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Israel, Cyprus gas finds spur Mediterranean race

Israel’s biggest gas discovery, potentially turning the fuel importer into an exporter, is prompting a race by nations from Lebanon to Turkey to tap similar deposits in disputed waters of the East Mediterranean.

Noble Energy is developing the Leviathan and Tamar fields off Israel that hold about 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, more than triple the UK’s remaining reserves and worth about $670 billion at today’s prices. The Houston-based company also is behind the Aphrodite discovery off Cyprus.

With the US estimating the region holds about 122 trillion cubic feet of gas, enough to supply the world for one year, Lebanon and Turkey stepped up prospecting. Territorial disputes will have to be resolved first or the potential will remain untapped.

“All sides are looking at the eastern Mediterranean in a new light, but at the same time border disputes remain very important,” said Charles Gurdon, managing director of London- based risk assessor Menas Associates. “In the end, most of these cases will have to go to international arbitration.”

Countries in the region will have to temper disputes over maritime borders and sovereignty before companies such as BP, Total and Royal Dutch Shell can realize its potential as an export hub, according to the Observatoire Mediterraneen de l’Energie, an industry group.

“Joint exploitation of resources may change the whole political situation for the benefit of the region,” said Sohbet Karbuz, an oil and gas director at OME. “Energy can also become an extension of politics by other means.”

The Lebanese-Israeli maritime border remains undefined

Lebanon and Israel have no defined maritime border, while Turkey doesn’t recognize the Greek Cypriot-led government of the Republic of Cyprus and relations with Israel have soured since Turkish activists died on a Gaza-bound flotilla two years ago. Tensions boiled over when Turkey sent an exploration vessel accompanied by warships and jets to stop Cyprus drilling for oil and gas last year.

“The sides are implacably opposed, whether it’s northern and southern Cyprus, whether it’s Turkey and Cyprus, whether it’s Israel and Lebanon,” said Gurdon at Menas, which advises Exxon Mobil Corp., BP and Chevron Corp. among others. “In the end, people want to determine where the territory starts and stops.”

Cyprus will award permits covering 12 offshore blocks south of the island in its second licensing round, open for bids until May, according to Solon Kassinis, director of the energy service at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. Turkey also plans to start drilling for oil off northern Cyprus later this month, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said in Istanbul today.

Egypt is planning to hold a licensing round in the Mediterranean after the Leviathan and Aphrodite discoveries, Gurdon said in a presentation in London today.

Gas discoveries in the Mediterranean abundant

The East Mediterranean could become the “second North Sea” following Cyprus’s first offshore gas discovery last year, Kassinis said.

“The Lebanese have systematically refused to talk to us about border issues, whether territorial or maritime, and have unilaterally submitted their claims to the UN,” said Yigal Palmor, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman. “We therefore have no choice but to submit our own claims to the UN as well, but the preferred solution is obviously direct negotiations.”

The North Sea, where Britain and Norway pump most of the oil and gas, is the world’s sixth-largest supplier of crude. While it still holds more than 26 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources, extraction peaked at the beginning of the last decade, UK government data show.

Israel, Cyprus considering pipeline

As North Sea production declines, energy producers are looking to other regions, including the Mediterranean, to meet rising gas demand as countries seek alternatives to Russian supplies.

Cyprus is working with Israel, 480 kilometers south across the Mediterranean Sea, on the potential construction of a pipeline to connect their gas fields. The link would allow the countries to meet domestic demand before liquefying the fuel for export, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on February 16.

Israel is examining plans to ship liquefied natural gas, or LNG, as far as Asia after 2018, said Gerry Peereboom, a director at Noble Energy. Israel may also pump gas to Egyptian LNG plants, said Raafat El-Beltagy, deputy chairman of Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. LNG Exports

“Israel is now in the position to decide whether they’ll allow the companies that hold these gas resources for export to the international market,” said Richard Quin, an analyst on the Middle East and North Africa at Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd. “The challenges of exporting LNG from Israel are quite substantial. It could easily be a decade for exports actually to happen.”

The Aphrodite field spans waters between Cyprus and Israel. Noble and other international oil companies have stayed away from northern Cypriot waters as tensions with Turkey persist, maintaining divisions that have split the island since Turkey invaded the north in 1974. Turkey has said development projects should await resolution of Cyprus’s political status.

“The issue of Turkey remains absolutely critical, because Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus’s rights” to award licenses, Menas’s Gurdon said. “Turkey may adopt gunboat diplomacy and it may be difficult for Cyprus to search for and develop fields which are close to northern Cyprus.”

The European Union, which only recognizes the Republic of Cyprus, has withheld elements of Turkey’s EU membership talks as it calls on the country to acknowledge the island nation and help resolve its ethnic divisions. Turkey has said it’s open to collaboration to exploit the region’s resources and market the fuel abroad.

Turkey seeks to maintain status as energy gateway

“Potential cooperation may at last bring peace and stability to the region,” said Ayse Berris Ekinci, acting deputy director for energy at Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Turkey represents the safest, most feasible and affordable gateway for the eastern Mediterranean natural gas resources to the European markets.”

Turkey’s state oil producer Turkiye Petrolleri AO struck an agreement with Shell in November to explore off the city of Antalya, away from Cypriot waters. Turkey has also received interest from companies including Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Total and ConocoPhillips to explore in its east Mediterranean waters, according to the Energy Ministry.

Cyprus is due to take over the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1, potentially boosting its clout in negotiations. The island’s Aphrodite discovery is only 65 kilometers from Israel’s Leviathan field, the world’s biggest offshore gas find of 2010. The Tamar field off Israel, discovered a year earlier, is due to start output next year.

“The latest discoveries will certainly be a source of dialogue between the countries,” said Rob West, a London-based oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. “It’s just not clear whether the dialogue will involve disputes over resource entitlement or rather cooperation.”

Claims over gas fields in the region’s Levant Basin extend to Lebanon, Israel’s northern neighbor and 100 miles across the sea from Cyprus.

Lebanon has said some Israeli fields may stretch into its waters and has asked the United Nations to intervene to prevent a conflict over exploration areas as the country gears up for its first offshore oil and gas bidding round this year. Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006, has repeatedly pledged to protect the nation’s offshore resources.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3435

The Importance of Bible Prophecy

Here is a really important article from David Reagan concerning why the study of Bible Prophecy is extremely important to the Christian life and walk with God! Remeber the spirit of prophecy is Jesus!

The Importance of Bible Prophecy – by Dr. David R. Reagan – www.lamblion.com

 

Is it a playground for fanatics or green pastures for disciples?

 

Although prophecy constitutes almost one-third of the Bible, its importance is constantly downplayed by those who dismiss it as having no practical significance or by those who object to it on the grounds that it is a “fad” that takes people’s eyes off Jesus.

 

A good example of what I’m talking about can be found in the immensely popular best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren.1 He mocks Bible prophecy when he writes, “If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.” He then goes on to characterize prophecy as a “distraction” and says that anyone who lets himself get involved in distractions like studying prophecy “is not fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

Such cavalier dismissals of Bible prophecy fly in the face of scriptures like Revelation 19:10 which says that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Thus, if prophecy is properly taught, there is no reason for it to divert anyone’s attention away from Jesus. In fact, it should serve to emphasize the centrality of Jesus.

 

Is prophecy practical? Consider that all the New Testament writers testify to the fact that living with the anticipation of the Lord’s return will motivate holy living. What could be more practical than that? Here are some examples:

 

The Apostle Paul: “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” — Romans 13:12-14.

 

The Apostle Peter: “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God… so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” — 1 Peter 4:7-11.

 

The Apostle John: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” — 1 John 3:2-3.

 

 

Prophecy does not have to be either faddish, other-worldly, or impractical if taught properly. Nor does it have to be a playground for fanatics. It can and should be green pastures for disciples.

 

Reasons for Study

 

There are many reasons why all believers should be interested in studying Bible prophecy. Some of the more important ones are listed below:

 

1) The Quantity — One-fourth to one-third of the Bible is prophetic in nature. In the Old Testament, this includes the Psalms, the Major and Minor Prophets, and many passages in the historical books. In the New Testament, entire books like 1 & 2 Thessalonians and Revelation are devoted to prophecy, as are major passages like Matthew 24 and 1 Peter 3. To ignore Bible prophecy is to ignore a significant portion of God’s Word, and we are told in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” — and that certainly includes Bible prophecy.

 

2) The Uniqueness — No other book in the world contains fulfilled prophecies. This includes the sayings of Buddha and Confucius, the Koran, the Hindu Vedras, and the Book of Mormon. And it certainly includes the ridiculous nonsensical quatrains of Nostradamus.2 In contrast, the Bible contains hundreds of specific prophecies that have already been fulfilled — prophecies about towns, cities, nations, empires, and political leaders, as well as prophecies about the Messiah. Consider, for example, the prophecy in the book of Isaiah that a man named Cyrus would be the one who would release the children of Israel from Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 44:28). And that is exactly what happened 142 years later (Ezra 1:1-3).

 

3) Validator of Scripture — Fulfilled prophecy is one of the best evidences I know of that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. As I stated above, the Bible contains hundreds of fulfilled secular prophecies pertaining to cities, nations, empires, and individuals. Isaiah prophesied that Babylon would fall to the Medes and Persians (Isaiah 13:17-20). Jeremiah predicted the Babylonian captivity of the Jews would last 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). Daniel outlined in advance the precise order of four great Gentile empires (Daniel 2 and 7). The destruction of both Judah and Israel was foretold by Moses (Deuteronomy 28 and 29). In the New Testament, Jesus predicted the complete destruction of Jerusalem 40 years before it actually occurred (Luke 21:6).

 

4) Validator of Jesus — The prophetic scriptures validate Jesus as who He said He was — namely, God in the flesh. The Bible contains more than 300 prophecies about the First Coming of Jesus, but some of these are repetitive. There are actually 109 separate and distinct prophecies concerning the First Coming, and all of them were literally fulfilled.3 Every aspect of the life of Jesus was prophesied — the place of His birth, the nature of His birth, the quality of His ministry, the purpose of His life, and the agony of His death. Consider, for example, the prophecy in Psalm 22:16 that the Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced. That prophecy was written by David about a thousand years before the birth of Jesus. It was written 700 years before the invention of crucifixion as a form of execution. The literal fulfillment of so many prophecies in the life of one individual transcends any mere coincidence and serves to validate that Jesus was who He said He was — the divine Son of God.

 

5) Revealer of the Future — Prophecy serves to tell us some things that God wants us to know about the future (Deuteronomy 29:29 and Amos 3:7). God does not want us to know everything about the future, but there are some things we must know if we are to have a dynamic hope. Thus, prophecy assures us that Jesus is coming back, that He will resurrect us, and that He will take us to live forever with Him and God the Father. In this regard, Peter likens prophecy to “a lamp shining in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). Paul makes the same point in 1 Corinthians, chapter 2. He begins by observing that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has the mind of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” But in the next verse Paul says those things have been revealed to us by God through His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

 

6) Tool of Evangelism — Prophecy can be used as a very effective tool of evangelism, as illustrated in the story of Philip and the Eunuch (Acts 8:26ff). Philip used Isaiah’s great suffering lamb passage (Isaiah 53) to teach that Jesus is the Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world. Matthew and Peter both used fulfilled prophecy in the life of Jesus as one of their basic evangelistic tools. In fact, Peter referred to prophecy constantly in his first gospel sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-39). He preached that Jesus had been crucified and resurrected in fulfillment of Hebrew prophecies. Later, Peter referred to fulfilled prophecy as one of the greatest evidences that Jesus was truly the Son of God (2 Peter 1:16-19).

 

7) Tool of Moral Teaching — People often overlook the fact that the Hebrew prophets were forthtellers as well as foretellers. In fact, the prophets spent most of their time using God’s Word to spotlight societal problems. They called their listeners to repentance, true worship, social justice, and personal holiness. One of the great recurring themes of the prophets is that “obedience is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22 and Hosea 6:6). That statement means that in God’s eyes, obedience to His commands is more important than outward religious practices such as offering sacrifices. Prophecy is thus a great repository of moral teaching, and those moral principles are still relevant today. (See Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:8; and Isaiah 58:3-9.)

 

8) Generator of Spiritual Growth — Prophetic knowledge encourages patient waiting (James 5:7-8); provokes earnest watching (Matthew 24:36,42); inspires dedicated work (2 Timothy 4:7-8); and enhances our hope (Titus 2:11-14). The result is holy living. Paul exhorts us to “behave properly as in the day,” because the time is at hand when the Lord will return (Romans 13:12-13). Likewise, Peter calls us to gird up our minds and be sober and holy as we look forward to the revelation of Jesus (1 Peter 1:13-15).

 

9) Understanding of Current Events — The Bible contains detailed prophecies about the end times we are living in, and there is just no way to fully understand much of what is happening today apart from those prophecies. Three characteristics of our day and time immediately come to mind: the intensifying decay of society, the growing apostasy in the Church, and the escalating crisis in the Middle East. All three of these situations are prophesied in detail in the Bible. We are told that society will become as violent and immoral as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39); that the Church will be assaulted with “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1); and that all the nations of the world will come against Israel over the issue of who will control Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3).

 

10) Signifier of the Season — One of the most exciting reasons for studying Bible prophecy is that it provides very definite signs that we are to watch for which will signify the season of the Lord’s return. It is true that we cannot know the date, but the Bible makes it clear that we can know the season if we are aware of the signs that we are to look for. The Apostle Paul made this point in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 when he wrote:

 

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night… But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all ons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.

According to this passage, Jesus is coming like “a thief in the night” for the world, but those of us who are “sons of light” — that is, those of us who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit — we should not be surprised when the Lord returns because God’s Word gives us signs to watch for.

 

Paul made the same point again in Hebrews 10:25 where he admonished believers to not forsake the assembling of the saints, especially “as you see the day drawing near.” What day? He defines it in verse 27 as the day of judgment. So, Paul is making the point here that there are signs we can watch for that will clearly identify the fact that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return.

 

Jesus made the same point in His Olivet Discourse as recorded in Matthew 24. After specifying many end time signs, He said, “when you see all these things, recognize that He [Jesus] is near, right at the door” (Matthew 24:33).

 

Advice & Counsel

 

I pointed out earlier that in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul writes that all of God’s Word is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” I want to emphasize again that this admonition includes God’s Prophetic Word. Also, in 1 Thessalonians 5:20 the apostle Paul pleads with us to treat prophecy with respect: “Do not despise prophetic utterances.”

 

Peter warns us in his second epistle, that one of the signs of the end times will be the appearance of “scoffers” who will cast scorn and ridicule on the promise of our Lord’s return (2 Peter 3:3ff). The great tragedy of our day is that many of the loudest scoffers are religious leaders who profess to follow Christ. Such leaders crucified Jesus the first time He came. They now scoff at His promise to return.

 

A good example of what I’m talking about is the “Jesus Seminar”4 that began meeting in 1985 and whose work culminated in 1993 with the publication of a book titled, The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say?5 The seminar was composed of forty New Testament “scholars” from a great variety of Christian seminaries in America. The seminar met every six months to vote on the sayings of Jesus as recorded in the four ospels. The goal was to produce a new version of the gospels in which the sayings of Jesus would be color coded: red, if He said it; pink, if He may have said it; grey, if He probably did not say it; and black, if He definitely did not say it.

 

They titled the evil fruit of their labors, The Five Gospels, because they concluded that the spurious Gnostic Gospel of Thomas6 was as valid as the four Gospels adopted by the early Church Fathers.

 

When they voted on the sayings of Jesus regarding His Second Coming, they voted that all the sayings were spurious and had probably been “made up” by His disciples. What apostasy!

 

Spiritual Food

 

God’s Prophetic Word is food for our spiritual growth. We need to take it off the shelf, open it up, and feast upon it — and we need to do so with believing hearts.

 

The book of Revelation promises blessings to those who read it (or hear it read) and who obey it (Revelation 1:3). It is the only book of the Bible to promise such a specific blessing, but all God’s Word is designed to bless us spiritually (Psalm 119), and that includes the Prophetic Word.

 

Bible prophecy, properly taught, can literally transform a person and a congregation. This will happen if the person or congregation can be convinced of two things regarding prophecy: 1) Jesus is returning, and 2) His return could occur any moment.

 

Regarding the first point, most Christians believe with their minds that Jesus is returning, but they do not believe with their hearts, and therefore their belief has no impact on their behavior. Regarding the second point, most Christians are unaware that the return of Jesus will be in two stages — first, the Rapture, and then the Second Coming. Because they know little or nothing about the Rapture, they have no understanding that the Lord could truly return at any moment. They believe that many prophecies — like the preaching of the Gospel to the whole world — must be fulfilled before the Lord can return, when the truth of the matter is that there is not one prophecy that must be fulfilled for the Rapture to occur.

 

Again, if a person or congregation can truly be convinced that Jesus is returning any moment, they will be transformed because they will be motivated to share the Gospel with others and to commit their lives to holiness. A commitment to evangelism and holiness! What more could a pastor hope for?

 

Bible prophecy does not just relate to the future. It has an important spiritual relevance to the way we live our lives in the present.

 

Key Scriptures about Prophecy

 

Let’s conclude with a reminder of what the Word of God itself says about the value of prophecy. In this way we can be assured that the effort we expend in looking at the prophetic scriptures will be time extremely well spent.

 

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our sons forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

 

“Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

 

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done… I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it” (Isaiah 46:9-11).

 

“[Jesus said] ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill'” (Matthew 5:17).

 

“[Jesus] said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled'” (Luke 24:44).

 

“Of Him [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43).

 

“The prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow” (1 Peter 1:10-11).

 

“…we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place… But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

 

“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3432

Signs: Is the earth being torn apart?

Significant Earthquakes Past 30 Days

  1. M 6.8, Lae, Papua New Guinea Tuesday, April 17, 2012 07:13:50 UTC
  2. M 6.7, Hacienda La Calera, Chile Tuesday, April 17, 2012 03:50:16 UTC
  3. M 6.5, Isangel, Vanuatu Saturday, April 14, 2012 22:05:26 UTC
  4. M 6.9, Santa Isabel, Mexico Thursday, April 12, 2012 07:15:48 UTC
  5. M 6.5, Arteaga, Mexico Wednesday, April 11, 2012 22:55:10 UTC
  6. M 8.2, off the west coast of northern Sumatra Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:43:09 UTC
  7. M 8.6, off the west coast of northern Sumatra Wednesday, April 11, 2012 08:38:37 UTC
  8. M 4.1, Coalgate, Oklahoma Tuesday, April 03, 2012 07:34:00 UTC
  9. M 6.0, Cuajinicuilapa, Mexico Monday, April 02, 2012 17:36:42 UTC

 

A leading earthquake scientist has warned that the planet could be cracking up after a series of massive quakes in just 48 hours.

Expert Gheorghe Marmureanu – from Romania’s National Institute of Earth Physics – says 39 quakes had hit the globe within two days.

The series started with two massive quakes in Indonesia measuring 8.6 and 8.2 on the Richter scale rapidly followed by three more only slightly smaller in Mexico within hours.

‘There is no doubt that something is seriously wrong. There have been too many strong earthquakes,’ said Marmureanu.

He added: ‘The quakes are a surprise that cannot be easily explained by current scientific knowledge. With the Indonesian quake for example, statistically, there should be one big earthquake in this part of Asia every 500 years. However, since 2004, there were already three quakes with a magnitude of over 8, which is not normal.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3419

JOHN THE REVELATOR SAW THE BEASTLY, “ASSYRIAN ANTICHRIST”

THE CHURCH IS MOSTLY IN THE DEVILS POCKET AND HE IS DETERMINED THAT THIS WORLD DOES NOT LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS ANTICHRIST. Satan’s purpose is to fool the church and the world about this beastly man that he is very close to revealing. The “Emergent Churches” are foolish enough to completely ignore “Bible Prophecy”. They hate Fundamental truths and are damning their mega-flocks of people. By keeping them illiterate of the Book of Revelation and the coming rapture with judgment to follow, these big time preachers are in the driver’s seat. A First Testament Prophet called them, “DUMB DOGS, THAT CANNOT BARK; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” (Isaiah 56:10)

 

Apostle John saw this Antichrist actually rise from the Mediterranean Sea so no one could doubt his actual existence or his Middle Eastern origin. “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” (Revelation 13:1) The blasphemy coming from the Antichrist’s mouth will be unbearable. This will not be the blasphemy of the ugly, but the blasphemy of the distorted beautiful. The entire religious world is already glorying in statues, icons, and art forms of different expressions. The choreographed dance is one of the church world’s darkest deceptions. Statues that are proclaimed as anointed, especially where grace is reportedly connected, have already been accepted in Charismatic circles. Millions follow apparitions of Mary. Some writers are describing visions and dreams of incredible creatures and experiences. All kinds of extra Biblical occurrences are preparing the way for religious blasphemy. To assign anything to God that is clearly occultic is blasphemy. To claim to be God is the worst form of blasphemy. To imitate the Son of God is a dark hideous form of blasphemy.

 

This Beastly Assyrian Antichrist will be the most vicious man that has ever been known. His lineage from the Assyrians could not be more fitting. They were evil and they enjoyed being evil. They treated their enemies or captives in the vilest fashion that our human imagination could think. The ruins of their ancient palaces are filled with grotesque carvings in stone as a testimony to the evil ingeniousness of their character. They were in life and in battle a foretaste of what the Antichrist will be as the final dictator for Satan. The prophets have made it clear that the Antichrist will be an Assyrian. He is so real that the world will worship him. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)

 

Prophet Isaiah spoke of this future beast that attacked and destroyed the Northern kingdom of Israel. “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” (Isaiah 10:5-6). Then, Isaiah gave another part of the prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. “That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.” (Isaiah 14:25). This has never been fulfilled, so we know it is about the future Antichrist. He spoke of this Assyrian in clear end time chronology to leave no doubt as to His meaning. “And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” (Isaiah 30:30-31). The final Antichrist of this thirteenth chapter must be that Assyrian. Even Micah spoke of his death in the gate of Nimrod, which is none other than Ancient Babylon being revisited at this very hour.

 

To add to the prophetic miracles that are occurring all over the world this Assyrian beast represents an unspeakable mystery that can finally be understood. Except for a few historians and the people of Assyrian lineage, nobody in prophetic literature even considered that there were Assyrian people alive right up to this very time in history. Almost as mysterious as the Jews, but completely off the radar, the Assyrians as a distinct people have survived the centuries with clear unmistakable identity. Living mostly in their own conclaves, they have survived great odds to now surface in Northern Iraq and other nations where they have fled. For them to presently be involved in uniting their own culture and to be a voice in the new Iraq government cannot be less than perfect planning on the part of our Creator.

 

There are very distinct, positive plans for the future of the Assyrians in the Bible. Indeed they will produce the Antichrist, but this should not and does not indict the present Assyrian people as bad themselves. The Antichrist must arise from a culture and a people that pledge allegiance to the God of the Bible which the Assyrians do and have done since the day of Jesus Christ. Daniel said, “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Daniel 11:37). But, a much greater future awaits this ancient culture. During the Millennium, there will only be three nations in the Middle East. Assyria will be one of them. This would suggest that at some point the Northern part of Iraq and Iran, may be much of the Southern part of Turkey, Syria, and at least part of Jordan, will be the Assyrian nation. “In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land.” (Isaiah 19:24).

 

Much bigger and broader than the ancient lineage is the connection of the coming Antichrist to Satan. He will be the slickest masquerader ever produced by Lucifer. The making of this evil character has been centuries in Satan’s planning. He is not a flash in the pan but a well prepared imitation. He will have a partner in the False Prophet that will probably imitate all the works of the Holy Spirit. He should be called the false anointing. Under Satan’s tutorage, these two personalities will finalize a “one world religion” that cleverly unites all religions together.

 

The Middle East is clearly the geographical center of the rising Antichrist. The United Nations of Europe will slowly connect with the Middle East as the revived Roman Empire regains its footing in the needed order. Iraq had to become a democracy in its own unique style because the Antichrist will begin by flatteries, not by military powers, “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries:” (Daniel 11:32a). The Antichrist, as an Assyrian by nationality, will be connected to the ancient city of Babylon and that nation. Rising out of the sea as he appears certainly ties him closely to the Mediterranean Sea and the political powers within its vicinity. He quickly unites the political powers and becomes the leader of the emerging Roman Empire, but especially its ancient Eastern wing. His rise to power and his coalition of political partners will be blasphemous in nature and will bear a decidedly anti-Israel and Antichrist tone

 

Satan especially blasphemes everything that is heavenly about God, the Father. When the Father and the Lamb sent angels to cast him out of the midair, he lost all ability to travel in the stratosphere of God’s domain. Notice that he blasphemes God, His name, His heavenly tabernacle, and those that dwell in heaven. He certainly hates the Father because he is now forbidden to appear in His presence. He is the Sovereign God, and Satan has sought to replace God with himself. He has totally failed and nothing but hatred can now find expression in his disappointed heart. The tabernacle of God is the grandest location in the entire universal system. It is glorious, even beyond words. Paul saw it and was left speechless. Satan has visited it at every opportunity the Father allowed, but now it can only be a distant dream to Satan; and he blasphemes it with vileness. He blasphemes everyone that dwells in this matchless place.

 

“Here is wisdom … it is the number of a man.” (Revelation 13:18) Nothing reveals the Antichrist better than this statement. Unbridled flesh, the raw appetite of the adamic nature, and the wildest possible life of sin is what the “mark” of the Antichrist will represent. The land will be full of pedophiles, animalistic sexual exploits, sado-masochism, and deeper and deeper vileness will continue until human flesh is worse than the worst beast. It will all be manifest with complete religious acceptance. To take the mark will be like becoming a human animal. The Antichrist and the false prophet will give the devil his masterpiece of deception. Satan knows he has but a short time, so it will be an all out war. When this deception is complete, it will then turn on its head and God will expose and judge. Satan always over plays his hand. He is an idiot god and will finally be cast into the bottomless pit but destined for the Lake of Fire. His two beasts will go directly to the Lake of Fire at the end of the seven years that Jesus called, “The Great Tribulation.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3412

Isaac Newton, Daniel’s 70 Weeks & the Six Day War

 If you have ever spent any time studying Daniel’s seventy-weeks prophecy you might have been somewhat annoyed by the first seven weeks.

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”(Da 9:25)

Frankly, it seems to just be dangling there without a purpose.  Most prophecy teachers simply add the two together to make sixty-nine weeks without saying much about why it is “seven and threescore and two (62).” Well, this bothered Newton too. He explained the odd seven weeks as referring to the second coming, after a future restoration of Israel which had not yet occurred! He explained the verse in this way:

Know also and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to cause to return and to build Jerusalem, unto the Anointed the Prince, shall be seven weeks.

The former part of the Prophecy related to the first coming of Christ, being dated to his coming as a Prophet; this being dated to his coming to be Prince or King, seems to relate to his second coming. There, the Prophet was consummate, and the most holy anointed: here, he that was anointed comes to be Prince and to reign. For Daniel’s Prophecies reach to the end of the world; and there is scarce a Prophecy in the Old Testament concerning Christ, which doth not in something or other relate to his second coming. If divers of the antients, as Irenæus, Julius Africanus, Hippolytus the martyr, and Apollinaris Bishop of Laodicea, applied the half week to the times of Antichrist; why may not we, by the same liberty of interpretation, apply the seven weeks to the time when Antichrist shall be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming?[i]

He puts the first seven in the future after the second rebuilding of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was reclaimed by Israel during the Six Days War in June of 1967. Recall that in the seventy-weeks paradigm, the “seven” is seven weeks of years which is (7 x 7) forty-nine years. T. W. Tramm explains a remarkable concurrence:

June 7, 1967 falls in the Hebrew year 5727, adding forty-nine prophetic years to this date we arrive in the Hebrew year 5776, which is 2015 on the Gregorian calendar. Interestingly, if one counts exactly forty-nine (360 day) prophetic years (17,640 days) from the June 7, 1967 date of Jerusalem’s recapture, we arrive at September 23, 2015—the Day of Atonement! Coincidence?[ii]

We verified this remarkable match but we also noted that if one counts 49 x 365 days for solar years, one lands in 2016 which corresponds nicely with historical approach of AD 756 the acceding of temporal power to the pope plus 1260 derived from Revelation 11:3. Although no man knows the day or hour, it is hard to ignore the remarkable preponderance of prophecy pointing to the period we have entered.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3409

The Two Types of Last Days Christians

Great article from Bill Salus! Keep looking up!

The Two Types of Last Days Christians

on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Bill Salus

The following teaching is taken from Revelation Road, Hope Beyond the Horizon.

The historical accounts of the twelve spies contained in Numbers 13-14 point out that there were two types of Hebrews at the time of Moses. Courageous Joshua and Caleb represented those who had faith to die for. They realized the power God possessed, and relied entirely on Him to get through the giant obstacles— literally—that stood between them, and the Promised Land. They understood the signs of their times, and the significance of the days they were appointed to. They must have realized the Genesis 15:12-16 prophecy given to Abraham, predicting 400 years of Egyptian servitude had ended. Thus, they recognized the time had come to enter into the Promised Land in fulfillment of part-two of the prophecy.

(Part-one) Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land [Egypt] that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict [enslave] them four hundred years. (Gen. 15:12-13)

(Part-two) And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out [the Hebrew Exodus] with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, [the Promised Land of Canaan] for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete. (Gen. 15:14-16)

Joshua and Caleb realized they were part of the fourth generation, the one destined to return and possess the Promised Land. Realizing they existed in fulfillment of this Bible prophecy, they exhibited the faith necessary to rely whole-heartedly on the Lord to deliver upon His prophetic promise made to the patriarch Abraham. They trusted the Lord would perform and safely deliver their generation home to the Promised Land. In Numbers 14:9 the two are quoted as saying, “Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”

Conversely, their ten counterparts were spineless. When they spied out the land promised to them, they were intimidated by the enemies and were unwilling to war against them. Even though they probably understood the above prophecy, and even saw the Red Sea swallow up Pharaoh’s army, they still underestimated God’s power. In so doing they undermined his glory. For their lack of faith and courage, they were severely chastised and wandered in the wilderness, where all but Caleb, Joshua, and those under the tender age of twenty, died over the next forty years.(i)

Both groups were appointed to those hard times. They were all forced to live under the last, harshest days of the Egyptian bondage. Subsequent to their exodus, they were all expecting to enter into the Promised Land in fulfillment of Abraham’s prophecy. But only one group possessed the faith required to stand up to the challenges. One group represented survivors and the other deniers.

What is your condition in comparison? Do you possess the unshakable faith of Caleb? Are you willing to acknowledge the end of time draws near? Can you muster up the courage of Joshua, required to face the challenges appointed to the final generation? In the book of Joshua the word courage or courageous appears seven times, illustrating the importance of possessing a fearless faith. Or, are you destined to wander aimlessly in the wilderness of denial, anger, and depression, while your unbelieving loved ones face the real threat of missing the rapture and being plunged into the tribulation period? Are you a Christian survivor or denier?

End-Time’s Christian Survival

Since powerful prophecies are forthcoming, it’s prudent to prepare for them in advance. There is biblical precedent for prophetic preparedness. It’s smart to fill the storehouses with food in advance of a pending famine— that’s what Joseph did in the Genesis 41 historic account. Joseph possessed invaluable insights into the future, and took the necessary measures to provide for the Egyptians. In the process, his Hebrew posterity was also preserved. Joseph’s actions were blessed, because they glorified God, and were in alignment with the Lord’s plan for that time.

If a Christian exemplifies the lessons of Joseph by preparing for prophetic events, his or her actions, if rightly motivated and appropriately understood, can serve as a testimony to an unbelieving spectator. The goal is to temper the survival efforts with a clear demonstration of whole-hearted faith in Christ, and a wholesome understanding of Bible prophecy.

The believer’s behavior should resemble that of Noah’s. While his ark was being constructed, he used the opportunity to preach to those curious about his foreknowledge of the flood.(ii) Although only his immediate family heeded his warnings, the inaction of those in denial did not deter him from taking the necessary survival measures. In the process, his posterity was also preserved. Noah’s actions were also blessed because they glorified God, and were in alignment with the Lord’s plan for that time.

Additionally, stockpiling some cash, gas, and goods, in advance of the fulfillment of a Bible prophecy can insulate the believer from the predictable panic and hysteria that could follow. Long gas lines, food shortages, and inaccessible ATM machines for instance, can be temporarily avoided. This buys time for some resemblance of normalcy to resume. In the process, the believer’s posterity can also be preserved.

END-TIME’S CHRISTIAN DENIAL

Surprisingly, even though the end-time signs are plentiful and abundantly clear, many Christians don’t believe they live in the last days. The fact that the eschatological message is not being taught from many pulpits has a lot to do with this. Ignorance about the end times keeps many from realizing they live within them.

However, these next few paragraphs are intentionally written for those Christians falling into a different category. There are those who believe, or at least think it possible, that there is such a thing as an end time, but they shudder at the possibility that those trying times have officially been ushered in. In essence, they choose the path of denial. Rather than prepare for the end, they opt to ignore it.

One of the reasons for this is that they are young, and seek to live long, healthy, and happy lives. Or, they’re older and have children or grandchildren growing up that they want to send to college, or marry off. To them, the end times just doesn’t fit into their lifelong plan. In fact, some in this category even hope the blessed rapture gets postponed way off into the distant future.

Even though times are worsening, rather than accept and address them, they cling to the hope that world economies and geo-political events are going to get better. Unfortunately, if there is an end times, and if they are upon us, this mentality of denial can be downright dangerous because in the end analysis it parallels that of the ten-spineless-spies.

Certainly pursuing a noble aspiration, like sending a child through college, is a good thing, but if mankind has been plunged into a perilous period of time whereby hunting and fishing for survival is more essential than getting a four-year business degree, then what’s in the best interest of the child? Should he or she be taught to fish, or how to sell Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) when gas is priced at an unprecedented premium?

This example may sound facetious, but it speaks directly to the point. For instance, Christ says,

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21)

This passage predicts a time is coming, which will be characterized by great worldwide tribulation. It implies that earning a college degree, or getting married and having a baby, is illogical. This coming “great tribulation” will necessitate survival, and eradicate denial. Everyone alive at the time will be forced to realize that the world is about to end! Christ is referring here to the final years of the biblical “tribulation period,” but some generation will experience this great tribulation first-hand!

This isn’t about minimizing the importance of a good education, which is scarcely affordable these days; rather it’s about being aware of the signs of the times. The fact many pastors avoid teaching about these last days, does not negate the fact that these last days need to be taught about. According to Acts 20:26-28, pastoral responsibilities require that the full counsel of God be taught from the pulpit. The full counsel includes Bible prophecy. Below is a quote that puts this into perspective.

J. Barton Payne, the author of the Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy, lists 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament, and 578 prophecies in the New Testament. That works out to a total of 1,817, by his count. And prophecies involve 8,352 of the Bible’s verses. And because there are 31,124 verses in the Bible, this works out to be about 27 percent of the total, meaning one-fourth of the Bible is prophecy.”(iii)

Picking and choosing what preaching is more conducive to filling the pews is not an option for an end-time pastor. Presenting about sixty-three percent of the Bible to a congregation, does not fulfill the requirements of Acts 20:26-28. Additionally, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that all 31,124 Bible verses are divinely inspired, including the 8,352 regarding prophecy. These two passages teach that even the prophetic Scriptures equip the man of God for service.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

It’s time for Christians to get right with the Lord, get ready for turbulent times, and get raptured, before the tribulation-period gets going!

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3394

Birth Pains

Double 8.6 and 8.2 strike ocean floor off the coast of Sumatra – tsuanmi warnings downgraded

Posted on April 11, 2012 by The Extinction Protocol

 

April 11, 2012INDONESIA – A massive earthquake struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday afternoon, triggering a tsunami alert for the Indian Ocean. The quake struck about 434 kilometers (270 miles) southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia’s Aceh province, and had a magnitude of 8.6, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It took place at a depth of 23 kilometers (14 miles). The massive earthquake was followed by a 6.0 in the north Indian Ocean and then a 8.2 earthquake near the main epicenter. The tremor revived fearful memories of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in the region in 2004 that killed tens of thousands of people. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Wednesday that it had issued a tsunami watch for the entire Indian Ocean, and the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency said it had put up a tsunami warning. The Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said on local television that there were no reports of casualties or damage in Aceh so far. The areas most at risk of a tsunami are coastal areas of Aceh, particularly the island of Simeulue, Prih Harjadi, an official for the Indonesian geophysics agency said on Metro TV. The earthquake appears to have involved a horizontal movement rather than a vertical movement, so it is less likely that it will generate a tsunami, said Gary Gibson from the Seismology Research Center in Melbourne, Australia. He also said that the tremor took place a long way offshore and was therefore unlikely to have caused much damage itself. The power has gone out in Banda Aceh and residents are moving to higher ground, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency. The authorities in India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands have ordered people to move out of low-lying areas.

 

Katla Volcano – Birth Pains?

 

This month marks the second anniversary of the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull that left millions stranded across Europe, and cost airlines an estimated €150 million a day for six days. But alarmingly, there are signs of high activity beneath the much larger, neighbouring Katla caldera in Iceland – a possible sign of an impending eruption. This should prompt extensive high-level contingency planning across Europe, as Katla has the potential to be much more damaging than Eyjafjallajökull.

Since Iceland was settled in the ninth century, Katla has erupted on average every 60 years, but has not had a significant eruption since 1918. Ominously, eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in 1821-23 and 1612 were followed within months by eruptions of Katla. Judged by the historical calendar, an eruption is overdue. 

I have been following the Icelandic volcano activity ever since the Eyjafjallajökull volcano closed the air space over Northern Europe for six days in April of 2010.  As the article above states, Katla is the evil twin and if she erupts it could be devastating, as Katla’s eruption in 1918 produced five times as much ash as the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull.  So why am I posting this story today?  Glad you asked.  Last night a 8.6 earthquake struck off Indonesia.  The 7.0 temblor has become the “new-norm,” and 8.0 quakes and higher, are becoming more frequent.   I believe that these earthquakes in diverse places, famines, pestilence, and volcanic activity, that seem to be growing both in intensity and frequency, are the sign that we are in the birth pains that Yashua/Jesus warns us will precede His second coming.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3391

Four Horsemen Update or Signs Update

We are seeing all kinds of strange thigs happening to animals all over the earth. Birds are dying in mass, record numbers of fish, dolphns and other see life are dying. Also on land we are seeing disese spreading among both man and animal. I am attaching three articles that show this trend and it is happening daily around the world. Keep looking up!

Egypt: At Least 9,000 Livestock Now Dead, 100,000 Infected with Foot-And-Mouth, All of North Africa and the Middle East Now Threatened

04/08/2012

By Ben Gittleson – “Al Shawaye Al Malaq, Egypt // Freshly covered graves mask the carcasses of cattle felled by the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak spreading across Egypt, but farmers’ frustration in the Nile Delta over the financial devastation is out in the open.

Al Shawaye Al Malaq is one of the worst hit villages in Egypt, with almost 5,000 livestock dead. Ahmed Ibrahim Ghayes lost all 20 of his calves and one adult cow; his remaining 59 cattle have all been infected.

With most of his cows either dead or unable to produce milk at capacity, Mr Ghayes’s milk output has dropped 80 per cent. The outbreak has frozen the cattle trade, he said, making it difficult for him to pay off loans.

‘No one is buying or selling cattle because everyone’s afraid,’ he said.

Nearly 100,000 animals across Egypt have been infected, of which more than 9,000 have died, said the head of Egypt’s central quarantine service earlier this week.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned the outbreak could threaten the whole of North Africa and the Middle East.”

Maldives: Large Numbers of Dead Fish Washing Ashore on Resorts and Inhabited Islands in Noonu and Haa Atolls

04/08/2012

“Large numbers of dead fish have been washing ashore on resorts and inhabited islands in the upper north of the Maldives in Noonu and Haa Atolls, reports the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture. The dead fish are overwhelmingly red-tooth trigger fish (odonus niger, locally known as vaalan rondu), but include several other species of reef fishes including Acanthurids (surgeon fish) and Serranids. The Marine Research Centre (MRC) is currently investigating the incident. MRC Director General Shiham Adam said a series of similar incidents were reported from June-December in 2007. Tests showed the increased presence of the bacteria Staphylococcus in the spleen of fish samples, but the investigation was inconclusive. ‘We sent samples sent to the US and it seemed be related to a bacterial infection in the gills that causes them to suffocate,’ Shiham explained. ‘A lot of people say it is global warming and environmental change. [Fish kill incidents] are not something that normally happens, so we are worried about it,’ he said.

Minute changes in the environment during critical periods of a species’ life-cycle could trigger such events, Shiham explained.”

Peru: At Least 615 Dead Dolphins Counted Along 90-Mile Stretch of Peru Beaches, Number of Dead Will Reach Into the Thousands

04/08/2012

By Miguel Llanos, MSNBC – “Conservationists counted 615 dead dolphins along a 90-mile stretch of beaches in Peru, a wildlife group said Wednesday, and the leading suspect is acoustic testing offshore by oil companies.

‘If you can count 615 dead dolphins, you can be sure there are a great many more out at sea and the total will reach into the thousands,’ Hardy Jones, head of the conservation group BlueVoice.org, said in a statement after he and an expert with ORCA Peru walked the beaches.

Indeed, the head of a local fishermen’s association told Peru21.pe that he estimated more than 3,000 dolphins had died so far this year, based on what he saw in the water and on beaches.

BlueVoice.org stated that ‘initial tests … show evidence of acoustical impact from sonic blasts used in exploration for oil.’

The ORCA Peru expert, veterinarian Carlos Yaipen Llanos, said that while ‘we have no definitive evidence,’ he suspects acoustic testing created a ‘marine bubble’ — in essence a sonic blast that led to internal bleeding, loss of equilibrium and disorientation.

Another possibility is that the dolphins suffered from a disease outbreak, Yaipen Llanos said.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3367

False Prophet: Prophecy Has Catholics and Protestants Watching Pope Benedict in April

As April 16th looms, speculation is mounting concerning the possible post-birthday retirement of Pope Benedict XVI. These speculations are fueled by statements last year from Italian media personality journalist and Vatican insider, Antonio Socci, who wrote in The Times of London, “In short: the Pope does not discard the possibility of resigning when he reaches 85 in April next year.”[i][i]

Benedict was 78 when appointed pope in April of 2005 and was quoted then as having preferred a peaceful retirement, “At a certain point, I prayed to God ‘please don’t do this to me’…Evidently, this time He didn’t listen to me.”[ii][ii] Even more, in his book, Pope Benedict XVI Light of the World, when asked if he thought it appropriate for a pope to retire he responded, “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”[iii][iii] This widely reported predisposition adds credence to recent rumors.

While official sources assert his recent trip to Cuba as evidence of his ongoing vitality, a December 2011 Associated Press story from Vatican City asserted, “Pope Benedict XVI seems worn out.”

The internet and Bible prophecy community have been buzzing due to an ancient prophecy attributed to Saint Malachy which predicted some 112 popes culminating in the destruction of Rome, Benedict being next to last. Adding fuel to the fire are assertions from a soon to be released book titled after the predicted last pope concerning a cryptic cipher published by a Belgian Jesuit back in 1951.

Bestselling author, Thomas Horn (Apollyon Rising, Forbidden Gates), has teamed up with a Christian apologist and author Cris Putnam (Pandemonium’s Engine) in the soon to be released book, Petrus Romanus, which explores the intricacies of the Malachy prophecy and the potential role of the pope in biblical prophecy. According to the blog promoting the soon to be released book, the deceased Jesuit priest and codebreaker, René Thibaut, decoded 2012 explicitly as the year for the final conclave. According to calculations at Putnam’s website the date coincides with the recent rumors.

While some Catholic scholars are divided on the Prophecy of the Popes, John Lupia Ph.D. at Roman Catholic News has deemed it genuine. Loyal Catholics are likely incredulous due to Rome’s predicted doom during the next pontificate. This foretold apocalyptic demise has Protestants like Hal Lindsey and Jack Van Impe speculating that the “rapture” of the church — a time when true believers will be caught away into the heavens and saved from great tribulation — will occur very soon. For believers in the rapture, this seems all the more exhilarating amidst the numerous 2012 predictions.

Other Protestants see a remarkable potential that the predicted final pope may personify the false prophet predicted in the Book of Revelation in chapter 13 verses 11 onward. That end-time figure is said to appear as a lamb, a Christian, yet speak like a dragon pointing to the same book’s symbol for Satan. Prophetic commentators have been quick to point out recent Vatican statements calling for an increased role for the United Nations and a world financial authority. While many Catholic faithful are incensed by the insinuation that the next pontiff is the predicted second beast, it is not without precedent. In addition to respected Catholic seers down through time who predicted Rome would become the seat of the Antichrist, Pope Benedict himself, while still a Cardinal, shocked the Catholic community when he confessed that he did not think the Holy Spirit was necessarily involved in the conclave that elects popes. When asked on Bavarian television in 1997 if the Holy Spirit is responsible for who gets elected pope, Cardinal Ratzinger responded, “I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the pope. … There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit would obviously not have picked.”[iv][iv]

Cardinal Ratzinger’s startling admission seems at odds with the traditional dogma of papal succession all the way back to Jesus’ disciple Peter and inadvertently lends credence to the election of a false prophet.

The Vatican has done little to silence the building buzz concerning the next pope and Malachy prophecy. Ratzinger also created a stir when he chose the name “Benedict” seeming to intentionally fulfill the Malachy prophecy’s characterization of him as the “glory of the Olive” (the Benedictine order is symbolized by an Olive branch). With the recent rumors concerning the pope’s soon retirement, this begs the question of whether the Vatican is intentionally fulfilling the Malachy predictions and setting the stage for the coming of Petrus Romanus.

 



 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3357

Jordan’s crown prince holds secret visit to Temple Mount

The Hashemite’s of Jordan are the only Kings in the Middle East directly descended from Muhammed. They are excellent candidates for the Anitichrist.

 

Jordan‘s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, 18, held a secret visit to Temple Mount in Jerusalem escorted by Israeli security forces. He arrived at the site via the Mughrabi Bridge.

A Palestinian official told Ynet that the prince will also be visiting the Cave of Patriarchs later on Wednesday. He said that the visit had been coordinated and initiated by Israel and that consequently Prince Hussein will be visiting the cave’s Israeli side.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ordered the national planning and construction committee to readdress a plan to expand the women’s section at the Western Wall. The plan also aims to replace the temporary bridge leading to the Temple Mount’s Mughrabi Bridge.

Four months ago, the controversial bridge was sealed off following an order by the Jerusalem city engineer who warned of safety hazards. It was reopened two days later after pressure from Jordan and other Arab states.

Prince Hussein is King Abdullah’s eldest son and was declared crown prince in 2009. King Abdullah and Queen Rania have one other son and two daughters. According to Jordan’s constitution, the king has a right to appoint his brother as crown prince, over his son.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3354