H.O.T.S. now H.I.T.S. – part 1

“God set us up!” she chuckled…

This lady’s husband had responded to Mark Marx’s offer of prayer for healing by saying his wife needed some. This was on the National Gallery’s concourse in Trafalgar Square, London. As she sat down, three or four ladies came and knelt around to pray in Jesus’ name.

Within minutes she was feeling much better and ‘hubby’ took his turn. Meanwhile, their son was chatting to Mark and both were amused to learn they were from the same town in Northern Ireland!  His parents were visiting him whilst he’s temporarily working in London. Afterwards, all four were encouraged by yet another amusing way the Living God looks after us personally.

Mark had gone to Coleraine and started Healing On The Streets (HOTS) there at Easter 2005. Since then, churches across the town had met every Saturday to pray for anyone who needed healing – and met with great success!

Nina and I were in Trafalgar Square after attending Marks’ training day for HOTS hosted by Christen Forster’s School of Supranatural Life at Emmanuel Centre in Marsham St.  This became Healing In Trafalgar Square when all 100 or more delegates went out on a mission on the streets of Westminster!  (See Supranatural Life Facebook page here.)

Let me give a flavour of the day… Continue reading

Mary’s brief yet astounding encounter never ever fails to stir me deep within. Thank you very much Tembisa for this disciple’s insight into its direct connection with Jesus’ return. I cannot but reblog this… [After reading you may wish to read The Beautiful Journey.]

Is the Middle-East coming to the boil?

Copy of email circulated yesterday and today about Israel, Iran and Jordan:

YESTERDAY (Monday)

Friends, to keep you in the frame, this update focuses [first] upon Israel and Iran.:

I was amazed this morning to learn that my merely passing thoughts at the foot of this thread, just after my quoting Mike Evans, could have been accurate! [See blog version of Thursday’s email for that reference.]  Btw, he’s said to be the only Christian to have confronted Iranian pres. Amadmanjihad last year in New York, where the Lord helped him get through high-security guards. He intends to do so again this week whilst the Iranian’s attending the UN General Assembly. [US House of Representatives passed motion requesting UN not allow him to speak on holy day of Yom Kippur!]

Breaking news today from New York quotes the Iranian president’s lying threat,

 “Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. (Israelis) have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history.

“We don’t even count them as any part of any equation for Iran…During a historical phase, (the Israelis) represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated.”  (Reuters’ 1st report; my emphases)

The weekend before last I’d been mulling over media quietness during Rosh Hashanah holy days as perhaps the ‘still before the storm’, and praying there would be no surprise attacks upon Israel.

Thus, my remarks at the close of previous email were merely meant as an observation about Israel ’obviously taking precautions against being caught napping’. Yet little did I know it was the very same afternoon when newly released papers revealed a massive intelligence failure at the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War of 1973, as Joel Rosenberg reports:

Thirty-nine years ago this month, Israel was surrounded by enemies threatening to annihilate her. But Israeli leaders did not take the threats seriously enough, and did not order a pre-emptive strike to neutralize the enemy’s military capabilities. [Read The Times of Israel article on this severe lesson.]

Last weekend’s news:

Yesterday [Sunday], Reuters reported a Brigadier-General in the Republican Guards as stating on Iranian TV that:

Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state was preparing to attack it…we can not imagine the Zionist regime starting a war without America’s support. Therefore, in case of a war, we will get into a war with both of them and we will certainly get into a conflict with American bases.

Also, the station paraphrased him as saying:

“Iran will not start any war but it could launch a pre-emptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it.”

Furthermore, Rosenberg advises that, for the first time, Iran’s highest-ranking military official (minister of defence) has tied the forthcoming confrontation into ‘the era of The Coming’ of the Hidden 12th Imam, or Mahdi. Thus, Iran’s leaders are expecting a highly significant war to facilitate that event and thereby introduce a global Islamic caliphate.  (See Joel’s post here and my previous overview.)

BUT JUST AS OMINOUSLY, the general alluded to various means of response which would implicitly include last week’s ‘binding commitment’ by Hamas leaders in Gaza to join Iran, Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon in military action against Israel.

Debka’s exclusive military sources (here) disclose the agreement’s detailed and precise directives would make Palestinian Hamas defer to Tehran and not to Cairo’s Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot, and instructs them to stop obstructing Iran’s proxy in the Gaza strip.

Thus, we can see Iran’s influence is extending westward like a demonic talon through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza around Israel, whose only trouble-free border is with Jordan. This development will doubtless affect the Egypt-Israel relationship and their counter-terror operations in Sinai, the border of which was breached during Friday’s shootout. Egypt’s new rulers are unable to control or contain Islamist terrorism in Sinai. Therefore, Israel’s latest massive exercise should be regarded in this light, and which left two battalions on the Syrian border!

America’s lack of influence/interest continues to be demonstrated by president Obama’s latest, and as some infer, unhelpful remarks towards Israel, as Debka reports here.

Thank the Lord what’s going in the world doesn’t hinder us from keeping our eyes on Him, and looking to His return – maranatha!

TODAY (Tuesday)


Further to yesterday’s update, this morning’s on-line headline corrects my reference to Israel’s only ‘trouble-free border’, viz :

Jordan on the brink: Muslim brothers mobilize for King Abdullah’s overthrow

Another ‘exclusive’ from Debka reports:

For Israel, an upheaval in Jordan bodes the tightening of the Islamist noose around its borders – Egypt and Libya to the south and Syria to the north, with unpredictable consequences with regard to Jordan’s Pales-tinian population.

Saudi Arabia, already threatened by Iranian aggression, fears the oil kingdom may be next in line if its northern neighbor is crushed under the marching feet of the “Arab Spring.”

The Debka report goes on to analyse the monarch’s plight and his three options, refers to the knock-on effect upon Saudi Arabia and succinctly surmises Obama’s quandary – will he stab yet another staunch ally in the back for the sake of the lynchpin to his outreach to the Muslim world, their Cairo-based brotherhood?

You may recall my reference in Jan 2011 (‘Talks leaks’ aka ‘Palestinian papers’) to:

calls for the overthrow of Jordan’s government (Egypt next?) …Perhaps, therefore, we may soon see whether or not Christian commentators upon the prophesied Psalm 83 Middle-Eastern war and fulfilment of Obadiah 15 are proved correct??’

Psalm 83 (click to read psalm)

In Bible Prophecy Blog of April 1st 2012, Bill Salus refers to the increasing interest in Psalm 83, which he describes as “a prophecy in progress”. His article notes and lists the six primary requirements stated in the psalm that need to be in place before all the nations surrounding Israel ‘wipe out its people…that the name of Israel be remembered no more’ (vv2-4). Six months ago he observed that ‘all six of these prerequisites are in place’ and foresaw with precise perspicuity that:

Apart from fragile peace treaties between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and Jordan, the Psalm prophecy essentially appears to be on the verge of fulfilment.

Many pundits believe that the new majority Islamic fundamentalist parliament of Egypt will soon abrogate the 33 year old peace agreement with Israel. Should Egypt break peace with Israel, there are few that believe Jordan will covet the lone-wolf position of being the only remaining Arab state that possesses a peace accord with Israel. The legitimate concern is reflected in the adage; “As goes Egypt, so goes the rest of the Middle East.”

What Bill describes has indeed started to happen, as is clearly evident from Egypt’s new, Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi’s attitude towards the peace treaty. With today’s exclusive news, we can now expect radical changes in Jordan this year…

To gain a good insight into the Biblical significance of what’s happening read Bill’s lucid, 4-page exposition Psalm 83 – A Prophecy in Progress. (His blog: prophecydepot.com)

The Lord bless you and keep you.

See also:

> John McTernan’s Daily Digest commentary of Sept 25th and his several news links.

> Nick Gray in The Commentator on the effect of Morsi’s attitude on the peace treaty. (He writes for Christian Middle-East Watch, a voice coming from the Church in Britain, aiming to bring balance and truth to debates and issues concerning the Middle-East.)

Update 14th Oct: Robert Spencer; Egyptian Copts overwhelmed by “anxiety and fear”, see Muslim Brotherhood government as “worst in memory”.

Next Post

PLEASE SEE PREVIOUS POST’S FINAL PARAGRAPHS RE: ‘precautions against being caught napping during holy days (now) good intel’ alerted and activated the military’. LITTLE DID I KNOW about those revelations published on THE VERY SAME DAY (Thursday) in The Times of Israel.

[After circulating an email version of that post to friends, a couple of them immediately queried the Mike Evans’ report with me because they’d heard such reports are unfounded rumours! Upon re-checking my remarks, however, my confidance in Mike’s information was reassured because other sources could corroborate him.]

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

>> Implosion Radio Special to air on 1,500 stations nationwide — details here.

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Thirty-nine years ago this month, Israel was surrounded by enemies threatening to annihilate her. But Israeli leaders did not take the threats seriously enough, and did not order a preemptive strike to neutralize the enemy’s military capabilities. Instead, the Jewish State was blindsided by a surprise attack in 1973 on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Now, newly released documents reveal the depth of the massive intelligence failure that almost led to the destruction of the Jewish State. Make no mistake: current Israeli leaders are weighing decisions about a possible war with Iran in light of the tragic mistakes made in ’73, especially in view of the Iranian leaders vowing to annihilate Israel to bring back the so-called Islamic messiah known as the “Twelfth Imam.”

“The Israeli Mossad…

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Historically significant week for the Middle East

This brief update is offered in case you may be unaware of developments in the Middle-East. Those who relish detail will enjoy getting their teeth into Bill Koenig’s chronology of events from a perspective of US-Israel relations, Eye-to-Eye: Week of 9-11-12. It has  a brief overview. (Also see recent post about his Alert anticipating trouble according to cyclic theory.)  Here’s my update:

An unprecedented ‘armada’ of American, British and French naval power is focusing once again upon protecting the Strait of Hormuz (see Telegraph) – this separates the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman, as in map below.

Barnabas Fund reports growing concern for Christians in countries rocked by violent protests against an offensive movie trailer on Mohammed. According to a number of experts, however, it’s a pretext for Islamist action on several fronts – eg. Raymond Ibrahim and Caroline Glick, here and here respectively.  [NB: see update below on investigation into possible terrorist involvement in production of this video in order to commit an outrage.]

Solid grounds for this conclusion as regards the attack in Libya are given in a press release by the London counter-extremism think-tank Quillam Foundation. (Quillam’s founder, ex-hardline Islamist Maajid Nawaz, gives a most informative interview in The Counter Islamist. Their website explains how they are working to change attitudes.)

Also, Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian writer and Jordanian academic resident as political refugee in the UK, reports upon the ‘textbook Islamist’ who ignited the rage by running an Egyptian tv show about the movie. (Thank you Tembisa at World Chaos.) Also, The Telegraph reports that this presenter’s,

inflammatory chat show on satellite television has long prided itself on baiting liberals, Christians and Jews, but last week saw Sheikh Khalid Abdullah stage the broadcasting controversy of a lifetime.

In view of all the hysteria, however, there’s been a news blackout in mainstream media about two places – Sinai and Israel.

Debka reported on Friday and Sunday fierce Al-Qaeda led military attacks in Sinai, one of which was against the 1000+ Multinational Force’s camp established to monitor the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty. There, a Colombian battalion protected Americans. Then on Monday I received an email from Mike Evans stating,

“I have received an email from a friend and supporter of the Jerusalem Prayer Team who lives in Jerusalem with an urgent message about massive troop movements underway in Israel. The scale of the mobiliz-ation is like nothing this family has seen in more than twenty years in the Jewish state.”

There have been a number of such reports, which may be disinformation, or as some well-meaning folk think – a hoax!  It may be that Israel was taking precautions against being caught napping during the Rosh-Hashanah holy days. However, news of a ‘snap military exercise’ in the Golan Heights did at last surface yesterday morning in a Debka ‘exclusive’ and later in The Telegraph.

Today, we learn about enemy troops moving into the territory across Israel’s northern border, ie. Iran is pouring troops into Syria to bolster Assad and thereby threaten Israel (as here). Link both ‘blackout’ news items with the supposed ‘hoax’ and we can tell that good intel’ had alerted and activated the Israeli military – there’s no smoke without fire!

Events are proceeding at breakneck speed!

ALSO SEE copy email update about these closing remarks!!

Update 27/9: Former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Walid Shoebat, claims on his blog that the offensive video trailer was, in all likelihood, produced as a terrorist scam. This renowned peace activist arrives at that conclusion after examining contradictions and falsehoods within the media accounts, plus his own previous investigations into the characters and his connections in and direct knowledge of the Middle-East. There are far too many facts that can’t be married up!

Keep looking to the Lord…

Honouring one another

Such an appropriate date for Sharanelle to have posted this. Bill Johnson of Bethel Church often teaches on the importance of honouring one another as one aspect of Kingdom culture – heaven on earth.

Not Happenin' On My Watch | Blog

How would our world be different if each of us practiced honoring one another?  That is, if we each held the other in high esteem, what would our homes, churches, schools, offices, and government look like?  How would this practice affect the behavior of the next person?  We are told to honor our parents (Eph. 6:2), and that our days will be long upon the earth (Ex. 20:12).  What if we extended this beyond our parents and simply showed high regard for our brother’s feelings, validated their concerns, and genuinely cared about what the next person was going through… so much so that we came alongside to help when possible?  Obviously, we’d use wisdom… but then again, if we’re honoring one another, we wouldn’t abuse friendships and relationships.  What if we, the church universal, truly interceded for our sisters, brothers, and friends? … not just the faithful two and few…

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How we respond to havoc caused by one stupid film

Another well argued and presented viewpoint from Gillan Scott, with several comments including those of yours truly.

PS: Read about the Egyptian TV presenter who engineered the rage, who “prides himself on baiting liberals, Christians and Jews” (Telegraph).

UPDATE 27/9: Former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Walid Shoebat, claims on his blog that the offensive video trailer was, in all likelihood, produced as a terrorist scam. This renowned peace activist arrives at that conclusion after examining the contradictions and falsehoods within the media accounts, plus his own previous investigations into the characters and his family connections and direct knowledge of the Middle-East. Citing 7 facts, he shows the media story is faulty and inconclusive!

God and Politics in the UK

Let’s be honest for a moment.  When you first heard about the protests and riots in Muslim countries in response to the Innocence of Muslims film were your initial thoughts along these lines?

“These Muslims are reacting in a considered and appropriate way to a film that has won universal support and approval from leaders all around the western world.”

No, me neither. Obviously.

It was instead for me one of those “Oh no, here we go again” sinking feelings.

Let’s be clear about this film, having seen the trailer it can only be described as shocking; shockingly poor production and acting and shockingly poisonous in its motives to offend.  And as we know it did indeed offend.

I’m not an expert on Islam, but I’ve friends who’ve worked in Pakistan and hearing them speak you get a sense of just how incendiary it can be in many Muslim dominated…

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11-year cycle proves itself again!

William Koenig has HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!

Readers may have noted my Paws 4 thought on cycles (29 Aug) outlined the 11 year cycle of major conflicts in the Middle East. [For a brief introductory outline see my post Points to ponder: 2011-2012 and then Koenig’s intriguing ‘Timeline 2011 to 2019‘ – regret no longer available since updating of his website.]

BillKoenig_hdrA week ago I received the following News Alert from Bill in which he anticipated another ‘historical day’ in connection with Israel, militant Islam and the USA. But before reading it consider these momentous events.:

The world now knows another September 11th (Tuesday) became notorious for conflict: the American embassy in Egypt and consulate in Libya came under siege from raging Islamist mobs and, as they fled to safety, US Ambassador Stevens and three consular staff were murdered in cold blood in Benghazi (Debka exclusive report).

Also on Tuesday, President Obama decided not to meet PM Netanyahu on his forth-coming visit to the States, thereby increasing strained diplomatic relations and causing a flurry of news reports (here’s just one, a Debka special).

Now, take careful note of the prophetic news alert (web version here)..:                            [Koenig’s Eye-View Friday 14th has day-by-day account of the week.]

William Koenig - Main Banner
September 5, 2012
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A New World Order Speech – Major Terror Attacks – Is Something Coming?  asks Bill Koenig

9-11-1990 plus 11 years = 9-11-2001 plus 11 years = 9-11-2012

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On Sept. 11, 1990, President George H.W. Bush, in an address before a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress on the Persian Gulf crisis and the federal budget deficit, spoke of a “new world order.”

President G.H.W. Bush: Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective — a new world order — can emerge: a new era — freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony.

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On Sept. 11, 2001, the 11th anniversary of President Bush’s new-world-order speech to Congress, America experienced the first-ever massive terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

President G.W. Bush: Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

=========

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, will be the 11th anniversary of the World Trade Center/Pentagon terror attacks.

The new-world-order vision President George H.W. Bush spoke of hasn’t happened; as a matter of fact, the world is much more dangerous, especially the Middle East — Israel’s neighborhood — thanks to political decisions of the United States.

Instead of a new-world free from the threat of terror, the United States experienced a massive Islamic terrorist attack on 9-11-2001, followed by two extremely costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and President G.W. Bush’s nation building and active promotion of democracy in the Middle East. It also enabled Barack Obama to defeat John McCain in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been actively involved in the Arab Spring debacle, which is becoming a hard-line Islamic takeover in country after country in the Middle East. This has led to an unprecedented persecution of Christians and the purging from countries throughout the Middle East, while Israel is facing its most dangerous threats in history. Moreover, under Obama’s watch, Iran has aggressively accelerated its nuclear development program.

Unbeknown to these U.S. Presidents, their active roles in the Middle East have led to the rapid acceleration of final-day events and the final battle for Jerusalem (Zechariah 12-14).

Will Sept. 11, 2012, be another historical day? (my emphasis, RB)

Click here for President George H.W. Bush’s new-world-order speech to Congress and President George W. Bush’s speech to America.

Oh, and there’s this, and this…(ie. PS)

Please may I draw your attention to:

1.  A regular contributor’s comment upon European financial encroachment – I’d hoped someone would ‘twig’!  Click here and scroll to comments below post.

2.  In view of the latest controversy, readers in the States may like to petition president Obama to stand by Israel. Also, in the opinion of Caroline Glick (here), the 9/11 attacks on US embassies in Libya and Egypt weren’t about a film. She claims it was screened on a Salafist tv channel by people pres Morsi released from prison – and Obama will see him rather than the leader of USA’s long-time ally!  An odd choice for friends is it not?  But then he did want the MB present at his speech in Cairo (see here).

3.  Re. 4,500 away, we caught up last night with Nathan’s visit to Louisiana a week after hurricane Isaac. There he warned that a much greater storm’s coming, a spiritual one also because The King Is Coming!  [Click to watch this at 1hr54m30 – see these posts too; Why I’m watching, Get Ready and Watch.]  UPDATE: New Orleans needs to watch out and take this very seriously now the police are suppressing free speech and arresting street preachers, as well as threatening churches – see Christian News (thank you Tembisa at Church on Fire).

We felt it 4,500 miles away!

4,500 miles – that’s a quarter of the way around the world!  The British boy was at his best under the ‘unction of the Holy Spirit’,  ie., the anointing from God Most High to preach and teach the Gospel with the power of His Spirit, as he spoke about ‘Divine Exchange’.  Most of the large congregation had, in fact, already ascended in worship and found ‘fullness of joy’ in His presence, which was strongly felt throughout the 3 hour-long service!

Late Sunday afternoons here in Hampshire, England, we go to church in Mobile, AL, USA, for a morning service, as do thousands of other online members of Church of His Presence. On Sunday, English evangelist Nathan Morris reported healing miracles had  happened when the Bay Revival team recently went to Lake Charles, Louisiana, a week after hurricane Isaac’s visit.

(PS. whilst there Nathan warned a much greater, more severe storm’s coming – The King Is Coming!  Click to watch message; read these posts too – Watch, Get Ready.)

Soon after many there repented, Nathan had a prophetic word about someone’s health, “degenerative disease in the kidneys” (ie. kidney failure).  A lady with a 6 months-old baby yells as he quips, “The preachers weren’t watching, but the Son of God is!” and what happened next is most wonderful. If you too would like to know – and see – then carry on reading:

Listen to Nathan’s account and then watch it happen as he plays two video clips to the congregation. [Click on ‘play triangle’ and as it loads click on grey bar to advance play, speed depends upon your broadband speed.]  Nathan starts telling about this miracle at 1hr12min30 and the video section of baby Jeremiah’s healing starts at 1:18:00….at 1:21:30 it changes to the next day’s meeting for an account of the boy’s severe medical status by his exurberant mother as she tells about that morning’s astonishing results of his creatinine blood testpraise the Lord!

At 1:36:00 a ‘live’ testimony is given for the Lord’s healing of terminal colon cancer and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. What is remarkable is that the patient was one of a very, very tiny group of people without a specific enzyme which adversely affects chemotherapy.  The Lord directed her to search on the internet to find out about this (1:40:00). She got in touch with chat rooms and therefore insisted doctors test her before treatment. Thus they discovered that she was one of this rare, at-risk group!

Divine Exchange

After a strong admonition (at 1:45:00) and exhortation to that nation (US) and to young people, Nathan ends with an unexpected brief word about faith in anyone other than Jesus Christ, and says, “I don’t know where that came from, it’s not my message!”

At 1:50:50 he begins an exceptional message on coming into God’s presence and the signs of the Kingdom, as exemplified in those healings, teaching from the Biblical books of Hebrews and Exodus.  Any summary would fail to do justice or convey it properly – it needs to be heard and entered into.  Are you able to do so?

Drawing to a close Nathan recounts the drummer / youth pastor told him how amazed he was when a blind eye opened as he prayed. Nathan then exclaimed,

He was so full of it – he was rejoicing – and I looked at him and thought, “Son, you’d better get ready, because if you keep having a divine exchange with God, blind eyes will be nothing – He’ll show you things that will blow your mind!!

He went on (2:27:00):

Before I knew you were worshiping, I could feel it in my spirit. Normally I can’t hear you in the back room but I heard something…and said so to the pastor…I could feel it because there’s something that happens when the Body of Christ joins in one accord to – we enter the Throne Room  where divine exchange takes place!”

Everyone re-entered worship and even across the ‘pond’, here in the UK – a quarter of the world away – we too felt the strong, undeniable touch of precious Holy Spirit as His fire fell once again in Alabama.

And  why ever not?  After all God’s Spirit is present in all those who believe in the one He sent – Jesus Christ. In our human spirits there’s no separation whatsoever from Him or from the fellowship of His Body.

European financial encroachment

Am quickly flagging this lead article in today’s Telegraph Business section – UK banks could be shut down or forced into bail-outs by Brussels.  Bruno Waterfield’s comments about controversial ‘banking union’ proposals indicate that some developments may be worth keeping a watch on:

A panel of European officials would be given sweeping new powers to police the financial sector across the continent but also in the City of London.

They would be given “full decision-making powers” to impose EU law and to arbitrate disputes between Britain and the eurozone over the risks posed by British banks, according to the proposals being tabled on Wednesday at the European Commission. Decisions taken by the powerful body would be automatically binding unless Britain was able to win the unlikely backing of a majority and overturn themcontinued.

Am not going to comment any further as am simply flagging this important news, but I recollect the mighty dollar having become subservient to the European Union during the 2008 financial crisis (see Not many people know – pt 1):

The EU achieved this massive subrogation of American sovereignty the way it usually does, by negotiation, gradual bureaucratic encroachment and without asking voters if they approve… (Newsmax 19 Nov 2008)

[Financial journalist’s had their finger on the pulse, so I also quoted the august Financial Times Gideon Rachman’s comment And now for a world government. Let me stress, he dissociates himself completely from whacky conspiracy theories of the ranting right, or loony left – as herein.]

Clarification of crucifixion reports

Crucifixions have been reported in some Islamic nations, all of which requires a  sensitivity in handling source materials, as may be inferred from my early post Not on the 10 o’clock News.  However, lack of such expertise – and of a grasp of spiritual dynamics – generated a great deal of verbiage, misunderstanding and  false conclusions, as outlined below:

A fortnight ago I noted Stuart James’ question on his popular blog-forum eChurch:   “Are Christians being crucified by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?   Important blog post by my friend Gordon looking at the veracity of the Christian crucifiction(sic) claims in Egypt, that have spread like wildfire online and created widespread anger amongst Christians.”

Gordon Hudson’s blog examines various reports and commentaries of this event in some depth. (It is claimed to have taken place in front of the presidential palace.)  He endorses Canadian editor and columnist Jonathan Kay’s National Post article entitled Egypt’s ‘crucifixion’ hoax becomes an instant Internet myth, wherein he pronounces at the very outset:

It’s a story worth dissecting — not because it’s true (it isn’t), but because it is a textbook example of how the Internet… has been co-opted by culture warriors as a weapon to fire up the naïve masses with lies and urban legends.

In concluding his ‘investigation’ of this particular case, he refers to a dated report (ie. three years old!) that repudiated false reports of crucifixions and thus wrote:

The people reporting this false story were not deliberately lying.  As I noted in my original post, they have simply become so wrapped up in the idea that we are fighting an existential war against militant Islam, that they are willing to believe any nonsense story they come across without checking it. If it sounds like it could be true, then it must be. The first casualty of war, as always, is truth.

Stuart’s friend puts it, “It shows how stories can change as they are spread. Especially where indignation is involved and there is an information vacuum.” Both these writers  dug around a lot and have taken the trouble of posting updates, all of which may be read via the above links. It’s too easy, however, to pontificate from the comfort of one’s cosy corner…

Within hours I received an email update from the original Western reporter.

As far as I can find, critics haven’t refered to the original report, its publication date or the identity of the man who’d broken the story to the West!  The account first appeared in a ‘guest column’ of The Investigative Project on Terrorism on 15th August under the title Muslim Brotherhood ‘Crucifies’ Opponents, Attacks Secular Media, by Raymond Ibrahim.

Unlike his critics, Raymond is not only fluent in Arabic but also a specialist in Islam who explores “the pivotal but ignored point where Islam and Christianity intersect, translating pertinent Arabic news that never reaches the West”.  Born of Egyptian Coptic parents, Raymond discovered, translated and published original Al-Qaeda treatises (earlier post refers: Muslim Persecution of Christians).

In response to the deluge of media speculation Raymond has reconsidered his report and answers Jonathan Kay point by point. He takes up Kay’s above opening shot with,

Alternatively, dissecting Kay’s claims is useful as it is a textbook example of how the Western mindset tries to rationalize away whatever does not fit its intellectual boundaries.

He doesn’t so much dissect as dismembers Kay’s argument. His rebuttal Crucifixion, Not Fictions should be read by all who are concerned about these severe issues. In point of fact he noticed, ahead of Kay, that the original Sky News report he’d seen and written about had been withdrawn!  In reviewing the facts he writes on 4th Sept:

 I did not have to make this point, or mention Sky News at all, since other reports—including El Balad, a much higher trafficked Arabic website which I also quoted—independently mentions the crucifixions in original language and further adds that two people died. And that report, as of now, is still up.

Raymond proceeds to answer Kay’s claims by referring to actual facts of life in Egypt, including the Maspero Massacre, and especially as regards media subjugation under the Muslim Brotherhood’s president Morsi. This had also been reported by renowned Caroline Glick in her long analysis published 17th August, Who lost Egypt?

On Sunday, new President Mohamed Morsy (sic) completed Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state. In the space of one week, Morsy sacked the commanders of the Egyptian military and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists, and fired all the editors of the state-owned media and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists.

He also implemented a policy of intimidation, censorship and closure of independently owned media organizations that dare to publish criticism of him. (my emphasis)

Raymond Ibrahim concludes his firm rebuttal as follows:

All this leads to the most important point. Whereas Kay appears intent on proving that the crucifixions never happened, a close read of my article shows that I never said they did happen. As always, I merely reported and translated what was on the Arabic media; noted that Sky News took its story down; and then offered my own interpretation—including the fact that Muslims have been known to crucify their opponents in the modern era, crucifixions are prescribed by the Koran and Sharia, and an Egyptian parliamentarian recently called for crucifixions to be legalized.

In light of all the above, I reiterate my original conclusion: “there is little reason to doubt this crucifixion story.” (my emphasis)

Indeed, soon after this crucifixion story appeared in the Egyptian media, a disturbing video surfaced from Yemen, of a mutilated man, crucified.

How long before the usual naysayers try to portray even this video as a “hoax”?

If you wish to query Raymond’s argument, I’d direct you to this article in response to the decapitation of a Christian in Tunisia, and in which he lists several pertinent facts about the Arabic media and blogo-sphere that Western self-styled pundits miss.

The crucifixion video which he provides a link to is gruesome – it can be viewed only by turning safety button off!  It thrusts a grim reality into one’s face.  AND, amputation as punishment is common, the latest occurrence of which is in Mali (AP report here). I’ll desist from commenting about medieval religious mindsets that attempt to justify and promote outrageous barbarity. It brings a vivid portrayal of what would have happened to Jesus Christ, which Paul Priest portrays in The reality of the Crucifixion, [not for the squeamish].

By the way, there’s also ongoing persecution in Israel of Christians and Messianic Jews from ultra-orthodox Jews, of which the latest vandalism at a monastery is a minor episode (see World News – thanks Stuart).

So is someone, or something, masterminding a ‘crusade’ against Christians? And why?

Answers please on a postcard…

UPDATE: May 2013

For another well-informed and fuller, historical consideration see the Orthodox Christian Robert Sidway’s Crucifixion in Islam: Christians ascend their Golgotha