-And the LORD answered me, and said,
             Write the vision,and make it plain upon tables,
                    that he may run that readeth it. 
                   - (Hab 2:2)

News And Commentary are UP for Insiders - Click Here!!



Watson's
                Web Lighthouse
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That He May Run That Readeth it

This is a book I wrote many years ago and was the genesis of this site. It is still available from my publisher Infinity Publishing.







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在 這樣的世代裏

那 鴻書﹕神懲 罰報應的概述

你 所獲的禮品伴隨的代價太高

神為什麼要 求信 心

pdf 七個教會

scrollProphetic Page



__________



An Open Letter To Black Lives Matter:
How to avoid being ensnared in the ongoing Federal operation 'Ni&&er Catcher' and 'Black Snare', run out of the US intelligence community and certain sections of Law Enforcement. These operations do exist, though naturally not with those pejorative titles. They are not legal, nor are they officially recognized but key people in high positions run these operations that specifically target Black Americans and certain White Americans who seek justice, truth and use their rights to bring these things back to our once great nation. The impetus comes from the US Intelligence community - LE does the footwork. This is what they did to so many civil rights leaders back in the 60's and 70's. They have honed their skills for the technology of the 21st century.

pdfIran Nukes And Regional Staility


The Harvest


An Open Letter To Senator Mikulski And The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence

pdfPaths Of Righteousness - For His Name's Sake

pdfIn Times Like These
pdfEconomic Crisis Report: Models Of Destruction
Where is our economy heading and why can't the US and global economy find its footing nearly six years after the of economic crisis of 2008? These are some of the questions we will attempt to ask ourselves in this report. The problems in the developed world today stem from deep troubles in

pdfWill America Go To War With China?
This is a look at the possibility of this happening and some of the drivers that could tip these nations into war.  Those key drivers may not be what many analysts think.
pdfEconomic Crisis Report III: Between Two Shutdowns
Government shutdowns? Inflation? Deflation? QE? Joblessness? Obamacare?

pdf National Security: What Is America Doing In Secret?

pdf  Watson's Economic Crisis Report - II

 pdf
Eyes On Russia: Watson's Economic And Political Report



pdfPolitical And Economic Review #2
This issue is mostly about American oil and leadership. It is a 30 page overview of America's oil situation.


pdfPolitical and Economic Review
The first in a new series of secular articles. One way to support this site is to get a copy of these inexpensive reports (click link aboue). Another is to hit the donate button.

_____


Ezekiel and the Spirit of Stubbornness/The Sardis Syndrome

Christ, Family and Persecution

When The Bottom Falls Out Of Your Boat

NSA Spying:
The Future, Black Madness and the Prophetic imperative.

How God Measures Us
He does it very differently that the world does.

Trends In Africa
A quick look at some troubling trends in Africa

Brothel Politics, The Church and First Things
Recent trends in the nation, including Obamacare are indicative of something much deeper that is wrong with America

While I Was Away...
A word about my month long hiatus

Shutdown Note:
A look at how the criminally insane 'pay' their bills.


Times And Seasons (09-13)
 Faith and patriotism in the last days... and what kind of fruit is  Christ going to find on your tree?

7 Churches Of  Revelation
Light for seeing, ears for hearing. Most commentaries on these chapters miss this most important point.


The Devil, Catholics And Internet Protestants
Catholic bashing is a foundational stone of so much of todays internet Christians faith. Is this really a pastime God approves of, especially when the Catholics are doing their best to reform?

Unwise Faith
- It is most unwise to place your faith in the wrong things.
 
Obadiah: Divine Geopolitics
- Is the Lord concerned about geopolitics?

The Assyrian
- Damascus and the Assyrian in Bible Prophecy

End Time Personal Notes
- Just some notes to true believers as to things to watch for on a personal level and consider in these times.


 - What I See...

A quick look (15 pages) at some trends I see and don't see. Trends in the economy, trends in 'people control' and spiritual matters


 - Collision Course

Each and every passing day,

we who know Christ can see our nation is on a collision course with God. On a number of fronts the nation has just decided to set its face against the God who blessed us and move its spiritual foundations towards the spiritual foes of both God and man.


      - Prison Labor Industry

      Slave labor cleverly

      disguised.


 - Special Report: Watson's Economic Crisis Report 

   

This issue of my new series of paid reports deals with the ongoing global economic crisis. Its about 40 pages and deals with a wide range of issues that face the western world. This touches on America's decline, Obama's new Treasury pick, the ongoing debt crisis, the Fed and Treasuries debt monetization operations, currency wars, scenario's for major troubles in China, Europe's ongoing crisis and ...

 - 3 Short Commentaries

   

Entitled Not Afraid, Tough Decisions and Job's Sufferings. God will take care of his people. Just make sure brothers when its our time to pass over our own spiritual 'river Jordan', that we make our deaths count for something, that being Christ. If we are to die as Christians for the gospel and the word of our testimony (Rev 19:10, 12:17, 12:11), let us rejoice because we have a long and honorable heritage of those who went before us.

 -  Lamentations Are Coming 

   

I think we as Christians need to keep in mind and prepare our souls for what is really coming. Mr. Leal has done a good job of laying out that a time of great sorrow will sweep America.

 -  The Curse 

   

When a nation decides to put the stamp of approval on those things God hates, it invites a curse. And be certain of this, without some real soul searching repentance, a curse is what is going to hit us. America has enjoyed prosperity like no other nation on earth. Military power like no other nation on earth. Good will and diplomatic strength like no other nation on earth. Why? We as a nation respected ...

 -  I Have A Dream Vs. I Have A Drone 

   

I think it should be noted that while some people will say they find something 'highly offensive' when they do not really mean it, I want to make clear that I really do mean it, it is personally highly offensive to compare Dr. King and President Obama. If a person wants to worship Obama and idolize him, that is their business, not mine. But before anyone attempts to cast dispersions on Dr. King by ...

 -  Mali: Africa Must Take The Lead 

   

This crisis in Mali... first off, this is not just 'another war'. This is a very serious and potent threat to African continental security.

  Watson's Economic And Political Review (WEPR) #2 

   

This issue is mostly about American oil and leadership. It is a 30 page overview of America's oil situation and new claims that America will one day surpass the Saudi's in Oil production and become energy independent. The question is an extremely important one and could really alter the whole geopolitical landscape... if true. Are these claims real and credible? Are there any problems with them? This ...

 - Watson's Economic And Political Review (WEPR) #1 

   

This is going to be bad news for many of my readers, but a small portion of my secular writings are going to have to go pay. I have done a pretty good job with this update (if I do say so myself!) dealing with issues that I know many care about. Namely Iran and what a war or 'regime change' is likely to bring about, the EU crisis and how the ongoing economic crisis could deeply effect the US. Keep ...

 -  The Holiday Season 

   

Christmas has been a matter of some controversy for a number of reasons. First off, one of the few things we can be certain of about Christmas is that Christ was not born on December 25th, or anywhere near it. When was Christ Born? We do not know, though some scholars have said that it was more likely an event that occurred in the Fall, though the evidence for this is rather scant. What we do know ...

 -  There Is A Generation... 

   

What does it mean to live in our times, having been touched by God's spirit and understanding what God requires of us? It means that we are going to have a hard time fitting in with the current generation. This is the way it should be, since we are of a very different heritage. The scriptures talk about times like ours and what kinds of people will inhabit the earth just before Christ returns. We ...

  The Way Back 

   

For many of my readers, the way back to God is the road you are on. Many of you have fallen away and for whatever reason, personal tragedy, hard times or just a dissatisfaction with worldly 'satanic' living that did not make you nearly as happy as you thought it would. I find it interesting that so many people here in America have just about everything and yet are totally miserable. I am struck by ...

 - What's Expected Of Son's And Heir's 

   

What should we as Christians should be doing in these times? As these days grow darker and increasingly rejects Christ and genuine Christianity, we who wish to get into the kingdom must know what God wants us to do. What does God expect of us, we who are determined no matter what comes, to get into God's kingdom and avoid his holy wrath, which I bear witness, is coming to this world and will usher ...

 - In The Kingdom Of The Blind 

   

Today, it is extremely important that we know what is happening in our world, particularly from a prophetic standpoint. Why? The return of Christ is our blessed hope. God spoke clearly and insistently that we are to be watching and ready for our Lords return. Yet as I speak to Christians, I just don't see any level of spiritual discernment in their lives or minds Mind you there are always some exceptions ...

 - We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Broadcast To Bring You... 

   

But when it comes to the times and seasons and understanding them, Christians I know as well are floundering. They are often confused and unsure about what to believe. They listen to their pastors, read the news, but more and more are seriously questioning both. This is a good thing at least as a first step, but often leads to confusion, depression and can lead to apostasy. Why? Because such Christians ...

 - Culling The World's Population 

   

Yes, there is a plan afoot to reduce the human population. Most of the plan is hidden in plain sight.

 -  Political, Economic And Spiritual Review (Summer 2012) 

   

Fifty-three pages that looks at several issues facing our world today. From the economic crisis to food and eugenics to Syria as well a look at what a Mitt Romney Presidency may look like.

 -  Judge Not! 

   

...Lest ye be judged.

 - The Blessings Of Obedience 

   

Has the devil fooled you into thinking you can be saved and not obey the Lord?

  From Another World 

   

Christians, real ones that is, must conduct themselves as though they are from another world. A real Christian, is not of this world but of the Kingdom of God and his Christ.

 


-  From The North 

   

A prophetic look at the Arctic. The Arctic you ask? Yes the Actic and how it may relate to Babylon's fall.


Other Resources
(most are in PDF format)


Select Congressional Committee Investigating Illegal Practices In The Abortion Industry

Congressional Report On STOPPING TERROR FINANCE:
SECURING THE U.S. FINANCIAL SECTOR

LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP AND FRIGATE
Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions


Defense Business Board Outlines Savings Of $125 Bln Annually


Iran: Ministry Of Intelligence And Internal Security - LOC

Global Trends 2030 - NIE

High Unemployment And GDP - CRS

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

DOJ Lethal Force Justification Against US Citizens

Global Trends 2030
- NIC

US Vulnerabilities To Money Laundering, Drugs And Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History
- US Senate

Intelligence Committee Report On Huawei

Major Arms Transfers - CRS

The Crisis In Mali - CRS

The Crisis In Syria - CRS

 Posse Comitatus - CRS

Iran: Nuclear Intentions And Capabilities

Official Japanese Diet Report On Fukushima

State Department Report On Religious Persecution

State Department Report On Religious Persecution (Constitutional Review for OIC) - 2012

US-China Policy Issues - CRS

US Naval Modifications For China's Rise - CRS

UAE: US Policy Issues - CRS

Senate Report On Counterfeit Parts In DOD Supply Chain


2012 Annual Report To Congress On Chinese Military - DOD

Water Security - CIA/NIC

Syria's Phase Of Radicalization - ICG

Oil Imports And Exports - CRS

Pivot To The Pacific - CRS

Challenges To EU's Energy Security - CRS

Official US Military Report On Nazi Germany's IG Farben- DOD

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Isreal's Possible strike On Iran - CRS

Iran Policy Concerns - CRS

Food Aid To NK - CRS

Aid To Pakistan

(Senate Hearing)

DOD Missing Trillions

(official audit)

GAO's Audit of the FED Report

(audit)

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Human Rights In China - CRS

US-China Trade Issues - CRS

US-China Miliary Contacts - CRS

US- Taiwan Arms Sales - CRS

China's Currency: Analysis Of Issues - CRS

The Debt Limit ∓mp; Gov't Operations - CRS

China's Acquisition of US Technology - Congress

Secret Law And the Threat To Democracy - Senate Judiciary Comm.

OSS/CIA Images Of Auschwitz During the War

Nuclear Terror In The US - FEMA


More Resources



Links I Like
From all over the Christian spectrum!
***

Last Days Of The Age
___
The Endtime Pilgrim
___
The First Trumpet
___
The Last Trumpet
___

Spirit Daily

(Catholic... great news links)

Orthodox Today
(A look at today from an Orthodox Perspective)
___
The Assyrian News Agency
(A look at events in Iraq)
___
The Barnabas Fund
___
China Aid
(A look at events inside China, from a Christian Perspective)
___
Gay Christian Movement Watch
(A hard-hitting blog talking about the growing sin of Homosexuality inside the Church)
___
Independent Catholic News
___
Jihad Watch
(Not Christian, but gets into important trends in the Islamic world)
___
Compass Direct
(Persecution news)

Babylon Today


Mark's Audio Page

Selected Audio

Paradigm Shift: Capitalists ∓mp; Dissenters

Part 1 and Part 2

Emerging Viruses - Dr. Horowit untrz

- Lo-fi version here

Think You Have Property Rights?

The Real Purpose Of Public Education - John Gatto

Alex Jones Talks On Bilderberg 2005

Stan Goff On The Military-Monetary System

On War: A Veteran NYT Journalists Views

Mad Cow And Alzheimer's: The Link

Vote Rigging In 2004 (A 2 Hour Look) -
Part 1And Part 2

Hard Evidence Of Vote Fraud In Ohio - 2 Min Update

Bev Harris Interviewed On Ohio Vote Fraud

Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man
Part 1And Part 2

Announcement On Ohio Vote Legal Action

Seymour Hersh On Abu Gharib

Mike Ruppert/TUC Radio: Across The Rubicon
Part 1And Part 2

What Is Wrong With The American Mind: Corporate Media Consolidation
Part 1And Part 2

Lethal Injections: The Hidden Dangers Of Vaccines


Bush Blocked Bin Laden Probes

Truth And Lies Of 911

911 Road To Tyranny (low bandwidth)

Afghanistan, jihad and oil in Central Asia

Biowarfare: Leaps In Technology

An intelligent look at the future of the Oil Based Economy

Natural Resources and Global Conflict

Plan Colombia

Corporate Propaganda

Gore Vidal On Terrorism

The Bush's Oil War

America The Babylon

Part 1 And Part 2

A Look At Peak Oil

Black Box Voting

The Evidence Is A Farce

The Bilderbergs

The Doctrine Of Incorporation

Wheat Receipts: The Federal Reserve

American Dynasty: The Bush Family

The Pentagon Crash Investigation.

Trenton Parker On The Oil Crisis Of The 70's

Earth changes, HAARP, Non-Lethal Weapons
Part 1 And Part 2

A very interesting Presentation on War Crimes in Vietnam

Why Is Africa Starving?

Financial Collapse: What Does Greenspan Really Think - FSO?

The 911 Cover-Up Commission

The Mafia, CIA And Bush


_______

Last Updated
  17 Apr 2018

-
This Site has become a PRIVATE Site

99% of all future commentary are now private.

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
(Luk 9:26)



“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression.
In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged.
And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air
– however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
 ― Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas


I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand,
I shall not be moved.
(Psa 16:8)

***

Mark can be reached here.


17 Apr

The World As We Know It...

... will change and change drastically over the next few years. I pray God all here takes heed and does not let themselves fall into complacency as the changes that are just over the Horizon stare us all in the face. These changes will cause many Christians to question their faith and prophecy. The problem here is that most people who will be deceived really did not BELIEVE the prophecies of the Bible and of Christ and of the Holy prophets and Apostles. This is why they are going to be deceived.

If you really believe that things are going to be like in the Days of Noah, why do most people not take some time out and find out what was going on back then? God has preserved many works for us that describe the goings on in those days. I have read those works. Did you know that the world's oldest contiguous Church has books that describe those days included in their Cannon. That is right. The Ethiopian Church has some books in their bible that were seriously considered for Scripture in our Bible, but were not included in the Western Cannon. Let me make this clear to all of you. Just because it was not included in the Western/Roman Cannon does not mean it is totally worthless spiritually or historically. It may not be considered infallible word of God, but it does not mean they are of no value. Think of the book of Maccabees. That is a very important part of Jewish history, though not included in our cannon. No, it may not be considered infallible. But does that make it worthless and not worthy of a good read? Of course not. These books can give us a good sketch of events that happened long ago and that some powerful people would love to hide from us.

Scope

I believe in the infallibility of the Bible and that the western Bible is our measuring line to line up sound doctrine. It is the spiritual baseline. Why am I talking about this now?

I think it it of supreme importance in these times for those of us who know our God to prepare ourselves. Prepare ourselves for what shall soon come upon the earth. If you are not prepared spiritually, mentally and emotionally, what will come to pass will shake your faith to the core. I am not talking about Aliens today. No, I am talking about a technology that is already here
, already being used and is not being talked about on the 'deep state' controlled news sites that permeate our Cable news sites and newspapers. They are not talking much about this, and they have probably been ordered not to talk about this.

First let me thank the reader who passed this very interesting link on to me. I highly encourage you all to watch this video to the end.


 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAXZjiRXD8w&feature=youtu.be
And do watch the whole thing, it is only 13 minutes long. Mind you, I don't believe in all that is in this man says towards the end. But know this. These Genetic/experiments have been going on a long time and what they are allowed to show us is hardly all of the capabilities they have achieved. Moreover, China has long moved ahead in this field as they are unconcerned with the ethical and moral considerations. Here in the US there are at least some consideration of those issues. I can remember a long conversation I had with one of these people who worked in this field when I was washing my car one day. It was a fascinating conversation as he talked about some of the key problems (technically) they were facing.


Well know this all of you - our world is going to change and change significantly. The power elite have a plan and they are being guided by spirits who are opposed to God (ie, satanic influenced). The mystery of iniquity is far along, but you have to get away from the MSM and Cable to find out what is going on. The key for us all to understand is this - When Christ warned us of the days of Noah, he meant EXACTLY what he said. The priests and pastors of our time (some of whom are undercover intelligence assets) have not spent much time talking about what went on back then and why it is important. If they had, the coming deception would not have the power it will have over many. How did Christ put it... these deceptions?

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall
shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.
(Mat 24:24-25)


I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about those days of Noah today, other than to exhort you to do some reading on your own, pray before and after you read and consider what you are reading more as a kind of forbidden (by powerful elitists and Churchmen) history rather that infallible scripture.

Is The Book Of Enoch Scripture?
(An interesting view: Read with discernment and care!)

Before any of you things I am way off the deep end - consider that the world's OLDEST Christian denomination (the Ethiopian Church) Cannon includes this book. So while we may not accept it as scripture, it does not make it useless.

My prayer for all of you is this that God builds a hedge of protection for all those who love and honor Christ and that the plots, plans and conspiracies of Satan, his fallen angels and his host of other spirits as well as their human interlocutors are foiled and come to naught against his people.

These plans I assure you include killing every single trace of Christianity and the small flock of God on earth. We know this from our Bibles. Moreover we know it from the things in the stories of persecution we read all around the world.

Do you love Jesus Christ and obey his commandments?

If your answer is yes then be assured - you and I are marked for death.

The Race To Militarize Space Is No Joke

Spacecraft? We already have them. Space Stations? Old news. The question is how many manned Spacecraft or perhaps militarized manned spacecraft do we have now in orbit? We don't know. If we have any, and I am fairly certain we do, that information is probably classified. What is going on in Space is not being reported to us non-enhanced humans who will probably be one day 'terminated' when the time is viewed right by the elite.

Marines Experiment With New Technology Concepts for the Urban Battlefield


"Brewster envisions a “protected bubble” that would shield the Marines and platoon corpsmen from those potential threats, with “our own drones in front of them” offering additional protection and defense. A combination of manned and unmanned aircraft, operated by the higher Marine air-ground task force command, he said, would provide the company with the added protection of a “Guardian Angels” capability and more persistent UAS coverage.
And with the expected crowded urban skies, he noted, Marines will need systems to help sort friend from foe in the air, along with counter-UAS technology with directional jamming capabilities. “Trying to figure out that part is what we’re experimenting” during U5G, he added." - USNI.org (photo credit USMC)

So I beg all of you here, particularly you older folks who are kind of set in your ways -  Open up your eyes and your mind a bit, get a somewhat wider scope on what our Lord warned us of or you may be in serious trouble when things really begin to happen down here. You will be utterly perplexed and confused. How did our Lord put the reaction of some in the last days?

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon,
 and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations,
with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts
failing them for fear, and for looking after those things
 which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven
shall be shaken.

(Luk 21:25-26)


Things will be happening that will scare people literally to death. It's going to give them a heart attack. The powers of the heavens will be shaken. The word for heavens is this one.

G3772
οὐρανός
ouranos
Thayer Definition:
1) the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it
1a) the universe, the world
1b) the aerial heavens or sky, the region where the clouds and the tempests gather, and where thunder and lightning are produced
1c) the sidereal or starry heavens
2) the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and other heavenly beings
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: perhaps from the same as G3735 (through the idea of elevation); the sky
Citing in TDNT: 5:497, 736
The word for powers is this one

G1411
δύναμις
dunamis
Thayer Definition:
1) strength power, ability
1a) inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
1b) power for performing miracles
1c) moral power and excellence of soul
1d) the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
1e) power and resources arising from numbers
1f) power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G1410
Citing in TDNT: 2:284, 186

There is going to be a great shaking and one of the things the devil will try and do to his uttermost, is to shake is your faith. He is going to use modern magic (technology) to bring it about and it will shake the faith of millions, particularly when the false Priests, Pope's Pastors and Evangelists of various deep state and elite organizations around the world begin to subtly shift the emphasis to a post-Christ Christianity.

New Cloned humans, AI tech, cyborgs, genetically enhanced humans and other things that have not revealed to us will surely come to pass and we who are alive to day will probably see things things come to pass. This is when powerful men will preach that Christian ethics and Biblical Christianity is a threat to the new order and yes, a new order is coming, it is described in your Bibles. It will last 42 months (Rev Chapter 13). New Times and a radically reorganized earth is coming. Did similar things happen before? When? How can we know? A serious Bible student and child of God will take Christ at his word and do his best to find out just what is meant by 'Days of Noah'.

The Mark of the Beast? Yes, it is coming and who knows what kind of tech they will put in it. Could they put some kind of DNA altering tech in it that delivers messages you? Perhaps bypassing the ethical centers of your brain? Look, I don't know. But given the leaps and bounds in technology I see happening, it is hardly a major stretch to see such a thing as a real technological possibility.

Always keep this in mind as well. John and the other prophets had to use terminology from their times to describe the things that would be happening in ours and this factor often causes a lot of confusion in people.


Get ready brothers and sisters. Get ready we must face many a storm here on earth before we meet our Lord and are redeemed. Additionally, the devil will be working overtime to target the most important thing that each of us possesses.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
(Mat 10:22)


Our Faith in Christ.

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica

The above link is from Wired.com. Well, this is part of the story that has not been talked about much on the web with regards to the Facebook leak. That being the fact that Cambridge Analytica (CA) executives were filmed talking about ways to extort money from politicians, entrap them and spread propaganda. This is the firm that we are told used data in a way that violates Facebooks terms. Here is some background and know this, Trump may have done this in 2016, but Obama was there first. It looks like someone may have used the data to conduct sting operations on people! Well, I know from personal experience that this can be done. They did it to me. They created a false trail of evidence in order to start an investigation and they tried to set me up in a very vile and wicked set up.

Britain's Channel 4 News caught executives at Cambridge Analytica appear to say they could extort politicians, send women to entrap them, and help proliferate propaganda to help their clients. The sting operation was conducted as part of an ongoing investigation - Wired
This is why I cannot stress enough to all of you who are reading this. Don't trust your data with people you don't know and who have consistently shown a reckless disregard for how it is used. Did you know that there are firms to take all that data and sell it to foreign nations that have a long history of persecuting Christians? These companies are big and yes, they do exist. They can track how fast one of their propaganda stories spread across the net, who is posting video's about a certain royal family and then send in their local cops to arrest them. They can do a lot of things and most folks have no clue who is getting their data. These companies absolutely REFUSE to tell us who exactly they sell it to. Here are just a few of the firms who do this. So stop kidding yourself those of you who use Facebook, particularly if you are in a job that is of interest to foreign nations, intelligence agencies or unscrupulous competitors. They can (and do) find out where you live and can set YOU up, mess with you and if they have friends in our corrupt justice and intelligence system, they can get them to help out.

The Problem is Facebook Not Cambridge Analytica

Let me put it to you another way. Most people are dumb, they don't think before they act. They watch what everyone else is doing and base their actions on that. To survive in the coming world (and it will in many ways be a matter of survival) you must not adopt your actions to the masses. You must learn to think first, act later and adopt the axiom that "if everyone else is doing it, I probably shouldn't".

Is everyone charging up their credit cards to the moon? I probably shouldn't. Is everyone putting all manner of personal data on their Facebook page? I probably shouldn't. Is everyone else sleeping around on their spouses? I probably shouldn't. Don't be a crowd follower, the crowd are like cattle and like cattle, they are only driven to place where their butchered carcasses can make someone money. How come this happens? Cattle are not very bright. Neither are a lot of people. 

Keep this in mind as well. There is no "right to be forgotten" here in the US. Europe has come a long way along those lines but these data rapists (that is what I call social media sites), they have a lot of Power on capitol hill and no such law will ever hit the books in the US. So once it goes into cyberspace, you cannot call it back.

I cannot stress this enough so I will repeat myself. Be as stingy as possible with your data, get a VPN, don't let your ISP snoop on your surfing habits. That data will probably only eventually be sold off to a potential employer, once they get to Congress to relax what few protections are now in place. One day, reading Alex Jones site may make you unemployable. One day, watching too many YouTube video's from a certain political or religious perspective could get you fired. As I like to say and I know some of you hate this saying but I will repeat it here nevertheless, I would not give these data merchants so much as the steam off of my dung, let alone any personal information.

Saudi Arabia Uses GOP 'Big Data' Firms

Gulf States Surveil and Imprison Social Media Activists

UAE Uses American Intel Officials To Build Spy Empire


You can do what you want, but one day if you are not careful, you will bitterly regret being so careless with your personal information.

FYI - I do not have nor have I ever had a Facebook account. I have shunned Social Media for many of the reasons we only now are hearing about. Many of these things I have known for over a decade but could not say much but did the best I could to warn a deaf, dumb and blind Christian Church.

It's pretty hard to communicate with someone so handicapped.


16 Apr

Ruth Part V

As we left off last time, Ruth had steadfastly refused to leave Naomi's side and had made up her mind to go with her back to Bethlehem. After their discussion, Naomi finally gave up trying to convince her. While the passage does not say so, Naomi probably let her daughter in law know what the troubles that lay ahead if she, a Moabites came to live in Israel. Again, the passage does not say so, but it would seem very possible that this subject did come up. "My people don't take kindly to foreigners, they tend to distrust them. You will be relegated to second class status and men will probably shun you and if they don't their families will when the subject of marriage comes up. Better you stay in Moab", such a conversation would have gone. Ruth was having none of it. She was packed, ready to go and nothing would dissuade her from going with Naomi.


So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem. And it came to pass,
when they were come to Beth-lehem, that all the city was moved about them,
and they said, Is this Naomi?
(Ruth 1:19)

The passage makes no comment about any troubles the two women may or may not have had on their journey, only remarking that they did arrive and when they did Naomi was recognized, even after all those years.

Her return caused no little stir among her kinsfolk and countrymen. The grammar in the passage implies that it was mostly the women who were exited. Here is how K&D puts the passage.

When they arrived, the whole town was in commotion on their account (תּהם, imperf. Niph. of הוּם, as in 1Sa 4:5; 1Ki 1:45). They said, "Is this Naomi?" The subject to תּאמרנה is the inhabitants of the town, but chiefly the female portion of the inhabitants, who were the most excited at Naomi's return. This is the simplest way of explaining the use of the feminine in the verbs תּאמרנה and תּקראנה K & D Commentary
The word used for 'moved about them' is the following Hebrew word.

H1949
הוּם
hûm
hoom
A primitive root (compare H2000); to make an uproar, or agitate greatly: - destroy, move, make a noise, put, ring again.
Total KJV occurrences: 6

So there was considerable commotion at her return at it was the whole town. Commentators point out that her return without her husband and sons may have been a key part of the uproar. Here is how the Cambridge Bible puts it.

all the city was moved] was in a stir; so 1Sa_4:5, 1Ki_1:45 (‘rang again’). Beth-lehem was a small place; Naomi’s return without her husband and sons could not escape notice; it aroused keen excitement, especially among the women—a graphic touch, true to life. - Cambridge Bible
 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara:
for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.  I went out full,
and the LORD hath brought me home again empty:
why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me,
and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
(Ruth 1:20-21)
These passages answer the unwritten question. What happened to your family? Why are you alone? Naomi then changes her name (symbolically) to one more fitting her sorrowful situation. She calls herself Mara. Naomi means Pleasant, whereas Mara means 'bitter' (H4755). Naomi is describing her new name because of the calamities that have befallen her. She says that the Lord had dealt bitterly with her. She also says that she left her homeland full and returned empty. Clearly she was referring to the fact that she had a husband and family as being full because we know from earlier passages that they left their homeland because of a famine.

Naomi is referring to the family tragedies that had befallen her as being the 'empty' she is describing. Naomi does not in this passage mention any specific sin that caused these tragedies, only that the Lord 'testified against me' and afflicted her with the loss of husband and children. Clearly, Naomi was ashamed of her condition and the townspeople clearly took notice of her condition



So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her,
which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem
in the beginning of barley harvest.
(Rth 1:22)

This chapter closes with this little appendix that describes the end of Naomi's travels.The interesting thing in this last verse is that they returned during the beginning of he Barley harvest. This was in the spring and took place around the time of Passover. As we will see this fact will play a role within the narrative to come.

Here is how John Gill sums this up.

and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest] which began on the second day of the feast of unleavened bread, on the "sixteenth" of Nisan, which answers to our March, and part of April, when they offered the sheaf of the firstfruits to the Lord, and then, and not till then, might they begin their harvest; see Gill on Lev_23:10; see Gill on Lev_23:14, hence the Targum here is,"they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the day of the passover, and on that day the children of Israel began to reap the wave sheaf, which was of barley.''So the Egyptians and Phoenicians, near neighbors of the Jews, went about cutting down their barley as soon as the cuckoo was heard, which was the same time of the year; hence the comedian (Aristophanes) calls that bird the king of Egypt and Phoenicia. This circumstance is observed for the sake of the following account in the next chapter.



13 Apr


So Is The Syria Op a 'Go'?

While the usual gaggle of warmongers, think tanks and Senators are egging the President on to go into Syria and go to war, the President now seems a little less inclined to do so.

For those of you interested here is a map of latest incidents in Syria.


Well, The President may be talking to some sane people for a change - those who can see past the pride, arrogance and violence that have led America into a place where her global place in the world is seriously threatened. He is now back-stepping from his original tweets that he would strike Syria.

USS Harry S. Truman
Source: Wikipedia

The strike group, including aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, USS Normandy (CG 60), several destroyers of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28 and German frigate FGS Hessen (F 221), is scheduled to conduct operations in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
The deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe. Additionally, HSTCSG units will work alongside allied and partner maritime forces, focusing on theater security cooperation efforts, which help to further regional stability.
- US Navy



It is not clear what is going to happen, but as the piece notes, the key Aircraft carrier (USS Truman) that was ordered to the region is not set to arrive for some time. It is not clear that this movement is nothing more than a normal rotation of ships.  Is the President having a change in heart? Perhaps.He has been able to cobble together a coalition (if media reports are to be believed, and often, they simply can't be) with some nations for a strike. But Germany, the European powerhouse has said it will not take part in military operations, according to DW and other news organizations. In a carefully worded message they have declined military support, but did say that a message needs to be sent on Chemical weapons, without actually saying they were used.

What is going on? A few days ago, we saw many deployments of ships and equipment and a strike seemed certain. Even civilian air flights were being diverted in case of conflict. There were reports that the US had deployed submarine hunters to the region. Subs would be a potent threat to US military ships in the region. What all the deployments looked like and we must be clear - looked like was a full scale build up for a major strike. Russia is preparing her Air Defense Systems. So is Assad, but his AD systems are probably no match for America's high tech weapons.

So what happened? Did Trump blink? I have no idea. But I will leave you with these thoughts. First off Trump has to think about elections. The Syrian Chemical Narrative may play well to get us into a war, but as time passes people will probably realize we have been lied into another major war and almost certainly, a long term quagmire and disaster. Trump railed against that kind of policy in the past and knowing his support among conservatives and libertarians is essential for the future, such a war based on flimsy or phony evidence will cost him support... support he needs badly. A war like what is being proposed would not sit well at all. Well, the real good news is that General Mathis has come forward and made it clear why they are waiting. They are looking for evidence. This would not be the first time we have seen this kind of thing, we saw it before. And I have to tell you so far, I have not even seen any real evidence there was even a chemical attack, let alone who to blame for it. What does this tell me?

It tells me that the President smells a rat in this whole chain of events and he is not going to be manipulated into a foolish strike that could very well quickly escalate and cost the lives of American servicemen. I could be wrong, but that is my read. He wants some proof he can take to the country, not hysteria that leads to a war that could very easily escalate.


Image Source: Wikipedia (Public Domain)
But there are other aspects to this as well that need to be considered. First is that China will mark a full scale assault on Syria as a delineation of a 'new Global order' that says - if you want a country, just go in and take it. In short, we would have no moral high ground if China decided to go in and 'take' Taiwan. The Chinese even now are conducting drills and live fire exercises in the Taiwan Straits. They are miffed over US plans to Help Taiwan to build submarines. More here. And in case you are in doubt that these exercises in those waters is not a coincidence, you may want to click on over here and see for your self.

Let me make this clear, Russia and China are going to give support to one another. If the US attacks Syria, China may very well stir up a hornets nest in the China Sea. Russia may decide to make only a perfunctory military defense in Syria and decide to go full tilt into Ukraine, if the new rules are 'go in a take what you want' or make up a fantasy narrative as a pretext for war. "They're roasting Russian babies over fire pits and feeding the remains to their dogs in Ukraine, we have to invade!!!" No evidence needed, just make up a story and invade.

I have checked a lot of sites, they are not wild about this war - only the major MSM Intelligence and DOD run and connected sites are pushing for it. Here a piece that outlines some of the rationale that those who seek an attack. You can read other sites as well particularly from the hawk right militarists and neocons. They don't understand why Trump just doesn't go in and blow 'em all away.

The ISW is a key proponent of going in (ISW which is associated with the AEI). What they propose is exactly the same kind of thing we have failed at before many times, regime change. They state they want a 'viable and legitimate government' in Syria, forgetting that Assad has been elected and re-elected even during the war! There is no problem of real legitimacy here, just that he is not an American puppet regime and is too close to Russia and Iran. So what we have here in reality is another variation on a theme. It is the law of the jungle now in Geopolitics.

Regime Change? Take look at what is happening in Libya. Here is the UK's Parliamentary Commission Report on it.

International law, which respects the sovereignty of nations has been tossed aside in our mad hunt for power in Syria. Is it any wonder that China has set aside International law in her hunt for the China Sea and the Islands she is militarizing? Monkey see, monkey do and America has behaved like the world's worst gorilla. We have gone in and bombed sovereign nations, invaded them on the flimsiest of pretexts, created violent coup's and assassinations, set up military bases on their territory without the governments permission and just decided that swinging from Arab nation to Arab nation (Libya, Egypt, Syria etc,) like some crazy ape in the jungle is the way to get things done. It is the Gorilla-fication of our Foreign policy and it is not going to win us anything but a place in a cage at the local zoo.

You see, America used to stand for a system of international law that sincerely frowned on what we are now doing and I think what is missed by our leaders is that this is one reason why other nations are working to get from under our global leadership. Our bad behavior, which was meant to preserve that US dominated system is in realty hastening its end.

We as a nation can do better, but we need leaders who can think outside of the realm of the Jungle and join those of us who walk upright and think before we act and try our best to act wisely.

Brothers I see powerful forces who I think are trying to draw us into what could very well be a trap. I see other nations with an agenda who have a lot of power within our government - (Administration, House & Senate) who have their own reasons for pushing a war to remove Assad. Reasons I have talked about at length. They (with a lot of of help) provide the provocations in the hopes that we will act foolishly and hastily. So far we have not taken the bait. But that does not mean they will not try and try again. Someone wants us to go in full tilt to Syria. Just like we did in Iraq... an Iraq that more and more has been lost after we 'won' the war. Lost to Iran. All that money and  blood in order to benefit Iran. That is the sum total of our 'Gorilla' foreign policy.

I have heard it said that the first step of avoiding a trap is knowing of its existence. Every few months we get the same old narrative, that the Syrians are using poison gas and we must invade. Over and over again we get wild accusations carried far and wide in the media to create hysteria and when the time comes for proof, there is silence or careful deflections.


The reality is that we have seen this story before and the failures. It would be folly to think a new attack has a reasonable chance of doing anything but giving the Military a chance to test out their new weapons. Only this time, The Russians may indeed shoot back. When was the last time we have fought a military with 5th generation fighters and super high tech AD systems?

This piece from the admittedly pro-Russian Strategic Culture site gives us a really good look some of the real risks such an operation will entail over the medium term.
I exhort you all to pray for the President, General Mathis, Mr. Bolton and others who will make decisions and advise the President. I think there are those who already have (I know one reader here has!) and those prayers may indeed be yielding some fruit. Please continue and all of you please, pray for President Trump, VP Pense the Cabinet and the leaders of BOTH parties on Capitol hill.

I ask all of you to think hard about what a war with Russia could mean. Those Russians I can tell you can fight and their weapons are top notch. They may not have the level of power projection we have, but they have powerful friends who can make life hell for us here in the States. I mean specifically, China. War. What will it mean? I mean to YOU, personally. Let me leave you with this thought.

(White House) PRINCIPLES FOR REFORMING THE MILITARY SELECTIVE SERVICE PROCESS Sections 551–557 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 established the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. Section 555(c) requires the President to provide the Commission and the Congress with principles to guide the Commission’s review and recommendations.

Our Nation requires a strong military for our security and for the defense of American values and our interests abroad. While we have successfully transitioned from a conscripted to an All Volunteer Force comprised of Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard personnel, and backed up by a program of selective service to meet emergency manpower requirements, sustaining this force requires prudent management.

The Nation must be ever mindful of the unpredictable global security environment that requires an effective and efficient means to provide manpower to the national security community, including military and non-military support in a national emergency. Historically, the Nation has maintained Selective Service registration to provide a hedge against the catastrophe not yet anticipated. Registration is a means to sustain preparedness, while also reminding youth that public service is a valued part of United States citizen- ship.

In conducting the Commission’s review and in developing recommendations, the Commission should ensure close examination of all areas outlined in section 551(b) to include the need for a military Selective Service process; the means by which to foster a greater attitude, ethos, and propensity for military services among United States youth; the feasibility and advisability of modifying the Selective Service process to leverage individuals with critical skills for which the Nation has a need without regard to age or sex; and the feasibility and advisability of tying the Selective Service process to eligibility or entitlement for certain Federal benefits. The Commission’s recommendations and analysis for sustaining and/or modernizing the Selective Service process should be based upon the principles outlined in sections 555(c)(2).

The Commission’s recommendations should also be guided by the following principles established by the President:

1. The Nation must prepare to mitigate an unpredictable global security and national emergency environment and to provide man- power by which the agencies responsible for military, national, or public service requirements can identify, recruit, and employ individuals from the entire population with skills necessary to augment existing manpower within those agencies.... Continues here.


The above referenced document (NDAA) can be found here, search for page 174 to find relevant portions on Selective Service.

Happy is the man who can pull his head away from Facebook, TV and porn and find out what is REALLY going on.

P.S. - Forgive the tone of this post, but the thought of all the people who will eventually die as a result of a serious escalation in Syria and perhaps elsewhere saddens and sickens me. It really does especially when all indications are so far is that that it is all based on very flimsy evidence, if not an outright lie.

I wish I had some deep spiritual post or words on this but frankly, I don't. All I can say is that we all need to pray for the President because an escalation could get very ugly...

...and the President knows it.

But what he will do is anyone's guess.

What will a wider war cost?

U.S. Budget Gap Hits $600 Billion in First Half of Fiscal Year (Bloomberg)

U.S. runs budget deficit of $209 billion in March, Treasury says (MarketWatch)

Is this where he plans on taking America?

I hope not.

Blessings to all of you who love our Lord, Jesus Christ.

11 Apr

Ruth Part IV


And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee:
 for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me,
and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that
she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

(Rth 1:16-18)

As we left off last time, Ruth and her two daughters-in-law were getting ready to part, probably forever as Naomi was preparing to make her way back to Judah. One of them was going to go back to her people of Moab (Oprah) but the other, Ruth, as we read in the above passage, was steadfast in her determination to go to Judah with Naomi. There was obviously the deepest regard for Naomi and her ways that both women held for her, but with Ruth it was clearly deeper. Ruth deeply honored her mother-in-law and was determined to stay with her, come what may. Here is how Adam Clarke sums up what I think is one of the most beautiful and wonderful passages in scripture.
And Ruth said - A more perfect surrender was never made of friendly feelings to a friend: I will not leave thee - I will follow thee: I will lodge where thou lodgest - take the same fare with which thou meetest; thy people shall be my people - I most cheerfully abandon my own country, and determine to end my days in thine. I will also henceforth have no god but thy God, and be joined with thee in worship, as I am in affection and consanguinity. I will cleave unto thee even unto death; die where thou diest; and be buried, if possible, in the same grave. This was a most extraordinary attachment, and evidently without any secular motive.
This powerful attachment was in reality one of both love and honor for Naomi, but also one of faith. She obviously saw something very different in her mother-in-law than what she was used to in other Moabite women. I say this attachment was particularly powerful because she had to know of the dangers that awaited her, a childless widow of Moabite persuasion going into Judah. The journey as well would not be easy, not for two unattached women traveling alone. Yet and still despite all of this she was willing to go wherever Naomi went. This in many ways is a quite prophetic passage of scripture it shows a person who was willing to give up all to follow after a person of  God to a place she could not be sure of... demonstrated something important - faith. Not the sit around and wait for a miracle belief, but a get moving, roll up your sleeves kind of faith.

This was the kind of faith Abraham had when he pulled up stakes from Ur and went to a land that was only described as a place the Lord would show him. This was faith. I would also add that this idea of following someone like this so unconditionally is so thoroughly is reminiscent of the way the 144,000 follow after Christ.



And they sung as it were a new song before the throne,
and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn
that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand,
which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which
were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
These were redeemed from among men, being the
firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth
was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
(Rev 14:3-5)

These special men who are the first fruits of God follow the Christ wherever he goes. Just like Ruth did with Naomi. When we are born into the kingdom and place Christ as our Lord - Lord by the way, not being some meaningless title - we in essence do the same. We agree to be commanded by him and go wherever he sends us, even if we don't really want to do it. I never wanted to come back to America from Germany and were it not for the command of my God to return, I would never have come back here - no joke. But when I rededicated by life back to the Lord I knew it was a major test to see if I would obey him and do the things that he commanded or go after my own ways and in essence rebel. I was faithful to God and did as I was commanded. I could easily have remained where I was. But I knew what God wanted me to do. God was testing my faithfulness and my obedience. He will do the same with all of his true children one way or another as time passes. When I decided to return to Christ, I made up my mind that wherever he sent me, I would go and whatever he wanted me to do, that would I do. NO MATTER WHAT.

Faith is not mere belief, it key characteristic is concrete action based on that belief.

The kind of steadfast faithfulness we see in Ruth is exceptionally rare. Husbands and wives rarely have this kind of dedication to one another in our divorce ridden, selfish and throw-away society. Too many will continue to love you only if they.... [name your 'love' conditionality here]. There was no such conditionality with Ruth and there should be none with us and our Lord. He may very well require our lives of us one day and warned us all before hand to count the cost.

But this passage to me only goes to show that like the wise man said, there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
(Pro 18:24)


Blessed is the man who finds such a friend. Doubly blessed is a person who can find a mate who has the dedication and faith of a Ruth to brave all hardship in order to remain faithful to his or her mate. Have you found such a mate or friend or fellow traveler in Christ? You may count yourself doubly blessed.

The last part of the passage says that she was steadfastly minded to go with her. The word for steadfastly minded is a very interesting one as it demonstrates a little more than just determination. Here is the Strong's word.

אָמַץ
'âmats
aw-mats'
A primitive root; to be alert, physically (on foot) or mentally (in courage): - confirm, be courageous (of good courage, stedfastly minded, strong, stronger), establish, fortify, harden, increase, prevail, strengthen (self), make strong (obstinate, speed).
Total KJV occurrences: 41

This is the same word that the Lord used with Joshua when it told him to be strong and of good courage (Josh 1:6,9,18). Ruth was going to be strong and courageous and deal with the travails and troubles that would come as they came, with faith.

One thing my mother always passed on to me was this - God always honors faith. Real faith. Put your trust in the almighty. Trust God always and fully in obedience and faith and he will never fail or forsake you.  I will quote here from the Biblical illustrator.

Decision a safeguard
If a man is seen to be decided in his stand for Christ, antagonists will give over assailing him. There is nothing in the use of which men are more discriminating than entreaty, argument, or influence. So long as the object of their solicitude is wavering, they will bring all their batteries to bear upon him, for there is still the hope that he will yield. But when he comes openly and determinedly out for Christ, they will waste no more ammunition on him. They leave him thenceforth alone, and attack some one else. Thus decision, while it may require an effort to make it, is, after it is made, a safeguard against assault, So long as a vessel has no flag at her mast-head, the sea-robber may think it safe to attack her; but let her hoist the flag of this nation, and that will make the assailant pause. In like manner, the hoisting over us of the banner of the Cross, being a symbol of decision, is also an assurance of protection. (W.M. Taylor, D. D.) - Biblical Illustrator

We will continue this work in Ruth next week, God willing as we see how things go when she returns to Judah.

9 Apr

Jeremiah, Judah and the Sin of Pride

 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle,
and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.  So I got a girdle according
 to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.  And the word of the
 LORD came unto me the second time, saying,  Take the girdle
that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates,
and hide it there in a hole of the rock.  So I went, and hid it by Euphrates,
as the LORD commanded me.  And it came to pass after many days,
that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle f
rom thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. 
Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where
I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. 
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 

(Jeremiah 13:1-7 [KJVA])
One thing I can testify is this - God hates pride. He does not like people to get haughty, proud or arrogant. He loves humility. Do you want to please the Lord? Take one of the most important steps, be humble.

This prophecy was given to Jeremiah before the exile. He is told to go and buy a girdle. This is not the kind of girdle that we have today. No, this is some kind of belt (Strongs H232).

Jeremiah is told first to put it on and to not put it in water. It is noteworthy that this is the kind of girdle that the Priests were to wear.


The prophet is to buy and put on a linen girdle. פּשׁתּים, linen, was the material of the priests' raiment, Eze 44:17., which in Exo 28:40; Exo 39:27. is called שׁשׁ, white byssus, or בּד, linen. The priest's girdle was not, however, white, but woven parti-coloured, after the four colours of the curtains of the sanctuary, Exo 28:40; Exo 39:29. Wool (צמר) is in Eze 44:18 expressly excluded, because it causes the body to sweat. The linen girdle points, therefore, to the priestly character of Israel, called to be a holy people, a kingdom of priests (Exo 19:6) - K&D
So the prophet was to wear the belt and then take it to the river Euphrates and there put it under a rock. After accomplishing the command of the Lord, Jeremiah is then told to go back and get the belt. But this time the belt is filthy and useless.



Thus saith the LORD,
After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination
 of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them,
shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
(Jeremiah 13:8-10 [KJVA])
While commentators argue about the meaning of this prophecy I think it is crystal clear and staring us in verse eight. God was not happy with the pride of Jerusalem as well as their rebellion and the two often go hand in hand. What does God call this wicked people who were engaged in all these things? It is right there in the passage - they were 'good for nothings', As the girdle was worthless, so are the people. They once had value and use to the Lord, but now who would want to touch such a thing, let alone wear it.

Brothers, let us never forget that Israel was a foreshadow of the Church, the holy priesthood of God. While today, this parable could be used for many, it was in the time of Jeremiah, meant specifically for God's people. But it could also apply to a nation, a corporation, a Church, a person, a President or Prime Minister that was once of use to God, but is no more. Pride is the filth that soiled Israel. It is the filth that can soil our garments as well.

You know I think of all those once godly, Christian colleges along our East Coast that used to really honor God. No more. They are now little more than a soiled girdle. Many denominations are very much the same. They used to honor God and now perform abominable ceremonies under their roofs - a soiled girdle. Some pastors used to be spot on but got side tracked in their greed for riches. lust for sex or fame. They too became a soiled girdle - good for nothings.

I will not post all of the rest of this prophecy but I do want to hit a couple of more verses to show you all something important.



 
Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. 
Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness,
 and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and,
while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death,
and make it gross darkness.  But if ye will not hear it,
 my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride;
and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears,
because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive. 
Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves,
 sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even
the crown of your glory.  The cities of the south shall be shut up,
 and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it,
 it shall be wholly carried away captive.
(Jeremiah 13:15-19 [KJVA])


Here the prophet gives his exhortation, which are almost never heeded. He tells them to listen and to not be proud. Then he threatens them. Yes, these days people don't like threats. They get offended. "Are you threatening me"? Well, as a matter of fact, God is doing just that. Keep messing up... and see what happens!! He lays it all out for them. He threatens them with darkness, the shadow of death and gross darkness.

Then what does the prophet say? He makes it plain that God does not want to do this. When all these things happen, God is going to weep. Having to do this to people, particularly his people really hurts the Lord. But he must play not just loving father, but also fierce Judge to those who do evil. God is holy and righteous and cannot be a respecter of persons. The soul that does evil and refuses to repent of it, he must face an angry God. This is what all of those 'good for nothings' must face.

God threatens them and gives them warnings. He tells them what he is going to do if they don't turn.

But the root of their problems here is pride. Pride is the problem of America. It is the problem in China. It is the problem in Israel. It is the Problem in many Protestant denominations and it is the problem in many  Churches who look down on a black face or poor man who may turn up on Sundays. It is the problem with the High Catholic Clergy, who did not want to help the poor when this new Pope opened up the doors to the less fortunate. You want to anger the Lord? Let me tell you how to do it. Be proud, haughty and arrogant. Always put yourself as being more important than the next man. Always toot your own horn and tell others how much better you are than everyone else. Be pushy about it and if you have to, get violent - make them acknowledge your 'greatness'. Like those old gangster films when the mob boss would have someone beat up just because they did not show the proper respect to him. This is a sure way to win the anger of the Lord. Pride eventually makes people unreasonable and later violent. Take a look at what has happened to America.

So brothers, lets take a lesson from the book of Jeremiah and what the prophet's message was to Jerusalem. It was to put the pride away, be humble and stop sinning.

5 Apr


Opiod Makers Paid Millions To Groups Promoting Their Painkillers

The above link is from the Center for Public Integrity and it is largely based on a Senate (minority) report on the issue. It is worth the read

Between January 2012 and March 2017, the five opioid manufacturers featured in this report contributed nearly $9 million to leading patient advocacy organizations and professional societies operating in the opioids policy area. For some groups, contributions from these manufacturers—alone—constituted significant portions of their total annual contributions and grants. In addition, the five manufacturers specifically at issue in this report also made substantial payments to individual group executives, staff members, board members, and advisory board members. Physicians affiliated with these groups accepted more than $1.6 million in payments from the five manufacturers between 2013 and the present. These same individuals received payments totaling over $10 million from all opioid manufacturers during this time period. - House Homeland Security and Government Affiars Committee (Ranking Member) - Chart and Text




4 Apr

Cloudflare's New DNS Service

It promises speed, security and privacy.

Perfect? No, but but it does indeed look enticing.

More here.

Concerned about Facebook and privacy? Well, your DNS requests can reveal a lot about you. With the demise of Net Neutrality your DNS requests can now be sold by your ISP - without your permission.

This service looks like it could mitigate that problem.

After Afrin: No Safe Haven

"For weeks, more than 100,000 civilians from the Syrian-Kurdish enclave of Afrin have found what shelter they can, making 12 formerly abandoned villages home." - IRIN
Another one of those stories that while it is good to read, the pictures say much, much more.

Murder In Mali

Reuters reports on the grave of six who had been in military custody.

Record-breaking donation from Saudi Arabia, UAE sets stage for Yemen aid event

A big check was written but why? What do these rich Arab nations want?

The suspicion is warranted seeing how these are the nations who are reducing this poor nation to  rubble.

Algeria: Christian released after serving prison sentence

(MEConcern) Algerian Christians invite us to rejoice with them in the release from prison of Slimane Bouhafs, a Christian arrested and imprisoned in 2016. He was released on 1 April having served his sentence.

Slimane, aged 51, is from the Kabylie area and chose to convert to Christianity in 1997. He was arrested on 31 July 2016 for publishing material on Facebook which was deemed by the authorities to be insulting to Islam. On 7 August 2016 he was given the maximum sentence for blasphemy of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of approximately $850. In an appeal verdict delivered on 6 September 2016 the prison sentence was reduced to three years and the fine was dropped. On 4 July 2017 a partial presidential pardon led to a further reduction of his prison sentence by 16 months.

The presidential pardon followed an appeal by his lawyers in October 2016 due to Slimane’s critical health needs. He had been serving his prison sentence in Constantine prison, in an area of Eastern Algeria known for its conservative Islamic values, when he was violently attacked by fellow inmates after defending his Christian beliefs following an incendiary sermon delivered by an Imam which had incited hatred towards Christians. Following this attack, and also because of deteriorating health, his family requested a transferred to a prison in his home area. The application was initially turned down but he was subsequently moved to two different prisons.

Algeria’s Constitution established Islam as the State religion, and the Penal Code criminalises blasphemy (insulting the Prophet Muhammad or any messenger from God, or denigrating any of the teachings or precepts of Islam). These and other laws hinders the freedom of Christians to practice their faith and to share religious views with others. In recent months greater enforcement of these laws has resulted in a wave church closures and the arrest and harassment of other Christians.

Prayer Points

Algerian Christians ask us to pray:

  1. thanking the Lord for Slimane’s release and for protecting, sustaining and encouraging him during his time in prison
  2. that Slimane will know the Lord’s healing, restoration and ongoing wisdom as he adapts back to regular routines
  3. for other Christians who have recently been charged or convicted under similar laws which hinder freedom of religion
  4. that the Algerian authorities will end the systematic campaign against Christians
  5. that the regulations governing non-Muslim worship and blasphemy will be amended so that Christians will be able to worship freely
  6. that those responsible for arrests and closure orders will know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus.


Nigeria’s Middle Belt Report: Fulani Militants Again Outpace Boko Haram as Biggest Threat in March 2018

04/04/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - The uptrend in attacks in the Middle Belt by Fulani militants continued in March, with the heaviest attacks taking place in Plateau and Taraba states. Throughout this past month, there were 27 attacks by Fulani, only six of which involved any fighting from those who were attacked. These 27 attacks led to the deaths of 225 Christians, the destruction of tens of thousands of dollars in property, and thousands of families displaced from their homes. During this same period, Boko Haram killed 37 people, many including military personnel with whom they were engaged in combat. These statistics show that not only is the Fulani crisis a bigger issue at the moment, but also that in more than 75% of cases, the Fulani attacked unarmed and defenseless civilians.

Plateau State suffered the greatest losses during this period with 107 Christians losing their lives. Despite this, there have been no major attempts by the Nigerian government to hold the Fulani accountable or disarm them. Both of these steps must happen if this violence is to be stopped. 

Listed below are the biggest attacks that took place in March.
1.  March 5, 2018: At least 24 were killed in a Fulani attack on the Idoma village of Omusu in Okpokpwu LGA.

2.  March 12, 2018: Fulani militants attacked the Dundu area of Kwal in the evening. Twenty-five were reportedly killed.

3.  March 14, 2018: Fulani militants attacked several villages in Dekina and Omala LGAs. Thirty-two were initially reported dead, with the number later raised to around 50. Hundreds were displaced following the violence.
This serious situation requires a serious response. Thus far in 2018, Fulani militants have killed more people than Boko Haram and affected a much larger area. Despite this, the federal government in Nigeria has paid little attention and allowed these militants to get away with mass murder. Even in areas where they have provided small amounts of security personnel, it has proven to be completely ineffective. We continue to call on the Nigerian government to reclaim the land that has been stolen by Fulani militants, rebuild the communities that have been destroyed, and protect Nigerian citizens from future attack.

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org
3 Apr

Ruth Part III


And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee
 unto thy people.
(Rth 1:10)


We left off last time when the women had said their farewells to Naomi who was about to make her way back to Judah after years of self imposed exile in Moab. After all the tears, the two daughters in law are determined to follow Naomi back to Israel. Naomi's behavior and character clearly had won these two women over. Rather than stay in their native land, they wanted to take their chances with what lied ahead for them in the company of Naomi. Her behavior had obviously commended it to these women and had thus generated a positive opinion of Israel. So much so they were willing to leave their native land and follow this childless widow who was a foreign woman back to her homeland.

And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me?
are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband.
If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night,
 and should also bear sons; Would ye tarry for them till they were grown?
would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters;
 for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand
of the LORD is gone out against me.
(Rth 1:11-13)

Here Naomi gently upbraids them for wanting to follow her. She gently mocks their desire to follow her, letting them know that she has no more sons for them to marry and even if she did, they would be too old for them if they waited for them to grow up. Naomi's dark humor shows through letting them know that even if she were to marry tonight they would still be too old for them even as she is too old at that time to marry.

Her sarcasm demonstrates a depth of sorrow she must have felt for the series of tragedies that had befallen her. She was upset that the Lord's hand had laid so heavy upon her and her unhappiness had effected her daughter in laws. What is interesting here is that the focus of her sorrow appears to be as much about them as her own tragedy. What Naomi is doing here is laying out the case why her daughters should not do as they propose, that being to follow her. She shows how following her was a 'dead end' road for them as far as their marriage prospects are concerned. What is not mentioned here is that if they went to Israel, many men would not marry them because of the fact that they were Moabites. She probably knew this but this was not part of her 'case' against them coming with her.

And they lifted up their voice, and wept again:
and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people,
and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
(Rth 1:14-15)

The women continued to weep (women tend to do that alot!)  and cried aloud over the situation. Well, women are more inclined to show their emotions. For them it is no shame and as some studies on the Human Brain have shown their emotions are more 'hard wired' into their brain than with men. Such weeping in times of sorrow is hardly unusual, in those times or in ours.

But this time, Oprah took Naomi's advice and went back to her people and the scripture is careful to note, their gods as well. But Ruth remained with Naomi. Even after she was entreated a second time to to return to her people, Ruth remained. Now the expression here returned unto her gods may nor may not have the negative connotation the passage makes. Here is what the Cambridge Bible says about it.

The ancient belief here receives its simplest expression: each land and people had its own Deity inseparably connected with it; outside lay the territory of another god. The Israelites, at any rate the popular religion in Israel, did not deny the divinity of the gods of the neighbouring lands, though for themselves Jehovah was the only God; cf. Jdg_11:24, 1Sa_26:19. So when Orpah goes back to Moab she goes back to her native god; similarly, when Ruth determines to make her home in Judah, she declares her intention of adopting the religion of her new country, Rth_1:16. See Rth_1:8 n. - Cambridge Study Bible
That Oprah went back to her people and gods is not such a remarkable thing. What is remarkable is that Ruth, as we shall see, had determined to remain with her mother in law go to Judah and by extension follow after the Lord.

The following passages is one of the most beautiful passages in the Old Testament as far as I am concerned and next week, we will spend some time on why I think it so precious.

The Lord willing, we will continue our exposition of Ruth next week.


30 Mar

Good Friday

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood;
and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore
necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be
 purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better
 sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places
made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself,
 now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should
offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place
every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered
since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the
world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;
and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second
 time without sin unto salvation.
(Heb 9:22-28)


Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. Christ had to do what he did in order for us to receive the gift of salvation. Sin, the sins of the world had to be paid for and God in his love for fallen man provided a sacrifice to pay for our sins and evils. My point here is today is not to go over the theology of Christ's passion, but to exhort us all to remember and give thanks for what the father, through his son Christ Jesus did for us and to say this.

He is Risen!!

Good Friday Reinstated In Indian State

Widespread protests have forced the government in Christian-majority Meghalaya State in north-east India to restore the Good Friday holiday.

The coalition government, to which the Hindu nationalist BJP is a partner, had declared in a circular that Good Friday would be a normal “working day”, but the move was withdrawn on Tuesday, 27 March. - World Watch Monitor

Eritrea: Newlyweds among 32 Christians arrested in fresh crackdown

The newly married man and two of his guests are being held in a prison north of the city. The newlyweds and ten guests were arrested at the couple’s home on 5 March, a local source told World Watch Monitor.

Ten friends were visiting the couple for a traditional coffee ceremony to welcome the bride when the local security officers forced their way into the house and arrested all 12 people there. They were taken to Asmara’s No. 5 Police Station.

The authorities released eight of the group two days later, after they presented valid travel IDs (documents of permission to move around Eritrea). The four remaining Christians, including the newlyweds, were moved to Adi Abeito Prison, north of Asmara. According to the World Watch Monitor source, the newlywed couple was split up after the arrest and the bride was released yesterday (27 March). - World Watch Monitor

Humanitarian Aid Workers Fuel Sex Trade In South Sudan

I kind of hate to post stories like this because these aid workers are for the most part doing a lot of good. But there is clearly a pattern of abuse being conducted by a large number of Aid workers in the world.

Finally, someone with some power is shining a light on what is going on and showing how the worlds people who are suffering the most and have already been victimized are being further exploited by the unscrupulous. This piece shows just what is happening in this African nation, but also has some other links on the page that will be of interest.


But this really is a big problem and we have seen children abused as well.

The good news is that it has been recognized as such and changes are being made. In Syria, they are dealing with the issue.

A New State-Destroying Epidemic is Sweeping the US

Today we’re witnessing an unprecedented epidemic going rampant across the United States, and in spite of what Judge Robert Mueller and his Russophobe friends may tell you, it has nothing to do with Russia.

An ever increasing number of Americans are getting addicted to opioid drugs and officials have so far failed to somehow address this situation. According to official reports, more than 150 people die from drug overdose on the daily basis, which is means that drugs claim more lives each year than gun-related violence and road accidents. As for those who are behind this 21st curse that is plaguing America, one can find all sorts of practitioners and Big Pharma companies that believe that believe it’s okay to go around handing prescriptions for powerful painkillers to pretty much anyone, which exposes law-abiding citizens to drugs, making them addicted.

The estimated economic losses that the United States suffered in 2015 alone due to the extensive use of opioids, according to the Council of Economic Advisors, reached 504 billion dollars. The long list of problems associated with their extensive use of opioids that are medical drugs that are structurally similar to morphine has already affected the lives of 2.4 million Americans.

A special commission that was summoned to assist Donald Trump in evaluating how grave the situation with drug use in the US has recently become came to a conclusion that the US healthcare system is at fault. According to the preliminary report that this commission drafted, every three weeks the US loses as many people as it lost in the course of the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, it was pointed out that strong painkillers are being prescribed to drug addicts for bribes or under the influence of various advertising campaigns about “effective and safe” drugs developed by the Big Pharma. Often those who are trying to get rid of their addiction are being screwed by insurance companies that may allow a person to spend thousands of dollars on painkillers, but would not cover a couple visits to an expert narcologist. - NEO (by Marin Berger)

28 Mar

Steady On!!


Blessings and peace be upon all of you here at Watson's Web!!

These are rather strange times and I wanted to just say a couple of thing to all of you. Firstly, let us keep our eyes on Christ. There is a lot happening in our world and we need to be aware of it. But most of all, we need to keep our minds on our walk with God and our calling in Christ Jesus.

I know that some of you want a little more prophetic studies and insights. Well, my promise to each of you is that when God puts something on my heart to post along these lines, I will not be slack about doing it. But I also promise that I will not reach, stretch and go so far as others as to make things up just to sound spiritual. I will NOT do that. When there is not a terrific amount of news and events going on that bear directly on prophecy you can continue to expect some good analysis of those events, even if they do not directly bear on the prophetic. They often do bear on it indirectly.

But I do want to stress one thing. Just because things seem a bit quiet prophetically does not mean that things are not heading in the direction that our Lord said it would. The biggest change/trend I see that will have enormous impact on all of us are two fold, and they are related.

The first is advances in technology. Crypto-currencies, AI, space travel (its coming) space wars, a total surveillance society coupled with the new Internet Of Things -  life in the developed world is set to change very, very significantly over the next 20 years or so. I say this to make it plain to all of you that we should not take our eyes of the ball so to speak, just because we have not seen the final phase of the beast system come into existence. I think and am fairly convinced that a system of near total control over the earth, its monetary system, currencies and trade need to be solidified before the man of sin can come onto the scene. There is still much that needs to be done, as far as the devils 'things to do list' is concerned.

Consequently, brothers, as the days pass note the links and stories I post on these and other issues. One issue I think that will be more and more prevalent is the lack of justice and fair play that will become more and more normalized in day to day living. This too is a key trait of any satanically inspired government. So as I post stories about people in Gitmo who can never get out, poor folks going bankrupt because they tinted their windows in an improper fashion, innocent people getting shot down by cops for no other reason than the color of their skin, I ask you to remember that these are all traits of satanic government.

Another? Drugs. The doping of our world, particularly in the west is a major problem and I am here to tell you it is not going away. Too many powerful people are getting rich off of it. What kind of people? Let me give you a lesson from the past and it will help you underhand the present. More here.

Dope is big business. The people who run these networks are without conscience. They are worse than the worst stereotypes you see in the movies. How is this relevant prophetically? I will tell you.

 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries,
nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

(Rev 9:21)

 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee;
 and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard
no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth;
for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

(Rev 18:23)
I know many of you already know this, but I think in light of what has been happening in our nation of late with all the drugs it is good that I rehash this. The Greek word for sorceries is this one.

G5331
φαρμακεία
pharmakeia
far-mak-i'-ah
From G5332; medication (“pharmacy”), that is, (by extension) magic (literal or figurative): - sorcery, witchcraft.

Drugs. That ultimately is what they are talking about drugs that effect the mind and DECEIVE people. This is one key reason the world is deceived, it's the drugs and witchcraft which as you all know here are very prevalent here in the US. And I am not just talking illegal drugs, but the legal ones as well. Anti-depressants? What do they target? The mind! Some things, brothers they are staring us in the face, but the world, that knows not God cannot see it.
So yes, the trends are in place, they will only grow with each passing day. There is nothing we can do about it EXECPT.
Set the course of our ship of faith steady on, forward to the destination of Salvation that is in Christ Jesus, never looking or turning back.

Yes, there will be storms, calm seas, great swells of water and even an occasional pirate ship we may have to avoid. But set the course, take command of your ship like a Captain, take your orders from Christ, as though he were the Admiral and he will bring your ship home, safely to port.

We must be determined, strong and at times, downright relentless in our journey in the Lord for many will try and throw is off course or send us to the shoals and make us a shipwreck (1Tim 1:19).
So stay the course brothers, be encouraged, be strong in the Lord and he will stand with you in the hours of trouble, stormy seas, and other travails that we will encounter on our journey.

Have faith in God!

Brother Mark



26 Mar

Ruth Part II

And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them;
and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
(Rth 1:5)


The passage does not elaborate on the deep sorrow that Naomi must have felt. Not only did her husband die, but so did her sons. Clearly she was in deep mourning over her loss. The Jewish Targum adds this however to the passage "And because they transgressed the decree of the word of the Lord, and joined affinity with strange people, therefore their days were cut off." She was now a widow and bereaved of her children. This was a time of great sorrow for her and one can only imagine just how deep she felt this. But in this time of sorrow would come a blessing and something new. The Biblical Illustrator says this about this verse.
Bereavement a blessing

What a melancholy collapse it all had been! For those so dear to her, death; for herself, solitude—the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. And yet what a marvellous blessing bereavement not only may be but often is. Surrounded by those who make up to us our world, we are slow to raise our eyes above or beyond them, or to realise that we have any need which they are incapable of supplying; but when they are taken from us, these beloved ones upon whom alone we have leaned and to whom alone we have been in the habit of looking for strength and consolation and advice, then it sometimes is that the soul looks up as she hears the Master calling her by name, and through her tears recognises for the first time the patient Lord who has ever been her truest friend. God would not have us love our dear ones one whit the less, but He would have us learn to put Him first and to trust Him implicitly about them no less than about ourselves. (H. A. Hall, B. D.)


Enormous trials
Observe—
1. That many afflictions do attend the most gracious souls (Psa 34:19).
2. Crosses seldom come single upon God’s servants.
3. God did wonderfully support her in all these her great trials, and left her upon Scripture record as a pattern of patience unto all succeeding generations. (C. Ness.)
Let us keep in mind that the author of the book (probably Samuel) here does not impute sin to this intermarriage. He is careful not to do that, whereas the later Jewish writers again, make a point of seeing a cause and effect relationship between living in Moab and the death of all the males of the bloodline.

This I know, when a Godly person, who serves Christ in Spirit and in truth and in his inner being seeks to please God, the trials we face are there for a reason and are meant to teach us, build us, test us, redirect us and in the proper time, bless us. But that trials come is an absolute certainty. Sometime in our lives, God will indeed bring a trial into it. Sometimes it is to teach us a lesson as he had to with me after he warned me time and again not to trust those whose behavior resembles a rattlesnake. He also had to try me with my finances and this site. It was a hard trial as I was very close to some really tough financial decisions. But God wanted me to lean on him and to not stop working for him in the face of adversity to remember his promise to me and to walk in it (as long as I take care of his  business, he will take care of mine). There have been many other trials as well. For each of you who are going through troubled times, a lost loved one - personal tragedy, financial woes, health problems - know that God see's and knew of this time before you were born. There is something he wants to do with you but before he can, you must go through what he has allowed into your life and learn this simple but powerful message...

...Trust and obey.


He does not always reveal why he is testing us. Job was never told why God did it to him. Only later to those whom the holy record was left discovered some of the real reasons for Job's trial.


Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return
from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab
how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her
two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way
to return unto the land of Judah.
(Rth 1:6-7)


In short, the passage says that because she had heard that the famine was ending, she got up with her daughters in law to leave Moab and return to Judah. Here the verse needs little elaboration. The reasons that they left Judah in the first place are no longer valid - she could now return. Again, some commentators see God's hand of rebuke in her living in Moab and her misfortunes being directly related to it. I am less convinced of this. We must keep in mind that Naomi was honor bound to follow her husband, wherever he went. Now they were all gone and she had no male protectors and the famine was over, it was time to move on.

The Targum makes some rather creative additions in that they say that it was an Angel that told Naomi of the end of the famine. They also place this during the time of the Judge Ibzan (Judges 12:8ff). As both of her daughters were now widows as well, it was natural that they should accompany her, though we must remember that these women were not Israelites, but of Moab. Before we move on the the next verse we should look at the phrase 'for the Lord had visited his people'. God was showing mercy to them after years of trouble and had now, turned his heart towards them, perhaps by giving them leaders who honored the Lord. God when he rebukes his people does not forget them.


And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to
 her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt
with the dead, and with me. The LORD grant you that ye may find rest,
each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them;
 and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
(Rth 1:8-9)


Here Naomi clearly wants the two women to go back to their own people, probably thinking they would be happier with them than going to live in a strange land with their widowed mother in law. She acknowledges their kindness and their constancy towards her and her male relatives. This kind of constancy is rare these days. In our time of throw away relationships and cheap, superficial people (which sometimes justifies throwing away some of them!), Naomi has daughters in law whose behavior was atypical of the way foreigners were viewed by Israelite's in those days. Here Naomi utters a blessing upon these women and asks the Lord return the favor they have shown her, a woman who was foreigner for years in a strange land. She asks that they find rest and new husbands. This is a powerful blessing. She clearly had nothing but the highest respect and regard for these women and was wishing them all the best as she was ready to depart from them.

The word for rest is this one.

H4496
מְנֻחָה    מְנוּחָה
menûchâh    menûchâh
men-oo-khaw', men-oo-khaw'
Feminine of H4495; repose or (adverbially) peacefully; figuratively consolation (specifically matrimony); hence (concretely) an abode: - comfortable, ease, quiet, rest (-ing place), still.
Total KJV occurrences: 21


The phrase 'as ye have dealt with the dead' may mean that because they kept faith with their husbands and did not re-marry. This is the Targum's view - they refused to re-marry. But again this is just commentary added many centuries later. The key here was that these women were constant and faithful to the living and the dead. They were loyal and steadfast. Rare qualities then and even more so today.

This was clearly a heartbreaking scene as she weeps as do her daughters at this sad farewell that transpires against the backdrop of deep, deep sorrow and loss they all have experienced.  To even think about parting brought great sorrow to all of them.

We will see how they responded in reality in the next section that will, God willing, be up next week!!


***


21 Mar

Psalm 131

  A Song of degrees of David.
LORD, my heart is not haughty,
nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself
 in great matters, or in things too high for me. (Psa 131:1)


This Psalm of degree's is much older that some of the others. We must remember that when David lived there was no Temple. So the original intent of this psalm was probably not for singing on the way on a pilgrimage to Temple. But it has been included as such among those sacred songs that were once sung on this auspicious occasion. 

The Psalm starts out with a strong self imposed admonition against the sin of pride. There are few things more odious to God and harmful to one's spiritual life than the sin of pride. This is important because one of the seven abominations in God's eyes are a proud look (Prov 6:17).

David here, who either was or would one day be king humbles his heart and does not get involved in great matters that are too high for him.  David's whole demeanor and conduct are one of humility and minding low things and his own business. Note that David does not meddle in things too high for him or in great matters. This kind of thinking is most unusual for a King. But let us consider that even with Kings there are matters that are too great for, too high for them. The Geneva Bible says that this is an example that should be for all who are rulers. That even as King, there needs to be a high degree of true humility.

This Psalm may have  been written when Michal mocked David when he danced before the Lord
(2Sam 6:20-23). We should remember that David did not covet the throne and came out of obscurity.  He waited on God to do his will, though he was long persecuted by Saul.

The lesson is one for all of us. Particularly when we meddle into things that are not our affair. I have found after many years of living, that taking care of my own affairs is a full time job and those who spend too much time meddling into the affairs of others, usually don't have their own act together!! One key test of true humility is to mind your own affairs, no matter how lowly or seemingly mundane. Dishes need washing? Wash them. Car need repairs? Take care of it. Need to sit down and budget for a new fridge? Get to it. Let your neighbors and friends take care of their own affairs and unless asked... keep your opinions about how they live and what they are doing to yourself.

Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is
even as a weaned child.
(Psa 131:2) 

The picture here is of a new born babe sleeping peacefully in his crib. This is the picture of a man who has put his trust fully in God and dwells at peace. Gill's comment bears note. He notes that when David was in Saul's court, he did not posses a restless or ambitious spirit. He wasn't trying to 'get over'. This was a man who was contented with his position and under the care of God. He did not posses the scheming mentality of the ambitious.

This Psalm may indeed be a mark of David's character overall. Here is what the Preachers Homileitcal says about it.

"This short Psalm", says Perowne, “one of the most beautiful in the whole Book, assuredly breathes David’s spirit. A childlike simplicity, an unaffected humility, the honest expression of that humility as from a heart spreading itself out in conscious integrity before God—this is what we find in the Psalm, traits of a character like that of David.” - Preachers Homiletical

Whatever was in David that pleased the Lord, he saw it in this man and it was he above all others in Israel, that the Lord chose to reign over his people. I think this Psalm may sum up nicely at least part of what the Lord saw in him.
 

Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth
and for ever.
(Psa 131:3)


This passage springs from the previous one. It was David's contentment, humility and trust in God that put him where he was, on the Throne. David trusted in the Lord and thus he exhorts all Israel  to do the same for in so doing there is true peace and security.

Let us all wait patiently on the Lord. Let us all walk with him, stand with him and put our faith in him like a child. This is no idle exhortation. How did our Lord put it?


Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as
 a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
(Luk 18:17)

Amen!


19 Mar

Persecution Watch

There is enormous hatred for Christians in the world today and it just appears to grow and grow with each passing day. The stories posted below is just a very, very small cross section of things happening to Christians in our violent and twisted world. For a long time we have had it easy in the west but that will one day change. Satan and his minions will work very hard to find a legal way to begin harassing us right here as well. But the devil is very creative and will eventually find a way. So to those Christians out there who go 'ho-hum' to another Persecution story, I ask you, when did you stop caring for the body, that you claim to be part of?  These are our brothers and sisters. Who would not show concern for a family member who was beaten, falsely imprisoned, tortured or made homeless? Those who are of the household and family of faith will show concern for their brethren. Those who aren't, won't.

Persecution is indeed a promise we have from Christ. What will happen when it comes here in force? Many will turn away from the faith and become offended in the Gospel (Mar 4:7). Many will fall away and be taken in by seducers who will abound... looking good on TV, Church and elsewhere but mocking the faith that was handed down by the Apostles. They will deceive many (Mar 13:6).

I received a great link from a reader this weekend that ties up a trend we are seeing. This is an idea that was put forth by Pope Francis that Bible believing Christians are crazy. Well, as if my magic (or 'deep state'/elite coordination) , a 'scientific' report has come out that supports Francis.

Here is the story on the report. There is a new religion coming and there will be no place for Bible believing Christians. As our Bible makes perfectly, crystal clear -  they will one day hunt us down and try and kill us all. The system will cleverly use economics, religion and probably some form of artificial intelligence to enforce its rule.


And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth;
and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him,
 and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to
worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come
down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means
of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;
saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image
to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to

give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the
 beast should both speak, and cause that as many as
would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor,
free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand,
or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell,
save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast,
or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that
hath understanding count the number of the beast:
for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
(Rev 13:11-18)



Next time you read a scientific report coming out and is plastered all over the web, remember, in our world, money talks and the more money one has the louder you can talk and if you can buy a Scientific research center or pay a lot of money to get a report written that confirms the societal changing narrative you want to impart, you can do it with a checkbook or covert connections that are often not completely legal to enumerate. Consider this next time you read ANY major study put forward on your major newswires that could have major social impact.


I give you solemn warning in Christ, the devil will not let up, he will not stop and he will not relent on his attack on the basic tenets of the faith and on those who follow them. Often our worst enemies will be those who claim to be Christians, but are wolves in sheeps clothing or agents knowingly working for the enemies of the Gospel. They will smile in your face just before they hand you over or stab you in the back.

But Jesus said unto him, Judas,
 betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
(Luk 22:48)



Satan will use any method at his disposal to get at us. In Nigeria, it's Islamic fanatics, in China it is the Communist Party, in America it is coming from militant secularists, satanists and a growing body of political groups taking aim at us.

And the dragon was wroth with the woman,
and went to make war with the remnant of her seed,
which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
(Rev 12:17)




If you really serve Christ you are going to face persecution and the level of it will often reflect the threat you pose to the devils kingdom. So stand brothers in faith with your persecuted brothers, pray for them for you never know... one day the shoe may indeed be on the other foot and it is you sitting in some dungeon for new crimes a coming leader here in the US imposes on those of us who are faithful to Christ.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived.
(2Ti 3:12-13)

Mob Attacks 3 Christian Families For Refusing To Renounce Faith
The above link is from Christian Today. It's a rehash of the one from World Watch Monitor News Service News, which says in part.

Four Vietnamese Christian families – 24 people in all – have been attacked by a mob led by the village chief, local sources have revealed to World Watch Monitor.

Four people were hospitalised for eight days after the 1 March attack, with injuries to their heads and arms.

All four families are from the Hmong people group and only recently converted to the Christian faith.

The provincial authorities had advised them against continuing with their newfound faith, World Watch Monitor understands, and village leaders told them that unless they renounce Christianity they will be forced to leave their village.

The families’ pastor is understood to be in talks with local authorities about the incident. - World Watch Monitor

It is part of a broader program on the crackdown on what is viewed as dissent in the Asian nation.
You can read more about this in this report.

Tattoo Worn By Copts Brings Persecution

The Tattoo's provide a sense of belonging and also act as an entry permit to Church.

VP Pence Vows To Protect Iran's Christians
This was part of a long conversation with the Iraqi PM on a host of issues that included Iran, Trade and military cooperation.

Sweden Tries To 'Starve Out' Christian Asylum Seeker

This is the story of Aideen Strandsson who is an Iranian actress trying to get Asylum and cannot in the Northern European Nation. She does not appear to be being singled out however, as many others are in the same situation.


Her problem is that having left Islam to become a Christian makes her an 'apostate' in Islam, a crime in Islamic nations like Iran that could open her up to severe criminal penalties in the Islamic Republic.


India: Church Leaders Decry Bulldozing Of Catholic Hospital By Mob
(World Watch Monitor) Armed with two bulldozers and weapons, a mob of nearly 100 people, led by Singh, broke down a section of hospital wall nearly 50 metres long, damaged the electrical supply and generator unit, and disconnected the water connection to the hospital, which has around 200 beds.

Despite church authorities contacting top government officials, no police turned up as the mob dug up the front yard of the emergency gate of the hospital, pulled down the compound wall and put up iron fencing inside the premises of the hospital, stretching four metres into the road.

“This is shocking. We cannot tolerate such goondaism [violent hooliganism],” Archbishop Leo Cornelius, head of the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh, told World Watch Monitor. “Such things are happening in many places. It is disturbing to note that government officials turn [away] in such situations.”

“I am visiting the area tomorrow,” the archbishop added.

The state, under BJP rule for nearly 15 years, has reported some of the worst attacks on Christians during the period. - World Watch Monitor

India: Pastors Son' Crushed By Bolder

To add insult to injury, here is how the Police reacted after a complaint was made.


The police source said officers came under strong pressure from higher authorities to register a counter case against the Christians.

“The accused ABVP youth have connections with the political leaders at state and central levels,” the source said. “We came under severe pressure and registered a counter case against the Christians, but only as non-cognizable offenses [wherein no arrest can be made without a warrant]. The BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] politicians are trying their best to bail out the [Hindu] accused.”

Kolhapuri Prabhakar said he had no idea how the sections of the law filed against the Christian family members can be applied to them. The assailants did not register the FIR against them, he said.

“It was the police who registered the FIR, and they now are pressuring and threatening us that we made false claims,” he told Morning Star News. “Now the police are threatening us that we filed a false case to seek vengeance for the attack. It is not true. That is not our intention. It was the police who levied the sections; we forgave our attackers and are ready to withdraw the case also.”

Police officers insulted him as a lower-caste Dalit, he added.

“The police called me and asked if I am human or animal,” he said. “They asked why am I unable to submit the medical reports, but the staff at Karimnagar General Hospital are refusing to issue the reports.”

After many requests, the hospital staff finally wrote on a small slip of paper that Kolhapuri Immanuel had a fifth metacarpal fracture and gave it to him, Kolhapuri Prabhakar said. After surgery on March 7, doctors advised complete bed rest for three months.

Kolhapuri Prabhakar said he is devoted to Bible reading, prayer and ministry work and has no knowledge of legal cases. - Morning Star News


China Crackdown: Christians Under House Arrest

This comes amid a warning against Christians meeting. Christians are being watched, monitored and must report where they are going to authorities.


There are some very big changes going on in China under Xi.


Polls Show Catholics Don't Care Much About Persecution

This is a very interesting piece that delves in to some of the reasons why this is so and goes beyond the accusation of callousness to one of awareness.


The World Has Failed Eritrea's Christians

Dubbed the “North Korea of Africa”, the Eritrean regime is authoritarian and intolerant towards any form of unregistered organisation, dissent, or free expression. There is no safe place in the country – as is confirmed by the large number of Eritrean refugees in Europe and elsewhere.

Although there are no reliable statistics on religious affiliation in the country, sources estimate that the country is half Christian and half Sunni Muslim.

Arrests of Christians escalated in 2017. A new wave of arrests that began in May saw the number of Evangelical Christian prisoners rise to more than 200. Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians are at particular risk, although the Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch, Abune Antonios, has been under house arrest since 2007 after he refused to comply with government attempts to interfere with church affairs. - World Watch Monitor


Nigeria's Christians Today, Europe's Christians Tomorrow

The situation in Nigeria is bad. I read reports almost daily of attacks by Islamists on Christians... and those are only the ones that hit the news. This piece puts the persecution in a different perspective and explains why the issue will one day deeply effect the West. Why does the world not care? The piece alludes to it.

The victims are poor, Black and Christian.
14 Mar

War And Peace Report

Today we are going to take a look at some trends on the global battlefields. War and war drums are everywhere and we would be remiss to let our relatively peaceful and plentiful lives deceive us into just how dangerous this world really is.

In Syria, the war continues. ISIS may be only a shadow of what it used to be, but now the real war begins. It is the war to carve up Syria and to hand over parts of it to those who can win it by bloodshed.

I must confess, I have a wholly un-American sympathy with Assad and his position. No, I don't like his relationship with Iran, nor do I like how he has done Israel in the past. But all in all, Assad was no worse and in some ways just a tad better governing his people that most of the regions players. That is, before America and the Gulf States stepped in and screwed the nation up royally.

I wonder how Americans would feel if the Russians or Chinese came into our nation, stirred up armed groups dedicated to overthrowing our government, dropping them arms in covert weapons transfers, stirring up ethnic and religious hatred to rip our nation apart. Setting major cities on fire so that now they are little more than piles of rubble. I wonder just how we Americans would feel about that?

How many people have been turned into refugees (homeless people)? Millions. Literally millions. So, if I don't sound the anti-regime siren you are likely to hear from US sponsored think tanks and those who have materially supported terrorism here in the US, you can better understand why. I realize that there are real people under all that rubble and real people in hospitals and even now, real people under siege in many of these places we hear about in ongoing battles. Unlike these men who push for more war and more arms to terrorists, I did not exchange my soul for an arms contract or the promise of a promotion in the war machine.

Syrian Hell On Earth: A Tangle Of Power Players Unlikely To End Soon
Right now, the main battle appears to be between the Turks and the Syrians. But before many of you read this, the alliances will shift yet again. The Turks are not about to let the Kurds have a strong military presence along their border. The Americans seem committed to it, mostly just to annoy the Turks, who have gotten too close to the Russians. Syria would like to reclaim the territory stolen by the US backed terrorists who screwed up the nation. The Israelis? They are in the mix as well, wanting to undermine Assad as much as they can. Russia? She wants to keep Assad in power and protect her long time client state. With these leaders and these goals, there will be no peace in Mesopotamia.

This is a classic example of why making sure that when you start a covert operation, you know just what you are letting yourself in for. Chaos and death have been the only real result of all of this war and this blood... much of it will be laid at the feet of the Great harlot, the United States of America who has encouraged and armed these Jihadist fanatics to destroy the whole region for reason only their incoherently organized minds can fathom.

Turkey has asked the US to stop the Kurdish fighters who are moving in. Erdogan is not about to stop fighting simply because the US was able to strong arm UN members - this clearly is how he see's it and if history is any judge, he is right.

I say this not to defend Ergogan - I never liked him much. But no nation on earth would allow a hostile military force of non-state actors with clear hostility to their regime a safe haven on their border. America's support for the Kurds? This is nothing more than a deliberate provocation and the Kurds are being used like a condom to screw the Turks. When the Americans are done with the Kurds they will get flushed down the toilet like all the other geopolitical condoms the Americans have used to screw over friend and foe in the past. A very brief look at the situation on the ground can be found here. The Neoconservative site connected to AEI has their update here, which states that Assad has seized considerable territory in parts of Damascus.

Prophetically? Many have claimed that the destruction of Damascus was foretold in the scriptures. I cannot agree more. It was and up until now, we have never seen it fulfilled at least not fully and in the way the scriptures say - in my view. A full reading of the passage reveals many things and not all of them good, at least not for Israel. Let us take a look.
The burden of Damascus.
Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city,

and it shall be a ruinous heap.  The cities of Aroer are forsaken:
 they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall
make them afraid.  The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim,
 and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria:
they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel,
saith the LORD of hosts.  And in that day it shall come to pass,
that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of
his flesh shall wax lean.  And it shall be as when the harvestman
gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm;
and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim. 
(Isaiah 17:1-5)

In that day one of the key strongholds against them was also taken away. Barnes says this about verse 3 above.
They shall be as the glory of the children of Israel - That is, as the defenses, or the strongly fortified towns and fastnesses of the kingdom of Israel shall pass away or be destroyed, so shall it be with the kingdom of Damascus. As they are allied with each other, they shall fare alike. The Chaldee reads this, ‘And the dominion shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus.’ - Barnes

K&D says this beveling this was all fulfilled under Tiglath-Pileser

After Isa_17:1 has threatened Damascus in particular, and Isa_17:2 has done the same to Israel, Isa_17:3 comprehends them both. Ephraim loses the fortified cities which once served it as defences, and Damascus loses its rank as a kingdom. Those that are left of Aram, who do not fall in the war, become like the proud citizens of the kingdom of Israel, i.e., they are carried away into captivity. All this was fulfilled under Tiglath-pileser. The accentuation connects אַרָם שְׁאָר (the remnant of Aram) with the first half of the verse; but the meaning remains the same, as the subject to יִהְיוּ is in any case the Aramaeans. - K&D

So the prophetic question is one that should be answered and for those of you who want to take the time, you can click on over and read this well written, fair minded piece on the subject. In short, he deals with the issue of Tiglath-pileser and says that it was not fulfilled in the way described in the prophecy and that it has yet (as of 2013 when it was written) to be fulfilled.

If he is correct and I think he is, then we must understand not just what happens to Damascus, but also happens to Israel. There is no song of victory in Israel when this happens, big trouble comes to them too and as the passage on Ephraim indicates, part of her key northern defenses will become neutralized and some kind of economic calamity that brings in leanness. The entire chapter is worthy of further comment but we are going to focus on the wars going on today.

So let us keep our eyes on what is going on here. Spiritually speaking there is much going on that the untrained eye cannot see. I do think that one of the reasons Syria is having such trouble today, at least Assad is the way they have treated the Jews/Israel. When one comes against them, the Lord acts. Not always right away, but in a time of God's choosing. This is one reason why I think Assad is having such trouble - his rabid antisemitism and that of the regime.

But the Middle East is not the only place war news is. The other day the Unz review did a short piece that would help explain to many Americans why Russia has taken the course she has with regards to these new hypersonic missiles. If you really want to know why we are where we are today, go back to the Bush administration's decision to scrap the ABM treaty. Since then Russia realized she had to upgrade her missiles in order to have effective strategic deterrence.  This is what she has done. The US has been doing all it can to sell ABM systems to its partners for considerable money. We saw Trump try and shake down the South Koreans recently, but retracted and decided to pay for the deployment. Russia realized that the Americans could not be trusted and that their plans for 'dominance' included dominating Russia. Look that ABM treaty and Bush's withdrawing from it, that started all of this nuclear one-upmanship going. If you don't believe me ask the guy who has built up a very respectable arsenal in recent years. Here is what he said.

I would like to make a short journey into the recent past.

Back in 2000, the US announced its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Russia was categorically against this. We saw the Soviet-US ABM Treaty signed in 1972 as the cornerstone of the international security system. Under this treaty, the parties had the right to deploy ballistic missile defence systems only in one of its regions. Russia deployed these systems around Moscow, and the US around its Grand Forks land-based ICBM base.

Together with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the ABM Treaty not only created an atmosphere of trust but also prevented either party from recklessly using nuclear weapons, which would have endangered humankind, because the limited number of ballistic missile defence systems made the potential aggressor vulnerable to a response strike.

We did our best to dissuade the Americans from withdrawing from the treaty. All in vain. The US pulled out of the treaty in 2002. Even after that we tried to develop constructive dialogue with the Americans. We proposed working together in this area to ease concerns and maintain the atmosphere of trust. At one point, I thought that a compromise was possible, but this was not to be. All our proposals, absolutely all of them, were rejected. And then we said that we would have to improve our modern strike systems to protect our security. In reply, the US said that it is not creating a global BMD system against Russia, which is free to do as it pleases, and that the US will presume that our actions are not spearheaded against the US.

The reasons behind this position are obvious. After the collapse of the USSR, Russia, which was known as the Soviet Union or Soviet Russia abroad, lost 23.8 percent of its national territory, 48.5 percent of its population, 41 of the GDP, 39.4 percent of its industrial potential (nearly half of our potential, I would underscore), as well as 44.6 percent of its military capability due to the division of the Soviet Armed Forces among the former Soviet republics. The military equipment of the Russian army was becoming obsolete, and the Armed Forces were in a sorry state. A civil war was raging in the Caucasus, and US inspectors oversaw the operation of our leading uranium enrichment plants. - Vladimir Putin (Kremlin.ru (Creative Commons License)


The Russians... all they have done is real simple. Build missiles that are impervious to current ABM systems. These new missiles can reach the speed of Mach 6. How can you build an anti-missile system that will take down or even catch something moving that fast? Given the plans to put this onto submarines, the Arms race has just taken a dangerous new turn. Why? Because a bunch of arrogant, short sighted 'America firsters' in the Bush administration wanted to maintain American dominance and decided to do away with one key pillar of that dominance. Our diplomatic and treaty making and keeping capability. The ability to solve key problems diplomatically. Today, what good are treaties with the Americans? They are nothing more than a scrap of paper, not fit to wipe ones self with after a big meal. Trump, according to the Israelis is going to scrap the Iran nuclear deal. So why sign a Treaty with those loopy, violent Americans? This surely is how much of the world now looks at America's once venerated diplomatic abilities and coalition building history. They sacrificed it for a multi-billion dollar arms contract.

Related: The Six Weapons Putin Boasted About

Our leaders are kicking from under us one of the key foundations of American power in their lust for military conquest and elusive 'dominance'. The long and short of this means that no one trusts us. Why should they? We don't honor our agreements, we break them when it suits the militarists in the Pentagon. So our friends forsake us and look to bolster their own interests... away from an America they view more and more as a threat to the Global peace and order. Look at Europe, they cannot stand our new President or the things we have been up to. We can make a long list of mess we have pulled on them, not least of which is all the NSA spying and even more dirt that will never hit the news beat. The Europeans I can assure you, have not forgotten, nor will they. You can only bend someone over the rails and have your way with them a couple of times and they stop being your friend and become your enemy.

No, the militarists over at the DOD have made a mess of American power and are set to weaken it considerably as they continue their mad march to provocations, more war, arming nutjobs with bloodlust in their eyes and other nefarious activities they won't even report to our elected representatives. This President is overly dependent on this part of the American establishment and under him, America's power is set to wane, not strengthen. We may have a new trillion dollar arsenal of wonder weapons, but many of them won't do what they are advertised and we will find that a 20 thousand dollar weapons system will be able to defeat a 50 million dollar one in a real battle. And all those features they say they have and are 'remarkable' and 'wonderful' and provide battlefield dominance and all the other fine words the DOD uses to advertise its weapons? Well take them with a grain of salt.

Then there is North Korea. They are actually making peace overtures. Not only that, they are willing to talk de-nuclearization. This is a big turnaround from previous utterances by the Kim regime. This, following a spate of goodwill gestures, particularly with South Korea. Moreover, according to news reports, they are willing to cease nuclear testing while talks with the South are ongoing. This is good news if the North Koreans are serious. This is a big win for the South Korean President too and if Trump doesn't mess up this gift horse with more talk of unilateral bombings, it could be very good for the region. But others see just diplomatic maneuverings to blunt the effect of US sanctions and international pressure.

Can the North and South reunify? I think frankly this is what the North wants at least in the long run, but on its own terms. Is such a thing possible? Yes, I think it is. Remember the Germans did it way back when. As an American who lived in Germany when this happened, it can be a cause for considerable change and social problems, but ultimately it can be done and be a big positive in time.

Meanwhile the Militarists in the Pentagon are interfering with the Senate and the legislative process and are trying to prevent debate on the Yemen war. But the war is going badly for the Saudi's and as this piece states, Yemen, like Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.

How much longer will the Saudi's bomb Yemen? MbS's war is costing a lot of money and much international clout on the international stage. It remains to be seen if he will cut his losses or find deeper problems at home, within the military or within his own court. More here on this bill to end US support to the war.

War sucks. I cannot stress that enough. It really sucks. We Americans have not seen war. Not on our soil, so we have become calloused to the sufferings our wars bring on others. The last time we had a war her was the Civil War.

War when it strikes  turns out to be less about numbers and territory gained. Rather, it turns out to be much more personal. The family and friends we lose in it.

Before Chancellorsville, was fatal Sharpsburg. My friend, Colonel Means, killed on the battlefield; his only son, Stark, wounded and a prisoner. His wife had not recovered from the death of her other child, Emma, who had died of consumption early in the war. She was lying on a bed when they told her of her husband's death, and then they tried to keep Stark's condition from her.

They think now that she misunderstood and believed him dead, too. She threw something over her face. She did not utter one word. She remained quiet so long, some one removed the light shawl which she had thrown over her head and found she was dead. Miss Mary Stark, her sister, said afterward, " No wonder! How was she to face life without her hus band and children? That was all she had ever lived for. " These are sad, unfortunate memories. Let us run away from them. - Diary From Dixie

The high sounding words of war that those in the South made before the war, the arrogance, the bombast. At the end it was a bitter pill they swallowed in that war. At the end of her diary -  this is what Mrs. Chesnut said. This was written at the close of the war about a friend of hers who also suffered during the war.

As he entered the door, he saw Kate lying there dying. She died praying that she might die. She was weary of earth and wanted to be at peace. I saw her die and saw her put in her coffin. No words of mine can tell how unhappy I am. Six young soldiers, her friends, were her pall-bearers. As they marched out with that burden sad were their faces. - Diary From Dixie
War? You really want a war. Well, before you say yes, ask yourself which one of your family and friends, your neighbors and acquaintances you are willing to see come home in box to satisfy your desire. After you have chosen them...

Write down those names and say to them, "I want you to die so we can have a war".

... then you can talk about having a new war.

When (I did not say if) we go to war a full fledged war next time - it's very likely going to come home and hit us where we live. Russia and China are not building military's to fight a mythical enemy... and they are ready to fight.

And our leaders are ready to provoke a fight so be assured.

A war will come.

None of this is said to denigrate the current President. We just don't know what kinds of pressures he is under and whom he has had to cut deals with in order to get his agenda passed. I do not think Trump is a warmonger. I do think his view of global power is one dimensional and I think he has too many militarists around him, advising him to get a balanced view of the world and better options to get things done. If the militarists can control the information flow to him, they can control him.

So please pray for the President, he needs it.

12 Mar

Ruth Part I


   
We did the introduction last week, looking at an overview of the book. This week we will begin the verse by verse.

Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there
was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn
in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
(Rth 1:1)

As mentioned in the introduction, this book was written in the times of the Judges, possibly by Samuel. We are not sure which Judge was in charge when these events took place. John Gill gives us a summary of views for those of you interested in what can be correctly deemed as unresolvable debates.

Josephus places it in the government of Eli, but that is too late for Boaz, the grandfather of Jesse, the father of David, to live. Some Jewish writers, as Jarchi, say it was in the times of Ibzan, who they say is the same with Boaz, but without proof, and which times are too late also for this history. The Jewish chronology comes nearer the truth, which carries it up as high as the times of Eglon, king of Moab, when Ehud was judge; and with which Dr. Lightfoot pretty much agrees, who puts this history between the third and fourth chapters of Judges, and so must belong to the times of Ehud or Shamgar. Junius refers it to the times of Deborah and Barak; and others, on account of the famine, think it began in the times the Midianites oppressed Israel, and carried off the fruits of the earth, which caused it, when Gideon was raised up to be their judge; Alting places it in the time of Jephthah; such is the uncertainty about the time referred to... - Gill

We don't know for sure and a more exact timing is not wholly relevant to the events. But the fact of the famine is of interest because it is the catalyst that sets events in the story in motion. The story begins with a man of Behlehem-Judah - which appears to be named to separate from another city and tribe Bethlehem Zebulum  - taking his family out of Israel because of a famine.

Spiritually, these were dark days for Israel as there was considerable rebellion and as we have today 'moral relativism'. We know this by the phrase 'everyone did what was right in his own eyes' that is found in the book of Judges in a few places. (Jdg_17:6; Jdg_18:1; Jdg_19:1,Jdg_21:25). The story was a familiar one, the people would sin, God would chastise, the people would pray and God would raise up a deliverer (Judge).

The first verse tells is that this was a journey undertaken by four. Elimelech (his name), his wife (Naomi) and his two sons which will be named in the following verse. Hunger was driving them to Moab.


Israel in the time of Saul (David's Travels in orange. Naomi's Possible Journey in Black) - Base Map - Rand McNally Map (public domain)

In a time of famine a family moving to a foreign land like this had to be fraught with many dangers. People can do some pretty desperate things when there is a lack of food. But let us keep in mind that if there was a famine in the land, there was also great sin. This was one of God's promises to Israel. We do not know when this Famine took place, but K&D place it around Judges 6, in connection with the Midianites and the call of Gideon, though there are many who do not agree. Here is the Mosaic admonition regarding famine and constancy with the Lord.

And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my
commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God,
and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give
 you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain,
 that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will
send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside,
and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled
against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land
yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good
land which the LORD giveth you.
(Deu 11:13-17)

So Israel was probably in sin at the time and the Lord was rebuking them for their constant idolatry.

  And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi,
and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of
Beth-lehem-judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
 (Ruth 1:2)


Here we get all of their names. Mahlon means 'sick' (H4248) and Chilon means 'Pining' or could mean 'completed'. For the record, Elimelech's name means God is my King. Though the meanings of these names are not 100% certain. (Cambridge). The Reference to Ephrathites is probably a reference to a particular part of Bethlemeh-Judah but again, this is not 100% certain.  FYI, the ancient name for Bethlehem was Ephrath (Gen 35:19) and perhaps a section of the city was still referred to by that name.

And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
 And they took them wives of the women of Moab;
 the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth:
and they dwelled there about ten years.
(Rth 1:3-4)


We don't know how long he lived, if he died soon upon arrival or much later. What we do know is that the duration  of their stay was about 10 years until the following events transpired. They were in Moab a good part of their lives. Their settlement in this foreign land was not to be permanent. What this 10 year span may indicate is the length and depth of the famine in Israel and that conditions there did not invite an early return. While many would criticize Elimelech, I think that unless one feels the pangs of real grinding hunger they would be most unwise to judge him for leaving Israel... an Israel that may have been at the time been overcome with idolatry and evil. They stayed in Moab and ate and as the book shows us, Naomi at least still honored the God of their fathers even while in self-imposed exile. Matthew Henry has this comment to make which I think is overly critical of Elimelech but still worthy of consideration.

Elimelech's care to provide for his family, and his taking his wife and children with him, were without doubt commendable. If any provide not for his own, he hath denied the faith, 1Ti 5:8. When he was in his straits he did not forsake his house, go seek his fortune himself, and leave his wife and children to shift for their own maintenance; but, as became a tender husband and a loving father, where he went he took them with him, not as the ostrich, Job 39:16. But, 2. I see not how his removal into the country of Moab, upon this occasion, could be justified. Abraham and Isaac were only sojourners in Canaan, and it was agreeable to their condition to remove; but the seed of Israel were now fixed, and ought not to remove into the territories of the heathen. What reason had Elimelech to go more than any of his neighbours? If by any ill husbandry he had wasted his patrimony, and sold his land or mortgaged it (as it should seem, Rth 4:3, Rth 4:4), which brought him into a more necessitous condition than others, the law of God would have obliged his neighbours to relieve him (Lev 25:35); but that was not his case, for he went out full, Rth 1:21. - Matthew Henry

Again, I think his criticism is a bit unfair but not totally unjustified. But we have seen many other patriarchs move and sojourn in foreign lands for various reasons. I can find no reason to call his journey an open sin.

However verse four is a passage that has led many expositors to comment on the taking of foreign wives. For the most part, it was forbidden. But the strongest prohibitions were not against the Moabites but against the Cannanites. But we have seen many scriptures whereby marrying foreign women was prohibited and rebuked. But there are other views on this and here is what K &D has to say about this.

Marriage with daughters of the Moabites was not forbidden in the law, like marriages with Canaanitish women (Deu_7:3); it was only the reception of Moabites into the congregation of the Lord that was forbidden (Deu_23:4). - K&D
We should also keep in mind that Moab was a decedent of Lot, who was related to Abraham (his Uncle).

The sons then take wives for themselves among the Moabite women, Oprah and Ruth. There has been much debate about the names and their meanings. We cannot be sure exactly what they mean but Ruth meaning 'friend' seems to be about right. Orpah's meaning is less clear - Gazellle is how the Brown Driver Biggs dictionary renders it. Some have took it to mean a stiffening of the neck or a turning of the same, as it to signify her leaving of Naomi. But other renditions of the word are 'turning back', 'a mane',  or 'liberality' (Preachers Hermetical).

But what deserves comment here is that when her sons died, Naomi had entered into the class of the lowest caste of people - a childless widow. With no support mechanism in place, widows were dependent on the charity of others. This is one reason why our Lord when he was ministering here on earth spoke of widows with mercy and kindness. They were in those days, the truly helpless and woe to the person who mistreated them! God is surely an avenger of those who mistreat those who cannot help themselves.

We will continue our passage through the book of Ruth soon.

Blessings to you all in Christ,

Brother Mark



How Long? Not Long


Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers,
how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes:
and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye
 scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 
That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth,
from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias,
whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.Verily I say unto you,
All these things shall come upon this generation.
(Matthew 23:32-36 [KJVA])


Grace and peace to you all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am writing this brief little piece at the unction of the Lord. Many wonder how long before the 'high drama' of prophecy is fulfilled on our nation and world. Those who ask these questions often want date setting. Well, I am going to engage in some date setting here, but not with a human clock that uses months, dates and years.

The high drama of judgment upon America and yes, the world will only transpire when the measure of our sins is full. When the cup of abominations overflows
(Rev 17:4). This is a 'clock' of measurement of sins, not of time. Using this measurement, we know that when our sins are full, God will judge.

When God was speaking to Abram about his offspring, he made it clear that they would come back to where God spoke to him, but only after the Amorites' sin was full. The passage indicates that would not be for 400 years.


 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger
in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them
 four hundred years;  And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge:
and afterward shall they come out with great substance.  And thou shalt go to
thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again:
 for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

(Genesis 15:13-16 [KJVA])

There appears to be some spiritual level of wickedness that compels God to act against a nation or people. This is not done arbitrarily. In two separate instances in scripture we see how God deals with this kind of wickedness and actually double checks, if you will, to see if things are as bad as he thinks they are.

In Sodom, where is what the Lord said.

 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great,
and because their sin is very grievous;  I will go down now, and see whether they
have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me;
and if not, I will know.
(Genesis 18:20-21 [KJVA])

The Lord heard the cry of the sins of Sodom, but he wanted to double check. We all know what happened. God's messengers who were sent almost got gang raped by a crowd of violent perverts, young and old from all over the metropolis.

 
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom,
compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to
 thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 
And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 
And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.  Behold now, I have two
 daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out
unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men
do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. 
And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to
sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee,
 than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot,
 and came near to break the door.
(Genesis 19:4-9 [KJVA])

The Lord sent his angels down to see and they saw all they needed to see. Things were every bit as bad as the reports. Yes, even worse. The prophet Ezekiel, in his divinely inspired utterances makes clear some of the sins of Sodom, besides the sexual freakishness of the people, both old and young.


Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread,
and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither
did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty,
and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away
 as I saw good.
(Ezekiel 16:49-50 [KJVA])

The sins had to be great so that God could no longer ignore them. Moreover, God double checked on what was happening in Sodom.

Another instance where this checking is implied but not specifically stated is in the fall of Babylon under Belshazzar, who was partying it up with the court and saw a hand write on the wall. Daniel Chapter five begins with the big Royal bash.


 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords,
and drank wine before the thousand.  Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine,
commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father
Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem;
that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple
of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes,
his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.  They drank wine, and praised
the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
(Daniel 5:1-4 [KJVA])



They were partying it up. But also had the temerity to mix their festivities with a touch of blasphemy. They were going to have a good time and take all the holy things from the Temple and use them for the cups and praise the gods of mammon (wealth).

But as soon as they started to partake in their blasphemous celebrations, God sent them a message they could never forget. A hand wrote in the wall these words -  Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. The king was scared to death at what he saw and wanted to find out what it meant. Only the man of God could tell him. Daniel rebuked the king for his wantonness, his arrogance and the arrogance of the royal court. Then Daniel follows with a translation of what the message written into the wall meant.

 
And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom,
and finished it.  TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. 
Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a
chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he
should be the third ruler in the kingdom.  In that night was Belshazzar the
king of the Chaldeans slain.  And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being
 about threescore and two years old. 
(Daniel 5:25-31 [KJVA])

The words literally mean - Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin literally, “numbered, weighed, and dividers.” - [JFB]
We all know the rest of the story. But it is the very little things that I think people miss in passages like this, that are rather telling. That when God was numbering the kingdom in order to determine it's end, he did it twice. Mene is mentioned twice where as the Tekel and Upharsin only once.

Even the Lord, when judging a people with something so final goes back and double checks to make sure.

When a people's sins begin to fill the cup of judgment, he notices. I am fairly certain that God has a special group of angels/spiritual beings who run though the earth to see how things are and then reports their findings to the Lord (Zech 1:10-11). When the reports get too bad, the Lord goes and double checks to see if these things are as bad as his angels say. One of Job's miserable comforters touches on this, though is authority is a bit suspect as the Lord rebukes him later in that most interesting book.

Behold, he put no trust in his servants;
and his angels he charged with folly:
(Job 4:18)

See also Jude 1:6 where the angels rebelled. Simply put, God does not put an inordinate amount of trust in those who serve him. In large, important matters, he takes on the burden himself and makes sure.

At this point in time, our sins as a nation are not quite full. But America's continued drifting out of the sphere of Christ and into the hands of the foreign gods and foreign religions, we mimic ancient Israel and even Belshazzar, who lusted for finery and was willing to make a mockery of the living God for nothing more than a 'good time'.

Some twisted minds get a kick out of blasphemy. This one, God was not going to let pass - the sins of the nation had reached their full. I suspect we are closer to that point than many imagine, but the presence of so many Christians here withholds God's judgment, for the time being. I think of the big massive expensive bashes our last President had, often entertaining the homosexual and anti-Christian crowd because they poured so much money into his coffers.  I am not so much blasting Obama, this kind of thing is typical in DC where the rich feed off the taxes the poor man is forced to pay. And they do party, have sex and yes gay sex in various rooms of the White House. Things were so bad the janitors were picking up spent condoms in the white house bathrooms like rice off the floor of a wedding. This was the Obama you did not hear about in the MSM. Is it Obama's fault? Nope, his morality accurately reflected that of 21st century America. Sodom is in vogue, and Gomorrah is hip, God is out and satan is in.

But note what the judgment was for Belshazzar. He was removed within 24 hours from power and was killed. Darius then took over. But part of the judgment on Babylon at this point in time was not destruction, but that be divided. The finishing of it was apparently a reference to the blasphemous and wanton monarchy.

Do we see any trends in our nation today to split it up? Are there any secessionist movements in the country? I have pointed them out more than a few times here. The trends show no signs of abating. What? Do you think tension in the nation is going to rise or fall as a result of a Trump impeachment?

Yet the danger here that I see for many who serve the Lord is to desire to see the 'Day of the Lord'. Other than the act of redemption that shall be part of our inheritance for those called, chosen and faithful (Rev 17:14), on that day, that day is not something that we should desire.

 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you?
the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.  As if a man did flee from a lion,
 and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall,
and a serpent bit him.  Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light?
 even very dark, and no brightness in it?

(Amos 5:18-20 [KJVA])


Such a day is not to be desired. It is like a snare and one that will take in the whole world. Christ warned us about this snare and gave we, his servants and those who follow him a stern warning regarding it.


And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:34-36 [KJVA])


One message that I think is often missed in this passage is what the emphasis was that Christ gave us. That was that we all need to focus in on our own selves. We don't need to pull a Jonah and stand on the hillside wringing our hands with glee in the hopes that fire comes down and consumes sinners. Christ tells us to mind our own walk and to not get sidetracked with the pleasures and cares of this life.

Brothers, remember the Lord was not too pleased with Jonah for that attitude, so lets not let any of us adopt it.

Rather let us remember and internalize that this is still the age of grace. God is being gracious to mankind and his sinfulness so that he can get man to repent and change his ways. God still yearns for that repentance in the race of men and in our nation. Why? Because God does not want to judge us.

When he does, it is only because we have essentially given a righteous, holy God no other choice.



8 Mar

Saint Maria Catholic Church Suffers Second Attack of the Year

03/08/18 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on March 6, 2018, a lone gunman shot at the Saint Maria Catholic Church in Trabzon, Turkey. Last month, a homemade pipe bomb was placed in the church’s garden, but failed to explode. No injuries were reported with either incident. However, the bomb incident coincided with the 2006 anniversary of the assassination of Fr. Andrea Santoro.

Saint Maria has been repeatedly targeted since the assassination of Fr. Andrea Santoro in 2006. In 2011, the church was attacked because the church’s cross was illuminated. Shortly following the 2016 coup-attempt, the church was attacked by a group that damaged the building. Five people charged with placing a pipe bomb in the church’s garden last month have been released from custody.

“When we complain to the police, our share is decreasing and attacks are increasing,” a member of the congregation told Birgun following Tuesday’s attack. He added, “The church is being attacked, but the church and church community is seen as guilty. After the assassination of Santoro, there is a period of intense attacks.”

Christians in Turkey are pointing toward negative media attention about churches as a contributing factor in the rise of hate crimes such as the attacks on Saint Maria. In its 2017 annual report, Turkey’s Association of Protestant Churches wrote, “There was an increase in hate speech directed toward Christians in some national media outlets, in local media and in social media… Some churches became the direct subject of a news report and this raised concern in those churches and among their members.”

The report added, “Justice offices need to start official actions against hate crimes and speech, without needing an official compliant to be filed.”

Church members of Saint Maria have repeatedly complained about the lack of authority present to report problems experienced by the congregation. Overall, “they (the authorities) do not want to enter into the church… This has been going on for years,” a member of the community told news outlet T24.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “While we are thankful that no one from Saint Maria was injured by the gunman, the number of times that the church has been blatantly targeted is extremely worrying. It is not a coincidence that the church has been targeted twice in the last two months. In a country whose constitution provides for the freedom of worship, Saint Maria’s members should not have to live in fear of this kind of persecution.” - International Christian Concern

***
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.


Central African Republic: Church Elder Among Six Aid Workers Hacked to Death

A church elder who worked for UNICEF was one of six people killed during a recent ambush by armed men in northern Central African Republic.
Gabriel Ole, 66, was an elder at a Baptist church (Eglise Baptiste Doumbia) in Bangui, the capital.

He was among of a group of six workers – including two officials from the Ministry of Education, and three members of a local group (Bangui Sans Frontieres) that works with UNICEF – travelling to the north-western town of Markounda, near the Chad border, on 25 February, when their car was ambushed...

...The assailants are believed to be members of Mouvement National de Libération de Centrafrique (MNLC), an outfit of Séléka rebels active in the region.

The region has been plagued by violence since December, after fighting erupted between rival armed groups for the control of natural resources.- Continues At World Watch Monitor

Sweden Won't Investigate 512 Acts Of Religious Violence

These reports are mostly dealing with Christians who covert from Islam and are faced with threats and violence for having done so. We must remember that conversion is a crime in Islam. It is called Apostasy and in some places it is punished by death.

Nigeria’s Middle Belt Report: Fulani Militants Continue Attacks into February 2018

In February, International Christian Concern (ICC) documented at least 32 attacks by Fulani militants on Christians, which killed over 95 people and destroyed dozens of villages. These attacks spanned 11 different states and killed nearly 100 Christians. Last year, during this same period, there were only 10 attacks, which killed roughly 45 Christians. With more than twice as many Christians killed this year, there is a clear uptick in attacks. - Continues at  International Christian Concern

As More Christians Are Killed in Somalia, Number of Orphans Grows

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) Orphans in Somalia whose parents were killed for their faith by Islamic extremist, Al Shabaab rebels are becoming more numerous – and hungrier, an underground church leader said.

The pastor started a care center for the orphans three years ago in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as more children of secret Christians were orphaned.

“Last year we lost a Christian family killed by the Al Shabaab, and the number of children rose from 30 to 35,” he said. “The Al Shabaab are now hunting down the children in Mogadishu, and we have moved the care center to a bit safer location.”

The leader has taken the children in because they had nowhere else to go, but he lacks resources to take care of them – the Christian orphans are crying for food, he said.
“The children look devastated and malnourished, so we as a secret church do appeal to our brothers and sisters in the free world to consider extending a hand to these persecuted children,” the pastor said. - Continues at MorningStar News

Anti-Christian Crime Causes Increasing Concern in Germany

Germany's Federal police report numerous attacks and mostly in refugee facilities.

Investigation into Mass Grave of Christians Near Mosul

A mass grave holding the remains of 40 Christians has been found in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, reports Iraqi News.

Iraq’s second city was held by the Islamic State group for three years until its liberation by government forces in 2017. After capturing the city in 2014, IS warned Christians to “leave or face execution”.

The grave, in the west of the city, was found by security forces. According to the Syriac Orthodox Church, it contained the remains of “Christians who were kidnapped from the region… Some of them were women and children. They had small Christian crosses with them”. -  World Watch Monitor

6 Mar

The Devil In Your TV

The above link is about a new TV show that is appears to be a comedy show that mocks Christians. This story is one you don't want to miss as well as the other link to another TV series in it that clearly comes right out of the pit (a show called Lucifer). I cannot comment on either show, I have no cable and have not and will not see either.

Blasphemy and mockery of God? Well, here is what I wrote back to the reader who sent me the above link (and thank you so much for it!).

***

A sad day... but the worst is yet to come.

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies;
and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name,
 and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
(Rev 13:5-6)


The passage above shows us that the whole world will follow after and worship this system. See Rev Chapter 13 and 14.

The way is slowly being prepared for the coming system and men are being slowly trained to mock and laugh at God and his people.
Brother Mark


Global Jihad Watch

Violent Militant Islam is on the March. We as Christians must be fully aware of this most potent threat.

Burkina Faso’s Alarming Escalation of Jihadist Violence
The attacks were claimed on 3 March by the Group to Support Muslims and Islam, known by its Arabic acronym JNIM, which is part of a wider coalition in the Sahel linked to al-Qaeda.

Operations were carried out by two groups of at least four to five assailants each. While the incidents were confined to the city center, they hit two symbolic targets at the heart of power in the country: the army headquarters and the French Embassy. The official death toll is sixteen, including nine assailants. Reliable sources indicated more than 30 dead. The number of wounded is around 85. - (International Crisis Group)
Countering Jihadist Militancy in Bangladesh
With political polarisation reaching historic highs and local jihadist groups forging links with transnational movements, new forms of militancy threaten security and religious tolerance in Bangladesh. The government should reinforce the capability of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, and build political consensus on tackling the menace. (International Crisis Group)
Indonesia: Christians flogged in public for playing banned children's game
This story is also covered at this site.
Seattle Man Stands Trial For Four 'Jihad' Killings

Canadian Who Wanted To Attack US Says Jihad 'Acceptable'

Missouri: Muslim Woman Pleads Guilty Of Threatening Others for ISIS

India: Jihad In Small Squads Cited As New Threat



3 Mar

The Book Of Ruth - Introduction


Today, we are going to begin our look at the book of Ruth, beginning next week, God willing, we will get back to the Thursday Bible Commentary day (for insider). But it's time to get back to the scriptures. There is an awful lot going on right now in our world but frankly, I want to take a break from our crazy world and get back to the firm foundation of our God and his written word.

***

The book of Ruth gives us a story that takes place in the times of the Judges. When was that? Roughly it was the period of time that was between the age of Joshua, when he conquered the land on behalf of the children of Israel and the time when Saul was anointed king. The Judges were men who were called by God at specific times to save Israel from her enemies. There were twelve of them. Actually 13 but one, Abimelich was not called of God. They were often temporary and regional rulers who were raised up for a short period of time and there was no 'line of succession' with regards to them.

These historical record show us the rather disorganized and abstract form of leadership and rulership that was in Israel during this time. It was not until the days of Samuel, that some measure of religious and political stability seems to have come into being. A judge was not a magistrate in our common vernacular he was a deliverer first and foremost, of Israel from her oppressors. But at the time, there was a reduced sense of national unity. Some have called this period Israel's Iron age. There was a lot of idolatry, apostasy and other goings on that displeased the Lord. The one thing that seemed to unite them however was when they sinned and God brought trouble upon them, then they did come together to seek the deliverance of the Lord.  But this was a barbaric time and many acts of a bloodcurdling nature often took place. This is the historical backdrop of the book. In fact, many scholars look upon the book of Ruth as an appendix to the book of Judges.

The book of Ruth while written during this time gives us a contrasting view of what life was like for ordinary folks in those days. Away from the scheming kings, wicked idolaters and stories of human dismemberment which have been recorded for us in those times, the book of Ruth shows us a simpler life and the way the humble and godly lived in these times. Here is how the Cambridge Bible describes the book.


It introduces us to the peaceful life of the home and of the village, with its sorrows and joys, its wholesome industry and kindly virtues; a life which is by no means barren of heroic qualities, but they take the form of unselfish affection and generosity and loyalty to the ties of kindred; a simple community, tenacious of long established customs, and penetrated throughout by a spirit of unaffected piety. No doubt the picture is idealized; but the author, so far from inventing facts which never existed, is evidently describing a life with which he was familiar. How true to nature are his incidental touches! the excitement of the women-folk over Naomi’s return and their interest in the birth of the child, the grave approval of the elders sitting in the gate, the cautious prudence of the ‘near kinsman.’

Other parts of the Old Testament create a far less favourable impression of the religion of the people; their superstitions and crude beliefs, even their wilful unfaithfulness which stirred the indignation of the prophets, confront us again and again. But in the later literature, especially in the Wisdom Books and in some of the Psalms, we find plenty of evidence to shew that there must have been many homes in Israel beside those of Naomi and Boaz which were hallowed by the fear of God and love of family, many a village beside Beth-lehem in which an act of disinterested charity would win approval ‘in the gate.’ For such companion-pictures to Ruth we can point to Job_1:1-5; Job 29, Psalms 127, 128, 133, Pro_31:10-31, Tobit 2, Jdt_8:1-8, Sir_40:18-27. The religious homes of which we catch a glimpse at the beginning of the New Testament, homes like those of Elisabeth and Zechariah and of the Holy Family, could trace an ancestry of many generations in ordinary Jewish life. - The Cambridge Study Bible


I think this commentary also makes a very important point.

At the same time the story afforded him an opportunity to bring out certain further points. One was the fact that a Moabite woman, the daughter of an alien race and faith, could be a pattern of the highest virtues, and faithful to the customs of her adopted country (Rth_2:11, Rth_3:9 f.). Another was the commendable piety of a next of kin marriage with a childless widow (ch. 4)... - Cambridge Study Bible
The name Ruth is the name of the principle character in the book rather than the author. We don't know for certain who wrote the book. Scholars have debated the issue for millennia. Some have said that Eli, the priest wrote it. Others say Nathan and even Hezekiah. But ancient Jewish authorities attribute the book to Samuel and this is one of the reasons that some see Ruth as an appendix to the book of Judges. If Samuel did indeed write this, one reason he did so may have been to establish David as being of the proper bloodline to rule Israel.

Chart From Adam
Clark's Commentary

For Christians the book shows us a part of the lineage of Christ.

What is striking about this book is that there are no mystical, allegorical or otherwise deep spiritual meanings. The book is one of pure simplicity, both in its meaning and its characters. But one very important truth that can be gleaned from this book is that God has love for all people's. Those who honor him as Ruth did are in turn honored by the Lord. John Gill notes in his introduction,

...(the) conversion of Ruth the Moabitess may be considered as a shadow, emblem, and pledge of the conversion of the Gentiles. Many things besides may be learnt from this little book, as the different circumstances of good people in this life, and the particular providence of God respecting them. It furnishes out examples of bearing afflictions patiently, of industry, courteousness, kindness to strangers, and young converts; and none can doubt of the divine authority of this book, that considers the use made of it in the genealogies of Christ by the Evangelists Matthew and Luke.  - John Gill
Next installment, we will start the book and look at the first few versus. We will spend quite some time on it and where needed it will be detailed, though not as much as the piece on Nehemiah. I think what may take more time is the research and explanation of some of the customs of the time.

So the good Lord willing, I will indeed start the verse by verse commentary on the book of Ruth.


Grace and peace to you all in Christ Jesus!!




1 Mar

Chinese billionaire Sees a Goldmine in French Fields

This is a wheat field already quietly purchased as reported by FarmLandGrab.com. They are buying many key things around the world. The hope in the above purchase is to make flour for Chinese bakeries.

China knows it needs to feed its people, so they are busy buying up agricultural lands to do so.

Will we in the west eventually go hungry while there food is being shipped overseas?


With Xi in charge in China be assured, the Chinese will eat.

You and me? That remains to be seen or perhaps more importantly how much we will eventually have to pay to eat.


More here.

28 Feb

Bible Burning in Southern India Shows Depth of Hostility Toward Christians

HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Hindu extremists in southern India issued harsh threats to Christians distributing Bibles before snatching their car keys, taking Bibles out of their vehicle and setting the Scripture on fire, sources said.

Christians associated with Gideons International, all senior citizens, told Morning Star News that their advanced age did not temper the vitriol they received in Singotam village, Nagar Kurnool District, in Telangana state on Jan. 21.

“From now on, if any of you distribute Bibles, we will attack you brutally [till your genitalia are damaged],” one of the Hindus warned the Christians, according to a video the extremists took of the attack. “How dare you promote Christianity?”... Story Continues At Morning Star News

Six Counter-terrorism Lessons From Syria

The war has taught us many things. This short piece gives us some key lessons.

Multiple Investigations In Florida Shooting Police Department

...and these are NOT minor charges.

The Many Roads To Bankruptcy

This piece by ProPublica talks about how traffic tickets ruin peoples lives. Things like tickets for untinted windows and not having an appropriate sticker.

This sad, but a true state of affairs in America.

The ABA did a piece on these fines and their effect on the poor here.

Another interesting paper over at Texas A&M can be found here.

This is a sad state of affairs and as we can see, it effects a lot of folks who have meager economic means.

More here.
Prominent Chinese Christian Lawyer Li Baiguang Dies Suddenly in a Military Hospital

02/26/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on February 26, prominent Chinese Christian lawyer Li Baiguang died suddenly due to liver failure in PLA Bayi Hospital, Nanjing. He died at the age of 49 and is survived by his wife, Xu Hanmei, and their eight-year-old son.

According to his cousin, Liu Peifu, who is also his partner at their law firm, Li died of final stage liver cancer, though he appeared to be healthy beforehand.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Liu said, "He had never gone through a physical exam before, so he didn't know that he had the condition. He was sent to the hospital after he felt ill. He only learned of it (last stage liver cancer) these past two days."

Reuters reported that the hospital where he died declined to comment.

Liu also stated that Li was not detained by the authorities before his death.

However, his longtime friend Bob Fu of China Aid finds his death suspicious given that Li was just in Washington D.C., attending the National Prayer Breakfast, at the beginning of the month. "He did not have liver related illness before and his death raises a lot of questions," Fu said. "Chinese regime should be fully held accountable."

Last October, Li was kidnapped by more than 10 Public Security Bureau plainclothes officials in Zhejiang province when he was defending victims of land grabs. He was beaten severely and threatened with dismemberment should he refuse to leave. They abandoned him on the side of the road after leaving him with bruises and soft tissue contusions.

Li Baiguang, a devoted Christian and human rights lawyer, took on hundreds of rights defense cases in the past decade. He was arrested multiple times for his work. He received the Democracy Award from the National Endowment for Democracy in 2008. His dedication to freedom and human rights was also recognized by former president George W. Bush. Last year, China Aid presented Li with the 2016 Courage Award for Defense of Religious Freedom in China. Other recipients include renowned Christian lawyers Zhang Kai, Gao Zhisheng, and Li Heping.

Gina Goh, ICC's Regional Manager, said, "We are saddened by the death of Mr. Li, a brother in Christ who stood up for persecuted Christians in China and became persecuted by the authorities himself. He will be remembered as a fighter for the oppressed and an advocate for freedom and democracy. While we keep his family in prayer, forget not those Christian lawyers who are still suffering at the hands of the communist regime."
For interviews with Gina Goh, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

 

# # #
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.
Let us all pray for out Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ!

Law And Disorder News

Florida 4th DCA Rules Victorious Foreclosure Victims Cannot Collect Legal Fees From The Foreclosing Party

Judge Demands DOJ Produce Exculpatory Evidence In Flynn Trial
This is a rather interesting turn of events. I think the Judge suspects some shady dealing and when one considers how the DOJ messed up the Bundy case by withholding such evidence, he probably wants to make sure. I think it wise. Clearly they've got problems over at DOJ with hyper-partisanship. The Judge is probably making sure Flynn was not railroaded by Hillary's agents over at DOJ and they don't make a monkey out of him.
A Bankruptcy 'Out' For Student Loans?

Not Convicted, Sent To Solitary

Man eluded deputies for days before gunning down Prince George’s Co. officer

Iranian Christians, Other Religious Minorities, Turn to Austria for Help After U.S. Denies Asylum

Six wounded in shootings across Chicago

Md. high schoolers arrested, guns seized after alleged talk of a massacre

Bronx boy arrested after threatening to shoot up school on Kik app, trying to buy guns online

California student arrested with two assault rifles and 90 magazines

Police confiscate over 1,000 pills from 'Kingpin Granny'




26 Feb


Violence: The Last Resort Of The Godless

(This was written last April)

Violence is marked for these end times. Real violence. Look at what happened in the UK just today, some guys mowed down people on the street killing some and wounding many others. The word for violence in the Old Testament is this one.

H2555
חָמָס
châmâs
khaw-mawce'
From H2554; violence; by implication wrong; by metonymy unjust gain: - cruel (-ty), damage, false, injustice, X oppressor, unrighteous, violence (against, done), violent (dealing), wrong.
Total KJV occurrences: 60


Which is based on this one.

H2554
חָמַס

châmas
khaw-mas'
A primitive root; to be violent; by implication to maltreat: - make bare, shake off, violate, do violence, take away violently, wrong, imagine wrongfully.
Total KJV occurrences: 8


Because our world is more and more filled with violence and I think that more and more disaffected people are going to start resorting to it to get what they they they deserve and to protect themselves, I want to use this section to talk just a bit about it. Remember that Christ told us they will afflict and kill us just because of our faith in Jesus. I see violence as being more and more the way men will begin to 'solve' their problems.

The violence of evil men seems to be a protective covering. Yes, it does. It is so deceptive that that illusion almost ensnared David. Aspah wrote David's near slip in Psalm 73. Here is part of it.

A Psalm of Asaph.
Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue
walketh through the earth.
(Psa 73:1-9)

Men of wealth and violence - they are indeed protected. They prosper and even as the Psalmist says, open their mouth against heaven (blasphemy). Then they get arrogant. Today, this is very much how many of the rich men behave today. It does not matter if they live in the West or the Islamic world, China or in Russia. Rich men have a very different way of looking things. They know that the richer you are, the fewer laws you have to obey. It's why so many revile God, who is the ultimate lawgiver.

But violence is not just a characteristic of the rich. Ezekiel when he prophesied talked about the violence even in the streets of God's chosen.


Then he said unto me,
Hast thou seen this, O son of man?

Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit
the abominations which they commit here? for they have
filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke
 me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare,
neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears
with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
(Eze 8:17-18)

The violence and abominations they committed was going to directly result in God's wrath and prayers that would not be answered no matter how loud they cried to him.

Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt,
and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria,
and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed
in the midst thereof. For they know not to do right, saith the LORD,
who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. Therefore
thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round
about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee,
and thy palaces shall be spoiled.
(Amo 3:9-11)



Amos warns that God has an adversary ready for those who love violence and store up their stolen loot in their palaces. This clearly is directed at the wealthy as poor folks did not live in Palaces/Castle's  Amos goes on to speak against these men who seem to have that 'normalcy bias' and put the day of woe in the far off distance. Here is what Amos says in Chapter 6

Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches,
and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;
That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick,
 like David; That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments:
but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive,
and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.
The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself, saith the LORD the God of hosts,
 I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver
up the city with all that is therein. And it shall come to pass,
if there remain ten men in one house,
 that they shall die.

(Amo 6:3-9)

Amos shows us the mentality of his rich contemporaries. The further they put off the evil say, the more evil they did. They lounged about having a good time, listening to the Bronze Age 'Lounge Music' sipping wine and could care less about how bad things were for their brethren.

Micah shows us how violence, fraud and falsehoods are all interrelated.

Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked,
and the scant measure that is abominable?
Shall I count them pure with
the wicked balances,
and with the bag of deceitful weights?
For the rich
men thereof are full of violence,
and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies,

 and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
 Therefore also will I make thee

sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.
Thou shalt eat,
but not be satisfied;
and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee;

and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver;
and that which thou deliverest
will I give up to the sword.
 Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap;

thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil;
and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine. For the statutes of Omri are kept,
and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels;
that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing:
therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.
(Mic 6:10-16)


The part about Ahab and Omri, these were two wicked kings (1Kings16:25). In short, they chose to walk in the wicked traditions of past apostates. The Lord would deal with them.

God has not changed nor will he. He has made it plain that he hates this kind of violence against the poor, he hates deceits. In the last days, we will see much violence, particularly against his people. This is why the prayer of the slain saints is one that we should take note of. God did not rebuke them for it, but rather told them to wait - there is a set number who must be so killed and then he would move against their persecutors, not before.

Brothers, I wish I had a more positive view of our future and that of man, but I don't. Man will continue to do what he does best, make himself comfortable at the expense of someone else. Violence is just one of the means the powerful use to get those comforts and pleasures. Deceit is another. You can always tell a person who is under Satanic influence, these two characteristics will sooner or later show up in their behavior.

The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly,
even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of
wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess,
a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm
against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men,
that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD:
and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh
 as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to
deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land
shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even
a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
(Zep 1:14-18)


This update may be a but different that others. But I wanted to look at some trends in our world for the ones we are seeing probably have no human solution to them. Confusion, perplexity and indecision I think will continue to mark our leaders reaction to what is coming upon the earth and as long as they ignore the Laws that God has laid down for us, the person and work of Jesus Christ and often even their own conscience's, solutions to our problems will continue to evade them. There is too much acrimony, hatred, greed, strife and violence. The results of which James lays out when he tells us of worldly wisdom that ascends from hell.


Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?
let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not,
and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above,
but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is,
 there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is
from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be
 intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality,
and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
of them that make peace.
(Jas 3:13-18)


Let us be of those who love righteousness, seeks peace and kindness rather than dishonest gain, violence and hatred.

Grace and Peace to you all in Christ,

Brother Mark


22 Feb

Every Mass Shooting Has One Thing In Common... and It's Not Weapons

The above like is a little dated, but it is so very, very timely. It comes from a gun enthusiast site.

I admit, I am just the opposite. I personally don't like guns... at all, but will never deny anyone else their right to own them. I would not deny anyone else their right to speak freely, even if I don't agree with them, or their right to worship God in their own way, though I do not serve their gods. It will be a dark day in this country when people can no longer defend themselves. 

The Democrats and others from the left are trying to ride the corpses of all of those people who were killed the other day to further their narrow political agenda. This, when the issue, the REAL issue is one that touches on a multi-billion dollar industry that no one in Congress has the 'stones' to confront.

Before anyone who reads this gets carried away by elitists who have long worked overtime to take any method of self-defense from the people away from the people, I humbly request you read this and cogitate on it before you allow yourselves to be manipulated.

If the these two parties really care about these kids rather than just surfing their corpses to support a political narrative and agenda, then they will look at this issue as well as guns. But the Democrats in particular seem to think 'corpse surfing' rather than corpse preventing is more to their political taste and election year coffers.

NAZI FIREARMS LAW AND THE DISARMING OF THE GERMAN JEWS

Nazi Firearms Law and the Disarming of the German Jews

Why did the Nazi's remove arms from the Jews? So that they could not fight back when they were hauled off to the death camps. First they took the guns... THEN they hauled them away.

Look... I own no guns. Never have. I don't like them. Never have. But understanding history as I do and what man is capable of, this I know. If people don't have the ability to protect themselves, unscrupulous and vicious men will victimize them just as surely as the sun rises in the morning at sets at night. We would be wise to remember the lessons of history BEFORE you are hauled off for the same reasons the Jews were.

The founders of this nation put that right to bear arms in our constitution for a reason.


The right to chemically alter a person's brain before it is fully formed is not a 'right' that makes the slightest sense to me.


REPOST



15 Dec

The Rich Man And The Poor Man

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple
 and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a
certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table:
moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And
it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into
 Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off,
and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham,
have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger
 in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy
good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted,
and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed:
so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can
they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore,
father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren;
 that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham
saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said,
Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded,
though one rose from the dead.

(Luk 16:19-31)
Upon reading some of the stories on the less fortunate and then seeing how the rich in some of these places were living it up and eating in posh restaurants, this passage came to mind after I posted those stories.

Despite many false teachings on this passage I will correct them here. This was no parable. The passage did not begin this with the customary, introduction when he spoke in them (Mat_13:3; Mat_13:10; Mat_13:13; Mat_13:34; Mat_13:35; Mat_13:53; Mat_21:45; Mat_22:1; Mar_3:23; Mar_4:2; Mar_4:11; Mar_4:13; Mar_4:33; Mar_12:1; Luk_8:10.) Second, Christ did not use personal names when speaking in parables for they were meat to be allegorical. Third, there was a person who was named Lazaraus who was poor and who did indeed die (John 11:14) and did indeed come back from the dead.

Let those who are rich and have shown callousness towards the poor, particularly the righteous poor whom the Lord loves keep this parable in mind. The rich man was deeply concerned about his family and did not want them to come to that place.

Instead, he was told that they had Moses and the prophets and they would not believe even if someone rose from the dead.

God performed two such miracles, one with Lazarus, another with Christ Jesus.

They still would not believe.

Consider again what God has in store for those who show contempt and disdain for he poor man.

But if you are lucky and God smiles upon you rich men, he may take all that wealth (and with it the cold arrogance) away from such people and teach them the transitory nature of such wealth and perhaps in so doing, they will repent and not have to go to the place where the rich man went.



20 Feb

It's not Just the Terrorists: al-Sisi's Government Persecutes Egypt's Christians

A look at the happenings in Egypt under Sisi. All is not well. This piece is done by MEF and the same author who does the detailed monthly persecution stories that are often seen on the web.

Christian Teen Arrested for Sharing Allegedly Blasphemous Content on Facebook in Pakistan

Hundreds of Christian Families Flee Potential Mob Violence

02/20/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Patras Masih, an 18-year-old Pakistani Christian from Shahdra, a neighborhood located outside of Lahore, was accused of committing blasphemy on Monday, February 19. Following the accusation, a mob of hundreds of local Muslim radicals gathered outside the neighborhood, demanding that Masih be arrested and publicly hanged.
 
According to local Christians, the blasphemy allegation stems from a social media post Masih shared on his Facebook account approximately two months ago. The Facebook post included an image of an Islamic symbol local Muslims found blasphemous.
 
On Monday, February 19, news of the blasphemous Facebook post spread throughout the neighborhood and instigated the formation of a mob. Under the leadership of a local Islamic political party, Labbaik-Ya-Rasool Allah, the mob blocked Ferozepur road, the main road leading to Shahdra, chanting slogans against Masih and other Christians. The mob also threatened to set Masih's house on fire.
 
Following these protests, Masih was arrested by police and has been charged with committing blasphemy against Islam. Prior to arresting Masih, police also arrested Masih's father, Indrias Masih, as well as Pastor Safiniya, the pastor of Bithynia Church in Shahdra.
 
Tensions in Shahdra remain high. Approximately 100 Christian families, including Masih's family, have fled Shahdra, fearing further violence. In response, police have been deployed to Shahdra and charged with preventing further mob actions.
 
In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are widespread and often motivated by personal vendettas or religious hatred. In the past 30 years, more than 1,500 individuals have been accused of committing blasphemy. Religious minorities, including Christians, make up the majority of these accusations despite the fact that religious minorities only make up 3.6% of Pakistan's total population.
 
William Stark, ICC's Regional Manager, said, "Our thoughts and prayers at ICC go out to the Christians of Shahdra as they face this difficult situation. The abuse of Pakistan's notorious blasphemy laws must be curbed. Too often these laws have been a tool in the hands of extremists seeking to stir up religiously motivated violence against minority communities. Without re(International Christian Concern)al reform, religious minorities, including Christians, will face more false blasphemy accusations and the extreme violence that accompanies them."

For interviews with William Stark, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org


# # #
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.


Church in Khartoum Destroyed Despite Pending Court Case

Sudanese Government Continues Long History of Religious Persecution

02/13/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the government of Sudan demolished a church belonging to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Churches (SPEC) in Elhaj Yousif, North Khartoum on Sunday, February 11. The government also confiscated all Bibles and other church belongings. The pastor in charge of the church, Rev. Abdul Harim, confirmed the incident.
 
He said, "Today the government ordered the forcible demolition and takeover of our church, despite a pending court case where we are contending against attempted re-possession of the church compound to a private Muslim developer. The bulldozers and a contingent of police officers stormed our church immediately after our morning service and started taking furniture, chairs, and Bibles outside and then broke down the church building."
 
Rev. Kuwa Shamal, the head of outreach for the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), lamented that the existence of Christian churches in Sudan is at risk. "This is a rogue policy by the government and we stand with our brothers to condemn the demolition. Church work in Khartoum is facing a serious setback because the Islamic government doesn't want us to preach the Gospel and worship freely. This church has been on the disputed plot for over 30 years. Where was the owner all that time?"
 
Pastor Yahia Abdelrahim, who was evicted from his church-owned home in Omdurman on August 15, 2017, disclosed his frustration to ICC. "Evictions and demolitions of church properties must be stopped. If there is a court case pending judgment, why did the government move in to bring down the place of worship and make away with church belongings? We as the Sudan Christian leaders are very upset by this heinous act and we pray that that this will end someday.  We are not cowed at all and we shall continue to lift the name of the Lord in Sudan."
  19
The demolition comes just a week after seven church leaders of the SPEC were fined for protesting against the state confiscation of their churches. The government of Sudan has been arresting Christians and handing over church compounds to individual Muslim businessmen who claim ownership of the plots.  Rev. Kuwa Shamal and five other leaders of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) have also been engaged in a court case with the government after they were demanded to hand over church leadership to the government.
 
"There are many cases in court and many Christians in jail because of the struggle for freedom of worship and rightful ownership of church land. We have been appearing in court for four times now to refuse transference of our church ownership and leadership to a state body and the next hearing will be on March 6. We hope the Lord will favor us and our plea granted," Rev. Shamal said.
 
ICC's Regional Manager, Nathan Johnson, stated, "The government of Sudan has long desired an end to Christianity within its borders. It has worked tirelessly to destroy all traces of the Christian faith and worship. They continue to harass and persecute Christian leaders and followers on a daily basis. These human rights violations must be stopped and the leaders of this government must be held accountable for their tyrannical reign."
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

 

# # #
You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.


19 Feb

Nigeria: Armed Gangs Wipe Out 15 Christian Villages

Islamic radicals have been very active in Nigeria, groups such as the Fulani. This attack appears to have been aimed and cleaning out all signs of Christianity in the targeted villages.

25 Villages have so far been destroyed in this part of Nigeria this year.

Islamic State Takes Credit For Russian Church Shooting

Five killed when a Gunman hits Orthodox Church. France24/AFP has their story here.
AP's (via the Toronto Star) story can be found in the above link.

Ever since the Russians went into Syria to clean out the IS, they have come under fierce attack by the terror organization.

More are threatened.

Iranian Christians request prayer for two more Christian converts in prison

(MEConcern) Naser was arrested, along with three Azerbaijani Christians, at a wedding party in June 2016. The Azerbaijanis were released on bail in November 2016 and returned to their home country. Following a court hearing on 23 May 2017 (which the Azerbaijani Christians did not attend), all four were sentenced to ten years' imprisonment on charges related to undermining national security through illegal house church activity. The sentence was upheld by appeals court Branch 36 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on 12 November 2017. Naser is now serving his ten year sentence in Ward 8 of Evin Prison, Tehran.

Ali Amini was arrested at his workplace in Tabriz on 10 December 2017 and remains detained in Tabriz Central prison, although he has not yet been charged with any crime. Security agents raided his workplace, confiscating his laptop and mobile phone. Ali is the father of two small children and originally came to faith in Jesus Christ before the 1979 revolution.

Please pray that:

a. The Lord will sustain and encourage Naser, Ali and their families
b. Ali will be released without being charged
c. Naser will not have to serve the full ten year sentence
d. The rights of Christians in Iran - whether members of Iran's indigenous Christian communities or converts to Christianity - will be respected and upheld and that Christians would not need to fear serving long prison sentences on account of their Christian faith and practice

---------------------------------

Middle East Concern
meconcern.org
twitter.com/MiddleEConcern
facebook.com/middleeastconcern

URL for this prayer request: http://meconcern.org/2018/02/19/iran-christians-recently-imprisoned-in-tehran-and-tabriz/

15 Feb

US Intel Chief: National Debt Poses Dire National Security Threat

The Hill (above link) gives us his statements before Congress. But no one is going to listen, least of all his boss, the President. The House, Senate and WH all keep borrowing money with the same reckless abandon as a junkie squirts heroin into his veins...

... with the same disastrous results.

The people? They are even crazier than the leaders. They don't care....
... yet.

The painful withdrawals have not set in. Ever seen a junkie coming off an addiction?

It is NOT pretty. It won't be pretty when America is forced to rid itself of its debt addiction and that day may not be as far off as many think. As the months pass, keep your eyes on Treasury markets and what the US is forced to pay to borrow money.

Sanity has been banished from Washington as 'unpatriotic'.

More here.

You may not like the heroin analogy, but it is a good one. America is addicted to debt. We cannot stop borrowing money and as each day passes, we need just a little bit more to keep the same high.

That is addiction in any man's book. It is almost always coupled with a firm denial that one is addicted, when anyone with two eyes in their head can see otherwise.


I have talked about the debt and market situation for insiders will continue to with this new budget and new factors entering in to the equation. Anyone who wants to keep eating and a roof over his head needs to step out of their partisan crib and sandbox, put on their grown up pants and LEARN HOW TO COUNT and stop voting with your partisan reflexes and start using your own God given brains. For many Americans this will be a radical change.

I hold both parties in equally responsible for this mess and in equally low regard. If you want to know just one reason why, just look at the 20 trillions in debt and the interest payments on it brought to you by both parties... and the voters who put them in there.

So to you GOPers who want to blame the Dems and vice versa, you need to reclaim your brain and once you do, start to use it in ways that reflect reality rather than ridiculous partisan reflexes.

Source: Treasury/Fed




Source: US Treasury


This is the money we have to spend on interest on the debt we have already accumulated. Before one dime get spent on salaries, defense, education, social security or medicare, the debt monster must (and will) get fed first. The President, Congress and the Senate just voted to make the problem considerably worse.

China does not need to worry much about dethroning the US. Just let the Americans destroy their own economy with mindless spending and their time on foolish partisan-political claptrap.

Xi as well as a host of others nations who seek to replace us as global leader must be splitting their sides at the leaders of this country and their behavior. Who needs a Chinese comedy channel when you can watch your enemies destroy themselves in such a side splitting fashion?


America's financial leaders remind me of a quote from the movie Wall Street about a fool and his money.

Hard work, innovation and God's blessings made this nation the top economic power in the world.

America's continuing education in the colleges and universities of folly, willful ignorance, perversions, excess (of every variety), violence, hatred of God and indolence will separate us from both our wealth and the blessings that come from the hand of the Lord.

Look I know no one NO ONE wants to hear this. Like a junkie who is basking in his high right after his latest injection, he simply does not want to hear about getting off the stuff and the painful withdrawals....

He is having much too much fun while those chemicals mess with his brain.
13 Feb

Hope

I hope the last few days of updates have not upset or depressed anyone here. The emphasis here on war (the last few days insiders have had extended updates on wars and the threat of it globally) is in no way going to be a permanent fixture. But I did want to delve into the issue these past few days because the world and its leaders seem determined to start one.

But we Christians have reason for hope. Real hope, not pie in the sky, but the hope of a God who has a long and venerable track record of keeping his promises to those love him and are faithful to him. Not in the way the world understand these things. They want a magic fairy or a genie who will cater to their every lust and whim. But we have a God who has an eternal purpose and has chosen to use us to help bring that purpose about. God gives each and every man woman and child who serves him in love and faith exceedingly wonderful promises.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge
of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and
 precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers
of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that
 is in the world through lust.
(2Pe 1:3-4)


Let me tell you that God is real and if you love him as I know he loves me and all who serve him, he will show you things unlike anything your eyes have ever seen. Many, many years ago, God gave me just a glimpse of paradise (heaven) I have never forgotten it nor shall I. Many times the Lord would visit me in very powerful ways and speak to me and guide me when I was very young in the Lord. Now that I am older he does not need to do that.

I look at those things like I do a loving father guiding a small child by the hand to teach him to walk. Now that I am older, such actions by the Lord are unnecessary. It does not mean he loves me less, just that he speaks to adults in the Lord in different way than he does with infants and small children in the Lord.

At times this walk can be hard, very hard. When friends forsake you, try and stab you in the back some family members mock you and treat you like dung, it can be difficult. many Christians are facing these things and much worse brothers - get used it it, it is part of the heritage of those who serve the Lord. Persecution, reviling and even hatred of us is guaranteed. But I know what God has in store for those who love him and stay the course towards salvation in Jesus Christ.

I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago,
(whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body,
 I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body,
 I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise,
 and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

(2Co 12:2-5)


Paul too had such a vision/experience. What I experienced was this - in some form - I was there. In fact, I can remember wondering if I had died and how I got there. I was there only for a moment and one thing that I can tell you that overwhelmed me - it was a sense of peace, total tranquility - all stress worries and threats to safety health, property you name it... there were gone - totally gone!! Once the Lord touched me, the vision ended. In that few moments many things were revealed to me without word that as I look back now show me that God was warning me of some things ahead as I got older.

Now this was not a vision I had. Like Paul I can say I do not know if I was in the body or not. I have had visions before and when God gives them to me, I heed them. Sometimes they are clear warnings, other times they are a signal for change. If God gives you a vision brothers, ensure that it is from God and if it is heed it, God does not speak to his people with idle messages. There is something important God is trying to convey to you. Take heed to it. God too can speak to you in dreams. I have known folks who could dream things that invariably came to pass. So heed me brothers and sisters, when God wants to get a message to you personally he can use these ways of doing it.

For those whose only hope is in this troubled bloodstained planet, they are men who are most miserable. We have a hope brothers and that hope is with God in a new kingdom, with a new king who will remake the order of all things in the image of righteousness, justice truth and peace. When our king returns, we shall be like him.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
 that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world
knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved,
now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear
what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man
that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
(1Jn 3:1-3)


Paul gives a good witness in the book of acts, from which I will quote a bit of his testimony before Felix, the Roman Procurator.

But this I confess unto thee,
 that after the way which they call heresy,
so worship I the God of my fathers,

believing all things which are written
in the law and in the prophets:

 And have hope toward God, which
they themselves also allow,
that there shall be a resurrection
of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
And herein do
I exercise myself, to have always a conscience
void of offence toward God,

 and toward men.
(Act 24:14-16)

We have a hope brothers in Christ, to obtain the resurrection of the dead (the first resurrection - let the reader understand the difference!).

Why am I writing this today? Reading all the news today, particularly about war can be troubling. I know it is for me. I have to write on it and digging down in the details about some of the things that go on sometimes turns my stomach and other times makes be very very sad. But what I will never do is give up hope. For lost man who refuses to repent, they are the only ones who truly have no hope. But for we, the redeemed of God we have a hope, an eternal one.


The hope of the righteous shall be gladness:
but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
(Pro 10:28)


The wicked is driven away in his wickedness:
but the righteous hath hope in his death.
(Pro 14:32)



Grace and peace to you all in Christ Jesus!!!

Brother Mark



8 Feb

Psalm 130



A Song of degrees.
Out of the depths
have I cried unto thee,
 O LORD.

(Psa 130:1)



This Psalm, I think is slightly different that the Psalms of degree's we have done before in that this one appears to be more in the form of a prayer. From beginning to end, it appears to be a prayer that is uttered by one soul who is in deep trouble. Here the Psalmist begins by telling of two things. First he is in the 'depths' and second that he cried to God. The Hebrew word definition for depths (deep) does not provide any further enlightenment on the word deep. But the word could have many connotations here for the reader. It could mean the depths of sin or it could mean a low and impoverished estate. It could mean a literal place like Jeremiah was placed when he was prophesying in the name of the Lord and his enemies attempted to do away with him; or Jonah, when he was in the sea in the belly of the great fish. It could mean one of God's holy men who were cast in prisons and dungeons for speaking in the name of the Lord. The deep could have many connotations and the lack of specificity of the kinds of deep in the passage I think is an indication that there are many kinds of deep by which this can be applied. If you are in deep distress, deep poverty, in a deep dark cell like the Psalmist, you can cry out to the Lord.

But the whole Psalm could easily apply to the nation of Israel when she slipped into sin and rebellion and this is probably the connotation that fits best since this is considered one of the Psalms that was sung by Jewish pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem.

Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive
 to the voice of my supplications.
(Psa 130:2)


One thing I think many people do that I think is unwise. They assume that anyone who prays is heard by God. There are many examples in scripture where we see what kinds of prayer God does not hear. When we pray with wrong motivations (James 4:3), we don't pray to God the way he demands, we are steeped in unrepentant sin, we don't show God the proper respect and honor. There are many ways a person can have their prayers not heard, hindered or simply 'bounce off the ceiling' as I like to say. The Psalmist is not being presumptuous at all. He realizes the possibility of an impediment to prayer and seeks a hearing in God's holy court.

We should note the humility of the suppliant here. He does not come to God in an arrogant fashion and make demands (as some name it and claim it ministers tell their adherents), he comes to God with deep humility. Contrast that with the prayers of the Pharisee's in Christ time (Luke 18:11ff) when he was demonstrating what constituted an effectual prayer.

If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities,
O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee,
 that thou mayest be feared.
(Psa 130:3-4)


Here the Psalmist in a round about way, acknowledges his own sinfulness. He is acutely aware of it. Any true child of God who has the Holy Spirit indwelling him knows his own sinfulness. The Holy Spirit heightens our natural conscience and attunes it to the will and morality of God. He is a constant presence and reminder of our own fallen nature when we sin and and or are tempted with sin. Here the Psalmist says as if in response to any sin in his own life or Israel's past sinfulness, depending on how one reads whom the Psalmist is to be and says that no one could stand if God were to count sins. This is a powerful theme when it comes to our prayer life, to know that in Christ Jesus our sins are forgiven and it is on this basis that we can come before God and make our supplications known to him. How did King David put it?

 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity,
 and in whose spirit there is no guile.
(Psalms 32:1-2 [KJVA])

Yes, indeed and this was the primary purpose of the Messiah, to do away with sin and he did that on the cross. So with believers who are walking in the Spirit (let the reader understand) we can come to God and he hears our prayers and is not marking our iniquities. But let's not let unforgiveness or bitterness set into our hearts for those can be hindrances to prayer. Forgive your enemies and those who have wronged you in the past. I did not necessarily say to trust them again. Doing that in many, instances is very unwise. Let me put it this way - you must forgive a teacher who molests your kid (as hard as that may be)  - but you should not allow them a place of that kind of trust again or frankly near any child unsupervised.  A man who stole all the money from Church treasury? Forgive him, but don't put him in charge of the Church's funds anymore. But bear them no hatred or ill will and certainly don't seek revenge, but don't give them the opportunity to do any more damage to you, your kids, your church or your property.  Forgive and remove that hindrance (unforgiveness)  and your sins will be forgiven. Let us keep in mind that we can only stand in God's presence with the power of God's forgiveness of our sins and shortcomings. The rule is simple, if you want to be forgiven, you must forgive.


I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning:
 I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
(Psa 130:5-6)

One of the hardest things at times to do when one makes supplication to God is to wait on an answer. Here the Psalmist who is in the 'deep' has to wait for his answer. His situation is one that could lead to despair if he did not have the Lord. But he waits on God and puts his hope in him. Here is how K&D puts this passage.

He hopes in Jahve (acc. obj. as in Psa 25:5, Psa 25:21; Psa 40:2), his soul hopes; hoping in and waiting upon God is the mood of his inmost and of his whole being. He waits upon God's word, the word of His salvation (Psa 119:81), which, if it penetrates into the soul and cleaves there, calms all unrest, and by the appropriated consolation of forgiveness transforms and enlightens for it everything in it and outside of it. His soul is לאדני, i.e., stedfastly and continually directed towards Him; as Chr. A. Crusius when on his death-bed, with hands and eyes uplifted to heaven, joyfully exclaimed: "My soul is full of the mercy of Jesus Christ. My whole soul is towards God." - K&D Commentary

There is not a soul know truly knows God and walked with him a few years who does not understand what this Psalmist is going through. When we go through the storms of life and make our case heard to God, waiting upon an answer is hard to do sometimes. In fact, waiting like this can be a major stumbling block. Some will backslide and apostatize because God did not play the magic genie and grant them their 'three wishes' like some on-demand cable movie. So they turn on him. I have seen this time and again. The real problem? They have no faith and a person who has no faith can never expect anything from the Lord.

 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth
is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not
that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
(Jas 1:6-7)

So let us all understand that when we pray it is also our obligation to wait on God for him to answer. This is what the Psalmist's experience should teach us. The last phrase in verse six is rather instructive of the kinds of waiting that the Psalmist is doing. He says he waits for the Lord 'more than they that watch for the morning'. What is he trying to convey?

He is trying to tell us that like the watchmen who once stood over the city, they waited for the sunrise because that was when they could go off watch. Their shift was over. Here is how Gill puts it.

more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning; or, "more than the morning watchers, that watch for or until the morning" (h); than watchmen of cities, or the keepers of the wails, as Aben Ezra; those who are upon the last morning watch, and are looking out for the morning light; that they may go off from duty, and lie down and sleep: or than those that sit up with sick persons; who, being solitary and melancholy, as well as want sleep, long for the morning, that they may have some refreshment... - Gill

Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy,
and with him is plenteous redemption.

(Psa 130:7)

Here is the exhortation for us all. Let us hope in the Lord for in him are two things - mercy and redemption. Hope is a key part of faith and faith that waits on God must have hope for an answer.

But the Psalmist goes beyond his immediate needs and targets his exhortation to Israel. These two things are best typified by the ministry of Christ, who showed us mercy and was the central piece of  God's plan to redeem mankind. Christ the Messiah was and is the hope of Israel.

And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
(Psa 130:8)

Again we see the forward look to the Messiah (Christ) and his work on the cross that was the propitiation for all of our sins.

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,
to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,
 through the forbearance of God;
(Rom 3:25)

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the whole world. 
(1John 2:2)

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us,
 and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(1 John 4:10)

Ultimately the Psalmist moves from his own and Israel's temporary problems to one of God's plan of redemption of Israel. Though Israel had sinned grievously and was severely chastised for it, God had a plan to redeem all Israel. The Psalmist saw it with the eyes of faith. He did not experience his hope in his lifetime, but he knew what God had in store.

Prayer - faith, waiting and hope. This is what the Psalmist is conveying to Israel in this Psalm.



6 Feb


Biblical Illiteracy, Islam And Christmas

This is a look by the Gatestone Institute at some of the trends in Europe and what it means to those who adhere to the fundamentals of the faith of Jesus Christ.


'Christalignment' Group Seduces Churches With Christian 'Tarot Cards'

This is the story of Bethel Church in California where some are doing predictions based on these cards. There are some dangerous things going on in the Church, if the story is true. It comes from the site called Now The End Begins. Given some of the other strange things happening in Church, this story is hardly a surprise.

Why is so much of Christendom in trouble, with no spiritual power and even less of a divine anointing? There is rebellion in the camp. Go back and look at what happened to Joshua when he had sin and rebellion in the camp. At Ai, they suffered a major defeat (see Joshua Chapter 7).

The Church of England? Look they appointed their first key woman leader in the Church.

Yet our Lord was quite specific about this subject and his reasons may not line up with today's political correctness, but that is the primary problem in the world today. They are trying to get God to line up with our morality rather than lining up the Church to God's commandments and order.

This is not a slam at any of you women out there who serve God. But our Lord was most specific about the place of women within the Church. This kind of thing may have me scratching my head as to why, but God did NOT ask my opinion of his commandments. He demands obedience.

But he does give us a glimpse of the reason in the passage below.

I am not talking about the place of women in politics, the world, corporate America, etc, but within the assembly of men and women who seek to obey (key word) Christ and the living God as part of the ecclesia, the Church.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in
 modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety;
 not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
 But (which becometh women professing godliness)
with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with
all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach,
nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived,
but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing,
if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
(1Ti 2:9-15)


Let your women keep silence in the churches:
for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are
commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands
 at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual,
let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you
are the commandments of the Lord.
(1Co 14:34-37)

We cannot mince words on this - there is considerable rebellion in the Churches and just like at Ai, the sinner thought it was a 'little thing'. It cost a lot of lives and the victory of God's people. It was only AFTER Joshua dealt with this sin and rebellion that they could go back in the path God set down for them.

As Joshua was moving the people of his time to the promised land, so our leaders should be doing the same. But a rebel teaching you cannot lead you anywhere but into rebellion.

Christ's commandments are just that. They are not suggestions, but too many Church leaders treat them as such. God is not the least bit interested in our 'feel good' notions of political correctness. In Sodom, it became politically correct to gang rape visitors as their 'welcoming ritual'.

When the Church slides in to rebellion against God to be PC with the world, it takes the short path to damnation.

Tickling ears is not what I do here. There are some great ear ticklers out there who will have you giggling all the way to hellfire.

I can assure you that I am not one of them.

I will lay out to you what Jesus Christ told us was the way to life eternal.



2 Feb

This was posted for insiders last week. It is a bit dated. I want to stress I am not interested in the political spin in the following issue. All of the pundits and liars from the left and right are out there trying to get ahead of the spin before the memo is released. Keep in mind that no one who has read it is allowed to discuss it until it has been officially declassified. So most of these political pundits are talking out of the hole they pass gas with.

So lets hold our judgment until the memo is actually released and pundits have read it before they spin out of control as they have a tendency to do.


FBI Scandal Watch

Before I give you any links on this, I want to stress that I am not the least bit interested in any partisan nonsense being blasted all over the web and news organizations over this. Some of the allegations of what the FBI may have done are pretty serious. Using Federal employees on federal time and federal investigative authorities to throw an election is pretty serious. Partisanship aside, the Democrats would scream bloody murder if the shoe was on the other foot. Frankly, I think the GOP response has been rather tame so far. But other allegations are also very serious, like altering witness interview forms, falsifying and perhaps destroying government records. These are very serious crimes if true.

Well the Speaker of the House is right, whatever partisan persuasion he is from. It is high time to cleanse these agencies of the political and yes, criminal rot that infects them. When one gets a hold of what is really going on (and you have to dig around to get some real perspective on these things from insiders who know the deal) one understand why our prisons are full of innocent people and crooks run loose in America.

This kind of corruption of our LE agencies cannot be allowed to stand or just be allowed to quit and retire on a government pension. I am not happy about having to pay a massive tax bill every year, even less happy to know some of it will be going to people who will retire on a government pension who look to me, perhaps should rather be sitting in a federal prison.

The Left is spinning out of control trying to undo the damage their operatives did in the election and not one of the left leaning pundits I have read those have talked about altering of evidence and other criminal issues that appear to have taken place. They all try and frame it as some partisan vendetta the 'evil Trump' has against the FBI.

Stay tuned, big changes could be afoot in the FBI, DOJ and elsewhere.

Again, I have nothing but the deepest contempt for pundits, 'journalists' (better described as propagandists or 'presstitutes') and others who want to politicize this. These are very serious matters. The corruption of our law enforcement agencies is a subject that will have no partisan meaning to any Democrat or Republican when they target, prosecute and imprison YOU for something you never even thought about doing because they manufactured evidence and withheld or destroyed exculpatory evidence to railroad you into jail. The behavior of Federal prosecutors can often down right outrageous.

Let's not play partisan politics with this, lets get some disinfectant and get rid of the bad apples over at the FBI... and not be particularly nice about the way we do it. Why? To let those remaining in Federal Law Enforcement know and fully comprehend the serious consequences of abusing their authority and breaking the laws their job should have trained them to respect.

No more 'break the law and get out of jail free' cards for criminals who draw federal pay.

Paul Ryan calls to 'cleanse' the FBI, backs surveillance memo release

McCabe Abruptly Leaves FBI

...More Heads To Roll

GOP Votes To Release FISA Memo

Second Trump Dossier Being Reviewed By FBI
Was this the Insurance Policy mentioned in those FBI tweets?
Trump Denies Removing McCabe
These are your civil liberties these men are playing with. If they can hound, harass and mess with a sitting President how much hope do you think you will have when these people come after you for something you never even thought about doing...

...and getting a conviction.

Let's take our eyes off the partisan politics and let's fix what is broken at FBI and Justice.


31 Jan

Psalm 129

Today we will continue our look at the Psalms of degrees with number 129.
A Song of degrees.
Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth,
may Israel now say: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth:
yet they have not prevailed against me.
(Psa 129:1-2)


This Psalm, I think is a kind of circumstantial evidence that these Psalms were written at different times and later placed together as Songs of Degree's. It appears to have been written later in Israel's history, probably after the Babylonian captivity. Here the Psalmist whose name we do not know (but may have been Ezra - see Gill) says that Israel has from its youth been afflicted by his enemies. 'They' certainly refers to a long succession of enemies of Israel and the Jews. The passage seems to hearken back to the days of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. Even in his youth he had lots of trouble, think of the whole episode with Laban and his wives. While the passage certainly has different afflictions primarily in mind, that Jacob, being the first 'Israel' had many many troubles cannot have been out of the Psalmist's thoughts when setting down this Psalm.

The afflictions continued from their travails in Egypt, their deliverance and onwards - the troubles with the Philistines, the Canaanites, etc, it is certainly true that from its youth, Israel has been beset by enemies who have afflicted it. The 'may Israel now say' may be a kind of reflection after the fact. As though we have been afflicted and now we can say, kind of statement. Or perhaps more likely it is a poetic device used by the Psalmist for the song being sung. The device may have merely been used so the Psalmist can say the same thing again in verse two, which he does with an important addition. That addition spiritually speaking is crucial. It tells us that though they were afflicted by their enemies, those old foes did not prevail against them. The world for prevail is this one.

H3201
יָכוֹל    יָכֹל
yâkôl    yâkôl
yaw-kole', yaw-kole'
A primitive root; to be able, literally (can, could) or morally (may, might): - be able, any at all (ways), attain, can (away with, [-not]), could, endure, might, overcome, have power, prevail, still, suffer.
Total KJV occurrences: 194
I suppose it meet that I also give you the Hebrew word for affliction as well, for it is rather interesting.

H6887
צָרַר
tsârar
tsaw-rar'
A primitive root; to cramp, literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively: - adversary, (be in) afflict (-ion), besiege, bind (up), (be in, bring) distress, enemy, narrower, oppress, pangs, shut up, be in a strait (trouble), vex.
Total KJV occurrences: 54

The word has many connotations, all of them negative.

But through all of the trouble and woe, their enemies may have had temporary triumph over them, but they did not prevail. I think of Joshua at the battle of Ai, at first there was defeat, but later victory. The same can be said of any of us who walk with Jesus Christ - we are going to gain a whole host of enemies - many of whom will hate us with a perfect hatred even though we have never met them nor harmed them. They will attack us and persecute us. These are the afflictions of the righteous.


Many are the afflictions of the righteous:
but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. 
He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate
the righteous shall be desolate. 
The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants:
and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. 
(Psalms 34:19-22 [KJVA])

This is part of our walk brothers and sisters, as part of Spiritual Israel (let the reader understand we are grafted in, not a replacement to Israel) we as Christians must always keep this in mind that trouble goes with the territory. Many will be our afflictions. But God will keep us. What kind of people afflict us? The passage above gives us a hint - those who hate the righteous and by clear implication from the other passages, those are the wicked. They have and will always hate the righteous, just as man who is engaged in evil deeds loves and works in darkness. He seeks to shut out the light upon those deeds. We, the righteous are that light.

The plowers plowed upon my back:
they made long their furrows.
(Psa 129:3)


The plowers here is clearly a poetic similitude of the wicked who afflict Israel. The image here is not so much of a man with a plow in the filed, but a man with a whip who is plowing scars into the back of Israel. The world for plowing is a rather complicated one, but comes from the root word to scratch.

H2790
חָרַשׁ
chârash
khaw-rash'
A primitive root; to scratch, that is, (by implication) to engrave, plough; hence (from the use of tools) to fabricate (of any material); figuratively to devise (in a bad sense); hence (from the idea of secrecy) to be silent, to let alone; hence (by implication) to be deaf (as an accompaniment of dumbness): -    X altogether, cease, conceal, be deaf, devise, ear, graven, imagine, leave off speaking, hold peace, plow (-er, -man), be quiet, rest, practise secretly, keep silence, be silent, speak not a word, be still, hold tongue, worker.
Total KJV occurrences: 74

I think of this word and what comes to mind is the sailors of old who used to have their backs 'scratched' with the cat of nine tails.


I think this conveys the proper meaning. The plowers were going to leave long furroughs (scars) on their backs. Yes, even Jesus had to give his back to these wicked men just before his crucifixion. It was foretold that this would be so.


I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks
to them that plucked off the hair:
I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
(Isa 50:6)


So this is what our Lord had to suffer and to greater or lesser degrees, this is the lot of the righteous. The wicked will come against us, often not knowing they are being controlled and 'run' by the devil, for they be blind men and have refuse the light that came into the world.
The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.
(Psa 129:4-5)


Here the Lord acknowledges the Righteousness of the Lord. Here the Lord cuts that 'cat of nine tails' so that it ceases to trouble the righteous. Then the Psalmist utters his prayer that those who hate Israel and the Jews as symbolized by Zion, should be turned back. The world for turned back are two words and roughly mean to retreat, to go back or to be driven back.

H5472
סוּג
sûg
soog
A primitive root; properly to flinch, that is, (by implication) to go back, literally (to retreat) or figuratively (to apostatize): - backslider, drive, go back, turn (away, back).
Total KJV occurrences: 14

H268
אָחֹר    אָחוֹר
'âchôr    'âchôr
aw-khore', aw-khore'
From H299; the hinder part; hence (adverbially) behind, backward; also (as facing north) the West: - after (-ward), back (part, -side, -ward), hereafter, (be-) hind (-er part), time to come, without.
Total KJV occurrences: 41
Truth be told, this in many ways is a Psalm that speaks against anti-Semitism  - the modern word for the hatred of the Jews. This hatred is nothing new, it is older than the Old Testament. But its origin comes from a very ancient evil that has and will always hate anything beloved by the Lord. This is how we should look at Antisemitism - a manifestation of satan's hatred for God and those whom he loves. When we Christians are  born again and grafted into Israel, we become target of the same spiritual darkness for essentially the same reasons.
Let them be as the grass upon the housetops,
which withereth afore it groweth up:
Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand;
nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.
(Psa 129:6-7)


This poetic imagery is lost upon us today, but was clear enough to those who lived in those days. Here is what Gill has to say about it, it's rather interesting and explains the Psalmist's idea.

Let them be as the grass upon the housetops,.... The tops of the houses in Judea were flat, and so grass grew upon them, being covered with plaster of terrace; though it was but small and weak, and being on high was exposed to the scorching sun, and soon withered; and Menochius says he saw such roofs in the island of Corsica, flat, and having earth upon them, smoothed and pressed, on which grass grew of its own accord; but being burnt up in summertime by the sun, soon withered, as here said.

But what Olaus Magnus relates is somewhat extraordinary; that, in the northern Gothic countries, they feed their cattle on the tops of houses, especially in a time of siege; he describes their houses as built of stone, high and large, and covered with rafters of fir and bark of birch; upon which is laid grass earth, cut out of the fields foursquare, and sowed with barley or oats, so that their roofs look like green meadows; and that what is sown, and the grass that grows thereon, might not wither before plucked up, they very constantly and diligently water it; but in the eastern countries, which are hot, and have but little rain, grass could not retain its verdure long...

This is what the Psalmist is describing. But since it was hot in the eastern nations, the grass would quickly dry up. This is what the Psalmist says should happen to all those who hate Israel. When the people come to gather the mowings and sheaves, he wants them to come away empty handed because all the grass is dead. The idea here is that the enemies of Israel are like grass upon the housetops whose destruction is certain and whose remains are nothing.

Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the LORD be upon you:
 we bless you in the name of the LORD.
(Psa 129:8)

This verse may seem a bit out of place, but in fact, it seems to dove tail with our current study in Ruth. Do you remember when Ruth was out gleaning and the blessing that was uttered by those who reaped and the Lord of the Manner (Rth 2:3-4)? This may have been a custom of those times when gathering the fruit of the earth, this is partially the view of Matthew Henry's commentary on the passage. In short, because the grass was dead and burned up, no one was going to bless it.

Such is the lot of the wicked, who too one day will be burned with no man to bless them.


The Grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you all!


Brother Mark
30 Jan

Persecution Watch

Pastor Found Dead in Tamil Nadu, India
HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – The body of a pastor in southern India was found hung from the thatched roof of his house early Saturday morning (Jan. 20), a week after he complained to police about opposition from Hindu extremists, sources said.

Congregation members said they found the body of pastor Gideon Periyaswamy of Maknayeem Church hanging from a rope in his one-room house beside the church building in Adayachery village, Kanchipuram District, but that his knees were bent stiff, as if others had placed him in the noose after his death. He was 43.

A convert from Hinduism 25 years ago, Pastor Periyaswamy was single and served as pastor in Adayachery for more than 12 years...  - Continues At MorningStar News


Boko Haram Sets Churches On Fire In Latest Attacks In Camroon

Residents of Roum village in the Far North region of Cameroon woke up to two churches and many houses ablaze on the night of 15 January. The fire was claimed by Boko Haram militants, who had stormed the village late at night. Four people were killed.

Apart from the Union des Eglise Evangelique (UEEC) Church and a Catholic church, the fire also destroyed 93 huts, 20 food storehouses, and 11 motorbikes, a local newspaper reported.

On the same night, a health centre belonging to the UEEC, not far from Roum, was reported attacked.

Earlier this month, Nigeria-based Boko Haram militants attacked other towns in the same region, such as Mozogo and Moskota.

“We hear it and it almost means nothing again to us because they come in and loot and make away with our property,” a church leader in Moskota told World Watch Monitor. “During one of such attacks, they made away with several cows belonging to the population. We tried to run away also when they came, and sometimes we just grow weary of running when they attack, but we can’t help it.”... - Story Continues At World Watch Monitor

Egypt Has High Rate Of Christian Persecution
A look at just how bad things are in the land of the ancient Pharaoh's.
First Baptisms Occur At Church In Post ISIS Iraq

Human Rights Watch Condemns Treatment Of Christians, Muslims In India

The above link is from Persecution.org. The actual report from HRW can be found here.
USA: Atheist Group Forces College Campus To Remove Cross

A typical move by the so called atheists whose attacks are invariably against Christians. These things have been noted all over the nation.

The forces who hate the Gospel are very busy brothers and sisters and they are organized. One site that looks at many of these issues on religious persecution is this one called First Liberty.
Christian Students Knifed, Beaten in High School Clash in Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Muslim students at a high school in Nairobi on Tuesday night (Jan. 23) beat and stabbed Christians who refused to convert to Islam, a local source said.

Tensions had been growing for weeks at Jamhuri High School in northern Nairobi, with Muslims primarily of Somali, Boran and Oromo descent complaining of discrimination. Due to increasing hostilities, the boarding school had designated separate bathrooms and separate sections in the library for Christians and Muslims, a source told Morning Star News.
The conflict came to a head Tuesday night (Jan. 23), when Muslim students began... Continues at MorningStar News
KYRGYZSTAN: Church arson follows long-standing government failures
(Forum18) On 2 January 2018 the Baptist Church in Kaji-Sai, in Kyrgyzstan's north-eastern Issyk-Kul [Ysyk-Kol] Region was burnt down. Baptists found bottles filled with petrol nearby, and although police claim to be investigating the crime local Baptists do not think this is the case.

Baptists are convinced that the arson attack happened because the police have done nothing to find and punish the perpetrators of a series of violations of human rights, including of freedom of religion and belief, that have taken place in the Region since 2010. These include violent threats and attacks, intimidation of people out of their homes and work, and refusals to allow non-Muslim dead to be buried according to their own ceremonies and rites.

After one such incident, police summoned Baptists to meet their attackers in Karakol Police Station. After police officers expressed sympathy for the attackers, police then ordered the Baptists and their attackers "to write statements that they forgave each other and will have peace between themselves in future". The Baptists found the atmosphere of the meeting very intimidating and coercive, and for fear of state reprisals do not wish to name the police officers who were present (see below)... Story Continues at
Forum18

What have you done for Christ's  brethren who are being persecuted imprisoned and killed for their witness of the gospel?

 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared
for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungred,
and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked,
and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison,
and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him,
saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a 
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did
it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:
but the righteous into life eternal.
Matt 25:35-46)


I ask again, what have YOU done for the persecuted lately?



26 Jan

Note: Watson's has been busy. Insiders have received a look at a host of issues on the news and prophetic front that I will never post on the public page. We have talked about Russia and Ukraine, We have talked about the big changes in China under Xi and the rising tensions there. We have talked about the intelligence scandals as well as Trumponomics and economic trends. Add to that we have talked about key trends in privacy and ways you are probably never going to hear about how to protect yourself from things like Meltdown and Spectre.  With all of that we have also continued our look verse by verse of books of the Bible.

Yes, Watson's Web has been very, very busy. For reasons I have already talked about none of that data, other than a few Biblically related exhortations (most are rather dated) are going to wind up on the public page.


Christians who claim to know the Lord just need to learn some hard lessons on stewardship and fully understand that with many Christian sites out there many of them are owned and operated by the enemies of the gospel. Their job is to win your trust so they can betray you later. Would you be shocked to find out that Islam, foreign intelligence agencies and even satanists are actually funding some Christian sites and do it secretly so that at the proper time, they can deceive you?

That is why some of these sites can afford to thousands of dollars a month in newsfeeds, journalists, webmasters and it is all free. SOMEONE IS PAYING THE BIILS and I venture to guess that not one person here has given one red cent to any of those sites, not when they are spending upwards of 150 bucks a month on the garbage that comes on cable.


Remember this O spiritually lost Christian. - the unwise steward did NOT get saved.

He lost his soul.


Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance:
but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(Mat 25:28-30)

This is NOT said to give you any a guilt trip about giving to this site. God has always provided for this site and will continue to - unwise stewards, false accusers and 'deep state' demons notwithstanding. I never wanted to do this site, am not wild about having to do it, but am under a direct command by the Lord to write and that is exactly what I will and must do. I do my part and one way or another God always does his.

No, this is said because there are some powerful ministries out there trying to do right and accomplish God's work and the spiritually lost Christian refuses to assist. They refuse to assist the persecuted, the homeless Christians, the homeless kids, the widows, prophets and teachers as well as others who are assisting God's sheep who are in need. These unwise stewards ALWAYS HAVE AN EXCUSE why they should continue to pay good money to view wickedness (with their hard earned money) and not give to the Lord and his business

What happens to unwise stewards like that? Read the passage above and find out!!

Give brothers to Christians ministries who are doing God's work. Be a wise and obedient steward, rather than a religious hypocrite and a future resident of hell.

Mind this exhortation brethren. For American Christians who have lots of disposable income, God is watching each and every one of you with great care and will remember who gave and who did not when the cold economic winds blow in America.

I say again, God will remember how you behaved.

I spake unto thee in thy prosperity;
but thou saidst, I will not hear.
This hath been thy manner from thy youth,
that thou obeyedst not my voice.
(Jer 22:21)


Many of you get mad when I talk about money. Good. I am in good company, The Pharisee's and scribes did not like it when Christ talked about money either.

Jesus got so mad at those lying hypocrites, he actually once got physically violent.

So go ahead, get mad at me. It is not like I am not talking to you about basic, easily verifiable FUNDAMENTAL Christian doctrine. So get mad and stay mad but then ask yourself what spirit is telling you NOT to give to Christian ministries. I can tell you it is NOT the spirit of Christ, who said...

Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down,
and shaken together, and running over,
shall men give into your bosom.
For with the same measure that ye mete withal
it shall be measured to you again.
(Luk 6:38)



23 Jan

The Prophetic Imperative

What is this imperative that is often missing today? We hear many Christian sites and bloggers; pastors and famous personalities talk about things like the Mark of the Beast, the Ten Kings and speak as though they really desire the return of Jesus Christ. But what is the imperative that is so often missing from their discourse? We we will talk about this for a bit today.

Let us first separate Jesus Christ from political Christianity. The one does not represent the other. Rather the two more often work at cross purposes. The goals of Political Christianity are primarily to bolster the political power of the religious institutions that call themselves Christian and invariably in return it rewards the state with its support for its activities. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but in essence this is what political and much of institutional Christianity has been about since the middle ages, even before.

The prophetic imperative of Christianity was never about obtaining, maintaining or increasing temporal political power, which always comes at a price. That price is and always has been COMPROMISE. Compromise of the Church's moral authority and with it its true spiritual power, which comes from its anointing of God. We saw this in the days of the Kings of old and then later when monarchies came crumbling down.

Often, one of the rallying cries of the poor and oppressed who were often whipped, lashed, tortured and murdered by the rich nobles of the day, was that the Church was party to the crimes and too often were really the ones behind the cruel acts. Moreover the Church was fabulously wealthy, owning a significant percentage of the total land within Europe. The Church often had a strong vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

I say this to give you a bit of a backdrop to where I am going. 

We as Christians must have a discerning ear when we hear preachers preach, evangelists evangelize and prophets prophesy and always hear what the message says and what the message does not say.

So what is the prophetic imperative? When we read the prophets of old, what was their message? Their consistent message, was it to gain more political power for the religious establishment? Was it to increase the land holdings of the Pharisees? Was it to 'get rich quick' using wrested and twisted bible versus as a guide? Was it to elect a leader who wold compel the open acceptance of sodomy? Yet today we have had whole sections of an apostate Christianity advocate for such things as though God told them to do it! This is how we know that satan, rather than Christ is more and more guiding the Church and why the Church more and more is being held up to derision the world over and people flee the halls of its open and blatant Apostasy and run into the arms of Buddhsim, Islam, Taoism, Materialism and just about any other 'ism' than Christ.

False workmen got control of the reigns of doctrine and robbed the Church of its spiritual trump card in the  battle against evil. That card  being the power of the Holy Spirit given to us on the authority that comes upon Christ 's resurrection. We as Christians must remember this always. If we want the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives we must learn to be holy as God is holy. We must preach truth and honor God's word and his commandments, lest he become displeased with us and deal with us accordingly.

This was the error of some of the Churches of Asia (when they let in false prophets and workmen into the congregation). There was the false prophet of Balim in the Church and Pergomos. Then there was the false prophet Jezebel at Thyatira (see Revelation chapters two and three). We cannot discount the work and power of false prophets in our highly deceitful times. Now when men from many parts of the world are working overtime seek to destroy the Church and undermine its foundations. Intelligence agencies from all over the world seek to put their people into top positions of leadership in order to use the Church and its administrative and political power for their own worldly and or demonic purposes.

False teachers, false prophets and false pastors have always been the bane of the Church and we must not think for a moment that there is some magic formula to get rid of them. The only way to do that is to have strong, Biblically literate leaders within the Church who have power and authority and who are not afraid to use it. Not afraid of the criticism they will get  from those who were being seduced by the false workmen and whose only concern is to please Christ and to make sure they are faithful to him in their charge as leaders of his Church. Today, such men are rare. Those that do exist, do not rise high because too often the Church hierarchy of institutional Christianity has been subverted by men who love and spread those false doctrines.

The imperative for us today prophetically is to remember how the prophets of old scolded the people of their times. It was always a rebuke for sin, not a sign as to when the Babylonian army would come and slit their throats. It was a call to repentance, not a exhortation to cast lots to predict the day of the invasion. Today, this is far too often what prophecy students are doing. They are date setting and trying to strain any little event in the news into some fulfillment of prophecy, when often it is the work of an overwrought imagination. This is not the prophetic imperative.

What it is a call to repentance. A call to forsake sin, evil and all manner of spiritual uncleanness. It is a call to cut loose any ties to sin, evil, wickedness, perversity, greed, hate and any and all attachments to false gods and idols. When we read the works of the prophets, this is what we consistently find. They came to rebuke sin and call the people back to God. In the last days it is and will be no different. If you want to know how to spot a true prophet of God, this will be the thrust of his message. He may use many different verbal and literary devices, poetry or prose, similitude and parallelisms, diatribes and even humor, but the thrust of his message is always going to focus on repenting from sin and returning the people to God.

I wrote his short piece today on unction from the Lord. Someone out there may need this and if not today, they may need it later. Let us take care and be on our guard of those who try and threaten us about politically supporting any candidate for office.  Who are they serving? Christ or the DNC? The Holy Spirit or the GOP? Let us all beware in these times as false workmen more and more gain the upper hand in the halls of power within 'Church' leadership. Their agenda is opposed to that of Christ.

How did Jeremiah sum up the prophetic imperative?


  A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications
of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way,
 and they have forgotten the LORD their God. 
Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.
Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God. 
Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills,
and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God
is the salvation of Israel.
(Jeremiah 3:21-23)

19 Jan


Veto It!!


The House and Senate as expected ramrodded the Surveillance Bill. Trump has indicated that he is going to sign it, but did give kind of a mixed signal a about a week ago that he was not in favor of it.

The Senate and House cannot pass a budget, but they can sure pass a bill to spy on us all when no one is looking.

One thing all of these leaks, investigations and controversy has shown any thinking person is this -  the deep state is out of control, the intelligence community has no adult supervision and most importantly were spending their time and efforts trying to throw our own elections rather than looking for terrorists. Heck they have been shipping terrorists arms by the planeload in Iraq and Syria!!

These guys are completely out of control. The absolute last thing they need is a more blanket authority to do the crap they have been doing for too long. The system needs reform, not a rubber stamp!!

One would have hoped Congress and the Senate would put some kinds of reforms into a bill that covered this after all these clowns have put the nation through. They didn't,  they passed it. There were alternatives put forward, but key House and Senate leadership used their considerable power to make sure those measures failed. They both wanted a clean "let's screw our countrymen" bill to put on the Presidents desk.

Well there is one way and ONE WAY ONLY to make sure we get reform, VETO THAT BILL Mr. President and let them know you will sign a bill with effective protections for all of us.

Don't play Barak 'Rubber Stamp' Obama and just sign it, that is what they are hoping you will do. The former bobble-headed occupant of the WH never saw a bill that gave more power to the IC and the deep state that he could not wait to sign. He smiled told us one thing and did the exact opposite, over and over and over again.

VETO THAT BILL, Mr. President!!

It may be meaningless given the margin of passage, but it would be an important gesture for all of us.

Why did so many vote for it, knowing the problems? One reason you will never hear about is this -  there is a lot of money in these Federal contracts to spy on us and those guys donate profusely to Congress. A LOT OF MONEY. Then again perhaps the real reason is more simple.

Perhaps someone just drew some tits and a tight behind on the bill and the sex freaks who populate both chambers liked the they way they looked and voted for it without even bothering to read it.

Well, the news is not all bad. Click here.


 

A Word For the Discouraged



I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me,
and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit,
out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God:
many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that
man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud,
nor such as turn aside to lies.

(Psa 40:1-4)

Blessed is the man or woman who waits upon the Lord. Indeed, blessed is that man, woman or child.  When I read that passage this AM I thought of Jeremiah and how they put him in a horrible pit.

Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire. Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; Ebedmelech went forth out of the king's house, and spake to the king, saying, My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city. Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. And Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.
(Jer 38:6-13)
I always remember what the Psalmist says about the righteous too.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous:
but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

(Psa 34:19)

Brothers, to those of you who are now truly afflicted and having a hard time. Know that if you keep faith with God, and don't depart from him and are not misdirected onto the paths of falsehood and lies, God will surely be there for you in your hour of need. God is good and will not leave you to your enemies.

The devil is very busy and is working night and day to destroy God's people. So many of you who are going through hard times, know that God knows what you are going through. You are not alone. Men, women and children who serve Christ around the world are facing similar if not worse travails. Our job is to bear those troubles with our God and be like Job who went through them with faith and determination. Job knew sorrow, he knew pain. He lost everything, literally everything and yet maintained his faith.

Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me. Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder? Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
(Job 6:2-10)


Brothers, God had allowed all of this affliction on Job so that the devil could test him. The key I have always remembered with the story of Job is that God never revealed to Job the 'why' of his suffering. He never knew the why of it. He only knew that it was happening to him and he did not like it. But Job maintained his ways and did not depart from his God as his wife demanded (Job 2:9).

Job's determination to remain faithful to his God can be laid out in one of my favorite passages in scripture. It is not a well known one, but it describes the kind of faith that will get a man or woman into the Kingdom of heaven.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.

(Job 13:15-16)


Even if the Lord allows him to be killed, Job would not depart from his God. This is the stubborn faith that saints who are now being martyred must have. It is the kind of faith that God demands of us, for was it not Christ who said...

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
(Mar 8:34-36)

Christ is talking about the eternal life that is in him and him alone. Job's travails in this respect was a foreshadow of the mindset and attitude that Christians in these times must endure. He did not fully understand why he went through hell. We don't either, but the scriptures have given us some pretty big hints. I think this is especially true for those whom God has truly called (let the reader discern what I mean by that) into key places in ministry, they know that they are marked men.

For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
(1Co 4:9-13)

Brothers, this is how a true Apostle lives. He lives humbly and has made himself a fool for Christ. This is the mindset that all of us true believers (disciples) should have and remember that God may call anyone of us to suffer for his names sake. Jeremiah had to, Job had to, Paul had to and the model for all Christians had to, that being Jesus Christ


So brothers and sisters, these are difficult times and being such we must prepare our souls and minds to operate in them. The Bible gives us many, many admonitions about these times. We must heed them.

But I ask that each of you get before the Lord and seek him for understanding. I know I have tried my best to give it to you as best as I can. Not just with repeated Bible versus over and over again, but with perspective on our times and then lining that up with what God has to say about them. Not just prophecy, but the morality and spiritual condition of our churches, nation and our world. This is why I spend so much time on world events, to help give you a real look at what is happening and not just the US propaganda line that is so often filled with demonic lies and deceitful omissions.

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable,
and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ”

George Orwell

This is what our government and governments around the world have been doing. They have been giving us political lies. I do what I can to expose them. For that, I am often reviled. I am unmoved. Why? Because I know the times I live in and those who revile me don't. No matter how many Bible versus they misquote or how many 'Thus saith the Lord's..." they utter in blasphemous slander of the Lord's name. The days are evil and evil men are in high places in Christendom deceiving and being deceived. But it is exactly as the Prophet Daniel said it would be in the very last days, especially with regards to Bible Prophecy.

 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked
 shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand;
but the wise shall understand.

  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away,
and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be
a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

  Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three
hundred and five and thirty days.
But go thou thy way till the end be:
for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
- Daniel 12:9ff


The world -  what is it doing? Doing wickedly. They don't understand these things and never will. It has not been given for to them to understand. Those who have placed their faith in  Christ and are born of the Spirit, they understand it or at least they have been given by God what is needed for this spiritual understanding.

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto
 them in parables? He answered and said unto them,
Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the
 kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given
. For whosoever hath,
to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever
 hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not;
and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

(Mat 13:10-13)

Two groups, one understands and the other does not. Many of the things I have been telling you insiders are not for general consumption (ed -  this was written for insiders back in late 2015- MSW). It should not be posted on the internet for all to see. The devil's imps have abused the data on this site for evil purposes. Others have mocked and railed against me. But like fine jewels and bars of Gold, you don't put it on your front porch. So brothers, understand that at times the things I am telling you may not always seem as 'spiritual 'as you may like. I am not trying to be 'Mr. Spiritual' here. I am a Christian writer and watchman and at times watching world events means I have to talk about world events and not try and impute spiritual meanings in things that are blatantly obvious or that may have no real relevance to the topic at hand. I am not trying to win 'brownie points' for over-spiritualizing many of the mundane, though geopolitically significant events. Many writers and bloggers feel they have to do that on the net. I do not and I am not. I do the best I can and at times, people wonder where the spiritual meat is in some of my pieces. Sometimes there is none, there is background, food for thought and words of wisdom to help you better discern. I don't know about you, but I am innately suspicious of men who always have new a revelation from God every other week and always seem to work hard to sound really spiritual about things that have little real meaning in that manner.

So brothers, let us rejoice in our God who has made up his mind to redeem those who love him ad let us seek that divine wisdom and understanding that Daniel foretold would be a characteristic of the last days saints. He has made a promise and will keep it. Let none of is turn back or get too discouraged in the coming troubles.

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
(Dan 12:2-3)



God is with us, brothers! I exhort all of you to be encouraged and if you are feeling a little low, you know what I do? I get in my car go for a drive and thank the Lord, praise his name and make a point of not asking him for anything! Don't be discouraged! Discouragement is of the devil. Let me leave you with this little story that I think may help so many of you who are feeling a little low.

Discouragement - A Tool of the Devil
By: Author Unknown

Once upon a time it was announced that the devil
was going out of business and would sell all
his equipment to those who were willing to pay the price.

On the big day of the sale,
all his tools were attractively displayed.
There were Envy, Jealousy, Hatred, Malice, Deceit, Sensuality, Pride,
Idolatry, and other implements of evil display. Each of the tools was
Marked with its own price tag.

Over in the corner by itself was a harmless looking,
wedge-shaped tool very much worn, but still it bore a
higher price than any of the others.
Someone asked the devil what it was, and he answered,
"That is Discouragement."
The next question came quickly,
"And why is it priced so high even though
it is plain to see that it is worn more than these others?"

Because replied the devil,
"It is more useful to me than all these others.
I can pry open and get into a man's heart with that
when I cannot get near him with any other too
Once I get inside, I can use him in whatever way
suits me best. It is worn well because
I use it on everybody I can,
and few people even know it belongs to me."

This tool was priced so high that no one could buy it, and to this day it has never been sold.
It still belongs to the devil,
and he still uses it on mankind.

The Grace of the most High and Christ Jesus be upon you all!
16 Jan

White House Announces 'Religious Freedom Day'

1/16/2018 Washington D.C., (International Christian Concern) – On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump publically proclaimed January 16 as the national day of religious freedom. He called on Americans to celebrate the day, so as to “remind us of our shared heritage of religious liberty.” The president’s announcement addressed both religious freedom internationally and within the United States.

In his speech, President Trump first emphasized the United States’ unique role in encouraging and maintaining religious liberties. He also reminded the public of his commitment to early American principles, which will assist our “fundamental freedom underlying our democracy.”  The proclamation also promised continued condemnation of extremism, terrorism, and violence against people of faith as we "strive for the day when people of all faiths can follow their hearts and worship according to their consciences." - International Christian Concern

Eritrea: mental health challenges for Christian man freed after 13 years in prison

One day, during his military service, when he was 22, he and around 40 other Christians were caught while worshipping in secret. They were all arrested and taken to a military prison in the southern desert city of Assab, where it is extremely hot during the day and extremely cold at night.

After two years there he was moved to the notorious Mai Serwa prison camp on the outskirts of the capital, Asmara. There, Shiden shared a metal shipping container with 30-40 other prisoners. They were given one ten-minute toilet break per day, to be undertaken in a bush outside, where they had to relieve themselves under the close watch of guards. The lack of sanitation caused regular bouts of diarrhoea.

Shiden says the guards taunted him, asking, “Why don’t you leave this religion of yours?” - World Watch Monitor

China Dynamites Huge MegaChurch In Crackdown

It was big one, but now is gone, demolished by Xi's police.

Egypt: Christian killed in al-Arish

(Middle East Concern) Christians in Egypt request prayer after the killing of another Christians in the town of al-Arish, Northern Sinai governorate, on 13 of January. Bassem Shehata Haraz had only returned to al-Arish six months ago, after fleeing earlier violent attacks against Christians last February.

On 13 of January, after closing his shop, he was walking home with two other people. They were stopped by armed men who, after seeing a cross tattooed on Bassem's wrist, asked him whether he was a Christian. When he answered affirmatively they shot him. They told the other two men to leave the scene.

In February 2017 more than 300 Christian families fled Northern Sinai after seven Christians were killed in the spate of a few weeks, and Muslim extremists issued a video threatening further violence against Christians. Bassem is the second Christians who returned to al-Arish who was killed by extremists. The first one was Nabil Saber Fawzy who was killed after returning to al-Arish in May 2017.

Muslim extremists in Northern Sinai also regularly attack security personnel and people suspected of working with the authorities. Sufi Muslims have also been targetted by the extremists. In November 2016 Suleiman Abu Haraz, a highly respected 100-year-old Sufi Muslim leader, was beheaded and in a 24 November 2017 attack on a Sufi mosque 305 worshipers were killed.

Christians in Egypt request prayer:
a. for the Lord's comfort for those whose loved ones were killed by extremists in North Sinai
b. for protection for Christians and others threatened by militants, and for wisdom as to how to respond to these threats
c. that those responsible for the killings will be touched by God's love and will repent

---------------------------------
Middle East Concern
meconcern.org
twitter.com/MiddleEConcern
facebook.com/middleeastconcern

URL for this prayer request: http://www.meconcern.org/2018/01/15/egypt-christian-killed-in-al-arish/ 14 Jan

Iran: Christians preparing to appeal severe sentences

(MEConcern) Iranian Christians request prayer for Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, his wife Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Asgari as they prepare to appeal recent prison sentences.

On 6 January, Shamiram was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Judge Ahmadzade of Tehran Revolutionary Court for acting against national security and acting against the regime by organising small groups, attending a seminary abroad and training church leaders and pastors to act as spies. Shamiram is appealing the decision.

Shamiram’s husband, Pastor Victor, is also appealing his sentence of ten years imprisonment for acting against national security. He was sentenced on 4 July 2017.

Amin Afshar Naderi was sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment and Hadi Asgari to ten years’ imprisonment for acting against national security. Amin was released on bail on 25 July 2017, but Hadi was refused bail by the Court of Appeal and remains detained in Evin prison, Tehran. They have both been under intense pressure to convert back to Islam, but remain firm in their faith. An appeal hearing scheduled for December 2017 was postponed. It is expected that this hearing will be rescheduled soon.

Iranian Christians request prayer that,
a. the verdicts against all four Christians will be successfully appealed
b. the four Christians will be encouraged and strengthened in the Lord and know His peace during this critical time
c. the Lord will restore Hadi's health as he has been suffering from a bad back
d. Hadi will be comforted in his loneliness in prison
e. the Iranian authorities will act justly and uphold the rights and dignity of all

---------------------------------
Middle East Concern
meconcern.org
twitter.com/MiddleEConcern
facebook.com/middleeastconcern
A related story on imprisoned Iranian believers can be found here.
11 Jan

Zephaniah, Chapter 3

Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction;
she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.
 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves;
they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons:
her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
they have done violence to the law.

(Zep 3:1-4)



The last chapter of Zephaniah starts off with a reproof for the city of Jerusalem. It has four main evil characteristics that the prophet identifies

1 Rebellion - She would not listen to God
2. She received not correction
3. She did not trust in God
4. She did not draw near to God

In short, she is rebellious. Rebellion against God is a serious crime. It is akin to witchcraft (1Sam15:23) and yes, even devil worship. Why?  Because the devil is the chief rebel in creation, having also rebelled against the most high. The oppressing city is following in his footsteps. The word for oppressing has a much deeper connotation. Here is what Strong's Concordance says.
H3238
ינה
yânâh
yaw-naw'
A primitive root; to rage or be violent; by implication to suppress, to maltreat: - destroy, (thrust out by) oppress (-ing, -ion, -or), proud, vex, do violence.

We are talking about a city of vice and corruption. This is what the Lord was calling Jerusalem of those days. It was filthy and polluted. These are strong denunciations and shows us today how far the people of those days had fallen away from true religion and their God, Yahweh.

The Lord, via his prophet goes on to rebuke the people in that they would not receive correction nor put their trust in God. They clearly reviled his prophets (as other prophets have noted, Neh, 9:26; Isa 30:10; Jer 2:30, etc) and refused to listen to those whom God sent to correct them. Instead, they remained for away from God.

Then the prophet gets more specific, chiding the rulers of the city. Here the prophet uses various imagery of violent and rapacious animals to describe the leadership of Israel. They were clearly a reprobate lot. When I read this passage last night, I thought about a scene from a play by Shakespeare where the heroic general who fought many wars for Rome has his sons condemned unjustly by Rome and another was banished. Like Israel, Shakespeare's Rome has the same imagery.
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?
Tigers must prey, and Rome affords no prey
But me and mine: how happy art thou, then,
From these devourers to be banished!
-Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus
Titus, the hero who fought for Rome and gave his own families blood for it, comes home only to find it teeming with creatures one could hardly call human, they were merely animals that took human form and were looking for prey to kill.

This is the kind of city that I see described here. One that is reprobate, corrupt and turns on those who sacrificed for her traditions so that the human vermin can come in and "they gnaw not the bones till the morrow". Here the traditions are the true worship of Yahweh.

Zephaniah does not just stop with the secular nobility but also derides the religious establishment as well. He calls the prophets light and treacherous persons and says the Priests polluted the sanctuary. What does he mean by light and treacherous? Here is what Adam Clarke says about his passage.

Her prophets are light and treacherous persons - They have no seriousness, no deep conviction of the awful nature of their office, no concern for the immortal souls of the people. Treacherous persons - they betray the souls of the people for the sake of worldly honor, pleasure, and profit. Even in our own enlightened country we find prophets who prefer hunting the hare or the fox, and pursuing the partridge and pheasant, to visiting the sick, and going after the strayed, lost sheep of the house of Israel. Poor souls! They know neither God nor themselves; and if they did visit the sick, they could not speak to them to exhortation, edification, or comfort. God never called them to his work; therefore they know nothing of it. But O, what an account have these pleasure-taking false prophets to render to the Shepherd of souls! - They have done violence to the law - They have forced wrong constructions on it in order to excuse themselves, and lull the people into spiritual slumber. So we find that it was an ancient practice for men to wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction. Adam Clarke's Commentary On The Bible

I think Mr. Clark sums it up perfectly.

The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity:
every morning doth he bring his judgment to light,
he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate;
I made their streets waste, that none passeth by:
their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man,
that there is none inhabitant. I said, Surely thou wilt fear me,
thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off,
howsoever I punished them: but they rose early,
and corrupted all their doings.

(Zep 3:5-7)


The Lord here contrasts himself with the wicked of Israel. God does not do iniquity and he is constant in his love for justice. God then shows Israel that he has protected Israel in the past from her enemies and overthrown the wicked nations around them even to the point their cities were empty. In his actions he hoped that his people would fear him and honor him. He hoped that they would be instructed by God and learn from him. But even when God punished them, they got up early in the morning to find out new evils to engage in. They were a busy and industrious people... in the counsels of wickedness.

When God did all these things, He figured that his people who fear and revere him and go back to doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord. At least that was his hope.


Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD,
until the day that I rise up to the prey:
for my determination is to gather the nations,
that I may assemble the kingdoms,
to pour upon them mine indignation,
even all my fierce anger:
for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
For then will I turn to the people a pure language,
that they may all call upon the name of the LORD,
to serve him with one consent.
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants,
even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.

(Zep 3:8-10)


The Lord here exhorts the few remaining righteous ones, the ones who were aghast at what was happening, and those who trembled at his word to wait upon him.
Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word;
Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said,
Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
(Isa 66:5)


Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel,
all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal,
and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
(1Ki 19:18)

The Lord always has his remnant who put their trust in him, even in the most wicked of times. God always has a plan for those who love him in such times. They are often reviled and cast of our their homes for the sake of Jesus Christ. We have seen these things not so much in the west, but certainly in the Islamic world where men, women and often children come to Christ and are cast out, beaten, disfigured and even killed for the fact that Jesus has called them  out to be his. Let us take encouragement that God is with us and sees all.

Yesterday afternoon I took a nap and I prayed before I did and you know what the Holy Spirit said to me? He said God is with you, there is no better word that a man can get down here than that. He also said that I should share that word and tell all here who sincerely and wholeheartedly serve him, no matter your situation that he is with you too!! Be encouraged, God will look out for us all in his own special, powerful, wise and wondrous ways! We should move forward with our divinely appointed tasks IN FAITH, nothing doubting and even as our nation falls for the spirits of baphomet, baal, allah, lucifer, gaotu (freemasons god), buddah and all of these other gods whom the people of those nations flee the choas and destruction these idols bring... and then to come to America to bring to this nation all the troubles that go with those self same spirits. Brothers, God is with his people. As long as they serve him honorably and do not take to kissing the backside of baal, God will honor his people. Today, the devils (masquerading as gods) are often more subtle, mammon (riches, wealth greed) being one of the more prevalent.

Yes, I think this passage is clearly for the end times. God is telling his people that he is going to gather the nations together for the express purpose of their destruction. The imagery here is one of the furious nature of God's wrath towards sin and one that shows that none of the nations shall escape  for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. This is not localized phenomenon and God is making it plain that there is a day, the day of the Lord when he is going to do this thing. But the day of the Lord is not just one for destruction, it is one where his people, primarily the Jews (as seen by Zephaniah) come to their Messiah, cry out to him and they are heard of him.

That is when salvation comes and the people then serve God and their Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Then there will  be a regathering of God's people from afar, even beyond Ethiopia. Even today we have seen only a shadow and partial fulfillment of this, with many Ethiopian Jews (yes there are many who are almost certainly decedents of King Solomon). But they suffer tremendous discrimination and hate by European Jews.  So what we have seen today is not the fulfillment, at least not totally. We as Christians, especially we American  Christians who have been brainwashed by the political elements in the religious right need to be more discerning about Israel and what it is today and what it is not and more importantly what the scriptures say about last days Israel just before the Messiah comes. It is hardly complimentary.

In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings,
wherein thou hast transgressed against me:
for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride,
and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people,
and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies;
neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth:
for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

(Zep 3:11-13)

The people described above are hardly indicative of Modern Israel. No this is all a future Israel that comes after the horrible destruction described in verses 8-10. The versus describe a people who are.

Humble
Poor and afflicted
They trust in the Lord
They do right
They do not lie
They are at rest and at peace.
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel;
be glad and rejoice with all the heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments,
he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel,
even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem,
Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;
he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy;
he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
(Zep 3:14-17)

This is the day of Salvation for Israel! When her sins and more relevantly her judgments for those sins are taken away and the King of Israel, even the Messiah (who takes away the sins of the world), he shall see to it that they shall not see evil anymore. God is giving a divine exhortation to those who live in those days that God is with them and that he is a mighty God and a day of great joy and salvation is on its way.  Here is how Gill puts parts of this passage.
The Lord hath taken away thy judgments,.... Both outward and inward; not only exile, poverty, contempt and reproach among the nations of the earth; but hardness of heart, blindness of mind, impenitence and unbelief, to which the Jews are now given up, in a judicial way; but at this time these shall be removed, through the goodness of God unto them, and the power of divine grace upon them: they will be brought to a sense of sin, and an acknowledgment of it; their iniquities will be pardoned; and, the cause being removed, the effects will cease; and all calamities, corrections and punishment, will end; and they will be put into the possession of their own land, and enjoy all the privileges of the church of God; and so will have just reason to sing, shout, and rejoice: - John Gill's Expository of the Entire Bible

I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee,
to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee:
and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out;
and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you:
for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth,
when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.
(Zep 3:18-20)


The Lord here makes it plain that those who were prevented from Serving God in the solemn assembly would have their desires fulfilled. For many reasons believers today are prevented from worshiping God in spirit and in truth. God is going to lift those burdens and more importantly he is going to afflict those who made it a burden. In some nations it is illegal to build a church or even have services, like Saudi Arabia. In other places you can go to Church, but the devil is preaching the sermon on Sundays. In other places you have other types of problems, like getting to and from the services in one piece.

God will undo those that mess with his sheep and bring his people out of captivity, calamity troubles and woe.

In that day, God will move on behalf of his people and they are to shout for joy at his magnificent salvation.

Conclusion

Zephaniah may have been the last prophet who wrote before the exile and his words are very important in that his visions are often far into the future; beyond just the regathering of Israel after the Babylonian captivity. In this, his words are especially important to those of us who live today. But some see him as having lived and written earlier than Habakkuk and Nahum as he mentions the practice of idolatry that has already been put down during Josiah's reforms.

Yet even though Zechariah sees things far into the future, we must always remember that he was prophet who lived in his times and thus his references and imagery are from that time. Thus, their words must be understood as being written by someone who both lived and were influenced by the events and social conditions of their time. This is true for all of the prophets, minor and major. Yet clearly Zephaniah's vision is more all encompassing than some of the others as he clearly mentions universal judgment upon all the earth.

 
Yet he was hardly a 'doom and gloomer', he rejoiced and commanded others to rejoice at the salvation that God would bring upon those who love him and do right. In perspective, both Zephaniah and Isaiah appear to be very similar as both are concerned with Judgment.

In closing, Zephaniah, like Jude in the New Testament is a short book that comes right to the point, deals with sin and evil and gives God's people hope in troubled times. Both are apocalyptic, both don't spend a lot of time describing who the author is and both are written in a hard hitting style. They don't beat around the bush or mince words.

8 Jan


Psalm 128


A Song of degrees.
Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD;
that walketh in his ways.

(Psa 128:1)

This Psalm is very much in keeping with the last one (127), which was written for Solomon and may have been set down by the same person. Each has one key theme at the center of it, the blessings of children and the joys of family life as being blessings from God. Here the Psalmist declares as blessed, every man who walks in the ways of the Lord and fears him. As many of you know, the word used for fear has a wider connotation than just a reaction of dread and terror. The Hebrew word is this one.

H3373
יָרֵא
yârê'
yaw-ray'
From H3372; fearing; morally reverent: - afraid, fear (-ful).
Total KJV occurrences: 43

However we must try and downplay just a bit, the plain simple 'fear' part of this word. It is derived from H3372.

H3372
יָרֵא
yârê'
yaw-ray'
A primitive root; to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten: - affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing). (be had in) reverence (-end), X see, terrible (act, -ness, thing).
Total KJV occurrences: 334


To understand the Lord is to fear and dread him as well as to revere him. Today, the aspect of God's holiness and his utter repugnance for sin and evil is not emphasized enough in our age of grace. Today, we all tend to take God's grace for granted. We should never do that. God is merciful and gracious, but it will be the eternal mistake of millions of souls to think that his forbearance towards our considerable wickedness will be forever. It will not be so.

A Godly man fears the Lord and understand that God is as much a loving father as a dreaded judge who has men at arms at his side who will pass horrible sentence on those who have chosen the path of evil. Those who have refused his pleas of repentance in the age of grace will feel the wrath of God on the day of Judgment.  This simple and very basic aspect of Christian dogma will help us all avoid serious error in the future and place us on this path of blessedness that the Psalmist lays out here in verse one.

This simple wisdom is for all of us.


And unto man he said,
Behold, the fear of the Lord,
that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding. 

(Job 28:28 [KJVA])

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
(Proverbs 9:10 [KJVA])

Walking in the fear of the Lord and obeying his commandments is the way to these divine blessings.
For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands:
happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
(Psa 128:2)


To be able to merely eat the fruit of ones labors is a tremendous blessing. In America, we have taken this for granted, but ask any slave about this. He works, but someone else gets rich. Ask it in a nation where criminals are able to steal one's property at will with little to no rebuke from authorities, or worse are supported by those authorities. Or even today, where men and women in this country are having their property stolen on the flimsiest of pretexts with asset forfeiture laws - people who work their whole lives to build up a business and then have it stolen by criminals who wear badges and black robes.

So while such a blessing to many Americans seems a bit passe, it reality it is hardly that. In far too many places on earth a man works all day and has what little he earns stolen - only the methodology of the theft changes from nation to nation.

The blessing this passage sets forth also marks that it shall be well with such a man or woman, who fears the Lord and walks in his ways. The word 'well' is this one.

H2896
טוֹב
ṭôb
tobe
From H2895; good (as an adjective) in the widest sense; used likewise as a noun, both in the masculine and the feminine, the singular and the plural (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women), also as an adverb (well): - beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, at ease, X fair (word), (be in) favour, fine, glad, good (deed, -lier, liest, -ly, -ness, -s), graciously, joyful, kindly, kindness, liketh (best), loving, merry, X most, pleasant, + pleaseth, pleasure, precious, prosperity, ready, sweet, wealth, welfare, (be) well ([-favoured]).
Total KJV occurrences: 553

The word as we can see has a very wide and powerfully positive connotation. God is letting us know that those who love and serve him can expect divine blessing and though not stated here, protection from his hand if we walk under those two important conditionalities mentioned in verse one.

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house:
 thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed
that feareth the LORD.

(Psa 128:3-4)


The Psalmist here as in the previous Psalm makes clear that children are a blessing from God and that a man so blessed will have a wife who will give him a house full of them! The similitude of the vine is an interesting one and here, I will let Mr. Barnes elaborate on this.
Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house - It is not uncommon in the East, as elsewhere, to train a vine along the sides of a house - partly to save ground; partly because it is a good exposure for fruit; partly as an ornament; and partly to protect it from thieves. Such a vine, in its beauty, and in the abundant clusters upon it, becomes a beautiful emblem of the mother of a numerous household. One of the blessings most desired and most valued in the East was a numerous posterity, and this, in the case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was among the chief blessings which God promised to them - a posterity that should resemble in number the sands of the sea or the stars of heaven. Compare Gen_15:5; Gen_22:17; Gen_32:12. These two things - the right to the avails of one’s labor Psa_128:2, and a numerous family - are the blessings which are first specified as constituting the happiness of a pious household. - Barnes

In Psalm 127, children were compared to arrows in a quiver, here they are compared to a vine and olive plants around the table. Another Psalmist in the 58th Psalm says this about Olive trees when comparing the righteous with the wicked, especially those who have a wicked tongue.

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God:
I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
(Psa 52:8)

So it is with all the children of God. We shall dwell in the House of God.  Verse four reiterates the afore mentioned blessing emphasizing the fear of the Lord.

The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the
good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
(Psa 128:5)

To religious Jews of those days all blessings came out of Zion, this was the seat of the Lord. This blessing while often spiritualized for Christians seems to this author to have had particular meaning to those pious Jews who lived in those days of the old Covenant. However, as with many Psalms, the writer was writing under divine inspiration and often their words often had meaning that they themselves did not know.

This blessing out of Zion and Jerusalem is commented here by the excellent Keil and Delitzsch commentary.

Every blessing the individual enjoys comes from the God of salvation, who has taken up His abode in Zion, and is perfected in participation in the prosperity of the holy city and of the whole church, of which it is the centre. A New Testament song would here open up the prospect of the heavenly Jerusalem. But the character of limitation to this present world that is stamped upon the Old Testament does not admit of this. The promise refers only to a present participation in the well-being of Jerusalem (Zec_8:15) and to long life prolonged in one's children's children; and in this sense calls down intercessorily peace upon Israel in all its members, and in all places and all ages. - K&D

Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children,
and peace upon Israel.
(Psa 128:6)


This blessing is again one that comes from God and seems more fitting to the times and customs of the Old covenant than today. Let is keep in mind when looking at the issue of Marriage and children today, under the New Covenant. Paul told us all that it was better not to marry giving his own opinion and not a commandment of the Lord (1Cor. Chapter 7 - let the reader re-familiarize themselves with all of it).

Christ as well, made it plain that there were some who were specially set apart by the Lord who would not marry. He did this in his own sermon on the institution of marriage when the Religious establishment of his time tried to ensnare him in his doctrine.

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb:
and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men:
 and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs
for the kingdom of heaven's sake.
He that is able to receive it,
let him receive it.
(Mat 19:12)


The word used above for Eunuch is this one.

G2135
εὐνοῦχος
eunouchos
yoo-noo'-khos
From εὐνή eunē (a bed) and G2192; a castrated person (such being employed in Oriental bed chambers); by extension an impotent or unmarried man; by implication a chamberlain (state officer): - eunuch.
Total KJV occurrences: 8


This is a simple Psalm, perhaps made a little overly complicated by this commentary (!). It is one of great blessing pronounced upon those who serve and fear the Lord and is a companion Psalm of number 127 on the blessings of family bestowed by God upon those who honor him.
Grace, peace and abundant blessings be upon all who love and honor our Lord Jesus Christ...

Amen!
4 Jan


Poverty Watch

Poverty is a global problem and it is very real as anyone who is truly poor can tell you. Hunger, homelessness, cold and they way the poor and homeless are often victimized. Today we will spend some time looking at the issue from around the world. Let none of us let our full bellies and warm homes cause us to become calloused to those in need.

Scotland: Poverty Guru Warns On Food Bank Complacency
Did you know that in Scotland there are parts of it that food banks and handouts were a way of life for many Scots?
China Recovers 730 Million In Misused Relief Funds
This appears to be a case of misappropriation of government funds. The key here I think is to understand that China is very serious about poverty reduction as well as lifting the living standards of ordinary Chinese. Many direct and painful short term sacrifices have been made to ensure a long term rise in those living standards.

Iran: Sex, Drugs And Poverty

Iran Tells Trump To Fight Crime In US, Not Other Nations

World Poverty Reportedly Plummets
A look at poverty stats. The site has a very optimistic and positive look at many of the past achievements on the poverty front but carefully acknowledges that Africa still presents serious challenges.

Rebuttal: No Poverty Has Not Been Reduced
This is a very interesting rebuttal to the idea that poverty is being reduced. It all depends on what you call poverty, what measurement you use. $1.90 a day? $2.50 a day? Or $10 a day.

Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016
This may be a bit dated, but it is still very informative, it is the world banks look at the issue of poverty and inequality. This is one of the World Bank's key stated goals.
Oklahoma: Mission Kicks Off Poverty Reduction Program
A Christian Church looks to create a dialogue about poverty and how to reduce it.
US: AI And Big Data Could Be Power On War On Poverty
The NYT attempts to show us how these two can fight poverty even while they have and will continue to take away many jobs from folks.
NC: Court Fines, Fee's Now Criminalize Poverty
This is a story based on a very informative pdf. Things are hard for folks 'on the other side of  the tracks'.
Equatorial Guinea: Oil Rich With Grinding Poverty
The MSN/AFP piece above is mostly about the leader, who is Africa's longest serving leader (since '79). Lots of oil, but where does it go?
In July 2004, the United States Senate published an investigation into Riggs Bank, a Washington-based bank into which most of Equatorial Guinea's oil revenues were paid until recently, and which also banked for Chile's Augusto Pinochet. The Senate report showed at least $35 million siphoned off by Obiang, his family and regime senior officials. The president has denied any wrongdoing. Riggs Bank in February 2005 paid $9 million in restitution for Pinochet's banking, no restitution was made with regard to Equatorial Guinea. - Wikipdia
A glimpse of the nations energy resources can be found here at the US government's EIA site.

More here.
Vermont: Income Gap Widens
This report talks about a longer pdf report done by the Public Assets Institute.
USA: Migration and Child Poverty
This piece done by the National Review opines that one of the reason the US has such troubling child poverty rates is that many immigrants come to the US are poor.
USA: 2017 Race For Results
This is a report by the Anne E. Casey Foundation on kids, and how they are faring, key milestones in child opportunity with an eye towards economics and race.

USA: UN Issues Scathing Report On Poverty In America
This is a report after a visit an official made to the US. He went to various parts of America, meet with folks, leaders and experts and this report is what he found. He talked to folks on Skid Row in LA, homeless people and others. He notes that poverty is not confined to any one racial group, but effects all.
California: High Cost Of Living, Low Wages Drive Child Poverty
One of the biggest problems is the price of housing.
2 Jan, 2018



Continue On In Holiness


He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy,
let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:
and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
(Rev 22:11)

This is one of the more interesting and perhaps a bit enigmatic verses of scripture. In this one of the final  versus of Revelation, John the Apostle is being addressed by a holy angel who had showed him many visions. Here in this final passage he gives both a warning and an exhortation. One is for the righteous and the other for the wicked.

I say this passage is a bit enigmatic to me because it is given to John at the end of the vision and was meant for those who live in the very last days. Note that John is told not to seal up the book in the previous verse (10). The Angel wants the message out before the things written in the book come to pass.

In this passage, though I see a kind of parallel with what we saw in Genesis when the Lord judged the whole earth for its sin. The passage above seems, well at least to me that somehow men will one day be locked in their condition. That there will come a time for much of mankind that repentance may not even be possible. The filthy will still be filthy and the unholy will remain so.

From this passage I get the impression that the Holy Spirit's work in converting mankind may be closing or ended. We saw this in the days of Noah.

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man,
for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be
an hundred and twenty years.
(Gen 6:3)

The Lord makes this statement just before the scriptures bear witness to the evil of the times in those days. Men only thought of evil all the time. The witness of scripture here is particularly explicit in that "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." - Gen 6:5b). So the Lord clearly states that his spirit had been striving with man but that it would not always. In other words, it would one day stop.

Now the Holy Spirit's work is essential in salvation, for without it there can be no genuine conversion or birth into the Kingdom of heaven. It is the Holy Spirit's job to draw men to Christ. This one reason why blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is such a serious sin and cannot be forgiven, for once the spirit is insulted, it stops its work and the man is eternally left in his unregenerate state. To have the Holy Spirit is a gift from God (1Thess 4:8) and we are sealed by him (Eph. 1:13). So the spirits work is essential.

But I suspect that in the final hours of this age, the spirit of God will be more in the business of sealing and guiding those who have already been saved rather than striving with a generation who has become abominable. They come to a spiritual state where their cries will not be heard. We saw this in the books of the prophets of Israel where God turned his face from those who persisted in sin.

I think that what the angel here may be telling us in his way, is that there will come a time when the condition of many men will be irredeemable and at the same time, God has his set number of saints who have earned the place of 'very elect' and cannot be snatched out of the father's hand (See Matt 24:24 and John 10:29).

But you know what? I just don't think most men will see themselves as evil. I look at something that has become acceptable today, like the mass killings in abortion clinics and whole political movements that have sprung up to protect this form of highly profitable, legalized mass murder. And as if to add insult to injury, they now have been caught selling body parts. But the world, well much of it just shrugs its shoulders and moves on. The outrage is gone and men turn instead more and more to their own vices. There just comes a point in time when God says enough! -  And the Holy Spirit ceases to strive with mankind.

I write this short piece to encourage all of you who serve the Lord in spirit and in truth to continue in your walk with Jesus Christ, to follow on in holiness, righteousness and to seek peace with all men. Let us be counted among those who truly endure to the end, even in most troubled times, and are saved by the grace of God and the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and redeemed by his blood.

Amen.

www.markswatson.com



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