An End and a Beginning

Going forward, the decision has been made to change the Signs of the Times from its previous form to a video format.

Due to proprietary nature of an increasing number of news sites as well as ongoing questions to the veracity of what is being reported, the determination was made to communicate prophetically significant news in a commentary that would be unique in its composition.

In addition to this, the new format can be more readily distributed to the world in accordance with our stated goal in Matthew 29:19-20.

We hope that you enjoy the new direction!

Jerusalem on Alert as Tensions Rise at Temple Mount

After two Israeli policemen were shot and killed, the response was to employ non-violent measures to curb future behavior.  This was of course met with extreme fury and baseless accusations regarding motive. It is easy to see now how this area will explode and become the focus of prophesy for the region.

Israel bolstered security in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday and prepared for possible clashes with Muslim worshippers after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided metal detectors at a sensitive holy site would not be removed.

There have been daily confrontations between Palestinians hurling rocks and Israeli police using stun grenades since the detectors were placed at the entrance to the shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, on Sunday, after the killing of two Israeli policemen.

Muslim leaders and Palestinian political factions have urged the faithful to gather for a “day of rage” against the new security policies, which they see as changing delicate agreements that have governed the holy site for decades.

The Israeli police said extra units had been mobilised to bolster security in the Old City, while Muslim access to the shrine for prayers would be limited to women of all ages and men over 50. Roadblocks were in place on approach roads to Jerusalem to stop buses carrying Muslims to the site.

On Thursday, there were calls for Netanyahu to back down and remove the metal detectors so as not to inflame the situation. But after a late-night meeting of his security cabinet, Netanyahu decided the metal detectors should stay. Officials said they were necessary to ensure Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs do not smuggle weapons into the holy compound.

Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo at the Temple Mount and the freedom of access to the holy places,” the security cabinet said in a statement.

news.trust.org/item/20170721065436-oswrb

US Urges All Nationals In North Korea To “Depart Immediately”

For the US to be so emphatic it means either they have become so absolutely fed up with North Korea and its treatment of US citizens or it is a pretense for impending military action….

…the US is set to ban all citizens from traveling to North Korea, according to two agencies that operate tours there…said the ban would be announced on 27 July to come into effect 30 days later, the BBC reported. “After the 30-day grace period any US national that travels to North Korea will have their passport invalidated by their government.” The ban comes one month after US student Otto Warmbier died following his imprisonment by the Kim regime.

www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-21/us-urges-all-nationals-north-korea-depart-immediately-bans-tourists-visiting

Harry Potter as a Sacred Text

This is an abomination with which God is not pleased (2 Chronicles 33:6; Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Galatians 5:19-20).  God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:3, 5) and will not have us put anything before Him (Deuteronomy 5:6-7). This is so far beyond the pale that the mere acceptance of any of these conjured up ideas, shows how utterly far off the track we are spiritually.

Mark Kennedy grew up a Catholic, and a Harry Potter fanatic. Only one stuck.

“I considered myself a non-spiritual person,” he said. He thought he was done with religion. And then he stumbled on the podcast “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.”

The podcast told him that the Harry Potter series — the books that he always turned to for solace when he was angry or stressed or in need of an escape — could be a source of spiritual sustenance.

I feel like I’m born again,” he said.

On Tuesday night, Kennedy came to an event space at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in the District with hundreds of fellow fans of the podcast, who have found a surprising spirituality in the magical fiction series, which turns 20 years old this year.

…“Harry Potter and the Sacred Text” became the number-two podcast in America on iTunes soon after it debuted last summer. It has inspired face-to-face Potter text reading groups, akin to Bible study more than book club, in cities across the country. In Harvard Square, ter Kuile and Zoltan host a weekly church-like service for the secular focused on a Potter text’s meaning.

…the podcasters did fill church and synagogue auditoriums with fans in their 20s and 30s, many of whom hadn’t set foot in a house of worship in years.

They said that their podcast doesn’t aim to offer all the benefits of a religious community, but does strive to provide the moral insights that seekers gain from study of Scripture. In their podcast, they use the rigorous methods they learned in divinity school, like the Benedictine monks’ practice of lectio divina [Divine Reading] and the medieval florilegium [a compilation of excerpts from other writings], to parse the lines of Harry Potter, which they typically refer to as “the text.”

She said in an interview that she hopes this sort of close reading teaches moral values.

“It always gives me guidance in a way I didn’t know I needed,” Taylor, who said she has no religion, said about the podcast.

That’s the goal. For a book to be sacred…“You have to believe a text can give you blessings. You have to read it with rigor, commitment and practice, and do it with others.”

www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/07/19/harry-potter-and-the-sacred-text-podcast-draws-non-believers-who-find-meaning-in-magical-fiction/?utm_term=.c1573f2c58de

Russian Trojan Horse?

Russia continues to play war games — soon they will not be playing games any more.

U.S. allies in eastern Europe and Ukraine are worried that Russia’s planned war games in September could be a “Trojan horse” aimed at leaving behind military equipment brought into Belarus, the U.S. Army’s top general in Europe said on Thursday.

Such tactics were later used in Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine and in its intervention in Syria, NATO diplomats say.

www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-idUSKBN1A52AE

LGBT Protest Turns Violent in Tel Aviv

In many ways the Jews are heading down the same errant path of its younger brothers Ephraim and Manasseh.

An illegal demonstration by members of the LGBT community turned violent in Tel Aviv Thursday evening, as protesters demanding an expansion of adoption rights for homosexual couples clashed with police, Israel Hayom reported.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered to protest the government’s refusal to remove limitations on the ability of same-sex couples to adopt children, charging the preference made for traditional families constituted discrimination.

Like most other countries, Israel extends full adoption rights only to traditional, heterosexual couples. Homosexual couples in Israel, can, however, be approved for adoption of children when no traditional couples can be found to adopt them.

www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/232781

Rumors of the EU’s Demise Have Been….

Many have been confident that the EU will collapse and others dain to mention the union in the same breath as any other world power want-to-be.  But the truth of the matter is that events can turn in a moment, especially when God’s hand is involved in bring prophecy about.

On the eve of the Brexit vote in June 2016, many people sensed that Brussels’ pulse was fading. Two of the European Union’s great projects from the 1990s—the euro and the Schengen Area of free movement—were in different forms of chaos, even as the third, the single market, was still incomplete. Businesspeople, especially from the Anglo-Saxon world, fumed at the EU’s unaccountable bureaucracy. Mismanagement had left the continent with a sluggish economy, too many insolvent banks, and no major tech companies. Politically, the Franco-German alliance that had driven the union forward had collapsed. Even Angela Merkel, who’d fought so hard to keep Europe together, made it clear her success was in spite of the homunculi in Brussels.

Now Brussels is reborn. Two events have changed everything. The first, ironically, was Brexit. Far from killing the EU, Brexit has helped reunite it. The second was the election of Emmanuel Macron in May this year, which has given the European project a purpose—or the promise of one.

www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-13/britain-is-shamed-and-brussels-triumphant-but-is-that-good-for-europe

 

In Shadow of Trump Visit, the EU Further Crystallizes

Because of a few choice words here and there by President Trump, the EU has felt the need to take more matters into their own hands in order to solidify and streamline the union.

Trump, who is in the French capital to attend Bastille Day celebrations on Friday, met with Macron shortly after a joint cabinet meeting between the French and German governments in which the two sides agreed to harmonize corporate taxes and make their defense industries work together. Merkel said that she’s also open to measures including a euro-area budget and an expanded role for the bloc’s financial rescue fund.

“We’ve shown that we’re prepared to reactivate Franco-German cooperation with a new elan,” Merkel told reporters in Paris alongside the new French leader.

Merkel has embraced the new French president as a key ally in helping to give the European Union a renewed sense of unity and purpose as Trump challenges long-held European positions on defense, trade and the Paris climate accord. Macron is pushing an ambitious program of liberalizing France’s labor market and cutting taxes to revive growth, partly to win German trust.

www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-13/in-shadow-of-trump-visit-franco-german-united-front-flourishes

 

 

China Says It’s Not Responsible for North Korea

North Korea’s largest economic partner says that it is not answerable in the latest regional debacle, placing the blame on the US and others. IF China wanted to bring pressure to bear on their neighbor they could.  This simply indicates that: the US power is waning and China finds it more important to establish relationships in the East.

China hit back on Tuesday in unusually strong terms at repeated calls from the United States to put more pressure on North Korea, urging a halt to what it called the “China responsibility theory”, and saying all parties needed to pull their weight.

U.S President Trump…has expressed some impatience that China…is not doing enough to rein in North Korea.

That feeling has become particularly acute since Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts believe could have the range to reach Alaska, and parts of the U.S. West Coast.

While China has been angered by North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests, it also blames the United States and South Korea for worsening tension with their military exercises.

“The ‘China responsibility theory’ on the peninsula nuclear issue can stop,” Geng said.

www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-china-idUSKBN19W0V6

Animal Attacks Becoming More Prevalent

Below are a few of the recent animals vs humans stories. This type of behavior will continue to become the norm as we get closer to the time just preceding the return of Christ (Isaiah 34:13-15). Also, it will be a means by which the fourth seal is carried out (Revelation 6:8). Afterwards, God will have to change the nature of animals (Isaiah 11:6-10) so that mankind will once again be able to live in peace and harmony with them.