Thursday, June 28, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
|Abraham Speaks With The Angels|
(Long before 9-11 the U.S. military was losing personnel to terrorist operations. It took 9-11 to cause the American people to wake up - Alan)
In October of 1983, I went to Beirut. I filled the trunk of the car with food and medicine and ministered to suffering Lebanese people who were being victimized by the PLO. I also took Bibles to share with the U.S. Marines who had been stationed in the city to keep the peace. I witnessed to them, and many were saved. When I asked if they would be going home for Christmas, they said they would not. So I got my cameraman, and we taped holiday greetings to share with their families.
I'll never forget the words of one young Hispanic Marine who looked in the camera and said, "Mom, I know you've been praying that I would find the Lord. I've got a Christmas present for you. I just accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior." That night I slept on the beachhead while the Marines returned to their barracks. Early the following morning, I was awakened shortly after 6:00 by a horrific sound.
A yellow Mercedes truck driven by an Iran-funded Hezbollah operative made its way to the Beirut International Airport where the Marines had set up their headquarters. The truck was not the water truck that was expected, but rather a hijacked truck carrying explosives. The driver turned onto an access road leading to the Marines' compound and circled a parking lot. He then accelerated and crashed through a barbed-wire fence around the parking lot, passing between two sentry posts, and crashed through a gate. He drove into the lobby of the Marine headquarters where the terrorist detonated the truck laden with explosives. It carried the equivalent of 12,000 pounds of TNT.
The force of the explosion caused the four-story building to pancake--one floor collapsing onto the one beneath it, crushing many of those inside. When the terrible rumbling had stopped and the dust-filled air rose into the sky, 241 American servicemen lay dead or dying. Many of them were men to whom I had given Bibles and shared the Gospel with the day before.
I knew I had to get back to Israel, but in the early morning darkness, I couldn't find the right road. I ended up in the middle of a Hezbollah funeral peopled by terrorists carrying a body above their heads. To be in an Israeli vehicle with Jerusalem license plates was like painting a bulls-eye on my forehead. Only through the mercy of God did we get through the crowd.
Our car was targeted by artillery shells, and I was driving as fast as I could....Suddenly, the car sputtered and stopped. We had run out of gas. As we sat there praying that angels of the Lord would protect us, a young Arab man, perhaps eighteen or nineteen, suddenly stepped out of the darkness. We were certain the end had come. He rapped on the window and held up a can of gasoline. He walked to the rear of the vehicle and emptied the can into the gas tank. He then came back and pointed at the door lock. I reached over and pulled up the button. He slid into the seat, and for the next thirty-two kilometers, he directed us by pointing his finger first one way and then another. He did not speak a word while directing us toward the border with Israel.
About fifty yards from the border, he held up his hands signaling me to stop. I stopped; he stepped out of the car, and we pulled up to the border crossing. An Israeeli lieutenant colonel walked up to the car and said, "We thought you were dead. We reported that to the prime minister's office. How did you survive?"
We turned back to look and there was no one on the road. It was an angel of the Lord! The scripture God had given me was from Isaiah 41:10: "Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged, for I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Why do I call Jesus Christ Yeshua HaMaschiach?
God says in Philippians 2:9 says, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name."
Common sense tells us there is only one of something, it has a unique name that really needs no translation into a different language. For example, a Rembrandt is a Rembrandt in every language. The name should remain the same across all of the languages and an explanation should be given about what or who the name is. If you are a translator, you are most likely cringing at this suggestion. If you are a lover of a certain translation of the Bible, for example, King James, you think it is good enough. You may think that using Hebrew names for God and Jesus Christ is confusing, but quite frankly, there is only them, and perhaps it's a long time coming, but we all ought to know their names.
In the Hebrew, God is YHVH. His name is so sacred that the ancient Jews would not pronounce it. If they spoke the name of God, they would say simply Ha Shem, meaning "The Name." When reading the Tanakh, YHVH is referred to as Adonai, meaning "My Lord." In Exodus 15:2, Moses and the children of Israel in the earliest known song, sang: "Yah is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation." King David used Yah as the name of God in some 17 Psalms. Psalm 150:6, "Let every thing that has breath praise Yah! Praise Yah!" Isaiah 38:17 originally says, "I won't see Yah, Yah in the land of the living..." Most translations, including King James, replaced "Yah" with "LORD."
The Hebrew name for Jesus Christ is Yeshua HaMashiach (some use Ha in between, meaning "the"). If man had not been so invested in changing the names into other languages for the sake of understanding, the names of Yah and Yeshua Mashiach could have been used throughout the world in all translations as the standard. Everyone would then know that when we are speaking of the one true God, his name is Yah; and the only Christ is Yeshua Mashiach.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
|The Left's Gestapo|
In fairness, most liberals do not feel affection for the worst of the worst among leftists such as Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Che Guevara, or Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones.
But there are a few domestic radicals who have attained a kind of folk hero status in left-wing circles.
Convicted cop killer and Black Panthers member Mumia abu Jamal, would-be GOP convention bombers David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder, ACORN founder and cyber-terrorism advocate Wade Rathke, Obamacare architect and convicted swindler Robert Creamer, Earth Day booster and murderer Ira Einhorn, imprisoned terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart, Weather Underground leaders Jeff Jones, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn, just to name a few.
“Speedway Bomber” Brett Kimberlin isn’t famous enough yet to have a cult following on the Left but give the determined, energetic activist time. A few short years after his release from federal prison the radical leftist has been embraced by all the right people, winning grants from the George Soros-funded Tides Foundation and wealthy celebrities.
He’s earned the confidence of leftist luminaries such as Teresa Heinz Kerry and Barbra Streisand who have sent money to his activist group, the Justice Through Music Project. The seven-year-old Bethesda, Maryland-based 501c3 nonprofit entity buys into the radical environmentalist agenda, supports the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and claims to have registered 100,000 people to vote. (See its latest IRS Form 990 [tax return] here.)
This Maryland resident is a political trailblazer of sorts. Kimberlin is a tactical innovator whose tried and true methods would have impressed the father of modern community organizing, Saul Alinsky. The late conservative Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart recognized Kimberlin’s unique talents last fall, tweeting that the convicted terrorist and his confederates needed “exposure.”
Kimberlin, as blogger “Liberty Chick” previously reported, spent almost 17 years in prison after being convicted of detonating bombs in a week-long terror spree in Speedway, Indiana. “One of the blasts horribly maimed a man so badly that it directly led to that man’s suicide a few years later, which was proven when the widow of that bombing victim successfully sued and won a civil judgment against Kimberlin for $1.6 million,” she wrote. Of course Kimberlin not only failed to pay the woman, but denied doing anything wrong. His refusal to cough up what he owed his victim’s wife led to a revocation of his parole.
He also claimed he was secretly exonerated by the powers that be. A record of this surreptitious pardon is bound to surface any day now, delivered by a leprechaun in a unicorn-pulled stage coach.
Until proof of the covert clemency arrives, Kimberlin is focusing on bullying conservatives into silence, which is the same thing that so much of progressivedom is concentrating on nowadays. But unlike Van Jones and the various Marxist agitators who have inflicted damage on conservative talk radio and innocuous groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) through innuendo and smears, Kimberlin gets in his enemies’ faces. Literally.
A man named Aaron Walker (blogging name Aaron Worthing is now claiming that Kimberlin tried to frame him for a crime he did not commit. Kimberlin alleges that Walker battered him in a court house even though it’s pretty clear from videos and other evidence that nothing of the sort happened. Walker explains what happened in a heavily annotated, nearly 28,000 word essay at his website Allergic to Bull. In a nutshell, it appears Walker briefly snatched Kimberlin’s iPad away because he feared the violent ex-con was going to hit him with it. Walker says he never made physical contact with Kimberlin and the video evidence embedded in the lengthy blog post appears to confirm his story. The minor scuffle created more legal headaches for Walker.
Why was Walker in court with Kimberlin? Because Kimberlin sued him for daring to write about his criminal record.
A caveat to conservative bloggers: This is Kimberlin’s modus operandi and it is well suited to this land where unscrupulous plaintiffs can litigate total strangers into paupery based upon nothing more than a whim. Kimberlin slaps conservative bloggers with “peace orders” if they dare to bring up his ugly past. The former inmate falsely accuses his targets of “tortious interference” and defamation, claiming that the mere mention of his law breaking undermines his ability to go about his business.
One of Kimberlin’s current targets is conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain. After Kimberlin appeared to issue a veiled threat against McCain’s family, McCain was forced to relocate. Who knows how many otherwise enterprising reporters have shied away from covering Kimberlin’s exploits because of his lawyerly taunts.
Like many criminals, Kimberlin honed his skills behind bars. While in prison, he taught himself the law. This amateur advocate boasts of filing more than 100 lawsuits. In one of those actions he contended his rights were being violated because corrections officials refused to allow him to play the electric guitar while a guest of taxpayers. As usual, he lost, though he must have had a lot of fun jerking authorities around.
This now-released felon who was sentenced to a half century behind bars for his bombing spree in Indiana 30 years ago, Kimberlin has found growing acceptance among liberal philanthropists and garden-variety do-gooders. Given enough media adulation his social justice street cred will balloon and the Soros/Sundance Documentary Fund will underwrite a sympathetic documentary about his struggle against an unjust system that targeted him for persecution. Maybe Hollywood heavyweights Morgan Freeman or Kevin Spacey will narrate.
The complete story of Kimberlin is too difficult to tell in a single article. There are too many moving parts.
But some have attempted to chronicle the man’s manipulations. New Yorker contributor Mark Singer told part of Kimberlin’s story in a meaty 1996 book, Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin. In the tome Singer recounts his amazement and disillusionment as he discovered that this fascinating man had played him like a fiddle. Kimberlin gained national attention when he claimed while still in prison to have been Vice President Dan Quayle’s marijuana dealer. Despite aggressive promotion by cartoonist Garry Trudeau during the 1992 presidential campaign the ganja story turned out to be false and Quayle and President George H.W. Bush were beaten by a real-life pot smoker and his apocalyptic sidekick.
Nowadays Kimberlin is the business partner of leftist blogger Brad Friedman who frequently plays fast and loose with the facts. The Democrat duo co-founded a litigious group called Velvet Revolution which also receives funding from the far-left Tides Foundation.
It should be noted that Tides, in turn, receives funding from various donors including George Soros. Soros’s Open Society Institute has given at least $25,776,623 to Tides and its affiliated Tides Center since 1999. Another Soros philanthropy, the Foundation to Promote Open Society, has given at least $9,844,312 to the Tides network since 2009.
Velvet Revolution’s mission is to vex conservatives.
Anticipating a legal challenge to ObamaCare, Velvet Revolution tried to tip the scales by causing trouble for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Listing a litany of frivolous grounds the group asked the Missouri Supreme Court to disbar Thomas.
One of VR’s many projects, IndictBreitbart.org, experienced spasms of schadenfreude when its namesake died suddenly in March. Breitbart “carried hate in his heart” and “foment[ed] violence.” He needed “professional help” and in the end got what he deserved, according to the site.
Breitbart died “during a pitched Twitter war defending [ACORN slayer and investigative journalist] James O’Keefe. We have long advocated for accountability in the courts for Mr. Breitbart and Mr. O’Keefe because of their lawlessness, intolerance and smear campaigns. Sometimes, however, accountability comes in other ways from a greater power than the courts.”
In other words, this Kimberlin-founded group believes Breitbart was smote by the Almighty.
The mission of the other Kimberlin-created group, the Justice Through Music Project, is to somehow pound political enlightenment into the skulls of young people through music. The group has received at least $70,000 in grants from the Tides Foundation since 2006. Barbra Streisand has given JTMP at least $10,000 through her foundation since 2006. Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), is CEO of the Heinz Family Foundation. That charity has given JTMP at least $20,000 since 2006.
Do the people at the Tides Foundation, Barbra Streisand Foundation, and Heinz Family Foundation know that they have given money to an organization run by a dishonest, litigious, violent, radical felon who appears to delight in intimidating people whose views he disagrees with?
Oh wait. There’s no point in answering that question in the Obama era, is there?
|The Utah Data Center Can Suck Up Massive Amounts of World Data|
The Flame has been discovered in seven Middle Eastern countries, though the number of infections found in Iran is more than the rest combined with 189 instances. There have been 98 infections detected in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Sudan was hit with 32 infections, a country whose regime is increasingly Islamist and friendly towards Hamas. There have been 30 infections found in Syria, 18 in Lebanon, 10 in Saudi Arabia and 5 in Egypt.
It is not believed at this time that the Flame targeted a specific industry or program like Stuxnet did. Instead, it is meant to act as the “the ultimate spy,” copying hard drive data, logging instant messages and other online communications, recording keystrokes, taking screenshots and even secretly turning on computer microphones to record nearby conversations. There is also the potential for sabotage because it can potentially delete information and change settings on computer systems, opening up doors for attack.
Some cyber experts think it was deployed in February or March 2010, while others think it has been active as far back as five years ago. It is unknown who authored the Flame, but suspicion immediately fell on Israel, possibly with U.S. assistance. Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs encouraged such suspicion during an interview, saying, “Whoever sees the Iranian threat as a serious threat would be likely to take different steps, including these, in order to hurt them.” He hinted at his country’s involvement, saying, “Israel is blessed to be a nation possessing superior technology. These achievements of ours open up all kinds of possibilities for us.”
The latest known cyber attack on Iran happened in late April. Iran announced that its oil industry was being targeted by foreign hackers, specifically its Oil Ministry and its Kharg Island terminal where the majority of Iran’s oil is exported from. “Data related to some of the users have been compromised,” the Iranian regime said, though it denied that there was any serious damage.
In October 2011, “Duqu,” also called “Son of Stuxnet,” was found in Iran and it is believed to have been infecting computers since late 2010. The powerful weapon is similar to Flame in that it records keystrokes and could potentially hijack a computer and allow an outside country to operate it. Duqu, however, was not used for that purpose. It opened up back doors in systems for 36 days and then left. Symantec determined, “The attackers are looking for information such as design documents that could help them mount a future attack on an industrial control facility.” Amazingly, those behind Duqu continued to improve it, enabling future infections even though it was already discovered.
Meanwhile, the Iranian regime is reacting to the failure to reach an agreement over its nuclear program during the meetings in Iraq on May 23 with bravado and threats. A Revolutionary Guards website said it would fire missiles at all “enemy bases” in the region if the country is attacked.
This isn’t a new threat. Iran has long threatened to respond to any military strike against it, by Israel or the U.S., with missile and “martyrdom” attacks on American military bases. In December, a regime-controlled website wrote a detailed assessment of U.S. bases in the Middle East and how they could be struck with missiles. The article specifically mentioned bases in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is stationed. The author argued that the base in Bahrain is an extremely vulnerable target because Iran’s anti-ship missiles can hit American vessels shortly after they leave the base.
On November 15, a Basiji commander said at a convention that Iran could use proxies to attack U.S. forces in Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. The bases “are entirely surrounded by holy fighters of the Islamic ummah who are counting the minutes in anticipation of the command to wipe out the U.S.”
The next month, a regime-tied website carried an article that said that Hezbollah has determined targets for retaliation in the event of an attack and would launch “martyrdom operations” in each of the 112 countries where U.S. forces are based. The author used anti-war sentiment in the U.S. as proof of America’s weakness. “America needs to know that while American youth shout the slogan, ‘Stop the War,’ for fear of dying, the children of Ruhollah [Khomeini] never flee from war and always pray, ‘Allah, give us martyrdom for your sake.’”
The European Union’s oil embargo becomes officially enacted on July 1. Iran can ill-afford further losses to its economy and has threatened Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that are encouraging the embargo by increasing their oil output. On January 27, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts warned that Iran could intercept tankers departing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for Europe.
The dispute with Iran is coming to a head. The West must hope for the success of the sanctions and covert operations like “The Flame.” Should they fail to halt Iran’s nuclear program, Israel will be left with the decision to strike or accept a nuclear-armed Iran. By all indications, Israel believes that final decision will have to be made this year.
Monday, June 25, 2012
|The prophet Zechariah|
|Daniel's Vision of the Gentile Empires|
Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Obviously the World Trade Center traded in an abundance of delicacies.
Rev 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day (9-11), death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: (all the attacks involved intense fires) for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Rev 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, (There was indeed weeping and lamenting on 9-11.)
|Shiva - a pagan goddess of India & part of the ancient Mystery Religions|
Rev 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: (Many trading agencies were shut down for months.)
Rev 18:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, (The WTC traded in all these commodities.)
Rev 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
Rev 18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, (People on boats in New York harbor watched the towers burn.)
Rev 18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, what city is like unto this great city!
Rev 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, (The people in New York city who fled ground zero were covered in dust) and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
Three important facts are below.
1) you can connect the Scriptural dots and come clearly and directly to Babylon in Iraq, not New York City
2) there’s not a shred of Biblical evidence to support the New York City view vice Babylon
3) there’s no compelling reason to spiritualize the Biblical passages on Babylon.
The late Dr. David L. Cooper advised, “Where the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate text clearly indicate otherwise.” It’s come to be known as the Golden Rule of interpretation. We’ll apply it to see what the Bible says about Mystery Babylon.
Keep in mind, Revelation 18 takes place at the very end of the Great Tribulation after the completion of the seven bowl judgments
The first place to look is the only place it’s mentioned, Revelation 17. There the words “Mystery Babylon the Great” appear; written on the forehead of a symbolic woman seated atop a symbolic beast with seven heads and ten horns in a vision John was given. We know they’re symbolic because in the passage the angel describing them says so, and tells us what they symbolize. This fits with Dr. Cooper’s rule.
Mystery Babylon will re-emerge as a prominent belief system In World Affairs… Rev 18:2-3 The kings of the earth commit fornication with Mystery Babylon, and the merchants of the earth grow rich from their fornication with MB. Remember, even though in Revelation 17:9 John describes “mystery Babylon” as seated on seven hills, a prophecy in Zechariah 5:5-11 shows it being moved “to the plains of Shinar” a reference to ancient Mesopotamia. We can’t switch from literal to allegorical interpretations of Scripture without clear direction, and where Babylon is concerned no such direction exists. Almost from the beginning, the Bible has been a tale of two cities. Jerusalem is the city of God while Babylon has always been the city of man. Both disappeared from the world stage for many centuries, but when Jerusalem came back it was to its original location. The Bible says the same will be true of Mystery Babylon.
The angel explained to John that the beast symbolized Satan, who would become the object of worship in the world and manifest himself in one called the antichrist. The seven heads were seven hills and also seven kingdoms. Five of these had fallen when John was writing (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece) one was currently in power (Rome) and one was still to come (hold that thought). The ten horns were ten kings who didn’t yet have a kingdom but would each receive one for the purpose of serving the antichrist and making war against the Lord. And finally, the woman was the city that in John’s time was ruling over the world.
So far we have three references to Rome. It sits on seven hills, it was the kingdom currently in power, and it was the city from which the world was ruled. Most scholars accept the fact that in John’s time, when the Revelation was written, the vision of the woman on the beast represented Rome, and that’s why she was called Mystery Babylon.
(In the Greek language, the word we translate mystery literally means a revealed secret. The pagan religious system first practiced in Babylon had been transplanted to Pergamum in Biblical times (see Rev. 2:12-17 and my article on this blog concerning satan’s altar or search Pergamum) but in the 4th century AD would be merged with Christianity in Rome. That’s the secret John was revealing.)
Throughout much of church history Mystery Babylon has been a euphemism for Rome. But what about today?
The Roman Empire was never really defeated in the sense that the other ancient kingdoms were. It was split up and parts of it were overcome, but in the 300′s (A.D.) it was transformed into the Holy Roman Empire and for all practical purposes ruled over Europe until the 1500′s. And even after that parts of the old Roman Empire were pre-imminent in the world for a time, specifically Spain and England.
God says in Daniel 9:26. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Those of us who believe that this portion of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy is still in the future, knowing that the Romans destroyed the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (The Temple) in 70 AD, believe that it predicts a ruler emerging from a revived Roman Empire at the end of the age. This ruler is called the antichrist by most, who also see the European Union as a revival of the Roman Empire. That being the case, the kingdom described to John in Rev. 17 as the one that was still to come would be the European Union, a modern version of the Roman Empire.
When the antichrist comes to power, we believe he’ll divide the world into 10 regions and place a leader over each of them, hence the 10 kings loyal to him.
Seeing Rome as both the 4th and 5th kingdoms of John’s vision fits with other prophecies as well. For instance, in Daniel 2&7 we’re given two views of Gentile Dominion, the time in world history when gentile powers are superior to Israel. In both the dream Daniel interprets in chapter 2 and his parallel vision of monsters coming out of the sea in chapter 7, there were only four gentile kingdoms identified from Daniel’s day to the Kingdom Age. By comparing the symbolism of the visions with what we know of history, we can identify the first one as Babylon, in power when Daniel was alive having conquered both Egypt and Assyria. Then came the Medo-Persian Empire, followed by Greece and finally Rome. The only kingdom after Rome is the Kingdom of our Lord, a Kingdom that will never be defeated or given to another. So Rome is the last gentile world power before the Lord’s return.
In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2) of the huge poly-metallic statue that symbolized the four gentile powers, the two legs of iron represent Rome’s Eastern and Western components that ultimately became the Holy Roman Empire’s Catholic and Orthodox churches. The feet and toes of iron mixed with clay stand for the European Union and signify the problems that have plagued Europe’s attempts to unite (iron and baked pottery neither mix nor adhere well) as well as the 10 regions (the toes) into which antichrist will divide the world. Interestingly, it was the Treaty of Rome that in 1957 gave the European Union its beginning. So the clear hints of the two incarnations of Rome have now been verified in history.
So how does all that relate to literal Babylon? Rev. 18 claims that in the final days the City of Babylon will once again be a world center for government, commerce, and religion and describes the worldwide distress caused by its destruction just before the Lord’s return. For years scholars, believing Babylon to have been destroyed long ago, searched for the modern city they believed the passage to be symbolizing, and many chose New York. But during the Gulf War they discovered that ancient Babylon had never been destroyed in the way the Bible describes. Further research showed that it’s been continuously inhabited since the days of Nebuchadnezzar, and Saddam Hussein has expended much effort in restoring it.
Let’s understand a little more about why some still believe Rev 18 describes New York City. Being home to the UN it could be considered the center of world government, the New York Stock Exchange has a tremendous influence over world commerce, and of course it’s located in the USA, the most obviously Christian nation in the world today which connects it with a major religion. And then there’s the indisputable fact that having been so richly blessed the US certainly deserves to be judged, and New York is arguably its most prominent city.
Biblical scholars from other countries complain that only the arrogance of Americans causes us to look for ourselves in the Bible. Sure we’re on top now, but the US is such a newcomer on the world scene, barely over 200 years old in a history that at its most conservative estimate stretches back over 6000 years. And the battle between the city of Satan (Babylon) and the city of God (Jerusalem) had been raging for several thousand years before America was even discovered. In a nutshell, the long view of history argues persuasively for reading Rev. 18 literally. If so, how does Babylon get to be center stage again after so many centuries of obscurity?
In the Book of Zechariah, a series of night visions concerning the end times occupies the first six chapters. The one recorded in chapter 5 gives us the answer. Zechariah describes being told in this vision to inspect a large basket with a lead cover. An angel tells him the basket contains the iniquity of the people throughout the earth. When he looks inside, he sees a woman, who the angel identifies as the symbol of their wickedness. Then two other women, each with the wings of a stork, lift the basket and begin to fly away with it. (Storks, being unclean birds, would not defile themselves by carrying this load of wickedness. Lev. 11:19)
“Where are they taking it?” Zechariah asks. “To the country of Babylon,” the angel replies, “To build a house for it.” (Literally to the plains of Shinar, the location in ancient Mesopotamia of the City of Babylon). “When it’s ready, the basket will be set there in its place.” (Zech. 5:5-11). The fact that an actual physical location is given for the basket’s final destination should discourage anyone from spiritualizing that part of the passage. Again we’ve applied Dr. Cooper’s Golden Rule of interpretation.
So we know where the basket is going, but where will the stork-women be taking it from? According to many scholars the woman in Zechariah’s basket is the woman from Rev. 17, Rome. At the end of the age, after all its true believers have been whisked away in the Rapture, the religious system currently headquartered in Rome will be returned to Babylon from whence it came, to be absorbed into antichrist’s one world religion. (The European Union will also be absorbed, but into antichrist’s one world government, bringing the world’s political, commercial, and religious power together under one central authority.)
Zechariah’s visions followed Babylon’s defeat by the Persians. And almost from Zechariah’s day to ours, Babylon was a forgotten city. Although Alexander the Great later lived and died there, his plan to dredge a big harbor to lure Persian Gulf boat traffic to Babylon was never implemented. Alexander had 500,000 rations for his army to prepare the city to be his world capitol. After his death a natural harbor was found on the Tigris River and soon became the regional center of commerce Alexander had envisioned. The city that grew up around this harbor was named Baghdad. Although only about 62 miles (100 km) away, Babylon slowly faded into obscurity dwindling to as few as 10,000 inhabitants. It was never again a center for government, commerce, and religion, but neither was it ever destroyed as Revelation 17-18, Isaiah 13-14 and Jeremiah 50-51 all prophesy. These events are still in our future.
Saddam Hussein spent millions restoring ancient Babylon perhaps unknowingly preparing it for its final role in world events. Since the Lord is committed to doing all that He’s promised (Isaiah 46:8-11), when the time is right the basket symbolizing the world’s wickedness will be set in the place prepared for it on the plains of Shinar. And then the ancient City of Babylon will once again become the world headquarters for the three great evils of mankind’s design:
Government which enslaves men politically;
Commerce which enslaves us economically; and
Religion which enslaves us spiritually.
Does the City of New York deserve to be judged? Absolutely, along with the rest of America, and the world for that matter. But is New York the Mystery Babylon of Rev. 17-18? I hope my comments have persuaded you otherwise. But to be sure, become a Berean and search the Scriptures daily to see whether these things be true. (Acts 17:11)
This year is the bicentennial of the War of 1812. A recent USA Today article acknowledges that most Americans know very little about a war that many have called “The Second American Revolution.”
They might remember that the British burned the White House and the Capitol. If you have ever taken a tour of the White House, they mention the event and explain it as one of the reasons they have to continously paint the building white.
Some might have an image of Dolly Madison fleeing ahead of torch-brandishing Royal Marines. Tucked under her arm is a portrait of George Washington. Others might remember that Andrew Jackson defended New Orleans. Older citizens might even remember the hit song, “The Battle of New Orleans.” But most Americans would probably admit they know little of a war that had significant influence on the future of America.
At the time, the British were occupied in Europe with Napoleon. But after the Napoleonic Wars, they sent warships to America and unleashed the greatest naval power of that era on the small, struggling nation. That we survived was a testament to the fact that the United States was no longer a small, agrarian nation with a weak military.
Whenever we sing “The Star Spangled Banner” we are remembering a bit of history from this war. In 1814, sixteen British ships unleashed their naval firepower on Baltimore’s Fort McHenry. Francis Scott Key was part of a humanitarian effort to free some Americans prisoners but he was stuck on the ship until after the battle. He and the others wondered whether the British had been successful. He saw during the dawn’s early light that the garrison flag was still there, surviving the bombs bursting in air. He wrote the poem which was later put to a British tune. It became our national anthem.
This bicentennial year, I encourage you to learn more about the War of 1812. It shaped this nation and is an important part of our history, even if many of us know little about it.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Emancipation Proclamation: Was Lincoln Motivated By Political Expediency Or Religious Conviction?
“And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.” –January 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation
The question for consideration is this: In what way was Abraham Lincoln driven by his own religious convictions when developing policy regarding the Civil War and the institution of slavery?
The Religious Views of Abraham Lincoln are chronicled in a book by Reverend O. H. Pennell, who indicates that there was a strong attempt by various religious groups like Universalists, agnostics, and deists to hijack Lincoln for their own cause.
Lincoln seemed to measure religion by the inevitability of the progress of ideas and society. I don’t know if Lincoln could have been too familiar with Darwin’s Origin of the Species because it wasn’t published until 1859, but he certainly seemed to entertain a belief in the idea of the evolutionary progress of society, and this idea most certainly was shattered by a country divided by war. He may have embraced the idea that as society matured, slavery would eventually fade away, but the war brought that hope of peaceful resolution to an end.
Lincoln was a bit of a religious skeptic in his younger years. He did not attend church, and he was very secretive about his religious convictions. He was much influenced by the deism of the enlightenment. But he seemed to become a deeply religious man after several political failures, the death of his father, and, especially, the death of his son Willie. After church attendance became a priority to him, he began to attend the Old School Presbyterian Church in the 1850’s.
His friend Frank Carpenter recorded that Lincoln shared his conversion experience with an acquaintance and told her that he began to understand the tenants of Christianity when his son Willie died. “I think I can say with sincerity that I hope that I am a Christian. I had lived until my boy, Willie, had died without fully realizing these things.” (The Religious Views Of Abraham Lincoln, p. 27)
The words of Lincoln’s widow also lend credibility to his claim to Christianity, “…from the time of the death of our little Edward, I believe my husband’s heart was directed towards religion and as time passed on – when Mr. Lincoln became elevated to Office…then indeed to my knowledge – did his great heart go up daily, hourly, in prayer to God – for his sustaining power. When too – the overwhelming sorrow came upon us, our beautiful bright angelic boy, Willie was called away from us, to his Heavenly Home, with God’s chastising hand upon us – he turned his heart to Christ.” – Mary Todd Lincoln to Rev. James Smith, June 8, 1870.
Lincoln became very sensitive to the will of a sovereign God. He was haunted by the idea that Christians from the north and Christians from the south were praying to the same God for favor. In his commentary The Will of God Prevails, he wrote, “God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.” (Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, “The End of Slavery in America”, by Allen Guelzo)
Two preachers and two layman from Chicago met with him carrying a petition for emancipation. He declared to them his right and intention to declare an Emancipation Proclamation. But he seemed wearied by such men who often declared their knowledge of God’s will, and he testily declared to them that if God had revealed his will to them, then surely he would reveal his will to him upon whose shoulders this burden did lay.
Was Lincoln’s motivation for declaring the Emancipation Proclamation a move to satisfy political expediency, or was it a personal conviction of his that slavery was immoral?
I think it could be safely argued that in the beginning of the war, Lincoln interpreted the conflict as a contest to preserve the union. In his letter to James Conklin, Lincoln wrote, “You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time, then, for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes.”
“If they (slaves) stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive–even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept.” – (Letter written to James Conklin.) Was Lincoln using freedom as a ‘carrot at the end of the stick’ to lure slaves into fighting to preserve a union that had thus far failed to free them, or did he genuinely believe slavery was immoral in the eyes of God?
By the end of the war, it is reasonable to believe that Lincoln saw himself being used as an instrument of God to emancipate the slaves. Lincoln’s statement to Salmon Chase, Republican Governor of Ohio from 1856-1860, indicates his reinterpretation of the war: “I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee was driven back from Maryland I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves.” (Six Months At The White House, p. 90, Frank Carpenter)
However, Lincoln was conflicted about the fact that good Christians were warring against each other while calling on the same God for favor and grace. His final conclusion to this dilemma is found in his Second Inaugural Address:
“Both (North and South) read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.”
|Mali Faces Sharia Law|
|The Legendary City of Timbuktu|
Located in the Republic of Mali in northwest Africa, Timbuktu was often referred to as the Athens of Africa because it was a place of such enormous wealth and knowledge. When the emperor Mansa Musa made a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, the lore has it that as he passed through Cairo his wealth devalued the gold in Egypt for a decade.
The tale of Mali's riches further grew when Ibn Battuta, the Berber equivalent to Marco Polo, wrote about his visit to Timbuktu in 1354. Upon arrival in the city, he found an urban melting pot of not only black Africans, but also many Jews and Arabs, a fact proven by the many volumes of Arabic and Hebraic scriptures still found in the city today.
According to Kulanu, a US-based organization tracing people of African Jewish descent, there are still descendants of Jews living in the regions around Timbuktu. In 1996, a Malian newspaper also published an article documenting the presence of Jewish descendants in Timbuktu. Their ancestors were probably Jewish merchants who came to Mali for business. Some 500 years ago, this group of black African Jews was forced to leave Judaism and convert to Islam.
“We are Jews because our ancestors were Jews, whose genes are found in all our families,” Kulanu members insisted in a recent statement.
Author Karen Primack, in her book Jews in places you never thought of, visited Mali in the 1990s and also discovered many Jewish traditions being practiced within certain communities around Timbuktu.
“The families have continually given newborns Jewish names; some members sign their names with a Star of David; some Hebrew songs are still sung; and they only marry among themselves, not a custom in Islam,” Primack wrote.
“Egyptian Jews may have settled in the northern part of Mali as early as biblical times, and it is known that in the late seventh century, when the Arabs invaded North Africa, one of the chiefs of the Berber warriors resisting that invasion was a heroic princess of Jewish origin known as Kahina (Doumya). In the eighth century, the Rhadamites (multilingual Jewish traders who traversed the known world by land and sea, including crossing the Sahara) settled in Timbuktu and its environs.”
Today Mali is home to close to 15 million inhabitants and the country has enjoyed a rather stable period since gaining its independence from France in 1960. But in late March, Mali suffered a coup d’état as President Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted after some ten years in power. The coup was led by Amadou Sanogo, an officer from the Malian army who questioned the president's ability to subdue the Tuareg rebellion.
The Tuaregs, often referred to as “the blue men of the desert,” are a nomadic people inhabiting the northern parts of Mali. Since the 1960s, this group has launched several uprisings against the government in order to create their own state, Azawad. In January, they formed the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and launched an armed campaign seeking independence.
The group was backed by a more radical faction of Tuaregs called Ansar Dine, Arabic for defenders of Islam, whose goal is to impose strict Islamic law throughout Mali.
On April 6, an MNLA spokesperson declared Azawad’s independence and only days later Iyad Ag Ghaly, the leader of Ansar Dine, imposed shari'a law in Timbuktu and began forcing the Christian population to flee. Thus several hundred Christians have fled Timbuktu in recent weeks and churches in the city of Gao have been burned to the ground.
“We have escaped in the wake of horrible death threats as the Islamists have a list of all the Christians in Timbuktu whom they intend to execute by beheading,” Timothee Yattara, a Bible college student, recently told the Associated Press. “One leader has already been killed in this way and some churches in Gao have been demolished.”
In early May, reports also emerged that radical Wahhabists linked to al-Qaida in the Maghreb had desecrated an ancient tomb in Timbuktu belonging to Saint Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar and listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Concerns are also growing that the Salafist group is planning to destroy over 20,000 ancient manuscripts preserved in the national library of Timbuktu, some of which have been compared in importance to the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In order to find out more about developments in Mali, The Christian Edition recently spoke to Dr. Maiga Abdou, a native of the village of Dire, located near Timbuktu. Abdou is a pastor and respected scholar who is currently in Israel to complete a course in conflict resolution at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and to deepen his knowledge of Biblical Hebrew at the Home for Bible Translators in Yad Hashmona.
Abdou grew up in a strict Muslim family and even at the tender age of five he could already recite long passages of the Koran by heart. He eventually completed dawa studies to be an imam, but then Abdou heard the testimony of an Algerian Muslim who had converted to Christianity and it made him curious to learn more about the Bible.
Eventually he came across John 3:16, and he was astounded by the notion of a God of love, which was so absent in Islam. After much prayer and study of the Bible and the Koran, Abdou came to faith in Jesus. He later attended Bible schools in the Ivory Coast and the Central African Republic, and began pastoring churches in both Timbuktu and Gao, in northern Mali.
Today he is a popular Bible teacher, West Africa's leading expert in Biblical Hebrew, and pastor of a dynamic church in Senegal. He also heads a humanitarian NGO called “Compassion Sans Frontiers” which assists the needy throughout West Africa, including orphans, prostitutes and the disabled.
Abdou explained that the vast majority of Mali’s population today is made up of Muslims, while only five percent are Christians, including some 250,000 Evangelicals.
Asked about the current persecution of Christians in Mali, he draws a distinction between the Muslim-dominated north and the south, where there is greater tolerance for Christians. According to Abdou, before the recent implementation of shari'a law the persecution was more hidden, as Muslim society gradually tried to marginalize any converts to Christianity and their families.
“For example, if you were married and convert to Christianity, people around you would advise your wife to leave you and so on,” Abdou said.
But today the Muslim persecution is worsening, claims Abdou, and the majority of Christians have indeed fled Timbuktu, while a small remnant remain in hiding in the city. He has been in touch with several pastors whose churches were recently destroyed, some Christians have been severely beaten and even killed, and the rest are being forced to flee.
Abdou’s sister, the only other Christian in his family, is a church worker in Timbuktu who has been forced to leave the city out of fear of the radical Muslims.
Abdou still has many other relatives in and around Timbuktu. He confirms the historic Jewish presence in the city and says that Torah scrolls have been in the country since well before 1000 AD. He says there is also proof of Jewish inscriptions on stones and sculptures dating back to 320 BC which refer to “Bnai Israel” (the sons of Israel) all the way from Mali to Mauritania and Senegal.
Abdou has a great love and respect for Israel and the Jewish people, which he openly shares with his countrymen.
“I think that the majority of Christians in Mali have a lot of sympathy towards Israel and I don’t know about a single Christian in Mali who is against Israel. I am trying to teach my congregation to love Israel, and that is one of the reasons for me being here. I am learning biblical and modern Hebrew, and the culture of Israel in order to be able to teach my people back home more about Israel and to be able to defend her.”
Despite the rising threat of radical Islam in Mali and the entire Sahel region, Abdou says the people there are eager to hear the Gospel, and he will soon return to the region to share his faith in the God of the Bible and his love for Israel.
This article was first published in the June 2012 issue of The Jerusalem Post Christian Edition; www.jpost.com/ce
Friday, June 22, 2012
|The Noose Tightens on Assad|
|The Nazis Are Back|
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;
12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
To buttress the scripture consider the following harbingers or warnings to our nation. Also remember 7 is the Lord’s number of completeness. On 11 Sep 2001 the 9-11 attacks occurred. Seven years later, almost to the day on 12 Sep 2008 a great stock market crash occurred, 7% of the nation’s wealth was wiped out and supernaturally the DOW closed at 7,777. On 29 Sep 08 exactly 7 Hebrew years from 9-11-2001 Lehman Bros. went bankrupt.
On 12 Sep 01 Tom Daschle quoted Isaiah 9:10 about the falling bricks & rebuilding in defiance. On 11 Sep 04 John Edwards said the same words of defiance. These were just the two witnesses to defiance, the 3rd witness was Barack Obama. On 24 Feb 09 Obama said we will rebuild, we will recover the pride of the hardest working people, we will emerge stronger than before. Obama was commemorating 9-11 and vowing to rebuild bigger and better, and restore America to its prosperity. Friends, I do not know what Obama’s downfall will entail but we should pray that Obama the arrogant man repents and finds his true Saviour. Obama is not aware of the ultimate Biblical significance of his defiant words. Once again God says in Isaiah Chap 9 verse 15&16 the ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. We and Obama need to get on our knees and humble ourselves and ask for God’s forgiveness as a nation. If we don’t then we bring God’s judgment upon ourselves.
Now to Middle East & Persian news: In Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi claimed victory in Egypt’s presidential election. What is interesting is that the official results will not be in for 3 more days and only the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist propaganda organ Al Jazeera are claiming Morsi won. The bulk of Egyptian analysts say it is too early to tell who won the presidential race but Shafiq is winning. Of course, western media outlets are ignoring the Egyptian analysts. We should remember the Brotherhood employs a strategy called “war is deceit” and is using deceit to steal the election.
That being said, the election means little because the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) seized power and relegated the presidency to little more than a figurehead.
SCAF issued a decree giving the military the power to arrest civilians. The smallest infraction can land an Egyptian in jail. Full legislative power is now in the hands of the SCAF.
The Supreme Constitutional Court then dissolved the parliament. The Court also overturned a law passed by the Islamist-led parliament that former regime officials could not hold office.
There is no possibility for appeal because the Supreme Constitutional Court is the highest authority in Egypt. Bottom Line: regime change didn’t happen in Egypt. The future of Egypt is in the hands of the generals, just as it was before the Arab Spring or what the Iranians call “The Islamic Awakening”.
This is what God says about Egypt in Isaiah chap 19:1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
2 And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbor; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.
3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
4 And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts. Friends, this verse does not bode well for Egypt.
5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up. Friends, can you imagine the Nile River drying up?
Now to Syria. Putin & Obama meeting in Mexico apparently discussed dividing Syria between U.S. and Russian occupation forces. The Russians would control the Mediterranean coastal area and the U.S. and its allies the northern part of the country. This would leave Hezbollah and Al Qaeda free to inflict violence in the rest of Syria. In short, Syria would be balkanized. The heart of the conflict is between Shia and Sunni. Assad and his followers are Alawite Shias and the majority of Syria is Sunni.
Middle East military tensions concerning Syria sky rocketed this week when the Iranian news agency Fars falsely stated that a joint Russian-Chinese-Iranian exercise is to take place in Syria. It was described as “the biggest of its kind ever staged in the Middle East” with 90,000 personnel, 400 air planes and 900 tanks taking part. This false report sent ripples through the Christian community that the Ezekiel 38 prophecy was about to be played out. Remember always check the Bible as to whether or not these events are prophetic fulfillment. Always study the scriptures for yourself before you take my word or someone else’s word for prophetic events.
America, Russia and China are probably end time players. However, the nations mentioned in the Bible that come against Israel in prophecy and throughout history are Middle Eastern. Ezekiel 38:2 identifies the leader that will bring Middle Eastern nations against Israel: "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him." Magog, Meshech, and Tubal were all located in Turkey at the time of Ezekiel's prophecy. Remember, last week we described Gog as an evil supernatural force.
It is the word "Rosh" in the Bible that causes a problem for scholars. Rosh in Hebrew means "Chief." Rosh also describes an ethnic group. In attempting to connect Russia to Rosh many scholars suggest that the Scythians, a nomadic people, settled in parts of what are now Russia and that they are the "Russian" connection. Yet the Bible has a better clue. In Revelation Chap 2 verse 13, Yeshua tells us that Pergamos is "where Satan's seat is." Pergamos is in Turkey, not Russia. I have an article on my blog on Satan’s seat. search Satan’s altar (on this blog). Satan is the "Beast" of the end times and is referred to in several places in the Bible as the Assyrian. Assyria was an empire that lay just north of Mesopotamia or modern day Iraq and its capital was Nineveh. Assyria controlled many of these prophetic locations in Turkey.
As far as Biblical proof that Russia is leading the Ezekiel 38 attack, it is speculation. Turkey, however, is extremely significant and once was the home of the most antichrist political and religious system on earth, the Islamic Caliphate--the Ottoman Empire. Yeshua warns in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Study the word for yourself that you may discern these troubling times.
One of my predictions may become true. The Saudis and Chinese have inked a deal for $60B that would provide China with oil for 23 years, in return the Saudis would get Chinese nuclear missiles. I said for years that if the Shia Iranians get the bomb then the Saudis must have a Sunni bomb.
|The Bull of Wall Street|
|The Bronze Sycamore Harbinger (Warning) on Wall Street|
Moody‘s Investors Service lowered the credit ratings of 15 the world’s largest banks late Thursday, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs, saying their long-term prospects for profitability and growth are shrinking.
The ratings agency said it was especially concerned about banks with significant financial markets businesses because those markets have become so volatile. Some of the largest European banks were also downgraded, including Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC.
The downgrades mean Moody’s is more concerned about the ability of the banks to repay their debts. As reported earlier on The Blaze, Moody’s has been flirting with the idea of mass downgrades for awhile now.
So now that it has happened, what does it mean?
A downgrade usually means that it becomes more costly for banks to raise money by selling debt. Investors demand higher interest for riskier debt, which is what the downgrades represent. However, with interest rates already at rock-bottom levels, the downgrades may not affect the cost of funding for the banks that much.
Moody’s made its announcement after regular stock trading had closed. Morgan Stanley rose the most, 3.3 percent, gaining 45 cents to $14.41. JPMorgan Chase rose 41 cents to $35.92 and Bank of America rose 12 cents to $7.94.
“While Moody’s revised ratings are better than its initial guidance of up to three notches, we believe the ratings still do not fully reflect the key strategic actions we have taken in recent years,” Morgan Stanley said in a statement that, as Zero Hedge notes, was released curiously fast.
“With our de-risked balance sheet, stable sources of funding, diverse business mix and strong leadership team, we are well positioned to deliver for clients and shareholders,” the statement adds.
The downgrades come at a time of great uncertainty in the global economy. Europe’s currency union is under threat from bad bank loans. The U.S. economy is slowing and the fast-growing emerging economies of India, Brazil, and China are also cooling. Financial markets have also been volatile.
On Thursday the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 251 points, its second-worst loss of the year, as new reports indicating slower manufacturing in the U.S. and China made investors fearful that the global economy will continue to deteriorate.
Moody’s has been on a downgrading spree lately. In June Moody’s downgraded Spain by three notches, after downgrading 16 Spanish lenders in May. It also cut the ratings on seven German and three Austrian lenders in June.
Cut One Notch:
•HSBC downgraded to Aa3 from Aa2
•Lloyds TSB downgraded to A2 from A1
•RBS downgraded to Baa1 from A3
•Societe Generale downgraded to A2 from A1
Cut Two Notches:
•Bank of America downgraded to Baa2 from Baa1
•BNP Paribas downgraded to A2 from Aa3
•Barclays downgraded to A3 from A1
•Citigroup downgraded to Baa2 from A3
•Credit Agricole downgraded to to A2 from Aa3
•Goldman Sachs downgraded to A3 from A1
•JP Morgan Chase downgraded to A2 from Aa3
•Morgan Stanley downgraded to Baa1 from A2
•RBC downgraded to Aa3 from Aa1
•UBS downgraded to A2 from Aa3
Cut Three Notches:
•Credit Suisse downgraded to (P)A2 from (P)Aa2
|The Emblem of the Muslim Brotherhood|
|The Brothers and Martyrs to the Vengeful God|
At the beginning of Sweeney Todd, the chorus of his murdered victims sings, “He served a dark and a vengeful god.” In Egypt, an Islamic Sweeney butchered his wife after an argument, cut her up and sold her mutilated body as lamb chops.
Around the same time as Mohammed Sweeney was selling pieces of his wife to customers stocking up on meat before Ramadan, Egyptian voters made their own offering to the dark and vengeful god by voting for Mohammed Morsi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose offshoots such as Hamas and Al-Qaeda have a murder toll that beggars anything the real or fictional Sweeney could have aspired to.
Morsi’s election platform was ending the last light of freedom in Egypt by implementing full Islamic law and in a country where 84 percent believe that heretics should be killed, 82 percent believe that adulterers should be stoned and 77 percent believe that thieves should have their hands cut off, the candidate of Allah, the dark and vengeful god of Islam, was bound to win any democratic election.
As a god, Allah does not appear to be much of a lifegiver. Egypt has six times the infant mortality rate of the “Zionist Entity,” five times that of the “Great Satan” and ten times that of the Japanese infidels. Indeed the country with the world’s highest infant mortality rate is the devout home of the Taliban, Afghanistan, which has an infant mortality rate that is 50 percent higher than Rwanda.
Is Sharia law going to bring Egypt’s infant mortality rate closer to that of Japan or Afghanistan? It isn’t any good at that, but it will be good for beheading all sorts of people that the followers of the dark and vengeful god disprove of. Beginning with heretics.
Indonesia just sentenced a man to 2 years in jail for writing, “Allah doesn’t exist” on Facebook. Thanks to Western innovation, Indonesia has Facebook. But it also has blasphemy laws, because if people started doubting the dark god, they might start asking why Indonesia has an infant mortality rate that is 13 times that of neighboring Singapore.
It’s not that the Muslim world doesn’t have doctors. They just tend to be doing other things, like Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, a surgeon and the leader of Al-Qaeda, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a surgeon and co-founder of Hamas, Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi, the co-founder of Islamic Jihad, and Dr. Abdel Rantissi, a pediatrician and co-founder of Hamas, who boasted, “We will kill Jews everywhere.”
Who has the time to waste on pediatrics when you worship a dark and vengeful god who gave you a mission to kill as many infidels as possible? The only infant mortality rates they care about are the ones that they inflict.
The Taliban in North Waziristan, Pakistan have offered to allow polio vaccinations for their children only if the drone campaign against terrorists ends. This isn’t the first time that Muslim terrorists have used children as human shields, though perhaps it’s the first time that they used 161,000 children as human shields. The human shield principle depends on the Muslim knowledge that we care more about their children than they do.
Pakistan has nuclear weapons and an infant mortality rate that is higher than Haiti, the Congo, Papua and some of the poorest and most desperate places in the world, as does Egypt.
The Egyptians could have gone into this election asking themselves why an Israeli child across the border is six times more likely to survive his birth, than one of their children. Instead they went into the election asking themselves how they could see more people beheaded for questioning their dark god. If they gave any thought to evening up the difference in infant mortality rates in the 264 mile distance between Cairo and Jerusalem, it was only by invading Israel or by supporting Hamas terrorists.
That is how followers of a dark and vengeful god think. They don’t wonder how they can save the lives of their children, but how they can even the cosmic score by taking the lives of someone else’s children. They don’t think in terms of making their lives better, but their minds are fixed on the dark goal of making other people’s lives worse.
Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer, presented a slideshow explaining Jihad with the words, “We love death more than you love life.” “The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them,” Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah proclaimed. “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.” “We love death,” Adis Medunjanin, convicted of plotting to bomb the New York City subway, screeched at a 911 operator. “You love your life! There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger!”
When you worship death, then loving life becomes a sin, a blasphemy against the god of death whose worship is death.
“The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most exalted wish” are the words of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement at the top of the Egyptian power pyramid, which is as obsessed with death as the ancient Pharaohs were. But the pyramids that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Muslim groups construct are not tombs, but pyramids of corpses– giant funerary chambers of bodies, those of their own Muslim martyrs and those of their non-Muslim victims, to transport themselves to paradise.
Cults of death don’t look to the present or the future, they look to the past, to the realm of the dead. They worship it and plot to bring it back. They despise the vitality of the living and the future, choosing instead the dirt and ash of the grave, the poisonous hatreds that never die, living on long after Mohammed rasped his last breath after telling his followers to drive out Christians and Jews from the Arabian Peninsula.
Why bother lowering infant mortality rates when you can bring back the glorious past? Why care about the infants at all if their only purpose is to die in the way of Jihad? So what if they die when they’re a few days old, instead of twenty years old. It saves time and their martyrdom can be blamed on the West, which is the source of all ills.
“The Prophet said, ‘A single endeavor of fighting in Allah’s Cause is better than the world and whatever is in it.’” And that includes the children. It includes skyscrapers, paintings and books. It includes life itself. And then what’s left except death?
By voting for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian people proclaimed that they love death more than life, that they love death more than the lives of their children. The ancient worshipers of Moloch passed their children between the flames and the modern worshipers of Allah pass their children between the flames of Jihad.
The Egyptians have joined the Tunisians in the democracy of death, at the dark altar of the ballot box into which they drop their offerings that say, “We love death. More than life. More than our children. More than thoughts, books, freedom and civilization.” And the world still does not understand what it is witnessing behind the outpourings of propaganda, the jubilant mobs and the analysts spluttering on behind the plastic desks and the glowing logos of cable news shows.
It is easy to analyze politics, but difficult to analyze evil. Talk about a cult of death has no place in the modern world where it is a firm article of faith that everyone wants two turkeys in every pot and a car in every Cairo garage. Every intelligent person knows that all religions are the same. That democracy is good because all people are good. That all religions celebrate life, and no matter how often they say, “We love death while you love life,” they can’t possibly mean it.
But what if they do? What if the dark and vengeful god that the vast majority of Egyptians want to see executing blasphemers and mutilating thieves has been set loose by the ballot box? What if Allah is the dark half that civilized people and governments keep locked away?
“We love death” is the anthem of Jihad. It was the anthem of a butcher who chopped up his wife and served her corpse to his customers. It is the song of millions of Egyptians who chose death over life once they were given the freedom to do it. The death of life for the worship of the dark god who dwells in the darkest
|the Fed is a private bank & the Bank of England is a member|
I found the statistics below to be staggering.
Our national debt has risen by more than $5 trillion during the last 3 ½ years, more than what it increased under all previous 43 presidents combined. Our national debt is now $15.4 trillion.
The number of Americans on food stamps has risen from 32 million to over 46.4 million in the last 3 1/2 years. 1 in 7 people are on food stamps.
At $3.59, the average price of gasoline is $ 1.74 MORE than it was 3 ½ years ago.
22% of American children live in poverty, the highest level in 30 years.
For forty straight months unemployment has been 8%. If one factors in part-time workers, people who have stopped looking for work, then unemployment is 19.1%. 1 in 5 men are unemployed.
A record 88 Million Americans are no longer in the labor force.
Forty two percent of American workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
The number of women living in poverty has risen to 14.5%, the highest number since we started keeping records.
53% of college graduates under 25 are either unemployed or under-employed.
The Federal Reserve has monetized 61% of our national debt. This means that we are “selling” government bonds to other government agencies.
86% of American workers aged 60 or older will continue working past their 65th birthday.
95% of the jobs lost in the last 3 1/2 years have been lost by middle-class workers.
Median income has dropped 10% in 3 1/2 years.
To satisfy local, state, and federal taxes, the average working American has to put in 107 days- more than 21 weeks of work.
In the city of Detroit a three-bedroom home can be purchased for $500.00 this is actually a slight uptick over recent years.
In the last 3 ½ years the price of an ounce of gold has risen from $850.00 to over $1600.00.
Last month in Montgomery, Alabama, 20,000 people applied for 877 openings at a Hyundai plant.
In 2011, the average American household spent a staggering $4,155.00 on gasoline.
Student loans, not a dischargeable debt in bankruptcy, now stand at over $1 trillion, killing the future of millions of our young people.
Compared to 1985, our 2011 trade deficit with China was more than 49,000 times larger.
To determine why cocaine makes the Japanese quail engage in risky sexual behavior, our government spent $175,587.00 of our tax dollars.
The national debt could not be repaid in less than 440,000 years if we started immediately.
Our debt is growing at the rate of OVER $2 million each MINUTE!
In 2010, 2.6 million Americans fell into poverty. Since 1959, when this statistic was developed, no year saw a bigger increase.
More than 25% of U.S. homeowners owe more than their homes are worth.
Now, to green power, consider these sobering statistics:
Beacon Power - bankrupt - $39M federal loan lost
Evergreen Solar - bankrupt - $43M federal loan lost
Spectra Watt - bankrupt - $118M federal loan lost
Abound Solar Mfg - bankrupt $400M federal loan lost
Solyndra - bankrupt - $535M federal loan lost
Ener1 - bankrupt - $571M federal loan lost
Solar Trust - bankrupt - $2B federal loan lost
Friends, I think we are being judged by the Lord, I think it is time we repent as a nation for our sins. We are called upon to be stewards of our money and possessions and we are spending like drunkin sailors!
|Darwin & the Galapagos Islands|
Kerby Anderson wrote the following article.
Open just about any biology textbook and you will see pictures of what are knownas Darwin’s Finches. They appear in textbooks for two reasons. First, Charles Darwin got inspiration for his theory of evolution when he observed them on the Galapagos Islands. Second, they are used to “prove” evolution since there are various beak sizes on the birds.
In my book “A Biblical Point of View on Intelligent Design” I point-out that the diversity of these finches really doesn’t prove evolution. One scientific study found that during a period of drought, the average beak size increased slightly. The reason cited for this is that during dry periods, most available seeds are larger and tougher to crack than at other times. So, finches with larger beaks do better under conditions of drought.
I spent an afternoon looking at specimens of Darwin’s Finches in graduate school at Yale University and I should point-out that changes in beak thickness are minimal. Moreover, the changes seem to be cyclical. When rains return, original size seeds reappear and the average beak size returns to normal.
This is not evolution. It is an interesting cyclical pattern in natural history. It shows selection pressure in nature. But it’s not evolution!
If this is evolution occurring, then we should be seeing macro changes that would allow these finches to evolve into another species. But this cyclical pattern shows just the opposite. Minor changes in beak size and thickness actually allow them to remain finches under changing environmental conditions. It does not show them evolving into other types of birds.
The story is a bit more complex than I can describe in a two-minute commentary, but you get the idea. You can find pictures of Darwin’s Finches in nearly every biology textbook in the country. And guess where in the textbook you find them? In the evolution section. There’s one problem: they don’t show evolution! I’m Kerby Anderson, and that’s my point of view.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
|The fertile plain of Meggido|
Although it is mostly desert, the nation of Israel is known today for its amazing variety of agricultural produce, its cutting-edge irrigation methods and its expertise in genetic seed modifications. From the choicest vine-ripened cherry tomatoes to the juiciest Jaffa oranges, the stories of modern Israeli farming innovations are legendary.
In the Negev, Jewish farmers are now using brackish groundwater to grow sweeter watermelons.
The Volcani Institute has helped farmers in Israel and other nations develop new strains of hybrid seeds that produce higher-yield crops with built-in immunities to local diseases and pests.
When British consumers began demanding more strawberries at Christmas time, farmers in the Jordan Valley started placing young plants into refrigeration trucks during the summer months to fool them into sensing it was winter. Then when autumn came, the plants were moved into greenhouses and yielded a beautiful crop of strawberries just in time for the holidays.
Not to be outdone, Jaffa orange growers came up with perhaps the craftiest innovation of all. In the 1980s, the “Jaffa orange” brand had become so popular in Europe that jealous c itrus growers in Italy and Spain demanded a strict quota be placed on their import into the European Union. But before long, Israeli farmers had learned to grow a Jaffa orange inside a grapefruit skin and suddenly Jaffa grapefruit were flying off the shelves of European grocers.
Yet Jews were not always known for having such a 'green thumb.' In fact during their many centuries in exile, Jews were often barred from owning large tracts of land. Thus they began to lose the knowledge and ability needed to farm and thereby sustain themselves. Instead, most Jews were forced into crowded towns and ghettos and gravitated to other professions better suited to such conditions.
Thus when Jews first began to trickle back to their ancient homeland in Israel several hundred years ago, their communities struggled to grow enough to feed themselves, especially given the very arid climate. Many realized that for Jewish resettlement of the Land of Israel to be successful, they needed to recapture the lost art of farming. This they were eventually able to do, but it came about thanks in large part to the helping hands of a number of Christians who ventured to the land even before the rise of the Zionist movement and taught Jews how to farm once more. As noted in historian Michael Oren's landmark book Power, Faith and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present, this is a little known part of the saga of Christian contributions to Israel's modern-day restoration.
The lure of the 'end of days'
The story begins at the outset of the 19th century, when the Holy Land was split into two Ottoman provinces: Damascus and Sidon. Jerusalem was considered a backwater, neglected small town in the Damascus province which was home to approximately 2,000 Jews, 3,000 Christians and 4,000 Muslims. (Humm, Muslims were a minority, there was no nabka.)Though it answered to Damascus, the center of power for the Holy Land was situated in Acre. For this reason, when Napoleon invaded the land in 1799 he ignored Jerusalem and besieged Acre. (Ah, Jerusalem was of little importance to the Muslims.)
Although he was defeated near Mt. Tabor, his advance signaled the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Empire and the invasion of Western ideas and techniques into the Orient. Included among these ideas were views of the coming kingdom of God known as "Millennialism" (Latin for thousand years), which refers to the return and rule of Jesus Christ on earth for 1,000 years, and "Restorationism," or the restoration of the Jews to their ancient homeland in the end days.
Both of these ideas had been birthed among the Puritans in late 16th century England and gained momentum and adherents over time. Thomas Brightman (1562-1607), known as the father of the British doctrine of the Restoration of the Jews, in his posthumous publication, A Revelation of the Revelation (1609), interpreted the “kings of the east” of Revelation 16:12 as the Jews and the drying up of the Euphrates River as a divine analogy to the Red Sea miracle. That bold interpretation became a widely held tenet of the Restorationists, as it foretold the miraculous return of the Jews to the Holy Land.
However, it was not until 1656 that James Harrington, in his work The Commonwealth of Oceana, linked Restorationism to a territorial settlement plan that involved agricultural development. Although his thesis was ignored, perhaps because he argued for the island of Panopea (a reference to Ireland) as a safe haven for the Jews, a similar idea was reiterated by Samuel Collet ninety years later in his Treatise on the Future Restoration of the Jews and Israelites to Their Own Land. Collet argued that the restoration of the Jews would be a gradual process over a long period of time that would involve agricultural settlements.
Yet under the Ottoman Turks, the local Jewish communities were still locked in dhimmitude, a system which relegated non-Muslim minorities like Christians and Jews to second-class citizenship. They were legally discriminated against, prevented from attaining high political office, and subjected to public mockery and abuse. The Jewish remnant relied primarily upon halukah, charity funds collected in the West and distributed to indigent Jews in the Holy Land, as their main source of income.(Humm, I thought Islam was the religion of peace.)
Jews purchasing and developing land only became an increasing phenomenon during the 19th century, when notable Jewish philanthropists Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) and Edmond James de Rothschild (1845-1934) contributed millions of dollars to establish Jewish neighborhoods, towns and agricultural colonies in Palestine, as well as to promote the industry, education, health and economic sectors for the growing Yishuv.
However, the agricultural development of the Holy Land did not begin with the Jews per se, including Montefiore or Rothschild and their colonies, even though they were important in sustaining the existing Jewish communities. It actually was due to Christians whose theological convictions prompted them to take decisive actions to help develop the land and assist in the return of the Jews to their homeland.
A land with potential
The first Christians who came to the Holy Land came not with an agricultural focus, but a spiritual one. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the first American Christian foreign mission agency birthed after the famous 1806 Haystack Prayer Meeting on the campus of Williams College, sent Reverends Levi Parsons and Pliny Fisk to the Holy Land in the early 1820s. Sadly, they both died soon after arriving in the land.
It was the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews (also known as the London Jews’ Society or LJS), founded in 1809, which first established a permanent base in Jerusalem. In 1849, they completed the first Protestant Church in the Middle East, located within the Old City walls of Jerusalem, the still active Christ Church. The scope of LJS activity was broad, as they established hostels, schools and hospitals to serve the local population. They also set up workshops and farming projects in order to help the struggling Jewish community.
James and Elizabeth Finn, members of the London Society, arrived in Jerusalem in 1845. As British Consul from 1846 to 1864, James Finn traversed the Holy Land by horse and camel many times throughout his tenure. In Byeways in Palestine, he reflected on the unfruitful land.(The Turks attempted to colonize Palestine with 200K settlers and failed.)
“Sad cogitations would arise while traversing, hour after hour, the neglected soil, or passing by desolated villages which bear names of immense antiquity, and which stand as memorials of miraculous events which took place for our instruction and for that of all succeeding ages; and then, even while looking forward to a better time to come, the heart would sigh as the expression was uttered, ‘How long?’”
Although Finn attests to much of the Holy Land lying in a desolate state during the last half-century of Ottoman rule, he also envisioned the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises that the land would “blossom like a rose.”
“The land is one of remarkable fertility wherever cultivated, even in a slight degree – witness the vast wheat-plains of the south; and is one of extreme beauty – witness the green hill-country of the north; although such qualities are by no means confined to those districts. Thus it is not necessary, it is not just, that believers in the Bible, in order to hold fast their confidence in its predictions for the future, should rush into the extreme of pronouncing the Holy Land to be cursed in its present capabilities. It is verily and indeed cursed in its government and in its want of population; but still the soil is that of ‘a land which the Lord thy God careth for.’”
Although Finn’s primary purpose in Jerusalem was to serve as the British Consul, he and his wife were devout Christians and Restorationists who shared a strong desire to help settle Jews back in the land. This they endeavored to do by giving them honest work so they could support their families and become productive citizens rather than rely on charity. Toward this end they bought several properties with the intention of establishing them as training farms, or agricultural colonies, to develop the land and to employ the impoverished Jews of the Old City.
The first property was a tract of land in the valley of Urtas (or Artas), located 3 miles southwest of Bethlehem near Solomon's Pool, which they purchased in 1850 from John Meshullam.
Meshullam, a Jewish convert to the Anglican communion, had moved to Jerusalem in 1840. He opened a hotel and grew vegetables in Urtas for the hotel guests. He also developed the first innovative irrigation technique from the natural spring and stream located in the Urtas valley.
Elizabeth Finn wrote of Meshullam’s irrigation system in Reminiscences of Mrs. Finn (1913), saying “Urtas lies between two ranges of hills in a little valley, which was divided up into garden plots, each plot being periodically watered from the rivulet by turning the stream into it for some hours; the watering was literally ‘watering with the foot,’ because a little mound of earth by each garden was pushed aside with the foot to let the water run in; this was done about once every nine days.”
After purchasing farmland in Urtas from Meshullam, the Finns employed a number of Jews there. They trained them in building, blasting and quarrying the rock in addition to working the land. Mrs. Finn boasts of the Jewish workers: “Our Jewish blasters are in great request, building in all its stages having become about the most profitable employment in Jerusalem. Thus we were able to contribute to the rebuilding of the Holy City.”
Other Christians and sectarian groups joined Meshullam and the Finns in Urtas and together made it “of prime importance in introducing advanced methods of cultivation and new strains, such as potatoes and peaches, to the region.”
Swiss missionary Heinrich Baldensperger moved to Urtas in 1849 to farm the land. The Baldensperger sons started apiculture (beekeeping) there as well, and despite losing their father in 1878 they continued to cultivate the land until the 1930s.
Johann Gros Steinbeck, grandfather of the noted American novelist John Steinbeck, and his brother Friedrich also settled there.
By 1881, the area of irrigation in Urtas grew to 25 acres and the colony’s orchards were impressive, thriving and prosperous. Today, Urtas is a village of around 4,000 inhabitants and has hosted an annual lettuce festival since 1994.
The Finns developed a second property in Talbiyeh located one mile southwest from the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. Over 50 Sephardi Jews approached Mr. Finn seeking agricultural work, so he employed them in simple jobs, such as rough wall building and stone clearing. The numbers soon swelled to 75 Jews.
As the number of Jews seeking work from the Finns increased, they raised funds to purchase a third property called Kerem Avraham in Hebrew and Karm al-Khalil in Arabic, meaning “Abraham’s Vineyard.” The plot was located one mile northwest of the Old City of Jerusalem near what is today the densely populated ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim. Mrs. Finn described the land as “the ground on the slope of a hill, not walled in, desolate and covered with weeds.”
They bought the barren piece of property in 1853, and by 1854 employed 200 Jewish men to farm the land, build cisterns and develop the property. The first house built outside the Old City walls was completed on this property in 1855, leading Pinchas Grayevsy to describe it as “the first [house] built outside the walls of Jerusalem by Jews for Jews.”
They also built cisterns for water storage which provided water to thousands of poor Jews, and a soap factory selling the high quality product to tourists. The farm included a quarry, ancient wine press and a columbarium (place for storing cremated remains).
Around the initial house they planted grain, vegetables, fruit trees and vines that allowed production of oil and wine. Today, the house continues to stand in what is still Kerem Avraham, a Jewish neighborhood surrounded by Ge’ula, Zichron Moshe and HaBucharim. One of its former residents is Israel's most celebrated writer, Amos Oz, who grew up in Kerem Avraham in the 1940s.
The pioneers of modern agricultural settlement in the Holy Land were 19th century Christians, namely British Millenialists and Restorationists who were firmly committed to God and His promises to the Jewish people to regather them to the land of promise.
Their efforts to purchase properties and set up agricultural colonies to develop the land also aimed to uplift and sustain the distressed and suffering Jewish community, both natives and newcomers. Toward this end, Finn said, “it seemed advisable to do more than supply daily bread to mendicants, even if that were possible, the best idea that suggested itself was that of providing employment, however light, in field work, both as a means of earning daily food for the family, and as also for the advantage of health, in preparation for future usefulness; above all for promoting a character of independence among the sufferers.”
There were a number of other individuals, such as Warder Cresson, Clorinda S. Minor, George Washington Joshua Adams and James Turner Barclay, who were also drawn to the Holy Land during the mid-to-late 1800s because of their strong eschatological beliefs and likewise sought to set up farming communities while awaiting the End of Days. Many were part of fringe sects outside the Christian mainstream, such as the Millerites from the US and the German Templars, whose apocalyptic expectations were dashed with time, leaving their communities to dwindle and their farming efforts to largely fizzle.
But it was devout Christians like Meshullam, the Finns and the Baldenspergers who became unsung heroes as their Christian Zionism drove them to serve the Jewish people and the land to which they were returning. With their help, landless Jews recovered the ability to feed themselves, pioneering the modern saga of Israel's amazing agricultural wonders.