Sep 23, 2019

The Abqaiq Attack is a Game Changer

The September 14th attack on a key Saudi oil facility has exposed a massive vulnerability of the kingdom to drone strikes and underscores how traditional air defenses can be breached by new low-cost technology.

The scale of the attack was stunning. The hit on Aramco’s Abqaiq processing plant and the Khurais oil field knocked 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) off production, over half of the OPEC kingpin’s output.

It had been long believed that the military could handle an attack on its oil facilities. Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s biggest buyers of weapons and spent an estimated $65 billion on arms last year, mostly from the United States, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

These cheap drones with improvised explosives can travel huge distances. In May, there was a drone strike on a major pipeline in the oil-rich Eastern Province to the Red Sea, forcing it to be shut down temporarily. In June, the Huthis launched at least 20 missiles and drone attacks into Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional foe, some resulting in casualties and damage. Also, in June, two oil tankers were damaged by some type of explosive set by Iranian forces.

Footage distributed by the Huthis showed models of at least 15 unmanned drones and various sizes of missiles of different ranges. The newest of these weapons were long-range cruise missiles, dubbed “Al-Quds,” and explosives-laden “Sammad 3” drones that can hit targets as far as 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) away, according to the Huthis.

Saudi Arabia says the attack will only delay production for a few weeks. It will probably seek to maintain export levels as much as possible by supplying customers from stockpiles. It holds crude in storage tanks in the kingdom, as well as at sites in Egypt, Japan and the Netherlands. But it has run its crude hoard down since the beginning of 2016, and it is now back at levels not seen since 2008, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative. That means the kingdom has gone from 350 million barrels to a current stock of 190 million barrels.

President Vladimir Putin has enjoyed himself at the expense of US military suppliers. He said while meeting with the presidents of Iran and Turkey in Ankara that the “smart decision” for the Saudis would be to purchase Russia’s most advanced anti-air defense system, the S-400 Triumph.

“Saudi Arabia needs to make a smart decision, as Iran did by buying our S-300, and as Mr. Erdogan did by deciding to buy the most advanced S-400 Triumph air defense systems from Russia,” Putin told reporters in Ankara. “These kinds of systems are capable of defending any kind of infrastructure in Saudi Arabia from any kind of attack.”

President Donald Trump has declared that, once it has been verified that Iran was indeed responsible for last weekend’s attack on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, the U.S. is “locked and loaded.” To do what, exactly, is unclear.

It is very unlikely that Trump will bomb Iranian oil facilities. The Saudi Arabia attack alone added around $500 million to the daily value of oil production. Iran has made a multifold profit on its bold move. If we bomb anything in Iran, the price of oil is going to soar.

Iran is not going to stop with its monkey business. It’s a nation run by terrorists that would love to set the whole Persian Gulf on fire. If Iran had secretly developed a nuclear weapon that they used to vaporize the Abqaiq facility, I think our leaders would be battled over what to do.

Thanks to fracking, the U.S. is no longer dependent on Middle East oil. Europe and China, on the other hand, are heavily addicted to oil produced by Arab nations. If Iran or its Yemen rebel allies were able to disrupt production over a long period of time, various nations will deploy their military forces to maintain order.

The Bible does not mention oil as a reason for why the Last Day wars will be fought in the Middle East. For decades, many prophecy scholars have predicted that the control of black gold will be the reason why massive arms will soon march toward this region. The upward trend in these drone attacks and their devastating impact is just one more indication of how close we are to the tribulation hour.

“For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22).

–Todd


Israel-Jordanian End-times Ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection bid Tuesday September 17 has definite prophetic overtones, I think. The election is still not confirmed one way or the other as of this writing. But we will offer the following thoughts nonetheless.

Like in the case of Donald J. Trump’s political turmoil in the US, Netanyahu’s whirlpool of opposition that seeks to destroy him is a struggle against wicked powers and principalities to be sure. The ongoing storm involving both leaders continues to focus the attention of the prophetic observer upon end-times stage setting.

The Israeli prime minister, prior to Tuesday’s election, questioned just who the Israeli people wanted to trust to negotiate with in trying to work out a peace deal. Did they prefer to work with Trump and his effort at peace, or with those of Netanyahu’s opposition?

The prime minister reminded how he, Netanyahu, had helped convince President Trump to declare Jerusalem Israel’s capital. He had, he also reminded, convinced Mr. Trump to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Additionally, he announced that, if reelected and upon forming an effective coalition government, he would annex the Jordanian Valley and the northern reaches of the Dead Sea for Israel–a thing that would help to consolidate stronger defensive buffer zones from attacks from the Jewish state’s surrounding enemies.

Netanyahu further sought to provide proof of his close working relationship–even friendship—with the American president. He said that he told the US administration of his plans to annex the Jordan valley well before making the announcement publicly. He said “someone in the White House” had said off the record that “Netanyahu’s plan does not impinge on Trump’s.”

The prime minister said further, “That’s saying a lot.” He went on to express the vast differences in dealing with the current US president as opposed to the previous.

“For over eight years,” Netanyahu said, “I blocked the attempt to push us into the ’67 borders, to uproot settlements. Then, in the last three years, I’m changing the course of Jewish history by getting recognition for settlement, for the borders.”

He declared that he had “persuaded Trump to recognize Jerusalem as our capital, move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognize our sovereignty in the Golan, get out of the horrible Iran deal—that Gantz and Lapid [political opponents] supported—and now I’m doing the same thing [not only] vis a vis the Jordan Valley, but also all the settlements inside and outside the blocs. This is crucial.”

Immediately upon his declaration of his intention to annex certain swaths of the Jordanian Valley, the Palestinian leadership complained that this action will assure hostilities for the next hundred years. Leaders of both Russia and of Turkey joined in the rant against Netanyahu’s planned action.

For many years I and others who observe political movement within the Middle East–Israel in particular–have been curious about the entity called Jordan. Most who study the end-times alignment of nations look with interest at the following prophecy: “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Daniel 11:41).

The “he” in this prophecy is reference to the Antichrist, who will run rampant over the nations of the Middle East at the height of his power. It is fascinating to consider that present-day Jordan is carved from the territory called Moab in the prophecy. The children of Ammon, of course, are, in modern terms, the people of Jordan.

There are two nations among Israel’s antagonists not mentioned in the Gog-Magog coalition that will storm southward to destroy Israel and take “great spoil.” These countries are Egypt and Jordan.

These are the only Arab-Muslim nations in the region who have officially made peace with the much-hated Israel. While it is not yet clear what Netanyahu’s intention to annex these buffer lands mean in the overall scheme of stage-setting for fulfilled prophecy, we must consider developments with piqued focus.

A number of prophetic passages in the Bible foretell that both Egypt and Jordan (Moab and the children of Ammon) will fare well during Christ’s millennial reign. Of course, the people who come out of these regions to inherit that thousand years of a magnificently restored planet earth will be a remnant. These will be believers in Christ for salvation who survive the terrible time of Antichrist rule and of the judgments of the Tribulation era.

However, the prophecy above and others seem to indicate that people, particularly in the area of present-day Jordan, will avoid Antichrist’s devastation for the most part. Jesus said to each who call Him Lord: “What I say unto one, I say to all, watch” (Mark 13: 37).

As our new book Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs For the End Of Days lays out for believers in these closing days of the age, it is time to seek understanding of the strange things going on all around us. The Holy Spirit will make the madness of it all discernible, if we but seek to know about the signs of the times.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14 ).

-Terry

Sep 16, 2019

Satan’s War on the Chicken Sandwich

There is a Chick-fil-A about eight minutes down the road from me. Because the restaurant is always so busy, I rarely eat there. Despite being closed on Sunday, Chick-fil-A is the most profitable fast-food franchise chain in the United States. A Chick-fil-A unit made around $4,090,900 in 2017. By contrast, the total sales for a McDonald’s ($2,670,320 per unit).

Chick-fil-A first became controversial in 2012 when the firm’s Chairman and CEO Dan Cathy voiced his opposition to same-sex marriage. At the same time, it was revealed that Dan Cathy’s father and original founder of Chick-fil-A, Samuel Truett Cathy, was the patron behind the WinShape Foundation. Through its charitable endeavors, the WinShape Foundation provides scholarships, foster homes, camping programs, and retreats for thousands of children. The crux of the issue was WinShape Foundation’s donations to a slew of Christian organizations, such as Focus on the Family, which lobby against same-sex marriage.

The personal views of the founding family don’t translate to the Chick-fil-A stores. The franchise does not have any set rules that ban gays from working at the firm. Any member of the LGBT community is welcome to come to their local Chick-fil-A and enjoy a tasty chicken sandwich.

Following the uproar in 2012, Chick-fil-A issued a statement saying it does not have political positions: “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.” Public tax filings confirm that the WinShape foundation also abandoned charitable ties to Christian organizations, with the exception of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (a sports organization) and the Salvation Army.

Despite the fact that Chick-fil-A has completely backed down on the same-sex marriage issue, the left’s Cancel Culture is still on the attack. Several City Councils have voted to ban the franchise for various airports and universities. Protestors have staged childless “die-ins” at some stores. The only way for Chick-fil-A to find redemption is to renounce the firm’s Christian heritage and to fully indorse the LGBT agenda.

CEO Dan Cathy waded into the marriage equality debate from the angle of the religious Right having the same rights as gays. The left does not care about equality. It is out to destroy any company that refuses to fly the rainbow flag. If Cathy now personally apologizes and attempts to reconcile, the protestors will invariably demand his resignation. He foolishly offered to meet with LGBT leaders, but he has nothing to discuss with them. It would be like the Jews meeting with Hitler and being told that if they stop being Jewish, the Fuhrer will leave them alone.

All the protests against Chick-fil-A have only sent the firm’s sales skyward.

The liberal media have now become fixated at promoting any other firm that has a product that can compete with Chick-fil-A. Popeye’s recently came out with a new chicken sandwich, and a horde of news caused the sandwich to be sold out. One reporter went to 17 Popeye’s and could not purchase the new sandwich. McDonald’s is reported to be entering the chicken sandwich wars with its own Chick-fil-A clone.

There is no secret to a good chicken sandwich. All it requires is a big slab of breaded chicken on a bun. I remember several fast-food chains having sandwiches that were once similar to the one sold by Chick-fil-A. The compulsion to save money has always caused the chicken patty to shrink down in size, and then the meat would turn into something resembling a Chicken McNugget. The link between Chick-fil-A’s Christian values and dedication to quality is the reason why it outshines its competitors.

Hollywood has now joined the war on Chick-fil-A. Morgan Spurlock, the maker of the low-budget movie Super Size Me, has produced a follow-up film that has him trying to start his own version of Chick-fil-A. The aim of Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! is to gross out viewers over how chickens are raised and why MSG makes Chick-fil-A’s food so addictive. The film promo warns us to “expect jaw-dropping revelations” and to be “shivering with disgust and wondering how you can go on living in a world as gross and inhumane as ours.” Clearly, this movie is Spurlock’s payback to the Prince of Darkness for making his first movie a huge success.

This insane hatred against Chick-fil-A is the result of a world that has become overrun with evil. Chick-fil-A is a very dim light of Christian values. The world has gotten so dark, the company has become an annoying ember that must be put out. I hope that Dan Cathy doesn’t buckle to the pressure and sell the company to the likes of Oprah Winfrey or George Soros. I’m hoping the rapture occurs on a weeknight, and Chick-fil-A fails to open the next day.

“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

—Todd


Discernment Needed More Than Ever

A most fascinating book occupies my current thinking. The relatively new release, The Snapping of the American Mind by David Tupelian, is, in my view, one of the great books describing what happens when a people turns their backs on God Almighty.

This isn’t a review of that book in any sense, but I intend to one day soon write one. The book’s contents contain wisdom that seems taken straight from the Apostle Paul’s forewarnings as given to Roman believers of his time–thus to us all who name the Name of Christ.

Never in the annals of history has development of the biblical description of the “reprobate mind” been more clearly manifest than in present-day American society and culture. We’ve looked a number of times at the nucleus of Tupelian’s work that so directly reflects, I think, the words of Paul: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:28).

again, it might seem overly America-centric to keep bringing up our nation as the center of focus in dissecting these end-times matters. The world, after all, is filled with sinfulness as egregious as our nation’s sins. However, in the matter of looking at the descent into madness–through the snapping of the American mind, as author Tupelian would have it–the example of the United States today serves empiricism well. There is no more appropriate nation-state to consider in discerning these strange days so near the end of this Age of Grace.

And there is nothing more important to analysis of all this madness than thought processes filled with understanding. That’s the reason I’ve chosen the title of this commentary.

Many believers in Jesus Christ for salvation of their souls believe that this generation is nearing the time of Christ’s Second Coming. Sadly, the greatest part of God’s family either don’t realize how close Christ’s return is, don’t believe it is close, or really don’t choose to think about it at all. Jesus, Himself, as we have recently looked at, was righteously angry because the religionists of His time, while He was in His physical body, refused to understand that God in the form of Messiah was in their presence. These Pharisees and Sadducees not only should have believed, but should have been informing the Jewish people under their tutelage. They should have been doing so based upon the many signs and wonders their Messiah was performing.

Jesus spoke to their evil: “When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2-3).

Because of their neglect and deliberate actions to keep the people from this man they considered not sent from God, the people of Israel died in their sin from lack of knowledge. The nation is still suffering the consequences of their evil actions.

This is the danger of people not being taught today the truth that Jesus Christ is about to intervene into the affairs of mankind. He is coming again, and all indicators point to the likelihood that His coming again is very near indeed.

I just saw a headline as I write this that 45 percent of college students want “In God We Trust” taken off America’s currency. Obviously, too many parents, pastors, and teachers, both in Sunday schools and in secular classrooms, are without this thing Jesus called “discernment.” Else this statistic would not be there to indicate the sad state of spiritual understanding in our nation today. These have failed miserably to properly instruct and inform many of America’s children.

This is the purpose of our newest book [Terry James’ New Book!] Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days–to raise spiritual awareness of these troubling times and what it all means, and to help parents, pastors, and teachers–and all others—to understand the times that are so obviously near the end of the age.  We want to help all who name the Name of the Lord Jesus to be watchmen on the wall.

Indeed, discernment is needed now more than ever!

–Terry

***”Discerners” help needed!***

We will greatly appreciate those of our RR family who are proficient at social media interaction helping us get out word that Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs For the End Of Days is now available. We know there are many of our RR folks quite knowledgeable in these areas. We need your help in getting the Christ-Centered messages in this book to the vast audiences making up your sphere of influence.

This time so near the end of this Age of Grace is quickly fleeting. This book can deliver the witness of Christ’s Saving Power at this most crucial moment before the Lord Calls His Church to Himself.

Anyone who can help in this effort regarding social media interaction we ask to contact Terry James, general editor and one of the authors of the book. His email address is as follows.

Wtjames1@swbell.net

Thanks, in advance, for your willingness to be a part of this effort.