Artificial Intelligence & The Coming Global Empire

The following article sounds like science fiction but it is not.  Do not be intimidated by the following article, as fallen man focuses on his “utopia” and the New World Order (NWO) without God.  These are prominent signs of the soon return of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Himself said, “When all these things begin to happen, look up for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:28). In fact, He said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34). The appearance of these signs is the #1 indicator the end of the age and the Second Coming of Jesus are near.  For the first time in history, we see those signs. They’re all around us. So don’t doubt it. Jesus is coming!

Note:  It is also important to keep in mind that the availability of technology does not mean it will be used immediately.  The atom bomb was first used seventy three years ago at the close of World War II, but by the grace of God, has not been used since.  The Artificial Intelligence (AI) you see below, is currently being discovered and refined, yet will not become a danger to mankind until it is mass produced and under the dominion of evil leaders.  This, of course, is all under the hand of God’s sovereignty and is where prayer comes in for we Christians.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Steve <><

 

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ARTICLE
Artificial Intelligence & The Coming Global Empire
By Britt Gillette February 16, 2018
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A series of recent news stories have highlighted the massive advances made in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Several of those focus on China’s Yitu Technologies, a company at the forefront of AI development. Yitu created a technology called Dragonfly.

Dragonfly can search and analyze billions of photographs and locate a single person in a matter of seconds. Connected to cameras in the Shanghai Metro, it identified over 500 criminals in a three month period. It’s so powerful it can recognize people wearing disguises. And it can identify people using pictures that are more than 30 years old.

Think of the power this gives the Chinese government. As Dragonfly connects to every camera in the nation, criminals will have nowhere to hide. Unfortunately, no one else will either. Chinese dissidents, political activists, ethnic minorities, Christians, and other “enemies of the state” will also have nowhere to hide. And it’s quite unlikely China will be the only state to take advantage of this technology.

The Rise of Big Brother

In George Orwell’s novel 1984, we’re first introduced to “Big Brother” – an omnipresent, all-powerful and “well-intentioned” totalitarian regime. The book’s hero, Winston Smith, lives in a world where every citizen is under 24/7 surveillance. Personal privacy doesn’t exist.

 Government controls every part of life. Monitors in Winston’s apartment spy on him when he’s home. Other devices spy on him when he’s not home. Hidden cameras and microphones capture his words, deeds, and even his facial expressions. His mail is opened, and “thought police” search for and arrest any citizens who dare to have thoughts or feelings outside of those sanctioned by Big Brother and the ruling elite.

Winston’s world is a place of absolute government control. No conversation, movement, or transaction goes unnoticed. The government is watching – always. In the decades since Orwell first released 1984, people have marveled at what they see as great insight into our future.

And they’re right to do so. Because 1984 is becoming our reality. And unfortunately, Yitu Technologies and Dragonfly are just a small part of what’s coming. Why do I say that? Because we’re only in the first stages of the AI revolution.

What’s Coming

In the near future, technologies like Dragonfly will be commonplace. And the ability to see and hear everything will be even easier for government. Unfortunately, while most people object to this type of surveillance and invasion of privacy, their everyday actions bring it closer and closer to reality. How? Many people voluntarily reveal the most intimate details of their lives.

They upload pictures of themselves and their friends to Facebook, and they tag them so AI systems can recognize them. They reveal personal information on Snapchat and Twitter. And they set up devices like the Google Mini and the Amazon Echo in their homes.

These devices respond to voice commands and make life easier. But they also have a downside. By definition, they’re always listening. That means a microphone is in your house listening at all times. And some of the newer devices feature cameras as well.

As time goes by, these devices will become smaller and cheaper. And as they become smaller and cheaper, they’ll become ubiquitous. They’ll be everywhere. How much smaller and cheaper will these devices become? Imagine trillions of HD cameras and microphones – each one the size of a dust particle.

Some might be so small the naked eye can’t see them. These cameras and microphones will constantly record everything. How will they be placed? They won’t. Like dust, they’ll spread across the earth and settle on every surface. They’ll be everywhere.

They’ll settle on your clothes. They’ll come in through the ventilation in your house. They’ll stick to the bottoms of shoes, and they’ll blow through the streets. And this “nanodust” will send raw video and audio content straight to the government.

“But wait,” you might say. “How will the government sift through all this data? It would take legions of intelligence analysts a century or more to listen to just one day of global conversations, right?” That’s true. But humans won’t comb through all this data. AI will.

Technology similar to Dragonfly will search and analyze everything – not just faces. In the same way Dragonfly analyzes faces, AI systems of the future will search audio recordings for specific phrases and undesirable language.

They’ll analyze video to find certain patterns of movement or behavior. And AI systems will be able to identify common traits shared by enemies of the state. With the ability to process mountains of information at high speeds, AI systems will analyze information with a much higher level of precision than any human analyst ever could.

A global network of such technologies will have the ability to “listen” to every conversation on earth. No one will be able to escape the ever watchful eye of “Big Brother.”

The Coming Global Empire

So why does all this matter? Because two thousand years ago the Bible said a single government will rule all the people of the world (Revelation 13:7). It also said the leader of that government will exercise such total control he’ll be able to decide who can buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17). Think about those statements.

A global government will have total and complete control over all commerce. To achieve this feat requires a police state the likes of which the world has never seen. Was such a state possible in the 1st Century? No. Was it possible in the 20th Century? No. How about in this century? Yes. It will be. And it won’t just be a possibility. It will be reality. Government won’t be able to resist the temptation AI offers. It’s just one more sign we’re nearing the end of the present age.

Remember, global government isn’t the only sign of the end. But it’s appearing at the same time as the other signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for. Israel is back in the land (Jeremiah 23:7-8)… The Jewish people once again reside in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28)… Though small, Israel has an exceedingly great army (Ezekiel 37:10)… Europe is unifying (Daniel 2:31-45)… And the Gospel is being preached to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14). These are all signs Jesus and the prophets said to look for. And our generation is the first ever to witness these signs. Think this is mere coincidence? I don’t either.

Jesus Himself said, “When all these things begin to happen, look up for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:28). In fact, He said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34). The appearance of these signs is the #1 indicator the end of the age and the Second Coming of Jesus are near.

For the first time in history, we see those signs. They’re all around us. So don’t doubt it. Jesus is coming!

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus as well as the books Signs of the Second Coming and Racing Toward Armageddon.

Read more at http://prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2023#QstiL18BK74qWvzS.99

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Arab Emirates Bring Pagan War Goddess to United Nations ~ November 28, 2017

“For he built again the high places which Chizkiyahu his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal.”
II Kings 21:3 (The Israel Bible™)
The same multinational group that recreated the Palmyra Victory Arch and sent it on a world tour has now recreated a statue of Athena, the Roman goddess of war, for an exhibit in the United Nations, an organization that claims to be working towards world peace but which one rabbi likens to modern-day paganism.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially inaugurated the Digital Archaeology Exhibition, “The Spirit in the Stone”, at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City last Thursday. The UAE, the Italian mission to the UN, and the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) cooperated in re-creating a statue of the Roman goddess Athena for the exhibit.

The original Athena statue stood in Palmyra, Syria, until it was destroyed by ISIS in 2015. The UAE announcement described the goddess as “synonymous with reason, refuge and the rule of law, all of the same values on which that historic institution was built,” but the statue depicts Athena in her classic pose grasping a spear, belying her prominent role as the Roman goddess of war.
It is also believed that the Roman goddess Athena was based on the earlier Mesopotamian goddess Ashera and was later incorporated into early Islam as al-Lāt, worshipped in Saudi Arabia as the consort of Allah mentioned in the Koran. This would be consistent with the statue’s history at the site in Palmyra, which was used as a temple by the Mesopotamians, Romans, and Muslims in succession.

Rabbi Elad Dokow, the head rabbi and lecturer at Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology, was not surprised that the United Nations would feature a display of pagan symbols.
“There is currently an unmistakable rise of paganism and idol worship in the world, more than any other religion, and it is naive to believe this display is disconnected from this phenomenon,” Rabbi Dokow told Breaking Israel News. “Paganism creates the ability for each man to create his own truth, as opposed to Judaism and Christianity, which state that there is an objective truth man must abide by. The UN, like paganism, is a place of subjective reality created by a vote.”
“What we are seeing in the world today is that every place Christianity grows weak, paganism and idolatry grow stronger, and where Christianity disappears, horrible things happen.”
Though an initiative bringing together the Muslim-majority UAE with Italy to recreate a Roman pagan idol seems incongruous, just such a union was described in Jewish prophecy, first alluded to in Psalms.
For they have consulted together with one consent; against Thee do they make a covenant; The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moav, and the Hagrites. Psalms 83:6-7
The first-century Jewish sage Jonathan ben Uzziel described how this Biblical alliance between Ishmael and Esau would reappear in war at the End of Days.
“Great ships full of weapons will depart as a large fleet from Roman Italy and will join up with a legion that will depart from Constantine [this is Ishmael]. They will harm the inhabitants of other lands, and subjugate the descendants of Eber [a reference to Israel].”
The UAE has worked with the IDA in the past. Their first collaboration, the 3-D printed Arch of Palmyra, was prominently featured in the UN exhibit as a full-size projection onto a screen. The original Arch of Palmyra was a Roman victory arch that stood for 1,800 years in front of the temple to the pagan god Ba’al in Palmyra until, like the statue of Athena, it was destroyed by ISIS.

Ba’al was the form of idol worship frequently mentioned in the Bible as accompanying the worship of the female false goddess, Ashera.
They rejected all the commandments of Hashem their God; they made molten idols for themselves—two calves—and they made a sacred post [Ashera] and they bowed down to all the host of heaven, and they worshiped Baal. II Kings 17:16
The reproduction of the Arch was first presented in April last year at London’s Trafalgar Square for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Week. The unveiling coincided with the most important pagan holiday of the year, Beltane, ushering in a 13-day period known in the occult as “the Blood Sacrifice to the Beast”, which was traditionally celebrated with child sacrifice and bisexual orgies.
Similar to the current display of Athena at the UN, the Palmyra Arch was also displayed at events associated with a world government. It was the centerpiece of the World Government Summit in Dubai last February, and appeared in Sarona, Italy in June, its display intentionally coinciding with the G7 Summit of world leaders.
Reported by: Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz – Breaking Israel News
By Prophecy in the News| November 28th, 2017|Tags: Arch of Palmyra, Christian News, Idol Worship, Pagan, Prophecy News, United Nations
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Prophecy in the News: Jerusalem: 4,000 Years in 5 Minutes (VIDEO) ~ January 26, 2018

Jerusalem, a Middle Eastern city west of the Dead Sea, has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims since the biblical era. Its Old City has significant religious sites around the Temple Mount compound, including the Western Wall (sacred to Judaism), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (a Christian pilgrimage site) and the Dome of the Rock (a 7th-century Islamic shrine with a gold dome).
Jerusalem is a mosaic of different peoples, faiths, and nationalities. Nevertheless, despite this diversity, under the sovereignty of Israel, Jerusalem is a city that works. But has it always been this way?
Watch this fascinating video of the entire history of Jerusalem in just 5 minutes. You will find it simply amazing!

NEW Revised Edition of TEMPLE by Robert “Bob” Cornuke ~ Amazing New Discoveries that Change Everything About the Location of Solomon’s Temple Watch this week’s program as Bob Cornuke talks with Dr. Kevin Clarkson in Part Two of the “Search for the Temple”

If you are a student at the SouthWest Florida Bible Institute, and interested in taking the following course:  “NT701 Two Tremendous Archaeological Discoveries” starting March 20, 2018, then you will want to watch the following cutting edge archaeological findings.  Bob Cornuke is interviewed by Dr. Kevin Clarkson, president of Prophecy in the News, about his REVISED and UPDATED book “Temple.”  The new book (just released days ago) can be purchased from KHouse and Chuck Missler, from Base Institute and Bob Cornuke, or from Prophecy In The News.  The older book Temple is 207 pages.  The new book you want to purchase is 239 pages – I received a copy of it today.  Bob Cornuke is turning the field of Christian archaeology on its head, as he navigates through the plethora of 2,000 years of errors in tradition, and uses solely the Bible as his roadmap, pursuing the correct places of archaeological importance to the Christian.  This book explores a new possible site for the temple, and Jesus’ exact place of crucifixion.  If the location is correct, then the famed Islamic Dome of the Rock would not be in the way of building the temple!  Bob Cornuke is highly respected in circles of famous people throughout the Middle East, and has combed the catacombs of passageways underneath Jerusalem with Benjamin Netanyahu.  You will enjoy the following videos and his book Temple.

In Christ, Pastor Steve  <><

Can you imagine the upheaval in political and religious thinking if the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is not the site of Solomon’s and Herod’s temples?

Since first published in 2014, Bob Cornuke’s ground-breaking book, TEMPLE, has been heralded as “an investigative masterpiece” with “astounding archaeological and prophetic implications.” We have already seen some “Bible scholars” publicly mock and try to refute him for his discoveries. Refusing to even debate him for fear that their lucrative careers will be tarnished, knowing all the while that the discoveries in this book has literally sent shockwaves through the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian worlds.

Bob has just released his NEW and updated version of this exciting book. Because there were so many negative untrue things being said about Bob’s discovery of the location of the Temple, Bob decided to add an appendix in the back of his new book to address these negative accusations. To be fair, he decided not to write the appendix, but to allow an outsider do the research and write this section of the book. That man is Dr. William P. Welty, who taught New Testament Greek for ten years at Simon Greenleaf University of Anaheim, California. Dr. Welty is a Bible scholar and executive director of the ISV Foundation. He was skeptical at first when Bob ask him to do the research, but when he finished, he called Bob and told him “There is no way that this is not the place of the Temple in the City of David.” His research is excellent!
Click on this link to read an article written by
Dr. William P. Welty titled:
In Defense of Dr. Robert Cornuke

https://t.e2ma.net/click/zqgmv/bwkapq/jesydf

TRUMPOCALYPSE The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Global Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon

Enjoy this special feature below from Paul McGuire and Troy Anderson, who unveil possible apocalyptic end time scenarios with the unique circumstances in our world, and Donald Trump as the President of the United States (POTUS).  Paul McGuire has an uncanny spiritual discernment about our times, and the ability to couple current events with Biblical prophecy.  Note the profound analogy of 1930’s Nazi Germany with the United States of America today.  Paul McGuire reveals how Donald Trump is impeding the goals of the New World Order (NWO), the Deep State, the media, and the United Nations.  These global organizations will do anything to remove him from office.  What is truly amazing, is that McGuire’s interpretation has already been my own understanding!

Maranatha, Pastor Steve

Internationally-recognized prophecy expert, Paul McGuire has once again teamed up with a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative journalist, Troy Anderson, to bring us an explosive new book titled:
TRUMPOCALYPSE
The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Global Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon
The word “TRUMPOCALYPSE” is a media-coined meme inciting panic and fear that America has elected an unstable man who will barge into delicate international affairs like a bull in a china shop and incite nations bent on America’s destruction to trigger World War III – an unprecedented nuclear apocalypse ending the world as we know it. The question is…”Is the media telling the truth?” The answer is…NO! You will be surprised to find out that America’s most insidious enemies are not hostile nations, but elite globalists, better known as the “Establishment.” They are making themselves richer while hard-working, middle-class people watch their incomes and net worths flatline or plummet. The authors fearlessly expose the globalist elite’s secret plan for humanity and campaign of mass deception.

TRUMPOCALYPSE explores the enigmatic prophecies and “biblical codes” involving President Trump and asks whether God raised up President Trump as a fearless leader to guide America and the free world through a series of major crises as the biblical end-time narrative unfolds. Everyday Americans have rallied around Trump as their last hope of saving America. It reveals why Trump and millions of “deplorables” are fighting to stop the hidden agenda of the Establishment.

Pray For Revival In America!

Pray fervently and without ceasing for President Donald Trump, our government, and our nation…

Top Bible Prophecy Stories Of 2017

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ARTICLE
Top Bible Prophecy Stories Of 2017

By Jan Markell/Olivetreeviews.org December 29, 2017

Pieces of the eschatological puzzle continue to manifest daily. Even signs that are primarily Tribulation events are casting a shadow today. As I perused news stories of the year, I selected 15 items that tell us time is short. The King is coming soon. Don’t ever doubt that.

1. Jerusalem became a greater “burdensome stone” with Donald Trump’s acknowledgement that this is truly Israel’s capital and holy city. See Zechariah 12:3. Greater controversy will surround her in the year ahead.

2. The Gog-Magog alliance went on fast-forward. Iran, Turkey, and Russia are uniting with a primary goal in mind — coming against Israel as foreshadowed in Ezekiel 38-39. Turkey’s Erdogan threatened to “wipe out all Jews” after the Jerusalem announcement.

3. A new false god came on the scene and many hailed its arrival. An ex-Google executive is founding a church where artificial intelligence will be worshiped. It’s called AI for short and keep your eyes on this in 2018.

4. The scoffing of eschatology went to a new level. Many said the announcement concerning Jerusalem was received well by many Christians only because it will hasten Christ’s return. Many who love prophecy have given up finding a church that will address this.

5. Tribulation Temple talk escalated after Donald Trump’s announcement concerning Jerusalem.

6. One salacious scandal followed another in 2017 revealing that man’s character now reflects the end-time warnings of Romans 1 and II Timothy 3.

7. Israel continued pounding targets in Syria foreshadowing the day when she will carry out the prophetic verse found in Isaiah 17:1 — the destruction of Damascus.

8. The idea of micro-chipping is now so accepted that one news outlet said people will soon be eager to be micro-chipped. It was suggested that we will eagerly line up like dogs for a chip.

9. As predicted, evil is waxing worse and worse (II Timothy 3:13). Pagan gods are appearing in many places including at the U.N. The occult is more appealing than ever and Millennials are “spellbound” by the paranormal.

10. Lawlessness is growing and the ‘spirit of Antichrist’ seems to be poured out on the earth in greater ways this past year. The Antifa movement is one illustration. George Soros is busier than ever in his waning years.

11. There has been an intensification of calling evil good (Isaiah 5:20). Islamic jihad proponent Linda Sarsour made threatening comments about President Trump yet almost became Time magazine’s “person of the year.” In the mind of the Left, Islam must be celebrated.

12. The world of technology has declared war on Christians and conservatives. Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and more, are pulling the plug or limiting righteous comments and ideology yet they often celebrate evil. This reached new levels in 2017.

13. The terms “peace and security” are used in the Bible in I Thessalonians 5:3. It is false peace and security. The term was used with greater intensity in the last year. Donald Trump has been heralded as the president who will bring Israel “peace and security.” On December 18, Fox News said President Trump would bring peace and security around the globe. The President stated that he “has laid a pathway to peace and security in our world.”

14. In spite of world turmoil, there is a greater “business-as-usual” atmosphere particularly in America. Since Donald Trump has been President, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed at record highs 82 times. The Bible suggests there will be such a comfortable time on earth when Christ returns in spite of the frequent “birth pangs” which have also been record-setting.

15. There is even more evidence that only Jesus ruling and reigning from Jerusalem will provide great government. It has become evident that mankind cannot drain a swamp filled with alligators and poisonous snakes! Washington is corrupt to the core because mankind’s heart is “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Draining the swamp was a great campaign slogan but 2017 showed us that first man’s heart must be made new.

We can look at a list like this and focus on ” sighs of the times” rather than realize that they are ” signs of the times.” The pieces of the puzzle continue to fall into place. Nothing is falling apart but instead falling into place.

Because of the turmoil of our times, someone said that the future is not what it used to be. Not true. The future was foretold and is playing out with a precise script and a predictable end only because it is all outlined in scripture. We can watch it in high-definition color with surround sound and even in 3D. We have front row seats!

The King is coming, perhaps today.

Originally published by Jan Markell at Olive Tree Ministries

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1892#RW5RgXL3PsKz3xck.99

 

 

New Internet Rules Usher In Global Control? ~ The End Of British Christianity? ~ Prophecy News Watch

Key The Following Link For Cutting Edge Updates Of Our Ever Changing World And Strides Made Towards The Coming New World Order:

http://prophecynewswatch.cc/l/IZJRxKomS3ZQy6RapRtsjg/wzoqVgnVrSM5R9fCHlwNDA/YHKLnvBoLaEL7EENRVIqbA

The End Of British Christianity?

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ARTICLE
The End Of British Christianity?

By Giulio Meotti/Gatestone Institute December 27, 2017

British Christian publications have been wondering if we are witnessing the “extinction of Christianity in Egypt”, where the Christian faithful have suffered persecution and terror attacks at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. Christian leaders also seem to be wondering if Christianity will be “extinct within a generation” in the UK, where religious people enjoy total freedom of worship and faith.

Last year, the Church of England began to formulate a religious revolution. Its canonical laws require that British churches hold their functions every Sunday. The dramatic crisis of Christianity in the UK, however, is pushing the Anglican church to rewrite those rules, in order not to officiate in empty and abandoned churches.

A quarter of the British rural parishes now have fewer than 10 regular members of the faithful on Sunday. There are no more children in 25% of the Church of England’s congregations, as new figures have just shown. On average, nine children attended each church service across all Anglican churches in 2016. Generally speaking, churchgoers have dwindled in the UK by 34,000 in just one year.

“Should we care that Britain’s lost its religion?”, Daniel Finkelstein asked in The Times. Yes. He suggests that nationalism might take its place, but what if, instead, its place is taken by another religion?

There is no need to be observant to understand the importance of a country’s cultural affiliation. If there were no mass immigration from countries with values antithetical to Western ones, the demise of Christianity would not be as potentially calamitous; society might simply become one of atheists and secularists.

Europe now, however, is experiencing a terminal decline for two reasons that are linked: mass unvetted immigration coupled with a shrinking confidence in its own legitimacy and beliefs. There seems to be shame over Western colonialism, yet no thought at all seems to be given to who are the real colonists: The Crusades were a reaction to a Muslim colonization of the Christian Byzantine Empire, North Africa, the Middle East, much of Eastern Europe, Northern Cyprus and Spain.

In Europe, the UK is now leading the same process. Britain is living through “the biggest religious transition since the Reformation of the 16th Century”, according to Linda Woodhead, professor of the sociology of religion at Lancaster University. In 2000, Anglicans were 30% of the population.

Half of them have disappeared in just seventeen years. The number of those who belong to the Church of England fell below 15%, including just 3% of English young people ages 18-24. Writing in the Spectator, Damian Thompson wondered if “the Church of England is dying”. Churchgoing dropped by 50% also in Scotland. Another report revealed that more than half the British population has no religion at all.

According to internal documents from the Church of England, Christianity is dying in Britain at such a pace that in the next three decades, Anglican congregations will halve again. Christians in the UK are on course to be in the minority by the middle of the century.

What defines Europe are its boundaries – not physical but cultural. Without its culture, Europe could not be distinguished from the rest of the world. And the pillar of this culture is based on the Judeo-Christian heritage and values.

The journalist Melanie Phillips stated that the Church of England, by embracing trendy ideological extravagances such as gender ideology, is now culturally “sowing the seeds of its destruction.” The goal of all this “inclusivity,” according to Phillips, is actually to “overthrow the Christian basis of the West”.

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has said that “political correctness” is bullying and undermining Christianity in the UK. “I cannot imagine any politician expressing concern that Britain should remain a Christian country; that reticence is a scandal and a disgrace to our history.”

According to a new poll, a total of 41% of British millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, said that the UK has “no specific religious identity”. As the progressive publication Prospect asked, “if we are no longer a Christian country, what are we?”. Former archbishops of Canterbury have warned that the UK will be soon unrecognizable. Rowan Williams has said that the UK is already “post-Christian”.

The existential crisis of the Church of England does not involve only the third Christian congregation in the world, represented by Anglicans. The crisis is also going to tear apart a source of the British landscape, politics and culture. Recently, The Spectator featured “The end of British Christianity” on its cover, where one elderly lady is seen as the only faithful in a cathedral.

“It’s often said,” the magazine continued, “that Britain’s church congregations are shrinking, but that doesn’t come close to expressing the scale of the disaster now facing Christianity in this country. If that rate of decline continues, the mission of St Augustine to the English, together with that of the Irish saints to the Scots, will come to an end in 2067”.

The level of atrophy in the Church of England is so extensive that Anglicanism is expected to collapse “for the next thirty years”. There are also rumors that “half of England’s Anglican cathedrals could close”.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said recently that in the UK, Christianity has been “nearly defeated”. If the Church of England disappears, there will be a totally different UK. The British historian Niall Ferguson has called it “the creeping Islamization of a decadent Christendom”.

Originally published at Gatestone Institute – reposted with permission.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1886#xeUeOOGtVW5PtU3E.99

 

 

 

 

Advent: Jesus Is Coming, and This Time It’s Different

 

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TV commercials, radio stations, and shopping malls are all proclaiming that it’s the Christmas season! But actually, it isn’t.

Last Sunday, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, in churches all around the world, the Gospel reading was Matthew 25:31-46.

The passage opens with words that should make our hearts soar, or, perhaps, shiver with dread: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

As the passage makes clear, Christ’s second coming will be very different from his first. He will return in glory, not obscurity. He will return as the King of the Universe, not as a nobody in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire. And this time, He will do the judging.

This, and not shopping, or who saw whom kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe, is what we’re supposed to be thinking about these next four weeks, the season known as Advent.

Now if you’re wondering, “Wait, isn’t this the Christmas season?” the answer is, well, “no.” Of course, we wouldn’t know that from watching television, where some networks have been running “Christmas” movies–none of which ever mention Jesus–since late October.

Beginning Sunday, December 3rd through Christmas Eve, many Christian traditions celebrate the season of Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “come to.” Thus, Advent is the season Christians anticipate the celebration of God’s coming to live and die as one of us. And to better appreciate the immensity of that gift, we are to put ourselves in the place of ancient Israel which yearned for the promised Messiah who would set things right.

One of the ways to do this is through hymns. The ancient Advent carol “Creator of the Stars of Night,” which dates from the 7th century, expresses this Old Testament yearning in a way that has literally stood the test of time.

“Thou, grieving that the ancient curse/ Should doom to death a universe/ Hast found the medicine, full of grace/ To save and heal a ruined race,” the hymn reads.

The “medicine” required to “save and heal a ruined race” was Jesus, as Paul told the Philippians, emptying himself and becoming obedient to death.

But that’s not the entire story. We also sing “At Whose dread Name, majestic now/ All knees must bend, all hearts must bow/ And things celestial Thee shall own/ And things terrestrial, Lord alone.”

That’s because Advent is not only a time of anticipating Christ’s first coming but also anticipating the next and final time Jesus comes to Earth. And, I repeat, this coming will be very different from the first: The same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem during the reign of Caesar Augustus will return as the “judge of the living and the dead,” and “his kingdom will have no end.”

This makes Advent not only a time of reflection, but also a time of repentance. This season is a time to examine our lives and ask ourselves whether we are sheep or goats. Are we living, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, for ourselves or for Him who died for us and rose again?

Originally published at Breakpoint.org – reposted with permission.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1820#coLiACRIRS72FjLw.99

 

WAITING For Christmas ~ WAITING For Christ’s First Coming ~ WAITING For His Second Coming

Our Daily Bread

Read: Micah 5:2–4
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 45–46; 1 John 2

Bethlehem . . . out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.—Micah 5:2
“How much longer until it’s Christmas?” When my children were little, they asked this question repeatedly. Although we used a daily Advent calendar to count down the days to Christmas, they still found the waiting excruciating.
We can easily recognize a child’s struggle with waiting, but we might underestimate the challenge it can involve for all of God’s people. Consider, for instance, those who received the message of the prophet Micah, who promised that out of Bethlehem would come a “ruler over Israel” (5:2) who would “stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord” (v. 4). The initial fulfillment of this prophecy came when Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1) —after the people had waited some 700 years. But some of the prophecy’s fulfillment is yet to come. For we wait in hope for the return of Jesus, when all of God’s people will “live securely” and “his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth” (Mic. 5:4). Then we will rejoice greatly, for our long wait will be over.
Most of us don’t find waiting easy, but we can trust that God will honor His promises to be with us as we wait (Matt. 28:20). For when Jesus was born in little Bethlehem, He ushered in life in all its fullness (see John 10:10)—life without condemnation. We enjoy His presence with us today while we eagerly wait for His return. —Amy Boucher Pye

We wait, Father God, and we hope. We wait, dear Jesus, as we long for peace to break out. We wait, comforting Spirit, for all the world to experience Your love.
We wait for God’s promises, believing they will come true.

INSIGHT: Christ’s second coming is also the theme of several New Testament passages. As Christ ascended into heaven, the angels told His disciples that Christ “will come back in the same way” they saw Him go (Acts 1:11). Jesus said His return would be unannounced and could occur at any moment; therefore, we are to “Be on guard! Be alert!” (Mark 13:33-37). The early Christians believed that Jesus’s return was “almost here” (Rom. 13:11-14). The apostle James encouraged believers to “be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:8; see also Rev. 1:3). The anticipation that Jesus could come any moment led some Christians in Thessalonica to become idle, quitting their jobs and waiting for Him to return. But Paul told them to get back to work and live meaningful lives (2 Thess. 3:11-13).
“While we [patiently] wait for the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13)—that wonderful day of Jesus’s return—we can ask the Spirit to help us to live “holy and godly lives . . . spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:11, 14).
In what ways can you enjoy God’s presence today as you wait for Jesus’s return?    Sim Kay Tee