Daily Archives: December 8, 2017

December 8 Christ’s Radiance and Representation

“He is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb. 1:3).

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Jesus is both God manifest and God in substance.

Just as the rays of the sun give light, warmth, life, and growth to the earth, so Jesus Christ is the glorious light of God shining into the hearts of men and women. As “the radiance of God’s glory,” Jesus expresses God to us. No one can see God in His full glory; no one ever will. The radiance of that glory that reaches us from God appears in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Just as the sun was never without and can never be separated from its brightness, so God was never without and cannot be separated from the glory of Christ. Never was God without Him or He without God, and never in any way can He be separated from God. Yet the brightness of the sun is not the sun, and neither is Jesus’ incarnation glory exactly the same as God in that sense. He is fully and absolutely God, and yet a distinct Person within the Triune Godhead.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). As the radiance of God’s glory, Christ can transmit that light into your life and mine, so we can radiate the glory of God to a dark world.

In using the term “exact representation” to describe Christ’s relationship to God’s nature, the writer employs terminology usually associated with an impression reproduced on a seal by a die or a stamp. Jesus Christ is the reproduction of God—the perfect, personal imprint of God in time and space.

How wonderful to realize that Jesus Christ, who is both the full expression of God and the exact reproduction of God’s nature in human history, can come into our lives and give us light to see and to know God! His light is the source of our spiritual life. And His light gives us purpose, meaning, happiness, peace, joy, fellowship, everything—for all eternity.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God that He determined to become a man so we could know what He is like.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 4:3–6 and note who allows people to see or not see spiritually.[1]

 

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 355). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

December 8 GOD HAS AN INTEREST IN MAKING US RIGHTEOUS

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the working of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

TITUS 3:5

A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to “accept” Christ without forsaking the world.

But what saith the Holy Ghost? “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4), and “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

This requires no comment, only obedience.

It is an error to assume that we can experience justification without transformation. Justification and regeneration are not the same; they may be thought apart in theology but they can never be experienced apart in fact!

When God declares a man righteous He instantly sets about to make him righteous.

The error today is that we do not expect a converted man to be a transformed man, and as a result of this error our churches are full of substandard Christians. Many of these go on day after day assuming that salvation is possible without repentance and that they can find some value in religion without righteousness. A revival is, among other things, a return to the belief that real faith invariably produces holiness of heart and righteousness of life![1]

 

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

December 8, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

The legal battle over President Donald Trump’s travel ban resumes Friday in Richmond, Virginia, after a pit stop in Seattle, on an inevitable path back to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.

The U.S. added more jobs than forecast in November and the unemployment rate held at an almost 17-year low, though below-forecast wage gains suggested the labor market still has slack to absorb.

Muslims took to the streets from the West Bank to Jakarta on Friday to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Facing opposition from conservative elements in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party, Japan’s only openly gay lawmaker said it could take a decade for the country to legalize same-sex partnerships.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed U.S. plans to go to the 2018 Winter Olympics shortly after raising questions about whether American athletes would participate in the games in South Korea, where North Korea’s nuclear ambitions have raised security concerns about the event.

President Donald Trump plans to keep pushing his legislative agenda in 2018 by releasing his long-promised infrastructure proposal in early January, a senior administration official said.

Workers at U.S. meat and poultry processing plants are reluctant to tell federal inspectors about injuries or workplace hazards amid concerns that they could lose their jobs, according to a government report.

So many S. Koreans have embraced bitcoin that the prime minister recently warned that cryptocurrencies might corrupt the nation’s youth. The craze has spread so far that, in Korea, bitcoin is trading at a premium of about 23 percent over prevailing international rates.

AP Top Stories

Protests erupt throughout the Mideast in response to President Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israel’s army launched strikes on two locations inside the Gaza Strip on Thursday, according to Israeli media reports. The attacks targeted Hamas, the Islamist militant group that rules Gaza, and used both tank and air power.

The United States has revealed which Russian cruise missile Washington believes is in violation of the landmark 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. The weapon is in fact the Novator 9M729-which carries the NATO designation of SSC-8.

Three people were fatally shot at Aztec High School in Aztec, New Mexico, on Thursday morning, according to police. New Mexico State Police have confirmed two students and the suspected shooter are dead.

Former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has been fired for misconduct by Morgan Stanley after facing a human resources investigation into allegations of misconduct, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

More than 180 people, including two Democratic House members, were arrested Wednesday in an act of civil disobedience on the U.S. Capitol steps, while demanding that lawmakers inside the building take swift action to help young undocumented immigrants.

Genes linked to homosexuality have been discovered by scientists in the biggest ever study into the genetic basis for sexual orientation. For the first time, researchers looked at the complete genome – a person’s entire DNA code – for more than 1,000 gay men and compared it to genetic data from a similar number of heterosexual males. They discovered that DNA was different for gay and straight men around the genes SLITRK5 and SLITRK6.

The navy has one submarine that could drop 154 tomahawk missiles on North Korea. The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) was built to destroy cities and military installations in the event of a nuclear war-or more precisely, to deter adversaries from ever starting one. The Navy first intended to scrap the four oldest of the massive submarines, but instead opted to overhaul and convert them to launch Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles (TLAM) at a cost of $700-900 million each. These vessels were redesignated Ohio-class guided-missile submarines (SSGN) and intended to deliver conventional attacks on targets on land. The Ohio and Florida began the nuclear refueling, overhaul and armament upgrade in 2003 and were back in service by 2006, while the Michigan and Florida followed in 2008.

Bitcoin rocketed higher Thursday, crossing the $16,000 mark in less than two days after topping $12,000 for the first time. In trading on the Coinbase exchange, the digital currency rose above $16,900 and was last at $16,748. The price on Coinbase is often at a premium over other exchanges.

BBC

Japan plans to acquire medium-range air-to-surface missiles, expanding its strike capability to North Korea.

“Highly professional” hackers made off with around 4,700 Bitcoin from a leading mining service, a Bitcoin exchange has said. The value of Bitcoin is currently extremely volatile, but at the time of writing, the amount stolen was worth approximately $80m.

An attack believed to have been sparked by a succession feud has left three people dead at a well-known Shinto shrine in Tokyo. The chief priestess was stabbed to death, reportedly by her brother. A bloodied Samurai sword was found at the scene, along with other knives.

WND

The Justice Department has launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and the sale of fetal tissue.

The American Center for Law and Justice, long an advocate for America’s top Middle East ally, is asking the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to fight a plan to turn over $65 million to Palestinians to teach them to fight Israel in the courts.


The Briefing — Friday, December 8, 2017

1) The combustible mix of scandal, moral relativism, and political expediency

New York Times (Yamiche Alcindor) –
John Conyers to Leave Congress Amid Harassment Claims

New York Times (Sheryl Gay Stolberg) –
As Harassment Accusations Multiply, a Question: Who Stays and Who Goes?

2) A new big question in Congress: Who leaves and who stays?

New York Times (Nellie Bowles) –
A Reckoning on Sexual Misconduct? Absolutely. But How Harsh, Women Ask.

3) The odd but interesting timing of Vladimir Putin’s re-election announcement

Washington Post (David Filipov and Andrew Roth) –
Vladimir Putin says he’ll run for reelection. Nobody is surprised.

4) Raising big questions about shame and guilt while raising children

New York Times (Perri Klass) –
A Healthy Dose of Guilt


News – 12/8/2017

This time, Trump is right
The world’s 70-year refusal to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a foolish mistake, the result of diplomatic cowardice and neglect on the part of Israel’s governments. The argument that the US president’s speech harms the peace process is baseless, as there is no peace process going on.

Tillerson hints at deal to resolve Arab-Israeli conflict in one fell swoop, Moscow waits in wings
Rex [Tillerson]… hinted to me that the United States is expecting to strike a ‘deal of the century,’ which would resolve the Palestinian-Israeli problem in one swoop,” Sergey Lavrov said. “We certainly want to understand how they see this happening.”

Israel to build 14,000 new housing units in Jerusalem
Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) is promoting a plan to build 14,000 housing units in Jerusalem, Hahadashot (formerly Channel 2 News) reported on Thursday. The move follows President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. According to the report, the government would promote the construction of 5,000 housing units in Atarot, in addition to a new neighborhood in the area which is being promoted by the Jerusalem municipality.

‘The love is all about Jerusalem,’ Trump says at WH Hanukka party
US President Donald Trump said Jerusalem was in his heart as he hosted the White House’s annual Hanukka party on Wednesday night. “Right now I am thinking about what is going on and the love that is all over Israel and all about Jerusalem,” Trump said. The president spoke just one day after declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the first such US recognition of the city since the country’s establishment in 1948. “I know for a fact there are a lot of happy people in this room,” Trump said as he looked out at the audience.

250 Rabbis Bless Trump With Biblical Joshua’s Strength in Letter of Support
Over two hundred prominent Israeli rabbis sent a letter of gratitude to President Donald Trump, blessing him in the manner that God blessed Joshua as he led the Jews into Israel and stating that Trump’s acknowledgement of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital assures him a permanent place in the annals of Jewish history.

Vladimir Putin officially announces he will seek re-election as Russian president in 2018
Putin confirms worst kept secret in Russia by pursuing another six-year term as Russia’s leader, extending his rule of the country into a third decade. Putin, 65, has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000, longer than veteran Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and outstripped only by dictator Josef Stalin.

No tsunami threat to Guam from earthquake in Micronesia
The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake with a magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Micronesia at 10:22 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8. There is no threat of a tsunami to Guam or the Mariana Islands from the earthquake, Guam Homeland Security said, referring to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. No tsunami threat to Guam from earthquake in Micronesia

Archaeologists Discover Muslim Artifacts Proving Jerusalem’s Jewish Identity
Israeli archaeologists announced to the press a discovery of 1,300-year-old coins from the Islamic Umayyad Dynasty imprinted with an image of the menorah from the Jewish Temple. This new discovery joins a trove of artifacts that show Muslim acknowledgment of Jerusalem’s Jewish identity. Assaf Avraham of Bar-Ilan University, and Peretz Reuven of the Hebrew University made their announcement on Wednesday.

LIVE COVERAGE: Palestinians protest Trump decision in Jerusalem, W. Bank
Israel stepped up security in Jerusalem on Friday ahead of a declared Palestinian “day of rage” in the holy city. Palestinians and Arab nations made their anger and dismay known after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision was denounced by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who said that the United States had effectively given up its role as arbiter in the peace process in the region.

Thousands protest in Jordan, burn US and Israeli flags
Thousands of protesters have gathered in the Jordanian capital of Amman, one of the largest demonstrations against Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem. The protesters are calling for their government to cut ties with Israel. Local Jordanian media is reporting that protesters in Amman are also burning American and Israeli flags and demand closure of the US embassy in Amman.

Iranians rally against Trump’s Jerusalem move, burn US flags
Hundreds of Iranians took part in rallies across the country on Friday to condemn US President Donald Trump’s decision this week to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, state TV reported. Leaders of Iran, where opposition to Israel and support for the Palestinian cause has been central to foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution, have denounced Trump’s move, including his plan to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

China does U-turn on coal ban to avert heating crisis
China’s government has allowed some northern cities to burn coal in a temporary policy U-turn, as the country faces a heating crisis. Beijing had banned the use of coal for heating this winter in an ambitious plan to reduce pollution. Recent winters had seen heavy smog blanket China’s northern region.

Brexit: ‘Breakthrough’ deal paves way for future trade talks
PM Theresa May has struck a last-minute deal with the EU in a bid to move Brexit talks on to the next phase. There will be no “hard border” with Ireland; and EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU, will see their rights protected. The so-called “divorce bill” will amount to between £35bn and £40bn, the BBC understands.

California wildfires: Nearly 200,000 flee as new blaze spreads
Nearly 200,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes in California as firefighters battle several raging wildfires. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Diego on Thursday after a new blaze spread from 10 acres to 4,100 acres in just a few hours. Three firefighters have been injured and about 500 buildings destroyed.

More than a quarter of millennials say they would replace a human lover with a DROID
As robots become an ever increasing part of our daily lives, humans could soon find love with the machines, according to a new report. The report suggests that over a quarter of 18-34 year-olds will feel it’s normal to form friendships and even romantic relationships with robots in the future instead of humans.

Trump dangles Middle East peace plan to limit Jerusalem outcry
When President Donald Trump told the Palestinian president of his intention to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he assured him a peace plan being put together would please the Palestinians…an apparent effort to limit fallout…Trump sought to temper the blow from his Jerusalem announcement by stressing that the Palestinians stood to gain from the peace plan that Kushner and U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt were crafting…

EU vows push to make Jerusalem capital for Palestinians too
The EU’s top diplomat pledged on Thursday to reinvigorate diplomacy with Russia, the United States, Jordan and others to ensure Palestinians have a capital in Jerusalem after President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital. The European Union, a member of the Middle East Quartet along with the United States, the United Nations and Russia, believes it has a duty to make its voice heard as the Palestinians’ biggest aid donor and Israel’s top trade partner.

Japan to acquire air-launched missiles able to strike North Korea
Japan is to acquire medium-range, air-launched cruise missiles, capable of striking North Korea, a controversial purchase of what will become the longest-range munitions of a country that has renounced the right to wage war. Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera did not refer to North Korea when announcing the planned acquisition and said the new missiles would be for defence, with Japan still relying on the United States to strike any enemy bases.

Report: Influx of Russian Oil Rescues North Korean Economy from Sanctions
A report from Japan’s Asia Press International (API) identifies “massive amounts” of Russian oil entering North Korea, providing a much-needed lifeline as the rest of the world pressures the rogue regime for its consistent nuclear threats with growing sanctions.

RED ALERT: China Warns Of IMMINENT North Korea Nuclear Attack, Issues ‘Duck And Cover’ Pamphlets To Public
According to Express, a Chinese province bordering the diabolical hermit kingdom is preparing for an all-out nuclear holocaust. The government has started to issue pamphlets to the public which depict cartoons instructing citizens what to do and how to stay alive in the event of a sudden atomic strike. It’s a degree of propaganda we haven’t seen since the end of the Cold War.

Justice Department Launches Investigation Into Planned Parenthood Over Sale of Fetal Tissue
The Justice Department has launched a full investigation into Planned Parenthood over their alleged practices of selling fetal tissue.

Trump’s ‘Deep State Advisor’ Reveals Obama Illegally Spied On Him, Leaked It To Washington Post
President Trump’s ‘deep state advisor,’ Blackwater USA founder Erik Prince, revealed during a November 30th testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee, that the Obama administration spied on him and then leaked details to the Washington Post.

Judge Who Presided Over Michael Flynn’s Case and Resigned Today — IS OBAMA APPOINTEE WHO ALSO SITS ON FISA COURT!
On Thursday evening, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras, was recused from former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s criminal case. Emmet G. Sullivan will now oversee over the trial.

ADP Services Reports Largest Number of New Manufacturing Jobs in History – 40,000 New Manufacturing Jobs in November
Payroll company ADP reported the largest monthly increase in manufacturing jobs ever in their history for November!

OOPS: Muslims go nuts as Jewish Menorahs are found on early Islamic coins
Researchers recently discovered that menorahs prominently adorned Muslim coins and vessels during the early Islamic period 1,300 years ago.

In an obvious response to Trump Embassy declaration, ‘Palestinian’ terrorists fire two rockets into southern Israel
Two rockets fired from Gaza Strip hit southern Israel Thursday evening. Warning sirens were sounded in the Shaar Hanegev and Hof Ashkelon (Ashkelon Coast) regional councils in the western Negev Thursday evening. Shortly after the sirens were sounded, an IDF spokesperson reported that two rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.

Siberian Super Volcano Erupts Spewing Scorching Hot Ash 6 Miles Into The Sky
A Siberian super-volcano is worrying scientists after it’s shocking and sudden eruption flung hot ash six miles into the sky. This volcano is one of the most active in Russia.

President Trump Confirms Blooming of Fig Tree
Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is not only the right thing, and the obvious thing, to do, it is a pushback against Islam’s constant attack on our closest ally.

Warning: ‘They Need The Markets To Implode’ To Usher In Cashless System
Market analyst Lynette Zang predicts in the next market meltdown, “real estate, stocks, and bonds will all crash.” When asked when this will happen, Zang says, “Enjoy your Christmas,” but in 2018, all bets are off.

Pope Francis Calls for ‘Offensive’ Lord’s Prayer to Be Scrapped
Pope Francis has called for the Lords’ payer to be scrapped, arguing that the meaning behind the words is “offensive” because the teachings go against the will of the church.

Ahead of Jerusalem Announcement, House Passes Bill Withholding Funding Until Abbas Stops Paying Terrorists
With all eyes on President Trump’s expected Jerusalem policy announcement, the House of Representatives on Tuesday dealt the Palestinian Authority another potential blow by passing legislation withholding funds until the P.A. stops paying terrorists.

Rev. Graham: No President in My Lifetime Has Defended the Christian Faith Like Trump
In reference to remarks made by President Donald Trump at the lighting of the national Christmas tree, Rev. Franklin Graham said no president in his lifetime had taken such a “strong, outspoken stand for the Christian faith” than President Trump and that he needs our prayers.

Universities strive for ‘Christmas’-free campuses
“The holiday season should be considered an opportunity to demonstrate cultural sensitivity and inclusivity.”


46 Earthquakes Have Shaken California Over The Past 24 Hours

It appears that something unusual is happening along the California coastline.  Over the past 24 hours, California has been hit by 46 earthquakes.  That is approximately twice the normal daily number, and much of the shaking has taken place in the southern part of the state.  In recent weeks I have been writing repeatedly about the alarming seismic activity that we have been seeing along the west coast, and many believe that the potential for a megaquake is significantly higher than normal right now.  Unfortunately, most residents of California are not paying any attention to what is going on at all, and so if there is a major event they will be completely blindsided by it. (Read More…)


Bitcoin Bubble: Is Bitcoin Going To $1 Million Or Is it Going To Zero?

The price of Bitcoin continues to rise at an exponential rate, and the financial world is in a complete state of shock.  Just yesterday, I marveled that the price of Bitcoin had surged past the $13,000 mark for the first time ever, but then on Thursday it actually was selling for more than $19,000 at one point.  As I write this, Bitcoin is sitting at $16,877.42, but a few hours from now it could be a couple of thousand dollars higher or lower than that.  Those that got in early on “the Bitcoin revolution” have made extraordinary amounts of money, and many believe that this is just the beginning. (Read More…)


Peter Schiff Warns Of Impending Crash: ‘Everybody Is Going To Get Wiped Out!’

http://www.thedailysheeple.com

This coming crisis will hit everyone in the wallet. Money manager Peter Schiff, who accurately predicted the 2008 financial crisis, can already see the writing on the wall – and he says everyone is going to get wiped out.

Schiff says that this time, gold will explode and the dollar will be wiped out. USA Watch Dog‘s Greg Hunter interviewed Schiff about the impending financial disaster we are facing. Almost ten years after the 2008 meltdown, Schiff had this to say:

“I predicted a lot more than just the stock market going down back then.  I predicted the financial crisis, but more importantly, I predicted what the government would do as a result of the financial crisis and what the consequences of that would be because that’s where we’re headed.  The real crash I wrote about in my most recent book is still coming. . . . This is the third gigantic bubble that the Fed has inflated, and when this one pops, it’s not going to be ‘the third time is a charm.’  It’s going to be ‘three strikes and you’re out.’  I think this bubble is too big to pop.  I think it’s the mother of all bubbles, and when it bursts, there is not a bigger one that the Fed is going to be able to inflate to mask these problems, meaning we can’t kick the can down the road anymore.” Peter Schiff


Mid-Day Snapshot

Dec. 8, 2017

FBI: Deep State Collusion

It’s not just the obstruction of a pro-Hillary official; it’s undisclosed meetings with the fake dossier creator.

The Foundation

“An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.” —Thomas Jefferson (1813)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: December 8

  • U.K., EU Reach an Agreement on Brexit Divorce Terms (Read More)
  • What’s in the Brexit divorce deal? (Read More)
  • China exports growth hits 8-month high, imports defy pollution curbs (Read More)
  • The Bitcoin Whales: 1,000 People Who Own 40 Percent of the Market (Read More)
  • Senator’s Shaky Obamacare Deal Poses Tax Challenge (Read More)
  • Oil edges up on Chinese demand, but weekly losses loom (Read More)
  • Stunning Bitcoin Swings Promise Stop-and-Start Futures Sessions (Read More)
  • JPMorgan’s Dimon taking customer pricing hints from Amazon (Read More)
  • In Bel Air, Wildfires Destroy Multimillion-Dollar Homes (Read More)
  • Mueller Makes Sure His Investigation Will Live On Even If He’s Fired  (Read More)

Headlines – 12/8/2017

Hezbollah leader: Trump move ‘a second Balfour Declaration’

PM Netanyahu on American recognition: ‘I told Trump he was making history’

Former US ambassador slams ‘heavy breathing’ over Jerusalem… critics of Jerusalem decision overreacting. ‘This isn’t the second coming of Harry Truman recognizing Israel.’

At White House Hanukkah party, Trump celebrates his Jerusalem decision

Celebrating Hanukkah, Trump lauds ‘enduring bond’ with Israel

Ambassador Nikki Haley says Trump admin. not seeking concessions from Israel after recognition of Jerusalem. ‘This was our decision.’

At East Jerusalem enclave, some Jews happier with Trump than with Netanyahu

After Trump speech, Fatah official says Pence ‘unwanted in Palestine’

Report: US warns Palestinians not to cancel peace talks with VP Pence

Trump dangles Middle East peace plan to limit Jerusalem outcry

‘Who is Trump to determine our future? Jerusalem is Palestinian’

Israel on high alert for ‘day of rage,’ but no Temple Mount restrictions

Nasrallah: Trump humiliated 1.5 billion Muslims

Iraq militia threatens US forces after Trump Jerusalem move

Putin ‘deeply concerned’ over US Jerusalem recognition

Erdogan, Putin say US decision on Jerusalem will have negative impact on region

Erdogan speaks to Pope Francis over US Jerusalem move – Both agree that any attempt to change the city’s status quo should be avoided

9 out of 11 former US envoys to Israel oppose Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

Arabs, Europe, U.N. reject Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Europe, Arabs to unite against Israel at UN Security Council

EU vows push to make Jerusalem capital for Palestinians too

Israel strikes Gaza militant posts after rockets fired at Israel: army

Iran-sponsored hackers have targeted Israel, Saudis, Turkey since 2014

Russia says ready for talks with US to try to save arms pact

Syria war: UN rebukes Russia and Iran over evacuations

Chronicler of Islamic State ‘killing machine’ goes public

World leaders to ‘re-legitimize’ Lebanon’s Hariri at Paris talks

In series of tweets, minister says what is happening in Yemen is ‘annihilation’

President Putin to visit Egypt next week to discuss expanding ties

Former Argentine president charged with treason over Iran deal

Report: Influx of Russian Oil Rescues North Korean Economy from Sanctions

Russia chides Tillerson over US rhetoric on North Korea

Tillerson says Ukraine is a sticking point in US-Russia ties

Lavrov: US pressure on Russian diplomats and media is unacceptable

‘Over 10,000 texts’ between ex-Mueller team officials found, after discovery of anti-Trump messages

In year of chaos, Trump’s boost to economy can’t be denied

Millions would lose mortgage, gift write-offs under U.S. tax bill: study

The richest 1 percent now owns more of the country’s wealth since 50 years

Warning: ‘They Need The Markets To Implode’ To Usher In Cashless System

6.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Fais, Micronesia

6.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Fais, Micronesia

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

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Fais, Micronesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Lautoka, Fiji

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near the Kuril Islands

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Rare snowfall, frigid temperatures in South and East Texas

Nearly 200,000 people flee homes as fifth wildfire erupts in California

Planned Parenthood under investigation by Justice Department over sale of fetal tissue

Genes linked to homosexuality discovered by scientists

Australian prime minister rushes gay marriage into law

Gay marriage becomes law in Australia; weddings start in Jan

Franken takes swipe at Trump as he quits US Senate – notes ‘irony’ that man ‘who bragged on tape’ of assault sits in Oval Office

Commentary: Al Franken isn’t sorry

It’s an ecumenical celebration of winter festivals in Open Holidays

Most Western Europeans No Longer Believe in Heaven and Hell, Survey Finds

Are Earthlings alone? Half of humans believe in alien life

Book Review – Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently About the People and the Land 

Joyce Meyer — A Prisoner of Heresy

When a Church Misses THE Entire Point of Christ’s Incarnation

Died: ‘God’s Smuggler’ and ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ Coauthor John Sherrill

Prophet Who Says He Visited Heaven After Heart Attack Charged With Running Prostitution Ring

7 Christian Missionaries Arrested After Hindus Accuse Them of ‘Forcible Conversion’ in India

Prophet Who Says He Visited Heaven After Heart Attack Charged With Running Prostitution Ring

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 06:24 PM PST

Prophet Who Says He Visited Heaven After Heart Attack Charged With Running Prostitution RingA 55-year-old self-styled prophet from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, who said he went to heaven one Christmas after a heart attack, was charged Wednesday for using the telephone number of his ministry to run a house of prostitution which he fronted as a massage parlor.  Prosecutors in Tulsa County allege the Rev. Walter Eugene Brazington Jr., of the All Nations Ministry Evangelistic Team attempted to “encourage, induce or persuade women to become inmates of a house of prostitution,” according to

documents cited by the Tulsa World. He was also charged with possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony.  Tiffany Ann Roach, 40, an HIV positive woman who investigators caught negotiating with a client at the prophet’s business, was also arrested. Brazington explained on his ministry’s website that he was directed by the Lord to preach the Gospel during his heavenly visit in 2008. READ MORE

Heavy winds and dry air could extend California wildfire for weeks

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 06:16 PM PST

Heavy winds and dry air could extend California wildfire for weeksGusty Santa Ana winds and bone-dry conditions continued to stoke major wildfires in Southern California on Thursday as Ventura County fire officials said the battle there could last well over a week. “Until the wind stops blowing, there’s really not a lot we can do as far as controlling the perimeter,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said as crews battled the 96,000-acre Thomas fire. “This is a fight we’re going to be fighting probably for a couple of weeks.”

That grim outlook came just hours after authorities said they discovered the body of a woman in a burn area, and after heavy winds prompted residents to flee the coastal community of Faria Beach. As smoke billowed overhead and palm trees burned, a police officer drove through the settlement with a megaphone blaring: “Mandatory evacuation” and “Please go the other way, the road is closed.” In Ojai, 40-mph winds pushed flames to within a mile of the city. READ MORE

US deploys “Nuke Sniffer” as North Korea may be on verge of detonating bomb

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 06:02 PM PST

US deploys “Nuke Sniffer” as North Korea may be on verge of detonating bombNorth Korea may be about to detonate a nuclear bomb as the US has deployed its “nuke sniffer” spy plane. Nuclear explosion tracker Constant Phoenix has gone airborne amid the missile feud between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. War fears loom as 230 US jets and around 12,000 soldiers carry out drills on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has warned the drill puts the world of the brink of

nuclear war, and warned it will not hide from conflict with the US. Constant Phoenix has been deployed in the region multiple times this year to monitor Kim. Dozens of missiles have been fired and a hydrogen bomb detonated by North Korea this year in its worsening feud with Trump.The spy plane often takes to the air when there are growing fears of a nuclear blast – earlier this year flying over Europe to investigate a radiation cloud. READ MORE

Pope desires to change words to the “Lord’s Prayer”

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 05:38 PM PST

Pope desires to change words to the “Lord’s Prayer”Pope Francis has said he wants to change the interpretation of ‘Our Father’, the best-known prayer in Christianity. The Pontiff said the Roman Catholic Church should adopt a better translation of the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation’ in the Italian version of the Lord’s Prayer.  He said the current phrasing, which is the same in English and many other languages, suggests that it is God who has a choice to lead us into temptation or not.

‘That is not a good translation, because it speaks of a God who induces temptation’,’ the pope said in a television interview on Wednesday night.  Francis said the Catholic Church in France had opted for a different phrasing, which worked around this particular issue. The French translation uses the phrase ‘do not let us fall into temptation’ as an alternative, which, the Pope said, implies that the fault would be human. READ MORE

46 Earthquakes Rock California In Past 24 Hours

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 05:32 PM PST

46 Earthquakes Rock California In Past 24 HoursIt appears that something unusual is happening along the California coastline.  Over the past 24 hours, California has been hit by 46 earthquakes.  That is approximately twice the normal daily number, and much of the shaking has taken place in the southern part of the state.  In recent weeks I have been writing repeatedly about the alarming seismic activity that we have been seeing along the west coast, and many believe that the potential for a megaquake is significantly higher than normal right now.  Unfortunately,

most residents of California are not paying any attention to what is going on at all, and so if there is a major event they will be completely blindsided by it.  When a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck near Julian, California on Wednesday, that immediately got my attention, and that quake was followed very rapidly by several others… The shaking began at 4:33 p.m. on Wednesday when a 4.0 quake occurred nearly 10 miles beneath the earth’s surface, just east of the Earthquake Valley fault, one of the most active systems in Southern California. The temblor had originally been listed at 4.2. READ MORE

Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration ‘Enormous Step Towards Bringing Third Temple’

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 11:10 AM PST

Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration ‘Enormous Step Towards Bringing Third Temple’President Donald Trump’s epic proclamation on Wednesday acknowledging Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people was a major step towards establishing the Third Temple and bringing the Messianic era, said a number of Jewish activists working to rebuild the Holy Temple. “What he did last night was an enormous step in bringing the Temple,” Asaf Fried, official spokesman for the United

Temple Movement, an association of organizations working towards making the Third Temple a reality, told Breaking Israel News. He added, “This necessarily had to come from a non-Jew in order to bring them into the process, so they will be able to take their part in the Temple.” Fried compared Trump’s role to that of Cyrus, the Persian King who ended the Babylonian exile and helped build the Second Jewish Temple. Fried cited Proverbs to emphasize this point. READ MORE

An asteroid big enough to destroy New York just missed Earth and even NASA didn’t notice

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 10:56 AM PST

An asteroid big enough to destroy New York just missed Earth and even NASA didn’t noticeAn asteroid that had the potential to wreak havoc on Earth recently whizzed passed us and space boffins had no idea it was coming.  The asteroid, known as 2017 VL2, shot by Earth on November 9 and experts did not find out about it until a day later. The space rock flew by just 73,000 miles from our planet – which is a third of the distance between Earth and the moon. Experts believe the asteroid is between 16 and 32 meters long, and if it hit Earth, it would have had the potential to flatten a city such as New York.

A recent investigation from Science Alert found that if a 12-meter asteroid were to hit New York it could destroy buildings within six kilometers of the impact. As the 2017 VL2 asteroid is almost three times the size of Science Alert’s hypothetical rock, it could cause three times the damage. Asteroid 2017 VL2 was observed at ATLAS-MLO, Mauna Loa, Hawaii and is only the 48th known asteroid to have flown within one lunar distance – READ MORE

The Virgin Birth Is Not “Fake News”

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 10:37 AM PST

The Virgin Birth Is Not “Fake News”(By J. Lee Grady) My wife and I have four daughters, and I was in the hospital room for each birth. There was a normal amount of blood, but no serious complications. Our oldest took forever to be born. Our second was in such a hurry that we thought she might end up on the floor of a hospital hallway. Our third tied her umbilical cord in knots in the womb. And our youngest calmly slipped out as if to say: “OK, I’m born. What’s next?” I had very little to do in the delivery room. My wife was the hero. She sweated, strained, pushed and gasped for hours. I stroked her arm a few times—and ate some doughnuts.

Normal births are amazing, whether they occur in hospitals or homes or the back seats of taxis. But when I consider the birth of Jesus, I’m in total awe—not just because of Mary and Joseph’s bumpy ride from Nazareth, Mary’s lack of a doctor (and anesthesia!) and the crudeness of the manger, but also because of how Jesus was conceived. Mary was a virgin. Joseph, the “father,” had nothing to do but stand in the background. Secularists and liberal theologians have mocked the virgin birth for centuries. Thomas Jefferson called it a fable, while Episcopal heretic John Shelby Spong called it an “entrance myth.” READ MORE

Nasrallah calls for support of new Palestinian Intifada

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 10:24 AM PST

Nasrallah calls for support of new Palestinian IntifadaIn a speech on Thursday evening Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah waded into the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While supporting a new Palestinian intifada, he condemned the American decision and called on Lebanese not to have dealings with Israel. Nasrallah said that he sought to lay out clearly the dangers of the US decision and what would be the best response. The Hezbollah leader is at the peak of his power in Lebanon, eleven years after the Second Lebanon war.

He compared Trump’s decision to the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago, accusing Israel of never accepting international law and seeking to “Judaize Jerusalem.” Although at the end of his speech he said he supported a new Palestinian intifada, most of the discussion was focused on practical responses. Nasrallah sought to emphasize that the US had held back Israel in the past, according to a series of translated tweets by David Daoud, a research analyst on Hezbollah at United Against a Nuclear Iran. He accused the US of endings its practice of being a check on Israel’s actions, and accused the US of recognizing both east and west Jerusalem as “belonging to Israel.” READ MORE

Supersonic jets on ‘secret missions’ causing mystery booms across US

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 10:18 AM PST

Supersonic jets on ‘secret missions’ causing mystery booms across USMysterious “booms” that have been shaking US cities may be caused by supersonic aircraft on secret missions.  The loud and unexplained sounds have been heard dozens of times across the country from New Jersey to Colorado for months. In mid-November, shocked residents in Alabama were left so alarmed by the noise they even called the cops to investigate. They dubbed it the “‘Bama Boom”, saying

it was so powerful it actually shook houses and left windows rattling. However, NASA and the US Geological Survey said they had no idea what was causing the booms, saying they could only theorise. But now it is thought supersonic aircraft are most likely responsible after more booms were heard on Wednesday in in Texas. After a number of loud explosions, a Fort Hood spokesman confirmed live-fire exercises and B-1 “Lancer” bombers were responsible. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: At least 3 Dead and 12 injured after shooting at New Mexico school…

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 10:07 AM PST

DEVELOPING: At least 3 Dead and 12 injured after shooting at New Mexico school…At least three people are dead and more than a dozen are injured after a gunman opened fire at a northern New Mexico high school Thursday morning, law enforcement officials said.  San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen told reporters three people believed to be students died Thursday at Aztec High School. He said the shooter also was dead but didn’t say if the suspect was among the three. The school

is located in the Four Corners region and is near the Navajo Nation, about 180 miles north of Albuquerque. “It’s tragic when our children are harmed in violent ways especially on school campuses. We express our condolences to those families who have been harmed,” Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, said in a press release. READ MORE

Investor warns ‘Gold price will explode & dollar get wiped out’

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 09:54 AM PST

Investor warns ‘Gold price will explode & dollar get wiped out’

Peter Schiff was among the few economists who correctly predicted the financial crisis in 2008. Ten years later, he sees another crisis emerging: a crisis that can crash the stock market and wipe out the US dollar.  “I predicted a lot more than just the stock market going down back then. I predicted the financial crisis, but more importantly, I predicted what the government would do as a result of the financial crisis and what the consequences of that would be because that’s where we’re headed. The real crash I wroteabout in my most recent book is still coming,”Schiff said in an article posted by Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com and quoted by ZeroHedge.   According to Schiff, the US Fed has inflated a gigantic bubble, which is impossible to pop, but when it bursts, the consequences would be very painful for the economy and much bigger than the 2008 meltdown. “I think this bubble is too big to pop. I think it’s the mother of all bubbles, and when it bursts, there is not a bigger one that the Fed is going to be able to inflate to mask these problems, meaning we can’t kick the can down the road anymore. This time, the crisis is going to hit everyone in the wallet,” he said. READ MORE

Rabbis tell Trump: ‘You are fulfilling prophecies’

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 09:45 AM PST

Rabbis tell Trump: ‘You are fulfilling prophecies’Some 250 Israeli rabbis, including Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, sent a thank you letter to US President Donald Trump praising him for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  The letter, intiated by the Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and delivered by Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, told the American president, “You have a rare privilege to be the first

president to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel.”  “We are privileged to be living in a generation that is repeatedly witnessing the words of the prophets coming true,” said the rabbis, “Jews have made aliyah and are continuing to come to the land of Israel from all corners of the world. Israel triumphs over its enemies time after time, the mountains of Israel offer generous bounty and the economy is booming.”  READ MORE

Academic journal warns against Eating meat, Promotes “toxic masculinity”

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 07:21 AM PST

Academic journal warns against Eating meat, Promotes “toxic masculinity”An academic journal has published an article by a Ph.D. candidate at Pennsylvania State University that argues eating meat maintains a society where “hegemonic masculinity” is the norm. Anne DeLessio-Parson, whose article was published in Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, based her research on Argentina’s “meat-centric” culture. “I contend that in such a context, we cannot separate the ways people ‘do vegetarianism’ from how they ‘do gender,’” Anne DeLessio-Parson wrote.

“Doing vegetarianism in interactions drives social change, contributing to the de-linking of meat from gender hegemony and revealing the resisting and reworking of gender in food spaces.” DeLessio-Parson theorizes that being a vegetarian in the South American nation is a political act that contributes to the destabilization of the gender binary, or the view that there are only two sexes, masculine and feminine. READ MORE

First Living Tattoos Created By MIT Scientists

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 06:28 AM PST

First Living Tattoos Created By MIT ScientistsTattoos are all the rage at MIT these days: researchers at the university have recently produced prototypes that point to the future of biotech, from electronic tattoos that serve as interfaces to tattoos that change color based on body chemistry.  The latest? A tattoo made of living ink–genetically programmed cells that activate when exposed to different types of stimuli. While right now that means

they light up when they come in contact with particular molecular compounds, there are exciting potential applications: the tattoos could be designed so that they respond to environmental pollutants or changes in temperature. That means that sometime in the future, we could all be walking around with living, responsive tattoos that tell us when it’s not safe to go outside because air pollution levels are dangerous, or even just act as a temperature gauge right on your body.  READ MORE

Rare Snow Storm To Blanket Texas and Mexico

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 06:19 AM PST

Rare Snow Storm To Blanket Texas and MexicoSnow will blanket parts of northern Mexico through Friday, giving areas south of the border the first snow of the season before some cities in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast. Cold air has already plunged down the Plains, crossing the Rio Grande River into northern Mexico. A reinforcing blast of cold air is just now arriving. As that happens, a potent jet stream disturbance is now pushing over the region,

providing lift and moisture in the atmosphere for precipitation in northern Mexico and West Texas. Up to an inch of snow was measured in grassy areas in Brackettville, Texas, about 115 miles west of San Antonio, Thursday morning. Snow was also seen covering grassy areas in Eagle Pass, Texas, along the Rio Grande Valley between Del Rio and Laredo. READ MORE

Chris Matthews: ‘Crazy’ Evangelicals ‘Don’t Understand’ the Situation in Israel

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 06:12 AM PST

Chris Matthews: ‘Crazy’ Evangelicals ‘Don’t Understand’ the Situation in IsraelWednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” while discussing President Donald Trump’s expected announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, “Hardball” host Chris Matthews said evangelical Christians have “crazy ideas” and “mythical” beliefs about Israel.  Matthews said, “Deaths are coming now because of this. You can just bet the next few weeks we’ll have hell to pay for this totally erratic decision by this president. Every party who has had the White House since 48 has recognized you

have to be careful over there.”  He added, “Don’t think this isn’t related to Alabama next week. It is related. Because it’s the Christian Evangelicals down there with their crazy ideas about Israel which is, I don’t know, mythical. They don’t understand the situation over there, how tricky it is ethnically and tribally. They don’t care because it’s a religious belief. Trump is playing into that this week you watch him.” READ MORE

Arabs, Europe and UN reject Trump recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital…

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 05:58 AM PST

Arabs, Europe and UN reject Trump recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital…Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washington was abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator. The European Union and United Nations also voiced alarm at U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and its repercussions for any chances of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

Major U.S. allies came out against Trump’s reversal of decades of U.S. and broad international policy on Jerusalem. France rejected the “unilateral” decision while appealing for calm in the region. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state. Germany said Jerusalem’s status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution. READ MORE

200,000 Californians flee homes as wind whips wildfires closer to LA

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 05:52 AM PST

200,000 Californians flee homes as wind whips wildfires closer to LAThe relentless wind-whipped wildfires ravaging Southern California are expected to worsen Thursday, as dangerous winds are forecast to fan the flames in different directions and force new evacuations around the second-largest city in the U.S.  Winds on Thursday topped 50 mph already in the greater Los Angeles area, keeping residents across the region wary as more than 200,000 people have been forced from their

homes and nearly 200 homes and buildings have been destroyed since the fires broke out late Sunday. “We are in the beginning of a protracted wind event,” Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), told the Los Angeles Times. “There will be no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds.”  READ MORE

Illinois Boy Who Identifies as Girl Sues to Use Girls’ Locker Room to Change for Gym Class

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 05:43 AM PST

Illinois Boy Who Identifies as Girl Sues to Use Girls’ Locker Room to Change for Gym ClassAn Illinois teenager who was born male but identifies as female has filed a lawsuit against his school district as he claims that he has been prohibited from using the girls’ locker room for gym class. The district says that the legal challenge does not correctly cite the accommodations that have been offered to the student. The 18-year-old, who goes by the name Nova Maday, says that he is unhappy with the outcome of talks with Township High School District 211 and asserts that that he has to use either the

nurse’s office or a separate single-user locker room at Palatine High School to change his clothes. “I just want to be treated like every other girl in our school,” Maday said in a statement after filing suit on Thursday. “Even after the school district agreed to allow another transgender student to use the locker rooms in her school, they have resisted and made things harder for me. I just want to be able to get dressed for P.E. class without having to jump through a bunch of hoops.”  READ MORE

Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez, Mike Huckabee and Jentezen Franklin All Agree On This One Thing

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 05:38 AM PST

Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez, Mike Huckabee and Jentezen Franklin All Agree On This One ThingAfter news broke President Donald Trump would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there, evangelicals rushed to praise him. Here’s a sampling:

Gov. Mike Huckabee, honorary national chairman of My Faith Votes:

For over two decades American presidents have talked the good talk on Israel. But when it’s come to taking action, they’ve hesitated and kicked the can down the road instead of standing with our ally and recognizing its right to call Jerusalem its capital. Today, President Donald Trump did what his predecessors didn’t have the courage to do: recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. In so doing, he set two great examples for us—how to make good on promises and how to treat your friends. There is no brighter beacon of democracy in the Middle East than Israel, and President Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem as its capital reinforces—for the whole world to see—the truth that it has a right to exist. Christians in America should be proud that one of our closest allies, also the ancient homeland of our Judeo-Christian faith, exudes tolerance, steadiness and strength in a region too often marked by all the reliability of deserts full of shifting sand.

Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas:
Jerusalem is and should be recognized as the capital of Israel. It is David’s capital, the site of the first and second temples, the focus of the historians’ accounts, the psalmists’ songs and the prophets’ visions. It is the place where Jesus, a Jew himself, was crucified and where he was resurrected. It is the place where he will set foot again on earth at his second coming.President Donald J. Trump has demonstrated true leadership today by recognizing Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of Israel. President Trump is a modern-day profile in courage, accomplishing what no other president has been willing to do. It took courage for President Harry S. Truman to recognize Israel as a nation in 1948, and it took courage for President Donald J. Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel today. He is a blessing not only to our nation but to Israel as well. Jerusalem has been the object of the affection of both Jews and Christians down through history and the touchstone of prophecy. But most importantly, God gave Jerusalem—and the rest of the Holy Land—to the Jewish people. CONTINUE

WAR DRUMS: China preparing to join forces with North Korea

Posted: 07 Dec 2017 05:34 AM PST

WAR DRUMS: China preparing to join forces with North KoreaChina has started preparing its military to support North Korea if World War 3 breaks out with the US, a military expert revealed. The People’s Liberation Army of China has been conducting military exercises on the Korean border in preparation for war breaking out between the US and North Korea. The fear of

war between the two countries has risen over the past several months after China’s neighbor carried out a number of illegal missile tests and threatened to target the US territory of Guam with a nuclear missile. Following the announcement regarding China’s new military drills, military expert Li Jie has given her verdict as to who the country would side within any future conflict. READ MORE


What is The Gospel?


Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

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:

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?


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Friday’s Featured Sermon: “The Nature of the Incarnation, Part 1”

Hebrews 1:1-2

Code: B171208

What do you think about as Christmas approaches? Do you anticipate the gifts you’ve been hoping for—all neatly wrapped under a shiny tree? Maybe you’re excited about time off work and the gathering of family members.

For many of us, it’s the more spiritual traditions that excite us the most: Christmas carols in church, nativity scenes in the neighborhood, and the gospel narratives chronicling the birth of Christ. Christmas certainly should be about celebrating the miracle of God becoming flesh and dwelling among us. But our theology of the incarnation needs to go beyond what we learn from the birth scene in Bethlehem.

In his sermon “The Nature of the Incarnation, Part 1,” John MacArthur points us toward the New Testament epistles to consider the significance of Christ’s incarnation.

When the gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus Christ are over, it doesn’t mark the end of the discussion. As you get into the epistles of the New Testament, you find the writers often go back to show the divine perspective. They don’t talk about angels. They don’t talk about shepherds. They don’t talk about wise men. They don’t talk about Joseph. They don’t even talk about Mary. They don’t talk about Bethlehem. They don’t talk about a stable. They don’t talk about a manger or a feed trough. They don’t talk about animals. They don’t talk about a star. They don’t talk about Herod. They don’t talk about the slaughter of the innocents. When the epistles look back to the birth of Jesus Christ, all they ever talk about is Jesus Christ.

The gospel accounts of Christ’s birth certainly provide important information. But it is in the epistles where we learn about Christ’s eternal origins. They reveal what Jesus accomplished through His life, death, and resurrection. And they display Christ’s triumphant superiority over everything else in the universe. It is after the gospels that we gain the fullest understanding of Christ’s incarnation.

“The Nature of the Incarnation, Part 1” explores one of the most profound passages from an epistle concerning the arrival of Jesus in human form.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:1–3)

John’s sermon focuses on that divine perspective of the incarnation. He works through the text to reveal the preparation of Christ prior to His taking on flesh and blood, the presentation of Christ to the world He created, and the preeminence of Christ over all that He has created.

If we are to properly understand Christmas, we need to comprehend the incarnation from God’s perspective. We need to grasp His sovereign purposes in entering humanity. To that end, John’s message unveils the heavenly side of the Christmas story. Moreover, it arms us with a bigger story to share and proclaim this time of year.

Click here to listen to “The Nature of the Incarnation, Part 1.”

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B171208
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Albert Mohler Blog: “Far as the Curse is Found”

This essay is the text of the commencement address preached by President R. Albert Mohler, Jr. at the December 8, 2017 commencement ceremony at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Isaac Watts led in the development of hymns in the English tradition, drawing many of his hymn texts directly from the Psalms. “Joy to the World” is based upon Psalm 98, which declares creation’s joy when the Lord comes to rule and to judge. When we sing “Joy to the World, the Lord is Come,” it applies when we talk about Bethlehem and when we rejoice in the gift of the infant Christ. But the song also reminds us that Christmas isn’t over; the promises of Christmas are not yet fulfilled. Earth will fully receive her King when Christ comes again, to reign and to rule.”

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