Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In the news...

Third Aircraft Carrier Group Coming To Iran

For months now we have been following US naval developments and deployments in the Arabian Sea, which serve one purpose and one purpose only - to demonstrate US military strength in the Straits of Hormuz region

Yet never has the US had a total of three aircraft carrier groups in the vicinity...That is about to change, and with it the prevailing price of Brent, which we are confident is about to take a new step wise price higher as the US makes it all too clear what the endgame is, because as Naval Today reports, the "US navy to deploy third carrier group to Persian Gulf", probably the CVN-77 George H.W. Bush which departed Norfolk two weeks ago according to the most recent naval update, or any other Norfolk-stationed aircraft carrier: there is a wide selection to chose from.

From Naval Today:

US Navy to Deploy Third Carrier Group to Persian Gulf

USS Abraham Lincoln had already entered the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz on Jan 22. She is escorted by a guided missile cruiser and two destroyers (USN), one British and one French warships.

Meanwhile, another US Navy’s carrier strike carrier group headed by USS Carl Vinson is stationed eastward the Strait of Hormuz, in northern part of the Arabian Sea washing southwest coast of Iran.


Below, we see further strengthening of the Gog-MaGog alliance; this shouldn't be surprising:




Turkey may reportedly replace Hamas' chief financier, Iran, to alleviate the Gaza ruling party's financial pain as it has faced difficulty in receiving aid from the Islamic republic.

Israeli daily Haaretz quoted Turkish sources on Saturday that stated Gazan Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh conveyed his party's financial difficulties to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan during his first visit to Turkey and that Turkey is seriously considering funding Hamas, a party Israel and the US list as a terrorist organization.




Almost everything you read about the “increasing tension” between Iran and the United States revolves around the rhetorical question, “will there be a war?” Whether it’s our own pundits or the Europeans who watch us, “war” seems closer every day. Look at the Guardian’s Simon Tisdall, for example:

Serious thinking, and a serious strategy, must begin with the fact that the war is on. To repeat: the war is on. It’s been on for three decades. Ayatollah Khomeini declared war on the United States in February, 1979, and the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been killing Americans ever since.


If you aren't following this story below, now is a good time to start. This article provides an update and some historical background:




What is happening is extraordinary and unprecedented. The Catholic Church is in open revolt against the Obama Administration, with Fr. Swink noting from the pulpit that priests across the archdiocese were joining the call on Sunday to rally Catholics to resistance against the U.S. Government. He said we are entering a time of religious persecution and that Catholics and others will have to make a final decision about which side they are on.

The issue is what the Catholic Bishops have called a “literally unconscionable” edict by the Obama Administration demanding that sterilization, abortifacients and contraception be included in virtually all health plans.

This includes all Catholic-based hospitals, clinics, and similar and related organizations (aka "faith-based institutions").

My Catholic priest, Father Larry Swink, delivered a homily on Sunday that I told him would make headlines. In the toughest sermon I have ever heard from a pulpit, he attacked the Obama Administration as evil, even demonic, and warned of religious persecution ahead. What was also newsworthy about the sermon was that he cited The Washington Post in agreement—not on the subject of the Obama Administration being evil, but on the matter of its abridgment of the constitutional right to freedom of religion.

The administration claims there is a religious exemption in the mandate, but the bishops say it is so narrow that it fails to cover the vast majority of faith-based organizations, including Catholic hospitals, universities and service organizations that help millions every year. “Ironically,” they say, “not even Jesus & his disciples would have qualified.”

The bishops go on, “Now that the Administration has refused to recognize the Constitutional conscience rights of organizations and individuals who oppose the mandate, the bishops are now urging Catholics and others of good will to fight this unprecedented attack on conscience rights and religious liberty.”

Interestingly, The Washington Post, as Father Swink indicated, agrees with the bishops. The paper said, “In this circumstance, requiring a religiously affiliated employer to spend its own money in a way that violates its religious principles does not make an adequate accommodation for those deeply held views. Having recognized the principle of a religious exemption, the administration should have expanded it.”

So why would the administration pick a major fight with the Catholic Church? There are two main reasons. (1) The administration wants to please its progressive and feminist, secular pro-abortion base. (2) The administration believes Catholics are divided on the issue and will ignore their leaders and follow Obama.

Father Larry Swink of Jesus The Divine Word Catholic Church in Huntingtown, Maryland, is not alone in his tough language.

“This whole process of mandating these guidelines undermines the democratic process itself. In this instance, the mandate declares pregnancy a disease, forces a culture of contraception and abortion on society, all while completely bypassing the legislative process.”

Some may see this battle as just another church-state dust-up that will be resolved through litigation. But when apocalyptic imagery is used, such as what I heard at my church on Sunday, one must wonder if there is an awakening on the part of the Catholic community and if there is something else going on here besides politics as usual. In short, is the Catholic Church beginning to finally recognize the real nature of the Obama Administration?

Also see:




As ABC News reports, Bishop Alexander K Sample of Marquette, Michigan accused the administration of 'denying to Catholics our nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty'.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told USA Today: 'This is the government interfering in the workings of the church.'









Japanese researchers say the March 11th disaster has increased the risk of a major quake and tsunami east of the Japan Trench off northeastern Japan.

The research was carried out by a group at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

The Japan Trench is where the Pacific Plate begins to sink under the tectonic plate extending from land.
The March 11th earthquake originated closer to land from the plate boundary.

The data showed that the March quake apparently changed the dynamic force deep inside the Pacific Plate.

Before the disaster, many of the deeper quakes involved faults that form when the plate is being compressed.

But the research data showed that many of the post-March aftershocks involved a fault that forms when the plate is pulled apart.

This type of force is known to have caused a magnitude-8 earthquake about 80 years ago off northeastern Japan.

The research group concluded that the risk of the latter type of quake has risen in the region and warns that a tremor could again unleash a massive tsunami.





The highly unusual swarm of earthquakes SW of Santorini on the main fault zone that also defines the volcanic vents of the region continues with about 10 quakes larger than magnitude 2 during the past 24 hours. 2 of the quakes were magnitude 4 and 4.7, respectively.
Greek media start to pick up the story and become increasingly interested:

Today the wall of silence seems to be falling as a major Sunday newspaper has exclusive interviews with a number of Greek seismologists and geologists on the matter and some information is now public.

Michelle Parks, a geologist from Oxford, mentioned that the evidence points to something important, there is volcanic activity and the volcano is now potentially active at depth.
Consensus is that the volcano has woken up in early 2011, but opinions differ mainly on the lines of nationality of the scientists.




Monday, January 30, 2012

"Israel Sees Narrowing Window For Iran Strike"

This article comes from Ynetnews:


Israeli officials are quietly conceding that new international sanctions targeting Iran's suspect nuclear program, while welcome, are further constraining Israel's ability to take military action – just as a window of opportunity is closing because Tehran is moving more of its installations underground.

The officials said that Israel must act by the summer if it wants to effectively attack Iran's program.


Israel contends a nuclear-armed Iran would threaten its survival. It also fears an Iranian bomb would touch off a nuclear arms race in a region still largely hostile to Israel.

Below we can see a renewed sense of urgency coming from Defense Minister Ehud Barak:


After calling for tougher sanctions against Iran at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday: "We must not waste time on this matter; the Iranians continue to advance (toward nuclear weapons), identifying every crack and squeezing through. Time is urgently running out."

Key Israeli defense officials believe that the time to strike, if such a decision is made, would have to be by the middle of this year.

Complicating the task is the assessment that Iran is stepping up efforts to move its work on enriching uranium deep underground.


We can also see the ramifications of this potential conflict:


Many believe that in the event of a strike, Iran would likely unleash its large arsenal of missiles capable of striking Israel.

Iran's local proxies, Hezbollah to Israel's north and Hamas to the south, possess tens of thousands of short-range rockets and missiles. American soldiers in the Persian Gulf might come under fire. Islamist backers of Iran could target civilians all over the world.


The prospect of a new conflagration in the Mideast is one reason cited by some influential Israeli figures, like recently retired spy chief Meir Dagan, when arguing against an Israeli military attack.


Israeli officials believe the Iranian nuclear program is so far advanced that any attack would delay it by two to three years at best, but not destroy it.

"It's a very advanced program with many facilities, some very large and some very fortified. To destroy them you need a series of massive assaults for two to three weeks, a month, something like that," Shapir said.


We could be down to a countdown as far as Israel taking out these nuclear facilities in Iran. From almost all information available, the point of no return will be sometime this summer. This scenario may or may not represent the tipping point in the region, but soon, either Iran will have nuclear weapons or Israel will have taken military action.


Either of these scenarios would probably trigger a much larger cascade of subsequent events, as so many reports have mentioned - events that are destined to fulfill biblical prophecy.

In the news...

One of the biggest stories that we have been following recently is the slow, gradual financial collapse of certain EU nations. When this tree finally falls, it will have enormous ramifications for not only the EU, but the rest of the world. Additionally, it will, in all probability lead to the 10 kings phase. Watching developments in the EU is therefore an extremely important part of our prophecy watching.


Yesterday was quite a news day for the festering debt crisis in Europe.

Taxpayers everywhere learned that the IMF's new chief, Christine Lagarde, wants an extra $500 billion to help fight Europe's slow-motion collapse. Trouble is, where does the moneycome from? From nations already up to their eyeballs in... debt, evidently. Count Great Britain and the United States in that category.

No kidding? Greece's economic outlook is worsening? You don't say? So why not force private creditors to flush more money down the Greek drain and into the Mediterranean's crystal blue waters? After all, Europe's elites have a lot at stake. Why not strip creditors in a desperate effort to stave off a gargantuan failure made by those very same elites?

But wait, that's not all.


Greece's Aryan benefactors (albeit, reluctantly) have floated the idea that the EU assume controlof the Greek budget. EU bigwigs have shot down the notion of wresting the Greek budget from the Greeks. But those bullheaded Germans insist that the backroom discussions favoring an EU takeover of the Greek budget continue. One of the crack wire services reported rather drolly that Germany's proposed putsch will "likely spark controversy" in Greece. You think?

The European dept crisis is like an enormous redwood falling slowly. But the debt crisis will soon reach a point, as with the falling redwood, where gravity really kicks in and accelerates all that mass (basic physics, huh?).

Cover your ears and steady your feet. Europe's in for one dozy of a crash.


So the solution (once again) seems to be more central control, only in this instance the EU would be assuming control of a sovereign nation's finances. We are well on the way to the kind of central control we would expect to see during the Tribulation.

More below:






So investors will be watching what happens this week in Athens. At the sovereign debt conference, Hans Humes, president of Greylock Capital Management, said this week could bring "the precedent-setting moment." He warned that if the banks and investment funds that hold Greek bonds take steep losses, then Portugal, Italy and other countries shouldering heavy debt burdens can be expected to follow Greece's lead.

To Colas, the deepest concern isn't how the S&P 500 reacts or whether the dollar rises if Greece drops the European currency. It's the possibility for panic, especially a run on European banks.

What if people across France and Germany crowd into banks to pull their deposits? Banks, after all, are some of the largest buyers of government debt.

"Human emotions can drive things off the rails," Colas says.




We just beat back SOPA and PIPA with the web blackout.

Now everyone is talking about ACTA. But – because ACTA is complicated, and is just starting to receive coverage

We’ll give you an executive summary of what you need to know.

...we’ll explain why the procedure used is a recipe for disaster.

Why are we stressing procedure over substance?

Because, as awful as ACTA is, there are other horrible bills such as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement waiting in the wings … which may be even worse than ACTA.

Unless we understand the rotten, anti-democratic process which is causing these bad bills to be introduced, we will be caught off-guard by the introduction of one draconian bill after another … and we will lose the fight for Internet freedom.

What we are actually seeing here, is the process around the various efforts for globalization of....almost everything.

The fastest way to understand ACTA is to look at the way in which its backers have tried to traIn the United States, for example, President Bush and President Obama hid ACTA negotiations under the veil of “National Security”, thus keeping it away from prying eyes … including Congress.

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa says that ACTA is more dangerous than SOPA:

It purports that it does not change existing laws. But once implemented, it creates a whole new enforcement system and will virtually tie the hands of Congress to undo it.


As Harvard professors Jack Goldsmith and Lawrence Lessig wrote in the Washington Post in March 2010:


...it raises the stakes on the constitutionally dubious method by which the administration proposes to make the agreement binding on the United States.

Normal constitutional procedures would require the administration to submit the final text of the agreement for Senate approval as a treaty But the Obama administration has suggested it will adopt the pact as a “sole executive agreement” that requires only the president’s approval.

behind closed doors, subject to intense but needless secrecy, with the public shut out and a small group of special interests very much involved

Over 75 law professors – some of them quite prominent – wrote a letter to President Obama in October 2010...



Also in the news:











Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eurogeddon?

As mentioned before, I believe we should cast a wide net when looking for prophecy related news, in an attempt to be more inclusive rather than exclusive in news sources. Additionally, who do we trust with the news? Is the NYTimes trustworthy just because of their name? Ever see any hidden agendas in their reporting? You could say the same about most news sources.

With this in mind, occasionally you find a good article from the source below and this one is very interesting:


The entire world presently is fixated with the Eurozone’s financial struggles, and, for ample reason. Will this currency union of 17 nations collapse? Will some European countries default on their debt? Could a group of countries emerge in a fiscal union with a “new euro”? The consequences of a break-up of the Eurozone are truly dire. Why? For quite a number of reasons, but the most contagious of these being that numerous banks would collapse.

And don't forget, we are awaiting the emergence of the biblical 10 kings - which will represent the next step in the evolution of the revived Roman Empire - the same 10 kings who will produce the antichrist and rule the world with the antichrist during the Tribulation.

Should this occur, it would ripple out to the entire world financial system in a matter of nanoseconds. Credit markets would again seize up, contributing to another Great Recession … if not worse. The fact is that perhaps hundreds of banks (including some of the largest in the world) are already technically insolvent. It explains why key central banks are working together to ensure that no major banks get pushed to the wall should their funding dry up.

Looking ahead, what can we conclude? For one, the current situation is extremely dangerous. There is no telling how things will unfold. The fact is that there are no immediate and easy solutions.

This would involve the repayment of loans and/or the writing off or forgiveness of debts. For example, one recent study estimated that approximately $15 trillion in debt forgiveness would be required were America and Europe to reduce their total debt levels to a manageable 180% of GDP. Could this ever happen? Would the capital holders, the rich, the powers of this age allow this? You be the judge.

Now we get to the key statements:

The key question of the moment is this: Will the solution to current troubles be real and cooperative, or will an uncontrolled disaster unfold? Hollow, bogus policy actions will not work.


We anticipate that, eventually, a patchwork of countries will be cobbled together into a new financial union. Initially, this would comprise only European nations.


But this likely will not be the end of the transitionOne must recognize that none of this can happen without the aid and approval of America and other non-European nations. If it wasn’t for the massive swap facilities extended by America’s Federal Reserve, Europe’s financial system today would already have imploded.

In any case, any type of union such as we surmise will only happen with a further escalating crisis. Things are not yet critical enough for such measures to come to implementation. When it finally does, it will be a arrangement that will also not last. If so, perhaps only for “one hour” (Revelation 17:12).

As a final conclusion, the same problems that applied to Europe could next affect America. It is also caught in a similarly imbalanced situation. It is running huge deficits (both in its government budgets and externally on its trade accounts). At some point, the world’s attention will again be turned to the financial deterioration of America. Then, U.S sovereign bonds will no longer be so popular.

Once again we see the concept of "Big Crisis = Big Change" and this time we may be seeing the early stages into the EU's inevitable transition into the 10 kings phase. Stay tuned, this situation is evolving very rapidly.



Video Update: In Defense Of Israel

Hal Lindsey gives us another timely update:

In Defense Of Israel

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Unspeakable Grief": A Brief Departure From Prophecy



The term "unspeakable grief" comes from a chapter in Max Lucado's book "Facing Your Giants". I'll come back to quotes from that chapter in a few minutes.

Unfortunately, this description of grief characterizes what a family is experiencing tonight, following the tragic, accidental death of their beloved son. Not just any family, but a very special family who is loved by everyone who has the fortune of knowing them - and you can count my family in that category.

Their son is quite unique: Bright, energetic, gregarious, loving, kind and compassionate are just a few of the words you will hear describing his personality. He is with Jesus now and enjoying everything God has to offer in a paradise called heaven. We will miss him dearly, but his departure represents a brief separation - we know that a reunion is rapidly approaching.

(note: I will speak of him in the presence tense, as I do with all Christians who have gone to heaven. There is no death with our brothers and sisters in Christ; they are simply in heaven, so I refuse to discuss such people in the past tense)

This untimely death however forces us to face many questions - questions that cannot be ignored. One of the more popular questions is "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
In this context, one of the most common follow-up questions relates to how God can "allow" such tragedies to occur - why God can "allow" something so fundamentally horrible as the death of a child.

I've been searching for those answers. I also hope this column can somehow provide some reflection and comfort based on the scriptures and authors whose capabilities far exceed mine.


You get the idea. Now, let’s take the most gut-wrenching example, the death of a child, and see if together we can’t make better sense of why God would allow the bad to exist.

Why would God allow that? Why would God allow a child to lose his or her little life?

From God’s perspective, that life is not lost. God is able to restore to that child their life, so no loss is suffered on the part of the child. Life is not lost to the One who can restore it.

What about the grief that parents and family experience?

In our loss, the presence of God is available for us to experience His strength, His comfort, His sustaining love and assurance... God sustains those who grieve for those He calls to Himself.

Max Lucado devotes a chapter in his book "Fearless" to this topic (Chapter 5 if you have the book) - below are a few notable quotes:


God has a heart for hurting parents. Should we be surprised? After

all, God himself is a father.


What parental emotion has he not felt? Are

you separated from your child? So was God. Is someone mistreating your

child? They mocked and bullied his. Is someone taking advantage of your

children? The Son of God was set up by false testimony and betrayed by

a greedy follower. Are you forced to watch while your child suffers? God

watched his son on the cross. Do you find yourself wanting to spare your

child from all the hurt in the world? God did. But because of his great

love for us, “he did not spare his own Son but gave him for us all. So with

Jesus, God will surely give us all things” (Rom. 8:32 ncv).



“All things” must include courage and hope.


Some of you find the story of Jairus difficult to hear. You prayed the

same prayer he did, yet you found yourself in a cemetery facing every

parent’s darkest night: the death of your child. No pain compares. What

hope does the story of Jairus offer to you? Jesus resurrected Jairus’s

child. Why didn’t he save yours?


God understands your question. He buried a child too. He hates

death more than you do. That’s why he killed it. He “abolished death

and brought life and immortality to light” (2 Tim. 1:10). For those who

trust God, death is nothing more than a transition to heaven. Your child

may not be in your arms, but your child is safely in his.


We tend to forget this fact, regarding our children as “our” children,

as though we have the final say in their health and welfare. We don’t.

All people are God’s people, including the small people who sit at our

tables. Wise are the parents who regularly give their children back to

God.



Also from Max Lucado, we turn to quotes from "Facing Your Giants" and the chapter entitled "Unspeakable Grief":


Face your grief with tears, time and - one more - face your grief with truth. Paul urged the Thessalonians to grieve, but he didn't want the Christians to "carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word" (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

God has the last word on death. And, if you listen, he will tell you the truth about your loved ones. They've been dismissed from the hospital called Earth. You and I still roam the halls, smell the medicines, and eat green beans and Jell-O off plastic trays. They, meanwhile, enjoy picnics, inhale springtime, and run through knee-high flowers. You miss them like crazy, but can you deny the truth?

They have no pain, doubt, or struggle. They really are happier in Heaven.

And you won't see them soon?

When you drop your kids off at school, do you weep as though you'll never see them again? When you drop your spouse at the store and park the car, do you bid a final forever farewell? No.

When you say, "I'll see you soon," you mean it.

When you stand in the cemetery and stare down at the soft, freshly turned earth and promise, I'll see you soon, you speak truth. Reunion is a splinter of an eternal moment away.

There is no need for you to "grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NIV)

So go ahead, face your grief. Give yourself time. Permit yourself tears. God understands. He knows the sorrow of the grave. he buried his son. But He also knows the joy of resurrection. And, by his power, you will too.

It's always good to remember that God fully understands our grief. But as we experience grief and (temporary) loss - we have to remember that God also provides hope and an eternal future with our loved ones in Christ. It's a guarantee.

What do the scriptures have to say?

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things have passed away."
(Revelation 21:4)

"Give your burdens to the Lord.
He will carry them.
He will not permit the Godly to slip or fall."
(Psalm 55:22)

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed,
we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven,
not built by human hands.


For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because
we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly
dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are
at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

We live by faith, not by sight.

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body
and at home with the Lord."
(1 Corinthians 4:18 and 5:1-9)



When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable,
and the mortal man with immortality, then the saying that is
written will come true:

"Death has been swallowed up in victory"

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
(1 Corinthians 15:54-55)

We are all awaiting the most epic reunion imaginable. A reunion that has been carefully planned by God - a reunion that will be filled with great joy and celebration.

We prophecy watchers know this reunion will be coming very very soon. There is no such thing as "death" for a Christian. We relocate to a far far better place - a place called heaven. A place that our loved ones - (those who have gone ahead of us) - are currently experiencing - the wonders of the universe and beyond. A place where our loved ones are in the very presence of Jesus Himself - at this very moment.

Blake is experiencing all of these wonders at this very moment.
He is with Jesus at this very moment.
He has no pain, no tears, no fears, no anguish and absolutely no hardships whatsoever.
None.

Rather, he is experiencing unimaginable peace and joy. He is in the very arms of Jesus Himself.

As Max Lucado so eloquently stated:

"For those who trust God, death is nothing more than a transition to heaven. Your child may not be in your arms, but your child is safely in His."

Amen.

Nothing can completely extinguish the pain and grieving that the family of this beloved child is experiencing at this moment.

But God has given us hope and assurances. We know without a doubt that this family will be reunited in heaven - for eternity.

And when that magical moment happens (and as stated, we prophecy watchers believe this moment will be very very soon), Blake will be there - waiting with open arms - waiting for his family - ready to show them the joys of paradise that he is experiencing right now.

We love you Blake; we will see you soon.