Signs of the Times

November 30, 2019

­­Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1,3-4)

40 Days for Life Saves 738 Unborn Babies

Five workers at abortion clinics quit their jobs and 738 unborn babies were saved as a result of this fall’s 40 Days for Life, the annual campaign that involves prayer, fasting and peaceful vigils outside abortion clinics. “It was the largest year in the history of 40 Days for Life,” Shawn Carney, president and CEO of 40 Days for Life, said. The campaign ran from Sept. 25 to Nov. 3 and had volunteers participating in 855 cities and 61 countries. “Even if it was just one [baby saved], it was all worth it,” said Sue Thayer, a former manager at a Planned Parenthood and the current director of outreach for 40 Days for Life.

High Court in Ireland Rules Unborn Baby Has Rights

A High Court judge has ruled that the word ‘unborn’ in the Irish Constitution means an “unborn child” with rights beyond the right to life which “must be taken seriously” by the State. The Irish Times reports that Justice Richard Humphreys said the unborn baby enjoys “significant” rights and legal position by common law, by statute, and under the Constitution, “going well beyond the right to life alone.” The judgement was made in a judicial review of a deportation order. Justice Humphreys said many of those rights were “actually effective” rather than merely prospective. He also said that Article 42a of the Constitution, inserted by a 2012 referendum, obliges the State to protect “all” children and that because an “unborn” is “clearly a child”, Article 42a applied to all children “both before and after birth”.

Governor Opposes Death Penalty But is For Aborting Down Syndrome Babies

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is adamantly against the death penalty — unless you’re a baby with Down Syndrome. Turns out, the Democrat, who’s refused to sign execution warrants since he was elected, has no problem using lethal force against an entire population of children. Their crime? Not living up to society’s ideas of “perfection.” That’s eugenics — not health care. “We have a responsibility,” state Rep. Kate Klunk (R) said, “to stand up to say that a baby with Down syndrome has a right to life and should not be discriminated against in the womb.” The idea that any American would say it’s okay to destroy a life because she isn’t “up to society’s standards” is a scary snapshot of where we are as a country.”

Public School Allow Boys to Disrobe in Girls Locker Rooms/Showers

Biological girls in Palatine, Illinois will now be forced to share locker rooms and bathrooms with boys who identify as girls. The school district’s new policy will allow transgender students to be treated in a manner consistent with their gender identity. That includes access to bathrooms and locker rooms. Some biological females were devastated and horrified at the prospect of boys disrobing in their locker rooms. “I feel uncomfortable that my privacy is being invaded,” Burca told the Daily Herald. “As I am a swimmer, I do change multiple times naked in front of the other students in the locker room. I understand that the board has an obligation to all students but I was hoping they would go about this in a different way that would also accommodate students such as myself.”

Two Argentine Priests Convicted of Abusing Deaf Children

An Argentine court found two Catholic priests guilty of abusing deaf children, after years of inaction by church leaders and the Pope. The convictions were the first legal victory for a string of hearing-impaired victims stretching from Italy to the Andes whose denunciations against one of the clerics to church officials –  including Pope Francis – went unheeded for years.

Majority of Americans Support Religious Freedom

The majority of Americans strongly support religious freedom and remain opposed to government interference in religion, a study conducted by the Becket Fund found. The study, released Wednesday, shows that respondents strongly support protections of religious freedom, which the organization defines as the “free expression of all faiths.” The study also found that Americans are “uncomfortable with the idea of the government penalizing groups and individuals for living out their religious beliefs,” and that Americans support “a culture of accommodation for minority faith practices.” “Even after decades of religious freedom being pulled into the culture wars, Americans accept and support a broad interpretation of religious freedom,” the study says. The report added that support for religious freedom is surprisingly strongest among millennials and younger generations.

With Sustainable Development Goals Failing, U.N. Says More Money Needed

With only 10 years left and failure staring them in the face, the U.N. is turning to private investors to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “To make serious progress,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told finance ministers, “we need to fill the financing gap for SDGs—some $1.5 trillion dollars per annum.” The SDGs include the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal health care, quality education, clean water and sanitation and a green economy, among others– to be achieved worldwide by a 2030 deadline. At the same time, Guterres has said there is a need to replenish the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to meet the commitment to mobilize $100 billion per year for climate action. But at the GCF Pledging Conference in Paris October 24-25, 27 rich nations pledged only $9.8 billion to the Fund.

  • SDGs and Climate Change are the two main pillars that globalists are using to establish the one-world government that Revelation 13 shows will usher the anti-Christ into power.

U.N. Reports Climate Change Worsening

Four years after countries struck a landmark deal in Paris to rein in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to avert the worst effects of global warming, humanity is headed toward those very climate catastrophes, according to a United Nations report issued Tuesday. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2018 to 55.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. Much of the increase came from emerging economies such as China and India. The report shows that China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, actually expanded their carbon footprints last year. China is now emitting about twice as much greenhouse gas as the U.S. “The summary findings are bleak,” the report said, because countries have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions even after repeated warnings from scientists. The result, the authors added, is that “deeper and faster cuts are now required.”

  • Weather will continue to grow more extreme as the ramp up to the end-times continues, regardless of what humanity does or does not do (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Facebook Bans All Content On Vaccine Awareness

This week, Facebook announced it would block all content on Facebook that questions the official dogma on vaccines, which falsely insists that vaccines have never harmed anyone, that vaccines contain only safe ingredients and that vaccines always work on everyone. Facebook labels vaccine awareness information “misinformation” or “hoaxes.” At the top of the ban list is the assertion that vaccines are linked to autism, something that even the Center for Disease Control’s own top whistleblower scientist reveals to be true. William Thompson, a senior CDC scientist, is quoted in Vaccine News as saying, “I was in charge of a study where we tested a hypotheses and we found the MMR vaccination was causally associated with autism and we hid the findings. We hid it for fourteen years and we have known for fourteen years that this vaccine is causally associated with autism and we have concealed it. We’ve put millions of Americas children in harm’s way and I can live with that no longer.”

U.S. Birth Rate Lowest in 32 Years

Birth rates in the U.S. fell 2 percent in 2018 to nearly 4 million, the lowest in three decades, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of births declined for women aged 20-34 and increased for women aged 35-44. In total, 3,791,712 births were registered in 2018, or 1,729.5 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44. The number marks the lowest number of births in 32 years. For the nation’s population to remain stable, the rate would need to be 2,100 births per 1,000 women, according to data released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Americans are Dying Young at an Alarmingly High Rate

Death rates from suicide, drug overdoses, liver disease and dozens of other causes have been rising over the past decade for young and middle-aged adults, driving down overall life expectancy in the United States for three consecutive years, according to a bleak study published Tuesday that looked at the past six decades of mortality data. The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was immediately hailed by outside researchers for its comprehensive treatment of the still-enigmatic trend: the reversal of historical increases in longevity.

Today’s Workers Plan to Never Completely Retire

Close to half of baby boomers have no retirement savings at all, according to a report from the Insured Retirement Institute. Today’s workers, though, have a different idea of what their retirements will look like. A whopping 92% of workers currently in their 40s say they plan to keep working part time in retirement, according to a survey by TD Ameritrade and The Harris Poll. Even among those in their 70s, 52% say they plan to continue working an average of 10 hours a week. Additionally, many workers say they don’t plan to ever fully retire. Among those in their 40s, 61% of respondents said they’d prefer to take year-long “mini-retirement breaks” while they’re younger, and then work until a later age, rather than work continuously for four decades or more and then retire completely.

Corporate Debt Soars to Record Level

Little more than a decade after consumers binged on inexpensive mortgages that helped bring on a global financial crisis, a new debt surge — this time by major corporations — threatens to unleash fresh turmoil. A decade of historically low interest rates has allowed companies to sell record amounts of bonds to investors, sending total U.S. corporate debt to nearly $10 trillion, or a record 47 percent of the overall economy. In recent weeks, the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund and major institutional investors such as BlackRock and American Funds all have sounded the alarm about the mounting corporate obligations. The danger isn’t immediate. But some regulators and investors say the borrowing has gone on too long and could send financial markets plunging when the next recession hits, dealing the real economy a blow at a time when it already would be wobbling.

Economic News

Consumer confidence dipped for a fourth straight month in November as economic conditions weaken toward the end of 2019, data released Tuesday by The Conference Board shows.

About 48 million Americans are still paying off credit card debt from last holiday season, according to a NerdWallet survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

With only a month left in the year, global auto sales are on track for a 3.1 million drop, about 4%, for the year. That would be the biggest decline since 2008, when the financial crisis hit, and the second year in a row that sales have fallen.

Global trade on a Year-over-Year basis contracted by 1.1% in September, marking the fourth consecutive YoY declines and the most extended period of subdued trade since the financial crisis in 2009. U.S. volumes fell 2.1% in September Month-over-Month. Though in China, imports plunged 6.9% MoM.

Persecution Watch

A Christian schoolboy, reported to have been twelve-years-old, was hacked to death by Boko Haram when he resisted the militants’ attempt to abduct him as a “child soldier” in a raid on Tourou district, Far North Cameroon.

After a fact-finding mission to Nigeria, Baroness Cox has reported that extremists in northern and Middle Belt Nigerian states have killed thousands of Christians. Baroness Cox, a patron of Barnabas Fund, found that there is a deliberate targeting of Christian pastors and community heads. It is estimated that over 1,000 Christians have been killed since January and more than 6,000 slaughtered since 2015. Almost two million people are believed to have become internally displaced in Nigeria, largely because of the attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani extremists.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Indicted on Corruption Charges

Israel’s attorney general last week indicted Netanyahu on fraud, breach of trust and bribery charges. The indictment marks the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has been charged with a crime. Unlike mayors or regular ministers, the prime minister is not required by Israeli law to resign if indicted and Netanyahu is steadfastly vowing to remain in office. Thousands of people rallied in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday in what was intended to be a show of strength for the Israeli leader as he battles the indictment and a possible rebellion within his own party. Israel’s political system has been in limbo for the past year after inconclusive elections in April and September. With Israel facing a potential third election in less than a year, Netanyahu is seeking to put down any potential rebellion in Likud by rallying his base of Zionist and religious voters.

Gaza Rockets Intercepted by Israel which Responds with Fighter Attacks

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets at Israeli civilians on Tuesday, with the Iron Dome blasting the projectiles right out of the sky. This incident marks the second rocket attack this week, with Hamas and Islamic Jihad jockeying for power and aid money from Iran. In response, fighter jets from the Israel Defense Forces hit a number of Hamas terror targets in the southern Gaza Strip. Among the sites targeted was an underground infrastructure. While an unofficial cease-fire is reportedly in place, Palestinian terror groups are known to regularly breach such agreements.

Iran Violently Suppresses Economic Protests

Reports seeping out of Iran describe security forces firing machine guns at peaceful protestors, and regime officials moving bodies from morgues to hide the true scale of the government crackdown. Amnesty International estimates that around 143 protesters have been killed during demonstrations in more than 100 Iranian cities. Some estimates put the number of arrests alone at around 4,000. The Iranian regime’s quick and brutal response to the latest spontaneous protests follows a familiar playbook the government has used against mass protests in the past. Tens of thousands of protesters in several cities decried the recent fuel price hike amid extreme poverty in the economic downturn brought about by international sanctions.

U.S. Resumes Operations Against ISIS In Northern Syria

U.S troops have resumed large-scale counterterrorism missions against the Islamic State in northern Syria, military officials say, nearly two months after President Trump’s abrupt order to withdraw American troops opened the way for a bloody Turkish cross-border offensive. American-backed operations against ISIS fighters in the area effectively ground to a halt for weeks despite warnings from intelligence analysts that Islamic State militants were beginning to make a comeback from Syrian desert hideouts. American soldiers and hundreds of Syrian Kurdish fighters — the same local allies the Trump administration abandoned to fend for themselves against the Turkish advance last month — reunited to conduct what the Pentagon said was a large-scale mission to kill and capture ISIS fighters in Deir al-Zour province. “Over the next days and weeks, the pace will pick back up against remnants of ISIS,” Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie said.

Hong Kong Voters Choose Pro-Democracy Candidates

On Sunday, about 75% of eligible voters turned up to cast ballots in the Hong Kong election. Nearly 3 million people came out, compared to 1.4 million in 2015. Anti-government advocates celebrated a big win. Reuters reports pro-democracy candidates took almost 400 of the 452 seats for district councils that were in play in the election. That’s four times as many seats as they won in the last election, which a political scientist says is “a political message to the government” and a “big slap in the face” to pro-Beijing forces. That message is seen as especially directed toward Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who spurred months of protests, sometimes violent ones, after introducing a bill allowing extradition to China; she withdrew that bill in September.

President Trump Signs Bills Supporting Hong Kong Protesters

Trump signed two bills that were approved by near unanimous consent in the House and Senate which support the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. Trump did so even as he expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out a trade deal with China’s President Xi Jinping. Congress approved the bills last week following months of unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. The legislation authorizes sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials involved in human rights abuses and requires the State Department to conduct an annual review of the special status that the United States grants Hong Kong in trade matters. China’s foreign ministry called the laws a “naked hegemonic action” that seriously interfered in Hong Kong and China’s internal affairs, violated international law and “fundamental norms of international relations,” adding that the U.S. will bear unspecified consequences.

China Stealing U.S. Scientific Research

Billions of dollars in scientific research funded by American taxpayers has been stolen by China right under our noses and the U.S. government has no plan to stop the ongoing theft of the highly valued intellectual property, according to a scathing report published by the U.S. Senate. “This report exposes how American taxpayer funded research has contributed to China’s global rise over the last 20 years,” the document states. “During that time, China openly recruited U.S.-based researchers, scientists, and experts in the public and private sector to provide China with knowledge and intellectual capital in exchange for monetary gain and other benefits.”

Earthquakes

Buildings collapsed in a strong earthquake in Albania early Tuesday, killing at least 16 people and injuring 600 more. The 6.4 magnitude quake was felt across the southern Balkans and was followed by multiple aftershocks. The quake collapsed at least three apartment buildings while people slept, and rescue crews were working to free people believed trapped. There was no indication as to how many people might still be buried in the rubble. In nearby Bosnia, another temblor with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 struck southeast of the capital and rattled Sarajevo. There were no immediate reports of casualties and only minor damage in that earthquake.

Wildfires

A fire ripped through the hills of Santa Barbara County, California, toward highly populated areas early Tuesday morning, forcing thousands of residents from their homes. The Cave Fire was burning in the hills north of Santa Barbara near Goleta and had burned more than 4 square miles in the Los Padres National Forest. More than 6,000 people are under evacuation orders and 2,400 structures are threatened by flames. Strong winds, with gusts topping 80 mph in Santa Barbara County, fanned the flames. Subsequent precipitation subdued the fire which is 70% contained as of Friday.

Weather

The Denver metro area saw up to 12 inches of snow, while parts of Boulder, Colorado saw up to 20.5 inches Monday to Tuesday.

Officially say at least five people died as heavy rain slammed the Riviera coasts of France and Italy, trapping travelers in their cars. Some roads remained closed Monday on the French Riviera, and rivers are still rising in Italy after the weekend flooding.

Authorities in Kenya says the death toll from heavy rains that unleashed floods in the west of the country has risen to 60 and seven others are missing from last Saturday’s deluge. More than a million people in East Africa have been affected by flooding after higher-than-normal rainfall.

Apocalypse Soon? – Part 5

November 25, 2019

We are not just to sit still and do nothing as we await Jesus’ return, but instead be actively running the race that God has set before us:

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

What race? You may not be aware of it, but no matter what place or circumstance you are in, God has a plan for how He wants to use you.

Even if you’re confined to a wheelchair or are sick in bed, you can still be a witness to those around you.

But in order to run the race well, we Scripture says we must set aside every weight and sin that holds us back from being all we can be and doing all that God has in mind for us to do.

We know from God’s Word what is sinful. If you’re caught up in sin, repent from the depths of your heart and be cleansed from all your unrighteousness:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)

Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to resist future temptation.

But what are the weights that we must set aside? There are many, many things that can impede us, such as laziness, fear, procrastination, guilt, discouragement, pride, bad attitudes, etc.

Many people also have worldly priorities that they place before God’s priorities (e.g. work, money, family, entertainment, socializing, personal goals, etc.).

Or, many others will say that circumstances are not allowing them to do what God is calling them to do. But God is expecting you to set forth in faith regardless of the circumstances and He will see you through what seems to be an impossible situation.

Jesus always wants us to lay all these things aside and take up our cross, but it is especially important now that we are approaching the end of all things

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)

Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—yes, more than his own life—otherwise he cannot be my disciple. And no one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me. (Luke 14:25-27, TLB)

Our cross contains all those things which we feel impede our capability and availability:

Instead of waiting for things to improve and the timing to be better, we must set them aside and trudge onward along the unique path He has laid out before each of us, carrying those burdens on our backs much as Jesus carried the cross to His crucifixion

While we fear that this will be a heavy load and a burdensome journey, Jesus promises that His yoke is easy and His burden light

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Does this mean that there won’t be trials and tribulations? Of course not. But it does mean that in the midst of difficulties, Jesus will give us peace and rest if we are on the right path and continue to abide in Him – just as is promised in the twenty-third Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  (Psalm 23)

Note that this promise isn’t for when things are going very well in our lives. No, it is in the valley of the shadow of death and in the presence of our enemies. Even then, His promise of peace and restoration remain true and available.

That’s why it’s only a shadow of death, just an illusion, because He will see us through to the other side of the valley

Unless, however, we’re being called upon to be a martyr for Him, which is a great honor and a privilege of the highest order that we can perform for Him.

We’re all going to die sometime. What better way than to emulate Stephen who probably didn’t even feel the stones as His eyes were fixed on the glory of the Lord:

And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59-60)

And, he was immediately at rest in the presence of the Lord.

That’s why the Apostle Paul calls our travails but a “light affliction which is but for a moment, [and] is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” (2Corinthians 4:17)

The brief moment of suffering is immediately replaced by an eternity of peace, love and joy that will make us instantly forget whatever had happened to us

The race God has for us is not run the same way as the world’s races which strive for riches and fame:

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. (1Cor. 9:24-25)

In the world, only one winner receives the prize.

In the Kingdom of God, everyone who finishes the race wins the prize (i.e. eternal life in Heaven).

Some people say they have not heard from God or they don’t know what their race is.

It might be that the time is not right to go forward with the next step, so stay where you are, do not make any decisions without checking with Jesus, pressing in to Him with constant prayer in order to be sure you hear His voice for when the time is right for you to take the next step.

Do not, however, under any circumstance, proceed ahead in your own timing and understanding, for that could result in great peril and trauma.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. (Psalm 37:23)

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Many people have trouble hearing the Lord’s voice, but there are several remedies for this:

Most of the time, that person isn’t reading God’s word enough and/or praying enough.

Many times, people are expecting an audible voice, but that’s rare. Most of the time, it usually comes through an implanted thought or a sense of knowing.

Since it’s a “still, small voice” (1Kings 19:12), we must seek Him in quietude and solitude, eliminating all the noise and stimulus of the world (including our own cares and worries).

And keep in mind that it is just as wrong to sit and do nothing when the Lord is calling you to move, as it is to rush ahead of the Lord with your own plans and ideas.

We should seek His Face as the prize of our life because it leads us into doing the right things at the right time, instead of the right things at the wrong time or the wrong things at any time. As Scripture advises:

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore! (Psalm 105:4)

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Our hearts must deeply crave God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Be like the psalmist who wrote:

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1-2)

If we are not seeking after God and putting Jesus first, we are likely to be lulled into a spiritual sleep by the pleasures of the world and the illusions of peace and safety in this world

For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them. (1Thessalonians 5:3)

The Day of the Lord when Jesus returns is a great day for believers and a hellacious day for everyone else:

For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; Who can endure it? (Joel 2:11b)

Don’t listen to the world, don’t love the world, don’t be deluded by the world, for the Lord is coming back as the Lion of Judah to execute judgment upon the world:

(Revelation 19:11-16) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Don’t be caught sleeping or on the wrong path or unprepared for His coming or it will be a terrible day for you.

Instead, be spiritually prepared and awake and right where He wants you to be, running the race that He has set before you, and then it will be the most glorious Day you’ll ever experience.

 

Signs of the Times

November 22, 2019

­­All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2Timothy 3:16-17)

More Archaeological Finds Support Bible History

More findings in Israel were recently found which support the accuracy of the historical narrative in the Bible. This time the find was in the city of Shiloh What appears to be the corner of God’s altar has been unearthed and this can be added to many other excavations which track with what is written in the Bible. Several other recent discoveries at the site point to the same basic conclusion: What the Bible said about ancient Shiloh coincide with the emerging archaeological record. Of course, this is not getting the media attention it ought to receive.

Chick-fil-A Caves in to LGBTQ Objections

Chick-fil-A said it is altering its approach to charitable donations following criticism by LGBTQ supporters of contributions made to Christian groups. In a statement released Monday, the restaurant chain said its foundation will “deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations” by focusing on education, homelessness and hunger. Chick-fil-A said it’s committing more than $9 million to initiatives linked to those three areas next year. Previously, Chick-fil-A $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to support summer sports camps, and another $150,000 to the Salvation Army toward children’s programs in Atlanta.

  • Another Christian organization caves to the LBGTQ agenda.

Pro-Life Legal Team to Appeal Daleiden Guilty Verdict

Last Friday represented a significant setback for the pro-life movement in America. A jury found David Daleiden and his allies guilty of a slew of state and federal crimes involving the Planned Parenthood sting videos and awarded the abortion behemoth at least $1.3 million in damages. On Monday, Harmeet Dhillon, one of Daleiden’s lawyers, told PJ Media that the “dream team” of First Amendment lawyers who argued the case would be mounting a formidable appeal—and that there are many reasons to think the historically liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should reconsider the case. “This case is far from over,” Dhillon insisted. Daleiden “had a lot of defenses, he had a lot of witnesses we weren’t allowed to call, evidence we weren’t allowed to show the jury.”

Third Court of Appeals Flipped to Conservatives

Judicial nominations are poised to be one of the most lasting impacts of Donald Trump’s presidency, and his latest round of appointments has brought the total number of federal appeals courts flipped to conservatives so far to three. The US Senate voted 51-41 last week to confirm George Mason University law professor and former White House attorney Steven Menashi to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats objected that he was “extreme” and “unqualified,” attempting to make an issue out of Menashi’s college writings as editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth Review, in which he discussed the “overwhelming public consensus against infanticide” and reported that the Dartmouth health department was failing to inform students of Plan B’s abortifacient potential.

  • There are now three federal appeals courts—the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits—that have more Trump appointees on the bench than judges who were appointed by Democrats,” according to Courthouse News.

Trump Reverses 1978 Ruling Declaring Judea & Samaria Settlement Illegal

Israeli politicians from the right to the center-left praised the decision of the Trump administration on Monday to reject a State Department legal opinion from 1978 that found Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria to be illegal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Today, the United States adopted an important policy that rights a historical wrong when the Trump administration clearly rejected the false claim that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are inherently ‘illegal’ under international law.” Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who leads Israel’s opposition parties, said, “I bless the U.S. government on this important decision, which points again to its strong stand on the side of Israel and its obligation to the security and future of the Middle East in general.”

Good and Bad Among DACA Population

There are teachers and lawyers and many upstanding people within the DACA community (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival. But also inside the DACA population are also thousands of accused drunken drivers and thieves, hundreds of forgers, sexual abusers and even 15 people charged with murder, according to updated government numbers released Saturday. Sixty-two “Dreamers” were approved for DACA despite having rape charges in their files, and two dozen had been accused of arson. Two with child pornography cases were given the OK, too, says U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The statistics show that 10% of those currently holding DACA status have criminal records.

Remain in Mexico Policy Expanded to Tucson District

The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly known as the “Remain-in-Mexico” policy, was established in January and expanded over the summer amid greater cooperation with Mexico. The policy involves returning migrants to Mexico as they await their immigration hearings, with courtrooms set up at key border sites, instead of them being released into the interior. Beginning Friday, the agency is further expanding MPP to the Tucson Sector of Arizona. It comes in response to a surge in migrant flows in that area, reflecting groups adapting to the implementation of MPP at other hotspots along the border. Officials say that migrants crossing the border there will now be bussed over to El Paso, where they can be returned to Mexico where there is capacity and shelter.

Technocracy Rising on the Wings of 5G at Human Expense

Technocrats want to run society based on science and data. The revolutionary 5G wireless communication technology will provide a real-time massive data gathering system from the numerous devices that will be connected to the Internet of Things. Another descriptor for this system is surveillance. For modern Technocrats, historical data is only useful for testing and validating Artificial Intelligence programs that are slated to control the ‘Technate’ and everything in it. 5G is truly revolutionary in that it provides a response time of 1 millisecond (versus 15-50 milliseconds on 4G/LTE) and up to 100 times the data throughput. To accomplish this, 5G operates at a much higher frequency range of millimeter waves.

  • The problem is that millimeter waves are absorbed by human tissue, and will not pass through your body like lower-frequency WiFi and radio waves. This is a health risk that nobody in the industry wants to talk about, nor have they conducted sufficient studies of this risk.
  • Ronald Powell, Ph.D., a retired Harvard scientist of applied physics, notes “there is NO SAFE WAY to implement 5G in our communities; rather, there are only ‘bad ways’ and ‘worse ways,’” and rather than argue about who should have control over its deployment, we should focus on preventing its employment altogether.

Stents and Bypass Surgery No More Effective than Drugs

Some of the most common invasive heart procedures in America are no better at preventing heart attacks, hospitalizations and death in patients with stable heart disease than drugs and lifestyle improvements alone, according to a massive federally funded study designed to resolve a long-standing controversy in cardiology. The results suggest that stents and bypass surgery should be used more sparingly in patients with stable heart disease and that the decision to use them should be less rushed, experts said.

Cigarette Smoking at All-Time Low in U.S.

Cigarette smoking among adults in the U.S. has hit an all-time low, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reports 13.7 percent of U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, about a two-thirds drop since the first Surgeon General’s report warned against smoking more than 50 years ago. For 49.1 million tobacco users, cigarettes continue to be the most widely-used product, followed by cigars and e-cigarettes. While health professionals celebrate the good news, other experts fear people may switch back to cigarettes because of recent vaping-related injuries and deaths.

Economic News

Trump signed a short-term spending bill into law Thursday, thereby averting a government shutdown and delaying the border wall fight until next month. The spending bill funds government programs through Dec. 20. Congress must pass a new measure by then to avoid a shutdown, but the White House and congressional Democrats are fighting over whether that bill should include billions of dollars for the construction of a wall along the Mexican border.

Since the world stopped using ancient Roman currencies around 1450, every subsequent shake-up in the global economic order has been caused by excessive debt. And by any possible metric, our debt in the U.S. is unprecedented, reports the Daily Wealth. Even when it’s measured as a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), our debt hasn’t been this high since World War II, when we were fighting a massive war on two fronts that were oceans apart. Today, governments around the world are addicted to cheap money. And, any bit of bad economic news gives them reason to print more money to “stimulate” the economy. This is a cycle that eventually will collapse.

Many Americans remain in precarious financial shape even as the economy continues to grow, with 7 of 10 saying they struggling with at least one aspect of financial stability, such as paying bills or saving money. The findings come from a survey of more than 5,400 Americans from the Financial Health Network, a nonprofit financial services consultancy. The project, which started a year ago, is aimed at assessing people’s financial health by considering debt, savings, bills and wages, among other issues.

Persecution Watch

Christians were among the 39 mining employees killed when Islamic extremists ambushed their convoy on November 6 in south-east Burkina Faso. Sixty others were wounded in the attack. The UN food agency has warned of an “escalating humanitarian crisis” in Burkina Faso, driven by growing extremist violence and the long-term impact of climate crisis in the arid central Sahel region. A sharp increase in attacks, the result of the west African country becoming embroiled in the jihadist insurgency that began in the region in early 2015, has forced almost half a million people from their homes.

Retired pioneering pastor, David Mokoni, and a hearing-impaired Christian boy were killed when Boko Haram militants attacked a church in Moskota, Far North Cameroon, on November 6.

Syriac Christian minister Hoseb Abraham Bedoian and his father were shot dead by two motorcycle gunmen who ambushed their car on the road from Qamishli to Deir al-Zor, in north-east Syria, on November 11.

Israel – Netanyahu Indicted, 21-Days to Form New Government

Israel entered the most uncharted waters of all on Thursday when, for the first time ever, a sitting prime minister was indicted on criminal charges, even while the nation – again for the first time – is entering an unprecedented 21-day free-for-all in parliament to form a new government or face an unparalleled third national elections in a row. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – still clinging to power as interim prime minister since last November – came out swinging last night against the indictments for fraud, breach of public trust and bribery announced by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. Denouncing the charges as a “coup” cooked up by the Left, the biased media and corrupt police elements, Netanyahu also blasted the timing of the indictments. Indeed, they came just as the Knesset begins a untried three-week process in which any MK can present the president with a list of 61-members willing to join his coalition and thereby avoid a third round of elections.

Israel Strikes Targets in Syria after Intercepting 4 Missiles

Israeli Air Force fighter jets launched attacks in Syria overnight Wednesday, striking “dozens of military targets” belonging to the Iranian Quds Force and Syrian army, according to the Israeli army spokesman. According to reports, 23 people were killed, mostly Iranians. “The targets included surface-to-air missiles, command headquarters, weapons depots, and military bases,” said the Israeli military in a statement. “The attack was carried out in response to the launching of rockets by an Iranian force from Syrian territory into Israeli territory and an intent to cause damage in Israeli territory,” the statement added. “We will not put up with Iranian entrenchment on our border and will stand up against it,” vowed the IDF spokesman.

  • The Iranian attacks from Syria had come on Tuesday morning.Four rockets were fired at us,” said the statement on Twitter, adding that they were “intercepted by Iron Dome [air defense] batteries.”

Protests Surge Across Middle East

For the last five weeks, more than 200,000 Iraqis across the country have gathered on any given day to demonstrate against the government. Security forces have killed at least 320 and wounded about 15,000, according to the United Nations office in Iraq. The protesters are angry about corruption, unemployment and Iran’s influence. Many are educated, idealistic young people, who are mostly urban and secular. But the largest group are working-class and poor Shiite Muslims, either from the southern part of the country or with origins there. These Iraqis have suffered decades of economic deprivation as well as government oppression by the Sunni Muslims, who controlled the government during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. And they have a history of violent resistance.

The Iranian authorities moved Thursday to project the appearance of normalcy after a week of violent protests over gasoline price increases, partly restoring internet access and decreeing that the mayhem that convulsed the country was really a foreign-backed failure. But other developments suggested that a severe crackdown was underway in response to the street clashes, rioting and destruction that had upended life in dozens of Iranian cities and towns – and that the uprisings had not been completely crushed. The rights group Amnesty International said that as many as 106 protesters in 21 cities had been killed over the course of the protests.

Turkey and Russia Continue to Expand Operations in Syria

A car bomb exploded Saturday in a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters, killing at least 18 people and wounding several others. Three car bombs went off Monday in the northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli near the border with Turkey, killing at least six people. Northern Syria has been hit by several explosions that have killed and wounded scores of people over the past month. That’s since Turkey began a military operation against Kurdish fighters in the wake of President Trump’s decision to pull the bulk of American troops out of northern Syria. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

Russia has chosen to establish a new military base in a part of Syria perilously close to an area that American troops have been charged with defending, heightening the risk of a confrontation from either an unintentional skirmish or a deliberate provocation. Analysts believe the potential for new fighting in northeast Syria is particularly high as Russia seeks to test the resolve of the U.S. and its allies following President Donald Trump’s hasty decision to withdraw from the region last month.

U.S. Senate Approves Bill Supporting Human Rights in Hong Kong

The Senate on Tuesday easily approved a bill to support human rights in Hong Kong following months of often-violent unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was passed by voice vote. It now goes to the House, which has already passed similar legislation. China responded by threatening to take “strong countermeasures” if Congress proceeds with passage of the bill. The measure mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favorable trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong. China has opposed all criticism of the handling of the Hong Kong protests as unwarranted interference in its domestic affairs.

Hong Kong Protests Turn More Violent

A police officer in Hong Kong was struck in the leg with an arrow on Sunday as another day of violent clashes erupted between pro-democracy protesters who blocked a major road tunnel under the city’s harbor and occupied a university campus and police, who deployed tear gas and projectiles. After holding their ground for most of the day with gasoline bombs, bricks and nails strewn on area roadways, protesters began retreating into Hong Kong Polytechnic University near sunset, fearing they would be trapped as police fired tear gas volleys and approached from the opposite direction. Fires were set to bridges leading to Polytechnic as protesters tried to keep police from advancing on their campus stronghold. Orange flames extended the length of a footbridge over the roadway entrance to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel. As of Friday, only a few protesters remain in the still-closed Polytechnic University with hundreds having been arrested.

U.S. and South Korea Postpone Military Exercises

The U.S. and South Korea have postponed joint military exercises that were scheduled for Monday in what the Pentagon has called an “act of good will” aimed at boosting diplomatic efforts with North Korea. The move comes as the Trump White House seeks fresh momentum in denuclearization talks with the North, which have shown little progress since a summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un broke up abruptly without a deal in February. Pyongyang has set a year-end deadline for the U.S. to offer fresh negotiating proposals, in particular a schedule to lift punishing international economic sanctions against it.

Columbians Riot Against Corrupt Government

Colombians angry with President Iván Duque and hoping to channel Latin America’s wave of discontent took the streets by the tens of thousands on Thursday in one of the biggest protests in the nation’s recent history. Students, teachers and labor union organizers marched across the country protesting everything from economic inequality to violence against civic leaders, testing an unpopular government as unrest grips the region. Police estimated 207,000 people took part. The protests were largely peaceful but by turned violent at night as demonstrators hurled rocks at riot police, who responded with tear gas.

Environment

As a toxic red tide continues to grip the coast of southwest Florida, one county saw the highest number of sea turtle deaths it has ever recorded for a single month in October. Last month, 58 turtles were reported dead in Collier County and two others were reported sick or injured. Over the past decade, Collier County has recorded an average of just under five sea turtle strandings in October. The timing of these turtle deaths tracks closely with the arrival of this year’s red tide in Florida, which began to spread along the state’s southwest coast early last month. The red tide is a natural phenomenon that has occurred for centuries, but there are questions about what exactly is causing the intense outbreaks of the past several years.

Wildfires

The age of fire is upon us, scientists say, and the public and private system built to contain it is being pushed to its limits. From the Arctic to the Amazon, from California to Gran Canaria, from Borneo to India to Angola to Australia – the fires seem everywhere. Fire seasons are running longer, stronger, hotter. The major fires now blanketing Sydney in smoke started early, within days of the latest California blazes. And the strain is global. Countries that used to manage without extra help, like Chile, Bolivia and Cyprus, have started competing for plane and helicopter contracts as their own fires intensify. That is stretching capacity for the companies that provide most of the globe’s largest firefighting aircraft, and increasing anxiety for fire officials worldwide, reports the New York Times.

Weather

A new study by NASA and University of California, Irvine, scientists finds that more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. The extent of groundwater loss may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought. This study is the first to quantify the amount that groundwater contributes to the water needs of western states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the federal water management agency, the basin has been suffering from prolonged, severe drought since 2000 and has experienced the driest 14-year period in the last hundred years. “We don’t know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don’t know when we’re going to run out,” said Stephanie Castle, a water resources specialist at the University of California, Irvine, and the study’s lead author. “This is a lot of water to lose. We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking.”

About $3.4 billion in losses was caused in the Bahamas alone by Hurricane Dorian – a number equivalent to one-fourth of the nation’s gross domestic product – according to a report released Friday by the Inter-American Development Bank. When the Category 5 monster hit the northwestern Bahamas in early September, it left some 29,500 people homeless, without jobs or both. About 9,000 homes were damaged and seven schools destroyed.

Apocalypse Soon? – Part 4

November 18, 2019

If you haven’t read Apocalypse Soon Blog Post 1 to 3 yet, please do so, because the teachings are constructed one upon the other.

Baptize My Heart

John the Baptist told the crowds who came to him that they should be baptized into repentance in preparation for the first coming of Jesus, and that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire:

In Matthew 3:11, John says, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

W not only need to be saved, but we need to allow the Holy Spirit within us to set our hearts on fire – i.e. to be passionate about Jesus and about saving others, operating in the power of the Spirit.

This will be especially necessary during the end days when the trials and tribulations of these perilous times so that we can stand strong and shine as lights of salvation in the coming deep darkness:

Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3)

No matter how dark and oppressive it gets, we must remember that our Creator rejoices and sings over us:

Zephaniah, in prophesying about the end-times, wrote in chapter 3, verse 17, The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

But this presumes that we are aware of His presence, aligned with His purposes and listening!

The Lord sings over us, but most don’t hear. He plays different melodies for us depending on the circumstances:

(Matthew 11:15-17) “But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.’ 

God tries to reach us in the joyful times as well as the difficult times. He even tries to draw us to Him, ‘romancing’ us:

(John 6:44) No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Even children know when to dance, and when to lament:

That’s why Jesus tells us that we must become like children to receive the Kingdom of God

(Matthew 18:3) Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

The Bible often refers to believers as children of God – and, compared to God, we are like little children in our understanding

(Isaiah 55:8-9) For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

We must all humble ourselves and recognize our littleness in comparison to God – and, like little children, we must have childlike faith in Him and His Word

(Hebrews 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Even if we don’t understand everything (and the end-times will be full of inexplicable complexities), and even if we can’t see God, we must, like little children, believe in Him and follow what He tells us to do in both His written, logos, word as well as His rhema word spoken directly into our hearts and minds

If we are not functioning in the Spirit, we will fail to hear His voice and instructions: Walk in the Spirit, advises the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:16 and 5:25 – but, if we don’t, we risk walking in the wrong direction, into the many pitfalls the end-times will bring

God calls on us to lament over our sins and repent of them, which was John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ first message:

Matthew 3:1-2 says that, In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

And Matthew 4:17 tells us that, From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

A lot of people go through the motions of repentance, but it’s not from the heart. Only if there is godly sorrow, is repentance real:

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2Corinthians 7:10)

Jesus is coming back, not as the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world (as in John 1:29) but as the Lion of Judah ( in Revelation 5:5). The Lion of Judah will shake the earth and break the earth as well as the heavens, which eventually pass away:

(Hebrews 12:25-29) But now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

The things that can be shaken include all the things that God has made, the earth and everything in it, as well as the heavens and everything in them.

(Revelation 6:12-16) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.

The only thing that cannot be shaken is the Kingdom of God, which will break forth with a new earth and a new heaven and a new Jerusalem inhabited by the children of God and Jesus Himself

(Revelation 21:1:4) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Jesus will remake the world back into what God originally intended, without sin and evil

(Revelation 21:5) And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.

Isaiah prophesied about this new earth in chapter 11, verses 6-9: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.

What a beautiful, wonderful world that will be

But, before we enter into that blissful world, the Bible warns us about being among those who will be offended when all the shaking and breaking are occurring:

Many people (including Christians) will be and offended by the chaos and turmoil because it violates their own ideas of how things should be.

Some will get very angry at God, blaming Him for all the tribulation, but it is all of our fault, not His

Those who are willing to set their pride aside and accept that God’s wrath is well-deserved will not be offended, because this world and its sinfulness is an affront to a Holy God. Instead, they will be blessed:

(Matthew 11:6) Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.

Unfortunately, many of those who suffer through the Tribulation will continue to be offended:

(Revelation 9:20) But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

Idols are anything in our life that we exalt above the knowledge of God, and must be cast down:

(2Corinthians 19:5) Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

 This will require us to set aside our own beliefs and understandings, no matter how logical they seem

(Proverbs 16:25) There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

We want to be for Jesus, not against Him, following His warning to His disciples:

For whoever is not against us is for us. (Mark 9:40)

The reverse is also true – whoever is not for Jesus is against Him

There is no neutrality in Christianity – sitting on the fence does not get you into Heaven.

Worshiping God above all else is mandated by the first of the Ten Commandments:

You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)

If God is not first, then something else of this world is

(1John 2:15) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Soon, the nations of the world will turn against God, Jesus and Christianity because Christ is the number one threat in the way of humankind exalting itself above all else.

(2Timothy 3:1-4) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

But none of this surprises God nor does it affect His overall plan of redemption for believers, and the eventual destruction of the world and all the evil within it:

(Psalm 2:1-5) Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.

Persecution of Christians will become rampant after the Beast (the anti-Christ) assumes power over the world, although most people will perceive him as a man of peace and a savior

(Revelation 13:7-8) It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

But we are blessed when we endure such persecution and remain strong in our faith

(Matthew 5:10-12) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(1Peter 4:12-14) Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

To endure in the faith requires us not to fall victim to deception which will emphasize peace, love, tolerance and inclusiveness as high-sounding principles but will continue to exalt humanity above God

(1Thessalonians 5:2-4) For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

Jesus promises great reward for those who are overcomers in life and especially in the last days

To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. (Revelation 3:12)

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne. (Revelation 3:21)

 However, many Christians will fall away from their faith during these difficult times:

(2Thessalonians 2:3-4) Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin [i.e. the anti-Christ] is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

The only way to endure is to cling tight to Jesus, and keep our eyes fixed on the things of God, not the things of the world

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)

(Philippians 4:8) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

The Apostle Paul tells us how we should live as Christians, which will be especially necessary and true in the last days in order to give a true witness of what Christianity is all about in Romans 12:9-20:

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give [no] place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

The coals of fire are meant to convict a person of their sins and their need for a Savior, but not through haranguing sinners, instead by loving them into the Kingdom of God, just as God did for us:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

Love is the antidote for all the ills of the world, which is why Jesus said that love is the most important of all the commandments:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Love is what will enable us to endure these terrible and perilous times – which we can only receive and give out if we are baptized into the Holy Spirit and fire.

So let our prayer always be, baptize my heart oh Lord!

Signs of the Times

November 15, 2019

­­Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. (1John 2:15-16 )

Over 120,000 Students Commit to Jesus through Fields of Faith

In October, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) encouraged students across the nation to gather on school football fields to pray, read the Bible and “open up their life to Christ.” These spiritual events are called Fields of Faith, and as a result, over 120,000 people have either professed faith in Christ or recommitted their lives to Him as a result of these events since 2004. Last year, more than 242,000 people participated in the Fields of Faith. Texas Tech University had over 10,000 in attendance at its football stadium for the event.

Students for Life Subject to Censure and Violence

Kristin Hawkins, President of Students for Live Association, reports that, “our 1,200+ pro-life groups are a constant target of violence (they think they can actually intimidate us into stopping). We’ve had signs torn down and burned, displays of Christian crosses stomped on and destroyed, and even been spit at, cursed at, and violently attacked!… , pro-abortion radicals will stoop to any low to support the killing of preborn babies.” When trying to for a pro-life group in Florida, the assistant principal said she would not approve the club because it was too “political” and “controversial.” Meanwhile, the school’s website lists 78 other approved clubs – including clubs like the Gay/Straight Alliance and Students for Change, groups that push a political ideology.

Second-Grader Given Birth Control Info & Offer of Free Condoms

The father of a second-grader in Pine Flats, Tennessee is demanding policy change within the school district after his child came home with a school-issued flyer promoting birth control, including condoms. Rich Penkoski’s son is a second-grader at Mary Hughes Elementary School, which sent students home with a two-sided flyer advertising a free health clinic in Gray, Tenn., offering medical, dental and vision exams. The backside of the flyer, though, was dedicated to “free birth control and pre-pregnancy services.” Among the services: “free birth control including implants, IUDs, pills, condoms and more,” according to WCBY-TV.

Episcopal Priest Appointed President of National Abortion Federation

The National Abortion Federation announced that the Very Reverend Katherine Hancock Ragsdale has been named the pro-abortion organization’s new President and CEO. According to the press release, Ragsdale – who is openly gay and married to a fellow Episcopal priest named Mally Lloyd – “has been outspoken about abortion rights, LGBTQ equality, and public policy issues affecting women and families throughout her career. She has testified before the U.S. Congress as well as numerous state legislatures about the importance of abortion access and was a featured speaker at the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC.”

  • Mainstream Christianity has lost its way and abandoned Biblical foundations

YouTube Bans Video About Transgender Regret

“Talk with teens about possible regret.” That’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics says about tattoos and body piercings. But when it comes to giving a girl who thinks she’s a boy a double mastectomy, the same organization thinks parents should “respect” their kids’ wishes, notes Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. That’s just part of the hypocrisy Dr. Michelle Cretella was trying to point out about the liberal medical community in a video for the Daily Signal, but YouTube decided to pull it down and ban it. Nothing that Dr. Cretella said is medically inaccurate, but it violates YouTube’s ‘hate’ policy.

  • Lots of conservative and Christian videos, websites and blog posts are being censured. All my email from Israeli organizations and Breaking Christian News is always redirected to my spam folder no matter how many times I release those messages.

DACA Fate Now in the Hands of the Supreme Court

The long-running battle over the Trump administration’s bid to end the Obama-era program for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” arrived at the Supreme Court Tuesday. With a ruling expected in the midst of a presidential election year, the case puts the high court at the center of one of the most politically charged issues since the start of President Trump’s term. For the administration and Dreamers alike, it all comes down to the Supreme Court, where Trump picks Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch now sit. Federal appeals courts across the country have rejected efforts to phase out the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Created under executive order, DACA gives some undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children the opportunity to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit.

Over 1,200 Catholic Priests Accused of Sex Abuse Still Functioning

More than 1,200 former priests, Catholic brothers and Catholic school who were accused of sexual abuse were able to move on with little or no oversight or accountability. Most never faced criminal charges, according to a USA TODAY investigation. As thousands of abuse victims across the U.S. continue to search for justice and closure decades after being molested by some of the most trusted people in their lives, these men have become the priest next door. They live near schools and playgrounds, close to families and children unaware of their backgrounds or the crimes they’ve been accused of. In some cases, they’ve taken on leadership roles in new communities, becoming professors, counselors, friends and mentors to children. Their movements are unchecked by both the government and the Catholic Church in part because laws in many states make it nearly impossible for victims to pursue criminal charges decades after alleged abuse.

1,688 Dams in U.S. in Hazardous Condition

The lives of thousands of people living downstream from high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition could be threatened if those dams fail. An investigation by The Associated Press found 1,688 high-hazard dams rated in poor or unsatisfactory condition in 44 states and Puerto Rico. The actual number is almost certainly higher, because some states declined to provide condition ratings for their dams. Deaths from dam failures have declined since a series of catastrophic collapses in the 1970s prompted the federal and state governments to step up their safety efforts. Yet about 1,000 dams have failed over the past four decades, killing 34 people. The nation’s dams are over a half-century old on average.

Drug-Resistant Superbugs Sicken 2.8M and Kill 35K Every Year

Drug-resistant “superbugs” infect 2.8 million people and cause more than 35,000 deaths each year, underscoring the enormous public health threat of germs in what one official describes as a “post-antibiotic era,” according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The report, which analyzes electronic health records and other data, shows an infection every 11 seconds and a death every 15 minutes on average from bugs that resist treatment from antibiotics. The CDC said there are nearly twice as many deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections compared to the agency’s 2013 report. CDC Director Robert Redfield urged the public to “stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era – it’s already here,” with drug-resistant bugs in every U.S. state and around the globe. “You and I are living in a time when some miracle drugs no longer perform miracles,” Redfield said.

Homelessness in California Continues to Rise

Oakland has seen a 47 percent jump in homelessness — one of the largest surges of any California city, according to a one-night street count released in July. The count, which used federal guidelines, showed Oakland had 4,071 homeless people in 2019, up from 2,761 in 2017. The increase puts the city’s per capita homeless rate higher than neighboring San Francisco and Berkeley and comes at a time when several West Coast cities are struggling with a homeless crisis that’s being driven by rising rents, drug addiction and mental illness. The Point-In-Time Count also found that the number of people living in their vehicles had more than doubled, skyrocketing 131 percent. At the beginning of the year, there were 1,430 people living in their vehicles, up from 618 in 2017.

States Sue Trump Administration Over Fuel Efficiency Standards

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, marks the latest round in a fight between the White House and California officials over how quickly the nation’s auto fleet must increase its fuel efficiency. The feud has led to legal skirmishes, divided the automotive industry and created significant uncertainty in the nation’s car market. The current Obama-era regulations will see fuel economy rise each year through 2026 to 46.7 miles per gallon across a vehicle fleet. Under the Trump administration’s proposed plan, the mpg figure stops at 37 mpg across a vehicle fleet.

New Healthcare Rules to Force Transparency in Prices

New rules from the Trump administration on Friday would require insurers and hospitals to disclose upfront the actual prices for common tests and procedures to promote competition and push down costs. The changes face stiff pushback from the health care industry and could be challenged in court. Officials say the rules would shine a spotlight on the confusing maze of health care prices, allowing informed patients to find quality services at the lowest cost. Prices for an MRI scan for example can vary by hundreds of dollars depending on where it’s done. Insurers would have to create individualized estimates of what patients would owe out-of-pocket due to deductibles and copayments. Insurance companies and hospitals say the government would force them to publicly disclose rates they negotiate as part of private contracts normally beyond the purview of authorities. Disclosure requirements for hospitals would not take effect until 2021; for insurers, the timing is unclear.

Fed Chairman Warns About Ballooning Federal Debt

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned lawmakers Wednesday that the ballooning federal debt could hamper Congress’s ability to support the economy in a downturn. “The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, with high and rising debt,” Powell said Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee. “Over time, this outlook could restrain fiscal policymakers’ willingness or ability to support economic activity during a downturn.” Powell also reiterated that the Fed is likely done cutting rates unless the economy heads south.

Wealthy Investors Preparing for Drop in Stock Market

More than half of the world’s wealthiest investors are preparing for a drop in financial markets before the end of next year, according to UBS Global Wealth Management. About 55% of respondents said they expect that there will be a “significant drop” in the markets before the end of 2020, UBS said. Roughly 79% of respondents said they think markets are moving toward a period of higher volatility.

Billionaires’ Wealth Declines by 4.3%

After five years of growth, the collective wealth of the world’s billionaires dropped by 4.3%, or $388 billion, according to a new report from Swiss bank UBS and auditing firm PwC. By the end of the year, there were 57 fewer global billionaires, for a total of 2,101 worldwide. An array of economic and financial events were to blame, including trade tensions and market volatility, according to the report.

Wages Not Rising as Fast as Expected

Wages should be rising faster as falling unemployment has businesses competing for fewer available workers. Instead, annual pay increases have slowed this year. Salary gains, which generally had been modest since the economic expansion began in 2009, finally edged over 3% in August 2018 and peaked at 3.4% in February before dropping to a still-solid 3% the past couple of months. Economists blame myriad factors, including President Trump’s trade war with China and a slowing U.S. economy, weak productivity growth and meager inflation.

Rockets from Gaza Continue to Fall on Israel

Militants in Gaza sent a barrage of at least 50 rockets over the border into Tel Aviv early Tuesday, vowing further revenge after the Israeli military carried out a pair of targeted airstrikes on senior Islamic jihad commanders in Gaza and in Syria. An Israeli airstrike killed Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife in their home in eastern Gaza Tuesday. The target was a “ticking time bomb” responsible for a number of recent rocket attacks on southern Israel and the IDF claimed that he was actively planning new attacks. At least two people were injured by the rockets, including an 8-year-old girl who was left in critical condition and lost consciousness while running to a bomb shelter and an elderly woman in care facility. Rockets continued to be fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip throughout the day Wednesday despite appeals for calm by the UN and several world governments.

  • A ceasefire has been reached Thursday. However, at least five rockets from Gaza were fired later in the day.The ceasefire was reached with the help of Egyptian mediators. Over 450 rockets were launched at Israel within 48 hours since the IDF’s targeted killing of Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu Al Ata.The actual number of Palestinians killed according to latest reports is 34.
  • “We hit an Israeli jeep with a rocket,” “we bombed Jerusalem,” “five Israelis killed in a rocket attack” – these are a few of the fake “news” items the Hamas terror organization disseminated via messaging apps and social media. Hamas’ use of fake news is double-pronged – on the one hand, it’s intended to unnerve the Israeli public, and it convinces Gazans into believing Hamas is active in the war on Israel.

Turkey Continues to Commit Genocide in Syria

An ocean away from the Wednesday meeting between Turkish President Erdogan and Donald Trump, the reports from Syria’s frontlines are a mix of horror and chaos. Whatever assurances Erdogan is offering American leaders comes with a bloody backdrop — a 30-kilometer trail of carnage, tanks, and terror. “It’s a zone of death, of murder, of ethnic cleansing and displacement. The people here call it a zone of genocide. And right now, the U.S. has done nothing to stop it,” said humanitarian Dave Eubank, on the ground in Syria. Eubank lost one of his medics during the ‘ceasefire.’ “There hasn’t been one single day of ceasefire since this invasion started,” he said. Erdogan’s allied rebels are taking out innocent people on the ground while Christians and Kurds flee.

Lebanon Rocked by Escalating Street Protests

Massive street protests continued in Lebanon on Wednesday despite an appeal by 84 year old President Michael Aoun for the demonstrations to end. The country’s economy is on the verge of catastrophic collapse after nearly three weeks of banks, schools, universities and most businesses being closed. The local currency has been in freefall and many banks have restricted withdrawals, while many shops have reported running low of food, fuel and other basic necessities.

Iran Enriching Uranium At Fordow Site, U.N. Agency Says

Iran carried out its threat to enrich uranium at its underground Fordow nuclear site, the United Nations atomic agency said Monday, confirming Tehran’s most serious step yet away from the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has taken a series of steps since July to step away from the nuclear deal, a set of calibrated responses to harsh U.S. sanctions designed to pressure Europe into helping Tehran economically and persuade the White House that its maximum-pressure sanctions policy is leading Iran back to the brink of being a breakout nuclear power, something President Trump has said he won’t accept.

Hong Kong Protests Worsen, Protester Shot

Protesters in Hong Kong called a general strike Monday and things turned ugly fast. In an incident just before 8am, a 21-year-old man was shot in the stomach at point-blank range after police clashed with protesters who had been trying to block an intersection. After the shooting, which was captured on video, the protester was taken to the intensive care unit at Eastern Hospital, where dozens of staff members staged a protest to condemn police violence, RTHK reports. Police fired tear gas in numerous other locations around the territory, including in the central business district, where crowds of workers on their lunch hour shouted “Murderers” at riot officers.

  • Hong Kong’s Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng was injured Thursday after an altercation with protesters in London. The Chinese Embassy in London claimed Cheng was “besieged and attacked by dozens of anti-China and pro-independence activists.”

U.S. Infuriates South Korea with 400% Price Hike

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper landed in South Korea on Thursday to navigate heightened strain in the alliance with Seoul that congressional aides, lawmakers and Korea experts say has been caused by President Donald Trump’s demand that South Korea pay roughly 400% more in 2020 to cover the cost of keeping U.S. troops on the peninsula. The price hike has frustrated Pentagon officials and deeply concerned Republican and Democratic lawmakers. It has angered and unnerved Seoul, where leaders are questioning America’s commitment to their alliance and wondering whether Trump will pull US forces if they don’t pay up.

More Bodies Found in Mexico

Forensic scientists in the Mexican state of Sonora have recovered 10 more bodies from mass graves near a beach town, raising the total number of bodies and skeletons found in the area since October to 52. The state attorney’s office said Saturday they were tipped off to the desert burial pits by a group of volunteers called Searching Mothers that tries to find missing people, the AP reports. The remains will be taken to the state capital of Hermosillo for possible identification. The bodies were found near the Gulf of California beach town of Puerto Penasco, known to US tourists as Rocky Point. Drug and kidnapping gangs often bury the bodies of people they have killed in such clandestine sites.

  • The massacre of nine American Mormons by a Mexican drug cartel last week creates yet another excellent opportunity for the U.S. government to finally designate the sophisticated criminal cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

Bolivia’s President Resigns, Flees

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation Sunday under mounting pressure from the military and the public after his re-election victory triggered weeks of fraud allegations and deadly protests. The decision came after a day of fast-moving developments, including an offer from Morales to hold a new election. But the crisis deepened dramatically when the country’s military chief went on national television to call on him to step down. Morales’ claim to have won a fourth term last month plunged the country into the biggest crisis of his nearly 14 years in power. The unrest left three people dead and over 100 injured in clashes between his supporters and opponents. Morales departed for Mexico Monday after accepting an offer of political asylum in Mexico in the wake of what he has described as a “coup” against him by the country’s military and opposition.

Insect ‘Apocalypse’ Warning

It’s being called the unnoticed apocalypse: The number of insects is declining rapidly and 41% of bug species face extinction, scientists say. “If these massive declines continue, the ramifications are enormous,” said Dave Goulson, a professor of biology at the University of Sussex in the UK. “Three quarters of our crops depend on insect pollinators. Crops will begin to fail.” Collapses in bug populations have been reported in Germany and in Puerto Rico. And a global scientific review published earlier this year estimated that, on average, the number of insects is declining by 2.5% each year, with more than 40% of insect species threatened with extinction. In North America, the report said five bumblebee species have undergone massive declines in range and abundance in the last 25 years, with one, Franklin’s bumblebee, going extinct.

85% of Venice Flooded

Some 85% of Venice has been flooded at levels not seen since a historic inundation in 1966. Water surged inside St. Mark’s Basilica and other monuments and works of art were under threat. Damage estimates already are in the hundreds of millions of euros, and high tides are expected to cause further flooding. Heavy rains coinciding with a full moon brought high tides that were pushed onshore. Venice sits on wooden piles driven into the mud among a system of canals. Rising sea levels and heavy cruise ship traffic have eroded surrounding marshes and mudbanks, causing the city to gradually sink. Exceptionally high tidal waters returned to Venice on Friday, prompting the mayor to close the iconic St. Mark’s Square and call for donations to repair the Italian lagoon city just three days after it experienced its worst flooding in 50 years.

370,000 Displaced by Floods in Somalia

More than 370,000 people have been forced from their homes in central Somalia by ongoing flooding. Local officials have said at least 22 people are presumed dead. The town of Beledweyne, about 187 miles north of the capital, Mogadishu, was inundated late last month by seasonal rains. About 230,000 of the displaced have taken refuge on a small piece of land in Beledweyne. Nearly $19 million has been released from the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund to scale up life-saving assistance.

Russian Volcano Continues to Erupt

Satellites captured ash being whisked away from a Russian volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula and across the Pacific earlier this week. The Sheveluch volcano ash plume was lofted as high as 33,000 feet by early Tuesday morning as it traveled over extreme western portions of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The plume impacted flights Tuesday in the area. Although this plume was relatively thin, thicker volcanic ash can harm aircraft that fly through the plumes. The Sheveluch volcano measures nearly 11,000 feet tall and is one of the most active volcanoes in eastern Russia. Sheveluch began erupting in 1999 and has continued since, with intermittent larger explosions like the one witnessed earlier this week.

Wave of Wildfires Sweeps Across Australia

With wildfire risk already at the highest level possible, officials in New South Wales on Monday declared a state of emergency in Australia’s most populous state. At least four people have been killed, more than 30 injured and over 200 homes destroyed as a wave of wildfires swept across eastern Australia. More than 75 wildfires were burning as of early Saturday morning local time in New South Wales. Several fires were also burning in Queensland, where at least one area was under an evacuation order. There were also multiple reports of people trapped in their homes in several locations because fire crews could not reach them due to the intensity of the fires. “We have never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency warning level,” NSW Fire Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

Misleading Report About Climate Emergency

The headline was a real attention-grabber. It said, “More than 11,000 scientists declare ‘climate emergency.'” But, the report called “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” wasn’t a study. And they weren’t all scientists, reports World Net Daily. People went on a Web page and asked others reading it to put their signature on it. That was then presented as a scientific paper, the report says. “Actually, there was no study, there was just a press release. And it wasn’t 11,000 scientists, it was 11,000 random people who put their names on a web page.”

50 Million Africans Face Hunger Crisis Due to Drought

More than 50 million people in 18 African nations face a hunger crisis due to extreme drought, an international aid group says. “We are witnessing millions of already poor people facing extreme food insecurity and exhausting their reserves because of compounding climate shocks that hit already vulnerable communities hardest. They need help urgently,” Oxfam’s Southern Africa Regional Director Nellie Nyang’wa said in a statement on the group’s website. “The scale of the drought devastation across southern Africa is staggering.” The crisis is the result of severe drought over large swaths of the continent, compounded by conflict and poverty.

Cyclone Kills Fourteen in India and Bangladesh

Cyclone Bulbul left at least seven people dead in India on Sunday before moving into neighboring Bangladesh where another seven people died. More than 2 million moved to shelters across Bangladesh’s vast coastal region. In Bangladesh, about 5,000 homes across the country’s coastal region were damaged and many trees were uprooted by the cyclone. The Agriculture Ministry said more than 770 square miles of crop land were damaged.

Apocalypse Soon? Part Three

November 11, 2019

Matthew 25

If you haven’t read Apocalypse Soon Blog Post 1 and 2 yet, please do so, because the teachings are constructed one upon the other.

Part Three: The Ten Virgins

Significantly, the parable of the Ten Virgins immediately follows Matthew 24 in which Jesus spoke about the signs of the end-times. The entire story is told in the first thirteen verses of Matthew 25, as follows:

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matthew 25:1:13)

The oil represents the Holy Spirit, but one person can’t give the Holy Spirit to another, you can only get it from God through Jesus:

(John 20:22) He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

(1Corinthians 3:16) Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

(John 3:5) Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

We are all born once of the flesh, but in order to become a Child of God, we must afterward be born again of the Spirit, which happens when we repent and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

There are many pseudo Christians who think they are saved, but have not truly been Born Again because they think that works (like going to church) or just mental acknowledgement of Jesus is enough.

It’s not. Only if we have truly given our mind, heart and soul to Him and received the Holy Spirit are we true, born-again Christians.

Jesus is called the bridegroom in Matthew 25, as well as in several other Scriptures, with all of us being the bride. And when He comes, there will be a celebration called the wedding feast:

(Revelation 18:7-9) Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’”

The foolish virgins bring their lamps, but they don’t bring any oil because they don’t have any.

They too are pseudo Christians in name only who haven’t received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and thus are not ready when Jesus comes.

They beg the wise virgins for some oil, but it doesn’t work that way – only the real oil will burn inside the lamps (us).

This is comparable to Jesus’ parable about the sower of seed (the seed is the Gospel). The seed may produce some results initially, but the thorns (the devil and his demons) as well as the worries of the world take it away.

(Matthew 13:18-22) When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

If you don’t have oil, (the indwelling Holy Spirit), you need to get it now before it’s too late.

And, if you have received the oil, do not neglect it and allow it to die – nourish it so that you have enough oil to last through the difficult days ahead until the day Jesus returns.

The waiting for Jesus’ return can cause us to become complacent or preoccupied– after all, for two-thousand years, believers have died waiting for Jesus to come again

And that’s not a bad thing, they are with Jesus in Heaven and have received their reward:

(2Corinthians 5:8) We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

But this, I believe, is the generation that will hear the midnight cry:

(Matthew 25:6) And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!

Midnight is the end of our natural day, and in this context, means the end of time itself.

Other Scriptures describe what transpires at this midnight hour:

(1Thessalonians 4:16-17) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord.

(1Corinthians 15:50-54) Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

This is when we receive our heavenly, glorified body, eternal and incorruptible (i.e. without the sin nature we were all born with into the natural world)

But for those who have not received the oil of God’s indwelling presence, this will be the deepest, darkest hour of history. Those left behind will exist in deep darkness:

(Isaiah 60:2) For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people.

(Joel 2:31, KJV) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord

But God doesn’t wish that any should miss out on His free gift of salvation:

(2Peter 3:9-10) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  

So, it’s time for those who are asleep (unbelievers and unprepared believers) to wake up before it’s too late:

(Ephesians 5:14) Awake, you who sleep, rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.

(Isaiah 60:1) Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

(Romans 13:11-12) And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

This applies to believers as well who are so busy doing ministry, that they neglect their relationship with the Lord Jesus and forget to keep supplied with the oil of the Holy Spirit.

Many nominal or pseudo-Christians are actually spiritually dead as Revelation 3:1 explains:

I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

Wake up now, before it’s too late, and be born again in the Spirit!

Jesus says we must buy gold, pure gold refined in the fire. This comes from Jesus’ rebuke of the lukewarm Laodicean church (the seventh and last of the churches in Revelation) which many believe (as do I) represents the last age of the church in the end-time:s

(Revelation 3:14-17) These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

Because the Laodecians were materially rich, they became lukewarm toward God. But Jesus says you are either “with me or against me” (Matthew 12:30).

If we’re not with Him, our ultimate, eternal fate is one of being spiritually poor, blind and naked.

The lukewarm and neglectful are no longer with Him, so He says He will vomit them out of His mouth – a truly frightening prospect.

So, what are the lukewarm to do? Jesus also provides the solution in Revelation 3:18-19:

I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and Therefore, be zealous and repent.

Being rich materially doesn’t matter when Judgment Day arrives. Instead, Jesus wants us to be spiritually rich. Gold, refined in the fire, represents the riches of Heaven which we can receive as joint heirs with Christ:

(Romans 8:16-17) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

(1Peter 4:12-13) Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

But, we see here a condition attached to being heirs. We are also called upon to suffer with Him before we can be glorified together with Him. Jesus tells us that in this world, we will have trials and tribulations

(John 16:33) In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

If we are Christ’s followers, particularly in the end-times, then we are bound to suffer and be persecuted:

(John 15:20) Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.

It is in the midst of trials and persecution that we become refined in the fire into gold and sliver:

(Malachi 3:2-3) But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord, an offering in righteousness.

Jesus also counsels us to buy white garments from Him – robes of righteousness to cover our spiritual nakedness (i.e. our sinfulness).

(Isaiah 61:10) I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Then we will be properly dressed for the wedding feast with Jesus, so that we won’t be told to leave for being improperly dressed (Matthew 22:1-7).

Instead, we will rejoice at the marriage supper of the Lamb:

(Revelation 19:6-9) Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Lastly, Jesus counsels us to buy eye salve so that we might see. The Laodiceans were renowned for the eye salve they produced, but Jesus says they were nonetheless spiritually blind.

Therefore, He says to buy eye salve from Him that would restore our spiritual sight:

(Psalm 19:8) The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Here’s the best part – the price for these precious spiritual commodities is simply to believe and to have faith in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world.

(Hebrews 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

And so, as we await His return, we must learn to live from the inside out.

The world says we are comprised of body, mind and soul, putting the body first.

But the Bible says we are spirit, soul and body:

(1Thessalonians 5:23) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The world teaches us to see and act physically first and foremost.

But the Bible says to see and act out of the Spirit above all else, because the world is temporary while the Spirit is eternal:

(2Corinthians 4:17-18) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Signs of the Times

November 8, 2019

­­Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Recent Convert, Rapper Kanye West, Proclaims Christ, Saves 1000

A Louisiana pastor praised Kanye West’s last-minute “Sunday Service,” where “over 1,000” people raised their hands to commit their lives to Christ on Friday. West opened up his ‘Sunday Service,’ to the public a few months ago, traveling across the country to hold gospel services and perform songs from his new album, “Jesus is King.” Curvine Brewington, a pastor at Crossroads Church in Lafayette said, “Tonight, worship was lifted, the name of Christ was exalted, the Word of God was preached, a multitude prayed together, the Gospel was clearly proclaimed, and an opportunity to respond was given. “In a crowd of 6,000, people from all walks of life, all ages, and all races, I witnessed over 1,000 people respond to The Gospel by raising their hands to accept Jesus as their Lord & Savior!”

  • Kanye West’s new album Jesus Is King not only ranked number one on the Billboard 200 chart, but it also came in at number one on the Top Christian Albums chart.

Paula White to Head Trump’s Faith Office

Paula White, a Pentecostal preacher and longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, has been tapped to head the White House’s Faith and Opportunity Initiative, a successor to previous administrations’ faith-based office that coordinates outreach to religious communities. The appointment of the popular author and former pastor of a Florida megachurch, sometimes called “the Trump whisperer” for her closeness to the president, has been long anticipated. Americans United for Separation of Church and State was quick to denounce White’s appointment. “Televangelist Paula White is unfit to serve in the position of advisor to the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative,” read a statement from Americans United President Rachel Laser. “She has no experience in government or public service and no history of undertaking the kind of interfaith outreach necessary for this role. Instead, she has operated in the shadows to influence public policies that discriminate against women, LGBTQ people and religious minorities, and the nomination of partisan judges who will support those harmful policies.”

Kentucky Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Christian Print Shop Owner

The Kentucky Supreme Court handed a victory Thursday to Lexington promotional print shop owner Blaine Adamson. The court found that the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) did not have a legal right to sue Adamson or his business for declining to print a message that violates his religious beliefs. For more than seven years, Adamson has been battling in court for the right to run his business consistently with his faith. He faced many setbacks: boycotts against his promotional printing company, Hands On Originals; hateful emails, phone calls, and Facebook comments; and some customers even pulled their business. Adamson was represented by attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom. “Today’s decision makes clear that this case never should have happened. For more than seven years, government officials used this case to turn Blaine’s life upside down, even though we told them from the beginning that the lawsuit didn’t comply with the city’s own legal requirements,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell.

Radical Feminists, Conservative Women Unite to Fight Transgender Agenda

Kara Dansky is a self-avowed radical feminist, but she’s much more likely to appear on a Heritage Foundation panel or as a guest Fox News than any left-tilting forum. That’s because Ms. Dansky and her organization, the Women’s Liberation Front, or WoLF, have struck up an unlikely alliance with conservatives over the increasingly influential transgender-rights movement, specifically its implications for the lives of women and girls. “The Women’s Liberation Front has always stood for the right to privacy and safety of women and girls, and we see the trans movement as a threat to those,” Ms. Dansky said. “We absolutely think that women and girls have the right to intimate spaces without the presence of men.” By “men,” she also means biological males who identify as women, a stance that puts her at odds with progressive powerhouses like the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, as well as feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women and UltraViolet.

Austin Votes to Teach Middle Schoolers about Sodomy & Transgenderism

Despite heavy turnout from parents opposed to the plan, the Austin Independent School District voted Tuesday to approve a sex education curriculum that calls for teaching children as early as middle school how to engage in sodomy and put on condoms, and that gender is “non-binary.” As detailed by Texas Values, the curriculum discourages gender-specific language like “mother” and “father” because it “can limit [children’s] understanding of gender into binaries,” encourages children to attend LGBT “pride” rallies and explore other ways to become LGBT “allies,” and proposes various role-play scenarios for children to act out in class, including lesbians deciding when to engage in oral sex.

UK Parents Protest Mandated LGBT Teaching in School

Parents in the United Kingdom who were infuriated by mandatory LGBT lessons in public schools have launched an organization and a petition demanding the right to exempt their children from the indoctrination. The organization is called OCOFOR, Our Children Our Faith Our Rights. Members recently staged a demonstration at Parliament Square insisting the government allow them to opt children out of the LGBT lessons. The online petition warns that society is snatching away “the rights of Christians who chose to live according to biblical views and other religious groups regarding homosexuality.” The petition explains the organization “is fighting to protect the rights of people of faith to peacefully live out their beliefs. “Religious freedom is fast becoming marginalized with those of the Christian faith being especially set apart for public mockery and shaming,” they warn.

Judge Affirms Law that Bans Business Owners from Expressing Faith Publicly

A federal judge has affirmed a Colorado law that effectively bans business owners from freely expressing in public their religious beliefs about marriage and homosexuality. Colorado was the loser in a similar dispute, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state show “hostility” to the Christian beliefs of Jack Phillips in its handling of his refusal to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Since then, openly homosexual Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has pursued a gay-rights agenda that includes allowing people to indicate their sex on driver’s licenses according to their “gender identity” and banning counselors from helping young people who want to rid themselves of same-sex attractions.

President Trump Has Appointed 150 Federal Judges

President Trump just celebrated the appointment of his 150th federal judge on Wednesday—a huge milestone that will have a lasting impact long after the president leaves office. These lifetime appointments will impact the federal judiciary for decades to come on big issues like abortion to religious rights. “A truly momentous achievement,” Trump said. “They will uphold our Constitution as written. These distinguished men and women are some of the most gifted scholars, respected jurists, and finest legal minds ever placed on the federal bench.”

­­­Thousands of Illegal Aliens from Terrorist Nations Live in U.S.

Months after Judicial Watch reported that migrants from terrorist nations are trying to enter the U.S. via Mexico at record rates, government figures show that more than 10,000 illegal aliens from countries that sponsor terrorism currently live here. It’s not clear how they entered the country but federal authorities know about them because they have either been deported or have final removal orders pending. The statistics from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and show that there are 10,340 non-detained illegal immigrants from Iran, Syria, Sudan and North Korea on ICE’s national docket as of June 2018. Iran tops the list with 6,331, followed by Syria (2,128), Sudan (1,860) and North Korea (21). All four countries have been designated as sponsors of terrorism by the State Department.

Judge Blocks Trump’s Health Insurance Rule for Immigrants

A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday put on hold a Trump administration rule requiring immigrants prove they will have health insurance or can pay for medical care before they can get visas. U.S. District Judge Michael Simon granted a temporary restraining order that prevents the rule from going into effect Sunday. It’s not clear when he will rule on the merits of the case. Seven U.S. citizens and a nonprofit organization filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday contending the rule would block nearly two-thirds of all prospective legal immigrants. “We’re very grateful that the court recognized the need to block the health care ban immediately,” says Justice Action Center senior litigator Esther Sung. “The ban would separate families and cut two-thirds of green-card-based immigration starting tonight, were the ban not stopped.”

Illegals in Mississippi ICE Raids Stole Americans’ Identities

Most of the 680 illegal immigrants nabbed in August’s immigration raids at poultry plants in Mississippi worked under stolen American identities, the Department of Homeland Security’s top investigator told Congress Thursday, rebuffing Democrats who insisted the “undocumented” workers were doing no harm. “They stole the IDs of 400 U.S. citizens,” said Jere Miles, who leads Homeland Security Investigations’ New Orleans office. Mr. Miles defended the Aug. 7 raids against seven processing plants as both a success and a deterrent to future illegal immigrants. The raids have become a major flashpoint in the immigration debate, with activists complaining that they were conducted cruelly, on the first day of school for the workers’ children, and without warning to local authorities or social welfare agencies.

Tucson Voters Reject Sanctuary City Proposal

Tucson voters on Tuesday resoundingly opposed an initiative, known as Proposition 205, that would have given sweeping protections to illegal aliens, and prohibit local law enforcement from working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. At the close of the polls, over 71% of voters rejected the measure. Notably, the measure was opposed by every member of the Tucson City Council — all of whom are Democrats. The council members were concerned that its passage would lead to the loss of millions of dollars in federal and state funding. Leaders were very aware of the Trump administration’s fight against other local jurisdictions that have passed sanctuary policies, threatening to withhold federal grants as punishment.

Nine American Mormons Killed in Mexico

Relatives say at least ten U.S. citizens— three women, four small children and two infants, all Mormons—have been killed in a highway massacre believed to be tied to a drug cartel in northern Mexico. Three mothers and 14 children—members of a breakaway Mormon community known as La Mora, some 70 miles south of Douglas, Ariz.—were reportedly ambushed Monday while driving in Bavispe, Sonora state. Relatives say the remains of Rhonita Miller and four of her children, including twin infants, were found in a burned-out SUV on the side of the road,. Others in the three-vehicle convoy were “shot at as they tried to flee.” Six children were wounded in the attack, with five transferred to hospitals in Phoenix, Ariz. One child is still missing. Relatives say this is not the first time members of the breakaway Mormon community have been targeted.

  • President Trump on Tuesday offered U.S. assistance as he called on Mexico to “wage war” against the country’s murderous drug cartel “monsters.” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador refused the offer, however, saying at a Tuesday news conference, “The worst thing you can have is war.”

Hundreds of Oklahoma Inmates Released in Record Commutation

Hundreds of Oklahoma inmates left prison Monday before their original sentences were over. In the largest mass commutation in US history, at least 462 non-violent inmates were released, officials said. A total of 527 inmates had their sentences commuted Friday, but 65 of them have detainers and will be released later. The move is one of many prison reform efforts in Oklahoma aimed at reducing overcrowded prisons while helping low-level offenders build a life of self-sufficiency rather than reincarceration. In 2016, Oklahoma passed reforms that would turn some low-level felonies into misdemeanors. For example, possession of a small amount of drugs became a misdemeanor, and the threshold for a property crime becoming a felony increased from $500 in property value to $1,000 in value.

U.S. Formally Opts Out of U.N. Climate Accord

The United States has told the United Nations it has begun the process of pulling out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that he submitted a formal notice to the United Nations. That starts a withdrawal process that does not become official for a year. His statement touted America’s carbon pollution cuts and called the Paris deal an “unfair economic burden” to the U.S. economy. The U.S. is the first nation to pull out of the deal. Agreement rules prevented any country from pulling out in the first three years after the Nov. 4, 2016, ratification. President Donald Trump has been promising withdrawal for two years, but Monday was the first time he could actually do it.

U.N. Voted to Condemn U.S. for Economic Blockade Against Cuba

The 193-member United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to condemn the U.S. economic and commercial blockade against Cuba on Thursday, and in doing so shunned U.S. calls to condemn Cuba for its ongoing human-rights violations. Brazil and Israel were the only two countries to vote with the United States against the resolution. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft listed a litany of human-rights abuses by Cuba that she said went against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a document to which the communist country is a signatory. Craft referenced a report that estimated 50,000 journalists, activists, and others had been arrested arbitrarily since 2010. Craft told member states, “Like all nations, we get to choose which countries we trade with. This is our sovereign right. So, it is worrying that the international community, in the name of protecting sovereignty, continues to challenge this right.”

Global Fertility Rate Falling Dramatically

Contrary to U.N. and globalist propaganda, global population is headed for a crash, not an explosion. The birthrate in many countries is so low that they will cease to exist as discrete nations if it doesn’t turn around. For many, the trend is already irreversible, says Technocracy News. At least two children per woman is needed to ensure a stable population from generation to generation.  In the 1960s, the fertility rate was five live births per woman. By 2017 it had fallen to 2.43, a decline of over 50%. While the global average fertility rate was still above the rate of replacement—technically 2.1 children per woman—about 50% of all countries have already fallen below the replacement rate. Fifty years ago, there were only 5% of countries below replacement level. Falling fertility rates and aging populations will mean serious challenges that will be felt more acutely in some places than others.

U.S. Lab Loses Enough Fentanyl to Kill 1,750 People

A government-owned nuclear laboratory long plagued by scandals and security breaches is in trouble again for recklessly managing controlled substances, including enough opioids to kill more than 1,700 people. Other illicit narcotics mishandled by the taxpayer-funded compound’s staff include morphine, methamphetamine, codeine and cocaine. The drugs are routinely used for research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the same facility where Judicial Watch exposed a Chinese Communist scientist that stole nuclear secrets. Los Alamos is among the world’s largest science institutions and the nation’s key nuclear weapons research facility. It also conducts work involving controlled substances to assist law enforcement agencies with drug traffickers. The lab recently could not account for 3.5 grams of fentanyl, according to a federal audit that outlines. The U.S. government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse has determined that “fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.”

Teen Vaping Continues to Increase Despite Dangers

A U.S. government report based on a recent survey indicates that the U.S. teen vaping epidemic shows no signs of slowing down. An estimated 28% of high school students and 11% of middle schoolers surveyed earlier this year had vaped within the past month. That amounts to over 5 million young users, versus about 3.6 million last year. The results follow the Trump administration’s call in September to ban virtually all vaping flavors, following reports of deaths and lung disease from vaping. Federal health officials have identified vitamin E acetate in the lung fluids of 29 people sickened in the outbreak of dangerous vaping-related lung injuries. The discovery, which they call a “breakthrough,” points to the oil as the likely culprit.

U.S. Doctors Reap Big Bucks from Big Pharma

In a very thorough and revealing analysis of statistical industry payment data, ProPublica disclosed that more than 2,500 physicians have received at least half a million dollars apiece from drug makers and medical device companies in the past five years alone. More than 700 of those doctors received at least $1 million, and that doesn’t include money for research or royalties from inventions. In their article, the authors note that their previous analysis in 2013 found that 1 doctor had made $1 million and 21 doctors had made over $500,000 for the same reasons. It was expected to be a wake-up call for more effective scrutiny, oversight, and challenges to these payments. Instead, these types of payments have become much more commonplace.

Economic News

China and the United States have agreed to cancel in phases the tariffs imposed during their months-long trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, without specifying a timetable. Tariff cancellation was an important condition for any agreement, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, adding that both must simultaneously cancel some tariffs on each other’s goods to reach a “phase one” trade deal. The proportion of tariffs canceled for both sides to reach a “phase one” deal must be the same, but the number to be canceled can be negotiated, he added

The global debt load has surged to a new all-time record equivalent to more than double the world’s economic output, International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva warned Thursday. “Global debt — both public and private — has reached an all-time high of $188 trillion. This amounts to about 230 percent of world output,” Georgieva said in a speech to open a two-day conference on debt. Global debt has risen by 24 trillion dollars since 2016 which puts governments and individuals at risk if the economy slows, she said.

As more baby boomers put off retirement, millennials and Gen Xers are finding it harder to move up into middle- and higher-level jobs, according to a USA TODAY/LinkedIn survey and interviews with recruiters. Forty-one percent of millennials — and 30% of all adults  — said they’ve found it difficult to move up in their fields because boomers are waiting longer to retire. “This is the first time ever that five different generations are in America’s workforce at the same time, from Gen Z-ers up to baby boomers,” says LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele.

U.S. hiring was surprisingly solid last month as employers added 128,000 jobs despite a General Motors strike that held down overall payrolls and the loss of 20,000 temporary census workers. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected 85,000 job gains. Job gains for August and September were revised up by 95,000. The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, rose from a 50-year low of 3.5% to 3.6%, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s because a strong increase in employment was offset by an even bigger rise in the labor force, which includes Americans working and looking for jobs.

  • The positive report sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq stock indices to record highs last Friday. The stock indices hit historic highs again on Monday. But this time the Dow joined the record-setting club as well.

Persecution Watch

Pro-Turkish forces are reportedly carrying out a “soft ethnic cleansing” of Christians in north-east Syria by terrorizing them into fleeing, despite assurances from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that his forces would not persecute religious minorities. Bassam Ishak, the head of the Syriac National Council, said Syrian armed groups allied with Turkey are preventing Christians from accessing their land during the current cotton harvest. The troops have orders not to physically touch the Christians, but instead to tell them that “they have no land here anymore,” said Ishak, who is also a member of the Syrian Democratic Council. “The Christians in Ras al-Ain own at least one-third of the agricultural land there. These forces are basically carrying out a ‘soft’ ethnic cleansing. The Christians are being frightened by these people, and then they lose their source of income.”

Two evangelical pastors were beheaded and many church buildings burnt in an outbreak of anti-Christian violence last month in Sebeta town, near the capital Addis Ababa. But this was only the latest incident of violence which has plagued the country for over a year. The violence began in September – November 2018, in the area of Enseno town, leaving 45 people dead – including many Christians – and many homes burnt. Thousands were displaced and have been living in temporary shelters, even through the rainy season of 2019. It is a region dominated by Islam and by conflict between two tribes. The government has been unable to cope with the huge need of the displaced people, and church leaders became “confused and discouraged” as they wrestled with the problem of how to save the displaced Christians from starvation, malnutrition and the diseases that go with it.

Islamic State Names New Leader

Days after its “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his heir apparent were killed in Syria, the Islamic State on Thursday confirmed their deaths, announced a new leader and warned the U.S.: “Do not be happy.” In an audio recording, the group said it was now led by Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi. That’s not a name experts knew before — but ISIS leaders often take new names when they’re appointed or promoted.

ISIS Terror Attack Kills Over 50 Soldiers in Mali

At least 53 soldiers and one civilian have been killed in a terrorist attack on the Malian Armed Forces, according to Mali’s government. Rescue teams found the bodies, along with 10 survivors and “significant material damage,” at the military post in Indelimane, in the country’s north-east, on Friday. The government called the assault a terrorist attack and urged the nation “to succeed in the war for freedom, peace and social cohesion in our country.” This attack follows previous attacks on army posts in central Mali in September that killed 38 soldiers. Separatists and al Qaeda-linked insurgents often target military outposts in the West African nation.

Iran Brags of Violating Nuclear Accord, Protesters Shout “Death to America”

Iran on Monday displayed its defiance of the United States when the Islamic Republic brazenly announced new violations of the 2015 nuclear accord while Islamist demonstrators shouted, “Death to America” and likened the U.S. to a “poisonous scorpion” during an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of revolutionaries seizing the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Iran says it now operates 60 advanced centrifuges, twice as many as allowed by the 2015 accord, and is experimenting with a prototype designed to be 50 times faster than what’s allowed by the nuclear agreement. Iran injected uranium gas into centrifuges at its underground Fordo nuclear complex early Thursday, taking its most-significant step away from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Tehran meanwhile also acknowledged blocking an official from the International Atomic Energy Agency from visiting its nuclear site at Natanz last week, the first known case of a United Nations inspector being blocked amid heightened tensions over its atomic program. Experts have previously estimated Iran could produce enough material to build a nuclear weapon in about a one-year period; however, the advanced centrifuges could speed up that assessment.

  • A new package of economic and political sanctions were imposed by the U.S. Treasury Monday on nine individuals closely tied to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Dresden, Germany Declares Nazi Emergency

A city in eastern Germany has declared a “Nazi emergency” after allegedly experiencing a rise in anti-democratic and far-right extremist views and even violence. Council members of the city of Dresden, the capital of Saxony, declared in a resolution that acknowledges that “right-wing extremist attitudes and actions … are occurring with increasing frequency.” It also called on the city to help victims of far-right violence, protect minorities and strengthen democracy. The resolution was approved 38 to 29, with Germany’s governing Christian Democrats (CDU) – which has Chancellor Angela Merkel at the helm – among those who rejected it. The party reportedly described the resolution as “pure political symbolism.”

Russia Expanding Military Operations from Syria to Libya

After four years of behind-the-scenes financial and tactical support for a would-be Libyan strongman, Russia is now pushing far more directly to shape the outcome of Libya’s messy civil war. It has introduced advanced Sukhoi jets, coordinated missile strikes, and precision-guided artillery, as well as snipers — the same playbook that made Moscow a kingmaker in the Syrian civil war. The Russians have intervened on behalf of the militia leader Khalifa Hifter, who is based in eastern Libya and is also backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and, at times, France. His backers have embraced him as their best hope to check the influence of political Islam, crack down on militants and restore an authoritarian order. Hifter has been at war for more than five years with a coalition of militias from western Libya. Libya’s government was set up by the United Nations in 2015 and is officially supported by the United States and other Western powers. But in practical terms, Turkey is its only patron.

Gunmen In Burkina Faso Attack Mining Company Convoy, Killing 37

Gunmen in Burkina Faso killed at least 37 people on Wednesday in an attack on a convoy carrying employees, suppliers and contractors of a Canadian mining company, one of the deadliest episodes in a recent tide of violence that has gripped the West African nation. The mining company, Semafo, which is based in Montreal, said that five buses escorted by Burkina Faso’s military were attacked while traveling to the Boungou mine, an open-pit gold mine in the eastern part of the country. They were on their way from the city of Fada-Ngourma, about 25 miles away. Lt. Col. Saïdou T.P. Sanou, the governor of the country’s eastern region, confirmed the death toll in a statement and said that another 60 people had been wounded

New Delhi Toxic Smog Grounds Planes, Sickens Citizens

Toxic smog choking India’s capital has shut down schools and prevented planes from landing at an international airport — but doctors say what’s most concerning is how the foul air has sickened many of New Delhi’s citizens. New Delhi officials declared a health emergency Friday, asking the city’s more than 20 million residents to stay indoors. Schools were closed for five days and authorities handed out millions of free masks to children as the deteriorating air quality reached a three-year high. An Air Quality Index of 0-50 is considered “good.” New Delhi’s AQI reached 900. Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying that the city had been turned into a “gas chamber.” The pollution is so bad that it can be seen from space.

Bolivian Post-Election Violence Surging

The mayor of a small town in Bolivia has become the latest victim of violence in the country that has seen violent street clashes intensifying over the country’s disputed election nearly three weeks ago. Vinto Mayor Patricia Arce Guzman was confronted at the town hall by protesters, who then dragged her out barefoot through the streets of the town as windows at the city building were broken and her office was set on fire. Guzman was then forced to kneel down as demonstrators cut her hair, doused her in red paint, and forced her to sign a resignation letter all while yelling “murderess, murderess,” according to the BBC. Officials said Wednesday that three persona have been killed in street clashes between supporters and foes of President Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, who has accused the opposition of trying to stage a coup.

Environment

Deforestation’s contribution to climate change is vastly overestimated, a new study concludes. The study led by researchers at Ohio State University and Yale University states that deforestation for timber and farmland is responsible for about 92 billion tons of carbon emissions into the environment since 1900.  “Our estimate is about a fifth of what was found in previous work showing that deforestation has contributed 484 billion tons of carbon – a third of all manmade emissions – since 1900,” said Professor Brent Sohngen. The professor said that widely accepted estimate didn’t take into account the planting of new trees and other forest management techniques that lower the environmental burden. The model used in the new study did take those factors into account. “There was a significant shift toward treating forests as a renewable, rather than nonrenewable, resource in the last century, and we estimate that those reforestation and forest management efforts have led to a far smaller carbon burden on the environment,” Sohngen said.

Part of the Keystone 1 Pipeline in North Dakota was shut down after a leak of about 9,120 barrels of oil — 383,040 gallons — was discovered. The oil leak occurred just north of Edinburg, in the northeast part of the state, and affected about 2,500 square yards of land, TC Energy company said. A drop in pressure was detected on Tuesday, and the pipeline was immediately shut down. The company is not sure how the leak started, but says an independent party is examining the pipeline.

Shrinking ice, rising sea levels and fierce storms are transforming Canada’s Magdalen Islands, where temperatures have warmed twice the global average since the late 19th century. Residents are fighting an escalating battle against erosion and flooding — trying to fend off the sea in some places and retreat from it in others.

San Jose, CA Mayor Sam Liccardo and other city council members approved a proposal to prohibit natural gas infrastructure from being installed in many new residential buildings. The measure covers single family homes, accessory dwelling units and low-rise multi-family buildings. San Jose’s ban comes just after Berkeley, CA passed a natural gas ban that will also take effect on January 1. San Jose is the largest city to advance this type of ordinance. It aims to reduce emissions from buildings, which are considered the largest emissions producers along with transportation. The ultra-left environmental group, Sierra Club, claims that 50 other California cities are also considering a ban on natural gas.

  • The only by-products of burning natural gas are water and CO2, which is used by plants to generate oxygen. There are enough proven reserves currently in production that could power the entire U.S. for at least 80 years, and more reserves are being discovered every year.  Technocracy News notes that natural gas is the cleanest, cheapest and most resilient source of energy on planet earth.

Earthquakes

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck northwestern Iran early Friday, killing at least five people and injuring over 300 others, officials said. The temblor struck Tark county in Iran’s Eastern Azerbaijan province at 2:17 a.m., about 250 miles northwest of Iran’s capital, Tehran. Over 40 aftershocks rattled the rural region nestled in the Alborz Mountains. Rescuers have been dispatched to the region. State TV reported the earthquake destroyed 30 homes at its epicenter.

A part of Texas that is being heavily developed for oil and gas production has seen a dramatic increase in earthquakes over the past decade, a new study shows. Researchers examined more than 7,000 seismic events in West Texas between 2000 and 2017, according to the study published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth. The analysis showed that a disproportionate number have happened in the last 10 years in an area near Pecos known as the Delaware Basin. The uptick began after 2007, when just one earthquake was recorded in the area. Nineteen earthquakes happened in 2009 and more than 2,000 were recorded in 2017.

  • In less than a decade, a boom in the country’s shale patches added a record 8 million barrels day and made the United States the No. 1 oil producer in the world at 12 million barrels/day. A large proportion of this comes from the oil producers in the Permian Basin, a vast expanse of 86,000 square miles that borders west Texas and southeastern New Mexico. That region is responsible for about a third of America’s crude output.
    • In a fallen world of good and evil, there are plusses and minuses to almost every situation

Weather

More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have signed a declaration that states, “clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” The scientists warn that an “immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis.” The scientists set out “critical and interrelated” steps that should be taken in six areas: Energy, short-lived pollutants, nature, the economy, food, and, most controversially, population. They call for the stabilization of the world population through measures including making family-planning services available to all and working toward full gender equity in education.

 

Apocalypse Soon? Part Two

November 5, 2019

If you haven’t read Apocalypse Soon? – Part One yet, please do so, because the teachings are constructed one upon the other.

Part Two: The Signs of Noah and Jonah

The time is growing shorter and shorter until the end-days commence and some of us are feeling a swelling up within of an imminent explosion about to hit the world.

  • These days are akin to when Noah was asked to build the ark in preparation for the flood that would destroy all life in the land – except for the people and animals on the ark

(Matthew 24:37-39) But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

  • In today’s world, most people (and many Christians) are going about their lives (eating, drinking, marrying) as though nothing else mattered, as though the world would simply continue going on as is for at least the rest of their lives – but, Jesus says otherwise.
  • Most people will not realize what is going on until it’s too late – unless, we tell them and explain that the terrible things happening to and on the earth are signs that Jesus is about to shake and break this world and then replace it with the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem prophesied in Revelation 21.

People likely mocked Noah and called him a fool, especially since there had never been rain on the earth up until that point in time

  • Prior to that, there had only been a mist that arose from the ground
    • (Genesis 2:6) For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

The Bible also prophesies that scoffers and mockers will come in the last days, and we already see that today, with people increasingly putting down all things Christian, even labeling Christians as haters:

  • (2Peter 3:3-4) Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

So, when will the last days begin? When the disciples asked Jesus when the time of the end would be, He said:

  • But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven but My Father only. (Matthew 24:36)

Only God the Father knows when the right time will be.

  • However, notice that Jesus says no one will know the day or the hour

Jesus tells us directly to watch for the signs of His coming:

  • (Matthew 24:42) Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
    • He wouldn’t tell us to watch if there wasn’t something to watch for.
    • As discussed in Part One, many signs are close to fulfillment, so Jesus could come back in the next 10 to 20 years or so.

Jesus told us to watch for these things much as we would watch the seasons – we looked at this in Part One, People Get Ready, but now we’re going to examine another important lesson from this parable:

  • (Matthew 24:32-34) Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer isSo you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
    • The Greek word translated as ‘generation’ can also be translated as ‘age’ and this is the meaning of this sign, for that generation who lived at that time passed away a long time ago. Jesus is referring to the entire generation of believers through the age between His first and second coming.
    • Unfortunately, some have used this expression to claim that the end-times have already occurred and that Jesus was referring to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD when Titus, the son of Roman Emperor Vespasian overran Jerusalem with his army
      • But that hat was only a foreshadowing of the true end of the age

Jesus also says to also keep watch as we do with the weather:

  • (Matthew 16:1-4) Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
    • Here, Jesus was speaking directly to the Pharisees who had come to challenge Him. Jesus had already performed many miracles, including the feeding of the 4,000, which should have been enough to prove to them that He was who He said He was.
      • He was not saying that it was wrong to seek after a sign, because elsewhere (as above), He told us to look for signs.

Jesus not only tells us to discern the times as we would the weather, but He introduces another sign – the sign of Jonah. He explains this Himself in Matthew 12:40-41:

  • For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is

Jesus was dead and buried in the earth for three days before rising up like Jonah did from the belly of the beast and the people of Nineveh took it as a sign from God that Jonah was miraculously saved after being in the great fish for three days, and they repented and turned to God.

  • Like them, we should accept Jesus’ resurrection as not only a fulfillment of these verses but also as sign that everything He says about His Second Coming is true

There will also be unmistakable signs in the Heavens, but this occurs well along into the Great Tribulation:

  • (Luke 21:25-27) 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.
    • The sea and the waves have certainly been roaring as we’ve seen with the increasing strength of the hurricanes striking the U.S. And, more and more distress is coming upon the earth.

The heavenly signs alluded to above (“the powers of the heavens will be shaken”) regarding the sun and moon happen quite late in the Great Tribulation, perhaps the last sign and the last hope any have of salvation

  • (Acts 2:20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
  • (Revelation 6:12) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.

We may not know the day or the hour of His Coming, but like the sons of Issachar, we are supposed to be aware of approximately when that time is ready to come upon us

  • (1Chronicles 12:32) “The sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.

In the days of Noah, it was too late for them to do anything to avoid the coming destruction as soon as the rain started to fall, because Noah was already safely tucked away inside the ark

  • If they had hearkened to the signs, they could also have built arks or boats of some kind to survive – or, better yet, repented of their evil and wicked ways

But now, following Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have been given signs and instructions directly from God in His Word, the Bible, which tells us what to do

  • For believers, this means being prepared and living as though Jesus could come at any moment, because when He comes it will be quickly, instantaneously as He said in Revelation 22:12. He further explains what this will be like in Matthew 24:40-43
    • Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

Being “taken” refers to the rapture in which believers will rise to meet Jesus in the air (i.e. the heavenly places) and be saved from the further destruction of the earth

  • The rapture is described in 1Thessalonians 4:17: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord.
    • Some say the word ‘rapture’ isn’t in the Bible and so they don’t believe in it. But the word ‘bible’ isn’t in the Bible either, so that’s a spurious objection
      • Our English word rapture comes from the Latin word ‘raptura’ which means ‘carrying off’ and is the word translated as ‘caught up” in our English translations

The Apostle Paul further instructed us on how to get ready for the end of the age:

  • (1Thessalonians 5:1-11) But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another.
    • Being sober and not drunk are metaphors for being alert and watchful, and not taken in by the dark ways of the world, instead remaining vigilant and spiritually prepared for Christ to come at any moment.
    • Paul also calls upon us to put on the “breastplate of love” so that we can love and comfort one another through these difficult and perilous times –not just other Christians, but unbelievers as well, so that our love, comfort and witness can save many souls.
    • For Christians, this is not the time to just dig in and try to just survive, but rather it is an opportunity to reach out to unbelievers with their last chance for eternal salvation
    • People are more open to hearing the Gospel message when things are not going well, especially during the fearful times to come

The Apostle Peter also recommends being sober, but also hopeful and holy:

  • (1Peter 1:13-16) Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
    • Even as we hope for Jesus’ coming to be soon, we must gird up our loins and be prepared to endure for however long it takes, remaining obedient and holy, not conforming to the lusts of the world

Then we will be prepared for when the end-times start to unfold, as Luke advises:

(Luke 21:28) Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

However, for unbelievers, the time is being lengthened so that everyone has every opportunity to receive God’s free gift of salvation

  • (2Peter 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
    • Repentance precedes salvation, which is why John the Baptist and Jesus both said to, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2, 4:17)

The word repent means more than just being sorry – there must be deep, Godly sorrow and a commitment to turn away from sinfulness and resist temptation so that it does not reoccur.

  • For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2Corinthians 7:10)
    • The sorrow of the world is merely mouthing the word ‘sorry’ with no true sorrow nor any commitment to do better

But with Godly sorrow and true repentance, unbelievers can turn to God and receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life in Heaven by declaring (from their mind, heart and spirit) that Jesus Christ is their Savior and Lord of their life

  • (Acts 3:19) Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
  • (Isaiah 45:22)Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

So the Signs of Noah and Jonah tell us not just to be watchful, but also to be prepared to love, comfort and lead unbelievers to repent and be saved.

Signs of the Times

October 31, 2019

­­But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

876 Abortion Clinics Have Lost Taxpayer Funding

A new report indicates President Trump has been responsible for de-funding almost 900 facilities that either perform or promote killing babies in abortions. Last May, the Trump administration published a new proposal for Title X that would prohibit Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses from receiving any of those tax dollars unless they completely separate their abortion businesses from their taxpayer-funded services. That mean housing their family planning services in separate buildings with separate staff from their abortion businesses and a denial of funds if they fail to do so. Federal courts eventually let the defunding rules move forward and Planned Parenthood and other abortion activists left the Title X program and gave up $60 million of taxpayer dollars. Power to Decide, a pro-choice organization that works to prevent unplanned pregnancies, says in a new report that 876 clinics across the country have lost funding.

Federal Court Blocks Alabama Law Criminalizing Most Abortions

A federal judge issued a ruling Tuesday blocking an Alabama law that would make abortion a felony in nearly all situations, regardless of the stage of the pregnancy. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson granted a motion for a preliminary injunction, temporarily preventing the law from being enforced as a lawsuit over the law brought by abortion providers moves forward. “The court is persuaded that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in showing that the Act violates an individual’s constitutional right to obtain a pre-viability abortion, and thus that it violates her constitutional rights,” the ruling said, noting that “banning abortion before viability violates Supreme Court precedent.” The law, known as the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, would make it a felony for anyone to perform an abortion, except in situations where a doctor determines that there is a “medical emergency” related to the mother’s physical condition or if the fetus has a “lethal anomaly” that would cause it to be stillborn or die soon after death.

Biden Denied Communion Over Abortion Support

A Catholic priest says he denied Holy Communion to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden at his parish in South Carolina on Sunday because of the Democratic presidential contender’s support for abortion. The Rev. Robert E. Morey told the Florence Morning News on Monday that, ““Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden. Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.” Biden says he is “personally opposed” to abortion, but insists that this should not affect political stances.

Biological Male Runner Named Female ‘Athlete of the Week’

A biological male runner who identifies as a female was named the Big Sky Conference women’s cross country athlete of the week last week, sparking – yet again – a debate over fairness in women’s sports and the collegiate rules that govern transgender athletes. The University of Montana’s June Eastwood won the honor, but last year Eastwood was known as Jonathan Eastwood and competed on the Montana men’s cross country and track teams. Eastwood finished seventh in May 2018 in the men’s 1,500-meter run at the conference’s outdoor championship. Eastwood’s picture and bio as a male athlete is still listed on the athletic department’s website as a former member of the men’s team. Now, though, Eastwood identifies as a female athlete and is listed on the website as June Eastwood and a member of the women’s team.

House Approves Impeachment Inquiry Rules

A sharply divided House voted Thursday to approve a resolution setting “ground rules” for the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, putting lawmakers on record over the contentious process while setting the stage for proceedings to move into the public eye after weeks of closed-door depositions. The measure passed largely along party lines, 232-196. Two Democrats defected on the vote. Republicans accused Democrats of launching a de facto “coup” against the president in a “pre-ordained” bid to overturn the results of the 2016 election. Democrats, though, maintained that the president’s own actions – pressing Ukraine to launch politically related investigations, and allegedly using military aid as leverage – brought the country to this point. The resolution authorizes the Intelligence Committee to conduct open, televised hearings in which minority Republicans have equal time to question witnesses.

DHS’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Causes Thousands to Abandon Asylum

The Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy has done exactly what officials had hoped — convince illegal immigrants with bogus asylum claims to give up and return home, officials said this week, declaring the controversial policy a success. Of the 55,000 migrants who were subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols, as the program is officially known, a “small subset” have won their cases and been readmitted to the U.S. to proceed with asylum claims. Another 20,000 are still waiting in northern Mexico, Homeland Security officials say,  leaving tens of thousands who have given up their claims. Just as important are the would-be migrants that have not made the trip in the first place, Homeland Security said, cutting the number of illegal immigrant families nabbed at the U.S.-Mexico border by 80% from its record high in May. Still, agents arrested more than 850,000 illegal immigrants trying to sneak across the border in fiscal 2019, and officers processed about 126,000 more who showed up at ports of entry without papers but demanded entry. More than 150,000 are known to have evaded border authorities and made it in — and that’s likely a “conservative” estimate.

Child Immigrant Detentions at Record Level

The United States has detained more children trying to cross the nation’s southwest border on their own over the last year than during any other period on record, according to new figures released Tuesday. American immigration authorities apprehended 76,020 minors, most of them from Central America, traveling without their parents in the fiscal year that ended in September — 52 percent more than during the last fiscal year, according to United States Customs and Border Protection. Mexico is experiencing the same surge. Under pressure from the Trump administration, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stepped up immigration enforcement and detained about 40,500 underage migrants traveling north without their parents in the same period — pushing the total number of these children taken into custody in the region to more than 115,000. “These are numbers that no immigration system in the world can handle, not even in this country,” Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection, told reporters.

Scammers Dupe Thousands, Reap Millions

In the last year, a whopping 26,379 people reported being a victim of some sort of phishing scam. Together they reported nearly $50 million in losses, according to the FBI’s 2018 Internet Crime Report. While the number of reported scams increased slightly from the 25,344 phishing scams reported to the FBI in 2017, the losses skyrocketed by nearly $20 million. Scammers are getting more clever and devious in their phishing attempts. Hackers may use what’s known as social engineering to try and obtain or compromise information about you, which could then be used to gain access to something such as your bank account. Phishing scams are common, but particularly clever phishing attempts can deceive even those who are aware of them. The FBI warned of scammers spoofing legitimate FBI phone numbers in August, so it’s clear that you truly can’t trust any inbound call no matter what the caller ID says.

Twitter Announces Ban on All Political Advertising

Twitter will no longer allow candidates or issue-based organizations to run paid “political” advertisements, company CEO Jack Dorsey announced Wednesday afternoon. “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally,” Dorsey announced. The new policy will apply not only to ads by candidates for office, but to anyone who wants to “buy ads for issues they want to push.” Twitter will release details on how exactly the new rules will work by November 15, with enforcement beginning on November 22, almost one year before the United States’ next presidential and congressional elections.

Swine Fever Expected to Wipe Out a Quarter of All Pigs

The World Organization for Animal Health says around a quarter of the global pig population is expected to die from African swine fever. The spread of the disease in the past year to countries including China, which has half the world’s pig population, has inflamed a worldwide crisis. Last month, the disease spread from North Korea to South Korea even after Seoul deployed snipers and hunters to keep wild pigs out. Veterinary scientists worldwide are trying to find a vaccine for the disease, but that it’s a “complex challenge” because of the nature of the virus. While the disease does not spread to humans, it is virtually 100% fatal once embedded in pig populations.

Californians Permanently Fleeing Blackouts and Wildfires

As Californians on Tuesday were forced to once again confront the dual threats of wildfires and forced blackouts, the apparent new normal is proving to be too much for some residents. The nation’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., will turn off the power for a third time this year to prevent powerful winds from damaging its equipment, which can lead to a blaze igniting. Up to 605,000 customers — about 1.5 million people — in 29 Northern California counties will be affected by this latest round of power cuts starting Tuesday. That means people who had the power go out Saturday and were still just getting the lights back on Monday are now faced with the prospect of being in the dark again for several days. The prospect of dangerous fire conditions combined with ongoing blackouts had many Northern California residents questioning if it was worth it to stay through to the next fire season. “I don’t want to go through this every year,” Judy Borberly told KTVU.

Signs of Coming Recession?

The following are signs that the U.S. economy is steadily weakening: U.S. business hiring has fallen to a 7 year low; Consumer confidence in the United States has now declined for 3 months in a row. Defaults on “subprime” auto loans are happening at the fastest pace since 2008; The percentage of “subprime” auto loans that are at least 60 days delinquent is now higher than it was at any point during the last recession; Vacancies at U.S. shopping malls have hit the highest level since the last recession; U.S. rail carload volumes have plunged to the lowest level in 3 years; Last month, existing home sales in the United States declined by another 2.2 percent; New home prices have fallen to the lowest level in almost 3 years.

Economic News

The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate Wednesday by a quarter percentage point for the third time in the past three months. The move is likely to further trim borrowing costs on credit cards, home equity lines, adjustable-rate mortgages and auto loans. The latest reduction, to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, undoes just a third of the Fed’s nine rate hikes from late 2015 through last year. Credit card rates are generally tied to the prime rate, which in turn is affected by the Fed’s benchmark rate. While the rate eventually should drop by about a quarter percentage point, it likely will take two to three months. The Fed’s prior two rate cuts since July have pushed down average credit card rates to 17.57% from 17.85%.

The nation’s gross domestic product – the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. – increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9% in the July-September period, following 2% growth in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. Consumer spending grew a solid 2.9% in the third quarter, below the blistering 4.6% pace in the second quarter. Consumers generally have shrugged off the trade standoff, which has started to increase retail prices. The risk of a recession has eased somewhat in recent weeks after the U.S. and China agreed to a tentative truce in their trade war that likely suspends future tariffs on Chinese imports but leaves existing duties in place.

Manufacturing made up 11% of gross domestic product in the second quarter, the smallest share of GDP in data going back to 1947 and down from 11.1% in the prior period, a Commerce Department report showed Tuesday. The latest number compares with 13.4% for real estate, 12.8% for professional and business services and 12.3% for governments, according to the figures on GDP by industry.

While a $15/hour minimum wage may sound good and look good on paper, its negative effect on businesses and employees alike is often omitted from the debate. But CNN says layoffs are piling up for retailers as they maneuver to implement the problematic wage hike. Even though Target claims its $13-and-climbing minimum wage is “building a stronger business,” current and former employees with reduced hours and decreased benefits don’t feel stronger or better off – but rather weaker and financially worse off. Workers with the retailer – on condition of anonymity – shared with CNN Business their predicament because of the $15 minimum wage hike. “We’re begging for hours,” said Desire, who works at a Target in Virginia.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting was scheduled for mid-November in Santiago, but President Sebastián Piñera announced the cancellation Wednesday. His administration has struggled to suppress growing demonstrations in the capital city over issues of inequality. President Trump was scheduled to attend the forum Nov. 15-17, during which White House officials said he was planning to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a bid to lock down a “phase one” trade deal with China.

Persecution Watch

Churches in China’s central province of Henan have been forced by the authorities to take down the Ten Commandments and replace them with quotes of President Xi Jinping. Every state-registered “three-self” church and meeting venue in a city in the county of Luoyang received an order to remove the Ten Biblical Commandments from display as part of the authorities’ on-going campaign to “sinicize” (make Chinese) Christianity. In a classic case of Orwell’s Doublethink, China’s concentration camps have been re-labeled as counter-terrorism and de-radicalization centers that make people happy and secure.

Nine Christians were abducted in two separate armed attacks on Christian boarding schools in Kaduna State, Nigeria in early October. On October 3, just after midnight, gunmen entered a school in a remote area and seized its vice-principal, the matron and six female pupils. In a second midnight attack on October 10, 20 gunmen stormed a Government Technical School in the predominantly Christian district of Kajura and abducted the school’s principal, himself a Christian.

The first Chick-fil-A in Great Britain will shut down six months after it opened after a massive protest by a militant group of sex and gender revolutionaries. The Atlanta-based restaurant, one of the most popular in the nation, had opened a franchise in a mall about 90 minutes from London. Reading Pride, an LGBTQ advocacy group, said it was staunchly opposed to Chick-fil-A setting up shop in the UK and certainly in Reading. “The chain’s ethos and moral stance goes completely against our values, and that of the UK as we are a progressive country that has legalized same-sex marriage for some years, and continues to strive towards equality,” read a statement from the group.

UK Gets Brexit Delay, Votes to Hold Early Elections

The European Union granted the UK a new Brexit delay to Jan. 31 next year, a move that temporarily staves off a chaotic U.K. departure from the bloc. The development comes just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the 28-nation bloc on Oct 31. The British Parliament on Tuesday voted to hold early elections on Dec. 12. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was selected in a party leadership vote in July, wants a mandate to “get Brexit done.” Opposition parties want to keep close ties to the European Union or stay in the bloc.

Israel Prepares for Iranian Attack

The IDF air defense units and Israeli embassies around the world were on alert Tuesday amidst warnings that Iran may be preparing to launch attacks similar to the strikes on Saudi Arabian oil facilities earlier this month and/or terrorist attacks against Israel and Israeli or Jewish targets. “Iran wants to develop precision-guided missiles that can hit any target in Israel within 5-10 meters. It’s doing it,” Netanyahu said Monday evening during an event at the Jewish Agency.  “Iran wants to use Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen as bases to attack Israel with statistical missiles and precision-guided missiles. That is a great, great danger.”

U.S., Gulf Nations Sanction Iranian Financial Network

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and four other Gulf nations joined the U.S. in imposing sanctions on a financing network controlled by Iran’s military and several men linked to the Tehran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. Top U.S. Treasury Department officials said the action is the largest ever by the Riyadh-based Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, whose membership also includes the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait. The action is viewed by U.S. officials as a strategically important regional collaboration in the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign effort against Iran…

Islamic State Leader Baghdadi Killed by U.S. Special Forces

Sunday morning President Trump announced that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a special operations raid in northwestern Syria over the weekend. “Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death has violently been eliminated,” Trump said from the White House. Al-Baghdadi, the highest-ranking terrorist to be killed or captured since Osama bin Laden’s death in 2011, headed the terrorist organization ISIS for the last five years. Until his death, al-Baghdadi remained one of the few ISIS leaders still at-large as his “caliphate” shrank and supporters were imprisoned. Officials said Baghdadi blew himself up as troops closed in on him. Unofficial sources say a mole inside ISIS helped the U.S. locate Baghdadi.

  • The military operation was dedicated to Kayla Mueller, a young Christian woman who was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by the Islamic State. Mueller’s mother said Kayla would still be alive if “Obama had been as decisive as Trump.”

ISIS Still Strong Despite Baghdadi’s Death

Killing the Islamic State group’s founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will have little effect on preventing the terrorist network from conducting future attacks, the top U.S. official for counterterror operations said Wednesday, Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told a congressional panel Despite a consistent U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria that effectively dismantled its so-called caliphate, the number of fighters in those countries aligned with the group has grown in the last five years from a low point of roughly 1,000 fighters, Travers told the House Homeland Security Committee. As many as 14,000 extremists remain there now, with roughly 2,000 in Syria from foreign countries. The Islamic State group maintains a network of roughly 20 affiliates around the globe, ranging in strength with some as few as hundreds of fighters. The affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, known as ISIS-Khorasan, has thousands, Travers said. “The insurgency has a lot of options,” he added.”

U.S. House Hits Turkey with Strong Sanctions

In a remarkable rebuke of a NATO ally, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a strong sanctions bill that could cripple Turkey’s economy and would punish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally by requiring an assessment of his net worth amid questions about his finances in Turkey. The sanctions are retaliation for Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria where they are trying to eradicate ‘terrorist’ Kurds who have been U.S. allies in the fight against President Assad of Syria. Turkey condemned the House vote, saying the sanctions bill is “incompatible with the spirit of our allied relations under NATO.”

Iran, Russia and Turkey Condemn US Troops in Syria

The governments of Iran and Russia issued a joint statement on Tuesday condemning the US military deployment meant to guard oil production facilities in northeastern Syria, ignoring US statements that the deployment was meant to prevent the facilities from being captured by the Islamic State (IS) terror militia and instead framing it as a simple theft of Syria’s natural resources by the US. “Any illegal exploitation of natural resources of a sovereign state without its consent is illegal and that is the view that we share,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. U.S. forces began moving into Syria’s Deir al-Zour province from Iraq after days of President Trump saying he wanted to protect oil fields there.

Governments in Lebanon and Iraq Toppling Amidst Protests

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced the resignation of his government in a televised statement Tuesday afternoon, acceding to the demands of protesters who have brought the countries economy to a near standstill in the last two weeks. The resignation also came despite violent attacks on protesters by supporters of the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite terror militia Hezbollah. Meanwhile, two of the main supporters of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced on Tuesday that they supported his removal from office, possibly laying the groundwork for a new governing regime in Baghdad.

Argentina Peronists Regain Power

Argentina’s Peronists celebrated their return to power after incumbent President Mauricio Macri conceded defeat in a dramatic election that likely swung the country back to the center-left, saw the return of a divisive former president, and threatened to rattle financial markets. Thousands of jubilant supporters of Alberto Fernández and his vice presidential running mate, ex-president Cristina Fernández, waved sky-blue and white Argentine flags and chanted “We’re coming back! We’re coming back!” The election was dominated by concerns over the country’s economic woes and rising poverty, with voters rejecting austerity measures that Macri insisted were needed to revive the struggling economy. Fernandez said he would need the support of Macri’s administration to reconstruct what he called the inherited “ashes” of Argentina.

North Korea Launches More Missiles

South Korea’s military said North Korea on Thursday fired two projectiles toward its eastern sea, extending a streak of weapons tests apparently aimed at ramping up pressure on Washington over a stalemate in nuclear negotiations. Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapons were fired from a region near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. The North’s latest launch follows statements of displeasure over the slow pace of nuclear negotiations with the United States and demands that the Trump administration ease sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang. Earlier this month, the North test-fired an underwater-launched ballistic missile for the first time in three years.

Earthquakes

Tens of thousands of residents who evacuated a sprawling Northern California wildfire fueled by high winds and drought conditions were rocked by another slap from Mother Nature on Monday when a magnitude 3.3 earthquake rattled the area. No damage or injuries were immediately reported from the temblor, centered a few miles from the roaring Kincade Fire, that struck at 1:10 a.m.

The second strong earthquake to strike the southern Philippines this week killed five people on Thursday. The quake struck about 25 miles southwest of the city of Davao on the island of Mindanao. It had a magnitude of 6.5. At least eight people were killed Tuesday when a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck about 60 miles southwest of Davao. Some of the buildings destroyed Thursday had been damaged in Tuesday’s quake. More than 12,700 people from nearly 60 villages were in evacuation centers when Thursday’s quake happened. At least 395 people were injured in Tuesday’s 6.6 magnitude quake, and more than 2,700 houses and buildings, including schools and hospitals, were damaged.

Wildfires

Residents of north San Bernardino were forced to flee overnight when a fast-moving wildfire engulfed several homes as it raced through neighborhoods early Thursday. Meanwhile, a second fire forced more evacuations in the Jurupa Valley near Riverside, California. Also on Wednesday, a fast-moving wildfire in Ventura County, California came dangerously close to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Nearby residents fled with whatever belongings they could carry and scrambled to get horses and other livestock out of harm’s way. . The fire burned more than 2 square miles within just a few hours. It was 5% contained Thursday morning The Easy Fire was threatening 7,000 homes affecting 26,000 residents, officials said.

The Getty Fire began on the west side of the 405 freeway near the Getty Center about 1:30 a.m. Monday when a tree branch was blown onto a power line by strong winds. By Wednesday, it had spread to just over 1 square mile and threatened more than 7,000 structures. In Northern California, firefighters appeared to be making headway on the Kincade Fire, which had burned nearly 120 square miles and was 45% contained as of Wednesday night. The fire, which started on Oct. 23 near Geyserville, has destroyed at least 266 structures, including 133 homes. About 126,000 people were under evacuation orders, although many were allowed to return home Wednesday. More than a million people remained without electricity Wednesday morning due to precautionary shutoffs aimed to prevent wildfires. All told, estimates say the outages affect more than 1.5 million people when taking into account household size and other factors.

A raging fire has destroyed much of Shuri Castle, a 500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Seven buildings in the castle complex, including the main hall, burned to the ground. Windy weather helped fuel the flames, the AP report said.

Weather

More than 20 million US residents were living in areas under a tornado watch Thursday, forecasters with the National Weather Service said. Watches were in effect for parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia. The watch is in effect until midnight EDT.

Buildings were damaged and trees and power lines knocked down as the remnants of Tropical Storm Olga continued to march across the Southeast Saturday afternoon after spawning at least two tornadoes in Alabama. A museum housing a collection of classic cars valued at $6 million, including a Lincoln once owned by Elvis Presley, was also heavily damaged by the winds in Tupelo. Power was out to more than 130,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana Saturday morning. Flooding was also reported in parts of the state. A gust of 73 mph was recorded in Mandeville, across Lake Pontchartrain from the Louis Armstrong International Airport outside New Orleans.

A deluge of snow. Booming thunder and high winds. These extreme weather events are rarely seen at the same time — and they’re even rarer in Texas during the fall. But residents of Amarillo, Texas, experienced a thunder snowstorm on Thursday, bringing early snow and a weather phenomenon to the Texas Panhandle. Thundersnow is rare — studies show that only .07% of the snow in the United States is associated with thunder or lightning. The thunder snowstorm dropped 5.5 inches of snow in Amarillo.

  • From heat to tornadoes to hail, 2019 has been an eventful year for inclement natural events in Texas. In May, a massive storm produced more than 5 inches of hail in the state. Later that month, two separate tornadoes struck the same Texas town in the same day. And a South Texas heat wave set a record with a heat index of 128 degrees in June.

A key Australia river is disappearing amid an awful drought, leaving high and dry those who depend on it for drinking water and other uses. The Darling River, about 500 miles west of Sydney, has turned to parched earth pocked by stagnant pools of water. Drought conditions have plagued the river over the last two years. Locals also blame the government for poor handling of the river, specifically drawing water from it for irrigation and other uses downstream. Warmer temperatures aren’t helping. More than a dozen large towns in the same region face a “high risk” of running out of water. Last summer was the hottest on record, according to Reuters, and another scorching one is expected this year in Menindee, where temperatures regularly top 100 degrees.

 

 

Signs of the Times

October 24, 2019

­­So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Judge Rules Dad Has Say in Gender ‘Transition’ of 7-Year-Old

The judge presiding over the case of James Younger, the seven-year old boy whom the mother wants to put through chemical castration via a gender “transition, ruled that the father will have joint conservatorship over James, which includes making joint medical decisions for the child. Mr. Younger and his ex-wife, Dr. Anne Georgulas, were in court last week fighting over custody and decision-making abilities for James and his twin, Jude. Dr. Georgulas wants to continue to “transition” James “into” a girl called “Luna.” Mr. Younger wanted to take a “wait and see” approach rather than start the child on puberty blockers. Eleven out of 12 jurors decided Monday that Mr. Younger should not be granted Sole Managing Conservatorship over his twin boys. Dr. Georgulas admitted in court she is not actually the twins’ biological mother and used in-vitro fertilization via an egg donor to gestate them. Judge Kim Cooks also put a gag order on the father so that he cannot speak to the press about the case and decided that the father is not required to pay attorney fees. The judge’s decision means that the Save James website will have to be shut down.

Businesses Cut Ties with Church over Sermon on Transgenderism

A Missouri pastor’s Bible-based sermon on transgenderism has sparked vocal opposition from the local LGBT community and several local businesses to cut ties with the church. The Oct. 13 sermon by Keith Simon of The Crossing Church in Columbia, Mo., was based on Genesis 1:27 which “teaches that God created two genders,” Simon said. “Gender is not a social construct. Men and women are foundational to God’s plan. God is not pleased when we blur genders.” But Pastor Simon also said Christians must approach the issue with compassion for others because everyone – believers and transgender people alike – is broken.  However, Simon’s sermon prompted a Change.org petition urging the True/False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema – both of which are sponsored by the church – to cut their ties with the congregation. The church began the sponsorships a decade ago as a way to partner with the community. “It’s hate speech, and it’s harmful,” the petition said of the sermon. The petition pledged a boycott of the festival and cinema until they severed their partnerships with the church

Transgender Cyclist Dominates Women Competitors

Transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon keeps dominating women’s cycling. And she keeps creating controversy all the way. Last weekend at the Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Manchester, England, the 37-year-old Canadian first set a world record in qualifying for the 35-39 age category 200-meter sprint, then went on to defend her title in the finals. Her success, however, has been overshadowed by frustrated competitors. In an interview with Sky News, former cycling champion Victoria Hood said, “It is not complicated. The science is there and it says that it is unfair. The male body, which has been through male puberty, still retains its advantage; that doesn’t go away. I have sympathy with them. They have the right to do sport but not a right to go into any category they want.”

Professor Fired for Saying Polar Bears are Thriving

Nobody has done more to sink the claim that climate change is endangering polar bears than zoologist Susan Crockford — and she paid for it with her job. After 15 years as an adjunct assistant professor, Ms. Crockford said the University of Victoria rejected without explanation in May her renewal application, despite her high profile as a speaker and author stemming from her widely cited research on polar bears. Ms. Crockford accused officials at the Canadian university of bowing to “outside pressure,” the result of her research showing that polar bear populations are stable and even thriving, not plummeting as a result of shrinking Arctic sea ice, defying claims of the climate change movement. Her dismissal, which she announced Wednesday in a post on her Polar Bear Science blog, has spurred alarm over the implications for academic freedom and the rise of the “cancel culture” for professors and scientists who challenge climate catastrophe predictions.

Witches Gather Friday Night to Cast Spells Against Trump

As if battling House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against him wasn’t enough, President Donald Trump will next have to face a “binding spell” cast by “thousands” of witches late Friday night. As Halloween approaches at the end of the month, several media outlets are reporting witches who oppose President Trump are planning to cast a “binding spell” on his administration. Such reports of witchcraft being used against the President are nothing new. Witches have been trying to cast spells against Trump since his inauguration in 2017. Scheduled for Oct. 25 at 11:59 pm, these self-proclaimed “witches” are planning to conduct a ritual which is meant to “bind,” but not harm the President unlike a “curse” or a “hex.” Last year, their 13,000-member Facebook group was casting spells against President Trump on a regular basis.

Opioid Makers/Distributors Settle Landmark Lawsuit

A key drug maker and multiple distributors facing a historic opioid lawsuit reached a landmark settlement Monday with two Ohio counties suing makers and distributors of the highly addictive painkillers. Terms of the settlement involving McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. amounts to about $260 million. A possible trial involving Walgreens was put on hold. U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster has encouraged a settlement, which would provide affected communities the funds to combat opioid addiction much sooner than the lengthy process of going through a trial and the likely appeals afterward.

Persecution Watch

A school-board member in the United Kingdom was suspended for questioning a staff decision to introduce, without consultation, LGBT Pride Month and LGBT books to the school library. Maureen Griffith, 74, has served since the early 1990s as a governor at the Alperton Community School in Brent, North London, reported Christian Concern, a division of the Christian Legal Center, which is representing her. “What has taken place at this school is a microcosm of what is happening across our society and sends a clear message to teachers, governors and students: if you oppose the LGBT agenda you will be silenced and punished,” said Andrea Williams chief executive of the center.

A public university that warned faculty to persuade professors not to grade based on merit. The College Fix reports such workshops are popping up at universities from Washington, D.C. to Idaho. Boise State University is hosting an event next week called “Inclusive Teaching Means Inclusive Grading, Too.” A workshop of the exact same name at University of Tennessee-Knoxville aimed “to engage instructors in conversations and activities designed to foreground diversity and inclusion in considerations of assessment and grading practices.” The University of Michigan held a faculty workshop with a similar name.

A 50-year-old Palestinian man, who converted to Judaism this year just before Rosh Hashana, has been held in captivity and tortured by Palestinian Authority (PA) forces over the past two weeks. The victim is a resident of Hebron and works at a supermarket in the Jerusalem area. He claims that his family had set him up for arrest in order to prove their allegiance to the Palestinian regime. His own siblings have mercilessly beaten him, while the PA has burned his arms and legs, Ynet reported.

Communist authorities destroyed a 3,000-seat megachurch over the weekend, using a large excavator to tear apart the building as members and citizens watched helplessly, according to China Aid. The large four-story building was located in the province of Anhui which has about 60 million residents. The congregation was part of China’s officially recognized network of churches. Communist officials lacked the proper legal paperwork to order the destruction, China Aid reported. “This is yet another clear example showing the escalation of religious persecution today by the Chinese Communist regime,” said Bob Fu, president of China Aid.

On Russian TV, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov urged nations in the Arab world to band together to wipe Israel off the map. In an interview aired Tuesday, the head of the Chechen Republic told  Russian television network RT that Arab nations in the Middle East should join forces to attack Israel. In a meeting in Jordan in August, Kadyrov called Jews “the main enemy of Islam.” Around 95% of the citizens of the Chechen Republic are Muslim

Economic News

A fresh round of U.S. tariffs on $7.5 billion in European goods took effect Friday in retaliation for what the World Trade Organization deemed were illegal subsidies for airplane maker Airbus. The case, which wove its way through the system for nearly 15 years, culminated in a ruling against the European Union. The new tariffs apply to a wide range of imports from the EU but are concentrated mostly on the four countries deemed responsible for the subsidies: France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. Large civil aircraft will be hit with 10% tariffs, while everything else included in this round will be hit with 25% tariffs. However, wine, cheese, fruit, seafood and clothing will also be hit with tariffs.

In a surprise move, opposition and rebel British lawmakers voted Saturday to postpone an important Brexit vote, legally forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to request a delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union. A reluctant Johnson sent a letter requesting the delay late Saturday night, but he also made clear that he personally opposed delaying the U.K.’s exit, scheduled for Oct. 31. Johnson has repeatedly vowed not to delay Britain’s EU exit, saying that any delay increases the likelihood of a “no-deal” Brexit, which experts warn could harm Britain’s economy and lead to border chaos. But, on Friday Johnson said that if lawmakers want more time to scrutinize his Brexit deal, “they can have it, but they have to agree to a general election on Dec. 12.” He would need two-thirds support in Parliament for an election to be set. His last push for an election was rejected.

Israel

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition government, Israel’s political process continued on Wednesday evening as Blue and White leader Benny Gantz formally accepted the mandate to form a government during a brief ceremony at the President’s Residence. A few hours later at midnight, the clock started ticking on a 28-day period during which Gantz will attempt to form a governing coalition and avoid a third Knesset election that no one wants but which many analysts have said appears to be highly likely. While Netanyahu remains at the helm of his Likud party, his announcement marked the second time this year that he has been unable to form a government.

Syria

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under current plans all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. The developments made clear that one of President Donald Trump’s rationales for withdrawing troops from Syria was not going to come to pass any time soon. “It’s time to bring our soldiers back home,” he said Wednesday. But they are not coming home. Reports of sporadic clashes continued between Turkish-backed fighters and the U.S.-allied Syria Kurdish forces despite a five-day cease-fire agreement hammered out last Friday between U.S. and Turkish leaders. Hundreds of trucks carrying American troops have crossed into Iraq in a long military convoy Monday, marking the largest withdrawal of US forces from Syria. The vehicles were pelted with rotten potatoes and tomatoes by Syrian-Kurdish people who feel betrayed by the withdrawal.

  • President Donald Trump is considering a proposal to leave about 200 American troops in eastern Syria to combat ISIS and prevent Syrian government forces and their Russian allies from seizing control of oil production facilities in the region, Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed Monday.
  • President Trump announced Wednesday that conditions have been met between Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for what he called a “permanent ceasefire” between the two sides and that the United States is lifting sanctions on Ankara that were implemented following the invasion of northern Syria.

Afghanistan

The United States is already reducing the size of its troop force in Afghanistan despite the lack of a peace deal with the Taliban, at a time when President Trump has expressed reluctance to remain engaged in costly wars abroad. In a news conference on Monday, the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin S. Miller, confirmed that the size of the American force in the country had already quietly dropped by 2,000 over the last year, down to roughly 12,000. The eventual force size could drop to as low as 8,600. Rather than a formal withdrawal order, they are reducing the force through a gradual process of not replacing troops as they cycle out.

The Taliban stormed a checkpoint in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 15 policemen in the latest attack by insurgents, an Afghan provincial official said Tuesday. The multi-pronged attack on the checkpoint in the Ali Abad district of northern Kunduz province began late on Monday night and set off an hours-long gun battle, according to Ghulam Rabani Rabani, a provincial council member. Along with the 15 policemen killed, two other officers were wounded in the assault, he said. The attack came as Afghan troops have been battling the Taliban for the past few weeks in Kunduz’s Dashti Archi area.

United Kingdom

Authorities found 39 people dead in a truck in an industrial park in England on Wednesday and arrested the driver on suspicion of murder in one of Britain’s worst human-smuggling tragedies. The truck and the trailer with the people inside apparently took separate circuitous journeys. British police said they believe the container went from the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium to Purfleet, England, where it arrived early Wednesday. Police believe the truck traveled from Northern Ireland to Dublin, where it took a ferry to Holyhead in Wales before picking up the trailer at the dockside in England. Authorities say they have no idea how long the container was in Belgium. The truck was registered in Bulgaria to a company owned by an Irish citizen, but its point of origin was unclear. The 39 victims were Chinese nationals, police said Thursday.

Spain

The conflict with the restive northeastern region of Catalonia has entered a “new phase” with the sentencing of its former separatist leaders to prison this week, said Spain’s caretaker prime minister, Pedro Sánchez. On Friday, the Catalan independence movement delivered a new show of force in Barcelona. Five columns of separatist protesters marched from different parts of the region into the city amid a general strike. Friday afternoon’s demonstration drew about 525,000 people, according to local police. The large rally followed days of unrest in Barcelona and other Catalan cities to protest the jailing of nine separatist leaders over a failed bid to break away from Spain in 2017. The Socialist government of Mr. Sánchez has vowed to end the turmoil after protesters clashed with the police and set fires in the streets of Barcelona and other cities for four nights.

Bangladesh

Four people were killed Sunday when Bangladesh police fired on a crowd after clashes erupted over a Facebook post that angered Muslims. Thousands of people took to the streets in the town of Borhanuddin, in Bangladesh’s southern Bhola district, to protest the post that allegedly criticized the Prophet Muhammad. The offending post was published Friday from the account of a 25-year-old Hindu man in the area. The man told police his Facebook account was hacked. An angry crowd gathered in a field near the police station on Sunday demanding justice. Police said they had no plans to apply deadly force as the protest was calm at first, but some in the crowd became violent and started to throw stones and bricks at officers. Ehsanullah said police initially fired pellet guns in a bid to disperse the crowd after up to 100 people tried to break into the room where the officers were taking refuge. When that didn’t work, they used live bullets to protect themselves from the mob. Dozens of people, including police, were injured.

Puerto Rico

Officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development purposely missed a September deadline to release billions of dollars in hurricane recovery funds to Puerto Rico, saying they don’t trust the U.S. territory’s housing agency to handle the money properly. Some members of Congress said the move violated federal law that was set in the appropriations bill that included the funds. The move was the latest in the continuing dispute between the Trump administration and Puerto Rico over federal support following Hurricane Maria, which devastated parts of the island just over two years ago.

Venezuela

Bartering at the pump has taken off as hyperinflation makes Venezuela’s paper currency, the bolivar, hard to find and renders some denominations all but worthless, so that nobody will accept them. Without cash in their wallets, drivers often hand gas station attendants a bag of rice, cooking oil or whatever they have. This barter system, while perhaps the envy of cash-strapped drivers outside the country, is just another symptom of bedlam in Venezuela – socialism gone wild.

Chile

Protests and violence in Chile spilled over into a new day and raged into Sunday night despite the president cancelling a subway fare hike that has prompted violent demonstrations. Officials in the Santiago region said three people died in fires at two looted supermarkets early Sunday – among 60 Walmart-owned outlets that have been vandalized, and the company said many stores did not open during the day. Five more people later were found dead in the basement of a burned warehouse and were not employees, authorities said. Authorities said 10,500 soldiers and police officers were patrolling the streets in Santiago as state of emergency and curfew remained in effect for six Chilean cities. Security forces used tear gas and jets of water to try to disperse crowds.

Environment

Thanks to unusually warm temperatures high above Antarctica this month, the ozone hole shrank to its smallest size on record, scientists reported Monday. An annual phenomenon in the stratosphere above Antarctica, the ozone hole is a dramatic thinning of the ozone layer that’s typically boosted in size by colder temperatures. This is the third time in 40 years that weather systems have caused warm temperatures that limit ozone depletion. The ozone layer is important because it acts like a sunscreen, blocking potentially harmful ultraviolet energy from reaching our planet’s surface. Without it, humans and animals can experience increased rates of skin cancer and other ailments such as cataracts.

A Chesapeake Bay landmark has been swallowed up by rising waters. Tens of thousands of teachers and schoolchildren have visited the Fox Island Education Center over the past 40 years, learning important lessons about Chesapeake Bay’s waters, vegetation, wildlife and ecology. Those lessons will be no more. The education center is closing at the end of its current season. Rising sea levels have claimed so much of the surrounding marshes and wetlands that it has become too hazardous for visitors, a problem that is exacerbated when severe weather hits the area. The island’s marshes and shallow grass beds that are now inundated by water protected the land from erosion. Now that they are gone, the island is washing away.

Wildfires

Rapidly spreading wildfires have forced evacuations in Northern California and Southern California. The town of Geyserville in Sonoma County was ordered to evacuate about 6:30 a.m. Thursday after the Kincade Fire grew rapidly overnight to over 15.6 square miles amid strong winds. Meanwhile, another fire broke out in north San Bernardino, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles. The Old Water Fire forced evacuations of about 80 homes. The fire was burning about 4 miles east of California State University, San Bernardino.

Power has been cut to more than 190,000 homes and businesses in Central and Northern California due to a high wildfire threat. PG&E has shut off power to about 179,000 customers in parts of 17 counties. About half of the SoCal shutoffs are in San Bernadino County, where a wildfire the Old Water Fire is burning. PG&E is warning that even more widespread outages are possible this weekend if the fire threat continues. Meanwhile, Southern California Edison has cut power to 15,000 in five counties, and is considering blacking out a total of nearly 300,000 customers in seven counties, according to the company’s website.

Weather

At least three tornadoes spawned by Tropical Storm Nestor overturned at least one semi-trailer on Interstate 4 and caused damage to homes and other buildings in central and southwest Florida. Nearly 18,000 people were without power in Florida at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The remnants of what was once Tropical Storm Nestor damaged several homes early Sunday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Nestor brought more than just tornadoes and rain to Florida over the weekend. The storm also pushed red tide closer to shore in some parts of Southwest Florida, bringing with it dead fish and sea turtles and causing respiratory issues for some people.

Severe storms ripped through the South Sunday night into early Monday, spawning a damaging tornado in Dallas and contributing to the death of one person in Arkansas. In Dallas, thousands of public school students in Dallas will be attending classes in different locations for at least the rest of the school year after the strong tornado left a 15-mile-long trail of destruction in the northern part of the city. Three people have been hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries. Several homes and businesses were damaged, power lines downed and tree limbs were scattered across roadways. The city said there were reports of gas leaks north of Walnut Hill in north Dallas. Seven people escaped a structure that collapsed in northwest Dallas. As of 8 a.m. Monday, more than 242,000 customers were without power in Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana.

  • Weather will continue to grow more extreme as the end-times continue to ramp up(Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)