Please read the attached file. It is an article of extreme importance. If you were asked to take a microchip due to the Health Care Act would you? Well it is in the legislation that was passed and believe it or not it is set for March 2013. Read and be sober! Keep looking up!
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3789
Middle East military tensions around Syria shot up again Monday, June 18, with the news reported by the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars that a joint Russian-Chinese-Iranian exercise is to take place in Syria.
It was described as “the biggest of its kind ever staged in the Middle East” with 90,000 personnel, 400 air planes and 900 tanks taking part.
As part of its preparations, Beijing is reported to have asked Egyptian authorities to permit the passage through the Suez Canal in late June of 12 naval ships heading for the Syrian port of Tartus, where Moscow maintains a naval and marine base. debkafile reported earlier this week that Russian naval vessels with marines on board were heading for Tartus. The Iranian media did not itemize their contribution to the joint exercise.
debkafile stresses that this would be the first time that substantial Russian and Chinese military strength has ever been deployed in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East. It means that the two powers are prepared to parade their unabashed partnership with the Iranian and Syrian armies for the shared purpose of obstructing US-European-Arab military intervention in Syria. A large-scale Russian and Chinese military presence in the embattled country would expect to deter the United States from leading a military operation against Bashar Assad and his regime.
No date was attached to the report but the exercise may possibly take place before the end of the month
The large-scale maneuver was announced in Tehran on the first day of the nuclear crisis talks in Moscow between Iran and the six world powers, their third attempt to resolve the crisis by diplomacy. However, Russian and Iranian sources close to the talks were pessimistic about progress. An Iranian delegation member complained the atmosphere was harsh and unconstructive. A Russian source saw no way of bridging US-led Western differences with Tehran when the parties reconvene Monday.
debkafile also notes that the big joint Russian-Chinese-Iranian exercise “at sea, air and land on Syrian soil,” ws released for publication shortly before US President Barack Obama was due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Mexico.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3674
Interesting article from the Christian Post and Miles McPherson. Keep looking up!
Politically Incorrect: A Badge of Honor
Twenty-two percent of Americans think the world will end in their lifetime. …
By Miles McPherson , Special to CP
May 6, 2012|11:09 am
It’s that season. Super Political Action Committees are funneling lottery-sized sums of cash into political ads. Pundits on television are popping veins in heated “discussions” that wind up right back where they started. Most of us will be happy when the air waves return to infomercials – they may be equally irritating but at least they’re positive.
All joking aside, I can’t deny how critical it has become in this day and age to be politically aware. Let me be clear, I didn’t say politically correct.
Whether you are casting your ballot in a primary election or simply enjoying a political discussion around your office, ask yourself this question: Do your positions reflect your faith in Christ? Or do you put your Christianity on hold when the topic of conversation turns to hot-button issues? I’m not talking just about abortion, evolution, gay marriage, guns and prayer, but they’re usually the ones people are passionate about.
We don’t need to be trapped by definitions that box us in as militants or conformists. We must simply be truth-followers – in politics and every area. Many times the crowd will deceive and mislead us to put the Bible aside, but we must stand up for biblical truth (Ephesians 6:10-13).
Our faith is constantly bombarded and pushed aside by political, social, and media influences that seek to diminish or extinguish Christianity. However, God instructs us not to hide.
1. Wake up and acknowledge the pressure to deny your faith.
Pressure to deny our faith is not new; it is just heightened in highly political environments. Faith in our Lord is constantly tested and we have to be strong. Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).
The enemy will attack in various forms, usually in ways that catch us off guard. In 2008 I was honored to be invited to offer prayer at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. As requested, I provided my short message in writing, in advance of the event. Prior to delivering my message I was asked by some of the convention organizers to change the end of my prayer to a generic ending rather than calling on the name of Jesus. At that moment I had a decision to make: please God or please men. I listened to God’s instruction. Someone is always watching; His name is Jesus.
Ultimately, you should base your political opinions, your actions and your vote on truth. Many times going against the crowd is the right thing to do. If we know something to be true, then we should follow it. Courage is not the lack of fear, but rather the ability to do something that frightens you. It is easy to do something if you’re not afraid, but it is rewarding to do the right thing even when it scares you. Just like physical strength, spiritual strength is built over time, not overnight.
2. Wake up and acknowledge the world’s intention to silence you.
Everyone has faith in something. Some people have faith in money or politics, others in the media or in their families. Peter and the other apostles said: We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
Everyone, in and out of politics, has a worldview. Everyone has faith in something, which guides his or her worldview.
The world wants to eliminate the Christian worldview while keeping others, but we must remind the world that we are here to act as the hands and feet of Jesus, to act as He would act. Every Christian needs to cast a vote consistent with his or her worldview.
3. Wake up and walk the fine line.
It isn’t an easy line to walk, but it is up to us to do it. Do you feel pressure to avoid praying in public or reading your Bible at work? Everyone is in an unseen battle; the devil constantly tries to oppress God’s creation. Satan wants us to put the Word of God aside for the sake of politics, but we must stand up for biblical truth (Ephesians 6:10-13). The devil wants us to believe that we have limited options in our behavior and beliefs.
Being “right” means keeping Jesus’ Word (John 14:23-24). The Holy Spirit confirms that truth in John 16:5-15. God is consistent – He doesn’t change, so we consistently hold fast to His word. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Take a moment today and write down one thing you fear will happen if you stand up for your faith. Share with someone how you plan to conquer that fear. And cast your votes carefully, with biblical principles in mind.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3502
“The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has ruled that ten year old girls can be married off, because in his words, ‘Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age.’ The Mufti, who also recently called for destroying churches in the Arabian Peninsula, is descended from Mohammed Wahhab who gave birth to Wahhabism and his descendants have controlled the Saudi religious establishment, which has given them control of Islam around the world. For all his power and influence, the Mufti is blind and hasn’t seen a thing in the last 52 years, an apt metaphor for his entire religion.
Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Islam, still tries and executes witches. What sort of religion can come out of a place that marries off ten year old girls and murders old women on charges of witchcraft? Exactly the sort of religion you would expect to fly planes into skyscrapers, murder teenage girls for using Facebook and base their entire society on a ladder with Muslim men at the top, Muslim women a few rungs below and everyone else somewhere at the bottom.
The Saudis are not some aberration, they are Islam in its purest and truest form. This is where Islam originated, these are the people whose brutality and cunning spread it across the world, whose clans killed each other, then killed or enslaved minority groups, and then embarked on a wave of conquest that destroyed countless cultures and left behind seeds of hate that linger to this day.
Unlike Egypt or Syria, they were never colonized by European powers and the impact of Ottoman influence was limited. Oil has brought in massive amounts of money, but it has changed very little. There are limousines instead of camels, the slaves have foreign passports, though they are often still slaves, there is still a brisk trade in imported luxury goods, harems for princes and clans staggering under the weight of their indolent progeny.
Religiously, Wahhabism has done its best to recreate the ‘pure’ Islam of its origins. Economically, oil has allowed the Gulf Arabs to prosper without reform or change. And if Mohammed were to ride out of the desert tomorrow, he would have little trouble fitting in, as soon as he developed a taste for Porsches. Anyone who wants to see the world as it was in Mohammed’s day can visit Saudi Arabia and see inbred clans, slave labor, veiled women and thugs enforcing the will of Allah on every corner.
But you don’t even need to visit Saudi Arabia because diluted forms of it can be found everywhere from Cairo to London and from Islamabad to Los Angeles. A hundred and fifty years after the United States freed its slaves, Muslim immigrants have brought back slavery, importing young girls to live as their slaves. Ninety years after American women won the right to vote, the ghosts of Islam tread the streets in sheets that hide their personhood and mark them as property.
The religious wars of the desert have not stayed there as the immigration Hegira has brought them here and everywhere. And that is the source of the Clash of Civilizations. Immigration has brought Muslims into closer contact with different cultures and religions who don’t defer to them or give Islam the privileged status that its adherents are used to enjoying.
To know the truth of this all you have to do is measure the respective tolerance levels of America against the average Muslim country. There is no comparison with even the more secular Muslim countries, not in law and not in public attitudes. The sole benefit of the Arab Spring has been to expose the fraud of the moderate Muslim country. Egypt’s transition to theocracy reminds us that a moderate Muslim state is a completely unrepresentative dictatorship. The alternative is majority Muslim rule.
The endgame of the Arab Spring and the immigration Hegira is to reduce the entire world to the level of Saudi Arabia. And that means eliminating outside influences in a long march to purification. Islamists know that they cannot enjoy complete cultural dominance over their own people until their rivals in the West are obliterated. To turn Egypt and Malaysia into Saudi Arabia, and to purify Saudi Arabia, the infidels must be brought down, their religions subjugated and their nations replaced with proper Islamic states.
Islamic leaders are under no illusion that religion is a spiritual matter, they know that it is a numbers game. Wage enough wars, terrorize enough nations, marry enough barely post-pubescent girls and use them to crank out an endless supply of babies, intimidate or trick enough infidels into joining up and you win. That was how Islam took over so much territory and spread around the world, that is how it is doing it again now.
Islam is not a spiritual religion, even its paradise is a materialistic place, a fantasy harem where the physical pleasures of life can be enjoyed without restraint. That gives it an advantage over Judaism and Christianity, just as it gives the Saudis and the Pakistanis an advantage over the Americans and Israelis. There is no angst in Islam, no spiritual seeking and no room for doubt. The marching orders are always clear and individual deeds and thoughts matter less than a willingness to always obey.
Islam came out of the desert and it has never left the desert, instead it has brought the desert with it along with its codes, its deep hatreds, its constant deprivation, its deceptiveness and its nomadic expansionism. Where Islam goes, the desert rises, its tents, its red knives and its insecurities. It was backward even at the time of its birth and it has only become more so, but its singlemindedness is an advantage in an age of effete leftectuals and eurocrats dreaming of a transnational world.
While the leftectuals dream of windmills, the Saudis hire foreigners to pump their oil and then sell it to them, the money goes to fund the Hegira, its mosques in every city from Dublin to Moscow to Buenos Aires and Toronto, the fatwas, the bombs, the websites where the masked faithful hold up AK-47′s, the Islamic science courses and sessions on learning to love the Hijab and then the Burqa,
The Saudis just want what everyone wants, for everyone to acknowledge their greatness and live like them. They can hardly be blamed for that when the West spends almost as much money promoting democracy and its own way of life to people who still execute witches and blasphemers. They may be savages, but they fell ass backward into enough black gold to fuel a global religious war, and they’re using it cleverly and cunningly to transform our societies and wage war against us even while attending dinners at the White House. It’s smoother work than our diplomats are capable of.
You can hardly blame the desert bandits for being what they are, but you can blame the apostles of reason for preaching about a golden age of tolerance and enlightenment from every purloined pulpit and then turning away the heartland to a religion that is nakedly brutal and intolerant at home.
An honest look at Saudi Arabia, at its cruelty, its slaves, its intolerance of other religions and even of women, should be enough to tell even the dimmest Eton or Harvard grad exactly what the West is in for. No matter how many specialists in Muslim tolerance show up at universities, there is the Grand Mufti explaining that Mohammed commanded the eradication of Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore there can be no churches allowed there.
Even few apologists for Islam will defend Saudi Arabia for the simple reason that it is indefensible. The media will run the occasional story about the House of Saud’s commitment to reform, much as Charles Manson keeps committing to becoming a better person, but even they don’t really believe it. Yet even though Saudi Arabia is the heartland of Sunni Islam, and its fortunes shape and control mosques and teachings around the world, they insist on treating Islam and Saudi Arabia as two separate things.
It is brutally telling that the two centers of Islam, Saudi Arabia for the Sunnis and Iran for the Shiites, are genuinely horrifying places. Neither can remotely be associated with tolerance or human rights. It is simple common sense that the spread of Islam will make Western countries more like Saudi Arabia and Iran, rather than less like them.
If Saudi Arabia is not an example that we wish to emulate, then why must we bodily incorporate the religion of Mecca and Medina into London and Los Angeles? What other possible outcome do we imagine that there will be but fewer rights and more violence, dead women, abused children, bomb plots and polygamy?
There are two Islams. The real Islam of the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and an imaginary Islam that exists only in the mosques of air and card table korans of academics apologists and political pundits who have decided that Islam cannot be bad, because no religion can be bad, not even one which kills and kills, it must just be misunderstood.
But then why not tell the Grand Mufti that he has misunderstood his own religion, the religion that he and his ancestors have dedicated themselves to purifying and reforming back to its roots? Telling him that would be a dangerous thing on his own turf, but it would also be foolish. The Grand Mufti’s controversial statements contain nothing that Mohammed had not said and can the founder of a religion misunderstand his own teachings?
Islam is savage, intolerant, cruel and expansionistic, not due to a misunderstanding, but because it is what it is and no amount of wishing will make it otherwise. We have opened the door to the desert and a hot wind blows through into the northern climes. Either we can shut the door or get used to living in the Saudi desert.”
Greece: Volcano Behind Atlantis Legend Reawakens, Land Near Volcano Swelling At An Accelerating Rate
By Charles Q. Choi, FOX News – “The volcano that may have given rise to the legend of Atlantis has awakened, researchers say.
The cataclysmic eruptions at the Greek isle of Santorini about 3,600 years ago that spewed forth about 9.5 to 14.3 cubic miles (40 to 60 cubic kilometers) of lava devastated the ancient seafaring Minoan civilization, potentially inspiring the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. From the air, the resulting caldera, or volcanic crater, appears as a small cluster within the larger collection of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
Over the next four millennia, the largely underwater caldera at Santorini has experienced a series of smaller eruptions, with five such outbursts in the past 600 years, ending most recently in 1950. After a 60-year lull, Santorini awakened in January 2011 with a swarm of tremors, each magnitude 3.2 or less, new GPS research has revealed.
Magma on the move
Investigators had installed a GPS monitoring system in the area in 2006. These sensors keep track of their location in space, and can thus shed light on when the Earth is moving.
The scientists found that by June 2011, the 22 GPS stations had been pushed 0.2 to 1.3 inches (5 to 32 millimeters) farther from the caldera than they had been just six months earlier. The researchers then improved the existing GPS stations and installed two more GPS stations, and data from September 2011 to January 2012 showed the land near the volcano was swelling at an accelerating rate …”
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3463
Here is a really interesting view point of the end times from Walid Shoebat former Muslim terrorist. It is concerning America but also how large in fact is the Antichrist end time kingdom and its reach. Enjoy and keep looking up!
Where is America in Bible Prophecy?
By Walid Shoebat – “For many years, it has been taught that in the Last-Days literally every nation of the earth – including the United States – will be utterly dominated by the Antichrist; there will be no place to escape from the dreaded Mark of the Beast; every last nation of the world will come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12 is usually used to validate the theory, as is the Apostle John. After all, the Antichrist will be given ‘authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation,’ (Revelation 13:7).
This would seem like an ironclad case for the Antichrist ruling the globe, including the United States, which he uses in his march against Jerusalem. It is this dilemma that caused many to believe that the United States will be taken over by Antichrist.
Before we attempt to solve this issue, it is necessary to clarify the dilemma. For this, we can ask a Jesus-style question: does the usage of the phrase, ‘the whole earth’ and ‘every tribe, tongue and nation’ in the Bible mean ‘the entire globe’? If so, then did Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:1 send his letter to every nation, tribe and tongue in the ‘entire globe’?
‘Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.’ (Daniel 4:1)
‘O king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. Because of the high position he gave him, all the peoples and nations and men of every language dreaded and feared him,’ (Daniel 5:18, 19).
‘Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom,’ (I Kings 4:34)
Did anyone visit Solomon from China?
‘Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt,’ (2 Kings 17:29).
Did the inhabitants of every last nation of the earth have Samaritan gods in their homes?
‘the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries.’ Isaiah 37:18
Did King Sennacherib of Assyria actually destroy all nations on the face of the earth?
‘As I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth,’ (Daniel 8:5).
Did Alexander the Great occupy the whole earth?
So then, let us offer a new perspective regarding the end-times verses:
Zechariah 14:2 ‘For I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle’
Matthew 25:32 ‘I will also gather all nations’
Joel 3:2 ‘I will gather all nations’
Such verses should not be isolated. In context, Zechariah 12 only encompasses the surrounding nations:
‘I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves,’ (Zechariah 12:2-3).
In Joel 3:12 we find the same:
‘Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.’
‘The surrounding peoples’ and ‘all the nations of the earth’ are two references pertaining to the same people; ‘all the nations’ and ‘the earth’ is not the entire globe, though the translation may seem to allude to it as such. The problem is that the translation at times makes it difficult since – in English – ‘the earth’ tends to mean ‘the entire globe’ and in Hebrew the word ‘Eretz’ commonly means ‘the land’ and not ‘the entire globe.’
Then we have the culture. In ancient Hebrew, we find a grammatical construct that makes emphatic statements in order to convey a point, whereas using hyperbole is extremely common in eastern cultures. Elaborating on the exceptions would entirely blunt the impact of the statement. For instance, imagine a speed limit sign that listed the exceptions painted on it, ‘speed limit 55—except ambulances, fire trucks, police giving chase, etc.’ Thus, exceptions cannot be ruled out on the basis of exclusive language. This type of language is actually found quite frequently in the Bible. Throughout the prophecies of end-times the Bible is speaking of a regional war and not global (Ezekiel 36:4, 5, Psalm 79:12, Jeremiah 12:14, Ezekiel 28-32).
One common argument I always get is an objection that ‘the earth’ is meant to be ‘the known world,’ that today’s ‘known world’ must then encompass the entire globe. This assumption is false since all ‘Four Beasts’ in Daniel chapter 7 arise out of ‘the Great Sea’ (Daniel 7:2). ‘The Great Sea’ is the Mediterranean region, not the entire globe. That with all the literal nations of end-times encompasses only the Middle East and Asia Minor. If the first beast (Babylon), second beast (Medo-Persia) and third beast (Greece) all were out within the ‘Great Sea’ (Mediterranean) then the fourth beast of Daniel 7 could only pertain to the Mediterranean Sea as well.
To make the Antichrist rule a global one, many western interpreters today allegorize ‘The Great Sea’ as ‘the sea of humanity.’ In so doing, we lose the meaning and the intent of the prophecy. This reference to ‘The Great Sea’ cannot be an allegory pertaining to the ‘sea of humanity’ since every verse in the Bible refers to ‘The Great Sea’ as the Mediterranean Sea (see Num 34:6-7, Jos 1:4, Jos 9:1, Jos 15:12, Jos 15:47, Jos 23:4, Ezek 47:10, 15, 19, 20, Ezek 48: 28).
The Bible makes every effort to clarify that the nations surrounding Israel are the ones to which it is referring:
‘And render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord,’ (Psalm 79:12).
Do Israel’s ‘neighbors’ include The United States? No. This is confirmed in many places in the Bible:
‘Thus Says Jehovah against all mine evil neighbors that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit,’ (Jeremiah 12:14). The neighbors are all Muslim.
In the Bible, Antichrist ‘will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it’ (Daniel 7: 23), yet several prophecies state that Antichrist will be confronted and will not take over the globe (Daniel 11:40-45, Daniel 11:30, Ezekiel 28:7-8).
So where is the United States in the Bible? How many ever think about this, that perhaps in the end, the United States is mentioned fighting against the Antichrist. Daniel 11 tells us that Antichrist ‘acts against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory’ (Daniel 11:39).
Who are these ‘strongest fortresses’ [the strongest military might]‘? How could the Antichrist rule the entire globe if we have strongest fortresses that fight against him? Does he truly defeat these strongest fortresses? Does he defeat the United States? Does he rule the entire globe?
The answer to this is ‘No.’
Why then do so many modern Western prophecy analysts insist that Antichrist hold the most powerful military might in the world? Which nations hold the strongest military might? Is it not the United States?
The text regarding end-times is clearly portraying what we see in Islam today. Even when we read that he declares war ‘against the strongest fortresses.’ What could that mean except what it plainly says—to declare war against the most powerful nations on earth? Jihadists already declared war on Europe and the U.S. And now with the Arab Spring clearly becoming an Islamic storm, we see that what we have said to you years ago in advance; everything is happening in accordance to a plan.
However, the West today seems oblivious to this fact. Who else could be as maniacal as Muslim fundamentalists to declare war on the powerful West? Who else is deceiving the West with false peace saying that ‘Islam is a peaceful religion’? And it is all for the purpose of advancing their god, Allah.
This is exactly what we see today.
The position that every nation will fall to Antichrist is impossible since the Bible clearly states that some will even resist the Antichrist and even defeat him. The verses are rarely discussed. In Ezekiel 28, it even confirms that the most powerful nations (strongest fortresses) on earth will annihilate the Antichrist:
‘Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of [them that are] slain in the midst of the seas.’ (Ezekiel 28:7-8)
‘They’ pertains to these powerful nations and the term ‘terrible’ implies to being ‘terrible in battle,’ ‘most powerful,’ ‘strongest fortresses.’ God will rise up several nations who will carry out His judgment and attack the Antichrist in the end. Therefore, it cannot be true that every nation of the globe will fall to the Antichrist and attack Israel. There have always been attempts to establish a One-World Government, yet they have never succeeded; far too many in the West fail to remember that God divided the nations after the Tower of Babel to never allow them to be one; even in the Millennium we will still have nations separated. This promise is as the rainbow for Noah.
Too many today read the Bible narcissistically. Many books have been written that place the West at the center of prophecy and interpret history through a Western-centric lens. Far too many Westerners have missed the obvious fact that the Bible is thoroughly Middle Eastern. In the Biblical worldview, Jerusalem is the center of the earth, not Europe or America. The biblical prophecies about the End-Times are no different.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3440
A great little article from David Wilkerson focusing on the fact that is shaking us right now. We need to be about His will as the time is very short! Keep looking up!
When a sleeping child must be awakened, a loving parent takes him by the shoulders and gently shakes him. If the child doesn’t wake up immediately, the shaking becomes a bit firmer. The parent insists, because he knows the child will suffer if he doesn’t wake up on time.
That is precisely what God is doing right now—both to America and to the world. At first, He shook us very tenderly but now His shaking has become violent, because He has not succeeded in awakening us.
The Lord began to literally shake the earth with earthquakes in the late 1980s. A quake in Armenia wiped out almost that entire province. A quake in Japan measuring 6.9 nearly destroyed an entire city. Then came the horrible quake in San Francisco, with more following almost daily in that area. Quakes hit the West Coast constantly, from northern California to San Diego and down into Mexico.
Isaiah prophesies that God will one day rise up and shake the whole earth: “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty . . . and turneth it upside down. . . . All joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. . . . When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree” (Isaiah 24:1, 11, 13). God is going to shake the earth as if it were an olive tree—till every bit of fruit falls.
Ezekiel says that when God’s fury arises, He will shake all that can be shaken: “All the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. . . . And I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:20 and 23).
The writer of Hebrews says: “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. . . . That [only] those things which cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:26-27).
God is going to shake everything in sight so that He is revealed as the only unshakable power!
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3341
Most Americans do not know this, but a single EMP attack could potentially wipe out most of the electronics in the United States and instantly send this nation back to the 1800s. If a nuclear bomb was exploded high enough in the atmosphere over the middle part of the country, the electromagnetic pulse would fry electronic devices from coast to coast. The damage would be millions of times worse than 9/11. Just imagine a world where nobody has power, most cars will not start, the Internet has been fried, the financial system is offline indefinitely, nobody can make any phone calls and virtually all commerce across the entire country is brought to a complete stop. A nation that does not know how to live without technology would be almost entirely stripped of it at that point. Yes, this could really happen. An EMP attack is America’s “Achilles heel”, and everyone around the world knows it. It is only a matter of time before someone uses an EMP weapon against us, and at this point we are pretty much completely unprepared.
The sad thing is that we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars hunting down “terrorists” in caves on the other side of the globe and we have been told that because of “national security” it is necessary for our private areas to be touched before we are allowed to get on an airplane, but our government is doing essentially nothing to address what is perhaps our biggest security vulnerability.
What would you and your neighbors do if the power went out and it did not ever come back on?
What would you do if an EMP attack happened in the middle of the winter and you suddenly were not able to heat your home any longer?
What would you do if all the electronics in your car got fried and you simply could not drive anywhere?
What would you do if all the supermarkets in your area shut down because food could not be transported across the country anymore?
What would you do if you were suddenly unable to call your family and friends for help?
What would you do if you were suddenly unable to get the medicine that you needed?
What would you do if your debit cards and credit cards simply did not work any longer and you could not get any of your money out of the bank?
What would you do if all of these things happened all at once?
A single EMP attack would be the worst disaster that the United States has ever seen by far.
An electromagnetic pulse could potentially fry the vast majority of all the microchips in the United States. In an instant, nearly all of our electronic devices would be rendered useless.
Yes, the federal government knows all about this. The following excerpt is from an April 2008 report by the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack….
“The consequences of lack of food, heat (or air conditioning), water, waste disposal, medical, police, fire fighting support, and effective civil authority would threaten society itself.”
Most of us have become completely and totally dependent on electricity and technology. Without it, most of us would be in huge trouble.
The following is how an article in the Wall Street Journal described the potential consequences of an EMP attack….
No American would necessarily die in the initial attack, but what comes next is potentially catastrophic. The pulse would wipe out most electronics and telecommunications, including the power grid. Millions could die for want of modern medical care or even of starvation since farmers wouldn’t be able to harvest crops and distributors wouldn’t be able to get food to supermarkets. Commissioner Lowell Wood calls EMP attack a “giant continental time machine” that would move us back more than a century in technology to the late 1800s.
It wouldn’t be so bad if we had the knowledge and the infrastructure to live the way that they did back in the 1800s, but today that is simply not the case.
Dr. William Graham was Ronald Reagan’s science adviser and the chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. Dr. Graham believes that in the event of a large scale EMP attack, the vast majority of Americans would either freeze, starve or die from disease.
According to Graham, in the aftermath of an EMP attack life in America “would probably be something that you might imagine life to be like around the late 1800s but with several times the population we had in those days, and without the ability of the country to support and sustain all those people.”
Would you be able to survive?
All of those big bank accounts may never be able to be recovered after an EMP attack. Your money might be instantly fried out of existence.
The following is what Graham believes would happen to the financial system in the event of an EMP attack….
“Most financial records are stored electronically. ATMs, which depend upon both power and telecommunications, would not be available; banks, which try to back up records but in general aren’t strongly aware of the EMP problem, would face the problem of unprotected storage and computer systems”
This is the danger of having a financial system that is so dependent on technology. We may wake up one day and find that all the money is gone.
But if an EMP attack actually happened, the biggest concern for most of us would be trying to figure out how to survive.
The president of the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney, is convinced that a single EMP attack could result in the deaths of the vast majority of the population of the United States….
“Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can’t support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity”
Are you starting to get a feel for the scope of the problem?
The sad thing is that so much could be done to protect this country from an EMP attack.
Right now, most vital U.S. military infrastructure has at least some protection from an EMP attack.
But the general population has been left completely and totally vulnerable.
It has been estimated that the entire power grid could potentially be protected for about 20 billion dollars. Considering the fact that we have spent over 400 billion dollars in Afghanistan, I think that we could afford it.
We have spent our national security dollars very, very badly and someday it is going to come back to bite us in the rear end.
Right now, other nations around the world are working feverishly to develop EMP weapons. The following is from a statement by Dr. Peter Vincent Pry to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security on March 8th, 2005….
Russian and Chinese military scientists in open source writings describe the basic principles of nuclear weapons designed specifically to generate an enhanced-EMP effect, that they term “Super-EMP” weapons. “Super-EMP” weapons, according to these foreign open source writings, can destroy even the best protected U.S. military and civilian electronic systems.
But it is not just Russia and China that have been developing “Super-EMP” weapons. According to Newsmax, it is believed that North Korea may have tested a “Super-EMP” weapon back in 2009….
North Korea’s last round of tests, conducted in May 2009, appear to have included a “super-EMP” weapon, capable of emitting enough gamma rays to disable the electric power grid across most of the lower 48 states
Remember, all it would take is one strategically placed EMP attack to wipe out this nation.
But an EMP weapon is not the only danger that can produce this type of effect. The truth is that a really bad geomagnetic storm could also potentially produce almost as much damage.
This is something that everyone knows is one of our biggest vulnerabilities and it is something that we can make preparations for.
Yet the Bush administration and the Obama administration have just stood there and have done nothing.
Our idiocy is astounding.
General Eugene Habiger, the former head of U. S. Strategic Command, has said the following about the possibility of an EMP attack in the future….
“It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.”
Remember, this is something that could cause millions times more damage than 9/11 did.
Instead of molesting old ladies at airports and chasing goat herders around the mountains of Afghanistan, perhaps we should be addressing our largest security vulnerabilities.
But that would require using some common sense. Sadly, common sense seems to be in very short supply in Washington D.C. these days.
So if the government is not going to do anything about it, that means that it is up to you to prepare yourself and your family. This world is becoming very unstable and disasters can strike at any time.
We all saw what happened after Hurricane Katrina. The government response was a nightmare. An EMP attack would be millions of times worse and the federal government probably would not even be able to get you and your family any assistance.
You would truly be on your own.
So are you ready?
This is yet another reason why the number of preppers in the United States is exploding. A lot of people can see how the world is changing and they understand that the federal government is not going to come through for them when the chips are down.
An EMP attack could end life as we know it at any time.
It is a glaring security vulnerability and the entire world knows that it is there.
I hope that you are getting ready, because the government certainly is not.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3216
Rick Warren blames the messenger
Exclusive: Joel Richardson reacts to pastor’s response to criticism over Muslim partnership
Published: 13 hours ago
By Joel Richardson
Pastor Rick Warren has responded to those who have criticized his methods regarding outreach to Muslims, which includes joining together with Muslims for the purpose of interfaith social projects.
Warren’s response came in the form of an interview on Pastors.com, a site sponsored by Warren’s ministry. An editor’s note at the beginning of the article states that Warren is “often the target of unfair criticism and unfounded rumors.” Being among those who recently published my criticisms of Warren, I would like to touch on just a few portions of his response both to give Warren credit where he is due credit, and to request his accountability where he has been less than honest or forthright and where there has been found to be more than mere unfounded rumors.
The first question in the interview concerns whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Warren’s response here was solid:
“Of course not. Christians have a view of God that is unique. We believe Jesus is God! We believe God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not three separate gods but one God. No other faith believes Jesus is God. My God is Jesus. The belief in God as a Trinity is the foundational difference between Christians and everyone else. There are 2.1 billion people who call themselves Christians … whether Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal, or Evangelical … and they all have the doctrine of the Trinity in common. … Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims don’t. Our God is Jesus, not Allah. Colossians 2:9 – ‘For in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.’”
Warren should be acknowledged for making such a clear statement that will, no doubt, be viewed as divisive by Muslims as well as the ever-so-vocal and perpetually offended religious pluralists. Good job, Rick.
On the other hand, I still cling to the opinion that Warren should have issued a correction for his previous linguistic/theological gaffe when he rounded out his prayer at the Obama inauguration with the following: “I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life – Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [spoken with a Spanish pronunciation], Jesus – who taught us to pray. …”
Of course, this is old news and many have debated the issue already, but the simple fact of the matter is that Warren’s use of “Isa” was a significant rookie mistake. This was not something a leader of Warren’s stature should be making at a such a high-level event. Again, for those who may have forgotten what all the hubbub was about, Isa not simply an Arabic way to say Jesus, but rather the Quranic and Islamic way. The proper and most common Christian manner to say Jesus in Arabic is Yasu.
This is not nitpicking. The Isa of the Quran is not a real historical person, but rather an anti-Christ polemical creation. The mythical Isa of Islam is not the Son of God, is not one of three in a trinity, did not die on the cross and is returning to abolish Christianity and, by most accounts, to slaughter a substantial number of Jews, as well. For these reasons I still believe Warren should retract his usage of this word. I think that despite his relative refusal to apologize to his critics, he might find that a little bit of humility, rather than the Pharisee-pointing he seems to use quite easily, might go a long way.
Next, Warren denies that Saddleback Church has entered into any form of “partnership” with Muslims, calling this claim “flat out wrong” and even accusing Jim Hinch, reporter for the Orange County Register, of false reporting.
This is nonsense. Warren and other Saddleback pastors are on record expressing that they fully believe in partnering with people of other faiths to accomplish various social projects, including combating stereotypes, war, poverty and corruption. At the 2009 Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conference in 2009, Warren declared to an audience of Muslims:
“Now I was asked to speak to you about how Muslims and Christians can work closer together for the greater good, in our world. And I will tell you that I am not interested in interfaith dialogue, I am interested in interfaith projects. … And there are a lot of things that we could do together, but tonight I would quickly want to mention four things. Can we work on these things together? And I know we can. … Some problems are so big you have to team tackle them.”
Beyond this, Tom Holladay, a pastor at Saddleback, was quoted in the article as saying, “This is us serving our own community with Muslims here in Orange County. … We realize we don’t agree about everything and we’re very open about that. … You just recognize the differences and recognize the points where you can work together.”
While Warren may be irritated concerning the criticisms he has received on this issue, his protests are not genuine – and he has only himself to blame. In fact, in my opinion, Warren owes reporter Jim Hinch an apology.
The next issue concerns the notion that Saddleback church members involved in the “King’s Way” outreach project agreed not to evangelize or convert the Muslims with whom they are building friendships. Again, Warren calls this claim “flat out wrong” and blames Hinch for false reporting.
The problem, again, is that the statement did not come from Hinch, but from Jihad Turk, the Muslim spokesman with whom Warren’s church is working. It was Turk who said, “We agreed we wouldn’t try to evangelize each other. … We’d witness to each other but it would be out of ‘Love Thy Neighbor,’ not focused on conversion.” If Warren would like to state that Turk is wrong, this is fine, but accusing the reporter of false reporting was completely out of order.
Extending his defense, Warren passionately declared:
[A]s both an Evangelical and as an evangelist, anyone who knows me and my 40-year track record of ministry knows that I would never agree to “not evangelizing” anyone! I am commanded by my Savior to share the Good News with all people everywhere, all the time, in every way possible! Anyone who’s heard me teach knows that my heart beats for bringing others to Jesus.
I certainly hope this is true. I am genuinely cheering for reports of former Muslims being baptized at Saddleback, renouncing Islam, Muhammad and the Quran, while confessing the Jesus of the Bible. I love Muslims and desire more than anything to see them come to faith. In fact, it is precisely because I love Muslims so much that I hate Islam so deeply. This is not always an easy line to walk. And I agree with Warren that many so-called Christians are far quicker to express hatred of Muslims than to love them.
Yet I also think is fair to be somewhat skeptical of Warren. I think it was entirely fair to ponder the comments made by Warren’s own neighbor and friend, Yasser Barakat. Barakat says that he lived next to Rick and was friends for over 12 years before he even realized that Rick was a famous Christian pastor. Ironically, according to Barakat, this was not discovered until he invited Warren to learn more about Islam. How ironic!
I believe this anecdote was sufficient to make us ask if Warren is truly as committed to winning his neighbors to Christ as he claims in public. Of course, I want to be fair, and my purpose here is not to judge Warren, but again, I will say that if after 12 years of living next to Warren, Barakat had not been invited over to Rick’s house to learn more about the Christian faith, then Warren was not loving his neighbor, nor fulfilling his role as an evangelist – unless, of course, Barakat explains that Warren had always been quite open about his faith after all and that Barakat had, like Turk and Holladay, and Warren, also misspoken.
In the end, I’m sure that Warren’s response will be sufficient to comfort his church members, but in the lack of any genuine acknowledgment of responsibility on his part or of other Saddleback pastors, and in the abundance of casting his critics as false reporters, pharisees, or false-Christians, I am concerned. My hope is that Warren will use the recent round of criticisms as an opportunity for some introspection and an adjustment of his approach and methods to a more biblical model, rather than hardening himself against those who have expressed some very legitimate concerns.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3213
Great article from Greg Laurie around the keys to revival in America. Please read and pray for America and her people.
The keys to revival in America
Exclusive: Greg Laurie identifies critical spiritual weapons that trump political ones
Greg Laurie is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., one of the largest churches in America. He is also the featured speaker for Harvest Crusades, large-scale evangelistic outreaches that have been attended by more than 4 million people around the world since 1990. Greg is heard internationally on the daily radio broadcast,
There is a lot of talk about who the next occupant of the White House will be. And while I believe that Christians should find a candidate who represents a biblical worldview as much as possible and then vote for that candidate, we also need to understand at the same time that no congressman or congresswoman, no senator, or no president can turn our country around.
It is not a political answer America needs; it is a spiritual answer. And the only real answer is a spiritual awakening. A revival must hit America. The classic verse that is often quoted on this subject was given initially to the nation of Israel, but it applies to our nation as well:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV).
We want God to heal our land. But notice that God said, “If My people who are called by My name …” (emphasis added). When God looked at a nation that was having problems, he pointed his finger at his people. So often we are quick to point out all of the problems in our culture. But God essentially says, “You know, I have kind of been looking at you – you who are called by my name.” The question is, are we experiencing spiritual revival?
God was saying that if you want to turn a nation around, then his people need to live as they should.
That first-century church turned their world upside down. And the question arises, is that where we are today? I think, sadly, the answer is no. In a time when we need to engage our culture with the one truth that has any hope of transforming it, many in the church have turned away from the answer.
One pastor wrote a book questioning the biblical teaching on hell. Of course, that got a lot of press coverage, because many members of the media don’t believe in what the Bible teaches. Therefore, they embrace the idea of a so-called evangelical preacher saying that he was not certain that what we have always taught and believed about hell is really accurate.
Then I read about a pastor of a megachurch who said recently that he thinks the terms “saved” and “born again” should no longer be used in preaching because our culture doesn’t understand that. And a Christian blogger who is very popular questioned the whole idea of evangelism.
Now, I expect this kind of behavior from nonbelievers. But when I see it from people in the church, it causes me to be concerned. To these misled people and those who would follow them, I would say this: There has never been a time when it is more significant for us to warn people about the reality of hell and tell them that, yes, they need to be “saved” and “born again.” And yes, we need to do it through evangelism.
C. S. Lewis said, “All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” The gospel message is eternal. It never goes out of date. It never goes out of style.
Is the church today, like the church of the first century, changing their world and turning it upside down? Or, is the world turning us upside down? Think about the daunting challenge the church of the first century faced. They had no political base … no voting bloc in the Roman Senate … no emperor of Rome who was sympathetic toward them.
These first Christians did not out-argue the pagans; they outlived them. Christianity made no attempts to conquer paganism blow by blow. Instead, the Christians of the first century outfought, outlived and out-prayed the nonbelievers. And that is because they recognized their weapons were not physical; they were spiritual. We don’t read that the Christians armed themselves and led a revolt against Rome. Rome had the most powerful military on the face of the earth at that time. No, the first-century believers decided to fight fire with fire. They recognized it was a spiritual battle, and so they used spiritual weaponry.
And what is that spiritual weaponry God has given us to fight the battle today? It is primarily prayer and the preaching of the gospel.
The problem is that we don’t use this weaponry. We use political means or other avenues as we try to solve problems, and it is like attempting to extinguish a forest fire out with a squirt gun.
The Bible gives us an account in Acts 12 of a particularly difficult time in the early church. Herod had James, the brother of John, murdered. He had Peter imprisoned. So what did the church do? Did they organize a boycott of all products made in Rome? Did they develop a campaign to have Herod overthrown? No. They actually did something that we don’t do enough of these days. They prayed. We read in Acts 12, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (verse 5). Though all doors remained closed, one was still open: the door of prayer.
As D. Martin Lloyd-Jones said, “Of all of the blessings of Christian salvation none is greater than this, that we have access to God in prayer.”
How things change as a result of powerful prayer. God will always have the last word. Acts 12 opens with James dead, Peter in prison and Herod triumphing. But it closes with Herod dead, Peter free and the Word of God triumphing. It’s not over till it’s over. That is the power of prayer.
So let’s use the spiritual weapons that God has given us. Let’s start praying.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=3069
Great study from Joel Rosenberg from Daniel chapter 5 on fate of America and the coming war in the Middle East. Pray that you are found worthy of protection by our Lord in these times of trouble. Keep looking up!
“Is America in a ‘Nebuchadnezzar moment’ (where we still have an opportunity to repent and be restored), or a ‘Belshazzar moment’ (where God removes His favor from us and turns out the lights)?”
Joel C. Rosenberg, Jacksonville Pastors Conference, January 29, 2012
“The Pastor and the Future” — that’s what I’ve been asked to speak about tonight, and I cannot think of a more important subject to close this conference. You and I are living in one of the most dangerous moments in the history of the United States….in the history of Israel and the Middle East….in the history of the Church. Yet at this very moment when so many people are so anxious about the future, too many pastors are shying away from teaching Bible prophecy.
- Some, because prophecy has been sensationalized in the past and they rightly resist such cheapening of God’s Holy Word.
- Some, because they’ve never really carefully studied Bible prophecy and feel unprepared to teach it to their congregations.
- Some, because they’ve lost sight of the power of prophecy – prophecy is an intercept from the mind of the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful God….prophecies are storm warnings from the future….not to frighten us but to motivate us – to get us ready for what is coming, and to help get others ready…..prophecy is given to encourage and exhort the Church to repentance….to holiness and purity….to prayer and fasting….to sharing the Gospel and making disciples….to pastor training and church planting….prophecy tells us we are going to be shaken….why?….to wake up the Church….to wake up the nations….to wake up Israel….because the Day of the Lord is coming, and surely it is near….and God love us and He wants us to be ready.
In Luke 12:54-56, Jesus rebuked His disciples for not understanding the Word of God and not analyzing the times in which they lived….which is why it is so important that we close this conference by considering “The Pastor and the Future.” So, turn with me, if you would, to Daniel chapter 5. [Read the entire chapter]
What do we see in Daniel chapter 5?
5:1-2 – A pagan nation at the height of its power, and corruption.
5:3-4 – A pagan government and high society drunk with power and consumed with seeking pleasure of all kinds….worshipping the gods of gold and silver and all things material….what do we see in the king’s court?
- Sexual immorality.
- Greed and materialism.
- No care or concern for their history of sin and God’s judgment.
- No remembrance of God’s grace and mercy for those who repent.
King Belshazzar doesn’t seem to remember or care about the testimony of his forefather, Nebuchadnezzar. Once an evil and terrible king, one of the worst in the Bible, Nebuchadnezzar had then faced the judgment of God. He’d been driven out of the king’s palace, into the wilderness, driven mad and eating grass like a beast. Yet after a time, God relented. The Lord gave Nebuchadnezzar a second chance, and Nebuchadnezzar repented of his horrific sins and gave his life to the One True God. What’s more, Nebuchadnezzar praised the Lord before the entire nation ofBabylon.
Nebuchadnezzar testified before his people: “At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (Daniel 4:36-37).
5:5-6 – So God begins to shake them.
5:7-9 – A mysterious hand appears out of nowhere in the king’s court….mysterious fingers begin supernaturally writing on the wall of the king’s palace….everyone in that room could see the handwriting on the wall….they could all see the hand of God at work…..it terrified them, but it certainly got their attention…..they knew it was important, but they had no idea what is said, or what it meant….so because they were pagans they turned to the so-called “wise men” of the age, but the wise men had no answers.
- 5:7 – King Belshazzar has two reactions:
- A physical reaction – he gets physically ill.
- An emotion reaction – he becomes desperate….he suddenly becomes willing to give massive wealth and power to whoever can help him understand the handwriting on the wall.
5:10-12 – Frightened, desperate, and having run out of all other options, Belshazzar turns to a man with a reputation for being completely different than they….a man described as having an “extraordinary spirit”….a man described as having “knowledge and insight”…a man “in whom is a spirit of the holy gods”…..the man, of course, was Daniel….he hadn’t been invited to the party, mind you…he wasn’t part of their culture….he wasn’t part of their religion….he wasn’t a member of the “in crowd”….and that was the point….in their fear and trembling, they were looking for someone completely different….someone who had a completely different perspective and just might be able to help them.
5:13-16 – Enter Daniel….he is brought into the upper echelons of power and wealth and offered a great reward if he can solve the mystery.
5:17-28 – Daniel doesn’t ignore or resist the king’s request….he doesn’t claim separation of Church and State….he doesn’t self-righteously declare he won’t “dirty his hands” by speaking to government leaders….but Daniel makes clear that he’s not interested in money, power or prestige….he’s not trying to be in their club….he certainly doesn’t want to be part of their pagan culture or corruption….rather, he knows he holds citizenship in another kingdom, yet he also knows that he is God’s ambassador….so he agrees to explain the hand of God to the king and his court….giving all glory and honor to the Lord, Daniel fearlessly makes known the word of the Lord, even at great risk to his own life.
Many in ministry look at Daniel with admiration and want to be like him:
- He’s handsome (Daniel 1:4)
- Brilliant (Daniel 1:4)
- Wise (Daniel 1:4)
- Sterling reputation (Daniel chapters 1 through 5)
- Invited into the highest courts of power (the entire book of Daniel)
- Given great accolades, wealth and authority (Daniel 2:46-49 and 5:29)
Yet let’s be clear: Daniel didn’t seek any of these things….moreover, he knew he could take no credit for these things.
That said, let’s take another look….are you really willing to be a Daniel? Consider the high price of his service to the Lord:
- He was taken captive from his homeland (Daniel chapter 1)
- Forcibly given a new home, new name, new diet, new education, new job in a brutal pagan empire (Daniel chapter 1)
- Arrested, convicted, imprisoned, sentenced to death (Daniel chapter 6)
- Yet he never faltered….he never wavered….he clung to the Lord….he knew His God….he listened to His God….he was a man of prayer….he understand the Word….he studied God’s Word diligently and carefully (chapter 9 he’s studying Jeremiah!)…..and when God told him to speak, he spoke boldly and without reservation…..he didn’t pull any punches….he did so at great risk, but with great faith and courage.
- In Matthew 24:15, Jesus calls Daniel “the prophet”….for that is what he was.
How about you?….are you clinging to Christ?….are you on you knees repeatedly throughout the day in prayer?….are you fasting?…..are you listening carefully to the voice of God?…..are you willing to teach God’s Word – all of it, including the prophecies of a future that is coming fast upon us?…..are you ready to stripped of all our worldly possessions…stripped of our identity….arrested…. convicted….imprisoned…. sentenced to death….all for being men faithful to pray and faithful to speak the Word of God in our pagan, corrupt culture? Let us not answer too quickly – let us consider the gravity of this calling in this moment…for these tests may be coming soon.
Now, what was the Lord’s message to Belshazzar via Daniel?
- 5:18-21 — Belshazzar should have known better…he had seen the sins of his father, and God’s judgment
- 5:22 – “Yet you…have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this,” Daniel says to the king. “You have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven.”
- 5:26 – Mene, “God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it.”
- 5:27 – Tekel, “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.”
- 5:28 – Peres, “Your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.”
- Why was God judging Belshazzar? Because of Belshazzar’s pride…his vanity….his insolence….his hubris….Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Yes, the God of the Bible is a God of grace and mercy and forgiveness. He gives us one opportunity after another in life here on earth to say “Yes” to the Lord Jesus Christ and receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life by putting our faith in Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. But eventually there is a point of no return. There is a point in which you defy God too long….go too far….cross a line….and at that point you no longer have the opportunity to repent and receive God’s mercy. At that point, when you least expect it, you have sealed your own fate by rejecting the Most High God…by exalting yourself against the Lord, and you will stand condemned to the fires of hell for all of eternity with no way of escape.
Thus, the Scriptures are clear: Say “Yes” to Jesus Christ now, before it is too late.
- “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” (I John 5:11-12)
- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish (die and go to hell forever and ever), but shall have eternal life….he who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16,18)
- Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell….Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:28,32-33)
- Don’t do what Belshazzar did. Don’t keep defying the Most High God. Don’t wait too long to repent and give your life to the Lord. Otherwise there will come a point of no return. You will be weighed in God’s balances and found deficient, and theKingdomofGodwill be ripped away from you and you won’t have another opportunity to be saved. The Apostle Paul put it clearly: “Now is the acceptable time [to get right with God],” he wrote. “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
5:29-31 – For some unknown reason Belshazzar kept his word to Daniel and rewarded him for his insight….and God kept His word and before the night was finished, Belshazzar was dead.
Question: Why did God write on the wall?
It was too late for that king — and that kingdom — to repent. Why, then, did God sent the message? To warn to those Babylonians who were in the room with Belshazzar, and to warn the entire nation of Babylon….and to warn us down through the centuries: Listen to the voice of God….read the Word of God….don’t harden your heart….understand the “handwriting on the wall”….understand that God is trying to wake you up….get your attention….draw you to Him….motivate you to serve Him….don’t wait too long….repent of your sins and receive Christ as your Savior while there is still time.
Today, we can see the handwriting on the wall once again….in Israel and the Middle East….and here in the United States….God is trying to get our attention….will we listen, or harden our hearts?
The Future of Israel and the Middle East
As followers of Jesus Christ, we can see the handwriting on the wall in theMiddle East. We know what it says, and we know what it means: a terrible war is coming to the epicenter. God is going to shake the people of theMiddle East. He wants them to wake up and realize their real and desperate and urgent need to receive Jesus as their Messiah, Savior and Lord. Jesus doesn’t want anyone in the epicenter to perish and go to hell. He wants them to all to be saved.
The Good News is that more Muslims and more Jews are coming to faith in Jesus than ever before in history. But it’s not enough for the Lord. Too many people are still resisting Him. So in His mercy He will continue shaking them in hopes that they will listen and repent like Nebuchadnezzar, not rejecting Him to the very end like Belshazzar.
Will the coming war be a prophetic war (like Ezekiel 38-39, the “War of God and Magog”), or just a really terrible geopolitical war? Of that we cannot yet be certain. But clearly the most dangerous corridor in the world is between Tel Aviv and Tehran. The leaders of the free world say Iran could have the Bomb by the end of 2012. Yet the nations of the world refuse to take decisive action to neutralize the Iranian threat. But make no mistake: if Iran’s mullahs get the Bomb, they could do in six minutes what it took Adolf Hitler six years to do – kill six million Jews. Today’s Sunday New York Times magazine story suggests Israel and Iran may very well go to war in 2012.
The handwriting on the wall is clear – the question is: What will we as believers do about it?
- Will the Church demonstrate the love and courage necessary to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Middle East with clarity and compassion before it’s too late? If we really love the people of the epicenter, that’s exactly what we should do.
- Will the Church do everything possible to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in theMiddle East– to pray for them, to visit them, to equip them, to assist them, to stand with them, come what may? Will we help the persecuted believers in the region? Will we train the pastors and help them plant new churches? Or will we ignore them, abandon them, refuse them in their hour of need? Again, if we love them, we will serve them.
- Time is short, and the handwriting on the wall is clear.
The Future of America
The handwriting on the wall is also clear here in theUnited States. We as followers of Jesus Christ know full well thatAmericais in grave danger — not just at risk of decline but of outright collapse.
- We now have more than $15 trillion in debt….100% of our GDP….but we are facing $65 trillion in unfunded liabilities…..we are on the Titanic, heading for the icebergs, and too many inWashington are saying, “Speed up!” not, “Turn around!”
- The Bible warns us not to go into debt, yet we continue to defy Him.
- We are defying God in other areas, too.
- 53 million abortions
- Legalized homosexual marriage
- A pornography industry that makes more than ABC, CBS and NBC combined.
How much longer will the Lord wait before He lets us reap what we’ve sown? Is God going to give us another chance, or is He finished with us? Is America in a “Nebuchadnezzar moment” (where we still have an opportunity to repent and be restored), or a “Belshazzar moment” (where God removes His favor from us and turns out the lights)? Honestly, I’m not certain.
The good news is that God moved powerfully in this land in the early 1700s with the first “Great Awakening,” a series of amazing spiritual revivals that woke up the Church and rescuedAmerica. God moved powerfully again in the early 1800s with the “Second Great Awakening” that was even more transformative.
The question now is: Will God give us a Third Great Awakening? I don’t know, but I hope so. That’s why I’ve written the book, Implosion. But I can’t wait until June when it releases. I feel compelled to start talking about these issues now because they are so important. We need to be on our knees praying and fasting and pleading with God to have mercy on us. Yes, Washington and Wall Street and Hollywood bear much blame for the mess we’re in. But so does the Church.
There are 340,000 churches in the United States. They are all supposed to be shining cities on a hill. They are supposed to be lights in the darkness. But in too many American churches, the light is growing dim. In some churches, there is no light at all. We desperately need a revival of the Church to save this country. Nothing less will do.
Even if we elect godly, principled, wise and courageous leaders to the presidency, the Senate and the House in 2012, this won’t be enough to keep us from implosion. It’s still important, don’t get me wrong. But won’t be enough. We need a supernatural movement of God to rescue us, or this nation will collapse economically, morally and culturally.
On Saturday, June 16th, we will host the national “Implosion” simulcast….a three-hour program for churches all across the country….I’ll teach for about an hour on these issues, and then take 2 hours of questions in a live format…we’ll talk about how much trouble we’re in, and we’ll talk more about the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening and see if there are lessons we can learn and apply to our own time….I hope you and your churches will consider joining us for this.
The world is fearful and confused. Millions across the globe can see the handwriting on the wall. They know something is terribly wrong. They sense something terrible is coming. But they cannot read the handwriting or understand what it means. That’s your job. That the mission of the pastor, the man of God who knows the Word of God and is charged with teaching the Word of God. It is your job to analyze these present times in the light of God’s Word, in the light of Bible prophecy, and help the Church and the pagan world understand what God is saying….before it’s too late.
Too many pastors, however, are asleep to the trend lines. They are unable – or unwilling – to see how much danger the people of the Middle East are in, and how much danger the people of the United States are in. But now is precisely the time to call the Church, and the nations, and Israel, back to the God of the Bible…..now, while we still can.
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