Saturday, April 30, 2011
I have slowly made my way around the circumference of Father’s mountain. I have been privileged to have been called several times to climb its slopes, but I have never made a trip around it. Stopping and taking a firm grasp of my staff I gazed intently upward. Father’s mountain is very tall and quite steep in places. It is not so steep however that I cannot see the clouds surrounding the summit of this mountain nor hide the sound of the rumble cascading in a holy divine echo amongst its ravines and rocky formations.
I have been waiting on my Lord and my God for some time now as I have slowly made my around this holy and most ancient of places. Rounding a corner I could detect a bright light glowing in the distance. Even at the great distance it is from me I can feel the holiness of God radiating from it. It is very far away but the light is brighter than the noontime sun on earth.
Somehow I know by the intuition of my spirit I am going into uncharted territory for me. My spirit is filled with joy at the sight of it. I began to make my way towards it and with each step I take the ground under my feet feel more and more holy. I was able to take only a few more steps and my legs began to tremble so much that I fell on my knees.
This great light is leading me not away from Fathers Mountain but is on the contrary located, or so it seems to me along the base of the mountain further ahead. I lifted my eyes upward and took in with a glance the wonder of the glory of God that rests on this mountain. Hot tears began to flow down my cheeks and I became intensely aware of my many shortcomings.
“Father I do not understand why you have called me here my Lord. I am the least worthy of all your saints. My body has been undergoing intense suffering in the last few weeks. I have felt the oppressive hand of the spirit of death clutching at my heart once more. Yet you have a purpose for me my God and I this day give myself over to you.
I have not the strength in the natural body to proceed and my spirit is in need of divine revelation from you.
I have learned many things in my sojourn through life and although I am weak yet like Paul I shall boast of my weaknesses. Take my heart holy one I long to be freed from the shackles imposed upon me by my soul and my body. Make of me a man who others may perceive your presence my Lord. Help me my God to be a witness of your glory and to lay down my life as a living sacrifice.
If my body is ordained to slowly dwindle away through sickness and the relentless attacks of the spirit of death; I gladly offer it to you my Father. I do not find my life so precious a commodity anymore. I offer it and all that I am in your service holy one.
Yet as I look at myself I am no different than any other man. I am not only sick in body but bound by the same afflictions and weaknesses of my flesh as any other man. I offer, such as it is, to you my Lord all that I am. I can do no other”.
Having said this I pitched forward on my face and began to weep. I am totally and completely spent at the moment and find myself without the inner resources to continue my journey. I can feel the light in the distance reaching out to me. Yet here I shall lie. I am seeing myself in the full light of the glory radiating both from the mountain at whose base I find myself, and the light in the distance.
I am having at the moment a similar experience as the prophet Isaiah spoke of I am a man who in the crossfire of the twin sources of divine glory I feel reaching out to me as weak and undone. I began to shake under the power and anointing of this place. I suppose I should have laid there forever. Yet I can hear the sounds of approaching footsteps.
In my weakened state I do not even have the strength to raise my head to see who it is. So I lay on the ground in an agony of suspense hearing the approaching footsteps get closer and closer. This unknown person has stopped right in front of me. Strong loving arms reached down and in one motion both turned me over and sitting down on the ground beside me took me in his arms.
Looking up I had to close my eyes once more because I realized at once that the source of the great light I had been seeing in the distance was this person who was holding me. I recognized him at once as the master. My Lord and my God and yet though I am overwhelmed as always by the sight of him I am too weak to do anything but lay here.
A warm loving smile beamed down upon me and I drew strength from the love that I could see in his eyes. Almost at the same moment tears formed in the corners of his eyes.
“Michael my son”, he said. You have been attacked over and over again in recent days but the evil one shall not be allowed to prevail”.
Then to my astonishment Jesus stood to his feet and reached down and picked me up in his arms. I felt like a small child as he held me and he began to walk back in the direction from which he had just come. I laid my head on his shoulder and we traveled in silence.
I began to silently sob as I was made aware of the safety and security I felt in his arms as he carried me. After some little time we came to the entrance to a small cave nestled at the foot of Father’s mountain and as we passed through the entrance to the cave I knew in my spirit we had crossed over a barrier of some kind.
I did not have long to reflect upon this new found knowledge for Jesus walked across the cave and laid me down on a cot nestled in the corner of the cave. I can see a warm cheery fire burning in that same corner. I am lying on the cot almost unable to move as I followed the master with my eyes as he walked back across the room.
He took off his robe and laid it on a chair. He was now wearing a simple white tunic that he had on underneath. The chair was one of two that were placed around a small table upon which was a small basin and a jug of water, which he proceeded to pour into the bowl. Picking up a small white towel he made his way back over to me.
He placed the basin of water on the ground and held the towel tightly in his hand. His expression is one of grief and great sadness. He then placed his hand on my eyes and almost in that same moment uttered the words. “Be opened”
To my horror and astonishment I saw myself as I really was. I knew the last few months have been very hard for me and now I could see why. I was covered from head to toe with wounds. Jesus helped me sit up with the aid of a small pillow he placed at my back that had been lying on the cot. I have been wounded what looks like to me dozens of times by the darts of hell.
I am literally covered with these wounds. I saw that not all of the darts were gone as I saw several protruding from my spirit body. Having shown me my true condition Jesus laid my head back down on the pillow. He very gently but purposely extracted the arrows one by one.
As he pulled them out they burned like fire but I felt an intense sense of relief that followed in the wake of his having done so. Having extracted the last of them he turned back to me and looked at me with his dark blue searching eyes. At the moment they display a look of compassion and concern.
He said, “You shall learn many things in the next few days my son. The arrows of the enemy are like Satan himself. They wound but do so in a way that brings confusion, pain, and suffering in their wake.”
He put his hand gently on my forehead while his other hand took my hand in his. For a long moment he just sat there and I could feel his strength radiating through me.
“Michael the thing you must see is the arrows of the evil one wound in a way far more diabolical than you have seen. The arrows or darts are never seen for what they really are. Yet there effects upon a believer are quite real. You until I prayed for your eyes had no idea you were wounded. I could have healed you with a word my son but I preferred to do it this way”.
Then he leaned forward until his face and eyes were but inches from mine.
“If I was willing to wash my disciple’s feet I am more than willing to take care of you my son and wash your wounds”.
He then placed the basin of water on the corner of the cot and dipping the towel in the water began to wash my wounds. He washed each wound individually and then placed his hand on that wound and the open scab was healed. He proceeded to wash and cleanse each wound in its turn and laid his hand on each one and as he did so it was healed.
I had so many wounds all over my body that it took quite some little time to treat them all. Having cleansed me in the front he then turned me over and proceeded to repeat the process as he cleansed and healed the wounds on my back.
Having finished this project he walked back over to the table poured the water out on the floor of the cave and proceeded to put his robe back on. He then began to form some flour into cakes and soon had several small cakes of bread roasting on the fire.
He walked over to the wall and picking up a wineskin walked back over to my cot. Placing his hands under my head he raised me up to drink. Having done this he sat down beside me on the floor by the cot and spoke to me.
“Son, I came to die, to give my life as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. Yet humanity is entering its darkest days. It is for this time that you and many others were born. The evil one has once more attempted to kill and stop the plan Father and I have for your life”.
Having said this he reached over and took my hand once more.
“Son nothing from whatever source shall be allowed to stop that which Father and I have planned for your life. Yet today you must rest”.
He stood to his feet and walked back over to the fire where the delightful scent of the manna he had prepared for us was filling the cave. Taking the cakes off the fire he placed them on the table. Yet he reached over and taking one loaf made his way over to me. He then proceeded to feed me and my spirit is feeling revived already from the strength the bread and wine have given me.
“Rest now my son for we have far to go and you shall see that all you have suffered shall be worth the price for the revelation you shall receive shall carry you all the rest of your days. You shall walk in my strength”.
Having said this he rose and I could hear him busily moving around the cave and as I lay on my cot in utter astonishment over all that had just happened. He could have as he said healed me with a word, but he wanted to make it personal. He wanted to establish a new deeper connection between us. I also know that whatever comes I remain in his hands.
Most Egyptians are in favor of annulling a peace treaty with Israel, according to a Pew Research Center poll released on Monday.
The US-based think tank polled 1,000 adults throughout Egypt between March 24 and April 7, finding that only 36 percent would maintain peace. The percentage of Egyptians who support annulling the treaty (54%) does not vary amongst those who sympathize with Islamic fundamentalists and those who do not. However, those with lower incomes are less likely to support the peace with Israel than those with higher incomes.
The Pew survey also showed that only 22% of Egyptians said the US has had a positive impact on the political change in their country, while 52% disapprove of the the American response to general Middle East upheaval. In addition, 80% have an unfavorable opinion of the US, and 60% say they do not have confidence in US President Barack Obama.
The most popular agent of change in Egypt today is Ruling Council chief Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who received a 90% positive rating, closely followed by Arab League chief and Egyptian presidential hopeful Amr Moussa with 89%. The Muslim Brotherhood has a 75% positive rating, while former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was ranked positively by only 13% of those polled.
Most Egyptians (57%) are optimistic about the country's future, and 65% are satisfied with the way things are going, as opposed to 28% who were satisfied in 2010. Only 41% think that it is very likely that the next election will be free and fair. More Egyptians say that better economic conditions (82%) and maintaining law and order (63%) are more important than fair elections (55%).
We have come to a dangerous hour in our nations history. Never has America been surrounded by more enemies who would do us harm if given the chance. Our people have known in the last decade the despair of continuous war. Our economy seems to be one jolt from possibly total collapse. It was in evaluating these realities coupled with an uncertain future that drove me to my knees in prayer before God. I diligently began to search the scriptures seeking the answer to one question. When does God bring judgment on a nation? I believe in studying the judgments he brought on Egypt during the time of the Exodus I found my answer.
God brought ten deliberate judgments on the nation of Egypt. In previous essays we have examined the first nine. We have seen when a nation turns its back on God they become obsessed with every evil passion the human heart can conceive. This leads to an increase in the influence of the demonic in that nation. The people become consumed with an unsurrendered ambition. Anything goes as long as my personal power, wealth, and influence are increased.
America has undergone such a change as we see our people and many of our leaders abandon the principles of decency and moral conviction as outlined in the word of God. The underpinnings of our economic system have been shaken to the core. Our people and leaders are confounded by an inner conviction of hopelessness and despair. Their hearts are moved with fear by the voices that swirl around their heads based on an inner conviction that things have already gone to far.
Our people have been overwhelmed by the diversity and magnitude of the problems confounding our nation. Yet in the light of all this the hearts of most of our citizens remains unfazed. Having long ago rejected the absolute values given in scripture their hearts remain hard. Instead of falling on our face, and confessing our national sins before almighty God, in the pride and arrogance of open rebellion we are determined to go our own way come what may.
When a people refuse to repent as Egypt did long ago God will bring one final judgment that is so terrifying in its construct that even the hardest of hearts will be broken in submission to the divine will. In the final plague God brought a judgment of death in the land.
5 All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die. 6 Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. (Exodus 11:5-6 NLT)
Egypt had undergone in the first nine judgments severe hardships and so has this nation. I have outlined in these essays many comparisons between the United States and the nation of Egypt in the time of the Exodus as written by Moses. God is a God of love. His hands are extended in mercy to all who will listen to his call. I believe millions of Americans in this hour will turn their hearts back to God. I have not predicted anything in these essays.
I have no inner insight of coming judgment. What God brought on Egypt was a plague of such proportions that every home awoke the next day and found their first-born dead. God has in the past brought an affliction down on a people of quick sudden death. The world of our day has so many ways of bringing this about. I am not predicting this, but in my heart of hearts,it is past time for America to turn from its wicked ways before it is everlastingly to late.
For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the “Age of America” will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China.
And it’s a lot closer than you may think.
According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.
Put that in your calendar.
It provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington, D.C., right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power.
According to the IMF forecast, whomever is elected U.S. president next year — Obama? Mitt Romney? Donald Trump? — will be the last to preside over the world’s largest economy.
Most people aren’t prepared for this. They aren’t even aware it’s that close. Listen to experts of various stripes, and they will tell you this moment is decades away. The most bearish will put the figure in the mid-2020s.
China’s economy will be the world’s largest within five years or so.
But they’re miscounting. They’re only comparing the gross domestic products of the two countries using current exchange rates.
That’s a largely meaningless comparison in real terms. Exchange rates change quickly. And China’s exchange rates are phony. China artificially undervalues its currency, the renminbi, through massive intervention in the markets.
The comparison that really matters
The IMF in its analysis looks beyond exchange rates to the true, real terms picture of the economies using “purchasing power parities.” That compares what people earn and spend in real terms in their domestic economies.
Under PPP, the Chinese economy will expand from $11.2 trillion this year to $19 trillion in 2016. Meanwhile the size of the U.S. economy will rise from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion. That would take America’s share of the world output down to 17.7%, the lowest in modern times. China’s would reach 18%, and rising.
Just 10 years ago, the U.S. economy was three times the size of China’s.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The combination of rising gasoline prices and the steepest increase in the cost of food in a generation is threatening to push the US economy into a recession, according to Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners.
Johnson looks at the percentage of income consumers are spending on gasoline and food as a way of gauging how consumers will fare when energy prices spike.
With gas prices now standing at about $3.90 a gallon, energy costs have now passed 6 percent of spending—a level that Johnson says is a "tipping point" for consumers.
"Energy is not quite as essential as food and water, but is a necessity in today's economy, and when gasoline costs more than bottled water—like now—then it takes a huge bite out of disposable spending," he said, in a research note.
Of the six US recessions since 1970, all but the "9-11 year 2001 recession" have been linked to—of not triggered by—energy prices that crossed the 6 percent of personal consumption expenditures, he said. (During the shallow 2001 recession, energy prices had risen to about 5 percent of spending, which is higher than the long-term 4 percent share.)
What may make matters worse this time around, is there has been a steep increase in food prices that occurred as well. In other recent recessions food costs were benign, at between 7.5 percent and 7.8 percent of spending.
This year food prices have climbed 6.5 percent since the beginning of early January, according to Consumer Growth Partners.
"The combined increase in the necessities of food and energy creates a harsh double whammy for already stressed consumers," Johnson said. The last time this happened was in the recession that lasted from 1973 to 1975.
Johnson estimates that food and energy eat up about 15 percent of consumer spending at today's prices, compared with about 12.7 percent two years ago.
Of course, at lower income levels, these percentages are much higher. One sign of the stress some consumers are already feeling is that some AAA offices have already seen an increase in out-of-gas service calls, as motorists try to put off filling their tanks or drive around trying to seek out the gas station with the least expensive price.
Also some regions are being hit harder than others. Gas prices in Hawaii continue to set new highs, according to AAA data. The average price on Wednesday was $4.51, topping the prior record of $4.50 for a gallon of regular unleaded set in July 2008.
The White House has been working on a new peace initiative for the past three months, one that revolves around a few key principles: A Palestinian state without the right of return, Jerusalem as the capital of both states, and an emphasis on Israel's security needs.
According to an article published in the New York Times Thursday, the details of the proposal are yet to be hashed out.
Officials at the Prime Minister's Office did not rush to respond to the NY Times report. Thursday evening, sources in Jerusalem said that Israel was not surprised by the American plan currently being worked out.
"Everyone knew something is being formulated in Washington," one official said.
At this time it's unclear whether Prime Minister Netanyahu was aware of the initiative and gave it his blessing. Some officials estimated that the Obama plan is meant to affect the PM's upcoming speech, which is expected to feature Israel's new peace initiative.
Though US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week that President Barack Obama will be “speaking in greater detail about America’s policy in the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks,” it is still unclear whether Obama will use the occasion to present a new peace plan.
An unnamed official told the Times that both Obama and Clinton are in favor of such move, while the president’s senior adviser on the Middle East, Dennis Ross, is against it.
According to the article, if Obama does, in fact, present a peace initiative, it will discuss four terms of reference: Israel's acceptance of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders; Palestinian acceptance that there would be no right to return to Israeli land; Jerusalem as the capital of both states; and the protection of Israel's security needs.
Race to restart talks
Meanwhile, the US government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are in a race to restart Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. Some sources say that Netanyahu, who was invited to address a joint meeting of the US Congress, is considering the possibility of pre-empting Obama's proposal with his own initiative in his upcoming speech.
However, the Times quotes two unnamed US officials as saying that Netanyahu would first introduce such peace deal at the Knesset. Sources close to Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the prime minister is mulling the option of presenting some elements of his Congress speech before the Knesset plenum next month.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul offered to serve as a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations Thursday morning. In an opinion piece published in the Times, Gul warned that considering the recent turmoil in the Middle East, "Israel cannot afford to be perceived as an apartheid island surrounded by an Arab sea of anger and hostility."
Gul addressed the US involvement in the peace process, calling on the superpower to step up its efforts.
"The international community wants the United States to act as an impartial and effective mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, just as it did a decade ago," Gul wrote. "Securing a lasting peace in the Middle East is the greatest favor Washington can do for Israel."
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
- Long ago Jesus and his disciples shared a private moment in the area around the temple. His disciples in a moment of national and religious pride began to point out the various buildings associated with the temple. They were warmed in their hearts by not only the beauty of the temple, but also by all that it represented. To every Jew where ever he might be found the temple was recognized as the place where God dwelt, and was an outward sign to the world that they were his chosen people.
In the midst of their joy the master told them there was another day coming. This time is referred to in the scriptures as the time of Jacobs’s trouble, or the tribulation. The bible and Jesus had many things to say about those days but I should like to focus on just one today. The Prophet Isaiah spoke of days of darkness and despair that come upon a nation that chooses to turn from God.
Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. 21 They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven 22 and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness. (Isaiah 8:20-22 NLT)
Their comes time in a nation when its people and leaders have gone to far. God told Moses to tell the people of Israel and to prophesy to the Egyptians that he was bringing a ninth plague on Egypt.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.” 22 So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. 23 During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived. (Exodus 10:21-23 NLT)
This speaks of a nation being turned over completely to hell. I fear that if our people and our nation do not turn back to God in repentance, that very soon we shall see this judgment come upon our people and our land. The prophet Isaiah spoke of several things, which we can begin to see coming to pass in this generation.
Isaiah said to look to God for words of instruction but the wicked who hardened their hearts against the lord can see only dark. They will go from place to place hungry and weary. They will instead of turning from their wicked ways will rage and curse the Lord. How many people today are angry at God for all the trouble and despair seen in our nation today. Yet because they love the darkness they are blind to the truth and cannot see.
They will look up to heaven and down to the earth, but because their hearts are full of evil, they will only be able to see trouble, anguish, and deep despair. God brought a curse on the land so dark that the people could feel the darkness. Yet in Goshen where the Israelites dwelt there was light in all their dwellings. No matter how dark things may get the true believer in Jesus Christ shall have within their hearts the light of the glory of God. This light shall sustain them in the times of darkness and despair.
Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.
The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.
The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.
That document speaks of the country's natural resources as "blessings," and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.
It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature's complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state.
"If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) who have rights are humans or companies, then how can you reach balance?" Pablo Salon, Bolivia's ambassador to the UN, told Postmedia News. "But if you recognize that nature too has rights, and (if you provide) legal forms to protect and preserve those rights, then you can achieve balance."
The application of the law appears destined to pose new challenges for companies operating in the country, which is rich in natural resources, including natural gas and lithium, but remains one of the poorest in Latin America.
But while Salon said his country just seeks to achieve "harmony" with nature, he signalled that mining and other companies may come under greater scrutiny.
"We're not saying, for example, you cannot eat meat because you know you are going to go against the rights of a cow," he said. "But when human activity develops at a certain scale that you (cause to) disappear a species, then you are really altering the vital cycles of nature or of Mother Earth. Of course, you need a mine to extract iron or zinc, but there are limits."
Bolivia is a country with a large indigenous population, whose traditional belief systems took on greater resonance following the election of Morales, Latin America's first indigenous president.
In a 2008 pamphlet his entourage distributed at the UN as he attended a summit there, 10 "commandments" are set out as Bolivia's plan to "save the planet" — beginning with the need "to end capitalism."
Reflecting indigenous traditional beliefs, the proposed global treaty says humans have caused "severe destruction . . . that is offensive to the many faiths, wisdom traditions and indigenous cultures for whom Mother Earth is sacred."
It also says that "Mother Earth has the right to exist, to persist and to continue the vital cycles, structures, functions and processes that sustain all human beings."
In indigenous Andean culture, the Earth deity known as Pachamama is the centre of all life, and humans are considered equal to all other entities.
The UN debate begins two days before the UN's recognition April 22 of the second International Mother Earth Day — another Morales-led initiative.
Canadian activist Maude Barlow is among global environmentalists backing the drive with a book the group will launch in New York during the UN debate: Nature Has Rights.
"It's going to have huge resonance around the world," Barlow said of the campaign. "It's going to start first with these southern countries trying to protect their land and their people from exploitation, but I think it will be grabbed onto by communities in our countries, for example, fighting the tarsands in Alberta."
Ecuador, which also has a large indigenous population, has enshrined similar aims in its Constitution — but the Bolivian law is said to be "stronger."
Ecuador is among countries that have already been supportive of the Bolivian initiative, along with Nicaragua, Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.
13 And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day. Genesis (1:9-13 NLT}
The process and wonder of creation as described in Genesis chapter one is an incredible achievement. I have been given the revelation from the Spirit of God the amazing parallel between the creation of the world in Genesis one and the process we call the new birth. Both required a degree of wisdom and sophistication beyond our capacity to understand.
In both the soul lost without God and the world of Genesis 1:2 there are compelling comparisons. Both are devoid of life. The world as it was then was covered by a dark sea in which no life existed. There was no atmosphere above the sea capable of producing life. The heart lost without God is also void full of darkness and eternal death. The human heart in this condition is only aware of the darkness contained within the heart and can only interact with the lifelessness of its environment.
I should like to concentrate on six facts that shall shed light on eternal truth first of all in the creation and in salvation there are three initial comings. In both cases the Spirit of God came, the word of God came, and then the light came. The Biblical account shows the Holy Spirit hovering over the waters of darkness brooding in silent contemplation.
The lost soul through the divine revelation of the Holy Spirit is given an awareness of the darkness contained within and is convinced of their need of Christ. Whenever a lost soul reaches out to God we can be sure that the Spirit of God shall come.
The Spirit of God then brings the word of God as he said let there be light. The moment this occurs the lost soul sees for the first time the light of the life of God and this produces the third coming which was the light came. God the Spirit brought the light of Gods glory to that lifeless void of so long ago. He does the same to the lost soul in need of Christ today. He separates the light from the darkness. The three comings produced three separations.
First of all light was separated from darkness. The first divine revelation the seeker of God sees is the light and freedom of the life of God. He is given by divine revelation a spiritual understanding of the light and reaches out to God for freedom and it is at that moment the light comes into his heart and God the Spirit divides the light from the darkness.
The second separation is the waters above were separated from the waters below. In the world of Genesis life was not possible because there was no firmament surrounding the earth that made life possible. So likewise when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior the light of life being introduced into the heart or spirit of man divides the light from the darkness inside and he the Spirit then creates the conditions within the human spirit which makes life possible.
We are going into some detail in describing this but if the truth be known all of these things happen almost in a moment’s time. A heart that just moments before was lifeless and devoid of truth has been shown the light and had the Spirit of God within the human spirit separate the light from the darkness and create the internal circumstances which makes life possible.
All of this we have looked at previously but it was necessary to navigate through this information once more to lay the ground work for the revelation we would bring today. On the third day dry land appeared and the word of God describes that life was formed upon it.
We shall divide this revelation into two parts. The type of vegetation and its significance for us we shall look into next time. Today let us focus on this the third and final separation that came into existence on the third day. God the Spirit caused the waters to come together and the dry land appeared from out of the waters of darkness covering the earth.
Jesus Christ was crucified and put to death for the sins of all collective humanity. His death however was not for the purpose of a divine example to the world of the magnanimous love of the divine heart. Jesus came to do more than die. If his act during those three days had been to simply die like any other his death would have produced no more than the death of any man.
He told his disciples he was going to die and on the third day rise again. His death with no resurrection would have left us one and all as lost as we had ever been. He came to die that he might rise again on the third day and in that resurrection the seeds of eternal life for the entire race of lost humanity were born.
Again the Genesis account is a wonder. It was on the third day that the dry land appeared out of the midst of the waters of darkness. It was on the third day that Jesus Christ arose from the grave and contained within him is the life, light, and nature of the almighty God.
He came to bring new life into the inner most recesses of the human heart. Christ himself comes alive within the heart of that individual to whom they have believed the message and responded to the wooing of the Spirit of God. This life is capable of growing and supporting a wide diversity of life. We shall focus next time on the life he brings within but today dear reader I would have you focus on the truth of the gospel revealed today.
Can you see the truth of the scriptures? Are you covered with the darkness of sin and death, surrounded by the dark influences of a world devoid of life and understanding? Realize that the Holy Spirit is hovering at this very moment over your poor lost soul. Ask him to bring the light of God’s life within your heart. Realize and accept your need of Christ.
Confess your need of him and ask him into your life. When you do this the blinding light of the Holy Spirit shall reveal himself to your heart. He shall come into your heart and divide the light from the darkness within. That revelation shall produce in you the conditions for life and the dry land of Christ himself shall come alive within your heart.
The Palestinian Authority is asking Western officials for $5 billion dollars to launch a state with, Reuters reports.
This, despite US rejection of unilateral moves and abject refusal by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is asking the West to underwrite a three-year development plan to the tune of $1.467 billion this year, $1.754 billion in 2012 and $1.596 billion for 2013.
"We have distributed the plan to the donors and they have welcomed it," PA Planning Minister Ali al-Jarbawi said.
The plan, which includes significant funds for Hamas-run Gaza, will be presented formally to donor countries at a pledging conference in June, he said.
The plan says "the next three years will witness a transformation in the nature of external aid from 'life support' to real investment in the future of Palestine".
"Development of vast areas of West Bank land, isolated and damaged by the occupation will also require sustained effort and investment for many years to come," the plan says.
"The journey has been long and arduous, but the end is now in sight. We are now in home stretch to freedom," Fayyad says in the introduction to the plan. "Now it is time for us to be the masters of our own destiny in a state of our own."
PA leaders plan to ask the United Nations General Assembly in September to recognize a PA state on all lands under Jordanian control when the 1948 armistice lines were drawn. The PA has been increasingly aggressive moves to 'reclaim' land without discussion in the past several months.
The United Nations, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have praised Fayyad's drive over the past two years to establish the institutions and attributes of a modern state in time for the General Assembly meeting in September.
But Israel has warned unilateral moves, proscribed by the very Oslo Accords which allow the PA to exist, cannot replace negotiated peace.
Donors will have to seriously weigh the fiscal gamble they are being asked to make amidst global financial crisis.
Israel's de facto control of the majority of Judea and Samaria, and the presence of 500,000 Israeli citizens in areas the PA wants for itself, make Fayyad's plans an economic gamble at best even with a General Assembly resolution in his favor.
A unilaterally declared PA state would not have any treaties in place with Israel, which would encircle it. Were Israel's leaders to seal such a state off, rather than aquiesce to its existence, the PA would likely face economic ruin.
It is unclear whether the 'Palestinian cause' would have survived to the present day without foreign donors interjecting themselves into Israeli affairs over the past several decades.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
There has never been a day or a time such as this one. Every day seems to bring a new fresh revelation of turmoil and distress. Words cannot express the challenges that each morning’s headlines bring. Confusion, fear, and uncertainty about where things may be headed cloud the minds and hearts of individuals all over the globe.
I would speak today to the wounded heart there is one who cares and has an answer for you no matter what you may be dealing with. The truth of the matter is although there may indeed be millions hurting in the world each individual’s pain is unique. My heart is torn and my spirit is grieved by all the pain and suffering that we all see on display every day.
Millions today are faced with crippling financial suffering. These are the ones who played by the rules. They raised their families, paid their taxes, and through the loss of a job, unexpected medical expenses, or maybe the loss of a loved one, find themselves facing financial pressures for which their seems to be no answer at all. Each and every day is filled with the fear of uncertainty not knowing what to do and seeing no way out.
In a world seemingly spinning more and more out of control there has never been a greater need to find some inner meaning to it all. I would address that earnest soul searching for direction amidst the clutter of everyday life. No generation has ever faced the pressures that are the norm of every day life in the modern world. From every direction discordant voices assail us every day, all claming to have the answer to life’s purpose and meaning.
I speak today of the divine spark. Jesus Christ told his disciples on the night before his death that God had a purpose and a plan. He was God in the flesh and he had demonstrated to the world of that day the heart and passion of his Father. His hands healed the sick and brought deliverance to the tortured souls and minds of the desperate. His message was one of compassion and understanding.
The world of that day had a very different concept of God. The false gods of that day presented quite a different picture than that demonstrated by the meek gentle love and compassion of this Nazarene from Galilee. Yet Jesus had a purpose and plan. He was on a divine mission. To fulfill this mission would cost him the ultimate price. For his purpose was to once and for all bring a purpose and meaning to mankind’s existence.
On the cross he bore the shame, sin, and judgment for all of collective humanity for all time. Yet his purpose was far more than this. He knew by sacrificing himself he would open the way for the human heart to receive that divine spark of life that could only come from God himself. Whatever any of us face in our lives Jesus died that we might by our faith in him receive within our hearts that divine spark of God’s life and nature.
It was and is the plan of God to transform the human heart from the inside out. Jesus said that a mustard seed was the smallest of all seeds but grows into the mightiest of all trees. When we give our lives to him he not only forgives our sins, but also places that divine spark of his life and nature within us. He longs to fill us with the love and understanding of God himself.
So poor hurting desperate soul hear his voice speaking to your heart today. Hear his voice above the clamor and confusion all around you. He will still the voices of desperation and pain inside your heart. He will dispel your fears and bring peace, love, and compassion to your soul. He will turn your pain into joy, replace your suffering with tranquility, and give your life that divine spark of meaning and purpose.
The leaders of the world's largest emerging economies gather this week in southern China for what could be a watershed moment in their quest for a bigger say in the global financial architecture.
Thursday's summit comes at a crucial moment for the expanded five-member bloc known as the BRICS, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China, and, for the first time, South Africa.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma will attend.
With the G-20 group of major economies seeking to remake parts of the global financial architecture, it's time for the BRICS to test whether they can overcome internal differences and act as a bloc pursuing common interests.
"The key priority is for the BRICS to put creative ideas on the table rather than just react defensively to proposals put forward by the advanced economies," said Cornell University economics professor Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund's China Division.
Though largely an ad-hoc grouping at present, the BRICS have the potential to emerge as a new force in world affairs on the back of their massive share of global population and economic growth. With the inclusion of South Africa, the group accounts for 40 percent of the world's people, 18 percent of global trade and about 45 percent of current growth, giving them formidable heft when dealing with the developed economies.
Thursday's one-day meeting in Hainan's resort city of Sanya marks only the group's third annual summit, while moves to lend it greater structure, such as establishing a permanent secretariat, remain under discussion.
At bilateral talks Wednesday, Hu and Medvedev pledged to boost economic relations, while Zuma said on arrival that the meeting was "a historic moment for South Africa."
The five countries are loosely joined by their common status as major fast-growing economies that have been traditionally underrepresented in world economic bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
All broadly support free trade and oppose protectionism, although China in particular has been accused of erecting barriers to foreign competition. In foreign affairs, they tend toward nonintervention and oppose the use of force: Of the five, only South Africa voted in favor of the Libyan no-fly zone.
Yet, while the economies of Brazil, Russia and South Africa are driven largely by raw material exports, India and China -- the world's second-largest economy -- are oriented more toward manufacturing and services. Brazil and India are also concerned over large trade deficits with China that critics say are supported by a deliberately undervalued yuan.
Politically, Brazil, India and South Africa are functioning democracies, while China, and to a lesser extent, Russia, are authoritarian states characterized by heavy government control over the economy and civil society.
The very lack of a common cultural, political or geographical identity brands BRICS as a new type of grouping forged by nontraditional concerns such as trade barriers and monetary policy, said Li Yang, a finance expert and vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"The fact that they are grouped together shows the impact of new factors on international relations," Li said.
In approaching G-20 reforms being proposed by France, which holds the body's rotating presidency, the BRICS can already point to China's success in advancing a 6 percent shift in voting rights at the IMF that would give it the third-largest say in decision making after the U.S. and Japan. That move also creates seats for Brazil, Russia, India and China on the IMF's expanded 10-member governing board, while reducing the influence of Britain, France and Germany.
A key concern now will be stemming inflation and pushing back against debt-fueled expansionary monetary policies being pursued by developed nations that now suffer from negative or anemic growth. With about 40 percent of world reserves lead by China with $2 trillion, the BRICS countries share a concern over exchange rate volatility and macroeconomic instability in the developed world.
Other priorities include reducing economic imbalances and volatility in commodity prices, pushing for even greater influence in the IMF and other bodies, and gaining a say in the potential introduction of new reserve currencies, possibly including the Chinese yuan.
Manbir Singh, a top official in India's Ministry of External Affairs, said discussions should also cover global security, climate change, and social development goals.
At this juncture, the five need to answer some fundamental questions about the future of their bloc, such as whether to plan for a permanent organization or to admit new members, said Zhang Yuyan, director of China's Institute of World Economics and Politics.
"They need to decide whether to focus on boosting coordination among their members or simply representing emerging economies in their dealings with the developed nations," Zhang said.
Regardless of the outcome of such debates, the growth of the BRICS represents an important attempt to create new centers of influence and prevent domination of the world economic order by one or two major players, said South Africa's ambassador to Beijing, Bheki Langa.
"This formation plays a very important role in rebalancing the balance of forces on the world stage," Langa said.
Friday, April 22, 2011
I have reached back into the prophetic archieve to share the most profound vision I have ever experienced. It is especially relivent as we celebrate this easter season. On a personal note it was a very hard time for me. I had a very serious heart condition and I knew without a touch from the Lord I would not be around much longer.
Five days after I had this vision I recieved my miracle of healing.I find this really noteworthy in light of the conversation I had with the master during this vision I shall relate here. The vision speaks for itself. To God be the glory!
This day dawns and my spirit is stirred with a sense of expectancy. Today finds me in the same cave that I entered five days ago. I am at the moment alone. A cheerful fire is burning in the center of the cave. I have kneaded some flour into bread and the cave is at present filled with the delightful smell of small cakes cooking on the fire.
Although I am alone for the moment I have spent most of the last five days with Jeremiah. We have grown very close in just a few days. I have always admired him for the determined stand for righteousness that he took in his day. His message was not popular and it caused him a great deal of persecution. I can safely say after spending five days with him he has lost none of the fire for which he was known.
I have learned many lessons in the numerous excursions I have made here. One of the most intense revelations it has been my joy to receive is just how active the saints of God that have gone before us are in our lives. Having seen in Jeremiah’s life yet another demonstration of this I am more convinced than ever of this fact.
I have learned how important it is to rest during these seasons of respite that Father gives us. My spirit is at complete peace and I am sitting in front of the fire with my back to the back of the cave. In the foreground beyond the fire is the entrance to the cave. I am sitting on the floor of this cave with my arms wrapped around my knees just staring into the fire.
In the natural world I have been in the most intense battle of my life. The spirit of death and the spirit of sickness have seemingly abandoned their efforts to attack me in the heavenly realms for the time being. Instead they have under taken in the past week an intense barrage against my physical body. I have never suffered in my body the intense constant pain and weakness I have endured this past week.
Yet without attempting to belabor the point he has failed in this effort as well. I long ago counted the cost of being a servant of Jesus Christ and no longer count my own life as precious to me. I am driven by one unmistakable concern, that I may know him. Paul spoke of the fellowship of his sufferings and I see this week as just another example of this.
Looking at the cakes that I have roasting on the fire I can see they have turned golden brown and that they are ready. I stood to my feet and taking them off the fire took them over to the small table against the far wall of this cave. I have turned my back to the entrance of the cave in performing this simple chore.
I heard someone enter the cave, and as I had my back to them I had to turn around to see who it was. My spirit leaped for joy when I saw the master. He was standing at the entrance to the cave. He was wearing a long white robe and seeing me took the white cloth which he had been wearing on his head and lowered it to his shoulders.
Having gotten over my initial shock at seeing him I walked over to him and knelt before him. I have been privileged to see my Lord so many times, and every time I do, I am reminded by the mere sight of him of how much he means to me. Tears began to trickle down my cheeks as I was reminded once more of the joy he brings to my soul.
Looking up at him I could see the love and compassion of his heart as his dark blue eyes made contact with mine. Less than two minutes with my Lord had been more than enough time to make me forget all the suffering I had endured this past week. A warm smile crossed his face as he lovingly and very gently raised me to my feet. He embraced me and gave me a holy kiss on my cheek.
Smiling he walked over to the table where the two loaves of bread I had been roasting on the fire were resting.
He said in a warm cheerful tone, “My son, I see you have mastered the art of preparing manna let us sit and enjoy this bread and fellowship one with the other”.
My spirit was once more filled with joy at the prospect of spending this time of fellowship with him. The mood was warm and relaxing as the master took the bread and having blessed it broke it and passed some to me. I had a wineskin of wine and two goblets already on the table. Jesus looked at me with a look of warmth and affability as I poured a glass for him and for me.
As we ate we enjoyed a time of warm fellowship one with the other. One of the most remarkable things about the master is his love and compassion for us. He is not just my God, but also my friend, and at the moment it is two friends sharing with one another.
Having finished our meal we made our way over to the fire in the center of the cave and sat down side by side. For a long moment he just sat there staring into the fire, the look in his eyes said to me he had something to share.
Turning to me he said, “My son, I know this past season has been hard for you. Your journey up this mountain to this place has brought you to the attention of the prince of darkness and he has commissioned the spirit of death to end this quest once and for all. That is why the battle has been so hard and the afflictions in your body and soul so severe”.
Sighing deeply he looked at me with a look of great tenderness and compassion as the tears formed in his eyes. My heart is moved by his love for me. He who suffered so much for me in purchasing my salvation through the sacrifice he made on the cross, cares so much for me. Taking my hand in his he looked deeply into my eyes and continued.
“Michael my beloved do not look to the circumstances either to the right or the left but keep your faith in me”.
The tone in his voice was deep and powerful. “All power in heaven and earth has been committed unto me. I exist in the past present and future all at once. There is no time or space with me. Come my child for I will share with you the greatest moment in the history of the world. There was a time when all seemed hopeless and that the powers of darkness had won.
You who have suffered so much on my behalf shall receive a new personal revelation that shall change your life forever from this moment forward”.
Having said this Jesus took me by the hand and we were both engulfed in a great light and we were transported. In a moments time the mountain was gone and we were traveling at a great speed and suddenly I found myself here.
Yet where is here? Gone from my purview was my Lord and I found myself outside a small garden late in the night or early morning. I could hear the sound of an encampment just ahead and I began to make my way towards the sound. I know that it is just before dawn when the world of nature all around you is deathly still.
I walked a short distance and to my surprise and amazement I came upon a group of Roman soldiers. There were several of them gathered together and it was obvious to me they had been encamped here all night. Most of them were asleep on the ground and two of them were standing guard. They are about twenty yards in front of me and I was instantly aware they could neither see nor hear me.
I walked right past them and came to the entrance of a small cave with a large rock or boulder sealing the entrance way to the cave. There was a seal placed on the rock in front of the cave. All was completely silent except for the movement back and forth of the two soldiers on guard whose sandals I could hear walking behind me.
All at once I knew where and when I was. These soldiers were here guarding a tomb. As I have said they could neither hear nor see me. I fell to my knees before the large stone in front of the tomb. I realized I had somehow been taken back in time to the tomb of my Lord. This is much more powerful than any vision I have experienced before. I can feel the chill of the early morning air.
Yet I am not filled with a sense of amazement at finding myself here. I have no feelings of excitement as I await the grand moment which is about to occur. No I am plugged into the feeling of the moment as it felt then. All this week I have listened to the voice of death as it whispered in my ear the hopelessness of my own situation.
He has told me over and over again that I cannot win and my struggles for life shall end in failure. Yet I have never felt the oppressive presence of death more completely than I am feeling at this moment. Death had taken the life of the Son of God and more than the Roman guards were standing here. Death itself had claimed its greatest victim. All I could feel was the seeming permanence of death’s victory.
Hell had stood by in glee as they slowly watched the life drain from his body. I began to weep for Jesus. I stood to my feet and walked over to the rock in front of the tomb. Placing my hand on it I fell to my knees sobbing. It felt cold to my touch in the cold damp night.
Then to my amazement I found myself inside the tomb itself! I was still on my knees with my hand on the rock but I had somehow passed through the rock and found myself inside a very small oppressive little room. It was very dark in here yet there was just enough light in here to see a body lying on what looked like a small table. It was wrapped in a burial cloth.
I knew this was a body that had been savagely beaten and abused. I could not see him, his body having been wrapped in this shroud. Yet somehow I knew that underneath this cloth I would find a body beaten beyond recognition. The body and shroud both covered in the dry blood of crucifixion.
This tomb had the most oppressive feeling of death I have ever encountered. Then still on my knees I realized that I was once more outside the tomb. I was still on my knees with my hand on the front of the rock covering the entrance to the tomb.
Standing to my feet I moved a few yards back down the path again, never taking my eyes off the tomb. The feeling this place was engendering in my own heart was one of death. The sense of death I had been feeling in my own life this week seemed small, petty, and inconsequential in comparison to what I saw here.
Looking back beyond the sleeping soldiers I could see the city of Jerusalem and the temple standing in all its glory in the distance. Far off to the east I could see the first faint rays of the sun begin to make its appearance in the night sky.
I did not have long to wait because the ground began to rumble under my feet. Looking back I saw him Michael himself standing in front of the tomb. The Roman soldiers all awakened with a start and at seeing Michael fell before him like dead men.
Michael just stood there waiting for what must surely have been just a moment but the atmosphere was so pregnant with a sense of anticipation that it seemed much longer.
A bright light began to radiate from inside the tomb and I fell on face in the dust of the earth as the glory of the Lord dispelled the gloom of just moments before. Then I saw him. Jesus just walked through the wall of the tomb. Almost at the same time Michael rolled the rock from in front of the tomb.
This was the last thing I remembered as I found myself once more back in the cave on top of the mountain of transformation. I was on my face sobbing over the memory of all I had just seen and experienced. Then from out of nowhere I felt a hand on the top of my head.
Rising to my knees I realized it was my Lord and my God. He who was and is the resurrection and the life was standing right before me.
Looking down at me he said, “I am, that I am. I am the almighty God. My son I had the power to lay down my life and take it up again. Stand firm no matter what the circumstances of any given moment may be. Walk my beloved in the light, power, and glory of my resurrection”.
Having said this he vanished just as suddenly as he had appeared, and I was left sobbing and worshipping on the dusty floor of this cave. To God be the glory!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I have been blessed and continue to be so by being shown many things in the spirit in visions from God, Whenever I have one of these experiences my first reaction is to type it up as it is happening and make it available. The day I recieve these I post them under the heading a son's inspiration.
The last few days have brought an awareness to my heart of just how near the return of the Lord we must be. Yet here in this cave I feel the warmth and security of the Lord. I am at present eating some bread which Ananias had prepared for us over the fire burning in the center of the cave. He is a delightful man full of love and compassion and a deep settled faith in our Lord and our king.
He is the sixth of the seven messengers that the angel told me were being sent by Father to prepare me for the climb up Father’s mountain. I have been on Father’s mountain several times in the past. This time however is different. I don’t know how as of yet but I am sure of the fact that it is.
I turned my attention back to this simple meal I have been enjoying. Ananias had prepared some flat cakes for us and we are both at present sitting side by side in silent contemplation as we consume this simple meal. I have learned so much just being here. Turning to my left I saw Ananias silently staring at me. I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit come all over me.
At that moment we were both picked up in the Spirit and in a moment’s time I found myself looking over a broad valley. We are standing on a mountain ledge overlooking this valley. I knew at once this was not the mountain of God and neither were we in heaven any longer. Rather this is a place on the earth and yet the scene unfolding before me down below was definitely spiritual.
A thick dark cloud was covering the landscape below and yet I could hear the sounds of great activity going on beneath the cloud. Turing to my left once more I saw Ananias looking down into the valley below. His face was grave, and he wore an expression of deep settled concern.
He said, “Long ago before the scriptures had even been written Enoch was given divine revelation and understanding of these days. Holy men of God were moved of the Holy Spirit and wrote words of understanding that were recorded in the word of God. Daniel, John, Ezekiel, and so many others were used of the Lord to leave a written record as a testimony of these days.
Ananias turned his attention once more on the cloud of darkness we were seeing below. I felt as I looked down an ominous sense of foreboding filing my heart. I knew there was something dark and evil going on down below but as of yet I had received no revelation.
Ananias put his hand on my shoulder and turning once more towards him I could see his eyes alight with the glory of God. Almost at that same moment that dark cloud down below began to rise and I could feel the wind from that cloud buffeting my face even up here. I pulled my cloak more closely around me and gripped my staff as I continued to watch the scene unfolding down below.
I began to hear loud wailing and cries of anguish emanating from down below the cloud. A wave of fear clutched at my heart and almost dropped me to my knees. If I had not been holding my staff I believe I would have fallen, but grasping my staff albeit with trembling knees I somehow managed to catch myself.
At that moment the scroll which the angel had given me back when I first began my present journey began to glow inside my cloak. I could feel the radiant heat of the glory of God emanating from it. With trembling hands I reached inside my cloak and pulled it out. The scroll was glowing with a great light and my spirit began to rejoice in the light and comfort I could feel.
In spite of the dark cloud down below I no longer felt any fear and in an instinctive gesture I pulled the scroll close to my chest and was given great comfort by it. Ananias had been a silent observer of all this. He reached inside his bag that he always had with him and pulled out another scroll. It was also sealed with the signet ring of Father which I recognized at once. He handed it to me and I stood there for a moment holding both scrolls tight to my chest.
However a deep seated sense of grief came all over me and with tears streaming down my face I dropped to my knees and then fell forward onto my face. The scrolls fell from my hands and dropped to one side as I lay on the ground motionless before Ananias.
I had been feeling great fear in my heart when I saw the dark cloud down below but the first scroll at that moment had begun to glow and strengthened my resolve.
However as soon as Ananias handed me the second scroll a deep seated sense of grief came all over me and drove me to the position, face forward in the dust of this ledge, in which I find myself at present. I feel connected in some way to both of these scrolls but there purpose at least for the moment eludes me.
Ananias reached down and picked up both the scrolls and then turned and gently raised me to my feet. I stood before him with trembling knees. His expression was one of great kindness and his eyes were aglow with the glory of God. I know that he has a word for me and my spirit is filled with a great sense of anticipation at the prospect.
He said, “Michael you have known great stress in your mind and body in the last few weeks. You have not been under the influence of hell but rather your spirit has been troubled by things you have seen in the spirit world. Daniel wrote of the days coming upon the earth thousands of years ago and yet the seeing of them drove him to his knees and he was sick for sometime after.
The eyes of the human spirit filled with the glory of God sees far more than the eyes of the soul much less the inherent weaknesses of the body can understand. As Daniel in his day the magnitude of the revelation Father has planted in your spirit has had its effect on your already weakened body. The Revelation of the coming days is too much for anyone with spiritual understanding to endure.
Yet it is preciously for these days and this time to which you have been called and chosen my son. Many other sons and daughters of God are being separated unto Father in this hour. They shall stand as beacons of light in a crooked and perverse generation.
Yet the time of your final deliverance from the afflictions of body and soul has come. Michael it is Father’s will that you receive both of these scrolls at this time. You knew when you were given the first scroll that you were to put it aside that the time to open it and reveal its contents was yet for the future.
These scrolls have two distinct properties. The first is named impartation. It is Father’s will that you break the seal of both at this time and then one by one eat or consume them. The first scroll of impartation shall deposit in your spirit in seed form the gifts of God which shall carry you through all the days ahead. One of the side benefits of this scroll is going to be its effects on your body.
You have many things yet to learn my son but the gift of impartation Father is unleashing in your life this day shall carry you til the end of your days. The second scroll is titled revelation. Your body and soul shall be strengthened by the impartation of the first scroll, and your spirit shall be filled with a new awareness and understanding of that which Father is calling you to in this hour when you consume the second”.
I with trembling hands took the first scroll out of Ananias’s hand. As I looked at the scroll I realized it was far more than just a simple document. It was in some way a living thing, pulsating with the power of God. Having been instructed to do so, I broke the seal of the first scroll, and at the same time raised it to my lips and ate it.
I realized at once that although I consumed it whatever was in the scroll had in a much larger sense consumed me. I have had enough experience in the deep things of God to realize that whatever this gift of impartation is, the scope of it is far beyond my understanding at this moment. I however did almost at once feel a strengthening within my physical body.
I took the second scroll from Ananias and breaking the seal consumed it and my spirit reacted much more strongly to this scroll than it had the first. Almost at once I felt as if my spiritual awareness was stretching from within me and a holy fire was ignited in my spirit. I know this gift like the first was given to me in seed form. I now have some understanding or inner awareness of the composition and purpose of the dark cloud down below us. These are clouds of deception and they are being unleashed on an unsuspecting world. I now in some way have a much larger understanding of things then was mine just moments before.
As I stood there in quiet reflection Ananias placed his hand on my shoulder. As soon as he had done this we were picked up in the spirit once more and transported once more back to the cave.
I have been given far more than I can comprehend at this time. Yet with new revelation comes new responsibility as well. I know this had to happen for me to ascend Father’s mountain and whatever his will for my life I am his to command.
Law enforcement organizations are making tens of thousands of requests for private electronic information from companies such as Sprint, Facebook and AOL, but few detailed statistics are available, according to a privacy researcher.
Police and other agencies have "enthusiastically embraced" asking for e-mail, instant messages and mobile-phone location data, but there's no U.S. federal law that requires the reporting of requests for stored communications data, wrote Christopher Soghoian, a doctoral candidate at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, in a newly published paper.
"Unfortunately, there are no reporting requirements for the modern surveillance methods that make up the majority of law enforcement requests to service providers and telephone companies," Soghoian wrote. "As such, this surveillance largely occurs off the books, with no way for Congress or the general public to know the true scale of such activities."
That's in contrast to traditional wiretaps and "pen registers," which record non-content data around a particular communication, such as the number dialed or e-mail address that a communication was sent to. The U.S. Congress mandates that it should receive reports on these requests, which are compiled by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Soghoian wrote.
If law enforcement wants to intercept e-mail or instant messages in real-time, they are required to report it. Since 1997, federal law enforcement has requested real-time intercepts only 67 times, with state law enforcement agents obtaining 54 intercept orders.
Soghoian wrote that those low figures may seem counterintuitive given the real-time nature of electronic communications. But all of the communications are stored, he noted.
"It is often cheaper and easier to do it after the fact rather than in real-time," Soghoian wrote.
Cox Communications, a major U.S. service provider, charges $3,500 for a wiretap and $2,500 for a pen register. Account information, however, costs a mere $40.
Soghoian found through his research that law enforcement agencies requested more than 30,000 wiretaps between 1987 and 2009. But the scale of requests for stored communications appears to be much greater. Citing a New York Times story from 2006, Soghoian wrote that AOL was receiving 1,000 requests per month.
In 2009, Facebook told the news magazine Newsweek that it received 10 to 20 requests from police per day. Sprint received so many requests from law enforcement for mobile-phone location information that it overwhelmed its 110-person electronic surveillance team. It then set up a Web interface to give police direct access to users' location data, which was used more than 8 million times in one year, Soghoian wrote, citing a U.S. Court of Appeals judge.
Those sample figures indicate the real total number of requests is likely much, much higher, since U.S. law does not require reporting and companies are reluctant to voluntarily release the data.
"The reason for this widespread secrecy appears to be a fear that such information may scare users and give them reason to fear that their private information is not safe," Soghoian wrote.
In 2000, the House of Representatives considered legislation that would have set standards for reporting requests by police for location information, such as the tracking of mobile phones. But the Department of Justice opposed the bill, Soghoian wrote, saying the reporting requirements would be too time consuming.
Soghoian argues that Congress should have oversight of these new surveillance powers. He recommended mandating that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts compile statistics on requests for stored communications as they do now for wiretap orders. The information could be sent to the office by the courts rather than the DOJ.
"These reporting requirements would provide Congress with the information necessary to make sound policy in the area of electronic surveillance," Soghoian wrote.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
- The challenges facing the United States and the world are daunting ones. No generation of Americans has ever faced the potential hazards that the world of our day is grappling with today. America’s challenges are growing day by day as our national and local governmental leaders are almost overwhelmed by the magnitude of the size of the problems with which they are dealing.
I believe this nation rose to greatness not because of our strength and determination as a people, but rather we were a people who humbled themselves before God. We were a light to the world of decency and hope. The America of today has squandered our inheritance build on the blood and fortitude of our forebears. I believe we have turned our back on the values of the past. I also believe we have seen the beginning of judgment from the hand of God on our land.
In prayer I searched the scriptures and believe I found in the judgment that God brought on the nation of Egypt a parallel to much of what we see happening in our nation today. In the first seven plagues that God brought on Egypt we see, as dealt with in earlier, step by step the judgment of God. In these seven plagues we can rightly see much of what is happening in our nation and the world today. The last three plagues show us, if we choose to ignore the divine warning, what we may expect yet to come.
In the eighth plague God brought on Egypt he covered the land with a swarm of Locusts.
3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me. 4 If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country. 5 They will cover the land so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They will devour what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields. 6 They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt have your ancestors seen a plague like this one!” And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh. (Exodus 10:3-6 NLT)
America as a people in this last decade has found itself attacked from the outside by our enemies. We have seen our economic system the strongest and most vibrant in the world shaken to its knees. Multiplied millions of our citizens have lost their jobs, their homes, and their hope. This also is an apt description of the land of Egypt during the times of the Exodus. They had suffered one disaster after another and much like America today in spite of it all refused to repent before God and change their ways.
All the plagues God brought on Egypt up to this time had been measured ones. Here in this eighth one we begin to see the wrath of God extended to the full. The locusts completely covered the ground and devoured everything that was left. All the crops of the ground, even the trees were stripped bear. When this judgment comes to a nation conditions have worsened until there is no longer any hope. Everything that is good is gone. Yet Israel in Goshen was not afflicted with this plague. Neither will true believers in the church of Jesus Christ in this day for our trust will be in God our provider.
Stunned by the secular Arab rebellions that have toppled some of the Middle East’s most enduring dictators, Al Qaeda and other violent Muslim extremists are struggling to capitalize on the upheavals that have reshaped the political map of the Middle East.
While counterterrorism officials, scholars and analysts disagree about the likely impact of the “Arab Spring” protests on efforts to combat terrorism, many agree that Islamic jihadis face both enhanced peril and opportunities in the coming months.
Many also agree that eliminating the political vacuums the upheavals have created is vital to preventing Al Qaeda, its affiliates, and those it inspires from becoming more powerful.
“The key ingredient is political stability in the region,” said Jean-Louis Brugruiere, a leading French investigating judge charged with counterterrorism efforts who now tracks jihadi financial operations for the European Union.
“The faster existing and new Middle Eastern governments fill political power vacuums and restore stability,” he said in an interview on Wednesday, “the less of a threat the violent Islamists will pose.”
Initially, the breath, depth, and effectiveness of the protest movements promoted largely by young, liberal, secular reformers seemed to shock Al Qaeda into silence.
Osama Bin Laden has issued no public statement or communiqués about the political protests since their inception two months ago, said Jarret Brachman, a leading counterterrorism analyst and the author of “Global Jihadism.”
“At first, we heard almost nothing from senior Al Qaeda core figures. They seemed to be reeling,” he said. Then last month, Ayman al-Zawahri, Bin Laden’s deputy, issued an audio statement that was defensive and pleading in tone, Brachman said.
“He was almost pleading with Egyptians to embrace Islam and reject the United States and democracy,” he added, and he also tried claiming credit for having ousted President Hosni Mubarak by arguing that Washington was willing to abandon Mubarak because of the Sept. 11 attacks. Brachman called the Zawahri message “unconvincing and predicable.”
A more upbeat spin on the upheavals came late last month from Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American cleric and top propagandist for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, which American counterterrorism officials consider the most dangerous Al Qaeda affiliate.
In a four-page essay in their online magazine “Inspire” titled, “The Tsunami of Change,” Awlaki argued that the protests, by having broken the “barriers of fear” and by ousting seemingly immutable dictators who protected “American imperial interests” in the region, would work to Al Qaeda’s longer-term political advantage.
The dictators whom Al Qaeda most loathed and feared were now gone. The ensuing wars and political turmoil in such states as Libya and Yemen, where Awlaki is said to be hiding, would enable Al Qaeda militants to recruit, train and organize in such open spaces, he wrote.
That seems to be happening in some Arab states where political transitions are under way or being contested. But experts caution that since each state is so different, the militant Islamists’ prospects must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Yemen is the state of most immediate concern.
Fox News reported this week, citing a Yemeni official, that a group called the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army had taken control of the historical capital of Abyan, the main foothold for AQAP where American and Yemeni counterterrorism activities have been focused.
AQAP was said to have declared the province an “Islamic Emirate” that would henceforth be governed by Islamic law. Also, AQAP and other Islamic militants in the area were said to have surrounded a smaller military company that had to withdraw because the Yemeni Army was unable to send them reinforcements.
Christopher Boucek, an expert on Islamic movements at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in Washington, called President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s decision to reposition counterterrorism units fighting AQAP back to the capital in Sana to protect his regime a major setback for U.S./Yemeni counterterrorism efforts.
So, too, he said in an interview, was the prospect not only of Saleh’s ouster, which U.S. officials are said to now consider inevitable, but also that of his son, nephews, and many of the counterterrorism officials with whom Americans have been working to fight AQAP and other jihadis.
“They’ll have to build all new relationships,” said Boucek. “Under-governed space in Yemen is increasing by the day. Chatter among terrorists is reportedly growing, and it’s about time for them to try to mount another operation,” he said.
Last winter, AQAP sent two sophisticated mail bombs in American cargo planes that were intercepted and disarmed. Boucek is equally gloomy about counterterrorism efforts throughout the region.
“The Islamists are among the most patient and most disciplined of the political players,” he said. “A couple of years down the road, victory will go to the opposition that is the best organized.”
In Egypt, he said, “we focused on Tahrir Square and not on the back-street mosques. But they are likely to be best at capitalizing on the political opening,” Boucek asserted.
Although the army, traditionally a bulwark of anti-Islamist fervor, is in charge of the political transition in Egypt, attacks have recently increased on Christians and other minorities, allegedly conducted by ultra-conservative “Salafis,” or Muslim militants focused on religion rather than politics.
Deposed President Hosni Mubarak permitted them to flourish as a counter-weight to the equally conservative Muslim Brotherhood, believed to be the largest and best organized Muslim opposition group in the country.
The Salafis have denied carrying out the attacks, but analysts say they have become increasingly assertive in demanding that Egypt remain an “Islamic” nation and in fighting efforts to reduce the role of Islam in the public arena.
Recently, Islamists cut off the ear of a Christian in the southern city of Qana because he was said to have had a relationship with a Muslim woman, which Muslim fundamentalists consider “haram,” or forbidden by the Koran. Last week, according to IPT News, run by Islamic expert Steven Emerson, one man was killed and eight others injured in the village of Kasr el-Bassil when Salafists attacked the owner of a liquor store, which the most observant Muslims also shun.
In the city of Monufiya, Emerson reported, dozens of Salafis stormed the house of a woman who was accused of being a prostitute. Her furniture was reportedly burned in the street. In Libya, where NATO-backed rebels have been battling the 40-year regime of leader Muammar al-Qaddafi, the situation is even more complex, with each side accusing the other of ties to Islamic terrorists and radicals.
According to Emerson and the Wall Street Journal, Libyan rebel leader Abdel-hakim al-Hasidi has said that around two dozen of his troops had fought American troops in Iraq. But he called them “patriots and good Muslims,” not “terrorists.” So, too, he insisted were members of Al Qaeda, since they had also “resisted foreign invasion.” Nor is Al-Hasidi, an influential Islamic preacher who spent five years at a training camp in eastern Afghanistan, the only militant within rebel ranks. His field commander is Salah al-Barrani, a former fighter from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was formed in the 1990s by jihadis returning from Afghanistan and who continued fighting the Qaddafi regime until a truce was arranged between them.
Spokesmen for the Libyan rebel national transition council deny that these militant Islamists play a leadership role in the rebellion. They are supported by French activist Bernard-Henri Levy, among others, who helped persuade French President Nicolas Sarkozy to recognize the rebels rather than Qaddafi’s government in Tripoli. There was “no evidence,” Henri Levy said this week, that Al Qaeda or militant Islamists had a “significant presence” in rebel ranks.
American military officials, too, have downplayed the Islamist threat from the rebels, saying in recent testimony on Capitol Hill that they detected only “flickers” of an Al Qaeda presence in eastern Libya where the rebellion is based.
In interviews, other intelligence officials maintained that Qaddafi’s regime has long-standing connections to secular and Islamic terrorist groups that continue to threaten western interests. One official who asked not to be quoted said there was evidence that Qaddafi was paying Tuaregs, nomadic Berbers who live in Libya and roam throughout North Africa, as mercenaries, and that they were selling anti-aircraft missiles, machine guns and other weapons to Al Qaeda.
Much of the think-tank community in Washington seems divided between optimists and pessimists over whether Al Qaeda and the most dogmatic Muslim militants will ultimately benefit from the Arab upheavals.
Pessimists believe that the protests and reform movements that have ousted longstanding dictators who were nonetheless staunch American allies and partners in counter-terrorism efforts are inevitably destined to be hijacked by the more disciplined, ruthless Islamists, especially given the lack of civil institutions, the rule of law, or culture of tolerance in so many Arabs states.
Others remain cautiously optimistic.
James Dobbins, a former ambassador who runs the International Security and Defense Policy Center at Rand, concedes that the upheavals will inevitably disrupt some intelligence cooperation and links among security services in the short run. But he argues that Al Qaeda and like-minded groups are likely to be undermined by the political opening of autocratic states in which political dissent was routinely crushed.
“As peaceful and legal outlets for dissent and the pursuit of Islamic programs open up,” he said, “it will diminish the perceived need to engage in violent activity.” Polls show that support among Arabs for Al Qaeda and such militants has been steadily declining for several years, he added. Their popularity was likely to fall further, he said, “if you have a shot at achieving your goals without violence.”
While Washington and its allies had to remain vigilant about terrorist threats, he said, there was reason to believe that the Arab Spring protests would eventually work to Al Qaeda’s disadvantage.
“Their narrative has been utterly disrupted,” he said. “The dictators they sought to replace have been ousted, and not by them or their violence.”
While representative governments would most probably reflect the will of a majority of their citizens for a more “Islamic” government, such policies would not necessarily jeopardize good relations with Washington, he asserted.
“The most Islamist state in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia,” said Dobbins, “and they’ve been a strong ally of America’s.”
But Saudi Arabia, the pessimists counter, is also the country of origin of most of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attack. While many Israelis have expressed concern about whether militant anti-Israeli Islamist forces would be the ultimate beneficiaries of the Arab spring rebellions, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, who resigned late last year as head of Israelis military intelligence, was also more optimistic than many of his peers.
In a lecture last week at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, he argued that “a democratic Middle East” was “good for Israel.”
“Democracies rarely go to war,” he said. Israel could not remain indifferent to the values that had brought the Egyptian people to Tahrir Square -- a desire for “freedom, justice, rule of law and democracy,” he added.
“Even if, in the short run, it may be more dangerous,” he said, “in the long run I believe it’s a very, very positive process that we should support.”
A senior New York Police Department intelligence analyst pointed to at least one short-term benefit of the upheavals: Home-grown Islamic radicals in America, too, had been stunned and shaken by the protests and the loss of what he called their “narrative of oppression.”
Like their counterparts in the Middle East, he said, they have been distracted and, for the moment, paralyzed by shock.
“Like all of us,” the official said, “they’ve been glued to their TV sets.”