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When they are saying peace and security…

While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Israel has never had peace or security. Not for any real length of time. Their constant falling away-repent-falling away cycle prevents that. their penchant for making alliances with hostile nations in vain hopes of forestalling attacks also is a sad pattern. (Ancient Assyria, Egypt, Cush … 2 Chronicles 18:1-2, Isaiah 31:1, Isaiah 20:5)

Praying for the peace of Israel as Psalm 122:6 says really means as Gill’s Exposition says, a future peace in the Millennium:

“but for the spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem, the church of God, and for the peace of it; that Christ, the Man, the Peace, the Peacemaker, who then was not come, might come; that the members of it might enjoy spiritual peace in their son is, and might have peace one with another, and be at peace with their enemies; and enjoy the abundance of peace and prosperity, which will be in the latter day;”

It will be then and only then Jerusalem has peace. That doesn’t stop Israel from seeking it though. Nor does it stop false friends from pressuring it upon Israel, either. The Israel Daily newspaper Haaretz this morning has a front page dedicated to peace. An opinion article from Obama is prominently placed there. Here is a photo of today’s front page from Haaretz:

In an exclusive article for Haaretz’s Israel Conference on Peace, Barack Obama says that the only solution is a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state.

Peace talks have once again stalled out. Each President has tried to resolve the issues in the Middle East ever since Israel was created as a nation in 1948. Each president has failed. Only the antichrist will be able to [seemingly] resolve the conflict there but he will prove to be a betrayer and tear up the peace treaty he negotiates halfway through the covenant’s time period and turn around and persecute Israel to their almost bloody death. This is part of God’s plan.

This latest round of peace talks has ended with a sputter. Secretary of State Kerry failed to make headway. Tablet Magazine actually claims that America is the Arsonist in the Middle East, and that it was “Kerry’s failed peace negotiations set off the spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.” Apparently someone has to blame someone.

Obama is pushing the issue once again after it has languished on the back burner these long months. A deadline set by Kerry 9-months ago has approached and it is time to renew attention to the issue. Hamas isn’t unaware either and has ramped up rocket fire in this last week. Joel C. Rosenberg writes today,

Escalation: 130 rockets fired at Israel since midnight. IDF calls up 40,000 reservists for possible ground operation in Gaza

(Washington, D.C.) — My heart is breaking over the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians as the situation goes from bad to worse, hour by hour.

  • In recent days, Palestinian extremists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenage boys.
  • Then Jewish extremists kidnapped and murdered an Arab teenage boy, apparently burning him alive.
  • Meanwhile, Palestinian extremists in Gaza began firing rockets at Jewish and Arab civilians in southern Israel.
  • More than 220 rockets have been fired at Israel since July 1st. And just since midnight, 130 rockets were fired at Israel.
  • Israel’s “Iron Dome” system is shooting down many of them.
  • The Israeli Air Force is striking Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government authorized “Operative Protective Edge” to ratchet up attacks on the terrorists in Gaza. The IDF is calling up 40,000 reservists for a possible massive ground invasion of Gaza.

I know the prophecy in Thessalonians is trotted out any time anyone ever says “peace and security”. The verse is actually pointing to the Day of the Lord, AKA the Time of Jacob’s Trouble AKA The Tribulation. However, it does do for us to keep the prophecy in mind as we watch unparalleled events in the Middle East occur. ISIS is advancing, a caliphate has been established, rocket fire is barraging Israel, the deadline for the peace talks is renewing pressure on everyone involved, and let’s not forget the violence in northern Africa and central Africa. Several of those nations will take part in the Psalm 83 war.

Jordan King: ‘We fear spread of Iraq chaos’
Floodgates open as ISIS takes over swaths of both Syria and Iraq
C. African Republic church attacks leaves 17 dead
Mild quake shakes Lebanon, western Syria and northern Israel
63 Women Escape Extremist Abductors in Nigeria
South Sudan Official Orders Curfew Violators to be Shot Dead

We won’t know the day or hour, or even whether the Day of the Lord is approaching very near, but we can see that the world is in turmoil and in need of its Savior once again. He will return in wrath next time though. Before there is peace on earth there will be wrath.

As for us Christians, John MacArthur reminds us,

You say, “Will we be there at the day of the Lord?” No. We’ll be taken out before the day of the Lord. Now as you know through all the years it has been my conviction to teach you that we are taken out before that final seventieth week, that final seven-year period begins. The great promise is that we have not been appointed unto wrath. We have been appointed unto glory. If you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, the future you look for is all glorious. If you don’t know Him, the future you look forward to is all terrifying. It is no insignificant thing that the whole world has its eyes on the Middle East, that’s where all the consummation of God’s history will take place. It could be in this generation, it could be soon. We must be ready. If you know Christ, you’ll be taken before it hits. If you don’t, you’ll be destroyed when it comes.

Signs in the sun, moon, and stars

Funky things will be happening to the sun and the moon and the stars during the Tribulation. Lately, we have seen an uptick in solar activity, and certainly there seems to be an asteroid a day discovered, and each one that is discovered seems to have a trajectory bringing it closer and closer to earth.

The prophecies regarding the funky things happening to the sun such as it going dark are plentiful in the Old Testament and in the New:

Isaiah 13:10–For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.

Joel 2:31–The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Matthew 24:29– [The Coming of the Son of Man] “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Revelation 8:12 [Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck] Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.

Jesus said that in advance of His coming that “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” Luke 21:25. Here are a few newspaper articles about that funkiness in advance of the Tribulation (which of course will grow much worse during that 7 year period of judgment):

Here is a roundup from The Weather Channel titled “The ten weirdest things about March 2012 weather“.
“To say March 2012 has been weird…strange…bizarre weatherwise has been, frankly, a gross understatement.”
1. Record Heat — An Understatement
2. Heaviest late-season snow
3. A Massive, Rapid Snowmelt
4. 80s…in Canada…in March!
5. All-Time March Heat … Several Days in a Row!
6. Atlanta Pollen Count Tops 9,000
7. Michigan, Minnesota Tornadoes … in March
8. Record Hailstone…in Hawaii!!
9. Chicago Record Streak
10. International Falls: The Melting Icebox

The planet Mercury is swelling up. It must have water weight gain this time of the month…

Mystery rising with Mercury
“Something besides volcanic eruptions and asteroid and comet impacts has sculpted the surface of Mercury — an unknown process, possibly still going on today, that causes the ground to swell from the inside out.The evidence, collected by a NASA spacecraft orbiting the innermost planet, is scattered all over Mercury, including a dramatic finding that half of the floor of the biggest crater on the planet has been raised above the walls.”

Hmmm, weird. I wonder what is making the planet Mercury swell up. I hope they find out. There is so much going on in the universe it boggles my mind! Yet God is in control of it all.

Solar storm dumps gigawatts
“A surge of infrared radiation from nitric oxide molecules on March 8-10, 2012, signals the biggest upper-atmospheric heating event in seven years. A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years.”

From Spaceweather.com. a CME is a coronal mass ejection–
“INCREDIBLE SUNSPOT AR1429: Big sunspot AR1429, the source of so many strong flares and geomagnetic storms earlier this month, is still erupting. The active region produced a significant coronal mass ejection on March 24th at 00:39 UT. Because of the sunspot’s location on the far side of the sun, this particular CME will not hit Earth. An animated forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab shows the trajectory of the expanding cloud.The leading edge of the CME is expected to arrive at the STEREO-B spacecraft on March 25th at 13:08 UT (+/- 7 hours). None of the inner planets will be affected.Since March began, sunspot AR1429 has propelled CMEs into every corner of the solar system, stirring up stormy space weather around every planet and spacecraft. If the sunspot remains active for another week or so, it will turn back toward Earth for a new round of geoeffective eruptions. Stay tuned.”

Scientists are beginning to wonder if the giant asteroid Vesta is actually a planet
“For years, scientists have been calling Vesta an asteroid. Granted, it’s a big asteroid — at 330 miles across, it’s the second biggest in the solar system — but NASA’s Dawn spacecraft recently got its closest look at Vesta yet, and according to Dawn’s principle investigator Christopher Russel, astronomers have been finding it hard not to refer to the asteroid as a planet. Of course, the odds of the International Astronomical Union convening to name Vesta a planet (the same way they met in 2006 to reclassify Pluto as a dwarf planet) are basically zero. So instead, astronomers have taken to describing the massive asteroid as “transitional.” But what’s with all the confusion in the first place? Long story short: Vesta resembles a planet. And not just any planet; Vesta is home to a lot of features typically associated with terrestrial bodies like Earth.”

“Transitional”?? LOL! Talk about not knowing and thus hedging your bets… As an aside, I always wondered why the scientists name the planetary bodies after mythological gods and none are named after the real bible heroes. You find Vesta, goddess of home and hearth; Venus, Roman goddess of love; Mars, Roman god of war; Pluto, Roman god of the underworld; Jupiter, Roman king of all gods; Mercury, messenger to the gods; Saturn, Roman god of agriculture (and origin of Saturnalia, a gift giving celebration held around the third week of December and in which some of its customs may have influenced the seasonal celebrations surrounding Christmas); Neptune, god of water and the see; Uranus is the ancient Greek god of the Heavens, but was dethroned by his son Cronus. Here is a link to the origin of the names for the planets, moons, and satellites.

Note the similarity of the ancient Greek and Roman myths to the truth of the bible account of the origin of the universe–

According to Greek mythology, the first god was Chaos. While the word Chaos brings certain images of mayhem and disorderliness to the English-speaking mind, the Greek god Chaos was just a big, empty, black, Nothing. Chaos was Nothingness, the Void, or empty space. After Chaos came the goddess Earth, who was known to the Greeks as Gaia, and to the Romans as Terra. Earth appeared out of nothing according to Greek mythology: “Chaos was first of all, but next appeared broad-bosomed Earth” (Hesiod, Theogony). To the ancients, of course, earth was not perceived as a planet, as it was not perceived to “wander” or move at all.Ge (Earth) was a virgin when she gave birth to her firstborn son, Ouranos, which means “Sky” in Greek. “Although the Roman name for the god Sky was Caelus, the Latin spelling of the Greek name Ouranos was “Uranus”. From this, we get the name of a modern planet…” (source)

It is interesting to see that when Vesta was discovered in 1807 the asteroid was thought of as a planet for about fifty years. It was declassified as a planet in the mid 1800s. So as I was saying earlier about the scientists, their information unfolds and as new facts are added their paradigms change. It’s the missing link! No it’s not! It’s a planet! No, it’s not! It’s a new volcano! No it’s not!

Are we not blessed with the bible which we can count on as total truth, all the time?! Aren’t we blessed to have an unchanging Savior?! Keep looking up. The more funky things happening the more likely it is that He will call for us in the rapture. We don’t know what day or hour, but the celestial funkiness and weather anomalies tells us that it may be the season…

Do you have a divided heart, or a whole heart?

Jesus at His zenith of popularity… Big crowds, laudatory accolades, and promises, promises by the naive:

“And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:61-62).

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary says of that verse, “As ploughing requires an eye intent on the furrow to be made, and is marred the instant one turns about, so will they come short of salvation who prosecute the work of God with a distracted attention, a divided heart. … The expression “looking back” has a manifest reference to ‘Lot’s wife’.”

You can imagine what a furrow looks like when a plow has swerved. Or a mower with the operator looking backwards. It soon gets crooked.

The ‘don’t look back’ warning in Luke does bring immediately to mind the warning given to Lot and his family as they prepared to flee the imminent judgment at Sodom, that most wicked city. The angel told the family,

“Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” (Gen 19:17b).

Those directions are pretty clear. Don’t look back. The family had been told in no uncertain terms that what was going to happen to the city. They knew it was judgment from God, and they knew they were in the presence of an angel who was delivering this message. you cannot get much higher than an authority than an angel sent by God, and you would think that a person would listen to the directions. When the judgment started, this is what happened:

“Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Gen 19:24-26).

She had a divided heart.

Now, the Lord is THE highest authority. And He told the would-be follower in Luke not to look back. He had discerned that the would-be follower already had a divided heart. You can’t move forward while looking back. If you do, you mar your walk.

Jesus is the most beautiful treasure, the most glowing glory, the most perfect sight one could ever imagine. He is the most important person in the Universe, from all time and forever. The question is, why would you WANT to look back? Is there a possession Mrs Lot had that was worth more to her than her family around her? More important than an angel from God? More important than judgment behind and salvation ahead?

Of the young follower questioning Jesus, who was at his house that was more important than the Messiah?

In John 6, Jesus was talking with the disciples. A great many of them had been following Jesus for some time, including the Twelve. As Jesus was preaching about the bread and the blood, and saying that no one can come to Him unless it has been granted by the Father. It was a hard saying, hard to understand and hard to accept. The scriptures say,

“As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”

Peter got it. He knew that there was nothing else on earth more important than the time He could spend with Messiah in person.

Do you have a divided heart? Where else would you go, once you found the key to eternal life, and the One who brings it? There is no place else to go, nothing else to have, not one thing of any iota of importance compared to Jesus. A divided heart is no heart. What was Mrs Lot looking at? What was back at Sodom that was better to mourn over than in looking back, rather than looking ahead at the angel who was leading them to safety? Who was better for the young would-be follower to be with than the most important Person of the universe??

My hope for myself and for you is to have a whole heart for Jesus.

Mystery of the Malibu restaurant worker’s death

This is an interesting story. The facts on the ground are constantly changing as new information comes in, and that is perfectly OK. What struck me about this story is how sensitive and skittish people are these days with anything resembling a Pestilence. We have all seen The Stand, or Contagion, or Epidemic or Outbreak…and we all know that behind featureless office building walls are labs experimenting with creating the next superflu or the next genetically mutated pestilence. When the headlines came out about this Malibu restaurant worker, the blogs lit up like the fourth of July. The story goes like this:

A restaurant worker at Guido’s in Malibu was found dead in the alley behind his restaurant. He was in a pool of blood. Initial reports were that he was shot. Another report stated he was beaten to death as he took out the trash.

A day or so later it turned out that it was reported that the worker possibly died of a mysterious upper respiratory infection.

That’s when things went bananas. Just the thought of a man who had worked a shift in its entirety, was performing a mundane task, then keeled over with his lungs melting inside him, was too much for people to take. Imaginations went wild. Forums and chat boards lit up. Contradictory reports were coming out all over the place.

“Sheriff’s officials say a man found dead in front of a Malibu restaurant died from an upper respiratory infection, but the cause of that infection is still unknown. The L.A. County Coroner’s Office is running toxicology tests that could provide more answers. Carlos Ivan Rodas, 32, was found Sunday night in front of Guido’s restaurant on Cross Creek Road, where he worked. Rodas was found in a pool of blood outside the restaurant. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses said he had gone to take the trash out behind the restaurant, and then staggered to the front, where he collapsed. Initial reports from the scene indicated Rodas had been shot. A short time later, authorities amended that story, saying it appeared Rodas had been brutally beaten by a group of unidentified suspects. Then, on Wednesday, the sheriff’s department changed the story a third time, saying Rodas likely died from an upper respiratory disease. Sheriff’s officials also said it appeared there was no criminal conduct related to Rodas’ death. The Coroner has not issued an official cause of death.Coroner spokesman Ed Winter said he could not discuss the findings because a security hold has been placed on the case.”

And the coroner retracted the nugget that the guy died of upper respiratory disease and clamped down on all communications. A “security hold.”

Malibu Restaurant Worker Found in Pool of Blood Died of Respiratory Disease [UPDATED]
“UPDATE 4:07 PM Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter has expressed dismay this afternoon regarding the LASD’s release of information about Rodas’ cause of death, according to CNS. Winter said he was “irritated at this,” and explained that a sheriff’s detective placed a security hold on the case, which barred anyone at the coroner’s office from discussing the case. Winter added he could not confirm the information released by the LASD that indicates Rodas died of an “upper respiratory disease.” Asked if an upper respiratory infection could indicate tuberculosis, Winter said it could, however he said it also could have been another kind of infection, reports CNS.”

Finally the coroner’s office took over and issued a statement on behalf of the City of Malibu–

“Over the last few days, the City has been in constant communication with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department regarding the tragic death of an employee at a local restaurant. In order to provide clear information and to help alleviate several conflicting reports surrounding the cause of death, the Sheriff’s Department issued a statement that the death appears to be respiratory in nature, but no other specifics have been given. In the interest of public safety, as well as the need to provide the community with information and the pressure to release information, the Sheriff’s Department provided preliminary assessments based upon witness accounts and the appearance of the scene.”

“Initial assessments by medical, fire and law enforcement personnel led to the belief that a violent crime may have taken place. As in many investigations, until all of the evidence has been verified, the cause of death may be modified. As always, the first concern was for public safety in the actual event this was determined to be a homicide. The City is disappointed by the confusing and contradictory messages given to the media and public about this tragedy. The City’s goal is to get the most accurate and up to date information before disseminating it to the community.”

“Public safety and public health are the City’s most important issues and the City is working hard to get the correct facts regarding this incident to allay any fears that may have arisen. The Sheriff’s Department and County Coroner are working diligently to determine the exact cause of death. The City will continue to collaborate closely with the Sheriff’s Department on communication to the public until the final medical report is issued that will separate the facts from fiction in this very confusing, yet tragic, case.Malibu Mayor Laura Rosenthal added, “The City extends our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Rodas’ family and friends during this very difficult time. A young man has died, no matter the circumstances, and we wish to respect the pain and suffering of his loved ones at this time. I will be working to get as much information as possible about this tragedy and make sure that our residents and community are safe.”

Just the fact that the City had to issue a statement to quell the immediate hysteria was pretty interesting. That there was so much immediate hysteria is also very interesting. We’re all so skittish today, more than we realize, I think. Part of that is a deep distrust of what officials are telling us from day to day on both mundane and important matters.

Investigations continue, and nothing has emerged about the case in the last day and a half. The coroner said that they have to grow a culture and then test it, and that process takes time, about 4 weeks according to this report. The Health Department investigated the restaurant and it was declared a non-threat to public safety and is open for business. The only thing they will say is that it was not a homicide, and there were no external wounds on the worker. Creepy.

Meanwhile it is scary to think of all the diseases that are being cultured right now in petrie dishes in labs all over the world, especially Damascus, the Middle East’s most advanced bio and chemical warfare labs.

I have mentioned before on my blog and in the DD newsletter that Damascus is home to advanced bio-labs and chemical warfare plants. With the unrest in Syria, those are at risk, either from insurgents or from simply being attacked purposely or accidentally, and bio-agents released. We could truly have an “Outbreak” situation on our hands. To that end,

US, Jordan mulling ways to secure Syrian bio-weapons
Washington, Amman are reportedly devising ways to keep Damascus’ chemical, biological weapons caches out of terror groups’ hand should Assad fall
“The United States and Jordan are reportedly discussing ways to secure what is believed to be Syria’s substantial stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of Hezbollah or al-Qaeda, should Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime come to its end.Syria is believed to have one of the world’s largest arsenals of nerve agents, including Sarin, cyanide, and mustard gas; and is one of only seven nations not to sign the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)”.

Goodness, I hope they secure those labs!

Earthquake in Mexico today: Are there more earthquakes?

A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck today in Oaxaca, Mexico. Drudge noted the other day that despite travel warnings about the tenuous situation in Mexico for tourists, that Obama’s daughter is vacationing in Oaxaca, anyway. The article from Montreal Gazette states,

“OAXACA, Mexico – The elder daughter of U.S. President Barack Obama is spending her spring break in the historic Mexican city of Oaxaca in the company of 12 friends, a state police official said. The young tourists, including 13-year-old Malia Ann Obama, are staying at a downtown hotel in this city famous for its colonial architecture and well-preserved native American traditions, the official said. “We are here to block access to the hotel by other people and escort the vehicles that are carrying the visitors to tourism sites,” the police official told AFP under the condition of anonymity. Malia Obama and her friend are guarded by 25 U.S. Secret Service agents as well as Mexican police, the official noted.”

Though she was well protected from kidnappers, gangs, and terrorism while visiting Mexico, no one can prepare for an earthquake. Fortunately Miss Obama is all right, as are her friends.

The quake occurred today and is accompanied by many high-magnitude aftershocks.

5.1 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.1 OAXACA, MEXICO
5.3 OAXACA, MEXICO
7.4 OAXACA, MEXICO

The Mexico quake was said to be a strong one that lasted a long time. Thankfully as of this writing there are no major damages and no reports of casualties or injuries. Washington Post reports,

“A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico on Tuesday, shaking central and southern parts of the country, collapsing a pedestrian bridge and swaying buildings in Mexico City. Plaster fell from ceilings and windows broke in the center of the capital, but the president said there were no immediate reports of major damage. … Frightened workers and residents poured into the streets of the capital just minutes after noon local time. Telephone service was down in the city and throughout the area where the quake was felt. … In Huajuapan, Guerrero, near the epicenter, hotel owner Marco Antonio Estrada also reported shaken-up guests but no major damage. He said it was longest and strongest he ever felt. People ran out of their homes and cars.”

There was also another earthquake today, a strong one rated at 6.2 at Papua Indonesia, listed on the USGS page for quakes the last 7-days.

Every time there is a strong quake, blog hits spike. People are curious about the connection to the end times and earthquakes. Many people wonder, is there a connection? Is there a Godly purpose to earthquakes? Yes. Yes there is.

God has used earthquakes for several reasons. Here are just a few. In the Old Testament, Mount Sinai ‘trembled violently’ before God spoke to Moses. (Exodus 19:18).

God used an earthquake to demonstrate the outcome of rebellion against Him. The ground opened, swallowing Korah and his men. (Numbers 16:31-32).

God used an earthquake to show that despite His power to create an earthquake, Elijah could also hear Him in the still, small voice. (I Kings 19:11).

The great earthquake at the time of King Uzziah was spoken of by Amos. Uzziah had grown insolent and haughty. The LORD used the earthquake to remind the king of the LORD’S power. That one was a judgment quake.

Of the Uzziah quake, scientifically, “Masonry walls best display the earthquake, especially walls with broken ashlars, walls with displaced rows of stones, walls still standing but leaning or bowed, and walls collapsed with large sections still lying course-on-course. Debris at six sites (Hazor, Deir ‘Alla, Gezer, Lachish, Tell Judeideh, and ‘En Haseva) is tightly confined stratigraphically to the middle of the eighth century B.C., with dating errors of ~30 years.…The earthquake was at least magnitude 7.8, but likely was 8.2…This severe geologic disaster has been linked historically to a speech delivered at the city of Bethel by a shepherd-farmer named Amos of Tekoa.” (source: “Steven A. Austin, Gordon W. Franz, and Eric G. Frost, “Amos’s Earthquake: An Extraordinary Middle East Seismic Event of 750 B.C.” International Geology Review 42 (2000) 657-671).”

Zechariah links the Uzziah quake’s strength to the last day quake when Jesus arrives in His second coming. As His feet land on the Mount of Olives, the mount splits in two, “Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley,For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.” (Zech 14:4b-5).

In Matthew 24:7 Jesus told His disciples (and us) that in the last days there would be earthquakes in various places as one of the sings of His coming. (Mt 24:7).

In Matthew 27:51-54 when Jesus died on the cross a great earthquake occurred, splitting the Temple veil in two and resurrecting many saints from their graves. This was a vivid demonstration of His power, and as a witness to the truth that Jesus is His Son.

So if God speaks using earthquakes for His reasons, and earthquakes are an end time sign used to get man’s attention, are there indeed more earthquakes? As we get closer to the time of the rapture and afterward, the Tribulation judgments poured out in remaining unbelievers, have the number of quakes risen as one would expect? Yes.

Click to enlarge.

Using USGS data, I searched for the number of quakes in each magnitude per year, and compared against the USGS benchmarks in the first column. One can see the number of quakes exceed the USGS average number. They have exceeded the USGS average number in each magnitude since 2009.

Please understand that whether you believe in Jesus or not, He is coming. He is Creator. He holds the title deed to the earth, all the earth is the LORD’S and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1). He is King over you, and me. He can judge us, for who else is righteous? No, not one. He is lovingly sending earthquakes to remind us that He holds the deed to the earth and he can shake it as He wills. If you have been through an earthquake and have suffered loss or injury it doesn’t feel loving. But it is. If an earthquake makes you think of the power of the Lord and of eternal things, and brings you to Him, that is loving. If you experience an earthquake and think of these things and decide that you hate God or you don’t believe, that is loving too, because He gave you a chance to decide.

As the LORD said to Ezekiel about His messages, “As for them, whether they listen or not– for they are a rebellious house– they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ez 2:5). Those who are experiencing all the earth signs and the Christian warnings from people like me and others, then whether you listen or you don’t listen, you will know on the last day that God did everything possible to speak to your heart and offer you a way to salvation from His wrath. He sent the Law, He sent the Prophets. He sent His son. He sent His apostles. He sent His witnesses. He sent the Spirit. He sent His word. He sent signs and told us ahead of time.

In Matthew 24:25, in the same passage where He announced that there would be earthquakes in various places as a sign of His coming, and described the many other signs, a bit further on He said, ““Behold, I have told you in advance.” This is so that when the things begin to happen, we know His word is true, and we can “Look up, for our Redemption draweth nigh!” (Luke 21:28.)

Riots in Jerusalem, whirlwind tour of Jerusalem past and future

Two stories for you, well, same story, from two different points of view. The first is from the Jordan Times. The second is from the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Jordan warns Israel over Al Aqsa mosque as Jerusalem reaches “boiling point”
“Jordan warned Israel on Sunday over attempts by right-wing activists to storm Al Aqsa Mosque as fresh clashes broke out in Jerusalem in the latest sign that simmering tensions are threatening to transform the third holiest site in Islam into a flashpoint for conflict. Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh denounced the use of force by Israeli authorities against worshippers during clashes that erupted yesterday morning after Israeli police accompanied a group of non-Muslim visitors into Al Aqsa Mosque through the Bab Al Magharbeh gate.”

“Yesterday’s clashes came on the backdrop of calls by extremist Israeli groups and politicians to storm Al Aqsa Mosque and establish the so-called Third Temple, with eyewitnesses claiming that a number of right-wing activists had accompanied the group of foreign visitors and successfully entered the mosque.”

“According to the Jerusalem awqaf authorities, clashes broke out after worshippers singled out right-wing activists amidst the tour group and attempted to apprehend the “intruders”, prompting 40 anti-riot police to storm Al Aqsa Mosque plaza and use force to dispel Muslim prayer-goers. According to Israeli police, occupation forces arrested 18 Palestinians for their participation in the incident, accusing the men of “throwing stones” at the tour group and injuring several policemen. In a press statement issued yesterday, Judeh stressed Amman’s rejection of the “dangerous and systematic” attempts by Israeli extremist groups to occupy Al Aqsa Mosque, holding Tel Aviv accountable for the series of provocative measures custodians warn may ignite fresh violence in Jerusalem.”

“Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Salam Abbadi also condemned Israeli security forces for storming Al Aqsa and clashing with worshippers on Sunday, the latest in a series of acts that the minister said amount to a “declaration of war” on the third holiest site in Islam.”

“[This has] pushed tensions in the Old City to their highest levels since the second Intifada, which broke out in 2000. “Today we have seen the dangerous consequences of the atmosphere of distrust and extremism,” said Zaki Tawfiq, head of the Israel-based Al Aqsa Foundation for Awqaf and Heritage. “We are one misstep away from violence.”

Haaretz:
Muslim worshippers, Israeli police clash at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount
Protesters hurl rocks at Mughrabi Bridge; in rare move, Israeli security forces enter Temple “Mount plaza to scatter the riot; 11 policemen, 15 Palestinians wounded.
Hundreds of Muslim worshippers clashed with police on Friday at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Following Friday prayers, hundreds of worshippers began hurling rocks at the Mughrabi Bridge at the entrance to the Temple Mount, which prompted Israeli police forces to enter the plaza and attempt to scatter the protest. Israeli police said that dozens of protesters gathered inside the Al-Aqsa mosque after hurling rocks at security forces, who, in a rare move, came to the entrance of the mosque and used stun grenades to scatter the protesters. Eleven policemen and 15 Palestinians were wounded as a result of the clashes. Four Palestinians were arrested. In light of several violent incidents that occurred at the Temple Mount this week, police heightened their presence at the site on Friday morning.”

O, Jerusalem! Let’s take a whirlwind tour of the history of Jerusalem.

According to Wikipedia, “During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BC, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world.”

The city is first mentioned in Genesis 14:18 when Melchizedek was King of the city. Abraham made a tithe offering to the King. Melchizedek is a Hebrew word for righteous, and the city was called Salem, meaning peace.

It was the center of Christ’s new Kingdom (Isaiah 33:5). It was depicted on maps as the center of the world.

David was King of Jerusalem, and there were many others, some good, some bad. The ark was housed at the temple in Jerusalem. God graciously gave us His presence there. Nehemiah cared so much for the city…”The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Neh 1:2-4).

Jesus entered the city in a (false) coronation. He was tried there. He died there and was resurrected in it. Jesus Himself wept over the city. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)

Persecution forced believers out from the city. It was destroyed in 70AD.

Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24. It will be the location of the abomination that causes desolation (Mark 13:14).

It will be split into three parts during a great earthquake (Revelation 16:19). But when the Lord returns, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be— “ The LORD is one,” And His name one.” (Zechariah 14:4, 8-9)

The miraculous, living water will flow right out from the temple, “Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.” (Ezekiel 47:1)

Ezekiel’s final words in his last book of the City are “and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” Jehovah Shammah! (Ezekiel 48:35b)

People think that because there will be a New Jerusalem coming down from heaven, intended as the dwelling place for the Church (Revelation 21:2) that there will not be an actual Jerusalem in which the LORD will dwell. Not so. Read Revelation 21:9-27. The Church will dwell in New Jerusalem and there will be an actual earthly city of Jerusalem in which David will be king under Jesus. (Hosea 3:5, Ezekiel 37:24-25).

Jerusalem has had a long and turbulent history, and it is not over yet by a long shot. But soon will come the peace for Jerusalem we all pray for. The Lord wants to gather the chicks to Himself as a hen and to reign rightfully from His Holy City. And He will.
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World hatred against Israel is rising to a frenzied pace

This is Israel National News’s actual headline:

Harvard to host Conference of Hate
Harvard University to host conference based on a “one state solution,” calling for dismantling the Jewish state of Israel.
“Harvard University is going to be hosting a conference entitled “One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One State Solution,” scheduled to take place March 3-4. … The conference was organized by a number of student groups including, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Palestine Caucus, the Arab Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, and the Association for Justice in the Middle East, all of which perpetrate an ideology based on the belief that Israel is an “apartheid state,” responsible for the “ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population.”

Christ at the Checkpoint 2012
“The conference is organized by Bethlehem Bible College and will take place in Bethlehem, March 5-9, 2012. It aims is to provide an opportunity for Evangelical Christians to prayerfully seek a proper awareness of issues of peace, justice, and reconciliation in the context of the realities on the ground in the Palestinian Territories. The overall theme of the conference will be Hope in the Midst of Conflict. The conference will focus on the ministry of the Palestinian Church in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The sessions and activities will have varied formats including lectures, interviews, field visits, workshops, and small group discussions. There will also be praise and worship, gospel choirs, and a series of short videos created specifically for the conference. The conference will cover different topics including: Biblical Hope, Biblical Justice, Christian Zionism, Theology of the Land, Non-Violence, Peacemaking and the Church, and Reconciliation.”

Sounds all nicey nicey, doesn’t it? Israel Today Magazine explains the reality of this Christ at the Checkpoint Conference:

“A new brand of Replacement Theology built atop Jesus’ teachings of compassion and attacking those who would support the State of Israel on biblical grounds is permeating the Church. Known locally as Palestinian Liberation Theology, the movement got a major boost in 2010 with the release of the documentary film “With God on Our Side,” which presented a critical view of Christian Zionism, and the first Christ at the Checkpoint conference, during which some speakers attempted to equate Jesus’ suffering with Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinian Arabs. The second Christ at the Checkpoint conference at the Bethlehem Bible College in March 2012 promises to further advance the cause. And this time, Israelis are paying attention, many of them confused over how portions of an Evangelical Church that had so vigorously supported their nation’s prophetic restoration could now be championing its delegitimization.”

There is some push-back, here is “Russ Resnik, Executive Director of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), who reads a statement of concern about “Christ at the Checkpoint,” which was issued by the UMJC, Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues, and International Messianic Jewish Alliance.”

Championing Israel’s de-legitimization is coming from many quarters, fast and furious!! This is prophetic.

 “and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations ; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24).

O Jerusalem! O, Israel! Hated until the end. But the Sovereign Lord is faithful. He protects her through the end. (Ezekiel 38:18). He loves her until the end, and beyond. (Ezekiel 48:35). Hang on, Israel! Better days are coming!
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