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LATEST WORLD NEWS-ARTICLES FRIDAY JUNE 15th 2018

 

DAILY SCRIPTURE:

Matt. 5:33  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
Matt. 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
Matt. 5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King
Matt. 5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
Matt. 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Matt. 5:38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
Matt. 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Matt. 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
Matt. 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Matt. 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Matt. 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Matt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Matt. 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
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JESUS CHRIST IS AT YOUR DOOR AND KNOCKING WILL YOU ANSWER HIS CALL
Matt. 24:6 And ye shall hear of WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Matt. 24:7 FOR NATION SHALL RISE AGAINST NATION, AND KINGDOM AGAINST KINGDOM: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Matt. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows
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DANIEL’S 70TH WEEK AND REVELATION. SAME OR DIFFERENT?

https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/daniels-70th-week-and-revelation-same-or-different/?utm_source=Gracethrufaith
QUESTION:    I was just wondering what biblical evidence (implicit or explicit) there is that the different events in Revelation will actually happen during the 70th week of Daniel. Are there any measurements of time stated in Revelation that state how long the judgments will last? Why do the judgments have to happen in the 70th week? Am I missing something?
ANSWER:    As you know, there’s a seven-year period missing from the end of Daniel’s 70 weeks. From Daniel 9:27 we learn this period will commence with a covenant that results in a rebuilt Temple and includes the official introduction of the anti-Christ, the desecration of the Temple, and the destiny that is decreed for the anti-Christ.
From Revelation 6 we learn that there will be an end times leader who will come in the name of peace but whose real intent is war. In Rev. 11 we see a working temple in Israel before the beginning of the Great Tribulation that isn’t there now. It’s outer courts and the Holy City will be trampled on by the Gentiles for 42 months.
Daniel 9:27 says the temple will be desecrated by an abomination that causes desolation in the middle of the last seven years. Jesus said this event will mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:15-21).
In Rev. 12 we see a dragon representing Satan pursuing a woman representing Israel who flees into the desert for protection. There God will protect her for 1260 days, which is the same length of time as 42 months. Jesus also said the woman’s flight would happen at the outset of the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:15-21).
Rev. 13 begins with the introduction of the anti-Christ in his final form, being empowered by Satan (Rev. 13:4). Rev. 19:19-20 shows the Lord coming to defeat His enemies and the final disposition of the anti-Christ. This is the destiny decreed for him spoken of in Daniel 9:27. Rev. 20 marks the beginning of the Millennium.
From this, we can surmise that the period described from Rev. 6 thru Rev. 19 is the missing seven years from Daniel’s prophecy. During this time there will be three known cycles of judgment and perhaps one unknown cycle (Rev. 10:3-4). Of these, only the third known cycle will occur during the last three and one-half years following the anti-Christ’s introduction. The others will take place during the first three and one-half years, but the duration of each is not revealed.
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(CLICK ON) LATEST DAILY NEWS CLIPS:

News Clips Obtained From Many Sources – Including
HEADLINES FROM
TRACKING BIBLE PROPHECY
http://www.trackingbibleprophecy.org/birthpangs.php
Rapture Ready News
Prophecyupdate.Com
Main News Channels
Other Christian Sites
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15/06/2018
 

ISRAEL NEWS:

THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PLAN IS “ANTI GOD” – (GOD WILL NOT ALLOW JERUSALEM TO BE DIVIDED).
1Th. 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; THEN SUDDEN DESTRUCTION COMETH UPON THEM, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape

WORLD TERRORISM – WARS

GENERAL WORLD NEWS:

WORLD FINANCE:

MASSIVE EARTH CHANGES/EARTHQUAKES/VOLCANOES ETC:

 
 

CHRISTIAN WORLD NEWS:

 

EXTRA WORLD – ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

http://www.stevequayle.com/index.php?s=143
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PROPHETIC NEWS ARTICLES:

MIDDLE EAST WAR LOOMING THE BUILD UP TO PSALM 83  – ISAIAH 17 AND GOG OF MAGOG WARS EZEKIEL 38:
 
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ASSAD: IRAN’S PRESENCE IS NON-NEGOTIABLE

http://prophecyupdate.blogspot.com/
Assad: Iran’s presence is non-negotiable, but deal over Israel border possible
Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday said Iran’s presence in Syria and its relations with Damascus are not negotiable and repeated the claim that Iran has no fixed bases in Syria.
In an interview with Iran’s Al Alam TV broadcast Wednesday night, he said reaching a settlement in the southwestern region, where Iranian-backed forces are near the border with Israel, is still possible.
Israel has repeatedly warned against any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria.
Assad said contacts are “ongoing” between the Russians, the US, and the Israelis, but said the relationship between Syria and Iran “will not be part of any settlement” and is “not in the international bazaar.”
There has been speculation that Iran might pull its forces back from near the Israeli Golan Heights in some kind of settlement.
Iran and Russia are both providing military assistance to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad in his efforts to end a civil war now in its eighth year.
However, Israel fears Iran is attempting to use the opportunity to gain a foothold in Syria to launch attacks against the Jewish state. Israel has recently carried out a number of airstrikes against Iranian military assets in Syria.
On May 10, Israel unleashed a heavy bombardment against what it said were Iranian military installations in Syria after an Iranian rocket barrage targeting the Golan. It was the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date.
Israel also destroyed a significant amount of Syrian anti-aircraft weapons in February after an Iranian drone carrying explosives briefly entered Israeli airspace before it was shot down. Israel immediately launched a counterattack on the T-4 air base in central Syria from which the drone had been piloted. One Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian air defenses in the exchange.
Diplomatically, in recent weeks, Israel has stepped up its negotiations with Russia, and to a lesser extent the United States, in order to secure an Iranian withdrawal from Syria.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also traveled to Germany, France and the UK last week to lobby support for this position. 
According to reports, Moscow is prepared to force Iran to pull its forces from the area closest to the border. Israel has rebuffed the offer, calling for Iran to pull out of Syria entirely.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iranian-backed forces stationed on the Golan border, including from the Hezbollah terror group, had begun posing as Syrian military units, in a ploy to try to stave off pressure from Israel.
Multiple Syrian rebel commanders told the American newspaper that Lebanese Hezbollah troops and other Iranian-backed militias withdrew from the Daraa and Quneitra provinces in Syria’s southwest near Israel, but later returned dressed in Syrian military uniforms and under the regime flag.
One commander told the paper that the convoys were returning equipped with rockets and missiles.
“It’s a camouflage,” Ahmad Azam, a commander with the rebel Salvation Army, a rebel group based in Quneitra told the Wall Street Journal. “They are leaving… in their Hezbollah uniform and they are returning in regime vehicles and dressed in regular [Syrian] army uniforms.”
 
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BIG CRISIS = BIG CHANGE: A NEW BATTLE FOR EUROPE HAS BEGUN

A New Battle for Europe Has Begun
The dream of a united Europe under the dominance of an oligarchy of Utopian Leftist Elitists is crumbling into oblivion, as country after country sweeps the Utopian Leftist Elitists from power. The voters have pulled off the blindfolds placed on them by years of government, educational and media manipulators and are soundly rejecting the Dreams of the Utopian Oligarchs. George Soros, in particular, is devastated that years of his manipulation is crumbling before his very eyes. He lashes out at every opportunity at the new forces of populism, nationalism and traditionalism that he has spent billions over the years trying to defeat. His propaganda is no longer working. While he, and his fellow Globalists, claim to be promoting egalitarianism, the people are seeing everything they cherish being crushed by the Globalists. It is now apparent to the people that the Globalists are no friends to them. While the Globalist Elites meet in splendor at their secret meetings, (Bilderberg?), the common folk struggle to put a roof over their heads and food on their tables.
The battle of the 21st Century is now engaged. On the one side are the True Believers in the Globalist Oligarchy, while on the other side are the Populist/Nationalists that seek to retain their cultures and traditions. The One-Size-Fits-All Utopian beliefs of the Globalists are being rejected. Of course the Globalists are fighting with everything they have to continue on their march to Utopia. They are True Believers and cannot admit they are losing the battle, let alone the war.
The battle is not only for the Europeans to fight. It is a battle, a war, for all mankind to fight. Here, on the North American continent, we are joining the fight, which thus far has been a war of ideas. Hopefully it will remain so, but the war must continue, not just for our sake, but for the sake of our children, and our children’s children.
The Globalists want to destroy our culture, our traditions and our economy. They dream of rebuilding from the ashes they have created, a new Utopian World, that can best be described as a dystopian, bland, feudalistic society of nothingness, ruled over by. and for, the oligarchs and their minions. The oligarchs will live in comfort in their walled estates, while we, the common people, will scratch out a mere existence.
We, who value our families, our neighbors and our communities, say: NO. No to their Utopian nightmare. We see it for what it is.
 
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GEMS HIDDEN FOR MESSIANIC ERA BEING DISCOVERED IN CARMEL REGION

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz – https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
They invite their kin to the mountain, Where they offer sacrifices of success. For they draw from the riches of the sea And the hidden hoards of the sand. Numbers 33:19 (The Israel Bible™)
Many people read prophecy, some understand its relevance in current events, but Avi Taub, CEO of Shefa Yamim, took it one step further and founded a multi-million dollar mining and exploration company based on prophecy. Seventeen years later, prophecy is still at the core of his successful corporate vision.
Taub grew up in the precious stones business. His family had a diamond polishing plant and dealt in manufacturing and marketing jewelry. In 1989, Taub, a follower of Chabad Hasidut, visited Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The rabbi, known to his followers simply as “the Rebbe,” was spiritual leader to millions of followers of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism, who passed away in 1994. With very little explanation, the Rebbe told Taub to begin mining. Taub entered into an unsuccessful project in Australia. He struggled to understand the Rebbe’s message. Through a friend who was also a follower of the Rebbe, Taub was made aware of a video in which the Rebbe made a remarkable statement, given to then-mayor of Haifa, Arye Gurel in 1988.
“In Haifa, there is a sea. One shouldn’t become intimidated by something that is deep,” the Rebbe said to Gurel. “This is the uniqueness of Haifa – that it has a sea and that there is a valley and in the valley are precious stones and gems. The Holy One, Blessed Be He, did a wondrous thing; he concealed them in the depths of the earth, and in any case, in the depth of the river.”
Taub searched for more clues and found that the Rebbe discussed these hidden gems again in a public lesson in 1991. The Rebbe explained new and unprecedented knowledge and material resources, hidden since the Creation of the World, will be discovered as the redemption approaches. The Rebbe specified that precious stones and gems will be for the purpose of giving additional charity and performing other mitzvoth (commandments) to hasten the Messiah in its final stages.
Taub went searching for other clues to hidden gems in Israel and found hints that the region assigned to the tribe of Zevulun was hinted at in the Bible as the source of hidden wealth. This was based on Moses’ blessing to the tribe in Deuteronomy.
And of Zevulun he said: Rejoice, O Zevulun, on your journeys, And Yissachar, in your tents. They invite their kin to the mountain, Where they offer sacrifices of success. For they draw from the riches of the sea And the hidden hoards of the sand. Deuteronomy 33:18-19
The Meam Loez, an 18th-century commentary on the Bible initiated by Rabbi Yaakov Culi, wrote the following on that verse.
“There are vast amounts of natural treasures that are hidden in the sea and in the earth in the portion of the tribe of Zevulun. These treasures include the rare “chilazon” from whose blood the aqua color is obtained for ‘tzitzit’, precious stones and gems – diamonds – most of which afforded the Land of Israel vast wealth, generally speaking, and especially for the tribe of Zevulun!”
Taub was satisfied that all of the clues pointed towards Israel to find these hidden gems the Rebbe had told him to search for. He had no way of knowing that another hidden treasure, the Leviathan natural gas fields discovered off the coast of Israel in 2010, were also included in this prophecy.
In 1999, Taub and several other Chabad Jews established Shefa Yamim Co. Ltd. with the intention of locating precious stones and gems in Israel. As per the Rebbe’s instructions to Haifa’s mayor, Taub focused his company’s efforts along the Kishon riverbed in the Zevulun Valley, the Carmel Mountain Range bordering Haifa, and the area of Ramot Menashe. Their company based in Akko is in the final year of exploration and Taub anticipates that they will begin production next year.
They made important discoveries while drilling and taking soil samples, including a kimberlite, the source of diamonds, 77 diamonds of various sizes, as well as hundreds of thousands of mineral indicators that accompany diamonds and gems such as sapphires and rubies. A 3.5 mm moissanite, the largest example of this precious and rare stone found anywhere to date, was also discovered in the Zevulun region. The company recently upgraded the factory in Akko to handle more volume.
“All of the geologists, all of the experts were in shock. We succeeded in proving that faith is shaking hands with science,” Taub told Breaking Israel News. “Every day we are making new finds.”
The success went public about five months ago when Shefa Yamim began trading on the London Stock Exchange. Taub noted the timing of the discoveries of Israel’s hidden treasures.
“These stones could have been discovered ten years ago, or one-hundred,” he emphasized. “The Rebbe told us to begin now because he knew the Moshiach (Messiah) was coming and that was when these stones were to be brought to light.”
“This was the special trait of the Rebbe,” Taub explained. “He was one of the most influential spiritual leaders of the 20th century and certainly the most influential leader for so many Jews. But he connected prophecy and current events, the Bible with science.”
This is evident in the Rebbe’s personal story. Before becoming the leader of the Chabad movement, the Rebbe studied in some of the most important universities in the world, such as the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Berlin, receiving at least three Ph.D. degrees in physics, philosophy and mechanical engineering. An imperative given by such a man was not to be taken lightly. Taub noted that on the High Priest’s breastplate, every tribe was represented by a precious stone.
“It would be so much greater if all the stones from the breastplate came from inside Israel,” Taub said. “We are hoping to make that possible in time for the Third Temple.”
Coincidentally, in the high priest’s breastplate, Zevulun’s name was engraved on a diamond. The only source of native diamonds in Israel is from the territory belonging to Zevulun and the only company mining these diamonds is Shefa Yamim.
 
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CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE IN FLORIDA CALLS FOR CATHOLICS TO DISOBEY TRUMP IMMIGRATION POLICIES, THREATENS ‘CANONICAL PUNISHMENT’

Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson, Ariz., made a bolder suggestion, raising the possibility of implementing canonical penalties for Catholics “who are involved in this,” referring to children being separated from their families at the border. Canonical penalties can range from denial of sacraments to excommunication, though Weisenburger did not specify what he intended beyond referring to sanctions that already exist for “life issues.”
http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/catholic-bishops-conference-florida-calls-for-catholic-disobey-trump-immigration-policies-threatens-canonical-punishment/
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opened its spring meeting this week with a stern reproach of the Trump administration’s latest immigration policies, with the group’s president suggesting the new rules on asylum are a “right to life” issue.
“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Titus 1:7-9 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Catholic Bishops Conference in Florida has produced some intense results so far, not the least of which was calling for massive civil disobedience against our duly-elected president’s immigration policies. Not only that, the bishops also suggested that catholics who don’t disobey the president’s policies should be harshly punished with Catholic ‘canonical penalties’ which include everything from denial of taking the magic cookie, all the way up to being ex-communicated from the Whore of Babylon. The Catholic Church is very much for open borders, except for Vatican City. Yeah, that has a massive wall that goes completely around it. Pope Francis, tear down that wall! 
Some bishops followed by urging protests, including “canonical penalties” for those who carry out the administration’s new rules. Within minutes of opening the USCCB’s biannual meeting in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday (June 13), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB and archbishop of Galveston-Houston, read aloud a statement deeply critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent announcement regarding asylum qualifications.
“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life,” DiNardo said, reading from the statement. “The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection.
“This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence,” DiNardo continued. “We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.”
CLICK TO READ ABOUT WHAT THE WHORE OF BABYLON HAS BEEN UP TO LATELY
On Monday, Sessions reversed an immigration appeals court decision granting asylum to a Salvadoran woman who had claimed domestic abuse in her home country. His ruling effectively overturned an Obama administration practice of allowing women with credible claims of domestic abuse or those fleeing gang violence to seek asylum in the United States. 
DiNardo also criticized the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, announced in May, which calls for prosecuting all those who cross the border illegally and separating children immigrating with parents from their families.
“Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together,” DiNardo said. 
“Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral,” he added.
When he finished, DiNardo asked bishops to clap if they approved the statement. The room erupted in applause.
During a question-and-answer session about immigration issues later in the day, several bishops suggested bold strategies for countering the policies, including two from states along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, N.J., proposed that a group of bishops be sent to the border to inspect the detention facilities where children are kept as a “sign of our pastoral concern and protest against the hardening of the American heart.” Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, N.M., suggested “public gestures” such as prayer vigils in front of federal courthouses.
Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson, Ariz., made a bolder suggestion, raising the possibility of implementing canonical penalties for Catholics “who are involved in this,” referring to children being separated from their families at the border. Canonical penalties can range from denial of sacraments to excommunication, though Weisenburger did not specify what he intended beyond referring to sanctions that already exist for “life issues.”
“Canonical penalties are there in place to heal,” Weisenburger said. “And therefore, for the salvation of these people’s souls, maybe it’s time for us to look at canonical penalties.”
The immigration policies have triggered widespread outcry from faith leaders across the religious spectrum, including Catholics. Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley who has been praised by Pope Francis for her work with migrants, told USA Today that separating families is “inhumane” and “cruel.”
The bishops are meeting in Fort Lauderdale through Thursday. source
 
ADDITIONAL NEWS CLIPS:
 
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THE END OF EUROPEAN CHRISTIANITY?

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2329
Christianity in Europe is under assault from all sides, from waves of Muslim immigrants and declining European birthrates to reduced church membership and the breakdown of traditional families. The much talked about rise of the “nones”, or religiously unaffiliated, also reflects how this vision of a spiritually-empty postmodern Europe lost its way. 
Europe is home to millions fewer Christians than a few short decades ago, but a new study from the Pew Research Center and research done by the British academic Stephen Bullivant both call into question the Christianity espoused by many Europeans.
The Pew Research Center conducted a telephone poll with 24,599 European adults selected at random. Just under 12,000 of those surveyed considered themselves Christians, though the rate at which they practice their faith is the first factor that the study considers. Not all Christians find the time to attend Church weekly or otherwise engage with their faith community, but for European Christians this lack of engagement is becoming all too common. 
For this study, Pew set the minimum level of attendance at once per month to be considered a practicing Christian, a standard that is met by 18% of French and UK subjects, 28% of Austrians, 22% of Germans, 10% of Belgians, 9% of Finns, 9% of Swedes and 14% of Norwegians. 
Unsurprisingly, Italy stands out at 40%, but even that is well under half for a country that is at the center of the Catholic Church. The median number of practicing Christians, across all of Europe, is a mere 18%. Non-practicing ‘Christians’, on the other hand, make up a median of 46% of the total European population and the unaffiliated 24% of all Europeans (other religions still account for less than 6% of the total, though these numbers are not uniformly distributed).
The 46% of Europeans who identify as non-practicing Christians is significant not only because their numbers continue to grow compared to practicing Christians, but because they hold beliefs that stand in stark contrast to orthodox Christianity. 
They are overwhelming in favor of gay marriage and support abortion at a far higher rate than practicing Christians; two political issues that set them at odds with traditional Christian values. 
On a more fundamental level, despite the fact that the non-practicing ‘Christians’ consider themselves to be Christian (91% baptized and 81% raised as Christian), they no longer believe in the God of the Bible. 
Declaring belief in some numinous, spiritual force that fits their imagined belief of what they would like God to be, they most often reject the stories, events, lessons and message of the Bible. In essence, they occasionally dress themselves in the trappings of Christianity without encumbering themselves with any of the beliefs, theology or morality of the Christian faith. 
Those who attend Church at least once a month do believe in the God of the Bible and, importantly, also pass this belief and the accompanying moral practices on to their children.
Those who are practicing Christians intend to raise children in the faith, as well, but there is little chance of that for those who are non-practicing Christians. Raised in homes that are Christian in name only, many from the coming generations will have only superficial contact with what is quickly becoming the religion of their ancestors. 
European churches have reached a crisis point not only from outside but from within as millions of Christians drop out or drift away. They may still see churches as important to social cohesion and helping the poor, but for tens of millions they fail both in belief and practice for what the Bible describes as a follower of Christ.
Stephen Bullivant found that unlike generations past when the European norm was to identify culturally as Christian, despite differences of belief or affiliation, that societal custom is no longer acceptable. Now, the norm in many parts of Europe is to be unaffiliated and the religious increasingly see themselves as “swimming against the tide”. As Bullivant points out, in many European countries “religiosity is no longer seen as normal or natural.” 
Bullivant’s study looks disproportionately at younger Europeans, but this is precisely the demographic group that can indicate great changes to come. He believes that Christianity will survive into the next few generations, but with a much reduced core of true believers amidst an ever-growing population of non-believers and Christians-in-name-only. 
Increasingly isolated, he predicts that Christianity will hang on in a Europe that has no place for their traditions, no place for their Christian morals and no place for God.
Footnote: of necessity, this article references a people-group identified as ‘non-practicing Christians’. Please understand, as do we, that this is an oxymoron. 
 
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THE CHURCH IN IRAN: PERSECUTION & GROWTH

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2332
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the mullahs of Iran have maintained a stranglehold on the country at every level, and the past decade has seen an increasingly strict crackdown on religious freedom in the theocratic nation. The biggest threat to the absolute rule of Islam in Iran? Christianity. 
A few churches have been registered and monitored while others were forced to shut down. Bibles are routinely confiscated, and their owners fined or jailed. Public practice of Christianity, including weddings, has been met with arrests and violence. But despite the desperate attempts of the Islamic regime in Tehran to stamp out it out, Iran now leads the world in the growth of Christianity.
In 2017, Operation World reported that the number of Christians in Iran saw a 19.6% rise in 2016 alone. Elam Ministries, whose goal is to expand the Church throughout Iran and beyond, reports that in the late 90s, there may have been as few as 2,000 to 5,000 Christians, but that number has risen to an estimated 300,000 to 1 million now. 
There is significant uncertainty around that exact figure because as the Islamic government of Iran has persecuted Christians and shut down churches, the growth has come from so-called “house churches”. 
Thousands upon thousands of smaller worship services in homes across Iran have fueled an incredible groundswell of Christian faith unlike few other places in the world. So why is Christianity growing in Iran, a country that notoriously ranks 8th for persecution of Christians? 
One factor is the corruption and failure of the Iranian government. The Mullahs hold power and administer the country according to the principles of Islam. Thus, when the economy falters, when corruption is exposed time and time again, when poverty persists, when crime rises and when Iran lags behind the region in development, Iranians associate these failures to the rule of Islam. 
If Islam as a political, judicial and social system is followed completely and society suffers, it is only logical to conclude that Islam is not perfect. This doubt has opened the door to the Gospel and allowed Muslims in Iran to open their hearts to Jesus.
Apostasy by Iranian Muslims can carry the death penalty, as can the vague crime of “insulting the Prophet”. The Islamic regime has declared house churches to be illegal gatherings, actively searches for former-Muslims to imprison and has begun widely to interpret the practice of other faiths as “insulting the Prophet”. 
Despite this tightened grip on the population, the Church still grows, as contrasted with Iraq, where the Christian population has dwindled from 1.3 million just 15 years ago to under 300,000 today. Iran’s Christian population is projected by CCM Ministries to grow to as many as 7 million by the year 2020.
CCM Ministries has been at the epicenter of the house church movement in Iran and its founder Mani Erfan calls the resurgence of Christianity an “awakening”. “It’s an astronomical increase, and it’s been predominantly young people. The youth have been restless and have looked toward an alternative to the regime and Islam. It’s become a counter-revolution to the Iranian Revolution.” 
To the youth of Iran, Western culture and Christianity represent a powerful attraction away from the culture of repression and deprivation of the Islamic Mullahs. Millions may now accept Christianity, a religion of faith and of hope, as salvation from Islam.
Though the numbers of converts may be difficult to pinpoint precisely, there is no doubt that the tremendous growth of Christianity in the Islamic Republic of Iran has the potential dramatically to reshape the geopolitics not only of Iran but of the entire Middle East region.
 
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HAVING COURAGE

Bill Wilson – www.omegaletter.com
Some of the headlines these days can be quite discouraging. The media continues its fake news onslaught toward the White House; there is a fear that robots will take over and make slaves of us all; the Clinton crime ring is further exposed, but no justice as yet; and in case you haven’t heard, the US House of Representatives approved a bill that bans child sex dolls and robots. Who would have ever thought this would be necessary? You can see this is no time for the weak-hearted. It is no time for followers of Christ to disengage. It seems we have been doing that since the 1960s, and it hasn’t worked. Christ is the answer to this dark and dying world, and you are his vessel. Think about that.
You have a calling. And much bad doctrine has been taught about this. The Holy Scriptures say in Romans 8:28 “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” It’s not your purpose, but “HIS” purpose. Romans 11:29 says that “the gifts and calling of God are unchangeable.” So when people are saying that you have to find your calling, it is really understanding that you are called “not according to our works, but according to his own purpose (2 Timothy 1:9).” Christ is our example. He is the way the truth and the life. He showed us how to engage according to his purpose. It takes courage to conduct Christ’s purpose in this world, in this country today.
Psalm 31:24 says, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.” As Christians, our hope is in the Lord. We are to be ever watching for his return. As Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” And Jesus promises in Matthew 10:22, “And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.” We, as Christians, are not to stand by and allow evil to advance just because we have read the end of the book and we win. We are to not be overcome with evil, but to overcome evil with good. The Lord says to be of good courage and that his gifts will never change—you are equipped.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” We are reminded that it isn’t easy in 2 Corinthians 4:8,9: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…” Verse 6 tells us, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” We should not fear man. Man cannot take our soul. So we need to take heart during these times.
Have courage. Put on the full armour of God and speak boldly as we ought to speak. And having done all, stand.

 

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