Category: Signs

Revival or Apostasy? :: By Alice Childs

Published on: January 7, 2018 by RRadmin7 Category:Alice Johnson Childs, General Articles

Rapture Revival

There seems to be a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding regarding the status and condition of the Church, the world, and the coming Kingdom in these last minutes of the last hours of the last days. We need to get clear in our minds, according to the scriptures, just WHO and WHAT is in play during these last days, as well as what the order of events are that lie just over the horizon.

We need to clear up some fundamental misunderstandings of WHAT the Church is, WHO the Church is, and what her role is before the Rapture. We also need to distinguish again between the differing groups of “saints” who are addressed in the Bible; and finally, we need to have a much clearer grasp of WHAT the Millennial Kingdom is, who will be in it, and what the purpose of it is.

So, in order to clear up our understanding, always according to the scriptures, let’s begin to clear up the errors and misconceptions beginning with the Church – her identity and her purpose.

First of all, we must come to understand what the Church is and what she is not. The Church Age is unique in all of scripture. Up until the call of Abraham, God dealt with humanity as a whole. With the call of Abraham, God began to fashion a people special to Himself. When Jacob came along (Abraham’s grandson) God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and thus all of Jacob’s physical descendants became the nation of Israel.

Thus, God then split humanity into two distinct people groups: Israel (the Jewish people who are the PHYSICAL descendants of Abraham), and ALL other people (non-Jews) who are called Gentiles. This dual separation lasted until AFTER Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection when a third and completely new entity was birthed at Pentecost.

This new entity was a “mystery hidden in God” and was completely UNKNOWN to ALL of the Old Testament prophets, as well as the disciples, who were in the dark about it until AFTER Jesus’ resurrection.

At Pentecost, the Lord then made a THIRD division to humanity by creating His “ekklesia” or His “called out ones” who were to become His body – of which He is the head, also called His “bride” of whom He is the Bridegroom.

This new “called out body” is made up of ALL believers in Christ Jesus, BOTH Jew and Gentile. Thus, there are now (present day since after Calvary):

(1) lost (unbelieving) Gentiles
(2) lost (unbelieving) Jews, and
(3) the Church of Jesus Christ made up of both believing Jews and Gentiles, who at salvation are made ONE “in Christ.”

The purpose of the Church is to do what Israel failed to do when she rejected Jesus as her Messiah, which was to be the instrument through whom God is revealed to the world. Israel failed, and thus the Lord (who already knew before He ever even created the world that she would fail) brought about the Church.

Now, the problem arises when people try to place the Church in the Old Testament (where it was completely unknown and not revealed) or when they try to REPLACE Israel with the Church, believing in error that God has finished dealing with national Israel and that He has no further use for her. NOTHING is farther from the truth! God is NOT FINISHED with Israel, and He has NOT REPLACED Israel with the Church! They are still TWO DISTINCT ENTITIES, BOTH with separate functions and destinies to fulfill in end-times events.

For now, national Israel is “on the back burner” so to speak, while the Church is center stage during this Age of Grace. But, when the Church is complete, she will be removed in the Resurrection/Rapture; and the focus of God ON EARTH will return once again to ISRAEL in order to finish up His plans and to fulfill all of His unbreakable covenants, which He made to ISRAEL through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (see Daniel chapter 9).

So, we see that Israel and the Church are NOT synonymous and that the Church has NOT replaced Israel in God’s plan for the ages, and never will.

There is great confusion regarding the event of the Rapture, with a great deal of confusion occurring over WHEN it will occur. As we shall see, the question is not just when will the Rapture occur, but it is also a matter of WHAT causes the Rapture to occur. Answering the latter helps us understand the former.

In trying to understand the WHEN of the Rapture, let’s first look at WHO goes in the Rapture, who doesn’t go in the Rapture, and WHAT triggers the Rapture.

First the WHO: In 1 Corinthians 15:50-56; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; & 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Paul gives us the answer to the WHO. The Resurrection/Rapture is SPECIFIC to those who are “in Christ” – that is those who have been made ONE through their belief which brings salvation after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.

This group of believers, known as the Church, is made up of ALL believers since Calvary, and includes BOTH the living believers and those who have died “in Christ” from the time of Pentecost up to the instant of the Resurrection/Rapture. This is the “body/bride of Christ. It is these believers – these CHURCH-AGE SAINTS who will be taken when the Rapture occurs.

As we shall see later on, the DESTINY of the Church-Age saints is DIFFERENT from ISRAEL and from the Gentiles after the Rapture occurs. Once the Church is removed from the earth via the Resurrection/Rapture, then God’s focus ON EARTH returns to ISRAEL and to the Gentile nations – BOTH of whom are LOST.

God will use the coming Tribulation (more correctly called “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), the “70th week of Daniel” (Daniel 9), or the “Day of the Lord”) to reveal Himself again to lost Israel and to a lost Gentile population. The Church will have already been completed and removed via the Resurrection/Rapture PRIOR to this last 7-year Time period known as THE Tribulation (as opposed to general tribulations).

Before we go any further, we need to understand that there are 3 (three) groups of people addressed in the Bible as “saints.” We need to clear up which group is which so that we are no longer confused as to who is who.

First there are the Old Testament saints. These OT saints are ALL those who placed their faith and trust in God’s COMING REDEEMER BEFORE CALVARY.

Next are the Church-Age saints who are all those who have believed and placed their trust in Jesus Christ, who IS that Redeemer from the time of Pentecost up to the Resurrection/Rapture.

And lastly, there will be a group of saints called Tribulation saints or Tribulation believers. These are ALL who WILL COME to salvation AFTER the Rapture; they are all those who WILL BE SAVED DURING THE Tribulation. THESE Tribulation saints ARE believers but they are NOT part of the Church, which by then will have already been in Heaven.

Now, having sorted those groups of saints out, let’s look at what triggers the Rapture. As we will see, it’s not strictly a matter of timing; it’s a matter of timing AND a matter of COMPLETION.

The Bible speaks of “the fullness” of the Gentiles “coming in.” What is meant by that?

As we now know, when God revealed to the Apostle Paul (in Ephesians) the “mystery” of the Church (that both believing Jews and Gentiles would be made ONE in Christ and that this new body of believers would have the Holy Spirit of God ETERNALLY SEALED WITHIN THEM), we learned that there is a certain NUMBER of Gentiles – the number of which God alone knows – who are to be grafted into the “olive tree” of Israel. Just what that number is and when the “full number” will be complete is known only to God.

Once the “full” (or complete) number of Gentile believers who are allotted to make up the complete Church has “come in,” or in other words, has been added to the body/bride, then the body/bride will be COMPLETE. Once it (the Church) is complete, then the Church Age (the Dispensation of Grace) will end, and God will then remove His Church to Heaven BEFORE the seven-year Tribulation begins. God will then turn His full attention back to Israel to finish and fulfill ALL of His covenant promises to her, and to prepare ISRAEL to accept her true Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom Israel earlier rejected.

Therefore, once the Church has been COMPLETED with her “full number” having “come in,” then the ones left on earth AFTER the Rapture will be the LOST Jews and LOST Gentiles. Those who come to salvation DURING the Tribulation will become the Tribulation believers, or Tribulation saints.

The “souls under the altar” in Revelation chapter 7 are those Tribulation saints who will have become believers AFTER the Rapture has occurred; those who will have died for their faith in Christ during the seven years of The Tribulation.

We know from scripture that 1/3 of Israel will become believers (Zechariah 13:8-9). God will preserve and protect these new believing Jews and will bring them through the Tribulation so that, by the end of the seven-year “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” ALL of Israel (that 1/3 who become believers and whose lives are spared) will be saved. All other unbelieving Jews will be killed; so the only portion of Israel left will ALL be believers in their true Messiah.

EVERY Jew who enters the Millennial Kingdom (at the end of the Tribulation) will be saved, as will every Gentile who comes to Christ DURING that time (those few from every nation that get saved – those that actually live to see the end of the Tribulation).

These believing Gentiles will be relatively few in number because the overall death toll during the Tribulation will be beyond enormous.

We also know that there will be some Gentiles who come to salvation during the Tribulation because, at the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Himself separates the “sheep” (believers) from the “goats” (unbelievers).

We further know that there will be some Gentiles at that judgment, because the criteria Christ will use to determine what Gentiles go into the Millennial Kingdom will be twofold:

(1) Only those who did NOT receive the mark of the beast will be saved.
(2) those who took care of – who sheltered, fed, clothed, visited the “least of these MY (Jesus’) brethren” and who did so because they loved Jesus.

Because Israel is NEVER counted among the nations (Numbers 23:9), this is evidence that there will be some saved from among ALL the Gentile nations who risked their lives to protect the 144,000 and any other Jews whom Jesus in Matthew 25 called “these my brethren.”

It will be ALL of (then saved) Israel and what Gentile believers (sheep) who make it through alive to the end of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble who will enter to populate the Kingdom. We know this is true because Revelation tells us that, during the Millennium, the nations come to Jerusalem to be taught by the Lord. And since Israel is NEVER counted among the nations, there MUST be Gentiles from all the nations in the Kingdom who will come out of the Tribulation.

Each of these people will still be in their MORTAL bodies. They will be the ones who will procreate and populate the Millennial Kingdom.

Now, in addition to those mortal believers (both Jews and Gentiles), neither group of which belong to the CHURCH, the MK will also have IMMORTALS dwelling there as well. The Church will already be in our immortal and glorified bodies, having gotten them at the instant of our Rapture. The Old Testament saints, along with ALL of the Tribulation saints who will have died or who will have been martyred DURING the Tribulation, will receive their immortal bodies at the END of the Tribulation just BEFORE Jesus sets up His Millennial Kingdom. These will also be among the immortals living and functioning among the mortals during the Kingdom Age.

So, in Revelation 7, the “SOULS under the altar” are all those who came to salvation DURING the Tribulation, who are believers, but who are NOT part of the Church; these are they who died or were killed by the Antichrist or his globalist minions.

Remember, there are Old Testament Saints, Church Age Saints, and Tribulation Saints. Don’t neglect to distinguish one from the other!

The Church-Age saints – both the dead and the living (all who have come to salvation from after Calvary to the Rapture), will be in Heaven in our new and immortal glorified bodies at the time of the Resurrection/Rapture, where we will stay until we return WITH King Jesus at the END of the Tribulation.

The souls of all Old Testament saints and of the martyred Tribulation saints will be with us (the Church) in Heaven, but they will still be in spirit form until the END of the Tribulation period.

ALL of these groups of saints come back WITH Jesus at His Second Coming, both the Church in glorified bodies, and the OT and Tribulation saints (who will come back with Christ in SPIRIT form). These will then receive their glorified bodies BEFORE they enter the Kingdom; so the MK will consist of both mortal and immortal beings (see Daniel 9 and Revelation chapters 19 – 22).

The purpose of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble is fourfold:

1) to cleanse the world of sin and rebellion
2) to prepare ISRAEL to receive her Messiah
3) to fulfill ALL of the covenants that God made with Israel
4) to restore Earth to its Edenic condition

So, will there be people saved AFTER the Tribulation? Yes, however they will NOT be counted as being part of the Church, which is the body/Bride of Christ, and who will be gone from the earth BEFORE the Tribulation begins.

The question remains, will there be a great “revival” or awakening BEFORE the Rapture? The answer is both yes and no.

NO in the sense that there are vast numbers of people (especially in America and the West) where the gospel has been preached and ignored for decades. Sadly, the vast majority will choose not to respond and come to Christ.

YES in that there are already, at this moment, millions of people who are coming to Christ in countries where the gospel has been curtailed, restrained, or even banished – such as in China, North Korea, and all across the Middle East. In that sense, there is already a great ingathering going on.

The Bible tells us that “when the fullness (full number of) the Gentiles has come in” – that full complement who will make up the body/bride is completed – then the Church will be complete and she (the Church) will be taken out of here in the Rapture.

This means that getting the gospel out must be our primary focus, because once that “last Gentile” who makes up the full complement” that completes the body comes to salvation, then the completed Church will be taken Home.

Amillennialists don’t believe in a literal Millennial Kingdom; and the “Kingdom Now” crowd believes that Jesus is unable to return until the Church brings the entire world to salvation, thus bringing in the Kingdom of God because Jesus is unable to do it. The problem with these false beliefs is a failure to recognize and distinguish between God’s distinct differences between the Church and Israel.

ISRAEL is the focal point of ALL scripture, and she is the focal point of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble – aka The Tribulation.

God IS NOT BOUND by fallen, sinful man so that He cannot return until the Church grows strong enough for Him to return. That is HERESY! Neither has God REPLACED Israel with the Church! That too is utter HERESY!

The books of 2 Timothy, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 2 Corinthians, Revelation chapters 2-3, et al, ALL point to a world in which wickedness, lawlessness, debauchery, evil and Godlessness are running rampant on a global scale. In Matthew 24 & Luke 17, Jesus Himself tells us that the conditions just before His return to earth will be “as it was in the days of both Noah and Lot.” Hardly a time of a world growing more and more “Christian.” In fact, it will be just the opposite of perfection.

Don’t be misled and lied to by wolves such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, or any others who are preaching and teaching the heresy that the Church must REMAIN HERE during the Tribulation in order to “bring in the Kingdom.” All who teach such false gospels obviously do not have a clue what scripture actually teaches. Do not be deceived by them! They are false teachers whose messages are diametrically opposed to what God states in His inerrant, infallible Word. Those who teach and preach such heresies are all LIARS.

Our job as the Remnant Church, until Jesus comes, is to share the gospel far and wide; we are to warn a lost world that certain judgment lies just over the horizon, and that the vanishing of the Remnant Church must and will occur before the time of Tribulation begins. That mandate has never changed.

Let us tell as many as we can how and why they need a Savior. At some point, that “last Gentile” WILL be saved. And when that happens, then the body/bride will be complete, and the Bridegroom will come for His Bride. Keep looking up. MARANATHA!!

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8949

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

Top Bible Prophecy Stories of 2017 :: By Jan Markell

Published on: December 20, 2017 by RRadmin7 Category:General Articles

Pieces of the eschatological puzzle continue to manifest daily. Even signs that are primarily Tribulation events are casting a shadow today. As I perused news stories of the year, I selected 15 items that tell us time is short. The King is coming soon. Don’t ever doubt that.

  • Jerusalem became a greater “burdensome stone” with Donald Trump’s acknowledgement that this is truly Israel’s capital and holy city. See Zechariah 12:3.Greater controversy will surround her in the year ahead.
  • The Gog-Magog alliance went on fast-forward. Iran, Turkey, and Russia are uniting with a primary goal in mind — coming against Israel as foreshadowed in Ezekiel 38-39. Turkey’s Erdogan threatened to “wipe out all Jews” after the Jerusalem announcement.
  • A new false god came on the scene and many hailed its arrival. An ex-Google executive is founding a church where artificial intelligence will be worshiped.  It’s called AI for short and keep your eyes on this in 2018.
  • The scoffing of eschatology went to a new level. Many said the announcement concerning Jerusalem was received well by many Christians only because it will hasten Christ’s return.  Many who love prophecy have given up finding a church that will address this.
  • One salacious scandal followed another in 2017 revealing that man’s character now reflects the end-time warnings of Romans 1 and II Timothy 3. 
  • Israel continued pounding targets in Syriaforeshadowing the day when she will carry out the prophetic verse found in Isaiah 17:1 — the destruction of Damascus.
  • The idea of micro-chipping is now so accepted that one news outlet said people will soon be eager to be micro-chipped. It was suggested that we will eagerly line up like dogs for a chip.
  • Lawlessness is growing and the ‘spirit of Antichrist’ seems to be poured out on the earth in greater ways this past year.  The Antifa movement is one illustration. George Soros is busier than ever in his waning years.
  • There has been an intensification of calling evil good (Isaiah 5:20). Islamic jihad proponent Linda Sarsour made threatening comments about President Trump yet almost became Time magazine’s “person of the year.” In the mind of the Left, Islam must be celebrated.
  • The world of technology has declared war on Christians and conservatives. Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and more, are pulling the plug or limiting righteous comments and ideology yet they often celebrate evil. This reached new levels in 2017.
  • The terms “peace and security” are used in the Bible in I Thessalonians 5:3. It is false peace and security. The term was used with greater intensity in the last year. Donald Trump has been heralded as the president who will bring Israel “peace and security.” On December 18, Fox News said President Trump would bring peace and security around the globe. The President stated that he “has laid a pathway to peace and security in our world.”
  • In spite of world turmoil, there is a greater “business-as-usual” atmosphere particularly in America. Since Donald Trump has been President, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed at record highs 82 times. The Bible suggests there will be such a comfortable time on earth when Christ returns in spite of the frequent “birth pangs” which have also been record-setting.
  • There is even more evidence that only Jesus ruling and reigning from Jerusalem will provide great government. It has become evident that mankind cannot drain a swamp filled with alligators and poisonous snakes!  Washington is corrupt to the core because mankind’s heart is “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).   Draining the swamp was a great campaign slogan but 2017 showed us that first man’s heart must be made new.

We can look at a list like this and focus on ” sighs of the times” rather than realize that they are ” signs of the times.” The pieces of the puzzle continue to fall into place. Nothing is falling apart but instead falling into place.

Because of the turmoil of our times, someone said that the future is not what it used to be. Not true. The future was foretold and is playing out with a precise script and a predictable end only because it is all outlined in scripture.We can watch it in high-definition color with surround sound and even in 3D.  We have front row seats! 

The King is coming, perhaps today.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8924

Born Again Christians Continue Declining, Only Minority Believe They Must Share the Gospel: Survey

By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter | Dec 1, 2017 7:45 AM

The percentage of born again Christians in America continues declining, a major religious survey has found. And only a minority of the faithful believe they have a strong personal responsibility to share the Gospel.

“Christianity in America is going through a time of substantial challenge. The Church at-large is not likely to grow in the future unless some fundamental changes in practice are made,” said researcher George Barna, speaking about the American Culture & Faith Institute survey results released Tuesday.

“Fewer churches emphasize and equip people for evangelism these days, and the results are obvious and undeniable. The implications of ignoring gospel outreach — especially among children, who are the most receptive audience to the gospel — are enormous. All the ‘church growth’ strategies in the world cannot compensate for the absence of an authentic transmission of the good news of what Jesus Christ has done for humanity.”

The results, drawn from a monthly nationwide survey this year that in total interviewed 9,273 American adults, found that just 31 percent of adults identify as born again, following a trend of decline since 2010.

ACFI warned that the demographic data does not give hope that the trend is likely to reverse in the near future, as older generations are more likely to be born again.

The poll noted that 33 percent of the 65+ age group category and 37 percent of the 50 to 64 group are born again, compared to 31 percent of those in their 30s and 40s, and only 23 percent of adults under 30.

“As older Americans pass away, the population proportion of younger adults will increase, continuing to drive down the born again proportion in the years to come,” the survey argued.

“Children and teenagers are exhibiting a lower likelihood of becoming born again, too, further limiting the possibility of the growth of this segment.”

Still, the research established that youngsters are most likely to accept Jesus Christ as their savior before they finish high school, as two out of every three individuals who become born again do so before the age of 18.

“Another 8 percent do so during the period traditionally thought of as college years (ages 18 to 21); 8 percent more do so from age 22 through 29; and another 8 percent do so during their thirties. Only 9 percent of adults accept Christ as their savior at age 40 or later,” the sruvey noted.

Republicans are more likely (45 percent) to be born again, compared to Democrats (27 percent) and independent voters (26 percent). The survey also found that 51 percent of political conservatives met the born again criteria, compared to only 27 percent of moderates and 19 percent of liberals.

The researchers believe that the decline in born again Christians is largely due to attitudes toward evangelism and salvation. Only 21 percent of adults affirm that they have a strong personal responsibility to share the Gospel with people who hold different views. Among born again Christ followers, 39 percent agree.

“Even more disturbing is the fact that adults are about equally likely to believe that eternal salvation can be earned through personal goodness or good deeds (25 percent) as believe salvation cannot be earned (20 percent). Once again, the profile of born again Christians on this matter was different — but not by as much as might be expected given their personal commitment to and experience of grace-based salvation,” they explained.

Fifty-five percent of Protestants and only 19 percent of Catholics said that eternal salvation is based solely upon their redemption by Christ.

A noteworthy shift in the last two decades, ACFI pointed out, is that 38 percent of Christians now do not identify as Protestant or Catholic, which was “virtually unheard of a quarter-century ago.”

“Today, that point of view is challenging the self-identification of ‘Protestant’ as the national norm. That change corresponds with the widespread decrease in peoples’ loyalty to social institutions and to adopting traditional labels for one’s views and relationships,” the survey stated.

As for the reasons behind decisions to follow Christ, 29 percent of born again Christians pointed to the influence of their parents. Church events influenced 20 percent of conversion decisions, and other family members or relatives influenced 16 percent of decisions to become a Christ follower.

Barna warned in his conclusions that American parents are failing to engage their children in the faith.

“If you eliminate both family and churches as evangelistic influences in a child’s life, what are the chances that the child will have a positive exposure to the gospel? They are very slim,” he said.

“In fact, the research suggests that the greatest hope in such circumstances is that they will face difficult life situations that produce a deeply felt need for a spiritual solution, and that Jesus will be among the options they consider. We are essentially abandoning both the future of the Church in the U.S. and the best interests of our young people through our wholesale dismissal of evangelism and the importance of having Jesus in our lives.”

Observers, such as Chuck Lawless, dean and vice president of Graduate Studies and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, have in the past suggested that Christians who don’t evangelize haven’t been “genuinely turning from sin to trust Christ.”

“Deep down, they believe there are multiple ways to God — and no one has intentionally, clearly shown them otherwise from the Scriptures,” Lawless said in July.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8897

Rare Trio of New Year ‘Supermoons’ Ends With Super Blue Blood Moon

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz December 4, 2017 , 11:30 am

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.” Joel 2:30 (The Israel Bible™)

A series of three supermoons began on Sunday and will end with a super Blue Blood Moon on January 31, giving what one rabbi explained is a triple-dose of divine judgement to “the haters of Israel” as the secular New Year comes in.

A supermoon occurs when the moon is at the part of its elliptical orbit that brings it closer to Earth, appearing up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than when it is viewed at its furthest point. On Sunday, December 2nd, a supermoon was visible over the United States, and two more supermoons are expected over the course of the beginning of the new year.

The upcoming supermoon on the night of January 1st will mark when the moon at its closest point this year and will be the largest of the three supermoons.

The final supermoon of the trio will arrive on January 31. It is also a ‘Blue Moon’, so called because it is the second full moon in a single calendar month. On average, Blue Moons happen every two and a half years. That supermoon will also feature a total lunar eclipse, with totality viewable during moonset from western North America across the Pacific to Eastern Asia.

The moon’s appearance will change during the eclipse, gradually getting darker and taking on a rusty or blood red color, making the astronomical spectacle a super Blue ‘Blood Moon.’

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, noted that God created the astronomical bodies as signs.

Hashem said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate day from night; they shall serve as signs for the set times—the days and the years.” Genesis 1:14

“The Talmud states that Israel is judged by our actions, by our commitment to Hashem (God), and not by astrological signs,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. “In fact, the Talmud states that a lunar eclipse is a bad sign for those who hate Israel.”

“People who cannot accept that God is behind nature are the haters of Israel, since our presence in the world bears witness to the fact there is a creator,” the rabbi explained. “God used nature to bring the plagues on to Egypt. But even when the plagues transcended anything that was ever witnessed before, Pharaoh refused to accept God as being behind them. We are seeing this today, with hurricanes and earthquakes occurring in unprecedented manners.”

The rabbi noted that even though lunar eclipses are regular, predicted events, they are a source of wonder and should be understood as signs.

The fact that complete eclipses, solar and lunar, occur with the sun and the moon blocking each other perfectly is indeed a wonder, and unique to the Earth. Astronomers refer to this as the ‘Grand Coincidence’: the fact that the sun is exactly 400 times larger than the moon but, since the moon is 400 times closer to the Earth than the sun, the two bodies appear to be the same size. This confluence does not appear on any other known planet.

This unique feature of the Earth is explained in the Talmud (Hulin 60b) as being an essential part of the creation story. The Talmud discusses the seeming contradiction in the verse describing the creation of the sun and the moon.

Hashem made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars. Genesis 1:16

Though initially described in equal terms, the verse then noted the sun and the moon were not equal, with the sun being called the “greater light” and the moon the “lesser light”. The Talmud explains that when God created the sun and the moon they were equal in every manner, including size and intensity. The moon complained, saying, “Two kings cannot share one crown.” God agreed and made the moon shine less intensely, compensating the moon by commanding Israel to set the calendar by its cycles.

Gidon Ariel, co-founder of Root Source and co-author of “Israel First”, a book on Biblical prophecy and Blood Moons, emphasized that it is important to be precise when using these terms.

“In astronomical terms, a Blood Moon occurs when the moon takes on a reddish appearance, which occurs during most eclipses,” Ariel told Breaking Israel News. “In the context of Biblical prophecy, the term ‘Blood Moon’ refers to a three-year cycle in which lunar eclipses occur six times: once on each Sukkot and Passover. This is incredibly rare.”

Ariel explained that the ‘Blue Moon’ is not a Jewish concept. Since the Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar cycle, with each month beginning on the new moon, no Hebrew month can contain two full moons.

“In Judaism, a Blue Moon never happens, not even once in a blue moon,” Ariel quipped.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8875

Volcanic Eruption Imminent in Bali as Mt. Agung Belches Fire and Smoke

By Abra Forman November 27, 2017 , 1:30 pm

“Now Har Sinai was all in smoke, for Hashem had come down upon it in fire; the smoke rose like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled violently.” Exodus 18:19 (The Israel Bible™)

Bali’s Moung Agung volcano is threatening to explode, forcing mass evacuations from the island. (Twitter/@Sutopo_BNPB)

Thousands of residents of Bali have been ordered to evacuate and the local airport has been shut down as Mount Agung, a massive active volcano, threatens to explode on the Indonesian resort island, bringing a possible national disaster and hundreds or thousands of casualties.

The first signs of the volcano’s imminent eruption appeared last Tuesday when it began spewing volcanic ash. On Saturday, thick clouds of ash began shooting nearly 10,000 feet into the air above the mouth of the volcano in three smaller eruptions. Liquid lava has begun welling up in the volcano’s crater, and explosions from the smoking giant can be heard from over seven miles away.

Experts have confirmed that Mount Agung is shifting into the “magmatic” phase in which danger of eruption is heightened.

Lahars, potentially deadly mudflows of volcanic debris and water, have begun flowing down the volcano’s slopes, adding yet another element of danger as authorities warn they could cause flooding in local rivers.

On Monday, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency raised Mount Agung’s alert to its highest level and expanded the “danger zone” around the roiling peak to six miles. The danger zone now encompasses some 22 villages and about 100,000 people.

So far, about 40,000 people have evacuated, and authorities plan to search the area for holdouts who don’t want to abandon their property or livestock.

“We ask people in the danger zone to evacuate immediately because there’s a potential for a bigger eruption,” Agency Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told media in Jakarta. He said that the growing pool of lava in the crater “will certainly spill over to the slopes”, endangering anyone nearby.

In the Bible, volcanoes and seismic activity are connected with God’s anger, especially in the context of the End of Days.

Therefore I will make the heavens to tremble, and the earth shall be shaken out of her place, for the wrath of Hashem of hosts, and for the day of His fierce anger. Isaiah 13:13

Mount Agung last erupted over half a century ago in 1963, killing over 1,700 people. After over 50 years of quiet, the volcano awakened in September, rumbling back to life and causing a major panic on the island as the alert was raised to its highest level. Authorities evacuated about 140,000 people from the exclusion zone, extended to 12 miles.

In October, the volcano’s activity reduced and many people returned to their homes as the alert was lowered – only to be raised again a month later.

Bali’s main airport was closed on Monday, stranding about 59,000 passengers on the island as flights were suspended due to the volcanic ash in the air.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” basin, which boasts 452 volcanoes and is the most seismically active region in the world. About 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. Indonesia itself is home to over 120 active volcanoes.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8858

There Have Been 698 Earthquakes In California Within The Past 30 Days

By Michael Snyder, on November 26th, 2017

Why is the west coast shaking so violently?  According to the latest data from Earthquake Track, there have been 698 earthquakes in California within the past 30 days.  By the time that you read this article, that number will undoubtedly have changed.  In recent days I have felt such an urgency to write about the seismic activity on the west coast, and I am quite concerned that so few people seem to be paying attention to what is happening.

As I have covered previously, scientists tell us that when seismic activity begins to escalate the probability of having a major earthquake jumps significantly.  Over the past month there have been more mainstream news articles about earthquake swarms in California than I have seen in years, and the magnitude 4.6 earthquake that rattled Monterey County earlier this month made headlines all over the world.

And it isn’t just the U.S. section of the “Ring of Fire” that seems to be awakening.  I have written about Mt. Popocatepetl down in Mexico several times recently, and on Friday it erupted three more times

Spectacular eruptions have been seen Southeast of Mexico City as Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano spewed smoke and ash high into the air.

The volcano had three eruptions Friday, one of which reached two and a half miles into the sky.

The first explosion occurred at about 5:00 p.m. local time.

Two more explosions overnight spread ash over the villages and fields south of the volcano.

I cannot stress enough how potentially dangerous this situation could become.  In ancient times, Mt. Popocatepetl completely covered entire Aztec cities with massive amounts of super-heated mud.  Scientists assure us that someday Mt. Popocatepetl will once again erupt in a similar fashion, and the devastation that this will cause will be off the charts.

Meanwhile, an extremely dangerous volcano on the other side of the Ring of Fire is also rapidly coming to life.  When Mount Agung violently erupted in 1963, more than a thousand people were killed, and authorities are extremely concerned about the eruptions that are happening right now

Volcanic eruptions on the Indonesian resort island of Bali have prompted officials to cancel flights and move about 24,000 residents out of the way as a thick ash cloud from Mount Agung, thousands of meters high, drifts east and southeast along the archipelago.

Residents were evacuated from 224 points around the island while Lombok International Airport on Pulau Lombok, the island due east of Bali, has closed temporarily, said Ari Ahsan, spokesman for Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.

Over the weekend we witnessed eruption after eruption, and the column of ash coming from the volcano is now more than 4 miles high

The first eruption came around 5:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. ET) Saturday, Bali’s Regional Disaster Management Agency said. More eruptions followed and continued into Sunday, with a “medium-pressure eruption” in the early evening that sent ash 2,000 meters into the air, the agency said.
By late Saturday, the volcanic ash plume had reached an altitude of 7,600 meters (4.7 miles), according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

But what is troubling authorities more than anything else is the fact that magma has been “detected close to the volcano’s surface”

It told people within a 7.5km exclusion zone to “immediately evacuate” in an “orderly and calm manner”

Magma – molten rock – has now been detected close to the volcano’s surface, said officials and volcanologists.

I know that the mainstream media is endlessly obsessed with covering the controversies surrounding President Trump, but to me all of this seismic activity that we are seeing along the Ring of Fire is the biggest news story in the entire world at the moment.

I am convinced that what we are witnessing is quite unusual.  All over the planet “dead volcanoes” are coming back to life, and major fault lines are being hit by a seemingly endless barrage of small to mid-size earthquakes.

Is it possible that all of this shaking is leading up to something?

Stay tuned, because I believe that what we have seen so far is only just the beginning…

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8852

Upsurge in big earthquakes predicted for 2018 as Earth rotation slows

Scientists say number of severe quakes is likely to rise strongly next year because of a periodic slowing of the Earth’s rotation

Robin McKie

Saturday 18 November 2017 17.00 EST Last modified on Saturday 18 November 2017 17.25 EST

Scientists have warned there could be a big increase in numbers of devastating earthquakes around the world next year. They believe variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation could trigger intense seismic activity, particularly in heavily populated tropical regions.

Although such fluctuations in rotation are small – changing the length of the day by a millisecond – they could still be implicated in the release of vast amounts of underground energy, it is argued.

The link between Earth’s rotation and seismic activity was highlighted last month in a paper by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.

“The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year,” Bilham told the Observer last week.

In their study, Bilham and Bendick looked at earthquakes of magnitude 7 and greater that had occurred since 1900. “Major earthquakes have been well recorded for more than a century and that gives us a good record to study,” said Bilham.

They found five periods when there had been significantly higher numbers of large earthquakes compared with other times. “In these periods, there were between 25 to 30 intense earthquakes a year,” said Bilham. “The rest of the time the average figure was around 15 major earthquakes a year.”

The researchers searched to find correlations between these periods of intense seismic activity and other factors and discovered that when Earth’s rotation decreased slightly it was followed by periods of increased numbers of intense earthquakes. “The rotation of the Earth does change slightly – by a millisecond a day sometimes – and that can be measured very accurately by atomic clocks,” said Bilham.

It is straightforward. The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes

Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder

Bilham and Bendick found that there had been periods of around five years when Earth’s rotation slowed by such an amount several times over the past century and a half. Crucially, these periods were followed by periods when the numbers of intense earthquakes increased.

“It is straightforward,” said Bilham. “The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes.”

This link is particularly important because Earth’s rotation began one of its periodic slowdowns more than four years ago. “The inference is clear,” said Bilham. “Next year we should see a significant increase in numbers of severe earthquakes. We have had it easy this year. So far we have only had about six severe earthquakes. We could easily have 20 a year starting in 2018.”

Exactly why decreases in day length should be linked to earthquakes is unclear although scientists suspect that slight changes in the behaviour of Earth’s core could be causing both effects.

In addition, it is difficult to predict where these extra earthquakes will occur – although Bilham said they found that most of the intense earthquakes that responded to changes in day length seemed to occur near the equator. About one billion people live in the Earth’s tropical regions.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8840

Is Global Rash of Mysterious Booms and Fireballs End-of-Days Announcement?

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz November 20, 2017 , 11:30 am

“Then a spirit carried me away, and behind me I heard a great roaring sound: ‘Blessed is the Presence of Hashem, in His place.’” Ezekiel 3:12 (The Israel Bible™)

A wave of loud and inexplicable booms thundering in the skies over America and abroad coinciding with dramatic sightings of fireballs has NASA scientists scratching their heads, but Bible-based experts note that these events are explicitly described as preceding the Messiah and End-of-Days.

Last Tuesday, an unmistakeable thundering ‘boom’ shook a wide swathe of northern Alabama at around 1:45 PM local time.

Though the boom was large enough to register on seismographs, geologists ruled out the possibility of a localized tremor. This left scientists to ponder two possibilities: either the Bama Boom, as it was dubbed, was an enormous sonic boom or it was the result of a meteor entering the atmosphere.

Inquiries with aviation authorities, civil and military, were fruitless, leading to the conclusion that the loud sound heard across seven counties was astronomically sourced.

NASA was clearly stymied, confirming the sonic disturbance but unable to offer an explanation for the phenomenon It speculated that the boom “could have been generated by a bolide, larger supersonic aircraft or a ground explosion.” A bolide is a large meteor that explodes in the atmosphere. Eyewitnesses reported a vapor trail, and NASA said that points to a meteor or aircraft, though none was reported to be in the area or detected at the time.

The Bama Boom wasn’t an isolated incident. One day later, residents in Idaho were shaken by a similar boom, and on Saturday, a boom was reported in Michigan. In fact, throughout the week there were reports of loud unexplained booms in Louisiana, Florida, and Texas. At the same time, booms were reported in other countries, including Russia and Denmark.

Loud and disturbing sounds are described in Jewish sources as being associated with the Messiah. Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezer, often called the Baal Shem Tov, was an 18th century Jewish mystical rabbi who founded the Hasidic sect. Stories of him describe an incident on Yom Kippur in which his spirit went up to heaven and saw the Messiah “surrounded by a loud noise”.

This was later explained by his great-grandson, Rabbi Nachman, who wrote that the unprecedented noise accompanying the arrival of the Messiah served a practical purpose. Rebbe Nachman noted that in the Talmud (oral law) it is stated that the Messiah will come by way of ‘distraction’.

“The arrival of the Messiah will be sudden and surprising, accompanied by a loud noise that will cause everyone to stop what they are doing…so they may run to greet Him,” explained Rabbi Nachman.

This recent spate of aural phenomena coincides with a wave of fireball sightings, two of which were filmed over Phoenix last Tuesday night, just a few hours after the disturbing sound in Alabama.

NASA was a witness to these celestial events. Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who is currently on board the International Space Station, filmed a fireball that flew over South Africa two weeks ago.

One fireball spotted over Finland last Thursday dramatically lit up the nighttime sky in what scientists described as “the glow of 100 moons”, which was accompanied by a substantial shock wave.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, pointed out that the scientists’ description of the fireball event conformed to the end-of-days prophecy in Zechariah.

But there shall be a continuous day—only Hashem knows when—of neither day nor night, and there shall be light at eventide. Zechariah 14:7

“The Zohar (the basis of Jewish esoteric learning) describes warring stars as accompanying the Messiah,” Rabbi Berger explained. “A large pillar of flame will also appear, as was seen by the Children of Israel in the desert.”

Rabbi Berger also pointed out that the prophet Joel prophesied astronomical phenomena as signalling the imminent arrival of the Messiah.

Before the great and terrible day of Hashem comes, I will set portents in the sky and on earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. Joel 3:3

Despite the loud sounds and explosive fireballs, Rabbi Berger explained that like Elijah’s epiphany, this process will culminate quietly.

After the earthquake—fire; but Hashem was not in the fire. And after the fire—a soft murmuring sound. I Kings 19:12

“This can be expected before Moshiach (Messiah),” Rabbi Berger said. “But in the end, the true meeting is not like that. It won’t be loud and flashy, but because of that, it will be much more powerful.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8838

California Residents On Edge After A Swarm Of 10 Earthquakes Hits Near The San Andreas Fault

By Michael Snyder, on November 14th, 2017

Is the San Andreas Fault starting to wake up?  On Monday, a “swarm” of 10 significant earthquakes struck Monterey County, California.  The largest was a magnitude 4.6 earthquake that could be felt all the way over in San Francisco.  Of course this comes at a time when other portions of “the Ring of Fire” are starting to awaken as well.  For example, just yesterday I wrote about the alarming eruption of Mt. Popocatepetl that just took place down in Mexico.  For decades the west coast of North America has been relatively stable compared to the rest of the Ring of Fire, but now that is changing.

So should those living along the west coast be on alert?  Without a doubt, the shaking that happened on Monday definitely got a lot of attention…

A 4.6-magnitude earthquake rattled Monterey County on Monday and was felt more than 90 miles away in San Francisco, officials said.

The quake hit at 11:31 a.m. about 13 miles northeast of Gonzales, near Salinas, and was followed by nine smaller aftershocks, with the largest measuring magnitude 2.8, said Annemarie Baltay, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park.

Some experts are trying to assure us that we have nothing to be concerned about, but others are claiming that an earthquake swarm such as this “dramatically increases the likelihood of a major quake in California”.  And not too long ago, the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center did admit the following

‘Any time there is significant seismic activity in the vicinity of the San Andreas fault, we seismologists get nervous,’ Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, told the LA Times last year.

‘Because we recognize that the probability of having a large earthquake goes up.’

Hopefully the shaking on the west coast will settle down and this will turn out to be a false alarm.

However, seismologists have warned us that the 800-mile-long San Andreas fault “could unzip all at once” without warning someday.  The following comes from Fox News

For years, scientists believed the mighty San Andreas—the 800-mile-long fault running the length of California where the Pacific and North American plates meet—could only rupture in isolated sections.

But a recent study by federal, state and academic researchers showed that much of the fault could unzip all at once, unleashing a rare, singular catastrophe. Now, insurers have used that research to come up with a new analysis of the damage that could be caused by statewide break of the San Andreas.

And just like we witnessed in Japan, a massive earthquake offshore could produce an enormous tsunami which could potentially “wash away coastal towns”.  The following comes from the Los Angeles Times

If a 9.0 earthquake were to strike along California’s sparsely populated North Coast, it would have a catastrophic ripple effect.

A giant tsunami created by the quake would wash away coastal towns, destroy U.S. 101 and cause $70 billion in damage over a large swath of the Pacific coast. More than 100 bridges would be lost, power lines toppled and coastal towns isolated. Residents would have as few as 15 minutes notice to flee to higher ground, and as many as 10,000 would perish.

Scientists last year published this grim scenario for a massive rupture along the Cascadia fault system, which runs 700 miles off shore from Northern California to Vancouver Island.

Scientists don’t know exactly when it will happen, but they promise us that “the Big One” is coming someday.

And based on all of the shaking that has been taking place lately, we may be a lot closer to that day than many imagined.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8833