The Coming CBDC – Guest Blog from All Israel News

The Coming CBDC – The End of Money As We Know It – Part I
by Cookie Schwaeber-Issan – November 29, 2022 – All Israel News
[minor editing and additional links by c.a.post]

For years most of us have heard about an impending threat to do away with our monetary system as we know it.  Yet perhaps because it sounds like end-time, apocalyptic doom and gloom stuff, it is easy to ignore.

Well, continue to ignore it – but at your own peril, because it might be implemented a lot sooner than any of us think.

Up until now our monetary system has been overseen by government authorities which print paper currencies and determine its value.  This money, called fiat currency, is not backed by any commodity, such as gold.  Its advantages include giving economic players greater control over the economy, as well as being easy and cheap to produce, and convenient to use.

But in recent days the monetary system has been misused and mishandled in such a seemingly deliberate way that it’s almost as if it’s been orchestrated cleverly to facilitate the establishment of a new system.  For example, despite warnings by many experienced and savvy economists, the U.S. government chose to print too much money and gave massive handouts, factors which definitely contributed to high inflation and the current dismal economy.

 According to Business Insider, “Fiat money is currency that’s backed by the public’s faith in the government or central bank that issued [it], but it has no intrinsic value, unlike commodity currency which is linked to the price of a commodity.  Instead, fiat money derives its value from the trust people place in the government that issues it.”

Simultaneously, you might have noticed that there seems to be a push to no longer trust the present monetary system, which was one of the major reasons for the birth of cryptocurrency – a currency not based on a fiat monetary system.  Crypto is not issued, controlled or backed by any government or bank.  However, cryptocurrency has had its share of problems, the latest being the total collapse of the FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange, which has caused many investors to lose millions.

If fiat money and cryptocurrency are problematic, what’s the solution?  Introducing Central Bank Digital Currency, known as CBDC – the digital form of fiat currency. 

Rather than printing money, a central bank would issue electronic coins that are guaranteed and backed by the government.  You’d be furnished with a digital wallet or bank account and directly interact with the central bank.  Sounds great, right?  But wait, there’s more!

What exactly is that “direct interaction”?  The CBDC will be able to create a reliable profile of each individual based on their spending and saving habits.  In other words, pretty much all of your transactions will be observed, noted and assessed.  Then you will receive recommendations based upon your individual habits.  While that might sound helpful, it’s also a major invasion of one’s financial privacy.

How long does anyone think it will take before personal monetary choices are evaluated as good or bad?  And what will the consequences be if you are deemed to be making purchases seen as undesirable by your government?  In other words, central banks will be able to take money out of people’s accounts to conduct monetary policy.  The truth is, CBDCs are government’s attempt to protect its privileged position and to exert more control over people’s money.

All one needs to do is to take a look at the credit system China imposed upon its citizens – a system of rewards and punishments that accord with “moral ranking” by the Chinese Communist Party.  Individual behavior can be monitored to determine who shares the government’s values and who doesn’t.  And what determines a bad score?  Anything from purchasing too many frivolities to being accused of sharing misinformation.

What happens to those who violate the terms?  They can be banned from traveling, purchasing property or getting a loan.  In China, “Once you’re in a low category, it makes [life] difficult.  Such a system could further divide society, creating classes of people depending on their social credit.”

So much of this is reminiscent of the COVID-19 green pass, which, if you think about it, was also based on a social credit system.  If you complied with the government directive of being vaccinated, you were able to take part fully in all that society offers – going to restaurants, traveling, being permitted into events and so on.  Those who refused the vaccine were relegated to eating at home or remaining homebound entirely.  Here in Israel, the government considered requiring the unvaccinated to identify themselves by wearing a colored bracelet just to obtain mall access – a plan quickly struck down due to public outcry.

There is no doubt that the CBDC will be presented as a much more effective way to safeguard your money.  It will be touted as being in your best interest, and a way to make life less complicated.  Of course, that’s how it has to be portrayed in order to convince people to leave a system they’ve used all their lives.

City.Journal.org warns that “Few likely paid much attention when, on March 9, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the government to begin developing a Central Bank Digital Currency to be issued by the Federal Reserve, alongside a framework to regulate private cryptocurrencies.”  On Sept. 16, the Biden administration “released a framework outlining the regulation of digital assets including cryptocurrency and other items of value that exist only in digital form,” a framework which suggests the creation of a CBDC, according to Jim Probasco, writing for Investopedia.

City.Journal.org wrote in March that CBDCs have the potential to become an unprecedented totalitarian nightmare.  Why?  Again, we have only to compare it to what already exists in China: jaywalking, speeding or other infractions land citizens heavy fines – fines which can be deducted automatically by the centralized bank account.

Who will stop the government from deducting whatever else it wants from your account?  Because, in effect, it’s a “joint account,” where access is available to your governmental benefactor.  The options would be endless in terms of what could be moved from one account to another.  And if the system is linked to desired standards and values, including many you don’t share, what happens to your financial outlook?  Doesn’t this smack of programmed behavior or forcing a desired outcome?  After all, being able to access your money is paramount.  Controlling each person will be made simple.

We’ve already had a foreshadowing of this, when PayPal recently threatened to fine users who, by their standards, were guilty of spreading misinformation – a totally subjective parameter.  They would only have to seize the funds accessible to them in your personal PayPal account.  Or, what about the freezing of 280 personal bank accounts in Canada, during the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker protest in February?

The bottom line is that the CBDC has the frightening potential to curtail financial freedom, with the added bonus of making sure everyone is fully compliant with whatever we are being told to do.  If you aren’t, losing access to your own money might be the consequence.  In short, the new slogan could be, “My Money, If I Only Follow Your Demands!”

CBDC: What Will The Consequences Be If Israel Adopts the Central Bank Digital Currency? – part II
November 30, 2022


You might be surprised to learn that in June, the Bank of Israel shared details about its first set of technical trials for a central bank digital currency.  CBDC One trial tested smart contracts, raising the issue of who should be allowed to write and police them.

In September, Israel teamed up with Norway and Sweden to explore the implementation of a centralized digital currency, engaging together to test technical systems through which this might work.  The teams are expected to reveal their findings during the first quarter of 2023 as they relate to retail payments.  So, the short answer is ‘yes.’  Israel is not only thinking about jumping on the CBDC bandwagon – along with 100 other countries exploring this direction – but already has begun to investigate and engage in trial enactments to determine its viability.

In fact, Israel began imagining the viability of CBDC as far back as 2017, conducting a pilot test in 2021, and already considering the possibility of calling the digital shekel currency “SHAKED” (the Hebrew acronym for Digital Shekel).

But as mentioned in Part I, there is no doubt that such a dramatic change in our monetary system would have to be preceded by a slick, enticing and attractive campaign to convince everyone that this is being done with their best interests in mind – taking into consideration their protection, benefit and convenience.

So, how predictable are the words of Bank of Israel’s CBDC project manager, Yoav Soffer, who claims that, “under the right conditions, the Digital Shekel could ‘allow for more freedom.’”  He assures us that there is justification since, “It is in the public interest to fight the illicit black economy and tax evasion.”  But when confronted with the warnings of critics who claim that CBDCs will monitor people’s spending habits and could have far-reaching political consequences for those who may not support the government, Soffer is quick to say, “Israel’s CBDC policy would be in the ‘public interest’ and subject to that country’s democratic processes.”

That abstract comment opens up a plethora of questions, such as:

  • What happens if democracy, as we know it, changes into a more autocratic system under the control of one person?  Does anyone remember that it was one person who made the exclusive deal between Israel and Pfizer, on behalf of the Israeli people, eventually to mandate the deal for all Israel’s citizens?
  • What happens if digital banking requires a certain code of behavior and ethics by its citizens – one which might be unacceptable to many?
  • What happens to your hard-earned funds for which you labored throughout your entire life?  Do they become limited or are they even accessible without full compliance with the new digital monetary system?
  • What happens if you belong to a group, or contribute to a group, seen as undesirable or unsupporting toward government actions?  Will you be fined or penalized for your association with them?  Will you be afforded a defense, or any type of democratic hearing, or will money be arbitrarily withdrawn from your account?
  • Will you be obligated to comply with certain medical or social demands intended to prop up your standing or which, if you choose to opt out, will injure your ability to access your funds?

This leads to my next questions:

  • Do Israelis have any right to privacy as it concerns the use of their own personal funds?  If part of the function of a central bank digital currency is to track usage, and analyze spending habits to determine their legitimacy and worthiness, whose money is it ultimately?  The moment your spending choices come under question, it has ceased to be solely your money.
  • Given the fact that Israel boasts the most ethical army in the world, as well as being one of the few countries to swiftly offer humanitarian help to any country that needs and desires it, why would we decide to join a global banking system which intends to spy on the spending habits of its citizens, as well as be the judge and jury as to how we might conduct ourselves concerning our life choices?

For now, Israel has not spoken much about the possibility of launching a digital currency, but the Bank of Israel continues to research and be active in its development and planning.  However, given its claim that the digital shekel “will not pose a threat to the national financial system,” it might not be too long before CBDC is widely introduced to the Israeli public as a fait accompli.

Lastly, it should be noted that “blockchain,” the technology under which cryptocurrencies operate, will serve as the basis for a central bank digital currency.  Blockchain is defined as “a technology which allows assets to be exchanged electronically, recording the facts and details of a transaction without the ability to make any changes to those records later.  It is information recorded in a distributed ledge with identifiers for the sender, recipient, time and transfer amount.  In effect, it is an unbroken sequence of blocks, so that anyone can track the entire transaction history of a particular asset, all the way back to its origin.”

Try digesting that definition for a few minutes!

It might be the best and most convincing argument as to why CBDC is likely to turn into giant government overreach into personal wealth, giving it the capacity to become the ultimate puppet master when it comes to making people do whatever it is that it demands from them.  Seize their money, and now you own them.  Whether they eat, pay their bills or are allowed to participate in life is now in the hands of the ones who can see their payment history and determine if they get a passing grade.

So why should that threaten anyone?  Just a reminder to Israel . . .  in the words of one of our own prophets, Micah 6:8, “The LORD has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Israel needs to think carefully as to whether CBDC can be enacted and, at the same time, allow us to follow the wise counsel given to God’s chosen people!

Cookie Schwaeber-Issan A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust.  Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.

CBDC – Faster Than You May Expect

Recently this blog warned of persecution coming via Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).  This will make the Respect for Marriage Act look like protection of religious liberties. . . which it is NOT!  In a previous blog I noted how President Biden authorized any and all government agencies with a vested interest in a CBDC to explore the actions required to launch a United States CBDC if doing so is deemed to be in the national interest.”

When did a government ever invent a program that it then dumped?  Just search for “obsolete federal programs still on the books” in a search engine and watch the boondoggles your computer will find!

So now, just eight months after executive order 14607 was signed, the NY Federal Reserve is rolling out a test of these actions.  “The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and major banks will launch a three-month test of a digital dollar in hopes of studying its feasibility.”  (The Washington Examiner)

“Citigroup, HSBC Holdings, Mastercard, Wells Fargo, [BNY Mellon, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Truist, and U.S. Bank] are the [nine] financial companies participating in the experiment alongside the New York Fed’s Innovation Center, they said in a statement. The project, which is called the regulated liability network, will be conducted in a test environment and use simulated data, the New York Fed said.”  (Reuters)

The U.S. dollar will be represented as tokens and transactions will be settled through simulated central bank reserves on a shared multi-entity distributed ledger.  This pilot will be conducted in a test environment and the participating parties have stressed that this experiment is not intended to advance any specific policy outcome or hint that the Fed is planning to make any big decisions about a central bank digital currency in the near future.  😉 Wink, wink, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” 😨 (Ronald Reagan)

As noted, the US is behind the curve of other countries, so much so that there is discussion about whether the dollar is becoming less important in international transactions.  If we fall behind advancing nations like China, India and …Jamaica (??😳) the dollar will lose its slot as the world’s reserve currency!  The rise of the Euro and China’s Yuan increasing presence in the global economy all feed into this idea.

China has tested its digital yuan in several provinces, and the currency is even available to users on the popular app WeChat.  It recently added four provinces to its list of regions for the CBDC trial.  Nigeria also launched a digital currency, the eNaira.  The governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank said it was responsible for more than $9,000,000 (in USD millions) in transactions in the past month.  Earlier this month, France, Switzerland, and Singapore jointly conducted a trial for their digital currencies, one of the first of its kind.  These cross-border trials are also an important agenda item in CBDC development as one of CBDC’s promises is to expedite international trade between financial agencies.

A news release referred to the experiment as a “proof-of-concept project” in which the largest banks in America will work with the Fed’s New York Innovation Center to simulate digital money representing the deposits of their own customers and settle them through simulated Fed reserves on a distributed ledger.

Of course, this is all for our own good: Safety, Security, Convenience!  Those are the three catch words that will be used to draw us in.  If you know you are not a bad person, but you enjoy convenience, it will be tempting to say to yourself, “I have nothing to hide.”  Are you living a “sustainable lifestyle” and helping to fight alleged climate change?  Do you support government views on race, abortion, marriage and even democracy?  Are you a team player?  If not, your participation in society may be affected.  Although financial institutions claim a digital dollar boosts speed and convenience, the real motives are surveillance and control.

This is exactly how the recent vaccines were rolled out, through coercive policies enforced, not just by governments but by their corporate partners.  John Kerry, at the COP27 conference in Egypt said that this is the model that can be used to enforce compliance with the sustainability agenda being pushed by the United Nations and its myriad partners in the private sector, headed by the World Economic Forum.

Once digital programable money is in place, you may not get to spend your money on certain things and may be limited to certain areas of commerce.  A digital ID will be required for everything!  Eventually, you will not be able to access any government or public services without that digital ID; you will not be able travel across national borders nor access healthcare nor the internet.  You will be required to prove your identity through a digital program containing your unique biometric markers, a thumb print or a facial scan.  Cellphones are already prodding us for this information.  Many new driver’s licenses require biometric markers.  Your face will be linked to a new digital CBDC account.  Without it, you will be locked out of the system – no job, no healthcare, no social security check, no buying or selling . . . nothing.

The World Economic Forum wants to achieve this by 2030.  After digital money backed by government is in place, cash can be all together eliminated.  In June 2020, many world leaders gathered to announce the launch of a plan to “reset” the entire global economy, a proposal ominously named the “Great Reset.”  Among the elites from around the world and powerful institutions that pledged their support for the Great Reset were the International Monetary Fund, the secretary-general of the United Nations, Prince Charles and CEOs from major international corporations.  A frequent mantra of The Great Reset is “equality of outcomes,” a concept foreign to democratic “equality of opportunities.”

“Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. …In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism. Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, wrote.

New York Fed Announces Phase I Results of the New York Innovation Center’s Project Cedar – FEDERAL RESERVE BANK of NEW YORK

“The U.S. Federal Reserve has tightened the window for the launch of its FEDNOW instant payments platform to between May and July of 2023.  According to a press release, FedNow will be open to financial institutions of any size, allowing them to facilitate instant payments for consumers and businesses, giving customers immediate full access to funds. The platform is currently in pilot phase with more than 120 organizations participating, including lender U.S. Bank and payment processor Alacriti Payments among them.”  (Forbes)

Some people herald crypto-currency as the money of the future.  Its blockchain accounting system made it attractive to investors who valued privacy and speed of transaction.  Libertarians liked its independence from government or banks and saw it as a parallel system that would eventually replace modern monies.  But the joke’s on those who thought the privacy and independence from government were its salient features.  It will soon be Big Brother, more pervasive and intrusive than George Orwell ever imagined.

Once CBDC becomes the medium of exchange in our nation, China and others, it will be a short hop to a global cabal who will control our finances; one more step toward a global government.  All it will take will be a cataclysmic event more astounding than the recent pandemic, and One Man will come along with the rest of the solutions.  As Jesus warned His followers, do not “get ready.”  Rather, BE READY!  Christ-followers have nothing to fear, For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (Matthew 24:27-18)

Thanxgiving Approaches

Thanxgiving later next week remains the last of America’s truly “family holidays.”  There was a time when almost all holidays were family times, oriented around a dad, mom and progeny that were born to them; perhaps some extensions with uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents if one was fortunate enough to meet the octogenarians of previous generations.  As a child, if a family did not have their groceries and details in order for any holiday, from New Years Day to Independence Day to Christmas, you could anticipate sitting at home for the day with nothing to do or eat!

Like the last gasps of a dying patient before he leaves the world of the living, Turkey Day is getting a small reprieve from the incessant march of materialism and identity politics that are trampling the “old world” underfoot.  Many stores are closing this Thanxgiving, more than in previous years.

Walmarts, even though started by a man who claimed to be a Christian, have been open on TG Day since the 1980s, but like many retailers, closed for the holiday during covid’s run in 2020 and ’21.  Now, they and others like Target have decided to keep the fourth Thursday of November as a true holiday with closed stores.

Yahoo News reports that stores closed for Thanksgiving 2022 will include Aldi’s, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, HomeGoods, Penney’s, Kohl’s, Marshalls, Sam’s Club, Staples, Target and Walmart.  Even the entire Fayette Mall will be closed!   And Lowe’s and Home Depot have always been closed on TG Day since their founding, so no surprises there… yet.  Only a handful of national chains like 7-11 or drug stores plan to open this Thanksgiving.

But do not let this small respite this year deceive you.  The retailers are boasting all kinds of “Black Friday” deals and special times of openings on the day after.  And I suspect it will only be a matter of a few years before they start competing again for Thanxgiving Day dollars, opening earlier and earlier until it will seem as ludicrous to be closed on Thanxgiving as Kohl’s found it when they started opening in Lexington at midnight as Thursday turned into Friday.  Now the stores all offer “Black Friday Deals” starting the week before Thanxgiving!

Add to that the constant slowing of the beep-beep of the nation’s heart-monitor as the family becomes more distant and dissected by unmarried young people who, though living together, are divorced from real family relationships that call for commitment and tenacity to maintain the vitality of a tribal identity.  And many people are actually getting tired of the battles for in-person best deals on Black Friday as online shopping has taken off so well over the past two years.

It may seem bleak to those of us who remember gathering with family for all of the holidays past: Christmas at Grandpa’s farm in Paradise, Kansas; New Year’s Eve at a “watchnight” service in a local church that would find people at the altar praying instead of counting down the ball-drop with Dick Clark on TV; President’s Day that combined Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays into one day in February; St. Patrick’s Day parades downtown; Easter with pageantry of the Crucifixion and Resurrection played out by Sunday School teachers dressed in bath robes; Memorial Day when we would decorate the graves of deceased family members; Independence Day with parades and fireworks; the long eventless summer with only family and sometimes a week at camp.  Then the fall would kick off a new season with Veteran’s Day parades and honors for our war dead as we went back to school; Halloween would push us into “THE holidays” with Christmas decorations still in storage until after Thanxgiving Day.

And every one of these “holy-days” were spent with family, whether at a graveside or cheering a high school band in a parade; whether at a church meeting or dressed in Dad’s overalls and washable dots for whiskers for a costume.
We were always together as a family.

But those days are gone, and likely not coming back.  These are not just the musings of a man reaching old age.  It is an observation of the desert of relationships to which society is inexorably moving, and of the times in which we live.

History is reaching a tipping point from which there is no return.   We will not be like gods, the way many are expecting.  From TED talks to Disney productions, mankind has drunk from the devil’s kool-aid, and Father in Heaven is getting ready to say, “That is quite enough of that.”   The devil’s lie is still what it was in the Garden of Eden: “YOU can be like GOD!” (Genesis 3:5)

Whether it is age-defying creams for sale at Walgreen’s, diets to prolong life in Men’s Health or movies that portray survivors of cataclysms (Greenland), humans still want to believe they are limitless.

History is not repeating itself (though it does rhyme); i.e., no century on earth has ever seen the technological and global developments we are witnessing.  At no time in our past have we every reached the 8,000,000,000th person, which ethnographers believe we attained on November 15.  Before our time, no one even expected this until Robert Frolich wrote The P-Bomb in 1968, which proved to be a farsical over-simplification of human resourcefulness.

All indications point to a mark in history soon to occur: the return of Jesus, called the Christ, at which time the Last Age of the Earth will begin.  This is not the fantasy of Hollywood movies, but the trajectory of God’s timeline revealed in the Bible, where not a single prophecy has ever been demonstrated to not occur.  The only ones left to be fulfilled are those that refer to this final chapter of this world’s story.  So gather with your family this Thanxgiving and thank The God Who Is for revealing His love, holiness, grace and truth in Jesus, and for promising to come back and take those who have put their faith in Him to be with Him forever.

If you do not know Jesus, please, please, please, consider praying to Him to invite Him into your life today.  Contact me if you want to know more or to find out how this will radically affect your life, relationships and future . . . while there is still time.

Maranatha, even so, come Lord Jesus.

Pray for Persecuted Christ-followers Around the World – A Guest Blog from Morgan Lee, Christianity Today

When persecuted Christ-followers ask for prayer, I find it intriguing how very few ask for financial aid or release!  Most ask for holy boldness to continue to fulfill the Great Commission.  How will you pray when persecution comes to your neighborhood?  These prayers should NOT be just one or two Sundays per year.

If we cannot go, we should give; if we cannot give, we should write letters of encouragement or support through legal action.  But in ALL cases, if you love Christ’s Church, we should pray DAILY and CONTINUALLYThese are your brothers and sisters who are being imprisoned, tortured and killed because they name the Name of Jesus as their savior.

They are not anarchists nor government agitators nor agents for foreign powers.  They only want their families, friends, neighbors and persecutors to go to Heaven when they die and the freedom to tell them how to do this.

How the Persecuted Church Wants You to Pray

Leaders in six countries explain how Christians can best support and rejoice with fellow believers suffering for their faith.  Compiled by Morgan Lee for Christianity TodayNovember 10, 2022

The first two Sundays of November, as part of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Christians around the world intentionally intercede for their brothers and sisters in Christ who face violence, prison, arson, kidnapping, bureaucratic restrictions, and shunning because of their faith.

Around 309 million Christians live in places with very high or extreme levels of persecution, according to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List. Shortly after the release of last year’s list, Christians from around the world shared their joys and concerns. We encourage you to use the praises and requests of Christians from the six countries included here as a tool to guide your prayers today.

China:  We praise God:

  • for God keeping his church faithful in meeting for worship in spite of the pandemic and persecution.
  • that, using new technologies such as Zoom, many churches have been able to develop creative evangelistic opportunities that were not previously available.
  • During strict government pandemic control, many urban churches have been closed. But some of these believers have been able to transfer to house churches and continued to grow spiritually there.

We pray:

  • Some house churches are still under severe persecution. Preachers are being arrested on trumped-up charges. Pray for the preachers’ perseverance and for their families.
  • Internet meetings in some churches are often interfered with and disrupted by the government, and many elderly believers need training for using new technologies.
  • In Xi Jinping’s third term, the church is facing even greater challenges and more serious persecution. Many Chinese people who feel threatened, including believers, will choose to leave China if they are capable of immigrating elsewhere. Pray that God will keep and guide those who choose to leave as well as those who choose to stay.

A* C* (name changed for security reasons), a house church pastor in Hubei

Egypt:  We praise God:

  • for protecting our ministry to women in rural Upper Egyptian villages. He has provided for all the needs of this team and its beneficiaries. God is faithful and good all time with us.
  • for the start of construction of our community center at El Minya in Upper Egypt.
  • Our first community center, known Oasis Center, was badly affected by COVID-19. Now all activities at the Oasis have returned, including conferences, the vocational training courses, and the retreats.

We pray:

  • for ending trafficking of girls in El Hawamdeya, where parents often sold their daughters to rich old men. We continue to pray for the protection for women and for more awareness for parents.
  • for inflation in Egypt and how the poor people are affected by this. Every time we distribute sacks of food, we find that the poor people are increasing. We pray that God will provide.
  • for planned demonstrations on November 11 by opposition groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. We pray for security for the whole country and for stability and protection for churches.
    Submitted by Bassem Fekry, president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Egypt

India:  We praise God:

  • that in spite of anti-conversion laws in certain states, hundreds of new believers have come to know the saving grace of our Lord.
  • Due to the pandemic we didn’t have VBS for several years, but this summer we were finally able to conduct it! Due to an unexpected rainy season, we had to postpone it several times but thank God we could finally accomplish the task.
  • that he enabled us to reach out to the interior tribal villages in the eastern part of India. More than 700 school teachers received training about how to teach students to adopt Christlike character. We also trained 350 gospel workers in church planting.

We pray:

  • for our Christmas outreach ministries to people with leprosy, blind people, commercial sex workers, and tribal and slum street children
  • Due to anti-conversion laws we were unable to baptize 350 new believers in various communities as we needed to obtain official approval from the government authorities through the court of law. We need to wait 40 to 60 days in order to get approval from the court and the local police. Pray that everything goes well with the legal process.
  • We have 2,500 church planting and Christlike character training books. We need funds towards imparting training gospel workers throughout India. Please uphold us in your prayer for the needed funds and other training logistics.
    David K. Dass, national director, India Gospel League

Iraq:  We praise God:

  • for his work through the church because he blessed us during this year by being able to visit one of the displaced people’s camps in Ramadi. We provided families with food baskets and presented a message of love to the children at the camp.

We pray:

  • for the stability of the political and security situation in Iraq and that this stability will bring comfort and peace to the country and citizens of various secondary affiliations, such as race, religion, sect, clan, and tribe. (Many challenges in Iraq are related to the dominance of sub-identities over national identity.)
    Ara Badalian, senior pastor of the National Evangelical Baptist Church in Baghdad

Laos: We pray:

  • that the church will grow and be strengthened so that it can be administratively, evangelistically, and financially self-reliant and be a blessing to the development of the nation.
  • for unity among believers, church leaders and between every church.
    The Protestant church community in Laos

Mali:  We praise God:

  • Mali has been going through a multidimensional crisis for a decade. This has greatly affected the church, especially in the north and center of the country. Despite this growing insecurity, God continues to watch over the local churches.
  • for the commitment of the churches in the witness of Jesus Christ despite their difficult context. Evangelism initiatives like the distribution of Christian tracts, evangelism messages on radio stations, and evangelism through personal relationships continue to move forward.
  • because the church is making its voice heard by the authorities of the country through the Association of Groups of Evangelical Protestant Churches and Missions in Mali (AGEMPEM) and the Episcopal Conference.

We pray:

  • for churches to grow and engage in holistic acts of witness. Pray for the unity of the body of Christ in the current context of Mali, which is marked by an increasingly visible Islamic extremism.
  • for Christian families displaced because of the conflict. May God grant peace and courage necessary for spiritual, psychological, and economic resilience.
  • Kidnappings continue in northern and central Mali. Pray that God will preserve the lives of the church members and that the churches will be protected from terrorist threats and attacks. Pray that the church will continue to be a powerful instrument in God’s hands to bring peace, restore wounded hearts, and ease downcast spirits.
  • that the church in Mali will emerge victorious from this situation and continue to proclaim and manifest God’s unconditional love.
    Josue Djire, faith, development, and peacebuilding advisor at World Vision Mali

Pakistan:  We praise God:

  • for the churches and seminaries who are faithfully serving the Lord and expanding the kingdom of God.
  • for blessed spiritual senior leadership and the development of young pastors and evangelists.
  • for the Pakistani church and Christian NGOs being salt and light during the current flood disaster.

We pray:

  • for the underage forced marriage and forced conversion of Christian teenage girls.
  • for illiterate Christians to obtain education as they are below the poverty line and are mostly persecuted.
  • for the victims of false blasphemy cases.
  • for the unity and purity of the Pakistani church, so they become bold witnesses of Christ through their words and actions.
  • for the great movement of the Holy Spirit to revive the church through the Word of God, miracles, and conversions.
    Ujala Hans, lead pastor at CPM (Christ for Pakistan Ministries) Church Pakistan, Lahore

With additional reporting by Jayson Casper, Angela Lu Fulton, and Sean Cheng.

American pastor delivers message of coming ‘dark wave’ of persecution.

At ICEJ Feast, Andrew Brunson delivers challenging but vital message gleaned from his own experiences during two years in a Turkish prison.  This is a guest blog about Andrew Brunson by Nicole Jansezian – October 18, 2022.

[Andrew Brunson speaking at the Garden Tomb during the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s Feast of Tabernacles celebration, Oct. 15, 2022. (Photo courtesy ICEJ)]

Andrew Brunson’s message is straightforward, but it is far from simple: The Western Church needs to brace for a dark wave of persecution that is coming.

Imprisoned for two years on false charges of terrorism in Turkey, the seasoned missionary says he quickly “broke,” lost any sense of God’s presence and became suicidal during his incarceration.  “I began even questioning God’s existence,” Brunson said.  Hardly inspiring.  But sobering for those who have ears to hear.

Brunson and his wife Norine – who had been missionaries in Turkey for 23 years prior to the arrest – were in Israel this month for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s Feast of Tabernacles celebration where Brunson taught what he believes Christians must know in order to face trials and tests that are sure to come.

In an interview with ALL ISRAEL NEWS, Brunson said this is not the message he prefers to carry but it is the one God gave him.  He foresees a cultural and social persecution coming to the United States in which the exclusivity of Jesus as the only way to salvation will become a controversial stance.

“Most of the institutions of society are supporting things that a faithful follower of Jesus cannot embrace… and that’s how they will justify persecuting us,” Brunson said.  Believers who stand for this truth will be marginalized in schools, jobs, banks and more, he added.  Testing believers’ resolve, the pressure to conform will manifest socially and eventually financially.

“What has emerged as the main flashpoint is gender identity and LGBT.  And wherever that is intersecting with religious freedom, LGBT is winning,” he said.  “Now there is a requirement that people not only tolerate, but that we embrace and celebrate this ideology.  And if you don’t, you are seen as someone who is hateful.”

The younger generation of believers and even many churches are shying away from these issues, Brunson said, “not (only) because it will bring pressure from outside but because it will divide the church.  There is already a measure of deception in the Church.  The church is pulling back on teaching truth, the next generation is going to be confused,” Brunson warned.

“In the States, we have an issue where it is a majority-Christian culture with Judeo-Christian values.  But our culture is post- and anti-Christian,” he said.  “Do we fight this and try to continue to have influence?  This is where the real tension is right now.”

One of the difficulties will be persecution couched in accusations of hatred and bigotry rather than directly connected to one’s faith.  In Brunson’s case, he was slapped with false political charges.  “When I was in Turkey, if they had said, ‘Andrew Brunson is a church planter,’ I would have worn it with pride.  Instead, they said, ‘He’s evil and he’s a terrorist,’ so I was made into a hate figure,” he said.  “People who are going to remain faithful are going to be seen as a people of hate.  The same thing happened to Jesus.  They said He was demonic, and eventually they killed Him.”

What Happened In Turkey?
Brunson was swept up in a crackdown on activists and military leaders who were accused of attempting to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016.  Norine was also arrested and released after two weeks.  Their children – all in America at the time – had no news from their parents at the beginning.  In the subsequent two years, Norine remained in Turkey since she was the only person allowed to visit Andrew in prison.

Initially facing not one or two, but three life sentences, and despite experiencing prior persecution in other forms as a missionary, Brunson said he was unprepared for the spiritual desert he faced in prison.  He was at times placed in solitary confinement and at other times endured isolation as the only Christian among 22 Muslims in a cell made for eight people.

Brunson’s arrest captured the attention of the White House as well as the church.  Former U.S. President Donald Trump took personal interest in the case and repeatedly mentioned Brunson’s name in a meeting with Erdoğan.  After this initial contact, Brunson said a flood of propaganda was published in the Turkish media accusing him of being an American spy or even the head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

[Then-U.S. President Donald Trump poses with Pastor Andrew Brunson and his wife, Norine, outside of the Oval Office of the White House on October 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Reuters)]

Former Vice President Mike Pence, an evangelical Christian, also kept up the pressure on the Turkish government at the time.  “If Turkey does not take immediate action to free this innocent man of faith and send him home to America, the United States will impose significant sanctions on Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free,” Pence tweeted in July 2018.

Indeed, the U.S. did impose sanctions.  When the Turkish stock market lost $40 million and the nation’s currency, the lira, collapsed, more propaganda sought to blame that on the imprisoned Brunson.

In late July 2018, Brunson was remanded to his home in Izmir, Turkey – where he had led an Evangelical church – to await trial.  Then, on Oct. 12, 2018, Brunson was convicted – partially based on the false testimony of long-time acquaintances from his ministry.  But in a dramatic finale, Brunson was sentenced to time served.  That same day, he and Norine left Turkey.

The last thing we said was, ‘We love Turkey.’  It was not a naive love, but more it was us saying that God put His love in us.  It is not a love expressed emotionally, but in commitment and wanting to see good come to that nation.  We want to see God’s blessing on Turkey, to see people become aware of Jesus.  We left Turkey blessing it.”

A Sobering Message
Brunson believes that God orchestrated his time in jail so that he could bring this message of preparedness to the Church.  “God gave me the assignment to prepare people for hardship,” Brunson told AIN.  “It’s not what I prefer to carry, but it’s what He’s given me.”

Recently, Brunson filmed a teaching series called “Prepare to Stand” in which he shares lessons that he hopes will help believers survive a coming wave of persecution.   Brunson said Daniel 11:32 is a critical passage of scripture, but it must be taken in the correct order: “…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

“It is not the time to think about the exploits,” Brunson said.  “Focus on that first part – otherwise you’re not going to be standing to do the exploits and the assignments that God has for you in a much darker environment.”

In his teachings, both in his videos and during the Feast of Tabernacles here in Jerusalem, Brunson emphasized he was surprised he broke so quickly, to the point he even questioned God’s existence.  “I made it a discipline to declare, ‘God, You exist,’” he recalled.

[Andrew Brunson speaking at International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s Feast of Tabernacles celebration, October 2022. (Photo courtesy ICEJ)]

Brunson also made it a discipline to pray, worship and declare God’s faithfulness each day.  And he had to come to terms that God’s will may not have included his release from prison.  While in prison, Brunson grappled with an ever-present fear and feeling offended by God.  “The reaction is to become distant from God, to have the heart grow so cold you lose the relationship,” Brunson said.

But focusing now on preparation of the heart can hopefully help us stand during persecution, Brunson said.  That includes aligning our hearts and determining to stand for God’s moral standards which Brunson said are “now are seen as harmful to society.”

God required Brunson to prove his love by staying faithful even when he felt abandoned by Him, he said during a service at the Garden Tomb on Saturday.  “There is a difference between real love and an unproven love,” Brunson said.  Brunson taught that there is an aspect of Jesus we cannot know without partaking in the fellowship of His suffering.  “But,” he said, “even if we don’t feel His presence, God will not abandon us.”

“As we head into a time of great turbulence and face difficulties and tests, He will shepherd your heart.  Lean into Him because He is committed to taking you through,” Brunson said.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

This is a follow-up to last week’s blog about a likely route of persecution via CBDC.

Prepare for Persecution via Your CBDC

Whoever wins in the elections in two-and-a-half weeks will probably not make a lot of difference – Christ-followers are in for a rough ride over the next six years.  I am not a foretelling prophet, just an observer of the directions of our society and our world; perhaps you could call me a “forth-telling” prophet. 😉

When I was a pre-teen in the middle of the last century, preachers who studied Bible prophecy predicted a world monetary system that would be trackable for every purchase.  They were laughed at by those who did not read the Bible, yet now, it is falling into place with the WEF (World Economic Forum) wanting to digitize currency to central national banks.  Beyond this, the WEF advocates a world-wide currency, again a subject that caused smirks when Bible-teachers brought it up in the 60s and 70s.

Executive Order 14607
President Biden signed executive order 14607 (which takes on the force of law, even without Congressional oversight) directing a huge host of government agencies to investigate establishing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) by the National Security Council.  They are to begin taking “strong steps to reduce the risks that digital assets could pose to consumers, investors, and business protections; financial stability and financial system integrity; combating and preventing crime and illicit finance; national security; the ability to exercise human rights; financial inclusion and equity; and climate change and pollution.” 

Under the guise of “protecting United States and global financial stability and mitigation of systemic risks,” this order authorizes agencies from the State Department to Treasury, DOD, DOJ, EPA, OMB, the Fed, National Intelligence, and others to explore the actions required to launch a United States CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency] if doing so is deemed to be in the national interest.” (See Section 3 for the full list of agencies NAMED; others may be invited to participate, leaving it open to any agency with a vested interest, and what agency will not be vested with interest in taxpayers’ money!?)   

“Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall submit to the President a report on the future of money and payment systems, including the conditions that drive broad adoption of digital assets…”

Signed on March 9, 180 days passed on September 5, 2022.  Other deadlines are included in the 180 days, as well as some deadlines at 90 days (June 7, 2022), 210 days (October 4, 2022) and some at one year (March 9, 2023).

The rush to develop a CBDC is to avoid getting left behind by the establishment of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Etherium. “…Non-state issued digital assets reached a combined market capitalization of $3 trillion, up from approximately $14 billion in early November 2016.”  Basically, governments fear being left behind in the new digital economy that used to be the stuff of science fiction.  Governments want to be involved in the flow of assets, goods, and services so that they can be taxed or controlled.

For Your Protection?
Enter the digital currency age and someone somewhere will be able to track every penny you spend.  Of course, the advocates say, “This is for your protection,” when what it does is open the door to regulation based on your choices.  Think of how Facebook, Twitter and Google have been trying to control the narratives about abortion, election integrity, LGBTQ interests, etc..  Now, put that kind of control in the hands of the government, and if you agree/disagree with mRNA “vaccination” and become labeled as “misinformation,” the government can stop your payments or collections to and from any source.

If the government decides abortions must not be allowed, your dollars to Planned Parenthood might never see the light of day.  Or if the government thinks abortion must be allowed, you will not have a choice to donate to mother/baby care services that deny abortions.  Orwell’s Big Brother has arrived, and it is in the form of what some are calling Biden Bucks, although actually, the US is a little behind the curve.

Behind the Curve
China
became the world’s first major economy to pilot a digital currency in April 2020 that is being offered in 15 provinces and cities across its country and already has passed 100 billion yen ($13.9bln) in transactions.  And one only need to look at China for a model of why a government would want a CBDC.  Smile for the Social Credit camera, please!?

The Sand Dollar was issued by the Central Bank of the Bahamas in October 2020.  It was the first nationwide CBDC in the world.  Nigeria became the first country in Africa to launch a CBDC in October, 2021.  Countries in the Eastern Caribbean Union rolled out their own form of digital currency in March, 2022, meant to help speed transactions and serve people without bank accounts.  The seven countries involved are Antigua/Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent/Grenadines.  India is launching next year.  Sweden, Jamaica, Ukraine and the Eurozone are all looking into CBDCs within the next year to two years!

“Analysts think it could still take years to develop and introduce a digital dollar,” unless it becomes the interest of our financial institutions, Big Tech, and Congress and/or the President to roll it out more rapidly.  Remember the first crashes with self-driving cars?  The developers all thought they were ready and the public would embrace them.  But these were all manufactured by private companies, not the government… which does not make mistakes (said the Wizard of Ahs.) 🙄

If you are planning to take over the world and institute a forced worship of one particular person, what better way than to require everyone to use your Biden Bucks, Digital Yen, or the WEF’s World Wide Currency Web.  It may not happen this year; it may not happen for a decade or two, but it will come.

How Do You Print “In God We Trust” On The Computer?
In what are you putting your trust?  Who will you believe when conflicting reports keep coming at you on Twitter, Fox or CNN?  There is One who is fully trustworthy, and He has revealed what will happen in the Last Days, which we appear to be approaching at roller-coaster speeds.

Jesus most intense teaching about the last days was, “Do not be afraid and do not be deceived.” (Mark 13:5-9)  He never told anyone to “Get ready” to meet The God Who Is.  He only told His followers, “Be ready.” (Luke 12)  Being ready removes the fear!  Are you ready?
I am.  Are you?

Next week, I will share Andrew Brunson’s view on persecution that he believes is coming to American Christ-followers.

 

Europe Is Burning – Only A Portent of What Is To Come – (almost) Wordless Wednesday

Pray for Europe!  Wildfires in Europe’s forests and grasslands as of July 19, 2022!

2022-07-20 Europe is Burning

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” (2 Peter 3:9-10)

Today is The Day of the Christian Martyrs

The links on this paint file will not work, but you can get to the site if you go here: https://www.persecution.com/.

2022-06-29 Wordless Wednesday - VOM

For more on John Chau, see https://capost2k.wordpress.com/2022/06/18/who-will-take-my-place-the-john-chau-story/ or for the full story see https://capost2k.wordpress.com/who-will-take-my-place-the-john-chau-story/.

What is the sign of the end of the age? Do NOT be DECEIVED!

“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”  (Matthew 24:3)

2022-05-21 Do not be deceived

Many people read the words of Jesus following this question, and without looking at what He really said  think false prophets, wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution of Christ-followers, betrayals and lawlessness are the signs of the end of the age. 

But we must pay attention to what Jesus actually said: All these are but the beginning of the birth pains,” NOT the signs of the end.  He provided ONE and only one sign of the end of the age:
“This gospel [good news] of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Mathew 24:14)

Now we do not know exactly what Father evaluates as a “nation” or ethnicity (a more accurate translation of this word, ἔθνεσιν).  Could it include the Sentinel Indians that John Chau was trying to reach?  Nor do we know what the “testimony” involves: someone announcing it on a soapbox or a Bible translation in the native language?

Deception Island's Whaling RemainsIn any case, we should not think that because Russia is invading another country, THIS is it.  The tragic 2015 earthquake in Nepal was not an indication that Jesus was coming soon.  The 21 Coptic Christ-followers that were beheaded by merciless ISIS Muslims was not the end.  The summer riots of 2021 in Seattle, Portland and other cities of the U.S. were not indications of Jesus’ return any more than the Watts riots of 1965 or the Dead Rabbits riots of Irish immigrants of 1857. 

2022-05-21 DeceivedJim Jones was one of many false prophets to flit across our television screens depicting crazy guys who led many people to their deaths when they “drank the cool-aid” quite literally.  He simply followed the path of previous devious leaders like Joseph Smith of Mormon fame and Pope Julius who sold indulgences to enrich the coffers of his organization.  Such wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters and false teachers will continue until Jesus returns.

Jesus main emphasis in describing all this was to say, “See that no one leads you astray!”  He mostly wanted His followers to be careful not to be deceived by miracles and false prophecies.  He laid down a basic principle for future prophecy in John 14:29: “Now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.”  Though this was in regard to specific things coming the next day at His crucifixion, the postulate is applicable across the board for all Bible predictions of coming events.

We need to study the future prophecies of the Bible to have some ideas of what to expect, but we likely will not be able to predict stock market crashes, where the next riot will occur, when the tsunami will break over the Northwest coast or who the Anti-Christ is . . . until he is revealed.  (BIG hint: he’s probably not Donald Trump nor Joe Biden.🙄) The important thing is to keep in tune with the Spirit of God and be able to understand what is happening in the world as it unfolds.  And BE READY!   Scripture (Matthew 24:17-20) suggests events will occur so rapidly that one will not even have time to grab an extra coat!  It will happen as fast as lighting‼️

So what is The Sign?  Tell everyone that Jesus is returning.  Tell everyone that sin is forgivable.  Tell everyone that there is hope, even when the world seems to be reeling out of control.  Tell everyone that Jesus is God, that The God Who Is has revealed Himself in Jesus who died to take away our sins, MY sins, YOUR sins.  Preach this Good News to all the world all the time until everyone has had an opportunity to accept or reject the claims Jesus made.  Then the end will come and the redeemed will be saved, the blind will receive sight, the oppressed will be set free and God’s will will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.

Whatever we believe about the End Times, they will happen according to God’s timeline, not ours.  They will happen according to His plan, not any man’s.  But the End Times will happen. 
Know and love the truth.
Do not be deceived.

Unless You Repent…

2022-05-13 You Will Likewise Perish

Not my words, but the words of Jesus: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)

Everything in the western church and in churches around the world who have copied Willow Creek, Saddleback or Hillsong radiates love and blessing.  “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” is the message of hope, relief from pain, provision for expenses, all the health and wealth that comes from living a godly life consistent with Biblical principles.  And up to a point, this happens.

But sometimes I wonder if we are actually applying Biblical principles that we have “cherry-picked” and avoided those that do not make good upbeat Hillsong tunes.

Jesus talked to the crowd around Him who were calling His attention to some Galileans who Pilate had insulted by mixing their blood with their sacrifices.  Some zealots had recently rebelled against Rome and tried to reestablish Jewish rulership in Jerusalem.  When the rebellion failed, Pilate showed Rome was still in charge by desecrating their sacrifices that had been made to Yahweh by adding the zealots’ blood.

But then Jesus expanded the despair of His listeners by suggesting not just human evil but even circumstantial evil: Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:4)

His point was that bad things are going to happen, and unless your heart is in tune with the Creator of the universe, you will not understand the events that are coming.

Isaiah was a godly prophet and served Yahweh faithfully.  Yet, when he “saw the LORD high and lifted up” he cried out, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6:5)  Then the angel “helped” him by giving him third degree burns on his mouth.

It is not enough to sit back and condemn the unrighteous of our generation: those perverts, those abortionists, those transgenders, those hateful people, those ballot liars, those gamblers, those drunkards, those people who don’t use their blinkers to change lanes.

We must look beyond our own viewpoints and silos of righteousness and realize we are as much a part of the problems of our society as those with whom we disagree, because our hearts… my heart… has not been in tune with Father’s heart.  I am a man of unclean lips.”  Not the other guy, not the protestor, not the deceived.  ME!

Until we see the LORD, high and lifted up, we will not be able to speak to our generation of His ways and compassion.  Unless we repent, we will all likewise perish.

May The God Who Is have mercy on us all.
yours and His,
c.a.

2022-05-14 Repent or Perish