May 22, 2017

The Police Stand Down and the Murder Rate Soars

The war on police has been going on for many years. All those who pursue a career in law enforcement must understand the bias that the media has against them. If they do a good job, only a small number of people seem to care. If they do something that can be reported in a negative light, they face a media storm of outrage.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke became a target for the left when he called Black Lives Matter a hate group, and blamed liberal policies for rioting and for other issues taking place in American cities. The press could not contain their joy when it was reported that an inmate at the Milwaukee County Jail had died from dehydration. Clarke wasn’t charged with his death, but the media presented the situation in such a way as to cast doubt on Sheriff Clarke’s character and reputation.

The favorite game of the liberal media is race-baiting every time a person of color is shot by a police officer. When officer Roy Oliver shot and killed a 15-year-old high school freshman, the press immediately had him tried and convicted of the slaying.

It doesn’t even matter if police officers are overwhelmingly proven to have acted within the law; accusations of guilt immediately follow. After the shooting of Michael Brown, a slew of state, federal, and local agencies showed that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in using deadly  force. Nevertheless, the left has continued to portray the incident inaccurately; they dismiss the truth in favor of reinventing what actually took place (fake news). The liberal gatekeepers never fail to reference their perceived injustice of Brown—every time another black person is killed by the police.

A key high point in demonizing the police came with the death of Freddie Gray. When he died in the back of  a police van, it became clear that cities run by liberals are on the side of criminals. Six officers were charged with second-degree murder. The mayor and prosecutor of Baltimore openly condemned the officers. The mayor even told the police units to stand down to allow gangs of hoodlums to destroy property and businesses.

It didn’t matter that all six officers were cleared of the charges; the lack of support for the police has had a devastating impact on morale. Two years ago, I illustrated that the crime rate would rise. What I did not anticipate is just how much crime would soar. The murder rate in Baltimore is the worst ever, and it’s on track to overtake all other cities in America.

There have been 110 homicides so far this year in Baltimore. The only year that came close to recording so many murders in just the first 4 months of the year was in 1993 during the height of America’s gang wars. Back then, Baltimore had about 110,000 more residents than it has now.

Crime statistics show murder rates are greatly increasing in most major cities. In Baton Rouge, homicides are up 80 percent compared to the same time last year. Chicago is on pace for a record high murder rate.

Our urban centers are rotting away. The Crime Prevention Research Center just released a report  showing the vast majority of homicides have occurred in just 5 percent of  U.S. counties. Those counties had a full 68 percent of the homicides. The study also shows that 54 percent of other U.S. counties had zero murders.

A major reason why we have crime raging out of control is because of the “politically correct” refusal to recognize black on black crime. At no other time in history could we have had the murder rate soaring to record highs without triggering panic. Chicago newspapers have decided to not print pictures of murder victims in order to cover-up the fact that the majority of people killed are black.

Rather than taking direct aim at the problem, politicians are using gimmicks to deal with the matter. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh requested federal help from the FBI to combat the surging homicide rates in her city:

“I’m calling on all the assistance we can possibly get because I can’t imagine going into our summer months with our crime rate where it is today, what that’s going to look like by the end  of the summer. Murder is out of control. We are looking for all the help that we can get.”

New York Governor Cuomo plans to reduce violent crime by investing around a million dollars for electronic surveillance equipment.

Getting the FBI involved and adding new surveillance equipment is not going to do any good. The problem stems from welfare state programs and the political correct agenda that turns a blind eye to race relate crimes.

You can’t have a civil society with police that have to pretend to do their jobs. A growing number of criminals who have outstanding arrest warrants are walking freely on the streets because of the insanity of liberalism.

At least we now have a president who is taking steps to restore some respect, honor and justice toward the police. President Donald Trump lit up the White House in blue light last Monday night to honor fallen cops for Peace Officers Memorial Day. Trump’s action began Police Week, which honors 118 officers who died and 66 who were injured in the line of duty in 2016—a 40 percent increase over 2015.

The significance of President Trump’s patriotic gesture stands in opposition to Barack Obama, who was asked by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation last July to light the White House blue after the deadly attack on police in Dallas, but Obama declined. The Washington Examiner reported Obama had flags flown at half-mast for police, but did not shine the blue light on the White House. The former president did, however, illuminate the White House in rainbow colors after the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in June 2015.

Jesus warned that the last days would be like the wickedness during the time of Noah. Since the vast majority of society cannot discern good from evil, there is little to stop the world from descending into total lawlessness.

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of Man” (Luke 17:26)

–Todd


God’s Next Catastrophic Intervention

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un  continues to fire off missiles that fail shortly after lifting off. But there are enough successes to portend a time when he can arm them with nuclear devices to kill hundreds of thousands. The ayatollahs and military of Iran continue on course to produce deliverable nuclear weapons to rain upon the hated Israel. Russian president Putin becomes more bellicose by the day, sending his bombers near America’s Alaskan shores. He has fighter jets buzzing American aircraft within twenty feet in some cases.

Syrian dictator Assad continues to inflict genocide in the region, no doubt causing Israel’s military to consider preemptive action to protect the Jewish state.

China, despite some minor, peaceful overtures to President Trump and America, continues to build its military and new bases in waters that are considered international rather than Chinese territorial waters. ISIS and the many Israel-hating terrorist entities continue to plan and carry out murderous assaults around the world.

This is a time that there is a cry for peace and safety, while there seems little peace upon the planet.

Our president is going to the Middle East to have a go at formulating a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians–a thing many diplomats of every stripe have tried but failed to achieve.

Everything in regard to those geopolitical exigencies seem to point to just how near this generation is to the time of Tribulation, the final seven years immediately preceding Christ’s Second Advent. But, those represent only one side of the equation that makes up the signals we are to look for in being watchmen on the wall as Bible prophecy fulfillment draws near.

While the volatility and violence that will be part of end-times indicators are certainly something to consider, Jesus painted a much different picture that will be on the scene when He next catastrophically intervenes into the affairs of fallen mankind.

We know that the Bible–that God’s prophets–never contradict one another. If we search deeply enough and long enough, we will see the interconnectedness and the absolute integrity of prophetic truth. So, how, as God’s Word says, does Paul’s prophecy, “evil men and seducers will [get] worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived,” comport with Jesus’ own words about the moment He will next break in upon this rebellious world?

How does, for example, the Lord’s own declaration make sense? He prophesies that people will be buying, selling, marrying, and building–doing all the things of everyday life. How does that declaration not conflict with  the Revelation foretelling twenty-one devastating judgments given to John on Patmos?

That is, how does such a not-unpleasant set of circumstances like Jesus describes using the days of Noah and of Lot not contradict the Olivet Discourse? The Lord’s words describe conditions so horrific when Christ comes back that there no flesh would be saved if He did not return at that moment (Matthew 24: 21).

The only answer to why there are these diametrically different prophetic descriptions–that of business as usual and that of the worst times of human history–is, of course, wrapped up in the apostle Paul’s foretelling.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

The pre-millennial, pre-tribulation view of Christ’s return is the only view that answers the big questions about the apparent contradictions.

God’s next catastrophic intervention into the affairs of rebellious mankind’s evil doings will take place in two phases. The first involves the “mystery” Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15: 51-55. All born-again believers who have died or are living will in one stunning moment be translated into supernatural bodies and instantly appear with Jesus Christ above planet earth.

Jesus tells that at the time of that event–the Rapture–things will be relatively normal for most living on the earth. As a matter of fact, I believe His words tell that it will be business even better than usual.

I will expand on this greatly in my next book which, God willing, will be available late this year.

The second phase of Christ’s Second Coming will, of course, be that moment when He comes back with all the saints to put an end to man’s most terrible war–Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-12).

At that time, the earth will have been devastated by war and God’s wrath. Again, Jesus said that all flesh would die if He didn’t intervene at that moment.

God’s judgment will begin, Jesus said, the very day He is next “revealed.” That will be at the Rapture, when all the earth will know there has been a tremendous event that made millions simply vanish. Like in Lot’s day, God’ judgment will begin that very day, Jesus says as recorded in Luke 17:26-30. God’s wrath won’t begin until the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is confirmed. But judgment will begin immediately, we are told by the Lord, Himself.

It will be a catastrophic intervention right from that twinkling-of-an-eye moment!

I believe we, as watchmen, should be observing the times to see if there is in the near future a noticeable upswing in national and international economies–this in conjunction with considering all the traditional signals that the Bible describes.

–Terry

May 15, 2017

Bible Prophecy Spells Doom for Crypto-Currencies

Financial bubbles generally occur once in a generation. When large numbers of people make bad investments, those experiences are enough of a warning to make caution a virtue.

Today we don’t seem to have an ever-dwindling supply of caution. Some form of bubbles now come along every few years. In 2000 we had the Dotcom Bubble; in 2008 we had the Housing Bubble; and in 2017 we are in the middle of the Crypto-Currencies Bubble.

Interest in digital crypto-currency started with Bitcoin. In 2010, you could buy a pizza for 10,000 bitcoins, which someone famously did with the price in dollars less than a penny. I hope the pizza parlor kept their bitcoins, because now they are worth $18.45 million. As I’m writing, the price of one bitcoin is $1820.

The total value of all bitcoins in circulation now totals $29.600 billion. Their increase in value for just this year has been 90 percent. When you add all the other currencies that brings the grand total to $52.5 billion. This is a huge amount of money for a type currency that only has a five year history.

I cannot find a record of any other asset increasing more 200,000 times in value. Apple Computer, from its 1982 near-bankruptcy low is only up 765 times. People are talking as if Bitcoin’s best gains are yet to come.

I read one report of a man taking out an equity loan of $325,239 on his house to buy 191 bitcoins. If Bitcoin reaches the $10,000 mark, he plans on moving to the West Coast and living in quiet luxury. If it drops below $100, that man may find himself living on the street.

Before people convert their life savings into Bitcoins, Ripples, Ethereum, or my favorite—Stellar Lumens, they may want to take an assessment of the risks.

The biggest threat to crypto-currency is someone breaking into the system and stealing your account code information. In the past few years, several exchanges have gone bankrupt after their systems were hacked. The biggest bust was at MT Gox; $450 million in bitcoins were stolen from customer accounts.

Once a hacker has your passwords, your pile of bitcoins can vanish without a trace. You can even be your own thief by losing your password. For example, in 2013 one user lost 7,500 bitcoins, worth $7.5 million at the time when he accidentally discarded a hard drive containing the digital key to his account.

Another problem with crypto-currencies is their unlimited number. About a year ago, there were about 400 types of these coins. When I last checked, there was 727 crypto-currencies. If this mania continues, there will soon be over a thousand digital currencies. As their numbers increase, people will have to start to question the value of wealth that is created from nothing.

The quantity of each individual coin is also a problem. The exchanges that manage them, create new ones to pay for operating costs. The quantity of some coins increases at a rate that is greater than 50 percent each year. This high level of inflation can only cause the value of each coin to go down.

Crime is becoming yet another problem for crypto-currencies. The untraceable nature of Bitcoin makes it popular with criminal agents. And it’s becoming more common practice to demand ransom in bitcoin, too. This from the New York Times: “Those threats have increased with the advent of ransomware, malicious software that encrypts victims’ data and prevents them from accessing it until they pay a ransom, often hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of bitcoin, a crypto-currency.”

I think the biggest threat to crypto-currency is the government seeing it as a competition to national currency. Lawmakers don’t like any other monetary system stepping into their domain. As soon as Congress realizes it is losing tax dollars from people exchanging goods and services with crypto-currencies, they will move to ban the practice. The big banks are not going to stand for a system that cuts them out of transaction fees.

The state of Florida is working on legislation that will make it a money laundering offense to use virtual currencies to hide funds that are related to a crime.

Bible prophecy would seem to indicate that crypto-currencies are going to have a short life. Under the mark of the beast system, all transactions will be supervised by the Antichrist’s government. The devil may be allowing this latest mania to flourish in order to fulfill his end-time plans. Once the crash comes, it will be easy to argue that all digital money needs strong central control.

“And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,  o that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark—the name of the beast or the number of its name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

–Todd


Israel’s Identity Crisis

It seems strange that the one nation on planet earth that God Himself calls His “chosen” suffers such low self esteem. I use the term self esteem in the sense that there is an internal, national uncertainty concerning where the nation fits within the international scheme of things. There projects from Israel an aura of not belonging.

I suppose this shouldn’t surprise, considering that most countries making up the United Nations join in voting against Israel in almost every case that is brought against the nation. The history of such anti-Israel voting is stunning.

Israel completely outperforms all of its neighbors in productivity. Its ingenuity benefits not only the region but all the world. That tiny sliver of land encompasses only a fraction of the land grant the lord says is theirs. Yet it is an island of technological, agricultural, and societal creativity that is second only to that generated by the United States. And, fact is, much of America’s such creativity and activity is directly due to the brilliance of U.S. Jewish citizenry.

Its tentativeness in national confidence has long been the concern of Israeli thinkers and innovators. Just this past week, initiatives to deal with Israel’s identity crisis came to the surface as breaking news.

A proposal to anchor Israel’s status as a Jewish state in a Basic Law was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday.

MK Avi Dichter (Likud), who proposed the bill, called the vote “a big step towards establishing our identity, not only universally, but mainly towards ourselves, the Israelis, to be a free nation in our land,” a line from Hatikva…

“I’ve been working on the Jewish State bill for six years,” Dichter recounted. “Six years to establish the simple and most basic truth: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People.”…

The legislation states that “the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it realizes its aspirations for self-determination according to its cultural and historic traditions. The realization of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”…

… It also mentions the Law of Return, and calls for the government to work to strengthen Israel-Diaspora ties.

It states that Hebrew is Israel’s official language and Arabic has a special status, requiring all government services to be available in Arabic. (ISRAEL NEWS, Jerusalem Post, May 7, 2017)

The bill, if approved, was set for a preliminary vote on Wednesday. It will thus take place in the first week of the Knesset’s summer session. The Justice Ministry will be charged with drafting its own version of the bill within sixty days. The two bills will then be combined.

The bill is receiving push-back by those who see it as a racist action that puts too much emphasis on Israel being Jewish and not enough on democracy.

Such an accusation has some validity. But, with things going on as of late, it is action that is warranted, in my view.

One example of the world doing all possible to strip Israel of its sovereignty and even its right to exist is that perpetrated by the U.N.

The UNESCO Executive Board passed a resolution in Paris that disavowed Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. The organization insists, thereby, that Israel should no longer have authority in the city. The vote was meant to delegitimize Israel’s right to the city governance that was won during the 1967 Six Day War.

Because of continuing such actions by the U.N. against Israel, the Israeli government is considering ousting that organization from its facilities within the city of Jerusalem.

The government on Sunday is set to debate the question whether or not to oust the United Nations from its Jerusalem headquarters, but is not expected to take any action on the matter at this time…

In a statement to Channel 2, [Miri] Regev [Culture and Sports Minister ] said that clearly there was no longer any logic to the UN remaining at that location.

“We’ve been sovereign in the city for 50 years, so there is no need for UN monitors. They were given use of the compound to oversee the cease-fire agreement from the Six-Day war, it’s an agreement that is no longer relevant. This saga has to end,” she said. (ISRAEL NEWS, Jerusalem Post, May 5, 2017)

Israel’s identity crisis is destined to become much more acute. Zechariah the prophet and other prophets foretell a time when all nations will seek to kill all Jews. Haven’t we heard that before?

Anti-Semitism on the rise is only one symptom of the great hatred that Antichrist will foment, especially during the second three and one-half years of the Tribulation.

“Alas! for that day is great, so that there is none like it   : it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jeremiah 30: 7)

Israel’s identity will one day be firmly established, however. God has promised to make it the head of the nations when Christ rules and reigns from atop Zion in Jerusalem as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

–Terry