Category: Antichrist

Vatican to Visit Jordan in 2014; Israel Trip Still Possibility

Pope Francis will visit Jordan during a trip to the Holy Land next year, the state Petra news agency reported on Saturday, citing a senior Vatican source.

“During his (August) visit to the Vatican, King Abdullah II invited His Holiness to visit Jordan,” Petra quoted Vatican foreign affairs official Dominique Mamberti as saying in Amman. “We are currently looking at the preparations in detail for the visit, which should take place next year.”

“The pope’s visit to the Holy Land will begin in Jordan,” Mamberti said after meeting Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

He said Pope Francis considers Jordan to be “a holy land, and one that respects religious pluralism… necessary to create a climate of peace not only in the Arab world but also across the entire Middle East.”

During an audience at the Vatican on October 17, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas invited Pope Francis to the Middle East, saying he would “walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.”

The invitation from Abbas followed one from President Shimon Peres earlier in the year.

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to meet with Vatican officials in Rome on Monday to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, Francis has not yet visited Israel.

The Pope had already said he would like to visit the Middle East in 2014, but the Vatican has not yet officially confirmed the trip, despite a report by Channel 2 that it will take place in March.

Francis has said he would like to visit the patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians.

Unconfirmed information from Roman Catholic sources in Israel indicated to AFP a possible papal visit to a refugee camp for Syrians in Jordan. Maronite sources have also hoped for a possible trip to Lebanon to preach reconciliation in the region.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5884

13 Nephilim Skulls Found In Mexico?

                      By Michael Snyder, on November 20th, 2013

So much of what we have been taught about ancient history is simply not true.  According to Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, a team of archaeologists working close to the Mexican village of Onavas has made an amazing discovery.  They reportedly found 13 ancient human specimens that had grossly elongated skulls.  You can find original photographs of this discovery right here, but the descriptions of the photos are in Spanish.  The Mexican scientists are telling us that these skulls are approximately 1,000 years old, and that no skulls of this nature have ever been found in this region of Mexico before.  So exactly what is going on here?  Are these elongated skulls simply the product of an ancient technique known as “cradle-boarding”, or is there another explanation?  Could these actually be Nephilim skulls that prove that an ancient race of hybrids once roamed the planet?  You might want to hold on to your hat – because the truth might shock you.

This group of elongated skulls in Mexico made headlines all over the globe when it was initially discovered.  A lot of people were really freaked out because a number of these skulls definitely do not look human at first glance.  A short video report about this discovery in Spanish is posted below…

So what would cause a skull to become elongated like that?  Well, without a doubt “cradle-boarding” (also known as cranial deformation, head flattening, or head binding) can produce an elongated skull in a young child.  And “cradle-boarding” is a decent explanation for most of the elongated skull specimens that we have found around the globe.

However, it does not explain all of them.  In fact, some elongated skull specimens have been found that could not have been produced by cradle-boarding.  Paranormal researcher L.A. Marzulli explained why this is the case during an appearance on Coast to Coast AM earlier this year…

In Paracas, on the coast of Peru, he and Richard Shaw, the director of the ‘Watcher’ series, visited a necropolis, a huge desert cemetery, and a museum that had some forty skulls originally from the graveyard. While some of the elongated heads were shaped by “cradle-boarding,” a type of skull binding that led to cranial deformation, others appear to be genuinely anomalous, having just one parietal plate, he detailed. Some of the skulls also have a large pronounced ridge, and a heart-shaped dome in the rear that can’t be achieved through cradle-boarding, he continued. “I believe we are looking at some sort of genetic manipulation…that are the remains of the Nephilim,” from around 3,000 to 3,500 years ago, he added.

For much more on this, check out the video that I have posted below of Sid Roth interviewing L.A. Marzulli about this amazing discovery in Peru…

Yes, without a doubt many elongated skull specimens were caused by cradle-boarding children when they were young.

But where did those ancient tribes get that idea?

Were they trying to emulate
something that they had seen before?

Were they trying to emulate a race of people that had been ruling over them at some point?

Brien Foerster is another expert that has looked into this extensively.  According to him, there is no possible way that some of the specimens in Peru could have been created through the process of deliberate cranial deformation.  The following is a short excerpt from a recent article by April Holloway

Brien Foerster, author and expert on elongated skulls, has presented some of the most spectacular research on the subject. He has found that while most skulls show clear signs of deliberate cranial deformation, there are a percentage of skulls, namely those found in Paracus, Peru, which are anatomically different and which cannot be explained by practices of head flattening. These skulls, he said, have a cranial volume that is 25% larger than conventional human skulls (cranial deformation does not increase volume), and which weigh 60% more. Brien Foerster outlines further differences: “they contain two small holes in the back of the skull, perpendicular to the cranial suture present in the parietal plate of the skull. Every normal human skull is composed of 3 major bone plates; the frontal plate, which ends at the upper part of the forehead, and the 2 parietal plates which lie behind this, intersecting the frontal plate making a “T” shape. The holes are thought by Lloyd to be natural; every human jaw has a small hole on either side which is for nerves and blood vessels to exit and feed the tissue there; these 2 holes at the back of the skull may perform the same function for the elongated skull. The other factor is that there is only one parietal plate, where there should be two.”

But most scientists ignore this information because it does not fit in with their accepted version of ancient history.

Fortunately, there are some areas of science that are starting to catch up with the truth a little bit.  For example, the following is from a recent Huffington Post article entitled “Ancient Humans Had Sex With Mystery Species, New DNA Study Shows“…

The ancient genomes, one from a Neanderthal and one from a different archaic human group, the Denisovans, were presented on 18 November at a meeting at the Royal Society in London. They suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups living in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet unknown human ancestor from Asia.

“What it begins to suggest is that we’re looking at a ‘Lord of the Rings’-type world — that there were many hominid populations,” says Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London who was at the meeting but was not involved in the work.

Yes, the ancient world was most definitely more of a “Lord of the Rings-type world” than most people would ever dare to imagine.

Now of course the scientists in that article are still really grasping for straws to explain what the data is telling them.  The theories that they present to the media as “facts” are really just theories that they have pulled out of their own imaginations.

But what these scientists are starting to realize is that some really strange things happened to the human genome in the ancient world, and that is what the ancient texts have been telling us all along.

Many ancient texts (including the Bible) tell us that long ago a group of fallen angels mated with human women and produced a race of hybrid creatures known as the Nephilim.

In addition to the incredible testimony contained in these ancient texts, we also have physical evidence of this race of creatures still with us today.  In a previous article entitled “Has An Ancient Giant Handprint Been Found In A Cave In Nevada?“, I discussed some examples of this evidence including a giant footprint, a photo of a giant finger and a giant handprint that has been preserved in a cave in Nevada.

But the reality of the matter is that a group of giants could actually be protesting in front of the White House right now and a lot of people still would not believe this stuff.

Why?

Because it simply does not fit in with what they have been taught all of their lives.  According to the textbooks, none of this evidence is supposed to exist.  So most people will continue to ignore what is right in front of their eyes.

But the truth is out there – you just have got to be willing to go where it takes you.

neph

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5855

Bank of America looks to biometric ATMs in new patent application

By Adam Vrankulj

November 15, 2013 – 

The Bank of America has pushed through a patent application, which describes a biometric ATM system.

Reported in ATM Marketplace, the patent was submitted to the USPTO in 2012, and published recently in 2013.

Specifically, this patent application outlines a system for authenticating users with a combination of a pin-code and fingerprint biometrics.

The design of a biometric ATM and the patent application certainly isn’t very specific, and at this point it looks like the BofA is staking out some territory for development, and doesn’t want to leave much room for competition.

“[A] fingerprint scanner for use in the systems and methods of the invention may use optical fingerprint imaging, ultrasonic sensors, capacitance sensors (passive or active) and/or any other suitable method to capture the digital image of a fingerprint,” is just an example of some of the unspecific language contained in this application. “Any suitable method for PIN validation and fingerprint validation may be used to validate the input PIN and fingerprints.”

It’s been widely acknowledged that payment systems and ATMs are a coming wave for biometric integrations, and it’s interesting to see the BofA making a move.

There are a few places where biometric ATMs are already a reality.

Reported previously, the Central Bank of Nigeria has teamed up with Dermalog for biometric POS systems as well as for biometric ATMs.

Likewise, in Kenya, Tracom Services has launched a new line of fingerprint ATMs in Nairobi.   

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5847

ISLAMIST SUPER-BLOC BEGINS FORMING IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Posted by Joel on Nov 12, 2013 in Updates | 0 comments

From the Clarion Project:

The following article is quite powerful as it pertains to the testimony of Biblical prophecy. On one hand, you have the Islamist government of Turkey aligning with the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas as well as Iran and Hezbollah, while Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States form their own defensive block.

A monumental strategic shift is taking place in the Middle East as an Islamist super-bloc is forming. Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood are making up with Iran and Hezbollah. Egypt and the Gulf states are forming their own alliance. The U.S. outreach to Iran and the Brotherhood has left it missing from the equation.

The alliances being formed are almost perfectly in alignment with my basic view of the coming structure of the region. First, you have Turkey at the head, leading the northern swatch of the Middle East, with Egypt increasingly isolated in the South. Daniel 11:40-45 states that Egypt will be conquered by the leader of the last days northern coalition. Isaiah 19 refers to this conqueror as “a cruel master”. Beyond this, for some years, I’ve also suggested that toward the end of the tribulation, the Beast coalition of nations will turn its rage against Saudi Arabia. The basic texture of things to come seems to be becoming visible. Of course, even as I say this, I must caution that at best, we only see through a glass darkly, and there will be many twists and unforeseen turns before the final period emerges. But this is all certainly well worth taking note of. The end of this age may be closer than most think. Let us be about the work of God.

Islamist Super-Bloc Begins Forming in the Middle East

Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood are looking to end the war in Syria with the goal of forming an Islamist super-bloc with Iran and Hezbollah.

By Ryan Mauro

Wed, November 6, 2013

 11-11-2013

by: 

Ryan Mauro

A monumental strategic shift is taking place in the Middle East as an Islamist super-bloc is forming. Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood Muslim BrotherhoodGlossary Item

A worldwide Islamist organization founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna that seeks to implement Sharia-based governance globally.

are making up with Iran and Hezbollah. Egypt and the Gulf states are forming their own alliance. The U.S. outreach to Iran and the Brotherhood has left it missing from the equation.

The Syrian civil war has pitted the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey against Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime since 2011. Now, with a bloody stalemate resulting in consequences each side fears, the two sides are looking for ways to make amends.

Turkey has been trying to move its relationship with Iran past the ancient Ottoman-Persian rivalry for years. The Erdogan government gave secret U.S. intelligence to Iran and in early 2012, informed Iran about ten of its nationals meeting with Israeli intelligence inside Turkey.

One of the architects of the Turkish-Iranian relationship is Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, who the Israeli Defense Minister described as a “friend of Iran.” Some Israeli officials privately refer to him as the “station chief in Ankara” for Iranian intelligence.

These statements about Fidan’s role is not hype. The recent U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Iraq, James Jeffrey, put it this way: “Hakan Fidan is the face of the new Middle East.”

Until recently, the bitter civil war in Syria blunted Fidan’s aspirations. Turkey’s ideological ally, the Muslim Brotherhood, is trying to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Iran’s most valuable ally. But now both sides are exhausted. The war is costly, bloody and no one is gaining anything by its continuance.

Turkey sees Al-Qaeda affiliates taking control of the Syrian rebel cause and Kurdish militias gaining control near the border. The cost of overthrowing Assad would be exorbitant. Al-Qaeda and the Kurds would be even stronger and sectarian warfare will exasperate the refugee crisis.

Assad’s Iranian and Russians backers want him (or at least his regime) to remain in power for strategic reasons, but both have to realize that his forces are overstretched and cannot hope to reclaim the entirety of the country.

High-level Turkish and Iranian officials are meeting with the expressed purpose of ending the sectarian conflict. An unnamed senior Turkey official told Reuters, “Both Iran and Turkey are at a point where they think they can work together on Syria.”

Turkey has become the “regional hub for the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization.” It also hosts a Hamas command post.  If Turkey is reaching out to Iran, it must be assumed that the Brotherhood is doing the same.

In late September, it was revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to unite Islamists into an international “Islamic Council.” At the same time, representatives from Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah were meeting and agreed to form an “axis of resistance.”

Hamas has been in a dire financial crisis since losing Iran’s support and its stress is only going to increase as the Egyptian government continues to shutdown Hamas’ smuggling tunnels on the Sinai-Gaza border. The Iranians and Hezbollah are spending a ton of resources to save Assad from the Brotherhood-supported rebels. Both sides have major incentives to reach a settlement.

Economics and resources also play a role in the Turkish-Iranian relationship. Their trade is due to reach $30 billion by 2015. Iran wants Turkey to replace the pro-West United Arab Emirates as a re-exporting center, and Turkey wants to be a bigger customer for Iranian natural gas.

A major breakthrough happened when Hamas Deputy Politburo Chief Moussa Abu Marzook publicly criticized another Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, for supporting the Syrian rebels. Marzook emphasized that Hamas has no official relationship with the rebels.

Hamas leaders began calling for renewed violence against Israel, Mashaal showed up in Turkey and a planned trip to Iran was reported. It was subsequently reported that Iran postponed the visit, but there have been secret high-level visits from other Hamas officials recently.

Another important player is the U.S. “ally” Qatar. It is firmly in the camp of Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Qatari Emir is making overtures to the new President of Iran.

Saudi Arabia is leading a third bloc that opposes Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. The United Arab Emirates has loudly lobbied for such a coalition. Other members include Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen and Oman. The North African countries of Libya, Morocco and Algeria are likely participants, as is Tunisia once the Brotherhood’s ousting there is completed.

This is the bloc that is the least hostile to U.S. interests and Israel. It’s been long reported that these countries privately welcome an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program. Their officials are holding secret meetings in Israel.

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia is a ShariaShariaGlossary Item

A legal framework to regulate public and private aspects of life based upon specific Islamic teachings. Sharia is a strict system which views non-Muslims as second-class citizens, sanctions inequality between men and women and prescribes cruel and unusual punishments for crimes.

-based Salafist SalafistGlossary Item

Islamic movement formed in the early 20th century that holds that Muslims must reject much of modernity and replicate the lifestyle of Mohammed and early Islamic authorities; often used synonymously with Wahhabism.

state that cannot be expected to support Muslim moderates with a diametrically-opposed vision. The Saudis are supporting so-called “moderate” Salafists in Syria to compete with Al-Qaeda.

A rebel commander says that “Saudi tribal figures have been making calls on behalf of Saudi intelligence” and spreading money around to buy loyalty.

Approximately 50 rebel groups near Damascus announced they were uniting into the “Army of Islam” and would fight for a country solely based on Sharia. It is suspected that the Saudis engineered this in order to steer the rebel cause.

There may be a difference of opinion within this bloc regarding Syria. Egypt has not taken a clear stance. It isn’t adding its voice to the Saudis’ loud demands that Assad step down, but it isn’t dissenting either.

Where does the U.S. fit into all this? Nowhere.

The U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has alienated the majority of Egyptians. After the Obama Administration suspended a significant amount of military aid, the Egyptian government embraced Russia as an alternative.

The U.S. outreach to Iran and minimal support for the Syrian rebels has caused Saudi officials to talk of a “major shift” away from America. Secretary of State John Kerry tried to soothe the Saudis with a visit and a joint statement reiterating that Assad must be removed from power.

The Saudis are eager to convince Russia to end its support for Assad in exchange for a secret oil deal and strategic alliance. The Saudis may also move aggressively towards China; a country that has been a bigger customer for Saudi exports than the U.S. since 2009. It is apparent that Asia is going to become the most important customer for Saudi oil.

 

If the Turkey-led Sunni Islamists and the Iran-led Shiite Islamists divide Syria and agree to a ceasefire, a formidable cross-sectarian Islamist bloc will form. The Saudis, Egyptians and other Gulf states already see the U.S. as an unreliable partner and are looking to Russia and China for help.

This is the consequence of the ill-conceived American policy in the region. 

0909-turkish_islamic_union

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5830

BISHOP FELLAY ON POPE FRANCIS – False Prophet

Bishop Bernard Fellay warned on October 12, “The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”

He said this in an address at the Angelus Press Conference, the weekend of Oct 11-13, 2013, in Kansas City.

Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, gave an extensive lecture on Saturday afternoon that focused on the Third Secret of Fatima, and its apparent prediction of both a material chastisement and a great crisis in the Church.

This report will highlight some of the more dramatic aspects of the Bishop’s Saturday conference and his Sunday sermon.

Bishop Fellay quoted in detail Sister Lucia’s words, those who have read the Third Secret, and those who have knowledge of the Secret. He noted Sister Lucia said that if we want to know the contents of the Third Secret, read chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalypse.” (details of the Third Secret will be contained in the upcoming November edition of Catholic Family News)

Sister Lucia’s reference to Chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalypse is particularly chilling, since the end of Chapter 13 speaks of the coming of Antichrist.

Bishop Fellay noted that Pope St. Pius X said at the beginning of his pontificate the ‘son of perdition’ may already be on the earth. He also noted the original prayer to Saint Michael of Pope Leo XIII mentions that Satan aims to establish his seat in Rome.

The bishop quoted Cardinal Luigi Ciapi, the Papal Theologian of all the Popes from Pius XII to John Paul II who said, “In the Third Secret we read among other things that the great apostasy in the Church begins at the top.”

He also spent a good bit of time on the famous and dramatic 1957 interview of Father Fuentes with Sister Lucia, in which she reiterated that “various nations will disappear from the face of the earth,” and that “the devil will do all in his power to overcome souls consecrated to God.”

Since the ministers of God are struck with this confusion and disorder, the faithful are left to fend for themselves for their own salvation. The help that should be provided by Churchmen is not there. This is “the greatest tragedy you can ever imagine for the Church.”

The times are very serious. We have to be serious about our salvation, “and to do this we are deprived of a very important element, which is the support of the [Church] authorities. What a tragedy.”

He spoke of Sister Lucia’s comforting words that God has given two last remedies for us: The Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart.

Rome/SSPX

Bishop Fellay alluded to the SSPX/Vatican drama of 2012: “When we see what is happening now [under Pope Francis] we thank God, we thank God, we have been preserved from any kind of Agreement from last year. And we may say that one of the fruits of the [Rosary] Crusade we did is that we have been preserved from such a misfortune. Thank God. It is not that we don’t want to be Catholics, of course we want to be Catholics and we are Catholics, and we have a right to be recognized as Catholics. But we are not going to jeopardize our treasures for that. Of course not.”

He continued, “To imagine that some people continue to pretend we are decided [still] to get an Agreement with Rome. Poor people. I really challenge them to prove they mean. They pretend that I think something else from what I do. They are not in my head.”

As for the discussions with Rome: “Any kind of direction for recognition ended when they gave me the document to sign on June 13, 2012. That very day I told them, ‘this document I cannot accept.’ I told them from the start in September the previous year that we cannot accept this ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ because it is not true, it is not real. It is against the reality. So we do not accept it. The Council is not in continuity with Tradition. It’s not. So when Pope Benedict requested that we accept that the Second Vatican Council is an integral part of Tradition, we say, ‘sorry, that’s not the reality, so we’re not going to sign it. We’re not going to recognize that’.”

“The same for the Mass. The want us to recognize not only that the [New] Mass is valid provided it is celebrated correctly, etc., but that it is licit. I told them: we don’t use that word. It’s a bit messy, our faithful have enough [confusion] regarding the validity, so we tell them, ‘The New Mass is bad, it is evil’ and they understand that. Period!’” Of course the Roman authorities “were not very happy with that.”

He continues, “It has never been our intention to pretend either that the Council would be considered as good, or the New Mass would be ‘legitimate’”.

“The [April 15, 2012] text we presented to Rome was a very, shall we say, delicate text that was supposed to be understood correctly; it was supposed to be read with a big principle which was leading the whole thing. This big principle was no novelty in the Church: ‘The Holy Ghost has not been promised to Saint Peter and his Successor in such a way that through a new revelation the Pope would teach something new, but under his help, the Pope would saintly conserve and faithfully transmit the deposit of the Faith.’ It belongs to the definition of infallibility [from Vatican I]. That was the principle, the base of the whole document, which excludes from the start any kind of novelty.

“And so take any kind of sentences from the text without this principle is just to take sentences that have never been our thinking and our life. These phrases in themselves are ambiguous, so to take away the ambiguity we wanted to put [in] this principle [from Vatican I]. Unfortunately, maybe that was too subtle and that’s why we withdrew that text, because it was not clear enough as it was written.

“So it is very clear our principle is always the same to stay faithful! We have received a treasure. This treasure does not ‘belong’ to us. We have received this treasure and we have to hand it to the next generation. And what is requested from us is faithfulness, fidelity. We do not have the right to jeopardize these treasures. These are the treasures we have in our hands and we are not going to jeopardize them.”

Pope Francis

 

Bishop Fellay returned to Sister Lucia’s 1957 statement that the Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart are the two last remedies God has given to mankind.

He said there is “definitely a ‘material’ chastisement of the world in sight. There is something big in front of us. “How? When? I have no idea. But if you put everything together, it is clear that God has had enough of the sins of man.”

He then spoke of those sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance, such as abortion, and the sins against nature, which was an allusion to the unnatural ‘re-definition’ of marriage and related sins. He also spoke of what appears to be a coming persecution of Christians.

“What do we do? Don’t panic, because panic is of no use at all. What you need to do is your job – your daily duty. That is the best way to prepare.”

He continued that we are in “very scary times” but we are not helpless. He noted the “the situation of the Church is a real disaster. And the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”

“In the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, I said, ‘the crisis in the Church will continue, but the Pope is trying to put on the brakes.’ It’s as if to say, the Church will continue to fall, but with a parachute. And with the beginning of this [Pope Francis] pontificate, I say, ‘he cuts the strings, and he put a [downward] rocket’.”

“If the present Pope continues in the way he started, he is going to divide the Church. He’s exploding everything. So people will say: it is impossible that’s he’s the Pope, we refuse him. Others will say [and this is presently Bishop Fellay’s position]: “Wait, consider him as Pope, but don’t follow him. He’s provoking anger. Many people will be discouraged by what people in the Church do” and will be tempted to “throw it all away.”

But, he reminded, God is “much, much bigger than we are. God is able to have the Church continue” and even can work through these imperfect ministers. “But once again”, he repeats, “don’t follow them. Follow them when they say the truth, but when they tell you rubbish, you don’t” follow them on those points. “Any obedience to be true must be related to God. When I say I obey to a person” he should be a “a mirror of God.” But “when mirror tells me contrary of God, it is no longer a mirror, then I don’t follow him.”

Bishop Fellay noted that we cannot simply obey the present Popes without question, because then we would destroy ourselves, we would endanger our Faith.

Following the warning of Sister Lucia, Pope Leo XIII and Pius X, Bishop Fellay further warned that we may be entering into the time of Antichrist, but we cannot know when, or how far off in the future this may be.

Sunday Sermon
Bishop Fellay returned to these themes at his Sunday sermon at the Pontifical High Mass offered at St. Vincent de Paul’s Church in Kansas city.

He amplified a few points regarding Fatima, the Secret, the 2012 drama with Rome, and then spoke of some of the many grave problems with Pope Francis.

“From the start,” he said, “we have the impression that we have something wrong with this Pope. From the start, he wanted to distinguish himself to be different from anybody else.”

A small example of this is Francis’ insistence on wearing black shoes instead of the red papal shoes, but this is minor compared to greater issues. We must look, said the bishop, at what is his vision of the Church, his vision of the Council, and what is his plan.

It was around the time of World Youth Day, late July of this year, that Francis began an avalanche of talks, interviews, phone calls, etc. “We may not have the entire picture at this point, we have enough to be scared to death.”

As is typical of the Modernist, as Pius X warned in Pascendi, the Modernist will sometimes speak in a heretical fashion, and then speak in an orthodox manner. Bishop Fellay gave the example of one of these contradictions:

He spoke of interview in early October that Pope Francis conducted with the atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari in Rome’s La Repubblica wherein Francis appears to promote a dangerous relativism:

Scalfari: “Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?”

Pope Francis: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”

Scalfari: “Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that’s one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.”

Pope Francis: “And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

With a good deal of emotion, Bishop Fellay said of the Pope’s response: “That’s really not Catholic! Because whatever I think has absolutely no value if it does not fit with reality. We have a conscience, but it will only lead us to Heaven if our conscience is a mirror of God.” The conscience must be formed according to God’s law. “So to pretend that anyone can full his own idea is just rubbish,” said Fellay, “It has nothing to do with Catholic teaching. It is absolute relativism.”

About a week after this, however, Pope Francis spoke of the necessity of fighting the devil, the final battle with the devil, that nobody can fight the devil half way, and that we must fight relativism. Francis said the opposite of what he said to La Repubblica. “There is the contraction with him”.

Francis: A Man of the Council

Next: what is the vision of Pope Francis on Vatican II? This is found in his much-publicized recent, lengthy interview with the Jesuits, published in various publications throughout the world, and in the Jesuit’s America magazine in the United States

Bishop Fellay says that Pope Francis “takes it for granted that the Council was bright success. What was the main theme of the Council?” To re-read the Faith in light of modern culture. You could say, “to incarnate the Gospel in the modern world.” Francis “is very happy with this…” and believes “The Council brought forth many good fruits. The first example he gives is liturgy – the reformed liturgy. That is the beautiful fruit of the Council. That’s what he says. And he’s very happy with it.”

Francis tells us “this re-reading of the Gospel within the modern culture is irreversible, so we will not go back. We are in front of a major fight.”

Of the Old Mass, Francis speaks of the “Vetus Ordo” (Old Order). Francis believes that Pope Benedict probably helped restore the Old Mass as a prudential act for those who still hold to it. “But don’t expect Francis to come back to the Old Mass. Maybe he will ‘indulge’ it [let us celebrate it unmolested]. God knows.”

But Francis “sees there is a problem with this Old Mass. Because there are people who ideologize this Mass. Guess to whom he is aiming? I don’t need to say much. So what is going to happen with us? What I see: there is quite an obsession in him about those people who look to the past. Listen to the Pope’s words”:

Pope Francis: “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation. … If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life.”

Bishop Fellay continues, “The impression we have in the present Pope is that he has a zeal for the ‘more or less’, for the ‘about’; and he wants at all cost to escape what is too clear and too certain. But the Faith is like that [it is certain] because God is like that. Well, that’s not what he thinks.”

Another troubling quote from Pope Francis:

“If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt.”

Bishop Fellay exclaims in response: “What Gospel does he have? Which Bible does he have to say such things. It’s horrible. What has this to do with the Gospel? With the Catholic Faith? That’s pure Modernism, my dear brethren. We have in front of us a genuine Modernist.

“How much time will be needed for people in the Church to stand up ‘by no means!’ [will we accept this new teaching]. I hope and pray this will happen. But that means an enormous division in the Church.”

He speaks of the Pope making a mess, and reminds us that this is what the Pope urged at world Youth Day: he urged the young people to “make a mess”. Bishop Fellay responds, ”Incredible. We have never heard of this [a Pope speaking like this]. But that’s what he wants.”

Francis also tells us he is a greater admirer of the ultra liberal Jesuit Cardinal Martini (now deceased). Martini wrote a book calling for a total revolution in the Church. “And that is what Francis wants. And he told us the eight cardinal he chose to help him ‘reform’ the Church think like him.”

The bishop says, “We could go on and on” with such examples.

The final example: Ecumenism.

Bishop Fellay says Pope Francis claims “very little has been done in this direction.” This is astounding, the bishop notes, because ecumenism has launched untold disaster to the Church, to Catholic nations. Yet the present Pope says, “very little, almost nothing has been done in this direction.”

As part of his summing up, Bishop Fellay says: “The mystery of the shadow on the Church has never been so great. We are in front of very hard times. Don’t have any illusions. And it is clear the only solution is to stick to what we have; to keep it, to not let it go by any means.

“Pope St. Pius X said that it was the essence of any Catholic to stick to the past. The present Pope says exactly the contrary: forget about the past; throw yourself into the uncertainty of the future.

“Definitely we need the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What are experiencing is the Secret of Fatima. We know what we have to do: pray, pray, pray, and penance, penance, penance. To pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the means given to us precisely in these hard times; and to pray the Rosary.

“Be certain,” says Bishop Fellay, “The next [Rosary] Crusade is not far off. Go to the Rosary. Pray it every day. We live in very dangerous time for the Faith, and we need this Heavenly protection.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5749

Deadly giant hornets kill 42 people in China

By Madison Park. Dayu Zhang and Elizabeth Landau, CNN

updated 2:51 AM EDT, Fri October 4, 2013Hornet stings have killed 42 people and injured 1,675 in China since July

  • Shaanxi province sees unusual level of activity; dry weather, human moves are factors
  • People who have been stung are dying from allergic reactions or multiple organ failure
  • Type of hornet is also a threat to honeybees, often seen in Japan

Hong Kong (CNN) — Hornets have killed dozens of people in China and injured more than 1,500 with their powerful venomous sting.

The Asian giant hornet, known scientifically as Vespa mandarinia, carries a venom that destroys red blood cells, which can result in kidney failure and death, said Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist at the Southwest Biological Institute in Tucson, Arizona.

But perhaps a bigger problem than the toxicity of the venom is allergy, Schmidt says. Some people are naturally more allergic to stinging insects than others; a sting can trigger a deadly anaphylactic reaction, which may involve airway closure or cardiac arrest.

Since July, hornet attacks have killed 42 people and injured 1,675 people in three cities in Shaanxi province, according to the local government. Among those attacked, 206 are receiving treatment in hospitals.

What are these hornets?

In person, the Asian giant hornet, which is the largest hornet species in the world, looks like “the wasp analog of a pit bull” with “a face that looks like you just can’t reason with it,” said Christopher K. Starr, professor of entomology at University of West Indes in Trinidad & Tobago.

These hornets are found throughout East and Southeast Asia, in countries such as in China, Korea, Japan, India and Nepal.

And they’re big. The giant hornet extends about 3.5 to 3.9 centimeters in length (1.4 to 1.5 inches), roughly the size of a human thumb, and it has black tooth used for burrowing, according to an animal database at the University of Michigan. The queens are even bigger, with bodies that can grow longer than 5 centimeters (2 inches).

The species feed their young the larvae of other insects and use their mandibles to sever the limbs and heads of their prey.

The giant hornets are attracted to human sweat, alcohol and sweet flavors and smells. They are especially sensitive to when animals or people run, according to Xinhua.

Every breeding season, the giant hornets produce an average of 10,000 offspring. They feast on other insects such as wasps and bees, launching coordinated attacks on the hives of their prey.

Most hornet hives or nests are tucked away in secluded places, such as tree hollows or even underground.

“It’s very difficult to prevent the attacks, because hornet nests are usually in hidden sites,” said Shunichi Makino, director general of the Hokkaido Research Center for Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Japan.

What is the human impact?

Over the summer and early fall, hornets have invaded schools full of children and descended upon unsuspecting farm workers in China.

One of them is Mu Conghui, who was attacked in Ankang City while looking after her millet crop.

“The hornets were horrifying,” she told Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news agency. “They hit right at my head and covered my legs. All of a sudden, I was stung, and I couldn’t move.

“Even now, my legs are covered with sting holes.”

Two months, 13 dialysis treatments and 200 stitches later, Mu still remains hospitalized and unable to move her legs.

Makino, who specializes in entomology, warned that the sting from an Asian giant hornet was severe compared with those of other insects.

The influx of venom to the human body can cause allergic reactions and multiple organ failure, leading to death. Patients like Mu have been receiving dialysis to remove the toxins from their bodies. In photos, patients bore deep, dark craters scattered across their limbs, the size of bullet wounds.

Dr. Wang Xue, director of the intensive care unit at First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University and an expert of the provincial hornet sting treatment guidance unit, warned in a Shaanxi government release that hornets tend to be aggressive and more active during September and October, their breeding season. The hornets do not go into hibernation until December, according to local government authorities.

Local authorities have deployed thousands of police officers and locals to destroy the hives. About 710 hives have been removed and at least 7 million yuan (about $1.1 million U.S.) sent to areas affected by hornets, according to a government press release.

Why so many attacks now?

The spate of attacks could be caused by the unusually dry weather in the area, authorities say. The arid environment makes it easier for hornets to breed. Urbanization could also be a contributing factor, as humans move into hornets’ habitats.

Some experts cited in Xinhua stated additional factors such as increased vegetation and a decrease in the hornets’ enemies, such as spiders and birds, because of ecological changes.

In other words, it’s a .good season for the hornet population, which makes it a bad season for people who encounter them.

The provincial government of Shaanxi has warned residents to wear long sleeves when outdoors and not to attempt to drive the swarms away or remove the hives.

Japan is familiar with Asian giant hornet stings, too. About 30 to 50 deaths are reported each year in Japan from such attacks, according to Japanese studies. Most of the deaths are due to allergies to the venom, Makino said.

The giant hornets are also destructive to western honeybees. Research in Japan suggests that tens of thousands of honeybee hives are damaged by the giant hornets each year.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5716

Georgia’s Own Doomsday Stonehenge Monument

By Jill Neimark

“Planned genocide has begun,” read the Facebook entry on one of the groups I browse daily. The link: a picture of five monoliths looming like an American Stonehenge over a lush and lonely hill in remote Elberton, Georgia. I was only an hour away at the time, and decided to visit them in person.

The nearly twenty-foot granite slabs, known as the Georgia Guidestones, have sparked controversy around the world – praised by Yoko Ono, defaced by conspiracy theorists, featured on the History Channel, and the subject of the conspiracy web series Guidestones. The monument – five upright stones topped by a capstone – weighs nearly 240,000 pounds and is inscribed in eight languages with ten instructions for humans post-apocalypse. Three decades after being erected, the monument’s true purpose is still being argued, and its quasi-commandments can seem either sincere or satanic.

The most controversial instruction is the first: that humanity should be maintained under half a billion. Nearly as controversial is the sixth instruction, which proposes that nations resolve disputes in “a world court.” The stones also boast a few odd astronomical features – a hole through which you can see the North Star each night; a slot through which you can watch the sun rise during the summer or winter solstice; and a hole on the capstone which functions as a solar calendar at noon.

“Let these be Guidestones to an Age of Reason” reads the capstone in classical Greek, Sanskrit, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Babylonian cuneiform.

Curious Origins

The Guidestones were erected in 1980 and have captured the curiosity of astronomy buffs, peaceniks, pagans, and preachers over the decades since. Conspiracy theorists have decoded them; pagans have held rituals around them; graffiti artists have defaced them. They are as riveting for their curious origins and enigmatic intentions as they are for the cacophonous range of responses they evoke in observers.

The monument was commissioned in 1979 by a now deceased, anonymous donor calling himself “R.C. Christian.” According to the also deceased Joe Fendley, then president of the Elberton Granite Finishing Company, Mr. Christian was a tall, well-dressed stranger who showed up in his office on a Friday afternoon and offered to pay a substantial sum of money for the construction of the monument. Fendley sent him over to Wyatt C. Martin, then president of the Granite City Bank.

Within a few weeks, Christian had wired money to the bank and brought in a wooden model of the monument, and the quarrying and construction had begun. Over 4,000 letters were ultimately etched into the surface of the stones. A year later, on March 22, 1980, the Guidestones were unveiled – on a former cow pasture on U.S. Highway 77.

 

A Visit to the Rough-Hewn Giants

Last August I drove into the sleepy town of Elberton, past signs boasting “Granite Capital of the World,” along remote and winding roads, to see the Guidestones.

I wondered what this American Rorschach would feel like to me. They cast a strange spell that sunny afternoon – outstandingly incongruous on a well kept grassy knoll in the proverbial middle of nowhere. Perhaps if they’d towered over the north rim of the Grand Canyon they would have blended with rock and sky. But nesting like alien tombstones in the rural south, down the road from the white spires of Baptist and Methodist churches, the stones seemed eerie, and brought to mind Henry James’ famous impression of Stonehenge: “You may put a hundred questions to these rough-hewn giants as they bend in grim contemplation of their fallen companions, but your curiosity falls dead in the vast sunny stillness that enshrouds them.”

Meeting the Man Who Knows

A few days later I visited the only man alive who actually knows who built the Guidestones – and he isn’t telling. Banker Wyatt Martin, who is now 82, now lives with his second wife in quaint Greensboro, Georgia.

“You just missed the History Channel,” he greeted me, motioning to a chair on the porch. “They filmed me right here for three hours.” We sat and talked as a light rain drizzled down upon the oak and pecan trees, and Martin speculated that a large part of the enduring controversy is due to the mystery of the stones’ origins.

“People ask, ‘Isn’t it hard being the only one left alive who knows who he really was?’” said Martin. “They could put a gun to my head and kill me, I will never reveal his real name. In my age and my profession you stuck by a promise of confidentiality.

“Last year I went with a few friends over to an old bridge on Lake Oconee and we dumped all correspondence associated with the Guidestones into a metal barrel and burned them. Then we poured the ashes into the lake. It’ll never be known. And that’s what he wanted. He always said if you want to keep people interested, you can let them know only so much.”

 At the time the stones were built, Martin reminded me, it was the height of the Cold War, when Armageddon and nuclear winter loomed over America. In a chapbook on the Guidestones that Christian wrote and published, he states, “We are entering a critical era. Population pressures will soon create political and economic crisis throughout the world… We are like a fleet of overcrowded lifeboats confronted with an approaching tempest… There are alternatives to Armageddon. They are attainable.” The guides of the ‘graven stones’ were meant to provide those alternatives.

Was Christian a Christian?, I ask Martin. Martin thinks he was. Others suspect he was influenced by Rosicrucian thought. Rosicrucians formed a European secret society in the 1600’s known as “the brotherhood of R.C.” or the “Fraternity of the Rosie Cross.” According to their first manifesto in 1614, “The word R.C. should be their seal, mark and character.”

Those who believe the stones are influenced by Rosicrucian thought point to the text on the capstone, which echoes the title of Thomas Paine’s famous apologia “The Age of Reason.” Paine was both a deist (one who believes the existence of God can be proven by reason and observation) and a Rosicrucian.

Martin has been hectored for his association with the Guidestones. “Some evangelicals, of which I am one, claim it’s the work of the devil and the Antichrist,” he explains. Conspiracy theorists, meanwhile, claim the stones are the work of the New World Order, a purported global elite that intends to depopulate the world through controlled genocide and then rule it. In 2008, vandals defaced the surface of the slabs, spray-painting “Jesus will beat u satanist” and “No one world government.”

One of the monument’s most prominent conspiracy theorists is computer analyst Van Smith, of Arkansas. His website, Van’s Hardware, offers extensive analysis of the stones.

“The purpose of the monument’s ten edicts,” Smith wrote me by email, “is to establish the groundwork for a totalitarian global government. The proportions of the stones predict the exact height in feet of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, now the world’s tallest building. Both the Guidestones and the Burj allude to the Tower of Babel. Also be aware that there is a supposed to be a time capsule buried a few feet west of the monument… According to the story, the capsule is only to be opened when signs are made obvious by the monument of an impending global cataclysm. And the North Star sighting hole is probably the feature that was intended for detecting the feared cataclysmic event, if the story I was told is true. The hole is similar to a device created by the Hopi to detect a similar calamity.”

The True Message

In truth, according to astronomer Loris Magnani, of the University of Georgia, the astronomical features of the Guidestones are mediocre at best. “I visited in order to see if they could really function as an observatory, which Stonehenge could have. The Guidestones are an abacus compared to Stonehenge’s computer. They’re very ordinary. You could do the same thing with concrete in your back yard.

“To see the North Star, which is at a latitude of 34 degrees, you just drill a hole due north at a 34 degree angle. The hardest part is drilling the concrete. As an astronomer, I can tell you there’s nothing much there. As to the instructions on the stone, that’s a whole other issue.”

And it is the instructions, indeed, that speak to our hopes and fears. Though they trace their origins to the Cold War era, they arouse unease today over a different kind of Armageddon. As I stood there before them I thought of our present realities of climate change, soaring global population, and the devastation of species. We were 3.4 billion when the Guidestones were erected. We are now 7 billion headed to 10 billion by 2050. “Be not a cancer on this earth,” the tenth and final inscription on the stones commands. “Leave room for nature. Leave room for nature.” That afternoon, those rough hewn giants could not have been more eloquent.

guidestones

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5644

IS U.S. MILITARY SAUDI MERCENARY FORCE?

Joseph Farah

I can’t believe what I’m hearing in Washington these days.

Did John Kerry, who achieved national fame as an anti-war protester, really say that the Arabs have agreed to pay for the overthrow of the Syrian regime?

Did the man who opposed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein after he voted for it in the U.S. Senate become the No. 1 war hawk in the country?

Did the man who accused U.S. military men in Vietnam of routinely committing all manner of atrocities a la Genghis Khan suddenly come to the conclusion that missiles are more discriminating in their destructive power than soldiers with consciences?

Honestly, the hypocrisy of the political left is so thick and so blatant, I can’t believe duplicitous, double-talking monsters like Kerry and Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel and Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are even taken seriously anymore.

Why does anyone believe anything they say?

Please don’t tell me they are anti-war. They are anti-war only when it suits their purpose. They are anti-war only when the going gets tough. They are anti-war only when they are not running things. They are anti-war only when it is convenient for them. They are anti-war only when it is politically expedient for them.

There is no principle in them whatsoever.

They are liars – pure and simple.

I can almost understand John “the poker player” McCain. He never met a war he didn’t like. I get that. He’s dead wrong. But at least there is some consistency. He’s a hawk. On Syria intervention, his only question is whether lobbing some cruise missiles at unspecified targets is doing enough. He doesn’t know good guys from bad guys or bad guys from really bad guys. He’s become a walking anachronism. But, give him his due, he’s consistent – even if he’s consistently wrong.

How does one begin to comprehend the newfound machismo and phony bravado of the Obama inner circle?

How does Kerry, after dining so famously with Bashar Assad, his wife and Teresa Heinz-Kerry and characterizing the Syrian leader as a positive force for peace and stability in the Middle East, now enthusiastically call for bombing him?

I’ll tell you how.

I’ve said it before.

And since I said it others have come suddenly come to the same conclusion.

The Saudis are demanding it.

Kerry as much as admitted it when he said “the Arabs” are willing to finance the whole war with Syria. What Arabs do you think he means? It’s not Jordan. It’s not Egypt. It’s the oil sheikhs.

And we all know when the Saudis speak those who listen and respond adoringly wind up as wealthier men after they leave their temporary elected or appointed political offices. It’s a better deal than the K Street lobbyists offer.

Jimmy Carter is no longer farming for peanuts after doing their bidding.

Bill and Hillary Clinton no longer have to worry about writing any more unjustifiably big-advance, low-selling books.

George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush certainly don’t have to worry about where their bread is buttered.

And we all know Kerry, who twice fell in love with and married heiresses, is always looking for opportunities for more personal wealth.

Could it be that simple?

Just study Occam’s razor, the principle that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions is probably right.

That leads me to conclude that these men and women are content with the hideous, almost unspeakable notion that the U.S. military can and should be used as a Saudi mercenary force if it is in their best personal interests.

I know it’s almost too unbelievably horrific to imagine, but try to explain why American leaders are seriously debating a wildly unpopular military attack on a faraway nation that poses no threat to U.S. security and is disconnected with any U.S. vital interests.

This is what Congress should be investigating. This is what Congress should be holding hearings about. This is what Congress should be debating – not whether to authorize an attack Syria, but why the executive branch is so determined to do so, with or without Congress’ approval.

a flag

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5617

The Return Of The Kings Of The North And South

 All you need to do is read Genesis to understand why Islam is fighting itself. The Scripture tells us Ishmael was a wild man and would fight against his brothers. Please read this from Jack Kelley.

“At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships” (Daniel 11:40)

Several times over the last few years I’ve made mention of my belief that two powerful and opposing forces of Biblical times were in the process of re-emerging to become part of the increasingly complex situation in the Middle East. These two adversaries are called the King of the North and the King of the South in Daniel 11 and recent events show they’ve both taken a giant step toward fulfilling their prophetic destiny.

My most recent study on this subject is not quite two years old and appears under the title “The Three Kings Of Daniel 11”. It’s named that way because in their end times appearance, the Kings of the North and South will not only oppose each other, they will both oppose the anti-Christ, who is called “the King who exalts himself” in Daniel 11:36.

Daniel 11:5-35 is a summary of the historical times of these two kings as they battled each other for control of what we now call the Middle East through several generations. They finally disappeared as the Romans were coming into prominence. It’s amazing to consider that Daniel wrote about all of them before any of them were born, squeezing over 100 historically documented prophecies into the first 35 verses of Daniel 11.

Daniel 11:36-45 are still future to us and require the re-emergence of these kings to be fulfilled. I believe in our current headlines we’re seeing signs that they’re preparing to rise and take their positions on the end times stage.

What Makes You Say That?

In my Mid East Update I reported that Saudi Arabia gave the Egyptian Army substantial assistance in its successful overthrow of the government. We now know that the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait were also involved. I mentioned that this concerns the US because of the possibility that these countries are banding together into a Sunni Muslim confederacy to oppose Iran. There’s a likelihood that they will support and even assist Israel in destroying Iran’s nuclear program. (The US is not opposed to a Sunni confederacy, but has been trying to build one around Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood in a revival of The Ottoman Empire. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have become too independent for American tastes.)

Now, several Middle Eastern news services are reporting that Iran is working to build a Shiite Muslim block to counter this move by the Sunnis. It appears that this block will consist of Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. This helps to explain why Iran is so heavily invested in Syria and Hezbollah. Iran has sent billions of dollars in advanced weaponry to both and has thousands of soldiers stationed in Syria as well.

And just this week the Syrian state news agency SANA reported that an agreement was signed in Tehran by the Iranian and Syrian central banks, granting Syria a credit line worth $3.6 billion for oil. Damascus will repay Tehran by providing the Iranians “investment opportunities of various kinds” in Syria. According to the mideast intelligence service DEBKAfile, Iran is moving step by step to control the Syrian economy and advance its scheme for drawing Syria, Iraq and eventually Hezbollah-dominated Lebanon into a Shiite economic bloc.

Some sources go even farther, claiming that Iran already controls Lebanon through its “wholly owned subsidiary” Hezbollah. And recently a senior Iranian cleric boldly stated, “Syria is the 35th province [of Iran] and a strategic province for us.”

A recent article in Commentary magazine confirmed that “Iran is not only arming and training President Bashar Assad’s forces, both regular and irregular, but it has also sent Hezbollah, Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, and units of its own Revolutionary Guards Corps to join his fight against the Sunni rebels. Add in the billions of dollars it has given Assad to prop up his regime, and it’s clear that if he survives, Syria will be another wholly-owned Iranian subsidiary.

“Whether Assad stays or goes is becoming irrelevant,” a diplomat in the region told Khaled Yacoub Oweis of Reuters. “The conflict is now bigger than him, and it will continue without him. Iran is calling the shots.”

And finally, the on-line magazine “Iran Focus” confirmed that Assad is not the issue. “Iran is primarily concerned with maintaining the Shiite crescent – which includes Shiites from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.”

History Repeating Itself

It can’t be a coincidence that these Shiite nations occupy the same territory formerly controlled by the King of the North, just as the Sunni Muslim block occupies territory formerly held by the King of the South.

While there are sub-groups on both sides, Sunnis make up about 80% of the world’s Muslim population with Shiites comprising the remaining 20%. Many people who aren’t familiar with Islam don’t realize that the relationship between the two groups has not always been friendly, even when they would appear to have common goals. For example, after the 2006 Lebanon war, when much of the Arab world was claiming victory, Osama bin Laden (Sunni) publically criticized Hezbollah (Shiite) for “jumping the gun” and attacking Israel before the time was right.

Current examples of sectarian strife can be seen in the fact that according to Gulf News, Hamas (Sunni) has lost the financial support of Iran (Shiite) for backing the rebels in Syria against the Assad government and has been told to switch sides if they want their aid restored.

Also, in the US there’s a fear that 10 years of “progress” in Iraq is being undone by Sunni/Shiite violence. Iraq has a Shiite majority being governed by a Sunni minority. The American advisors have never successfully addressed that issue and are now concerned that Iraq may soon erupt in civil war. Most observers see a not so subtle Iranian influence at work behind this.

The rivalry between these two sects of Islam goes back to the death of Mohammed when there was a battle over the right to succeed him and continues to this day. Most of their beliefs are identical but there are some differences. For example, they both believe in al Mahdi, but they don’t agree on who he will be or what he will do. Shiites believe he’s the 12th Imam, who will appear at a time of great crisis in the world to establish the Islamic Caliphate, or Kingdom, and enforce worldwide conversion to Islam. Sunnis believe he will revive the faith, but will not necessarily be connected with the end of the world.

What Does That Mean?

A growing number of observers believe this rivalry could easily escalate into an all-out Islamic war for control of the Middle East in a repeat of ancient history. Even though both sects have the capture of Jerusalem as their ultimate goal, each one wants to be the group that does it, and they’re apparently willing to fight each other for the privilege. The Bedouin saying, “I against my brother, my brothers and I against my cousins, then my cousins and I against strangers” comes to mind.

Of course, anyone familiar with the years of Catholic vs. Protestant strife in Northern Ireland knows that sectarian violence is not unique to Islam. But what would cause both Sunnis and Shiites to attack the anti-Christ as Daniel clearly prophesied (Daniel 11:40)? Especially if, as I believe, Islam will be the end times religion and alMahdi will likely turn out to be the anti-Christ?

We could understand their difference of opinion over who alMahdi will be to cause one or the other to oppose him, but what could cause both to do so?

I think the Bible gives us the answer.

“He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thes. 2:4)

“The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire” (Rev. 17:16)

Satan has always used used man’s need for a religion to help him achieve his goal of world dominance, but eventually he will have to make himself the only object of worship, unencumbered by any religious system. And just like the Jews were incited to murder when Jesus claimed to be God, so these Islamic kings will be outraged when the one they thought was the promised servant of Allah makes the claim that he actually is Allah.

In Islam there’s a saying, “Allah was not begotten nor does he beget.” When the anti-Christ proclaims himself to be God he will be committing blasphemy against both Allah and God. And when he and his 10 kings move to destroy Islam (Rev. 17:16), it’s easy to see how the kings of the North and South, with massive armies under their command, could forget their differences and unite against him.

Students of Biblical history will recognize in this a strategy frequently employed by God, that of turning his enemies against each other. You can find examples in Judges 7:22, 1 Sam 14:20, 2 Chron. 20:23, Ezek. 38:21, and Zech. 14:13.

Of course there’s a lot of ground to cover between where we are now and the fulfillment of Daniel 11:40. Thankfully, the Church won’t be here for most of the journey. My purpose is to alert us to the possibility that one more sign of the times could be in the early stages of fulfillment. Because every sign of the times we see strengthens our conviction that we’re living in the times of the signs. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.

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IRAN: ARMAGEDDON AT HAND, PREPARE FOR WAR

Iran is again asserting that Armageddon is at hand and that the Islamic regime’s followers, indeed all of Islam, must prepare for a monumental change in the world.

Officials of the Islamic regime last month held their annual conference on the Mahdism Doctrine to prepare for the coming of the last Islamic messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam, Mahdi.

Shiites, whose clerics rule Iran with an iron fist, believe that at the end of times, Mahdi, a 9th century prophet, will reappear with Jesus Christ at his side, kill all the infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all four corners of the world, establishing worldwide Islamic governance.

Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, said at the conference that, “I hope (Iran’s) Islamic Revolution is that of the righteous government before the coming,” according to Fars News Agency, the regime’s media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards.

“Righteous government” is a key to Mahdi’s return, the Shiites believe.

“It has been stated in the Islamic hadith that a wave of uprisings (such as the current upheavals in the Arab world) … takes place before the main uprising and that the righteous government (takes place) before the coming, which I hope (Iran’s) Islamic Revolution is that.”

The speaker said that metaphysics and modern technology have diminished human spiritualism, causing a sense of nervousness in which people have lost hope, and that this effect will reach its maximum before the coming.

“All mental crises are rooted in hopelessness and despair in life,” Larijani said, “and from a society point of view, this is because the big powers of the world are pushing for a culture that has no identity and with their power give their illicit desires a legal aspect. With the help of their media, they explain away the biggest corruption.”

Many regime officials participated in this year’s conference, including military commanders, and several guests spoke of the importance of the Shiite ideology on Mahdi’s coming and the need for jihad for the final battle. The Mahdaviat conference is convened annually to prepare for the coming.

A high Iranian politician said recently that he believes the Syrian revolution could be the catalyst for sparking a worldwide conflagration that will usher in an era of Muslim domination of the world.

 “One can smell from the crisis in Syria the coming … of the end of times and the coming of the last Islamic messiah,” said Ruhollah Hosseinian, a member of the Islamic regime’s parliament. Hosseinian has served as deputy of the Intelligence Ministry and a member of the board of trustees of the Islamic Revolution Document Center.

Based on hadiths by Muhammad and his descendants, the Syrian revolution is a start to the coming of Mahdi, Hosseinian said in a speech quoted by Fars News Agency.

Hadiths from Ali, the Shiites’ 1st Imam, also state that a sign of the coming will be the fall of the walls of Damascus.

Hosseinian told the audience that they should prepare themselves for war.

“The coming of his highness is assured … the prophet has promised that people from the east, which according to the hadith means Iran, take power and prepare for the government of Imam Mahdi.”

Despite the Islamic regime being under crippling U.N., U.S. and EU sanctions, it has refused to stop its illicit nuclear program. Over a decade of negotiations with talks as recent as April with the 5+1 world powers have failed. The West hopes that it could restart negotiations once Iran’s new president, Hassan Rowhani, takes office in August.

However, a former intelligence officer now defected to a Scandinavian country said the West must understand that even the election of Rowhani was by design by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, only to buy time so that the regime could reach its goal of becoming a nuclear-armed state. Some analysts believe that Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons is to facilitate the coming.

Any new negotiations must be prompt and serious, making the Islamic regime understand that there will be no wasting time, said the source, adding that the world’s balance relies on how the West handles the regime’s nuclear ambitions.

Iranian media said Rowhani would nominate Mohammad Forouzandeh, a former chief of staff of the Revolutionary Guard and a former defense minister, to head Iran’s nuclear negotiating team.

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