murdered in this wicked and cold-blooded attack," Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Irvine, California, said in a written statement to The Christian Post on Monday.
"However, the Bible does not promise anyone a pain-free life. In fact, Jesus Himself said, 'In this world you will have tribulation' (John 16:33). Here is what I do know: these people that were gathered for worship at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, believed in and loved Jesus Christ," Laurie added.
The megachurch pastor assured that the victims are now in God's presence, "where there is 'fullness of joy' and 'pleasures forevermore' (Psalm 16:11). All of their questions are answered; our questions will have to wait."
A debate online on the effectiveness of prayer was partly inspired from the Twitter comments of former "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Stand By Me" actor Wil Wheaton, who lashed out at House Speaker Paul Ryan for sending his prayers over the tragedy, which left 26 worshipers dead.
"The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they'd still be alive, you worthless sack of [expletive]," Wheaton tweeted on Monday.
He later apologized and said that he wasn't trying to offend people of faith, but was speaking out against lack of legislative action.
"I'm not talking about religion or faith at all. I am talking about the speaker of the house who does nothing to address gun violence," he wrote in one follow-up tweet.
"Hey, real and actual people of faith: I hear you. I apologize for insulting you, in my rage at Paul Ryan's refusal to address gun violence," he added.
Wheaton's tweet prompted others to debate whether prayer works at all, however.
Pastor Ronnie Floyd, president of National Day of Prayer and senior pastor at Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, told CP in response to the question: "In this fallen world when the spirit of evil is raging, all things that happen are not good. Yet, our faith and hope remains in God alone. When we pray we are depending on God for strength; when we do not pray, we choose to depend upon ourselves which always lead to unbelief."
In a previous statement in the aftermath of the attack, Floyd said: "When attacks of hate and terror happen in our places of worship, they shake us to the core. We must beg God for His mighty hand of protection on our nation and the world. May God be with the victims of this shooting. Only God is our refuge in these times of trouble."
Laurie suggested that people also need to consider how they think about matters of Heaven.
"We talk about the afterlife, but perhaps we ought to call the life we are living right now 'the before-life.' This life, compared to the afterlife, is very short. What we do with Jesus determines where we will spend this afterlife," the Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor said.
"These folks, worshiping at church last Sunday, are safely in the loving arms of Jesus Christ right now," he added.
Others, such as Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, pointed to Christ's Words in their response to the worst mass shooting at a church in U.S. history.
"In this time of heartbreak and tragedy, we remember Jesus' Words: 'In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.' We take comfort in knowing that whatever evil may come Jesus is with us," Graham said.
Author and evangelist Anne Graham Lotz spoke of the timeless truths that Jesus taught in John 11 after the death of Lazarus.
Lotz pointed to questions that Jesus Himself faced about the usefulness of prayer if it can't prevent death, where he stated that "one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die."
Lotz reflected: "Life is about more than temporary safety, health, happiness, prosperity. It's about a relationship with Him that transcends those things. He never, ever has promised to protect us from suffering, pain, and death."
She added: "But He has promised to be with us and bring us through ... when we place our faith in Him."
Daily Jot: Failed bureaucracy and mass shootings - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
National Public Radio (NPR) has revealed that Texas church killer Devin Patrick Kelley was prohibited by law to legally possess a firearm, but his background check was incomplete when he bought the weapon he used to kill 26 people in Sutherland Springs, TX. Retired Col. Don Christensen, the Air Force's chief prosecutor at the time Kelley was court-martialed, told NPR that Kelley "fractured his baby stepson's skull." Kelley was sentenced to 12 months for assaulting his wife and "intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm" on the child. But the Air Force did not enter the Kelley's info into the National Criminal Information Center database. Thus, a mass-murderer slipped through the government bureaucracy.
There are two points here that deserve attention: 1) Kelley was convicted of a crime of domestic assault punishable for up to five years confinement; and 2) The majority of mass shootings are linked to perpetrators of domestic violence. Federal law prohibits firearm possession of anyone convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, and for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under a no-exception provision for military or law enforcement. The omission of this conviction in the federal database allowed Kelley to slip through the system and purchase the very gun that he used to massacre 26 men, women, and children.
Additionally, Kelley's arrest, domestic violence conviction and bad conduct discharge should have raised red flags to authorities. An analysis of FBI data by Everytown for Gun Safety indicates that the majority of mass shootings are related to domestic violence. The organization reports that from 2009-2016 there have been 156 mass shootings in the US resulting in 848 fatalities and 339 wounded. Some 54% of those shootings were connected to domestic violence; over a third involved a shooter who was prohibited by law from possessing firearms, and 42% of the shooters exhibited warning signs before acting-threats, substance abuse, acts of violence, violations of protective orders, etc.
The leftists are screaming for disarming citizens to stop gun violence, but the very system they rely upon (criminal background checks and mental health detection) doesn't work-people slip through the bureaucracy and/or find guns to use anyway. Bureaucracy cannot protect the innocent from those with no regard for law or life. Before he was betrayed in the garden, Jesus instructed his disciples in Luke 22:36: "and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Self-defense, preservation of life, and the protection of the innocent from the lawless are foundational to civil society. Good people who legally own and carry guns often save lives when bureaucracy and leftist utopian concepts fail.
Daily Devotion: The Secret of the Early Church - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too." -Acts 17:6
Why is it that first-century believers so radically impacted their world? After all, they didn't have the cool technology we have today. They didn't have big Christian bands. They didn't have megachurches. They didn't have printing presses. Yet a relatively small group of men and women turned their first-century world on its ear. To put it biblically, they turned the world upside down.
I think that many times, especially in the United States, we are surviving on a watered-down, anemic version of Christianity. I don't think we are living at the same standard of Christian faith as the first-century Christians lived. You might say it is a little like "faith light." It seems that believers want to do only what is absolutely necessary.
I think Jesus has a lot of fair-weather followers today. They will be Christians when it is convenient, when it is easy, or when it is the cool thing to do. But the moment it gets difficult, when hardship hits, when persecution comes, they are out of there. They are not true followers. They are not real disciples.
That is why we are not turning our world upside down. I would even say that is maybe why, far too often, the world is turning the church upside down.
We need to get back to Christianity the way it is given to us in the Bible, the way that Jesus proclaimed it, the way the early church lived it, and the way the Bible teaches it-not the watered-down version of today but authentic, New Testament Christianity. In short, we need to become disciples of the Lord.
Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? Jesus is still asking us to step out from the multitude, from the fair-weather followers, from the fickle people, and be His true disciples.
FROM THE HEART
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