-And the LORD answered me, and said,
             Write the vision,and make it plain upon tables,
                    that he may run that readeth it. 
                   - (Hab 2:2)


Prophetic Page


Power Of Prayer
A look at prayer and and its great importance to a genuine Christian.

Obamacare 2019
A look at some of the unspoken problems with Obamacare and its effect on the US Economy

Ganging Up On AntiVaxxers
What is behind the move against those who are concerned about vaccines? The answer may not be as simple as you think.

Trials And Tribulations
A look at our trials as Christians, why we go through them and how to do so successfully.

God's Protection In Times Of Trial

Thinking The Unthinkable
A look at the possibility of Nuclear War

Pole Shift: A Brief Speculative Look

The Day Of The Lord

Prayer: Standing In The Gap

Prophecy And Technology

Climate Change: Temporal And Spiritual

The Sufficiency Of Christ

Standing In The Gap

The Power Of The Blood

Discerning The Times

Truth Averse

An Open Letter To Black Lives Matter:
How to avoid being ensnared in the ongoing Federal operation 'Ni∓∓er Catcher' and 'Black Snare', run out of the US intelligence community and certain sections of Law Enforcement. These operations do exist, though naturally not with those pejorative titles. They are not legal, nor are they officially recognized but key people in high positions run these operations that specifically target Black Americans and certain White Americans who seek justice, truth and use their rights to bring these things back to our once great nation. The impetus comes from the US Intelligence community - LE does the footwork. This is what they did to so many civil rights leaders back in the 60's and 70's. They have honed their skills for the technology of the 21st century.

pdfIran Nukes And Regional Staility

The Harvest

An Open Letter To Senator Mikulski And The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence


Ezekiel and the Spirit of Stubbornness/The Sardis Syndrome

Christ, Family and Persecution

When The Bottom Falls Out Of Your Boat

How God Measures Us
He does it very differently that the world does.

Trends In Africa
A quick look at some troubling trends in Africa

Brothel Politics, The Church and First Things
Recent trends in the nation, including Obamacare are indicative of something much deeper that is wrong with America

While I Was Away...
A word about my month long hiatus

Shutdown Note:
A look at how the criminally insane 'pay' their bills.

Times And Seasons (09-13)
 Faith and patriotism in the last days... and what kind of fruit is  Christ going to find on your tree?

7 Churches Of Revelation
Light for seeing, ears for hearing. Most commentaries on these chapters miss this most important point.

Unwise Faith
- It is most unwise to place your faith in the wrong things.
Obadiah: Divine Geopolitics
- Is the Lord concerned about geopolitics?

The Assyrian
- Damascus and the Assyrian in Bible Prophecy

End Time Personal Notes
- Just some notes to true believers as to things to watch for on a personal level and consider in these times.

 - What I See...

A quick look (15 pages) at some trends I see and don't see. Trends in the economy, trends in 'people control' and spiritual matters

      - Prison Labor Industry

      Slave labor cleverly



 - 3 Short Commentaries


Entitled Not Afraid, Tough Decisions and Job's Sufferings. God will take care of his people. Just make sure brothers when its our time to pass over our own spiritual 'river Jordan', that we make our deaths count for something, that being Christ. If we are to die as Christians for the gospel and the word of our testimony (Rev 19:10, 12:17, 12:11), let us rejoice because we have a long and honorable heritage of those who went before us.

 -  Lamentations Are Coming 


I think we as Christians need to keep in mind and prepare our souls for what is really coming. Mr. Leal has done a good job of laying out that a time of great sorrow will sweep America.

 -  The Curse 


When a nation decides to put the stamp of approval on those things God hates, it invites a curse. And be certain of this, without some real soul searching repentance, a curse is what is going to hit us. America has enjoyed prosperity like no other nation on earth. Military power like no other nation on earth. Good will and diplomatic strength like no other nation on earth. Why? We as a nation respected ...

 -  I Have A Dream Vs. I Have A Drone 


I think it should be noted that while some people will say they find something 'highly offensive' when they do not really mean it, I want to make clear that I really do mean it, it is personally highly offensive to compare Dr. King and President Obama. If a person wants to worship Obama and idolize him, that is their business, not mine. But before anyone attempts to cast dispersions on Dr. King by ...

 -  Mali: Africa Must Take The Lead 


This crisis in Mali... first off, this is not just 'another war'. This is a very serious and potent threat to African continental security.

 -  There Is A Generation... 


What does it mean to live in our times, having been touched by God's spirit and understanding what God requires of us? It means that we are going to have a hard time fitting in with the current generation. This is the way it should be, since we are of a very different heritage. The scriptures talk about times like ours and what kinds of people will inhabit the earth just before Christ returns. We ...

  The Way Back 


For many of my readers, the way back to God is the road you are on. Many of you have fallen away and for whatever reason, personal tragedy, hard times or just a dissatisfaction with worldly 'satanic' living that did not make you nearly as happy as you thought it would. I find it interesting that so many people here in America have just about everything and yet are totally miserable. I am struck by ...

 - What's Expected Of Son's And Heir's 


What should we as Christians should be doing in these times? As these days grow darker and increasingly rejects Christ and genuine Christianity, we who wish to get into the kingdom must know what God wants us to do. What does God expect of us, we who are determined no matter what comes, to get into God's kingdom and avoid his holy wrath, which I bear witness, is coming to this world and will usher ...

 - In The Kingdom Of The Blind 


Today, it is extremely important that we know what is happening in our world, particularly from a prophetic standpoint. Why? The return of Christ is our blessed hope. God spoke clearly and insistently that we are to be watching and ready for our Lords return. Yet as I speak to Christians, I just don't see any level of spiritual discernment in their lives or minds Mind you there are always some exceptions ...

 - Culling The World's Population 


Yes, there is a plan afoot to reduce the human population. Most of the plan is hidden in plain sight.


Fifty-three pages that looks at several issues facing our world today. From the economic crisis to food and eugenics to Syria as well a look at what a Mitt Romney Presidency may look like.

 -  Judge Not! 


...Lest ye be judged.

 - The Blessings Of Obedience 


Has the devil fooled you into thinking you can be saved and not obey the Lord?

  From Another World 


Christians, real ones that is, must conduct themselves as though they are from another world. A real Christian, is not of this world but of the Kingdom of God and his Christ.


-  From The North 


A prophetic look at the Arctic. The Arctic you ask? Yes the Arctic and how it may relate to Babylon's fall.

Other Resources
(most are in PDF format)

Select Congressional Committee Investigating Illegal Practices In The Abortion Industry

Congressional Report On STOPPING TERROR FINANCE:

Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions

Iran: Ministry Of Intelligence And Internal Security - LOC

Global Trends 2030 - NIE

High Unemployment And GDP - CRS

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

DOJ Lethal Force Justification Against US Citizens

Global Trends 2030

US Vulnerabilities To Money Laundering, Drugs And Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History
- US Senate

Intelligence Committee Report On Huawei

Major Arms Transfers - CRS

The Crisis In Mali - CRS

The Crisis In Syria - CRS

Posse Comitatus - CRS

Iran: Nuclear Intentions And Capabilities

State Department Report On Religious Persecution

State Department Report On Religious Persecution (Constitutional Review for OIC) - 2012

US-China Policy Issues - CRS

US Naval Modifications For China's Rise - CRS

UAE: US Policy Issues - CRS

Senate Report On Counterfeit Parts In DOD Supply Chain

2012 Annual Report To Congress On Chinese Military - DOD

Water Security - CIA/NIC

Syria's Phase Of Radicalization - ICG

Oil Imports And Exports - CRS

Pivot To The Pacific - CRS

Official US Military Report On Nazi Germany's IG Farben- DOD

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Isreal's Possible strike On Iran - CRS

Iran Policy Concerns - CRS

Food Aid To NK - CRS

Aid To Pakistan

(Senate Hearing)

DOD Missing Trillions

(official audit)

GAO's Audit of the FED Report


Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Human Rights In China - CRS

US-China Trade Issues - CRS

US-China Miliary Contacts - CRS

US- Taiwan Arms Sales - CRS

China's Currency: Analysis Of Issues - CRS

The Debt Limit; Gov't Operations - CRS

China's Acquisition of US Technology - Congress

Secret Law And the Threat To Democracy - Senate Judiciary Comm.

OSS/CIA Images Of Auschwitz During the War

Nuclear Terror In The US - FEMA

Links I Like
From all over the Christian spectrum!

Last Days Of The Age
The Endtime Pilgrim
The First Trumpet
The Last Trumpet

Spirit Daily

(Catholic... great news links)

Orthodox Today
(A look at today from an Orthodox Perspective)
The Assyrian News Agency
(A look at events in Iraq)
The Barnabas Fund
China Aid
(A look at events inside China, from a Christian Perspective)
Gay Christian Movement Watch
(A hard-hitting blog talking about the growing sin of Homosexuality inside the Church)
Independent Catholic News
Jihad Watch
(Not Christian, but gets into important trends in the Islamic world)
Compass Direct
(Persecution news)

Babylon Today


Last Updated
  14 Jun 2019

This Site has become a PRIVATE Site

99% of all future commentary are now private.

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
(Luk 9:26)

I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand,
I shall not be moved.
(Psa 16:8)


Mark can be reached here.

14 Jun

Habakkuk Part IV

Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil,
and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest
 thou upon them that deal treacherously,
and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth
the man that is more righteous than he?
And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things,
 that have no ruler over them?
(Hab 1:13-14)

We will continue the thought of verse 13 here. The prophet goes on to make it clear that he knows God's character and that he hates iniquity and treachery. He is not accusing God of being indifferent. He expounds God's ways as being far above men. When evil men eat up the righteous and takes them as in war, the prophet here expresses his dismay yet acknowledging God's holiness. This passage is probably a reference to his anticipation of the coming Chaldean, whom the prophet saw as being wholly unrighteous. As the wicked, so with this conquering army. They come and the men had no power against them.

Here the prophet not unlike Job saw so much evil and trouble in the world and how powerless man is.

Yet God does not tell us of his ways or reasons. He has his own reasons for doing things and except in the cases of those whom he calls friends, he does not reveal his councils. But in rare cases, he does let us know. He did this with Abraham when Lot was in severe danger.

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham
 that thing which I do;
(Gen 18:17)

K&D commentary gives us I think the right voice here. Some commentators seem to think this refers to God treating men like fishes, but I think the voice here is ascribing it to the Chaldeans - their power when they comes upon a nation. Here is what that K&D commentary says.

This strange fact is depicted still further in Hab_1:14-16 in figures taken from the life of a fisherman. The men are like fishes, whom the Chaldaean collects together in his net, and then pays divine honour to his net, by which he has been so enriched...

... No ruler, to take the defenceless under his protection, and shelter and defend them against enemies. Then will Judah be taken prisoner and swallowed up by the Chaldaeans. God has given it helplessly up to the power of its foes, and has obviously ceased to be its king. - K&D

The Pulpit commentary has an interesting aside on Judgment on the Chaldeans which you may find of interest.

The prophet appeals movingly to God by showing the indignity with which the people are treated. As the fishes of the sea. Dumb and helpless, swept off by the fisherman. That have no ruler ever them. None to guide and protect them (comp. Pro_6:7; Pro_30:27). So the Jews seem to be deprived of Gods care, and left to be the prey of the spoiler, as if of little worth, and no longer having God for their King (comp. Isa_63:19, Revised Version). The "creeping things" are worms, or small fish (Psa_104:25). - The Pulpit Commentary

They take up all of them with the angle,
they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag:
 therefore they rejoice and are glad.
Therefore they sacrifice unto their net,
and burn incense unto their drag; because by
them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.
 Shall they therefore empty their net,
and not spare continually to slay the nations?
(Hab 1:15-17)

Once the fish are caught in the net, they are dragged up. The fisherman are pleased with a good catch. This is how the Prophet describes the conquering Chaldeans. Then they do something rather perverse, they begin to worship the net that caught the fish. This apparently is their religion, the instruments of war as typified by the imagery of the fisherman's net. They are encouraged in their war and religion because of the spoil they get in it.

Thus the prophet ends his second complaint to the Lord. His concern is not an uncommon one. We all have seen horrible injustices committed by men drunk with power and violence. I know many of you feel just like Habakkuk at times. We see these things and cannot help but cry out and even complain to the Lord about them. Well, this is the second time Habakkuk has done this and he may be feeling just a bit guilty about it. Why do I say this? The next passage.

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower,
and will watch to see what he will say unto me,
 and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
(Hab 2:1)

So the prophet after he makes his complaint - he does not abandon his post, he does not walk away in rebellion or in a fit of rage, he continues on in his service to God as a watchman over his people. This is so important. I have learned this lesson after many years of doing this site. To continue on with whatever God has me (or you) doing. I know God has given me this rather unusual ministry. I never asked for it, but I know I have to do it.

In our times, real watchmen are rare and they are often viscously attacked by all manner of dark forces. Watchmen are so commanded to stay on watch, like any good soldier. The penalty for not doing so can be most severe. When God gives you a job to do, you would do well to do it! The tower is where the prophet is set. In a tower one can see a far off things not seen by those who are on the ground. The prophet has a unique perspective on things because he see's things differently - from a different vantage point. This is the role, job and burden of a watchman. Here is how Barnes describes this verse.
The prophet takes his stand, apart from people and the thoughts and cares of this world, on his lonely watch, as Moses on the rock, keeping himself and kept by God, and planted firm, so that nothing should move him, fenced around thought straitened in , as in a besieged camp committed to his ward, looking out from his lofty place what answer God would give as to times long distant, and what answer He should give first to himself, and to those to whom his office lay, Gods people.  - Barnes
Yet the passage seems to anticipate God's answer with a bit of trepidation. He is waiting for God to answer him. Note he is not worried that God won't answer him - this is not un-faith, No, he knows God will answer, yet he is not sure how the Lord is going to take his complaints and thus he fully expects to be reproved by the Lord for being so bold. Will he be? We will find out in the next section, God willing!

Blessings to you all in Christ!!!

Brother Mark

12 Jun

Is The Global Internet Disintegrating?

Slashdot looks at the issue. My view? Well, in short, yes it is. It is being led by nations who don't like the open internet and now are building infrastructure to get around the current US led open internet. Yes, the open internet is changing and not for the better. Governments in particular are nervous about it. Russia? They have their own ideas about who is behind some of the unrest in Russia and one of the key vectors they believe was American led Social Networking sites. This is one key reason why Putin is locking down the internet - to prevent any more attempts at what they see as US sponsored 'colored revolutions'.

Right now everyone is looking at recent Russian initiatives, but it is also China who has been steadily laying undersea internet cable (where most international internet traffic travels). This is a key front in the information war and Russia and China both understand the stakes.

But these moves are going to be disastrous for freedom of speech, the free flow of information and of course will open up the door to even more digital surveillance - more than we have today if American digital traffic begins to traverse this new infrastructure.

But the internet, at least the open and free flow of information is also coming under attack in the western world as well. I read the other day where Australia is planning to put people in jail for five years of 'offending' someone. We saw what happened in New Zealand after the Christchurch shooting and jail time threats against those who reported accurately events (like posting a video). Then there were the proposals in Europe that demanded censorship machines (aka copyright filters) on sites before anything could be uploaded. And of course in the US we have seen the likes of all the major Social Networking sites (many of them with deep state connections) begin censoring speech that it did not like - usually, though not exclusively conservative speech.
Censorship... More Information From Project Veritas

We have seen Internet Hosting companies drive alternative sites off the web. Alternative sites across the net, left and right have reported very significant traffic declines in the past few years. None of this is a coincidence. The powers that be want to get control of the internet and silence or at least muffle voices that run contrary to official narratives and government speak. Each nation is using the legal and technological tools it has at hand. Authoritarian countries have fewer impediments to fulfilling their wishes, whereas western democracies usually have to enlist the help of corporate friends who are dependent on government for their livelihood (contracts - friendly regulatory frameworks, etc) or even by using other means (covert means - blackmail, bribery, threats etc) to carry out the policy.

So yes, the internet is changing. It is becoming more 'official' more 'government' and certainly more 'corporate'. Smaller alternative sites will probably be around for a long time, but they will struggle as payment processors and large corporations begin to target them. I know in the past two years or so my traffic has significantly dropped on the public page. I am not really surprised or even troubled by it. I have long suspected that one day this was going to happen. I never wanted this site to be 'big' anyway. I want it to be useful to the few, Godly souls out there, not a resource for bad people or a place where I get too much attention from the wrong kinds of people, as has happened before.

My point is that the internet is changing. It really is and is set to change much more as Net Neutrality is no longer the law of the land. More and more, piecemeal and step by step, I see these big Tech companies and ISP's moving to gain more control over what we all read, see, hear and watch on the internet. I think it will be as much about the control of information, ideas and narratives as it will be about profit.

Change is in the wind - a change that will do its best to give credence to the official lie and try its best to put a gag on the uncomfortable truths of our times.
10 June

Christian Watch

These times are hard ones for the Church, which is frankly in crisis. Raging persecution, divisions, false doctrines, charlatans and crooks in the Pulpits and on Christian TV, spiritual blindness, slumber during these end times, blind watchmen, and lying prophets. These are most difficult times for the Church. But God has his very small flock that have not succumbed to the wiles of the devil which have been very effective against the corporate religious establishments that call themselves Churches.

I am aghast at what has been happening, but am also encouraged that slowly some pastors and Christian leaders are waking up and are now trying to steer their congregations, no longer into the DNC or RNC or into some new 'deep state' concocted social/christian movement, but into sound Bible doctrine and righteous and holy living without the hypocritical 'holier than thou-ness' which too often is merely a pose. We need real people, living a real life on the foundations of Jesus Christ, not 'holy' hypocrites. So today, let's take a look around the world at how the Church is faring and some of the issues it faces.

Christians reflect on 5 years under BJP rule. The ICC reports on Modi and the rise of the BJP and the RSS. This is a brief look at events and the recent elections. Who are the BJP and RSS? You may find this of interest. So, yes people, not just Christians have a cause for serious concern. They are in hostile territory. So next time you hear about Churches being burned down in India or pastors being beaten to death, remember the spirit behind the new leadership in India.

In the Congo, the massacres continue. A Nun was decapitated. In the Eritrea, Christians were arrested during a crackdown.

Last week wasn't a good week. A blog called "Today's Martyrs" has a pdf of recent martyrdom's. It can be found here.

In China, an influential 70 year old Church was closed by communist authorities and the pastor was heavily fined.

Can you make a deal with the devil? Recent events say no, you cannot. Churches who cut a deal with the Chinese Communists are still being shut down, according to this piece. This should give the Pope some pause as he cut a deal with the Communists on allowing Atheists and Communists to appoint Church leaders. China is not likely to abide for long by any agreement unless there is very significant 'pain to come' leverage in place that makes them keep their agreements. Beyond that, Eve listening to serpent in the garden will probably yield better results than believing what Xi and the CCP has to say to the Church.

Will the Pope listen? I doubt it, in my view, he seems determined to make the western unsaved world love him at the expense of the doctrines of Christianity and the spiritual well being of the Church. After years of watching him, he just seems to want the Church to look like the world of which Christ so clearly called us out of. His actions in the past have been called into serious question.

The Church all over is under attack on various fronts, out right persecution, demonic doctrines, false pastors and demonic led Church leaders who shine like an angel of light but are carefully doing the devils work. Hate and racism often masquerading as Christianity And too often just plain old cowardice in its leaders. But there are some courageous voices out there.

But the scale of persecution is very serious. The UK foreign secretary recently commented on the scale of it. Crux carries the story here. but you know what? You would never believe it listening to the American press. The stories are hardly covered, if at all. Genocidal levels of murder being committed and the TV Camera shifts to the shapely legs of an NFL cheerleader, the latest on the Muller report foolishness or some new sex scandal or tweet by a Hollywood actor.

Well, this much I know, it is pretty hard to get a people whose brains have been befuddled and atrophied by long term drug usage to contextualize much of anything of importance and sadly, this is where a great many American's are at, and the news networks know it. And no, I am not the only one who see's the trend.

Here in the US some are calling for the US to sanction Chinese officials involved in religious persecution, the Epoch Times reports.

In Sudan, the recent unrest, where bodies were dumped into the Nile, has an effect on the Christian minority living in the country.

SCO: Purple=Dialog partners,
Blue=observers, Green=members
Source Wikipedia (public domain)

In Tajikistan, Jehovah's Witnesses are in pretrial detention and while there, he is not allowed to read his Bible.
A court in the northern city of Khujand has again extended the pre-trial detention of 68-year-old Jehovah's Witness prisoner of conscience Shamil Khakimov until 26 June. He was arrested in February and is being investigated on criminal charges of allegedly "inciting religious hatred", which carry a jail term of between five and ten years. But his real "crime" seems to be that the regime thinks he leads Khujand's Jehovah's Witness community. - Forum 18
This appears to be part of a broader pattern against the JW's that is being embarked upon by the Russian government. The two nations are closely aligned in a security sense as this paper explains. Given that each belong to SCO and theirs is the policy of attacking non-state sponsored religious groups, what is going on is hardly surprising. Extremism in their lexicon is an elastic term and can be and has been used against the most peaceful and law abiding peoples, whose religious beliefs may not line up with what those in authority like.A cursory internet search with terms SCO and Extremism will yield up some decent results on the subject.

Meanwhile here in the US, the so-called culture war is still raging. Left and right are using the tools of censorship and economic warfare to silence each other. From Chick-fil-A bans, to Google now calling conservative voices names (Nazi and Supremacist) and demonetizing them. This is all part of a pattern of internal strife driven from foreign powers who have considerable power within our government. I don't think I need to tell you of the considerable connections between Google and the government. Leaks over the past few years have made those connections pretty clear. That and new allegations that may turn into lawsuits.

The Good news is that finally Congress may be willing to break up these tech firms, who have been behaving more like Goebbles than Americans. Censorship is a Nazi trait; a free and vibrant press and exchange of idea's is an American one. What is so tragic in my opinion is that these companies made billions from that free flow of idea's and now seek to turn on the nation and it's citizens like a dog on its master and create their own 'digital world' where only opinions they agree with can have voice. For you lefties out there, this will swing in your direction if and when they can continue to hit out at those from the right. These tech firms have their own agenda.
Platforms Want Centralized Censorship. That Should Scare You
I have said this before but it bears repeating. Foreign intelligence services (Iranians, Russians Chinese and others) are very good at co-opting US corporate executives and they have been their busiest in Silicon Valley. But also on Capitol Hill and working hard on key members in the House and Senate and those important committees. Why are conservatives being targeted so hard?

Because Conservatives believe in protecting the nation-state. Many of those on the left (those with the money) believe in a global society where the nation-state (like America) must give up sovereignty, rights and wealth to a global system where US democratic input is neutered by treaties and secret agreements that the people are not and will never be allowed to see.

Foreign actors benefit when the nation is divided up and left hates right and the nation and its government can no longer function because of political inertia, like today. Foreign nations can plan border crashing PR events and create narratives that prevents the state from taking action against it and further divide up the nation along political lines. Let me tell you, I know about disinformation. I know how it works and how well it works and that 999 out of a thousand people will never know how or that they are being manipulated. This is a science, a long studied and highly accurate science that others know how to employ and deploy on the unsuspecting. What is the first rule of not being fooled? Well... the author of the following makes it her second, I make it the first. It is..
2 - Be humble and open enough to know that you can be fooled. Your cognitive wiring is susceptible to the same hacks as everyone else, and manipulators of all sorts are always looking to exploit those vulnerabilities. It's not shameful to be deceived, it's shameful to deceive people. Don't let shame and cognitive dissonance keep you compartmentalized away from considering the possibility that you've been duped in some way. - Thirty-Two Tips For Navigating A Society That Is Full Of Propaganda And Manipulation
What I think needs to be better understood is that forces in our world with a lot of money and power have a plan. It's not a conspiracy theory, many of these men have pretty clearly articulated what they want, publicly. This is no longer people hiding in secret chambers. No, today this movement more and more resembles a naked man running as fast as he can for the throne. Only a blind man could miss it.
They want Global governance. What form that governance takes is a matter of some considerable debate (and conflict), but what must be done away with is Patriotism, Nationalism or as Trump would put it 'American first'. This is their number one enemy in favor of a new system of international organizations with legal authority over the nation state. None of this is news to most of you. But what we must remember is that while these forces no longer have control over the White House and the American Foreign policy apparatus, they still wield considerable power in other parts of American society.

This is where religion comes in. Many of these forces see Islam as the key to the question of religion. Have we not seen the Euro elite move to assist in Islamifying large parts of Europe? If you haven't you need to wake up and find out what is going on. Meanwhile Anti-Semitism grows there as does acts of violence against Christians. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame all Muslims for all of this, no rather I want to point out trends and some of the reasons why they are being allowed and even facilitated by the powers that be.

I say these things to help contextualize just a few of these issues for Christians. There is a power behind the throne of the world's governments. It uses man made organizations and people, but it is a spiritual power. He is known as the prince of this world. Even Christ did not dispute his power in this age before his resurrection. Christ was offered all the kingdoms of this world if he would fall down and worship him (Matt 4:8ff). Christ refused as must we when our time comes when we are threatened if we don't worship the devil and his image.

Persecution? It will ebb and flow but the overall trend will be that it will continue to grow. It is a key sign of our times and we must not be shocked by it.

Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.
 (John 15:20 [KJVA])

Sooner or later, to small or great degrees,  you will be persecuted for your faith, ifyou indeed belong to Jesus Christ. 

These are times when powerful forces are fighting over the creation of a new Global political, economic and Spiritual order, while the old order slowly comes apart.

In the minds of the servants of that order, Christian persecution is merely a sideshow, often an unintended casualty of their perverse machinations. But to the devil, we are the A#1 target for his efforts. Even the deceivers in our times are deceived by him and make no mistake, Satan is a master deceiver.

Let us all pray for our persecuted brethren and keep this in mind. In the secular, we will ultimately lose the cultural war here in the US. No sense in lying to ourselves about it. We can slow the spiritual decay, perhaps even forestall it for a short period of time, but lose it we will - in the secular.

What is needed is a Church far more dedicated to God and his mission, than trying to save a culture that frankly is too far gone. We can save souls out of it, but not save the culture. This is not a sign of surrender, but rather a call to redirect our energies to more spiritually important tasks. Trying to pass laws to keep a people to stop reprehensible sexual conduct who are addicted to it? It is not going to work, no matter how hard you try. The culture will only backlash against us. No, we must concentrate on saving souls and being a light of Christ's love and forgiveness of those sins, be it homosexuality, fornication, adultery, theft, lies, murder, hate...

These are hard times for the Church, but Church leaders, a great many of them have lost their way and the ultimate reasons and purpose for their ministries. It is not to save the culture, but to save souls and keep them saved.

Let leaders keep that in mind in these troubled and exceptionally deceitful times.

6 Jun

News Of Note

There has been a lot happening and today, we will look at a few issues and then talk about Iran and the prospects for war.

It looks like Facebook is moving to help Europe develop end-to-end encryption busting tech to allow the government to read and see things it can't right now. Yes,Facebook looks to want to facilitate the whole thing, according to news reports. Forbes as a great summary of what is going on. The story is interesting because it demonstrates, I think where the real impetus for this kind of thing is going to come from - not governments but from these big firms themselves. Yes, I think so. In fact I am surprised we have not seen more of this earlier, knowing how deceptive some of these big social networking firms are. My view is that they simply cannot be trusted (on any level for any reason) for reasons that have been made public but also for reasons that have not.

It's why I won't get one of those accounts. Many of you say, 'I don't have anything to worry about, I don't do anything illegal'. The problem is that perfectly legal communications can get you on a watch list, put you under surveillance and one day may deny you re-entry into the US when on a foreign trip. It could one day get you flagged for not being able to get government work, or civilian work; or keep you from getting health insurance at a decent price or keep you from even entering a Federal Building. These things are already happening to greater or lesser degrees. Your Social Media can be used against you for the horrible and unforgivable 'crime' of being a law abiding, hard working American citizen.

...and yes, you read that correctly.

Keep in mind, because you obey the law does not mean the government will. Lots of crooks are in Government and in American law enforcement. Lots of them, they know how to twist the laws to make the most innocent person in the world look like an serial axe murderer to get them under surveillance and harass them 24-7 because of the color of their skin, religion or because they are so sexy, they are 'rape-able' and yes, this kind of thing really has happened before. Pin up models have been set up and then blackmailed by Feds to have sex with them. There are some really sick folks wearing badges and sitting in federal prosecutors chairs.

I say these things to warn you, many of you think the system can be trusted, I can tell you that it cannot. Sick minds and evil people have been able to worm their way into America's security apparatus. All of that data?... certain insiders will make sure that Christian pastors' personal data winds up in the hands of Islamic fanatics who want to kill Christian leaders to help further the Islamification of America and 'get them out of the way' so that left wing politicians can have an easier time of getting elected. Even now much of this data has found its way to Nations with a real 'hate' on for Christians. Kid yourself not, the big boys are still spying on folks.

Then there was a major outage over the weekend. There are many stories on it, just search for 'Google Cloud Outage' at any major news search engine.

We do not know what this is all about. Google may tell us something, they may may not. They may only choose to tell us a few things or nothing at all. So far the silence is deafening. What happened? I don't know. Let me list some of the top of my head possibilities.

  • A Genuine outage due to equipment malfunction or failure
  • A planned outage to remove certain equipment the government views as a threat (Huawei)
  • A 'demonstration' by 'good guy hackers' of a vulnerability on their networks. they refused to fix and now are going to have to.
  • The installation of new surveillance equipment.
  • The removal of old surveillance equipment.
  • A successful hack by a foreign actor.
  • Routine maintenance or security upgrade of their systems

It may also be related to shoring up the US Tech industry/Social Networking industry  for the 2020 elections from foreign interference. I want to just throw that out for all of you to consider. It is not likely we will hear the whole truth about it. But let leave you with this important thought.

Every modern Tyranny needs as near total surveillance as they can get. It is rule number one in the Tyrants bloodstained handbook. Do not kid yourself for one second, these social media companies and major tech firms, they are wittingly and unwittingly developing technology what will eventually enslave mankind. Folks don't know it and with many, they don't want to know it, they want to push pretty colored buttons on a touch screen and chat with their friends about last nights party. If you think what I am saying is off, go and look at how China is using it.

Satan's ministers are indeed working in government. Many of them claim to be Christians and wind their way into the confidence of Christians so they can play the Judas. These men and women are key tools of Satan in these most dangerous and deceptive times. I know whereof I speak from personal experience.

Beware brothers, sisters, Pastors, Deacons, Bishops, Evangelists and lay person.


Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking
whom he may devour:

 (I Peter 5:8 [KJVA])


So what is going on with Iran. A report over the weekend says that the US is now prepared to Talk with Iran with no preconditions. What does this mean? In reality, not much. Pompeo still calls Iran malign and promises to continue the pressure on the country. Meanwhile reports are out that former Obama administration officials are working for Iran. So what is going on?

It's hard to get a real good idea. Neither Iran nor the US has a solid coherent policy long term, though right now, clearly the hawks/hardliners are in control on both sides. That will remain so in the US as long as Pompeo and Bolton are Trump's principle advisors.

One problem when dealing with Iran is trying to get a handle on the competing interests within the regime. There are many. I won't get into them all here, but will lump them into two main camps - the hard liners and the reformers, though this is a great oversimplification. When dealing with Iran, getting to their intentions and overall goals sometimes is not as clear as one might think because of these competing interests. It makes determining their future moves difficult.

What is lost on many Americans and deliberately so by its often mendacious media organizations, is that Iran is indeed a democracy. It is pretty vibrant and people vote. Democracies are not like tyrannies and dictatorships, in a Democracy many interests, often competing interests fight to determine policy.

One would not get that impression when reading many pieces coming out of the press in the west that Iran is a Democratic state. One should also keep in mind that the Democracies in the region have been targeted by the US for overthrow (think Syria) while dictatorships like the Saudi's are Americas best friends. Thus, when one hears the words 'malign influence' used about Iran, the term more aptly befits others in the region who gobble up American arms, bombs hospitals and schools in Yemen (with US help) and sends arms shipments to terrorists. Are these 'positive steps' in Americans new inverted lexicon of diplomacy? By all appearances, yes they are because it is these kinds of entities that are America's 'best friends'.

The good news however is that talks are on the table. The bad news is that Iran is unlikely to take the bait. Why do I use the term bait? Because this is how Iran is likely to look upon such an overture.

Why? This is not hard to figure.

Iran came into negotiations with the US on the Iran deal in good faith. Even now after the US unilaterally abrogated the agreement, she is still in compliance with it, according to widely disseminated news reports over the weekend. So in reality, Iran is not the real problem, not on this score. It's others. It was not Iran who broke their word and ripped up the agreement.

Now before I go on, I am not excusing the Islamic Republic and many of its activities which are indeed often malign. So don't take what is said here as being some kind of justification for Iran and many of its activities. No. Rather it is to make it plain that if there are problems between Iran and the the US, Iran is hardly the only one at fault.

Moreover, the real problem now is that no one who is politically powerful in Iran is about to 'bite the poison apple' of talks with the US. When the US reneged on the Iran deal, it was a slap in the face to the reformers in Iran who had been saying that the Islamic Republic should talk to the Americans and make a deal and that they could be trusted. Abrogation of that agreement gave the hard line elements all the political ammunition they needed to demonstrate that you cannot trust the Americans and that their promises are written on the water and spoken with a forked tongue.

It has given these elements what they needed to continue on the course of confrontation. The Trump administration stabbed all of the reformers the US supported in the back when they pulled out of the deal the way they did. What element in Iran in their right mind will take another risk and put their political neck on the chopping block to even talk of talks again? Even those who had such a political death wish would hardly have any support from within the regime when they came back with proposals. They would probably go back to Tehran with America's proposals with the 'death march' playing when the plane landed on the tarmac. No, in my view it will take a major shift in US policy as well as some significant inducements to get the Iranians back to a serious negotiations table. The Iranians are not going to take what it almost certainly views as a stab in the back without some loss of face from the US side. The US will have to give first if there are to be substantive talks and with Bolton and Pompeo running things, such a gesture does not seem likely.

The biggest problem however I see in the US-Iran relationship come in two parts - Israel and Saudi Arabia. Each has very significant influence in US political circles and each has a vested interest in using the US as a tool to check Iran and this ultimately is where I think the problem lies. Not that Israel in particular does not have much to worry about with Iran. She does. But comprehensive negotiations with Iran on a range of issues (nuclear deal, Hezbollah in Southern Syria, Iranian support for Palestinian terror, Illicit/criminal enterprises by Iranian fronts, etc) could be handled in a more comprehensive fashion with more realistic and flexible US leadership.

The good news is that a war with Iran is probably not around the corner. Why not? Well, such a war does not necessarily mean that the US would come out on top. This little piece is interesting written by a 74 year old grandmother, who is clearly up on things!

The Russians, they may indeed start to play a quiet and more constructive role in the region. Recent reports are that Russia has refused to sell the dreaded (by the US) S-400 system to Iran. If true, this could be part of a larger understanding with the US on how to deal with Iran. Relations between Iran and Russia are not simple. They are complex. This paper from the INSS talks about recent trends in that relationship.

What what I advise the President if I had his ear?

Well, I would try and feel out regional powers on talks. I would talk to the Gulf states, the Turks, Lebanon (where Hezbollah has a presence), Iraq and of course the Saudi's and Israeli's. I would get a feel for regional temperature for peace or perhaps a better word "dtente". But talks must be comprehensive and deal with a range of issues. I would try and move the Foreign Policy apparatus in that direction. I would try and get some people on board the administration who are committed to a negotiated settlement with Iran, but are not political hacks trying to make points with political parties, lobbyists or others who could conceivably have a reason to railroad the talks when they are looking the most fruitful.

Before this administration can have successful negotiations with Iran, it will need people who have a different mindset that the ones the President has around him now. This is not meant to be a slam; voices like Pompeo and Bolton, as much as I might disagree with them, need to be heard when formulating policy. But right now, if America wants to avoid a permanent state of tension with Iran and continue to rattle to the core the long standing Trans-Atlantic alliance with its Iran policy, then she is going to have to find a different voice and 'language' when dealing with the Iranian problem.

4 Jun

"Rarely Reported by the Media Anymore": Persecution of Christians, March 2019

As usual, the Gatestone Institute looks at just how widespread and systemic Christian persecution is these days, just as our Bibles foretold it would be in the last hour. It is a literal epidemic. Yet in the US the stories of slaughters, burnings and beheadings are barely covered at all, while the US news camera's focus in on movie awards, the NFL and sex scandals.

California's Two-Tiered Jails

Inmates who are not comfortable enough in their jail cells if they have the money can bribe pay their way into a better facility. Here is how the Marshall Project put it.
For $100 a night, he was permitted by the court to avoid county jail entirely. He did his time in the small jail in the nearby city of Seal Beach, with amenities that included flat-screen TVs, a computer room and new beds. He served six months, at a cost of $18,250, according to jail records.

Markin learned about Wurtzel's upgraded jail stay only recently, from a reporter. 'I feel like, 'Why did I go through this?'' she said.

In what is commonly called 'pay-to-stay' or 'private jail,' a constellation of small city jails ' at least 26 of them in Los Angeles and Orange counties ' open their doors to defendants who can afford the option. - The Marshall Project
Well, this is the future of America and why her crime problems will never be solved. As long as there are various economic incentives to incarcerate people or arrest them the powers that be will make sure more people are incarcerated and even create new laws if only to keep those in the 'prison industry' employed.

It's hard for me to have a lot of respect for our legal system when it comes to this kind of legalized corruption.

But this is just the kind of thing that keeps poor folks and those of color looking Law Enforcement as a kind of tool of the powerful against the weak and poor rather than as a system of Justice.

Perceptions are important. CATO just did a very interesting report on these perceptions. The results found in this report are rather striking.

                          police perceptions(CATO) Nearly three-fourths (73%) of African Americans and 54% of Hispanics believe the police are 'too quick to use deadly force,' compared to 35% of white Americans. Instead, 65% of white Americans believe police resort to lethal force 'only when necessary' (see Figure 1). When it comes to police tactics overall, black Americans (56%) are more likely to think they are 'too harsh' compared to white (26%) and Hispanic (33%) Americans. Majorities of whites (67%) and Hispanics (58%) believe police generally use the right amount of force for each situation.

Only 17% of African Americans believe the criminal justice system treats all Americans equally, and only 31% are highly confident their local police department treats all racial groups impartially. Whites are 32 points more likely than blacks to believe the justice system treats every- one equally (49%), and a solid majority (64%) are confident that their local police are impartial. Hispanics fall in between with 27% who think the justice system is impartial, and 42% who be- lieve their local police treat everyone the same. Among all Americans, only 42% think all are treated equally by the justice system, but 56% are highly confident their local police department treats everyone equally.


African Americans (41%) and Hispanics (41%) are twice as likely as white Americans (29%) to say they are 'extremely' or 'very' worried about crime. Furthermore black Americans (41%) are more than twice as likely as whites (17%) or Hispanics (15%) to say they know someone who was murdered. Despite more salient fears over safety, only 44% of African Americans are highly confident their local police department responds quickly to a call for help. White Americans are 15 points more confident (59%) than African Americans that their local police would come quickly if needed. In a similar pattern, white Americans are about 20 points more likely than black Americans to give their local police high marks for protecting them from crime (60% vs. 38%) and enforcing the law (64% vs. 44%). Hispanics fall in between with about half who give their police high marks for en- forcing the law, protecting them from crime, and responding promptly.

This report can be found here at CATO's website in a pdf called-  Deep Racial Divide in Perceptions of Police and Reported Experiences, No Group Is Anti-Cop

3 Jun

Nehemiah XXXV

So the children went in and possessed the land,
and thou subduedst before them the

inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest
them into their hands, with their kings,

 and the people of the land, that they might
 do with them as they would. And they took strong cities,

and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods,
 wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards,

 and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat,
 and were filled, and became fat,

and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
(Neh 9:24-25)

We left off last time with verse 23, when the Lord multiplied the children of Israel like the stars of heaven and made his promise to them of the promised land. This, in spite of the pattern of sin and rebellion they had so openly and consistently displayed while in the wilderness. Yet Israel went in and possessed the land under the spiritual and military leadership of God's captain, Joshua. With the Lord along side them, they were militarily unstoppable and the Lord their God gave them all that he had promised to give them. The passage shows God's goodness to his children and how they ate and were filled with the bounty God had given them. Keep in mind that these military victories were in many ways not really possible without God's assistance. The cities and places they had to take were heavily fortified and guarded and they had to fight men who were well versed in the arts of war. Yet and still they prevailed and the Lord showed his power and the 'keeping' power of his precious promises. The seeming impossible to Abraham, that his seed would inherit the land had become a reality because God is God who keeps his word and was and still is a great benefit to those who trust and obey him...'i.e.;, 'Thy great goodness'.

Nevertheless they were disobedient,
and rebelled against thee,

and cast thy law behind their backs,
and slew thy prophets which testified against

them to turn them to thee,
and they wrought great provocations.
Therefore thou deliveredst
them into the hand of their enemies,
who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble,

when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven;
nd according to thy manifold
thou gavest them saviours,
who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.

(Neh 9:26-27)

The priests when reading this to the newly returned exiles did not for one minute paper over or try and downplay the deep betrayal that Israel had committed against the Lord after all he had done for them. No, they make it plain and made sure that all the hearers understood the sins of their fathers. The above passage almost certainly refers to the time of the Judges.  These were not small sins, the passage shows that they were openly contemptuous of both God's law and those prophets God had sent to them to warn them of their ways.

As this passage was being read, I am sure that it had really begun to dawn on the people that their fathers had really sinned against the Lord and began to understand why they were put into exile and had to suffer as they had for so long. I am struck by the phrase, "they wrought great provocations". The word translated 'provocation' does not do the word justice.

ne'âtsâh ne'âtsâh
neh-aw-tsaw', neh-aw-tsaw'
From H5006; scorn: - blasphemy.

So in reality what they were doing was blaspheming God. These were the kinds of things their forefathers had engaged in. The Lord was long, very long, perhaps a bit too long on patience but eventually he delivered them into the hands of their enemies. People wonder why God can be so long-suffering. I cannot answer that question because who has known the mind of the Lord? Certainly not me. But you know what? I can tell you that his prophets have told us repeatedly that that he really does want people to repent and has made that plain enough in his word  (2Chron 7:14; Isa 55:7; Jer 44:5; Eze 3:19; 13:22; 18:21; 33:9) But I also think it is because he does not want those whom he rebukes to have any excuses. No reason to turn and say that God was unjust or unfair or lashed out at them in the heat of anger. No, God is patient because he is not going to have us turn around and accuse him later for what our actions forced him to do. But even in his anger and rebuke, God's purpose is not to destroy, but to get people to repent, change their ways and cry out to the Lord.

When he was ready to deliver them, he raised up men who would do so. God is indeed good to his people and this is the message that the Priests wanted to relay to the people at this rededication.

 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee:
therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies,
 so that they had the dominion over them:
yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven;
and many times didst thou deliver
them according to thy mercies;

 And testifiedst against them,
that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law:

yet they dealt proudly,
and hearkened not unto thy commandments,

but sinned against thy judgments,
 (which if a man do, he shall live in them;)

and withdrew the shoulder,
and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

 Yet many years didst thou forbear them,
and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets:
yet would they not give ear:
therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.

 Nevertheless for thy great mercies' sake
thou didst not utterly consume them,
nor forsake them;
for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

(Nehemiah 9:28-31 [KJV])

The Priests who were praying before this to the assembly (let's not forget the setting of the reading of these passages) had to make it plain that Israel's rebellion was not a one time thing, it did not just happen once 'accidentally'. No, this was a long term problem that was a key and lamentable component of Israel's history. The readers/prayer leaders here make it plain that this was indeed the reason God handed Israel over to their enemies, it was not because God was weak, powerless or as one prophet said. reciting the mockers of God, because the Lord had forsaken the earth (Ezekiel 9:9). No the Lord only forsook Israel because of their abominable behavior (Eze 10:18).

I think the key to these passages is that God was good to them, and Israel was abominable. That when God chastised them, God heard their prayers and delivered them. But they were exceedingly stubborn. God sent them prophets to warn them and they still were hard-headed. But in the end, even though God had to deliver them up to the 'divine woodshed' of punishment, God was constant to this people and did not utterly forsake them.

This prayer I think was a kind of a 'hint hint' kind of prayer that was indeed directed to the Lord, but also to some degree was directed to the hearers who needed to understand just what the Lord expects of his people and what happens to those who transgress his covenant.

We will continue on with Nehemiah next week, God willing!

Justice Thomas' Opinion Talks Of 'Eugenic' Aspects Of Abortion

Slowly Black Americans are waking up to a truth I have been lambasted for bringing up for years. That Abortion always had a eugenic undertone.

30 May

ICC Exposes Iran's Hanging Judges

(International Christian Concern - May 2019 Persecution Newsletter) These three Revolutionary Court judges have a long record of human rights abuses toward Iranian Christians. The judges are responsible for convicting Christians on trumped-up charges, wielding Iran's legal system as a systemic tool of repression against religious minorities. Often, when Christians stand firm in their faith, Iran's judges send them to the notorious Evin Prison, located on the outskirts of Tehran. Stories of those who survived Evin Prison are heartbreaking; the wide variety of abuse faced by inmates is chilling.

Claire Evans, ICC's Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, 'For the last 40 years, Iran has sought to control the souls of its citizens through hardline Islamic judges and the threat of incarceration at Evin Prison. Christians have faced degrading and inhumane treatment for no other reason than their faith. Yet, despite this intense persecution, they firmly held onto their faith. In response, these judges have only strengthened their resolve to further crack down on all practice of Christianity.'

Judge Ahmad Zargar

As an appellate judge, Zargar's courts usually represent the last hope for Iranian Christians hoping to have their sentence overturned or reduced. Like Iran's other Revolutionary Court judges, he trained in an Islamic religious seminary and was selected for this position because of his dedication to preserving Iran's Islamic identity. Zargar's appellate court upheld Judge Ahmadzadeh's Judge decision that 'for Christians to claim that Jesus is Lord and that the Bible is their final authority can be perceived as an attack Mashallah against Islam.' He affirmed the sentence of Zaman Saheb Fadaei, a former Muslim, for Ahmadzadeh worshipping God in a house church. Judge Zargar's record of affirming the harsh sentences of Christians does not bode well for the cases currently active on his docket.

Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh

Every Christian known to pass through Judge Ahmadzadeh's court has been sent to Evin Prison, and many have been sentenced to 10 years in prison. There, they face inhumane and degrading treatment. Exile is also a frequent component of Judge Ahmadzadeh's sentences. Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh has presided over the trials of many Iranian Christians. Like other Revolutionary Court Judge Mohammed judges, Ahmadzadeh received training in Islamic religious law from a theological seminary. He was selected for this judicial position because of his dedication to guarding against any ideology that could pose a threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Judge Mohammed Moghiseh

Christians are no strangers to Judge Moghiseh's court. He gives harsh sentences to Iranian Christians who have converted away from Islam. But he also shows no qualms about sentencing Iranian Christians whose beliefs are, technically, legally protected. In 2015, Moghiseh convicted an Iranian Christian for a much worse crime than that of his original arrest. The man was originally charged with promoting Christianity on Facebook and contacting Persian-speaking Christians. By the time he got through Moghiseh's court, he was sentenced to five years in prison for 'violating national security through collusion and participation in the underground church movement' and sent to rot in Evin Prison. Judge Moghiseh routinely uses his judicial power to strike fear in the hearts of Christians. - International Christian Concern.
28 May


This is a long overdue time of maintenance of the site. This will take some time so a great many old files will be MIA. Some for good, some just for a while. But updates will be the same on this page - brief ones 2-times a week and longer ones every weekday for insiders!!

Habakkuk Part III

Art thou not from everlasting,
O LORD my God, mine Holy One?
 we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast
ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God,
 thou hast established them for correction.
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil,
and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore
lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously,
 and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth
the man that is more righteous than he?
(Hab 1:12-13)

The Prophet here continues his prayer to God, which was in fact a complaint and an expression of deep frustration. This above section starts off by the prophet expressing his deep respect for God and his eternal power. The true religion of the Lord is not like the religious fads of others or of his times, the Lord existed before time began and will be when time ends, not being confined to the phenomenon of time.

Habakkuk expresses confidence that he will not destroy his people ('we shall not die') and that he will deal with the wicked in his own good time. Habakkuk understood God and knew him well enough to know both his power and his ultimate purpose. Again - God, his purpose and his character are not effected by the phenomenon of time. His nature is unchangeable and eternal. We are mortals and must dwell within the confines of time as we understand it. God has no such limitations.

Then the prophet makes it plain that he knows God does not like to look on all of this evil. Clearly he is remarking on his own earlier comments when he complained to God about the evil he was seeing (vs 1:2-3). He knows that God does not like to see it and acknowledges this in the first part of verse 13. Yet he continues his complaint along the same lines by asking why he keeps on looking and doing nothing while the wicked man devours the righteous. The prophet here in his second ' prayer-complaint', even after the Lord had answered him, stands by his concern. He is pretty upset about the things going on. And phrases his concern accordingly - you are of too pure of eyes to look at all of this evil, why do you put up with it, if I may paraphrase it?

We see wickedness in our times, and can relate to Habakkuk. Homelessness, and people who work full time and have to live in shelters or worse.  Human Slavery, sex sins and crimes now with powerful political backing. We see war crimes so recklessly committed and never prosecuted, saints being sent to jail for preaching the gospel, sent to a labor camp for their religious beliefs, folks shot dead for being part of the wrong racial group. Wickedness in our own times is pretty rank. We often cry out to God about these things, yet the sin not only continues, but sometimes grows like a cancer and spreads like a leprosy.

Why does God sit by? One reason, and it is only one, is that God is a God of mercy and is not itching to pass judgment on men. There appears to be set level of sin that brings down God's judgment. We see the basic idea in the book of Genesis (15:16), where the Lord warns that the sins of the Amorites is not yet full. It is a cup, if you will, that has to be full before judgment falls (see Rev 17:4ff). It is a spiritual 'fill line' the Lord has with sin and evil that has to be reached before a clear, definite and irrevocable move against it is made by him.

Yet one thing we need to keep in mind is that the Lord knows how to preserve the evil for judgment (2Pet 2:9). This is the other side of God's character that is not much talked about in the age of grace. While he certainly is hoping and desirous of men repenting and coming to the cross, there are some whose sin, evil and recalcitrance will prevent that from ever happening. God's forbearance is going to be a snare to them. This was the case in ancient Israel when their sins had reached the height.
Then said he unto me,
The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah
 is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood,
 and the city full of perverseness: for they say,
 The LORD hath forsaken the earth,
and the LORD seeth not. And as for me also,
 mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity,
but I will recompense their way upon their head.
 And, behold, the man clothed with linen,
which had the inkhorn by his side,
 reported the matter, saying,
 I have done as thou hast
commanded me.
(Eze 9:9-11)
Note the attitude of the people who were stepped in sin, they said the Lord had forsaken the earth and did not see. This is what happens when sin blinds people. They don't think they will be held accountable, so they sin all the more. This is a snare and it is a powerful one. People think God is asleep. What they don't know and was the case in the above passage was that the executioners are already on their way. That is what is meant by the man with the inkhorn (see Eze 9:1ff). He was being sent by the Lord to lay waste to the place and kill everyone who had not lifted up their voice in horror at the sins and crimes of Jerusalem.

This is the side of God that most folks don't want to deal with. When the Lord gets really angry he will move and when he moves his moves are devastating, compete and just.

What the Lord tried to tell Habakkuk in the earlier passages was that the Chaldean's were on the way and that God was fully aware of the sins of the people.

We will continue prophetic book very soon, God willing!
24 May
China Bans Historic Church in Xiamen
05/24/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) ' International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on May 19, more than 70 officials from China's southeastern Fujian Province were dispatched to shut down a house church in Xiamen. Xunsiding Church, a house of worship with over four decades of history, received an administrative penalty notice after the officials inspected the church. The church also received a fine of 25,000 yuan (approximately USD $3,600).

The church also serves as the residence of its preacher, Yang Xibo. The Siming District Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau issued the notice to accuse Yang of running the church without approval, therefore violating China's Regulations on Religious Affairs. - Story Continues here.


This is Memorial Day weekend and I think I should spend just a minute and give thanks to the many men and women who have scarified their lives on behalf of the country. If it weren't for our veterans we could not enjoy the freedoms we now take for granted. From our freedom to practice our faith in peace to the freedom that the Civil War veterans victory brought Black Americans. We Americans should always remember those who fell in battle; they gave their lives for us - all of us and the freedom's we now enjoy.

One of the things that really stuck in my craw was coming back to America after over a decade away from it and seeing how I was treated by others for my service to the country, including in a time of war. Many never understood why I did not remain in, I have shared some of those reasons on the site a couple of years ago.

I was also treated pretty shabbily by some people I once knew when I got out. Let me say this -the way you treat your veterans and the way show respect or disrespect to our fallen reflects on the nation and is one of those unspoken 'cues' young people note when considering military service. Who wants to make sacrifices for a nation who will treat you like something the dog left on the sidewalk when you are done? Mind you, there are many organizations out there who are helping these veterans. But there are also many non-Veterans, city officials, even family members of veterans out there making things worse and harder for them.

But I personally shall never ever forget the sacrifices of our Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who went to war and never came home. I shall not let the political poison and divisiveness that is destroying our once great country prevent me from remembering those who gave their lives for us all. 

I honestly think we all do those who gave so much for the country an incredible disservice when we behave the way we do these days with the kinds of underhanded, cruel, vicious and sometimes criminal tricks and hoaxes we play on fellow Americans with whom we may have genuine political disagreements. These men and women did not die on the battlefield so that we can start a new social, political or actual civil war here at home. To watch the paralysis on Capitol Hill between the President and the House with the kinds of issues the country faces - a crisis at the border, a fiscal crisis that is screaming at us at 22 trillion decibels in our ears, a major drug crisis, rising tensions with Iran, Russia, Venezuela and an ongoing war in Yemen - a looming crisis in Social Security, Medicare... and yet in DC, there is partisan paralysis - no one is about to fix anything. Both sides stand on their own respective dungheaps and shout about the one the other guy is standing on.

This is why I write this today. I think the best way we can show respect to those American who died in service of their country is to find some common ground on key issues that moves the nation forward to solving the problems, not silencing or politically eviscerating those with whom we disagree. Why? Because as a nation, at the end of the day, we are all Americans and we sink, swim, rise, fall, prosper, go broke, have victory or suffer defeat together - Democrat or Republican, Black or White, Rich or Poor.

I ask you all to pray for President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, House Minority Leader McCarthy, Senate Majority leader McConnell, Minority leader Schumer and other key leaders on the Hill, the Senate, the White House and the Courts. Pray for our Media moguls and personalities as well, that the poison of hyper partisanship can give way to honest and informed debate and that Americans of all walks of life learn to listen more and talk less.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all,
 supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority;

that we may lead a quiet and peaceable
life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable
in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved,
and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
(I Timothy 2:1-4 [KJVA])

May God be with all who take some time out and pray along these lines, remembering the scarifies of those who fell.

Mark S. Watson
Memorial Day Weekend 2019

23 May

Modi and the BJP Declare Victory Following Conclusion of India's National Elections

Religious Minorities Fear Difficult Years Ahead for Their Communities

05/23/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is set to record another landslide electoral victory following the conclusion of Indias national elections. Using a mix of nationalist rhetoric and promises of economic development, Mr. Modi has secured another five years of political rule for the BJP. ... continues here.

Nehemiah XXXIV

We last time left off Nehemiah, the priests were praying and during this public prayer they were recounting Israel's history. From the days of old they were giving the people a taste of their history, more importantly their spiritual history and the God who brought them out of Egypt. The first section of this prayer showed how God moved powerfully and miraculously to protect and guide his people. I left off last time because the tone of the prayer and the actions that are recounted are of a wholly different nature than the first part of the prayer.

But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks,
and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful
of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion
appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon,
gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

(Nehemiah 9:16-17, KJVA)

This is the way of Israel and her history. God moved, God provided and Israel rebelled. It was a consistent pattern of behavior and the Priests were right to not forget to relay this unfortunate bit pattern of Israel's history. Consistently Israel rebelled and was stiffnecked. Is that not what the Prophets called Israel time and again?

Because I knew that thou art obstinate,
and thy neck is an iron sinew,
and thy brow brass;
I have even from the beginning declared it to thee;
before it came to pass I shewed it thee:
lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them,
and my graven image, and my molten image,
hath commanded them.

(Isaiah 48:4-5)

Time and again Israel was warned of her obstinance and time and again they ignored the prophets and priests that the Lord sent them. Yet as the passage in Nehemiah shows God, even given the people and their wickedness was ready to pardon them, to forgive them. This prayer was timely in that the people needed to understand fully just why they had gone into exile and all the evils that befell them had to be endured. It was because their forefathers rebelled against God and had heads as hard as stone and souls that were given over to idols. Despite all that God had done for them, they refused to heed his voice and do his commandments. The consequences? They had to return to bondage.

One thing you must all know. God's commandments are not suggestions. They are not to be toyed with. God in his forbearance with men and especially his Church leads men to conclude that God is soft on sin and evil. He is not and if the returning exiles had any doubt about that, the past 70 years of exile taught them a lesson they would not soon forget.

Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said,
This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations;
 (Nehemiah 9:18, KJV)

This was I think one of the most serious affronts to God. Not only would they not listen to him, but they mocked him by making a golden calf and worshiping it. This after all God had done from them saving from the hard bondage (slavery) that they endured in Egypt and guiding them and feeding them  - then they then went made a golden cow and bowed down before it. They even were about to go back to slavery. Yet God was still merciful. God did not forsake them, though he did indeed toy with the idea of getting rid of them all.

And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people,
and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone,
that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them:
and I will make of thee a great nation.
(Exo 32:9-10)

Oh, yes he was about to get rid of the lot of them and raise up the seed of Moses in its stead.

Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness:
 the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way;
neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go.
Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners:
so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.
(Neh 9:19-23)

No, the Lord remembered his promises and did not forsake them or consume them. He continued to teach them, feed them and give them the things they needed. Even though they had rebelled so significantly. But look at what is said in the verse 22. God have them whole Kingdoms and Nations. God was true to his word and gave the Israelite's the possession of the heathen round about.

God kept and continues to keep his word to his people, though they were most wayward, stubborn and stiffnecked. God looked out for everything from their clothing to their shoes. He was very much a loving father to them.

Yes, the Priests were laying it out for them. Letting them know some of the history of their forefathers but also the forbearance and love that God has shown to his people. God multiplied the seed of Abraham and they were truly blessed by God. God is a God of great blessings.

At this point in time, this was exactly what the people needed to hear. It was time to understand the past, their history and most importantly key characteristics. They need this because if they were going to make a clean start with the Lord once again, they needed to understand just what was required and what would set the Lord off once again to throw them off the land.

Let all of us keep this in mind. I know I have some readers here who have backslid and come back to the Lord. Making a clean start means going back and seeing what was done wrong before so we do not repeat the same mistakes. Two things are almost always to blame. Rebellion (stubbornness) and Sin.

22 May

America Watch

Black Christian Leaders Protest Planned Parenthood

Yes, abortion effects Black Americans disproportionately. Not a narrative the political left wants Black America to hear or cogitate on. Many don't get Margret Sanger and her genocidal wishes, they don't understand the relationship between her and Planned Parenthood. Black America, I hate to say it, is often pretty clueless as to who its real enemies are. They too often have run to them like saviors and wonder why their communities are still at the bottom of every statistic that matters.

But slowly men of God are waking up. It has taken a long time, but slowly it is happening.

Brothers and sisters, don't let social stigma's prevent you from doing right and speaking out about these evils. Carefully, with as little controversy as possible, with care for your audience, but without fear - don't be afraid to speak your peace on these important matters. We cannot withhold our tongue on matters that touch on such bloodshed.

Our nation is sliding down into Sodom. Where are the voices of repentance?

Hospitalizations, Brawls Follow 'Topless' Jeep Weekend

This is such a shame, but it really shows you something about modern American society.

Like this.

We don't want to look in the mirror and see what we are rapidly becoming.

The deterioration of our society is deep and real. The only thing that could keep us from our current path is National repentance and redirection, things that powerful lobbies within the nation will do all in their power to prevent.

Thanks to the reader who sent me the link.

Tornado's Rip Through 4 States, Major Flooding Reported
High winds, flooding and more are expected today.

As Opioid Crisis Peaks, Meth Coke Deaths Explode
This is just a sign of a nation in a social and spiritual crisis. These problems just seem to be getting worse.

Mississippi Abortion Ban Heads To Court
The Judge hearing the case already struck down a weaker ban before. He will probably strike this one down too. This will certainly head to SCOTUS. How they will rule is not clear. Perhaps in favor of the law, with the exception of the rape and incest non-exemption. I think they will move to make sure that there is such an exception. But it still is not clear which way the court will go. We really don't know until the case is heard and pressure is brought to bear on the justices. I think the conservatives want to allow further restrictions, but don't want to violate basic rights for women. Morally this is not a hard issue, but legally/constitutionally it is. Protecting the lives of the innocent is something any just society should do and no human life is more innocent than the unborn.

To me the real tragedy is that so many women choose to have them. For me, it just shows a dark pit in the soul of so many women who put their own comforts, social status and looks above the life of their own child.

But when selfishness gets to a certain level in any society, murder is always the result. Recently, I watched an old Bogart film called Conflict. In it the Bogey's shrink friend (played by Sydney Greenstreet) tells Bogey that it takes a person with a massive ego to take another life and this is where our 'self', 'sex', 'pleasure', and 'me first' society has led us and millions of American women. To a place where a murder is committed because she does not want her perfect figure messed up, or does not want to have to change diapers, or give up going out on Saturday nights. Yes, raising kids is hard, very hard. The result? American society has made murder easy, cheap, profitable and politically acceptable.

My views on the Alabama decision, however are that the laws and courts are not the place for this battle, at least not the front lines. The courts in America and legal frameworks are pretty rotten, corrupt and very heavily politicized. Judges get top appointments by playing politics on the bench. So politics as much and perhaps more than law makes decisions emanating from our Judiciary.

Moreover this to me looks to much like another volley in an on going cultural war that will only invite a response from the left and further divide the nation and bring the kinds of division our nation is already reeling from, much of it being instigated from abroad. We are a nation deeply divided and a house divided against itself cannot stand.

No, the real battlefield is in American culture and dealing with this sex obsessed culture and the signals our media, leaders, entertainers are giving to our society.

Image Source: CDC
Socialism Cry In 21st Century America
This is a long and detailed piece on some history on just what kind of society should America be and then it dovetails it nicely with today's debate on Socialism. Why is it so attractive to so many? Well, let me start off by saying that those who are calling for it the loudest have not visited places like North Korea, Cuba or Modern Venezuela. If they did, it would quickly curb their enthusiasm.

My view is that this love affair with Socialism stems from the growing problem of wealth inequality. It is a real problem and one that is now taking on considerable political overtones. People are looking for simplistic solutions to deeper structural problems to the nations ills.

Socialism to me will be about as effective a cure for America's ills as bleeding was to curing the plague in the middle ages.

Gorsuch Sides With Liberals Handing Indian Tribe Key SCOTUS Victory
The issue was hunting rights in lands given to them by treaty. Many of the tribe were convicted of hunting violations for hunting on their own grounds. This decision lets them hunt on their own land.

However as the piece notes, the case can still come up again on other grounds.

Barrs Investigation Turns Tables On Democrats
As the Trump conspiracy theory falls apart, those who pushed it in official channels (some knowing it was false) now have to dance on the investigation hot plate.... with no shoes on!!

It is my hope that Barr gets to the bottom of this whole fiasco and holds the guilty parties (of both parties) fully accountable for taking part in what looks like a foreign directed intelligence operation to destabilize the nation, undermine the legitimacy of our elections and President, and do all of those things a foreign power would want to see done to America, by turning American against American based on nothing more than a lie.

US Military Crisis

Well, there is one, but for reasons that are totally understandable, they don't talk about it much. Did you now that a Navy Sub had a 'rape list' of female officers and sailors that were on board? Yes, its true.

More here on the trends last year. More here and here. read this

... and these are just the problems they have allowed to be made public.

What do I mean? For your careful consideration.

When you don't want to make a political issue over something? You hide or lie about the problem.

This however, is less about a crisis in the military than it is about a crisis in America.

Ford To Cut 10% Of Global Workforce
Ford is getting rid of many of its Sedan's and moving towards trucks and SUV's.

America's Murder Mania: Despair In Chicago
This is a book review. According to the review is less about assigning blame and pointing fingers, but deals with the human toll of violence in the windy (with flying led) city.

What time is it in Chicago? The ShotClock tells us.

Truth In Accounting Releases Report on City Debt
This report done by Truth In Accounting looks at the worst - Chicago, NY, LA and Philly... just crunching the numbers - a practice that is more and more alien to American political analysis.

Americans Still Struggle In Trump's 'Greatest Economy'
Not much progress for Americans who are poor and have modest means. The Urban Institute reports.

Seattle: The Urban Trashheap
Druggie needles, human poop, garbage, and other refuse from homeless camps is the subject of this piece out of City Journal. This piece looks at the problem and the challenge city officials face in cleaning it up.

SF Ranks #1 In US For Property Crime
Makes one wonder what things will be like in a severe recession, does it not?

America? I see the nation slowly rotting from within with debt, despair, homelessness, drug abuse, sexual immorality, crime.

I don't want to sound too depressing, but the rot inside this country is of a spiritual nature. We have forgotten the God who blessed us so.

The time will come when he will forget about us, if we don't change our wicked ways.

21 May

A Lesson From Rome

I love history. I really do. Since I don't have cable I often spend my time listening to audio books on History. Not pop history and the infotainment on TV, no the source material that those series are often based on. History is one of the great teachers particularly in our times. The above story is out of the Boston Globe, is brief but timely.

Because there is so much ignorance out there and people know so little about our own history let alone that of Rome or Europe, we have got a ton of the very same problems Rome had. It is refreshing to see someone in the MSM who has taken the time to show us all why History is important. When a nation repeats the same mistakes of the past and refuses to learn the lessons history has left for us, the results are always predictable.

Americans really are ignorant and I am not just trying to be denigrating. We are a people who have been filled with a ton of information, almost none of it of any value other than providing meaningless diversion during a fleeting moment of boredom. The Cataline Conspiracy? What is that about and why did it happen and what was the result? Whose side was Caesar on (the rich or the poor?)  and who murdered him and more importantly why? Which Roman Emperor's back was used as a footstool so a conquerer could mount his Horse? It was the ultimate humiliation for a people who were once as proud as lucifer.

John Brown? I talked to one Black woman for a moment about Black history and they did not even know who John Brown was or his place in the panorama of Black emancipation though they shouted loud and often about how 'Black' they were. Ignorance is as American as Apple pie these days and brainlessness is now a 'cool' trait to have... you'll get lots of 'likes' on Facebook the more of it you display. You want to see what happens when a people lose their history? Take a look and see. I say these things not to denigrate but to demonstrate...

...and if there is a little anger at me for saying these things, well perhaps that is a good thing. People who have lost their history need to be moved out of their comfort zones and from in front of the idiot box (TV). Learn the real history and then we as a nation can find out where we have gone wrong.

You must forgive me if I sound a little insulting, but people who refuse to learn from the past don't deserve the respect that wiser folks should should enjoy, so I won't give it to them. Now or ever. Willful ignorance should be held in contempt... and it is by intelligent people. What is willful ignorance? It isn't just not knowing something, it's not wanting to know and getting mad at someone who does and calling them names. It's why some groups in this country are stuck in a permanent funk. A self re-enforced cycle of ignorance is ingrained in the culture.

Time would fail me to talk about the lessons in Church history that the western Church has ignored.

We as a nation are repeating many of the old mistakes of the past. No one marks it. How can they with opiods coursing through their veins, pot fogging their cerebrums and porn commanding their full attention?

Decadent? Yes we are. Very. But like most societies who have crossed that moral frontier, they don't realize just how far they have gone and how close they are to the abyss until the ground gives way under them and they start an uncontrollable decent that leads to their sudden and complete destruction.

For America, the key step on that path is the societal 'book burning' that has taken place. It is the book burning that refuses to learn from the past but takes too much pleasure in tabloidism, foolishness, sexting and internet chats. Couple that with the growing trends in censorship and What Goebbels did in Nazi Germany was only a dress rehearsal for what is now possible with technology.

Americans would do well to learn from history and to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Is that possible in 21st century America?

Frankly, getting your household pet to recite Shakespeare's Hamlet from beginning to end is more likely to happen than our nation learning from its past.

Your pet may be just curious enough to want to try.

I cannot say that for many Americans.

20 May

If I had the President's Ear

(This was written on the 13th of May for insiders.)
One thing I would tell the President is that at this point in time, neither covert action nor direct military action nor even the long, time consuming efforts at diplomatic isolation and sanctions are likely to end the Maduro regime and even if it did, the country would not be governable for many years as internal strife, economic degradation and political instability would rack the nation for years to come. I would advise him to begin to consider an exit plan for these dark methods and begin actually ending them after one key thing has been done. That being the appointment of a special ambassador/envoy to negotiate with both the Maduro Regime, Colombia, Brazil, Guyana (border state) Russia and China. This ambassador should have broad powers to negotiate a numerous issues that effect the stability of Venezuela and to come to a peaceful, mutually acceptable resolution to the crisis within the Latin American nation. This special ambassador should have the following qualifications.

1) He should be an 'elder statesman' who knows Latin America understands the intricacies of American policy desires (stated and unstated) and be connected up enough with key elements within US establishment to sound out ideas as well as navigate domestic political minefields in order to bring about such a solution.

2) This person must not be a young novice looking to make political bones for a diplomatic resume. Nor should he be any kind of person who has political ambitions for the future. An older statesmen who perhaps could be called out of retirement and who will go back to it when his task is done would be the best kind of choice. Nor should this person be too intimately connected with America's oil or banking conglomerates or political parties. He must be relentless and determined in his quest for an agreement and not let personal political ambitions cloud his judgment.

3) This person should report administratively to the Secretary of State, but have a clear 'line of sight' communications with the President should he need or desire it. In other words, State Dept protocol and carefully laid administrative roadblocks set by State officials should not stop the envoy from communicating his findings, thoughts and possible proposals directly (face to face) with the President.

This person should begin looking at the problem in a holistic way, rather than just the singular obsession that has so far gripped Washington, that being the removal of Maduro. Rather than obsessing about him, the envoy would be empowered to look at and discuss ways of reducing drug cartel influence in the country, bringing in Ai and other key issues. This can be accomplished, but not without help.

For example. America would like to see the flow of Drugs coming from and through Venezuela stopped. But with the sanctions now on, this has become a key and important source of revenue for the country. Moreover, the more sanctions bite, the more reliant they will become on it. One way that might be considered is to talk to those nations on whom the Venezuelans are reliant - The Russians. Tell them that if they can pressure Maduro to curtail significantly the drug trafficking, Washington will relax sanctions. Make the Russians partially responsible for interdiction efforts and the success and failure thereof. If possible, let there be some coordination between US interdiction efforts and Russian. Russian pressure on Maduro will mean a great deal and would be a big first step in reducing the trade - he needs them.

Key inducements should be laid out to both the Russians and Americans in terms of long term investment and stakes, though minor, in Venezuela's oil industry leaving the nation of Venezuela with by far the lions share. This would ensure that there is a strong profit motive on both sides to keep the industry stable. If one nation has all the contracts and investment, the other is likely to sabotage it. If both have equal, stakes, each side has a vested interest in keeping things stable an profitable.

Elections? These should happen, perhaps on an accelerated basis. The key here is not to rush new ones, but to make sure the next ones are free and fair and that foul play is minimized to a degree where it's impact is insignificant. No more of these sore loser so-called 'opposition' leaders who haven't the guts to run for office, but sure know how to whine loud and often about the results of elections they were too cowardly to run in.

What is needed is a hand that is skilled diplomatically, creative, flexible, not afraid of 10 failures before he gets a single key success, is not afraid of incendiary political remarks made by US leaders trying to make points for the Presidential elections in the US and knows how to select a few key team members who know how to keep their mouths closed to leaders on the Hill and elsewhere as to what is going on in the talks.

I realize many of you would rather hear more Bible and Bible prophecy, but the truth is, we Christians, those of us who wish to be known as the Children of God, must be peacemakers.

I seek peace and have no desire to see any more man made pain and suffering on any people, anywhere. War - any kind of war is one of the worst human tragedies.

Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.
 (Matthew 5:9 [KJVA])

16 May

Nehemiah XXXIII

Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven,
 and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts,
 statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:
(Neh 9:13-14)
When we left off last time, the priests were praying at a solemn festival that followed after the celebration/observance of the feast of Tabernacles. The priests were praying before the Lord and giving remembrance for the times in the past when God protected, preserved and guided his people. First they went over their deliverance from Egypt. The above verse follows on the history of Israel with God's appearance on Mt. Sinai when the Lord spoke from heaven and gave them the law. God's appearance to Moses (his reluctant, but most effective servant). God used him mightily and this was part of the history that the priests wanted to bring to remembrance, that and the selfsame law that was given to Moses was what they reiterated to them during the previous festival.

Yes, the Lord gave his people right judgments and true laws to help guide their daily affairs and living. The theme of true judgment runs through the Bible and another person who was around at that time, Zechariah talks of it.

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment,
and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
(Zec 7:9)

Jesus Christ as well gave true judgments

And yet if I judge, my judgment is true:
for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
Joh 8:16) 

Yes, this prayer was, I think as much as prayer of remembrance before God to honor him, but as it was a witness to the people who were assembled as to what God had done in the past for them and what he expects of them today. I think we should note something here that K∓D commentary points out, if only by implication. That in this section, God followed the miraculous with his expectations. He did miracles, but wanted them to walk in his ways.

The laws were a benefit to the people and the Sabbath? Well, while today Christians don't celebrate it, we must remember that it was a day of rest. No work -  relax, give thanks and cease with ones labor. It was a benefit to the people, just like just laws, fairly executed are to any people. Israel had a distinct advantage because their law came right directly from the hand of God. For those of you who love the law of the Lord, you will find that the longest Psalm in the Bible, 119 talks about it. In each and every verse (except a couple) we find the word, commandment, testimonies, judgments statutes, ways or word.

And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest
forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them
that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
(Neh 9:15)

Here, this prayer of remembrance made them aware of God's provision. Once again, emphasizing the miraculous. God's purpose in order for it to be fulfilled had to include his people having enough to eat and drink. God's purpose, being made plain the last stanza of the verse, to go and possess the land he had sworn to give them. God's actions always have a reason. His provision to men like Elijah who was fed by ravens, to Elisha, who was fed by a widow - God will provide to those he has set apart for his purposes.

Are you walking in God's ways? Doing all he commanded you to do to the best of your ability? Then God will be with you. Israel had need of this reminding (via prayer) so that they could understand just who they serve and what kind of God it was their heritage was part and parcel of.

I will break this section off today as the tone of the prayer changes in the following passages and deserves a separate section.

God willing, we will continue the next section next week!

14 May


Brothers and Sisters, it's that time again. There are some interesting reports out there and we are going to link to a few of them. The first step of avoiding the deceptions of our time is to be armed with as much good and solid information as possible rather than spin and propaganda. Not facts carefully arranged to lead us to a false conclusion, but as much good, hard information as we can get our hands on.

Call it an effective 'vaccination' against disinformation. I should add this as well. The worst possible place to get your facts checked are at fact checking sites and those stories that claim to be 'checking facts'. It is usually (though not always) just political spin framed as a 'fact check'.

But the key reason fake news is so prevalent in America today is because people love fake news. They love lies that prop up the candidates; they love and will spread a lie if they think it will get them elected. This is why our political system is so dysfunctional. I hear a lot of blame on the politicians, but if flatulence, hyperbole, fake news and outright lies are such a key part of our political system, its because despite what Americans say, they love to have it so.

They are more than willing to use these tools to elect their own candidate. The only outrage that is felt is when the 'the other party' uses the exact same methods. So while the Congress tries to strain a subatomic particle out of the Mueller report to 'get' something on Trump, the Post Office is slowly going broke and they won't to anything about it. We are running $22 Trillion in deficits and Congress' only solution is to borrow more... much more. Why?

People don't respond to fixing the Post Office or fiscal responsibility, they respond to scandal, sex affairs (with our without porn stars) - crimes, real or imagined - a false story, a rumor, and of course 'free stuff' - anything but the boring business of everyday government. Things like paying for goods and services that the government provides. That's boring and 'uninteresting' and such issues won't get a man or woman elected to Congress - raving about the Russians controlling the President will.

These reports for the most part are 'official' government documents, well researched, free of partisanship and full of informative background that will help keep a wise person from spinning themselves into partisan madness with fake news foolishness.

Iran Nuclear Program Status
Is Iran Capable of Building Nuclear Weapons?

(CRS) The United States has assessed that Tehran possesses the technological and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons. But Iran has not yet mastered all of the necessary technologies for building such weapons. Whether Iran has a viable design for a nuclear weapon is unclear. A National Intelligence Estimate made public in 2007 assessed that Tehran 'halted its nuclear weapons program' in 2003. The estimate, however, also assessed that Tehran is 'keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons' and that any decision to end a nuclear weapons program is 'inherently reversible.' U.S. intelligence officials have reaffirmed this judgment on several occasions. - CRS

Congressional Subpoena's And Executive Privilege
(CRS) Congress currently employs an ad hoc combination of methods to combat non-compliance with subpoenas. The two predominant methods rely on the authority and participation of another branch of government. First, the criminal contempt statute permits a single house of Congress to certify a contempt citation to the executive branch for the criminal prosecution of an individual who has willfully refused to comply with a committee subpoena.11 Once the contempt citation is received, any later prosecution lies within the control of the executive branch.12 Second, Congress may try to enforce a subpoena by seeking a civil judgment declaring that the recipient is legally obligated to comply.13 This process of civil enforcement relies on the help of the courts to enforce congressional demands.

Congress has only rarely resorted to either criminal contempt or civil enforcement to combat non- compliance with subpoenas.14 In most circumstances involving the executive branch, committees... - CRS

Congressional Testimony By PostMaster General
(Congressional Testimony of Mrs. Brennan) "When I last came before this Committee in 2017, I described the serious, but solvable, challenges facing the Postal Service, and the urgent need for legislative and regulatory postal reform. Since that time, our financial condition has only worsened.

Total mail volume has dropped from 154 billion pieces in 2016 to 146 billion in 2018, a 5 percent decrease overall. First-Class Mail, our most profitable product, has fared much worse, dropping by 7.4 percent. Although our package business continues to grow, it has become increasingly competitive and the growth rate is half what it was, dropping from 13.7 percent in 2016 to 6.8 percent in 2018, compared to the prior year. In quarter one of 2019, the rate of package volume growth dropped even further, to 5.4 percent. These combined factors are deepening our financial challenges.

In 2018, we posted a net loss of $3.9 billion ' the 12th consecutive annual net loss we have incurred. These losses are occurring despite aggressive Postal Service management actions to right-size our organization, amounting to $13.4 billion in annual savings. These losses have forced us to default on legally-mandated retiree health benefits (RHB) prefunding payments since 2012 and additional pension prefunding payments due to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in 2017 and 2018. These actions will be addressed in more detail later in my testimony. The most significant point I can highlight today is the increasing need for urgent action. Had reform legislation been enacted two years ago, we estimate that we would have earned an additional $1 billion in revenue from a modest one-time price increase and saved between $5 billion and $6 billion in RHB costs." - Congressional Testimony

2019 Social Security Trustee Report

(Social Security Trustee's) Under the Trustees' intermediate assumptions, Social Security's total cost is projected to be less than its total income in 2019 and higher than its total income in 2020 and all later years. Social Security's cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010. For 2019, program cost is projected to be less than total income by about $1 billion and exceed non-interest income by about $81 billion. - From The Social Security Trustee Report

Final Report On Consumer Bankruptcies By The American Bankruptcy Institute
This is a very long report, but one that is rather informative as it is written by and was made in consultation with bankruptcy professionals. One big issue in the news today is Student Debt. This paper looks at that and many, many other issues.

This report I linked to a few days ago is also on point.
Medicare For All: CBO Chimes In
(CBO) Establishing a single-payer system would be a major undertaking that would involve substantial changes in the sources and extent of coverage, provider payment rates, and financing methods of health care in the United States. This report does not address all of the issues that the complex task of designing, implementing, and transitioning to a single-payer system would entail, nor does it analyze the budgetary effects of any specific bill or proposal.

About 29 million people under age 65 were uninsured in an average month in 2018, according to estimates by CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. Although a single-payer system could substantially reduce the number of people who lack insurance, the change in the number of people who are uninsured would depend on the system's design. For example, some people (such as noncitizens who are not lawfully present in the United States) might not be eligible for coverage under a single-payer system and thus might be uninsured. This report uses the term 'universal coverage' to characterize systems in which virtually all people in an eligible population have health insurance...

...Currently, national health care spending'which totaled $3.5 trillion in 2017'is financed through a mix of public and private sources, with private sources such as businesses and households contributing just under half that amount and public sources contributing the rest (in direct spending as well as through forgone revenues from tax subsidies). Shifting such a large amount of expenditures from private to public sources would significantly increase government spending and require substantial additional government resources. The amount of those additional resources would depend on the system's design and on the choice of whether or not to increase budget deficits. Total national health care spending under a single-payer system might be higher or lower than under the current system depending on the key features of the new system, such as the services covered, the provider payment rates, and patient cost-sharing requirements. - CBO

F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER Action Needed to Improve Reliability and Prepare for Modernization Efforts - GAO
(GAO) While the construct for the F-35 supply chain was intended to ease the logistical burden on and provide economies of scale for the military services and international partners, we have previously reported that the F-35 program faces affordability, reliability, and sustainment challenges. For instance, in 2014, we reported that annual F-35 operating and support costs were estimated to be considerably higher than the combined annual costs of several legacy aircraft, and that while DOD had begun some cost-savings efforts and had established sustainment affordability targets, DOD did not use the military services' budgets to set these targets.

In 2016, we found that DOD faced risks that could affect the F-35's Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS)'a complex system supporting operations, mission planning, supply-chain management, maintenance, and other processes. 6 In 2017, we reported that DOD was experiencing sustainment challenges that were reducing warfighter readiness, including delays of 6 years in standing up repair capabilities for F-35 parts at its depots and significant spare parts shortages that were preventing the F-35 fleet from flying about 20 percent of the time. 7 We recommended that DOD develop affordability constraints linked to the military services' budgets, develop a plan to address ALIS risks, and revise its sustainment plans, among other things. The department generally concurred with our recommendations, and has taken some actions in response. In particular, in 2018, DOD established affordability constraints based on the military services' future budget projections. These new affordability constraints will require DOD to reduce F-35 sustainment costs per aircraft per year by 43 percent for the Air Force, 24 percent for the Marine Corps, and 5 percent for the Navy. 8 See the Related GAO Products page at the end of this report for a list of previous F-35 products. - GAO

The Budgetary and Acquisition reforms referred to? How are they going.

Here is a transcript of recent hearings.

China Military Power 2019: DOD

(DOD) Key Takeaways

* In 2018, China's leaders continued to advance an ambitious agenda of military modernization while pursuing economic growth and improving technological strength.
* China's leaders increasingly see the United States as adopting a more confrontational approach in an attempt to contain China's rise.
* Recognizing that programs such as 'Made in China 2025' and the 'One Belt, One Road' Initiative (OBOR) have sparked concerns about China's intentions, China's leaders have softened their rhetoric when promoting these programs without altering the programs' fundamental strategic goals.

China's overall strategy in 2018 advanced initiatives presented during President Xi Jinping's address to the 19th Party Congress, which detailed the progress China has made toward realizing its national objective of achieving the 'great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.' Senior Chinese leaders have described the October 2017 Party Congress report as 'not only the program of action of the Communist Party of China, but also the most authoritative textbook for understanding China.'

Issued every five years to assess China's development, the report contains lines of effort for addressing politics, economics, culture, social affairs, the environment, national defense, national unification, foreign affairs, and Party building, all of which have broader security, domestic, and external components. The 2018 government work report presented at the National People's Congress (NPC), which aligns Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Chinese government lines of effort, reemphasized many of the Party Congress report's key themes. In 2018, the CCP Central Committee and the NPC also approved major reforms of Party and government institutions in support of these lines of effort. - Annual Report To China On China's Military Power

China's Pursuit of Space Power Status and Implications for the United States
(US China Economic And Security Review Commission) - China seeks to become an international leader in space, or what it terms a 'space power in all respects.' In this role, Beijing aspires to lead international space-related innovation and exploration and establish an advanced system of infrastructure to serve its space sector. China has suffered some setbacks on projects crucial for the progression of program milestones, such as its heavy-lift launch vehicle program, and still lags behind the United States in its human spaceflight and space station program. Nevertheless, China's space program is a source of national pride, and its consistent high level of political support and funding ensures progress toward establishing itself as a space power. In 2003, China joined the United States and Russia as a member of the exclusive group of countries to have conducted human spaceflight, and since then it has nearly completed a new, rival global navigation satellite system (GNSS)'set for completion in 2020  'and demonstrated its willingness to undertake high-risk, high-reward missions, as reflected by its historic landing on the moon's far side in 2019. China is likely to achieve future milestones in areas where it is lagging behind international standards on shorter timetables than when the United States accomplished similar missions.

This report examines China's space goals and national space strategy; its progress toward those goals, including an examination of China's progress in its advanced launch vehicle, long-term crewed space station, and lunar exploration programs; and the primary entities involved in setting and implementing its space policy. Finally, the report assesses the implications of China's space program for the United States and its continued leadership in space...

...Beijing consistently invests high levels of funding and political will to its space program, which has driven its steady progress in achieving important milestones.  This support, along with a focus on improving and standardizing the quality of manufactured components, has helped create a mature space program whose development was previously constrained by poor infrastructure and less advanced technology. Compared to the U.S. space program, China's program is also more connected to the 'levers of power,' meaning its goals more often draw support from top leaders and are interconnected with the overall priorities of China's industrial and foreign policies.  China's deliberate and comprehensive approach to its space program gives it opportunities to derive important economic, political, and diplomatic benefits, including domestic legitimacy, international prestige, and access to tasking information and observational data derived by international clients using its space platforms. For example, China's Beidou GNSS is a vital component in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as part of the Digital Silk Road. According to one high-ranking government official overseeing information technology policy, the Digital Silk Road will help establish 'a community of common destiny in cyberspace,' invoking a slogan Beijing uses to describe a revised global order more accommodating to its political and economic system. -China's Pursuit of Space Power Status and Implications for the United States

The Eclipse Of US Military Tech Superiority
ISN/CSS/ETCH takes an interesting non-American look at trends that are leading to a decline in the technological edge the west has long enjoyed. ETH Zurich Reports.

CFIUS Reform: Foreign Investment National Security Reviews
(CRS) Some Members of Congress, the Trump Administration, and some U.S. businesses have raised concerns over the risks to continued U.S. technological leadership to support national defense and economic security due to growing foreign direct investment (FDI), primarily by Chinese firms, in U.S. high-tech companies. On August 13, 2018, President Trump signed into law new rules governing foreign investment national security reviews. Known as the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) of 2018 (Title XVII, P.L. 115-232), the legislation amends the current process for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) (under P.L. 110-49) to review, on behalf of the President, the national security implications of FDI in the United States. - Congressional Research Service

Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy In Brief
(CRS) In August 2017, President Trump announced what he termed a new South Asia strategy in a nationally-televised address. Many Afghan and U.S. observers interpreted the speech and the policies it promised (expanded targeting authorities for U.S. forces, greater pressure on Pakistan, a modest increase in the number of U.S. and international troops) as a sign of renewed U.S. commitment.

However, after less than a year of continued military stalemate, the Trump Administration in July 2018 reportedly ordered the start of direct talks with the Taliban that did not include the Afghan government. This represented a dramatic reversal of U.S. policy, which had previously been to support an 'Afghan-led, Afghan-owned' peace process.

In September 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appointed former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad to the newly-created post of Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation; Khalilzad has since met several times with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar (where the group maintains a political office). He has also had consultations with the Afghan, Pakistani, and other regional governments. - CRS

Venezuela: Economic Sanctions As Collective Punishment (CEPR)
A look at what sanctions are doing to the country and people of Venezuela.

Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance Coverage for People Under Age 65: 2019 to 2029 - CBO

Images sourced to CBO

Audit Of The FBI's Investigation Of Cyber Victims Notification Process - DOJ-IG
Notifying victims can mitigate the damage these criminals can do. This audit shows some of the problems with the program and where it is broken.

Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (Polar Icebreaker) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
(CRS) The Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program is a program to acquire three new heavy polar icebreakers, to be followed years from now by the acquisition of up to three new medium polar icebreakers. On April 23, 2019, the Coast Guard-Navy Integrated Program Office for the PSC program awarded a $745.9 million fixed-price, incentive-firm contract for the detail design and construction (DD∓C) of the first PSC to VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, MS, a shipyard owned by Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering. VT Halter was the leader of one of three industry teams that competed for the DD∓C contract. The first PSC is scheduled to begin construction in 2021 and be delivered in 2024, though the DD∓C contract includes financial incentives for earlier delivery...

...The operational U.S. polar icebreaking fleet currently consists of one heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Star, and one medium polar icebreaker, Healy. In addition to Polar Star, the Coast Guard has a second heavy polar icebreaker, Polar Sea. Polar Sea, however, suffered an engine casualty in June 2010 and has been nonoperational since then. Polar Star and Polar Sea entered service in 1976 and 1978, respectively, and are now well beyond their originally intended 30-year service lives. The Coast Guard is using Polar Sea as a source of spare parts for keeping Polar Star operational. - CRS

Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and U.S. Relations
(CRS) The U.S. State Department welcomed opposition figure Felix Tshisekedi's victory in DRC's December 2018 presidential election, applauding the Congolese people 'for their insistence on a peaceful and democratic transfer of power.' Election day was indeed largely peaceful, and alternate scenarios that outgoing President Joseph Kabila might have preferred (e.g., his own reelection or the election of his chosen successor, former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary) ultimately did not materialize. Many Congolese reacted positively to the results.

Whether the election was 'democratic' is debatable, however, as is the degree to which Tshisekedi's presidency represents a 'transfer of power.' Former President Kabila'whose decision to cling to power past the end of his two constitutionally permitted terms in 2016 sparked a national political crisis and widespread protests'appears poised to retain significant political influence. Kabila, who first assumed the presidency in 2000, now holds the title of 'Senator-for-Life,' while his Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition won sweeping majorities in parliament and provincial assemblies, and in subsequent indirect elections for the Senate and provincial governors. Tshisekedi's Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) won very few sub-national contests, and it has agreed to form a coalition government with the FCC. These factors, along with evidence that a more hardline opposition figure won more votes than Tshisekedi, have led many observers to speculate that the official election results reflected a power-sharing deal between Tshisekedi and Kabila (see 'Politics'). - CRS

Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options
(CRS) Some experts attribute the acrimony that has characterized U.S.-Iran relations since the Islamic revolution to the structure of Iran's regime. Although there are some elected leadership posts and diversity of opinion, Iran's constitution'adopted in public referenda in 1980 and again in 1989'reserves paramount decisionmaking authority for a 'Supreme Leader' (known in Iran as 'Leader of the Revolution'). The President and the Majles (unicameral parliament) are directly elected, and since 2013, there have been elections for municipal councils that set local development priorities and select mayors. Even within the unelected institutions, factional disputes between those who insist on ideological purity and those considered more pragmatic are evident. In part because of the preponderant political power of the clerics and the security services, the regime has faced repeated periodic unrest from minorities, intellectuals, students, labor groups, the poor, women, and members of Iran's minority groups. (Iran's demographics are depicted in a text box below.)

Ukraine Elects A New President
(CRS) Despite his outsider status, Zelensky did not campaign as a nationalist or populist. On the contrary, Zelensky is a native Russian-speaking Ukrainian, reportedly of Jewish origin, who asserts that he is a firm patriot and supports closer relations with the West. Zelensky is from Ukraine's Dnipropetrovsk region, north of Crimea, which observers feared might become another flashpoint of conflict in 2014. The election results suggest that issues of national and linguistic identity mattered less than many expected. Zelensky demonstrated a broad appeal, coming in first in all but one of Ukraine's regions.

Some believed that Zelensky would attract primarily Russian-speaking southern and eastern Ukrainians who reject the alleged corruption and pro-Russian sentiments of many of their traditional elites but who have felt marginalized in Ukrainian politics since 2014. The scale of his victory was especially striking considering that elections could not be held in Russian-occupied Crimea and several districts in eastern Ukraine that the government does not control. This reduced the size of the electorate more likely to support native Russian-speaking candidates. - CRS

9 May

India: Pastor And 75 Year Old Sisters Beaten

The author notes that this seems to happen when there is fasting and prayer.

The devil hates it when we pray, fast and come together to make supplication to our God. Persecution Relief reports.

Persecution Of Christians At Near Genocidal Levels

A report on the recent findings of the UK's foreign office. The Clarion Project reports.

25 Christians Killed by Boko Haram in Door-to-Door Attacks

Another report of a hideous attack by Islamic militants.

Algeria: Two Upcoming Court Cases

(ME Concern) On 16 May there will be a hearing in the case against the owner of land being used by a church in the Kabylie province of Bejaia. He has been charged with allowing unauthorized worship on his land, violating a 2006 Ordinance that regulates non-Muslim worship...

...Since the church was sealed by the police on 16 October 2018 it has been meeting in a tent erected on the property. The owner of the tent  was summoned several times by the authorities, and asked to dismantle it, but the church has continued to meet...

...Several churches have since received written orders to cease all activities. A number were closed by authorities because they did not have a license, most recently in July 2018. Three of those closed churches have since been allowed to re-open...

Algerian Christians urge us to pray that:

a. church leaders would know the Lord's peace, wisdom and guidance in the face of continued pressures
b. that both the churches in Azaghar and in Makouoda will be permitted to continue to worship and all churches ordered to close would soon be permitted to re-open.
c. the authorities will end their systematic campaign against Christians and other non-Muslim communities
d. those responsible for the closure orders to know the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness and new life offered by Jesus
Middle East Concern

URL for this prayer request: https://meconcern.org/2019/04/30/algeria-two-upcoming-court-cases/

Darkness Descends On Gomorrah

A look at Sodom, Gomorrah, trends in societies of the past and the present from a Catholic perspective. Crisis Magazine carries the story.

The thing of it is, the closer we come to Sodom, the blinder the people become, the more recalcitrant in their sins and the less willing they are to admit they have gone astray. Was it not the residents of Sodom who reviled Lot and did not like him 'judging' their abominable behavior (Gen 19:19). 'Judge not' so says the most recalcitrant sinner as they justify their own sins and try and embarrass Christians whose job it is to warn.

Well, it is true we are not to judge. Warn yes, judge no. But in Sodom's case, the judge was at the very doors and the residents of Sodom didn't have a clue.

Brothers let us always know what time it is. God's mercy is still here, God is still saving souls, but sin is beginning to reach that crescendo where he will move and not in a way that is positive to the unrepentant.

Three Christians Killed In Nigerian Attack

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) ' Suspected Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed and killed a 26-year-old Catholic on Thursday (May 2) in north-central Nigeria and two other Christians in the same manner on April 27, sources said.
After a herdsmen assault in March 2018 that left 27 Christians dead in the predominantly Christian community of Dong village north of Jos, assailants on Thursday (May 2) killed David Musa, 26, at 5:25 p.m., said Nuhu Ako, 42-year-old Christian youth leader at the area's St. Monica's Catholic Church. - Story Continues At Morning Star News

In other Nigerian persecution news, a pastor has been kidnapped with other Church members while delivering aid.

Former MLB Manager Says Christ Is The Answer To Child Sex Trafficking

This story is most timely as allegations of this are now being made against the NXIVM Group.

This is a guy who is working hard against this evil and realizes this is a spiritual battle.

This is truly an ugly side of American society and let us pray and give thanks that we have leaders who are fighting this and are not ashamed of Jesus Christ!!

But you know what? We can think Law Enforcement is the answer and on some level, at least theoretically it is. But the reality? Brothers it is really quite different as this link (sent to me from a reader) makes plain.

Brothers, this nation more and more is like Sodom. It really is, most folks just don't see it, don't want to see it about ourselves but large parts of America are already there...

... and proud of it.

Pastor Shoots Self Family Dies In Suspicious Fire, Say Investigators

This is so sad. The whole family is gone.

One has to wonder how someone who knew God could do such a thing, if indeed he did it.

This is such a horrible tragedy.

Who Are Today's Church 'Outcasts'

A real good question asked by the author.

6 May

Venezuela Watch

Democracy Now Interviews Venezuelans On Coup
An interesting and informative interview. What will the NSC decide? Will the military have a plan? DNow always has some great interviews.

0% Of Elite Commentators Oppose Regime Change
Why? I will tell you though none of you will believe it. Elite opinion is managed and commanded by the American deep state.

US Looks To Armed Intervention
It is not off the table and I think some elements within the oil and empire sectors of the American government are looking to do just that.

What will it look like? A long slog that even if they can get rid of Maduro, it will send the country and probably the region into a major conflict with concomitant humanitarian undertones.

Will the Russians stand for it? I don't think so. I think they have made it abundantly clear that they too are keeping their options open and a nuclear response, should things escalate beyond a proxy war - is not off the table. Too much is at stake and the Russians are not going let the US go in an steal the oil. A direct military intervention in Venezuela will mean a war -  a long one and one that the US is frankly unlikely to 'win'.

Our military has too many problems  - deep and systemic problems and a long war in Latin America will not bode well in the long run. We are already bogged down in Afghanistan in a long and disastrous misadventure and still have troops in Syria as well as Africa. Our military needs a breather from all of these wars that only those with the most limited of intelligence can actually believe can be 'won' . Then you have to pay for it. Thankfully I can count - this form of expertize seems lost on both parties up in DC when it comes to budgeting. Trump needs to get some sane people around him and deal in realities; not arrogance and folly, which is what Bolton and Pompeo seem to be grounded in. The world of American unilateralism is coming to and end and that end is only being accelerated by policies put forward by men like that.

Venezuela: Economic Sanctions As Collective Punishment (CEPR)

Brothers, there is just something, I will say it, sick and deranged about a nation that has to tell such lies to justify its violent misadventures.

But lies are the devils forte and those who love the devil love to tell lies.

Why is American failing here?

1) Her policy is evil - it is based on nothing but lies and the lust for plunder and contempt for the will, clearly expressed in the Venezuelan people last year in open and free, though not squeaky clean, elections. But no one's elections are squeaky clean and the folly of the 2016 US Presidential election told us all that. This new upstart did not even put his name on the ballot, yet somehow thinks he has the right to be President because the Trump administration says so.

2) God is beginning to deal with the USA and its behavior in the world. She has suffered defeat after defeat and created chaos, homelessness and death for peoples wherever she extends who once benevolent, but now increasingly malevolent hand.

3) Many within her security services, the smart and good folks have left. They want nothing to do with what this nation is becoming. So now those who implement these policies are of a decidedly inferior moral, intellectual and utilitarian stamp. Hence the consistent pattern of failure of efforts to use the devils methods (lies, destabilization, military coup's, US deep state instigated 'uprisings') to overthrow yet another democratically elected government.

4) She has become wholly corrupt. Money dictates policy in DC. It used to be guided by vision - a vision of democracy and spreading it and real freedom and I can think of fewer more important freedoms than allowing people to vote for whom they want - even and especially if their choices don't meet with Washington's approval. And this ultimately is what this trouble is all about - Venezuela chose Maduro as well as Chavez before him and the US National Security state does not like the choice, so they are going to force another 'choice' on them.

But Since Obama, America's primary goal has been to overturn governments, including stable democracies (like Syria) and turn them into a wasteland where only terrorists and criminals can flourish. Look at what the US and NATO have done to Libya, though clearly that was not a democracy. But what was once a stable nation is now a war zone.

I am reminded of the song by U2 'Bullet the Blue Sky' and its anti-war message directed specifically at America and her war machine. While the bombs are dropping and the explosions are going off outside the singer describes the bombs blowing up outside and the chaos as America.

Its not raining, or snowing outside ...no, it's America.

Brothers, I am shocked at what our nation has descended to and the things we do to others. I truly am. I am aghast at the lust for violence that America (both parties) seem addicted to and I cannot sit silent and say it is OK - it's only those Latino's. Would America contemplate military action against White Swedes or Danes? No, but she is quick to pull this kind of evil, including heavy arms at Arabs, Afghans, Latino's and Africans.

Something dark and demonic has control of this and the last administration and it clearly has strong influence over our military, intelligence and diplomatic policies.

America is playing with fire and there will be a hell to pay and that hell may be much sooner than any of us may know. We have been sticking to the Russians for some time now and I cannot help but think the Russian's patience is wearing thin, even as her military arsenal becomes more and more potent.

We Americans would be wise to consider that the world does not belong to America. No one has appointed the USA 'god' and we must learn to live at peace with others or be ready to go to war and stay at war with the whole world; a world that is already rapidly tiring of American antics, violence and unilateralism. Will America listen? No, Wisdom has been banished from the councils of power and folly and violence now serve as chief ministers of state.

I say, seek peace, talk. dialogue and let the people's of the earth decide how best to govern themselves. We have no right to preach anything to anyone, not with the kinds of poverty, homelessness, violence, police brutality, prisons stats, drug abuse, sexual perversions, hate, suicides, bribery and political corruption that rack our own nation.

Doctor... heal thyself!!!

I say these things hoping that a wiser, more peaceful yet strong America can emerge from the kinds of misadventures that have plagued our foreign policy since The Supreme Court opened up the floodgates of money into our political system with its Citizens United ruling.

If our policies don't make sense and seem designed to weaken Americans influence in the world, undermine the place she has held since the end of WWII has brought our once great nation into derision in so many parts of the world, one must ask themselves who would benefit from such obviously stupid policies - who would want to destroy the good will the US once possessed the world over and turn what we once were into the exact opposite - a nation who holds democracy in contempt and is willing to use military force to overthrow it whenever and wherever the votes don't go the way they want.

Who would benefit from a policy like that?

This nation that once honored God is now a nation that is going out of his way to show him considerable disrespect.

Know this - God will not stay where he is not welcome and if our leaders think the devil is going to bring them peace and property -  well, they have another 'think' coming. A think many Americans may not live long enough to benefit from.

 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth:
the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.
Higgaion. Selah. 
The wicked shall be turned into hell,
and all the nations that forget God.
(Psalms 9:16-17 [KJVA])

Let me make this plain as well. This is not written to either defend nor oppose Maduro. I do not live in Venezuela, nor have I even visited the country. I, nor very few Americans, really have a good handle on what the people down there really want or what is best for them. I am not arrogant enough to try and do that. This is why I say, let the people who must live under the government decide what Government rules over them. This is what this country at one time was once really all about  - spreading real democracy where the people vote and choose their leaders, not the new US lexicon of democracy - vote the way we say or we will put our puppets in anyway by whatever means necessary.

Three Strikes: US Regime Change Hopes Fizzle Again

2 May

Nehemiah XXXII

Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven,
the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein,
 the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all;
and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. Thou art the LORD the God,
who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees,
and gavest him the name of Abraham; And foundest his heart faithful before thee,
and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites,
the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites.
to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:
(Neh 9:6-8)

In the last section, as the people were assembled for this solemn assembly which took place after the Feast of Tabernacles, the Priests and Levites who were in charge of this occasion then moved on to praying to and extolling the God of heaven. They told the congregation to stand up and prase God! Remember, this gathering was not a festive celebration, but one where Israel wore sackcloth and poured dirt over their heads (9:1). This was a time to remember their history, their forbears as well as the sins of their fathers and acknowledging God's love and constancy to them. We do not know which person actually spoke these words to the congregation. The passage is not clear, Jeshua (Joshua) was surely one of the more prominent ones and may have been the speaker, but since all are mentioned it is more likely that each spoke part of the prayer and then another carried on.

The first section of the prayer is an invocation of God's power. His power in making all things weather it be in the heavens or on earth. Even those creatures in the sea are given mention as the priests extol the power and greatness of the Lord. The priest makes clear that it is not just God that created all things, but it is he that sustains them. Yes, despite the pseudo-scientific drivel we hear about 'no God' in our reprobate 'modern' world, he even sustains them and their vain and often just plain wicked imaginations. God is still on the Throne and it is he that has made all things by the might of his power.

Verse six tells is that the heavenly host worships God. This is one of the lesser known aspects I think of the book of revelation, the times that there is worship, silence, prayers and praise in heaven by his angels and saints. That is one of the few books were we get a glimpse of what things are like in Heaven. God is the center of all things. It's only down here on earth that is now separated from God that people forget and otherwise show contempt for him. Yet God continues to show mercy. All other gods are the figment of the imaginations of others, tools used by powerful men to dupe and control their populations or part of the fallen host of angels who rebelled against God and now want to steal his worship. The Lord, he alone is God!

Then begins a prayerful remembrance of their history. The first section starts off with Abram when God called him and before God changed his name. He was called out of Post-flood Chaldea (Babylon). He was told to get up and go by the Lord to a place that he would be shown, and by FAITH, he got up and went. By this single act of faith, the nation of Israel was conceived.

The priest then recounts Abraham's faithfulness before God. Abraham and the promises made to him are recounted. All the land that were already occupied by others was promised to him. This was a mighty promise. I don't think we realize just who mighty it was. What God was offering Abraham something that was impossible in his eyes, something Abraham could not accomplish on his own, but one he knew God could do in his own good time. This was FAITH in action  - faith and obedience. God spoke made a promise and he believed.

The prayer makes clear that God made a promise, Abraham obeyed and God was righteous and kept his solemn word. He will do that with those whom he loves and those who put their trust in him fully. The Lord was Abraham's rock and steady foundation.

  I have set the LORD always before me:
because he is at my right hand,

I shall not be moved.
(Psa 16:8)

Abraham set God always before him and he was not moved. No man could stand before him all the days of his life, for God was with him. The same could be said of Joshua and Moses. They were God's true servants. Abraham won the title, 'the Friend of God' (2Chr 20:7, James, 2:23). If there is any title that we should all covet, that should be it. Not pastor, not prophet, not priest, not President. No, it should be the true friend of God.

Ye are my friends,
if ye do whatsoever I command you.

(Joh 15:14)

How did Abraham win this special relationship? By obeying God's command to leave Ur of the Chaldees. That took gumption. To get up and go where God would tell you, now knowing where it would be? That kind of courage and faith is a very rare thing these days.

God made a promise to him after his obedience and it was only as a result of his obedience that Israel was there today. The Lord performs his promises, for good or ill.

 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest
their cry by the Red sea; And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh,
and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest
that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name,
 as it is this day. And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that
they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their
 persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.
 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night
 by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go.
(Neh 9:9-12)

This prayer, which recounts key parts of Israel's history now shifts to after the time of their captivity in Egypt. Their cry goes up before God. God, in his wisdom had his own agenda in not freeing them right away. He was going to show Pharaoh and all the priests, wizards and magicians in his court, just who the real God was. God showed signs and wonders and all of Egypt would remember whom the God of Israel was. All of the plagues and disasters that befell that nation because of one stubborn, arrogant ruler as a testimony to his power. It was a lesson that Egypt did not forget. The fame and fear of the Lord spread throughout the land.

God moved the ruler of Egypt out of the way, as well as the very sea itself to make way for Israel and the fulfillment of his promise to Abraham. God knows, see's and understands all things. Nothing NOTHING is too difficult for the Lord. He knows how to motivate Kings and shift the very laws of nature to fulfill his purpose! God provided light for his people and showed them the path he had set before them.

This prayer was important, for many reasons. I think the priesthood was doing all it could to impress upon the people that the very central part of their identity as a people was their connection with the God of Abraham, Moses, Issac and the rest of the fathers. During this assembly it was imperative that they understood just who their God was for later, in the next chapter, there is going to be a rededication of the covenant So this historical prayer serves a two fold purpose. To give honor and praise to God but also to bring the people to remembrance as to what they own to God.

Let us keep this in mind -  the people were clearly ignorant of the law as we saw in the preceding chapters. The priests had to explain it to the people. The ignorance of the law was so profound that the history of their people may not have been as well known as we today might assume. Recounting it and letting the people know it as they extol their God was very much in keeping the purpose of this occasion. To repent and renounce their former transgressions against God.

We will continue the next section of Nehemiah next week, God willing!
29 Apr

America's Budget: Where Are We Now?

Yes, its time to take a look at the slow motion sinking of the fiscal titanic once again.

The long-term fiscal projections indicate that the government's debt-to-GDP ratio will rise from 78 percent in 2018 to 530 percent over the 75-year projection period, and will continue to rise thereafter, if current policy is kept in place. The projections in this Financial Report show that current policy is not sustainable. These projections assume that current policy will continue indefinitely, and are, therefore, neither forecasts nor predictions. Nevertheless, policy changes must be enacted so that financial outcomes will be different than those projected.

The primary deficit is the difference between non-interest spending and receipts. As a ratio relative to gross domestic product (GDP), (the primary deficit-to-GDP ratio), it is useful for gauging long-term fiscal sustainability. This ratio spiked from 2009 through 2012 due to the financial crisis of 2008-09, the ensuing severe recession, and increased spending and temporary tax reductions enacted to stimulate the economy and support recovery. As the economic recovery took hold, the primary deficit-to-GDP ratio fell, averaging 1.9 percent from 2013-2018. The ratio is projected to rise to 2.9 percent in 2019 and then shrink slightly through 2024 as the economy grows. After 2024, increased spending for Social Security and health programs is projected to result in increasing primary deficits that peak in 2039 at 4.1 percent. This is due to the continued retirement of the baby boom generation and increases in health care costs. After 2039, the ratio gradually decreases to 2.5 percent in 2093 as the aging of the population slows. The primary deficit projections, along with those for interest rates and GDP, determine the debt-to-GDP ratio projections.

Rather than repeat what much of you already know, I will just give you a link to the actual report here.

Overall nothing has changed and it is impossible to get elected and stay elected without continuing to push the nation into fiscal insolvency.

What Saith The Lord?

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard,
and wonder marvellously:
for I will work a work in your days,
which ye will not believe,
though it be told you.
(Hab 1:5)

As promised, we will look today for a bit at the book of Habakkuk, a book I think is one of the more relevant for our most troubled times. It is the work of a prophet who was honest with God in his prayer and got back a direct response from him.

In our times I think we should look more on many of the so-called 'minor prophets' who looked at things going on around them and had a message directly from the Lord about them. The worship of pagan gods, child sacrifice, terrible injustice, cruelty to the poor and the powerless, the corruption of the king and nobles - the prophets saw these things and consequently wrote and spoke about them in the name of the Lord. Sometimes God would come to the prophet and command him to speak.

I should here probably mention that we know nothing about the prophet Habakkuk himself. He gives no information about himself. Some think he was the son of the Shunammite woman that Elisha raised from the dead (2King 4:16) because of his name. We really cannot know. What we do know about him was that he was deeply troubled by the evils he saw going around him.

What is rather interesting is that at the beginning (verse 5) Habakkuk chides his audience for their lack of faith among the heathen. God was going to tell them something that was going to come to pass, but they would not believe it. This is usually the way of prophecy - true prophet utters something from the Lord and people refuse to believe it. But a false one rises up, tickles a few ears and people flock to hear them. The real prophet is persecuted, the false one loved; the true prophet reviled, the false one honored. But God has a sure word that often takes a long time to come to pass, but once it does it cannot be halted.

Yea, since the day was I am he;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand:
I will work, and who can hinder it?
(Isa 43:13 - ASV)

There is no other God. There are fallen spirits who may try and impersonate him and some have considerable power to deceive, but no one can stop the Lord from doing whatever it is he has in mind. In the last days, the Lord will cast a snare upon the earth and none shall escape.

But take heed to yourselves, lest haply your
hearts be overcharged with surfeiting,
and drunkenness, and cares of this life,
and that day come on you suddenly as a snare:
for so shall it come upon all them that dwell
on the face of all the earth.
(Luk 21:34-35)

Here Christ gives us another sure word of prophecy about how we should be living and why. What he has planned for a world that will have gone deep into the paths of darkness and sin will have reached a crescendo. So in this respect we can understand a key facet of God's prophetic system. He will send prophets and he will warn the people. Yet the people are disinclined to believe it.

For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
that march through the breadth of the earth,
to possess dwelling-places that are not theirs.
They are terrible and dreadful;
their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves.
Their horses also are swifter than leopards,
 and are more fierce than the evening wolves;
and their horsemen press proudly on:
yea, their horsemen come from far;
they fly as an eagle that hasteth to devour.
They come all of them for violence;
the set of their faces is forwards;
and they gather captives as the sand.
Yea, he scoffeth at kings, and princes
are a derision unto him; he derideth every stronghold;
 for he heapeth up dust, and taketh it.
Then shall he sweep by as a wind,
 and shall pass over, and be guilty,
 even he whose might is his god.
(Hab 1:6-11)

After the Lord warns that no one would believe this prophecy among the heathen, he gives the word. The Chaldeans were coming. A dreadful, war like people who were well known for their exceptional military skill. God is laying out to the prophet how he is going to deal with the wickedness of which he complained to the Lord about.

A nation of 'hot heads' (bitter and hasty nation) was coming. A people who seem eternally angry. Ever heard of a nation like that? A people who is always angry about something and use violence to appease their anger? This is the kind of description that Habakkuk is giving the Chaldeans (Babylonians). People were afraid of them and they are a self-righteous lot. They justify themselves; they are a law unto themselves and no one can judge them. In some ways, this reminds me of how the US is now treating the International Criminal Court. They have threatened the Judges won't grant them Visa's and even gone so far as to imply they will arrest them. All they do is investigate serious crimes involving human rights. This is the kind of arrogance I think the prophet is talking about - they put themselves on a level with God and will not be judged by others. It is a characteristic of satanic government - (see Dan 11:36; 2Thess 2:4). They get arrogant and don't think anyone has the right to judge them.

The prophet goes on to describe their military prowess and how their key goal is violence and to devour. This is a horrible army he describes.

This army is fierce enough that even looking at them causes men to fear. This appears to be the meaning of Verse 9, though others have differing views on the passage. Here is how Gill puts it.

their faces shall sup up as the east wind: their countenances will appear so stern and fierce, that their very looks will so frighten, as to cause men to sink and die through terror; just as herbs and plants shrivel up and wither away, when blasted by a nipping east wind. So the Targum, "the reception or look of their faces is like to a vehement east wind.'' - Gill

What is meant by captivity like the sand is that there will be so many prisoners that counting them will be like counting the sand. These are those who will be led away captive.

Verse 10 tells us just how powerful he is. To them, Kings and rulers are a joke. They laugh at them! When there is a stronghold (a fortified military position - see H4013), they laugh and make jokes about them (deride - see H7832).

The phrase to heap dust and take it seems to be a reference to a battle tactic used back in those days. When Nebuchadnezzar took Tyre they built a massive mound to take the city, which was known for its impregnability because it was an Island. When they got done heaping up mud and sand, it was a peninsula and the army could cross.

Verse 11 presents a couple of problems in translation. Some versions render the first part 'shall change his mind', others 'shall pass by'. Being no Hebrew scholar, I have to listen to those who know the language, both translations appear possible to me and both have a strong prophetic sense. My view is that he comes and does his campaign in Tyre and then once it is done, he decides to move on to other military targets that he may not have originally intended. Since he had so many victories, he gets puffed up an imputes his victories to his god.

In this passage, we get a glimpse of his arrogance even at the God of Israel. In the book of Daniel, after he took Jerusalem, he made a golden image and tried to force people to worship it. It is not an overreach to think that the god that Nebuchadnezzar imputed his victories to was indeed himself (see Dan 4:30)

In closing this section today, I want to impress this upon all of you. The news these days... I know I do a lot of it (for insiders) , but there comes a time when we need to step back and not listen to the AP, UPI, Fox, DW or news organizations, but to find out what God has to say about our times.

Habakkuk's interrogative to God at first was an expression of frustration and exasperation, "O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! The prophet is expressing frustration with God's apparent inaction. We who know the times and keep an eye on events, we know what it is like to watch crazy things going on and see apparent inaction on the part of God. The wickedness just grows and grows and no one stops it. We seem powerless. We hear the solutions being proposed - often self centered ones - by leaders and pundits and we come to a place where Habakkuk was, 'why do I have to keep looking at all of this wickedness Lord?' is the question, if I may paraphrase it. But the Lord gives his answer.

We have ours as well in the prophetic word of God in the Old Testament, the books of the Apostles in the New Testament, the Olivet discourse and the book of Revelation. We have our answer. We must not however be like the heathen and be among those who after the vision is told them, refuse to believe.

We shall continue our look at Habakkuk in good order, perhaps in a couple of weeks.

May God's grace, peace, love and protecting hand be upon you all both now and forever more!

25 Apr

Persecution Watch
Five Christians, Including One American, Arrested in Nepal Under Anti-Conversion Law

Religious Freedom for Minorities
 Continues to Deteriorate in Nepal

04/24/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) ' International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that five Christians, including an American citizen and an Indian citizen, were arrested by authorities in Nepal and charged with attempted proselytization. The arrests come as religious freedom in Nepal continues to deteriorate under the country's controversial anti-conversion law that was enacted in August 2018.

According to local reports, the five Christians were arrested on April 23 in Nepal's Dang District. Among those arrested were Pastor Dilli Ram Paudel, General Secretary of the Nepal Christian Society; Gaurav Srivastava, an Indian citizen; and Leanna Ciquanda, an American citizen. -Story continues at the ICC website

Egypt: Church Closed After Attack
CAIRO, Egypt (Morning Star News) ' A Coptic church in Upper Egypt is closed after a throng of angry Muslims attacked it this month, beating a priest and another Copt as more than 200 fearful children who had gathered for Bible lessons looked on, according to advocacy groups.
One of the injured Copts, Asaad Bakheet Rezek, told a Coptic TV (CTV) that a Muslim about 17 years old beat one of the priests with a club as security forces led him from the Anba Karas Church building in Naga al-Ghafir, Sohag Governorate in southern Egypt. - Story Continues at Morning Star News

Sri Lankan Bombers Slowly Being Uncovered
Asia times reports that some of the names of those involved have been discovered.

Tucker Carlson: Leaders Think Christians Are The Problem
This is a look at how leaders are creating a narrative about Christians and why they see us as a problem.

Well, take heart brothers, the devil see's us as a problem as well. That is good news!! I mean, who wants to be best buddies with satan... particularly knowing where he and those who follow him are going to wind up? I sure don't. So if the devil is attacking Christians, that only shows us what time it is and lets us know we are having an effect on his kingdom to the degree he's got to do something about it. Raising up as many ignorant, violent, nare-do-wells to steal kill and destroy as he can; this has always been his MO. Make no mistake, those who do these things don't know whose agenda they are following, but that is the nature of the devil - deceit... and he is very, very good at it.

Nevertheless, we are commanded to pray for, not against our persecutors. Many of them are not that smart and they really don't know anything about Christians or Christianity other than what some terrorist cell leader has told them.

The world is in the devil's clutches and the world cannot see it, save that God gives them light to see it.

Let us always keep in mind that in many places Christians must worship in secret or be arrested, beaten, imprisoned or even killed. How did Christ put it in the Gospel of John?

 "...yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you
will think that he doeth God service.
- (John 16:2b)

Christless Christianity, Secularism And The Christian Decline
This interesting little piece does not deal directly with persecution, but does look at some issues that surround it.
23 Apr


Today, I wanted to step back from news items and look at a things from a more prophetic perspective. There has been a lot of shifting in our world and perhaps it is time to look at some of it.

I got an email from a reader this weekend and he passed on what his pastor preached on Sunday - he wrote on Habakkuk. The prophet whose quotation I have had on this site since its inception.

I like Habakkuk, always have. I was deeply moved by a radio show years ago that talked about Habakkuk. The presenter talked about the Habakkuk oil wars. This was in the run up to the Second Gulf War. Since that war, which in my view was politically 'justified' by 9-11, the world has changed most significantly. Few things changed the world's  unipolar power more than the fall of the twin towers and how elements within the establishment rushed to exploit that tragedy to do all manner evil of things I need not recount here.

Since then, the Middle East has seen several wars, tumults, revolutions terrorist 'governments' (ISIS) and the over all result is that the US, thinking it would be the dominant power in that part of the world after implemented its violent policies, has lost a lot of the clout that it once possessed.

I say these things because I see the world shifting as it must to accommodate the coming man of sin, the antichrist who will set up a new system of governance with himself as 'god' and all men will be compelled to worship at his altar or be killed.

Habakkuk's vision went so.

 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!
even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance?
for spoiling and violence are before me:
and there are that raise up strife and contention. 
Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment
doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass
about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
(Habakkuk 1:1-4 [KJVA])

The prophet prayed. Yes, he sought the face of God about gross injustice and iniquity he witnessed. His prayer seems a bit irreverent. In fact it is not. It is honest. God honors respectful, yet honest prayer. What is burdening you? What is on your heart? It may seem trivial, it may seem big, but God wants to know about it.

Here the prophet lets the Lord know just how upset he was about the rampant injustice that he saw. I think many of us know exactly how he feels. I know I do as I see so many men sit in jail for crimes they never committed, shot dead over a busted tail light, bombed into oblivion by a fighter bomber for reasons they don't understand or  have some family defrauded out of their homes and have a President protect the banks from prosecution for their crimes.

We see injustice, cry out to God and often it seems like he does not hear us. That he does not see the troubles down here and that we are alone in our deep concern for it. Well this is where Habakkuk was at. He was praying and was very upset about it and the way the Lord seemed unconcerned about it all.

I don't think there is anyone here at Watson's Web who has not been there at one time or another.

But God did hear Habakkuk.

Yes he did and then he begins to tell him that he has something planned and reveals his secret to his prophet.

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard,
and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days,
which ye will not believe, though it be told you.
 (Habakkuk 1:5 [KJVA])

God see's it all.

Brothers, Habakkuk's prophecy is for today. I have done a couple of pieces on this wonderful book of prophecy but never a full study. I may soon begin one as I think it meet and timely, particularly as we look at events in our world in general and the middle east in particular. There is a shifting taking place and it is I see an Israel more and more isolated, with even its western allies turning on her - anti-Semitism so bad in some quarters it cannot be condemned by elected representatives and large parts of the world now embracing censorship, authoritarianism and even mass concentration camps.  This coupled with a war on the Saints (Christian persecution from many different groups in many different countries) should give us all pause as to the times we are living in.

God has a plan and that plan is one that will be accomplished on his, not our timetable.

God's prophetic word is something we must always remember as we live in these wicked and tumultuous times.

Fret not thyself brother over the wicked man who seems to be prospering in his wickedness.

  Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be
thou envious against the workers of iniquity.   
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee
the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light,
and thy judgment as the noonday.   
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,
 because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:
fret not thyself
in any wise to do evil.
  For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD,
they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while,
and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt
diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 
But the meek shall inherit the earth;
and shall delight themselves
in the abundance of peace. 
(Psalms 37:1-11)

Thanks to the reader who passed on the Habakkuk passage to me this weekend.

The private side of Watson's Web look at these issues for mature and grounded believers. I am strictly forbidden to cast the pearls of this site out for the masses any longer. But FYI, for the time being, I am not taking any new members.

I give you all solemn warning. Trouble is coming. The economy may be humming along nicely - the America's lukewarm Christians may be enjoying the fun and sun and have ceased to watch, as they were commanded to do, but the truth is - our Lord promised that when he comes, when tribulation comes when the stuff hits the proverbial fan, it is going to catch the masses of lukewarm and fake Christians as a total shock, they will neither be ready nor prepared. Most will just fall away and others will turn on the faithful. This is one reason why I had to  go private brothers, I had some Judas' taking my material and handing it directly over to the devil and his imps.

So I exhort you all who claim Christ as Savior to be awake, spiritually sober, mentally alert and to rightly divide God's word and to withdraw from these phony pastors who can pack in the crowds with false doctrines and foolishness that may pay for his mortgage and his brand new BMW, but can only lead their hearers into hell fire.

Let the reader beware.

21 Apr

(This was written a couple of years ago. I re-post it here for the edification and encouragement of those who know and love our Lord Jesus Christ and who may be going through serious trials and troubles.

God's Protection

Today, we are going to take a break from the news (and there is an awful lot of it) to talk about getting God's protection in the months and years ahead. Our God, as opposed to the god of this world, but rather Our God has told those who love and obey him that this world will undergo great tribulation. A horrible period of trial, travails,  disasters, suffering and yes, death. While many scholars like to give the time frame as a specific time period - 42 months, 7 years, etc. the truth is this tribulation is likely to simply grow upon the world as it continues to reach peak population, peak resource usage, peak wickedness and peak folly. Then yes, the greatest part of that tribulation will probably last that final 42 months that the beast and false prophet are allowed to reign upon the earth. In short this paper will try and look at how to obtain God's protection in the times ahead. I write this to keep you in faith not fear. Too many bloggers and internet Christians are feeding on a diet of constant fear-mongering. We must focus on God and what he can and will do for us if we obey his voice.

I think that the first thing that needs to be stated is that if anyone thinks God's protection means that trouble, tribulation or even persecution will not touch us, then that person has another 'think' coming to them. There will be no way around some of these things. Being here will make us at least partially vulnerable to the trials and tribulations of the world around us. So before we begin, what do I mean about God's protection?

I mean God's ability to keep us and our souls unto the day of Salvation without putting upon us more than we are able to bear. That God, in his wisdom and love will keep us, strengthen us, guide us into the kingdom of heaven and from the wiles, traps and works of the devil so that they will not prevent us from entering into the kingdom with great shouts of joy and thanksgiving; something that the hordes of hell are working overtime in preventing.

This is the key, it's not in avoiding trouble and suffering. These things are a given for all the sons of men and tribulation (troubles, ordeals) are part of what Christ promised his sheep. There is no way around it if you belong to Christ.

But some are destined to different trials than others and thankfully, God knows just what we can bear.

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
(Rev 3:7-10)

This was one of the highly favored and un-rebuked Churches within the seven that existed in Asia during the time of John. Christ noted their works and that they had kept to Christ's word. In other words, they were obedient to him. They did as he commanded. It was for this reason the Lord made the promise that he would keep them from the hour of temptation, trial.

This is a very important promise and one of the key conditionalities that grant us a high level of divine protection. I must warn you, that it is not a guarantee of a trouble free life or one without persecution. If we notice in the same seven Churches section in Revelation, we get another sense for those who are praised by our Lord and were obedient to him. Yet their fate before going to glory was quite different.

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
(Rev 2:8-11)

Here the faithfulness of the Lord's people would not protect them from serious tribulation. Even though they were faithful and obedient, yet and still they had to undergo a serious trial. They had to go into prison and suffer for ten days. The implication here was that their imprisonment would precede their execution/death. The commandment was that they should be faithful even to death and then they would be blessed with the crown of life.

The key here I think is in the very last section of this letter to Smyrna and one that most Christians take for granted. That our salvation is less to do with our comfort, pleasures, careers, marriages down here on earth but making certain that we do not wind up being hurt by the second death. This is and was the entire basic purpose of our salvation, to be saved from that horrible fate that shall befall all of the unredeemed and fallen sons of men. Christ came to save us from that fate and those who obey his word will not be hurt by it. Recognizing what God has promised us and what he has NOT promised us will help us to avoid a lot of confusion and unbelief in the face of fiery trials.

I think a look at what one of the old testament saints and one who was greatly beloved of God had to go through is a perfect example. With Daniel, it was both both his faith in God and as the passage shows almost certainly a great deal of political jealousy by his fellow administrators that got him into serious trouble. This is a rather long passage but I will post it all in the hopes you read it and get a feel for what was going on in the Royal court which like all centers of power is full of intrigue, maneuverings and backstabbings.

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
(Dan 6:1-15)

The long and short of this is that the King was reorganizing the kingdom's administration in a very significant way. Because Daniel had shown himself to be exceptionally wise and as the passage says, had an 'excellent spirit' in him. Daniel had arisen to one of the top positions. The passage seems to indicate that Daniel was really the first man in the kingdom, after Darius.

Daniel was doing a great job, an excellent one and they could not find anything against this man of God. Yet his enemies went into their secret chambers and plotted to take Daniel down. They were going to use Daniel's devotion and his worship of God against him.

Now keep in mind the not so subtle implications of the accusations brought against Daniel who was favored by the king more than these malcontents. So they hatched a plot. They hatched one that they knew would ensnare Daniel who was devoted to his God. What happened to Daniel here was not happenstance, it was a concerted effort to destroy him by conspirators who were jealous of him. Moreover, Daniel understood the plot and made a point as soon as the decree was signed, to go into his chambers and pray like he always had. They did not like this 'foreigner' with so much influence with the King.

The king was trapped. He unwisely signed this law he did not realize was designed to take down his right hand man and after he signed it, he realized when all of Daniel's enemies stood before the King pointing the finger at Daniel, that they had undermined the King's prerogatives and brought division and contention into his court. The king however was clearly on Daniel's side and while he was forced to comply with this evil law he was tricked into signing, he wished Daniel well even while he was forced to place him in the lion's den.

The King then prayed and fasted for Daniel.

God's love for his servant as well as the King's prayers served him well. The lions suddenly became allergic to Daniel and did not molest him. Well, we all know the rest of the story - Daniel's enemies had to lie in the very same pit that they had dug for Daniel and did not live long enough to learn a lesson from their mistake.

The lesson here is this. Daniel had done everything right and was greatly respected. But his high place earned him the hatred of the "jealous Nellie's" in the court. As a result of their plot they got Daniel into the lions den but it availed them nothing in the long run. God protected Daniel and had someone else who was looking out for him, namely the King. Daniel was tried but was strongly protected by this God during the trial.

I don't think I need to recount the ordeal that Shadrach Meshach and Abednego endured. They too refused to give up the worship of their God and as a result were placed into a fiery furnace. Yet their God did something amazing... they were protected right within the fire! Here once again, the trial and persecution that was endured was a direct result of their worship of God. In both this instance and with Daniel's ordeal in the lion's den, the worship of God was the key issue. God's true servants will not bow down before idols and they will always continue to worship God. Let's take a look at this passage in Daniel chapter Three.

Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
(Dan 3:14-30)

This passage, is a type for we Christians who shall be alive when the Mark of the Beast occurs. There is

The worship of an image.

The threat of death of one does not worship the image

The number Six Six and Six are encoded in the whole ceremony of idolic worship.

Let's take a quick look at the Image and it's dimensions.

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
(Dan 3:1)

The image was 60 cubits in height and was 6 cubits wide. Then we have six instruments mentioned (three times within the passage - 666  - see Dan 3:5, 3:7, 3:15) to be sounded at the time of worship.

This is a clear type of what is coming for all of us who are alive when the 42 month antichrist system comes into power. Note that not a single one of God's servants was harmed, no matter how hot the king made the furnace. Those who were stoking it got burned, but not the servants of the Lord. They went into the fire, but were not harmed. Did not our Lord promise something very similar in the last days before his coming?

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
In your patience possess ye your souls.
(Luk 21:17-19)

We are not to fear those who kill the body and this was the lesson that Daniel and the three Hebrew administrators learned. They feared God above all. Above the fires, the lions, the plotting court, even the king. They feared the Lord and in so doing and keeping true faith with God, they were saved through (not from) their ordeals.

The key I think here for all of us to remember is this. God is sovereign. He has destined some of us to die in prison (Smyrna) others to live out our lives in quiet service, others to stand before Kings and rulers to bear witness, still others to be martyred. There is no set rulebook for avoiding trials and tribulations. The key is to ensure that we are in God's will. Being in God's will does not mean a perfect set of circumstances.

Think on Daniel for a moment. Were his circumstances perfect? Hardly! He was brought a slave to the a foreign court and while most Biblical scholars don't like to bring this up, Daniel may very well have been a eunuch as that was common practice in those days for slaves who worked around royalty. Like Nehemiah we have no record of his wife or children, only their lifelong service to the Babylonian King. Each prayed earnestly for the restoration of their people to their homeland. No, Daniel was not in what he saw as an ideal situation. But Daniel was in God's will and was in a place that God could use him. The same with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The same with Christ, Paul, Peter and the rest.

God knows all and knows the end from the beginning. He knows where we are and we must know what he expects from us and then do it. That is how we get God's protection for whatever circumstances we are facing.

I write this today for those of you who may be in situations that you never thought you would be facing, betrayed by your friends, countrymen family and stuck out in some kind of exile that you must now face.

FEAR NOT! God is with you and has a job for you to do. I offer this Godly advice to you.

Stop with the pity party - stop weeping and whining. Get up, stand up like a man and do whatever it is God commands you to do. The key for you... all of you is that faith not fear; obedience, not excuses are the path to life and God's divine guidance, favor and protection.

May God grant all who read this the wisdom, faith and fortitude to go wheresoever the Holy Spirit leads you and do so in holiness, righteousness and faith!

Brother Mark

18 Apr

Nehemiah XXXI

Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the
 children of Israel were assembled with fasting,
 and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.
And the seed of Israel separated themselves from
all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins,
and the iniquities of their fathers.
(Neh 9:1-2)

This passage marks a change in the tone of the feast. Before it was a festival and people enjoyed themselves. Now it was different. This time they were gathered with fasting and sackcloth, these are as you know the garments of mourning and repentance. Gill says this about the timing of this gathering.

Now in the twenty fourth day of this month,.... The seventh month, the month Tisri or September, two days after the feast of tabernacles was ended:

the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them; which were all outward tokens of mourning and humiliation, see Joe_1:8 which they could not show during the festival; but that being over, they return to it, see Neh 8:9. - Gill

So the feast of Tabernacles was over but now the Children of Israel had to come before the Lord and confess their sins and unrighteousness. If we remember from earlier there was great sorrow over their sins when the law was read, but the leaders exhorted the people to enjoy the food and drink during the festival and not be sad. Now that the feast was over, they could go back and deal with the acknowledgement and renouncement of their sins in a collective and public fashion. It really took a public reading of the law and the priests doing their best to get people to understand it and doing so at the beginning of the festival to have had this remarkable effect on the people. Now they made a public show of their contrition with the symbols of those days, the sackcloth, putting dirt on their heads.

On some level, Israel's basic problem was that the Priests were not doing their job. The prophets of old scolded them on their laxity and behavior. Many of the Priests appear to have been running criminal rackets. They offered up polluted sacrifices (Mal 1:6ff) and as we know in our Lord's time, there were nothing more than blind guides who faithfully led their followers into hell fire. The leaders bore significant responsibility for the state of Israel, for clearly there was remarkable ignorance about the law and what the Lord required. There are other passages in the prophets that talk about the priests and leaders of Israel, some of them can be found here.

But this was a new spirit that was overtaking the people. Now, when leaders called them to a solemn assembly in the name of their God, the people came. They came and acknowledge and confessed their national level sins.

Moreover, they also separated themselves from the foreigners in their midst and and confessed their sins. This was important because these were national level sins. These were the crimes of Israel, not of those who dwelt among them. As a consequence, they were not invited. This may have also been a requirement of Ezra who was not happy about how the so many even in the priesthood had taken foreign wives, in contravention to the law.

So as a result, they were pointedly left out of these solemn proceedings. It is important to note that this passage does not mention divorcing from foreign wives. This appears to only be a separation for this particular gathering. Matthew Henry seems to think that this separation from foreign wives had already taken place earlier under Ezra. The relevant passage can be found in Ezra Chapter 10. I will pass on Mr. Henry's comment and then part of the passage in Ezra. It's rather long, but goes to show just how serious he viewed the matter and just how widespread it was, even in the Priesthood.
Ezra had separated them from their strange wives some years before, but they had relapsed into the same sin, and had either made marriages or at least made friendships with them, and contracted such an intimacy as was a snare to them. But now they separated themselves from the strange children as well as from the strange wives. Those that intend by prayers and covenants to join themselves to God must separate themselves from sin and sinners; for what communion hath light with darkness? - Matthew Henry
Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests,
the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they
should do according to this word. And they sware.
Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God,
and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib:
and when he came thither, he did eat no bread,
nor drink water: for he mourned because of the
transgression of them that had been carried away.
And they made proclamation throughout Judah and
Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity,
that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem;
And that whosoever would not come within three days,
according to the counsel of the princes and the elders,
all his substance should be forfeited, and himself
separated from the congregation of those
that had been carried away. Then all the men of
Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together
 unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month,
on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat
in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter,
and for the great rain. And Ezra the priest stood up,
 and said unto them, Ye have transgressed,
and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.
Now therefore make confession unto the LORD
God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate
yourselves from the people of the land, and from
the strange wives. Then all the congregation answered
and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.
But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain,
and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a
work of one day or two: for we are many that have
transgressed in this thing. Let now our rulers of all
the congregation stand, and let all them which have
taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times,
and with them the elders of every city, and the judges
thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter
be turned from us. Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and
Jahaziah the son of Tikvah were employed about this matter:
and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.
And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest,
with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their
fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated,
and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to
examine the matter. And they made an end with all
the men that had taken strange wives by the first day
of the first month. And among the sons of the priests
there were found that had taken strange wives: namely,
of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren;
Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives;
and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.
 And of the sons of Immer; Hanani, and Zebadiah.
And of the sons of Harim; Maaseiah, and Elijah,
and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah. And of the sons of Pashur; Elioenai,
Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
Also of the Levites; Jozabad, and Shimei,
and Kelaiah, (the same is Kelita,) Pethahiah,
Judah, and Eliezer. Of the singers also; Eliashib:
and of the porters; Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.
Moreover of Israel: of the sons of Parosh; Ramiah,
 and Jeziah, and Malchiah, and Miamin, and Eleazar,
and Malchijah, and Benaiah. And of the sons of Elam;
Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Eliah.
And of the sons of Zattu; Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad,
and Aziza. Of the sons also of Bebai; Jehohanan,
Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai. And of the sons of Bani;
Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal,
and Ramoth. And of the sons of Pahathmoab; Adna,
and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezaleel,
 and Binnui, and Manasseh. And of the sons of Harim;
Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchiah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,
Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah. Of the sons of Hashum;
 Mattenai, Mattathah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh,
 and Shimei. Of the sons of Bani; Maadai, Amram, and Uel,
Benaiah, Bedeiah, Chelluh, Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,
 Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasau, And Bani, and Binnui,
Shimei, And Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah,
Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, Azareel, and Shelemiah,
Shemariah, Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph. Of the sons of Nebo;
Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jadau, and Joel, Benaiah.
All these had taken strange wives: and some of them
had wives by whom they had children.
(Ezr 10:5-44)

What is not clear is if the passage in Nehemiah is referring to some new backsliding that took place after Ezra's reforms, or was just a formal separation because of this gathering. Another possbility could be that this refers only to the offspring of those previously discarded unions who remained with their fathers. What is clear is this most important point. If the Priests are not doing the will of God and are in rebellion, they will be of no use to Israel's future spiritual health.

My reading of the passage is not clear as to exactly what was meant, other than Israel was going to separate from the foreigners for at least this occasion.
And they stood up in their place,
and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God
one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed,
and worshipped the LORD their God.
(Neh 9:3)

Once the people were assembled and had the right mindset, the one of repentance and humility, they listened to the law. Then they worshiped the Lord. This all taking place within a space of probably just a few hours - the house of Israel - alone.

Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua,
and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani,
and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the
LORD their God. Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel,
Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah,
and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD
your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name,
which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
(Neh 9:4-5)

I highlighted the names of those who were leading the people in worship in both passages (here and in Ezra) to show that all had to acknowledge their sins and crimes, priest, elder and lay person. There was no arrogant finger pointing. All had sinned and all had to repent. Here they stood upon that scaffold/pulpit we talked about earlier and cried out to the Lord. This was no silent prayer in a closet, this was a shout before all to make sure all heard of their repentance and grief and having sinned against God.

But after the acknowledgement of their national sins, the penitent rise up not to play or head on over to the local temple of Baal as in the olden days, but to bless the Lord and give him glory and praise!!

We will look at the prayer they prayed in the next section on Nehemiah.

God be with you all as you serve Christ!

Brother Mark

16 Apr

Hindu Radicals Burn Thousands Of Bibles

This is the new trend in India and Modi, who is part of the political arm of Hindu Radicalism cannot escape some of the blame. Faithwire reports above.

But this is nothing new as shocking as this is, this is not so unusual in India today where these radicals hold sway. For those of you who want some background on just what is going on in India on this front, the US government issues a report every year on countries. Here is the one on India and just how Hindu-Nationalism is effecting the whole political landscape of the country.

CBN also carries the story.

Christian Refugee's Need A Place To Live: Time For America To Step Up

A look at Christian Asylum seekers and the Trump Administration. More here from a less Trump sympathetic viewpoint.

Persecution And Hope: Christians In The Middle East

This is a look at what has been happening in several countries in the Middle East. How far have things come since ISIS? This piece looks at this and other issues. The Epoch Times Reports.

Converted Imam Faces Islamic Wrath For Coming To Christ

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) ' Sheikh Hassan Podo, a 28-year-old imam in Kerekerene village in eastern Uganda, missed mosque prayers for three consecutive weeks and was seen entering a church building around noon on March 16.

He had kept his faith in Christ a secret for three weeks. The young Muslim who saw Podo enter the church building in Katira Sub-County, Budaka District, went straight to Podo's parents and brothers to report him.

When Podo arrived at the house that evening, his family interrogated him about where he had spent the better part of the day.

'Without my completing answering them, my brothers immediately began surrounding me, with sticks,' Podo told Morning Star News. 'It was difficult to escape. They began shouting, beating and insulting me as an 'infidel' and enemy of the Islamic religion.'

His wife and two children managed to escape to the home of a nearby Christian neighbor, he said. - MorningStar News

Note: One can only wonder about a religion that has to use violence and threats to keep its adherents. Like a bad marriage, the only way a bad man can keep his good wife is to beat and threaten her into staying. Or worse, the mentality of some of the sicker minds out there believe that if they can't have the person, no one can.

This is how I see radical Islam. Clearly Islam was not giving this man the spiritual satisfaction he was seeking and now he is willing to face threats and violence to keep his faith in Christ.

But this has always been the way of false religions, many Christian denominations included. They have to use tricks, force, violence even murder to keep people in their religious systems.

Any system that has to resort to these kinds of things should be viewed as false - whatever name it gives itself.

It's the lie that needs the barrels of a gun pointed at a person to enforce its will.

The truth can stand on its own.

Pakistan: Forced Adductions, Conversions And Marriages Afflict Christian Girls

Religious minority communities across Pakistan have expressed renewed concern following reports of increasing abductions and forced conversions to Islam. According to reports, eight teenage girls belonging to the Hindu community and four Christians were kidnapped, forcefully converted to Islam, and married off to Muslim men in different parts of Sindh and Punjab in just the first three months of 2019. - continues at Persecution.org

Christian Churches Vandalized, Defected Upon In Europe

Yes, the march of anti-Christ is not just in India, China, North Korea Pakistan and Nigeria, but is also being felt in Central Europe as well, though authorities do their best to try and hide these things. Gatestone Institute reports.

Brothers, these are dangerous times. Moreover they are highly deceptive times. The spirit of Antichrist is very much here, but few mark it. The lost cannot see it. Even the Churches are blind to much of it as they try and pray up a new car, yacht and private jet.

I want to stress this because it is of the greatest spiritual importance. When the man of sin comes onto the scene, the whole world will be deceived by him. He is already slowly pouring out his 'deception drug' upon the world, but the world cannot see it (see Rev 12:9, 13:14; 16:14). This thing is going to scoop up everyone, save those whom the Lord calls out of this wicked world to be his. The small flock of those who truly belong to God, they will see these things.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:
because greater is he that is in you,
than he that is in the world. They are of the world:
 therefore speak they of the world and the world heareth them.
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us;
 he that is not of God heareth not us.
Hereby know we the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God;
and every one that loveth is born of God,
and knoweth God.
(I John 4:4-7 [KJVA])

Brothers, I say these things because of the times. Many Christians are listening to false shepherds, many others are asleep. Still others are floundering because they are being bombarded with the images of this world - its violent, twisted and heavily sexualized culture, its selfishness and more and more the kinds of hate that is being energized by dark forces on the internet.

We who know our God know this -  it is only going to get worse and that we must let our light shine anyway. The light of Jesus Christ, his marvelous gospel, love, hope faith and truth. We who love our Lord - we are children of light and because men love darkness more than the light, they will seek to put that light out. Hence the plague of Christian persecution that now envelopes so much of the world. The devil and his imps (witting and unwitting) are doing the will of their father, doing their best to put out the light - the only light that can save man from his sins. We know this, the devil knows this as well, but the world does not.

Let us beware of the times brothers and not fall asleep at the wheel, just as our spiritual road becomes a winding road on a steep hill with a long drop to the bottom that awaits us if we get off the road.

Lets pay attention and not go to sleep at the wheel!

China Offers Bribes To Those Who Rat Out Christians

Again, as mentioned in a recent update Marxisim (Communism) is one of the powerful strongholds we need to be fully aware of. It did not die with the Berlin Wall came down. The spirit of Marxism is alive and well and living on planet earth.

11 Apr

Religion Watch

There has been a lot going on in the realm of religion, not just Christianity that we should all be aware of. Today, I want to take a look at some of these issues.

China Continues To Impose Communist Control Over Religion

The Jamestown Foundation looks at recent meeting by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and what it means for religious believers in China.

This year, a primary propaganda theme emerging from the CPPCC was the need to 'persist in the Party's leadership over religion [and] persist in advancing the Sinicization of our country's religions' (jianchi dang dui zongjiao gongzuo de lingdao, chixu tuijin woguo zongjiao Zhongguohua / 对宗工作的领导,续进国宗中国化). [1] The theme is not a new one, and dates back at least to 2016, when CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping gave a speech advocating a 'socialism with Chinese characteristics theory of religion' (Zhongguo tese shehui zhuyi zongjiao lilun, 中国特色社会主义宗论) (Xinhua, April 23 2016). The theme has since grown more prominent in official discourse, and in the lead-up to this year's convening of the 'Two Sessions,' official media indicated that 'Sinicization' of religion would be an important topic to be discussed by the CPPCC (Renmin Zhengxie Bao, January 10). - Jamestown China Brief (by John Dotson)

Brunei Institutes Full Sharia Law

Adultery and homosexuality are now punishable by death by stoning. The backlash from celebrities and the LBGTQ community is significant. I look for considerable and quiet pressure to be brought to bear on this small country from the left leaning political wing within the US that have pushed the gay agenda here and globally. It will be most interesting to see how the KSA or the Gulf sheikdoms deal with this - if they support Brunei or try and quietly pressure the King to back off.

Keep in mind that the moneyed Gulf interests and the LBGTQ/Hollywood crowd worked together tirelessly together to prevent a Trump Presidency - though the Saudi's as we see, had little to fear. There was a powerful 'twin pillars' of political power in the country who have really pushed to eradicate America's Christian foundation. It remains to be seen if they team up a again in 2020 for the same reasons. I am not so sure they will. Trump has given the Saudi's just about everything they could wish for. He has been MBS's magic genie. He rubs his Trump lamp and gets his wish.

Qatar and the UAE... their reaction to this? It remains to be seen. They will probably leave this one alone.

Let me state this clearly lest my comments be deliberately misconstrued, as has happened before. I am not in favor of these draconian laws against anyone in these times and in this present Church age of God's grace. Nor should any Christian. We should be pushing to end such laws because, God believe it or not, loves gay people and adulterers and wants to see them repent. Each and every Christian who has known Christ understands that we were sinners once too before coming to the cross. If you execute every sinner, no one would be left!

Killing them in a fit of moral outrage is very much the wrong approach.

Russia Raids Homes Of Jehovah's Witnesses
(Forum18) Armed Russian FSB security service officers raided six Jehovah's Witness homes around Yalta, seizing religious literature. Artem Gerasimov faces "extremism"-related criminal charges with a maximum ten year jail term, the second Crimean Jehovah's Witness to face such charges. - Continues at Forum18

Somalia Unrest, Crisis Fuels Persecution
The Mission News Network looks at the situation in Somalia and why it is contributing to the persecution of Christians there. The situation in Somalia is pretty tragic.

UK: Radical Muslims Welcome, Persecuted Christians Need Not Apply
This piece by the Gatestone institute looks at how Britain's immigration policy has shifted against Christians. The UK was once a strong bastion of Christianity. For centuries it was a steadfastly Christian nation. It is no longer, it is being seduced away from it. The blessings that was once on Britain I think are going to be soon withdrawn and I think the spirit of conflict and confusion that now mark the whole Brexit mess is a sign of things to come for this once proud and venerable nation. The immigration numbers are startling and are included in the above link only .2% of immigrants from Syria are Christian. No, the decimal point is not a typo.

The Graham Staines Story' a grim reminder of horrors of religious persecution
This is about a dramatization of the story of an Australian missionary who was murdered and how Hindu fundamentalists are against the release of the movie. India is one of the places where hate crimes are the worst and are often protected by the police and the state. Persecution Relief reports.

Religious Freedom In Malaysia Under Microscope
International Reports on religious freedom in this nation are highlighted.

Those Chick-fil-A Bans
I note that weather it is in the secular US, the Islamic world, in Hindu India or Communist China, Christians are always the ones or one of the key ones under fire. Why? The world, those who belong to this age and this world (and its prince) will hate us - it is a promise of our Lord just as sure as salvation to those who endure to the end.

You will not get one without the other.

 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world,
but I have chosen you out of the world,
 therefore the world hateth you.
Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater than his lord.
If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;
 if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
  But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake,
because they know not him that sent me.
(John 15:19-21 [KJVA])
9 Apr

The Christchurch Shooting.

This was a horrible tragedy and I do ask all of you to pray for the loved ones of the victims of this horrible tragedy.

Second I want to stress to all of you that the movement to ban firearms in the hands of the general population and make it a sole prerogative of those who are part of the state or are ultra rich is a real movement. It is not just a move being made by those inside America, but by those who have the power to move their agenda all over the planet, including America. Who gets the blame after the tragedy is part of this devilish game. We have heard many things about the man charged with the killings, that he praised Communist China, that he was a extreme left wing eco-extremist, that he flashed a white power sign. Everyone now has a a reason to hate and to go what I will call 'corpse surfing' upon the victims of this horrible tragedy and ride the waves of emotion and tragedy to achieve some political end. We have heard many people call for gun control here every time there is such a tragedy. Before the first body hits the ground and the cops arrive at the scene, people are screaming for gun control. But there is an aspect to this that folks don't know.

Powerful people who work with elitists and have deep connections to US and other foreign intelligence services can and do set things like this up. We have had such set ups here in the US before. It is rather dangerous to talk intelligently about these things so I have to be careful here. But suffice it to say that many of these people work on the fringes of this world, do the bidding of the rich and powerful. They may take a paycheck from Uncle Sam, but they were turned long ago. Some of these very wealth elitists are in realty Intelligence officers working undercover. They have their deep state connections (call them informal and illegal crime networks) and can carry out their own policies using their jobs and connections in Government to do these things. They know that if you want to take guns away from the general population you have to kill a lot of people in a series of 'crazy man' shootings that takes the global headlines for several days. Then politicians will have little choice but to take those guns away. You see, you cannot take the guns away from people who know the deal, you have to get masses of them to scream to come and take them, create a series of situations where they think it imperative to come and take them. This appears to be the strategy. Even Now New Zealand is considering new gun restrictions. That did not take long did it? A few days and new bills and new laws are being considered. It works like clockwork.
Now let me make this perfectly clear. I have no idea if the man arrested was working alone, was being guided by others, if this was part of some kind of plan as described above or not or even if he is really guilty. I really do not know. I can only tell you that some of the gun tragedies in the USA have indeed been set ups. Not all, not most but some. The wicked irony of these kinds of attacks is that once one has grabbed the headlines, 20 more mentally unstable people with some whacked out agenda will try to copycat them. This too is all factored into the equation by those who plan these things. They know and hope for more copycat attacks and can tailor the message after the attack to spark 'ideas' in the minds of those they hope can be used to further their anti-gun narrative.
Let me make this clear, there is considerable power behind the move to ban guns in the hands of ordinary law abiding people and Americans. They have money, power and many have come right out and stated their anti-constitutional agenda and to me, this is the supreme irony. Here they are supposed to be protecting the Constitution and some take an oath to that effect and then work tirelessly to undermine it.
I think one of the more troubling factors to this current tragedy is the extreme censorship going on. I got two emails from a reader who lives down there and he made it very clear about the censorship, I really did not take what he was saying to heart until I started moving about the web on the issue. Censorship? Did I not tell you it was coming just a few weeks ago? Yes, I did. here. Well, as  I said then and repeat now, it is only going to get worse. I figure the only way I will be able to stay online in the future is to continue to keep the best most informative posts private for a select group of wide awake Christians. The other so called Christian sites? Most of them have been turned by or were actually created by 'the deep state' (yes, really). These are straw men 'Christian' sites who can be used against trusting Christians at the proper time, the others that are any good will soon go by the wayside, one way or another - some people will be paid a paycheck to make sure that happens - through threats, blackmail, set-ups, imprisonment or death. The truth must be killed and the devil has is army out there to try and make it happen.

I think what must be understood by many of you is that many in power hate America. They hate our freedoms and they hate what this country stands for. They plan on using their power inside of these often un-investigatable intelligence agencies to destroy the country and turn it over to its enemies. They work on multiple fronts to destroy the nation from within. They provide the false narratives that keep the left and right at each other throats. They provide the false flag incidents to inflame passions and get things like Gun control rolling, they shut down investigations into things like drug cartels because they are helping the cartels destroy America's youth, by helping to bring that junk into the country. Guns? Same thing. They bring them into neighborhoods of people of color in the hopes that young people of color will kill each other off. In each and every instance, they are having remarkable success. Why doesn't someone do something about it? Who? The oversight committee's up there? They are not going to do anything. Some of them are being blackmailed to play bobble head on their committee's on which they sit, others are being bought off. Yes, the surveillance state has been used far too often, not to protect us from China or Russia, but to protect the 'deep state' from democratic oversight and criminal prosecution.

In this, wiser souls should be thankful - that finally something has happened to seriously investigate some of these people. Love this President or hate him, he appears at least to be willing to take on this beast that past Presidents were too weak or cowardly to oppose, but often rather fell in line and took orders from them, rather than direct them as their office required. The last President who took a swipe at this beast literally got his brains blown out. His name was JFK. This is why we should continue to lift up this President in prayer, whatever you may personally think of him or his policies. The guys who hate him- many have no love for you, me or this country.

But the censorship? I have to tell you, it is very troubling and one has to wonder what is in that video that they are threatening people with 10-14 years in jail for having it? Is there evidence that it was a false flag? That he had a lot of help? Something about this just seems a bit odd. The extreme censorship that now coming out in the west? Such a thing would have been unheard of years ago.

Censorship is hardly a trait just of Russia and China. New Zealand and the UK are at it as well. You have to wonder if they are taking advice or even orders from Xi over there in China who has considerable leverage on the trade and economy front today and would like nothing better than to see the UK and NZ adopt a more Chinese approach to the press. You don't like what people are saying? Lock 'em up!! Such is the new press freedom under XI, and slowly emerging under May and Arden and other western democracies.
But why are some in the elite so worried about guns? Why are they obsessed with the issue? I will tell you, but it is not a reason that will resonate with many of you until the elite pull the stops out and institute the darker parts of their plans, many years from now. The reason why they want to take guns away from people is for the exact same reasons that the founders of America put that right in Constitution. Guns in the hands of the people is the final check on tyranny. When the Nazi's knew what they were going to do to Jews and dissenters (labor and death camps) and knew it would be resisted, they took the guns away first. This is what this is all about. Those who think they are doing 'good' by getting rid of those 'evil guns' they are often well meaning dupes. They are not bad people, just historically ignorant and politically naive. Who in their right mind wants to see another gun related tragedy? Certainly not me. But these anti-gun people can be exceptionally useful to the plans of the elitists, who really do have a plan and really have every intention of carrying that plan out. They never stop, never give up and never get discouraged.
One aspect of this that needs to be made clear is that this is part of the population control agenda. Population control goes far beyond just abortion and sterilization. It goes to how you control the population that are already here and living. How do you do that with an ever growing number of people, many of whom are taking drugs and are of highly questionable mental stability. How do you control political and social movements that will run counter-elite? Counter global governance? Take yourself out of yourself and try and think like a reprobate billionaire or a degenerate elitist whose only gods are money and power?
When you come to understand these things, what is happening in the news, the false flags, set ups and other PR stunts (that often are violent and take lives, but advance an important narrative) for a political agenda - things become much, much clearer.

Finally I do not own guns. I have never owned one and have no plans to ever own one. I don't like them. But I do understand why the founders of the greatest political experiment in human history put that right into our constitution. That experiment is known as America and those things that made us great are slowly dying before our eyes in a nation awash in political hate, divisiveness, drugs - legal and illegal - violence sloth/lazinness and a horrible epidemic of political correctness.

If we really want to end many of these gun tragedies, one of the first places to start is the over-use of anti-depressants on which many of these crazy shooters were on with then went berserk. Read the side effects of them and see for yourself  - they include suicidal thoughts, violence, homicide, emotional numbness. The British Medical Journal has an interesting piece on it, so do many non-US official government and non-governmental agencies. The US Drug makers are making a ton of cash off of these drugs and it has become a key revenue stream for some. This is big business and the narrative will invariably go where the money is, here in the US.

What I do not want to do is take away from this horrible tragedy and its human dimension nor take away from the deep sorrow that the families of these victims are feeling. My point is something different. There are those out there who don't care about the victims of these shootings. Never have and never will. They care about the agenda and if more innocent folks gotta go, then go they will.

These people have a plan and so far, its working perfectly.

4 Apr

Nehemiah, Part XXX

And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people,
 the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.
And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses,
 that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month:
And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying,
Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches,
 and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.
(Neh 8:13-15)

This passage shows that the Children of Israel after the return from the exile were not mere hearers of the word of God, but now they were also going to be doers of it. They heard the law and were given ample tools to understand it. Once having done so, they were spurred to action. First they got together again on the following day, and once again rose to hear the law of the Lord. Again, we see the person of great stature Ezra very much involved. The first purpose of this second meeting was to again, continue to gain understanding of the Mosaic Law. Here it is the chief of the families who were in Jerusalem at the time, they were the leaders and were doing what they could to understand what it was that the Lord required of him and their Houses. Remember this was a rededication. 

What is rather striking and something that the Cambridge commentary makes plain is that this reading of the law may have been very necessary because the people were probably truly ignorant as to what was in the Law and what was expected of them. This is something that I recently touched on. They had no way of really knowing the law as it was entrusted to the Priests. They had no internet or other methods of relaying the info so, it is quite likely that for the most part, both the nobility and the lay people were really quite ignorant of the Law and its requirements.

Upon this reflecting on the law, we see that the Children of Israel then realized that this was a feast time and that they were instructed on what to do. This was the feast of Booths/Tabernacles.

Feminine of H5520; a hut or lair: - booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent.

The admonition and commandment is rather short in the book of Deuteronomy, so I will quote the passage here.

Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days,
after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast,
 thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant,
and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place
which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee
in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.
 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God
in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread,
and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles:
and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the
LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
(Deu 16:13-17)

This was a feast and one where they were to celebrate. Not just Israel, but also the stranger who dwelt among them. Once these the resettled community leaders understood what was expected of them, the complied, right away. They published a commandment throughout the area to let them know what they should do. Go out, gather branches and live in these tents. "as it is written".

 So the people went forth,and brought them, and made themselves booths,
every one upon the roof of his house,
and in their courts, and in the courts of the
house of God, and in the street of the water gate,
and in the street of the
gate of Ephraim. And all the congregation of them that
come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths:

for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so.
And there was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day,
he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days;
 and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.
(Neh 8:15-18)

Once the commandment was heard and acknowledged, the people obeyed. They did not mock, rebel or make excuses. They did as they were bid. They went out and obeyed the commandment of the Lord, the Law and the elders. I find this very heartwarming. Once they knew what to do, they did it. They were creative about where they put the booths. They put them on the roof's they put them in the courtyards. The words here that is translated Courts and Courts of the house of God are these respectively.

From H2690 in its original sense; a yard (as enclosed by a fence); also a hamlet (as similarly surrounded with walls): - court, tower, village.

Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.): - court, daughter, door, + dungeon, family, + forth of, X great as would contain, hangings. home[born], [winter]house (-hold), inside(-ward), palace, place, + prison, + steward, + tablet, temple, web, + within (-out).

From the passage, I just get the impression this the scene had all of these booths/tents lined up along all of the important parts of the city, right alongside the streets in a kind of ramshackeled way. When the children asked their parents, 'Why do we all have to live in tents, Mommy'. The parents would answer, "because of the Lord who took us out of Egypt made us to dwell in tents as we waited upon his promise of our own homeland, where we live now." It was not supposed to be pretty or comfortable. It was to remind them.

The feast of Tabernacles is one of the fall feasts of Israel, it is considered an agricultural/harvest festival. However it also had a strong connotation of reminding Israel of the time they dwelt in the wilderness under Moses. It was a potent reminder of the migration from Egypt to the promised land and how their forefathers lived. It was fitting that such a celebration should take place now, that they had returned to that land after 70 years of chastisement. It was good to remember just who gave them the land, how hard it was for their forebears to get it and who ultimately would decide if they were to stay and why.

The impression I get here is that they were putting them up everywhere of importance, where they dwelt and did community business. If you have a home you put one in your yard, or even in your living room or basement. If they had a strong roof, they put it there and naturally, they put it in the courtyard of the temple. They were going to celebrate this feast and do so with joy and enthusiasm.

Again, this is such a stark and remarkable contrast to how Israel behaved before the exile. Back in those days, most would rather head on over to the sex temple of Astarte or bake cakes to the same (Jer 7:18), than celebrate this solemn feast to the Lord, who brought them out of Egypt.

The last couple of passages are quite remarkable. It states that not since Joshua was running things way back in the day, did Israel celebrate this festival. What this tells me is that the Levites were not particularly faithful in making sure that the feasts of the Lord were kept. Ezra took this marvelous opportunity to make sure the people heard and understood the law. Each and every day there was a public reading of it during this festival. This is one occasion that they took the law seriously and observed this feast exactly the way the Lord had commanded.

What I find interesting is what is not mentioned. Clearly there was this long power struggle that had taken place between Nehemiah and Tobias. There seems to have been some kind of controversy over who was really the High Priest. But here, despite the political and religious controversies of the day, it does appear that all sides, including the Tobias faction were present and respectful during this celebration.

It probably took a person of the stature of Ezra to bring the factions together and a thorough reading of the law to get them all to understand that in many ways, they were still failing God in their obligations to him.

We will continue this series in Nehemiah next week, God willing!!

2 Apr

Job Part LV

Intermission Of Reflection

Note: For the past several months I have been going through the book of Job for insiders. This piece was an 'intermission' from the verse by verse commentary on this most wonderful and interesting book.

So far in the book of Job we have seen how Job and his friends have attempted to explain Job's condition and in so doing, look upon the whole panorama of God's interaction with man as they try and ascertain how God moves for or against a person; whom he blesses and whom he chastises. Both sides have powerful arguments but only of we see things in the natural realm, which is what these patriarchal figures were confined to.

They had only their limited experiences in the secular world from which to draw their conclusions, though Job at times reaches out in faith to an understanding that for just a moment or two here and there transcends these limitations. We who read the book millennia later understand just how wrong they all are as to why Job was suffering. As today with many of the theological, political and social debates in our times, we see both in the world and in the Church, the masses almost always get it wrong and begin arguing, not from knowledge, wisdom or experience, but often from their own self interest. We see this to some degree in the  book of Job as each man tries to justify himself in the eyes of others and display his wisdom to his peers.

But in the New Testament age, we have  a much better understanding of the subject. In Job's case, his trail had nothing to do with his behavior except that he was so righteous and pleasing to God that he became a key the enemy of Satan, who was determined to 'take him down'. Once he got the Lord's OK, the devil raised up his servants in the patriarchal age's 'criminal underworld' (the Sabeans, Chaldeans etc (Job 1:15-17) to harass Job to the near point of, but not quite to the point of death.

This was a trial of Job's faith, to determine why he served God. Did he do it as Satan accused him, because God made him rich or because he loved the Lord? The subtle accusation of Satan was that God was 'buying' his servants and that they really did not love or honor him, but did it just for money and earthly blessings.

So Job was tested to silence the accuser who stands up even now and accuses the brethren -  that would be you and me, dear brothers and sisters. But one day those accusations will end. This will be around the day of our Salvation.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent,
called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:
 he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast
out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,
Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom
of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser
 of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God
 day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
 and by the word of their testimony; and they
loved not their lives unto the death.
(Rev 12:9-11)

This is one reason for many of our trails, the devil is up there rattling off a charge sheet before God that is as long as his arm trying to get us into trouble with the Lord. Almost all of them are false charges, rumor, innuendo, etc. But he is desperate to get us into a situation where our faith is tested in the hopes we fail that test.

This is the ultimate lesson we find in the book of Job. But these trials have a tendency to strengthen and mature our faith... if we pass them. Our faith is the target of the devil and it has to be tried, even as it was tried in the fires of affliction as was that of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego had to face a fiery trial.

That the trial of your faith, being much more
precious than of gold that perisheth,
though it be tried with fire, might be found unto
praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though
now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with
joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the
end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
(1Pe 1:7-9)

The reward of our faith is life eternal and a place in heaven with a God who loves us, very much. So this is about our faith, the key ingredient that we must have in our own hearts if we are to get into the Kingdom. Job expresses such a faith many times in his trial, though he probably had little or no real cognizance of the importance of faith in God in the overall scheme of things at least not theologically, though he expresses it so clearly in certain passages.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:
but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
He also shall be my salvation:
for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
(Job 13:15-16)

Here Job sums up the kind of faith that saves souls, that come what may, whatever anyone may throw at us, no matter how dark things look, even if it should appear that God is ready to kill us, we must maintain our trust in God. This is a hard thing for many to comprehend, particularly in today's prosperity gospel and other false doctrines being peddled about modern Christendom. The first bit of serious adversity and too many Christians go into a tailspin, run to the medicine cabinet for an anti-depressant or to a shrink for therapy. The real issue is in many cases such Christians have been fed a pack of lies on the gospel by a pastor who is more interested in the person's checkbook that their spiritual health; the impression and 'look' a person brings to the congregations image, rather than the bringing of that soul into real union with Jesus Christ.

Throughout the book of Job, his detractors are constantly looking at a man's deeds and works (what can be seen by man) as the way to tell how a man will fare in this life - be blessed or cursed. But the whole spiritual side of the problem is not explored to any significant degree except in the opening chapters. Yet it was Job's sincere search for truth and is willingness to deal in the harsher realities that his own observations showed him, that makes his case so interesting.

Job was not trying to sound spiritual or making the standard politically correct arguments on suffering - that the wicked always suffer and the righteous are always rewarded and the argument of his friends that if you are suffering Job, you need to confess and repent of your wickedness, which must be very great... look at you!. Such a view may sound good, but it did not reflect any reality that Job was familiar with.

Yet we as servants of Jesus Christ have a much better understanding of the doctrine of suffering. It is not just to try our faith. Sometimes we suffer because we are being persecuted. To stand with Christ we have to be deal with the slings and arrows of God's enemies. We are his and precious to him and because of that, the devil and his servants will attack us. This is another reason for suffering. Those who bear a message that God wants delivered as well must suffer. Look at what happened to Jeremiah.

Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into
the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech,
 that was in the court of the prison:
 and they let down Jeremiah with cords.
And in the dungeon there was no water,
 but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.
(Jer 38:6)

What was Jeremiah's 'crime'? He did as the Lord commanded him and prophesied to the children of Israel. This was why he was persecuted and suffered. It was not because he was sinful, but because he was obedient and this is the sticking point that many of today's Christians don't get. Even though the Lord warns them time and again about suffering, taking up the cross, denying oneself, etc,  too many think that only applies to the pastor or the evangelist, the famous person or one in authority. They don't often internalize that it is meant for them as well. That if they are going to get into the Kingdom, they are going to have to take up their cross daily and follow wherever the Lord leads them. This too is evidence of our sonship.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God.
(Rom 8:14)

God may lead us to places that we in our flesh may not like. What... do you think Christ wanted to go to the Cross? How long he wrestled in the Garden over his coming trial!. Many of us have to go through such trials. Many saints fail these tests and some fall back into their old patterns of living, never to return to the fold. Trials are just that -  they are tests - some pass, others fail. Those who pass move on in Christ, those who fail may have to take a re-test, or they quit or are flunked out which is often manifested by or is the direct result of rebellion.

But we are of much better stock than to be chronic failures in our walk. We who are older and wiser, know the value of our faith, the power of our God and the need for God to mold us into the kinds of men and women who are of use to God as his servants. This means many things, trails, new responsibilities, hard work, study of the word, relocation, redirection and that one thing that many of us just don't want in our lives - suffering.

Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken
in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering
 affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them
 happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job,
 and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful,
and of tender mercy.
(Jas 5:10-11)

But there is one other reason for suffering that needs to be discussed. That is when we do something we should not. When we sin, break laws, do something we should not. Often that means suffering. Did you sleep around on your wife, she found out and now she is suing you for divorce and taking the kids? Yes, that is suffering, particularly when you hardly see your kids anymore and your paycheck (after alimony, child support and legal fees) can barely afford a bag of breadcrumbs. But who's fault is that? Who is to blame? Don't lash out at your ex-wife, your kids, the Judge, your mistress or your lawyer. If you are in a world of hurt now, you can go look in the mirror and discover with crystal clarity the exact cause of your problem.

As often as not, we suffer because we have done something wrong, sinned, or gambled on a situation and lost (like take a hit in the market and lose your shirt when the Lord did not tell you to put your money in the market, but rather, told you to help the poor).

In short, we have made our bed and just don't want to lie in it.

So, I take this little intermission from the text of Job to just get a short look at the doctrine of suffering from a New Testament perspective.

This much I know. There are many trials and tribulations that await the Church in the days ahead. Some of these are corrective in nature - a loving God doing his best to bring the Church in line with his will. And much of it will be in the nature of a spiritual attack by the forces of darkness, who will make every satanic attempt to extinguish the light of the Gospel of Christ, bring division, suffering, discredit and find any way he can to discourage God's people and bring shame on the gospel.

So let us all prepare our hearts accordingly when things start to get rough for us here in the west.

Let us be prepared to serve our God in whatever state we are in and do so humbly, joyfully, faithfully and with a determined resolution.


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