And here we are once again, that annual gathering of family and friends. We’re dressed in our best attire for the occasion. The smell of old oak pews and perfume fill the air. The Sunday morning sunrise is beautiful this time of year. Indeed, this time of year is different. We’re surrounded by tulips, lilies and marshmallow bunnies galore. Our hands still have a remnant of the blue, red, yellow and green from the night before.
We just never asked out loud. What would they think if we started nosing around… it’s all about Jesus isn’t it? After all, the kids were happy that their baskets were full of candy. We had fun as a family dying the eggs, so what could be wrong with that? It’s the intent that counts.
It’s not the intention that’s dangerous. It’s the blatant ignorance, one that we happily share with family and friends year after year. The questions have crossed our minds surely on more than one occasion. What does a bunny have to do with Christ’s death and resurrection anyway? Why do we dye eggs and hide them?
When a child asks the most simple of questions about this special event, our answer will usually be along the lines of, “well, it represents new life, a re-birth.” That’s what we were told. It sounds good, and most times those answers subdue the confusion, at least for the time being.
I do believe the tale of the Easter bunny is very fitting for this time of year, actually – tall tale that we convince our children is real until it no longer makes sense. Quite simply, it’s a lie. Is it any wonder that our children don’t trust us when we tell them of God? Is God just another Easter bunny or Santa Claus that they eventually find out never existed?
I did the unheard of one year not long ago. I read the Bible to get the answers to the questions about Easter. I figured it must be in the Bible somewhere…right? Jesus’ death was certainly recorded, so then the holiday we celebrate to honor that event must be too. And it was. I found it, right there in His words. But the weird thing is, it’s not called Easter. No bunnies. Lo and behold, no eggs either! Nothing about candy or sunrise services. Not even a gathering on Sunday. But, a very special meal that was prepared early specifically because Jesus wanted to celebrate it with His disciples before He died. And He did this to give the reason for celebrating it in the first place. It was for the purpose to remember the Lamb of God, the sacrifice, and the fulfilled prophecy. This celebration of remembrance was continued year after year by those who followed Him. Thus, it would be sufficient for us to celebrate as well. In fact, a blessing!
Then came more questions. Jesus answered all of them and then some. His answers were not what I was expecting. He gave me an ear full, as if He had been waiting for that very moment all my life. And that’s when I realized who was really to blame for me being so ignorant. All I had to do was ask.
This time, my answers came from the mouth of the One whom I thought I was honoring and what I learned was hard to accept initially. It wasn’t because I would no longer dye and hide eggs. It was because I had been doing the very thing God had said not to do. Being that we are Gentiles makes no difference if we too do exactly what Jesus warned His own people of. Doing that was harder to live with than telling my family I couldn’t be there. It’s a decision we have to make. Not just whether we will participate in “religious” holidays that in reality have nothing to do with Him, but whether or not we are willing to let go of the easier path for Him.
It won’t be easy if you make such a major change in your life. And believe me, many Christians will put you down for it. They will argue their justification until you’re worn down. But, stick to His word and you shall not be deceived. It can’t be argued against. However, with that said, we are not claiming that any Christian is a “true” Christian just because they are aware of the truth and abandon false traditions. Nor does it mean those that chose to continue in those traditions are not real believers. We are simply trying to point you back to the word – His word – as your only justification for any tradition that is for the purpose of honoring our Messiah.
His answers are not meant to subdue the confusion for a short time, but to enlighten us for eternity.
In reality, it’s a part of the deceptions that are gaining more traction to push those who want to be followers of Yeshua away from the truth of the word. I find it rather curious as to why all these traditions we have involve candy. Don’t you? It’s somewhat indicative of the temptations we face, a lure if you will that gets us involved and interested at a very early age. What kid doesn’t like candy?
Don’t take our word for it. Research it yourself.
Below is an image we created from the words of David J Meyer of Last Trumpet Ministries International. Please verify with the Lord what we are sharing with you. Do not ask man to answer questions that they themselves have. Ask the One who really knows. I figured it might be a good idea if we took the time to actually honor our Messiah by reading what He had to say. Maybe then we can better understand what eggs and bunnies really have to do with it.
We hope that with finding out the truth you will be able to have a true relationship with our Lord and Savior, one that is much deeper and more profound than what man could ever imagine with his made up stories and traditions.
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Is technology making it feel like time is speeding up?
Some of the things they put out at Truthstream Media are extremely compelling. Then there are times when their videos are a bit blah. This is one of those times, but don’t be discouraged. There’s actually some pretty interesting information to glean from all of this.
Time does seem to be getting faster, or at least passing faster. Most attribute it to age. Some have speculated about the changing speed of light which scientists have demonstrated is getting slower. Since time, space, and light are all relative to each other, a slowing speed of light would actually make us feel like time is getting faster. But the notion that Truthstream Media latched onto is both the real likely cause as well as an interesting bit of information in and of itself.
Our attention spans are dropping thanks the prevalence of information and media in our lives. When once it could take hours just to download a television show, today we can stream movies without interruption on our smartphones. We’re able to bounce around from website to website, app to app, all in our search for the next stimulation, the next dopamine hit.
Since we’re able to get information more quickly, is that the reason our attention spans are growing shorter? Is that also the reason time seems to be moving faster? Know knows. It’s a decent video, albeit not their best.
Endless Mayfly: Iran’s disinformation wing that attacked America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia online
There are times when Iran seems to be one of the most sophisticated nations in the world when it comes to covert operations. They don’t have the level of techniques employed by espionage experts in the United States, Russia, or Israel, nor do they have the technical prowess of China or North Korea, but they have a level of deceptiveness that makes them formidable nonetheless.
But when it comes to disinformation campaigns, they’re ineptitude is almost comical, as Citizen Lab revealed early this morning. The media and technology watchdog and research group has built a reputation for uncovering some of the most complex disinformation schemes conducted across the internet. Their comprehensive uncovering of Endless Mayfly is another huge feather in their bountiful cap.
Here are the key findings from their report:
- Endless Mayfly is an Iran-aligned network of inauthentic personas and social media accounts that spreads falsehoods and amplifies narratives critical of Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel.
- Endless Mayfly publishes divisive content on websites that impersonate legitimate media outlets. Inauthentic personas are then used to amplify the content into social media conversations. In some cases, these personas also privately and publicly engage journalists, political dissidents, and activists.
- Once Endless Mayfly content achieves social media traction, it is deleted and the links are redirected to the domain being impersonated. This technique creates an appearance of legitimacy, while obscuring the origin of the false narrative. We call this technique “ephemeral disinformation”.
- Our investigation identifies cases where Endless Mayfly content led to incorrect media reporting and caused confusion among journalists, and accusations of intentional wrongdoing. Even in cases where stories were later debunked, confusion remained about the intentions and origins behind the stories.
- Despite extensive exposure of Endless Mayfly’s activity by established news outlets and research organizations, the network is still active, albeit with some shifts in tactics.
It was initially believed the organization was a Russian proxy, but their techniques and subjects eventually pointed to a likelihood of Iran being involved. While Citizen Lab rightly proclaims a likelihood instead of certainty of Iranian involvement, the data seems to be so clearly linked to Iran that there are only two reasonable explanations: either it is someone trying awfully hard to appear to be linked to Iran, or it’s Iran.
I’m going with the latter.
Their favored technique seems to be establishing fake websites with names close enough to legitimate websites that they’re able to fool prolific social media users and eager journalists dying for a juicy story. Buzzfeed News fell victim to one such instance on a website that looked identical to The Guardian, but that used a URL with a Turkish symbol replacing the “i” in “Guardian.”
They weren’t the only ones fooled. This operation seems to be quite vast.
But there were other obvious signs of falsehood that should have been noticed by the “useful idiots” propagating their disinformation. One article linked to from the report shows plenty of errors that a trained journalist should have noticed, and in this case, he did.
On November 5, 2018, Ali Al-Ahmed, a Washington-based expert in terrorism in the Gulf states and a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia, received a direct message on Twitter from “Mona A. Rahman” (@Mona_ARahman, now suspended).
After engaging in some polite conversation in Arabic with Al-Ahmed, “Mona” shared what appeared to be an article from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. The article contained a purported quote from former Mossad director Tamir Pardo, alleging that former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had been dismissed by Netanyahu for being a Russian agent. These allegations, if true, might reasonably be expected to strain relations between Russia and Israel.
The story sent to Al-Ahmed is so loaded with spelling and grammatical mistakes, it’s a wonder anyone could get fooled if this is indicative of the quality of Iran’s disinformation work.
If we assume Iran is, indeed, behind all of this, what does that tell us? We know tensions have been rising between Iran and both the U.S. and Israel. We can assume if they’ve been working at this since at least early 2016, they’ve had an agenda that extended to long before President Trump was elected. They probably found it unlikely he would be. So their goals weren’t to influence the U.S. elections as much as they were intended to shift sentiment from the rest of the world towards the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.
The full report is a wonderful read. As research on such topics, this one is exhaustive and enlightening.
But it still doesn’t answer the question of what this all means for the geopolitical positioning of Iran. They clearly want something, but that something has very likely changed since inception. Their economy was starting to flourish when President Obama was in office. Under President Trump, their economy has begun a rapid fall, prompting alleged actions ranging from sabotaging oil tankers to preparing to strike U.S. targets. They are desperate, and having access to a disinformation organization may help them seed discontent with the United States as our military stance in the Persian Gulf becomes more aggressive.
Iran has been acting like a wild animal cornered by superior forces ever since President Trump started pulling back the layers of protection given to them by President Obama. What will they do next? Their desperation is showing.
U.S. points to Iran being behind weekend oil tanker bombings
Rumors of wars keep popping up in the Middle East and around the world as the United States continues to have our allies prodded and provoked. The latest example is Iran, which U.S. military officials have fingered for the wave of oil tanker bombings over the weekend.
BREAKING: The Associated Press reports that an American military team’s initial assessment of the 4 ships that were bombed over the weekend in the Persian Gulf is that "Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies" were behind the attack
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 13, 2019
The Associated Press reported that a U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “said each ship has a 5- to 10-foot hole in it, near or just below the water line, and the team’s early belief is that the holes were caused by explosive charges.”
Was this the intelligence the United States received last month, likely from Ali Nasiri, that prompted the dramatic increase in our military presence in the Persian Gulf? If it is, then this could mark the beginning of actions taken by the United States and/or Israel against Iran.
Not to sound too conspiratorial, but the timing of all this is strange. Now that the United States has a stronger military presence in the region, one would think it should have been enough to dissuade Iran from carrying out such attacks. This leads me to two possible conclusions:
- Iran wants to get attacked. Their economy is in such shambles and getting worse, they feel if they can prompt an attack against them while still being able to claim plausible deniability by using their proxies instead of their military, they will get the sympathies and aid from gullible nations around the world and continue to paint the United States and Israel as the aggressors.
- Someone staged the attacks to implicate Iran. Saudi Arabian proxies would be the most likely culprits.
The former is by far more likely than the latter, but nothing should be ruled out until we have all the facts.
Either way, Iran continues to play a very dangerous game, one they know they cannot win but that they hope they can survive until they get a handle on all of the moving parts in this situation. Even a massive attack from the United States could leave Iran with their current leadership structure intact; it would not behoove the United States to get involved in regime change now or any time in the reasonable future considering our track record in such things.
“We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything it will be a very bad mistake, if they do anything. I’m hearing little stories about Iran. If they do anything, they will suffer greatly. We’ll see what happens with Iran.” – President Trump
I’m against getting involved in any wars that don’t involve us, but Iran continues to creep closer and closer to direct conflict. It’s as if they want us to attack while painting themselves as non-aggressors. These are dangerous times.
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