-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)


Prophetic Page


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

Obamacare 2019
A look at some of the unspoken problems with Obamacare and its effect on the US Economy

Ganging Up On AntiVaxxers
What is behind the move against those who are concerned about vaccines? The answer may not be as simple as you think.

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

Prophecy And Technology

Climate Change: Temporal And Spiritual

The Sufficiency Of Christ

Standing In The Gap

The Power Of The Blood

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.

pdfIran Nukes And Regional Staility

The Harvest

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


Ezekiel and the Spirit of Stubbornness/The Sardis Syndrome

Christ, Family and Persecution

When The Bottom Falls Out Of Your Boat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Assyrian
- Damascus and the Assyrian in Bible Prophecy

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

 - What I See...

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

      - Prison Labor Industry

      Slave labor cleverly



 - 3 Short Commentaries


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

 -  Lamentations Are Coming 


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

 -  The Curse 


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

 -  I Have A Dream Vs. I Have A Drone 


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

 -  There Is A Generation... 


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

  The Way Back 


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

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


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

 - In The Kingdom Of The Blind 


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

 - Culling The World's Population 


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


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

 -  Judge Not! 


...Lest ye be judged.

 - The Blessings Of Obedience 


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

  From Another World 


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


-  From The North 


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

Other Resources
(most are in PDF format)

Select Congressional Committee Investigating Illegal Practices In The Abortion Industry

Congressional Report On STOPPING TERROR FINANCE:

Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions

Iran: Ministry Of Intelligence And Internal Security - LOC

Global Trends 2030 - NIE

High Unemployment And GDP - CRS

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

DOJ Lethal Force Justification Against US Citizens

Global Trends 2030

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

Intelligence Committee Report On Huawei

Major Arms Transfers - CRS

The Crisis In Mali - CRS

The Crisis In Syria - CRS

Posse Comitatus - CRS

Iran: Nuclear Intentions And Capabilities

State Department Report On Religious Persecution

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

US Naval Modifications For China's Rise - CRS

UAE: US Policy Issues - CRS

Senate Report On Counterfeit Parts In DOD Supply Chain

2012 Annual Report To Congress On Chinese Military - DOD

Water Security - CIA/NIC

Syria's Phase Of Radicalization - ICG

Oil Imports And Exports - CRS

Pivot To The Pacific - CRS

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

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Isreal's Possible strike On Iran - CRS

Iran Policy Concerns - CRS

Food Aid To NK - CRS

Aid To Pakistan

(Senate Hearing)

DOD Missing Trillions

(official audit)

GAO's Audit of the FED Report


Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Human Rights In China - CRS

US-China Trade Issues - CRS

US-China Miliary Contacts - CRS

US- Taiwan Arms Sales - CRS

China's Currency: Analysis Of Issues - CRS

The Debt Limit; Gov't Operations - CRS

China's Acquisition of US Technology - Congress

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

Links I Like
From all over the Christian spectrum!

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

Spirit Daily

(Catholic... great news links)

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

Babylon Today


Last Updated
11 July 2019

This Site has become a PRIVATE Site

99% of all future commentary are now private.

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

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.

11 July

Intercessory Prayer

Part I

Today, we are going to take a break from the news and look at a key issue that is of great importance to Christians of any age, but of particular importance in these end times.

Intercessory prayer are prayers that are offered up to God on behalf of another person, institution, city or situation. It is to intercede on behalf of another before God's holy throne. Too often when we pray, we pray for ourselves, our problems, our situations, disappointments and trials. There is nothing wrong with such prayers, but these self-centered supplications are not intercessory prayer. 

Intercessory prayer is when we see a situation that needs prayer and we are driven to our knee's about it. I have interceded many times for many people and situations. I know almost all genuine Christians have as well. It may have been for family members, your place of employment, a friend, your pastor or the country as a whole. Some of you have taken some of the stories posted here on persecution and prayed for the persecuted. Can you imagine living in a lonely cold cell, week end and week out, month in and month out, with only a pittance to eat, dirty water, having to relieve yourself in bundle of straw in the corner with no reasonable hope you will ever be released, at times being taken out to be interrogated even tortured? All of this only because of your faith in Christ? Having considered such a person and do you not think he or she could use some intercessory prayer? Yes, I know most of you have and God will mark such a person who lifts up a prayer for his children who are persecuted for the name of Jesus Christ. Intercessory prayer for the persecuted is something that should be very high on all mature Christians prayer lists, particularly in light of the events today.

But do you know what Intercessory prayer does for us? It prepares us for an important role God has for us as saints, that being a priest before God.

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,
 an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
 (I Peter 2:5 [KJVA])

Yes, that is one of our key functions, to be a priest before God. What is a primary role of a priest? To be a mediator between God and man. What is intercessory prayer? It is to intercede on behalf of men to God. So when we intercede before God, we are taking on a role as a kind of Priest before him and bring the case of another before his holy throne.

There are many examples of intercessory prayer in our Bibles. In fact, the very first extended prayer in the Bible is an intercessory prayer. It was the prayer of Abraham when he prayed about the 'Sodom Crisis' in the book of Genesis.

As you all know, Sodom was an exceedingly wicked city that the Lord was getting ready to judge. But Abraham had some relations there and clearly wanted to save them. So he called out to the Lord and 'bargained' with him on saving lives and perhaps the city. He was trying to stay God's hand. Finally, at the end of the day, Lot was saved, but Sodom was not to be spared.

Successful intercessory prayer must be unselfish. I mean there is nothing directly 'in it' for us personally, but the supplication is offered up solely for the benefit of others. Intercessory prayer, or rather a pattern of it in our prayer life demonstrates just how far we have come spiritually. A mature Christian knows the power and responsibility he has in the prayer closet and uses it accordingly, to the benefit of others and more importantly to the Glory of God. Do you intercede regularly for others, Christians, pastors, cities, relatives and other institutions? Then take heart, it is a sure sign of spiritual maturity!

We must be bold when we come before God with our requests. Mind you I do not mean arrogance, but to go in not afraid to take our requests to him (Heb 4:16). We should not come before him like some shrinking violet, but like a man standing before a God who wants to hear what we have to say! Imagine a scene in heaven with you standing before his throne and he says to the heavenly host, "Be silent, I wish to hear what my servant (insert your name here) has to say!"

But we must also expect God to answer us. That means we need to be careful about what we are asking him as though he is going to move heaven and earth to fulfill our supplications. Know that when he gets a request and is ready to answer it, he is going to set things in motion, Angels will get orders, God will move people into position and things will begin to happen when God moves. We must be mindful of this when we come before him and make our request. I will give an example of this a little later.

These days, I am most careful about lifting up prayers for others. I do it and do it regularly, but there have been times I have not done so, when asked and other times I have done so, knew I would regret it and to this day deeply regret having prayed for some....

Part II will continue as God wills!

Nehemiah  XXXVII

Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah,
 and Zidkijah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah, Hattush,
Shebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests.
 And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad,
 Kadmiel; And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, Micha,
 Rehob, Hashabiah, Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Bani, Beninu.
The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani, Bunni,
Azgad, Bebai, Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur, Hodijah, Hashum,
Bezai, Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, Meshezabeel,
Zadok, Jaddua, Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub, Hallohesh,
Pileha, Shobek, Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, Malluch, Harim, Baanah.
(Neh 10:1-27)

The recounting of Israel's history, and God's faithfulness to Israel as well as Israel's rebellion was for a reason. It was to let them understand how their fathers messed up their covenant with a faithful God. A God who is faithful in executing all the terms of the covenant, the good and the bad, depending wholly on their their consistent behavior - good or evil. The prayer and the history lesson were now over, now it was time to seal the covenant. Chapter 10 deals with this signing. The above list of names are the prominent people in Israel at the time who were there to do just that. This was a document that had to be sealed. This had the legal force of a contract, but was a bit more solemn.  The Hebrew word is this one.

A primitive root; to close up; especially to seal: - make an end, mark, seal (up), stop.

There were key Priests, Princes and Levites all listed above. Remember the last verse of chapter 9 said this "And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it." (Neh 9:38). The list above is the list of those who sealed it.

I am not going to go into all the names and bore you all as many are unknown to us today. But let's point out a couple of things. The first is the omission of Ezra. His name is not listed here. Ezra missing name is of note, I think perhaps of greater note that the commentary (below) makes of it. It is not clear why this is so, but his  apparently uncompromising attitude towards foreign wives and offspring may have kept him from sealing it. There may have been some holdouts that Nehemiah does not give us in his narration. Those who did not separate themselves from their foreign wives may have thought twice about coming to the ceremony. The list is interesting.

The key here to remember is this. The key nobility stood before the Lord and rededicated the nation back to the God they had so wickedly forsaken. That there may have been some hold outs for various reasons, (illness, out of the area, unsure if God was in this move) the key was that the nation of Israel after a long exile and the troubles that went with it, came back to God after their travails to rededicate their lives and nation back to him.

And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters,
the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves
from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons,
 and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding;
They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse,
and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord,
and his judgments and his statutes;
(Neh 10:28-29)

So the people who had separated themselves were all in this too. Even the door men and singers. The door men also served as janitors and watchmen. They also probably had a job of being the temple security. As stated before, these were kind of like the Security Guards of the Temple. They only let in those who were authorized. Watson's Bible and Theological Dictionary (no relation to me) has what their job was here
Even the singers were present. Yes, God looks about those who sing godly tunes with great favor, then and now. Think on David. The people as they say stood with their leaders on this with that careful qualification - those who separated themselves from the foreign wives and heard and fully understood what they were signing. These were of one mind, they were all going to join into the covenant and serve the Lord.

Now today, we are not allowed to say pronounce curses upon our promises (vows)  as these did back then. Christ told us to let our yes be yes and are no be no. Christ spent a little time on this subject.

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time,
 Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem;
for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head,
 because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
(Mat 5:33-37)

But back in those days, this was one way to solemnize ones word. This is what they were doing and for them, back then it was not evil but customary. For us today, it is evil.

The covenant was resealed between God and his once wayward flock. Today, Christians are also sealed, but with one from Heaven, with the Holy Spirit. 

 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ,
who was preached among you by us,
even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus,
was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
  For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
  Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ,
and hath anointed us, is God;
  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest
of the Spirit in our hearts.
(2Cor 1:19-22 [KJVA])

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,
 whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
 (Eph 4:30 [KJVA])

We will continue on with Nehemiah soon, the good Lord willing!

Brother Mark

5 July

Iraqi Christians Face Uncertain Future: US Ambassador

America's Ambassador for Religious Freedom speaks on the problem of Assyrian Christians. Crus has a story here that talks about the conference.

Three Nigerian Christian Women Call To American For Help

Boko Haram Persecution? Missing girls? It's a sad story and even those who pay the ransom to kidnappers, bad things happen to them as described in the story.

Herdsman Shoot 7 Year Old Boy, Kills Uncle

Another Fulani herdsman attack as reported by Assist News Service. Morning Star News also carries the story.

Complicated US-Saudi Arabia relations impact persecuted Christians

A look at relations between the KSA and the US. MNN Online reports.

Persecution: From Stephen, To Paul To Today

Valdosta Times (a local Georgia paper) looks at the issue.

"Sing Hallelujah To The Lord" Anthem Sung And HK Protests

A look at a part of the protests not generally known. Christians know what that extradition bill means. So do Human Rights activists and anyone else the Chinese Government does not like. The Christian Post reports.

SitRep On Catholics In China

A look at the situation by Remnant Newspaper. The piece does not fail to note the Pope's actions.

More Persecution Stories at Persecution.org

2 July

Western Decline Watch

Report Says Law Student Burns 20 Pound Note In Front Of Homeless Person
This is a sad episode. It happened in the UK and caused an uproar. Many feel it showed the very arrogance and callousness that has come to typify so many who have great opportunities and the contempt they show for those that don't.

But 'pride goeth before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction'.

City Journal reports.

On The Streets: Homeless In LA
Another YouTube Video on the Homeless crisis in LA interviews with real people on the street. - about 71 minutes long.

Seattle Is Dying
This video is really very well done and very, very sad. It's about an hour long, but it tells a story that is happening not just in Seattle, but all over America. I hope you get a chance to check it out because it really gets down to the many of the deeper problems as to why these problems persist and grow. The video is from KOMO via YouTube and RealClear markets.

This sadly just appears to be where the nation is heading. I don't see the homeless crisis getting any better. Neither liberals nor conservatives have any real solutions to this ever growing crisis. In these relatively booming economic times we are seeing this. What happens in a recession or worse?

LA: Meth Addiction Is An Epidemic

This is a look at the underground 'drug economy' in LA's homeless or 'tent' population. It also talks a bit about the mental illness crisis there as well. This article is less about statistics and more about how it effects ordinary people, many of them young and how Meth totally controls their lives and then destroys them. The LA Times reports

Tax-exempt Hospital, Poor People And Lawsuits
Ars Technica reports on the story above. This is a perfect example of why I never liked Obamacare. It all sounded good, but those who praised it rarely read the fine print or wanted to. Eleven grand for two night stay in a Hospital? Take a minute or two and look at their report on how one patient's bill went from roughly 12,000 dollars to around 33,000 dollars. And these are low income people!!  This news report from Ars Technica is largely based on a more extensive report from ProPublica.

Are we coming to a point where if you want to avoid poverty and homelessness, your best bet is to avoid a visit to the doctor? It sure is looking that way to me. Obamacare took a bad system and made it considerably worse.

Let me make this clear. My own criticism of the system is not directed the doctors, nurses, lab professionals most of whom went into medicine because they wanted to help people. No, this is directed at that army of politicians, lawyers, insurance company people and lobbyists who have turned our medical system (wittingly and unwittingly) into something that people may be forced to avoid if they don't want to wind up on the street.

Companies are Using Secret Surveillance Scores to Evaluate You
China's Social Credit system appears to be here... already. This is a pretty good piece by the Organic Prepper that looks at the secret scores that are already in use. Here is the companion piece from The Hill.

How much information about YOU are YOU allowing them to collect? Think about it. Once YOU give YOUr permission to allow them to listen, YOU have opened pandora's box.

Black Man Arrested During Walk Outside Hospital
Well, it's not quite as bad as it sounds, but the cops could have handled this much better. MSN reports.

Report Says Antifa Plans Acid Attacks On DC Free Speech Rally
It looks like some folks may be gearing up for the 2020 Presidential election and may bring political violence into America to new levels. Big League Politics reports.

But with threats like this you have to be careful about if they are real threats or a crank who wants to start some mess and get people panicked or if it just a publicity stunt.

But there are powerful forces who are working inside and outside of America to destabilize her.

Who is behind Antifa? This piece may help.

Now, which nation-state(s) has worked in the past to destabilize America?

Exonerated Man Shot Dead
This is a man the Innocence Project got released after 12 years of false imprisonment. This is such a sad story. Men in jail for things they did not commit and the authorities knew they did not commit.

Report: Police SNIPERS deployed to protect “Drag Queen Story Hour” Celebration from Christian pastor
What time is it brothers and sisters? Natural News reports above
Alaska: 'Hail Satan' Invocation Causes Local Officials To Walk Out
Does this need comment dear brother and sisters in Christ? Fox News Reports.

The End of Parental Rights? A Chilling Case From Canada
Here the court ordered a child testosterone injections without parental permission because of 'gender dysphoria', according to the story. Moreover, the report also says that they forced the parent to refer to the child by their new gender. This is the story of an outraged parent in Canada. More here from a Christian perspective.

Brothers, I wish I had more encouraging news. Mind you, there are still a lot of good people out there and many American and westerners who are deeply concerned about what is happening to the world and western world in particular. So all hope is not lost, but clearly the western world is on a moral, spiritual descent that is now starting to show itself in our major metropolitan areas.

It's an old story and one that has been told in our history books time and again. It's a story of great empires and systems that became wealthy, prosperous and forgot about the God who brought them great blessings and turned to pleasure seeking, sexual licentiousness, greed, violence, arrogance and a coldness and contempt towards the victims of its own rapaciousness.

What is happening in the west is a spiritual issue. God who blessed the west as it based its systems on Christianity is slowly removing his hand of protection and blessing on us as the west turns from him to other systems of belief and non-belief. When God leaves a nation, the devil will always move in, using whatever name is most pleasing to those who have turned on God.

 The wicked shall be turned into hell,
and all the nations that forget God. 
For the needy shall not alway be forgotten:
the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.
(Psalms 9:17-18 [KJVA])

Let us keep this in mind as well. In the west, for the vast majority of people, we are not dealing with people who have never heard the gospel, but with people who have heard it and rejected it. This is why this moral slide is so scary today. We are dealing with people who have rejected the gospel as well as nations and systems that have done the same thing. A revival I don't think is going to change anything for the trajectory of the nation, though God knows we need one for the entity that calls itself the Church in the west.

I think the west is rattling downhill on a trolley car without breaks and headed right for a cliff. Its moral slide will only pick up speed as it heads further downhill.
The people may be shouting and laughing and having a good time as though they are on a roller coaster, but they don't know that when it stops, it is at the bottom of a cliff with a thousand foot drop.

27 Jun

Habakkuk Part V

We left off last time and Habakkuk had made a second complaint to the Lord about what he was seeing. The prophet was not pleased. After he made is complaint he waited to be reproved by the Lord for his words. Nevertheless, he was not going to abandon his post as watchman (2:1).

But Habakkuk's complaints are so relevant to our times. We all see so much cruelty and injustice in our world today, unrighteous men who sit in power, wars, hunger and man-made famine. It can be frustrating for all of us to see these things and be powerless to stop them and we often seek God to move. This is where the prophet was at.

One of the hardest lessons we must learn is that God's judgment - before Judgment day - is that at times, quite selective and done for his purposes, not ours. Think on Ananias and Sapphira. The Lord struck them dead in the assembly. The kinds of dishonesty that they perpetrated - it is done all the time and far, far worse today. Yet God does not strike fake ministers and phony televangelists dead, nor people who defraud the church of the offerings due. No he does not, but in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, an example was needed to an early Church and their actions provided it for the congregation. God had his reason for judging one now, and waiting to deal with the rest later.

His understanding, not ours this is how we must try and understand God's seeming inaction at times. He see's things that we do not and cannot and at times, he will use a more wicked nation to judge a less wicked one - not because he approves of either, but because it suits his eternal (rather than man's temporal) purposes.

And the LORD answered me, and said,
Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables,
that he may run that readeth it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time,
but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:
though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come,
it will not tarry.
(Hab 2:2-3)
After the prophet vents his frustration to the Lord about the injustices he has seen and the Lord's apparent inaction, the Lord finally answers his prophet. Though he waited for a rebuke from God, he did not get one. No, he got an answer and one that he was told to share with others. How? He was told to write the vision on tables, this is another form of tablet. The Hebrew word is this one.
loo'-akh, loo'-akh
From a primitive root; probably meaning to glisten; a tablet (as polished), of stone, wood or metal: - board, plate, table.

Basically it is a stone tablet, something that cannot be erased. Barnes notes that it was to be written in large, lasting characters in order to make it easy for anyone to read it. Why should they run? As the Targum says "write the prophecy, and explain it in the book of the law, that he may hasten to obtain wisdom, whoever he is that reads in it.'' (ed noted in Gill's commentary). This is apparently the meaning of this phrase - God wants people to run to make haste to observe what the Lord is going to do and perhaps change their ways to avoid the punishment that is to come. Adam Clarke however makes an interesting point that the person pursues the warnings in the prophecy may speed to save his life and soul from the coming storm. He also adds that this is not meant to imply that he should write the letters so large that a man running could read them (like a billboard), no this is a prophetic word with a prophetic meaning that those who heed what God is saying will make haste to correct themselves and seek God's mercy to avoid the coming calamity.
He that reads, studies, meditates, and prays, shall understand every portion of this sacred book that relates immediately to his own salvation. But no trifler can understand it. - Adam Clarke
This appears to be the best way to understand 'that he may run that readeth it.'

Verse three gives us some context for the vision. It is for an appointed time. This is one thing that living 60 years and serving the Lord has taught me - there is a time for everything. Timing can be essential in ways we never understand. Sometimes we go rushing ahead to take care of things and God says, wait. We may never know why he tells us to. But let me give you totally theoretical happenstance.

Jane Noname has a disabled child. She is really struggling to make ends meet. She hears about a new government program that could help her and her child get assistance. Jane quickly fills out the paperwork but finds it confusing and some sections not as clear as it should be. She has to submit forms that seem to have no relevance, she calls for help to the agency and cannot get clear answers. So she spends several weeks gathering the information. Instead the Lord says... 'wait'. Why, she asks? 'Wait, says the Lord'.

It turns out that two months later the agency streamlined the process, made it easier and she can get her benefits within 4 weeks and do it all online. But those who submitted by paper have to wait 16 weeks for a review and those that were first, had to deal with some real bureaucratic shenanigans. Moreover those that submitted forms got flagged for a tax audit by State authorities. It was those complaints that forced the streamline. Jane did better by waiting as the Lord said.

Timing is important with God and for us mortals, so is waiting. We must learn to wait on God to fulfill his purpose in his good time. This is one of those issues. The prophet and those who are waiting on God, must wait for the appointed time.

This is not a lying vision or a prophecy that is conjured up by some false prophet or delusional person. No, but God is making it clear. It is going to take a long time, you are going to have to wait, but at the end, it will speak and when it does, there will be no more waiting. I get the sense here that the vision is going to take a long time to come to fulfillment, but when the time comes, it will all happen like flood. That is the sense I get from it. Some however have imputed this to a prophecy about the coming Messiah (Gill). This is because the 'it' can be rendered 'he', according to Gill.

The phrase time of the end? Well, I think that this is one of those enigmatic phrases that tells us that it may have a dual fulfillment, one that happened way back in the days of Ancient Israel and another one in the end times. Since this prophecy is directed at the Chaldean's (Babylon) it may be important to keep this strong possibility in mind as we go through the next few passages (Chaldean's are Babylonians). Some of you may think I am reading too much into it, I don't think so. Let's take a look at what K &D Commentary says about this phrase. It is rather long,
The prophecy is לַמּוֹעֵד, for the appointed time; i.e., it relates to the period fixed by God for its realization, which was then still (עוֹד) far off. לְ denotes direction towards a certain point either of place or time. The vision had a direction towards a point, which, when looked at from the present, was still in the future. This goal was the end (הַקֵּץ towards which it hastened, i.e., the “last time” (מוֹעֵד קֵץ, Dan_8:19; and עַת קַץ, Dan_8:17; Dan_11:35), the Messianic times, in which the judgment would fall upon the power of the world. יָפֵחַ לַקֵּץ, it pants for the end, inhiat fini, i.e., it strives to reach the end, to which it refers.

“True prophecy is inspired, as it were, by an impulse to fulfil itself” (Hitzig). יָפֵחַ is not an adjective, as in Psa_27:12, but the third pers. imperf. hiphil of pūăch; and the contracted form (יָפֵחַ for יָפִיחַ), without a voluntative meaning, is the same as we frequently meet with in the loftier style of composition. וְלֹא יְכַזֵּב, “and does not deceive,” i.e., will assuredly take place. If it (the vision) tarry, i.e., be not fulfilled immediately, wait for it, for it will surely take place (the inf. abs. בּוֹא to add force, and בּוֹא applying to the fulfilment of the prophecy, as in 1Sa_9:6 and Jer_28:9), will not fail; אִחֵר, to remain behind, not to arrive (Jdg_5:28; 2Sa_20:5). - K & D
Well, I post that old comment from the mid 1800's to show you that I am not trying to read too much into this word. The very enigmatic way it is phrased should tell us that there is something special about the timing of it and the 'end' for which it refers.

We will continue our look at Habakkuk soon, God willing!!

25 Jun

Tech Bytes II

Note: This was written in March o f 2018 for Insiders and may be just a bit dated. Many tech vulnerabilities have indeed been fixed or mitigated. Others are still in the wild. But I do think anyone who spends time on the internet will get some value out of this brief piece, particularly as regulating big tech is now a major issue in Congress. If you think no one is spying on you and it won't have a significant effect on you personally (like where you can work, live, travel to, what you pay for services) you are living in a fools paradise.

Pastors, evangelists and other ministers of the Gospel. I warn you in the name of the Lord - you have enemies all over the world and they are looking for ways to get at you. Any way they can. Many of them are well trained in intelligence gathering and criminal methods of threatening you, trying to get you to 'front' (via blackmail, bribery or threats) for them (making you an 'asset' of others) and or subverting the message of Christ so that other religious systems prevail.  These forces have deep pockets and access to vast treasure troves of data - BEWARE.

Today, we are going to spend some time talking a little bit about tech and spend some time on VPN's. If you are not using one and you spend a lot of time on the internet, you would be wise to invest a few dollars a month and getting one. With the demise of net neutrality and the coming of Mad Max as top cop cyberspace, protecting your privacy data, bank accounts and other information is going to be 100% YOUR responsibility.

No one else is looking out for you. Now that the big ISP's are free to spy on us all, throttle our surfing and perhaps one day deciding where we can surf and where we cannot, I really hope you take what I say here seriously. Selling your data to people whom you don't even know is very big business. Let the de-bunkers lie all they want to. They get paid for lying. The reality is that these people are out there and most Americans don't even know they exist. Do read the piece from Gizmodo, it is very informative.

So what you need to be aware of is that buying and selling all the information they can collect about you is not a conspiracy theory. It is big business and when this much money is involved it means that political power is also behind it. Considerable political power. For most readers of this site, you have a much better idea of how the world really works. You are not caught up in fake news and fairy tales that are put out into our Cable News networks by powerful forces whose sole job it is is to keep people dumb and in the dark. So what we will talk today about is a few issues on this and ways to protect yourself.

Related: Oracles Next Big Business Is Selling Your Info
Related: How Are They Using The Data
As you can see not all nor even most of the reasons that companies use this data is nefarious. Most of it is not. But some of it can have tremendous 'life impact' on a person. Think about things like insurance and hiring. You may never know that your surfing habits were a major consideration when you applied for that job as a technician and 'XYZ-CAB Industries' (a fictional company). But they got hold of a treasure trove of information from a databroker on you and they did not like the sites you visited. An Alex Jones fan? We don't need that here! Your application was dutifully filed in the wastebasket. And keep this in mind, what your ISP can collect is specific to your surfing habits and your online viewing habits. So internet privacy is about a lot more than just shielding a person's from embarrassment. It is about many of the same things that China is now doing to its citizens with the whole idea of Social Credit. Xi plans on using this as a tool to maintain loyalty to the Communist party and his personal growing dictatorship.

The Social Credit System is a proposed Chinese government initiative for developing a national reputation system. It has been reported to be intended to assign a "social credit" rating to every citizen based on government data regarding their economic and social status. It works as a mass surveillance tool and uses the big data analysis technology.In addition, it is also meant to rate businesses operating on the Chinese market. Wikipedia
You can read more about this Social Credit System on this document. This is in reality a total surveillance system and while the plans are still in its infancy, portions of it already appear to have been implemented particularly with regards to internet behavior.

China’s dystopian social credit system is a harbinger of the global age of the algorithm 

Got too much debt? This may soon come to America, including travel bans. This will be the future here in the US too if we cannot get better leaders. But in order to get better leaders we have to have better citizens. I think at this point in time this is a social, political and genetic impossibility. The mentality of Americas more and more seem to be devolving into silly political diatribes, childish sometimes violent anger, brain destruction via recreational chemicals and selfish pleasure seeking.

Such people can rarely think beyond their next high, meal or orgasm. So this piece is not being written to put a stop or the brakes on these trends. Too much money will make sure that all you see in China will come here. America will just take a different route to the same total surveillance destination. But a total surveillance society in one form or another is I think a technological certainty. right here in America.

They key difference for us here in the US is that we still can take some control over what these entities collect on us. No, we cannot stop public records from being public, or credit reports are there for anyone who needs them and other key data that you have let go into the wild of cyberspace is gone and can never be retrieved. One key way you can protect your data is via a VPN. This protects your surfing habits and depending on who you are and how valuable a target some may view you, it can prevent cyber-stalking (knowing where you are at a given time and establishing patterns of locational awareness on the target).

Cyber-stalking is no joke. It was done to me. It can be done to anyone. So keep this in mind going ahead. Unscrupulous people (read criminals, extortionists, blackmailers, gangs, etc) who can find out how much you are worth, where your kids go to school, who your buddies are and your weaknesses can do a lot of harm to you and you will never know how they did it unless you understand some basics.

1. When you are using your phone, turn the GPS off when not using it. Turning off your internet connection also helps, but soon the 'Always On' devices will be the new thing and it is not clear if with these devices you will ever be able to fully disconnect from the internet. The key is that they want to follow you at all times everywhere you go. ALWAYS. Keep this in mind too. With many modern devices there seems to be some indication that even if you turn your wifi off and your GPS off. What I will tell you is that probably the best way to look at your phone contract is that once you sign a contract for a smart phone and for some smart devices, it is not a contract so much for you to buy a few gigabytes of data from them as it is a contract for them to collect personal data on you.

2. This is key. Use a VPN. Get one and keep using it at all times. Now, when I am home and pay my bills, that is about the only time I disconnect from the VPN these days. If you try and pay some bills online with a VPN there is often extra authentication they want and even then, they may or may not let you sign in.

VPN's are great for when you surf and when you want to chat securely with others using a SECURE chat client. Intercepting Communications with others using the internet is something that big brother uses and has abused. When you can, you should try and communicate securely. Those big corporate Silicon Valley chat rooms/clients... I don't trust them.

But using a VPN can be tricky. A lot of them are easy to buy and set up, but if one only leaves the app in its default form, many other problems exist that make using a VPN just about moot. If you are going to spend a monthly bill to have a VPN use it correctly, otherwise save your money!

The first thing to do is make sure you are connected and that your connection is encrypted. The best way to do that is to view the traffic. The way to do that is with a packet catcher. The one I use is Wireshark. Now this is a bit technical and I am not going to burden you with a bunch of technobabble. What I will tell you is that your connection should be going out over either port 443 or 1194.

The actual traffic should look like gibberish. If you right click on any one of the packets (using Wireshark) above and then choose 'follow UDP stream', it should look like this.

This way you can see if it really is encrypted. This usually is not a problem, but some of you may need to be sure and this is the best way to do that.

DNS leaks.

One way to check your DNS security is with this tool.


If the DNS resolver says your ISP (Comcast Verizon, etc), when you are using your VPN -  you are leaking.

Many VPN clients will leak your DNS queries. That being every time you go to a site, the DNS in your OS will query the number translation for the site you visit but not with your VPN, but with your ISP.

If the VPN resolves your DNS queries it should be OK (we will talk about that later) but if you have it incorrectly set up, your ISP will be snooping on your surfing habits EVEN WHEN USING YOUR ENCRYPTED CONNECTION. You want to make sure that does not happen.

There are ways to make sure that does not and each VPN maker should have a tutorial on this. Here is one For Windows. For Linux there are no good ones easily found, but I have created a step by step one to prevent them. I will not post it here.

If you can find a VPN that offers multi-hoping (chaining your connection) that too is even better. It makes snooping more difficult. Some VPN's do offer this as a given, though you will probably have to set it up.

Another major problem is browser fingerprinting. This takes time and often cannot be done right away, but after all the logs are gathered and collated, the fingerprint of a browser can easily identify you with our without your VPN. There are many ways to do it and they have become increasingly high tech in their methods. It does mot matter if your cookies or storage settings are turned off, they can still find out who you are by fingerprinting. There are many tools online that show you how it is done and what your fingerprint looks like. things that really are bad are.

The EFF has a tool here.

Some ways this is done are below.
Using the same useragent all the time. - bad
Having Webrtc enabled - bad
Having WegGL enabled - bad
Not taking countermeasures with Canvas Finterprinting - bad
Running Javascript on all sites you visit - bad
No adblocker running - bad
Flash enabled - bad
There are other bad things that people do, like allowing your referrer to work, keep a big cache,

We Americans still can use VPN's.  The Chinese cannot. This is a key tool that can be used to protect yourself from the surveillance state. However there are two words of caution here. The first is what I talked about a couple of years ago. You cannot always be sure who is running your VPN. Also, Keep the jurisdiction of your exit node in mind. Some nations are better than others at snooping on your connections and data and you never know if someone can get to the VPN server. For most people, this is not an issue, for politically incorrect bloggers like me, journalists, Christian ministers and those who have enemies inside the deep state (like me) they would like nothing better than to hear the dirt rattle down on my coffin after it has been lowered into the ground, I have to be more than a little careful. They snooped on my VPN connections before and are likely to try again when the political winds allow them to. You would not think this little site could engender so much satanic hatred and targeting, but it has and probably still does. No site, no Facebook page, no chat group or twitter account is too small to target if it runs consistently counter narrative to the devil and his imps.

For you and me? Well I foresee a day when people who vote a certain way may be harassed at work, those who are Christians being 'set upon' in the digital world. Certain groups not able to rent a hotel room via online tools (this has already happened) and the likes.

The idea of Social Credit in China will not so much apply to government but to business and corporations who will be able to digitally and economically exclude you from doing business because you are Black, a Christian, a Democrat, a Republican, White, Gay, Blog or don't have a Facebook account. This to me is the real goal of removing Net Neutrality, it is to remove the protections that you and I have so far taken for granted.

No, this will not happen right away. This will take a little time. But I do see a day when people will be denied a job (legally) simply because of their politics, their religion, the fact that they watch certain TV shows, etc. They will build profiles on what they view as a 'threat' and what one does and does not do. These new profiles will decide if you should be allowed to participate in society or not.

What will happen to those who do not or cannot participate? What did Hitler do do the Jews whom he carefully and systematically excluded from the German economy and society?

He enslaved them.

He performed hideous Medical experiments on them

And then he killed them.

No we are not anywhere near that point in time. But just as surely as these methods of control are honed and deployed and the press of people in the demographic explosion that our world is now undergoing grows and the jobs that people can do that have not been replaced by Robots and AI dwindle, such a day frankly, given the importance economics plays in our world, is to some degree a foregone conclusion.

Men have always killed and done away with those who pose an economic threat and a mass of unemployed people who have been systematically marginalized by a technocratic society will pose a potent threat to the have's of the future. I foresee a day in the future when the have's go after the have-not's so that they 'live-not'.

But think about it for just a second. Is not participation in the future dependent on submission to the political religious order? Is this not exactly what our Bible tells us? Read it carefully.

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

(Rev 13:15-18)

The Power to give life? Could this be some kind of Artificial Intelligence? Worship the beast? Loyalty to a political/religious entity? Getting rid of the political and socially undesirable? The method is described - economic exclusion and then death.

We as Christians cannot escape what is coming, unless the Lord directs it. If we are here when this system arises, and I think many of us will be, they will not have much trouble getting to us if we live in the developed world. In other parts of the world where there is considerably less development, it may not be so bad or hard to escape the devil's minions. But those of us destined for the sword must steel our souls, it is by the sword we must fall.

So what I am describing to you is a system that will arise and that this methodology - surveillance and determining your political, economic, entertainment, sexual and personal habits is being actively monitored by people whose names you are not allowed to know.

Let those of you who are wise among you consider carefully what I have laid out for you.

Don't give the devil any more ammo against you than he already has. He does not need to know anything about you. Whatever he knows, be assured he is going to try and use it against you.

Be wise brothers.

I will not recommend a VPN but there are a lot of them out there with some good prices.  Read their logging policies most carefully and read between the lines too. Get one that has as many different servers as possible in as many different countries. Switch servers often. Always check for DNS leaks (every time you logon). Keep whatever you do LEGAL. DO NOT BREAK THE LAW. Many VPN's have a direct line to LE and don't need to bother with Warrants to hand over data. Be aware I say once again. DO NOT BREAK THE LAW. VPN's are not a safe haven for criminal activity. If you are breaking the law, they will eventually catch you.

20 Jun

Nehemiah XXXVI

Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God,
who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee,
that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests,
and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time
of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us;
for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:

(Neh 9:32-33)

The priests continue their prayer that recounts key parts of Israel's history and how they were guided, protected and helped by God and later repaid him with various sins, rebellions and blasphemies. But this section changes the tone of this historical narration. It begins with an acknowledgement of God's mercy as well as the powerful and mighty nature of God. The world 'terrible' is this one in Hebrew.

A primitive root; to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten: - affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing). (be had in) reverence (-end), X see, terrible (act, -ness, thing).

The word has many connotations, but what I get from the word is like a dreaded emperor with enormous, unquestioned power, who sits on a throne surrounded by armed men and battle scarred warriors who awaits the command of the king to do his will. The king at times can be hard and uncompromising, but can often be entreated to show mercy if there is genuine contrition. Moreover there is no appeal should he decide not to show it. That is just how I see our God, our terrible, awesome and powerful God to those who consistently reject his mercy.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away;
and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great,
stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened,
which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things
which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death
and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:
and they were judged every man according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.
This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life
was cast into the lake of fire.
(Rev 20:11-15)

Brothers, this is the same God that the priests were appealing to in this public prayer, that God would continue to show mercy towards his people and forgive them. Remember, they had just felt the rod of the Lord in years of exile and national humiliation. They knew this other side of the Lord in an up front and personal way.

This is a side of God's character that is not preached in pulpits today. The emphasis today is on mercy and love; forgiveness and hope, as it should be. The bad part of that however is that people, particularly many Christians see God as the great pansy in the sky who forgives everyone, everything and has no moral or other demands to make on this race of fallen men to which we all belong. In this false doctrine God does not judge, his commandments are not to be taken seriously, his warnings are not to be believed and his word can always be re-interpreted to no effect, if you pay the right pastor or prophet. These are the kinds of errors that was a key part of what led Israel astray and put them into the position of having to rededicate their nation back to the God whom they so severely wronged after 70 years of woe.

I think this is one of the key lessons here that we can take away from this whole section. God is merciful and is willing to forgive, but under no circumstances will God be mocked or shown disrespect. Such that do that will see that 'dreaded emperor' side of God who will at that time, be in no mood to show mercy but will demand repayment for the insults made to him and his rulership.

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them,
bring hither, and slay them before me.
(Luk 19:27)
Jesus Christ at the end of the Parable of the 10 Talents

I say this because words like 'Terrible God' don't line up with the fluffy gospel being preached today. But that is exactly what we serve, a God who is both to be loved and feared, honored and dreaded.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:
but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
(Mat 10:28)

No, the western Church needs a reality check on who God really is. No, not all of the Church in the west, but large portions of it who are compromising with sin and sowing the seeds of doubt on God's commandments and requirements.

The priests here were reminding God with the congregation in earshot, who had just been smitten by the Lord that he is full of mercy. The Priest does not rail against God as somehow being unjust in what he did, or mean-spirited. No, the Priests make it plain that what God did to Israel was just. He makes clear in the last stanza that God was right and that it was they who had done wickedly.

I note that no one was immune to the harshness of God's judgments, the prophets and the priests as well were rebuked. Each who held those religious offices were not doing right, many were prophesying falsely and the priests as well had ceased to teach and preach right things. They too as the prophets warned, were destined for the sword.

The passage above from Nehemiah, also goes back not just to the exile that they had just experienced.

Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers,
kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies,
wherewith thou didst testify against them. For they have not served thee
in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them,
and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them,
neither turned they from their wicked works.
(Neh 9:34-35)

Again we see the theme of the leaders not doing right, thus explaining why the elite class of Israel were all mentioned in Verse 32 as going into judgment or as the passage in verse 32 put it trouble. This is the word.

From H3811; distress: - travail, travel, trouble.
They did not listen, they rebelled and they got trouble. God gave them much and instead of praise and worship of God, they flipped him the spiritual 'bird' and went on about their business doing that which not only displeased the Lord, but greatly angered him. To add insult to injury, as we all know, despite multiple warnings over many decades, they simply refused to change their wicked ways.

For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness
 that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them,
 neither turned they from their wicked works. Behold, we are servants this day,
and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and
the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it: And it yieldeth much increase
 unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have
 dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure,
and we are in great distress. And because of all this we make a sure covenant,
and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests,
seal unto it.
(Neh 9:35-38)

Here the Priests cry out to God in their distress recognizing God's innate goodness. They acknowledge all he gave to their fathers, yet they did not serve the Lord. They acknowledge the rich land that God gave them, yet they committed great sin in it.

Then the priests complain to the Lord that they may be living on that land, but it is under the control and only at the Pleasure of a foreign king who ultimately holds legal claim to all of it. Remember who Nehemiah had gotten his charge to go down to Jerusalem from. They were 'in great distress'.

Feminine of H6862; tightness (that is, figuratively trouble); transitively a female rival: - adversary, adversity, affliction, anguish, distress, tribulation, trouble.

After remunerating their history and Israel's rebellion, acknowledging their errors before God and all, they come before him with their specific request --- help us, we are in trouble! We got a picture as to how bad the aristocracy was mistreating the inhabitants of the land (Chapter 5) and what kinds of economic extraction they were levying on the people.

It was only after 70 years of pain, suffering, exploitation and humiliation that the people finally got together and decided to rededicate their lives and land back to the Lord. They were going to do this thing and formalize it before all. This was a sure covenant they were going to write this one down and seal it. Today, we would sign it, in those days sealing was the finality of a contract.

One thing the Cambridge commentary brings about about this is that from this passage the office of the Priests appear to have been considerably elevated in the order of things.

[our princes, Levites, and priests] R.V. our princes, our Levites, and our priests. The position of the Levites between the ‘princes’ and the ‘priests’ deserves notice, as it illustrates the prominence of the Levites in the movement. - The Cambridge Bible For Schools And Colleges
I think it meet that I show you how this whole episode was really a fulfillment of a prophecy made by Isaiah, when he saw into the seeds of time when the Lord's fury would cease. I post the whole passage because I have always found this to be a personal encouragement.

Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return,
and come with singing unto Zion;

and everlasting joy shall be upon their head:
they shall obtain gladness and joy;

 and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even
I, am he that comforteth you:

who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid
 of a man that shall die,

and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
And forgettest the LORD thy maker,

that hath stretched forth the heavens,
and laid the foundations of the earth;

and hast feared continually every day
because of the fury of the oppressor,

as if he were ready to destroy?
and where is the fury of the oppressor?

The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed,
and that he should not die in the pit,
 nor that his bread should fail.
But I am the LORD thy God,

that divided the sea, whose waves roared:
The LORD of hosts is his name.

And I have put my words in thy mouth,
and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand,

that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth,
and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.
Awake, awake, stand up,
O Jerusalem, which hast drunk
at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury;

 thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.
 There is none to guide her among all the sons
whom she hath brought forth;

neither is there any that taketh her
by the hand of all the sons that

she hath brought up.
These two things are come unto thee;

who shall be sorry for thee? desolation,
and destruction, and the famine,

and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?
Thy sons have fainted,

they lie at the head of all the streets,
as a wild bull in a net: they

are full of the fury of the LORD,
the rebuke of thy God.
Therefore hear now this,

thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
Thus saith thy Lord the LORD,

and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people,
Behold, I have taken out of thine hand
the cup of trembling,

even the dregs of the cup of my fury;
thou shalt no more drink it again:

But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee;
which have said to thy soul,

 Bow down, that we may go over:
and thou hast laid thy body as the ground,

 and as the street, to them that went over.
(Isa 51:11-23)

The Lord did exactly as he said he was going to do.
We will get to the next section of Nehemiah, next week, God wiling!

18 Jun

Persecution Watch

Brothers and sisters, I post these stories to raise awareness of how many of our brothers in Christ must suffer for their faith. They are also posted so that you can both pray and when appropriate give assistance. - MSW

China Slates 24 Village Churches for Destruction
06/13/2019 China (International Christian Concern) — According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), 24 churches in China’s northeastern Hebei province are slated for destruction. CNA also reports an increase of problems following the Sino-Vatican agreement.

Since the agreement, the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Department is attempting to pressure church leaders into joining the Catholic Patriotic Association. This association was established by the government to create ease of surveillance, monitoring, and supervision of Chinese Christians. Thus the association interferes with the ability of free practice of faith. - Continues at International Christian Concern

India: Christians Go Hungry And Locals Deny Them Work, Homes
HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) "...In the southern tip of Chhattisgarh state, villagers who practice tribal religion of ancestor and nature worship attacked the homes of three Christian families in Bodiguda village, Sukma District on May 23, leaving 25 people homeless, including four infants.

“Their homes are in ruins,” area pastor Philip Veeti told Morning Star News. “They dumped food grains sufficient to feed the Christians for the entire year in the drain. The families are hardly able to fill their stomachs with the limited provisions they have.”

The villagers on that day warned the Christians to abandon their faith or face death, he said. When the three families refused, a mob of about 150 people tore down the tiled roofs of the three houses of the tribal Christians, throwing out their clothes and other belongings." - Continues At Morning Star News
Terrorists Kill Twenty Nine Christians in Two Attacks in Burkina Faso
06/12/2019 Burkina Faso (International Christian Concern) – Two terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso have left 29 Christians dead and countless others fearing for their lives. The twin attacks, which took place on June 9 and 10, specifically targeted Christians and came on the heels of a series of attacks targeting churches in the West African nation. - Continues At International Christian Concern
Part of Christian School in Eastern Uganda Torn Down
This is a Church that was set up to help kids whose family disowned them because of their faith in Christ. Morning Star News reports.
This Message of Life: Pastor Wahid’s Story
The testimony of an Iranian Pastor and his salvation and travails for the gospel. Nation's Media reports

Religion: FAITHFUL OBSERVATIONS: Persecution of Christians around the world
A look at Voice of the Marytrs and one Missionaries trips to Asia as well as the state of persecution these days.

North Korea: Let My People Go!!
The views and testimony of a refugee from the hermit kingdom. WND reports
Chinese Christians Memorize Scripture
Having the scriptures available to us here in the states is a privilege we often take for granted. The above link is from CBN. Fox has their take on the story here.

Ethiopia: Church told to vacate After Ten Years
June 18, 2019 By World Watch Monitor - "...An evangelical church in central Ethiopia has been ordered to vacate its building, 10 years after it started meeting there, and churches elsewhere in the region say pressure is increasing on them, too.

The Mekane Yesus Evangelical Church in the town of Robe in Bale zone, about 400km southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, was ordered by the Oromia Regional State Authorities to leave its premises within 30 days. Church meetings with local officials so far have not changed their mind..." - Continues At World Watch Monitor

Oregon: SCOTUS Vacates Ruling Against 'Sweet Cakes' Bakery
The court did not rule on the case, but vacated the old ruling and told them to reconsider it reminding them that they cannot be hostile to religious people and their free exercise of belief. First Liberty reports in the link above.

The case text that is available on the web is most interesting. The Opinion is fair and quite insightful. The key here I think is that when the Justices cited hostility to Christians (religion), they were not just making it up. They cited public hearings and the way public commissioners publicly disparaged their religious beliefs.

This to me is an important issue, because 'lawfare' is one of the ways persecution is conducted here in America. Would a Jewish Wedding Dress maker be compelled to create a wedding gown with swastika's all over it for a group of Neo-Nazi's and their wedding ceremony? His religious beliefs and his race would find it most objectionable. Could he be driven out of business or forced to pay a massive fine for telling them no? Why would such people want such a thing from Jewish people if not solely for the reason of humiliating or suing him?

Hostility to religion, particularly Christians has become fashionable because it more and more it is fashionable in our entertainment and media. Thankfully, the court saw the spirit behind State officials and have now compelled them to reconsider what they did to these people.

This nation was founded on the principles of religious liberty. The freedom to believe or not believe as a person chooses.

Tribunal: China Organ Harvesting Still Continuing
They long ago reportedly ceased the practice, but some say it is still continuing. This report talks about it being used on the Falun Gong with concern that Muslims are at risk. ABC Australia reports.

More here
out of New Zealand's Herald.

So far this has not been reported widely against Christians. But there have been some reports of it.

14 Jun

Habakkuk Part IV

Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil,
and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest
 thou upon them that deal treacherously,
and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth
the man that is more righteous than he?
And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things,
 that have no ruler over them?
(Hab 1:13-14)

We will continue the thought of verse 13 here. The prophet goes on to make it clear that he knows God's character and that he hates iniquity and treachery. He is not accusing God of being indifferent. He expounds God's ways as being far above men. When evil men eat up the righteous and takes them as in war, the prophet here expresses his dismay yet acknowledging God's holiness. This passage is probably a reference to his anticipation of the coming Chaldean, whom the prophet saw as being wholly unrighteous. As the wicked, so with this conquering army. They come and the men had no power against them.

Here the prophet not unlike Job saw so much evil and trouble in the world and how powerless man is.

Yet God does not tell us of his ways or reasons. He has his own reasons for doing things and except in the cases of those whom he calls friends, he does not reveal his councils. But in rare cases, he does let us know. He did this with Abraham when Lot was in severe danger.

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham
 that thing which I do;
(Gen 18:17)

K&D commentary gives us I think the right voice here. Some commentators seem to think this refers to God treating men like fishes, but I think the voice here is ascribing it to the Chaldeans - their power when they comes upon a nation. Here is what that K&D commentary says.

This strange fact is depicted still further in Hab_1:14-16 in figures taken from the life of a fisherman. The men are like fishes, whom the Chaldaean collects together in his net, and then pays divine honour to his net, by which he has been so enriched...

... “No ruler,” to take the defenceless under his protection, and shelter and defend them against enemies. Then will Judah be taken prisoner and swallowed up by the Chaldaeans. God has given it helplessly up to the power of its foes, and has obviously ceased to be its king. - K&D

The Pulpit commentary has an interesting aside on Judgment on the Chaldeans which you may find of interest.

The prophet appeals movingly to God by showing the indignity with which the people are treated. As the fishes of the sea. Dumb and helpless, swept off by the fisherman. That have no ruler ever them. None to guide and protect them (comp. Pro_6:7; Pro_30:27). So the Jews seem to be deprived of God’s care, and left to be the prey of the spoiler, as if of little worth, and no longer having God for their King (comp. Isa_63:19, Revised Version). The "creeping things" are worms, or small fish (Psa_104:25). - The Pulpit Commentary

They take up all of them with the angle,
they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag:
 therefore they rejoice and are glad.
Therefore they sacrifice unto their net,
and burn incense unto their drag; because by
them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.
 Shall they therefore empty their net,
and not spare continually to slay the nations?
(Hab 1:15-17)

Once the fish are caught in the net, they are dragged up. The fisherman are pleased with a good catch. This is how the Prophet describes the conquering Chaldeans. Then they do something rather perverse, they begin to worship the net that caught the fish. This apparently is their religion, the instruments of war as typified by the imagery of the fisherman's net. They are encouraged in their war and religion because of the spoil they get in it.

Thus the prophet ends his second complaint to the Lord. His concern is not an uncommon one. We all have seen horrible injustices committed by men drunk with power and violence. I know many of you feel just like Habakkuk at times. We see these things and cannot help but cry out and even complain to the Lord about them. Well, this is the second time Habakkuk has done this and he may be feeling just a bit guilty about it. Why do I say this? The next passage.

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower,
and will watch to see what he will say unto me,
 and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
(Hab 2:1)

So the prophet after he makes his complaint - he does not abandon his post, he does not walk away in rebellion or in a fit of rage, he continues on in his service to God as a watchman over his people. This is so important. I have learned this lesson after many years of doing this site. To continue on with whatever God has me (or you) doing. I know God has given me this rather unusual ministry. I never asked for it, but I know I have to do it.

In our times, real watchmen are rare and they are often viscously attacked by all manner of dark forces. Watchmen are so commanded to stay on watch, like any good soldier. The penalty for not doing so can be most severe. When God gives you a job to do, you would do well to do it! The tower is where the prophet is set. In a tower one can see a far off things not seen by those who are on the ground. The prophet has a unique perspective on things because he see's things differently - from a different vantage point. This is the role, job and burden of a watchman. Here is how Barnes describes this verse.
The prophet takes his stand, apart from people and the thoughts and cares of this world, on his lonely watch, as Moses on the rock, keeping himself and kept by God, and planted firm, so that nothing should move him, fenced around thought straitened in , as in a besieged camp committed to his ward, looking out from his lofty place what answer God would give as to times long distant, and what answer He should give first to himself, and to those to whom his office lay, God’s people.  - Barnes
Yet the passage seems to anticipate God's answer with a bit of trepidation. He is waiting for God to answer him. Note he is not worried that God won't answer him - this is not un-faith, No, he knows God will answer, yet he is not sure how the Lord is going to take his complaints and thus he fully expects to be reproved by the Lord for being so bold. Will he be? We will find out in the next section, God willing!

Blessings to you all in Christ!!!

Brother Mark

12 Jun

Is The Global Internet Disintegrating?

Slashdot looks at the issue. My view? Well, in short, yes it is. It is being led by nations who don't like the open internet and now are building infrastructure to get around the current US led open internet. Yes, the open internet is changing and not for the better. Governments in particular are nervous about it. Russia? They have their own ideas about who is behind some of the unrest in Russia and one of the key vectors they believe was American led Social Networking sites. This is one key reason why Putin is locking down the internet - to prevent any more attempts at what they see as US sponsored 'colored revolutions'.

Right now everyone is looking at recent Russian initiatives, but it is also China who has been steadily laying undersea internet cable (where most international internet traffic travels). This is a key front in the information war and Russia and China both understand the stakes.

But these moves are going to be disastrous for freedom of speech, the free flow of information and of course will open up the door to even more digital surveillance - more than we have today if American digital traffic begins to traverse this new infrastructure.

But the internet, at least the open and free flow of information is also coming under attack in the western world as well. I read the other day where Australia is planning to put people in jail for five years of 'offending' someone. We saw what happened in New Zealand after the Christchurch shooting and jail time threats against those who reported accurately events (like posting a video). Then there were the proposals in Europe that demanded censorship machines (aka copyright filters) on sites before anything could be uploaded. And of course in the US we have seen the likes of all the major Social Networking sites (many of them with deep state connections) begin censoring speech that it did not like - usually, though not exclusively conservative speech.
Censorship... More Information From Project Veritas

We have seen Internet Hosting companies drive alternative sites off the web. Alternative sites across the net, left and right have reported very significant traffic declines in the past few years. None of this is a coincidence. The powers that be want to get control of the internet and silence or at least muffle voices that run contrary to official narratives and government speak. Each nation is using the legal and technological tools it has at hand. Authoritarian countries have fewer impediments to fulfilling their wishes, whereas western democracies usually have to enlist the help of corporate friends who are dependent on government for their livelihood (contracts - friendly regulatory frameworks, etc) or even by using other means (covert means - blackmail, bribery, threats etc) to carry out the policy.

So yes, the internet is changing. It is becoming more 'official' more 'government' and certainly more 'corporate'. Smaller alternative sites will probably be around for a long time, but they will struggle as payment processors and large corporations begin to target them. I know in the past two years or so my traffic has significantly dropped on the public page. I am not really surprised or even troubled by it. I have long suspected that one day this was going to happen. I never wanted this site to be 'big' anyway. I want it to be useful to the few, Godly souls out there, not a resource for bad people or a place where I get too much attention from the wrong kinds of people, as has happened before.

My point is that the internet is changing. It really is and is set to change much more as Net Neutrality is no longer the law of the land. More and more, piecemeal and step by step, I see these big Tech companies and ISP's moving to gain more control over what we all read, see, hear and watch on the internet. I think it will be as much about the control of information, ideas and narratives as it will be about profit.

Change is in the wind - a change that will do its best to give credence to the official lie and try its best to put a gag on the uncomfortable truths of our times.
10 June

Christian Watch

These times are hard ones for the Church, which is frankly in crisis. Raging persecution, divisions, false doctrines, charlatans and crooks in the Pulpits and on Christian TV, spiritual blindness, slumber during these end times, blind watchmen, and lying prophets. These are most difficult times for the Church. But God has his very small flock that have not succumbed to the wiles of the devil which have been very effective against the corporate religious establishments that call themselves Churches.

I am aghast at what has been happening, but am also encouraged that slowly some pastors and Christian leaders are waking up and are now trying to steer their congregations, no longer into the DNC or RNC or into some new 'deep state' concocted social/christian movement, but into sound Bible doctrine and righteous and holy living without the hypocritical 'holier than thou-ness' which too often is merely a pose. We need real people, living a real life on the foundations of Jesus Christ, not 'holy' hypocrites. So today, let's take a look around the world at how the Church is faring and some of the issues it faces.

Christians reflect on 5 years under BJP rule. The ICC reports on Modi and the rise of the BJP and the RSS. This is a brief look at events and the recent elections. Who are the BJP and RSS? You may find this of interest. So, yes people, not just Christians have a cause for serious concern. They are in hostile territory. So next time you hear about Churches being burned down in India or pastors being beaten to death, remember the spirit behind the new leadership in India.

In the Congo, the massacres continue. A Nun was decapitated. In the Eritrea, Christians were arrested during a crackdown.

Last week wasn't a good week. A blog called "Today's Martyrs" has a pdf of recent martyrdom's. It can be found here.

In China, an influential 70 year old Church was closed by communist authorities and the pastor was heavily fined.

Can you make a deal with the devil? Recent events say no, you cannot. Churches who cut a deal with the Chinese Communists are still being shut down, according to this piece. This should give the Pope some pause as he cut a deal with the Communists on allowing Atheists and Communists to appoint Church leaders. China is not likely to abide for long by any agreement unless there is very significant 'pain to come' leverage in place that makes them keep their agreements. Beyond that, Eve listening to serpent in the garden will probably yield better results than believing what Xi and the CCP has to say to the Church.

Will the Pope listen? I doubt it, in my view, he seems determined to make the western unsaved world love him at the expense of the doctrines of Christianity and the spiritual well being of the Church. After years of watching him, he just seems to want the Church to look like the world of which Christ so clearly called us out of. His actions in the past have been called into serious question.

The Church all over is under attack on various fronts, out right persecution, demonic doctrines, false pastors and demonic led Church leaders who shine like an angel of light but are carefully doing the devils work. Hate and racism often masquerading as Christianity And too often just plain old cowardice in its leaders. But there are some courageous voices out there.

But the scale of persecution is very serious. The UK foreign secretary recently commented on the scale of it. Crux carries the story here. but you know what? You would never believe it listening to the American press. The stories are hardly covered, if at all. Genocidal levels of murder being committed and the TV Camera shifts to the shapely legs of an NFL cheerleader, the latest on the Muller report foolishness or some new sex scandal or tweet by a Hollywood actor.

Well, this much I know, it is pretty hard to get a people whose brains have been befuddled and atrophied by long term drug usage to contextualize much of anything of importance and sadly, this is where a great many American's are at, and the news networks know it. And no, I am not the only one who see's the trend.

Here in the US some are calling for the US to sanction Chinese officials involved in religious persecution, the Epoch Times reports.

In Sudan, the recent unrest, where bodies were dumped into the Nile, has an effect on the Christian minority living in the country.

SCO: Purple=Dialog partners,
Blue=observers, Green=members
Source Wikipedia (public domain)

In Tajikistan, Jehovah's Witnesses are in pretrial detention and while there, he is not allowed to read his Bible.
A court in the northern city of Khujand has again extended the pre-trial detention of 68-year-old Jehovah's Witness prisoner of conscience Shamil Khakimov until 26 June. He was arrested in February and is being investigated on criminal charges of allegedly "inciting religious hatred", which carry a jail term of between five and ten years. But his real "crime" seems to be that the regime thinks he leads Khujand's Jehovah's Witness community. - Forum 18
This appears to be part of a broader pattern against the JW's that is being embarked upon by the Russian government. The two nations are closely aligned in a security sense as this paper explains. Given that each belong to SCO and theirs is the policy of attacking non-state sponsored religious groups, what is going on is hardly surprising. Extremism in their lexicon is an elastic term and can be and has been used against the most peaceful and law abiding peoples, whose religious beliefs may not line up with what those in authority like.A cursory internet search with terms SCO and Extremism will yield up some decent results on the subject.

Meanwhile here in the US, the so-called culture war is still raging. Left and right are using the tools of censorship and economic warfare to silence each other. From Chick-fil-A bans, to Google now calling conservative voices names (Nazi and Supremacist) and demonetizing them. This is all part of a pattern of internal strife driven from foreign powers who have considerable power within our government. I don't think I need to tell you of the considerable connections between Google and the government. Leaks over the past few years have made those connections pretty clear. That and new allegations that may turn into lawsuits.

The Good news is that finally Congress may be willing to break up these tech firms, who have been behaving more like Goebbles than Americans. Censorship is a Nazi trait; a free and vibrant press and exchange of idea's is an American one. What is so tragic in my opinion is that these companies made billions from that free flow of idea's and now seek to turn on the nation and it's citizens like a dog on its master and create their own 'digital world' where only opinions they agree with can have voice. For you lefties out there, this will swing in your direction if and when they can continue to hit out at those from the right. These tech firms have their own agenda.
Platforms Want Centralized Censorship. That Should Scare You
I have said this before but it bears repeating. Foreign intelligence services (Iranians, Russians Chinese and others) are very good at co-opting US corporate executives and they have been their busiest in Silicon Valley. But also on Capitol Hill and working hard on key members in the House and Senate and those important committees. Why are conservatives being targeted so hard?

Because Conservatives believe in protecting the nation-state. Many of those on the left (those with the money) believe in a global society where the nation-state (like America) must give up sovereignty, rights and wealth to a global system where US democratic input is neutered by treaties and secret agreements that the people are not and will never be allowed to see.

Foreign actors benefit when the nation is divided up and left hates right and the nation and its government can no longer function because of political inertia, like today. Foreign nations can plan border crashing PR events and create narratives that prevents the state from taking action against it and further divide up the nation along political lines. Let me tell you, I know about disinformation. I know how it works and how well it works and that 999 out of a thousand people will never know how or that they are being manipulated. This is a science, a long studied and highly accurate science that others know how to employ and deploy on the unsuspecting. What is the first rule of not being fooled? Well... the author of the following makes it her second, I make it the first. It is..
2 - Be humble and open enough to know that you can be fooled. Your cognitive wiring is susceptible to the same hacks as everyone else, and manipulators of all sorts are always looking to exploit those vulnerabilities. It's not shameful to be deceived, it's shameful to deceive people. Don't let shame and cognitive dissonance keep you compartmentalized away from considering the possibility that you've been duped in some way. - Thirty-Two Tips For Navigating A Society That Is Full Of Propaganda And Manipulation
What I think needs to be better understood is that forces in our world with a lot of money and power have a plan. It's not a conspiracy theory, many of these men have pretty clearly articulated what they want, publicly. This is no longer people hiding in secret chambers. No, today this movement more and more resembles a naked man running as fast as he can for the throne. Only a blind man could miss it.
They want Global governance. What form that governance takes is a matter of some considerable debate (and conflict), but what must be done away with is Patriotism, Nationalism or as Trump would put it 'American first'. This is their number one enemy in favor of a new system of international organizations with legal authority over the nation state. None of this is news to most of you. But what we must remember is that while these forces no longer have control over the White House and the American Foreign policy apparatus, they still wield considerable power in other parts of American society.

This is where religion comes in. Many of these forces see Islam as the key to the question of religion. Have we not seen the Euro elite move to assist in Islamifying large parts of Europe? If you haven't you need to wake up and find out what is going on. Meanwhile Anti-Semitism grows there as does acts of violence against Christians. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame all Muslims for all of this, no rather I want to point out trends and some of the reasons why they are being allowed and even facilitated by the powers that be.

I say these things to help contextualize just a few of these issues for Christians. There is a power behind the throne of the world's governments. It uses man made organizations and people, but it is a spiritual power. He is known as the prince of this world. Even Christ did not dispute his power in this age before his resurrection. Christ was offered all the kingdoms of this world if he would fall down and worship him (Matt 4:8ff). Christ refused as must we when our time comes when we are threatened if we don't worship the devil and his image.

Persecution? It will ebb and flow but the overall trend will be that it will continue to grow. It is a key sign of our times and we must not be shocked by it.

Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.
 (John 15:20 [KJVA])

Sooner or later, to small or great degrees,  you will be persecuted for your faith, if you indeed belong to Jesus Christ. 

These are times when powerful forces are fighting over the creation of a new Global political, economic and Spiritual order, while the old order slowly comes apart.

In the minds of the servants of that order, Christian persecution is merely a sideshow, often an unintended casualty of their perverse machinations. But to the devil, we are the A#1 target for his efforts. Even the deceivers in our times are deceived by him and make no mistake, Satan is a master deceiver.

Let us all pray for our persecuted brethren and keep this in mind. In the secular, we will ultimately lose the cultural war here in the US. No sense in lying to ourselves about it. We can slow the spiritual decay, perhaps even forestall it for a short period of time, but lose it we will - in the secular.

What is needed is a Church far more dedicated to God and his mission, than trying to save a culture that frankly is too far gone. We can save souls out of it, but not save the culture. This is not a sign of surrender, but rather a call to redirect our energies to more spiritually important tasks. Trying to pass laws to keep a people to stop reprehensible sexual conduct who are addicted to it? It is not going to work, no matter how hard you try. The culture will only backlash against us. No, we must concentrate on saving souls and being a light of Christ's love and forgiveness of those sins, be it homosexuality, fornication, adultery, theft, lies, murder, hate...

These are hard times for the Church, but Church leaders, a great many of them have lost their way and the ultimate reasons and purpose for their ministries. It is not to save the culture, but to save souls and keep them saved.

Let leaders keep that in mind in these troubled and exceptionally deceitful times.

6 Jun

News Of Note

There has been a lot happening and today, we will look at a few issues and then talk about Iran and the prospects for war.

It looks like Facebook is moving to help Europe develop end-to-end encryption busting tech to allow the government to read and see things it can't right now. Yes,Facebook looks to want to facilitate the whole thing, according to news reports. Forbes as a great summary of what is going on. The story is interesting because it demonstrates, I think where the real impetus for this kind of thing is going to come from - not governments but from these big firms themselves. Yes, I think so. In fact I am surprised we have not seen more of this earlier, knowing how deceptive some of these big social networking firms are. My view is that they simply cannot be trusted (on any level for any reason) for reasons that have been made public but also for reasons that have not.

It's why I won't get one of those accounts. Many of you say, 'I don't have anything to worry about, I don't do anything illegal'. The problem is that perfectly legal communications can get you on a watch list, put you under surveillance and one day may deny you re-entry into the US when on a foreign trip. It could one day get you flagged for not being able to get government work, or civilian work; or keep you from getting health insurance at a decent price or keep you from even entering a Federal Building. These things are already happening to greater or lesser degrees. Your Social Media can be used against you for the horrible and unforgivable 'crime' of being a law abiding, hard working American citizen.

...and yes, you read that correctly.

Keep in mind, because you obey the law does not mean the government will. Lots of crooks are in Government and in American law enforcement. Lots of them, they know how to twist the laws to make the most innocent person in the world look like an serial axe murderer to get them under surveillance and harass them 24-7 because of the color of their skin, religion or because they are so sexy, they are 'rape-able' and yes, this kind of thing really has happened before. Pin up models have been set up and then blackmailed by Feds to have sex with them. There are some really sick folks wearing badges and sitting in federal prosecutors chairs.

I say these things to warn you, many of you think the system can be trusted, I can tell you that it cannot. Sick minds and evil people have been able to worm their way into America's security apparatus. All of that data?... certain insiders will make sure that Christian pastors' personal data winds up in the hands of Islamic fanatics who want to kill Christian leaders to help further the Islamification of America and 'get them out of the way' so that left wing politicians can have an easier time of getting elected. Even now much of this data has found its way to Nations with a real 'hate' on for Christians. Kid yourself not, the big boys are still spying on folks.

Then there was a major outage over the weekend. There are many stories on it, just search for 'Google Cloud Outage' at any major news search engine.

We do not know what this is all about. Google may tell us something, they may may not. They may only choose to tell us a few things or nothing at all. So far the silence is deafening. What happened? I don't know. Let me list some of the top of my head possibilities.

  • A Genuine outage due to equipment malfunction or failure
  • A planned outage to remove certain equipment the government views as a threat (Huawei)
  • A 'demonstration' by 'good guy hackers' of a vulnerability on their networks. they refused to fix and now are going to have to.
  • The installation of new surveillance equipment.
  • The removal of old surveillance equipment.
  • A successful hack by a foreign actor.
  • Routine maintenance or security upgrade of their systems

It may also be related to shoring up the US Tech industry/Social Networking industry  for the 2020 elections from foreign interference. I want to just throw that out for all of you to consider. It is not likely we will hear the whole truth about it. But let leave you with this important thought.

Every modern Tyranny needs as near total surveillance as they can get. It is rule number one in the Tyrants bloodstained handbook. Do not kid yourself for one second, these social media companies and major tech firms, they are wittingly and unwittingly developing technology what will eventually enslave mankind. Folks don't know it and with many, they don't want to know it, they want to push pretty colored buttons on a touch screen and chat with their friends about last nights party. If you think what I am saying is off, go and look at how China is using it.

Satan's ministers are indeed working in government. Many of them claim to be Christians and wind their way into the confidence of Christians so they can play the Judas. These men and women are key tools of Satan in these most dangerous and deceptive times. I know whereof I speak from personal experience.

Beware brothers, sisters, Pastors, Deacons, Bishops, Evangelists and lay person.


Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking
whom he may devour:

 (I Peter 5:8 [KJVA])


So what is going on with Iran. A report over the weekend says that the US is now prepared to Talk with Iran with no preconditions. What does this mean? In reality, not much. Pompeo still calls Iran malign and promises to continue the pressure on the country. Meanwhile reports are out that former Obama administration officials are working for Iran. So what is going on?

It's hard to get a real good idea. Neither Iran nor the US has a solid coherent policy long term, though right now, clearly the hawks/hardliners are in control on both sides. That will remain so in the US as long as Pompeo and Bolton are Trump's principle advisors.

One problem when dealing with Iran is trying to get a handle on the competing interests within the regime. There are many. I won't get into them all here, but will lump them into two main camps - the hard liners and the reformers, though this is a great oversimplification. When dealing with Iran, getting to their intentions and overall goals sometimes is not as clear as one might think because of these competing interests. It makes determining their future moves difficult.

What is lost on many Americans and deliberately so by its often mendacious media organizations, is that Iran is indeed a democracy. It is pretty vibrant and people vote. Democracies are not like tyrannies and dictatorships, in a Democracy many interests, often competing interests fight to determine policy.

One would not get that impression when reading many pieces coming out of the press in the west that Iran is a Democratic state. One should also keep in mind that the Democracies in the region have been targeted by the US for overthrow (think Syria) while dictatorships like the Saudi's are Americas best friends. Thus, when one hears the words 'malign influence' used about Iran, the term more aptly befits others in the region who gobble up American arms, bombs hospitals and schools in Yemen (with US help) and sends arms shipments to terrorists. Are these 'positive steps' in Americans new inverted lexicon of diplomacy? By all appearances, yes they are because it is these kinds of entities that are America's 'best friends'.

The good news however is that talks are on the table. The bad news is that Iran is unlikely to take the bait. Why do I use the term bait? Because this is how Iran is likely to look upon such an overture.

Why? This is not hard to figure.

Iran came into negotiations with the US on the Iran deal in good faith. Even now after the US unilaterally abrogated the agreement, she is still in compliance with it, according to widely disseminated news reports over the weekend. So in reality, Iran is not the real problem, not on this score. It's others. It was not Iran who broke their word and ripped up the agreement.

Now before I go on, I am not excusing the Islamic Republic and many of its activities which are indeed often malign. So don't take what is said here as being some kind of justification for Iran and many of its activities. No. Rather it is to make it plain that if there are problems between Iran and the the US, Iran is hardly the only one at fault.

Moreover, the real problem now is that no one who is politically powerful in Iran is about to 'bite the poison apple' of talks with the US. When the US reneged on the Iran deal, it was a slap in the face to the reformers in Iran who had been saying that the Islamic Republic should talk to the Americans and make a deal and that they could be trusted. Abrogation of that agreement gave the hard line elements all the political ammunition they needed to demonstrate that you cannot trust the Americans and that their promises are written on the water and spoken with a forked tongue.

It has given these elements what they needed to continue on the course of confrontation. The Trump administration stabbed all of the reformers the US supported in the back when they pulled out of the deal the way they did. What element in Iran in their right mind will take another risk and put their political neck on the chopping block to even talk of talks again? Even those who had such a political death wish would hardly have any support from within the regime when they came back with proposals. They would probably go back to Tehran with America's proposals with the 'death march' playing when the plane landed on the tarmac. No, in my view it will take a major shift in US policy as well as some significant inducements to get the Iranians back to a serious negotiations table. The Iranians are not going to take what it almost certainly views as a stab in the back without some loss of face from the US side. The US will have to give first if there are to be substantive talks and with Bolton and Pompeo running things, such a gesture does not seem likely.

The biggest problem however I see in the US-Iran relationship come in two parts - Israel and Saudi Arabia. Each has very significant influence in US political circles and each has a vested interest in using the US as a tool to check Iran and this ultimately is where I think the problem lies. Not that Israel in particular does not have much to worry about with Iran. She does. But comprehensive negotiations with Iran on a range of issues (nuclear deal, Hezbollah in Southern Syria, Iranian support for Palestinian terror, Illicit/criminal enterprises by Iranian fronts, etc) could be handled in a more comprehensive fashion with more realistic and flexible US leadership.

The good news is that a war with Iran is probably not around the corner. Why not? Well, such a war does not necessarily mean that the US would come out on top. This little piece is interesting written by a 74 year old grandmother, who is clearly up on things!

The Russians, they may indeed start to play a quiet and more constructive role in the region. Recent reports are that Russia has refused to sell the dreaded (by the US) S-400 system to Iran. If true, this could be part of a larger understanding with the US on how to deal with Iran. Relations between Iran and Russia are not simple. They are complex. This paper from the INSS talks about recent trends in that relationship.

What what I advise the President if I had his ear?

Well, I would try and feel out regional powers on talks. I would talk to the Gulf states, the Turks, Lebanon (where Hezbollah has a presence), Iraq and of course the Saudi's and Israeli's. I would get a feel for regional temperature for peace or perhaps a better word "dètente". But talks must be comprehensive and deal with a range of issues. I would try and move the Foreign Policy apparatus in that direction. I would try and get some people on board the administration who are committed to a negotiated settlement with Iran, but are not political hacks trying to make points with political parties, lobbyists or others who could conceivably have a reason to railroad the talks when they are looking the most fruitful.

Before this administration can have successful negotiations with Iran, it will need people who have a different mindset that the ones the President has around him now. This is not meant to be a slam; voices like Pompeo and Bolton, as much as I might disagree with them, need to be heard when formulating policy. But right now, if America wants to avoid a permanent state of tension with Iran and continue to rattle to the core the long standing Trans-Atlantic alliance with its Iran policy, then she is going to have to find a different voice and 'language' when dealing with the Iranian problem.

4 Jun

"Rarely Reported by the Media Anymore": Persecution of Christians, March 2019

As usual, the Gatestone Institute looks at just how widespread and systemic Christian persecution is these days, just as our Bibles foretold it would be in the last hour. It is a literal epidemic. Yet in the US the stories of slaughters, burnings and beheadings are barely covered at all, while the US news camera's focus in on movie awards, the NFL and sex scandals.

3 Jun

Nehemiah XXXV

So the children went in and possessed the land,
and thou subduedst before them the

inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest
them into their hands, with their kings,

 and the people of the land, that they might
 do with them as they would. And they took strong cities,

and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods,
 wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards,

 and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat,
 and were filled, and became fat,

and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
(Neh 9:24-25)

We left off last time with verse 23, when the Lord multiplied the children of Israel like the stars of heaven and made his promise to them of the promised land. This, in spite of the pattern of sin and rebellion they had so openly and consistently displayed while in the wilderness. Yet Israel went in and possessed the land under the spiritual and military leadership of God's captain, Joshua. With the Lord along side them, they were militarily unstoppable and the Lord their God gave them all that he had promised to give them. The passage shows God's goodness to his children and how they ate and were filled with the bounty God had given them. Keep in mind that these military victories were in many ways not really possible without God's assistance. The cities and places they had to take were heavily fortified and guarded and they had to fight men who were well versed in the arts of war. Yet and still they prevailed and the Lord showed his power and the 'keeping' power of his precious promises. The seeming impossible to Abraham, that his seed would inherit the land had become a reality because God is God who keeps his word and was and still is a great benefit to those who trust and obey him...'i.e.;, 'Thy great goodness'.

Nevertheless they were disobedient,
and rebelled against thee,

and cast thy law behind their backs,
and slew thy prophets which testified against

them to turn them to thee,
and they wrought great provocations.
Therefore thou deliveredst
them into the hand of their enemies,
who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble,

when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven;
nd according to thy manifold
thou gavest them saviours,
who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.

(Neh 9:26-27)

The priests when reading this to the newly returned exiles did not for one minute paper over or try and downplay the deep betrayal that Israel had committed against the Lord after all he had done for them. No, they make it plain and made sure that all the hearers understood the sins of their fathers. The above passage almost certainly refers to the time of the Judges.  These were not small sins, the passage shows that they were openly contemptuous of both God's law and those prophets God had sent to them to warn them of their ways.

As this passage was being read, I am sure that it had really begun to dawn on the people that their fathers had really sinned against the Lord and began to understand why they were put into exile and had to suffer as they had for so long. I am struck by the phrase, "they wrought great provocations". The word translated 'provocation' does not do the word justice.

ne'âtsâh ne'âtsâh
neh-aw-tsaw', neh-aw-tsaw'
From H5006; scorn: - blasphemy.

So in reality what they were doing was blaspheming God. These were the kinds of things their forefathers had engaged in. The Lord was long, very long, perhaps a bit too long on patience but eventually he delivered them into the hands of their enemies. People wonder why God can be so long-suffering. I cannot answer that question because who has known the mind of the Lord? Certainly not me. But you know what? I can tell you that his prophets have told us repeatedly that that he really does want people to repent and has made that plain enough in his word  (2Chron 7:14; Isa 55:7; Jer 44:5; Eze 3:19; 13:22; 18:21; 33:9) But I also think it is because he does not want those whom he rebukes to have any excuses. No reason to turn and say that God was unjust or unfair or lashed out at them in the heat of anger. No, God is patient because he is not going to have us turn around and accuse him later for what our actions forced him to do. But even in his anger and rebuke, God's purpose is not to destroy, but to get people to repent, change their ways and cry out to the Lord.

When he was ready to deliver them, he raised up men who would do so. God is indeed good to his people and this is the message that the Priests wanted to relay to the people at this rededication.

 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee:
therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies,
 so that they had the dominion over them:
yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven;
and many times didst thou deliver
them according to thy mercies;

 And testifiedst against them,
that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law:

yet they dealt proudly,
and hearkened not unto thy commandments,

but sinned against thy judgments,
 (which if a man do, he shall live in them;)

and withdrew the shoulder,
and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

 Yet many years didst thou forbear them,
and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets:
yet would they not give ear:
therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.

 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake
thou didst not utterly consume them,
nor forsake them;
for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

(Nehemiah 9:28-31 [KJV])

The Priests who were praying before this to the assembly (let's not forget the setting of the reading of these passages) had to make it plain that Israel's rebellion was not a one time thing, it did not just happen once 'accidentally'. No, this was a long term problem that was a key and lamentable component of Israel's history. The readers/prayer leaders here make it plain that this was indeed the reason God handed Israel over to their enemies, it was not because God was weak, powerless or as one prophet said. reciting the mockers of God, because the Lord had forsaken the earth (Ezekiel 9:9). No the Lord only forsook Israel because of their abominable behavior (Eze 10:18).

I think the key to these passages is that God was good to them, and Israel was abominable. That when God chastised them, God heard their prayers and delivered them. But they were exceedingly stubborn. God sent them prophets to warn them and they still were hard-headed. But in the end, even though God had to deliver them up to the 'divine woodshed' of punishment, God was constant to this people and did not utterly forsake them.

This prayer I think was a kind of a 'hint hint' kind of prayer that was indeed directed to the Lord, but also to some degree was directed to the hearers who needed to understand just what the Lord expects of his people and what happens to those who transgress his covenant.

We will continue on with Nehemiah next week, God willing!

Justice Thomas' Opinion Talks Of 'Eugenic' Aspects Of Abortion

Slowly Black Americans are waking up to a truth I have been lambasted for bringing up for years. That Abortion always had a eugenic undertone.

30 May

ICC Exposes Iran's Hanging Judges

(International Christian Concern - May 2019 Persecution Newsletter) These three Revolutionary Court judges have a long record of human rights abuses toward Iranian Christians. The judges are responsible for convicting Christians on trumped-up charges, wielding Iran's legal system as a systemic tool of repression against religious minorities. Often, when Christians stand firm in their faith, Iran's judges send them to the notorious Evin Prison, located on the outskirts of Tehran. Stories of those who survived Evin Prison are heartbreaking; the wide variety of abuse faced by inmates is chilling.

Claire Evans, ICC's Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, 'For the last 40 years, Iran has sought to control the souls of its citizens through hardline Islamic judges and the threat of incarceration at Evin Prison. Christians have faced degrading and inhumane treatment for no other reason than their faith. Yet, despite this intense persecution, they firmly held onto their faith. In response, these judges have only strengthened their resolve to further crack down on all practice of Christianity.'

Judge Ahmad Zargar

As an appellate judge, Zargar's courts usually represent the last hope for Iranian Christians hoping to have their sentence overturned or reduced. Like Iran's other Revolutionary Court judges, he trained in an Islamic religious seminary and was selected for this position because of his dedication to preserving Iran's Islamic identity. Zargar's appellate court upheld Judge Ahmadzadeh's Judge decision that 'for Christians to claim that Jesus is Lord and that the Bible is their final authority can be perceived as an attack Mashallah against Islam.' He affirmed the sentence of Zaman Saheb Fadaei, a former Muslim, for Ahmadzadeh worshipping God in a house church. Judge Zargar's record of affirming the harsh sentences of Christians does not bode well for the cases currently active on his docket.

Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh

Every Christian known to pass through Judge Ahmadzadeh's court has been sent to Evin Prison, and many have been sentenced to 10 years in prison. There, they face inhumane and degrading treatment. Exile is also a frequent component of Judge Ahmadzadeh's sentences. Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh has presided over the trials of many Iranian Christians. Like other Revolutionary Court Judge Mohammed judges, Ahmadzadeh received training in Islamic religious law from a theological seminary. He was selected for this judicial position because of his dedication to guarding against any ideology that could pose a threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Judge Mohammed Moghiseh

Christians are no strangers to Judge Moghiseh's court. He gives harsh sentences to Iranian Christians who have converted away from Islam. But he also shows no qualms about sentencing Iranian Christians whose beliefs are, technically, legally protected. In 2015, Moghiseh convicted an Iranian Christian for a much worse crime than that of his original arrest. The man was originally charged with promoting Christianity on Facebook and contacting Persian-speaking Christians. By the time he got through Moghiseh's court, he was sentenced to five years in prison for 'violating national security through collusion and participation in the underground church movement' and sent to rot in Evin Prison. Judge Moghiseh routinely uses his judicial power to strike fear in the hearts of Christians. - International Christian Concern.
28 May


This is a long overdue time of maintenance of the site. This will take some time so a great many old files will be MIA. Some for good, some just for a while. But updates will be the same on this page - brief ones 2-times a week and longer ones every weekday for insiders!!

Habakkuk Part III

Art thou not from everlasting,
O LORD my God, mine Holy One?
 we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast
ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God,
 thou hast established them for correction.
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil,
and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore
lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously,
 and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth
the man that is more righteous than he?
(Hab 1:12-13)

The Prophet here continues his prayer to God, which was in fact a complaint and an expression of deep frustration. This above section starts off by the prophet expressing his deep respect for God and his eternal power. The true religion of the Lord is not like the religious fads of others or of his times, the Lord existed before time began and will be when time ends, not being confined to the phenomenon of time.

Habakkuk expresses confidence that he will not destroy his people ('we shall not die') and that he will deal with the wicked in his own good time. Habakkuk understood God and knew him well enough to know both his power and his ultimate purpose. Again - God, his purpose and his character are not effected by the phenomenon of time. His nature is unchangeable and eternal. We are mortals and must dwell within the confines of time as we understand it. God has no such limitations.

Then the prophet makes it plain that he knows God does not like to look on all of this evil. Clearly he is remarking on his own earlier comments when he complained to God about the evil he was seeing (vs 1:2-3). He knows that God does not like to see it and acknowledges this in the first part of verse 13. Yet he continues his complaint along the same lines by asking why he keeps on looking and doing nothing while the wicked man devours the righteous. The prophet here in his second ' prayer-complaint', even after the Lord had answered him, stands by his concern. He is pretty upset about the things going on. And phrases his concern accordingly - you are of too pure of eyes to look at all of this evil, why do you put up with it, if I may paraphrase it?

We see wickedness in our times, and can relate to Habakkuk. Homelessness, and people who work full time and have to live in shelters or worse.  Human Slavery, sex sins and crimes now with powerful political backing. We see war crimes so recklessly committed and never prosecuted, saints being sent to jail for preaching the gospel, sent to a labor camp for their religious beliefs, folks shot dead for being part of the wrong racial group. Wickedness in our own times is pretty rank. We often cry out to God about these things, yet the sin not only continues, but sometimes grows like a cancer and spreads like a leprosy.

Why does God sit by? One reason, and it is only one, is that God is a God of mercy and is not itching to pass judgment on men. There appears to be set level of sin that brings down God's judgment. We see the basic idea in the book of Genesis (15:16), where the Lord warns that the sins of the Amorites is not yet full. It is a cup, if you will, that has to be full before judgment falls (see Rev 17:4ff). It is a spiritual 'fill line' the Lord has with sin and evil that has to be reached before a clear, definite and irrevocable move against it is made by him.

Yet one thing we need to keep in mind is that the Lord knows how to preserve the evil for judgment (2Pet 2:9). This is the other side of God's character that is not much talked about in the age of grace. While he certainly is hoping and desirous of men repenting and coming to the cross, there are some whose sin, evil and recalcitrance will prevent that from ever happening. God's forbearance is going to be a snare to them. This was the case in ancient Israel when their sins had reached the height.
Then said he unto me,
The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah
 is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood,
 and the city full of perverseness: for they say,
 The LORD hath forsaken the earth,
and the LORD seeth not. And as for me also,
 mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity,
but I will recompense their way upon their head.
 And, behold, the man clothed with linen,
which had the inkhorn by his side,
 reported the matter, saying,
 I have done as thou hast
commanded me.
(Eze 9:9-11)
Note the attitude of the people who were stepped in sin, they said the Lord had forsaken the earth and did not see. This is what happens when sin blinds people. They don't think they will be held accountable, so they sin all the more. This is a snare and it is a powerful one. People think God is asleep. What they don't know and was the case in the above passage was that the executioners are already on their way. That is what is meant by the man with the inkhorn (see Eze 9:1ff). He was being sent by the Lord to lay waste to the place and kill everyone who had not lifted up their voice in horror at the sins and crimes of Jerusalem.

This is the side of God that most folks don't want to deal with. When the Lord gets really angry he will move and when he moves his moves are devastating, compete and just.

What the Lord tried to tell Habakkuk in the earlier passages was that the Chaldean's were on the way and that God was fully aware of the sins of the people.

We will continue prophetic book very soon, God willing!
24 May
China Bans Historic Church in Xiamen
05/24/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) '“ International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on May 19, more than 70 officials from China's southeastern Fujian Province were dispatched to shut down a house church in Xiamen. Xunsiding Church, a house of worship with over four decades of history, received an administrative penalty notice after the officials inspected the church. The church also received a fine of 25,000 yuan (approximately USD $3,600).

The church also serves as the residence of its preacher, Yang Xibo. The Siming District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau issued the notice to accuse Yang of running the church without approval, therefore violating China's Regulations on Religious Affairs. - Story Continues here.


This is Memorial Day weekend and I think I should spend just a minute and give thanks to the many men and women who have scarified their lives on behalf of the country. If it weren't for our veterans we could not enjoy the freedoms we now take for granted. From our freedom to practice our faith in peace to the freedom that the Civil War veterans victory brought Black Americans. We Americans should always remember those who fell in battle; they gave their lives for us - all of us and the freedom's we now enjoy.

One of the things that really stuck in my craw was coming back to America after over a decade away from it and seeing how I was treated by others for my service to the country, including in a time of war. Many never understood why I did not remain in, I have shared some of those reasons on the site a couple of years ago.

I was also treated pretty shabbily by some people I once knew when I got out. Let me say this -the way you treat your veterans and the way show respect or disrespect to our fallen reflects on the nation and is one of those unspoken 'cues' young people note when considering military service. Who wants to make sacrifices for a nation who will treat you like something the dog left on the sidewalk when you are done? Mind you, there are many organizations out there who are helping these veterans. But there are also many non-Veterans, city officials, even family members of veterans out there making things worse and harder for them.

But I personally shall never ever forget the sacrifices of our Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who went to war and never came home. I shall not let the political poison and divisiveness that is destroying our once great country prevent me from remembering those who gave their lives for us all. 

I honestly think we all do those who gave so much for the country an incredible disservice when we behave the way we do these days with the kinds of underhanded, cruel, vicious and sometimes criminal tricks and hoaxes we play on fellow Americans with whom we may have genuine political disagreements. These men and women did not die on the battlefield so that we can start a new social, political or actual civil war here at home. To watch the paralysis on Capitol Hill between the President and the House with the kinds of issues the country faces - a crisis at the border, a fiscal crisis that is screaming at us at 22 trillion decibels in our ears, a major drug crisis, rising tensions with Iran, Russia, Venezuela and an ongoing war in Yemen - a looming crisis in Social Security, Medicare... and yet in DC, there is partisan paralysis - no one is about to fix anything. Both sides stand on their own respective dungheaps and shout about the one the other guy is standing on.

This is why I write this today. I think the best way we can show respect to those American who died in service of their country is to find some common ground on key issues that moves the nation forward to solving the problems, not silencing or politically eviscerating those with whom we disagree. Why? Because as a nation, at the end of the day, we are all Americans and we sink, swim, rise, fall, prosper, go broke, have victory or suffer defeat together - Democrat or Republican, Black or White, Rich or Poor.

I ask you all to pray for President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, House Minority Leader McCarthy, Senate Majority leader McConnell, Minority leader Schumer and other key leaders on the Hill, the Senate, the White House and the Courts. Pray for our Media moguls and personalities as well, that the poison of hyper partisanship can give way to honest and informed debate and that Americans of all walks of life learn to listen more and talk less.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all,
 supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority;

that we may lead a quiet and peaceable
life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable
in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved,
and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
(I Timothy 2:1-4 [KJVA])

May God be with all who take some time out and pray along these lines, remembering the scarifies of those who fell.

Mark S. Watson
Memorial Day Weekend 2019

23 May

Modi and the BJP Declare Victory Following Conclusion of India's National Elections

Religious Minorities Fear Difficult Years Ahead for Their Communities

05/23/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is set to record another landslide electoral victory following the conclusion of India’s national elections. Using a mix of nationalist rhetoric and promises of economic development, Mr. Modi has secured another five years of political rule for the BJP. ... continues here.

Nehemiah XXXIV

We last time left off Nehemiah, the priests were praying and during this public prayer they were recounting Israel's history. From the days of old they were giving the people a taste of their history, more importantly their spiritual history and the God who brought them out of Egypt. The first section of this prayer showed how God moved powerfully and miraculously to protect and guide his people. I left off last time because the tone of the prayer and the actions that are recounted are of a wholly different nature than the first part of the prayer.

But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks,
and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful
of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion
appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon,
gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

(Nehemiah 9:16-17, KJVA)

This is the way of Israel and her history. God moved, God provided and Israel rebelled. It was a consistent pattern of behavior and the Priests were right to not forget to relay this unfortunate bit pattern of Israel's history. Consistently Israel rebelled and was stiffnecked. Is that not what the Prophets called Israel time and again?

Because I knew that thou art obstinate,
and thy neck is an iron sinew,
and thy brow brass;
I have even from the beginning declared it to thee;
before it came to pass I shewed it thee:
lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them,
and my graven image, and my molten image,
hath commanded them.

(Isaiah 48:4-5)

Time and again Israel was warned of her obstinance and time and again they ignored the prophets and priests that the Lord sent them. Yet as the passage in Nehemiah shows God, even given the people and their wickedness was ready to pardon them, to forgive them. This prayer was timely in that the people needed to understand fully just why they had gone into exile and all the evils that befell them had to be endured. It was because their forefathers rebelled against God and had heads as hard as stone and souls that were given over to idols. Despite all that God had done for them, they refused to heed his voice and do his commandments. The consequences? They had to return to bondage.

One thing you must all know. God's commandments are not suggestions. They are not to be toyed with. God in his forbearance with men and especially his Church leads men to conclude that God is soft on sin and evil. He is not and if the returning exiles had any doubt about that, the past 70 years of exile taught them a lesson they would not soon forget.

Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said,
This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;
 (Nehemiah 9:18, KJV)

This was I think one of the most serious affronts to God. Not only would they not listen to him, but they mocked him by making a golden calf and worshiping it. This after all God had done from them saving from the hard bondage (slavery) that they endured in Egypt and guiding them and feeding them  - then they then went made a golden cow and bowed down before it. They even were about to go back to slavery. Yet God was still merciful. God did not forsake them, though he did indeed toy with the idea of getting rid of them all.

And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people,
and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone,
that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them:
and I will make of thee a great nation.
(Exo 32:9-10)

Oh, yes he was about to get rid of the lot of them and raise up the seed of Moses in its stead.

Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness:
 the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way;
neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.
Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners:
so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
(Neh 9:19-23)

No, the Lord remembered his promises and did not forsake them or consume them. He continued to teach them, feed them and give them the things they needed. Even though they had rebelled so significantly. But look at what is said in the verse 22. God have them whole Kingdoms and Nations. God was true to his word and gave the Israelite's the possession of the heathen round about.

God kept and continues to keep his word to his people, though they were most wayward, stubborn and stiffnecked. God looked out for everything from their clothing to their shoes. He was very much a loving father to them.

Yes, the Priests were laying it out for them. Letting them know some of the history of their forefathers but also the forbearance and love that God has shown to his people. God multiplied the seed of Abraham and they were truly blessed by God. God is a God of great blessings.

At this point in time, this was exactly what the people needed to hear. It was time to understand the past, their history and most importantly key characteristics. They need this because if they were going to make a clean start with the Lord once again, they needed to understand just what was required and what would set the Lord off once again to throw them off the land.

Let all of us keep this in mind. I know I have some readers here who have backslid and come back to the Lord. Making a clean start means going back and seeing what was done wrong before so we do not repeat the same mistakes. Two things are almost always to blame. Rebellion (stubbornness) and Sin.

22 May

America Watch

Black Christian Leaders Protest Planned Parenthood

Yes, abortion effects Black Americans disproportionately. Not a narrative the political left wants Black America to hear or cogitate on. Many don't get Margret Sanger and her genocidal wishes, they don't understand the relationship between her and Planned Parenthood. Black America, I hate to say it, is often pretty clueless as to who its real enemies are. They too often have run to them like saviors and wonder why their communities are still at the bottom of every statistic that matters.

But slowly men of God are waking up. It has taken a long time, but slowly it is happening.

Brothers and sisters, don't let social stigma's prevent you from doing right and speaking out about these evils. Carefully, with as little controversy as possible, with care for your audience, but without fear - don't be afraid to speak your peace on these important matters. We cannot withhold our tongue on matters that touch on such bloodshed.

Our nation is sliding down into Sodom. Where are the voices of repentance?

Hospitalizations, Brawls Follow 'Topless' Jeep Weekend

This is such a shame, but it really shows you something about modern American society.

Like this.

We don't want to look in the mirror and see what we are rapidly becoming.

The deterioration of our society is deep and real. The only thing that could keep us from our current path is National repentance and redirection, things that powerful lobbies within the nation will do all in their power to prevent.

Thanks to the reader who sent me the link.

Tornado's Rip Through 4 States, Major Flooding Reported
High winds, flooding and more are expected today.

As Opioid Crisis Peaks, Meth Coke Deaths Explode
This is just a sign of a nation in a social and spiritual crisis. These problems just seem to be getting worse.

Mississippi Abortion Ban Heads To Court
The Judge hearing the case already struck down a weaker ban before. He will probably strike this one down too. This will certainly head to SCOTUS. How they will rule is not clear. Perhaps in favor of the law, with the exception of the rape and incest non-exemption. I think they will move to make sure that there is such an exception. But it still is not clear which way the court will go. We really don't know until the case is heard and pressure is brought to bear on the justices. I think the conservatives want to allow further restrictions, but don't want to violate basic rights for women. Morally this is not a hard issue, but legally/constitutionally it is. Protecting the lives of the innocent is something any just society should do and no human life is more innocent than the unborn.

To me the real tragedy is that so many women choose to have them. For me, it just shows a dark pit in the soul of so many women who put their own comforts, social status and looks above the life of their own child.

But when selfishness gets to a certain level in any society, murder is always the result. Recently, I watched an old Bogart film called Conflict. In it the Bogey's shrink friend (played by Sydney Greenstreet) tells Bogey that it takes a person with a massive ego to take another life and this is where our 'self', 'sex', 'pleasure', and 'me first' society has led us and millions of American women. To a place where a murder is committed because she does not want her perfect figure messed up, or does not want to have to change diapers, or give up going out on Saturday nights. Yes, raising kids is hard, very hard. The result? American society has made murder easy, cheap, profitable and politically acceptable.

My views on the Alabama decision, however are that the laws and courts are not the place for this battle, at least not the front lines. The courts in America and legal frameworks are pretty rotten, corrupt and very heavily politicized. Judges get top appointments by playing politics on the bench. So politics as much and perhaps more than law makes decisions emanating from our Judiciary.

Moreover this to me looks to much like another volley in an on going cultural war that will only invite a response from the left and further divide the nation and bring the kinds of division our nation is already reeling from, much of it being instigated from abroad. We are a nation deeply divided and a house divided against itself cannot stand.

No, the real battlefield is in American culture and dealing with this sex obsessed culture and the signals our media, leaders, entertainers are giving to our society.

Image Source: CDC
Socialism Cry In 21st Century America
This is a long and detailed piece on some history on just what kind of society should America be and then it dovetails it nicely with today's debate on Socialism. Why is it so attractive to so many? Well, let me start off by saying that those who are calling for it the loudest have not visited places like North Korea, Cuba or Modern Venezuela. If they did, it would quickly curb their enthusiasm.

My view is that this love affair with Socialism stems from the growing problem of wealth inequality. It is a real problem and one that is now taking on considerable political overtones. People are looking for simplistic solutions to deeper structural problems to the nations ills.

Socialism to me will be about as effective a cure for America's ills as bleeding was to curing the plague in the middle ages.

Gorsuch Sides With Liberals Handing Indian Tribe Key SCOTUS Victory
The issue was hunting rights in lands given to them by treaty. Many of the tribe were convicted of hunting violations for hunting on their own grounds. This decision lets them hunt on their own land.

However as the piece notes, the case can still come up again on other grounds.

Barrs Investigation Turns Tables On Democrats
As the Trump conspiracy theory falls apart, those who pushed it in official channels (some knowing it was false) now have to dance on the investigation hot plate.... with no shoes on!!

It is my hope that Barr gets to the bottom of this whole fiasco and holds the guilty parties (of both parties) fully accountable for taking part in what looks like a foreign directed intelligence operation to destabilize the nation, undermine the legitimacy of our elections and President, and do all of those things a foreign power would want to see done to America, by turning American against American based on nothing more than a lie.

US Military Crisis

Well, there is one, but for reasons that are totally understandable, they don't talk about it much. Did you now that a Navy Sub had a 'rape list' of female officers and sailors that were on board? Yes, its true.

More here on the trends last year. More here and here. read this

... and these are just the problems they have allowed to be made public.

What do I mean? For your careful consideration.

When you don't want to make a political issue over something? You hide or lie about the problem.

This however, is less about a crisis in the military than it is about a crisis in America.

Ford To Cut 10% Of Global Workforce
Ford is getting rid of many of its Sedan's and moving towards trucks and SUV's.

America's Murder Mania: Despair In Chicago
This is a book review. According to the review is less about assigning blame and pointing fingers, but deals with the human toll of violence in the windy (with flying led) city.

What time is it in Chicago? The ShotClock tells us.

Truth In Accounting Releases Report on City Debt
This report done by Truth In Accounting looks at the worst - Chicago, NY, LA and Philly... just crunching the numbers - a practice that is more and more alien to American political analysis.

Americans Still Struggle In Trump's 'Greatest Economy'
Not much progress for Americans who are poor and have modest means. The Urban Institute reports.

Seattle: The Urban Trashheap
Druggie needles, human poop, garbage, and other refuse from homeless camps is the subject of this piece out of City Journal. This piece looks at the problem and the challenge city officials face in cleaning it up.

SF Ranks #1 In US For Property Crime
Makes one wonder what things will be like in a severe recession, does it not?

America? I see the nation slowly rotting from within with debt, despair, homelessness, drug abuse, sexual immorality, crime.

I don't want to sound too depressing, but the rot inside this country is of a spiritual nature. We have forgotten the God who blessed us so.

The time will come when he will forget about us, if we don't change our wicked ways.

21 May

A Lesson From Rome

I love history. I really do. Since I don't have cable I often spend my time listening to audio books on History. Not pop history and the infotainment on TV, no the source material that those series are often based on. History is one of the great teachers particularly in our times. The above story is out of the Boston Globe, is brief but timely.

Because there is so much ignorance out there and people know so little about our own history let alone that of Rome or Europe, we have got a ton of the very same problems Rome had. It is refreshing to see someone in the MSM who has taken the time to show us all why History is important. When a nation repeats the same mistakes of the past and refuses to learn the lessons history has left for us, the results are always predictable.

Americans really are ignorant and I am not just trying to be denigrating. We are a people who have been filled with a ton of information, almost none of it of any value other than providing meaningless diversion during a fleeting moment of boredom. The Cataline Conspiracy? What is that about and why did it happen and what was the result? Whose side was Caesar on (the rich or the poor?)  and who murdered him and more importantly why? Which Roman Emperor's back was used as a footstool so a conquerer could mount his Horse? It was the ultimate humiliation for a people who were once as proud as lucifer.

John Brown? I talked to one Black woman for a moment about Black history and they did not even know who John Brown was or his place in the panorama of Black emancipation though they shouted loud and often about how 'Black' they were. Ignorance is as American as Apple pie these days and brainlessness is now a 'cool' trait to have... you'll get lots of 'likes' on Facebook the more of it you display. You want to see what happens when a people lose their history? Take a look and see. I say these things not to denigrate but to demonstrate...

...and if there is a little anger at me for saying these things, well perhaps that is a good thing. People who have lost their history need to be moved out of their comfort zones and from in front of the idiot box (TV). Learn the real history and then we as a nation can find out where we have gone wrong.

You must forgive me if I sound a little insulting, but people who refuse to learn from the past don't deserve the respect that wiser folks should should enjoy, so I won't give it to them. Now or ever. Willful ignorance should be held in contempt... and it is by intelligent people. What is willful ignorance? It isn't just not knowing something, it's not wanting to know and getting mad at someone who does and calling them names. It's why some groups in this country are stuck in a permanent funk. A self re-enforced cycle of ignorance is ingrained in the culture.

Time would fail me to talk about the lessons in Church history that the western Church has ignored.

We as a nation are repeating many of the old mistakes of the past. No one marks it. How can they with opiods coursing through their veins, pot fogging their cerebrums and porn commanding their full attention?

Decadent? Yes we are. Very. But like most societies who have crossed that moral frontier, they don't realize just how far they have gone and how close they are to the abyss until the ground gives way under them and they start an uncontrollable decent that leads to their sudden and complete destruction.

For America, the key step on that path is the societal 'book burning' that has taken place. It is the book burning that refuses to learn from the past but takes too much pleasure in tabloidism, foolishness, sexting and internet chats. Couple that with the growing trends in censorship and What Goebbels did in Nazi Germany was only a dress rehearsal for what is now possible with technology.

Americans would do well to learn from history and to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Is that possible in 21st century America?

Frankly, getting your household pet to recite Shakespeare's Hamlet from beginning to end is more likely to happen than our nation learning from its past.

Your pet may be just curious enough to want to try.

I cannot say that for many Americans.

20 May

If I had the President's Ear

(This was written on the 13th of May for insiders.)
One thing I would tell the President is that at this point in time, neither covert action nor direct military action nor even the long, time consuming efforts at diplomatic isolation and sanctions are likely to end the Maduro regime and even if it did, the country would not be governable for many years as internal strife, economic degradation and political instability would rack the nation for years to come. I would advise him to begin to consider an exit plan for these dark methods and begin actually ending them after one key thing has been done. That being the appointment of a special ambassador/envoy to negotiate with both the Maduro Regime, Colombia, Brazil, Guyana (border state) Russia and China. This ambassador should have broad powers to negotiate a numerous issues that effect the stability of Venezuela and to come to a peaceful, mutually acceptable resolution to the crisis within the Latin American nation. This special ambassador should have the following qualifications.

1) He should be an 'elder statesman' who knows Latin America understands the intricacies of American policy desires (stated and unstated) and be connected up enough with key elements within US establishment to sound out ideas as well as navigate domestic political minefields in order to bring about such a solution.

2) This person must not be a young novice looking to make political bones for a diplomatic resume. Nor should he be any kind of person who has political ambitions for the future. An older statesmen who perhaps could be called out of retirement and who will go back to it when his task is done would be the best kind of choice. Nor should this person be too intimately connected with America's oil or banking conglomerates or political parties. He must be relentless and determined in his quest for an agreement and not let personal political ambitions cloud his judgment.

3) This person should report administratively to the Secretary of State, but have a clear 'line of sight' communications with the President should he need or desire it. In other words, State Dept protocol and carefully laid administrative roadblocks set by State officials should not stop the envoy from communicating his findings, thoughts and possible proposals directly (face to face) with the President.

This person should begin looking at the problem in a holistic way, rather than just the singular obsession that has so far gripped Washington, that being the removal of Maduro. Rather than obsessing about him, the envoy would be empowered to look at and discuss ways of reducing drug cartel influence in the country, bringing in Ai and other key issues. This can be accomplished, but not without help.

For example. America would like to see the flow of Drugs coming from and through Venezuela stopped. But with the sanctions now on, this has become a key and important source of revenue for the country. Moreover, the more sanctions bite, the more reliant they will become on it. One way that might be considered is to talk to those nations on whom the Venezuelans are reliant - The Russians. Tell them that if they can pressure Maduro to curtail significantly the drug trafficking, Washington will relax sanctions. Make the Russians partially responsible for interdiction efforts and the success and failure thereof. If possible, let there be some coordination between US interdiction efforts and Russian. Russian pressure on Maduro will mean a great deal and would be a big first step in reducing the trade - he needs them.

Key inducements should be laid out to both the Russians and Americans in terms of long term investment and stakes, though minor, in Venezuela's oil industry leaving the nation of Venezuela with by far the lions share. This would ensure that there is a strong profit motive on both sides to keep the industry stable. If one nation has all the contracts and investment, the other is likely to sabotage it. If both have equal, stakes, each side has a vested interest in keeping things stable an profitable.

Elections? These should happen, perhaps on an accelerated basis. The key here is not to rush new ones, but to make sure the next ones are free and fair and that foul play is minimized to a degree where it's impact is insignificant. No more of these sore loser so-called 'opposition' leaders who haven't the guts to run for office, but sure know how to whine loud and often about the results of elections they were too cowardly to run in.

What is needed is a hand that is skilled diplomatically, creative, flexible, not afraid of 10 failures before he gets a single key success, is not afraid of incendiary political remarks made by US leaders trying to make points for the Presidential elections in the US and knows how to select a few key team members who know how to keep their mouths closed to leaders on the Hill and elsewhere as to what is going on in the talks.

I realize many of you would rather hear more Bible and Bible prophecy, but the truth is, we Christians, those of us who wish to be known as the Children of God, must be peacemakers.

I seek peace and have no desire to see any more man made pain and suffering on any people, anywhere. War - any kind of war is one of the worst human tragedies.

Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.
 (Matthew 5:9 [KJVA])

16 May

Nehemiah XXXIII

Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven,
 and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts,
 statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
(Neh 9:13-14)
When we left off last time, the priests were praying at a solemn festival that followed after the celebration/observance of the feast of Tabernacles. The priests were praying before the Lord and giving remembrance for the times in the past when God protected, preserved and guided his people. First they went over their deliverance from Egypt. The above verse follows on the history of Israel with God's appearance on Mt. Sinai when the Lord spoke from heaven and gave them the law. God's appearance to Moses (his reluctant, but most effective servant). God used him mightily and this was part of the history that the priests wanted to bring to remembrance, that and the selfsame law that was given to Moses was what they reiterated to them during the previous festival.

Yes, the Lord gave his people right judgments and true laws to help guide their daily affairs and living. The theme of true judgment runs through the Bible and another person who was around at that time, Zechariah talks of it.

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment,
and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
(Zec 7:9)

Jesus Christ as well gave true judgments

And yet if I judge, my judgment is true:
for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
Joh 8:16) 

Yes, this prayer was, I think as much as prayer of remembrance before God to honor him, but as it was a witness to the people who were assembled as to what God had done in the past for them and what he expects of them today. I think we should note something here that K∓D commentary points out, if only by implication. That in this section, God followed the miraculous with his expectations. He did miracles, but wanted them to walk in his ways.

The laws were a benefit to the people and the Sabbath? Well, while today Christians don't celebrate it, we must remember that it was a day of rest. No work -  relax, give thanks and cease with ones labor. It was a benefit to the people, just like just laws, fairly executed are to any people. Israel had a distinct advantage because their law came right directly from the hand of God. For those of you who love the law of the Lord, you will find that the longest Psalm in the Bible, 119 talks about it. In each and every verse (except a couple) we find the word, commandment, testimonies, judgments statutes, ways or word.

And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest
forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them
that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
(Neh 9:15)

Here, this prayer of remembrance made them aware of God's provision. Once again, emphasizing the miraculous. God's purpose in order for it to be fulfilled had to include his people having enough to eat and drink. God's purpose, being made plain the last stanza of the verse, to go and possess the land he had sworn to give them. God's actions always have a reason. His provision to men like Elijah who was fed by ravens, to Elisha, who was fed by a widow - God will provide to those he has set apart for his purposes.

Are you walking in God's ways? Doing all he commanded you to do to the best of your ability? Then God will be with you. Israel had need of this reminding (via prayer) so that they could understand just who they serve and what kind of God it was their heritage was part and parcel of.

I will break this section off today as the tone of the prayer changes in the following passages and deserves a separate section.

God willing, we will continue the next section next week!

14 May


Brothers and Sisters, it's that time again. There are some interesting reports out there and we are going to link to a few of them. The first step of avoiding the deceptions of our time is to be armed with as much good and solid information as possible rather than spin and propaganda. Not facts carefully arranged to lead us to a false conclusion, but as much good, hard information as we can get our hands on.

Call it an effective 'vaccination' against disinformation. I should add this as well. The worst possible place to get your facts checked are at fact checking sites and those stories that claim to be 'checking facts'. It is usually (though not always) just political spin framed as a 'fact check'.

But the key reason fake news is so prevalent in America today is because people love fake news. They love lies that prop up the candidates; they love and will spread a lie if they think it will get them elected. This is why our political system is so dysfunctional. I hear a lot of blame on the politicians, but if flatulence, hyperbole, fake news and outright lies are such a key part of our political system, its because despite what Americans say, they love to have it so.

They are more than willing to use these tools to elect their own candidate. The only outrage that is felt is when the 'the other party' uses the exact same methods. So while the Congress tries to strain a subatomic particle out of the Mueller report to 'get' something on Trump, the Post Office is slowly going broke and they won't to anything about it. We are running $22 Trillion in deficits and Congress' only solution is to borrow more... much more. Why?

People don't respond to fixing the Post Office or fiscal responsibility, they respond to scandal, sex affairs (with our without porn stars) - crimes, real or imagined - a false story, a rumor, and of course 'free stuff' - anything but the boring business of everyday government. Things like paying for goods and services that the government provides. That's boring and 'uninteresting' and such issues won't get a man or woman elected to Congress - raving about the Russians controlling the President will.

These reports for the most part are 'official' government documents, well researched, free of partisanship and full of informative background that will help keep a wise person from spinning themselves into partisan madness with fake news foolishness.

Iran Nuclear Program Status
Is Iran Capable of Building Nuclear Weapons?

(CRS) The United States has assessed that Tehran possesses the technological and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons. But Iran has not yet mastered all of the necessary technologies for building such weapons. Whether Iran has a viable design for a nuclear weapon is unclear. A National Intelligence Estimate made public in 2007 assessed that Tehran 'halted its nuclear weapons program' in 2003. The estimate, however, also assessed that Tehran is 'keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons' and that any decision to end a nuclear weapons program is 'inherently reversible.' U.S. intelligence officials have reaffirmed this judgment on several occasions. - CRS

Congressional Subpoena's And Executive Privilege
(CRS) Congress currently employs an ad hoc combination of methods to combat non-compliance with subpoenas. The two predominant methods rely on the authority and participation of another branch of government. First, the criminal contempt statute permits a single house of Congress to certify a contempt citation to the executive branch for the criminal prosecution of an individual who has willfully refused to comply with a committee subpoena.11 Once the contempt citation is received, any later prosecution lies within the control of the executive branch.12 Second, Congress may try to enforce a subpoena by seeking a civil judgment declaring that the recipient is legally obligated to comply.13 This process of civil enforcement relies on the help of the courts to enforce congressional demands.

Congress has only rarely resorted to either criminal contempt or civil enforcement to combat non- compliance with subpoenas.14 In most circumstances involving the executive branch, committees... - CRS

Congressional Testimony By PostMaster General
(Congressional Testimony of Mrs. Brennan) "When I last came before this Committee in 2017, I described the serious, but solvable, challenges facing the Postal Service, and the urgent need for legislative and regulatory postal reform. Since that time, our financial condition has only worsened.

Total mail volume has dropped from 154 billion pieces in 2016 to 146 billion in 2018, a 5 percent decrease overall. First-Class Mail, our most profitable product, has fared much worse, dropping by 7.4 percent. Although our package business continues to grow, it has become increasingly competitive and the growth rate is half what it was, dropping from 13.7 percent in 2016 to 6.8 percent in 2018, compared to the prior year. In quarter one of 2019, the rate of package volume growth dropped even further, to 5.4 percent. These combined factors are deepening our financial challenges.

In 2018, we posted a net loss of $3.9 billion '” the 12th consecutive annual net loss we have incurred. These losses are occurring despite aggressive Postal Service management actions to right-size our organization, amounting to $13.4 billion in annual savings. These losses have forced us to default on legally-mandated retiree health benefits (RHB) prefunding payments since 2012 and additional pension prefunding payments due to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in 2017 and 2018. These actions will be addressed in more detail later in my testimony. The most significant point I can highlight today is the increasing need for urgent action. Had reform legislation been enacted two years ago, we estimate that we would have earned an additional $1 billion in revenue from a modest one-time price increase and saved between $5 billion and $6 billion in RHB costs." - Congressional Testimony

2019 Social Security Trustee Report

(Social Security Trustee's) Under the Trustees' intermediate assumptions, Social Security's total cost is projected to be less than its total income in 2019 and higher than its total income in 2020 and all later years. Social Security's cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010. For 2019, program cost is projected to be less than total income by about $1 billion and exceed non-interest income by about $81 billion. - From The Social Security Trustee Report

Final Report On Consumer Bankruptcies By The American Bankruptcy Institute
This is a very long report, but one that is rather informative as it is written by and was made in consultation with bankruptcy professionals. One big issue in the news today is Student Debt. This paper looks at that and many, many other issues.

This report I linked to a few days ago is also on point.
Medicare For All: CBO Chimes In
(CBO) Establishing a single-payer system would be a major undertaking that would involve substantial changes in the sources and extent of coverage, provider payment rates, and financing methods of health care in the United States. This report does not address all of the issues that the complex task of designing, implementing, and transitioning to a single-payer system would entail, nor does it analyze the budgetary effects of any specific bill or proposal.

About 29 million people under age 65 were uninsured in an average month in 2018, according to estimates by CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. Although a single-payer system could substantially reduce the number of people who lack insurance, the change in the number of people who are uninsured would depend on the system's design. For example, some people (such as noncitizens who are not lawfully present in the United States) might not be eligible for coverage under a single-payer system and thus might be uninsured. This report uses the term 'universal coverage' to characterize systems in which virtually all people in an eligible population have health insurance...

...Currently, national health care spending'”which totaled $3.5 trillion in 2017'”is financed through a mix of public and private sources, with private sources such as businesses and households contributing just under half that amount and public sources contributing the rest (in direct spending as well as through forgone revenues from tax subsidies). Shifting such a large amount of expenditures from private to public sources would significantly increase government spending and require substantial additional government resources. The amount of those additional resources would depend on the system's design and on the choice of whether or not to increase budget deficits. Total national health care spending under a single-payer system might be higher or lower than under the current system depending on the key features of the new system, such as the services covered, the provider payment rates, and patient cost-sharing requirements. - CBO

F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER Action Needed to Improve Reliability and Prepare for Modernization Efforts - GAO
(GAO) While the construct for the F-35 supply chain was intended to ease the logistical burden on and provide economies of scale for the military services and international partners, we have previously reported that the F-35 program faces affordability, reliability, and sustainment challenges. For instance, in 2014, we reported that annual F-35 operating and support costs were estimated to be considerably higher than the combined annual costs of several legacy aircraft, and that while DOD had begun some cost-savings efforts and had established sustainment affordability targets, DOD did not use the military services' budgets to set these targets.

In 2016, we found that DOD faced risks that could affect the F-35's Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS)'”a complex system supporting operations, mission planning, supply-chain management, maintenance, and other processes. 6 In 2017, we reported that DOD was experiencing sustainment challenges that were reducing warfighter readiness, including delays of 6 years in standing up repair capabilities for F-35 parts at its depots and significant spare parts shortages that were preventing the F-35 fleet from flying about 20 percent of the time. 7 We recommended that DOD develop affordability constraints linked to the military services' budgets, develop a plan to address ALIS risks, and revise its sustainment plans, among other things. The department generally concurred with our recommendations, and has taken some actions in response. In particular, in 2018, DOD established affordability constraints based on the military services' future budget projections. These new affordability constraints will require DOD to reduce F-35 sustainment costs per aircraft per year by 43 percent for the Air Force, 24 percent for the Marine Corps, and 5 percent for the Navy. 8 See the Related GAO Products page at the end of this report for a list of previous F-35 products. - GAO

The Budgetary and Acquisition reforms referred to? How are they going.

Here is a transcript of recent hearings.

China Military Power 2019: DOD

(DOD) Key Takeaways

* In 2018, China's leaders continued to advance an ambitious agenda of military modernization while pursuing economic growth and improving technological strength.
* China's leaders increasingly see the United States as adopting a more confrontational approach in an attempt to contain China's rise.
* Recognizing that programs such as 'Made in China 2025' and the 'One Belt, One Road' Initiative (OBOR) have sparked concerns about China's intentions, China's leaders have softened their rhetoric when promoting these programs without altering the programs' fundamental strategic goals.

China's overall strategy in 2018 advanced initiatives presented during President Xi Jinping's address to the 19th Party Congress, which detailed the progress China has made toward realizing its national objective of achieving the 'great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.' Senior Chinese leaders have described the October 2017 Party Congress report as 'not only the program of action of the Communist Party of China, but also the most authoritative textbook for understanding China.'

Issued every five years to assess China's development, the report contains lines of effort for addressing politics, economics, culture, social affairs, the environment, national defense, national unification, foreign affairs, and Party building, all of which have broader security, domestic, and external components. The 2018 government work report presented at the National People's Congress (NPC), which aligns Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Chinese government lines of effort, reemphasized many of the Party Congress report's key themes. In 2018, the CCP Central Committee and the NPC also approved major reforms of Party and government institutions in support of these lines of effort. - Annual Report To China On China's Military Power

China's Pursuit of Space Power Status and Implications for the United States
(US China Economic And Security Review Commission) - China seeks to become an international leader in space, or what it terms a 'space power in all respects.' In this role, Beijing aspires to lead international space-related innovation and exploration and establish an advanced system of infrastructure to serve its space sector. China has suffered some setbacks on projects crucial for the progression of program milestones, such as its heavy-lift launch vehicle program, and still lags behind the United States in its human spaceflight and space station program. Nevertheless, China's space program is a source of national pride, and its consistent high level of political support and funding ensures progress toward establishing itself as a space power. In 2003, China joined the United States and Russia as a member of the exclusive group of countries to have conducted human spaceflight, and since then it has nearly completed a new, rival global navigation satellite system (GNSS)'”set for completion in 2020  '”and demonstrated its willingness to undertake high-risk, high-reward missions, as reflected by its historic landing on the moon's far side in 2019. China is likely to achieve future milestones in areas where it is lagging behind international standards on shorter timetables than when the United States accomplished similar missions.

This report examines China's space goals and national space strategy; its progress toward those goals, including an examination of China's progress in its advanced launch vehicle, long-term crewed space station, and lunar exploration programs; and the primary entities involved in setting and implementing its space policy. Finally, the report assesses the implications of China's space program for the United States and its continued leadership in space...

...Beijing consistently invests high levels of funding and political will to its space program, which has driven its steady progress in achieving important milestones.  This support, along with a focus on improving and standardizing the quality of manufactured components, has helped create a mature space program whose development was previously constrained by poor infrastructure and less advanced technology. Compared to the U.S. space program, China's program is also more connected to the 'levers of power,' meaning its goals more often draw support from top leaders and are interconnected with the overall priorities of China's industrial and foreign policies.  China's deliberate and comprehensive approach to its space program gives it opportunities to derive important economic, political, and diplomatic benefits, including domestic legitimacy, international prestige, and access to tasking information and observational data derived by international clients using its space platforms. For example, China's Beidou GNSS is a vital component in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as part of the Digital Silk Road. According to one high-ranking government official overseeing information technology policy, the Digital Silk Road will help establish 'a community of common destiny in cyberspace,' invoking a slogan Beijing uses to describe a revised global order more accommodating to its political and economic system. -China's Pursuit of Space Power Status and Implications for the United States

The Eclipse Of US Military Tech Superiority
ISN/CSS/ETCH takes an interesting non-American look at trends that are leading to a decline in the technological edge the west has long enjoyed. ETH Zurich Reports.

CFIUS Reform: Foreign Investment National Security Reviews
(CRS) Some Members of Congress, the Trump Administration, and some U.S. businesses have raised concerns over the risks to continued U.S. technological leadership to support national defense and economic security due to growing foreign direct investment (FDI), primarily by Chinese firms, in U.S. high-tech companies. On August 13, 2018, President Trump signed into law new rules governing foreign investment national security reviews. Known as the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) of 2018 (Title XVII, P.L. 115-232), the legislation amends the current process for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) (under P.L. 110-49) to review, on behalf of the President, the national security implications of FDI in the United States. - Congressional Research Service

Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy In Brief
(CRS) In August 2017, President Trump announced what he termed a new South Asia strategy in a nationally-televised address. Many Afghan and U.S. observers interpreted the speech and the policies it promised (expanded targeting authorities for U.S. forces, greater pressure on Pakistan, a modest increase in the number of U.S. and international troops) as a sign of renewed U.S. commitment.

However, after less than a year of continued military stalemate, the Trump Administration in July 2018 reportedly ordered the start of direct talks with the Taliban that did not include the Afghan government. This represented a dramatic reversal of U.S. policy, which had previously been to support an 'Afghan-led, Afghan-owned' peace process.

In September 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appointed former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad to the newly-created post of Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation; Khalilzad has since met several times with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar (where the group maintains a political office). He has also had consultations with the Afghan, Pakistani, and other regional governments. - CRS

Venezuela: Economic Sanctions As Collective Punishment (CEPR)
A look at what sanctions are doing to the country and people of Venezuela.

Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance Coverage for People Under Age 65: 2019 to 2029 - CBO

Images sourced to CBO

Audit Of The FBI's Investigation Of Cyber Victims Notification Process - DOJ-IG
Notifying victims can mitigate the damage these criminals can do. This audit shows some of the problems with the program and where it is broken.

Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
(CRS) The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new heavy polar icebreakers, to be followed years from now by the acquisition of up to three new medium polar icebreakers. On April 23, 2019, the Coast Guard-Navy Integrated Program Office for the PSC program awarded a $745.9 million fixed-price, incentive-firm contract for the detail design and construction (DD∓C) of the first PSC to VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, MS, a shipyard owned by Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering. VT Halter was the leader of one of three industry teams that competed for the DD∓C contract. The first PSC is scheduled to begin construction in 2021 and be delivered in 2024, though the DD∓C contract includes financial incentives for earlier delivery...

...The operational U.S. polar icebreaking fleet currently consists of one heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and one medium polar icebreaker, Healy. In addition to Polar Star, the Coast Guard has a second heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Sea. Polar Sea, however, suffered an engine casualty in June 2010 and has been nonoperational since then. Polar Star and Polar Sea entered service in 1976 and 1978, respectively, and are now well beyond their originally intended 30-year service lives. The Coast Guard is using Polar Sea as a source of spare parts for keeping Polar Star operational. - CRS

Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and U.S. Relations
(CRS) The U.S. State Department welcomed opposition figure Felix Tshisekedi's victory in DRC's December 2018 presidential election, applauding the Congolese people 'for their insistence on a peaceful and democratic transfer of power.' Election day was indeed largely peaceful, and alternate scenarios that outgoing President Joseph Kabila might have preferred (e.g., his own reelection or the election of his chosen successor, former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary) ultimately did not materialize. Many Congolese reacted positively to the results.

Whether the election was 'democratic' is debatable, however, as is the degree to which Tshisekedi's presidency represents a 'transfer of power.' Former President Kabila'”whose decision to cling to power past the end of his two constitutionally permitted terms in 2016 sparked a national political crisis and widespread protests'”appears poised to retain significant political influence. Kabila, who first assumed the presidency in 2000, now holds the title of 'Senator-for-Life,' while his Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition won sweeping majorities in parliament and provincial assemblies, and in subsequent indirect elections for the Senate and provincial governors. Tshisekedi's Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) won very few sub-national contests, and it has agreed to form a coalition government with the FCC. These factors, along with evidence that a more hardline opposition figure won more votes than Tshisekedi, have led many observers to speculate that the official election results reflected a power-sharing deal between Tshisekedi and Kabila (see 'Politics'). - CRS

Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options
(CRS) Some experts attribute the acrimony that has characterized U.S.-Iran relations since the Islamic revolution to the structure of Iran's regime. Although there are some elected leadership posts and diversity of opinion, Iran's constitution'”adopted in public referenda in 1980 and again in 1989'”reserves paramount decisionmaking authority for a 'Supreme Leader' (known in Iran as 'Leader of the Revolution'). The President and the Majles (unicameral parliament) are directly elected, and since 2013, there have been elections for municipal councils that set local development priorities and select mayors. Even within the unelected institutions, factional disputes between those who insist on ideological purity and those considered more pragmatic are evident. In part because of the preponderant political power of the clerics and the security services, the regime has faced repeated periodic unrest from minorities, intellectuals, students, labor groups, the poor, women, and members of Iran's minority groups. (Iran's demographics are depicted in a text box below.)

Ukraine Elects A New President
(CRS) Despite his outsider status, Zelensky did not campaign as a nationalist or populist. On the contrary, Zelensky is a native Russian-speaking Ukrainian, reportedly of Jewish origin, who asserts that he is a firm patriot and supports closer relations with the West. Zelensky is from Ukraine's Dnipropetrovsk region, north of Crimea, which observers feared might become another flashpoint of conflict in 2014. The election results suggest that issues of national and linguistic identity mattered less than many expected. Zelensky demonstrated a broad appeal, coming in first in all but one of Ukraine's regions.

Some believed that Zelensky would attract primarily Russian-speaking southern and eastern Ukrainians who reject the alleged corruption and pro-Russian sentiments of many of their traditional elites but who have felt marginalized in Ukrainian politics since 2014. The scale of his victory was especially striking considering that elections could not be held in Russian-occupied Crimea and several districts in eastern Ukraine that the government does not control. This reduced the size of the electorate more likely to support native Russian-speaking candidates. - CRS

9 May

India: Pastor And 75 Year Old Sisters Beaten

The author notes that this seems to happen when there is fasting and prayer.

The devil hates it when we pray, fast and come together to make supplication to our God. Persecution Relief reports.

Persecution Of Christians At Near Genocidal Levels

A report on the recent findings of the UK's foreign office. The Clarion Project reports.

25 Christians Killed by Boko Haram in Door-to-Door Attacks

Another report of a hideous attack by Islamic militants.

Algeria: Two Upcoming Court Cases

(ME Concern) On 16 May there will be a hearing in the case against the owner of land being used by a church in the Kabylie province of Bejaia. He has been charged with allowing unauthorized worship on his land, violating a 2006 Ordinance that regulates non-Muslim worship...

...Since the church was sealed by the police on 16 October 2018 it has been meeting in a tent erected on the property. The owner of the tent  was summoned several times by the authorities, and asked to dismantle it, but the church has continued to meet...

...Several churches have since received written orders to cease all activities. A number were closed by authorities because they did not have a license, most recently in July 2018. Three of those closed churches have since been allowed to re-open...

Algerian Christians urge us to pray that:

a. church leaders would know the Lord's peace, wisdom and guidance in the face of continued pressures
b. that both the churches in Azaghar and in Makouoda will be permitted to continue to worship and all churches ordered to close would soon be permitted to re-open.
c. the authorities will end their systematic campaign against Christians and other non-Muslim communities
d. those responsible for the closure orders to know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus
Middle East Concern

URL for this prayer request: https://meconcern.org/2019/04/30/algeria-two-upcoming-court-cases/

Darkness Descends On Gomorrah

A look at Sodom, Gomorrah, trends in societies of the past and the present from a Catholic perspective. Crisis Magazine carries the story.

The thing of it is, the closer we come to Sodom, the blinder the people become, the more recalcitrant in their sins and the less willing they are to admit they have gone astray. Was it not the residents of Sodom who reviled Lot and did not like him 'judging' their abominable behavior (Gen 19:19). 'Judge not' so says the most recalcitrant sinner as they justify their own sins and try and embarrass Christians whose job it is to warn.

Well, it is true we are not to judge. Warn yes, judge no. But in Sodom's case, the judge was at the very doors and the residents of Sodom didn't have a clue.

Brothers let us always know what time it is. God's mercy is still here, God is still saving souls, but sin is beginning to reach that crescendo where he will move and not in a way that is positive to the unrepentant.

Three Christians Killed In Nigerian Attack

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) '“ Suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed and killed a 26-year-old Catholic on Thursday (May 2) in north-central Nigeria and two other Christians in the same manner on April 27, sources said.
After a herdsmen assault in March 2018 that left 27 Christians dead in the predominantly Christian community of Dong village north of Jos, assailants on Thursday (May 2) killed David Musa, 26, at 5:25 p.m., said Nuhu Ako, 42-year-old Christian youth leader at the area's St. Monica's Catholic Church. - Story Continues At Morning Star News

In other Nigerian persecution news, a pastor has been kidnapped with other Church members while delivering aid.

Former MLB Manager Says Christ Is The Answer To Child Sex Trafficking

This story is most timely as allegations of this are now being made against the NXIVM Group.

This is a guy who is working hard against this evil and realizes this is a spiritual battle.

This is truly an ugly side of American society and let us pray and give thanks that we have leaders who are fighting this and are not ashamed of Jesus Christ!!

But you know what? We can think Law Enforcement is the answer and on some level, at least theoretically it is. But the reality? Brothers it is really quite different as this link (sent to me from a reader) makes plain.

Brothers, this nation more and more is like Sodom. It really is, most folks just don't see it, don't want to see it about ourselves but large parts of America are already there...

... and proud of it.

Pastor Shoots Self Family Dies In Suspicious Fire, Say Investigators

This is so sad. The whole family is gone.

One has to wonder how someone who knew God could do such a thing, if indeed he did it.

This is such a horrible tragedy.

Who Are Today's Church 'Outcasts'

A real good question asked by the author.



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