Dec 3, 2018

China’s Orwellian State Gets a Thumbs Up from the World

China has announced that it will soon be able to judge each of its 1.3 billion citizens based on their social behavior. The plan was rolled out earlier this year, and it is rapidly moving closer to reality, with Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident.

Each citizen will be given a score on an 18-digit national identification code that is based on their criminal and credit history, their shopping habits, profession, and if they post negative articles or opinions about the government on social media or are connected to people that do, among other things. If a person’s score is low, they may lose the ability to land a new job, rent cars, travel domestically, and they may lose access to the internet or other forms of communication.

A system of public shaming is also being used to keep citizens in line. Some cities have replaced the citizens’ dial tones with recorded messages stating their shortcomings and encouraging callers to chastise them for their failures. The pressure is even being applied to people’s love lives. A cartoon TV advertisement by Credit China shows a man being rejected by his dinner date after she sees a billboard declaring that he’s a blacklisted citizen.

China has long experimented with systems that grade its citizens. The tracking of individual behavior in China has become possible by economic life moving online. Today, you can get loans, pay bills, and travel by using smartphone apps. The Chinese government has made Big Brother a reality by simply adding a kill switch to these functions.

I am just amazed to see how readily people are embracing technology that allows corporations to monitor our activities. It has been well over a decade since anyone cared about the camera that now records all public activity. Now, what we do in our own homes is coming under watch. Google has revealed plans to monitor our moods, our movements, and our children’s behavior at home.

Parents in a research group said Google is developing smart-home products that are capable of eavesdropping on us throughout our home in order to learn more about us and better target us with advertising. It goes much further than the current Google Home speaker that’s promoted to answer our questions and provide useful information, and the Google-owned Nest thermostat that measures environmental conditions in our home. What is planned is a system with sensors and cameras mounted in every room to follow us and analyze what we’re doing throughout our home.

They describe how the cameras can even recognize the image of a movie star on a resident’s t-shirt, connect it to the person’s browsing history, and send the person an ad for a new movie the star is in.

One patent, No. 10,114,351, reads, “According to embodiments of this disclosure, a smart-home environment may be provided with smart-device environment policies that use smart-devices to monitor activities within a smart-device environment, report on these activities, and/or provide smart-device control based upon these activities.”

I can think of many wonderful positives of having Big Brother in our house. If you have a medical emergency, the smart-home device can register that you are having an attack and can call 911. If there is a fire, the fire department can be notified. It would be great to have extra eyes to keep a watch on children that like to get into trouble.

I would never ever have one of these Alexa devices in my house because of the danger to human nature. If something can be used for evil, it will be used. With an open microphone to Big Brother, I would quickly get on the secret naughty list for all my ranting about the liberal media and other leftist groups. During the tribulation, people will have to hide in their garage or basement to read their Bible.

A few days ago I noticed Amazon.com was selling a voice-controlled microwave oven. Since ultra-liberal Jeff Bezos is running the corporation, the day will come when someone will learn that Alexa refuses to warm their Blueberry muffin until they switch their political party affiliations.

When I first heard of China’s blacklist systems, I thought initially it would be strongly condemned by most Western governments, but there is very little said about it. One Democratic congressman said that it’s a good idea. Venezuela likes it so much, it will likely be the first nation to copy China’s ID system. Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp has been working with the Venezuelan government to provide ID cards to all citizens of that South American nation.

When I first heard about the mark of the beast as a kid, I was puzzled over why people would welcome a system that would mean their enslavement. The old saying “give me liberty Or give me death” has been replaced by “give me convenience Or give me death.” The 666 mark will be very deadly because it offers a host of conveniences.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13:16-18).

–Todd


Bridge over the Abyss

Part I

Terry’s note: This two-part series is from a chapter by the same name I wrote in one of my books years ago. Also, I’ve presented it in other published/posted forums. It is more relevant now than ever, so wanted to share it again. (Foreshocks of Antichrist, Harvest House, 1997)

You and I are privileged to be living at the most exciting time in the history of the human race. Why is this the most exciting time? Is it because people of this generation are witnessing the formation of governmental power spheres precisely configured like those prophesied for the end of the age?

Is this the most exciting time to be alive because socioeconomic, technological, and religious conditions seem to be rearranging in the exact order that God’s Word predicts they will be as the climax of history approaches? Or are these the most exciting times because the geophysical and astrophysical worlds around us more and more display dynamic upheaval like those prophesied for the apocalypse (awesome displays such as great earthquakes, violent storms, environment-changing volcanoes, devastating floods, and spectacular stellar cataclysms-for example, comets slamming into planets)?

Fear can be a powerful stimulus upon the process of generating excitement. Since the indicators strongly suggest that we stand at the very precipice of that horrific period that Jesus called the Great Tribulation, these are fearful signals indeed. Certainly, however, it would be inaccurate to say that it is a privilege to live in times that are exciting based solely on the fearful events we see occurring all around us. To be privileged implies living in conditions that are enjoyable. Fear-engendered excitement produces no enjoyment for rational-thinking people.

Steps Leading into the Abyss

News accounts coming at us in barrage after barrage from the many media outlets around the world report in large measure the most tragic aspects of the human condition. None are more tragic than instances of violence against children. Nothing that man perpetrates against his fellow man tears at our hearts more than the beastly activities engaged in by child pornographers.

A recent account involving child pornography sheds light on this sin-putrified symptom of our times. The report detailed the indictment of sixteen men on charges that they participated in an international Internet pedophilia ring in which members once chatted online while a 10-year-old girl was being molested. According to the report, the men belonged to a club, a “chat room in which users swapped stories about child sex and conspired to produce and exchange sexually explicit images of girls as young as 5.”

Although we can be thankful that this particular abominable operation was crushed, it was, statistics tell us, only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The knowledge that even one child is at this very moment being subjected to such horrendous activity is heart-shattering. Yet thousands, perhaps millions, around the world endure this vileness that must regurgitate directly from the mind of Satan himself.

Child pornographers exhibit the fact that they are “without natural affection”–one of the major characteristics that Paul the apostle said would mark the end of the age (2 Timothy 3:3). For who with God-given natural affection can look into the beautiful, bright-eyed faces of little ones and conjure up the absolute abomination of child pornography?

The Homosexuality-Abortion-Euthanasia Connection

How Satan hates God’s creation called man! The creature God loved so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for continues to follow in the devil’s footprints, which lead to the abyss.

Homosexuality is now termed “gay.” The act that God indicts as being an abomination the Satan-controlled minds of men now call bright, happy, and alternate lifestyle. Despite the reality that AIDS and other deadly diseases such as hepatitis are directly attributable to their “gay lifestyle”–thus making it in fact a death-dealing existence–they refuse to cease their life-ending activity. God’s Word says that they receive in themselves the recompense of their

error which is fitting (Romans 1:27). God, in other words, says that they get what they deserve when they refuse to repent of their abominable activity.

Homosexuality cannot procreate, which further attests that Luciferian hatred is behind it. How better to kill off the human creation?

Abortion in the United States is a highly profitable business that delivers death on demand. Congress, as of this writing, is considering making legal the French-produced RU486 abortion pill.

Reprobate thinking dominates our culture today thinking that calls good evil and evil good, thinking that condones killing for the sake of expediency. As proof that ours is a generation steeped in reprobate thinking–that is, thinking that is convoluted, irrational, and even demented–consider the following.

Rational, loving parents would never for a moment think about giving their child a cyanide capsule. Many of these same parents, however, would support legalizing the abortion pill and would themselves take the pills, effectively poisoning their children in the womb. Death on demand is made attractive when it is legitimized and comes nicely merchandised and packaged. Expedience and convenience declare to the reprobate mindset that the unwanted pregnancy equates merely to an upset stomach or a headache that must have a quick fix.

Euthanasia raises its Luciferian head during the last days of societal collapse. Whether considering the ancient Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Mayans, Incas, or Aztecs–or the more recent atrocities inflicted upon those under the Nazi regime–the systematic murdering of sick, disabled, and elderly people marked those cultures in the last stages of their decline and fall. Unwanted people were and continue to be discarded through genocide, such as that currently taking place in China, where girl babies reportedly are drowned by the millions.

Satan’s hatred for God’s creation called man is easily observable in our own time. “Dr. Death” is the nickname given a medical doctor who routinely involves himself in so-called “assisted suicides.” The doctor’s own words obviously betray his feelings about the sanctity of life and the Creator who gives it.

During a luncheon before the National Press Club, [Dr. Jack] Kevorkian defended himself and attacked the religious community, boasting: “Had Christ died in my van, with people around him who loved him, [it] would have been far more dignified.”

Attempts made to convict him of murder have thus far failed. With each failure of justice comes the desensitizing effects. Ours is a generation quickly becoming anesthetized to the fact that euthanasia is murder. How near we must be to the time when God says, “Enough is enough!”

Homosexuality-abortion-euthanasia are inalterably linked to Satan’s ravenous desire to destroy human beings. God’s Word says that Satan “as a roaring lion who walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

These rampant anti-God activities increasingly find acceptance, even among those who call themselves Christians. But homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia represent a satanically inspired death wish for all people. Individually and collectively, these hellish practices oppose the one and only Lifegiver.

The Drug Abyss

God’s prophetic Word tells us in unequivocal terms about the rebellious, blasphemous generation that will populate planet Earth during the time of the apocalypse, the closing years of this earth age, which Jesus referred to as a period of great tribulation.

“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:21).

The word “sorcery” is translated from the Greek word pharmakeia. The approximate equivalent is the English word “pharmacy,” which means the art of preparing and dispensing drugs.

Drugs will flow through the veins of that end-time generation while those people blaspheme God even though they know His judgment is upon them. The people of apocalypse will refuse to repent and turn from their total immersion in drug addiction and every other imaginable sin even though their very souls hang in the balance.

Our evening newscasts are all we need to validate that we are already waist-deep in a cesspool of illicit drugs. Every crime on the books, it seems, can in one way or another be linked to the mind-altering poisons routinely distributed on the streets of every city in America. We have only to recall our last local news broadcast to remember a reporter saying something like “police believe this [shooting, murder, robbery, etc.] was probably drug-related.”

Gangs with members as young as seven years old willingly become slaves to drugs and the dealers who live luxuriantly on the billions of dollars generated. Governments are demonstrably inadequate to the task of stopping or even curbing drug trafficking. Politicians promise wars on drugs but inevitably prove impotent in fulfilling those promises once the electioneering is over.

Note: We begin next week with continuation of the deadly effects of the drug culture.

–Terry

 

Nov 26, 2018

California’s Hell Fires 

The wildfires that raged across California in 2017 were ones for the record book. Nearly 9,000 wildfires tore through the state, burning 1.2 million acres of land (an area the size of Delaware), destroying more than 10,800 structures and killing at least 46 people. The Thomas Fire burnt 282,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and was the largest in state history.

In a normal world, last year’s fire events in California would stand for many years before some rare weather event created similar conditions. It is stunning to learn that 2018 has surpassed 2017 to become the worst ever for death and destruction.

The Camp Fire has caused devastation on a scale never before seen in California. Normally, a fire will burn out part of a subdivision and kill a few people. The Camp Fire destroyed most of the city of Paradise, California. At least 85 people have been confirmed dead in the blaze. The previous most deadly fire in the state was the Griffith Park Fire of 1933, which killed 29 people. Nearly 17,000 homes and buildings were incinerated, which is three times larger than the previous record event.

In California, 15 of the 20 largest fires in the state’s history have burned since 2000. That state has experienced major fire events in each of the past 8 years. The state is “a bit like a canary in a coal mine,” said Ms. Pohl, a research analyst with Headwaters Economics, a nonprofit research group that helps communities develop wildfire plans. “We are also going to see the same trend across other states in the country in the future.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown said the fires are the result of climate change. He balked at President Donald Trump’s suggestion that poor forestry and poor forest management might be to blame for the massive wildfires. If these fires are the result of climate change, then we are all going to die within a few short years. The oceans will boil away and all land will become a burnt wasteland.

The firestorm that raced through the city of Paradise was the product of extremely rare weather events. The flames reached the city limits by jumping a mile-wide canyon. The wall of fire moved at speeds that most experts would have never imagined as possible.

Most of the largest fires took place in July and August because that is the hottest time of the year. It is very odd to have such a massive fire in November. Since the Thomas Fire occurred in December of last year, strange has quickly become the norm.

The stock price of PG&E, which supplies electricity to 16 million California residents, has been cut in half by the Camp Fire. Power equipment belonging to the electric utility may have sparked the fire. It warned last week that insurance might not cover its liabilities if the utility is held responsible for the wildfire.

The San Francisco-based company already has booked estimated losses of $2.79 billion this year for claims related to the 2017 wildfires. PG&E faces a further $10 billion in liabilities from last year. The losses for 2018 may reach $15 billion. Since it has become a huge financial risk to provide electricity in California, the taxpayers in that state will likely be forced to bailout PG&E and several other utilities.

Home insurance rates have already seen massive hikes from the previous year’s fires. Unless the situation changes for the better, the cost of insurance will have to rise by $100 billion per decade. With tax rates in California already the highest in the nation, many residents will soon find it too expensive to live in the state.

The worst type of disaster a property holder can experience is fire. When a house is flooded or hit by a tornado, there are many things that can be recovered in the aftermath. When a home is consumed by flames, there is nothing to claim but ashes. I saw YouTube videos of people driving several miles in Paradise with block after block of total devastation. With natural disasters becoming a regular occurrence, the “blessed hope” is our only remedy from future calamity.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:16-18).

“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

–Todd


The Reprobate, the Rebellious and the Ruinous

News moving a headline at a time today is like an army of angry marchers intent upon tramping the most friendly society and culture to humanity ever to exist into oblivion. Beats anything I ever saw, to put it the way my old Daddy used to say.

I’ve chosen a few news items in my attempt to make the point. We are in the strangest of times, if we apply rationale to existential lunacy assaulting us not just daily, but hourly.

The first might seem innocuous enough. But it is a sort of pet peeve with me and I can’t help but comment to waiters and waitresses every time they bring a Coke or glass of water to the table. I tell them, if you were in California you would be fined a thousand dollars…and possibly put in jail for a month or two.

They, of course, think they have a crazy old guy on their hands. But, they politely and patiently smile and ask with incredulity in their voices–as if they were genuinely interested in my nonsense. “Why?”

Then I explain that such is the penalty in California for those serving customers plastic straws with drinks, etc. Well, the Governor Moonbeam-type infection has spread and now includes our nation’s capital as part of the serve-straws-at-your-own-peril insanity.

Here’s a brief excerpt of the story”

Washington, D.C., will begin enforcing its ban on plastic straws on Jan. 1, which would penalize churches for offering free coffee if it comes with a stirrer.

The Department of Energy and Environment tweeted Thursday that Mayor Muriel Bowser has a “list of recyclables and compostables” banning plastic straws and stirrers. [MayorBowser‘s list of recyclables and compostables now requires the use of compostable and/or reusable straws and stirrers when selling food or beverages in the District. Enforcement begins January 1, 2019!…] (“DC Bans Churches From Handing Out Straws With Free Coffee,” Washington Free Beacon, by Elizabeth Harrington, November 17, 2018)

Now, if you are a cantankerous old guy like me, you might wonder what is a church doing handing out coffee in church in the first place–but, that’s probably just “back-number” thinking, as ol’ Dr. Vernon McGee used to say.

The next news item also touches upon a matter that ruffles my feathers. I’m referring to the climate-change mantra that gets more invasive by the hour–that is, it has evolved from the global-warming push by the globalists elite. These are the one-worlders who want to rob the U.S. Treasury–a thing that has within its mostly empty vaults  IOUs, not true wealth these days.

Man-made global warming has been proven a hoax, and now man-made climate change is well on its way to being proven the same, according to some experts.

Researchers who were attempting to prove evidence of climate change recently published a study claiming that ocean temperatures were increasing at a dramatic rate, much higher than previous estimates.

The study was blindly accepted by believers in the climate change/global warming theory.

But the researchers have had to retract their bold claims after a mathematician studied their findings and immediately debunked it, spotting errors that called the legitimacy of the entire study into question. (“Mathematician Exposes Global Warming Study Inflating Temp Rise By 600%,” Rapture Ready News, by Neon Nettle, November 17, 2018)

The first news item referenced–about the plastic straws–is somewhat whimsical. But it gives hint of more serious things in society and culture. Concern over plastic straws that might affect the environment in deleterious ways should be analyzed in light of other concerns these same environmentalists hold.

I’m thinking particularly of their concern for what human beings are doing to the environment. The radical among them claim that people are polluting the planet. Humans are over-populating Mother Earth.

These, therefore, are among the strongest of supporters of women’s right to choose in the matter of whether to abort their babies. The thinking is, among the more adamant, that the fewer people on the planet, the better. So there are legitimate reasons for babies to be thus gotten rid of…more than 60 million of whom have indeed been removed since Roe v Wade in 1973. The straw of plastic that would otherwise go into your Coke, you see, is intrinsically of like non-value to the unwanted child that will never see the light of day.

But, the environmentalist –whether radical or less so–will put the egg of the spotted owl or a field mouse and its habitat on a list of protected species. This is what the Apostle Paul called “reprobate thinking” (Romans chapter 1).

This is a generation of reprobate thinking. That mindset has led to problems wrapped up in the second word in the title of this commentary: rebellious.

A third news item shows, I think, an example of reprobate thinking spawning rebellion in our nation.

A report in the Christian Post contends that the number of witches (and Wiccans) has dramatically increased since the 1990s, to the degree that there may be at least 1.5 million witches in the United States, which is higher than the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians.

“[The practice of witchcraft has grown significantly in recent decades; those who identify as witches has risen concurrently with the rise of the ‘witch aesthetic,'”reported the Christian Post in October, citing data from Quartz, a Trinity College study, and the Pew Research Center.

Between 1990 and 2008, the number of Wiccans in the United States grew from 8,000 to 340,000, according to three religious surveys conducted by Trinity College in Connecticut. In addition, the Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that 0.4% of the population — 1 to 1.5 million Americans — “identify as Wicca or Pagan.” (“Number of Witches in U.S. on the Rise, May Surpass 1.5 Million,” CSN News, by Michael W. Chapman, November 18, 2018)

You might remember the bizarre story of a Los Angeles writer saying she had joined with thousands of witches to put a “hex” on Donald Trump. Diana Wagman said on May 23, 2017, that she and others intended to join forces ” to cast a binding spell on President Donald Trump “under the waning crescent moon.” She said, “It was not meant to physically hurt him, only to keep him from succeeding at his tasks…. I found an orange candle in a box of multicolored ones we use for our Hanukkah menorah. I printed the required tarot card off the Internet and propped it up. I cut an unflattering photo of POTUS out of the newspaper, and I burned it while chanting the words of the spell…. I plan to complete the ritual again.”

Such might be humorous in some sense, but it is profoundly indicative of rebelliousness that has taken root in society and culture.

God proclaims such rebellion is ruinous to any people. His example people, the Jews, fell into such rebellion–and their rebelliousness led to a ruinous future that reached its most heinous manifestation with the Holocaust of Hitler’s day. Moses reported the following in warning the Jewish people about such rebellion:

When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)

With the abortion infanticide since the implementation of Roe v Wade, we have, in effect, condoned the passing of children through the fires, just as the pagans did. It is abomination, the Lord says. We have reached the point of reprobate thinking that has spawned rebellion against God. He is a God that does not change. He is the same today as when He had Moses warn these things those millennia ago.

–Terry