Blog note: Isaiah 26:17, Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord. End of note.
Theorem: We are in the season prior to the ‘end-times’. The period of time just prior to the Rapture/Harpazo (capturing up of the Church), the Tribulation Period and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (The Day of the Lord). The season prior to the end times is described as being like the birth pangs of a women in labor, which come in greater frequency, greater intensity, greater pain and greater scope.
Axiom: Is a mathematical representation and/or a logical statement or proof that confirms or rejects a stated theorem. A series of twentyfour (24) axioms or proofs are provided that confirm we are truly in the season prior to the end times.
Yes, you are absolutely correct! Many of these things indicated bellow have occurred in the past century, and before. HOWEVER, none of them have occurred to the scope of today, not with the intensity of today, not with the frequency of today, not with the destruction of today, and not with the number or volume of today. There is no logical denying any of the facts that follow. The only questions that remain are … do they really mean anything? Could they, just possibly, really be harbingers of the end times? What if the CONVERGENCE of all of these signs, really are road signs indicating that the Tribulation Period is quickly on it’s way? What does this mean for me, if it is true? Do you want to take the chance that all of what follows is just bunk and represents the normal flow of things as they always have been?
What exactly does the Bible say about when will we see the times of the end?: We will see and hear of events, and of trends. But no time or dates are given.
… “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with a child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
… “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobediant to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, buy denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” (2 Timothy 3:1-8).
… “ For the time will come whent they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
… “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall evil be spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgement now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” (Peter 2:1-3).
… “ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4).
… “ For many deceivers are entered intot the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (2 John 7).
… “ To execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. How that they told you there would be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” (Jude 14, 16, 18).
… “ And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many whall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:3-12).
… “ Now learn the parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I saw unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:32-34).
… “ And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? And Jesus answering to them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troublies: these are the beinnings of sorrows. But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. And the gospel must first be published among all nations. But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father and the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mark 13:3-13).
… “ And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilence; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. “ (Luke 21: 11).
… “ And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and waves roaring;” (Luke 21:25).
… “ Because that, when they knew god, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also have them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful; Who knowing the judgement of God, that which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:21-32).
… “ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
Everything is going along pretty much as it always has. Life continues to slide along, spooling out – unwinding like thread pulled from a skein of yarn. People are still getting up and going to work; some people are getting married and starting families; others are coming to the end of their lives. People are buying groceries, going on business trips, doing laundry, working on projects, paying bills, and simply doing the myriad of things that make up life in normal times. Heck, in the U.S., the stock market (DJIA) is at its high (recently passing 25,000), unemployment is very low and a major tax overhaul was just passed by the government. Some reports indicate that two million new jobs were created in the U.S. during 2017. Economically speaking, things are looking very good here in the Good ‘Ole USA!
However, with increasing frequency, normal times aren’t as normal as they used to be, are they? Our society is not as gentle as it once was. People are much more self-centered and callous. Children (and adults as well) are less respectful, a lot less kind than before; and our culture, indeed the entire world, is much less safe than it used to be. Natural disasters around the world in 2017 alone have created dread due to their immense size, frequency, intensity and scope of devastation. There is no denying these facts. There is a palpable fear that is growing within the hearts of everyone everywhere. Regardless of where one lives, there is an indefinable something that permeates the very air – a sense of looming danger that is disturbing and disquieting – a sense of an impending disaster that lies just beyond what we can see. As Shakespeare once said, it is obvious to anyone who is honest that “something wicked this way comes.” Indeed, if you are honest, you too must admit that you can feel an ill wind of change headed our way.
From nature’s perspective, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for natural disasters. They recorded 16 weather and climate disaster events across the United States, including 1 drought, 2 major floods, 1 major freeze event, 8 severe storms, 3 tropical cyclones, and 1 major wildfire. Overall, these events resulted in 362 deaths. The average number of annual catastrophic events in the past five years was 11.6, double the annual average in the 35 preceding years. The cumulative damage of these events totaled $306.2 billion, shattering the previous U.S. annual record cost of $214.8 billion. The NOAA also identified 710 natural catastrophes around the globe, significantly higher than the annual average of 605. The organization found that the disasters in the United States were by far the most costly, accounting for roughly half of all insurance payouts.
Pieces of the eschatological puzzle continue to manifest daily. The following key prophetic news stories of 2017 highlight the fact that we are indeed the last generation living in the season of the end times. The CONVERGENCE of all these signs indicates the season of the Tribulation and Jesus’ second coming is soon and time is increasingly becoming shorter (and how much more so the Rapture/Harpazo of the Church!). We can look at the following lists and focus on ‘sighs of the times’ rather than realize that they are ‘signs of the times”. The pieces of God’s puzzle continue to fall into place, nothing is falling apart but instead falling into place.
- The nation of Israel has been established (Ezekiel 36:22-24).
- The Gog-Magog alliance went on fast-forward in 2017-2018 (Ezekiel 38-39).
- A time when knowledge and transportation have greatly increased (Daniel 12:4).
- Talk of building of the Jewish Third Temple.
- Adultery, material greed, and the killing of innocent life will be commonplace (Revelation 17-18).
- Destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1).
- An intensification of those calling evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20), evil is waxing worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).
- Signs in the sun, moon, stars (Luke 21:25-26).
- Sea and Waves Roaring (Hurricanes/Typhoons) – (Luke 21:25).
- Great Earthquakes in diverse places (Luke 21:11).
- Great fearful sights in diverse places – Volcanoes (Luke 21:11).
- Great fearful sights in diverse places – Fires (Luke 21:11).
- Great Pestilences in diverse places (Luke 21:11).
- Great Famines (Luke 21:11).
- Wars and rumors of war (threats of war) (Mark 13:7).
- Christian affliction and martyrdom (Matthew 24:9).
- Many believers will fall away (1 Timothy 4:1-3) / Spiritual apostasy (Revelation 3:14-22).
- Love for one another growing cold (Matthew 24:12).
- Homosexuality will be rampant (Luke 17:28-29), Unprecedented moral decay (Romans 1:24).
- Revival of Paganism (False Gods / Mystery Religion Babylon).
- Wickedness will be rampant as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-38).
- When asked about the signs of His coming and the end of the age (Matthew 24:3).
- Ten Nation Confederacy of the Beast’s Kingdom (Rev. 17:12, 17:13, 17:14, 17:16, 17:17).
1. The nation of Israel has been established (Ezekiel 36:22-24). Jerusalem has become a ‘burdensome stone’ and a ‘cup of trembling’ (Zechariah 12:2-9). On December 21, 2017, the United Nations united as one to stand against one city on the planet: Jerusalem. Twenty-five centuries earlier, the prophet Zechariah wrote these words from the Lord, “I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle” (Zech. 14:2). The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning US President Donald Trump’s decision to name Jerusalem the capital of Israel. A total of 128 countries voted in favor of the measure, nine voted against it and 35 countries abstained. 1) The vote confirms international hostility towards a Jewish Jerusalem. 2) The vote reminds us that the biblical authors were inspired when predicting that an end-time coalition of nations would come against a Jewish Jerusalem. 3) The vote tells us that, just as Scripture indicates, the city of Jerusalem alone is the whole world’s business. The entire world is attempting to divide God’s covenant land Israel in half (via the ‘Two-State Solution’), which is the event that the Bible describes as the catalyst for God’s coming judgement on all the nations (Joel 3:2). This division of land is supported by all major nations and the United Nations itself – literally all the nations are attempting to sever Israel from Judah, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights. Amazingly, the Bible takes this prophecy a step further and indicates that the boundary stone the nations try to move will include Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:3). Pope Francis used part of his 2017 Christmas message to the world as a call for a “two-state” solution regarding Israel and the Palestinians.
2. The Gog-Magog alliance went on fast-forward in 2017-2018 (Ezekiel 38-39). Iran, Turkey, and Russia are uniting with a primary goal in mind – coming against Israel as foreshadowed in Ezekiel 38-39. Turkey’s Erdogan threatened to wipe out all Jews after Trump’s Jerusalem capital announcement. Putin is setting up bases in Syria and patrolling nuclear subs in the Mediterranean at a rate not seen since the cold war. Iran is aligning with Turkey and Russia. The Alliance of Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Ezekiel 38 predicts a latter-day invasion of Israel led by a coalition of Russia, Iran, and Turkey. On November 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Turkish President Erdogan met together at the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi to discuss the future of Syria, where all three have a significant military presence. They have no intent of leaving, only that of increasing their power in the nation. This public display of harmony between all three nations is exactly what we would expect ahead of the battle of Gog and Magog in light of Ezekiel 38-39. Such unity signifies, for example, that if Israel attacks Iran the other countries would respond as well. Russia made that clear a couple weeks ago, and now Turkey is also a part of this alliance. It is likely that this alliance indicates that the assault against Israel predicted by Ezekiel could become a reality in the coming months or years.
The Times of Israel reported the warning Benjamin Netanyahu gave to Syrian President Bashar Assad. He said that if he allows Iran to set up a permanent military presence near Damascus, Israel will intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war. Netanyahu will attack if Iran continues to build up its forces so close to his nation’s border. Satellite images confirm that Iran is setting up a large military camp near Damascus, just thirty miles from the Israeli border. The warning by Netanyahu is just one of many he has made regarding the expanding Iranian presence so close to Israel. Do you see how this could lead to a much greater conflict? With Russia and Turkey now so closely aligned with Iran, they would certainly join in responding to the attack along with the other Muslim nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 who seize the opportunity to take part in destroying Israel. The prophet says that God will lure Gog, the head of Russia, into the battle because of the ‘great spoil’ he could gain from the invasion (Ezek. 38:12). Until recent years, Israel has never possessed the type of wealth that would interest her enemies. Now they do. Israel possesses a large deposit of natural gas just off her shore and a massive reservoir of crude oil under the Golan Heights. These are exactly the two things Putin desires and needs to help his flailing economy. Furthermore, possession of Israel’s oil would greatly enhance his standing as the world’s new ‘energy czar,’ a title Putin recently appropriated for himself. Do you see the preciseness of Ezekiel’s prophecy in these events? Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018.
3. A time when knowledge and transportation have greatly increased (Daniel 12:4). A recent BBC exposé into the network of facial recognition CCTV cameras in China’s biggest city, Beijing, illustrates how effective a surveillance network is at identifying, tracking, and interdicting any targeted or wanted individual within minutes. All the more unnerving is China’s progress in developing a system of ranking individuals based on a citizen score linking social media and big data to create a digital caste system for human beings. Something akin to a credit score showing your loyalty to the state. Broadband, satellites, television and live internet feeds fulfill the technological requirement for the world to be able to watch the events of Revelation 11 in regards to the prophetic ministry of the ‘two witnesses’ during the tribulation period.
Brand New Way to Create Babies without Sex; with new rules complicating male-female relationships, scientists claim they may have a solution that will allow the human race to continue – in vitro gametogenesis, the manipulation of skin cells to create a baby. IVG has been successfully tested by Japanese researchers on mice, which produced healthy babies derived from skin cells. The process begins by taking the skin cells from the mouse’s tail and re-programing them to become induced pluripotent stem cells. These manipulated cells are able to grow different kinds of cells, and are then used to grow eggs and sperm, which are then fertilized in the lab. The resulting embryos are then implanted in a womb. Although similar to in vitro fertilization, IVG eliminates the step of needing pre-existing egg and sperm, and instead creates these gametes. But many experts in the reproductive field are skeptical of its potential outcomes and ethical compromises. “It gives me an unsettled feeling because we don’t know what this could lead to,” said Paul Knoepfler, a stem-cell researcher at the University of California, Davis. Knoepfler noted that some of the potential repercussions of IVG could turn into “cloning” or “designer babies.” Other dangers could include the Brad Pitt scenario, in which celebrity’s skin cells retrieved from random places, like hotel rooms, could be used to create a baby. Potentially anyone’s skin cells could be used to create a baby, even without their knowledge or consent. In an issue of Science Translational Medicine earlier this year, a trio of academics – a Harvard Law professor, the dean of Harvard Medical School and a medical science professor at Brown – wrote that IVG “may raise the specter of ’embryo farming’ on a scale currently unimagined, which might exacerbate concerns about the devaluation of human life. ”Although IVG has proven successful in mice, there are still some wrinkles that need to be ironed out before it is tested on humans. It will take at least another decade of bioengineering work, researchers say. In the meantime, those who want to make a baby the old-fashioned way will need to pay attention to the ever-changing rules governing courtship.
Expanding Worldwide Trend – National Biometric Database. Russia is to start a biometric database for financial services starting next summer, the Central Bank of Russia said in a statement. The biometric database will incorporate images of faces, voice samples and, eventually, irises and fingerprints. Russia isn’t the only country planning to implement a biometric database. China has also turned its nation into George Orwell’s nightmare. China’s Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the database, has amassed biometric information for more than 40 million people it was reported in 2015. The Communist country has the world’s biggest database of DNA information according to a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) just this year. For comparison, in the US, the FBI’s national DNA index has 12.7 million offender profiles. “Mass DNA collection by the powerful Chinese police absent effective privacy protections or an independent judicial system is a perfect storm for abuses,” Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW said. “China is moving its Orwellian system to the genetic level.” A follow-up report published earlier this month by the human rights watchdog group revealed that there was even a program which has gathered biometric data–including fingerprints, iris scans, blood-type, and DNA–on millions of residents in six regions in Xinjiang in 2017 under the guise of a free public health program providing physical examinations.
Here in the U.S. the DHS is planning a biometric facial recognition database for border checkpoints and to create the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) to store 500 million people, including many US citizens’ identities within its system. HART will no doubt link into the FBI’s NGI (Next Generation Identification System.) The Electronic Frontier Foundation is currently working with allied organizations to oppose mandatory national ID cards and biometric databases. According to EFF’s website, there is an expanding list of countries that have introduced biometric ID databases including Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Peru, and Spain. That list will soon include Russia, the U.S., and other countries within the European Union. Privacy will cease to exist and it will be a thing of the past.
4. Talk of building of the Jewish Third Temple: (Tribulation Temple) escalated after Donald Trump’s announcement concerning Jerusalem being Israel’s capital. David Lau, the chief rabbi of Israel, is calling for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. “It’s time to build” — a new tagline being employed by the Temple Institute — encapsulates the group’s controversial mission to rally Jews to reconstruct the Temple that was the heart of their religion until its destruction 2,000 years ago. Everything is ready for rebuilding the Temple and re-instituting sacrifices except for the order to rebuild the temple itself. Israel is ready to build the Third Temple with just a moment’s notice and it has taken many, many years to get to this point. The architectural plans are finished, actual descendants of Aaron have been identified for priestly service and trained, a temple service training school has already been established, the temple’s altar has been rebuilt, the temple’s cornerstone has been cut and is ready for installation, and the priestly garments and artifacts are ready for use. In order to provide the olive oil needed for certain grain offerings needed for service in the Third Temple, the recently reconstituted Sanhedrin is now planting olive trees near the Old City, including on the Mount of Olives. The re-budding of Israel continues in full force. Jacob Sheep, the actual breed of sheep from ancient Israel that went extinct from the land, are now back as of December 2016. The modern nation of Israel is quickly resembling ancient Israel, even down to its trees and sheep. The movement to restore Jewish rights to pray and worship on the Temple Mount is building. The Temple Mount Institute has a modular altar that could be assembled on the Mount in two hours, once given the green light. They performed a Passover sacrifice in full regalia offsite this past Pesach. Sometime in the first half of the 70th week, maybe at the onset, Jewish rights will be restored, thus setting up the stop to sacrifices in the “middle of the week” mentioned in Daniel. God does not bring to the very point of delivery and then not deliver (Isaiah 66:9).
5. Adultery, material greed, and the killing of innocent life will be commonplace (Revelation 17-18). Salacious sexual scandals followed one after another in 2017, most were publicized within Hollywood, Government and the Media. These scandals are but a part that reveal man’s evil character and now reflects the end-time warnings of (Roman 1 and 2 Timothy 3). The Justice Department has launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and the sale of fetal tissue. Over two years ago, citizen journalists at The Center for Medical Progress first caught Planned Parenthood’s top abortion doctors in a series of undercover videos callously and flippantly negotiating the sale of tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains,” https://plam.org/planned-parenthood-harvests-baby-parts/. Iceland Goes for ‘Nazi-Era Eugenics’ To Wipe Out Children With Down Syndrome; The Daily Signal and others reported that Down syndrome is virtually disappearing in Iceland. “More accurately, people with Down syndrome are being eliminated in Iceland through abortion,” the report said. “As prenatal testing becomes more and more widespread across the world, the number of babies born with Down syndrome and other conditions has decreased because when parents opt for screening that reveals an abnormality, many opt to end the pregnancy.” However, in Iceland, “more than four out of five women have a prenatal screening test and close to 100 percent of women who received a positive test for Down syndrome chose to abort their child.” “This is a trend closely followed by other Western nations including Denmark, France and even the United States. We should all be deeply sorrowful and outraged”.
The wealthiest 1% (percent) of the world’s population now owns more than half of the world’s wealth in 2017, according to a new report. The total wealth in the world grew by 6 percent over the past 12 months (2017) to $280 trillion, marking the fastest wealth creation since 2012, according to a Credit Suisse report. But that wealth around the world is increasingly concentrated among those at the top. The top 1 percent now owns 50.1 percent of the world’s wealth, up from 45.5 percent in 2001. The world’s millionaires are expected to do the best in the coming years. There are now 36 million millionaires in the world, and their numbers are expected to grow to 44 million by 2022.
Planned Parenthood: We Did 321,384 Abortions; Got $543.7 Million in Tax Dollars. (CNSNews.com) – Planned Parenthood says its affiliates did 321,384 abortions in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2017, according to its newly released 2016-2017 annual report. In the same report, Planned Parenthood says its affiliates received $543.7 million in payments from government—“Government Health Services Reimbursements & Grants,” the report calls them—in the year that ended on June 30, 2017. If Planned Parenthood had done its abortions non-stop 24-hours-a-day for the full year, they would have needed to abort approximately 37 babies every hour–or one baby every 98 seconds–to reach 321,384 abortions for the year.
6. Israel continued pounding targets (around Damascus) in Syria, foreshadowing the day when she will carry out the prophetic verse in Isaiah 17:1 – the destruction of Damascus. The Times of Israel reported the warning Benjamin Netanyahu gave to Syrian President Bashar Assad. He said that if Assad allows Iran to set up a permanent military presence near Damascus, Israel will intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war. Netanyahu will attack if Iran continues to build up its forces so close to his nation’s border. Satellite images confirm that Iran is setting up a large military camp near Damascus, just thirty miles from the Israeli border.
7. An intensification of those calling evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20), evil is waxing worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13). Islam proposes itself a ‘religion of peace’ (despite very many well publicized articles of attacks and killings made around the world in the name of Islam). Leftists Push ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ For Public Schools, Libraries; “Can everyone say, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a drag queen’?” —Drag Queen Lil Miss Hot Mess. Sick and tired of little boys rejecting tutus and little girls embracing Barbie, left-wing activists are pushing for American children to engage with drag queens in publicly funded schools and libraries. San Francisco-based RADAR Productions and New York-based Feminist Press have teamed up to bring “Drag Queen Story Hour” to life, hoping to “defy rigid gender restrictions” while providing “unabashedly queer role models.” As the campaign notes, Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is exactly what it sounds like: local drag queens—decked out in over-the-top, loud clothing and glitter—reading feminist-inspired fairy tales to young children. Transgender Gives Birth – Now Womb Transplants For Men Are Next; Trystan Reese, a transgender man living in Portland, Oregon, has given birth to a boy with his partner of seven years, Biff Chaplow. Their son, Leo Murray Chaplow, was born July 14. Reese, who was born female at birth, posted a video in March explaining his decision to carry a baby as a transgender man. “I’m OK with my body being a trans body,” he said. “I’m OK being a man who has a uterus and has the capacity and capability of carrying a baby.” However many transgender activists want to take the next step with womb transplants to enable anyone to have the ability to carry a baby. If a womb transplant is possible into a woman’s body, medical science now knows of no reason why such a transplant should not be possible into a man’s body as well. An expert on cutting edge reproduction procedures, Dr. Alghrani of Liverpool University’s Health Law & Regulation Unit explained, in a recent interview, other ways in which the womb transplant procedure could stand reproductive science on its head. Not simply men who want to become women, but also gay men who want to experience childbirth, single men who receive donor eggs and then reproduce alone and even married heterosexual couples who want to share child-bearing roles, alternating between husbands and wives giving birth, perhaps with the same uterus. The concept of motherhood itself is under assault, a sentiment now being echoed by many all over the world. One such woman, Laura Perrins, a co-editor of The Conservative Woman, stated bluntly that male womb implantation “Will impinge on the meaning of motherhood and womanhood.” The entire concept of gender is under attack through shifting pronouns, cosmetic surgeries and now the act of childbearing.
8. Signs in the sun, moon, stars (Luke 21:25-26). The Great Revelation Sign (Rev. 12:1-5) physically occurred on September 23, 2017. US total solar eclipse August 21, 2017; Americans donned special glasses to witness the first total solar eclipse in the 48 contiguous states since 1979. The path of the total eclipse ran from Oregon southeast across the country to South Carolina. It has also been determined that the US will receive another total solar eclipse in exactly 7 years. The two eclipses will form a perfect ‘X’ across the US. Three blue moons in succession (2017-2018). A succession of three super moons will be visible in the night sky. This special astronomical event began last Sunday and will end with a super Blue Blood Moon on January 31, 2018, according to Charisma News. Super moons occur when the moon is closer to the earth in its rotation, making it appear bigger than usual. The moon will appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter. The moon appears blue due to Earth’s dark shadow. These unique astronomical occurrences have some religious leaders speculating that they could be prophetic signs. Booms/trumpet sounds heard throughout the world; Reports continue to emerge of booming sounds of mysterious origin echoing from the sky, from Colorado and Alabama to the Middle East, United Kingdom and Australia, according to News Corp Australia. A recent example occurred in Alabama, when a thunderous noise shook houses and frightened residents on Nov. 20. Other booms around the world, like the one in Alabama, remain unexplained. Locals in Cairns, Australia, were shaken by a loud rumble on Oct. 10. Then two weeks later, another boom was heard over the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Other mysterious sounds have been heard in as far reaching places as Michigan and Yorkshire, U.K. The strange sounds from the sky started back in 2008, are increasing and still being recorded today on videos by people all around the world. Some vary in intensity. Some resemble a loud engine, a rumbling, the slamming metallic door or even a lightning strike, others more like a groaning. So far scientists have not been able to give us a definitive explanation for the source of these strange noises.
- Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse: As if the total solar eclipse last August and the blood moons of 2014 and 2015 weren’t enough, there will be a super blue blood moon eclipse on Jan. 31 (2018) – something that hasn’t happened for 150 years. And this rare event could herald war and turbulence on earth, according to a leading researcher of astronomical signs and how they interact with Scripture. Rather than just looking skyward, Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, the man who discovered the ‘Blood Moons’ phenomenon, says people need to be looking to their Bibles. “Many people seem to be overlooking the real importance of this event,” Biltz told WND. “The ‘super moon’ which takes place on January 31 is what is termed a ‘blue moon,’ because it is the second full moon in one month. It’s also going to be a total lunar eclipse, making it a ‘blood moon’ as well. This is the first time there’s been a total eclipse for a blue moon in 150 years, which makes it remarkable enough. “But what makes this truly mind blowing is when this will happen biblically! The eclipse will take place on Tu B’Shevat on the biblical calendar, the fifteenth day of the month of Shevat. This is important because this upcoming eclipse is only one of a series. The next one is on July 27, which is Tu B’Av or the fifteenth of Av on the Biblical calendar. The next one is January 21, 2019 – which just so happens to be Tu B’Shevat again!”
- Biltz, author of “God’s Day Timer,” stresses he is not saying anything will happen on Jan. 31, the date of this blood moon. However, he argues the specific dates involved show God is sending an important message. “These are very significant biblical dates, and now we have two blood red moons bookending each other in 2018 and 2019 on Tu B’Shevat,” he said. “This is fascinating prophetically because there is a section of Scripture in which Zechariah receives a revelation of a red horse being given a great sword to take peace from the Earth. And this takes place in the month of Shevat!” The relevant section of the Bible, Zechariah 1: 7-8, reads: Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying ,I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. “Not surprisingly, Zechariah asks what this is all about, and he receives some incredible insight from an angel who is nearby,” Biltz explained. In verse 12, we are told, “Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?”Biltz argues this message is of key importance for people alive today. “Do you see the amazing pattern?” he asked. “The vision of the horses are of the four horses from Revelation. And this vision takes place at the end of a 70-year period (three score and ten) which is given to Israel. Israel is now celebrating its seventieth anniversary. ”He also argues the mention of the “second year of Darius” is also of critical importance, as the second year of President Trump’s administration approaches. As head of the world’s most powerful nation, Trump can substitute for Darius in contemporary prophetic terms. “What this suggests is the red horse of war being unleashed very soon, and these moons heralding its arrival,” he said. “Again, I’m not predicting anything will happen on the day of the moon itself. Instead, I would look for war to break out between the two blood moons which take place a year apart on Tu B’Shevat.
9. Sea and Waves Roaring (Hurricanes/Typhoons) – (Luke 21:25). Typhoon Tembin leaves the Philipines with severe flooding and over 200 dead. Typhoon Damrey hit Vietnam, causing more than $1B in damage. Hurricane Harvey (Category 4) dropped a record 60 inches of rain in Nederland, Texas. Houston was flooded with more than 35 inches of rain. It is estimated that 70% of Harris County, which includes Houston, was flooded by at least 1.5 feet of water. 136,000 building structures were flooded. 72 people were killed and $180B in damage. Hurricane Irma (Category 4) was the most intense Atlantic storm to hit the United States in twelve years. Weeks after Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria delivered a second punch to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and elsewhere. 62 people were killed. Tens of thousands are without electricity. The Bangladesh Monsoon caused severe flooding that affected more than 40 million people across South Asia, including Bangladesh, India and Nepal. More than 24 million people were affected by some of the worst floods to hit South Asia (India) in decades. Large areas of land were completely submerged. More than 1,000 people were killed in Sierra Leone floods and landslides caused by heavy rains. Guangxi province in China had massive flooding that affected 14 million people.
- 01/04/2018: The “bomb cyclone” storm system that trampled the Northeast forced the cancellation of more than 5,000 flights on Thursday and the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights on Friday, according to FlightAware.com. A potentially dangerous deep freeze hangs in anticipation for the end of the week after the massive “bomb cyclone” storm unleashed snow, hurricane-force winds and frigid temperatures up and down the East Coast, along with life-threatening flooding in some areas. “Dangerously cold wind chills” are predicted through Sunday morning after what’s already been a whopper of a storm, the National Weather Service for the Eastern Region said Thursday. The expected cold air, which NWS said is “the coldest air of the season thus far,” could break records in more than two dozen cities and drop wind chills to as low as minus 40 degrees this weekend. Blizzard warnings and states of emergency were in wide effect throughout the day, including parts of Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, coastal New Jersey, Long Island, N.Y., and coastal New England. Wind gusts peaked at more than 70 mph in some places. The strong winds contributed to severe flooding along the coast from Massachusetts to Maine, overwhelming piers and streets. The storm also knocked out power to more than 100,000 homes along the East Coast. #Boston tide observation on its way to being the HIGHEST EVER RECORDED since 1921; record 4.82′ MHHW (or 15.1′ MLLW) back w/ the #blizzard of ’78; presently at 4.718′ (or 14.99′) which is the second highest tide ever on record.
- A super moon causes the perfect storm and record flooding. The blizzard that battered New England on Thursday hit at just the right — or wrong — time, yielding record tides and frigid coastal flooding in several areas, including Boston, CNN forecasters said. A combination of winds blowing ocean water onshore and a super moon Monday resulted in the unprecedented flooding, the forecasters said. The super moon phenomenon occurs when the moon becomes full the same day it reaches its perigee, the point in its elliptical orbit closest to Earth. And this week’s super moon definitely led to a higher tide, CNN meteorologist Jennifer Varian said. And the storm hit right as the tide — already set to be the highest afternoon one of the month — was rising. Add rising sea levels due to melting ice sheets and glaciers, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said, and it was enough to push water over sea walls and into coastal New England streets. Plus there was the bombogenesis, a weather process that occurs when atmospheric pressure dramatically drops 24 millibars in 24 hours. Thursday’s was a double bombogenesis — pressure dropped 59 millibars in 24 hours, rivaled only by a storm in 1989. Throw it altogether, and you have a rare event that happens once every 25 to 30 years, according to the National Weather Service. “We’re not even talking about perfect as in the day of the week,” CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said. “We’re talking about the hours. This thing in nature was perfect.” The flooding was historic. The tide gauge at Boston Harbor reached a record of 15.16 feet Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, beating the previous record of 15.1 set by the blizzard of 1978. The earlier storm left dozens of people dead, hundreds of homes destroyed and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
- January 11, 2018 California Mudslides Kill at Least 17: On Tuesday, drought-ridden Southern California finally saw some rain, but the downpour came with disastrous results, causing mudslides that have wrecked homes and killed at least 17 people. Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, the primary counties affected by the downpour, were the same counties that were overwhelmed by the Thomas Fire this winter. As CNN explains, this fire was the largest in California’s recorded history, and it’s still going on. Even though the fire started about a month ago, officials say that they don’t expect for it to be fully contained until later in January. According to reports, this fire and the several years of drought that have afflicted the area made the counties especially susceptible to dangerous mudslides. In the absence of healthy growing plants, the soil in the area is loose and easily moved by heavy rainfall, which leads to mudslides. In certain areas, the rain came at a rate of more than 1.5 inches per hour, the CNN article says. As the article also reports, one town in Ventura County received “nearly 1 inch [of rain] … in just 15 minutes.” Residents of the counties described the result of this overwhelming rain as a “river of mud.” In some areas, these rivers were so massive that they reportedly “wiped homes away from their foundations.” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, when interviewed by CNN, described the aftermath of the flood as “a World War I battlefield.” He went on to note that fallen powerlines, trees, and other debris would pose a challenge for rescue personnel, making it hard for them to aid victims trapped in their homes.
10. Great Earthquakes in diverse places (Luke 21:11). Mexico City experienced two major earthquakes, back to back. This first earthquake registered 8.2, killed 98 people and affected more than 1.5 million people. The second earthquake was in and around Mexico City. It registered 7.1, killed 370 people and collapsed more than 40 buildings. Yellowstone, A 7.3 magnitude in Iran near the Iraq border killed more 630 people. As of November, 2017, a total of 12,527 earthquakes around the world were registered by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). 2017 earthquakes by magnitude include 1 (8.0-8.9), 6 (7.0-7.9), 106 (6.0-6.9), 1,424 (5.0-5.9), 10,990 (4.0-4.9). Combined, all these earthquakes have killed 1,232 people. The earthquake swarm at Yellowstone National Park super volcano is now one of the longest ever recorded. Almost 2,500 earthquakes have been recorded in the western part of the national park. Scientists are warning there could be a big increase in numbers of devastating earthquakes around the world in 2018. They believe variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation could trigger intense seismic activity, particularly in heavily populated tropical regions. The link between Earth’s rotation and seismic activity was highlighted by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula who presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. “The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year”.
- January 11, 2018 String of Earthquakes Strike Along Iran-Iraq Border, Rattle Baghdad; TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A series of eight earthquakes hit the Iran-Iraq border area and rattled even Baghdad and parts of the Iraqi countryside on Thursday, apparently aftershocks of a temblor in November that killed over 530 people. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The US Geological Survey said seven of the quakes struck near the Iraqi city of Mandali and an eighth struck near Mehran in western Iran. All struck within an hour, beginning at 6:59 a.m. Iran time.
- Mexico earthquake: 7.2 magnitude tremor rocks capital and revives memories of September tragedy: A powerful earthquake shook south and central Mexico on Friday, causing people to flee buildings and office towers in the country’s capital. Crowds of people streamed out on to the streets of Mexico City as the ground shook as well as on streets in Oaxaca State’s capital, nearer the quake’s epicenter. She said she was still scared thinking of the September 19 earthquake that left 228 people dead in the capital and 369 across the region. Many buildings in Mexico City are still damaged from that quake. The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake’s preliminary magnitude at 7.2 and said its epicenter was 33 miles northeast of Pinotepa in Oaxaca State. It had a depth of 15 miles.
- A devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck right in the heart of Papua New Guinea. on Sunday causing massive devastation and killing over 30 people. Sadly, the death toll is expected to rise as many more are injured and still others missing. The quake triggered staggeringly massive landslides.
- 01/23/2018 Massive earthquake strikes off coast of Alaska: A large 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck off Alaska’s Kodiak Island early Tuesday, prompting a tsunami warning for a large swath of coastal Alaska and Canada’s British Columbia. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was recorded about at 12:31 a.m. local time about 155 miles off of Chiniak, Alaska. Buoy 46410, located northeast of the quake’s epicenter, recorded a “water displacement” of 32 feet, the National Weather Service said.
11. Great fearful sights in diverse places – Volcanoes (Luke 21:11). December, 2017, there are 36 continuously erupting volcanoes worldwide and 50 volcanoes that have an issued warning due to minor activity. Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2017, erupting volcanoes included Shiveluch in Russia, Villarrica in Chile, Mount Sinabung and Mount Agung in Indonesia, Turrialba in Costa Rica, Piton de la Fournaise on Réunion Island, Kilauea on Hawaii, Popocatepetl and Volcán de Colima in Mexico, Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska, Manaro Voui in Vanuatu, Mount Etna in Sicily, and more. On the Indonesian island of Bali, a volcano called Mount Agung is spewing ash 5 miles into the sky, causing flight cancellations and trapping thousands of tourists and locals on the island, even as the potential for a bigger eruption looms. Bali’s international airport closure stranded close to 60,000 passengers and more than 100,000 people near the volcano were told to evacuate as explosions were heard more than 7 miles away.
- (Popular Scientist) The eruption of Mount Agung on the island of Bali has sparked worldwide media interest, yet volcanic eruptions in Indonesia are nothing new. Of the country’s 139 “active” volcanoes, 18 currently have raised alert levels, signifying higher than normal seismic activity, ground deformation or gas emissions. On a global scale, in any week in 2017, there were at least between 14 and 27 volcanoes erupting. Most observed volcanic activity takes place along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region around the Pacific Ocean where several tectonic plates meet, causing earthquakes and a chain of what geologists call subduction zone volcanoes. Other eruptions occur at volcanoes within continental interiors such as Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania, or on oceanic islands like Hawaii. Many also take place hidden from view on the sea floor, with some of the most active underwater volcanoes located in the Tonga-Kermadec island arc in the south-west Pacific. It is the frequent, small- to moderate-sized eruptions that pose a constant volcanic threat. Around the globe today, about 800m people live within 100km, and 29m within 10km of active volcanoes. ‘Volcanic threat’, a measure that combines the level of hazard and the number of people exposed to it, is by far the highest in Indonesia, followed by the Philippines, Japan, Mexico and Ethiopia. These five countries combine to make up more than 90% of the total global volcanic threat. However, as a proportion of population, volcanic threat is highest on small islands such as Montserrat, which are entirely volcanic. Which are the volcanoes to watch in 2018? As well as Agung, here is our choice of some to keep an eye on:
- KIRISHIMA, JAPAN; One of Japan’s less known but most active volcanoes, Kirishima, is a group of several volcanic cones with eruptions recorded on and off since 742. An eruption at one of these cones, Shinmoedake, in 2011 was the largest at Kirishima for more than 50 years. Shinmoedake erupted for the first time in six years in October, with white plumes rising 200 meters above the crater rim. Presently, the alert level remains elevated.
- MERAPI, INDONESIA; Merapi is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Indonesia due to its frequent eruptions and densely populated slopes. With a death toll of nearly 400 people, its 2010 eruption is so far the deadliest of the 21st century. One may argue that another eruption of Merapi is overdue, although there are no immediate signs of increased volcanic activity or unrest.
- ÖRÆFAJÖKULL, ICELAND; This ice-covered volcano has erupted twice since the early settlement of Iceland, including the country’s largest-ever explosive eruption in 1362 and another in 1727-28. In both cases the eruptions were followed by massive and lethal flooding, as meltwater from subglacial lakes on the mountain were suddenly released. Öræfajökull appears to be waking up. Small seismic tremors inside the volcano have been recorded since August 2017 and, in November, a depression on the surface of the ice inside the main crater appeared – a phenomenon that is usually caused by ice melting below the surface as heat builds up.
- POPOCATÉPETL, MEXICO; Mexico’s “smoking mountain”, pictured at the top of this article, lies 70km south-east of Mexico City and is the country’s most active volcano. The volcano is currently erupting – as it has done so intermittently since 2005 – with lava dome growth, explosions, ash plumes up to a few kilometers high and minor ash fall in surrounding areas.
- VILLARRICA, CHILE; Snow-covered Villarrica volcano is one of only a small number of volcanoes around the world with an active lava lake. A gradual increase in seismic and lava lake activity, producing lava fountains up to 150 meters high, have been documented since mid-November 2017. When Villarrica erupted in 2015 the volcano spewed ash and lava 1,000m into the air.
- KILAUEA, US; Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has spewed basaltic lava almost continuously for 35 years and there is no reason to expect this eruption will end any time soon. The volcano continues to erupt at its summit and from the Puʻu ʻOʻo vent on its East Rift Zone, producing lava flows that occasionally enter the ocean. So these are some of the volcanoes that will need to be monitored closely over the next weeks and months. But volcanic unrest can also start suddenly at dormant volcanoes such as Hekla in Iceland which, based on its past record of decades of quiescence followed by sudden huge eruptions, may awake with little warning. Hawaii volcano eruption: governor requests emergency assistance: Hawaii governor David Ige has told the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Authority (Fema) the state will need help to deal with an erupting volcano that has prompted evacuations and destroyed 26 homes so far. Ige commented on Monday, as he met people on Big Island who have left their homes near the Kilauea volcano. A dozen lava vents have opened in streets of the Puna district and 26 homes are among 35 structures that have been destroyed. Evacuated residents do not know how long they will be displaced. The Puna district is a region of mostly unpaved roads of volcanic rock about a 30-minute drive from the coastal town of Hilo. Ige said he made the calls to federal officials because he it “was very important that we assure that state, federal and county assets would be available to keep” residents safe. Many people were permitted to return home during daylight hours on Sunday and Monday, during a lull in seismic activity. Residents of a second area, Lanipuna Gardens, were barred from returning home on Monday, due to deadly gases. Leilani Estates, about 12 miles from the volcano, was evacuated due to the risk of sulfur dioxide gas, which can be life-threatening at high levels. No deaths or major injuries have been reported. The south-east corner of the island was rocked by a powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the volcano’s south flank on Friday. More earthquakes and eruptions have been forecast. Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been in constant eruption for 35 years. Emergency crews said they were poised to evacuate more people as fissures kept spreading, five days after Kilauea started exploding. Around 1,700 people have already been ordered to leave their homes after lava crept into neighborhoods and deadly volcanic gases belched up through cracks in the earth. The evacuation zone could grow as fissures are spreading into new areas on the eastern side of the Big Island, Hawaii civic defense administrator Talmadge Magno told a community meeting “If things get dicey, you got to get out,” Magno said. “If you live in the surrounding communities … be prepared. Evacuation could come at any time.”
- 1/8/2018 Dormant volcano Kadovar wakes with first eruption in known history, spews lava. Residents on a volcanic island have been evacuated after a volcano, thought to be sleeping, woke up on the weekend. THE entire population of an island has been evacuated as concerns mount over a volcanic eruption that sprang out of nowhere. There are concerns the eruption could become explosive and bring a risk of tsunamis and landslides. The dormant volcano erupted in spectacular fashion over the weekend, spewing lava for the first time in known history and sending an ash cloud 2.1 kilometres above sea level. The volcano, on Kadovar Island northeast of Papua New Guinea, lay dormant until January 5 when it began to erupt at around noon, local media reports. Experts are calling it the “first surprise volcano to erupt in 2018”. Thick dust, clouds and smoke have carpeted the island, along with showering neighboring islands with ash as experts race to discover why the volcano sprang to life. The eruption also stripped much of the land on the island.
12. Great fearful sights in diverse places – Fires (Luke 21:11). Southern Europe, western parts of Canada and California have been devastated by wildfires this year. The Thomas Fire in California is now the biggest in California’s history, scorching more than 280,000 acres or 440 square miles (nearly the size of New York City). Thousands have been evacuated in northwestern Spain. 2017 was the deadliest year on record for wildfires killing people (105) in Portugal. Italy, France, Croatia, Spain and Greece were all swept by three times (3X) the average number of wildfires. Hundreds of homes were destroyed by wildfires in Siberia. Chile wildfires were unparalleled in the country’s history according to President Michelle Bachelet. Even Greenland, not known for its hot, dry conditions, suffered an unprecedented blaze this summer. Scientists say wildfires are likely to become increasingly frequent and widespread (longer fire seasons, harsher, longer recovery).
- 01/09/2018 Alps hit by ‘once-in-a-generation’ snow storms; Hundreds of roads across the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland were closed, cutting off resorts and villages, after the kind of snowfall that only comes once every 30 years. Tens of thousands of people have been stranded across the Alps after ‘once-in-a-generation’ weather dumped almost 2 meters of snow on some ski resorts in less than 48 hours. Schools and nurseries in have been closed and roads cut off after the Savoie department in France was placed on red alert – the highest warning for avalanches. Météo France, the weather forecaster, said that similar conditions had occurred only once in 30 years. “We really recommend that people stay at home, the avalanche risk is high, these are conditions that we’ve not seen since 1978.” said Captain Hélène Delas, a fire fighter in Savoie Department.
- 01/15/2018 SNOW FALLS IN WORLD’S HOTTEST DESERT: The people of Ain Sefra were greeted by a strange sight when they woke up last Sunday: 4-12 inches of snow had fallen overnight in the northern Algerian town known as ‘the Gateway to the Desert’, situated between the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains. This is only the third time in the last 40 years that the Sahara’s dunes have been coated with snow. The Sahara is one of the hottest places on the planet but strangely, it snowed there last year as well. Before that, it had been 37 years since Ain Sefra’s last snowfall. The Sahara is the largest and hottest desert in the world, covering 3.5 million square miles, an area approximately the size of the continental US. In 1922, a temperature of 136° Fahrenheit, the highest land surface temperature ever recorded, was set in the Sahara at El Azizia, Libya.
- 02/05/2018, Reuters Russia calls in army after “snowfall of the century” in Moscow: MOSCOW – Russian soldiers have been drafted in to help clear the streets of Moscow and the surrounding region after a record snowfall which delayed flights, felled hundreds of trees, and turned some roads and pavements into an obstacle course. More than a month’s worth of snow fell on Moscow within just 36 hours at the weekend as the temperature hovered below zero degrees Celsius, the biggest snowfall in the Russian capital since meteorological records began. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, calling the event “the snowfall of the century,” said one person had been killed when a tree brought down electricity lines, one of over 2,000 trees toppled under the sheer weight of the snow. At least five other people were injured in separate incidents, Sobyanin said. The Russian military said in a statement it had sent 100 soldiers, two snowplow and a truck to help clear the snow in one Moscow district and at a location in the Moscow region. How much did it snow? It snowed so much that Moscow called a snow day. That never happens. When Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin tweeted late Sunday that schoolchildren should stay home from classes Monday morning because of heavy snowfall in the Russian capital over the weekend, there was a collective gasp on the internet. Moscow and snow have always been a match made in hell — a 6-month-long stream of early darkness, subzero temperatures and frequent snowstorms.
- Somalia’s “strongest cyclone on record” has left dozens dead and thousands displaced: A tropical cyclone has caused destruction across the Horn of Africa, leaving at least 15 people dead and tens of thousands displaced. Tropical cyclone Sagar, which means “the sea” in Hindi, formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia late last week. Since landing over the weekend, the cyclone system has caused heavy rains in both the Puntland and Somaliland regions of Somalia, and moved along the coast to strike the tiny nation of Djibouti. With top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, Sagar made landfall further west than any tropical cyclone in 52 years of record-keeping for the North Indian Basin. The cyclone, which is being called the strongest ever recorded in Somalia, left a trail of destruction including loss of livestock and crops and destruction of homes, as well as massive damage to infrastructure. “This is the biggest storm to hit the region in years,” Nigel Tricks, the regional director for the Norwegian Refugee Council said. The NRC said that at least 30,000 people were affected in Somalia and Djibouti. But the extent of the damage is yet to be confirmed, especially given the current armed conflict between Somaliland and Puntland that had already displaced almost 10,000 people prior to the cyclone’s arrival. Torrential rains also pounded other parts of Somalia, with people and cars slowly moving through waist-deep floodwater after homes were inundated. Officials said the storm killed at least six people in the capital Mogadishu. The United Nations estimates 700,000 people in flood-affected areas will need livelihood support through September.
- March 19, 2018 Hailstorm; A giant hailstone found in the Crane Hill area during Monday’s storm has grabbed the attention of the National Weather Service. NWS representatives were in Cullman County Wednesday to survey damage and determine if tornadoes touched down in various areas where damage was heavy, but they also were planning to examine the frozen hail that was preserved, said Cullman County Emergency Management Agency Director Phyllis Little. The large, spiky ice ball is considered large, even for hail and may be a record, but no report was available Wednesday, she said. “They wanted to measure it, just to see,” Little said. “The hail caused so much damage across the area and there were reports of various sizes, some as large as softballs or larger.” An EF-1 tornado touched down briefly near Vinemont during Monday’s storm, but the rare occurrence was the size and force of the hail. The magnitude of the hail storm, which included one spiked hail stone measuring 5.25 inches in diameter, was rare for Alabama and the Southeast, said Chris Stumpf, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Huntsville. “With the size encountered, we call this extreme hail. This was rare for this region, but what happened was two storm systems collided and began moving rapidly, keeping the hail with it as it moved through the area,” Stumpf said. While that system moved rapidly through Cullman County, two smaller ones followed, making the length of the storm seem longer to residents, he said. The widespread damage from the hail can be attributed to speed and size. “With the size of the hail and the strength of the merged storm systems, some of the hail was descending at speeds close to 130 miles per hour,” Stumpf said. At that speed, numerous homes, businesses and automobiles were damaged by hail, which caused most of the damage throughout the area. On July 23, 2010 a hailstone 8 inches in diameter and 1.93 pounds fell in Vivian, South Dakota.
13. Great Pestilences in diverse places (Luke 21:11). Deadly flesh-eating illness has infected over 500 people in Japan. Approximately 1,300 people have been killed by the Bubonic Plague (yes, you read that right) in Madagascar and has spread to Kenya, Ethiopia, Sought Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Reunion, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros. Yemen’s Cholera outbreak is now the worst in history as the millionth case is recorded, at least 600,000 of these are children. This has become the largest and fastest spreading disease outbreak in modern history. 4,000 suspected cases are being reported daily. Here, in the U.S., the current opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crises in American history. Opioids are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old and have killed more people than guns or car accidents, and doing so at a pace faster than the H.I.V. epidemic did at its peak. Deaths involving synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyls, has risen 540% in just three years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also announced epidemics involving the ZIKA, Ebola and Yellow Fever viruses.
- JOHANNESBURG — Jan 11, 2018 Zambia to vaccinate 1 million against cholera amid outbreak; Zambia is set to vaccinate one million people in its capital against cholera as a deadly outbreak grows. The World Health Organization says doses of the cholera vaccine have been delivered to the impoverished southern African nation as fears spread in Lusaka. Zambia’s health ministry says 58 of the 63 countrywide deaths in the cholera outbreak that began in early October have occurred in the capital. Of the 2,672 cases across the country, 2,558 have been in Lusaka. Cholera is an acute diarrheal and bacterial infection caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Just hours after being infected, vomiting and diarrhea cause severe dehydration that can kill without rapid intervention.
14. Great Famines (Luke 21:11). The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the United Nations was founded in 1945 with more than 20 million people in four countries at risk of starvation and famine. According to the U.N. humanitarian chief, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria are facing catastrophic shortages of food. Specifically in Yemen, two-thirds of the population (18.8 million people) need immediate aid and seven million are starving. Most famines are caused by nature, however, these famines are being caused by war.
15. Wars and rumors of war (threats of war (Mark 13:7). Russia’s submarines swarm the Mediterranean at highest rate since Cold War. Russia has begun developing permanent Syrian bases to host nuclear warships and warplanes. Russia is reportedly now building EMP weapons. In the Korean Peninsula, North Korea’s war rhetoric and launching and testing of ballistic missiles has rattled the region and attracted worldwide scorn. Iran’s nuclear program threatens the entire Middle East. Fatah, Hamas, ISIS, are terrorist organizations that are playing various roles in the chessboard of global conflict. We are reminded daily of the ongoing threats of major wars around the world. In 2018, worldwide defense spending will reach its highest level since the end of the Cold War, according to Jane’s Defense Budgets Report published by IHS Markit on December 18. The report predicts that the world will spend $1.67 trillion in defense next year. This marks the fifth year in a row that global defense spending has risen significantly. As world conditions destabilize, many countries around the globe are reacting by increasing their defense spending. The causes for the increase are different by region, but in numerous regions, the trend is the same.
16. Lawlessness. Mexico; Raging cartel violence spreading throughout the country has marked 2017 as the bloodiest year since 1997 when the government began documenting such murders. The official figures, however, pale in comparison to reality since they do not account for the number of victims “disappeared” by cartel gunmen–including those who were incinerated or buried in clandestine graves. The new statistics released by Mexico’s National Public Security System (SESNSP) revealed that for the year, the country suffered a total of 26,573 murders; 1,275 kidnappings; and 5,357 extortion cases. The 2017 murder total surpassed all previously recorded years since initial recording in 1997. While alarming, the statistics compiled by the SESNSP only take into account the crimes recorded by attorney general offices in Mexico’s 32 states. The figures do not include the victims found in cartel killing fields and mass incineration operations like found in Coahuila. As Breitbart Texas reported, activists discovered thousands of human bone fragments in one of the killing fields. One of the issues in recording kidnapping and extortion cases is the general distrust among residents for state and local law enforcement. In Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, Michoacan, and Guerrero, state officials have a history of being infiltrated by the same cartels they are expected to fight. Despite modest improvements against corruption, the public’s trust is still lacking.
- In Chicago, year-to-date, there have been 620 people shot & killed; 2,913 shot and wounded, or 3,533 total shot. A person is shot ever 2:26 minutes, a person is murdered ever 12:52 hours. 92.4% of all homicides are caused by gunshots. Baltimore just recorded 342 homicides in 2017, a new per capita record. Looking at homicides per capita in 2017, Baltimore is clearly the most dangerous large city in the U.S. with a murder rate that is more than 4x the average of other large cities and some 40% higher than the second most dangerous city of Detroit. To put things in perspective, the murder rate in Baltimore is now exactly tied with Venezuela at 57.2 murders per 100,000 residents. Both Baltimore and Chicago have experienced devastating spikes in homicides over the past two years. In 2017, there have been 307 mass shootings throughout the United States. 26 people were killed at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Spring, Texas.
- The worst mass shooting incident ever to happen in the U.S. occurred at a country music concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring 515 more during 2017. London, British Parliament went into lockdown after a man drove an SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stormed the Westminster Palace grounds on foot, armed with two knives. The attacker, a 52-year-old Muslim convert named Khalid Masood, stabbed and killed a police officer outside Parliament before a security guard shot him dead. In all, Masood’s rampage killed five people and injured about 50. In an earlier text message, Masood reportedly said he was waging jihad against the West. Manchester, Fourteen thousand fans, many of them teenage girls, had gathered at a stadium to hear American singer Ariana Grande when a blast erupted in the foyer, killing 22 concertgoers and injuring hundreds of others. The attacker, identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, was the British-born son of Libyan parents. Abedi had returned to Libya with his father and two brothers in 2011 to support the uprising there against leader Muammar Qaddafi. Abedi later came in contact with members of an Islamic State cell in Libya, who may have inspired him to carry out the concert attack.
- New York City, with Halloween this year—also the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation—came a stark reminder that the days are evil: A man with a rented Home Depot truck drove onto a bike path in lower Manhattan, mowing down bikers and pedestrians, killing eight and injuring 12. The suspect, 29-year-old Uzbek national Sayfullo Saipov, had written Arabic notes pledging allegiance to ISIS, investigators said. Saipov was shot by police but survived the attack and is facing trial.
- 38 Shot, 8 Fatally, in Gun-Controlled Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend: Thirty-eight people were shot, at least eight fatally, in gun-controlled Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend. The murders are in line with what the city has witnessed over the past few years. ABC7 reports there were seven murders over the Memorial Day Weekend in 2017 and eight during the same weekend in 2016.Chicago’s overall murder rate is slightly lower than it was last year at this point. USA Today reports there have been 191 murders year-to-date, whereas there were 237 murders at this same time last year. However, the murder rate is still high enough that it puts Chicago “on pace once again to record more homicides than any other American city.” In fact, “Chicago still has tallied nearly as many homicides thus far in 2018 as New York City (106) and Los Angeles (92) combined.” This violence is occurring in a city where gun control has been the go-to solution for crime for decades. The city banned handgun ownership in 1982, only to see the murder rate skyrocket. The Chicago Police Department reported there were 850 homicides in 1993, 930 homicides in 1994, 921 homicides in 1991, and a startling 940 homicides in 1992. Yet the city’s leaders refused to lift the handgun ban, doing so only when the ban was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2010. Even now, city and state leaders push for more gun control as the solution to the violence in Chicago. On March 8, 2018, Breitbart News reported that the Illinois House passed a bill designed to require 18-20-year olds to hand over theretofore legally purchased and possessed ‘assault weapons.’ More recently, on April 3, 2018, Breitbart News reported that the Chicago suburb of Deerfield actually empowered their chief of police to confiscate residents’ ‘assault weapons’ and ‘high capacity’ magazines and destroy them.
- Five people killed in ‘horrific’ Kentucky shooting spree: ‘This is one of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen’, says sheriff after suspect opens fire at two homes in small city. Tom Barnes , Sunday 11 February 2018 19:22 GMT. Five people have been killed, including a gunman thought to have taken his own life, during a “horrific” shooting spree in Kentucky. Police received an emergency call on Saturday afternoon reporting a shooting at a rural home near the small city of Paintsville, in the northeast of the state. Officers found two people dead and began to search the area for the shooter, Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price said in the statement. The sheriff added a second 911 call led deputies and police to an apartment in Paintsville, where three more people were found fatally shot, including the gunman. “This has been a horrific murder spree,” Sheriff Price said. “There are no words to describe the heartbreak in seeing four lives taken due to the actions of one man. “I have worked in law enforcement for 34 years. This is one of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen.” Officials identified the gunman as Joseph Nickell, but no other information about him was made available. The identities of victims have also not been released as law enforcement representatives were attempting to notify their next of kin. “Working a murder is never easy.” Sheriff Price added in a later statement posted on Facebook, “Working the murders of four innocent people that are part of your community is even tougher. “The scenes are never the same but the chilling outcome is always heart wrenching. “No matter how many deaths you have seen or how many scenes you have been on, it never gets easier.” The murders come little more than a fortnight after a shooting spree at a Kentucky high school left two students dead and 16 injured. In that case, the suspect opened fire at the Marshall County High School on a group of teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18. Several outlets reported the editor of a local news website rushed to the scene, where she apparently discovered the alleged gunman was her son. A 15-year-old boy was arrested at the scene and charged as a minor with two counts of murder and 12 counts of first degree assault. Assistant County Attorney Jason Darnall told reporters that his office would move to have the boy tried as an adult.
- Worse than Columbine: This is one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history: BY DOUGLAS HANKS AND ALEX HARRIS, February 14, 2018 08:01 PM. Broward County entered a grim, horrifying roster on Wednesday after the Sheriff’s Office reported 17 people had been killed by a single shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. With that many people dead, the Stoneman Douglas shooting would be the deadliest for any high school in the United States, surpassing the 13 victims killed at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20, 1999. The death toll from Columbine rose to 15 after the two shooters, both Columbine students, killed themselves. The rankings culled by news organizations over the years list the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech as the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Thirty-two people were killed by a student at the Blacksburg, Virginia, university. He also killed himself. In 2012, 26 victims died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. A former student was the shooter, and he killed himself. Assuming the death count reported by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel remains at 17, the Stoneman Douglas shooting would land third on the list of the nation’s deadliest school shootings. Fourth on the list would be the 1966 shooting at the University of Texas Tower in Austin, when a student there killed 14 people before being killed by police. Columbine, while the deadliest shooting at a high school before Wednesday, would be the fifth on the list of all U.S. school shootings.
17. Christian affliction and martyrdom (Matthew 24:9). According to OpenDoors, each month, 322 Christians are killed for their faith, 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed and 772 forms of violence (beatings, abductions, rape, arrests and forced marriage) are committed against Christians. According to United States Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments simply because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Christians today face worse persecution than at any time in history, yet the UN and the international community are largely ignoring them. Persecution of Christians has reached a new high between 2015 and 2017 as groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram stepped up their attacks. Researchers focused on 13 countries, providing an overview of the state of religious freedom for the country’s various denominations. In China, for example, Christians have come under increasing pressure as authorities try to force their religion to conform to Communist ideals. More than 2,000 churches have been demolished in the coastal province of Zhejiang, and police are still routinely detaining clergy. Christians have also been disproportionately affected by Islamist violence in the Middle East. In Iraq, more than half of the country’s Christian population became internal refugees, while Syria’s second city of Aleppo, which until 2011 was home to the largest Christian community, saw numbers dropping from 150,000 to barely 35,000 by spring 2017 – a fall of more than 75%.
A report from the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions, determined that 90,000 Christians were killed for their beliefs worldwide last year (2016) and nearly a third were at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS. Others were killed by state and non-state persecution, including in places like North Korea. The study also found that as many as 600 million Christians were prevented from practicing their faith in 2016. Christianity Today reports the Russian parliament and Vladimir Putin approved a new law that includes the criminalization of sharing your faith. Christians in Russia won’t be allowed to email their friends an invitation to church or to evangelize in their own homes if Russia’s newest set of surveillance and anti-terrorism laws are enacted. The proposed laws, considered the country’s most restrictive measures in post-Soviet history, place broad limitations on missionary work, including preaching, teaching, and engaging in any activity designed to recruit people into a religious group. To share their faith, citizens must secure a government permit through a registered religious organization, and they cannot evangelize anywhere besides churches and other religious sites. The restrictions even apply to activity in private residences and online. The Christian Post has compiled a list of major deadly attacks that occurred elsewhere around the world, illustrating the pain and tragedy that has befallen people simply for their faith in Jesus. Examples of these attacks;
- 48 Christians killed in 9 days in Nigeria. The Fulani attacks on believers continued throughout 2017, though one particular nine-day period in October saw as many as 48 Christians massacred in separate incidents. Church elder Dauda Samuel Kadiya of the Evangelical Church Winning All in Zanwrua explained how the Fulani broke through doors and destroyed houses and churches in the village. “Every one of us ran to save his life,” Kadiya recalled. “I was shot at, but the bullet only bruised my hand.” “Having set fire on my house, they went to the next house and did the same. They continued burning houses until they were done, he said.
- Al-Shabaab beheads 9 in Kenya. Al-Shabaab, the Somali-based terror group that has been attacking Christians and security forces in neighboring Kenya for years, beheaded at least nine Christians in Jima village in Lamu County on July 8. Around 15 of the radical extremists seized the nine men before beheading them, with a police source describing at the time that the believers were “slaughtered like chickens using knives.” The terrorists were reportedly looking specifically for “non-Muslims” to kill, with the Kenya Red Cross helping civilians in the region flee as fears of the group’s growing presence spread. Security officials pointed out that the beheading method of execution is something new for al-Shabaab, as for the past few years it has been associated mostly with IS.
- ISIS gunmen massacre 29 on way to monastery. Coptic Christians suffered another shocking attack at the hands of IS in May, when masked gunmen attacked two buses and a small truck in Minya province in Egypt as they were driving to a monastery. The radicals shot at believers and tried to force a number of them to renounce their religion, killing 29 people in the process. Some survivors, including children, later described how their fathers refused to abandon their faith in Jesus Christ despite being held at gunpoint, which cost them their lives.
- ISIS slaughters 47 on Palm Sunday. The most deadly attack on churches in 2017 occurred on Palm Sunday in Egypt, where the Islamic State terror group carried out bombings on two churches filled with worshipers. The bombing of St. George’s Church in the northern city of Tanta killed 29 believers and injured another 78, where an explosive device was planted close to the altar, going off while the congregation was singing hymns. A suicide blast killed 18 and injured another 48 at St. Mark’s Orthodox Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria soon after. IS, which increasingly turned its focus toward Egypt this past year, issued a chilling warning at the time stating that “a river of blood” from Christians is coming.
- Newsweek 01/04/2018 CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION AND GENOCIDE IS WORSE NOW THAN “ANY TIME IN HISTORY,” REPORT SAYS; The persecution and genocide of Christians across the world is worse today “than at any time in history,” and Western governments are failing to stop it, a report from a Catholic organization said. The study by Aid to the Church in Needsaid the treatment of Christians has worsened substantially in the past two years compared with the two years prior, and has grown more violent than any other period in modern times.
“Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution,” the report said. The report examined the plight of Christians in China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Turkey over the period lasting from 2015 until 2017. The research showed that in that time, Christians suffered crimes against humanity, and some were hanged or crucified. The report found that Saudi Arabia was the only country where the situation for Christians did not get worse, and that was only because the situation couldn’t get any worse than it already was. The authors criticized the administration of President Donald Trump for not holding Saudi Arabia accountable for its human rights violations and instead focusing on the trade relationship between the two nations. In May 2017, Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia during his first overseas trip in office.
The report put special focus on Middle Eastern countries like Iraq and Syria, where the authors argued Christians would have been entirely wiped out if it weren’t for military action and the assistance of Christian humanitarian organizations, like Aid to the Church in Need. “The defeat of Daesh [the Islamic State militant group] and other Islamists in major strongholds of the Middle East offers the last hope of recovery for Christian groups threatened with extinction,” the report found. “Many would not survive another similar violent attack.” The report, which was released in November 2017 but received renewed attention this week, is based on research in the countries and testimony from victims. It detailed attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt and monasteries burned in Syria. In Africa, the report focused on countries like Sudan, where the government ordered that churches be destroyed, and Nigeria, where ISIS-affiliated groups like Boko Haram have led a surge in attacks on Christians. In Eritrea, hundreds of Christians have been rounded up and imprisoned over the past year because of their faith. The report also documented numerous case studies in which Christians in countries such as India and Nigeria were murdered or beaten for practicing their faith. “A Christian pastor in India was left in a coma after being beaten in a ‘planned’ attack apparently carried out by Hindutva extremists,” the report noted. “Before slipping into unconsciousness, the pastor told police that the attack was religiously motivated.” “You must never come to our village to pray. You should never enter our village,” the men told the pastor, according to the report. In late October, Vice President Mike Pence pledged that the Trump administration would redirect aid money formerly given to the United Nations to the U.S. Agency for International Development, a move that was meant to appease Christian organizations that say the U.N. isn’t doing enough for persecuted Christians.
- State Dept.: North Korea Using Executions, Torture against ‘Serious Threat’ of Christianity: By FRANCES MARTEL, 29 May 2018, Breitbart News. The U.S. State Department affirms in its annual International Religious Freedom Report, published Tuesday, that the communist regime controlling North Korea “considered Christianity a serious threat, as it challenged the official cult of personality and provided a platform for social and political organization and interaction outside the government.” The State Department – citing United Nations reports, NGOs, and media organizations specializing in North Korea coverage – found that Kim Jong-un’s regime regularly employed “arbitrary executions, political prison camps, and torture amounting to crimes against humanity” against anyone suspected of adhering to any faith, but targeted Christians in particular throughout 2017. Various reports estimated “119 killings and 87 disappearances” based on religious persecution, the report notes. It also cites multiple advocacy groups that have concluded that North Korea hosts a population of up to 400,000 Christians, though it is nearly impossible to confirm those numbers, and that between 10-45 percent of Christians are languishing in the nation’s concentration camps.
A United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) found this year that “based on the government’s own figures, the proportion of religious adherents among the population dropped from close to 24 percent in 1950 to 0.016 percent in 2002,” the report notes. The report also suggested that persecution of individuals suspected of being Christians increased recently, targeting North Korean citizens for “crimes” ranging from being found in possession of religious material to simply loitering near a church too long for police to be comfortable with their presence, or driving by a church too many times. North Korea does allow a small number of legal churches in Pyongyang, the capital, but defectors and visitors report that they appear largely for show, with no proof that real Christians attend services in them, or that the sermons provided in the few known services to occur offer anything more than Kim cult propaganda. Some defectors said that they knew of the churches as “sightseeing spots for foreigners,” without knowing the true nature of a place of worship. Nonetheless, defectors have said in interviews that North Korean police are quick to arrest anyone who appears too interested in the areas. “One defector said when he lived in Pyongyang, authorities arrested individuals who they believed lingered too long outside these churches to listen to the music or consistently drove past them around each week when services were being held on suspicion of being secret Christians,” the report notes.
The full International Religious Freedom Report for 2017, is available at the State Department’s website, divided by country. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press conference Tuesday morning announcing the publication of this year’s edition. The State Department concluded, citing interviews with defectors and NGO reports published throughout 2017, that there existed in the country “an almost complete denial by the government of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and in many instances, violations of human rights committed by the government constituted crimes against humanity.” The report notes that the UN “condemned in the strongest terms the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations” against religious people in the country. Christians suffered the most systematic persecution, but the report also notes that some Buddhists exist in the country, and that others who may not subscribe to any particular religious engage in shamanic practices. “Defector reports cited an increase in party members consulting fortune tellers in order to gauge the best time to defect,” the reports noted.
The State Department published the report shortly after President Donald Trump confirmed that the United States was allowing Kim Yong-chol, one of the regime’s top diplomats, to visit New York and meet with American officials to discuss the logistics of planning a summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un. Kim, formerly the head of Pyongyang’s intelligence services, is believed to be responsible for some of the deadliest acts of terrorism in North Korea’s modern history and attacks on U.S. companies, in particular the Sony picture studio following the release of The Interview, a film mocking North Korea, in 2014. North Korean defectors have pointed to Christianity as a means of helping free the repressed people suffering under the Kim regime. Last week, Thae Yong-ho, one of the highest-ranking North Korean officials to defect to the South, encouraged religious groups to pressure Seoul into demanding that any peace agreement with Pyongyang require the Kim regime to allow South Korean churches to build places of worship nationwide. “You must insist that North Korea builds churches for both South Koreans and foreigners,” Thae said, addressing South Koreans. “You must convince the North that allowing religious freedom will instill trust. Seeing churches with the crucifix will move North Koreans.”
- North Korea is Worst Place for Christian Persecution, Group Says: The group’s top 10 countries where Christians face the most persecution are:
- North Korea (94 points) — Christians and Christian missionaries are routinely imprisoned in labor camps.
- Afghanistan (93 points) — The government of this Muslim country does not recognize any of its citizens as Christian.
- Somalia (91 points) — The Catholic bishop of Mogadishu has described it as “not possible”to be a Christian in Somalia.
- Sudan (87 points) — The Muslim government has slated Christian churches for demolition.
- Pakistan (86 points) — Christians and other non-Muslims sit on death row, facing charges of blasphemy.
- Eritrea (86 points) — Only four religions are officially recognized (Sunni Islam and the Eritrean Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran churches). Those belonging to other faiths are persecuted and those of recognized faiths are routinely harassed by the government.
- Libya (86 points) — The government is reportedly training militants to attack Coptic Christians.
- Iraq (86 points) — Iraqi Christians have yet to return to their homelandsafter expulsion by ISIS.
- Yemen (85 points) — The ongoing political and humanitarian crisis has further squeezed Christians and other religious minorities, who already faced severe restrictions on practicing their faiths.
- Iran (85 points) — Religious minorities, including Christians, face “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom,” according to the U.S. State Department.
Just below the top 10 is India, where rising Hindu nationalism has increased persecution of other religious groups.
- 11/11/2018 CHINESE COPS DESTROY EVANGELICAL MEGACHURCH; Chinese authorities demolished the $2.6 million building of a 50,000-member evangelical congregation in the country’s northern Shanxi province. The order to destroy the Golden Lampstand Church in the city of Linfen apparently came from China’s top officials instead of the less-powerful local authorities, according to the Christian organization China Aid. The group explained that the communist country’s notorious military police, which carried out the demolition Jan. 9, has been under the direct control of the central government since the head of the public security bureau was arrested last year .It’s the second large church building to be demolished in the province in the past month. People’s Armed Police forces used excavators and dynamite to destroy the building in Linfen, which had been financed by the congregation. The church is among the nation’s unregistered congregations, meaning it is not within the government-controlled system and therefore is deemed illegal by the communist regime. China guarantees “freedom of religion” in its law but not in practice, as authorities use technicalities such land or building violations to destroy churches. The state-run Global Times newspaper cited an unidentified local official claiming the church did not hold the necessary permits. “The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights,” said China Aid’s president and founder, Bob Fu. An official at the local religious affairs bureau denied the demolition took place, the Voice of America reported. China Aid noted that on Sept. 13, 2009, when the building was under construction, church members who slept at the site to guard it were awakened by 400 officials who beat them and razed the building. Thirty of the members were in critical condition. State media at the time said the church leaders were charged with illegally occupying farmland and disturbing traffic order. The church’s two pastors were arrested in 2009. Yang Xuan spent three-and-a-half years in prison and Yang Rongli was imprisoned for seven years. Yang Rongli, who has been under government surveillance since her release in 2016, described the demolition Tuesday to a China Aid reporter. “The police surrounded the Golden Lampstand Church. Patrol wagons guarded the church. Workers smashed the church’s glass,” she said. “At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch. The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen.”
18. Many believers will fall away (1 Timothy 4:1-3) / Spiritual apostasy (Revelation 3:14-22). Once the very cradle of Christian civilization, Europe has embraced a secular future, and the residual memory of the Christian tradition is fading fast. The statistics documenting European secularization are now impossible to ignore. Ireland, still one of the least secular nations in Western Europe, has seen church attendance fall by at least 25 percent over the last three decades. Ireland is predominantly Roman Catholic, of course, but the paper reports, “Not one priest will be ordained this year in Dublin.” On the Protestant side, the picture is not much better. Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands, once the cradles of the Reformation, are now prime examples of Europe’s secular shape. Throughout the European continent, Islam is the only religion growing in the number of adherents.
According to the Center for the Study on Global Christianity, at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in suburban Boston, the decline in Christian influence “is most evident in France, Sweden and the Netherlands, where church attendance is less than ten percent in some areas.” USA Today‘s cover story on the decline of Christianity in Western Europe raises the question of America’s future. In many ways, America seems to be following the European example, though several years behind. Yet the pace of moral transformation in the United States may indicate that America is fast catching up with the European model of secularization. In what the Orthodox Christian Network calls an “alarming trend,” The Wall Street Journal featured a page one article – Europe’s Empty Churches Go on Sale, as the number of attendees has diminished over many years. “The closing of Europe’s churches reflects the rapid weakening of the (Christian) faith in Europe, a phenomenon that is painful to both worshipers and others who see religion as a unifying factor in a disparate society.” By example, the Netherlands is projected to close 2/3 of its Roman Catholic churches in the next decade. The closing of Europe’s churches is a result of flagging faith and empty pews, but it is mostly Christians who are losing their faith. Several other religions have not experienced the same decline. Orthodox Judaism has remained relatively steady and primarily because of immigration, Islam has actually grown. European countries in general have seen substantial declines, but it is the Netherlands leading the way. The Catholic Church predicts that two-thirds of its churches will be retired from holy service within a decade and 700 Protestant churches are expected to be decommissioned within four years. In the United States, Americans who answer “none” when asked for their religious affiliation are the fastest growing “religious” group in the United States. About two-thirds of them say they are former believers. Americans raised in Christian households are turning away from the religion of their parents. Every denomination in the U.S. is losing both affiliation and church attendance. In some ways the country is a half-generation behind the declining rate of Christianity in other western countries like the U.K., Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, and the Netherlands. In those what were once churches are now art galleries, cafes and pubs.
- Gen Z Is the Least Christian Generation in American History; Barna Finds Christian Post | Jan 24, 2018 7:28 AM. Teenagers today are the most non-Christian generation in American history as only four out of 100 teens hold a true biblical worldview and one out of every eight teens identify as non-heterosexual, a new survey released by one of the nation’s leading evangelical polling firms has found. The Barna Group announced Tuesday the findings from its new research project, “Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation,” sponsored by the Georgia-based Impact 360 Institute. Barna’s research discovered that more teens today who are part of Generation Z (born from 1999 to 2015) identify themselves as agnostic, atheist or not religiously affiliated. The study indicates that 35 percent of Generation Z teens considered themselves to be atheist, agnostic or not affiliated with any religion. By comparison, only 30 percent of millennials, 30 percent of Generation X and 26 percent of Baby Boomers said the same. The study shows that almost twice as many teens in Generation Z (13 percent) claimed to be atheist than millennials (7 percent).”Gen Z is different because they have grown up in a post-Christian, post-modern environment where many of them have not even been exposed to Christianity or to church. So that is a really unique shift,” Brooke Hempell, Barna’s senior vice president of research, said during the survey’s rollout eventat Grace Midtown Church in Atlanta. “There are a lot of churches that are empty in this country. Gen Z is the one who is really showing the fruit of that. There are many of them [who] are a spiritual blank slate. For the first time in our nation’s history, that is more and more common.” The research also found that just 59 percent Generation Z teens considered themselves Christian or Catholic. By comparison, 65 percent of millennials and Generation X and 75 percent of Baby Boomers identified as some form of Christian. Although nearly six in 10 Generation Z teens identified as Christians, Barna’s research shows that only four percent of Generation Z held a “biblical worldview.” “The percentage of people whose beliefs qualify them for a biblical worldview declines in each successively younger generation: 10 percent of Boomers, 7 percent of Gen X and 6 percent of Millennials have a biblical worldview, compared to only 4 percent of Gen Z,” the study explains.
- 51 Percent of American Churchgoers Unfamiliar With the Term ‘Great Commission’; Barna. A little over half of American churchgoers are not familiar with the term “Great Commission,” according to a study conducted by the Barna Group and the Seed Company. The “Great Commission” is a term used to describe Jesus’ call to evangelism in Matthew 28:18-20: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. The “Great Commission” is a term used to describe Jesus’ call to evangelism in Matthew 28:18-20. In a report released Tuesday, Barna found that 51 percent of church attendees in the United States were unfamiliar with the term “Great Commission.” From there, 25 percent of respondents said they heard of it but did not recall its “exact meaning,” 17 percent knew for sure, and 6 percent said they were not sure. “The data indicates that churches are using the phrase less, which may reveal a lack of prioritizing or focusing on the work of the Great Commission, but may also indicate that the phrase, rather than the scriptures or the labor, has simply fallen out of favor with some,” noted Barna. Barna drew from data based off of interviews conducted last October of 1,004 American adult churchgoers, with the term “churchgoers” being defined as someone who had attended worship within the past six months. Churches are not emphasizing evangelism. An organization headed by Barna Group founder George Barna, the ACFI, noted last December that a decreasing number of churches “emphasize and equip people for evangelism these days, and the results are obvious and undeniable.” “The implications of ignoring gospel outreach — especially among children, who are the most receptive audience to the gospel — are enormous,” stated ACFI. “All the ‘church growth’ strategies in the world cannot compensate for the absence of an authentic transmission of the good news of what Jesus Christ has done for humanity.”
- Only Slim Majority of Americans Believe in God of Bible, Numbers Decline Among Gen X, Millennials; By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter | Apr 26, 2018. Although some 80 percent of Americans say they believe in God, only a slim majority of the nation’s approximately 327 million people believe in God as described in the Bible, according to results of a new study released by the Pew Research Center. And among those younger than 50, belief in the God of the Bible drops lower than 50 percent. The findings from the survey of more than 4,700 adults conducted nationwide between Dec. 4–18, 2017, reveal that one-third of Americans say they do not believe in the God of the Bible, but believe there is some other higher power or spiritual force in the universe. Applying these results to the general population, that translates to approximately 109 million people who believe in a higher power that is not the God of the Bible. Only 56 percent of the people surveyed indicated that they believe in God “as described in the Bible” and the strongest supporters of this response were Christians who self-identified as members of the historically black Protestant and evangelical traditions. Some 92 percent of those who identified with the historically black Protestant tradition said they believe in God as described in the Bible while 91 percent of those who identified as evangelicals support that position. These groups also overwhelmingly supported the view that God is all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful. Smaller majorities of mainline Protestants and Catholics also indicated faith in the biblical God but significant minorities of Catholics, 28 percent, and mainline Protestants, 26 percent, indicated that they believe in a higher power or spiritual force, which is not God as described in the Bible. Another significant finding from the study also showed that young adults were far less likely than their older counterparts to say they believe in God as described in the Bible. While just over 66 percent of adults 50 and older subscribed to faith in the God of the Bible, only 49 percent of adults in their 30s and 40s supported this position. Some 43 percent of adults younger than 30 shared this view which is almost equal to the 39 percent of adults 18–29 who told researchers they believe in another higher power. Results from a Gallup survey published about a year ago showed that for the first time in 40 years, the share of Americans who believe the Bible is “the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word,” 24 percent, did not outpace the number of skeptics 26 percent, who view it as “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.”
- Why Jesus Is No Longer the Only Way for Many American Christians: In New York City, Michael A. Walrond Jr. of Harlem’s 10,000-member First Corinthian Baptist Church told his congregants that the belief that anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus is going to hell is “insanity.” People take many paths to God, he argued, noting that he personally celebrates the paths others take in finding Him — even if that path does not involve faith in Jesus. “And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God I celebrate that. Personally, I celebrate that,” Walrond said. The New York City preacher’s message drew criticism in traditional Christian circles. While Walrond’s openness as a Christian to the idea that there are many paths to God beyond Christianity may have been shocking to some, new research shows a widespread departure among Christians from traditional Bible teaching such as Jesus being the only way to God. And some scholars have blamed this ideological shift in part on influential divinity schools and charismatic church leaders. Rejecting God of the Bible. J. Lanier Burns, research professor of theological studies and senior professor of systematic theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, explained in an interview with CP that this shift away from traditional Bible-based teaching among Christians to a more pluralistic approach to faith in God is an agenda item of higher education institutions. “This is the agenda of the universities at the present time because it is felt that maybe it is religion that has generated all the wars and so maybe if we can get rid of exclusive religion we might have greater peace in the world,” Burns said. “We have got to get back to truth but I think it’s a very long way back now because I think the force is against us. I would include all the divinity schools here — like Harvard, Yale, and so forth. These are all pluralistic schools … I think they (elite universities) are the most powerful institutions in the world today.
- Progressive Bias in Higher Ed. Mitchell Langbert, an associate professor of business management at Brooklyn College found strong evidence of a progressive bias among professors, especially among those that teach religion at leading American colleges. In a recent study of 8,688 tenure track, Ph.D.-holding professors from 51 of the 66 top ranked liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News 2017 report, Langbert found that there are more than ten Democrats for every one Republican among elite professors. And in religion departments, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 70 to 1. Even though more Americans are conservative than liberal, academic psychologists’ biases cause them to believe that conservatism is deviant.” Data from the latest Pew Research Center study on what Americans mean when they say they believe in God, also points to a strong correlation between higher education and fidelity to traditional Christian beliefs. The study found that more educated Americans are less likely to say they believe in the God of the Bible. Just over 66 percent of American adults with a high school education or less say they believe in the biblical God. Among those with some college education that number drops to 53 percent, and among college graduates it drops even further to 45 percent. Burns, who worked as a missionary to India for 46 years and has done post-doctoral research at Harvard and Oxford universities, also pointed to the failure of churches and lazy Christians. The increasing departure of Christians from traditional beliefs is directly linked to a departure from the authority of Scripture, he said.” We are going wrong because we have moved the authority from Scripture to consensus. That’s where we are going wrong. When you say a certain percentage of people don’t believe in hell, well I go to hell conferences rethinking hell and they simply say this is not something that Christians can believe in because it’s inconsistent with the character of God,” he said. He also blames the evangelical church for not disciplining all church members to be ministers according to Scripture.” I fault the evangelical church on so many things. My doctrine of the church says every member is a minister. So I believe the problem is the American people have paid charismatic leaders, even people like Billy Graham and people like this, to do the work of ministry for them. But every Christian needs to be out talking about these things. And I think what we do is we’re lazy. So we pay other people to do our work for us,” he said. The Dallas professor further noted that he is worried that Christians who hold traditional Christian beliefs will be persecuted. “I think it’s going to result in the persecution of people who believe in traditional Christianity because I think the universities are already against what I’ve told you already that I believe. I know that I am a minority on these things, OK? I’m not expressing a majority viewpoint I know that. But I believe it and here I stand,” he said. Mark R. Teasdale, E. Stanley Jones associate professor of evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, agrees that institutions dedicated to the formation of healthy Christian disciples such as the local church and seminaries “stopped being effective gatekeepers” who contend earnestly for the faith.
- European ‘Christians’ no longer align with Christian faith: BOB UNRUH, WND, 5/30/2018. A new poll by Pew Research Center indicates European Christians, once the driving force behind the faith’s expansion worldwide, no longer are. Christian. Really. At least in terms of what they believe. They may call themselves Christian, but Pew describes them as “non-practicing” and found that they “drifted away,” “were alienated” or just “stopped believing.” They only rarely walk in the doors of a church. The survey found for example, that while 83 percent of Belgians say they were “raised Christian,” only 55 percent now identify as such. Norway’s figures plunged from 79 percent “raised Christian” to only 51 percent now. In the Netherlands, from 67 percent to 41 percent, Spain, 92 percent to 66 percent, Sweden, 74 percent to 52 percent. In the United Kingdom, 79 percent to 73 percent. The survey comes as millions of Muslims migrate from the Middle East and Africa to Europe.
- “Western Europe, where Protestant Christianity originated and Catholicism has been based for most of its history, has become one of the world’s most secular regions,” the survey said. “Although the vast majority of adults say they were baptized, today many do not describe themselves as Christians. “Some say they gradually drifted away from religion, stopped believing in religious teachings, or were alienated by scandals or church positions on social issues.” Moreover, most of those who call themselves “Christian” don’t align with Christian faith or teaching. “While the religious, political and cultural views of non-practicing Christians in Western Europe are frequently distinct from those of church-attending Christians and religiously unaffiliated adults (‘nones’), on some issues non-practicing Christians resemble churchgoing Christians, and on others they largely align with ‘nones.’ “Religious beliefs and attitudes toward religious institutions are two areas of broad similarity between non-practicing Christians and church-attending Christians.
- Most non-practicing Christians say they believe in God or some higher power, and many think that churches and other religious organizations make positive contributions to society. In these respects, their perspective is similar to that of churchgoing Christians,” the survey said. “On the other hand, abortion, gay marriage and the role of religion in government are three areas where the attitudes of non-practicing Christians broadly resemble those of religiously unaffiliated people (‘nones’). Solid majorities of both non-practicing Christians and ‘nones’ say they think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases and that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry legally. In addition, most non-practicing Christians, along with the vast majority of ‘nones,’ say religion should be kept out of government policies.” The report said: “Many in all three groups reject negative statements about immigrants and religious minorities. But non-practicing Christians and church-attending Christians are generally more likely than ‘nones’ to favor lower levels of immigration, to express negative views toward immigrants from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, and to agree with negative statements about Muslims and Jews such as, ‘In their hearts, Muslims want to impose their religious law on everyone else’ in their country or ‘Jews always pursue their own interests and not the interest of the country they live in.’”
- Pew Research said: “Overall, the study shows a strong association between Christian identity and nationalist attitudes, as well as views of religious minorities and immigration, and a weaker association between religious commitment and these views. This finding holds regardless of whether religious commitment among Christians is measured through church attendance alone, or using a scale that combines attendance with three other measures: belief in God, frequency of prayer and importance of religion in a person’s life.” The survey found 91 percent were baptized and 81 percent raised Christian. But only 71 percent even call themselves Christian, and only 22 percent, not even a third of those who call themselves Christian, attend services even monthly. The “non-practicing” Christians are the largest faith block across the continent. In Austria, 52 percent are “non-practicing” but call themselves Christian, and only 28 percent call themselves Christian and actually go to church monthly or more. In Finland, it’s 68 percent who are “non-practicing” and 9 percent who actually attend church. For Denmark, it’s 55 and 10, for Italy 40 and 40, for Portugal 48 and 35, for the U.K. 55 and 18.
- Non-practicing Christians also outnumber the religiously unaffiliated population (people who identify as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular,’ sometimes called the ‘nones’) in most of the countries surveyed. And, even after a recent surge in immigration from the Middle East and North Africa, there are many more non-practicing Christians in Western Europe than people of all other religions combined (Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.),” the survey said. “Many non-practicing Christians say they do not believe in God ‘as described in the Bible,‘” the poll said. Instead, they believe “in some other higher power or spiritual force.” Pew reported education levels also played a role in the differences, as “highly educated Europeans are generally more accepting of immigrants and religious minorities, and religiously unaffiliated adults tend to have more years of schooling than non-practicing Christians. But even after statistical techniques are used to control for differences in education, age, gender and political ideology, the survey shows that churchgoing Christians, non-practicing Christians and unaffiliated Europeans express different religious, cultural and social attitudes.”
- The poll, conducted on mobile and landline telephones with 24,000 adults from April to August 2017 in 12 languages, looked at a wide range of perspectives on faith. Across 15 nations surveyed, Pew said, 27 percent believe in God as the Bible describes Him, 38 percent just say there’s a “higher power,” and 26 refuse to believe at all. Even among “church-attending Christians,” only 64 percent say the Bible has described God. One in three is there’s that unknown “higher power.” Large numbers, led by “nones” and assisted by the non-practicing Christians, suggest there are no spiritual forces in the universe at all. “If the Christian identity of Europe has become an issue, it is precisely because Christianity as faith and practices faded away in favor of a cultural marker which is more and more turning into a neo-ethnic marker,” Pew quotes Olivier Roy, a French political scientist, commenting. In fact, across the continent, many contend science makes religion unnecessary.
- The survey also takes a poke at America. “The vast majority of adults in the United States, like the majority of Western Europeans, continue to identify as Christian (71 percent). But on both sides of the Atlantic, growing numbers of people say they are religiously unaffiliated (i.e., atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular’). About a quarter of Americans (23 percent, as of 2014) fit this description, comparable to the shares of ‘nones’ in the UK (23 percent) and Germany (24 percent),” Pew said. “Yet Americans, overall, are considerably more religious than Western Europeans. Half of Americans (53 percent) say religion is ‘very important’ in their lives, compared with a median of just 11 percent of adults across Western Europe. Among Christians, the gap is even bigger – two-thirds of U.S. Christians (68 percent) say religion is very important to them, compared with a median of 14 percent of Christians in the 15 countries surveyed across Western Europe. But even American ‘nones’ are more religious than their European counterparts. While one-in-eight unaffiliated U.S. adults (13 percent) say religion is very important in their lives, hardly any Western European ‘nones’ (median of 1 percent) share that sentiment.” Pew reported, “Similar patterns are seen on belief in God, attendance at religious services and prayer.”
- Pope Francis chooses pro-LGBT priest to guide Lent retreat who holds Jesus didn’t ‘establish rules’: LifeSiteNews.com, Mon Feb 5, 2018. ROME, – Pope Francis has selected a Portuguese “priest-poet” to preach at his 2018 Lenten retreat who is an open promoter of the “critical theology” of a Spanish nun who defends the legalization of abortion and government recognition of homosexual “marriage” and adoptions. Father José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça, vice rector of the Catholic University of Lisbon, wrote the introduction to the Portuguese translation of “Feminist Theology in History,” by Teresa Forcades, whom the BBC calls “Europe’s most radical nun.” In the introduction to Forcades’ work, Tolentino de Mendonça tells the reader that Jesus didn’t leave any rules or laws to mankind, an idea that he approvingly applies to Forcades’ “critical theology.” “Teresa Forcades i Vila reminds of that which is essential: that Jesus of Nazareth did not codify, nor did he establish rules,” writes Tolentino de Mendonça. “Jesus lived. That is, he constructed an ethos of relation, somatized the poetry of his message in the visibility of his flesh, expressed his own body as a premise.” When the Portuguese translation of the book was published in 2013 with Tolentino de Mendonça’s introduction, Forcades had well-established herself as an advocate for legalized abortion and the creation of homosexual “marriage.” In the same year she issued a video tribute to the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who was then dying of cancer. Tolentino de Mendonça compares Forcades to Hildegard of Bingham, and says her theology is expressed in “a form that is symbolic, open, and sensitive about addressing the real” as opposed to the Church’s traditional way of speaking in clear, non-metaphorical terms, which he calls “the triumphal univocal grammars that we know.” “It’s necessary that the doctrinal narrative understands itself to be more of a reading than a writing, more like a voyage than a place, because the memory that transports is not reducible to a legal code, a vision, something automatic,” the priest writes. Tolentino de Mendonça blasted Catholics and particularly cardinals who have raised their voices in criticism of Pope Francis, dismissing their views as “traditionalism,” which he contrasted with authentic “tradition.”
- ‘Pope Francis’ Places Crown on Head of Statue of Mary, During His Visit to Chile: January 18, 2018 Christian News Network. SANTIAGO, Chile — Jorge Bergoglio, the leader of Roman Catholicism who is also known as “Pope Francis,” placed a crown on the head of a statue of Mary during his visit to Chile on Tuesday. The coronation took place during mass at O’Higgins Park in Santiago, where the tens of thousands in attendance watched Bergoglio place a crown on the head of the Christ child, and then also on the head of Mary. In Chile, the statue is known as “Our Lady of Mount Carmel,” who is also known by Roman Catholics in the country as the patron saint and “queen” of Chile. “[T]he virgin who wanted to be called your handmaid was chosen mother of the Redeemer, and true mother of all the living, and now exalted above the choirs of the angels, reigns gloriously with Your Son interceding for all men as an advocate of grace and queen of mercy,” he prayed during mass, moments before crowning the statue. “Lord, look kindly upon these your servants, who by adorning with a visible crown the image of the mother of Your Son, recognize Your Son as King of the universe and invoke the virgin as queen,” Bergoglio said. He “blessed” the crowns and was escorted to place them on the heads of the images. Bergoglio then stood before the statue, swinging a smoking censer of incense. “I pray that Our Lady of Mount Carmel, mother and queen of Chile, will continue to accompany and bring to birth the dreams of this blessed nation,” Bergoglio said in a speech to Chilean authorities on the same day. The Roman Catholic leader also spoke to Chilean youth on Wednesday at the Basilica of Our Lady of Carmel in Maipú, where he told those gathered that the “Our Lady of Carmel waits for you and welcomes you with an open heart.” “Just as she accompanied the birth of this nation and has accompanied so many Chileans over the span of these two hundred years, so too she wants to keep accompanying the dreams that God places in your hearts: dreams of freedom, dreams of joy, dreams of a better future,” Bergoglio said. “Our Lady of Mount Carmel accompanies you so that you can be protagonists for the Chile of which your hearts dream.”
- As part of his trip to South America, Bergoglio is scheduled to likewise travel to Peru, where, according to the Catholic site Aleteia, “the pope’s first Mass in Trujillo will be in honor of ‘Holy Mary, Door of Heaven.’” “While he will not crown any statues here, the opening and closing prayers will be focused on Our Lady,” the outlet explains. “Later that same day he will lead a Marian celebration during which he will venerate Our Lady and a special litany will be sung in her honor. The litany that will be used was composed by Turibius of Mogrovejo, who was archbishop of Lima from 1579 to 1606.” Even prior to his departure from Italy, Bergoglio visited the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where he prayed before the image of Maria Salus Populi Romani to entrust his endeavor to Mary. Vatican News reports that he additionally placed a bouquet of flowers on the altar below the icon. Bergoglio had also observed the annual feast day called “The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God” on Jan. 1, claiming that “[d]evotion to Mary is not spiritual etiquette; it is a requirement of the Christian life.” The Jan. 1 observance is part of what is known as the Octave of Christmas.
- “Looking to the Mother, we are asked to leave behind all sorts of useless baggage and to rediscover what really matters. The gift of the Mother, the gift of every mother and every woman, is most precious for the Church, for she too is mother and woman,” he stated. “… May the Mother, God’s finest human creation, guard and keep this year, and bring the peace of her Son to our hearts and to our world.” While thousands attended the mass where Bergoglio crowned the Marian statue, Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries told Christian News Network that Catholics place an inordinate amount of emphasis on Mary, and wrongly ascribe attributes to her that only belong to God. “The pope crowning of the statue of Mary continues Roman Catholicism’s fascination with ‘another’ Mary that has been given the title Queen of Heaven. The pope crowned a statue of Mary because she is said to be the queen over all things,” he said. “Mary holds a very exalted position in the Roman Catholic Church, so much so that she is venerated as a goddess. This is blasphemy because the Catholic Mary has been given divine attributes that only God possesses. The emphasis on Mary by Catholics robs Christ of His glory, honor and praise.”
- Gendron, a former Roman Catholic of 30 years, pointed to the various doctrines about Mary as written in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other official writings. “According to Roman Catholicism, Mary is ‘the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God’ (CCC, 721), the ‘Queen over all things’ (CCC, 966), our ‘Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix’ (CCC, 969), who is ‘full of grace’ (CCC, 722), the ‘Mother of God and our mother’ (CCC, 2677), the ‘new Eve’ (CCC, 726), and the ‘seat of wisdom’ (CCC, 721),” he outlined. Further, Catholic doctrine teaches that Mary “had no original sin (CCC, 508), and never committed sin (CCC, 493). She is second only to her Son (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, par. 66) and sits ‘on the right hand of the majesty on high’ (Pope Pius X, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 14). In fact, ‘no man can go to Christ but by His Mother’ (Pope Leo 13th, Octobri Mense),” Gendron explained. He likewise noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that Mary “delivers our souls from death” (CCC, 966) and “continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation” (CCC, 969) through her intercession. “It is not wonder Catholics exalt Mary so highly based on their religious tradition,” Gendron said. “Mary has no power to do what the pope thinks she can do. I would encourage Catholics to submit to the supreme authority of the Bible which tells us ‘not to exceed what is written’ (1 Cor. 4:6).”
19. Love for one another growing cold (Matthew 24:12). GOP Baseball Game Shooting; House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was among four wounded when a gunman opened fire on a House Republican charity baseball team as players practiced in Alexandria, Va.. Police killed the shooter, James Hodgkinson, 66, in a shootout following the attack. Hodgkinson had been a volunteer for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during the 2016 campaign and according to a witness had asked before the shooting whether the team practicing was the Republican team or the Democratic team. He fired 60 shots at the Republican players. Scalise was taken to a hospital in critical condition and, after a long recovery, returned to work on Sept. 28. Charlottesville Racial Tensions; White supremacists and neo-Nazis marching against the removal of a Confederate statue at a park clashed with antifa counterprotesters at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. A white supremacist killed one woman and injured 19 people when he drove his car into a crowd.
- Florida Drowning Video; A group of teenagers laughed and watched as a man struggled in the water of a pond. The man drowned, and his body was not found for days. The five teenagers did nothing to help him, not even call 911. The low-quality, 2.5-minute cellphone video was provided to The New York Times and also obtained by Florida Today. It shows a man flailing in the middle of a body of water as the teenagers describe his struggle and laugh at him from the shore. The teenagers are not visible. One of them, using an expletive, calls Mr. Dunn a junkie. Someone tells him not to expect any assistance: “Ain’t nobody going to help you, you dumb bitch. You shouldn’t have got in there,” he says. Later, one of the teenagers appears to suggest that they call the police, only to be rejected by another. The police identified and met with all five, who ranged in age from 14 to 18. None appeared to show much emotion and were not remorseful.
- A 9-year-old autistic boy was left with a nail embedded into his skull after a group of bullies allegedly threw a wooden plank at him, his parents say. Romeo Smith’s family told BBC News that the boy had been the target of older bullies for about a week before it escalated to the attack that left him injured on August 6. “As Romeo was walking away one of the lads came running up behind him and threw a bit of wood with a nail in it,” said father Craig Smith, of Nottinghamshire, England. “I saw it just stuck there, in the back of his head and then Romeo started screaming and running towards me.” About a one-inch section of the nail embedded itself in the back of the boy’s head with the wood still attached, the Daily Mail reported. The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors gave him morphine and removed the nail. His mother told the Daily Mail that the nail had bent slightly when it hit his skull.
20. Homosexuality will be rampant (Luke 17:28-29), Unprecedented moral decay (Romans 1:24). Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has announced he will force all Swedish clergy to endorse and perform gay marriages. Australia’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage in December, overcoming years of conservative resistance to enact change that the public had made clear that it wanted. The final approval in the House of Representatives, with just four votes against the bill, came three weeks after a national referendum showed strong public support for gay marriage. The new law expands on earlier legislation that provided equality to same-sex couples in areas like government benefits, employment and taxes, and it changes the definition of marriage from “the union of a man and a woman” to “the union of two people.” It automatically recognizes same-sex marriages from other countries. Gay rights advocates praised the landmark vote even as they said it was long overdue.
- Gay sex in Vatican ‘never been worse’ than under Francis; ROME, July 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Not only are gay-orgies happening in the Vatican, but the extent of homosexual activity in the Vatican under Pope Francis’ watch has “never been worse,” a reliable senior member of the Curia told National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin. Pentin wrote earlier this week that this Vatican Curia member confirmed to him that “multiple sources” within the Vatican, including another senior curial figure, say that the report of a drug-fueled gay orgy right next to St. Peter’s is true. “He said the extent of homosexual practice in the Vatican has ‘never been worse,’ despite efforts begun by Benedict XVI to root out sexual deviancy from the curia after the Vatileaks scandal of 2012,” Pentin wrote in his report. News recently broke of a high-ranking monsignor, Luigi Capozzi, who was allegedly arrested some two months ago in the act of hosting a cocaine-fueled homosexual orgy in an apartment of the Holy Office, the same building in which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith operates. At the same time of the 2012 Vatileaks scandal — where leaked confidential Vatican correspondence allegedly revealed power struggles and intrigue at the highest levels of the Catholic church — a Polish priest released a paper in which he highlighted his discovery of what he called a “huge homosexual underground in the Church.” Fr. Dariusz Oko said he first began to do research about external threats to Christianity, but then gradually discovered that the “enemy is not only outside the Church, but within it, as well.” Oko said he uncovered homosexual cliques of clergy, even at the highest levels, that are formed by fear of exposure, lust for power, and money. “They know well, however, that they may be exposed and embarrassed, so they shield one another by offering mutual support. They build informal relationships reminding [one] of a ‘clique’ or even ‘mafia,’ [and] aim at holding particularly those positions which offer power and money,” he wrote. “When they achieve a decision-making position, they try to promote and advance mostly those whose nature is similar to theirs, or at least who are known to be too weak to oppose them. This way, leading positions in the Church may be held by people suffering from deep internal wounds,” he added. Oko said that once homosexual clergy achieve a “dominating position” in the Church’s hierarchy, they become a “backroom elite” with “tremendous power in deciding about important nominations and the whole life of the Church.” Among the rumors put forward at the time of Pope Benedict’s decision to resign in 2013 was the revelation of the existence of an entrenched “gay network” that orchestrated “sexual encounters” and shady financial machinations within the Vatican. The Pope reportedly decided to resign the day he received a 300-page dossier compiled by three cardinals detailing the workings and sexual activities of a network of homosexual curial officials.
- 1/8/2018 Erotic Clothing Store’s New ‘Covergirl’ Is a Nine-Year-Old Boy Dressed as Drag Queen; House of Mann, an erotic gay BDSM clothing store, has been accused of sexualizing children after they used a nine-year-old boy dressed as a drag queen to model for them. The nine-year-old drag queen who goes by the name “Queen Lactatia,” stands sexualized in the photos, wearing a sequin onesie. Products available on House of Mann include BDSM sex harnesses, bondage gloves, jock straps, and nipple pasties, which are all tagged with keywords such as “hot,” “erotic,” gay,” “BDSM,” “fetish,” “kinky,” “dominatrix,” and “stripper.” After users on Facebook and Twitter complained about the company sexualizing children for an erotic brand, House of Mann owner Brandon Hilton declared, “[I] woke up to countless tweets telling me ‘kill yourself’ and calling me a ‘pedo’ after we announced 9 year old drag superstar Lactatia as our new HOUSE OF MANN covergirl… If you can’t handle a kid in a sequin onesie, maybe the future isn’t for you!” “I think this new generation of drag kids is brilliant and inspiring!” he continued in another post. “@Desmond_Amazing and Lactatia are the future! @TheHouseofMann is just making sure they look SICKENING! People will talk no matter what, might as well give them something FIERCE to look at!” Despite the fact that some Twitter users reported the pictures, Twitter claimed they did not break any platform rules or policies. The nine-year-old boy first became known to the public in September 2017, when he appeared on ITV’s This Morning with his mother, wearing a pink wig, makeup, and a dress.
- Transgender Movement Targets Kids Drag Club, With Fake Body Parts; Unless you think it’s fine for a 10-year-old boy to form an online drag club for kids and you’re not bothered by a website offering fake penises for transgender children, then you can safely ignore this article. Otherwise, keep reading. First, consider this story from Germany, which begins with this mind-bending sentence: “Germany’s highest court has ruled that a transgender woman whose frozen sperm was used to father a child cannot be the child’s mother.” A woman does not have sperm, and a woman cannot father a child. And if the person has sperm and fathers the child, then that person cannot be the child’s mother. In this case, the man, who now identifies as a woman, wanted to be listed as the mother of his child, which was born to his female partner. So, this man fathers a child with his female partner (using previously frozen sperm), but since he now identifies as a woman (obviously, a lesbian woman, since his partner is female), he wants to be registered as the baby’s mother. That being the case, if I’m following things, the baby would have two mothers and no father. My heart goes out to this poor soul, but I’m glad that the German court showed some sanity.
- This story from Arizona: “Modern family: Mom, dad, 11-year-old son and daughter, 13, ALL identify as transgender. “This is not a joke. Not for a minute. As the Daily Mail reports, “Daniel Harrott, 41, the biological parent of two trans children, was assigned female gender at birth and is a transgender man. “His son and daughter also say they were assigned the wrong gender at birth, and he has met a transgender woman, Shirley Austin, 62, who was assigned male gender at birth. Harrott and Austin are now engaged. “The man is now a woman, the woman is now a man, the boy is now a girl and the girl is now a boy. Perhaps there’s some deeper confusion going on with this family? I’m not condemning them as wicked sinners, but I would love to see them find harmony with their biological sex. Surely a whole family is not trapped in the wrong bodies. We return to this story reported on Lifesite News about an online drag club (meaning, drag queen club) for young children: “‘Haus of Amazing,’ purportedly the ‘first ever drag house established exclusively for kids who are doing amazing drag, will be a ‘positive, encouraging and safe on-line community for drag kids to connect with each other, according to an on-line flyer for the club. Some websites have promoted the concept as an online dating club for transgender children. “Desmond Napoles has been showing interest in dressing in drag since he was a toddler, a Daily Mail report said, and has gained fame on the New York drag circuit as his drag alter ego, Desmond is Amazing.” I do not find this story amazing. I find it tragic, pathetic, and revolting. Desmond needs some godly parenting. To encourage him to dress (and perform in drag) and to encourage other impressionable little kids to join in with him is inexcusable Fourth, this report from the Daily Wire: “Not content to simply allow children to be, well, children, a hardcore sex toy manufacturer has introduced ‘TransKids,’ a website and shop designed to provide burgeoning transgender children with the “supplies” they need to experiment with the opposite gender.” As Mindy Robinson reports, TransKids is designed to serve parents of children as young as two or three years of age, and sells everything from prosthetic penises — circumcised and uncircumcised — to special ‘tucking trunks’ to help kids who don’t identify with their birth gender more accurately portray themselves as the opposite.” Need I say more? These are just some of the reasons I will continue to raise my voice against transgender activism, while at the same time encouraging every effort to be made to help these men, women, and children find true wholeness.
21. Revival of Paganism (False Gods / Mystery Religion Babylon). Major pagan god of Bible honored by world government. It was unveiled in London and displayed in New York, just steps away from Ground Zero. And now, the harbinger of the pagan god Baal has been used to welcome participants to a summit dedicated to “world government.” The World Government Summit recently held a meeting in Dubai, bringing together some of the most important leaders in government and business to discuss international problems. This year (2017), it featured a reconstruction of the Arch of Palmyra, the Roman triumphal arch that once welcomed travelers to the ancient Temple of Baal in the Syrian outpost of the empire. Baal worship featured rites of child sacrifice and sexual immorality. The same group that recreated the Roman triumphal arch that once welcomed travelers to the Temple of Baal is now honoring another pagan deity. The United Arab Emirates, the Italian mission to the United Nations and the Institute for Digital Archaeology have re-created a statue of the goddess Athena which once stood in Palmyra, according to Breaking Israel News. The exhibit, titled “The Spirit in the Stone,” is being hosted at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. It’s another move by globalist organizations to honor pagan deities, months after the reconstructed “Arch of Baal” went on a world tour, including being placed outside the G7 meeting of the world’s industrialized nations.
Joseph Farah, author of “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age.” States, “In fact, the gods of paganism are actually demons, according to the Bible. It’s not something to be played with. “The question confronting us right now is: Why would the United Nations be involved in resurrecting these occult images and icons of the past? Do they not understand what this represents – the false gods of child sacrifice and all kinds of abominations and perversions?” Rabbi Elad Dokow, the head rabbi and lecturer at Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology, was not surprised that the United Nations would feature a display of pagan symbols. “There is currently an unmistakable rise of paganism and idol worship in the world, more than any other religion, and it is naive to believe this display is disconnected from this phenomenon,” Rabbi Dokow told Breaking Israel News.
“Paganism creates the ability for each man to create his own truth, as opposed to Judaism and Christianity, which state that there is an objective truth man must abide by. The UN, like paganism, is a place of subjective reality created by a vote.” “What we are seeing in the world today is that every place Christianity grows weak, paganism and idolatry grow stronger, and where Christianity disappears, horrible things happen.” Joe Kovacs, author of “Shocked by The Bible 2,” says the whole sad spectacle is part of an old story. “The promotion of pagan gods is certainly nothing new, and it again shows we’re all living in what I call ‘Opposite World,’” he explained. “It’s a world where most people do the very opposite action of what God has instructed. Our Creator tells us to have no other gods but Him, but folks do the opposite, honoring false gods. At CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva — a 2m tall statue of the Indian deity Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. The statue, symbolizing Shiva’s cosmic dance of creation and destruction, was given to CERN by the Indian government. In choosing the image of Shiva Nataraja, the Indian government acknowledged the profound significance of the metaphor of Shiva’s dance for the cosmic dance of subatomic particles, which is observed and analyzed by CERN’s physicists.
Paganism at the Washington Mall; The Catharsis on the Mall, titled a Vigil for Healing, was held as a politically motivated incarnation of the desert Burning Man Festival from which it evolved. The event featured a 70-foot long seven headed red metal dragon on wheels. The dragon, named for the ancient Egyptian god Abraxas, was clearly intended to reference Satan as described in the Christian Book of Revelations. The dragon, like many elements of the event, was previously used at Burning Man, a yearly festival held in the Nevada desert that attracts tens of thousands from around the world. Other pagan elements of the event included a 30-foot tall “non-denominational” wooden temple that was built and then burned to the ground. At the focal point, directly facing the Washington Monument, was a paper-mache sculpture of “Lord Shiva Natarja”, a Hindu god described as “the cosmic ecstatic dancer”. Though these could all be regarded as cultural or artistic elements, the religious connotations were intentional. “There’s a deeply spiritual side to what we’re trying to do,” said Adam Eidinger, a local activist and organizer of the Catharsis events. “Having sacred fire on the mall is a very religious thing. At the basis of idol worship is man’s desire to replace god, to be free of the constraints of morality imposed on him by God. It is a desire to be God. Controversy surrounded Catharsis on the Mall even in the planning stages. Organizers were issued a permit to erect a 45-foot tall, 16,000 pound, steel sculpture of a naked woman titled “R-evolution” in front of the Washington Monument, deliberately facing the White House. The organizers initially intended for the massive piece to stand for four months but the permit was later revoked by the National Parks Service on the grounds that the crane required to erect the statue might damage the grass and concrete in the Mall.
Burning Man Festival (Nevada); is held for one week every year in late August. The Nevada festival attracted around 70,000 people this year, self-dubbed ‘Burners’, from around the world. The festival has a strongly spiritual basis with many alternative forms of worship being represented in micro-temples and altars. The week-long festival culminates in the eponymous ceremony in which a large wooden effigy of a man is burned. This ceremony, referred to among Druids as the ‘wicker man’, is almost universal amongst pagan cults and evolved as a replacement for human sacrifice. But the festival isn’t free. Tickets in 2017 started at $425 per person. UNESCO funded yet a third project that replicated the Lion of al-Lat which is an ancient statue that stands almost 11 feet tall and weighing 15 tons. Early pagans believed the lion was the consort of the goddess al-Lat. It is believed al-Lat was the continuation of the earlier Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar Inanna; the goddess of sex and, in particular, extra marital relations.
- Burning Man Announces Newest Centerpiece: Temple to Greek Goddess; For 2018, The Burning Man Festival, held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada in August, has chosen its centerpiece structure, a massive wood temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Gaia. The Burning Man organizers announced two weeks ago that they chose the design for the centerpiece temple of the festival. This year they will build a massive structure composed of 20 wood trusses converging as a spiral. In the center will be a large mandala, a symbol used by Buddhists as an aid in meditation. The structure will be titled Galaxia. In new age mythology, Galaxia is the mother goddess corresponding to the Greek goddess Gaia, but on a higher, galactic, level. In mythology, Gaia is the personification of the Earth and the source of immortality. The worship of Gaia figures prominently in Neopaganism. Organizers of Burning Man declare a central theme every year. These have included Dante’s Inferno and Fertility. Every festival culminates in the burning of a massive wood effigy based on the neo-pagan/Druid Wicker Man Ritual which replaced human sacrifice. At last year’s Radical Ritual themed festival, a man died after running into the huge Burning Man effigy. The campground is one large symbol, its boundaries marked off by a huge plastic fence forming a pentagon, an occult symbol used by pagans to outline the five-pointed pentagram star. Cahn argues what happened to ancient Israel is now happening to the post-Christian West. “We are now witnessing a massive apostasy taking place all over Western civilization, a large scale falling away from the God of Scripture,” he said. “So, to see the sign of Ba’al manifesting throughout the modern world is stunning. It is the sign of a civilization rapidly turning away from its faith and falling away from the knowledge of God.” Cahn linked Ba’al with the practice of idolatry and the worship of a human-created god. “Once you create your own god, you can create your own truth,” he said. “Once you create your own truth, you can overrule everything, call good evil and evil good. … Idolatry is linked to relativism, because you’re creating truths. Once you change your gods, everything else changes. It starts with that.” Cahn further explained the characteristics of Ba’al are uncannily linked to the sins of the modern world. “Ba’al was the god linked to materialism, the pursuit of increase and gain,” he said. “He was linked to sexual immorality, carnality and licentiousness. He was also the god upon whose altar babies were lifted up as human sacrifices. “So perhaps it is a striking phenomenon to see the sign of Baal in the modern world as we are again being given to materialism, sexual immorality, carnality, licentiousness and the offering up of babies to destruction – not thousands as in the case of Israel, but, in the case of abortion, millions – sacrificed on the altars of self-obsession.”
22. Wickedness will be rampant as it was in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-38). CRISPR and genetic manipulation. The past several decades have witnessed the advent of the genetic revolution and great good has come from it, but mankind continues to demonstrate its innate affinity for evil. Throwing aside moral and ethical restraints left and right, geneticists are now combining species against God’s created order and are even developing three-parent babies, and babies resulting from two fathers or two mothers. If human/animal hybrids are not created yet, they are on the very, very near horizon. How long will God allow this to continue considering the very real possibility these children and hybrids may not have souls? Are they made in God’s image or man’s image? God intervened when angels began interbreeding with the human population. Hybrids seem to be another point of no return where judgment must ensue very quickly (see Genesis 6). The ethical dilemma also highlights the debate regarding the morality of ‘designer babies’, which would allow parents to pick the sex of their child and special features, attributes.
23. When asked about the signs of His coming and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3). Jesus responded, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree (Israel); When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves (starting to grow), ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matt. 24:32-33). This truth alone (the official expansion of Israel’s borders and development of the nation) causes many students of Bible prophecy to know that it is near (close), even at the doors. It has taken 100 years (1917-2017), for the Fig Tree nation of Israel to have grown from a barren wasteland to a thriving nation of more than 7 million people. Israel on May 13–15, 2018, celebrated a historic date: the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the State of Israel. U.S. President, Donald Trump proclaimed that Jerusalem IS the capital of Israel and moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Other countries around the world are recognizing the same and are also in the process of moving their embassies to Jerusalem.
24. Ten Nation Confederacy of the Beast’s Kingdom (Rev. 17:12, 17:13, 17:14, 17:16, 17:17). Throughout the book of Revelation, there are many references to ten (10) horns that represent ten (10) kings or nations making up a confederacy. The Bible indicates that they will have one mind and give their power and strength (political/military) to the antichrist. Although these leaders are not kings, in return for their allegiance to the antichrist’s system, they receive power as kings from the antichrist for a short period (one hour). Lastly, the Bible says in Rev. 17:17, “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”
- Emmanuel Macron’s coalition of the willing: The French-led military pact has pulled in London — and Berlin. By PAUL TAYLOR , 5/2/18. PARIS — Impatient with German foot-dragging on defense, French President Emmanuel Macron will bring together a 10-nation coalition of the willing next month designed to prepare European armed forces to take action together in emergencies, and to bind Britain into military cooperation as it leaves the EU. Defense ministers of France, the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark and Estonia will sign a letter of intent in Paris in June, officials told me, pledging to develop a common strategic culture, share analysis and foresight on trouble spots that may require intervention and work to coordinate their forces for future operations. Macron outlined the idea in his keynote Sorbonne speech on European integration last September, calling for a common European intervention force, defense budget and doctrine for action in contingencies where the United States and NATO may not get involved. France wants to recruit allies that could help share its military burden especially in Africa, where it intervened alone in Mali in 2012 to prevent Islamist militants seizing control of a weak state. Frustrated by the big-tent, low-ambition start to the European Union’s so-called Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defense agreed last year at Germany’s insistence, the French leader is pressing ahead with a small core of like-minded nations outside EU and NATO institutional structures.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May quietly endorsed the initiative at a Franco-British summit at the Sandhurst Military Academy in January but did not publicize the step to avoid antagonizing hard-line Brexiteers in her Conservative Party, to whom any idea of an “EU army” is anathema. She did announce a practical move to help the French in the Sahel region, making available three heavy-lift Chinook helicopters to support operations in Mali. “It’s really important to have the British on board, not just because they have the most capable, rapidly deployable armed forces along with our own, but also because we share the same strategic culture and history of projecting force outside Europe,” a senior French source said. Alice Pannier, an expert on Franco-British defense cooperation at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, said the French idea was to bring together those European countries most experienced in military interventions and U.N. peacekeeping missions, some of which are not involved in PESCO for political reasons, such as Denmark and Britain.
- Paris also approached non-NATO Sweden and Finland and non-EU Norway about the initiative but they chose to stay out at least initially, diplomats said. Under other circumstances, the French would have liked to include Poland, the most serious military player in former communist Central Europe, but that seems impossible as long as Jarosław Kaczyński’s ruling Law and Justice Party stays on its authoritarian nationalist course. By involving Estonia, they made sure they have an Eastern EU member country on the frontline with Russia engaged from the outset. Berlin is uncomfortable with the initiative, not least because any talk of intervention upsets peace-loving Germans and raises prickly questions about legal mandates and parliamentary approval. Some officials in Berlin and Brussels regard the European Intervention Initiative — as Macron’s project is called — with suspicion as a rival to PESCO. Nevertheless, Berlin is attending the early-June launch to avoid a Franco-German rift and to keep an eye on what Paris and London are doing, a German source said. French officials were irked that Germany publicly refused to join a U.S.-French-British airstrike on Syria last month over the use of chemical weapons (although Chancellor Angela Merkel did back the strikes after they were carried out). They are exasperated at the new German government’s failure to do more to boost the defense budget, given its big fiscal surplus and its commitment to move toward NATO’s goal of defense spending as 2 percent of gross domestic product. German spending is stalled at 1.2 percent.
- Despite its reticence about using force, Germany has about 1,000 soldiers in Mali supporting the French counterterrorism campaign by serving in a U.N. peacekeeping force and participating in an EU military training mission Drawing Berlin deeper into defense cooperation remains a French priority. Only Germany has the money to make major next-generation armaments projects feasible, and only the Franco-German engine can drive the EU forward, even if it is sputtering on a range of issues at the moment. Not all the news from Berlin is negative. The French and German defense ministers signed an agreement at the Berlin International Air Show on the high-level requirements for a next generation fighter to be developed jointly by historic rivals Dassault Aviation and Airbus to replace the French Rafale and pan-European Eurofighter/Typhoon warplanes. The French say they are open to Britain joining the plan at a later stage. Big challenges remain ahead of the project, including agreeing a common timetable and detailed military specifications, and finding an interim solution to replace Germany’s aging nuclear-capable Tornado planes.
- Another obstacle is reconciling arms export rules to meet France’s global export ambitions and Germany’s severe restrictions on the countries to which it may sell weapons. The previous German government infuriated Paris by blocking sales of jointly produced helicopters to Gulf states and Kazakhstan. Although Berlin has come a long way on the role of the armed forces, it remains uncertain how far Germany will be willing to use the Bundeswehr in action outside Europe, except as U.N.-mandated peacekeepers after the French and British have done the dirty work of intervention. Some 25 EU member countries signed up for the launch of PESCO, agreeing to a laundry list of mostly modest projects that will help plug capability gaps and reduce duplication among European militaries. Significantly, Italian companies have taken the lead in more projects than the French, who see the EU effort as being of limited value. French officials say Macron’s initiative is not about creating new battlegroups but more about sharing analysis of potential crisis situations in Europe’s neighborhood and beyond that might require action. This might involve, for example, evacuating European nationals from civil strife in Venezuela or an African nation, or tackling a humanitarian refugee crisis in a country like Libya.
- “It’s about scoping out and jointly analyzing the sort of problems that can arise and knowing how to manage them together as effectively as possible if they materialize,” a French defense source said. “It’s about feeling out our partners’ priorities and knowing in advance how and how much they could contribute if a specific crisis arises.” French officials insist Macron’s initiative is complementary and compatible with PESCO and NATO and does not undercut efforts to build stronger defense capabilities among all willing EU countries. But the reality is that only small group coalitions are likely to be ready and willing to take robust military action outside Europe. As the 2011 Libya war showed, that will almost always involve France and Britain, but probably not the reluctant Germans, or the procedure-bound EU as a whole. The next time a crisis strikes somewhere on Europe’s southern fringes, France and Britain are likely to be on the frontlines in uniform. Don’t expect the Germans to show up until the fighting is over. Paul Taylor, contributing editor at POLITICO, writes the Europe At Large column
The Signs of the Season are Converging!
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