Prophecy in the news
"Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book:
for the time is at hand." - Rev 22:10 

Updated 01/06/07
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Boycott Britain
Now UNISON jumps on boycott bandwagon
Just a day after the University and College Union of Britain passed a vote calling for the boycott of Israeli academia, the UK's largest labour union organization UNISON have also announced plans to boycott the Jewish state. The UK government slammed the UCU's recent decision to boycott Israel, and has stated it fully supports academic freedom. British Minister for Higher Education Bill Rammell said the boycott did nothing to further the peace process in the Middle East. And as yet another British organization declares its undying hatred of Israel, US organizations are preparing to in turn boycott Britain. The American brain-cancer research foundation, Goldhirsh, has announced it is pulling the plug on its grant application process for British researchers.

Quote: "In a letter to British academic institutions, foundation leader Elizabeth Goldhirsh writes: " As a director of a $150 million foundation that supports scientists around the world in the quest for a cure for brain cancer, I am profoundly disappointed in your union's decision to boycott Israel today. "This action represents a severe setback for academic freedom and open discourse. Moreover, the decision to single out and demonize Israel above and beyond all other countries - remaining silent over Russia's brutal occupation in Chechnya, for example, or China's ongoing oppression of Tibet - is, at best, troubling. At worst, it points to a far more sinister and tragic motivation. "Equally disturbing is to do so at a time when Israel's civilians are facing near-daily missile attacks from Gaza and her partner for negotiations is an organization that dispatches suicide bombers and refuses to recognize the Jewish State's right to exist.

Israeli Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze'ev Boim has announced he may also call for a freeze of all Jewish donations to British academic institutions. Meanwhile, outside of the UK, other organizations are turning up the heat on Israel on the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. The ruling party in South Africa, the African National Congress, is organizing a week of protests over the continued Israeli "occupation" in the West Bank and the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip.

Quote: "Activities in South Africa are being coordinated by the End the Occupation Campaign, comprising almost 20 civil society organizations, social movements, solidarity organizations, political parties and faith-based organizations. In a declaration issued this week and published on the ANC's official website, the campaign said: "We face a new crisis of war and occupation, a crisis in which Palestinians continue to suffer, even more than the suffering already imposed by decades of brutal occupation and apartheid... The conditions of Palestinians living under occupation continue to deteriorate and Palestinian refugees continue to be denied their international rights, including their right of return. Palestinians in Jerusalem and elsewhere face ethnic cleansing."

Me? I think I will send some more emails. I said not so long ago about speaking the truth in love. And we do need to do that. But I guess this time I want to make it as hard as possible for people to get away with this. If you live in the UK and would like to send an email to UNISON expressing your thoughts, here is a list of email addresses.

Source Jerusalem Post, YNet News, YNet News

NI MP slammed for homosexual remarks
I was deeply saddened when I heard this news, broadcast on UK television last night. Ian Paisley Junior, an MP for the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, has been criticized by other parties after having stated that he is repulsed by homosexuality and believes they are doing themselves and society harm. Ian Paisley Junior is a Christian and the son of Ian Paisley Senior, Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland. As many of you may know, the UK Labour government - at the behest of the EU, made it a criminal offence for anyone to discriminate against homosexuality. The Sexual Orientation Regulations came into force in Northern Ireland a few months back, despite a majority in this country opposing such laws. Sinn Fein Republican and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness slammed Paisley's comments, stating that they contradict what his office is sworn to uphold, and that is the rights of minorities - which now include the homosexual "community".

Quote: "Mr Paisley is quoted as saying: "I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong. "I think that those people harm themselves and - without caring about it - harm society. "That doesn't mean to say that I hate them. I mean, I hate what they do."

I personally agree with what Ian Paisley Junior has said, and if the government find that reprehensible, they ought to throw all of us in jail. But I don't believe Ian was wise in saying what he did, especially being an MP, for unfortunately the new laws of this country have made it an offence to "discriminate" against homosexuality in general. And that is what makes me so sad, for I believe this country is now on a slippery slope that will hasten Divine judgement upon it. 

Regarding the governments of the world, the Bible states that we ought to pray for kings and for all that are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1st Timothy 2:1-2). Paul actually states, "supplication, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for all men". That covers quite a lot of ground. How often do I pray for Tony Blair, that he might be saved? How often do I thank God that I live in a country that still enjoys moderate religious freedoms? How often do I intercede on behalf of my country when things aren't necessarily going right? It's not always easy to pray for ungodly men, it requires a lot of humility on our part. I know I don't do that enough, if at all. The Lord Jesus said to pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:44). Praying for people we don't necessarily like changes our attitude towards them, for our prayers must agree with God's will and we will start to see people as the Lord sees them - as sinners in need of a Saviour. I really need to start putting that into practice, rather than telling everyone else what to do. Like Daniel, we ought to have respect for earthly authority, no matter how depraved it seems. But sometimes like Daniel, when men's laws start contradicting the Word of God, disobedience to state law may become more important.

Daniel 6:10
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Source BBC

Wars and rumours of wars
Russia in talks to buy ancient Israeli compound
Just a quickie before I go to bed (I need my beauty sleep!). Arutz 7 has revealed he Russians have been involved in secret talks with successive Israeli governments in order to acquire an area outside the old city walls of Jerusalem called the Russian Compound. The area was built by the Russian government to house Christian pilgrims on tour of the Holy Land, but has since become a court house and detention centre. The Russians hope to reclaim the compound for around $100 million, and both sides say the talks are progressing. What fascinated me most about this article is the apparent historic significance of the area...

Quote: "Legend says that the current-day location of the Russian Compound was the jump-off point for the armies of both Sennacherib and Titus in their respective military campaigns, centuries apart, against the Jewish city. (Sennacherib lost, Titus succeeded.)

I think in light of current events, with the possibility of a coming war with Iran and possibly Russia and her Arab allies, Russia attempting to acquire such a historic site is quite significant. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had stated that President Putin had promised him Russia would never do anything to harm Israel. Israel Prime Minister Olmert also stated he believed this promise applied to him as well. Well I guess they mustn't believe their own prophets. The Bible seems to indicate that a northern army will march on Israel in the latter days, along with many Arab nations. Israel will be taken by complete surprise, but the Lord will cause Israel to miraculously defeat their enemies, leaving only a sixth of them remaining.

Source Arutz 7

UK university union approves boycott of Israel
Following this morning's article, the University and College Union in the United Kingdom has approved a motion calling for the boycott of academic institutions in Israel. The vote was passed by 158 votes for and 99 against, with 8 abstentions. The General Secretary of the UCU, Sally Hunt, stated she believed that most members of the organization were not in favour of the union's decision to boycott Israeli academia, and that they should also have their say. 

Quote: "Zvi Hefetz, Israel's ambassador to London, slammed the decision, but noted that it did not reflect British government policy. "This decision harms British Jewry, who lobbied hard against the boycott call. A stench of ignorance arises from the one-sided formula and unbalanced language of the decision," the ambassador said. Hefetz also pointed out the fact that during the discussion, a proposal was made, and rejected, that the resolution also condemn anti-Semitism. The ambassador said this fact strengthened his feeling that the ignorance shown by those proposing the boycott was also tinged with anti-Semitism. Education Minister Yutli Tamir said that the decision was outrageous, adding Israel would work to defuse it through cooperation with England's prominent universities, 'which have never approved of academic boycotts.'

As has been said by British and Israeli academics, this resolution is anti-Semitic, and I will be emailing the UCU to express my thoughts. If you live in the UK and wish to do the same, here is a list of email addresses.

Source YNet News, UCU

New World Order
Bilderberg to be held in Istanbul, Turkey
It has been revealed that the Bilderberg have scheduled their next meeting for Istanbul, Turkey, beginning tomorrow and ending June 3rd. The Bilderberg group is a secretive organization that aspires to bring about a New World Order through increased globalization and cooperation between countries. The gathering boasts a membership of former and current heads of state, royalty, world bankers, pop-stars and other influential figures. Guests at this year's conference are expected to include former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, former US Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger and former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Quote: "According to Vatan, re-choosing Turkey as a venue after 32 years, can be interpreted as "a signal hinting the opening of EU's doors to Turkey". During last year's meeting, Turkey-EU relations were also discussed quite intensely by the participants.

The meetings are held each year in an undisclosed location in the utmost secrecy. The media, which is mostly controlled by members of the organization itself, is kept away from the event. No minutes are taken of the meeting, and no official consensus is reached at its conclusion. Upon entering the gathering attendees claim they do so as "citizens", and not as the influential leaders they really are. By doing this they absolve themselves of any accountability they may have to their own government in their home countries. Such was the case with former Defence Secretary George Robertson, who was quizzed by the Conservative Party as to why he had used £3,840 of taxpayers money to attend a Bilderberg meeting with Javier Solana, then NATO Secretary General. Other members of the British parliament that have attended Bilderberg meetings in the past include Prime Minister Tony Blair and Conservative member Kenneth Clarke. 

Source Global Research, Turkish Press

UK university union to vote on Israel boycott
Britain's University and College Union (UCU) will vote on implementing a boycott of Israeli academia at 4pm today. The resolution submitted by the universities of Brighton, East London and Birmingham, will require union members to cease cooperation with Israeli institutions. This is the third attempt by British lecturers to impose a boycott of Israel academia. The first boycotts were approved by the Association of University Teachers (AUT) and the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE). These two unions later merged to form the UCU, and as a result the boycott resolutions were declared invalid. This resolution, which decries "Israel's 40-year occupation" and states that it has "seriously damaged the fabric of Palestinian society through annexation, illegal settlement, collective punishment and restriction of movement", must be voted on again if it is to be approved. A senior Jewish American Professor has condemned the British boycotts which single out Israel for criticism while Palestinian terrorism is completely ignored. Professor Steven Weinberg states that there is a "widespread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic current in British opinion".

Quote: "Last week, Nobel laureate Prof. Steven Weinberg cancelled his participation in a physics conference scheduled for July at London's Imperial College, saying that a call to boycott Israel indicated a moral blindness for which it was hard to find any explanation other than anti-Semitism, Guardian reported. In a letter to the conference organizers, Weinberg said he perceived "a widespread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic current in British opinion." Weinberg's said his decision was triggered by a call from the National Union of Journalists to boycott Israeli products.

So it seems I have been right in putting the Israeli boycott articles under the heading of "Anti-Semitism". Other British and Israeli academics have echoed Weinberg's claim of institutionalised anti-Semitism, claiming that "something is in the air" in the United Kingdom. 

Quote: "Eve Garrard, a Senior Lecturer in professional ethics at the University of Keele, will speak during the conference, and attempt to convince UCU members to vote against the motion. "I'm planning to say that the standard justifications for a boycott of Israel are thoroughly inadequate," she said. "No sound reason has been given for singling out Israel. I'm not going to offer explanations myself for why Israel is being singled out, but it needs an explanation," she added. "What needs explaining is not criticism of Israel but it being singled it out for special ostracism and exclusion," Garrard said, adding: "The likely effect of a boycott will be anti-Semitism. The nature of the boycott is to call for ostracism and exclusion, which are also standard anti-Semitic attitudes." "I hope it won't be passed but it's possible it will be. There's something in air in the UK at the moment," Garrard said," citing other anti-Israel boycotts and petitions being initiated by Britain's National Union of Journalists, an architect's union, and a public service union.

I was going to say in the last article I wrote on the boycotts, that I believe this country is setting itself up for judgement. Prime Minister Tony Blair says he wants Britain to excel in academics, but it seems our universities are more concerned with boycotting Israel than they are about improving academic achievement. By the grace of God Israel excels in this field. You only need to look at the number of Nobel Prize winners who are Jewish for an example of that. And my country wants to sever its academic ties with Israel? We do that at our own peril.

Deuteronomy 28:12-13 
The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do [them]:

Source Jerusalem Post, YNet News, Haaretz

Peace agreement
Eitan predicts foreign peacekeepers for Gaza
Link from my friend Darrell...

Israeli Pensioners Minister Rafi Eitan, has predicted that the Gaza Strip will eventually require the presence of a foreign peacekeeping force, if the Palestinian Authority is unable to stop the violence. Israel has arrested and will indict over 30 PA ministers for complicity in terrorism, as dozens of rockets continue to rain down on Sderot. Two people were killed by Kassam rockets in the town within the last few weeks. Eitan stated that the situation may get so bad that the UN or some similar organization may eventually press for a foreign presence in Gaza, as happened after the Second Lebanese War last year.

Quote: "European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said last week after talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials that a peacekeeping force was "one of many suggestions" that the EU would be "open to consider" if proposed by the parties. But Solana said Egyptian officials had made clear to him that "they don't see the need for that". The Palestinian government has said peacekeepers were not yet on its agenda. Western diplomats say they doubt enough European countries would come forward for a peacekeeping force in Gaza, especially if Israel insisted on a sweeping mandate that required the foreign troops to disarm or arrest Palestinian militants. The diplomats said, however, countries in the region like Jordan, Egypt and Turkey could be candidates.

The reason why the Palestinians will not agree to a foreign peacekeeping force is because Israel is on the retreat. Palestinian terrorist organizations believe the disengagement from Gaza was the first step on the road to the ultimate destruction of the "Zionist regime". A foreign peacekeeping force could put an end to their escapades. Egypt is happy as long as Hamas aren't threatening them. And Israeli leaders have stated in the past that they prefer not to get dragged into the Gaza "swamp". The Bible tells us that the Antichrist's forces (European Union) will eventually mount a full-scale invasion of the Middle East, with the goal of stabilizing the region. After the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, there is little will to get involved militarily in the Middle East conflict. But I believe after a possible regional war involving Iran, Russia and many other Arab nations, the EU will decide that sitting on the sidelines may be more dangerous than taking action. Ezekiel chapters 38-39 mention no other nations siding with Israel in this battle. Only Saudi Arabia (Sheba and Dedan) questions the intent of the aggressors, but makes no move to defend Israel. This makes me think that this war may come before the Antichrist's invasion of the Middle East (Daniel 11). Whether or not it comes before the peace agreement of Daniel 9:27, I'm not sure. 

Source Reuters

World Council of Churches decries 40 year "occupation"
It's at times like this when I am glad my assembly is not a member of any denomination or church hierarchy. The World Council of Churches has announced it plans to hold a special "prayer week" next month, marking the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War and the reunification of the city of Jerusalem. During this week, the organization will encourage their member churches to "pray" for the situation in the Middle East, to raise awareness of the conflict in churches and communities across the world, and to urge world governments to call for an end to hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians.

Quote: "Events are taking place in 14 countries with news still coming in from the 100-plus countries in the membership of the WCC and Pax Christi as well as the Lutheran World Federation, which has endorsed the initiative. Jerusalem prayers and readings have been distributed around the world and many regard them as a special form of solidarity with those living through their 40th year of occupation. Many churches are planning to hold services at the same time as in Jerusalem. The search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians has been on the agenda of WCC governing bodies since 1948. "Judging from the frequency with which it arises, its importance to member churches has only grown as conflict and crisis continue," the WCC said.

I said not so long ago, it seems every company, organization and political or religious body in the world seems to be involved in this Middle East conflict in one way or another. As the Scriptures state, the issue of Jerusalem has literally become a "burdensome stone" to all people (Zechariah 12:3). Sadly most of these groups take an unscriptural view of the conflict, and are trying to achieve the impossible - peace between two irreconcilable enemies. Not particularly Israeli and Palestinian enemies, for these enemies can be reconciled through Christ - and there are many Palestinians that worship the Lord with Jewish believers in Messianic gatherings. But the two irreconcilable enemies are the seed of the woman (Christ) and the serpent (Satan), Genesis 3:15. Satan's ultimate goal is to destroy God's plan for the world, and his best attempt at bringing this to pass is through destroying the one nation that His plan is founded on - the Jewish people. 

As Christians it is important for us to pray with understanding of what the Scriptures state. The Scriptures outline God's ultimate plan for mankind, and if we start praying without consulting the Scriptures on a particular subject, we may well find ourselves working against God's will. Such was the case in the Old Testament, when the Lord wanted to bring Israel under the yoke of Babylon to correct their sin. But rather than repenting of their sin, the king believed the false prophets who told him that within two full years, the Lord would break the yoke of Babylon off Israel's neck (Jeremiah 28:2-3). It never happened. 

We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem as the Psalms direct us to. Peace can come on an individual level, and God can miraculously protect His people as He chooses. But we must pray and work according to God's will. Like the false prophets in the Old Testament, the World Council of Churches is attempting to bring peace to the Middle East on a national level, while the Bible states there will be no peace. Their view on the ongoing conflict - that Israel has "occupied" the east of the city, Judea and Samaria - will ultimately bring the World Council against the Lord in the final battle for Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 13:15-6
Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered [morter], and will say unto you, The wall [is] no [more], neither they that daubed it; [To wit], the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and [there is] no peace, saith the Lord GOD.

Source Christian Today

Temple Mount
Israel halts Muslim burial near Temple Mount
The Israeli Antiquities Authority has submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice calling on Muslim burial to be halted at a new plot outside the Temple Mount, in an attempt to preserve ancient artefacts dating back to the First and Second Temple eras. The Muslims had annexed a part of a national park running adjacent to the Temple Mount to be used for their burial site, and the Antiquities Authority fear if a new cemetery is created, it could prevent the excavation of such artefacts. The Israeli Police initially opposed restricting burial at the site on fear of riots from Muslims who are opposed to any excavations at the Temple Mount. Most recently Palestinians had called for a full-scale war in order to defend Al-Aqsa from the Israeli excavations at the Mugrabi Gate. But the Police later changed their mind after the Antiquities Authority brought the matter up with Public Security Minister Avi Dichter.

Quote: ""Muslim burial on the site, which was never a cemetery in the past, could end any possibility of excavating the area in the future, as has been done at the foot of the southern wall and the bottom of part of the Western Wall," Barkai noted in the petition. The court heard that the area had well-preserved 2000 year old construction from Herod's time and a clear seamline between the northern construction, Hasmonean, and the southern construction, Herod's. British archaeologist Charles Warren, who excavated there 140 years ago, found cornerstones for the five lowest layers of construction built into a layer of terra rosa, which includes remains from the First Temple. The first sealing rings stamped "for the King," found in Israel, dated to late 8th Century B.C.E., were found in the red soil. 

The prophet Ezekiel predicted the closure of the Eastern Gate subsequent to the Messiah entering through it. The prophecy was fulfilled when the Eastern Gate of the Temple was sealed by the Ottoman Turks, and it remains closed until this day. The Lord Jesus Christ entered through the Eastern Gate on a donkey during His presentation and later rejection by Israel as the Messiah (Zechariah 9:9). Christians and Jews believe that when the Messiah returns, according to Scripture, He will enter the city through the Eastern Gate. Because of this teaching, Muslims started to bury their dead in front of the gate, in the belief that a Jewish Messiah could not enter through the gate without defiling himself. The Lord Jesus Christ will enter it again, when He returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Ezekiel 44:1-2
Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it [was] shut. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.

Source Haaretz

Dividing the land
Olmert backs Peres for President
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given Vice Premier Shimon Peres Kadima's official backing in the presidential race. Peres had previously stated his intentions were not to run for Prime Minister, despite Olmert's disgrace over the Second Lebanese War, instead opting to focus his efforts on replacing Moshe Katsav who is facing charges of rape. Peres has made it his goal to work towards a peace agreement with the Palestinians in the remaining years of his life. He has significant political experience, having been Prime Minister on two occasions and served in various positions in the Israeli government. He also has experience of dealing with the Palestinians, having masterminded the failed Oslo peace agreement with the PLO. He originally intended to resign from politics, until he was invited by Ariel Sharon to join the Kadima party after the disengagement from Gaza.

Quote: "Peres himself is expected to announce his candidacy only Wednesday, due to his wife Sonia's ill health. "I have no doubt that Peres will restore the honor and prestige to the presidential position, which is what the people of Israel deserve," Olmert said. Olmert added that "if we were to make a profile of the attributes needed by a president, Peres' biography would fit the profile perfectly."

Peres has close contacts with the Vatican, and is reported to have at one time promised the Church of Rome special status in Jerusalem in any future peace agreements with the Palestinians. Rather than dividing the city of Jerusalem between East and West, Israel and the Palestinians would relinquish their claims and Jerusalem would become an "international city". Presumably the Roman Pontiff would be responsible for administering the holy sites for both Judaism and Islam. Whether or not this agreement still stands, I don't know. For the Catholic Church has since then sided with the Palestinians, favouring the division of the capital between Jews and Muslims. Which brings us once again to Shimon Peres' seemingly prophetic name, which means "hearkening to the division". Will Peres be instrumental in the disengagement from Judea and Samaria? Whatever happens, we can be sure prophecy will be fulfilled, and the city and land will be divided, just like the Bible says.

Joel 3:2 
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Source Haaretz

British Architects join UK anti-Israel chorus
Leading British architects have joined what is becoming an increasingly large UK-based anti-Semitic movement, calling for their colleagues in the Middle East to desist aiding the Israeli "oppression" of Palestinians. The petition, organized by Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, are calling for the Israeli Association of United Architects to "meet their professional obligations to declare their opposition to this inhuman occupation"

Quote: "Mr. Alsop told Building Design magazine that they felt compelled to act. "This is not against Israel, it's for Palestine," he said. "I think the Palestinians are living in a prison. "I'd like fellow colleagues in Israel to feel some responsibility about this shabby treatment. Architects are a fairly humanitarian lot and perhaps they could help," Alsop said. According to the Guardian report the intervention was attacked by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Its chief executive, Jon Benjamin, said: "What they are saying is that they have a certain view and that Israeli architects must publicly declare that to be their position as well."

The move by the architect association is just one of many British anti-Israel campaigns of late. I am finding it hard to keep track of them all, even though I have most of them recorded on this website. Let's list some of them... 

My friend Stephen notified me lately that Christian Aid supports a Palestinian organization called "Friends of Sabeel". This group claims to be Christian, yet attempts to delegitimize the Jewish state.

Quote: "REV JOHN GLADWIN, CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES from Christian Aid, speaks frequently on Israeli Palestinian political issues. In a July 2002 speech to the Church of England General Synod, Gladwin claimed that terrorism and violence are the result of "Israel's illegal occupation of the 1967 territories", thereby ignoring the decades of war, terror and rejectionism prior to 1967. He also set out a number of conditions for peace, including the Palestinian 'right of return' but failed to call for an end to Palestinian terror. REV JOHN GLADWIN is a patron of the Friends of Sabeel UK. The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center is one of the major sources of the divestment campaign, and its leader, Naim Ateek, refers to Israel as an "apartheid state". ( Sabeel is also one of Christian Aid's "partners".)

Then we had the Red Cross, which recently released a report condemning Israel's attempt to "change the character" of East Jerusalem, while refusing to condemn Palestinian terrorism. Prior to that we had the British charity War on Want, which is waging its own "war on Israel". The Quakers, Pax Christi and the Amos Trust also all joined the political campaign called Enough!, which singles out Israel as the prime cause of the Middle East conflict, while turning a blind eye on terrorism. Then we had the British National Union of Journalists, which petitioned trade unions to divest from Israel and the government to impose sanctions on the Jewish state. They ignored the plight of their fellow colleague, Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists and remains missing to this day. Then there was the National Association of Teachers for Further and Higher Education (NATFHE), which called for a blacklist of all Israeli academics that will not speak out against the "occupation". Then we had the British Association of University Teachers, which called for a boycott of all Israeli universities built on what they perceive as Palestinian territory. Then we had the Church of England, which voted for the divestment of church funds from all companies operating in the territories captured during the Six Day War. Then we had the Church of Scotland, which urged Israel to label products manufactured in the territories, so members of the body could make an "informed" choice not to buy them. Then we had Irish bishops from the Church of Rome, including a representative of the Irish charity Trócaire, which called on Irish government to impose a "just peace" in the Middle East, divest from Israel and call for the destruction of the "apartheid wall".

These are just charities and organizations operating in the United Kingdom. You would suppose that most of these do a good work, but in reality their operations are coloured by an unscriptural ethos and anti-Semitic worldview. They refuse to condemn Palestinian terrorism and seek to justify the division of God's land, which thing He hates. The Bible states that whoever touches Israel, touches the apple of God's eye (Zechariah 2:8). I have often said that as Christians, we have a duty to ensure the organizations that we support are honouring to the Lord. Associating ourselves with worldly charities may seem like a good idea, and we should care for the poor and needy. But in everything - no matter how worthy a cause it may seem - if God is not in it then I do not feel that Christians should be involved in it. For as you can see above, we know where that leads. 

There are plenty of God-honouring organizations out there that serve the Lord. Such as the Society for the Distribution of the Hebrew Scriptures. My own friend Helen works as a missionary nurse in Kalene Mission Hospital in Zambia. As Christians I believe we ought to give money knowing it is going to those in need, and for the furtherance of God's kingdom. 

Proverbs 19:17 
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. 

Source Jerusalem Post, NGO Monitor

Mark of the Beast
RFID may be used for location tracking
When I first wrote the Mark of the Beast article, I was contacted by several sincere Christians who were concerned that what they were reading was not entirely accurate. One person actually contacted VeriChip on my behalf, and asked them to read through my article and comment on whether the things written in it were factual or not. Of course the VeriChip representative said none of the claims were factual, but did not give details. And to be honest if I was a VeriChip representative, coming from a non-Christian background, I would probably say the article was ridiculous. One of the Christians that contacted me was concerned that I had stated the VeriChip could be tracked by Satellite, a claim which VeriChip themselves strictly deny. The tags are "passive", they say, and so cannot be tracked, despite tests showing an RFID chip can be read at over 70 feet away and the distance only being limited by the sensitivity of the scanner. Well it seems that as time progresses, more and more of what was written in the VeriChip article is coming out in the open. Electronics giant Siemens, is spearheading the development of an RFID system that can be used to track the whereabouts of a person or object within a wireless network, which of course can cover a whole city block.

Quote: "Battery-powered RFID tags are placed on an asset and they communicate with at least three wireless access points inside the network to triangulate a location. Mr Birkl said: "The tags have a piece of software on them and they detect the signal strength of different access points. "This information is sent back to the server and it then models the movement of the tag depending on the shift in signal strength detected." For the system to work, the building or area that has been deployed with a wireless network needs to have been mapped and calibrated. To effectively locate objects a wireless access point is needed every 30 metres and Siemens said it was able to pinpoint assets to within a metre of their actual position.

Tracking isn't specifically mentioned in the Bible as being part of the Mark of the Beast system. The Bible only states that no man might buy or sell save he have the Mark, etc. As we have seen recently with the case of Madeline McCann, and in this article, the mainstream media is clearly making the case for having a global security system in place within the not-to-distant future. And it seems the only means of enforcing that is to have a medical implant in your right arm. Rather than clamping down on criminality, governments are telling their citizens that they can no longer guarantee their security, and in order to fit in to this brave new world we all must conform to their system. I wonder if it will only be a matter of time before the world is faced with the choice of having the Mark implanted, and if they do, will it be operated by a Lithium battery?

Revelation 16:1-2 
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Source BBC 

Wars and rumours of wars
Ahmadinejad will "uproot" Israel in Lebanon war
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has once again threatened to wipe Israel off the map, in the event that hostilities break out between Hizbullah and the Jewish state this summer. He made the comments at a speaking engagement in Isfahan today, which were broadcast live on national state television.

Quote: ""If you think that by bombing and assassinating Palestinian leaders you are preparing ground for new attacks on Lebanon in the summer, I am telling you that you are seriously wrong," Ahmadinejad told a crowd in the city of Isfahan. "If this year you repeat the same mistake of the last year, the ocean of nations of the region will get angry and will cut root of the Zionist regime from its stem," added Ahmadinejad, speaking live on state television. Referring to the history of Israel, Ahmadinejad said that "60 years of invasion and assassination is enough. If you do not cease invasion and massacre, soon the hand of power of the nations of the region will rub you criminals with earth."

President Ahmadinejad had previously stated that Israel should be "wiped off the map" during the World Without Zionism conference held in October 2005. His comments drew international condemnation from world leaders. Today's remarks came as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist organizations in Gaza reached a new climax, with Israel making over 30 arrests in an effort to end the rocket attacks which have so far claimed one life and wounded dozens of people within the last few weeks. President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority once again called for an end to the rocket attacks, but with Hamas having recently declared an end to their cease-fire with Israel, his words are more or less meaningless. Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, met with the beleaguered leader in an effort to end the crisis.

Quote: "EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, visiting Mr Abbas in Gaza, also called on both sides to halt the violence. Mr Abbas said he was working with Palestinian factions to stop the firing of Qassam rockets on Israel. He also said he was working for a "mutual truce" in the Gaza Strip that could be extended to the West Bank.

Israel and the European Union have also agreed to extend the Rafah border monitoring agreement for another year. So it seems events are panning out just like the Bible states. Iran and Russia are gearing up for an invasion of Israel and the European Union is increasing its efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. 

Source YNet News, BBC, Jerusalem Post

Sorry no updates of late. I was sick Wednesday and am only just recovering now. I didn't feel well enough to work at the computer. Will be back to normal soon...
Mark of the Beast
Parents demanding RFID implants for children
This link from my friend Olli-Pekka...

After the Asian Tsunami claimed the lives of over 250,000 people in December 2004, questions started being raised on whether the adoption of an implantable microchip could have made the job of locating loved-ones much easier. Indeed companies such as VeriChip were already using their implantable RFID chip to keep track of the dead bodies after they were recovered from the sea. But as the agony continues over the abduction of Madeline McCann, a three-year old Briton who is still missing after being snatched from a Portuguese apartment a few weeks ago, parents are starting to wonder whether having their child electronically tagged could help in the event of such a tragedy occurring.

Quote: "But Professor Warwick says that if there was sufficient demand from the public and the initiative was backed by child-safety groups, it would not be difficult to make chip implants – about an inch long – available nationally in a relatively short period of time. He says that further work may be needed to determine how best to recharge the device but, because it would be in "sleep mode", it would need only very low power. "It might be that once a year the child has to hold his arm up to a charger," he says.

As was reported recently, such an initiative is already being carried out by VeriChip in nursing homes for Alzheimer patients, enabling staff to know the whereabouts of any person within a building at any one particular time. Tracking a person anywhere on the planet is a little more difficult, but not an impossibility as I have previously stated in the Mark of the Beast article. Companies are now making GPS circuits small enough to be embedded in wrist-watches, and VeriChip already has a working GPS implant prototype that is about the size of an American Dime. The problem is that the chip needs an electrical power source, and VeriChip have solved that problem by using a tiny Lithium battery - corrosive to human skin of course. Although the Bible states the Mark of the Beast technology is primarily used for financial transactions, talk about implanting people with microchips in the arms or other parts of the body is no doubt conditioning the human psyche towards eventually accepting the real Mark of the Beast, when it is issued by the False Prophet during the tribulation period. 

Source Times Online

Indonesian fisherman catches a Coelacanth
A fisherman in Indonesia has caught a Coelacanth, a fish that evolutionists believe is around 360 million years old. The Coelacanth was once heralded as the missing link between sea-dwelling creatures and mammals, for their fossils were thought to have shown well developed fins which enabled the fish to walk on land. Yustinus Lahama and his son caught the fish on Saturday, and took it home presumably to eat. But when someone told Yustinus that he had caught a rare fish, once believed by evolutionists to have walked on land, he took it back to a pool to try and keep it alive. Unfortunately the fish died, and a post-mortem revealed it didn't die from exhaustion from trying to "run" away from its captor. No, this fish doesn't have legs. In fact according to Grevo Gerung, a professor at the fisheries faculty at the Sam Ratulangi University, the fish can't even survive in shallow water for a long period of time.

Quote: ""If kept outside their habitat (60 meters or 200 feet below the sea), the fish can only live for two hours. But this fish lived for about 17 hours," Gerung told Reuters. "We will look into why it had lived that long," he said.

But note that according to the report, even though the fish can't walk, and it is not extinct as evolutionists had once claimed, the article still states that it is an ancient fish that lived over 360 million years ago. Who would you believe? I remember when I was young, taking a trip to the Belfast Museum with my mum and sister. We took a wrong turn and ended up walking down an old disused corridor. We were surprised to find a fossil Coelacanth in a glass case at the very end of the corridor. And it wasn't there because it had grown legs and was trying to escape, rather the evolutionists in the Belfast Museum were too embarrassed to admit that what they had taught thousands of visitors had been a complete fabrication.

Source China Post

Lightning strikes Mother Cabrini Shrine
This fascinating link from my friend David.

Lightning struck the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Denver, Colorado last week, severely damaging a 22 foot statue of Jesus Christ. The event occurred on the 17th of May, striking off the right hand, destroying the left arm and shattering the feet of the image. The shrine was constructed by an Italian artist in 1954, and brought to Colorado and erected on the foothills of Golden. Those that maintain the shrine are researching how they will repair the damage done to the hands and feet of the statue.

Quote: "A Sacred Heart Statue Restoration Fund has been set up for those wanting to contribute. These funds will be used to repair the hands and feet of Jesus. "He has no hands and feet, give Him yours". (Excerpted from a homily by Fr. John Lager, O.F.M., Cap. at Mass in the Shrine chapel earlier today.)

You can see the damage to the image, pictured to the right. So what is so remarkable about lightning striking an image of Jesus Christ? What is the probability that lightning could strike 22 foot statue on a mountainside, destroying both arms and both feet, without touching the rest of the image?

Quote: "Sister Bernadette Casciano told 7NEWS the Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Mother Cabrini Shrine was hit in the arms by lightning. She said the strike knocked off the statue's right open palm, damaged its left arm, shattered its feet and caused significant damage to the base. "We are grateful that no one was hurt. We have begun to research how we might restore the arms and bring this prominent landmark back to its original beauty," said Casciano.

As insurance brokers often state, I guess you could call this an "act of God". Although the Scriptures teach us that there is only one God and idols made by men are just the "work of men's hands", the Lord treats idols and images as other gods which have taken the glory and honour deserved only to Him. With the story of the Exodus out of Egypt, all the 10 plagues were judgements on the false gods of Egypt. For Egyptians worshipped the Nile - which was turned to blood, the sun - which was turned to darkness, etc. The Lord was showing Pharaoh, who had previously stated, "Who is the Lord that I may obey Him?", who He was.

Exodus 12:12
For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD.

In the Old Testament, we have another story of when the Lord executed judgement against a false god. When the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant from Israel, they placed it in the house of their god Dagon. In the morning, the image of Dagon had fallen on its face before the Ark - which at that time represented the place of God's presence on earth. Although Dagon was just a lump of stone, it seems the Lord wanted the Philistines to know that He was greater than their god. They set Dagon on his feet again, and when they came back the next morning, Dagon was again fallen before the Ark...

1st Samuel 5:4 
And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon [was] fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands [were] cut off upon the threshold; only [the stump of] Dagon was left to him.

The hands represent strength and the head represents authority. In the case of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, his image was struck on the feet, which represents stability and foundation. For the world empires represented in Daniel's image, the destruction of the foundation resulted in the entire world system being dissolved. The Mother of Cabrini Shrine has had its hands and feet destroyed as a warning to those who adore these images rather than worship the true God. The destruction of the hands signifying the cutting off of the strength of this false god, and the destruction of the base signifying that anything that is not built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ will be destroyed. Amen.

Source Mother Cabrini Shrine, Denver Channel

Wars and rumours of wars
Sderot attack kills Israeli woman
It was bound to happen sooner or later, but no doubt many Israelis will be feeling tonight that this should have been prevented by the Israeli government. Just a week or so after the announcement that Hamas had ended its tahdiah (temporary calm) last month, an Israeli woman has been killed by a Kassam rocket attack carried out by Palestinian terrorist groups. The attack came as Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in the town for discussions on how to end the escalating crisis.

Quote: "Dozens of Sderot residents demonstrated in the center of the city following the fatal rocket attack. The protestors clashed with police as the convoy of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana passed by. During the clashes, the protestors hurled stones at the municipality building. Dozens of youths tried to break into the building, and when they realized the door was locked, they smashed a large vase on it. A number of workers were trapped in the building.

Sderot has been a prime target for Hamas terrorists since the disengagement from Gaza, and the government has come under constant criticism for failing to protect its residents, especially during the Second Lebanese War last August. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert had recently decided to show restraint in the face of increasing barrages of Kassam rockets hitting the southern town, it is thought, because no fatalities had yet been caused by the attacks. Hamas leader Nizar Riyan urged Palestinian terrorist organizations today to "kill every Jew" in Sderot and Ashkelon, and stated that his organization hopes to destroy Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state. His comments were completely ignored by the mainstream media. This deep anti-Semitic hatred proves that this war is not about land or politics, neither will the Israelis ever satisfy the demands of the Palestinian terrorist organizations. This war is a satanically inspired effort to destroy God's chosen people the Jews. 

Quote: "Speaking with the Hamas television station, Riyan called upon the PA Arab factions in Gaza to keep fighting the Jews "even if the Arabs and Abu Mazen do not agree, until the last Jew leaves Palestine." Further dispelling any illusions that only Judea and Samaria are contested lands, Riyan called for the bombardment of Ashkelon "until its Jews run away just like those of Sderot... The Arabs were expelled from Sderot and Ashkelon, and now the time has come to expel the land-stealers and allow the Arabs to return."

Until this world's politicians realize that they are dealing with a demonic spirit that is bent on destroying God's plan of redemption for His people, the conflict in the Middle East will not be solved. And the Bible tells us that eventually, the whole world will turn against Israel in an effort to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the earth. At that time, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) will return to earth, with us who are saved, out of heaven to do battle with the nations that have divided His land. I think that at present, if any person saw an angel or the Lord Jesus Christ coming out of heaven, it would fill them with wonder and amazement. But these evil men will be so filled with satanic rage, that as the Lord Jesus comes out of heaven, the order will be given to attack Him and His army. Revelation describes the outcome of that war. The Antichrist is taken, and with him the False Prophet, and both are cast alive into the lake of fire (Revelation 19). And the Bible states, the rest of his armies are killed by a word that proceeds out of the Lord's mouth. On this day, all the glory will belong to Christ.

This will happen just like the Bible states, and just as we have seen other prophecies take place, such as the regathering of Israel in these last days. Do you want to be at the Lord's side, when He comes in His glory to set up His kingdom? Or will you be one of those who will end up fighting against the Lamb? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).

Source YNet News, Arutz 7

Audio testimony of Martin Wensley
This is an MP3 (10mg) of a testimony meeting we had at our church tonight. The speaker is Martin Wensley who was born and brought up a Jew, and has become a fulfilled Jew through his Saviour, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ), by the witness of colleagues and his future wife.
Peace process
Israel to propose int. force for Gaza border
Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, is due to travel to the Middle East this Monday to meet with the leaders of several nations in the region. He is due to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday, and will meet with the leadership of the Israeli government and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. The meeting comes as the Israeli Foreign Ministry prepares to endorse a plan that will see an international force stationed in the Philadelphia corridor, the thin strip of land adjoining Egypt and Gaza. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had originally proposed that the IDF patrol the Philadelphia corridor after the disengagement from Gaza, but his idea was rejected by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Now weapons smuggling through the corridor has become a major problem for Israel. The Egyptian border guards have failed to prevent Hamas members crossing into Gaza with arms and cash, and the EU monitors do not have the legal authority to confiscate the goods. Israel has called for the EU to be given more powers to prevent weapons smuggling at Rafah, or else they are threatening to close the border permanently when the agreement expires in a few months.

Quote: "Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni hinted at the possibility of deploying an international force in her briefing to ambassadors Friday. In the briefing, called in response to events in Gaza and Sderot, Livni was asked by European Union Ambassador Ramiro Cibrian-Uzal whether Israel still objected to the idea of a UNIFIL-style foreign peacekeeping force in Gaza. Livni said in response that UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, was a test case, and that the force's many remaining challenges in Lebanon underscored the difficulties of such missions. She said that if the force she envisioned would have a wider mandate than UNIFIL's, with operational powers, that would be a different story.

The continuing cycle of violence between Hamas and Fatah will undoubtedly be discussed by Solana, and it seems both Israel and Fatah will be pressing the EU to do something to prevent Hamas taking complete control of the Gaza Strip. Solana has stated before that all parties must work towards creating the environment for peace. The EU has already troops stationed on Israel's northern border with Lebanon and Syria. The European Commission and Javier Solana already support such a force being stationed in Gaza. And Israel has already expressed support for such an initiative.

As King Abdullah II stated last night, we must be prepared for the "day after peace". You can see from the above links that the EU is already heavily involved in the Middle East peace process. This information is not widely publicized on our terrestrial news, and this makes me wonder if Christians are indeed prepared for the "day before peace". Christians or unbelievers may think that we will know when we are nearing the time for the Antichrist's peace agreement to be confirmed. Not necessarily. We already have half a dozen peace plans on the table, from the Arabs, the EU, Israel, Lebanon and even Syria. The one thing I guess that is preventing a peace agreement from taking hold, is the presence of the Church on this planet. For the pre-tribulation rapture teaches that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until that which hinders is taken out of the way. And if the Antichrist can't be revealed, then there will be no peace plan implemented. As nations around the world talk of peace in the Middle East, and discuss the division of the land, and the Holy City, the return of Christ for His Church must be at hand. And that is why it is important to be saved, to know Christ as your Saviour. And if you are saved, to be prepared for the "day before peace".

Source Jerusalem Post, Haaretz

Peace process
Abdullah: Prepare for "day after peace"
King Abdullah II of Jordan has called for no more delay in the faltering Middle East peace process, and had urged all nations of the world to end the suffering of the Palestinian people. During the gathering of  the World Economic Forum in Jordan today, he also stressed that the world needs to have concrete plans ready for the day after peace comes. His comments came as Kassam rockets continue to rain down on Sderot, and the security situation in the Gaza Strip continues to degenerate. 

Quote: "There can be no more delay," he told some 1,000 politicians and businessmen at the World Economic Forum in Jordan. "This suffocating situation has brought poverty, malnutrition, frustration and radicalisation," King Abdullah said. He urged the gathering to prepare investment plans for the "day after peace" in the Middle East.

According to the BBC article, King Abdullah made no mention of the fighting between Hamas and Fatah, which has left around a dozen people dead within recent days. Abdullah also believes that the economic boycott of the Palestinian Authority - which has so far refused to abide by any of the Quartet's conditions - is responsible for much suffering. Notice that Abdullah did not lay the blame for the "suffocation" at the feet of Israel or the Quartet - he simply stated that it is happening, which is true. But the BBC reporter seems to want people to assume that it is solely Israel's fault. What angered me most was the BBC's comments at the top of article, inferring blame of the whole situation on Israel, while refusing to mention the ongoing Palestinian terror which has resulted in the injury of dozens of Israelis just this week.

Quote: "Jordan's King Abdullah has urged the world to act to end what he described as the continuing suffering of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

Try reading Abdullah's comments without reading the above BBC introduction, and it will shine a whole different light on the entire article. Abdullah did mention the "occupation", but he also stated that the absence of peace was a factor in the Palestinian suffering, and the Arab nations are much to blame for that. I've read enough news articles by the BBC and Reuters to realize that the correspondents often skew their articles by writing a "mini editorial" somewhere in the report, so they can put across their own point of view. When it comes to the BBC, often that point of view is anti-Israel.

Jeremiah 20:10-11 
For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

Source BBC, Khaleej Times

False Prophet
Kabbalist claims Messiah's name is Yeshua
An Iraqi Kabbalist that said he met the Jewish Messiah in 2003 is causing controversy in Israel, after a note that was thought to be written by the man revealed the Messiah's name, Yeshua (or Jesus). Kabbalah is a mystical form of Judaism which has been made popular of late by pop-stars such as Madonna. Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri claimed during his lifetime that the Jewish Messiah is currently living in Israel, and that when the people recognize him, he will save Israel from Islam and Christianity. Kaduri stated that the Messiah will not take political office, but will communicate through the media to the people. Before his death, Kaduri reportedly wrote the name of the Messiah in code, placed it in an envelope and instructed his followers not to open it until one year after his death. Some Rabbis think that the note, containing the name of Yeshua, may be a forgery. Some Christians wonder if the Messiah Kaduri is predicting may be the False Prophet.

Quote: "A few months before his death, Kaduri gave a Yom Kippur address in which he gave clues as to how to recognize the Messiah. He told those gathered for the Day of Atonement in his synagogue the Messiah would not come until former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dies. Sharon was stricken while in office Jan. 4, 2006. He remained in a coma until replaced by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. While many expected the imminent passing of Sharon, he has remained alive but unconscious ever since his attack.

Certainly what the Rabbi says in regard to the Messiah currently living in Israel is not Scripturally correct, even though he may be right about the real Messiah's name. Islam teaches that "Jesus" will return to earth and reign over Jerusalem for seven years. During that time, this false Jesus will be able to do miracles, and will call on all people to embrace Islam and will kill those who refuse. The book of Revelation depicts the False Prophet as having two horns like a lamb (appearance of Christianity), but will speak as a dragon (like his father Satan), Revelation 13:11. Whether or not this false Jesus will claim to be Jesus Christ, I don't know. But as Rabbi Kaduri said, the non-religious will accept him easily, for they will have no pre-conceived ideas on who or what the Messiah should be. Satan gives people just enough truth to get them hooked on his lies, and perhaps this lie that Yeshua is going to rule over Israel during the tribulation period may be enough to deceive the nominal Christians and unbelieving Jews. What's for sure is that we are now living in the days when these things will soon come to pass.

Source WorldNetDaily

Hong Kong rejects request to censor Scriptures
Thanks for your emails on love and truth, everyone. It's been a real interesting discussion for me.

Hong Kong's media regulator received over 2000 requests to classify the Bible as an indecent publication because of violent and sexual content, but the media regulator rejected the demands stating the Scriptures are a religious text and was part of civilization. The complaints followed the classification of a student column in the state, which asked readers if they had ever fantasized about incest or bestiality. Apparently the author must have taken offence at this, and criticized the Scriptures which also mentions violence, incest, rape, murder and other sins.

Quote: "The regulator received 2,041 complaints against the Bible this week, following an uproar over a sex column in a student magazine that was classified as "indecent" by authorities for asking if readers had ever fantasised about incest or bestiality. A Web site launched soon afterwards campaigned to have the Bible similarly classified, citing passages with sexual and violent content it claimed went beyond that of the sex column. But TELA said in its statement the Bible "had not violated standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable members of the community".

It's not the first time the Scriptures have come under attack from people claiming to be more moral than God. Christians fear that the new Sexual Orientation law in Canada may classify portions of Scripture which condemn the homosexual lifestyle as "hate speech". While the Bible does mention sins such as murder and incest, it condemns them completely. What makes the Bible different from other religious texts is, it shows us for what we are - sinners. That's how we know it wasn't authored by man, for men wouldn't have included their own faults when writing about themselves. Most of the good laws we have left in our country are founded upon God's laws mentioned in the Scriptures, and the real reason why men want to ban the Bible is not because it is indecent, but because its righteousness condemns their own sinful lifestyles. No matter who bans it, no matter who burns it, no matter who tries to destroy the Scriptures, the Lord has said, Heaven and earth shall pass away but My Word shall never pass away.

Source Reuters

The truth in love II
Thanks very much for your emails, I appreciate them very much. I think people may be misunderstanding my thoughts. It's not that I feel depressed that we are somehow fighting a loosing battle against sin in this world. I have felt angry at times when I wrote those letters and emails to the Labour government, to MPs and to the BBC and OfCom. But I don't feel angry today. I am just wondering, when Christ said that we are the "light of the world", how should that light shine? Does being a light involve more than just opposing the darkness?

We often hear about the culture war in America, and I do believe it's real. And many Christians have been involved in ensuring big companies recognize Christmas, that the 10 commandments are kept in our courtrooms and that the US remains "one nation under God". But I wonder, are we being effective lights by just opposing unjust and immoral laws, or would we more effective by preaching the Gospel and showing God's love? I'm not condemning Christians that stand up for what they believe in, that is important. And we do need to be good witnesses for Christ in this world, and to pray for those in authority that we might live a quiet and peaceable life. But the world cannot live by God's laws, the world is at enmity with God. I am wondering if I could be a better light for the Lord by doing good and proclaiming the Gospel, rather than sending emails to MPs complaining when they don't see my point of view? Perhaps at least then, people might be saved and restored, and the culture may change when the people's hearts are in the right place. I do not read of the Lord Jesus or the disciples opposing the unjust laws of Israel or the Roman Empire, but I do read of them going everywhere proclaiming the Gospel. 

I ask these questions, that I might be a better light for the Lord. That is my heart's desire.

The truth in love
A little is happening at present in regards to prophecy, but nothing I feel like commenting on today. With all that's going on in the world, it's easy to become upset and angry. At governments for passing unjust laws, at television broadcasters for transmitting filth and degradation, and at the general spiritual condition of our churches. I have often sent emails to MPs and organizations about Israel and the state of my own country, hoping that I would have a positive impact and be a force for good in the world, but I have usually had very little response if any. It is important to be a good witness for Christ, and that is something I have failed at terribly. 

A friend of mine is having a difficult time at his church here, and during our conversation a couple of days ago, I happened to ask him what Jesus meant when He said we were the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth". My friend's response was that we ought to "confront" the evil, which is pretty much what I had been doing for several years. But I have been thinking about these phrases for the past few weeks, and am trying my best to understand how to be a better "light". I think perhaps it is not necessarily our job to "confront" evil (that is, in the world. Evil in the Church is a different matter). One of the Holy Spirit's tasks is to convict of sin, and I am beginning to think that it is not possible for a believer to have any lasting effect on an unbelieving world without the moving of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men. It's often been said, rather than opposing what is false, preach the truth and men will know how to recognize what is false. Jesus Christ said, "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven", Matthew 5:15-16. Again he said, "by this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one for another", John 13:35. I've been thinking that maybe we can be better lights for the Lord, through spreading the Gospel and showing Christ's love to others, rather than getting angry and fighting against the darkness. Well that's my scattered thoughts anyway, I'm still trying to understand how I can be the light that Jesus spoke of. 

Romans 12:21 
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Eretz Yisrael
Red Cross, Hamas put pressure on Israel
Just a quicky before I go to bed... 

Today the state of Israel marks the 40th anniversary of the recapturing of East Jerusalem from Jordanian control today. As I commented recently, the status of Jerusalem has become an international issue, with almost every nation on earth being drawn into the conflict in some way or another. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated recently that Germany would boycott the Jerusalem Day celebrations, if that meant legitimising Israel's "occupation" of the eastern quarter of the city. A recent poll showed that a majority of Israeli's would be prepared to hand over significant parts of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians if they thought it would bring peace, but most thought it would not lead to peace, and a vast majority would not give up the Temple Mount or Western Wall under any circumstances. Transjordan captured East Jerusalem during the War of Independence, and Israel retook it during the Six Day War in 1967. But despite the fact that Israel took East Jerusalem in self-defence, the international community still insists Israel has illegally occupied the city. The EU has on several occasions worked towards undermining Israeli authority in East Jerusalem. But on the 40th anniversary on the reunification of the city, it's Hamas and the Red Cross that are once again stepping up their attacks against Israel

Quote: "The report says Israel shows "general disregard" for its obligations under international humanitarian law and the law of military occupation in particular. Violations that change the status of East Jerusalem include the West Bank barrier, an outer ring of Jewish settlements around the city and roads to connect Israeli districts and settlements, the report says.

I say "once again" for the Red Cross, for the organization has always shown "complete disregard" for Magen David Adom (Red Star of David). For decades the Red Cross refused to fund the Israeli medical service, because they operate in territories "occupied" by Israel. The Red Cross officially recognized the Red Crescent - the Islamic branch of the society, but refused to recognize the symbol of Magen David Adom as it was too Jewish. Only recently has the Red Cross recognized Magen David Adom, and only because they dropped the Star of David in favour of a Crystal emblem. As I said before, it seems every nation and every company on earth has been drawn into this conflict in one way or another. As for Hamas, they launched a salvo of Kassam rockets into Israel today, wounding around eighteen people.

Quote: "A military official posited that the Qassam salvo on Sderot was meant to distract the Palestinian population's attention form the escalating conflict between factions in the Palestinian Authority, which culminated Tuesday in several deaths after Hamas attacked a Presidential Guard training base near Karni crossing. "Things in Gaza are getting increasingly more difficult," said the military officials. "Hamas would rather everyone focus on Israel now." The IDF is scheduled to hold meetings later tonight to discuss the evening's events.

Source BBC, YNet News

Standard BBC response to mockery of Jesus
A lot has been happening today in regards to the situation in the Middle East. The Red Cross has published a provocative paper claiming Israel is violating international law in East Jerusalem. Vice Premier Shimon Peres has announced his intentions to run for President. And Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has announced he is prepared to talk with the Arab League, any time, any where... But I thought I might comment on an email I received from the BBC this morning. During Easter, the BBC broadcast a series of radio programmes called Lent Talks. On one of these programmes the openly homosexual bishop, Jeffery John, gave his thoughts on the sacrifice of Christ. As a seeming affront to the person of Christ, the programme was repeated on resurrection Sunday. But it's not the fact that Jeffrey John repudiates the Biblical teaching on marriage that caused the most controversy, it was what Jeffrey had to say about the Lord Jesus...

Quote: ""In other words, Jesus took the rap and we got forgiven as long as we said we believed in him," said John. "This is repulsive as well as nonsensical. It makes God sound like a psychopath. If a human behaved like this we'd say that they [sic] were a monster."

This was in fact exactly what the Lord Jesus Himself taught on many occasions throughout the Gospels. I urged those who read this website to complain to the BBC, for their flagrant disregard of their own Royal Charter, which stipulates that the organizations has a duty to respect the religious beliefs of its listeners. And especially considering the broadcasting was taking place on one of Christianity's most holy days, resurrection Sunday. That was the jist of my email, and this morning - as expected - I received the standard BBC response... 

Quote: "Dear Mr Perver 
Thank you for your e-mail regarding 'Lent Talks' transmitted on the 4 April 2007. Firstly, please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we are sorry you have had to wait on this occasion. 

I understand you have some concerns about the above, furthermore you felt it was inappropriate to include Jeffrey John as a speaker. The premise of 'Lent Talks' allow contributors to reflect on the mission and passion of Jesus from a personal perspective. 

Contributors may come from any faith position, or from none. In his talk, Jeffrey John chose to distance himself from the view of "penal substitution" - that God required Jesus to accept the punishment due to humans as a means of placating His wrath and satisfying His justice. This understanding of the atonement is central to the belief of many Christians, but for many others it is not. Indeed the Church of England's own doctrine commission declared in 1995 that it was unhelpful and a hindrance to faith. The Bishop of Durham, Tom Wright, served on this commission. I appreciate you may continue to feel unhappy about this, therefore please be assured that I have registered your complaint and concerns on the daily log, this is an internal document which will be made available to the 'Lent Talks' production team as well as the senior management of the BBC. May I take this opportunity to thank you again for taking time to contact the BBC. 

Regards Katherine Tsang 
BBC Information

It makes me sad that the BBC can choose to ignore the beliefs of "many Christians", and broadcast the repugnant views of Jeffrey John on resurrection Sunday. And then, as was the case with the Jerry Springer Opera, ignore countless thousands of complaints from British television licence payers. It has been said, only in Northern Ireland can you pay to be insulted. It was news to me that the Church of England has declared the belief in the atonement to be an hindrance to the faith. But searching the internet, I came across this article...

Quote: "More serious to traditional Christianity was liberal criticism of belief in original sin, substitution atonement or hell. According to F.D. Maurice such beliefs represented ‘a monstrous perversion' of Christianity for they stand in direct contradiction to the primal and quite decisive Christian doctrine of the love of God. If we start from belief that 'God is actually love', we will shrink from attributing to Him acts which would be unlovely in man'. Maurice claimed that any doctrine of the atonement which presumes that sins cannot be forgiven unless satisfaction is first paid contradicts the teaching of Jesus about being merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful. He believed that the doctrine of hell made a mockery of Jesus' picture of the loving fatherhood of God. For if it were indeed the case that all humanity is damned except those who accept Christ as their personal saviour it would condemn 'most of the American slaves, and the whole body of Turks, Hindus, Hottentots and Jews... to hopeless destruction'.

Without the atonement there is no salvation, for the Scriptures state that it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). Men such as these in the Church of England cannot possibly believe in the atonement, for a belief in the atonement requires first of all the belief in a God that is absolutely holy and must punish sin. And if Jeffery John believed God was holy, he could not possibly think that his own lifestyle was right in the sight of God, for the Scriptures condemn it completely. Thus men excuse their own sins by believing that God will somehow turn a blind eye to them because He is merciful, and could never create a place like hell, or punish a sinner for his sins. They do not realize the true value of the death of Christ, nor do they choose to avail themselves of it. As the Scriptures say, they have trampled under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the Covenant an unholy thing (Hebrews 10:29).

1st Corinthians 6:9 
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Source Inclusive Church

Peace process
Olmert and Abdullah to meet in Jordan
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Vice Premier Shimon Peres have announced their intentions to meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Aqaba to discuss the peace process. Olmert had planned to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Petra, Jordan today, but Abbas cancelled the meeting at the last minute. Olmert and Peres will still attend an annual gathering of Nobel Peace Prize winners, being held in the ancient fortress town. Olmert is expected to invite Abdullah to a second meeting in Israel. Abdullah recently warned US Vice President Dick Cheney that time was running out to find a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict...

Quote: "Abdullah said the Arab peace initiative, which was first launched in 2002 and revived at an Arab summit earlier this year, "still represented an opportunity to advance peace and end the Arab-Israeli conflict." "Time is not on anyone's side," Abdullah warned. He did not elaborate, but he has previously said that the absence of peacemaking is increasing the popularity of extremists across the Muslim world.

Prime Minister Olmert and the King Abdullah II are expected to discuss the faltering peace process with the Palestinians, and the Arab League initiative during their meeting. Shimon Peres plans to meet with Abdullah at the World Economic Forum in Jordan on Sunday, where he will discuss his "Peace Valley" plan...

Quote: "Peres will discuss his Peace Valley plan with King Abdullah, which calls for a canal connecting the Gulf of Aqaba with the Dead Sea and the development of industrial and tourist projects along its banks and economic cooperation between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

I find it amazing that Israeli leaders are still talking about building a canal from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. They were talking about it when my grandfather visited Israel some two decades ago. What's more ironic, Shimon Peres is calling his plan "Peace Valley". The only artificial valley I read about in the Scriptures will be the valley created by God for Israel to flee to during the time of Jacob's trouble.

Zechariah 14:4-5 
And his (Christ's) feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye (Israel) shall flee [to] the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee.

The Scriptures also state that when the Lord returns, He will be the one to create this canal which will water the desert, and bring life back to the cursed region of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Zechariah 14:8, 10
And it shall be in that day, [that] living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be... All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and [from] the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.

Source Sauk Valley, Haaretz

Covenant of peace
Solana's "message to the Arab world" - 2002
I was searching for some news regarding the meeting between leaders of the Arab League and the European Union, which is taking place today in Brussels. While searching for that, I came across the following article, written by Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy. The article is not dated (I think it might be from 2002), but I found its contents particularly interesting. The letter, which was printed in member countries of the Arab League prior to a summit held in Beyrouth, outlines EU support for the Arab League initiative. The Arab plan offers wide recognition of Israel in return for a withdrawal to the 1967 armistice lines and a "right of return" for Palestinians displaced since 1948. But what surprised me most about this letter, is Solana's self-congratulatory style of writing and his call for a "global solution" to this conflict. His letter is entitled "My message to the Arab world" (note: "My message" and not "The EU's message"), and he states, "I see my presence both as a clear signal and as an expression of hope". 

Quote: "The European Union's commitment will remain . We stand ready to help in many ways. We work for the resumption of dialogue. Ambassador Moratinos, together with the Special Envoy of the Russian Federation and the UN Special Coordinator, is currently supporting the efforts of the US Special Envoy. As for myself, I continue my regular consultations with all international actors involved. We remain convinced that a third party monitoring mechanism would help and stand ready to participate.

I thought those words of Solana were extremely interesting. Although we can't know who the Antichrist will be, we are told in Scripture that he will magnify himself in his heart (Daniel 8:25), and later exalt himself and magnify himself above every god (Daniel 11:36). Solana clearly sees both his presence and that of the EU as playing a major role in the resolution of this conflict. 5 years has past since this article was written, and today, EU leaders are meeting their counterparts in the Arab League to discuss the way forward. 

Quote: ""It is important that the talks process ... can be kept stable so that such a peace initiative has the chance to prevail," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency. "The Palestinian side need to be sure that the negotiations are moving towards an independent state, living in peace side by side with Israel. The Israeli side need a political horizon which includes security and no violence," he told reporters before chairing talks with his EU counterparts. He added that while the EU had invited the Arab ministers this time round, they would invite Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to their meeting next month.

Source EU, EU Business

Dividing the land
Germany to boycott reunification of Jerusalem day
It's a day when Jews across the world celebrate the reunification of their Holy City Jerusalem, after nearly 2500 years of foreign occupation. From the time of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, the Jewish people have not had control over their most sacred site. According to the Scriptures, Jerusalem is the city where God chose to place His name (1st Kings 11:36), and both the First and Second Temples were situated within its walls. East Jerusalem was recaptured from Transjordan during the Six Day War, a war that was initiated by the surrounding Arab nations. But rather than celebrating this historic event, some European nations see Israel as the occupying power, rather than having ended a two millennia period of exile from their own capital.

Quote: "Sources in the German Embassy in Israel told Ynet on Sunday morning that the international community viewed Jerusalem from a different point of view. "We believe that Jerusalem's future should be part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Our point of view is not new and Germany must take this stance in accordance with the rest of the countries. "We cannot force other European Union countries to accept our opinion, but we can definitely decide for ourselves. Germany cannot take part in an official event of the Israeli government, if this implies that we recognize these borders of Jerusalem."

Yesterday I commented on Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's statement, that Judea must go in order for there to be peace in the Middle East. Today's news reminds us of that other prophecy concerning the division of the land, that the Holy City will be divided during the tribulation period. It is clear that Jerusalem is at the heart of the issue concerning the division of the land, for Muslims believe that the Mahdi will return and conquer Jerusalem and reign over the land for seven years. The Jewish people also believe their Messiah will come and deliver them from their enemies, and reign from Jerusalem. Through the Scriptures, we are told what will really happen. That the peace agreement will fail, East Jerusalem will be occupied by either the Antichrist or the Muslims, and this will begin a time of unparalleled persecution for Israel. After this, the Lord Jesus Christ shall return to the Mount of Olives, and set up His Kingdom in the Holy City. And the rest will be history :).

Zechariah 14:1 
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil (areas captured in the Six Day War?) shall be divided in the midst of thee (Israel). For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city (East Jerusalem) shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Source YNet News

Dividing the land
Livni confirms Judea must go for peace
This link from my friend Darrell...

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has stated that Israel must hand over parts of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, if there is ever going to be peace in the Middle East. Livni commented in her interview with Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, that Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005 was not the last move the Jewish state would have to make, and that Israel had no desire to rule over the Palestinians. 

Quote: "During the interview, which took place as part of the foreign minister's visit to Cairo, Livni said that the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was a necessary and crucial step in the peace process. Livni said that in order to complete this process and create a Palestinian state, Israel will need to withdraw from the West Bank as well. "I can assure you that Gaza is not the last step, we are convinced that to establish a Palestinian state, we have to withdraw from other areas," she said. "We do not want to control the Palestinians."

Originally former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had stated that Israel's planned disengagement from Gaza was an effort to convince Palestinians terrorist organizations to end the violence. Now we have a Palestinian government headed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist and continues its rocket attacks against Israel to this day. I wonder if Sharon awoke from his coma, what he would make of it all. Would he be planning to hand over more territory, when it has been shown Hamas is incapable of reforming? Who knows. But what we can see is that the international community is gearing up to fulfill prophecy, in Joel and Daniel, by calling for the division of God's land. The Lord said that during the tribulation period, those that were in the locality of Judea would endure such a time of trouble that the world had never seen before. Most of Judea constitutes what we now call the West Bank. 100,000 people being uprooted from their homes by the Israeli government, the failure of the peace agreement with the Palestinians, being persecuted by the Antichrist and his armies. According to the Lord, this will be worse than the holocaust. I can't even begin to imagine it.

Matthew 24:15-21
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Source Jerusalem Post

Hamas "Mickey Mouse" urges kids to kill Jews
His name is Farfour, and he sports big ears and white gloves just like the Disney creation, but this is no Mickey Mouse. Palestinian Media Watch, a group dedicated to exposing the indoctrination of Palestinians through their media to hate Israel, reports that Farfour is guilty of inciting hatred against Jews and urging Palestinian children to take up armed resistance against the "Zionist regime". If Mickey Mouse ever had an evil twin, this would be it.

Quote: "In one of Farfour's squeaky outbursts he says "Bush, we shall win! Condoleezza, we shall win! Sharon, we shall win!" And later Farfour takes part in a song that used the lines "we will destroy the throne of the tyrants, we will pour the fire of death on them." The Israeli foreign ministry denounced the programme and issued a lengthy statement accusing the programme-makers of using seeking to "indoctrinate Palestinian children to violence, hatred and murder".

Palestinian Authority Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti has criticized the broadcast, but the television station that aired the programme, Al Aqsa TV run by Hamas, has since stated that the programme will continue and accused the West and Israel of an orchestrated attack on Islam. Interestingly, Little Green Footballs reports that the video of the evil Mickey, posted to YouTube by Palestinian Media Watch in order to expose this death cult propaganda, has been removed due to "terms of use violation". You can see the video here. Farfour the mouse claims that Islam will conquer the world, and that the battle will begin with "all of Palestine" and will expand to Iraq and all Islamic countries now under "occupation". This video is sick, I can hardly believe young children are drinking in this Satanic propaganda.

Source Telegraph, Little Green Footballs

Peace process
Livni talks with Arab League delegation
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met with her Jordanian and Egyptian counterparts in Cairo today, to discuss the Arab League initiative. The talks went ahead despite the uncertainty over Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's political future. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has recently stated he will call for early elections if Olmert doesn't resign. Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres has up until now kept out of the fray, stating he is not planning on running for Prime Minister, but has said he is still planning on running for President. Today's meeting in Cairo were the first high-level talks between Israel and officials from the Arab League, and a further meeting has been scheduled to be held in Israel. 

Quote: "Livni said she would meet again in a few weeks with her Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts in Israel "as part of this process between Israel and the representatives of the Arab League." Thursday's meeting was the first high-level talks between Israel and the Arab world on the Arab League initiative calling for an exchange of land for peace. Livni said the meeting was preparation for the "historic and important" talks between Israeli and Arab League representatives on the initiative.

The EU has recently expressed its support for the Arab League initiative, and is planning to meet representatives from the organization in Brussels on May 14th. Olmert had expressed optimism after the Saudi plan was revived in Riyadh in March, but has rejected the idea of any Palestinian "right of return". It will be interesting to see what becomes of these meetings. It certainly would be historic for Arab leaders to set foot in Israel, but whether they get what it is they are looking for is another matter entirely. As the Bible states, I don't think Israel can negotiate with the Arab League on their own. I think it will take an outside mediator to "strengthen the covenant", and to ensure that parties like Hamas and Hizbullah comply.

Source Jerusalem Post

Atheist offers to send Christian post after Rapture
An atheist living in Orlando has set up a website offering to send post from Christians to their unsaved loved-ones, after the rapture occurs. 24 year old Joshua Witter created the website called the "Post-Rapture Post", after his graduation from Syracuse University in 2004. Joshua Witter does not believe in God or the rapture, but says if Christians are taken to heaven then he will deliver their letters to friends and family for a price.  

Quote: "Witter guarantees that should the Rapture arrive, he would deliver all letters entrusted to him. He created the website in 2004 after graduating from Syracuse University. "My friends think it's hilarious," he said. "We all like it." But he also thinks it is logical. "If you are a good person after the Rapture, (you'll ascend)," Witter said. "If you have a son you want to behave so that he might also see Jesus," you send him a letter. Social bookmarking sites and the blogosphere have generated interest in the Post-Rapture Post. Witter said he received about 2,000 e-mails after posted a link to the site.

It's not the first time the rapture theory has made it into the mainstream media. After the commencement of the Second Lebanon War, the Vancouver Sun newspaper ridiculed Christians who believe in the rapture. Pointing to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, instead of realizing that the prophecies in the Bible must be true, they blamed Christians for helping to create the crisis! So if the events in Revelation start to come to pass, it is extremely doubtful that atheists will suddenly believe there is a God. Although on a more positive note, interviewers on CNN were asking whether or not we were now living in the last days, and interviewed some famous prophecy commentators. 

There is some controversy over whether the rapture will occur before or during the seven year period. I have explained my thoughts on this in the rapture article on this website, and I have spoken with others who believe in a pre-wrath rapture. I can't understand why some Christians make such an issue of this. Perhaps Satan is using this division as a tool to hinder the teaching of the Lord's return in these last days. To me it's a non-issue. First of all, we should never be dogmatic when it comes to prophecy. Our minds are finite, and only the Lord sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Secondly, the pre-tribulation rapture is not an escape-chute from suffering, as some Christians that teach the pre-wrath theory assume. The Lord said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation", John 16:33. All the apostles apart from one were martyred. The first century Church suffered horrendous persecution at the hands of Rome (Revelation 2:10). Christians in China, India, Pakistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, are suffering terrible persecution today. Paul said that "it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake", Philippians 1:29. 

The pre-tribulation rapture is an escape-chute from the wrath of God, and that is important to keep in mind (Revelation 3:10). When we understand that, the issue of when the rapture occurs pales into insignificance. God will deliver us before this world is judged for its wickedness. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego told king Nebuchadnezzar, the Lord is able to deliver us out of the world's hand, but if He chooses not to, we will not worship the Antichrist or his image (Daniel 3:17-18). The Lord said we would not know the exact time of His coming (Matthew 25:13), but He did say "occupy till I come", Luke 19:13. Our job is to preach the gospel, until the Lord sees fit to remove us from this scene. 

Source USA Today

Mark of the Beast
Prayer vigil to protest Alzheimer implants
Link from my friend Adam...

International consumer group CASPIAN have announced they are planning to hold a march and interfaith prayer vigil this Saturday, to protest the the decision by Alzheimer's Community Care, West Palm Beach, to implant 200 of their Alzheimer patients with VeriChips. With the VeriChip implant in place, authorities would be able to track a patient's whereabouts anywhere with in the building, giving them more "freedom to roam". But this idea has come under criticism from those who believe the care the Alzheimer sufferers would receive would be reduced, as staff would no longer have to be physically present to look after their patients.

Quote: "The VeriChip implant is a glass encapsulated RFID tag that is injected into the flesh to uniquely number and identify people. The tag can be read by radio waves from a few inches away. The device is being marketed as a way to link to medical records, access secure areas, and serve as a payment instrument when associated with a credit card or pre-paid account. Although the VeriChip Corporation emphasizes that its chip should always be strictly voluntary, many question the ethics of conducting medical research on mentally impaired individuals. Alzheimer's patients cannot understand the risks associated with being microchipped and therefore cannot give fully informed consent. According to the FDA, risks associated with the VeriChip include MRI incompatibility, electrical hazard, and adverse tissue reaction, to name just a few.

It's very interesting that the FDA states one of the possible risks of having a VeriChip implanted in your arm is an adverse tissue reaction. Revelation says that during the tribulation period, that a "noisome and grievous sore" (note: not "sores") will come upon all those that accept the Mark of the Beast in their right hand or forehead. The VeriChip contains a Lithium capacitor, and when Lithium comes into contact with human skin, it erupts in a terrible sore. Warning: this image is unpleasant to look at. 

Of course the VeriChip is not the Mark of the Beast - yet anyway. The Mark will be issued by the False Prophet during the tribulation period, and will be placed in the right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16). As I have said in the VeriChip page, the hand and forehead represent the work and will of a human being, and whoever is "branded" in these places is signifying that they are under the control of the brander, in this case Satan. VeriChip currently implant in the upper right arm, but I suspect they will soon decide that the right hand and forehead are the most convenient places for implantation. The hand is the easiest place on the human body to scan, and if you happen to have lost your hand in an accident, you're not likely to lose your forehead.

Revelation 16:2
And the first [angel] went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image.

Source TransWorldNews

New World Order
CFR proposes abolition of state currencies
Link from my friends Darrell and Denese...

Benn Steil, the Director of International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, has proposed the world abolish its state currencies in favour of the creation of regional currencies such as the Euro and Amero, and possibly even a global currency, in the latest edition of the Foreign Affairs magazine. Steil believes that countries that seek to control their own currency are much of the cause of financial turmoil now being experienced in the world. In the article, he writes that national currencies and global markets do not mix, and that we should drop our currencies for the sake of economic stability. 

Quote: "The right course is not to return to a mythical past of monetary sovereignty, with governments controlling local interest and exchange rates in blissful ignorance of the rest of the world. Governments must let go of the fatal notion that nationhood requires them to make and control the money used in their territory. National currencies and global markets simply do not mix; together they make a deadly brew of currency crises and geopolitical tension and create ready pretexts for damaging protectionism. In order to globalise safely, countries should abandon monetary nationalism and abolish unwanted currencies, the source of much of today's instability.

The Council on Foreign Relations is one of the major organizations involved in the establishment of the New World Order, now going by the name of "Global Governance". The creation of a single currency is an essential step towards establishing that one world government. Baron Rothschild once said, "Give me control over a nation's currency, and I care not who makes its laws", for whoever controls the economy can control state policy as well. And we can see that in US President Bush's latest announcement, that he and Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, have agreed to set up a political body to oversee the integration of both the US and EU financial systems.

Quote: "Recognizing that the transatlantic economy remains at the forefront of globalization, and that the United States and the European Union are each other's most important economic partners, reflecting historical ties as well as a wide range of common fundamental values, such as the importance of free enterprise, rule of law, property rights, free trade, and competition, and the protection of health, safety and the environment for our citizens and workers;

The EU started out life as an economic agreement between several European states to pool their resources. Today, despite no consent given by its citizens, the European Union has the legal authority to dictate member state laws and fine them when they don't comply with EU regulations. We saw that authority manifested most recently when the EU threatened to punish Poland for its stand against the promotion of homosexuality in schools. The EU is also reason why Northern Ireland has legalized gay marriage. Another economic treaty similar to the one mentioned above has already been signed between the US, Canada and Mexico establishing a North American Union,  and once again without public consent. The reason why no consent was necessary is because the New World Order believes the idea of state sovereignty must go, if we are to live in a peaceful world. Patriotism, they say, is what keeps people fighting each other, and the only way to eliminate that is to eliminate state sovereignty. 

I do believe mankind probably does want to establish peace on this earth, but not peace through righteousness and truth. The UN building has that verse in Isaiah 2:4 written on the side of it, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more". Global Governance may be man's final attempt to make peace. But those who read their Bibles know that the plan will ultimately fail. As Benn Steil states, the Bible hints in James 5:3 that one day gold will become worthless. This is why I disagree with some sites like WorldNetDaily promoting gold as a safe future to invest in. The Bible warns unbelievers that they are heaping together treasures for the last days, and that they shall cast their gold in the streets. It is only state governments that decide gold's value, and soon the world will have its cashless society where no man can buy or sell save he have the Mark, the name of the Beast or the number of his name, Revelation 13:17.

Isaiah 9:6-7 
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Source Foreign Affairs, White House

New Age
Ecologist calls for world population reduction
Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, has proposed world governments should work towards a reduction in the global population, which now stands at some 6 billion souls. It's not the first time Mr Watson has caused controversy, having previously compared human life to an AIDS virus that has infected the planet. Watson believes that in order for earth to be sustainable, the population should be levelled out at around 1 billion. It is not immediately clear if Watson was offering to end his own life to save the rest of the planet's (joke).

Quote: ""No human community should be larger than 20,000 people and separated from other communities by wilderness areas.” New York, London, Paris, Moscow are all too big. Then again, so are Moose Jaw, Timbuktu and even Annapolis, Md. "We need vast areas of the planet where humans do not live at all and where other species are free to evolve without human interference." "We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion."

His views may sound extreme, but in fact they are quite widespread. Paul suggests we reduce world population to around one billion, the UN suggests a more conservative figure of two billion. This is why I was so against campaigns like "Make Poverty History", which actively support the implementation of the UN's Millennium Development Goals. One of the UN's development goals is to reduce world population to what they call a sustainable level, and some of the means they seek to achieve this is by contraception and abortion (read "no-consequence-sex and murder"). Very non-Christian methods, yet some Christian organizations such as Wycliffe Associates chose to support their endeavours. It was even recently admitted that the UN Development Goals are not achievable without legalizing abortion in many countries. This view is not evolutionary in origin, for evolution teaches that man is the most evolved being on the planet, while these people see mankind as refuse, marring what would have otherwise been a perfectly good planet. It's a form of New Ageism, the belief that Gaia (Earth) is a living, breathing entity, that mankind is destroying. And it seems the UN is rife with it. 

Yes, the world's weather is changing. And mankind has a responsibility to look after the planet God has given us, and we have largely failed in that respect. But the reason why these are happening is explained in the Scriptures...

Mankind is destroying the earth because of sin, not because we are some AIDS virus or evolutionary mistake. Adam was given a responsibility to tend the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). After his sin, God cursed the ground with weeds and thorns (Genesis 3:18). Today Satan's cohorts are suggesting that we let weeds and thorns retake control of the Earth, through various "re-wilding" schemes. God did not create the Earth just so it could be covered in weeds, he created it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18).  

The world's weather is changing, not because of pollution (although that has an affect), but because the Scriptures state that in the last days God's judgement would be poured out on this wicked world (Revelation 16:8). Satan does not want mankind to realize that his sin is a major cause of the way things are today. He does not want people to realize the events spoken of in Revelation are soon to come to pass, and that unless they are saved, these things will come upon them.

The Lord commanded Adam and Eve to fill the earth (Genesis 1:28) with their descendants, not to remain in some obscure part and let nature take its course with the rest. This world is capable of sustaining much more people, but our governments and businesses are not generally not interested in sharing their wealth and food, and that is mostly why we have such problems today. Satan and his cohorts want us to murder our children in the belief we are helping the planet, rather than obey God's command to subdue the earth and take dominion of it.

As you can see, the New Age agenda is in complete contravention of God's Word. Satan's ultimate goal is to get mankind to do the opposite of everything God has commanded us. He thinks that by destroying God's creation, he can ultimately get back at the One He hates the most - the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we need to obey God's Word, first of all, in accepting His Son Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and secondly, by obeying His will in our lives. Maranatha.

Source Business and Media

Archaeologists uncover Herod's tomb
Link from my friends Darrel and Daniel...

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has announced it has uncovered Herod's tomb, who ruled Judea at the time of the birth of Christ. Scholars had believed Herod's body was buried at Herodium, a fortified palace that was built by the puppet king outside of Jerusalem, but up until now the exact place of Herod's tomb could not be found. The site was later destroyed by the Romans in 71 AD.

Quote: "Herod, whose father and grandfather converted to Judaism, was appointed governor of Galilee at the age of 25 and was made "King of the Jews" by the Roman senate in approximately 40 BCE. He remained king for around 34 years. Herod, also known as Herod the Great, is credited with expanding the Second Temple and building Caesarea, Masada, and many other monumental construction projects. He died in the year 4 BCE in Jericho after a long illness.

Herod's family ruled by complete authority, killing those he even suspected of plotting against him. Herod the Great had most of his own family executed, including his brother-in-law the High Priest, his uncle Joseph, his wife Mariamne, his wife's mother and his first son. Not to mention the slaughter of all the children under two years old in Bethlehem, when another claiming the title of the King of the Jews was born, the Lord Jesus Christ. Herod Antipas was Herod the Great's son, who reigned over Galilee at the time of Jesus. He also mocked the Lord's claim to be King of the Jews, but it was Pontius Pilate who ultimately recognized His title, placing it above His cross in accordance with the will of God.

John 19:14-15,19-22
And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, [and] Greek, [and] Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 

Source Haaretz, Nativity Pages

Israel accused of prisoner abuse
Israeli human rights organizations, B'Tselem and the HaMoked Centre for the Defence of the Individual, have published a report decrying what they call the systematic abuse of Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli security services. The two organizations interviewed over 70 Palestinian prisoners over a six month period. 

Quote: "In a report based on the testimonies of 73 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank detained between July 2005 and January 2006, the groups said the Shin Bet security service employs a seven-step "interrogation system". The methods for trying to extract information include solitary confinement "in putrid, stifling cells", the painful binding of a detainee's hands and feet to a chair, sleep disturbance and cursing and humiliation, the report said. Such practices, the groups said, constitute "ill-treatment" under international law and violate an Israeli Supreme Court ban against interrogation methods aimed at breaking a detainee's spirit.

The Israeli Ministry of Justice rejected the findings of the report, stating the claims were groundless and inaccurate. The article says that Israel's Supreme Court has permitted Shin Bet, the Israeli security service, to use extreme pressure on prisoners if they believe that they have information of an imminent terrorist attack. The Ministry of Justice has stated such information has in the past saved many lives. 

What really angers me about this article is that Israeli security services are trying to save lives, while the organizations that say they are protecting Palestinian human rights seem to be doing absolutely nothing about Palestinians who are caught collaborating with Israel, also trying to save lives. Why don't they try interviewing some of them, to find out how they were treated by their own government? Or maybe they can't, because they're all dead. This following article appeared on YNet News yesterday.

Quote: "A senior member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades told Ynet Saturday that "Rezawei told us he and the Shin Bet tried to recruit a woman for a suicide bombing a few months ago. Following that attempt, a few arrests were made of people who were supposed to be a part of that organization." Rezawei was also named in an official indictment filed in Israel, after which he was asked to approach several Brigade members. "After his confession, we executed him and turned the other defendant to the authorities for interrogation" said the Al-Aqsa senior member.

He was shot in the head by President Abbas' Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. That was dignified, compared to some of the following images. WARNING: These images are disturbing.  

Source Reuters, YNet News, Middle East Facts

Killer storm destroys Kansas town
A tornado over a mile in diameter swept through the town of Greensburg, Kansas yesterday, killing around nine people and leaving behind complete devastation. The town had a population of around 1400 people, and its a miracle more weren't killed, for there are just a few buildings left standing. President Bush has declared Kiowa County an major disaster zone, and meteorologists are expecting more severe weather to come...

Quote: "US President George W Bush has declared parts of Kansas a disaster area and has pledged federal aid for reconstruction. "I'm confident this community will be rebuilt, to the extent we can help, we will. "The most important thing now is for our citizens to ask for the good Lord to comfort those who were hurt," the president said after attending church in Washington on Sunday. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, who toured the devastated region, said: "It is no understatement or overstatement to say this town has been wiped off the face of the Earth."

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Kansas. It hasn't been the first time that a US town has been almost completely destroyed. We only need look back to August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. Back then it was believed this disaster was a result of US policy towards Israel in supporting the division of God's land and the disengagement from Gaza. Yesterday's disaster came only days after the US had published a new eight month peace plan for the Middle East, which would have seen Hamas gaining a greater foothold in Judea and Samaria. Whether or not the two events are linked, I can't tell, but I know that God blesses the nations that bless Israel and curses the nation that curses Israel (Genesis 12:3). My friend Sam Jennings was asked in our Bible study once, what about believers caught up in these terrible disasters. Are they being punished? He said no, they will take it as a test of their faith. The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of trials, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement (2nd Peter 2:9). We couldn't separate the two groups, but the Lord knows how, just as He delivered Lot from Sodom and Noah from the flood. So also He will deliver us from the coming judgement of this wicked world. I remember watching the New Orleans disaster on television, and thinking its almost apocalyptic. Sooner or later it will be. 

Source BBC

Peace process
EU summons Arab ministers to talk on Saudi plan
The European Union has invited the leaders of several Arab states to Brussels on May 14th, to discuss the possible implementation of the Saudi peace initiative with their European counterparts. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier made the invitation as both Israel and the Palestinian Authority rejected the US' 8 month peace plan. Palestinian leader Khaled Mashaal ridiculed the plan, saying Hamas would not stop firing rockets in return for just a greater freedom of movement. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel could not implement all the measure listed in the plan, with fears of Hamas gaining a foothold in Samaria. With both Olmert and Abbas at their weakest, it seems that the EU is being called upon to stabilize the situation.

Quote: "Brussels, 4 May (AKI) - Foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Qatar - the main proponents of an Arab plan for peace with Israel - have been invited by the EU to meet their counterparts from the bloc's member states to discuss the initiative, a EU spokeswoman has told Adnkronos International (AKI). Cristina Gallach a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, told AKI the meeting would take place in Brussels on 14-15 May. Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, would also probably participate she said. The proposal for the meeting was made by Frank-Walter Steinmeier the foreign minister of Germany which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, during talks on the sidelines of a summit in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt on reconstruction and stability in Iraq.

The Bible states that the Antichrist will strengthen a covenant with many for seven years (Daniel 9:27). Some believe that this covenant already exists, and is the seven year European Neighbourhood Policy. It is possible it could be that, but I wouldn't be dogmatic for only God can see the end from the beginning. It is also possible that the EU will strengthen a covenant already agreed by many, and that covenant could be the Saudi Initiative which has been agreed by most moderate Arab states. I'm keeping my eyes open for whatever takes place.

In other news, the European Union is co-ordinating with the Palestinian Authority, and is paying part of the salaries of Palestinian workers through the Temporary International Mechanism. EU leaders hope that this will ease pressure on the Palestinian unity government, which Prime Minister Haniyeh claims could collapse unless the economic embargo is lifted soon...

Quote: "Starting this week, the EU-led Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) is paying "allowances" to all eligible Palestinian government workers and pensioners - approximately $370 each - to coincide with separate payments by Fayyad.

Desperate! All Haniyeh had to do was abide by the Quartet's principles and the economic embargo would have been lifted long ago. And he blames the West for the situation the PA finds itself in? He and Abbas knew what was required. Israeli and Palestinian peace activists have also called on the European Union to do more to shore up the peace process in the Middle East, claiming that the conditions are right for the EU to bring both parties to the negotiating table... 

Quote: "In joint recommendations adopted after a two-day conference, members of the Israeli left and moderate, secular Palestinian nationalists said their own leaders were too weak and urged the EU to act as a "catalyser" to bring the parties to the table. Participants included presidential hopeful Colette Avital (Labor) party junior partner in government, and Bernard Sabella, a member of the Palestine Legislative Council, as well as ex-diplomats, human rights campaigners and academics. "The conditions are right for Europe to bring the parties to the negotiation table for a successful completion of talks for a two-state solution," they said.

So it seems Europe is once again coming to the fore in the Middle East peace process. With this news, and news of the Sanhedrin calling for the rebuilding of the Temple, it is quite clear that we are indeed living in the last days, and that Christ's return must be at hand. Are you ready to meet God? 

Source ADNKI, Haaretz, Haaretz

Italy declares emergency in record heat
Italy declared a state of emergency today as a record breaking heat wave across much of Easter Europe continues into its second month. April was once known for its showers in the United Kingdom, but this year the month has been unseasonably dry with temperatures more suited to the height of Summer than the end of Spring. Meteorologists have announced that Britain has experienced its warmest April since records began. The good weather isn't being enjoyed by all though. Farmers in Italy are concerned that the prolonged heat may cause a sever drought in the country, reducing production and profits and pushing up the price of food...

Quote: "Farmers have been fretting as Italy's largest river, the Po, has dried up in recent months. The river, running west to east across northern Italy, feeds the broad Po valley which accounts for about a third of the country's agricultural output. Environment Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio said the state of emergency had been declared as a precautionary measure. It came a day after neighbouring France imposed water rationing in several of its regions, also in fear of drought.

As has been pointed out, Earth is not the only planet experiencing an unprecedented warm period. Much speculation has been aired over the cause of global warming, whether it is man made or whether it is a natural cycle. Some believe that mankind is not to blame, and that propagandists are using the threat of global warming to impose some New Age Gaia ideology upon us all. Perhaps that's how these New Agers interpret what they are seeing, and really do believe that mankind is a scar on the face of the earth. As reports suggest that Mars may also be experiencing global warming, we must then look to the sun as the cause of this strange phenomenon.

Quote: "Researchers studying images of the Martian surface taken by generations of orbiting spacecraft have found that the planet's most prominent features have darkened and lightened in recent decades, altering the way sunlight reflects from its sandy soils, its rocky heights and its deep craters. The result, say the scientists, is that average global ground temperatures on Mars have risen by more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit during the past two decades, while the surface air temperature has risen by a little more than a degree in the same period. That level of climate change, extended over a century, is well within the ballpark of the 5 degree warming trend on Earth forecast by the International Panel on Climate Change for the end of this century.

The Bible states that during the tribulation period, an angel will pour out a vial of judgement from God upon the sun. Revelation says that the angel will be given power to scorch men with great heat. We have seen what damage a small heat wave can do, causing heat related deaths, drought, famine and forest fires. During the tribulation period, as this is a particular judgement upon man, I expect the effects of it will be much greater. The sad thing is despite all these terrible catastrophes, the Bible says men will blaspheme God because of the plagues rather than repent and accept salvation.

Revelation 16:8-9 
And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

Source Reuters, OC Register

Khatami meets the Pope
Former Iranian President Khatami visited the Vatican today for an audience with Pope Ratzinger, in an effort to improve relations between Islam and Roman Catholicism. It seems the Pope was forced to eat humble pie during the visit, when Khatami told reporters at a conference that there were still deep wounds between Islam and the Vatican, stemming from the Pope's recent remarks that Islam is a religion that is spread by the sword. Last year, the Pope visited a Turkish mosque and prayed with his Muslim companion, in an attempt to heal the rift between the two religions.

Quote: "In deference to Muslim custom, Benedict removed his red-leather shoes and slid his feet into white slippers before walking into the building, illuminated dramatically by scores of lanterns suspended from the blue-tiled ceiling. Cagrici, the mufti, led Benedict through the mosque, reaching the mihrab , or niche, that faces Mecca. There the two men paused in silent reverence. The pope folded his arms over his midsection, just below the large golden cross dangling from his neck, cast his eyes downward and, finally, bowed his head as the turbaned mufti standing at his side said a brief prayer.

After his meeting with the Pope, Khatami will be speaking at the pontifical Gregorian University on peace in Islam and the Christian world. He will meet Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, and undertake speaking engagements at other Italian universities. 

Quote: "At Friday morning's conference, Khatami, speaking through a translator, said that Christianity and Islam needed to rediscover their common roots as monotheistic religions in order to improve relations. Photo "If Christian and Islamic societies could only rely on love and justice and get back to these founding principles and if together we fought against violence and extremism ... then we can lay the foundations to heal any wound," he said.

That is, any wound apart from Khatami's hatred of Jews. Just a few weeks ago at an international conference in Kazakhstan on the subject of Iran's nuclear programme, Khatami told Israeli journalists to "go to hell" and refused to speak with them. At the World Conference of Religions for Peace, he stormed out of the room, when Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger was speaking. He told Yasser Arafat that the Israel-Palestinian peace process would fail, and that "all Palestine" must be liberated if there ever was to be peace in the Middle East. He also described Israel as a parasite in the heart of the Muslim world.

Source Topix, BBC

Temple Mount
Sanhedrin call for rebuilding of Temple
This link from my friend Cheryl...

The Sanhedrin, a body consisting of the 71 most prominent Rabbis in Israel, is warning the world that we are heading for a catastrophe that can only be averted through the rebuilding of the House of God at Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin was re-established in 2005 after nearly 1600 years of absence, and considers itself the highest legal authority in the land of Israel. The Sanhedrin has tasked itself with rebuilding the Temple, and re-establishing the monarchy. They vehemently opposed former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan. The group is now planning to send a letter to every nation on earth, calling them to support the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, and inviting them to attend a peace conference in Jerusalem in five months time - even President Ahmadinejad of Iran.

Quote: "In the letter, the rabbis of the self-proclaimed Sanhedrin warn that the world is nearing a catastrophe, and write that the only way to bring peace among nations, states, and religions is by building a house for God, where Jews will worship, pray and offer up sacrifice, according to the vision of the prophets. The rabbis also call on the non-Jews to help the people of Israel fulfil their destiny and build the Temple, in order to prevent bloodshed across the globe. The letter will initially be translated into English, Spanish, Arabic, French and Farsi, and later also into Russian, Chinese and Japanese, and will include an invitation to world leaders to attend a conference dedicated to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem five months from now, during Succot.

This article truly is fascinating. In recent months archeological research has been carried out on the Temple Mount to try and discover the exact place Herod's Temple once stood. It is important to know where the original Temples were located, for Jewish Rabbis believe that the place were the Holy of Holies was still represents the place of God's presence on earth. For years people have believed that if the Temple is to be rebuilt, the Al-Aqsa Mosque must come down, but some Biblical scholars now believe Ezekiel's prophecy indicates that the Third Temple could be built beside the mosque. The Bible indicates that a Temple will be rebuilt during the tribulation period. In order for this to happen, a pure red heifer must be sacrificed, in order to cleanse the area and sanctify the priests. This will pave the way for the rebuilding of the Temple and the recommencement of the sacrificial system. The Temple Institute has already manufactured many of the implements that will be used in the Third Temple, including the laver, the priestly garments and even the breast plate, containing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. In 2nd Thessalonians 2:4, we are told that in the middle of the tribulation period, the Antichrist will sit in the Temple calling himself God, and subsequently defile it.

As Christians, we do not regard the Temple Mount as the place of God's presence. Christ made that clear in the gospels. When the Lord threw the moneychangers out of the Temple, He said, "It is written, My House shall be called the House of Prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves", Matthew 21:13. The second time He left the Temple area, He said, "Your house is left unto you desolate", Matthew 23:38. The Jewish writings record how that after Christ was crucified, the Spirit of God left the Temple permanently. The lamp in the Temple would refuse to stay lit and doors would open of their own accord. Jewish Rabbis at the time believed that this indicated that God's protection of His Sanctuary had been removed. When Christ died on the cross, the veil of the Temple - around a hand breadth thick, was torn from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51), which signified that all who believe in Jesus Christ now have direct access into God's presence. Through trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and our bodies become God's Temple (1st Corinthians 6:19)

Source Worthy News

Peace process
Solana: Olmert's fall a blow to peace
Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, has stated that the possible loss of the Kadima government in Israel would constitute a death-blow to the Middle East peace process.

Quote: "European Union (EU) foreign policy advisor Javier Solana has stated that if the Olmert government falls, "it would constitute a death blow to the peace process, particularly with the Palestinian Authority." Diplomats have said they cannot comment because the government crisis is an internal affair, but they have been reporting to their leaders the chances of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's remaining in office.

He made the comments as calls increase for the Israeli Prime Minister to resign. Polls indicate that a majority of Israelis feel he should go. Last night Ehud Olmert was told by his Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni that he should resign, and that she would take his place. Livni also stated that if he didn't resign, she would. He didn't, and neither did she. It was once seen as honourable in politics for a scandalized politician to resign their job voluntarily, but today it seems there is "no honour among thieves". Not even in the European Union it seems. MEPs travelled to Gaza yesterday to meet with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh, despite an international economic and political boycott against the terrorist organization Hamas.

Quote: "One of the parliamentarians who took part in the meeting, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides from Cyprus, said the EU should deal with the unity government that Islamist Hamas formed six weeks ago with President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah faction. "We consider this as an opportunity for the road to peace," Triantaphyllides told reporters. "This financial embargo should be lifted." A European Union spokeswoman said the bloc's policy of shunning the Hamas movement remains unchanged. "The parliament is not the official representative of the European Union in matters of foreign policy," the spokeswoman said.

Kyriacos Triantaphyllides is president of the European Parliament committee for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council. During his stay in Gaza, he received a gift from Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh, a painting of East Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque. I guess Haniyeh is hoping that ultimately the EU will hand East Jerusalem to him on a silver platter. Cracko's meeting with Haniyeh came as the acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council publicly prayed to Allah on PA television, calling for all Jews and Americans to be killed...

Quote: "According to a recording and transcript of the April 20th broadcast, translated and provided by Palestinian Media Watch, PLC Acting Speaker Ahmed Bahr called the Jews "the cancerous lump... in the heart of the Arab nation." He predicted that "America is on its way to disappear. America is wallowing [in blood] today in Iraq and Afghanistan. America is defeated and Israel is defeated, and was defeated, in Lebanon and Palestine." Adopting the open-palmed gesture of Islamic prayer, as did his audience, the PA official intoned: "Allah, take hold of the Jews and their allies, Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies.... Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don't leave even one."

Cracko had this to say about it...

Quote: ""

Source Arutz 7, YNet News, Arutz 7

Peace process
US sets 8 month timetable for peace
The US administration has created an 8 month timetable for peace in the Middle East, according to a recent report from Haaretz. The US has presented the document to the Israelis and Palestinians, in the hope that setting concrete dates for certain tasks will give leaders a political horizon to work towards and help spur on the Middle East peace process. The Americans believe that Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel could cease by the end of the year, if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas implements security reforms. According to the plan, Israel would also have to give greater freedom to Palestinians wanting to travel to the West Bank, which some Israelis fear would present an open door for Hamas to gain a foothold in the region. 

Quote: "U.S. diplomats presented the list of benchmarks late last week to Israeli and Palestinian leaders but the details have not been publicly disclosed. Israeli officials said most troubling for them was Washington's decision to set specific dates for when Israel would begin allowing Palestinian bus and truck convoys to travel between the territories. "There is not conditionality. Even if they don't complete their obligations, we'll have to complete ours," a senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.

According to the article it seems Olmert has committed himself to this US timetable. As speculation continues to increase concerning his resignation, he is still talking of removing more Jewish settlements from Judea and Samaria before the end of this month. Whether this US plan will be implemented or not, I don't know. It sounds a bit like wishful thinking to me. It doesn't look like outside influences such as Iran have been taken into consideration, and what affect that will have on regional politics. It also presumes that President Abbas will be able to put an end to terror. When it comes to timetables, the Scriptures are the most accurate, and although we aren't told given a specific date when the tribulation period will begin, we are given a detailed analysis of what sequence of events will take place. If Ezekiel's war comes before the seven year covenant, this is the Bible's seven year timetable.

1) A false peace (Ezekiel 38:11)
2) A regional conflict (Ezekiel 38-39)
3) A European invasion of the Middle East (Daniel 11:41-43)
4) A covenant with many confirmed (Daniel 9:27)
5) Rebuilding of the Temple (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)
6) The persecution of Jews in Judea and Samaria (Mark 13:14)
7) The division of the Holy City (Zechariah 14:2)
8) The final solution (Joel 3:2)
9) Christ returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19)

Source Haaretz

Temple Mount
Samaritans sacrifice animals on Passover
The sect of the Samaritans has marked the Feast of the Passover yesterday, slaughtering sheep and eating the meat in a style similar to that recounted in the Old Testament. The sect apparently numbers just around 700 individuals, and lives predominantly in Shechem (Nablus), ancient Samaria. The sacrifice was carried out during the night, around the time the Angel of Death passed over the houses of the Israelites that had the lamb's blood on the doorposts, and killed the first born of those that didn't, which was the Egyptian houses. I heard recently that the Egyptians venerated the lamb as a god (much like India revere cows), and do so would be an abomination to them.

Quote: "The sect's high priest opened the ceremony with a prayer in the Samaritan tongue, a dialect of ancient Hebrew. Then ritual slaughterers killed sheep, skinned them, and roasted them in large ovens. According to tradition, the meat must be ready in the middle of the night - the time that the Angel of Death killed the Egyptian firstborn in the biblical story - and the Samaritans eat it in haste along with unleavened bread, emulating the ancient Israelites.

According to the article, the sect of the Samaritans were made famous through the telling of Jesus Christ's parable on the good Samaritan. Even in Jesus' day, the Jews and Samaritans would have nothing to do with each other, and Jews travelling to Galilee would often walk around Samaria rather than pass through it. This is what makes the story of John 4 and the woman at Sychar's well all the more remarkable, for it says that "He must needs go through Samaria", and of course we know the reason why. During the Lord's conversation with the woman she says, "Our Fathers worshipped in this mountain, and Ye say that Jerusalem is the place were men ought to worship?", John 4:20. The article states that Mount Gerizim is revered by the Samaritan sect. The Lord's reply was prophetic...

John 4:21, 23
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father... But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

As born again Christians, we can rejoice in that we have the privilege of being indwelled by God's Holy Spirit, and the privilege of being able to worship Him in our hearts, anywhere and at any time. The Lord's conversation with the woman resulted in her salvation and many others in Samaria that day.

Source Haaretz

Dividing the land
Olmert to be told to resign Thursday
Things aren't looking too great for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tonight, as speculation over his possible resignation increases following the publication of the Winograd report. The report's scathing criticism of the government's handling of the Second Lebanon War has already prompted the resignation of one of Olmert's cabinet, Eitan Cabel. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is reported to be leading the call for the Prime Minister to tender his own resignation. Vice Premier Shimon Peres has been supportive of Ehud Olmert and believes he will continue as Prime Minister despite the  report's findings, which state that Israel blundered into a war with Hizbullah last year with no clear objectives and no possibility of achieving them. Olmert himself is not so confident.

Quote: "The current political crisis might force him out of office, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying in a Channel 2 report Tuesday evening. I am not convinced that I will succeed in getting through this, Olmert said. He added that if he had to go, there would be no coalition left to any of his successors. Comments from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also showed her doubting Olmert's ability to remain in office, Channel 10 reported. According to the report, Livni told her associates that she thought Olmert should resign from his position. In addition, the report stated that Livni planned political action, but what kind of action remained uncertain.

Peres is being forwarded as the next obvious candidate for the position of Prime Minister. Having been Prime Minister of Israel before, he has the political background and military experience to undertake such a task. He also held peace talks with Arafat during his premiership, which resulted in the Oslo accords. That previous experience could prove valuable in current negotiations with Abbas. At the end of the day, any Vice Premier has a duty to defend his boss, and if Olmert's situation becomes untenable, Peres might just once again become Prime Minister of Israel. 

Quote: "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should eventually be replaced by Vice Premier Shimon Peres in light of the Winograd Commission’s severe conclusions, Labor officials said Tuesday. A Labor member close to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who is running for party chairmanship, said, “An experienced person who is trusted and accepted should be running the country during this period. “Livni is a political bluff and is even less experienced and qualified than Olmert, and therefore Peres should be the leading candidate to replace the prime minister,” he said.

Of course Peres is also a hopeful candidate for the Presidency of Israel. But perhaps the need for a Prime Minister may be more pressing than that of a President. Peres becoming Prime Minister again could speed up events in the Middle East dramatically. Peres resigned from politics in November 2005, and dedicated himself to achieving peace with the Palestinians over the next few years of his life. He re-entered politics after Ariel Sharon left the Likud party and formed his own "centrist" party Kadima. Since then Israel has been dedicated to the disengagement, and I believe the prime candidate for such a task of dividing God's land is none other than Shimon Peres, who's name means "Hearkening to the division".

Daniel 5:28 
PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

Source Jerusalem Post, YNet News