Daily Archives: December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Dec. 16, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

President Obama vowed the U.S. would take action to respond to Russian cyber-attacks intended to interfere with the election, escalating the hacking controversy as his successor, Donald Trump, continued to dismiss the claims of foreign interference.

Repealing Obamacare would amount to a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans and a modest tax hike for some of the lowest earners, a new study found.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that his nation’s tussle with Japan over the sovereignty of disputed islands must come to an end, and agreed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to start talks on a special system for economic cooperation in the area.

The Electoral College’s 538 members gather Monday at 50 state capitols to cast the ballots that matter the most when it comes to electing a U.S. president. The attempt to deny Donald Trump the presidency by trying to convince Democratic and Republican peers to back someone else is almost sure to fail.

For OPEC, there are few enemies more fearsome than the tiny Oklahoma town of Cushing. With oil inventories at Cushing creeping near an all-time high, U.S. benchmark futures prices are struggling to advance despite the promised production cuts agreed to by OPEC, Russia and other producers. And the storage tanks are likely to stay full as refiners park crude in Oklahoma to lower their tax bills.

With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, businesses are scrambling to find ways to slow an exodus of the most experienced employees and ensure that they pass along their knowledge before they leave.

Deliveries to China by Boeing Co., the largest U.S. exporter, support approximately 150,000 American jobs every year, Vice Chairman Ray Conner said.

AP Top Stories

The Syrian government and rebels exchanged accusations Friday over the suspension of evacuations from eastern Aleppo just hours after they resumed on Friday, blaming each other for shooting at a crossing point with the enclave.

A new study from the University of California at San Francisco, which found that women who underwent an abortion were at less risk of adverse mental health effects (such as depression, anxiety, and dissatisfaction of life) than those who were denied an abortion because their pregnancy was further along than the facility’s gestational limit. The study’s conclusion defies the argument of many abortion protesters – that women who undergo the procedure experience long-term psychological trauma.

The General Services Administration (GSA) confirmed President-elect Donald Trump would violate his lease on a Washington, D.C., hotel if he did not release his stake before taking office, according to a statement Tuesday by Democrats in the House of Representative.

Islamic State fighters possibly seized air-defense weapons when they recaptured the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, a US general said Wednesday, adding a potential complication to the coalition’s air war.

Global equity funds received $21 billion in the past week – their ninth-biggest inflow ever – as investors embraced the ‘Trump trade’, while money flowed out of bonds for seventh week in a row, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Friday.

New-home construction in the U.S. fell more than forecast last month after surging in October to a nine-year high, indicating fitful progress in residential real estate. Residential starts slumped 18.7 percent to a 1.09 million annualized rate in November after a 27.4 percent increase to 1.34 million a month earlier.

BBC

A 12-year-old German-Iraqi boy tried to blow up a Christmas market in the town of Ludwigshafen. He left a rucksack with explosives which failed to detonate in November, and put another explosive device by the town hall a few days later. But a member of the public alerted the police, and no-one was injured.

A white supremacist has been convicted of killing nine black worshippers in a church in South Carolina in a racially motivated attack. It took the 12 jurors just over two hours to convict 22-year-old Dylann Roof on all 33 counts he faced, including federal hate crimes. He will find out next month if he will receive the death penalty.

Venezuela’s highest denomination banknote has ceased to be legal tender, in a move that has caused cash chaos and long queues at banks this week. President Nicolas Maduro said new higher-denomination bills would be fully distributed in January. He has closed the borders with Brazil and Colombia until Sunday to stop “mafias” hoarding the currency abroad.

Gold nanotechnology could help reduce the number of injections needed to treat a common form of blindness, researchers believe.

The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed to the BBC that he shot dead three men while mayor of Davao.

Cuba has come up with an unusual way to repay its multimillion dollar debt to the Czech Republic – bottles of its famous rum, officials in Prague said. Cuba owes the Czech authorities $276m, and if the offer is accepted the Czechs would have enough Cuban rum for more than a century.

WND

Hundreds of airline pilots – potentially even thousands – are so depressed they are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, a new study suggests.

A man who spent more than three decades behind bars for a crime he did not commit is fighting to up his compensation after receiving just $75.

A school board in rural Colorado has voted to allow faculty and staff members who are licensed for concealed carry in the state to do so on campus to protect students in a region where law enforcement officers can be 45 minutes away in an emergency.


Top News – 12/16/2016

Facebook Using Unreliable Liberal Fact-Checker To Fight ‘Fake News’
One of the organizations Facebook is partnering up with is Snopes, which The Daily Caller has exposed more than once butchering the truth or seemingly outright lying in service of a liberal narrative.

Russia halts evacuation of East Aleppo and announces ‘liquidation’ of remaining resistance
The announcement came one hour after the ministry said the evacuation of civilians from eastern Aleppo was “complete” after 9,500 people had been evacuated.

Trump’s Orthodox Zionist Ambassador Eager to Serve in ‘Eternal Capital of Israel’
Friedman, for his part, said he looks forward to serving at his new job at “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.” “Mr. Trump’s confidence is very flattering. My views on Israel are well-known, and I would advise him in a matter consistent with those views. America’s geo-political interests are best served by a strong and secure Israel with Jerusalem as its undivided capital.”

Judge Napolitano Drops A Bomb: US Intelligence Was Behind Hacks — Not Russia
Who had access to all of this material without having to steal any codes?” “The United States Intelligence agents who did not want this woman in charge of the federal government and exposing more agents and resources and undercover assets in the Middle East,” Napolitano said, answering his own questions.

Lynch Slips — Says No Evidence Of ‘Technical Interference’ From The Russians
Loretta Lynch stated Thursday that the United States intelligence community has not found any evidence of “technical interference” on the part of the Russian government on voting machines used in the 2016 election.

Huge hole in the ocean floor near Australia could cause catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis
The tear in the Earth’s crust is located in the Banda Sea and measures about 60,000sq km — roughly the size of Tasmania. Geologists have now discovered the tear is one of the biggest faults on the planet and is running through the Ring of Fire, an area in the Pacific Ocean where a huge number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

Scientists reverse ageing in mammals and predict human trials within 10 years
An end to grey hair and crows-feet could be just 10 years away after scientists showed it is possible to reverse ageing in animals. Using a new technique which takes adult cells back to their embryonic form, US researchers at the Salk Institute in California, showed it was possible to reverse ageing in mice, allowing the animals to not only look younger, but live for 30 per cent longer.

Venezuela’s 100-bolivar note withdrawal causes chaos
Venezuela’s highest denomination banknote has ceased to be legal tender, in a move that has caused cash chaos and long queues at banks this week. Some cash machines on Thursday were still issuing the old 100-bolivar notes, hours before they expired. President Nicolas Maduro said new higher-denomination bills would be fully distributed in January.

Russia ‘to increase mobile missile patrols’
A Russian military commander has said the army will expand mobile missile patrols in European regions of the country in 2017. Col Gen Sergei Karakayev said pontoon technology meant nuclear missiles could now be moved to new areas and “overcome practically any water obstacle”. Tensions between Russia and Nato have escalated because of the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine.

Australian republicans claim majority of MPs oppose monarchy
A majority of Australian MPs want to break ties with the British monarchy, the nation’s republican lobby claims. The Australian Republican Movement says 81 of 150 MPs and 40 of 76 senators favour the move, citing public statements from the politicians. Monarchists have disputed the figures, insisting more support the status quo.

Report: Boy with suspected ISIS ties attempted to bomb German Christmas market
A 12-year old German-Iraqi boy suspected of having links to extremist group Islamic State (ISIS) tried to blow up a bomb at a Christmas market in the western town of Ludwigshafen, German magazine Focus reported on Friday, citing security and judicial sources. The boy, born in the same town in 2004, was “strongly radicalized” and apparently instructed by an unknown ISIS member, Focus reported.

Trump’s Ambassador to Israel references ’embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem’
US President-elect Donald Trump will nominate David Friedman, his long-time attorney and a campaign adviser on Jewish world issues, as US ambassador to Israel, the transition team said in a statement on Thursday. The US embassy has for decades been located in Tel Aviv. Trump had pledged during the presidential campaign to move it to Jerusalem.

IDF ready for clashes in Amona
The IDF is prepared for a possible physical confrontation with residents when the controversial Amona outpost is evacuated next week, after residents rejected a proposal to resettle at another site… While the IDF had initially hoped for a surprise evacuation before the December 25 deadline…in addition to the upcoming Hanukka holiday, has taken away the element of surprise.

What Is The Real Purpose Behind “Fake News” Propaganda?
This is one of the great tragedies of the Saul Alinsky method of political confrontation; it has bred entire generations of people who now believe that there is no objective truth. They think everything is relative. Because of this belief, they assume that there is no wrong or right side, no wrong or right goal. Instead, there are only goals that are MORE right than the goals of others. Everything boils down to a “lesser of two evils” mentality, and the ends therefore justify the means. Using dishonest measures to win the fight becomes acceptab

Trump picks a supporter of West Bank settlements for ambassador to Israel
President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will nominate New York bankruptcy lawyer David M. Friedman as his ambassador to Israel, saying in a statement issued by his transition office that Friedman’s “strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission.”

Some poor Venezuelan parents give away children amid deep crisis
Struggling to feed herself and her seven children, Venezuelan mother Zulay Pulgar asked a neighbor in October to take over care of her six-year-old daughter, a victim of a pummeling economic crisis.

Facebook To Decide What’s Real Vs. Fake News For Users
Social media giant Facebook has announced the site will prompt users if they attempt to share news articles disputed by third parties, the latest in an array of efforts to stifle independent media.

50 Christian Statues Defaced and Decapitated in Germany
Fifty statues of Christ and other Christian figures have been defaced and smashed apart in a crime wave sweeping parts of Germany. Statues in the Münster region in the west of Germany have been targeted over a series of months – including one of Jesus which had its head lopped off, and many more missing limbs or other fragments.

Greece passes pension deal in defiance of bailout creditors
The Greek parliament has defied the international creditors providing Athens’ bailout funds and voted through a one-off payment to pensioners. Plans for the €617m (£517m; $656m) pre-Christmas handout were opposed by European bodies negotiating Greece’s financial lifeline.

Maricopa Co. Sheriff’s Office: “9 points of forgery” in Obama’s birth certificate
According to officials, the forensic evidence was verified by two different digital document experts who live on two different continents, and neither of the two knew each other. According to officials, there are allegedly nine “points of forgery” on Obama’s birth certificate, and words letters and dates, according to officials, were digitally copied and pasted.


The Briefing 12-16-16

Dylann Roof found guilty of murders by federal jury in Charleston, South Carolina

War on toys: Hyperinflation plagues Venezuela as socialist government cracks down on Christmas toys

What the hunt for 2016’s most popular toy, the Hatchimal, says about the American consumer

Christology and Christmas: Must Christians believe the virgin birth?

The post The Briefing 12-16-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


December 15, 2016

CLIFF KINCAID — Isn’t it strange how the left suddenly finds the CIA to be a worthwhile organization now that it has been turned into a weapon against Trump? We need congressional investigations into the politicization of the CIA under John Brennan, whose claim to fame has been bringing sexual “diversity” to the agency. Perhaps he should have been doing his job, which is to defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…. (more)


December 15, 2016
NEWSMAX — In telephone conversations with Donald Trump, FBI Director James Comey assured the president-elect there was no credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee and the emails of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign…. (more)

December 15, 2016
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — The hypocrisy oozing from the peddling of this week’s narrative about Russian “meddling” in the U.S. presidential election is thick even by the sorry standards of modern American politics…. (more)

December 15, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — A WikiLeaks figure is claiming that he received leaked Clinton campaign emails from a “disgusted” Democratic whistleblower, while the White House continued to blame Russian hackers Wednesday for meddling in the presidential election and asserted that Donald Trump was “obviously aware” of Moscow’s efforts on his behalf…. (more)

December 15, 2016
BYRON YORK — The Electoral College meets one week from today in what will be the final step in Donald Trump’s improbable rise to the presidency. But it will also be the last chance for #NeverTrump dead-enders to keep Trump out of the White House. And now, the anti-Trump effort has been given new fuel by allegations of Russian attempts to interfere with the presidential election…. (more)

December 15, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Newly re-elected Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson isn’t supposed to be here. After all, Washington’s political-media-donor clique had written off the businessman in a rematch against former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in a state the pundits said tilts Democratic…. (more)

December 15, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Obama is delivering a generous parting gift to Planned Parenthood in the form of a rule prohibiting states from divesting millions of dollars from the nation’s largest abortion provider. The final version of the rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, requires states to distribute dollars from Title X of the Public Health Service Act without taking into account whether recipient clinics perform abortions…. (more)

December 15, 2016
BOB UNRUH — Several Planned Parenthood affiliates have been referred by a Senate committee to the Department of Justice for investigation and possible prosecution for their involvement in a baby body parts trade that was exposed in 2015 through a video sting operation…. (more)

December 15, 2016

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Outgoing President Obama and first lady Michelle will leave the White House with close to the highest public opinion since the president took office, according to a Pew Research Center poll…. (more)


December 14, 2016
WALL STREET JOURNAL — Russian officials greeted President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of a Russia-friendly executive as secretary of state as an opportunity to reboot U.S. ties and push for an end to punitive economic sanctions…. (more)

December 14, 2016
THINK PROGRESS — On Tuesday morning, Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state for George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009, issued a statement applauding President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state nominee…. (more)

December 14, 2016

CNN — President-elect Donald Trump leaned on a collection of Republican foreign policy veterans for guidance in selecting ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state, according to sources familiar with the process…. (more)


December 14, 2016

BOB UNRUH — As the names popped up on President-elect Donald Trump’s list of Cabinet nominees, conservatives and Christians mostly have been pleased…. (more)


December 14, 2016
NEWSMAX — Both Russia and Ecuador may have known that Edward Snowden was planning to steal millions of documents from the National Security Agency before he took off with them, according to documentation from a meeting of spies from both countries…. (more)

December 14, 2016
JOSEPH FARAH — May I be so bold as to present some key, undisputed facts with regard to the kerfuffle over allegations – – including some by the CIA – – the Russian government hacked into the computers of the Democratic National Committee to find embarrassing emails in hopes of swaying the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump?… (more)

December 14, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President-elect Trump’s pro-life allies are embarking on a campaign to narrow his Supreme Court short list to ensure a pro-choice nominee does not replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia…. (more)

December 14, 2016
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH — While describing himself as a champion for the sanctity of life, Gov. John Kasich vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have forbidden abortions once a fetal heartbeat could be detected…. (more)

December 14, 2016

POLITICO — There aren’t many people on the planet who hate Donald Trump – – and love Hillary Clinton – – with the Savonarola intensity of a David Brock. But the Democratic dark-arts impresario has come to believe, in the harsh light of last month’s bitter loss, that Clinton’s biggest problem was simply not being more like Trump, at least when it came to dealing with the press…. (more)


December 14, 2016
HUFFINGTON POST — Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s attempts to recount the election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania are now over. Although Stein only secured a complete recount in Wisconsin, she is claiming to have won a victory for voters by exposing weaknesses in the voting system…. (more)

December 12, 2016

CLIFF KINCAID — You couldn’t fault Donald J. Trump for concluding that the CIA is out to get him even before he starts his presidency. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd have all denounced him. Plus, former CIA operations officer Evan McMullin ran against him as an independent presidential candidate…. (more)


December 12, 2016
JOSEPH FARAH — I’m glad someone as distinguished as former U.N Ambassador John Bolton said it first and not me. On Fox News Sunday, he said he doesn’t trust Barack Obama’s heavily politicized intelligence agencies to make a clear, objective conclusion that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee and released tens of thousands of emails to WikiLeaks to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency last month…. (more)

December 12, 2016

BLOOMBERG — Senators signaled that President-elect Donald Trump’s leading choice for secretary of state, Exxon Mobil Corp. chief Rex Tillerson, could have trouble winning confirmation because of his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin…. (more)


December 12, 2016
JOHN FUND — The biggest surprise Donald Trump has provided as president-elect is just how conservative a cabinet he is putting together. “This is a more conservative cabinet than Reagan assembled in 1980,” says Ed Feulner, a key Trump transition adviser. As president of the Heritage Foundation at the time, Feulner provided guidance for Reagan’s choices…. (more)

December 12, 2016

ASSOCIATED PRESS — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he believes U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will be a good friend to Israel and hopes the two countries can work together to dismantle the international nuclear agreement with Iran…. (more)


December 12, 2016
PAUL BREMMER — Like seeds in a garden, refugees are being planted in cities and towns all across America. But the fact that it’s being done in secret should set off alarm bells, according to veteran WND reporter Leo Hohmann…. (more)

Major Economic Warning Sign: The Euro Is Heading For Parity With The U.S. Dollar

euro-gears-public-domainThe collapse of the euro is accelerating, and it looks like we could be staring a major European financial crisis right in the face early in 2017.  On Thursday, the EUR/USD fell all the way to $1.0366 at one point before rebounding slightly.  That represents the lowest that the euro has been relative to the U.S. dollar since January 2003.  Ever since 2011, I have been relentlessly warning that the euro is heading for parity with the U.S. dollar.  When the EUR/USD was trading at about $1.40 that must have seemed like crazy talk, but I never wavered.  I just kept warning people that the euro was going to weaken greatly relative to the U.S. dollar.  Here is one example from March 2015: “How many times have I said it?  The euro is heading to all-time lows.  It is going to go to parity with the U.S. dollar, and then it is eventually going to go below parity.”  After Thursday, we are almost there, and once we do hit parity that is going to be a sign that all sorts of chaos is about to erupt in Europe. (Read More….)


Top Headlines – 12/16/2016

  • The narrative continues this time from Read More: Putin turned election hacks in Trump’s favor: officials (Read More)
  • Russian Special Forces Key to Aleppo Victory (Read More)
  • Dollar Hits Speed Bump in Fed-Driven Rally; Bonds Stem Declines (Read More)
  • Battered euro and yen recover after dollar surge (Read More)
  • Wall Street’s 2017 Forecasts Are Doomed If Trump Doesn’t Follow Through On Campaign Promises (Read More)
  • Yahoo’s Password Move May Put Verizon Deal at Risk (Read More)
  • China’s Wanxiang gets approval to produce Karma electric cars (Read More)
  • RNC Security Foiled Russian Hackers (Read More)
  • China Plans Prudent, Neutral Monetary Policy for Next Year (Read More)
  • China holds first live-fire drills with aircraft carrier, warships (Read More)
  • Valeant’s 2016 Has Been All Pain, No Gain (Read More)
  • Buffett’s Era of 8.5% Dow Dividends Is Coming to an End (Read More)
  • Japan Dethrones China as Top U.S. Foreign Creditor (Read More)
  • Breakthrough in Japan, Russia islands row eludes PM Abe, Putin (Read More)
  • Sanofi Said to Be in Advanced Talks to Acquire Actelion (Read More)
  • Chesapeake Energy Drills Deeper for Profit (Read More)
  • ‘Trump trade’ drives ninth biggest weekly rush to stocks: BAML (Read More)

Russia says loss of Iran nuclear deal would be unforgivable

Trump chooses pro-settlement hardliner as Israel envoy

Trump’s Ambassador to Israel references ’embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem’

Trump’s Pick For Ambassador To Israel: ‘End The 2-State Narrative’

Former Israeli Defense Minister Outlines ‘Grand Proactive’ Middle East Strategy for Trump Administration

IDF warns of conmen posing as soldiers

Mass rally marks Hamas’ 29th anniversary as terror group threatens Israel

Kites and GoPros: Hamas prepares for war with Israel

EU: Israeli demolitions left 1,221 Palestinians homeless

Activist told New York schoolchildren to become ‘freedom fighters for Palestine’

Artist works to preserve Christian heritage in Hamas-run Gaza

Archaeology Discovery: 1,800-Y-O Tablet Reveals Name of Biblical-Era Ruler of Judea

Israeli Defense Minister: Assad is a butcher who must be removed from power

Arab Israeli newscaster: Aleppo onslaught is ‘a holocaust’

Israel has wary eye on Iran after Syrian rebels lose Aleppo

UK and US ramp up criticism of Russia and Iran over Aleppo crisis

Obama Admin Grilled Over Downplaying Iran’s Role in Syria

Kerry appeals to Russia to end the ‘massacre’ in Aleppo

Aleppo evacuation begins as Assad hails ‘liberation’

Aleppo Evacuation Suspended After 8,000 People Removed

Destruction of Aleppo captured in heart-rending before and after photos

ISIS has three surface-to-air missile launchers in Syria, US officials say

UN fears further looting of wrecked ancient Iraqi city

A look inside the walls of a prison in Iraq, and into the tortured minds of female ISIS militants held there

Hatred spills beyond South Sudan along with refugees

American held over 900 days in Egypt begs US for help before Trump’s reign

EgyptAir crash: Explosives found on victims, say investigators

Islamists threaten ‘volcano of jihad’ against Egypt after execution

Franklin Graham Urges Christians Worldwide to Pray for Jakarta’s Gov. on Blasphemy Trial

Report: Boy with suspected ISIS ties attempted to bomb German Christmas market

Lawyer: Islamic State member ordered France train attack

Swedish towns told to ‘make preparations regarding the threat of war and conflict’ with Russia

FM report says Europe incapable of defending itself

Austria Seizes Hitler’s Birthplace, Will Offer It to Charity

Bomb plot to kill the Queen foiled by detectives

British Muslims Gather in Show of Strength to Demand Caliphate

Illegal migration hits new high in November as families surge across border

Justin Trudeau: ‘Globalisation isn’t working for ordinary people’

UK denies post-Brexit trade deal could take 10 years

Theresa May given cold shoulder at Brussels EU summit in ‘awkward’ video

Venezuela’s 100-bolivar note withdrawal causes chaos

Some poor Venezuelan parents give away children amid deep crisis

Japan Overtakes China as Largest Holder of U.S. Treasuries

Measures of Economic Optimism Are Shooting Up All Over the Place After Trump’s Win

Homebuilder sentiment spikes 7 points, Trump has them feeling fantastic

Long-Shot to Block Trump Lands at Electoral College Monday

Celebrities beg electors to be ‘heroes’ and vote against Trump

Electors are being harassed, threatened in bid to stop Trump

GOP: Electoral College voters will back Trump

Assange: I would’ve had ‘no problem’ releasing similar info about Trump and might do so in 4 years

WikiLeaks figure says ‘disgusted’ Democrat leaked Clinton campaign emails

Abedin claims she never received FBI warrant for Weiner emails

FBI New York Field Office Told To Continue Clinton Foundation Probe

FBI is probing Yahoo hack, cannot yet provide scope

Hacked Yahoo Data Is for Sale on Dark Web

What Is The Real Purpose Behind “Fake News” Propaganda?

Intel panel nixes briefing on alleged Russian interference in US election after resistance

Obama vows action against Russia for hacks

Republican National Committee Security Foiled Russian Hackers

EU agrees to extend Russia sanctions until mid-2017 in a signal to Trump

Putin, Abe hold talks on Japan-Russia territorial dispute

Russia to boost Serbian defense with MIG-29 fighter jets

Taiwan Is Both Exhilarated and Unnerved by Trump’s China Remarks

China should plan to take Taiwan by force after Trump call, state media says

China takes action on thousands of websites for ‘harmful’, obscene content

Snopes and ABC Join Forces to Stop Fake News

Artificial intelligence creeps into daily life

Self-Driving Uber Apparently Runs Red Light In San Francisco

Automated restaurant opens in NYC

UN: Threat of a hacking attack on nuclear plants is growing

OPEC Threatened by Tiny Oklahoma Town With Soaring Supplies

Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Honiara, Solomon Islands

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 21,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 18,000ft

Copahue volcano in Chile erupts to 13,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,500ft

‘Ridiculously Heavy’: Huge Winter Storm Makes Way for Already Hurting Midwest

Abandoned cars litter streets in Portland, Ore. after just a couple of inches of snow falls

NASA launches 8 mini-satellites for hurricane forecasting

New Study Casts Doubt On A Key Metric For Predicting Global Warming

Corpus Christi Warned Not to Use Tap Water Due to Possible Contamination

Democrats open to replacing Obamacare

Obamacare repeal could take months; replacement, years: Republican aides

State Health Dept. says most Oklahomans who caught mumps were vaccinated

Scientists reverse ageing in mammals and predict human trials within 10 years

Holographic ‘wife’ ministers to Japan’s single men

Britain agrees to license three-parent IVF babies to prevent disease

Judge blocks Texas rules requiring burial of fetal remains

Child sex victims offered tens of millions of pounds compensation over ‘industrial scale’ abuse in children’s homes

Dylann Roof found guilty on all counts in Charleston church massacre trial

Python found in South Dade with its mouth sewn shut. Could it be Vodou?

Brian Houston Says You Need More Money!

Chris Rosebrough – Where’d You Get That Theology?

Babies made from three people approved in UK

12 Recent Cases Where Christians Were Punished for Their Beliefs on Marriage

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:52 AM PST

The Family Research Council has compiled a reporting listing 12 cases this past decade in America where Christian business owners have been punished or threatened…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UN chief urges Israeli lawmakers to reconsider settlement bill

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:46 AM PST

Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Israeli lawmakers to reconsider advancing a bill that would legalize Israeli settlement homes on private Palestinian…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Nigerian Christians Face Pressure to Abandon Faith

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:43 AM PST

While violent attacks on Christians at the hands of Islamist militants Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen in the northeast and Middle Belt of Nigeria…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Hip Hop Birthday Party for Jesus Brings Neighborhood to Church

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:35 AM PST

Times change, but sadly institutions often stay the same. That’s why people living around Park Place Methodist Church in Norfolk, Virginia, haven’t always felt welcome…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Obama Vows Retaliation For Alleged Russian Hacking

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:31 AM PST

President Obama said the U.S. will retaliate against Russia over its alleged hacking of the presidential election. In an interview on National Public Radio, Obama…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

George Soros Finances Group Helping Facebook Flag ‘Disputed’ Stories

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:20 AM PST

The organization partnered with Facebook to help determine whether a certain story is “disputed” is financed by billionaire George Soros and a slew of other…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The House Passes a Microchipping Law Intended to Help Local Authorities Microchip Disabled People

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:16 AM PST

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would get the federal government heavily involved in microchipping disabled people for tracking purposes. If…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Russia challenges US to prove campaign hacking claims or shut up

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:14 AM PST

The United States must either stop accusing Russia of meddling in its elections or prove it, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Japan Overtakes China as Largest Holder of U.S. Treasuries

Posted: 16 Dec 2016 08:10 AM PST

China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries declined to the lowest in more than six years as the world’s second-largest economy uses its currency reserves to support…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Ex-Witch Reveals Connection Between Yoga and Satan

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 07:32 PM PST

Yoga is a form of spiritual alignment with the Hindu goddess Shakti, ex-witch Beth Eckert says in a new video. “I know that there is…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Coach Reprimanded for Taking a Knee — to Pray!

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 07:18 PM PST

A beloved Florida middle-school coach was reprimanded for taking a knee during a student-led prayer on the football field. Wakulla Middle School football coach Eddie…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

CA governor warns ‘If Trump turns off the satellites, CA will launch its own d*** satellite’

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 07:10 PM PST

California Gov. Jerry Brown gave a fiery speech on climate-change policy on Wednesday, during which he said, “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christian statues regularly defaced in Germany over past 2 years; citizens ‘shocked’

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 07:04 PM PST

A defaced statue of Jesus in Germany’s Münster region adds to a list of dozens of Christian symbols that have been targeted in the country…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Obama Administration Moves to Protect Planned Parenthood Funding

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 06:59 PM PST

The Obama administration has issued a final rule aimed at preventing state lawmakers from cutting funding for Planned Parenthood or other clinics that provide abortions….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Huge tear on Ring of Fire could lead to Catastrophic earthquakes & tsunamis

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 06:47 PM PST

A huge tear the size of Tasmania in the Earth’s crust sitting above the deadly Ring of Fire could cause devastating earthquakes and mega-tsunamis, experts…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Egyptian Christians Choose to Forgive After Bombing

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 01:07 PM PST

A Coptic leader says Christians in Egypt have forgiven those responsible for the deadly suicide bombing Sunday at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Over One Billion Accounts Breached In Yahoo Hack

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 01:04 PM PST

Yahoo has suffered the biggest hack in history and this time the security breach compromised more than one billion user accounts. Yahoo reportedly is just…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Venezuelan parents give away children amid deep crisis…

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 12:41 PM PST

Struggling to feed herself and her seven children, Venezuelan mother Zulay Pulgar asked a neighbor in October to take over care of her six-year-old daughter,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

False Prophet Makes Ill Victims Drink Disinfectant for Miracle Healing

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 12:37 PM PST

(Reported By Jennifer Leclaire) Call it a trend. I read earlier this week about a South African pastor who sprays his congregants with insecticide in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Facebook to use Snopes and other fact checkers to combat and bury ‘fake news’

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 12:35 PM PST

Facebook is going to start fact checking, labeling, and burying fake news and hoaxes in the News Feed, the company announced on Thursday. The decision…

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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Julian Assange Crushes Obama Narrative: “Our Source Is Not The Russian Government”

As Obama gets set to announce retaliation efforts against the Russian government for “hacking” the 2016 election, Julian Assange has come forward, once again, to confirm that his source is not the Russians.  Appearing on the Sean Hannity radio show, Assange had the following to say:

Assange:  “Our source is not the Russian government.”

 

Hannity:  “Let me be clear, Russia did not give you the Podesta documents or anything from the DNC?

 

Assange:  “That’s correct.”

Meanwhile, even James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence who oversees the 17 intelligence agencies that Hillary loved to quote during the campaign, confirmed, after the election, that he had no “good insight” into where WikiLeaks received they’re information.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (11/17/16):  “As far as the WikiLeaks connection, the evidence there is not as strong and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the releases or when the data may have been provided.  We don’t have as good insight into that.”

So, just to summarize where we are.  WikiLeaks, the organization behind both the DNC and Podesta leaks, has confirmed repeatedly that its source was not the Russian government.  James Clapper, the head of Hillary’s 17 intelligence agencies, has confirmed that he has no “good insight” into where WikiLeaks got their information.  But the Obama administration, utilizing the full might of the corrupt mainstream media, is about to “retaliate” against the Russian government, without a shred of credible evidence, as the mainstream media continues to spin a dangerous narrative based on “anonymous” sources at the CIA.  Does that about sum it up?

Here is the full interview with Assange:

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Russia responds to reports it hacked US election: Prove it

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Kremlin says the US should either “stop” talking about the election hacking it accuses Russia of committing or “produce some proof.”

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin conveyed that sentiment Friday, according to a Russian state news agency.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “indecent” of the US to “groundlessly” accuse Russia of intervening in its election by hacking and leaking information from political operatives and organizations.

“They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last,” Peskov reportedly said. “Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly.”

During an interview with NPR on Thursday, President Barack Obama promised retaliatory action against Russia following the recent public revelations that US intelligence tied the election-related hacking to senior Russian officials. The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the US election to try to tip the scales toward President-elect Donald Trump, though other agencies haven’t gone as far in their assessments.

“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action, and we will at a time and place of our own choosing,” he said.

Though there have been calls on both sides of the aisle for further investigation into Russia’s role in election-related hacking, Trump has repeatedly brushed off accusations and sought to sow doubt about the veracity of the intelligence.

WikiLeaks calls on Obama to submit proof of Russian hacking for verification

Following Barack Obama’s vow to take action against Russia for its alleged hacking of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta’s emails, WikiLeaks has suggested the president upload any documents to its whistleblowing site for verification.

NSA Whistleblower Destroys Obama’s Russia Narrative – “Hard Evidence Points To An Inside Leak, Not Hacking”

A group of retired senior intelligence officials, including the NSA whistleblower William Binney (former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA), have posted an open letter on consortiumnews.com that destroys the Obama administration’s “Russian hacking” narrative.  Within the letter, Binney argues that, thanks to the NSA’s “extensive domestic data-collection network,” any data removed remotely from Hillary Clinton or DNC servers would have passed over fiber networks and therefore would have been captured by the NSA who could have then analyzed packet data to determine the origination point and destination address of those packets.  As Binney further notes, the only way the leaks could have avoided NSA detection is if they were never passed over fiber networks but rather downloaded to a thumb drive by someone with internal access to servers.

We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking:

 

Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.

 

Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.

 

All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.

 

In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.

 

Again, NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. These include at least 30 companies in the U.S. operating the fiber networks that carry the Public Switched Telephone Network as well as the World Wide Web. This gives NSA unparalleled access to data flowing within the U.S. and data going out to the rest of the world, as well as data transiting the U.S.

 

In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) – or any other server in the U.S. – is collected by the NSA.  These data transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network.

 

Binney further notes that the manner in which the media’s “sources” are equivocating by using phrases like “our best guess” implies that the NSA has not been able to trace the Hillary or DNC “hacks” across fiber networks.  And, since the NSA tracks basically every packet that travels across U.S. networks, Binney concludes that it’s effectively impossible that the WikiLeaks data came from a “hack.”

The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the network. This process can sometimes require a closer look into the routing to sort out intermediate clients, but in the end sender and recipient can be traced across the network.

 

The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like “our best guess” or “our opinion” or “our estimate” etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been “hacked” cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked.

 

The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC.

Asked why intelligence sources would be leaking such dangerous allegations without proof, Binney echoed our thoughts that they’re simply “concocting these things to support the existing administration and to also support the move toward a new Cold War.”  Per RT:

“Certainly, that’s behind some of it. Hillary Clinton and a number of people were going that way, and certainly the military intelligence complex fosters that because that means for a “new Cold War” trillions of dollars going into the coffers of those people, they would certainly be advocates for this thing. There is a lot of vested interest to keep this kind of thing going,” Binney added.

 

“If the CIA is alleging a different story, they need to produce the evidence like they did on the Chinese hack,” Binney said. “There is no reason to withhold this kind of information, especially if they can prove it and so far as I can see they won’t even brief the House Intelligence Committee on the evidence they are using to make this statement. That tells me that what they are saying is a pack of crap.”

 

“That are just concocting these things to support the existing administration and to also support the move toward a new Cold War.”

Alas, who needs “hard evidence” when baseless narratives are so much fun?

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Of Course Russia Meddles in Our Elections — But the ‘Hacking’ Claim Is a Farce

Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review tackles the burning question: Did Russian hackers try to influence the election?  He writes:

They hypocrisy oozing from the peddling of this week’s narrative about Russian “meddling” in the U.S. presidential election is thick even by the sorry standards of modern American politics.

I feel entitled to be amused, having maintained, through a decade of bipartisan idiocy, that Putin’s thug-ocracy is an enemy of the United States: from the Bush-administration howler that Russia is our “strategic partner,” through eight years of the Obama-Hillary “reset”; from Obama’s mumbling as Putin annexed Crimea and other swathes of Ukraine (after Obama, as a senator, joined with senior Republicans to disarm Ukraine), through Bush’s mumbling as Putin annexed swathes of Georgia. I saw Russia as a major problem long before it began violating the “new START” treaty that Obama signed and Republicans approved; before Secretary Clinton helped Putin cronies acquire a major slice of American uranium stock; and before Obama’s promise to Vlad (communicated through Putin-puppet Medvedev) that he’d have “more flexibility” to cut deals after the 2012 election.

View article →

December 15, 2016: Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

At the end of every year I go back over all my old posts to determine their status.  If the information is obsolete, then the article is deleted.  With posts which include links to articles (as in all my “Random…” posts), I check every link to see if they are still good; paragraphs with dead links are deleted.  If too many links are gone, I just delete the entire article; however if some of the links are still good and have what I consider necessary information, I transfer the link to a post in my “Reference Blog.”  You can imagine how much time this takes!  I no longer have any article from 2007, which was my first year blogging, and I have, so far, finished my review up to February 2012.
Well during this past few days working on the project I got to thinking about why my ministry began and what its focus should be.  As I have previous noted, my first apologetics efforts were trying to reach Mormons with the truth.  Later I began the same thing with Jehovah’s Witnesses.  As time went by I began teaching classes about the cults and how to reach the members of these groups with the truth; in other words I was equipping other Christians with the information they needed to defend their own faith and to plant seeds with cult members.
My ministry has always had three primary functions:
Proclaiming Truth
Equipping the Saints
Exposing False Teachings
Over the years my primary focus had been “equipping the saints” who would seek help with understanding cults, help dealing with cult members at their doors, and even general information about understanding Scripture. However, while reviewing my blog I got to thinking that it seems that my primary focus has become exposing false teachings.  While this is important, I think my primary focus should be equipping the saints.  Yes, equipping and exposing both include proclaiming truth, but the better equipped the saints are with the truth, the more readily they can discern the false teachings that come their way.
Part of the reason my thoughts drifted this way is that in so many of my “Random” posts the same teachers and/or groups kept coming up over and over again.  I thought, well we know by now that these are terrible teachers/groups, so anything more is just redundant.
Anyway, I decided to concentrate less on exposing the false teachings of these well-known people and groups, and concentrate more on equipping others with information to counter such false teachings.  Therefore, there will be fewer “RAAH” posts and they will be used to cover important issues or warnings about new false teachers, etc.  I also hope to post more thought-provoking quotes from solid teachers, more examinations of false teachings (such as getting busy on my review of New Age Bible Versions ), and addressing claims from unbelievers against Christians and how to respond, etc. This will most likely mean less frequent postings as more work is required to prepare such articles!  (Random collections of GOOD stuff will continue as much as I find stuff, because these are items for equipping!)
Now, let’s look at the latest collection of links — after all, I already did the work putting them together so I may as well clean out my collection before embarking on the new journey!
The continuing saga of Clayton Jennings.
Teachers of false spiritual warfare include normally sound Tony Evans.
Steven Furtick is a weapon of Satan — contrary to his claims.
Lou Engle, a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation, seems to think he’s the next Billy Graham.
For those who still think the Catholic teaching of “The Immaculate Conception” is about Jesus, Doug Evans has a good lesson for you.
I wonder what the Pope would say about this?  I think such pandering to Islam is atrocious.
Fred Butler continues his review of heretic Hugh Ross’ book, Navigating Genesis.
The poor state of what “Christians” believe; I wonder how many of these are really Catholics? I doubt if any of these people are truly born again.
Scientology is good example of how cults operate.
Hymns in the good old days.
Entertaining the goats at Bethel Redding, et al.
(The graphic at the beginning of this article was developed and provided to me by one of the followers of this blog.)

Facebook enlists left-wing Politifact and Snopes to censor news critical of Democrats

WINTERY KNIGHT

Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns? Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?

First, the story from The Daily Signal. Then, we’ll see examples of how Facebook’s censorship allies are biased against conservatives.

Daily Signal:

Facebook announced Thursday an aggressive plan to combat so-called “fake news,” giving users more power to report hoaxes and empowering fact-checking outlets as arbiters.

[…]Facebook is working with outside fact-checking organizations accredited by Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network to help it determine what content is fake. They include ABC News, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and Snopes—all of which have been accused of liberal bias in the past.

“We’ll use the reports from our community, along with other signals, to send stories to these organizations,” Mosseri wrote. “If the fact checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed…

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Facebook Puts George Soros Funded Group IFCN In Charge Of Determining What Goes On Newsfeed

The organization partnered with Facebook to help determine whether a certain story is “disputed” is financed by billionaire George Soros and a slew of other left-wing funders.

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”George Orwell, 1984

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept, and Facebook yesterday announced it will work with “third-party fact checking organizations” that are signatories to the code of principles.

Facebook says that if the “fact checking organizations” determine that a certain story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and, according to the Facebook announcement, “there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed.”

IFCN is hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. A cursory search of the Poynter Institute website finds that Poynter’s IFCN is openly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The Omidyar Network has partnered with the Open Society on numerous projects and it has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.  Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.

Another significant Poynter Institute donor is the Craig Newmark Foundation, the charitable organization established by Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark. On Monday, just days before the announcement of the Facebook partnership, Poynter issued a press release revealing that Newmark donated $1 million to the group to fund a faculty chair in journalism ethics.

States the press release:

The gift will support a five-year program at Poynter that focuses on verification, fact-checking and accountability in journalism. It’s the largest donation Poynter’s ever received from an individual foundation.

The Newmark Chair will expand on Poynter’s teaching in journalism ethics and develop certification programs for journalists that commit to ethical decision-making practices. The faculty member will also organize an annual conference on ethics issues at Poynter and be a regular contributor to Poynter.org.

Newmark funds scores of liberal groups also financed by Soros, including the Sierra Club, the New America Foundation, and the Sunlight Foundation.

Newmark also finances the investigative journalism group called the Center for Public Integrity, where he serves on the board.  Soros’ Open Society is another Public Integrity donor.

Soros has earned his megafortune in part by short selling currencies and causing economic crises. He is credited with breaking the pound on September 16, 1992 in a day that became known in Britain as “Black Wednesday.” He reportedly made $1.2 billion from that crisis.  In 2002, he was convicted for insider trading.

Poynter, meanwhile, has hosted controversial journalism programs in the past, including one that was accused of downplaying the threat of global Islamic terrorism. FoxNews.com reported the course suggested reporters “keep the death toll from Islamic terrorism in ‘context’ by comparing that toll to the number of people killed every year by malaria, HIV/AIDS and other factors.”

The course taught reporters that the term “jihad” means internal struggle, and it discussed what it claimed was the issue of “right-wing activists” attempting to link American Muslims to terrorism.

Continued FoxNews.com:

The section includes the good-journalism tip that reporters should check to see if experts they’re interviewing “have a bias or a stake in the story you are covering.” But then it only cites examples of anti-Muslim groups.

The course in Islam, Fox News reported, was supported by a group calling itself the Social Science Research Council, which has received funding from Soros-financed groups.

In response to the report, the Poynter Institute explained that it created the course “as a tool for journalists who want to be accurate in educating their audience about the religion and culture of Islam, Muslim communities in the U.S., and the distinctions between Islam as a political movement and the radical philosophies that inspire militant Islamists.”

“We believe there is a need to better understand the complexities of Muslim societies and the online course offered by Poynter and Washington State University is a vital resource toward that end,” Poynter added.

“The values underpinning the course are truth, accuracy, independence, fairness, minimizing harm and context — the core journalistic values on which we build all our teaching here at Poynter.”

Poynter’s IFCN code of principles for news outlets, meanwhile, reads as follows:

1. A COMMITMENT TO NONPARTISANSHIP AND FAIRNESS

We fact-check claims using the same standard for every fact check. We do not concentrate our fact-checking on any one side. We follow the same process for every fact check and let the evidence dictate our conclusions. We do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues we fact-check.

2. A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF SOURCES

We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work, except in cases where a source’s personal security could be compromised. In such cases, we provide as much detail as possible.

3. A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF FUNDING & ORGANIZATION

We are transparent about our funding sources. If we accept funding from other organizations, we ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our reports. We detail the professional background of all key figures in our organization and explain our organizational structure and legal status. We clearly indicate a way for readers to communicate with us.

4. A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF METHODOLOGY

We explain the methodology we use to select, research, write, edit, publish and correct our fact checks. We encourage readers to send us claims to fact-check and are transparent on why and how we fact-check.

5. A COMMITMENT TO OPEN AND HONEST CORRECTIONS

We publish our corrections policy and follow it scrupulously. We correct clearly and transparently in line with our corrections policy, seeking so far as possible to ensure that readers see the corrected version.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

 

Source: Facebook Puts George Soros Funded Group IFCN In Charge Of Determining What Goes On Newsfeed

Zuckerberg Announces Facebook Will Now Begin Censoring Stories They Feel Constitute ‘Fake News’

Facebook is going to start fact checking, labeling, and burying fake news and hoaxes in the News Feed, the company announced on Thursday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Censoring ‘fake news’ stories from satire sites is sending a chilling Orwellian message of state-approved thought and speech. What’s even worse is Facebook’s decision to create a ‘censorship panel’ composed of nothing but liberal Democrat-allied organisations like Snopes, ABC News and FactCheck. It will start with banning satire, and then quicker than you can blink, it will extend itself to censoring any and all stories they disagree with. For example, many liberal Democrats reading this article you are reading now might easily click on the “report fake news” tab because the are unChristian, anti-Trump, and anti-American. The real reason for all this is that socially-driven independent news sites, like NTEB, get millions of hits per month and the liberal MSM are aggravated at losing their viewer base. 

The decision comes after Facebook received heated criticism for its role in spreading a deluge of political misinformation during the U.S. presidential election, like one story that falsely said the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump.

To combat fake news, Facebook has partnered with a shortlist of media organizations, including Snopes and ABC News, that are part of an international fact-checking network led by Poynter, a nonprofit school for journalism located in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Facebook to remove ‘fake news’:

Starting as a test with a small percentage of its users in the United States, Facebook will make it easier to report news stories that are fake or misleading. Once third-party fact checkers have confirmed that the story is fake, it will be labeled as such and demoted in the News Feed.

A company spokesperson told Business Insider that the social network will also use other signals, like algorithms that detect whether a story that appears fake is going viral, to determine if it should label the story as fake and bury it in peoples’ feeds.

“We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations,” Facebook News Feed chief Adam Mosseri said in a company blog post on Thursday.

A team of Facebook researchers will also review website domains and send sites that appear to be fake or spoofed (like “washingtonpost.co”) to third-party fact checkers, a Facebook spokesperson said. Of the 42 news organizations that have committed to Poynter’s fact-checking code of ethics, Facebook is starting out with the following four Snopes, Factcheck.org, ABC News, and PolitiFact.

main-stream-media-liberals-real-fake-news

SHOCKING PROOF THAT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA GIVES YOU MORE ‘FAKE NEWS’ THAN ANY SATIRE SITE EVER WILL

“We are only involved to the extent that Facebook relies on the list of signatories to our code of principles as a starting point for the organizations it chooses to verify,” a Poynter spokesperson told Business Insider. “Facebook is the only organization certifying third party fact-checkers on its platform.”

Facebook has given its four initial fact-checking partners access to a tool that will let them label stories in the News Feed as fake, a Facebook spokesperson said. The spokesperson said that Facebook is not paying the organizations to fact check.

The websites that Facebook determines to be fake news organizations or spoofed domains will also not be able to sell ads on the social network. Owners of fake news sites can make thousands of dollars per month through internet ads.

Facebook has repeatedly said that it’s not a media company, but rather an open technology platform that relies on media publishers and its users to share accurate information.

“We do not think of ourselves as editors,” Facebook head of media partnerships Patrick Walker said during a recent journalism conference in Dublin. “We believe it’s essential that Facebook stay out of the business of deciding what issues the world should read about. That’s what editors do.” Politicians like President Obama and Hillary Clinton have recently expressed concern about the prevalence of misinformation on social media, with Obama calling it a “dust cloud of nonsense” and Clinton calling it “an epidemic.” source

 

Source: Zuckerberg Announces Facebook Will Now Begin Censoring Stories They Feel Constitute ‘Fake News’

December 16, 2016: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

December 16 Seeing the Majesty of Christ

“When [Christ] had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

Hebrews 1:3

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God has exalted Christ above everyone and everything.

Christ in His majestic glory is “heir of all things” (Heb. 1:2). That’s why it is His right to have the title deed to the earth, spoken of in Revelation 5:1–7. There He opens that deed and takes possession of what is rightfully His as heir of all things.

Hebrews 1 further describes Christ as “the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature…. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did [God] ever say, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee’? And again, ‘I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me’? And when He again brings the first–born into the world, He says, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’ ” (vv. 3–6; compare v. 13). Because Christ is the unique Son of God, the angels are called to worship Him.

The Father said of the exalted Christ, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy companions” (vv. 8–9). Christ is the eternal, righteous God. He is also the Creator who lives forever and remains the same (vv. 10–12).

If you see Christ in His majesty the way the writer of Hebrews did, you’ll want to make the words of Charles Wesley’s hymn “Rejoice—The Lord Is King!” your own:

Jesus the Savior reigns, the God of truth and love;

When He had purged our stains He took His seat above:

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice!

Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

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Suggestions for Prayer: Both angels and the redeemed worship the exalted Christ. Use Psalm 103 as the basis of your prayer of worship.

For Further Study: Hebrews 1:10 shows Christ to be the Creator. Based on this and Psalm 148, what honor is He owed?[1]


December 16

Peace on Earth?

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.

Luke 2:14, nasb

As we hear so often at Christmas, the beginning of [Christ’s] earthly life was heralded by angels who announced peace on earth (Luke 2:14).

There never really has been peace on earth, in the sense we think of it. Wars and rumors of wars have characterized the entire two millennia since that first Christmas, and all the time before it.

That announcement of peace on earth was a two–pronged proclamation. First, it declared the arrival of the only One who ultimately can bring lasting peace on earth (which He will do when He returns to bring about the final establishment of His earthly kingdom).

But more important, it was a proclamation that God’s peace is available to men and women. Read the words of Luke 2:14 carefully: “‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’”

Who are those with whom He is pleased? The ones who have yielded their lives to the authority of His government.[2]


DECEMBER 16

THE WONDER, THE MYSTERY, THE MAJESTY

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

—Matthew 17:6

“Awesome wonder and overpowering love” in the presence of that ancient Mystery, that unspeakable Majesty, which the philosophers call the Mysterium Tremendum, but which we call our Father which art in heaven….

The evangelical rationalism which tries to explain everything takes the mystery out of life and the mystery out of worship. When you have taken the mystery out you have taken God out, for while we may be able to understand Him in some measure, we can never fully understand God. There must always be that awe upon our spirits that says, “Ah, Lord God, Thou knowest!”—that stands silent and breathless or kneels in the presence of that awful Wonder, that Mystery, that unspeakable Majesty, before whom the prophets used to fall, and before whom Peter and John and the rest of them fell down as if dead, before whom Isaiah recoiled and cried, “I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). WMJ005-006

Lord, the disciples heard Your voice and fell on their faces before You, as did Isaiah when he caught a glimpse of Your glory. May I be overwhelmed today with a glimpse of the Mysterium Tremendum. Amen. [3]


December 16

The Mustard Seed, Part 2

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.—Matt. 13:31–32

A further lesson from this parable is that God’s kingdom will grow to become a blessing to the rest of the world. The tree that develops from the mustard seed symbolizes the kingdom, which in this age is Christ’s true church. The metaphor of birds nesting suggests the positive idea of providing protection and safety for others.

Daniel interpreted a vision with parallels to this parable: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in which “there was a tree in the midst of the earth and its height was great. The tree grew large and became strong and its height reached to the sky, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches, and all living creatures fed themselves from it” (Dan. 4:10–12). As Daniel explained to the king (vv. 20–22), his empire (the tree) brought unrivaled advancement and prosperity to many areas of world endeavor: architecture, the arts, economics, and others. The birds and animals in the vision that benefited from the tree’s provisions were other world nations (cf. Ezek. 31:3–6).

For Jesus and His followers the parallel between the vision and the parable is obvious—God’s kingdom will grow from small beginnings into a huge tree and will provide shelter, protection, and blessing for the whole world. When believers are obedient to God and when nations seek to pattern their ways after His Word, they can bless everyone around.

ASK YOURSELF
How are you seeing this nesting, sheltering function of the kingdom at work in your church? What kind of excitement could ensue if individual Christians saw more clearly the potential blessing their efforts could produce? What are some of the possibilities?[4]


December 16 Christ’s Eternal Existence

“Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thy hands; they will perish, but Thou remainest; and they all will become old as a garment, and as a mantle Thou wilt roll them up; as a garment they will also be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will not come to an end” (Heb. 1:10–12).

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Christ existed before the beginning of the world; thus He is without beginning.

Jesus Christ is no creature. To be able to lay the foundation of the earth and create the heavens in the beginning implies that He must have existed before the beginning. The Apostle John testified to this when he said, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1). Christ is eternal.

Jesus is also immutable, which means He never changes. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” We need to hang on to this truth as we approach a day when much of what we know will change drastically.

One day what looks so permanent will fold up. Like the people Peter warned, we are tempted to think that “all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4). But Hebrews 1:11 tells us that one day Jesus will discard the heavens and the earth, just as we would a useless garment.

Even more amazing, verse 12 specifies that Christ will roll up the heavens. Revelation 6:14 says, “The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” During the time of the Tribulation period, the heavens, as if stretched to all corners, will roll up like a scroll.

But we can be confident that although creation will perish, Jesus will not, and He will create a new heaven and a new earth. Living creatures, worlds, and stars are subject to decay, but not Christ. He never changes and is never subject to change. What confidence that should give us for the daily issues of life we face each day!

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank the Lord for His unchanging plan for your life and for His ability to keep it.

For Future Study: Read 2 Peter 3, and develop an approach to answering charges unbelievers make about Biblical prophecies regarding the end times.[5]


DECEMBER 16

THE SECRET WORKING OF GOD

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:7

I do believe in the secret and mysterious working of God in the human breast. I must believe it after finding the forgiving and converting grace of God in the Savior, Jesus Christ.

My father and mother held high human standards, but completely without any thought of God. My parents appeared to be without any spark of desire after God—attitudes that were cold, earthy, profane.

Can you tell me why, then, at the age of seventeen, as a boy surrounded by unbelief—100 percent—I could find my way to my mother’s attic, kneel on my knees, and give my heart and life in committal to Jesus Christ?

I cannot tell you why. I can only say that I know there is such a thing as the secret workings of God within the human being who has a sensitivity to hear the call of God. In my own case, I do have the testimony that my conversion to Jesus Christ was as real as any man’s conversion has ever been!

My fellow man, if the Spirit of God is still tugging at your heart, thank God—and follow the light!

Lord, most believers know from personal experience about Your “secret workings” within the human heart. I pray today that You will do a work in the heretofore hardened hearts of criminals and terrorists around the world. And may the angels in heaven rejoice at the outcome![6]


DECEMBER 16

WISE CHRISTIANS USE EVERY MEANS OF GRACE

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

TITUS 3:7

Every human being is in a state of passing from what he was to what he is to be—and this is as true of the Christian as of every other person.

The new birth does not produce the finished product. The new thing that is born of God is as far from completeness as the new baby born into this world an hour ago.

That new human being, the moment he is born, is placed in the hands of powerful molding forces that go far to determine whether he shall be an upright citizen or a criminal. The one hope for him is that he can later choose which forces shall shape him, and by the exercise of his own power of choice he can place himself in the right hands.

It is not otherwise with the Christian. He can fashion himself by placing himself in the hands first of the supreme Artist, God, and then by subjecting himself to such holy influences and such formative powers as shall make him into a man of God.

Or he may foolishly trust himself to unworthy hands and become at last a misshapen and inartistic vessel, of little use to mankind and a poor example of the skill of the heavenly Potter.

The wise Christian will take advantage of every proper means of grace: he has but to cooperate with God in embracing the good. God Himself will do the rest![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[2] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 377). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 359). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 363). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[6] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.