Daily Archives: December 17, 2017

December 17 Christ’s Superior Destiny

“To which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet’? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:13–14).

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The destiny of Jesus Christ is that ultimately everything in the universe will be subject to Him.

At the name of Jesus every knee [will] bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth” (Phil. 2:10). This great promise confirms that Jesus Christ is destined to be the ruler of the universe.

Yet notice this about Christ’s rule: “When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the one who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28). Christ is subordinate to His Father, but only in His role as the Son. While the eternal Son is equally divine, He is officially in subjection to God.

Eventually God will put all kingdoms, authorities, and powers of the world in subjection under Christ when He comes in glory at His Second Coming. “He will rule [the nations] with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS’” (Rev. 19:15–16). Christ’s eternal destiny is to reign over the new heavens and the new earth.

But what about the angels? While Christ has the greater destiny, it is their destiny to serve forever those who will inherit salvation (Heb. 1:14)—and that’s us!

Angels protect and deliver believers from temporal danger. They rescued Lot and his family from the destruction of Sodom. They went into the lions’ den with Daniel and protected him. In addition to being forever in God’s presence, our destiny is to be served by angels forever—service that begins at the moment of our salvation.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the many ways He takes care of you—by saving you, having Christ intercede for you, giving you the Holy Spirit to teach you, and sending His angels to serve you.

For Further Study: Read 2 Kings 6:8–23, and note the amazing way that angels served the prophet Elisha.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 364). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

DECEMBER 17 CHRISTIANS NEED EACH OTHER

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

1 PETER 1:19

In the Lord’s instructions to Israel concerning the preparation for the Passover in Egypt we clearly see a foreshadowing of the communal quality of the Christian life: “Take every man a lamb, according to the house of your fathers.”

A lamb for a house—the chosen lamb of that particular family. But when John the Baptist appeared, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” A lamb for each family was one thing—but they were all pointing to this great Lamb, which was not Israel’s lamb at all, but the Lamb of God!

Yes, there is a blessed communal quality in the Christian faith and I add that “communal” is a beautiful word that has been ruined for us by communism. There is a sense in which the people of the Lord are a people apart, belonging to each other in a sense in which they do not belong to anyone else.

I do not hesitate to say that Christians belong to each other more than they belong to their country. I will also say to you, good wives and husbands in the faith, that you belong to Jesus Christ first and to husbands and wives second.

And to you who have Christian children, that those children belong to God first, and to you second. This is where we stand for we belong to each other in the communal family of God first!

As believers we discover there is a kingdom within the kingdoms of this world. A new people within the old. A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a chosen generation—Christians sharing together in the Lamb of God, precious to one another![1]


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

December 16-17 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

News – 12/17/2017

Deadly attack on Methodist church in Pakistan
A suicide bomb and gun attack on a Methodist church in Pakistan has killed at least five people, reports say. The attack happened in the city of Quetta, some 65km (40 miles) from the border with Afghanistan. More than a dozen people were also wounded after gunmen wearing explosive vests tried to enter the building.

Tens of thousands of Indonesians rally over Trump’s Jerusalem stance
Tens of thousands of Muslims marched from the main mosque in Indonesia’s capital to a square in Jakarta on Sunday to protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It was the biggest protest in Indonesia since Trump’s controversial move earlier this month to reverse decades of US policy. Police estimated the number attending the rally, organized by various Muslim groups, at about 80,000.

Chile: Landslide destroys village and kills at least five
A landslide caused by torrential rain has killed at least five people in southern Chile and has destroyed dozens of houses. Fifteen people are missing in the remote village of Villa Santa Lucía in the country’s lake region, popular with tourists. President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency in the area.

Pentagon ran secret multi-million dollar UFO programme
The Pentagon has been running a secret multi-million dollar programme to investigate Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), US media report. Only a small number of officials were aware of the programme, which began in 2007 and was reportedly closed in 2012. The New York Times says documents from the operation describe strange speeding aircraft and hovering objects.

Winds fuel California wildfire, state’s 3rd largest on record
A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state’s third largest blaze on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly fire since the beginning of the month. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in coastal communities in Southern California since erupting on Dec. 4…

Ancient Biblical city ‘destroyed by earthquake 1,400 YEARS ago’ found INTACT underwater
The Greek city, which was rebuilt in 44BC by Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, holds major significance for Christians. Jesus’s disciple Paul is said to have visited there and wrote two letters about his time in Corinth – featured in the New Testament. Just days ago, another group of archaeologists in Italy were amazed to discover the historic resort of Baiae in perfect condition.

The sun is blank, NASA data shows it to be dimming
As the sun gets successively more blank with each day, due to lack of sunspots, it is also dimming. According to data from NASA’s Spaceweather, so far in 2017, 96 days (27%) of the days observing the sun have been without sunspots…Across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, the sun’s output has dropped nearly 0.1% compared to the Solar Maximum of 2012-2014.

Mueller “Improperly” Obtained “Tens of Thousands” Of Trump Transition Emails
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has taken possession of “many tens of thousands” of emails from the Trump transition team, obtained through the General Services Administration – the government agency responsible for hosting the transition email system which used a “ptt.gov” address, and which according to a Trump lawyer were improperly obtained through “unlawful conduct.”

China inserts itself into Jerusalem debate
A new player has entered the Holy Land conflict, and it is taking sides in the debate over Jerusalem. China has now formally declared its support for an independent Palestinian state, premised upon the pre-1967 borders. China has also said East Jerusalem should be the capital of the new state.

Is the UN planning to occupy the US following an EMP attack?
Mike Adams recently wrote an article in which he reported what is now sinking in with the rest of the media, namely, North Korea has a hydrogen bomb and advanced EMP weapons. Allow this to serve as a backdrop for the following article, which makes the case that the UN is operating on US soil, in places like Rawlins, Wyoming and Hagerstown, Maryland, and they are prepared to survive an EMP attack prior to asserting their authority over the people of the United States.

Christmas Is Canceled: Nazareth’s Muslim Mayor Bans Traditional Christmas Celebrations in Christ’s Childhood Home
The Muslim mayor of Nazareth has cancelled traditional outdoor songs and plays celebrating Christmas in the city where Jesus spent his childhood.

Israeli Sanhedrin Prepares Oil for Temple Menorah, Fulfilling Amos Prophecy on Jewish Land
…In preparation for the Third Temple, the nascent Sanhedrin and the United Temple Movement (UTM) under the auspices of the Mount Zion Association annually prepares olive oil that is ritually pure and ready for use in the Temple, but this year, the olives were harvested from a special orchard, intended to send a special light into the world that adheres to a prophecy with current-day political ramifications.

PM NETANYAHU LAYS DOWN THE LAW: Time for ‘Palestinians’ to accept reality, Jerusalem is Israel’s and Israel’s alone
Netanyahu responds to Abbas’ rejection of US as mediator in peace negotiations. ‘Only Israel maintains freedom of worship in Middle East.’

The Media’s Reign Of Error Exposed
“The errors always run in the same direction – they report or imply that the Trump campaign was in league with Moscow… For a politicized and overwhelmingly liberal press corps, the wish that this story be true is obviously the father to the errors.”

EUROPE IS BROKEN: EU begins court action against Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic for not taking enough Muslim migrants
“EU officials announced they have begun court action against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic over their opposition to the bloc’s mandatory relocation scheme. The decision is likely to provoke a furious response from the leaders of the three states, which have all argued that the programme presents a security threat to their citizens.”

Turkey WAR THREAT against ‘terror state’ Israel over Donald Trump Jerusalem move
TURKEY has appeared to issue a war threat against Israel after Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the country’s capital.

As usual, Canadian PM Trudeau stands with the Muslims and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel
Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada will not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will not move Canada’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the Jewish State’s capital.

SUPPORTING HIS TROOPS: Trump signs $700 billion defense bill, gives US troops largest pay raise in yearsThe NDAA calls for a $700 billion Pentagon budget and includes a 2.4-percent pay raise for troops, an increase in the number of troops, and increased spending for aircraft and ships as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.

PATHETIC: Trudeau Government Calls Jihadis ‘Returning Foreign Terrorist Travellers’
It is amazing that they included the word “terrorist.” It wouldn’t have been surprising if they had labeled them “foreign travellers suffering from islamophobia.” In any case, this is all part of what the Geller Report reported on Wednesday, that “Prime Minister Trudeau plans to ‘reintegrate’ ISIS terrorists into Canada.” To downplay the dangers they pose and present them as any kind of “foreign traveller” is myopic to the point of suicide.

Russia fines pastor for holding Bible study
Russia, which earlier this year was recommended to the U.S. State Department as a “country of particular concern” regarding religious rightsnow is being taken to an international human rights court over its treatment of a Baptist missionary…

Bombshell: “The House Is Going To Be Rocked In The Next 72 Hours… Over A Dozen Congressional Members May Resign” Over Sex Scandals
What started as an attack on then-candidate Donald J. Trump leading into the 2016 Presidential election appears to have been flipped completely on its head as scores of media, music, movie and political resignations over sex scandals have left shock waves across the country.


Headlines – 12/16/2017

Exclusive: Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers
A well-known women’s rights lawyer sought to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, according to documents and interviews. California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill.

Sources: Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia
Sabih al-Masri, a Palestinian billionaire and the chairman of Jordan’s largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. They said Masri, a Saudi citizen and Jordan’s most prominent businessman with holdings in hotels and banking, was detained after heading to the Saudi capital last week to chair meetings of companies he owns.

North Korea must earn right to talks, says US Secretary of State Tillerson
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said North Korea must “earn its way back to the table” for negotiations between the two countries to restart. Mr Tillerson said Pyongyang had to carry out a “sustained cessation” of weapons testing before any talks. It is a U-turn from comments made earlier this week, when Mr Tillerson said the US was “ready to talk any time time North Korea would like to talk”.

Australia abuse: Archbishop rejects call to report confessions
A senior member of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has rejected a key recommendation of a landmark inquiry into child sex abuse. It said priests should report abuse confided to them, even in the secret context of the confessional. But the archbishop of Melbourne said any priest who broke the seal of confession would be excommunicated.

Jerusalem: Palestinians killed in fresh clashes with Israel
Three Palestinians have died in Gaza during clashes with Israeli troops near the border, Palestinian officials say. More than 100 were hurt in Gaza and the occupied West Bank amid fresh protests over Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In the West Bank, an Israeli policeman was wounded in a Palestinian knife-attack, Israeli police say. He was shot and died later.

US tax bill: Republicans agree sweeping changes
US Republicans from both houses of Congress have revealed their joint bill for the biggest overhaul of the country’s tax system in 30 years. The plan brings the US corporate tax rate down to 21% from the current 35%. The top individual income tax drops to 37% from 39.6%. President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to cut taxes, and passing the legislation marks a significant victory.

Trump to remove ‘climate change’ as a national security threat
The Trump administration will reverse course from previous Obama administration policy, eliminating climate change from a list of national security threats. The National Security Strategy to be released on Monday will emphasize the importance of balancing energy security with economic development and environmental protection, according to a source who has seen the document and shared excerpts of a late draft.

‘Free-for-all’ at U.S. border reveals disturbing trend
The so-called “Trump effect” at the U.S. southern border is becoming a bygone memory as border agents are again being overwhelmed by foreign nationals of all stripes seeking asylum. It’s no secret the number of apprehensions fell sharply in the first three months of President Trump’s administration, bottoming out in April as the human traffickers feared being caught and prosecuted…

‘Lynch mob’ gov’t committee votes in favor of allowing abortion on demand in Ireland
The Irish government’s advisory committee on the upcoming abortion referendum has voted for abortion. On December 13, the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment voted to recommend abortion on demand up to 12 weeks and until birth on undefined health grounds.

Trudeau limiting gov’t funding to abortion supporters is “ideological coercion”: lawyer
The Justin Trudeau Liberal government’s requirement that employers attest to their support of abortion and transgender “rights” to receive summer job grants for students is “totalitarian,” says a constitutional lawyer.

BREAKING: Obama-appointed judge blocks Trump’s rule ending HHS contraceptive mandate
Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone has blocked a Trump order from October that was to end the federal requirement that employers violate their consciences to participate in the provision of employees’ contraceptives and abortifacient drugs.

White House signals Western Wall has to be part of Israel
Senior Trump administration officials outlined their view Friday that Jerusalem’s Western Wall ultimately will be declared a part of Israel, in another declaration sure to enflame passions among Palestinians and others in the Middle East.

IT’S AN INDUSTRY: Thanks to Lisa Bloom We Now Know Trump Accusers are Paid $750,000 by Dem Donors to Say Trump Abused Them
It’s an industry. Thanks to Lisa Bloom, spawn of Gloria Allred, we now know that Trump accusers are paid $750,000 by top Democrat donors to accuse the billionaire president of sexual abuse. With Democrats it’s all about power by any means necessary.

Greatest Stock Market Rally Ever: Dow Up Most points in a Calendar Year Ever – Ties Record for Most All-Time Highs in a Year!!!
The Dow ended up again today at another all-time high for the 69th time this year – matching the record for a calendar year set in 1995. At the bell the Dow closed at its highest closing amount ever at 24,651. Since last year’s election the Dow is up over 34%!

Illegal Immigration Hits Obama Levels
The number of arrests along the Southwest border have climbed back up to Obama-era levels in the first two months of the new fiscal year, suggesting President Donald Trump’s effect on illegal immigration has worn off after early progress.

UK Study: During Obama Presidency US Weapons Took Two Months to Go From Syrian Rebels to ISIS
Obama’s Middle East Strategy Was Clearly the Worst Foreign Policy Strategy in US History

Cook County Commissioner Requests UN Peacekeeping Forces to Chicago – 652 Homicides So Far This Year..The joys of liberalism: 603 people have been shot and killed in Chicago so far this year.
3,454 people have been shot. There have been 652 homicides in Chicago so far this year.

NAZI WHISPERS: Dutch Govt Official Tells Man With Down Syndrome How ‘Expensive’ He Is
As technology advances, humans with Down syndrome are being systematically eliminated via abortion. In Europe in particular, eugenics are flourishing in this regard, with nearly 92% of Down syndrome babies being killed off in the womb. The United States is, sadly, catching up, killing over 67% of our babies with the detected syndrome in utero.

Vigilante Arrested for Killing 30 Pedophiles in Mass Murder Spree
A Nebraska man, who was caught by police strangling a convicted sex offender, has admitted to a string of murders, claiming to have killed “over 30” pedophiles.

Jews Flee Paris Suburbs Over Rising Tide of Islamist Anti-Semitism
French-Jewish families are being forced from their homes in Paris suburbs as Europe continues to be convulsed by levels of anti-Semitism not seen since the end of the Second World War.

Weekend Snapshot

Dec. 16, 2017
Top Stories This Week
Quote of the Week

“One would hope that Republicans would now recognize how ridiculous it would be for them to continue acting like Mitch McConnell is the problem. McConnell is the single most important person for getting the ‘Trump agenda’ passed, and declaring open war on him and backing fourth rate candidates is not just dumb, it actually hurts Trump more than it does McConnell.” —Jonah Goldberg

Headlines – 12/17/2017

UN Security Council considering resolution to annul US Jerusalem decision – Vote possible in next few days

Furious Palestinians reject White House talk of Western Wall as Israel’s forever

Fatah calls for ‘angry’ protests against US during Pence’s Jerusalem visit

Indonesia clerics urge US boycott as 80,000 protest Jerusalem recognition

Indonesia clerics want boycott of US products over Jerusalem

Palestinian arrested outside West Bank military court with 2 suspected bombs

Kuwaiti newspaper: Israel attacked Iranian military factories in Syria

Putin’s surprise Syria visit aimed at threatening Assad

Iran’s missile arsenal in striking range of Europe, parts of Asia

Gunmen attack Christian church in Pakistan, at least one dead

ISIS Threatens Attacks on Churches in Washington DC, New York on Christmas

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

In Europe and US, homegrown jihadists remain largest terror threat

European far-right leaders get together for anti-EU bid

Trump administration cracks down on visa waiver program

Legalizing ‘Dreamers’ would cost $26 billion: CBO

WSJ: There’s Mounting Evidence of 2016 Election Meddling Coming From the FBI

Trump transition lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained documents in Russia probe

The media are killing themselves with botched anti-Trump reporting

Pope: Media sins by dredging up, sensationalizing old news

North Koreans mark 6th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Wants to Blow up the World Because His Father Wasn’t Nice to Him

N. Korea ‘agent’ charged over missile tech sale plot in Australia

China Must Prepare for Imminent War With North Korea, Top National Security Experts Warn

Trump Turned North Korea Into Inevitable ‘Time Bomb,’ China’s Government Adviser Says

North Korea must earn right to talks, says US Secretary of State Tillerson

3 astronauts blast off for International Space Station

Pentagon secretly set up program to investigate UFOs at Harry Reid’s urging, reports say

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Fiji region

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

Magnitude 3.5 earthquake in Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland

Winds fuel California wildfire, state’s 3rd largest on record

Deadly California wildfire threatens Montecito as more evacuations are ordered for Santa Barbara County

Judge Blocks Trump’s Religious Exemption to Obamacare’s Contraceptive Mandate

2 couples tie knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings


Headlines – 12/16/2017

Amid Jerusalem fallout, Trump envoy heads to Israel to try to advance peace bid

Mike Pence’s Holy Land visit in disarray after Jerusalem recognition

White House ‘cannot envision situation’ where Western Wall is not part of Israel

Pope to meet Jordan’s King Abdullah amid Jerusalem tensions

Malaysia’s ex-PM calls Trump a ‘villain’ for Jerusalem move

India, China and Russia Refrain From Recognizing East Jerusalem as Capital of Palestine in Joint Statement

Islamic State threatens US attacks over Jerusalem decision

Erdogan: Muslim nations to seek UN ‘annulment’ of Trump’s Jerusalem move

Abbas plans to use conflict of interest clause against Jerusalem recognition

Israel’s leaders atypically quiet after Abbas asserts their state is invalid

Liberman: Abbas ‘still alive’ because of Israel-PA security coordination

Protests break out in Bethlehem on second ‘day of rage’

Palestinian with suicide bomb belt stabs border guard during protest, is shot

4 Palestinians, including attacker who stabbed officer, killed in clashes

Israel Troops Shot Dead a Wheelchair-Bound Palestinian Protesting Trump’s Jerusalem Capital Move

Killing of disabled Gazan protestor fuels increased anger at Israel

100,000 turn up to mark Hamas’s 30th anniversary

Gaza rocket misses mark, damages local home

Exodus: Jews Flee Paris Suburbs over Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism

Dutch professor questions Holocaust on TV, calls Jews ‘parasites’

Iraqi Christians in Baghdad nearly gone, but some shelter at Camp Virgin Mary

UN appalled at Iraq’s latest mass hanging

Despite failed round, UN Syria talks only viable peace effort, France says

US says it wants Syrian govt to negotiate ‘seriously’ with opposition

Weapons Went From The CIA To ISIS In Less Than Two Months

UN Envoy for Yemen: Houthi militias violate international law

More Arab states welcome UN report, US position on Iran’s hostile acts

Iran sanctions trial judge slams ‘foreign conspiracy theory’

Debunking Iran’s claim of ‘advisory roles’ in Middle East wars

Boeing Sales to Iran at Risk as Trump Revisits 2015 Nuclear Deal

Chinese company weighs take over of Iran gas projects due to US sanctions

While world watches North Korea, China builds in the South China Sea

South Korea says North close to ‘weaponization’

Tillerson backtracks on offer of unconditional NKorea talks

NATO concerned Russian missile system breaks Cold War pact

Illegal Immigration Across Southwest Border Creeps Back Up To Obama Levels

Hungary’s PM says EU leaders did ‘battle’ over migration

Brexit: EU leaders agree to move talks to next stage

Massive, 3-mile-wide ‘potentially hazardous asteroid’ will zoom past Earth tomorrow

6.5 earthquake hits Indonesia’s Java island; 2 killed

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Tegalbuleud, Indonesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohonua, Tonga

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Miyako, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Tacna, Peru

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohonua, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

Tropical Storm Kai-tak may target Vietnam, Malay Peninsula after inundating Philippines

Is California heading back into a drought?

Gusty winds could expand deadly California wildfire

US flu activity jumps as new variant H3N2 case confirmed

Trump administration reportedly prohibits CDC from using words like ‘transgender,’ ‘fetus’

Planned Parenthood’s Richards rips Paul Ryan’s call for higher U.S. birth rate

Entire Family Turns Transgender

Tucker: Sexual Harassment Charges Being Used Against Innocent People ‘To Settle Scores, Gain Power’

Kansas Democrat Andrea Ramsey quits congressional race amid sexual harassment allegations

Attorney Lisa Bloom sought to line up paydays for women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct: report

Over One Million Fleeing From Venezuela As Living Conditions Continue To Deteriorate

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 01:21 PM PST

Over One Million Fleeing From Venezuela As Living Conditions Continue To DeteriorateIt is 8 a.m. and the line of Venezuelan refugees outside the Interpol office already stretches to the end of the block.  Most have just arrived in Lima with not much more than the clothes on their back and are here applying for a certificate to show they have no criminal record, a requirement for a work permit in Peru.  “Leaving was tough, but staying would have been tougher,” said Andrea Sequiera, 29, as she waits

at the back of the line with her husband Luis, 31, and 8-year-old son Fabian. ”We know lots of people who would like to get out of Venezuela but can’t afford the ticket.”  Although Venezuelans for years have been fleeing the “socialist revolution” first launched by the late Hugo Chávez in 1999, in recent months the trickle has turned into a flood as living conditions become ever more dire — from hyperinflation to acute shortages of food and medicine to one of the worst homicide rates in the world. READ MORE

PROPHECY WATCH: President Of Turkey Threatens To Wipe Out Israel!

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 01:15 PM PST

PROPHECY WATCH: President Of Turkey Threatens To Wipe Out Israel!President Obama praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “a man of action” and one of the five world leaders with whom he had the strongest bond. President Trump met with him at the White House last spring.  And certainly, Erdogan has tried to portray himself to Western leaders as a pragmatist with whom they can work.  But at a convention of his ruling party Sunday, Erdogan invoked a Muslim hadith — a collection of the accounts and sayings of Muhammad — that made clear his view of

Jews and the state of Israel, according to dissident Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt, the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported.  “Those who think they own Jerusalem better know that tomorrow they won’t be able to hide behind trees,” Erdogan said, according to Bozkurt.  That statement essentially is an affirmation of a prophecy that all Jews will one day be destroyed, the journalist said.  Bozkurt explained Erdogan was making “a veiled threat of killing each and every Jew with a shocking reference to the apocalyptic prophecy of tree story.” MORE

Entire Family In Arizona Turns Transgender

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 01:09 PM PST

Entire Family In Arizona Turns TransgenderAn entire family – man, woman, son, and daughter – in Arizona is transgender.  The father identifies as a woman. His fiancée, the mother-to-be, identifies as a man. The son considers himself a girl and, of course, the daughter thinks she’s actually a boy. An entire transgender family, all under one roof.  Daniel Harrott was born a woman, while his fiancée, Shirley Austin was born a man. Both have previously been married.

Eleven-year-old Mason and 13-year-old Joshua have also switched sexes.  “The whole family is in transition,” Austin said in an interview with KJZZ, which reports the two adults are teaching each other to adopt “traditional” gender roles:  “Shirley taught Daniel how to use a chainsaw. Daniel taught Shirley to memorize all the stones in her engagement ring, in case another woman asks. Daniel does the yard work. Shirley, the cooking.  “Daniel explained that they’re actually ‘very traditional’ people, who really see each other.” READ MORE

Texas Imam Calls For Israel’s Destruction

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 01:05 PM PST

Texas Imam Calls For Israel’s DestructionFollowing President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a Texas-based Islamic cleric has posted a recorded prayer on his Facebook page calling for Israel’s destruction, along with “their allies, and those who assist them and those who allowed them into the abodes of the Muslims.”  While Sheikh Ramadan Elsabagh does not mention Trump’s Wednesday proclamation, the Investigative

Project on Terrorism, which translated the message from Arabic, interprets it as a “clear reaction.”  “Our Lord. Help holy Palestine,” Elsabagh chanted. “… O Allah, be with your oppressed worshipers in Palestine, O Allah destroy the Zionists and their allies, and those who assist them and those who allowed them into the abodes of the Muslims. By your power, O mighty one, O mighty one, through your power and might, O Allah, deflect them with what you will, and however you will, for you are omnipotent, and with a response omnipotent.”  READ MORE

 

High School Removes Church Banner from Football Stadium After Complaint

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 11:15 AM PST

High School Removes Church Banner from Football Stadium After ComplaintTurns out, they can’t do ‘all things.’  New Palestine High School in Indiana recently had to take down a banner that read “I can do all things — Dragons Football” and advertised a local church, after a humanist legal group claimed it’s unconstitutional.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation says it’s goal is to protect “separation between state and church.” They wrote to the district superintendent warning that

by displaying the banner, the high school endorses the church’s religious message. According to the Greenfield Daily Reporter, the school hung the banner advertising Realife Church as appreciation for the congregation’s donations to the football program. Real Life Church said the phrase “I can do all things” was chosen because it’s a motivational message of “Let’s go get them; let’s do it.” READ MORE

China joins call to make East Jerusalem capital of independent Palestine

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 11:07 AM PST

China joins call to make East Jerusalem capital of independent PalestineChina has voiced its support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, based on pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.  A spokesperson for the foreign ministry made the statement during a regular press briefing, Thursday, while addressing questions on a declaration by Muslim nations asserting East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) made the announcement at a summit in Istanbul, Wednesday, and condemned the

US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  “China understands the Islamic countries’ concern about the status of Jerusalem,” spokesperson Lu Kang said, according to Xinhua state media, adding that it is calling for a “resolution to the issue in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and international consensus.” The United Nations considers East Jerusalem to be occupied Palestinian territory, but hopes that one day Jerusalem can become the capital of two states, Israel and Palestine. READ MORE

Powerful 6.5 earthquake strikes Indonesia’s Java island, Deaths reported

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 10:55 AM PST

Powerful 6.5 earthquake strikes Indonesia’s Java island, Deaths reportedA strong earthquake shook the Indonesian capital Thursday and other cities on the country’s most populous island of Java, killing an unknown number of people amid reports of collapsed buildings. Authorities issued a tsunami warning for parts of Java’s coastline after the quake struck just before midnight Friday. People ran out of buildings in panic in many areas and Indonesian television showed heavy traffic on roads as people left coastal areas.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said there were deaths reported but could not immediately provide details. He also said there were reports that buildings had collapsed in the city of Tasikmalaya in western Java and in several western Java districts. Nugroho said strong tremors were felt for about 20 seconds in the capital of Jakarta and in cities and villages in western and central Java. READ MORE

Large Fireball Seen Over Denver

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 10:51 AM PST

Large Fireball Seen Over DenverDid you see a large fireball in the sky over Denver Thursday night? Greg Kramer posted a video to the CBS Denver Facebook page. Kramer was filming the light rod display at the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Light when he tilted the camera upwards and captured the flashing light. CBS4 Producer

Aaron Romek saw the fireball as he was driving home from the gym. He was facing east and said it broke into several pieces. “It was so bright I thought it was some sort of plane explosion,” Romek said. The fireball could have been part of the Geminid meteor showers which peaked early Thursday morning.  READ MORE

California Health Officials Release Guidelines To Avoid Cellphone Radiation

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 10:47 AM PST

California Health Officials Release Guidelines To Avoid Cellphone RadiationCalifornia health officials have a new message for cellphone users. For the first time ever, the California Department of Public Health has released guidelines about harmful cellphone radiation and how you can avoid it.  Dr. Karen Smith with the California Department Of Public Health said, “We recognize that there are a lot of people in the general public that have some concerns about their cellphones and whether using a cellphone is safe.”

Smith said, “When you sleep, you keep the cellphone at least arm’s length away from your body. And also, not carrying your cellphone in your pocket, having it either in your purse or not carrying it with you.” The research suggests cellphones could increase our risk for brain cancer and tumors, low sperm count, headaches, as well as impaired memory, hearing, and sleep. Dr. Joel Moskowitz at UC Berkeley said, “Currently we’re not doing a good job in regulating radiation from these devices. In fact, we’re doing an abysmal job.”  READ MORE

Russia Sharply Expanding Nuclear Arsenal, Upgrading Underground Facilities

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 06:22 AM PST

Russia Sharply Expanding Nuclear Arsenal, Upgrading Underground FacilitiesRussia is aggressively building up its nuclear forces and is expected to deploy a total force of 8,000 warheads by 2026 along with modernizing deep underground bunkers, according to Pentagon officials.BThe 8,000 warheads will include both large strategic warheads and thousands of new low-yield and very low-yield warheads to circumvent arms treaty limits and support Moscow’s new doctrine of using nuclear arms early in any conflict.

In addition to expanding its warheads, Russia also is fortifying underground facilities for command and control during a nuclear conflict. One official said the alarming expansion indicates Russia is preparing to break out of current nuclear forces constraints under arms treaties, including the 2010 New START and 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaties. Russia violated the INF accord by testing an illegal ground-launched cruise missile. READ MORE

UN ambassador warns Iran could be the next North Korea amid WW3 fears

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 06:10 AM PST

UN ambassador warns Iran could be the next North Korea amid WW3 fearsIran could become the “next North Korea” if no one does something to stop it, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said.   Iran is sowing “conflict and extremism”, the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.  Speaking at a press conference at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington DC, Ms Haley presented the remnants of a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militants from Yemen into Saudi

Arabia that came close to hitting Riyadh’s airport last month.  She said the missile “might as well have had ‘Made in Iran’ stickers” on it, adding that Iran was violating UN resolutions.  The American said: “All of these weapons include parts made in Iran, some by Iran’s government defense industry. “All are proof that Iran has defied the international community and not just one time.  READ MORE

Saxo Bank warns that Russia & China will engineer “bitcoin apocalypse”

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 05:53 AM PST

Saxo Bank warns that Russia & China will engineer “bitcoin apocalypse”Moscow and Beijing are going to crack down on bitcoin, resulting in the cryptocurrency’s collapse next year, predicts Saxo Bank. The bank is famous for its ‘outrageous’ predictions published each December. Saxo predicts that in 2018, bitcoin will surge to $60,000 with a market capitalization exceeding $1 trillion. After that, Russia and China will join together to attack it.   “The rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been one of the most spectacular phenomena of financial markets in recent years.

Bitcoin will continue to rise – and rise high – during most of 2018, but Russia and China will together engineer a crash,” the Danish bank predicts. After that, bitcoin will collapse to $1,000 by 2019, according to Saxo. At the end of 2016, the bank made a correct prediction about the rise of bitcoin. It forecast that the price of cryptocurrency would triple from the $700 level seen last year. However, Saxo failed to predict the magnitude of the bitcoin mania, which resulted in a 1,900 percent rally to the record high of $19,000. READ MORE

 

There Will Be No Glory in the Church Without Judgment

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 05:47 AM PST

There Will Be No Glory in the Church Without Judgment(By Bert Farias) I received a very significant dream a few nights ago. In the dream, I was talking to someone about Jesus, not as the Savior, but as the judge. I awoke with a revelation and an urgency to write what I believe is a word from the Lord.  The end meaning of the dream is this: Many professing Christians have a veil over their hearts and lack proper discernment because they don’t know Jesus as the judge, therefore they don’t fear Him. They only know Him as the Savior. It is the world that needs to know Jesus as the Savior, for Jesus did not come to judge the world but to save them (John 12:44-48), but the church needs to know Him as the Judge. The very essence of His person and His throne is righteousness and judgment.

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1).  “I saw heaven opened. And there was a white horse. He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and wages war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written, that no one knows but He Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood. His name is called The Word of God” (Rev. 19:11-13). MORE

Neurosurgeon-Turned-Pastor Uses Name of Jesus to Stop Armed Robber Who Threatened to Kill Him at Bible Study

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 05:42 AM PST

Neurosurgeon-Turned-Pastor Uses Name of Jesus to Stop Armed Robber Who Threatened to Kill Him at Bible StudyDr. Julius Zant, a respected retired neurosurgeon-turned-pastor who was attacked by an armed man who threatened to kill him inside a Maryland church as he conducted a Bible study with his parishioners last Thursday, bravely fended off the robber by invoking the name of Jesus.  “He has this black holster and it looked like it had a gun in it, and he’s demanding this and one of the ladies actually took out her phone and [p]ut it on the table,” Zant told ABC 47 of the robber who ordered him and his flock to hand over their phones and money.

“I stood up and said, ‘No, we’re not having this. We’re not doing this.’ And I walked around and walked up to him and said, ‘Leave in Jesus name,’” Zant said. The incident took place at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Princess Anne. The church’s rector, Fr. Robert Laws, told The Christian Post on Thursday that Zant’s church, the New Life Apostolic Church, rents space from the parish to conduct the weekly Bible study sessions. “I think that when I told him that we were here worshipping God, that he changed. His demeanor changed, and it was as if an awareness came to him that perhaps this wasn’t the right thing for him to do,” Zant explained. MORE

Muslim Holding Key to ‘Tomb of Christ’ in Jerusalem Vows Not to Welcome Mike Pence, Condemns Trump

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 05:33 AM PST

Muslim Holding Key to ‘Tomb of Christ’ in Jerusalem Vows Not to Welcome Mike Pence, Condemns TrumpA Muslim man who is the official custodian of the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, also know as the “tomb of Christ,” has said that he will not welcome U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to one of the holiest Christian sites.  “It has come to our attention that Vice President Pence intends to make an official visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and asked me to receive him officially,” said Adeeb Joudeh, the custodian in question, in remarks to Israel’s Channel 2 News earlier this week.

“I absolutely refuse to officially welcome the American Vice President Mr. Mike Pence at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and I will not be physically in church during his visit,” he asserted. In June, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. With a vote of 90–0, both Republicans and Democrats in the upper chamber agreed that: “Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.” READ MORE

Hallmark Christmas movies under fire for spreading ‘Caucasian cheer’

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 05:22 AM PST

Hallmark Christmas movies under fire for spreading ‘Caucasian cheer’The Hallmark Channel is a throwback to an age when Hollywood produced family-friendly films and love stories that did not involve leather and whips.  The network has earned millions of loyal fans for broadcasting movies that promote the virtues of faith and family — stories that tug at your heartstrings. “We are a place you can go and feel good,” Bill Abbott, the chief executive of Crown Media, told the Washington Post.

“We intentionally branded ourselves as the happy place. Abbott said. “Hallmark’s tagline is ‘the heart of TV.’” And viewership has skyrocketed since President Trump promised to make America great again – making Hallmark one of the most-watched cable television networks in the nation. For the sake of full disclosure, I’m a fan of “When Calls The Heart,” produced by my good friend, Brian Bird. It’s a great place to escape from the unhinged rantings of Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon. READ MORE

Christian Website SocialCross Refused Service by Web Developer Over Views on Gay Marriage

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 05:18 AM PST

Christian Website SocialCross Refused Service by Web Developer Over Views on Gay MarriageThe organizer of a new social media platform for conservative Christians is voicing his displeasure after he claims that he was refused service from a web development company because of his views on same-sex marriage.  Rich Penkoski, an evangelical preacher who helped organize the new Christian Facebook alternative SocialCross.org and runs the West Virginia-based online ministry Warriors for Christ, is

speaking out after he says he was refused service when he tried to enlist the services of Open Social, an organization that provides intranet solutions for nonprofits and companies, and powers over 250 online communities.  Penkoski told CP Monday that he was looking for a way to improve the 12,000-user SocialCross.org and was interested in learning more about how Open Social could help the site, which was launched earlier this year. READ MORE

First solar system like ours with eight planets discovered

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 05:59 PM PST

First solar system like ours with eight planets discoveredNASA today announced it has found another solar system just like ours with eight planets… boosting the chances of finding alien life elsewhere in the Universe.  The historic discovery was made by new scientific analysis of data obtained by the Kepler space telescope, which is scouring the galaxy for planets like Earth. Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said: “We have found for the first time an eigth planet in a distant planetary system in the Kepler 90 system – this

ties Kepler 90 with own solar system for having the most known planets. “Kepler 90 is the first star to host as many planets as our own.” The new planet – Kepler 90i – is a small rocky planet, but very close to the sun which is hotter than ours, and is 2,500 light years from Earth. It would be scorching hot and unable to hold life itself, although some planets in the system may be able to. But, it means that NASA now believes most stars in space are likely to have a series of planets orbiting, boosting the chances of there being more like Earth with the conditions for life to evolve. READ MORE

Will The Globalists Use The New New Neutrality Rules To Shut Off Access To Alternative News Websites?

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 05:47 PM PST

Will The Globalists Use The New New Neutrality Rules To Shut Off Access To Alternative News Websites?(By Michael Snyder) Many are applauding the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality, but I believe that this is a huge mistake. Hopefully the worst case scenarios will not play out, but if they do we could be looking at the end of the Internet as we know it today. We have all become quite accustomed to going anywhere on the Internet that we would like, but thanks to this decision the big Internet service providers could start to turn the Internet into another version of cable television. Websites that are not part of your “Internet package”

would either load much slower or would not be accessible at all. Essentially, the big Internet service providers could eventually become “gatekeepers” that would decide what you would and would not be able to see on the Internet. So if they didn’t like the views of a particular website (such as this one), they could simply block access to it and their subscribers would no longer be able to get to it.  A free and open Internet is one of the key tools that we are using to wake people up all over the world, and the globalists have been desperate to find a way to clamp down on us. READ MORE

Danish School for Cancels Christmas Event in Fear of Offending Nonbelievers

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 02:21 PM PST

Danish School for Cancels Christmas Event in Fear of Offending NonbelieversA school in Denmark has canceled its traditional Christmas service that’s held every year at a church amid fears that it would offend non-Christian children and parents.  “We took the decision because we have children of different faiths at the school than Protestants,” said school Principal Marianne Vedersø Schmidt in a letter, according to a Daily Caller translation on Tuesday of a TV2 report. “We are very pleased with the cooperation with the churches and will certainly continue with this cooperation as it

gives all children a cultural and generic knowledge — but the Christmas service is also preaching and it must, therefore, be up to the individual families whether they wish to participate in private,” Schmidt added.  The move has sparked criticism from some prominent members of society, however, including Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who is from Graested, the town where the school is located. READ MORE

Another conspiracy theorist claiming the end of the world is coming.

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 02:14 PM PST

Another conspiracy theorist claiming the end of the world is coming.

Another month, another conspiracy theorist claiming the end of the world is coming. You may be rolling your eyes right now, but the reality is scads of unsuspecting people are buying into this bombastic banter. We need to pray for more discernment in the body of Christ. When the world witnesses this goofy manifestation of the “prophetic,” it makes genuine prophets seem illegitimate. Let’s debunk these false prophetic utterances before we pray: Signs of the End Times, a website run by Christianfundamentalists, claims it has “evidence from the Bible” that 2017 will bring the end of the world. They point to signs of the times like earthquakes, the dwindling number of bats, fish and honey bees and more.  “Never has there been a time before when all these events were evident in so many diverse places and with such frequency and intensity,” the site reads. “Our generation is the first generation to fulfill all the biblical signs. Without doubt we are living in the final year.”  READ MORE

NRB Applauds ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ FCC Action

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 02:06 PM PST

NRB Applauds ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ FCC ActionNational Religious Broadcasters applauded the Federal Communications Commission’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” vote today rolling back the agency’s assumption of heavy-handed new powers over the internet in 2015.  Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, said, “I congratulate the FCC for resisting alarmism and moving to reverse the agency’s unilateral assumption of power in 2015. I particularly applaud Chairman Ajit Pai for his fairness, transparency and firm commitment to an online environment that honors freedom and welcomes innovation. While others have yielded to the

intimidation games of the radical left, Chairman Pai has stood courageously as a statesman.” Johnson added, “While the previous administration’s executive power play is not the answer, there are indeed valid concerns about blocking and other forms of discrimination online. Now that the FCC has appropriately reversed course, I urge the people’s representatives in Congress to take a closer look at issues like viewpoint censorship by holding hearings that survey the practices of powerful players across the entire internet ecosystem, READ MORE

BREAKING NEWS: Dr. R.C. Sproul Passes Away at 78

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 02:00 PM PST

BREAKING NEWS: Dr. R.C. Sproul Passes Away at 78Dr. R.C. Sproul went home to be with the Lord this afternoon around 3 p.m. surrounded by his wife, Vesta, and family in his hospital room in Altamonte Springs, Fla. He was 78. He died peacefully after being hospitalized twelve days ago due to severe respiratory difficulties exacerbated by the flu and complicated by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Known to millions of Christians as simply “R.C.,” he was used of the Lord to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness. Through his teaching ministry, many of us learned that God is bigger than we knew, our sin is

more deeply rooted than we imagined, and the grace of God in Jesus Christ is overwhelming. God called R.C. to proclaim the gospel to as many people as possible. R.C. did this knowing the Lord did not need him. In fact, he wanted people to know the enduring, faithful witness of God’s servants throughout church history. God powerfully used R.C.’s ministry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to awaken people around the world to the truths of classical Christianity. FULL STORY

Donald Trump has been blamed for “Cancelling Christmas” in Nazareth

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 01:28 PM PST

Donald Trump has been blamed for “Cancelling Christmas” in NazarethThe Israeli Arab city said it had canceled some Christmas celebrations in protest at the US President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  Mr. Trump announced the move last week, reversing decades of US policy and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, jeopardizing Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike. Nazareth, the largest Arab town in Israel with a Muslim and Christian population of 76,000, is one of the Holy Land’s focal points of Christmas

festivities. City spokesman Salem Sharara said: “We have decided to cancel the traditional Christmas singing and dancing because we are in a time of the dispute, because of what Trump has said about Jerusalem.”  Nazareth is traditionally thought to be where Jesus grew up. The imposing Basilica of the Annunciation in central Nazareth is built on a site which many Christian faithful believe was the childhood home of Jesus’s mother, Mary.  READ MORE

ISIS Threatens National Cathedral

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 01:17 PM PST

ISIS Threatens National CathedralIslamic State supporters issued a new Christmas-themed threat showing the National Cathedral in Washington in flames, with a camouflage-clad jihadist wielding a rifle standing in front of the Gothic structure. The poster circulating among ISIS channels photoshops the photo of the church used on its Wikipedia page. The text warning on the image is of a city just attacked this past week, though: “Wait for us:

We meet at Christmas in New York… soon.” The threat mirrors that on a poster of Santa with a case of dynamite overlooking Times Square, which was released just after Thanksgiving: “We meet at Christmas in New York… soon,” reads the text on that image. Some law enforcement officials indicated Akayed Ullah, whose in his attempt to bomb the subway in NYC on Monday morning only burned himself, said he chose the location because of Christmas posters in the tunnel.  READ MORE

Hamas Warns It Will Liberate ‘Occupied Tel Aviv’

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 10:39 AM PST

Hamas Warns It Will Liberate ‘Occupied Tel Aviv’The Hamas terrorist organization declared on Wednesday that “Al-Quds [in its entirety] is the eternal capital of Palestine, not its eastern or western part, and is an Arabic Islamic city.” The statement, released in honor of the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, is in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of

the State of Israel will not cancel the right of the Palestinian national and religious people to the city, and Al-Quds will remain an Arab Islamic state, Hamas stressed. The terrorist group further stressed that it was continuing the path of liberation and the resistance in all its aspects until the last layer of historic Palestinian land is liberated, noting that it “bombed occupied Tel Aviv that was established on our occupied land in Jaffa.” READ MORE

Sicily rocked by series of earthquakes as expert says more quakes possible

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 10:24 AM PST

Sicily rocked by series of earthquakes as expert says more quakes possibleA series of earthquakes have rocked the Italian island of Sicily – with experts unable to rule out further shocks in the days to come.  The tremors hit in the Strait of Sicily, or Sicilian Channel, which separate it from North Africa, about 60km (37 miles) south of the province of Ragusa Modica. A 3.9 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 2.13am today and was quickly followed by further earthquakes measuring 2.8, 2.6 and 2.59 respectively. They came hard on the heels of two others measuring 3.5 and 3.6, which

occurred in the area over the previous 48 hours.  No injuries were reported but experts say the flurry of activity may not be over. Eugenio Privitera, director of the Etneo Observatory of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) said: “The area of the Sicilian Channel is very large and there is a very complex and little-known fault system, generated by the thrust of the African plate against the Eurasian one. READ MORE

More Universities Kicking Christmas To The curb!

Posted: 14 Dec 2017 10:19 AM PST

More Universities Kicking Christmas To The curb!‘Tis the season to be jolly, for peace on earth and goodwill toward men, but not at Loyola University-Chicago.  Some students at the Catholic school are complaining that Christmas is receiving too much emphasis. They want other religious holidays like the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr to receive the same amount of attention. And the holiday inclusion movement has spread to other college campuses this

Christmas season. The University of Tennessee has warned students to ensure that their holiday parties aren’t really Christmas parties in disguise. And some other universities have even banned nativity scenes and images of the crucifixion. Hannah Scherlacher, Campus Reform Program Manager says it’s all happening in the name of tolerance and inclusivity. READ MORE

Sudan Evicts 2 Christian Families From Church-Owned Homes, Gives to Muslim Investor

Posted: 16 Dec 2017 11:38 AM PST

Sudan Evicts 2 Christian Families From Church-Owned Homes, Gives to Muslim InvestorTwo Sudanese Christian families remain homeless after a Muslim judge ruled against their appeals of eviction from their homes in Omdurman, and said that a Muslim real estate investor can rightfully take ownership of the church-owned properties.  Sources told nonprofit Christian persecution watchdog group Morning Star News that Judge Adam Tahir Haj Adam upheld the eviction of Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church moderator, the Rev. Yahia Abdelrahim Nalu, and the Rev. Sidiq Abdalla from their

homes and awarded ownership to Hisham Hamad Al-Neel, a Muslim investor.  The move leaves the two church leaders and their families homeless. Abdalla has two children, ages 8 and 10. Meanwhile, Nalu has a 1-year-old son. On Aug. 15, police raided the families’ homes and evicted the families on court order. Al-Neel claimed he had ownership of the property for investment purposes, Radio Tamazuj reported at the time. READ MORE

Massive, 3-mile-wide asteroid’ to zoom past Earth

Posted: 16 Dec 2017 11:23 AM PST

Massive, 3-mile-wide asteroid’ to zoom past EarthAn enormous, 3-mile-wide “potentially hazardous asteroid” is hurtling toward Earth and is slated to zoom past the planet, but scientists say there is no need to worry. Known as 3200 Phaethon, the space rock orbits the Sun and is expected to come the closest it has come to Earth since 1974, 6.4-million miles away, according to a statement from NASA.   There is no chance the asteroid will hit Earth and won’t come this close again until 2093.

Despite that, it has been classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” by the Minor Planet Center, NASA added in the statement.  NASA said that the asteroid is “potentially detectable at Goldstone [a NASA communications complex] for about three weeks and tracks are scheduled on ten days between Dec. 11-21.” The government agency said that it will also remain visible at the Arecibo observatory, located in Puerto Rico, between Dec. 15 and Dec. 19. READ MORE

CDC Receives List of Forbidden Words Including Fetus, Transgender and Diversity

Posted: 16 Dec 2017 11:14 AM PST

CDC Receives List of Forbidden Words Including Fetus, Transgender and DiversityThe Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.  Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden

words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”  In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered. READ MORE

Indian Catholics Arrested for Singing Christmas Carols

Posted: 16 Dec 2017 11:08 AM PST

Indian Catholics Arrested for Singing Christmas CarolsSix carol singers have been arrested in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh after a man accused them of trying to convert him to Christianity. The state has some of the strictest anti-conversion laws in India. One of those arrested was a professor at a Catholic theological college. The group said it was only visiting villages to sing songs. A car used by the carol singers was also set on fire, allegedly by right-wing

activists. Police have also filed a case against those accused of torching the car. In the complaint, the resident said that the group, including the professor, had previously asked him to “worship Jesus Christ” and had offered him money to convert. However, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference denied the allegations of forced conversions, saying the group was there just to sing Christmas carols. READ MORE

Franklin Graham Issues Urgent Call to Prayer For KY Clerk Kim Davis

Posted: 16 Dec 2017 06:22 AM PST

Franklin Graham Issues Urgent Call to Prayer For KY Clerk Kim DavisEvangelist Franklin Graham issued an urgent call to prayer for Kim Davis as she prepares for a feisty election.  The Kentucky clerk will face off against David Ermold in the May 2018 election, but this isn’t the first time the two have met. Davis refused to issue Ermold a marriage license to wed his partner in 2015. “I think we need to deal with the circumstances and the consequences of what happened,” Ermold says. “I don’t think the other candidates are looking at a larger message. I have an obligation here, really, to do this and to set things right.” Despite the pressure, Davis refuses to back away from her religious

convictions and has the support of many evangelicals behind her—including Graham. “Remember Kim Davis? She is the county clerk who wanted to be able to do her job without signing same-sex marriage licenses. Well, the gay man whose license she would not sign back in 2015 was recently back in her office, sitting across the desk from her. This time, he was filing the paperwork to run for her job as county clerk—and Kim helped him. Pray for Kim Davis as her stand for her religious convictions put her back into the news again. READ MORE

French Synagogues Closing as Jews Flee Anti-Semitism

Posted: 16 Dec 2017 06:15 AM PST

French Synagogues Closing as Jews Flee Anti-Semitism

French Jews are fleeing parts of the Paris suburbs to escape anti-Semitic hostility, the levels of which have not been seen since World War Two, reports the Paris newspaper 20 Minutes.  The paper says the exodus from Seine-Saint-Denis is so great that many synagogues have closed due to lack of attendees.  Rabbi Moshe Lewin told Breitbart he might be one of the last Jewish leaders in Seine-Saint-Denis.Lewin said, “What upsets me is that in some areas of France, Jews can no longer live peacefully, and that just five minutes from my home, some are forced to hide their kippas (skullcaps) or their Star of David.”
Agence France-Presse says more than 5,000 Jews left France last year on top of the record 7,900 who left in 2015 and 7,231 in 2014. At least 40-thousand have emigrated since 2006.  In 2015, journalist Zvika Klein recorded the reaction as he walked through Paris wearing a traditional kippa. Watch as Klein is threatened and spit upon.  READ MORE

Life after death experience reveals ‘Time did not exist and it lasted forever’

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 06:19 PM PST

Life after death experience reveals ‘Time did not exist and it lasted forever’ATTENTION: The following report does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of ETH

Time did not exist, according to one strange account from a person who was declared dead and brought back from the brink.  People have been taking to the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) to share their experiences of what life is like after death and the results are astonishing. One person, who goes by the name of Fawn R, writes on the website that she died from an alcohol overdose.

In her experience, “sound and time did not exist” and had flashbacks of all her life in a period which seemed to go on forever but only lasted three minutes. She wrote: “I became my thoughts and memories floating in a black void. I had no body. I could think and had memories of my life.  “I was completely and frighteningly alone. There was no sound and time did not exist. Snapshots of my life floated by but they had lost all their meaning to me. “I had to let all emotional attachment go from the individual people and memories, but I had a general feeling of being incredibly sad and very much alone. READ MORE

US ‘envisions’ Western Wall as part of Israel, senior Trump official says …

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 06:01 PM PST

US ‘envisions’ Western Wall as part of Israel, senior Trump official says …The Trump administration “cannot envision a scenario” under which the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Temple and one of the holiest sights in Judaism, “would not be part of Israel” in a future peace agreement with the Palestinians, a senior official said on Friday.  The official underscored the point in a briefing with reporters on Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming visit to the country, hampered by a crisis with a Palestinian Authority already livid over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month.

Pence will visit Israel next week. “We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not part of Israel,” the official said. “But as the president said, the specific boundaries of the sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement.” “We note that we cannot imagine Israel would sign a peace agreement that didn’t include the Western Wall,” the official added. READ MORE

Mass. high school replacing term ‘freshmen’ with ‘first year student’

Posted: 15 Dec 2017 05:56 PM PST

Mass. high school replacing term ‘freshmen’ with ‘first year student’It’s all about the pronouns. Easthampton High School students in Easthampton, Mass., are being asked to no longer use the word “freshmen.”  The school is asking students to use the term “first-year students,” instead.  Easthampton High School freshmen are now being referred to as “first-year students” as the school aims to be more gender inclusive. “Changing the way we use pronouns has been a challenge for me,” said Eileen Corbeil of Easthampton. “I want people to feel comfortable and if it

means that I have to change the way I use my language, I’m OK with that.” The change comes after students from the Gender and Sexuality Alliance Group made recommendations to the handbook committee, on how the school’s handbook language could be made more gender neutral. A draft of the handbook was first shared with the Student and School Councils before being presented to the school committee for approval. 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?


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to YouYou may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).


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Islam vs. Non-Muslims: Doctrinal Sources | Ibrahim at FrontPage

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine
December 12, 2017

http://www.meforum.org/7094/islam-three-worst-doctrines

Originally published under the title “Islam’s Three Worst Doctrines.”

 

Conflict between Muslims and the West is rooted in three interrelated teachings of Islam.

Because Islam gets criticized for many things — from hostility to modernity and democracy to calls for theocratic rule, radical “patriarchy,” misogyny, and draconian punishments, to name a few — it is helpful to step back and distinguish between those (many) doctrines that affect Muslim society alone, and those that extend to and affect Western or non-Muslim peoples in general.

On doing this, three interrelated doctrines come into sharp focus. They are: 1) total disavowal from, and enmity for, “the infidel,” that is, constant spiritual or metaphysical hostility against the non-Muslim (in Arabic known as al-wala’ w’al bara, or “loyalty and enmity“); this naturally manifests itself as 2) jihad, that is, physical hostility against and—whenever and wherever possible—attempts to subjugate the non-Muslim); finally, successful jihads lead to 3) dhimmitude, the degrading position of conquered non-Muslims who refuse to forfeit their religious freedom by converting to the victor’s creed.
Loyalty and Enmity

There is no doubt that mainstream Islam advocates the separation of Muslims from non-Muslims, believers from infidels, clean from unclean. Koran 5:51 warns Muslims against “taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies … whoever among you takes them for friends and allies, he is surely one of them,” that is, he too becomes an infidel, or kafir, the worst human classification in Islam.

 

The doctrine of loyalty and enmity (الولاء والبراء‎) is central to discussions of Muslim faith.

Koran 3:28, 4:89, 4:144, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23 all have the same message; 58:22 simply states that true Muslims do not befriend non-Muslims—”even if they be their fathers, sons, brothers, or kin.” But Koran verses further call on Muslims to have enmity—hate—for non-Muslims: “We [Muslims] renounce you [non-Muslims]. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us—till you believe in Allah alone” (Koran 60:4). As the Islamic State explained in an unambiguously titled article, “Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You,” “We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers.”

The flipside of al-wala’ w’al bara is that Muslims are commanded to befriend and aid fellow Muslims—including jihadis, for example through funds (or zakat). As one Muslim authority summarizes, the believer “is obligated to befriend a believer—even if he is oppressive and violent toward you—while he must be hostile to the infidel—even if he is liberal and kind to you” (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 64 ). This loyalty to fellow Muslims and enmity for non-Muslims is fundamentally responsible for the metaphysical or “spiritual” clash between Islam and the West. Add to enmity the fact that Muslims are permitted to lie to non-Muslims—including by feigning loyalty or friendship—and it becomes apparent how dangerous the doctrine of “loyalty and enmity” is: among other things, disloyalty to infidels (see here, here, and here for examples), and a “mafia mentality,” whereby all Muslims must overtly or covertly work together, suggests that hostility for non-Muslims, even when unseen, is ever present.
Jihad

Notwithstanding ubiquitous popular usage of the term, jihad (جهاد) has distinct theological meaning and implications.

Jihad—war on non-Muslims for no less a reason than that they are non-Muslims—is the physical manifestation or realization of enmity for “infidels.” Not only is it natural to attack and seek to subjugate those whom one is bred on hating, but the doctrine of jihad, including to spread and enforce Sharia around the world, is part and parcel of Islam; it is no less codified than Islam’s Five Pillars. As the Encyclopaedia of Islam‘s entry for “jihad” puts it, the “spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam … Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad can be eliminated.”

One can continue quoting any number of authorities, especially Muslims, saying that jihad to subjugate the world is an ironclad aspect of Islam. Even the late Osama bin Laden—who would have had the West believe that al-Qaeda’s terror is a byproduct of political grievances—when speaking in Arabic to Muslims made it perfectly clear that the doctrine of jihad is the root problem: “Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue… Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam… Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.”

Dhimmitude

But as infidels are to be hated per se and not merely in the context of jihad—the ability of which to prosecute is often curtailed by circumstances—the hostility continues even after the cessation of successful jihads.

 

The term dhimmitude was coined by the late Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel to encapsulate the theologically-rooted demands and expectations pious Muslims have of Christian and Jewish subjects. Writer Bat Ye’or later popularized the term.

Unlike other conquerors and conquests that generally permit the conquered to go on unmolested so long as they do not challenge the new order—some even try to appease and win over their new subjects—whenever and wherever Islam conquers, that old metaphysical hostility which fueled the jihad remains to gloat in triumph over the subject infidels. Thus, not only must the latter pay a special tax (jizya), embrace a subordinate positon, and follow a number of debilitations—they must also be reminded and made to feel inferior and despised, including as a way to “inspire” them to convert to the “true” faith.

As the Islamic State explained in the aforementioned article, regardless of any and all appeasement offered by the non-Muslim, “we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you.”

These three interrelated teachings of Islam are the roots of conflict between Islam and the West.

Either way, Islam wins: If the non-Muslim continues in his faith, the Muslims continue to prey off him; if, on the other hand, the non-Muslim eventually “surrenders” to Islam, the umma gains a new recruit (with death as the penalty should he later entertain second thoughts and apostatize).

These three interrelated teachings of Islam—loyalty and enmity, jihad, and dhimmitude—are unequivocally grounded in Islamic law, or Sharia. They are not matters open to interpretation or debate. By eliminating or lessening the focus from all those other “problematic” teachings that affect Muslims only—but which tend to be conflated with those (three) teachings that directly affect the non-Muslim—one can better appreciate, and thus place the spotlight on, the true roots of conflict between Islam and the West.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Open Occultism and Millennial Magik

More and more millennials are moving away from both traditional Christianity and secularism. John Paul Ferguson writes, “As millennials continue to leave traditional Christian religions, interest in Wiccan and pagan practices have seen increased interest in recent years, a trend also spotted among young people and on college campuses.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same. With each passing generation, this cliché takes on deeper levels of truth. Many have noted just how different the so-called millennial generation (the 18-30 demographic) is from the generations that came before them: their lack of respect for authority, their obsession with entertainment, and their penchant for social media. Yet, for all these differences (and many of them are greatly exaggerated), one thing has remained consistent. The millennial generation is as much under the spiritual attack of paganism as every generation reaching as far back as the Garden of Eden.

Now, I can imagine that some may read those last few sentences with a jaundiced eye. Maybe I’m simply being a Pollyanna, a conservative alarmist warning the masses that the bad people are “coming for your children.” The fact is I’m also skeptical of fanciful claims with a conspiratorial bend. But it appears paganism, and by this I mean “out-and-proud” occultism is making a comeback among young people, and is backed with all the promotional punch of the Internet, social media, and Youtube.

A number of recent articles have recently acknowledged that a kind of spiritual awakening is taking place among millennials. Back in 2005 Catherine Edwards Sanders wrote Wicca’s Charm: Understanding the Spiritual Hunger Behind the Rise of Modern Witchcraft and Pagan Spirituality[1]. There she defines Wicca as,

monistic and pantheistic beliefs that all living things are of equal value. … Humans have no special place, nor are they made in God’s image. … Wiccans believe that they possess divine power within themselves and that they are gods and goddesses. …Consciousness can and should be altered through rite and ritual.[2]

These beliefs are not unique to Wicca, though it does appear that witchcraft is the predominant form of the Oneist resurgence among millennials. Parties on all sides of the worldview spectrum increasingly recognize the trend. Jason, Mankey has authored a piece titled, “Why Millennials Love Paganism,”[3] and Alden Wicker, in his article, “Witchcraft is the perfect religion for liberal millennials”[4] remarks that“ modern witchcraft [is] a movement that is being propelled out of the forest and into the mainstream.” He continues,

Search Meetup and you’ll find dozens of spell-casting covens in your area. The hashtag #witchesofinstagram brings up more than 360,000 posts from practitioners like @TheHoodWitch, who posts pictures of her long, lacquered nails hovering over tarot cards; @witcheryway, a Canadian witch who sells spell kits and incense burners out of her shop, and @light_witch, a self-described feminist in New England who spends her time swanning through outdoor landscapes in capes.

Bri Luna, the “Hoodwitch,” is the founder of the website thehoodwitch.com. The site promotes “everyday magic for the modern mystic.” It has been featured in Vogue Magazine, The Huffington Post, and the New York Times. She has even been featured on the popular Youtube channel Mitú, “a digital media company that brings a Latino [point of view] to mainstream entertainment across multiple platforms.” Luna fully embraces Brujeria, a Spanish-America word for witchcraft. In the video clip she says, “Being a bruja [witch] is not about becoming, it is about already acknowledging what is already existing within you”[5]

More and more millennials are moving away from both traditional Christianity and secularism. John Paul Ferguson writes, “As millennials continue to leave traditional Christian religions, interest in Wiccan and pagan practices have seen increased interest in recent years, a trend also spotted among young people and on college campuses.”[6]

College campuses in particular are fertile breeding grounds for open occultism among millennials. Back in 2010, Syracuse University appointed its very first “Pagan Chaplain” of Hendricks Chapel, an interdenominational place of worship. Further Sarah Sloat highlights the links between increasing liberal collegial causes and paganism.[7] Kari Paul, explains,

Half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. Compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry — which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services — grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. It is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.[8]

This is no alarmist fad. The signs are clear for those with eyes to see. Millennials are our future. If paganism can take root among them it will firmly establish occultism for the foreseeable future among a generation that has never known the vestiges of a Christianized America. The mission field is ripe for harvest. Christians must take a zeal for the truth, seasoned with empathy and love, to these beloved image-bearers who have experienced the disappointing emptiness of secularism’s false promises.

[1] Colorado Springs: Shaw Books, 2005.

[2] Wicca’s Charm , 5, 6.

[3] http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2013/08/why-millennials-love-paganism/

[4] https://qz.com/821298/witchcraft-is-the-perfect-religion-for-liberal-millennials/

[5] You can find the find video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwTOBvDNOw0. Note: There is brief profanity at the 2:36 mark.

[6] “More students, young Americans turn to paganism” https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/38436/

[7] See her article, “As Students Tackle Privilege and the Environment, Paganism Grows on Campus,”

https://www.inverse.com/article/9144-as-students-tackle-privilege-and-the-environment-paganism-grows-on-campus

[8] Kari Paul, “Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology,” https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-millennials-are-ditching-religion-for-witchcraft-and-astrology-2017-10-20

This article appeared on the truthXchange site and is used with permission.

The post Open Occultism and Millennial Magik appeared first on The Aquila Report.

 

Advent week 3: Is joy a choice?

We use the words happiness and joy interchangeably, but do you know the difference between them?

Happiness is a feeling that can be fleeting, but true joy comes from a deeper place of spiritual security and devotion.

Week 3: JOY

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11, ESV).

Please feel free to click video image above, or go to this link to play this week’s video and continue your advent journey.

Source

Kris Vallotton and Bethel Cannot Escape Link to New Age Occultism

Steven Kozar, curator of the Museum of Idolatry, offers proof that Bethel Church of Redding CA is linked to the world of the occult. According to Kozar, Australian couple Ken and Jenny Hodge, founders of Christalignment, “has been following the Bethel methods to a tee.” In Kozar’s story we learn that the couple has been thrown under the bus by Bethel’s Kris VallottonBill Johnson & Company. This story has many twists and turns!

CRN believes that it is important for the Body of Christ to know what goes on at the infamous Bethel Redding — it will curl your hair! So we recommend Steve Kozar’s informative piece over at MoI:

Kris Vallotton and Bill Johnson are in a quagmire of New Age Occultism of their own making, but no matter how many posts they erase, or how much they tell their own cover stories, the truth is that they don’t teach biblical Christianity and it’s (hopefully) starting to become more obvious.

At Bethel Church you find these things:

  • The strange “Latter Rain” false doctrine leftover from creepy cult-leader William Branham
  • The prosperity gospel heresy of Benny Hinn, and many others (including disgusting blog posts from Kris Vallotton, like this)
  •  A witch who gets positive and affirming “prophetic words” from Bethel “prophets” who tell her to continue her witchcraft
  • Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, and other Bethel staff contributed to a book that openly encourages Christians to “take back truths” from the New Age to become more effective Christians

View article →

Source: Kris Vallotton and Bethel Cannot Escape Link to New Age Occultism

Everything You Need To Know About The End Times Cult Known As NAR, Or The New Apostolic Reformation

nar-new-apostolic-reformation-dominion-theology-c-peter-wagner-charismatic-cult-movement-nteb-church-laodicea-falling-away

Rightly dividing is the solvent that quickly dissolves the entire false premise on which Dominion Theology and NAR sit on. Both are a living fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy that in the last days there would be a great falling away from doctrinal, biblical Christianity.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4 (KJV)

What is NAR? It stands for a pseudo-Christian splinter group known as the New Apostolic Reformation, and they believe that they have been tasked with “bringing in the kingdom” and have been told by God to “take control” of earthly governments, financial institutions and to “overcome the world” for King Jesus. In short, they seek to bring in the Kingdom without waiting for the King to arrive in Revelation 19 at the Second Coming. (Read more from our friends at GotQuestions.org).

NAR is part of the larger movement known as Dominion Theology

During the primary elections in 2016, much was made of the fact that professing Christian Ted Cruz has a father, Rafael Cruz, who is a preacher and teacher in the Dominion/NAR movement. Here he is in a video “prophesying” that there will be a coming “wealth transfer from the “wicked to the righteous”. Isn’t it odd that nearly all charismatics have an unbreakable fixation with acquiring wealth and making money? (If you are reading this via email, click here to see video).

So here’s the main problem with NAR/Dominion theology, as well as a few other ‘smaller’ issues

Dominion Theology starts with a scripturally incorrect premise, Postmillennialism, and then makes a drastic left hand turn into full-on heresy by attempting to create a theocracy in America. Thrown into this mongrel mess is the hellish teaching that there will be an ‘end times transfer of wealth’ from the wicked to the ‘righteous’. In short, it’s a big, fat pile of misapplied Bible doctrine wrongly divided, and completely out of it’s proper dispensation and context. And, of course, they see themselves as the “righteous” to whom the “wealth of the wicked” will be transferred to. Oh, brother, give me a break.

Right now, in 2017, rule over this earth has been handed to Satan whom the Bible calls the ‘prince of the power of the air’. It is he who is now ruling over all the kingdoms of this earth. That’s why you have everything ‘in the cloud’, and data sent over WiFi. Satan is ruling the airwaves in these days before the Rapture of the Church. Christians in this dispensation are not ‘working to bring in the kingdom’, we are preaching Paul’s gospel and asking people to get saved while there is still time.

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)

The only kingdom slated to rise up will be the kingdom of Antichrist in the time of Jacob’s trouble. This present world is only going to grow worse and worse, this is what the Bible teaches only Dominionists don’t see it that way.

In Dominion Theology they think that they are working to ‘bring in the kingdom’ of the Lord Jesus Christ. That if they can just get control of all government, and force its citizens to submit to Old Testament law, they can make the world suitable enough for Jesus to return. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ returns to set up His Kingdom, it does not teach that Christians are supposed to create one for Him. So everything they do is geared around trying to ‘bring in the kingdom’ that will only arrive on the Day of the Lord at the Battle of Armageddon.

Signs, Miracles, Wonders and new revelation from God are the basis for NAR

The New Apostolic Reformation teaches that God is still “anointing apostles”, is still giving fresh revelation of prophecy not found in the Bible. While the roots of NAR date back to it’s charismatic beginnings in 1900 in America, the name ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ was coined by a man named C. Peter Wagner back in 1994. Click here to read his article on Charisma.com where he tries to make the case that his movement is “not a cult”.

Wagner’s main error lies in the fact that, while he claims to “take the Bible literally” which is a good thing, he takes it literally without ever, one time, rightly dividing. And from a theological perspective that results in heresy. For example, Wagner looks in the Bible and sees that God has apostles at the start of the Church Age, so he figures that he and his buddies can be one. He forgets that one of the requirements of being an apostle is that you had to have seen the risen Lord Jesus, as Paul tells us here:

“Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 9:1,2 (KJV)

So sorry, C. Peter Wagner, looks like that puts you and your followers out of the running, as they say. But wait…there’s more! Wagner looks in the Bible and sees people performing signs, miracles and wonders, so he thinks since he just made himself an apostle doing signs and wonders should be par for the course. Guess he forgot to read where an actual apostle, Paul, tells us that signs, miracles and wonders will end and are not for the Church Age. Please note the following verses:

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 (KJV)

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)

Christians in the Church Age are told to walk by faith, and not by sight. Sign and miracles are absolutely walking by sight. Lastly, our real apostle Paul tell us that signs are for the Jews.

“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 (KJV)

Here is Wagner giving us an overview on NAR doctrine:

“The way to achieve dominion is to have kingdom-minded people in every one of the Seven Mountains: Religion, Family, Education, Government, Media, Arts & Entertainment, and Business so that they can use their influence to create an environment in which the blessings and prosperity of the Kingdom of God can permeate all areas of society.” source

So he wants to use physical and earthly means to bring in a spiritual kingdom, does he? That’s a pretty good trick. Too bad it’s impossible. So why do people follow the New Apostolic Reformation and Dominion Theology? That’s a pretty easy answer, watch this video:

It’s all about money, money, and mo’ money!

Ever wonder how charismatic televangelists like Kenneth Copeland, Rodney Howard Browne, Jessie Duplantis, Paula White and Joel Osteen generate millions of dollars of month each? Because they tickle the ears of their followers with sugar-coated lies that are eagerly lapped up by Bible-deficient pew fillers who are only too willing to empty their wallets to acquire the “deeper blessings” promised by these false teachers.

Who wants to be a regular, boring old Christian dealing with trying to walk a clean walk with the Lord when you can be crowned as an “apostle” who has miraculous gifts? It’s so much more exciting than just being saved and walking by faith.

Born again Christians in the Church Age have no command to “subdue the world” and bring in the kingdom. We are called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, lead people to salvation, and warn the lost of coming judgment. The apostle Paul told no one to “bring in the kingdom”, had no wealth, and lived completely by faith in God, and the charitable giving of his converts in the churches he started. The idea of the NAR’s “seven mountains” was never even a thought in his head.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

Rightly dividing is the solvent that quickly dissolves the entire false premise on which Dominion Theology and NAR sit on. Both are a living fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy that in the last days there would be a great falling away from doctrinal, biblical Christianity. NAR doctrine comes from taking the current Church Age, the coming Kingdom Age, and vainly attempting to make them one. You can’t, they don’t ever exist together either on earth or in Heaven. Rightly divide, or slip and slide. Your choice.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 (KJV)

Source: Everything You Need To Know About The End Times Cult Known As NAR, Or The New Apostolic Reformation

Christalignment Chaos At Bethel Church Using ‘Destiny Reading Cards’ To Deceive Followers With Witchcraft

christalignment-bethel-church-destiny-reading-cards-new-age-occult-born-to-create

The charismatics at Bethel Church and elsewhere have commandeered this satanic practice and seek to help people gain insight into their life from these “readings.”

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11 (KJV)

Oh brother, where do you even begin with this one? Just when you thought that Bethel Church in Redding, California, could not squeeze in even one more demon they go and add a legion more. When I first read this story just yesterday on Pulpit And Pen, I thought no way is this true. Then I did some digging that the Pulpit people did not seem to do, and the shocking confirmation was soon in evidence.

From Pulpit & Pen: Called “Destiny Reading Cards,” charismatics – some associated with Bethel Church in Redding, California – are engaging in what is essentially tarot card reading. They call it a “reading” and refer to the program as “Christalignment.” They don’t do “predictions,” but they will help empower your destiny rather than control it. Using what is essentially tarot cards, they do a “reading” about relations, jobs and issues to help people “make better decisions in the future.” source

That is a very heavy claim to make, so I went to the main Bethel site and found nothing. I went to the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry…and found nothing. Then I went and talked with Google, and I hit the motherlode.

Seems that a woman named Theresa Dedmon is on staff at Bethel, this is from her bio:

“I am on pastoral staff at Bethel Church in Redding, California, where I oversee the Creative Arts department for the Church and School of Supernatural Ministry. I instruct on worship expressions and arts events within the church, as well as strategy and coordination for city transformation and outreach. I also speak at national and international conferences, equipping and activating people in prophetic and healing ministry as I show them how to step into their supernatural and creative destinies.” source

Theresa has written a book entitled ‘Born To Create: Stepping Into Your SUPERNATURAL destiny‘ and it’s a doozy if you’re saved. It’s full on deception if you’re not. Here is what she says under the header ‘Welcome Ministry, Staff and Small Groups’:

“Supernatural creativity can impact people who are coming to your church for the first time. During the school year, I have the School of Ministry students sit at Bethel’s welcome table and prophesy to newcomers through destiny cards, singing, and playing instruments over people…” source

Destiny cards are nothing more than “christian” tarot cards and completely connected to Satanism and the occult

There is a group calling themselves ‘Christalignment‘ and this is where the New Age destiny reading cards come from. Bethel Church has created a “ministry” to partner with the Christalignment people called ‘Mind, Body and Spirit’. Christalignment is pro-LGBTQ, extremely New Age, and 100% occult. And the “christ’ they want to align you to is not Jesus Christ, it’s the other guy:

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” 1 John 2:18 (KJV)

The word ‘christ’ means ‘messiah’ in the Bible. God has His Christ who is the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, but the Devil has his christ as well, the one we call the Antichrist. This is the christ of the Christalignment people, and sadly, it would also seem to be the christ of Bethel Church as well.

If your church has anything to do with Christalignment, destiny reading cards, or Bethel Church, run as fast as you can to the exit, or you may up in a church service that looks like this:

Watch False Teacher Heidi Baker Imparting Demons And Casting Spells At Bethel Church

If you are reading this via email, click this link to watch video.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4 (KJV)

Source: Christalignment Chaos At Bethel Church Using ‘Destiny Reading Cards’ To Deceive Followers With Witchcraft

December 17, 2017: Afternoon Verse Of The Day

weep with those who weep (12:15b)

It is also distinctively Christian to be sensitive to the disappointments, hardships, and sorrows of others, to weep with those who weep. That is the duty of sympathy, empathy, entering into the suffering of others. Compassion has in the very word the idea of suffering with someone. God is called a compassionate God (Deut. 4:31; Neh. 9:17; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2). He is so compassionate, so tender toward His people, that “His compassions never fail” (Lam. 3:22). James speaks of Him as being “full of compassion” (James 5:11). We see this compassion, sympathy, and tenderheartedness of God in the tears of Jesus over the grave of Lazarus. He mingled His tears with those of Mary and Martha (John 11:35). Reminding us that we should reflect our Lord’s character, Paul said, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12).

Surely one of the most touchingly profound testimonies to God’s heart of tender sympathy toward His children who weep is found in Psalm 56, where the writer implores the Lord, “Put my tears in Thy bottle” (v. 8). The Lord stores up our tears as treasures. If we are to be like our Father and His Son, we, too, must enter into the sorrow of others.

A lovely illustration of that attitude is seen in a custom practiced in ancient Jerusalem. When the great temple built by Herod stood on the temple mount, it had only one entrance, located at the base of the southern wall, the remains of which are still recognizable today. Farther east on the same wall was the exit. The people would enter through the opening that allowed them to go through the wall, ascend the stairs to the temple area, and then exit by the other passage. Huge crowds flowed in and out in steady streams. There was one exception, however, to that pattern. One group of worshipers was to go the opposite way, entering by way of the exit and leaving through the entrance. As they bumped into and squeezed by each other, the two groups came face to face. The sad faces of those who were experiencing sorrow could be seen by those going the opposite direction, and, in those brief moments, the grief could be shared.

In addition to weeping for those who do weep, we should, like Jeremiah grieving for sinful Israel (Jer. 9:1–3) and Jesus looking out over unbelieving Jerusalem (Luke 19:41–44), also weep for those who should weep but do not.[1]


15 One charge follows another without any apparent connection as Paul next calls on his readers to share one another’s joys and sorrows. This is not merely a matter of empathy with others; rather, it presupposes the unity of the members of the body of Christ. As Paul expressed the point in 1 Corinthians 12:26, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored [lit., “glorified”], every part rejoices with it.”[2]


12:15. Identity with others in their joys and sorrows is evidence of love flowing from one who is a living sacrifice. These are admonitions that Paul had made in his lengthy writing on body dynamics in 1 Corinthians 12 (cf. v. 26). He also touches the subject in 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 and Galatians 6:2.[3]


15. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.

One way of proving to ourselves that our hearts are in the right place is to identify with other persons, so that we not only weep with those who weep but even rejoice with those who rejoice; and this not only with fellow-believers but with all those with whom we enter into a relationship of relative closeness, be they believers or unbelievers. If we truly love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27), this should be possible. But never will it be possible for us truly to identify with the other person, whether believer or unbeliever, unless by God’s sovereign grace the truth of Christ’s taking upon himself our guilt and misery is by the Holy Spirit deeply impressed upon our heart and mind. The result will certainly be the advancement of the glory of God (Matt. 5:16), the entrance into our heart of the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7), and perhaps even the winning of the neighbor for Christ (1 Peter 3:1).

The opposite of rejoicing is being filled with envy (Titus 3:3); and over against weeping stands gloating (over). Note sad result (Prov. 17:5).[4]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 197–198). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 191). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Boa, K., & Kruidenier, W. (2000). Romans (Vol. 6, p. 376). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 12–13, pp. 417–418). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

DECEMBER 17 MERCY: A BOUNDLESS SEA

God, who is rich in mercy…even when we were dead in sins.

Ephesians 2:4–5

A human being is never really aware of the great boundless sea of the mercy of God until by faith he comes across the threshold of the kingdom of God and recognizes it and identifies it!

My father was sixty years old when he bowed before Jesus Christ and was born again. That was a near lifetime in which he had sinned and lied and cursed. But to him, the mercy of God that took him to heaven was no greater than the mercy of God that had endured and kept him for sixty years.

I recall the story of an ancient rabbi who consented to take a weary old traveler into his house for a night of rest. In conversation, the rabbi discovered the visitor was almost 100 years old and a confirmed atheist. Infuriated, the rabbi arose, opened the door and ordered the man out into the night.

Then, sitting down by his candle and Old Testament, it seemed he heard a voice, God’s voice: “I have endured that sinner for almost a century. Could you not endure him for a night?” The rabbi ran out and overtaking the old man, brought him back to the hospitality of his home for the night.[1]


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

December 17 Parable of the Leaven, Part 1

He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”—Matt. 13:33

Small things often have a great influence, which is the first point of Jesus’ parable here. The influence is analogous to the effect a small piece of leavened dough, as it permeates and rises, can have on a larger lump of unleavened dough. Here the influence represents the power of God’s kingdom, which is much greater than its initial, small appearances. The smallest part of the kingdom will influence the world because it contains the Holy Spirit’s power working through believers.

Secondly, the parable suggests that kingdom influence is positive, just as leavening is for bread. To symbolize their break with Egypt, God commanded His people to eat only unleavened bread (Ex. 12:15, 18–19). But apart from the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they were free to eat and enjoy leavened bread. The Jews always perceived leaven favorably, as when a bride-to-be received a small piece of leavened dough just before her wedding. From that she would bake bread the rest of her married life and consider the small gift among the most cherished she ever received.

As to how leaven represents the large and positive influence of God’s kingdom against Satan’s, William Arnot wrote,

The evil spreads like leaven; you tremble … but be of good cheer, disciples of Jesus, greater is He that is for you than all that are against you; the word of life which has been hidden in the world, hidden in believing hearts, is a leaven too. The unction of the Holy One is more subtle and penetrating and subduing than sin and Satan. Where sin abounded, grace shall much more abound.

ASK YOURSELF

What small addition or adjustment could you make to your lifestyle priorities as a Christian that would result in a big change of usefulness and effectiveness?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 360). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

December 17 Christians and Christmas

He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord.

Romans 14:6

The Puritans in early America rejected Christmas celebrations altogether. They deliberately worked on December 25 to show their disdain. A law passed in England in 1644 reflected a similar Puritan influence; the law made Christmas Day an official working day. For a time in England it was literally illegal to cook plum pudding or mince pie for the holidays.

Christians today are generally not opposed to celebrating Christmas. The holiday itself is nothing, and observing it is not a question of right or wrong. As Paul wrote, “One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God” (Rom. 14:5–6). Every day—including Christmas—is a celebration for us who know and love Him.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 378). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

December 17, 2017: Morning Verse Of The Day

26 The psalmist shares the votive offerings (cf. Lev 7:16–21) with the poor and afflicted so as to give them a sense of relief, which he has so recently experienced. The votive offering was enjoyed at the temple as a communal meal. He blesses them with the comfort that even as food has strengthened their bodies, so the Lord will strengthen their hearts, enabling them to endure the period of their affliction with patience. Those who diligently seek the Lord (cf. 24:6) will praise him for his salvation (cf. v. 24).[1]


22:26 In the last six verses of the Psalm there is a change of speaker. Now the Holy Spirit speaks, describing the ideal conditions that will prevail during the peace and prosperity of the Millennium.

Poverty will then be banished; the poor shall eat and be satisfied.

The earth will be full of God’s praise. All who seek Him will praise the Lord. On all these worshipers the Spirit pronounces the blessing, “Let your heart live forever!”[2]


22:26 The afflicted will eat Likely related to the thanksgiving sacrifice, which was to be shared as a meal (Lev 7:15–16; Deut 12:5–7). These feasts could include the poor (Deut 16:10–11).[3]


22:26 shall eat and be satisfied. Perhaps a reference to the sacrificial meal of the Old Testament peace offering, when the vow is paid and the worshipers are included.[4]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 248). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 579). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 22:26). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 756). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

DECEMBER 17 SILENT ADORATION

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

—Psalm 95:6-7

Next is adoration, to love God with all the power within us. To love God with fear and wonder and yearning and awe. To yearn for God with great yearning, and to love Him to a point where it is both painful and delightful. At times this will lead us to breathless silence. I think that some of the greatest prayer is prayer where you don’t say one single word or ask for anything. Now God does answer and He does give us what we ask for. That’s plain; nobody can deny that unless he denies the Scriptures. But that’s only one aspect of prayer, and it’s not even the important aspect. Sometimes I go to God and say, “God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast done already.” God’s already put me so far in debt that if I were to live one million millenniums I couldn’t pay Him for what He’s done for me. WMJ024

Lord, You have given me so much. Today I ask nothing but Your Presence as I bow before You in silent adoration. Amen. [1]


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

December 17 The Meaning of Christ’s Exaltation

“God highly exalted Him.”

Philippians 2:9

✧✧✧

The Father exalted the Son as the God–man.

A question that often springs to mind regarding the exaltation of Christ is how Jesus could be exalted since He is already God. We find the answer in Jesus’ High–Priestly prayer in John 17, where He asked the Father to restore to Him the glory He had with the Father before the world began (v. 5). Christ’s request shows that He gave up something that God would give back to Him. Christ gave up His glory in the Incarnation. Beyond glorification, in His exaltation Christ would receive more than He had before.

How is that possible? God has it all. Christ didn’t become any more God or any more perfect; He was already the Most High God—King of kings and Lord of lords. But as the God–man, a new state of being for Him, He suffered things and was given things He would not otherwise have had if He had not become the God–man. For example, He never would have had the privilege of being the interceding High Priest for His people if He had never been touched with the feelings of their infirmities—tempted in all points like them. If He had not become the God–man, He would never have become our substitute by bearing our sins in His own body on the cross. As God He was incapable of elevation, but as the God–Man He could be lifted up from the lowest degradation to the highest degree of glory. So in a sense He received from the Father privileges He didn’t have before—privileges He gained because of His incarnation.

At His ascension Christ was seated at the Father’s right hand. He was elevated to that position as the God–man—a state of being that was His only because of His incarnation. Thus He entered upon the rights and privileges not only of God as God, but of God as the God–man. His exaltation was not with regard to His nature or eternal place within the Trinity but with regard to His new character as the God–man.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Father for exalting His Son to His rightful place in Heaven.

For Further Study: According to Acts 5:31, in what two ways did God exalt Christ to His right hand? Why?[1]


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

December 16 Daily Help

But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.—Luke 24:16.

THE disciples had heard his voice so often, and gazed upon that marred face so frequently, that it is wonderful they did not discover him. Yet is it not so with you also? You have not seen Jesus lately. You have been to his table, and you have not met him there. You are in a dark trouble this day, and though he plainly says, “It is I, be not afraid,” yet you cannot discern him. Dear child of God, are you in this state? Faith alone can bring us to see Jesus. Make it your prayer, “Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I may see my Saviour present with me.”[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 354). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

December 16, 2017: Evening Verse Of The Day

13 The last description of the word of God is now explained in more direct language: we cannot hide from God the Creator, who knows all about everything and everyone that he has made. “Uncovered and laid bare” translates a remarkably vivid phrase (Montefiore, “naked and prostrate”), in which the second term comes from wrestling and originally denoted “taken by the throat” or “with the neck twisted back,” hence at the mercy of your opponent. (An alternative sense that might still reflect the imagery of the sword is that it pictures a sacrificial victim with its neck bared to the knife.) The sense is that of Psalm 139, with its insistent declaration that God knows everything about us and it is no good trying to escape him.[1]


4:13 / Indeed, the point of the preceding is now made plain: nothing in all creation (lit., “no creature) is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before his eyes, and the connotation of this language is that all are inescapably vulnerable not only to God’s scrutiny but also to his judgment. This aspect is made explicit in the final sentence: it is God to whom we must give account (cf. Rom. 14:12). Thus verses 12 and 13 are applied to the readers to remind them of the seriousness of their choice. It is worth wondering whether the readers contemplated some form of compromise that was meant to veil what was actually apostasy.[2]


The nature of God (4:13)

This flows naturally from what has gone before. God uses his word to penetrate man’s stubborn and rebellious heart, for he knows how much we need it; he sees what is really there. He looks right below the extremely thin veneer of merely outward piety to the true thoughts of man. He can test man’s sincerity. Nothing whatever is hidden from his searching gaze. Everything is exposed to his sight. In view of this, how ridiculous is our pretence and how nauseating our hypocrisy. The words with whom we have to do can be translated ‘before whom we must render account’. Whether he likes it or not, man is moving to his destiny. The message of one who has gone before as pioneer and priest is a word of immediate relevance. Christ’s essential work for man has been effectively accomplished. Our part is to hear, believe, obey and share this word of abundant life.[3]


4:13. This verse contains a general statement about the relationship between the Creator and the creation. The Greek text does not mention the name God, but it is clear that the writer of Hebrews was referring to God as the mighty Judge of the universe.

He stated the same truth both negatively and positively. Negatively, he said, Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Positively, he stated, Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Laid bare (tetraxelismena) is a vivid term describing either the grip of a wrestler on the neck of an opponent or the grip on the neck of a sacrificial victim in preparation for sacrifice. The neck is about to be snapped, or the throat is about to be cut. The word picture reminds us that we cannot hide from God because he sees all our guilt.

Ending with this solemn thought causes us to ask, “Who can represent guilty sinners before a God who sees everything?” This leads to the next section on the high-priestly work of Christ and its provision of mercy and help for wandering sinners.[4]


13. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

The emphasis in 4:12–13 shifts from the Word of God to God himself. If God’s Word uncovers everything, then it follows that God himself is fully aware of all things. It is therefore impossible for man to hide his sinful motives in the dark corners of his heart. God knows. He sees everything; even darkness is as light to him (Ps. 139:12).

Moreover, the past, the present, and the future are all alike to God. While we are bound to time and place, God dwells in eternity and transcends all that he has made in his great creation. He created the magnificent constellations in outer space and hung the stars in place. He also created the tiny spider that busily weaves its web. If then his eye is on the sparrow, does he not know the hidden motives of man? Before we open our mouths to speak, God already knows. If we remain silent, he discerns.

No creature is hidden from God’s sight, because with God everything is light—there is no darkness. Man, the pinnacle of God’s creation, is invited to walk in that light, so that he may see clearly. Consider these verses:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. [Ps. 119:105]

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. [John 8:12]

The unbeliever seeks to hide from God but is unable to do so (Jer. 23:24). Secret sins man can hide from his fellow man, but before God sinful man is “uncovered and laid bare.” This latter expression, in the original Greek, refers to the neck. The precise meaning of the word, however, is not clear. Perhaps it indicates that a sinner will have his head pushed up and back so that his face and neck will be exposed to view. Whatever the interpretation may have been, the expression itself is sufficiently clear in context. It is synonymous with the word uncovered and indicates that God’s all-seeing eye rests upon everything.

The clause “to whom we must give account” is rather interesting. The books must be audited, and all the bills, payments, and receipts handed over to be checked. Man must give an account of himself before God, the auditor. The books of man’s conscience are open before God’s eyes. Nothing escapes him.

In the last day sinners may call to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” (Rev. 6:16). In the final judgment, everyone must give an account of himself. Only those who are in Christ Jesus will hear the liberating word acquitted.[5]


4:13 Second, unbelief is detected by the living Lord. Here the pronoun shifts from the impersonal to the personal: And there is no creature hidden from His sight. Nothing escapes His notice. He is absolutely omniscient. He is constantly aware of all that is going on in the universe. Of course, the important point in the context is that He knows where there is real faith and where there is only an intellectual assent to facts.[6]


4:13 open … to the eyes of Him. “Open” is a specialized term used just this one time in the NT. It originally meant to expose the neck either in preparation for sacrifice or for beheading. Perhaps the use of “sword” in the previous verse triggered the term. Each individual is judged not only by the Word of God (cf. Jn 12:48), but by God Himself. We are accountable to the living, written Word (cf. Jn 6:63, 68; Ac 7:38) and to the living God who is its author.[7]


[1] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 68). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (pp. 73–74). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Brown, R. (1988). The message of Hebrews: Christ above all (p. 92). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[4] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 72–73). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 118–119). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2169). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Heb 4:13). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

December 16: Freedom

Jeremiah 31:1–40; Romans 6:15–7:6; Proverbs 21:1–12

We like to think of ourselves as autonomous. Our modern culture champions freedom and the right to pursue happiness. But if we apply the concept of rights when we think about faith, following Christ can feel like religion, dogma, rules—a type of bondage that requires us to think and behave in ways that make our autonomous selves bridle.

Paul looks at the issue differently: “Do you not know that to whomever you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to whomever you obey, whether sin, leading to death, or obedience, leading to righteousness?” (Rom 6:16). He uses another analogy in his letter to the church in Rome—one that draws on the practice of the slavery within his own culture—to highlight the opposite view. If we live without God, he says, we have a debt that binds us. We are a slave to sin, and it’s the type of bondage that leads to death.

Yet, there is hope. Although we were slaves to sin, we can be redeemed from that slavery. Christ has paid the debt we incurred. He has set us free and brought us into a new bondage—not one that binds to death, but one that binds us to Him in life. If we believe this is true and put our trust in Him, we are no longer slaves.

As redeemed people, we’re called to a new life. While we once charted our own independent path—one that led to death—we can turn and follow a path that leads to sanctification and eternal life, a path that God charts just for us. While our path required a toll—death—Christ has paid that toll so we can walk in new life: “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

How have your old habits and patterns of behavior changed now that you’ve been set free? What still needs to change to reflect your new loyalty to Christ?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.