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So. Baptist Leader Calls for Repentance, No Sermon at Annual Meeting: ‘We Need God to Break Us Down’

By Brandon Showalter , CP Reporter | Jun 4, 2018 6:04 PM

Amid the ongoing fallout from the firing of Paige Patterson, one of the most prominent leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, many are calling for “repentance” and “reformation” ahead of their denomination’s annual meeting.

In a Sunday blog post titled “What the Southern Baptist Convention Needs Right Now,” Sam Rainer, who is the lead pastor of West Bradenton Baptist Church in Florida, echoed The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler’s May 23 essay describing how the judgment of God is on the denomination.

“God’s wrath is upon us. Our God is a consuming fire. Excuses will work like tiny strands of straw standing against a raging wildfire. There should be no sermon at this year’s annual convention. Leave the pulpit vacant. Let the room be silent and call the messengers to prostrate themselves in repentance,” Rainer said.

“We need humility, not charisma. Our convention has wrongly elevated charisma over humility. The bold leaders with pithy lines tend to get the most attention. It’s time we submit to humility instead of charisma.”

The largest evangelical Protestant group in the United States has been engulfed in controversy starting in late April when a 2000 interview Patterson — the now former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and one of the architects of what is known as the Conservative Resurgence — gave resurfaced. In the interview with The Council on Bibilical Manhood and Womanhood, he described the advice he gave to a woman whose husband was being abusive, telling her to pray for him, and appeared to discourage her from leaving him.

Subsequent stories pertaining to the mistreatment of women, the “toxic” environment at SWBTS, a 2003 failure to report sexual assault have since emerged, fueling debate about the leadership of the denomination and the treatment of women in their ranks.

While Patterson has been terminated from SWBTS, he is still slated to give the keynote sermon at the denomination’s annual meeting next week in Dallas, which is considered a high honor in the Convention. But some have called for another preacher to replace him or, as Rainer urged, for no sermon at all.

Rainer, who is also president of Rainer Research and the co-founder and co-owner of Rainer Publishing, believes God is presently “purging” the denomination, which is currently a “dumpster fire, and we keep fueling it with shovels of manure.”

“We need to care about character as much as we do about doctrine. We fought battles over doctrine, and the spoils of war went to power barons who lacked integrity. The conservative resurgence has not even brought about an increase in baptisms, much less revival. Instead, we are now flooded with the moral failures of former foot soldiers.”

“We should be appalled. Horrified. Sick. No more ‘break her down,'” he said. Rainer was referring to an email Patterson reportedly wrote to discuss meeting with a female student, who alleged in 2015 that she was raped by a was a Southwestern student and employee, so he could “break her down.”

“We need God to break us down,” Rainer stressed.

In a Friday tweet, Mohler reiterated his own feelings about the state of his denomination.

“My heart has been broken for my beloved Southern Baptist Convention in recent weeks, days, hours. Never more than in last few hours. WE are broken down, indeed. I pray for God to rescue us, and all those we are called to rescue.”

Likewise on Twitter, Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the policy arm of the denomination, said Saturday: “It’s time. It’s time to believe the Bible, and to do what it says. It’s time to love Jesus, and to protect those he loves. It’s time to care about character, not about power or ‘influence.’ It’s time for a reformation in the SBC. #SBC18 #SBCAM18.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9217

Iran to increase uranium enrichment. US-Israeli strike on nuclear facilities comes closer

Jun 5, 2018 @ 8:29 Ayatolla Ali Khamenei, Binyamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, Iran nuclear, Kim Kong-un, uranium enrichment

Iran is to inform the UN nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Tuesday, June 6, of its decision to increase uranium (UF6) enrichment capacity in response to the US exit from the 2015 nuclear accord. Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, announcing this, did not mention a date for this process to begin or the grade of enrichment. Supreme ruler Ayatollah Khamenei’s said Monday night: “I have ordered Iran’s atomic energy agency to be prepared to upgrade our (uranium) enrichment capacity” if the 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers falls apart after the US withdrawal. Chairman Ali Akhbar Salehi of the atomic organization forecast this development some days ago.

DEBKAfile reported on May 24 that if Iran returned to expanded uranium enrichment, the US and Israel would prepare to attack its enrichment facilities and other key nuclear facilities to prevent the Islamic Republic from resuming its progress towards a nuclear weapon capability. Now that Tehran is taking that step, it is up to President Donald Trump to decide on America’s response. His decision will be colored heavily by his fast approaching summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. To convince Kim that he is coming well-armed for demanding the total dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic programs, Trump may find it necessary to meet Iran’s decision to expand uranium enrichment with a military response. Khamenei’s step gives Trump a very tight timeline for a decision.

It was also timed to override the object of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s European trip. The European signatories of the deal, Germany, France and the UK have been scrambling to save the nuclear deal by diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to limit its ballistic missile program and expansionist activities in the Middle East. Khamenei made it clear that the two issues are non-negotiable, as Israel warned them would happen. Netanyahu therefore finds their leaders floundering for their next step.
Now the statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week that the alliance would not back Israel if it came under attack from Iran comes closer to reality than before. So too, does Khamenei’s decision on May 29, to replace the commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Headquarters Gen. Farzad Ismail, which is in charge of Iran’s air defenses, and appoint his deputy Brig-Gen. Alireza Sabahi Fard as acting commander, after two Israel F-35 stealth fighters flew over Iran’s nuclear facilities and left Iranian air space unnoticed.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9215

Earth’s Crust In Turmoil – All-Time Record 500 Earthquakes Hit The Big Island As Rivers Of Lava Pour Out Of Volcanoes In Hawaii And Guatemala

What is causing our planet to shake so violently all of a sudden?  Rivers of lava have been pouring out of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii for weeks, a massive eruption of Mount Merapi just a few days ago shot volcanic ash 38,000 feet into the air, and now rivers of lava are pouring out of Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano.  Overall, Volcano Discovery is reporting that a total of 34 volcanoes around the world are erupting right now.  So what is causing so much seismic activity all of a sudden, and is this a new trend that is going to continue?  If you have followed my work for an extended period of time, you already know that I tend to track these things very carefully.  Major changes appear to be happening to our world, but most people have not been paying much attention up until now.

For most Americans, what is going on around the rest of the globe is of little interest, but all of the shaking in Hawaii sure is starting to get a lot of attention from the mainstream media.  On Sunday, the Big Island was hit by a huge 5.5-magnitude earthquake

A 5.5-magnitude quake rattled the Big Island Sunday afternoon, US Geological Survey officials said.

No tsunami is expected from the quake, which is among the strongest of recent quakes felt around the Big Island. The quake rumbled an area near Kilauea Volcano just before 4 p.m.

That was definitely a very large earthquake, but of much greater concern were all of the smaller earthquakes that happened on Sunday.  At least 500 quakes struck the Island in a 24 hour period, and that was a new all-time record

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, officials said 500 smaller earthquakes were recorded near the summit within the last day — it’s the most earthquakes recorded in a 24-hour period on Hawaii Island.

A lot of people that live in Hawaii did not believe that something like this would happen.  Rivers of lava are reaching areas that were not supposed to be reached, and Kilauea just keeps pouring out more.

According to one report, one of the rivers of lava is “as wide as three football fields”…

National Guard troops, police and firefighters ushered the last group of evacuees from homes on the eastern tip of Hawaii’s Big Island early on Saturday, hours before lava from the Kilauea volcano cut off road access to the area, officials said.

A stream of lava as wide as three football fields flowed over a highway near a junction at Kapoho, a seaside community of rebuilt after a destructive eruption of Kilauea in 1960.

And when one of the rivers of lava reached a freshwater lake, it boiled away all of the water inside of it

Also, lava destroyed a freshwater lake, boiling away all of the water in it, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported late Saturday, local time.

“Lava entered Green Lake within Kapoho Crater, producing a large steam plume … A Hawaiian County Fire Department overflight reported that the lava filled the lake and apparently evaporated all the water,” the report said.

It would be difficult to overstate the massive destructive power of Kilauea.  Even with all of our advanced technology there is nothing that we can do to control the rivers of lava.  The best that we can do is to try to evacuate everyone and then get out of the way.

Fortunately, most of the lava flows are moving slowly enough that people can make a decision to evacuate.  Down in Guatemala, this new eruption of the Fuego volcano poured out lava so violently that it caught at least a few people before they could escape

At least six people were killed and another 20 injured on Sunday when Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted violently, spewing a stream of red hot lava and belching a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.

“It’s a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people,” Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala’s Conred disaster agency, said on radio.

One village near the base of the volcano may end up being completely destroyed by the flow of lava.  As the lava started flowing, rescue crews were going door to door trying to save residents

Steaming lava flowed down the streets of a village as emergency crews entered homes in search of trapped residents, a video on a different local media outlet showed.

The eruption forced the Guatemala City’s La Aurora international airport to shut down its only runway due to the presence of volcanic ash and to guarantee passenger and aircraft safety, Guatemala’s civil aviation authority said in a Tweet.

I have been writing about the changes to our planet for the past eight years, and it appears that those changes are now accelerating.  The number of earthquakes around the globe continues to rise, and volcanoes are beginning to behave in some unusual ways.

So many major cities in North America, South America and Asia sit right along the “Ring of Fire”, and if the shaking of the crust of our planet continues to intensify, it is only a matter of time before major natural disasters begin to hit some of those cities.  If Mt. Fuji were to obliterate Tokyo, or if Mt. Rainier were to pulverize Seattle, or if the “big one” finally hit the west coast of the United States, the global financial system would melt down instantly.

We are far more vulnerable to natural disasters than most people realize, and it looks like the shaking of our planet is only going to intensify in the months and years ahead.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9212

Endgame for the U.S. -Turkey Relationship

By Caroline Glick May 29, 2018 , 9:00 am

On Monday, NATO ally Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Washington. The severe step is meant to punish the U.S. for opening an embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

Also Monday, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador to Turkey. It had already withdrawn its ambassador from Tel Aviv.

In a speech at Chatham House on Monday, Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel a “terror state,” and accused Israel of carrying out a “genocide.”

Indicating his view that the U.S. is also responsible for the so-called “genocide,” Erdogan said, “I condemn this humanitarian drama, this genocide, from whichever side it comes, Israel or America.”

Turning his attention to Washington, Erdogan accused the U.S. of violating international law by recognizing Israel’s capital and moving its embassy to Jerusalem. He insisted that following the embassy move, the U.S. can no longer mediate the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

As Erdogan was condemning Israel and the U.S. in London, protesters in Ankara were burning Israeli and American flags at a mass rally. One speaker at the rally referred to the American people as “dogs.” The rally was organized by Turkey’s Islamist IHH group. IHH, which is aligned with Hamas and al Qaeda, has close relations with the Erdogan regime.

Also Monday, Turkey called an emergency meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Istanbul. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that immediately after the conference, a mass protest against Israel would be held at Istanbul’s central thoroughfare.

It would be easy to dismiss Erdogan’s latest moves as simply another expression of his hatred for Israel and Jews. By this line of thinking, the Turks are not hostile towards U.S. per se when Erdogan accuses the U.S. of committing genocide, and Turkish pro-regime demonstrators burn the U.S. flag. Erdogan and his followers are just sore at Washington for siding with the Jews.

That is, Erdogan’s anti-Americanism is a function of his anti-Jewish bigotry.

While it is certainly true that Erdogan is a raging anti-Jewish bigot and hater of Israel, antisemitism is only a partial explanation of his behavior.

On Thursday, Israeli Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin offered another explanation. After calling for Israelis to forego travel to Turkey, Levin said that Erdogan is striking out against Israel – and presumably the U.S. – as part of his election campaign. (Next week Turkey is holding parliamentary elections.)

Levin said, “Unfortunately, Turkey has a leader who repeatedly exploits Israel to make headlines for himself and to mobilize support ahead of elections. I would view the steps that Turkey has taken in terms of [next week’s] elections.”

The problem with explanations like Levin’s or the notion that Turkey’s anti-Americanism stems entirely from its hatred of Israel is that they ignore Erdogan’s view of elections on the one hand, and the purpose of his anti-Israel and anti-Jewish policies and his anti-Americanism on the other hand.

In regards to elections, Erdogan has made clear repeatedly over his 16 years in power that he will not allow election results to determine Turkey’s trajectory. In June 2015 elections, Erdogan’s Islamist AKP party lost its parliamentary majority. Rather than accept the loss, he called for new elections. Those elections, held in November 2015, unsurprisingly brought the desired results.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Erdogan would not rule out — indeed he all but admitted — that he will repeat the practice in the event his ruling AKP party fails to retain its parliamentary majority in the coming poll.

So, contrary to Levin’s assessment, Erdogan really doesn’t care about elections. His latest diatribes and actions against Israel and the U.S. do not stem from electoral considerations.

As for the role his Jew-hatred plays in determining his policies towards Israel and the U.S., while it is possible, indeed probable, that some of his policies are the result of his vituperative hatred of all things Jewish, the fact is that Erdogan uses hatred of Jews, which is widely shared by more than 70 percent of Turks, to advance a much larger goal.

To understand that goal, it is important to recognize Erdogan’s history with various U.S. administrations.

Erdogan was upheld by both the Bush and Obama administrations as a paragon of a moderate Muslim leader. To secure U.S. support, Erdogan was perfectly happy to let them believe that. But while he was basking in the support of the likes of Condoleezza Rice and Barack Obama,(who referred to Erdogan as one of five foreign leaders with whom he had formed “bonds of trust”), Erdogan repeatedly rejected the notion that there is such a thing as moderate Islam.

Erdogan never has made his true goal a secret. In his 16 years in power, he has enacted a slow motion revolution in Turkey. The Turkey he took over in 2002 was the secular republic formed by Ataturk on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Ataturk appointed the Turkish military as the constitutionally-mandated guardian of Turkey’s new secular order.

Military protection of secularism was necessary because, as Samuel Huntington explained in his book Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, Turkey was always a “torn” society. It was never able to strike a balance between Islam, secularism, and Western identity.

Turkish scholar and former Pentagon official Harold Rhode explains in the book Ally No More: Erdogan’s New Turkish Caliphate and the Rising Jihadist Threat to the West that Erdogan represents the majority of Turks who never accepted the regime’s secularism. Since entering office, he has used public support as well as U.S. backing to dismantle the secular state over time. He replaced the secularists who controlled the media, the judiciary, civil service, law enforcement, and education with Islamists who share his goal of transforming Turkey into an Islamic state. The failed July 2016 coup gave Erdogan a pretext to purge the military brutally of all pockets of secular resistance.

Erdogan’s aspirations are not limited to Turkey. Indeed, Rhode explains, his goals extends far beyond Turkey. Erdogan intends to restore the Ottoman Empire and install himself as the caliph, or leader of the Islamic world.

As Rhode notes, Erdogan made his aspirations clear during a victory speech following his reelection to a third term as Turkish prime minister in 2011. Erdogan said, “Today, our victory here in Turkey is as important [here] as it is in Sarajevo [the capital of Bosnia]; in Izmir [Turkey] as it is in for Beirut, this victory is as important in Ankara as it is in Damascus…in Turkey as it is in Ramallah, Jenin and in Jerusalem.”

Like the Iranian regime, which shares Erdogan’s ambition to lead the Islamic world, the chief sociological obstacle Erdogan faces in achieving his goal of leading the Islamic world is that Turkey is not an Arab state. To overcome this racial impediment, Erdogan has latched onto Islamic hatred of Israel and of the Jews as a means to prove his worth.

Thus Erdogan competes with the Iranian regime for the mantle of Hamas’s chief sponsor. Hamas’s operational headquarters are in Istanbul. Most of the lethal terror attacks the group carried out against Israelis in recent years were directed from Hamas offices in Turkey. Turkey serves as a hub for financial transfers and money laundering operations for Hamas. And Erdogan is Hamas’s chief advocate in international forums.

For Erdogan, propagating hatred for America is another key feature of his efforts to seize leadership of the Islamic world. Since entering power, he has inculcated deep-seated hatred of the West generally, and the United States specifically, into Turkish society. Television shows, movies and books have been released that spew conspiracy theories demonizing Americans and America.

It seems a day doesn’t go by without Erdogan or one of his underlings saying or doing something deeply hostile to Israel, or a report emerging about another Turkish policy adopted to harm the Jewish state. Likewise, it seems a week doesn’t go by without Erdogan saying or doing something deeply hostile to the U.S., its citizens, or its strategic interests.

This week, Israel’s foreign ministry debated whether or not to cut off diplomatic relations with Turkey altogether. As Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely explained in a radio interview Thursday, the decision was made to keep formal ties intact. Most of the flights of Israel’s national airline, El Al, overfly Turkish airspace, Israel has considerable trade with Turkey, and Turkey has a significant Jewish community that is increasingly at risk, she explained.

While this is all true, given Erdogan’s desired end state, it is clear that Israel should have contingency plans ready to surmount the challenges to air travel and trade for the day Erdogan cuts off relations with Jerusalem.

Parallel to Israel’s discussions, it is reasonable to assume that Erdogan’s viciously anti-American statements and actions have provoked Washington policymakers to conduct cost-benefit analyses of Turkey’s continued membership in NATO. The reasoning presumably concludes that it is better for the U.S. to betray its Kurdish allies in Syria and Iraq and other shocking displays of Turkish treachery than lose its bases in Turkey.

While these considerations are not ridiculous, like Israel’s assessment of the desirability of continued diplomatic ties to Erdogan’s Turkey, they are largely missing the point.

Sixteen  years ago, Erdogan launched Turkey on a trajectory that is implacably hostile and antithetical to the very notion of a Turkish-U.S. alliance, let alone to continued Turkish membership in NATO.

Unless U.S. cost-benefit analyses are based on that basic fact, their conclusions are largely irrelevant to the strategic challenge Erdogan’s Turkey poses to the U.S.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9210

Erdogan Declares That Turkey Will Rebuild Its Economy On The German Model And Become A World Power In Five Years, Just In Time To Revive The Ottoman Empire

By Andrew Bieszad on May 24, 2018 in Featured, General

President Erdogan of Turkey recently stated that he wants to make Turkey into a “high income” nation as well as a world leader in manufacturing products for export:

Vowing to turn the country into a high-income nation, Turkey’s president on Thursday released the election manifesto of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party for the June 24 elections.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled the election manifesto, titled “Strong Parliament, Strong Government, Strong Turkey,” at the Ankara Arena in the capital.

“Turkey’s new aim is to be among high-income countries,” he said, adding that with the initiatives taken over the last 16 years of AK Party rule, Turkey had climbed to the upper-middle income group.

“Turkey will not only be self-sufficient in the defense industry, but also it will become one of the leading exporting countries,” he said.

He added Turkey will improve its organizational capability with its local and national technological infrastructure in the cyber industry.

“We will boost women’s labor force participation rate to over 40 percent by the end of 2023,” he added.

Erdogan also said the AK Party will reach a high, sustainable economy along with an increase in Turkey’s share of the world economy to 1.5 percent.

Stating that Turkey plays an important role in voicing the problems and expectations of developing countries, he added: “We will strengthen our economic and political ties with various regional structures, especially the EU.

“We want all brotherly nations in our region and the world to reach better welfare, together with our nation.”

He said they would take necessary steps towards this and strengthen cooperation.

Fighting crime and terrorism

Erdogan said more effective methods will be developed to combat organized crime, cyber-crime, and drug smuggling.

“We will continue our fight against terror without any interruption,” he said.

Also stating that they would direct all resources to boost the quality of education in the new era, he pledged important reforms in every field of education.

Erdogan also said that they would support movies and TV series, touting their important role in introducing Turkish culture to the world.

He added that they would continue to support young people in every area, from employment to sports.

“We have come a long way in bringing our women to the positions they deserve. We will continue to increase women’s participation in every area, from politics to bureaucracy, culture to art, and to non-governmental activities,” he said.

Erdogan also touted new projects to solve the problems of the Turks living abroad and their children.

Science and technology

On their aims in science, Erdogan said they will lift science, technology, and research and development efforts to a new level.

He further pledged Turkey would set up a new scientific base in Antarctica in 2019.

Antarctica has served as a scientific research zone since a 1959 treaty, signed by Turkey.

Turkey’s first polar research center, Istanbul Te*-chnical University’s Polar Research Center, was founded in Antarctica in 2015.

The center’s mission is to carry out research on Antarctica and raise Turkey’s profile in the international scientific community. (source)

Currently, Turkey is listed as an “emerging” market, or what for a long time was called a “second world” nation. However, Turkey’s strength must not be underestimated. She as a population of approximately 80 million people- the same size as Germany- and by comparison Turks are younger at at average population age of 30 years (versus 45 for Germany). The Turkish fertility rate is still slightly below replacement at 2.05 children per woman, but with the exception of the tiny Faroese Islands (at 2.4), it is the highest in all of Europe.

Turkey’s ability to emerge as a potential world power has not been solely on her own doings. Turkey was and remains a central piece in the machinery of Operation Gladio because of the fact that she is one of the historical enemies of Russia. The Turkish military, which is the second largest in Europe after Russia, exists in the size and strength it has today because it was built by America, Germany, and other western European nations for the purpose of modifying the power balance against the Russians. As such, the Turkish economic growth over the last several decades is likewise tied to outside funding that has enabled Turkey to emerge as a major economic power.

Turkey’s largest trading partner as well as longest historical ally in the region is Germany and has been since the 15th century. Germany’s economy, which is the economy of the European Union and most of Europe, is built on a “manufacture-and-export” model similar to Japan’s that in combination with banks, lending money as a creditor, and then using financial leverage to extract political concessions has enabled her rise to power.

What Erdogan is saying, is that he is copying the German model for Turkey, and most likely with Germany’s direct assistance.

Note the date that Erdogan also declares he wants this goal to be realized by: 2023, the same year that the Islamic Caliphate was abolished and Turkey made into a “secular” state.

The Ottoman Empire is back, and Erdogan is going to see to it that, as he prepares to re-assert Turkey as the “protector” of Islam and the Muslim world, a revival of all of the evils of the Ottoman world.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9206

Russia said to test missile that can down F-35 fighter jet

In world’s longest-range surface-to-air missile test, S-500 missile reportedly hits target 300 miles away

By TOI staff Today, 2:31 pm 4

Russia has successfully conducted the world’s longest-range surface-to-air missile test, according to a report in US media on Thursday.

The S-500 missile, which Russia said will be able to down F-35 fighter jets — the most advanced in America’s (and Israel’s) fleets, as well as ballistic missiles — was able to hit a target 480 kilometers (299 miles) away CNBC reported, citing “sources with direct knowledge of US intelligence concerning the weapons program.”

Israel said this week its F-35 fighter jet conducted airstrikes on at least two occasions, reportedly in Syria, which Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said made Israel the first country in the world to use the American-made stealth aircraft operationally.

The US military source, who spoke to CNBC anonymously, said that the Russian test was 80 kilometers (50 miles) further than any previous test.

A photograph of an Israeli F-35 stealth fighter jet flying over the Lebanese capital of Beirut, which was apparently leaked to Israel’s Hadashot news, May 2018. (Screen capture)

Russia has said that the S-500 will be operational by 2020 and will also have the capability to hit targets in near space, 100 kilometers (62 miles) above earth.

There was no confirmation of the test from the Kremlin.

The S-500 will operate alongside the S-400 missiles and are set to replace the aging S-300 systems.

Russia had reportedly contemplated supplying S-300 missiles to Syria, but earlier this month, after intensive lobbying by Israel, Moscow said it would not provide Damascus with the advanced air defense system.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9203

Drought Conditions In The Southwest Are So Bad That They Are Already Being Compared To The Dust Bowl Of The 1930s

 

 

May 23, 2018 by Michael Snyder

The worst drought to hit the Southwest in decades continues to grow even worse, and many are already comparing this current crisis to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.  Agricultural production is way down, major rivers are running dry, and horses are dropping dead from a lack of water.  The epicenter of this drought is where the states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico all come together, but it is also devastating areas of north Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as well.  Portions of seven states are already at the highest level of drought on the scale that scientists use, and summer won’t even start for about another two months.  If we don’t start seeing some significant rainfall, it won’t be too long before massive dust storms start devastating the entire region.  The mainstream media is finally beginning to wake up and start reporting on this crisis, and some reporters are choosing to make a direct comparison between this drought and the Dust Bowl conditions during the Great Depression

Drought conditions are so severe across much of the Southwest that they rival those during the disastrous Dust Bowl period of the 1930s, when severe dust storms killed livestock and caused crops to fail.

Oklahoma State Climatologist Gary McManus said some climatological stations in the western part of his state have recorded less than 2 inches of rain since October.

“Some of those stations are pegging the driest 7-to-8 months on record for those locations,” McManus said.

If you are not familiar with the Dust Bowl period, you should be able to find a good documentary online to watch.  It was one of the most painful periods in American history, and we could be right on the verge of a repeat.

Those that have followed my work for an extended period of time know that I have been warning about a return of Dust Bowl conditions, and now it is actually happening.  The flow of the Colorado River is way, way down, and in some areas the Rio Grande has already dried up completely

The drought has hit the Colorado River hard. Forecasters say the river will carry only about 43 percent of its average amount of water this year into Lake Powell, one of two big reservoirs on the system.

In New Mexico, stretches of the Rio Grande — another one of North America’s longest rivers — have already gone dry as biologists have been forced to scoop up as many endangered Rio Grande silvery minnows as possible so they can be moved upstream.

As urban populations have surged, the Southwest has already been dealing with unprecedented water stress, and now this crisis is going to take things to an entirely new level.

Meanwhile, this drought has been hitting farms really hard.  Winter wheat production in some areas will be about half of what it was last year, and this summer some wheat farmers may have to abandon their fields entirely

Yield potential for hard red winter wheat in southwest Kansas and northwestern Oklahoma is roughly half that of a year ago as exceptional drought conditions take a toll on the crop, scouts on an annual tour said on Wednesday.

Some farmers may be forced to abandon their wheat fields due to blisteringly dry growing conditions, adding to woes for those already suffering from declining global demand for U.S. wheat, scouts on the Wheat Quality Council tour said.

The United States has fallen to the No. 2 world exporter, behind top shipper Russia, and U.S. farmers this season planted the fewest wheat acres in a century. Kansas is the top wheat- growing U.S. state and Oklahoma is the fifth-largest producer.

Somewhere around 60 percent of all winter wheat in Texas is being graded “poor” or “very poor”, and Kansas is on pace to have its smallest winter wheat crop in nearly 30 years.

So what is going to happen this summer if we don’t see some substantial rainfall?

Many fear the worst.  In fact, one top expert is warning that agricultural losses in the state of Texas alone this year will be in the “billions”

Home to one of the nation’s most fertile farming areas—crop production in the Texas region alone generates about $12 billion in economic activity—observers say the drought could punish the agricultural sector, affecting everything from cotton to cattle to farming-equipment sales.

“It’s going to be in the billions in terms of crop loss,” said Darren Hudson, director of the International Center for Agricultural Competitiveness at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

A lot of people don’t get too emotional about crops dying, but when horses start dropping dead that is another thing entirely.

At the top of this article I told you that horses have been dropping dead in the Southwest from a lack of water, and it isn’t just a few.

In fact, one media outlet recently reported the discovery of almost 200 dead horses around a dried up watering hole…

Off a northern Arizona highway surrounded by pastel-colored desert is one of the starkest examples of drought’s grip on the American Southwest: Nearly 200 dead horses surrounded by cracked earth, swirling dust and a ribbon of water that couldn’t quench their thirst. Flesh exposed and in various stages of decomposition, the carcasses form a circle around a dry watering hole sunken in the landscape, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reports.

And please keep in mind that this is just May.

What are things going to look like once we get to July and August?

This is what a severe drought looks like.  We haven’t seen anything like this since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and to be honest the Southwest is completely unprepared for what is about to happen.

Let us pray that rain comes soon, because without sufficient precipitation things could go from bad to worse very rapidly.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9200

Erdogan Of Turkey Just Announced That He Wants To Send A Muslim Peace Keeping Force Into Israel

By Ted on May 19, 2018 in Featured, General

The Istanbul summit, which brought together leaders of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “Israel committed acts constituting crimes with the brutal support of the United States of America.”

The communiqué issued by the Istanbul Islamic Summit affirmed the determination “to take political and economic measures towards countries that recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Erdogan’s OIC also wants to put in Israel what its terms as “a peace keeping force”. The statement called for “international protection for the Palestinian people,” including the “dispatch of a peacekeeping force.”

The Istanbul summit stressed the need for coordination and cooperation with the League of Arab States, the European Union, the African Union and regional and international organizations on the latest developments in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories.

The summit called on the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take urgent action to establish an independent international commission of experts to investigate what it called “the crimes and massacres of Israeli forces against peaceful demonstrators in Gaza and to determine the criminal responsibility of the Israeli authorities”.

The Istanbul summit also called on the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council to fulfill their responsibilities to form an international commission of inquiry into the Gaza attacks and urged the issue to be included on the agenda of international institutions.

In 2017, Erdogan declared that East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. This is all a sign of the coming invasion of Israel, as the Scripture foretells:

For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Zechariah 14:2)

As we read in one report The leaders of 57 Muslim nations have called on the world to recognise “the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”.

An Organisation of Islamic Co-operation communique declares US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital as “null and void”.

It also says the move has signalled Washington’s withdrawal from its role in the Middle East peace process.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier said the UN should take over.

In a speech to the OIC summit in Istanbul, Mr Abbas said it would be “unacceptable” for the US to be the mediator “since it is biased in favour of Israel”.

The Palestinians had engaged with the Trump administration in an attempt to agree “the deal of the century”, he noted, but had instead “got the slap of the century”.

Erdogan is the leader of the O.I.C. Organization of Islamic Cooperation (O.I.C) considered to be the Muslim ‘U.N’ coming second to the United Nations in size and global power.

OIC headquarters

Erdogan’s use of the OIC as the conduit to dealing with Trump’s decision is no coincidence. In fact it was Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Jerusalem which caused the founding of the OIC in 1969 consisting of 57 member states, the organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world”. It was set up as result of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate after World War I which left a vacuum for a pan-Islamic institution. Losing the Six-Day War in 1967 provided the incentive needed where leaders of Muslim nations met in Rabat to establish the OIC on 25 September 1969.

In May last year year, Erdogan spoke about the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims around the world and urged more Turks and others to visit the city that “Jerusalem is ‘The first of the two directions of prayer, the second of mosques, the third of sanctuaries’”

This issue will fuel Erdogan to speed up the formation of a Muslim League. We warned last year about Erdogan using Jerusalem to create a Muslim League adding:

“This “league” is a united Muslim states and the O.I.C plays a major role in this affair. Remember the Scriptures: “Cush, and Put, and Lud [Turkey], and all Arabia, and Libya, and the people of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.” (Ezekiel 30:5)

Don’t say that we never told you so, way ahead of time, that you may consider the state of your spiritual affairs by becoming one of the five virgins with oil in their lamps before the coming of the Bridegroom.”

And a league it is. Just as we stated will happen is happening. Erdogan even traveled all over the Muslim world to create such a league. From Saudi Iranian relations to expressing concern at the stand-off between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, Erdogan offered to get involved in settling many issues to bring this unity together. And now since the issue of Jerusalem is coming up again this will speed the process.

So we are seeing the beginning signs of the times.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9198

Rare Jewish Coins Found in Temple Mount Excavation

By JNS May 22, 2018 , 12:30 pm

“A beka a head, half a shekel by the sanctuary weight, for each one who was entered in the records, from the age of twenty years up, 603,550 men.” Exodus 38:26 (The Israel Bible™)

A man displays ancient coins in Jerusalem. (Photo: Flash90)

Five exceptionally rare ancient coins from among the very first ever minted by Jews were discovered on the Temple Mount, evidence of Jewish activity at the disputed site.

The small coins – three in pristine condition and two showing signs of wear – were discovered as part of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, an archaeological initiative started in order to sift thousands of tons of dirt illegally excavated and dumped in the Kidron Valley by the Islamic Waqf in 1999. The Waqf excavations compromised the archaeological integrity of the Temple Mount and sparked outrage in Israel, leading many to suggest that the Waqf was intentionally attempting to eradicate evidence of two Jewish Temples which stood on the Mount for over 800 years.

The sifting project, which has operated since 2004 in the Emek Tzurim National Park, aims to salvage religious and historical artifacts from the rubble, as well as to educate the public about the veracity of Jewish history on the Mount.

The newly-discovered coins bear the letters “YHD,” or Yehud, the Aramaic name for the biblical kingdom of Judea, and are dated to the end of the 4th century BCE.

According to one of the co-directors of the project, Zachi Dvira, only five other coins of this kind have been found in the 150 years of archaeological digging in ancient Jerusalem sites.

Dvira noted that Jewish pilgrims would bring offerings of first fruits of the season to the Temple around the time of the Shavuot holiday, and would often convert their value to silver in the days of the Second Temple.

He also noted that the Temple was a center of commerce and public administration, making it a prime site for finding coins.

“These were the first coins ever minted by Jews,” Dvira said in an interview with Israel’s Ynet news. “They express the people’s return to their land after the Babylonian exile, and their ability to hold and maintain diplomatic ties with the ruling empire—then Persia—similar to our relations with the United States today.”

He noted that the New Israeli Shekel also bears the letters YHD, exactly as they appear on the newly unearthed coins.

Though state funding for the project halted in 2017, the Temple Mount Sifting Project is now aiming to bring mobile sifting units of Temple Mount dirt to Israeli schools and communities, enabling children to learn about Jewish history in Jerusalem and to participate in the sifting themselves.

More than half a million artifacts have been pulled from the rubble so far by over 200,000 participants, including 6,000 ancient coins.

In May 2017, UNESCO adopted a resolution denying Jewish connection to Jerusalem. In October 2016, the international body said the Jewish people have no ties to the Temple Mount

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9195

Trump ME peace plan: Half West Bank for Palestinians, Abu Dis as capital

May 20, 2018 @ 10:04 Abu Dis, Arabs, Israel, Jard Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, Jerusalem, Palestinians, Trump peace plan, West Bank

President Donald Trump sees his peace plan as a springboard for shaping an Israel-Arab track – even  if spurned by the Palestinians at first. He is preparing for the second time to unveil the all-but complete peace plan in mid-June i.e., after the month of Ramadan, subject to the situation in the region, five administration officials informed US media on Friday, May 18. His son-in-law and senior advise Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, his special adviser for international negotiations, had originally been instructed to tie up the last ends in time for its launch with the US embassy dedication in Jerusalem on May 14. The spadework was in hand. The president had discussed the peace plan’s content with three Arab leaders, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, UAE emir Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed, the Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, as well as thoroughly briefing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was invited to come aboard, but he rebuffed the offer – and that was even before he generated a crisis with Israel for its deadly confrontation with Hamas in Gaza.
Some of the elements incorporated in the Trump peace plan were revealed by DEBKA Weekly 798 on April 27

  • The plan will be released on the date scheduled by Washington, regardless of a boycott by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership.
  • The Arab world is expected to publicly nix the blueprint while keeping it afloat by offering to make the acceptable elements the basis for further discussions for an eventual peace deal between the Palestinians and Israel.
  • In search of a measure of Palestinian assent, the White House, Egypt and Gulf nations agreed to headhunt Palestinian figures living outside the PA domain, who hold different views from the Ramallah elite, and would be willing to underwrite the plan. Five eminent Palestinians have been found as possible candidates, including Abbas’ arch-foe Muhammed Dahlan. Feelers are still ongoing.
  • The Israeli prime minister will issue a cautious statement proposing that the Trump plan be the springboard for immediate negotiations with Arab governments on certain mutually acceptable points. Administration emissaries have buttonholed a wide range of Israeli political leaders, both in the government coalition and on opposition benches, who have agreed to look with favor on the Trump plan and not obstruct it.
  • Kushner and Greenblatt are assigned exclusively with the task of shepherding the peace plan from one stage to the next.
    The Trump plan is not a definitive document. It is designed to generate momentum for key Arab governments, notably the three Gulf emirates and Egypt, to sit down with the US and Israel and start the ball rolling for peace talks. Since this will be a long process, the Palestinians will have a chance to jump in at some point. At all events, the Arab and Israeli governments are expected to establish a mechanism for airing common issues that will be open to co-optiong Palestinians.

Sources who have had access to the text told DEBKAfile that it addresses the subjects at issue in detail, including Jerusalem. They disclosed the following nine elements:

  1.  A Palestinian state will be established with limited sovereignty across about half of the West Bank and all the Gaza Strip.
  2. Israel will retain security responsibility for most of the West Bank and the border crossings.
  3. The Jordan Valley will remain under Israel sovereignty and military control.
  4. .The Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem will pass to the Palestinian state, excepting the Old City, which will be part of Israeli Jerusalem.
  5. Abu Dis east of Jerusalem is the proposed capital of Palestine.
  6. Palestine and Jordan will share religious jurisdiction over the city’s mosques.
  7. Gaza will be integrated in the new Palestinian state provided Hamas agrees to disarm.
  8.  There is no provision in the plan for the Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” – but a compensation mechanism will be established and managed by the international community.
  9.  The Trump plan mandates Israel’s recognition as the homeland of the Jewish people, and Palestine with limited sovereignty as the Palestinian homeland.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9193