Be Very Alert! News Briefs (July/August 2019)

On Watch at the Door                                                          8 July 2019

THE SHIFT

   I’m finding getting the house ready to be sold and preparing to shift quite a handful! I’ve hurt my back again so that is not helping. But I know that God is in charge and that everything will happen in His timing and in His way. Many, many thanks to all who are praying for me at this time.

Here are some News Briefs I’ve managed to put together for those who get the Alerts by email rather than post.

VARIOUS

   “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Tim 3-1-5)

   In NZ, bullying in schools is the second highest in the OECD. The apostle Paul tells us that in the last days people will be abusive and without self-control. This is certainly happening in NZ. There is also a tidal wave of assaults in hospitals. Nurses and other hospital employees are being attacked and abused at unprecedented levels. Information obtained under the Official Information Act shows more than 10,000 incidents of physical, verbal, psychological, sexual assault and abuse across district health boards over the last four years.

   In Mexico, the murder rate has reached an all-time high with 94 killings on average every day. Over 17,000 have been killed in the first six months of this year.

   In NZ, the second reading of the Euthanasia Bill passed, 70 votes for, 50 against. Over 1,000 doctors have signed an open letter opposing the bill.

   Concerns about the climate are rising to crazy levels, but God controls the climate. More and more cities are declaring extreme climate emergencies. School children are panicking. There certainly have been extremes of climate around the globe: Floods, drought, fires, and extremes of heat cold.

   A heat wave which has been baking parts of Europe has already set new all-time June record highs in seven nations as an intense dome of high pressure taps into hot air from northern Africa, while in Mexico the city of Guadalajara has been buried in 2-meter deep hail. Cars have been swept away by an icy flash flood and several hundred buildings reportedly damaged by hailstones. In California a heatwave has thoroughly cooked mussels in their shells on the shore.

   Marauding caterpillars with toxic hairs have brought parts of Germany to a standstill, leading to closures of swimming pools, restaurants, public parks and sections of the motorway. They have fine, long hairs with an irritating toxin that can cause blistering rashes, feverish dizzy spells and asthma attacks. The caterpillars are usually rare, but following this year’s mild spring and warm, dry summer, nests have been found in large numbers all over the country.

   UN chief Antonio Guterres says climate-related devastation was striking the planet on a weekly basis and has warned that urgent action must be taken to avoid a catastrophe.

   There is now concern that the healthcare sector may be as bad as the aviation industry in producing in producing greenhouse gases. In NZ, researchers say that the anaesthetic gases released by one NZ hospital have the carbon footprint equivalent of 500 return flights between NZ and London. I haven’t heard talk of cutting back on airline flights!

   On 27 September school kids will invite adults to join them on their third strike. Their demands centre on governments doing everything in their power to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

   Yes, global climate is changing rapidly, but there is nothing you can do about it and there is no power on earth that can stop it. It is in the hands of God.

   ISIS is poised for a ‘devastating’ comeback that will be bigger and more dangerous than before. It is feared that hard core followers escaped Syria as part of a tactical retreat. ISIS has now spread worldwide and the whereabouts of many fighters is not known. The German government has lost track of scores of Germans who travelled to Iraq and Syria in recent years to join the Islamic State. The revelation comes amid growing fears that some of these fighters are returning to Germany undetected by authorities.

   The Australian police have busted an ISIS terror plot in Sydney, arresting two men. Their plan was to attack a range of public buildings and embassies in Sydney.

   There is a relentless campaign to outlaw Islamophobia in the West which would make open discussion of Islam impossible. The United Nations is working with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to prohibit all speech that Muslims consider offensive.

AS IN THE DAYS OF LOT

   Jesus said it would be as in the days of Lot and when we look at the increase in these evil things we know for sure that the return of Jesus must be near.

   During Pride month, tens of thousands of people participated in events around the world demonstrating how much the LGBT agenda has made inroads into society with everything from gender fluid street lights, a new transgender credit card that allows you to pick your name and now trans-age and trans-species have joined the bandwagon. One Drag Queen Story Hour is now encouraging children to lie on the floor with men in dresses after the story time is over.

   In New York a bumper crowd of around 150,000 people thronged the streets for WorldPride, one of the largest LGBT celebrations in the world.

   With Gay pride flags covering the hall and rainbow candles on the church stage, Cincinnati’s Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church greeted its visitors one Sunday with Drag Queen “Sparke Leigh”, complete in purple dress, makeup, high heels and a glitter beard. Following the song “God Welcomes All” by the church choir, Sparke Leigh walked up on stage and, rather than reading from the Bible, read the book Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag to the audience.

   A new survey just released by the Pew Research Centre has found that support for gay marriage in the US is at an all-time record high. According to the survey, 62 percent of all Americans are now in favour of allowing gays and lesbians to get married, and only 32 percent are opposed.

   A Christian school that does not make use of the LGBT Sex Education programme has been targeted by the State of California and told to allow sexual exploration or be shut down.

   A newly consecrated gay bishop of the diocese of Maine in the Episcopal Church has declared that God is a woman. The Rev. Thomas Brown referred to God as a “she” twice in the Nicene Creed.

   The only gender clinic in England has seen a significant increase in girls seeking to “transition” to male, the highest proportion ever recorded, in addition to an increase in younger patient referrals.

   The popular Sweden-based furniture retailer IKEA is being sued after it fired an employee in Poland for posting Bible verses to voice his objection to the company’s promotion of LGBT rights.

   Amazon has removed books by a Catholic psychologist amid LGBT activist pressure. Some say it is a move that portends censorship of anything Christian regarding sexuality including the Bible.

Some recent headlines:

Calls to Normalise Paedophilia on the rise; New Report Recommends Workshops Instead of Prosecution

Pastors alarmed by Christian leaders’ push for Calif. Churches to accept homosexuality, transgenderism

Cartoon Wars: LGBT Content Expands Across Kids Programming

Vermont Medicaid Clears the Way for Transgender Kids to Get Gender Reassignment

ASCEND WITH PRIDE: New York City unveils largest LGBTQ+P For Paedophile 6-Color Rainbow Pride Flag in Its History At Four Freedoms State Park

California Bill Would Dictate What topics Pastors Can Preach About

Student suspended from school for saying there are ‘only two genders’

Psychology Today: People Refusing To Date Transgenders is ‘Dehumanising’

PERSECUTION

Luke 18:8 “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

   Open Doors CEO David Curry says that US pastors are failing to teach a biblical theology of persecution and this is contributing to an inattention to the rise of Christian persecution in countries such as Nigeria and India. There are almost 65 million Christians in India who have their rights restricted or are being punished or shut down, etc. There was much persecution in the early church and even Paul ended up in prison and wrote some of the epistles from there. Curry says we need to have every church, every Sunday, talking, praying in some way about their persecuted brothers and sisters. We need to pray for them as praying for our own family. I believe a big problem is the widespread teaching of a prosperity gospel which teaches that Christians should not be suffering.

   According to a recent interim report published in the UK, “it is estimated that one third of the world’s population suffers from religious persecution in some form. Christians are the most persecuted group.”

   Persecution of Christians continues to rise. Christians are reaching very low numbers in the Middle East, excepting in Israel. Now Christians are being forced out of many African countries. In Africa, various Islamist groups are attacking and attempting to annihilate Christians for simply being Christian. If these crimes are not stopped, it is highly likely that the fate of the African Continent will be like that of the Middle East. In recent examples, nearly 100 Christians were killed by Muslim terrorists in the West African country of Mali and in Nigeria, Muslims stormed a church choir practice, kidnapping 19 Christians and murdering one. Bwera, a city on Uganda’s Western border with Democratic Republic of Congo, has banned open-air evangelistic preaching due to threats from Muslim clerics following the conversions of 35 Muslims.

   France is now implementing its own de-Christianisation. And there is only one strong substitute on the horizon – Islam. There are already as many Muslims as Catholics among 18-29 year-olds and Muslims represent 13% of the population of France’s large cities.

   In India, Narenda Modi has been sworn in for a second term as India’s Prime Minister. His party won a resounding victory. The Hindu nationalists’ big win puts India’s Christians in peril.

   Chinese Christians imprisoned for their faith are memorising Scripture passages smuggled to them on small pieces of paper because prison guards “can’t take what’s hidden in your heart,” one former prisoner revealed. China is installing surveillance cameras in churches to monitor Christians. 

   Antisemitism is also increasing. There are an increasing number of anti-Israel units in America’s high schools and middle schools. It is an extension of the campaign against Israel that has flourished on college campuses. A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that one in five Americans say that it is OK to refuse Jews business service. This is a seven percentage-point rise from the 2014 survey.  

   As attacks against synagogues in the US increase, the Jewish community looks to defend itself with armed guards, safety assessment and now even a “Tactical Rabbi” to train volunteers on the use of weapons.

ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST

   There is much happening in the Middle East and at a fast pace. I recommend you follow up various web sites yourselves. For example:

Bill Koenig’s World Watch Daily: https://watch.org/?mcat=1

Prophecy updates:

John Haller https://www.youtube.com/user/KoinoniaABF

Jacob Prasch https://www.youtube.com/user/57GotDrums/videos

   Are you ready? All the signs that we are approaching the end of this age are speeding up at an incredible rate. Take the rise of the LGBT movement for example. It is huge and threatening biblical Christianity. There is nothing more important than making 100% sure of your position with Jesus. Have you really accepted Him and Him alone as your Lord and Saviour? Have you fully submitted every aspect of your life to Him? Do you love Him and can you see Him working in your life? Are you looking forward to the day when you will be with Him forever? Are you still hanging on to things in this world that you put before things of God? Do you commit time to prayer and Bible study? If not, it is time to get things right urgently before it is too late.

On Watch at the Door                                                   August 7 2019

THE SHIFT

   I think the present offer on my house will go through. I would really like these young people to get out of renting and into a home of their own, with the help of their parents. If all goes well, I will shift into Hamilton on 23 August.

   In the second half of the last century, numerous Bible prophecy books such as Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great planet Earth motivated people to focus on the end times and the return of Jesus. Although we are now even closer to the end of this age, churches are becoming very complacent even as we are seeing major signs becoming clearer. The Bible predicted this would happen (2 Peter 3:3-4). Some very conspicuous signs are sexual immorality (days of Lot), the rise of nations against Israel and persecution of both Jews and Christians. The signs are becoming increasingly more obvious yet few Christians are prepared for persecution.

Here are some more News Briefs I’ve managed to put together for those who get the Alerts by email rather than post.

VARIOUS

   In my local Chronicle there is an article headed “Taniwha reclaims his lair at Raglan sewage ponds.” The sculpture is described as stunning. The taniwha is said to be the local protector of the Tainui tribes. Raglan once had a strong Christian Maori community. Now it seems to be collecting more and more pagan sculptures. In 2002 another taniwha, the guardian of the Waikato River, held up the opening of the Waikato Expressway at Mercer.

   Also in the same Chronicle there is an article about World Yoga Day being celebrated at Raglan Area School. Over 300 students had a yoga experience. It is tragic to see how the minds of young people are being taken over by Eastern non-Christian practices.

   In NZ, the Labour government has unveiled its abortion law reforms. Women will have access to abortions until 20 weeks’ pregnancy without having to go through legal hoops. Abortion is currently a crime in NZ, but exemptions mean woman can still get access if two doctors agree a pregnancy would put them in physical or mental risk. The proposal will be presented to the House for its first reading this week.  

   The founder of an organisation that serves military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder says that Google-owned YouTube barred him from running an advertisement that used “Christian” as a keyword but allowed him to run the same ad using “Muslim” as a keyword.

   Government agencies in Malaysia are to monitor social media for insults to Islam or Mohammad. It is already becoming very difficult for anyone to say anything against Islam or Muhammad in many places, especially in the West.

   Temperature records continue to be broken. Europe has seen more records broken as it experienced its second blistering heatwave. Paris recorded 42 degrees Celsius. Trains were cancelled in Britain and France. In parts of southern US, cool air descended and broke records more than a century old. Although it is the middle of summer in Minnesota, a new daily low-temperature record was set in International Falls, breaking the record set back in 1898. No doubt more pressure will be placed on governments to do something rapidly when in fact God is in control of the weather.

   Russia is experiencing a huge wildfire the size of Belgium in remote parts of Siberia and the country’s far east. Greenpeace calls it a real ecological disaster. Environmentalists believe that carbon dioxide emissions from the fires will contribute to global warming and that the reduction of forest means there are fewer trees to absorb it. The environmentalists are losing a battle which they will never win. God is in control.

   Climate Change and worship of the Earth as the ‘mother goddess’ is quite popular in our day. Earth worship is a favourite ‘sermon topic’ for Pope Francis in Rome, for all major universities and colleges in America, and for the demonically-powered United Nations in New York City.

   Guy Millière, writing for Gatestone Institute, says that as France slowly sinks into chaos, the main concern of Macron and the French government seems not to be the risk of riots, the public’s discontent, the disappearance of Christianity, the disastrous economic situation, or Islamisation and its consequences. Instead, it is climate change.

   Funded by Bill Gates, Harvard has formed an advisory board to begin moving forward with a plan to spray particles into the stratosphere to test the geoengineering of dimming the sun. The external advisory panel will examine the potential ethical, environmental and geopolitical impacts of the project. The Harvard scientists will attempt to replicate the climate-cooling effect of volcanic eruptions with a world-first solar geoengineering experiment. Most scientists don’t want to believe that God is in control of anything, and it is almost certain that their attempts to modify climate will lead to disaster.

   We are warned that violence will increase in the last days. The US has been stunned again after two mass shootings in one weekend leaving about 30 dead and dozens injured. The gunman at El Paso wanted to get rid of immigrants to make the American way of life more sustainable. The Ohio gunman hailed Satan on Twitter, saying “I’m going to hell and I’m not coming back.” The Dayton shooter wore satanic patches on his clothing. The press has once again distorted the reasons for the shootings. As usual, Trump is being blamed. America and other Western countries are becoming more dark, violent and divided.

   Entering a brave new world: California wants to introduce a new program, “Cradle to Career,” which will study and document everything about a child born in the state. Detailed information will come from teachers, professors, childcare providers, health services and so on to “provide appropriate interventions and supports to address disparities in opportunities and improve outcomes for all students.” This is unlikely to stay within the borders of California.

   Facebook is now backing a global ID which seems to be pointing to the Mark of the Beast. It is a sign that nationalism is dead and globalism is taking over the world.

   Hundreds of bees are dropping dead around 5G cell phone towers in California as controversy mounts around the new mobile technology.

   A massive expansion of central power is coming soon in Europe. Former German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been narrowly confirmed as the next President of the European Commission, the powerful administrative arm of the European Union. She wants to build a centralised, undemocratic, updated form of Communism that will render nation state parliaments obsolete and irrelevant.

   A nationwide poll of young people in Briton has shown that they believe their lives have no purpose. This is happening at a time when the church is England is collapsing and young people are no longer hearing about the hope they can have in Jesus.

   In the UK a temporary miniature golf course has been constructed inside Rochester Cathedral, hoping it will bring more visitors. Rochester Cathedral is England’s second oldest cathedral and the move has angered both churchgoers and preservationists. A recent report on the end of Christianity in the UK shows that the presence of Christians has halved in Great Britain in the last 35 years with only one person in three who today identifies itself as Christian, while atheists and Islam continue to grow.

AS IN THE DAYS OF LOT

   The number of Christians losing their jobs and being persecuted for their faith over LGBT issues continues to rise. Many are now fighting back with lawsuits and some are winning them. However, in the general population in the West support for the LGBT movement is increasing and Christians will face even more trouble in the days ahead. Jesus did say it would be as in the days of Lot. 

   Drag queen kids are appearing all over America. It is all part of a plan to make paedophilia acceptable. Mile High Comics in Denver sponsored an “All Ages Drag Show” where children were escorted by adults, many of them wearing earphones to drown out the protests. Public schools are now starting to teach LGBTQP for paedophile history and encourage young students to ‘explore their gender identity.’

   The American Library Association’s recent national conference provided librarians from across the country with strategies for advancing gender identity ideology in schools and finding ways to bring “Drag Queen Story Times” into public libraries despite the objections of local communities.

   Amazon recently removed books by a catholic psychologist amid LGBT activist pressure. Amazon has now removed the works of other authors who once lived and identified as gay or lesbian. These authors now write about how someone can be released from the LGBTQP lifestyle.

   In NZ, an associate professor of physiology at Otago University says that research shows that trans athletes have a considerably large ‘unfair’ advantage over other women and sport needs to fix binary gender categories. However, the associate professor, Lynley Anderson, still believes in the rights of these people and suggests a third category or some handicap system.

   Three Connecticut girls who have run high school track have filed a federal discrimination complaint saying a statewide policy on transgender athletes has cost them top finishes in races and possibly college scholarships. Meanwhile in the UK a Christian doctor lost his job after refusing to identify a six-foot-tall bearded man as ‘madam.’

   First they came for the bakers, photographers and wedding planners. Now beauty salons in Canada are being extorted to provide Brazilian waxes to transgenders or face human rights tribunals. A Brazilian wax is a complete removal of hair.

   Recently the American Psychological Association announced the creation of a special task force “to address the needs of people who practice consensual non-monogamy.” Consensual non-monogamy is a euphemism for polyamory – the practice of, or a desire for, emotionally intimate relationships with more than one partner. Polyamorous marriage now seems inevitable.

   In the US, parents whose children were harmed by the medicalisation of gender, specifically puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones and surgical interventions, are asking the Surgeon General to increase public awareness of the danger of these irreversible medical practices. Their efforts to resist the medicalisation of gender has led them to discover that government-funded research now allows wrong sex hormones such as testosterone to be given to girls as young as 8.

   Martyn Iles, the new leader of the Christian lobby in Australia is described as Israel Folau’s new best friend in an article by Richard Guilliatt in The Australian. In a talk he painted a portrait of Christianity besieged by ­radical secular forces bent on hounding its ­followers from their jobs and snuffing its beliefs from public ­discourse. By way of example he cited a litany of cases: a priest in Tasmania reported to the anti-­discrimination commissioner; a middle manager sacked for voicing his opposition to the Safe Schools transgender education program; a Christian couple forced to close their successful wedding magazine after a boycott campaign by gay activists. He talked about the car bomb that blew out the windows of his Canberra office at the Australian Christian Lobby, and the demonic laughter of the people who call threatening to kill his staff and their children.

PERSECUTION

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/july/religious-freedom-getting-worse-pew-ministerial.html

   Pastor Andrew Brunson is the evangelical Presbyterian missionary to Turkey who spent two years in a Turkish prison. He was falsely accused of being part of a failed coup attempt against Turkey’s president Erdogan. The charges against Brunson resulting in his unjust imprisonment triggered a war of words and diplomatic struggles between Turkey and the US. Brunson now says that he is astounded at the speed with which the US is imploding and that he predicts persecution of Christians will follow.

   Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places for Christians. On average, 10 Christians are dying per day in Nigeria, and Christian villages, churches or groups attacked once every 2 weeks. David Curry of Open Doors says, “You can find these folks that are held captive for a long time and you see their faith walk grow despite [the fact that] they have been stripped of every comfort.” A delegation of Nigerian Christians arrived in Washington recently to plea with the US government to appoint a special envoy to Nigeria to address Nigerian government inaction in the crisis, which has seen 6,000 Christians killed in the first half of 2019 alone. The Trump administration has specifically promised to help persecuted Christians around the world.

   An evangelical church in central Ethiopia has been ordered to vacate its building, 10 years after it started meeting there, and churches elsewhere in the region say pressure is increasing on them too.

   In China, 5 more Chinese house churches have been shut down in a campaign ‘unprecedented since the end of the cultural revolution.’ Children in China’s primary schools are now being taught that belief in God is abnormal and that parents who are religious should not be trusted, according to a report out of the country. As China’s policies on surveillance intensify and a crackdown on religion continues Christians are fleeing the country.

   According to a new report, China’s central government has intensified its crackdown on Christianity in recent months by pressuring local government officials to keep a count on the number of citizens who believe in God and to monitor them.

   The pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church in China is facing new charges from the communist government seven months after he was arrested alongside 100 members of his congregation

   The UN has released a new and rambling plan to combat what the organisation sees as “hate speech.” A memo on the plan was signed off on by the organisation’s secretary-general, Antonio Guterres.

   Nearly half of young Jewish Europeans have been the victim of at least one anti-Semitic incident in the past year, a new survey reveals. The survey suggests people aged 16-34 are considerably more likely to face bigotry than older Jews, much of it related to Israel. Researchers speculate that the results may reflect the growing problem of antisemitism on European campuses. More than half of the young people who participated in the survey were students.

   In the UK, a Christian street preacher from Nigeria, Oluwole Ilesanmi, was awarded £2,500 by Scotland Yard for his wrongful arrest in February for preaching Christianity in public which was “racist” and “Islamophobic.” London’s metropolitan police removed the preacher from his location and transported him over five miles away in order to stop him from preaching the gospel. London’s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan defended the arrest of Ilesanmi.

   A mass baptism of Jews at Kinneret was prevented when 15 students from Tel Aviv yeshiva managed to reach the Jews before they could board the convoy to the site. The Tel Aviv missionaries worked on the premise that the students would not be able to follow the convoy due to the prohibition of travel on Shabbat. The students wore shirts with “Jew, stop! This Christianity is not for us!” After a commotion the baptism was cancelled.

   The UK is experiencing and unprecedented wave of anti-Semitic incidents and nearly half of young European Jews have been victims of antisemitism in the last year.  Researchers speculate that the results may reflect the growing problem of antisemitism on European campuses.

ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST

   There are some major developments in the Middle East. In less than a month, Iran seized three foreign ships. The US and Britain are both sending ships to the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf to keep the waterways open. The Israeli IDF is now conducting airstrikes against Iranian targets inside Iraq. A senior Iranian commander says that Iran’s front has now extended to the Mediterranean Sea and the borders of Israel. He claims that Hezbollah (Lebanon) and Hamas (Gaza) have gained great power and that all Israeli locations are within the reach of Hezbollah. It may only be a matter of time before Iran strikes back.

   There is much happening in the Middle East and elsewhere and at a fast pace. I recommend you follow up various web sites yourselves. For example:

Bill Koenig’s World Watch Daily: https://watch.org/?mcat=1

Prophecy updates:

John Haller https://www.youtube.com/user/KoinoniaABF

Jacob Prasch https://www.youtube.com/user/57GotDrums/videos

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