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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

John MacArthur Says America Is Under Divine Judgment

john macarthur

Evangelical preacher John MacArthur spoke at the 2011 Resolved Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., Saturday evening, saying America’s sins were akin to that of Israel’s and the nation was under divine judgment.

“Materialism, drunkard pleasure seeking, arrogant conceit, defiant sinfulness, moral perversion, and corruptleadership… Do you not see [them] in America?” MacArthur asked a roughly 3,000-strong Christian audience at the four-day conference which began June 24.

The head pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., MacArthur identified Israel’s six sins leading to six curses on that nation from Isaiah 5, saying those misdeeds were not isolated to Israel.

Author of more than 150 books, the evangelical leader said, “I look at America… people say what is wrong with this country. That is what’s wrong with this country. Right there. They have rejected the Word, the law of the Lord, the Holy One Himself.”

Talking about the sin of arrogant conceit, he said America was guilty, too. It is “when a society does not want to hear from God, but wants to be its own authority where every man does that which is right in his own eyes and feels that he is the ultimate authority, he is the ultimate source of truth,” he explained.
MacArthur added that America had corrupt leaders, too. The Hebrew words for “heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks,” as mentioned in Isaiah 5:22, referred to leaders, he said. “What do we have here? We have here, folks, Anthony Weiner type people…corrupt leaders. Is there ever any end to this corruption…who literally prostitute their position and justify wicked people for a bribe and take away the rights of the innocent people…politicians and leaders who can be bought.”
The Christian Post

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Earthquake rocks New Zealand's north island

Christchurch earthquake
A POWERFUL earthquake struck New Zealand's North Island today but there are no immediate reports of casualties or damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The US Geological Survey reported the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.3 and occurred at a depth of 161km.

Another agency in New Zealand, GeoNet, measured the earthquake at magnitude-6.5.

The epicenter was about 72km southwest of Rotorua and shaking could be felt as far away as central Wellington.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake hit at 3.36 p.m. New Zealand time.

No tsunami warning was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Christchurch in New Zealand's south was struck by a magnitude-7.1 earthquake in September and a devastating magnitude-6.3 quake in February that killed 181 people and crippled much of the city.
The Australian

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Ezekiel 37 and End-Times Bible Prophecy: Fulfillment Before Our Very Eyes

Frederick the Great of Prussia, who had been listening to Voltaire's agnostic ideas, asked one of his court chaplains: "If the Bible is true, it ought to be capable of very clear and succinct witness. Generally when I ask if the Bible is true, I am handed some long scholarly volume which I have neither the time nor the patience to read. If your Bible is true, give me the proof of it in one word." The chaplain answered in this way: "Sire, Israel."

Israel is the one-word demonstration of the veracity of Scripture because God has chosen the Jewish nation to be at the center of God's kingdom plan. In addition, the miracle of Israel demonstrates the trustworthiness of Scripture. After all, the Bible predicted Jews would be scattered from the land—which occurred in 70 A.D.—and then would be brought back to form a nation.

Never before in the history of human-kind had a nation been dissolved and then, after many years (in Israel's case, almost 1,900) resurrected—until it happened with Israel. Never before had a language been lost to the world and then resurrected—until it occurred with Hebrew, the language of the Jews of Israel.

Israel truly is a miracle and is one of the very greatest proofs that the Bible is true. But because Israel is at the very center of God's prophetic plan, recent occurrences in Israel may also be strong indicators that we are nearing the return of Christ. Specifically, two occurrences indicate this: 1) the migration of Jews into the land of Israel; and 2) Israel's recent possession of Jerusalem. We begin with the migration of Jews into the land.

For example, 7,500 Jews of the lost tribes of the northeast will migrate to Israel later this year. These Jews, which have been located in India, will go to the "Promised Land" after "their peers from South America" migrate to Israel.

Jews making aliyah (migrating to Israel) before the rapture of the Church and the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period occur are all part of the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37. In that chapter, God predicts that, following the scattering of the Jews (which occurred in 70 A.D. when the Romans besieged Israel), He would bring Jews back to the land of Israel in preparation for the salvation of Israel. Israel's salvation will occur during the seven years prior to the return of Christ and will be fulfilled at the initiation of the kingdom of God, following the return of Christ to the earth.

At the end of the nineteenth century, God began to fulfill Ezekiel 37, which predicts that God would bring Jews into the land of Israel in order to prepare for the salvation of Israel. Israel's spiritual salvation will take place within the seven-year tribulation period prior to the return of Christ, while Israel's physical salvation will occur at the return of Jesus to the earth. Thus, the fulfillment of Jews immigrating into the land of Israel would indicate the nearness of the day of the Lord (the seven-year era, initiated by the beginning of the end-times treaty with Israel). So, how close is that fulfillment?

Prior to Israel becoming a state in 1948, the Jewish population grew to 600,000 in five great waves of immigration. More than 3 million more have followed, and Israel's Jewish population now stands at 5.5 million. Of the world's population of just over 13 million Jews, Israel's is the biggest portion, having surpassed America's in 2006.

In referring to the immense number of immigrants to Israel in comparison to the smaller number of citizens, Sergio DellaPergola, a prominent demographer at the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a Jerusalem think tank, announced: "There is no place in the world where the number of immigrants is five times the number of the people who were there. It is unprecedented."

However, since the occurrence of that great influx, the immigration into Israel has achieved a slowdown. In fact, according to DellaPergola, "Israel is nearing zero growth from immigration." This may indicate that Israel is nearing the number of Jews God has appointed to be in the land when the day of the Lord begins. If so, the day of the Lord may be right around the corner.

Another important indicator of the nearness of the day of the Lord is Israel's possession of Jerusalem, and this is another part of the miracle that is Israel. In June of 1967, Israel was attacked by seven Arab nations, outmanned so badly it appeared to be the end of the Jewish nation. However, miraculously, Israel not only won that war in six days, but it obtained land from three different nations, as a result.

Part of the spoil of that war for Israel was the regaining of Jerusalem. "The city of God" became Jewish for the first time since 70 A.D.!

When God put Jerusalem back into the hands of Israel in 1967, it fulfilled Jesus' prophecy of Luke 21:24, where he announced that the Jewish capital would be under Gentile control "until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." It seems that "the times of the Gentiles" refers to God's focus upon Gentiles for salvation; in fact, this must be the identification of "the times of the Gentiles". How do we know?

According to Luke 21:24, "the times of the Gentiles" are connected with the possession of Jerusalem. As mentioned above, Jerusalem came under Gentile control in 70 A.D. when the armies of Rome besieged Israel. Why did that occur? It was due to Israelite hardness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result, God's judgment came upon Israel, part of which involved the chasing of Jews from "the city of God".

This means that Israel's current possession of Jerusalem signals that God has begun to turn his attention toward Israel for salvation. Since that salvation will occur during the seven years immediately preceding the return of Christ to establish God's kingdom upon the earth, the initiation of that seven-year period cannot be far away. (Israel's possession of Jerusalem is also necessary for the rebuilding of the temple, which will occur during the first half of that seven-year era, as per the treaty of Daniel 9:27, as well as indicated by Matthew 24:15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4. For much more on the riveting events predicted by the Bible during this future seven-year period, see Apocalypse 2012: The Ticking of the End Time Clock—What Does the Bible Say?)
This means the return of Christ is growing close. So, keep looking up!

John Claeys

Moody's warns over China bad debt

Yuan notes

Bad debts held by local governments in China are a far bigger problem than first estimated, ratings agency Moody's has warned.

Chinese banks had lent 8.5tn yuan ($1.3tn; £820bn) to the local governments in 2010 in an attempt to boost growth.

However, the agency said the debt burden could be 3.5tn yuan larger than auditors had estimated.

It warned that bad debt could reach between 8% and 10% of the total loans.

"When cross-examining the findings by the 27 June National Audit Office (NAO) report, in conjunction with reports from Chinese banking regulators, we find that the Chinese audit agency could be understating banks' exposures to local governments by as much as 3.5tn [yuan]," said Yi Zhang of Moody's.

Ms Zhang explained that since these loans were not covered by the NAO, they were not considered as real claims on local governments by the audit agency.

"This indicates that these loans are most likely poorly documented and may pose the greatest risk of delinquency," she added.

Moody's warned that given the scale of the problem, the credit outlook for China's banking sector could turn to negative.


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Nigel Farage: E.U. NEAR COLLAPSE

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Debt Renewal May Trigger Default

Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens last week: A rating agency poured cold water on a private-sector rescue plan on Monday.

Rating agency Standard & Poor's has cast fresh doubt on Greece's hopes for an economic rescue by warning that a French bank plan to renew maturing Greek bonds could be classified as a default. The agency has also questioned the country's ability to implement its new austerity program.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's warned on Monday that a proposal by French banks to roll over Greece's debt could be classified as a default, casting fresh doubts on plans to secure a bailout for the crisis-hit nation.

"It is our view that each of the two financing options described in the (French banks') proposal would likely amount to a default under our criteria," S&P said in a statement.

The rating agency is referring to the so-called Paris model under which banks, insurers and hedge funds would renew maturing Greek debt on different terms. German banks have agreed in principle to join the scheme.

The French proposal envisages that private creditors would reinvest 70 percent of the funds from maturing Greek bonds. 50 percent would be placed in new Greek bonds with 30-year maturities and the remaining 20 percent in bonds without running interest payments.

Under a second version of the plan, private investors would invest at least 90 percent of their expiring bonds in new five-year bonds.

Bank Plan Would Hit Creditors

According to S&P, both versions of the Paris model would lead to losses for creditors and the bonds affected would therefore probably be defined as default cases. That is precisely what EU governments are trying to avoid.

Greece's finances have been secured for the time being thanks to international government help. But a downgrade in Greek bonds to default status would further push up the interest rates on Greek debt, making it increasingly unlikely that Greece could go back to refinancing itself on capital markets.

It is also unclear how banks would react to the threatened downgrade. Even the European Central Bank has said it would no longer accept such renewed bonds as collateral. It would therefore become even more difficult for Greek banks to borrow fresh funds from the ECB.

Warning on Implementation of Reforms

S&P's announcement shows that the Greek debt crisis has not been overcome yet, despite the most recent austerity package and pledges of aid. The Greek parliament last week agreed a new austerity program involving tax hikes and spending cuts. In return, the EU and International Monetary Fund provided a new tranche of financial aid. A second bailout package for Greece is to be agreed in the coming weeks.

Regardless of whether the Paris model is implemented, S&P also questioned Greece's ability to implement the reforms demanded by the EU and IMF. This was a major risk for the country's credit status, S&P said. The euro depreciated against the dollar after the report came out on Monday.

Allianz, Europe's biggest insurer, said it would contribute €300 million to the new Greek aid package. Allianz CEO Michael Diekmann said there was no alternative to supporting Greece. A Greek insolvency would have a bigger impact than the collapse of Lehman Brothers, he warned.

Many banks have declared themselves ready to help Greece, German business dailyFinancial Times Deutschland reported on Monday. Some 400 banks around the world plan to give voluntary help, the newspaper reported, citing the International Banking Association.

Collapse of the annual summer recovery

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High household debt may be biggest hurdle to US recovery

TWO years ago, US officials said, the worst recession since the Great Depression ended. The stumbling recovery has also proven to be the worst since that economic disaster of the 1930s.

Across a wide range of measures - employment growth, unemployment levels, bank lending, economic output, income growth, home prices and household expectations for financial well being - the economy's improvement since the recession's end in June 2009 has been the worst, or one of the worst, since the government started tracking these trends after World War II.

In some ways the ongoing recovery is much like the 1991 and 2001 post-recession periods - all three are marked by gradual output-growth rather than sharp snap-backs typical of earlier recoveries. But this recovery may remain lacklustre for years, many economists say, because of heavy household debt, a financial system still damaged by the mortgage crisis, fragile confidence and a government with few good options for supporting growth.

Still, broader problems are holding the economy back.

Banks are less able or willing to lend than before the recession. Since the recovery started, banks have reduced money they make available through credit card lines from $US3.04 trillion ($2.89 trillion) to $US2.69 trillion and have reduced home equity credit lines from $US1.33 trillion to $US1.15 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Policy-makers, meanwhile, are reluctant to do more to stimulate economic growth.

The Federal Reserve has already pushed short-term interest rates to near zero. Two rounds of quantitative easing that including purchasing $US1.425 trillion in mortgage bonds and $US900 billion in Treasury debt helped to stabilise the economy but failed to spur a vigorous recovery.

Likewise, fiscal stimulus measures, either in the form of tax cuts favoured by Republicans or spending increases being pushed by Democrats, look unlikely given large federal deficits and the disappointing results of earlier efforts, including President Barack Obama's $US830bn stimulus program of 2009.

The biggest problem may be household indebtedness. At the peak of the economic boom in the third quarter of 2007, US households collectively had borrowed the equivalent of 127 per cent of their annual incomes to fund purchases of homes, cars and other goods, up from an average of 84 per cent in the 1990s. The money used to pay off that debt means less is now available for new spending. Households had worked their debt-to-income levels down to 112 per cent by the first quarter, in part because banks have written off some debt as uncollectible.

Jurgen Schulz, owner of K-5, a San Diego area retailer that sells surfboards, skateboards and lifestyle apparel, sees more people living month-to-month. "Our sales trail way off the further it gets from pay period," he said; this year, Mr Schulz didn't hire the six to eight seasonal workers his company usually brings on each northern summer.

Getting rid of debt could be a long and slow process.

To get back to a 1990s debt-to-income ratio of 84 per cent, households would either need to pay down another $US3.3 trillion of debt, or see their incomes rise $US3.9 trillion. That's equivalent to about nine years worth of income growth in normal times, estimates Credit Suisse economist Dana Saporta.

Debt constraints are especially hard on consumers who before the crisis relied on credit cards or home equity lines to keep spending when they needed money. Now many of those lines have been limited or cut.

With less access to credit, many families are finding the only way to make ends meet is to cut spending.

"Every single month you're struggling, struggling, struggling," said Javier Toro, 49, a father of three. He makes $US13 an hour as a customer service representative at a non-profit group that administers a program offering free energy efficiency upgrades to home-owners. The program, funded by the 2009 stimulus law, ends in a few months as government funds dry up. He's paying about $US100 a month to keep current on $US3000 in credit card debt, but making no headway paying down principal. To make ends meet, he's cut his cable and internet services as well as the fixed telephone line to his rented home.

He said, "You don't see when this is going to stop."

Debt and a dismal job market have hurt consumers' confidence, which further damps their willingness to spend. The University of Michigan finds that 24 per cent of households expect to be better off financially within one year - that's the lowest this measure has been at this point in a recovery since World War II.


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NATO runs out of bombs!!!

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