Daily Archives: November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Nov. 28, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

U.S. voters approve 50%-43% of job President Obama is doing, his highest score since 53%-40% approval rating Dec. 6, 2012, right after he won re-election, according to Quinnipiac University national poll.

Already in November, the value of American financial firms has been inflated by more than $300 billion, the most ever for the group as it benefits from optimism over Donald Trump’s presidential plans.

OPEC ministers flew to Moscow and officials in Vienna started another round of talks in an effort to salvage an agreement on production cuts, just as Saudi Arabia said a deal might not be necessary.

AP Top Stories

An active shooter was reported on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus. The school issued an alert via its emergency alert system and urged students and faculty to shelter in place.

Thousands of Cubans began lining up early near Havana’s Plaza of the Revolution Monday carrying portraits of Fidel Castro, flowers and Cuban flags for the start of week-long services bidding farewell to the man who ruled the country for nearly half a century.

Wildfires near Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank have forced hundreds to flee their homes amid mass evacuations in Israel and more than a dozen arrests, police said Saturday.

Brazil’s President Michel Temer, together with congressional leaders, vowed on Sunday to block any attempt by legislators to grant themselves a corruption amnesty as he sought to defuse a series of scandals.

Zimbabweans on Monday greeted their new “bond note” currency with deep suspicion that it could herald the return of hyperinflation that destroyed their savings less than 10 years ago. The country has operated mainly on US dollars since 2009, but banks and cash machines started dispersing new “bond notes” valued at the equivalent of $1 and $2.

Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters will not follow a government directive to leave the federal land where hundreds have camped for months, organizers said Saturday, despite state officials encouraging them to do so. Standing Rock Sioux tribal leader Dave Archambault and other protest organizers confidently explained that they’ll stay at the Oceti Sakowin camp and continue with nonviolent protests a day after Archambault received a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that said all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed to public access Dec. 5 for “safety concerns.”

The head of Iranian Railways has resigned after four of his employees were arrested following a collision between two trains that left at least 44 people dead.

When Turkey’s teachers returned to school in September, they found their numbers decimated by expulsions, more than half their textbooks gone, and some 2,250 educational institutions sealed with police tape. Schools have emerged as a critical battleground in Turkey, after a failed coup attempt on July 15 prompted sweeping purges of, by one estimate, 125,000 individuals from the police, armed forces, judiciary, and other ministries; more than 46,000 people have been arrested. Educators have borne the brunt of the crackdown, accounting for nearly half of those arrested, expelled, or suspended.

A lottery ticket sold in Tennessee had the winning numbers for a $421 million Powerball jackpot, one of the biggest on record, officials said after Saturday’s draw.

Iran’s chief of staff of the armed forces said Saturday that Tehran may be interested in setting up naval bases in both Syria and Yemen, the semi-official Tasnim reported.

Nine executives are being held responsible by the Chinese government for a power plant accident where 74 workers were killed when an under-construction cooling tower collapsed.

BBC

Syrian government forces have captured a third of the rebel-held territory in eastern Aleppo, monitors say.

A white man accused of killing nine black people at a South Carolina church will be allowed to represent himself at trial, a federal judge has said.

San Francisco’s transport agency has been hit by a hack attack that led to customers being able to travel for nothing. The hackers have made a ransom demand of 100 Bitcoin, which amounts to about $70,000. As a precaution, staff shut off all ticketing machines on the network.

A man has been killed and nine others injured in a shooting in the historic French Quarter of the US city of New Orleans.

Higher water temperatures in 2016 caused the worst destruction of corals ever recorded on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a study has found. Some 67% of corals died in the reef’s worst-hit northern section.

Japan’s government estimates the cost of cleaning up radioactive contamination and compensating victims of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has more than doubled.

The wife of Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has drawn criticism by performing a Holocaust-themed ice skating routine on Russian television.

The Israeli Air Force has bombed a building used by Islamic State (IS) militants in the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights, Israel’s military said.

WND

In Britain, Big Brother just got bigger. After months of wrangling, Parliament has passed a contentious new snooping law that gives authorities – from police and spies to food regulators, fire officials and tax inspectors – powers to look at the internet browsing records of everyone in the country.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for the nation to become a cashless society.

A UK academic is campaigning against sex robots, arguing they are dehumanizing, isolating and will encourage people to consider women as property.


Top News – 11/28/2016

Israel Battles ISIS on Golan Heights
Israeli soldiers operating along the border between Israel and Syria on Sunday came under attack from terrorists affiliated with ISIS. The soldiers were conducting a mission in the buffer zone between the two countries, but still inside Israeli territory, when they came under small arms and mortar fire.

Obama Attempts to Distort His Legacy
The election of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on November 8… was…clearly a repudiation of Democratic policymaking, with Trump promising to eliminate or revise a number of Barack Obama’s signature achievements.

Syrian Army Scores Major Victory by Cutting Through Jihadist-Held Eastern Aleppo
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies are reported to have freed the al-Sakhour neighborhood of eastern Aleppo earlier on Monday, separating southern and northern jihadist-held districts of the embattled city in what would be a major victory that could well determine the outcome of the years-long war.

Time to Come Home: South Dakota Chabad Center Completes 50-State Outreach
All of which might mean that messianic times have finally arrived in the United States of America, as Chabad Lubavitch has just announced the establishment of a Chabad Center in the 50th and final US state, South Dakota, home to the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial with its massive sculpture of four great presidents carved into the rock of the Black Hills.

Theory that challenges Einstein’s physics could soon be put to the test
some researchers have suggested that the speed of light could have been much higher in this early universe. Now, one of this theory’s originators, Professor João Magueijo from Imperial College London, working with Dr Niayesh Afshordi at the Perimeter Institute in Canada, has made a prediction that could be used to test the theory’s validity.

Trump To Ask Foreign Governments To Probe Clinton Foundation
President-elect Donald Trump will encourage foreign governments to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s finances, according to a Sunday report by the New York Post.

Keith Ellison Once Proposed Making A Separate Country For Blacks
Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, now in the running to be DNC Chair, has attracted the support of Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Harry Reid. Many think that Ellison, an African-American Muslim, would make a powerful statement leading the DNC. Ellison’s past has gained attention from the media, with Ellison being accused of anti-Semitism and ties to the Nation of Islam.

China’s Secretive Space Program Threatens NASA’s Dominance
The launch of the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft in western China last month marked another great leap forward for the nation’s space program and its ambition to send manned missions to the moon and, eventually, Mars…China is counting on its space program to pay huge economic dividends. China is NASA’s biggest rival in space exploration with plans to land “taikonauts” on the moon by 2036 and Mars thereafter.

Anti-terror police units deployed on London’s streets
Anti-terrorism police patrol units are hitting the streets of London in an attempt to spot people carrying out “hostile reconnaissance” and other criminal activity. Lambeth and Wandsworth will be the first areas to see the new patrol units of uniformed and undercover officers from today, and are due to be extended to other boroughs in the coming months. Scotland Yard stressed the move was “not in response to a specific threat”.

Islamic State retreat reveals terror plots against Europe
Intelligence of attack plots across Europe is being uncovered as Islamic State’s caliphate is beaten back, the top British officer in the military coalition fighting the extremists has disclosed. A trove of information has already been found and the capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul is expected to deliver more on the plans, finances and members of Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil).

France election: Fillon floors rival in conservative primaries
Francois Fillon has taken the conservative ticket in next year’s French presidential election by a landslide at party primaries. With nearly all the ballots counted, he had won 66.5% to 33.5% for his run-off rival, Alain Juppe. The former prime minister promised to build a fairer society, saying France wanted “truth and… action”.

Michael Oren, French envoy clash over boycotts and settlement labeling
An online firestorm ensued Monday after Kulanu Deputy Minister Michael Oren insinuated that Israelis should boycott the purchase of French goods in light of Paris’s decision to label products made in settlements beyond the Green Line. “France is labeling Israeli products from Judea, Samaria, and the Golan. Israelis should think twice before buying French products,” Oren…wrote on Twitter late Sunday.

Israel strikes new ISIS target in Syria day after Golan attack
The IDF on Monday morning again responded to an ISIS attack Sunday against the Israeli Golani Reconnaissance Battalion operating along the Syrian border, the military spokesperson’s office reported. The Israeli Air Force attack targeted an ISIS-held location in the south of the Syrian Golan heights early Monday.

Dear Clinton supporters: Recount won’t matter
News that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has requested a recount in Wisconsin, and will likely do the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania, has raised faint hopes among Hillary Clinton supporters that somehow Donald Trump will not become the next president of the United States. Now that Clinton’s campaign has said it will participate in the recount efforts, those supporters’ hopes have been lifted even higher. To put the matter bluntly: They should give up that hope.

Theresa May says her Christian faith helps her make difficult decisions
Theresa Mayhas said her Christian faith helps her make difficult decisions as she revealed her husband Philip picks her clothes and handbags when she goes shopping. The Prime Minister said her belief in God means she has faith in her gut instincts as she defended her leadership style which has been criticised for shutting others out of the decision-making process.

Geert Wilders on Track to Become Next Prime Minister of the Netherlands
As usual when the elites are told they can’t do something they really want to do, our country’s politicians have been trying to push the treaty down our collective throats nonetheless. Strangely — or not! — most Dutch voters object to being ignored, which is undoubtedly one of several reasons why the PVV continues to gain in the polls.

Syrian Government Forces Retake Rebel-Held Areas In Aleppo
In the Syrian city of Aleppo, forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have established full control of the largest rebel-held district, Masaken Hanano, according to Syria’s state news agency.

Trump: My son-in-law could broker Middle East peace
Kushner is an Orthodox Jew and Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism before they were married. Kushner has become one of Trump’s most trusted advisers and has been playing a major role in shaping the president-elect’s transition. However, his exact role is not clear.

Can this man save the Democrats?
Dressed in a grey sweater, jeans and white sneakers, Tim Ryan looks more like the college-football star he aspired to be than a man about to take on the most powerful woman in Washington, DC.


The Briefing 11-28-16

Fidel Castro, one of the most infamous figures of the 20th century, dead at age 90

Why the nomination of a Secretary of Education reveals the fault lines of America’s worldview conflict

The post The Briefing 11-28-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


What It Feels Like To Be Homeless For The Holidays In America

child-sitting-in-door-and-crying-public-domainCould you imagine spending the holidays in a homeless shelter, in a tent city surrounded by drug addicts and prostitutes, or in a sleeping bag on the cold, hard streets of an urban jungle?  Unfortunately, that is what real life looks like for an increasing number of Americans.  Most of the time when we think of “homeless people”, the image that comes into our minds is one of a grizzled old man asking for some spare change, but the truth is that vast numbers of women and children in our country do not have anywhere to live.  In fact, Poverty USA has reported that last year a grand total 1.6 million U.S. children stayed either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing.  And you never hear the mainstream media report this number, but the truth is that the number of homeless children in the United States has risen by 60 percent since the “end” of the last recession.   For the moment the wealthy are getting wealthier, but meanwhile things have just continued to get harder and harder for those that are struggling to survive in this economy. (Read More….)


Top Headlines – 11/28/2016

  • Trump Alleges That ‘Millions of People’ Voted Illegally (Read More)
  • Oil slip sends dollar, bond yields skidding (Read More)
  • Italian Lenders Slide on Vote Worries to Drag Down Europe Stocks (Read More)
  • OPEC makes last-ditch bid to save oil deal as tensions grow (Read More)
  • How Iran, Russia Could Derail Oil-Production Deal (Read More)
  • Tug of War Delays Some of Trump’s Key Appointments (Read More)
  • French conservatives back Fillon for president, left flounders (Read More)
  • How to Kill the Volcker Rule? Don’t Enforce It (Read More)
  • Islamic State retreat reveals terror plots against Europe (Read More)
  • Trump’s dilemma: Support Big Oil and Big Corn? (Read More)
  • Bomb defused near US embassy in Philippines (Read More)
  • Paul Manafort Is Back (Read More)
  • Fukushima nuclear decommission, compensation costs to almost double (Read More)
  • Lufthansa Headed for Worst Pilot Strike on Hard-Line Stance (Read More)
  • How Amazon Gets Its Holiday Hires Up to Speed in Two Days (Read More)
  • Wells Fargo Hit With Class Action Over Target-Date Funds (Read More)
  • Fearing tighter U.S. visa regime, Indian IT firms rush to hire, acquire (Read More)
  • Fed braces for Trump administration shake-up (Read More)
  • Uber drivers in U.S. cities to join planned worker protests (Read More)
  • Britain seeks to strengthen ties with Poland before Brexit (Read More)

Military Intelligence head warns of instability in West Bank, possible wave of terror

IDF Soldiers Taught to Combat West Bank Terrorism With High-Tech Simulator of Actual Attacks

Man arrested for calling online to burn Arab villages in retaliation

Bennett: ‘Fire terrorists tried to kill an Israeli town’

With wildfires under control, Israel turns to recovery efforts

Netanyahu: Israel will cut through red tape ‘cruelty’ to aid fire victims

Holocaust survivor’s home reduced to ashes in fire

Vladimir Putin spokesman’s wife sparks outrage with ‘Holocaust-on-ice’ dance routine

MK Michael Oren tells Israelis to ‘think twice before buying French products.’

Lebanon stops building wall around biggest Palestinian refugee camp

Gaza risks becoming easy launchpad for Islamic State: Qatari minister

Deadly nuclear material stolen from Iran nuclear plant

Israel Air Force officer: ‘Syria’s the global stage, everybody’s playing there’

Egypt denies military presence in Syria

IDF strikes IS target in Syria, day after killing 4 IS-affiliated terrorists following clash

Iraq’s Parliament Adopts Law Legalizing Shiite Militias

UK commander in Iraq calls for patience over retaking Mosul from Isis

Syrian rebels lose all of northeast Aleppo ‘in worst defeat since they seized half the city in 2012’

Turkish media: Islamic State uses ‘chemical gas’ against Syrian rebels

BBC, Voice of America Reporters Detained in Southeast Turkey

Police safely detonate suspected bomb found near US Embassy in Philippines

Indonesia arrests militants in Myanmar Embassy plot

New ISIS Video ‘You Must Fight Them O Muwahhid’ Is ‘How-To’ on Killing Non-Muslims

Islamic State retreat reveals terror plots against Europe

Anti-terror police units deployed on London’s streets

Morocco state TV apologises for showing women how to hide domestic violence with make-up

Meet Canada’s First Hijab-Wearing TV News Anchor

The EU must compromise to win a good Brexit deal for Britain and the rest of the union, warns Polish PM

Theresa May faces Brexit legal challenge over single market withdrawal

Theresa May says her Christian faith helps her make difficult decisions

How Scotland unwittingly became a tax haven for internet scams

India rupee ban: Sporadic ‘day of rage’ protests against cash ban

From Brazil to Venezuela, Fidel Castro’s influence felt across Latin America

Inside Fidel Castro’s life of luxury and ladies while country starved

Kaepernick booed in Miami for Castro comments

Abbas orders Palestinian flags flown at half-staff in honor of Castro

North Korea calls 3-day mourning period for Castro after honoring Arafat in 2004

GOP urges Obama to avoid Fidel Castro’s funeral

Cubans fret over life after Castro with Trump next door

Trump Walks Business-Politics Tightrope on Cuba After Castro

Donald Trump unleashes Twitter storm against Hillary Clinton’s support for ‘sad’ election recount effort

Trump Says He Lost Popular Vote Because ‘Millions Voted Illegally’

Opinion: The Democrats’ real strategy in launching recounts

Clinton Is Playing With Fire By Backing a Recount in Wisconsin

Clinton joining vote recount appears to test fragile truce with Trump

Dear Clinton supporters: Recount won’t matter

Pirro on Clinton Joining Recount: You Said We Should Accept Election Results

Priebus: Hillary Reneged on Concession ‘Deal’ With Trump

Ted Cruz warns there will be ‘pitchforks and torches in the streets’ if Trump doesn’t deliver on campaign promises

Conway resumes Romney opposition, says Trump loyalists feel ‘betrayed’

Fed braces for Trump administration shake-up

Presidential profits? Secret Service could rent Trump Tower floors

Police hopeful Donald Trump will usher in new era of respect for law enforcement

Florida sees killings increase after passage of ‘stand your ground’ gun law, study says

Hundreds gather at Hampshire College to protest school’s refusal to fly U.S. flag

Dollar Reverses Some Post-Election Gains on Oil Jitters

Trump’s election has China’s former critics looking to it to defend globalization – willingly or not

China Cites ‘The Art of War’ as Trump Signals Trade Battle

China’s Secretive Space Program Threatens NASA’s Dominance

Researchers claim time travel is possible

Moderate 5.4 earthquake strikes near Mount Everest in Nepal

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southeast Indian Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern East Pacific Rise

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 18,000ft

Pope Francis Prays for Central American Hurricane Victims

Southern US at risk for tornadoes, flooding as severe storms arrive on Monday

‘Thunderstorm asthma’ deaths in Melbourne rise to six

Prisoner dies by suicide every three days as toll hits ‘epidemic’ level

Girls are getting ill because they spend all their time ‘taking the perfect selfie’, says Jennifer Saunders

Rise of the ‘cellfie’ – baby photos now begin at fertilisation

Nick Cannon says Planned Parenthood is responsible for ‘real genocide’

California considers ban on sex between lawyers and clients

Pope’s possible deal with China would ‘betray Christ’, says Hong Kong cardinal

What is ‘Bridal Mysticism’? And why is it so prevalent?

Perry Noble Says Churches are Businesses, Offers to Help Them Grow

Aerial View of Bishop I.V. Hilliards Massive Compound Near Houston

Former SBC leader says ERLC out of touch with mainstream

Order Now to Get Your Hipster Nativity Set in Time For Christmas

Planned Parenthood Abortionist Thanks God for ‘Guiding My Hand’ When Killing Babies

DEVELOPING: Ohio State reports ‘active shooter’ on Columbus campus

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 07:31 AM PST

An “active shooter” was being investigated on the Ohio State campus in Columbus, authorities tweeted. “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NASA and FEMA Rehearse for killer Asteroid Strike on Los Angeles

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 06:46 AM PST

Imagine if scientists discovered that an asteroid was hurtling toward Los Angeles. The possibility has existed on the pages of Hollywood scripts. But in what…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Zimbabwe introduces ‘Bond Notes’ to ease cash crunch

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 06:24 AM PST

Zimbabwe launched a new currency on Monday, issuing $10 million of ‘bond notes’ that the authorities hope will ease a severe cash crunch but which…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is the Obama administration at a boiling point with Israel?

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 06:19 AM PST

Speculation has been rife for some time that President Barack Obama will use the presidential interregnum to make a legacy statement on Israel-Palestine. On the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Wave of Fires in Israel blamed on “Divine Retribution”

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 06:11 AM PST

While Israeli officials have blamed a rash of fires on a mix of negligence, uncooperative weather and terror-minded firebugs, some Jewish and Muslim religious “authorities”…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Strong earthquake hits Nepal, tremors felt in India and China

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 06:02 AM PST

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4. has struck northeast Nepal, with shaking felt in Kathmandu and parts of China, India, Bhutan and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Police detonate IED found near US Embassy in Philippines

Posted: 28 Nov 2016 05:41 AM PST

Authorities in Manila detonated an improvised explosive device Monday that was found in a trash bin near the U.S. Embassy. No one was reported hurt…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Amazing Prophecy From 1981 Says That The U.S. Economy Will Collapse After The Death Of Fidel Castro

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 07:51 PM PST

(Reported By Michael Snyder)   ATTENTION: The following report does not reflect the opinions or views of End Time Headlines. Four out of the five major…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

19 volcanic eruptions last week – We are within a serious period of volcanic unrest

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 07:42 PM PST

There have been at least 19 eruptions last week. Are there still any people around saying that the seismic activity isn’t high around the world?…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Muslim Immigrant to U.K. Says God Using Him to Build His Kingdom, Leads More Than 600 Iranians to Jesus

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 07:32 PM PST

When he was still a Muslim living in Iran, Shapoor did not believe God could talk to ordinary people, much less have a relationship with…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito: Religious Freedom in ‘Greater Danger’ Than Free Speech

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 07:29 PM PST

During a recent speech in Washington for the national lawyer’s convention of the Federalist Society, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito opined that religious freedom…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

India grapples with the effects of withdrawing 86% of cash in circulation

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 07:20 PM PST

A NEW strain of trickle-down economics has been spawned by the decision, on November 8th, to withdraw the bulk of India’s banknotes by the end…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Fears mount of multiple bank failures in Italy if Renzi loses referendum…

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 07:15 PM PST

Up to eight of Italy’s troubled banks risk failing if prime minister Matteo Renzi loses a constitutional referendum next weekend and ensuing market turbulence deters…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Revivalist Experiences Hell In a Dream

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 04:29 PM PST

(By John Burton) During this night of terror more than 25 years ago, I fell asleep in the old, empty church building and found myself…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

South Korea develops electromagnetic weapon to use against North’s drones

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 04:04 PM PST

South Korea will soon put to use a powerful weapon in the fight against North Korean drones – the electromagnetic pulse (EMP), its military reported….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Japan scrambles jets as Chinese warplanes fly near Okinawa

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 03:39 PM PST

The Chinese military has conducted air force drills in the western Pacific close to Beijing’s regional rivals Japan and Taiwan on Friday and Saturday. The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Floods Strike 96 Villages in Indonesia

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 03:36 PM PST

Bojonegoro subdistrict’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPPD) reported that 96 villages in 15 districts in the area were struck by flood due to overflow of Bengawan…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Thousands of Herring washing ashore in St. Marys Bay leaves scientists puzzled

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 02:52 PM PST

Scores of Atlantic herring are washing up on the shores around St. Marys Bay, N.S., but the reason isn’t clear. Within the last week, the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Town in Australia turned white from severe Hail Storm

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 02:46 PM PST

A Queensland town has been turned into a white wonderland after a severe thunderstorm brought through some heavy hail. Killarney, southeast of Warwick, looked as…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Sweden Steps In On Behalf of Pastor Imprisoned in North Korea

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 02:37 PM PST

A Swedish ambassador advocated on behalf of Canadian pastor Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, who has been sentenced to life in prison at a North Korean…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

A single mosquito bite changed teacher’s life; Led to paralysis…

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 02:24 PM PST

The virus rode inside the salivary glands of the mosquito as the insect flew crosswind over northeast Los Angeles in search of a blood meal….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Canada Has First Hijab-Wearing News Anchor…

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 02:22 PM PST

“It shouldn’t be a big deal,” Ginella Massa says of hosting CityNews in a traditional Muslim headscarf. Canada suddenly has its first hijab-wearing news anchor…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Russian Propaganda’ Media Black List Includes the Drudge Report

Posted: 27 Nov 2016 02:10 PM PST

The Washington Post published an article Thursday afternoon which promotes a list of alleged “Russian propaganda peddlers” that includes prominent sites such as The Drudge…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


Our Time is Short

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


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


Do You Know Him?


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


What Is the Gospel?

This post is adapted from the tract “What Is the Gospel?” by Greg Gilbert.


A Message from God

What exactly do Christians mean when they talk about the “gospel of Jesus Christ”? Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” when Christians talk about the gospel, they’re simply telling the good news about Jesus! It’s a message from God saying, “Good news! Here is how you can be saved from my judgment!” That’s an announcement you can’t afford to ignore.

Why Is the Gospel Good News?

So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?

Since the earliest Christians announced the good news about Jesus, it has been organized around these questions:

  1. Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
  2. What is our problem?
  3. What is God’s solution to our problem?
  4. How can I be included in his solution?

Christians through the centuries since Christ have answered those questions with the same truth from the Bible.

  1. We are accountable to God.
  2. Our problem is our sin against him.
  3. God’s solution is salvation through Jesus Christ.
  4. We come to be included in that salvation by faith and repentance.

Let’s summarize those points like this: God, Mankind, Jesus Christ, and Our Response.

God

The first thing to know about the good news of Jesus is that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Everything starts from that point, so if you get that point wrong then everything else that follows will be wrong. Because God created everything—including us—he has the right to tell us how to live. You have to understand that in order to understand the good news about Jesus. To understand just how glorious and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is, we have to understand that God is also holy and righteous. He is determined never to ignore or tolerate sin. Including ours!

Mankind

When God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, he intended for them to live under his righteous rule in perfect joy—obeying him and living in fellowship with him. When Adam disobeyed God, though, and ate the one fruit that God had told him not to eat, that fellowship with God was broken. Moreover, Adam and Eve had declared rebellion against God. They were denying his authority over their lives.

It’s not just Adam and Eve who are guilty of sin. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is the rejection of God himself and his authority over those to whom he gives life.

Once you understand sin in that light, you begin to understand why “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That’s not just physical death, but spiritual death, a forceful separating of our sinful, rebellious selves from the presence of God forever. The Bible teaches that the final destiny for unbelieving sinners is eternal, active judgment in a place called “hell.”

But . . .

Jesus Christ

The word “Christ” means “anointed one,” referring to anointing a king with oil when he is crowned. So, when we say “Jesus Christ,” we’re saying that Jesus is a King!

When Jesus began his public ministry, he told the people, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus died on a cross, the awful weight of all our sins fell on his shoulders. The sentence of death God had pronounced against rebellious sinners struck. And Jesus died. For you and me!

But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus the Crucified is no longer dead. The Bible tells us that he rose from the grave. Jesus’s rising from the grave was God’s way of saying, “What Jesus claimed about who he is and what he came to do is true!”

Our Response

What does God expect us to do with the information that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins? He expects us to respond with repentance and faith.

To repent of our sins means to turn away from our rebellion against God. Repentance doesn’t mean we’ll bring an immediate end to our sinning. It does mean, though, that we’ll never again live at peace with our sins.

Not only that, but we also turn to God in faith. Faith is reliance. It’s a promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from your sins. If God is ever to count us righteous, he’ll have to do it on the basis of someone else’s record, someone who’s qualified to stand in as our substitute. And that’s what happens when a person is saved by Jesus: All our sins are credited to Jesus who took the punishment for them, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is then credited to us when we place our trust in what he has done for us! That’s what faith means—to rely on Jesus, to trust in him alone to stand in our place and win a righteous verdict from God!


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


Please take the time to watch this clip, so that you might understand the authentic Gospel


This is the Gospel:

Friend, God is holy. There is a God in heaven who has created you and me, and He is the authority over both of us. He is perfectly holy. “In Him is Light, and there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And the problem with that is that if we want to have fellowship with God, we have to be light and no darkness at all. And yet here’s the problem: we are darkness. We are sinful. We’ve all broken His law. We’ve all lied, stolen, we’ve all looked with lust, we’ve all been angry with our brothers in our hearts. We’ve all fallen short of the glorious standard of perfection that God requires (Rom 3:23). And there’s nothing we can do about it. No amount of works, no amount of contrition, no amount of bad feelings, no amount of church attendance, no amount of Bible reading, no amount of evangelism can earn forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness which God requires (Titus 3:5; cf. Isa 64:6).

And yet God is gracious, and He loves us, and as His creatures He wants to display His glory in us by rescuing us from that. And so He sent His Son—God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ—to be born as a helpless little baby (John 1:14; 3:16; Col 2:9). God of the universe, Sustainer of the universe, Himself being sustained in the womb of a teenage Hebrew girl, and upholding the world by the word of His power (Heb 1:3) while He is upheld by the nutrients from her own body! Unspeakable! And in great humility, He grows up with the growing pains of life in a fallen world, though He Himself never being with any sin—without sin entirely (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26). And He lives a perfectly righteous life. The way that you and I have failed to live before God—the way that we have failed in thought, word, and deed, and fallen short of God’s glory—Christ never did. Not even a thought. He loved God, His Father, perfectly. He always walked in perfect righteousness. He lived the life that you were commanded to live, that I was commanded to live, that we failed to live. He lived that perfect life that God is worthy of.

And not only did He live for us, He died for us. He went to the cross. Our sin demanded death. Our sin demanded eternal punishment. Our sin demanded wrath—just wrath exercised on us for eternity (Rom 6:23). But because of the infinite worth of Christ’s person, He was on that cross. And on that cross, God exercised upon Him the full fury of His own anger (Rom 3:24–26; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10–14), that was rightly due to me and rightly due to you, and that you will experience if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in this Messiah. Christ was born, lived, died, and was raised (1 Cor 15:3–4). And He rose from the grave after being dead, demonstrating His victory over sin and death.

And now God promises that if you turn from your sin, if you repudiate all that you are and all that you were and all that you love, and you turn away from a life of pursuing sin—and if you repudiate not only your bad works but your good works, if you turn from trying to earn your salvation by all the good deeds that you might want to do as a moral person—if you turn away from all of that (Acts 17:30–31), and you trust in Christ alone for righteousness (Phil 3:7–8; cf. Rom 3:28; 10:4), God promises that He will forgive you. He will have treated Christ on the cross as if Christ lived your life. And He will then treat you, justly and legally and righteously, as if you lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). And you can be saved to know the God you were created to love and enjoy. You can have the fullness of joy, the eternal pleasures that are at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ps 16:11), and begin even now, because eternal life is to know God (John 17:3).

Friend, would you repent? Would you turn from your sin and trust in this perfect Savior to avail for you before God, to pay for your sin and to provide your righteousness?


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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Cuba, Castro, and Socialism’s “Useful Idiots”

It was Lenin who talked about “useful idiots” in the West who did all the dirty work for the Communists: they sang the praises of Marxism while tearing down the free West that they lived in. The Communists sat back and laughed as these clueless wonders did their spade work for them, knowing that once they got into power these folks would be the first to get a bullet in the head.

But they performed a useful service to the Communists as they denigrated the West and its freedoms and sought to defend to the hilt this bankrupt and diabolical system. One would have hoped that this would have ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, but not so.

castro-7These Western stooges are still trying to defend socialist hellholes like Cuba, and the number of Western lefties now singing the praises of Castro is staggering. We have had plenty of Western political leaders and mainstream media folks praising this tyrant. I have already written about this here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2016/11/27/castro-death-tyrants/

Worse yet is when utterly clueless Christians get into the act, dumping on America and the West while shilling for these atheistic dictators. I have dealt with some of these folks and it is painful indeed. I remind them that if they so detest the West and love these socialist paradises that they of course should move there instead of being such rank hypocrites.

But no, they are quite happy to enjoy to the full all the benefits of the free market while they rage against it, and extol the “god that failed” as Koestler called it, while refusing to actually go and live there. They ignorantly go on about the evils of greed, actually believing that greed somehow does not exist in these Marxist utopias.

These Christians who have their feet firmly planted in mid-air need to get back to planet earth. Believing lies does not make one Christlike – it makes one deceived. Dan Bongino recently wrote about the “Top 3 lies socialists tell the ‘useful idiots’” Let me share his second one:

“Socialism is about sharing.” Sharing? Sharing is a voluntary act where individuals donate their time or resources to other people whom they choose. Socialism is the exact OPPOSITE. Socialism is the government TAKING other people’s time or resources, against their will most of the time, and often by force, and giving them to people whom the government chooses, not you. Again, calling this process “democratic” by disingenuously referring to it as “democratic socialism” does absolutely nothing to change the fact that socialism is, by definition, the theft of your time and resources by government. Also, calling it democratic socialism because people can vote for the people who will then confiscate their time and resources does nothing to change the fact that this is neither “sharing” nor “democratic.”

Yet these lefty Christians talk about being generous with their money to help the poor. They are utterly clueless to the reality that one must first create wealth before one can share it – something the free market specialises in. In state socialism you simply share in poverty, with the political elites being the only ones to enjoy wealth.

But these useful idiots believe places like Cuba are such wonderful countries. They really should try talking to people who have actually lived there. Millions of people have sought to flee this hellhole, but I am not aware of millions of Westerners risking everything to flee there!

It is all one way traffic as people vote with their feet. That tells us all we need to know about the socialist failure that is Cuba. Many have written about this over the years. One person who knows all about this is US Senator Ted Cruz. He writes:

The 60 years Fidel Castro spent systematically exploiting and oppressing the people of Cuba provide more than enough history to pass judgment on both Fidel and, now more importantly, his brother Raul. My own family’s experience is a case in point. My father, Rafael, had been an early supporter of the revolution against Fulgencio Batista — and spent a time in prison getting his teeth kicked in for his efforts. He fled the island, only to return to what he hoped would be a liberated Cuba. Instead, he found a new, even more brutal, form of repression had taken hold. In 1960, he left again, never to return. His sister, my Tia Sonia, bravely joined the resistance to Castro and was jailed and tortured in her turn. The betrayal and violence experienced by my father and aunt were all too typical of the millions of Cubans who have suffered under the Castro regime over the last six decades. This is not the stuff of Cold War history that can be swept under the rug simply because Fidel is dead.

Dan Mitchell has also recently written about “The Economic Misery of Cuban Communism”. He begins:

Communism should be remembered first and foremost for the death, brutality, and repression that occurred whenever that evil system was imposed upon a nation. Dictators like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the North Korean Kim dynasty either killed more than Hitler, or butchered higher proportions of their populations.
But let’s not forget that communism also has an awful economic legacy. The economic breakdown of the Soviet Empire. The horrid deprivation in North Korea. The giant gap that existed between West Germany and East Germany. The mass poverty in China before partial liberalization. Today, let’s focus on how communism has severely crippled the Cuban economy.

He mentions several authorities in his piece. One said this:

The average Cuban makes only about $20 a month—which is a bit spartan even if you add in free housing, food, and medical care. For that matter, the free stuff is not so easy to come by: Food shortages are frequent, the stock of adequate housing has shrunk, and hospital patients often have to bring their own sheets, food, and even medical supplies.
For a long time, Cuba enjoyed the generous support of the Soviet Union. But when communism collapsed in Moscow, Cubans had to confront the deficiencies of their system. Admirers of Castro point to his alleged success in eradicating illiteracy and improving health care. But even these fall short of impressive progress.
Roger Noriega, a researcher at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, notes that before communism arrived, Cuba “was one of the most prosperous and egalitarian societies of the Americas.” His colleague Nicholas Eberstadt has documented that pre-Castro Cuba had a high rate of literacy and a life expectancy surpassing that in Spain, Greece, and Portugal.
Instead of accelerating development, Castro has hindered it. In 1980, living standards in Chile were double those in Cuba. Thanks to bold free-market reforms implemented in Chile but not Cuba, the average Chilean’s income now appears to be four times higher than the average Cuban’s.

Even the leftist the Huffington Post had to speak the truth about Cuba:

The economic consequences of a 50-year, totalitarian, socialistic experiment in government are obvious today. Cuba is a beautiful country filled with many friendly people, who have lived in poverty and deprivation for decades. Socialism in its purest form simply didn’t work there. I was immediately reminded of that old saying: “Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth – but socialism is the equal distribution of poverty.” Once-magnificent buildings are literally crumbling, plaster falling and walls and stairways falling apart, as there are no ownership incentives to maintain them – or profit potential to incent their preservation. …Every Cuban gets a ration book and an assigned “bodega” in which to purchase the low-cost, subsidized food. The one I visited looked like an empty warehouse, with little on the shelves. If the rice, beans, eggs, and cooking oil are not in stock, the shopper must return the following week. Allowed five eggs per month, the basics barely cover a starvation existence. …the economic results of their 50-year rule have been abysmal.

Consider also a report penned just two years ago:

The revolutionaries promised liberal democracy, but Castro secured absolute power and flattened the country with a Marxist-Leninist battering ram. The objectives were total equality and the abolition of money; the methods were total surveillance and political prisons. The state slogan, then and now, is “socialism or death.”
Cuba was one of the world’s richest countries before Castro destroyed it—and the wealth wasn’t just in the hands of a tiny elite. “Contrary to the myth spread by the revolution,” wrote Alfred Cuzan, a professor of political science at the University of West Florida, “Cuba’s wealth before 1959 was not the purview of a privileged few. . . . Cuban society was as much of a middle-class society as Argentina and Chile.” In 1958, Cuba had a higher per-capita income than much of Europe. “More Americans lived in Cuba prior to Castro than Cubans lived in the United States,” Cuban exile Humberto Fontova, author of a series of books about Castro and Guevara, tells me. “This was at a time when Cubans were perfectly free to leave the country with all their property. In the 1940s and 1950s, my parents could get a visa for the United States just by asking. They visited the United States and voluntarily returned to Cuba. More Cubans vacationed in the U.S. in 1955 than Americans vacationed in Cuba. Americans considered Cuba a tourist playground, but even more Cubans considered the U.S. a tourist playground.” Havana was home to a lot of that prosperity, as is evident in the extraordinary classical European architecture that still fills the city. Poor nations do not—cannot—build such grand or elegant cities.
But rather than raise the poor up, Castro and Guevara shoved the rich and the middle class down. The result was collapse. “Between 1960 and 1976,” Cuzan says, “Cuba’s per capita GNP in constant dollars declined at an average annual rate of almost half a percent. The country thus has the tragic distinction of being the only one in Latin America to have experienced a drop in living standards over the period.”

“But what about health care?” the Western lefties will intone:

As for the free health care, patients have to bring their own medicine, their own bedsheets, and even their own iodine to the hospital. Most of these items are available only on the illegal black market, moreover, and must be paid for in hard currency—and sometimes they’re not available at all. Cuba has sent so many doctors abroad—especially to Venezuela, in exchange for oil—that the island is now facing a personnel shortage. “I don’t want to say there are no doctors left,” says an American man who married a Cuban woman and has been back dozens of times, “but the island is now almost empty. I saw a banner once, hanging from somebody’s balcony, that said, DO I NEED TO GO TO VENEZUELA FOR MY HEADACHE?”

And lest one foolishly claims this poverty and misery is somehow due to a US boycott, think again:

For 40 years, the Castro regime was sustained by the Soviet Union. Then, when this superpower collapsed, Western European governments and others filled the gap. Then came Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela, funneling oil wealth to Havana. Then, when chavista Venezuela collapsed, President Obama threw a lifeline to the Castros, in the form of unilateral recognition.

Much more can be said about Cuba and other workers’ paradises. Whenever socialism comes to power, it results in economic misery and political repression for the masses. There is certainly nothing Christian about that, and there is nothing to be found here that anyone concerned about the poor and needy can run with.

It is a failed system which has been tried and found wanting. The alternative, the free market system, is not without fault, but compared to the dead end of socialism it is a vast improvement. Yet clueless Westerners will still sing the praises of these miserable socialist countries and still salute these brutal socialist dictators.

They certainly are useful idiots. As George Will rightly said: “Socialism is bountiful only of slogans, and a Castro favorite was ‘socialism or death.’ The latter came to him decades after the former had made Cuba into a gray museum for a dead utopianism.”

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/04/top-3-lies-socialists-tell-the-useful-idiots#sthash.YlFKgiIv.dpuf
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442485/fidel-castro-dead-ted-cruz-cuban-dictator-oppression-raul
https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/the-economic-misery-of-cuban-communism/
http://reason.com/archives/2010/09/20/cuba-and-the-death-of-communis
http://city-journal.org/html/last-communist-city-13649.html
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442486/fidel-castro-dies-dictator-oppressed-people-cuba
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442491/fidel-castro-death-tyrant-cuba-dictator-justin-trudeau

Source: Cuba, Castro, and Socialism’s “Useful Idiots”

Jesus’ Deity and the Early Church

Did the early church believe in the deity of Christ?

Ask your average Muslim, Unitarian, Jehovah’s Witness, or just about any non-Christian skeptic who has read (or watched) The Da Vinci Code, and they’ll try to convince you the answer is noFrom such sources we are told that the deity of Christ was a doctrine invented centuries after Jesus’ death — a result of pagan influences on the church in the fourth century when the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its official religion.

Emperor Constantine, in particular, is blamed for being the guy who promoted Jesus to the level of deity, a feat of cosmic proportions that he managed to pull off at the Council of Nicaea in 325. As Dan Brown put it (through the lips of one of his literary characters): “Jesus’ establishment as ‘the Son of God’ was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea. . . . By officially endorsing Jesus as the Son of God, Constantine turned Jesus into a deity who existed beyond the scope of the human world, an entity whose power was unchallengeable” (The Da Vinci Code, 253).

So how can believers answer such allegations?

The best response, obviously, is to demonstrate from Scripture that Jesus is God. We can be confident that the early church affirmed Christ’s deity (and that we should do the same) because the New Testament clearly teaches that truth. The biblical case can be made from many places. Without going into detail in this post, here is a small sampling of texts that teach the deity of Christ: Isaiah 9:6; Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14, 18; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 9:5; 1 Cor. 1:24; 2 Cor. 4:4; Php. 2:6; Col. 1:15–16; 2:9; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:3, 8; 2 Pet. 1:1; 1 John 5:20.

But what about church history outside of the New Testament? Did the early church fathers affirm the deity of Jesus Christ? Or was it only after the fourth century (and the Council of Nicaea) that Christian leaders began to articulate their belief in God the Son?

Though it’s not an exhaustive list, here are 25 quotations from a number of ante-Nicene church fathers demonstrating their belief in the deity of Jesus Christ (with portions underlined for emphasis). These early Christian theologians all lived before the time of Constantine and the Council of Nicaea. As such, they provide incontrovertible proof (from post-New Testament history) that Constantine was not the first person in church history to affirm this doctrine. Rather, the early church embraced the truth that Jesus is God from the time of the apostles on.

1. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 50–117): For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit. (Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 18.2. Translation from Michael Holmes, Apostolic Fathers, 197)

2. Ignatius (again): Consequently all magic and every kind of spell were dissolved, the ignorance so characteristic of wickedness vanished, and the ancient kingdom was abolished when God appeared in human form to bring the newness of eternal life. (Ibid., 19.3. Holmes, AF, 199)

3. Ignatius (again): For our God Jesus Christ is more visible now that he is in the Father. (Ignatius, Letter to the Romans, 3.3. Holmes, AF, 229)

4. Ignatius (again): I glorify Jesus Christ, the God who made you so wise, for I observed that you are established in an unshakable faith, having been nailed, as it were, to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ignatius, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 1.1. Holmes, AF, 249)

5. Ignatius (again): Wait expectantly for the one who is above time: the Eternal, the Invisible, who for our sake became visible; the Intangible, the Unsuffering, who for our sake suffered, who for our sake endured in every way. (Ignatius, Letter to Polycarp, 3.2. Holmes, AF, 265)

6. Polycarp of Smyrna (69–155): Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth . . ., and to us with you, and to all those under heaven who will yet believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ and in his Father who raised him from the dead. (Polycarp, Philippians, 12:2. Holmes, AF, 295)

7. Epistle of Barnabas (written c. 70–130): If the Lord submitted to suffer for our souls, even though he is Lord of the whole world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, “Let us make humankind according to our image and likeness,” how is it, then, that he submitted to suffer at the hands of humans? (Epistle of Barnabas, 5.5. Holmes, AF, 393)

8. Justin Martyr (100–165): And that Christ being Lord, and God the Son of God, and appearing formerly in power as Man, and Angel, and in the glory of fire as at the bush, so also was manifested at the judgment executed on Sodom, has been demonstrated fully by what has been said. (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 128. Translation from Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, I:264)

9. Justin (again): Permit me first to recount the prophecies, which I wish to do in order to prove that Christ is called both God and Lord of hosts. (Ibid., 36. ANF, I:212)

10. Justin (again): Therefore these words testify explicitly that He [Jesus] is witnessed to by Him [the Father] who established these things, as deserving to be worshipped, as God and as Christ. (Ibid., 63. ANF, I:229)

11. Justin (again): The Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets; but now in the times of your reign, having, as we before said, become Man by a virgin. (Justin Martyr, First Apology, 63. ANF, I:184)

12. Justin (again): For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God. (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 126. ANF, I:263)

13. Tatian (110–172): We do not act as fools, O Greeks, nor utter idle tales when we announce that God was born in the form of man. (Tatian, Address to the Greeks, 21. ANF, II:74)

14. Melito of Sardis (d. c. 180): He that hung up the earth in space was Himself hanged up; He that fixed the heavens was fixed with nails; He that bore up the earth was born up on a tree; the Lord of all was subjected to ignominy in a naked body – God put to death! . . . [I]n order that He might not be seen, the luminaries turned away, and the day became darkened—because they slew God, who hung naked on the tree. . . . This is He who made the heaven and the earth, and in the beginning, together with the Father, fashioned man; who was announced by means of the law and the prophets; who put on a bodily form in the Virgin; who was hanged upon the tree; who was buried in the earth; who rose from the place of the dead, and ascended to the height of heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. (Melito, 5. ANF, VIII:757)

15. Irenaeus of Lyons (120–202): For I have shown from the Scriptures, that no one of the sons of Adam is as to everything, and absolutely, called God, or named Lord. But that He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself, may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth. Now, the Scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man. . . . He is the holy Lord, the Wonderful, the Counselor, the Beautiful in appearance, and the Mighty God, coming on the clouds as the Judge of all men; — all these things did the Scriptures prophesy of Him. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.19.2. ANF, I:449)

16. Irenaeus (again): He received testimony from all that He was very man, and that He was very God, from the Father, from the Spirit, from angels, from the creation itself, from men, from apostate spirits and demons. (Ibid., 4.6.7. ANF, I:469)

17. Irenaeus (again): Christ Jesus [is] our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father. (Ibid., 1.10.1. ANF, I:330)

18. Irenaeus (again): Christ Himself, therefore, together with the Father, is the God of the living, who spoke to Moses, and who was also manifested to the fathers. (Ibid., 4.5.2. ANF, I:467)

19. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215): This Word, then, the Christ, the cause of both our being at first (for He was in God) and of our well-being, this very Word has now appeared as man, He alone being both, both God and man—the Author of all blessings to us; by whom we, being taught to live well, are sent on our way to life eternal. . . . . . . The Word, who in the beginning bestowed on us life as Creator when He formed us, taught us to live well when He appeared as our Teacher; that as God He might afterwards conduct us to the life which never ends. (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen, 1. ANF, II:173)

20. Tertullian (c. 160–225): For God alone is without sin; and the only man without sin is Christ, since Christ is also God. (Tertullian, Treatise on the Soul, 41. ANF, III:221)

21. Tertullian (again): Thus Christ is Spirit of Spirit, and God of God, as light of light is kindled.  . . . That which has come forth out of God is at once God and the Son of God, and the two are one. In this way also, as He is Spirit of Spirit and God of God, He is made a second in manner of existence—in position, not in nature; and He did not withdraw from the original source, but went forth. This ray of God, then, as it was always foretold in ancient times, descending into a certain virgin, and made flesh in her womb, is in His birth God and man united. (Tertullian, Apology, 21. ANF, III:34–35)

22. Hippolytus (170–235): The Logos alone of this God is from God himself; wherefore also the Logos is God, being the substance of God. (Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 10.29. ANF, V:151)

23. Caius (180–217) [in response to those who would question the deity of Christ]: Perhaps what they allege might be credible, did not the Holy Scriptures, in the first place, contradict them. And then, besides, there are writings of certain brethren older than the times of Victor, which they wrote against the heathen in defense of the truth, and against the heresies of their time: I mean Justin and Miltiades, and Tatian and Clement, and many others, in all which divinity is ascribed to Christ. For who is ignorant of the books of Irenaeus and Melito, and the rest, which declare Christ to be God and man? All the psalms, too, and hymns of brethren, which have been written from the beginning by the faithful, celebrate Christ the Word of God, ascribing divinity to Him. (Caius, Fragments, 2.1. ANF, V:601)

24. Origen (c. 185–254): Jesus Christ . . . in the last times, divesting Himself (of His glory), became a man, and was incarnate although God, and while made a man remained the God which He was. (Origen, De Principiis, Preface, 4. ANF, IV:240)

25. Novatian of Rome (210–280) For Scripture as much announces Christ as also God, as it announces God Himself as man. It has as much described Jesus Christ to be man, as moreover it has also described Christ the Lord to be God. Because it does not set forth Him to be the Son of God only, but also the Son of man; nor does it only say, the Son of man, but it has also been accustomed to speak of Him as the Son of God. So that being of both, He is both, lest if He should be one only, He could not be the other. For as nature itself has prescribed that he must be believed to be a man who is of man, so the same nature prescribes also that He must be believed to be God who is of God. . . . Let them, therefore, who read that Jesus Christ the Son of man is man, read also that this same Jesus is called also God and the Son of God. (Novatian, On the Trinity, 11. ANF, V:620)

Additional information on this topic can be found in an article from The Master’s Seminary Journal entitled Did Constantine Invent the Trinity?

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