Church and State Separation More in Jeopardy
IntroductionSeparation of church and state is enshrined in the U.S. constitution and is valued by people everywhere who are concerned about freedom of conscience. If appears that in the U.S. that wall of separation is crumbling. At the same time there is more intrusion into our daily lives and in some areas even a scoring system of the trustworthiness of citizens. This could all be a lead up to the coming imposition and enforcement of the Mark of the Beast spoke of in the book of Revelation. There are also the continuing Middle-East tensions with a new crisis in the last couple of days between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
Note that I am simply sharing items of interest for your information. That does not imply that I agree with everything presented here or with other material from the same source.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars ... nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes ..." (Matt 24:6-7)
Prophecy News - July - September 2018
Church and State
The White House Is Tearing Down the Wall Between Church and State
By Susan Jacoby, July 5, 2018
Many Americans were shocked last week when Attorney General Jeff Sessions turned to the Bible - specifically, Paul's epistle to the Romans - to justify President Trump's policy of separating migrant children from their parents. This scriptural justification for a political decision should not have surprised anyone, because Mr. Trump's administration has consistently treated the separation of church and state as a form of heresy rather than a cherished American value.
Attacks on the wall of separation established by the founders - which the religious right likes to call "a lie of the left" - are nothing new. What has changed under Mr. Trump is the disproportionate political debt he owes to extreme religious conservatives, whose views on church-state issues - ranging from the importance of secular public education to women's and gay rights - are far removed from the American mainstream.
The very meaning of the phrases "religious liberty" and "religious freedom"- traditionally understood as referring to the right of Americans to practice whatever faith they wish or no faith at all - is being altered to mean that government should foster a closer relationship with those who want to mix their Christian faith with taxpayer dollars. This usage can be found in numerous executive orders and speeches by Mr. Trump and his cabinet members. Changes in language have consequences, as the religious right's successful substitution of "pro-life" for "anti-abortion" has long demonstrated.
Religion-related issues, especially if buried in lengthy government documents, can often seem obscure, but they dominated the news at the end of June, when the Supreme Court upheld Mr. Trump's travel ban targeting majority-Muslim countries and struck down a California requirement that anti-abortion, state-licensed pregnancy clinics provide notice to their clients that abortion is an option. These significant rulings were immediately overshadowed by the retirement from the court of the frequent swing voter Anthony M. Kennedy, which now gives Mr. Trump the opportunity to nominate a predictable religious conservative who would most likely support the overturning of Roe v. Wade.Click here to read it all
Ray's note:Our weekly study group is going through the book of Romans and we are now at chapter 13 the early verses of which speak of respect for worldy powers. This could easily be misunderstood. Verse 3 asks: "Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?" We should understand that, while God has allowed civil governments as a necessity for law and order in our world, that was not His preferred form of government. Even when the prophet Samuel related Israel's request for a king God replied (as an accommodation) "...Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." (1 Sam 8:7)
Our study will further look at the need to obey earthly governments - as long as they do not overstep their jurisdiction into matters between God and man. Unfortunately, that is where, especially in the United States, they are headed as the separation of church and state is being steadily eroded. If anyone would like to see our study on Romans 13, use the contact me form on this site to request it.
The next article shows that China is working hard to be able to enforce social conformity. Are they pioneering this for the rest of the world?
End Times Persecution Is Here: The Largest Country In The World Is Destroying 1000s Of Crosses And Bibles
Michael Snyder, Sep. 16, 2018
Many Christians in the western world don't even realize that the persecution of the end times has already started. All over the world, Christians are being attacked, Bibles are being burned and churches are being shut down. This persecution has been escalating for quite some time, but what prompted me to write this article today was the dramatic change that we have witnessed in China this year. Up to this point, the Chinese government has largely tolerated the booming house church movement, but now that era of toleration is officially over. New religious regulations that went into effect in February are being brutally enforced, and this is causing some to point out the frightening parallels between Communist China and Nazi Germany.
According to Fox News, during this new crackdown Chinese government officials have been "destroying crosses, burning bibles, closing churches and forcing Christian believers to sign papers renouncing their faith" ...Click here to read it all
Facebook Social Score One Step Away From Chinese Citizen Loyalty Score
PNW Staff, Aug. 23, 2018
Facebook is now rating the trustworthiness of its users as a part of the effort to tackle "fake news."
At a time when Facebook is subjectively enforcing policies which are wiping right-leaning journalists and commentators off their platform, the move to hand out a social reputation score could not be more ominous as Conservatives fight for the right to be heard across multiple online platforms.
It wasn't long ago that former Facebook employees revealed the company was rigging its trending news section to prevent conservative media outlets from ever reaching top ranks. Can we trust Facebook to determine who is trustworthy and who is not?
It is important to revisit what is happening in China on a much larger scale as not only social media, but almost every aspect of a citizens life is examined for "trustworthiness" towards the state. With that trust comes certain rights and privledges. Break that trust and you will find your opportunities at work and life - restricted and limited.
For those who may be curious, think of the Citizen Score, sometimes referred to as a trust score, as akin to a credit score but one that encompasses every conceivable aspect of one's life. Buy video games and your score drops because the government assumes you are idle, buy diapers and it rises because you seem more stable.
Get a traffic ticket or speak out about the government, and your score drops, but earn a degree or support the Party and your score might rise. Miss paying your bills or don't support your parents and your score will suffer. Read books that the party doesn't deem ideologically sound or watch foreign movies, and your score will take a hit.
China has spent years integrating its digital surveillance infrastructure so that it can connect every aspect of its citizen's lives. Compliance with the Communist Party, by individuals and businesses alike, can now be rated quantitatively on a scale through secret algorithms that constantly monitor thousands of behaviors. And the Citizen Score matters.Click here to read it all
Ray's note: Social media in the western world may be - even inadvertantly - headed the same direction. Interesting that China also just happens to be the country most capable of mass producing any hardware that might be useful for this technology.
Mom Arrested, Thrown in Jail for Taking Daughter's Cell Phone Away as Punishment
Jack Burns Sep. 23, 2018
A Michigan mother was arrested after she took away her daughter's cell phone. The mother's individual decision to discipline her child by taking her phone away was followed by her prompt arrest.
Jodie May did what classroom teachers do every day across America. But we've never reported a story where a teacher, a representative of the state, has ever been arrested and charged for effecting discipline in the classroom. But when May tried to do the same thing with her teenage daughter, she was charged with misdemeanor theft.
May was arrested on May 12, the day before Mother's Day, and was breastfeeding her 1-month-old newborn when Ottawa County deputies arrived at her door to let her know she was being arrested for taking her daughter's phone away. Incredulously, the police state goons had no problem separating a mother from her nursing toddler.Click here to read it all
Ray's note: Is this another example of excessive intrusion of the state into the affairs of its citizens?
Iran's Khamenei urges Muslim nations to unite against U.S.
Reuters April 26, 2018
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live
on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian
presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009.
REUTERS/Caren Firouz/File Photo.
ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader called on Muslim nations to unite against the United States, saying Tehran would never yield to "bullying," state television reported on Thursday.
"The Iranian nation has successfully resisted bullying attempts by America and other arrogant powers and we will continue to resist... All Muslim nations should stand united against America and other enemies," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.
Iran's top authority criticized Trump for saying on Tuesday some countries in the Middle East "wouldn't last a week" without U.S. protection.
"Such remarks are humiliation for Muslims ... Unfortunately there is war in our region between Muslim countries. The backward governments of some Muslim countries are fighting with other countries," Khamenei said.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have long been locked in a proxy war, competing for regional supremacy from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon to Yemen.Click here to read it all
Ray's note: the article above could be very significant in light of Daniel chapter 8 which, I believe, fortells a coming clash of civilizations between the "Christian" west and "Islamic east." All of this having developed and descended from a sibling rivalry centuries ago between Isaac and Ishmael.Developments towards this conflict can be seen in the following article:
Iran Stuns Enemies By Moving Ballistic Missiles To Iraq - Within Easy Striking Distance of Tel Aviv
Tyler Durden, Aug. 31, 2018
Via Israel national news Arutz Sheva
In what is sure to be a realization of one of Netanyahu's worst nightmares, and deeply awkward for US advisers to Baghdad, Iran has transferred ballistic missiles to Shia proxy forces in Iraq, according to Western and Iraqi intelligence sources cited in a new Reuters report.
The revelation comes as tensions between Washington and Tehran are already at their highest point in years as aggressive sanctions continue crippling Iran's economy, and after threats and counter-threats over Tehran laying claim to the vital Strait of Hormuz oil waterway over the past weeks, through which some one-third of the world's oil passes.
The Reuters report cites multiple officials and intelligence sources, including Iranian officials who seem willing to inform the world of the provocative move:
According to three Iranian officials, two Iraqi intelligence sources and two Western intelligence sources, Iran has transferred short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq over the last few months. Five of the officials said it was helping those groups to start making their own.
"The logic was to have a backup plan if Iran was attacked," one senior Iranian official told Reuters. "The number of missiles is not high, just a couple of dozen, but it can be increased if necessary."
The news is sure to cause a stir for European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) like Germany, the UK, and France, who are still trying to salvage it, as it is a clear sign that the deal which the Trump White House pulled out of is in tatters.
Reuters identifies the Zelzal, Fateh-110 and Zolfaqar missile systems as among those transferred - with ranges of between 200 and 700km, which puts "Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh or the Israeli city of Tel Aviv within striking distance if the weapons were deployed in southern or western Iraq".
And notably the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds force head, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, is overseeing the missile transfers and their operation in what regional foes Saudi Arabia and Israel are sure to interpret as the most provocative and escalatory move by its archenemy in recent years.Click here to read it all
US Openly Threatens Russia with War: Goodbye Diplomacy, Hello Stone Age
Peter Korzun, 04.10.2018 Security / War and Conflict
US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison is a highly placed diplomat. Her words, whatever they may be, are official, which includes the ultimatums and threats that have become the language increasingly used by US diplomats to implement the policy of forceful persuasion or coercive diplomacy. Bellicose declarations are being used this way as a tool.
On Oct. 2, the ambassador proved it again. According to her statement, Washington is ready to use force against Russia. Actually, she presented an ultimatum - Moscow must stop the development of a missile that the US believes to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). If not, the American military will destroy it before the weapon becomes operational. "At that point, we would be looking at the capability to take out a (Russian) missile that could hit any of our countries," Hutchison stated at a news conference. "Counter measures (by the United States) would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty," she added. "They are on notice." This is nothing other than a direct warning of a preemptive strike.
It is true that compliance with the INF Treaty is a controversial issue. Moscow has many times claimed that Washington was in violation, and that position has been substantiated. For instance, the Aegis Ashore system, which has been installed in Romania and is to be deployed in Poland, uses the Mk-41 launcher that is capable of firing intermediate-range Tomahawk missiles. This is a flagrant breach of the INF Treaty. The fact is undeniable. The US accuses Moscow of possessing and testing a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km (310-3,417 miles), but there has never been any proof to support this claim. Russia has consistently denied the charges. It says the missile in question - the 9M729 - is in compliance with the provisions of the treaty and has never been upgraded or tested for the prohibited range.
This is a reasonable assertion. After all, there is no way to prevent such tests from being detected and monitored by satellites. The US could raise the issue with the Special Verification Commission (SVC). Instead it threatens to start a war.
This is momentous, because the ambassador's words were not a botched statement or an offhand comment, but in fact followed another "warning" made by a US official recently.
Speaking on Sept. 28 at an industry event in Pennsylvania hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suggested that the US Navy could be used to impose a blockade to restrict Russia's energy trade. "The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade... to make sure that their energy does not go to market," he said, revealing that this was an option. The Interior Department has nothing to do with foreign policy, but Mr. Zinke is a high-ranking member of the administration.
Two bellicose statements made one after another and both are just short of a declaration of war! A blockade is a hostile act that would be countered with force, and the US is well aware of this. It is also well aware that Russia will defend itself. It's important to note that no comments or explanations have come from the White House. This confirms the fact that what the officials have said reflects the administration's position.Click here to read it all
Ray's note: wars and rumors of war!
That same warning message which Jesus gave in Matthew 24 starts with:
" ...Take heed that no man deceive you." (Matt 24:4)
Closely involved with that deception is what is happening in the Middle east in regard to Israel and the temple - see the following article. Much more about that and how to know what is really going on with Israel in my series: All Eyes on Israel
Red Heifer Heralds Construction of the Third Temple?
The Daily Star wrote on September 8:
"The Temple Institute announced the birth of an entirely red female calf that 'brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world'. The cow's birth and sacrifice is said to proceed the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. And the Third Temple's construction - following the destruction of the previous two - heralds the arrival of the Jewish Messiah ...
"Rabbi Chain Richman, director of the Temple Institute, hailed the red heifer's birth as suggestions the time could be right for the Third Temple ...
"The cow went under 'extensive examination by rabbinical experts' who confirmed she is a 'viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer.' They admitted however the cow could be disqualified through natural causes ... It is claimed there have only been nine true red heifers - and the 10th will herald the construction of the Third Temple. The Temple Institute believes a red heifer will be needed to be scarified to complete the ritual of purification for the temple - heralding the coming of the Jewish Messiah.
"Red heifers have previously been found by the organisation - who have then disqualified them for not meeting prophetic standards. One was found in 1999, but was disqualified for being male - and a second was born in 2002, which was found to have a patch of white hair ..."Evangelical Christians believe the construction of the Third Temple all herald their own end times prophecy ..."
A "Perfect Storm" Is Surrounding One of the Worst Ebola Outbreaks in History in the DRC Right Now
An Ebola outbreak that has been going on in the Democratic Republic of Congo since August is already one of the worst in history - the 7th worst to be precise - and it looks like it may spiral out of control. Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, called the situation "a perfect storm."
Unrest and war in the region combined with community resistance and mistrust of medical personnel are making it difficult for the World Health Organization to get a handle on the outbreak. Dr. Salama said:
"We are now extremely concerned, that several factors may be coming together over the next weeks to months to create a potential perfect storm. A perfect storm of active conflict, limiting our ability to access civilians, distress by segments of the community, already traumatized by decades of conflict and of murder ...
... We've seen attacks now on August 24, September 3, 9, 11, 16, 21 and most recently and most dramatically September 22 in the city itself of Beni," he said. He said that Beni was the base for the agency's base for the "entire operation."
The outbreak is based in North Kivu, which is on the border of Uganda and Rwanda. Violence has displaced more than a million people in the area, and there have been a number of brutal machete attacks against civilians. Things got so bad that the WHO was forced to cease their operations for an entire week while the Ebola virus spread.
One of the armed groups in DRC which pose a threat to civilians and the international response to Ebola, the ADF - Allied Democratic Forces - has sufficient military capacity to ambush blue helmets from the UN'a Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) and government forces - the FARDC.
"The ADF in particular has enormous capabilities," Dr Salama said. "They've been able to overrun entire FARDC-bases in and around Beni, they've been able to ambush (UN) forces."
ADF is an Islamist group that is a serious threat to the Congolese government as well as relief workers.Click here to read it all
Is Yellowstone Going To Erupt? New Geysers Are Erupting And "Debris And Rocks" Are Being Hurled Into The Sky ...
Michael Snyder, Sep. 20, 2018
I watch Yellowstone very closely, because an eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano could end life as we know it in America in a single moment. A full-blown eruption of Yellowstone could potentially dump a suffocating layer of volcanic ash that is at least 10 feet deep on almost the entire country, and it would instantly render about two-thirds of this nation completely uninhabitable. So yes, when Yellowstone starts rumbling there is a reason to pay attention, and right now Yellowstone is starting to rumble in ways that are unprecedented. That doesn't mean that an eruption is imminent, but without a doubt what is currently taking place is more than just a little bit alarming.
Let's start with what happened on Saturday. An eruption of Ear Spring sent "plumes of water up to 30 feet in the air", and it was being reported that "debris and rocks flew into the sky" ...
On Saturday, Ear Spring erupted plumes of water up to 30 feet in the air, endangering visitors as debris and rocks flew into the sky.
The last known eruption on that scale occurred in 1957, though several smaller eruptions were observed in 2004.Click here to read it all
Seismic Shocker: The Number Of Global Earthquakes Over The Last 30 Days Is More Than 50% Above Normal
Michael Snyder, Aug. 23, 2018
Why is the number of earthquakes happening around the world increasing so dramatically? In recent days, we have seen very large earthquakes in Venezuela, Fiji, Italy and elsewhere. Here in North America, significant quakes have rattled Oregon, Alaska and the west coast of Mexico. As I reported on all of these important seismic events, it sure seemed like the number of earthquakes was rising, but I wanted to be sure. I once worked as an attorney, and I was trained to only come to conclusions that were warranted by the facts. So I decided to pull up the numbers, and what I discovered was extremely alarming. I turns out that the number of earthquakes that we have witnessed over the last 30 days is more than 50 percent above normal. Of course the Earth is constantly being pummeled by quakes, but this is a huge deviation from the norm. Could it be possible that we have entered a time when major Earth changes are going to start happening on a regular basis? If so, what does that mean for the future of our society?Click here to read it all
Ray's note: this video points out that, as we are becoming very aware, all is not normal in our environment.
Something Strange is Happening to the Weather!
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