Category: America

94-year-old Billy Graham’s warning for America

“God’s prophet” – famed evangelist Billy Graham – is praying America will experience another “great spiritual awakening.”

International evangelist Reinhard Bonnke – whose ministry records 72 million people responding to the call of salvation in Africa and elsewhere – says God told him the time has come for “a mighty wave of salvation to sweep the USA.”

And Harvest Crusades President Greg Laurie – a Southern California megachurch pastor who became a believer during the legendary Jesus Movement of the late 1960s and 70s – believes America’s “only real hope” is national revival.

At a time when many believe the midnight hour on God’s prophetic clock is fast approaching, major evangelists – Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Bonnke, Laurie, Chuck Smith, Banning Liebscher and others – are turning their attention toward America in the hope of helping ignite an end-times awakening.

The movement comes as Graham, the 94-year-old New York Times bestselling author and evangelist who has preached to more people – 2.2 billion – than any Protestant in history and has provided spiritual counsel to every president from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, released a letter last summer titled “My Heart Aches for America.”

In the letter, Graham wondered what his late wife, Ruth, would think of a nation in which “self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.”

Graham compared America to the ancient city of Nineveh, the lone superpower of its time. When the prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, the people repented and escaped judgment, Graham wrote.

“I think it’s an apt description,” Laurie said. “I think in many ways America is like Nineveh. The wickedness of Nineveh was so great that God effectively said it was recognized up in heaven – ‘the sin of Nineveh has come before me’ – and I believe America is at such a state.”

Laurie said Graham “is a prophetic voice, and to me it’s like Isaiah or Jeremiah standing up and telling our nation what we need to do.”

“We would be wise to heed his warning and his admonitions and turn back to God, because I believe God’s prophet is speaking to us,” Laurie said.

Hope for America

Believing that America, like Nineveh, also has a window of time to repent and return to God, Graham is holding the My Hope America with Billy Graham evangelistic outreach the week of Nov. 7, his 95th birthday. [More information can also be found by calling 1-877-7MY-HOPE, or 1-877-769-4673].

 

A Billy Graham meeting at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1963 set an attendance record of 134,254

“My Hope has been used in many countries and hundreds of thousands of people have received Christ as Savior,” Graham said. “I think it’s going to be a tremendous time of evangelism. I think that the Lord is going to use it mightily. I’ve been praying that we might have a spiritual awakening. But I think that becomes possible as individuals surrender their lives fresh and anew to Christ. And that’s the hope that we have.”

In a massive, nationwide event now involving more than 16,000 churches and hundreds of thousands of people, Americans are expected to gather with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers the week of Nov. 7 to watch programs featuring a new and powerful message from Graham, dynamic music and testimonies.

Some will invite guests into their homes or churches to learn about Jesus using television or video, while others will gather at a coffee shop or the park to watch the program on a tablet or smartphone.

“I believe this could be a huge night in American church history as hundreds of thousands of homes are opened and hundreds of thousands of people are sitting and watching and hearing the gospel,” said Franklin Graham, Graham’s son and president and chief executive officer of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “It just might be one of the largest evangelistic efforts in the history of our nation.”

The My Hope America with Billy Graham event is part of a larger effort by major evangelists and ministries who are planning numerous evangelistic crusades, conferences and other events this year and next.

The movement began in February when Bonnke declared to 5,000 people in attendance at the two-day Gospel Fest in Vero Beach, Fla. that, “All America shall be saved!” Bonnke is best known for his crusades in Africa and for his cry, “All Africa shall be saved!”

On June 16, several thousand “Jesus People” gathered at the Calvary Chapel Summer Crusade with Franklin Graham and Calvary Chapel Pastor Chuck Smith in Costa Mesa, Calif. Then, on July 22-24, about 6,000 youth gathered for the Jesus Culture Conference in Universal City, Calif. where Bonnke spoke.

Bonnke, known for his Great Gospel Crusades in Africa in which as many as 1.6 million people attend, said God told him last year it was time to “cast the Gospel net across America.”

Bonnke will speak next Sept. 27-28 at the Good News Orlando crusade at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.

He said he wants to fill the Orlando arena and then “go from city to city, from state to state and from coast to coast.”

“America will be saved!”

Bonnke said Americans “need to hear the Gospel.” When he preached in Germany, he said, skeptics told him Germans had rejected the Gospel.

“I preached in a stadium and when I made the altar call, the power of God was so wonderfully present that I saw with my own eyes people jumping over the benches to come forward,” Bonnke said. “They couldn’t come forward for the prayer of salvation fast enough, and then I realized one thing: Germany has not rejected the Gospel. I think the new generation has never really heard the Gospel.

“Every generation has a right to hear the Gospel, the ABC’s of the Gospel – the Gospel of salvation. And I believe the younger generation in America also has the right to hear the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and make up its own mind.”

Call to repentance

The crusades and other events come as a number of spiritual and political leaders have made calls for repentance in recent years, arguing the nation is in a downward spiral of economic decline, corruption, immorality, secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty.

WND.com founder and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah is calling for a nationwide day of prayer, repentance and fasting on Sept. 11 – the 9/11: National Day of Prayer and Repentance – in response to the “ongoing downfall of our nation.” The plan is embraced by thousands around the country, including Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Chuck Norris, Laurie and Rabbi Jonathan Cahn.

 

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn

Cahn, author of the New York Times bestselling book “The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that holds the Secret of America’s Future,” said there is a strong awareness among believers and Christian leaders that America is in “great spiritual danger.”

“The speed of its departure from God has accelerated,” said Cahn, the senior rabbi at the nation’s largest messianic congregation, the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J., and a descendant of Aaron, the brother of the biblical prophet Moses. “Hardly a day passes without another step in the nation’s moral and spiritual descent. To anyone who is spiritually sensitive or, for that matter, who reads the Bible, the picture is clear.

“We stand at a tipping point,” he said. “I believe that’s why the Lord caused ‘The Harbinger’ to be released at this exact point in time. It’s a warning, the sounding of the trumpet, the call to return. The only hope we have is that of a turning of course, repentance, revival, a return to God.”

In addition to the annual Harvest Crusade Aug. 23-25 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., Laurie will preach Sept. 28-29 at Harvest America at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Harvest Crusades, in its 24th year of leading national and international Christian revivals, selected Philadelphia because of its history as the birthplace of the nation.

Many believe the U.S. is at a new historic crossroads and hope that events such as this can help bring spiritual revival across the land. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29. Thousands of other locations around the country will participate via satellite and live-streaming.

“I think (Graham) is the reason we are seeing this emphasis on the gospel and bringing it to America,” said Laurie, who has preached to more than 4.7 million people and has seen nearly 400,000 make a faith decision since beginning Harvest Crusades in 1990. “Those of us who are Christians recognize that the only real hope for our country is for us to have a spiritual awakening.”

Mobilizing Matthews

Meanwhile, hundreds of ministers and others in all 50 states are continuing to gather in preparation meetings for My Home America with Billy Graham. At the meetings, pastors and lay church leaders are learning how to maximize the nationwide evangelistic outreach in their own congregations. Meetings are still taking place across the country through the summer. In addition to the meetings, thousands of individuals have registered for the project and participated in the free online training.

 

Franklin Graham

“The My Hope strategy asks churches to involve their members as Matthews,” said Preston Parrish, the BGEA vice president for My Hope America with Billy Graham. “Matthew was an early follower of Christ in the New Testament who had been a tax collector for the Romans. When he met Christ and began to follow Christ, he threw a party in his home and invited his friends so they could meet Jesus as well and experience his life-changing power.

“So these participating churches, more than 16,000 of them now, are encouraging their church members to make themselves available as Matthews – as people who will open their homes to their family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers and others in conjunction with a specially-prepared program in which Billy Graham communicates the Gospel.”

After the broadcast, Parish encourages these “Matthews” to share their brief, personal stories of salvation about how Jesus has changed their lives and then give a “loving invitation … to begin having this experience of a relationship with Jesus Christ too.”

Franklin Graham, who conducted his first evangelistic event in 1989 and has since preached to more than 7 million people around the world, said it’s called “living room evangelism.”

“It’s beginning to pray now for your unsaved family and friends and on Nov. 7 invite them to your home,” he said. “Have a hot dog, have a meal. Everyone has friends and family come to their homes, but invite some of your unsaved ones. Have them come and we will bring the telecast everyone can watch, either by downloading it on your computer or watching it on television. There are a number of formats in terms of ways it can be seen.

“But the point is it’s a 30-minute program and at the end of the 30 minutes the Gospel is given. The invitation is there. All you have to do then is turn to your family and friends and say, ‘You heard Dr. Graham. What do you think? Would you like to invite Christ into your heart?’ Once the invitation is extended, then you just watch the Holy Spirit go to work.”

Franklin Graham said the event couldn’t come at a more important time in America’s history. He says America “is in trouble.”

“We have turned our back morally and spiritually on God,” Franklin Graham said. “Our churches are in trouble, too. We are so concerned about being relevant to the culture. God never called us to be relevant to the culture. Our Father in heaven has called us to be obedient to Him. We are to be faithful and true. But the fact this whole relativism has got a hold of our churches is troubling to me. We need to get back to what God has called us to do and that is to evangelize.”

The church, he said, is “losing our country.”

“We are not evangelizing,” he said. “We have all these religions coming into our country. We have opened up the door to Islam and Hinduism and all these other religions have come in. They are making great strides, but the church is asleep. We are praying that with My Hope this fall that churches would catch a vision for evangelism and they would see that evangelism works.”

When asked if there is still hope, Cahn said if there was no hope there would be no harbingers and no book called “The Harbinger.”

“Why would there be warnings if there was no chance to heed them,” Cahn said. “If I only looked at the direction in which American culture is heading, I would have no hope. But with God, there’s hope. The fact that so many of God’s people and leaders are feeling led to pray, to seek God’s face, and to repent is a good sign. It may even be taken as a sign of God’s grace.”

When people ask Cahn what the future holds for America – judgment or revival – he says he answers “there can be both.”

“In fact, revival can even come through judgment and national shaking,” Cahn said. “And the Lord can touch a remnant in the midst of national judgment. It’s interesting that these calls for prayer including that of 9/11: National Day of Prayer and Repentance converge around the time of the holy days of the Bible – the days which are linked to judgment, repentance and return to God.”

hand-of-god-nebula

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5504

When bad is good and good is bad – Greg Laurie

 

Greg Laurie warns U.S. in danger for turning God’s law upside-down

Our culture in the United States seems to be turned upside down. It seems as though, in the perception of many, what was once considered good is now perceived as bad. And what was once perceived as bad is now thought of as good.

There was a time when, if someone was doing something immoral, we might have said it was bad. If someone was living with someone of the opposite sex and they weren’t married, it was said to be bad. But if a couple was married, that was good. Today, however, that has been turned upside down. If you think marriage is only between a man and a woman, that is bad – that is narrow. Everything has been turned around.

But here is what God says about such a mindset: “What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever” (Isaiah 5:20-21 NLT).

God was saying, “I will define what good is, and if you call bad what I say is good, then you are wrong.”

I bring this up because in the Old Testament book of Judges, everything was upside down, much like it is now. In fact, Judges 17 shows us how and why that happened: “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (verse 16). In other words, everyone was doing their own thing. One person might say, “Hey, your truth isn’t my truth. I live by my value system. You can live by your value system, unless of course, it encroaches on my value system.” Everyone had their own truth.

So God raised up judges to provide leadership for the people. These judges were not the kind of judges we would see in a courtroom today. These judges were like the officers of the law in the Wild West. They were like lawmen. A judge would be a warrior. A judge would enforce things, not give rulings. So God raised up judges in Israel.

Preceding the book of Judges in the Old Testament is the book of Joshua, which began with Joshua’s emerging as a leader (a great one) after Moses’ death. But as Judges begins, things have gone downhill. While Joshua is a book about conquest, Judges is primarily a book about defeat. Joshua is a book of faith, while Judges is a book of unbelief and disobedience. Joshua is about people uniting around one man to lead them, while Judges is about everyone doing what is right in their own estimation.

As Judges opens, approximately 200 years have passed since Joshua led the Israelites on their famous march around the walls of Jericho. Israel had conquered many of the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, including the Amorites, the Hittites, the Ammonites and the Jebusites. But they didn’t finish the job. And that was a problem. They did not drive all the Canaanites from the land, and they lived to regret it.

It is not unlike having a tree that has overtaken a yard. When the time comes to remove it, it can’t be simply cut down. The stump has to be pulled out as well. Otherwise, the tree will grow back. And it might even grow back stronger the next time and cause more trouble.

In the same way, sin needs to be rooted out in our lives. If we compromise a little here and a little there, eventually little things will turn into big things. It is like buying those cute little bunnies at Easter. They are so adorable. But those bunnies turn into full-grown rabbits. And little chicks turn into chickens. That is how sin can work in our lives. Little things turn into big things. Little problems turn into big problems.

That is what happened to Israel. Two hundred years after Israel’s conquest of Canaan, the tables were turned. Instead of Israel’s overtaking their enemies, their enemies were overtaking them. And in the sixth chapter of Judges, we find the Israelites living under the power of a group known as the Midianites. This was a result of God’s disciplining them. Why? Because they had disobeyed him. So we are told that God turned them over to the Midianites as punishment for their sin.

Can God ever use a non-believing nation to overtake a believing nation as a form of punishment? The answer is yes. That should stand as a warning to our country if we continue to thumb our nose at God, continue to break his laws and continue to go out of our way to remove him in every way. We should never think that we could not be overtaken by another nation, even a godless nation.

We need to do what Old Testament Israel forgot to do: turn to God. And the good news is that even when we have made mistakes, God can intervene and bring redemption. Even when we have messed up, God doesn’t say, “That is your problem. You made your bed. Now sleep in it.”

God can bring good despite the bad. And the Bible says that God “will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).

Sometimes you will find yourself in life circumstances where the only way out is God. Actually, that is not so horrible. In fact, it is kind of glorious, and I will tell you why: God always comes through. And when he comes through, you will say, “I exhausted all of my resources. I tried everything I could try. There is no other way this could have happened except for God.” That is what God wants to hear. Do you feel overwhelmed by your odds right now? Call on God.

There is no way we can impact our upside-down culture without God’s help. We need to look to God and do God’s work in God’s way.

hourglass

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5495

The Name Of Jesus Has Become A Dirty Word In Politically Correct America

In the United States today, there are very few words that provoke as much outrage as the name of Jesus.  It is being banned from graduation ceremonies, chaplains all over America are being forbidden from using His name in their prayers, and many school officials all over the nation have become absolutely fanatical about eliminating every trace of Christian expression from their schools.  One elementary school in North Carolina even ordered a little six-year-old girl to remove the word “God” from a poem that she had written to honor her grandfathers.  Political correctness is spreading like a cancer in this country, and our “freedom of religion” is rapidly being transformed into a guarantee of “freedom from religion” for those that hate the Christian faith.

Without a doubt, there is a war on the Christian faith in America today.  It is being waged in classrooms, courtrooms and churches all over the nation.

The following is an excerpt from a speech that Rand Paul gave earlier this year

There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.

And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it.

Evidence of this war on Christianity is everywhere these days.  The following are just a few examples…

-An elementary school in North Carolina ordered a little six-year-old girl to remove the word “God” from a poem that she wrote to honor her two grandfathers that had served in the Vietnam War.

-The Ohio Statehouse banned Christian pastors from using the name of Jesus when they open up the daily sessions with prayer.

-The use of the name of Jesus was also forbidden in all prayers opening sessions of the North Carolina State-House.

-Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that prayers before commission meetings in Forsyth County, North Carolina that included the name of Jesus were unconstitutional.

-Earlier this year, a Florida Atlantic University student that refused to stomp on the name of Jesus was banned from class.

-A student at Sonoma State University was ordered to take off a cross that she was wearing because someone “could be offended“.

-A teacher in New Jersey was fired for giving his own Bible to a student that did not own one.

-An open air preacher in Illinois was recently threatened with arrest for “scaring people” with the message of the gospel.

-A high school track team was disqualified earlier this year because one of the runners “made a gesture thanking God” once he had crossed the finish line.

-Volunteer chaplains for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department have been banned from using the name of Jesus in their public prayers.  Sadly, this is not an isolated incident.  Chaplains all over the nation are now being banned from using the name of Jesus.

-In recent months, daredevil Nik Wallenda has walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls and has walked a tightrope across the Grand Canyon, and yet both times the mainstream media has gone out of the way to keep the name of Jesus out of news reports

Despite Nik Wallenda’s frequent mentions of God the Father and Jesus during his high-wire crossing of Niagara Falls Friday night, an ABC News blog documenting virtually every moment of the achievement makes no mention of his verbal thanks to the Creator.

Wallenda, 33, the great grandson of legendary tightrope walker Karl Wallenda, walked across Niagara Falls on a high wire, as hundreds watched on TV at a block party in his Florida hometown of Sarasota, Fla., and millions of others tuned in for ABC television coverage.

Wallenda was fitted with a microphone during his tension-filled, 25-minute saunter at 200 feet high, and he could be heard praising God numerous times as he walked the length of four football fields from New York to Canada.

A recently released 140 page report entitled “The Survey of Religious Hostility in America” included some more examples of how Christianity is being systematically oppressed in America today…

  • A federal judge threatened ‘incarceration’ to a high school valedictorian unless she removed references to Jesus from her graduation speech.
  • City officials prohibited senior citizens from praying over their meals, listening to religious messages or singing gospel songs at a senior activities center.
  • A public school official prevented a student from handing out flyers inviting her classmates to an event at her church.
  • A public university’s law school banned a Christian organization because it required its officers to adhere to a statement of faith that the university disagreed with.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice argued before the Supreme Court that the federal government can tell churches and synagogues which pastors and rabbis it can hire and fire.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs banned the mention of God from veterans’ funerals, overriding the wishes of the deceased’s families.
  • A federal judge held that prayers before a state House of Representatives could be to Allah but not to Jesus.

Are you starting to get the picture?

And one of the biggest battlegrounds for religious freedom in America at the moment is the U.S. military.

Right now, there are some very powerful forces that are trying to eradicate all expressions of the Christian faith from the U.S. military.  It has gotten so bad that a 23 year Air Force veteran was recently ordered to remove his Bible from his desk, and the Air Force recently came out and announced that service members are only allowed to talk about their faith if it “does not make others uncomfortable“.

The U.S. military is a far different institution than it once was.  Today, political correctness rules the U.S. military.

If you doubt this, just check out this example

Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes is a Christian chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. He is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. As an ordained clergyman whose duties are to provide religious instruction and spiritual counseling, he has a page on the base’s website called “Chaplain’s Corner.”

Reyes recently wrote an essay entitled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II.” This common saying is attributed to a Catholic priest in World War II, made famous when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said during a 1954 speech: “I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation was absolutely outraged when they heard about this.  They demanded that the commander of the base, Col. Brian Duffy, do something about the “anti-secular diatribe” that Reyes had authored.

In the old days, a base commander would have had a good chuckle and then would have told the MRFF where to stick their complaint, but the old days are gone.

These days, base commanders cower subserviently before politically correct organizations such as the MRFF.  Just check out what happened next

Nonetheless, only five hours after MRFF’s complaint, the essay was removed from the website. Duffy has profusely apologized to MRFF for not stopping this religious leader from sharing religious thoughts.

But this response—which again appears to be a violation of Reyes’s First Amendment rights—is insufficient for MRFF. They said, “Faith based hate, is hate all the same,” and, “Lt. Col. Reyes must be appropriately punished.” (Emphasis added).

And thanks to the MRFF, special edition Bibles for service members have been banned from being sold on military bases…

Bowing to a complaint from a religious watchdog group, the Pentagon will no longer give consent for a publisher to use the official emblems of the military services on a line of Bibles sold on base exchanges.

The group claimed victory, but an association of former military chaplains is demanding that Congress overturn the Defense Department’s decision.

The Bibles, branded for each of four services as “The Soldier’s Bible,” “The Sailor’s Bible” and so on, are published by LifeWay Christian Resources’ Holman Bible Publishers, a subsidiary of the Southern Baptist Bible Convention, said Chris Rodda, the senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

The MRFF is a very insidious organization.  It is headed up by a man named Mikey Weinstein.  He has called Christians “human monsters” and “enemies of the United States Constitution“.  Weinstein is convinced that sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ while in the military is “sedition and treason” and should be punished as such.

You would think that people like Weinstein would be dismissed as lunatics, but unfortunately under the Obama administration he has been brought in as a special adviser to the Pentagon.

What a crazy world that we live in.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama himself has remained completely silent as a totally innocent American citizen is being tortured in an Iranian prison.  If that prisoner was a liberal activist, Obama would be moving heaven and earth to get him released.  But because he is a Christian, we haven’t heard a peep out of Obama, and many Christian leaders want an explanation…

One of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders wants to know why President Obama has remained silent as Iran tortures an American pastor held captive in one of the Islamic republic’s most notorious prisons.

Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, told Fox News the imprisonment and torture of Pastor Saeed Abedini is a blatant example of “religious intolerance.”

“Many in the international community are expressing outrage over this blatant example of religious intolerance,” Graham said. “I ask that our government do the same and demand that Pastor Saeed Abedini be released and allowed to return home to his wife and family in the United States.”

We are rapidly moving toward a time when followers of Jesus will be treated as second class citizens in America.  The following are some other examples of this trend…

  • A War Games scenario at Fort Leavenworth that identified Christian groups and Evangelical groups as being potential threats;
  • A 2009 Dept. of Homeland Security memorandum that identified future threats to national security coming from Evangelicals and pro-life groups;
  • A West Point study released by the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center that linked pro-lifers to terrorism;
  • Evangelical leader Franklin Graham was uninvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer service because of his comments about Islam;
  • Christian prayers were banned at the funeral services for veterans at Houston’s National Cemetery;
  • Bibles were banned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center – a decision that was later rescinded;
  • Christian crosses and a steeple were removed from a chapel in Afghanistan because the military said the icons disrespected other religions

For much more on all of this, please see my previous article entitled “All Over America Evangelical Christians Are Being Labeled As Extremists And Hate Groups“.

This is not what America is supposed to be about.

How quickly we have turned our backs on the values of our founders.

In a recent article, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin tried to remind us of how far we have drifted from what our founders intended…

It’s a good thing that George Washington is dead and military history effectively banished from our campuses. Otherwise, we might remember the general order Washington issued upon taking command of the embattled Continental Army–and in Boston, no less. The general “requires and expects of all officers and soldiers a punctual attendance at Divine services, to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.” In the same way, any assistant professor of government hoping to achieve tenure will likely skim over certain sections of the first president’s Farewell Address, which reads: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.”

Will America be able to stand if we continue to try to push every shred of the Christian faith out of public life?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5493

WHERE IS U.S. IN LAST-DAYS SCENARIO?

Greg Laurie

When I look at Bible prophecy, one thing that is of great interest to me, and of great concern, is the absence of the United States. It is interesting to note that a number of nations are mentioned in the Bible that will be active in the last days. Libya is mentioned by name. Persia, which became modern Iran and Iraq, is mentioned. Ethiopia is specifically mentioned. Quite possibly China and Russia are mentioned. And certainly Israel is mentioned. But the one nation that is strangely absent is the United States of America.

Where is the United States? Why are we not in the last-days scenario? Why is it that we can read of nations like Iraq and Iran and Libya and that we possibly can find China and Russia mentioned, but we cannot find the United States?

I would like to offer three plausible answers.

One, perhaps the United States may not be mentioned in Scripture because it might be devastated by a nuclear war. It is a horrible scenario and one that none of us would want to see, but we cannot rule it out as a possibility. There is no guarantee this could not happen. The possibilities of it have never been greater. Some would think that because the former Soviet Union dissolved, the threat is gone. But many nations have nuclear weapons. It could indeed be a rogue terrorist nation with nuclear capabilities, or even a terrorist group that could set off the dominoes falling onto each other. I hope this isn’t the case, but we cannot rule it out.

Rome was once the reigning superpower on earth. They had the most powerful military anywhere. But before Rome collapsed externally, she collapsed internally. I think we would do well to look at the soul of our country right now. I am for a strong military. We need to take seriously any foreign threats. But having said that, what about an internal collapse?

The second possible reason our nation may not be mentioned in Scripture is that perhaps we will simply decline as a world power. As our country becomes more and more secular, systematically eliminating God and the Bible from our education system, courts, and the arts we will begin to reap the inevitable results of sin. We will begin to rot from the inside.

Historian Will Durant pointed out that a great nation is not destroyed from the outside until it has first fallen apart on the inside. Certainly you can see the moral decay in America today. The Bible says, “Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NLT). If we forget God and abandon the Bible, which is his Word, then we will reap the inevitable results of sin. I think to some degree, we already have as we have seen the breakdown of the family, rampant crime and so many other problems that have come from disobeying God.

What once was freedom of religion seems to have now become freedom from religion. We have succeeded in getting God out of our schools, out of our sporting events, out of our public places and out of our workplaces.

Christmas – which was once, at least to some degree, a celebration of the birth of Jesus – now has simply turned into Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings and for some, even winter solstice. Good Friday and Easter, which are times to remember the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, have now turned into spring break.

But here is the thing we need to remember. The freedom we enjoy is built on the foundation of absolute truth. And when you remove that foundation, this freedom actually can turn into anarchy.

But there is a third possibility, which I find a lot more hopeful: a great revival takes place in the United States. That is not to say a revival would eliminate us as a world power. But if our nation had a revival, it would affect us. Think about this. Let’s say, for example, that one-fourth of all Americans are believers. This would mean that we have approximately 78 million true believers in our country today.

When the Rapture of the church takes place, don’t you think there would be an impact on the United States if 78 million people disappeared? If people in every level of government, the military, the economic sector, business, agriculture, medicine and communications suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, it undoubtedly would have a crippling effect on our infrastructure as a nation. For all practical purposes, when the Rapture takes place, it will impact every nation. It will cause the entire world to suddenly shift. This could be the scenario for the United States in the last days.

I would only hope and pray that we will have some kind of revival in America and that we would turn to God on a scale such as we have never known before. That is what we need to pray for in our country today. We need to pray for revival.

When I say that our nation needs God, I don’t mean that we need whatever god everyone happens to believe in. Interfaith prayer services have become quite popular today, with clerics and ministers from various religions calling on their various gods and reading from the Bible, from the Quran and so forth. But this is not what God is looking for. He is not looking for us to just call out to whomever we perceive some supreme being to be.

The only hope for America is when we turn back to the true and living God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who gave us the Bible as the revelation of who he is, the God who loved us so much that he sent his own son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place.

This is the God we called upon when we originally founded the United States. Don’t let the revisionists throw you. Our nation was founded on biblical principles. There is no question that Christianity was a major part of the founding of the nation, and it is a major part of our heritage, evidenced by the fact of Americans turning back to God during times of crisis. We need to call upon God and get right with God. That is our only hope.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5446

The Pastor Who Wasn’t There – Jim Fletcher

I visited a mega-church this morning. By definition, it’s a church that has a vested interest in developing and maintaining groupthink. By that I mean, the Rick Warren model of demanding consensus. The pastor—who addressed the congregation via video—is part of a large denomination that has traditionally been “conservative.”

That is changing.

It was disconcerting watching the pastor from a satellite location, but that isn’t the point of today’s discussion. The point is that the type of consensus-building running rampant through evangelical churches today bodes ill for Israel.

To give you an idea just how choreographed and monolithic the Purpose Driven model is in our churches today, you might find it interesting that the pastor whose church I attended (but he didn’t) highly recommended a new book by Thom Rainer, who is CEO of LifeWay, the Southern Baptist curriculum resource. The book, I Am a Church Member, outlines how a congregant should behave in the modern American church.

Dissension, what some of us might call checks and balances, is not only strongly discouraged—it is in effect outlawed. Rainer makes the point that “unity” is the end goal. If you question the Purpose Driven model (as my friend Noah Hutchings explained to me, after receiving hundreds of letters from the “dissenters” who were shown the door) you will eventually be asked to leave the church.

Rainer’s pastor friend, helping him market the book, told the congregation that the following Sunday, they’d all receive a copy of the book, due to a generous donor. He also said (I thought somewhat chillingly) that the entire staff not only was required to read it, but discuss at the Monday meeting.

What does this have to do with the price of bagels in Tel Aviv?

Just that the entire leadership culture of the American evangelical community is moving away from supporting Israel. Stories like the one I’m relating here are part of the problem.

Before the service, I stopped by the church’s bookstore, a LifeWay store, of course. There I found books by Rick Warren, N.T. Wright, John Ortberg, John Piper, Bill Hybels, and Steven Furtick.

Warren is no friend of Israel—though he might protest that; doublespeak is another skillset required of mega-leaders today—John Ortberg speaks at Christ at the Checkpoint; John Piper tweets bizarre messages, such as when he asked Who is a Jew?; Hybels and his wife, Lynne, are solidly in the Palestinian narrative camp; and young Mr. Furtick, while not overtly anti-Israel, has chosen to carve-out his own ministry niche by, among other things, appropriating OT stories about the Israelites (Joshua, Elisha) and turning them into his own Christian self-help messages…books included.

There is a culture in mega-churches. The culture is set by the senior pastor of course. The senior pastors of this country are in turn influenced by Warren, Hybels, and a handful of other change agents who are transforming the American church into a syncretic hotbed of left-wing ideology. Think I’m too alarmist, or just plain crazy? Keep this blog post handy and let’s compare notes in 2018. Seriously.

Look, are there sincere people doing good things in mega-churches? Of course there are. There are also good, sincere pastors who have a heart for people and for advancing the Gospel, which is their job.

But on the whole, churches like the one I visited help market an ideology and philosophy demanded by Warren, Andy Stanley, and a few of their friends. By the way, and this is mentioned merely to put flesh on the skeleton of this story, outside this particular church there are Boze speakers planted in the manicured lawn. Inside, in the lobbies, are new “Giving Kiosks.” I find all this loathsome.

I also object to the weak “support” for Israel from pastors like this. He goes on “Holy Land” tours, visits Christian sites, then comes home and allows his bookstore to be stocked with titles from N.T. Wright & Friends.

He then has the audacity to say from the pulpit that the church rigidly proclaims biblical truth. Not when you carry books by Leonard Sweet, Erwin McManus, and Bill Hybels.

Add to this fact my recent experience trying to get Dr. Russell Moore to comment on his support or lack of support for Israel, and one begins to get the picture. Moore, newly installed president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has been described in an article at WorldView Weekend as having less-than-stellar feelings for Israel. When I asked him to elaborate, his assistant told me he declined.

The Big-Tent philosophy demanded by the mega-church monster naturally puts a damper on pro Israel support, because a huge congregation that necessarily has to keep the cash flowing in cannot afford to offend United Methodists, Lutherans, non-denominationals, etc., who find their way to that particular locale. There are too many coming from other denominations that dislike Israel and Jews to risk strong support for Israel.

An additional failure is the almost complete lack of teaching of Bible prophecy in these churches. To their great, eternal shame, they rigidly avoid it (except to throw a sop to the oldest generations). One will not see a prophecy speaker address the youth, or student ministries. Why? Believe it or not, primarily because Rick Warren denigrates it and directly tells thousands of pastors not to bother with teaching prophecy!

Let me be clear: the failure of American churches to teach the specialness of the Jews, and to reveal through teaching predictive prophecy the power and majesty of the living God…is killing American Christianity. There are still large churches that teach well, and many small ones that do. But the trend is toward decline and finally, whimpering extinction. This is the opposite of the grand view of the future church presented by Rick Warren.

The Boze speaker startled me at first, stuck there in the sod. The giving kiosk reeked of naked greed. The pastor was literally somewhere else.

So what we have at this level is a pastor who really isn’t there for the flock. This includes teaching them the truth about biblical history, the whole counsel of God, and the gigantic story of Israel in our day.

I see the endgame in view.

couuntry church

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5426

The State of America

Please take the time to read all three of these disturbing articles that show us the spiritual state of America. One story is of Samuel Adams removing the words endowed by our Creator” from their TV commercial reciting the Declaration of Independence. The second article describes pro abortion activists in Texas shouting Hail Satan to try to drown out an anti abortion speaker. This is a wake up call for this nation. The third article describes how Islamic terrorists may be behind the Arizona fires.

Pray for our nation!

Beer ad dumps God from Declaration of Independence

Drinkers boycott: American revolutionary ‘would be disgusted by this’

Published: 16 hours ago

 

Chelsea Schilling

In Samuel Adams’ July 4 commercial, a bartender asks, “Why name a beer after Samuel Adams?”

He adds, “Because Samuel Adams signed the Declaration of Independence. He believed there was a better way to live.”

Then the man recites the Declaration of Independence – but he omits “endowed by their Creator” from the segment.

“All men are created equal,” he states. “They are endowed with certain unalienable rights: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

He finishes the beer spot with, “Smooth, flavorful. We bow to no kings. Samuel Adams Boston Lager, declare your independence.”

But when Samuel Adams was asked why it omitted the Creator from its ad, the beer maker defended its decision and said it is prohibited from mentioning God in its advertising.

“The Beer Institute Advertising Code says, ‘Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes.’ We agree with that and try to adhere to these guidelines,” Samuel Adams said in a statement to “Fox & Friends.”

“While we do understand your objection to the omission of the phrase ‘by our creator’ in other circumstances (after all, they occur in the Declaration of Independence which Samuel Adams signed and helped author) we believe it would be outside our industry guidelines to invoke those religious words in a beer commercial.”

The brewer’s removal of the Creator from the text of the founding document is reminiscent of President Obama’s 2011 speech omitting God from the Declaration of Independence:

Adams – a brewer and organizer of the Boston Tea Party – unabashedly cited biblical arguments in support of American independence.

In 1776, while the Declaration of Independence was being signed, Adams declared: “We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”

In September 1777, Adams told Congress, “numerous have been the manifestations of God’s providence in sustaining us. In the gloomy period of adversity, we have had ‘our cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.’”

‘Creepier’ pro-abortion ‘Satan’ video emerges

Witnesses startled by protesters ‘chanting it in unison’

Published: 15 hours ago

Drew Zahn

A new, “creepier” video of pro-abortion protesters in Texas chanting “Hail Satan” has emerged, squashing rumors it was a single woman’s song.

Abortion activists opposing the 20-week abortion ban bill in Austin, Texas, drew national attention earlier this week for chanting “Hail Satan” while pro-life advocates sang “Amazing Grace.”

Yet only a single woman can actually be seen saying “Hail Satan” in the now infamous video.

An additional video of the event posted on a blog site run by Adam Cahm, however, reveals the chant taken up in unison by several voices, an effect Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com called far “creepier.”

The first of the voices can be heard at about the 3:35 mark of the following video, a portion of the speech delivered by a pro-life advocate identified only as “Ashley.” By the 5:15 mark, however, the droning chant of several voices can be heard clearly:

Cahm explained after the first released video that abortion activists “have been doing this all day, this is just the first time we caught it on video.”

After the second release, Cahm added, “Well guess what, it turns out we have video of the original incident.”

As WND has reported, the white-hot battle over late-term abortion procedures in the state moved into overdrive the past few weeks, with Democrats killing a pro-life plan by Texas Republicans in a special session of the legislature with a late filibuster aided by a raucous mob that would not allow representatives to record their vote by the legal deadline of midnight.

Gov. Rick Perry, vowing his state would not succumb to mob rule, called another special session immediately to address the proposed abortion limits, which is now under way.

The effort comes only weeks after the graphic images of babies who were killed by now-convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia were seared into the nation’s conscience. Gosnell was convicted of using a scissors to snip the spinal columns of babies born alive to cause their “demise.”

Texas has a similar case. Abortionist Doug Karpen allegedly used his bare hands to twist off the heads of infants born alive.

State authorities called for a full investigation into Karpen after Life Dynamics released a video with accusations from three women who worked for the Houston-based abortionist.

The interview featuring Deborah Edge, Krystal Rodriguez and Gigi Aguilar provided proof, Life Dynamics said, that “the lofty rhetoric of ‘choice’ may insulate those who work in the political and public relations arena, but the day-to-day reality for those who provide those ‘choices’ is to deal with the corpses and parts of corpses they pull out of their customers’ bodies.”

Mark Crutcher, the founder of Life Dynamics, said, “While the pro-life movement claims that abortion takes the life of a living human being, nobody on earth knows that better than the people who work at abortion clinics.”

Said Edge: “I thought, well, it’s an abortion you know, that’s what he does, but I wasn’t aware that it was illegal. … Most of the time we would see him where the fetus would come completely out and of course, the fetus would still be alive.

“He does a lot of huge abortions. A lot of the times, we would bring the big fetus[es] that were over age, we would re-open the bag and just look at it and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so big!’”

Life Dynamics said: “Simply put, this is abortion!”

The release of the video came just as Gosnell, who was convicted in Philadelphia of first-degree murder, was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison. He avoided the death penalty by agreeing not to appeal.

“During Gosnell’s trial,” Crutcher said, “it became clear that organizations like Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and others within the pro-choice community were fully aware of what Gosnell was doing. But they kept quiet because this was a rock they did not want the public looking under. What they knew, and wanted to keep hidden, was that everything being done at this abortion clinic was within the standard operating procedures for every other abortion clinic in the country. So they, and their lapdogs in the media, started whistling past the graveyard.”

It was into that atmosphere that Republicans in Texas sought to enact protections for unborn babies and their mothers. Those included banning abortion after 20 weeks gestation, requiring that abortionists have backup emergency help for patients who might take a turn for the worse and requiring that they not leave patients during various procedures.

But abortion promoters have gone to extreme lengths to prevent the protections from being adopted.

Said Jonathan Nessmith, president of Houston Young Republicans: “This kind of behavior would never be tolerated in the reverse by the Democrats. When Congressman Joe Wilson uttered the words, ‘You lie!’ during the 2009 State of the Union, Democrats responded with platitudes about ‘parliamentary procedure’ and ‘civility.’ Where are these voices now, when an orange-clad mob disrupts the business of democracy? Disrupting the democratic process is not the way we do things in Texas. Let’s get rid of the double standard.”

Political correspondent Bob Price of the blogger site Texas GOP Vote spoke with WND. Price was a witness to the events this week and last.

Price called the staged demonstrations “unprecedented in the Texas capital,” saying that in all his years covering the state legislature, he had “never heard of an official meeting of the Senate being disrupted to the point where a voted could not be conducted.”

Price was particularly shocked at the use of the term “blood-sucking parasite” to refer to an unborn fetus in response to pro-life testimony of individuals who have survived abortions. Price claims the numerous protestors were yelling these words.

The efforts went so far as to recruit children to carry signs such as “Every child a wanted child.” Another was much more graphic: “If I wanted the government in my womb, I would f*** a senator!”

Jihadists claim credit for Arizona fires

‘Our hands don’t just reach America, but also strike it’

Published: 14 hours ago

 

Drew Zahn

A Palestinian jihadist group, Masada al Mujahideen, has claimed credit for starting the ongoing Arizona wildfire that has killed 19 firefighters, according to a report from The Long War Journal’s David Barnett.

The Long War Journal is a project of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, whose leadership council includes among others former CIA Director R. James Woolsey Jr. and Former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

According to the report, the SITE Intelligence Group obtained and translated from a jihadist Internet forum a statement titled “Masada al-Mujahideen Fulfilled its Promise and Attacked America Again After the Expiration of the Period with Fires that Achieved Historic Results.”

The statement boasted of the deaths of the 19 firefighters and claimed, “We had previously announced an unconventional war against the occupation state of Israel, and then we escalated this war to reach its main supporter, America, so that it receives a major share of it, which will destroy their flora and fauna, with permission from Allah and then with our hands.”

The statement further said that the group targeted the United States “in order to make it clear and to make it known we can reach it when we warn it, and to make it certain that our hands don’t just reach it, but also strike it.”

The Arizona fire killed 19 of 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew, the greatest loss of life for firefighters in a wildfire since 1933 and the deadliest day for U.S. firefighters since the 9/11 when 340 died.

“Just as we remembered the brave men who ran into the twin towers,” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said, “we will also remember the men of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.”

Thus far, however, ABC News reports authorities believe the Arizona wildfire began with a lightning strike in Yarnell, Ariz., about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix, before spreading to roughly 6,000 acres amid triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

As WND reported, authorities have said a similarly deadly fire that struck Colorado last month was not the result of any “lightning strike.”

“One thing that my investigators have given me the authority to state is that they have all but ruled out natural causes as the cause of this fire,” said Colorado’s El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. “I can’t really go any further on that, but I can say we are pretty confident it was not, for instance, a lightning strike.”

One expert on Islamic terrorism believes the wildfire that ravaged the outskirts of Colorado Springs, killing two people and destroying more than 500 homes, should be examined by terror investigators, if for no other reason because of the history of threats from al-Qaida and others to burn America’s forests.

At the American Center for Democracy, noted terror funding expert Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote that Bill Scott, a senior fellow at ACD, warned about terrorist fires last July, speaking at the briefing on Capital Hill.

“An expert on aerial firefighting, he presented a sobering analysis of the devastating (2012) Waldo Canyon Fire [in Colorado], pointing out that the striking rise [in] Western U.S. wildfires may be caused by elements other than nature,” Ehrenfeld wrote. “He noted that in spring 2012, al-Qaida’s English-language online magazine, Inspire, published an article called ‘It Is of Your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb,’ which featured instructions on how to build an incendiary bomb to light forests on fire.”

She explained that Russia’s security chief, Aleksandr Bortnikov, also has warned, “Al-Qaida was complicit in recent forest fires in Europe” as part of terrorism’s “strategy of a thousand cuts.”

“Since then, more fatwas advocating that ‘fire is a cheap, easy and effective tool for economic warfare’ have been issued,” Ehrenfeld wrote. “They’ve included detailed instructions for constructing remote-controlled ‘ember bombs, and how to set fires without leaving a trace.’”

Israel’s forests also have been targeted, she noted.

“While many of the fires that have scorched millions of acres and destroyed thousands of homes in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and other states have been identified as arson, none has been publicly attributed to criminal or terrorist groups, despite the presence of Mexican gangs and [a] large number of other illegals in our Western states,” she said.

Mother Jones reported Don Smurthwaite, a Bureau of Land Management spokesman, “downplayed” Ehrenfeld’s ideas, “but he didn’t dismiss the notion outright.”

“We don’t have any hard evidence that any wildfires in the U.S. were started by terrorists in recent years,” he told the publication. “But is it a possibility? Certainly.”

He noted the last confirmed weaponized wildfires were in World War II, when the Japanese sent incendiary balloons across the Pacific.

However, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported al-Qaida was advising would-be terrorists how best to burn America.

The terror group’s magazine included pictures, diagrams and explanations on how to start fires to obtain the most damage.

CBN analyst Erick Stakelbeck said the extreme detail provides reason for concern. The information, he said, is “all designed to cause the maximum amount of carnage and death.”

CBN noted that in the U.S., more houses are built in the countryside than in the cities and cited a Montana fire chief who said the prospect of a wildfire terrorist attack was not farfetched.

WND also reported websites run by jihadis made claims of arson in a number of California wildfires.

WND reported in 2004 that an Arabic-language jihadi website also posted a message purporting to be “al-Qaida’s plan of economic attack” on the U.S. that including proposals to turn the nation’s forests into raging infernos.

The National Terror Alert Response Center report said: “We are NOT implying that the California fires are an act of terrorism; however, the threat of pyro-terrorist attacks pose a significant risk to the U.S. and the fires in California and Greece earlier this year should be a wake-up call.”

Even in 2003, an FBI memo warned that national forests in the West could be the next target for terror by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.

The memo, obtained by the Arizona Republic, warned law enforcement that a senior al-Qaida detainee told interrogators he planned to spark multiple, catastrophic wildfires simultaneously in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to strike a blow to the U.S. economy.

WND also reported documents recovered from a remote area along the Pakistan border revealed that bin Laden wanted al-Qaida to launch a “global fireball” by lighting forest fires in Europe, the United States, Australia and South America.

The documents, uncovered during an operation led by the British intelligence service MI6, were described by experts in that agency as “the most worrying [plot] that the world is facing.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5418

National Cathedral Rings Bells to Cheer Gay Marriage

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The National Cathedral is pealing its church bells, along with some other Washington churches, to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decisions on gay marriage.

Cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg said the bells rang at noon Wednesday for 45 minutes to an hour. Bells also rang at other Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Unitarian and other Christian churches.

The cathedral scheduled a prayer service for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families Wednesday at 7 p.m. to celebrate the ruling.

In a statement, the cathedral’s dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, says the church is ringing its bells “to celebrate the extension of federal marriage equality to all the same-sex couples modeling God’s love in lifelong covenants.”

Hall says the ruling should serve as a call for Christians to embrace religious marriage equality.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5331

Large US Marine force lands in Aqaba to deploy on Jordanian-Syrian border

A large American military force disembarked Tuesday, June 4, at the southern Jordanian port of Aqaba – ready for deployment on the kingdom’s Syrian border, debkafile’s exclusive military sources report. The force made its way north along the Aqaba-Jerash-Ajilon mountain road bisecting Jordan from south to north, under heavy Jordanian military escort.
Our sources disclose that this American force numbers 1,000 troops, the largest to land in Jordan since the Syrian civil war erupted in March 2012. They are members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Force carried aboard the USS Kearsage amphibious assault ship, which has been anchored off neighboring Israeli Eilat since mid-May. Upon landing, the marines took to the road in a convoy of armored vehicles including Hummers.

Washington and Amman have imposed a blackout on their arrival. The Pentagon has only let it be known that the annual joint US-Jordanian “Eager Lion 2013” military exercise is due to begin later in June and last two months, with the participation of US F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missile defense systems.
According to our US sources, the arrival of the US force in Jordan was not directly related to the regular exercise but decided on at an emergency meeting at the Pentagon on May 31, which was attended by top military and civilian Defense Department officials. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is away from Washington, took part by video conference.

The meeting decided that the military situation evolving in Syria and threats it posed to Jordan – including widening evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria – were urgent enough to warrant the dispatch of extra American military strength to Jordan, over and above the contingents participating in the joint exercise. The Israeli Air Force will provide air cover for the force until the F-16 jets are in place for the drill.

The US Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. T.G. Taylor in a statement to the US media said only: “In order to enhance the defensive posture and capacity of Jordan, some of these assets may remain beyond the exercise at the request of the government of Jordan.”

That request, according to our sources, was for the US to leave behind when the exercise ended and the troops departed – not just some of the weapons systems but all of the equipment which arrived with the marines Wednesday, as well as the F-16 fighters and Patriot missiles.
There is no official word about Washington’s response to this request. However, the Obama administration is not expected to turn it down

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5284

FOLLOWING IN ROME’S FOOTSTEPS

Robert Ringer

There has long been talk of America, like ancient Rome, destroying itself from within. Little wonder, considering that most Americans, like their Roman predecessors, show little concern for their country’s demise.

In addition, politicians and the media keep them distracted with a steady stream of manure-coated “news” – from the Benghazi cover-up to North Korea’s incessant huffing and puffing … from Fast and Furious to immigration “reform” (i.e., amnesty) … from the record Powerball lottery jackpot to the IRS’ targeting policies … the stream of manure-coated “news” has no end.

It’s true that every now and then we have a Pearl Harbor or 9/11, but in between, 99 percent of the stuff politicians and the media feed us is pure, unadulterated crap. And, make no mistake about it, the empty brain cavities wandering the streets of America are addicted to crap.

While these nonstop distractions have been going on for the past hundred years, America has continued to follow the paths taken by ancient Greece and Rome. By the standards of the day, Greek citizens once lived very well and enjoyed a great deal of freedom. Imagine the greatness of a republic that could produce the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle? But today Greece, long ago stripped of its greatness, is pretty much a Third World country.

Rome, too, was a great republic. Roman citizenship was so prized that some people actually purchased it. But Rome allowed itself to become mired in politics and the allure of ever-higher taxes – which, as in America today, led to more and more government employees, ultimately reaching one-third of the adult population.

The result was a total collapse of the once great Roman Empire and the establishment of a dictatorship, which in turn led to the intellectual and economic decline of the Dark Ages. Imagine, nearly a thousand years of human stagnation brought about by coddled Roman citizens who chose security and a comfortable lifestyle over freedom. In the end, of course, they lost all three.

Right now, as a result of fake money, maxing out of our China credit card and massive redistribution-of-wealth policies, most Americans are still able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and harbor a false sense of freedom and security. But thanks to our crumbling entitlement system and the advent of Obamacare, Americans, like the Romans before them, are on the verge of losing all three – freedom, security and a comfortable lifestyle.

History tells us that there is a natural evolution to democracies. In the early stages, people are hardworking, honest and independent. Paradoxically, these characteristics bring about prosperity, which tends to lead to decadence, laziness and dependence on government, which is a surefire formula for the emergence of a dictatorship.

The hard fact most people are unwilling to think about is that individual initiative and productivity are the keystones to freedom and prosperity. They cannot be replaced by collectivism or wealth transfer. On the contrary, the latter two will always destroy them.

Paper-tiger countries like North Korea and Iran are not threats to America. Nor are powerful countries like Russia and China. The threats from these countries are synthetically created by politicians and the media to distract Americans from the real enemy – themselves!

The greatest president of the last hundred years, Calvin Coolidge, summed up America’s true problems when he said:

“We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen. It is on that side of life that it is desirable to put the emphasis at the present time. If that side is strengthened, the other side will take care of itself. It is that side which is the foundation of all else. If the foundation be firm, the superstructure will stand.”

Given that Coolidge spoke these words nearly a century ago, is it any wonder that America has finally succeeded in destroying itself? Our nation was fundamentally transformed long before the current presidential imposter was hustled into the White House by the media through a side door. Of course, America, as a nation, still exists, but its culture perished long ago.

Why did Americans abandon their puritanical ideals for lives of decadence and sloth? Why did they embrace a flawed system like socialism to replace individualism and self-sufficiency? Why did they allow the evolution of a complete role reversal whereby politicians are their masters?

The answers to these questions are to be found in Edward Gibbons’ 1787 classic, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” in which he sums up Rome’s demise:

  1. The      undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of      human society.
  2. Higher      and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and      circuses for the populace.
  3. The      mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming every year more and more exciting      and more brutal.
  4. The      building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within the      decadence of the people.
  5. The      decay of religion – faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life      and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.

Is there any wonder why students of history have long compared America’s journey to the abyss to that of ancient Rome’s? Now, the question is, will our decline be the catalyst for a new dark ages? My guess is no, because other countries, most notably China and India, are moving toward becoming what we once were. The saving grace of modern civilization is that someone is always going in the right direction. Unfortunately for you and me, someone is always going in the wrong direction as well.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5241

The Harbinger: America’s Destiny Unless We Repent!

I have just started to again read through the book called The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. It is a pattern in Bible prophecy that is based on Isaiah 9:10. It is specific to the nation of Israel but holds significance for America in the pattern of judgment that came to Israel. Since we in America have been founded on Judeo-Christian principles and we have been blessed by the Lord abundantly and also have been used by Him to spread the Word around the world we fit this pattern. Israel was given the same blessings and the same charge to spread the Word.

The Harbinger is not a book about doom and gloom. While that will most certainly be the case for America if we do not turn back to the Lord and repent, it is actually a call to repentance or an alarm being raised about our kingdom or the condition of our nation spiritually.

The two key verses besides Isaiah 9:10 is Jeremiah 33:3 which talks about God wanting us to call on Him and that He will answer us if we do. The second passage is in Isaiah 55:6-11 in which God tells us to seek Him while He can still be found. He wants us to return to Him! He will have compassion and mercy on us!

America needs to heed these words closely given our lack of faith and trust in Him. While God is indeed love , He is also holy and His holiness requires that sin be dealt with.

The reason this is important is backed up Scripturally in Luke 13 where Jesus says of those who much have been given, much will be required. America fits this to the letter!

The Lord has been slow to totally remove His hedge of protection from America, as there are alot of pure at heart, Bible loving, die for your faith Christians still here!

We are headed quickly towards the decline and disappearance of the American kingdom and towards the Tribulation quickly unless we repent!

Our hope is blessed! Titus tells us that event is the Rapture! But before our hope comes we need to be about reaching the lost while there is still time!

A harbinger is the revealing of a mystery. An alarm for a nation. It is so precise and clear that we can not hope to miss the message the Lord is trying to tell us!

The message of all watchmen, like the Old Testament prophets will not be meant to make you feel good, it is meant to warn you and turn you back to the one who loves you! As a watchman I am required by the book of Ezekiel to speak truth so I have.

In the coming weeks as I continue on this journey in The Harbinger I will be posting new and exciting things that I have learned and feel burdened by the Lord to share.

Keep looking up!

harb

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