-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)

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在 這樣的世代裏

那 鴻書﹕神懲 罰報應的概述

你 所獲的禮品伴隨的代價太高

神為什麼 要 求信 心

pdf 七個教會

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

The Assyrian
- Damascus and the Assyrian in Bible Prophecy

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


 - What I See...

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


 - Collision Course

Each and every passing day,

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


      - Prison Labor Industry

      Slave labor cleverly

      disguised.


 -

 - 3 Short Commentaries

   

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

 -  Lamentations Are Coming 

   

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

 -  The Curse 

   

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

 -  I Have A Dream Vs. I Have A Drone 

   

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

 -  Mali: Africa Must Take The Lead 

   

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


 -  The Holiday Season 

   

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

 -  There Is A Generation... 

   

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

  The Way Back 

   

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

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

   

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

 - In The Kingdom Of The Blind 

   

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

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

   

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

 - Culling The World's Population 

   

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

 -  Political, Economic And Spiritual Review (Summer 2012) 

   

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

 -  Judge Not! 

   

...Lest ye be judged.

 - The Blessings Of Obedience 

   

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

  From Another World 

   

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

 


-  From The North 

   

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


Other Resources
(most are in PDF format)


Select Congressional Committee Investigating Illegal Practices In The Abortion Industry

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

LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP AND FRIGATE
Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions


Defense Business Board Outlines Savings Of $125 Bln Annually


Iran: Ministry Of Intelligence And Internal Security - LOC

Global Trends 2030 - NIE

High Unemployment And GDP - CRS

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

DOJ Lethal Force Justification Against US Citizens

Global Trends 2030
- NIC

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

Intelligence Committee Report On Huawei

Major Arms Transfers - CRS

The Crisis In Mali - CRS

The Crisis In Syria - CRS

 Posse Comitatus - CRS

Iran: Nuclear Intentions And Capabilities

Official Japanese Diet Report On Fukushima

State Department Report On Religious Persecution

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

US-China Policy Issues - CRS

US Naval Modifications For China's Rise - CRS

UAE: US Policy Issues - CRS

Senate Report On Counterfeit Parts In DOD Supply Chain


2012 Annual Report To Congress On Chinese Military - DOD

Water Security - CIA/NIC

Syria's Phase Of Radicalization - ICG

Oil Imports And Exports - CRS

Pivot To The Pacific - CRS

Challenges To EU's Energy Security - CRS

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

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Isreal's Possible strike On Iran - CRS

Iran Policy Concerns - CRS

Food Aid To NK - CRS

Aid To Pakistan

(Senate Hearing)

DOD Missing Trillions

(official audit)

GAO's Audit of the FED Report

(audit)

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Human Rights In China - CRS

US-China Trade Issues - CRS

US-China Miliary Contacts - CRS

US- Taiwan Arms Sales - CRS

China's Currency: Analysis Of Issues - CRS

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

China's Acquisition of US Technology - Congress

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

OSS/CIA Images Of Auschwitz During the War

Nuclear Terror In The US - FEMA


More Resources



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

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

Spirit Daily

(Catholic... great news links)

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

Babylon Today


Mark's Audio Page



_______

Last Updated
  21 Mar 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)



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


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

***

Mark can be reached here.




21 Mar

Methodist Church: A Great Separation Is Coming

According to this article, the Church has stiffened its rules disallowing the LBGT agenda on marriage and homosexuality.

What is interesting is that the pro-gay Churches are not talking about leaving. The Christian Post reports. Perhaps they think they can get more votes to shift the vote later.

But the support for that agenda is very strong and I think a separation will be coming before long.

As Christ said, there will come a time when the wheat shall be driven from the tares. There are those who do and obey the will of God and those who do not.

To me this all tells me that the day of the harvest may not be far off as these things and this debate is taking place all over what calls itself Christendom.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying,
The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man
which sowed good seed in his field: But while
 men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among
 the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade
was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then
 appeared the tares also. So the servants of the
householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst
not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence
then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy
 hath done this. The servants said unto him,
Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the
tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest:
and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers,
Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them
in bundles to burn them:
 but gather the wheat into my barn.
(Matthew 13:24-30 [KJV])

Let us remember that the signs of our Lord's coming will only seen and understood by those who are diligently awaiting it and watching.


China Human Rights Sit Rep

The State Dept. has released a new report on conditions in  China.

They are not good. Not good at all. under Xi, things seem to be going backwards to the days of Mao. Human Rights now are nothing more than an abstraction that can be unilaterally dissolved by the powerful Politburo, or by local officials who want to kiss up to those higher ups in the party. 

Critics are silenced, even if out of the country. Your court case may get 'erased' in the system.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the paramount authority. CCP members hold almost all top government and security apparatus positions. Ultimate authority rests with the CCP Central Committee’s 25-member Political Bureau (Politburo) and its seven-member Standing Committee. Xi Jinping continued to hold the three most powerful positions as CCP general secretary, state president, and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Civilian authorities maintained control of security forces.

During the year the government significantly intensified its campaign of mass detention of members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang). Authorities were reported to have arbitrarily detained 800,000 to possibly more than two million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslims in internment camps designed to erase religious and ethnic identities. Government officials claimed the camps were needed to combat terrorism, separatism, and extremism. International media, human rights organizations, and former detainees reported security officials in the camps abused, tortured, and killed some detainees.

Human rights issues included arbitrary or unlawful killings by the government; forced disappearances by the government; torture by the government; arbitrary detention by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention conditions; political prisoners; arbitrary interference with privacy; physical attacks on and criminal prosecution of journalists, lawyers, writers, bloggers, dissidents, petitioners, and others as well as their family members; censorship and site blocking; interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive laws that apply to foreign and domestic nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); severe restrictions of religious freedom; significant restrictions on freedom of movement (for travel within the country and overseas); refoulement of asylum seekers to North Korea, where they have a well- founded fear of persecution; the inability of citizens to choose their government; corruption; a coercive birth-limitation policy that in some cases included sterilization or abortions; trafficking in persons; and severe restrictions on labor rights, including a ban on workers organizing or joining unions of their own choosing. Official repression of the freedoms of speech, religion, movement, association, and assembly of Tibetans in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas and of Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang worsened and was more severe than in other areas of the country.

Authorities prosecuted a number of abuses of power through the court system, particularly with regard to corruption, but in most cases the CCP first investigated and punished officials using opaque internal party disciplinary procedures. The CCP continued to dominate the judiciary and controlled the appointment of all judges and in certain cases directly dictated the court’s ruling. Authorities harassed, detained, and arrested citizens who promoted independent efforts to combat abuses of power. - US State Department (or here)


State Sponsored Persecution

This is what we are seeing in places like China and in other nations that are part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This organization, as has  been covered here - their member nations have all begun campaigns to varying degree's to silence religious voices that these states want silenced. Let's take a look at Tajikistan.

(Forum18) Police in Tajikistan continue to raid groups of Jehovah's Witnesses meeting together for worship, with interrogations being carried out for between 20 minutes and 14 hours. During the interrogations police have forced people to sign statements that they were not tortured, yet some detainees have been tortured. Contrary to the United Nations (UN) Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Tajikistan has neither arrested officials suspected of torture, nor put them on criminal trial. - Forum18

The stories are numerous. You can read about what the US Commission on International religious freedom has to say about Kyrgystan here.

Xi and the SCO have made anti-terrorism and anti-extremism a key facet of the organization. Keep in mind that their definition of extremism is not the same everyone else. With religion, it more and more looks to be shaping up to be 'no religion except state religion' in these nations. The State wants full control of all religious activities and those that don't comply are fined, jailed or tortured. This has been a strong and troubling pattern. Russia as well has hit out particularly at the Jehovah's Witnesses.

USCIRF has a report on the situation in Russia here.


Now brothers, I say these things because they are wrong. I may not be a Muslim or a Jehovah's Witness, but I firmly believe that everyone should be able to believe or not believe as he or she chooses. I am not the least bit interested in seeing those whose faith I do not share mistreated, persecuted or killed. There has been too much of that. It only gives these forces the political and legal means to come after traditional Christians later once they have honed their legal and political skills. So if I speak out about this, it is not by way of spiritual compromise or political correctness. It is only right to do so and also there is enlightened self-interest too - if they can do it to an Imam, they can do it to a Priest or Pastor.

I need not recount what China is doing to Muslims. That whole part of the world is changing.

Well... let us move on to Africa. We hard about the violence in parts of Nigeria, Boko Haram, the pastoral conflict (cattle rustling, etc) and other violence. The CFR has a tracker on events in the country here. The US commission on  Religious Freedom has a report here that was done in Feb of this year. It is quite interesting. We may not hear about the atrocities going on there much, but they occur regularly.

Then there are the blasphemy laws. This is a real problem in the world today in some places. We hear about cases in Pakistan, but did you know that Canada has new 'laws' on it. It only protects Islam.

  • Blasphemy laws are astonishingly widespread. Seventy-one countries, spread out across many regions, maintain such statutes.
  • Every one of these blasphemy statutes deviates from at least one internationally recognized human rights principle. Most of these laws fail to respect fully the human right of freedom of expression.
  • All five nations with blasphemy laws that deviate the most from international human rights principles maintain an official state religion.
  • Most blasphemy laws studied were vaguely worded, as many failed to specify intent as part of the violation. The vast majority carried unduly harsh penalties for violators.
  • Most blasphemy laws were embedded in the criminal codes and 86 percent of states with blasphemy laws prescribed imprisonment for convicted offenders. Some blasphemy statutes even imposed the death penalty. - USCIRF


Map Of Nations With Blasphemy Laws

Let us keep in mind that in Iran believing in Jesus Christ is considered an insult to Islam. So we see the real issue behind the push for blasphemy laws in many places - it is to use those laws to jail those who are not Muslims. If you are not a Muslim and accept the tenants Islam, you are a guilty of blasphemy and can be jailed. This may not be the way the laws are written, but it is how they are being applied in places like Iran.

These laws have been used in many places against many people. We have all heard  about the case of Asia Bibi (Pakistan).

The USCRIF has a report on these laws here (from which the above map was sourced). Iran is the country of the most concern, according to the report. It is followed by Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Qatar and Egypt.

For those of you atheists out there, all this applies to you as well. Those who don't think the issue of religious freedom does not apply to them should do a little reading. Here is part of a law in Iran.

Press Law

 Article 6

The print media are permitted to publish news items except in cases when they violate Islamic principles and codes and public rights as outlined in this chapter:

1. Publishing atheistic articles or issues which are prejudicial to Islamic codes, or, promoting subjects which might damage the foundation of the Islamic Republic;
2. Propagating obscene and religiously forbidden acts and publishing indecent pictures and issues which violate public decency;
3. Propagating luxury and extravagance; - cited from USCRIF report

The law goes on and there are more on the books. So let no one tell you religious freedom issues is just for Christians. Those issues are for everyone - the religious and the non-religious alike.

Now lets turn to an issue in our news today, North Korea. We saw that the recent summit was not conclusive. I have also noted that President Trump has not talked much about the truly abysmal human rights situation there in his talks.
Religious Freedom Conditions

Denuclearization discussions often overshadow North Korea’s myriad human rights abuses, including religious freedom violations, even though these fundamental rights are profoundly suppressed. Moreover, given North Korea’s extremely closed nature, information about current religious freedom conditions and the number of religious followers is difficult to obtain and verify. Although little updated information is available for 2018, there are no known developments to indicate that conditions have improved during the year. The following represents a sample of the most recent verified information on religious freedom conditions in North Korea.
  • ƒƒIn a 2017 survey conducted by the South Korean nongovernmental organization Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB), more than 99 percent of 11,805 North Korean defectors surveyed claimed there was no religious freedom in North Korea. ƒƒ
  • In 2017, the most current data available, NKDB documented 1,304 violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief in North Korea. The abuses included 119 killings, 87 disappearances, and 770 detentions. ƒƒ
  • Due to a policy of collective punishment for practicing a religion, the families of those imprisoned because of their faith are often detained as well, regardless of their own beliefs. - USCRIF Report On North Korea (Nov 2018) -

I am loath to recount some of the truly horrific things that go on in those camps, but plenty of reporting is available.


Source: Wikipedia/UN

More detailed info on those camps here.

Here is a very interesting take on the recent Trump-Kim Summit.

Conclusion. Let us all continue to pray about these issues. Our brethren in Christ in many places are under tremendous pressure. Some from the State, others from violent extremists, still others from dark workmen who only work in the shadows of the covert world. Let us pray that we can continue to live, pray, worship and preach the gospel in peace in all parts of the world.

19 Mar



Today's Post

May God's guiding hand  be upon all of you who are in Christ!

Thanks to those who have been praying for me. The simple fact is, all this writing is very taxing. It is a lot harder than it looks and believe me, I get plenty tired some days.

The real issue is that I am starting to get a slight case of writers block and that is a very serious problem because... well, I just can't write. The ideas don't flow and you just have a difficult time of it. I can sit at the screen for 20 minutes and barely write a couple of sentences. When that happens I have to step back. It has been happening quite a bit the past few days.

If you scroll down this page (rather, the private site where almost all of my writing is done these days) and the older updates, you can see how much writing I do. It is a lot and a lot of hard work and research goes behind it. So if you can continue to lift me up in prayer (because I need it) both to get over this dread disease of writers and for my protection I would appreciate it. I have enemies and they truly hate me.

So I beg you all to bear that in mind as this year moves on. The fact that our DHS is now surveilling journalists is not a good thing, whatever the reason. I posted the recent CPB leak on the program yesterday. How many other journalists are being tracked and monitored under different programs is not clear, but given the way this President has protected The Saudi's after the murder of Khasoggi, this alone should tell us what he thinks about a free press. Not much.

Because this site has been read by some of the most powerful men in the world and because it has made a significant impact, I have some powerful enemies. I cannot stress that enough and if they can find an excuse to hound and harass me again, the minions of hell will do so once again... just because they can.

But I will press on, fear not. I just need your support and prayers.

These are very dangerous times. The spiritual decay of the nation is deep and real yet, is only seen by a few of us. Let us all remember to whom we belong and not go along with the social and moral cues in our society. Christ has called us out of this world in the hopes that we can be accounted worthy and obtain the Resurrection of the dead (the first Resurrection - let the reader know the difference). We must learn to adopt God's pattern of behavior and never turn back from it. So as we look at the events of our times and the growing divide that we have with those around us, the world in general and even the so-called Church, let us draw encouragement from our God who warned us of times just such as these. Difficult, deceptive surrounded by treacherous men and women, who love only themselves -  people who blaspheme and who will betray others as well as their own family and country (See 2Tim 3:2ff). These are the kinds of people we more and more will come in contact with. They may smile up in your face and pretend to be polite, nice and well mannered, but behind that smile lies the soul of a serpent, waiting to strike. So be on your guard - not paranoid, not cold but on your guard. Why?

 Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour:
 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing
 that the same afflictions are accomplished in
 your brethren that are in the world.
(I Peter 5:8-9 [KJV])


This is why. Your enemy is not those people who come against you, at least not ultimately. Your enemy is the one who can subvert those people into his service to attack you. Satan is your enemy and will be forever more. Thankfully God has a place for him at the end of this age and we need not be bothered with him after the millennium reign.

For people like me, Bloggers, watchmen and prophets as well as truth telling pastors in our nation - we are in the devils crosshairs. Why? Because the devil hates truth. He hates it with a perfect hatred because it is lies, false narratives, deceitful communications, slander and every false work that give him power. He uses the power to concoct and foist new deceptions upon our world to amalgamate power. I am sure many of you remember some passages on the antichrist and the characteristics of his system. If you recall, one of them was the ability to destroy the truth or as the KJV phrased it 'cast down truth to the ground'.

 And an host was given him against the
 daily sacrifice by reason of transgression,
 and it cast down the truth to the ground;
and it practised, and prospered. Then I
heard one saint speaking, and another
saint said unto that certain saint which spake,
How long shall be the vision concerning
 the daily sacrifice, and the transgression
of desolation, to give both the sanctuary
 and the host to be trodden under foot?
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand
 and three hundred days; then shall
the sanctuary be cleansed.
(Daniel 8:12-14 [KJV])

Yes, this prophecy did in many ways refer to Antiochus. But it has another fulfillment in the future. What is my authority for this? Jesus Christ who warned us about the abomination that maketh desolate - exhorting us to understand (Matt 24:15). This too seemed to be again partially fulfilled with Titus came into Jerusalem, in 70AD. But the end times will see something very similar, I think and it is likely to transpire in Jerusalem. When the man of sin will stand in the Holy Place and proclaim himself God. You all remember...

 Let no man deceive you by any means:
 for that day shall not come, except there
 come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed,
 the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth
 himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped;
 so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,
shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not,
that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
 And now ye know what withholdeth that he
might be revealed in his time. For the mystery
of iniquity doth already work: only he who now
letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed,
 whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth,
 and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan
 with all power and signs and lying wonders,
 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness
in them that perish; because they received not the
 love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
 that they should believe a lie: That they all might be
 damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness.
(2Thess 2:3-12 [KJV])

We all know this passage and I wanted to show you the spirit behind this coming man of sin and Antiochous.

As you know Antiochus is called Epiphanes. This word means to manifest of to appear as God - as when God appears to his servants. When God appeared to Moses, it this was an epiphany. Antiochous thought he was god in the flesh (Jupiter). Like most delusional madmen, they take on these ideas and then try and push their mental illness onto others. Caligula did the same thing. He got Roman Senators to worship him and often dressed up as Greek gods. Caligula was indeed quite mad, but this madness can often be found in those who have too much power. It tends to derange the mind in men of lesser character. When madness steps in, the devil is right behind it.

My point here is that Antiochus thought he was God. So this coming man of sin will also think he is God and Paul above identifies the spirit behind the coming man of sin and that of the old one, that being Satan. This is satanic government at its height and that is what is coming upon the earth.

How is this accomplished. With deceitfulness and unrighteousness. Here is what Strong's says about those two words.

G539
apate
ap-at'-ay
from 538; delusion:--deceit(-ful, -fulness), deceivableness(-ving). see GREEK for 538

G93
adikia
ad-ee-kee'-ah
from 94; (legal) injustice (properly, the quality, by implication, the act); morally, wrongfulness (of character, life or act):--iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong. see GREEK for 94

This is how he rises - in deceit and as I pointed out before, in order for that to happen the truth must be cast down to the ground. The same basic methodology will be used again as was used before. So if today we see a prevalence of lying, fake news, carefully contrived presentations of information to lend support to false narratives it is because Satan relies on these things to accomplish his will. This is why truth tellers are demonized, attacked and even killed today.

You see, this goes not just into the spiritual realm, but also the political and the economic as well. The deceiver may be a spiritual being, but the effect of his work deeply effect the temporal world.

So let us all keep our eyes open and our minds clear and learn to identify the devils methods. It will help us not to be deceived by a exceptionally cunning deception that will descend upon the whole world. One so powerful that if it were possible, it would deceive the very elect.

Let me put it to you this way - if you don't think you can be fooled, you are well on your way to being so.

So let us all be on our guard - seriously on our guard as 'the system' slowly destroys its enemies where ever they are to be found.


18 Mar

One Day At A Time!

This is how we have to move forward folks, one day at a time. As I look at events here everyday I could be truly frightened by the things that I see coming on the earth. From a new army of killer  robots, to frightening new diseases being developed to genetically modified (and enhanced) humans, we are heading very much into uncharted territory.

Indeed the Russian President has said what I think all major capitals know, that who ever can perfect AI technology will 'rule the world'. AI, I believe is something that our Bible predicted when it said that the system of the False Prophet was able to give life to the beast and this system would bring in the Mark of the Beast.

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.
Rev  13:15 [KJV])

Look at the things going on in our world is enough to cause any sane person considerable concern. As much because of some of the technology being built and created, but more so about the kinds of people who will be empowered to use it. This is what is really scary. If the people running this planet were of a significantly higher caliber, perhaps I would not be as concerned for the future as I am today and yes I am concerned.

But we cannot and MUST NOT let fear reign in our hearts. We cannot let these things get us down and trouble us. Mankind is on a trajectory towards his own destruction. We cannot change that. What we can do is draw wisdom and guidance from our creator who loves us and watches over those of us who have truly put our faith (not mental belief) in him and his words. We must take our walk, yes even our life one day at at time.

Brothers, we do not know what tomorrow will bring. This lesson is especially hard for a person like me. Why? Because I am person who makes preparations for tomorrow. I like to plan ahead, get things done today instead of waiting until the last minute. I am proactive rather than reactive. So living one day at a time for me often takes effort.

Another thing that too many of us do is to get a little high minded about what we think will happen tomorrow. Some think they are going to finally get that great job, that their retirement is going to let them live very comfortably. We have seen how many who planned along those lines have been bitterly disappointed when their Pension fund reduced their payouts or that Job they were hoping for went to a guy in the New HQ - in Hong Kong.

Boast not thyself of to morrow;
 for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
(Prov 27:1)
These things happen and thus we should in many ways try and live in the moment. To not take tomorrow for granted. Tomorrow will come for almost all of us, but won't for some. And one day, all of our tomorrows will cease in this world. Now here is the question - what kind of record did you leave behind?


One that has the constant search for wealth, money, power and social position as what you were all about. The constant grasping for more of what this world has to offer, the people you messed over, lied to, screwed over in your search to get to the top of the dungheap of some corporate or government ladder? Is this what your life will bear witness to? Will a line of people bear witness against you whom you stabbed in the back to get to the top? Or a group of the poor, forgotten and downdrodden who remembered all the kindness and love you showed them, asking nothing in return, bear witness in your favor?


If we are to make plans for tomorrow, let us make plans for the time when we must stand and give account to the Lord for the deeds done in the body. To make sure our lives are pleasing to him to whom we must give account and to use the time we have today wisely for our tomorrow is not a forgone conclusion.

Brothers, the hour is late and many believers are becoming lukewarm and are falling away. The Churches more and more are preaching unsound doctrine or outright error. They do this in order to get more people in their congregations or in order to please men (rather than God) and keep a steady revenue stream. So let us never forget the commandments and admonitions of our God. Let us all remember that one day, no matter how high we rise in the eyes of the world, no matter how much money we make, no matter how sexy we are - we must give account to a God who is no respecter of persons and cannot be bribed.

Slow and steady wins this race for it is a race of endurance, not a sprint.

But he that shall endure unto the end,
the same shall be saved.
(Matt 24:13 [KJV])



14 Mar

Nehemiah Part XXVIII


And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was
before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the
 law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought
 the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear
with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
(Neh 8:1-2)

This is the public reading of the law. Nehemiah was taking pains to remind the people who their God was and what he expected of them. The same kind of assembly is mentioned in Ezra chapter three, however that assembly was to restore the altar. This was occasion was to re-read the Mosaic law before all the people.

This all took place on the first day of the Seventh month. This is the beginning of the fall feasts of Israel and is the Feast of Trumpets.

Image Source: End Time Pilgrim


This reading was done by Ezra, the scribe at the water gate. It is difficult to determine exactly where this gate was located. I will give you just a bit here from K&D as it comments on Ezra chapter Three.

The water-gate towards the east, judging from Neh_12:37, lay beyond the south-eastern corner of the temple area. Bertheau, reasoning upon the view that the open space of the house of God, where Ezra spoke to the assembled people (Ezr_10:9), is identical with the open place before the water-gate mentioned Neh_8:1, Neh_8:3, Neh_8:16, places it on the east side of the temple area, near where the golden gate (Rab er Rahme) now stands. This identity, however, cannot be proved; and even if it could, it would by no means follow that this open space lay on the east side of the temple area. - K&D

While the KJV renders the word 'into the street' other versions use 'into the broad place'. It's not clear if this was a literal street of just some large place or courtyard that could fit the multitude of people. The word in question is this one from Strong's.
H7339
rchob
rekh-obe' or rchowb {rekh-obe'};
from 7337; a width, i.e. (concretely) avenue or area:--broad place (way), street. See also 1050. see HEBREW for 07337 see HEBREW for 01050
What this appears to be is just a continuation of the religious reforms we saw back in the later part of Chapter seven. Remember when Nehemiah wanted proof of Levitical heritage and credentials of the Priesthood? What is rather interesting here is that the reading of the Law was not some order given by Nehemiah and his faction and or even the Priesthood. Rather, it was requested by the people themselves. Why? Seventy years of exile, seeing your cities lie in ruins and significant maltreatment of you, your wives and children by others can do wondrous things for your spiritual outlook. You begin to take God, his commandments and exhortations with far more seriousness, than when the wine vats are full, lots of food in the cupboard, the people are partying and sacrificing their kids to Baal and there is no rebuke for it, just more milk and honey in the land the the Lord had given them.

When God finally was compelled to severely chastise and judge his people and they had to deal with 70 years of sorrow and humiliation, their attitude changed. Now, instead of laughing and mocking the words of the Lord and his servants, they eagerly wanted to hear it. Ezra was still around to make it happen.

I think it important that we look at Ezra for just a moment, though God willing, we will go through that book when I complete this commentary on Nehemiah. It is noteworthy that after all of the political intrigue and bickering, the plots and the attempts at sabotage, that this is the first time a person with the stature of Ezra is mentioned. This silence is significant.  Moreover as we remember, the elite of those days had severely repressed the poor and Nehemiah had to step in and correct these grievous sins. Again, no mention of Ezra. The Bible does not tell us why he is not mentioned, nor do we know on what side Ezra stood in the feud between Nehemiah and the Tobias faction. But it does not seem likely he sided with Tobais as there was intermarriage there, something he had decried. There have been many theories offered on this. I will give you a couple.

First, some think that after he did his best to bring in some of his reforms, he returned to Babylon for an extended period of time and consequently was either not present during the building or was still somewhat disconnected from the political/religious happenings. It was a period, according to commentators of about 12 years in between.

Another theory is that Ezra remained in Jerusalem but when he saw that his reforms were not taking root (especially on the intermarriage of the Priesthood), he became discouraged and ceased to play a major role in the political/religious life of the returnee's but Nehemiah's work and reforms changed that.

Another theory (my own) is that Ezra did not want to take sides in the political battle until he saw that Nehemiah was serious about the kinds of religious reforms he knew the people needed. Building a wall was great, but were you really going to dedicate your work and the people's future to the LORD? I note that Ezra did not appear until after the reforms of chapter 7 are completed. It may have been a condition for his appearing at this feast/assembly.

And he read therein before the street that was before
the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women,
and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were
attentive unto the book of the law.
(Neh 8:3)


So Ezra the scribe, after facing some failures, finally begins to see many of the reforms that he had tried to bring in before.  I think it important that I make this point. Ezra's attempt to stop marriage with the heathen was a key spiritual issue for Israel. These ungodly relationships would turn the heart of the people away from their God. I offer King Solomon as a perfect example of this. He had all those wives and eventually, he turned from hearing the Lord. Here is what Ezra prayed many years before Nehemiah came onto the scene.

Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying,
The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated
themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations,
 even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites,
the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons:
 so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands:
 yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked
off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.
Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the
God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away;
and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.

(Ezr 9:1-4)


Do you know that the New Testament gives us many of the same admonitions? First that we are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2Cor 6:14). This is not just inadvisable, it's sin. The same goes with the institution of Marriage. The Church and Israel both have a solemn obligation not to get too close to the world and the lost. Yes, we must deal with them on a day to day basis, but there are strong admonitions against getting too close. Intermarriage was one of those things. It was one of the reasons Israel fell into such disfavor with God in the first place. The point here is that bad relationships, ungodly relationships are a serious threat to the spiritual health of the Godly. Ezra saw this and hence his prayer.

The people who attended Nehemiah assembly had the right attitude. This was not some kind of 'oh God, do we have to listen to this' kind of attitude that people had. They eagerly wanted to hear the Law. We need to keep this in mind. The Law was kept by the priests. There were no bookstores that carried copies of it nor internet sites that had commentary of it. Things were written by hand. The scribes had to painstakingly write the law down on parchment. So hearing the law like this was an event. Most people had probably never heard all of it before. Now they did and had it read by someone that men respected. This is a sea change in attitude from before the Exile.

One of the biggest impediments that people have to hearing truth and doing right is their attitude. Many people as soon as they hear the gospel have all of these negative images of Christians and the Church and immediately start to turn off. For Israel, years in the PS school system changed that. I don't mean 'Public School' system, but rather the Pain and Suffering school system. The class? Attitude adjustment, 101.

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

12 Mar

Fulani Militants Kill Over 20 in Nigeria with Machetes and Gunfire

Attacks Resume in Benue State Despite Anti-Open Grazing Law
03/11/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on the morning of March 4, 2019, Fulani militants attacked Tse-Tema Dula, Tse-Ugor, and Tse-Jabu villages of Mbacohon area in Gwer West Local Council area of Benue State. According to ICC’s local sources, 23 people were killed. Confirming the attacks, Reuben, a member of the Gwer West legislative council, said, “It was bad. They killed over 20 people. Some were killed by gunshots and some by machete hacks!” While speaking of the aftermath for those who survived, Reuben lamented, “The displaced persons are scattered all over, some in Naka, the Local Government headquarters.”

Three days after the village attacks, the militants again launched another attack at Tse-Ikyo Mke, Mbapupur community in the same Local Council area. This time, three people were killed.  Commenting on this attack, a local pastor named Reverend Ajoh shared, “Even today, they attacked. One of my members came to report that his father was killed, and another member said his son-in-law was also killed.” All three of the victims, Stephen Uper, Kwaghkunda Ngyeegh, and Denis Iorundu, were married with children.

The communities in Benue State are predominantly agrarian. The farming communities have suffered several years of violent confrontation by nomadic herdsmen who prefer open-grazing cattle breeding, a practice that has resulted in instances of destruction of farmland. As an approach to a solution, the state government enacted legislation providing for ranching instead of open-grazing, which took effect on May 22, 2017. Shortly after this law was implemented, attacks worsened for several months, culminating in more than 70 people being killed in early January 2018.

The law has caused some of the herdsmen to claim that it was deliberately aimed at upturning their generational lifestyle and culture of nomadic cattle breeding, as well as a deliberate attempt to expel them from the state and deny them their constitutional right of freedom of movement. However, Taraba State, which shares a boundary with Benue, has also instituted a similar law, given the years of violence between the Christian farmers and Fulani militants.

Until this incident, the situation had been relatively calm in Benue State for almost a year, and the majority of citizens were hopeful that the peace could be sustained. But with the resurgence of attacks, some local community leaders now believe that the Fulani militants likely refrained from confrontation to allow for a peaceful presidential election, having shown support for their kinsman President Buhari. According to a local source, “Before the presidential election, they moved away, but they are now returning in their hundreds. They don’t like the current governor, and don’t want him to return, so they would want to disrupt the state elections. Buhari has not been happy with him because he refused to cede land for ‘cattle colonies.’”

A senior aide in the Palace of the Tor Tiv, the paramount ruler over the Tiv tribe, confirmed the attacks, saying, “Recently, they (herdsmen’s militia) resumed attacking simultaneously in three areas now that their man has won the presidential election.” He added, “Some are still missing in the bush and the search is ongoing.” He further disclosed that security reinforcements have been sent to the affected areas. Expressing faith for divine intervention, Pastor Ajoh said, “The Church in Benue is praying and we know that our God will never disappoint us!” - Persecution.org

India: Christians Turned Out Of Houses Of Worship

HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Churches in Tamil Nadu, India that had never experienced opposition now find Hindu extremists forcing them out of their places of worship, sources said.

In one case Hindu extremists called praying women prostitutes and threatened to kill them; in another case near Chennai, the state capital, police went door-to-door with a radical Hindu telling people not to meet for worship; in a third case, the owner of the property where the church meets ordered them to vacate after opponents set a fire inside. - Continues at MorningStarNews

Are Few Saved?

A Catholic view, or rather views throughout the ages. The link comes from a site called Mystics Of The Church.

I get a lot of crap for saying but say it I will - Hell is a place and real people go there every single day.

Not one singly solitary soul who arrives there really believed in its existence. If they did and knew what it was all about they would do all in their power to never get sent there. I think many of you have heard testimonies of those souls who went and God was gracious to call back to warn us all. There have been many, some very credible, others not so much.

But the vast majority who wind up there were warned. In the Church age, folks have been warned. People for the most part know about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I post this Catholic link because I want to show you that the Catholics understand this - though many modern Protestants often soft peddle the doctrine. (I will make no comment on the doctrine of purgatory other than to say I think it is a theological misunderstanding of the Judgement seat of Christ).

Hell was never meant for mankind. It was made for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41), those celestial beings who rebelled against God. But man can choose to go there by choosing to follow after the ways of those fallen beings into rebellion against God.

Christ Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross gives every man, woman and child the chance to break free of the bonds of that sin and rebellion and come back into full fellowship with God, who truly loves us all.

DO NOT GO TO HELL.

It is not a joke and it is not a metaphor but an eternal spiritual reality that every man woman and child will one day believe in whether he wants to or not because whether the soul be in heaven or in hell - they will know about hell.

9 Mar

Judging God

One of the most supreme acts of blasphemy I think there is, is trying to judge God, how he does things and why. It is kind of like a single-celled creature in a test tube trying to pass judgment on Einstein. Such a creature is hardly even capable of thought, let alone sound judgment.

I say this because I can remember a conversation I had a long time ago with a dark figure who passed Judgment on God when he said that he was wrong to use other nations to judge America. That we were righteous and other nations were evil and therefore only an 'evil God' would allow others to judge America. Those were not this persons exact words, but that was the gist of his argument. To him all righteousness began and ended with America and her form of government... and how dare God judge us!

This is one key failing I think that Job had in his argument - at times, he comes perilously close to accusing God of being unjust and unrighteous because of the way he saw that he was being treated. We must never, ever adopt such an attitude. We don't have all the facts (Job did not) and we, when we attempt to Judge God or take a negative attitude about what he is doing, we are like a blind man trying to explain the ever moving images on a TV. It isn't possible. He can't see.

Neither can we unless God gives us light to see.

I got a link from a reader today, it's one I saw several days ago and may have even linked to. It was about women -  these new kinds of women in the Pulpit in Western Christianity. Here is the link. These are the kinds of people who are preaching and teaching in the pulpit? Is it any wonder American Christianity is in such a state?!

The first problem with women preachers is this. They are in abject rebellion against God.


But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp
 authority over the man, but to be in silence.
 (I Timothy 2:12 [KJVA])

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


It's right there in scripture. Why are women preaching today? For the same reason that Eve ate of the tree of good and evil. They did their own reasoning and decided that they knew better than God.


And when the woman saw that the tree was
 good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes,
 and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took
of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her
 husband with her; and he did eat.
(Genesis 3:6 [KJVA])


She said to herself - God was wrong, the serpent was right -  that food looks good to me, why should I obey the Lord? Then she rebelled. The same thing is happening in pulpits across America. Women pastors say, God is wrong, the serpent is right, I know as much as any man preacher!

You know what it is? These women don't accept God's word. But it goes right back to the original sin. Eve did not accept God's word either. What was it that Satan said to her?

"Yeah, hath God said..." (Gen 3:1a)

Then they get up there and rebel... and teach others to rebel as well. Remember Jezebel? Both old and new Testament.

We humans can be some arrogant creatures and our arrogance stems from our wickedness and departure from God. Rather than humbly obeying God and his commandments too many people are out to show God wrong; that they know best.

Brothers and sisters. I say this not to denigrate women, because if you want my own personal opinion, women could be great pastors as good as any man... if God allowed them to be so. But once a woman steps into that pulpit as a preacher or teacher she is no longer a preacher of God, but a deceiver  - first of herself and second of those who heed her. I am not wise enough to know why God forbids women in the Pulpit, but I am wise enough to obey God, even and especially if those commandments don't necessarily make sense to me.

Did it make sense that God only choose Levites to minster in his temple? That was his choice and it was his to make as to whose ministrations he would accept in his temple. Again, God has his way of doing things. If you want to get into the kingdom of Heaven and escape damnation, you had better line up your life with God.

But let me make this clear. Women can be evangelists. They can be prophets, they can teach Sunday school and yes, they can Blog. There are many things women can do. But there are some things that God has forbidden them and I think it goes right back to the original sin. He is going to test women on this point one more time - "...listen to the Lord or listen to the serpent" is I think the message he is sending.

I hope my women readers here are not offended in this. But God has is way of doing things and mankind, his. We must choose which way we are going to do things.

I will do my best to do as God bids and it is my sincerest hope all of you do as well.


6 Mar

NYT, WHO Gang Up On Anti-Vaxxers

This is a growing movement and clearly it is having an effect on people. The above link out of the NYT looks at how the establishment see it. Note that there is no 'authorship' in the article and is ascribed to the Board. How safe are vaccines? Are they all dangerous? Some? Any? This is not a question I feel the least bit competent to answer. But I will say this, there is an enormous amount of money being spent by those who sell vaccines to get or even force people to take them.

More here

And here.

Vaccines are a very contentious issue. Frankly I think both sides of the argument have a lot to say for themselves. Vaccines have indeed saved countless lives (think Polio). In many places in the developing world, they can indeed continue to do much good. That is not to say that things like Autism and other unfortunate effects of vaccines are not real, I think they are and are being downplayed by an industry that is motivated by two factors. First, the Genuine need and desire to help others and prevent the spread of disease and second by a very lucrative revenue stream - particularly if they can get state governments to buy millions of doses of vaccines in 'forced' vaccination programs. This creates a permanent state-sponsored revenue stream.

But my concern with vaccines are different. We have seen use of vaccines to bring in compulsory sterilization and always on of people of color. While the UN and others have gone into PR overdrive, many African leaders and doctors have made it clear that someone is putting things in Vaccines that are sterilizing Africans. Its not just Africans. forces (or secret) sterilizations are reserved for non-whites.

This has been a long pattern, not a conspiracy theory despite what industry 'professionals' may say - or rather, get paid to say.  Do you see any Black faces here?

This is the danger I see with vaccines. The way they could potentially be covertly used for programs that the elite will never tell us. A quiet subcontract to a company that is being secretly funded by those with a radical de-population agenda; a multi-billionaire with radical views on race and population control who pays people to look the other way while they run an experiment. These things happen. The Ebola outbreak we had a few years ago was one of those experiments, contracted out of a US company. Indications (with admittedly little proof that can be shared) was that the purpose of the outbreak was not to kill as many as possible, but to scare the world and then test and later market a cure that had already been developed at considerable profit. A cure that, by the way was not used as officials quietly found out what was going on and decided not to reward the company. Just so you know, these contracts are lucrative. This is an industry -  their job is to make money.

I probably should spend more time on this subject today as it is an important one, but many sites have beat this subject to death often with spin that is more 'scary' than circumspect.

I think the key to understand is that both sides of this debate have very important points to make, but one issue that officials are loath to deal with are those with a lot of money or political influence who know how to insert themselves into the Aid and Medical systems to make money at any cost, including the lives of others or who have their own agenda as to who should live, die or be experimented upon.

This is why we have to be wary, but not paranoid about Vaccines. They can do a lot of good, but even more harm in the hands of the wrong people.

Yet today, I see a narrative being created by the powerful men in this country for a reason that is not yet clear. Perhaps they see a bioweapon being unleashed on the nation and want to make sure they can forestall/combat  it. This is a very serious threat.  Yes, some of America's geopolitical rivals have very potent bioweapons and indeed have used them on the US before, though usually targeting agriculture (in order to conduct economic warfare. covertly).  I think this is probably one key driver behind the tactics we are seeing today against those who have concerns about vaccines.

Another reason may be that BigPharma is concerned about their profits now as people now are talking more about generic drugs and them having to start to answer pointed questions about such things on the Hill. Perhaps now they want to find a new revenue streams.  Forced vaccinations at a few dollars a pop? Do that to a few million people a few times a year and you can offset any losses you may have from other sources.

I can tell you there is money and power behind silencing one side of the debate. Censorship? We have seen this too. It is happening right now. Some don't want debate, they want only one side of the issue discussed. Censorship on such a critical issue? Where is that coming from? I can tell you that many of today's big names in drugs are direct descendants of Nazi Germany's IG Farben.

You can read about the mergers that happened later here.

For the most part I just don't think you are dealing with nice people who are telling us to trust to inject us with things we don't understand.

Then there is the science - everyone cites some scientific study that 'proves' something.  I know, many of you have read the recent news.

Major Study 'Confirms' No Autism Link To Measles Vaccine

So the big major papers are saying. The research was done over a long period of time. Time Magazine reports in the link above.

Like all science, its like the major media. Bias's often spring from the pocketbook. Find out who is paying the bills and one can predict with alarming accuracy any slant or results.

The actual study can be found here. It was partially funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. This company attended the World Vaccine Congress and is involved in vaccine production.


Forgive me, but this just looks to me too much like the fox investigating the hen house. 

I am not saying that there is a link to Autisim or any disease or serious medical condition. I don't know. But if there is one, I don't expect anyone who identified it to stay in business for very long.

Overall I have to be fair to policy makers. Their considerable concern with anti-Vaxxers and it is a real one and cannot be understated. In many places where there are epidemics we have seen people refuse vaccines because of concerns over these very issues. In an area where there is an epidemic, this is a very serious concern to those who have to deal with an outbreak. So the debate is more complex that either side wants to make out. Vaccines have indeed saved countless lives in the past. From Polio to Measles they can do a lot of good if done correctly. But when these big companies get involved their job is less about public health but to use a guilt trip over public health to rake in the billions or other dark forces who have another agenda, to test something new on poor Black Africans who have no resources to fight back legally when they sterilize them to reduce the population of Africans.

Look this is not any kind of conspiracy theory - if you think I am off, go and read this and check out the video.

So lets get real. Those who are pushing these Vaccines are making a mint. They see those who are asking pointed questions as being a threat to their business model. So they demonize them call them 'conspiracy theorists' when in fact the record shows that there is no theory involved - many powerful folks have come right out and said what they want to do - reduce the population. How do you accomplish that?

I will let you figure that one out.



4 Mar

The Power Of Prayer

We Christians make a fatal mistake when we don't take our prayer life seriously. Prayer is when we communicate with God. When we talk to him and do so on his terms, he will listen to us. Yes, he really will. One of the biggest problems with prayer and the prayer life of many is that they won't come to God on his terms, but want to approach him on theirs. Such a man will never get anywhere with God. James laid out this principle clearly in his epistle. Here, James lays out how one can receive wisdom from the Lord.

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



This is one key to getting an answer from God - faith. Not mental belief, but faith - an issue I have talked about before. You want an answer from God? You have to believe that he is and will reward you for your diligent efforts to interact with him. But most of you know that. Another? Humility - particularly spiritual humility (coupled with a repentant attitude) will open doors in the corridors of heaven (see Luke 18:13). These are two key traits for successful prayer, a person who has faith and has spiritually prepared himself to interact with God. A self righteous unbeliever has little chance of being heard, whereas a spiritually humble person who has the faith even of a mustard seed, will gain the ear of God and will certainly receive some kind of answer from the Lord.

God hears those souls whose hearts are broken and who rend their hearts before him. How many of you remember the story of Hannah and how she was derided by others because she could not bear a son. Back in those days, not having children was a sign of considerable social embarrassment. She endured the taunts of others for years because she was barren.
 
So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh,
and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon
a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD,
and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said,
O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction
of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget
 thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid
a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD
all the days of his life, and there shall
no razor come upon his head.
(I Samuel 1:9-11 [KJV])

Hannah lifted up her voice to the Lord and not only that, as the passage said she wept sore. She poured out her heart before the God of heaven. She eventually got the answer she sought in the person of Samuel, one of the greatest prophets/judges of the Old Testament. But she had to go through sorrow first. I often think (my own opinion) was that God wanted Hannah to have a child always, but wanted her to know who had given it her and thus raise up the child correctly so that God could use the child of her womb to his purposes and glory.

Thus God was waiting for her to come to him and dedicate the child to his service. Yes, there are times God withholds things from us so that we come to him and before we obtain them, make sure that we use them wisely and remember who it was that gave such things to us. God has his agenda and we have ours, we must line up our lives with God's agenda (will) and in Hannah's case, I think this may have been what was happening and why God had shut up her womb.

This is why this other key point in successful prayer is so important. We must pray according to God's will, not ours. This is what trips up a lot of folks. God is not a genie. He is not our slave, and he is not a celestial waiter, waiting to take our orders and serve us our desires on a silver platter. No, the reverse is the case. We are to serve him and that word service often gets lost in the translation in today's 'touchy-feely' gospel.

But God does hear prayer and particularly the prayers of those whom he see's as being his and righteous. Mind you, not self righteous, but those whom he declares righteous and has set his love upon, who honor and serve him in spirit and in truth.  The effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).

Answered Prayers

Well, we have gotten a lot of results here at this site when we all set our hearts to pray for each other.

 [This section removed as it listed specific instances of answered prayers of readers and has been removed from this public page - MSW]

Yes, God does answer prayers when we bring our supplications to him in faith. Praise his Holy name!! We get a a lot of answered prayers here from Jobs, to healing, to family situations. We pray here at this site and get answers from the Lord, for the The effectual Prayer of a Righteous Person availeth much!


I did want to pass this on as well as one reader made plain and asked me to pass on to you.

Consider all options when looking for work. One reader here wanted me to exhort you all be open to moving for work. This reader laid out a situation with a relative graduated and had to move from one state to another and found work. She said that if God is calling you to move, you should do so. I say also that if God calls you to move, you should do so. Get before God, get into your prayer closet and seek God's face.

In order for Abraham to fulfill his mission with God, he had to move. In order for me to fulfill mine, I had to move. You may get a rash of harsh and evil words spoken when you do God's will whatever his will may be, but do it nonetheless. I had to endure it, one day most of you will too. Get before God on moving for work - he may be calling you to another location for reasons that are not wholly clear to you now and has little to do with employment. Those reasons will only materialize when you do as he commands. Sometimes, God moves you because he wants to move you away from situations, people or even events that are to come. Coming out of Babylon will indeed require moving for those who live there.

When I moved to Maryland 23 years ago, I did not understand why. I really did not. But now that I have served God for many years online I have much better sense as to why. My mother hit on some of it years ago. Suffice it to say, if I had remained in California, I would have had to deal with family issues that would have been exceptionally distracting. Some of my family and particularly 'friends' have treated me pretty shabbily because I did not fit the plastic mold they had for me, I wasn't smokin', drinking and screwing every chick who wanted to leap in bed- wasn't trying to get the biggest car, the biggest house, the finest wife and many cute mistresses and have people who only liked be because I had money worship at my feet.  I wasn't 'cool' and frankly never wanted to be. I have always felt that those who feel they must fit in with fleeting social cues are superficial, lack character and lack an inner 'anchor'. They tend to be fair weather friends and often turn into foul weather enemies.

They never understood me and never wanted to. I was not the kind of person they wanted to show off to their friends and was often treated like the 'black sheep'. But that was good for me. It taught me early on that many relationships in this world just gotta go and that includes some family. Christ warned us of this in the gospels on several occasions. That we have to forsake all or at least be willing to and that was not a figure of speech. Family was very much included in those things that may have to go (Matt 19:29).

One reader here wrote me about a month ago about some serious family issues they were dealing with. They were indeed very serious. But in these times of crazy Americans, anti-depressant addicted, opioid addicted and often mentally unstable people, family problems are just going to be par for the course. We must prepare ourselves for family members who are going to flip out and become dangerous to us. The side effects of some of those anti-depressants may be worse than the 'disease' of feeling a little low. They can include suicidal thoughts and turning you literally into a maniac.

My point here is an important one. God's guidance on these issues is essential and prayer is the way we communicate with God. God sometimes has to protect us from relationships he knows we want to keep and he knows that we need to cut loose of before they do us serious physical, emotional or spiritual harm. One of the key aspects of holiness is separation.

 Wherefore come out from among them,
and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch
 not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be
my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
(II Corinthians 6:17-18 [KJV])


We must come out and be separate. Living and walking in the light is going to make us 'persona-non-grata' in a great many places, including some family gatherings. We just are not going to be welcome.

Don't be offended nor bitter. Don't be dismayed or confused about it and if I may offer one little tidbit of personal (not spiritual) advice, let me offer it here as it may prove useful to you in the future.

Never go anywhere that you are not nor don't feel 100% welcome. Don't burden family with your presence if some of your family members don't want you there. Don't bless such a table with the blessing of one of God's true servants if you are not welcome. Don't be angry, do your best not to be hurt, but mark it for future reference and never go where you are not 100% welcome.

Don't burden the home of another with the presence of a saint if a saint's presence is not wanted. If they would rather have a drunken fornicator who deals pot on the side present at such a function than you, take a hint... you probably should not be there anyway.

You must represent God in all you do and oftentimes we may not understand why some family start to treat us badly - often it is because the devil has been working on them. Take such recognition of your faith and their desire to be away from you as a badge of honor, not as a sign of shame. There is something fundamentally different about you and your walk and those who walk in darkness don't want that light around them.

I exhort you all to toughen up, develop thick skin and learn to take the slights and even hatred others will have of you, not as a sign of shame but of evidence that your life is shining in a way that those who know not God, don't like. How do you think those believers in China are dealing with the stuff they have to go through - they go to a prayer meeting and get arrested! Being arrested may be shameful or seem so in the eyes of the world, but it is not in God's eyes not when you are there because of your faith in God. YOUR FAITH IS GOING TO COST YOU. Sometimes your job, sometimes you may do time, sometimes your marriage, sometimes your friends and sometimes your family. YOUR FAITH IS GOING TO COST YOU.  So count the cost and when you come to that 'toll booth' along faith's highway, make payment joyfully as such toll booths are also signposts you are on the right road.

So brothers and sisters, pray... really pray and go wherever it is that God leads you. Do this and God will surly be with you as you go, even as he was with Abraham, when he pulled up stakes and left Ur of the Chaldees to a place that God did not even tell him.

Have faith, fear not and one thing I believe that should be also said here is this. Even within the Church there is a separation taking place. Those who follow the commandments of God (as revealed in the Bible) and those who make light of them, dismiss them or teach others to rebel against them. This separation has been going on for some time and it is intensifying. I have a reader here (a former pastor) whose Church Separated from a major denomination over false teachings and apostasy. So in these dangerous times, I exhort you all to pray,  pray regularly and pray in the spirit that God may guide and keep you in these deceptive and dangerous times.

In Christ,

Brother Mark


28 Feb

Oooooops!

I am sorry about those two pdf reports on Abortion and the bad links. That happens from time to time when I cut and paste from the private pages on to this one and I don't pay attention to detail! Forgive the oversight.

Here are the reports.

Health Care Funding: Federal Obligations to and Expenditures by Selected Organizations Involved in Health-Related Activities, Fiscal Years 2013–2015

Senate Investigative Report On Planned Parenthood and 'Baby Parts' (very large 60MB)


27 Feb

Times And Seasons

God richly bless all of you in Christ in these strange and difficult times.

Our times are full of strange events many of which have great prophetic significance. Some of the bigger and most important ones are happening daily but are not marked by people, even Christians as having any particular prophetic significance. 

The first is something all readers here are aware of, that issue is that of rising persecution of Christians. It's one that I know many of you here constantly pray over and I certainly hope you continue to. Another major issue is the rise of wickedness and the growing indifference to and even glorification of evil. I am often shocked at the kinds of crimes we see today. The shootings, the drug abuse, the gangland violence and the gluttony. Yes, today, they call such things 'eating disorders' but in essence, its nothing more than gluttony given a political correct term that is carefully designed not to assign personal responsibility for ones choices.

Yet too many Americans, they don't produce anything, don't do anything, but rather expect to have it all. Some get downright belligerent and demand 'their share' in a pie they had no part in creating.

I often think on how hard it was for those people who built this nation up from the ground up, the hard work, the sacrifices and often unrewarded work - the sweat, the blood and toil... and then I look at many in this rising generation of Americans who think somehow they have a right to the fruit of someone else's labor by virtue of them being born. I am often struck by the haughtiness, the selfishness the sense of 'entitlement' and the violence that has struck the land, not just America but so much of this troubled planet. How did Paul sum this up.


 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,
boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers,
 false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that
are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than
lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:
 from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which
creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins,
 led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never
able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

(II Timothy 3:1-7 [KJV])

I listen to our political leaders, I watch and listen to Americans, even the music that people listen to and I hear nothing but a search for sex, pleasure, material possessions and that ancient god that many men and women have long worshiped at its altar. I call it the god of 'more'. They want more of whatever they have -  they want more, bigger, better; the latest and the greatest, the biggest and the baddest. More and more are driven by a constant desire for that path to what they think is their personal 'nirvana'... more. When we hear the political debate what is the constant focus? The economy. It's money and the 'gods of the land of more' that are worshiped in the land.

Look at the other problems with America's pleasure seeking. The drug problem. I have talked at length about the opiod crisis, but it is hardly the only problem. We still have other serious drug problems in the country. What are people doing? Why?  I will tell you. They want to escape from reality. A reality that for many means working hard and making sacrifices today for tomorrow -  this is no longer considered an option. They don't want to deal with reality so they turn to drugs.

They turn to drugs  because it provides release from the harsh realities on our twisted world. It is a problem all over the country. What is one of the biggest new markets in technology today? I will tell you - virtual reality. It's people who for various reasons want to escape from the real world and create one that is to their liking. There is a lot of money being invested in it because designers know that people are looking for ways to escape reality. We have I think more and more raised a generation of snowflakes;  wimps and emotional basket cases that dwell inside the body of an adult.


But in our times the rise of satanism and many other religious systems that have less rigorous and non-demanding codes of morality are also making their headway into America's consciousness. I look for more of this as America breaks its link with Biblical Christianity - the religion that made this country into the richest, most powerful and for a long time, the most envied nation on earth. Now we are exchanging the God of the Bible for the gods of those nations where poverty and repression have for a long time, reigned supreme. Nation's that people in those places want to escape from in order to come and live here.

It has been a slow process, but America is indeed in the process of changing its gods.

The adherents to these new gods think that industrial scale murder in the form of abortion is OK. They do not mark that God will indeed compel every man and women to give account of every deed, every thought and every intent of their heart at the great day of Judgment. Deep inside, every man woman and child knows that there is a God. it is ingrained into our DNA. Don't believe me? Atheists are often the first ones to cry out 'Oh God' when faced with sudden danger or sitting in foxhole.

These are times of increasing moral relativism and open sin. Right and wrong, good and evil are being blurred in the ever-search for pleasure, power and wealth in our world. The rise of selfishness, evil and even outright satanism are very important signs of our times.

But I think another troubling sign of our times is the rise of all of this technology. The rise of new discoveries that can even 'edit' a baby's DNA into what someone wants it to be. We saw in China where this was done. But be assured of this - things have come much further than they are telling us.

Our world has many troubles. One of the biggest is that men often cannot live at peace with his brother. All over the world conflict and war, death and atrocities take place, many of them go unreported to us... until someone digs up a mass grave. Man can build ships that go to the moon, but cannot feed his brother, he can create new forms of DNA altered babies but lets those not altered die by the thousands in human manufactured famines. The world more and more is demonstrating what I will call 'progressional evil'. There is progress to be sure, but that progress is more and more being used for evil purposes. Yes, it is always advertised as good, but secretly it is being used for evil. Where do you think this human gene editing will used? I will tell you the very first goal of governments with this tech. I will be to create new genetically modified soldiers, that link by the way is quite interesting and shows you where they will ultimately take this.

Yes, I suspect that an entirely new race of humans will be created that will be genetically superior to us -  'Homo Superior', if you will. Hitlers dream of supermen will indeed be a realty out of the scientific laboratory.

So let us all keep our eyes on events in our times. No, the antichrist system has not fully arrived yet. We have yet to see the 10 kings (who have no kingdom at first) destroy the harlot and then later bring in their 42 month final beast-antichrist system. That is because I think many things must transpire first. One of the most important is the continued rise of evil and rebellion against God to the point that men will willingly accept what the false prophet is preaching. What is he preaching? Blasphemy.

 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking
great things and blasphemies; and power was given
unto him to continue forty and two months.
 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,
to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle,
and them that dwell in heaven.
(Rev13:5-6 [KJV])

The world is not quite ready for this yet. Further 'satanic preparations' must be made before such a sermon is widely accepted. Yet the world is  indeed moving in such a direction. There will be great mockery and blasphemy one day and it will be specifically directed at the God of the Bible. One thing that I can assure you will be preached from the devils pulpit will be along the lines that the Apostle Peter warned us about.
And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since
the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were
from the beginning of the creation.
For this they willingly
 are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old,
and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed
with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth,
which are now, by the same word are kept in store,
reserved unto fire against the day of judgment
and perdition of ungodly men.
But, beloved, be not
ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord
 as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering
to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance.

(II Peter 3:4-9 [KJV])
 
Jesus took too long will be the cry. Did you know that one major Christian leader in the world today cites this and when he did, no longer believed the Gospel? Yet he was leading a major Christian denomination. Yes, brothers the hour is late.

So let us all strengthen our souls, steel our hearts for the things that will come. Let us spend some time in the prayer closet not just for our own personal desires, but that God will raise up voices and prophets, pastors and other leaders who will stand up, not so much for the institutional Church, not for man made institutions, but for Jesus Christ and the simplicity of the Gospel. God knows we need men who have received that special anointing from God to come forward.

May God bless and keep all of you who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

26 Feb

When The Next Recession Comes

... and come it will, we should all be prepared for what it could mean for us all. Right now, according to our leaders and key economists who set policy, things are going along well, quite nicely in fact. They can cite various numbers and statistics that tell us that the economy is doing well. They cite employment numbers that are statistically speaking, at near record lows. They cite different statistics that show us the wonders of America style capitalism.


I think the last government shutdown was a wake up call to a lot of folks. Why? Because as many experienced first hand, they are just a couple of paychecks from living on the street, and that is no figure of speech. People... a great many people live paycheck to paycheck or close to it, they will be hit hardest and the fastest in a recession. You know the saddest part in my mind is that often there is absolutely no warning when a person is about to lose their jobs. None. They go into work one morning like any other morning and you know what? The employee card that they swipe to get in does not work. They try it again and it still does not work. Then they call to the office and someone comes down with a check and some forms to sign.

Then they realize that they are now unemployed.

I have heard this tale many-a-time. I am sure some of you have as well. We will be hearing it some more when the next recession hits us.

Now what I don't want to say or give anyone the impression that I think a recession is right around the corner. I don't think it is. We will probably go through a period of slow growth, but not a recession yet. Perhaps not for while, much to the chagrin of those who are hoping for one to oust the President. But I see no recession soon, neither do others. My point is a different one.

What are people going to do when it does occur? How hard will it hurt the ordinary guy? The key I want to impress on you is that you are not going to hear how bad things are for a great many people in the media. They rarely talk about it in those terms. It was only when the votes were counted in 2016 and those who felt economically marginalized rose up and replaced the taxers, spenders and free traders who taxed, spent and 'free-traded' millions of Americans out of their formerly good paying jobs. The Media did not report it - the vote tally did.


Moreover what will drive the next recession? I cannot tell you. A prolonged trade war with China will certainly be a contributing factor. Or China just going itself going into a deep recession, pulling the US down with it - a real possibility. Then there are those ordinary cyclical factors that always effect large economies like Americas also will play a role. But one thing that will make things hard for all of us is if we have some kind of debt based banking crisis, or worse a government debt crisis that forces the Fed to use extreme measures to keep the government open or the economy from imploding. Again, I am not predicting this in the near term, but I think it likely in the medium to long term. In fact, it is a mathematical certainty. They have not yet found a way to repeal the laws of mathematics. It is just a matter of what factors push us over the fiscal cliff (the debt/deficit). Barring tough choices no one in Congress or the White House will ever make (and stay in office) this is just about a forgone conclusion. In fact, if there is any poison pill in the Trump economic model it is that it speeds up the trajectory towards American fiscal failure as it continues to heap more and more debt on the nation at a faster rate, debt that is serviced with yet more debt.

But this kind of fiscal insolvency could be overtaken by other factors. One is a major war between the great powers, Russia, China India and the US. Such a hot war, while not imminent is indeed a growing possibility as all sides become more intransigent, continue to arm and move to defend their interests. Such a war over a nation like say, Venezuela while not a probability is not totally outside of the realm of possibility.


But another factor, I think will be one that precludes the kind of fiscal meltdown that our nation is now on a mathematical trajectory on, that being that the God of heaven begins to hold the nation to account for its sins and crimes. Yes, the God of all things, begins to look at a different set of 'account books' of America and see a massive deficit -  a 'righteousness deficit' and a horrible 'wickedness surplus'.

I think of the issue of late term abortions (this link appears to have all the facts correct) is one major issue. This appears to be a growing issue that is being pushed around the country by the political left and yes, those who make money off of abortions. It's big business and it is powerfully politically protected and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Let's take a look at some non-partisan data on this subject - The Government Accountability Office, which has access to data and filings that are not available to the public.



According to data provided by HHS, the department obligated about $19.6 billion to three of the four organizations: FQHCs, IPPF, and PPFA. 12 HHS obligations to FQHCs made up most of the obligations, totaling about $19.5 billion. About 70 percent of HHS’s obligations to FQHCs were provided through 10 HHS programs, and HRSA provided the majority of obligations across all three fiscal years—approximately $11 billion. In addition to FQHCs, the department obligated about $90 million to PPFA and about $2 million to IPPF across the three fiscal years, with the HHS Office of the Secretary providing the majority of the funding for family planning services grants. USAID reported obligating about $76 million to two of the four organizations—IPPF and MSI— from fiscal years 2013 through 2015. 13 These were obligations that the department made to IPPF and MSI through four health-related program areas—family planning and reproductive health, human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome, maternal and child health, and tuberculosis.


Text and Charts Source GAO

Those of you wanting some more gruesome examples of how the economics of this works can read another extensive report out of the government done a couple of years ago. It can be found here. It includes how baby parts are sold on the open market.

But the news is not all bad, abortion appears to be trending downwards. Still, one cannot help but wonder why now this push for later term abortions.

But America's sins don't end with Abortion, there are the wars. The horrible wars the ones we never hear about or hear very little about. How much do you know about America's military operations in Somalia? Not much? Don't feel bad. Neither does Congress. But we are busy there and as we have discovered, in many places in Africa hardly anyone knew about. War. That has long been America's primary export - war and arms. How long before God calls us to account  for the millions of people killed, maimed and made homeless by America's penchant for creating new death machines and then using them on the poorest and most vulnerable? How long before he takes us to account for our sins of  pharmakeia (Drug abuse see Rev 9:21; 18:23) how long before he takes us to account for the pervasiveness of our sexual perversions and our growing animosity towards God himself?

So brothers, I suspect that before America goes fiscally bankrupt she will become morally and spiritually bankrupt and then will God raise up enemies to destroy the nation. I suspect this is one reason why God has had a kind of protecting hand on Russia. Why she continues to rise and become strong. If America does not repent, God may indeed use the Russians to take us down. Understand -  I in no way relish or desire such a thing, rather that the nation known as America repents and remembers that it is from God that we owe the blessings that are still very much upon our land and that we as a nation begin once more to honor him with deeds of righteousness, rather than with the vices of hate, violence and wantonness of every stripe.

Mind you, there are a great many men and women who have not forgotten God. They still have maintained their faith and still others who may not know God, but know right from wrong and still choose right. So I don't see God's judging hand falling upon America right away, rather the trend lines are moving in the wrong direction.

It is my hope that all of us prepare for the worst while working for and hoping for the best. That if possible, you save money for a rainy day, get before God about financial moves and residential ones as well. That you really seek God in all of your dealings and thus obtain both his favor and his guidance.


 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication
 with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 [KJVA])


22 Feb

Climate Change: Some Inconvenient Truths

Indeed very inconvenient. I do hope you get a chance to read this and digest its information its from the Jewish Policy Center. Why?

Too many people are carrying a narrative that may or may not even be true. Scientists looking for that grant money from billionaires who are pushing the Climate Change agenda are shrieking about the end of the world -  if we 'don't do something' about Global warming. Too many non-scientists are shrieking as well, because they read an article or saw a video (or movie) that scared them -  a film that was probably produced by a movie company that knows how to play with emotions... as any good filmmaker can do.

The reality? It is not what everyone believes. It rarely is. What everyone believes is very often what those with money have paid others to get them to believe and those pushing this agenda have got serious cash. They have an agenda as well to change the world, literally and radically using Climate Change is the impetus. How do you get a scientific consensus to be readily accepted by the masses? It's easy. You buy one and keep buying it.

But as the article above points out, Science on this subject is far less sure than the propagandists tell us. We really don't know how much the change we are seeing is man made or cyclical or has other causes. For those of you eternally opinionated people, it is not a sign of ignorance to say "I don't know". If you really don't know, it is often a sign of wisdom to use those words. Don't say you know if you don't and don't make up facts to support your own ignorance. There is just too much of that today (fake news).

What else could be causing the climate to change? How about a shifting Polar axis?. The poles are indeed shifting, though the causes for it no one can say for sure. But the billionaires have already found a way to blame global warming on it, rather than acknowledging that shifting poles would indeed shift weather patterns and the earths climate, they cite melting ice caps and don't acknowledge any other cause. This is called propaganda and it is all over the climate non-debate. BTW, the earths poles have always wobbled. The phenomenon is called 'Chandlers Wobble'.

The simple fact is we don't know enough about the causes of Climate Change to jump to conclusions that these well advertised and scare-us-half-to-death studies and news stories conclude. These are often ready made studies with the conclusions made long before the first piece of data is gathered...conclusions they had better reach if they ever want to get paid for the study or see money for more. But every once in a while a rather than jumps to conclusions.

So let the wiser among us be far more suspect of headlines that hit all the major news-wires that tell us of a cataclysm that will end all life on earth if we don't make drastic and radical changes in the way our world is governed and who makes key economic decisions that effect is all. Yes, the climate is changing, yes, mankind's activity has played a part, but how much is due to him and how much is due to other factors outside of our control is the question that propagandists want to evade and even lie about.

The truth at this time is not knowable but the false narrative is indeed spreadable.

Let's keep that in mind as we hear the non-debate about what really is causing Climate Change.

21 Feb

Nehemiah Part XXVII

And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers,
and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register
of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,
These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those
that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away,
and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;


Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this; The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two. The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two. The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two. The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen. The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five. The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore. The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight. The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight. The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two. The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven. The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven. The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five. The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight. The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight. The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four. The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve. The children of Gibeon, ninety and five. The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight. The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight. The men of Bethazmaveth, forty and two. The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three. The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one. The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two. The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three. The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two. The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five. The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one. The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three. The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two. The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven. The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen. The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four. The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight. The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight. The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth, The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon, The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai, The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah, The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim, The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah, The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha. The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon. All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two. And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel. The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two. And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name. These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim. The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women. Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five: Their camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses. And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests' garments. And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver. And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priests' garments. So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.

(Neh 7:5-73 - KJV)

This was an historic occasion and Nehemiah wanted it recorded for posterity some of the people who were an integral part of this piece of Jewish/Israelite history. Nehemiah was indeed listening to his God and his God was telling him to get a record of a geneology, the family names of those present. Clearly he wanted all of this set down for posterity.  So he went and did his research on who was already in Jerusalem. This genealogy appears to have come from the very first group who arrived many years before. Nehemiah wanted to give account of who returned from the Babylonian exile, by name and number.

This appears to be the first wave of returning exiles as outlined in Ezra chapter 2. Don't worry, I will spare you any long winded, meandering commentary on the gemology!

K&D when commenting on Ezra chapter two though K&D makes a couple of points that are relevant. First is that they appear to have returned to the respective cities of their fathers (Ezra 2:1). They also think that all the ancient connections and landmarks may have been removed as a result of the captivity and the destruction. According to Mathew Henry the genealogies match up with the exception of the singers.

I confess, for the most part genealogies bore me. But if one digs a bit, interesting little asides can be found. I will only mention a couple. First Tobiah is mentioned towards the end (vs. 62). Few commentaries spend much time on this long genealogy but I note that Tobiah and his family are mentioned but commentators are clear that his name being mentioned their previous geneology was not known or recoreded. Here is what Gill Says about it.
The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, and the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two. These, though their immediate parents were known, yet by their being mentioned here, it seems as if they could not carry their genealogy further, and make it clearly appear what was the house of their fathers, or what their family. - Gill

The Cambridege Bible (notes on Ezra 2:60) notes that this geneology may have been used by some to establish a place a 'claim' amoung the free born Israelites. This may have been one reason why he had such animosity against Nehemiah - here was this politically connected upstart showing him up! We need to also keep this in mind before we are too hard on guys like Tobaiah and his house. Only very small number of Jews who could return to Jerusalem actually did. Estimates are as low as 2%. Many were quite content enjoying the pleasures of Babylon and had no intention or reason to go back. Those who did had a lot of courage and perhaps the same kind of spirit the early Pioneers and Pilgrims had when they left all to follow their dreams and faith, got into their wagons, mules and horses and went to Jerusalem, the city of their fathers. Tobiah may not have been an Israelite proper, but he was there and did intermarry with them. So those names are recorded for a reason. These were the new 'founding fathers' of post exilic Israel.


Also of significant note was that many of the chief of the fathers gave a lot of money into the Treasury. We read about this in verse 71. Twenty thousand drams of gold and two thousand pounds of silver. That would be about 1250 Ounces of Gold, if I do my calculations right. At today's bid price of $1179 per ounce that would be about $1,473,750 and that was just the gold. Keep in mind that today's prices are artificially suppressed by Central banks. They did not have those back in Nehemiah's day.

So the fathers now had a real financial stake in the success of this new project, home, city and nation -  this rebuilt Jerusalem. Here God records all of this for posterity's sake. Things become different when people expend serious work and money on something. They take personal 'ownership' in the success of the endeavor and this is what I think we are seeing here.

Another interesting aside in these genealogies is that some of the Priests were not able to continue on as Priests. Clearly Nehemiah wanted to be a stickler as to who could serve according to the law. This is mentioned rather in passing, but I think maybe we should look a bit into this. Lets go to the book of 1st Esdras who makes an historical record for those times. These apocrypha books are not considered scripture by most of today's Christians. I am not going to vouch for this book's spiritual authority, but rather use it here as an historical source. But before I do, let's take a look at a the man named  Barzillai. This is from the ISBE and I have highlighted the relevant portion.

Barzillai
bar-zil´ā̇-ı̄, bar-zil´ı̄ (בּרזלּי, bārzillay; Βερζελλί, Berzellı́, “man of iron” (BDB, but compare Cheyne, Encyclopedia Biblica)):
(1) A Gileadite of Rogelim who brought provisions to David and his army to Mahanaim, in their flight from Absalom (2Sa_17:27-29). When David was returning to Jerusalem after Absalom's defeat, Barzillai conducted him over Jordan, but being an old man of 80 years of age, he declined David's invitation to come to live in the capital, and sent instead his son Chimham (2Sa_19:31-39). David before his death charged Solomon to “show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai.” (1Ki_2:7). Cheyne in Encyclopedia Biblica, without giving any reason, differentiates this Barzillai from Barzillai the Gileadite (Ezr_2:61 = Neh_7:63). See (2) below.

(2) The father of a family of priests who in Ezra's time, after the return of the exiles, could not trace their genealogy. “Therefore were they deemed polluted and put from the priesthood.” This Barzillai had taken “a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite,” and had adopted his wife's family name (Ezr_2:61, Ezr_2:62 = Neh_7:63, Neh_7:64). His original name is given as Jaddus (the King James Version Addus) (1 Esdras 5:38). (See ZORZELLEUS; the Revised Version, margin “Phaezeldaeus.”)
(3) Barzillai the Meholathite, whose son Adriel was married to Saul's daughter, either Michal (2Sa_21:8) or Merab (1Sa_18:19). - ISBE


So lets take a look at Jaddus

Let me quote the passage here from Esdras.
The sons of Hagia, the sons of Pharacareth, the sons of Sabi, the sons of Sarothie, the sons of Masias, the sons of Gar, the sons of Addus, the sons of Suba, the sons of Apherra, the sons of Barodis, the sons of Sabat, the sons of Allom.  All the ministers of the temple, and the sons of the servants of Solomon, were three hundred seventy and two.  These came up from Thermeleth and Thelersas, Charaathalar leading them, and Aalar;  Neither could they shew their families, nor their stock, how they were of Israel: the sons of Ladan, the son of Ban, the sons of Necodan, six hundred fifty and two.  And of the priests that usurped the office of the priesthood, and were not found: the sons of Obdia, the sons of Accoz, the sons of Addus, who married Augia one of the daughters of Barzelus, and was named after his name.  And when the description of the kindred of these men was sought in the register, and was not found, they were removed from executing the office of the priesthood:  For unto them said Nehemias and Atharias, that they should not be partakers of the holy things, till there arose up an high priest clothed with doctrine and truth.
(I Esdras 5:34-40 [KJVA])

(FYI - Accoz is Koz or rather Hakkoz [H6976]). Those listed could not prove their lineage to serve in the Priesthood based upon the records at hand. This does not necessarily mean that they were totally disqualified, only that Nehemiah had no proof of their Levitical lineage. As a consequence, they were removed from serving.

This has to have been an religious earthquake at the time for these men were serving as Priests for many years. Now Nehemiah shows up and says,  "You say you are Priests? prove it!" Now I like to read between the lines and I will give you my own humble views here. I think that Nehemiah wanted most of all to please God.  I also think he also probably saw that many of the Priests were not on his side when he rebuilt the wall. The priesthood was probably pretty firmly connected with the political order of the Pre-Nehemiah era. This I think may have been an opportunity for him to root out any continued religious opposition to the work at hand and this is what may be the backstory here is. but that is pure conjecture. Now the family of Koz and perhaps the rest of them did apper to have eventually proved their lineage at a later date. Koz being the family name of a decedent of Aaron.

We will get to Chapter eight next week, God willing!!

19 Feb

Obamacare

The Obamacare decision had a significant impact on America  - one on its political system, the other on its economy. Many on the left support it and continue to do so... that is until they get raked over the coals when they find out that the insurance they thought they had, they didn't. The horror stories are out there. Two key ones - People who are paying a lot more in premiums for a lot less in coverage and those who are paying for coverage and still wind up with bills into the tens of thousands of dollars after care.

The whole system in my and in many others opinion has become one big money making scam - instead of extracting tumors and gall stones, it extracts C-notes and thousand dollar bills. When 'Dr. Soprano' gets done with his wallet extraction surgery, you won't have so much as a bed pan to you-know-what in.

This is a massive system in this country

Data source: CMS.gov



Today's expenditures for the system is $3.4 Trillion per year. (original link)

You read that correctly, that is how much money flows through our system and don't think the unscrupulous and fraudsters are not busy trying to suck as much money from it as it can. They are very busy and don't think the DOJ is not busy trying to catch them.

The Department of Justice obtained more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division announced today.  Recoveries since 1986, when Congress substantially strengthened the civil False Claims Act, now total more than $59 billion.

“Every year, the submission of false claims to the government cheats the American taxpayer out of billions of dollars,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Panuccio. “In some cases, unscrupulous actors undermine federal healthcare programs or circumvent safeguards meant to protect the public health.  In other instances, deceitful contractors overcharge our military or sell faulty equipment to our law enforcement agencies.  Such fraud will not be tolerated by the Department of Justice.  The nearly three billion dollars recovered by the Civil Division represents the Department’s continued commitment to fighting fraudsters and cheats on behalf of the American taxpayer.”- DOJ

Look I am not going to give you a lot of links and horror stories today, they are out there and you don't have to go just to conservative sites to find them. Head on out to some of those senior blogs and sites; hit where young adults hang out on on the web, you'll find them.

The End Of Obamacare?

Let's us assume that Trump can end Obamacare, it will be very difficult as many in his own party are getting their 'palms greased' to keep the system as expensive and exploitative as possible. But lets say that he can do it. What then?

Chaos. Simple chaos will ensure for many as the whole system will lose a lot of money flowing into it from the Feds. Insurance companies will be in a quandary and many will be most confused and those on the political left will be angry -  even though they too have seen their premiums rise and rise significantly since Obamacare came into being.

But in my view a temporary period of chaos without a federal solution would not be a bad thing. I see Washington's interference in the Health Care system as being wholly unhealthy (PI). It has driven up costs costs and the money winds up in the pockets of key Washington firms that lobby Congress and the White house hard... very hard. This is why our system is so expensive and takes so much money out of the economy that could be put to much better use.

Amazon gets a lot of heat for the Retail Apocalypse, but I think that part of the problem is that ordinary people just don't have the disposable income to shop at your traditional bricks and mortar stores. I said this would be a result when Obamacare first was being debated. That folks would simply have less money to spend and that would hurt retailers. No, I don't blame all or even most retails woe's on the price of medical care, but I also cannot reasonably conclude it has not had an noticeable impact either. You take money out of someones take home pay and they simply have less to spend - period.

But dig below the employment numbers in this nation and we see a troubling tale. Tales of Americans who do not have full time work, but work part-time or as contractors. They have to, they are the only jobs available even and particularly for young people with college degrees and who have to pay back student loans. With these jobs, they are often only created so that the employer does not have to pay all manner of insurance and taxes that they would have to pay with a full time employee, These taxes, insurance and other costs are key drivers keeping people in low end, contracting and temp jobs. Obamacare in particular laid a heavy burden on employers, who because of the new requirement, cut the hours of part time employees. I say these things not to get into the Obamacare pro or con narrative, but to show you that policy decisions like this have a real effect on real people. Unemployment insurance, and other kinds of taxes that the federal government and states levy on businesses... that money comes from somewhere and often it just has to come out of the number of employee's hired or the number of hours they work. So when we hear this talk about low unemployment remember that many of those supposedly employed people are temps, contractors and part-timers who are not making that much money.

This is a trend we have been seeing for some time now, and Obamacare was just one factor in a trend of bad economic policy decisions that are keeping people in low paying jobs. The result. As we saw recently in a study done by Deutche Bank, economic mobility in the country is near to non-existant. This leads to income inequality. One of the solutions being proposed around the country is raising the mandatory minimum wage. It sounds great on the surface, but one must always remember that many small and medium sized businesses, they don't make a lot of money. They are not 'raking in the millions'. They have a modest profit in some months and may lose money in other months. An employer who has to pay his employees more and who is not doing well, he simply is not going to have any choice, he is going to have to let someone go in order to pay the higher wages, or hire them back as a part timer.  Perhaps he will hire two and then not have to pay all those insurance premiums on those new employees. We have seen many papers and studies on this, the rise of the temp or 'gig' economy. One key factor cited in professional journals is the desire  by employers to avoid those taxes and fee's insurance premiums that go with hiring a full time employee.


In my view the trillions annually our  system sucks our of our economy would be perhaps somewhat justifiable, if our mortality rates were really so very much better than the rest of the world, justifying our massive health costs, but they aren't - look at infant mortality. Our system is not the best, it's just the most corrupt and expensive. They have merely found a way to monetize our personal and national health. The American health care system more and more in my view, has become a national wealth transference system.

This view is probably not shared by most of you and that is fine. Get socked with $20,000 bill for a medical procedure you thought you were covered for and I can assure you, your opinion will shift immediately into agreement... and these things really do happen. The system is expensive and in my view, rotten.

So if Obamacare went and there was nothing put in its place what could be done? How? How can the nation provide affordable - I mean really affordable care to its citizens? Now let me make this clear when I say affordable, I am not so much talking about a system where the actual cost of care is merely shifted onto government. That simply is not working. That costs a lot of money and as the Baby Boomers retire, it is going to cost even more as they go on Medicare.


Source CBO

Many Americans think there is a magic potion to pay for all of this. They really think that somehow 'they' can fix this without 'them' having to pay for it - that somehow some magic wand can be waved, some star chart can be cast, some magic lamp can be rubbed and the money to pay for all of this will appear. Like the fool at the Carnival who gets taken in by some professional trickster... there is a sucker born every minute and those who believe such side-show antics can solve this problem, fall clearly into this category. We have heard many Presidential hopefuls talk about Medicare for all, and a Single Payer system. It sounds great until you do that forbidden act, the secret sin that no politicians in American should ever do in public. What is that? Count how much what you just proposed will cost.


How do I know this is where Americans are at that they are being suckered? One look at the political debate, the blogs, the sites of those who scream to protect Obamacare but don't look at the costs, the numbers and how the country or even ordinary working people will be able to pay for all of this 10- 20 years from now. They get whipped up into a partisan emotional furor and fail to do one simple thing - count. Those costs just have to come down, no two ways about it.

That is how Americans are when they think they can have their cake and get someone else to pay for it - they are the sucker at the carnival; and this brings us to the crux of the matter.

The system itself is too expensive, I am not talking about premiums but the actual cost of all those services and procedures that get charged to the insurance company and to the patient. The nation needs to focus in on those costs and a serious Obamacare crisis could address this. How?

Again, get as much of the Medical system out of District of Corruption as possible. One solution would be to block grant 'X' amount of dollars to each individual state and let each state handle medical care and insurance in the way that it see's fit and best. Different regions have different needs and different economic means, different demographics and a different political make up. If the States were given significantly more leeway to administer their own systems, with significantly relaxed regulatory frameworks we could see a major change for the better. If we could allow states to use more generics, create new low cost hostels (but clean and safe) for in patient care, roaming medical vans for certain medical services in poorer communities, a cap on premiums doctors have to pay for Malpractice insurance - These are things that will put us on firmer economic footing. Folks there are ways to fix this, but the first step in fixing a problem is identifying some of its causes and one of the biggest causes of our medical expense problem is Washington and the money that gets poured into it.
AMA Lobbying Money

Medical Supplies Lobbying

Health Overall Lobbing
So yes, I am not just making thus up or reciting some Facebook or Twitter rumor or conspiracy theory hatched out of some atrophied mind. These are the facts - the dollars and cents and political facts and these are the reasons why Medical care in this country is so very, very expensive -  those paying the campaign bills are going to make sure it stays that way because all that money is heading their way... to the tune of 3.4 Trillion dollars a year. 

If state governments could get considerably more control over their own respective health care systems, different states could try different methodologies to make sure that (truly) affordable care can be had by all. Yes, it will be trial and error, yes there will be mistakes, but in 10 years time, we could indeed have a less expensive and more effective health care system that serves all Americans at a price point they can reasonably afford.

Well that's enough for this morning... I hope I have not bored any of you...

God bless and keep each and everyone of you in Christ!

Brother Mark


14 Feb

Nehemiah XXVI

Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors,
and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,
That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace,
 over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
(Neh 7:1-2)

The wall now completed Nehemiah went about setting up new kinds of watchmen. According to the ways of those days, the doorkeepers were there to keep watch over the house of God. They were also there to open and close the gates at the appointed times. They were, if we had to give a modern day analogy, the Security Guards or Night Watchmen. They apparently were a kind of trained security force and may have even had some kind of guild, as some have opined (Ezra and Nehemiah - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, H.E. Ryle, D.D.). These were probably also Temple Porters who had to do some temporary duty to watch over the city and the new gates that were just built.  Ryle also says that he thinks that these watchmen were disciplined and organized and could be relied upon to follow orders and be loyal to Nehemiah. The Levites (of the Temple) were apparently among the number of those who could be trusted. Again, it appears that these men were tasked not just with overseeing their jobs in the Temple, but also doing double duty along the city walls.

If we go back to the books of Chronicles, we can see that those who did this job were listed (1 Chr 9:17-19, 1 Chr 26:12-19). What Nehemiah was doing was making sure that he had some countermeasures in place against those who had been his enemies and had so ruthlessly opposed the rebuilding of the walls. He was appointing responsible guardians over the city. Those people whom he could trust. He trusted his brother and another man who also feared the Lord. His brothers name was Hanani. and Hananiah was the other. Hananiah who was the ruler of the place. The word for palace is this one.

H1002
bı̂yrâh
bee-raw'
Of foreign origin; a castle or palace: - palace.

In short this was a very important person and was almost certainly in the service of the Persian Emperor. He probably also had a company of troops at his disposal.

This is not unheard of, appointing relatives in such an important religious office. Think of Moses and Aaron. The Lord seemed to approve of this in that he used Aaron as Moses' mouthpiece. I think of how our new President appears to want to place some family members in key positions in his administration (this section was written just as Trump was naming is cabinet in Jan of 2017 - ed). At first one balks at such an idea, I know I would, did and have. But at the same time, when dealing in dangerous and uncertain situations (like being President), one wants to be surrounded by people they can trust, implicitly. This I think is what Nehemiah was doing. He knew he had enemies and needed to trust those tasked with watching over the security of the city.

And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot;
 and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them:
and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch,
and every one to be over against his house. Now the city was large and great:
 but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.
(Neh 7:3-4)


Here Nehemiah sets down a rather unusual order for the gatekeepers/watchmen. He tells them to not open up the gates of the city until the sun is hot, or rather the heat of the day, when the sun is high up in the sky. This is not the normal time to open up the gates. Usually they were opened up at Sunrise. Why was this order given? This was probably a way to forestall any effort to have men sneak into the city while many of its inhabitants were still asleep and then create mischief or attempt to overthrow it. Hence, the gates would not be opened up until every one was up out of bed and moving about the city. Even so, the watchmen were to remain at their posts, even while the doors are closed. Shut and bolt the doors and keep a good look out until it started to get hot, would probably be a way this could be paraphrased.

Nehemiah I must point out learned his lesson well. He once before did not take proper heed to security arrangements and was nearly undone because of it. This mighty man of God was not going to be caught unawares again, he was going to take every reasonable precaution to protect the wall, the city and its inhabitants from malicious actors. I think one important key was having the ruler of the castle on his side. It made things politically far less uncertain than they would have been had he been without it.

In verse four Nehemiah lays out one of the 'tactical' problems he faced. This was a large city in area and needed to be defended. But the problem was population. There just were not that many people who lived in it and had returned from the exile. This presented a security problem and this may be why it is mentioned here after the instructions for the watchmen. Moreover there were no or few houses built. It is hard to say what the people were sleeping in and what kinds of makeshift accommodations they may have put together.  In short, the city's circumference was a large one, but the problem was that most of it lay waste.  I will post in closing to this section, what Matthew Henry says about this passage. As it may have some rather interesting bearing on why the Priests were set up as watchmen. It may have been as much about the physical security of the city as it was the Spiritual security as well. You be the judge if Mr. Henry was correct.

He gave orders about the shutting of the gates and the guarding of the walls, Neh_7:3, Neh_7:4. See here,

1. What the present state of Jerusalem was.

The city, in compass, was large and great. The walls enclosed the same ground as formerly; but much of it lay waste, for the houses were not built, few at least in comparison with what had been; so that Nehemiah walled the city in faith, and with an eye to that promise of the replenishing of it which God had lately made by the prophet, Zec_8:3, etc.

Though the people were now few, he believed they would be multiplied, and therefore built the walls so as to make room for them; had he not depended upon this he might have thought walls without a city as great a reproach as a city without walls.

2. What was the care of Nehemiah for it.

He ordered the rulers of the city themselves,
(1.) To stand by, and see the city-gates shut up and barred every night; for in vain had they a wall if they were careless of their gates.
(2.) To take care that they should not be opened in the morning till they could see that all was clear and quiet.
(3.) To set sentinels upon the walls, or elsewhere, at convenient distances, who should, in case of the approach of the enemy, give timely notice to the city of the danger; and, as it came to their turn to watch, they must post themselves over against their own houses, because of them, it might be presumed, they would be in a particular manner careful.

The public safety depends upon every one's particular care to guard himself and his own family against sin, that common enemy. It is every one's interest to watch, but many understand not their own interest; it is therefore incumbent upon magistrates to appoint watches. And as this people had lately found God with them in their building (else they would have built in vain), so now that the wall was built, no doubt, they were made sensible that except the Lord kept the city the watchman waked but in vain, Psa_127:1.
- Matthew Henry

We will continue this series in Nehemiah next week, God willing!!

12 Feb

Shifting Poles

A Speculative Look


This map shows the location of the north magnetic pole (white star)
and the magnetic declination (contour interval 2 degrees) at the beginning of 2019.
Courtesy of NOAA NCEI/CIRES.

NPR has a story on this phenomenon here, should you be interested. The map above is from NOAA's official release. Simply put the poles moved at about 55 kilometers last year, a rate much faster than before.  Scientists are not sure why and we must always ask the question of who is funding studies, particularly when the blame is (or will likely be) put on human activity and certainly some will. But other explanations are probably better. We know that the poles do shift and have done so before. This paper talks about it. Pole reversals may become the narrative of the day to combat 'global warming' but the reality is that shifting poles are a regular phenomenon, when speaking of 'epochal' geological events. How bad will this shifting be? I don't know. Some see major problems ahead, others (like me) don't think it is going to be nearly that bad... as long as it is just magnetic poles we are talking about.

The real question to me is more about the actual rotational north pole (the axis), rather than the magnetic. On this subject there is a lot of... well... 'deafening silence' from scientific papers. Magnetic lots of data;  rotational pole shift - very little. There is a little blog of a lady who was clearly talking to some 'clued in' people who gave her some heady info. She is now doing her best to determine if and how much an axis shift has occurred. Now a shift in the rotational North Pole will bring significant weather changes... kind of like what we are beginning to see these days. Even now they can predict the rate of Desertification in Africa.

Now please, understand I am no scientists or even a hobbyist along these lines. I don't know the answer to these questions and have to rely on others whose work I believe to be honest and sincere, as opposed to bought and paid for. But I do not think a rotational shift and a magnetic shift are totally unrelated. In other words, the magnetic shift may be moving along a fast clip but a rotational polar shift may be slower but could also follow. For those of you wanting to know how recent weather has stacked up with the past, NOAA has this page that can help. There are many different reasons that our climate can change. Solar activity (which saw some very unusual activity a few years ago) temperature changes in the sea, due to underwater vulcanism... lots of reasons.

There was a guy who wrote a book a long time ago called Earth in Upheaval. I have old paperback copy of it here. His theories were all the rage back then. I have a lot of stuff on this subject and find it most interesting. But let us be clear, a significant shift in the rotational axis (as opposed to the magnetic axis) will bring in a major shift in weather. Icecaps will melt, green fertile parts of the planet will turn in to deserts, and vice versa. Now what would happen if the planet suddenly stopped rotating? Now there is one for you. Remember Joshua (Josh 10:12ff)?

My point here is not to give you a bunch of speculation because right now, no one really knows the answer to these questions, though I strongly suspect that the phenomenon of the earth's rotational axis shift is known by the world's governments and scientists and they have a kind of 'gag order' to keep it quiet. If the progression is slow, there is not much to worry about, but if it is sudden then our world and weather is going to be going through chaos.

Let us all keep in mind that the prophets warned of old of a polar shift that would have devastating effect on the planet.

 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee,
O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass,
 that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit;
and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken
 in the snare: for the windows from on high are open,
and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down,
the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be
removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be
heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.  And it shall come
 to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the
high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit,
and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited
 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the
LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem,
and before his ancients gloriously.
(Isaiah 24:17-23 [KJV])


The real cause for this coming cataclysm is mentioned for us. It's not greenhouse gases or oil drilling; it's not niburu or climate change denial. It is because of the transgressions (sins) of the people. Sin is going to bring on these cataclysmic changes.

9 Feb

Nigeria Middle Belt Report

Attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani Militants Increase Sharply in 2018
02/06/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Bloodshed in 2018 spiked dramatically in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region, with the heaviest attacks taking place in Plateau State. ACLED reported that approximately 1,930 brutal deaths were attributed to Fulani militants in 2018 alone, nearly six times the death toll caused by the notorious terrorist group Boko Haram. This was a sharp increase over the 1,900 total people killed in 2017 by both Boko Haram, which was the main perpetrator, and Fulani militants.

Due to ethnic tensions, religious differences, and a lack of economic resources, Fulani attacks against defenseless farmers in largely Christian areas claimed many lives and displaced tens of thousands. The Global Terrorism Index reported, “At its core, the herder-farmer violence occurring in Nigeria revolves around the economic plight resulting from the worsening drought and land degradation in Nigeria’s northern regions. The livelihood of Nigeria’s Fulani population is threatened as desertification of their land pushes them south.” This, however, does not account for the dozens of villages that were completely razed and the more than 30 churches that were destroyed in Plateau State alone, as reported by Rev. Dacholom Datiri, president of the Church of Christ in Nigeria.

Despite these violent attacks, there have been no major attempts by the Nigerian government to hold the Fulani accountable or disarm them. Both of these steps must happen if this violence is to be stopped. The Middle Belt conflict should be a cause of great concern for President Buhari and all interested in Nigeria’s growth and stability.

Below are the largest attacks that took place in 2018.
  1. April 23, 2018: Fulani militants attack in Benue State, killing 19 worshippers.
  2. June 23, 2018: Fulani militants attack in Plateau State, killing approximately 238.
  3. July 10, 2018: Fulani militants attack in Adamawa and Taraba States, killing 50.
According to Global Terrorism Index’s 2018 ranking, Nigeria remains the third ‘Most Terrorized Country’ for the fourth consecutive year, making the Fulani militants and Boko Haram top-tier threats to Nigeria and its Christian population. Boko Haram and Fulani militants have claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions more in recent years. The Nigerian government and the rest of the world must remember and pray for those affected by the deadly violence taking place in the Middle Belt. - International Christian Concern

Kidnapped Pastor Killed in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

Pastor Is Survived by Wife and Three Young Children

02/05/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on February 1, Pastor Tun Nu, who was kidnapped at gunpoint in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on January 19, has died. According to Gospel for Asia (GFA), the mission organization Pastor Tun is a part of, the 41-year-old pastor was killed along with several others who had been kidnapped by a rebel army in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, an area affected by the Rohingya conflict. He leaves behind his wife, three young children, and a church of more than 50 believers.

During the nearly two weeks that Pastor Tun was missing, the local police and government forces were unable to locate him. A local pastor also recently told ICC that no one knew Pastor Tun’s whereabouts, and they received little help in searching for him. His comment expressing little hope for the pastor became a painful reality days later... Continues At International Christian Concern

Persecution In India Rising At Alarming Rate

Worthy News reports.

Iran: 2018 An Unprecedented Year Of Persecution

Christian News neports.

North Korean Christians Keep Faith In Underground Churches

This is a very interesting report by a secular news agency's (South China Morning Post) look at how the underground Church in North Korea operates and what it means to be a Christian in such a country.

There are other reports around the web (from EU news source s -  no links in anticipation of forthcoming EU news and copyright directives) that say that persecution against Christians is increasing.

Brothers and sisters, its rough out there for Christians in many parts of the world.

India: Deny Jesus Or Die!!

This story is put out  by a group that focuses on persecution in India (persectionrelief.org) . This story is about a mob who threatened Sunday worshipers in a small village and vandalized the place.

Hindu Extremists Pressure Convert to File False Charge against Pastor in India, Sources Say

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – A pastor is facing criminal charges in northern India even though the complainant later denied allegations against the church leader of luring him to convert, sources said.

Police in Rupaidiha village, Uttar Pradesh state on Jan. 28 arrested 40-year-old pastor Dharmendra Singh on a charge of “alluring to convert” and two related charges – outraging religious feelings and promoting enmity. He was released on bail on Jan. 31.

Pastor Singh denied all charges against him, saying members of the Hindu extremist Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal fabricated a story and pressured a new Christian, Ramesh Gautam, to file a false complaint against him.
Gautam said in court on Jan. 30 that the allegations were false, the pastor said.
“He witnessed that his faith is his own choice and nobody has forced him or his family to believe in Jesus,” Pastor Singh told Morning Star News. “‘We have not converted by allurement but have become worshippers of Jesus,’ said Ramesh in the courtroom.”

Pastor Singh leads a church in Nepalganj, Nepal, where he resides just across the India-Nepal border, but he regularly visits the Indian village of Rupaidiha, Bahraich District, to lead the new fellowship there where Gautam worships. - Continues At Morning Star News

Tides Turn Against Indonesian Christians

This is a story about the rising tide of Islamism in the country and what it means for Christians.

China's Efforts To Rewrite Bible

The Daily Signal looks at Xi's efforts to change the Bible to make it more 'Chinese' and to make sure the Church does not pose any threat to the Communist Party.
Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in China. The above story is from the Daily Signal (Heritage Foundation).

Mr. Six (Xi) over there in China is a key enemy of the gospel message today. But he is being very, very careful how he attacks the Church.



7 Feb

Nehemiah XXV

So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul,
in fifty and two days.
(Neh 6:15)
So now we see the result of Nehemiah's tenacity, faith and courage. Nehemiah did not give up, he did not shirk and he did not whine. He stuck to it. Last week I listened to CSPAN radio and they had a group of female venture capitalists on and they talked about a lot of things. One of the things they were asked was what quality did they see was the most important for a successful business. Now from the impression I got listening to them, they had all suffered many professional defeats and setbacks. They said 'tenacity' was the one trait that they saw as being the most important. The willingness to stick to it, don't quit, don't get discouraged and to keep on pushing.

Apparently they were looking for that trait in leaders whom they were going to invest in. They mentioned other qualities and traits as well, but this was the one that they said was most important for success. Yes, you are going to make mistakes, yes you are going to kick yourself a few times and even fall flat on your face. They key is to get up, brush yourself off, and keep on working - no "pity party's". Nehemiah made mistakes, His biggest? He did not set watchmen up before the work began and it was only some credible rumors of an attack that got him to think seriously about the physical security of the work and workmen. The result of his hard work and tenacity can be seen in the above verse. They completed the wall in 52 days. Some scholars think the time may have been considerably longer, like 2 years and 52 days, but their evidence is not convincing. Among these commentators is the notable Josephus. K&D makes this interesting comment

For we must in this case consider,
1st, the necessity for hastening the work repeatedly pointed out by Nehemiah;
2nd, the zeal and relatively very large number of builders - the whole community, both the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the men of Jericho, Tekoa, Gibeon, Mizpah, etc. having combined their efforts;
3rd, that the kind of exertion demanded by such laborious work and unintermitted watchfulness as are described Neh 4, though it might be continued for fifty-two days, could scarcely endure during a longer period; and
lastly, the amount of the work itself, which must not be regarded as the rebuilding of the whole wall, but only as the restoration of those portions that had been destroyed, the repair of the breaches (Neh_1:3; Neh_2:13; Neh_6:1), and of the ruined gates, - a large portion of wall and at least one gate having remained uninjured.). -


To this must be added that the material, so far as stone was concerned, was close at hand, stone needing for the most part to be merely brought out of the ruins; besides which, materials of all kind might have been collected and prepared beforehand. It is, moreover, incorrect to compute the extent of this fortified wall by the extent of the wall of modern Jerusalem. - K&D


I would add this as well. There appeared to be a large number of people who were involved and this made the completion time so short. I think we can couple that with the fact that the people were clearly well motivated to get it done. The following factors in Nehemiah's character also played very important roles as well.
1. He was a praying man (in faith and obedience - prayer without these two things are almost always useless)
2. He was a wise man, wise to the ways of the world
3. He had faith in his God
4. He was not going to be intimidated by this foes and by their stratagems
5. He was tenacious, he would not be dissuaded from his task

And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof,
and all the heathen that were about us saw these things,
they were much cast down in their own eyes:
for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.
(Neh 6:16)


When those round about had heard about how the wall was completed, despite all of the traps and tricks laid for them. Their enemies were downcast because the work was finally completed despite their interference. Their countenance fell -  they were not 'happy campers' about this turn of events. The Jews were back and were putting things in order and those foreign elements who had moved into Jerusalem saw this as an ominous turn of events. They were both sad and discouraged by this.

When God moves on behalf of his people, the devils children will be sad and confounded. This has always been the history of the people of God. The expression 'countenance fell' is somewhat related to what happened with Cain, when his offering to God was not accepted.



But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth,
and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth?
and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?
and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire,
and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother:
and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother,
 and slew him.

(Gen 4:5-8)

As we see in the above passage this leads not to just sadness, but can also lead to a violent form of jealousy that results on maliciousness and even murder. When God gives us favor brothers, expect to garner a large and powerful host of enemies!

Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah,
and the letters of Tobiah came unto them. For there were many in Judah sworn unto him,
 because he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan
 had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.
Also they reported his good deeds before me,
and uttered my words to him.
And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.

(Neh 6:17-19)

This little comment mentioned by Nehemiah seems to not fit in this place, but nevertheless it is of great importance because it shows the political landscape of the times. Tobiah was connected by marriage to two powerful noble families. These were apparently powerful families of their times though little is known about them from Biblical sources. Shechinah is mentioned in Ezra 2:5. Then there was the Priestly connection. Jechohnan married one of the daughters of Zerubabbel's son's. We talked about him in the book of Zechariah. So we these were important political and social connections lined up with Nehemiah's nemesis, Tobiah. Clearly Tobiah had a large part of the nobility and key parts of the priesthood on his side. The passage seems to indicate  that this was on ongoing activity -  a kind of campaign that was meant to instill fear into Nehemiah. What is meant by 'his good deeds' is not wholly clear. But it seems to indicate that they were all praising Tobiah and how wonderful he was to one another, thus solidifying the political cohesion of the anti-Nehemiah faction. Others think that the phrase 'his good deeds' is a play on words on Tobiah's name.

H2900
ṭôbı̂yâh  ṭôbı̂yâhû
to-bee-yaw', to-bee-yaw'-hoo
From H2896 and H3050; goodness of Jehovah; Tobijah, the name of three Israelites and of one Samaritan: - Tobiah, Tobijah.
H2896
ṭôb
tobe
From H2895; good (as an adjective) in the widest sense; used likewise as a noun, both in the masculine and the feminine, the singular and the plural (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women), also as an adverb (well): - beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, at ease, X fair (word), (be in) favour, fine, glad, good (deed, -lier, liest, -ly, -ness, -s), graciously, joyful, kindly, kindness, liketh (best), loving, merry, X most, pleasant, + pleaseth, pleasure, precious, prosperity, ready, sweet, wealth, welfare, (be) well ([-favoured]).


The passage seems a bit obscure to one who is one who is not versed in Hebrew grammar, but the letters may also have been written to try and convince Nehemiah that Tobaiah's intentions were good. Nehemiah's experience  taught him otherwise. What was in these letters exactly is not indicated, but they probably also contained vital intelligence to Tobiah, on the progress of the work and everything he did and the goings on in the workplace. But others seem to think that many of the Nobles were trying to heal the the differences between the two camps. But clearly the intention of some of these letters was to discourage and frighten Nehemiah from completing his task.

We will continue on with Nehemiah as the Lord gives grace!!


5 Feb

Forsaking This World

We are in this world, but not of it. This at times is a hard lesson for us to remember and sometimes, life has a tendency to throw this lesson in our faces when we true  believers least expect it or want to be reminded of it.

Many of you here have seen a distinct moral decline and growing outright degeneracy of America and her people. Indeed this rising decadence can be seen throughout the western world. We in the west, like the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, don't know just how depraved so many of us have become. I note that in Sodom, it was not just young adults who were assembled to gang rape the very messengers of God, but also the very young and the old. They all showed up to engage in forced intercourse (a gang rape) of God's holy messengers.

The 'crowd' had its own morality. It had its own moral compass that pointed straight to damnation.This is the compass that our world is increasingly operating from. It's not just illicit sex, rape and other perversions but also the greed, the drug abuse (this kind of usage by the tens of millions in the US alone), the hate, the industrial scale murders in the form of abortion and wars. Our nation and yes our world is one that more and more harbors around pleasures, illusions (drugs/games/movies) and death. This is the world and the the ways of the children of this world behave. They live for these things and their lives reflect it. We are not to be like the children of this world.


 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
 and perfect, will of God.
(Romans 12:2 [KJV])
This world has its own ways of doing things. God has commanded us to do things another. The word above for 'conformed' is one that means to fashion oneself after or to form. This is the Strong's word.

G4964
suschematizo
soos-khay-mat-id'-zo
from 4862 and a derivative of 4976; to fashion alike, i.e. conform to the same pattern (figuratively):--conform to, fashion self according to. see GREEK for 4862 see GREEK for 4976

The ways, fashions and fads of this world are not for us. We are of a different breed, if...  IF you have truly been born of God and by the Spirit have entered into the Kingdom of God. If this is you, then God is calling you out (Church - ekklesia (G1577)  to something wholly different than the passing fancy's, follies and yes, wickedness that is part of this world. We are wholly different and if we are holy, we are set apart for and by God for his use.

This is why we will never mix well with this world. It is like mixing oil and vinegar. The two may be in the same bottle, but they don't mix. God has called us out of this world and its wickedness.

Many of you are having real hard time with family. I got a gut wrenching email from a reader last week that laid out some very tragic and heart breaking news about her family. I know many others of you are also having trouble with them. I know I have. I know how hard it can be. While I cannot tell any of you what you should do in your situations, I can tell you some of the things I have done with those former friends and former family members who are nothing but trouble and are determined to remain so. Mind you, I am not talking about being cruel or heartless to someone with a problem, growing pains and those temporary periods of social dysfunction that many of us go through in life. No I am talking about a consistent pattern of disrespect for you as a person, contempt for your God and your religion, hate, a dangerous pattern of living (drug abuse that brings on violent spells, criminal behavior) and other things that need to be corrected before any further contact can be had.

This is what I have done and it works wonders for me.

1. Pray for the person. Get before God and pray for them. You may not get an answer that you are hoping for, but that does not mean that prayer cannot help. Pray for, rather than against that person.

2. Disengage. This is important. A person must know that their behavior -  any behavior has consequences, good or bad - and if mockery of you, a consistent hostile attitude towards you or a pattern of dangerous behavior is going to remain theirs, your best bet is to withdraw from them. Don't go near them and don't let them near you until they show a consistent change in their behavior.

For many of you this is the hardest. We get attached to people. It is better to attach yourself to God and let such people work out their own problems. Also keep in mind that these days, particularly with drug abuse, the laws are written in such a way as that if drugs are found in your home, even if you are not the one using them, it can open you up to a whole world of legal hurt. Don't be the one to have to pay for another fool's folly.

3. Press on! Don't belabor, weep or whine about the problems of others. Don't get yourself stressed or saddened out over it. Don't dwell on it. Unless you are dealing with kids, we must allow adults to make their own decisions and prosper or be punished for them. Don't look back, don't be unkind but rather, put your hand to the task that you have at hand and don't let someone else's bad attitude, stupid decisions and foolish behavior hinder your walk and the work you have at hand.

Again, this may not work for you and your situations. But for me, it works. I have learned not to get too attached to people. I have too many knife wounds in by back and far too many tales of serious slander and backbiting have come my way by those whom I once trusted to get too close to anyone, particularly I hate to say it, my own countrymen. My experiences both overseas and here make me leery of the shallow, superficiality and often two-faced nature of most of the Americans I have had the grave misfortune to know. The bad behavior of the people a sign of the spirit of this age that has particularly manifest itself  in America.


 
The good man is perished out of the earth:
and there is none upright among men:
they all lie in wait for blood;
they hunt every man his brother with a net.
That they may do evil with both hands earnestly,
the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward;
and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire:
 so they wrap it up. The best of them is as a brier:
the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge:
the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh;
now shall be their perplexity.Trust ye not in a friend,
put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors
 of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter
 riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law
against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are
the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation:
 my God will hear me.
(Micah 7:2-7 [KJV])

So shall it be in the last days, brothers. These are dangerous times brothers and the sting of the serpent will be felt by many from their own close friends, associates and family.

Take heed.

This world? We are in it but not of it. What saith the scriptures? Here are some passages that may be helpful to you all.


For if after they have escaped the pollutions of
the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome,
the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
(II Peter 2:20 [KJV])

And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world, and men
loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
 (John 3:19 [KJV])


 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
 and perfect, will of God.For I say, through the grace
 given unto me, to every man that is among you,
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;
 but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to
every man the measure of faith.
(Romans 12:2-3 [KJV])


 Let no man deceive himself.
If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world,
let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
 For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise,
that they are vain.
(I Corinthians 3:18-20 [KJV])

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the
 minds of them which believe not, lest the light of
 the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God,
should shine unto them.
(II Corinthians 4:4 [KJV])


 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course
of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times
past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the
 flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath,
even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us,
(Ephesians 2:2-4 [KJV])



For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(Ephesians 6:12 [KJV])

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were
great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world
are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ;
and he shall reign for ever and ever.
(Revelation of John 11:15 [KJV])


May God keep all of you who love, honor and obey the Lord Jesus Christ and remember the words of our Lord about this world.

 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you
out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
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.
But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake,
 because they know not him that sent me.
(John 15:18-21 [KJV])

Amen!

2 Feb

Tidbits

Every so often I get an email that asks me the question about getting out of Babylon. I usually goes like when should be leave it and how do we know when that happens. Here is what I wrote to a reader recently who asked.

It is always nice to hear from fellow students of Bible Prophecy.

Babylon is a subject that I have covered quite a bit here on the site.

That the place we are to come out of, by my reading is a city - a city of Major economic activity.

A city not necessarily a nation. See

Rev 16:19
17:18
18:10
18:16
18:18
18:19
18:21

Seven times it is referred to as a city.

When do we come out?  When the call goes forth. There is a voice from heaven. I think (my own view) is that God will put a strong unction in each of his own to get out when the time comes. It won't be guesswork and we won't have to wonder. We will know what we have to do to obey.

Brother Mark
___


Note: This week, I will be posting more stories that are usually reserved for Insiders.

1 Feb

Germany To Try And Save INF Treaty

Tass news agency reports on this. The US will pullout of the treaty. And this leaves Germany and Europe more vulnerable to nuclear weapons. In layman's terms, intermediate range missiles are those missiles that could be launched by Russia and hit Europe but did not have sufficient range to hit the US, and vice versa.

The INF Treaty eliminated all nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). The treaty did not cover sea-launched missiles.[3] By May 1991, 2,692 missiles were eliminated, followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.[4]

On 20 October 2018, citing Russian non-compliance, US President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the US from the treaty.[5] Numerous prominent nuclear arms control experts, including George Shultz, Richard Lugar and Sam Nunn, urged Trump to preserve the treaty.[6] Russian president Vladimir Putin announced on 20 November 2018 that the Kremlin was prepared to discuss INF with Washington but would "retaliate" if the United States withdrew.[7] On 1 February 2019, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. was suspending the treaty.[8]  - Wikipedia

The Arms Control Association has an informative paper here.

This was no shock to me. Bolton, who now is the key voice on matters of National Security does not like international treaties or organizations much. He has threatened the ICC and now this.

One cannot help but wonder how Kim over there in North Korea looks at this. We say we want a treaty with them, but are we likely to tear it up the moment they de-nuclearize? How can you trust a nation of, I will say it 'treaty breakers'? We broke our agreement with Iran, the INF who in their right mind would sign an agreement with us expecting us to keep it?

President Trump has undermined American credibility perhaps to an irreparable degree. It was precisely our ability to make agreements, build international legal frameworks and build coalitions that made us so powerful.

Now, no one will fully trust us or our agreements again.

Yes, there have been widely reported stories that the Russians violated the agreement with a new missile. Weather or not that missile really violated the agreement is not known to me. What I can say with some degree of certainty is that Russia knew that Bolton and Co. were looking for an excuse to tear up the treaty, so 'proving' that fact or anything at all along these lines to the Americans was a waste of time. A new excuse would have only been created. Nor were they going to open up one of their latest missiles for inspection to the Americans. We sure would not let the Russians do it to our latest missiles. So the debate was a non-starter. Both knew Washington's assertions could not be disproved without jeopardizing Russian military secrets.

The CRS has a backgrounder on the controversy.

U.S. and Russian officials met in Geneva on January 15, 2019, in what seems to be one last attempt to reach an agreement. According to press reports, Russian diplomats proposed that Russia display the 9M729 missile and demonstrate that it could not fly to INF range, while the United States, in exchange, could demonstrate that the MK-41 launchers in Romania could not be converted to launch INF-range cruise missiles. The United States rejected this proposal and indicated that the only acceptable solution would be for Russia to destroy the missile, its launchers, and its supporting infrastructure.

Andrea Thompson, the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, noted that an inspection of the missile would not allow the United States to “confirm the distance that missile can travel,” and that the “verifiable destruction of the non-compliant system” was the only way for Russia “to return to compliance in a manner that we can confirm.” While Russian officials indicated they were willing to continue the talks, Thompson also noted that there were no plans for additional meetings, and, if Russia did not agree to eliminate the missile, the United States would suspend its participation in the treaty and submit a formal notice of withdrawal on February 2, 2019. - CRS
More here on that US system from another Point of View.

Who is really to blame? I think there is plenty to go around but Bolton I think was looking for an excuse and now has what he wants.

Thus the hawks got what they wanted, a torn up treaty and no restraints to build and field a whole new generation of nuclear weapons...

...as though this is what the world needs right about now.


Border Watch

Another Tunnel Found At Mexican Border (MSN)
Border Agents Sieze $4.7 Mln In Fentanyl And Meth (UPI)
It is important to note something about the Fentanyl epidemic that is not going to be discussed much. First that this epidemic has strong and undeniable tracks back to nations who mean to do the US harm. Their goal is far less about money making that it is about destroy and killing as much of America as they can. This seizure, according to news reports is enough to kill (mark that word) 50 million people.

Granted the profit motive still is an important one in this trade, but so are other strategic considerations. More here and here and here.

We must not oversimplify this, but to ignore the aspect of unrestricted and unconventional warfare (war that goes far beyond tanks and guns) is to miss part of the root cause of the problem.

Fentanyl Was Hidden in Truckload of Mexican Produce (LAT)
DOD To Send Thousands More Troops To Border (NPR)
One Ranchers Reason For Support Of Wall (Marketplace.org)
Border Patrol Captures 'Secret Shoes' Dope Smugglers (KRQE)
Border Patrol Assists Locals Who Help Vulnerable Migrants (Santa Fe New Mexican)
One Persons Personal Experience With The US Border (The Hill)
Notes from a Trip to Mexico and back by plane and rent-a-car
2018 National Drug Threat Assessment (DOJ)
Border Wall Costs Could Balloon (UPI)
World's Apart: Trump And Pelosi On Border Wall (KTVB/AP)
Coyote's Services Are Not Exclusive To Mexican Border (KTXS)
Hundreds Of Migrants Dropped Off Just South Of Az. Border (Fox40)
They surrendered to the Border Patrol.
Officers Arrest Woman, Nearly $1 Million Seized Along Texas Border (Dallas News)
Officers searched the vehicle and found cash stashed in bundles.
200 Pounds Of Pot Seized At Mexican Border (Patch)
Mexico's Drug War (CFR)
The CFR looks at the war and the cartels operating in Mexico.
Have Terrorists Crossed Our Border? (CIS.org)
Hey... you want the facts? Not the political spin? You want to know about this issue or do you want to be spun by liars and dis-informants into a hell of anger induced confusion? All over the net you see stories that Trump is wrong on this issue and off his nut. But as you all don't need me to tell you, a lot of money is being spent to stoke up the emotion, hate and anger and the best way to do that is with fake news, false reports, lopsided reporting and other foolishness that Major PR firms are very good at... when a 5-7 figure check has been written.

Both sides do it and both sides should be blamed. Turning down the emotion and dealing with the available evidence (rather than permeated narratives) is the best way forward for all.
Report: Some Migrants Are Being Force Fed By US Officials (The Week)
Convicted Murderer Caught At US Border (KVOA)
Mexico's Neutrality In The Venezuelan Crisis (ICG)
Mexican Fuel Theft Crackdown Puts Gov't On Defensive (Yahoo/Reuters)
Mexico To No Longer Import US Crude (Frontier Post)
Mexico: Explosives Found Outside Refinery (AP/Yahoo)


31 Jan

Economic Tidbits

Political Reality Vs. Economic Reality
An informative, if a bit tongue in cheek look at the issues of the day, particularly with China. It also looks at some of the past economic proposals that are popular on the Campaign Trail 
Economic Mobility In The US
An excellent Presentation by Deutche Bank on the subject. It looks at all the major factors and does so without a lot of high sounding techno-econ babble. Just some great charts with a little comment. This story is by Oak Tree Capital.
The Death Of The Healthcare Market
Healthcare and economics? Healthcare is a massive trillion dollar industry in America. Ignore it and you ignore a key driver of the US economy. TheGrumpy Economist carries the original story.
A Stable Dollar
At the end of the day, the Fed's main task is a stable dollar. This paper looks at monetary policy along those lines. By Russell Redenbaugh & James Juliano
Existing Homesales Plummeted In Dec.
Because of the Shutdown? Meanwhile, New home prices sank. Mfi Miami reports on existing Home sales.

Are We Headed For Another Shutdown?
The Fiscal Times looks at where we are at.

Tax Refund? Maybe Not

China Meltdown-  Is It Here?
Human Events reports. China has got troubles, they are trying to paper them over, but they are real.
NSA Analysts Reportedly Work For The UAE
They may have have been spying on journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports. More here.

One has to wonder what kind of dirt we are up to in secret and how much of the trouble in our world has our hands on it.

Judge Won't Unseal Assange Indictment

In 'circular reasoning' decision she cites that there is no evidence that there is such an indictment. What does this mean? Either there is no indictment or the fact that any indictment that does exist may very well be classified. I have no clue and in this case - I frankly, don't want one! This case is very political and has some very serious undertones.

Everyone is worried about Mr. Assange and his role in the so called 'Russiagate' affair.


Is Someone Stalking Your Kids?

According to this, some devices are tracking kids real time, with little control over the databases.

Fed Capitulates: Stocks Jump

Interest rate rises are put on hold and the markets cheer. Asia times article is above and focuses on the effect in Asia, Wolf Street has their take here

My view is real simple. The Fed is in a quandary - we are in uncharted territory - very much so. So far, they have been able to manage the crisis of 2008 with great adeptness, but the Fed still has a lot of work to do (with QE unwind more here.)

No one really has a strong sense of what needs to be done because this kind of crisis (and solution) never occurred before,  so caution is the word. Perhaps he has come to the point where (philosophically) he realizes that when you are not sure what to do, doing nothing is not always the worst choice.

It would not look good if they messed this up.

Kazakhstan: Religious Prosecutions

(Forum 18) In 162 known administrative prosecutions in 2018, 146 individuals, religious communities, charities and companies were punished for worship meetings, offering religious literature and pictures (including online), sharing or teaching faith, posting material online, praying in mosques, allowing a parent to bring a child to meetings, or inadequate security measures. - Continues at Forum18

Job Part XLVIII


Note: I have been going through the book of Job with updates once a week. Job is one of the most well known books of the Bible and his story is known throughout the ages and the world, Christian and non-Christian alike. His is the problem of suffering and why we have to. The debate between Job and his three friends looks at the issue with depth, given its antiquity and honesty. 

I have gotten so much out of going back through the old testament books and prophets. Job was always one of my favorites.


 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
 Dominion and fear are with him,
he maketh peace in his high places.
 Is there any number of his armies?
and upon whom doth not his light arise?
(Job 25:1-3 [KJV])
We left off last time and Job was letting his friends have it. He made it plain that the things they were saying, just did not line up with reality. No, the wicked are not always punished in this life, despite their consistent protestations. Job challenges them and asks them to prove their point and make him out a liar. Bildad now continues his response to Job. It is brief and decidedly not on point.

He praises God and acknowledges God's light and power. He praises God's ability to make peace. Bildad appears to be making a slightly different point here. That God is powerful and righteous and we have no right to question him or his ways, as Job appears to be trying to do. As John Gill notes, his response seem to  be avoiding the basic controversy - he is delicately changing the subject to one of God's majesty and power, something he is sure about. He avoids Job's question. Why? We don't know, but it may be that Bildad has considered Job's words and wonders if perhaps he has a point. The difference between the two viewpoints are not as great as it may seem. Job contends that the wicked do indeed get theirs the end, but that in this life it is not always so. The others say that God punishes the wicked in this life. Yet this key point is the one of contention as this is how Job's current situation looks - like he is being judged by God.


 How then can man be justified with God?
 or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not;
yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
 How much less man, that is a worm?
 and the son of man, which is a worm?
(Job 25:4-6 [KJV])



Bildad then, I think gently rebukes job, for he at times appear to be trying to justify himself before God. Bildad correctly rebukes Job, Who can do this? Who can be justified and righteous in the eyes of God? No one can. God see's the impurity of all things, even in the heavens. No one can claim the right to be justified in God's eyes.

Bildad then compares mankind to a worm -  something that comes up out of the earth (dirt) and lives on it and then dies and becomes part of it again. We are nothing compared to the heavenly bodies that while wondrous, God does not see even them as being pure. Any self justification on Job's part is sheer folly. The word for worm is actually maggot.

H8438
towla'
to-law' and (feminine) towleoah
{to-lay-aw'};
or towla ath {to-lah'-ath}; or tolaiath {to-lah'-ath}; from 3216; a maggot (as voracious); specifically (often with ellipsis of 8144) the crimson-grub, but used only (in this connection) of the color from it, and cloths dyed therewith:--crimson, scarlet, worm. see HEBREW for 03216 see HEBREW for 08144


Bildad shows considerable wisdom here, he avoids the key issue and focuses in on a troubling trend he see's in Job's reasoning. That somehow he can stand before his maker and justify himself.

This is the folly of self righteousness. It is a serious problem in the life of any Godly person. We must never fall for it. Certainly I am not accusing Job of being Pharisaical, but at the same time, when any of us tries to justify ourselves and our own 'righteousness' we are on a slippery slope to a bad spiritual end. Christ had no use for the Pharisee's, who were righteous and holy... but only in their own eyes. We must always remind ourselves from whence we are fallen and that any righteousness that we have that is recognized by God comes from our faith and obedience to the one whom he has sent for our salvation, Jesus Christ. When we do some good, do something that is sacrificial, we tend to get puffed up. We must never do that. But remember that we are all just miserable servants of our Lord.

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done
all those things which are commanded you, say,
We are unprofitable servants: we have done that
which was our duty to do.
(Luke 17:10 [KJV])

We will look at Job's response next week, God willing.


30 Jan

US Spy Chiefs Break With Trump On Threats

The Big Boys of Intel give a briefing that undercuts the President's view on many issues. So what is this all about? Well, the Al Jazeera story (above link) is good but you will find many other stories on it from your major news outlets.

I will tell you what I see as it is has always been the way of things. These intel chiefs will inflate and yes, even create threats. Don't get me wrong, this is as much to do about integrity as it does about the key issue these men face as they sit in the top chair of their respective agencies. It's about money and budgeting - it's about how much money Congress is going to allocate to them. Notice that these new threats are blown up like a balloon right in front of the Senate and those who control the money that flows to their respective agencies. You don't get money by saying the threats are receding or gone, but by scaring folks half to death with new ones - visions of ISIS terrorists blowing up a kindergarten, Russians nuking the super bowl and other threats that could spring out of 'Pandora's Box'. The underlying idea is that if they don't get the money requested, then the budgetary allocators will be to blame for the evil that happens.

Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that testimony like this is more of a political game than an intelligence one. No one really wants Trump to pull out of Syria except a lot of American troops who have been there and think the mission sucks and the American people, many of whom voted for Mr. Trump. So I see this is also a swipe at the President on this front because many in the Defense and Intel Establishment want to stay in Syria forever, and that is no figure of speech.

There are many reasons for that view and I won't belabor them here. Suffice it today that staying satisfies two major unspoken goals of our military and security establishment - the expansion of US military influence (empire) and money - money that flows into the military and its contractors when large numbers of US troops are on the ground. Another branch of empire is cut off and another spigot of money gets cut off with American troop withdrawals.

Mind you this is not meant to slam or denigrate these intelligence professionals. They have to go up there and do the 'Potomac Two Step', hold out their hats and hope someone throws some money in it. They need it to run their respective agencies. It's 'shake-a-cup' time at the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee.


For those of you interested, the Intel community released its strategy and it can be found here. I think many of you will find it rather interesting. This too will be of interest to many of you.

But still their warnings are most important to listen to and while some of the threats they outline can be taken with a grain of salt, others I think need to be taken a little more seriously.
 
You can read Coats Opening statements here.

This is a dangerous world, far more dangerous that most Americans are aware of, as they head off to their opiod wonder world of pain-free living and vote their sexual preference rather than on some of the harsh realities this nation and world are facing. We never hear about the trillions in debts America has piled up when election time rolls around, we just hear about 'homophobia'; we don't hear about how China has stolen so many of our secrets that they can build stealth jets and field them faster than we can... based on the tech America developed, no -  we hear people calling each other 'racist' or 'sexist' over a remark or incidents that may or may not have even happened.

I feel for those responsible folks up there on the Hill who have to deal in the real world but have to placate 'Opiod Ollie' and 'Mary Meth-head' on the campaign trail who couldn't point to Syria on a map even if you gave them 5-10 tries.

Forgive me if I am harsh on so many Americans. But a people so ignorant and who demand to remain stubbornly so, cannot hope to keep the freedoms and security that we all now enjoy. The debate in this country has to be elevated beyond the latest foolishness to something more intelligent, informed and enlightened. A Nation of doped out, sex addicts who think movies are more important than real life and who get their news from Facebook cannot hope to deal with the kinds of threats we as a nation now face.


Maduro's 20 Tonnes of Gold

When you see one of these engineered revolutions like this take place, the money/wealth is always what you want to keep your eye on. When the coup plotters hit Ukraine, reports make pretty clear that they stole the gold first. So where is this gold going? Who knows. Britain has 'seized' the gold from Venezuela it had stored there.  The gold and with Venezuela - the oil (the world largest proven reserves) - those are what has got the US so interested in the 'human rights' situation there. In the meantime, her oil exploration and production have declined.

Source: EIA

 

   Data and map can be found here.

When one looks at these colored revolutions more along the lines of a massive looting operation to install a US puppet rather than any real concern for human rights or democracy - our foreign policy becomes clear as the swastika over the Reich's Chancellery in the Third Reich.

I hate to sound so harsh and cynical because I know many in DC really do want to do right by the people of Venezuela as it limps towards economic and political disaster. My point is a different one. The people in DC who are making the key decisions in secret don't give rats behind about the people of Venezuela. They want her wealth and will do what it takes to get it.

I have no idea where the Gold is, but Maduro may have moved it out of the country out of fear that what happened in Ukraine and its gold could happen to Venezuela and its gold.

Let us all pray for Venezuela and yes, Maduro. We are enjoined to pray for leaders and demonized though he may be, many still support the people's revolution he has so pitifully represented.

Venezuela's demise has as much to do with his dreadful mismanagement as it does with a carefully contrived crisis that was created when the price of oil sank like a rock a few years ago. Oil revenues for the country dried up (as it did for Russia, and Iran as well... hint hint) and they all started to have many predicable (and gleefully anticipated by some) economic problems as a result.

Let's pray for Venezuela and for peace, stability and a just system that keeps the thieves of any variety from absconding with the county's wealth.

Let us also let Americans remember this -  what goes around can indeed come around...


...despise not prophesyings...

Will Mexico Go The Way Of Venezuela?

A look at events in Mexico, like those severe gas shortages. Lots of issues down there you don't hear much about.

Google's New Censorship Trend: Why And Who Is Behind It?

Yes, a new wave of censorship is hitting the web and most of your major social networking sites are combating what they call 'fake news' (unapproved of narratives) by taking stuff down. Sometimes there is considerable justification - other times not. Strategic Culture carries the story above.

Censorship is the new trend. The powers that be all over the world are doing all they can to find a legal way of shutting down the internet or rather voices they want silenced. The most extreme examples are China and North Korea, but the west has jumped on the same bandwagon just not as much in an 'in your face' fashion.

I imagine there is considerable pressure on Social Networking platforms to comply with the political whims of the new Censors (in Congress and their party mechanisms) if they don't want to be regulated out of business.

Many of my readers wonder why I went private and my posts now are no longer public. This is one (but only one) reason why. There are many ways to censor people and sites like mine they did indeed try to shut down, hack and when that did not work they tried to censor me by attempting to jail me and yes, doing me physical harm. This stuff happens right here in the good old USA, they do it in a way that they hope no one ever discovers (covertly). Ever seen a blog that you really like suddenly disappear with no explanation? That happens when the blogger is suddenly found dead and no one updates the site.

That is the more extreme form of censorship out there. Then there is this kind of thing with some of our Social Networking sites whose actions more and more start to move in the direction Xi's friendly army  of Censors. They do much more in China than censor - like torture and send you to labor/re-education camp.

Consider how far some were willing to bend over to please Xi...

Most of you are not going to accept this but there are dark, very dark forces in this country who hold considerable power who hate the rights our system gives us. The right to be heard in court, to speak freely, to travel freely - they are determined to make those freedoms a thing of the past. Some of them have sat in Congress, the Senate and have top positions in our security apparatus and even in the White House.

Freedoms not jealously guarded are freedoms suddenly lost.


Defense Watch

The Trump Doctrine: Breaking With The Past

Israel And Germany Do Drones

DOD To Audit Yemen Fuel Disbursements

Trump's NATO Funding Talk Yields Real Results $$$

US Navy Balks At More Missile Defense


Church Watch

The Orthodox Church: Russian and Ukrainian

A scholarly look at the recent schism between the two churches and why it is important, not just for the Church, but for the whole region.

10 Famous Chinese Christians Who Died in 2018

Chinese Christians? The Church, despite the persecution there is growing steadily and may soon, if it has not already overtake the US as the country with the most Christians. More here on China and Christianity.

World Refugee Council Calls To Overhaul System

This may not deal directly with the Church, but Christians are indeed very active in the whole aid and refugee resettlement system.

Grieving Christians Baffled by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Aggression in Nigeria

Mega-Church Pastor Shoots Self

This is so tragic, but many pastors are just plain overworked. They don't know how to delegate and pastor burnout is a major problem in American Christendom. This piece does not cite burn out but a mental health issue as the underlying cause for his problems.

Christian Man Kidnapped In Sinai

Islamic militants suspected.

We Will Teach You A Lesson: Extremest Persecution Of Christians

The monthly update on persecution around the world done by the Gatestone Institute and Raymond Ibrahim.

Kurdish Leaders Discusses Return Of Christians To Nineveh

Hungary Assists Persecuted Christians In Syria


Price of Forever Stamps Rises To 55 Cents

Yes, its true. Here is the reason why.

James Watson And Scientific Racism

This is a very interesting read from Wired on DNA, scientists and how one Black doctor (a computational scientist) has dealt with some insidious and dangerous forms of racism. This is an interesting read for many reasons. Blacks inferior based on DNA? Here is how one guy has had to deal with this and why this subject is a matter of concern.

Count Dracula Does Obamacare

This is so sad. A new chain of clinics has opened up that offers blood transfusions of the blood of young people to those who can pay. The link is from Futurism.

No word yet if this will be covered in your Obamacare premiums.

This is the sign of a society that is sicker than it realizes.


29 Jan


War And Prophecy Watch

From time to time I get questions about where we are on God's prophetic timetable. What to expect next. Having been both a student of the world, its wars, problems and political systems as well as being a strong student of Bible prophecy for most of my adult life and having the patience and maturity to know that we must wait on God for all things and not rush him I am often asked questions like this.

Yet I often hesitate to answer those questions, but have indeed been told on numerous occasions that there are not that many folks who have both my background and natural abilities make me one of those few who can do this intelligently. This is hardly a mark of pride. I frankly would rather not be known as such a person and have indeed nearly rebelled against the God of heaven for putting me in this often thankless job.

But God's hand was very heavy upon me to make sure I did this job and continue to do it to the best of my ability. Ordinarily I would not even attempt to answer such a question on this side of the password wall (public site). But events today, I think demand a minor update on this subject particularly with regards to the subject of war and warfare. But as time permits I will not stop there. If I don't put a great many links in this update today, that is not my usual MO. I usually try my best to place good links with good information into these, but today there is a lot to cover and I want to hit many of the main points without spending half the morning hunting for and double checking copyrights and re-posting policies on 20-30 sites.

First and foremost I think we need to understand that right now the world is on a major arms race. It's the Russians, Americans, Chinese, Indians and other nations as well who are arming, re-arming armaments updating and getting ready for a conflict all know is coming. The Russian have a new underwater drone, the Americans just tested a new low yield nuke. Western Mercenaries are looking to move into Syria. China has made it plain it is deadly serious about re-taking Taiwan and every few days or so, Israel runs some kind of armed 'kinetic' sortie into Syria To top it all off, the nations who are top arms buyers may surprise many of you. 

That is just a very, very few of the hotspots around the world. War and armaments -  if you are not watching these things in our world, you are not watching. The political theater in DC is often one of the greatest distractions to truly watching and understanding the times. I say this because most of those up there in DC don't know what is going on in the world. They really don't. They don't get briefed by the Intelligence community and they don't get good analysis on the day to day events in our world. As we saw recently over the whole Khashoggi affair, they have to fight just to get the 'dumbed down' briefing on which they have to make key decision on and even then, only a few get the information. 

The CRS does as good a job as can be expected but they are hamstrung - with a purpose. But that is another story. No, one thing I leaned when I was doing what I was doing way  back when is that Congressmen are the worst 'mushrooms' on the planet. They don't know what is going on by design. So if you think you can listen to the political debate and think you understand the real issues in our world - you will be lead by a mushroom and will eventually sit under its shade - let by a someone who is fed by manure and sit under the darkness his petals give you. I am not being deliberately condescending of Congressmen - only their unwillingness to demand better information, better depth and timeliness on many of the events in our world.

The world is preparing for a war or rather -  many wars. There are many drivers. One is the future need for resources to feed ever growing numbers of people and their ever growing economic expectations. This is a major driver. It is a 'go in and take what you want with force' kind of mentality - create a situation -  blow stuff up and steal what you can under the cover of the columns of smoke. Other nations are learning this kind of behavior from us so be aware, the world top powers will use their military forces to get what they need or want should they need or want it bad enough.

The trends in global demographics will create situations in many parts of the world where obtaining critical resources will be imperative while others will do all in their power to hinder them from getting it. This is the world we are rapidly moving into. One aspect of this trend is the phenomenon referred to as the resource curse. It's a common problem of nations who suddenly find themselves resource wealthy and find that those resources rather than bringing prosperity, bring crime, corruption, wars and death while the rich powers squabble over who gets them. But those squabbles won't be just about oil, coltan and gold that will be fought over, but food, water and basic energy.

Megatrend 4: Growing Food, Water, and Energy Nexus

Demand for food, water, and energy will grow by approximately 35, 40, and 50 percent respectively owing to an increase in the global population and the consumption patterns of an expanding middle class. Climate change will worsen the outlook for the availability of these critical resources. Climate change analysis suggests that the severity of existing weather patterns will intensify, with wet areas getting wetter and dry and arid areas becoming more so. Much of the decline in precipitation will occur in the Middle East and northern Africa as well as western Central Asia, southern Europe, southern Africa, and the US Southwest. - DNI/NIC - Global Trends 2030
This is right out of the US intelligence community. They see it - others see it and have seen it for some time. More people, more needs and those who have will want more and those who have not will want more too. Those who don't get what they need will either move (migration) or begin to fight to get it (violent non-state actors).

This is a trend that is coming. There is no way around it unless the elite begin to implement a global de-population program - a subject that I have talked about before, but won't belabor today. These things are coming, like a freight train right at our future. There are some voices of hope out there that believe these problems can be solved I say, given the caliber of leaders who are in power today such solutions are little more than a pipe dream.

But the other major factor driving all of this war talk, armament programs, new 'wonder weapons' being developed and deployed? It is a simple principle that I think many miss.

Nationalism

For nation shall rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom:
and there shall be famines, and pestilences,
and earthquakes, in divers places.
 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted,
and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated
of all nations for my name’s sake.
 And then shall many be offended,
and shall betray one another, and shall
hate one another. And many false prophets
shall rise, and shall deceive many.
(Matthew 24:7-11 [KJV])

The rise of nationalism particularly of the highly militaristic variety (as we see in places like North Korea, Russia and the US) is something that we all should be watching closely. It's symptoms? National pride based very much if not exclusively upon the military. its armaments industry and conquest. War and the military become one of the, if not the most important centralizing principles of the nation state - go back and study the Nazi's where the military and the whole security apparatus was within the state.

We call this the Military Industrial Complex today, but what we have today is nothing more than a variation of the exact same theme of Hitlers Germany. The security system, the military and the banks are the real power in this nation. Granted we still have one major check on power in our elections but those have become increasingly divisive and tragicomic today.  It isn't very effective check on these powerful forces, given the growing hostility and ignorance (and fake news and false narratives) of those who are unfortunately allowed to vote. This new model of government where the military and security apparatus is both evident in east and the west and it has given rise to the kinds of virulent nationalism we have seen in places like China under Xi. Russia under Putin and America under Trump, Turkey under Erdogan as well as India under Modi. The world and its key military powers are growing increasingly nationalistic and are preparing to protect their interests and take needed resources by military force.

This is in my view is going to be an established trend, not a temporary aberration. There are those who wanted to bring about a system of global governance where National tendencies would be submerged into a global system of governance run by an un-elected elite, but the world has rejected this. That vision I don't think is going to return, at least not until a final 'Beast' system is thrust upon the globe. I note an interesting passage in scripture that I think is important to this idea.

And they worshipped the dragon which gave
 power unto the beast: and they worshipped
the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?
who is able to make war with him?
(Revelation of John 13:4 [KJV])

Then there is the growing hostility to Christians. Did not our Lord tell us this would be so? Yet people whine about why the Lord is taking so long. It's real simple. His agenda is not yours or my agenda. He is God we are his servants if we choose to serve him. If not, we are and will remain his enemy.

God is doing is utmost to save souls, not damn them. This is why the call of salvation is still going forth by men and women who carry the gospel message if not by direct evangelism, then by living godly humble life for all the world to see. Persecution? Brothers we have only begun to see it. We in the west have not yet really seen it, though some in Europe have only begun to taste a bit of it. Real persecution will indeed come to the US. When it comes it is likely to take many American church-goers by surprise. They will not be ready for its assault and the many different facets of life it will take when it happens. The rise of satanism, atheism and other 'isms' out there that are openly hostile to Christians - they are organizing and they mean to take political power.  They don't particularly like Church people. But when God lays out his plagues on earth in the final hour, devil worship will be prominent, just like it is becoming today. Mankind will take upon himself one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make - he will try and take advantage of God's mercy and forbearance.

And the rest of the men which were not killed
by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver,
 and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see,
 nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders,
nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication,
nor of their thefts.
(Rev.9:20-21 [KJV])


God's mercy is to get men to repent. But conversely it also allows God to make sure that those whom he is forced to damn, fully deserve it. God is going to give mankind all the rope he needs to hang and them damn himself with should he choose not to repent. This is why the plagues come - one last ditch effort to get man to change his ways. As we read for the most part, he won't. He will continue to lie, kill and steal. Mankind will fully demonstrate that his love is not for the light, but for evil.

And this is the condemnation,
 that light is come into the world,
 and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
(John 3:19 [KJV])

So to those of you who are in a rush that the 'day of the Lord' arrives - take a step back and consider what awaits us (see Amos 5:18) and the world in general as we move closer to that day. The world is going to be awash in every vice and crime, every form of evil will be praised and Godly men and women will be persecuted, hunted down and killed. Do you want to look at a foretaste of what life will be like in those days? Go back and look at how the so called 'Islamic State' behaved. Look at the beheadings, the burnings, the slavery the wanton violence. Men, once they jettison the God of heaven will make up their own gods in their own image and the image that will come to the fore will be one that fully displays the character of mankind in those days. Blasphemy will be one key foundation of that system and praise of a new god whose key job will be to mock the God of heaven  (see Rev 13).

But many of you want people like me to set dates. I don't do that because you know what? I don't know. I'd be a liar if I told you otherwise. I have many faults but lying is not among them, though I have often been falsely accused of it. I do my best to be as honest with God, others and myself as possible. So don't ask me about dates - I don't know.

But one thing I think that must have more time and 'scope' to spread across the globe is technology. It's got to hit the whole Globe. Audio visual transmission must be global and it must be total. We are nearly there, but not quite. This is why little trends like the prevalence of cell phones in places like Africa and parts of Asia and Latin America are trends to watch, in my view.

Now some of you are going to ask me how I come up with a 'theory' like that? Why is this so important prophetically you may ask? Let me answer that question because many centuries ago, scholars had to be totally in the dark about how some prophecies would be fulfilled. Here it is.

 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues
and nations shall see their dead bodies
three days and an half, and shall not suffer
their dead bodies to be put in graves.
And they that dwell upon the earth shall
rejoice over them, and make merry,
and shall send gifts one to another;
because these two prophets tormented
them that dwelt on the earth. And after
 three days and an half the Spirit of life
from God entered into them, and they
stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon
 them which saw them.

(Revelation of John 11:9-11 [KJV])

It is interesting to read how ancient commentators try and 'hedge' their comments on this passage. How can so many people see these bodies in just three days? Well, today it is possible. With the advent of the internet we can see things immediately. I can imagine that the murder of these two prophets (the two Witnesses) will be a 'viral video' and the world will throw a party when they are murdered. But their job was to warn the world of its sins and try and save it. The world does not want to be saved - it wants to do evil.

This is one of the Lord's last ditch attempts to get man to repent.

Humanity is having none of it.

Then comes the final 42 month 10 king/False prophet system. That will come one day and it will do its level best to compel men to worship it and exclude economically any who do not and then take to killing them. This too is in our future. Many of us will be heading off to the chopping block... there is no easy or nice way to put it so I say it clearly and directly - they are going to chop off our heads for not taking mark of economic and spiritual submission to this new system.


 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them,
and judgment was given unto them:
and I saw the souls of them that were
beheaded for the witness of Jesus,
 and for the word of God, and which
had not worshipped the beast, neither his image,
 neither had received his mark upon their foreheads,
 or in their hands; and they lived and reigned
with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of
the dead lived not again until the thousand years
were finished. This is the first resurrection.
 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in
the first resurrection: on such the second death
 hath no power, but they shall be priests of God
 and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
(Rev 20:4-6 [KJV])

 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast,
 that the image of the beast should both speak,
and cause that as many as would not worship the image
 of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all,
 both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,
 to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that
had the mark, or the name of the beast,
 or the number of his name.
(Rev 13:15-17 [KJV])


Tech - Practically Speaking

You know, I often get a rash of crap from folks because I don't have a smart phone. I don't. I am not going to get one either. I have learned the hard way how this system uses the data they collect on us. They abuse it and use it for reasons that people would never expect. They do it because criminals have their hands all over our Surveillance system. There are ways they can get data on you, legally or illegally and particularly through carefully arranged and meticulously guarded loopholes in laws and procedures.

Look, I wrote on this a few weeks ago and I know this too, other loopholes are out there that are being used not just by 'bounty hunters' but by those with an agenda. Want to go after Blacks and Jews? Want to find out where they are at any given time and mess with them or worse? Don't like what that Black man is writing on his blog? There are ways insiders can do this without the need for cops, warrants, judges and all that legal red tape. Pay your money to the right people and you can make sure your enemies are set up, beaten up or even dead before sunset and no one will know who did it or why. They tried some dastardly crap on me that was waaaay outside the law.

Why? They don't like intelligent Black folks and they don't like (real) Christians.

That Smartphone? It's going to land a lot of Minsters, Pastors, on fire Christians, Deacons and Priests in a whole lot of trouble they never thought possible. Why? Because as I keep tell you here and few listen - that Smartphone is a surveillance device FIRST FIRST - everything else it can do is designed for one purpose alone - to get you to be dependent on it and keep it with you 24-7. They can turn on your camera and microphone remotely and you will never know about it. They can follow you in traffic and listen in while you are in a corporate board meeting. Go to your favorite search engine and see for yourself, use words like microphone turn on remotely.  You will get the encyclopedia as results. Look at it like this - this system it is not being run by God. This tech? The devil is all over it. Do you really want to trust him with some of the most intimate details of your life? If you answer yes and you serve the Lord,  you may be about to experience one of the rudest awakenings in your soon to be shortened life.

So tech I see as a big one. An economic mark? Brothers we are not far from that one at all. Drones? Brothers, I see those right there in our Bible.  I see the devil and his minions getting control of an army of technological drones so strange no one could ever really believe it in the olden days until we have begun to see the rise of drones. autonomous weapons and non-lethal autonomous weapons, (see Revelation 9:3ff). An insect like system of drones with a centralized control (hive - see Rev 9:11). They are already on this here in the US. The Russians and Chinese? If they aren't now they will be soon.

Brothers, things are heading exactly the way God said they would and just like God said it would be, few would mark it. Few would believe. The more prophecy lands on our front page, the more people turn towards evil.

So dear brothers and sisters. To those of you who asked me about where we are at prophetically keep these things in mind. God is patient with mankind and we must develop patience as well. God wants as many saved as possible. He is not itching to condemn the world, but earnestly wants to save as many as he can.

For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world; but that the world
 through him might be saved.
 (John 3:17 [KJV])

What is best for us all is to keep watch on the times but keep our eyes on the tasks that God has given us to do. Did not Christ say occupy till I come? Yes he did. Let the Preacher preach, the evangelist evangelize, the mother raise her kids, the car repairman repair cars and remember that God demands faithfulness and honesty in all of our doings, be they important or not so important; spiritual or mundane.

So let none of you sit on 'pins and needles' waiting for the Lord to return. There are still some things that must happen first.

 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself because of him who prospereth
 in his way, because of the man who bringeth
wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger,
 and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in
any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off:
but those that wait upon the LORD,
 they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while,
and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt
diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
But the meek shall inherit the earth;
and shall delight themselves
in the abundance of peace.
(Psalms 37:7-11 [KJV])


May God bless all who love our Lord Jesus Christ and await his return.

Amen!!


28 Jan

Pax Africana?

A look at those trying to influence Africa, this paper looks at states in the Middle East and their influence on Africa.

Africa is a key battleground mostly because it is resource rich and those with considerable capital are looking to exploit those resources. We have heard much about how the US and China are moving in - this article is another part of the African security and economic story.

Africa (and nations more involved there) is a major story 'edited' out of our newspapers.

More here.

Emocracy: American Democracy Is Doomed

The Globe and Mail looks at how America's democracy has transformed itself into an emocracy - a people ruled by emotions rather than informed majorities.

Americans (of all parties, races and religious backgrounds) must get hold of their own thoughts and emotions and not let clever propagandists control them for us.

Queen Speaks On Brexit: Enough Is Enough!

The Queen finally breaks silence. Well, she can only speak to the nation officially with the consent of her ministers. The Portland Press Herald reports above.

But it is starting to look like a no deal Brexit is coming. Everyone is predicting an economic catastrophe for the UK. I don't think so, some disruptions at first, certainly. But problems will get ironed out eventually. There has been a lot of scaremongering... by those who want to have the UK sign a bad deal. But others who have been part of the day-to-day negotiations are not so sure things are going to be that bad.

CBO's Outlook

While out at Safeway this AM I got a chance to listen to a bit of CSPAN on the budget and the CBO's presentation on our deficits. You an find it archived here. Unsustainable. People who do the numbers tell us and no one listens. They just want to keep spending money and the American people would not have it any other way. You can read the report the video is based on here.


   Source: CBO

The end of our economy? No, not yet. Our fiscal managers have been very adept at managing all of this debt so far. But with rising deficits and rising interest payments, these things get harder over time.  As long as foreigners continue to fund our deficits, we can continue on in our 'debtors paradise'. But we have had a series of weak debt auctions (weak demand). This is an issue to watch. To go into these deficits we have to have people willing to lend to us (buy Treasuries) at a rate  we can afford, not sell them.

No, there is no crisis now, but trends seen the past couple of years could man trouble down the line, despite what the economic spin-meisters will tell us. Weak demand for our debt (what we use to pay for our government when tax revenues are not enough - read deficit) is going to be a yellow light and later a red one down the line.

We borrow too much money and lack the fiscal and political discipline to live within our means.

Debts are not bad in and of themselves. It is often a great way to finance projects and investments. But when a person has to resort to paying his daily bills on more and more debt, he is on a road to the poor house - no two ways about it.

It's when a debtors paradise turns into a debtors prison.

Another Brick In The Border Wall

Well, there are those of you who wish me to talk about Trump's latest move with the wall. So today, I will spend a few moments on it before we move on to other issues that face out world and planet.

The Senate, House and President have agreed to a temporary funding bill (through Feb 15th) that will pay Federal employee's while both sides engage in 'good faith' negotiations on Trumps border wall. I won't bore you with links on the details on it, the stories are plentiful on the web.

So what prompted Trump to switch gears and do this temporary bill? It's a mystery to a lot of bloggers and even the great many left and right spin machines seem to be somewhat in a quandary. I don't think it is such big mystery. I will give you my one-and-half cents, for what it is worth.

I think many rank and file Republican Senators have been getting an earful from their home states. They take those calls and do the constituent work and have a staff (or contractors) who do the footwork for them in their home districts. I can only imagine that at first there were a few expressions of discontent, but now that the shutdown has lasted over a month and many folks are not getting paid, the issue is much more desperate for many now as landlords are starting to issue eviction notices, car loan companies have issued default notices and mortgage holders are also having trouble making their payments. There has to be considerable pressure on the Hill over this shutdown at this point in time. I suspect that some GOPers are prepared to seriously break ranks with Senate Leadership and the President. We have already seen a bit of this. I expect that Sen McConnell can only hold his troops in line for a  little while longer. That is one reason. The other is that frankly the government and its critical services are indeed slowly grinding to a halt. When  only half of those IRS employees who are supposed to report to work, don't and tax season starts today (28th), there is a problem and one that cannot be papered over. What about air Traffic Controllers. The fact is there is a serious problem on that front.

Trump is getting all the blame, but there is plenty to go around on both sides. Much of our media has often tilted left and as a result the left's side gets told, while activities on the border that would cause a President to desire much better border security gets drowned out or unreported. Trump's policies are having a positive effect, though you would never know it reading media reports from the left. Some weird stuff is going on down there. Also keep in mind that for every seizure and arrest, there are even more cases where the drugs reach their destination and if you don't believe me, just look at the drug usages statistics here in the US. Heroin, Meth and Coke. Much of these drugs comes to the US from the border. No, not all - but a sizeable portion of it.

One way to look at this border debate is the money and lobbying power behind each side of it. Those who have every reason to keep the borders open have more money and lobbying power than those who want a secure border. Those cartels and trafficking networks have serious money and they have launderers who are very good at making money from a major coke deal look like it came from one of America's most venerated charities.  Keep that in mind during this debate.

So my guesstimate is this - Trump is going to negotiate one last time on this with the Democrats, but if they balk,  another shutdown could occur and then the National Emergency could be called. This will be hindered in the courts for some time unless the President gets a stay from Scotus or an expedited hearing - and he might. If I were advising him I will tell him he has three reasons to call an emergency. One is Drug Trafficking, the other is human trafficking the other is a humanitarian crisis. I would declare one for one year, another for the second and the third for the third year as the laws only allow him to declare such an emergency for a single year at a time. But I would not do this without some kind of serious move towards showing those who come in legally some very positive consideration. Increase numbers of legal migrants from Latin America, expedite their claims for entry and a green  card. Don't be cold hearted (and give your enemies political ammunition for their verbal assault weapons) and allow those middle of the road Republican representatives to take something back to their home districts as a positive step for both sides and take away the narrative from the left that you hate migrants. Let more in legally. On the Campaign trail you can use this as an issue when they attack you... and they will. You can tout a successful policy of increased Legal migration from Lain America coupled with increased border security.

Let the media spin themselves dizzy. When the elections come around the party can claim a victory on  both fronts and if well handled can be plus, because the way I see it, the Democrats don't have anything to stand on and have been and will continue to hunt for wedge issues and harness that 'primitive anger' at Trump to propel them to victory in 2020 when they really have no policy or platform other than the foundational principle of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Can The DOD Build A Wall? - CRS Legal Sidebar

Declare the emergency, get your lawyers ready for a pitched battle on multiple fronts and take no prisoners in court. Get the data from FinCen on the money laundering networks that gets money from the cartels and to the law firms fighting you in court,  as well as the elected officials who are taking that money. Use the full power of the Presidency to protect the nation from those who are destroying it using drugs and destroying lives of immigrants in the form of trafficking (sex and otherwise) and slavery and even murder.  If you can't use FinCen to protect the nation from such people, there is no use in collecting the intelligence on them anyway. I can think of no better use for the information. Get the corrupt out of our legislative bodies and out of our courts as its officers. Go full 'Donald Trump' on those networks who try and sound humanitarian and good on the border while work for those who shackle a child to a bed to be used as a sex toy for profit and enslave a mother to work as domestic who must pay 'protection money' to the trafficker or her child may wind up with being sold off to a brothel in retaliation. These traffickers are NO GOOD - don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The problem is real and can be quantified.


In closing, don't get fixated on a wall. Find out the best technological method for physically inhibiting the flow of illegals over our borders. Get it done, the country needs this.  The media  (the large corporations who make the editorial decisions at the major news outlets) may not want us to see that this is needed but that is only because you, Donald Trump proposed it. Whatever you propose they are going to be hostile to, so your best bet is to ignore the major media, they don't speak for the people - if they did and were right about anything, Hillary would be sitting where you are now.

She isn't. You are. Listen to them and your fate will be just like hers when November 2020 rolls around.

I know many of you would like me to carry the common narrative in the Media. I cannot do that. I have to call things as I see them and we need to fix what is broken along our border. We don't need a cosmetic response (drones and sensors don't stop people from entering) but an effective one.  I will be the first to say that there are more than a few things I don't like about this President, but this is one thing that needs to be fixed and he is the kind of guy who has the moxy to go in and fix it. President Trump is constitutionally empowered to and by law compelled to secure this country - it is his primary job - even if the people don't understand or want to understand the threat or the reasons why and would rather be carried away by foolishness that satisfies partisan anger, rather than the security of the country


Afghanistan: Massacres And Talks

Map Copyright: Wikipedia/Shahid Paravz

(South Asian Terrorism Portal) On January 21, 2019, the Taliban attacked a National Directorate of Security (NDS) compound in Maidan Wardak province, Afghanistan. More than 100 were killed in the attack in which the Taliban used a captured Humvee truck filled with explosives to drive into the compound, followed by suicide bombers.

Geographically one of the central provinces, Wardak borders Kabul and is not far from the national capital. In terms of violence perpetrated by the Taliban, Wardak is one of the numerous attacks on security and police outposts since the beginning of 2019. So, Wardak is, nevertheless, significant, first, as an overview of the attacks, since January 1, 2019, reveals a pattern. Wardak is part of an escalating series of attacks led by the Taliban in the central, southern and eastern provinces, particularly in the Faryab, Balkh, Badghis, Kandahar, Jowzjan and Helmand provinces. Faryab and Kandahar have already witnessed more than ten attacks this year, followed by six attacks in Balkh, four in Badghis, three in Jowzjan and two in Helmand (data till January 27, 2019).

Second, the Wardak massacre is a part of targeted and coordinated attacks on security and police outposts and security compounds, by the Taliban. For the Taliban, Wardak was a specific target with well-specified objectives. The Taliban has been struggling to capture these outposts as well as to capture weapons and kidnap members of the security forces. The weapons used by the Taliban to strengthen its own armoury, and the explosive-laden Humvee is a case in point, having been captured in an earlier attack.

Third, and most importantly, the Wardak incident should be seen as part of the Taliban's military strategy in negotiating with the US. For the last few months, the US has sought to initiate a dialogue with the Taliban. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Envoy, has been entrusted with the task to politically engage with the Taliban. Trump's recent announcement on the reduction of troops in Afghanistan was likely a behind the scenes part of this engagement.  - Continues At The South Asian Terrorism Portal Site

Comment: Trump has pulled out of Syria. What should be done about Afghanistan? Here the question may not be as easy. We have a significant investment there of time and lives, yet the goals and vision of any realistic 'victory' or success is had not been clearly stated. We cannot defeat the Taliban, not without a long war with overwhelming force for many years. But we tried that and it did not work (Remember Obama's surges?). This kind of warfare is something the US is not very good at. This is not a slam at the men and women who serve or have served there, but rather it is an admission of the deep historic, economic and tribal difficulties that would beset a purely military solution. There just isn't one. The Generals may disagree, but they have been trying since October of 2001 with few tangible results.

Way back when this site first started I wrote about Afghanistan and the war on terror, seeing it for a massive move to abscond with a few hundred billion out of our treasury (and Trust Funds) to hand over to the DOD and its contractors. This in essence is what has happened. We got nothing in return but coffins filled with Americans and an Afghanistan that is at least as bad as it was back in 2001.

Humanitarian Watch

What Is Next In Venezuela? (and other stories)
This is one to watch, not just because of the drama between the US and Maduro (with some Russian help) but because what we are watching is a slow motion state failure. A nation state that is on its way to failure. Note the refugees, lack of medical care, medicines and other critical services that are slowly going away as the nation slowly implodes. This is a dress rehearsal for other countries as well that are rich in resources and have the classing battle between the west (and her banks and corporations) against the working people who want some of the profits and control to remain with them. This can happen elsewhere - look at Brazil and the new leader they just put in. No it is not there yet, not by a long shot but it could head that way as can many others.

Philippines Bombing: 27 Dead At Sunday Mass

This is a part of the country that is plagued with Abu Sayyaf Militants, also known as the Islamic State, Philippines Province. .

24 Jan


Nehemiah Part XXIV


And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem,
saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king
according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.
 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest,
but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.For they all made us afraid,
 saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done.
Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
(Neh 6:7-9)

In the last section we had Nehemiah's enemies spreading a very dangerous rumor that the reason the wall was being rebuilt was because Nehemiah wanted to rebel against the King and set himself up as ruler. Again, these were serious charges and Kings who dwell far away from their provinces tend to take rumors of rebellion with a high degree of urgency and seriousness. So this was not a little problem. Yet Nehemiah handles himself with care and without fear. Seeing through these rather simple minded plans he merely refutes them saying that these accusations are nothing more than the result of a malicious and overactive imagination. He flatly denies these trumped up accusations.

In short, what Sanballat was trying to do was to create some artificial 'leverage' to use against Nehemiah in order to get him to negotiate on building the wall, perhaps to get him to stop. That leverage being the threat to tell the King he was plotting rebellion. In today's language, Nehemiah told him to 'go take a hike'.

Verse Nine is probably not translated very well in the AV (KJV). Here is how the Cambridge Bible Commentary On Nehemiah and Ezra has to say about it.

9. For they all made us afraid} R.V. For they all would have made us afraid.

The participle in the original does not convey more than that the attempt was made. It does not assert, as the A.V. rendering, that the attempt succeeded. By ' they all Nehemiah refers ' to the enemies mentioned in ver. i. The present verse is his comment upon the whole episode. saying} i.e. amongst themselves and in their own minds. Their hands shall be weakened} For this expression cf fob iv. 3 ; Isai. XXXV. 3 ; Jer. xxxviii. 4 ; 2 Chr. xv. 7. Cf. fearfulhearts and ' faint hands' (Ecclus. ii. 12); 'hands that hang down' (Heb. xii. 12). Now therefore, O God, strengthen, &c.] R.V.

But now, God, strengthen. Marg. * Or, I will strengthen my hands' The adversative . 'but' is required, since the clause is Nehemiah's reply to his enemies' machinations, which are summarized in the previous sentence. The construction in the Hebrew creates a difficulty in the translation. The words 'O God' are not in the original : the verb strengthen may ' ' ' either be the imperative or the infinitive. -
Cambridge Bible Commentary On Nehemiah and Ezra (Source Here - page 222)

Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel,
who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple,
 and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea,
in the night will they come to slay thee.
(Neh 6:10)

This is a rather sad episode. A man who was the son of one of the Priests in Jerusalem called Nehemiah in to speak to him and give him counsel that he should run and hide in the Temple. He warns that they were going to kill him and this was clearly his 'solution' to the problem. So who this man? His name is Shemaiah and he may have been the son of a priest and billed himself as a prophet but was actually on the payroll of Sanballat. Let us keep in mind that fleeing into the Temple was not a very pious act, let alone a rather cowardly one for a governor.  As Adam Clarke put it in his commentary, it was meant to discourage and  disgrace him in the eyes of those who were working on the Wall. But Shemaiah may have been a person Nehemiah listened to, but clearly in this instance, did not trust. We are not told why he went to his Shemiah's house.
 
Clearly his intention was to undermine Nehemiah's authority among the workers by running and hiding in the Temple based upon this rumor mongers word.  So here we have a highly questionable prophet whose words would seriously hinder the work. Nehemiah had his hands full and knew he had some powerful enemies who were not going to stop trying to take him down and stop the work of God. This false prophet was using the spirit of fear so that Nehemiah would show a yellow streak, and such a streak could not be found in this mighty man of God. But the way this passage and the next one are worded, it appears that at first Nehemiah took him to be a prophet, or at least someone to listen to. Here is how K&D comments on the passage.

 “Let us go together to the house of God,” etc., that he was neither imprisoned in his house, nor prevented by any physical cause from leaving home. Hence it follows that he had shut himself in his house, to intimate to Nehemiah that also he felt his life in danger through the machinations of his enemies, and that he was thus dissimulating in order the more easily to induce him to agree to his proposal, that they should together escape the snares laid for them by fleeing to the temple. In this case, it may be uncertain whether Shemaiah had shut himself up, feigning that the enemies of Judah were seeking his life also, as the prophet of Jahve; or whether by this action he was symbolically announcing what God charged him to make known to Nehemiah. Either view is possible; while the circumstance that Nehemiah in Neh_6:12 calls his advice to flee into the temple a נבוּאה against him, and that it was quite in character with the proceedings of such false prophets to enforce their words by symbolical signs (comp. 1Ki_22:11), favours the former. The going into the house of God is more closely defined by ההיכל אל־תּוך, within the holy place; for they (the enemies) will come to slay thee, and indeed this night will they come to slay thee.” He seeks to corroborate his warning as a special revelation from God, by making it appear that God had not only made known to him the design of the enemies, but also the precise time at which they intended to carry it into execution. -  K & D  Commentary
This man is pretending a prophetic gift. How often do we see this today? Brothers, if you only knew!! I often get people wondering why I don't link to or praise this or that so called prophet or man of God. Often it's because I know a few things about them - that they are not what the devil wants them to appear to be. So I shun them and will continue to. But sometimes it's not always easy to tell if someone is really bearing the message of God or his really working for his enemies. Let me tell you, when it comes to the real of Prophecy and prophets or even teachers and preachers, you are either working for one or the other. There is no middle ground. This is why we must be extremely careful of those who have 'words from the Lord' and observe most carefully who is putting gold and silver into their pockets and run a long pole over the top of their heads to make sure no one infernal is pulling their strings.

I think this point is also noteworthy in his passage - the phrase 'shut up' is an interesting one and has a specific connotation with regards to the Temple. Again, let me quote from the Cambridge commentary on this one.
Dangers from within : False Prophets (10 — 14).

10. Afterward I came] R.V. And I went. There is no note of time expressed. Shemaiah the son of Delaiah] Not otherwise known apparently a ; priest and a prophet. The name Delaiah occurs in i Chron. xxiv. i8 as that of the three-and-twentieth priestly house. Mehetabeel] R.V. Mehetabel. who was shut up] Concerning the meaning, of this obscure phrase there is much variety of opinion. (LXX. koX avrbs ffuvexo/Mevos. Vulg. secreto. )

(a) According to one view, he was 'shut up' in the sense that he was prevented by ceremonial pollution from mixing in the society of his countrymen or from approaching the Temple. Cf Jer. xxxiii. i, xxxvi. 5. Accepting this interpretation, we see in his proposal to Nehemiah the extremity of his alarms real or feigned.

{b) According to another view, the expression is metaphorical, and denotes that he was a 'prisoner,' in the sense of being 'possessed by* the prophetic spirit.

 - Cambridge Bible Commentary On Nehemiah and Ezra (Source Here - page 224)

And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am,
would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.

(Neh 6:11)


Does this passage deserve further comment. Hardly. Nehemiah was made of sterner stuff than to go and run and hide in the Temple and perhaps concocting some lie to tell the people as to why he was in there. In fact, some commentators based upon the language seem to think that what the prophet was really doing was trying to get Nehemiah to profane the Temple by going in where only the Levites could go. No, he was not going to do that. That was totally out of character for him. But the entire suggestion to him by this false prophet was so incredulous that Nehemiah had to start wondering what this guy was thinking. "Me Run? Hardly!"

And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced
this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin,
 and that they might have matter for an evil report,
that they might reproach me.
(Neh 6:12-13)


Now it all dawns in Nehemiah that he should not be listening to this guy and that his enemies were laying a snare for him. They wanted him to run and hide rather than do what he had been doing, standing at his post and building that wall. Could you imagine what it would have done to the band of workers to find out Nehemiah had run and hid in the temple? Fear was not entering into his heart, despite the evil machinations of this false prophet. Moreover, Nehemiah knew that if he gave into his enemies in such a cowardly move as the prophet suggested, it would be a sin. Why? Fear is not faith and faith is not fear. The only thing faith teaches us to fear is God.

<A Psalm of David.>
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear:
though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
(Psa 27:1-3)


This is the mindset any man of God who is to be successful in his work must have. Not that any of us is perfect, not that any of us has any right to be called the children of God, not that we are worthy to be his servants. No, but that we have FAITH in God, stand in him, obey his voice and to not fear the onslaught of the devil who often slithers into the souls of false prophets, friends and even family.

Nehemiah's attitude?  Had the Lord told him to stop building? Were all the tools he needed to do the work at hand? Why let a little thing like the devils lie cause him to go and run into the temple like a frightened mouse! There was work to be done!


My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
(Neh 6:14)

Here Nehemiah, the servant of the Lord speaks to his God that he might remember the works of those who came against him. He mentions two people we are already familiar with, but them mentions another we have not met yet, a false prophetess name Noadiah. What this does is put this episode in a little perspective. Clearly there were other incidents that we are not being told and Noadiahs named being mentioned probably relates to some these. But there were other false prophets out there speaking evil of God's servants and trying to instill fear in those who were doing the work. This looks like the same pattern of spiritual waywardness that infected Israel back before the exile. Here is how the great K &D sums this up.

- In Neh_6:14 Nehemiah concludes his account of the stratagems of his enemies, with the wish that God would think upon them according to their works. In expressing it, he names, besides Tobiah and Sanballat, the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who, like Shemaiah, would have put him in fear: whence we perceive, 1st, that the case related (Neh_6:10-13) is given as only one of the chief events of the kind (מיראים, like Neh_6:9, Neh_6:19); and 2nd, that false prophets were again busy in the congregation, as in the period preceding the captivity, and seeking to seduce the people from hearkening to the voice of the true prophets of God, who preached repentance and conversation as the conditions of prosperity. -  K&D
What do false prophets do? They lie and try and draw you away from God and the work he calls us to do. They entice men to rebellion against God, with feigned words that they are speaking for the Lord. Here they were trying to goad him to stop working and run and hide. This is the bane of false prophets. We have seen them all through the OT.

I sent not these prophets,
yet they ran:
I didn't speak to them,
yet they prophesied.

But if they had stood in my council,
then had they caused my people to hear my words,

and had turned them from their evil way,
and from the evil of their doings.

(Jer 23:21-22)


Before and after the exile, not much really changed, other than this time, God had a dedicated group of people led by a godly man who was going to do what God called him to do, despite the opposition of the "devils lobby".

We will continue on with Nehemiah before long, God willing. No promises for next week.\

Grace and peace to you all!!

Brother Mark
22 Jan

Church Watch

Pastor Resigns, Admits Paying For Sex And Other Sins
A sad story, but I suspect not uncommon. Pastors need to be aware that there is a powerful  faction within the 'deep state' who spend a lot of federal money to set up and catch pastors, embarrass them, etc. They have many different reasons for it, but one is that so that the gay/sexual hedonism agenda can march forward. Others want to see Islam reign supreme in America and others just don't have anything better to do. Sometimes they work (illegally) with nations who are hostile to Christians to bring down pastors and Christian leaders.

Some they try and turn into intelligence assets (though they are not really supposed to do that), others they just want to destroy. Moreover, if they want you bad enough, they will manufacture the evidence to smear you if they think they can get away with it. They often can.

So pastors, beware. I am not making this up and this is not a joke, many of these people are tried and true intelligence officials who use the tools they use on foreign targets (blackmail, threats, etc) in order to silence the message of the Gospel here in the US.

Beware, these people are well trained and can find out more about you than you know about yourself.

Young Christians Forsake Church During Collage
Churches To Observe Prayer For Christian Unity
Pastor Removed  For Sign On Homosexuality
The sad part is that the reason he left was because they feared many of the small congregation would leave if he stayed.
Lifeway Stores To Reduce Number Of Stores
The Christian bookseller is suffering from what many other 'Brick and Mortar' stores are facing.
More Millennials Are Pro-life
House Keeps Pro-LGBT Chaplain
Blasphemous Image Of 'McJesus' Has Arab Christians Irate
Image Of Christ As 'Superhero' In DC Comics
These days blasphemy, mockery and denigration against Christ is 'in'. We see it more and more. We should not be frightened nor afraid of this. This is a key sign of the times (2Tim 3:2) brothers. It is going to get so bad that blasphemy against God and those who dwell in heaven will be the foundation of the new global religion.

Don't believe me?


 And they worshipped the dragon
which gave power unto the beast:
and they worshipped the beast, saying,
Who is like unto the beast?
who is able to make war with him?
And there was given unto him a mouth
speaking great things and blasphemies;
and power was given unto him
to continue forty and two months.
 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,
 to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle,
and them that dwell in heaven. And it was
given unto him to make war with the saints,
and to overcome them: and power was given him
over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,
whose names are not written in the book of life of the
 Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
If any man have an ear,
let him hear.
(Revelation of John 13:4-9 [KJV])


We are seeing these days a great falling away from the fundamentals of the faith in Christ, not just by rank and file Christians but by Church leaders as well. As they preach these spiritually dead sermons, devoid of Biblical Truth. Yet I know there are still a few who preach biblical truth with courage and conviction. Yet for those who don't, the pews empty out and Church revenue streams dry up. Meanwhile the devil and his servants are emboldened by a Church that is increasingly weak, divided and has little to no spiritual power.

Thus we see more and more satanists, blasphemers and other workers of darkness come out of the closet. But this is part of a trend that will envelop the whole world. Blasphemy will be, as we see in the above passage, a key part of the coming Global religion.

So don't let any of us get confused or downcast over these trends. Both the apostasy of the Church and the rise a blasphemous religious system were foretold, long ago. So were times of raging persecution, as we are seeing today.

We should not be shocked when Bible prophecy comes to pass and only a few mark it. Victory will not come when we elect a President we like, or the right Pope sits on the throne, but when we give a good account of ourselves before Christ, bearing true and faithful witness to the gospel and loving not our lives unto death (Rev 12:11).

I find that too many Christians don't understand their Bibles and what awaits us all in Christ in the days ahead. They want Jesus to come back, but don't understand the fire we true believers have to go through first - FIRST.


Ye are the salt of the earth:
but if the salt have lost his savour,
wherewith shall it be salted?
it is thenceforth good for nothing,
but to be cast out, and to be trodden under
 foot of men.
(Matthew 5:13 [KJV])
Yes, we true Christians are indeed the salt of the earth. That is what we are, or rather are supposed to be. Salt was used in the days before refrigeration to keep food from decay. In like manner we are the salt of the earth, we are here to slow the decay of the world. But as the passage above notes, when it is no longer 'salty' it isn't good for anything, but rather is fit only to be thrown out. This is sadly the trajectory of many of the world's Christian denominations - salt without saltiness on its way to the spiritual trash heap. The Church needs to get back to the basics of the Christian faith and worry far less about being politically correct and socially acceptable with a spiritually lost world.

Guam Catholic Church Enters Bankruptcy Over Sex Abuse

Child Drag Queens and Sexualizing Kids
The times and the seasons brothers are staring those who are born into the body of Christ, right in the face. What is happening to this country and our world that these kinds of things happen? What kind of person uses a child in such a way to make a political/sexual statement?

What kind of school system does this? Instead of reading, writing and arithmetic we get drag queens and transgenderism in textbooks. Our school system is a mess. But it is as it has always been, when a people kick God out, his enemies move in.

Where is all this money going to come from to pay for these teachers? No one wants to deal with it. It's not like the state hasn't got enough problems fiscally (more here). I am not against teachers getting a fair wage. I think in principle that is good and necessary. It's a shame that a football or basketball player makes considerably more that a teacher. The teachers job is much more important, provided they stick to teaching and leave out the 'indoctrination' - sexual or otherwise.

My point is a simple one. What are they teaching in schools that deserves all this money? What kind of curriculum? Am I sending my kid to be educated or brainwashed... for $73k/year, per teacher... with benefits?

How To Become Free? Stop Partnering With Darkness
This is a hopeful little piece that should help some of you who are a little down. Partnering with darkness takes many forms, not just the ones that are mentioned here.

A Generation Of Vipers: A Debauched Society

Irish Doctors Refuse To Perform Abortions
A matter of conscience.




Happy MLK Day!!
21 Jan

MLK's Speeches And The Issue of Copyright

Why don't you read/see more of Dr. Kings speeches? The issue of who owns the copyrights has been a major issue as the above link from the Constitution Center testifies.

I think it sad, particularly in a time like today, when his words of love, peace and hope are so desperately needed.
17 Jan

Nehemiah XXIII

Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian,
and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall,
and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time
I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) That Sanballat and Geshem
sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one
of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that
I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it,
 and come down to you?
(Neh 6:1-3)


Once again the two enemies of God's work make their appearance, Sanballat and Tobiah. Nehemiah is not shy about identifying these two and the crowd they represented as his enemies. This little factoid is missing from many commentaries, but I see it clearly. Nehemiah was not some naive dove in the woods. He knew as a governor in a contentious province as well as being a returning Jew... he was going to have enemies. There was no two ways about it. He had to deal with his enemies as such and trust with enemies is almost always a fatal mistake.

It was not a mistake Nehemiah was going to make. Nehemiah & Co. were doing a good job not just of building the wall, but also of sealing the breaches that were in it. In other words, the wall was a strong one, though he admits that there was no gate built yet and thus the city was not yet completely fortified. These two enemies of Nehemiah and the work of God
were on their way to another tactic to thwart God's purposes. First they tried violence (Neh 4:7ff) and that did not work. Now they are trying something new. Some kind of trick. They were  going to lure him for a talk on the Plain of Ono. This was a town of Benjamin. Here is what Eaton's says about the place.

Ono
A town of Benjamin, in the “plain of Ono” (1Ch_8:12; Ezr_2:33); now Kefr 'Ana, 5 miles north of Lydda, and about 30 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Not succeeding in their attempts to deter Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Sanballat and Tobiah resorted to stratagem, and pretending to wish a conference with him, they invited him to meet them at Ono. Four times they made the request, and every time Nehemiah refused to come. Their object was to take him prisoner. -  Eaton's Bible Dictionary.


While Eaton's view on this is probably correct. The exact location is not certain. Here is what K&D says about the place.

To make their proposal appear impartial, they leave the appointment of the place in the valley of Ono to Nehemiah. Ono seems, according to 1Ch_8:12, to have been situate in the neighbourhood of Lod (Lydda), and is therefore identified by Van de Velde (Mem. p. 337) and Bertheau with Kefr Ana (Arab. kfr ‛ânâ) or Kefr Anna, one and three-quarter leagues north of Ludd. But no certain information concerning the position of the place can be obtained from 1Ch_8:12; and Roediger (in the Hallische Lit. Zeitung, 1842, No. 71, p. 665) is more correct, in accordance both with the orthography and the sense, in comparing it with Beit Unia (Arab. byt ûniya), north-west of Jerusalem, not far from Beitin (Bethel); comp. Rob. Pal. ii. p. 351. The circumstance that the plain of Ono was, according to the present verse, somewhere between Jerusalem and Samaria, which suits Beit Unia, but not Kefr Ana (comp. Arnold in Herzog's Realenc. xii. p. 759), is also in favour of the latter view. “But they thought to do me harm.” Probably they wanted to make him a prisoner, perhaps even to assassinate him.  - K &D Commentary

Nehemiah was not going to fall for any trap laid by these two and the last part of verse two shows us he understands their malicious intentions. He responds to their treacherous plans with a diplomatic response, which is remarkable in what it does not say. It does not contain an accusation, he did not rail against his foes, he merely points out that he's busy and that he does not have time for them, since he was undertaking a great work. Having been witness to many exchanges while serving as the Kings cupbearer, he clearly understood the art of diplomacy, which often is not at all unlike Poker -  never let the other guy see your hand. He did not tell them he knew what they were planning. But there was a deeper stratagem that Nehemiah's enemies were plotting and it reveals itself in the following passages.

Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with
an open letter in his hand; Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen,
and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause
thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.
And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying,
There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words.
 Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.
(Neh 6:4-7)



They were most insistent. They wanted to meet with Nehemiah and tried on four separate occasions to have a private meeting with him. Nehemiah each time gave the same answer that amounted to, 'I'm too busy'. But the fifth try was considerably different.

This time, Sanballat sent his own servant with the message and one that was delivered by hand. This time a new stratagem was now being concocted, one that if spread around would make the King very leery of his once trusted cupbearer.

It's amazing what a rumor and a bit of 'verbal poison' spit in someones ear can do. In short, they were accusing Nehemiah of planning a rebellion and this is what they were accusing him of -  he was building this big wall that was now well fortified against an attack so he could make himself king. The messenger was merely passing along what he says was the popular rumor or 'conspiracy theory' and relaying it to Nehemiah. Moreover they accused him of having a group of appointed 'rent-a-prophets' that would help proclaim him king.

These were serious accusations and even Sanballat knew that he needed to have a one on one discussion with the Kings appointed Representative on this one, and this appears to be what this meeting was about. Such an accusation in a letter that was sent by a personal messenger had to be responded to. Here the servant cites a person by the name of Gashmu who was certainly the same person we met in Chapter two (verse 19) who has aligned with Sanballat and Tobias as being one of those who had heard the rumor. 

But this passage is rather interesting in how the customs are observed and not observed in the form of this particular letter. Stay with me here, this is rather interesting in the deep contempt they showed Nehemiah, the kings servant. Here is how the JFB commentary puts this - check it out.

Then sent Sanballat his servant . . . the fifth time with an open letter in his hand --In Western Asia, letters, after being rolled up like a map, are flattened to the breadth of an inch; and instead of being sealed, they are pasted at the ends. In Eastern Asia, the Persians make up their letters in the form of a roll about six inches long, and a bit of paper is fastened round it with gum, and sealed with an impression of ink, which resembles our printers' ink, but it is not so thick. Letters were, and are still, sent to persons of distinction in a bag or purse, and even to equals they are enclosed--the tie being made with a colored ribbon. But to inferiors, or persons who are to be treated contemptuously, the letters were sent open--that is, not enclosed in a bag. Nehemiah, accustomed to the punctillious ceremonial of the Persian court, would at once notice the want of the usual formality and know that it was from designed disrespect.

The strain of the letter was equally insolent. It was to this effect: The fortifications with which he was so busy were intended to strengthen his position in the view of a meditated revolt: he had engaged prophets to incite the people to enter into his design and support his claim to be their native king; and, to stop the circulation of such reports, which would soon reach the court, he was earnestly besought to come to the wished-for conference. Nehemiah, strong in the consciousness of his own integrity, and penetrating the purpose of this shallow artifice, replied that there were no rumors of the kind described, that the idea of a revolt and the stimulating addresses of hired demagogues were stories of the writer's own invention, and that he declined now, as formerly, to leave his work. - JFB Commentary.


Little things like this often tend to get missed when just reading the text. But thank God there are so many wonderful commentaries out there that we can get a better understanding of some of the underlying nuances of these events and some historical and cultural context.

We will move on with this study in Nehemiah soon. But before I go, may I encourage you all to become a Bible Scholar? The internet has some great tools and I am not just talking about your favorite Bible site. There is a veritable wealth of old  books that have been scanned into Archive.org of old Bible commentaries, dictionaries, books,, etc. Just head on over and type in your desired word 'Nehemiah Bible' etc and you will find many books in different forms to download free and most are in the public domain. Today, I downloaded a few Bible Dictionaries.

The resources are there, if you take the time to look. Use free resources while they are free. You never know when that gift will be taken a way or be forced to go pay.

15 Jan

Can Trump Get The DOD To Build A Wall?

As many legal experts have said, it would be on shaky legal grounds, but yes, he probably has the power. This piece from the CRS looks at the whole issue.

The National Emergencies Act

(CRS) The Supreme Court has explained that the President’s authority “must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself.” Because Article II of the Constitution contains no provision granting the Executive general emergency powers, the President generally must rely upon authority conferred by Congress to act beyond his ordinary Article II authorities. However, Congress has traditionally supplied the President with robust powers to act in times of crisis. By 1973, Congress had enacted over 470 statutes granting the President special authorities upon the declaration of a “national emergency,” but had imposed no substantive or procedural limitations on either the President’s discretion to declare an emergency or the duration of such emergencies.


After a Special Committee of the Senate concluded in a 1973 report that the President’s crisis powers “confer[red] enough authority to rule the country without reference to normal constitutional process,” Congress enacted the NEA in 1976 to pare back the President’s emergency authorities. Specifically, the NEA established a framework for presidential declarations of national emergencies intended to provide enhanced congressional oversight and prevent emergency declarations from continuing in perpetuity. To accomplish these goals, the NEA terminated all then-existing presidentially declared emergencies. The Act also established procedures for future declarations of national emergencies, requiring the President to:
  • specify which statutory emergency authorities he intends to invoke upon a declaration of a national emergency (in contrast with the pre-NEA regime, under which the declaration of an emergency operated as an invocation of all of the President’s emergency authorities);
  • publish the proclamation of a national emergency in the Federal Register and transmit it to Congress;
  • maintain records and transmit to Congress all rules and regulations promulgated to carry out such authorities; and
  • provide an accounting of expenditures directly attributable to the exercise of such authorities for every six-month period following the declaration.
The NEA further provides that national emergencies terminate (1) automatically after one year unless the President publishes a notice of renewal in the Federal Register, (2) upon a presidential declaration ending a national emergency, or (3) if Congress enacts a joint resolution terminating the emergency (which would likely require the votes of two-thirds majorities in each house of Congress to override a presidential veto)... continues here.

Grisly Gang Battle Leaves 21 Dead Along US Border
The above link as a graphic picture of the result of the battle. This was right along the US border. Here is a map of the city.

China, Fentyal And Mexican Drug Cartels

If you want to look at just one of the threats coming from south of the border, look no further than this. This is a big one and one that has been and is being facilitated by those whose main aim is 'open  borders'. The same folks who are sinking money into the DNC's coffers.

No one wants to fix this (except the President) because as we have seen in the past, when these drug cartels launder money into a political campaign, they generally get what they want.

Members Of Mexican Sex Trafficking Ring Arrested

FYI: The UN has released its 2018 human trafficking report today, and shines a light on a problem that is part of many people's daily reality: Slavery -  sexual and otherwise.

Eminent Domain On The Border

Those on the border who own land and may have to give it up for the wall, are preparing for a fight.

Trump Claims Mexico Will Pay For Wall 'Indirectly'
Migrants Raped Along The Way: CBS Deletes 'Fact Check' Of Trump's Statements
Mexican President Unveils Plan For Border In Tijuana Speech...
...Mexicans Will Have No Reason To Cross Into US
A Dozen People On Terror Watch-list Entered US From Southern Border
How Opiods Get To Philly And Why A Border Wall Will Not Stop It
Border Officers Sue Trump

Now can we name any elitists who are pushing for things like Open Borders? Yes we can. Here is one. You will find this document of great interest as well. This global migration impetus is being driven and assisted by others who have their own motivations for it and one key reason for some is to undermine the Nation State.  They tried at first to do this with various treaties, many of them Free Trade Agreements that would undermine and eliminate national sovereignty and place a lot of power in international institutions. That has not worked out that well. At least not as well as they wanted.

Now they are trying a different tactic, that being a direct assault... an attack if you will directly on the borders of nations. Only they are not using tanks and troops, but migrants - their target is threefold, the money (give money to immigrants who come here illegally), the ballot (extend voting rights to illegal immigrants) and the laws (reduce the rights of citizens and elevate the rights of non-citizens) and lastly of course the culture. This is a clever and so far, fairly successful tactic, but the backlash in Europe and increasingly here in the US has been significant.

Q: What defines a Nation State?
A: Its borders

But this whole nation-state undermining policy is being pushed by elements within the Democratic party. Has been for some time. This looks to be why men like Schumer have been against Trump's wall. Granted, its appears to be a largely a symbolic protection of our borders, but one that demonstrates resolve to stem the flow, not of immigrants, but of ILLEGAL immigrants.

There is a pretty clear money trail for those who are curious (more here).  Now,  perhaps you can better understand why DNC leaders said Trump is not going to get his wall.

The President understands all of this quite well and knows who his enemies are. That is why he is threatening to close the Southern Border if there is no Wall.

So dear readers, this shutdown may last longer than many think because the real issues behind this shutdown go to the fundamental question of if America is to survive or be undermined by elitists who are using migrants like tank shells, and children as landmines in the arena of public opinion to undermine the Nation State, its laws, traditions and yes, the money you have in your bank accounts, your jobs and the money you think you have coming to you from Uncle Sam. When millions of migrants flow into a place, they cost money, want rights, jobs, to be represented, get benefits....

Laugh if you wish, but these elitists are looking for one thing. Power and money and will use any method they can to get what they have longed for for a long time. Weak to non-existent nations states and an all powerful system of Global governing institutions in which they hold the levers of power.

But other actors use this whole border weakness issue as a way to bring in dissension and division into the nation (de-stabilization) and have been able to use these migrant caravans and the drama surrounding them to paralyze the government and shut it down.

Our enemies are far, far smarter than the average American. They see things in a long range, strategic light whereas for most Americans, if they did not hear it on MSNBC or Fox, they refuse to accept it as being even a remote possibility. Their minds have been poisoned by partisanship and hate, anger and all manner of negative emotions have taken the place of rational thought.

As the weeks pass, keep these things in mind and remember this, regardless of how this issue plays out this time, this is just one round in bout that is likely to be last many long years into the future as those with money seek to change the way the world operates and do it in their favor.

Many of you may think I am wholeheartedly in favor of the wall. Actually I am lukewarm on the issue. I am in favor of any effective border control method that stops 95% of illegal immigration, but coupled with a generous program of legal immigration that is reasonable, merciful, fair and helps us keep tabs on the guests who come here and makes sure that bad actors are removed before they do harm to us.


10 Jan

Nehemiah XXII

Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house,
and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out,
 and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD.
And the people did according to this promise.
(Neh 5:13)

This was a symbolic action that Nehemiah took in the presence of many witnesses, to let them know how the Lord would deal with them if they did not keep their word. While most commentators see Nehemiah as merely a lay person who was given a divine task.Yet there are times, like this one when his ministry is more in keeping with that of a prophet. The lap referred to was the lap of his garment, where often things were carried about in. Nehemiah lets them know what will happen if they do not keep their promise. The people in the congregation could not be happier at this move to protect them from their oppressors, who were sadly, their own countrymen. "Finally!" I am sure many of them were saying to themselves, "justice has come to town!"

After years of oppression and legalized injustice, the people were clearly overjoyed that a man had finally come to town who took a sincere interest in their welfare.

Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah,
from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king,
that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people,
and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver;
yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I,
because of the fear of God. Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall,
neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.
(Neh 5:14-16)


Here Nehemiah continues on before the throng as to his own  behavior since he became governor. He has been totally unselfish. Unlike those before him, he did not use his position to oppress the people so that he could live large. The passage indicated that there were certain luxuries that were due him by virtue of his position as Governor, but Nehemiah refuses to take them. This is rather fascinating. Today, we see how those who get power use it to enrich themselves often after already being filthy rich.

Nehemiah says these things by way of contrast to the way the nobles in Jerusalem were behaving, perhaps to a  certain degree to shame them into proper behavior. Again, Nehemiah leads by example. They may be greedy victimizers, but Nehemiah was not. His life and work would reflect the God he served. Nehemiah describes how the system works in that in the past, the luxuries that were enjoyed by past governors came from ('were chargeable') to the people. Given the burden of the people he saw when he first arrived and the years of labor and the troubles he saw, Nehemiah understood that taking more would have laid an undue burden on those least able to afford it. They probably would only have had to mortgage their homes and farms even more to pay the governors tax. He shows both his own unselfishness, his concern for the ordinary person and lets that be a witness to his character and the God he served.  This whole attitude is very similar to St. Paul's when he spoke of this in the book of 2Cor (11:9).

In verse sixteen he goes on to let them know that while he was breaking sweat on that wall, sleeping with a shovel in one hand and a sword in the other, he could have gone in and taken advantage of some distressed landowner and bought some land. He did not do that. He had every opportunity to make himself rich by taking advantage of his rights and the common wrongs being committed and he did not do it. Nehemiah was indeed a rather remarkable man.

Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers,
beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.
Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep;
also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine:
yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor,
 because the bondage was heavy upon this people.

Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that
 I have done for this people.

(Neh 5:17-19)
But the character of Nehemiah shows forth even more. This passage shows something remarkable about this man. Ordinarily people tend to skip over these kinds of passages but it is really quite telling. I will pass on here what K&D commentary says about it.

But this was not all; for Nehemiah had also fed a considerable number of persons at his table, at his own expense. “And the Jews, both one hundred and fifty rulers, and the men who came to us from the nations round about us, were at my table,” i.e., were my guests. The hundred and fifty rulers, comp. Neh_2:16, were the heads of the different houses of Judah collectively. These were always guests at Nehemiah's table, as were also such Jews as dwelt among the surrounding nations, when they came to Jerusalem. K&D Commentary

JFB has this to say that is worthy of note.
In the East it has been always customary to calculate the expense of a king's or grandee's establishment, not by the amount of money disbursed, but by the quantity of provisions consumed (see 1Ki_4:22; 1Ki_18:19; Ecc_5:11). - JFB Commentary

All of this commentators generally agree was coming out of Nehemiah's own pocket. Where the money was coming from we can only speculate, but being the emperors cup-bearer on a special mission from the King probably did give him his own tidy income which he happily disbursed to those around him.

In the above passage we note not just the opulence of the table he had prepared. But who was present. They were broken down into three basic catagories.

  • The Jews (probably heads of important Jewish Houses)
  • The Rulers (Administrative officers)
  • Those that came about from the Heathen (probably not foreigners, but those who were had been in Jerusalem for some time and lived with the heathen). 
Nehemiah lays out all of the good things he had at his table. I note that wine is found in abundance. The passage implies that they drank it every 10 days. They probably drank water on every other day. I only bring this up because I know some of my readers think drinking any alcohol is sinful. The Bible does not teach that, but it does warn against drunkenness and being addicted to it. Many passages in scripture speak of wine in a way that clearly shows it is not forbidden.

Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
(Neh 5:19)


Nehemiah's prayer is a simple one, a direct one, that God will remember his work, sacrifices and dedication to the Lord has his people. Nehemiah was not seeking recompense from the people but from his God. He did not want man's wages, he wanted God's reward. Nehemiah's name has been recorded here for posterity and is a partaker in the eternal inheritance of those who love and serve the Lord. Nehemiah was truly a man of remarkable integrity and faith.

We we will continue our look at Nehemiah soon, God willing!


8 Jan

GPS Navigation Systems

Food for thought for the new year.

Today we are going to talk about, not Global Positioning Systems but rather, God Positioning Systems and how to navigate ourselves in these times of rough seas, high winds and dangerous waters.

There are times when we seem to be going along nicely with few troubles and cares and suddenly life throws us for a loop. Suddenly our world is seemingly upended. I know the feeling and I think many of you do as well.

When we get dependent too much on the things of this world, our families, paychecks, titles, good looks, money in the bank, etc, God will often move us out of our comfort zones in order to get us to be more dependent on him. Yes, God wants us to depend on him for the things we need, not man. Yes, God uses human institutions and no, there is nothing wrong with those things, except when they begin to take the place of God in our hearts.

God is the source of all things as he is the creator and sustainer of all things created. We need to be dependent on the creator not the mechanism he uses to keep us and guide us. This is the key for all of us and will keep us in times of doubt and confusion when God institutes change, redirection or even a test into our lives. We can get complacent and begin to fall into a routine and become dependent on the wrong things.

I think Christ gave us a splendid example of this in the Gospels. The disciples were heading to the other side of the sea and things suddenly went bad. The was a great storm so much so that the boats were filled with water. The storm was bad enough that the disciples asked Christ if he even cared if they died in it. Yet Christ was right there all along, seemingly completely unconcerned about their plight.  The Lord was sound asleep in the back of the boat!


And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow:
and they awake him, and say unto him,
Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose,
and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,
Peace, be still. And the wind ceased,
 and there was a great calm. And he said unto them,
 Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another,
What manner of man is this, that even the wind
and the sea obey him?
(Mar 4:38-41)

Why did the Lord do this? Well, who can say for sure, but two things stick out. First was that the Lord wanted to show his power to the disciples and the only way to do that was to give them a demonstration as to who he really was one who could command the sea and storms. The second I have always thought was to get the disciples to look to him in the midst of troubles. Here is how Matthew Henry put this passage.

He had a pillow there, such a one as a fisherman's ship would furnish him with. And he slept, to try the faith of his disciples and to stir up prayer: upon the trial, their faith appeared weak, and their prayers strong. Note, Sometimes when the church is in a storm, Christ seems as if he were asleep, unconcerned in the troubles of his people, and regardless of their prayers, and doth not presently appear for their relief. Verily he is a God that hideth himself, Isa_45:15. But as, when he tarries, he doth not tarry (Hab_2:3), so when he sleeps he doth not sleep; the keeper of Israel doth not so much as slumber (Psa_121:3, Psa_121:4); he slept, but his heart was awake, as the spouse, Son_5:2.

His disciples encouraged themselves with their having his presence, and thought it the best way to improve that, and appeal to that, and ply the oar of prayer rather than their other oars. Their confidence lay in this, that they had their Master with them; and the ship that has Christ in it, though it may be tossed, cannot sink; the bush that has God in it, though it may burn, shall not consume. 
- Matthew Henry
Yes, the Holy Spirit put this in our Bibles for a reason and those reasons are several. We today, must face many storms and the Church right now is having one very difficult time. Weather it be in Egypt, Iran, China, Pakistan or India, the Church is very much under attack.

Even in the West, biblical Christianity is also under attack, not just by violent fanatics or even governments who view Christians as undesirable, but also by men and women who sit in authority within the Church administration who know not God, nor desires that anyone else should know him, being servants of another master. This is going to be the most difficult and dangerous assault we Christians are going to have to confront, the apostasy and treachery of other Christians, even those in authority.

I got an email from a reader this weekend and he kindly gave me permission to repost it, I won't do that but tell you it was about the saga of that Church I wrote about a few weeks ago who broke off from the main denomination over the issue of homosexuality. In the pastors last letter he reminds his flock of the faith of Mary when the Angel came to her and Mary replied that she was the Lord servant (Luke 1:38). How would the Church be if it has this kind of faith, the Pastor asked? But as it was with the Children of Israel, so it is with the our times. Idolatry has set in. The pastor of that Church laid out the age old truth about idols of any time and variety. They promise freedom and deliver bondage. The idols of our time are myriad and one of the most dangerous I see is one that the world is embracing more and more - that there are many paths to God. Christ was emphatic otherwise. If there were many paths to God, he would not needed to have send his son to  suffer horribly and die for our sins and transgressions.

Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.
 (John 14:6 [KJV])

It's a lie that there are many ways to God and one that serves the interests of the prince of darkness, whose servants have laid out the satanic golden rule 'do as thou wilt', which more and more is appealing to many peoples in the western world. So it is in our world today. The devil is busy and working in places where it does him the most spiritual advantage, he is working on Church leadership.

As 2019 rolls in and many of you are going to be without regular jobs, income and other things that you have become accustomed to, learn to lean on God. He knows all these things already. He may appear to be asleep, but nothing catches him off guard and nothing is too difficult for him to solve. Nothing. So don't be downcast, find out what God does want you to do and do that.

This may be a time of Godly repositioning and in order to know where God wants us to be we have to turn our receivers to the God Positioning System.

In the olden days, it was not always easy to tell where one was on the open sea. There were no markers on the ocean, no mountains no signposts and at times, it is like that with us. But the ancient mariners could always count on the North Star to guide them. We as Christians must also learn to navigate by the light of Jesus Christ. We cannot always see in the dark and these days are ever darkening, but we can lift up our eyes to our redeemer and gain guidance from him even as the old sailors got guidance from the North Star.

Do you feel adrift? Not knowing where you are going? Get into your prayer closet, ask God where you are to go and what you are to do and be obedient to his words and guidance. He knows what is ahead for the world, we do not. If it's time to pull up roots and move, he will tell you. If he tells you to stay put, do that. If it's time for a new Job, he will guide you. Are you preparing for Marriage, get before the Lord. Is your spouse about to pull up stakes on you? Get before God about it. He knows the end from the beginning and is never caught by surprise.

I have to tell you I was going to move. In fact, for me right now, financially it would probably be best to move into cheaper home. But you know what? God has told me to remain here for the time being and charged me not to move. There is a reason for it, but I could not begin to understand what that reason is. What I can tell you is this - what may make sense to our natural minds could mean disaster for us if we follow that, rather than the guidance, direction and even pleadings of the Lord.

So get before God before you take a new job, leave an old one, put your home up for sale or buy a new one. Find out what God wants you to do and pray for him to guide you every step of the way.

May God keep all of you who serve Christ Jesus in 2019.


3 Jan

Christmas Persecution Watch

Today, I think it meet we look at how Christians have had to deal with Christmas this year. For we in the west, it's a time of rest relaxation and joy, it other places, its a time of fear, persecution and even violence.
Burma: Six Christians Injured in Stoning Of Christmas Service
Iran: Spike in Arrests of Christians During Holidays
Iran: Q&A On Crackdown On Christians
Iraq: Grand Mufti Forbids Christmas
Sunni cleric Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Sumaidaie issued a fatwa against Christmas which prohibits Muslims from participating in the celebrations “of the cross” and congratulating Christians during the Christmas season. The fatwa also includes a prohibition against the New Year’s celebration, which is often mistakenly assumed to be an official Christian holiday. - ICC
Iraq: Cabinet Declares Christmas A Holiday
India: Christians Hospitalized After Attack
Laos: Christians Detained for 'Illegal' Christmas Service
Nigeria: Seven Christians Slain Day After Christmas
UK Foreign Sec. Commissions Review On Christian Persecution
Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their witness in Christ.
2 Jan

Nehemiah Part XI

And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.
Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers,
and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother.
And I set a great assembly against them.
(Neh 5:6-7)


When we left off last time, the Jews who were living in and around Nehemiah's camp and Jerusalem proper had made a serious complaint about the debts they had to repay in order to survive. They were going hungry because they were forced to mortgage their farms and homes in order to pay taxes and eat. They were being oppressed and that even by their own countrymen. It was not enough they had to suffer under the invaders, but now they had to deal with with the local loan sharks who were driving them into poverty and even slavery (Neh 5:5).

After hearing these reports, Nehemiah was very angry. For the most part, these appear to be common people, what they would call serfs in the middle ages. To me, it looks like those with power had found a legal way to push the people into poverty and slavery and then make off with their farms and land. This would make any righteous man angry. You know, this is the kind of thing that caused a serious clash in ancient Rome as well. The wealthy land owners found a legal way to steal the land from the ordinary people. This was a major sore subject in Rome and was the underlying cause of the civil wars. I bring this up to show you that these are the kinds of issues that if not nipped in the bud at an early stage can lead to significant disharmony and even instability. Even today, the issue of land reform, debt and even slavery are not unknown to us.

Then Nehemiah began to consult with himself. He had to think about this one - how was he going to deal with it? Another way to render the this first section of verse seven is like this - “And my heart took counsel upon it..." He thought about it and came up with a plan of action. Then he speaks to the nobles who were perpetrating this terrible injustice on their countrymen, accusing them of exacting usury, a serious offense in Mosaic Law. That law would be in a way similar to our Constitution. Moses' Law was the foundation of Jewish law and Nehemiah upbraids them accordingly. Then he called a great assembly against them. It seems to me as the passage is ordered that Nehemiah may have rebuked them privately first and then did so publicly. This was not a time for a secret, private rebuke, Nehemiah was clearly a just man and wanted the poor to know just what he thought about their practice. Sometimes a public rebuke and public embarrassment is needed.

And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews,
which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren?
or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace,
and found nothing to answer.
(Neh 5:8)


I think we need to be mindful about usury in ancient Israel under the Mosaic law. Usury was not just exorbitant interest, but it was interest of any kind. It was forbidden loan money at interest. What does the word actually mean?

Usury -  neshek, from a root "to devour." (See LOAN.) Any interest was forbidden to be exacted from an Israelite brother, but was permitted from a foreigner (Exo_22:25; Lev_25:35-38; Deu_23:19-20). Israel was originally not a mercantile people, and the law aimed at an equal diffusion of wealth, not at enriching some while others were poor. - Fausset's Bible Dictionary

That is a rather interesting take, is it not? Debt interest is a devourer and this is what the rich were doing to the poor in ancient Israel. Nehemiah shows them the error of their ways and in a round about way accuses them of being an enemy of their own people. The passage is pretty self explanatory, but here is how the JFB Commentary sums it up though it anticipates following verses.

Having summoned a public assembly, he denounced their conduct in terms of just severity. He contrasted it with his own in redeeming with his money some of the Jewish exiles who, through debt or otherwise, had lost their personal liberty in Babylon. He urged the rich creditors not only to abandon their illegal and oppressive system of usury, but to restore the fields and vineyards of the poor, so that a remedy might be put to an evil the introduction of which had led to much actual disorder, and the continuance of which would inevitably prove ruinous to the newly restored colony, by violating the fundamental principles of the Hebrew constitution. The remonstrance was effectual. The conscience of the usurious oppressors could not resist the touching and powerful appeal. - JFB

In short, they were publicly shamed for this practice, probably the only real tool Nehemiah had against them. They not only took usury, but they also sold their brothers off as slaves, forbidden under Mosaic law (Lev 25:42) But this tactic was most effective, they were left speechless.

Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?
(Neh 5:9)
Here Nehemiah exhorts the nobles to walk in the law and fear of God and here is where I think a key spiritual turning point happens. Nehemiah did not want to return to the errors of the past and the shame it brought Israel. Consequently, he reminds them of the law and how they should honor God and how he brought all of this reproach upon them for their past rebellions. Nehemiah appeals to them on two levels, what they should not do and what they should start doing. Stop usury, and begin to fear the Lord. Keep in mind that it was the nobles he was addressing; the leaders and pillars of the community. If they began to act in a way contrary to God, the whole society would begin its long decent into rebellion. Nehemiah was wise to put a stop to this early on. Sin and rebellion are like a cancer - the patient has a better chance at survival if it's caught early.

I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn:
I pray you, let us leave off this usury.
(Neh 5:10)

Nehemiah uses another method of appeal to the nobles. He uses the 'lead by example' mode of leadership. He tells them that he will lend money to his brethren and will not charge interest.

Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards,
their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money,
and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. Then said they,
 We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest.
Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them,
that they should do according to this promise.
(Neh 5:11-12)


Here Nehemiah tells them what he expects of them. He is isn't just talking about not taking interest in the future. No, he wants the problem that has now presented itself solved, that being the serious complaint of the people. He wants them to being to restore the land to the people and not only that, he wanted them to restore the 1% interest they charged the people for their produce.

Note that Nehemiah says, he wants this done today. He is not talking about like people do today, making promises today and then not carrying them out, or finding a way to weasel out of their promises. Nehemiah had been in the kings court too long to fall for that one! "No sir, Ya'll gonna take care of this one today!!"

To make sure they keep their word the priests were called in to witness them taking an oath to that effect. No more usury, and yes, they will restore the land to the people... and oh..., by the way I just happened to have brought along some Priests to witness your promise to return this property. Nehemiah was covering all of the political and legal bases. There would be no sudden outbreak of 'forked tongue fever' or 'I don't recall syndrome'  among the nobles after the meeting broke up. Having the priests witness the oath was kind of like signing a contract today. Both have legal validity.

We will get on with the next section of Nehemiah next week, God willing!!


23 Dec
The Following was written on Dec 4th for insiders, before the Senate vote on the matter. .

Trump's Strategic Problem

Well, Yesterday US Senators were briefed about the Khashoggi killing by the CIA director, who was just a few days ago, prevented from doing so. Trump clearly was worried about the perceptions of a cover up and that this would sway many Senators to vote in favor of the pending Yemen war bill. The mood in the Senate right now is to give the President a stern rebuke for his protection of what the world more and more understands is this murder and murderer.

The CIA brief left no doubt in anyone's mind among those Senators who got the briefing. Some did not get to hear the CIA director and one of those is Rand Paul. This is not surprising and frankly, Sen. Paul's concerns are mine as well. Elected Representatives should be given a lot more access to critical intelligence than they are currently given. Granted, there are legitimate concerns about the spread of classified data to 'unauthorized' persons. Many of the ways that this intelligence is collected could be compromised by those who don't follow the laws and rules dealing with Classified intel. It's a genuine concern because once a source or method of collection is compromised, so goes and so does any and all future intelligence from that method or source. So while I hear Mr. Paul's grievances, I also say that it is very important, in fact in 99 cases out of a 100 imperative that those sources and methods be protected. The danger is that an elected Rep wanting to make a political point in the media begins to rattle on about classified info, either not thinking about the damage he is doing in the process or knowing the damage and thinks his personal-political point is more important. In short, Mr. Paul's grievances are real, but the other side of the problem cannot be ignored either.

Yet the real issue in my view is that this is how the 'deep state' controls Congress and congressional votes. Most of the time when they withhold critical data, it has nothing to do with sources and methods, it's politics that is an affront to the very informed democratic processes that are a foundation of our Constitutional Republic. It's why I have and will continue to say that the Deep State as it is currently organized is a greater threat to our Republic than the foreign nations they are supposed to be protecting us from. It's their insane budgets and spending, loopy covert ops and foolish weapons programs and the illegal targeting of law abiding Americans.  I say this because some truly bad people have risen pretty high up in the so called 'deep state' and many view our democratic processes, the Constitution and even a free people as a 'national security threat'. I kid you not.

As an important aside, I think this needs to be said. The deep state is not some deep dark conspiracy, but is perhaps better described as nothing more than formal and informal networks of like minded people who implement policies or impede them independent of elected officials. It consists of civil servants, intelligence officials, political hacks, Law Enforcement, contractors and others who know the system and how to bring a policy to a screeching halt or implement their own policies completely outside of our Democratic processes. On some occasions, these things are nothing more than crimes. They know who is looking (surveillance), for what, where and how much money is being spent here or there and how to get away with some pretty heinous crimes, when it suits them or if they believe that it is in the best interest of the country. They know the levers to push, who to get to push them, how hard to push them and when... and most importantly to never, EVER get caught.

However, we should keep this in mind - the deep state has also been described as the 'steady state', and those that do are mostly correct The Deep State has ways of rooting out traitors and corruption, dealing with stupidity and dangerous people when the laws cannot or will not. So don't look at the Deep State as being all bad, it fact, much of it is good. The problem is when it gets out of control and out of control it got under recent Presidents. The other problem is when really bad people get hold of those hidden mechanisms of power for the purpose of doing harm to the nation. This is where we should have the most concern, when such 'bad actors' in power start going after the good guys (via set ups and untraceable murders) so that the bad guys can run wild and screw up the country.

Look at it this way, when a top level person in our government (like a Supreme Court Justice, a Top Senator on key committee's or even a Secretary of State) who has serious political power has turned on the nation and become a threat to the security of the nation, it is nearly impossible to dislodge that person from power using the ordinary tools of power (charges and a trial). This is where in the past some elements of the deep state came in. Keep that in mind in the future when you hear about the so called 'deep state' and what I mean when I use the term. I am not so much talking about a cabal, but networking - networking that in times of crisis, can be of great value and importance. So don't let anyone fool you with talk of some deep dark conspiracy of the deep state and that they control the world or fool you with the other extreme view, that the Deep State does not exist. Neither view is correct.

... back to the Khasoggi affair

These are important questions that are not being talked about in this moment of important Senatorial Decision making. But The Khashoggi affair, we are going to talk about it today but from a different angle than most are talking about it. It's the Strategic problem that now confronts the Trump administration.

There has been considerable moral indignation over the murder of the Washington Post journalist. That outrage is a good thing, God forbid we come to a time when it's OK to hack up journalists in the Embassy's of our supposed allies and no one marks it. Thankfully the US Senate, while corrupt, has not completely lost its soul and recognizes that something substantial must be done to dissuade any more 'Mad Princes' from hacking up any more journalists.

Related: MbS Reportedly Scrambles Military Amid Coup Fears

But in the unlikely event that the Senate votes to curtail the war and sanction the Saudi's with reduced or no more weapons sales, what will be the end result of it? I say unlikely because any such measure has to also pass the House and a Presidential signature. Right now there is no Veto proof majority and this may have been what the President was trying to forestall by allowing Haspel to brief select Senators, not so much the sway the vote, but in not raising the ire of the Senate so that an override of the almost certain Presidential Veto became more likely.

For argument's sake, let's say that somehow the bill passes, and a VETO is overridden and there are no more weapons sales to the Saudi's and no more US support to the war. Let's say that this is what happens some time in February-April after all the political games and tricks are played. What happens next?

First of all the Saudi's are dependent on the US not for just fighter refueling (recently discontinued), but also for logistical support as well as Intelligence support in the current Yemen conflict. Other open source news stories have US special ops troops in the region doing God knows what. An end to that support would leave the coalition pretty much on their own and the Saudi's... lets face it, are having one very difficult time of it in Yemen.  Without the US support it needs and has relied upon, it would only do worse. The Saudi's may have state of the art weapons, but the problem is the inability to use their hardware in a way that brings in a mission success. They are using 'caveman' tactics in a 21st century war.  In short, on the battlefield, they are incompetent. One problem I think is that the Saudi's being a closed society that bases princely bloodlines and loyalty to the king above military prowess has led to a situation where all the wrong people are sitting in the cockpit and doing the operational planning and the ones who should be fighting and coming up with a coherent battle strategy wind up in some Saudi dungeon because someone else 'connected' want their Job. Granted there is little open source literature on internal Saudi Military promotion system.

The result of this kind of favoritism within a system where bloodlines play such a key role has been probably best described as a theater of incompetence and war crimes that has rightly got the world pretty upset. They don't know what they are doing and probably wouldn't know what to do with a victory even if they won one, and they won't. The Saudi's if they are smart (don't take that for granted) will begin to look with a critical eye their high price tag military and their strategic objectives in the region. Right how the leadership of the Kingdom is obsessed, with Iran and Shi'ism. This ultimately is what this war is about. Yes, it's about spheres of influence and regional power, but at the base of all of it is the warning houses of Islam and who controls the region, the energy supplies and the energy supply routes (Pipelines)

Rather than taking a more neutral and conciliatory stance in the region and taking the role of an honest broker between these two warring houses, the US has clearly taken sides not just diplomatically, but strategically and militarily as well. The US is fighting for Sunni Islam and the dominance of that religious system over the Middle East. By extension, she is fighting against Shia Islam and any influence that religious system has over the region. The US has chosen sides and thus has forfeited her traditional role of peace broker and reliable middle man. This has left a vacuum... one that is being or at least trying to be filled by...

The Russians

The Russians now are looking to become that new power broker in the Middle East.  They never until recently saw the Middle East as a primary zone of influence. But that changed. This piece looks at what caused that change and what it may mean. In short the Russians are trying to move into that role now that America can no longer or is unwilling to play in the region. Her long standing obsession with Iran and her hostility to Shi'ite influence has destroyed that for America.

But it's not just a future important diplomatic role that the Russians will play in the future as, unlike America, she has burned no bridges between herself and Iran or Saudi Arabia, as America has done with Iran. This puts her in a powerful position as a go between when problems arise that effect Iran and the powerful Gulf States (Sunni).

But what will give the US real pause is the thing that makes the wheels of Washington spin, that being arms sales. Billions of dollars are at stake and be assured, major defense contractors are concerned about a future embargo and what that will do for business. They have a lot of leverage on the Hill, but so far, it does not seem to have deeply effected the Senate's mood. But there is another concern that is more strategic.

One is that the Saudi's will begin to look to buy their arms from others. The Russians have some excellent armaments and are busy selling arms around the world. It's a great source of hard currency for the country. This is particularly needed in light of the sanctions that the west keeps levying on Russia for crimes real and imaginary. So Russia is doing the same thing that brings America lots of hard currency into the nation, it's selling arms. Those of you wanting a good look at the arms industry and whose on top, Wikipedia has a great entry here, largely based on data from SIPRI. More on a general and up to date global view here.

Now here is where we need to understand another aspect of the conflict going on in the world. It's as much about military armaments, hot conflicts and treaties as it is about economics. If the US were to suddenly cut off the spigot of arms to the Saudis' where do you think they will turn? They will turn to the Chinese and the Russians as each now are producing very good armaments at very reasonable prices. Mind you, Russian weapons many of them in the past have had some serious maintenance issues. It is not clear if this is still the case and if the Saudi's want to become dependent on Moscow for its weapons systems. This is always the issue with arms sales, its service and maintenance of those weapons systems. How long does a fighter engine last? How will it be replaced when the life span is over? For how much, etc.?

But try and understand a wise Presidents conundrum. Do you cut the Saudi's off and then enrich the Russians and Chinese with those Saudi billions? Granted the question is not quite that simple as the Saudi's are dependent on the US for other kinds of support for those weapons systems they already possess.

So it is not such an easy decision. If the Saudi's were to begin purchasing Russian weapons, integrating those systems with the US technology they already possess may not be as easy as it seems. And let's face it, so far Saudi military competence is one key question everyone is asking now. Do they posses the technological competence for such an integration? I doubt it.

My view is that American policy in the region has been muscular, but not intelligent. It's been direct, but not circumspect; Machiavellian and devoid of those things that made America the great power she once was. It's not so much about individual policy decisions are what are giving the US so many issues now in the Middle East, but an over all vision-less, power hungry slant that has been too long a foundation of our policies. Rather than deal with Iranians (and Syrians) as human beings and fellow citizens of planet earth, the US has treated them as though they crawled out of a sewer and have no rights to anything except global contempt, sanctions and their governments to be overthrown.

Mind you, Iran has many problems many issues with Human Rights and many issues dealing with Terrorism. But you know what? The Saudi's have problems along those lines at least as bad as the Iranians. The moral outrage at Iran by the US is of a politically convenient variety.  As long as the US continues to run interference for Saudi War Crimes in order to advance Sunni Islam at the expense of Iran and Shia concerns, her policy in the region will be permanently chained to those whose moral compass points straight to a dungeon, a torture chamber and a headman's axe.

That is not what American policy should be about.


Poverty Is Often Not Laziness - A Look At The Working Poor In America

This is a look not just at how many people with jobs have to live, but also how they are treated in an America that worships wealth far more than it does God.

These are tragic stories on the dollars and cents of living a growing number of Americans must face.

The Mercury News Reports

Disease/Bio Watch

A House of Healing: One Doctor's War... Against a War
It Isn't Crazy To Conduct An Ebola Test In A War Zone
This is about the outbreak in the Congo and the political situation is making things worse.
Maryland Adenovirus Kills Student, Sickens 21 Others
Bird Flu Hits Iranian Poultry
Given the tense political situation between the US, KSA, Iran and Israel a biological attack cannot be ruled out.
Florida Restaurant Get Sick From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Improper ventilation is the suspected cause.
18 Die of Measles In Philippines
Measles Cases Increase By 30% Globally Since '16
Chinese Creator Of Gene Edited Babies Missing
Hepatitis E Outbreak In Central African Republic
Hepatitis A Outbreak In Florida
HPV Vaccine Linked To Sterility
This is not news to most of you here, many studies in the past have shown the same thing. The vaccine looks more like a stealth population control vaccine than anything that prevents diseases.
HPV Vaccine And Infertility: A Strong Association
An interesting article that shows you some official stats on female infertility.
Iceland reports norovirus outbreak linked to oyster

www.markswatson.com



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