Daily Archives: November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Nov. 29, 2016 |


Congressional Republicans are considering a lightning-strike rollback of Obamacare early next year to kick off the Donald Trump era, but first they have to agree on a plan limited enough to hold their caucus together.

The FBI, National Security Agency and CIA are likely to gain expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, a prospect that has privacy advocates and some lawmakers trying to mobilize opposition.

Iran, OPEC’s third-largest oil producer, said it won’t cut output as members of the exporter group met in Vienna before a crucial summit on Wednesday.

Outflows from the SPDR Gold Shares exchange-traded fund (GLD) – far and away the largest exchange-traded commodity fund by assets – have totaled nearly $1.4 billion over the five sessions ending Friday, marking the highest withdrawals over such a period since 2013.

NASA is working to send people to Mars in the 2030s, while China wants to get an unmanned craft there by 2020 and send “taikonauts” later. In the private sector, Tesla Motors Inc. co-founder Elon Musk targets a Mars mission next decade.

A chartered plane carrying a Brazilian first division soccer team crashed near Medellin while on its way to the finals of a South American championship, killing 75 people, Colombian officials said Tuesday. They said six people survived.

AP Top Stories

Officials on Monday praised an Ohio State University police officer who shot and killed a man a minute after he drove his car into a crowd and then stabbed multiple people.

Out-of-control wildfires have burned 100 homes and forced thousands to flee to safer ground around the city of Gatlinburg in eastern Tennessee.

Firefighters have extinguished blazes that ravaged Israel and the occupied West Bank for five days and forced tens of thousands to flee, authorities said Sunday, blaming arsonists for some outbreaks. There were no deaths but 122 people were treated for injuries.

Ugandan police said on Monday they had taken control of a tribal king’s palace after a weekend of deadly clashes with his supporters and seized a cache of machetes, spears and petrol bombs. At least 46 members of king Charles Wesley Mumbere’s guards died fighting police and soldiers in western Uganda.

Israel’s air force targeted gunmen linked to the Islamic State group in Syria overnight, the army said Monday, after they fired on an Israeli soldier in the occupied Golan Heights.

As police responded to the attack at Ohio State University, school officials broadcast an ominous message to students with a set of instructions: “Run Hide Fight.” It’s a mantra that has become standard at colleges in the event of a campus shooting. Students near the assailant are urged to run somewhere safe, to hide from the shooter and, as a last resort, to fight back.

Philippine police conducted a controlled detonation of a home-made bomb found in a trash bin near the U.S. embassy in Manila on Monday and said militants sympathetic to Islamic State could have been responsible.

Thailand’s parliament named Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn as the new king, completing a formal step for the heir to take the throne following the death of his father last month.

Hundreds of veterans and protesters flocked to a Massachusetts college this weekend after the school decided to temporarily remove all flags – including the American flag – from its campus, a move many deemed unpatriotic and offensive.

Texas has announced its first case of local Zika virus, making it the second US state after Florida to say it likely has mosquitoes spreading the disease that can cause birth defects.

A small Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessel pointed its weapon at a U.S. military helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, two U.S. defense officials told Reuters on Monday, an action they described as “unsafe and unprofessional.”


Up to 16,000 civilians have been displaced by the Syrian government’s advance into besieged rebel-held areas of the city of Aleppo, the UN said.

Islamic State militants in Mosul have reportedly been killing civilians for not co-operating as the battle for control of the Iraqi city intensifies.

The head of Canada’s military has said he is “extremely disappointed” after a national survey revealed nearly 1,000 soldiers had complained of sexual harassment over the past year.

Doctors in Australia have reported a resurgence in a dozen diabetes patients suffering from scurvy. The disease, historically associated with sea explorers, has been found in about patients at Westmead Hospital in western Sydney.

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye has said she has asked parliament to help her find a way to stand down. Ms Park faced growing calls to resign amid an investigation into whether she allowed a long-time friend to influence political decisions for personal gain.

Germany’s foreign intelligence chief has warned that Russia could seek to disrupt next year’s German elections with cyber-attacks.


As many as 50 refugees from one of the world’s troubled spots are likely to resettle in Niagara Falls next year as Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County expands its services northward.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) spent $412,930 to fund a study that argued “that scientists should use feminist theories and a feminist point of view to study glaciers and the relationship between glaciers and humans.”

Christians fleeing war and persecution face violence and death threats because of their faith in several refugee camps across Europe, BosNewsLife established.

Top News – 11/29/2016

100-year-old expedition logbooks reveal Antarctic sea ice patterns
In the early years of the 20th century, several teams of explorers were racing to reach a new frontier: the South Pole. During what’s known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration….over a century later, their logbooks and journals have helped piece together a new discovery: Antarctic sea ice coverage may not be on a steady downward trend, but fluctuating over cycles lasting decades.

Jimmy Carter: US must recognize a Palestinian state
Jimmy Carter has called on the outgoing Obama administration to take steps toward recognizing a Palestinian state before leaving office in January. The 39th US president made the call in an op-ed published Monday in the New York Times under the title “America Must Recognize Palestine.”

Blue Wall Bulldoze Complete: Trump Officially Wins Michigan
Nearly a month after Election Day President-elect Donald Trump has been officially been declared the winner of Michigan, beating former rival Hillary Clinton by 10,704 popular votes and solidifying 16 additional electoral college votes.

New Putin move to win a military base in Libya
President Vladimir Putin began to envision a second Mediterranean base on the coast of Benghazi, twin to Hmeimim in Syria’s Latakia. This one would accommodate Russian naval as well as air units and be located 700km from Europe. The US-born Hafter, a general in the army of the late Muammar Qaddafi, carries the title of supreme commander of the Libyan army.

Stein’s Recount Effort Falls Way Short in Pennsylvania’s Most Liberal Cities
As of 3:30 p.m. on Monday, slightly more than 165 affidavits were submitted, an employee at the Allegheny County Elections Division told the Free Beacon. The effort for a full recount in Pittsburgh was short by 88 percent as the 4:30 p.m. deadline loomed.

DNA Tests Could Fulfill God’s Promise to Abraham by Revealing Millions of Jews. But How Jewish is Jewish Enough?
Recent advances in DNA testing are the final stage in bringing about a special vision of Messiah, one that will fulfill God’s promise to Abraham while uniting all three major Abrahamic religions, believes a prominent rabbi and former member of Knesset.”This is the special function of the final generation before the Messiah, which we are clearly in right now: to bring close all the descendants of Jews that were lost to the Jewish people,”

Netanyahu Calls on Obama to Refrain From “Drastic” Lame Duck Changes in Israel Policy
Netanyahu asked Obama to stand by his 2013 promise to veto one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Security Council and repeated his long-standing belief that only direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would lead to a resumption of the political process between the sides.

Damascus ‘Achieved Too Much’ in Aleppo to Be Interested in Kerry’s Diplomacy
neither Russian, nor Syrian authorities are interested in “the final moves of this diplomatic dance” since the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will ultimately free the embattled city. Khrolenko further linked Kerry’s increasing diplomatic activity to the outcome of the recent presidential election in the US.

Dead Terrorist at Ohio State U Identified as Abdul Razaq Ali Artan
The terrorist who carried out a Middle Eastern-style ram-and-stab attack at Ohio State University was a Somali Muslim immigrant teen who had lived in Pakistan.

What do they know? Mega-rich preparing for disaster
About 50 miles northwest of Dallas, an entire survivalist luxury community is being planned that features athletic facilities, a polo field and a clubhouse. It also contains more unusual features such as communal greenhouses, an air-purification system, underground shelters and, according to the Houston Chronicle, a “DNA vault.”

Brazilian soccer team’s plane crashes, 76 dead
Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, heading for the biggest game in their history, were on board a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle, killing 76 people, police said on Tuesday.

US Intifada: A fire-storm of lies is setting US campuses ablaze
“Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus,” an important new film, brought to us by Americans for Peace and Tolerance on Campus is about another kind of Jihad arson: the way in which the American campuses have been set ablaze by a well-choreographed and well-funded propaganda campaign against Jews and the Jewish state. Once such propaganda takes hold, actual, physical, murderous Jihad is not far behind.

Two new sunspots are rapidly emerging on the solar disk, and one of them is crackling with B- and C-class solar flares. So far the eruptions are minor. However, they do represent a noteable uptick in activity compared to the absolute quiet of recent months.

Strong early-morning quake rattles Kaikoura
The magnitude 4.5 quake struck at 2am, at a depth of just 8km. Its epicentre was about 35km northeast of the township. The earthquake was mostly felt in the upper South Island and around the Wellington region, GeoNet’s website said.

Nepal earthquake: No casualties reported so far after 5.5 magnitude quake
The epicentre was located at Solukhumbu district near the Everest region, around 150 km east of Kathmandu, Nepal’s National Seismological Center said. It recorded the intensity of the quake at 5.6. This was the 475th aftershock, of magnitude 4 and above, of the devastating April 2015 temblor in the quake-prone Himalayan country. There was no immediate report of any damage or casualty.

Iranian vessel points weapon at U.S. helicopter: officials
A small Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessel pointed its weapon at a U.S. military helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, two U.S. defense officials told Reuters on Monday, an action they described as “unsafe and unprofessional.” The incident is the latest in a series of similar actions by Iranian vessels this year, but the first reported since Republican Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8.

Russia is developing a mega-rocket that will transport supplies to build a base on the MOON
Russia is developing a mega-rocket that will transport supplies to build a base on the moon, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister has revealed. President Vladimir Putin wants work to begin on the new ‘super-heavy’ rocket which will ‘pave the way’ for a lunar research station. It will enable the construction of a Russian base that will be both ‘visitable and inhabitable’…

‘Snoopers law creates security nightmare’
The Investigatory Powers Bill will get royal assent on Tuesday. More than 130,000 people have signed a petition calling for it to be scrapped. Tim Berners-Lee has said it creates a “security nightmare”. Edward Snowden has described it as the most extreme surveillance in the history of Western democracy.

Ohio attack: Possible terror link being investigated, say police
Police are investigating whether an attack at Ohio State University which left 11 injured was an act of terror. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, rammed his car into a group of pedestrians at the college and then began stabbing people before police shot him dead on Monday. The student’s motive is still not known, but terrorism is a possibility, police chief Kim Jacobs said.

Scurvy makes surprise return in Australia
Doctors in Australia have reported a resurgence in patients suffering from scurvy. The disease, historically associated with sea explorers, has been found in about a dozen diabetes patients at Westmead Hospital in western Sydney. Scurvy is now a rare condition caused by having too little vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, in your diet.

Iran’s Khamenei slams Rouhani for being ‘too open’ toward West
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has criticized the country’s President Hassan Rouhani for his “open dialogue” policy in regards to the country’s nuclear issue. “The West is not obligated to the deal that some of our leaders signed on to,” Khamenei said at a reception for Iran’s new Navy officers on Sunday.

India’s Prime Minister Plans for Cashless Society
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, has an economic firestorm on his hands following his decision to ban the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. In his monthly address on Sunday, Modi took his ambitions further with a call for a cashless society. According to a translation by Reuters, Modi said, “I want to tell my small merchant brothers and sisters, this is the chance for you to enter the digital world.”

Hackers suspected as 900,000 hit by internet outage
Update: German Telekom is now looking into evidence of a hacker attack after 900,000 internet, phone and television clients were hit by a massive outage starting on Sunday and going into Monday.

Canada’s Trudeau to skip Castro funeral after backlash
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not attend the funeral of Fidel Castro, his office said on Monday, days after Trudeau’s warm comments about the late Cuban leader sparked a backlash. Trudeau referred on Saturday to Castro as a “remarkable leader” and expressed his sorrow at the death of “Cuba’s longest serving president.”

ISIS to Crucified Christians: ‘If You Love Jesus, You Will Die Like Jesus’
A number of Iraqi Christians who weren’t able to flee from their homes before the brutal Islamic State terrorist group conquered large swaths of northern Iraq were crucified “like Jesus” in front of their families, Iraqi refugees in Jordan have revealed.

Netanyahu: Israel won’t allow ISIS to open ‘a front of terror’ on the Golan
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Islamic State and other groups in Syria on Monday that Israel would have a zero tolerance policy for attacks across its border.

Under U.S. plan, Afghans may get Black Hawks to replace Russian aircraft
The U.S. military wants to replace Afghanistan’s well-worn fleet of Russian helicopters with American-made aircraft, according to a new budget proposal, a decision aimed at reducing the Afghan air force’s decades-long reliance on Russian equipment.

The Briefing 11-29-16

Secularists in Great Britain offended by Prime Minister Theresa May’s vague statement on faith

Is it possible to understand the world without taking religion seriously? Missing religion at the BBC

How designers refusing to dress the Trumps exposed the left’s inconsistency on moral objection

November 28, 2016
ALAN KEYES — When the administration of government is grounded upon principles, clearly communicated and understood, all that is lacking is to appoint individuals firmly committed to respecting and implementing them. In such context, it can truthfully be said that nothing is more pertinent than the old maxim “Personnel is policy.” Clear purposes and goals are just so much lip service unless people are assigned to the positions most critical to putting them into action…. (more)

November 28, 2016
USA TODAY — The Wisconsin Elections Commission agreed Monday to begin a recount of the presidential election on Thursday but was sued by Green Party candidate Jill Stein after the agency declined to require county officials to recount the votes by hand…. (more)

November 28, 2016

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Jill Stein has everything she needs to launch a presidential recount. She’s got the cash, the grassroots fervor and the spotlight of an adoring media. But there’s one thing she needs to overturn Trump’s victory: a calendar…. (more)

November 28, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — The IRS is plowing ahead with controversial plans to use its files to try to prod more people to sign up for Obamacare – – but the tax agency has promised Congress it won’t break any privacy laws. The letters are set to go out beginning next week, and are aimed at Americans who are paying the tax penalty rather than obtaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The IRS says the 2010 law requires it to inform those individuals they could do better by signing up for the embattled program…. (more)

November 28, 2016

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will skip the funeral of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro this week, the White House said Monday. White House press secretary Josh Earnest ruled out the possibility that Obama or Biden would travel to Havana on Tuesday to join other foreign leaders in bidding farewell to the communist revolutionary. Asked if Secretary of State John Kerry or another top administration official will attend, Earnest said: “Stay tuned.”… (more)

November 28, 2016
NEWSMAX — A Somali-born Ohio State University student plowed his car into a group of pedestrians on campus and then got out and began stabbing people with a butcher knife Monday before he was shot to death by an officer. Police said they are investigating whether it was a terrorist attack…. (more)

November 27, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — Despite no evidence of fraud and a widespread belief that the entire effort will change nothing, Wisconsin election officials this week will begin a statewide recount of the presidential vote, adding yet another chapter to the fight between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton…. (more)

November 27, 2016

WORLDNETDAILY — Remember how Donald Trump was grilled repeatedly about his willingness to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election? Well, it turns out a little more attention should have been directed Hillary Clinton’s way…. (more)

November 27, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Wisconsin Elections Commission has found no evidence that any of its voting machines were hacked during the Nov. 8 election, a spokesman said Saturday. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on Friday filed a petition to have a state recount on the sole grounds that data experts believe there may have been a cyberattack. They have no evidence, but contend that Democrat Hillary Clinton performed better where paper ballots, rather than electronic ones were used…. (more)

November 27, 2016

WASHINGTON TIMES — They won’t now complicate a Hillary Clinton presidency, but the emails from her time in the State Department will still trickle out over the next months as the administration tries to clean up the mess Mrs. Clinton left. Though President-elect Donald Trump has signaled that he would halt any official federal investigations into Mrs. Clinton’s activities as secretary of state, groups that have driven the issue say they will continue to press the legal cases that have forced the release of tens of thousands of her emails and could still pry loose thousands more… (more)

November 27, 2016

NEWSMAX — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said if the GOP does not deliver on its mandate from Election Day and campaign promises, it will incite the electorate with “pitchforks and torches in the streets.”… (more)

November 27, 2016
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Populism? No thanks. I am not now, nor will I ever be, a populist. Evidently, that separates me from a growing number of commentators, including some conservatives, wistfully engaged in Washington’s latest fad: over-interpreting Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election…. (more)

November 27, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Washington think tank that helped forge the defense views of President-elect Donald Trump says in a report that the armed forces are too small to win major wars. The Heritage Foundation’s “2017 Index U.S. Military Strength” gives the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps a collective grade of “marginal” for total power compared with a top score of “very strong.” It stamps its lowest grade individually on the Army, which it judges “weak.”… (more)

November 27, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — As has been seen over the last eight years, diplomacy that results in capitulation is not very effective. The key underlying factor for successful diplomacy is not just having a clear understanding of our vital strategic objectives, but also the military credibility to achieve those objectives as necessary…. (more)

November 27, 2016
TED CRUZ — Two decades of “Castro-is-dead” rumors are finally at an end. And the race is on to see which world leader can most fulsomely praise Fidel Castro’s legacy, while delicately averting their eyes from his less savory characteristics. Two duly-elected leaders of democracies who should know better, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and American president Barack Obama, are leading the way. Mr. Trudeau praised Castro as a “legendary revolutionary and orator” who “made significant improvements to the education and health care of his island nation.” Mr. Obama offered his “condolences” to the Cuban people, and blandly suggested that “history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure.” Now, he added, we can “look to the future.”… (more)

November 27, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — With Fidel Castro’s passing Friday evening prompting impromptu parties on the streets of Miami, area establishments have announced plans to continue commemorating the dictator’s death with a slew of drink specials being offered in celebration…. (more)

November 27, 2016

NEWSMAX — A longtime bodyguard of the late Fidel Castro chronicled the Cuban dictator’s life of luxury and ladies as the country starved, the N.Y. Post reported Sunday…. (more)

November 27, 2016
JANICE SHAW CROUSE — After all the anger and bitterness of this election, it’s a respite to think about the eternal verities and ponder the importance of family and the traditions that unite us. Aunt Alice, age 98, died last month. She was the last of the “original” nine Crouse siblings and their spouses. With all 18 now gone, her death marks the end of an era for the remaining Crouse clan…. (more)

November 27, 2016
THOMAS SOWELL — This is a football story with both political and legal implications. It was fourth down in a National Football League game, and the punting team came onto the field. The other team went into their formation to defend against the punt. Then somebody noticed that the man set to kick the punt was black…. (more)

November 26, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — Under the guise of suppressing “fake news,” the elite media and their allies are creating a censorship regime to ban legitimate conservative news from platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter…. (more)

November 25, 2016

ALAN KEYES — Today, America is increasingly a nation in which certain opinions and groups are falsely deemed by those in power “more equal” and thus more worthy of protection than others, while those in opposition are tarred as outliers subject to persecution in the public square and even prosecuted under unjust “laws.”… (more)

November 25, 2016
JERRY NEWCOMBE — Why do people from many other countries try to come to America – – even in some cases, risking their lives to do so? What is the source of this nation’s greatness?… (more)

November 25, 2016
WESLEY PRUDEN — What we used to call “the press,” before the newspapers aspired to be part of the professional class with its inflated titles and airs, is never happy. Nor should it be. The press is a demanding and cranky lot by definition, and now they’re something called “the media.” Marshall McLuhan, who invented the concept if not the word, must never be forgiven…. (more)

November 25, 2016
BOB UNRUH — A popular radio talk-show host has skewered Planned Parenthood for the talking points it gave to supporters so they can promote the abortion industry giant to their family this Thanksgiving holiday weekend…. (more)

November 25, 2016
THE TELEGRAPH — Antarctic sea ice had barely changed from where it was 100 years ago, scientists have discovered, after poring over the logbooks of great polar explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton…. (more)

Top Headlines – 11/29/2016

  • Monte dei Paschi’s Future Hangs on Sunday Vote (Read More)
  • Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Could Face Conflict-of-Interest Questions (Read More)
  • In OPEC’s High-Stakes Poker Game, Iran and Iraq Call Saudi Bluff (Read More)
  • Iran, Iraq at loggerheads with Saudis ahead of OPEC meeting (Read More)
  • High-Profile Private Investors Take Hit on Theranos (Read More)
  • Trump Bubble Burst Will Drive Yen to 98 per Dollar: UBS Wealth (Read More)
  • Euro-Area Confidence Rises as ECB Reviews Asset-Purchase Program (Read More)
  • Arrested Russian minister wanted state to cede control over Rosneft  (Read More)
  • Supersonic Is Coming Back. Will the Airlines Buy It? (Read More)
  • China Looks to Loosen Job Security Law in Face of Slowing Growth (Read More)
  • Samsung Electronics Is Heading for a Split (Read More)
  • How Amazon Gets Its Holiday Hires Up to Speed in Two Days (Read More)
  • Chinese firms hit by huge increase in cyber attacks (Read More)
  • FBI and NSA Poised to Gain New Surveillance Powers Under Trump (Read More)
  • Jeweler Tiffany posts first sales rise in eight quarters (Read More)
  • France and Britain In Danger of Winter Power Shortages (Read More)
  • A Billionaire Real Estate Mogul Can’t Find Love in Hillaryland (Read More)

Jimmy Carter to Obama: Recognize State of Palestine

PA says it will submit anti-settlement UN resolution within days

Netanyahu tells Abbas: ‘Let’s not set fires, let’s extinguish them and march together towards peace’

Fire damages expected to cost state at least NIS 2 billion

Former PM Barak accuses Netanyahu of inciting against Arabs

Haredi lawmakers look to outlaw mixed prayer at Western Wall

Alternative charity Christmas cards show nativity in war-torn Middle East

Underground Church movement grows in Iran despite regime’s efforts

Iranian small boat pointed weapon at US Navy helicopter in Strait of Hormuz, officials say

Turkey’s emergency rule to continue as long as necessary

Under U.S. plan, Afghans may get Black Hawks to replace Russian aircraft

In Israel, Race to Safeguard Borders From Multi-Dimensional Threats

Netanyahu: Israel won’t allow ISIS to open ‘a front of terror’ on the Golan

Syria denounces Qatar for saying it will continue to back rebels

Syria conflict: Aleppo defeat ‘not the end for rebels’

For Bashar al-Assad, Winning the Syrian War May Lead to New Troubles

Lawyers seek war crimes case against Assad in Germany

Theresa May calls for international pressure on Putin over Syria

Iraqi prime minister tells AP: Donald Trump pledged, in phone call, more logistical support to fight Islamic State group

Iraqi forces say 1,000 Islamic State fighters killed in Mosul

Kurdish casualties mount in fight against ISIS, despite US medical training

ISIS to Crucified Christians: ‘If You Love Jesus, You Will Die Like Jesus’

Seized documents reveal thousands of planned ISIS attacks around world

Dead or alive? Why the world’s most-wanted terrorist has been killed at least three times

Somali forces begin moving to attack ISIS holding port town

FBI investigates possible Facebook ‘declaration’ by OSU attack suspect

Terrorism suspected in car-and-knife attack at Ohio State

Somali student behind car, knife attack at Ohio State University that injured 11

99% Muslim, 43,000 Somali refugees settled in US under Obama

Muslim woman wears hijab, burkini in Minnesota pageant

Obama Admin. Ships 6,051 Kids to American Communities in October

85 languages spoken in Buffalo schools as ‘New Americans’ enter classrooms

Shootings spike over Thanksgiving holiday weekend: 8 killed, 62 wounded

In Cuba, life after Fidel won’t look much different than life with him, experts say

Cubans sign ‘oath’ to Castro’s revolution

W.House: Castro’s death will not likely slow US efforts toward Cuba

‘Trump Effect’ Is Already Shaping Events Around the World

With his appointments, Trump may be ‘institutionalizing conflict’ in the White House

Trump ‘Furious’ With Conway for Romney Complaints

Mitt Romney gets second interview with Donald Trump for Secretary of State as David Petraeus heads to Trump Tower

Tom Price, Obamacare Critic, Is Said to Be Trump’s Choice for Health Secretary

Donald Trump is making a strong case for a recount of his own 2016 election win

Overnight Cybersecurity: Recounts spark new fight over vote integrity

States reject Trump’s claim that illegal ballots gave Clinton popular vote

Trump Officially Wins Michigan Amid Calls for a Recount

Pennsylvania State Department says Stein missed recount deadline

Stein sues after Wisconsin refuses to order hand recounts

The Recount Road to Nowhere

Annoyed Dems dismiss recount as ‘waste of time’

Jill Stein’s recount effort gets 12 times more coverage from ABC, CBS, NBC than her entire campaign

The lawyer representing Hillary Clinton’s recount efforts recently led legal battles against state voting laws with an infusion of funding from billionaire George Soros

Roger Stone: Clinton more likely to face prosecution after recount

Gregg Jarrett: Did Hillary Clinton just squander her “get out of jail free” card?

Trump To Ask Foreign Governments To Probe Clinton Foundation

Hackers suspected as 900,000 hit by internet outage

Cyber Monday scams targeting shoppers, FBI warns

Microsoft Confirms Its Chinese-Language Chatbot Filters Certain Topics

Drone Helps Chase Down Suspects In Early Morning Robbery

India’s Prime Minister Plans for Cashless Society

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Modayag, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohonua, Tonga

Chirinkotan volcano on the Kuril Islands erupts to 29,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcan on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 12,000ft

Suwanosejima volcano in Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Storms Strike Italy and Greece, Killing Three

Wildfires forcing evacuations in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge

Stunning new data indicates El Nino drove record highs in global temperatures suggesting rise may not be down to man-made emissions

Scientists record biggest ever coral die-off on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

California targets dairy cows to combat global warming

Pope asks scientists to find solutions, declare rules to save planet

Japan orders major poultry cull after first bird flu outbreak in nearly two years

Texas becomes second state to confirm locally transmitted Zika infection

Scurvy makes comeback in Australia as dietary habits worsen

Calls to slash price of morning-after pill and sell off shelf like aspirin

It’s Brother Versus Brother at TBN – Latest Update

Sandy Simpson – Almost Saved

Hillsong & Worship: The Gospel According To Hillsong

Jen Johnson’s Blue Genie Holy Spirit upgrade…

Pastor twists scripture, writes “Unclobber” book for sin-affirming “Christians”

Calvary Chapel Association Announces Complete Separation from Brian and Cheryl Brodersen, CC Costa Mesa, and the CC “Global Network”

Tullian Tchividjian Allegedly Tried Reconciling With Ex-Wife Before New Marriage, Asked Woman to Pray for Brother’s Death

If You Happen To See A Scarf Tied Up Around Your Town This Holiday – Here’s What It Means

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 08:03 AM PST

There’s a new trend happening around the country and it catching on like wildfire! No, people aren’t trying to make trees and lightpoles more fashionable…. It’s…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

More than 2,000 deer reported dead in S.D. disease outbreak

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 07:59 AM PST

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, a viral disease that killed more than 3,700 deer in 2012, has impacted the population this year, with more than 2,000 deer…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

First geyser eruption to occur in 15 years at Lake Rotorua

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:45 AM PST

A resident of Rotorua’s Ōhinemutu Village woke up in fear this morning. She described the sound as the noise of a water geyser shooting out…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Earliest noctilucent cloud season start in Antarctica on record

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:41 AM PST

We are jumping from anomaly to anomaly. This year, the southern hemisphere noctilucent clouds (NLC) season is the earliest southern hemisphere season on record… tied…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

America Is Seeing the Leviathan Manifestation

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:17 AM PST

(By Wanda Agler) The Lord showed me several months ago that immediately following the election, “…the snake would be seen.” I sensed it would be…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NASA Research Findings Stun Scientists, Seemingly Defy Important Law of Physics

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:14 AM PST

NASA has published findings that seem to defy Newton’s third law of motion, thus casting doubt on a foundational premise of modern physics and astonishing…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Why Are So Many Among The Elite Building Luxury Bunkers In Preparation For An Imminent ‘Apocalypse’?

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:09 AM PST

(By Michael Snyder) Do they know something that the rest of us do not? There are tens of millions of ordinary Americans that are feeling…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Putin orders mobile hospitals to be sent to residents of Aleppo, Syria

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:05 AM PST

Russia will soon deploy mobile hospitals to Aleppo region to provide treatment to residents, according to the Kremlin. “The President ordered the Defense Ministry and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christian university tied to abortion giant

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 06:02 AM PST

After reports earlier this year that Texas Christian University has close ties with Planned Parenthood, there’s news of another university in a similar situation.  Katie…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Last person alive born in 1800s, turns 117

Posted: 29 Nov 2016 05:57 AM PST

An alert and chatty Italian woman, Emma Morano, on Tuesday celebrates her 117th birthday as the last known person alive who was born in the…

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Is the OSU Attack Terror Related?

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Kirk Franklin Rebukes Claim That Children Killed in Tennessee Bus Accident Was ‘God’s Will’

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Kirk Franklin is speaking out against the belief that it was “God’s will” for six children to be killed in a school bus accident last…

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Trump ‘Only US Politician’ Who Gives Christians Hope, Russia’s Spiritual Leader Says

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Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, has said that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is the only American politician to give Russians, and…

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Global average temperatures plummet in steepest fall on record.

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Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record….

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Controversial Bill Could Propel Israel to Fulfill Jeremiah 30 Prophecy

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Pastor Drops Dead After Spirit Leads Him to Sing ‘In His Presence’

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Egyptian archaeologists discover 7,000-year-old lost city…

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Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Chokes on Heavy Smoke as Skies Are Darkened From Nearby Wildfire

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Netanyahu Warns that Israel won’t allow ISIS to open ‘a front of terror’ on the Golan

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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)

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.


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!


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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10 Needed Mind-Shifts for Your Fight for Holiness

I’m sure your battle against sin is similar to mine: You’ve had ups and downs, with different struggles in different seasons.

Sometimes you feel powerless to change your deeply ingrained sinful thoughts and habits. Other times encountering a truth from Scripture can prove a real game-changer in your outlook toward sin, and you grow.

10 Needed Mind-Shifts for Your Fight for Holiness

Growing in holiness involves taking out the trash of wrong thinking and learning to think with “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) by filling our minds with God’s life-giving and holiness-producing truth (John 17:17). Below I share 10 ways of thinking you should adopt for your fight for holiness.

1. Think: “I need to focus on God’s grace” over “I need to focus on stopping my sin.”

If I tell you not to think about all of your past failures, what will you think about? Your past failures. Our focus must not be stopping our sin or failures because the law (simply knowing what you should and shouldn’t do) has no power to free us from the bondage of sin.

But the grace of Christ does. The grace of God teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions and say “yes” to living “self-controlled, upright, and godly lives” (Titus 2:11-12). Instead of focusing on your sin, focus on the beauty and grace of Christ. Then when you begin thinking of sinning, you can rejoice that Christ has freed you from sin’s penalty and power (even if you still feel temptation’s draw).

Your sins have been nailed to the cross. Keep your eyes fixed on the cross and let your joy in grace dwarf the misery of sin.

2. Think: “I need help from God’s people” over “I can do it alone.”

Our culture idolizes personal autonomy and those who single-handedly muscle their way forward in the race of life. In God’s grace, this isn’t how the Christian life works.

In God’s grace, the Christian life isn’t about autonomy, but his church.
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In God’s perfect design, he has given us his church as his holy community formed by the gospel. We know God and his love better as we fellowship with one another. We push each other on toward deeper faith and holiness as we encourage one another, confess our sins to each other, and pray for each other. God has given gifted and experienced teachers to build up the body of Christ and lead us to maturity in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Don’t short-circuit God’s design for you in the church by trying to do it on your own—you were never meant to.

3. Think: “I need to please God” over “I need to feel better about myself.”

If your repentance involves repenting just enough to make you feel better, it is not true repentance (see 2 Corinthians 7:8-12). God-honoring repentance desires to please him—not merely avoid bad feelings or consequences. Merely trying to feel better about yourself means the root of sin will remain in the ground and will spring up again in the future.

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)

4. Think: “I am fully equipped to obey all the time” over “It’s too hard for me.”

If you’ve ever thought that breaking sinful habits is impossible, remember that you don’t have to be a “super Christian” to live in obedience.

  • In Christ, God has equipped you with everything you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). This means you are able to walk in the righteousness God wants of you.
  • In Christ, no temptation is too strong for you (1 Corinthians 10:13). This means you always have what it takes to overcome temptation when it comes your way.

This mind-shift won’t mean you’re perfect, but it will remind you of Christ’s power to overcome sin and temptation and keep you from making excuses.

5. Think: “I need to live in obedience” over “I need to have victory.”1

This mind-shift focuses on terminology. The words we use matter and subtly shape our thinking and expectations—which is why we must espouse biblical terminology.

When we describe our battle for holiness as a “victory” or “defeat,” we might be tempted to think our struggle against sin is something external to us; something not in our control. But Scripture describes sin and temptation in terms of “obedience” and “disobedience,” not “victory” or “defeat.”

Don’t soften the weight of sin against a holy God. Take ownership for your sins by calling disobedience what it is.

6. Think: “I need to expose my sin” over “I need to hide my sin.”

Our sinful nature wants to hide our sins to avoid the shame of being found out. God wants the opposite of this: confession of sins—something counter to our sinful nature. Confession brings the darkness of sin into the light and zaps it of its power, bringing healing (James 5:16). Instead of fearing confession, let it remind you of God’s grace given at the cross.

People who truly hate their sin love to confess it, because confession is a God-given channel toward restoration (Psalm 32:1-2; 1 John 1:9).

7. Think: “Put sin to death” over “I’ll just try to stay away from it.”

If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13, emphasis mine)

Putting sin to death is active—something that doesn’t happen on its own. Yet so often in our battles for holiness, we don’t seek to put sin to death, but fool ourselves into thinking our problem will go away. That’s a recipe to fall into the same sin again during a moment of weakness.

Temptations flow from our desires, and merely avoiding them won’t make them go away (James 1:13-14). This may require drastic measures like dropping relationships, changing jobs, or limiting Internet access (depending on your struggles), but you will never regret sacrifices made in pursuing Christ.

We need the attitude that John Owen commended when he said, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” This mind-shift comes with a warning: It is impossible without the next.

8. Think: “life in the Spirit” over “life in the flesh.”

We are not empty-handed in our battle against sin. God is actively working in us and giving us power through his Spirit to fight sin and live righteously. Strive for Spirit-dependent lives that fight sin and walk in righteousness. Live in obedience so you don’t grieve the Spirit with your sin or quench the Spirit by missing an opportunity to follow his lead.

Life in the Spirit is incomplete without the Spirit’s sword, the Bible (Ephesians 6:17). Make God’s Word your delight, part of your daily diet, and a weapon for fighting against the flesh and darts of the enemy.2 Heed Jerry Bridges’ warning: “It is hypocritical to pray for victory over our sins and be careless in our intake of the Word of God.”3

9. Think: “Repentance is worship” over “I’m ashamed before God.”

Has your sin ever made you ashamed to seek God? I used to think I needed to clean myself up before approaching God again. The cross frees us from this mindset because Christ has taken our sin upon himself and forgives and cleanses all our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Instead of keeping our distance from God due to shame, preach to yourself that Christ took your shame and punishment on the cross, and remember you are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Take joy that in Christ you are forgiven, and see drawing near to God not as something to avoid, but something to run to because repentance is worship that greatly honors the Lord.

10. Think: “Prayer is vital” over “Prayer is optional.”

If ever you have felt powerless to overcome a certain sin on your own, remember all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). To grow in holiness and make progress in the Christian life, we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, pleading for the Lord’s help to resist temptation and shape our desires according to God’s.

One practical way to apply this is by daily praying the Scriptures. The Scriptures are profitable for “teaching,” “reproof,” “correction,” and “for training in righteousness,” and by praying them daily, we echo the prayer of Jesus in John 17:17: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

Only God will know the compounding effect Scripture-soaked prayers will have over a lifetime.

What mind-shifts would you add? Share in a comment!

[1 I’m indebted to Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness for this idea. 2 See Romans 8 or Galatians 5 for more on life in the Spirit. Bridges in The Pursuit of Holiness, page 75.] [Post Credit: Anchored in Christ. Adapted from an earlier post shared on Anchored in Christ.]


The post 10 Needed Mind-Shifts for Your Fight for Holiness appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

Hillsong & Worship (Grace To You Addresses Hillsong’s “Worship”)

John 4:23-24

Code: B161128
by Cameron Buettel & Jeremiah Johnson

This is no performance
Lord, I pray it’s worship
Empty words I can’t afford
I’m not chasing feelings
That’s not why I’m singing
You’re the reason for my song

And I only wanna sing
If I sing with everything
If I sing for you, my King

I can’t imagine why
I would do this all for hype
Cause it’s all to lift You high

At this point in the song—titled “Only Wanna Sing”—the music soars, the strobe lights fire up, and everyone on stage and in the crowd begins to dance with reckless abandon.

The irony is hard to miss.

That song—by the band Hillsong Young and Free—epitomizes many of the issues with much of Hillsong’s worship music: vague lyrical content, confused doctrinal perspectives, and an emphasis on style over substance.

Appeal Through Ambiguity

Hillsong’s philosophy fits well with the zeitgeist of our day. The social scientists now tell us that morality is subjective, gender is fluid, and truth is an illusion. Clearly, the precise theology espoused in ancient hymns won’t get the job done anymore.

Hillsong has probably done a better job than anyone else in filling the musical void that many modern churches have experienced. Their songs are catchy, their musicians are excellent, and their songwriters know how to “sound Christian” enough to salve the consciences of all in attendance. Consequently, their music permeates the Christian world, and their album sales are huge—even by secular standards.

Lest you anticipate some fundamentalist rant at this point, we need to be clear: This is not a screed against modern music infiltrating the church.

But we should be wary when our ancient and exclusive faith is overrun with modern songs featuring a fluid and indistinct message. In many instances, Hillsong lyrics are so vague they could be embraced by most religions.

At break of day, in hope we rise
We speak Your Name, we lift our eyes
Tune our hearts into Your beat
Where we walk, there You’ll be

With fire in our eyes, our lives a-light
Your love untamed, it’s blazing out
The streets will glow forever bright
Your glory’s breaking through the night

You will never fade away, Your love is here to stay
By my side, in my life, shining through me everyday

You wake within me, wake within me
You’re in my heart forever

Those lyrics come from “Wake,” a song with no distinctive Christian element. In fact, there’s little to distinguish it from the forlorn ramblings of a junior high love letter.

Hillsong pastors readily point out that all their songs are reviewed for theological accuracy. But when it comes to songs like “Wake” and “Only Wanna Sing,” what is there to review?

Doctrinal Gaps and Malpractice

Not all Hillsong worship songs suffer from ambiguity; some evidence attempts to be more theologically concrete. “What a Beautiful Name” is one example where the biblical themes are at least discernible.

The first verse references Christ’s eternality and deity: “You were the Word at the beginning / One with God the Lord Most High” (cf. John 1:1). Later, the song’s bridge refers to His resurrection: “Death could not hold You / The veil tore before You . . . For You are raised to life again.” And throughout the song, Christ is referred to as King.

However, the second verse is a great example of the doctrinal maladies that plague most of the Hillsong catalogue—malpractice, man-centeredness, and missing information.

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now . . .

The writer of “What a Beautiful Name” would have us believe that the reason for Christ’s life, death, and resurrection was because He “didn’t want heaven without us.” That’s a nice sentiment, but it’s not remotely biblical. In fact, it’s doctrinal malpractice by people who should know better.

Nowhere does the Bible state that an unsatisfying solitude in heaven was God’s reason for redeeming people. Rather, the theme that resounds throughout Scripture is God’s desire to glorify Himself by redeeming sinners. Romans 3:21–26 explicitly describes Christ’s atonement as the display of God’s righteousness. Undoubtedly, the cross was also the demonstration of God’s great love for sinners (John 3:16), but that doesn’t mean He was lonely without us.

Furthermore, that unbiblical statement flows out of the man-centered worldview that permeates almost everything Hillsong does. Rather than seeing ourselves as the undeserving beneficiaries of God’s redemptive plan, we become the central characters in a story that’s meant to glorify God.

The other major problem that plagues even the best songs in the Hillsong library is also evident in “What a Beautiful Name.” Even when they get it theologically right, the missing information robs the lyrical content of any useful meaning. “My sin was great, Your love was greater” begs more questions than they’re willing to answer. It’s exceedingly rare for Hillsong worship to even mention sin, but even if they do it’s left completely undefined.

Similar subjects like God’s wrath, repentance, judgment, depravity, and personal holiness are virtually absent from the entire Hillsong catalog. But those biblical realities form the necessary background to explain most things Hillsong does talk about: grace, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation. If grace is unmerited favor, we need to know why we don’t merit it. Mercy is meaningless without understanding the wrath that we deserve. Forgiveness is incomprehensible without grasping our personal guilt before God. And salvation rings hollow when we’re never told what we’re saved from.

At the Strange Fire conference, John MacArthur had this to say about another popular Christian band, and what passes for worship music in many churches today:

Let me explain worship in a simple way. The deeper your understanding of the truth of God, the deeper your understanding of God Himself, the higher your worship goes. Worship is directly correlated to understanding. The richer your theology, the more full your grasp of biblical truth, the more elevated your worship becomes. You don’t have to turn the music on for me to worship.  Low understanding of God—superficial, shallow, understanding of God—leads to shallow, superficial, content-less hysteria. You can whip that up, you can create that kind of frenzy. It has nothing to do with worship; it isn’t worship; it’s not connected to worship; it is sheer hysteria in a mindless expression. You’ve been singing hymns this week. Why? Because there’s rich theology in hymns. We don’t have to go hysterical; we want your mind fully engaged. . . . I don’t need 7-11 choruses, seven words eleven times over. I need to advance the doctrine. I need to advance the richness. I need to deepen the truth and broaden the truth. And hymns have verses, not just five words repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated but never really with the nuances of theology. So, yeah . . . that’s not worship, that’s not even Christian. That’s no different than a rock concert. There’s a lot of ways to manipulate people’s minds, and they have figured out how do that.

Doctrine matters. At best, a steady diet of Hillsong music will leave you with an incomplete theology of salvation. At worst, it promotes unbiblical falsehoods about God, us, and how we can be reconciled to Him.

Style over Substance

It’s worth pointing out that we did not cherry-pick the lyrics referenced above. In a musical catalogue as vast as Hillsong’s, it wouldn’t be hard to find a few weak songs to critique.

Instead, the songs mentioned above come directly from our visits to Hillsong church services. For a few months now, we’ve been visiting Hillsong Los Angeles—one of the ministry’s most recent church plants. While the American audience is primarily familiar with Hillsong’s worship bands, CDs, and concerts, throughout most of the rest of the world, they are one of evangelicalism’s fastest-growing church networks. With franchises established all around the world, they’ve recently begun to expand into the US.

In our estimation, Hillsong represents the next wave of the kind of seeker sensitivity John MacArthur has warned about throughout his ministry. They are cut from the same cloth as Robert Schuller, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren—they’re just aiming for a younger, hipper audience.

Hillsong LA’s church services are virtually indistinguishable from rock concerts. From the moment you walk in, your eyes and ears are assaulted by incoherent multimedia displays, with vague artistry passing for profundity.

While the familiar elements of a church service are there—prayer, worship, teaching, etc.—they’re usually designed and deployed as an appeal to your senses, not your soul. It makes you wonder what people think they’re committing to during the pseudo-alter call that ends every service.

In the end, Hillsong’s carelessness and ambiguity extend beyond their lyrics, touching every element of their global ministry. In the days ahead, we’re going to look at the practical theology they proclaim, and compare it to their own doctrinal statements and ultimately to Scripture.

What you’re going to see—as we have seen firsthand—is that the significant influence Hillsong wields is sowing confusion and corruption into the next generation of the church.

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B161128
COPYRIGHT ©2016 Grace to You

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

Now that Perry Noble is fresh out of alcohol rehab, the Lord has something new and exciting in store for him.  It won’t be pastoring a church because, according to 1 Tim 3:1-7, he is no longer qualified.  So, what has God supposedly “shown him” regarding his future? Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen has the details:

perry-noble-2Disgraced former pastor of Newspring Church in Anderson, SC, says God is calling him back to the ministry–except this time, he’s in it for the business. After losing his job last year as senior pastor of the seeker-friendly megachurch for years of alcohol-related transgressions, he vowed to return to ministry after a 30-day rehab program and turning himself over to a therapist. He has kept his promise and is now offering what he calls a “consultation ministry,” dubbed The Growth Co., in which he will be offering to come alongside businesses and churches to help them grow.

“I am ready to take the next step in life and ministry…” the repeat alcoholic offender says,

After much thought, prayer and seeking godly and wise counsel I believe The Lord has clearly shown me I am supposed to step into church and business consulting.

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Fidel Castro May Be Dead, but Tyranny Remains in Cuba

Ana Quintana is a policy analyst for Latin America and the Western Hemisphere in The Heritage Foundation.  Ana is a first-generation Cuban American who knows this story “all too well.” Her piece is posted over at The Daily Signal.  She writes:

Late Friday evening, Cuban state media reported the death of their former leader, Fidel Castro, at age 90. Some will mourn his passing or even glorify his life. But for many others, not even his death will fill the void caused by his life.

For over five decades, Cubans suffered under the tyranny of Fidel and then his brother Raul, now 85. They watched the regime destroy a country and export the same perverted model of social justice throughout the developing world.

My grandfather would often tell us of how he would hide indoors while Fidel’s firing squads would slaughter innocent people nearby.

Religion was criminalized, dissent was violently punished, and Cuban citizens became property of their communist state. Fidel’s rule brought the world to its closest point of nuclear war during those fateful 13 days in 1962. He indoctrinated hate and pushed millions out of their country.

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Progressive Christians to ‘Take Back Their Faith’ After Election

<!– Place this data between the tags of your website –>Derryck Green of Juicy Ecumenicism makes it clear that, when determining what is right and wrong, good and evil from a biblical perspective, those who call themselves “progressive Christians” (liberals) are in no position to take the moral high ground.  Green lays into those who pose as evangelicals but whose main goal is the redefinition of traditional Christianity, people such as popular author, blogger and speaker Rachel Held Evans and Jim Wallis of Sojourners, a far-left organization.   Green closes his piece with this challenge for wolves in sheep’s clothing: “If progressive Christians are really concerned about the future of their faith, they may want to consider what faith is really of concern – Leftism or Christianity.”

Now listen to what Derryck Green has to say about the snare of liberal “Christianity”:

A week after the election, the Huffington Post published a blog entry in which Progressive Christians suggested what like-minded Christians should do in order to “take back their faith.”

Still reeling from the election in which Donald Trump was elected president, several progressive Christians pondered the necessary steps to draw a stronger contrast between their brand of kindhearted progressive Christianity, and the kind of conservative, evangelical Christianity that helped elect Donald Trump.

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