Monday, June 29, 2015

Proverbs 3:6 – ‘he shall direct thy paths’

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Proverbs 3:6 (KJV)

We all know that we are supposed to be thankful of God for our blessings, but few take it all the way to the point that they acknowledge the Father for all things, not just our obvious blessings. Every breath we take is a gift from God. Every time we make a decision that turns out to be good, it was God who gave us the information we needed to come to that conclusion. Even when something happens that seems to be bad, it is a gift, a tribulation through which our Father is allowing us to be tested.

When you can understand that all things happen by the Grace of God, He will direct more of your life in ways that will bring you closer to the light. God Bless.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Evidence Points to Some Dinosaurs Living Beyond the Extinction Event

It is, for all practical purposes, nearly impossible for the vast majority of people who have received a modern education to even consider the possibility that dinosaurs are not as old as we have been told. It’s a topic that I’ve avoided because the presuppositions are so powerful amongst the general population.

Today, I decided to tackle the topic with one purpose: to start a discussion with those who have an open mind. I’m well aware that most minds will be closed and there will be much more sarcasm than discourse, but ridicule from the indoctrinated masses is a small price to pay if just one person can hear this and decide to dig deeper into science and the Bible to have the truth revealed.

It’s been instilled in our minds as common knowledge that the dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago in the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event with the most prevalent alleged culprit being the impact of a comet or asteroid at Mexico’s Yucat√°n Peninsula. For the most part, anything that’s considered common knowledge can be sustained without anyone questioning the assumptions. For example, it was common knowledge based upon what was easily observable that the sun, moon, and stars revolved around the earth. That was finally debunked, of course, but scientific debate on the model of our solar system continued until the early 20th century.

A more recent example of common knowledge being wrong is the idea that acid caused by bad diet or stress is what causes ulcers. In 2005, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the Nobel Prize for Medicine by demonstrating that the vast majority of ulcers were caused by an infection of the bacterium H. pylori.

Now is not the time to debate young earth versus ancient earth, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that dinosaurs were around in the time of man. Even a brave segment of the secular scientist world has started questioning whether the extinction event killed off all of them based upon mounting evidence. There was even a formerly prominent professor who learned the hard way that bringing forth compelling scientific evidence of dinosaurs walking with men can earn people a quick entry onto the black list.

Over the centuries, intellectuals have had a difficult time having their worldviews shattered. The funny thing is that the existence of modern era dinosaurs doesn’t change much. It could mean that small pockets of the world were protected from the extinction event. One would not have to make huge adjustments to their worldview if this were the case which is why it’s so perplexing that they won’t even explore the possibility. It’s reminiscent of the persecution that Galileo received, only this time it’s not at the hand of the Christian church but rather at the hands of the church of science.

I want to go much deeper on the issue of why there seems to be reluctance at best and a systematic coverup at worst, but we’ll have to explore that on a future video. For now, I’d like to turn to a video we watched that gives a pretty interesting perspective. While I don’t agree with all of the conclusions or evidence, there’s enough good to make it appropriate for sharing.

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ACLU Dumps Support of Religious Freedom Act for Gay Marriage Ruling

The timing couldn’t have been any better. Once the American Civil Liberties Union learned earlier this week that the Supreme Court was going to rule in favor of nationwide gay marriage, they knew it was time to abandon an old friend. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) has been one of their most powerful weapons in fighting conservative ideologies for over two decades, but now their mission will be to shoot it down in order to attack anyone who uses it to defend Christian rights.

They are doing it in the name of discrimination. They are doing it to fight bigotry. They are doing it to fight hypocrisy. That’s the story line. The reality is that they are going to fight the RFRA tooth and nail so that they can discriminate against Christians, call them bigots, and fuel the most hypocritical agenda the legal world has seen in decades. The ACLU has officially become the most dangerous organization in America to those who believe in a Biblical worldview.

Here is an excerpt from their letter in the Washington Post:

The ACLU supported the RFRA’s passage at the time because it didn’t believe the Constitution, as newly interpreted by the Supreme Court, would protect people such as Iknoor Singh, whose religious expression does not harm anyone else. But we can no longer support the law in its current form. For more than 15 years, we have been concerned about how the RFRA could be used to discriminate against others. As the events of the past couple of years amply illustrate, our fears were well-founded. While the RFRA may serve as a shield to protect Singh, it is now often used as a sword to discriminate against women, gay and transgender people and others. Efforts of this nature will likely only increase should the Supreme Court rule — as is expected — that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.

It doesn’t matter what the left says. It doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court Justices wrote in their rulings. This is the beginning of an all out attack against Christianity in America. If you don’t believe it, just wait and see.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Redefined Bigotry and the Plight of the True Christian Minority in America

It was inevitable that marriage equality would win out. Those who opposed it did so out of a spirit of delay rather than any hope of ceasing it. In fact, fighting the legality of gay marriage was never a battle over the territory of morals. It was about defending a bridge that gives access to attacks on more important issues of freedom and discipleship.

Before we explore this topic fully, let’s begin with a couple of disclaimers. We are all sinners. The Bible tells us to love our neighbors and that we are not to judge one another. The issue at hand is not about sin by individuals but about the consequences that Obergefell v. Hodges will have on society, the rights of Christians, and the corporate judgment of America. In other words, this has nothing to do with gay marriage as a practice. It’s about a very large step towards the falling away from faith.

The other disclaimer is understanding the difference between people who claim Christianity as their religion in America and true Christians. There is still technically a Christian majority. However, true Christianity is about living a life dedicated to Christ in worship of the Father that is guided by the Holy Spirit. One does not need a survey to tell them that the number of Americans living a life of discipleship has fallen below the halfway point. We are now a minority and probably have been for many decades.

Let’s now explore what the marriage equality ruling by the Supreme Court means to true Christians, how the battlegrounds have shifted, and what we should do to continue the fight for the souls of our brethren and the stability of our nation.

Supreme Consequences

Obergefell v. Hodges will go down in history as a catalyst similar to Roe v. Wade and Dred Scott v. Sandford. Had the Supreme Court known that over 600,000 soldiers would die in the Civil War and that their decision was one of the reasons that it happened, they may have ruled differently. Slavery was ended through bloodshed as a result of their ruling when it could have been ended sooner and without as much conflict had the Republicans gotten their way.

If the Supreme Court could have known that over 50,000,000 Americans would be killed in the forty years that followed their decision, the Justices who decided on Roe v. Wade may have chosen differently.

We only have a vague idea of the consequences of Obergefell v. Hodges, but some of it is already becoming evident. Businesses who perform services for weddings are being forced to decide between their religious convictions and the well-being of their business. There is already talk of stripping religious institutions of their coveted tax exemption if they do not change their practices. It may be hard to believe now, but it is very likely that this attack will extend to doctrine; if a church opposes gay marriage even in principle, they may at some point in the future be forced to change their stance or lose their privilege.

The most chilling aspect of this decision is not within the court’s decision but the shift that it is assisting in the change of the mindset of society. We are already seeing those opposed to gay marriage being labeled as bigots. This decision is going to galvanize that view to the point that it will be commonplace. Those who do not support gay marriage will be seen in the same light as members of the Ku Klux Klan, the New Black Panthers, or Westboro Baptist Church. You probably don’t see this as possible today. You probably think that this is an alarmist perspective, that society cannot change that quickly. Considering there was a 20% shift in the views about gay marriage in a recent five-year-span, it would be naive to think that this trajectory is anything but one of radicalism of thought.

The sad part is that very few people will even notice the shift in their own thinking.

How the Battle was Lost

The reality is that losing the debate over gay marriage in America was our fault. While the vast majority of those opposed to gay marriage were not hateful of homosexuals or opposed to their legal rights as domestic partners, we did not do enough to stop the extreme perspective that promoted a message of hate. “Gay bashing” is unacceptable. We must love our brothers and sisters no matter what, which means that we must oppose hatred as a practice even if those practicing the hate share our doctrinal perspective on an issue.

As Rod Dreher astutely pointed out, the sexual revolution was the initial spark that created this situation. Many Christians fell for the concept of free love as a beautiful expression and decided to work it into their own personal doctrines. The result was a social liberalism that sent us down a road of switching the perspectives of hate. In other words, the acceptance of lust as a promotion of love made opposition of any variations of lust an obtuse paradigm. Christians joined forces with non-believers to oppose war, racism, and those who did not accept free sexual expression. We lumped in unrighteous causes with righteous causes and formulated a new doctrine around the idea that love is the most important thing for the human experience.

Many Christians who fought for peace in the world and who opposed racism since the 1960s also found themselves fighting for sexual freedoms in the name of love. They didn’t just allow themselves to be conned. They participated in conning themselves because it was a license to experience worldly pleasures without guilt.

The point is that this laid the groundwork for a slow transition that has accelerated in the last decade, a shift in our country’s worldview that put rights equality over Biblical doctrine. As a country, we have accepted secularism as a way of life and relegated Christianity to being a pastime that cannot be allowed to get in the way of progress. We have divided the teachings of the Bible into two categories: the acceptable things that can benefit us such as Grace and the unacceptable things that “hold us back” such as laws and decrees.

22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.Genesis 2:22-24 (KJV)

Marriage in the Bible is between a man and a woman, but as a nation we have chosen to declare that our modern sensibilities are more advanced than God’s.

Opening the Door to Unrighteous Attacks

As mentioned earlier, this wasn’t a battleground over morals. Those battles are for individuals. We are at a point on the world’s timeline when fighting for large-scale morality is impossible. This was a fight to protect a bridge across which the secular world can attack the foundation of churches and Christians.

The Body of Christ has had to fight many battles over the last few decades because of fallacies in the actions of individuals. Corrupt pastors, pedophile priests, false doctrines, false prophets – there has been no shortage of righteous reasons to attack churches and Christians and it has been the role of the Body of Christ to differentiate the real message that we promote from the who have stained churches from the inside. In fact, the actions of many allegedly religious people can account for a great deal of the falling away that is taking place.

As strange as it may sound, it was pretty easy to defend the teachings of the Bible because those who were corrupting the image of the church were doing so against doctrine and in opposition to true Christianity. The law did not go contrary to the teachings of the Bible.

This is different. The attacks that are coming due to the Supreme Court’s ruling will be unrighteous. The victims of the attacks will not be people who deserve it. We will have to stand against the general sentiment of society in defense of those who are guided by the Bible. In essence, we will be cornered by our faith from a worldly perspective rather than given freedom through it to maintain the moral high ground. Since the country’s morality has shifted to sexual and legal equality, those who believe fully in the Bible are at risk of being labeled as bigots.

The United States of America is establishing laws that go against the Bible. This is a dangerous time for our country.

Learning to Fight from the Trenches

As Christians, we can do one of two things that can be reconcile our faith and the changing landscape of the country. Option one was mentioned by Rod Dreher as the Benedict Option.

It is time for what I call the Benedict Option. In his 1982 book After Virtue,the eminent philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre likened the current age to the fall of ancient Rome. He pointed to Benedict of Nursia, a pious young Christian who left the chaos of Rome to go to the woods to pray, as an example for us. We who want to live by the traditional virtues, MacIntyre said, have to pioneer new ways of doing so in community. We await, he said “a new — and doubtless very different — St. Benedict.”

Throughout the early Middle Ages, Benedict’s communities formed monasteries, and kept the light of faith burning through the surrounding cultural darkness. Eventually, the Benedictine monks helped refound civilization.

I believe that orthodox Christians today are called to be those new and very different St. Benedicts. How do we take the Benedict Option, and build resilient communities within our condition of internal exile, and under increasingly hostile conditions? I don’t know. But we had better figure this out together, and soon, while there is time.

Some might see this as a retreat, a cowardly act that basically encourages people to run away from the growing chaos and to continue to worship as they see fit without interference from an increasingly oppressive government and a secular population. It may very well be that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an option. Retreat in hopes of helping to rebuild if the country falls apart but not to the point of complete collapse.

The other option is to fight. Keep in mind that we would not be fighting against marriage equality. That is done. The chances of being able to overturn it are next to nil because of the general sentiment of the land. The fight that I’m describing is one that defends the rights of religious freedom and expression. There are two components to this fight and both will happen from the political trenches.

First, business owners and employees must decide whether they are willing to be the targets of attacks. For example, a photographer who does not want to work at a gay wedding will become the target of attacks the first time they are asked to do so. There was a time when religious freedom protected a photographer’s right to decline, but those days are coming to an end regardless of the little reassurance the Supreme Court Justices wrote in their ruling. If you are unwilling to be a target, there’s no shame in that, but it means that you must start making changes to your business or employment that will keep you out of the line of fire. The law of the land is not an excuse to betray the teachings of the Bible. If you are faithful but unwilling to be a target, then change your business or job so that you won’t have to make the wrong choice. An example of this would be to hang a sign at your bakery that says you do not make wedding cakes. It will hurt your income but it will prevent you from having to choose between betrayal or repercussions.

Second, Christians must be willing to stand by businesses who defend their religious rights. Just as the opposition has used and will use the power of commerce to force businesses to either comply or die, so too must we use the same power in the opposite direction. That means supporting those who fight for their faith. It also means opposing those who do not.

The world is putting up obstacles for those who believe fully in the teachings of the Bible. We were told by Yeshua that we would face tribulation. It is becoming very evident that the trials of the faithful are starting to take shape in America.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Just Because We Don’t Republish Social Content Doesn’t Mean It’s Wrong

As a policy, we’ve always chosen to the “once and nevermore” philosophy with our social media posts for clients. We handcraft each post and that post will appear one time and on one dealership’s Facebook page. Once it’s used, it’s done forever.

A dealer asked me today if that’s a best practice or something that we do for the sake of proper service. The answer is that it’s both. It’s a best practice to use unique content nearly every single time (with an occasional exception described below) and to make sure that any content is only used for one dealership page. However, that doesn’t mean that the rule can’t be bent a little, especially for car dealers who are doing it themselves.

Let’s quickly discuss both reasons that we made the rule and you’ll understand why it’s a rule that you’re allowed to break.

Unique is Best, but…

In an ideal world, a company will be able to generate so much content that everything posted on Facebook is never reposted again. In the real world, we understand two things for dealers who are managing their own social media:

  1. Content isn’t always readily available, so sometimes you have to recycle content that was posted in the past just to keep the pages and profiles going.
  2. Evergreen content seen by one batch of people last month may be relevant and interesting to a new batch of people who are seeing you post this month.

We have made it a general practice to keep the content unique because that’s best for our clients, but there’s no harm in occasionally republishing exceptional content at the dealership level. The risks involved are minimal; every post will reach more new people than repeat viewers of that post as long as the gap in between posting is pretty wide. The two minor negatives are that republished content gets a lower reach potential through Facebook, even with ads, and you might have the occasional person in your market who sees the content for the second time and doesn’t appreciate it.

The exceptions that I mentioned above are videos and extremely important content. In both cases, the base content can remain the same but you should still mix it up with the description and attached image whenever possible. These two types of posts are worth the risk since videos have the highest potential of getting strong reach and important content is, well, important.

With Twitter, this rule is tossed out at least a little bit because the percentage of followers reached with each post is much lower. The recent changes to Twitter might have an affect on this; we’re testing to see. For now, evergreen content can go on Twitter relatively often. We try to limit it to no more than once a month for any individual piece, but again there’s nothing wrong with mixing it up with different wording or hashtags.

Business Decision for Proper Service

The other reason we’ve chosen to take the nevermore-approach is because the exact opposite is the norm in the automotive industry. The vast majority of companies who are posting on behalf of dealers use content libraries, bulk posting tools, and regurgitated stories in order to fill their client’s pages and profiles with content. We’ve seen disastrous results when a company posts the same picture of the same car with the same description to every dealer of the same brand on their client list. It’s amateur and looks terrible when people see duplicated content like that sent out through automation.

I know what you’re thinking. Even some of the OEMs are doing this, so it can’t be that bad, right? I won’t go into details, but I know a very prominent OEM social media person who left their job over this practice. They’ve had someone convince them that it’s okay, that it’s better than nothing, that people are unlikely to follow more than one dealership… the list of excuses are many but the reality is the same. It’s a bad practice.

It would be easier and more cost-effective to do it the bulk way that so many companies have adopted. I suppose we’re just silly rebels who believe that dealers deserve better.



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Monday, June 22, 2015

AP Photographer is Either Incompetent or Irresponsible for Message in Ted Cruz Photo

You have to love liberals in the media. They have a tendency of backing themselves into a corner with their intentions and actions. Such is the case with AP photographer Charlie Neibergall who took a photo of Senator Ted Cruz at a 2nd Amendment event with a gun on a poster pointing towards the presidential candidate’s head.

If it was accidental, then he’s not very good at his job. Even basic photography 101 classes in junior high teach students to mind their backgrounds when taking pictures at events. In fact, they’re even taught to use the backgrounds whenever possible to frame the situation properly. Keep that in mind when considering option two.

If he did it on purpose, he’s being utterly irresponsible with his power. Photographs craft a message and can often send a signal to the viewers. It’s been clearly documented that the effects of images on those viewing them can help to form actions in both the conscious and the subconscious mind. This means that when you take a photograph that puts a gun to someone’s head, there’s a response in the brain of those seeing the image. Unfortunately, that was the point of this photographer’s actions. He wanted to plant that message for irony or as a political statement.. at least that’s what we hope. We wouldn’t want to imagine a journalist trying to impose his political opinion against a candidate by inferring that someone should put a gun to his head.

As Breitbart pointed out, this is what we can expect from the left-dominated media. Despite 6.5 years of embarrassing failure for the last candidate they propped up, they’re going to continue to push for his replacement in the form of someone potentially even worse. As someone went to college for journalism before seeing the error of my ways, I can tell you this: they aren’t the unbiased reporters of the news that they claim to be. They have opinions, often wrong, and they’ll do whatever they can to impose those opinions on the masses.

The left is going to fight a dirty war against Republicans and in particular the true conservatives like Ted Cruz. Be prepared.

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Why is End Times Bible Prophecy So Confusing?

This is a transcript of a video we recorded about understanding why Bible prophecy is confusing. Below the transcript is the actual video itself. You can read it, listen to it, or both.

Anyone who has read through the Books of Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah, Matthew, Ezekiel, or any of the prophecies that pertain to the end times has probably wondered why they are so confusing. Many of them spark intense debate amongst Bible scholars, pastors, and those of us who turn to the Bible for answers. Why wouldn’t God just come out and tell us how things are going to go down?

First and foremost, He has, but He’s done it in a way that we aren’t able to fully comprehend with our human minds. This is done for a few reasons that we can discern from the text and then there are several other reasons that we can’t necessarily discern at this point but that we can assume based upon the situation. This is a topic I’ve long wanted to cover but it’s important to be extremely careful when trying to understand God’s reasons for doing what He does. There are so many people out there today in blogs and on YouTube who declare that “God did something for this reason” or “God intended that to happen because of this.” Be very cautious when reading analyses or listening to videos that claim to know what’s going to happen in the coming days.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)
For this study, we’re going down a dangerous path because we’re going to try to understand the confusion that surrounds Bible prophecy, which means we’re going to try to look at God’s motives. That’s why it’s taken me so long to do this study. The last thing I would ever want to do is to wrongly declare anything that I nor any human on the planet can truly understand, but I believe that the Scriptures do point to compelling reasons for confusion in Bible prophecy. At the end of the day, any exegesis of scripture is at best a strongly-felt opinion. We are not capable of understanding these things completely yet and we may never fully understand them even after we die.

Anyone who declares definitively that something is going to happen on this date or that date is doing the Bible a disservice. The Bible is clear that date-setting is not possible but that we’re supposed to stay cognizant of the signs and that we do have the capabilities to recognize the seasons. To me, it’s clear that the signs we’re seeing point to us being in the final season, but that’s simply an interpretation that I believe many of us can see based upon the events that are happening around the world. They seem to match up nicely with the teachings of the prophets. However, we’ve seen many times in the past when events seemed to match up and the end didn’t come. The rise of the European Union, the hurricanes and tsunamis, 9/11, the unorthodox resignation of the last Pope… there is no shortage of events that could be correlated to some Bible prophecy. We have to understand that these things and everything we’re seeing today might very well be a sign of the end, but our comprehension of the prophecies and discernment of the events do not always mesh together the way we imagine.

Perhaps the hardest thing to understand about Bible prophecy is the scale of God’s time. Most of the events pertaining to the end times can be interpreted to last for long or short periods. It’s hard to tell which is which. Many of the early disciples from congregations built by the apostles were anticipating the 2nd coming of Yeshua in their lifetimes. In fact, Paul had to tell the Thessalonians that Christ had not come back already as someone had reported to them. This demonstrates that the spirit of antichrist has been at work for at least 2,000 years to deceive the people into following a false doctrine and we’re seeing those deceptions rise in full force today. In the future I will discuss the “falling away” that we’re seeing play out so dramatically in the world today as well as other signs that point to us being in the end times, but for now we simply want to cover the topic of confusion.

With that in mind, let’s dive in and put together a working theory about the confusion that permeates through Bible prophecy.

What We Know

Let’s start by looking at a sampling of Scriptures that reflect God’s desire to keep the prophecies unclear until the end.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

Daniel was given prophecies of many things such as the first coming of the Messiah, the rise of the great ancient empires, and the ways through which these empires would fall. The prophecies he was given were so accurate that liberal Bible scholars and secular opponents to the Word have declared that they must have been written after the fact. There’s no way, in their opinion, that Daniel could have written these particular parts of the Book of Daniel because that would impact their worldview that doesn’t believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.

In this verse it is clear that God wanted the words revealed at the end. It’s the reason that I’m exploring a theory that Daniel may be one of the two witnesses spoken of in Revelation, but at this point it’s only a theory and one to which I do not hold strongly. That’s for a different study. Let’s continue on to the seven thunders.

And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.Revelation 10:4 (KJV)

Again, we see a direct command for a prophet to keep something secret. It’s not explicitly declared that the utterances of the thunders are to be revealed at the end. However, later in the chapter we know that John was given a little book to eat. Then, he is given an instruction:

And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.Revelation 10:11 (KJV)

Could this mean that John is also one of the 2 witnesses? That would be a little confusing considering that John is the one who tells us of the two witnesses and one would assume that he would recognize himself, but then again we don’t know. It could be Moses, Elijah, Enoch – there’s not shortage of theories about the identity of the two witnesses. I certainly don’t know, but that’s not really important. Let’s continue on to verses that have become the foundation of a belief in the pre-tribulation rapture.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.Matthew 24:36 (KJV)

The coming of the Son of Man is being described here in a way that tells us we will not know when our Lord is to return. We don’t know and neither do the angels. Mark takes it a step further to include the Son on the list of those who don’t know, reiterating that only the Father knows the day and the hour.

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.Mark 13:32 (KJV)

Why is it so important for the end to be shrouded in secrecy? Why has God chosen to keep it all hidden until it actually happens, but He gives us prophecy that tells of those days and what to expect? To understand this, we have to try to do something that is dangerous. We’re going to try to look into the motives of our Creator and His actions. These are only conclusions that my feeble mind has come to and I would never presume to claim that these are certain, but based upon the Word we can come up with a pair of hypotheses. We may never know for sure if these hypotheses are correct, but it can hopefully get you thinking about it when you start to wonder why there is so much confusion pertaining to the end times and Bible prophecy.

Recognition Rather than Prediction

Let’s start with the most common reasoning for confusion, something that Bible scholars have discussed for centuries. When Daniel prophesied about the 1st coming of Yeshua, he gave us a confirmation. Keep in mind that any of the pharisees and sadducees were well aware of Daniel’s pronouncement and could have determined when Yeshua would walk through the gates of Jerusalem, but they did not. It wasn’t out of ignorance. They simply didn’t know to look, to isolate the date of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes and to count forward 69 weeks of years or 173,880 days to the entry Yeshua.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.Daniel 9:25 (KJV)

If the word was not spread so that the people would have known He was coming, why was Daniel given the prophecy? This is an example of confirmation and recognition over prediction. As scholars over the centuries realized what had happened, that news started to spread. Today, it is being spread to more people every day than in long periods of time in the past. This is an extremely compelling argument for Yeshua being the true Messiah.

In particular, this revelation has helped to convert many Jews to believe in Yeshua as their Messiah who came and who will come again because it’s pulled directly from their own Scriptures. We’ve seen a tremendous movement in the Body of Christ over the Jewish people as a result of this particular Book of the Bible in recent years and that will continue until the end.

For end times prophecy, we know that we must be watching. Most of the world will be deceived by the son of perdition because he will come in the name of peace. He will unify the world. He will bring something to the table that will appear to be wonderful. His deception will be so good that had it not been for the prophecies, he may have been able to deceive almost everyone.

This is one of the biggest reasons that end times Bible prophecies are obscure. They give us everything we need to know in order to recognize as the events take place. This is why I get so annoyed with all of the videos setting dates and declaring what events are coming. We don’t know what they’ll look like but we’ll be able to recognize them when they happen thanks to these scriptures. Most of the world will turn away from the Bible. We’re already seeing it today with so many of the most popular pastors in the world declaring that prophecy is a waste of time and that we need to be focused on the bits of scripture that, when taken out of context, try to convince us that God wants us to be rich and prosperous in this life. Again, that’s a topic for a future teaching, but needless to say having a very clear understanding of the signs that we’re supposed to watch out for is the exact opposite of a waste of time. It’s crucial.

To Prevent the Most Compelling Deceptions

Now that we understand the easy hypothesis about the confusion in end times prophecy, let’s warp our brains a little bit to understand the second hypothesis. Now is not the time to go into a deep study of destiny, pre-ordination, free will, or the dimensional effects of past and current events on future events, but we’ll instead try to simply this hypothesis outside of the realm of science.

We’re all very aware that throughout history but in particular today there are false prophets and false messiahs popping up everywhere misleading people. They do this based upon a spirit of antichrist that has deceived some and appealed to greed of power for others. Some of the most popular spiritual leaders in the world have deceived the masses into following false doctrines and into believing in future events that simply do not come.

To understand how this is happening, we have to remember that the adversary has been plotting the downfall of man since the Garden of Eden. Satan has placed stumbling blocks in the hearts and minds of people to compel them to pull away from the Word of God. He has laid traps and prepared for our demise in ways that we cannot comprehend. As Jude points out, Satan is formidable for even the most powerful of angels.

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.Jude verse 9 (KJV)

If Satan is powerful enough to contend with his fellow angels, he is clever enough to deceive us by contorting events pertaining to the Word of God. How easy would it have been for Satan to take clear prophecies of the Bible and recreate the events ahead of their appointed time to deceive everyone. As it stands, so many in the world will be deceived by the antichrist, the false prophet, and the dragon. The remnant who will see through the lies will only be able to do so because of the faith we have in the Word of God. Through discernment and understanding given to those who wear the full Armor of God, we will not be deceived thanks to the way that Bible prophecies are written.

Revelation chapter 12 tells us the story of a woman and her child that would rule the world. It tells of a wrath of the dragon coming out to persecute the woman when he wasn’t able to stop the child from being born. This is an extremely important thing to understand when it comes to the obscurity of the Bible because at one point the adversary went from hope of being exalted and of ruling above God to realizing that he could no longer do that. The point that this became a reality for him was the Resurrection of Christ.

From that point forward, he knew that he had already lost. He went forth to persecute the woman even though it would not be able to bring him what he had wanted. His motives changed when he was not able to prevent the ascension of Christ. Now, he has nothing to lose. His goal from that point on was to take down as many humans as possible, to deceive the masses, to promote the falling away from the Word of God, and to make as many people as he can suffer the fate that awaits him.

This hypothesis depends upon that stipulation. It assumes that he knows he has lost the war. It assumes that he has nothing to lose and that his mind is set towards vengeance. He’s going down and he’ll take as many souls with him as he can. That’s why it’s so important for the prophecies to be obscure if this hypothesis is correct. It isn’t the people who God is hiding information from with the sealed book of Daniel or the utterances of the seven thunders. It is hidden from the adversary and his minions so as to limit the deception.

Those of us who truly follow Yeshua as our Lord and Savior need not worry about these deceptions. We are given the signs and the prophecies to recognize the deception as it happens and to steel our souls so as to not to suffer the fate of the deceived and the deceiver.

Study prophecy and be aware of what’s happening in the world. There’s no need to try to predict what’s going to happen because we are incapable of doing so. There is currently a flood of warnings out there on the internet telling us what to expect. These can make us fearful of them before they come and they can make us question our worldview if the things do not happen the way we believe. For example, if you believe as so many are teaching today that the rapture will happen in September, 2015, what happens if it doesn’t come? Every time a date is set and people start preparing their lives for the sake of the predictions, souls are lost when those events do not take place. I would contend that Harold Camping cursed a great many people who were convinced that the world would end in May, 2012. The same thing is happening today with date-setters and people posting warnings. These are done in the spirit of antichrist whether the people doing the warning know so or not.

Let’s close with what Yeshua told his disciples in the Book of Matthew.

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
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.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.Matthew 24:3-13 (KJV)

Bible prophecy is not clear to us today for a reason. Remain firm in your convictions and do not let false prophets deceive you. Know the scriptures and keep a watchful eye for events as they unfold. Most importantly, wear the full Armor of God at all times so that your faith will not be shaken by the most powerful adversary the world has even known. You don’t have to outsmart him. You simply have to have faith that God’s plan is perfect and will unfold before us in due time.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Links Still Work for SEO

To those of us who have been in the industry for long enough and have enough clients through which to see results, we’ve known all along that inbound links are still an important component of the Google search algorithm. News about the death of links have been proven once again to be greatly exaggerated.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Google has only mildly alluded to a future without using links in their algorithm. Those who say that the Penguin update of 2012 effectively killed links were either misinformed or were using blackhat techniques for their link building. The reality is this: Google cannot rely on the content of a website to know for sure if what it’s saying is relevant or authoritative. It has to rely on the opinions of others in the form of links, social signals, and interactions from visitors to determine if the content is real or if it’s spam.

Onsite SEO is still relevant and likely always will be. However, nearly every recent study by trusted SEO companies has shown that links are not only still effective. Their effectiveness is actually increasing.

In some of the most competitive industries, this has always been known. Other competitive industries like automotive are still trying to make up their mind about links. The confusion comes into play when one looks at the techniques. The old school “link-building” techniques are, for the most part, dead. The only way to get links is to do the hard work that Google wants to see: produce exceptional content and get it out to the people for them to share.

It’s all about authority. If your website and web pages have the proper amount of authority, you’re in much better shape than if you have very little. Authority must be determined by offsite measures. Anyone can say that their website content is the best on a subject. Google knows this. That’s why it’s so important for them to gauge the real authority of content and its source by looking to outside signals.

If you’re still relying on old school link-building techniques, then links are probably already dead for you. If you’ve modernized and taken on the more challenging task of link-earning, you’re probably heading in the right direction.



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Monday, June 15, 2015

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Talks with Iran Should be Closed

It’s time to call it. There’s no way a good deal can be made with Iran to curb their nuclear ambitions. Instead of discussing removing the sanctions that are hurting the country, the position of the United Nations should shift to one of threats. They simply aren’t listening.

This comes as further games are being played by the Iranians, this time coming from President Hassan Rouhani. The soft-spoken alter-ego for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has no actual power but who gets to play good cop when the Ayatollah speaks harshly. Seeing Rouhani start to go against the negotiations should be a warning sign that this isn’t going to end well. Any agreement that comes at this point will be something forced by the United States to give President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry a “victory” after an abysmal foreign relations record.

The Iranians are stalling. They have no intention of halting their quest for nuclear weapons. They are simply trying to buy time so they can achieve their goals. If they get to have sanctions cut as a results of a bad deal, so be it, but they don’t really care. Their playing a dangerous game of chicken and the United Nations is playing right into their hands.

They know that as long as the negotiations are going on, Israel will not risk alienating themselves completely by attacking. They need to keep the options open for as long as possible. Once they have the bomb, they’ll then do whatever they can do to get sanctions ended, but at this point it’s a secondary goal. They want the bomb, period.

The talks should be closed regardless of the results at the end of the month. Iran will throw out as much confusion as possible, claiming that the United Nations didn’t work hard enough to bring peace to the Middle East. Of course, that’s a pipe dream. Either a deal will be put together or they will figure out a way to extend it even further.

The United States should support an Israeli solution to the Iranian problem. If that means supporting them militarily and through protection from retribution from the United Nations, so be it. If it means working with our allies (or what used to be our allies) to destroy Iran’s centrifuges, then the world will be a safer place. Lest we forget, Iran has declared publicly that Israel is the “little satan” and the United States is the “greater satan” amongst nations. They want to end us as a country. Why are we still talking to them?

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