Wednesday, March 5, 2014
NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 5 (RIA Novosti) – The head of Russia’s state-run energy company Gazprom said Wednesday that Ukraine’s debt for natural gas deliveries is set to rise by $440 million, to just short of $2 billion.
Alexei Miller said that Ukraine has paid off $10 million of an outstanding $1.53 billion debt accumulated for previous gas consignments, but that arrears would rise again Friday on account of February deliveries.
The rise comes on top of a Gazprom announcement this week that it plans in April to annul a major discount on gas sales that had been negotiated with the government of Ukraine’s now-ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.
Miller told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a government meeting outside Moscow on Wednesday that he had been informed by his Ukrainian counterparts that the full sum owed for February could not be settled.
Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy had as of February 14 paid Gazprom $1.28 billion for gas delivered last year and had asked to postpone payment of what remained until April 15.
Gazprom said in early February that Ukrainian debt for 2013 deliveries stood at $2.63 billion, meaning that Naftogaz had around $1.35 billion still to pay at the middle of the month.
Naftogaz bought around 13 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia in 2013 at the rate of $400 per thousand cubic meters.
That price was substantially reduced in December to $268.5 per thousand cubic meters.
The discount was part of a raft of support mechanisms devised by Russia for Ukraine following the latter’s decision in late November to back away from signing a deal that would have deepened political and economic relations with the European Union.
Under the arrangement between Naftogaz and Gazprom, the size of the discount was to be determined on the first day of every new quarter and formalized within 10 days. Failure to renew the discount deal by April 10 would cause it to cease having effect.
Gazprom’s Miller said Tuesday that the discount would likely be discontinued.
Moscow has so far paid $3 billion out of a promised $15 billion loan, which was to be issued as payment for internationally listed Ukrainian bonds.
Critics of the loan and discount package have argued that it was devised as a bribe to induce Ukraine to cement its ties with Russia, spurn the European Union and defer much-needed structural economic reforms.
The chance that the remainder of the Russian loan will be provided looks slim since last month’s ouster of Yanukovych, who was chased out of office at the culmination of three months-long protests initially provoked by his decision on the EU deal.
Credit to RIA Novosti
The last time a leaked phone call out of Ukraine was released about a month ago ostensibly by the Russian NSA equivalent, one between US assistant sec state Victoria Nuland and the US envoy to the Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, it was revealed that the real puppet masters behind the Maidan movement, and the true instigators of the Ukraine "revolution" were none other than the "developed" world superpowers, lead by the US. Also revealed were tensions between the US and EU strategies on how to overthrow the current government, culminating with the infamous "Fuck the EU." Needless to say the US, which implicitly confirmed the recording, was angry at Russia and accused it of using dirty tricks.
Pope Francis has signalled in an Italian interview that he could see the Catholic church tolerating some forms of same-sex civil unions -- though not marriage.
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the pope said that "matrimony is between a man and a woman," but moves to "regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care," according to a translation by Catholic News Service.
"It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety," Francis said.
While the remarks were far from endorsing same-sex marriage, something Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI have spoken out against, they represent the latest in what many Catholics and church observers have read as a more gay-friendly tone of the church under the pope, who was elected nearly a year ago.
In an interview over the summer, the pope famously said: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis call for the church to focus more broadly on positive messages about Jesus Christ and love as opposed to standing only against gay marriage, abortion and contraception, has also been widely reported.
In the interview with Corriere della Sera, the pope also spoke of the church's teachings on contraception. The interviewer asked the pope if he thought teachings on medical and sexual ethics were "non-negotiable values," a phrase that Benedict XVI had used, but Francis said he "never understood the expression 'non-negotiable values.'"
"Values are values, period," the pope said. "I cannot say that, among the fingers of a hand, there is one less useful than another. That is why I cannot understand in what sense there could be negotiable values."
But Francis had positive words for the church's 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae," which came out under Pope Paul VI said banned contraception in the church.
Francis said pope Paul's "genius was prophetic, he had the courage to side against the majority, defend moral discipline, put a brake on the culture, oppose neo-Malthusianism, present and future." But Paul had told Catholics to interpret the "Humanae Vitae" with "much mercy, attention to concrete situations," Francis said.
"The question is not whether to change the doctrine, but to go deeper and make sure that pastoral care takes account of situations and of what each person is able to do," the current pope added.
Credit to Huffingtonpost.com
Now that Ben Bernanke is no longer the head of the Fed, he can finally tell the truth about what caused the financial crash. At least that's what a packed auditorium of over 1000 people as part of the financial conference staged by National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the UAE's largest bank, was hoping for earlier today when they paid an exorbitant amount of money to hear the former chairman talk.
Bernanke confirmed as much when he said he could now speak more freely about the crisis than he could while at the Fed - "I can say whatever I want."
So what was the reason, according to the man who was easily the most powerful person in the world for nearly a decade?
"Overconfidence." (no, not "weather")
Yup. That's it.
The United States became "overconfident", he said of the period before the September 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers. That triggered a crash from which parts of the world, including the U.S. economy, have not fully recovered."This is going to sound very obvious but the first thing we learned is that the U.S. is not invulnerable to financial crises," Bernanke said.
Actually what is going to sound even more obvious, is that subprime was not contained.
But going back to Bernanke's explanation, brought to us by Reuters, we wonder: did he perhaps get into the reason for the overconfidence? Maybe such as the Fed's endless hubris in believing it knew what it was doing, when time after time and especially over the past 30 years, the US central bank has shown that all it now does is lead the nation from bubble to bubble, from crisis to crisis, and replaces one asset bubble, first the dot com, then the housing, with another, even bigger one, until we get to the biggest bubble of all time - the stock market as you see it currently, where the S&P 500 soars to all time highs and when news of an ICBM launch can barely cause a dent in a ridiculous upward ramp driven by, you guessed it, overconfidence.
Only this time it's different, because the Fed really know what it is doing. Or maybe this time is no different than any other market mania unwinding before our eyes, with the careful nurturing of the the Fed and its chairmanwoman, be it Greenspan, Bernanke or Yellen.
But has Bernanke at least learned something? After all he is supposedly a very smart man from Princeton? Why yes:
He also said he found it hard to find the right way to communicate with investors when every word was closely scrutinised. "That was actually very hard for me to get adjusted to that situation where your words have such effect. I came from the academic background and I was used to making hypothetical examples and ... I learned I can't do that because the markets do not understand hypotheticals."He concluded that he should "try to simplify the message, but not simplify too much".
Oh you mean something like this, uttered literally moments ago:
- LACKER SAYS UNEMPLOYMENT THRESHOLD CLOSE TO OBSOLETE
Thank you Fed for admitting the whole premise behind the injection of over $1 trillion in the capital markets, the Fed's "target" of 6.5% unemployment, was really a bizarro bullshit joke perpetrated on the common man, when in reality the threshold was 1900 on the S&P. Or 2000. Or 3000. Or pick some arbitrary nominal number, where people confuse paper assets inflation with real wealth.
But don't worry, it's the "overconfidence" that did us in...
And then, on to regrets - because Bernanke has a few:
"We could have done some things on the margin to mitigate somewhat the crisis.""Although we have been very aggressive, I think on the monetary policy front we could have been even more aggressive."
You heard that, the $4.1 trillion balance sheet is nowhere near enough. The Fed could have blown up the final bubble even more! Because that's what you are taught on Clown Keynesian school.
But wait, because the punchline beckons:
“My natural inclinations, even if it weren’t for the legal mandate, would be to try to help the average person,” Bernanke said today in his first public remarks since leaving the Fed in January, referring to the central bank’s mandate from Congress to ensure full employment and stable prices. “The complexity though arises because in order to help the average person, you have to do things -- very distasteful things -- like try to prevent some large financial companies from collapsing.”“The result was there are still many people after the crisis who still feel that it was unfair that some companies got helped and small banks and small business and average families didn’t get direct help,” Bernanke said. “It’s a hard perception to break.”
So there it is: the system crashed because we were "overconfident" - nothing to do with system merely having gorged on the reactionary excess to the popping of the dot com bubble - but Bernanke is 100% certain he could have done more to help the average person, because the Fed's balance sheet trickle down eventually works. And let's not forget the "overconfidence" about containing inflation in 15 minutes or less. That one will be hilarious to watch unwind.
* * *
So how much does such profound brilliance cost?
Bernanke received at least $250,000 for his appearance.
Or, in other words, more than he was paid for one full year as Fed chairman.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a wrap.
Credit to Zero Hedge
PART 9: The Coming 'Peace' Covenant
One of the great prophecies pointing to the end times warns of a last days attempt to enforce peace between Israel and the surrounding nations. Daniel the prophet, a man very close to God’s heart, was chosen to deliver the most intriguing prophetic message to those alive during his own time, and to our generation. It is connected to the 'peace' process in important ways. Daniel 2:1–45 records:
And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him.
Then the king commanded to summon the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in Aramaic, O king, live forever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation of it, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a refuse heap.
But if ye show the dream, and its interpretation, ye shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor; therefore, show me the dream, and the interpretation of it.
They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.
The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
But if ye will not make known unto me the dream,there is but one decree for you; for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time is changed; therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me its interpretation.
The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can reveal the king’s matter; therefore, there is no king, lord, nor ruler,that asked such things of any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is no other that can reveal it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
And the decree went forth that the wise menshould be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon.
He answered and said to Arioch, the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions;
That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are his,
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to those who know understanding;
He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will reveal unto the king the interpretation.
Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.
The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation of it?
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, reveal unto the king;
But there is a God in heaven who revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king, Nebuchadnezzar, what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these:
As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.
But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me forany wisdom that I have more than any living, but for theirsakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
This image’s head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze,
Its legs of iron, its feet part of iron and part of clay.
Thou sawest until a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.
Then were the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
This is the dream; and we will tell its interpretation before the king.
Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of bronze, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth allthings; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken.
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not adhere one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.
Daniel Delivers on Dream
To understand where we are today, so far as the powerful pressures for peace are concerned, we will first look at what the Bible says about world government. Daniel—greatly beloved by God, no doubt because he loved Him with all his heart and sought to obey Him in all situations—was given a look into the future of human government. The prophecies God gave him are extremely relevant to our time. Daniel was a Hebrew living in Babylon. The nation of Israel had been taken to Babylon because of the disobedience of Israel’s people over many years.
Nebuchadnezzar was, by God’s own words, the greatest of all earthly kings. What he said was unquestioned. Heads were lopped off or other undesirable things happened if people went against this king’s wishes in any way. Captives from other countries were usually put in areas of work in Babylon, according to where the masters wanted them. Yet Daniel, a captive foreigner, was a man Nebuchadnezzar came to hold in high regard. He was considered one of the king’s wise men or fortunetellers, although he never dealt with things that were occult. When King Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by a nightmare, a supernatural one, and his other fortunetellers couldn’t even tell the king what his dream was, much less tell him the interpretation of the dream, he got mad. He told his military men to kill the whole bunch.
Daniel told a guard that his God could not only tell the king his dream, but interpret it as well. Nebuchadnezzar decided to give him a chance.
Daniel and his three friends, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednigo, prayed about the matter all night. God answered, giving Daniel both the dream and the interpretation. Nebuchadnezzar was so amazed by the results that he fell on his face before Daniel. (By so doing, the king was worshipping God, not Daniel. We can know this because Daniel did not correct the king, telling him not to worship himself, that is, Daniel.)
The dream was a prophecy of four world kingdoms. These were identified through the king’s vision of a gigantic statue of a man made of four different metals, each less valuable than the previous. This most likely indicates that each succeeding kingdom was less powerful—in other words, each kingdom that came on the world scene had less influence and authority over the world than the one that was before.
The head of the great statue was gold, representing Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian kingdom. The chest and arms were silver, indicating Medo-Persia, the empire that history tells us followed Babylon as a world empire. The statue’s belly and thighs were bronze; they represented Greece, which history proves was Alexander the Great’s world empire. It followed, historically, the Medo-Persian Empire.
The legs and feet were iron, with the feet and toes a mixture of iron and clay. This was the great Roman Empire that took over world domination from Alexander’s empire. The Roman Empire split into two divisions, one with its capital at Rome and the other capital at Constantinople.
The strangest parts of this great statue were the feet and, particularly, the toes of part iron and part clay. This indicated that the very end of this fourth world government would have weaknesses. The government, it was shown through the toes, would not be one solid institution, but one made up of ten separate though single governmental authorities.
Prophetic scholars and students who hold God’s prophetic Word as literal rather than merely symbolic believe the ten toes of the metallic monster to represent the very end of human history, just before Christ’s return to earth. Most believe our generation is in the era of the ten-toes governmental system.
The European Union is considered by many as the nucleus of this developing world government. I agree. However, it’s my view that the ten toes represent ten major regions around the world when Antichrist comes fully into power. The prophet Daniel was given a vision of end-times prophecy, the stage-setting for which I believe our own generation is witnessing.
The Almighty Allows the Prophet a Peek
If the imagery and wording of Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream seems wild, the symbology used in describing Daniel’s own dream of what it all means in terms of human government yet to come in the world is even more stupendous…even nightmarish. But one thing is for sure: Daniel and everyone who has read it since have had a vivid picture in their brains of something astounding predicted for the world! Here is the passage describing the vision God gave the prophet concerning the end times:
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7:1–8)
Daniel’s dream is all about the future course of human government, and it gets to the heart of what we’re looking at in this book. The movement toward man-made peace we see today is tremendous. However, I believe it is but a foreshadowing of the powerful pressures through a phony peace process we will see developing in the near future.
Antichrist himself will one day come in proclaiming to be a maker of peace, as represented by the first horseman of the apocalypse, who gallops onto the world stage riding a white horse (read Revelation 6: 2). This great leader will promise peace, safety, and plenty for everyone. But, it will be total war, not blessed peace, that will eventually result from this leader’s rule over the earth!
In Daniel’s vision, prophetic words on human government are wrapped in an awesome scene of stormy turbulence. There is a dramatic absence of peace in that scene Daniel described when he was getting on in years, during the time of King Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel told of violent winds that came from every direction, whipping up furious waves on the “great sea”—most likely, the Mediterranean. At the same time, many students and scholars in prophecy believe the term “great sea” symbolizes the many peoples of the earth. The winds of troubles Daniel saw, in other words, greatly stirred the masses (or “sea”) of people all over the then-known world.
The violent dream-vision stirred the old prophet, too! He was greatly troubled at the fearful beasts he saw. Four weird-looking, animal-like beasts arose out of the storm-driven waves. The first was like a lion, but it had wings. The wings were plucked from it and it seemed to transform into a man. The second beast that looked like a bear raised up partly, apparently ripping flesh and bone from the thing it was eating. This bear was instructed to eat a lot more.
The third beast came out of the sea. It was like a leopard, but had four wings like a bird. This strange animal had four heads, and it was given tremendous power and ruling authority.
Now these three beasts were an astonishing sight for Daniel to try to understand. But the next monster of the nightmarish vision was truly flabbergasting. The fourth beast was unlike anything ever beheld by Daniel before, “dreadful and terrible” as it arose out of the violently heaving sea. Its strength was awesome, and it had huge, iron teeth. It not only tore its victims apart and ate them, but it stomped them and trampled their remains.
This beast was totally different from the other three supernatural animals that came before. This one had ten horns. While Daniel carefully studied and wondered about the ten horns, amazingly, another “little horn” came up among the ten. As the little horn arose, three of the larger ten horns were ripped from the monster’s head. Daniel then saw that the little horn had eyes—the eyes of a man. The little horn also had a mouth, and it was speaking tremendously important things.
Daniel was no doubt exhausted by these awesome things he had witnessed. Try to imagine this is your own nightmare! But in this case, the vision is more real than things you see when fully awake. That’s how it was for the old prophet. Although the creatures were symbols, they were representing something even more terrible. This wasn’t merely a nightmare; it was supernatural reality. Daniel, terribly upset that he couldn’t understand what it all meant, saw another being standing nearby—an angel, no doubt—and Daniel “asked him the truth of all this” (Daniel 7:16).
The being told Daniel the interpretation and, somehow, made him understand at a deep level what he was witnessing:s
So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. (Daniel 7:16b–18)
So, the vision was about four kings who would have great kingdoms of world-wide scope; they basically would control the entire known world at the time of their rule. The being didn’t stop with that revelation; he quickly added that the saints of the Most High would take the world kingdoms from these kings and then would possess the earth forever.
This short overview of what Daniel was seeing covered some tremendous truths from God’s prophetic Word. Although the being didn’t spell it out in detail, we know that Daniel, himself, was part of the first beast-vision. The lion with the wings was the great kingdom of Babylon.
Think back to Daniel 2, in which Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s reign as the head of gold atop the gigantic, metallic statue. Remember that Daniel prophesied four kingdoms. In the prophecy of Daniel 7, we see the same order of world kingdoms: The lion with the wings corresponds to the Babylonian kingdom (head of gold). The bear chewing on flesh and bones corresponds to Medo-Persia (chest and arms of silver). The leopard with four wings and four heads corresponds to the belly and thighs of brass or bronze (Alexander the Great’s Grecian empire). The fourth beast of Daniel 7 corresponds to the legs, feet, and toes (last kingdom). That final world governmental system is a continuation of the Roman Empire. It never was defeated and destroyed; it just faded away or melted into the various governmental systems of the world, including our own.
God’s microscope of prophetic vision draws Daniel and us even closer to the truth of the last world kingdom. We get a look at the little horn that grows to leadership and domination over the ten kings of history’s last governmental order.
The little horn is a man! He comes to full power by overcoming and getting rid of three leaders who stand in his way. Additionally, we’re shown the destructive, all-consuming nature and power of this last kingdom. It is truly a wild, vicious beast that represents a composite of all three of the previous world systems. The last human system of world government will include bits and pieces of all previous human, governmental, one-world orders. It will be man’s final attempt to take control from Almighty God.
But just like in the case of the huge man-statue when the toes are smashed to pieces and the wind blows the powder away, so the fourth beast’s power and authority are taken away. The book of Revelation gives further details about this final world kingdom and its fate.
John—the disciple who, like Daniel, God’s Word describes as “much beloved”—was later given a spectacular vision of, apparently, the same strange beast Daniel saw:
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. (Revelation 13:1–3)
John went on in his great vision of the Revelation to describe the same final world government Daniel portrayed, but with less symbolic narrative:
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:12–14)
Fourth Beast Foretold
Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows….
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 7:19–20, 23–25)
Daniel was transfixed by the fourth beast, which took peace from the whole earth by waging all-out war and completely destroying anything in its path. What was the truth about this thing that had ten horns, this beast that had a little horn that grew to take authority over the other horns? What did it mean, the violent way in which three of the horns were ripped out by their roots? The old prophet questioned the being about all of these troubling matters, and he got answers.
The fourth kingdom, Daniel was told, will take absolute authority and power over the whole world. It will destroy everything it touches; there will be nothing good about it.
The being told Daniel that the ten horns are the ten ruling kings over this great, worldwide kingdom. The little horn that will arise among the ten will be far stronger in power and determination than any of the ten kings.
The eleventh king will do away with the competition. He will get rid of three kings who oppose him. Once he takes total control of this final world government, this dictator will curse the true God of heaven, mounting an all-out assault against those who belong to God and treating them even worse than Adolf Hitler treated the Jews in the Holocaust.
Antichrist will declare himself to be God. He will, through terror and satanic power, try to make all people on earth worship him. God will allow him to continue in his insane rage for three and one-half years.
Time of the Signs
Daniel was given answers to the questions that so troubled him. But he wanted to know when all these dream-vision things would come to pass. He wanted to know the end of the whole matter. There seemed no resolution to the violence. The beast with the ten horns appeared to be getting stronger and stronger. Would there ever be peace, or would the whole world be destroyed by this raging machine of war?
The being responded:
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.…
And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tested; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.(Daniel 12:4; 8–10)
The statement about the words being “closed up and sealed till the time of the end” clearly leaves the probability open that at some point near the end of this fourth beast’s war-making, the book of the prophecy would be opened to full understanding.
The words “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” give a broad, general overview of the conditions that will mark the time when these prophecies will be clearly understood.
These statements are of great prophetic importance. There is a tremendous amount of relevance to our time wrapped up in this brief prophetic declaration. The words didn’t help the old prophet’s feelings, however. Just when he so desperately wanted to see this terrible war-making and destruction brought to its conclusion so that peace could come, the angel shut off the supernatural television set.
However, through his final words, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tested,” the being encouraged Daniel to stop worrying. These things would be in the future, beyond the prophet’s lifetime. God would purify many through salvation. Many would become saints and be given the white robes of righteousness before the things in the vision played out. Many of God’s chosen (those who believe God for salvation) will be tried or persecuted because of their faith in the Lord God before human history concludes.
The angel-being’s words that “the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand,” told the old prophet that the wicked would continue to do wicked things until God’s prophetic plan is completed.
Who are the wicked? These are all who don’t have a personal relationship with God. They do not know him as their Lord and Heavenly Father. But the wise—children of God who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior—will understand all of these end-time matters at the close of human history when the prophecies’ fulfillments come into view.
Luke 21:28 tells the generation about these end-time things: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” At the very center of “these things” prophesied to come to pass is the thing all mankind longs for. Peace!
To Be Revealed Soon: The False Prince Of Peace
Daniel was given prophetic insights about the end of the age (Church Age) in chapters previous to chapter 12. The prophet obviously wasn’t allowed to put it altogether in his own mind because the prophesied matters were still far in the future. Answers to the mystery of all these issues, however, are coming more and more into focus with every day that passes in our time.
Nothing is more apparent than the fact that we are living in the middle of the prophesied end-time peace process. But it is a false peace process that will end up being a covenant or agreement made with death and hell, according to what the Bible says.
Daniel prophesies that “a king of fierce countenance” (8:23) will come on the world scene at the end of the last of the four kingdoms predicted in Daniel chapters 2 and 7. By that time, people will have come to be very wicked indeed. The fierce king, Antichrist, will understand what he must say in order to get this wicked generation to follow him. His great words will hypnotize the masses, and he will be a thousand times more powerful in his attractiveness than Hitler. The Scripture says his “power shall be mighty, but not by his own power” (8:24)—in other words, his great abilities will not be human gifts, but will be given by Satan.
This satanically driven man will “destroy wonderfully” (8:24), meaning that his destruction will be both deceptive and complete. In other words, the people will believe he is a wonderful person interested only in their own good. He will promise plenty for everyone. He will promise, especially, the one thing they want most of all: peace.
The Bible says that this dictator “will cause craft [deceit] to prosper in his hand” (8:25). This is taken two different ways by various prophecy students. Either Antichrist will do this in the sense of deceit or craftiness, or he will do it in the sense of industry, meaning he will produce great prosperity, etc. I personally believe this could be a double reference, wherein both interpretations might be correct.
Antichrist will not be seen as Antichrist at this point. He will be, simply, the greatest man who ever lived in the view of most of the world’s inhabitants. He will agree totally with that assessment of himself: “He shall magnify himself in his heart” (8:25).
But the thing that will mark this satanically inspired man is his dealing with the peace process. He will be the opposite of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. He will be the false prince of false peace. Daniel 8:25 prophesies that he will, through peace, “destroy many.” The Bible says further, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
A question we can ask ourselves to see where we most likely stand on God’s prophetic timeline is this: “Do we hear a cry for peace and safety today?” And another: “Do we see a peace process today involving God’s chosen nation, Israel?” We will soon learn that these issues are crucial to understanding prophecy as it relates to the cauldron that bubbles with the issues of Mideast war and peace at this very moment. Furthermore, like in Daniel's day, not all readers will understand in time the significance of what is unfolding in their very lifetime...
RCMP turned thousands of law-abiding Canadian gun owners into criminals overnight
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are acting on their own authority to arbitrarily re-classify, ban and ultimately confiscate certain rifles, contemptible actions for which Canadian citizens seemingly have no recourse.
Last Wednesday, the RCMP made good on its past threats and turned tens of thousands of Canadians into criminals overnight when they re-classified the Swiss Arms Classic Green carbine, a Swiss-made rifle featuring military-style characteristics, declaring it “prohibited” even though the model has been sold in Canada since 2000. Until Monday, the Canadian feds hadn’t even offered an amnesty period for gun owners to turn in their newly illegal weapons.
Although the high quality rifles cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000, the Canadian government has made no indication it intends to compensate, purchase or otherwise reimburse gun owners, or gun shops, for their surrendered firearms.
On Friday, after the country’s Public Safety Minister had publicly stated he would “take action” against the assault on law-abiding citizens’ rights, the Mounties again banned another gun, a Canadian version of the CZ 858, which had been specifically modified to meet domestic laws.
Troubling to many Canadians is the RCMP banned these guns without the authority of elected officials. “The elected government of the day had already made it clear it did not want to go this route. The Mounties did it anyway,” Sun News’s Brian Lilley reported.
“It is a dark day when police, not the people’s elected representatives, can suddenly transform thousands of ordinary, law-abiding Canadians into criminals with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen,” writes the Winnipeg Sun’s Lorne Gunter.
As Gunter explains, the High River gun grab of June 2013 set the precedent for mass gun confiscation. Mirroring scenes from the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, Mounties in the wake of a devastating flood “decided arbitrarily to break into the homes of nearly 2,000 law-abiding residents and strip the places of guns because they feared residents’ anger might be turned on police or politicians once the town’s forced evacuation was lifted.”
“The government needs to rein in the Mounties or they will find they’re no longer in control,” Lilly declares. “That means the government not only needs to override the decree from the Mounties, but strip them of any power they have or think they have to do this again.”
One gun shop owner expressed to CBC News that Mounties are disarming citizens to have a monopoly on force. “There is a movement within the RCMP and they don’t like to see guns in the hands of anybody but themselves.”
Canadian gun owners who refuse to relinquish their firearms can face jail time up to three years, Sun News reported.
Of course, the irony of the RCMP’s ban and confiscation is that they are targeting a gun the Swiss government actually entrusts its citizens to arm themselves with, illustrating the Mounties and Canadian government’s draconian disdain for its people’s rights.
Credit to Infowars