Daily Archives: March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Briefing Collection

Christian, beware of thinking lightly of sin. Take heed in case you fall little by little. —C.H. Spurgeon

March 23 Quotes


Mar. 23, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Senator Ted Cruz’s plan to kick off his presidential campaign on Monday at Liberty University is an acknowledgement by the Texas freshman, firebrand, and tea-party candidate of just how difficult a path he faces to the Republican nomination and how crucial it may be for him to break out first and seize attention early.

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Wisconsin to implement a voter-identification law that opponents say is one of the strictest in the nation.

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos last week offered a proposal to lower the voting age to 16. He will seek to put the measure on the ballot this November or next year.

A letter signed by 367 U.S. House members to President Obama highlights what they describe as “grave and urgent issues” relating to negotiations to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they were preparing an offensive against forces loyal to the country’s president a day after suicide bombings marked an escalation of the civil conflict. The U.S. evacuated all remaining personnel in the Arab nation due to deteriorating security, State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke said in an e-mailed statement.

More than 90 new health-care companies employing as many as 6,200 people have been created in the U.S. since Obamacare became law, a level of entrepreneurial activity that participants say may be unprecedented for the industry.

Janet Yellen gave gold bulls a gift when she signaled policy makers aren’t rushing to raise interest rates. Gold had its biggest weekly gain in two months on the prospect that U.S. rates will stay lower for longer. The value of assets in exchange-traded funds backed by bullion rose by $736 million, also the most since January.

Silicon Valley startup Ubiquitous Energy is making the world’s first transparent solar cells, a technology that could greatly expand the reach of solar power. Their technology is an invisible film that can go on any surface and generate power, which could lead to cell phones and tablets that never run out of batteries – or skyscrapers that can use their massive banks of windows as solar panels.

U.S. retail gasoline prices in the Lundberg Survey dropped as crude oil fell to the lowest level in six years. The average price of regular gasoline at U.S. pumps declined 3.93 cents in the two weeks ended March 20 to $2.4991 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey

Leaving the European Union could cost Britain $84 billion a year by 2030 unless the country keeps its borders open, according to a research group.

AP Top Stories

Republican Senator Ted Cruz has announced his candidacy for President, again raising the issue of how people born in other countries qualify for office under the Constitution. In the case of Cruz, he was born in Canada in 1970, and his father was born in Cuba and his mother was born as a United States citizen in Delaware. The Constitution’s Natural Born Citizenship Clause states that “no person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

Human remains found along an Alaska trail may be connected to the disappearance of a family of four missing since May, Kenai Police said.

Private emails that Hillary Clinton turned over to a House committee investigating the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, show her aides sometimes used their personal email accounts to communicate with her, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Two Chadian army helicopters bombed Nigerian Boko Haram positions on Sunday, killing several dozen militants near a village on the border with Niger.

A son of ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich has drowned after a mini-van he was driving plunged through ice on a Siberian lake.

BBC

Singapore has begun seven days of national mourning following the death of its founding father, Lee Kuan Yew.

The US military has called for “vigilance” after an online threat was allegedly made by Islamic State (IS) to about 100 of its personnel.

Archaeologists are trying to determine whether ruined buildings in a remote nature reserve in Argentina were built as a hide-out for German Nazi officers.

The leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have signed an initial deal to end a long-running dispute over the sharing of Nile waters and the building of Africa’s biggest hydroelectric dam, in Ethiopia.

Pakistan has been holding its first Republic Day parade in seven years amid tight security. The ceremony marks the anniversary of a 1940 resolution calling for a separate homeland for Muslims in India. Its resumption is a symbolic show of military strength, analysts say, from a nation which has been badly affected by militant attacks.

On Monday the number of cars on the road in Paris will be cut in half – only motorists with odd-numbered plates will be allowed to drive. Public transportation will be free as well car-sharing and bike-sharing programs.

WND

An alarming trend is coming to light as psychologists and counselors see more and more young people addicted to the Internet and portable electronic devices.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is forcing many rural hospitals to close – just like it was meant to do, according to the former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Congress is considering new immigration laws that would flood the U.S. with “guest workers” from the Middle East and Asia, a plan some are calling an open invitation for jihadists to walk right through America’s front door.


How Much Time Do Americans Spend Plugged Into The Matrix Every Day?

The average American spends more than 10 hours a day using an electronic device. And most of that activity is not even interactive. The vast majority of the time we are just passively absorbing content that someone else has created. This very much reminds me of the movie “the Matrix”, but with a twist. Instead of humans being forcefully connected to “the Matrix”, we are all willingly connecting ourselves to it. There is a giant system that defines our reality for us, and the length of time that the average American spends connected to it just continues to keep growing. In fact, there are millions upon millions of us that simply do not “feel right” unless there is at least something on in the background. Just think about it. How much time do you spend each day with all electronic devices completely turned off? Thanks to technology, we live at a time when more news, information and entertainment is at our fingertips than ever before, and we are consuming more of it than ever before. But this also gives a tremendous amount of power to those that create all of this news, information and entertainment. As I have written about previously, more than 90 percent of the “programming” that we absorb is created by just 6 enormously powerful media corporations. Our conversations, attitudes, opinions and belief systems are constantly being shaped by those entities. Unfortunately, most of us are content to just sit back and let it happen. (Read More….)


Israeli polster says State Department money was used in Israeli election against Netanyahu

I have my issues with Mr. Netanyahu, with the foreign aid which flows to Israel, and Israeli policy in the Middle East in general. But for all the nastiness over the years (and there has been serious nastiness) Israel has proven an ally (aside from the odd spying scandal) and is by far the most democratic state in the region. It is fair to say that we have a “special” relationship with the country on par with and in some ways surpassing even the relationship we have with the UK. Ours can at times be a tumultuous relationship, but we are friends. (For the most part.)

That State Department money flowed into Israel to counter Bibi’s campaign for president is remarkable if the allegations are true. That a “community organizing” style effort was mounted in Israel with US taxpayer dollars to undermine Israeli leadership prior to the Israeli presidential election is not OK – if true.

This very odd interview with one of the founders of the Israeli community organizing group V15 is worth a listen. The guy gets all weird and defensive with an interviewer who seems (or seemed) generally open to hearing the guy. Very strange.

Read More


Daily Digest

March 23, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“A single assembly is apt to grow ambitious, and after a time will not hesitate to vote itself perpetual.” –John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

That Time a New York ‘Gun Store’ Shamed Its Customers

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Displaying the Sandy Hook gun

Some anti-gun zealots will go to great lengths to stop law-abiding citizens from buying firearms, including opening a fake gun store in New York City only to shame potential customers with the history behind the guns it stocked. “Collectors love this one,” the bearded attendant tells one customer as he displays an AR-15. “Adam Lanza’s mom had this in her collection too. Until he took this and several other guns and killed her, then went down to Sandy Hook and killed six teachers and 20 innocent children.” New Yorkers Against Gun Violence set up the storefront for just two days while States United to Prevent Gun Violence produced the video of the customers and their follow-up reactions to learning the horrific and tragic history of each gun in the store.

But it was all for show. According to Guns.com, “The firearms, like the store itself, were all fake and a New York Police Department official was on site to monitor operations.” That’s little comfort because many of the guns on display don’t comport with New York’s misnamed “SAFE Act” — even if they were only props. In fact, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association wants an investigation for violations of the law, which would certainly be ironic for these gun grabbers. Regardless, why was the NYPD participating in this kind of political shenanigan? To add to the hypocrisy, Guns.com says the guy behind the counter is “Ned Luke, known for his depiction of a hyper violent criminal in the [Grand Theft Auto video game] series.”

The people responsible for this mockery of the Second Amendment clearly have no shame. It’s proof that the gun control industry cannot advance its objectives without resorting to deceit and psychological manipulation.

(See the video.)

If You Mess With People’s Second Amendment Rights…

…You face a backlash. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives received about 80,000 comments about its proposed regulation banning M855 ammunition, most commonly used in the AR-15 rifle, before deciding to drop the idea. But still, the feedback continued to pour in. ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun told the Washington Free Beacon, “We’ve received more than 310,000 public comments. We’re still receiving some letters which are postmarked prior to the end of the comment period, March 16th.” That’s right: The ATF dropped the proposal when only about a third of the feedback came into their offices. Kinda drowns out the calls congressional Democrats made to the ATF asking it to resurrect the ban. And in related news, B. Todd Jones is stepping down as ATF director, effective March 31. Coincidence? Not likely. More…

Cruz Announces POTUS Race to Beat the Odds

In an effort to gain tactical advantage by being first onto the Republican presidential primary field, Sen. Ted Cruz announced his presidential campaign nine minutes after midnight on Twitter. “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” he tweeted along with releasing a 30-second campaign video.” But Cruz faces long odds in scoring the GOP nomination. “A CNN/ORC International poll released last week showed Mr. Paul among the early top tier of Republican Party hopefuls with Mr. Bush and Mr. Walker, while Mr. Cruz was far behind,” The Washington Times reports. “Just 4 percent of Republican voters said Mr. Cruz would be their first choice for president. … Mr. Cruz has not received more than 6 percent in any Republican primary poll this year, according to Real Clear Politics data.” Announcing early will help churn up press coverage and conservative donors for the Cruz campaign — something he needs if he’s going to beat out candidates like Sen. Rand Paul, who is expected to formally announce his own candidacy in early April. More…

U.S. Lost the War With Al-Qaida in Yemen

How will the Obama administration explain this one? As recently as last September, Barack Obama was pointing to Yemen as an example of his (sole?) foreign policy success. “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” he boasted. But Yemen is a vastly different place as of last weekend, because ISIL claimed responsibility for a series of mosque bombings that left 137 people dead and 357 wounded. In response, the U.S. decided to pull the 100 U.S. Special Forces from the country. The spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, DC, Mohammed al-Basha, wrote on Twitter, “I hate to say this, but I’m hearing the loud and clear beating of the drums of war in Yemen.” The Iran-backed Houthis group has grown in the country, ISIL may have opened up one of its terrorist franchises there, and al-Qaida still exists, despite the U.S. drone program that is now nonexistent thanks to the troop pullout. The only group standing up to the impending chaos? The Yemeni army. As The Wall Street Journal said: The U.S. just lost the war with al-Qaida. More…

Fun Camps for Everyone!

You know what America needs? Fun camps. That’s right, because everyone knows “we have a huge fun deficit in America.” So said Hillary Clinton to an Atlantic City audience. “As I have gotten older, I have decided we really need camps for adults,” she said. “I mean, really. None of the serious stuff, none of the ‘life challenge’ stuff. More fun! I think we have a huge fun deficit in America. And we need to figure out how to fill that fun deficit — certainly for our kids, but also for the rest of us.” And who better to school us about fun than Hillary? Just don’t expect to get more information from her by email. Unfortunately, she’s really only borrowing an idea — “adults” in Brooklyn are already attending preschool again. It used to take a village. Now, evidently, it takes a camp.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Starbucks Brews Race Controversy

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It’s not often that a business with an unmistakable aura of holier-than-thou self-righteousness is willing to up the ante on its own obnoxiousness. But last week Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz plowed ahead with a political campaign that consists of printing the words “Race Together” on the chain’s coffee cups and giving coffee-serving baristas the option of engaging in a discussion about race with their customers. USA Today will buttress this initiative with a series of inserts containing info on race relations from a variety of perspectives. The inserts will also be available at Starbucks coffee shops.

Then, over the weekend, Schultz informed Starbucks employees that writing “Race Together” on the company’s coffee cups will no longer be encouraged. Schultz claimed that phase of his effort had always been scheduled to end Sunday, but he also insisted the rest of the campaign remains “far from over.” Perhaps. Yet one suspects several other revisions might be forthcoming if Starbucks’ bottom line is affected. Even “enlightened” capitalism has its financial limits.

Schultz’s foray into political activism is hardly a sea change. In 2013, he wrote an open letter to (former?) customers “with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.” He claimed it was an effort to avoid politics, but in doing so he made it political.

And as recently as last year, the coffee chain apparently felt compelled to issue a statement reassuring its customers that neither Starbucks nor Schultz provides financial support to Israel, nor to its army, following its 2003 decision to close all of its shops in that nation due to “operational challenges we experienced in that market.” The same statement indicated there was no intention to re-address those challenges, even as Starbucks operates stores in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates via its partnership with Kuwaiti-based family business MH Alshaya WLL.

The most interesting part of that statement? “We do not make business decisions based on political issues.”

Please. In a video presentation to Starbucks’ 200,000 employees, of whom 40% are minorities, Schultz dismissed the notion that talking about race with customers is a bad idea. “I reject that. I reject that completely,” he said in the video address. “It’s an emotional issue. But it is so vitally important to the country.”

The “country” apparently disagrees. As The New York Times reports, the campaign “unleashed widespread vitriol and derision” so intense, Corey duBrowa, Starbucks’ senior vice president for global communications, felt the need to temporarily delete his Twitter account. “I felt personally attacked in a cascade of negativity,” he wrote. “I got overwhelmed by the volume and tenor of the discussion, and I reacted.”

Isn’t a discussion exactly what Starbucks ostensibly wants?

No doubt Gwen Ifill, co-anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” voiced what is undoubtedly the most widespread emotional reason for the animosity. “Honest to God, if you start to engage me in a race conversation before I’ve had my morning coffee, it will not end well,” she tweeted.

Columnist Joe Berkowitz relayed his own firsthand account of the campaign’s brainless impracticality. “When it’s my turn, I order a small coffee and glance at all the people on line behind me,” he writes. “It’s so many people — at least enough to fill a jury box. If the barista and I are to have an effective meditation on identity politics, all of these people are going to be made to wait. It’s the first time that the wild impracticality of this campaign, as I understand it, fully dawns on me. Could Schultz really expect people on line to patiently wait while the barista and I — and the rest of America, by extension — make inroads toward unity?”

You betcha. “Where others see costs, risks, excuses and hopelessness, we see and create pathways of opportunity,” Schultz insisted last Wednesday at a meeting in Seattle. “That is the role and responsibility of a for-profit, public company.”

That pathway places quite a burden on the company’s workforce. An internal memo reveals that employees have to watch Schultz’s video, print two copies of the USA Today insert, putting one on the counter sign and the other on the store’s bulletin board, pass out Race Together stickers to customers, wear one on one’s apron, and write “Race Together” or “Together” on coffee cups — all as a prelude to engaging in a conversation to “foster empathy and a common understanding” in a country that faces “ongoing racial tension.” Aside from “Race Together,” the rest of this nonsense will continue.

And you know what real tension is? Standing in an early morning, glacial-paced line for an overpriced cup of joe, wondering if you’ll make it to work on time because customers and baristas who make around $9.50 an hour are engaged in a effort to “solve” America’s race problems.

Ironically most of those conversations, if they take place at all, will be at Starbucks locations far away from the racial strife Schultz is determined to address. That’s because Starbucks has no stores in many cities with majority black populations. Those cities include Highland Park, Michigan; East St. Louis, Illinois; Gary, Indiana; Selma, Alabama — and, oh yeah, Ferguson, Missouri.

Perhaps the oh-so-high-minded Schultz should consider walking the walk — before he requires his employees to talk the talk. In the meantime, the bet here is the overwhelming majority of Starbucks customers will embrace this bit of dialogue: “Gimme my coffee, take my money — and keep your opinions about race to yourself.”

The Consequences of JV Foreign Policy

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There are two completely different narratives about America’s international relations and foreign policy in the Middle East. One is true, and the other is fantasy.

The narrative told by the narcissist in chief and his leftist legions is that the Middle East is in turmoil because Israel refuses to cede land to a mortal enemy and because the unemployment rate is too high among jihadists.

On the other hand is the truth: Obama’s foreign policy malfeasance has exacerbated the turmoil, undermined stability at every turn and endangered U.S. national security.

Obama’s first act of “leading from behind” was removing Moammar Gadhafi from leadership in Libya in 2011, which triggered a cascade of instability and anarchy and created an opening for ISIL in North Africa. The residue of his failure continues even as ISIL went to work just last week in Tunisia, murdering 23.

America’s “leader” was re-elected in 2012 while proclaiming al-Qaida was “on the run,” including declaring victory in Yemen, home to al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Yemen is now in utter chaos.

In 2013, Obama drew a red line in Syria regarding chemical weapons. Dictator Bashar al-Assad not only crossed it repeatedly but stomped on it with disdain.

In 2014, Obama belittled the Islamic State as the “JV team,” but ISIL now controls vast swaths of land and is wreaking havoc from Iraq to Nigeria.

Obama’s campaign to improve America’s standing in the world — in contrast to the “cowboy” actions of his favorite demon, George W. Bush — is an utter failure. The community organizer in the Oval Office has been extremely consistent in his antipathy toward Israel and in his clear determination to negotiate with enemies of the United States.

As early as March 2009, Obama saluted “the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” in a video message that was a complete reversal of the “axis of evil” doctrine placing rogue, terrorist-supporting nations such as Iran and North Korea in a league of their own. And just this past week, Obama sent a video message to the Iranian people again, declaring, “Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons.” Well, Khamenei also renewed the “death to America” chant, too. Obama neglected to mention that.

While Obama is coddling enemies, he’s berating our ally Israel, slamming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at every opportunity — even when he’s supposedly “congratulating” him on an election win. Sen. John McCain rightly referred to this outrageous display from the man-child president as a “tantrum.”

In short, Obama’s political failures in the Middle East are of legendary proportion. U.S. foreign policy has never been perfect, but that’s what happens when you blame America first. Looking ahead to 2016, let’s not screw up again by rewarding Hillary Clinton with her own opportunity to implement “smart power.”

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide.”

Columnist Star Parker: “Freedom House, which publishes an annual report measuring freedom around the world, rating nations based on political rights and civil liberties, has recently issued its 2015 report. … Freedom House rates on a scale of 1-7, ‘1’ being the most free and ‘7’ the least. Israel is rated 1.5, receiving a grade of 1 on political rights and 2 on civil liberties. The Israeli democracy just held free elections and gave a sound victory to current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. … When Netanyahu became clear he would not cave to pressure from Washington to support a Palestinian state, Israelis said ‘thank you’ and swept him back to power. President Obama hesitated congratulating Prime Minister Netanyahu on his victory. Yet, in January, President Obama cut short a trip to India so that he could go to Saudi Arabia and pay respects to their newly installed King Salman. On Freedom House’s 1-7 rating, Saudi Arabia is rated 7 — as ‘Unfree’ as it gets. … Republican leaders should take a close look at what just happened in Israel. Voters are looking for clarity today and they are looking for leadership. Leadership that is willing to take a clear and bold stand for freedom and American values. America needs these kinds of leaders, as does the world.”

Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “An interesting aspect of the rumored treaty with Iran is that, at the very least, they will be able to pursue nuclear energy to their heart’s content, which is more than the liberals, taking their marching orders from environmental zealots, will allow us to do. How is it we’re not insisting that Iran start relying on solar panels and windmills for its energy needs? Although nuclear energy is cheap, available and safe, and would make us energy independent for the foreseeable future, we haven’t built a nuclear plant since the 1970s. Perhaps if America could go to Switzerland and negotiate with John Kerry we, too, could start building centrifuges for peaceful purposes.”

Comedian Jimmy Fallon: “During a speech [last week], President Obama discussed the country’s successful economy and said, ‘I’m going to take a little credit.’ Then the people at the rally said, ‘Dude, we’re all here in the middle of the day because we don’t have jobs. So stop talking about how good the economy is.'”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

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Indonesian Muslims Make Marketing Push as 2 Million Islam Followers a Year Turn to Christ

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 07:47 AM PDT

Indonesian Muslims Make Marketing Push as 2 Million Islam Followers a Year Turn to ChristMuslims in Indonesia report losing one follower of Islam to Christianity every 15 seconds. That’s 2 million a year. At that rate, by 2035 Indonesia will no longer be majority Muslim nation. Muslims there are concerned about this trend and launched this campaign to help stem the tide of Muslim converts to Christianity. Watch this video. It left me speechless. FULL REPORT

The post Indonesian Muslims Make Marketing Push as 2 Million Islam Followers a Year Turn to Christ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Fears ISIS are plotting First World War-style chlorine gas attacks on UK commuters

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 07:42 AM PDT

Fears ISIS are plotting First World War-style chlorine gas attacks on UK commutersReports are indicating that ISIS could have a horrific plot in Britain, plotting horrifying attacks using chlorine gas which killed thousands of troops during the First World War. The warning has been given by one of the world’s top experts in chemical warfare, Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, the retired head of chemical and biological weapons for the British Army and NATO. After returning from advising security forces in Baghdad last week, he said he feared an attack by returning jihadis using knowledge of chlorine gas-filled IEDs is “highly likely”. FULL REPORT

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Elcho Island battered as cyclone Nathan intensifies

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 07:35 AM PDT

Elcho Island battered as cyclone Nathan intensifiesWe are receiving reports from the Guardian that Elcho Island has undergone a battering as tropical cyclone Nathan intensified off the Northern Territory coast. The Bureau of Meteorology said Nathan was estimated to be about 50km north/north-west of Galiwinku with wind gusts up to 140km/h late on Sunday, and its destructive core of sustained winds of about 120km/h continued to affect Elcho Island for several hours into Monday. Nathan was moving north-west at 12km/h and was set to increase in intensity to a category three level over open water, as it moved along the coast on Monday, before turning south-west towards land later in the night. Elcho Island was severely damaged by cyclone Lam in late February, and a storm tide, with damaging waves and dangerous flooding, was also expected between Elcho Island and Cape Shield. Earlier, the bureau said Nathan would remain a category three cyclone into the latter part of Monday, then weaken to a category one or two system before making landfall again around Tuesday. FULL REPORT

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War and chaos ahead: How mega-rich are preparing

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 07:29 AM PDT

War and chaos ahead: How mega-rich are preparingAre the rich preparing for coming War and Chaos? According to recent a report from WND that is exactly the case!  We are at the precipice of war, and this is a call to action. While it might not come tomorrow, the threat does grow by the day as conflict between the largest and most powerful nation states becomes inevitable, driven by the impending implosion of the empire of debt accumulated by Western democracies, and by the yearning of Russia and China (and their surrogates) to escape the constraints of almost 70 years of American hegemony. I am not talking about another one-sided skirmish in the desert, but rather a real war, where satellites fall from the sky, ships sink, supply chains are disrupted and there is a loss of life not seen since the last century; a war of such a magnitude that few Westerners alive today can comprehend it. Such a war will alter the world as we know it. And, reading the tea leaves, it seems there is little we could do now to stop it. At this stage, all that is missing is the spark that ignites the inferno. It might come tomorrow, it might delay a while longer. We can prepare, but preparation takes years and years, and requires a threshold level of certainty that the threat exists, that it merits attention, that it demands action. FULL REPORT

 

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Fears as ISIS flag is spotted near Michigan military base

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 07:19 AM PDT

Fears as ISIS flag is spotted near Michigan military base How concerned would you be if you saw an ISIS Flag being flown by someone in your hometown? Well according to a report from Daily Mail a truck reportedly bore a flag for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Michigan over the weekend. On Sunday morning, the flag was just a short distance away from the United States Army Reserve Center in Southfield, WWJ reported. Reserve center officials told the CBS affiliate that an anti-terrorism drill involved the flag.  The truck was away from the reserve center for a short period of time, officials told the television station, and said they were sorry for the confusion. The news arrives as the US Marine Corps on Sunday urged ‘vigilance’ after a group claiming to be Islamic State hackers published what they said were the names and addresses of 100 military personnel and urged supporters to kill them. The warning came after a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division posted information about members of the air force, army and navy, including photos and ranks, on the Internet, according to monitoring group SITE Intelligence. The US Marine Corps said it was visiting all affected staff, and urged caution online. ‘Vigilance and force protection considerations remain a priority for commanders and their personnel,’ US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel John Caldwell said in a statement, adding that the threat remained ‘unverified’. ‘It is recommended Marines and family members check their online/social footprint, ensuring privacy settings are adjusted to limit the amount of available personal information.’ FULL REPORT

 

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Contaminated Chinese produce spreads hepatitis A to nine Australians

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 07:12 AM PDT

Contaminated Chinese produce spreads hepatitis A to nine AustraliansA shocking report coming from Natural News is indicating that Hepatitis A is being spread from Chinese Produce! According to their report China has a dastardly reputation for producing garbage consumer products of poor quality that may contain things like toxic heavy metals and lead paint. But the world’s largest economy (by some measures) is increasingly exporting garbage food products as well, including tainted berries that reportedly infected at least nine Australians with hepatitis A. Recent reports explain that Patties Foods, which sells both the Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet brands of mixed berries in Australia, opted to recall these and two other similar products after multiple hepatitis A infections caused by the Chinese berries emerged in regions throughout the continent. Individuals in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales all reported falling ill after consuming the tainted berries. Each of the products is commonly sold at supermarkets throughout Australia, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP), which means many more people may have been exposed to the bad berries. The infection cases are unusual, claim authorities, because hepatitis A is usually contracted from other sources, typically in conjunction with fecal contamination. FULL REPORT

 

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Washington to seek Partnership With China-Led Development Bank

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 07:06 AM PDT

Washington to seek Partnership With China-Led Development BankMany have said it was just a matter of time but Don’t look now, but Washington just blinked. As we’ve documented exhaustively over the past week, pressure has been building steadily for the US to strike some manner of conciliatory tone towards China with regard to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a China-led institution aimed at rivaling the US/Japan-backed ADB. Britain’s decision to join China in its new endeavor has prompted a number of Western nations to throw their support behind the bank ahead of the March 31 deadline for membership application. Because the AIIB effectively represents the beginning of the end for US hegemony, the White House has demeaned the effort from its inception questioning the ability of non-G-7 nations to create an institution that can be trusted to operation in accordance with the proper “standards.” Now, with 35 nations set to join as founders, it appears Washington may be set to concede defeat. Here’s more, via WSJ: The Obama administration, facing defiance by allies that have signed up to support a new Chinese-led infrastructure fund, is proposing the bank work in a partnership with Washington-backed development institutions such as the World Bank. The collaborative approach is designed to steer the new bank toward economic aims of the world’s leading economies and away from becoming an instrument of Beijing’s foreign policy. The bank’s potential to promote new alliances and sidestep existing institutions has been one of the Obama administration’s chief concerns as key allies including the U.K., Germany and France lined up in recent days to become founding members of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The Obama administration wants to use existing development banks to co-finance projects with Beijing’s new organization. Indirect support would help the U.S. address another long-standing goal: ensuring the new institution’s standards are designed to prevent unhealthy debt buildups, human-rights abuses and environmental risks. U.S. support could also pave the way for American companies to bid on the new bank’s projects. FULL REPORT

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Big Bang theory could be debunked by Large Hadron Collider

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 07:02 AM PDT

Big Bang theory could be debunked by Large Hadron ColliderAccording to a new report from the Telegraph, The “The Big Bang Theory” could be debunked soon! This comes as the report indicates that The detection of miniature black holes by the Large Hadron Collider could prove the existence of parallel universes and show that the Big Bang did not happen, scientists believe. The particle accelerator, which will be restarted this week, has already found the Higgs boson – the God Particle – which is thought to give mass to other particles. Now scientists at Cern in Switzerland believe they might find miniature black holes which would reveal the existence of a parallel universe. And if the holes are found at a certain energy, it could prove the controversial theory of ‘rainbow gravity’ which suggests that the universe stretches back into time infinitely with no singular point where it started, and no Big Bang. FULL REPORT

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College Ministry Kicked off Campus for Requiring Leaders to Be Christian

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 06:57 AM PDT

Chi-Alpha-LogoAccording to a new report from Christian News Network A Christian campus organization has lost recognition from its university and been accused of “religious discrimination” for not allowing non-Christians to hold leadership positions in the group. Chi Alpha is a national student ministry organization with a presence in over 300 college campuses across the United States. According to the group’s website, Chi Alpha exists to “reconcile students to Christ, equipping them through Spirit-filled communities of prayer, worship, fellowship, discipleship and mission to transform the university, the marketplace and the world.” On September 11, 2014, Chi Alpha’s chapter at California State University-Stanislaus was informed by the university that the group would no longer be recognized as a campus organization. The school accused the organization of religious discrimination and abruptly severed ties with the Christian group. In a letter mailed last week to Cal State Stanislaus, Chi Alpha’s National Director, E. Scott Martin, explained that the Christian group was effectively “exiled from campus.” FULL REPORT

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Killer measles targets Ebola-ravaged Liberia

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 06:49 AM PDT

92bf68e09810aba2a1f516126bdbec4f2dec66afAs if Ebola didn’t inflict enough damage to that region now they have their hands full with another pestilence gripping Lieria. According to reports, The people of Monrovia’s Peace Island ghetto, refugees of civil war who found themselves suddenly overwhelmed and outmanoeuvred by the deadly Ebola epidemic, are used to life under siege. Yet with Liberia emerging from the worst outbreak in history a year to the day since Ebola was first identified in west Africa, the slum-dwellers are facing an even deadlier threat — the measles virus. Experts say Liberia and its neighbours Guinea and Sierra Leone are ripe for an outbreak that could infect hundreds of thousands, dwarfing the carnage wrought by Ebola. Death once again stalks impoverished communities like Peace Island, a cramped spit of land surrounded by swamp where 30,000 people sought refuge behind the abandoned Ministry of Defence after Liberia’s 1989-2003 civil wars. By mid-March, coastal Liberia is already mercilessly hot and healthcare workers sweat as they pass through the slum in a mini-truck, calling out to mothers via a loudspeaker to bring out their babies. “I am happy to have the opportunity to bring my child for the measles vaccine because in this community children are dying,” Marie Bassa, 32, tells AFP after climbing down from the vehicle with her nine-month-old baby. FULL REPORT

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The Perplexing Question Of Why Most American Jews Are Liberals Answered

When I was growing up in a mostly secular Jewish home, the Lord placed a hunger in me to really know Him, from a very young age.

“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Isaiah 63:1 (KJV)

I met the Messiah in 1983, and since then, my life has never been the same. It hasn’t been all wonderful. There were hurts and pain, but the difference was that I knew that the Lord was with me through everything. He became my life and His Word, my sustenance.

I had been taught in synagogue to be very proud of my heritage as a Jew, but it meant nothing to me back then. Actually, the constant anti-Semitic remarks by kids in my neighborhood and school; fist fights in the street over being called names — I wasn’t exactly ecstatic about being a Jew. Also, the Old Testament confused me when I attempted to read it.

I also learned in the synagogue that Christians hated us, and they always had. You see, Jews look at Christianity as one unit. They have no idea about being truly born again from above — having a heart of stone being made into a heart of flesh, and God’s own Holy Spirit coming and dwelling within us. Jews look back at history and see Jewish blood spilled in the name of Christianity. It was only on this side of the Cross, that I realized that being a Christian had nothing to do with denomination, or how ornate a church building was. None of that was important. My question to people was “Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” And it was only after knowing Jesus, that I appreciated and loved being a Jew.

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Jews heard about people like Corrie Ten Boom, but I truly believe that they just thought of Corrie as one of a kind – a special lady. They were unable to see that it was the Lord in Corrie’s life and heart who made her into the loving woman she was, willing to sacrifice herself for the Jewish people. My people could not discern that some people were truly Christian, while most were just going through the motions.

But I think that Israeli Jews are beginning to be able to discern the Evangelicals from all others at last. They see that there are certain Christians who really love Israel. Bibi knows it and many others too. I think this will be used by the Lord to bring more and more Jews to know Him.

Before I was saved, I had always had the feeling that the Catholics were the holy people. I suppose some of that came from their mass, which in many ways was like a service in the synagogue. Everything seemed so perfect, but I was searching for Jesus. I did go to a Catholic church to find Jesus, although that was short lived. I did not see Him there.

AMERICAN JEWS

I have heard so many born again believers ask why most Jews vote leftist, and why most of them stand with Obama, even in 2012, after all he has said and done against Israel. The answer is not complex. I wish it was complex. The simple truth is that most Jews in America are secular Jews. They don’t believe the Bible and many are agnostic or atheists. My own sisters do not believe in God, and they hate me for believing in Jesus.

I find it interesting that my older sisters never received any instruction in Judaism, but my parents decided to send me. I am grateful that they did. I believe that the Lord’s Hand was on me all through my life.

My dad had grown up in Boston, and was from an orthodox family. He read and spoke Hebrew fluently. My mom was totally secular. Her parents had been gamblers in D.C. and mom was regularly sent on a bus, at twelve years old, to pay off her parents’ debts. My parents met at the Jewish Community Center in D.C. at the beginning of WWII. They married soon after that.

Dad gave up his orthodox ways for mom. So there we were, a secular Jewish family. My parents had told us that as good Jews, we should be Democrats. It was expected. It was important. They made me believe that the Democrats were the party of compassion. I guess they missed the history of FDR sending away a ship of 900 frantic Jews from Europe, wanting to come into America to escape the coming slaughter. FDR told Congress that the U.S. had enough Jews. Those Jews went back to Europe, and eventually to the camps.

I guess they forgot that in the miraculous 6 day war of 1967, President Johnson (Democrat) said that Israel would stand alone if they defended themselves. He didn’t realize that God helped Israel. He didn’t care.

My dad, having had Hebrew instruction, and a love for Torah, was different. He loved Israel. I remember during the 1960’s, he had a picture of Nasser in our utility room — we threw darts at it. Dad loved Israel and sent money each year to them. I’m not sure if mom knew that he did this. But Dad was still a Democrat.

When God saved me in 1983, I had been a registered Democrat. It had never occurred to me to be anything else. But as I read the Word every day, I realized that I could not reconcile the platform of the Democrats with God’s Word. I changed my political affiliation to Republican.

Mom told me in a stern voice, that she could take my believing in Jesus, but she could not accept me being a Republican. She exclaimed “I can’t believe I gave birth to a Republican!”

Before dad died in 1997, the Lord allowed me to lead him in prayer to be saved. I had witnessed a lot to Dad when they moved to Florida for retirement. I sent him books and letters about Yeshua.

He wrote back to me that he was so proud that one of his children loved the Ten Commandments. He didn’t mention Jesus, but on his deathbed he prayed the prayer of repentance and trusted Yeshua for his salvation.

ISRAELI JEWS

In Jerusalem, there are quite a few orthodox Jews. They are conservative. They believe the Old Testament, and they know that God promised the land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac. About 10% of Israel is orthodox.

In contrast to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is much like the majority of Jews here in America. Some of them want to split Israel and even Jerusalem for peace. They have no idea that it will not bring peace. They have no idea that it angers God when His land is divided.

And then there are the moderates, who love Israel and know the dangers which encircle them. They want to be safe. They don’t want to die. They want a strong leader like Netanyahu.

WHAT IS COMING

No person knows the time of the Rapture of the Church. But we do see the signs that this world is getting ready for something big. Anti Semitism is at its highest point, worldwide. There are wars and rumors of wars all around. There are earthquakes and all sorts of natural disasters. One of the most important fulfillments of prophecy was in 1948, when God brought His people from the four corners of the earth, back to their own land.

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” Amos 9:13-15 (KJV)

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23: 37-39 (KJV)

I believe that those words will be among the sweetest that our Lord will ever hear.

My Jewish brothers and sisters, my prayer for you is that your eyes will be opened, and that you will understand that your Messiah came, and you knew Him not. He is Yeshua (Jesus). He gave his life for you. You were hardened for a time, so that the Gentiles could come into the Kingdom. You see, the plan of God was that through us (Jews) the whole world would be offered Salvation.

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:” Romans 11:26 (KJV)

When the last Gentile comes in, then your eyes will be opened and you will see Him clearly. He adores you!

I don’t know why He revealed Himself to me at this time. I’m so glad He did, so that I can tell you that this is TRUTH. Now do you understand why the born-again Christians love Israel so much? The Law, the prophets and Yeshua came from the Jewish people!

What’s not to love?

I pray that many will read this, and that the Lord will draw them to Himself and they will be saved.

Am Yisrael Chai!

Shalom b’Yeshua!

The post The Perplexing Question Of Why Most American Jews Are Liberals Answered appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Major American Cities Now Being Wired With ShotSpotter Invasive Eavesdropping Microphones

New York Police Begin Using ShotSpotter System to Detect Gunshots

Under the guise of “protecting the citizenry” from “illegal gunfire”, cities all across America are installing hyper-invasive sound recording systems. Orwell’s worst nightmares from “1984” are coming to pass in 2015. New York City is the latest to roll out the system.

The American police state is rising rapidly, and will soon be complete. In Orwell’s 1984, he wrote this:

“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”

Welcome to the Future

The New York Police Department has started using a detection system that pinpoints the location of gunfire and sends the information to law enforcement, the latest move to modernize the nation’s largest police force, the department announced on Monday.

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The system, called ShotSpotter, is used in several major cities. It works by installing sensors — basically, sensitive microphones — around an area to pick up sounds from the street that might be gunfire, and uses the sensors to locate where the shots were fired. It then sends the information to the Police Department.

As part of a pilot program, ShotSpotter sensors are being placed in seven precincts in the Bronx and 10 in Brooklyn, a total area of 15 square miles, where there have been a high number of shootings. The sensors in the Bronx began working shortly after midnight on Monday, and sent data on shots fired at 12:49 a.m. The sensors in Brooklyn will start collecting data shortly after midnight next Monday. source

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Israel Must Realize That They Have A Greater Enemy Than Iran

Written by New York Post writer Michael Goodwin

For Israel, the consequences will be intended. Those who make excuses for Obama’s policy failures — naive, bad advice, bad luck — have not come to grips with his dark impulses and deep-seated rage.

“Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.” Psalm 129:5 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: ACHTUNG, JUDEN! – Obama hates Netanyahu, and he hates Israel. After failing to influence the Israeli elections with paid saboteurs, his rage has been sharply kindled. He knows the best place to attack Israel is to force the creation of a Palestinian state by forcing the Jews to give up their land. That’s exactly what he plans on doing. 

First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet.

israel-has-greater-enemy-than-iran-barack-hussein-obama

He lies to the public, ignores the Constitution, inflames race relations and urges Latinos to punish Republican “enemies.” He abandons our ­allies, appeases tyrants, coddles ­adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast.

Now he’s coming for Israel.

Barack Obama’s promise to transform America was too modest. He is transforming the whole world before our eyes. Do you see it yet?

Against the backdrop of the tsunami of trouble he has unleashed, Obama’s pledge to “reassess” America’s relationship with Israel cannot be taken lightly. Already paving the way for an Iranian nuke, he is hinting he’ll also let the other anti-Semites at Turtle Bay have their way. That could mean American support for punitive Security Council resolutions or for Palestinian statehood initiatives. It could mean both, or something worse.

Whatever form the punishment takes, it will aim to teach Bibi Netanyahu never again to upstage him. And to teach Israeli voters never again to elect somebody Obama doesn’t like.

Apologists and wishful thinkers, including some Jews, insist Obama real­izes that the special relationship between Israel and the United States must prevail and that allowing too much daylight between friends will encourage enemies.

Those people are slow learners, or, more dangerously, deny-ists.

If Obama’s six years in office teach us anything, it is that he is impervious to appeals to good sense. Quite the contrary. Even respectful suggestions from supporters that he behave in the traditions of American presidents fill him with angry determination to do it his way.

For Israel, the consequences will be intended. Those who make excuses for Obama’s policy failures — naive, bad advice, bad luck — have not come to grips with his dark impulses and deep-seated rage.

His visceral dislike for Netanyahu is genuine, but also serves as a convenient fig leaf for his visceral dislike of Israel. The fact that it’s personal with Netanyahu doesn’t explain six years of trying to bully Israelis into signing a suicide pact with Muslims bent on destroying them. Netanyahu’s only sin is that he puts his nation’s security first and refuses to knuckle ­under to Obama’s endless demands for unilateral concessions.

That refusal is now the excuse to act against Israel. Consider that, for all the upheaval around the world, the president rarely has a cross word for, let alone an open dispute with, any other foreign leader. He calls Great Britain’s David Cameron “bro” and praised Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, who had called Zionists, “the descendants of apes and pigs.”

Obama asked Vladimir Putin for patience, promising “more flexibility” after the 2012 election, a genuflection that earned him Russian aggression. His Asian pivot was a head fake, and China is exploiting the vacuum. None of those leaders has gotten the Netanyahu treatment, which included his being forced to use the White House back door on one trip, and the cold shoulder on another.

It is a clear and glaring double standard.

Most troubling is Obama’s bended-knee deference to Iran’s Supreme Leader, which has been repaid with “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” demonstrations in Tehran and expanded Iranian military action in other countries.

The courtship reached the height of absurdity last week, when Obama wished Iranians a happy Persian new year by equating Republican critics of his nuclear deal with the resistance of theocratic hard-liners, saying both “oppose a diplomatic solution.” That is a damnable slur given that a top American military official estimates that Iranian weapons, proxies and trainers killed 1,500 US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who in their right mind would trust such an evil regime with a nuke?

Yet Netanyahu, the leader of our only reliable ally in the region, is ­repeatedly singled out for abuse. He alone is the target of an orchestrated attempt to defeat him at the polls, with Obama political operatives, funded in part by American taxpayers, working to elect his opponent.

They failed and Netanyahu prevailed because Israelis see him as their best bet to protect them. Their choice was wise, but they better buckle up because it’s Israel’s turn to face the wrath of Obama.

Written by New York Post writer Michael Goodwin

The post Israel Must Realize That They Have A Greater Enemy Than Iran appeared first on Now The End Begins.


‘Get Over It, Mr. President,’ Says U.S. Senator – Full Transcript

A high-ranking U.S. Senator called out President Barack Obama on national television Sunday for holding an endless personal grudge against Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, appeared Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union program.

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Obama: ‘By Hook Or Crook,’ I’ll Expand Government

President Barack Obama says he’s going to push the limits on presidential power as far as he can go during the last two years of his tenure.

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Will America Abandon Israel?

“U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Israel, Makes Excuses for Iran” —The Weekly Standard, 3/19/2015

Did you ever in your life think you’d live to see the above headline? For Christian supporters of Israel, we have entered Unthinkable Land.

The tone and tenor from the White House regarding Israel has become so menacing, one can believe the American president is capable of anything malicious.

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Stakelbeck Exposes ISIS Threat to America

Stakelbeck’s experience with the domestic Islamic threat naturally turns the book’s focus toward the ISIS iceberg in America and Europe, from its foreign fighters, both immigrant and convert, traveling from Western airports into the teeth of the Jihad, to its social media operation, its propaganda and its plans.

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The dark side of iPads coming to light

Official figures confirm the picture she paints, with emergency admissions to child psychiatric wards doubling in four years, and those young adults hospitalized for self-harm up by 70 percent in a decade.

“Something is clearly happening,” says Evans, “because I am seeing the evidence in the numbers of depressive, anorexic, cutting children who come to see me. And it always has something to do with the computer, the Internet and the smartphone.”

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The blood-moons wars – Joseph Farah

Joseph Farah exposes troubling claim of mega-pastor’s ‘discovery’ of phenomenon

When the book came out in 2014, I was eager to read it – as was Biltz. Hagee had consulted with Biltz on the subject after the 2012 event at his church. We were both disappointed that Biltz was nowhere credited with the discovery of the phenomenon, though Hagee did recount his meeting with Biltz and explained, in a roundabout way, that the pastor had inspired the book by asking a question: “Have you ever considered the sun, moon and stars in the study of prophecy?” Hagee never mentioned that Biltz had thoroughly researched the blood moons phenomenon, presented on it over a period of four years on Christian television, spoken at conferences and produced DVD teachings. It had become Biltz’s most well-known accomplishment – his identity, if you will, around the world.

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Iranians Chant “Death to America” While Negotiations Continue

The Supreme Leader of Iran presided over chants of “Death to America” while responding to Pres. Obama’s conciliatory message to Iran.

By contrast, Obama’s Nowruz message to the Iranian people said that a nuclear deal would bring a brighter future for the people of Iran and urged them to support the negotiations.

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On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Death of Singapore founder reminder of value of political separation of powers

Lee Kuan Yew, The Economist

2) Islamic State attack on Yemeni mosques exposes internal conflict of Islam

Yemen Division of Islamic State Claims Suicide Bomb Attacks That Killed Scores, Wall Street Journal (Hakim Almasmari and Asa Fitch)

United Nations Investigators Accuse ISIS of Genocide Over Attacks on Yazidis, New York Times (Nick Cumming-Bruce)

3) Ineffectiveness of UN reveals divide between nations will only end under Prince of Peace

The Secretary General in His Labyrinth, New Republic (Jonathan M. Katz)

4) Ongoing Senate stalemate over sex trafficking bill shows Democrats beholden to abortion lobby

Fight Over Abortion Grinds Senate to Halt, Wall Street Journal (Michael Crittenden)

Democrats are the new party of no, Washington Post (Editorial Board)
In other news…

Marsha west – Pitiable Capitulating Pro-Family Leaders part 1

I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God

Bishop Duane Youngblood Sentenced to Prison

Tithe Rapaganda

Why is Steven Furtick Acting Like a Cult Leader?

‘Strip for Jesus’? Texas Church Says Billboard Has Spiritual Message

Saddleback Church celebrates its 35th anniversary in front of an expected crowd of 50,000

Oklahoma plan to restrict same-sex marriage may backfire

The myth of the evangelical voter

Forgiving ISIS: Christian ‘Resistance’ Videos Go Viral in Arab World


This Present Apostasy

The “church” has replaced repentance with tolerance and compromise, sanctification with indulgence and permissiveness, and righteousness with irreverence and outright blasphemy. The false prophets and false teachers which dominate the “church” pulpits today are offenders rather than defenders of the gospel. They are either twisting the Word of God for their own benefit, denying its sufficiency and authority or ignoring it altogether.

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What Does The Bible Say About Israel’s Future?

not-jews

Commentary by Jack Kelley

Contrary to all the polls and predictions Benyamin Netanyahu and his Likud party have won another election. Some Israeli observers are calling this a landmark victory, because it came in spite of (or maybe as a reaction to) unprecedented external meddling in the country’s election process.

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Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer:

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

March 23, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Blogroll Collection

Christian, beware of thinking lightly of sin. Take heed in case you fall little by little. —C.H. Spurgeon

March 23 Quotes


The Daily Discovery (March 23, 2015)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

You Are Dust, Not Divine – “We Christians put on a good face, don’t we? Each of us shows up on Sunday morning looking like we are doing just fine, like our lives are on cruise control, like we have had the best week ever. But ask a couple of leading questions, and probe just beneath the surface, and it soon falls apart. Each of us comes to church feeling the weight and the difficulty of this life. God has something he wants us to do in these situations. There is something he calls us to—something beautifully surprising and uncomfortable. Track with me for a couple of minutes here, and I’ll show you what it is.

Is Proverbs 22:6 a Promise for Parents? – “Is Proverbs 22:6 a promise? Many Christian parents feel guilty when their children do not ‘turn out right.’ They ask questions like, ‘What did we do wrong? What else could we have done?’ What is more problematic is that the guilt so many Christian parents feel finds its root in the Bible. After all, Proverbs 22:6 states, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.’”

John Calvin’s 4 Rules of Prayer – “For John Calvin, prayer cannot be accomplished without discipline. He writes, ‘Unless we fix certain hours in the day for prayer, it easily slips from our memory.’ He goes on to prescribe several rules to guide believers in offering effectual, fervent prayer.”

Persecution is the natural result of teaching or preaching God’s Word without compromise – “A study of the book of Acts reveals that as Christianity spread as the Apostles obediently made disciples wherever they went, it was always accompanied by persecution. The hotter the persecution the more encouraged the brethren became. While that is not logical to the fallen mind, that is exactly how God grew His church. In the early 2nd century the bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John, was brought to the Roman authorities and ordered to confess that Caesar is lord. Polycarp was eighty-six years old at this point. All he had to do was utter that statement as he offered a pinch of incense to Caesar, but he refused. He was martyred by fire.”

Contend Mondays: The Importance of Preaching the Resurrection – “With Easter approaching, I want to encourage you to share the wonderful hope of the eternal life we have because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That Jesus rose from the dead is important because…


SERMON:

Alistair Begg – Lost in Niceness


VIDEOS:

If God Is Love, Why Do People Suffer?

What Tool Could Help Christians With Textual Criticism?


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

The post The Daily Discovery (March 23, 2015) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Nine Traits of Mean Churches

“My church is a mean church!”

I received two emails this week from church members who made that very statement. The members are from two different churches in two different states. One of the churches belongs to a denomination; the other is non-denominational. In both cases the church members made the decision to drop out of local church life altogether.

Yes, I tried to reason with the two members. I told them that no church is perfect. If they had any doubt, I wrote, look at the two letters the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. I failed in convincing them to stay in their churches. I pray they will become active in other churches later.

I love local churches. But I have to admit, I am hearing more from long-term members who are quitting church life completely. One member wrote me, “The non-Christians I associate with are much nicer people than the members of my church.”

Ouch. That really hurt.

So, after receiving the second email, I began to assimilate all the information I could find where church members had written me about their “mean” churches. They may not have used the word “mean” specifically, but the intent was the same. I then collected characteristics of these churches, and I found nine that were common. I call these the “nine traits of mean churches.”

  1. Too many decisions are made in the cloak of darkness. Only a select few members really know what’s going on. The attitude of those elitists is that the typical member doesn’t really need to know.
  2. The pastor and/or staff are treated poorly. Decisions are made about them without a fair process. Complaints are often numerous and veiled. Many of these churches are known for firing pastors and/or staff with little apparent cause.
  3. Power groups tenaciously hold on to their power. The power group may be a formal group such as a committee, elders, or deacons. But the group can also be informal—no official role but great informal authority. Power groups avoid and detest accountability, which leads to the next point.
  4. There is lack of clear accountability for major decisions and/or expenditures. The church has no clear system in place to make certain that a few outlier members cannot accumulate great power and authority.
  5. Leaders of the power groups have an acrimonious spirit. Though they may make first impressions of kindness and gentleness, the mean streak emerges if you try to cross them.
  6. A number of the members see those outside of the church as “them” or “those people.” Thus the church is at odds with many in the community instead of embracing them with the love of Christ.
  7. Many members have an inward focus; they view the church as a place to get their own preferences and wants fulfilled. They are the opposite of the description of church members in 1 Corinthians 12, where Paul describes them as functioning members for the greater good of the body of Christ.
  8. Many people in the community view these churches negatively. Those on the outside often refer to these churches as “fighting and firing churches.” The community members detect no love for them from these churches.
  9. Most of the members are silent when power plays and bad decisions take place. They don’t want to stand up to the power group. They are afraid to ask questions. Their silence allows the power abuses to continue.

Are mean churches really increasing in number? My anecdotal information would indicate they are.

What can we do to become a more unified body? How can churches demonstrate more positive impressions to the community? What can we do to hold on to good members who are giving up on local churches altogether? What is your input on these issues? Let me hear from you.

The post Nine Traits of Mean Churches appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


9 Marks of an Unhealthy Church

In one sense the nine marks of an unhealthy church could simply be the opposite of all that makes for a healthy church, so that unhealthy churches ignore membership and discipline and expository preaching and all the rest. But the signs of church sickness are not always so obvious. It’s possible for your church to teach and understand all the right things and still be a terribly unhealthy place. No doubt, there are dozens of indicators that a church has become dysfunctional and diseased. But let’s limit ourselves to nine.

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Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting

Gay marriage doesn’t just redefine marriage, but also parenting. It promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.

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Why Some Pregnant Moms Don’t Wait to Announce

As more women speak openly about the risk and pain of miscarriage, announcing pregnancies earlier becomes another way to combat the isolation that comes with losing a baby in its first several weeks. If moms who grieve miscarriage never shared their pregnancy news in the first place, they’re left with the dilemma of whether to tell when the baby doesn’t make it.

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Gyges’ Ring is Real

How do you behave on the internet? How do you talk to other people online? How long do you pause before you push the “submit” button on a comment or before you push “return” after writing a Facebook comment? How big is the disconnect between the things you are willing to say to people face to face and the things you are willing to type to them?

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Maybe Christianity is Less Like a Journey and More Like Fitness Training

Also, in many of our first experiences in trying to live in light of the gospel, we fall on our faces. We are in a continuous battle with sin. But through repentance and prayer, the Lord uses even those times to strengthen us. When we encounter our new vocabulary the second time, we know it and can learn deeper by the use of it. When we encounter a similar temptation over, we are stronger and wiser to turn away. Our trust in the Lord grows as we see how he has been faithful all along.

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Door May Be Closing for Churches Seeking Dismissal from PCUSA

The letter suggests that it would have been better if the presbytery leaders had responded to dismissal requests “with a clear word when they had a chance to say no. For example: ‘we are sorry you are unhappy. But we believe we are all better together. Please reconsider. But if you don’t, please know that our church constitution has a trust clause that forbids any part of the church, including its congregations, from taking property that is held in trust for the whole denomination. Both our Book of Order and the recent unanimous ruling of the Oregon Supreme Court forbid the actions that dissident churches are requesting.”

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Should I Start a Relationship with a Non-Christian?

Beginning a relationship with a non-Christian betrays a failure to realise how utterly different a Christian is from a non-Christian. When two people decide to start a relationship, it’s normally because they share the same values and worldview. But you can’t get two more profoundly different people than a believer and an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6.14-7.1). All the things you have in common are purely superficial and can’t possibly compensate for the huge gulf between you spiritually. Think about it like this. Could you go out with someone who really doesn’t like your family?

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Presbyterians And Homosexuals Together: The Crisis Of Christ And Culture

With the death of the mainlines we’re witnessing the last gasp of the informal Constantinianism in America, the gathering of cultural elites in the narthex of tall-steeple PCUSA congregations. The informal coalition of cultural and political power brokers in and with the mainline is dead. The WWII generation was probably the last to care to identify with the mainline or to seek the approval of the mainline. Now that the culture has got what it wanted, capitulation, even the NYT will ignore it. There is no reason to pay attention to the PCUSA. They aren’t saying anything that can’t be found in the Times. The point of paying attention to the PCUSA was to humiliate it into ideological conformity.

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Kara Tippetts: Homecoming

Kara recently wrote, My little body has grown tired of battle, and treatment is no longer helping. But what I see, what I know, what I have is Jesus. He has still given me breath, and with it I pray I would live well and fade well. By degrees doing both, living and dying, as I have moments left to live. I get to draw my people close, kiss them and tenderly speak love over their lives. I get to pray into eternity my hopes and fears for the moments of my loves. I get to laugh and cry and wonder over Heaven. I do not feel like I have the courage for this journey, but I have Jesus—and He will provide. He has given me so much to be grateful for, and that gratitude, that wondering over His love, will cover us all. And it will carry us—carry us in ways we cannot comprehend.

[Editor’s Note: Kara Tippetts was the wife of Rev. Jason Tippetts, pastor of Westside Presbyterian Church (PCA) Colorado Springs. Her battle with breast cancer became well-known through her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, and through her letter to Brittany Maynard encouraging her not to pursue physician assisted suicide.]

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College Ministry Kicked off Campus – for Requiring Leaders to Be Christian

Via Garrett Haley over at ChristianNewsnet: TURLOCK, Calif. – A Christian campus organization has lost recognition from its university and been accused of “religious discrimination” for not allowing non-Christians to hold leadership positions in the group. Chi Alpha is a national student ministry organization with a presence in over 300 college campuses across the United […]

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Squashing Christians

We have a lot of news to cover today. A little later, a Christian campus organization in California has lost recognition from its university and been accused of “religious discrimination” for not allowing non-Christians to hold leadership positions in the group. It’s the kind of new normal we never thought we’d see a decade ago. […]

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Would Muhammad Have Approved of the Islamic State? Part 2: Influence in Medina

by Jonathan McLatchie

In a previous article, I began a series of blog posts addressing the question of whether or not Muhammad would have approved of the Islamic state. In the first instalment, I discussed Muhammad’s life in Mecca, and introduced the Islamic doctrines of abrogation and Taqiyya, both of which are found in the Qur’an itself. As I […]

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You Are Dust, Not Divine

We Christians put on a good face, don’t we? Each of us shows up on Sunday morning looking like we are doing just fine, like our lives are on cruise control, like we have had the best week ever. But ask a couple of leading questions, and probe just beneath the surface, and it soon falls apart. Each of us comes to church feeling the weight and the difficulty of this life. God has something he wants us to do in these situations. There is something he calls us to—something beautifully surprising and uncomfortable. Track with me for a couple of minutes here, and I’ll show you what it is.

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God Saves Repentant Sinners

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. Jonah 2:8 (NIV)

Salvation from sin involves both faith and repentance. When God saves Jonah from certain death, he does not get on the next ship to Tarshish. He does not continue in disobedience. He does what God commands him and goes to Nineveh.

Salvation, if you are really saved, involves a complete change of direction. This is true, even if you lived a moral life before. Who you live for changes. Turning to God means turning away from whatever had his place in your life.

When Christ saves you, you are no longer your own. You are bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20). What a price it was! You belong to Christ. You are in him and he is in you. You are a new creation in Christ, created for good works (Eph. 2:10).

“But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). That’s amazing… thanksgiving and praise are flowing out of Jonah while he is in the belly of the fish!

Why is Jonah so full of gratitude? When Jonah was in the water, he was sure he would die. When he was in the fish, he was sure he would live. How could he be sure? Because if God had intervened in his life in such a miraculous way, what could be more certain than that God would complete it? What God begins, he always completes (Phil. 1:6).

You can worship, however uncomfortable your experience is right now, if you know that God is saving you. What are your experience and your worship like right now?

That’s this week’s LifeKEY!

Colin S. Smith

This devotional is taken from the sermon series “How to Avoid a God-Centered Life” by Pastor Colin S. Smith.


Symptoms of the America We Deserve?

by David Fiorazo

Most of us can see the writing on the wall: our nation will either return to God and He will heal our land, or we will do nothing and remain on the present path to destruction. It depends on the course individual Christians choose and sadly, too many profess to believe and yet they fail […]

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Here I Stand

by David Huffstutler

I just finished reading Here I Stand, the biography of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton. I look forward to the day I feel the rugged embrace of Luther as two who are one in Christ, justified by faith alone. As I read one of Luther’s hymns in the final chapter of my book, I was moved to poetry by my fellow German and wrote what lies below.

Here I Stand
By David Huffstutler
In Honor of Christ
In Memory of Martin Luther

Satan nips my heels this day.
He bares his fangs and dares to say,
“You have guilt for many sins;
These deny your stand in Him!”
But one reply to tongues of two
With promises I know are true
Blunts his head as if with stone:
“Christ, not me, by faith alone!”

The serpent strikes; his venom stings.
Despite his slander, I shall sing,
“Sin brings death and I shall die,
But yet I sit with Him on high!”
He slithers by and bites my heel,
But soon his skull shall fully feel
The crush of Christ beneath my feet,
For, “Here I stand, in Christ, complete!”

Source


Why the Bible Tells Some Tragic Stories Comically

by Pastor J.D.

It’s sad that we evangelicals so often miss the humor in Bible stories. If we read a story that seems silly or funny in any way, our first inclination is to read it again … removing any of the funny parts. The Bible, after all, is serious business! I’m not exaggerating: pick up just about any commentary on any book of the Bible, and describe the book’s tone. I’ll give you a dollar if funny registers in the top 20.

To be fair, the Bible’s primary aim isn’t to entertain us. And what it has to say to us is serious. But every now and then, God chooses to communicate serious truth with a grin. That seems to be what’s going in with the bizarre story of Eglon in Judges 3.

Not familiar with Eglon? He was a nasty Moabite king who had brought Israel under his thumb. And other than his oppressive reign, just about all we know about him is that he was “a very fat man” (Judges 3:17). That might seem like an irrelevant detail; it’s not.

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Lew Kwan Yew, Singapore and Christianity

by Bill Muehlenberg

Today the founding Prime Minister of Singapore passed away at age 91. He is rightly credited with single-handedly turning Singapore from a third-world backwater to a first-world success story. One of the wealthiest nations in the world, the Singapore miracle was largely due to this great man.

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5 Reasons Why the Resurrection of Jesus is Important

The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity

There are a lot of topics that I have no interest in arguing about. There are certain biblical stories and events, while interesting and having something to say to us, that in the end will not make much difference to us. On our death bed, we will not be wondering how many Israelite soldiers were at a certain battle. The same cannot be said for the resurrection of Jesus.

The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most important claims of Christianity. It is sad that some Christians speak of the resurrection as if it is just a happy ending tacked on to the crucifixion so that we don’t get depressed. If you study Acts and Paul’s letters, you will see that very often Paul talks about the resurrection without even mentioning the cross.

Here are five reasons why we should take the resurrection seriously.


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Born Again Twice?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Can a Christian who has fallen away for 8 years and come back to Christ, still be filled with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? All of this after repentance and being Water baptized again. Is it necessary to ask for the Baptism of Holy Spirit a second time? I still have my prayer language, etc.

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The US And The 10 Toes Of Daniel 2

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  I have a question about the statue in Daniel chapter 2. Could it be possible for the US to be the toes? We have European roots and our government has similarities to Rome. Our people are a mixture and the way things are heading, looks like soon we will no longer be united, as a people. It also states, “in the time of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people.”

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Creationism And Evolution

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. How does one reconcile the arguments of creationism vs. evolution? I hold fast to the belief that God created man, but, with overwhelming proof of the concept of evolving is there any proof outside faith that at some point God made man as he is today and in doing so broke from the predecessor “cave man” etc. Is there a blending of the two concepts that is acceptable to the Christian faith?

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Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


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The Three-Fold Function of the Law

God’s moral law (the Ten Commandments) has three basic functions.God's Law

1. The civil use of the law: In relation to society, the law issues a standard for right and wrong (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-2).

God’s law promotes righteousness in the society and protects the people from wrongdoers. For instance, the law commands us not to bear false witness against our neighbor in order to promote honesty and in order to protect us from dishonest people (Exod. 20:16). The moral law then provides a standard for good and evil in our land. It commends good and condemns evil.

2. The evangelical (or gospel) use of the law: In relation to salvation, the law informs sinners of their sin and need of a Savior.

The law proclaims that we are guilty sinners for we have transgressed God’s law. “Through the law,” the Apostle Paul says, “comes knowledge of sin”…

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15 Suggested Readings on the Resurrection of Jesus

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

Here some of my picks to read on the resurrection:

1. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary R. Habermas and Michael Licona (Paperback – Sep 25, 2004)

This book is apologetic in nature. Gary Habermas, who has been one of the top resurrection apologists over the last few decades and his protégé Mike Licona give one of the most thorough treatments that I have seen. They discuss just about every counterargument that has ever been formulated against the historicity of the resurrection. They also provide some charts and acronyms that are extremely helpful.

2. Did the Resurrection Happen?: A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Antony Flew (Veritas Forum Books) by Gary R. Habermas, Antony Flew, and David J. Baggett (Paperback – Apr 29, 2009)

This is rich reading. The first part of the book was an updated version of a debate that took place between the late…

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We Ask You To Abstain

The Reformed Reader

The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms Historic Reformed and Presbyterian churches have always “fenced” the table of the Lord.  That is, when the Lord’s Supper is celebrated, the pastor and/or an elder says that certain people are not to partake.  The details vary among historic Reformed/Presbyterian churches, but they all do fence the table to some extent.  Even if we might disagree how “high” the fence is, it is proper and biblical to warn the unrepentant and unbelievers not to take Holy Communion.  The Westminster Confession of Faith says it like this:

“All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with him [Christ], so they are unworthy of the Lord’s table; and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such [ignorant and ungodly], partake of these holy mysteries or be admitted thereunto” (29.8).  [1 Cor. 11:27-29, 2 Cor. 6:14-16, 1 Cor. 10:21, 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15, Matt. 7:6, etc.]

Thomas…

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Symptoms of the America We Deserve?

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

cardiogram

Most of us can see the writing on the wall: our nation will either return to God and He will heal our land, or we will do nothing and remain on the present path to destruction. It depends on the course individual Christians choose and sadly, too many profess to believe, but fail to live according to the Bible. Only the Lord knows if they were truly saved in the first place.

I have never seen so much moral and spiritual confusion even among Christians. If we are not established in the Word of God and a preserving influence on culture, how can we expect it to improve? Proverbs 14:34 states,

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Many of America’s founders promoted or supported the idea that our nation will only advance, be blessed, and prosper if we the people continue in the things…

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The Power of Patience (Part 2)

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

Job2James knew his readers needed patience. They were facing persecution because of their faith. In Part 1, we saw two examples of patient endurance he gave: the farmer and the prophets. Today, we will look at the third example he gave.

Job (James 5:11)

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

You cannot persevere unless there is a trial in your life. There can be no victories without battles; there can be no peaks without valleys. If we want the blessing, we must be prepared to carry the burden and fight the battle.

I once heard a young Christian pray, “Lord, please teach me the deep truths of Your Word! I want to be lifted up to the heavens to hear…

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GTY Blog: The Seven Last Sayings of Christ: A Plea for Forgiveness

Luke 22

Code: B150323

by John MacArthur

Because of the physical rigors of crucifixion, Christ spoke only with great difficulty during His final hours on the cross. Scripture records just seven brief sayings from the Savior on the cross, but every one of them reveals that Christ remained sovereignly in control, even as He died. And each of His sayings was rich with significance.

Over the next two weeks, as the church prepares to celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, we’ll look closer at each of His last sayings from the cross. Today, we’ll start with His plea for forgiveness.

A Plea for Forgiveness

As He hung on the cross, Christ issued a plea for mercy on behalf of His tormentors. Luke records that shortly after the cross was raised on Calvary—while the soldiers were still gambling for His clothing—He prayed to God for forgiveness on their behalf.

When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:33–34).

J.C. Ryle wrote,

These words were probably spoken while our Lord was being nailed to the cross, or as soon as the cross was reared up on end. It is worthy of remark that as soon as the blood of the Great Sacrifice began to flow, the Great High Priest began to intercede.

While others were mocking Him—just as the taunting and jeering reached a fever pitch—Christ responded in precisely the opposite way most men would have. Instead of threatening, lashing back, or cursing His enemies, He prayed to God on their behalf.

Priestly Intercession

As with so many of the details surrounding Jesus’ death, this priestly intercession on behalf of His own killers was done in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy: “He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12, emphasis added).

The whole meaning of the cross is summed up in this one act of intercession. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:17). Certainly any mortal man would have desired only to curse or revile his killers under these circumstances. One might even think that God incarnate would wish to call down some thunderous blast of judgment against such wicked men. But Christ was on a mission of mercy. He was dying to purchase forgiveness for sins. And even at the very height of His agony, compassion filled his heart.

The phrase “for they do not know what they are doing” does not suggest that they were unaware that they were sinning. Ignorance does not absolve anyone from sin. These people were behaving wickedly, and they knew it. Most were fully aware of the fact of their wrongdoing. Pilate himself had testified of Jesus’ innocence. The Sanhedrin was fully aware that no legitimate charges could be brought against Him. The soldiers and the crowd could easily see that a great injustice was being done, and yet they all gleefully participated. Many of the taunting spectators at Calvary had heard Christ teach and seen Him do miracles. They could not have really believed in their hearts that He deserved to die this way.

But they were ignorant of the enormity of their crime. They were blinded to the full reality that they were crucifying God the Son. They were spiritually insensitive because they loved darkness rather than light. Therefore they did not recognize that the One they were putting to death was the Light of the World. “For if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8).

How was Jesus’ prayer answered? In innumerable ways. The first answer came with the conversion of one of the thieves on the cross next to Jesus (Luke 23:40–43). Another followed immediately, with the conversion of a centurion, one of the soldiers who had crucified Christ (v. 47). Other answers to His prayer came in the weeks and months that followed the crucifixion—particularly at Pentecost—as untold numbers of people in Jerusalem were converted to Christ. No doubt many of them were the same people who had clamored for Jesus’ death and railed at Him from the foot of the cross. We’re told in Acts 6:7, for example, that a great number of the temple priests later confessed Jesus as Lord.

A Token of Mercy, Not a Divine Shortcut

It is important to understand that Jesus’ plea for his killers’ forgiveness did not guarantee the immediate and unconditional forgiveness of everyone who participated in the crucifixion. He was interceding on behalf of all who would repent and turn to Him as Lord and Savior. His prayer was that when they finally realized the enormity of what they had done and sought the heavenly Father’s forgiveness for their sin, He would not hold the murder of His beloved Son against them.

Divine forgiveness is never granted to people who remain in unbelief and sin. Those who clung to their hatred of Jesus were by no means automatically absolved from their crime by Jesus’ prayer. But those who repented and sought forgiveness, like the centurion, or the thief on the cross, or the priests, or the people in the crowd—all who later embraced Him would find abundant mercy in answer to Christ’s petition on their behalf.

Christ’s prayer was a token of mercy offered to all who heard. He prayed aloud for their sakes (cf. John 11:42). Their sin was so unfathomably heinous that if witnesses had not actually heard Him pray for His killers’ forgiveness, most might have assumed they had committed an unpardonable offense.

The forgiveness Christ prayed for is freely offered to all (Revelation 22:17). In fact, God is eager to forgive repentant sinners. The prodigal son’s father is a vivid picture of God’s eagerness to forgive. The Lord pleads for every sinner to be reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:20; Ezekiel 18:3–32; Acts 17:30). To those who repent from sin, He promises to lavish freely with forgiveness. If that offer was extended to those who murdered the very Author of life, how much more is it available to us today?

(Adapted from The Murder of Jesus.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150323
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

‘Legalism’: An Observation

Zwinglius Redivivus

The marginally committed and the mostly un-committed like to say that calls to obedience and faithfulness are ‘legalistic’.  But only to justify their own lack of commitment and unfaithfulness.  What modern Christianity desperately needs is committed disciples who faithfully execute the commands of Christ.  If the marginally committed and the mostly un-committed want to call that ‘legalism’, so be it.  It’e better to be ‘legalistic’ than ‘lukewarm’.

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Israeli Arabs are a vital part of our society & must be valued as such. Netanyahu is not a racist, but he should have been more careful how he communicated during the campaign. Now he should bring all Israelis together against common threats.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

netanyahu-PMoffice>> MONDAY UPDATE (4pm Israel time): With 67 Members of Knesset recommending him to be Prime Minister, Netanyahu to be formally tasked with assembling new government.

UPDATED: (Central Israel) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under blistering criticism for comments he made on Election Day when he urged his supporters to turn out to the polls and vote for him because foreign organizations were mobilizing a larger number of Arab voters than usual to vote for his Left-wing opponents.

Here is specifically what the PM said in an Election Day You Tube video: “The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are going en masse to the polls. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them on buses….We only have you. Go to the polls, bring your friends and family, vote Mahal [Likud] to close the gap between us and Labor [Zionist Union]….With your help and God’s help, we will form a nationalist government that will protect the…

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As Khamenei urges “Death to America,” Kerry insists progress being made on nuclear deal. The administration is playing with fire.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

"Death to America!" says Iran's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “Death to America!” says Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

We are rapidly approaching the March 31st deadline for the Iran nuclear negotiations. Yet while Iran makes few if any concessions, the P5+1 continues to make more and more concessions to the tyrants of Tehran.

Iran’s leaders keep openly and unabashedly threatening America and Israel with annihilation. Yet the Obama administration and the major world powers keep giving Iran what it wants. Under the current deal that’s being discussion, Iran does not have to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure. It will still be allowed to enrich uranium. It does not have to disclose its nuclear weaponization efforts. It does not have to modify much less abandon its efforts to build ICBMs. And it will be given assurances that all economic sanctions will be removed from Iran in due time, and all nuclear inspectors will be removed, as well.

This is a dangerous road. The…

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The Resurrection of Jesus: a Clinical Review of Psychiatric Hypotheses for the Biblical Story of Easter

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

For anyone that has discussed the resurrection of Jesus with skeptics, I think we all know it is quite common for them to punt to hallucinations, conversion disorders, and bereavement experiences. In this article, called  The Resurrection of Jesus: a Clinical Review of Psychiatric Hypotheses for the Biblical Story of Easter, Joseph W. Bergeron, M.D. and Gary R. Habermas, Ph.D discuss these issues. Enjoy!

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40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Five: Monday)

Monday

Day 29: What kind of body did Jesus have after the resurrection event?

Confession: Psalm 69:5

O God, you yourself know my foolishness,

and my guilty deeds are not hidden from you.

Reading: Mark 14:22–31

And while they were eating, he took bread and, after giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them and said, “Take it, this is my body.” And after taking the cup and giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many. Truly I say to you that I will never drink of the fruit of the vine any longer until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” And after they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written,

‘I will strike the shepherd

and the sheep will be scattered.’

But after I am raised, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” But Peter said to him, “Even if they all fall away, certainly I will not!” And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that today—this night—before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times!” But he kept saying emphatically, “If it is necessary for me to die with you, I will never deny you!” And they all were saying the same thing also.

Reflection

Behold this mystery, then, thoughtfully before God. See how carefully, faithfully, and devoutly our Lord does every action … And then, as a memorial of His love, He adds, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19 nrsv). This is that memorial which, when the grateful soul receives by eating or by spiritual meditation ought to be inflamed and inebriated with love.… For nothing could He leave for us dearer, sweeter, and more profitable than Himself. For He who comes to us in the sacrament is the same who was wonderfully conceived and born of the virgin. He endured death for you, rose again, ascended gloriously, and sits at the right hand of the Father. He it is who created heaven, and earth, and all things, and who rules and guides them. On Him depends your salvation. It is in His power and will to give or not to give the glory of paradise. He it is who is offered for you and is given to you. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

—Saint Bonaventure

The Life of Christ

Response

Take a moment to think about the greatness of the sacrifice Christ made for you. He has died, defeated death, and in His resurrection He has brought you new life. Whatever your circumstances are, are you filled with the hope of His resurrection?[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Persecution is the natural result of teaching or preaching God’s Word without compromise

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.
18 “ If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose…

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