News for January 31, 2007
A quick overview of where I currently see news leading into Bible prophecy:
I found Bush's choice of words (as well as many leaders in the world trying to "solve" the Middle East problem) interesting. The goal right now for the whole world is to see peace and security with Israel and "Palestine."
Excerpt from President Bush's state of the union address 1-23-07:
The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. (Applause.) With the other members of the Quartet -- the U.N., the European Union, and Russia -- we're pursuing diplomacy to help bring peace to the Holy Land, and pursuing the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. (Applause.)
1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
There are two groups spoken of here:
Group 1 will have no idea what's coming until the sudden destruction
arrives and they won't escape it.
I believe this is the coming war on religious fundamentalism. While spouting the reason being peace and security in the world, the leaders (and specifically the antichrist) will wage a war on fundamentalism in the name of peace. In this way he will destroy the fundamentalists and also corrupt his followers. Everyone will be behind him because they will buy into the concept. I think the Alliance of Civilizations will play a part. It isn't until after the abomination of desolation that the war really turns ugly though, in my opinion. Because that's when the gloves come off and Lucifer gives his power to the beast.
There is some background also needed. What times do we know that there will be peace in the Middle East? We know that the temple has to be rebuilt before the abomination of desolation. Revelation 11:1,2 So somehow the current situation has to change. That's where I believe Gog/Magog comes in.
Clearly, Israel is living in peace and safety before the attack. If you read my study on Ezekiel 38,39, I go into why, but this time only fits before the abomination of desolation. Afterwards, Israel will not live in safety until Christ returns in glory. Another interesting thing that the Gog/Magog intervention does is makes Israel and the world recognize the God of Israel. I believe that will be what pushes Israel to rebuild the temple. And the Muslim forces that hate Israel will have just suffered a clear defeat by a much stronger God than them.
So I believe that the peace put forth by the antichrist starts out logical because of radical Islam and it's mutual threat to the EU, which I believe is the antichrist's kingdom. Daniel 9:26 states that the people of the future prince destroy Jerusalem, they were the Roman army. I believe the EU is that revived Roman empire for many reasons I won't go into here. At any rate, that initial peace and security push, that everyone is currently talking about, will shift once the dragon gives the beast his power. It will then focus on the Jews, who were living in safety up to that point.
The world are the ones saying they want peace and security. I believe the shift against religious fundamentalism will make them believe the genocide of the Jews is a necessary evil to irradiate the fundamentalism. I believe this may be spurred on by the mortal head wound the beast gets. Revelation 13
Gog/Magog will have returned much of Israel to the point of belief they were at when the Maccabean revolt happened. That was a good example of how believing Jews would react. I don't doubt that when the antichrist declares himself god, that some fervent Jew will assassinate him. Then when Lucifer is cast down, he revives the beast and gives him his power to kill the Jews. The world will wonder at the beast and the beast will declare war on the fundamentalists who would try to assassinate someone for saying they are god.
So in quick overview, at the first seal, Revelation 6:1,2, the antichrist goes forth to conquer by peace. This is the Western governments, which will eventually fall under one man's control. I believe this push for peace against extremism will start against radical Islam because they make the most problems now.
Ezekiel 38:8-12 speaks of a time that has to be before the abomination of desolation where Israel is dwelling in peace when they are suddenly attacked by Iran, Turkey, Russia, and several other minor Muslim players. These represent the extremists that the Western governments are going after. This will re-enforce the peace being put forth by the beast. This will also wake up Israel and the world to the reality of God. Israel will snap to attention, but since they are still blinded to their Meshiach Nagid being Christ, they will go back to the ways of their fathers, the daily sacrifice and the temple. Whether or not Islam lets them, after seeing God step in on their behalf, I believe they will just build the temple. Islam, having just seen God step in on Israel's behalf will let them.
Then the abomination of desolation takes place and the time of Jacob's trouble begins. However, that unparalleled time is cut short. Matthew 24:15-28 | Daniel 12:1 | Jeremiah 30:4-7 What's left of Israel after the time of Jacob's trouble, about 1/3, is then taken and protected from the dragon for 3½ years. Daniel 12:11 states that from the abomination of desolation is 1290 days. That leaves 30 days that Israel is open to attack by the antichrist.
Immediately after that time of Jacob's trouble, the "tribulation of those days" from Matthew 24:29, the sixth seal takes place. The seventh seal follows, but it's only ½ hour of silence in heaven. What this means is that the sixth seal is probably the same day of the coming destruction.
I won't post all the scriptures here, but look through them at the day of the Lord study. That is the sudden destruction they are going to receive. They recognize it's coming at the sixth seal, then ½ hour later it starts with the first trumpet. The world's goal this whole time is a life of peace and security.
For the Christian, this is where our time on earth ends according to scripture as we are removed from earth before God's wrath comes upon all them that dwell upon the whole earth. Luke 21:34-36
Film Evangelizes Muslims through Spiritual Phenomenon More Than Dreams Website (January 31, 2007) - A video program documenting Muslims who have come to know Christ through supernatural means is being used as an evangelism tool. The More than Dreams programs, which records the stories of five Christian converts, shares what some say is a well-documented phenomenon spanning decades of Muslim men and women experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ, reported to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization in an article released on Monday. Reports of Muslims who experience these spiritual revelations usually come from “closed countries” where preaching of the Gospel and converting to Christianity is condemned by death. Many of the Muslims who have the experience are without prior knowledge of the Gospel or contact with Christians, according to LCWE. One common factor, however, appears to be that the revelation comes to those who are seeking to know and please God. The project began in 2002 when a group of people interested in the phenomenon recorded on-site interviews with former Muslims who had converted to Christianity after experiencing dreams or visions of Jesus. The producers interviewed people from all over the Arabic-speaking world including Muslim areas in Africa and Asia. Producers wanted to work with ministry partners around the world to distribute the videos both to evangelize unbelievers and encourage those who have already experienced the revelation that they are not alone. Included among the stories is Khalil, a former radical Egyptian terrorist who persecuted Christians like “Saul” in the Bible, but came to accept Christ through a life-changing dream of the savior. Another story is about Mohammed of Nigeria, who said Jesus Christ appeared seven times to him in dreams. Mohammed had studied the Quran in depth at several Muslim schools and was about to leave for advanced studies in Saudi Arabia when he experienced the dreams. His father and others tried to kill him after his conversion. Since then, however, he has led his father to faith in Christ. The video stories have been dubbed into five languages: Arabic, Farsi, Bahasa Indonesia, Hausa and Turkish. Plans are underway for several other languages commonly spoken by Muslims: French, English, Urdu, Bengali, Kyble Berber and Russian. The producers of More Than Dreams has set the goal to distribute 10 million copies of the film directly and through partners in the next three to five years. The first major distribution took place mid-2006 in Europe. Thousands of copies were handed out to Arabs attending the Germany 2006 World Cup match between Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. God will reach all those who are His and of those He will lose none. Praise God that He can bring anyone He knows are His to Him even in one of the most hostile of regions to His Word. John 6:39, "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." Ephesians 1:3-6, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
New Scientific Proof of Christ’s Resurrection In Upcoming; Documentary -- The Case for Christ’s Resurrection Grizzly Adams Productions (January 30, 2007) - Science and religion have often had opposing views over interpreting evidence on faith issues. But now, science is playing a key role in important new discoveries about the life and death of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. The new Grizzly Adams® Productions documentary, The Case for Christ’s Resurrection, reveals a number of new discoveries about Christ’s death and resurrection that help to substantiate, through scientific evidence, the Resurrection story millions of Christians have always known to be true. This fascinating story of religious history supported by scientific inquiry assembles formidable findings based on expert investigation and space-age technical analysis. “The world has long demanded solid proof of the existence of Christ, His death and resurrection,” says the documentary’s senior producer David Balsiger. “Now the evidence is here—including the ability to view the world’s first scientific three-dimensional holographic image of the face of Christ.” Grizzly Adams Productions, producers of family friendly network TV shows, specials, and documentaries, announced it has acquired the TV/DVD rights to two books for the new documentary. The TV Special/DVD is based in part on Resurrected: Tangible Evidence That Jesus Rose from the Dead by Gilbert R. LaVoie, M.D. (Ave Maria Press), and The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure in Discovery by Mary and Alan Whanger, M.D. (Providence House). The production will also use research information from a third book, The Case for Christ’s Resurrection written by Grizzly Adams Productions executives David W. Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier (Bridge-Logos). “There is growing proof that the events depicted in the Gospel accounts are true, with more evidence being revealed regularly, thanks to modern research, analysis and scientific advances,” notes Dr. Gary Habermas, research professor and chair of the department of theology at Liberty University, who is also interviewed in the show. “Science, combined with written descriptions—by non-Christians—of the events of Jesus’ life and death, make it clear that Christian beliefs are grounded in fact.” “This new production examines key evidence, including details of the Resurrection account in the context of modern medical science, information about the missing body from the tomb, and reports of Jesus being seen alive after His death on the cross,” notes Sharon Dymmel, the show’s writer and producer. “There were at least 500 eyewitnesses in and around Jerusalem who actually saw or talked with Jesus after His Resurrection. Beyond the Bible, there are more than 20 non-Christian sources written between 30 and 130 AD that refer to Jesus of Nazareth as a historical figure. Twelve mention His death and provide details on how He died. Ten of these refer to His Resurrection,” explains Balsiger. Jewish historian Josephus, as well as Cornelius Tacitus, the most important Roman historian of the first century, are among the many who provided written documentation on the life of Jesus, and the key beliefs of early Christians, in the years just following the Resurrection. more...
This will definitely be added to my collection, sounds fascinating!
The New, New Middle East (January 30, 2007)
- ISRAEL, says Tel Aviv University historian Paul Liptz, now has more "friends
among [its] enemies than ever before," including some "who don't
necessarily want to talk to us." It is an arresting argument, given
the outcome of the Lebanon war last summer and the subsequent elevation
of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to an iconic status. (As the war wound
down, even Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak said Hezbollah was "part
of the Lebanese national fabric.") But Liptz points to recent reported
diplomatic contacts between Israel and Saudi Arabia--"kind of like
Earth and Mars getting married." The region's most salient fissure,
he believes, divides the "status quo" forces (such as Egypt and
Jordan) from those of radicalism and revolution (such as Iran and Hezbollah).
This seems a common view among Israelis, which explains why they may look
askance at George W. Bush's freedom agenda. Speaking to a visiting delegation
of journalists sponsored by the pro-Israel American Israel Education Foundation
(which supports the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), Liptz scorns
the notion that democracy can transform illiberal Middle Eastern societies.
Former Labour party minister Matan Vilnai, an ex-army general, calls America's
democratization program "nonsense." On the Israeli right, Silvan
Shalom, a Likud party member of the Knesset, blames the U.S.-led democracy
push for enabling Hamas to win the Palestinian elections in January 2006. "In
my personal judgment, it is a mistake," says Ephraim Kam, a former
military intelligence official, who notes that "moderate" Arab
leaders--the ones Israel is trying to cultivate--have resisted democratization.
Another Israeli security source carves the Middle East into two groups:
a "radical" camp (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas) and a "moderate"
camp (including Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia). Notice that the "moderates"
are all Sunni Arab autocracies, who fear not only a nuclear-armed Persian
Iran but also an Iranian-led "Shiite crescent" that might dominate
the region. Already frightened at the prospect of a U.S. pullout from Iraq,
which would leave Iraqi Sunnis prey for murderous Shiite militias and possibly
pave the way for Iranian intervention, status quo states such as Egypt
and Saudi Arabia now have more reason than ever to work with Jerusalem and
Washington. (Though how much they will remains unclear.) more...
A kind of peace is coming to the Middle East. I believe the fear of radical Islam and the leadership of a good diplomat will bring about this false peace. I also believe according to scripture, that during this time of peace Iran, Russia, Turkey, and several others will attempt to attack Israel from the North. Ezekiel 38,39 Look for the ENP to also help bring in this peace and EU funding as incentive for peace. After Gog/Magog is stopped by God, then I believe Israel will rebuild their temple. Time will tell, keep watching!
New Books Confirm Global Warming is Natural; Not Caused By Human Activity
(January 30, 2007) - Two powerful new books
say today’s global warming is due not to human activity but primarily to
a long, moderate solar-linked cycle. Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500
Years, by physicist Fred Singer and economist Dennis Avery was released
just before Christmas. The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change,
by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark and former BBC science writer Nigel
Calder (Icon Books), is due out in March. Singer and Avery note that most
of the earth’s recent warming occurred before 1940, and thus before much
human-emitted CO2. Moreover, physical evidence shows 600 moderate warmings
in the earth’s last million years. The evidence ranges from ancient Nile
flood records, Chinese court documents and Roman wine grapes to modern spectral
analysis of polar ice cores, deep seabed sediments, and layered cave stalagmites.
Unstoppable Global Warming shows the earth’s temperatures following variations
in solar intensity through centuries of sunspot records, and finds cycles
of sun-linked isotopes in ice and tree rings. The book cites the work of
Svensmark, who says cosmic rays vary the earth’s temperatures by creating
more or fewer of the low, wet clouds that cool the earth. It notes that
global climate models can’t accurately register cloud effects. The Chilling
Stars relates how Svensmark’s team mimicked the chemistry of earth’s atmosphere,
by putting realistic mixtures of atmospheric gases into a large reaction
chamber, with ultraviolet light as a stand-in for the sun. When they turned
on the UV, microscopic droplets—cloud seeds—started floating through the
chamber. “We were amazed by the speed and efficiency with which the electrons
[generated by cosmic rays] do their work of creating the building blocks
for the cloud condensation nuclei,” says Svensmark. The Chilling Stars documents
how cosmic rays amplify small changes in the sun’s irradiance fourfold,
creating 1-2 degree C cycles in earth’s temperatures: Cosmic rays continually
slam into the earth’s atmosphere from outer space, creating ion clusters
that become seeds for small droplets of water and sulfuric acid. The droplets
then form the low, wet clouds that reflect solar energy back into space.
When the sun is more active, it shields the earth from some of the rays,
clouds wane, and the planet warms. Unstoppable Global Warming documents
the reality of a moderate, natural, 1500-year climate cycle on the earth.
The Chilling Stars explains the why and how.
Serious Thinking About the Middle East (January
30, 2007) - Are things moving in the right direction in the Middle
East? Most Americans, I think, would say no. But perhaps they should ponder
a trio of interesting columns. Two weeks ago, the military historian
Edward Luttwak wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal arguing
that George Bush's policies have created a Middle East much more hospitable
to American goals. Here is his summation: When the Bush administration
came into office, only Egypt and Jordan were functioning allies of the U.S.
Iran and Iraq were already declared enemies, Syria was hostile, and even
its supposed friends in the Arabian peninsula were so disinclined to help
that none did anything to oppose al Qaeda. Some actively helped it, while
others knowingly allowed private funds to reach the terrorists whose declared
aim was to kill Americans. The Iraq war has indeed brought into existence
a New Middle East, in which Arab Sunnis can no longer gleefully disregard
American interests because they need help against the looming threat of
Shiite supremacy, while in Iraq at the core of the Arab world, the Shia
are allied with the U.S. What past imperial statesmen strove to achieve
with much cunning and cynicism, the Bush administration has brought about
accidentally. But the result is exactly the same. The implication is
that this happy state of affairs came about by accident. Last week in the
David Ignatius wrote a column based on an interview with Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice in which he described a "realignment" toward
the United States that came about in large part because of the administration.
Rice said the new approach reflects growing Arab concern about Iran's
attempt to project power through its proxies: "After the war in Lebanon,
the Middle East really did begin to clarify into an extremist element allied
with Iran, including Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas. On the other side were
the targets of this extremism–the Lebanese, the Iraqis, the Palestinians–and
those who want to resist, such as the Saudis, Egypt, and Jordan." America's
recent show of force against Iran–seizing Iranian operatives in Iraq and
sending additional warships to the Persian Gulf–was part of this broader
effort to reassure the Saudis and others that, despite its troubles in Iraq,
America remains a reliable ally against a rising Iran. "The U.S. has
to demonstrate that it is present in the gulf, and going to be present in
the gulf," Rice told me. Ignatius also mentions possible downside
Sharia law is spreading as authority wanes (January 30, 2007) - Islamic sharia law is gaining an increasing foothold in parts of Britain, a report claims. Sharia, derived from several sources including the Koran, is applied to varying degrees in predominantly Muslim countries but it has no binding status in Britain. However, the BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action produced evidence yesterday that it was being used by some Muslims as an alternative to English criminal law. Aydarus Yusuf, 29, a youth worker from Somalia, recalled a stabbing case that was decided by an unofficial Somali "court" sitting in Woolwich, south-east London. Mr. Yusuf said a group of Somali youths were arrested on suspicion of stabbing another Somali teenager. The victim's family told the police it would be settled out of court and the suspects were released on bail. A hearing was convened and elders ordered the assailants to compensate their victim. "All their uncles and their fathers were there," said Mr. Yusuf. "So they all put something towards that and apologized for the wrongdoing." Although Scotland Yard had no information about that case yesterday, a spokesman said it was common for the police not to proceed with assault cases if the victims decided not to press charges. | Islam | EU/UN |
North America activists plotted 'stealth' strategy
(January 30, 2007) - Participants in a high-level,
closed door, three-day conference on the integration of the three North
American nations debated whether openness about goals was preferred to a
stealthy policy of building infrastructure before a vision of the end result
was even laid out to the people of the U.S., Mexico and Canada, according
to notes obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Official
notes taken on a session on "Border Infrastructure and Continental
Prosperity" at the North American Forum in Banff, Canada, last September,
reveal the internal debate over continued secrecy. "While a vision
is appealing, working on the infrastructure might yield more benefit and
bring more people on board ('evolution by stealth')," record the notes
discovered amid documents obtained by
Several speakers at the event emphasized the importance of "deepening
economic integration," "integrating the energy infrastructure"
and "the development of new institutions" between the three North
American nations. Participants promoted the idea of using popular issues,
such as concern over climate change, to push integration of energy and environmental
governance and the possibility of imposing a carbon tax. Judicial Watch
released yesterday the documents it received in a FOIA request from the
U.S. Northern Command, whose commander, Admiral Timothy Keating, participated
in the conference along with Northcom political adviser Deborah Bolton and
Plans, Policy and Strategy Director Maj. General Mark Volcheff. A similar
request concerning participation in the North American Forum meeting by
former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is still pending. more...
Earthquake Rocks Australian Island (January 30,
2007) - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 rocked
the coast of Australia's remote Macquarie Island Tuesday, the U.S. Geological
Survey said. The quake struck at 2:54 p.m. local time and was centered six
miles below the seabed. Stuart Koyanagi, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami
Warning Center at Ewa Beach, Hawaii, said the quake was unlikely to generate
a major Pacific-wide tsunami. "Normally at this magnitude we don't
expect any kind of destructive tsunami," he said. Clive Collins, a
seismologist at Geoscience Australia, said the Macquarie Island earthquake
involved two tectonic plates moving against each other horizontally, rather
than vertically, and was unlikely to displace the large quantity of water
needed to generate a tsunami. "It's most unlikely there would be any
tsunami," he said. "It's a fairly large earthquake and it's fairly
shallow, but we don't think there's any risk." The isolated, sparsely
populated island lies about 835 miles south of the island state of Tasmania,
and serves as a base for Australian expeditions to Antarctica.
Iran: Even military actions won't prevent us from obtaining nuclear technology
(January 30, 2007) - Iran's ambassador to
Syria, Hassan Akhtari, said that "a military action will not bring
to a halt Iran's acquisition of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes."
In an interview to Iranian news agency Fars, the ambassador said that an
attack by the United States or Europe might "damage Iran, but will
cause much more damage to themselves."
100 Pound Chunk of Ice Crushes Mustang in Tampa, FL |
article (January 29, 2007) - Town 'N Country,
Florida - Neighbors heard a whistling sound is what they described before
noticing that a neighbor's car was severly damaged. The Ford Mustang had
a 100 pound block of ice sitting in the backseat. The back end of the car
was caved in. The only explanation from neighbors is the ice fell from the
sky. Hillsborough deputies do not believe it was a criminal activity. The
20-year-old owner of the car is upset and did not want to talk to Tampa
Bay's 10 News. His father says he has not seen anything like it before.
Neighbors have pieces of the ice chunk in their refrigerators. The owner
of the car is in possession of the major chunk of ice.
A taste of what is to come... Revelation 16:21, "From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible."
Germany, Spain may push ahead on EU Constitution without France or UK
(January 29, 2007) - A group of European Union
governments led by Germany and Spain may press ahead with the deeper political
integration set out in the bloc's constitution without France or the UK,
said Spanish EU Affairs Minister Alberto Navarro. "We can't all advance
at the pace of the slowest," Navarro told journalists in Madrid on
Friday after a meeting of 20 EU governments that support the constitution. "To
progress in Europe, we often have to do it with a group of countries that
are prepared to move forward. We have the example of the euro. We must be
prepared to take that step." European leaders must decide how to proceed
with the constitutional project when the "period of reflection"
ends in June under Germany's presidency. Germany has long been a proponent
of the constitution to overcome shortcomings in the existing Nice treaty.
The process of ratifying the constitution was halted in 2005 when voters
in France and the Netherlands rejected the text in successive referendums.
Supporters of the treaty will try to win approval for the text by adding
further clauses to the document, Navarro said. „Europe doesn't need a minimalist
solution,” Luxembourg's Europe Minister Nicolas Schmit said at the press
conference. "Europe needs a maximalist solution that allows us to resolve
the problems of our times. We want to send a message of support to the German
presidency." French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is calling
for a "mini-treaty" that would strengthen the EU's decision-making
efficiency while dropping provisions, such as the extension of the bloc's
powers in foreign and internal affairs, that rankled the French electorate.
Drastic Murder Rate Decline in Washington D.C. After Prayer Vigil (January 29, 2007) - In mid July of 2006, the Christian Defense Coalition organized a week long 24 hour prayer vigil under a large tent on the Mall following the announcement of a “crime emergency” by Washington, D.C. officials. The group prayed that the number of murders in Washington D.C. would drop dramatically over the next five months from the previous year. The Christian Defense Coalition is delighted to report that there were 27% less murders in the final five months of 2006 compared with final five months of 2005. The Coalition encourages churches across the nation to begin to reach out in public prayer regarding pressing social concerns facing their local communities. Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, comments, “The Christian Defense Coalition promised at the end of July we would announce the numbers concerning Washington, D.C.’s murder rate for the final five months of 2006. We are delighted to report, after a season of concentrated and regular prayer, there was drop in the murder rate of 27%. These results serve as a visible reminder to the power and effectiveness of corporate public prayer and intercession. It should also be a wake-up call for churches all across America to engage in public prayer regarding pressing social issues of the day. Sadly, most churches have chosen their own security and comfort rather than stepping out into the purposes of God and engaging culture. Now is the not the time for indifference and selfishness. Rather, it is a time for passion, boldness and faith.”
Putin Sends Message To Iran's Supreme Leader To Strengthen Ties
(January 28, 2007) - Russian President Vladimir
Putin has sent a message on expanding mutual ties to Iran's Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.
The message was submitted on Sunday to Khamenei by Russia's Security Council
Secretary Igor Ivanov, who arrived in Tehran Saturday night for talks with
Iranian officials, IRNA said. During his meeting with Ivanov, Khamenei said
that Iran and Russia can serve as partners in the political, economic, regional
and international domains. "The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes all-out
promotion of relations with Russia, believing that capacity for expansion
of ties between the two sides is higher than expected," Khamenei was
quoted as saying. The Iranian supreme leader pointed out that Iran and Russia
hold half of the world's total gas reserves and "the two countries
through mutual cooperation can establish an organization of gas exporting
countries like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)."
For his part, Ivanov said that Putin believes the two countries should use
all their capacities for promotion of strategic relations and cooperation
at bilateral, regional and international levels. Calling his talks in Tehran "positive,"
Ivanov said Moscow believes prospect of cooperation between the two countries
is "very good and promising." However, the IRNA report did not
mention whether Khamenei and Ivanov discussed Iran's controversial nuclear
issue, although the Russian security chief's visit came amid increasing
international tension over Tehran's atomic program. more...
Saudi Invites Palestinian Leaders To Meet In Mecca
(January 28, 2007) - Saudi Arabia invited
feuding Palestinian leaders for urgent talks in Islam's holy city of Mecca
and both the Hamas-led Palestinian government and rival faction Fatah said
on Sunday they had accepted the offer. The invitation from Saudi King Abdullah
was announced on the third day of fierce clashes between Palestinians in
Gaza in which 23 people have been killed, heightening fears of civil war. "I
invite them all ... for an urgent meeting in brotherly Saudi Arabia at the
sacred house of God (Mecca's Grand Mosque) to discuss disputes in a neutral
(environment) without intervention from any other side," the official
Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Abdullah as saying in an open letter. The
Islamist militant group Hamas won Palestinian elections a year ago, unseating
President Mahmoud Abbas's once dominant Fatah. "We welcome the invitation
by His Majesty King Abdullah and the government appreciates this generous
position, which comes in an attempt to resolve Palestinian internal differences,"
Palestinian Foreign Ministry spokesman Taher An-Nono said. A senior Fatah
official also said the group welcomed the invitation and was ready to participate
in the talks. Abbas and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal met in Damascus
earlier this month to iron out their differences, but said they needed to
hold further talks. Abdullah, who proposed an Arab-Israeli peace initiative
adopted at an Arab League summit in 2002, said inter-Palestinian fighting
could jeopardise efforts to create a Palestinian state. "Unless the
wise in Palestine put a decisive and immediate end to the dispute ... it
would deny the steadfast Palestinian people any hope in ridding itself of
the hell of the Zionist (Israeli) occupation and (block) the creation of
an independent free state of Palestine," he said. "What is happening
in the land of brotherly Palestine serves only the enemies of the Islamic
and Arab nations and puts question marks in the minds of the international
community which respects our just (Palestinian) cause." more...
Iran prepares people for 'messiah miracles' (January
27, 2007) - Official Iranian radio has completed broadcasting a lengthy
series on the imminent appearance of a messianic figure who will defeat
Islam's enemies and impose Islamic Shiite rule over the entire world – even
speculating on specific dates the so-called "Mahdi" will be revealed.
English-language transcripts of "The World Toward Illumination"
programs can be found on the website of IRIB, a public broadcast arm of
Tehran. "Be joyous my heart, miracles of the Messiah will soon
be here," reads a poem used to conclude the first broadcast. "The
scent of breaths of the One we know comes from near. Grieve not of sorrow
and melancholy, as assured I was … last night that a Savior will come, it's
clear." After the coming of the 12th imam, or Mahdi, "liberal
democratic civilization" will be found only in "history museums,"
explained the program. "Contrary to the views of western theoreticians,
who usually depict an ambiguous and dark future for mankind, Muslim experts
believe human history, despite its many ups and downs, has a very auspicious
fate," explained the program. "Muslims believe hopes for the realization
of such a happy ending for the world are called 'Awaiting Redemption,' and
means waiting for man's problems to be solved by the Savior at the end of
time. This awaiting influences many, and inspired them with activity and
enthusiasm in confronting darkness and oppression for changing the existing
situation. …" This messianic figure will be a direct descendant of
Muhammad, according to the broadcasts. "In short, when he reappears,
peace, justice and security will overcome oppression and deceit and one
global government, the most perfect ever, will be established," it
said. The Mahdi will appear suddenly, according to the report, in Mecca.
Though no one can know the day, Shiites believe, the report actually suggests
possibilities in the Muslim calendar. The Mahdi will lead a cataclysmic
battle against a descendant of Muhammad's archenemy, Abu Sofyan, culminating
in the cities of Kufa and Najaf. His enemy, though, is destroyed later in
Jerusalem. "Another beautiful moment of the Savior's appearance is
the coming down of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) from heaven," says the report. "Hazrat
Mahdi receives him courteously and asks him to lead the prayers. But Jesus
says you are more qualified for this than me. We read in the book Tazkarat
ol-Olia, 'the Mahdi will come with Jesus son of Mary accompanying him.'
This indicates that these two great men are (sic) complement each other.
Imam Mahdi will be the leader while Prophet Jesus will act as his lieutenant
in the struggle against oppression and establishment of justice in the world.
Jesus had himself given the tidings of the coming of God's last messenger
and will see Mohammad's ideals materialize in the time of the Mahdi."
Burma Government May Move to Abolish Christianity (January 27, 2007) - There are new concerns in Burma that the government is trying to destroy Christianity. Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that an internal government document lays the foundation for eradicating the faith, including arresting anyone caught evangelizing. This kind of persecution has been going for years in Burma, also known as Myanmar. In 2005, CBN News met with Christians in Burma. These Burmese Christians sang praise songs; they worshiped openly and freely in a government-approved church in Rangoon. But most Burmese Christians don't share their freedom. Government officials have shut down churches in this capital city and have disallowed the construction of new church buildings. The number of bibles allowed for import is limited and in-country printing of bibles and Christian literature is restricted. Public evangelism is prohibited in Burma, but that hasn't stopped this group of young Christians from sharing the gospel. Among them is a man we call David. His name has been changed to protect him from possible persecution. David told CBN news he and several other team members recently visited a Buddhist village of 2,000 families. They were attacked when a crowd gathered to listen to praise songs the evangelists were singing. "Some Buddhist monks came and started shouting, 'don't worship God here – he has nothing to do with us,'” David said. “They said we were trying to establish Christianity in the village and they did not want it. The monks and others threw stones at us. They hit us like a hard rain. Some of us were hit in the cheek, the neck and the forehead." Despite David's experience, evangelists say many Burmese are open to the gospel. In 2005, 83 percent of the Burmese people said they were Buddhist – about nine percent were Christian. The church is growing here among Protestants and independents at a rate of about five percent each year. David said he would like to return to the village where he and the other young Christians were attacked with stones. He says he will press on despite the risk of hostile crowds or government arrest. "It is dangerous, but God gives us strength deep inside and boldness to move forward," he said.
The Nations Come to Learn How the Desert Bloomed
(January 27, 2007) - Ben-Gurion University
of the Negev hosted a major international conference last November on combating
desertification, with experts coming to study Israel’s successes in “making
the desert bloom.” The conference was sponsored by the Blaustein Institute
of Desert Research (BIDR), Ben-Gurion University, the United Nations Convention
to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The conference was part of international activities marking 2006 as the
International Year of Deserts and Desertification, as declared by the United
Nations in recognition of the acute problem of desertification or land degradation
worldwide. Around 300 attendees from 20 countries and 5 continents took
several field tours into Israel’s reclaimed and existing desert areas to
glean from her experience with the problem. According to BIDR, desertification
is responsible for the loss of agricultural productivity, famine, and population
displacement, as well as the escalation of poverty; it affects about 400
million people in developing regions, especially Africa. Israel was selected
as a uniquely appropriate venue for the desertification conference, due
to its rich history of rolling back the desert through innovation and tenacity.
When the state was established in 1948, much of its semiarid regions were
degraded and the Negev Desert had expanded northward all the way to the
Tel Aviv–Jerusalem corridor. Since then, a combination of intensive dryland
agriculture, afforestation, and economic initiatives has reclaimed tens
of thousands of acres for farming, residential construction, and industrial
I recommend reading Ezekiel 36.
Soon to Release Evidence of Hostile Iranian Activity in Iraq
(January 26, 2007) - US ambassador to Iraq,
Zalmay Khalilzad and State department spokesman Sean McCormack said the
US would soon present evidence of Iran’s hand in the violence besetting
Iraq. The spoke as US-Iran military tensions over Iraq continued to rise.
The ambassador stressed too that the charges against the Revolutionary Guards
al Quds Brigade agents detained at the Iranian “liaison center” in Irbil
on Jan 11 would be made public. The detainees are still in custody. McCormack
spoke of “solid evidence” that Iranian agents sent by the Iranian government
are working with individuals and groups in Iraq. He quoted President Bush
who vowed to confront the networks and individuals “trying to harm our troops.”
Eight days after the US raid on Irbil, DEBKA-Net-Weekly 286 exclusively
revealed some of the evidence referred to by the two US officials of Iran’s
Revolutionary Guards’s direct involvement in terrorist operations in Iraq.
Quote: Their biggest catch was Iranian colonel Fars Hassami, No. 3 in the
Revolutionary Guards al Quds Brigade’s hierarchy, two below the Brigades
commander, General Qassem Sulemaini. Officers of the al Quds Brigade also
serve with Hizballah combat units in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The interrogation of Hassami and his four fellow detainees yielded some
eye-openers, supplemented by sweeps of their offices and computers.
1. Col. Hassam was found to have been in charge of Iranian
operations in northern and central Iraq - from Kurdish Irbil down to the
northern outskirts of Baghdad – and all links with Iraq’s Shiite militias,
including Moqtada Sadr’s Medhi Army, and Sunni insurgent groups. Hassam
was the live wire behind Iran’s military, intelligence and logistic operations
in the violence-stricken towns of the northern half of Iraq, Tal Afar, Mosul,
Haditha, Kirkuk, Samarra, the Banji refinery town, Tikrit, Ramadi, Falluja
and Baquba. more...
Russian Scientists 'Alarmed' as Millions of Birds Begin Falling From World's Skies (January 26, 2007) - An alarming series of reports from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Influenza Research Institute are reporting today that millions of avian species have succumbed, while in flight, to a rapidly evolving virus linked to the deadly H5N1 Bird Flu variant. Doctor Scientist Oleg Kiselyov, the head of the Influenza Research Institute, states in these reports that a nematode parasite belonging to the 'Superfamily Subuluroidea' has now become a carrier of a 'mutated' H5N1 Bird Flu Virus with 'sub strains' never seen before. More horrifically are that these reports state that this mutated H5N1 Bird Flu virus has now 'jumped' the 'species barrier' and is now infecting both animals and insects, and which has also been confirmed by Indonesian scientists, and as we can read as reported by the Malaysian National News Service in their report titled "Indonesian Scientist Warns Of Bird Flu In Flies", and which says: "In the wake of the increasing number of bird flu cases in Indonesia, an Indonesian scientist has warned the government not to place too much of the blame for bird flu on poultry as other animals could also carry the virus. Veterinary pathologist Wasito of Yogyakarta's Gajah Mada University's veterinary medicine said that other animals such as cats, dogs and even flies could also carry the H5N1 virus. "A study we are conducting here, for example, has convincingly found that it is possible for flies to spread the bird flu virus," he was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post daily in Yogyakarta yesterday." Doctor Scientist Kiselyov further states that Western scientists are rejecting Russia's research and are instead reporting to their citizens 'other causes' to explain the growing number of mass bird deaths in mid-flight, including Sri Lanka, and which has become yet another of the World's Nations to report birds falling from sky dead. Australia has likewise refused this research for the mass bird deaths in their country, preferring instead to blame the sudden deaths of thousands of birds in mid-flight on a 'mystery toxin'. The United States, also, continues to keep the dire situation facing our World's avian species from this virus from their citizens, even as more reports of mass bird deaths continue to rise in their country, including the latest report from their Western Regions which are reporting this week on the deaths of hundreds of ducks. more...
The Destruction of the United States (January
26, 2007) - History teaches that all nations, like all individuals,
have a beginning and an end. No country is immortal. No nation is invincible.
To make the point less delicately, America will one day cease to exist.
And it may be useful, especially given the multiple crises now developing,
to contemplate the mortality of the world’s most powerful country. What
would the world be like without the United States? Would it be more violent
or less violent? Would it be richer or poorer? Would there be more dictatorships
in the world, or fewer, more freedom or more tyranny? The answers you give
on these questions, if you are liable to have any answers, are ideologically
defining. There are those who claim that America’s destruction would be
a good thing. The destroyers of America, by this reasoning, would be liberators
and heroes. If we attempt to look at the case objectively, it is hard to
think of America’s chief rivals for power as “liberators” in any sense of
the word. China is a communist dictatorship and Russia is governed by thugs.
It is not nice to say that major powers like China or Russia seek the destruction
of the United States. It is not nice to say that Russia and China are governed
by thugs. But anyone who studies the foreign policies, chicanery, secret
maneuvers and war preparations of Beijing and Moscow cannot honestly conclude
otherwise. The fact that Russia and China are both assisting Iran’s development
of nuclear weapons is more than suggestive. It is no accident that in America’s
struggle against radical Islam, the Russian president has declared that
Russia is Islam’s “best friend.” Before the fall of the Communist Party
Soviet Union the central goal of Soviet foreign policy was to foster the
downfall of the United States and the communization of the entire world.
China, on the other hand, is a great country that suffered eclipse during
the period of Western imperialism and colonialism. So China has reason to
predicate its policy on the notion that “one good turn deserves another.”
The reason for China’s opening to the West was not to enrich the Chinese
bourgeoisie, or to adopt Western democratic values. The Chinese Communists
sought an opening to the West so that they could get the investment capital
and technology they needed for a modern military machine. Developing their
economy is merely a necessary step in developing China’s new superpower
status. Some days ago China successfully tested an anti-satellite weapon.
This remarkable capability didn’t develop overnight. As Washington Times
correspondent Bill Gertz pointed out in his January 24 column, American
defense officials concede that China’s Jan. 11 test is part of a “covert
space-weapons program designed to cripple the U.S. military in a conflict.”
The Chinese, to be sure, are publicly lying about the peacefulness of their
intentions. “This test was not directed at any country and does not constitute
a threat to any country,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Oh yes, we
all know that China couldn’t possibly want to shoot down American satellites.
Beijing merely enjoys the challenge of shooting down its own satellites
for meaningless target practice. In that case, it was a also a “practice”
exercise when Chinese hackers attacked U.S. Naval War College computers
in November. As one U.S. official told Bill Gertz: “The Naval War College
is where the Navy’s Strategic Study Group is planning and practicing cyber-war
techniques, and now they don’t even have e-mail access.” more...
Muslims 'about to take over Europe' (January
25, 2007) - Islam could soon be the dominant force in a Europe which,
in the name of political correctness, has abdicated the battle for cultural
and religious control, Prof. Bernard Lewis, the world-renowned Middle Eastern
and Islamic scholar, said on Sunday. The Muslims "seem to be about
to take over Europe," Lewis said at a special briefing with the editorial
staff of The Jerusalem Post. Asked what this meant for the continent's
Jews, he responded, "The outlook for the Jewish communities of Europe
is dim." Soon, he warned, the only pertinent question regarding Europe's
future would be, "Will it be an Islamized Europe or Europeanized Islam?"
The growing sway of Islam in Europe was of particular concern given the
rising support within the Islamic world for extremist and terrorist movements,
said Lewis. Lewis, whose numerous books include the recent What Went
Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, and
The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, would set no timetable
for this drastic shift in Europe, instead focusing on the process, which
he said would be assisted by "immigration and democracy." Instead
of fighting the threat, he elaborated, Europeans had given up. "Europeans
are losing their own loyalties and their own self-confidence," he said. "They
have no respect for their own culture." Europeans had "surrendered"
on every issue with regard to Islam in a mood of "self-abasement," "political
correctness" and "multi-culturalism," said Lewis, who was
born in London to middle-class Jewish parents but has long lived in the
United States. more...
Kadima Proposes Handing Judea and Samaria to Europe
(January 25, 2007) - A member of PM Ehud Olmert's
Kadima party proposed transferring control of Judea and Samaria to a European
task force until the establishment of a Palestinian state. Following the
establishment of the state, the strategic territory would be handed to security
forces associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The
proposal comes after WND
broke the story earlier this week according to top European and Egyptian
diplomatic sources Israel has been conducting behind-the-scene negotiations
to hand over most of Judea and Samaria to Abbas' security forces. The sources
said the transfer of security control to Abbas would be coordinated by the
European Union and Jordan. Judea and Samaria encompass Jerusalem and are
within rocket-firing range of Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport.
At Israel's prestigious Herzliya Conference, Knesset Member Shlomo Breznitz,
reportedly a close confidante of Olmert, said the Judea and Samaria should
be temporarily transferred to the Europeans and that most of the territory's
Jewish communities should be evacuated. "The only way to get out of
the impasse is to transfer the territories, for a limited time, to an international
mandate, that will run them until the establishment of a Palestinian state,"
said Breznitz at the conference. The Herzliya Conference is attended by
Israel's top leadership and regularly maps out the country's agenda for
the coming year. In 2004, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his plan
to withdraw from Gaza at the conference. They sources, who said they were
directly involved in behind-the-scene negotiations, said one proposal being
considered is for the E.U. and Jordan to supervise the transfer of northern
Samaria to Abbas' security forces, which reportedly are receiving aid, weapons
and training from the U.S. The sources said major changes in Israeli-Palestinian
affairs are expected within a few weeks to two months. According to an aide
to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, speaking on condition of anonymity,
there will be a "historic political evolution and movement in negotiations
in the next few weeks and few months, unseen since the Camp David peace
talks in 2000." more...
Merkel's Foreign Policy Man is a Brussels Fan
(November 19, 2006) - When it comes to foreign policy, the man who
will be whispering strategic suggestions in future chancellor Angela Merkel's
ear is an EU player with a good reputation. Brussels is, for once, in complete
agreement. When it comes to foreign policy advisers, there's no one better
on the market at the moment then Christoph Heusgen. A trusted advisor of
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, the 50-year-old is director of the
Policy Planning Unit, a group of 50 diplomats responsible for helping shape
the EU's strategic planning. News that Heusgen will now be Merkel's chief
advisor has been roundly applauded by observers, some of whom say it could
indicate an EU-friendly direction in the future German government's policy
planning. "Heusgen's appointment was greeted with a mix of joy and
regret in Brussels," wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung. "Regret
because he was leaving. Joy, because (his appointment) indicates Merkel
is behind Europe's political union." A lifelong diplomat, Heusgen has
spent nearly his entire career in the European Union. For the past five
years, he's been Solana's chief of staff; a position that, together with
his responsibilities as director of the Policy Unit, have lent him a key
role in helping shape EU's ambitious -- if unrealized -- goal of a common
foreign policy. "We've only had the political will (to do this) since
1999," he said, in explaining the long road still to go. Heusgen is
a fervent advocate for a strong Europe. As head of the unit charged with
analyzing crisis situations and possible responses, he's become a strong
proponent of EU-wide military cooperation as well. "We need
to be able to, when it is necessary, involve ourselves militarily,"
he said. more...
“Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
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