Rome’s Revision Of The Lord’s Prayer And The Coming Hour Of Testing

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Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you.

But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.

Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.

Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?

And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.

11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.

12 And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.

13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

14 And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.

15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:

16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air,

18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:

19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

20 But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

21 Furthermore the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance:

22 But I must die in this land, I must not go over Jordan: but ye shall go over, and possess that good land.

23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.

24 For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

25 When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke him to anger:

26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

27 And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.

28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

31 (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?

33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?

34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.

36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.

37 And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt;

38 To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.

39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lordhe is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

40 Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever.

41 Then Moses severed three cities on this side Jordan toward the sunrising;

42 That the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbour unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live:

43 Namely, Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites.

44 And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel:

45 These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt.

46 On this side Jordan, in the valley over against Bethpeor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel smote, after they were come forth out of Egypt:

47 And they possessed his land, and the land of Og king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, which were on this side Jordan toward the sunrising;

48 From Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount Sion, which is Hermon,

49 And all the plain on this side Jordan eastward, even unto the sea of the plain, under the springs of Pisgah.  (Deuteronomy 4 :1 49King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

 

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:1-21King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

The Pope in Rome seems to think that he can change the Word of Yahweh-God. Yahweh’s-God word says that it can not be changed without dire consequences. The traditions of Man are being use to trump the Bible. We are seeing the Rise of the Anti-Christ.

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If you regularly check the headlines, then you may have read about the Vatican’s efforts to revise a particular verse in what is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer.” Led by Pope Francis, Rome wants to change the wording of a long-standing translation that has brought a mixture of comfort and confusion to many.

The verse in question can be found in Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4, and in the eyes of the Pope and the leaders of the Roman Catholic institution, they believe that “lead us not into temptation” should be reworded to something like “abandon us not when in temptation.” While the Vatican has taken significant time to study ancient versions and do the proper leg work, the faithful student of God’s word should wisely question the purpose and validity of this enterprise.

And for those of us who have studied history, how could we forget the unjust power plays from the Popes of Christmas past? When the majority of Christendom doesn’t know their right from their left when it comes to the Bible, should we just leave this one up to the self-appointed experts of Rome to solve this translational and interpretative puzzle?

By no means should we follow Rome’s lead, or even shrug our shoulders like the rest of the undiscerning world. Instead, let’s apply our minds (the mind of Christ; cf. 1 Cor. 2:14-15) and use the tools available to the true body of Christ in order to separate the wheat from the chaff in this translation controversy.

For starters: What does the text actually say in the earliest surviving Greek manuscripts? Next thought: We should understand that even a literal, word-for-word translation requires some interpretation on the part of the translator. There is a wide semantic range for many words and phrases written in the ancient biblical languages and the variety of English versions attests to this fact. Consequently, the answer is not as simple as what does the Greek say. We must also consider the context of the chapter and book in order to gain a biblically-informed understanding of the inspired author’s intent.

My aim, however, is not to get into the theory of translation or interpretation right now, so I strongly invite you to read this well-written and thorough blog post authored by Dr. Daniel Wallace, a senior Greek professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, entitled “Pope Francis, The Lord’s Prayer, and Bible Translation.” He addressed this controversy a year ago when the Vatican first announced their plans to alter the Lord’s Prayer.

In this post I want to challenge a particular conclusion reached in one of many news outlets reporting on this issue. Michael Dorstewitz, writing for Newsmax, provides an objective piece for the most part, offering several quotes from both Catholic and Protestant leaders. However, the objectivity abruptly ends with this crude summarization:

…in the meantime, the message for all the detractors should be: No, Pope Francis is not rewriting the word of God” (see, “Pope Francis Calls for Change to ‘Lord’s Prayer’ and Critics Go Mad“).

Mr. Dorstewitz’s reply is a great example of an all-too-common attitude in our time: What’s the big deal, so what? Let the Pope change a word or two in order to smooth out a difficult translation and bring unity among Christians. What’s all the fuss about, and why is this news anyway? Nothing to see here, move along.

Well, I beg to differ, because this isn’t the first controversial thing the current Pope has said or done—the leader of the Roman Catholic Church has been rocking the boat and helping to pave the way for a one-world religion ever since he was appointed back in 2013 (for specifics, see Gary’s post, “The Wolf“).

So, on the contrary, Mr. Dorstewitz, Pope Francis is trying to rewrite (re-word, re-interpret) the word of God. Though well-intentioned or not, the Roman Catholic Church is not only twisting the Scripture but also fulfilling end-times prophecy. And there is a tragic irony in the specific verse the Vatican is seeking to emend that relates to Catholics and the coming Tribulation.

…if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14, ESV).

What Say You, Matthew?

Matthew and Luke are the only biblical authors to record the content of Jesus’ model prayer to the disciples known throughout the world as “The Lord’s Prayer.” Luke appears to have a more condensed version, and so, for the sake of clarity and convenience, we will stick with Matthew’s gospel for our purposes here.

When you survey the English versions for Matthew 6:13, you will discover that virtually everyone follows the lead of the KJV and translates the Greek word peraismos as “temptation.” However, when you look up the word in most Bible lexicons or dictionaries, you’ll find that there is a broad range of meaning available.

For example, I have found three primary definitions in the semantic range for peraismosStrong’s 3986:

(1) Trial
(2) Testing
(3) Temptation

As you can see, these words in isolation evoke different imagery even though they are synonymous. Context, as always, is important in order to narrow down which definition in the semantic range is appropriate for any given verse. Therefore, it is possible that some of the confusion surrounding Matthew 6:13 could be resolved if more Christians understood that the ideas of “testing” and “trial” are legitimate English translations for peraismos.

Nevertheless, some will still confuse this verse in the Lord’s Prayer with James 1:13. On this alleged contradiction please refer to Dr. Wallace’s article linked above. When peraismos is used with God or Satan as the subject, Dr. Wallace makes an important theological point of distinction, “God tests; Satan tempts.”

But the Pope along with many others will object, “God would never lead or bring anyone into temptation, that’s the Devil’s job.” Oh, really? So God would never lead, bring, or send someone to be peraismoed [tested, tried, tempted, etc.]? Well, as it turns out, we don’t have to go very far to answer that rebuttal. Just turn back a couple of pages to chapter 4:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted [Grk. peraismos] by the Devil…” (Matthew 4:1, HCSB).

And, there you have it: Led up by the Spirit…of God. It was God who led Jesus into the desert to be tempted. Now, if you can accept that God led Jesus into temptation, or to be tempted, then how does this affect our interpretation of the controversial verse in the Lord’s Prayer?

To further clarify this crucial literary connection within Matthew’s gospel, here is Dr. Wallace’s brief comment on Matthew 6:13 found in one of his Greek textbooks:

Although the KJV renders [Matt. 6:13] ‘deliver us from evil,’ the presence of the article indicates not evil in general, but the evil one himself. In the context of Matthew’s Gospel, such deliverance from the devil seems to be linked to Jesus’ temptation in 4:1-10: Because the Spirit led him into temptation by the evil one, believers now participate in his victory” (in Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, pg. 233).

And it’s little wonder why many Christians, or so-called Christians, misunderstand this verse in the Lord’s Prayer. The reason is they are confused about the very gospel itself. To conclude, here are some of Dr. Wallace’s most powerful statements in his response to the Pope Francis debacle:

…the temptation that the Lord faced was the ultimate temptation—the offer of the entire world on a platter. Jesus can ask the disciples to pray that the Father would not lead them into temptation and that God would deliver them from the evil one precisely because Jesus himself faced the ultimate temptation by the evil one…[i]t is precisely because of Jesus’ substitutionary death and life that this prayer can be recited today by Christians with the full assurance that God will answer us. Pope Francis’s translation, however, subverts all this…[t]he original text speaks clearly of God leading, not permitting. To tamper with the wording misses the connection with the Lord’s temptation.”

Now then. I’ve shown you how Pope Francis and his cohorts at the Vatican are twisting the Scripture and thereby polluting the waters of the true gospel once again. They are the blind leading the blind. But how is the pontiff also fulfilling end-times prophecy by this latest move?

The Final Exam

The terrible irony in all of this mistranslation mess is the fact that the leader of the largest group of Christians worldwide has no clue that the LORD will not only lead him and the rest of the non-born-again Catholics into temptation, Jesus says most explicitly that He will throw them into the ultimate time of testing—the Tribulation:

Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death…” (Revelation 2:22-23, NKJV).

Do you see the irony in all of this?!

The Pope wants to alter Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4 and absolve God from leading anyone into testing or temptation. However, truth be told, the Lord Jesus doesn’t simply lead the Roman church into the Tribulation like a shepherd gently guiding his sheep to green pasture, He throws them into the Trib like a diseased sack of potatoes going into a burning trash heap.

Yikes.

But please note: For all who are willing to examine the Scriptures for themselves and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, even if you identify as a former or current Roman Catholic, there is still hope for exemption from the Final Exam. There is still time…but it is quickly running out.

Look, the first and last uses of the Greek noun peraismos in the New Testament are book-ended by Matthew 6:13 and a shockingly relevant verse in the book of Revelation:

Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing [Grk. peraismos], that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10, NASB).

Therefore, you must hear what the Spirit is saying (Rev. 2:293:13) and believe the one and only true gospel of salvation. It’s under heavy attack right now and has been for many centuries. But now that we are nearing the day of the Final Exam, you must examine your beliefs and find out whether or not you are trusting in Christ alone and His finished work alone (Heb. 10:10-13Rev. 2:26, emphasis “My works”).

If you are trusting in the once-and-for-all atoning sacrifice of Jesus, then you are exempt from the Final Exam according to the correct translation and interpretation of Matthew 6:13 and Revelation 3:10. Rest assured, the LORD will not lead the true body of Christ into the testing period of the Tribulation. We will all be led in another direction—up, up, and away!

After this I looked, and there in heaven was an open door. The first voice [Jesus] that I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here…” (Revelation 4:1, HCSB). (Click to Source)

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Tsunami hits without warning in Indonesia, killing over 220

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CARITA BEACH, Indonesia (AP) — The deadly tsunami struck in the dark, without warning.

At least 222 people were killed as waves smashed into houses, hotels and other beachside buildings Saturday night along Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, in a disaster that followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, one of the world’s most infamous volcanic islands.

More than 800 others were injured and dozens were reported missing after the tsunami hit coastal areas along western Java and southern Sumatra islands at 9:27 p.m. Saturday amid a Christmas holiday weekend, the Disaster Management Agency said. The death toll could increase once authorities hear from all stricken areas.

It was the second deadly tsunami to hit Indonesia this year, but the one that killed more than 2,500 people on the island of Sulawesi on Sept. 28 was accompanied by a powerful earthquake that gave residents a brief warning before the waves struck.

On Saturday night, the ground did not shake beforehand to alert people to the oncoming wave that ripped buildings from their foundations in seconds and swept terrified concert goers on a popular resort beach into the sea.

Azki Kurniawan, 16, said his first warning about the tsunami was when people burst into the lobby of the Patra Comfort Hotel shouting, “Sea water rising!”

Kurniawan, who was undergoing vocational training with a group of 30 other students, said he was confused because he had not felt a big earthquake. He said he ran to the parking lot to try to reach his motorbike but discovered it was already flooded.

“Suddenly, a 1-meter (3.3-foot) wave hit me,” he said, his eyes red and swollen from crying. “I was thrown into the fence of a building about 30 meters (100 feet) from the beach and held onto the fence as strong as I could, trying to resist the water, which felt like it would drag me back into the sea. I cried in fear … ‘This is a tsunami?’ I was afraid I would die.”

Dramatic video posted on social media showed the Indonesian pop band Seventeen performing under a tent on popular Tanjung Lesung beach at a concert for employees of a state-owned electricity company. Dozens of people sat at tables while others swayed to the music near the stage as strobe lights flashed and theatrical smoke was released. A child could also be seen wandering through the crowd.

Seconds later, with the drummer pounding just as the next song was about to begin, the stage suddenly heaved forward and buckled under the force of the water, tossing the band and its equipment into the audience.

The group released a statement saying their bass player, guitarist and road manager were killed, while two other band members and the wife of one of the performers were missing.

“The tide rose to the surface and dragged all the people on site,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, when the current receded, our members were unable to save themselves while some did not find a place to hold on.”

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 222 deaths had been confirmed and at least 843 people were injured.

The worst-affected area was the Pandeglang region of Java’s Banten province, which encompasses Ujung Kulon National Park and popular beaches, the agency said.

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo expressed his sympathy and ordered government agencies to respond quickly to the disaster.

“My deep condolences to the victims in Banten and Lumpung provinces,” he said. “Hopefully, those who are left have patience.”

A woman cries after identifying a relative among the dead. (AP Photo/Fauzy Chaniago)

 

At the Vatican, Pope Francis prayed for the dead, the missing and the homeless in Indonesia, telling tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square that his thoughts were with victims “struck by violent natural calamities.”

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted support for Indonesia: “We are praying for recovery and healing. America is with you!”

In the city of Bandar Lampung on Sumatra, hundreds of residents took refuge at the governor’s office, while at the popular resort area of Anyer beach on Java, some survivors wandered in the debris.

Tourists who were enjoying the long holiday weekend ahead of Christmas were also affected.

“I had to run, as the wave passed the beach and landed 15-20m (meters, or 50-65 feet) inland,” said Norwegian Oystein Lund Andersen, in a Facebook post. The self-described photographer and volcano enthusiast said he was taking pictures of the volcano when he suddenly saw the water racing toward him. He and his family fled safely to higher ground.

People inspect the wreckage in Carita, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

 

The damage became apparent after daybreak Sunday. Nine hotels and hundreds of homes were heavily damaged by the waves. Broken chunks of concrete and splintered sticks of wood littered hard-hit coastal areas, turning beach getaways popular with Jakarta residents into near ghost towns. Vehicles were tossed into the rubble or were buried under collapsed roofs. Debris from thatch-bamboo shacks was strewn along beaches.

Yellow, orange and black body bags were laid out, and weeping relatives identified the dead.

Scientists, including those from Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics agency, said the tsunami could have been caused by landslides — either above ground or under water — on the steep slope of the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano. The scientists also cited tidal waves caused by the full moon.

The 305-meter (1,000-foot) -high Anak Krakatau, whose name means “Child of Krakatoa,” lies on an island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands, linking the Indian Ocean and the Java Sea. It has been erupting since June and did so again about 24 minutes before the tsunami, the geophysics agency said.

The volcanic island formed over years after the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, one of the largest, most devastating in recorded history. That disaster killed more than 30,000 people, launched far-reaching tsunamis and created so much ash that day was turned to night in the area and a global temperature drop was recorded.

Most of the island sank into a volcanic crater under the sea, and the area remained calm until the 1920s, when Anak Krakatau began to rise from the site. It continues to grow each year and erupts periodically although it is much smaller than Krakatoa.

A damaged house in Carita, Indonesia. (AP Photo)

 

Gegar Prasetya, co-founder of the Tsunami Research Center Indonesia, said Saturday’s tsunami was likely caused by a flank collapse — when a big section of a volcano’s slope gives way. It’s possible for an eruption to trigger a landslide above ground or beneath the ocean, both capable of producing waves, he said.

“Actually, the tsunami was not really big, only 1 meter (3.3 feet),” said Prasetya, who has studied Krakatoa. “The problem is people always tend to build everything close to the shoreline.”

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and home to 260 million people, lies along the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. Roads and infrastructure are poor in many areas of the disaster-prone country, making access difficult in the best of conditions.

Saturday’s tsunami also rekindled memories of the massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake that hit Indonesia on Dec. 26, 2004. It spawned a giant tsunami off Sumatra island, killing more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries — the majority in Indonesia. (Click to Source)

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Associated Press writers Margie Mason and Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed.

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National Solar Observatory Cover-Up: What We Know So Far

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Several people have been emailing and messaging me about the apparent closure of the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to address the situation.  These sorts of stories come out from time to time and I usually steer clear because they turn out to be unsubstantiated rumors.

This one is not.  However, although it is really happening, we would do well not to jump to any conclusions without knowing more.  The public is in the dark.

Here is what we know:

  • Last Thursday, September 6th, the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, was evacuated and closed, with the only reason given being “security concerns.”
  • The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) claims to have ordered the evacuation.
  • The local sheriff’s office in Otero County (in which Sunspot is located) is claiming that the FBI was involved in the sudden closure.  Sheriff Benny House was quoted in the local news saying “the FBI is refusing to tell us what’s going on.”
  • The observatory entrance is currently marked off with crime scene tape and Sheriff House has further said, “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers, but nobody would tell us anything.”
  • Multiple reports suggest the local post office was also evacuated.
  • There are rumors that other solar observatories and/or webcams have been shutdown, including:
    • – AXIS 232D Network Dome Camera located in Sydney Australia
    • – Webcams located at SOAR Observatory – The Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope located in Chile
    • – BRT Tenerife Telescope Webcam located in Spain
    • – Webcam located at Mauna Kea observatory at the University of Hawaii
    • – Hilo Webcam from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope observatory in Hawaii
    • – Webcam at JAT Observatory in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania

I haven’t yet been able to substantiate the rumor that those other observatories and webcams were closed, but all of the other points above have been confirmed by numerous media reports.

Some of the less conspiratorial explanations include the possibility that Chinese or Russian hackers were using the observatory’s antennae to spy on nearby White Sands Missile Range or that government officials wanted to prevent photography of top secret aircraft or missile testing.

But, again, the public is still in the dark.  At this point it’s all just speculation.

We know that there have been an unusually large number of near-earth objects in the past 2–3 weeks and the Revelation 12 “Sign of the Dragon” may be occurring in about three weeks.  Could this be related?

There is also speculation that the sun may have launched an unusually powerful solar flare towards the earth, and there is, for whatever reason, some attempt to cover it up.  There was in fact news stories a few days ago about a large coronal hole facing the earth and a G2 geomagnetic storm occurred on September 11th, just a few short days ago.

From the prophetic side of things, many of us have wondered what might bring the Church into immediate danger precipitating our miraculous deliverance to Heaven (Rev. 12:5).  Might there be a threat to the earth?

If you have any further information, please share below or email us at tips@unsealed.org. (Click to Source)

~ MARANATHA ~
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Why Millennials are Really Leaving Religion (it’s Not Just Politics)

Jana Riess | Religion News Service | Thursday, June 28, 2018

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A couple of decades ago, when young adults began showing their dissatisfaction with organized religion by voting with their feet, it was fashionable for pundits to say this was happening because those religions weren’t conservative or demanding enough.

Because the exodus was initially most pronounced among liberal, mainline Protestants like Episcopalians and Presbyterians, it was easy to point at liberalism as the root of the problem.

If churches just held fast to their standards, the thinking went, they would be fine, because strictness was what the masses secretly wanted. People craved firm boundaries. Conservatives, you will not be surprised to hear, were the most ardent supporters of this “strict churches” theory, which assured them they were already doing the most important things right.

But now the “strict churches” theory is crumbling because some strict denominations are themselves charting losses, or at least slower growth. The Southern Baptists have lost more than a million members over the last decade, according to LifeWay. Giving and attendance are down, and Baptists are seeing more gray and silver heads in the pews.

Meanwhile, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has seen its once-enviable U.S. growth rate slow to under 1 percent in each of the last two years. Mormonism, which grew by just .75 percent in this country in 2017, is barely keeping pace with the growth of the U.S. population (+.71 percent).

Now it’s liberal pundits who are quick to point the finger. A HuffPost headline last yearscreeched that “Evangelical Christianity’s Big Turn-Off” was its relentless pursuit of a conservative political agenda. Let’s call this the “political alienation” theory, which says that churches that have waged war against LGBT rights or supported Donald Trump are reaping the fallout: Millennials want nothing to do with them.

There’s evidence to support the political alienation theory, to a point. Millennials are leaving religion in droves, and some of it is related to politics. People who vote or lean Democratic are more likely to be “nones,” defined as people who have no religious affiliation.

But that’s the key: no religious affiliation. If the political alienation theory fully explained what’s going on in American religion, millennials would be leaving conservative religions in favor of ones that are liberal and LGBT-affirming. Plenty of churches like that exist, where those on the political left would feel welcome and comfortable. But they are not growing.

Instead, folks are just leaving religion, full stop. Especially if they’re young.

So if the “strict churches” theory doesn’t explain why many conservative denominations are experiencing losses, and the “political alienation” theory doesn’t account for why people are exiting religion entirely rather than merely switching to a faith that’s more suitable, what does explain it?

No one can deny that religion has fallen on hard times. Four in 10 younger millennials (18-29) are nones, which is four times what it was in the 1980s. In fact, the fastest-growing religion in America is … no religion at all.

The problem is that the real explanation for this should be called the “it’s complicated” theory, and complications make for crappy headlines. Everybody wants simple answers, and the answers just aren’t simple. We can give it a try, though. Here are three factors that all play a role.

1. DELAYED MARRIAGE AND MORE SINGLE ADULTS

Pastors have joked for decades that a certain segment of people showed up to church primarily to be “hatched, matched or dispatched.” We don’t have much choice in the hatching and dispatching departments — we’re going to be born and die whether we like it or not — but what about the “matched” part? One of the biggest demographic trends of our time is that millennials are delaying marriage or not getting married at all. And since there’s a strong correlation between being married and being involved in religion, the fact that fewer Americans are getting married is worrisome news to clergy.

2. FERTILITY

The number of children a family has is related to the couple’s religious involvement — couples without kids are a bit less likely to be religious. So the fact that fertility is on the decline is, again, worrisome news for organized religion. (To say nothing of the long-term implications for things like Social Security.)

3. THE GROWTH OF THE NONES

This seems like a circular argument: The nones are growing because the nones are growing! But sociologically, it makes a kind of sense. Some nonbelievers might have stayed in organized religion in previous generations just because it was socially expected, and there were consequences for not joining the religious crowd. The numeric growth of the nones has removed some of those barriers, so that other closeted nones feel more comfortable leaving religion too. There is an infrastructure and support system for them.

So the next time someone tells you, “Millennials are leaving religion because evangelicals are in love with Donald Trump,” you can tell them they’re partly right. Political frustration isa factor. But … the truth is also much, much more complicated. (Click to Source)

 

The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion NewsService

Courtesy: Religion News Service

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/FluxFactory

Publication date: June 28, 2018

 

 
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US military reveals $65m funding for ‘Matrix’ projects to plug human brains directly into a computer

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  • System could be used to give soldiers ‘supersenses’ and boost brainpower
  • Will also allow radical new treatments for patients with sensory disorders 
  • Four teams will focus on vision and two on aspects of hearing and speech

The US military has revealed $65 of funding for a programme to develop a ‘brain chip’ allowing humans to simply plug into a computer.

They say the system could give soldiers supersenses and even help treat people with blindness, paralysis and speech disorders

The goal is ‘developing an implantable system able to provide precision communication between the brain and the digital world,’ DARPA officials said.

It has selected its five grant recipients for the Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) program, which it began at the start of this year.

Brown University, Columbia University, The Seeing and Hearing Foundation, the John B. Pierce Laboratory, Paradromics Inc and the University of California, Berkeley will all receive multi-million dollar grants.

‘These organizations have formed teams to develop the fundamental research and component technologies required to pursue the NESD vision of a high-resolution neural interface and integrate them to create and demonstrate working systems able to support potential future therapies for sensory restoration,’ official said.

Four of the teams will focus on vision and two will focus on aspects of hearing and speech.  (Click to Site)

‘Superintellingence’ of AI and humans working together could solve climate change and end wars, researchers claim

In the fight against ‘wicked’ problems, computers may be humans’ best allies.

Researchers from the Human Computation Institute and Cornell University say that the combination would create a superintelligence, and it could take on growing issues like climate change and geopolitical conflict.

New technologies use crowd-sourced input and interactive tools to produce collaborative results that go beyond traditional problem-solving, they claim. (Click to Article)

In latest NSA spying scandal, world learns Obama lied again; Congress furious it was spied on

In January 2014, during the scandalous aftermath of Edward Snowden’s NSA snooping revelations, one which revealed the US had been spying on its closest allies for years, Obama banned U.S. eavesdropping on leaders of close friends and allies and promised he would begin reining in the vast collection of Americans’ phone data in a series of limited reforms.

Below are the key highlights from his January 17, 2014 speech:

Our capabilities help protect not only our nation, but our friends and our allies, as well.  But our efforts will only be effective if ordinary citizens in other countries have confidence that the United States respects their privacy, too.

And the leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to know what they think about an issue, I’ll pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance. 

In other words, just as we balance security and privacy at home, our global leadership demands that we balance our security requirements against our need to maintain the trust and cooperation among people and leaders around the world.

The bottom line is that people around the world, regardless of their nationality, should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security, and that we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures.  This applies to foreign leaders as well.

The president lied, and the privacy concerns of “people around the world” have clearlynever once been taken into account in Obama’s policies and procedures.

Just three days prior, on January 14 2014, Vermont Senator and current Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders had written an email to then NSA Chief Keith Alexander asking if the NSA has or is currently spying “on members of Congress or other American elected officials.” (Click to Article)

NO CRIME. NO TRIAL. NO REASON: THE PRECEDENT IS SET FOR GUN CONFISCATIONS

After the San Bernardino shooting, the most pressing issue for progressives was closing the gun “loophole” that allows suspected terrorists to buy firearms. Specifically, they seem to think that people who have been flagged by the government, and placed on the no fly list, should also be prevented from buying a gun. At first glance it makes sense. After all, why should suspected terrorists ever be allowed to buy a weapon?

However, it stops making sense the moment you take a look at what the no fly list is, and what it entails. It also completely ignores the idea that people should never be punished for crimes they haven’t committed.

This is a list that contains millions of names. We don’t even know the exact number. We don’t know the country of origin for all these people. We don’t know how they got there, or what conditions and procedures were used to put them on the list. And we have no idea how anyone can ever get off the list. Everything about the no fly list is a secret, and more importantly, there is nothing judicial about it. There is no trial, judges or juries, and there is certainly no defending yourself. That’s because you don’t necessarily need to commit a crime to be on the list. (Click to Article)

Kosher medical marijuana to go on sale in New York after firm secures Jewish dietary certification

The World Is Going Mad.

The New York company said the certification will remove the stigma that some associate with the use of the drug

There were apparently some people in New York for whom the idea of medical marijuana- in one local parlance – simply wasn’t kosher. Now they can rest easy.

This week it was announced that a company is set to start selling what is believed to be the first certified kosher medical cannabis and target the the dietary and medical needs of the largest Jewish community in the US.

Vireo Health said its non-smokable medical cannabis products have been certified as conforming to the Jewish dietary law by the Orthodox Union (OU).

“Being certified kosher by the OU will not only help us serve the dietary needs of the largest Jewish community in the United States, but also combat unfortunate stigmas associated with medical cannabis,” Ari Hoffnung, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. (Click to Article)