Category: The Church

Biden Omits‘God’ From the Declaration of Independence

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz July 7, 2020 , 2:31 pm

“The name of Hashem is a tower of strength To which the righteous man runs and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10 (The Israel Bible™)

The campaign to elect Joe Biden for president released a video which despite being all-of 97 seconds long, contained several glaring flaws and even more disturbing omissions. 

Skipping over the first paragraph which mentions ‘God’ explicitly, Biden began with a quote from the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.

“Our country was founded on an idea, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

At that point, Biden stopped short, cutting the sentence off in the middle, failing to add the second half which notes  that these “truths” come from “the Creator, or, in Thomas Jefferson’s words:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It should be noted that the Declaration of Independence uses the word ‘God’ once, the word ‘Creator’ once, the word ‘Divine’ once, ‘Created’ once, and the word ‘divine’ once.

Biden went on to deride Jefferson who was a Founding Father of the United States and who like Biden, served as vice president and, unlike Biden, served two terms in the office Biden aspires to.

“We’ve never lived up to it. Jefferson himself didn’t,” Biden said. “He held slaves, women were excluded, but once proposed it was an idea that couldn’t be constrained.”

Though Biden’s statement may be factually accurate, it is disingenuous and misleading. It is correct that like many people around the world, Jefferson operated his farm by the use of slaves. This does not take into account that when he wrote this phrase, Congress deleted a quarter of the first draft of the Declaration including a passage criticizing the slave trade. Jefferson believed adding such a passage would dissolve the independence movement. In writing the declaration, Jefferson believed the phrase “all men are created equal” to be self-evident, and would ultimately resolve slavery.

And limiting the description of Jefferson to his ownership of slaves ignores many other significant aspects of an important figure in American history. Decades before the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson argued in court for the abolition of a slave. 

In his annual message of December 1806, Jefferson denounced the “violations of human rights” attending the international slave trade, calling on the newly elected Congress to criminalize it immediately. In 1807, Congress passed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, which Jefferson signed. The act established severe punishment against the international slave trade, although it did not address the issue domestically.

Biden went on, focusing on aspects of US history connected with the civil rights of black people. 

“It survived the ravages of the Civil War, the dogs of Bull Connor [an opponent of civil rights], the assassination of Martin Luther King and more than 200 years of systemic racism, and just weeks ago the murder of George Floyd. Through it all, these words have gnawed at our conscience and pulled us towards justice.”

It should be noted that Biden’s voting record on civil rights issues can, at best, be described as mixed. During a debate on November 15, 2007, Biden clarified the PATRIOT Act’s effect and his continued support for it and his opposition to racial profiling. In the 1970s, Biden was a vocal opponent of busing to racially integrate schools.

He also has a disturbing history of making racist remarks, most recently in May in an interview with “The Breakfast Club,” when he said, “I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

At a campaign event in Iowa in August 2019, Biden told supporters “poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids.” He quickly corrected himself after some applause by adding: “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.”

There are many examples of Biden’s racist gaffes but perhaps the most bizarre was in February 2007 when he referred to his future boss, then-Senator Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.”

Biden continued his carefully scripted and pre-recorded speech. 

“American history is no fairy tale. It’s been a constant push and pull between two parts of our character, the idea that all men and women, all people are created equal, and the racism that has torn us apart. We have a chance now to give the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated, the oppressed a full share of the American dream. We have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country. We have a chance to live up to the words that have founded this nation. This Independence Day let’s not just celebrate the words, let’s celebrate that promise and commit to work, the work that we must do to fulfill that promise. We remain locked in the battle for the soul of this nation, but believe me, truly, it’s a battle we can and we will win if we act together. Happy Fourth.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted that Joe Biden’s brief Fourth of July video address “the most anti-American speech ever given by an American presidential candidate.”

In comparison, Gingrich praised President Trump’s fourth of July speech, saying, “It just might win him the reelection.”

In contrast, President Trump mentioned ‘God’  six times, including a paraphrase of hte same section of the Declaration of Independence cited by Biden.

“Two hundred and forty-four years ago in Philadelphia, the 56 signers of our Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to boldly proclaim this eternal truth: that we are all made equal by God,” Trump said, to wild applause. 

And again, in what is becoming his signature farewell: “God Bless you, God Bless our heroes, God bless America.” 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10698

Major power orders Christians: Renounce God or we’ll cut off food and housing

By WND Staff
Published June 28, 2020 at 2:11pm

China’s communist government is warning elderly Christians that they will lose basic benefits if they don’t stop praticing their faith.

Bitter Winter, the online magazine about religious liberty and human rights in China, reports the Communist Party is threatening “to take away the last means of survival from elderly believers,” the government benefits of “housing, food, clothing, medical care, and funeral expenses.”

“A Catholic from Fuzhou city in the southeastern province of Jiangxi has been receiving monthly 250 RMB (about $ 35) from the government since 2018, the year her husband died,” Bitter Winter reported.

“At the end of 2019, local government officials threatened the woman, in her 60s, that the subsidy would be withdrawn unless she removes images of Jesus from her home. ‘Because the Communist Party feeds you,’ they told the woman, ‘you must only believe in it, not God.’ Two months later, the pension was canceled because she refused to remove the symbols,” the report said.

She told Bitter Winter, “It has become difficult to maintain belief in God because of religious persecution.”

Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, said it’s “a heartbreak and an outrage that widows and other elderly are forced to renounce their faith in order to receive stipends. For many, they may need these funds to survive.”

“It [is] a pathetic act of cowardice to force desperate widows to choose between their survival and their God. This widow, who refused to renounce her faith potentially in the face of abject poverty, is heroic,” she said.

“This form of religious persecution is on the rise in the area of China where we have our Save a Widow Campaign. I was just informed that in our area, a government official has instructed our widows to stay home on Sundays and not to go to church. He also ridiculed Jesus, saying, ‘The Chinese government gives you 160 RMB (about $23). How much money does Jesus Christ give you?'”

She continued: “Fortunately for the widows in our area, they have a ready answer. Our fieldworkers bring love and compassion to widows, along with practical help: a $25 monthly stipend that makes a huge difference in their lives, providing food and warmth. Our fieldworkers encourage these widows in their faith, and many have found new hope that there is a God who loves them.”

Littlejohn for years has fought China’s one-child policy, which banned couples from having more than one child. It recently was changed to two children, but forced abortions still are part of the government’s enforcement policy.

Bitter Winter noted that just weeks ago, officials in Fuzhou “forced an 80-year-old Christian women to cover up a cross image in her home, again threatening her subsistence allowance.”

Authorities also have begun an intensive campaign of “return” inspections “to make sure that people don’t resume practicing their faith,” the report said.

In one case, government bureaucrats “threatened a Sola Fide believer in a nursing home, who has been paralyzed for eight years, to drive him out of the residence if he continued his belief.”

“The officials said that I am supposed to believe in the Communist Party since it feeds me, or else all my social benefits would be canceled,” he said. “I won’t give up my faith no matter how the government pursues me. If it cancels my benefits, I will meet God earlier.”

In Yingtan city, authorities “deprived a local Christian of her government aid for hosting religious meetings at home, even though the woman was immobile from an illness,” the report said. And they also harassed a Catholic, in her 70s, to replace religious symbols with images of President Xi Jingping.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10689

Really Bizarre Things Are Happening All Over The Globe

June 24, 2020 by Michael Snyder

Just when you think that 2020 has been filled with enough trouble, even more stuff starts happening.  Coming into this week, we were already dealing with a new COVID-19 surge which has pushed the number of daily cases to the highest levels we have seen so far, a global economy which is in the process of imploding all around us, massive civil unrest in U.S. cities from coast to coast, and giant swarms of locusts that are wiping out farms all the way from eastern Africa to parts of India.  Unfortunately, now we have several more items to add to our growing list.

Let’s start by talking about an alarming new outbreak of locusts.  The following comes from a British news source

Dramatic footage captures an “astonishing” swarm of locusts swarm through farmland and destroy crops.

The short-horned grasshoppers are capable of devouring the same amount of crops as 2,500 people would each day.

Some of you may have just read that paragraph and come to the conclusion that this is “old news”.

After all, we have been hearing about the colossal armies of locusts in Africa for months, and I have published numerous articles about that unprecedented plague.

But the news story that I just quoted wasn’t talking about those locusts.  Instead, that report was about a brand new infestation that has erupted in Argentina, and one local official is saying that he has never seen anything like it ever before.

Just like on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, these little critters are voraciously gobbling up everything in sight, and countless farms are being destroyed.

Now these swarms are heading for Brazil, and Brazilian officials are definitely extremely alarmed.  One of my readers in Brazil sent me an article about this emerging crisis from a Brazilian news source, and the following is a quote from that article which has been translated into English…

In approximately one square kilometer they can have up to 40 million insects, which in one day consume pastures equivalent to what 2,000 cows or 350,000 people eat, Argentine agronomist Héctor Medina told Reuters.

What would you do if 40 million locusts suddenly descended on your farm?

Of course the truth is that there would be very little that you could do that would make any sort of a difference.  Just like so many other farmers around the globe, you would simply watch as all of your hard work is completely wiped out.

Meanwhile, an absolutely gigantic plume of dust from Africa has crossed the Atlantic Ocean and is about to hit the United States.  The following comes from CBS News

A massive plume of dust from the Sahara desert in northern Africa has been traversing the atmosphere, thousands of feet above the tropical Atlantic Ocean, and is now cloaking the Caribbean and closing in on the southeastern United States.

Every once in a while a dust plume from Africa can cross the ocean like this, but the monstrous one that we are witnessing right now is truly unusual.

In fact, one expert says that this is “the most significant event in the past 50 years”

“This is the most significant event in the past 50 years. Conditions are dangerous in many Caribbean islands,” Pablo Méndez Lázaro, from the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Public Health, told the Associated Press.

As this plume travels across the U.S., air quality in some areas will drop precipitously.  Some of the dust has already arrived, but a “thicker layer” is projected to starting hitting Texas on Friday

On Wednesday, the dust is forecast to move across the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas.

Thursday morning, people in places like Brownsville in Texas and Houston will likely wake up to a beautiful sunrise and a hazier than normal sky.

Forecast models show the thicker concentration blanketing most of Central America and Mexico Thursday.

This thicker layer is likely to reach Texas by Friday and then take a turn to the east. If the forecast model is right, it will move over most of the Southeast and MidAtlantic states over the weekend.

On top of everything else, the west coast is starting to shake in a major way once again.  On Wednesday, southern California was struck by a magnitude 5.8 earthquake

California residents received an emergency alert on their phones which read: “Earthquake! Expect shaking. Drop, Cover, Hold On. Protect yourself now. – USGS ShakeAlert”. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck 17km south-southeast of Lone Pine. The tremor originated at a depth of 2.9km, with an epicenter around 17 kilometers south-east of Lone Pine.

According to a USGS interactive shake map the impact of the earthquake could be felt in the Death Valley National Park.

The earthquake has since been downgraded to 5.8 magnitude.

That quake was followed by numerous sizable aftershocks, including one that was measured to be magnitude 4.6.

Overall, there have been 2,267 earthquakes in California and Nevada over the last 7 days, and that is definitely alarming.

Farther south along “the Ring of Fire”, Mexico was hit by a magnitude 7.4 earthquake on Tuesday

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico’s southern Oaxaca region on Tuesday, killing at least five people and shaking buildings hundreds of miles away.

The 7.4-magnitude quake struck mid-morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Its epicenter was off the Pacific coast about seven miles southwest of Santa María Zapotitlán, near the beach resort of Huatulco.

Very large seismic events are happening so frequently now that they barely make a blip on the news these days, and that is unfortunate because people need to wake up and understand that our planet is becoming increasingly unstable.

Here in the United States, scientists have been strongly warning us for years that we are way overdue for “the Big One” to hit California, and this is one of the things that I will be addressing in the new book that I am currently working on.

At some point there will be no more sand in the hourglass, and an unprecedented disaster will strike the west coast.  Let us pray that we still have quite a bit more time before that happens.

But nothing can stop the inexorable march of time, and the deeper we get into 2020 the crazier it gets.

Unfortunately, the truth is that this “perfect storm” is just getting started, and that means that what we have experienced up to this point is just the tip of the iceberg.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10681

Mike Pompeo tells Greg Laurie he depends on God to help him protect Americans; pastor talks End Times

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor| Monday, May 25, 2020

Pastor Greg Laurie speaking at SoCal Harvest in Anaheim, California, on Aug. 23, 2019. | Courtesy of Harvest

In an interview with Pastor Greg Laurie of the California megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he reads two books each morning — the Bible and the day’s intelligence report about threats to Americans at home and around the world. Juxtaposing the two, he shared, is difficult.

“I manage to synthesize them … knowing that the Lord gives me the capacity to work, to be diligent,” Pompeo said in the pre-recorded interview that was featured Sunday. “I hope He’ll give me the wisdom and the perseverance to meet these challenges head-on in a way that protects the American people.”

The secretary of state said he goes back to that most important book every day “and remind myself that the Lord is looking out over this world … The Lord is watching us.”

He said whenever he’s stressed or preparing for a meeting, he’s confident that the Lord is watching over everyone in the room.

In his sermon on Sunday, Pastor Laurie addressed the question: “Is coronavirus a sign of the End Times?”

We can feel the fear, the anxiety and the stress, he said. All the news stories are about COVID-19, and new words have entered our vocabulary: pandemic, sheltering in place, self-isolation, social distancing, community spread, herd immunity … and plagues.

Plagues, Laurie said, will increase when the End is near, according to the Bible.

To suggest that God expects believers to know when the time is near, the pastor read Matthew 16:1-3, which reads, “The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, ‘When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.’”

He quoted a recent national poll: “A stunning 43 percent of poll respondents said they believe the coronavirus and resulting economic meltdown is a wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God.”

It is a wake-up call, he stressed.

Laurie cautioned against listening to those who claim they know the exact time, quoting Luke 21:8-11, which reads, “He replied: ‘Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.’ Then he said to them: ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.’”

Over the last 40 years, the pastor pointed out, COVID-19 is the sixth infectious plague unleashed on the planet.

As we can see these things beginning to happen, we have two options: “You can freak out … or you can look up,” he said.

He explained what could be the order of events of the End Times.

The next event on the prophetic calendar is the Rapture, he said, explaining that it is when Christ descends from Heaven and we are caught up to meet Him in the air.

And after “some time,” the devil will appear as a very persuasive, charismatic leader of the world with a peace plan “that works for three and a half years.” And around mid-way during these seven years, called the Tribulation Period, the anti-Christian will show his true colors. “And he forces people to take his mark.”

That’s when the judgment of God begins to come and builds up until the final battle of humanity, known as the Battle of Armageddon, the pastor said. “And as the world is at war, the Second Coming takes place.” That’s when Jesus will establish His Kingdom, which will be the beginning of the Millennium, a thousand-year reign of Christ. After that, the Heaven and the earth will become one.

However, Laurie cautioned, “We should not be looking for the anti-Christ, we should be looking for Jesus Christ.”

He quoted C.S. Lewis as once saying, “A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.”

As many churches have been livestreaming their services online as large physical gatherings are temporarily halted due to government-issued social distancing orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Laurie said in mid-April that the move to digital means of worship might portend a Great Awakening.

The pastor wrote in an op-ed published in Newsweek that he and his team were pleasantly surprised to see that their first week of shifting services to online-only drew over 250,000 viewers and has been growing ever since.

“Last week, we had over a million people tune in for church. These are people literally from all around the world, from every age and background, who are missing church. So, to the best of our ability, we are bringing church to them. What’s more, hundreds of thousands of them are people whom marketers would refer to as the ‘target demographic’ between the ages of 18 and 34.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10604

Prophecy under the New Covenant: The ‘two houses’ theme

By Scott Lively
Published May 25, 2020 at 7:08pm

There are innumerable theories on biblical prophecy and numerous well-established camps totally convinced of their respective conclusions. I have charted my own course based on the premise that the Bible is intended to be one harmonious document in which all the diverse components interconnect naturally. That requires balancing the Old and New Testaments, and I believe the key to that balance is found in Jeremiah’s prophecy about the New Covenant. It is cited in Hebrews 8 by way of explaining to the Hebrew people why the New Covenant was superior to the Old Covenant, but it also highlights two critical facts important to the study of prophecy generally.

“Jesus has received a much more excellent ministry, just as the covenant He mediates is better and is founded on better promises. For if that first covenant had been without fault, no place would have been sought for a second. … ‘Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers. … I will put My laws in their minds, and inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will each one teach his neighbor or his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.'”

Jeremiah is clearly describing Christianity, wherein God indwells those who accept Christ as Savior, Who specifically promised “when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come” (John 16:13). That was a spiritual quantum leap of incalculable magnitude. The passage also makes clear that understanding prophecy is about listening to the Holy Spirit for yourself.

The purpose of prophecy under the New Covenant is to prepare the church for the Second Coming of Christ. We should therefore pay very close attention to how the New Covenant is defined by Jeremiah, and to the instructions of the mediator of the covenant, Jesus Christ, on the subject of prophecy. That means first, to recognize the centrality of the Two House theme in understanding the phenomenon of Christianity in prophecy – which almost no one with a large prophecy-themed following does – and second, to give far greater weight to Jesus on the timing and landmarks of prophecy than any other prophet.

To the first point, I refer you again to Hebrews 8:8: “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”

Was the New Covenant primarily for the Gentiles? NO. In fact, Gentiles have to be “grafted in” before it will even apply to them (Romans 11). Was it for “the Jews” (the biblical nickname for “Judeans” as distinct from “Israelites” – 2 Kings 16:5-6 )? NO. It was expressly promised to the two separate houses of the Hebrew sons of Jacob: the House of Leah and the House of Rachel, named (per patriarchal custom) for their sons Judah and Joseph (“Israel” per Jeremiah 31:9), respectively. Hebrews 8:8 is thus proof both that the two houses are still separate at the issuing of the New Covenant, and that the story of the New Covenant is intimately related to the past and future story of the two houses.

To the second point, I argue that the Olivet Discourse as presented in Matthew 24-25 is the ultimate foundation and guide to all prophecy study, because it was the instruction given by Jesus to His disciples in response to their direct question in Matthew 24:3, “When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” I contend His answer was a point by point chronological summary of end-time events, which is repeated with only slight variation in the Gospels of Mark (Chapter 13) and Luke (Chapter 21) and reiterated by Jesus in an expanded and annotated fashion in the book of Revelation, recorded by the Apostle John.

In my analysis of Matthew 24-25, I track 12 events in Matthew 24, starting with the “birth pains” and ending with the glorification of the Bride of Christ at the resurrection and rapture (“birth”). I then continue into Chapter 25 to track the three sequential post-rapture events (in three parables): the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, the Testing of the Works, and the Return of the King. Those 15 events establish a timeline template to which all other prophecies can be naturally correlated and aligned.

I next aligned Revelation to the Matthew 24-25 timeline, then brought in God’s time-keeping systems: the seven feasts of Leviticus 23, and the broader cycles-of-sevens teaching in Leviticus 25 to further assist on aligning the Old Testament prophecies to the timeline. Some of this will be familiar to those who have heard teachings on the Biblical Feasts which have been gaining popularity over the past decade.

Importantly, in my analysis, the three events of Matthew 25 fall within the Ten Days of Awe that begin with Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets) on which I believe the resurrection and rapture will occur, and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), in which Christ will return with the Host of Heaven to take physical possession of the earth. While the Ten Days of Awe are a time of exceeding great joy for the Bride-become-Wife of God, they are simultaneously Ten Days of Wrath for those left behind on earth to suffer the bowl judgments, and finally, the Winepress of the Wrath of God.

I have designed a Scripture-citing graph that explains this last paragraph very simply and it will be included in the release this week in print and video, of my second installment of “The Prodigal Son Prophecy: God’s Amazing Plan for the Restoration of the Two Hebrew Houses and the Salvation of the Gentiles.” (Email scottlivelyministries@gmail.com to receive it without charge).

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10601

9 Signs Of The End Times That Are Unfolding Right In Front Of Our Eyes

May 20, 2020 by Michael Snyder

Global events are beginning to spiral out of control, and this has created a resurgence in interest in what the Bible has to say about “the last days”.  Throughout the Scriptures, we are warned about apocalyptic events that will precede the second coming of Jesus Christ, and a lot of people are wondering if that period of time is now upon us.  All over the Internet, people are engaging in all sorts of speculation and lots of really bizarre theories are being thrown around, and this is causing a great deal of confusion.  But all of this confusion is not necessary, because the Bible is actually very clear about what is coming.

Jesus had quite a bit to say about the time just before His return, and He specifically instructed His followers to watch for certain signs.  He wanted us to understand that He knew about all of these things in advance, that He has a plan, and that He is in control.

So there is no need to fear.  In fact, Jesus told us these things so that we would not be afraid.

Three of the key chapters where Jesus discusses the events of the last days are Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.  To set the stage for the rest of this article, let me share just three quick verses from Luke 21

9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Could it be possible that we have entered a time when these things are starting to be fulfilled?

To answer that question, let’s examine some of the global events that are currently unfolding…

#1 Wars And Rumors Of Wars

War is coming to the Middle East, and it might be coming a lot sooner than most people think.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is very eager to annex portions of Judea and Samaria before the U.S. election in November, and the coalition agreement that he reached with Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz allows him to do that as early as July.

I believe that it will happen at some point in the coming months, and the Palestinians are openly warning that such a move will mean war.  In fact, Mahmoud Abbas is so upset about this pending annexation that he just publicly backed out of all previous agreements with the United States and Israel…

In an emergency meeting in Ramallah Tuesday, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas announced that due to Israeli plans to annex parts of Judea and Samaria, all agreements with Israel and the U.S. are null and void.

This would include the Oslo Accords, which was the basis for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority.

And Jordan’s King Abdullah just told a German newspaper that annexation “would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”

In an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, the Jordanian monarch reiterated that a two-state solution was the “only way forward” as a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

“What would happen if the Palestinian National Authority collapsed? There would be more chaos and extremism in the region. If Israel really annexed the West Bank in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” said Abdullah.

This is something to keep a very close eye on, and we also need to keep in mind that a major war between Israel and Iran could erupt at literally any moment as well.

#2 Earthquakes

Our planet continues to become increasing unstable, and my regular readers know that I am particularly concerned about the west coast of the United States.  It is just a matter of time before “the Big One” hits California, and this week we did see two very alarming quakes strike just off the California coast

The first measured at a 4.7 magnitude. It hit at 11:56 p.m. Sunday about 163 miles west of Eureka.

The second earthquake was stronger, measuring a 5.5 magnitude hitting in the same area about 160 miles west of Eureka at 12:02 a.m. Monday.

The second quake was at the same depth as the first earthquake at about 6 miles down.

Overall, there have been 2,668 earthquakes in California and Nevada over the last 7 days, and that is definitely unusual.

Meanwhile, large earthquakes continue to strike other areas of the globe with frightening regularity.  For example, a magnitude 6.2 quake just rocked the Mediterranean Sea, and that made headlines all over the globe.

In the days ahead, the shaking is only going to get worse, but most people don’t understand what is happening.

#3 Volcanoes

I have written about Mt. Popocatepetl near Mexico City many times, and it has roared to life once again.

In fact, it is being reported that it was shooting hot ash 20,000 feet into the air on Wednesday.

Keep a very close eye on this volcano, because someday a catastrophic eruption of Mt. Popocatepetl will result in the worst disaster in the history of Mexico.

Of course Mt. Popocatepetl is far from alone.  According to Volcano Discovery, 24 volcanoes around the globe are erupting right now, and dozens more are showing signs of unrest.

#4 Crazy Weather Patterns

You may have noticed that global weather patterns have gone absolutely nuts.

We are seeing record setting droughts in some parts of the world, in other areas we are witnessing unprecedented flooding, and global food production has been greatly disrupted by one unforeseen event after another.

For instance, this week India and Bangladesh are preparing for Super Cyclone Amphan to make landfall.  On Monday night, that storm “officially became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal”

Millions of people in India and Bangladesh are bracing for what is now being called the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal. Super Cyclone Amphan is anticipated to make landfall in less than 36 hours, bringing destructive winds and heavy rain to a region already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.

According to CNN, Super Cyclone Amphan officially became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal on Monday night, after intensifying with sustained wind speeds of up to 165 miles per hour. Even though Amphan has weakened slightly the storm is still the equivalent of a Category 3 Atlantic hurricane, with winds speeds up to 115 mph.

#5 Armies Of Locusts

Billions of locusts have been traveling in giant swarms the size of major cities across large portions of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  These mammoth swarms can travel up to 90 miles a day, and when they descend on a farm they can eat all of the vegetation in as little as 30 seconds.

I have written about these enormous locust armies numerous times, and they keep making headlines all over the world.  This week, video of these locusts “blocking out the sun in Iran” was being widely shared on social media…

Terrifying footage of an apocalyptic swarm of locusts blocking out the sun in Iran has emerged after it was revealed the military could be called to fight a plague that may destroy at least $7billion (£5.7bn) worth of crops.

The chilling video shows a haze formed of millions of the bugs covering the horizon on a motorway in the south of the country.

#6 African Swine Fever

Before COVID-19 came along, African Swine Fever was the most serious pestilence affecting the planet.

There is no vaccine, there is no cure, and it is killing pigs all over the globe at a staggering rate.

In fact, approximately half the pigs in China and approximately one-fourth of all the pigs in the entire world have already been wiped out by this disease.

Needless to say, this is having a tremendous impact on the global food supply, because much of the world relies on pig meat as a primary source of protein.

#7 Famines And Food Riots

You know that things are bad when even the United Nations is using the word “biblical” to describe the famines that are beginning to emerge around the globe.

The head of the UN World Food Program, David Beasley, is publicly warning that we are heading into “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”, and he is telling us that we could soon see approximately 300,000 people literally starve to death every single day…

“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period”, he upheld. “This does not include the increase of starvation due to COVID-19”.

We have already witnessed very large food riots in Africa, and now they are starting to happen in South America.

For example, check out what just happened in the capital of Chile

The coronavirus hit Chile at a particularly delicate time. Back in October, the Chilean military deployed tanks and troops onto the streets of Santiago – the Chilean capital – and President Sebastian Pinera declaring a state of emergency to quell a violent uprising triggered by – of all things – a hike in metro fares (can you imagine that happening in NYC?).

Now, some of the nation’s poorest are rising up against the government again in a violent protest movement over the lack of government assistance. Specifically, food shortages have left thousands of Chileans with nothing to eat, and the mandatory closures have made it impossible for them to work or buy food.

Global food supplies have gotten very tight, and they are only going to get tighter in the months ahead.

#8 Economic Collapse

Countries all over the world have locked down their economies in 2020 due to fear of COVID-19, and that has plunged the entire global economy into a deep depression.

Here in the United States, more than 36 million Americans have already lost their jobs, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago says that the real rate of unemployment in the United States is now 30.7 percent, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is projecting that U.S. GDP will fall by 42.8 percent during the second quarter of this year.

Now that our economic bubble has burst, the dominoes are just going to continue to tumble, and the days ahead are looking quite bleak.

#9 The Coronavirus Plague

This is the greatest public health crisis in a hundred years, and it looks like this pandemic is going to be with us for many months to come.

Already, there have been more than 5 million confirmed cases around the world and more than 300,000 people have died.  Many had been hoping that the worst was behind us, but the head of the WHO just told us that Tuesday was the worst day for new cases “since the outbreak began”

“We still have a long way to go in this pandemic,” Tedros said at a briefing in Geneva. “In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO – the most in a single day since the outbreak began. Almost two-thirds of these cases were reported in just four countries.”

Jesus specifically warned us that there would be “pestilences” during the time before His return, and I believe in the future we will see even worse pandemics than this one.

In fact, many of the signs that I discussed above will get worse in the days ahead.  Just as birth pains increase in frequency and severity as the time for birth gets closer, we should expect many of the signs that Jesus warned about to increase in frequency and severity as well.

But even in the midst of all the chaos that is coming, God will be moving, and I believe that the greatest revival in all of human history is still ahead of us.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10597

Christian champion Ravi Zacharias dead

Franklin Graham: ‘Will be greatly missed’

By WND Staff
Published May 19, 2020 at 11:38am

Renowned evangelical Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias has died at age 74 after a battle with cancer

He was praised by evangelist Franklin Graham, who described Zacharias as “one of the great Christian apologists of our time, has stepped into the streets of glory and into the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

“Don’t feel sorry for Ravi – his fight with cancer is over, and he has placed his crowns at the feet of the One who deserves all glory and honor,” said Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham and the CEO of both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the relief and development group Samaritan’s Purse.

He noted that Zacharias’ defense of the Christian faith reached “millions worldwide.”

“Ravi will be greatly missed – join me in praying for his family and loved ones in their loss,” Graham said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recalled Zacharias had been invited by Billy Graham to preach at the first International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam in 1983 and the next year founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, or RZIM.

He was born in India and spent nearly 50 years responding to questions about faith.

He died in Atlanta, where RZIM is based.

Zacharias “saw the objections and questions of others not as something to be rebuffed, but as a cry of the heart that had to be answered,” Michael Ramsden, president of RZIM said in a statement.

“People weren’t logical problems waiting to be solved; they were people who needed the person of Christ. Those who knew him well will remember him first for his kindness, gentleness, and generosity of spirit. The love and kindness he had come to know in and through Jesus Christ was the same love he wanted to share with all he met.”

He’s survived by his wife of 48 years, Margie; daughters, Sarah and Naomi; son, Nathan; and five grandchildren.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10594

Millennials, Gen Zers showing greater interest in Gospel amid COVID-19 pandemic, Greg Laurie says

By Brandon Showalter, CP Reporter  | Friday, April 17, 2020

A megachurch pastor whose Palm Sunday service was watched online by President Trump says that amid the COVID-19 pandemic an increasing numbers of young people are starting to embrace the Gospel.

Due to the public health crisis that’s besetting the United States and other nations around the world, many churches have been livestreaming their services online as large physical gatherings are temporarily halted due to government-issued social distancing orders.

But the move to digital means of worship might portend a Great Awakening, according to Greg Laurie, the longtime pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, who wrote in an op-ed published in Newsweek on Tuesday that he and his team were pleasantly surprised to see that their first week of shifting services to online-only drew over 250,000 viewers and has been growing ever since.

“Last week, we had over a million people tune in for church. These are people literally from all around the world, from every age and background, who are missing church. So, to the best of our ability, we are bringing church to them. What’s more, hundreds of thousands of them are people whom marketers would refer to as the ‘target demographic’ between the ages of 18 and 34.”

Ever since the shutdown began, viewership among millennials has increased 235%, he said. 

Churches have been attempting to reach younger generations with the Gospel for decades, seemingly in vain, Laurie elaborated, highlighting the plethora of news stories and surveys in recent years about declining church attendance and the rise of the “nones” — those who never have or no longer affiliate with any particular religious tradition.

But the worldwide coronavirus outbreak has fundamentally changed the environment.

“Could it be that simply by responding as best and as quickly as we could to something no one saw coming, we’ve unwittingly stumbled into part of God’s answer to a generational riddle?” he asked.

“We touch our phones a shocking 2,617 times a day, and 84 percent say they can’t go a single day without their phone. Most people under 30 can’t even remember a world before cell phones. Perhaps this is why some psychologists refer to millennials as ‘Generation Panic.’ They have been so inundated by a world of unrealistic comparisons and ‘excessive expectations’ online that they are afflicted by ‘a harsh inner critic and an obsessive need to achieve.'”

There’s a lot of information out there about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Christian Post has sorted and picked through articles and resources that we hope will help you stay informed and in the right mindset. Be sure to check back often for new updates!

A millennial friend reportedly told Laurie that he believes it only makes sense that God would bring revival through laptops and phones now and that he had an encounter with God while watching a broadcast in the privacy of his home with no one watching and no pressure to behave or perform.

“But here is the most surprising thing to me about this new, burgeoning online congregation. At the end of my message, I extended an opportunity for people to pray and ask Jesus Christ to come into their lives. At last count, over 31,000 have responded. That’s in four weeks,” Laurie said.

“You’ve heard of ‘life imitating art.’ Well, this is virtual reality becoming actual reality.”

Laurie went on to note that while his congregation is looking forward to gathering physically again they are presently seeing something which looks like a great awakening as they continue to shelter-in-place.

“Let’s hope and pray that it continues. America is long overdue,” Laurie concluded.

The president announced at the end of the April 4 White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing that he would be watching Laurie’s Palm Sunday service. 

Later that day, Trump also tweeted that he would be watching the livestream. In an April 6 tweet, Laurie thanked the president for joining and noted that approximately 1.3 million tuned in to the service and that 11,207 people indicated a desire to know Christ.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10566

The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope Is Named ‘Lucifer’ And Is Housed In Their Own Observatory Located On Mount Graham In Arizona

The Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG) operates the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in southeastern Arizona. The telescope is dubbed LUCIFER 1, and provides a powerful tool to gain spectacular insights into the universe — from the Milky Way to extremely distant galaxies.

by Geoffrey Grider April 11, 2020

The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), located at the Mount Graham International Observatory in Arizona is named Lucifer.

This story is not new, goes all the way back to 2010, but seeing as we have been spending some time talking about Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, I thought we should take a look at the counterfeit church that is also powered by Satan, the Roman Catholic Church. All through the Catholic church’s 1,695 year history they have maintained an unbreakable connection to Lucifer. Did you know that at Easter, the Catholic Church celebrates by singing a song dedicated to Lucifer? It’s called the Exsultet, more on that in a moment.

Today we will be showing you their massive, high-powered Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, affectionately known as ‘Lucifer’. For those of you who don’t know, any reference to Lucifer is a reference to Satan.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 13:12-16 (KJB)

Lucifer fell and became Satan, and as you can see from the verses bearing his name in Isaiah, Lucifer is obsessed with outer space, the star, the planets, and just about everything that is connected to where Heaven is located, on the ‘sides of the North’ and straight up over your head. Let’s take a trip to the  Vatican Observatory located inside the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

After considerable outrage and expose from Christian groups, the name of the telescope was changed from Lucifer to Luci, just as the Lucifer Publishing Company at the United Nations changed the name to The Lucis Trust. Now they’ve completely covered their tracks, like Superman putting on a pair of glasses and no one can figure out he’s Clark Kent.

THE TIME THAT POPE FRANCIS IN ST. PETER’S SQUARE AT THE VATICAN DECLARED TO THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT LUCIFER IS THE GOD OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

In a related topic, check this out. On April 27th, 2014, Pope Francis held a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican to induct two former popes into sainthood. Catholic sainthood ceremonies are fairly standard procedures, and happen quite often. But on this particular occasion, Pope Francis wanted it broadcast around the world in 3D, HF and 3K. What was so special about this sainthood ceremony to go to all that expense and trouble? What was it that the pope needed the entire world to watch? As it turns out, Pope Francis was about to declare that Lucifer is the Morning Star, a title that the Bible gives to Jesus Christ alone. The pope was telling all the world that Lucifer is God of the Catholic Church.

“Oramus ergo te, Domine, ut cereus iste in honorem tui nominis consecratus, ad noctis huius caliginem destruendam, indeficiens perseveret. Et in odorem suavitatis acceptus, supernis luminaribus misceatur. Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat: Ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum: Ille qui regressus ab inferis, humano generi serenus illuxit.” From the Exsultet

The highlight of the ceremony was the singing of a Catholic prayer known as ‘The Exsultet, or ‘Easter Proclamation’. The problem starts in the wording of the prayer itself. As you can see below, twice the name of Lucifer is mentioned as you can clearly see in both the Latin and English versions. The name of Jesus is not mentioned at all. You can read all about the Roman Catholic prayer to Lucifer by clicking here. Now let’s take a look at the Lucifer telescope operated by the Vatican. If you’re reading this through email, please visit this article online to watch the mind-blowing videos we;ve attached for your consideration.

Vatican-Tied Mount Graham Observatory Launched LUCIFER Telescope In 2010

FROM TRANSMISSIONS MEDIA: The Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG) operates the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in southeastern Arizona where sky conditions are among the best in the world and certainly the Continental United States.

The new instrument on the Large Binocular Telescope is a powerful tool that will gain spectacular insights into the universe — from the Milky Way to extremely distant galaxies. A new instrument for the world´s largest optical telescope, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on Mount Graham, allows astronomers to observe the faintest and most distant objects in the universe.

After more than a decade of design, manufacturing, and testing, the new instrument, dubbed LUCIFER 1, provides a powerful tool to gain spectacular insights into the universe — from the Milky Way to extremely distant galaxies. An identical twin instrument will be delivered to the telescope in early 2011.

“With the large light-gathering power of the LBT, astronomers are now able to collect the spectral fingerprints of the faintest and most distant objects in the universe,” said LBT director Richard Green, a professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona´s Steward Observatory.

LUCIFER 1 and its twin are mounted at the focus points of the LBT´s two giant 27.6-foot-diameter (8.4 meters) telescope mirrors. Each instrument is cooled to -351° Fahrenheit (-213° Celsius) in order to observe in the near-infrared wavelength range. Near-infrared observations are essential for understanding the formation of stars and planets in our galaxy as well as revealing the secrets of the most distant and young galaxies.

LUCIFER´s innovative design allows astronomers to observe star-forming regions in unprecedented detail, which are commonly hidden by dust clouds. The instrument is remarkably flexible, combining a large field of view with a high resolution. It provides three exchangeable cameras for imaging and spectroscopy in different resolutions, according to observational requirements.

Astronomers use spectroscopy to analyze incoming light and answer questions such as how stars and galaxies formed and what composes them

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10537

8 in 10 Pastors Say Current Events Are a Sign of Jesus’ Return

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The overwhelming majority of pastors say specific current events are a sign of the End Times and Jesus’ return, according to a new LifeWay Research survey.

The poll of 1,000 evangelical and historically black church pastors found that 97 percent believe that Jesus will “literally and personally return to Earth again,” and 56 percent believe Jesus will return in their lifetime.

Pastors also were asked if they “consider any of the following types of current events to be the ‘birth pains’ that Jesus was referring to when he was asked by his disciples when he would return” The question referenced Jesus’ words in Matthew 24.

On each option, most pastors said they viewed it as sign of Jesus’ return:

– 83 percent, the “rise of false prophets and false teachings.”

– 81 percent, the “love of many believers growing cold.”

– 79 percent, “traditional morals becoming less accepted.”

– 78 percent, “wars and national conflicts.”

– 76 percent, “earthquakes and other natural disasters.”

– 75 percent, the “number of people abandoning their Christian faith.”

– 70 percent, famines.

– 63 percent, “anti-Semitism toward Jewish people worldwide.”

“While Christians prepare to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, many pastors believe they see signs his return may be close,” Scott McConnell, executive director LifeWay Research, said in an online analysis of the survey. “These sentiments were expressed in January before the prospect of a global pandemic became known.”

Meanwhile, most pastors also believe the modern nation of Israel has a role in the End Times. A total of 70 percent agreed that the “modern rebirth of the State of Israel and the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people were fulfillments of Bible prophecy.”

A full 40 percent of pastors believe the “Christian church has fulfilled or replaced the nation of Israel in God’s plan.”

The survey also asked pastors their views on amillennialism, postmillennialism and premillennialism.

Most pastors considered themselves premillennial:

– 60 percent believe the millennium “will be a future literal 1,000-year period during which Jesus reigns on earth following Christ’s second coming (often called premillennialism).”

– 21 percent believe the millennium “is a symbolic way of describing the period between Christ’s ascension and second coming where Christ is reigning spiritually (often called amillennialism).”

– 9 percent believe the millennium “is not a literal 1,000 years, but an era in which the world will gradually grow more Christian and just ending with Christ’s second coming (often called postmillennialism).”

“The current global pandemic will create interest among churchgoers and nonreligious people about what the Bible says about plagues, disasters, and the end times,” McConnell said. “The urgency pastors feel is less about stockpiling toilet paper and more about helping people be ready for Christ’s return.”

The survey was conducted Jan. 24-Feb. 11 and sponsored by Chosen People Ministries, Alliance for the Peace of Jerusalem, Rich and Judy Hastings, and the Hendricks Center at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10530