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Jan 18

Erdogan to meet pope for talks said to focus on Jerusalem

Turkish leader and pontiff both strongly oppose US president’s December recognition of Israel’s capital

By AFP and TOI staff 16 January 2018, 5:42 pm 1

VATICAN, Holy See — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican next month for talks likely to focus on the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Turkish leader and head of the Roman Catholic Church both strongly opposed the move announced by US President Donald Trump at the end of last year.

Trump’s December 6 White House address defied worldwide warnings. But the US president insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum and angered Palestinian and Arab leaders. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

Erdogan’s first trip to the tiny state will be on February 5, the Vatican said. It follows phone calls between the two leaders who share concerns over the US decision and agree the status quo regarding the city should remain.

The Argentine pope met Erdogan during his trip to Turkey in November 2014. The return visit will be the first by a Turkish president since 1959.

Erdogan has expressed hope for a better relationship with the European Union after a fractious 2017, despite concerns over human rights violations in Turkey, particularly during the crackdown that followed a failed coup in July 2016.

Francis has repeatedly praised Turkey’s efforts to welcome Syrian refugees and has said the country can be a “great peacemaker,” while also warning against “fanaticism and fundamentalism.”

But the relationship has not always been plain sailing: tensions flared in 2016 when the pope denounced the World War I killing of Armenians as a genocide, enraging Turkey.

Armenians have long sought international recognition for the killings as genocide, but Turkey — the Ottoman Empire’s successor state — argues that it was a collective tragedy in which both Turks and Armenians died.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8969

Jan 18

China’s Armageddon Road – Todd Sandberg

The Bible’s prediction that there would be an army of 200 million “horsemen” had readers puzzled for several centuries. When the Apostle John wrote Revelation in around 95 A.D., there we’re only 200 million people on planet Earth. Since the biggest battles of John’s day only had a few thousand soldiers,  there is good reason for him to be baffled by the large number.

It was a very long time before the global population grew to fit that number. It took 1,650 years for the world’s population just to double to 400 million. At the beginning of the 20th century, the head count was only 1.6 billion.

The population of China was mostly stagnant at under 100 million, up into the 1600s. Endless war and famines only allowed China to grow at a gradual pace. It hit 400 million in 1831 and 600 million in 1953. In the past half century, China’s population more than doubled to 1.4 billion.

The One Child policy instituted by Beijing has made mobilization of a 200 million man army all the more possible. Normally, between 103 and 106 boys are born for every 100 girls. The preference for male children through selective abortions has tilted China’s sex ratio for the generation born in the 2000s to 124. The gender imbalance has grown to the point where there are now 33.5 million more men than women in China.

China could have 10 billion people and still not be able to outfit an army of great size. However, the economic boom that has occurred in recent years has been providential to this objective. For decades, China had the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 10% each year. In 1980 China’s GDP was at $306 billion. Today it at $11.5 trillion.

India has a higher population growth rate than China, and it will become the most populous nation in the next three years. According to Global Firepower, the Indian military has a combined 4,207,250 active and reserve personnel in service. India is so poor, there is no way it could mobilize an army into the tens of millions.

Now that China has the population and the economic might to outfit a large military, it needs a pathway to the Middle East. The Great Wall of China was impressive at keeping the Mongols at bay, but it is nothing compared to the Himalaya mountain range. This massive wall of peaks is the reason why there is such a drastic cultural difference between East and Southwest Asia.

To bridge this natural divide, China is working a complex series of Initiatives that go by the names, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road. The project is the brainchild of China’s president Xi Jinping, and its purpose is to establish road and sea connectivity between Eurasian countries.

The Silk Road will have major highways that reach to the doorways of Iran, Pakistan and India. The time scale is indefinite, and it will come with a huge price tag of between $4 trillion and $8 trillion. I doubt president Xi was thinking of military movement in his project, but it does show the massive amount of infrastructure that the “kings of the east” army will need to cross over to the Middle East.

To move a large army, a nation needs forward operating bases. This may explain why China has recently started building bases outside its territory. The Global Times reported last week that China is in talks with Pakistan to build its second overseas military base as part of a push for greater maritime capabilities along strategic sea routes.

Since the great invasion will take place near the end of the tribulation, China will have several years to work on the Silk Road. I read one stat that would seem to indicate that the 200 million man army will need to roll out in the not too distant future. The declining birth rate is a problem that naturally occurs with nearly every industrialized nation. The lack of children results in a country of old people. If Japan had a billion people, it couldn’t muster a large army.

Because God calls all the shots to prophecy, you can see why China following a step-by-step plan will play a major role in prophecy. With so many of the pieces of the puzzle that have already fallen into place, we can sense that time is short.

“Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them” (Revelation 9:14-16).

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12).

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8967

Jan 18

Mystery of 24 black-boxes discovered near Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza

THEY weigh more than 100 tons, they are solid Aswan granite, and they are precision engineered to tolerances which would be deemed remarkable even today.

By Paul Baldwin

PUBLISHED: 07:32, Sat, Jan 13, 2018 | UPDATED: 08:14, Sat, Jan 13, 2018 Mysterious black boxes found in Egypt

So how did the ancient Egyptians build and put in place the 24 strange and sinister coffin shaped black boxes discovered buried in a hillside cave system, 12 miles south of The Great Pyramid of Giza?

And more importantly, why?

The skilfulness of the stone cutting, accurate to just a few microns, is so remarkable that some experts have concluded that they were not built for Egytian pharaos but in fact left on earth by and alien race and simply appropriated by the kings.

 

GETTY

The tombs are believed to be the burial places of Apis bulls, worshipped as deities in Ancient Egypt

The stark black boxes do display some hieroglyphics but they are of such poor quality that the scribbles are regarded as graffiti.

The real purpose and function of the boxes remains unclear, but the were clearly of importance, as they were cut with such precision they would remain airtight for many millennia.

They are known as the Serapeum of Saqqara in the now abandoned city of Memphis, Egypt.

In Egyptology a serapeum is a temple or other religious institution dedicated to the syncretic Greco-Egyptian deity Serapis, who combined aspects of Osiris and Apis in a humanized form.

Serapis was recognised across the Mediterranean region and emerges in both Greek and Gnosyic religions – usually in the guise of a man with a three-headed dog on a chain.

GETTY

It remains a mystery how the ancient culture were able to carve such huge and accurate sarcophagi

The formal burial site is believed to have been built sometime 3300 years ago by Ramesses II.

Recent research suggests it was a burial place of Apis bulls, which were worshipped as incarnations of the god Ptah.

Egyptologists say that because the bulls were honoured as gods Khaemweset, a son of Ramesses II ordered that a tunnel be excavated through one of the mountains at the site and designed with side chambers to contain large granite sarcophagi weighing up to 100 tons each, to hold the mummified remains of the bulls.

Theories about the pyramids that could prove advanced ancient technology

Fri, January 12, 2018

The ancient pyramids of Giza have wowed mankind for centuries, these are the theories the pyramids of Giza could prove that advanced ancient technology existed

EPA

1 of 8

Researchers discovered a ‘big void’ in the Pyramid by observation of cosmic-ray muons, that are only partially absorbed by stone, an empty space of at least 30 meters long that could be a possible hidden chamber

The temple was discovered by Auguste Mariette, who had gone to Egypt to collect coptic manuscripts, but later grew interested in the remains of the Saqqara necropolis.

In 1850, Mariette found the head of one sphinx sticking out of the shifting desert sand dunes, cleared the sand and followed the boulevard to the site.

After using explosives to clear rocks blocking the entrance to the catacomb, he excavated most of the complex.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8965

Jan 18

New Age Infiltration in Churches: Part 1

January 15, 2018

For the next several days, I desire to talk about the infiltration of New Age doctrines and practices in churches in America.

I have personally witnessed over 35+ years the gradual acceptance of New Age theology in a growing number of US churches.

There’s something happening in America that I am seeing more clearly in recent years.  The USA is morphing into a Babylonian empire.  It is quite troubling to behold.  A spirit of madness is taking over a sizeable portion of the population.  The group insanity is fueled by the population’s rejection of God and His commandments.  A sizeable portion of the population has consciously chosen to believe a lie.  Consequently, God sent them a delusion.  When a nation becomes so perverse that God sends them a delusion, it is impossible for them to ever see and understand the truth.  It is a sure sign of judgment.

As America becomes more Babylonian, so too is its religious system.  When the Jews turned to idolatry, God judged Israel when they repeatedly over many years rejected divine warnings issued by prophets to repent and return to the Lord’s commandments.
God used Nebuchadnezzar in to conquer Jerusalem.  The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in three stages, beginning in 605 BC and ending in 586 BC.  Judah’s King Jehoiakim was forced to pay tribute – taxes – to King Nebuchadnezzar.  Jehoiakim paid the taxes for the first three years, but stopped the tribute money in the fourth year.

Three years later, Nebuchadnezzar’s army invaded Judah again.  King Jehoiakim died.  Several years later, Jehoiakim’s successor was hauled off to Babylon.  And a few more years later, Nebuchadnezzar put the squeeze on Judah and started deporting Jews to Babylon as slaves.  The Jews remained in Babylon until Persia’s King Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon.  Although they were officially under Nebuchadnezzar’s captivity for 70 years, the Jews’ return to Judah was gradual over many years.

During the Babylonian captivity, the prophet Ezekiel rebuked the Jews for their disloyalty to God and their infatuation with Babylon.

You can read it in Ezekiel 23.  Let’s start with verse 11.

11 “Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became more corrupt than her sister in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister.

12 She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men.

13 And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way.

14 But she carried her whoring further. She saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion,

15 wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea.

16 When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.

17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, she turned from them in disgust.

18 When she carried on her whoring so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister.

19 Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt.

When the Jews finally departed Babylon, they carried back to Judah more than their clothes and stuff.  They took home a new religion –  Judaism.  I know this is difficult for many Christians to grasp, but God did not inspire the formation of Judaism.  Judaism as we know it today did not exist when the Jews were taken into Babylonian captivity.

It was while in Babylon that the Jews developed a new religious system that was based on rabbinical interpretations of the Torah.  The Talmud was conceived and birthed in Babylon.  Indeed, Jews today refer to it as the Babylonian Talmud.  Modern day Jews don’t read the Word of God.  They read what the Babylonian rabbis said about the Torah.
There was something else the Jews discovered in Babylon and took home to Jerusalem:  It was Babylonian secret knowledge acquired from the Chaldeans.  It forms the core of modern-day Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah.  Kabbalah is the hidden wisdom of Jewish rabbis that was derived from ancient secret knowledge.  The rabbinical hidden wisdom was combined with Babylonian secret knowledge into a Jewish theology that forms the core of modern Judaism.

The ancient Babylonians were an advanced culture known for their knowledge of science and advanced mathematics including geometry and trigonometry.  The Babylonians also worshipped the planet Jupiter.

I’m sorry to shock all the hard-core Christian Zionists who are watching Morning Manna today, but modern-day Israel’s Star of David flag has nothing to do with King David and ancient Israel.  The Star of David flag was inspired by Kabbalah.  The star in Israel’s flag is the same star god condemned by God in Amos 5:26.

But you carried a tabernacle for your Moloch, and the image of your idols, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves.

In the New Testament, you can read about again about Israel’s star god.  It is found in Acts 7:43.

And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which you made to adore them. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

I’ll be very direct with you:  If you have a flag, pendant, poster, or any other item with the Israeli Star of David image, you have an occult image in your home, church, office, or on your body.  Get rid of it.

How is this linked to my subject of New Ageism in American churches?

The Jews discovered ancient secret knowledge in Babylon.  They developed a new Jewish theology while in Babylon.  It is the rabbinical Talmud.  With the Talmud comes Kabbalah, which is Jewish witchcraft.

As the Kabbalists have gained more influence in America over the past 50 years, America has become more Babylonian.  This explains why America is morphing into Babylon.  Is America end time Babylon?  Are we fulfilling Bible prophecy?  Perhaps.  If America is, indeed, end time Babylon, there isn’t anything we can do to stop it.  If America is not end time Babylon, we can stop the Babylonian process and reverse it by returning to bedrock doctrine of the Christian church.  The preaching of truth will chase away darkness and apostasy.

New Ageism, witchcraft, the black arts, sorcery, the occult, paganism – whatever name you want to call it – has been in the world for thousands of years.

It was present in Old Testament times.  Egypt’s Pharaoh had magicians, wise men, astrologers, soothsayers, and sorcerers who used secret arts to perform astounding feats, predict the future, and to interpret dreams.

In Isaiah 47:13, God told the Israelites to ask their astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators to stand up and save them from the judgment that would come upon them because of their idolatry and rebellion.

Today, we see and hear New Age terms and practices in many churches.  People are adapting to it and accepting its presence.  We should be outraged and rise up against it.  I want to give you some buzzwords that you should be on alert for their presence in churches in your community – or present in ministries on TV and radio.  This is not an exhaustive list, but merely a beginning of the terms and phrases being used by many church leaders.

  •  Christ Spirit
  •  Destiny Cards
  •  Angel Guidance
  •  Labyrinth Prayer Walk
  •  Soaking prayer
  •  Contemplative Prayer
  •  Sozo Prayer
  •  Holy Yoga
  •  New sound
  •  Vibrations
  •  Getting in tune with universe
  • Meditative mantra
  • Global consciousness
  • Positive and Negative energies
  • Crystals
  • Centering
  • Automatic writing
  • Channeling
  • Universalism

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8963

Jan 18

Erdogan: we will ‘strangle’ U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born”

Ellen Francis, Ezgi Erkoyun

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to “strangle” a planned 30,000-strong U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born,” as Washington’s backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies.

The United States announced its support on Sunday for plans for a “border force” to defend territory held by U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led fighters in northern Syria.

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad responded on Monday by vowing to crush the new force and drive U.S. troops from the country. Assad’s ally Russia called the plans a plot to dismember Syria and place part of it under U.S. control.

But the strongest denunciation came from Erdogan, who has presided as relations between the United States and its biggest Muslim ally within NATO have stretched to the breaking point.

“A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders,” Erdogan said of the United States in a speech in Ankara. “What can that terror army target but Turkey?”

“Our mission is to strangle it before it’s even born.”

Erdogan said Turkey had completed preparations for an operation in Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria.

The Kurdish-led regions in Syria say they need the border force to protect them against threats from Ankara and Damascus.

“To prevent any attack… there must be a deterrent force that protects the border between our areas and the others,” Fawza Youssef, a senior Kurdish politician, told Reuters.

“Until a political settlement is reached in Syria, these areas need protection. Now, there aren’t any guarantees,” she said.

The United States has led an international coalition using air strikes and special forces troops to aid fighters on the ground battling Islamic State militants in Syria since 2014. It has about 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria.

The U.S. intervention has taken place on the periphery of a near seven-year civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven more than 11 million from their homes.

Islamic State was effectively defeated last year, but Washington says its troops are prepared to stay to make sure the Islamist militant group cannot return.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an opening ceremony in Sincan near Ankara, Turkey, January 15, 2018. Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

For much of the war, the United States and Turkey worked together, jointly supporting forces fighting against Assad’s government. But a U.S. decision to back Kurdish fighters in northern Syria in recent years has enraged Ankara.

Meanwhile, the Assad government, backed by Russia and Iran, has made great strides over the past two years in defeating a range of opponents, restoring control over nearly all of Syria’s main cities. It considers the continued U.S. presence a threat to its ambition to restore full control over the entire country.

On Sunday, the U.S.-led coalition said it was working with its militia allies, the mainly Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to set up the new force to patrol the Turkish and Iraqi borders, as well as within Syria along the Euphrates River which separates SDF territory from that held by the government.

“DON‘T FORCE US TO BURY”

Turkey views the Syrian Kurdish forces supported by the United States as allies of the PKK, a banned Kurdish group waging an insurgency in southern Turkey.

“This is what we have to say to all our allies: don’t get in between us and terrorist organizations, or we will not be responsible for the unwanted consequences,” Erdogan said.

“Don’t force us to bury in the ground those who are with terrorists,” he said. “Our operations will continue until not a single terrorist remains along our borders, let alone 30,000.”

Syria’s main Kurdish groups have emerged so far as one of the few winners in the Syrian war, working to entrench their autonomy over large parts of northern Syria. Washington opposes those autonomy plans even as it has backed the SDF.

The Syrian government and the main Kurdish parties have mostly avoided conflict during the civil war, as both sides focused on fighting other groups. But Assad’s rhetoric toward the Kurds has turned increasingly hostile.

Damascus denounced the new border force as a “blatant assault” on its sovereignty, Syrian state media said. It said any Syrian who joined the force would be deemed “a traitor”.

“What the American administration has done comes in the context of its destructive policy in the region to fragment countries … and impede any solutions to the crises,” state news agency SANA cited a foreign ministry source as saying.

Assad’s allies have also chimed in. In an apparent reference to the force, senior Iranian official Ali Shamkhani said it was “doomed to failure”, Fars news agency reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “The actions that we see now show that the United States does not want to maintain the territorial integrity of Syria.”

“Fundamentally, this means the breakup of a large territory along the border with Turkey and Iraq,” Lavrov said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8961

Jan 18

More Than 100 Are Dead As The Worst Flu Epidemic In Years Sweeps Across The United States

By Michael Snyder, on January 14th, 2018

This flu season is already off to a record-setting beginning, and many believe that it could ultimately be the worst that we have seen in decades.  In fact, it has been reported that if we stay on this current pace that this could truly be the worst flu season in more than 50 years.  As you will see below, the CDC is reporting widespread flu activity from coast to coast, and the death toll has already crossed 100.  Here in the United States, flu season usually begins in October and ends in May, and so we still have a long way to go before it is over.

Normally the mainstream media tries very hard to keep the public calm about these things, but even the Washington Post admits that we are having “a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad flu season”…

The nation is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad flu season.

Flu is widespread in 46 states, according to reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nationally, as of mid-December, at least 106 people had died of the infectious disease.

Usually a flu outbreak is centered in one portion of the country, but this one is different.  According to the CDC, this outbreak is affecting the entire nation, and the number of cases climbed another 5.8 percent within the past week…

“Flu is everywhere in the US right now,” said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC’s influenza branch. “This is the first year we’ve had the entire continental US at the same level (of flu activity) at the same time.” It has been an early flu season that seems to be peaking now, he said, with a 5.8% increase in laboratory-confirmed cases this week over last.

Most people that get the flu don’t die, but it is very important for all of us to understand that this is a very serious outbreak.

In California, things have already gotten so bad that some hospitals have started to run out of Tamiflu

California has been particularly hard hit, with at least 27 deaths of people under 65 attributed to the flu, according to reports. As the number of cases continues to climb there, hospitals are beginning to run out of Tamiflu, the anti-viral medication used to treat the illness.

If you live in an area where the flu is running rampant, it may be wise to avoid public areas for a while.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of us cannot do that.  Most Americans have work or school commitments that cannot be avoided, and the flu can often spread very rapidly in those environments.

Back during the bird flu scare a few years ago, some schools actually closed for a time, and we are starting to see that happen again.  For example, one school down in Texas had a “flu day” on Friday…

A school in San Antonio will be closed Friday for a “flu day” amid an outbreak of influenza.

“While closed, our school will be launching a Super Clean of each classroom for the health of our faculty, staff and students,” San Antonio Christian School posted on Facebook.

Texas has been especially hard-hit by the flu this season, topping Walgreens’ Flu Index, which compiles data from prescriptions used to treat the virus’ symptoms.

Every year the authorities relentlessly promote the flu shot, but large numbers of people that got the flu shot this year are getting sick anyway.

Sadly, the flu shot is not likely to protect you from the very powerful strains of the flu that are dominant this flu season.  In fact, the experts are telling us that the flu shot was only “around 10 percent” effective during the flu season in Australia this year…

U.S. flu specialists say they won’t completely know how powerful this present season’s antibody is until the point that the season is finished. In any case, Australia’s experience recommends viability was just around 10 percent. In the United States, it is 40 to 60 percent powerful in a normal season. Immunizations are less defensive if strains are not the same as anticipated and if sudden transformations happen.

Hopefully everyone out there is stocking up on Vitamin C and echinacea.  We still have more than two months of winter left, and the spread of the flu appears to be accelerating.

If you do get sick, please stay home and don’t expose others.  Many of us like to try to battle through an illness, and in the process we can inadvertently share it with others.

Eventually this flu epidemic will pass, but for now we need to be smart as we weather this storm.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8959

Jan 12

Report: Saudi Arabia working with Israel against Iran

Swiss newspaper reports Israel, Saudi Arabia, working together to prevent Iran’s expansion in the Middle East.

Nitzan Keidar, 08/01/18 11:38

Reuters

The Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung on Monday morning reported that Israel and Saudi Arabia are working together to fight Iran’s expanding presence in the Middle East.

According to the report, the two countries are cooperating significantly in the areas of military issues and security on strategic issues, despite the fact that they have no open diplomatic ties.

Another report said that the shared interest in preventing Iran from establishing itself throughout the Middle East with a land corridor to the Mediterranean Sea has caused the Saudis to debate purchasing Israeli-made military equipment and defense systems.

Basler Zeitung also claimed that Riyadh requested Israel examine the possibility of acquiring, including through a third party, anti-tank defense systems and the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Recently, there were several reports of Israeli and Saudi officials meeting, though neither side disclosed the topics discusses. The Swiss report claims that in October, intelligence officials from both countries met in order to tighten cooperation, and discussed holding an additional meeting with intelligence leaders of both countries.

In November, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot gave an interview to the Saudi Arabian news site Elaph, stating that “the real and greatest threat in the region is Iran, which has three important issues that need to be acted upon. The first is its nuclear program, which has been temporarily frozen, but there is no doubt about Iran’s intentions to achieve nuclear capabilities. Second, Iran’s imposing its influence on various regions and third, its supplying arms [to proxies] to carry out missions, such as to Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Islamic Jihad.

“At the same time, there is an American policy to establish alliances to fight Daesh (ISIS), and they succeeded in doing so. The US is also trying to strengthen and support the moderate Sunni axis in the region without putting its soldiers on the ground to fight. On the other hand, there is a Russian policy that looks only at the Russian interests in Syria. They have made a pact with Assad, Iran and Hezbollah on the one hand, and with the Americans to fight against Daesh, and with Turkey and ourselves (Israel) as part of a mechanism to prevent friction, which has been working very well.”

He also said Israel “is ready to share information if necessary, and there are many common interests we have in common with them.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8957

Jan 12

What Bible says about Arabian desert

Could Sahara have been a forest just 700 years before Jesus’ time?

Published: 15 hours ago

WASHINGTON – Science has lots of ideas about the ancient catastrophic climate change that almost all agree occurred to create the world’s biggest desert in Arabia.

There are as many theories about what happened as when it happened.

What’s not very well-known even by Bible scholars is what the Bible says – or at least suggests.

The Book of Isaiah chapter 21:13 references “the forest of Arabia shall ye tarry all night, even in the ways of Dedanites.” The Hebrew word behind the English “forest” is ya’ar, which generally means forest. Most every older Bible translation renders it “forest,” while some modern ones translate it to “desert” or “thicket” – probably because they can’t imagine there was once a forest in Arabia.

Yet, many scientists, including secular ones, are not only acknowledging that as a fact, some are suggesting it could have been so only a few thousand years ago.

That raises the question as to whether it was indeed a forest in the renowned Isaiah’s time. Even more interesting is the fact that another biblical prophet, Jeremiah, who lived about 100 years after Isaiah, has this to say in Jeremiah 3:2-3: “Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.”

In other words, Jeremiah, quoting what God spoke to him, wrote that the Arabian forest of Isaiah’s time became a desert because of a Divine judgment. And it’s not the only well-known, sprawling desert in the world that was previously forested.

Jeremiah suggests rainfall in Arabia stopped in his time or before. Could the destruction of an Arabian forest have occurred only 2,700 years ago? Is this biblical evidence of just such a possibility?

One recent scientific paper suggests there could have been an Arabian forest instead of desert between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago.

It sparked popular news stories with 2015 headlines like this by the BBC: “Arabia was once a lush paradise of grass and woodlands.”

Other scientists are jumping in to support this conclusion, including the idea that there were lakes and rivers in Arabia thousands of years ago.

And others still say the climate change that brought about the Arabian desert occurred over millions and millions of years – not thousands.

Some Christian scientists and theologians, however, have long believed what the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah said about the Arabian desert in their times was true. Bodie Hodge, a speaker, writer and researcher for Answers in Genesis, explains why.

“After the Flood, the Earth was obviously well watered,” he told WND.” Regrowth should have been abundant over most of the globe. Furthermore, the heat from which the Lord used to burst the springs/fountains of the great deep (Genesis 7:11), had to be a tremendous heat source. Couple this with continental scale movements, this generates immense heat, warming the oceans. Warm oceans produced more precipitation in the early years after the Flood to continue vegetation growth in places we normally wouldn’t see.”

Hodge continues: “This warming would have been the trend until the ice peaked in the Ice Age, with exceptions of course. Calculations by weather experts like meteorologists Mike Oard and Dr. Larry Vardiman put the peak of the Ice Age at about 500 years after Noah’s Flood. This would have been about 400 years after Babel. At this time, Arabia, the Sahara, Negev, and many other places were likely still highly vegetated. Many science articles have reported on the previously lush regions of Arabia, the Sahara, Negev and even Antarctica.”

Speaking of the Negev, today a vast desert, is also referred to as a forest in the underlying Hebrew in Ezekiel 20:46-48. The prophet ministered in the early 600s B.C., around the same time as Jeremiah and about a century after Isaiah.

While the King James Version of the Bible doesn’t specifically refer to the Negev by name, southern Israel is almost entirely desert today, completely occupied by what we call the Negev or Judean Desert. Here’s what Ezekiel wrote in his time about this vast desert: “Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. And all flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.”

According to this account, the Negev went from being a vast forest to becoming a desert because God burned it in judgment.

“At the time of Abraham and Lot, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea region, where Sodom and Gomorrah were located, were well-watered and lush with vegetation,” said Hodge. “I would suggest some deserts were already forming in Abraham’s day around 2,000 BC, and others much later, including into Isaiah and Jeremiah’s day. Today, the Dead Sea region is very desert-like. Sometimes deserts form relatively quickly. But that takes a significant catastrophe and long-term changes of climate. It makes more sense that deserts form in waves as different areas within the larger forest diminish and as other parts still have sufficient ground water (i.e., the oasis affect) and enough rain to sustain, until further weather changes occur. But the final desertification may take a little time. The Yatir desert in Israel is at the edge of the Negev desert. This shows how one area can be devastated into a desert while an area right next to it can remain lush.”

The specific area mentioned in Jeremiah and Isaiah may pinpoint the precise time for the formation of the desert of Arabia Petraea. Dr. John Gill, commentator and Hebraist in the 1700s, published notes on Isaiah 21:13 along these lines as have other well-known commentators. They all insisted the Arabian forest was no mere grove of trees, or a “thicket,” as some modern translations put it, but a thick wooded forest. Some modern translations have even “corrected” Isaiah by changing the word “forest” to “desert.”

“As Arabia no longer has such a place (a forest), this change had to occur since Isaiah’s day,” says Hodge. “It is reasonable and even scriptural to suggest that it happened within the 100 years to Jeremiah’s day.”

By the way, both Saudi Arabia and Israel are actively reforesting their respective deserts.

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Jan 10

World’s Collide – Book One

 

It has been three years since I published the first fiction book in a trilogy that God had put on my heart.

If you have not read please do!

 

Yours in Christ

 

Tommy

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Jan 10

Revival or Apostasy? :: By Alice Childs

Published on: January 7, 2018 by RRadmin7 Category:Alice Johnson Childs, General Articles

Rapture Revival

There seems to be a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding regarding the status and condition of the Church, the world, and the coming Kingdom in these last minutes of the last hours of the last days. We need to get clear in our minds, according to the scriptures, just WHO and WHAT is in play during these last days, as well as what the order of events are that lie just over the horizon.

We need to clear up some fundamental misunderstandings of WHAT the Church is, WHO the Church is, and what her role is before the Rapture. We also need to distinguish again between the differing groups of “saints” who are addressed in the Bible; and finally, we need to have a much clearer grasp of WHAT the Millennial Kingdom is, who will be in it, and what the purpose of it is.

So, in order to clear up our understanding, always according to the scriptures, let’s begin to clear up the errors and misconceptions beginning with the Church – her identity and her purpose.

First of all, we must come to understand what the Church is and what she is not. The Church Age is unique in all of scripture. Up until the call of Abraham, God dealt with humanity as a whole. With the call of Abraham, God began to fashion a people special to Himself. When Jacob came along (Abraham’s grandson) God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and thus all of Jacob’s physical descendants became the nation of Israel.

Thus, God then split humanity into two distinct people groups: Israel (the Jewish people who are the PHYSICAL descendants of Abraham), and ALL other people (non-Jews) who are called Gentiles. This dual separation lasted until AFTER Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection when a third and completely new entity was birthed at Pentecost.

This new entity was a “mystery hidden in God” and was completely UNKNOWN to ALL of the Old Testament prophets, as well as the disciples, who were in the dark about it until AFTER Jesus’ resurrection.

At Pentecost, the Lord then made a THIRD division to humanity by creating His “ekklesia” or His “called out ones” who were to become His body – of which He is the head, also called His “bride” of whom He is the Bridegroom.

This new “called out body” is made up of ALL believers in Christ Jesus, BOTH Jew and Gentile. Thus, there are now (present day since after Calvary):

(1) lost (unbelieving) Gentiles
(2) lost (unbelieving) Jews, and
(3) the Church of Jesus Christ made up of both believing Jews and Gentiles, who at salvation are made ONE “in Christ.”

The purpose of the Church is to do what Israel failed to do when she rejected Jesus as her Messiah, which was to be the instrument through whom God is revealed to the world. Israel failed, and thus the Lord (who already knew before He ever even created the world that she would fail) brought about the Church.

Now, the problem arises when people try to place the Church in the Old Testament (where it was completely unknown and not revealed) or when they try to REPLACE Israel with the Church, believing in error that God has finished dealing with national Israel and that He has no further use for her. NOTHING is farther from the truth! God is NOT FINISHED with Israel, and He has NOT REPLACED Israel with the Church! They are still TWO DISTINCT ENTITIES, BOTH with separate functions and destinies to fulfill in end-times events.

For now, national Israel is “on the back burner” so to speak, while the Church is center stage during this Age of Grace. But, when the Church is complete, she will be removed in the Resurrection/Rapture; and the focus of God ON EARTH will return once again to ISRAEL in order to finish up His plans and to fulfill all of His unbreakable covenants, which He made to ISRAEL through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (see Daniel chapter 9).

So, we see that Israel and the Church are NOT synonymous and that the Church has NOT replaced Israel in God’s plan for the ages, and never will.

There is great confusion regarding the event of the Rapture, with a great deal of confusion occurring over WHEN it will occur. As we shall see, the question is not just when will the Rapture occur, but it is also a matter of WHAT causes the Rapture to occur. Answering the latter helps us understand the former.

In trying to understand the WHEN of the Rapture, let’s first look at WHO goes in the Rapture, who doesn’t go in the Rapture, and WHAT triggers the Rapture.

First the WHO: In 1 Corinthians 15:50-56; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; & 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Paul gives us the answer to the WHO. The Resurrection/Rapture is SPECIFIC to those who are “in Christ” – that is those who have been made ONE through their belief which brings salvation after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.

This group of believers, known as the Church, is made up of ALL believers since Calvary, and includes BOTH the living believers and those who have died “in Christ” from the time of Pentecost up to the instant of the Resurrection/Rapture. This is the “body/bride of Christ. It is these believers – these CHURCH-AGE SAINTS who will be taken when the Rapture occurs.

As we shall see later on, the DESTINY of the Church-Age saints is DIFFERENT from ISRAEL and from the Gentiles after the Rapture occurs. Once the Church is removed from the earth via the Resurrection/Rapture, then God’s focus ON EARTH returns to ISRAEL and to the Gentile nations – BOTH of whom are LOST.

God will use the coming Tribulation (more correctly called “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), the “70th week of Daniel” (Daniel 9), or the “Day of the Lord”) to reveal Himself again to lost Israel and to a lost Gentile population. The Church will have already been completed and removed via the Resurrection/Rapture PRIOR to this last 7-year Time period known as THE Tribulation (as opposed to general tribulations).

Before we go any further, we need to understand that there are 3 (three) groups of people addressed in the Bible as “saints.” We need to clear up which group is which so that we are no longer confused as to who is who.

First there are the Old Testament saints. These OT saints are ALL those who placed their faith and trust in God’s COMING REDEEMER BEFORE CALVARY.

Next are the Church-Age saints who are all those who have believed and placed their trust in Jesus Christ, who IS that Redeemer from the time of Pentecost up to the Resurrection/Rapture.

And lastly, there will be a group of saints called Tribulation saints or Tribulation believers. These are ALL who WILL COME to salvation AFTER the Rapture; they are all those who WILL BE SAVED DURING THE Tribulation. THESE Tribulation saints ARE believers but they are NOT part of the Church, which by then will have already been in Heaven.

Now, having sorted those groups of saints out, let’s look at what triggers the Rapture. As we will see, it’s not strictly a matter of timing; it’s a matter of timing AND a matter of COMPLETION.

The Bible speaks of “the fullness” of the Gentiles “coming in.” What is meant by that?

As we now know, when God revealed to the Apostle Paul (in Ephesians) the “mystery” of the Church (that both believing Jews and Gentiles would be made ONE in Christ and that this new body of believers would have the Holy Spirit of God ETERNALLY SEALED WITHIN THEM), we learned that there is a certain NUMBER of Gentiles – the number of which God alone knows – who are to be grafted into the “olive tree” of Israel. Just what that number is and when the “full number” will be complete is known only to God.

Once the “full” (or complete) number of Gentile believers who are allotted to make up the complete Church has “come in,” or in other words, has been added to the body/bride, then the body/bride will be COMPLETE. Once it (the Church) is complete, then the Church Age (the Dispensation of Grace) will end, and God will then remove His Church to Heaven BEFORE the seven-year Tribulation begins. God will then turn His full attention back to Israel to finish and fulfill ALL of His covenant promises to her, and to prepare ISRAEL to accept her true Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom Israel earlier rejected.

Therefore, once the Church has been COMPLETED with her “full number” having “come in,” then the ones left on earth AFTER the Rapture will be the LOST Jews and LOST Gentiles. Those who come to salvation DURING the Tribulation will become the Tribulation believers, or Tribulation saints.

The “souls under the altar” in Revelation chapter 7 are those Tribulation saints who will have become believers AFTER the Rapture has occurred; those who will have died for their faith in Christ during the seven years of The Tribulation.

We know from scripture that 1/3 of Israel will become believers (Zechariah 13:8-9). God will preserve and protect these new believing Jews and will bring them through the Tribulation so that, by the end of the seven-year “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” ALL of Israel (that 1/3 who become believers and whose lives are spared) will be saved. All other unbelieving Jews will be killed; so the only portion of Israel left will ALL be believers in their true Messiah.

EVERY Jew who enters the Millennial Kingdom (at the end of the Tribulation) will be saved, as will every Gentile who comes to Christ DURING that time (those few from every nation that get saved – those that actually live to see the end of the Tribulation).

These believing Gentiles will be relatively few in number because the overall death toll during the Tribulation will be beyond enormous.

We also know that there will be some Gentiles who come to salvation during the Tribulation because, at the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Himself separates the “sheep” (believers) from the “goats” (unbelievers).

We further know that there will be some Gentiles at that judgment, because the criteria Christ will use to determine what Gentiles go into the Millennial Kingdom will be twofold:

(1) Only those who did NOT receive the mark of the beast will be saved.
(2) those who took care of – who sheltered, fed, clothed, visited the “least of these MY (Jesus’) brethren” and who did so because they loved Jesus.

Because Israel is NEVER counted among the nations (Numbers 23:9), this is evidence that there will be some saved from among ALL the Gentile nations who risked their lives to protect the 144,000 and any other Jews whom Jesus in Matthew 25 called “these my brethren.”

It will be ALL of (then saved) Israel and what Gentile believers (sheep) who make it through alive to the end of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble who will enter to populate the Kingdom. We know this is true because Revelation tells us that, during the Millennium, the nations come to Jerusalem to be taught by the Lord. And since Israel is NEVER counted among the nations, there MUST be Gentiles from all the nations in the Kingdom who will come out of the Tribulation.

Each of these people will still be in their MORTAL bodies. They will be the ones who will procreate and populate the Millennial Kingdom.

Now, in addition to those mortal believers (both Jews and Gentiles), neither group of which belong to the CHURCH, the MK will also have IMMORTALS dwelling there as well. The Church will already be in our immortal and glorified bodies, having gotten them at the instant of our Rapture. The Old Testament saints, along with ALL of the Tribulation saints who will have died or who will have been martyred DURING the Tribulation, will receive their immortal bodies at the END of the Tribulation just BEFORE Jesus sets up His Millennial Kingdom. These will also be among the immortals living and functioning among the mortals during the Kingdom Age.

So, in Revelation 7, the “SOULS under the altar” are all those who came to salvation DURING the Tribulation, who are believers, but who are NOT part of the Church; these are they who died or were killed by the Antichrist or his globalist minions.

Remember, there are Old Testament Saints, Church Age Saints, and Tribulation Saints. Don’t neglect to distinguish one from the other!

The Church-Age saints – both the dead and the living (all who have come to salvation from after Calvary to the Rapture), will be in Heaven in our new and immortal glorified bodies at the time of the Resurrection/Rapture, where we will stay until we return WITH King Jesus at the END of the Tribulation.

The souls of all Old Testament saints and of the martyred Tribulation saints will be with us (the Church) in Heaven, but they will still be in spirit form until the END of the Tribulation period.

ALL of these groups of saints come back WITH Jesus at His Second Coming, both the Church in glorified bodies, and the OT and Tribulation saints (who will come back with Christ in SPIRIT form). These will then receive their glorified bodies BEFORE they enter the Kingdom; so the MK will consist of both mortal and immortal beings (see Daniel 9 and Revelation chapters 19 – 22).

The purpose of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble is fourfold:

1) to cleanse the world of sin and rebellion
2) to prepare ISRAEL to receive her Messiah
3) to fulfill ALL of the covenants that God made with Israel
4) to restore Earth to its Edenic condition

So, will there be people saved AFTER the Tribulation? Yes, however they will NOT be counted as being part of the Church, which is the body/Bride of Christ, and who will be gone from the earth BEFORE the Tribulation begins.

The question remains, will there be a great “revival” or awakening BEFORE the Rapture? The answer is both yes and no.

NO in the sense that there are vast numbers of people (especially in America and the West) where the gospel has been preached and ignored for decades. Sadly, the vast majority will choose not to respond and come to Christ.

YES in that there are already, at this moment, millions of people who are coming to Christ in countries where the gospel has been curtailed, restrained, or even banished – such as in China, North Korea, and all across the Middle East. In that sense, there is already a great ingathering going on.

The Bible tells us that “when the fullness (full number of) the Gentiles has come in” – that full complement who will make up the body/bride is completed – then the Church will be complete and she (the Church) will be taken out of here in the Rapture.

This means that getting the gospel out must be our primary focus, because once that “last Gentile” who makes up the full complement” that completes the body comes to salvation, then the completed Church will be taken Home.

Amillennialists don’t believe in a literal Millennial Kingdom; and the “Kingdom Now” crowd believes that Jesus is unable to return until the Church brings the entire world to salvation, thus bringing in the Kingdom of God because Jesus is unable to do it. The problem with these false beliefs is a failure to recognize and distinguish between God’s distinct differences between the Church and Israel.

ISRAEL is the focal point of ALL scripture, and she is the focal point of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble – aka The Tribulation.

God IS NOT BOUND by fallen, sinful man so that He cannot return until the Church grows strong enough for Him to return. That is HERESY! Neither has God REPLACED Israel with the Church! That too is utter HERESY!

The books of 2 Timothy, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 2 Corinthians, Revelation chapters 2-3, et al, ALL point to a world in which wickedness, lawlessness, debauchery, evil and Godlessness are running rampant on a global scale. In Matthew 24 & Luke 17, Jesus Himself tells us that the conditions just before His return to earth will be “as it was in the days of both Noah and Lot.” Hardly a time of a world growing more and more “Christian.” In fact, it will be just the opposite of perfection.

Don’t be misled and lied to by wolves such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, or any others who are preaching and teaching the heresy that the Church must REMAIN HERE during the Tribulation in order to “bring in the Kingdom.” All who teach such false gospels obviously do not have a clue what scripture actually teaches. Do not be deceived by them! They are false teachers whose messages are diametrically opposed to what God states in His inerrant, infallible Word. Those who teach and preach such heresies are all LIARS.

Our job as the Remnant Church, until Jesus comes, is to share the gospel far and wide; we are to warn a lost world that certain judgment lies just over the horizon, and that the vanishing of the Remnant Church must and will occur before the time of Tribulation begins. That mandate has never changed.

Let us tell as many as we can how and why they need a Savior. At some point, that “last Gentile” WILL be saved. And when that happens, then the body/bride will be complete, and the Bridegroom will come for His Bride. Keep looking up. MARANATHA!!

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