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eNews For The Week Of May 25, 2015


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Taiwan’s president to propose peace plan for South China Sea

May 25, 2015

Taiwan’s president will propose a peace initiative on Tuesday to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea that have put Beijing at odds with its neighbors and with the United States, the official Central News Agency reported.

Reuters

Church in Ireland needs ‘reality check’ after gay marriage vote

May 24, 2015

One of Ireland’s most senior Catholic clerics has called for the Church to take a “reality check” following the country’s overwhelming vote in favour of same-sex marriage.

BBC News

Obama wins trade victory in the Senate

May 22, 2015

President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.

Washington Post

Astronomer Royal Martin Rees: How soon will robots take over the world?

May 21, 2015

An explosion in artificial intelligence has sent us hurtling towards a post-human future, warns Martin Rees.

The Telegraph

NASA Scientist Says We May Be Living in a Matrix-Like Digital Environment

May 20, 2015

Everything you have ever done or will do could simply be the product of a highly-advanced computer code. Every relationship, every sentiment, every memory could have been generated by banks of supercomputers.

Epic Times

Chinese dominance in South China Sea raises alarm

May 18, 2015

China’s buildup in the South China Sea is pushing the region closer to a possible military standoff over disputed territory, foreign policy experts tell FoxNews.com. The U.S. and its allies are raising concerns over Chinese land reclamation projects — essentially building manmade islands in the middle of the sea that many consider is a way for Beijing to expand its influence.

FOX News


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Articles And Commentary

On the Mark of the Beast

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Binary Key

Ed. Note: What follows is Part One of a three-part series on the Mark of the Beast. The author, Dr. William Welty, is the Executive Director of the ISV foundation and also serves as Research Analyst in Advanced Communication Technologies and Adjunct Professor of Middle Eastern Studies on the faculty of Koinonia Institute. All Biblical citations are taken from the International Standard Version (ISV) translation of the Bible.

Why 666 has nothing to do with RFID technology or digital one-world currency

For many decades now, at least part of modern evangelical Christian tradition has taught that the end of days will be characterized by an attempt to set up a single world government with what some believe will be a one world currency. As Koinonia Institute’s Executive Research Editor Dr. Steven Elwart has observed:

The Bible does not use the phrase “one-world government” or “one-world currency” in referring to the end times. It does, however, provide ample evidence to enable us to draw the conclusion that both will exist under the rule of the Antichrist in the last days.

Elwart is not alone in holding this view. Perhaps one of the more vocal proponents of the opinion that the end times will see a one world currency control system being established throughout the earth is Dr. Katherine Albrecht, an internationally recognized authority on cybersecurity and privacy issues, including the dangers of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies. But it isn’t only the evangelical Christian community that’s concerned about the spreading adoption of electronic currencies as a means to control personal and national economics. The respected international investment experts at Casey Research have been warning of late:

The Temporary Authority of the Anti-Christ in Revelation 13:5–10a

One of the most important component elements contained in the eschatological drama described in the apocalyptic literary genre that is the book of Revelation is the temporary nature of the authority granted to the forces of Anti-Christ at the end of days. We invite the reader to notice the derivative and limited nature of the authority wielded by this individual and his followers:

The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and blasphemous things, and it was given authority for 42 months. It uttered blasphemies against God, against his name, and against his residence, that is, against those who are living in heaven. It was allowed to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. It was also given authority over every tribe, people, languages, and nation. All those living on earth will worship it, everyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life belonging to the lamb that was slaughtered from the foundation of the world.

— Revelation 13:5–8, ISV

Specifically, note the permissive, passive verbs in this passage such as “The beast was allowed to speak” (13:5), “it was given authority for 42 months” (13:5b), it “was allowed to wage war against the saints and to conquer them” during this time period (13:7), and “it was also given authority” (13:7) over all sorts of ethnic groups and cultural enclaves on an international scale for this three and a half year period. The use of the passive voice is a grammatical indicator from the writer informing us that the Sovereign Lord over all creation is in charge of the earth, even during the 42 months of demonic reign over that earth. The Apostle John summarizes the absolute sovereignty of God over these events in the very next verses:

Let everyone listen:
If anyone is to be taken captive,
into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed with a sword,
with a sword he will be killed.

— Revelation 13:9–10, ISV

To sum up, the writer of the Revelation to John reminds his readers that nobody will fall under the hegemony of Anti-Christ outside of the absolute and complete authority and predestination of God himself. God controls the extent of Anti-Christ’s authority, the success of his belligerent campaigns against the saints, the duration and timing of his all-too-temporary reign, and the ferocity of his attacks on God’s people. Nothing about these events will take God by surprise.

The Grammatical Implications of Revelation 13:10b–18

The clues that help us eliminate a one world currency or RFID technology as the identifying Mark of the Beast are contained in the text of Revelation 13:10b–18:

Here is a call for endurance and faith of the saints:

If anyone is to be taken captive, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed. Here is a call for endurance and faith of the saints: I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it talked like a dragon. It uses all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and it makes the earth and those living on it worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs spectacular signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people. It deceives those living on earth with the signs that it is allowed to do on behalf of the first beast, telling them to make an image for the beast who was wounded by a sword and yet lived. The second beast was allowed to impart life to the image of the first beast so that the image of the beast could talk and order the execution of those who would not worship the image of the beast. The second beast forces all people—important and unimportant, rich and poor, free and slaves—to be marked on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that no one may buy or sell unless he has the mark, which is the beast’s name or the number of its name. In this case wisdom is needed: Let the person who has understanding calculate the total number of the beast, because it is a human total number, and the sum of the number is 666.”

— Revelation 13:10–18, ISV

Other translations note:

  1. 13:18 is a multitude of a man; or is the number of a human being
  2. 13:18 total number
  3. 13:18 Other manuscripts read 616; some scholars suggest that the Greek letters χ, ξ, and ς (totaling 666) may resemble the proto-Arabic term for “in the name of Allah”

The main grammatical clue that informs us regarding the application of this passage to economic indicators is the awkward Greek construction found in verse sixteen: “The second beast forces” all sorts of people “to be marked on their right hands or on their foreheads.” The aftereffect of the mark is to prohibit commerce via cash transactions by those who do not have the mark. As a matter of numismatic fact, however, the text does not indicate that this prohibition will include restrictions on barter-for-kind transactions. Only buying and selling through traditional coinage will be affected. Nothing in the text of Revelation 13 indicates that barter will be included in the economic controls of the future one world economy.


Next week, Dr. Welty will continue with Part 2 of his discussion on The Mark of the Beast.


Iran with Uranium Enrichment Technology = No Deal

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Iran Nuclear Deal

Note: Eric Rockett is a student at the Koinonia Institute working on his Silver Medallion. This paper was part of his coursework in his I620 class.

Frequent news reports discussing the Iranian nuclear program and the negotiations between Iran and the United Nations try to ensure that Iran is keeping their international commitments. The United Nations has a valid stake in ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is purely peaceful because Iran committed to it when they signed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1974. (International Atomic Energy Agency, 1974)

In 2002, the Vice‐President of Iran, H.E. Reza Aghazadeh, stated, “Complete transparency of my country’s nuclear activities is a serious commitment endorsed by my government”. (Aghazadeh, 2002) However, Iran has failed to keep that commitment as they have secretly developed uranium enrichment technology without notifying to the IAEA and thus circumventing the requirements of the Treaty. (International Atomic Energy Agency, 1974, p. 3)

According to the June 2003 IAEA report, prior to February 2003 there was information in “open sources” talking about an Iranian enrichment program with the report further stating that Iran did disclose to the IAEA during a meeting in February 2003 that they possessed uranium enrichment technology at two sites. (International Atomic Energy Agency, 2003, p. 4)

Even to this day it still cannot be confirmed that the Iranian nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes. (ISIS Nuclear Iran, International Atomic Agency, 2015, p. 14) Therefore, should Iran be allowed to continue to possess uranium enrichment technology?

The nation of Persia is identified as one of a group of peoples who come against Israel in a future battle spoken of by the Prophet Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 38:5) But who is Persia today? The map below shows that Persia of the Bible occupies what is today Iran.

Figure 1: Map of the Persian Empire (Elwell, 1988)

Figure 1: Map of the Persian Empire (Elwell, 1988)

Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to the United States Congress stated “I’ve come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.” (Washington Post, 03 Mar 2015) Only the power of nuclear weapons would provide Iran the means to threaten the very existence of the modern nation of Israel.

Ezekiel goes on to describe the significant process that Israel is to go through just to bury the dead and cleanse the land following the battle. (Ezekiel 39:14–15) This must have seemed very unusual to Ezekiel to go through all of this effort for burial, but to the modern ear it sounds like a cleanup after the use of nuclear weapons. Table 1 below shows the comparison between what cleanup process that Ezekiel described and what the U.S. Department of Homeland Security describes as the process used in dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear weapon detonation.

Table 1: Actions Required for Cleanup after Nuclear Weapon Detonation
Table 1: Actions Required for Cleanup after Nuclear Weapon Detonation

(National Academy of Sciences, 2005, NKJV)

For Iran to directly fulfill this prophecy they would have to be able to produce nuclear weapons and one way to produce them is using uranium enrichment technology. Uranium enrichment is the process that adjusts the ratio of uranium‐235 (U–235) to uranium–238 (U–238), two naturally occurring uranium isotopes. Uranium, when it comes out of the earth is approximately 0.72 percent U–235 and 99.27 percent U–238. (Walker, 1989, p. 48) When uranium hexafluoride gas is added to a machine, called a centrifuge, that rotates rapidly, the lighter U–235 molecules will concentrate to the center and the heavier U–238 molecules concentrate to the outside of the machine due to centrifugal force. However, the amount of concentration done by each machine is very small as the masses of the molecules are very close to each other. The unit of measure used for uranium enrichment is a separative work unit (SWU). (Cochran & Tsoulfanidis, 1990) To produce energy in a nuclear power station or a weapon the U–235 is split or fissioned. According to the World Nuclear Association, a typical light-water reactor is fueled with a concentration of three to five percent U–235 by weight compared to weapons grade uranium where the U–235 concentration is 90 percent or greater. It is easy now to understand why the negotiations are focused on this critical technology and how it is used. Currently Iran has more than 19,000 centrifuges installed with more than 10,000 of those in current operation and has produced enrichments up to 20 percent. (ISIS Nuclear Iran, International Atomic Agency, 2015, pp. 5–7)

The real question comes down to how many of these machines are necessary to produce fuel for a commercial power station, as Iran claims its intended purpose is, compared to making nuclear weapons, which is the concern of the world? Cochran & Tsoulfandis provide the necessary equations used to calculate the SWUs for a given set of input and output parameters. (Cochran & Tsoulfanidis, 1990, pp. 62–63) According to the Federation of American Scientists, fifteen kilograms of U–235 is enough for a “thick tamper design” nuclear weapon.

Table 2: SWU Requirements for Different Nuclear Applications
Table 2: SWU Requirements for Different Nuclear Applications

(World Nuclear Association, 2015)

Table 3 below shows the production data on the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, which is operating 9,156 machines in 54 cascades. (International Atomic Energy Agency, 2014, p. 6) (ISIS Nuclear Iran, International Atomic Agency, 2015, p. 5). From this data the calculations were performed to determine the how many SWUs the Iranian centrifuges are currently producing on average for two different enrichment levels since the IAEA reports did not specify the exact output enrichment level.

Table 3: Natanz Production Data
Table 3: Natanz Production Data

(International Atomic Energy Agency, 2014, p. 6) (ISIS Nuclear Iran, International Atomic Agency, 2015, p. 5)

As shown in Table 4 below, the Iranian centrifuges are producing on the order of 1–2 SWUs per machine per year. This is compared to standard commercial centrifuge that produces on the order of ninety SWUs per machine per year. (Cochran & Tsoulfanidis, 1990, pp. 67–68) From the production rate it can be calculated how long it would take to enrich the uranium necessary for a weapon for a given number of Iranian centrifuges.

Table 4: Determination of Average SWUs Produced
Table 4: Determination of Average SWUs Produced

Figure 2 below shows the number of centrifuges as a function of operating days required to produce 15 kilograms of U–235 assuming a production capacity of one SWU per machine per year.

Figure 2: Iranian Centrifuges Required to Produce Nuclear Weapon

Figure 2: Iranian Centrifuges Required to Produce Nuclear Weapon

The critical variable in determining how long it would take to produce weapons grade material is the assumed starting point from which the technology is switched from a peaceful to weapons purpose. For example, assume that Iran is allowed to keep 8,000 centrifuges that are allowed produce uranium enriched up to 5% U–235. In one year Iran could produce about 1,000 kilograms of 5% enriched uranium if it is assumed that each machine is producing 1 SWU per year. Now assume that the facility is switched from peaceful to weapons purposes. If Iran started from 0.7% U–235 it would require about 3,200 SWU or 146 days to produce the 15 kilograms of U–235 required for a weapon. Should Iran reintroduce the 1,000 kilograms of 5% U–235, they could produce 40 kilograms of 99.9% U–235 in 85 days. The media is reporting that the current negotiations have a range between 6,500 and 8,000 centrifuges that Iran would be allowed to operate. (Jahn, 03 Jan. 2015) (The Jerusalem Post, 03 Feb. 2015) As can be seen from Figure 2 above, both of these proposals would allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons in less than 180 days starting from 0.7% U–235 and less than 60 days if starting from 5% U–235. As shown in Table 2 above, Iran would need 140,000 SWUs for one commercial power station, requiring 70,000 to 140,000 machines. Thus it is completely unreasonable to believe that this program is for anything other than nuclear weapons production.

The current negotiations between the United Nations and Iran, that allow for any Iranian uranium enrichment technology are fatally flawed and will not prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. Furthermore, if Iran is allowed to continue to possess enrichment technology, they will clearly have the necessary means to produce weapons-grade uranium, and this could lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East or worse, a nuclear war. The Lord God speaking to Abraham said “I will bless those who bless thee and curse those who curse thee”. The United Nations negotiates with Iran, who is trying to develop nuclear weapons and has vowed to destroy Israel, yet they exclude Israel from the negotiations, they are bringing a curse upon themselves by strengthening the enemies of Israel.

Works Cited


Memorial Day

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“Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.”

— 2 Timothy 2:8–9, KJV

Today is Memorial Day, a national Day of Remembrance in the United States for those who have lost their lives in service to their country. These men and women have given the ultimate gift, their life, for the cause of freedom. Even the freedom to gather together in worship is a freedom that many Christians around the world do not enjoy. For those Americans who are celebrating the holiday, it is good to have days like Memorial Day as a reminder to be thankful and to express gratitude to those who have served and are serving their country, and to their parents, children, and spouses.

As Christians, we are called to remember other things as well. In 2 Timothy 2:8–9, the apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to “remember.” Just as Paul instructed Timothy to remember Jesus’s sacrifice, so too, should we remember five very important things:

The Person of Christ

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the Seed of David, Was Raised from the Dead (v. 8). The word “remember” is imperative; it’s a command, not a suggestion. The verb suggests continual action: “keep on continually, moment by moment, remembering.” We must never lose sight of the Person of Christ. Paul refers to Him as Jesus Christ: Jesus represents His humanity, Christ represents His deity. The additional phrases heighten this emphasis: “raised from the dead” Christ’s death was a death for sin. His resurrection means the penalty for sin is satisfied. The phrase, “the seed of David” also speaks of Jesus’ humanity. He was born into this world as a baby, in the lineage of David. We are called to remember Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Son of Man, as One who was fully God, yet fully human.

The Power of the Resurrection

We are called to remember the power of the Resurrection. While we can’t possibly manage everything that life has in store for us, God can. We can’t control everything in our life, but God can. We may feel powerless in our personal habits, our relationships; many other of life’s circumstances. We all need a power greater than ourselves. We were never meant to live our lives on our own power. To cope with life’s adversities, we need to have a personal relationship with the Almighty.

The Promises of God

Verse 8 also notes “the seed of David” — His humanity. We remember Jesus Christ as One who has walked on this earth, who knows and understands the struggles we face:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us live our lives consistent with our confession of faith. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses. Instead, we have one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet he never sinned. So let us keep on coming boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

— Hebrews 4:14–16, ISV

Not only does this phrase highlight Jesus’ humanity, it’s also Paul’s way of emphasizing that Jesus is the Messiah, the Promised One, the Son of God. He is the fulfillment of the hopes and dreams, not only of Israel but of the whole world. As one reads through the Gospels we are struck with a phrase over and over again: “so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” There are over 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus Christ, most of which were made hundreds of years before His birth

The Priority of the Gospel

… According to My Gospel, for Which I Suffer Trouble as an Evildoer, Even to the Point of Chains …” (vv. 8–9). The gospel is the most important message in the world. Paul was willing to endure any hardship, any suffering to share the gospel, because He remembered:

At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise. You had no hope and were in the world without God. But now, in union with the Messiah Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah

— Ephesians 2:12–13, ISV

We are to remember the priority of the gospel.

The Paradox of Suffering

“… For Which I Suffer Even to the Point of Chained; but the Word of God Is Not Chained” (v. 9). Paul affirmed that even though he was imprisoned, the Word of God was not imprisoned. The Roman government could not construct a prison that could contain the Word of God. The Word lives as a lamp to our feet, as a light to our path, as food for the hungry, as water for the thirsty, as rest for the weary, as salvation for the sinner, and grace for the Christian. God’s Word was not chained; the gospel was continuing to spread. Paul’s perspective allowed him to see the good coming out of his circumstances. We must look at the result of the adversity, not at the adversity itself. For Paul the prison wasn’t a punishment for preaching the gospel but a platform for preaching it to new people. Often it is in the most difficult circumstances that God can do the most in us and through us.

God has given us the greatest memory aid available — He has given us His Word and His Spirit so we will remember Him and all His blessings and not forget. We all need to remember the sacrifice of those who have fought for the cause of freedom. At funerals a nation’s flag is presented to the family on behalf of a grateful nation. As believers, we should present ourselves to God on behalf of a grateful sinner who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

Remember Jesus.

Remember that God has provided us with a divine Companion, One who has promised never to leave us or forsake us. We need to remember that Jesus is a divine Friend, who understands what we feel and knows what we are going through.

Remember that Jesus is an all-powerful Companion who can take us through a time of trial and suffering and turn it to His glory and for our good.

Further Reading


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The views and opinions expressed in these articles, enews and linked websites are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views held by Koinonia House. Koinonia House is providing this information as a resource to individuals who are interested in current news and events that may have an impact on Christian Life and Biblical trends. Koinonia House is not responsible for any information contained in these articles that may be inaccurate, or does not present an unbiased or complete perspective. Koinonia House disavows any obligation to correct or update the information contained in these articles.

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