Daily Archives: December 30, 2016

December 30, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Dec. 30, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

Russia vowed a “proportional” response after President Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and imposed sanctions on top intelligence officials and agencies over cyberattacks allegedly backed by the Kremlin and aimed at interfering with the 2016 election campaign.

Short of a miracle, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fail to meet his own 50-day deadline to restore order to the country’s economy and ease the hardship faced by ordinary citizens following the chaos of his sudden currency ban.

Hong Kong’s government has announced the first sale of commercial land in the city’s central business district in more than 20 years. The site, currently used as a multi-story car park in Murray Road, Central, is about 31,000 square feet, according to a government statement released late yesterday. The plot is valued at $2.2 billion.

The Donald J. Trump era is marking a new age for gold as an investor safe haven. While the precious metal has always been hoarded in times of trouble, a bevy of political and economic surprises in 2016 sparked a surge in buying that sent bullion to the first annual gain in four years. Prices may rally 12 percent in 2017.

The country that coined the word “karoshi,” or death by overwork, wants companies to let workers finish early on the last Friday of every month, go out and have fun.

While lower taxes, higher interest rates and lighter regulation under Trump could help boost U.S. banks’ earnings by a median 22 percent in 2018, firms will keep chipping away at costs by using technology to replace traders and branches, analysts at Morgan Stanley said this month.

A nationwide Syrian cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey that went into effect at midnight was holding Friday despite minor violations, marking a potential breakthrough in a conflict that has been shredding high-level peace initiatives for over five years.

AP Top Stories

Russian President Vladimir Putin today said he will not expel 35 U.S. diplomats, rejecting his own foreign minister’s recommendation to do so in response to U.S. sanctions.

President-elect Donald Trump is considering creating a “public/private option” for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

U.S. Coast Guard crews searched Lake Erie on Friday for a plane that disappeared overnight shortly after takeoff from a small Cleveland airport along the shore. The Columbus-bound Cessna Citation 525 departed Burke Lakefront Airport late Thursday night with three children and three adults aboard and vanished from radar about 2 miles over the lake. Why remains unclear.

The world’s oldest male panda, Pan Pan — whose name means “hope” in Chinese, with more than 130 descendants — a quarter of all the captive-bred pandas on the planet — has died aged 31.

The Rio casino in Las Vegas scrambled to find alternate lodging for guests Thursday after a power outage led to the evacuation of 900 rooms just before the busy New Year’s Eve weekend.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has killed hundreds of government officials since taking office five years ago, Korean media reported Thursday. In all, he has killed 340 North Koreans while defending his control over the reclusive nation by threatening to attack Seoul and Washington with a fledging arsenal of nuclear weapons. His victims vary from high-ranking officials to members of his own family.

A key military commander for the Islamic State group in Syria has been killed in an air strike carried out by the US-led coalition, the Pentagon said Thursday.

If you’re looking for an extra dose of fireworks this New Year’s Even, look to the skies for the chance to see a comet that only comes around every five years. The comet – named Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková – is set to appear somewhere near the crescent moon on Dec. 31. It won’t be visible to the naked eye, however. Interested sky watchers will need a set of binoculars or a small telescope to really be able to see the comet in clear skies.

BBC

Australian anti-terror police have charged a man for making threats against Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Lab tests on a consignment of rice seized by Nigerian customs officials show that the product is “contaminated” but not plastic, the National Agency For Food and Drugs (Nafdac) said. The rice contained bacteria “above permissible limits”.

Eleven Nobel peace prize winners have urged the UN to “end the human crisis” of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims in a letter criticizing Aung San Suu Kyi. In the open letter, the group said the government crackdown on the population amounted to “ethnic cleansing”. More than 34,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee military operations in Rakhine state.

President Obama has unilaterally designated two new “national monument” nature preserves in the western US states of Nevada and Utah. The Bears Ears National Monument and the Gold Butte National Monument will protect areas rich in Native American artefacts from energy drilling. Some Republicans in those states are opposed to the move and say it amounts to a federal land-grab.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has again extended the deadline for 2 January but will now be on 20 January, to withdraw from circulation the country’s most common currency note.

WND

A stunning video has been discovered showing mostly Christian children in the Netherlands being taken to a local mosque and taught to participate in Islamic prayer. The London Express reported infuriated parents are demanding the school change the curriculum.

It is now projected Obama will have spent more than $100 million in taxpayer funds on vacations during his eight years as president.

Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett made on average $32.2m every day in the year that populism triumphed in global politics.


Top News – 12/30/2016

Christians, Jews Vow to Stand Together at Trump’s Inauguration
In the wake of deteriorating relations between Israel and the US culminating in the disastrous UN vote last Friday, Tommy Waller, a Christian from Tennessee, is bringing a delegation of Israeli Knesset members to Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20th.

Coast Guard search launched after plane vanishes in Ohio
The Columbus-bound Cessna Citation 525 departed Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland late Thursday night and disappeared from radar about two miles over Lake Erie. Why remains unclear. The group on the plane apparently had just left the Cleveland Cavaliers game,

Canadian MP: As PM, I will move Canadian embassy to Jerusalem
Candidate for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada Kellie Leitch vowed to move the Canadian Embassy to Jerusalem if elected PM.

Syrian blood isn’t red enough for Obama
Ezri Tubi points out the hypocrisy in the American administration’s fixation on Israel while ignoring carnage in Syria. (video)

Britain, edging towards Trump, scolds Kerry over Israel
Britain scolded U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for describing the Israeli government as the most right-wing in Israeli history, a move that aligns Prime Minister Theresa May more closely with President-elect Donald Trump. Kerry’s public rebuke of Israel has unsettled some allies such as Britain.

HERE COMES THE SOLAR WIND (AGAIN)
2016 might get one more blast of auroras before the year is over. Another stream of solar wind is heading for Earth, and it could arrive before New Year’s Eve. The wind is flowing from a coronal hole (CH) in the sun’s atmosphere…

Barack Obama has turned his back on America’s staunchest allies, writes STEPHEN POLLARD
THERE could be no more fitting ending to Barack Obama’s disastrous presidency than the two set-piece foreign policy events that took place in the US on Wednesday.In their own ways each demonstrated just why the day cannot come too soon when this most overrated and inept president disappears from public office.

Russia to eject US diplomats in response to sanctions
Russia on Friday announced plans to expel 35 US diplomats and ban US diplomatic staff from using a dacha and a warehouse in Moscow in retaliation to Washington’s sanctions, Russian news agencies reported. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted by the agencies as saying he had proposed the measures to President Vladimir Putin.

Earthquakes, bushfires, floods and thunderstorm asthma wreaking havoc in 2016
Earthquakes, bush fires, floods and, in Australia, previously little-known thunderstorm asthma were among the natural disasters that made headlines around the world in 2016. It seemed like a year of earthquakes.

RING OF FIRE FEARS: Indonesia struck by HUGE earthquake – villagers flee their homes
AN earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 struck today off the island of Sumbawa in eastern Indonesia, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said. There was no tsunami warning issued.

Over 6,500 earthquakes rocked Japan in 2016
The number of noticeable earthquakes that struck Japan in 2016 exceeded 6,500, three times more than in the previous year, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Friday.

Netanyahu responds to UN by tweeting this video clip of Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t thrilled with the United Nations’ 14-0 vote…which bars the Jewish state from establishing settlements in Palestine-claimed lands — and he made that clear with a tweet Thursday afternoon. In the tweet, the Israeli prime minister shared a short reel of clips featuring President-elect Donald Trump criticizing the U.N., adding: “I could not have said it better myself.”

Look to the sky for New Year’s Eve comet
Apart from the traditional fireworks and illuminated ball in Times Square, look for a blazing comet to light the night sky on New Year’s Eve. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said a comet may be visible as people welcome in 2017 on Saturday. “Say farewell to 2016 in cosmic style by looking up to see the #NewYearsEve #comet on December 31,” the laboratory said in a Wednesday Instagram post.

Bears Ears and Gold Butte: Obama creates two nature preserves
President Barack Obama has unilaterally designated two new “national monument” nature preserves in the western US states of Nevada and Utah. The Bears Ears National Monument and the Gold Butte National Monument will protect areas rich in Native American artefacts from energy drilling. Some Republicans in those states are opposed to the move and say it amounts to a federal land-grab.

Venezuela: President Maduro extends money swap deadline
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has again extended the deadline to withdraw from circulation the country’s most common currency note. The deadline had been set for 2 January but will now be on 20 January. Mr Maduro said he did not want Venezuelans to worry about exchanging the currency near the New Year festivities.

In strong attack on Israel, German foreign minister says settlements jeopardize peace
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a staunch proponent of the Iran nuclear deal, has slammed Israel in a series of tweets and statements since last Friday’s Security Council resolution condemning Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. In a statement issued to Germany’s largest circulation daily…the Foreign Ministry claimed that “a democratic Israel is only achievable through a two-state-solution.”

Russia moves to expel US diplomats in response to sanctions
The Russian foreign ministry has called for the expulsion of 35 US diplomats in response to a similar move by Washington. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev accused the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama of ending in “anti-Russian death throes”.

With the two-state solution a distant dream, Palestinians ask if it’s time to push for a one-state solution
Palestinians see prospects for the so-called two-state solution disintegrating, a growing number are mulling over a provocative alternative: a single binational state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.

Israeli TV Reports Netanyahu Probe Expected Within Days
An Israeli TV channel reported Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of receiving valuable gifts from two businessmen. The Channel 2 segment was the latest in a series of reports in Israeli media saying that police are close to opening a criminal investigation against the prime minister.

Russian Embassy in UK responds to sanctions with ‘lame duck tweet’
The Russian response to Barack Obama’s announcement that he was expelling 35 diplomats over the alleged cyber attack on the US election, was fast, and in some cases, rather amusing.

Modi Set to Face Fallout From His 50-Day Cash Promise to India
Short of a miracle, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi will fail to meet his own 50-day deadline to restore order to the country’s economy and ease the hardship faced by ordinary citizens following the chaos of his sudden currency ban.

Obama’s Treachery Exposed
After watching all the pomp and circumstance of the presidential inauguration of January 20, 2009, I remember turning to my husband Steve and saying: “The sole mission of Barack Obama and his henchmen is to destroy Israel.”


Obama’s Treachery Exposed

Obama’s Treachery Exposed

And sure enough, Mr. Obama and his minions proceeded to wreak havoc on job creation and on the American military, inflict strangulating regulations, amass crushing national debt, foist horrific healthcare and education systems on our citizens, and seed every government department with operatives from the Nazi-inspired terrorist organization Muslim Brotherhood, and then hand over control of the Internet to the United Nations—the most corrupt, tin-pot-dictator-driven, anti-American, anti-Semitic, American-resource-draining cesspool in our country.

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December 30, 2016
WES VERNON — Having been soundly rejected by the American people for his seeming determination to “transform” America into a Marxist socialist state, President Obama’s tin ear is adding to his self-delusion…. (more)

December 30, 2016
JOAN SWIRSKY — After watching all the pomp and circumstance of the presidential inauguration of January 20, 2009, I remember turning to my husband Steve and saying: “The sole mission of Barack Obama and his henchmen is to destroy Israel.”… (more)

December 29, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — Patrick Buchanan’s provocative column, “Is Europe’s future Merkel or Le Pen?”, reflects a limited and bad choice for America and Europe. Both of these leaders serve Russian interests. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-immigration policies have destabilized Europe, leading to the rise of pro-Putin right-wing political parties. Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front party, one of those pro-Putin political parties, wants to destroy NATO, a long-time Russian goal…. (more)

December 29, 2016
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Our ineffable secretary of state, John Kerry, delivered another parting shot at Israel today, offering the Obama administration’s “vision” for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. There are many things to be said about it – – not least that Kerry’s speech, like last week’s venomous, Obama-orchestrated United Nations resolution on which it builds, is something “pro-Israel” Democrats make sure to do after Election Day…. (more)

December 29, 2016
JERRY NEWCOMBE — Early in Handel’s Messiah come these enigmatic words: “Ev’ry valley shall be exalted, and ev’ry mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight and the rough places plain.”… (more)

December 29, 2016

NEWSMAX — One day after “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher died, her mother Debbie Reynolds has died of a reported stroke. Reynolds, the star of the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain,” was rushed to the hospital Wednesday from a Beverly Hills home owned by her son Todd Fisher. According to TMZ, the 84-year-old actress later died. The website reports that Reynolds told her son 15 minutes before she had a stroke that she was having a hard time dealing with Carrie’s death…. (more)


December 28, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — The November election result was painful, but President Obama’s worst moment of the year may have come weeks earlier when Congress voted to override his veto of a bill opening the courtroom doors to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks who wanted to prove that the government of Saudi Arabia was implicated…. (more)

December 28, 2016
JEROME CORSI — Documents made public by the Washington watchdog group Judicial Watch and separately by Wikileaks Julian Assange back up Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s assertion on Tuesday that U.S.-led coalition forces have given support to terror groups, including ISIS in Syria…. (more)

December 28, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — A United Nations nuclear watchdog has revealed that the Obama administration gave Iran secret exemptions, allowing the terror-sponsoring state to stockpile uranium in larger amounts than the limits imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal…. (more)

December 28, 2016
LEO HOHMANN — A 30-year-old woman was beheaded Monday night in Afghanistan by a group of armed men, local officials confirmed. Provincial Governor spokesman Zabiullah Amani, said the men were linked to the Taliban, according to a brief article in the Nation, which reported that the incident took place in the remote village of Latti in the Sar-e-Pul province…. (more)

December 28, 2016
NORTH JERSEY — From the moment he joined, 8-year-old Joe Maldonado eagerly looked forward to camping trips and science projects as a member of the Cub Scouts. But his expectations were dashed after his mother said she received a phone call from a Scouting official who told her that Joe would no longer be allowed to participate because he was born a girl…. (more)

December 27, 2016

INDEPENDENT — The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has uncovered evidence that US-led coalition forces have helped support terrorists in Syria – – including ISIS…. (more)


December 27, 2016
NEWSMAX — Israel is “deeply, deeply disappointed” by the actions concerning a United Nation Security Council resolution aimed at ending the nation’s West Bank settlements, and has information that shows “beyond a shadow of a doubt” the Obama administration was behind the action, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday…. (more)

December 27, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Israel’s Foreign ministry has suspended all “working ties” with the countries that voted to pass a resolution condemning Israeli settlements. Foreign ministers and ambassadors from Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand will not be received at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, according to reports…. (more)

December 27, 2016
GARTH KANT — “Never let a crisis go to waste,” President Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel once famously advised Democrats. Republicans look increasingly determined to now use that advice against Obama. The president’s refusal to veto a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements, documented in detail by WND on Friday, is now causing such a backlash, the move could stunningly backfire on the outgoing commander in chief…. (more)

December 27, 2016

WORLDNETDAILY — Barack Obama couldn’t help himself. He had to say it. In a friendly interview with his former top adviser, David Axelrod, the outgoing president tweaked Donald Trump by saying, had he run again, he would have beaten the president-elect…. (more)


December 27, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — Law enforcement agencies have arrested nine Northern Virginia residents on charges of aiding the Islamic State since the terrorist group rose to power in Syria and Iraq in 2014 and launched social media propaganda to attract followers, a government message to police states…. (more)

December 27, 2016

THOMAS SOWELL — Any honest man, looking back on a very long life, must admit – – even if only to himself – – being a relic of a bygone era. Having lived long enough to have seen both “the greatest generation” that fought World War II and the gratingest generation that we see all around us today makes being a relic of the past more of a boast than an admission…. (more)


December 26, 2016
ALAN KEYES — Jesus Christ was born into a time not unlike our own. It could have been confusing when it came to the true authority of government. As part of the Roman Empire, His people lived under Caesar’s authority. But as an inhabitant of Judah, Jesus was also subject to the authority of King Herod…. (more)

December 26, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — Liberal Democrats have been so busy accusing Donald J. Trump of being a Russian agent that they have missed the real Russian agent on the international scene – – Germany’s Angela Merkel. Her pro-Muslim immigration policies have not only destabilized Europe and increased terrorism, but have also facilitated the rise of the right-wing political parties our media have expressed alarm about…. (more)

December 26, 2016

NEWSMAX — In boasting about his tenure in the White House, President Barack Obama often cites numbers like these: 15 million new jobs, a 4.9 percent unemployment rate and 74 months of consecutive job growth. There’s one number you will almost never hear: More than 1,030 seats. That’s the number of spots in state legislatures, governor’s mansions and Congress lost by Democrats during Obama’s presidency…. (more)


December 26, 2016
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Adding a final shameful chapter to a foreign-policy record that already runneth over with them, Barack Obama on Friday abandoned America’s commitment to Israel’s security, and to the vindication of democracy over sharia-supremacist aggression. In an act of cowardly venom, the president had the United States abstain from – – and thereby effectively enact – – a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemns Israeli settlement activity…. (more)

December 26, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — Rising criticism of the Obama administration’s decision to abstain in a United Nations Security Council vote to condemn Israel for building Jewish homes – – even in the capital city of Jerusalem – – could spur Donald Trump to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem sooner rather than later after assuming the presidency…. (more)

December 26, 2016
LEO HOHMANN — Evidence is mounting in support of the allegation that U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the nation’s first Muslim congressman and a leading candidate for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is a Muslim Brotherhood operative and has been for years…. (more)

December 26, 2016

WASHINGTON TIMES — Russia’s penitentiary system has come under scrutiny after a Kremlin critic said he was tortured at a prison camp and forced to shout, “Putin is our president!” Ildar Dadin, 34, made the claims in letters that his attorney and his wife in November smuggled out of the prison camp in Karelia, a remote region in northwestern Russia. He also said he was severely beaten on numerous occasions, hung up by his cuffed hands and threatened with rape…. (more)


Top Headlines – 12/30/2016

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Spokesman: Settlements Will Spark War That Will Lead to Israel’s Destruction

In strong attack on Israel, German foreign minister says settlements jeopardize peace

UK’s May slams Kerry for focus on settlements

Theresa May’s criticism of John Kerry Israel speech sparks blunt US reply

Australian PM condemns ‘one-sided’ UN settlement resolution

Julie Bishop: Australia would not have backed UN resolution on Israel

Israel: US pressured Ukraine to support anti-settlement resolution

US envoy says abstention on Security Council vote not revenge

Arab states welcome Kerry’s framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace

Top Dems turn on Kerry over Israel speech

AIPAC looks to push Congress on opposition to UN resolution

AIPAC: Kerry tried to defend the indefensible

‘We don’t need this America,’ deputy minister says after UN vote, Kerry speech

Relations between Obama, Netanyahu camps hit rock bottom

US Rep: Supporting Israel is a no-brainer

After days of unprecedented tension, Netanyahu touts strong US ties

Israel’s Resumed Intervention In Domestic U.S. Politics

Netanyahu, again opposing Kerry, says Palestinian issue ‘relatively marginal’ in Mideast

Ministers clash over call to annex parts of West Bank

Human Rights Watch: UN settlement vote boosts FIFA pressure

With clock ticking, Palestinians pin hopes on Paris summit

EU stands by 2-state solution for Palestinian-Israel peace

The Two-State Solution: What It Is and Why It Hasn’t Happened

With the two-state solution a distant dream, Palestinians ask if it’s time to push for a one-state solution

6.58 million each: Palestinians claim they’ll be as numerous as Jews in ‘historic Palestine’ in 2017

French report: Israel did not act on its own in Operation Entebbe

Israel’s newest fighter pilots are ready for action

Stabbing foiled at West Bank checkpoint, assailant wounded

Likud MKs defend PM against ‘orchestrated campaign’ to oust him for corruption

Sara Netanyahu’s attorneys demand probe of police leaks

Iraqi troops resume Mosul fight after 2-week lull

Iraqi forces meet with car bombs after launching second phase of Mosul offensive against Islamic State

US military says Mosul airstrike may have killed civilians at hospital

‘They looked like they were coming out of a concentration camp’: British surgeon David Nott treats Aleppo’s wounded

Deadly car bomb attack hits rural Aleppo

Suicide kills more U.S. troops than ISIL in Middle East

Four million in Damascus without water after springs targeted

Turkey detains prominent journalist over tweets: report

Turkey’s Erdogan, Russia’s Putin held talks on phone over Syria ceasefire: spokesman

Syria conflict: Russia-Turkey brokered truce comes into force

Proposed Syria peace deal could slash Assad’s power, report claims

UN envoy welcomes Syria ceasefire deal

Clashes Violate Syria Ceasefire Less Than Two Hours After It Starts

Fierce clashes reported, but Syrian ceasefire appears to hold

Child Jihadists Hunt Down, Execute Bound Prisoners in New ISIS Video

Gingrich: Obama ‘desperate frenzy’ to save legacy

Obama orders Russia expulsions, sanctions for interference in 2016 election

Barack Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election hacking row in ‘Cold War deja vu’

Obama under pressure to prove Russian interference in election

FBI, DHS release report on Russia hacking

GOP leader Paul Ryan backs Obama’s crackdown on Russia over hacking scandal

Russia vows response to diplomat expulsion from US

Russia’s UK embassy: ‘Glad to see’ end of ‘hapless’ Obama administration

Trump responds to sanctions against Russia, says it’s time to ‘move on’

Trump could reverse effects of Obama order on Russia: official

Trump blasts Obama ‘roadblocks’ as power transfer turns increasingly hostile

Charlie Sheen tweets for God to ‘take’ Trump next

Hundreds of Churches Vow to Protect Immigrants Facing Deportation as Trump Presidency Looms

France raises ‘terror tax’ to support victims of attacks

China’s Xinjiang sets up legal team to prosecute terror cases

Bomb explodes at Philippines boxing match

Garbage trucks will strategically line Times Square to fend off New Year’s Eve terror threats

NYPD to allow Sikh officers to wear turbans and beards while on duty

Blue lives under fire: Deadly ambushes of police officers at two-decade high

US acting as global policeman for financial crimes

Man beaten to death in Snapchat video after being forced to eat cat faeces

Facebook Content Creators Fight Back Against Site Censorship as Pages Removed

Just One Hour a Day on Social Media Makes Teens Miserable

Rio’s unpaid government workers line up for food

Space Torah: When the creation story flew back into the firmament

A comet, not a harbinger of doom, will fly past Earth on New Year’s Eve

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Tolotangga, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

Bogoslof volcanon in the Aleutian Islands erupts to 20,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

Copahue volcano in Chile erupts to 12,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Melbourne encounters severe flooding following heavy rainfall

Flooding leaves 50 dead, up to 20 missing in southern Congo

U.S. records fewest tornado deaths in 30 years

Rare coast-to-coast cold snap to engulf Lower 48 late next week

Gang-ravaged Mexico stuck in weed ban as U.S. opens up

US posts rules for addressing cyber bugs in medical devices

Scientists edge closer to bringing back from the dead the fabled aurochs, giant wild cattle that once roamed Europe’s forests

Shanghai and Hong Kong confirm new human cases of H7N9 bird flu

A pill revolutionized HIV prevention in gay men. D.C. wants black women to use it.

United Methodist Church Calls for 75-Week ‘Focused Prayer’ on Homosexuality Debate

Nation’s First Known Intersex Birth Certificate Issued in NYC

Woman ‘kidnapped and held captive as sex slave for 13 years by rapist who sold her babies’

Man seeks refund from bomoh for failed exorcism

1 Christian killed for their faith every 6 minutes in 2016 – study


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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Just Announced: SBC Endorses NAR-Charismatic False Teaching

Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen, who often reports on the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), has some troubling news for Southern Baptists. In this must-read-to-the-end post, he charges the SBC with not caring what its “pew-sitters are being taught so long as what they’re being taught retains them as pew-sitters.”  What most people don’t realize is that the SBC has had a million member loss in the last decade. So SBC’s leadership is desperate to retain its members and bring the sheep who have wandered off back into the fold.  Ahlheim informs us of some of the ways they’re going about accomplishing this task, which includes introducing New Apostolic Reformation teaching to its members. This is a terrible idea for the reason that the NAR movement has its roots in the Latter Rain cult and it is steeped in mysticism.

Ahlheim begins with a quote by Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen:

Read more

The US and UN Palestinian Development and Future Plan

Insiders Now Say Obama Will Move To Create Palestinian State At Paris Mid-East Peace Conference January 15th

The Paris Middle East Peace conference is expected to call on all sides to establish a Palestinian state within the so-called 1967 borders in a relatively short period of time.

“As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.” Isaiah 31:5 (KJV)

Knowing that Donald Trump will keep his campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, insiders are now saying that Barack Obama is working furiously behind the scenes at this moment to get passed a UN resolution calling for a Palestinian state, awarding control of Jerusalem to the Muslims.

Donald Trump Promises To Move Embassy From Tel Aviv To Jerusalem:

Only one thing can stop Donald Trump from keeping his campaign promise about Jerusalem, and that’s if Obama beats him to the punch and declares a state in Palestine before January 20th. Could that actually happen? Insiders are saying it’s happening right now. Will it happen? That remains to be seen. But if it doesn’t, it won’t be for lack of trying on Obama’s part.

A senior Palestinian Authority official told Breitbart Jerusalem the following:

The Paris Middle East Peace conference is expected to call on all sides to establish a Palestinian state within the so-called 1967 borders in a relatively short period of time, perhaps by the beginning of 2019.

“The goal is for these moves to be binding for the incoming American administration, which would have to adopt them as its platform, and also for the European Union, which is expected to step up should there be clashes with Trump,” he said.

“In the next few days we’ll know whether we’re headed to the UNSC,” the official said. “Right now, the chances of that are very high. From our viewpoint, the goal is partially achieved. The settlements have been designated as the main obstacle to the peace process and now it’s up for the world to make clear that, in the event of failure, the side that would refuse to comply with the will of the international community, as codified in the UN resolution, is the guilty side.” source

Obama knowing his time is short has gone on a rampage

Donald Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would also recognize Jerusalem as the singular capital of Israel. As we have told you over a year ago, that move could be so explosive that it could trigger the Psalm 83 War. But what could be even more explosive than that would be if Barack Obama in Paris next month gets the UN to pass a resolution to declare a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

President Obama Addresses the UN General Assembly:

Back in 2011, Obama was all for allowing Israel and Palestine to work out their differences betweens themselves. Not any more. Start watching at the 17:55 mark.

As I sit here and write this, the Paris Mid-East conference is only 17 days away, with Obama’s last day in office being a mere 22 days away. If you were watching the Steelers play the Bengals last weekend, then you know how much damage can be inflicted in 118 seconds. In the blink of an eye, the Steelers went from likely losers with the Bengals already celebrating, to being crowned the 2016 AFC North Champions because of what they did in the closing seconds of the game.

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12 (KJV)

Barack Hussein Obama is in the closing seconds of his game, and his “championship dream” is to see Jerusalem ripped from the hands of the Jews and given to the Muslims along with Israeli land stolen to create a Palestinian state. Obama is highly motivated, highly funded, and has the full backing of the demonic, corrupt United Nations.

The next 17 days could very well change the course of world history. In fact, we contend it absolutely will.

Are YOU ready for what comes next?

The post Insiders Now Say Obama Will Move To Create Palestinian State At Paris Mid-East Peace Conference January 15th appeared first on Now The End Begins.


UN, Obama Further Radicalize Palestinians

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9675/un-obama-palestinians
Last week’s UN Security Council resolution sent the following message to the Palestinians:

Obama Betrays Israel At The United Nations – Is America’s Reprieve Now Over?

un-security-council-meeting-public-domainBarack Obama actually did it.  Despite enormous pressure from the government of Israel, President-elect Donald Trump and members of his own party in Congress, Barack Obama decided to stick a knife in Israel’s back at the United Nations.  On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution that calls for a “two-State solution based on the 1967 lines” and that shockingly states that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity”.  This resolution was approved by a vote of 14 to 0, and the U.S. abstained from voting.  But essentially the outcome of the vote was going to be determined by Barack Obama.  For decades, the U.S. veto power on the UN Security Council has shielded Israel from these types of resolutions, but this time around Obama decided to betray Israel by allowing this vote to pass.  Needless to say, this vote is going to have enormous implications for Israel, for the United States, and for the entire globe. (Read More…)


The UN Security Council Has Just Officially Given Every Inch Of East Jerusalem To The Palestinians

jerusalem-photo-by-berthold-wernerBarack Obama has just made the worst decision of his entire presidency.  On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2334, and this never would have happened without the support and approval of Barack Obama.  Since the United States has veto power on the Security Council, no resolution can ever pass unless the United States allows it to pass.  For decades, it has been the policy of the U.S. government to veto all anti-Israel resolutions at the Security Council, and the Israeli government had been expecting that Barack Obama would not suddenly change that policy at the very end of his second term.  Most of the news headlines about resolution 2334 refer to “Israeli settlements”, but the reality of the matter is that this resolution is about much more than that.  The truth is that this resolution has established legally binding parameters for a “two-state solution” that Israel will never accept, and this includes giving every inch of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. (Read More…)


Breaking Report: John Kerry Is Working On Another UN Resolution That Would Officially Recognize A Palestinian State

israel-and-the-palestinians-united-nations-mapMultiple media outlets are reporting that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is finalizing a document that the Obama administration hopes will form the basis for a UN Security Council resolution that officially recognizes a Palestinian state before the end of Barack Obama’s term on January 20th.  This comes on the heels of the UN Security Council’s adoption of resolution 2334 on December 23rd.  That resolution declared that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal, it stated that the Security Council recognizes the 1967 ceasefire lines as the border between Israel and “Palestine”, and it officially gave East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.  But it stopped short of formally recognizing a Palestinian state.  Resolution 2334 speaks of a Palestinian state in the future tense, but this new resolution that John Kerry is reportedly working on would give immediate and permanent UN Security Council recognition to a Palestinian state. (Read More…)


Circle January 15th: 70 Nations Will Gather In Paris To Discuss The Creation Of A Palestinian State

15-ball-public-domainOn January 15th, representatives from 70 different countries will gather in Paris, France for an unprecedented global conference.  The stated goal of this conference is to promote a “two-state solution” as the way that lasting peace will be brought to the Middle East.  In Israel, there is a tremendous amount of concern that whatever is agreed upon at this conference will immediately be used as the basis for a UN Security Council resolution that would permanently divide the land of Israel and create a Palestinian state.  But things would have to move very rapidly in order for that to happen, because Barack Obama’s time in the White House comes to an end on January 20th, and Donald Trump has already made it exceedingly clear that he would never support such a resolution. (Read More…)


John Kerry Unveils His Plan For A Palestinian State Based Upon 1967 Borders With East Jerusalem As The Capital

john-kerry-photo-by-david-hume-kennerlyBarack Obama stabbed Israel in the back on Friday, and now John Kerry has slapped Israel in the face just five days later.  In a shameful speech that lasted for 71 dreadful minutes, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry laid out his plan for peace in the Middle East on Wednesday.  His six-part plan is being welcomed warmly by the Palestinians, but it has further infuriated the Israelis.  Kerry claims that his plan reflects the emerging global consensus as to what a “final solution” will look like, and now we will wait to see what the 70 nations that will be gathering in France to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 15th will do.  There is a great deal of concern that the principles agreed upon at that conference will form the basis for a UN Security Council resolution that will be rushed to a vote before President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20th. (Read More…)


10 Times That God Has Hit America With A Major Disaster After The U.S. Attempted To Divide The Land Of Israel

israel-flagBecause Barack Obama has cursed Israel at the United Nations, America is now under a curse. Friday’s stunning betrayal of Israel at the UN Security Council is making headlines all over the planet, but the truth is that what Obama has just done is far more serious than most people would dare to imagine. Over the past several decades, whenever the U.S. government has taken a major step toward the division of the land of Israel it has resulted in a major disaster hitting the United States. This keeps happening over and over again, and yet our leaders never seem to learn. And despite the fact that President-elect Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and prominent members of both parties in Congress strongly urged Obama to veto Security Council resolution 2334, he went ahead and let it pass anyway. (Read More…)


Barack Obama’s All-Out Attack On Israel

obama-public-domainDuring the very last month of his presidency, Barack Obama has decided to launch an all-out attack on Israel. On Friday, Barack Obama’s decision to allow UN Security Council resolution 2334 to pass without a veto was the greatest betrayal of Israel in modern American history, and now there are reports that the Obama administration is planning to introduce another resolution that would officially recognize a Palestinian state. Throughout his eight years in the White House, many have accused Obama of being the most anti-Israel president in our history, and now he is proving them right. Obama has also been accused of harboring sympathies for the agenda of the radical Islamic world, and at this point it is hard to argue that he doesn’t. Everyone always knew that Obama greatly disliked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the way that Obama is currently behaving goes way beyond just being vindictive. (Read More…)


Those That Bless Israel Will Be Blessed And Those That Curse Israel Will Be Cursed – So Now America Is Greatly Cursed

apocalypseThere are consequences for our actions, and on a national level we are going to experience tremendous consequences for the very foolish decisions of our national leaders. When Barack Obama decided to betray Israel at the United Nations, he made the most fateful decision of his entire presidency. Because the Scriptures tell us that those that curse Israel will be cursed, and so America is now under a great curse due to what Barack Obama has done. (Read More…)

Trump will inherit many foreign policy disasters

WINTERY KNIGHT

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people? Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

The most difficult mistakes for Trump to fix will be the foreign policy blunders committed by the last administration – the creation of wars in other countries and the the supporting of our enemies (giving assault weapons to drug cartels, giving nuclear weapons to Iran, etc.) that are the most difficult to make right.

Consider this article from the Daily Signal.

It lists 5 crises created by the Obama administration in the last 8 years:

  1. ISIS in Iraq and Syria
  2. Afghanistan War
  3. Ukraine-Russia War
  4. Saudi Arabia-Yemen War
  5. Campaigns Against Terrorists in Africa

There was no “Islamic State” in Iraq or Syria when president Bush left office. Iraq and Syria, along with Egypt and Libya, were stable. Libya had just voluntarily given up their WMD programs without a shot being fired, because of concern that Bush would invade them, too. But…

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Worst president ever leaves Trump a looming economic crisis

WINTERY KNIGHT

Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people? Is Barack Obama focused on protecting the American people?

Consider this article from the Wall Street Journal, which discusses the latest CBO (Congressional Budget Office) report.

Massive budget deficits:

One lesson is that the days of easy deficit reduction are over. The annual deficit in 2016 rose for the first time in three years—by $148 billion to $587 billion. That’s 3.2% of GDP, up sharply from 2.5% last year. Mr. Obama has been able to ride falling defense spending from reduced military deployments overseas, but Pentagon outlays were flat in 2016. Military spending will probably have to increase in future years, no matter who wins Tuesday, to meet the growing challenges from Russia, China and Iran.

Looming entitlement crisis:

Mr. Obama will also leave town having failed over eight years to do anything to slow the booming burden of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Outlays for those three programs…

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Are all religions basically the same?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Lets take a closer look at a puzzle Lets take a closer look at a puzzle

So, everyone knows that there a huge number of different religions in the world. This is called religious pluralism. Some people infer from the large number of different religions that there must be no religion that is correct. After all, they say, there are people in many different religions who are sincere, so that must mean that they are not wrong. (Sincerity = not mistaken) Or, some say that because different religions disagree, then that must mean that no religion is correct. (Disagreement = no right answer) Or, some say that because different religions make different groups of people feel happy, then no religion is wrong. (Makes you happy = not mistaken) Or, one I see among Hindus a lot: “my family and my nation are Hindu, so it cannot be wrong or else my family and nation would be wrong”. (family pride…

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Prosperity Pimptress Paula White and Franklin Graham Partner to Lead Trump’s Inauguration

Paula White, the B-girl of prosperity-hustling Christian skullduggery, is slated to lead the nation in prayer at the inauguration of Donald Trump. White, who has been widely extolled by evangelicals as “the one” who “led Donald Trump to Christ,” should have no problem fitting in. After all, they both go through spouses like dirty diapers.

CNN reports Donald Trump’s Committee Chairman Tom Barrack as saying,

I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President-elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation.

Diverse, indeed it will be. While Paula White denies the Trinity and denies that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, prominent patriotic-gospel evangelicals like James Dobson are spewing the inanity that this charlatan actually had something to do with Trump’s fruitless, repentance-less conversion to Christianity. “I don’t know when it was, but it has not been long, and I believe [Donald Trump] really made a commitment, but he’s a baby Christian,” Dobson says, “I also hear that Paula White has known Trump for years and that she personally led him to Christ.”

You might be asking, “why does this really matter?” The problem isn’t that any earnest Christian might actually believe that Donald Trump takes his new-found “faith” seriously. But some might actually believe Paula White is a Christian. Why? Because she will be sharing the stage with the well-known evangelical hero, Franklin Graham. This partnership, strictly forbidden in the Scriptures (2 Corinthians 6:14), lends credibility to those who preach a false Gospel, proclaim a false Jesus and make false disciples. It obscures the clear lines between biblical truth and damning spiritual error.

Other questionable spiritual figures participating in the burlesque will be the Catholic archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan and Reverend Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Rodriguez is a regular appearance at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) conferences and is associated with the New Apostolic Reformation.

What’s the point? These religious “leaders” aren’t genuinely coalescing for the genuine purpose of coming together before our Creator to petition His blessing upon our nation. That isn’t even possible–they all worship a different God. It’s merely an amalgamation of multiple versions of American-made religiosity to appease those who propelled him into office. Of course, in today’s American version of watered-down gospel-less Christianity patriotic fidelity rises far above doctrinal integrity. As long as you stand for “conservative values” and throw your support behind the candidate that promises to protect them, you can be a Christian.

Beware of who you bow your head and pray with.

Source:  Prosperity Pimptress Paula White and Franklin Graham Partner to Lead Trump’s Inauguration

Here’s Who Will Pray at Trump’s Inauguration

According to Kate Shellnutt of Christianity Astray Today, three New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) wolves are going to play a significant role in Donald Trump’s Inauguration.  Who are the trio that masquerade as evangelicals? Pastrix Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez and Wayne T. Jackson. Shellnutt fills us in on the details:

Donald Trump has enlisted a larger, more diverse lineup of clergy than usual to pray him into office at his upcoming inauguration ceremony.

The group—bigger than any president’s since Ronald Reagan—reflects his politics, pragmatism, and personality. It includes evangelical leaders Franklin Graham and Samuel Rodriguez, as well as spiritual advisor Paula White, the Florida televangelist credited with his rumored recent Christian conversion, and a Detroit prosperity preacher, Wayne T. Jackson.

“Taken together, [Graham and White] have embodied Trump’s embrace of the twinned ideologies of Christian nationalism and capitalist Christianity,” Kevin Kruse, a history professor at Princeton University and author of One Nation Under God, told CT.

Read more

Trump Inauguration to Feature Prayer of Prosperity Preacher Paula White Who ‘Secured His Calling’

WASHINGTON — Prominent Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Franklin Graham, and prosperity preacher Paula White will be among the ecumenical selection of faith leaders who will present prayers and readings at Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony next month, the inaugural committee announced on Wednesday. “Since the first inaugural ceremony, our leaders have paid…

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‘Not the Russians’: John McAfee talks hacking allegations, cyber security with Larry King (VIDEO)

Following the release of an FBI report outlining Russia’s alleged role in hacking the 2016 election, Larry King sat down to talk with tech pioneer John McAfee to discuss the current state of cybersecurity.
Read Full Article at RT.com

December 30, 2016: Verse of the day

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The Plea

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, (5:1–2a)

The walk of the believer is a key matter to Paul. He has introduced the fact that ours is to be a worthy walk (4:1) and a walk different from the world’s (4:17). He will also call for a walk in light (5:8) and a walk in wisdom (5:15). In this verse the apostle pleads with believers to walk in such a way that daily life is characterized by love. Growing in love is a continuing need for every believer, since love fulfills all of God’s law (Rom. 13:8–10). As we grow in love we also see the need to be even more loving. And since biblically defined love is so contrary to the flesh, we are always in need of reminders and encouragement to love.

Therefore refers back to the last part of chapter 4, especially verse 32. Kindness, tender–heartedness, and forgiveness are characteristics of God, who is love. God Himself is infinitely kind, tender–hearted, and forgiving, and we achieve those virtues by imitating their Source.

Mimētēs (imitator) is the term from which we get mimic, someone who copies specific characteristics of another person. As imitators of God, Christians are to imitate God’s characteristics, and above all His love. The whole of the Christian life is the reproduction of godliness as seen in the person of Christ. God’s purpose in salvation is to redeem men from sin and to conform them “to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). To be conformed to Christ is to become perfect, just as God is perfect (Matt. 5:48). “As obedient children,” Peter tells us, “do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Pet. 1:14–16; cf. Lev. 11:44). The great hope of believers is, “We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). Imitating His love is possible because “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom.5:5).

When Alexander the Great discovered a coward in his army who also was named Alexander, he told the soldier, “Renounce your cowardice or renounce your name.” Those who carry God’s name are to be imitator’s of His character. By His grace it is possible to reflect Him even in our present limitations.

To know what God is like we must study His Word, His revelation of Himself, His great Self–disclosure. Yet the more we learn of God’s character the more we learn how far above us He is and how impossible in ourselves it is fulfill the command to be like Him, to be absolutely perfect, just as He is. That is why we need “to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” in order to “be filled up to all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:16, 19). The only way we can become imitators of God is for the Lord Jesus Christ to live His perfect life through us. We are totally dependent on His Spirit to become like Him. If we are to obey Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians, “let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:14), we must submit to the controlling influence of the Spirit.

It is natural for children to be like their parents. They have their parents’ nature and they instinctively imitate their parents’ actions and behavior. Through Jesus Christ God has given us the right to become His children (John 1:12; Gal. 3:26). As Paul declared at the beginning of this letter, God “predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Eph. 1:5). Because our heavenly Father is holy, we are to be holy. Because He is kind, we are to be kind. Because He is forgiving, we are to be forgiving. Because God in Christ humbled Himself, we are to humble ourselves. Because God is love, as His beloved children we are to walk in love. This ability is not natural, however, but supernatural—requiring a new nature and the continuous power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us by obedience to God’s Word.

The greatest evidence of love is undeserved forgiveness. The supreme act of God’s love was to give “His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God’s love brought man’s forgiveness. God loved the world with such a great love that He offered forgiveness to sinful, rebellious, wretched, vile mankind, by sending His own Son to give His life on the cross that they might not suffer death. He offered the world the free gift of eternal fellowship with Him.

Because forgiveness is the supreme evidence of God’s love, it will also be the most convincing proof of our love. Love will always lead us to forgive others just as love led God in Christ to forgive us (Eph. 4:32). Nothing more clearly discloses a hard, loveless heart than lack of forgiveness. Lack of forgiveness betrays lack of love (see 4:31). The presence of forgiveness always proves the presence of love, because only love has the motive and power to forgive. The extent of our love is the extent of our ability to forgive.

Whatever another believer may do against us, no matter how terrible or destructive or unjustified, Christ has paid the penalty for that sin. No matter how others may hurt, slander, persecute, or in any way harm us, Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to pay their penalty. When a Christian expresses, or even harbors, vengeance toward a brother, he not only sins by allowing selfish hatred to control him but he sins by profaning Christ’s sacrifice—by seeking to mete out punishment for a sin whose penalty has already been paid by his Lord.

Because Christ has paid the penalty for every sin, we have no right to hold any sin against any person, even a nonbeliever. Peter thought that forgiving someone “up to seven times” was generous. But Jesus said, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22). In Christ all our “sins are forgiven for His name’s sake” (1 John 2:12); He has “forgiven us all our transgressions” (Col. 2:13, emphasis added). “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

Just as the depth of God’s love is shown by how much He has forgiven, the depth of our love is shown by how much we forgive. “Above all,” Peter says, “keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8). The Greek word behind “fervent” refers to a muscle stretched to the limit. Our love is to stretch to the limit in order to cover “a multitude of sins” The greater our love the greater the multitude of sins it will cover in forgiveness.

The depth of our love is also shown by how much we know we have been forgiven. When Jesus was eating dinner with Simon the Pharisee, a prostitute came in to the house and anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears and with expensive perfume. Simon was incensed at what she did and was disappointed in Jesus for allowing such a woman to touch Him. Jesus responded by telling a parable: “ ‘A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?’ Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose the one whom he forgave more.’ And He said to him, ‘You have judged correctly.’ ” After comparing the ways that Simon and the woman had treated Him, Jesus said, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:36–47).

Because Simon had no real sense of the enormity of the sin in his own life, and therefore sensed no need for forgiveness, he was unforgiving of others—especially those whom he considered moral and social outcasts. Unforgivingness is the measure of self–righteousness just as forgiveness is the measure of love. Our ability to love, and therefore to forgive, depends on our sense of how much God has forgiven us. Unforgivingness is also a measure of unbelief, because the person who feels no need for forgiveness feels no need for God.

Robert Falconer tells the story of his witnessing among destitute people in a certain city and of reading them the story of the woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her tears. While he was reading he heard a loud sob and looked up at a young, thin girl whose face was disfigured by smallpox. After he spoke a few words of encouragement to her, she said, “Will He ever come again, the One who forgave the woman? I have heard that He will come again. Will it be soon?” “He could come any time. But why do you ask?” Falconer replied. After sobbing again uncontrollably, she said, “Sir, can’t He wait a little while? My hair ain’t long enough yet to wipe His feet.”

The person who sees the greatness of his own forgiveness by God’s love will himself in love be forgiving. He forgives in love because his heavenly Father has forgiven in love and he desires to be an imitator of His Father.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

December 30, 2016: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

December 30 Sustaining the Universe

“[Christ] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Colossians 1:17

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The eternal Christ sustains His creation.

When the universe began, Christ already existed. The apostle John spoke of Christ’s eternal existence this way: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1–3). Christ Himself testified of the same truth when He told the Jews, “Before Abraham was born, I AM” (John 8:58). He was saying that He is Yahweh, the eternally existing God. The prophet Micah said of Him, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Mic. 5:2). Revelation 22:13 describes Him as “the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Christ has preeminence over all creation because He “is before all things” (Col. 1:17). He already existed when the universe began because He is the eternal God.

Having created the universe, Christ sustains all He has created (v. 17). He maintains the delicate balance necessary to life’s existence. He is the power behind every consistency in the universe and the One who keeps all the entities in space in their motion. He is the energy behind the universe.

Christ, however, will not always sustain our present universe. One day in the future He will dissolve the heavens and earth. The apostle Peter describes that day, when “the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Until that time, we can be thankful that Christ continues to sustain it.

How encouraging to know that the eternal God who sustains the entire universe is also watching over you. No detail of your life is too small for His concern; no circumstance is too big for His sovereign control.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord for caring for the details of your life while He controls the universe.

For Further Study: According to Hebrews 1:3, what does God uphold? How?[1]


December 30

Absent from the Body,
Present with the Lord

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:8

When a believer leaves this world, he goes immediately to be in the presence of Christ. There is no “soul sleep” or intermediate waiting place, nor does the Bible teach that there is any place called purgatory. Notice the apostle Paul’s desire was “to depart and be with Christ” (Phil. 1:23, emphasis added).

Today’s verse indicates that when we are absent from the body, which sleeps until the resurrection, our spirits are present with the Lord. Paul also told the Thessalonians that Christ “died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5:10). Paul’s point is that whether we are physically awake (alive) or physically asleep (dead), as believers we are with Christ. We are in His presence in a spiritual sense now and in a literal sense when our bodies are dead.

You can rejoice in the fact that there is no time in your life as a believer when you will ever be out of the conscious presence of Jesus Christ.[2]


DECEMBER 30

WALKING IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS LORD

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

—Revelation 5:13

One of the purest souls ever to live on this fallen planet was Nicholas Herman, that simple-hearted Christian known throughout the world as Brother Lawrence….

Early in his life Brother Lawrence found Christ as his own Savior and Lord and entered into what he called “the unspeakable riches of God and of Jesus Christ.” He was a common cook but he learned to turn the modest service into a kind of worship….

He spent his long life walking in the presence of his Lord, and when he came to die there was no need for any particular change in his occupation. At the last hour someone asked him what was going on in his thoughts as death approached. He replied simply: “I am doing what I shall do through all eternity—blessing God, praising God, adoring God, giving Him the love of my whole heart. It is our one business, my brethren, to worship Him and love Him without thought of anything else.” PON022-023

Lord, may I live now as I will for all of time, praising and adoring You with my whole heart. Amen. [3]


December 30

Perils of the Dragnet, Part 2

… and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.—Matt. 13:50

Continuing from yesterday, we can learn several more biblical truths about hell, the dragnet’s ultimate peril. For example, the lost will suffer hell’s torments in varying degrees. Those who willfully reject Jesus Christ and blatantly scorn His sacrifice will receive far greater punishment than people who had only the light of the Old Testament. The author of Hebrews writes, “Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:28–29; cf. Matt. 11:22–23).

Concerning the slaves who waited for their master’s return, Christ’s parable states that “that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few” (Luke 12:47–48).

Finally, nothing will be as horrible about hell’s torment as its endlessness. The Lord uses “eternal” to describe both heaven’s and hell’s duration: “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:46). Sadly, people who experience hell will realize a complete absence of hope for all eternity. But rejoice if you are a believer—you have a hope of heaven that will be validated for all eternity.

ASK YOURSELF
The sensitive person asks, “How can a loving God doom a person to hell? ” What is your answer to this common question and complaint? How is justice involved? Why would some be spared? Know how to respond to this type of opinion ahead of time.[4]

DECEMBER 30

GOD’S SOVEREIGN PLAN

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God…For he must reign.

1 Corinthians 15:24–25

Many people continue to live in daily fear that the world “is coming to an end.”

Only in the Scriptures do we have the description and prediction of the age-ending heavenly and earthly events when our Lord and Savior will be universally acknowledged as King of kings and Lord of lords.

God’s revelation makes it plain that in “that day” all will acclaim Him “victor”!

Human society, generally, refuses to recognize God’s sovereignty or His plan for His redeemed people. But no human being or world government will have any control in that fiery day of judgment yet to come.

John’s vision of things to come tells us clearly and openly that at the appropriate time this world will be taken away from men and placed in the hands of the only Man who has the wisdom and authority to rightly govern.

That Man is the eternal Son of God, the worthy Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Dear Lord, I pray today for the remaining people groups in the world who have not yet heard the gospel message. Without knowing You, Father, many will be lost eternally when the end of the world comes. Lord, raise up specific individuals to take Your Word to those remaining peoples.[5]


 

December 30 Satan’s Conqueror

“Since … the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Heb. 2:14–15).

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Christ came to break the power of Satan which He did by conquering death.

To be free to live with God and share in all His blessings, someone had to shatter Satan’s death grip on us. Sin is what gives Satan his powerful hold on us, but the power itself is death.

Satan knew that God required death for us because of sin. He knew that all died in Adam—that death became a certain fact of life. And he knew that men, if they remained as they were, would die and go out of God’s presence into Hell forever. So the Devil wants to hang on to men until they die because once they are dead, the opportunity for salvation is gone forever.

To wrest the power of death from Satan’s hand, God sent Christ into the world. If you have a greater weapon than your enemy, his weapon is useless. You can’t fight a machine gun with a bow and arrow. Satan’s weapon is death, but eternal life is God’s weapon, and with it Jesus destroyed death.

How was He able to do it? He rose again, proving He had conquered death. That’s why He said, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19). His resurrection provides the believer with eternal life.

Nothing terrifies people more than the fear of death. But when we receive Christ, death in reality holds no more fear for us since it simply releases us into the presence of our Lord. We can say with Paul, “To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Rejoice that you have placed your hand in the hand of the conqueror of death, who will lead you through death and out the other side.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to give you a greater realization that He has conquered death and is thus able to help you live life more fully to His glory.

For Further Study: Read 1 Corinthians 15:50–58. How are we to live our lives, based on what we know about death?[6]


DECEMBER 30

THE PERFUME OF REMEMBERED BLESSING

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in him….

COLOSSIANS 2:9, 10

Christ is so many wonderful things to His people and brings to them such a wealth of benefits as the mind cannot comprehend nor the heart find words to express!

Bernard of Clairvaux speaks in his writings of a “perfume compounded of the remembered benefits of God.”

Such fragrance is all too rare!

Every follower of Christ should be redolent of such a perfume; for have we not all received more from God’s kindness than our imagination could have conceived before we knew Him and discovered for ourselves how rich and how generous He is?

That we have received of His fullness grace for grace no one will deny, but the fragrance comes not from the receiving but from the remembering.

Ten lepers received their health—that was the benefit. One came back to thank his benefactor—that was the perfume!

Unremembered benefits, like dead flies, may cause the ointment to give forth a stinking savor.

Remembered blessings, thankfulness for present favors and praise for promised grace blend like myrrh and aloes and cassia to make a rare bouquet for the garments of the saints. With this perfume David also anointed his harp and the hymns of the ages have been sweet with it.

We are reminded that much of the Bible is devoted to prediction. Nothing God has yet done for us can compare with all that is written in the sure word of prophecy. And, nothing He has done or may yet do for us can compare with what He is and will be to us![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. 391). 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. 373). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

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

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 377). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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