I am amazed at some of the crazy things professing Christians will buy into. It seems like every few years a new fad comes along that gets everyone worked up.
People get caught up in this nonsense, which is an itch for novelty. And after a while, they will get tired of that and run off to some new thing. It is because they have never learned to love the Scriptures.
It is sort of like living on junk food. It is not good for you. You get the rush and the buzz after the Ding Dong, but then you come down. So you have another one. But you are not having a nutritious meal.
Maybe these fads will gather crowds for a time and make Christians look like idiots to the rest of the world, because for some unknown reason, people feel compelled to put these things on television. Sometimes I will flip through the channels and see some of these things, and I feel so embarrassed. I ask myself why it is that we have these people representing Christianity.
We want to be very careful when it comes to having an appetite for novelty, because the Bible tells us that in the last days, there will be false teachers. There will be a false gospel. There even will be false miracles. We have to wise up to that. That means when there are people waving Bibles and saying God told them this and that and they have a message for us from God, only the discerning believers will know the difference. Only those Christians who are conversant with Scripture and are biblically literate will be able to spot the weirdoes, because they are coming—and are indeed with us.
I believe that Hosea’s cry rings true for many in the church today: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6 NKJV).
So many people in the church today are biblically illiterate. They don’t have a biblical worldview. I have been in many different churches as a guest speaker, and when I say, “Turn in your Bibles to …,” and no one has a Bible, it is not a good sign. Then, when I will refer to certain biblical passages or stories, I notice that many people will have a blank expression on their faces.
In fact, usually within the first four to six minutes of speaking, I can assess a congregation’s biblical IQ. As I begin to speak, I notice the way they track, the way they listen, what interests them, and what doesn’t interest them. I can see how people will come alive when an illustration is rolled out, but as soon as I go back to the biblical text, they go into a daze, as if to say, “Wake us when the next illustration or joke is coming.”
This is because they have never learned to love the Bible. They have never developed a hunger for the Bible. That is what I want the people in my congregation to have. I want them to love the Bible. I love worship. I love having various musical artists come in and share their music with us. But I believe the main event is the teaching and the preaching of the Bible. That is what I want people to care for.
Unfortunately in the church today, there is a movement afoot in which the basic objective is to get huge crowds into churches. Pastors are spending a lot of money and time learning from the so-called experts who will tell them how to pack their pews.
But Jesus didn’t say to go into all the world and pack the pews; he said to go into all the world and make disciples. I would rather have fewer people in the pews who have a love for Scripture and an understanding of what discipleship is rather than have pews crowded with people who don’t possess these qualities. Making disciples is what we need to think about. Little sermonettes will produce Christianettes.
The church is a place where the Bible should be taught and where God’s people should know what the Scripture says. It should be a place where we worship, a place where we pray and a place where we use the gifts God has given us.
But we are getting away from that. That is why there is so much vulnerability to false teaching today.
This was happening in Jude’s time, which prompted him to refute false teachers who were professing to be Christians but were rejecting the revealed truth of God. They maintained a veneer, a masquerade of Christianity, to cover up what they really were. They were people who were filled with greed for money, sensual pleasure and a desire to satisfy their inner pride.
Jude warned, “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires’ ” (Jude 1:17–18 NIV).
These false teachers had infiltrated the ranks of the church. The worst thing imaginable is to spread wickedness under the veneer of true faith. And tragically, this does happen in the church today. I wish we could spot them more easily. But in his epistle, Jude points out that these people come in unnoticed (see Jude 1:4). And that is the whole idea.
They grow in numbers by pulling unsuspecting Christians out of churches and filling their heads with false teaching. Finally, when people are dependent on them for the so-called “truth” that cannot be discovered on their own, these false teachers essentially immobilize them.
I have seen this happen so many times. So beware of that sort of thing. Be careful of anyone who comes along and says they have a message, a “hidden truth” that you won’t hear anywhere else.
In the last century, Christianity has grown dramatically in the 10-40 window. In Bangladesh, as Western colonies faded into history, young, dynamic leaders came out of Islam and into the Church. Bolstered by strong fellowship and an outspoken witness, Muslim-background Christians planted churches, started schools, translated resources and grew into a vibrant, visible, Christian church. But something else was lurking in the shadows.
Under the guise of contextualization, colonialism has evolved. Western missionaries are encouraging new believers to keep their faith ‘inside.’ Baptized Christians are going back to the Imams and back to the mosques. Rather than identifying themselves as Christians, they are calling themselves Isai or “Jesus” Muslims. Bibles are being produced that are omitting references to God as Father and to Jesus Christ as the Son of God. It is an idea that turns the gospel upside down, reversing what the Bible means when it calls people to turn to Christ and out of darkness and into the light.
No simple diatribe against accommodation, Half Devil Half Child calls the church in the West to remember who it is in Christ, a new creation that requires a wiser approach to missions and better use of our material blessings. This film challenges our taste for the comfort, ease and safety we enjoy.
It identifies what drives a movement that creates invisible Christians for an invisible and ineffectual Church, to the glory of Islam. It is a call to recapture for the West what has been known for millennia – that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. It reminds us to let our light shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
Opposed by Muslims and these “insider” Western approaches, faithful men, called from Islam to Christ in His one and only church continue to plant churches, preach the Gospel, train new leaders, and love their enemies. Hear them speak of their love for Jesus Christ and the freedom of His Gospel. Hear them confess their one hope in Christ and one life in the triune God. Hear them express their desire for the bond of brotherhood born for adversity, knit together in life and death. Hear the deep meaning it has for our lives in a majority world country and the Christian church as we know it.
Journey to Bangladesh and meet the men who tell a story of deception and confusion, and of true faith. Join these men who are giving all they have to reach their nation with the faith delivered once for all to the saints, and – once for all – to light the 10-40 window.
Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. James Mattis said Tuesday that ”at least one other nation” has told him “at the leadership level” they will seek nuclear weapons if Iran goes nuclear:
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R., S.C.): If the Iranians develop a nuclear capability, how certain are you that other nations in the region would acquire an equal capability?
MATTIS: At least one other nation has told me they would do that, at a leadership level, they have assured me they would not stay without a nuclear weapon if Iran armed.
GRAHAM: Was that a Sunni-Arab state?
MATTIS: Yes, sir.
GRAHAM: So the likelihood of Sunni-Arab states acquiring nuclear capability to counter the Shia Persians is great, would you not agree with that?
MATTIS: I agree, and also other non-Sunni-Arab states in the general region.
The statements by Mattis contradict the findings of a recent report drafted by former Obama Pentagon official Colin Kahl and produced for the Center for New American Security. That report argues that Saudi Arabia–as well as other states–would be unlikely to develop nuclear weapons if Iran acquired nuclear weapons.
As if we hadn’t already seen enough Biblical events this year, a plague of over 30 million locusts swarmed over Egypt’s cities and farms just three weeks before Passover begins. But put your apocalyptic fears to rest. This happens every year as part of the locusts’ natural migration pattern, though this year’s swarm is especially large. That doesn’t mean Egyptians aren’t freaked the heck out by millions of nasty bugs buzzing through the air at all hours of day and night, possibly descending upon the agriculture fields where they’re known to destroy entire crops, just like in the actual Passover story.
The crops are so far safe, Egyptian officials assured the public. As the plague made its way from the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia at the end of last week and this weekend, though, Egyptian Agricultural Minister Salah Abdel Moamen explained the situation to the country in a calmly worded statement. “The current inspection teams at areas targeted by locusts did not witness swarms damaging a single inch of crop,” said Moamen. He added that the locusts are “sexually immature and do not depend on plants for energy since they mainly rely on fat stores.”
That said, these plagues can be unpredictable. Egyptian officials didn’t expect the plague to pass by the country’s capital, until Sunday when the locusts unexpectedly arrived in Cairo. The government denied reports that the locusts had started devastating crops as well as a report from United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that the Ministry of Agriculture cleared 11,000 hectares of land in an attempt to save the harvest. When they get hungry, a one-ton hoard of locusts can eat the same amount of food in one day as 2,500 humans, according to the UN. Egypt knows this too. Less than a decade ago, a plague of locusts nearly 40 miles wide swept over Egypt damaging crops at the majority of the country’s farms. That’s a picture of it, to the right.
Conflicting reports aside, Moamen insists that the government has everything under control. “Egyptian armed forces and the border guards are attempting to fight the swarm with the means at their disposal,” the agriculture minister said. “I ask the families living in the locust-plagued areas not to burn tires. This does not chase away the locusts, but only causes damage and could ignite large scale fires that would cost in lives.” Also, that smoke isn’t doing Egypt’s grandchildren any favors. Scientists anticipate that, as global warming worsens, plagues like this will also get worse.
President Obama is supposed to be in Israel in about two weeks. Israel doesn’t have a government.
The Israeli elections were on January 22. Contrary to widespread expectations, the right didn’t score a big win; instead the electorate returned complex, angular results. The religious right gained, the secular right lost a lot, and a brand-new party that could be loosely described as secular-centrist, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, made a big splash by coming in second with 19 seats (out of a total of 120 in the Knesset).
Binyamin Netanyahu, for whom the election results were sufficient for a third tenure as prime minister, has been trying ever since to negotiate his way to a coalition. It’s been brutal.
The basic struggle pits, on the one side, Netanyahu, striving for as broad a coalition as possible including the two haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) parties. And on the other, an alliance that has formed between secular-centrist Lapid and Naftali Bennett, head of the nationalist-religious Habayit Hayehudi party that also did well in the elections. Bennett wants to weaken the haredi camp; Lapid insists on excluding it from the coalition entirely.
Just now, the Israeli media is reporting that the very tight (at present) Lapid-Bennett alliance has prevailed, with Netanyahu agreeing to their terms—meaning that a coalition without the haredim is on the way, possibly by the end of this week.
What’s at stake here? Netanyahu’s preference for a wide coalition is easily understandable. Wide coalitions are more stable, with no one party wielding extortionate power (by threatening to bolt the coalition and thereby dissolve it). Netanyahu also sees Israel facing critical security (particularly Iran), diplomatic (particularly getting along with Obama), and economic (particularly budget-cutting) challenges for which a wide coalition can give him the most ballast.
Netanyahu also wants to preserve his secular-right Likud Party’s alliance with the haredi parties, which goes back four decades; excluding these parties could lead them to punish Likud in the next elections.
Lapid and Bennett, however—particularly the former—insist that Israel cannot keep allowing most haredi men to refuse army service, and to live cloistered lives as yeshiva students on the public dole. They say having the haredi parties in the coalition will inevitably lead to compromises on these issues that will ensure the situation stays the same.
A large majority of Israelis, right, left, and center, agree that the present situation with the haredim is untenable. The Lapid-Bennett alliance, however, has been criticized as cynical and opportunistic; some say these two novice politicians, intoxicated with their electoral success, are essentially confronting Netanyahu with a power play and securing plum ministerial positions for themselves.
In particular, whereas Bennett—whom foreign media have portrayed as a “hip settler”—is, while not actually a settler, supposed to be sympathetic to their outlook, Lapid—while projecting himself as a centrist during the election campaign—actually has a backlog of viciously anti-settler statements (usefully collated here by Israeli commentator Martin Sherman) typical of the far left.
They do indeed, then, form an odd couple; and there is ample reason to fear that a coalition of Netanyahu’s, Lapid’s, Bennett’s, and a couple of smaller parties would be creaky and possibly cacophonous.
On the economic front, with Netanyahu, Lapid, and Bennett all sharing a free-market philosophy, the prospects of such a coalition tackling Israel’s economic challenges effectively are bright. The diplomatic front is a good deal more complicated.
Claims and speculations about Obama’s upcoming visit vary widely—from a report Monday on World Tribune that he intends to demand a West Bank withdrawal to Secretary of State John Kerry’s assurances that he only seeks to “listen.” Potentially, Lapid’s more dovish party could provide an ideal pressure point for a U.S. administration seeking to harry and ultimately undo Netanyahu.
One hopes, then, that the key figures of whatever coalition finally forms will put politics aside and face Israel’s challenges responsibly. Foremost among those challenges is Iran; as Netanyahu put it in a speech two weeks ago:
Iran’s development of nuclear weapons will make the Middle East a nuclear tinderbox. It will change the world…. Sanctions alone will not stop the nuclear program of Iran….
Although Obama, too, claims he’s determined to stop Iranian nukes, his choice of defense secretary casts a thick shadow over his credibility. The situation calls for maximal Israeli unity and seriousness.
Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world have gathered in Rome to begin the process of electing the next Pope.
Cardinals held prayers and swore oaths of secrecy at their first meeting, held by the College of Cardinals.
There will be a series of daily meetings leading up to a conclave, expected to begin next week, in which a new Pope will be chosen.
The election process comes after Pope Benedict XVI stepped down last week.
He was the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, after nearly eight years in office leading the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
The first pre-conclave meeting on Monday morning was headed by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
The Vatican said 101 of the 115 cardinals involved in the conclave have arrived in Rome. A further 12 are due to arrive either today or tomorrow, while two are not attending.
They are the UK’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who is standing down amid allegations of improper behaviour, and Indonesia’s Julius Darmaatmadja, who is ill.
At the pre-conclave meetings, cardinals – known as the “princes” of the Church – will discuss future challenges and discreetly weigh up possible papal candidates.
The conclave – to be held in the Sistine Chapel – is expected to take place next week, though the exact date will be agreed on in the coming days.
Correspondents say the cardinal electors, those under the age of 80 who will take part in the conclave, will want the new Pope to be officially installed in time to preside over Holy Week.
Ceremonies start with Palm Sunday on 24 March and culminate in Easter the following Sunday.
Last year’s “Vatileaks” scandal is expected to be high on the agenda during the meetings.
Corruption and infighting in the Vatican were exposed through a series of leaked documents, and the cardinals are expected this week to be briefed on a confidential report into the scandal seen by Pope Benedict.
The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says strict precautions against leaks of unauthorised information will be in operation at the Vatican until the next Pope has been chosen.
Technicians will debug the cardinals’ lodgings and mobile phones will be banned altogether during the conclave.
But some cardinals have suggested the internal workings and possible failings of the Vatican’s bureaucracy will not be a major factor in the decision to elect the next pope.
“I think the real priority in the conclave is to choose the pope who is going to deal with these great, global issues,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, speaking to the Associated Press in Rome, before the meetings began.
“If there are some internal problems in the Vatican, administrative problems in the Vatican, that’ll eventually be dealt with. But it certainly isn’t going to condition how I am going to be looking at who is going to guide and lead the church in the next years.”
The church’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse is another recurring issue.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, formerly Britain’s former most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has said he will not take part in the conclave after standing down amid allegations of improper behaviour.
On Sunday, he admitted his sexual conduct had at times “fallen beneath the standards expected of me”.
He apologised and asked forgiveness from those whom he had “offended”.
Cardinal O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh last Monday after three priests and a former priest made allegations against him dating back to the 1980s.
Benedict, 85, officially ceased to be the Pope at 20:00 local time (19:00 GMT) on Thursday.
He left the Vatican by helicopter, flying to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.
He has vowed “unconditional obedience and reverence” to his successor.
The German pontiff, who was born Joseph Ratzinger, will continue to be known as Benedict XVI, with the new title of “pope emeritus”.
The theologian is expected to retire to a monastery on a hill inside Vatican City. Officials say he will not be able to intervene publicly in the next papacy although he may offer advice.
The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.
Although I’ve seen and read several online blurbs about this vehicle of late, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about the vehicle itself.
The new DHS sanctioned ‘Street Sweeper’ (my own slang due to the gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (NavistarDefense.com), a division within the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several other companies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses), Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), WorkHorse (they make chassis), MaxxForce (diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company).
The MRAP featured in this video is was in Albuquerque, New Mexico for Law Enforcement Day which was held at a local area Target Store. This MRAP is stationed in El Paso, Texas at The Homeland Security Investigations Office. MRAP is a Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicle.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – February was packed with celestial events – notably the meteor that exploded over Russia – and some theological leaders and experts are convinced that God is trying to send a message.
Citing biblical passages about signs and wonders in the heavens, more than a few have been talking about whether biblical prophecies in Scripture are being fulfilled.
One incident that received widespread coverage, for example, was a lightning bolt that struck St. Peter’s Basilica just hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.
The meteor that shook Russia, along with numerous other meteors documented over the last month, also have believers and non-believers alike wondering where this all may be going.
A seeming surge in recent UFO sightings, corresponding with a deluge of coverage in the media and the entertainment industry over the last few years, plays a role as well, experts told WND.
“We know we’re in the last days,” Cahn said. “The signs are evident – Israel’s return to the land, the world’s focus on the Middle East, the increase in man’s powers, including that of self-destruction, the increase in immorality and a massive worldwide apostasy.”
Cahn, who also serves as president of Hope of the World ministries and the senior pastor and messianic rabbi of the Jerusalem Center/Beth Israel in New Jersey, said the evidence is becoming clear.
“In addition, there are very precise signs of biblical warning and judgment which have been manifesting, particularly in America,” he warned.
“These signs, recorded in ‘The Harbinger,’ are distinct warnings given to a nation in defiance and departure from God. Thus, we’re in a critical time of transition,” Cahn concluded. “As we watch the spiritual and physical decline of America, it only further sets the stage for what the Bible foretells of the last days.”
Signs and wonders in the Bible
As Bible readers know, there are numerous references to signs and wonders in the heavens found throughout Scripture.
Luke 21:25-26, for example, states: “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
In the Old Testament, Joel 2:30-31 says: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.”
The book of Revelation is known for its numerous references to signs and wonders in the heavens preceding the end of days.
Many other prophecies in both the New and Old testaments contain similar passages.
Russian meteor: A message from God?
On Feb. 15, the same day that a large asteroid passed some 18,000 miles from the Earth’s surface, an unrelated explosion above the Chelyabinsk region of Russian released an estimated 500 kilotons of energy – the force of about 30 Hiroshima atomic bombs, according to news reports.
The impact was detected by sensors operated by the nuclear-watchdog International Monitoring System as far as Antarctica, over 9,000 miles away.
Contrary to early reports of a meteor shower, Russian officials and scientists said the blast – the largest infrasound event recorded in history – was caused by a single 10,000-ton meteor burning up in the lower atmosphere.
After the massive explosion over the Ural Mountains region, at least 1,000 injuries were reported. Thousands of buildings were also reported damaged.
More than a century ago, a suspected asteroid leveled almost
1,000 square miles of forest in remote Siberia in what eventually became known
as the Tunguska event.
Still, Russians were suspicious of the official explanation.
A poll of readers published by the Noviye Izvestia newspaper
found that just half of respondents believed the government’s account.
Some thought it was a UFO or an alien invasion, while others,
including a Russian politician, claimed it was some sort of secret U.S.
“Our people remember the Soviet past, when news of disasters was
concealed or lied about,” Deputy Director Alexei Grazhdankin of the independent
Moscow polling agency Levada Center told reporters.
“A lot of our people just prefer not to accept the safe explanations
they were taught at school,” Grazhdankin added. “Even when all necessary
information is available, they don’t want to believe it.”
Despite all the talk of UFOs, alien invasions and U.S. weapons,
a Christian leader had a different explanation: The spectacular blast was a
message from God.
The Russian Orthodox bishop of Chelyabinsk and Zlatoust,
Metropolitan Feofan, urged locals “not to lose the strength of will.” He added
that the narrow escape from devastation should spark reflection on how often people
pray, as well as a reassessment of people’s lives through the prism of
“The Holy Bible says that God sends
us signs and warnings through natural calamities,” the Christian cleric said in
a widely quoted statement.
“The meteor shower seen last night was a reminder for residents of the Urals
and the rest of the world that we all live in a fragile and unpredictable
“We must be happy that God has saved us from a more severe
aftermath, and we must thank Him for this favor,” Metropolitan Feofan said.
“A natural phenomenon must not incite panic or despondency,” he
concluded. “No natural disaster, sickness or even death can separate us from
God. The only real evil in the world is sin.”
The Orthodox bishop was hardly alone in seeing the hand of God
behind the meteor.
Other meteors dazzle
On Feb. 16, the Associated Press,
citing state-run media outlets, reported
that Cuba experienced a similar, albeit smaller, meteor that also shook
buildings and left residents bewildered.
“On Tuesday we left home to fish around five in the afternoon,
and around 8:00 we saw a light in the heavens and then a big ball of fire,
bigger than the sun,” a local man said in the video cited by the AP.
A woman quoted in the report said her home “shook completely”
and that she “had never heard such a strange thing.”
Another major event happened over the skies of Southern
California on Feb. 22, when a giant streak of light prompted dozens of
eyewitness to file reports with the American Meteor Society.
Residents were apparently so concerned that government officials
even responded to the event.
“We are in routine operations,” the Los Angeles Fire Department
said on Twitter. “There are no emergencies in Los Angeles related to the
sighting of a bright light in our atmosphere.”
Video of the event captured by startled onlookers was run by
local media outlets.
“I was like, ‘Wow! That’s weird,’” West Palm Beach resident
Amanda Mayer, who obtained footage of the event, told the local NBC affiliate.
“I just started videotaping, and that’s when it happened. I was pretty sure it
was a meteor because of everything else that’s been happening.”
However, it is a hard question to answer, particularly since the
U.S. Department of Defense stopped sharing its data about the phenomena with
scientists in 2008.
“The number of meteor sightings filed with the AMS has been
increasing over the last few years and also the last few months,” Hankey said,
adding, however, that this could be due to a number of factors unrelated to the
actual frequency of events.
“At this point, we cannot in any way conclude that there is any
real increase in fireball rates,” he explained. “We can only conclude that more
people are filling out reports on our site.”
AMS is currently working on a statistical analysis of the data
to try to explain the increase, Hankey said, offering links to information
provided by other experts.
Starting Feb. 1, however, when a bright fireball soared over the
Dallas, Texas, area, NASA made some interesting conclusions.
“This month, some big space rocks
have been hitting Earth’s atmosphere,” Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid
Environment Office said
on the agency’s website. “There have been five or six notable fireballs
that might have dropped meteorites around the United States.”
What really has scientists and researches baffled, NASA said, is
the extraordinary appearance and trajectory of the recent meteor events.
“These fireballs are particularly slow and penetrating,”
explained meteor expert and University of Western Ontario physics Professor
“They hit the top of the atmosphere moving slower than 15
kilometers per second, decelerate rapidly, and make it to within 50 kilometers
of Earth’s surface,” he added.
Senior Pastor Carl Gallups with Hickory Hammock Baptist Church,
also a best-selling author and popular conservative talk-radio host, cautioned
against drawing any biblical conclusions based on a particular incident or
series of events.
“There is always a danger when we point to a specific thing and
say that this is a definitive sign from God — especially some type of natural
event,” the widely respect Christian leader told WND in a phone interview.
“However, it cannot be denied that we are living in biblically
prophetic times – some of the major signs being the fulfillment of Daniel
chapter 12; the increase in transportation and communication technology over
the last days; the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39; Israel being surrounded by
enemies that are conspiring and plotting against them; the prophecy of Israel being
restored to the land in the last days, which was fulfilled in 1948; the
prophecy in Mathew 24:14 where Jesus declares that this Gospel of the Kingdom
shall be preached to all the earth and then the end shall come,” Gallups said.
“When Jesus uttered those words, the Gospel had not yet been
completed – He had not gone to the Cross, there was no empty tomb, the whole
world had not been discovered, and the technology to take the Gospel to the
whole world had not yet been invented,” he added. “We’re the only generation to
see that fulfillment, so when you look at the clear biblical signs, then you
add to it the seemingly increased activity of the heavenly signs and wonders,
then you could certainly say that these might very well be harbingers of
last-day prophetic events.”
Gallups noted that he would not consider the meteor in Russia, for example, as
proof that the world that the end times have arrived—after all, meteors have
always fallen. The same holds true for tsunamis and earthquakes, which have
also been around throughout human history.
“On the other hand, Jesus said that the very last days would be
accompanied by signs in the heavens and rumblings on the earth,” he explained.
“When you add all of these things together… I don’t think it can be denied that
we are getting very close to the return of the Lord.”
Unidentified Flying Object sightings
Pastor Gallup also offered WND his thoughts on the UFO
phenomenon, which appears to have become increasingly prominent in recent years
and especially over the last few weeks.
In Mexico, which has become a hot spot for these types of events
in recent years, at least two UFO sightings were documented in February over
the Popocatepetl volcano outside of the capital.
On Feb. 21 at around 2 a.m., a “cigar-shaped” UFO can be seen
clearly in video footage posted online that is making waves among researchers.
Analysts and researchers dealing with the subject claimed that
video shows UFOs as well.
The same day as the blast over Russia, for example, two
residents of Grants Pass in Oregon caught what they believe was a UFO on
“At first I was like what’s wrong
with that star? I thought, whoa, that’s kind of trippy. So I went to get him
and he’s like ‘whoa! What is that?’ And it started moving,” one of the
residents who captured the event on camera, Heather Scherffius, was quoted
as saying in major media reports.
Gregory Soldner, who also witnessed the event, was amazed as
well – even though he does not believe in UFOs.
“It looked like a metal disk of some sort. I’m not sure, but it
was metal and the way it moved was weird,” he said. “I mean, I don’t believe in
flying saucers, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this.”
A local news station added a special light filter to the video
footage, which helped reveal the bizarre phenomenon more clearly.
On Feb. 11, the Huffington Post and the International Business
Times also reported an alleged UFO sighting over Melbourne, Australia, that was
caught on video as well.
The bright lights in the sky are seen buzzing around and
aligning in a variety of formations. At one point, one of the objects speeds
off at a remarkable speed.
UFO researchers say the vast majority have a simple explanation:
birds, drones, airplanes, hot air balloons or natural phenomena. Many are
More than a few analysts believe government tests explain most,
if not all, of the purported UFOs.
However, in recent years, the number of apparently unexplained
UFO sightings documented by the mainstream media seems to have soared.
From Jerusalem and Moscow to Mexico City, Norway and all across
China, the number of bizarre flying objects and celestial events dazzling
witnesses without rational explanation is seemingly exploding.
The phenomenon has been getting quite a bit of attention in
major media, too, with Fox News, CNN, Russia Today offering coverage.
Government also is taking notice.
In September of 2010, for instance, the United Nations appointed
a so-called “alien ambassador” to be charged with coordinating Earth’s response
to a potential encounter with extraterrestrial life.
The entertainment industry, meanwhile, has also been focusing a
lot more attention on UFOs and fictional alien invasions, with more than a few
major shows and movies in recent years dealing with the subject.
Some Christian leaders who spoke with WND are suspicious about
the widespread, global interest in purported unexplained aerial phenomena.
Many suspect that, if real, the UFOs are not actually space
craft operated by extraterrestrial beings, despite the media hype.
Some Christian researchers believe UFOs and supposed “alien
abductions” are related to demons and fallen angels – possibly a part of
Satan’s great deception foretold in the Scriptures.
In this line of thinking, authorities may try to deceive the
public into believing absurdities and heresies related to UFOs and “aliens.”
“I think these UFO appearances are demonically related,” Senior
Pastor Gallups told WND, citing scientific and biblical research.
“Why would these supposed aliens come here for the sole purpose
of performing so-called sexual experiments, kidnappings, possessions, and
trashing the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” he wondered. “Every time you talk to
somebody who says they’ve had contact with an alien being, that’s what it’s
Like virtually every Christian researcher who has studied the
UFO phenomena, Gallups believes the devil is hard at work trying to deceive the
“My estimation is that this is all part of the last days
deceptions — the signs and wonders from the heavens,” he said, adding that
Satan and the Anti-Christ would likely use the phenomenon as part of their
effort to deceive the world with lies.
“I think the bottom line is that this is demonic,” continued
Gallups, who served as a law enforcement officer and continues to serve on the
Board of Regents for University of Mobile. “The whole thing is demonic and
we’re watching an outpouring of demonic appearances, demonic manifestations,
and demonic activity, because I think we’re living in the last days.
“Without putting a date on what I mean by the last days, I think
we’re living in the last days,” he noted, echoing an increasingly widespread
belief among Christians of all denominations.
“The only rational explanation is that this is a part of that
demonic outpouring — that delusion, that deception of the last days, part of
the signs and wonders in the heavens.”
Other Christian experts in the field who spoke with WND had
similar thoughts on the matter.
“These are signs preceding God’s judgment of the world, as the
Bible foretells,” said author Paradox Brown, who has written extensively on the
issue, including two books, “A Modern Guide to Demons and Fallen Angels” and
“The Bible, Physics, and the Abilities of Fallen Angels: The Alien Abduction
“The UFOs sightings and alien abduction reports today, in the
case of paranormal events taking place, are being orchestrated by Satan and his
fallen angels, as events leading up to this deception by Abaddon, as an
Antichrist claiming to be humanity’s god,” Brown told WND, citing multiple
passages in Scripture.
“There is a strong delusion coming, and people best get right
with God through Jesus Christ His Son now, before these events come to pass,”
More celestial events coming soon
reported last month, there will be more events in the sky to watch for
later this year, including Comet ISON, which is expected to pass near earth and
put on spectacular heavenly show by autumn.
“While the world did not end with the end of the Mayan calendar
last year, Comet ISON is considered by some to be another celestial sign of
things to come,” wrote Koinonia Institute Executive Research Analyst Steve
Elwart for WND, citing multiple passages from Scripture.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin claimed the federal government is “stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest.” Palin believes such calamity may result from the country defaulting on its obligations.
She claimed the threat of default exists because Washington politicians are not serious about reducing the country’s debt, as evidenced by the drama over the sequester.
“If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion dollar annual deficits, then we’re done,” Palin wrote of the sequester set to hit on Friday. “Put a fork in us. We’re finished. We’re going to default eventually and that’s why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest.”
In a Facebook note on Tuesday in which she blistered D.C. politicians for yet another “ginned-up” crisis, Palin wrote that the “real economic Armageddon looming before us is our runaway debt, not the sequester, which the President advocated for and signed into law and is now running around denouncing because he never had any genuine intention of reining in his reckless spending.”
Palin said the world knows that if Washington politicians cannot even deal with a modest 0.3% per year cut in the federal budget, then the country is heading straight for default.
“If we can’t stomach modest cuts that would lower federal spending by a mere 0.3% per year out of a current federal budget of $3.6 trillion, then we might as well signal to the whole world that we have no serious intention of dealing with our debt problem,” Palin continued.
Last Sunday, Pope Benedict stood before a crowd of 50-thousand people and announced: “The time of testing is here.” This oblique reference to the start of great tribulation reflects our previous work, Petrus Romanus, in which we carefully detailed a prophecy by Malachy O’Morgair, or “Saint Malachy” as he is known to Catholics, having to do with “the last pope.”
The Prophecy of the Popes, hidden for hundreds of years inside the highly guarded vaults of the Vatican library contains a list of Latin verses predicting each of the Roman Catholic popes from Pope Celestine II to the final pope, Petrus Romanus or “Peter the Roman,” whose reign assists the rise of Antichrist and ends in the destruction of Rome. According to this nine-hundred-year-old prophecy, the pope following Benedict XVI is this final pontiff. The last segment of the prophecy reads:
In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the City of Seven Hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.[i][i]
While investigating this mysterious prophecy, we learned of the long line of other Roman Catholic leaders who, down through time, also foresaw Rome being destroyed after becoming an engine of the Antichrist. A remarkable example of this was Dr. Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, who delivered a series of lectures in 1861 under the title, “The Present Crises of the Holy See Tested by Prophecy,” in which he predicted a future crisis in the Roman Catholic Church resulting in apostasy and the rise of the False Prophet and Antichrist. Of the prophecy in the book of Revelation (chapter 18) concerning the end-time destruction of Mystery Babylon, Manning wrote:
We read in the Book Apocalypse, of the city of Rome, that she said in the pride of her heart, “I sit as a queen, and am no widow, and sorrow I shall not see. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day: death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be burned with fire, because God is strong who shall judge her.” Some of the greatest writers of the Church tell us that…the great City of Seven Hills…the city of Rome will probably become apostate…and that Rome will again be punished, for he will depart from it; and the judgment of God will fall.[ii]
Manning continued, explaining how Catholicism’s greatest theologians agreed with this point of view:
The apostasy of the city of Rome…and its destruction by Antichrist may be thoughts so new to many Catholics, that I think it well to recite the text of theologians, of greatest repute. First, Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject, states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Viegas, Suarez, Bellarmine, and Bosius, that Rome shall apostatize from the faith, drive away the Vicar of Christ, and return to its ancient paganism. Malvenda’s words are:
But Rome itself in the last times of the world will return to its ancient idolatry, power, and imperial greatness. It will cast out its Pontiff, altogether apostatize from the Christian faith, terribly persecute the Church, shed the blood of martyrs more cruelly than ever, and will recover its former state of abundant wealth, or even greater than it had under its first rulers.
Lessius says: “In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be destroyed, as we see openly from the thirteenth chapter of the Apocalypse;” and again: “The woman whom thou sawest is the great city, which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth, in which is signified Rome in its impiety, such as it was in the time of St. John, and shall be again at the end of the world.” And Bellarmine: “In the time of Antichrist, Rome shall be desolated and burnt, as we learn from the sixteenth verse of the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse.” On which words the Jesuit Erbermann comments as follows: “We all confess with Bellarmine that the Roman people, a little before the end of the world, will return to paganism, and drive out the Roman Pontiff.”
Viegas, on the eighteenth chapter of the Apocalypse says: “Rome, in the last age of the world, after it has apostatized from the faith, will attain great power and splendor of wealth, and its sway will be widely spread throughout the world, and flourish greatly. Living in luxury and the abundance of all things, it will worship idols, and be steeped in all kinds of superstition, and will pay honor to false gods. And because of the vast effusion of the blood of martyrs which was shed under the emperors, God will most severely and justly avenge them, and it shall be utterly destroyed, and burned by a most terrible and afflicting conflagration.”[iii]
With the forthcoming election of Petrus Romanus on everybody’s mind and not yet knowing who the Final Pope that leads Rome into destruction and great tribulation described by Catholic seers above will actually be, we should remind readers of the 61-year old codex we uncovered in our book Petrus Romanus (this book in French and English comes free on the data DVDs that will be given away with Exo-Vaticana – read more here). It was written by Jesuit academic Rene Thibaut in 1958 and contains an intriguing suggestion that the next pope will either be named ‘Pius’ or will somehow be related to a pope of that name from the past. Commenting on just one of the hidden anagrams he discovered in the Prophecy of the Popes, he observes, “Note that this way of dividing the words to sort various meanings is a method dear to the ancient Irish.”[iv] A simple example of an anagram is seen in the Latin text “Peregrinusapostolicus”[v]which was the prophecy for the ninety-sixth pope on the list, Pius VI. The anagram not only reveals the papal name, it does it twice: PeregIinUSaPostolIcUS. That’s right! The name “Pius” is rather transparently embedded in the original Latin text twice, which is rather astounding considering we have a published copy of the Prophecy of the Popes dated almost two hundred years before Pius VI was elected. Furthermore, Thibaut argues the encrypted couplet within “Apostolic pilgrim” signifies both Pius VI and the very next pope Pius VII who were both forced into foreign exile (i.e., pilgrims). He also suggests that the repetition serves as a poetic refrain. In other words, “Pius! Pius!” is similar to the excited binary “Mayday, Mayday!” that sailors cry out in dire circumstances.[vi]
With this in mind, we pointed readers last year to the electrifying visions of another pope named Pius—Pope Pius X who served as pope from 1903 to 1914 and who saw a papal successor carrying the same name Pius fleeing Rome over the bodies of dead priests at the onset of the end times. Pius X is widely reported to have said:
What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests! Do not tell anyone this while I am alive.[vii]
In a second vision during an audience with the Franciscan order in 1909, Pope Pius X appeared to fall into a trance. After a few moments, he opened his eyes and rose to his feet, announcing:
I have seen one of my successors, of the same name [a future pope named Pius], who was fleeing over the dead bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God’s memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world.[viii]
The third part of the Secret of Fátima, which was supposedly released in total by the Vatican June 26, 2000, seems to echo the visions of Pius X. A section of the material reads:
…before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.[ix]
The conceptual framework of these visions and their validity is volatile among many Catholics who believe Rome is complicit in an intentional cover-up involving the true Third Secret of Fátima as well as other suppressed Catholic foresights that are rife with wildly different predictions concerning the future prophetic role of the Roman Catholic Church. Marian apparitions, visions by popes, interpretations by cardinals of the apocalypse, and approved mystical prophecies often stand at odds with recent Vatican publications. Even the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” approved by the Church and promulgated by Pope John Paul II (released in English in 1994, the first catechism in more than four hundred years), which draws on the Bible, the mass, the sacraments, traditions, teachings, and the lives of the saints, states under the section The Church’s Ultimate Trial:
675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the mystery of iniquity in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the Truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in the place of God and his Messiah who has come in the flesh.[x]
Recent Catholic priests have confirmed these visions of destroyed apostate Rome, some pointing to the conclave and the inevitable danger of the False Prophet rising from within the ranks of Catholicism. These were also discussed in the 2012 book, Petrus Romanus as:
Father E. Sylvester Berry, whose book The Apocalypse of Saint John foretold the usurpation of the papacy by a false prophet; Father Herman Bernard Kramer, whose work The Book of Destiny painted a terrifying scenario in which Satan enters the church and assassinates the true pope (possibly during conclave) in order that his false pope can rise to rule the world; as well as similar beliefs by priests like Father John F. O’Connor, Father Alfred Kunz, and Father Malachi Martin.… In a two-hour presentation (available on DVD), Father O’Connor gave a homily titled “The Reign of the Antichrist,” in which he described how changes within [the Roman Catholic] institution were already at work before his death to provide for the coming of Antichrist. (brackets in original)[xi]
O’Connor’s worst fears have certainly been realized. An associate of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI who is considered one of the most important Catholic theologians of the twentieth century, Hans Urs von Balthasar, wrote a provocative essay, “Casta Meretrix,” (“Chaste Harlot”) that not only identified the Roman Catholic Church as the Great Harlot, but embraced it:
The figure of the prostitute [forma meretricis] is so appropriate for the Church…that it…defines the Church of the New Covenant in her most splendid mystery of salvation. The fact that the Synagogue left the Holy Land to go and be among the pagans was an infidelity of Jerusalem, the fact that “she opened her legs in every road in the world.”
But this same movement, which brings her to all the peoples, is the mission of the Church. She must unite and merge herself with every people, and this new apostolic form of union cannot be avoided.[xii]
While the embrace of whoredom is astonishing, the convicting words of prophecy, “Come out of her, my people, That ye be not partakers of her sins, And that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4), seem to forecast such apostasy. In the next entry we will re-examine what was happening around the Fatima prophecies and whether Pope Benedict himself—and the man that wants to be Petrus Romanus—have, all along, held deep secrets concerning the upcoming conclave toward world-spanning ramifications.
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near".
Watchman for Christ