Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
From Arutz Sheva: Israel Daily News:
Anti-Christian 'Cleansing' Campaign Picks Up Pace in Gaza
by Gil Ronen
Attacks on Christian targets and those identified with Western culture have grown more frequent in Gaza in the past two years, and especially since the Hamas takeover in June 2007, experts say. The targets have included churches, Christian and United Nations schools, the American International School, libraries and Internet cafes.
The most recent incident occurred this past Saturday, May 31, when gunmen attacked the guards at the Al Manara school, stole a vehicle belonging to the Baptist Holy Book Society which operates the school and threatened the society's director. The Hamas leadership is not acting to stop the attacks and no one has been brought to justice.
Global jihad involvement
An Israeli intelligence report determined that there has been an increase in the number of attacks on Christian figures and institutions, as well as those associated with Western values. The attacks are being perpetrated by elements identified with the global jihad and radical Islam. In the past two years, groups associated with Al-Qaeda took responsibility for attacks upon Christians and Christian institutions with the expressly-stated goal of driving Christians out of Gaza.
The Christian community in Gaza numbers around 3,000. According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC), the attacks on Christians have included the following:
May 18, 2008: a large bomb exploded at the entrance to a fast-food restaurant near Al-Quds Open University in the center of Gaza City. The restaurant was completely destroyed.
Groups associated with Al-Qaeda took responsibility for attacks with the expressly-stated goal of driving Christians out of Gaza...
May 16, 2008: a bomb exploded in the Rahabat al-Wardia school run by nuns in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City. Hamas condemned the incident and a call was made to the police to bring the criminals to justice. The previous year, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, the school was subjected to thefts and an arson attack.
April 3, 2008: a monument in the Gaza Strip's foreign nationals' cemetery was blown up. Hamas promised to investigate.
February 15, 2008: Three gunmen from the “Army of Islam in the Land of Ribat,” a network headed by Mumtaz Dughmush, broke into the YMCA library in Gaza City and set off a bomb which caused extensive damage. Hamas police condemned the event, calling it “a criminal act” and promising to investigate. The Hamas security forces detained a number of Army of Islam operatives but released them shortly thereafter, following a threat to use force to free them. After the event, senior Hamas figures met with senior Christian figures to express solidarity.
January 10, 2008: a group called "Army of the Believers -- the Al-Qaeda Organization in Palestine,” attacked the International School in Beit Lahiya twice, burning vehicles and stealing equipment. According to a statement issued two days later, the school was accused of spreading polytheism and hatred for Islam. The attacks were timed to coincide with U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to Israel.
December 31, 2007: the “Friends of the Sunnah Bayt al-Maqdis” issued a manifesto on the Pal-Today Website, affiliated with Islamic Jihad, threatening to attack anyone who participated in New Year's Eve celebrations.
October 6, 2007, elements linked to Hamas abducted Rami Khadr Ayad from his home and shot him to death; he was a Christian who worked for the Holy Bible Society. The Hamas administration condemned the murder and opened an investigation whose results are so far unknown.
June 19, 2007: during the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip Hamas gunmen attacked and vandalized a monastery and church.
April 21, 2007: elements linked to the global jihad attacked the American International School in Gaza City.
April 15, 2007: a group calling itself “The Swords of Truth in the Land of Ribat” set off bombs in two Internet cafes and a store selling Christian books, causing damage.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Todd Bentley is an evangelist conducting a revival in Central Florida who claims to have a female angel named Emma as a spirit guide. Below is an excerpt from the book REDEMPTION: BIBLE PROPHECY SIMPLIFIED that should prove to be of interest to those who are researching what is currently happening in Florida.
The Bible says God will allow a great delusion to overcome all who love not the truth. This is a specific reference to an end-time apostasy/ defection from the true faith. This is taking place even now in alarming numbers (Luke 12:54-56, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 10-11).
It is a dangerous thing, particularly in these last days, when the great falling away is predicted, to reject the truth (which is contained in its entirety within the pages of God’s Written Word—the Bible). Any so-called truth that does not line up with what has already been written is no truth at all, but rather a lie. And the Written Word of God warns that those who love the lie will be given over to it (Isaiah 8:20, 2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Not only will those individuals who trade their birthright for a bowl of pottage be left behind when the rapture occurs, they will be given no opportunity to repent afterwards. Hebrews 6:4-6 is clear that once a person falls away, renewal into repentance becomes an impossibility (Hebrews 12:16-17, Genesis 25:30-34, 27:34-38).
There are those who claim the falling away, spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, took place during the 2nd or 3rd centuries. They maintain that “truth” was lost to the church very shortly after the apostles died. The scriptures do not bear that out. Get away, quickly, from anyone who teaches such heresy. That interpretation of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is in direct opposition to Psalm 100:5, which assures us that not one single generation will ever be lost because they have been deprived of God’s truth. “His Truth endures to every generation (most modern English Bibles contain a corrupted version of this verse).”
The falling away predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7-8,10-12 is a direct reference to an end-time apostasy, and it will happen shortly before the Man of Sin is revealed. The scriptures say the rapture must take place before the identity of the Man of Sin can be revealed.
This will be a deliberate defection from known, revealed, truth due to rebellion against the truth, not a result of truth being lost.
**This is worth repeating: The defection will be so overtly rebellious and contrary to the written Word of God that the Lord will give the defectors over to the lie they are whoring after. They will not only be left behind when Jesus comes to raise the dead and catch up the living, but they will be given no chance to repent during The Great Tribulation. They will lose all chance of obtaining eternal life.
This is not the time to blindly follow those who encourage the use of unscriptural, subjective spiritual experiences and eastern forms of meditation such as centering prayer, soaking prayer, contemplative prayer and other spiritual “disciplines” that replace the Written Word of God in discerning the true from the false. This is not the time to place our trust in those who claim their unbiblical message is validated by experiences, signs or wonders. These who foster such practices imperil souls. Below are quotes from the sort of teaching and teachers that should be avoided:
- God is a lot bigger than doctrine
- The church is so hung up on Bible study they don’t know Jesus!
- It doesn’t matter that the Hindus, Buddhists and New Agers use this kind of prayer and meditation in their religion. As long as our goal is to glorify God, we can adopt their methods. It is the motive—not the method—that matters.
- If we keep recruiting people to evacuate the earth, then every person who gets saved is taken out of the action….
All of the above statements defy scripture. The first two fly in the face of every verse which commands and encourages the study of the Bible and the acquisition of sound doctrine. Doctrine is not a dirty word! And how do we resolve the third with the clear scriptural command not to imitate unbelievers and to learn none of their ways (Jeremiah 10:2)?
Those who attack the pursuit of sound doctrine via Bible study do not know Jesus. It is as simple as that. Doctrine is derived from Bible study and we are admonished in the scriptures to pay close attention to doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2).
Jesus warned us about following false prophets or teachers in Matthew chapter seven. They will stand before him at the Judgment of the Nations woefully crying, “Lord, Lord! Didn’t we do many miraculous works in your name?” The Lord will assure them that they are workers of iniquity, that he never knew them, and will proceed to condemn them to hell (Matthew 7:22-23).
Do not allow spiritual experiences, miracles, signs (Jeremiah 10:2) or wonders to be a basis for deciding whether someone or something is or is not from God.
The Bible clearly warns that those who are given over to believing the lie will be deceived by means of lying wonders. That could conceivably include the experiences described by those who meditate using unscriptural meditation aids that include but are not limited to vain repetitions of the names of Christ, etc.. This is a form of mantra meditation and Jesus clearly commands his people not to engage in any such activity (Matthew 6:7).
The Bible also reveals that just before Christ returns, spirits of devils working miracles will be very prevalent. And by means of miracles will deceive the people of the earth (2 Thessalonians 2:9, Revelation 13:14, 16:14).
In Zechariah 5:2-3 the angel calls the prophet’s attention to a strange sight. Zechariah was told to look and see what was going forth. Something was happening. The winds of change were blowing. Something was moving forward. And the thing he was told to be looking at was an ephah (a basket).
Remember that this entire prophecy will be taking place during a time of worldwide judgment, which, by process of elimination must be referring to the time of The Great Tribulation. So we know this prophecy must be for those who will be living during that time or very close to it—possibly in the time known as The Beginning of Sorrows (Zechariah 5:6, Matthew 24:1-8, 21).
Jesus said the time of the Great Tribulation would be so horrendous that this world has never seen anything like it before nor ever would again. Considering the horrors this world has already seen—that’s pretty bad. The scriptures reveal that up to 75 to 80% of the world’s human population will die during that time. The Jewish population will be so reduced that Isaiah predicted even a child could write them. No wonder God said to tremble at the very thought of it—to be horribly afraid… (Isaiah 10:17-21, Joel 2)
Look, see, pay close attention to what is happening—right now. This prophecy is for the very near future and gives important details as to how the Man of Sin will come to power and where he will be operating from after he comes to power.
But what possible significance could an ephah (not just any measuring basket—but specifically an ephah) have concerning a judgment that will go forth over the whole earth?
Notice the order of events: first we see a curse (a judgment) moving forward. Then we see an ephah moving forward (Zechariah 5:3, 6).
An ephah was a basket. It was the largest measure in use among the Jewish people of Zechariah’s time, and was commonly used as a symbol of commerce (much like the “basket” is used today in connection to the **Euro).
** Euro: The name for the composite monetary unit that has replaced national currencies in several European countries. The Euro was introduced on January 1st, 1999 and went into general circulation on January 1st, 2002 (the specific amounts of euro in the valuation basket…).
ECU: (European Currency Unit). A composite monetary unit consisting of a basket of European Community currencies that served as the predecessor to the Euro.
The ephah (basket) Zechariah saw moving forward symbolized currency and commerce—both in his time and now, again, in ours as well.
The angel elaborated further and said the ephah was disguising something. The resemblance (the outward appearance) of it looked good. It looked like commerce was getting a well-needed boost and was moving forward. The angel said the resemblance (the outward appearance of a commercial boost) would deceive the whole earth.
It is crucial, at this point, to have a King James Bible. Most other versions corrupt this passage—especially verse 6—obscuring the entire purpose of the passage, which is to expose the game plan of the enemy (Zechariah 5:6).
The ephah, in Zechariah’s vision had a lid made of 100 lbs of lead. This lid effectively hides the contents of the basket. What we see can be very deceptive. But what exactly will be hidden in this ephah (Zechariah 5:7)?
The scriptures tell us a woman will be hidden in the container. The angel introduced the woman by saying, “This is Wickedness.” A more literal rendering of the angel’s words are, “her name is Wickedness” (Zechariah 5:7-8).
Why would a female be used to represent wickedness? Is it because women are inherently more wicked than men? As far as the commonly accepted perceptions of mankind go, history would validate that idea. Both men and women have participated in, and perpetuated, discrimination against females. But the answer is, “No,” all mankind is inherently wicked, not just the females of the species (Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:10).
Could it be that a female is used to represent this wickedness because it will quickly multiply and infect the whole earth? After all it is females who are fertile, conceive and give birth.
Or is it possible this might represent a female who will be a major player in end-time events? Only time will tell.
At any rate, the scriptures reveal it is a woman whose name is wickedness that is hidden in the basket, and the ephah represents a commercial boost, or at the very least, the promise of one.
Zechariah watched as the lid was lifted, and the woman stood up (or was lifted up by the angel). She was momentarily exposed, but the angel immediately cast her back into the container and replaced the lid in order to keep her hidden (Zechariah 5:8).
**It is important to note here, that it is always God who is in control of the times and the seasons—even the horrendous season of The Great Tribulation. It is God allowing the woman whose name is wickedness to remain hidden (although it/she will be temporarily exposed to those who are alert).
God knows those who are alert and love the truth will not be motivated by ungodly lusts to deviate from the simplicity found in Jesus Christ. But those who love not the truth, who rebel against the simplicity of Christ, who are greedy for personal power and gain, and who seek after spiritual experiences, signs and wonders, will be deceived and will ultimately be destroyed by whoring after these things. These things will not come looking overtly sinful and evil. They will come well disguised behind a seductive veneer of spirituality and godliness. Many who will lose their souls in the last days apostasy, will do so believing they are truly following Christ (Matthew 7:22-23, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11, 1 Timothy 6:9, 2 Timothy 4:3).
Zechariah looked again and saw two women with wings. They had wings like a stork, and he saw that the wind was in their wings. The two women with wings picked up the basket containing the woman (Zechariah 5:9).
These women are spiritual beings. They are not angels. They have wings like a stork, which according to scripture, is an unclean bird. Thus they are identified as being unclean spiritual beings. The wind is in their wings which means they can fly very fast. When they pick up the basket containing the woman, they will get it/her to its final destination with amazing speed.
**Note – These are the only women with wings found in the entire Bible. Women with wings are not angels. Images of women with wings do not represent angels (regardless of the intention of the artist). Although wings are seen in scripture as a symbol of God’s protective covering (Psalm 91:4), they are also depicted as an abominable covering (Daniel 9:27). The women with wings in Zechariah Chapter five have the wings of an unclean bird. This reveals that any covering they might represent will be an unclean spiritual covering—i.e., an unclean false religious covering (Psalm 91:4, Revelation 12:14, Zechariah 5:9, Isaiah 30:1).
For more information on the Prophetic Movement, contemplative or soaking prayer, visit www.HungryHeartsMinistries.com
From Lighthouse Trails Research Project:
Kundalini Energy (the effects of Soaking Prayer)
LTRP Note: With the rising interest in Todd Bentley's "revival" and his use of soaking prayer, we post the following warning about soaking prayer (i.e., Kundalini energy).
"Kundalini Energy (the effects of Soaking Prayer)"
by Ray Yungen
Many Christians might have great difficulty accepting the assessment that what is termed Christian mysticism is, in truth, not Christian at all. They might feel this rejection is spawned by a heresy hunting mentality that completely ignores the love and devotion to God that also accompanies the mystical life. To those who are still skeptical, I suggest examining the writings of Philip St. Romain, who wrote a book about his journey into contemplative prayer called Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality. This title is revealing because kundalini is a Hindu term for the mystical power or force that underlies Hindu spirituality. In Hinduism it is commonly referred to as the serpent power.
St. Romain, a substance abuse counselor and devout Catholic lay minister, began his journey while practicing contemplative prayer or resting in the still point, as he called it. What happened to him following this practice should bear the utmost scrutiny from the evangelical community--especially from its leadership. The future course of evangelical Christianity rests on whether St. Romain's path is just a fluke or if it is the norm for contemplative spirituality.
Having rejected mental prayer as "unproductive,"(1) he embraced the prayer form that switches off the mind, creating what he described as a mental passivity. What he encountered next underscores my concern with sobering clarity:
Then came the lights! The gold swirls that I had noted on occasion began to intensify, forming themselves into patterns that both intrigued and captivated me ... There were always four or five of these; as soon as one would fade, another would appear, even brighter and more intense ... They came through complete passivity and only after I had been in the silence for a while.(2)
After this, St. Romain began to sense "wise sayings" coming into his mind and felt he was "receiving messages from another."(3) He also had physical developments occur during his periods in the silence. He would feel "prickly sensations" on the top of his head and at times it would "fizzle with energy." This sensation would go on for days. The culmination of St. Romain's mystical excursion was predictable--when you do Christian yoga or Christian Zen you end up with Christian samadhi as did he. He proclaimed:
No longer is there any sense of alienation, for the Ground that flows throughout my being is identical with the Reality of all creation. It seems that the mystics of all the world's religions know something of this. (4)
St. Romain, logically, passed on to the next stage with:
[T]he significance of this work, perhaps, lies in its potential to contribute to the dialogue between Christianity and Eastern forms of mysticism such as are promoted in what is called New Age spirituality.(5)
Many people believe St. Romain is a devout Christian. He claims he loves Jesus, believes in salvation, and is a member in good standing within his church. What changed though were his sensibilities. He says:
I cannot make any decisions for myself without the approbation of the inner adviser, whose voice speaks so clearly in times of need ... there is a distinct sense of an inner eye of some kind "seeing" with my two sense eyes.(6)
St. Romain would probably be astounded that somebody would question his claims to finding truth because of the positive nature of his mysticism. But is this "inner adviser" St. Romain has connected with really God? This is a fair question to ask especially when this prayer method has now spread within a broad spectrum of Christianity.
This practice has already spread extensively throughout the Roman Catholic and Protestant mainline churches. And it has now crossed over and is manifesting itself in conservative denominations as well--ones that have traditionally stood against the New Age. Just as a tidal wave of practical mystics has hit secular society, so it has also in the religious world. St. Romain makes one observation in his book that I take very seriously. Like his secular practical mystic brethren, he has a strong sense of mission and destiny. He predicts:
Could it be that those who make the journey to the True Self are, in some ways, demonstrating what lies in store for the entire race? What a magnificent world that would be--for the majority of people to be living out of the True Self state. Such a world cannot come, however, unless hundreds of thousands of people experience the regression of the Ego in the service of transcendence [meditation], and then restructure the culture to accommodate similar growth for millions of others. I believe we are only now beginning to recognize this task.(7)
A book titled Metaphysical Primer: A Guide to Understanding Metaphysics outlines the basic laws and principles of the New Age movement. First and foremost is the following principle: You are one with the Deity, as is all of humanity. Everything is one with everything else. All that is on Earth is an expression of the One Deity and is permeated with Its energies.(8) St. Romain's statement was, "[T]he Ground [God] that flows throughout my being is identical with the Reality of all creation."(9) The two views are identical!
St. Romain came to this view through standard contemplative prayer, not Zen, not yoga but a Christian form of these practices. The lights were also a reoccurring phenomenon as one contemplative author suggested:
Christian literature makes reference to many episodes that parallel the experiences of those going a yogic way. Saint Anthony, one of the first desert mystics, frequently encountered strange and sometimes terrifying psychophysical forces while at prayer.(10)
Unfortunately, this experience was not confined to St. Anthony alone. This has been the common progression into mystical awareness throughout the centuries, which also means many now entering the contemplative path will follow suit. This is not just empty conjecture. One mystical trainer wrote:
[T]he classical experience of enlightenment as described by Buddhist monks, Hindu gurus, Christian mystics, Aboriginal shamans, Sufi sheiks and Hebrew kabalists is characterized by two universal elements: radiant light and an experience of oneness with creation.(11)
Without the mystical connection there can be no oneness. The second always follows the first. Here lies the heart of occultism.
This issue is clearly a serious one to contend with. Many individuals, using terms for themselves like spiritual director, are showing up more and more in the evangelical church. Many of them teach the message of mystical prayer.
1. Philip St. Romain, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality, Crossroad Pub. Co., 1995, p. 20-21.
2. Ibid., pp. 22-23.
3. Ibid., pp. 28-29.
4. Ibid., p. 107.
5. Ibid., pp. 48-49.
6. Ibid., p. 39.
7. Ibid., pp. 75-76.
8. Deborah Hughes and Jane Robertson-Boudreaux, Metaphysical Primer, Metagnosis Pub., 1991, p. 27.
9. St. Romain, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality, op. cit., p. 107.
10. Willigis Jager, Contemplation: A Christian Path, p. 72.
11. Michael J. Gelb, The How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci Workbook, Dell Publishing, New York, NY, 1999, p. 142.
This article is an excerpt from A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Subscribers to this blog may want to consider subscribing to "The Revelation" blog as well. Blog entries there will not be duplicated here and will not be announced from this blog with the exception of this initial notice.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Eagle Forum Writes:
The EU Constitution, now called the Treaty of Lisbon, requires all signers to surrender their sovereignty and democracy to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and judges in Strasbourg. The EU constitution takes away England's right to pass its own laws, forces England to surrender more than 60 UK vetoes of EU decisions, and gives the EU bureaucracy and tribunals total control over England's immigration policy. Instead of a self-governing nation whose democratic system was developed over centuries, England is now ruled by what Margaret Thatcher called "the paper pushers in Brussels." Read entire article here: http://www.eagleforum.org/column/2008/apr08/08-04-30.html
Bible Prophecy Study Center:
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
- We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement...Isaiah 28:15
- ...and by peace shall destroy many...Daniel 8:25
- For when they shall say peace and safety; then sudden destruction shall come upon them...1 Thessalonians 5:3
Bible Prophecy Study Center: http://hungryheartsministries.com/id3.html
Monday, April 28, 2008
The survey, done in order to assess health risks to newborns, was not aimed at answering the question as to why the number of pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes has more than doubled in seven years. According to the Associated Press, the rise of diabetes among women of childbearing age mirrors the prevalence of the disease in the general population.
There is little doubt that diseases of all kinds are becoming more prevalent among the general population.
In the Book of Revelation, chapter six, we see an epidemic of death coming upon the inhabitants of this planet. Do we ever wonder why, that in this age of increased knowledge and longer life-spans due to modern medical technology, more people are disease ridden than ever before? And not just in third world countries either!
Could it be that mankind with all his intelligence and the man-made wonders and resources at his disposal, is not able to prevent the prophecy of the The Revelation from being fulfilled?
The creator of all things cares about the health of his creation and has made provision for it. He sent his son to this earth not only to save our souls but to make provision for the healing of our bodies as well. The Bible contains too many references to our physical health for anyone to deny this is so. The scriptures say, "I am the God who healeth thee."
God has not changed.
To read more about these things visit the links below:
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
To learn more about the Prophetic Movement, visit http://www.hungryheartsministries.com/
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
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Wiese' experience in hell was an "out of body experience"--which is a very coveted experience by those within prophetic circles. They teach each other how to have them. Out of body experiences such as astral projection, are common among New Agers and Shamans--nothing new here--totally occult, although prophetic folk commonly reference Paul's experience of being caught up to the third Heaven as a biblical basis for that particular kind of occult experience.
Some of Wiese' experience is biblically questionable, such as his suggestion that Satan rules in hell. The Bible teaches no such concept.
In summary, caution is advised in promoting Bill Wiese and his experience of being astrally projected into a hell where Satan rules.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Warren Smith AFA Interview Topic begins 2:45 seconds into the broadcast
For more information see:
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
- for those parts of Islam that are campaigning for this, they very naturally want all of Sharia law."
- the goal is always to institute [Sharia] for everyone; and not just for limited parts of it to those who voluntarily opt in, but for the whole community."
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
By Jane Croft in London
Published: May 18 2007 22:00
Conrad Chase, British co-owner of the VIP Baja Beach Club in Barcelona, makes an unlikely human debit card.
Mr Chase and almost 100 other clubbers have opted to have tiny data chips implanted surgically under their skin. When they want to buy a drink, they simply wave their techno-enabled arms across the counter.
The chip, made by the VeriChip Corporation, is only the size of a grain of rice but can transmit an ID number to a scanner allowing money to be taken from clubbers’ bank accounts.
Mr Chase may be an extreme example but he demonstrates a wider point: Britons are rapidly embracing the cashless society. The Association for Payment Clearing Services, the UK industry body, forecasts that in less than a decade fewer than half of all payments will be made by cash.
Banks, including HBOS, HSBC, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, are surfing the cash-free wave by introducing new credit and debit cards. Customers will be able to pay for items under £10 by tapping the cards on a terminal at the till – much as they would a transport fare card.
Sandra Alzetta, head of innovation and acceptance at Visa Europe, says this will speed transactions:.
“Until now, cash has been king. Other methods have been too slow or too expensive for small ticket items with values of less than £10,” she said. “But contactless payments are much quicker than cash. If you’re buying a coffee or doing a grocery top-up, speed matters a lot.”
Payment by mobile phone is also starting to take off.
This week, the Post Office announced an electronic money-transfer service that allows recipients to receive funds using a bar code sent to a mobile or email address.
The service is intended to allow companies to distribute promotional incentives and cash payments for less than the cost of a cheque. Companies send a reference code by text message or email, which customers take to any UK post office to receive instant payment.
Visa is already testing a system in France that will allow consumers to pay for goods via mobile phone. In Britain, items such as parking and London’s traffic congestion charge can already be paid in this fashion.
Another way cash is being edged out is through pre-paid cards that can be loaded up with cash and used like a credit card. PSE Consulting, the European payment consultancy, estimates that the total number of pre-paid cards issued in the UK will rise from 2m currently to 44m by 2010.
Those who cling stubbornly to pounds and pence may even pay a price for their intransigence. Some utility companies have already started to penalise households who settle their bills by cash or cheque. BT has introduced a £4.50 charge for the millions who do not pay by direct debit.
But the international experience suggests that Britain can expect even more striking developments in the future. A “pay-by-mobile” system already operates in Japan. In Texas, 500 people are taking part in a trial using a MasterCard PayPass to buy items from 7-Eleven stores via Nokia mobiles. Customers tap their pass or phone on to a specially equipped merchant terminal.
But not everyone believes that cash has had its day.
Jonathan Charley, vice-president of financial services at the business and technology company EDS, questions whether retailers will be willing to join the “tap and go” revolution if they have to bear the costs of rolling out the system.
Commenting on Visa’s declared wish to turn the 2012 London Olympics into a cashless event, he said: “I think a cashless Olympics is a good vision but will not be achieved unless retailers and small businesses have the devices to read cards. Who is going to be paying for the devices and using the service – the consumer, retailer or the banks?“
He added that the contactless card scheme also assumed that consumers had a bank account. “The challenge is that the contactless scheme [in London] can’t be used by those who don’t have a bank account. A whole swathe of people could be excluded from being able to take advantage of these new services.”
Nicola O’Reilly of the National Consumer Council said: “We have concerns around security and the ability of consumers to keep track of what they’re spending, which is an essential part of budgeting. If any of these systems are only available to credit-card holders that would be unfair to those who do not have cards.”
Matthew Knowles, from the Federation of Small Businesses, pointed out: “Small businesses would need to know that the systems were secure and they would not be liable if there was fraud in the system. We would also need to make sure small companies were not disadvantaged if they didn’t have the technology.”
Fair Use Notice http://sharecropperradio.blogspot.com/2008/01/fair-use-notice.html
And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand and in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he had that mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name...Revelation 13
Monday, January 28, 2008
Arutze: Daily Israel Report
Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: "Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law."
Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers - the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions.
Gauthier's main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I - Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan - agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel.
The relevant resolution reads as follows: "The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust... the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory [which] will be responsible for putting into effect the [Balfour] declaration... in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
Gauthier notes that the San Remo treaty specifically notes that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" - but says nothing about "political" rights of the Arabs living there.
The San Remo Resolution also bases itself on Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, which declares that it is a "a sacred trust of civilization" to provide for the well-being and development of colonies and territories whose inhabitants are "not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world."
League of Nations
The League of Nations' resolution creating the Palestine Mandate, included the following significant clause: “Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." No such recognition of Arab rights in Palestine was granted.
In 1945, the United Nations took over from the failed League of Nations - and assumed the latter's obligations. Article 80 of the UN Charter states: "Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed, in or of itself, to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."
UN Partition Plan
However, in 1947, the General Assembly of the UN passed Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan. It violated the League of the Nations' Mandate for Palestine in that it granted political rights to the Arabs in western Palestine - yet, ironically, the Jews applauded the plan's passages while the Arabs worked to thwart it.
Resolution 181 also provided for a Special regime for Jerusalem, with borders delineated in all four directions: The then-extant municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns up to Abu Dis in the east, Bethlehem in the south, Ein Karem and Motza in the west, and Shuafat in the north.
Referendum Scheduled for Jerusalem
The UN resolved that the City of Jerusalem shall be established as a separate entity under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The regime was to come into effect by October 1948, and was to remain in force for a period of ten years, unless the UN's Trusteeship Council decided otherwise. After the ten years, the residents of Jerusalem "shall be then free to express by means of a referendum their wishes as to possible modifications of regime of the City."
The resolution never took effect, because Jordan controlled eastern Jerusalem after the 1948 War of Independence and did not follow its provisions.
After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel regained Jerusalem and other land west of Jordan. Gauthier notes that the UN Security Council then passed Resolution 242 authorizing Israel to remain in possession of all the land until it had “secure and recognized boundaries.” The resolution was notably silent on Jerusalem, and also referred to the "necessity for achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem,” with no distinction made between Jewish and Arab refugees.
Given Jerusalem's strong Jewish majority, Gauthier concludes, Israel should be demanding that the long-delayed city referendum on the city's future be held as soon as possible. Not only should Israel be demanding that the referendum be held now, Jerusalem should be the first order of business. "Olmert is sloughing us off by saying [as he did before the Annapolis Conference two months ago], 'Jerusalem is not on the table yet,'" Gauthier concludes. "He should demand that the referendum take place before the balance of the land is negotiated. If the Arabs won’t agree to the referendum, there is nothing to talk about."
Comment on This Story
2. Fatah TV Broadcasts Daily Call For Ethnic Cleansing of Jews
by Ezra HaLevi
Fatah chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's PA television has been repeatedly broadcasting a hate-filled music video calling for the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish people from Israel.
"My enemy, oh snake! Around the land, you are coiled. You have no choice, oh enemy, but to leave my country," is the refrain in the video, which has been broadcast on a daily basis for the past several months, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
"The song's refrain, 'My enemy, oh enemy,' is repeated over and over throughout the song. Israel is not even given the courtesy of a name, but is tagged with such labels as 'treacherous,' 'imperialism' and a 'coiled snake,'" PMW Director Itamar Marcus points out. "The Palestinian is portrayed as a heroic victim who courageously confronts the evil 'enemy' Israel."
The song incites Arabs living under Fatah's rule in Judea and Samaria to fight to the death to rid the land of Jews, assuring them that, through this, they will ultimately prevail: "You have no choice, oh enemy, but to leave my country," it says.
"The goal of this music video clip is to inculcate loathing of Israel and anticipation of its destruction," Marcus explains. "The repeated broadcast over recent months by Fatah-controlled television is consistent with other Arabic-language hate messages currently being disseminated - in spite of the peace talks."
PA TV first aired the music video in 2004 and resumed its broadcast in October, 2007. It was broadcast throughout the Annapolis conference as well as during US President George W. Bush's visit to Israel, PMW reports. It continues to be aired on almost a daily basis.
The following is the text of the hate video:
"My enemy. Oh, my enemy.
Stop your crimes.
Treaty breaker! Treacherous!...
If you pull out my eyes,
My heart will see. (x2)
If you cut off my hands,
My chest is knives and swords.
My enemy! Oh imperialism!
This homeland is ours. (x2)
This land will be tilled
only by our hoes. (x2)
Whenever the tension rises,
Whenever this land weeps, (x2)
the flower will return
to grow in our house.
My enemy. Oh, my enemy.
Stop your crimes.
Treaty breaker! Treacherous!...
My enemy! Oh snake!
Around the land, you are coiled. (x2)
We, noble, courageous,
on the day of ruin [battle], shall stand.
You have no choice, Oh enemy,
but to leave my country.
And my children will return.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
"WASHINGTON - With recession fears rising and the stock market tumbling, President Bush on Friday called for up to $150 billion in tax relief for consumers and business — and said there was no time to waste."
With a Hindu Prayer given as a blessing over our Senate in July and, as this article is being written, many respected Christian leaders uniting with unbelievers, at the Rethink Conference, in encouraging the Church of the Living God to embrace heresy and apostasy, is it any wonder that chaos and uncertainty have come upon us?
Come on Christians, read your Bibles, and see what the Word of God has to say about what happens to a nation when its political and spiritual leaders turn from the Living God to embrace evil.
If you are not sure where to start reading, try Jeremiah and Lamentations .
Friday, January 18, 2008
Rethink Conference: Crystal Cathedral, California
January 17, 2008
Robert Schuller once said: "Standing before a crowd of devout Muslims with the Grand Mufti, I know that we're all doing God's work together. Standing on the edge of a new millennium, we're laboring hand in hand to repair the breach." He made that statement in his 2001 biography, My Journey (p. 501), and today he has taken a giant step forward in seeing his dream of an all all-inclusive spiritual body come true. What's more, Christian leaders and organizations are helping to bring it to pass.
Today, the Rethink Conference at Schuller's Crystal Cathedral began. This three day event is hosted by Schuller and popular emerging futurist Erwin McManus.
In addition to McManus, the Rethink Conference has several other Christian leaders speaking: Gary Smalley, Henry Cloud, Chuck Colson, and Kay Warren, to name a few. While the speaker list includes several names outside the Christian camp (Larry King, George Bush Sr., Rupert Murdoch, etc.), a majority of the speakers, both Christian and non-Christian, are proponents mystical spirituality. The reason this is important to know is because Schuller's vision of an all-inclusive global religious body cannot happen without mysticism.
It is in fact the vehicle through which Schuller's dream will occur. He discloses a little more of this vision in his book: "I met once more with the Grand Mufti (a Muslim), truly one of the great Christ-honoring leaders of faith. ... I'm dreaming a bold impossible dream: that positive-thinking believers in God will rise above the illusions that our sectarian religions have imposed on the world, and that leaders of the major faiths will rise above doctrinal idiosyncrasies, choosing not to focus on disagreements, but rather to transcend divisive dogmas to work together to bring peace and prosperity and hope to the world. (p. 502).In order for this "bold impossible dream" to occur, change agents such as Schuller and McManus realize that Christianity needs to be redefined. Thus, the term rethink. "
McManus has believed this for some time. In an interview, he stated: "My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ.... Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I'm anti-Christian. I think they might be right!"(1)
It's easier to understand what McManus means by this by reading this next statement from him: "The Barbarian Way was, in some sense, trying to create a volatile fuel to get people to step out and act. It's pretty hard to get a whole group of people moving together as individuals who are stepping into a more mystical, faith-oriented, dynamic kind of experience with Christ. So, I think was my attempt to say, "Look, underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient." That's what was really the core of The Barbarian Way. (from Relevant magazine)
To put this in plain terms, there is a three step process in making this new vision become a reality.
First, re-education: convince Christians that the Christianity of today has to be thrown out and replaced by a whole new way of thinking.
Second, get these new thinking Christians to incorporate mysticism into their lives and hear the voice of a new kind of God, not one that is described in the Bible but one that is found through altered states of consciousness.
McManus put it this way: "I build my life not on the Word of God, but the voice of God. The Scriptures are to me the instrument that God has placed in history for me to learn the voice of God." (2)
The voice of this mystical god will direct people to the final step of the process, and that will be to bring about a supposed kingdom of God where all will be one, and where man finally realizes his own divinity. Unfortunately, it will be a kingdom built, not on the truth of the Word of God, thus not on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The rethinking of Christianity is taking place right now before our very eyes. The mystical practices are now being implemented by countless people around the world, including huge numbers of professing Christians through the spiritual formation movement.
It is just a matter of time before this new age dream will take effect, and a great spiritual delusion will overtake the masses. Roger Oakland, author of Faith Undone (the hard-hitting expose on the emerging church), spent this morning at the Crystal Cathedral listening to speakers share their hopes for the rethinking of Christianity. Oakland heard one popular evangelical speaker say that the emerging church is energizing Christianity. What that evangelical leader may not realize is that this energizing is happening through mystical practices. One person who does understand this concept is Robert Schuller.
Ray Yungen explains:
[W]hat many might not know about Schuller is his New Thought proclivities.
Interspiritual scholar Marcus Bach once related the following incident that took place at a Unity church in Hawaii in which Bach was speaking: "Dr. Schuller attended the first of three services, this one at 7:30 am. When we shook hands at the door, he tarried to assure me how much Unity principles meant to him and how helpful they had been to him in his work." (The Unity Way, p. 267)
What could some of these Unity principles be? Bach explains: Hinduism's emphasis on meditation fit[s] well into Unity's patterns for enlightenment.(Ibid, p. 104)
This is one of the major principles that Schuller was making reference to. In his own book, Prayer: My Soul's Adventure with God, he says: "Move into mighty moods of meditation. Draw energy from centers of sacred solitude, serenity, and silence.... Find yourself coming alive in the garden of prayer called meditation.... Yes, the "New Agers" have grabbed hold of meditation.... Hey, Christian! Hear me! Let's not give up the glorious, God-given gift of meditation by turning it over to those outside our faith." (pp. 141, 151)
The point that Schuller misses is that meditation is what makes a person a New Ager! This perspective is something to consider in light of the quarter million pastors who have trained and been mentored under Schuller at his Leadership Institute. (For Many Shall Come in My Name, ch. 3)
The line up at Rethink further confirms that Schuller and McManus see mysticism as playing a vital role in the rethinking and energizing of Christianity. Many of the speakers share McManus' and Schuller's propensity on mysticism's role in transforming the world.
Equally disturbing is knowing that CCN (Church Communication Network) sponsors and is helping to broadcast the Rethink Conference. CCN represents many of today's Christian leaders from Rick Warren, to James Dobson, to Joni Eareckson Tada, to Max Lucado and many many others.
What this means is that mainstream Christianity is going mystical, just as Alice Bailey, the woman who coined the term New Age, predicted so very many years ago.
Yungen ties this all together: "Bailey eagerly foretold of what she termed 'the regeneration of the churches' (Problems of Humanity, p. 152).
Her rationale for this was obvious: "The Christian church in its many branches can serve as a St. John the Baptist, as a voice crying in the wilderness, and as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished." (The Externalization of the Hierarchy, p. 510)
"In other words, instead of opposing Christianity, the occult would capture and blend itself with Christianity and then use it as its primary vehicle for spreading and instilling New Age consciousness!
The various churches would still have their outer trappings of Christianity and still use much of the same lingo. If asked certain questions about traditional Christian doctrine, the same answers would be given. But it would all be on the outside; on the inside a contemplative spirituality would be drawing in those open to it.
"In wide segments of Christendom this has indeed already occurred.... Thomas Keating alone taught 31,000 people mystical prayer in one year. People are responding to this in large numbers because it has the external appearance of Christianity but in truth, is the diametric opposite---what a skillful spiritual delusion!"
Erwin McManus: The Secret Behind the Secret (with Jon Gordon)
Kay Warren Recommends Henri Nouwen
Jim Burns promotes Ruth Haley Barton
John Ortberg and Contemplative Prayer
Dan Kimball's Emerging Church and Eastern Mysticism
For more information on Schuller's "dream" read Deceived on Purpose by Warren Smith.
Lighthouse Trails Research Project
Lighthouse Trails Publishing
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Article from Berean call:
Awana is showing signs that it is becoming a full-blown contemplative organization. First of all, through Awana's prison project, the organization is incorporating New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard's Lead Like Jesus Encounter program. On July 13th, we spoke with Lyndon Azcuna, Awana Cross Cultural Ministries director, who told us he was a Lead Like Jesus facilitator. Azcuna works in the main headquarters office of Awana. He said that the project was using Ken Blanchard's materials. When we explained to him that Blanchard promoted the New Age and mystical meditation, he said that the program did not have these elements.
However, the Lead Like Jesus Encounter is largely based on Blanchard's book, Lead Like Jesus, and that book does include contemplative elements. For instance, in the chapter called "The Habits of a Servant Leader" a palms-up, palms-down exercise is described (something Richard Foster has encouraged)(p. 158). The book gives a typical instruction on contemplative:
Before we send people off for their period of solitude, we have them recite with us Psalm 46:10 in this way: Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know. Be still. Be.... When people return from their time of solitude, they have big smiles on their faces. While many of them found it difficult to quiet their mind, they say it was a powerful experience. The reality is most of us spend little if any time in solitude. Yet if we don't, how can God have a chance to talk with us?
While Awana's decision to include Ken Blanchard's materials into their program is enough evidence to show that the organization is quickly changing, we must now report that there is something even more disquieting with regard to Awana and their slide into contemplative - a book that is recommended by Awana and also carried by the Awana store: Perspectives on Children's Spiritual Formation. A description of the book is as follows:
In children's ministry, models, methods, and materials abound. How do you decide what direction you want your ministry to children to take? Perspectives on Childrens Spiritual Formation allows you to examine the four prominent points-of-view in the church today. You will then be able to make a more informed decision on the way in which your ministry should take.
The book offers four different views on how to transform children. One author, Scottie May, a professor at Wheaton, writes the section titled, "Contemplative-Reflective Model." May gives a hearty promotion of centering prayer, the Jesus prayer, Christ candles, the Catholic Eucharist and an strong endorsement for contemplative spirituality ala Thomas Merton, whom he favorably quotes in the book. Two Awana staff writers respond in the book to May's contemplative approach and give it a thumbs up with only minor cautions. But overall they believe that contemplative is a valid approach for all Christians, including children. Perspectives on Children's Spiritual Formation is giving a green light to Awana leaders around the world to practice contemplative prayer.
Some people may not understand why we write this report about Awana. After all, they have done some wonderful things for children. But that is the very reason we do issue this report - we do not want to see Awana sell out to the fast growing apostasy of contemplative spirituality and the New Age; and because we care about children, we speak up. With more and more public schools teaching kids to meditate and do yoga, and with more and more Christian schools bringing in emerging leaders like Rob Bell (through his Noomas and his book Velvet Elvis), millions of children are now placed in harm's way by learning meditative techniques that will possibly take them into altered states and demonic realms. We hope Awana leadership will reconsider their position on contemplative/spiritual formation for the sake of children and their parents. And if you have children in the program, please use extreme caution in light of these new developments.