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Kings of the East: Are they ready to March?

The Bible talks about the role the Kings of the East will play in the events of the last days. These kings are mentioned in the book of Revelation in chapter 16 in verse 12 as the sixth bowl is poured out on the earth in judgment from the Lord. The Euphrates River is dried up and the way is laid open for these kings to come into the battle in the Middle East. So we do know that these kings are eastern nations. The largest most powerful nations east of Iraq are China and India.

There has been a rapid emergence in the power that these Asian nations play on the world scene in recent years. These two countries are following on the heels of Japan and South Korea and are becoming Asian economic dynamos. They are large countries with extremely large populations and they are now fully awake.

This rapid rising has occurred in the space of the last 40 years. They are impacting the world on a large scale from a military, economic and a financial perspective.

When the last days time clock begin again with the forming of the nation of Israel in 1948 after almost 2,000 years, this rise of these Asian behemoths took place after this in conjunction with all the other events that have unfolded.

The key questions that we need to be asking are: are India and China the kings of the east from Scripture? And number two is will it be benefical to the world?

The rise of Asia has all the earmarks of an endtime financial phenomenon in addition to all the Scriptural alignments. All of the five telltale characteristics of a last day phenomena can be seen:

1. An accelaration of observed after 1948

2. A seeming improbability and inexplicably of its occurrence

3. Godlessness (Buddism and Hinduism)

4. A scope of worldwide impact

5. Suddenness and rapidity

The economic impact of these two countries is scary: they are dominating the global market.  They are sitting at the global policymaking tables of the G-20 and other transnational organizations.

These two countries comprise roughly 40% of the world’s land mass and approximately 60% of the earth’s population.

Napoleon predicted over 200 years ago after returning from a trip to China “when China awakes, it will shake the world”. Well the world is shaking at this power!

China can today field an army of 200 million men just by itself, when you add India to the mix can you say scary?

The kings of the east are on the rise and will be prepared to march soon. I will provide periodic updates as we look at this phenomenon.

Keep looking up!

             

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2511

Turkey: Starting Something with Israel

In another maneuver to make trouble between Washington and Jerusalem, the Turkish Hurriyet carried a made-up story accusing US Republican sources of leaking a UN Report which maintained Israel’s Gaza’s blockade – and therefore its interception of a Turkish vessel and flotilla in May 2010 – was legal. The report, leaked to the New York Times Friday, Sept. 9, also criticized Israeli commandos for excessive force for defending themselves in a clash which led to the deaths of nine “peace activists” aboard the ship.

The report was commissioned by the UN Secretary General from a panel headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Jeffrey Palmer.
Hurriyet charged that the Palmer report was leaked to the NYT by the same friends of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who arranged his speech last May to the two Houses of Congress.

debkafile sources report: The Turkish newspaper’s spiteful claim was slanted to upset President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who have been trying to mend the Ankara-Jerusalem breach, and justify the fury of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his foreign minister Ahmed Davutoglu at being caught in the wrong by the UN panel (which accused them of not doing enough to prevent the violence and the flotilla’s “reckless” mission).

Friday, Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador, suspended defense contracts with Jerusalem, announced legal action against senior Israeli figures in European courts, threatened to bring the dispute before the international court and “take measures for freedom of maritime movement in the Mediterranean.”
Israel continued to brush off the Turkish ultimatum to apologize for the nine deaths and end the Gaza blockade.  Hurriyet quoted an unnamed Israeli official as replying: “They can go to hell. They will see what respecting international maritime law means when… our navy sails into the international waters of the Mediterranean.”

US sources told debkafile that the Erdogan government’s outpouring of vindictive misinformation with a view to upsetting relations between the Obama administration and the Israeli government would cut no ice. Mixing in American domestic politics to misdirect its international crises was a dangerous game.

The Turkish Navy, they added, is no match for Israeli missile boat technology and their electronic jamming and tracking systems. Neither do the Turks have advanced submarines like Israel’s German-made Dolphins or close air cover.

US sources following the dispute also dismissed as hollow Davutoglu’s follow-up threat Saturday, Sept. 3: “If Israel persists with its current position,” he warned, “the Arab spring will give rise to a strong Israel opposition as well as the debate on the authoritarian regimes.”
Washington sources condemned such statements as beyond the acceptable diplomatic bounds. “It sounds as though Ankara is threatening to stir up the Palestinian and Israeli Arab populations against the Israeli government and army. If that’s what Davutoglu meant to say, Turkey is sailing very close to the wind and risks President Obama and European governments suspending their participation in NATO operations in the Middle East.

Should Israel complain to the UN Security Council about Turkish war threats and the incitement to revolt by one UN member against another, Western powers would vote for a resolution of condemnation against Turkey.

debkafile‘s sources in Washington and various European capitals warn that the unbridled vendetta Erdogan and his foreign minister are waging against Israel will boomerang against them. Early Sunday, Sept. 4, an American official proposed “calling their bluff.” He disclosed Turkey may try and act as though it calls the shots as the leading Middle East diplomatic and economy, with enough leverage over the the Arab uprisings to channel their fury against Israel. However, Turkey is far from being on solid ground. Indeed, he reveals, economically Turkey is no better than a paper tiger, hiding a galloping crisis behind its anti-Israel rhetoric:
1. Ankara’s published impressive GDP growth rate of 11 percent is artificially inflated by out-of-control credit pumped out by its central bank to create a short-term bubble. In fact, Turkey is fast sliding into deep economic slump. Its current account deficit has reached almost the same crisis level as those of Greece and Portugal and its currency faces devaluation.

Last week, Turkey’s military chiefs, traditional guardians of the country’s secular constitution, resigned in a body in protest against the imprisonment of scores of high-ranking officers for allegedly plotting against the government.
Erdogan is therefore locked into the twin crisis of a failing economy and a deep rift within his administration. US and European intelligence circles wonder about his ability to govern for much longer. They are concerned that he may drum up a military clash between the Turkish and Israel navies to distract popular attention from the troubles besetting his country. ” For the Turkish prime minister, that would be a no-win road,” said those sources.
2.  They also criticized as unwise the Turkish foreign minister’s implied threat to bring the Arab Revolt to Israel’s doorstep. He would be better advised, they said, to deal with the far more palpable danger of the  Syrian uprising spilling over into Turkey.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1886

Spiritual Longevity

Here is a great article from Greg Laurie from Harvest Bible Chapel. It is a reminder we all need.

Enjoy!

When I first became a Christian, I wanted to be a super-Christian overnight. I was looking for the Cliffs Notes on spirituality, the shortcut to spiritual growth. I wanted to know how I could immediately be like a mega-believer. In time, I realized there is no angle. There is no such thing as a super-Christian. There is only a super-Savior, because I am a super-sinner.

Some people, it seems, are like yo-yos. They either are excited and passionate about their faith, or they are doing things they shouldn’t be doing now that they are Christians. That is why David wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 NKJV). The word “steadfast” could better be translated “constant.” David was asking for a constant spirit, for consistency.

So how do we find that consistency? Just walk with God. Man has walked on the top of Mount Everest, on the bottom of the ocean, and even on the moon. But the Bible tells the story of a man who walked with God. His name was Enoch, and in his story, we discover how to find longevity in our spiritual lives.

Enoch lived at a unique time in human history, just before Noah built his ark and God judged the Earth with the Flood. It was such a wicked time that God said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever” (Genesis 6:3). The Bible tells us that humanity was corrupt and was always thinking about violent things to do. Finally God effectively said, “That’s it. I can’t take it anymore. I am going to judge the earth and start over again.” You might say that Enoch was a last-days believer in a sense. He lived just before the judgment of God.

There is a parallel to our times, because Jesus said, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day” (Luke 17:26 NLT). We, too, are living in violent times. It is commonplace now to read about new violence and new killing and new threats of terrorism in today’s headlines.

Violence is all around us, and Enoch lived in a violent time as well. But he showed that it is possible to live a godly life in a godless world. We may wonder whether it is possible to live a godly life today. Is it possible to be honest? Is it possible to have integrity? Is it possible to put God first? The answer is yes. We are not the first generation to be living in twisted times. It can be done – by walking with God as Enoch did.

Enoch was one of two men in the Bible who never saw death. The other was Elijah. He is also mentioned, along with Noah, as someone who specifically walked with God. Only five passages in the Bible refer to Enoch, and two of them are genealogies. He made it into Hebrews 11, the Bible’s Hall of Faith: “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying – ‘he disappeared, because God took him.’ For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God” (Hebrews 11:6).

Enoch was a human being like any of us. He faced the same temptations, the same pressures and the same challenges. Yet he walked with God. To walk with God does not mean we must live merely by rules and regulations. That is how a lot of people envision the Christian life. But nothing could be further from the truth. Walking with God is living life to its fullest.

If you walk with God, everything else will fall into place. The prophet Amos said, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 NKJV) The idea is two people walking together as a single unit, as though they were one. If two people are riding a tandem bicycle, they need to pedal together. Or if two people are paddling a canoe, both need to paddle in rhythm. It is the idea of God and an individual walking together in rhythm, in harmony with God. It is not trying to get God to go where we want him to go, but going where God wants us to go.

Years ago I was scuba diving in Hawaii, and we went to a depth of about 100 feet, the deepest I had ever gone. By the time we reached that depth, I had used up almost all of my air. So I gestured to the instructor that I was losing air. He looked at my gauge and then gestured to the back of his tank. Hanging off the back of his tank was an extra breathing apparatus called an octopus. The problem was the hose from the octopus to his tank was very short, so I had to stay with him. Wherever he swam, I had to swim. When he stopped, I had to stop. I had to stay in harmony with him – or drown.

That is the idea of walking with God. It is to get into harmony with him. It is to want what he wants and to go in the direction he wants us to go.

God is essentially saying, “Hold on to my hand. Don’t pull away.” But sometimes we say, “Oh, no. I have a better idea. I want to do this instead.” And that is foolish, because God is only trying to protect us from danger and get us to where we need to go.

Enoch walked with God in a godless world, and then he went to be with God. Scripture tells us that “Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him” (Genesis 5:23–24 NLT). In Enoch’s case, he didn’t die, but went straight into the presence of God. His life of walking with God was rewarded. I think that one day Enoch just went out to take a walk and probably said to his wife, “Honey, I am going to go take a walk with God.” And then he just kept walking, right into God’s presence. It serves as a reminder that if we walk with God on earth, we will walk with God in heaven.

There is no shortcut to spiritual growth that I could give you today. But I will say this: Just walk with God. Just concentrate on that in the days, weeks and years to come.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1879

More Signs

So we have another earthquake of the coast of Japan registering 6.8 on the Richter scale. We have two more off the coast of Vanatu Islands over 7.0 and causing a small tsunami.

We have seen alot of activity around hurricanes and tropical storms. We have seen the largest solar storm on record this week and now we have alot of military activity with Libya, Syria and the terror attacks on Israel in Eliat this week.

We know what is planned for September with the comet Elenin. Here is the large potential September 2011 signs:

September 2011 events:

  • 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terror events — Sept. 11, New York City
  • Israel’s Labor Party primary — Sept. 12, Israel. (They are expected to discuss leaving Netanyahu’s coalition after the event)
  • California will become the first state in the nation to require public schools to add lessons about gay history to social studies classes, after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the landmark bill on Thursday, July 14. The classes will start with kindergarten and are expected to begin in September.
  • Will Israel and/or the U.S. attack Iran nukes in September?
  • Egypt begins election preparations Sept. 18
  • Durban III Conference (U.N. World Conference Against Racism that targets Israel) — Sept. 22, New York City
  • U.S. military repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) is official on Sept. 20
  • The UN’s debate and possible vote on a Palestinian state — Sept. 24-27, New York City
  • Comet Elenin aligns with Earth and Sun — Sept. 26-28 (four previous Elenin, Earth and Sun alignments occurred at the time of four major record earthquakes in Chile (January), New Zealand (Sept. 4, 2010), New Zealand (Feb. 22, 2011) and Japan M(arch 11, 2011) even though Elenin was much farther from the Sun. You can review by clicking on the JPL link: Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Browser
  • Will a major U.S. earthquake happen in September?
  • Rosh Hashanah — Sept. 28-30
  • Will stock market turmoil continue in September and be focused on Wall Street in New York City?
  • Is a worldwide economic correction coming?
  • Will one million Palestinians head to the streets after the U.N. meetings in September?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1856

Mary Worship

Read this interesting commentary from Bill Salus on the developing apparitions of Mary and the worship of Mary. Any worship of Mary is not okay. These are demonic in nature.  We need to be alert that this activity is on the rise and that as we near the Lord’s return it will get more severe.

Enjoy! And read with a discerning mind.

The Fallible Assumption of Mary

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1847

Restarting Daniel’s 70th Week

Interesting article by Carl Worline pointing out that the heavens, the sun, moon ,starts etc. were given to us by God as signs to look for around major prophetic events. We are for sure nearing the restarting of Daniel’s 70th week prophecy that deals with Israel and their sin. The last 7 years of this prophecy are know in Christian circles as the Tribulation period. This period of time is really focused on Israel.

With the arrival of the comet Elenin at the end of September passing through our solar system mny are beginning to believe something is up in the heavenlies. The comet arrives in conjunction with the Jewish New Year feast of Rosh Hasanah. Mr. Worline goes into facinating detail about the astrnomy behind his views.

Please read and enjoy. We know that our Lord told us to look up!

Restarting Daniel’s 70th Week

By Carl Worline


 

A spectacular series of events are coming together in the heavens and in the news that are either an incredible series of coincidences, or else they are the prophetic fulfillment of Revelation chapter 12.  I believe these signs are prophetic fulfillment, and they are telling us that Daniel’s 70th week is about to begin.

Let me begin by saying that I have no idea when the rapture of the Church is going to take place.  James, the brother of Jesus, told us that God is busy taking a people for Himself from among the Gentiles (Acts 15:13-18).  The only thing that is holding up the rapture is the arrival of the full number of Gentiles which God has determined in advance (Romans 11:25 and Acts 15:13-18).  We have no way of knowing what this number is, so we have no way of knowing when the rapture is going to take place.  To make things even more impossible, we do not know how many people are already in heaven or at what rate they are arriving.

This article is not about when the rapture of the Church will happen.  Instead, it deals with the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week and the 7 year period of tribulation that begins at the same time, complete with 3 sets of 7 judgments upon mankind.  If you should happen to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, as I do, then you will know that the rapture can (and most probably will) happen sooner that most believers expect.

Astrology is a sin and is strictly forbidden by God.  However, God does use the position of the sun, moon, and stars to indicate certain holy days, feast dates, seasons, and even how to calculate the length of months and years.  God used a sign in the heaven to guide the wise men to the infant Jesus.  I have always believed that the moon, the stars, the planets, and all of the other lights in the heavens, such as galaxies, nebulas, asteroids, and even comets, are God’s jewelry which He has put on display for our enjoyment and for us to wonder at as we ponder His immense greatness.  God wants us to admire his magnificence in the heavens, but he does not want us to worship anything that is there, other than Himself.

At the moment the comet Elenin is passing through our solar system.  In ancient times, comets were seen as being messengers that brought warnings of natural disasters and times of tribulation on the earth.  Could Elenin be a sign of the beginning of the 7 year period of tribulation before the 2nd Coming of our Lord, which we more accurately refer to as Daniel’s 70th Week?  Or is Elenin’s appearance at this time and place in the sky just a series of coincidences that only appears to be a fulfillment of Revelation 12?

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.  And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his head were seven diadems.  And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth.  And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. (Revelation 12: 1-4 NAS).

And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child (Revelation 12:13 NAS).

And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17 NAS).

During the second half of September, the comet Elenin will be in the constellation of Virgo, the virgin.  The sun will also be in Virgo, so the woman (Virgo) will be clothed with the sun.  At the same time, the moon will be at the feet of Virgo.  During the latter part of September, Elenin moves up the face of Virgo to a place where it would almost appear to be the tears coming from Virgo’s eye as she cries out in pain as she is about to give birth.  Then Elenin moves further up Virgo’s face to rest on the top of her head, like a crown.  Actually, it will look like a tiara among twelve stars above Virgo’s head.  All of this will fall into place on September 29, 2011.

Comets are rare, and for one to appear in this scenario with Virgo, the sun,  moon, Saturn, and Venus would be incredibly rare, indeed. But there is more. . .

The planet Venus is in the mid-section of Virgo as if it were a child in its mother’s womb.  Saturn is also present and in the right position, as if it were a dragon waiting for the child to be born, so that it could devour the child.

Perhaps it is just coincidence, but in the world of legend and the occult the Roman deity, Saturn, has always been regarded as a dragon and was identified with the deity Cronus.  According to legend of Cronus, he was to be killed by one of his children, so Cronus would wait nearby each time one of his children was to be born and then he would devour the child as soon as it was delivered.

In Revelation 12 the woman represents the nation of Israel.  When the dragon persecutes the woman and makes war with the rest of her offspring we will be experiencing the 7 year tribulation period of Daniel’s 70th week.

I am not attempting to predict the exact date that Daniel’s 70th Week will begin.  What I am saying is that a remarkable series of signs are coming together on the last couple of days of September that certainly seem to warn of the imminent resumption of Daniel’s 70th Week and the 7 year period of tribulation on the earth which is a part of Daniel’s 70th Week.

There is an excellent presentation of these events on You Tube by Anton Fiori of Crimson Pill TV entitled, Elenin & Prophecy: “Fulfills” Revelation Ch 12 on 9-29-11.

I am sure this is just a coincidence as well, but during the second week in September the Palestinians are going to seek full membership in the United Nations based on the borders prior to the war in 1967, with East Jerusalem as their capital.  God has made it very clear that He will not tolerate anyone taking land from His chosen people and He is particularly sensitive about His holy city, Jerusalem.  I believe that if anyone wants to look for prophetic signposts they need to watch Israel, and particularly Jerusalem.  God considers Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, to be the center of the world.  I am not predicting that worldwide tribulation might break out because of these actions by the Palestinians.  After all, things have been real peaceful and lovingly quiet over there for years – right?  I am just glad that I will be on the opposite side of the planet on that day and if you find me hiding in a deep cave, that will just be a coincidence as well.

The Bible tells us that in the last days Israel will be all alone in the world with few, if any, friends.  The Lord warned Israel that they would be hated and persecuted by all nations because of Him (Revelation 12:9).  The United States is one of only five nations that have veto power in the United Nations.  If the United States should fail to veto statehood for the Palestinians, this final piece of prophecy would come to pass.

Speaking of coincidences, the first day of Rosh Hashanah occurs on September 29, 2011 (Tishrei 1).  This is the Jewish New Year and it also the day that some believe is the actual birthday of Jesus.  This could certainly be as good of a time as any for Daniel’s 70th Week to randomly begin ticking away again.

When the prophet Daniel was about 80 years old the angel Gabriel gave him a prophecy about the future.  This prophecy is recorded in the chapter 9 of the Book of Daniel, and is often referred to as God’s Prophetic Time Clock. Israel was given 70 weeks of years (490 years) to accomplish 6 goals.  It further says that after 69 of those 70 weeks (483 years) the Messiah would come but would be rejected and killed, the Temple would be destroyed, the prophetic time clock would stop, and the people would be dispersed.  We know that during a gap in time of unspecified length God would take a people for Himself from among the Gentiles.  When the full number of those Gentiles has “come in” God will turn His attention back to Israel, and the clock will start running again for the last week (7 years). This is where, I believe, we are now – just seconds away from the clock beginning to tick again.

Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Feast of Trumpets.  In the New Testament there are two very special occasions for the blowing of trumpets.  They are the rapture and the 2nd Coming.

Rosh Hashanah takes place at the time of the new moon, rather than a full moon, when only a tiny sliver of its surface is visible.  The timing of the new moon is difficult to predict, and a minimum of two visual sightings are required to confirm it.  For this reason, Rosh Hashanah has come to be known as the feast where “no one knows the day or the hour”.  It is also interesting to note that Jesus told us in 4 places in the Bible that “no one knows the day or hour” of His return.  This is pure speculation on my part, but wouldn’t it be a remarkable coincidence if He was actually giving us a hint as to what day to look for His return?

Actually, I believe there are incredibly few things which occur in our universe that are truly random.  Our God is an incredibly precise God and everything we see in our universe, from the motion of the planets and stars, to the microscopic world of the building blocks of life, to the infinitesimally small world of atomic particles, are incredibly precise.  I believe that God rarely ever uses the word “approximately.”  This is why I find it so hard to believe that either the rapture or the 2nd Coming of our Lord will occur on a day which has no special significance other than being the day when the counter on the gates of heaven just happen to click on the pre-determined number set in advance by God.  Several thousand years from now when we are all sitting around in the New Jerusalem reminiscing about how it was “back in the day” on the “Big E” (earth), I am certain that there will be armchair quarterbacks with their 20/20 hindsight who will be proclaiming how they cannot possibly understand why the people on earth could have missed all of the signs and not possibly known the exact day of both the rapture and the 2nd Coming.  What they will fail to realize is that looking backward is easy.  Trying to interpret the signs of the times in advance is almost impossible because there are so many of them.  There are so many signs out there it is becoming increasingly difficult to see the road.

There are many other events happening in the world at this moment that suggest the start of Daniel’s 70th Week is at hand.  Daniel’s 70th Week will begin with a series of 3 sets of 7 judgments that will start off bad and get progressively worse until, the Bible tells us, all life will be destroyed if God does not intervene to stop them.  The beginning of these judgments involves the four horsemen of the apocalypse which we find in chapter 6 of Revelation.

The first horseman rides a white horse and represents the anti-Christ, who goes forth conquering and to conquer (Revelation 6:2).  The entire Islamic world is in turmoil at the moment and is without a leader.  This huge power vacuum is going to be filled with somebody very soon because nature does not like a vacuum.  I shudder to think who this person will be, but if he is the leader of all of the angry Muslims out there, he is not going to be a very nice guy.

The second horseman rides a red horse and is going to take peace from the earth (Revelation 6:3-4).  I can certainly see how the Middle East is ready to explode into war and pull the rest of the world into the conflict.  In fact, I am truly amazed that we have had peace for this long.

The third horseman rides a black horse and is going to bring famine and economic collapse (Revelation 6:5-6).  As I sit here and type, there are 12 million people in Africa who are starving in the severest drought in 60 years.  In fact, this drought has been declared the worst humanitarian crisis in all of history.  North Korea is also experiencing severe famine, as well as parts of China, India, Pakistan, and many other parts of the world.  As for economic collapse, most of the world’s countries are in serious economic trouble with Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Portugal on the verge of default.  The United States is not doing real well at the moment, either.

The fourth horseman rides a pale horse and brings death, followed by hell (Revelation 6:7-8).  One-fourth of the world’s population will die in the seal judgments (Revelation 6:8), and a third of those who survive will die in the trumpet judgments (Revelation 9:15).  I can certainly see how deaths could easily number into the hundreds of millions as a result of the first three horsemen riding forth.  I can also see how hell could follow closely behind.  There will be incredibly few believers around when the four horsemen start their ride, especially if the rapture of the Church has already occurred.  Unbelievers who die go to hell, yet I seriously doubt that there are any unbelievers in hell once they get there.

When I look at conditions in the world at this moment, I cannot help but wonder how things could have become this bad without Daniel’s 70th Week actually starting, but we still have to see someone confirm a covenant, or series of covenants, with Israel (Daniel 9:27).

I am sure that it is also a coincidence, but September is when the “don’t ask, don’t tell” restrictions will be officially lifted in our military and homosexuals will obtain the special, privileged status they have sought after for so long.  September is also when Egypt is scheduled to have its elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to win.  September 11, 2011, will also be the 10th anniversary of when our nation was attacked.

God has given each of us gifts in this life and we are expected to be good stewards of both our lives and these gifts.  If we think that we know the date when our Lord will return, it is important that we continue to be good stewards of our lives and our gifts until the Lord actually arrives.  It is also very important that we do not cause any of our brothers or sisters to be harmed by our guessing.  The most important thing for us to do is to be ready when the Lord does arrive.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1834

Jesus is not God?

A story broke on Friday about the Dutch church beginning to espouse the doctrine that Jesus is not God and that the Bible is fiction or a giant allegory. When are we going to realize that the end time religion is forming before our eyes.

As more and more people continue to not be concerned with doctrine and also start questioning the infalliability and inerrancy or Scripture and the deity of Christ I can see how over 3 to 4 billion people could immediately unite into a world religion.

Islam and Christianity are separated by the deity of Christ. If Chrisitans would be willing to compromise on Christ’s deity then Islam could be melted into Christianty by the denial of the deity of Christ. Also, do not forget that Muslims and Catholics today already worship Mary at Fatima, Portugal.

Keep looking up!

Dutch rethink Christianity for a doubtful world

By Robert Pigott Religious affairs correspondent, Amsterdam

The Rev Klaas Hendrikse can offer his congregation little hope of life after death, and he’s not the sort of man to sugar the pill.

An imposing figure in black robes and white clerical collar, Mr Hendrikse presides over the Sunday service at the Exodus Church in Gorinchem, central Holland.

It is part of the mainstream Dutch Protestant Church, and the service is conventional enough, with hymns, readings from the Bible, and the Lord’s Prayer. But the message from Mr Hendrikse’s sermon seems bleak – “Make the most of life on earth, because it will probably be the only one you get”.

“Personally I have no talent for believing in life after death,” Mr Hendrikse says. “No, for me our life, our task, is before death.”

Nor does Klaas Hendrikse believe that God exists at all as a supernatural thing.

 “Start Quote

God is not a being at all… it’s a word for experience, or human experience”

End Quote Rev Klass Hendrikse

“When it happens, it happens down to earth, between you and me, between people, that’s where it can happen. God is not a being at all… it’s a word for experience, or human experience.”

Mr Hendrikse describes the Bible’s account of Jesus’s life as a mythological story about a man who may never have existed, even if it is a valuable source of wisdom about how to lead a good life.

His book Believing in a Non-Existent God led to calls from more traditionalist Christians for him to be removed. However, a special church meeting decided his views were too widely shared among church thinkers for him to be singled out.

A study by the Free University of Amsterdam found that one-in-six clergy in the Dutch Protestant Church was either agnostic or atheist.

Klaas Hendrikse: “You don’t have to believe that Jesus was physically resurrected”

The Rev Kirsten Slattenaar, Exodus Church’s regular priest, also rejects the idea – widely considered central to Christianity – that Jesus was divine as well as human.

“I think ‘Son of God’ is a kind of title,” she says. “I don’t think he was a god or a half god. I think he was a man, but he was a special man because he was very good in living from out of love, from out of the spirit of God he found inside himself.”

Mrs Slattenaar acknowledges that she’s changing what the Church has said, but, she insists, not the “real meaning of Christianity”.

She says that there “is not only one answer” and complains that “a lot of traditional beliefs are outside people and have grown into rigid things that you can’t touch any more”.

Bini Von Reingarden, who’s been going to Exodus Church for 20 years, is among lay people attracted to such free thinking.

“I think it’s very liberating. [Klaas Hendrikse] is using the Bible in a metaphorical way so I can bring it to my own way of thinking, my own way of doing.”

Wim De Jong says, “Here you can believe what you want to think for yourself, what you really feel and believe is true.”

Churches in Amsterdam were hoping to attract such people with a recent open evening.

At the Old Church “in the hottest part of the red light district”, the attractions included “speed-dating”.

As skimpily dressed girls began to appear in red-lit windows in the streets outside, visitors to the church moved from table to table to discuss love with a succession of strangers.

Professor Hijme Stoeffels of the Free University in Amsterdam says it is in such concepts as love that people base their diffuse ideas of religion.

“In our society it’s called ‘somethingism’,” he says. “There must be ‘something’ between heaven and earth, but to call it ‘God’, and even ‘a personal God’, for the majority of Dutch is a bridge too far.

“Christian churches are in a market situation. They can offer their ideas to a majority of the population which is interested in spirituality or some kind of religion.”

To compete in this market of ideas, some Christian groups seem ready virtually to reinvent Christianity.

They want the Netherlands to be a laboratory for Christianity, experimenting with radical new ways of understanding the faith.

Stroom (“Stream”) West is the experiment devised by one church to reach out to the young people.

In an Amsterdam theatre young people contemplate the concept of eternity by spacing out a heap of rice grains individually across the floor.

“The difference from other churches is that we are… experimenting with the contents of the gospel,” says Rikko Voorberg, who helps to run Stroom West. “Traditionally we bring a beautiful story and ask people to sit down listen and get convinced. This is the other way around.”

Stroom focuses on people’s personal search for God, not on the church’s traditional black-and-white answers.

Rikko believes traditional Christianity places God in too restricted a box.

He believes that in a post-modern society that no longer has the same belief in certainty, there is an urgent need to “take God out of the box”.

“The Church has to be alert to what is going on in society,” he says. “It has to change to stay Christian. You can’t preach heaven in the same way today as you did 2,000 years ago, and we have to think again what it is. We can use the same words and say something totally different.”

When I asked Rikko whether he believed Jesus was the son of God he looked uncomfortable.

“That’s a very tough question. I’m not sure what it means,” he says.

“People have very strict ideas about what it means. Some ideas I might agree with, some ideas I don’t.”

Such equivocation is anathema in Holland’s Bible Belt, among the large number of people who live according to strict Christian orthodoxy.

In the quiet town of Staphorst about a quarter of the population attends the conservative Dutch Reformed Church every Sunday.

The town even has a by-law against swearing.

Its deputy mayor, Sytse de Jong, accuses progressive groups of trying to change Christianity to fit current social norms.

“When we get people into the Church by throwing Jesus Christ out of the Church, then we lose the core of Christianity. Then we are not reforming the institutions and attitudes but the core of our message.”

But many churches are keen to work with anyone who believes in “something”.

They believe that only through adaptation can their religion survive.

The young people at Stroom West write on plates the names of those things that prevent earth from being heaven – cancer, war, hunger – and destroy them symbolically.

The new Christianity is already developing its own ritual.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1822

Be Prepared

While it can mean many things to be prepared, this article I am attaching is talking about being prepared for a collapse of our and the world’s economy. While believers in Christ will be Raptured out beofre the Tribulation it does not mean that we will not experience tough times while we are still here occupying for our Lord.

So get your spiritual house in order, get your phyiscal house in order and be prepared. Do not be found like the 5 follosih virgins in Matthew 25 unprepared.

Enjoy the article. Keep looking up!

Like Chickens Running With Their Heads Cut Of1

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1818

Signs in the Heavens: Comet & The High Holy Days

In the summer of 1998, Americans raced into movie theaters for not one, but two major Hollywood productions featuring giant asteroids about to smash into Earth.

The films – “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon” – had plots so similar, many people confuse the two.

Now 13 years later, a newly discovered, real-life comet named Elenin is racing toward our home planet.

No, it’s not an asteroid, and no, it’s not on a crash course, but it is expected to be at its closest point to us – some 21 million miles – during the culmination of God’s annual holy days mentioned in the Bible.

This has sparked a wave of speculation that it could be some sort of miraculous sign possibly heralding the long-anticipated return of Jesus to Earth.

It’s coming!” thunders Paul Begley, a preacher at Community Gospel Baptist Church in Knox, Ind., in a YouTube video. “It’s on its way and right in the middle of the Feast of the Trumpets, it is going to come through and get in between the Earth and the sun.”

“We’ve only known about this thing six months, folks,” he continued, reflecting the fact the comet was discovered here in the U.S. by Russian astronomer Leonid Elenin on Dec. 10, 2010, at International Scientific Optical Network’s robotic observatory near Mayhill, N.M.

Begley wondered aloud what sort of physical effect the comet might have.

“Will there be some type of magnetic pull? Will the poles shift? Will there be some type of pull of gravity that creates earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes and hurricanes and tornadoes and cyclones and mudslides, forest fires? What’s gonna go on?”

He notes the comet’s nearest point to Earth will take place Oct. 16, during the Feast of Tabernacles, according to today’s Jewish calendar.

“I’m here to tell you right now, we’re getting closer and closer and closer and closer to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” Begley said.

In the New Testament, Jesus predicted celestial signs concerning the end of this current age and His return to Earth to govern the kingdom of God.

  • “And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” (Mark 13:25-26)
  • “And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.” (Luke 21:11)

A Space.com article noted, “Internet rumors about Elenin began spreading earlier this year. Its approach to Earth was blamed for shifting the Earth’s axis by 3 degrees in February, precipitating the Chile earthquake, then shifting the pole even more to trigger the Japan quake in March.”

David Morrison, a planetary astronomer at NASA’s Ames Research Center and senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute, wrote, “Ignoring plate tectonics as the cause of earthquakes, they suggest that the comet exerted strong gravitational or electromagnetic effects on our planet.”

When it was pointed out how small the comet actually is – just 2 to 3 miles wide – with no magnetic field and that it won’t even pass very near Earth, rumors began to circulate about NASA withholding information about Elenin.

“Ironically, the inconspicuous nature of this comet plays into some of the conspiracy theories,” Morrison told Space. “For people who are convinced the comet did cause the earthquakes, this proves that Elenin is not a comet at all, but a much more massive, and dangerous, interloper.”

Astronomer Colin Johnston at the Armagh Planetarium in Northern Ireland is among those trying to put disaster fears and 2012 hysteria to rest.

“As Elenin will not hit Earth,” he said, “some have claimed instead that its gravitational effect on the Earth’s interior will cause earthquakes and similar cataclysms on our planet, offering the recent disasters in New Zealand and Japan as harbingers of the horrors to come. This is nonsense. I estimate the comet’s nucleus to have a mass of about 20 billion tons, which is vast in human terms, minute in astronomical terms. Compared to the gravitational effects of the moon and other planets, Elenin’s effects will be immeasurably small. In fact, Dear Reader, your gravitational influence on the Earth as you sit reading these words is greater than Comet Elenin’s will be at its strongest!”

Others agree.

Astronomer and blogger Ian Musgrave in Adelaide, Australia, has posted a frequently-asked-questions page online about this celestial glob of ice and rock that has less than a billionth of the tidal force of the moon.

“If the moon can’t cause the poles to tip, cause massive tidal floods or earthquakes, Comet 2010 X1 Elenin won’t. We’ve been closer to other comets before with no ill effect,” Musgrave said.

“The comet will pass no closer to us than 84 times the Earth-moon distance,” said Ray Villard at Discovery News.

“The effects of the comet on Earth at closest approach will be as inconsequential as that of a mosquito slamming head-on into an ocean-going supertanker.”

This is certainly not the first time some in the Christian community have made connections between the biblical feast days and events in outer space.

As WND previously reported, a minister who promotes the Old Testament roots of Christianity suggests a rare string of lunar and solar eclipses said to fall on God’s annual holy days in 2015 could signal the return of Jesus.

Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, Wash., noted a coming rare phenomenon of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, known as a tetrad, and often called “blood moons” since the moon often takes on a bloody color.

He says during this century, tetrads occur at least six times, but what’s interesting is that the only string of four consecutive blood moons that coincide with God’s holy days of Passover in the spring and the autumn’s Feast of Tabernacles (also called Succoth) occurs between 2014 and 2015 on today’s Gregorian calendar.

“The fact that it doesn’t happen again in this century I think is very significant,” Biltz explained. “So then I looked at last century, and, believe it or not, the last time that four blood red moons occurred together was in 1967 and 1968 tied to Jerusalem recaptured by Israel.”

He then started to notice a pattern of the tetrads.

“What’s significant to me is that even before 1967, the next time that you had four blood red moons again was right after Israel became a nation in ’48, it happened again in 1949 and 1950 … on Passover and Succoth. You didn’t have any astronomical tetrads in the 1800s, the 1700s, the 1600s. In the 1500s, there were six, but none of those fell on Passover and Succoth.”

When checking the schedule for solar eclipses, Biltz found two – one on the first day of the Hebrew year and the next on the high holy day of Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the seventh Hebrew month. Both of these take place in the 2014-2015 year.

Biltz says, “You have the religious year beginning with the total solar eclipse, two weeks later a total lunar eclipse on Passover, and then the civil year beginning with the solar eclipse followed two weeks later by another total blood red moon on the Feast of Succoth all in 2015.”

In February of last year, the astronomical community was dazzled with a spectacular unknown object that some felt could be a sign from God, as it they said it resembled a flying cross or a Star of David.

“The truth is, we’re still struggling to understand what this means,” comet expert David Jewitt at UCLA told Britain’s Daily Mail. “It’s most likely the result of a recent collision between two asteroids.”

Jesus said that prior to His return we would see signs in the sun, the moon and the stars. We need to always be looking up becuase the heavens were given to us as a sign way back in Genesis until Satan perverted that also with Astrology and the like.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1797

Ottoman Revivial

Erdogan’s recent electoral victory speech puts his true intentions regarding Turkey’s foreign policy goals in perspective. He said that this victory is as important in Ankara as it is in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo, under Ottoman times, an important Ottoman city; that his party’s victory was as important in a large Turkish city, Izmir, on the Western Anatolian coast, as it is in Damascus, and as important in Istanbul as it is in Jerusalem.

What does all this mean? At the very least, this victory speech signals a wish for Ottoman cultural colonialism and imperialism. The places Erdogan names were all part of by the Ottoman Empire; the territory of the modern Turkish Republic is what remained after World War I and Turkey’s War of Independence from the occupying Allied forces. Turkey forms only the central part, and relatively small fraction, of what had been the Ottoman Empire, which at its height extended deep into southern Europe, and included most of today’s Arab world and even beyond.

In saying that this victory is as important in all of these former Ottoman cities, Erdogan apparently sees himself as trying to reclaim Turkey’s full Ottoman past. In religious terms, the entire reason for being of the Ottoman Empire was to spread the Sunni form of Islam prevalent there. Sunnis, who make up about 85% of the Muslim world, believe that when Mohammed died, the leadership of Islam was passed down through what amounted to the Meccan artistocracy, and not through Mohammed’s family — which is what the Shi’ites believe. The cities Erdogan mentioned are almost all Sunni, with a few non-Sunni ones thrown in.

The Ottomans had two major rivals: the non-Muslim Europeans to the northwest, and the Shi’ite Persian Empire to the east.

The scars of this early 1500s battle between the Sunni Ottomans and the Persian Shiites has influenced the Turkish Sunni psyche so deeply that today’s Turkish Sunnis — and most importantly among them, Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan — still recite age-old pejorative Turkish proverbs about both the Shiites and the Alevis. These proverbs include references to the Alevis and Shiites as untrustworthy brigands who also engage in indecent acts.

At the moment Erdogan is threatened by other problems that Iran is bringing to his doorstep. These include Iran’s attempt to make itself the major energy transport country in the area, bypassing Turkey. Turkey’s major geographic significance now is that it is a transporter of energy, bringing gas and oil from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and oil from northern Iraq to the world market. If Iran takes Turkey’s place in the energy market, especially in transporting energy to India, China, and the region, Turkey will suffer an immense economic and strategic loss.

Further, Erdogan must be terrified of what he sees happening in Syria. Assad and his ruling clique are not Sunnis. They are Alawis — not exactly the same as Turkey’s Alevis, but similar in that they also revere Ali. But unlike the Shiites, the Alawis view Ali as a deity, much as the Christians revere Jesus. As a result of the continuing upheaval in Syria, the ruling party of Turkey might see itself as surrounded by various active religious threats from the east and from Syria, along Turkey’s southern border.

Erdogan’s and Assad’s families even vacationed together, and Erdogan publicly called Assad his close friend — an alliance all the more curious as the Syrian Sunnis view the Alawis with utter disdain, stemming from the Alawi worship of Ali as a deity, rather than as just the Twelfth Imam.

When the Syrian Sunnis started abandoning their ruler, Bashar Assad a few weeks ago, Erdogan took his cue from them and allowed Syrian Sunnis to host several Syrian opposition conferences in Turkey — including one conference paid for by a wealthy Syrian Sunni businessman who until recently had been a supporter of Assad; and another conference, in Istanbul, of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Although both conferences had slightly different approaches to solving Syria’s political problems, what united them was that at both, Syria’s Sunnis — Erdogan’s natural allies — were the dominant actors.

Erdogan may well now feel himself under threat from both Syria and Iran, until recently two of his allies. The policy of of “Zero problems with all neighbors” of Erdogan’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has proven to be an abject failure.

Erdogan undoubtedly sees that he now has an opportunity to advance his Ottoman-centric Sunni policy in Syria and beyond. If Assad’s Alawi regime falls, and is replaced by a Sunni-dominated one, Syria — approximately 70% Sunni — would be a natural ally for Turkey. Syria’s Sunni business- and upper classes have had centuries-old connections with their counterparts in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey.

In all, Erdogan’s bottom line appears to be advancing a reconstitution of the Ottoman Empire, which he and his fellow Turkish Sunni fundamentalists now call ” The Ottoman Region.” In the long run, all non-Sunnis — such as Iran, Israel, Syria (if it remains under Alawi rule after things eventually quiet down in Syria), and a Shiite-ruled Iraq — remain outsiders. Erdogan might make temporary alliances with any of them, but, psychologically, that will be all he is prepared to do.

As for Erdogan and Davutoglu, in the depths of their souls, they are fundamentalist Sunni Muslims and see themselves as such. The Turkish-Iranian-Iraqi-Syrian alliance, which Erdogan worked so hard to build, has failed. Erdogan’s and Davutoglu’s long-term, Sunni goals, and those of the non-Sunnis in the area, have been, and will always be, vastly different. Turkey might conclude temporary alliances with non-Sunnis as needed, to address immediate concerns, but we cannot expect much more than this. Given Iran’s regional bid to replace Turkey as “energy-central,” and the apparent attempt of the Shi’ite Iranian-Syrian-Alawi alliance to try to put down the Sunni-dominated Syrian insurrection, Turkey needs to make sure it does not have additional problems.

It is in this context that we should understand Turkey’s renewed interest in the U.S. and Israel. As such, both the U.S. and Israel should be extremely wary of Erdogan and his associates. Erdogan’s Turkey does not see long-term interests with either. Given economic developments in Iran, Alawite oppression in Syria, and Shiite-dominance in Iraq, Erdogan understands that he must take a temporary hiatus from his goal of reasserting what appears to be his real goal — the Turkish Sunni domination of the entire Middle East.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=1767