Archive for July, 2009

Russia & Ukraine, China & Taiwan

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Patriarch Kirill


Today, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church is in Ukraine:

Russian Patriarch Visits Kyiv, But Motives Questioned

Radio Free Europe – July 27, 2009  By Breffni O’Rourke
Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has begun a 10-day visit to Ukraine.Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will visit historical religious sites aplenty during his trip. One of the highlights of the tour comes when he pays tribute to Grand Prince Vladimir, who converted to Christianity in 988 and Christianized the medieval state of Rus.

But it’s not ancient history that is preoccupying many Ukrainians as Kirill’s visit gets under way. Some suspect the patriarch is intent on increasing Russian influence in Ukraine, a state still in search of its own identity as an independent nation.

Kirill has described his visit as purely pastoral…And for the first time, he will conduct a meeting in Ukraine of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

But that’s too much for some Ukrainian nationalists. They note that the Moscow Patriarchate controls the larger part of the divided Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and they point to the traditional closeness of the Russian church to the Russian state.

To some nationalists, this adds up to an attempt to use religious links to increase Russian influence over Ukraine’s political and cultural life. This they see as complementing the very concrete efforts of the government in Moscow, led by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, to keep Ukraine within Russia’s sphere of influence. The Russian leadership particularly wants to keep Ukraine out of the NATO alliance.

A Unified Church

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko expressed his desire for an independent, unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church in remarks ahead of the patriarch’s visit. He said a truly Ukrainian Church would be a “great historical truth.”

In remarks on July 27, Kirill referred to church unity, but he meant the continued bonds between Moscow and Kyiv.”I appeal to the heavenly hosts shining over these holy lands,” Kirill said. “Together with them, we will pray for the well-being and prosperity of Ukraine, for peace and concord of her citizens, for the friendship and brotherhood of [our] kindred nations, which both emerged from the font of the Dniepr, for our unbreakable spiritual and church unity.”

The smaller of the two churches in Ukraine is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, But it can’t compete with Kirill’s church, which has 1,100 dioceses around Ukraine — almost as many as the Russian church has in Russia itself.

Nationalist-minded Ukrainians have sought to bring a new element into the equation. They are seeking the support of the Istanbul Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church, and its ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I, to balance the centuries-old influence of Moscow.

And while the Ukrainian Orthodox are not as numerous as the Russian Orthodox, many Ukrainians shouted against Patriarch Kirill:

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Visits Ukraine

Voice of America – July 27, 2009  By Peter Fedynsky
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is in Ukraine for a visit he says is spiritual and not political. He made the statement in Kyiv, where Ukrainians and Russians trace the origins of their common Christian faith. However, some Ukrainians are skeptical of the Patriarch’s intentions…Kirill says Orthodox faithful will pray together with Christian saints for the blessing and prosperity of Ukraine, for peace and agreement among its citizens, for friendship and brotherhood of fraternal peoples who came from the common baptismal waters of the Dnieper River, and for permanent spiritual and church unity.

Hundreds of protesters in Kyiv demonstrated the lack of such unity with shouts of “Out with the Muscovite Pope.” Senior Ukrainian Church leaders have also voiced misgivings about Kirill’s visit.

While acknowledging the Patriarch’s right to pray with Orthodox Ukrainians who recognize his authority, Kyiv’s Orthodox Patriarch Filaret recently said Kirill pursued the Kremlin’s political line toward Ukraine in his previous capacity as foreign relations director of the Russian Orthodox Church. Filaret voices the concern of many in Ukraine who believe the Kremlin seeks to re-integrate that country into Russia…

Parts of Western Ukraine adopted Catholicism in the late 16th century. The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, told the Liviy Bereh, or Left Bank, newspaper it is no secret that Russia seeks to maintain control over Ukraine. The Cardinal notes the Ukrainian nation wants to preserve its identity and to trade its intellectual and other gifts as an equal with the Russian nation.

Whether Ukraine ends up under Russian or European dominance is not yet clear.  What is clear, however, is that the Russian Orthodox want it.

Also in the news was a first between China and Taiwan:

China, Taiwan in direct exchange
BBC – July 27, 2009

The leaders of China and Taiwan have exchanged direct messages for the first time in more than 60 years.

Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a congratulatory telegram to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou after his Sunday election to head of the ruling party.

Mr Ma responded, suggesting that they had “put aside disputes”, a statement from Mr Ma’s KMT party said.

Mr Ma was elected president last year on pledges to improve ties. The two sides split in 1949 amid civil war…

Although ties have improved in the past year, Beijing has not put aside its territorial claim to Taiwan, insisting the island is a breakaway province of China.

Taiwan is self-governing, but holds no seat at the UN and is recognised by only about two dozen states – most of them small Caribbean and Pacific nations.

It is likely that cooperation between China and Taiwan will increase.  And as China’s economic influence grows, Taiwan’s independence is likely to deteriorate.

Why is what is now going on in the Eastern Hemisphere important?

Ultimately, the Bible shows a time when the “kings of the east” (Revelation 16:4) will get together militarily.  Those from “the east and the north shall trouble” the King of the North (Daniel 11:44).  And the “daughter of Babylon” will be troubled by those from “the north” (Jeremiah 50:41-43).

These scriptures are pointing to Russia, China, and others (like Taiwan and possibly the Ukraine) becoming part of some type of  confederation that will ultimately invade the European King of the North.

And while this is not going to happen for at least 6 1/2 years (and probably later than that), it seems that events are lining up for this to happen sometime next decade.

As Jesus said:

37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch! (Mark 13:36-37)

Some articles of related interest may include:

Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith. Do you know much about them? Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future Where do the Russians come from? What is prophesied for Russia? What will it do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? What is ahead for Europe?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States of America, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States of America?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2009, 2010, or 2011? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?

Divorce is Unhealthy

Monday, July 27th, 2009


A new study suggests that divorce hurts ones health, even if one remarries:

Divorce hurts health even after remarriage
Study: Finding a new partner isn’t enough to reverse physical, mental toll
Live Science – July 27, 2009

Divorce can wreak havoc on a person’s health, even after remarriage, a new study finds.

Scientists have known that marriage can boost a man’s health and augment a women’s purse. The new study shows that divorce or losing a spouse to death can exact an immediate and long-lasting toll on those mental and physical gains.

“That period during the time that this event is taking place is extremely stressful,” said study researcher Linda Waite, a sociologist and director of the Center on Aging at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. “People ignore their health; they’re stressed, which is itself a health risk; they’re less likely to go to the doctor; they’re less likely to exercise; they’re sleeping poorly.”

It turns out, once you have tarnished your health, it’s hard to snap back, even if you tie the knot again…

Finding that divorce and spousal death had similar impacts on a person’s health suggests divorce operates like a traumatic event in one’s life, according to Waite.

Mark Hayward of the University of Texas at Austin, who was not invovled in the study, agreed.

“The acuteness of stress surrounding a divorce could operate a lot like a trauma as opposed to years and years of low-grade stress,” said Hayward, who is also the director of the university’s Population Research Center.

The new study “suggests much of health can be altered by these major turning points in one’s life, like divorce, from which one doesn’t recover,” Hayward said.

Divorce prognosis

Waite and Mary Elizabeth Hughes of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland analyzed data collected from nearly 9,000 adults ages 51 to 61 who took part in the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study.

Overall, about 20 percent of the participants were remarried, meaning they had previously been divorced or widowed, the researchers will report in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. And nearly 22 percent had previously been married but hadn’t remarried. Less than 4 percent were never married.

Results showed that those who had been divorced or widowed suffered from 20 percent more chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer, compared with individuals who were currently married.

Other findings included:

  • People who never married reported 12 percent more mobility limitations, such as trouble walking or climbing stairs, than married individuals.
  • People who never married were 13 percent more likely to show signs of depression than their married counterparts.
  • Individuals who remarried reported an average of 12 percent more chronic conditions and 19 percent more physical limitations compared with the continuously married. No difference in depression was found between these two groups.

“Some health situations, like depression, seem to respond both quickly and strongly to changes in current conditions,” Waite said. “In contrast, conditions such as diabetes and heart disease develop slowly over a substantial period and show the impact of past experiences, which is why health is undermined by divorce or widowhood, even when a person remarries.”

What’s a couple to do?

The results don’t mean spouses should stick together even when the going gets really tough. But during a divorce or after the death of a spouse, people need to make sure to focus on their health, Waite said.

Jesus condemned divorce and divorce is only biblically-acceptable in very few circumstances.

First notice some of what the Old Testament prophet Malachi was inspired to write about it:

14 Yet you say, “For what reason?”
Because the LORD has been witness
Between you and the wife of your youth,
With whom you have dealt treacherously;
Yet she is your companion
And your wife by covenant.
15 But did He not make them one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

16 “For the LORD God of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the LORD of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.”  (Malachi 2:14-16)

Jesus taught:

31 Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery (Matthew 5:31-32).

Notice an incident from the New Testament:

3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’  5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” 10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”  (Matthew 19:3-12).

The Bible takes a very dim view of divorce.

A few articles of slightly related interest may include:

The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.
Women and the New Testament Church
Were women important in the New Testament Church? Which women and how were they involved?
Successful Parenting: God’s Way This is a new booklet by Dr. J. Fall.

Korean Consumers Confident

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Flag of Korea, 1889


While many consumers in the West are discouraged, those in South Korea are becoming more optimistic about their economy according to a new poll:

S.Korea June consumer sentiment at near 7-yr high

SEOUL, July 27 (Reuters) – South Korea’s key consumer sentiment index hit its highest in nearly seven years, central bank data showed on Monday, raising further questions about how long the government’s accommodative policy would be maintained.

Morgan Stanley ( MS – news – people ) also upgraded its forecasts for Asia’s fourth-largest economy to the best among major investment banks

The Bank of Korea said in a statement its consumer sentiment index — which measures sentiment in six categories — hit 109 in July, up from 106 in June and the highest since touching 114 in the third quarter of 2002. The index had been compiled on a quarterly basis until the second quarter of 2008.

A reading above 100 indicates that most consumers are optimistic about economic conditions and their standard of living for the coming months.

Morgan Stanley also upgraded on Sunday its forecasts for South Korea’s GDP growth in 2009 to -0.5 percent from -1.8 percent and to 5.0 percent from 3.8 percent in 2010.

In previous recessions Asian nations have tended to lag behind the USA in improvement.  But the Asians are not in debt like the USA and have modern and competitive manufacturing capabilities.

The Bible shows a time when the trading nations (which would include at South Korea) will prosper even more, but the Anglo-descended nations will be devastated.

Some articles of possibly related interest (including the first announcement on one specifically about Korea) would include the following:

Korea in Prophecy, Any Witness? Does God have a plan for the Koreans? Is Korea mentioned in any prophecies? Will Koreans be among the first in the Kingdom of God? 한국의 언어로 : 한국 예언, 모든 증인에?
Asia in Prophecy
What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?

India’s Nuclear Submarine

Sunday, July 26th, 2009


The nation of India now has its own nuclear submarine:

India launches nuclear submarine
India has launched its first nuclear-powered submarine, becoming only the sixth country in the world to do so.
BBC – July 26, 2009

The 6,000 tonne Arihant was launched by India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a ceremony on the south-east coast.

It was built entirely in India with Russian assistance and a second one is due to be constructed shortly.  It will undergo trials over the next few years before being deployed and will be able to launch missiles at targets 700km (437 miles) away.

Until now, only the US, Russia, France, Britain and China had the capability to build nuclear submarines.

‘China threat’

Launching the INS Arihant, Mr Singh said India had no aggressive designs on anyone.  But the sea was becoming increasingly relevant to India’s security concerns, he added.

“It is incumbent upon us to take all measures necessary to safeguard our country and to keep pace with technological advancements worldwide,” he told the ceremony in the port city of Visakhapatnam.

The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says until now India has been able to launch ballistic missiles only from the air and from land.

Nuclear submarines will add a third dimension to its defence capability.  When it is eventually deployed, the top-secret Arihant will be able to carry 100 sailors on board.

It will be able to stay under water for long periods and thereby increase its chances of remaining undetected. By contrast, India’s ageing conventional diesel-powered submarines need to constantly surface to recharge their batteries.

Our correspondent says the launching of the Arihant is a clear sign that India is looking to blunt the threat from China which has a major naval presence in the region.

India’s launch indicates that it intends to be respected as a military power.

And while it may be trying to send a signal to other nations, the Bible tells of a time when the “kings of the east” will get together militarily (cf. Revelation 16:12).

Two articles of possibly related interest may include:

India, Its Biblical Past and Future: Any Witness? The Bible discusses the origins of those of Indian heritage and discusses some of the witness to them (including those in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka).
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon?

British Swine Flu and Ron Weinland

Sunday, July 26th, 2009


There are several British articles about the swine flu:

Catacombs may be used to store bodies of swine flu victims
Exeter city council plans to use 19th century burial chambers as emergency mortuary if pandemic worsens
Guardian, UK – July 25, 2009

A city council is considering using 19th century catacombs to store the bodies of swine flu victims if the outbreak worsens, it was confirmed today.

Exeter city council has identified the empty underground burial chambers, currently used as a tourist attraction, as a potential mortuary.

A council spokesman said the plan would be implemented if the crematorium and cemeteries could not keep up with funeral demands…

The Department of Health said the NHS was prepared for the pandemic. “Guidance has been issued which contains information for primary and secondary care services in the UK on managing surge capacity and the prioritisation of services and patients during a widespread influenza outbreak,” a spokesman said.

Children in frontline as swine flu cases double
100,000 new cases heighten concerns over intensive care beds for youngsters
The Independent – July 24, 2009
Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor

Fears about the capacity of NHS intensive care units to cope with a surge in cases of children struck down with swine flu were raised yesterday as figures showed that the pandemic was gathering pace.

An estimated 100,000 new cases of swine flu were recorded last week, almost double the 55,000 in the previous week, and the under-15s were predominantly affected. All regions of the country are now seeing “exceptional levels of influenza activity”, which was “highly unusual” in summer, the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, said.

Swine flu: only a dose of humanity can save us from this modern plague
In a faithless society beset by hysteria, those fearful of swine flu should put their trust in old-fashioned values
Guardian, UK – July 26, 2009
Dr Karol Sikora, dean of the University of Buckingham’s medical school

…How can a simple influenza virus wreak such psychological havoc in modern Britain and why are we so afraid? After all, as of yesterday, only 26 people had died from swine flu in England, far fewer than in road accidents over the same period. It’s all about our changing perception of risk. But let’s get some perspective. Every single day, 6,000 children die in the world from dehydration due to diarrhoeal disease…

Scary stories sell papers. And if there’s a bit of conspiracy about incompetent governments, corruption over access to drugs that don’t really do very much anyway, police as agents of the state imposing compulsory quarantine and check-in agents officiously banning passengers from boarding aircraft, it’s even better. The facts are simply forgotten in the hysteria…

Swine flu has become a modern plague – a 21st-century version of the black death that wiped out a third of Europeans more than 600 years ago. It’s a great story for the media.

What will be the legacy of swine flu? I hope a better understanding of risks and how society can mitigate them. New health challenges are inevitable. What will they be? A new cancer-causing virus, a mutated HIV virus that can be transmitted by droplets in the air, a food component that leaves us riddled with a severe degenerative disease or a form of radiation that insidiously causes congenital mutations? The possibilities are endless. Life is just such a risky business.

And in his latest post, the self proclaimed prophet and witness Ronald Weinland wrote:

Due to the understanding we have about pandemics becoming more of a reality in this end-time, it is necessary to address a few matters relating to this subject.

The current strain of the H1N1 flu has rapidly spread throughout the world, but currently it is not as serious as many other flu strains of the past. The uniqueness of this strain is that it is especially dangerous to people with other ongoing health problems and weaknesses, and it is proving to be more dangerous to the young. This strain has proven to be one that replicates more easily in the lungs and can spread beyond the upper respiratory tract to go deep into the lungs, making it more likely to cause pneumonia.

God does address the matter of sickness and the principles of quarantine in scripture…

In addition, if a serious pandemic does strike one’s own environment, the individual will have to make a personal decision to quarantine oneself from others (such as crowds, work, etc.) if their personal environment becomes too dangerous to be mixing within it. This is a personal judgment each individual will have to make…

The second and more serious concern is that this strain could mutate into an extremely deadly strain and do so very quickly. The potential for this is great, and with the time we live in it is likely. Even if this does not occur, a completely new strain will emerge that will prove to be much more fatal.

While Ronald Weinland falsely claims to be one of God’s two witnesses, notice that he, instead of claiming that God told him anything specific (other than at some indeterminate time a fatal strain will emerge), is essentially telling people standard information about it.

Since my last post about him was titled “Ronald Weinland’s Advice is Wrong“, perhaps he feels that he needs to give some advice that is not clearly wrong (what I stated was wrong about his advice in my Ronald Weinland’s Advice is Wrong was that Ronald Weinland frequently appeals to his own writings instead of the Bible, and in my opinion, Ronald Weinland had again done so semi-officially at his Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God website).

It appears that this time, the self-appointed prophet is not making any dated predictions.  This is wise on Ron Weinland’s part as his other dated predictions (USA being nuked by June 2008, dollar being worthless shortly after May 2008, he would have millions of followers by the summer of 2008, there would be no new USA president inaugurated in January 2009, etc.) thus far have not come to pass.

The Bible does foretell pestilences and it is possible that the swine flu might be one of them.  If the swine flu becomes a major problem it will have nothing to do with any declarations of Ronald Weinland.  Nor is he immune from catching it.

Some articles that will help you, your followers, and others interested in end-time prophecy would include the following:

Concerns About Ronald Weinland’s Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ronald Weinland falsely claims to be one of the two witnesses God is raising up and that the end will come in 2008 (first April 17th, then June 2008, now December 14, 2008). Why is he a false prophet? He also has at least one other view that suggests that he is not part of the Church of God.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2009, 2010, or 2011? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?

ICG, Iranian Threat

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


In his update last night, Mark Armstrong wrote:

In the Middle East, there are reports that Iran has prepared a site for a nuclear test explosion. How’s that for a response to the soaring speeches and bridge-building diplomacy? Israel is disheartened that the current U.S. administration is prepared to accept the coming reality of a nuclear-armed Iran. There are so many facets of Bible prophecy moving toward fruition that it is difficult to keep track.

At the COGwriter site, I will try to keep readers informed on facets of Bible prophecy that I see moving forward.

Iran itself is apparently starting to conclude that it needs to say something about Israel attacking it and made an announcement today:

Iran will strike Israel nuclear sites if attacked

(AFP) – 3 hours ago

TEHRAN — Iran has the capability to strike arch-foe Israel’s nuclear sites firmly and will do so if it comes under attack, the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Saturday.

Asked by Iran’s Arabic language television channel Al-Alam whether Iran has the ability to strike Israeli nuclear sites, Mohammad Ali Jafari said: “Yes, definitely we have this capability because of the advances we have made in the past two years to carry out such a task.”

“We have said that all of Israel’s soil is under the coverage of our missiles. We have such capability and can certainly respond to any attack” by Israel.

Jafari said Iran will give a “firm and precise” answer if attacked by Israel.

“We are not responsible for this regime and other enemies’ foolishness. If they strike Iran, our answer will be firm and precise. They will have no answer when Iran bombards them and sends several of its missiles.”…

Relations between the two arch-foes have deteriorated in the past four years under the rule of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Israel, although widely believed to have nuclear weapons itself, is strongly against Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.

Iran has a tendency to make strong statements, but the degree to which it would actually carry them out is unknown.

Many (including Hal Lindsey yesterday) believe that Israel only has a short window of time to strike Iran and hence may do so relatively soon.  And that may be.

Two articles of possibly related interest may include:

Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?
The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?

How Can Europe Defeat the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand?

Friday, July 24th, 2009

European Union Tower of Babel Poster


This morning, I received an email that  asked (the rest that follows these two questions was my response):
How is Europe, Germany in particular, going to defeat the US, Britain, Canada etc. with the weapons they now have? I don’t doubt it will happen, but  in your opinion I would like to know how. Other than France, does any country in Europe have nuclear weapons?
While we do not know all the details, Jesus repeatedly told His followers to watch (Mark 13:33-37).  And I believe that this means looking at world events in the light on Bible prophecy.  Here are some facts and conjecture to consider:
  1. The Europeans have the Large Hadron Collider which will likely enable them to develop unique military capabilities to fulfill Revelation 13:3-4.  This is the leading physics project in the entire world and leading-edge military weaponry tends to come out of such projects.
  2. Starting in 2013, the Europeans intend to implement their own Galileo “GPS” system for military applications.  This will give the Europeans something that I believe only the USA, Russia, and China now have–an independent targeting and tracking system.
  3. The US GAO announced in May 2009, that the USA may need to rely partially on the European system next decade as its own GPS is deteriorating.  Other reports have claimed that even the replacement units have problems.  If Europe was to launch a surprise attack (which having Galileo would facilitate), it could interfere with USA military communications and weaponry, thus greatly impeded the highly technical USA military from having a quick ability to respond
  4. It is my understanding that there are US nuclear weapons in the Netherlands, Germany, and elsewhere that are under European control.  The Europeans would likely launch some of them (as well as perhaps French ones) against the USA (probably from aircraft).
  5. The USA and UK are reducing their own nuclear weapons.  Most in the UK want to eliminate them.  Reportedly “a survey by ICM for the Guardian newspaper suggested, and 54 per cent of those questioned wanted the UK’s nuclear weapons axed entirely” (Majority ‘want Trident nuclear missiles scrapped’. Telegraph – July 14, 2009 ).
  6. The USA has stated that it will buy less new advanced weaponry for budget reasons.
  7. The Europeans have stated that they will increase their military spending.
  8. The Bible tells of a time where the King of the North will make a deal with the King of the South (cf. Daniel 11:27; Psalm 83) in order to destroy Israel (which for this purpose seems to be the USA, UK, the nation of Israel, etc.).
  9. The Europeans have long tended to use surprise (blitzkrieg was the term in WWII) to start invasions.
  10. Natural disasters, economic problems, and other woes (like pestilences, disease epidemics, food shortages, cf. Matthew 24:7) will likely weaken the USA and its Anglo-allies even more and make them more vulnerable to attack.
  11. The fact that the USA has the highest total debt of any nation and the UK may have the highest per capita debt means that they will likely fulfill Habakkuk 2:6-7, “Woe to him who increases What is not his–how long? And to him who loads himself with many pledges’? Will not your creditors rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty.” This will mean that there will be international support for the attack and some other nations may support the Europeans.  The USA and UK eventually (probably next decade) run out of the ability to increase their debt.
  12. I believe that a combination of terrorist attacks (by the King of the South), combined with a surprise attack (possibly due to a joint NATO exercise in North America), ethnic & civil issues, and possibly ground troops from south of the USA border, will possibly be how the attack will start.  Essentially delivering a “knock-out punch” as this is a scenario that the USA military simply will not have planned for.  For a short while, I think the USA military will be confused as to who the enemy actually is.  That will give the Europeans enough time to win relatively quickly.
In my view, all of that shows how the rising European Beast power will have the ability to take over the USA and UK, possibly some time next decade.  And since this is consistent with Bible prophecy, many of the items are listed are likely to be factors.

It is also likely that some in Asia (China in particular) may also be involved in ultimately taking possession of some or all of Australia and New Zealand that it may obtain because of a deal with the Europeans (one news item that hints of of increased Sino-European cooperation would be EU to Work Closer With China).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? What is ahead for Europe?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States of America, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States of America?

Planned Temple Mount Ascent

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

The Ark of the Covenant
Depiction of Levites Carrying the Ark of the Covenant


An ascent of the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem is planned for July, 30, 2009:

Hundreds planning Temple Mount ascent
Jerusalem Post – July 23, 2009

Hundreds of right-wing activists are intending to attempt to march up to the Temple Mount next Thursday morning, Tisha Be’Av, in protest of the US demand to cease construction in east Jerusalem.

March organizer Gershon Salomon told the Jerusalem Post that as opposed to previous years when only a few dozen participants at most tried to go up to the mount, this year he was hoping for hundreds to protest the “US pressure to stop settlement activity, and east Jerusalem construction in particular, and also the apparent weakness of our leaders,” which he said he feared would lead to a “division of Jerusalem and the loss of the Temple Mount.”

“We’re concerned that in the end, the Temple Mount will be part of a Palestinian state, with US backing,” he told the Post. “We will say to [US President Barack] Obama, ‘Get your hands off Jerusalem and the land of Israel!”

He said flyers about the protest contained the message that “we’ll let Barack Hussein Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu know that we’re not moving from here,” as well as the words: “Go to the Bible to find out to whom this land belongs!”

Salomon expressed hope that unlike previous years, this time the security forces would allow the group to ascend the mount.

“What a tragedy that police have made it off limits to Jews,” he lamented, “There is no [Israeli] flag, no talit, no siddur – and our requests to hold a reading of the Scroll of Lamentations there on Tisha Be’av were turned down.”

…Salomon said that the demonstration was set to begin at the gates of the Temple Mount at 11:30 on that morinng of Tisha Be’Av (Thursday), while the attempted ascent would begin at approximately 1:30 p.m…

Jluy 30th is is the 9th of Ab (Tisha B’Ab).  It primarily commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av (the first by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E.; the second by the Romans in 70 A.D.).

Whether or not this ascent happens (and it has not succeeded in the past), the reality is that it is not required for the Jews to have a temple before Jesus returns.

But it is interesting that part of the reason for this hoped for massive march is to send a message to US President Obama.  Just the discussion of the reason may send a message to the rest of the world that Israel is not likely to simply give up its claims to the Temple Mount area.

Bible prophecy indicates that certain events will involve that area.

Two articles of possibly related interest may include:

Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament?  What does the Bible teach about the temple in the end-times?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States?

TOCOG: A New Group in Canada

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Laodicea is Composed of Many Ineffective Structures


Late last night I was sent an email “press release”:

Announcing the inception of :
“The OBEDIENT Church of God”
July 22 2009.
We can tell you what you mean to God. We can FREE YOU FROM THE MARK OF THE BEAST. Get the “most” protection you can, from the best Homepage that has the “most” TRUTH to “SAVE YOU”. Obey and honour God, and we will give you the specifications for your Spiritual Building of protection, that will protect you from the MARK OF THE BEAST.

Your FREE ticket on “God’s Zion Train” awaits you…

The group is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  It also claims a  USA office in Omak, Washington.  It may have people who were once associated with William Dankenbring’s Triumph Prophetic Ministries as it has statements at its website about TPM in a positive manner.  Yet, on the other hand it has an article comparing its beliefs with TPM’s titled 50 Errors/Differences in TPM corrected by THE OBEDIENT Church of God which suggests to me that it put its website together a bit too quickly as it seems odd for it to both praise TPM as the end-time church while it condemns much of what it teaches.

But perhaps most importantly, as of a few moments ago, its “Homepage” does not mention the word Jesus (or any Hebrew equivalent), Christ, nor baptism, thus it does not have the information necessary to help save anyone (Acts 2:38; 4:10-12).

The website for this group makes such generalized claims as:

“YOU” ARE rejecting the Son, by not following The Crescent Moons that the Son showed you to follow. “YOU” do not want to have fellowship with the Son on His Crescent Moon Holy Days

Because your church does “NOT” follow the Crescent New Moons as Jesus and Paul did:

Shame, disgrace, and punishment is held up in store for your church.
Question: Will “YOU” leave your church that has wrong days and doctrines
and instead come into TO COG=The Obedient Church of God
TO COG is the Church that has the “same” Days and Practices that Jesus and Paul followed.
Are you so stubborn that
you will have to be burned up…

This is a warning witness against you from The OBEDIENT Church of God.

The fact is that Jesus (and by extension Paul) did use a calendar with postponements which is the same calendar that groups like the Living Church of God do.   Hence, the condemnations that TOCOG makes are in error.

The group also claims:

God will do a “short” (final) work Romans 9:28
Zech 4:10 Who has despised the day of small things?
which we will at Passover 2010
activate and present to the World
as a warning message and Witness to the Nations

And while God will do the short work (Romans 9:28) and probably during that time frame, thus far, my experience has been that none of the “calendar groups” (groups claiming to be in the COG but who believe that there are one or more differences in how the dates for the biblical holydays should be calculated and that this is the apparently the most important doctrine) has ever done any work of significance.  Nor do I believe that any will.

TOCOG makes a lot of prophetic claims.  Here are some which they may wish to edit as some are in biblical error and others are in direct support of TPM (which because of their other article, I presume that they do not mean to do now):

2010 is the “start” of the 7 years…

RE: Christ “not” returning in 2010 until 2018:
We “know” that Jesus will “not” return until at least 2018, “BECAUSE” the 3rd Temple is not rebuilt
as of this writing…

The Bible predicts that the Daily Sacrifice will be taken away. So that means that
there has to be a Temple for the Daily Animal Sacrifice.
So we now can extrapolate/deduce that the daily sacrifice will be taken away “after” the first 3
1/2 years, after the Temple has been built in 2010, because the Bible states so Daniel 12:11…

The Temple “MUST” be started by 2010 and completed
“before” 2010-2014, so the script of the Bible can start re the Man of Sin…

We “know” that all must be in the Place of Safety when you see the Pope in the 3rd Temple…

2010 is the “START” of Triumph Prophetic Ministries Church of God “BROADCASTING” GOD’S
WORK out to the World, instead of just to its membership, because it is the start of the 5th time

The 1986 death of Mr. Armstrong, “activated” Triumph Prophetic Ministries Church of
God. 19 years from the “NEW” START of the New Time cycle starting with Mr. Armstrong’s death
in 1986 + 19 years= 2015 which is the 1st year for the Place of Safety, which is of great

18.) 1987-2018 = 30 years of “Triumph Prophetic Ministries Church of God”: Similar to Jesus’
lifespan of having the Holy Spirit guide Jesus even at age 12 when Jesus spoke in the Temple to
the Elders.
19.) 1967 6 day war to 2007= 40 years= 2007 The start of setting up the Triumph Prophetic
Ministries Church of God “INFRASTRUCTURE” to warn the world! Then after 3 1/2 years of
building the INFRASTRUCTURE for 2010…

A.) We, (the TPM Church), warns the World for the 1st 3 1/2 years starting 2010 – 2011
In 2014 we leave for the Place of Safety.

(Deciphering & Decoding the 5777 Fig Tree. At TOCOG’s TheWorldTomorrow website, viewed 07/23/09)

While 2010 could be the start of the 7 years, the truth is that a physical temple does NOT need to be built for the sacrifices to resume (Ezra 3:6).  The reality is that this group, like similar groups, simply should not be relied upon as it clearly does not understand what the Bible teaches on the temple and other subjects.  Please see the article Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? (Those interested in reading some of TPM’s errors can read Teachings of Triumph Prophetic Ministries.)

Anyway, TOCOG seems to be a small group that will not end up doing any significant work.  At best, I would suspect that it is Laodicean, and at worst, an enemy of the actual Church of God.  However, it seems to be using end-time dates similar to those that have long been used at the COGwriter website.  Hence while it may have stumbled upon some dates that have more accuracy than certain other groups, that of itself does not prove that they are correct.

In my view, TOCOG’s condemnations, history, and approach are more like TPM’s.  It is simply not the most “obedient” of among the churches.  It is simply a small group that is trying to persuade itself that it is right and that it will somehow do a major work.  I disagree that it is of that it will.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God’s choice?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Teachings of Triumph Prophetic Ministries William Dankenbring’s ministry–incorrectly speculates on various dates and holds to some odd doctrines.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple?
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
Laodicean Warning for God’s People Is there really a place of safety? Do God’s people need to be warned? Warned for what?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the Living Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

Obama Meets Russian Patriarch Kirill

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Patriarch Kirill


US President Barack Obama met with Pope Benedict recently, now he has also met with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill:

Obama, in Russia, praises democracy, blasts graft

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Barack Obama appealed to the Russian people on Tuesday to join the United States in overcoming past differences and building a prosperous democratic future free of corruption and the threat of nuclear war…Opinion polls show a majority of Russians mistrust the United States and believe it abuses its power.NO OBAMAMANIA HERE

“We are maybe the one country in the world where there is no Obamamania,” Sergei Markov, a parliamentary deputy from the ruling United Russia party, told Reuters.

“For us he is not president of the world but the president of the United States of America.”

Later, at a summit with business leaders, Obama emphasized that a “reset” in prickly Russia-U.S. relations — the main aim of his trip — needed to involve many more people than himself and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev…

Obama tried to mend fences with Russia’s most powerful politician, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, during a breakfast meeting at Putin’s forest dacha which lasted around two hours.

The U.S. president had upset Putin before traveling to Moscow by describing him in an interview as a man with one foot planted in the old ways of doing things. But he went out of his way on Tuesday to praise Putin’s “extraordinary work.”

Putin, a former KGB spy who was president between 2000 and 2008 before handing over the Kremlin job to his hand-picked successor Medvedev, looked uncomfortable before the meeting but both sides said afterwards that it had gone well.

A senior U.S. administration official said Putin and Obama had a “very interesting and open discussion” which “formed the basis of a good relation upon which they can build,” though they had disagreed on some issues…

Obama also met representatives of civil society in Russia, including the leader of the powerful Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.

About 80% of Russians are baptized Orthodox (see 80% of Russians Baptized Orthodox), but only about 10% actually practice the Russian Orthodox faith.

President Obama and Patriarch Kirill should not really have a significant reason to get together, unless they both are looking at expanding their influence beyond their respective borders.

As I have mentioned many times before, I believe that the timing of the Obama presidency, combined with many of his policies, makes him “apocalyptic”–a term that a Catholic cardinal used for Barack Obama when he was the “President-elect”.  President Obama is likely to enable the rise of at least three leaders that the Bible warns against (see Prophecies of Barack Obama).

In Patriarch Kirill’s mind, I suspect he is trying touch bases with various world leaders in order to try to make better internationally related decisions in the future.  He would be wise to not try for unity with the worldly churches outside of Russia.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics The Bible warns the Orthodox against this unity as do some Catholic prophecies.  The Orthodox need to heed these warnings now.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith. Do you know much about them? Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future Where do the Russians come from? What is prophesied for Russia? What will it do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end?
Prophecies of Barack Obama? Eight reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and eight reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. This article includes many biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist?  Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests?  This is the longest and most complete article on this page on Barack Obama prophecies. Read it and decide for yourself if President Obama seems to be fulfilling various prophecies.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”, based up an early 20th century writing.
Barack Obama in Islamic Prophecy? There is actually a 17th century Shiite prophecy that some believe that Barack Obama will fulfill that will lead to a rising up of Islam.