We greatly apologize, but we are unable to keep up with the blog at this time. The Lord willing, we do plan to continue sometime in mid January. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season, keeping Christ in the center—where He belongs. God bless.
Is It For Real? 10/30/2017
Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed he believes "the one who becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world." He was talking about the development of artificial intelligence, or AI. There are as many definitions of the term as there are opinions; however, basically AI means, getting a computer to think and reason like a human. For a brief description and short video on the subject, click here.
Putin is not alone in his thinking; other nations are in the race for superiority in AI development and many of those nations are relying on the private sector. For example, the United Kingdom has bright and coming up companies that are pioneering AI development. So coming up that Google has purchased one of them—Deep Mind based in London. Earlier this month, this company announced they have successfully developed software (AlphaGo) that can learn on its own. This is a big leap for AI development. David Silver, AlphaGo′s lead researcher said, "It′s more powerful than previous approaches because by not using human data, or human expertise in any fashion, we′ve removed the constraints of human knowledge and it is able to create knowledge itself."
China also relies on private sector, but due to China′s governmental setup the private sector and the government work together—voluntarily, of course. This past July, China issued a strategy of becoming "the front‐runner and global innovation center in AI" by 2030. Presently, they are exploring facial recognition and predictive analytics, to help prevent crime in advance based on behavioral patterns.
Israel is not just exploring these AI possibilities, but the IDF uses AI to accurately predict what enemies will do, based on an analysis of what they′ve done and are currently doing. In real world application, AI technology has been used by Israel as early as 2014 in their conflicts with Hamas. Lt. Col. Nurit Cohen Inger, a senior IDF officer said, "We conducted an analysis of all of the information we had about rocket launches, and the enemy′s conduct in real‐time and understood what was expected to happen in the next 24 hours." Inger also indicated that the development of AI is "more than can be imagined." For example, the age of manned aircraft is a thing of the past.
Israel is not the only country in the Middle East to desire AI, Dubai has appointed Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama as the country′s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. "We want the U.A.E. to become the world′s most prepared country for artificial intelligence," stated Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E and Ruler of Dubai. Olama led the World Government Summit and was Deputy Director of the Future Department. Saudi Arabia made history by granting citizenship to the first humanoid, Sophia, made by the Swiss. In an interview, Sophia tried to put the public at rest by saying, AI is "designed around human values like wisdom, kindness, compassion,…don't worry, if you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you." Click here for more details. This is a video.
The Russian Military Industrial Committee has set a target of making 30 percent of military equipment robotic by 2025. Russia used drones in the invasion of Ukraine. Some believe Russia, even though it presently may not be as advanced as other countries, will develop AI technology geared toward intelligence, social‐media, and hacking campaigns.
With all this talk about Artificial Intelligence, there are those that oppose the idea. Some have stated that AI could grow too strong for people to control or it could even destroy the human race. Putin even warned that "it would be strongly undesirable if someone wins a monopolist position." He announced he would be willing to share their know‐how with other nations because, as he put it, "when one party′s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender." So, for the interest of world peace let′s share our technology with Russia?
So, whether you like it or not, Artificial Intelligence is here. And what does it have to do with Bible Prophecy? Maybe nothing. However, we do know knowledge will increase at the time of the end‐ref Dan 12:4. We have learned that most countries are expecting to have AI development in full swing in five to ten years, if not before; therefore, AI technology in the Russian/Arab Invasion of Israel is a likelihood. And, in speculation, humanoid soldiers (computers that could be manufactured to walk, see, hear and ultimately think as a human—in fact a drone of war) cold, and unfeeling could be what crosses the Euphrates River once the sixth seal is poured out. Click here for more info. Or maybe not; what is certain is that Bible Prophecy is right on track.
Photo: Sophia, a robot integrating the latest technologies and artificial intelligence developed by Hanson Robotics, was interviewed by Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wednesday, Oct. 25. (Denis Balibouse/REUTERS).
Is It Peace? 10/23/2017
While U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson makes his way to Saudi Arabia to help the rapprochement (reestablishment of harmonious relations) between Saudi Arabia and their northern neighbor Iraq; Hamas (a militant Islamic movement that desires to set up an Iranian model country in Gaza), has traveled to Iran to inform them about the deal that was signed last week in Egypt with rival Palestinian faction, Fatah (Palestinian Authority (PA)‐a political and military organization of Arab Palestinians, founded in the late 1950′s by Yasir Arafat. They demand Israeli land and to be recognized by the International community as the country of Palestine).
The two Palestinian sides split back in 2007 due to their differences on how to achieve the same goal. Some believe this most recent agreement is only another in a long line of “let′s try to make peace” arrangements—they have done this before, but things may be different now. Gaza citizens, who have been governed by Hamas since 2007, are struggling. Because of Hamas there is an Israeli‐Egyptian border blockade plus there are PA restrictions on electricity. Also, Hamas is considered as terrorist by the International community.
This new agreement does not mention Hamas′ 25,000 that are armed in Gaza, but, Abbas has insisted he will only reassume control of Gaza if Hamas hands over power and disarms. Hamas insist it will not disarm. Perhaps they will talk about that at a future date.
While Hamas has the same aspirations as Iran (running the Jews into the sea) they have had a falling out with Iran. Back in 2011 when civil war broke out in Syria, Hamas refused to support the Iranian backed current leader, Bashar Assad. Now however, Hamas is looking to renew those relations with Iran and is hoping for their continued financial and political support. They do not want to lose their largest sponsor—Iran.
Regarding U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he will be urging Saudi Arabia to back Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al‐Abadi and lend their support (and finances) to the rebuilding of cities that have been ravished by years of war. By tying the Saudi/Iraqi tie, it is hoped that Iraqi/Iran ties will be severed or at least lessened. However, there is much speculation that Iran will not stand idly by, and being masters of division, will incite the Iraqi Shiites. While Iraq has a large population of Shiites and Saudi Arabia is Sunni led the two countries are attempting to put aside their differences for a stable Iraq—an Iraq that is not allied with Iran. As for the Iraqi Kurds and the Iraqi government, Mr. Tillerson urges them to work it out.
In terms of Bible Prophecy, as we have discussed before, the Persian Empire does include Iraq or at least part of Iraq. We may be seeing the aligning of these nations as Iran (the Old Persian Empire) tries to gain control of Iraq and even those new Kurdish territories. One thing is certain, Bible Prophecy is right on track.
Waiting For Damascus To Become A Ruinous Heap 10/16/2017
According to Israel news sources, Israeli F‐16 fighter jets attacked the Syrian SA‐5 missile defense systems after it fired on Israeli reconnaissance planes Monday morning. This is very interesting as it brings another conflict very near Syria′s capital, Damascus—31 miles close.
Syria has threatened "dangerous consequences" for this action. Regarding Syrian ally, Russia, it has been reported they were kept up to date by Israel regarding the attack. Presently, they have not made any comments, however, you can be sure they let Syria know the attack was coming. And, isn′t that really what Israel wanted? They are famous for warning their enemies of impending danger.
Of course, many Bible Prophecy scholars are awaiting Damascus to become a ruinous heap (ref Isa 17). The question is, is it already a ruinous heap (at least in part) due to all the inner fighting between the freedom fighters and Syrian rebel fighters, or any of the other terrorist fighting to gain control of Syria.
Click here to get more photos.
Two weeks ago, Israel′s defense minister commented that the government is seeing Syrian President Bashar al‐Assad as the victor in the Syria civil war. Things were not going so well for the President who has been battling this war for about 6 years. However, in 2015 Russia stepped in to assist Assad and now he appears well on top of key victories. Even though Israel and Syria have been enemies from the conception of the state of Israel, "the Jewish state has become alarmed at the growing Iranian influence in Damascus". Interesting events taking place—Bible Prophecy right on track. Are you watching for the return of Jesus? Do you know what to watch for? Click here for more information.
Photo: An Israeli F-16I fighter jet during an exercise in the United States in 2009. (Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald/US Department of Defense/Wikimedia); nytimes.com; telegraph.co.uk)
A New Israel In The Middle East? 10/09/2017
Last week the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government (perhaps better known as the Iraqi Kurds)) had a vote—they voted for independence from Iraq. Even though Iran, Turkey and Iraq tried to get the President of the KRG, Masoud Barzani, to cancel or postpone the vote; he went through with it anyway. This defiance, along with the fact that the Kurds were waving Israeli flags in celebration after the successful vote, has prompted the Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran′s Supreme Leader, to issue this warning, "Turkey and Iran must take necessary measures against the vote". Why? According to Israel National News, the Ayatollah equates Kurdish independence with the establishment of a "new Israel" in the region.
What are the necessary measures? Aljazeera.com reports that Iran has cut the water to the Iranian Kurdish farmers causing the crops to die. More importantly, they include joint military exercises between Iraqi and Turkish forces along the Turkey‐KRG border and Iranian military forces, including the regular army (Artesh) and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps along the Iran‐KRG border. No doubt these measures are to show (and warn) the Kurds that the neighbors they voted to separate from are not in agreement with that vote. They cannot and will not tolerate any more foreigners like Israel. The Iranian Ayatollah stated that "Foreign powers (meaning the U.S.), especially the Zionist regime (Israel), seek to build a new Israel in (the) region by sowing discord" (between the Muslims brothers).
Last week we considered that the Kurds were bringing an interesting twist to the Middle East regarding Bible Prophecy. That twist continues as Iran‐Turkey co‐operation appears to be uniting the Iranian Kurdish groups increasing the risk of a stronger Kurdish challenge to Iran.
Iran may be facing another challenge. Even though U.S. President Donald Trump has recertified Iran twice regarding the Iranian deal former President Barrack Obama made, he is now expected to declare Iran in violation of the deal claiming, "The Iranian regime supports terrorism and exports violence, bloodshed and chaos across the Middle East…That is why we must put an end to Iran′s continued aggression and nuclear ambitions. They have not lived up to the spirit of their agreement." Why is the important regarding Bible Prophecy? If Iran once again has sanctions placed upon it, it may indeed slow down the nuclear race they are running. It may also place their country in a difficult situation financially. And, it would force them to maintain a certain level of co-operation with Russia.
Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, told students at Tehran University that there is no turning back from the deal. He stated, "This year at the United Nations, Iran′s positions were shared by over 190 countries in the world…Only the US and the occupying regime of Israel spoke against Iran." He went on, "Today, if the United States violates (the nuclear deal), the entire world will condemn America, not Iran."
Some of America′s allies that helped negotiate the deal are worried what will happen if Washington reneges on it especially in the wake of another nuclear crisis, North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development.
Scripture reveals that Persia, modern day Iran, will come against Israel during the Tribulation‐ref Ezek 38:5,16. Iran has made it clear on several occasions that they will run the Jews into the sea—they hate Israel. Yes, Bible Prophecy is right on track.
The Kurds, One Nation Four Countries 10/02/2017
This past week marked an historic event. As you may or may not know, the majority of Kurds desire independence. Who are the Kurds and where is Kurdistan? The Kurds are an ethnic group (predominately Sunni Muslims—although they adhere to a number of different religions and creeds) numbering somewhere between 30 and 40 million. Even though there is no country called Kurdistan it refers to the mountainous region where they live. These mountains border Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia; and they are considered terrorist in those bordering counties. Terrorist because they want to govern themselves. However, Israel does not regard them as terrorist.
Back in 2015, when the terrorist group, Isis was on the move, the U.S. turned to Turkey for assistance, its NATO ally since 1952 they were reluctant to help. It was the Kurdish people who assisted the U.S. with intelligence and coordinates for potential airstrike targets. In turn, this helped the Kurds seize a broad stretch of territory along the Turkish border from the Islamic State. The Turks and the Kurds have been long time enemies because the Kurds in this region want independence, but, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has warned, Turkey "will never allow the establishment of a new state on our southern frontier in the north of Syria."
Then on Sept 27, 2017, Iraqi Kurds remembering the long abuses from the regimes that had previously ruled over them, decided to take a vote. Since 2014 the Iraqi Kurds have established the autonomous region in Iraq they currently hold. For the most part they answer to no one and fight their own battles with no help from Iraq. So, on Wednesday Sep 27 the Kurds took a vote. Should they separate from their Muslim neighbors? The result was 92% voted for independence from their surrounding neighbors.
What was the International reaction? Surprisingly, very little. Iraq is upset as the Iraqi Kurds hold the most lucrative oil in the area. They have even made a deal with Russia to distribute the oil in Europe. Several International airlines have announced plans to cease flights to the region including Egypt Air and Royal Jordanian Airlines. Iran closed its airspace on Sunday. The U.S. did not regard the vote. The U.K. along with the U.N. also ignored the vote stating that it could detract from efforts against ISIS, but, they also fear it would further destabilize the Middle East. This just seems like an excuse because the Iraqi Kurds since June 2014 have already had their de facto state in place and have proved to be the most stable, prosperous, peaceful, and democratic part of Iraq. It is the Muslims (the Sunni‐Shia divide) that are in fact causing problems in Iraq. Also, Kurds, for the most part, are not anti-Semitic and also pose no current threat to Israel. President Erdogan of Turkey repeatedly has blamed Israel for interfering and influencing the Kurds independence. It seems as when the voting results were made known, Kurds were waving Israeli flags in the street. Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected claims that Israel was in any way involved in the referendum on independence he has supported their cause endorsing what he described as “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state."
The Kurds bring an interesting twist to the Middle East. When Magog comes to invade Israel, he brings with him many people including Persia. (Click here for more information.) Some believe Persia (Iran) will include Iraq. Will the Kurds remain resistant or will the influence of Iran conquer and divide them? It will be interesting to watch, but one thing is for sure—Bible Prophecy is right on track.
Great Earthquakes, Famines and Rumors of War 9/25/2017
As one reads or listens to their favorite news source, it sounds like Scripture. Luke 21:11‐And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences.
According to the United States Geological Survey there are around 50 earthquakes per day that can be located in the world. Annually, that would be about 20,000 earthquakes. These past couple of weeks, Mexico has had their share. However, this past Tuesday, 21 Sept 2017, central Mexico felt a big 7.1 earthquake that caused serious damage to buildings and took over 200 lives.
More disaster hit the Caribbean. The already bruised island of Puerto Rico which was battling to recover from prior hurricane Irma (a Category 5 storm), felt the fury of Hurricane Maria. With drenching rains and winds of over 150 miles per hour, she left 100% of the island without power and almost no water. Food sources are scarce with most claiming total destruction for Puerto Rico. With the onslaught of these two hurricanes, the Caribbean has been left feeling famines and destruction.
Matthew 24: 6‐And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. This week has sparked more uncertainty on the world stage. North Korea has threatened to test a nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean. According to the New York Times, the DPRK (Democratic People′s Republic of Korea) has tested all of its six nuclear tests within deep underground tunnels to diminish the spread of radioactive materials. Now however, they have the idea (whether good or bad) to test their intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead. Some believe presently they do not have the capability, but some believe it is very possible. The U.S. has been trying to stay off North Korea′s testing as it poses a nuclear threat to, not only the U.S. allies, but the whole peninsula and region. In a speech given by U.S. President Donald Trump to the U.N., in protection of U.S. allies and interests he said, that if the U.S. is "forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." As stated in a previous blog, the U.S. has laid down more sanctions on North Korea regarding anyone who trades with them—sanctions North Korea regards as unfair. Those sanctions would penalize any company or person doing business with North Korea by either cutting off their access to the U.S. financial system or freezing their assets—or potentially both.
In a U.N. speech this past Saturday, North Korea′s foreign minister warned that a rocket attack on the U.S. mainland was "inevitable". U.N. Ambassador to the U.S., Nikki Haley said, "We don′t want war. That′s the last thing anyone wants…but, at the same time, we′re not going to run scared. If for any reason North Korea attacks the United States or our allies, the U.S. will respond, period. That′s what′s going to happen. What you′re seeing now is we continue to go through diplomatic measure, we continue to exhaust everything we have."
Wars and rumors, but wait, that′s not all. Let′s not forget Iran. In the eyes of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, "Iran′s testing of a medium‐range missile proves that Tehran′s ambition is to become a world power." (Remember, Iran will join Russia in the Russan invasion of Israel according to Scripture. Click here for more detail.)
In defiance of US warnings, Iran says it has successfully tested a missile with a range of 1,250 miles that can carry multiple warheads. (Driving from Iran to Israel is approx. 904 miles.) In President Trump"s U.N. speech, he reflected that Iran was a "rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos." Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had an interesting warning for Iran′s leadership. He told the U.N., "Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril. Israel will defend itself with the full force of our arms and the full power of our convictions." And according to Scripture God will eventually step in to help (click here for more detail).
Yes, it looks like Bible Prophecy is right on track.
The New York Times - Friday, September 22, 2017;
(Photo: (photo 30) theatlantic.com.)
The Flames Of Iran Are Burning Again 9/18/2017
The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, arrives in the U.S. to give a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, after talking with President Donald Trump on Monday. Most expect the subject to be the 2015 nuclear deal President Barrack Obama made with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Prime Minister would like changes to be made to the deal or the deal to be scraped.
The U.S. President needs to make some very important decision within the next couple of weeks. He needs to decide whether Iran is complying with the deal or not. If President Trump does not agree that Iran has been complying, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to re‐impose sanctions waived under the deal. The U.S. is concentrating their concerns on Iran′s ballistic missile tests. These missiles are capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
In early August, President Trump signed into law new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea passed by the U.S. Congress. The sanctions in that bill also target Iran′s missile programs as well as human rights abuses.
Tehran is not taking this lightly and the strong warning given by their Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are, "The Iranian nation is standing firm and any wrong move by the domineering regime regarding the (nuclear accord) will face the reaction of the Islamic Republic". They insist if the U.S. does not make the right moves regarding the deal they can, within hours, go back to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations.
Trump does not believe that the Iranian ballistic missile tests is living up to the spirit of the nuclear deal. Therefore, because the United States believes Iran is violating the U.N. resolution unilateral sanctions have been imposed. This means the U.S. is sanctioning Iran, Russia and North Korea probably due to their trade between each other.
What Are Your Beliefs? 7/31/2017
Do you believe in God? Have you made a commitment to Jesus? Do you agree that the Bible is accurate? Have you prayed to God (in the last week)? These are the kinds of questions the US based Barna Group have been asking the people of the U.S. for the last 7 years. This survey was taken to calculate what cities in the U.S. had the most “post‐Christians”. The term, “post‐Christians”, is defined as individuals who must meet nine or more of Barna Groups 16 criteria, which identify a lack of Christian identity, belief and practice.
- Do not believe in God
- Identify as atheist or agnostic
- Disagree that faith is important in their lives
- Have not prayed to God (in the last week)
- Have never made a commitment to Jesus
- Disagree the Bible is accurate
- Have not donated money to a church (in the last year)
- Have not attended a Christian church (in the last 6 months)
- Agree that Jesus committed sins
- Do not feel a responsibility to “share their faith”
- Have not read the Bible (in the last week!
- Have not volunteered at church (in the last week!
- Have not attended Sunday school (in the last week!
- Have not attended religious small group (in the last week!
- Bible engagement scale: low (have not read the Bible in the past week and disagree strongly or somewhat that the Bible is accurate)
- Not Born Again
To qualify as “post‐Christians”, out of these 16 questions individuals had to meet nine or more. “Highly post‐Christians” individuals meet 13 or more. These questions paint an accurate picture of the belief/disbelief of Christianity in America and the cities to which they gravitate.
And why is this important to us and important to anyone around the world? Because the Bible speaks of how people will be in the latter days:
- People would be ever learning but not able to understand the truth.
- People would be willingly ignorant of the truth.
- People would resist the truth.
- These would be depraved, unprincipled, of corrupt minds.
- People would not receive the love of the truth.
- People would not endure sound doctrine.
- People would turn away from God′s Word and follow things that are untrue.
- People would forget that the world was destroyed by water.
- People would gather around themselves teachers to say what they want to hear.
(This is not a complete list. Please check out biblestudies.org to dig deeper into the subject.)
If you are trying to be obedient to the Lord and watch for His return, you not only look at world events, but also at the character of the people because the Bible is very explicit about how events, people and even the church will be in the latter days. Lord willing, we will look at the church in a future blog.
1 Thessalonians chapter 4 (NASB)‐Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel (body) in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Around The World 7/24/2017
On Friday, July 21, 2017, the entrance to the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem was almost empty as men under 50 were banned from the al‐Aqsa Mosque. Men over 50 and all women were allowed. The previous Friday, July 14, 2017, (Friday′s being holy days for Muslims) three Palestinian gunmen came from inside the al‐Aqsa Mosque complex and killed two Israeli police. For this reason, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had initiated a closure of the site for 48 hours as Israeli′s searched for more weapons, and then installed metal detector gates at its entrances like most Arab holy sites and even Israel′s western wall.
An Israeli government minister quoted by TimesofIsrael.com stated, “Israel will not capitulate to violence and incitement, and will not allow police officers to be murdered at the Temple Mount”.
Jordan in response to the metal detectors (they, as well as the Israeli′s, are protectors of the sacred sites in Jerusalem) instructed those wishing to pray not to pass through the metal detector gates posted at the Temple Mount. However, Ammos (leader of the Palestinians) on Monday wants Muslims to boycott the Jerusalem holy site.
Only a few Palestinians agreed to security checks and entered the site on Friday, with thousands more praying or protesting at various sites around the city.
There have been causalities and deaths on both sides. The United Nations Secretary‐General Antonio Guterres remarked he “deeply deplores” the death of three Palestinians in clashes with Israeli security forces. He is urging Israeli and Palestinian leaders to refrain from actions that could further escalate the volatile situation in Jerusalem′s Old City. Perhaps he did not hear about the Israeli police officers that were murdered or the three west bank settlement members who were stabbed to death by an enraged Palestinian man.
Other world news, China and Russia are planning war games in the Baltic Seas, Monday 7/24/17 through 7/31/17. China has already joined Russia with her very best—her most advanced guided‐missile destroyer, the Changsha; a multipurpose frigate Yuncheng; one supply ship; ship‐borne helicopters and a number of marines. This comes just days after the U.S. and NATO had their war games in the Baltic region.
Russia does not have out her very best, but she probably feels she does not need to. China in particular wants to display to the world her new naval might.
Besides the war games, China is granting Russia loans worth $70 billion dollars. They have even discussed the possible idea of creating a Russian‐Chinese Bank, which will allow better exchange in national currencies. And, according to Sputniknews.com, “Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has presented to Chinese Defense Minister a road map on the development in the military sphere between Moscow and Beijing, 2017‐2020.” “Russia and China are ready to jointly protect the world and strengthen the international security” stated Russian Defense Minister. With most admitting that Russia and China are number 2 and 3 in world military might, one might wonder what they are ready to protect against.
As nations around Russia are looking to NATO to protect them from what happened in Crimea and Ukraine, Russia is starting to feel encroached upon. And not that Russia is looking to China for protection; however, it does send a signal to those in command at NATO that the number 2 and 3 world military might′s look pretty impressive together.
If that is not enough, there is more. Regarding the persistence of North Korea to enlighten the sky of the Korean peninsula with radiant light (there nuclear project), Russia has decided that they will get involved. Apparently, they have a plan to calm the situation. The U.S. is leery of this plan and is concerned Russian′s involvement will back fill North Korea, according to U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley. As the U.S. was looking toward China to put pressure on North Korea, (and it has applied some pressure i.e. choking coal imports and oil sales) the U.S. feels it has not done enough. China′s view on the situation is that they are welcoming all those who have constructive efforts to denuclearization and granting the peace and stability to the Korean Peninsula. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated, “China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination who maintain close communication and coordination on international and regional affairs.”
And there is more news, back in 2003 with the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, the US aligned with a Shi′ite dominated government which has very close ties to Iran—and they′ve retained those ties despite the UN sanctions on Iran. As of July 24, 2017, Iran and Iraq have sealed an agreement to boost military cooperation with a focus on fighting against terrorism and keeping their borders safe. Both countries are concerned ISIS′s territorial ambitions won't end at the Syrian and Iraqi borders. If you know a little about Bible Prophecy and the invasion of Russia and Arab nations coming against Israel, this is very interesting. If you would like to do a little read up on the topic try out this link.
(Photo:photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM-timesofisrael.com.)
Nothing New Under The Sun 7/17/2017
If you have not been keeping up with your outer space updates, here is the latest. Last Friday, July 13, 2017, Russian Soyuz rocket was launched into space amassing some 73 payloads from 6 different countries. That is a record for Russia, but India′s Polar Satellite launch last February is the record holder. They sent up 104 satellites. However, the Russian′s have developed a Fregat upper stage that allows the launcher to deploy satellites into different orbits optimized for their respective operational application. On this mission the payloads where dropped off into three different orbits—a personal best for Russia marked by an eight and a half hour trip.
One of those payloads, the largest, released the Kanopus V‐IK Earth Imaging Satellite. If that does not mean a lot to you let′s look at its history. The Kanopus V project was designed for real‐time monitoring of natural and man‐made disasters and other emergency situations on earth. Since its development around 2008, it has evolved into a wide‐angle Earth imagery for civilian users, fitted with an additional infrared imaging. It carries a Panchromatic Imaging System (PSS), a Multispectral Imaging System (MSS) and a prototype Multispectral Scanner Unit (MSU‐200). The panchromatic imager, operating at a wavelength of 0.52 to 0.85 microns, has a resolution of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet). Panchromatic film is black and white and measures all visible light into one image giving a higher resolution to the images.
Countries have been trying to send things into space since the 1950′s and still continue to try to do so. However, with the extreme cost of such projects they have found it mutually beneficial to co‐operate on such projects and even sell the images they take to other interested countries. The Russians are no exception. Some of the early photos taken by Kanopus‐V satellite in the fall of 2012 were of an Israeli air force base. These photos were published on the Internet alongside an image of the Syrian capital, Damascus. Seems to be no doubt who the Russian were hoping would buy their new photos.
All of this is very interesting as Russia will invade Israel at God′s time appointed. And how does Russia know Israel has anything to take for a spoil? They can see it—from outer space. These cameras are very sophisticated. They can detect a fire burning that is only five and a half yards wide. The satellite is designed to operate for at least five years. (NASA′s website has the best breakdown of all the payloads.)
As a closing note, Russia is very excited at this last launching. It is a worldwide historic moment for them that they dropped payloads into three different orbits; but, there is no new thing under the sun. The definition of, satellite: A satellite is any object that is orbiting the earth, sun or other massive body. Satellites can be categorized as natural satellites or man‐made satellites. The moon, the planets and comets are examples of natural satellites. Need we say more?
Has Anyone Seen Peace? 7/10/2017
How many countries are there in the world today? According to the UN there are 193, plus two observer states: Holy See (the Vatican. “See” being defined as the seat, center of authority, office, or jurisdiction of a bishop) and Palestine—making the total 195. One could debate this number, but again, this is according to the UN. Out of the 195, there are only 10 countries not in conflict (neither internally or externally): Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam.
According to the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP, who has been studying world peace for some 10 years), in 2016 found an interesting conclusion. “…the world overall…has become slightly less peaceful in the last 12 months” said Mr Killelea, founder of IEP. “But if we took the Middle East out of the index over the last decade and last year—the world would have become more peaceful. It really highlights the impact the Middle East is having on the world.” Presently, at war in the Middle East are Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Palestine. Although, as of July 8, 2017 it appears that the U.S., Russia and Jordan have agreed upon a cease‐fire in a limited area of southwestern Syria. There are hopes that other areas will follow this example for peace in Syria.
On the topic of peace, an arm of the UN, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, created to build the defenses of peace in the minds of men) at their 41st annual summit in Poland on Friday, voted to designate Hebron′s Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs on the List of, World Heritage in Danger, under the State of Palestine. It appears the Palestinians convinced UNESCO that as in Syria and Iraq, places torn by war whose historic landmarks are in danger, so the Jews were vandalizing (among other accusations) Israeli′s 2nd holiest site in an effort to destabilize its authenticity and integrity.
The US representative to UNESCO stated, “The decision to inscribe Hebron/Al Khalil Old Town on an emergency basis is divisive, confusing and impossible to justify. The site is not under any real or immediate threat. The only urgency here is the urgency to express political anger.”
Israeli authorities rejected the Palestinian claims and restated that the resolution, which refers to Hebron′s Islamic history, denies the Jewish heritage to the city. Netanyahu concluded in a speech, “Not a Jewish site?! Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah—our patriarchs and matriarchs! And the site is in danger? It is only in those places where Israel is, such as Hebron, that freedom of religion for all is ensured.” He continued, “In the Middle East, mosques, churches and synagogues in every other place are being bombed—in places that are not Israel. We will continue to protect the Cave of the Patriarchs, freedom of religion for all and the truth.”
In response to UNESCO, the Israeli government has decided to cut one million dollars in its funding to the UN and build a museum and other projects to strengthen Jewish ties to the Biblical city Hebron and adjoining settlement, Kiryat Arba.
Does anyone hear the cry, peace, peace? No, sudden destruction is not yet, but, keep watching!
Happy Birthday America 7/3/2017
On July 4th America celebrates her separation from Great Britain to which the laws of Nature and of Nature′s God entitled them. The Lord willing, this day will hold festivities, merrymaking and some somber remembrances of those who fought for independence and paid the ultimate—they gave their life. Yes, America still has some grass root folks who believe in fighting for her. Perhaps they do not have the same mind set of the founding fathers; but, in the spirit of our brave founders, these young people risk all to protect what was placed in the hearts of men and women some 241 years ago and in many—still resonates. These soldiers may not agree with present day ideas or politics; however, they go forth to protect Americans′ rights to have those ideas and politics. Their Oath of Enlistment, I…do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
To the majority of Americans, it is honorable to serve their country and as Americans, they should be thankful to them for such service.
Our liberties come from God—that is what makes America great. That is what makes America a beacon of light—a city on a hill. An exhortation to all Americans, in all the festivities and merrymaking, make sure that you thank God for allowing you to live in one of the greatest countries that ever existed; because, God is what makes it great.
My country 'Tis of Thee
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From ev'ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!
Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
Kings Of The East 6/26/2017
With twist and turns of a gentle breeze the nations are slowly aligning as God pleased.
Back in 2012, the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China had announced their new Chinese leadership. People wondered where China was headed? What path is China going to take? In an op‐ed by China′s Ambassador to Israel for the Jerusalem Post, dated November 14, 2012, “The Party has vowed to usher in a more prosperous society in China by 2021…In addition it has vowed to turn China into a modernized socialist nation…Human rights fully respected and protected…On foreign policy, for the sake of world peace and development, China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development…China will unwaveringly follow a win‐win strategy of opening up and robust, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy through increased cooperation.”
And it is cooperating, especially when it comes to her need for energy—oil. Presently, China is importing oil from Angola, Venezuela, Kazakhstan (they have a pipeline directly into China), Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—with the majority coming from the Middle East and Africa.
In March 2017 Chinese company Sinopec agreed to buy out Chevron′s downstream businesses in South Africa and Botswana. This is China′s first major investment into the downstream oil industry in Africa. Down streaming is the refining of petroleum crude oil, the processing and purifying of raw natural gas, as well as the marketing and distribution of products derived from crude oil and natural gas.
Also with the largest population in the world at 1,388,232,693 (as of 2017), China has exceeded the United States—at least 43 countries count China as their main export partner. In Africa, China is their biggest trading partner. Historically, China has never had an interest in the Middle‐East, but due to the oil need, China has one now.
If that is not enough to keep the Chinese very busy, they have another grand plan. In May of 2017 China hosted an event where 130 countries attended the two‐day, Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, in Beijing. This has also been referred to as the New Silk Road. At the conclusion of the conference, leaders signed onto the idea of “shared commitment to building an open economy, ensuring free and inclusive trade (and) opposing all forms of protectionism.” The plan is to create a network of trade routes, rail lines, ports and highways, linking countries on four continents. The Chinese are pledging tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure financing and development aid for needy countries, to promote economic integration and free global trade. In countries like Myanmar and Pakistan, Chinese‐backed pipelines and highways traverse areas plagued by ethnic insurgencies, necessitating spending on security for the projects and raising concerns that they could be the target of insurgent attacks. Perhaps this would explain China′s interest in Israeli scientific and technological products as well as other Israeli exports.
All of this said to show that China, the Sleeping Dragon, is wide awake and very busy securing its role on the national stage. After all, if our understanding is correct, China is at least one of the "Kings of the East". Also, this shows that when Russia hears tidings out of the east…(the tidings) shall trouble him (Gog or Magog-Russia)‐Dan 11:44. Remember, the world sees China as a Sleeping Dragon because China's muscle over other countries has yet to be flexed.
Is God Positioning Russia For The End? 6/19/2017
In 2011 Russia had big plans for a ten year military build‐up (from 2011‐2020). They were planning to spend some 19 trillion roubles (647 billion USD at the 2011 exchange rate) for new or upgraded weapons systems across the board for their armed forces. Since then the Russians have suffered a decline in their major export—oil, which is where most of their income is derived. With 2014 came the Russian aggression against Ukraine and in an effort to fort off the aggression, then President Obama and the UN, placed economic sanctions on the state. However, by 2015 Russia's minister of finance estimated overall with the drop in oil prices, the rouble′s depreciation, and Western sanctions on the country′s economy to be up to $140 billion—$40 billion (one third) was due to the sanctions.
There is the belief that Russia is financially secured enough to go two to three years before needing to bend because of sanctions. However, in the case of Ukraine there are some that believe the sanctions did constrain Russia from seizing even bigger chunks of territory beyond the Ukraine.
The Russians had hoped for a stronger economy in 2017 with the improvement of oil prices, but, as of 14 Jun 2017, the U.S. Senate approved still more sanctions against the Russian government for allegedly meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (It is interesting to note that the Senate bill was initially intended for more sanctions on Iran which Republicans favor. The sanctions against Russia were tacked on to entice Democrats to vote favorably.)
In an article by Forbes.com, “this latest bill, steeped in rhetoric about standing up for Ukraine, goes beyond the original scope for sanctions.…it gives American shale oil producers some protection as it seeks to corral Russian energy companies worldwide instead of just in Russia, and fine companies for doing certain types of business with them. Moreover, the legislation calls out Putin for daring to stand in the way of regime change in Syria and considers whether foreign investors buying Russian government bonds are indirectly sponsoring America′s historical adversary. It sets the table for Iran‐like, full‐blown sanctions at some point in the future.”
In any case, presently, Russia has not changed its mind on military build‐up. It has, however, recalculated that some current military modernization efforts may be delayed as late as 2025.
As one reads the prophecies regarding Russia in the latter days, it is easy to see God′s hand in all of this. Situations, world leaders, even disputes, violence and wars—all foretold in a book that continues to be ignored by the masses. Should you be afraid when you hear of these things? No. What you should be doing is watching and praying always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man‐ref Lk 21:36. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh‐Lk 21:28.
Providence Or Just By Chance? 6/12/2017
In 1939 Germany was on the march—WW2 had begun. By June 1941 the Germanic army invaded Russia with crushing blows. Germany tried to get Japan to attack at Russia′s eastern front in retailiation for the batte of Khalkhin‐Gol (known in Japan as the Nomonhan Incident in the Mongolian borderlands) where Russian General Georgy Zhukov devastated the Japanese just months prior. Now with Hilters′ urging, Japan had to decide whether to attack and sweep up as much Russian territory as they could or move south. The answer to their decision came July 1941 when America and Great Britain placed an oil embargo that threatened to starve the Japanese war machine.
With their recent defeat with Russia still fresh in their minds, the Japanese decided that an attack on America (a much weaker enemy) at Pearl Harbor would be quick and decisive. They only wanted to destroy or neutralize American striking power in the Pacific (the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and the U.S. Far East Air Force in the Philippines) and make a treaty with them before moving southward to claim more territory and victories. They did not intend on the sleeping giant (America) to arise out of slumber and fight.
It is thought that had Japan attacked Russia at the same time the Germans were attacking, Russia would have indeed fallen. That means Hilter would have gained more momentum, Japan would not have attacked Pearl Harbor, the U.S. would not have entered the war when they did, Great Britain (one of the lone hold outs against Germany in 1941) may not have been able to hold the resistance, and most interestly Russia may not be the power it is today. And why is that so important?
God, in His sovereignty has explained in His Word, those things that are to come to pass. One of those things is that Russia will be a great power and she will attack Israel in the latter days. (Click here for more detail.)
If Russia had ceased from becoming a great power from the north of Israel, then God′s Word would be untrue. However, it does appear we are right in line with what the Bible foretold.
Websters 1828 Dictionary defines providence as “the care and superintendence which God exercises over his creatures.” So, do things just happen or do they happen for His purpose and glory?