Category: America

Jim Caviezel: New ‘Passion of the Christ’ to be ‘biggest film in history’

‘There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience’

Published: 14 hours ago

Joe Kovacs

Jim Caviezel, who stunned the world with his portrayal of Jesus in the 2004 blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ,” is now confirming he’s on board with director Mel Gibson for a sequel, and predicts it will be “the biggest film in history.”

“There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience,” the 49-year-old actor told USA Today. “It’s great. Stay tuned.”

Both Gibson and Caviezel have not said much about the story focusing on the resurrection of Christ, but the star indicated he’s encouraged by the direction the project is taking.

“I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it,” Caviezel said of Gibson. “But I’ll tell you this much, the film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”

The original “Passion of the Christ” followed the last 12 hours of Christ’s life. The movie brought in more than $611 million worldwide on a $30 million budget, and remains the highest-grossing R-rated film ever in North America with $370.8 million.

In 2016, Gibson spoke with USA Today about his plans for the sequel.

“The Resurrection. Big subject.” Gibson said. “We’re trying to craft this in a way that’s cinematically compelling and enlightening so that it shines new light, if possible, without creating some weird thing.”

Earlier this month in Chicago, Caviezel warned against false Christianity, and urged believers to publicly voice their faith in “this pagan world.”

“I want you to go out into this pagan world, I want you to have the courage to step into this pagan world and shamelessly express your faith in public. The world needs proud warriors animated by their faith,” he told the Fellowship of Catholic University Students SLS Leadership Conference.

“Warriors like Saint Paul and Saint Luke who risked their names, their reputations to take their faith, their love for Jesus into the world.

“God is calling each one of us, each one of you to do great things but how often we fail to respond, dismissing it as some mental blurp. It’s time for our generation, now, to accept that call, the call of God urging all of us to give ourselves entirely to Him.”

“Set yourselves apart from this corrupt generation,” the actor continued. “Be saints. You weren’t made to fit in. You were born to stand out.”

“We must shake off this indifference, this destructive tolerance of evil. But only our faith and the wisdom of Christ can save us,” he said. “But it requires warriors, ready to risk their reputations, their names, even our very lives, to stand for the truth.”

“By God, we must live,” Caviezel concluded, “and with the Holy Spirit as your shield and Christ as your sword, may you join St. Michael and all the angels in sending Lucifer and his henchmen straight right back to hell where they belong!”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8998

Experts Warn China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ Initiative Seeks to Undermine U.S.-Led World Order

by Kristina Wong26 Jan 20181,053

The United States and China are in a battle for global supremacy — one that the U.S. is losing, experts said at a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

“The United States and China are locked in a consequential geopolitical competition right now that will determine the character of the 21st Century,” said Ely Ratner, the Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“The United States is losing that competition right now,” he added.

Ratner’s warning came during a day-long hearing held by the congressionally-appointed U.S. China Commission, on China’s new “One Belt One Road” initiative, which experts warned is aimed at replacing the current U.S.-led world order.

The “Belt and Road Initiative,” or “BRI,” as Western experts call it, is Chinese President Xi Jinxing’s plan to build roads — literally and figuratively — across Central Asia to Western Europe, in a bid to further integrate their economies.

The name of the initiative purposely hearkens back to the ancient “Silk Road” trade routes, when China was a great empire. China’s dream is to recapture that status and become the world’s leading power by 2050. In that regard, BRI is aimed at slowly reorienting nations away from the U.S. and towards China and its preferred world order.

“BRI is a comprehensive vision for political and economic integration under Beijing’s helm,” said Nadege Rolland, senior fellow for political and security affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Under BRI, China will work with other nations, particularly developing countries, to build infrastructure linking the East to the West, including railways, pipelines, fiber optic cables, ports, and other infrastructure.

To build this network, China will use its growing economic might to loan developing countries money to build the infrastructure, in what they hope will become “even bigger than the Marshall plan,” said Randal Phillip, managing partner at the Mintz Group.

Rolland said BRI’s “intangible manifestations are as important if not more than its actual physical development.”

It is really a “multilayer web of … security ties that China is developing with the developing world … shaping before our very eyes,” she said. The goal is “unleveled Chinese influence over a key region, if not the world,” she added.

Already, several countries have announced their intention to link their development to one belt one road, said Jonathan Hillman, fellow and director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The initiative is also drawing China closer with Pakistan, he said.

Phillips called BRI’s mission statement “beautiful” and attractive to other nations.

“It talks a lot about win-win,” for China and other nations, he said. But, he added, the joke is that it really means “China wins twice.”

Experts noted that the concept for the BRI first emerged in 2013 to little fanfare, as a response to the Obama administration’s “Asia Pivot” and to the U.S. joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact with Asian nations excluding China.

But since then, Chinese President Xi Jinping has embraced it and elevated it to Chinese Communist Party doctrine and integrated it throughout all levels of Chinese government. Rolland said China’s determination to implement it is “deadly serious.”

Experts also testified that BRI would have huge military implications for the U.S. by giving the Chinese military more places to deploy and potentially try to block the U.S. military.

“BRI will increase demand to send the Chinese military abroad,” said Daniel Kliman, senior fellow at the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.

The more involved Chinese companies are in other nations, the more China’s military will be involved in humanitarian missions, as well as rescue missions, Kliman said. It will also reinforce voices within the People’s Liberation Army for more “power projection” — ports, airfields, and a more robust logistics network, he said.

As an example, he pointed to how China first built a commercial port in Djibouti, and then built its first military overseas base there as well, right next to a U.S. military base.

From these military bases, Chinese ships can operate farther away from its shores and hold the U.S. military off with weapons such as long-range anti-ship missiles, Kliman said.

BRI would also allow China to use the growing infrastructure network to glean large amounts of data that would fuel China’s artificial intelligence industry, he said.

And if developing nations cannot afford to pay China back for loans, Chinese would likely seize the assets or demand concessions as they have over a Sri Lankan port they helped build in Colombo — in what experts called a “debt trap.”

Either way, Ratner said, China will gain “increased access” and coercive power over so-called “BRI countries” over time.

Overall, experts said, if BRI is successful, it could have very serious implications for Americans in everyday life.

Under a China-led world, “markets will be closed to American business. China’s policies will bankrupt American businesses,” Ratner said. “They’re being completely transparent about their goals to do just that.”

Already, he noted, Hollywood is censoring their movies for Chinese audiences. Newspapers are self-censoring the reporting they’re doing on Xi. Universities are censoring themselves in exchange for Chinese money, he said.

“Do we want our selves and our children to live in a world … that is fundamentally free or not?” he said.

Experts said BRI did have some risks for China. Nations could turn on China if there is a gap between expectations and reality from developing nations, or if China turns predatory. But so far, Phillips said, developing countries are “happy to see the cash come in.”

Experts testifying to the commission agreed that BRI could already be considered a success, particularly since it has no hard objectives, targets, or end date. They noted that it has already succeeded in piquing international leaders’ interest.

They noted that China’s Belt and Road Forum — which they jokingly called “BARF” — drew 29 world leaders and representatives from more than 130 countries.

“People didn’t kowtow but they came with gifts. In return for that they got access, investment, protection,” Rolland said. “It’s already happening, it’s already successful.”

“Their global stature is already enhanced,” she added. “There is no leader around the world that is not paying attention to China’s proposal and how they can get some benefit from it. Just that … is very important.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8996

Turkey to U.S.: End support for Syrian Kurd YPG or risk confrontation

Tuvan Gumrukcu, Dahlia Nehme

ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Turkey urged the United States on Thursday to halt its support for Kurdish YPG fighters or risk confronting Turkish forces on the ground in Syria, some of Ankara’s strongest comments yet about a potential clash with its NATO ally.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is welcomed by Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag and Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli upon his arrival at the border city of Hatay, Turkey January 25, 2018. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

The remarks, from the spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan’s government, underscored the growing bilateral tensions, six days after Turkey launched its air and ground operation, “Olive Branch”, in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region.

In Washington, the Pentagon said that it carefully tracked weapons provided to the YPG and would continue discussions with Turkey.

“We carefully track those weapons that are provided to them, we ensure that they, to the maximum extent possible, don’t fall into the wrong hands and we’re continuing discussions with the Turks on this issue,” Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, joint staff director, told reporters.

McKenzie said Turkey’s operation into Afrin was not helpful and was taking focus away from fighting Islamic State.

Turkey’s targeting of the YPG, which it views as a security threat, has opened a new front in Syria’s multi-sided civil war. The Syrian Kurdish group is a main part of a U.S.-backed rebel alliance that has inflicted recent defeats on Islamic State militants.

Any push by Turkish forces towards Manbij, part of a Kurdish-held territory some 100 km (60 miles) east of Afrin, could threaten U.S. efforts in northeast Syria and bring them into direct confrontation with U.S. troops deployed there.

“Those who support the terrorist organization will become a target in this battle,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said.

“The United States needs to review its solders and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground in such a way as to avoid a confrontation with Turkey,” Bozdag, who also acts as the government’s spokesman, told broadcaster A Haber.

The United States has around 2,000 troops in Syria, officially as part of an international, U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State. Washington has angered Ankara by providing arms, training and air support to Syrian Kurdish forces that Turkey views as terrorists.

The Kurdish-led autonomous administration that runs Afrin on Thursday called on the Syrian government to defend its border with Turkey in Afrin despite Damascus’ stance against Kurdish autonomy.

“We call on the Syrian state to carry out its sovereign obligations towards Afrin and protect its borders with Turkey from attacks of the Turkish occupier,” it said in a statement on its website.

The Syrian government has said it is ready to target Turkish jets in its airspace, but has not intervened so far. It suspects the Kurds of wanting independence in the long-run and does not recognize the autonomous cantons they have set up in northern Syria.

U.S. forces were deployed in and around Manbij to deter Turkish and U.S.-backed rebels from attacking each other and have also carried out training missions in the area.

U.S. President Donald Trump urged Erdogan on Wednesday to curtail the military operation in Syria, the White House said.

However Turkey has disputed that characterization of the conversation.

Turkey’s foreign minister said Erdogan told Trump that U.S. troops should withdraw from Manbij.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said she had seen media reports about the comments, but was not aware of any change in U.S. posture.

McKenzie added the United States and Turkey closely coordinated in the region but the United States would also ensure the safety of its troops.

LIMITED GAINS

Six days into the campaign, Turkish soldiers and their Free Syrian Army rebel fighter allies have been battling to gain footholds on the western, northern and eastern flanks of Afrin.

Turkish soldiers are pictured in a village near the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

They appear to have made only limited gains, hampered by rain and clouds, which have limited the air support.

Turkish warplanes struck the northern borders of Afrin, in tandem with heavy artillery shelling, and one civilian was killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.

Dozens of combatants and more than two dozen civilians have been killed so far in the offensive, the Observatory has said.

The Turkish military said in a statement it had killed 303 militants in northern Syria since the operation started.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a YPG-dominated umbrella group backed by the United States in the fight against Islamic State, has previously said that Turkey was exaggerating the number of the dead.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have neared breaking point recently over U.S. support for the YPG and other issues.

Ankara considers the YPG to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast. Washington sees the YPG as an effective partner in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

Turkey said the United States had proposed a 30 km (19 mile) “safe zone” along the border.

“(But) in order for us to discuss the security zone or any other issue with the U.S., we have to reestablish trust,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters.

In Washington, McKenzie said the U.S. and Turkey were continuing talks about a “secure zone” but there had been no final decision.

McKenzie said that he had not yet seen a movement of SDF fighters moving from the Euphrates River Valley to reinforce Afrin or Manbij, but was watching closely.

The Afrin operation has also triggered concern in Germany, another NATO ally, where the caretaker government said it would put on hold any decision on upgrading Turkey’s German-made tanks.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8983

Pence Says US Embassy Will Open In Jerusalem Next Year As Jordan Demands East Jerusalem For Palestinians

The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, Vice President Pence said Monday, accelerating plans to move the mission in line with the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  Pence made the announcement to Israel’s parliament on Monday where he announced wholehearted support for Israel.

by Geoffrey Grider January 22, 2018

Jordan’s King Abdullah told U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday he looked to Washington to rebuild “trust and confidence” in moving toward a two-state solution in Israel after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:3 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: When President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he gave a fuzzy, multi-year timetable for completion of the move of the US Embassy. This weekend in Israel, VP Mike Pence ‘unfuzzed’ that picture and promised it would be done next year. Jerusalem is the powder keg that will set off events of biblical proportion, the only question is when. But at this rate, it certainly won’t be long. 

With Pence sitting across from him in the royal palace, King Abdullah said Jordan viewed the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a “potential major source of instability”.

He said he had raised his concerns for some time that such a decision on Jerusalem “does not come as a result of a comprehensive settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”. He also reiterated that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

“We hope that the U.S. will reach out and find the right way to move forward in these challenging circumstances,” the king said.

At the end of the visit, Pence in remarks to the press said he “agreed to disagree” with King Abdullah on the impact of Trump’s move.

The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, Vice President Pence said Monday, accelerating plans to move the mission in line with the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Pence made the announcement to Israel’s parliament on Monday where he announced wholehearted support for Israel. The vice president looked notably at ease after more awkward meetings in Egypt and Jordan, where he has been defending the U.S. decision.

“In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem — and the embassy will open next year,” he said. “Our president made his decision in the best interests of the United States — but he also made it clear that we believe this decision is in the best interests of peace.”

“By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction — and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace,” he added.  The Israeli government said it gave Pence a full head-of-state welcome ceremony — complete with military band — at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem.

“Mr. Vice President, I’ve had the privilege over the years of standing here with hundreds of world leaders and welcome them, all of them to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “This is the first time that I stand here where both leaders can say those three words.”

He described the U.S.-Israel relationship as a “remarkable alliance” which has “never been stronger.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8976

Chinese PLA Braces For US Attack on North Korea

January 17, 2018

Secretary Tillerson begins mirroring General Mattis’ diplomacy as war with North Korea is presented as almost certain; President Xi mobilizes the multi-million man PLA in preparation for ensuing chaos on their border. On today’s J Factor a successful businessman shares why his trust is only in Jesus.

World war drums are beating louder, but few people hear the warnings.  Even fewer people are taking actions to prepare for world war.   The normalcy bias has immobilized them from getting ready.  They don’t believe it can happen to them.

Twenty nations that supported America in the 1952 Korean War convened in Vancouver Canada on Monday and Tuesday.   In addition to the USA, Canada, and Great Britain, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Sweden and Australia also participated.

The diplomats issued an uncompromising hardline message to Pyongyang: The coalition of nations will step up maximum pressure against North Korea.  The new level of pressure will include stopping and boarding ships suspected of trading with Pyongyang.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sounded more like Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.  Secretary Tillerson said, “We must increase the costs of the regime’s behavior to the point that North Korea must come to the table for credible negotiations.”

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono accused North Korea of buying time to continue building nuclear warheads and long-range missiles.

Likewise, Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson also accused North Korea of pursuing the acquisition of nuclear-armed ICBMs that could have incalculable geostrategic consequences.

Russia and China were not invited to the meeting in Vancouver.  Moscow lashed out on Wednesday saying the Vancouver meeting was making the situation worse.  Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavov denounced the allied meeting as destructive.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said banning China and Russia from the meeting will not help solve the crisis.  He called the meeting the product of cold war thinking and a sign that the USA is planning a military attack on North Korea.

As the talks wrapped up, Secretary of State Tillerson said the threat posed by North Korea was growing.  Mr. Tillerson implied that diplomacy is finished and war is coming.

He said: “We all need to be very sober and clear-eyed about the current situation … We have to recognize that the threat is growing and if North Korea does not choose the pathway of engagement, discussion, negotiation, then they themselves will trigger an option.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8972

New Age Infiltration in Churches: Part 1

January 15, 2018

For the next several days, I desire to talk about the infiltration of New Age doctrines and practices in churches in America.

I have personally witnessed over 35+ years the gradual acceptance of New Age theology in a growing number of US churches.

There’s something happening in America that I am seeing more clearly in recent years.  The USA is morphing into a Babylonian empire.  It is quite troubling to behold.  A spirit of madness is taking over a sizeable portion of the population.  The group insanity is fueled by the population’s rejection of God and His commandments.  A sizeable portion of the population has consciously chosen to believe a lie.  Consequently, God sent them a delusion.  When a nation becomes so perverse that God sends them a delusion, it is impossible for them to ever see and understand the truth.  It is a sure sign of judgment.

As America becomes more Babylonian, so too is its religious system.  When the Jews turned to idolatry, God judged Israel when they repeatedly over many years rejected divine warnings issued by prophets to repent and return to the Lord’s commandments.
God used Nebuchadnezzar in to conquer Jerusalem.  The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in three stages, beginning in 605 BC and ending in 586 BC.  Judah’s King Jehoiakim was forced to pay tribute – taxes – to King Nebuchadnezzar.  Jehoiakim paid the taxes for the first three years, but stopped the tribute money in the fourth year.

Three years later, Nebuchadnezzar’s army invaded Judah again.  King Jehoiakim died.  Several years later, Jehoiakim’s successor was hauled off to Babylon.  And a few more years later, Nebuchadnezzar put the squeeze on Judah and started deporting Jews to Babylon as slaves.  The Jews remained in Babylon until Persia’s King Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon.  Although they were officially under Nebuchadnezzar’s captivity for 70 years, the Jews’ return to Judah was gradual over many years.

During the Babylonian captivity, the prophet Ezekiel rebuked the Jews for their disloyalty to God and their infatuation with Babylon.

You can read it in Ezekiel 23.  Let’s start with verse 11.

11 “Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became more corrupt than her sister in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister.

12 She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men.

13 And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way.

14 But she carried her whoring further. She saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion,

15 wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea.

16 When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.

17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, she turned from them in disgust.

18 When she carried on her whoring so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister.

19 Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt.

When the Jews finally departed Babylon, they carried back to Judah more than their clothes and stuff.  They took home a new religion –  Judaism.  I know this is difficult for many Christians to grasp, but God did not inspire the formation of Judaism.  Judaism as we know it today did not exist when the Jews were taken into Babylonian captivity.

It was while in Babylon that the Jews developed a new religious system that was based on rabbinical interpretations of the Torah.  The Talmud was conceived and birthed in Babylon.  Indeed, Jews today refer to it as the Babylonian Talmud.  Modern day Jews don’t read the Word of God.  They read what the Babylonian rabbis said about the Torah.
There was something else the Jews discovered in Babylon and took home to Jerusalem:  It was Babylonian secret knowledge acquired from the Chaldeans.  It forms the core of modern-day Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah.  Kabbalah is the hidden wisdom of Jewish rabbis that was derived from ancient secret knowledge.  The rabbinical hidden wisdom was combined with Babylonian secret knowledge into a Jewish theology that forms the core of modern Judaism.

The ancient Babylonians were an advanced culture known for their knowledge of science and advanced mathematics including geometry and trigonometry.  The Babylonians also worshipped the planet Jupiter.

I’m sorry to shock all the hard-core Christian Zionists who are watching Morning Manna today, but modern-day Israel’s Star of David flag has nothing to do with King David and ancient Israel.  The Star of David flag was inspired by Kabbalah.  The star in Israel’s flag is the same star god condemned by God in Amos 5:26.

But you carried a tabernacle for your Moloch, and the image of your idols, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves.

In the New Testament, you can read about again about Israel’s star god.  It is found in Acts 7:43.

And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which you made to adore them. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

I’ll be very direct with you:  If you have a flag, pendant, poster, or any other item with the Israeli Star of David image, you have an occult image in your home, church, office, or on your body.  Get rid of it.

How is this linked to my subject of New Ageism in American churches?

The Jews discovered ancient secret knowledge in Babylon.  They developed a new Jewish theology while in Babylon.  It is the rabbinical Talmud.  With the Talmud comes Kabbalah, which is Jewish witchcraft.

As the Kabbalists have gained more influence in America over the past 50 years, America has become more Babylonian.  This explains why America is morphing into Babylon.  Is America end time Babylon?  Are we fulfilling Bible prophecy?  Perhaps.  If America is, indeed, end time Babylon, there isn’t anything we can do to stop it.  If America is not end time Babylon, we can stop the Babylonian process and reverse it by returning to bedrock doctrine of the Christian church.  The preaching of truth will chase away darkness and apostasy.

New Ageism, witchcraft, the black arts, sorcery, the occult, paganism – whatever name you want to call it – has been in the world for thousands of years.

It was present in Old Testament times.  Egypt’s Pharaoh had magicians, wise men, astrologers, soothsayers, and sorcerers who used secret arts to perform astounding feats, predict the future, and to interpret dreams.

In Isaiah 47:13, God told the Israelites to ask their astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators to stand up and save them from the judgment that would come upon them because of their idolatry and rebellion.

Today, we see and hear New Age terms and practices in many churches.  People are adapting to it and accepting its presence.  We should be outraged and rise up against it.  I want to give you some buzzwords that you should be on alert for their presence in churches in your community – or present in ministries on TV and radio.  This is not an exhaustive list, but merely a beginning of the terms and phrases being used by many church leaders.

  •  Christ Spirit
  •  Destiny Cards
  •  Angel Guidance
  •  Labyrinth Prayer Walk
  •  Soaking prayer
  •  Contemplative Prayer
  •  Sozo Prayer
  •  Holy Yoga
  •  New sound
  •  Vibrations
  •  Getting in tune with universe
  • Meditative mantra
  • Global consciousness
  • Positive and Negative energies
  • Crystals
  • Centering
  • Automatic writing
  • Channeling
  • Universalism

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8963

Erdogan: we will ‘strangle’ U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born”

Ellen Francis, Ezgi Erkoyun

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to “strangle” a planned 30,000-strong U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born,” as Washington’s backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies.

The United States announced its support on Sunday for plans for a “border force” to defend territory held by U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led fighters in northern Syria.

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad responded on Monday by vowing to crush the new force and drive U.S. troops from the country. Assad’s ally Russia called the plans a plot to dismember Syria and place part of it under U.S. control.

But the strongest denunciation came from Erdogan, who has presided as relations between the United States and its biggest Muslim ally within NATO have stretched to the breaking point.

“A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders,” Erdogan said of the United States in a speech in Ankara. “What can that terror army target but Turkey?”

“Our mission is to strangle it before it’s even born.”

Erdogan said Turkey had completed preparations for an operation in Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria.

The Kurdish-led regions in Syria say they need the border force to protect them against threats from Ankara and Damascus.

“To prevent any attack… there must be a deterrent force that protects the border between our areas and the others,” Fawza Youssef, a senior Kurdish politician, told Reuters.

“Until a political settlement is reached in Syria, these areas need protection. Now, there aren’t any guarantees,” she said.

The United States has led an international coalition using air strikes and special forces troops to aid fighters on the ground battling Islamic State militants in Syria since 2014. It has about 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria.

The U.S. intervention has taken place on the periphery of a near seven-year civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven more than 11 million from their homes.

Islamic State was effectively defeated last year, but Washington says its troops are prepared to stay to make sure the Islamist militant group cannot return.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an opening ceremony in Sincan near Ankara, Turkey, January 15, 2018. Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

For much of the war, the United States and Turkey worked together, jointly supporting forces fighting against Assad’s government. But a U.S. decision to back Kurdish fighters in northern Syria in recent years has enraged Ankara.

Meanwhile, the Assad government, backed by Russia and Iran, has made great strides over the past two years in defeating a range of opponents, restoring control over nearly all of Syria’s main cities. It considers the continued U.S. presence a threat to its ambition to restore full control over the entire country.

On Sunday, the U.S.-led coalition said it was working with its militia allies, the mainly Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to set up the new force to patrol the Turkish and Iraqi borders, as well as within Syria along the Euphrates River which separates SDF territory from that held by the government.

“DON‘T FORCE US TO BURY”

Turkey views the Syrian Kurdish forces supported by the United States as allies of the PKK, a banned Kurdish group waging an insurgency in southern Turkey.

“This is what we have to say to all our allies: don’t get in between us and terrorist organizations, or we will not be responsible for the unwanted consequences,” Erdogan said.

“Don’t force us to bury in the ground those who are with terrorists,” he said. “Our operations will continue until not a single terrorist remains along our borders, let alone 30,000.”

Syria’s main Kurdish groups have emerged so far as one of the few winners in the Syrian war, working to entrench their autonomy over large parts of northern Syria. Washington opposes those autonomy plans even as it has backed the SDF.

The Syrian government and the main Kurdish parties have mostly avoided conflict during the civil war, as both sides focused on fighting other groups. But Assad’s rhetoric toward the Kurds has turned increasingly hostile.

Damascus denounced the new border force as a “blatant assault” on its sovereignty, Syrian state media said. It said any Syrian who joined the force would be deemed “a traitor”.

“What the American administration has done comes in the context of its destructive policy in the region to fragment countries … and impede any solutions to the crises,” state news agency SANA cited a foreign ministry source as saying.

Assad’s allies have also chimed in. In an apparent reference to the force, senior Iranian official Ali Shamkhani said it was “doomed to failure”, Fars news agency reported.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “The actions that we see now show that the United States does not want to maintain the territorial integrity of Syria.”

“Fundamentally, this means the breakup of a large territory along the border with Turkey and Iraq,” Lavrov said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8961

More Than 100 Are Dead As The Worst Flu Epidemic In Years Sweeps Across The United States

By Michael Snyder, on January 14th, 2018

This flu season is already off to a record-setting beginning, and many believe that it could ultimately be the worst that we have seen in decades.  In fact, it has been reported that if we stay on this current pace that this could truly be the worst flu season in more than 50 years.  As you will see below, the CDC is reporting widespread flu activity from coast to coast, and the death toll has already crossed 100.  Here in the United States, flu season usually begins in October and ends in May, and so we still have a long way to go before it is over.

Normally the mainstream media tries very hard to keep the public calm about these things, but even the Washington Post admits that we are having “a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad flu season”…

The nation is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad flu season.

Flu is widespread in 46 states, according to reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nationally, as of mid-December, at least 106 people had died of the infectious disease.

Usually a flu outbreak is centered in one portion of the country, but this one is different.  According to the CDC, this outbreak is affecting the entire nation, and the number of cases climbed another 5.8 percent within the past week…

“Flu is everywhere in the US right now,” said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC’s influenza branch. “This is the first year we’ve had the entire continental US at the same level (of flu activity) at the same time.” It has been an early flu season that seems to be peaking now, he said, with a 5.8% increase in laboratory-confirmed cases this week over last.

Most people that get the flu don’t die, but it is very important for all of us to understand that this is a very serious outbreak.

In California, things have already gotten so bad that some hospitals have started to run out of Tamiflu

California has been particularly hard hit, with at least 27 deaths of people under 65 attributed to the flu, according to reports. As the number of cases continues to climb there, hospitals are beginning to run out of Tamiflu, the anti-viral medication used to treat the illness.

If you live in an area where the flu is running rampant, it may be wise to avoid public areas for a while.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of us cannot do that.  Most Americans have work or school commitments that cannot be avoided, and the flu can often spread very rapidly in those environments.

Back during the bird flu scare a few years ago, some schools actually closed for a time, and we are starting to see that happen again.  For example, one school down in Texas had a “flu day” on Friday…

A school in San Antonio will be closed Friday for a “flu day” amid an outbreak of influenza.

“While closed, our school will be launching a Super Clean of each classroom for the health of our faculty, staff and students,” San Antonio Christian School posted on Facebook.

Texas has been especially hard-hit by the flu this season, topping Walgreens’ Flu Index, which compiles data from prescriptions used to treat the virus’ symptoms.

Every year the authorities relentlessly promote the flu shot, but large numbers of people that got the flu shot this year are getting sick anyway.

Sadly, the flu shot is not likely to protect you from the very powerful strains of the flu that are dominant this flu season.  In fact, the experts are telling us that the flu shot was only “around 10 percent” effective during the flu season in Australia this year…

U.S. flu specialists say they won’t completely know how powerful this present season’s antibody is until the point that the season is finished. In any case, Australia’s experience recommends viability was just around 10 percent. In the United States, it is 40 to 60 percent powerful in a normal season. Immunizations are less defensive if strains are not the same as anticipated and if sudden transformations happen.

Hopefully everyone out there is stocking up on Vitamin C and echinacea.  We still have more than two months of winter left, and the spread of the flu appears to be accelerating.

If you do get sick, please stay home and don’t expose others.  Many of us like to try to battle through an illness, and in the process we can inadvertently share it with others.

Eventually this flu epidemic will pass, but for now we need to be smart as we weather this storm.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8959

Strong Earthquakes Hit San Francisco And Mount St. Helens And Experts Warn They May Be Foreshocks For ‘Something Larger’

By Michael Snyder, on January 4th, 2018

Just when it seemed like things may be settling down, two very unusual earthquakes have hit the west coast within the past couple of days.  A 4.4 magnitude quake struck Berkeley, California just prior to 3 AM on Thursday morning, and a 3.9 magnitude earthquake hit Mount St. Helens in Washington state on Wednesday.  Overall, there have been 68 earthquakes in the vicinity of Mount St. Helens since New Year’s Day, and there have been a total of 629 earthquakes in the state of California within the last 30 days.  Could it be possible that all of this activity is leading up to a historic seismic disaster on the west coast?

The 4.4 magnitude earthquake along the Hayward fault very early on Thursday jolted people out of bed all over the San Francisco area

A strong 4.4 magnitude earthquake has rattled the Bay Area shortly before 3 a.m.

USGS is reporting the quake was centered in Berkeley. On KRON4’s real time earthquake map it shows the epicenter.

The quake struck at 2:39 a.m. and was centered near the Claremont hotel. The earthquake had a preliminary depth of 8 miles, according to USGS.

This wasn’t a soft and gentle earthquake that everyone kind of laughs about after it is over.

Rather, this was the kind of extremely intense earthquake that puts the fear of God into people.  In fact, one Bay area resident said that it “felt like a truck hit my house”

“I was actually awake putting my shoes on for work. It felt like a truck hit my house from the back which pushed my against the staircase railing, the walls were cracking and threw my cell phone and keys down the stairs. Pretty scary”

If this was the worst quake in this particular swarm, it won’t ultimately be that big of a deal.

However, USGS Geologist David Schwartz is warning that this 4.4 magnitude earthquake could potentially be “a foreshock of something larger”

“It is centered on about a five-mile-long section of the Hayward Fault that in the past 10 years has produced 30 earthquakes of magnitude between 3-4,” he told KPIX 5. “So it is a hot spot along the fault and this morning’s earthquake was the largest of that group.”

Schwartz said the real question in the hours after the quake was “is this a foreshock of something larger? That’s the concern.”

I have been writing about the shaking that has been happening on the west coast quite a bit lately, but I don’t think that people understand the seriousness of what we are facing.

Scientists assure us that the “Big One” is coming, and when it does arrive the devastation will be absolutely off the charts.  Just consider the words of seismologist Peggy Hellweg

Speaking to Daily Star Online, seismologist Peggy Hellweg, from the University of California, said the region is not prepared to deal with the fallout from such an earthquake.

She said that a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake could kill “tens of thousands of people”.

In financial terms, such a quake would likely cause “tens to hundreds of billions of dollars in damage”, she said.

And remember, she is talking about a magnitude 7 earthquake in her scenario.

A magnitude 9 earthquake would be many, many times more powerful, and it would easily be the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of the United States.

Meanwhile, Mount St. Helens was hit with a very unusual 3.9 magnitude earthquake on Thursday, and some believe that this could be a sign that the volcano is “recharging”

A series of 68 tremors, peaking with a magnitude 3.9 quake, have been detected in Washington state by scientists since New Years day.

The 3.9 quake is the second largest since 1981, the year after the natural disaster which killed 57 people and came minutes after a magnitude-5.1 earthquake.

Last month, seismologists at the University of Washington logged more than 80 quakes, four times as many as the average.

Earthquake swarms at Mount St. Helens are not unusual, but what we have seen over the first four days of 2018 has definitely gotten the attention of seismologists.

They are hoping that things will calm down at the volcano, but one seismologist did warn that “a larger quake could follow within 48 hours”.

We haven’t had a major volcanic eruption in the United States in a very long time, and so there is a lot of complacency out there right now.

But we should remember that the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 was “the deadliest and most economically damaging volcanic event in the history of the United States.”  The following comes from Forbes

Mount St. Helens is most commonly known for its major eruption in 1980, the deadliest and most economically damaging volcanic event in the history of the United States. The stratovolcano is situated just 96 miles from Seattle and 50 miles from Portland, making an eruption especially dangerous.

And Mount St. Helens is certainly not the only threat.  Personally, I am so concerned about a potential eruption of Mount Rainier that I even included one in my novel.

With each passing year it appears that our planet is becoming increasingly unstable.  Many believe that we have entered a time when seismic activity will be much higher than it has been previously, and that is going to have dramatic implications for our society.

Our tech industry is very heavily concentrated along the west coast.  When the “Big One” does finally strike, it could literally crash our economy overnight.

What the day arrives, are you ready for what will happen next?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8947

Burning Man Announces Newest Centerpiece: Temple to Greek Goddess

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz January 4, 2018 , 1:39 pm

“They sacrificed to demons, no-gods, Hashems they had never known, New ones, who came but lately, Who stirred not your fathers’ fears.” Deuteronomy 32:17 (The Israel Bible™)

The Burning Man Festival, held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada in August, has chosen its centerpiece structure, a massive wood temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Gaia, that is just one of the many pagan symbols featured at the popular desert gathering.

The festival has certainly evolved from its humble beginnings over 30- years ago when 20 artists gathered on a Beach in San Francisco. The annual event is now a high-profile gathering that attracts over 70,000 to its isolated desert location.

The Burning Man organizers announced two weeks ago that they chose the design for the centerpiece temple of the festival. This year they will build a massive structure composed of 20 wood trusses converging as a spiral. In the center will be a large mandala, a symbol used by Buddhists as an aid in meditation. Designed by Mamou-Mani, a London-based French architect, the structure will be titled Galaxia.

Galaxia is a name taken from a science-fiction novel by Isaac Asimov. In new age mythology, Galaxia is the mother goddess corresponding to the Greek goddess Gaia, but on a higher, galactic, level. In mythology, Gaia is the personification of the Earth and the source of immortality. The worship of Gaia figures prominently in Neopaganism.

The architect was aware of the religious connotations of the structure but denied it was anything other than an aesthetic public gathering space.

“There is no religion, it’s a secular temple. It connects everyone from everywhere,” Mamou-Mani said in an interview with Reno Gazette Journal.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, disagreed, saying that the focus on religious symbols clearly revealed an intent.

“They are going out to the desert to hide what they are doing because they think God can’t see them there,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. “They try to hide their intentions, claiming it is not religious, not idolatry, but their actions reveal their intentions at every turn.”

In fact, the organizers of Burning Man declare a central theme every year. These have included Dante’s Inferno and Fertility. Every festival culminates in the burning of a massive wood effigy based on the neo-pagan/Druid Wicker Man Ritual which replaced human sacrifice. At last year’s Radical Ritual themed festival, a man died after running into the huge Burning Man effigy.

The campground is one large symbol, its boundaries marked off by a huge plastic fence forming a pentagon, an occult symbol used by pagans to outline the five-pointed pentagram star.

image: https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/170px-2005-Black-Rock-City.jpg

The pentagonal Burning Man camp (Photo via Wikimedia)

Religious symbolism is also prevalent at Catharsis in the Mall, an annual event associated with Burning Man. In addition to a wood temple, the event held in November featured a large sculpture of the Indian goddess Shiva the Destroyer. The two festivals share a 70-foot long seven-headed red metal dragon on wheels. The dragon, named after the ancient Egyptian god Abraxas, was clearly intended to reference Satan as described in the Christian Book of Revelations.

Rabbi Berger accepted this idolatrous trend as a good sign, a necessary precursor to moshiach (Messiah). The rabbi quoted Ecclesiastes to illustrate his point.

The one no less than the other was Hashem’s doing; consequently, man may find no fault with Him. Ecclesiastes 7:14

“We are seeing wondrous progress: the return of the Jews to Israel and Jerusalem, Jews going up to the Temple Mount, the ingathering of the exiles, and the blossoming of the land,” Rabbi Berger said. “Coincidentally, the amount of evil in the world is also rising. We are seeing horrors today never encountered before, both manmade and natural. This is all a prelude and will surely produce something unprecedented.”

Avodah zara (idolatry) is one of the prohibitions included in the Noahide laws, a universal mitzvah (Torah commandment) incumbent upon Jews and non-Jews. Though idolatry seems to contradict modern values, David Nekrutman, the executive director for the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC), believes that idolatry, as described in the Bible, is currently making a comeback in a different incarnation.

“When you use God for your own ends, that is paganism as practiced by the Egyptians and Mesopotamians,” Nekrutman told Breaking Israel News. “The pagan gods viewed man as lowly, used for their own enjoyment, and man placated the gods in order to get something out of them. The revolution from Abraham was that relating to God had nothing to do with man and everything to do with serving God. Serving God does not mean that he promises you an earthly reward.”

“Post modernism and secularism have a strong aspect of avodah zara. Secularism and materialism are a returning of the focus to ‘me’,” Nekrutman concluded.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8945