End Time Insights
We are certainly nearing the end time. Insights can be gleaned from watching current events and comparing with scripture. While scripture is accurate, the news is very variable so one must not be dogmatic in presuming to know exactly what will happen or how scripture will be fulfilled. This collection of news stories is just meant to point to the fact that events are moving in a direction that will produce fulfillment of prophecy. I have added just a few notes to comment on stories.
Note that I am simply sharing items of interest. That does not imply that I agree with everything presented or with other material that may be on a source's other web pages.
"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 - May 2016
End Time Insights
Officials: ISIS Trains 400 Fighters To Attack Europe In Wave Of Bloodshed
Mar. 23, 2016, Associated Press
The Islamic State group has trained at least 400 fighters to target Europe in deadly waves of attacks, deploying interlocking terror cells like the ones that struck Brussels and Paris with orders to choose the time, place and method for maximum carnage, officials have told The Associated Press.
The network of agile and semiautonomous cells shows the reach of the extremist group in Europe even as it loses ground in Syria and Iraq. The officials, including European and Iraqi intelligence officials and a French lawmaker who follows the jihadi networks, described camps in Syria, Iraq and possibly the former Soviet bloc where attackers are trained to attack the West. Before being killed in a police raid, the ringleader of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks claimed he had entered Europe in a multinational group of 90 fighters, who scattered "more or less everywhere."
But the biggest break yet in the Paris attacks investigation - the arrest on Friday of fugitive Salah Abdeslam- did not thwart the multipronged attack just four days later on the Belgian capital's airport and metro that left 31 people dead and an estimated 270 wounded. Three suicide bombers also died.Click here to read it all
Marines ready to take down ISIS in Iraq
Mar. 21, 2016
The U.S. Department of Defense says a U.S. Marine was killed Saturday by enemy fire in northern Iraq after, according to reports, the United States military has begun staging a "couple hundred" Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the area.
According to CNN, these Marines have begun constructing a base of operations in the area, and appear to be gearing up to bring the fight directly to the ISIS at the terror group's biggest prize, the city of Mosul.
Officials say in a press release Sunday that Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, of Temecula, California died Mar. 19th from wounds suffered when his unit was hit by ISIS rocket fire. According to another official, the Marines moved in near the frontline with ISIS two weeks ago, in an area controlled by Kurdish forces.
Their movements may have been spotted by ISIS militants, who launched the rocket attack in response.
A U.S. official said Saturday that the attack occurred at the Makhmour base outside the Islamic State group-held city of Mosul, where Iraqi anti-ISIS forces have been - for months - massing for a largely anticipated offensive.
The presence of so many Marines in the region has experts speculating that United States ground troops may take a much larger role in the offensive, and could be tasked with leading the attack. That means Cardin's fellow Marines may soon get a chance for revenge against ISIS.
According to Stars and Stripes, "Cardin, 27, joined the Marines in June 2006 and was trained in field artillery, ABC affiliate WWAY in Wilmington, N.C., reported. His awards included the Presidential Unit Citation-Navy, three Afghanistan Campaign medals, an Iraq Campaign Medal and three Sea Service Deployment ribbons, WWAY reported."Click here to read it all
Ray's note: It looks like the ISIS fight is not going away anytime soon. Watch for a possible large-scale attack or series of attacks that will really anger the west. The Daniel chapter 8 scenario is yet to unfold. Perhaps not until after the US election but who knows?
Iran makes fool out of Biden on nuke deal
March 9, 2016
It was a direct challenge to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, designed to show on an international stage that Iran has no intention of honoring the nuclear agreement it signed last year.
Iran reportedly test-fired two ballistic missiles today with the phrase "Israel must be wiped out" written in Hebrew on them, a show of force by the Islamic Republic timed to make a statement as Biden visited Israel.
Since the launch, critics have pointed to the non-response from the White House as a prime example of how the administration's weak leadership in the Middle East is emboldening America's enemies.
This test comes shortly after the implementation of a nuclear deal with world powers, including the U.S., and follows similar drills in recent days.
Hard-liners in Iran's military have continually fired rockets and missiles despite U.S. objections since the deal, as well as shown underground missile bases on state television.
There was no immediate reaction from Jerusalem, where Biden was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who strongly opposed the nuclear deal.Click here to read it all
"Israel Must Be Wiped Off The Face Of The Earth": Iran Launches Missiles Inscribed For Netanyahu
Mar. 9, 2016 Tyler Durden
On Tuesday, Tehran demonstrated its "deterrent" capabilities by launching several mid-range ballistic missiles.
In a show of force dubbed "The Power of Velayat" (a nod to the Republic's religious doctrine), Iran tested what looked like several medium-range Qiam-1s, missiles based on the Shahab of which Iran has hundreds stashed in underground storage facilities.
"Defensive" or no, the tests obviously fly in the face of western sanctions and underscore the extent to which Tehran deeply mistrusts its regional rivals in Israel and Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday, the IRGC tested more missiles and this time, they had a name on them - literally.
"Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) test-fired two ballistic missiles on Wednesday morning that it said were designed to be able to hit Israel, defying a threat of new sanctions from the United States," Reuters reports. "The IRGC fired two Qadr missiles from northern Iran which hit targets in the southeast of the country 1,400 kms (870 miles) away, Iranian agencies said. The nearest point in Iran is around 1,000 km from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem."Click here to read it all
Ray's note: Can Iran really be trusted when it is making statements like that?
Ben Carson Endorses Trump
Mar. 11, 2106
It's the biggest endorsement yet for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and it could help bring the 2016 presidential nomination race to an end. Just days ahead of the crucial winner-take-all primary votes in Florida and Ohio, Dr. Ben Carson has formally endorsed Trump.
Carson's support will be critical for helping Trump win over the votes of skeptical conservatives and evangelicals that his main rival - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz - is counting on.
Carson said he and Trump have "buried the hatchet" after months of political wrangling during his endorsement of the GOP frontrunner's White House bid.
At a press conference in Palm Beach, Florida today, Carson, who left the race earlier this month, described "two Donald Trumps" - the persona reflected on stage, and a private, "very cerebral" person who "considers things carefully."
In his introduction to Carson Friday, Trump described the retired neurosurgeon as a "special, special person - special man," and a "friend" who is respected by everyone.
Carson warned that it is "extremely dangerous" when political parties attempt to "thwart the will of the people," and urged politicians to "strengthen the nation," rather than create divisions.
Sources close to the campaign said Carson was torn between endorsing Trump and Cruz, but opted to support Trump because of the rumor that had been circulated ahead of the Iowa caucuses, when the Cruz campaign told voters that Carson had dropped out of the race.Click here to read it all
Ray's note: You may have no idea about the significance of Ben Carson's involvement in the Presidential race but it could be quite significant. Don't count him out yet. Trump could now be said to owe Carson for his backing.
Trump: I would move US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
Mar. 21, 2016
Washington (AFP) - White House hopeful Donald Trump would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy there, he declared Monday, shortly before speaking to Washington's biggest pro-Israeli lobby group.
Israel regards the divided city as its capital but many countries, including its ally the United States, have resisted moving their missions there while its status and borders are still a matter of dispute.
Palestinians also see the city -- which is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims -- as their future capital, and any final peace deal between the peoples would have to include an agreement on sovereignty.
Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican US presidential nomination, despite previously risking the wrath of conservative foreign policy voters by suggesting he would be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
But on Monday, shortly before addressing the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby in Washington, he told CNN: "There's nobody more pro-Israel than I am. We have to protect Israel. Israel is so important to us."
And, asked whether he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Washington. Trump replied: "Yes, I would."
"The fact is I would like to see it moved, I would like to see it in Jerusalem," he said.
In 1967, with Israel under attack from Arab armies, Israeli forces occupied East Jerusalem, driving back Jordanian troops and taking control of some areas with majority Arab populations.
Palestinians still campaign for an Israeli withdrawal from the east of the city -- and Jordan still has administrative responsibility for the holy sites on the Temple Mount area of the Old City.Click here to read it all
Ray's note: That will really stir things up.
The ban on cash is coming. Soon.
Feb. 17, 2016, Simon Black
This is starting to become very concerning.
The momentum to "ban cash", and in particular high denomination notes like the 500 euro and $100 bills, is seriously picking up steam.
On Monday the European Central Bank President emphatically disclosed that he is strongly considering phasing out the 500 euro note.
Yesterday, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers published an op-ed in the Washington Post about getting rid of the $100 bill.
Prominent economists and banks have joined the refrain and called for an end to cash in recent months.
The reasoning is almost always the same: cash is something that only criminals, terrorists, and tax cheats use.
In his op-ed, Summers refers to a new Harvard research paper entitled: "Making it Harder for the Bad Guys: The Case for Eliminating High Denomination Notes".
That title pretty much sums up the conventional thinking. And the paper goes on to propose abolishing, among others, 500 euro and $100 bills.
The authors claim that "without being able to use high denomination notes, those engaged in illicit activities - the 'bad guys' of our title - would face higher costs and greater risks of detection. Eliminating high denomination notes would disrupt their 'business models'."
Personally I find this comical.
I can just imagine a bunch of bureaucrats and policy wonks sitting in a room pretending to know anything about criminal activity.
It's total nonsense. As long as there has been human civilization there has been crime. Crime pre-dates cash. And it will exist long after they attempt to ban it.Click here to read it all
A World Without Cash
When governments talk about banning their own money, you know they are up to something.
Imagine a world without paper money. Virtually all transactions are electronic-and recorded in searchable databases. Governments say everyone must have a bank account and use the system. It is supposedly an effort to make people safer by allowing officials to detect suspicious behavior. Agents are able to comb through decades of financial activity to identify questionable spending patterns. Authorities say they will stop terrorists and criminals. It is a world without anonymity.
Is your first response, "What a wonderful world that would be"?
That world is coming-and sooner than you think. Europe is leading the way.
In February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partners in the Social Democratic Party proposed abolishing the €500 note and introducing a €5,000 (us$5,600) limit on cash transactions. It is part of a plan to cut off terrorist financing in Europe. Banning the bills will supposedly help tighten security.
German Deputy Finance Minister Michael Meister told Deutsche Welle that Germany would push these reforms at the European level. "Since money laundering and terrorism financing are cross-border threats," it makes sense to adopt a European Union-wide "solution," he said. But "if a European solution isn't possible, Germany will move ahead on its own" (February 3; emphasis added throughout).
The €500 note may be a favorite among criminals, but it is also popular among another large group of individuals: law-abiding citizens who don't trust the banks or the government. For these people, physical money represents freedom: freedom to hold cash outside the banking system; freedom to conduct business privately; and freedom from government surveillance and overreach.
The curtailment of these freedoms has interesting potential implications in the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Under the Guise
Even though many people are strongly against it, Germany and Europe appear to be moving toward a cashless future. They are doing this for two reasons.
First, it is an effort to cut the "comfort for criminals," as European Central Bank (ecb) President Mario Draghi told the European Parliament on February 1. Authorities want to force people to conduct transactions electronically—where suspicious activity can be detected and monitored. By forcing all transactions to go electronic, it will create a permanent trail. Theoretically, a record of every transaction you ever make could be kept and stored forever. It is a treasure trove for authorities looking for evidence of crime. And when evidence is found, potentially decades of financial transactions could be searched to ferret out financial connections, relationships and any other potential misdeeds.
Some big businesses support the move because it offers multiple opportunities for consumer-spending analysis and marketing possibilities. Banning paper money, however, is still an unpopular position.
In Germany in particular, there is a deep distrust of banks.Click here to read it all
Ray's Note: - There are some interesting comments near the end of the article above (follow the link to see the full article. I would have to agree that there are moves in the world towards Sunday observance which, I believe, will eventually be enforced.
Peter Schiff: Dollar Collapse Will Be the Single Biggest Event in Human History
Feb. 19, 2016
Arguably the best assessment I've ever come across for what is headed straight for the United States, and sadly, no matter how loud many of us right the bell, there are still those that refuse to look at the facts. Peter Schiff says:
"THE DOLLAR COLLAPSE WILL BE THE SINGLE LARGEST EVENT IN HUMAN HISTORY!"
"This will be the first event that will touch every single living person in the world. All human activity is controlled by money. Our wealth, our work, our food, our government, even our relationships are affected by money."
"No money in human history has had as much reach in both breadth and depth as the dollar. It is the de facto world currency. All other currency collapses will pale in comparison to this big one. All other currency crises have been regional and there were other currencies for people to grasp on to."
"This collapse will be global and it will bring down not only the dollar but all other fiat currencies,as they are fundamentally no different. The collapse of currencies will lead to the collapse of ALL paper assets. The repercussions to this will have incredible results worldwide"
What makes this story even more infuriating, is that it wasn't necessary. It didn't have to happen."
Rays' note: No cash means electronic (and totally trackable) transactions. There are many possible advantages to this regarding crime etc but there is also a very dark downside.
Strong El Niño No Help For Long-Term California Drought
Feb. 25, 2016 Ed Joyce
Warm and dry weather has increased concern
about early snow melt in the Sierra Nevada.
The U.S. Drought Monitor reported Feb. 25
that the overall trend is for the multiyear
drought to continue in California.
The U.S. Drought Monitor says warmer weather has increased concerns of early snow melt in California and the overall trend is for the multiyear drought to continue or even worsen.
"Out west, progressively warmer weather heightened concerns of early snow melt, with early-week rain and mountain snow falling short of weekly normals and doing little to ease long-term drought," according to the weekly report released Feb. 25.
"Despite some welcomed rain and mountain snow at the beginning of the weekly drought assessment period, a return to dry, warmer weather by week's end renewed concerns of a sub-par Water Year even with the ongoing strong El Niño," the update noted.Click here to read it all
Mosul dam engineers warn it could fail at any time, killing 1m people
Iraqis who built dam say structure is increasingly precarious and describe government response as 'ridiculous'
Iraqi engineers involved in building the Mosul dam 30 years ago have warned that the risk of its imminent collapse and the consequent death toll could be even worse than reported.
They pointed out that pressure on the dam's compromised structure was building up rapidly as winter snows melted and more water flowed into the reservoir, bringing it up to its maximum capacity, while the sluice gates normally used to relieve that pressure were jammed shut.
The Iraqi engineers also said the failure to replace machinery or assemble a full workforce more than a year after Islamic State temporarily held the dam means that the chasms in the porous rock under the dam were getting bigger and more dangerous every day.
On Wednesday, the Iraqi government announced it had signed a €273m (£210m) contract with an Italian contractor to reinforce and maintain the Mosul dam for 18 months, following talks in New York between the Italian foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, and US and Iraqi officials. Italy has said it plans to send 450 troops to protect the dam site, but it is unclear how long it will take to replace damaged machinery and reassemble the required workforce.
The engineers warned that potential loss of life from a sudden catastrophic collapse of the Mosul dam could be even greater than the 500,000 officially estimated, as they said many people could die in the resulting mass panic, with a 20-metre-high flood wave hitting the city of Mosul and then rolling on down the Tigris valley through Tikrit and Samarra to Baghdad.Click here to read it all
Catholics and Lutherans Release 'Declaration on the Way' to Full Unity
October 30, 2015
WASHINGTON-Drawing on 50 years of national and international dialogue, Lutherans and Catholics together have issued the "Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist," a unique ecumenical document that marks a pathway toward greater visible unity between Catholics and Lutherans. The October 30 release of the document comes on the eve of the anniversary of Martin Luther's posting the 95 Theses, which sparked the Protestant Reformation.
"Pope Francis in his recent visit to the United States emphasized again and again the need for and importance of dialogue. This Declaration on the Way represents in concrete form an opportunity for Lutherans and Catholics to join together now in a unifying manner on a way finally to full communion," said Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Catholic co-chair of the task force creating the declaration.
"Five hundred years ago wars were fought over the very issues about which Lutherans and Roman Catholics have now achieved consensus," said ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton. "Church, ministry and Eucharist have been areas of disagreement and even separation between our two churches, and we still have work to do both theologically and pastorally as we examine the questions. The declaration is so exciting because it shows us 32 important points where already we can say there are not church-dividing issues between us, and it gives us both hope and direction for the future," she said.
At the heart of the document are 32 "Statements of Agreement" where Lutherans and Catholics already have points of convergence on topics about church, ministry and Eucharist. These agreements signal that Catholics and Lutherans are indeed 'on the way' to full, visible unity. As 2017 approaches, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this witness to growing unity gives a powerful message to a world where conflict and division often seem to drown out more positive messages of hope and reconciliation The document also indicates differences still remaining between Lutherans and Catholics and indicates possible ways forward.Click here to read it all
Americans Skeptical Of God But Think Heaven Is Real, Somehow
Since 1980, the number of Americans who believe in God has decreased by half and the number who pray has declined five-fold. Has America lost its faith?
The United States formally separates Church and State, but it's hard to deny that America is inundated with religious innuendo, from its controversial pledge of allegiance all the way down to its Judeo-Christian courthouse displays and faith-espousing legal tender. Yet fewer Americans pray or believe in God than ever before, according to a new study in the journal Sage Open.
Researchers found that the percentage of Americans who claim they never pray reached an all-time high in 2014, up five-fold since the 1980s. Over the same time period, belief in God and interest in spirituality appears to have similarly declined, especially among young adults.
The findings suggest that, "millennials are the least religious generation in memory, and possibly in American history," says Jean M. Twenge, psychology professor at San Diego State University and coauthor on the study, in a press statement. "Most previous studies concluded that fewer Americans were publicly affiliating with a religion, but that Americans were just as religious in private ways. That's no longer the case, especially in the last few years."
Ray's note: Why would people be skeptical of God but in favor of heaven or at least some type of afterlife? Well, who wants to die and just cease to exist? Perhaps the problem is that Christians have not presented God in a very good way and, for the most part, they certainly have not represented Him very well in their own lives.
"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)
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