A Game of Provoking               Week of 5/20&27/19

Iran has not always been a Middle Eastern country ruled by Ayatollahs. It was the 1970′s Islamic Revolution which catapulted these tyrannical rulers into the power they now possess. Next, they captured 66 American citizens remaining in the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 52 of them hostage for more than a year, releasing the African Americans (because they could relate to the Revolutionaries cause), the sick and all women (because they did not believe they were spies). They refused to negotiate with the American government making it very difficult to barter for a release of the prisoners. Many countries stepped in to try to help, even the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of the United States—but to no avail. The U.S. military tried a covert operation to free their fellow citizens which proved disastrous. From mechanical failure of air power to outright air collisions (which resulted in additional American deaths) it seemed as though America was under a curse. This positioned the Americans to be viewed with greater disdain by the Iranian Revolutionaries which considered America as “The Great Satan”.

It was not until a new government had been formed, plus, the death of the Shah of Iran that negotiations opened up between Algerian diplomats, who mediated between the Iranian and U.S. governments. (Just a note: the Shaw (ruler of Iran before the revolution) had escaped the Revolutionaries, but fell sick needing medical treatment only available in the U.S. Once the Revolutionaries found out, they demanded the Shaw be returned to stand trial in Iran. However, the Americans would not return him and within a short time later he was said to have died.)

Needless to say relations between the Islamic Republic and the United States have been strained ever since. Perhaps they were at their best in the 1980′s when the world leaned about the U.S. NSC (National Security Council) which sold Iran antitank and antiaircraft missiles in direct conflict with U.S. policy which stated they were not to bargain with terrorist nations. U.S. officials were under a mistaken belief that such a sale would secure the release of American citizens who were being held captive in Lebanon by Shiite terrorist groups loyal to Iran. Once again, the U.S. did not seem to understand how to deal with the Iranians.

Over the years, the Strait of Hormuz, which runs between Iran and Oman, has traditionally been a sea of conflict. It is a narrow stretch of water that provides passage for nearly all oil traffic for the Persian Gulf region—not only Iran, but, also Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The United States has navy ships that assist with the flow of maritime traffic due to the sometimes aggressive actions of Iran′s navy and IRG navy—yes, Iran apparently has more than one navy. December of 2015 saw action from the Iranians that were described as highly provocative by those that were there. Apparently, Iran fired several unguided rockets about 1,500 yards from two U.S. vessels and other ships—just for testing sake—without warning.

In 2016, ten American sailors (9 men and 1 woman) in two small patrol boats drifted into Iranian waters due to alleged engine trouble. They were swiftly approached by the Iranians who captured the boats, searching through equipment, computers and cell phones (user names and passwords provided by the sailors), plus detained those on board for 15 hours. During this time the Iranians terrorized and humiliated the U.S. sea persons at gunpoint, then took pictures for posterity. This happened four weeks before the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. At the anniversary they re‐enacted the capture and humiliation of the U.S. sailors while continuing their chants of, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”—all of this happening after the signing of the Iranian Nuclear Deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This is how they showed their appreciation to the U.S. Recently, the Iranians have again threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz. Under the provisions of the 1958 Geneva Convention or the Third United Nations Law of the Sea Conference (UNCLOS) they would be unjustified in blocking the passage of all vessels—that includes aircraft as well as maritime traffic. Of course, not everybody follows the rules.

At one time Persia ruled a vast domain under Cyrus the Great who was the first to recognize the importance of tolerance and diversity. He was instrumental in helping the Jews return to Israel and rebuild the temple (ref Ezra 1:1‐4; Ezra 6:3‐5). Unfortunately, the Ayatollahs of today′s Iran only propagate hatred toward Israel (the little Satan) and America (the great Satan). Iranian officials say they do not want war, however, they have announced to the country that they are nearing of a full‐scale confrontation with the enemy (the U.S.)—they also expect to win that confrontation. During a graduation ceremony for cadets the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted, “Increase your power as much as you can, because your power scares off the enemy and forces it to retreat.” In another public speech he said, “Iran and the Iranian nation have resisted America and proven that, if a nation is not afraid of threats by bullies and relies on its own capabilities, it can force the superpowers to retreat and defeat them.” Intel reports express concern that Iran has been secretly arming commercial ships with missiles. It appears their plan of attack would be to flood the water ways with a lot of armed small Iranian vessels herding toward the larger U.S. vessel with the hopes of the larger (no matter how well equipped) succumbing to the smaller invasion. German Intel reports Iran is “making efforts to expand its conventional arsenal of weapons with weapons of mass destruction.” They define weapons of mass destruction as the spread of atomic, biological and chemical weapons. There are also many other preparations the Iranians are either planning or have already executed in expectations to a battle with the U.S.

In 2018, U.S. President Trump withdrew from the Iranian Nuclear Deal recognizing it was a bad deal for the U.S., nor would it stop, or even hinder, the Iranians from going nuclear. He issued more sanctions on Iran with the hopes of restraining their government. They need money badly to finance their insidious tactics—all while saying, we have no intention for war. Due to intelligence reports, the White house has brought home their embassy staff from neighboring Iraq and sent the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, along with a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf to try to deter Iran from any more destruction.

How does this relate to Bible Prophecy? At present, there are many cries of possible war. The Scripture says, And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet‐Matthew 24:6. As these rumors of war have been sounding for many years, between many nations, end‐time events are seriously lining up with the Bible. The Bible also indicates that Iran (or Persia) will exist in the latter days. It is written, I will bring you (Magog‐Russia) out, and all your army (soldiers), horses (vehicles) and horsemen (drivers), all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield (weapons), all of them wielding swords (handling their weapons effectively); Persia…with them, all of them with shield and helmet (weapons/military gear)‐Ezek 38:4,5.

Are these just the rumblings of war or will there be a real war between the United States and Iran? Probably nothing will happen, but, can you be sure? No country is any longer in a position to think they can escape a surprise invasion. Do you think that is funny? Do you really understand what is happening in the world today? Do you worry about your future? Consider reading this link and if you haven′t already, read BibleStudies.org homepage. Don′t depend on government leaders to procure your future—you have none on this earth. Events are going to happen that will greatly change your life style—no matter in whom or what you believe. The only real future is surrendering your life to Jesus Christ.

Sources: britannica.com (The Iranian Revolution); britannica.com (Iran hostage crisis); britannica.com (The Iran Contra Affair); seekingalpha.com; bbc.com, jpost.com; newsweek.com; asil.org; jpost.com.

Gaza/Israel Conflict               Week of 5/13/19

Map of Gaza and Israel with the approximate location of Hamas missiles being aimed at Israeli cities.

This week's headlines from the major news outlets are very grim-but, the latest Gaza-Israeli conflict has definitely settled to the bottom of current events. Last weekend, there was a new wave of violent exchanges between Hamas controlled Gaza and Israel. Those exchanges numbered to over 690 rocket and mortar shells reaching far into Israel-the foot hills of Jerusalem, coastal port cities of Askhelon and Ashdod, even toward the south to Beersheva, lasting about 2 days. The Israelis responded with over 260 airstrikes-results (between the various news agencies it differs) 4 Israeli and 25 Arab deaths plus much structural damage to buildings and houses. It is unclear why the attacks started, although it was the eve of Israel's Independence Day (also there is suppose to be a Eurovision Song Contest being held in Tel Aviv in two weeks bring in lots of tourist-good way to discourage them).

For 38 years Israel resided over Gaza. But wait, how did Israel gain control of Gaza in the first place? It was the territory of Egypt. Because in June of 1967, the Egyptian army attacked Israel-Israel was not the aggressor, they were only defending their right to live-live in the land of their ancestors-the land that was given to them by the United Nations on May 14, 1948.

The attack started on Jun 5 and by Jun 8, 1967 the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, by the grace of God Almighty fell into Israeli hands. (This war from the onset was one-sided. Israel was terribly outnumbered as 5 Arab states attacked them simultaneously, but God gave them the victory).

Over those 38 years of Israeli rule, Gaza flourished. It had beautiful houses, schools and places to work-including a green house industry. Palestinians and Jews got along-life was peaceful in Gaza.

But, the Palestinians were committing mayhem in other areas of Israel, killing Israeli citizens. By 2003 Israelis wanted peace from the carnage. Sixty percent were willing to give land for peace, so by 2005 more than 8,500 Jewish settlers were removed from their homes in Gaza. The garden industry (at a large cost to Israeli business men) was left for the Palestinians to take over and operate. Settlements were disbanded and destroyed so the Palestinians could build new homes. City trucks and machinery were left to the Palestinians as a good will offering so they could run government without much interruption-have thriving communities. But alas, the good days of Gaza disappeared the day Israel left, as demonstrated by the devastation you see today. What was once suppose to be a unified Palestinian government became war torn between two factions-the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Today Hamas rules in Gaza. They have continued to spell it out very clearly for the world, "Hamas is seeking a national framework to reconstruct the PLO (a terrorist organization) [and] reconsider its political platform...from the standpoint of our basic principles and rights, which do not accept bargaining, particularly [over] the liberation of our land from the river to the sea and the right of return" said, Osama Hamdan a Hamas official. If they do not want to work with their fellow Arabs, why does anyone think they will work with the Jews?

Over those years Israel has tried to ease restrictions against Gaza only to regret the loss of Israeli life-not to mention the loss of life for civilian Gazians. The United Nations (UN) views Gaza as occupied Palestinian territory-but, who occupies Gaza? Arabs live in Gaza-no Jews! While there are some who claim the Israelis are firing on innocent civilians, they neglect to inform the listener that Hamas has conveniently set up operations within schools, civilian homes, and other high traffic locations so that when the Israelis fight back, they do kill those who have been forced to stay at those locations.

But, Gaza is not the only place that suffers. Last week Israel also got a big dose of fire power. Check out this video for an example.

Hamas started as a religious, political group under the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had several chapters throughout the Middle East. In 1988, they adapted their own covenant which was more militant than their parent group. In the opening statement they proclaim clearly their feelings of Israel, "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory)." Under article 27 they deny the existence of a secular government and state, "The Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion and whoever takes his religion lightly is a loser." Article 28 explains, "The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion." It continues, "Arab countries surrounding Israel are asked to open their borders before the fighters from among the Arab and Islamic nations so that they could consolidate their efforts with those of their Moslem brethren in Palestine." Much of what is written in Article 28 reminds the reader of the ideals of Adolph Hitler and the 3rd Reich. They believed that these secret groups were confederate with the Jews and needed to be annihilated. The Nazi chief of Security Police, Reinhard Heydrich, considered the Masons, Jews and the political clergy (those that spoke out against the Reich) as the most ruthless enemies of the German race. This gave more credence to anti‐Semitism and anti‐Masonic views. (There are actually some modern theorist who believe Freemasonry and the Jews plot to control the world-but it is only an opinion of some.) During the reign of the 3rd Reich, just as Jews were rounded up and taken away, so were the Freemasons. By the 1920's there were 632 lodges in Germany with some 82,000 members before the Nazi's seized control of the lodges in 1925. Freemason members were forced to go to prison camps. They had to wear a yellow upside down triangle on their shirt-just as the Jews had to wear the yellow Star of David. The Rotary, Lions clubs and other sabotage groups mentioned in article 28 are possibly organizations sponsored by the Freemasonry. If not presently sponsored, they definitely had their beginnings in Freemasonry.

Presently, there is peace between Gaza and Israel, but it can explode expedientially—at any time. The current fighting has halted only due to the promise of cash transfers of $30 million from Qatar to impoverished Gaza families. It is said they have received those funds. Qatar has also pledged $480 million to be divided up for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, urgent rescue and humanitarian support and United Nations programs in Gaza supporting electricity services and a water desalination plant. These monies from Qatar to aid people may only be a smoke screen for further funding of Hamas which Qatar supports. Time will tell.

Egypt has been in direct talks with Hamas delegates in Cairo since before the attacks and U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov is on the ground in Gaza. He warned those who want to start trouble by saying, "if this calm is now disrupted, they (who start the fighting) will bear the responsibility for what happens after." With Hamas getting its orders from Iran how long will the peace continue? The World seems to believe both sides (Gaza and Israel) want peace, but it has been pointed out not all act like they want peace.

In the light of Bible Prophecy, as we pointed out a few weeks ago, the conflict between the Arab and the Jew is not something that will just go away. Check out this link. The stage was set nearly 4000 years ago by God-the descendants of Abram and Ishmael (which include some of the Arabs) and the descendants of Abraham and Isaac (the Jews) will soon clash one last time. Bad feelings have always existed between the two, for nearly 4000 years. It may be said that this is the longest running feud in the history of the world. It appears that this seemingly everlasting struggle between the seed of Ishmael and the seed of Isaac cannot cease, until one or the other is destroyed. No amount of diplomacy can change the conflict that God has set up. This coming war will take place during the Tribulation. It's a war that will destroy one-fourth of the world's population. This war is outlined in Ezekiel 38 and other parts of the Bible. Russia, along with other allies, including some of the Arab nations, will soon invade Israel. The stage for what will happen soon was set long ago with Ishmael and Isaac. Are you ready? If not, check out this link.

Sources: bbc.com; israeltoday.co.il; ochaopt.org; washingtonpost.com; avalon.law.yale.edu, thelaudablepursuit.com; israeltoday.co.il; israeltoday.co.il; history.com; washingtonpost.com; quora.com; bloomberg.com; texemarrs.com; haaretz.com; thelaudablepursuit.com; jewishvirtuallibrary.org; angelfire.com; quora.com; israelnationalnews.com; jpost.com; reuters.com; thebaghdadpost.com.

Photo Design: End-Time.com

5g Internet of Things              Week of 5/6/2019

A picture of an eagle (representing the U.S.) and a dragon (representing China) with an internet cord running through them with the text, 5g Internet of things, written on it.

Surely you have heard of (and perhaps are anticipating) the 5g network—the network of all networks to keep us connected to the “internet of things”. Connected to our computer apps, which monitor smart apparatuses, such as household items—kitchen appliances, lamps, speakers, door locks, security cameras, rugs, even window blinds. Connected to our accessories (or wearables)—watches, running shoes and eye glasses. Connected to body monitors for us humans, as well as our doggies and kitties—yes, even the movements our of furry friends, where they go and how many calories they burn can be accessed through an app. Connected to our favorite games, news outlets and internet sources—with over 2.1 million apps from Google Play and 2 million from the Apple App Store (plus millions from other vendors), you can find an app to do just about anything. Some of us also have a need to be connected to each other (which in turn can connect you to anybody or government which happens to be listening or watching). Yes, we truly can be connected to the whole world, and there are predictions that by 2020, some 20.8 billion devices will need internet connectivity, in comparison to our present estimated 6.4 billion devices.

So where is this 5g network (which is supposed to be 100 times faster than our present internet) coming from? Technically, nobody on the planet has fully developed it; but, the forerunner for this technology (at present) is China. Their Huawei Company says they are 12 months ahead of their European competitors. They have installed 5g towers in many Chinese cities to test this 5g network—especially with driver‐less cars (also known as robot cars or autonomous cars). But Huawei does not want to look like they are dominating the world with their 5g technology, so they have expressed desire to work with governments and securities on a national basis. They are ready—but not all the world is ready to work with them. Huawei, the world′s largest telecommunications equipment provider, has taken the lead in the 5g race, because they provide high‐tech hardware at a lower cost than their European rivals, which are Finland′s Nokia and Sweden′s Ericsson. Last month, the U.S. urged NATO members not to choose Huawei to provide their country′s 5g network due to security concerns. As a sovereign communist nation, China could instruct their equipment makers to deliberately build vulnerabilities into their products and hand the details of those problems to the Chinese government—therefore making it easy for them to spy, not only on governments, but also on individuals.

Huawei top officials say all of this is based on nothing—there is no proof of wrongdoing. In a speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this past February, Huawei′s rotating chairman, Guo Ping said, “Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors. And we will never allow anyone to do so in our equipment. We take this responsibility very seriously.” He concluded by imploring his audience, “So, for best technology and greater security, choose Huawei. Please choose Huawei, thank you.”

Not to doubt Mr. Ping′s words, which were most sincere, governments are all too leery of other governments—and with good reason. Take, for example, the information that was leaked by then U.S. Intelligence Contractor, Edward Snowden back in 2013. The world learned that not only was the U.S National Security Agency (NSA), and some of its allies, spying on other governments and profiling high ranking officials in those government, but they were also spying on their own citizens. For centuries, governments have been spying on other governments—it is what they do to stay informed. That being said, countries like the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Poland, and the Czech Republic are deliberating possible bans on Huawei for security reasons.

Actually, within recent months, solid evidence has emerged that China has indeed violated Mr. Ping′s principals. In the case of the African Union (check out this link if you are not familiar with them) Huawei, under contract, installed servers at their headquarters located in Ethiopia. What was discovered is that, those servers sent back sensitive data to China every evening. In an article by the Times of London, the C.I.A. also has evidence that Huawei has received finances from the People′s Liberation Army (P.L.A.), as well as from branches of China′s Intelligence Service. They are also bounded by China′s constitution that directs Chinese companies to cooperate with the state intelligence work in accordance with Article 7 of their National Intelligence Law.

More than likely, it is for these reasons that the U.S., Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have banned Huawei hardware from their networks. Did we fail to mention that Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer and daughter to the founder of Huawei, has been arrested in Canada and held for extradition to the U.S.? She is believed to have used an unofficial assistant to access the Iranian market in dealings that would defy U.S. sanctions on Iran. This has furthered strained U.S.‐China relations. China says Meng has broken no Canadian or U.S. law—even Russia is expressing their disapproval of the arrest. Although it should be dually noted that both China and Russia are allied with Iran.

Some may ask, what does this have to do with Bible Prophecy? Remember, 5g network is the “internet of things”. Those “things” are devices—devices that would enable a worker to use a computer while freeing up his hands—he wears the computer device. Devices like, Hololens2. Hololenes have been around for a while, in fact, companies from car makers to surgeons have been experimenting with them, but this next generation (noted by the number 2) has a lot of the bugs worked out, they are more comfortable than their predecessors and have better software, making them to have greater usability. Currently, only high‐tech businesses are interested in the glasses, but as time moves on, this can benefit the average person in their day to day living. For example, a person is ready to eat lunch, but needs to be frugal. With his Hololenses on, he just looks down the street and will be able to see signs that hang outside the buildings featuring daily specials. Watches also access the internet. These devices are interesting, because it is written in Scripture, And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judæa flee into the mountains‐Mat 24:14‐16. It would appear that there will need to be some kind of technology that allows everyone to “see” the abomination of desolation. That technology may just be Hololenses and watches that are capable of viewing real‐time video provided by the 5g network.

Most everyone has heard of the mark of the beast. It is written, And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name‐Rev 13:16‐17. At the MWC (Mobile World Congress) meeting there were reports that a man, who was pre‐fitted, came up on stage and allowed a doctor to implant a RFID (radio frequency identification device) into his hand—it is about the size of a grain of rice. This will enabled him to unlock the door to his smart house instead of using a key—just a swipe of his hand. It is reported that he also swiped his hand over his phone and was able to pay a bill. As this may not be the exact technology that will be used during the Tribulation (the mark of the beast)—things are moving in the right direction.

The banking industry also has a great interested in 5g. This new technology will allow the industry to develop more advanced banking experiences for its customers. And more and more young people around the globe are very comfortable with on‐line banking. They are not interested in banking at the brick and mortar buildings where their parents, grandparents, great grandparents and great, great grandparents once stored their finances. In reality, they don't even desire to have “cash” on them—their plastic card is sufficient.

Check out this video to see how this technology is actually being used not only in the U.S., but also in Europe. Over the past 20 years, the idea and speed of the internet has changed. With the expectation of the 5g network, many modern ideas and innovations are on the verge of coming to pass. And, perhaps, there is something even more amazing than the 5g network itself. All kinds of workers and developers around the planet are working together toward the same goal. We are speaking of scientists, bankers, software developers, even competitors of the same market-all collaborating with unusual openness to bring about this 5g network. And they tell us it won't be long now. (Just a note, the American Companies are claiming they will introduce 5 g later this year. It has been suggested that what they are unfolding is not actually 5g. Be wary of the claims.)

No matter if you think the concept of 5g is really needed and can't wait to get your implant, or it′s something you are not really excited about, there are other concerns besides security. There are many reliable sources expressing concern over the 5g waves possibly causing carcinogens (any substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer). The concern is that actually all 3g, 4g and 5g networks would be possible threats that need more research into the long‐term health risks before going any further. Current regulations are based on assumption rather than proof and current safety standards are insufficient to protect the health of citizens.

Those that defend 5g explain that, if exposure to radio frequency is below the country′s current standards, then there are no established health effects. They analyze that the 5G wireless network is designed to be very efficient and minimize EME (Electromagnetic Energy). This means both the network and device power will be low. They explain that a lot of people are anxious about 5g—like it′s something from outer space—it is not. It uses radio frequency fields just like older technologies. And that may be some of the problem. It has been found, through Epidemiological studies, that the use of cell phones that were compliant with the current safety standards and emitted radiation levels that were below current safety limits for over 10 years led to an increased risk of developing brain cancer.

Are you worried about your future? Do you feel like many, who believe that very soon the world is going to come to an end due to global warming or a nuclear exchange between countries? Jesus says, “I have loved you”… But you say, “How have You loved us?”‐ref Mal 1:2. The more a person is involved in this world or clings to this world, the slower the person may grow spiritually, when it comes to being more like Jesus. If you are really tired of living like you do, surrender your life to Jesus. He died on the cross to pay for your sins. Check out this link, if you are interested.

Sources: newyorker.com; statista.com; pcmag.com; gizmodo.com.au; cnbc.com; worldatlas.com; wired.com; mashable.com; cbsnews.com; newyorker.com; globalriskinsights.com; abcnews.go.com; abcnews.go.com; canadafreepress.com; patriots4truth.org; americanbanker.com; verdict.co.uk; cnbc.com; cnbc.com; thewest.com.au.

Photo Design: End-time.com (eagle-dragon image from intelligencesquaredus.org article.