Sword Of The Lord ~ Juy 14, 2017

Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor

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Amen Corner

“The idea that this world is a playground instead of a battleground has now been accepted by the vast majority of Christians….  The “worship” growing out of such a view of life is as far off center as the view itself – a sort of sanctified nightclub without the champagne and the…drunks.”  -A.W. Tozer

“Instead of moral absolutes, the Left holds legal absolutes.  “Legal” for the Left is what “moral” is for the Right.  The religious have a belief in God-based moral law, and the Left believes in man-made law as the moral law.”  -Dennis Prager  (This is a profound and very truthful quotation).

“We have been inoculated with such a mild form [of Christianity] that we are immunized against the real thing.”  -Vance Havner

“Good words are worth much and cost little.”  -George Herbert

“I’m not about to change my method or my message.  We have only one Gospel to preach, and it has never failed – not to this day, nor will it ever.”  -Harold Sightier

“The church members who loved me best were those with whom I had faithfully and tenderly dealt on the matter of their faults and sins.”   -John R. Rice

“Upon these two foundations – the law of nature [Creation] and the law of revelation (the Bible) – depend all human laws.  -William Blackstone

“Nobody is exceedingly wicked all at once; the Devil is too cunning to startle men.”  -Thomas Wilson

“If you know these two things – yourself a sinner and Christ a Saviour – you are scholar enough to go to heaven.”  -Charles H. Spurgeon

“Don’t fix the blame; fix the problem.”  -Keith S. Pennington

“Don’t feel that you must make all the mistakes yourself.  Learn something from the mistakes of others.”  -Curtis Hutson

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Ivanka Trump on Moore: ‘There’s a Special Place in Hell for People Who Prey on Children’

In this dull gray amoral world that continually overlooks transgressions, it is good to see people who still have starch in their collar and are not afraid to stand up for righteousness.  Ivanka Trump made a bold statement about those who harm children.  It seems to me, that Jesus Christ made a very similar statement in  Luke 17:2  King James Version (KJV):
“It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”  People who desire to win popularity contests with men, never make bold statements because of their fear of offending.  People with a zeal for truth just cast it out because it is truth, and leave the results to the Lord.             Pastor Steve  <><

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When asked Wednesday about the allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore, Ivanka Trump told the AP: “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.” Moore has been accused of initiating sexual contact with teenaged girls when he was in his 30s—with the most recent allegation including attempted rape. “I’ve yet to see a valid explanation [from Moore] and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts,” Trump additionally said. She did not call for Moore to step out of the race, however; and her father, the president, has yet to publicly comment on Moore outside of remarks issued via White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

One Hundred Years Ago Today, Oswald Chambers Died From A Ruptured Appendix

How Much More!       November 15, 2017

Oswald Chambers was a product of latter Victorian England, and a contemporary of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, during Spurgeon’s twilight.  Chambers lived incredibly close to the Lord, and is best known for his profound devotionals and inspirational writings, as well as his service to British soldiers in Egypt during World War I.  I love his writings.  He died one hundred years ago, on November 15, 1917.

Pastor Steve

 

Our Daily Bread

How Much More!
November 15, 2017

Read: Luke 11:5–13
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 1–2; Hebrews 11:1–19

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!—Luke 11:13
In October 1915, during World War I, Oswald Chambers arrived at Zeitoun Camp, a military training center near Cairo, Egypt, to serve as a YMCA chaplain to British Commonwealth soldiers. When he announced a weeknight religious service, 400 men packed the large YMCA hut to hear Chambers’s talk titled, “What Is the Good of Prayer?” Later, when he spoke individually with men who were trying to find God in the midst of war, Oswald often quoted Luke 11:13, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
The free gift of God through His Son, Jesus, is forgiveness, hope, and His living presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit. “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (v. 10).
On November 15, 1917, Oswald Chambers died unexpectedly from a ruptured appendix. To honor him, a soldier led to faith in Christ by Oswald purchased a marble carving of a Bible with the message of Luke 11:13 on its open page and placed it beside his grave: “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” This amazing gift from God is available to each of us today. —David C. McCasland

Father, You are the giver of all good gifts. We thank You for the great gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in us and guides us in Your truth today.

Learn more about the legacy of Oswald Chambers at utmost.org.
God’s gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives is available to each of us today.

INSIGHT: Would you want a God who gave you everything you asked for? Or would that be a bit frightening? While Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray (Luke 11:1-4), He described God as being like a loving Father who would not give them a scorpion if they asked for an egg.
Was He just assuring us that God is good? Or was He gently suggesting something about us? Was He hinting that sometimes we don’t know how to pray for our own good? (Rom 8:26). Maybe that’s why He promised that His Father would share His Spirit with those who trusted Him for what is best (Luke 11:13). Mart DeHaan

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“Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.”
OSWALD CHAMBERS

A Religious Revival In Europe? ~ November 14, 2017

Feeling threatened by Muslims, Europeans are seeking cultural cohesions in their Christian heritage. Bible prophecy foretold the trend.
Capernaum Church in downtown Hamburg, Germany, is under new management and is much busier than it used to be. The main hall accommodates 500 worshipers. Under the building’s previous owners, the Evangelical Church, only about 20 people showed up each week. But for its new owners, the hall is not big enough.
Why the dramatic change? Because it is now the Al-Nour Islamic Center.
The change is symbolic of the trend sweeping Europe. In London, since 2001, 500 churches have become private homes, and more than 400 mosques have opened. In 2016, seven French churches were demolished, 26 put up for sale, and many more converted into offices, apartments, gymnasiums, etc. Meanwhile, since 2003 nearly 1,000 French mosques have been built.
So it seems odd to talk about a Christian revival in Europe. Churches are dying. Religion is playing a smaller role than ever in people’s everyday lives.
But in politics, religion is making a major comeback.
Politicians are talking about their nation’s religious heritage more than ever. They are using it to differentiate themselves from Muslims. They talk about its importance to their culture. Although Europeans aren’t going to church or letting religion tell them how to live their lives, they are looking to religion to tell them who they are.

Eastern Europe
As early as 2014, the Catholic magazine First Things noticed this trend emerging in Central and Eastern Europe: “In Hungary, Croatia, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, a pro-family, pro-life revolution and a rediscovery of Christian roots is occurring.
“Unnoticed in the shadow of a secularized West, religion’s public role has been growing in the East since the collapse of communism” (Jan. 17, 2014).
This process has sped up dramatically as Europe’s migrant crisis has worsened. Since 2013, around 2.5 million migrants have applied for asylum in the European Union. The EU does not track the religion of asylum seekers, but the vast majority are from Muslim-dominated countries. According to PewForum in 2010, about 19 million Muslims lived in the EU. So the EU has had roughly a 10 percent jump in its Muslim population due to the refugee crisis alone.
As thousands of Muslims have arrived every year, bringing their religion with them and setting up numerous mosques, European leaders have shifted their rhetoric away from strict secularism and have begun to emphasize how Christian their nations are.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was one of the earliest to take this route. In May 2015, he said flatly, “I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country.”
“Let us not forget, however, that those arriving have been raised in another religion and represent a radically different culture,” he wrote in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity” (Sept. 3, 2015).
Orbán has since been joined by many others. Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said in May 2016, “I do not want to see a Muslim community in Slovakia. … We do not want to change the traditions of this country, which are built on the Christian tradition.” The president of the Czech Republic warned in January 2016 that integrating Muslims into Europe “is practically impossible.” Earlier this year, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that the presence of the largely Muslim refugee population is a “ticking bomb.”
The rhetoric is popular. Polls in Poland and Bulgaria show that three-quarters of respondents want their countries to stop accepting Muslim migrants.
Catholic leaders also support this stance. Although Pope Francis has been one of the most prominent leaders encouraging Europe to take in more migrants, senior bishops in the East are singing from a different hymn sheet. The former leader of the Czech Republic’s bishops’ conference, Archbishop Jan Graubner, has said his country should take only “Christian refugees.” At a February meeting of Catholic leaders from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the current Czech president of the bishops’ conference, Cardinal Dominik Duka, said, “The whole history of humanity shows how uncontrolled migration causes violence and conflict, as well as economic and cultural collapse.”
“The larger the Muslim community, the likelier the violence—in such a situation, it’s legitimate to ask about the religion these people profess, and how beneficial it is to our society,” said Archbishop Stanislav Zvolenský, the leader of the Slovak bishops’ conference. “We shouldn’t forget that Christianity and Islam are, despite all efforts at dialogue, in permanent conflict. Once one side gains the upper hand, there’s always conflict” (emphasis added throughout).

The West
In the West, bishops who will speak so bluntly are scarce, but they still exist. The most high-profile is Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who is considered a possible successor to the current pope.
“Will there now be a third attempt at an Islamic conquest of Europe?” Schönborn asked in September 2016. “Many Muslims think so and long for it and say: Europe is at an end.”
Luc Ravel was made archbishop of Strasbourg, France, by Pope Francis in February. In July, Ravel told a French newspaper, “Muslim believers know very well that their birth rate is such that today, they call it … the Great Replacement. They tell you in a very calm, very positive way that, ‘one day all this, it will be ours.’”
This trend extends even to political leaders in Western Europe.
Western Europe is traditionally the most secular place on Earth. In late 2015, a Gallup International poll found that Western Europe and Oceania were the only regions in the world where around half of the population was either atheist or nonreligious. But even here, political religion is making a comeback.
In France, the very religious François Fillon was nominated to lead Les Républicains—France’s main conservative party. “Help, Jesus Has Returned!” was the headline in the Libération newspaper (Nov. 24, 2016).
Robert Zaretsky at Foreign Policy wrote, “[L]egions of Frenchmen and women who have not kept their faith will nonetheless turn out in droves for a politician who has. … [I]n a country where barely five citizens in 100 attend church, the weight of Catholicism is still evident” (Dec. 1, 2016). He termed these voters “France’s zombie Catholics.”
As it turned out, Fillon crashed and burned, brought down in a financial scandal. So Marine Le Pen and her far-right National Front party attempted to raise the standard of Christendom.
Le Pen’s religion is “a secularized Christianity as culture,” Rogers Brubaker, a sociologist at the University of California–Los Angeles, told Atlantic magazine.”It’s a matter of belonging rather than believing,” he said. Brubaker described it as a Christianity that says, “We are Christians, precisely because they are Muslims. Otherwise, we are not Christian in any substantive sense” (May 6).
That is an excellent summary of the trend occurring across all Europe. Christianity is not motivating people to attend religious services or to obey religious rules, but it is being used to drive people to vote for religious-sounding leaders.
Germany’s September 24 election saw the same Christian revival. One mainstream political party that has helped form the foundation of German politics since World War ii—the Christian Democratic Union (cdu)—was founded by those seeking to cement Germany’s Christian character. However, despite its having “Christian” in its name, it has grown progressively more secular. It seems many voters in September’s election punished the cdu by migrating to the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, which achieved great success.
Foreign Policy wrote about the “party’s goal to become the true guardian of Germany’s—and Europe’s—Christian identity” (September 11). A group of Catholic and Protestant theologians formed the organization “Christen in der AfD” to urge support for the party. They warned that if Germany loses its Christian identity, it will “endanger nothing less than the foundations of our system of state and of our civilization.”
The AfD, though, is a perfect example of this “belonging rather than believing” Christianity. Its election slogans, such as “Burkas? We’re into bikinis,” are hardly paragons of chastity and virtue. Two of its top leaders are lesbians. But it is identity that matters. Even the lesbian leaders have made no big push for homosexual “marriage” or any other kinds of homosexual rights. In the culture wars, they are on the side of the Christian right, and the Christian right is happy to accept them.
The AfD’s stunning election success—coming from nowhere to become the third-largest party in Germany’s parliament—shows the appetite in Germany for this kind of religion in politics.
But the AfD isn’t the only group embracing this Christian heritage. Angela Merkel’s sister party, the Christian Social Union, has kept much closer to its Christian heritage. The party has good relations with Viktor Orbán. It even invited him to Bavaria, despite great opposition from the German federal government.
The csu’s star speaker in the recent election, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, brought a “Christian” message. At the Gillamoos festival, he told a packed crowd, “When we are not ready to love our culture, then others will start to define our culture,” adding that Germany must protect its “Christian/Jewish Western society” (Trumpet translation throughout).
“If you go outside in August with temperatures of 35 to 38 degrees [95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit] and go through a street in Munich and you see a gentlemen from Abu Dhabi … and at a respectable distance, one or two women with a niqab behind him, I don’t see much freedom there,” he said. The “suppression of the woman has no room in our culture!”
His statements are milder than the message from the AfD or many in Eastern Europe. But they are stronger than many Western mainstream politicians are willing to make. And they were met with enthusiastic applause.
A Growing Trend
Europe’s rediscovery of its Christian identity comes mostly as a reaction to Islam. Muslim migration is changing the nature of Europe’s cities, and radical Islam is outright attacking them.
Time has proved that the migration and the attacks are not going away. In response, secular Europe is only becoming more Christian.
“We know who we are only when we know who we are not and often only when we know whom we are against,” wrote Samuel Huntington in his classic work The Clash of Civilizations. ”For people seeking identity and reinventing ethnicity, enemies are essential.” Many of Europe’s enemies have been Muslim. And so the Continent is adopting the language, symbols, and identity of Christianity—because that is what most clearly distinguishes it from these enemies.
“Instability and violence in the Middle East has led to Muslim migration to Europe,” wrote Geopolitical Futures analyst Jacob Shapiro. “Muslim migration has, in turn, stoked nationalism, sometimes to electoral effect, and has even led to limited European involvement in Muslim wars” (August 23). Terrorism, he pointed out, has been rising in Europe since 2005. Nationalism began rising at almost exactly the same time. The terrorism is already transforming Europe. “The age-old conflict between Europe and the Middle East, Christendom and Islam, is simmering once more” (ibid).
Once again, religion is playing a major role in the fate of Europe!
The Trumpet and, before us, the Plain Truth have been watching for this development since the 1930s. For decades Herbert W. Armstrong forecast that Europe would unite into a 10-nation superpower. But most of the Continent’s history is of one European nation fighting another. What force is strong enough to bind Europe together?
Attacks on Europe from outside are one powerful motivating force. Europeans certainly have one common enemy: radical, extremist Islam. But there is one other important factor all European nations share: their Christian heritage.
In August 1978, Mr. Armstrong wrote in the Christian-living magazine Good News,“Europeans want their own united military power! … They have made a real effort toward union in the Common Market. … But they well know there is but one possibility of union in Europe—and that is through the Vatican.”
Mr. Armstrong forecast a common currency in Europe. In the November-December 1954 Plain Truth, he wrote, “Germany inevitably [will] emerge as the leader of a united Europe”—a sentiment many in southern Europe would agree with today. The September 1967 Plain Truth declared, “[O]ne thing you can count on. In fact, it is so sure you can bank on it: The cry of a political union in Europe will get louder.” In April 1952, Mr. Armstrong’s Good News said, “Russia may give East Germany back to the Germans and will be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria” in order to complete this union.
So much of this has already happened. Mr. Armstrong’s forecasts, based on Bible prophecy, have proved accurate. Yet full union has not yet been achieved. Why? Mr. Armstrong wrote, “In only one way can this resurrected Holy Roman Empire be brought to fruition—by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, uniting church and state once again, with the Vatican astride and ruling …” (Plain Truth, January 1979).
The Catholic Church has been the one missing ingredient in European unity. And now that ingredient is being added back into the mix.
The same prophecies that forecast European unity also foretell that a church will have a major role in leading this new superpower. Revelation 17 describes a woman that sits “upon many waters.” Her power stretches over a vast portion of the Earth. Typically in the Bible, a woman represents a church. The “kings of the earth have committed fornication” with this woman, meaning that she is a major political power.
The religious revival in Europe is paving the way for the return of this woman.
The Bible has a great deal to say about what this European religious power will look like. And so does history. Religious empires, in close alliance with the Vatican, have repeatedly risen in Europe.
Reported by: Richard Palmer – The Trumpet
By Prophecy in the News| November 14th, 2017|Tags: Christian News, Christian Roots, Europe, Evangelical Church, Germany, Islam, Prophecy News, Religious Revival

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This article really nailed it.  I have been to both Eastern and Western Europe three times since 2005, the last time was this past January and February.  Revival is already happening in Eastern Europe, as I personally was engaged in crusade evangelism in Romania.  Hungary is likewise prepared for revival.  The Slavic nations have not been overly inundated with materialism as Western Europe and the family unit is strong.  I have noticed the same exact trend in the United States of America, whereby Slavic churches and people from Belarus, Russia, the Ukraine, etc., etc., have a strong faith and family orientation.  Furthermore, Eastern Europeans do not want a large number of Islamic immigrants, realizing that the two faiths are diametrically opposed to each other.  Large numbers of Islamic immigrants will inevitably destroy the culture of the nation they move into.  Perhaps the spirit of revival can spread to Western Europe and the U.S.A. from Eastern Europe!  I have pastor friends who are planning on taking the Gospel into England and other Western European nations as we speak.  We pray for God to bless them.   Because Of Him, Pastor Steve  <><

Pray For Revival In America!

‘Last Days Babylon’ Now On Drawing Board?

Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the spiritual home of Islam

Posted with permission from WND

Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the spiritual home of Islam
It is planned to extend over multiple nations and to dwarf New York City at 33 times its size. The costs are expected to be hundreds of billions of dollars, and it is already attracting investments from some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world.

It’s Neom, the new mega-city planned by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon.
Located on the Red Sea coast, the city will have a special legal status within Saudi Arabia and will supposedly be fully automated, with robots outnumbering humans.
The city is also supposed to be powered entirely by renewable energy sources, feature free high-speed Internet and will extend over 10,231 square miles, crossing the Egyptian and Jordanian borders. The crown prince also spoke of the kingdom’s willingness to embrace what he called a “normal” life, promoting a form of Islam that “translates to tolerance, to our traditions of kindness.”
Saudi Arabia has debuted a flashy promotional video intended to attract foreign investment, vowing to build a center for global culture with “nothing to hold you back.”
“No set ways of thinking, no restrictions, no divisions, no excuses,” claims the narrator, speaking in a British accent. “Just endless potential. This is the blank page you need to write humanity’s next chapter. Neom … a part of the world set aside for those who want to change the world.”

The global financial elite are already rallying around the project. The Economist proclaimed:
“At the launch were an ebullient Masayoshi Son, the Japanese head of a $100bn ‘Vision Fund’, and Stephen Schwarzman, head of Blackstone, a private-equity giant. Klaus Kleinfeld, a former boss of Arconic, Alcoa and Siemens, is to be NEOM’s chief executive. The prospect of creating a dynamic zone without the barriers to enterprise found elsewhere in the country has such people genuinely enthused.”
Such grandiose pronouncements already are drawing criticism. The kingdom has already tried to construct the “King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh,” billed as the “world’s next great economic city.”
But despite a projected population of 2 million people, there are only 5,000 permanent residents. There are also doubts whether Saudi Arabia’s bureaucracy can effectively administer such a massive project. In addition, the fall in oil prices is limiting the amount of cash the Saudis have to fund such an expansive project.
But another critic is worried about the more disturbing implications of the plan. Joel Richardson, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Islamic Antichrist,” believes he has solved the biblical riddle of “Mystery Babylon” in his book of that title.
And he argues the location of the end times’ city of evil is in Saudi Arabia, making the kingdom’s newest plans to become an economic superpower deeply worrisome.

One of the greatest mysteries in Scripture – solved at last! Discover the terrifying truth behind the shadowy identity of one of the greatest horrors of the end times. New York Times bestselling author Joel Richardson reveals the secret of “Mystery Babylon.” Available now in the WND Superstore.
“Throughout church history, interpreters, commentators and students of the Bible have struggled to understand the identity of a last days city known as ‘Babylon the Great’ (Revelation 17-18),” Richardson told WND.
“Many have looked to the city of Rome as the fulfillment, while others have looked to Jerusalem, or New York City. Others have been awaiting a city to be rebuilt on the literal site of the ancient Babylon about 50 miles south of Baghdad in modern day Iraq. In my book ‘Mystery Babylon,’ I suggested the kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be a more appropriate, and even more biblically defensible position. Specifically, I look to the city of Mecca, the single greatest city of idolatry that mankind has ever produced.
“Well over a billion and a half people bow down five times daily and pray toward that great city. The mosque in its center which houses the famous Kabba, or cube-shaped shrine that Muslims pray toward, is literally the single most visited location in the whole earth, with millions upon multiplied millions of religious pilgrims visiting each year.”
Richardson does not take seriously Saudi claims of favoring a “tolerant” form of Islam.
“Saudi Arabia is the single greatest source of funding for the spread of radical Wahhabi Islam all over the earth,” he said. “Over the past 40 years, the Saudis have spent roughly $150 billion to build mosques and fill them with radical Wahhabi hate preachers all over the earth. They have arguably spent more to spread Wahhabism around the earth than the entire mission spending of the global Protestant church. From any given madrassa in Pakistan to the mosque in your town or city, it is likely it was paid for by the Saudi royal family. No other nation in the earth has done as much as the Saudis to spread a false religion throughout the earth in such a way that its fundamental character has been so permanently impacted.”

Richardson believes the effort to build a new “mega city” supports his claim “Mystery Babylon” will be located within Saudi Arabia.
“Students of biblical prophecy have long noted that the book of Revelation speaks not simply of a city, but of a ‘mega-city’ that will emerge in the last days,” he observed. “Consider the massive building projects taking place in and around Mecca and Jeddah, which will soon feature the world’s newest and tallest building, dwarfing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Just to the north, the Saudis have been quietly building the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), which is slated to become the region’s most technologically advanced sea port. All three cities – Jeddah, Mecca and KAEC – will soon be linked by a high-speed rail line which will allow anyone to get from one city to the next in less than 30 minutes.
“There is no doubt that this emerging megalopolis will match all of the unique descriptions of the last days Babylon, combining idolatry, religious power and economic power into one desert sea-port. It is for this reason that students of God’s Word are taking a fresh and serious look at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its relationship to biblical prophecy. Now, the Saudis have announced this massive project to the north of Mecca and Jeddah. Truly, this would fulfill the description of a ‘mega-city’ as mentioned in the Book of Revelation.”
Richardson, a frequent critic of Saudi influence on American politicians, acknowledges the kingdom will find it difficult to realize its breathtaking ambitions. Nonetheless, he warns the rapid expansion of Saudi influence throughout the world and the construction of a sprawling metropolis straight out of the pages of Scripture should command the attention of faithful Christians.
“Any watchful student of prophecy will be paying very close attention,” he said. “We should be paying attention not only to ‘Neom,’ but to all that is now unfolding in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the ancient and modern day fountainhead of a violent false religion now bursting out into the nations.”

One of the greatest mysteries in Scripture – solved at last! Discover the terrifying truth behind the shadowy identity of one of the greatest horrors of the end times. New York Times bestselling author Joel Richardson reveals the secret of “Mystery Babylon” Available now in the WND Superstore

World Net Daily

Prophecy News Watch

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 8

Day #8

At breakfast we witnessed another beautiful sunrise, a red rubber ball rising over new Jerusalem.  This is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath – no work is done.  Our breakfast was made from food prepared on previous days.  Not even scrambled eggs could be prepared.  Talk about straining gnats.

Israel is made up of hills, valleys, hamlets, and towns.  Mountains abound all around the Jordan Valley.  We descended toward the Dead Sea and traveled the mountain, desert road, which is also rocky, hilly, craggy and lonely – between Jerusalem and Jericho.  We descended over four thousand feet and once again, entered a different climate.  This, as you probably realize by now, was the road used by the Good Samaritan.  Our ears popped.  What a beautiful land of endless variation!  We saw many Bedouin camps and tents, goats, and sheep along the way.  Israel really opens up the past.  We passed through the wilderness of Judea, just north of Neger, and the wilderness of Beersheba.  We passed deep gorges and narrow mountain passes, and canyons (Wadi) on the way toward Jericho.  In the distance we saw Mount Nebo, Jericho, and the Wilderness of Temptation.  We descended rapidly to the Dead Sea which was once a desert, but now, with water available, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, etc. are raised.  We saw a Greek Monastery – the site of Biblical Gilgal.  We also saw the place where Joshua crossed the Jordan River and laid down twelve stones.  The Dead Sea provides Israel with minerals, power and electricity.  We turned south towards En Gedi and Masada.  We passed the mountains at Qumran, where later today, we will see the caves where the Bedouin shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.  Our ears kept popping.  Now we went by the actual caves which hid the scrolls.  What a desolate place is Qumran, home of the Essenes.  The Dead Sea is 20% salt, and right next to a fresh water spring.  The residents of Qumran depended on this fresh water supply.  We saw possible Essene farms and a community near Qumran.

After proceeding south along the Dead Sea for awhile, away from the spring, the land again turned into a desert.  The Dead Sea is shrinking and getting smaller.  The water line is moving back.  What beautiful terrain – the desert, mountains, and the Dead Sea – it has to be seen.  We drove south a long way, passing caves where rebels hid from Greek and Roman authorities.  The Dead Sea was four shades of blue, surrounded by lush, green vegetation, and towering red and brown mountains and cliffs.  Leopards and ibex dwell in these forlorn mountains.  We kept proceeding south toward the oasis of En Gedi.  As we passed through En Gedi, we immediately saw an oasis filled with beautiful palm trees.  En Gedi, of course, is where David hid from Saul in a cave and cut Saul’s garment.  I can see why David stayed here.

We then passed a health resort where a sulfur spring bubbled from the ground.  Finally we approached our first destination of Masada.  What a majestic site in the distance.  The ramp that the Romans built in order to capture Masada could be seen.  The Romans, under Titus, took three years to capture it through siege (70-73 A.D.).  We also saw Mount Sodom south at a distance.  An oasis was at the bottom of Masada.  What a beautiful drive, Jerusalem to Masada.  One may ascend Masada in one of two ways:  1) by cable car or 2) by the “snake path” which takes about forty five minutes.  There is no rain here, and we saw one large cistern on the way up.  It was a large man made quarry, turned into a cistern.  Masada means stronghold, rock, or fortress, and was built by the paranoid Herod.  There are three separate levels to King Herod’s Pleasure Palace, connected by staircases.  The top level of Masada is twenty acres.  Many of the Roman encampments could be seen below.  The Roman encampments were square shaped and very easy to see.  Masada had water, swimming pools, gardens, and just about everything to make it a paradise.  A Roman wall crept all around the base of the mountain in order to keep the people captive.  After three years, over nine hundred zealots committed suicide.  Masada was discovered only one hundred years ago.  When the Romans laid siege to Masada, they probably got their water at En Gedi.  When the Romans attempted to build the earthen ramp, the zealots threw rocks down on them.  We passed a stone quarry that was used by Herod in order to build.  The walls of all the rooms at Masada were once beautiful, painted, and covered with plaster.  There were saunas, hanging gardens, bath houses, pillars, storage rooms with a nine year food supply (the food was near Herod’s quarters).  There were beautiful mosaics.  There was even a hot room, and the floor was supported by small columns – underneath the floor were coals and hot water which created a sauna.  Tile was on some of the walls.  As mentioned, the pleasure palace of Herod had three tiers, and was located in such a way as to catch the breeze at the end of the mountain.  The outline of the Roman encampments could be seen all around the mountain.  The General’s Quarters could be seen inside the encampments at the corner of each.  Water came to Masada all the way from the mountains near Jerusalem and was collected in cisterns.  There were holes in the base of Mount Masada which collected the water runoff from the mountains nearby.  The force of gravity pushed the water up, because even the top of Masada is below sea level!  The top level of Masada features the Northern “pleasure” Palace.  Next, I visited the lowest tier of the pleasure palace, the third level down.  This tier gave Herod shade and breeze.  There was a hidden stairwell which was built into the rock, that Herod used to go up and down.  There were no trees in the area, hence the Romans had to haul a battering ram for a long distance.  Then I saw the middle terrace of the pleasure palace (Northern Palace), and observed the remains of a narrow, circular stairwell built into the rock.

Back on the top terrace was the oldest synagogue in the world at the time of the Second Temple.  Ezekiel, Chapter Thirty Seven, “The Vision of Dry Bones,” was found in the synagogue.  Nearby, there was a chamber for the scrolls, or library.  We observed the Roman ramp of earth closeup from the top of Masada.  There were many towers posted along the outer walls.  We left the “leisure” Northern Palace, and entered the Western “working” Palace.  This was the Administrative Palace.  A woman  and her daughter were the only ones who did not commit suicide in 73 A.D.  They hid themselves in an empty water cistern.

Now we will head for En Gedi.  The Dead Sea has no fish or seaweed.  The sulfur smell is very strong.  En Gedi comes from “En” or spring, and “Gedi” or goats.  We came to Wadi David – the springs and water source for En Gedi.  We observed the ibex wandering on the cliffs, the mountain animal of Israel, from which we get the word “Gedi.”  En Gedi features a beautiful waterfall.  At En Gedi, the water originates at a spring and goes underground.  The water is warm.  On our walk back from the waterfall, we saw a “coonie” which looks like a groundhog.  We also saw about twenty ibex walking along a high ridge.  We saw many other ibex amid the rocks.  They are very coordinated for the mountains, and they change the position of their feet to land square on the rocks.

Now we went to the Dead Sea at En Gedi for a swim.  One can float there with no effort at all.  Salt deposits were left all over our bodies.  Since I shaved the previous night before swimming, my neck stung.  You could smell the sulfur, and clay deposits were left everywhere.  The clay is used for cosmetics, facial treatments, and other vain pursuits of man.  Since the Dead Sea is the lowest place on the face of the earth, and tropical, and unseasonably warm, and has many mineral deposits, one feels that God did something special here – such as rain fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah, and dropping the entire valley below sea level.

Onward to Qumran.  We passed an oasis filled with palm trees along the way.  (By the way, it just came to mind that there were no problems on the trip which had to do with the recent P.L.O., Gaza Strip and Bethlehem developments).  Qumran was settled by the Essenes in the eighth century B.C.  We visited the remains of the community, observing a water channel, a cistern, scrolls stored in a Scriptorium, and a cemetery.  Many scrolls have been located in these mountains nearby.  Observed in the Essenes Community were homes, pottery, stables, flour, a dining hall, a pool and a cistern.  Every remaining artifact gives evidence of a simple life style.  The Essenes left Qumran and went to Masada.

We left Qumran to go back to Jerusalem.  On the way home, our guide mentioned that Bedouins still trade camels for wives.  They love their simple life style.  We passed a military camp.  Now we went back to the road which goes from Jericho to Jerusalem.  We passed another military camp.  Many Bedouin Camps were seen on the way back to Jerusalem.  We passed through today’s Bethany and stopped at Lazarus’ tomb.  It was deep and dark and seemed very real.  We had to duck and crawl in order to enter the crypt area.  It appeared to be a real possibility of genuine authenticity, like the tomb of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.

We again entered Jerusalem.  We visited Jesus’ Garden Tomb, mentioned in the paragraph above.  It too, seemed authentic because of 1) the trough where the stone rolled, 2) and the window where the Bible seems to indicate light came in (John 20: 4-8); when John and Peter saw the linen clothes in the tomb, a source of light would have been needed for them to see the clothes after running into the tomb – the window, of course, would have provided the light.

Gain The World And Lose Your Soul

Famous baseball pitcher, Roy Halladay, flies his airplane in a reckless manner and crashes into the Gulf of Mexico, killing him instantly.  He was seen barnstorming over the Gulf of Mexico by boaters for the past week.

Matthew 16:26  King James Version (KJV)
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

 How foolish and selfish was Major League Baseball (MLB) great Roy Halladay; hot-dogging and showboating over the Gulf of Mexico for the past week, not concerned about life or limb, overconfident, and needlessly leaving his family without a dad or husband.  Roy Halladay was only forty years old and threw his life away for thrills.  Role model?  NOT for my son or grandson.  The accolades sound hollow to me – calling him great.  His success in baseball, fame and money will do him little good now. His foolishness is forever on camera…  I am not saying that this baseball pitcher was not a Christian, as his faith has not been shared by the media.  Halladay’s human accomplishments are paraded often, yet conspicuously absent was any mention of his spiritual beliefs, and ironically they are all that matter to him now!  Also, Christians interpret our lives to be gifts from God, to be cared for as good stewards, to be used wisely and cherished….not to be risked in a reckless manner.  At any rate, his two Cy Young awards, a perfect game, a no hitter, an eight time All Star, and future Hall of Famer, will do him little good as he stands before God in the judgment.  Like ours soon shall be, his eternal destiny is now sealed, and solely based on what he did with Jesus Christ.  John 3:3, 16, 36; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9.

I would have shown a video that shows Roy Halladay’s moments immediately prior to his airplane crash.  He was barnstorming literally only a few feet above the water, and making sudden steep climbs and dives.  The young fishermen who took the video, however, laced it with filthy profanity throughout, including the “F” bomb, and cursing our Lord, hence I elected not to place it on this blogsite.  Blessings, Pastor Steve

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Update on Halladay’s hot-dogging prior to his fatal crash:

Footage of Roy Halladay flying just before crash emerges.   New video emerges of Roy Halladay’s fatal flight:

Roy Halladay plane crash video — Roy Halladay Plane Crash Video, Witnesses Say He Was Showboating

Star pitcher….Roy Holliday dies in plane crash

In the final analysis, if one cares not for their life, then how much do they really care for their soul?

 

Sword Of The Lord ~ Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor ~ June 30, 2017

City Bans Family From Farmers Market Because They Won’t Host Same-Sex Weddings at Their Orchard

Michigan farmers Steve and Bridget Tennes have been blocked from participating in an East Lansing farmers market because they do not host same-sex weddings at their orchard.

For the past six years, one Michigan family has shared their organic fruit at a local farmers market, but now their religious beliefs are standing in the way of that tradition.

The kerfuffle between Steve Tennes, who owns a 120-acre orchard in Charlotte, Michigan, and the city officials in East Lansing-which is more than 20 miles away-began when he expressed his views on gay marriage in a Facebook post last year….

East Lansing officials decided to ban the Tennes family from participating in this year’s farmers market…citing the city’s antidiscrimination ordinance that covers sexual orientation….

So now the Tennes family is suing East Lansing for religious discrimination.     -theblaze.com

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Fifty protesters outside of the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, asked the convention to remove homosexuality from “their list of sins.”

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Tip of the Day

The cheapest price and the best buy are often two totally different things.

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Foster Care Workers Ordered to Affirm LGBT Lifestyles

Foster care workers and families in Illinois must allow gay and transgender youth to express and explore their chosen identity and sexual orientation, according to a new state governmental directive.

Termination is among the penalties workers with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) would face for violating the policy, the DCFS said in its new rules added May 11 as Appendix K to the state foster care policy manual….

Foster care caseworkers and caregivers must use “an affirming approach” in facilitating a child’s “exploration of any [LGBT] matters” and must be “open, nonjudgmental, and empathetic,” the new rule stipulates….

DCFS arranged foster care to 39,595 children in fiscal year 2016, according to the Executive Statistical Summary released in April 2017.  -Diana Chandler, BAPTIST PRESS

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San Diego Schools Sued Over Pro-Islam Campaign

Six parents have sued the San Diego school district, alleging that its pro-Islam campaign favors Islam over other religions and grants special protections to Muslim students.

Charles LiMandri, an attorney for the parents, called  the campaign a “politically correct solution to a problem that does not exist.”…

The multiyear plan includes ensuring staff calendars include Muslim holidays, reviewing library materials on Muslim culture, providing resources to teachers and engaging in partnerships with the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The district also plans to consider high school clubs that promote American Muslim culture, create “safe spaces” for students, and train staff about Muslim culture.  The district is reviewing internal staff calendars to make sure Muslim holidays are recognized….

The lawsuit filed…in federal court says the policy violates the U.S. Constitution by endorsing a religion.  It asks a judge to halt the policy immediately while the merits of the claim are considered.  -onenewsnow.com

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Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

When Muslims claim that their faith is a religion of peace, what do they mean?

WND.com (June 5, 2017) reports that “the religion of peace” struck again [June 3] in London, when three terrorists drove a van into a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge, then jumped out and reportedly shouted, “This is for Allah,” as they stabbed passersby with knives.

“With seven more dead and 48 more wounded in the latest attack, it’s hard for many to believe Islam is truly a religion of peace, as many politicians and media figures have claimed.”

“But Islam is a religion of peace, according to a former Homeland Security officer who specialized in Islamic theology and the strategy and tactics of the global Islamic movement.  It’s just that the Muslim definition of peace is different than the Western one.

“Peace is defined by pledging loyalty to shariah law,” said Philip Haney, who worked in Customs and Border Protection.  “They define everything that they do based on their loyalty to the principles of shariah law, and it’s a component of shariah that peace is not possible within this world we live in until shariah law is established.  So I tell people tongue-in-cheek that Islam is a religion of peace, just not right now.  It will be when shariah law is implemented, but not until then.”

“Haney, coauthor of See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad, said the Quran mandates warfare until the entire world submits to Islam-and once everyone lives under shariah law, that will be the definition of peace.”

This sounds similar to the communist definition of peace that we used to hear in the 1980s- “communism wants peace: a piece of this and a piece of that.”

To be sure, when talking about countries in the Eastern Hemisphere, words like “peace” and “freedom” and “rights” have different meanings from ours in America.

Islam wants all nations to live by Islamic law, which is another way of saying Islam wants to enslave the world.

-RETURN AMERICA, Dr. Ron Baity

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Amen Corner

“It is a very solemn delusion when ministers think they are prospering and yet do not hear of conversions.”

-Charles H. Spurgeon

“When men cease to be faithful to their God, he who expects to find them so to each other will be much disappointed.”

-Thomas Home

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”

-Samuel Johnson

 

“We cannot change our hearts, but we can change our minds; and when we change our minds, God will change our hearts.”

-Vance Havner

 

“It is a sure token of an hireling that he wisheth his work were at an end.  But he who truly loveth it is not offended at its toil nor suffering.”

-William Inge

 

 

 

 

 

Johnnie Langendorff Stumbles Into A Crazed Madman At First Baptist Church In Sutherland Springs, Texas

Johnnie Langendorff would be the last to call himself a hero.  He is simply an American who did the right thing at the right time.  It comes natural, without thinking, to those who still have values, morals and integrity.  To him, there were really no other options but to take out the perpetrator.  His quotation at the end of this article is priceless:   “He just hurt so many people, he affected so many people’s lives, why wouldn’t you want to take him down?”  Yup, that pretty much sums up Johnnie, and countless other Americans who willingly place themselves in harms way for the benefit of others.

My prayer is for Christian churches to get their heads out of the sand and create security teams.  Saying that “we live in troubled times” is only stating the obvious.  Pastor Steve

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An unlikely hero describes gun battle and 95 mph chase with Texas shooting suspect

Johnnie Langendorff stumbled into the crossfire — a total accident.
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Sunday morning was all routine until then. Langendorff — a lanky Texan with a fuzzy chin beard and the long horns of a bull’s skull tattooed across his neck — had breakfast. Then he was driving his truck on the dusty back streets to his girlfriend’s house nearby.  When he approached the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, he noticed something odd.
As he passed the churchgoers’ cars parked around the white wood front of the building, he saw that one vehicle’s engine was running. It was a pearl-colored SUV, a Ford Explorer, he said. The driver’s door was open. A man clad all in black was walking toward the vehicle with a pistol. He was trading shots with another man holding a rifle.
“I never got a look at him,” Langendorff explained to reporters later, his mouth nervously working a toothpick, when asked about the black-clad shooter. “I never really saw him. I saw the gunfire.”

Texas shooting eyewitness recounts how he chased the shooter:

The man in black hauled off in his SUV. The second man with the rifle — a neighbor unidentified as of Sunday night — came to Langendorff. The two men were strangers. “He briefed me quickly on what had just happened and said he had to get him,” Langendorff said later. “So that’s what I did.”

As the two men shot off in pursuit in Langerdorff’s truck, 26 First Baptist worshipers were dead or bleeding out on the sanctuary’s maroon carpet. Dozens were wounded. Sunday’s burst of violence would later be recognized as the fifth worst shooting in modern U.S. history, arriving just a month after 58 concertgoers were murdered in Las Vegas.
The Texas’ victims’ ages ran from 5 to 72, according to authorities, though one family said a one-year-old died. The shooter, identified now as Devin Patrick Kelley, first opened fire on the outside of the church just after 11 a.m. with a Ruger assault rifle. Kelley, clad in black tactical gear, then sprayed the building’s inside with bullets. He hastily fled the scene after engaging in a gun battle with a neighbor, the same man subsequently riding shotgun in Langendorff’s truck.
“It was more see and do,” Langendorff later told reporters. “Act now, ask questions later.”
Blasted with adrenaline, Langerdorff wove his truck at high-speed through traffic while trying to catch the fleeing car. The speedometer crossed 95 mph while the driver narrated everything to law enforcement. “I was on the phone with dispatch the entire time,” he said. “I gave them the direction we were going, on what road and everything, and that the vehicle was in sight and that I was getting closer and closer to him.”
Kelley’s vehicle, however, broke from the roadway and crashed into a ditch about 11 miles north of the church. Langerdorff pulled his own truck within 25 yards.
“The gentleman that was with me got out, rested his rifle on my hood and kept it aimed at him, telling him to get out get out. There was no movement, there was none of that. I just know his brake lights were going on and off, so he might have been unconscious from the crash or something like that, I’m not sure,” he said.

Police were on the scene within 5 to 7 minutes, Langerdorff said Sunday night. Freeman Martin, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Service, told The Post authorities had yet to determine whether Kelley was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound or hit in the gunfire at the church. Multiple weapons were found in Kelley’s vehicle.
On Sunday night, Langendorff explained his reaction to the shooting — jumping into a car chase — was a simple calculation. “He just hurt so many people, he affected so many people’s lives, why wouldn’t you want to take him down?”
Travis Andrews contributed to this story.

 

Antifa Rallies Planned in at Least 20 U.S. Cities – Won’t ‘Stop Until This Regime Driven from Power’

Antifa Rallies Planned in at Least 20 U.S. Cities – Won’t ‘Stop Until This Regime Driven from Power’
November 04 2017

The left-wing, Antifa Refuse Fascism group is planning rallies in at least 20 cities across the United States on Saturday to demand that the duly-elected President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence be “driven from power.”
In a full-page ad in the New York Times on Wednesday, the group advertised its event:
Nov 4 it begins — be there — join with the thousands who will gather in cities and towns across the country. A movement of protests that continue every day and night, growing until we become millions … determined not to stop until this is driven from power.
Newsweek reported on Thursday:
“Refuse fascism,” a nascent protest group with ties to a more explicitly left-wing radical group, “the revolutionary communist party,” doesn’t seem like a typical fit for the left-leaning pages of the paper known as The Gray Lady, but very little has been normal about the Trump era so far, according to organizers.
The regime is destroying the planet by ignoring climate change, they say, and they claim it is turning America into a fascist country through an unprecedented series of executive orders.
“What Trump and his administration are doing could pose an existential threat to humanity,” Andy Zee, a member of the advisory board for Refuse Fascism, told Newsweek in a phone interview.
“We’re in one of the most perilous moments in history right now,” Zee said.
The Refuse Fascism website states:
No! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America! Take to the streets and public squares in cities and towns across the country continuing day after day and night after night — not stopping until our DEMAND is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!
A list follows naming what those nightmares are, including discrimination against Muslims and gays, objectivism and harassment of women, and the danger posed by climate change.
The “about” portion of the Refuse Fascism states:
We launched RefuseFascism.org at an emergency meeting at the Great Hall of Cooper Union in NYC on December 19th, 2016.  Watched by some 200,000 people on HuffPo’s FaceBookLive, Andy Zee, PZ Myers, Carl Dix, Jeremy Scahill, Imam Ayub Abdul-Baki, Rev. Doris Johnson, Sunsara Taylor, Immortal Technique, and Fran Luck spoke along with messages from Gloria Steinem, Chase Iron Eyes, Isabel Cardenas, and others on the fascist character of the Trump/Pence Regime and called on people to get organized to stop it before it came to power.
But some are saying that the reaction to the planned rallies is overplayed and is being characterized by some conservative websites as the start of a civil war.
The Washington Post reported:
Infowars has warned “Antifa Plans ‘Civil War’ to Overthrow the Government.” The John Birch Society put out two recent videos warning Americans to “stay home and tell your children to do likewise” on Saturday.  YouTuber “A Glock Fanboy” notched more than 400,400 views for a clip raising the alarm about “the first day of the revolution or whatnot.”
Time magazine flatly said the claims of an insurrection are: “simply not true.”
There will indeed be anti-Trump rallies in 20 cities around the U.S. on Saturday, from Atlanta to Honolulu, organized by a left-wing political action group called Refuse Fascism whose goal is unseating Trump. But its tactics — including but not limited to a “passionate speak-out with music and participatory art” — are a far cry from violent insurrection.
Nor is it likely that the streets will be teeming with angry mobs: only 990 people have said that they’re attending the demonstration in New York, according to the event’s Facebook group.
Among the at least 20 cities where rallies are set to occur are Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Reported by: Penny Starr – Breitbart