What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Small Group Leadership - Biblical Qs & As.

Reposted from gracethrufaith.com

Q. This isn’t a theological question. You seem to have a good grasp on ministry and I’m hoping you can help me with a group-dynamics question relating to a small group setting.
I lead a small group in our church. One couple seems to be very good at getting us off-track from the study. As a leader, I don’t know how far to let the discussion wander from the point.
This occurs every week. When it happens, I pray for discernment but, quite honestly, I don’t perceive any clear guidance either way, so I let it go on until the conversation comes around to where I can grab it and continue with the study. By that time, I feel the train of thought has been cut and it’s difficult to continue.

Do you have any insights into the issue of leading small group discussions?
A. Sounds to me like there might have been a lack of communication as to the format of your study group, as if you’re trying to keep it more formal and structured while the other couple wants a free wheeling discussion. These preferential differences always plague the conduct of small groups.

As the group’s leader, you may have clear goals and even an outline of topics to be presented and reviewed each week. When the discussion veers from this outline you begin to wonder if you’ll run out of time before accomplishing your goals.

The other party seems to prefer a spontaneous approach, like “Let’s open the book and see where it leads us.” They may not even realize the conflict this causes you. They may also be frustrated discussion leaders themselves, unconsciously hi-jacking your agenda to meet their needs.

If you respect their views, even though their behavior frustrates your objectives, you could do one of several things.
1- Meet with them one-on-one to review your objectives as the group’s leader and ask for their help in keeping things on track. You could offer to assign them the responsibility of directing the group’s discussions from time to time to help meet their leadership needs in return for their cooperation.
2- Explain the situation to your Pastor and ask him to appoint them as leaders over their own group, or recommend that they be transferred into a group whose leader’s style is more compatible with their preferences.
3- If you enjoy the discussions and feel the only problem is that it conflicts with your goals for the meetings you could even offer to step aside in favor of them.

Small groups seem to function best when everyone in the group responds well to the leader’s style. Having conducted leadership training sessions for over 20 years, I know it involves teaching leaders to adapt their style to fit the needs of the people they’re in charge of.

But in informal settings like yours the goal should be to make the group as compatible with the leader’s natural style as possible. The key to success in a situation like this is to handle it with the love and respect due a fellow believer, maintaining the humility we should all strive to express in doing the Lord’s work.

Monday, July 25, 2016

What does it mean to be double-minded?

What does it mean to be double-minded?: (doubleminded)? What is the meaning of James 1:8 and 4:8?

NEW BOOKLET: Signs & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider

NEW BOOKLET: Signs & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider by David Dombrowski is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 10 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Signs & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider, click here. 

Signs & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider
By David Dombrowski

Setting Things Up With Great Delusion

Jesus taught his disciples that in the last days, a time of mass delusion will come upon the earth. He said:
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. (Mark 13:22-23; emphasis added)
Likewise, Paul spoke of this time when he said:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)
If we look at what is happening in the world today, the only logical conclusion is that we have already entered into that period of history. The world is going through a mystical paradigm shift where an increasingly high number of people are engaging in occultic mystical practices which are leading them into a New Age all-paths-lead-to-God kind of mentality.
This is not only happening in the world, but it is happening in the church as well. It is shocking to see that doctrines and values formerly held sacred are now being discarded. Many Christian leaders today have replaced the reading and study of Scripture with having spiritual experiences or what Jesus referred to above as signs and wonders. In effect, multitudes of Christians are being led to believe that if they can have some type of spiritual experience or witness a miracle, that will bear more validity than the words of Scripture itself.
What we have now generated is a delusion so great that if one has an “experience” that contradicts the Bible, one will hold the experience as valid and not the Bible because the experience is seen as tangible and therefore more real. But this is an insult to our God because as David points out in a Psalm:
I will worship toward thy hold temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:2; emphasis added)
God holds His Word in highest esteem as being entirely truthful, but many would rather trust and rely on their own experiences as their standard for truth.
 Read more 

John Haller - Prophecy Update 2016 07 24

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Good Morning, Lord. A Commentary On Psalm 19

A Commentary on Psalm 19

Reposted from gracethrufaith.com
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Psalm 19 is one of the best daily prayers I’ve ever found. Commit it to memory and use it in your prayers each morning. Just like your daily bath or shower makes you physically clean, praying Psalm 19 makes you spiritually clean.  It’s a great way to fulfill 1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Let’s go through Psalm 19 and I’ll show you why I believe it’s such a good one to know by heart.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
(Psalm 19:1-4)

These verses refer to the Hebrew Mazzaroth, later corrupted into Babylonian Astrology. Hebrew tradition holds that Adam, Seth, and Enoch picked 12 constellations of stars, each with a major star and 3 minor ones (called decans) and named them in such a way as to tell the gospel story.  Being a nomadic people who slept in the open with their flocks, generations of fathers could point out these constellations to their sons at night and use them to teach the redemption story. This was to give hope to the sons, who had heard stories of the fall of Man and his expulsion from the Garden. It taught them that one day God would send His Son to redeem them. Their faith in God’s promise, written in the stars, is what saved them from their sins.

Evidence shows that the Sphinx in Egypt is a monument to the Mazzaroth with the head of a woman (Virgo) and the body of a lion (Leo) combining the 1st and 12th signs and completing the circle of redemption. Some experts contend that the particular kind of erosion the sphinx has experienced could only have occurred if it had spent a period of time under water. If so, it’s a pre-flood memorial to the Gospel in the Stars.

In ancient Babylon, the 12 constellations were given different names, most of which bore no resemblance to the original Hebrew, and the 12 signs of the Zodiac were born taking God completely out of the picture. The Babylonian names survive to this day and are the basis for the false religion we call astrology.  This was one of the enemy’s early attempts to deprive mankind of the Gospel story.  There is speculation among archeologists and astrologers alike that the Tower of Babel may have been dedicated to the study of astrology.  Signs of the Zodiac have been found in the ruins of similar ancient towers.  In Israel the study of Astrology was a sin punishable by death (Deut. 18:9-12 KJV).
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.
(Psalm 19:5-6)

The rising and setting of the Sun each day also give evidence of God’s creative powers in providing the light and warmth necessary to sustain our lives day in and day out. How could this happen by chance?
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward
(Psalm 19:7-11)

God’s Laws, while impossible to keep in their entirety, are the standard for behavior that He requires of us.  Neither arbitrary nor oppressive, they are perfect as He is perfect, and making them part of your life is the sure path to prosperity and success (Joshua 1:8).  Even people who don’t believe in the Creator who ordained them are blessed by incorporating His laws into their lifestyle.

Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
(Psalm 19:12-13)

But even the best of us falls pitifully short of achieving the standards God’s law sets forth.  Our behavior is so contaminated by our sin nature we don’t even realize the extent to which we violate them.  So David’s prayer was not just for God’s help in preventing him from consciously sinning, but also for forgiveness for the sins he wasn’t even aware of committing.

In Old Testament times, the evening and morning burnt offerings temporarily set aside the unintentional sins of the nation. From the time of the Exodus to the coming of the Messiah these offerings were part of their daily lives.  The evening offering was kept burning all night to atone for the sins they committed during the night and the morning offering covered them all through the day.  Two lambs gave their life every day to show the people the extent to which sin had permeated their lives, literally causing them to violate God’s laws day and night.

As the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) Jesus replaced these twice daily burnt offerings with His once-for-all-time sacrifice (Hebrews 10:11-14). And it covered conscious as well as unconscious sin.  Since He has already paid the penalty due us, we need only confess to be forgiven.  Some dispute this, arguing that our original confession should be sufficient for life.  However John the Apostle reminded us that if we think we’re without sin we’re liars, fooling ourselves. But if we confess our sins, as David did, including even those that are so much a part of our behavior that we’re not even aware of them, God Who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-10)  Our original confession saved us forever, but maintaining an intimate relationship with God in the here and now requires confession whenever we sin.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

God, Who judges the motives of our heart knows the difference between the sincere confession of a humble and contrite sinner and the mindless mouthing of words we’ve learned to say without feeling. David closed his prayer with the hope that God would count him sincere as he offered his confession, and judge his motives favorably. Good advice for us too.

Today, when there’s so much emphasis on self, it’s easy to forget that we’re created beings who’ve been given incredible talent and ability to use as we see fit, and a guide to living that will assure success beyond our wildest imagination.  Beginning each day by declaring the glory of our Creator, acknowledging and confessing our sins, and protecting our relationship with the One who is the author of all our victories is a great antidote for the self-centeredness that can so easily overtake us.

In the days ahead our way of life will be challenged in ways we would never have imagined just a few years ago.  It’s more important now than ever before that we stay close to our Lord and Savior, to avail ourselves of His blessing and His protection.  Knowing and praying Psalm 19 will help us do that. Selah 10-30-10

Jigglypuff and Jesus? Churches Nationwide Captured by ‘Pokemon Go’ Game Craze

Republished from christiannews.net via olivetreeviews.org

By on
  Poke Church-compressed 

Reports nationwide are outlining how purported churches across the country are being pulled in by one of the latest societal crazes: Pokemon Go, a mobile game that has users on their feet and out on the town in an effort to capture Pokemon characters at various “PokeStops” set by the game’s creators.

Gamers seek to “catch ’em all” as they scout out various Pokemon creatures—some comical, some crabby—such as a Weedle, a Jigglypuff, a Poliwag, a Hypno, a Jynx and Vaporeon. Users may find Pokemon eggs at PokeStops, which will “hatch” when the player walks a certain distance, or they may throw a PokeBall to catch spotted Pokemon.
According to reports, the game, which was rolled out earlier this month, currently has over 7.5 million daily users.

As number of congregations have discovered that they have been set up as “PokeStops” or “gym,” many have decided to play along along with gamers by posting on the signs outside their houses or worship, “Poke stop here!” or “We are a PokeStop. Get supplies outside; find Jesus inside.”
In other words, some assemblies have announced to players, “We’re game.” Christian-identified blogs are consequently posting about how church leaders can use the foot traffic to attract the lost to their assembly or to accommodate existing members.
Aaron Earls of the blog “The Wardrobe Door” wrote on July 11, “You probably don’t want your student pastor spending his entire day playing Pokemon on your front steps, so put up a sign to let players know they can come inside.”
“If it is hot, people will be thankful to step inside and hang out in an air conditioned area while they pick up some items, see what Pokemon are around or battle a gym leader,” he said. “If AC won’t bring someone inside the doors, maybe some free pizza and a soft drink will.”
Earls suggested that assemblies advertise a set “Pokemon day” at their house of worship.
“Players can come and hang out in the church, get free food, and talk about their latest catches,” he wrote.

Earls also outlined in an article for the Washington Post entitled “Come for Jigglypuff, Stay for Jesus: Church in the Age of Pokémon Go” that Pokemon has become a theme of discussion among members of his church—as well as a potential distraction.
“Before we started our class Sunday, the young adults I teach wanted to talk Pokemon Go. We shared our best catches and embarrassing failures. Before I began the lesson, I joked, ‘Don’t play during class unless you see a rare Pokemon. Then you have to let me know, so I can catch it, too,'” he wrote.

“But for a few, the temptation was too great. They didn’t want to miss any Pokemon that might virtually wander in while we talked Bible,” Earls acknowledged.
Ridge Community Church in Greenville, Wisconsin even distributed a free Pokemon collectible to players during its Thursday night “happy hour.”
But while some believe that Christians should use the cultural phenomenon as an opportunity to build bridges with the unchurched, others note that the biblical Church was never meant to use carnal means to win the lost.

“For the Church to dish out the pablum of the world that can be picked up on every street corner (or in this case, on every mobile device) only serves to diminish the quality, the power, and the integrity of the amazing life-changing truth we have to offer,” Eric Ludy, pastor of the Church at Ellerslie and president of Ellerslie Mission Society in Windsor, Colorado, told Christian News Network.

“The simple rule of thumb is this: If we compete with the world with worldly means, the world will always best us. The Church only wins when it labors God’s way, with God’s truth, power, purity, love and ingenuity,” he said.

Ludy stated that he sees the Pokemon craze as being “emblematic of the current drift of the Christian culture.” And while some professing Christians see frittering away their time playing the game as a personal liberty since they do not consider Pokemon to be intrinsically sinful, Ludy noted that there are much better ways for Christians to spend their fleeting lives.

“Long and short, a maturing Christian doesn’t ask the question, ‘What can I get away with?’ but rather, ‘What can I do to love my God more?'” he explained. “I think many immature Christians right now are seeking to justify their petty addictions instead of allowing some good soul-searching questions to reverberate in their souls. We have one life to live for Jesus Christ. Is this really how we should be spending our time?”

The War Behind Our Woe

Reposted from hallindsey.com 
by Hal Lindsey  
The ongoing assault on police is just one front in the ongoing war between raging chaos and peaceful civility.  On another front stands Islamic terror.  But a bigger threat comes from “values-terrorists” — people out to undercut the notions of right and wrong that make civilization possible.  These are three areas of conflict among thousands in an ongoing war that is bigger and older than most people can imagine.
 In his book, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, “Enemy-occupied territory — that is what this world is.”  
The enemy he spoke of is neither a nation, human being, nor political persuasion.  It is the devil himself.  C. S. Lewis, the brilliant Oxford don, believed whole-heartedly in a universe within and without our universe — a set of spiritual dimensions.  The Bible describes this spirit realm as a place where entities exist, think, plan, and, in mysterious but real ways, influence human lives.
As we go deeper into the last days, we see a growing paradox concerning Satan.  A smaller percentage of people in western nations believe in him than at any time in the last thousand years.  And yet, his power, chutzpah, rebellious ways, and even his evil are celebrated as heroic throughout popular culture.  With fewer and fewer taboos, the craving for forbidden fruit drives humanity lower and lower until finally it begins to praise this abominable embodiment of evil — Satan.
The Bible shows him intensifying his activities in the end times.  One day, through the Antichrist, Satan will demand the worship he has long craved from every person on earth.  Until then, he walks a tightrope — pleased to work stealthily behind the scenes, but more pleased to be praised and celebrated.  
I don’t talk about him because I enjoy the topic.  I talk about him because we will never understand the world around us if we don’t understand his role in it.  And don’t kid yourself.  His role is huge!
Jesus called him, “the ruler of this world.” (John 16:11 NASB)  With such a “ruler,” it’s no wonder that just a few verses later Jesus would say to His followers, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33 NIV)  
The Church was born into a world of trouble.  But thankfully, there’s more to John 16:33 than the part I quoted above.  The entire verse says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”
We are in the middle of a spiritual combat zone.  Battles rage around us.  But Jesus tells us to “take heart” because He’s already won the war.  And when you’ve already won, the power of the opponent becomes inconsequential.  Early Christians squarely faced the raging anger of Rome, the greatest empire in the history of the world… and they thrived!
Today, the earth reels from a planet-wide rise in vitriol.  The rage that has long boiled beneath the surface seems to be emerging more often and with greater ferocity.  And it is global — touching every inhabited part of the globe.  
As Christians, we must recognize the spiritual component in these events.  Every outbreak of human wickedness bears the fingerprints of a monster from the deep — the “god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV)
That’s why 2 Corinthians 10:3 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” (NKJV)  
Ephesians 6:11-12 says, “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (NASB)
I’m not giving anyone a pass here.  “The devil made me do it” is never a valid excuse.  We all make choices and all choices have consequences.  I am saying that while society must hold every person responsible for his or her crimes, we Christians need to be aware of the spiritual component.  We must not forget the identity of our real enemy.
We face difficult times.  Many have fallen into despair.  Remarkably, in such times, the work of Christ bears its greatest fruit.  But it must be His work.  Human strength is useless against the attacks of Satan.  We fall into frustration and pain when we rely on our own vigor, intelligence, or goodness.  We win by allowing the Lord to give us His strength.  
Ephesians 6:10 commands that we “be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.” (NASB) 
Think about those words.  We have the privilege of receiving “the strength of His might!” Even though “His might” is a power infinitely beyond our ability to imagine, He gives us glimpses at it.  Look at the cosmos with its hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing an average of hundred billion stars, and each star more amazing than we can know.  We can’t fully grasp “His might,” but we see enough to recognize it as a place where we can rest in complete security.
The original text of Ephesians 6:10 is even stronger.  The command comes in the passive voice.  That means we receive the action described by the verb.  It is actually saying that we are to be “constantly allowing ourselves to be strengthened by the Lord.”
He won the war.  He does the strengthening.  He gets the glory!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

What must I do to be saved? (Pastor Charles Lawson)

The First 10 Generations of Mankind Form a Composite Picture of Messiah's Ministry

Reposted from FB
Bible Study Planet

• Adam is the "Son of God" (Luke 3)
• Abel is the "Son of Man" (Adam means "man", Genesis 4)
• Adam died through a "tree". (Genesis 3)
• Abel was a Shepherd whose blood was shed by his brother. (Genesis 4)
• Seth was the 3rd Son whose life resurrected the righteous lineage in place of Abel's death. (Genesis 4)
• Enoch walked closely with God and was taken away to Heaven. (Genesis 5)
• Methuselah's life (the oldest life at 969 years) was a picture of GRACE *restraining* the Judgment of God via the Flood (Methuselah's name means "When He Dies; It [the Flood] Shall Come")
• Noah and His family of 7 entered the single Door in the Ark of Salvation to escape the Judgment on the World (Genesis 7)
• Noah and His family of 7 return to Earth and set up an altar of sacrifice to give thanks to God in a New World and New Order (Genesis 8)
::: COMPARE :::
• Jesus is the "Son of God" and the "Son of Man" (Mark 1; John 1)
• Jesus is the Good Shepherd whose blood was shed by his brothers. (John 10)
• Jesus died on a "tree". (John 19)
• Jesus was resurrected in the 3rd Day, resurrecting the Righteousness of God in place of His prior death. (John 20)
• After His resurrection God took back His son in the Ascension to Heaven to sit at His right-hand. (Acts 1)
• The Church Age [approximately 2,000 years] is known as the "Age of GRACE" and as the Light we restrain the Darkness; when we are REMOVED the Judgment of God is delivered [in the Tribulation]
• Christ and His 7 Churches enter through the Single Door set in Heaven via the Rapture to escape the Judgment on the World (Revelation 2-4)
• Christ and His Church return to Earth and Christ sets up the Temple of God (Ezekiel 40-48) in a New World Order known as the "Kingdom" (Revelation 19-20)

Friday, July 22, 2016

“Turkey has a large armed force, professional armed forces and... I am certain they will continue as a committed and strong NATO ally.”

Reblogged from jpost.com
It would be interesting to know whether the 1,500 US soldiers who have been locked down at Incirlik Air Base along with several hundred soldiers from other NATO countries since the failed coup Friday night would agree with him.

Following the failed coup, the Erdogan regime cut off the base’s external electricity supply and temporarily suspended all flights from the base.

The base commander Gen. Bekir Ercan Van and 11 other service members from the base and a police officer were placed under arrest.

Incirlik is the center of NATO air operations against Islamic State in Syria. It also reportedly houses 50 nuclear warheads. The atomic bombs belong to the US. They deployed to Turkey – under US control – as a relic of the Cold War.

It took US President Barack Obama two years of pleading to convince Turkish President Recep Erdogan to allow NATO forces to use the base at Incirlik. It was only after the Kurdish political party secured unprecedented gains in Turkey’s parliamentary elections last year, and Tayyip Erdogan decided to expand his operations against the Kurds of Iraq and Syria to dampen domestic support for the Kurds, that he agreed to allow NATO forces to use the base.

His condition was that the US support his war against the Kurds – the most effective ground force in the war against Islamic State.

Stoltenberg’s statement of support for Turkey is particularly troubling because Erdogan’s post-coup behavior makes it impossible to continue to sweep his hostility under the rug.

For nearly 14 years, since his AK Party first won the national elections in late 2002, Erdogan and his followers have made clear that they are ideologically – and therefore permanently – hostile to the West. And for nearly 14 years, Western leaders have pretended this reality under the rug.

Just weeks after AKP’s first electoral triumph, the Turkish parliament shocked Washington when it voted to reject the US’s request to deploy Iraq invasion forces along the Turkish border with Iraq. Turkey’s refusal to permit US operations from its territory are a big reason the Sunni insurgency in Iraq was able to organize.

It took the US some two months to take over northern Iraq. By that time, the Ba’athists had organized the paramilitary militias that later morphed into al-Qaida in Iraq and then, following the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, Islamic State.

Ever since then, Erdogan has paid lip service, and even assisted NATO and the EU from time to time, when it served his momentary interests to do so. But the consistent trend of his behavior has been negative.

Since taking power, Erdogan has galvanized the organs of state propaganda – from the media to the entertainment industry to the book world – to indoctrinate the citizens of Turkey to hate Jews and Americans and to view terrorists supportively.

This induced hatred has been expressed as well in his foreign policy. Erdogan was the first major leader to embrace Hamas after its electoral victory in the 2006 Palestinian Authority elections. He treated Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh like a visiting monarch when he hosted him shortly after those elections.

During Hezbollah’s 2006 war against Israel, Turkey was caught red-handed as it allowed Iran to move weapons systems to Hezbollah through Turkish territory.

Erdogan has turned a blind eye to al-Qaida. And he has permitted ISIS to use Turkey as its logistical base, economic headquarters and recruitment center. Earlier this year the State Department claimed that all of the 25,000 foreign recruits to ISIS have entered Syria through Turkey.

As for Iran, until Obama engineered the lifting of UN sanctions against Iran through his nuclear deal with the ayatollahs, Turkey was Iran’s conduit to the international market. Turkey was Iran’s partner in evading sanctions and so ensuring the economic viability of the regime. According to a series of investigative reports by Turkish and foreign reporters, Erdogan’s family was directly involved in this illicit trade.

Then there is Europe. For ISIS, Turkey has been a two-way street. Fighters have entered Syria through Turkey, and returned to Europe through Turkey. Turkey is behind the massive inflow of Syrian refugees to Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to cut a deal with Erdogan that would stem the flow. Erdogan pocketed her economic concessions and did nothing to stop the hemorrhage of refugees to Europe.

As for the US, the years of anti-American incitement and indoctrination of Turkish society are now coming into full flower in the aftermath of the coup. Even before the dust had settled, Erdogan was pointing an accusatory finger at Washington.

Insisting that the failed coup was the brainchild of exiled Islamic cleric – and erstwhile ally of Erdogan – Fetullah Gulen, who took up residence in Pennsylvania’s Poconos Mountains 16 years ago – Erdogan demanded that the US immediately put Gulen on an airplane with a one-stop ticket to Turkey.

In the days that followed, the Erdogan regime’s accusations against the US became more and more unhinged. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that failure to comply with Erdogan’s extradition demand would be viewed as a hostile act by the US.

And Turkish Labor Minister Suleyman Soylu flat out said that “America is behind the coup,” in a media interview.

In other words, after arresting the base commander and other forces at Incirlik, and while effectively holding US-led NATO forces and 50 nuclear warheads prisoner for the past six days, Turkey is accusing the US of engineering the coup attempt.

But apparently, NATO has decided to try to again sweep reality under the rug, once more. Hence, Stoltenberg’s soothing insistence that there is no cause for worry. Turkey remains a trusted member of the alliance.

This isn’t merely irresponsible. It is dangerous, for several reasons.

First of all, Stoltenberg’s claim that the Turkish military is as strong as ever is simply ridiculous.

A third of the serving generals are behind bars along with thousands of commanders and soldiers, educators, police officers, jurists and judges.

Who exactly can be willing to take the initiative in this climate? Amid at best mixed messages from the regime regarding the war against ISIS, and with the generals who coordinated the campaign with NATO now behind bars, who will maintain the alliance with NATO ? No one will.

The implications of this passivity will be felt on the ground in Turkey as well as in Syria and Iraq.

Thanks to Erdogan’s passive support, ISIS has operatives seeded throughout Turkey. Who can guarantee that they will leave the nuclear weapons at Incirlik alone? Is the US really planning to leave those bombs in Turkey when its own forces are effective prisoners of the regime? And what are the implications of removing them? How can such a necessary move be made at the same time that NATO pretends that all is well with Turkey? Then there is the problem of chemical weapons.

In recent months, ISIS has used chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq. In February, James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, warned that ISIS is developing a chemical arsenal and intends to use chemical weapons against the US and Europe.

In May it was reported that ISIS is conducting experiments with chemical weapons on dogs and prisoners in labs located in residential neighborhoods in Mosul.

Turkey is a NATO member with open borders to Europe, and the only thing that has prevented ISIS terrorists from bringing chemical weapons to Europe has been the Turkish military and police force. They are now being purged.

Moreover, as Soner Cagaptay reported in The Wall Street Journal this week, Erdogan used out and out jihadists to put down the coup on Friday night and Saturday. He has continued to embrace them in the days that have passed since then.

In so doing, Erdogan signaled that he may well use the post-coup state of emergency to dismantle what is left of Turkey’s secular state apparatus and transform the NATO member into an Islamist state, along the lines of the short-lived Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt, which Erdogan enthusiastically supported.

In this climate, it is difficult, if not as a practical matter impossible, to imagine that the military and police will work particularly hard to prevent ISIS terrorists from transporting weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Europe through Turkey.

The Obama administration is partly responsible for the current crisis. Secretary of State John Kerry just agreed to subordinate the US-led anti-ISIS campaign to Russia. In so doing, he made clear that the US will not protect Turkey from Russia. This gives Erdogan little choice other than to strike out a new, far more radical course.

To Erdogan’s own Islamist convictions and US incompetence must be added a third reason to assume the situation in Turkey will only get worse.

As David Goldman has reported in the Asia Times, Turkey is on the brink of economic collapse. Its currency has been devalued by 7 percent just since the failed coup. “With about $300 billion in foreign currency liabilities, Turkish corporations’ debt service costs rise as the currency falls. Stocks have lost more than half their value in dollar terms since 2013,” Goldman warned.

In the current climate, it is hard to imagine Erdogan instituting austerity measures to pay down the debt. So he needs a scapegoat for his failure. The chosen scapegoat is clearly the US.

To make a long story short then, the Turkish military is no longer capable of cooperating in any meaningful way with the US or NATO . Erdogan, never a reliable ally, is now openly hostile.

He is in the midst of committing aggression against NATO forces at Incirlik. And he is embracing Turkish jihadists who are ideologically indistinguishable from ISIS.

The US surrender to Russia means that America cannot protect Turkey from Russia. And Erdogan has chosen to blame American for Turkey’s fast approaching economic doomsday.

Under the circumstances, if NATO takes its job of protecting the free world seriously, it has no choice but to quit with the business as usual routine and kick Turkey out of the alliance, withdraw its personnel and either remove or disable the nuclear weapons it fields in the country.

As for anti-ISIS operations, the US will have to move its bases to Iraqi Kurdistan and embrace the Kurds as the strategic allies they have clearly become.

In the aftermath of the failed coup, Turkey is a time bomb. It cannot be defused. It will go off. The only way to protect the free world from the aftershocks is by closing the border and battening down the hatches.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Letter to the Editor: Follow Up on Together 2016 in Washington, DC

Thousands of young people join in unity on National Mall in Washington, D.C., Saturday for Together 2016. (Facebook)

Dear Lighthouse Trails:
Regarding the Together 2016 event that you recently reported on and which took place this weekend, I was planning on keeping a close eye on that event. What I found was this:
1. There is a website ‘reset2016.com‘ about the event, their site. It’s an ad that appears when you type ‘together 2016’ in the search box. The first page lists the speakers, the schedule, and all that. When you look there, click on event info, and then ‘week of events.’ I clicked on that, and they listed events for the week leading up to the 16th, and one event included the IF: Gathering. When you read their captions, you identify all the emergent and unity buzz words on the site.
2. On Berean Research, there was a post about Nick Hall and his ‘pulse’ organization being behind the scenes on this event. There was another post about the app for the event, and when a person searched for churches on it, they were lead to a list of options, including ‘gay affirming.’ Then, once the post was up, the app feature was quickly removed.
3. The pope was to make a video appearance at the event, which he did, and the only thing I saw from the news about it is that he was quoted as saying: “Find the one who can give you an answer to your restlessnes.”
The name of Jesus was not mentioned there, and He is the only one who can. But that quote can mean anything, from other religions to a gay buddy; it’s so vague.

4. By searching, I noticed there is also a ‘together 2016’ scheduled for Europe, and again the purpose is ‘unity’ among all the Christian churches, organizations, and movements in Europe, planned by none other than ‘Pope Francis.’ He gave a long speech about it and the transcript is there also. You can see it by typing in ‘Together for Europe, 2016.’
5. The event on Saturday in Washington, DC was cut short due to a ‘heat emergency,’ and many had to be treated for heat exposure. I have no idea, but it reminds me of those assemblies in the Old Testament where a portion of the congregation was wiped out. Yet of course these are all in apostasy, it may have been discipline, or simply a sign that it did not have the Lord’s blessing. In either case, that was interesting.
These events will increase as it is all leading up to the one-world religion. The ecumenism with apostasy and the promotion of ‘unity’ at these events, which now include ‘Pope Francis,’ and eventually the other religions will be included until their goal is met. I can just hear the feverish pitch at their golden-calf fest, all in the name of ‘unity’ and ‘revival.’ All they need is Bono with his coexist sign in the back, with all the symbols of these religions, and it’s complete. The site captions for this one include phrases like ‘all are welcome,’ ‘invite everyone,’ and ‘unifying’ phrases. One theme appeared to be unity in general, such as regarding race. It’s like the powers that be create the perfect storm and then usher in ‘the solution’ for everyone to accept; unifying the world regarding religion, countries, race, diversity (gays), and economically, etc. all under antichrist.

Those who won’t unite with their agenda will be called ‘bigots,’ ‘haters,’ and ‘extremists’ to be ‘dealt with.’ (I am against racism and economic polarity due to deregulation that causes the middle class to shrink, but this is about all sorts of things rolled into ‘one’ ball of wax.). We can be one in Jesus. Or, they can be one under the devil in white. Who it’s under makes all the difference.

I figure you know this stuff but we all have various insights on things. And I remember about a year ago they were rolling out all these ‘anti-terrorism’ laws and measures, like in Australia but other places too as it all becomes very totalitarian. New rules for Facebook against those who speak the truth, all in the name of ‘hate speech’ rules.

The world has become such a scary place in such a short time. I think back to around 25 years ago, and the difference is shocking, how peaceful things were compared to now. So many hold their breath in hopes that ‘this too, shall pass,’ but these things will only get worse.


How a narcissist feeds on your energy

Friday, July 15, 2016

Unusual Activity Sparks Confusion as IDF Tanks, Bulldozers Roll Through Golan-Syria Border

Republished from servehiminthewaiting.com

“And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and upon the wing of detestable things shall be that which causeth appalment; and that until the extermination wholly determined be poured out upon that which causeth appalment.” Daniel 9:27 (The Israel Bible™)
For the first time since the Syrian civil war began six years ago, the IDF is reportedly operating with tanks and heavy bulldozers inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating Israel from Syria in the Golan Heights indicating a dangerous end to the long period of relative quiet on the country’s northern border.

Sputnik News, a multi-language news site, reported the IDF was operating in the region between Quneitra in Syria and Ein Zivan in Israel. This area was designated in 1974 as a demilitarized zone officially under control of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and the Syrian civilian administration, according to the 1974 armistice agreement. The zone is 10 kilometers deep on each side and no ground-to-air missiles may be deployed inside a 25km radius from the DMZ.

The heavy equipment seen approaching the area was preparing a militarized zone dividing the Israeli and Syrian Golan borders, according to Debka, an Israeli military intelligence website based in Jerusalem. The machinery is there to build a line of fortifications and anti-tank trenches 300-500 meters inside the DMZ. No altercations were reported.
Debka also reported “unusual Israeli Air Force movements over Syria and Lebanon, and elevated preparedness”. 

Being that this week marks the 10th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War fought between Hezbollah and Israel, the site in question brings with it concerns of increased activity by the terrorist group.
“Hezbollah refrained from celebrating [the anniversary of the war] and omitted its customary boasts of a ‘great victory’, thereby intensifying the sense in Israeli military circles that Iran’s Lebanese proxy may be cooking up a surprise operation,” Debka noted.
The website added that there have been no complaints or protests from Syrian President Bashar Assad about the Israeli military activity on his border, warning this may also be a bad omen.

“The silence from Damascus on Israel’s military steps on the Golan may be no more than a respite as the Syrian ruler waits for Tehran’s endorsement of joint Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah counteraction,” the site conjectured.

Though still considered enemies, there have been no military confrontations between Israel and Syria since the Yom Kippur War ended in 1974, making this technically the longest standing agreement between the Jewish state and an Arab neighbor. However, the mutual accord has been on shaky ground since September 2014 when the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front overran Syrian government forces in Quneitra on the Israeli border as part of the civil war embroiling Syria since that time. 

Israel has thus far mostly managed to stay out of the messy conflict on the other side of the border, since the war began in 2011. There have been a few cases of projectiles “overflowing” from the inter-Arab war in Syria into Israel, and the Israeli Air Force has conducted occasional airstrikes on convoys transporting rockets from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/71880/unusual-activity-sparks-confusion-idf-tanks-bulldozers-roll-golan-syria-border/#EzTqhd3cdMzexgcs.99

Trend Update: Israeli Tanks & Bulldozers Cross Golan Heights’ DMZ into Syria, July 15, 2016

And there you go! It’s all about Syria!
Breaking Story: Israeli Defense Forces are reported to have crossed into Syria via the Golan Heights with tanks and bulldozers. Air support is being provided as tanks appear to be digging a defensive posture. Fighting is not indicated at this time.


Update and original article - Reflection on a train accident

Update. Commentary on the terrorist attack in Nice. It´s on all the news outlets.
This morning at 4:20 AM Brazil time.
Link to my own testimony of a train ride last summer to Nice French Riviera. http://thelightseed.blogspot.com.br/2016/0/is-he-terrorist-or-not.html   

Early this morning at 4:30 AM Brazil time. I was watching the latest news on the French, British and Spanish TV when I landed in the middle of an interview  with a French economist who was commenting on the way governments recommend and encourage growing the economy through unlimited consumption of goods and services.

He mentioned that new products  are being invented  all the time faster than ever  and made a relevant observation  pointing at the way governments advise their population should behave after  a terrorist attack. (I am just surmising here since I came in the middle  of the interview that was part of a wider analysis on the runaway consumerism and its deleterious effects on the well being of mankind).
My point here is not to take sides and make a political statement. I am simply observing the facts on the ground from a biblical perspective.

It is at this point that the economist said something very accurate, true and insightful when reflecting on the “destiny” of mankind,  he compared the driven excessive, unnecessary insatiable, compulsion of buying new things, gadgets, entertainment, etc  to “ a runaway unstoppable “bolide”(his word) such as bullet train crashing into a wall or plunging headlong into a precipice. (Accurate translation from memory of what I could retain.)

These words instantly took me back to an article and subsequent updates I wrote a few years ago. In light of the last few train crashes, the most recent taking place in Italy just a few days ago, this time it was a head on collision of two high speed trains on one single railroad track in dire need of upgrading since the 1960s. Again, it was caused by human error.

Here we have a valuable lesson to learn and turn to the One who has and is the solution to our deep needs to find answers to the problems that plague mankind, namely the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 I think it is more relevant than ever to pause and reflect on the problems and the causes of these avoidable tragedies especially in the light of the latest terrorist attack in Nice on the French Riviera and the response of a perplexed government and population. The political leaders reaction subsequent security measures in Europe are very similar to the ones taken on the aftermath of 911: 
Maximum alert, state of emergency equivalent to martial law extension for 3 more months. And of course the slogans that “we will overcome this crisis and come out stronger  because we are united and working together toward universal peace, love and brother hood and freedom for all. Aren´t these the 3 most important values,legacy of the French revolution? (How ironic that it happened on the 14th. of July, celebration anniversary of Bastille day!) And to prove that we will not be intimidated by a few deranged criminals we will go on living our live as before, spending money we don´t have  on things we don´t need, we will go out to places of entertainment and show how strong we are in the face of constant imminent danger of widespread chaos and utter destruction.

Observe that  the last incident in Italy involves 2 runaway trains filled with people from different ethnic origins crashing into each other which is pretty illustrative  of the present condition of the migration situation in Europe. 

See Here my own testimony of a train ride to Southern France last year. In fact, the high speed train was traveling to Nice where I stayed right near the seafront boulevard where the massacre happened. I was able to capture the atmosphere felt in the car during the trip and the inability to react in a situation among the passengers as if they were paralyzed by fear of retribution from the masters of political correctness that prevents people from taking the preventive measures necessary in such situations.   .  
I let you draw your own conclusions.                         --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is the 2014 update and reflection on a train accident in its entirety:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Reflection on a train accident

Written and published by Jean-Louis.
I posted this for the first time  in a truncated version in 1998, then 2 years after President Obama was elected.
2010 - Especially in the last few months since the election of the last US president Mr.Obama, the general state of the world and the great disasters relentlessly battering the earth with an increasing regularity and intensity, a lot of people have the feeling that something momentous is about to happen. 

Are we prepared for it?                                                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
About 12 years ago, a train crash in Germany got my attention. And reading again of at least two train crashes that happened within a few weeks, I thought it might be a good time to post my thoughts about the inescapability of the course of events in our world today. UPDATE: I just finished reading of a new accident that just happened 35 minutes ago in Norway.

The newspaper report of a runaway train in Germany this past week(6/12/98) should cause us to take stock of our lives. The report recounts the crash of a run away train passenger cars that got off the track and crashed at full speed in the cement retaining wall under the bridge of a freeway sending a great number of unaware passengers to their ultimate destination. 

Second world's deadliest high speed train accident Source

The Eschede train disaster was the world's deadliest high-speed train accident. It occurred on June 3, 1998 near the village of Eschede in the Celle district of Lower Saxony, Germany. The toll of 101 people dead and 88 (estimated) injured surpassed the 1971 Dahlerau train disaster as the deadliest accident in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. It was caused by a single fatigue crack in one wheel which, when it finally failed, caused the train to derail at a switch. The intense destruction of the train was due to a collision with a road bridge after the derailment.

Looking at the article, several questions on a spiritual parallel level came to mind.

Are we on track with God? Are we walking in the Spirit, in step with the Shepherd leading us, sensitive and receptive to His voice, obedient to His commands, following Him our Head as the passenger cars should follow the locomotive and be running on the same track at the same speed?

Do we let the momentum of our lives cause us to disengage from the path God has chosen for us and is leading us onto? Do we allow the busyness and frenzy of our modern life to drive us into a concrete wall that has the unmovable determination to stay in our way as we come to a crashing halt at an unstoppable speed?

If we read the newspaper account, we will notice that the cause of the crash was not found in the locomotive, neither on the tracks, not even in the cars, neither in the wheels themselves, but in the protective rim of one of the tires. It is also very interesting to note that the defect was found in the very first car behind the locomotive. It should cause us to reflect on the question: Who is at the wheel driving?

The probable cause was either metal fatigue, stress or damage to the protective rim.

The analogy not only applies to individuals, but also to families or entire congregations as the pressures and demands on our lives have a tendency to make us feel out of control and affect all our relationships.

While in college, Christian students were reading the book by
Malcon Boyd Are You Running with Me, Jesus? (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1965). It became a success.  You can read about the way he ran his life  in Wikipedia .I am glad I am following Jesus!
It begs the question: Do you think Jesus was following him and running alonside? 

In 1961, Stop the world - I want to get off became a success on the New-York theater scene. It related the story of a man´s quest for happiness in the wrong places.  Interesting and challenging our preconceptions of what constitutes a life well lived and the pursuit of illusion. Look it up on Google. I saw that play on the same campus. 
I was born during WWII , survived the revolutionary/civil/independence war in Algéria, made it barely through the 60s and the following decades in the USA. Finally enjoying retirement, still working with enough time to read, study, observe and reflect while watching with dismay and sadness the world, its events passing in front of my eyes as a observer standing in a field, witnessing a speeding bullet train disappearing in the twilight of its life cycles. 

My only consolation is knowing that I and other believers in Jesus are not on that runaway train but firmly planted, rooted, established, growing in our faith by the grace in which we stand.  

So, what are we to do?

  •  We could start by slowing down, pausing and examining our lives to make sure
  •  that we are on the right track, 
  •  that the spiritual equipment the Lord has provided for us is being maintained and properly used, 
  • that we are not being driven by our own ambitions, desires, habits or the wrong choices we foolishly make, or 
  • running the race led by the wrong person.
  • Then, following Him, taking our marching orders from our Shepherd King, our Head, Christ whose footsteps determine
  •  the length and the speed of our stride and
  • the times to move on or to stop and rest, 
  • working with Him in the pasture that He has chosen for us His sheep. A good and appropriate admonition is found in II Peter 3-10.
And from the lips of our Lord Jesus a command to his servants  : "Whoever serves me must follow me and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." John 12:26.

PS: Maybe this article from the Washington Post may gives us clues to understand this modern phenomenon. Would it have anything to do with stretching the concept of the "pursuit of happiness" to its exhaustive conclusion?

Why being too busy makes us feel so good

Brigid Schulte is a Washington Post staff writer. This article is adapted from her book “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.
One man says he works 72 hours a week because everyone else at his office does; he’s thinking about cutting back on sleep so he can be more productive. A woman says the last time she had a moment for herself was when she went for her annual mammogram. Another says she has decided that life is too hectic to have kids — ever.

Then a woman bursts in, apologizing for being late to this focus group convened precisely to discuss the fast pace of modern life. She got stuck in traffic, she explains: Here
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