Republicans want to channel momentum from the GOP’s victory on taxes into a push to overhaul the nation’s welfare programs, though some of President Donald Trump’s advisers prefer a less controversial infrastructure plan at the top of his agenda.
President Donald Trump plans to sign the tax bill on Jan. 3 to ensure automatic spending cuts to Medicare and other programs don’t take effect, according to a House Republican aide familiar with the plans.
Burundi’s government said it expects 60,000 refugees to return next year in a sign the East African nation’s more than two-year political crisis is over, a claim disputed by an opposition leader who described conditions as still too dangerous.
Australian police said there is no evidence of a terrorist link to a car ramming attack Thursday in central Melbourne that left 19 people injured.
South Korean investigators are looking into North Korea’s possible involvement in the hack of a Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed this week, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
A second North Korean soldier in as many months fled across the heavily fortified land border separating the two Koreas, capping a year that has seen the most military defections this century from Kim Jong Un’s regime.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to reduce dependency of critical minerals used in everything from batteries to phones.
AT&T Inc., the phone carrier locked in a battle with the U.S. government over its Time Warner Inc. acquisition, lauded President Donald Trump and Congress for their tax-cut bill and said 200,000 U.S. workers will get a special $1,000 bonus to celebrate.
South Africa’s ruling party has ratified a proposal for the state rather than private shareholders to own the central bank.
U.S. filings for unemployment benefits jumped to the highest in five weeks, though the level remained low by historical standards, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Jobless claims increased by 20k to 245k, biggest rise since week ended Sept. 2, which reflected Hurricane Harvey.
Chubb Ltd., best known for catering to wealthy families and corporations, is among at least three insurers facing a jump in costs tied to claims from ransomware attacks. The firms attribute much of that to the surging price of bitcoin, the currency of choice for online extortionists. And that’s bad news for everyone.
AP Top Stories
Life expectancy in the US has declined for the second year in a row as the opioid crisis continues to ravage the nation. It is the first time in half a century that there have been two consecutive years of declining life expectancy. Americans can now expect to live 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 years. Drug overdoses killed 63,600 Americans in 2016, an increase of 21% over the previous year.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has upped the ante in his war on Christmas with a new rule that prohibits any “gatherings that involve alcohol and singing.”
According to South Korean intelligence North Korea conducting experiments Kim Jong-un’s regime looking at putting anthrax warheads on missiles North Korea has tested missile which it claims could hit east of the U.S.
The U.S. Education Department on Wednesday canceled the student-loan debts of 12,900 people defrauded by defunct Corinthian Colleges, but its announcement that it will give varying amounts of debt relief in the future set off fierce criticism.
President Trump said the massive tax bill that Republicans passed on Wednesday will effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
Congress’ failure to renew a program that provides health care to low-income children by year’s end could cause almost 2 million kids to lose their coverage as soon as next month.
A federal judge on Wednesday declared a mistrial in the criminal case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and three others for their role in a 2014 armed standoff with U.S. government agents, and rebuked prosecutors for withholding evidence from the defense.
A ferry carrying 251 people has capsized in stormy seas off the east coast of the Philippines. Local fisherman and rescue boats saved more than 200 of those on board – but at least four people died and seven are missing.
Apple has confirmed the suspicions of many iPhone owners by revealing it does deliberately slow down some models of the iPhone as they age. Many customers have long suspected that Apple slows down older iPhones to encourage people to upgrade.
The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has reached one million. At least 2,226 people are believed to have died of the disease since April, although the number of new cases has declined for 14 consecutive weeks.
Kaci Sullivan, from Missouri, first gave birth five years ago, before beginning to transition and start living as a man. Kaci conceived with partner Steven after a break from taking male hormones.
Liberal political correctness has gone wild at the University of Minnesota and officials at one of the biggest universities in the United States are essentially banning Christmas. Not only that, any colors or themes or “icons” that may possible be associated with Christmas are banned as well. Even jolly ole Santa Claus gets the boot.
In anticipation of new laws, gun owners are stuffing their stockings with ammunition this holiday season. With less than two weeks before the New Year and new ammunition and gun laws on the horizon, ammunition retailers are experiencing an increase in business.
News – 12/21/2017
The International Community and the Liberal Media
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley glared at her colleagues at the UN Security Council Monday as she cast the lone nay vote against a draft resolution presented by Egypt to nullify US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Haley then berated her UN colleagues for their assault against US sovereignty and for their prolonged efforts to delegitimize Israel and blame the Jewish state for the absence of peace. In her words, “The United States refuses to accept the double standard that says we are not impartial when we stand by the will of the American people by moving our US embassy, but somehow the United Nations is a neutral party when it consistently singles out Israel for condemnation.”
Trump Threatens to Cut Aid Over UN Jerusalem Measure
President Donald Trump threatened to cut off foreign aid to countries that back an upcoming United Nations General Assembly resolution that seeks to annul America’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump said at the White House.
Fatah launches virulent attack against Trump over Jerusalem move
The attacks have not been limited to social media, either, and have also been given a stage on Palestinian state media, which is controlled by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
Jihadis bank on bitcoin for fresh flow of terror funding
Yaya J. Fanusie, the director of analysis at US think tank the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance says that although untraceable cash remains the global terror network’s preferred medium for moving funds, recent online activity shows that jihadist groups are turning to bitcoin digital currency to attract funds from supporters.
Sen. Al Franken to officially resign on Jan. 2
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken plans to resign from Congress in early January, a spokesman for the Democratic Senator said Wednesday. Franken will officially step down on Jan. 2, after he announced his resignation earlier in December as several women made allegations of unwanted sexual advances and more than a dozen other Democratic Senators called for him to step down.
Catalonia election: Voters in bid to solve political crisis
The people of Catalonia are voting in a closely watched regional election, called by Spain following a controversial independence referendum. The snap election pits Catalan pro-independence parties against those who want the region to remain a semi-autonomous part of Spain. All indications are that the result will be very close.
House gives final approval to tax bill
The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, sending a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill to President Donald Trump for his signature…The House approved the measure by 224-201…on Wednesday. The Republican-led Senate had passed it 51-48 in the early hours of Wednesday.
Silicon Valley Frankenmeat to Save the World from Global Warming
If Silicon Valley green tech giants have their way, real meat will become an unaffordable carbon taxed luxury item eaten by the very rich. The rest of us will have to eat “meatless meat” – meat flavoured mashed vegetables and lab grown tissue cultures.
Anti-Semitism is still alive in Germany as Jews face ‘disturbing’ discrimination
…Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2015 to open the nation’s arms to 1 million mostly Muslim refugees has created a double threat for Germany’s roughly 120,000 Jews: rising anti-Semitism from the newcomers and a resurgent right-wing nationalist movement spawned by the arrival of so many immigrants. The anti-Semitic sentiment has become more pubic and virulent, said Tanaev, 32. “When I arrived in Germany … I never saw such displays.”
House Republicans quietly investigate perceived corruption at DOJ, FBI
A group of House Republicans has gathered secretly for weeks in the Capitol in an effort to build a case that senior leaders of the Justice Department and FBI improperly — and perhaps criminally — mishandled the contents of a dossier that describes alleged ties between President Donald Trump and Russia, according to four people familiar with their plans.
Trump threatens U.N. nations rejecting Jerusalem declaration
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is taking a bold stand for President Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – warning that she will be “taking names” of nations that reject the president’s decision in a General Assembly vote scheduled for Thursday. And what will the U.S. do with those names? President Trump is threatening to cut off aid to the countries in Haley’s list of names that call for him to withdraw his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
IT HAD TO BE SAID: Israel is not the cause of problems in the Middle East says President Trump
U.S. President Trump poised to unveil “America First” national security strategy Monday • Strategy argues the threats from radical terrorists and Iran are proving that Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the “prime irritant” preventing regional peace.
ISRAEL TO THE RESCUE: Light and Water Flow to Rural Africa Due to Israeli Tech|
Israeli-led NGO applies Israeli solar technologies to bring clean water and electricity to rural African villages. The scene was shocking: Villagers in Akuyam, Uganda, hadn’t eaten in three days when Sivan Ya’ari and her Innovation: Africa staff met them in February 2017 on their way to check on the organization’s solar water-pumping and drip-irrigation projects in six nearby villages.
Trump Makes Space Great Again|
“Foremost,” the NASA administrator described his marching orders from Obama, “he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.” The great new mission of America’s space agency would be to make Muslims “feel good about their historic contribution to science.”
SODOM AND GEMORRAH: Bestiality brothels are ‘spreading through Germany’ warns campaigner as abusers turn to sex with animals as ‘lifestyle choice’
The rather shocking take away from the study is that the virus alters the gene expression of brain cells, literally making people perform more poorly on cognitive tests, visual processing and spatial awareness.
Real science: Almost half the population may be infected with a mysterious virus that makes people stupid
…The rather shocking take away from the study is that the virus alters the gene expression of brain cells, literally making people perform more poorly on cognitive tests, visual processing and spatial awareness.
New Western Wall tunnels synagogue opened
The synagogue is deep inside the complex and is adjacent to the area above which the ancient Jewish temples on the Temple Mount stood, and the inner sanctum of the Holy of Holies in particular.
Parish priest breaks the silence, shares that he is gay
“I will embrace the person that God created me to be,” the gay Catholic priest Father Greiten wrote. “In my priestly life and ministry, I, too, will help you, whether you are gay or straight, bisexual or transgendered, to be your authentic self — to be fully alive living in your image and likeness of God.
Congress Set To Reauthorize Controversial Surveillance Program
The House is poised to reauthorize a controversial warrantless surveillance program allowing government collection of foreign emails on U.S. soil. The authority known as Section 702, established in 2008 as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act, allows the National Security Agency to collect information and communications of overseas foreign targets from U.S. companies without a warrant.
Snowden hosts Reddit AMA over Congress’ mass surveillance plan
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the ACLU held a live Reddit Ask Me Anything session, which included 400 questions on congressional plans to sneak in a bill to expand mass surveillance measures. Of the 440 questions asked Wednesday, about 20 garnered responses from the panelists, which included American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ashley Gorski, ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani, and Snowden.
Ex-Planned Parenthood Director Tells All
A former Planned Parenthood manager called the abortion organization “demonic” in a Wednesday interview, explaining why she left the abortion business.
Thanks to Barack Obama the Libyan Slave Trade is Flourishing – And Black Africans Once Again Held as Slaves
Before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton got involved in Libya it was comparatively stable and no strategic threat to the United States or its allies. But that was before Obama and Hillary toppled the regime and Guddafi’s body was carted through the streets on the hood of a pickup.
According to Signs of the Times, there has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, describes how the vast underlying foundations of anti-elite, anti-reason, and anti-science have been infused into America’s political and social fabric. Mark Bauerlein, in his book, The Dumbest Generation, reveals how a whole generation of youth is being dumbed down by their aversion to reading anything of substance and their addiction to digital “crap” that is composed on social media.
Headlines – 12/21/2017
|Rare ‘ghost snow tsunami’ wave caught on camera
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 12:29 PM PST
A photographer has captured a rare weather phenomenon that she’s described as a ‘ghost snow tsunami’. The mirage happens when snow crystals, light and wind are perfectly aligned on the horizon. Ariel McGlothin was hoping to capture some local wildlife in action when she went out to take some pictures in Kelly, Wyoming, but inadvertently witnessed an incredibly rare spectacle. Standing before a
huge wall of icy powder, a strange mirage began to form as the sun – aligned perfectly with the direction of the wind – began to highlight snow crystals moving in the cold wind, resembling a series of ghostly waves crashing against a shoreline. The display lasted for a few moments as the virtually translucent ‘waves’ continue to appear to flow forward, leaving 30-year-old Ariel with a conflicted feeling that she ‘needed to flee’ the seeming tsunami. READ MORE
|Former US Ambassador John Bolton warns “Trump must take action before Kim unleashes nuclear attack on US”
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 12:19 PM PST
North Korea will soon be able to get “deliverable nuclear weapons” unless the United States ends its diplomatic approach, former US Ambassador John Bolton warned. North Korea has been ramping up its aggressive rhetoric against the United States after leader Kim Jong-un kickstarted a war of words with Donald Trump. Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said: “North Korea will get deliverable nuclear weapons.
That’s the point we are at. This is coming very soon unless we take action. “I think the fact that Secretary Tillerson is still talking about the possibility of negotiation with North Korea undermines the signal of strength that we are trying to show.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US was “open” to holding diplomatic talks with Pyongyang to defuse the tension fueling fears of World War 3. READ MORE
|Dead Boy Returns From Afterlife to Tell His Mom About Heaven
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 11:54 AM PST
“I didn’t see what he was yelling at. I didn’t see the ambulance coming, but I remember him yelling. That was the last thing I heard from him,” says Julie. On a Sunday morning in 1997, Julie Kemp; her husband, Andy; and their 8-year-old son, Landon, were driving home from church when an ambulance returning to its station broadsided their car in an intersection. Andy died instantly. Rescuers stabilized Julie but did not initially realize there was a third passenger in the car.
Julie says, “They couldn’t see his body because of the damage that was done to the driver’s side of the car and Landon was sitting behind his dad. And when they saw Landon’s shoe, it took a deeper search for his body. When they pulled Landon out from the back of the car, he was not breathing. And they all started working on him right away to bring him back.” Landon was resuscitated and life-flighted to Carolina’s Medical Center. He died two more times that day, and both times, he was brought back to life. Doctors didn’t give Julie much hope for his survival. READ MORE
|Japan Building Missile Bases to Confront Rising Threat From China
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 11:46 AM PST
Japan is building missile bases on islands off the coast of China in a bid to counter the rising threat from its communist neighbor. The country’s military – which has long been restricted by its post-Second World War pacifist constitution – has been constructing anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons on Ishigaki, 200 miles from eastern China and just off the coast of Taiwan. It is one of many islands in the Yaeyama archipelago to be garrisoned by the Japanese, with soldiers bringing new weapons and radar technology to the area.
The Japanese army – or Ground Self-Defense Force – told the Wall Street Journal it plans to deploy between 500 and 600 soldiers to Ishigaki to operate a missile system there. It comes after the country announced its intention to buy offensive air-to-surface missiles to counter North Korea’s rising military threat. Defence secretary Itsunori Onodera said the ministry intends to request a special budget for the fiscal year starting April 2018 to purchase long-range cruise missiles to be deployed on fighter jets. READ MORE
|“Possessed” airline passenger causes mid-air emergency on Air China flight
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 07:27 AM PST
An airline passenger who claimed she was “possessed” caused an Air China plane to turn around after take-off. The female traveller, in her 50s, sparked a mid-air emergency when she fainted shortly after flight CA 4102 from Beijing to Chengdu departed today. Passengers reportedly noticed the woman had passed out about 20 minutes after taking off and alerted cabin crew. The captain decided to return to
Beijing to land so that the woman could receive medical attention. One passenger told Pear Video : “Her pulse was also very weak, so they gave her an oxygen mask. Then she woke up shortly.” The woman is said to have appeared unstable when she woke up and is alleged to have shouted: ‘No! Don’t touch me! Don’t pull me!’ to flight attendants. Video captured on board the plane shows the woman being spoken to for about six people, including medical staff, during attempts to calm her. READ MORE
|6 False Teachings Bringing Deceptive Darkness Into the Church
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 07:06 AM PST
(By Leading the Way) Since that very moment in the Garden of Eden when a single bite shattered the harmony of the world, man has tried to make his own way, be his own master, and set up his own kingdom. It’s nothing new. Nevertheless, if we want to be faithful followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this day and age, we must be alert and ready to boldly stand against the spirit of the age that seeks to modify the message
of Christ, undermine His power to set us free from sin, repaint Christ’s picture to make Him more acceptable to a wayward generation and rewrite the gospel to remove the offense of the cross. For the last 2,000 years, the church has been plagued with heresy after heresy seeking to tame the gospel, and today is no different. Here are just a few of the popular beliefs in our current culture that threaten to infiltrate the church: CONTINUE
|Former Chinese general warns that war could break out with North Korea anytime between now and March
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 06:58 AM PST
War could break out in the Korean peninsula at “any time” within the next three months, a retired Chinese army general has warned. Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang urged his country to mobilize defenses in anticipation of conflict in the region, amid continued tensions over North Korea‘s nuclear weapons programme. “The war on the Korean Peninsula might break out anytime between now and March next year,”
Lt-Gen Wang told an annual forum hosted by the Chinese Global Times newspaper. He added: “China should be psychologically prepared for a potential Korean war, and the north-east China regions should be mobilized for that. “Such mobilization is not to launch a war, but for defensive purposes.” Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, told the newspaper defensive mobilization would include deploying anti-missile weapons to border areas that could be affected by nearby battles. Humanitarian aid would also be prepared for North Korean refugees, he added. READ MORE
|Kim Jong-un testing new warheads loaded with Anthrax…
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 06:48 AM PST
North Korea is conducting biological weapons experiments to test the possibility of loading anthrax-laden warheads on its intercontinental ballistic missiles, it has been reported. Japan’s Asahi newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing an unidentified person connected to South Korean intelligence, that North Korea was conducting biological weapons experiments to test the possibility of loading anthrax-laden warheads on its intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The Asahi report said the U.S. government was aware of the tests, which were meant to ascertain whether the anthrax bacteria could survive the high temperatures that occur during warheads re-entry from space. The news that North Korea may have been testing anthrax-laden warheads comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in is seeking to soothe relations with China and the North before the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February. READ MORE
|Jewish Woman Comes Face to Face with an Angel, Gives Life to Christ
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 06:38 AM PST
Alyce Merritt grew up as a devout Jew who loved the Torah and wanted little to do with the Christian faith. “All I knew was that Jesus was the false God of the gentiles because that’s kind of what was beaten into our heads since we were very young,” Merritt told CBN News. “I thought actually that he was Catholic or Italian because of everything I’d been told and seen on T.V.” “It wasn’t until college did I have a supernatural encounter,” she continued. After graduating from high school, Merritt moved out of her childhood home, went to college, and began working at a frozen yogurt shop.
That’s when she met a customer who would change her life forever. “A man who was literally about seven feet tall with piercing blue eyes one day came in. He had a white Bible that was huge. It was about the size of a family Bible and he started telling me the gospel from this Bible and that Jesus was actually Jewish,” Merritt said. “For the first time in my life I was told that Jesus was a Jewish savior and that he was my Messiah.” READ MORE
|New Facebook facial recognition spots you even if you’re not tagged
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 06:28 AM PST
The world’s largest social network has just rolled out a new feature of its facial recognition technology that will notify users when someone has uploaded a photo of them even if they haven’t been tagged in it on Facebook. The new feature sprang into action Tuesday. Facebook says it will “help people better manage their identity” on the platform “using face recognition.” Though not all of the network’s over 2 billion users will be able to avail of the new feature as those in the European Union and Canada are
excluded due to privacy laws which prohibit Facebook’s use of facial recognition. Under EU law, personal data can only be gathered legally under strict conditions, for a legitimate purpose. Furthermore, “persons or organizations which collect and manage your personal information must protect it from misuse and must respect certain rights of the data owners which are guaranteed by EU law.” Once Facebook identifies an image it thinks your face is in, it will send a notification to a new Photo Review feature, much like the Timeline Review feature when someone tags you in a post. READ MORE
|9-Year-Old Boy Has a Vision of an Asteroid Hitting the Atlantic and a Nuclear War Involving the United States
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 06:21 AM PST
ATTENTION: The following article was originally published on April 2017
(By Michael Snyder) Did God give a 9-year-old boy a vision of the future of America? Recently, my wife pulled me aside and strongly urged me to watch part of an amazing video that she had found on YouTube. I was quite tired at the time, but I agreed to watch it because I could tell from my wife’s expression that she had found something special. And without a doubt, what I am about to share with you does appear to be extraordinary. A grandmother known as “A Daughter of The Highest King” on YouTube came across a dry erase board that her 9-year-old grandson had been drawing on, and the things that he had been
drawing were so unusual that she decided to ask him about them. Well, it turns out that this little boy had been trying to draw a picture of things that were shown to him in a vision. When he received this vision, he was in bed, but he was not asleep at the time. He told his grandmother that in his vision he was standing in space and looking down at the earth, and it appears that he may have been shown things that are coming in the future. If you would like to watch the entire video, you can find it on YouTube here. When I started watching this little boy describe his vision, one thing immediately jumped out at me. READ MORE
|Scientists create an AI that can detect deception in the courtroom
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 06:14 AM PST
From a raise of an eyebrow to a tilt of the head, we use several micro-movements when we’re lying without even knowing it. Now, scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system that can detect these micro-expressions and detect if you’re lying – and it’s already ‘significantly better’ than humans. The researchers hope their system could soon be used in courtrooms to tell if people on the stand are telling the truth.
The AI system, called Deception Analysis and Reasoning Engine (DARE), has been developed by researchers from the University of Maryland and Dartmouth College. To develop DARE, the researchers trained the system using videos of people in the courtroom. In their study, published in arXiv, the researchers, led by Dr. Zhe Wu, said: ‘On the vision side, our system uses classifiers trained on low-level video features which predict human micro-expressions.’ READ MORE
|US is ready to “take names” of its critics, America’s ambassador to the UN has warned
Posted: 19 Dec 2017 07:08 PM PST
The US is ready to “take names” of its critics, America’s ambassador to the UN has warned, ahead of a GA session to debate Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move its embassy there. The US is ratcheting up its rhetoric and its threats in defending the December 6 decision to move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem from global indignation. Even staunch American
allies, including the UK and France, have condemned the new American approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which, for five decades, has focused on a potential two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital. On Monday, the US used its veto power to block a United Nations Security Council resolution that called on all states to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. READ MORE
|New Reason To Fear Google and Facebook And It’s Not From Who You May Think
Posted: 19 Dec 2017 06:58 PM PST
The threats to freedom of thought aren’t coming from the government these days, but from corporate America, says a columnist in the Wall Street Journal. Kind of a groupthink, which Psychology Today speaks of as the result of members of a group valuing “harmony and coherence over accurate analysis and critical evaluation.” “It causes individual members of the group to unquestioningly follow the word of the leader and it strongly discourages any disagreement with the consensus,” the group explains. It’s
Mark Epstein who is noting Google and Facebook account for 84 percent of all digital advertising outside China. This, he claims, gives the companies enormous leverage to censor content. Indeed, websites which are reliant on Google’s ad revenue have even removed articles after receiving warnings from the company, according to the Journal. The dependence on Google ad revenue is also creating perverse incentives for “clickbait” and draining traditional news producers of the revenue needed to invest in serious reporting at news sites. READ MORE
|Did Trump’s Jerusalem declaration fulfill Ben-Gurion ‘prophecy’?
Posted: 19 Dec 2017 06:46 PM PST
Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital came on the exact same date on the Hebrew calendar that Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, 48 years earlier, just a year after Israel’s founding, announced that it would be so. Rabbi Benjamin Blech, professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University and an internationally recognized educator, religious leader and lecturer, did the calculation and found that both announcements were made on the Hebrew calendar date of Kislev 19 – Ben-Gurion’s in 1949 and Trump’s earlier this month.
“[W]hen I looked at the Hebrew calendar, I realized something far more profound than a political statement,” Blech wrote in Aish.com. “Rabbinic scholars long ago taught us that with the end of prophecy, after the close of the Bible, God has another way in which to communicate with mankind. It is by way of the secret of time – the linkage of events occurring on exactly the same date that makes clear we are meant to understand divine messages. Coincidence, it’s been famously said, is God’s way of choosing to remain anonymous. In other words, it’s God’s way of testing our ability to concede the Almighty’s role in directing the remarkable twists and turns of history.” READ MORE
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
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