December 28, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump sent 26 percent fewer Mexicans back home this year through November than Barack Obama did in the same period in 2016, despite vows to crack down on illegal immigration, Mexican government data show.

Rex Tillerson defended U.S. foreign policy during his first year as secretary of state, touting gains in pressuring North Korea, battling Islamic State and supporting Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered more steps to resolve a dispute with Japan over sex slaves in World War II, calling a 2015 agreement reached under his predecessor faulty in “procedure and content.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed a crackdown after a supermarket bomb injured 10 people in St. Petersburg, the latest in a series of attacks linked to Islamic extremists that have targeted his home city.

A coalition of 11 mostly Republican-led states urged a federal appeals court to enforce U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order punishing so-called sanctuary cities, which largely forbid local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Almost two dozen government troops were killed in South Sudan during fighting, just a day after a cease-fire agreement came into effect, according to the main rebel group.

Banks are seeing a wave of inquiries from customers in high-tax states rushing during the final days of the year to prepay 2018 property levies before a cap on deductions for state and local taxes comes into effect. One option: tapping home-equity lines or securities-backed loans to lessen the pain of a lump-sum outlay.

Bitcoin resumed its slide Thursday, dipping below $14,000 as the cryptocurrency’s dizzying drop from a record set 10 days ago intensified.

The total value of all homes in the United States rose 6.5 percent in 2017 to $31.8 trillion, according to Zillow. Renters paid a record $485.6 billion this year.

The number of people filing for U.S. unemployment benefits held steady last week, in part reflecting estimated data for 13 states and still consistent with a strong job market, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Jobless claims were unchanged at 245k from prior week.

AP Top Stories

Suicide bombers stormed a Shi’ite cultural center and news agency in the Afghan capital on Thursday, killing more than 40 people and wounding scores, many of them students attending a conference.

First Lady Melania Trump has made the call to remove a significant part of a historic magnolia tree that has graced the White House’s south facade since the 1800s. President Andrew Jackson added the southern magnolia tree to the White House grounds in honor of his late wife. But the tree has decayed to a point where it can no longer be safely preserved.

South Korea said Wednesday a 2015 deal intended to end a festering dispute with Japan over Tokyo’s wartime sex slavery was faulty, reopening a historical wound as the two countries try to rein in North Korea.

The United States did not pressure Guatemala into announcing it will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the Central American state’s foreign minister said Wednesday.

Syrian rebels and opposition groups on Tuesday rejected Russia’s proposed peace talks, accusing Moscow of failing to pressure its ally, President Bashar Assad, to end the conflict.

Apple’s board of directors is now making CEO Tim Cook fly on private aircraft when he travels, whether it’s for work or for pleasure. “This policy was implemented in 2017 in the interests of security and efficiency based on our global profile and the highly visible nature of Mr. Cook’s role as CEO.”

Airbus is drawing up contingency plans to phase out production of the world’s largest jetliner, the A380 superjumbo, if it fails to win a key order from Dubai’s Emirates.

BBC

US missions in Turkey are to resume full visa services following security assurances from Turkey’s government on US consular staff.

U2 front man Bono has criticized what he says is a lack of rock and roll in today’s music. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the singer said: “I think music has gotten very girly.

The government must intervene to stop automation driving up wage inequality, a think tank has warned. It warned lower-skilled jobs were much more likely to be phased out in the coming decades, and only higher-skilled workers would be able to command better wages.

John McAfee has said his Twitter account was hacked and used to promote lesser-known crypto-currencies. The cyber-security pioneer has rebuffed suggestions that the alleged incident undermined his own credentials saying: “I have no control over Twitter’s security”.

WND

Americans once again are most likely to name Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as the man and woman living anywhere in the world they admire most, as they have for the past 10 years. The pair retain their titles this year, although by much narrower margins than in the past. Obama edges out Donald Trump, 17% to 14%, while Clinton edges out Michelle Obama, 9% to 7%.

“High-level Amazon and Microsoft directors” face charges following a sex trafficking sting that was based on emails sent to brothels.

Prices for a cancer drug called lomustine have skyrocketed nearly 1,400 percent since 2013, putting a potentially life-saving treatment out of reach for patients suffering from brain tumors and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Though the 40-year-old medication is no longer protected by patents, no generic version is available. lomustine was sold by Bristol-Myers Squib for years under the brand name CeeNU at a price of about $50 a capsule for the highest dose It now charges about $768 per pill for the medication.


News – 12/28/2017

New Trump Executive Order Targets Clinton-Linked Individuals, Lobbyists And Perhaps Uranium One
The Trump Administration quietly issued an Executive Order (EO) last Thursday which allows for the freezing of US-housed assets belonging to foreign individuals or entities deemed “serious human rights abusers,” along with government officials and executives of foreign corporations (current or former) found to have engaged in corruption – which includes the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, and corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources. Furthermore, anyone in the United States who aids or participates in said corruption or human rights abuses by foreign parties is subject to frozen assets – along with any U.S. corporation who employs foreigners deemed to have engaged in corruption on behalf of the company.

When and Why the West Began to ‘Demonize’ Muhammad
Thus, writing around 650, John of Nikiu, Egypt, said that “Muslims”—the Copt is apparently the first non-Muslim to note that word—were not just “enemies of God” but adherents of “the detestable doctrine of the beast, that is, Mohammed.”[i] The oldest parchment that alludes to a warlike prophet was written in 634—a mere two years after Muhammad’s death. It has a man asking a learned Jewish scribe what he knows about “the prophet who has appeared among the Saracens.” The elderly man, “with much groaning,” responded: “He is deceiving.

EXCLUSIVE: Top Execs Continue To Flee Clinton-Linked Laureate Education
The most prestigious board member of Laureate Education has announced his departure from the firm, continuing a rapid exodus of top-level executives at the Clinton-connected company. Robert Zoellick, a former World Bank president, will leave the company at the end of December, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned. His resignation follows on the heels of a number of unexpected departures since the company went public last February, as previously reported by TheDCNF. Those departures include the company’s founder and CEO, Douglas Becker, as well as its chief operating officer, chief legal officer, and its chief human resources officer. The departure of such high-level executives “is very unusual,”

Newt Gingrich: Get ready for the great political surprise of 2018
The great political surprise of 2018 will be the size of the Republican victory. After members of the elite media have spent two years savaging President Trump, lying about Republican legislation, and reassuring themselves that Republican defeat was inevitable, the size of the GOP victory in 2018 will be an enormous shock.

Erdogan: Assad is a terrorist
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad a “terrorist” and said it was impossible for Syrian peace efforts to continue with him, Reuters reported. Syria’s foreign ministry fired back, accusing Erdogan of himself supporting terrorist groups fighting Assad in Syria’s civil war.

Israeli agreement grants tacit recognition to ‘Palestine’
This is an agreement called the “Transboundary Cooperation Program in the Mediterranean Basin” and is aimed at financing projects costing tens of millions of euros for 14 non-EU countries in the Middle East, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which is also defined as a political entity.

Israeli cybersecurity whiz takes aim against hackers
“We bypass everything,” explained Sharon Nimirovski, head of White Hat cybersecurity firm in Tel Aviv. “We bypass every piece of security solution and design you’ve implemented. I’m saying that because we’re doing that today. And if we bypass you, the bad guys can do it too.”

US-led coalition accuses Syria of allowing ISIS to move with ‘impunity’
The US-led anti-ISIS coalition has accused the Syrian regime of allowing ISIS to move through its territory. The statement comes as the coalition continues to emphasize that the war against the extremists is not over in Syria. “They seem to be moving with impunity through regime-held territory…the regime is clearly either unwilling or unable to defeat Daesh within their borders,” British Army Major General Felix Gedney…said Wednesday…

Unicef says scale of attacks on children in conflicts is shocking
The UN children’s fund says the scale of attacks on children in the world’s conflict zones reached “shocking” levels in 2017. In a new report, Unicef said there was widespread and blatant disregard for international laws designed to protect the most vulnerable. Unicef director Manuel Fontaine said children were being targeted in their homes, schools and playgrounds.

Afghanistan suicide bomb attack: Dozens killed in Kabul
At least 41 people have been killed and more than 80 wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the Afghan capital, Kabul. A Shia cultural organisation was the target but the Afghan Voice news agency was also hit. So-called Islamic State said it was behind the attack. The interior ministry told the BBC an explosion at the Shia centre was followed by at least two more blasts.

Another Arctic blast poised to usher in 2018
Brutally cold weather will soon be refreshed as another bout of arctic air dives through the United States. The new frigid blast will make its way from the northern Plains to the eastern and southern U.S. Sunday into Monday. Although arctic air is expected to ease later in the week, any relief will be minimal and short lived.

Tired of Regional Critics, Venezuela Looks to Russia and China
Venezuela, which a decade ago aspired to be the axis of a new, left-leaning diplomatic and trade alliance in the Americas, is finding itself increasingly isolated in the hemisphere. Venezuela downgraded diplomatic relations with Canada and Brazil in recent days, after a war of words over the Venezuelan government’s decision last week to ban three influential opposition parties from running candidates in next year’s presidential election.

On Israeli border, Hezbollah, Syria demand rebel surrender
Syrian rebels pinned down in a strategic area where the Israeli and Lebanese borders meet with Syria were handed an ultimatum by the Syrian army and its Iranian-backed militia allies to either surrender or face certain military defeat… The Syrian army…financed and equipped by Iran…have been escalating a fierce assault against Sunni rebels in an enclave in the foothills of Mount Hermon, close to both the Israeli and Lebanese borders.

North Korean Defectors Show Signs Of Radiation Exposure
In yet another horrifying discovery, South Korean scientists have determined that at least four North Korean defectors have shown signs of radiation exposure…

Israeli officials: Japan offers to host peace summit with Netanyahu, Abbas and Kushner – Israel News
Israeli officials on Tuesday confirmed reports that Japan offered to host Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting that would include an American negotiation team headed by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Obama Attacks Social Media Users ‘Leaders Must Ensure Internet Users Aren’t Cocooned With Their Own Biases’ (AUDIO)
Barack Hussein Obama just won’t go away. Obama told Britain’s Prince Harry in a BBC radio interview Wednesday there are major risks in having free thinking social media users. Obama hates free speech. We shouldn’t be surprised he’s attacking free thinking social media users.

Crooked Hillary Celebrates Ramadan More Than Christmas – Trump supporters Respond
…Hillary Clinton didn’t say a word on Christmas this year from her social media either. She did however, beg for donations to her organization ‘Onward Together’. What a truly despicable woman. Thank God she is not our president! President Trump and our lovely First Lady released a beautiful Christmas message to Americans this year. President Trump quoted Isaiah from the Bible, celebrated the birth of Christ and wished Americans a Merry Christmas. God bless America. Amen!

Canada PM Trudeau states Islam exemplifies ‘our shared beliefs’ in shockingly naive video
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, sent a video message to the annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit convention held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (December 25-27) in Toronto.

Pakistan, Headed to UN Human Rights Council, Expands Crackdown on Online ‘Blasphemy’
Days before it takes up a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council – for its fourth term in the council’s 11-year history – Pakistan’s federal cabinet has approved a legal amendment designed to facilitate an ongoing crackdown on “blasphemy” on social media.

The Top 10 Most Evil U.N. Actions of 2017
Denied Venezuelan Hunger, Mugabe as Goodwill Ambassador, Putin the Victim, Rewarding Genocidal Syria:

Gallup Poll: Obama Takes Title of ‘Most Admired Man’ for 10th Year in a Row
Former President Barack Obama took the title of “most admired man” for the tenth consecutive year, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Breaking: Obama Appointed Tech CEO To High-Power Military Position
Last year, the administration of then-President Barack Obama set up a Pentagon advisory board and placed the chairman of Google’s parent company at its helm. Roughly one year into President Donald Trump’s tenure, that man still remains at this coveted position.

Inspector General RIPS Obama DOJ For Improperly Handling Rampant Sexual Harassment, Groping
On Wednesday the Justice department ripped the Obama administration for improperly handling a rampant sexual harassment problem at the department.

Chinese Ships Spotted Illegally Selling Oil to North Korea by U.S. Spy Satellite
U.S. spy satellites have captured images of Chinese ships illegally selling oil to North Korea vessels on the West Sea 30 times in the past three months, according to a South Korean newspaper.


Headlines – 12/28/2017

Iran votes to declare Jerusalem ‘everlasting capital of Palestine’

Saudi Arabia, Turkey discuss Jerusalem, aiding Palestinian ‘brothers’

Erdogan on Trump’s ‘unacceptable’ recognition: Jerusalem is ‘our red line’

Turkish cyclist star quits Israeli team over Jerusalem controversy

US: Report ambassador urged ban on the term ‘occupation’ is misleading

Guatemala: No US pressure behind embassy move to Jerusalem

Israel plans a Trump rail station as Trump-naming frenzy sweeps country

Former mufti of Jerusalem rails at plan for Trump train stop at Western Wall

Trump’s pernicious attempt to starve the UN of cash could yet backfire

Stalled by Christmas: Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO runs into holiday obstacle

Record 3.6m tourists visit Israel in 2017

Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan: ‘Disunity in Palestinian world a significant security asset’

Dozens of Israeli 12th-graders to defy draft over ‘oppression’ of Palestinians

Netanyahu says calm in Gaza depends on the Palestinians

Israeli Border Police prevent terror attack in Jerusalem

PM warns Iran, Hamas not to tangle with IAF’s ‘tremendous firepower’

A second synagogue reported vandalized in southern Iran

Trump will fail against Iran as did ‘smarter’ Reagan

Turkey’s Erdogan seeks to mend strained ties with Europe

Turkey’s Erdogan calls Syria’s Assad a terrorist, says impossible to continue with him

Syria calls Erdogan’s accusations against Assad hypocritical

Syria child evacuees may be used as bargaining chips, UN warns

Russia accuses U.S. of training former Islamic State fighters in Syria

9 ISIS fighters sentenced to death in Egypt for planning terror attacks

After Islamic State’s defeat, a massive bill to rebuild Iraq

Several dead in simultaneous attacks in Afghan capital, police say

Afghanistan suicide attack: Dozens killed as Shia centre hit in Kabul

Blast rips through supermarket in Russia’s St Petersburg, 10 hurt

Putin says St Petersburg supermarket bombing was an act of terrorism

Olympics in mind, South Korea deports 17 foreigners ‘who could pose a terrorist menace’

North Korean Defectors Show Signs Of Radiation Exposure

China spotted illegally selling oil to North Korea, report says

Republicans care about voter fraud; Democrats want to come out ahead, says study

The world’s 500 wealthiest people got $1 trillion richer in 2017

U.S. holiday sales set to break records in surprise boon to retail

Pot Stocks Soar as California Gets Ready to Get High

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Taltal, Chile

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Merizo Village, Guam

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits South of the Fiji Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Lakatoro, Vanuatu

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kerman, Iran

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Lata, Solomon Islands

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Insane 60 Inches Of Snow Forces National Guard Onto Pennsylvania Streets

Brrr! After Record Snow, Bitter Cold Ahead for Northern US

Record-breaking cold to close out 2017

Florida orange industry hit by hurricane, disease

Agroterrorism: Threats to America’s Economy and Food Supply

More pregnant women are using pot to treat morning sickness, studies suggest

FX makes history with transgender musical series

Baltimore has now had 343 homicides in 2017, sets record for killings per capita

Chicago murder rate declines but still alarmingly high

Lockdown after Aventura Mall shooting scare is the latest impact from rumors going viral

Russia To Launch National Biometric Database in 2018

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 07:51 PM PST

Russia To Launch National Biometric Database in 2018Russia will get a country-wide biometric database for financial services starting next summer, the central bank said. The system will expand access to banking by letting people open accounts without having to visit a branch and is a key milestone in digitizing financial services, the Bank of Russia said in a statement. The regulator said that data would only be stored with individuals’ consent. Legal changes needed for the system passed this month.

State-owned Rostelecom PJSC has been selected to run the database, which will collect personal data including images of faces, voice samples and, eventually, irises and fingerprints. Facial-recognition technology has been gaining consumer acceptance around the world, with Apple Inc.’s latest iPhone using it to unlock the device. In Russia, the authorities and government-linked companies are leading the charge. READ MORE

FX makes history with transgender musical series

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 07:43 PM PST

FX makes history with transgender musical seriesCable channel FX said on Wednesday it had green-lit “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy’s “Pose,” a dance-musical series featuring the largest transgender regular cast in US television history. The series will star Evan Peters (“American Horror Story”) and Kate Mara (“The Martian,” “House of Cards”) as a New Jersey couple who get sucked into the glamour and intrigue of New York City in the 1980s.

Through their story, the series will chronicle life and society in New York, the rise of the “luxury Trump-era universe” and the downtown social and literary scene, FX said. Murphy said in a statement he expected the show to be “a game changer” about the “universal quest for identity, family and respect,” adding that it would also feature 50-plus LGBTQ characters –- another record. READ MORE

Excessive video game time now considered “mental disorder”

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 07:23 PM PST

Excessive video game time now considered “mental disorder”People who spend countless hours playing video games could soon be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. The World Health Organization will add Gaming Disorder to its International Classification of Diseases next year. That’s concerning news for the thousands of people who got a game under the tree for Christmas. According to the marketing group NPD, video game console spending in the U.S. is up 27
“percent from last year, up to $1.9 billion.

“We just don’t think it’s a good idea to let them spend hours playing video games,” said Knoxville mother Meredith Prince. Prince and her two sons have an understanding. “Just during the school year they can’t play during the week, and then they can play on the weekends,” Prince said. Video games have their place, but Prince limits them because she wants her boys to be active. READ MORE

Southern Poverty Law Center Adds ‘Merry Christmas’ to Its Hate List

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 07:18 PM PST

Southern Poverty Law Center Adds ‘Merry Christmas’ to Its Hate ListThe Southern Poverty Law Center is already infamous for labeling as “hate groups” many conservative and Christian organizations. Now it’s put “Merry Christmas” and “Jesus” on its “monitoring hate” hashtags list.

● #merrychristmas comes in at number two.

● #jesus ranks number eight.

● Even #christmaseve made the list, coming in at number five.

Liberty Counsel is an Orlando-based non-profit legal organization that’s long been on the SPLC’s hate groups list.   “The SPLC’s idea that ‘Merry Christmas’ is a hateful, violent slur shows how far out of touch it is from reality,” Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver stated.  In the past, SPLC targeted groups that fought against civil rights or advocated violence, but in recent years it’s included organizations that don’t go along with the SPLC’s “politically correct” or more liberal views, declaring them hate groups guilty of hate speech.  “When the SPLC confuses a cheerful ‘Merry Christmas’ with an obscenity-laced rant threatening harm to a group of people, it loses all credibility,” Staver charged. CBN News has asked the SPLC for their reaction to Staver’s statement, but they have not responded to our inquiry. READ MORE

Pope Francis Takes a Shot at Trump’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 07:15 PM PST

Pope Francis Takes a Shot at Trump’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s CapitalPope Francis has called for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, in what many are calling a clear snub of President Donald Trump, following his controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In a wide-ranging address at the Vatican, the Pope urged for dialogue between the two sides, and called for a lasting peace in the war-torn region.

“Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders,” the Pope said during his “Urbi et Orbi” address – Latin for “to the city and to the world,” as reported by The Independent. “We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians,” he declared to the audience of thousands from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica, READ MORE

New ‘Hollow Earth’ Conspiracy Makes Flat Earthers Look Like Einstein

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 06:09 PM PST

New ‘Hollow Earth’ Conspiracy Makes Flat Earthers Look Like EinsteinWe’ve all heard of the flat-Earth theorists who believe NASA is lying about the shape of the planet we live on – but move over, make way for ‘hollow-Earth’ theorists.  Oh yes, expect to hear more of this in the news in the coming weeks – and it’s even crazier – if that’s even possible? The Hollow Earth Theory has found itself in the headlines this week because of the minor fact people believe there’s a race of

superior ‘alien humans, Vikings and Nazis living in paradise at the center’ of the planet. Yeah.  Cluff was so confident in the theory he actually organized a voyage to the hollow Earth in 2007 – with a plan to set off from Russia on a ship to find the gateway, thought to be situated at the North Pole. Conveniently though, the £15,000-per-head expedition ended up being canceled.  READ MORE

Franklin Graham invites Rosie O’Donnell to avoid hell

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 05:56 PM PST

Franklin Graham invites Rosie O’Donnell to avoid hellA day after Rosie O’Donnell tweeted that House Speaker Paul Ryan was going “straight to hell,” Franklin Graham responded on Facebook with an invitation to her to repent. “Rosie O’Donnell is back in the news today for going after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Twitter after he posted a Christmas video message honoring the birth of Jesus Christ,” wrote the evangelist. “Among other things, she told Speaker Ryan he was going ‘straight to hell.’ Rosie, you don’t have the keys to hell, but I know the One who does.”

He continued: “And I can tell you who will be there. Hell is going to be filled with people who rejected God’s offer of salvation and turned their backs on His laws and standards, refusing to repent. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, and He took your sins and mine to the Cross, dying in our place, so that we might live — if we would turn from our sins and put our faith in Him. I hope one day you will put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and let him heal your heart, clean up your mouth, and forgive your sins. Do that today — you’ll never regret it.” READ MORE

 

The Rise of Strange Spirits in the Church

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 05:19 PM PST

The Rise of Strange Spirits in the Church(By Ricky Scaparo) In this message, we will discuss how strange and deceiving spirits are invading the Church today and what you need to know from the Word of God on how to identify them. For the full message watch the video below:

Kim’s soldier immune to anthrax sparking fears regime has biological weapons

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 05:15 PM PST

Kim’s soldier immune to anthrax sparking fears regime has biological weaponsAnthrax antibodies have been found in the blood of a North Korean soldier who defected to the South, raising fears the rogue state is stepping up its production of chemical and biological weapons.  At least four North Korean troops have fled Kim Jong-un’s oppressive regime in the past seven months, and the antibodies indicate the soldier was either vaccinated against the potentially deadly bacteria or had been exposed to it.

This comes just days after defense officials in Washington concluded the North is plowing “hundreds of millions of dollars” into its nuclear, biological and chemical arsenal. An intelligence official told South Korea’s Channel A: “Anthrax antibodies have been found in the North Korean defector who has escaped this year.” However, it is not known exactly which defector was found to be immune to the bacteria. READ MORE

 

‘Unseen’ asteroid set to buzz Earth tomorrow

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 05:03 PM PST

‘Unseen’ asteroid set to buzz Earth tomorrowNASA is closely monitoring the arrival of a previously unseen asteroid that is set to brush past Earth tomorrow at 21,362 miles per hour.   The space rock had been invisible to astronomers until Christmas Day when it was first identified.  Now called asteroid 2017 YZ4, it will come past us between the Earth and the Moon at a distance of just 139,433 miles. The Moon is 238,000 miles from Earth, and this pass

is considered a cat’s whisker in astronomical terms. NASA considers and monitors anything which comes within six million miles of our planet as a near-earth asteroid. The small asteroid is estimated to be between 7 and 15 meters (22.6 to 49 feet) in diameter. Although relatively small, if it did impact Earth, it could cause injuries.  READ MORE

Illinois Taxpayers May Have to Fund Thousands of Abortions

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 04:53 PM PST

Illinois Taxpayers May Have to Fund Thousands of AbortionsA number of pro-life groups and 13 Illinois state lawmakers are asking a judge to stop a new law that could give thousands of taxpayer-funded abortions to state residents starting in January. “This emergency injunction would stop a New Year’s Day implementation of this law, under which Illinois taxpayers would be forced to pay for 20,000 to 30,000 or more abortions per year,” said state Rep. Peter Breen, a special counsel for the pro-life Thomas More Society. Illinois is so far in debt it’s often seen as the most financially troubled state.

That led Breen to say, “Even apart from the sincere moral objections that many folks have to paying for abortions, there is no money in the Illinois state budget to pay for them.” He estimates the abortions could cost the state $15 million to $30 million a year. The plaintiffs seeking to stop the new law – HB 40 – warn it would make free abortions available to Medicaid recipients in the state. They could get them through all nine months of pregnancy and for any reason they choose. FULL REPORT

Siberia and Antarctica Will Be Warmer Than New Hampshire…

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 04:12 PM PST

Siberia and Antarctica Will Be Warmer Than New Hampshire…Mother Nature is giving New Hampshire more than just the cold shoulder to end 2017, she’s giving us the back of her hand.  Thanks to a blast of arctic air, we’re bracing for temperatures about 20 degrees colder than normal averages over the next week. In Concord temperatures are expected to dip as low as -11.  Of course this doesn’t even factor in the wind chill, which we all know provides an extra slap in the

face when we walk out the door each morning. But how does New Hampshire stack up against some of the coldest places on Earth? Should we really be complaining? The answer is yes. Here are eight surprising places (as of 3 p.m. Wednesday) that will be warmer than New Hampshire over the next week, according to weather.com: READ MORE

International Falls, Minnesota drops to record low -36F, Shatters 1924 Record

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 01:00 PM PST

International Falls, Minnesota drops to record low -36F, Shatters 1924 RecordInternational Falls, Minnesota woke up to a temperature of -36F at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning breaking the previous record low for Dec. 27 of -32F set in 1924, according to the National Weather Service office in Duluth. That -36 is the actual temperature, not a wind chill!  According to state records, the -36 morning in International Falls is only about halfway to the state record low temperature of -60 in Tower, Minnesota on Feb. 2, 1996.

The all-time record low for International Falls is -55F, set in January 1909.  Wednesday morning, low temperatures in the Twin Cities metro ranged from -7 in St. Paul to -13 in nearby Lake Elmo. Minnesota is stuck in a deep freeze with single-digital highs and subzero lows hanging around into next week. Check the updated 7-day forecast at fox9.com/weather and download the Fox 9 Weather App to track temperatures and snow in your specific location.  READ MORE

New Year’s Eve In NYC May Experience Coldest In History

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 12:55 PM PST

New Year’s Eve In NYC May Experience Coldest In HistoryIf you plan on ringing in the new year at the annual ball drop in Times Square, expect to be cold. A severe blast of Arctic air has descended on the New York City region and temperatures will stay below the freezing mark around the clock for the rest of the year. On New Year’s Eve, the temperature is expected to drop to around 12 degrees, about 12 degrees below normal and one of the coldest on record.

High temperatures leading to the holiday are expected to be colder than the typical low temperatures for those days. Despite the cold, it is not expected to be a record for that date. In 1962 the temperature plunged to 2 degrees on New Year’s Eve but that fact is little comfort for the upwards of one million people expected to spend hours outdoors waiting to ring in 2018. READ MORE

Jerusalem Train Station Near Western Wall to be Named After Donald Trump

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 12:42 PM PST

Jerusalem Train Station Near Western Wall to be Named After Donald TrumpIsrael’s transportation minister is pushing ahead with a plan to dig a railway tunnel under Jerusalem’s Old City, passing near sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims — and ending at the Western Wall with a station named after President Donald Trump.   Yisrael Katz’s plan, currently in the initial stages, involves constructing two underground stations and excavating over 2 miles (3 kilometers) of tunnel beneath downtown Jerusalem and under the politically sensitive Old City. The project would extend

Jerusalem’s soon-to-open high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray. The route will run close to — but not directly under — the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where tradition holds that Jesus was crucified and buried, and a contested holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Previous excavations by Israel near the holy site — the spiritual epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — READ MORE

Fresh push to allow men to compete as women in Olympics

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 11:27 AM PST

Fresh push to allow men to compete as women in OlympicsThe International Olympic Committee is being asked to reverse its decision to let men compete in women’s events.  Otherwise, as Amanda Prestigiacomo noted earlier this year at the Daily Wire, “women all over the world are getting a taste of ‘fairness,’ leftist style!”  The article explains what happens when gender is “deemed a social construct that is totally disconnected from our biology.”

The request to the IOC has been made by the non-profit 4 Winds Christian Athletics, which pointed out that transgender Tiffany Abreu, 33, is playing on a top women’s volleyball team in Brazil and “is on track to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Japan.” Abreu, born male, previously played in European men’s leagues but in 2012 decided to “become a woman,” 4 Winds said.  READ MORE

 

ISIS has lost 98 percent of its territory

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 11:18 AM PST

ISIS has lost 98 percent of its territoryISIS has lost 98 percent of the territory it once held — with half of that terror group’s so-called “caliphate” having been recaptured since President Trump took office less than a year ago, U.S. military officials said Tuesday. The massive gains come after years of “onerous” rules, when critics say the Obama administration “micromanaged” the war and shunned a more intensive air strategy that could have ended the conflict much sooner.

“The rules of engagement under the Obama administration were onerous. I mean what are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds weeks and weeks,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the former head of U.S. Air Force intelligence. “The limitations that were put on actually resulted in greater civilian casualties.” But the senior director for counterterrorism in former President Barack Obama’s National Security Council pushed back on any criticism the former president didn’t do enough to defeat ISIS. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Backpack bomb denoted in St. Petersburg, Shoppers injured

Posted: 27 Dec 2017 11:11 AM PST

DEVELOPING: Backpack bomb denoted in St. Petersburg, Shoppers injuredA huge explosion has rocked a busy supermarket in St Petersburg, leaving at least 10 people injured. The blast happened in the Perekrestok supermarket in the northwest of the city, and shoppers fled in panic as emergency crews descended on the scene.  It is thought a bomb packed with shrapnel exploded in a storage locker, and authorities are treating the explosion as a deliberate attempt to kill.

One person is believed to be in a serious condition, while a further three were taken to hospital. Six more were treated at the scene, emergency service sources told Russian media. It comes days after a foiled terror plot to target the city led to large quantities of explosives being seized. 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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