-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)



_________



Eight Souls
In the age when men lived to be nearly a thousand years old, wickedness became so great that God only saved eight people.


The Power Of The Blood
The power of the blood of Christ to cleanse us from all sin.

Power Of Prayer
A look at prayer and and its great importance to a genuine Christian.

Trials And Tribulations
A look at our trials as Christians, why we go through them and how to do so successfully.

God's Protection In Times Of Trial

Thinking The Unthinkable
A look at the possibility of Nuclear War

Pole Shift: A Brief Speculative Look


The Day Of The Lord

Prayer: Standing In The Gap


The Sufficiency Of Christ

Standing In The Gap


Discerning The Times

Truth Averse


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.


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


_____



Christ, Family and Persecution

 
Obadiah: Divine Geopolitics
- Is the Lord concerned about geopolitics?


   


_______

Last Updated
17 Oct 2019

-

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)



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 Oct

Impeachment Watch

Well, I don't want to write on this today, but feel led to do so. This post may wind up in some form on the front page (MSW)

Where is this going? Will they vote articles of impeachment? I don't know. I cannot answer that. What I will do is make a few observations from my own non-partisan perspective. It's true, I am not a Democrat and I am not a Republican and am emotionally detached enough from both parties to give a perspective that those with significant emotional, political, financial and psychological investment in one or the other party are incapable of making. I hope my views are helpful.

First of all, impeachment is as much a legal process as a political one. We must not ever forget either aspect of it. If the House were full of Republicans, there probably would be no inquiry. But since it is filled with Democrats, there is one. Many on the left have been looking for dirt on Trump - impeachable dirt on the President for some time - really since he came into office and before. The real issue is less about pure partisanship I think as it is about the terrible disappointment that many Democrats and their wealthy donors felt when Mrs. Clinton did not win the election in 2016. Even before President Trump took office, operatives with loud voices and lots of money were working very hard to find a way to overturn the results of the election. Ultimately, this is how I see the current obsession with removing the President. It has far less to do about any crime the President may or may not have committed, but to undo the results of the last election and ensure that whomever the DNC puts up as their nominee has a fairly clear road into office in 2020. Trump should not be underestimated by those on the left. They did that once before and came away bitterly disappointed... with an emphasis on the word bitter...

But this lingering bitterness and these attempts to undo and overturn the election are doing the country tremendous harm. The actions of those on the left are in my view very damaging to the long term political stability of the country. Understand, I am not saying that the House does not have a right and duty to investigate wrongdoing by a sitting President. It has both. But I personally think this particular inquiry is, based upon the few facts that have leaked out into the media, including a transcript of the President's conversation with a foreign leader is not very sound in its basis for its initiation. While the prevailing narrative in the media is one of 'righteous indignation' of one whistle-blower at the behavior of the President, the actual conversation itself does not appear to veer even peripherally, into the criminal, at least not to my non-legal mind.

It can be and has been characterized by the Presidents enemies as a crude attempt by the President to enlist Ukrainian help to find dirt on the former Vice President's son, and by extension, the former Vice President himself. But such is only one, dark and probably politically motivated interpretation of things. A far more reasonable one goes more like this. The President has held up aid money from Ukraine. One of the biggest concerns that the US has with doling out aid to Ukraine has been the systemic corruption that has racked the nation both before and after the Revolution/coup and before and during the Trump administration. It is not a little issue. It is one of the biggest sticking points in relations between the two nations right now.

Should the President just hand out hundreds of millions of US dollars to a country like this? Should not some degree of due diligence be made about where some of the previous aid money has gone?  Should we hand over a few hundred million dollars to Ukraine only to find out it all went to some rich Oligarch to build a new wing in his mansion, or purchased planeload of heavy weapons to some of the heavy militarized fascist groups in Ukraine who openly praise Nazi-ism? Or have the money laundered so that plane loads of dope can be purchased? Or even laundered back into the US and its political system? Should the President not at least ask that these things be looked into? Should he be prevented from doing this just because an investigation may involve his political rivals?

Just because he is a Republican, does that prevent him from doing his job when it comes to looking into Democrats? Granted, politics probably did enter into the President's inquiry with the Ukrainian President, but when all of that money at issue, questions should be asked... even about Democrats who have lamented long and loud about the Presidents alleged corruption. What about them?

Now that he is doing his job regarding both foreign aid and possible political corruption what happens? He gets an impeachment inquiry. Why? Because of the perception that he is playing politics. Well, as shocking as it may sound, politics is what DC is all about. When Bill Clinton was impeached, I think the Congress was right in their inquiry. but frankly his behavior while most disappointing on many levels did not veer into textbook criminality. Yes, he was wrong, but no, he did not really break the law. Sex between two consenting adults is legal in America, even for the President.

So to me, the politics are real, but lets get to the law. Did the President break the law by asking Ukraine to look into Biden's son? I just don't see it. Yes, somewhere deep in federal regulations you may be able to contort something and try and make it apply. But I just don't see anything overtly criminal in what he did.

But the bigger issue I see in this whole affair is that it is just continues to cement America's path on the road to internal political destabilization, something many of America's enemies have worked long and hard to bring about. By Leftwingers listening to the rants on news networks and blogs with gossip, rumor, innuendo and fake news... lots of fake news, they become enraged at the real and purported misdeeds of the President and then call their Congressmen to 'demand' that they impeach the President.

Rightwingers are just as guilty as many knee jerk support every move the President makes. There is just too much hyper-partisanship. What does this hyper-partisanship do? It cripples the thinking processes of adults and turns them into unwitting propagandists, willing to speak and spread anything - truth or lie, that will bring about a desired political end. In this instance for the left, the impeachment and removal and the undoing of the 2016 election results.

Many are just not interested in the facts, they never accepted the election results of 2016 and never will. This is what makes the current environment so dangerous for us all, for when the people cease to respect elections, leaders cease to be chosen by them. That is when genuine political instability sets in.

Once before we had a very divisive election in America and the election of that President was one of the key reasons why America went into a literal Civil War. That President's name was Lincoln. They talked about his backwoods vulgarity and his crude ways, not unlike they do with this President. This was the opinion and mindset of many from the South. Mind you, I am not comparing the two as both being 'Great Presidents', but rather only to point out that crudeness does not necessarily make for a bad President and let's face it, President Trump can at times be rather crude.

What I don't want to do or become is some great defender of the President, politically speaking. He has done more than a few things that have really upset me. Such as his overturning of Net Neutrality and the way it was done. The way the CPFB has ceased to have the kind of relevance that the last President wanted it to have, having been born in a mortgage crisis that put many an American out of their homes via some very questionable legal moves taken by large corporations. That agency was set up to protect you and me. The last President did not get enough credit for the creation of that agency.

Then there are the things I have liked that he has dealt with, if not necessarily the way he went about it. The border is one issue I see that way. I think it is long overdue someone dealt with that long standing crisis. It is an organized crime crisis, a drug crisis, a humanitarian crisis and political crisis all rolled up into one. It is great that something is being done, not so great the way he has handled it, even if just the PR of the program. As stated before, I love immigrants, they are what this country is all about. If you are not a Native American you are an immigrant or the son of an immigrant. We cannot turn our backs on them. But we should not let those who commit crimes to get into the country and 'jump the fence' ahead those who use the legal system and go by the rules to obtain residency and citizenship. No one ever likes to talk about those who apply legally and go through the administrative and legal hurdles for citizenship. Too often, the political tears are only shed as they can be used to strike out at the President, as with illegal immigration.

My view is that we need to know who is coming in here and what their plans are. With the problems we have with gangs, drugs and stories of some of these gangs and their infiltration of local police departments, why should the President not be concerned about what is going on at the border? Unlike the others up there in DC, he has not been derelict in that most important duty. But yes, in a PR sense and the perception that has been created about moves along the border. One gets the impression that gas chambers and incinerators are being used on immigrants, if you listen to some. The saddest part is, some simple minded people actually believe such things or are willing to spread such rumors for a political end.

Finally the President has moved America in a very different foreign policy course. Peace talks instead of troop deployments has characterized his moves in this arena. Such policies makes any President, regardless of political party some very powerful enemies. Remember JFK.

What Goes Around...


It does indeed come around again at you. I speak here not so much about impeachment of a Democrat or Republican. No, there is a bigger picture here that needs to be seen. America for many years was really into destabilization, regime change and other covert means of changing governments or just bringing in chaos to those governments it did not like. There is a long, long history that can be found on the web (though that is getting harder to do). The words 'regime change' have often been used by American political leadership.

What the US has done to others is slowly happening to the US. The winds of political destabilization are blowing over our system and I see no way it will end, except in tragedy. Mature leaders and wise men are few and demagogues are plentiful in 21st century America. Men who can see past the partisanship and their immediate political future and see where any path that they may take could take the nation seem to have been eviscerated from our political system. Such men and women are not electable. People now want a leader who will 'go after' the other party, the Christians, the Gays, the Muslims, the Conservatives, the Liberals and use government as a tool for a manufactured enmity that cannot possibly lead to any kind of political utopia, but rather to the fires of political violence - these are more and more the leaders Americans seem to want into office. 

The political gun powder of political destabilization is already being poured into the keg, it only takes the adept lighting of the fuse at the proper moment, probably by political forces within our own government but who are under the influence of foreign powers to ignite it at the proper time. And the great American political experiment that most of us take very much for granted, will come to an end - a free people who can freely elect a government and live in peace one with another despite many religions, racial and cultural differences - E Pluribus Unum


All sides need to step back and re-evaluate the current political crisis. The election is just a year away. If the nation really wants a new President, it can have one. If it does not, they can re-elect Donald Trump. What I see more and more and what troubles me is that some just don't want to deal with another election with Donald Trump running, so they want to fix that situation to make sure he doesn't and can't.

Impeachment at this time over this issue to me is not a wise move. Not with the ill social winds blowing in the nation. We need leaders on both sides who can calm the restless, angry and misinformed natives, not inflame them.

Brother as the scriptures say, a house divided against itself cannot stand and unless more Americans come out of their political and ideological bunkers, neither will America.
16 Oct

Soiled, Defiled And Rejected


This piece is meant soley for genuine Christians who love the Lord Jesus Christ and have turned their faces fully and completely to the task of striving to enter into the strait gate, and not merely seeking to (see Luke 13:24).

Today, we are going to leave the news, chaos and madness of the present age behind and talk for a while about some spiritual matters.

As I write on news daily, it becomes apparent to me that our nation, this nation is not salvageable. Sure many think it can be saved and turned around. I don't want to argue with them or discourage them from any work that God (rather than they themselves) may have called them to. Rather I want to deal with a couple of issues specifically regarding our times.

The key problem that we believers will face in these times is one of spiritual defilement and having our garments soiled. Just before God lowers the boom on Mystery Babylon, he warns his people to come out of her. He says get out lest you share in her plagues.

 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
Come out of her, my people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
  For her sins have reached unto heaven,
and God hath remembered her iniquities.
(Rev 18:4-5 [KJVA])


There is a clear separation that God demands from his people in Babylon. Some believe it is a physical separation, others a spiritual one - my own view is that it is largely both, but the second is by far the more important. I say it is more important because a person who is steeped in sin and evil but leaves Babylon physically is still on his way into God's wrath. But a person who has kept themselves pure, even in the midst of great wickedness, if God does tell them to get up and move out, there will be no hesitation in so doing, in fact, such a person probably has already sought the Lord about it long before the command went forth. But like all things, timing is everything with God.

The issue of spiritual defilement is an important one. It is one that we must always keep in mind. What can defile us? What can make us unacceptable to God?

For whoremongers, for them that
defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers,
 for liars, for perjured persons,
and if there be any other thing
that is contrary to sound doctrine;
 (I Timothy 1:10 [KJVA])

If any man defile the temple of God,
him shall God destroy; for the temple
of God is holy, which temple ye are.
 (I Corinthians 3:17 [KJVA])

 And he said, That which cometh out of the man,
that defileth the man. For from within,
out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,
 adulteries, fornications, murders, 
Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit,
 lasciviousness, an evil eye,
 blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

 All these evil things come from within,
 and defile the man.
(Mark 7:20-23 [KJVA])


We are to be unspotted by this world and its wickedness (see James 1:27).

I say these thing with a specific idea in mind. Far too many of us spend far too much time trying to save America or the world system for that matter, or trying to fight the social war going on out there. I know many of you with kids want people like me to be more vocal and try and get people roused up to fight many of the trends on our society. The things happening in our government or schools and with our children. I feel for those of you who want me to do that. But I do not feel led to help lead crusades to end this or put a stop to that in our society. My first love is for God, Jesus Christ and his kingdom, not this present system.

Some of you want me to support one candidate who will drop bombs on children so that they can stop teaching transgenderism in school, or want me to go ballistic against one party who has a good abortion stance so that that same party can start new wars and create a new wave of refugees, cripples and deaths.

Those of you who are willing to turn a blind eye to one abomination in order to stop another, you too are guilty of defiling your garments. Evil is evil and the devil is a master at getting people to support it. That is why this country is on a downward spiral today - the ethical, moral and spiritual trade-offs people make.

Christians are by no means any kind of exception. You see, while many are out there fighting the social battle (cultural war), they have forgotten the spiritual battle. They are fighting legal battles in the natural and forgetting the source of our power as Christians, that being God and the source of many of the issues that our world faces, the devil and his host of fallen angels. Going on and on about about the evils transpiring in society, that is not my job. Yes, at times, that is exactly what God wants me to do. But other times... most of the times, it simply is not.

I know many of you have kids and are concerned about things or are working jobs where you are treated like dirt because you are a Christian. I am not unsympathetic. I am however only somewhat concerned about it. Why is that? Why am I not enraged and outraged?

Because this is a sinful world and it is full of sinners and if you did not know, this let me break it down to you - sinners have a tendency to sin. That is what they do. Should I be shocked when a dog barks, a cock crows or a sinner sins? Brothers, these things are about as shocking to me as turning another page on the calendar at sunrise. It's expected.

Please understand, I am not complacent about sin and evil, not in the least, but when I fight these evils, I don't do as the world does and try and start a media/internet campaign of signatures and letter writing, I don't try and go on some billionaire owned TV station who will probably only contort what I say when all is said and done.

No, I go the Lord in prayer and when necessary, enjoin others to do the same when I think it meet. This is where our power comes from. It comes from the spiritual world and the spiritual battle going on behind the scenes of which we are only vaguely aware. This is where so many Christians miss the point. This is a spiritual battle that will only be won with spiritual weapons. The devil is real good at getting us to misdirect our energies into temporal battles. He does this for a reason. He is genuinely afraid (terrified may be a better word) of the effectual prayer of a righteous man (Jam 5:16). He knows that when old man Jones or grandma Smith gets on their knee's and starts praying, the Kingdom of hell starts to shake and shudder under the weight of their supplications.

But my concern is that in the desire many Christians have to save America using temporal tools, they become defiled. You who hate abortion and vote accordingly, do you support murder and vote accordingly at the same time? You who are deeply worried about trends in sodomy, do you support bribery and corruption by default? You see, we must be careful who or how we lend our support and time. We may honestly think we are doing good, but in reality we may be doing a lot of harm when we don't fight these battles the way God wants us to fight them.

Can a person so deceived by the devil to support say, the razing of Christian villages and the enslavement of Christian women get into the Kingdom? No, such a person has been deceived and is in serious danger of being defiled. We are to have nothing to do with the works of darkness. NOTHING. We cannot point a finger of accusation at those who support sexual licentiousness, when our own deeds point to support of a trail of innocent blood. God will hold both groups to full account.

Then there is the issue of America as a whole. What is God's opinion of her? Is he in love with America. I rather think not. I think he has honored her and blessed her because she was such a blessing to others and was so very useful in spreading the Gospel message around the world. But as we have more and more forgotten and even reviled the God of heaven, so God has also noted it.
I say these things not because I take any pleasure in seeing this nation fall or wish her harm, but to lay out to you where the trends we are already seeing in America will lead her.

In conclusion, let us all be sober and watchful. Know the times and understand the spiritual lay of the land. This is a battle and those who don't know that will be shocked when an enemy 'shell' winds up blowing up in their vicinity. and they are laying in a foxhole riddled with spiritual 'shrapnel'. 

Let us be good servants of the Lord, keep our eyes open, obey the voice of our God and do those things he commands us. Let the issue of spiritual defilement always be on our minds when we go out into the world. Let us be holy, pure, humble, merciful, full of love, but also watchful, careful and not so quick to open our mouths.

God is not going to let the defiled into his kingdom any more than we would let portions of a toxic waste dump into our living rooms. It messes up everything. That is what a defiled person does, he messes up everything. Such people are not going to heaven. If you want a scripture verse on that, here it is.

And there shall in no wise enter
into it any thing that defileth,
neither whatsoever worketh abomination,
or maketh a lie: but they
which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
 (Rev 21:27 [KJVA])


May God bless you who love our Lord Jesus Christ.



10 Oct

Nehemiah XLII

Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hashub,
the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;
And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites,
had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God.
And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph,
was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah
the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua,
the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. All the Levites in the holy
city were two hundred fourscore and four. Moreover the porters,
 Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates,
were an hundred seventy and two.
(Neh 11:15-19)

This passage takes up with who actually dwelt in Jerusalem. As stated before, many came there by casting lots. They did not particularly want to come, but did as they were bid. Shemaiah's lineage can be traced back to Merari, one of the sons of Levi (1Chr 9:14). Also mentioned are the chief of the Levites as dwelling here.

I think it clear that Nehemiah was going to do his best to once again make Jerusalem and the Temple the center of Jewish life. That could not be done with the city basically uninhabited and broken down.

Jozebad, this name in the past was associated with the Porters (2Chr 31:13) Gill says this about Shabbethai and Jozebad

the oversight of the outward business of the house of God: who had the care of the repairs of the temple, and of getting in the wood for the altar, as Jarchi, and collecting the third part of the shekel, to purchase things with for the use of the temple. - Gill

This passages seem to indicate that those families who had duties before the Exile had similar ones after.  The following verses follow along this theme, with the sons of Asaph in charge of the thanksgiving prayer. Those of you who know your Psalms know that many of them were written by Asaph. So again, we see a pattern of blood-line genealogy related to specific temple duties. I don't want to make too much of it, but still it is rather interesting to note. Finally we have the watchers of the gate, the nightwatchmen if you will. These too are mentioned and given honor.

Keep in mind that these are not complete genealogies and constitute a kind of census that took place. I do not think they were 100% accurate, but were meant to give an account of how many were dwelling there and who they were and their prominence. I behooves us to keep some things in mind when dealing with the numbers of people who were there. 

The situation here was while not tumultuous, was clearly primitive when it came to basic necessities. Perhaps some who were told to go up, went and decided to go back when they saw the work ahead. Family members who may have arrived but departed soon thereafter. There are many reasons why this could be so, so too much stock should not be taken of them other than we get a real good idea as to how few people actually moved into the city at first and that some had to be induced to do so.

Second - keep this in mind about them. When there are two separate genealogies (again, Chronicles gives us another one taken around the same time) we must keep in mind that it is possible that they were taken at two different times by two different people and what is recorded for us are merely extracts of those public records.  They may have had different methodologies for counting. One may have been conducted in the winter, the other in the fall. Moreover, one group of census takers may have decided to count those who were of 'foreign' extraction and were peripherally attached to a household, where as the other census taker would not count such a person. Frankly, I think the discrepancy is a pretty strong testament to the honesty of both the text and the fact that no scribe later tried to do a 'creative reconciliation' to force the lists match. Even in the 21st century with the advent of computer technology, we don't have a 100% accurate census.


And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites,
were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.
(Neh 11:20)

This passage is self explanatory. The rest of Israel lived in the rest of Israel.


But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel:
and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.

(Neh 11:21)

As I talked about in the last update on Nehemiah, the Nethinim's were temple servants but were probably those of foreign (non-Israelite) extraction. They are given their own place to live and may not have much with the holy bloodline of the sons of Abraham. This may have been by clear design by Ezra and others who mentioned matters along these lines before. But still, they seem to have been given a place of honor near the temple and not out in the 'slums' as one could suppose.

The overseer also of the Levites
at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani,
the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah,
 the son of Micha.
Of the sons of Asaph,
the singers were over the business of the
house of God.
For it was the king's
commandment concerning them,

that a certain portion should be for the singers,
due for every day.
And Pethahiah
the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah

 the son of Judah, was at the king's
hand in all matters concerning the people.

(Neh 11:22-24)


Here we see that there was another overseer of the Levite's, this one was Uzzi. Why two groups of overseers? Because each probably had different sets of priests to oversee who had different responsibilities. One may have taken care of the menial tasks, another the singing and still others teaching and preaching. This group appears to be a bit different in that the King had a specific commanded regarding them.

So who was the king? Some say David (by ancient command), but this is not likely. King Xerxes certainly the one referred to here. Verse 24 confirms this and mentions two sons of Judah who were at the kings hand in these matters.  Pethahiah - this person's actual role is not clear, other than as stated here. He was clearly some kind of official in the kings service and probably was the real political power with regards to imperial (Persian) matters effecting Jerusalem. This presents an interesting problem. Up until now, it seemed clear that Nehemiah was the effective governor of the area. Now we have a new person who is at the Kings right hand. But this passage does not actually say he was governor, nor does it clearly state that he was even in Jerusalem. He probably resided in Susa with the King and was kind of an administrator and adjutant to the king regarding Jewish affairs. Perhaps Nehemiah reported to him directly. We do not know. What we do know that as a result of this person, the command regarding the temple priests was issued.

I find it interesting that the King used an Israelite and not a native Babylonian to do this job. Keep in mind that Xerxes also had a Jewish wife. Was her (Esther's) influence the reason for this? Perhaps, after all, she was Queen.

So the king wanted to make sure that the Jewish people had singers and that they were paid for their music and that those who kept the temple were paid for it. This is rather remarkable. A 'heathen' King wanting to make sure Jewish worship was conducted and that those who did it were not doing in for charity.

Clearly someone wanted Jewish life to remain Jewish and the Jewish God to remain at the center of their lives.

This may have been for two reasons. Smart Kings like to rule over happy subjects. When you start telling people who to worship, restricting their heritage and culture, you get a focus for resistance. Ruling over an huge empire, Xerxes knew this. Why make trouble when you don't need to? Happy subjects make loyal subjects. Let them worship their God.

8 Oct

Climate News

There has been a lot of news of late on the Climate. Mostly the prevailing narrative being carried by the mainline media that is being pushed by climate alarmists. We have all heard that side of the story, that if we don't take drastic action we're all going to burn up and die. But while that is the loudest and most well funded side of the debate, it isn't the only side and its not necessarily based on the best and 'neutral' science. By neutral I mean science that is based on science without undue political and financial influence on those conducing the studies. Here is one that I think may be of interest. It's linked in this update from Earth Changes news group.

But being a skeptic on the whole man-made Global Warming narrative being pushed does not make you 'evil' as some would suggest. It just means you have moved beyond panic stricken headlines into what has become a forbidden art and ability in our world today - cold, hard analysis better known as thinking. Not reciting what one read on the internet or from cable TV, but thinking for yourself based on information from multiple sources from a variety of perspectives.

Can you put aside your prejudices, what you think you already know and question those beliefs based on the evidence you may not have heard? Not many can do that. It takes a significant degree of humility and courage to do that. These are two traits that are sorely lacking in 21st century Homo Sapiens. Thinking might make you come to the right conclusions - a non politically correct solution. It's why thinking today is a lost art and people are so easily swayed by emotions, fake news, propaganda and foolishness.

You all may find this pdf of interest. I am a skeptic on man made climate change. I think there probably has been some effect on overall temperatures, but not enough... not near enough to justify the extreme panic so many are pushing into the media. Whatever changes we have seen lately are probably due to long standing cycles (such as solar) that scientists don't fully understand the cause of, or don't want generally known lest the panic narrative be exposed for a ruse.

Look, this whole climate agenda is having real effect on economics. The latest speech by the child celebrity climate activist came with a legal complaint that certain nations reduce their carbon emissions.

I think you may find this of great interest.


Sadly this climate panic looks like one giant PR stunt all based on shaky science, but could be a real economic boon to nations who don't have to get saddled with carbon penalties and what may soon follow if they don't comply - sanctions. Now of course you have these 'Climate Strikes' happening. This looks very much to me like a coordinated campaign (climate protests, climate strikes) and there are not many people or entities who have the money, power and influence to coordinate such things including a speech at the UN as we saw recently'.

There is money and power behind this agenda. They seem though to be in almost a panic. Like they don't have a lot of time to push their agenda so they are going full throttle. Why the panic? Why the push? I don't know but more and more scientists seem to have found their 'manhood' and are speaking out and countervailing this well coordinated and financed global propaganda campaign. We just don't know - really know - about long term Climate Change to jump to the conclusions that many are paying a lot of money to make sure we come to. But there are strikes, protests and much more going on right now globally. So this is not some isolated event. They shut down DC.

Well, I wanted to spend just a bit of time on this subject today, since panic has stricken the hearts and minds of so many well meaning people who really do care about the world we live in. I fully confess, I am one of those. I do care very much about the environment and the earth we all must live on. I am not a Climate Change denier. Climate change happens, always has and always will. My point is fundamentally different one. What is causing it... really? How about the Sun? Geothermal activity? I don't know. I am not a scientist, but I do know a propaganda campaign when I see one and that is what I see as being waged today.

In closing, I think any genuine Christian will be deeply concerned for the earth an all the creatures on it. God created these things and he cares about his creation. Did you now that those who destroy the earth will fall under heavy judgement in the last days and that destroying the earth is one major reason that God's wrath falls on mankind?


And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come,
and the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
and that thou shouldest give reward
unto thy servants the prophets,
and to the saints, and them that fear thy name,
small and great; and shouldest destroy
them which destroy the earth.
 (Rev of John 11:18 [KJVA])


We are to be good stewards of the earth, not its assassins. But we should not allow ourselves to be deceived by others into fixing problems that don't really exist so that real ones continue to grow right under our noses.

To conclude, my view is the Climate Hysteria is being used to to assist in the process of globalization. The Trump administration has put the brakes on Economic Globalization and as President, the forces of Globalization have great difficulty in forcing him to stop. But here is an issue that the President has less power and influence. Note that this has gained considerable traction at the UN and globally with the Thunberg's speech? The UN, the world's nascent, wannabe global governance authority? Who did Thunberg file her legal complaint with? The UN. Who is she charging? - nation states. Yes, my view is that this is about Globalization and who controls nations. The people who elect governments or the United Nations? Who drives their policy? A 16 year old kid or the electorate? I say these things not to question the sincerity of the beliefs of Young Ms. Thunberg, but to question how her and millions of others had those beliefs shaped in the first place.

I think these questions are ones that we should always keep in mind as this propaganda campaign rolls on and we are all spoon fed news reports telling us that the world will catch fire if we don't hand more power over to global institutions.

3 Oct

Encouragement


I write this for every true believer in Jesus Christ, who has come to know him in a real and personal way and who genuinely seeks to please God and to do his will. It is meant for no one else but such as those who know him and honor the Lord and savior Christ Jesus.

***


 There shall not any man be able to stand
before thee all the days of thy life:
as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee:
I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee
Be strong and of a good courage:
for unto this people shalt thou divide
for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto
their fathers to give them.  Only be thou strong
and very courageous, that thou mayest observe
to do according to all the law, which Moses
my servant commanded thee: turn not from
it to the right hand or to the left,
that thou mayest prosper
whithersoever thou goest.
(Joshua 1:5-7 [KJVA])


As we watch many of the things going on in the world, we must not become depressed. I know many of you are concerned about the drama in DC and the impeachment moves, the President, the ultra-liberals, the whole direction the nation is heading. It is times like these that we need... really need to step back and keep one thing firmly in mind. What is that you may ask? for the true Christian, this world is not our home. There is a class of people that the scriptures tell us that the world is not worthy. In the great panorama of faith we find in Hebrews Chapter 11 we find this passage...

 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings,
yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder,
were tempted, were slain with the sword:
they wandered about in sheepskins
and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)
they wandered in deserts, and in mountains,
and in dens and caves of the earth.
And these all, having obtained a good
report through faith, received not the promise: 
God having provided some better thing for us,
 that they without us should not be made perfect.
(Hebrews 11:36-40 [KJVA])

Brothers, I often look at the things going on in this world and am thankful that my God has called me out of it. We must diligently seek our place in Christ's kingdom and hold that place with our dear lives, literally. For the devil will do all in his power to distract us and keep us from a marvelous inheritance in Christ, even to the point of killing us, as he already is in so many places in the world today.
While I do spend much time on the news events of the day, I never lose sight of whose property I am. I belong to and am a bondservant of God and his son Jesus Christ. I have been purchased with a price (1Cor 6:20). The price was paid to take me out of this wicked system and into the kingdom of God. This is one reason why I cannot get all worked up about about what is going on in DC or in many parts of the world. Yes, I do care about those who are suffering and being badly mistreated, but the political drama - I am concerned, but at the same time, I am not. I often look at what is going on in DC like I see two wolves fighting over a piece of meat. Growling and tearing at each other like wild beasts. Does it really matter which beast gets the meat (worldly political power)? In the overall scheme of things - spiritually speaking, it doesn't, at least not much.
No, rather I look to press on in Christ, keep my self standing on the firm foundation of Jesus and to not be like Lot's wife and start looking back.
So as I write on things like the trouble in the Bond markets, Repo operations, inverted yield curves, impeachment inquiries, deep state machinations and other things (these things are written on daily for insiders), keep in mind that these things are important insofar as we must understand the times and the lay of the land. We must not be ignorant of the times brothers nor of the things going on in our world. Christ told us to watch and that is exactly what he meant. So I will do so, but never lose sight of the author and finisher of our faith, even Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.
So let NONE OF US BE DEPRESSED but rather give thanks for the things we have, be encouraged and press on in Christ Jesus!!!

Yes, Press on! Remember what the Lord told Joshua, be strong and of good courage!! Despite all the trouble that we have to face, God will be with us all if we have faith in him and obey him. Joshua, after receiving the above promise had to fight many a battle, some of them long and very hard fought. He did not promise him a life of ease and comfort, only that God would be with him as he did as God commanded.

Yet, we should find rest for our souls in Christ, even in the midst of trials and tribulations.

These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.
 (John 16:33 [KJVA])

Did Christ not say that we are going to have tribulation? Yes, but even in the midst of it, we should be of good cheer!

So brothers, this AM rather than do news I wanted to give each and everyone of you a strong word of encouragement. No matter what you are doing, what jobs you have, what issues you are dealing with on the job, at home or elsewhere, God knows and he is with you. Take your cares to him in prayer.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you.
(I Peter 5:6-7 [KJVA])


Blessings to you all in Christ Jesus.


1 Oct

A Reader...

...sent me an email this AM and asked me this. I thought I would pass this along to all of you It was about Revelation 3:15ff and the subject of Laodicea's lukewarmness.

Response

Blessings,

Great to hear from you!!

I think the idea that is being conveyed was that they were kind of in the middle. They weren't cold and indifferent to spiritual things, but they weren't on fire either. The Church at Laodicea was 'lukewarm'. They weren't necessarily evil, but they weren't on fire for God either. They probably had little 'fire' or zeal for the things of God. Yes, they were part of the Church and part of the body, but kind of had a kind of careless attitude about their faith and life in Christ.

Lukewarmness is just that to me, it is borderline spiritual indifference while claiming to be Christ's. If we note that God was looking for a return of love and affection on other Churches (see Rev 2:4). I think if we look at the passage along those lines, it becomes clearer. The problem with Laodicea was that she was rich and had need of nothing. It made her somewhat cold and indifferent spiritually speaking. When folks get rich, the cares of this life tend to choke out the word (Luke 8:14).

This was the danger that the Church from Laodicea was in. They were rich and had need of nothing.

I think the key here is that being 'in the middle' and spiritually 'on the fence' in Christ is a very dangerous place to be. I note that the Christ threatens to spew them out of his mouth. They are going to make him vomit. But I think the connotation is much more serious because you know what? If they are being thrown up out of Christ, they are no longer part of the Body of Christ. We are part of that body and Christ was about to reject them as being something wholly unpalatable and unworthy.

Yet he still loves them and is about to rebuke them (Rev 3:19). This love that he has shown us, God wants returned and this is done is by obeying is commandments (John 14:21).

So in answer to your question, I think both answers you gave are correct in so far as we need to not be indifferent to others or what is going on around us and measure all things according to the Gospel and the Holy Spirit that dwells within all of us who are of Christ.

But ultimately this is about their (and our) attitude to the Gospel and the things of God. Are we on on fire, cold or lukewarm? Lukewarmness not being that 'safe place in the middle' but a very dangerous place spiritually speaking. They were as a Church, in danger of being cast off by the Lord.


I think this passage is so pertinent today to the spirit of so many Churches in the West. The real things of God, they ignore or are indifferent to. They have created their own 'gospel' that sounds good and is full of a kind of theology, but it cannot save souls.

There is lots of money, the parishioners are wealthy (by the world's standards), and lots of activity, but their spirituality is highly questionable. Are these so called believers of the variety that says 'Lord' but have not really made him so and will one day be cast out by him?

Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
 Many will say to me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.
(Matthew 7:21-23 [KJVA])


There are a lot of folks out there making a lot of noise about being saved, but are they... in the eyes of Christ?

I think one major issue is that the 'salvation' gospel being preached is not one that fully presents the potential believer with what is excepted of them when they are saved. The forsaking all and doing as God commands is not clearly outlined for them. They don't understand that it means what it says. Second, I think the whole idea of easy faith - that 'mental belief' leads to salvation, is not sound. The whole idea of faith - saving faith is not laid out. Yes, we are saved by faith and faith alone! But faith requires actions based upon it. In Hebrews Chapter 11, the Apostle tells us what faith is - it is much more than just mental belief. It's not works that save us, but works and action are evidence of saving faith. How did James put it?


Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:
the devils also believe, and tremble.
(James 2:19)

But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead?
 (James 2:20 [KJVA])

For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also.
 (James 2:26 [KJVA])


Did not our Lord tell us that we are judged by our works, and not our faith (Rev 20:12). Indeed in the very same passage that is cited about Laodicea, what did our Lord say, 'I know thy works... (Rev 13:15a)

James lays out what faith is as well and what God expects of his people. This is one major problem I see in today's 'easy believe-ism' gospel. Faith is taught as a mental phenomenon and not one that translates into concrete action (works).


I think this is one, but only one reason why the Church is often lukewarm. I think the key is that we have to let go of the protections we come to expect in this world, the good jobs, careers, social position and future material rewards and lean on, trust and depend on God. This is done through obedience, not fully understanding the why's and wherefores of God's commandments, but putting our trust fully in God. This was very hard for the Laodiceans because they were rich and had need of nothing. Abraham had to leave the familiar and the safe, and trust fully in God. This is not so easy. In fact, this kind of faith is rare and rather difficult. Abraham, the father of faith and friend of God, he had to get up, leave his homeland and travel to a place that God would show him. He had no idea where he was going. That was faith! Could you do that? I mean really? Brothers that is a hard thing to do.

But a person who has forsaken all to follow God and do his will... he isn't going to go back and is not upset when the bridges back to the old life get burned. He hopes they never get rebuilt again. He is going forward, onwards and will not be like Lot's wife and start looking back.

Love and faith - saving faith. These are two important things God is looking for in us. If we have both, we need never worry about becoming lukewarm
I hope this helps!

Brother Mark



27 Sept

Nehemiah XLI

 And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah,
 and of the children of Benjamin.
Of the children of Judah;
Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah,
the son of Amariah,
the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel,
of the children
of Perez; And Maaseiah the son of Baruch,
the son of Col–hozeh, the son of Hazaiah,

the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib,
the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.

All the sons of Perez that dwelt
at Jerusalem were four hundred
 threescore and eight valiant men.
(Nehemiah 11:4-6 [KJV])

Here, Nehemiah continues on and gives us a genealogy of those who lived within the confines of Jerusalem. We find many notable names, One is Athaiah, who can trace his lineage all the way but to Uzziah, who was one of the good kings but got proud in his old age and started to sin. He then tried to usurp the role of the Priests and burned incense. See 2Chron Chapter 26.

The problem that Nehemiah faced must be understood here. There just were not that many people in the city and not many who seemed to want pull up stakes and move there and do the work of rebuilding the city. The passages above deal with the house of Judah. The sons of Perez were also of the house of Judah (1Chr 2:3). We also note the decedents of Baruch, one of the names in the Bible that perhaps people don't give enough 'respect' to. He was a man who was clearly of some note in his times, probably of noble blood who probably had a high position in Israel at the time, but nevertheless threw in his lot with the Prophet of the Lord, Jeremiah whom no one really liked. He forsook temporal position and threw his lot in with God, who rewards his servants with eternal rewards.


And these are the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam,
the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah,
the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah. And after him Gabbai, Sallai,
nine hundred twenty and eight. And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer:
and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.
(Neh 11:7-9)


Then we have the other house that was left to David when the Kingdom broke up, Benjamin. This was the only tribe that remained loyal to the House of David. The other ten tribes as you know made up the northern Kingdom. Of the house of Benjamin we find that they were both overseer and second overseer of the city, that would be like 'Mayor and Vice-Mayor' today. Why Benjamin and not Judah have these positions is not clear to me. But it may have just been prudent politics. If they had put someone from Judah in there, the accusations that they were setting up a new monarchy and thus threatening the Emperor would have been given dangerous weight. But that is just my own personal 'aside' on this. Nehemiah was far too prudent a politician to give his enemies that kind of political ammunition.

 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib,
Jachin.
Seraiah the son of Hilkiah,
the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok,

the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub,
was the ruler of the house of God.

 And their brethren that did the work of the
house were eight hundred twenty and two:
and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah,
 the son of Amzi,
the son of Zechariah,
the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah,

And his brethren, chief of the fathers,
two hundred forty and two:

and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai,
the son of Meshillemoth,

 the son of Immer, And their brethren,
mighty men of valour, an hundred
twenty and eight:
and their overseer
was Zabdiel, the son of
one of the great men.

(Nehemiah 11:10-14 [KJV])

Now comes the Priestly tribe, of whom three well known houses are mentioned. It is noteworthy that the title given to Seraiah is 'the ruler of the House of God'. This title implies that he may have been acting as High Priest at the time. This is the view of the Geneva Bible, but other commentators only mention the possibility that this was so rather than the fact.  Two other titles of note here 'Mighty men of Valor' and 'Great men' are used. These are terms usually associated with warriors, soldiers, particularly Might Men of Valor.

So these priests were probably also warriors or so the passage implies. Given the situation at the time, men who bore arms and knew how to fight may have been necessary.

Let me add one thing about Biblical genealogies. They are often not complete. Why? This is often debated by many scholars. Some may have been added to or amended later, others may have been altered during copying (which was an arduous process before the printing press and digital media). Often names are transliterated differently from book to book in different time periods by different people who knew the names of the families with different transliterations and pronunciations than were at the time of occurrences.

I don't like to spend too much time on them, other than to understand the basics of the what is going on and remember those whom the Lord honored to such a degree that their names are recorded in Scripture.

But avoid foolish questions,
and genealogies, and contentions,

and strivings about the law;
for they are unprofitable and vain.

(Titus 3:9 [KJV])


 
24 Sept

Donald Trump: Peacemaker?

One of the things that has really struck me about the President is that while he does appear very much to want to arm America better and spend a lot of money on our Defense Establishment, he has been very reticent to use armed force to attempt to solve the geopolitical problems that confront him and the country. This is quite a departure from the norm of American Presidents of either party. In the past Presidents were very quick to fire off missiles, launch an airstrike or use secret raids and covert ops to attempt to correct behavior that the US policy establishment felt needed to be corrected. While today, sanctions seem more and more the weapon of choice for 'solving' these problems, unilateral military force seems less and less an option that this President is going to employ to 'change behavior'.

Even in the early days of his Presidency when an all too convenient reason materialized to hit Syria with force, the President was reticent to do so. He was being egged on by all the usual suspects of the foreign policy establishment to retaliate against Syria for a Chemical attack of a highly questionable nature. He finally launched the attack with 59 cruise missiles, many of which went astray. I long suspected that this whole incident was a 'set up' to get the President to take stronger measures to remove the Assad regime, something that many NeoConservatives on both sides of the political aisle have long wanted but were not able to do. Donald Trump, who ran on a platform of wanting to reel in Americas foreign wars was caught in an all too convenient trap. Not strike and look weak or strike and appear to have broken his promises.

He chose to strike, but without getting into details, some of the elements who pushed for this and other 'cowboy' foreign polices of America have ceased to be players in DC. This has given the President the opportunity to pursue a somewhat different line of foreign policy that is not so quick to 'bomb first and ask questions never', but realizes that there are significant problems and drawbacks that accompany the use of unilateral military. Additionally, such actions may turn out to be counter productive on many levels.

First of all, it is counter productive because increasingly, American military hardware, once the very best, isn't any longer. It's good, mind you, but it is ageing and often not as effective as it could be against opponents systems. The Tomahawk strike in Syria being a perfect example. The inability of US made Air Defense systems to effectively protect against the recent drone/missile strike in Saudi Arabia being another. The use of force like this can expose major weaknesses in the hardware that America possesses and embolden others who see the growing ineffectiveness of these weapons.

Despite the enormous amounts of money being spent on the next generation of weapons, they too are likely to be just as ineffective. The reasons are many, but two big ones are that military contractors are running the procurement process. Their aim it seems to this author, is less about effectiveness in war than it is about profit. The second and it is related is the revolving door between senior Generals and military contractors. These high ranking officers can often get top jobs at these contractors after their years of service and by steering contracts to future employers as they are on the down side of their military careers.

The consequences of not fixing a system that is this broken is that in 15 years we have weapons systems that do not meet the real needs the nation faces, but can face threats that only exist in the minds of contractors who have difficulty seeing past the profits in the next cost overrun. Now I say this not to blast or denigrate many of our military leaders, many of whom who see these and other problems and do what they can to fix these problems or at least mitigate the damage these things can do. This is not a slam at the military or many of its leaders, but at a system that is broken and has lots of money that can be spread around DC to make sure it stays broken.

Reform at the Pentagon? That is not going to be possible. Those who have tried don't last long over there. Accounting? Real responsible accounting? It's not something that the Pentagon has been able to do. We don't know where a great deal of the money sent over there goes. It has been a longstanding problem and one that no one seems willing to tackle with real 'gusto'. The good news is that last year there was an Audit of the DOD. The first ever. It failed.

What the audit did not uncover or find (at least in publicly available versions) is widespread fraud. But since many of the DOD's programs are highly classified and auditors may or may not have been cleared, briefed or may even have been given false and/or misleading information by those who operate in exceptionally highly classified portions of the National Security State, what this audit actually told us or Congress may not nearly be as clear or as definitive as we or even Congress has been led to believe. I say this by way of a relevant digression. America's use of unilateral force will be constrained in the future if America continues to keep a broken procurement system in place to build and create the weapons of the future. Contractors are interested in money and when you have those in the DOD who are supposed to be determining what the nation needs and who gets to build it working for the very contractors who are making billions off the taxpayer, a major conflict of interests results and the result of that is things like a Trillion dollar flying Turkey that can't fly as advertised nor shoot straight. This in my view is a direct result of a tragicomically broken defense procurement system.

In one respect this is all very bad news for US military power. But the bright side of it is that now and probably for the foreseeable future the US will be forced to rely on other tools to implement its foreign policy. Donald Trump's moves throughout the world may be an acknowledgement of these trends.

The President has started and maintained serious negotiations with the regime in North Korea. He has pushed ahead at least until recently, negotiations with the Taliban, even inviting some of its leaders to a then secret meeting at Camp David. He has tried to meet with Putin, though the pushback from the Neoconservatives/Russophobes on both sides of the aisle have not allowed for substantive talks. He has offered to negotiate with the arch enemy/bogeyman of all Neoconservativism, Iran.

My read on this President is that it is not just the reasons cited above that have given rise to his reticence to use unilateral military force, but perhaps a genuine dislike for the unnecessary loss of life. Many of the President's political enemies particularly on the political left, have long supported Presidents who blew up things with reckless abandon, killing thousands and making millions, literally millions into homeless refugees. They cite how 'evil' President Trump is for protecting America's borders and the 'horrors' of having people detained for illegal entry into the country, but refuse to be equally outraged at the actions of the last President and yes, this one in Yemen.

Syria? That was on Obama's watch, when our own military-intelligence complex was dropping arms to terrorists. It was the Obama administration, with Joe Biden sitting in the National Security Council (by law the VP sits on it) that was involved in the insanity that gripped Ukraine when the democratically elected government was toppled and replaced by a Pro-US government with very troubling ties to far right fascists. Then there are the reported economic ties to the VP. That all happened during the Obama administration.

To me the question is not so much who tried to get who to investigate whom as the prevailing narrative is being spread in the media, but how did the whole Ukrainian policy got started in the first place, why and who stood to make a mint if it came off right? That is the question no one is bothering to answer.  Even today, the civil war continues. While Trump may be getting the 'evil President' moniker, my perspective is that, it is often being placed on him by those whose hands are stained in innocent blood and are itching to get their hands on the armaments of state to stain them some more. Understand, I am not trying to ascribe guilt to anyone in the recent political flare up, but only to put it in perspective and ask some better questions.

No, the President is correct to make every reasonable attempt at settling differences peacefully but when the only thing others understand is action, then as he is doing now with China, sanctions, tariffs and trade strangulation is a far better course than bombings, missile strikes and special op raids.

I can only express pleasant surprise that the President has risen above the usual lust for violence that has typified the usual 'swamp' foreign policy that has long characterized America's foray's into the world. President Trump is far from perfect, but one thing I suspect is that this President has an honest revulsion for war and the innocent blood that always gets shed when some America 'Hawk' politician wants to make a point to show how 'powerful' they can be. When those devils begin to croak, some poor innocents die in some forgotten part of the world and America is none the stronger after the bodies are buried.

But I think God is slowly beginning to clip America's wings. That she, who ruled the nations from the air and could bomb at will anyone, at anytime without anyone being able to stop her... those days are passing. America has to face very serious internal problems that she refuses to face as long as the foreign policy bunglers continue to call for wars, strikes, raids and other military actions that the nation can ill afford, either fiscally nor in the realm of diplomacy and international stature.

The nation has to begin to do something different. It needs to do some soul searching. It needs to decide what kind of America will we be in just a few short years when the cash register runs dry for things like Social Security, Medicare, while she continues to sink money into more trillion dollar flying Turkey's and hundred billion dollar 'stealth ships' that are also plagued with issues.

What are the fundamental issues facing the country? I think the President is facing one of them and that is America must end its obsession with war and unilateral strikes. It is getting the country nowhere fast but deeper into debt.

Second America needs to get real and stop telling itself fanciful lies that somehow Americans debts can pay for themselves. These fairy tales are fit children and the mentally deficient but they are not reality. Reality is that America has to get real about the deep and growing fiscal issues it faces. This is not so much directed at politicians but at the voters, many of whom seem to actually believe these fiscal fairy tales. The tragedy is that they vote accordingly.

The way I see it, we as a nation are putting ourselves in a position where peace and diplomacy will be the only option on the table because the nation will be too broke to fight a sustained conflict with the lackluster array of weapons systems she is currently constructing.

God? I think he has long seen what harm this nation has done to so very many people and rather than lower the boom on America, he may be getting ready to clip her wings and perhaps the nation will begin a rigid self-examination of its actions and begin to change directions and depart from the use of violence to retaliate against others for actions that often have their beginnings in polices that were hatched out of the US. Or where situations have been created by the Americans (in secret) to force a President to take firm action against a State that he would not have taken if a 'set up' had not occurred by elements inside and outside of the US government.

Two things we can all be assured of no matter how many MSM talking heads, politicians and liars for dollars tell us. Those two things are this.
1. Time Passes
2. Bills eventually come due.
This is as much true in the fiscal sense as it is in the Spiritual sense.

But these two principles remain in force.


Let us all pause and consider this.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap.
 (Gal 6:7 [KJVA])
If we as a nation wish to reap peace, we need to be sowing it.


19 Sept

Decadence Watch

Puberty Blockers For Kids As Young As 12?
The rise of Transgenderism has powerful proponents. Russia Today as well as other UK outlets are talking about new recommendation on allowing these drugs at an early age. Kids are now on the frontline of a major culture war, not just in the US, but throughout the western world.

Not Even Jezebel Did This, so says the story out of The Stream. They talk about killing babies with still beating hearts. The Washington Examiner talks about the hideous medical experiments going on with fetal tissue right here in the USA.

Then there are the other killings in America. CBS has a piece on murder. The Nation a piece on Suicide.

We are a deeply troubled nation. Particularly on the spiritual front. I could go on and and on recount many of the horrors going on inside the nation, the shootings, gruesome murders, mentally unstable behavior by Americans strung out on various narcotics. But not today....

***
Brothers, I am often struck by the fact that God took so long in warning Israel of her sins and waited for her to repent. She did not. The same with Babylon, which God used to spoil the sinful nation of Israel.

 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil
that should come upon Babylon,
even all these words that are written against Babylon. 
And Jeremiah said to Seraiah,
When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see,
and shalt read all these words; 
Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast
spoken against this place, to cut it off,
that none shall remain in it, neither man nor
beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. 
And it shall be, when thou hast made an
end of reading this book, that thou shalt
bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: 
And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink,
 and shall not rise from the evil that
I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary.
Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. 
(Jeremiah 51:60-64 [KJVA])

Those old prophets warned for many long years, decades often. What did the people say? They usually mocked.
 
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 
Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have
in the land of Israel, saying,
The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? 
Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord GOD;
I will make this proverb to cease,
and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel;
but say unto them, The days are at hand,
and the effect of every vision.
(Ezekiel 12:21-23 [KJVA])

After many long years and many prophecies that people ceased to listen to. What happened to Israel?
 
Now in the fifth month,
in the tenth day of the month,
which was the nineteenth year of
Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon,
came Nebuzar–adan, captain of the guard,
which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem,
 And burned the house of the LORD,
and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem,
 and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire:
 And all the army of the Chaldeans,
 that were with the captain of the guard,
brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about. 
Then Nebuzar–adan the captain of the
 guard carried away captive certain
of the poor of the people, and the residue
 of the people that remained in the city,
and those that fell away, that fell to
the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude. 
But Nebuzar–adan the captain of the
guard left certain of the poor of the
land for vinedressers and for husbandmen.
(Jeremiah 52 12-16)

   ***

And the captain of the guard took
Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah
 the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: 
He took also out of the city an eunuch,
which had the charge of the men of war;
and seven men of them that were near the
king's person, which were found in the city;
and the principal scribe of the host,
who mustered the people of the land;
and threescore men of the people of the land,
that were found in the midst of the city. 
So Nebuzar–adan the captain of the guard took them,
and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.
  And the king of Babylon smote them,
and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath.
Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land. 
This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar
carried away captive: in the seventh year
 three thousand Jews and three and twenty:
 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar
he carried away captive from Jerusalem
eight hundred thirty and two persons: 
In the three and twentieth year of
Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzar–adan the captain of the guard
 carried away captive of the Jews
seven hundred forty and five persons:
all the persons were four thousand and six hundred. 
(Jeremiah 52:12-30 [KJVA])

One lesson here was that God judged both Israel and Babylon. He used Babylon as a tool to judge Israel for its great wickedness, but he did not forget about the sins of Babylon either. The fall of that empire is described in the book of Daniel.

Brothers, God warns and warns. He is not unmerciful. But what you can be certain of is that God is not playing games with evil and wickedness. He is going to punish. If he did not, he would be guilty of the accusations that the lost and godless always say, that God is unjust. No, he is perfectly just, the problem is that men love evil and his mercy and forbearance is often mistaken for acceptance of our wicked ways.

God is just but he is also merciful. A truly penitent soul, will be heard by God. His forbearance is designed just for this purpose, to give us space to repent, not an excuse to add to our wickedness.  But those who use it as such an excuse will find that they have fallen for a trap of their own making.

Let us look around America and see what this evil is doing to America. But more importantly, that we never, ever partake in any of it and thus become defiled.




17 Sept

Nehemiah Part XL


And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem:
the rest of the people also cast lots,

to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem
the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities.

And the people blessed all the men,
that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.

(Neh 11:1-2)
 
Chapter 11 begins with the word 'and'. However it does not appear to bear any strong connection with the previous passages.  Here is what the Cambridge bible says about it.

1. And] The copula has no connexion with the preceding chapter, and probably marks the compilatory character of the passage. - Cambridge Bible
While this may be one of those minor details that only scholars wrangle about, the casting of lots may not have taken place during the same time and ceremonies of the last chapter. But may have taken place at a later time and circumstance. But the passage is not clear.

The passage above shows that the people cast lots as to who would live in Jerusalem. One would think that people should hardly have to be induced in such a manner to live in the capital city, but there it is. Why was this so? I think the answer can be found in chapter 7.

Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein,
and the houses were not builded.
(Neh 7:4)

With that passage we understand why there may have been some reticence to move to Jerusalem. It was, in our modern vernacular, a 'ghost town'. There was no place to live. Those who went there would have to live in tents or makeshift dwellings until something more permanent could be built.

Moreover, moving is a troublesome business. Probably more so back in those days some 2500 years ago. Ask anyone who has done it a few times in our day and age! Not only that, but many had their livelihoods where they were located. Moving to a new city that was not built up yet and with a sparse population of people who were in similar economic circumstances was going to be hard. The casting of lots to decide things was nothing new. It was also done for the Priests in the previous chapter (10:34).

After having built the walls under such hostile circumstances, Nehemiah knew it was unwise to let the let the city remain sparsely populated and had to find a way to get people into the city. Who knows what mischief his enemies would conjure up?  While some commentators think that the people went up willingly, I think the fact that lots had to be cast shows the opposite. Some probably did not really want to go or had economic reasons wanting to stay where they were. The Geneva commentary basically points this out. If there was a great desire to live there, lots would not have had to be cast in the first place. So who was it who was subject to the cast lots? K &D gives us this bit of commentary.

The “rest of the people” does not mean the assembled people with the exception of the rulers, but the people with the exception of the few who dwelt at Jerusalem. These cast lots to bring (לְהָבִיא) one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem. The predicate, the holy city, occurs here and Neh 11:18 for the first time.

Jerusalem is so called, on the ground of the prophecies, Joe 3:17 and Isa 48:2, because the sanctuary of God, the temple, was there. בֶּעָרִים means, in the other cities of Judah and Benjamin. הַמִּתְנַדְּבִים, those who showed themselves willing to dwell in Jerusalem, is taken by most expositors in contrast to those who were bound to do this in consequence of the decision of the lot; and it is then further supposed that some first went to Jerusalem of their free choice, and that the lot was then cast with respect to the rest.

There are not, however, sufficient grounds for this conclusion, nor yet for the assumption that the decision of the lot was regarded as a constraint. The disposal of the lot was accepted as a divine decision, with which all had, whether willingly or unwillingly, to comply. All who willingly acquiesced in this decision might be designated as  מִתְנַדְּבִים; 
[to impel; hence to volunteer (as a soldier), to present spontaneously: - offer freely, be (give, make, offer self) willing (-ly) ].and these departed to Jerusalem accompanied by the blessings of the people. Individuals are not so much meant, as chiefly fathers of families, who went with their wives and children. - K & D

So the decision was made, out of ten - nine would dwell outside the city in other parts of Judea and one would dwell in Jerusalem. Verse two says that the people blessed the people who willingly offered to go.

Now these are the chief of the province that dwelt in Jerusalem:
but in the cities of Judah dwelt every one in his possession in their cities, to wit,
Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants.
(Neh 11:3)

Now we come to one of those to me somewhat less interesting passages of scripture, the listings of peoples, families and tribes that only scholars like to study and debate about. But this time, we will spend a bit of time on them rather than just skipping over this section.

Here Nehemiah talks about the princes or chief (heads) of the province that actually dwelt in Jerusalem. Two things must be remembered here. The word province must be understood to be a province of Persia under Xerxes. Keep in mind that Judea, politically speaking, was a rather unimportant 'sideshow' of the greater Persian empire. I say this so that there is no misunderstanding that Israel was still under foreign domination and Nehemiah was acting under Persian authority.

Verse three I find a bit confusing. But the sense here appears to be to list out those who are leaders/chiefs/heads in Jerusalem and contrast out the fact that the rest lived in his own land/home. This 'every one' includes

Israel - which is the whole nation as it existed before the Kingdom split
The Levites - The priestly tribe.

The Nethinims - These were Temple Servants
The Children Of Solomon's Servants - Another class of servants
The class of the Nethinim is an interesting one. The word is first used 1Chronicles. But some commentators equate their functions with those first assigned to the Gibeonite's in the book of Joshua (Chapter 9). Who they were exactly is a matter of debate. But the best view seems to be that they were converted/naturalized foreigners (non-Israelite's) who did manual and menial labor in the Temple.

The Children of Solomon's Servants - This is another semi-unknown and interesting group. These appear to be like the Nethinim, descendants of foreign nations who either converted and/or were conquered. These may have been the progeny of the Canaanites who were used by Solomon for the Building of the Temple. Both The Davis Bible Dictionary and the Cambridge Bible agree on this. These may have continued to be bondservants (slaves) in the Kingdom for this is what they were in the days of Solomon (1Kings 9:20), but we cannot be sure.

We will continue Nehemiah next week, God willing!

The persecution goes on and on. But brothers know this - if our religion were an empty one, no one would pay it any mind. But the gospel is real. The devil knows this and that is why in so many places there is such a spate of violent persecution of God's people. You can find some persecution against some faiths in a few places here and there, but with Christianity, it is hated just about everywhere, even increasingly here in the West.

Christ said 'love your brother' and the world says 'kill the Christians'.

Why is this? I think the book of Revelation gives us a major part of the reason.

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 [KJVA])

So let us not be downhearted. This is evidence of both the importance of our faith and the lateness of the hour.

Let us not slumber, be be awake and watchful!!


10 Sep

Vaccine Efficacy: Hard Science?

There is plenty of investigations that the establishment has kept secret that demonstrates that there are some problems with vaccines. But once you start quoting those things and linking to them, they do what they can to silence you. There are billions of dollars in a hoped for revenue stream to consider in all of those jabs (which cost money per do$e).

The HHS? Well, are the officials there looking out for the kids or their own personal financial interests? You don't have to cite some obscure blogger to want to scratch your head while in a quandary trying to figure that one out. The Government itself looked into some of these issues and what they found was troubling


Source: US Congress



   Source: HHS-IG

More here.

Do you get the impression that this is a racket? One where insiders get their pet vaccine approved with or without rigorous testing so they can retire on a mountain of gold?

But anyone who questions the use of vaccines immediately gets silenced/censored and has all manner of negative names thrown at them. Those who call the effectiveness of them cite 'hard science' often don't really know what they are talking about. To me it looks like 'science' that only exits in the reports of those with serious financial conflicts of interests.

Some of these firms, who have been silencing those who question vaccines? One can only ask if they are working together to keep these big drug companies rolling in the dough.

From my perspective, this is one and only one key aspect of the whole American problem the nation faces, the real corruption in the US exists in the places that are supposed to be the covert 'check' on it in our political system. The secret agencies and government working groups whose job it is to protect the nation, secretly are not about to do it if it effects someones bottom line. Again, there is a great deal of money at stake.


Now let me make this clear. Given the kinds of things happening in our world and the rise of new kinds of bio-warfare that has and is already taking place, prudent measures do need to be put in place to forestall a serious pandemic that could kill millions in just a few weeks, should America's foes develop such a doomsday weapon and believe me, they are working on it. A cursory internet search using terms like 'doomsday bio-weapon' will yield all kinds of results, many from highly respected publications. So the governments concern about anti-vaxxers is not an abstract one. Such people could be unwittingly be used by a foreign adversary to stir up large number of people from taking a vaccine that protects against a bioweapon and kills many.

Those who deployed such a weapon would be the prime suspect in such a campaign. But the other threat that I don't think our policy makers can see, or rather are being paid not to see (think conflict of interests) is that many of the vaccines themselves may be part of a long term biological attack on America.

It's one of those things where you never want to kill people outright a day or so after they take a jab. No, you want to give them some progressive disease that develops over time, or a binary toxin that is only effective when the second half of the toxin is introduced by another method weeks, months or even years later. This would make detection very difficult and would assist in helping to evade accountability (a key aspect of any covert plan). Given the financial interests who have considerable sway in our nation who would want to hide such a plan (if it did exist) and the ties they have to our 'deep state' and by extension key parts America's 'narrative control' agencies and corporations? The concern is no idle one. Many of those interests appear to be under significant influence of foreign powers.


This is why the censorship crowd is out in force and why it is gaining such traction. Gun control, Vaccines and other issues? This is all done because there is a war going on and most Americans have no clue as to the real battle lines. They are stuck on the bi-partisan shadow boxing TV show also known as American politics. They still have not figured out that next to nothing is going to change no matter who wins in 2020. That is because entrenched interest run this country and most Americans lack the sophistication to see past partisan and foolish narratives and mindsets.

Do your best, I ask all of you to see past the partisan emotionalism, the inflammatory statements of all sides; the slanted stories in the major press and don't let propagandists play on your fears and emotions. Get the facts, think  and use that organ that so many people in the US seem intent on destroying with drugs...

...their brains.


5 Sept

Habakkuk Part IX



What profiteth the graven image
that the maker thereof hath graven it;
 the molten image, and a teacher of lies,
that the maker of his work trusteth therein,
to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood,
Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach!
Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver,
and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
But the LORD is in his holy temple:
let all the earth keep silence before him.

(Hab 2:18-20)

Here the prophet, who was speaking of Lebanon in the previous passages and the violence connected with the place, shifts from speaking of violence to idolatry. This seems to be a general observation and prophetic word rather than one just directed at Lebanon, as Israel was steeped in it at the time as well. He asks rhetorically what possible profit or good can a graven image have; an image that the maker himself has created? The question again is rhetorical because such an action borders on madness. Yet people in the ancient world were smitten with all manner of graven images and worshiped them as gods. Israel copied them, just like they copied the nations around them when they demanded a king.
 
Nevertheless the people
refused to obey the voice of Samuel;
and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
 That we also may be like all the nations;
and that our king may judge us,
and go out before us,
and fight our battles.
(I Sam 8:19-20 [KJVA])


The people wanted to copy the ways of others. It was little different with idols. Everyone else was doing it why should not they? This is the mentality of a great many of God's people, then and now. Idols have no profit - they cannot save, they cannot hear and they do nothing but gather dust and take up space while the man adores it. All the while the idol has all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of stone. How can a person - a thinking person put its trust in such a thing? Idolatry was a constant problem in Israel as the major and minor prophets spoke often about it. (Isa 44:9. Jer 2:8-11 and many more passages). Even today it is a problem and one day it is going to be a major global problem for in the last days, it is the mark and image of the beast that will command worship. The image of the last days will indeed be decidedly different for somehow they will be able to put life into an image/idol (see G1504 - see Rev 13:15).

In verse 19 the prophet goes from simply observing how foolish the worship of idols are to the fate of those that do it, he pronounces a woe upon them.

The person who puts his faith in such things and says it is going to teach or awaken; this is the kind of person the prophet warns. The Preachers Homelitical makes some important points that I am going to pass on. It says that idolatry is
1 - a system of lies.
2 - a system of impotence
3 - a system of vanity
And it is as the last stanza of verse 19 makes clear... it's not even alive!!

The section ends with a deep reverence for God, who see's these things and knows what the sons of men are up to. Unlike these works of stone and wood, God dwells on high in his Holy temple. The prophet then exhorts silence before him.

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
O LORD, I have heard thy speech,
and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work
 in the midst of the years,
in the midst of the years make known;
in wrath remember mercy.
(Hab 3:1-2)

Here the prophet begins a prayer to God. Verse one is a bit of a problem as the word Shigionoth is just a bit but not totally obscure. The word is this one in Strongs.

H7692
shiggayown
shig-gaw-yone' or shiggayonah {shig-gaw-yo-naw'};
from 7686; properly, aberration, i.e. (technically) a dithyramb or rambling poem:--Shiggaion, Shigionoth. see HEBREW for 07686

Most commentators see this as a kind of rambling prayer or speech by the prophet set down to music. The Cambridge Bible notes that it is a kind of wild ecstatic poem and may really mean to the music of 'Shigionoth'. It was probably a kind of poem and music that was not as orderly and predicable as many were used to. I hate to draw parallels with some of the vulgarities of our times, but perhaps we could look at it as a kind of 'rap' music of those days as he set down his prayer perhaps to music. Granted, this may be a very rough way to look at the way this was set down. It was probably not your typical 'church music' poem or song. However Adam Clarke thinks that verse one was added later. 

This may be off point, but some of you may find this of interest.


I suspect that the title here given is of a posterior date to the prophecy. It appears to interrupt the connection between this and the termination of the preceding verse. See them together: -

Hab 2:20 : “But the Lord is in his holy temple:
Be silent before him, all the earth.
Hab 3:1 : O Lord, I have heard thy speech:
I have feared, O Lord, thy work.
As the years approach thou hast shown;
As the years approach thou makest known.
In wrath thou rememberest mercy.”

The prophet may here refer to the speech which God had communicated to him, (Hab 1:1-11, 2:4-20), and the terror with which he was struck, because of the judgments denounced against Jerusalem. - Adam Clarke

In verse two the prophets deep reverence for God is shown. When the Lord spoke he was afraid. I know the feeling! The prophet then asks God to revive his work. That his word, long promised, be fulfilled. Barnes enlightens us on this passage as he notes that at times his word seems unfulfilled as time passes. But in reality, his word is all laid up in store. The prophet here seems to be asking God to 'get a move on' and to remember his words and works and revive them. Darby thinks that Habakkuk is looking for a revival and hearkens back to the olden days, perhaps during the exodus. Most importantly he asks God that though he may be angry with his people, that he remembers mercy.

We will continue our look at Habakkuk soon as God gives grace!

3 Sept

Asia, Food And Corporate Retailers

(Grain.org) We were concerned that corporate supermarkets were expanding faster in Asia than anywhere else in the world. Although traditional markets and street vendors are still very visible and important to the region's food supply, the entry and aggressive expansion of multinational food corporations, beverage companies and supermarket chains over the past decade has had major impacts on Asia's farmers, food workers, traders, and consumers.

This expansion is facilitated by a growing number of free trade and investment agreements, which allows these companies to develop their global procurement systems. The opening of 100% foreign direct investment in retail coupled with lower tariffs for agriculture products in many Asian countries and tax loopholes allow retail chains to undercut local production with foods sourced from the cheapest or most heavily subsidised areas.

This puts pressure on local producers and increases monoculture production in specific areas, like the banana and pineapple plantations in the Philippines, the oil palm plantations in Indonesia, the coffee and tea plantations in Vietnam or the industrial seafood and poultry operations in Thailand. - Story Continues At Grain.org

Staying on the subject of food (and famine) FEWS has released their latest on the situation in South Sudan  

You can find the report here at FEWS


In Yemen, the food aid blame game continues, this time with the Houthi's being blamed for destroying 'expired' food aid. The UN has warned of cuts if new aid is not forthcoming. It has already been forced to cease some programs in Yemen. You can read more about the shortfall at the WaPo.

We Americans... many of us just don't know what it is like to be without food. I mean really and truly to be without food.


29 Aug


Why Cumbereth It The Ground?

He spake also this parable;
A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard;
and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard,
Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree,
 and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also,
 till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit,
 well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
(Luk 13:6-10)

You know one of the key things that God is looking for from his people? It's fruit. The fig tree, representative of the people of Israel here and God being the owner of the vineyard is looking for some fruit. This is such an important passage, not just for the Jews back then but also for the Church today.

First of all let's take a look at a couple of things. The conclusion that the owner had of his field was not a hasty one. It was one born of years of patience and the evidence of this own eyes. He waited and watched in anticipation that his investment and work would yield some positive results.

The owner is completely practical. This is not an esoteric debate, he wants to know why the tree is taking up precious ground if it has no value to him.

These parables can be so telling. Let's take a look at what the Biblical Illustrator has to say about this.
Notice THE SITUATION OF THE TREE, the place where it stands. It is in God’s vineyard, and our Lord tells us how it came there. The vineyard was not its natural situation. It did not spring up there, nor was it brought there by accident. God Himself had it planted there. An emblem, brethren, of our situation at this hour, and of the way in which we came into it. - The Biblical Illustrator
So let's take a deeper look, the fig tree was planted in the vineyard. This is not a natural place for it. A vineyard is for growing grapes, not figs. Remember how Abraham came out of Ur and settled in Canaan? God was looking for fruit among his people that he had brought both into Canaan and later from out of the nations they were driven (exile). Remember how we the Church are a wild olive branch (Rom 11:17)?

The commentary goes on to eloquently describe that God watches. He watches over his people for fruit. He has made an investment in us in time and effort. He wants us to bear fruit. He had these expectations with Israel. What was the result? He kept looking for fruit, kept seeking some kind of sign that his investment would pay off and usually found none. What did he do to Israel? I will tell you, he cast them off the land. This is the end of the unprofitable servant (Matt 25:30) or in this case, the unfruitful tree. They are ultimately cast off. The Lord is sore displeased when he finds no fruit on the 'trees' he has planted. As one commentator put it, consistent unfruitfulness before God becomes a serious spiritual offense/crime.

This parable shows God's patience with his people. He waited and waited for some fruit, but then he became annoyed and somewhat perturbed by the lack of fruit. He was angry enough about the whole situation where cutting it down was the first solution he contemplated.

Yet the dresser made intercession for the tree and proposed an alternative. Let him take just a bit more care for it and see if that will work. The person or office here is clearly interpreted to be the intercessor. Someone who stands between both the tree and the owner and has day-to-day contact with both. This is a type of high priest or even Christ himself who mediates between God and man.

Fast Forward to the 21st Century

While this parable was clearly written as a parable about Israel, it bears direct application to the Church as well. Have you taken a real good look at American and Western Christendom? A real hard spiritual look at it? I know I have. I know many of you mature 'old-time gospel' believers have as well. The Church is in crisis and I am certainly not the only one who see's it. Pope's who try and make light of adultery, pastors who 'marry' homosexuals, every manner of sexual sin running rampant in the congregation and most importantly with little or no rebuke from the pastor or elders; politics rather than Bible being preached from the pulpits. The American yes, even western Church is in a pitiable state. Instead of the fruits of the spirit we have the stench of division, perversions, hate, greed, apostasy and more and more an overarching desire to be like the world, rather than be as God commanded us to be... in his order.

All of this coupled with trends as the rest of society - a seeming increasing divorcement from reality and diminishing mental stability. As 'crazy' takes over the West, it is also infecting what calls itself the Church.

Let me be straight and no nonsense about it. If the Church is in crisis and cannot keep people in the congregations it is because in so very many of them, there is no salvation in them. Just a form of religion, a 'philosophy' or a social club but no genuine born from above in a supernatural fashion in abiding in Christ Jesus.

Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine; no more can ye,
except ye abide in me. I am the vine,
ye are the branches: He that abideth in me,
 and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch,
and is withered; and men gather them,
and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples.
(Joh 15:4-8)



Here we see the same spiritual principle but this time not in a parable, but in a direct command of Christ to his disciples.

For many of these pastors, religion is a 'get rich quick scheme', a way to get a McMansion, a Lexus and a pretty wife and good health insurance by being a 'motivational speaker'; one that uses a smörgåsbord version of the bible - only preach the things they like and they think the congregation wants to hear.

Now brothers I say this not about all Churches. There are many who are doing their best to really do right by God. They are neither perfect and can and do make mistakes. This is not some broad criticism of all pastors and Churches. It is more about trends in modern Christendom and a new kind of 'religion' that seems to be rising up in America that can no more save a soul than can an incantation from a wizard. They have form of godliness but deny the power thereof. I am often reminded of a passage from the letters to the Seven Churches of Asia where our Lord says this to the Church at Sardis.

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;
These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God,
and the seven stars; I know thy works,
that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain,
that are ready to die: for I have not
found thy works perfect
before God.
(Rev 3:1-2)



No brothers, as I head out to the major Christian internet sites and read the pieces in them, I am often appalled by what is passing itself off as Christianity.

When we should be a stunningly different kind of people from the world - a genuine counter culture, I see the Church as being more and more like the world God has told us to come out of. We cannot love this world - the greed, lust, idolatry (ie, in the form of pop-idol adoration, and materialism), hate, murder thefts; the materialism and the desire to be like everyone else.

Brothers loving this world is utterly forbidden.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
 but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
(1Jn 2:15-17)


One way you can see if someone is truly saved or at least one key aspect of that person is that they are very different from everyone else. They are not like the world around them. How so you might ask?

Looking for that blessed hope,
 and the glorious appearing of the great
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Who gave himself for us,
that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.
(Tit 2:13-14)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises
of him who hath called you
out of darkness into his marvellous light:
(1Pe 2:9)

We are to be different because we are special. We are to bear fruit in the Lord's vineyard. What kind of fruit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
 longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
(Gal 5:22-23)

(For the fruit of the Spirit
 is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
(Eph 5:9)

Not because I desire a gift:
but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
(Php 4:17)

Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world;
 and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you,
since the day ye heard of it,
 and knew the grace of God in truth:
(Col 1:6)

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous,
 but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth
the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which

are exercised thereby.
(Heb 12:11)

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of
praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of
our lips giving thanks to his name.
(Heb 13:15)

And the fruit of righteousness
is sown in peace of them that make peace.
(Jas 3:18)

Be patient therefore, brethren,
unto the coming of the Lord. Behold,
the husbandman waiteth for the precious
fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it,
until he receive the early and latter rain.
(Jas 5:7)


These are spots in your feasts of charity,
when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear:
clouds they are without water, carried about of winds;
trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit,
twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
(Jud 1:12)

Above are just a few passages in our bibles on fruit. Let us all take counsel also from chapters two and three in the book of revelation on how the Lord looked upon parts of the early Church.

I think it meet that we consider these times and ask ourselves this most important question when looking at major parts of Modern Christendom. Have we come to a point where God has asked the vine dresser where is the fruit and says...

'Cut it down... why cumbereth it the ground?'

May God bless and keep all who put their full faith and hope in Christ Jesus.

Brother Mark


27 Aug

Social Security

Finally there is real effort to reform Social Security and fix a gaping shortfall in its budget. Gaping because without serious changes to the system, it's going to go broke before too long. That is not my opinion, it is the opinion of the funds Trustee's. Let us keep this in mind, the fund will be broke in just a few years unless there is reform. That year is 2035 by current estimates, but could move up a year or two depending on how many people start claiming benefits.
Social Security’s receipts and expenditures are accounted for through two federal trust funds: the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund. Under their intermediate assumptions and under current law, the Social Security trustees project that the DI trust fund will become depleted in 2052 and the OASI trust fund will become depleted in 2034. Although the two funds are legally separate, they are often considered in combination. The trustees project that the combined Social Security trust funds will become depleted in 2035. At that point, the combined trust funds would become insolvent, because incoming tax revenue would be sufficient to pay only about 80% of scheduled benefits.

If a trust fund became depleted and current receipts were insufficient to cover current expenditures, there would be a conflict between two federal laws. Under the Social Security Act, beneficiaries would still be legally entitled to their full scheduled benefits. However, the Antideficiency Act prohibits government spending in excess of available funds, so the Social Security Administration (SSA) would not have legal authority to pay full Social Security benefits on time. -
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out? - CRS

This is what will happen, you would be legally entitled to benefits the government will be legally prevented from paying.

There are many reasons why the system is crumbling. One and only one is that people are living longer than they once did (RL44846). This has caused many to look at increasing the retirement age.

In response to rising life expectancy, some commonly discussed Social Security reform proposals involve increasing the retirement age. Yet these proposals would affect low earners disproportionately (i.e., reductions in their lifetime Social Security benefits would be considerably larger than for high earners). Congress may be interested in policy proposals that mitigate the uneven effects of increasing the retirement age and protect the interests of lower- earning, shorter-lived workers.


   Source: CRS

This is one reason why the fund is having trouble, Grandma's gonna live to be a hundred!! For those of you who want a primer on the Benefit Claiming age, one can be found here.

Just how far off they have been in the past in predicting when the fund would go 'broke' can be seen in the chart in the appendix of this report. So this is not some esoteric debate, Congress needs to get off its duff and stop looking for microscopic specs of dirt in the Mueller report and start crunching numbers and come up with some legislation to fix the problem.

The good news is that some in the House have indeed come up with a plan. John Larson has come up with a piece of legislation called The Social Security 2100 Act.

It would boost benefits for retirees (old and new) and protect against inflation and helps keep poorer workers from falling into poverty. The downside? It imposes new taxes on current wage earners. It particularly hits people who are very wealthy and makes them pay more. Here is how Mr. Larson put it on his site.

Have millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as everyone else
 – Presently, payroll taxes are not collected on wages over $132,900. This legislation would apply the payroll tax to wages above $400,000.  This provision would only affect the top 0.4% of wage earners. [Sec. 201, 202]

and

50 cents per week to keep the system solvent
– Gradually phase in an increase in the contribution rate beginning in 2020 so that by 2043, workers and employers would pay 7.4% instead of 6.2% today. For the average worker this would mean paying an additional 50 cents per week every year to keep the system solvent. [Sec. 203] - John Larson (House.gov)

Well, you can all read more about the proposal and the number of co-sponsors on numerous sites across the web. Some great sites have some interesting views on it. You may want to peruse the web using the keywords The Social Security 2100 Act. You will find a lot of material.

It remains to be seen how the President reacts to this. He hates taxes and tax increases and this may meet with some resistance. But it could be a major political issue for him. He is struggling politically and needs to be seen as a problem solver rather than a problem maker as many of his opponents and even some of his former supporters see him.

This bill as far as I can see is a very good place to start. We would not need even this kind of measures if Congress dealt with this just a few years ago. The longer they wait to fix things, the more painful the solutions will be.

21 Aug

Persecution News

In Somaliland a Woman was beaten and then divorced for having Bible. Morning Star News reports
“There and then he took our two daughters away from me and divorced me,” she told Morning Star News. “He gave me a stern warning that I should not come close to the children, and that if I do, he will take the Bible to the Islamic court and I will be killed by stoning for becoming an apostate.”
Somalia’s constitution establishes Islam as the state religion and prohibits the propagation of any other religion, according to the U.S. State Department. It also requires that laws comply with sharia (Islamic law) principles, with no exceptions in application for non-Muslims." - Story Continues At MorningStar News

In Turkey the ICC talks about the nation's disappearing Christian leadership. It is a story of a lack of leaders and the deportation of foreign pastors by the government. Gatestone Institute has a great story on the Extinction of Christians in the Middle East, a problem that seems to be of little real interest to a world more interested in wealth accumulation, interest rates, gay sex and hot button political issues than right and wrong.

Faithwire asks where is the media coverage on the horrible events in Nigeria. In Mexico, a Pastor was shot dead in his Pulpit, according to the Christian Post. While they are not sure of the motive, Christians have been under attack in this part of Mexico.

... then there are stories like this.

What did our Lord tell us?


These things have I spoken unto you,
that ye should not be offended.
They shall put you out of the synagogues:
 yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you
will think that he doeth God service.
And these things will they do unto you,
because they have not known the Father,
 nor me.
(Joh 16:1-3)


Let none of the things we see in this wicked world shock us brothers, we are going to be hated by all men for his names sake, but he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.

How many were saved in Noah's day? Eight Souls.


20 Aug

Habakkuk Part VIII


Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts
that the people shall labour in the very fire,
and the people shall weary themselves
for very vanity?
(Hab 2:13)

This passage appears to refer to many of the great works that emperors and tyrants made. People worked and sweated to build those huge monuments to mankind's arrogance. Powerful men, overseers and slaves built them, but the Lord calls their work 'very vanity'; something empty and having no purpose. The reference to fire however, may mean that it is by fire that their work is destined (Barnes). Probably as a judgment on the bloody city (Gill). I think of the modern day skyscrapers and massive towers and even artificial islands that men often build as a monument to himself as a kind of modern day equivalent. Though back in the days of Habakkuk, a very harsh form of slavery was present.

The Preachers Homiletical makes this point in one of this chapter headings - that the city was being built with the wrong materials (blood) and was established in iniquity and would be dealt with by God. .

For the earth shall be filled with the
knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
as the waters cover the sea.
(Hab 2:14)

In contrast to the cities of blood and monuments to men, the prophet here contrasts that with a word that the whole earth shall one day be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Which is based, not bloodshed and gain or on the backs of slaves, but on holiness, righteousness, justice and peace. A total contrast from the afore mentioned city. This passage I think is referring to the final return of the Messiah in Glory.
Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink,
that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also,
 that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also,
and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S
right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful
spewing shall be on thy glory.
(Hab 2:15-16)

Here the drunkards are lambasted. Not just for getting drunk, but getting their neighbors drunk as well, just so they can look upon their nakedness. Mathew Henry makes the observation that this was the sin of Belshazzar, who was drunken at a party. A party where he drank before a thousand people (Dan 5:1). The passage may also be allegorical - where a king who is drunken with power and lust for goods brings both his victim, his ally and himself to shame.

For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee,
 and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid,
because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land,
of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
(Hab 2:17)

This passage is not clear as to what is meant by violence of Lebanon, weather it be the actual violence of the people or the violence done to them by a conquering army. Also, what exactly is referred to as beasts is debated by many commentaries. I won't get into it here, but rather concentrate on the reasons for this judgment on the people. It was because of men's blood and because of violence in both the land and in the city and all that dwell there in.

God hates violence. The cities of those days were clearly marked out for a significant amount of it and this is what the prophet is speaking about. Let us remember his earlier complaints to the Lord.

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!
even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou
wilt not save!
(Hab 1:2)


Yes, violence is something that will surely win the ire of the Lord.

We will continue our look at Habakkuk as time and God permits!!

Brother Mark

15 Aug


KAZAKHSTAN: Officials try to force registration signature withdrawals

Forum18 - Officials harassing founders of religious communities, possibly trying to block applications to exist. In May 2019 police began harassing Oskemen's New Life Church founders as it sought re-registration. Officers visited several late at night, threatening one woman in her late 70s. Aktau's Hare Krishna community has faced similar harassment. - Story Continues at Forum18

Gabbard Takes 2 Weeks Off From Prez Campaign

Why? To report for active duty in a military exercise overseas. The Hill reports.

She is very much a pro-peace candidate but she understands that freedom is not free.

I too love peace for in my view there are only two kinds of Americans who love war - the mentally unstable and those who have never been in one and just don't have a clue what a war really means.

Not the Hollywood version of war, sitting in a comfortable chair with a mouthful of popcorn watching the pyrotechnics on a silver screen, but the 'I lost a leg, my kids and have to live in this refugee camp with barely enough to eat because of war' version of war.

It's why I listen to people like Gabbard (who is a veteran) and not to other politico's who never came close to military service or war but sure love to do their best to drive us into them, time and time again.


Saint News

US Christian Churches See Little Need To Repent Of Racist Past
Christian Post reports in the link above. Missing from the piece is how many Churches in the past were part and parcel of the racist problem, particularly in the South. If you did not know, the old KKK required its members to be white, male but also required them to be 'christian'. What did these so called Christians do? They went out and persecuted, lynched and killed Black folks and Jews.

No, some kind of real understanding and repentance of what went on back then needs to be dealt with because of the rising tide of hate and violent White Supremacy that is sweeping the land. In the minds of many who know not the history, both Christianity and White Nationalism are being linked in their minds.

Yes, the American Church needs to really come to terms on this and a whole range of issues in its past.

Nineveh Plains Report On Persecution
The report from Persecution.org looks at events, including the resurgence of ISIS in Mesopotamia.

In other persecution news, in Burma (Myanmar) christian villagers were released after six months of captivity. As tensions heat up in Kashmir, Christians are concerned that the political dynamics will bring in persecution, so reports one EU Christian news site.

In Algeria, authorities closed a Church during services. In China, Xi's anti-Christ agenda is picking up steam, he has removed all Christian references to Children's classics, there are many stories recently posted on the web outlining just what Chian is up to on this. Where is Xi taking China? The cult of personality coupled with labor camps, mass censorship and surveillance and rising militarism. His policies, like the aforementioned despots have the stench of death about them. Who else in the past had policies like that?

I say these things not to denigrate China, its people or even its government officials, many of whom are not wild about many of these new policies, but to outline that major fundamental shift now going on in China under this dangerous new leader. Yet, let us all pray for President Xi as we are enjoined to do in scripture, that he relents on these policies and shifts things in a way more acceptable to both Christians and the Chinese people.

In India, Modi may move to prevent any and all Religious Conversions in a new bill. While I don't spend much time outlining Muslim Persecution, this is one story that should cause us all concern. Reports are that Ethnic Uighurs being sent from Turkey to China via Tajikistan - perhaps after being drugged. Will this be in the future for many Christians as well?

In the US, a 41 year old Chaldean Catholic died in Iraq after having been deported by the US to that country, where his safety was clearly in serious question. His name was Jimmy Al-Daoud. Reports are that after his deportation, he was homeless.

In Nepal, it is still a crime to convert as this man found out.

On a much more positive note, Christianity in Iran is reportedly exploding. People are coming to Christ, according to this Canadian site.

Lots of things happening to the world's Christians. Let us always remember our brothers and sisters in Christ in our prayers.




www.markswatson.com



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