I have been asked what impact COVID-19 might have on the eyes. Although I no longer am in practice, I can provide some simple information.
People are being told not to touch or rub their eyes, especially if they have not just washed their hands. This is because if there is coronavirus on their fingers or hands, it can be transmitted onto the eyes.
Briefly, there are two main signs indicating that COVID-19 might be affecting the eyes:
Epiphora — excessive tearing (watering) of the eyes. The tear ducts can get blocked by inflammation, due to the virus. The tears are unable to drain properly, so they can accumulate on the lower lids and overflow onto the cheeks below.
Conjunctivitis — inflammation of the conjunctiva, which normally is a clear membrane that covers the front white portion of the eyes and also the inner surfaces of the eyelids. When the conjunctiva gets irritated, there is an increase of blood flow into it. The inflamed blood vessels give portions of the front of the eyes a pinkish color, which is why “pink eye” is a common name for conjunctivitis (see a conjunctivitis photo).
However, epiphora and conjunctivitis are more likely to occur from other causes. Also, if an eye surface has been infected by the virus, it is unlikely that the infection will spread to the rest of the body, although it is possible. COVID-19 mostly infects the body through the nose or mouth.
If it is suspected that a person's epiphora and conjunctivitis are being caused by a coronavirus infection, a sample can be taken from each eye. A swab is used to take a sample from each conjunctival sac. It is a good idea to take further samples in 2-3 more days. All of the samples will be tested for the possible presence of COVID-19.
Back in April 2018, it was revealed how DNA evidence showed that Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. was the infamous “Golden State Killer.” For decades, he had committed countless home burglaries, rapes and murders in many portions of California from 1976 to 1986. At that time, he was arrested and jailed.
Over 2 years later, in court today, DeAngelo (age 74) pled guilty to his crimes. This will spare him the death penalty (although Governor Gavin Newsom placed a moratorium on executions last year), but it will result in 15 concurrent life sentences for DeAngelo with no possibility of parole.
While Jesus went throughout Galilee, He taught in their synagogues and preached the good news of the Kingdom of God, which is yet to come. He also healed every disease and sickness among the people. Large crowds followed Him.
Going up on a mountainside, He spoke beatitudes or blessings to those who were listening. With all of the unsettling things going on today, these are as relevant now as they were then:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12)
At Olive Tree Ministries today, Jan Markell spent the hour with Michele Bachmann. They talked about the dividing spiritual battle against the truth and Satan’s push to force a global acceptance of deception and lies.
The ultimate goal is to put the U.S. under the control of a one-world power. Ultimately, it will have a marxist and communist political structure, and the leader will be the Antichrist. The only way this can happen is through deception and delusion, including some who have apostatized from Christian beliefs. CIA analysts have seen this in countries before, prior to a collapse.
Because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of most will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12)
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. (Romans 1:25)
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [the Day of the Lord] will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness [Antichrist] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
Today’s program, lasting 57 minutes with a commercial break, can be heard here:
A massive plume of dust from the Sahara Desert, in northern Africa, has been blowing across the Atlantic Ocean this week. The plume is being called the “Gorilla Dust Cloud.”
This cloud forms every year, but it may be the biggest this year than in the past 50 years. It already has traveled about 6,000 miles and passed over many Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, eastern Central America and Mexico, and the central and western Gulf of Mexico. Today it is passing over Texas and other southern states and will be in eastern New Mexico this weekend.
Individual dust particles are very small, but when they combine they can form a large plume. The “Gorilla Dust Cloud” is so big that it can be picked up on satellite images and be seen from the international space station.
People in the dust cloud may experience irritation in their eyes, nose and throat. Anyone with preexisting conditions linked to heart disease, lung disease, allergies or asthma also may experience negative side effects due to the dust. For those who are not already wearing masks for COVID, this might be a good reason to wear them.
Israel’s annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jordan Valley has been on hold for awhile. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated that there is a plan to begin the process of annexation next week, on July 1. However, the United Nations, European Union countries, and the Arab League have called for Israel to abandon its annexation plans.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said, “If implemented, annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law. I call on the Israeli government to abandon its annexation plans.” He and others believe that annexation would cause a serious threat to regional stability.
Perhaps there is a small glimmer of hope after all the rioting and violence, for weeks, across the U.S. In Seattle, prior to June 12, Mayor Durkan had said that the occupation of several city blocks was a “peaceful expression of our community’s collective grief and their desire to build a better world.” She also indicated that there could be a “summer of love” in Seattle.
However, following two gunfire injuries and a fatality over the weekend, the mayor seems to have changed her mind. At a news conference today, she indicated that the violence was distracting from changes sought by thousands of peaceful protesters in the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP) zone. She says she will announce a plan to address public safety in the area.
My dad is in heaven, and I look forward with great anticipation to seeing him again one day. For all of you other dads: HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, and God bless you for doing all the great and wonderful things that you do for your families.
Today is the Summer Solstice, which is the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. Summer officially began early this morning at 5:43 p.m. EDT (or at 2:43 p.m. PDT).
The sun will be at its highest point in the sky today, plus there will be the most number of daylight hours of any day during the year. This is because the earth’s north pole is more inclined toward the sun than it is on any other day of the year.
Although I really like summer, since I enjoy hot weather, I don’t particularly like that the days will be getting shorter and shorter for the next six months. This will change again at the Winter Solstice on December 21, after which the daylight hours in the northern hemisphere will begin increasing again.
At Olive Tree Ministries for two Saturday programs, Jan Markell spent each hour with Get a Life Ministries Pastor Billy Crone. They talked about a “genetic apocalypse” that is taking place today, with manking essentially playing God.
Genetic cloning of numerous animals has happened. Now the cloning of humans is in the process of taking place.
CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) involves editing the DNA in an embryo. Certain genetic codes, such as those that can cause certain diseases, can be edited or replaced by genes that have no imperfections and are properly functioning.
Even human-animal hybrids are taking place. The human line of genetics, created by God, is being altered and will change the genetic makeup of decendents after that point.
Both audio programs, each lasting 57 minutes, can be heard here:
Hybrids, Supersoldiers, & the Coming Genetic Apocalypse — Part 1: Audio | Video ¦ Part 2: Audio | Video
Today is the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth. It also has been referred to as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Liberation Day.
It is an official state holiday in many states, including in Texas, where it began in Galveston. On June 19, 1865, a proclamation was made that all slaves in Texas were free. However, it wasn’t until December 6, 1865, that slavery was abolished in all U.S. states and territories.
For those who have Medicare, scammers may use the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to steal your identity and commit Medicare fraud. In some cases, they might say they’ll send you a Coronavirus test, masks, or other items in exchange for your Medicare Number or personal information. Don't fall for it; it’s a scam.
It’s always important to guard your Medicare Number and to check your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) for errors. Give your Medicare Number only to participating Medicare pharmacists, to primary and specialty care doctors, or to people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf. Remember: Medicare never will call you to verify your Medicare Number.
Visit Medicare.gov/fraud for more information on protecting yourself from fraud and reporting suspected fraud. Also, you can watch the 15-second video below:
Antibodies in the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19 appear to provide powerful protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease. This has been discovered by a team at Scripps Research, centered in La Jolla, CA.
For the majority of this week, several city blocks of Seattle, WA, have been occupied by protesters and demonstrators. The occupied area is being called CHAZ or “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” It surrounds the city’s east police department precinct, where the main building was defaced and many of the police were expelled.
Demonstrators are demanding that the police department be dismantled and defunded, that those funds be invested in free public housing and socialized healthcare, and that charges against protestors be dropped. Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) has said that she is not sure how long CHAZ will remain in place.
President Trump wants the “anarchist takeover” of Seattle to end. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best has said that she is “very angry about the situation.” However, Mayor Durkan has referred to the occupation as a “peaceful expression of our community’s collective grief and their desire to build a better world.”
There have been sudden spikes in COVID-19 infections in numerous states. These include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and Utah, as well as Puerto Rico.
Health experts aren’t exactly sure why these states are experiencing an unexpected uptick in cases. However, they are saying that lifting lockdown restrictions, isolated outbreaks, and the virus catching up to communities previously not impacted may each be playing a role.
They also worry that there could be a further rise in infections from nationwide protests and riots over alleged racial injustice and police brutality. These have been packing large groups of people together for the past couple of weeks. The secondary viral outbreak, as well as a fear that it may continue spiking, raised alarm on Wall Street and resulted in a steady decline all day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a decrease in the U.S. economy since February. The National Bureau of Economic Research has announced that the U.S. has been in a recession since February. The bureau points to the “unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy.”
Yet, it is possible that the recession could be short-lived. The 2.5 million jobs added to the economy in May may be a projection of that. Also, many forecasters have said they expect economic output to begin growing again in the third quarter of this year, which begins in July.
In the Bible, the book of Habakkuk is an oracle describing destruction, violence, lawlessness and injustice in the ancient past. Now, history gradually is repeating itself and will continue to do so.
In a conversation with God, the confused prophet questions why terrible things are going on and why the Lord is allowing those things to happen. The Lord describes the wayward course of humanity and how He observes and is aware of all of it.
Eventually, He will intervene in great wrath against all the evil, wickedness and unrighteousness in the world. In time, He will demolish those who have been destroying the earth and people in the nations, and He will bring virtue, goodness and uprightness to the world.
A large 5.5 earthquake occurred in Southern California last night at 6:32 p.m. PDT. The epicenter was 17 kilometers south of Searles Valley, CA. It has been followed by scores of smaller aftershocks last night and today, and hundreds more are expected over time.
The initial shock was felt throughout southern and central California and western Nevada. In downtown Las Vegas, a bumping and rolling motion was felt in a high-rise building.
This was the largest aftershock of the very large 7.1 and 6.4 quakes, known as the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes, that took place on July 5 and July 4 last year. Only a handful of the aftershocks have reached the magnitude-5 level.
Most airlines are trying to recover from decreased customer revenue, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many planes have been grounded for awhile. They have received billions of dollars in government payroll aid and are banned to force employee job cuts before October.
Southwest Airlines has been my preferred airline for over 45 years. They have joined other airlines in extending buyout packages and temporary paid leaves to most of their employees. This is being done to ensure their survival.
George Floyd was wrongly killed in Minneapolis by a policeman, Derek Chauvin, a week ago today. He has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin is not representative of the vast majority of law enforcement officers across the U.S., many of whom publicly have been supporting peaceful protests.
Since then though, mere protests have turned largely into chaotic mayhem, widespread looting, violent attacks, riotus bedlam and blazing destruction. They have been taking place in cities and towns across the nation, including in Washington, DC. Many appear to be instigated and provoked by outside radical groups, including Antifa. All of this no longer looks like a movement to heal the country; it looks like an alliance to bring it down.
Furthermore, with physical or social distancing still in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would seem that the last thing people should be doing is gathering close together in large crowds, whether they are protesting or rioting. Potentially, that could cause a steep rise in coronavirus infections.
The majority of what is happening is not a peaceful reaction to the heart-rending killing of Mr. Floyd. It has transformed into lawless anarchy, pandemonium and insurrection, evidently with an ultimate goal of bringing down the nation. Unfortunately, it is possible that the U.S. may not be able to recover from this, from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, nor from unknown disasters and calamities yet to come.
Today is the Christian celebration of Pentecost, exactly seven weeks following Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday). At the first Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), Jesus’ disciples were filled, supernaturally, with the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and spoke in other “tongues.” Other God-fearing Jews, who had gathered there from many other nations, heard these men declaring the wonders of God in their own languages (2:5,6,11).
The first Pentecost corresponded to the Jewish celebration of Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-22). On this day, a firstfruits of the wheat harvest was offered to God.
In most years (with last year being an exception), most calendars usually list Shavuot a few days before Pentecost due to the way the fifty days are counted from Passover week, referred to as the “counting of the omer.” I believe the fifty-day calculation is made erroneously by most, as explained in this email response:
On the day of Pentecost, Jews “from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5) had returned to Jerusalem (following the commandment of Deuteronomy 16:16), indicating that they already had been widely dispersed among the nations by that time. Today, the dispersion is even greater.
After Pentecost, the apostles performed many wonders and miraculous signs (Acts 2:43). They were the “firstfruits” of all who would receive many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who is filled by the Spirit of God can receive some of these gifts from God as well. Each of us is nothing, but God can make something out of nothing with the Power of His Holy Spirit.
After being delayed for 3 days, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was launched into space at 3:22 p.m. EDT this afternoon. It is carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station.
They are scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station tomorrow morning. This is the first astronaut launch by a private firm in history.
On American Family Radio (AFR) today, Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries spent an hour with Jack Hibbs and Mark Henry. They discussed the order by some state governors to keep churches from reopening because they have been deemed nonessential, though President Trump has identified houses of worship—churches, synagogues and mosques—as essential places that provide essential services.
A network of around 3,000 churches in California are vowing to reopen in-person services on May 31 (Pentecost Sunday). That is exactly 7 weeks after Christians across the country were prohibited from celebrating Easter Sunday in their own churches.
Today’s program, lasting 57 minutes with a commercial break, can be heard here:
Today is the Jewish observation of Shavuot. It also is known as the Feast of Weeks, described by Moses in Leviticus 23:15-22. It is believed to be the day that God appeared to Moses and the Israelites on Mount Sinai to give them the Law/Torah.
During the past two years (2018 and 2019), Shavuot was on the same day as the Christian observance of Pentecost. This year, Pentecost is yet two days away, on May 31.
Riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul MN, as well as in other U.S. cities, have gotten out of hand. They are a response to the George Floyd killing by a policeman on May 25. The National Guard has been deployed, and President Trump has vowed military support.
Floyd’s girlfriend, Courtney Ross, has said that the riots in Minneapolis would “devastate” Floyd. She has called for peaceful protests. The Floyd family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, has said, “Looting and violence distract from strength of our collective voice.”
Four months after the U.S. suffered its first COVID-19 death, the U.S. death toll from the pandemic has passed the 100,000 mark, with more than 1.69 million cases diagnosed. The coronavirus has killed at least 100,411 in the U.S. and more than 355,000 people worldwide.
On April 27, the death toll in the U.S. had reached 50,400. Now, a month later, the death toll has doubled to over six figures.
Today in Brussells, Belgium, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, gave a lengthy speech. She spoke about the past generations of the European Union and about the present crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Then she spoke about the new recovery instrument, proposed today by the European Commission. It is being called the Next Generation EU, worth 750 billion euros.
There have been countless worldwide difficulties so far in 2020—including the coronavirus pandemic across the European Union—with many more likely yet to come. If the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument with funding for the period 2021-2027 is accepted and implemented, it is conceivable that it could be linked to the prophesied 7-year agreement of Daniel 9:27a.
In other news, today at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was set to be launched into space. Carrying two astronauts, it was intended to dock with the International Space Station tomorrow. It would have been the first astronaut launch by a private firm in history.
However, Tropical Storm Bertha has caused that launch to be delayed. For one thing, had the rocket had difficulties during the launch and the spacecraft had to land in the ocean, bad weather conditions could have hampered rescue efforts. So the launch was halted 17 minutes before lift off.
There may be a launch in a few days. The most likely days and times are Saturday, May 30, at 3:22 p.m. EDT or Sunday, May 31, at 3:00 p.m. EDT.
Most stock market indices soared up today. It was the first time that traders were allowed on the New York Stock Exchange floor again after about 2 months of being closed. Also, there were hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine and the economy’s reopening.
This is Memorial Day weekend Sunday. Many people are able to attend church for the first time in months. It is a good time to thank God for the service and sacrifice of our members of the armed forces.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has likened Zionism in Israel to the coronavirus. He feels it is a virus that “must be eliminated as soon as possible.”
Khamenei said this yesterday, Quds Day, on which there is annual support for the Palestinians and opposition of Zionism and Israel. He previously had shared an anti-Israel poster that used the term “final solution” to call for the end of the Jewish state.
The comments by Khamenei were rejected by the United States and the European Union. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed them as “disgusting and hateful anti-Semitic remarks” that did not represent the tradition of tolerance of ordinary Iranians.
Today President Trump declared houses of worship as “essential.” He said he was “identifying houses of worship—churches, synagogues and mosques—as essential places that provide essential services.” He is calling on state governors, nationwide, to allow them to reopen this weekend.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelines for communities of faith on how to reopen safely. There are recommendations to limit the size of gatherings, as well as to consider holding services outdoors or in large, well-ventilated areas.
Some governors and faith leaders agree with Trump’s announcement, while others disagree. It will continue to be advisable for worshippers to wear face masks or coverings, to keep at least a 6-feet distance between themselves and to reduce the amount of singing during services.
A shooting at a Texas naval air station this morning left a sailor wounded and the gunman dead. It was being investigated as “terrorism-related,” the FBI said, but divulged few details as to why. The suspect was identified as Adam Salim Alsahli, of Corpus Christi, who was born in Syria and was a supporter of Al-Qaeda.
At about 6:15 a.m., the gunman tried to speed through a security gate at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, opening fire and wounding the sailor, who was a member of base security and wearing a bullet-proof vest. She was able to roll over, hitting a switch and raising a barrier that prevented the gunman from getting onto the base.
The gunman was shot and killed by security personnel. The base was on lockdown for about five hours. The main gate was reopened, but the gate where the incident occurred remained shut down.
The 2019–20 locust infestation is continuing to spread in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Swarms of billions of hungry insects are threatening to cause massive food depletions and major famines at the same time that the global COVID-19 pandemic is happening.
The recent swarms already have devoured almost 100% of crops in some areas. At times, locust swarms have become so dense that aircraft have been forced to divert their flights around the dark swarm clouds.
In southern Iran, media reports indicate that locusts are threatening to destroy crops worth billions of dollars. The military has been called into help battle the locusts.
This morning, biotech firm Moderna announced that the early-stage results of its COVID-19 vaccine trial showed a positive result. All of the 45 participants produced antibodies against the virus.
Other upbeat news came from Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell. Although he said last night that the U.S. economy could decrease 30% during the second quarter this year, he expects that there will be a recovery during the third quarter. Evidently, these reports are responsible for the substantial leap, from the opening bell, in the stock market today.
As world conditions continue to decline, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, it is important to focus on God to help us get through these difficult times. It is good to think about these things:
I last organized my vitamins and supplements into individual compartments on Nov. 30, 2019. Each day, I have taken the following: a daily multiple; vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E; calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, fish oil, saw palmetto, glucosamine/chondroitin, glucosamine sulfate, iron, turmeric curcumin, probiotic acidophilus, olive leaf extract, hyaluronic acid and biotin.
This supply will last for 24 weeks (168 days, which also happens to be the same number of hours in a week). Keeping them in the refrigerator enables them to keep their potency.
Early this morning, a major 6.5 earthquake struck southwestern Nevada, 34.7 miles west of Tonopah. It is the strongest quake with an epicenter in the state since a series of larger quakes (6.6, 6.8 and 7.1) occurred in 1954.
Today’s quake was felt in much of Nevada and California and in western Utah. It occurred at 4:03 a.m. local time and has been followed by scores of aftershocks, the largest being a 5.1 at 4:26 a.m.
There was no significant damage in Tonopah or other cities, although a lot of groceries were shaken off of shelves. However, the U.S. 95 highway between Las Vegas and Reno (which I have traveled many times) had a significant crack across both lanes, prompting officials to close it early this morning.
The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevêdo, has announced that he is leaving his position this year, effective August 31. That will be a year before his term officially ends in September 2021.
This comes as the world economy has been having its worst decline, due to the COVID pandemic, since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Worldwide trade is expected to recede to historic lows.
At least three candidates have announced their intention to replace Azevêdo. They are Abdelhamid Mamdouh (from Egypt), Yonov Frederick Agah (from Nigeria), and Yonov Frederick Agah (from Benin).
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned this morning of the threat of a prolonged recession due to the COVID-19 outbreak. He urged Congress and the White House to act further to prevent long-lasting economic damage.
During the counting of the Omer period, today is Lag B’Omer or Lag BaOmer. It is considered to be a minor Jewish holiday or festival. The counting each day represents spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Law/Torah, which was given by God on Mount Sinai.
A commentary about this day, by Valerie Moody, can be found here:
Unfortunately, scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal our personal information and money. To do so, they’re using robocalls, text messages, social media posts and emails to do it. So if someone you don’t know reaches out to get any of your personal information in exchange for something, you can bet it’s a scam.
Be on the lookout, so you can stop scams before they happen. Here are sources of recent Coronavirus scams to watch for:
robocalls offering you respiratory masks they’ll never send;
social media posts fraudulently seeking donations for non-existent charities, or claiming to give you stimulus funds if you enter your bank account information;
offers for fake testing kits, cures, “immunity” pills and protective equipment; and
In just the past couple of months, thousands of new domain names have been registered that advertise coronavirus-related stimulus or relief packages. However, many of their websites are suspicious and even malicious.
On March 19, California was the first state to begin going into shelter-in-place mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, California (the most populous state in the nation) is beginning the first stages of reopening its economy. The reopening will be slower in some parts of the state than in others.
Some regions, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, have decided not to open yet. San Diego County’s reopening will be aligned with the easing of the governor’s order.
Today is the National Day of Prayer in the USA. Each year, it is the fourth Thursday in May. This is a primary day for people to turn to God in prayer and meditation. Due to the widespread COVID pandemic and its associated problems, this is an important year to pray for the USA and for the world.
This day of national prayer is celebrated by Americans who are Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and other religions. People commonly assemble in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples on this day. Unfortunately, this year there will not be many assemblies.
Pray earnestly for God’s protection and security for you, your family and friends, your nation and the world. I like the 3 prayers on the following page, including the last one that I said for a good friend who is a registered nurse working directly with coronavirus patients in a health care facility on Long Island, NY.
Astronomers have discovered a black hole in the Telescopium constellation, which is in our southern celestial hemisphere. The black hole is part of the HR 6819 star system, and it is the closest black hole to us that has ever been discovered.
This black hole is only about 1,000 light-years away from us. In cosmic proportions, that is very close, especially when compared to the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. That black hole is more than 25,000 light-years away.
It was several years ago that scientists began examining the HR 6819 star system, which is composed of a pair of binary stars. A lengthy and complex investigation has revealed that the object they are orbiting is a black hole.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, and it also is the middle of Spring. It commemorates the victory of the Mexican Army over the French Empire in 1862. It sometimes is mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day from Spain, or the Cry of Dolores, in 1810.
Commonly, it is observed as a celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, it mainly is celebrated by military parades or battle reenactments.
Since Governor Newsom closed Orange County beaches in CA, many people have been heading south to beaches in San Diego County. Not only is San Diego my most favorite city in the world (mainly due to the year-round ideal weather), I also like the beaches in the San Diego area. My favorites are Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and La Jolla Shores.
Small asteroids frequently whiz by the earth. The vast majority of them are too small to be seen by the naked eye, and there usually is no danger of them hitting the earth.
Today the bus-sized asteroid, 2020 JA, will fly at a distance of about 148,000 miles or 238,000 kilometers from the earth. That is about 0.62 times the distance between the earth and the moon.
Also, this week, the Eta Aquariids (or Eta Aquarids) meteor shower can be seen. The peak viewing times will be in the early morning hours of May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) and May 6, just before dawn.
From our viewpoint, the small meteors will appear to be shooting out from the Eta Aquarii star in the Aquarius constellation. They are simply fast-moving bits of dust that create brilliant streaks of light as they strike Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.
The meteroids are in the debris trail of Halley’s Comet, which is visible from earth about every 76 years. The last time was in 1986, and the next time will be in 2061.
Pope Francis has been referred to as the “Vicar of the New World Order.” He appears to be one of the primary proponents of a one-world system on every level, including government, economics, the environment, education and religion.
Today’s audio program, lasting 57 minutes with a commercial break, can be heard here:
Pope Francis: An Apocalyptic Player?: Audio | Video
Protests and demonstrations against stay-at-home orders took place in numerous states today. They included New York, California, Delaware, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, New Mexico, Tennessee, Colorado and Washington.
In California, Governor Newsom closed all the beaches in Orange County. This followed large crowds visiting the county’s beaches last weekend.
The protests today included a plane flying overhead with a banner reading, “Fire Gruesome Newsom! Open California!” Attorneys for the cities of Dana Point and Huntington Beach have said they will seek temporary restraining orders as they resist Governor Newsom’s order of a temporary “hard close” of Orange County beaches.
The Department of Labor released a report today indicating that the adjusted insured unemployment rate surged to a record high of 12.4 percent for the week ending April 18. The Labor Department stated, “This marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in the history of the seasonally adjusted series” and also noted that “the COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment.”
As the COVID pandemic continues to hammer the economy, more than 3.8 million workers in the U.S. filed unemployment claims during the week ending April 25. This brings the number to more than 30 million in the past six weeks.
Bleak news about the unemployment rate and the COVID pandemic contributed to the moderate downturn in the final April session of the stock market. However, the Dow and the S&P 500 did have their best monthly gains since 1987.
Due to the COVID pandemic, widespread business shutdowns have pushed the unemployment rate as high as 20%. As layoffs mount, retail sales are sinking, along with manufacturing, construction, home sales and consumer confidence.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled today that the Fed will keep its key short-term interest rate near zero for the foreseeable future. This is part of its effort to bolster an economy that is sinking into its worst crisis since the 1930s.
Under Powell, the Fed is confronting a deeply perilous time for an economy that had looked robust just a few months ago. Powell said that the coronavirus pandemic “will weigh heavily” on economic activity, employment and inflation in the near term. He also said, “It will probably take some time for us to get back to a more normal level of employment and ultimately maximum employment.”
Evidently, the Fed’s continued low interest rates and Jerome Powell’s positive long-term outlook have given some hope to consumers. This arguably was a major reason for the big stock market rally today.
At a White House press conference yesterday, President Trump leveled accusations at China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He told reporters that there are “a lot of ways you can hold them accountable,” that the U.S. was conducting “serious investigations” and that “we are not happy with China.”
Trump indicated that the U.S. would be seeking “substantial” compensation for China’s handling of the global pandemic. He added that the United States is considering several options to “hold them accountable.”
Today, China’s foreign ministry accused the U.S. of “lying through their teeth.” They also have come out against Australia for calling for an independent international inquiry into the origins of the pandemic. They have said that this could lead to a Chinese boycott of Australian products.
The stock market had a good upsurge today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up 1.51% to 24,133.78, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 1.47% to 2,878.48. The NASDAQ Composite index was up 1.11% to 8,730.16.
I did not go to Walmart today for the purpose of buying candy, as I already have enough. However, I happened to notice that there still was a very small amount of Easter candy left, and it was 90% off. I don’t think I’ve ever paid only 10¢ for Easter candy, but I did today.
Many “globalists” feel that a world government would be the best government to have. They feel that there would be much less confusion with a global government than there is with numerous governments, which follow different politics, religions, etc.
Right now, over 200 nations are burdened with the fallout and ripple effect of an invisible viral enemy. It seems like the coronavirus is expiditing the arrival of a one-world system.
Some say that the crisis is all about micro-chipping, forced vaccinations, a cashless society, digital IDs, a U.N. global tax, and a government in control of everything. Essentially, the globalists have been waiting a long time for a major global crisis to occur, and the coronavirus may be the one that will bring all their plans together.
Today’s program, lasting 57 minutes with 2 commercial breaks, can be heard here:
The New World Order Cries for a Savior: Audio | Video
California Proposition 63 was passed by a ballot vote in 2016. It requires a background check, and authorization by the CA DOJ, to purchase ammunition, among other things.
Recently, the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) and Kim Rhode, a six-time Olympic medal winner in shooting events, filed a complaint against the ammunition background checks. Today, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego ruled in favor of the CRPA and Rhode. Benitez called the law “constitutionally defective.”
From here, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will likely petition the Ninth Circuit Court to stay this injunction, which again would allow California to restrict the Second Amendment rights of its citizens. If this injunction is overturned, Kim Rhode, Ammunition Depot, et al. will have to continue to fight to have this law overturned.
Late today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed another coronavirus bill. It was the emergency coronavirus relief package for $484 billion. Next, it will be sent to President Trump for his signature.
Today is the 70th anniversary of “Earth Day.” It was founded, in 1970, by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin). In school at the time, I remember the first Earth Day well. We had a big rally, and then we were released from classes early and encouraged to clean up the school grounds. I picked up a few pieces of trash, threw them away, and went home.
Back then, “global cooling,” rather than “global warming,” was the concern. Not only was Senator Nelson an environmentalist, he also believed that population growth was ultimately detrimental to the environment. I recall how unsettling that view was to me, even back then.
No one rightfully can accuse me of being “environmentally unfriendly.” I bet that I am much more conscious about saving energy, and about not polluting the environment, than most people. For me, though, these things are a lifestyle; I am not out to “save the planet.” Here are just a few things that I do, on a small scale, to be “good to the environment” and to leave behind only a small “carbon footprint”:
filling up my car with gas no more often than once a month;
turning up my water heater only before a shower or before washing clothes, and only by the amount necessary to “get the job done,” and then turning it back down to the lowest setting when the heater turns off;
turning on lights only in the room I am in at the time, and off as soon as I leave the room, causing the average standard light bulb where I live to need to be replaced every 5+ years (and never using compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, because they contain mercury, are hazardous, and are ridiculously difficult to clean up if broken);
taking my own bag(s) to put groceries in, or telling store cashiers and baggers to place as many items as possible in one bag, to reduce the number of bags that I take home;
reusing things such as plastic and paper bags, aluminum foil, and paper (making it into notepads);
taking several months to go through one tube of toothpaste, even though I brush my teeth twice a day (and have not had a new cavity for over 30 years); and
making a roll of toilet paper last a few weeks (which is not difficult to do if one eats healthfully).
I think anybody who knows me reasonably well could predict how I view “Earth Day.” I feel that it has metastasized into a politically-correct monster. I also think that too many people have placed “Mother Earth” at the center of their collective universes and made “her” their primary “goddess.”
Furthermore, I believe it is highly likely that human history—and the earth as we know it—will be radically changed, just before and after the return of Jesus Christ back to earth to rule and reign. Soon thereafter, there no longer will be anything to be concerned about—environmentally, socially, financially, or economically. Everything will be under the Lord’s direct control and management (Zechariah 14:9).
Just prior to Jesus’ return, there will be a colossal, supernatural destruction of much of the earth’s surface (look at just the first three Trumpet Judgments: Revelation 8:6-11). This will render the present anxiety, apprehension, and hand-wringing about “long-term” environmental and global climate change (whether man-made or otherwise) to be pointless, if not senseless.
While I was at Walmart this morning, I noticed that the remaining Easter candy was 75%-off. For instance, some of the chocolate Easter bunnies were only 25¢ each. So although I already have enough candy, I couldn’t resist the temptation to get a little more.
This is Holocaust Memorial Day or Yom HaShoah in Israel. For the first time, the events are being streamed online, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
This began last night when President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu and survivors delivered messages by video. The main ceremony was at Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. It was prerecorded and held in front of the empty Warsaw Ghetto Square.
Today, crude oil prices dropped 306 percent to an unprecedented level of –$37.63 per barrel. The rock-bottom oil prices jeopardize the U.S. oil industry. In time, a major part of it could be eliminated.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread shelter-in-place orders and the economic slowdown, there is a lack of demand for oil coming out of the ground. Energy trading experts are saying that storage costs simply have outpaced the current demand.
Several crude oil traders have said there is simply no current demand or storage space for May contract deliveries. Orders arriving in the Gulf next week, which were placed months ago, have nowhere to go. The cost of storage and physical transport prices has remained the same despite the drop in demand, so buyers essentially are paying sellers not to deliver the oil.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55: 8,9)
This commentary continually was updated from 2016 to 2020. It has been concluded that the 70th Week has not yet begun, and the prophetic 7-year covenant (Daniel 9:27) with Israel and other nations has yet to take place.
Therefore, taking the time to read this commentary is totally discretionary. Perhaps, in the Fall of 2020, yet another agreement that confirms the ENP or ENI will be established. If so, maybe the final 7 years might commence.
Six months ago, in Oct. 2019, the European Commission provided a communication to the European Parliament and the European Council. It consisted of proposals for the European Union’s financial framework for 2021-2027.
Today the stock market had its strongest finish in about 2½ weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up 2.99% to 24,242.49, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 2.68% to 2,874.56. The NASDAQ Composite index was up 1.38% to 8,650.14.
Ephrat is located in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) region of Israel. The mayor, Oded Revivi, is a staunch advocate of co-existence and fostering improved relationships with Efrat’s neighboring Palestinian villages. He has called for the removal of opposition to a Palestinian Arab state.
However, the Sovereignty Movement in Israel has rejected this. They have responded to Revivi’s comments with emphatic statements such as the following: “No Trump plan!” “No to a Palestinian state!” “Yes to true Zionist sovereignty between the Jordan and the sea.”
Usually, today is IRS Tax Deadline day in the U.S. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been postponed for 3 months to July 15.
The pandemic and the tax deadline postponement seem to be major reasons why people have been receiving lots of scam emails for awhile. I have been receiving many more than the usual amount for weeks, especially over the past few days. I have created the following page to show what I do when I do not trust an email that I receive, and I want to know more about the sender:
I went to Walmart and 50%-off Easter clearance candy today. I had to wait in a long line of people to get into the store. It’s just one of the many inconveniences of the COVID-19 situation.
I got 180.07 oz. (11.25 lb.) of candy. I had wanted to get less than I usually do, but some friends who were sheltering in place wanted some and did not want to get out to go shopping. So I got a lot more than I otherwise would have.
This is the Feast of Firstfruits or Resurrection Day. It is the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Eventually, all who believe in His blood atonement for their sins will do the same.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
The majority of these resurrections, I believe, will take place at the main Rapture event. These glorified saints never will need to fear God’s severe judgment, and they will be exempt from His righteous wrath.
During the week of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the Feast of Firstfruits fell on the date of Aviv 17 on the Hebraic calendar (as described in the prophecy fulfillment section of my Good Thursday commentary). It was the same date that Noah’s ark landed and rested on Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4). On that day, Noah and his family were safe and secure from harm, with no further chance of sinking or drowning.
Someone looking at my Holy Week chart questioned me about this. Here is my response:
Due to COVID-19 problems, things are very different in Jerusalem this Holy Week than they have been in a very long time. For example, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has closed to the public for the first time in nearly seven centuries
Also, Israel plans to continue limiting gatherings and international flights until September. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that easing restrictions “would be a gradual process that would take a long time.”
In other news, the vast locust invasion in East Africa, which has been going on for many months, is increasing in many places. The infestation is worst in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia; but it also has extended to South Sudan, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
They talked about our new “upside-down world” due to the COVID virus. They suggested that the dire situation may cause the world to beg for a messiah-like figure who can fix everything. The globalists never let a crisis go to waste.
Last week’s and today’s audio programs, lasting 57 minutes with 2 commercial breaks each, can be heard here:
Unleavened bread has no yeast, which is why it is flat. From the religious perspective of Christians and Messianic Jews, yeast represents sin, such as malice and wickedness. Our perfect Passover Lamb, Yeshua/Jesus, was sinless but took our sins upon Himself on the cross. As described by the apostle Paul:
Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7,8)
God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Just as lambs were slain on the first and subsequent Passovers, the Lamb of God, Yeshua/Jesus, also died on Passover. His shed blood atoned for the sins of all who will accept His unique sacrifice on their behalf. According to John the Baptist and the apostle Paul,
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7b)
His death, of the righteous for the unrighteous, is the only thing that can bring us to God the Father. According to the apostle Peter,
Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18)
There are clear links between the life, death, resurrection and future return of Yeshua/Jesus and the feasts and holy days of Israel. (See more in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of my online book.) More connections also can be found in my Good Thursday commentary.
Indeed, Yeshua/Jesus our Passover Lamb was slain, and He lay in the tomb during the first few days and nights of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Fortunately for us, He did not remain there; He rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits = Resurrection Day (Easter Sunday).
He is in heaven now waiting to return to earth, at which time He will sit on his throne in Jerusalem. There, He will rule and reign as King over all the earth. I hardly can wait.
This Passover, Israelis have been confined to their homes, due to coronavirus restrictions. They have been unable to travel to public places for large Seder gatherings.
Passover begins at sunset this evening. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Passover seders will not take place in large group gatherings tonight or tomorrow night. It will be the first time since Israel became a nation in 1948 that this has happened. Also, Easter Sunday will be the first time in the history of the U.S. and many other nations that most church services will not take place.
It could be that God is using this unusual, cold-related pandemic to point out to the people of the world that they have grown cold toward Him. Most of us are distracted by very many things on a daily basis. As such, we have a tendency to be warm toward our daily activities and cold toward the Holy One and His Word. Jesus said, “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Perhaps the Almighty is attempting to draw us away from the world’s polluted spirit and bring us closer to His pure Spirit, in order to renew our spirits. We actually have been given a tremendous opportunity, as we shelter in place, to put aside distractions, to grow spiritually warm and to focus on the eternal story of His redemption.
Indeed, Jesus was crucified and died on Pesach or Passover to wash away our sins with His precious blood. Then He rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits (Resurrection Day) to enable us to have eternal life with Him. Hallelujah!
In other news, Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. That leaves Joe Biden as the only remaining Democratic candidate, and Sanders has endorsed him. Many suspect that, somehow, another candidate will be named at the Democratic convention this summer.
I have lost count of the number of emails I’ve received, for weeks, asking if I think the onset of the Great Tribulation could be very near. A very common concern is the widespread COVID virus pandemic. Frankly, I am uncertain.
However, I have written a general email response about the topic. I am sending people, who have been questioning me about this issue, a link to my email response, which is here:
Today, there were substantial gains in the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was up 7.73% to 22,679.99, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index was up 7.03% to 2,663.68. The NASDAQ Composite index was up 7.33% to 7,913.24.
This is “Palm Sunday,” the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. This was prophesied to take place centuries before it happened:
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
As Yeshua/Jesus, the Messiah/Christ, passed by, the people who had witnessed the countless miracles He had done shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
They talked about how the “birth pains,” described by Jesus in the Bible, are accelerating:
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birthpains. (Matthew 24:6-8)
They discussed the possibility that the present widespread crisis, caused by the COVID virus, could be what the globalists have been waiting for. The following questions were raised:
Is the “cure”—a global government—far worse than the pandemic?
Can America and the West recover from this?
With global economies reeling, how long before a recovery is too late?
Today’s audio program, lasting 57 minutes with 2 commercial breaks, can be heard here:
There are many who question the possibility that prophesied end-time events, including the onset of the formidable Great Tribulation, could occur when a third temple has not been constructed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. One reason for this skepticism is that the prophecy in Daniel 9:27b states how the sacrifice and the oblation (or offering) will cease:
...in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.... (Daniel 9:27b)
The assumption is that sacrifices and offerings will not happen again until they occur inside of another Jewish temple, which presently does not exist. However, in virtually all Bible translations, the term “temple” in the end-time prophetic passages of 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1,2 may be a flawed translation. That word in the Greek (shown in the Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English) is not the same as other cases of the word temple in the New Testament.
In those two passages, the word commonly rendered as “temple” may be more accurately translated as shrine. Indeed, there is a shrine that has been standing on the Temple Mount for many hundreds of years. It is the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine (not a mosque). Furthermore, there does not necessarily have to be another Jewish temple standing in Jerusalem for sacrifices and offerings to take place. More information about all of this can be found in this subsection: third temple.
Recently, Israel’s Health Minister, Yaakov Litzman, was speaking about the coronavirus pandemic in Israel. He was asked if the current restrictions on the Israeli population will last until after the Passover holiday, which is set to begin next week on the evening of April 8.
Surprisingly, Litzman responded that he believes that the Moshiach (the Messiah) will come before Passover this year and save Israel. (Note that this is not a general belief throughout Israel.)
Litzman said, “God forbid! We are praying and hoping that Messiah will arrive before Passover as it is a time of our redemption. I am sure that the Messiah will come by Passover and save us the same way God saved us during the Exodus and we were freed. The Moshiach will come and save us all.”
Unfortunately, that is not going to happen before then. Instead, it is possible that very unfavorable and ominous events may begin in and around Jerusalem during Passover week, April 9-16. If not then, unfortunately this very well may occur during a future Passover week.
Jesus described the following events that will take place at the onset of the Great Tribulation period:
When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. (Luke 21:20,21)
At that time, the people who flee from Israel will be protected by God in the wilderness for 1,260 days = 3½ years, on the Hebrew calendar, at the end of which Jesus will return to earth to rule and reign:
The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6)
I am hoping that these things will not happen sometime during April 9-16, 2020. However, IF we see armies surrounding (and later attacking) Jerusalem and many people suddenly fleeing out of the city toward the east (probably into Jordan, perhaps to Petra), then I will be virtually certain that the dreaded Great Tribulation has begun.
If so, then gradually the world can expect things like the following to happen:
I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:8)