President Donald Trump directed NASA on Monday to send American astronauts back to the moon and eventually to Mars, but eliminated his predecessors’ deadlines for such missions.
President Donald Trump said that Monday’s New York City bombing shows the urgency of tightening immigration laws as his spokeswoman argued the administration’s policies would have kept the suspect out of the country.
The Trump administration is preparing to unveil as soon as this week an expansive offshore oil plan that would open the door to selling new drilling rights in Atlantic waters, according to people familiar with the plan.
The U.S. is ramping up pressure on Saudi Arabia to ease its blockade of Yemen amid fears that the crisis is slipping further into catastrophe and people will lose access to clean drinking water, President Donald Trump’s foreign aid chief said in an interview.
A court in Kiev rejected a request by prosecutors to place Mikheil Saakashvili — the ex-Georgian leader-turned Ukrainian opposition politician — under house arrest as he fights accusations he plotted to overthrow the government.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be allowed to run for re-election, Russia’s top envoy for Syria said, dismissing Western efforts to condition reconstruction aid on the departure of a leader blamed for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his citizens.
The U.S. and South Korea are considering delaying joint military drills until after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February in a bid to reduce tensions with North Korea, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Transgender recruits will be allowed to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, the Pentagon said Monday, as President Donald Trump’s ordered ban suffered more legal setbacks.
Europe’s energy markets were rattled for a second consecutive day after an explosion at a natural gas hub in Austria threatened supplies already pinched from a closed pipeline in the North Sea and a cold snap across the continent.
Optimism among small companies in the U.S. advanced last month to the highest level in more than 34 years as owners became more upbeat about future economic conditions and sales prospects, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey released Tuesday.
AP Top Stories
The U.S. Education Department under President Donald Trump and Secretary Betsy DeVos has stopped cancelling the student-loan debt of people defrauded by failed for-profit schools and those borrowers face mounting interest and other burdens, its inspector general said.
Eighteen climate scientists from the U.S. and elsewhere hit the jackpot Monday as French President Emmanuel Macron awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidential term.
Suspicions are growing that North Korea has resumed forging $100 dollar bills that are so realistic that they are virtually indistinguishable from genuine currency.
U.S.-backed militias in Syria said they have formed a joint military center with the Iraqi army to protect their common border region after ousting Islamic State militants.
Russia and China are kicking off a series of joint air defense exercises called Aerospace Security-2017, highlighting the growing strategic partnership between the two great powers. In recent years, Russia and China have more or less set aside their differences dating back to the Soviet-era to jointly push back against the American-led liberal institutional world order.
U.S. producer prices rose in November as gasoline prices surged and the cost of other goods increased, leading to the largest annual gain in nearly six years.
Monsanto will give cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer that has been linked to widespread crop damage, offering an incentive to apply its product even as regulators in several U.S. states weigh restrictions on its use.
A former US sergeant who defected to North Korea and became Pyongyang’s prisoner for nearly 40 years has died. Charles Jenkins, 77, lived in Japan where he had settled with his family after his 2004 release. He was among four US soldiers who defected in the 1960s and later became North Korean film stars, but was the only one who was released.
France will enforce a ban on children’s mobile phone use at school from 3 September next year, the French education minister said. The minister said pupils’ phones could be kept in lockers during lessons.
The UN has warned of a rise in trafficking of the synthetic opioid tramadol across West Africa, as one official revealed it is being found in the pockets of suicide bombers. Seizures of the drug have skyrocketed since 2013, from 660lb to more than three tons a year, the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said. In September, three million pills in UN-logoed boxes were found in Niger. The opioid is known to be popular with Islamist militants Boko Haram.
More than 170 people have died in the last week in clashes between two sub-clans in South Sudan, an MP has said.
A meeting of experts in Kenya warned last week that marine life is facing “irreparable damage” from the millions of tons of plastic waste which ends up in the oceans each year.
A South African official has told a court he fears donkey meat is being fed to unsuspecting customers after being illegally slaughtered TimesLive reports.
A Japanese businessman diagnosed with terminal cancer invited about 1,000 guests to a huge party to say thank you and goodbye.
Professor Lesley Regan, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG), continues to advance her opinion in favor of abortion pills being consumed at home, without medical assistance.
The Briefing —Tuesday, December 12, 2017
1) A special election and a crisis of conscience in Alabama
New York Times (Campbell Robertson and Jonathan Martin) –
Alabama, Despite History of Unruly Politics, Has ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’
2) The crucible of political discourse and the mixed messages of political results
3) Abortion and a missed political opportunity
New Yorker (Ben Wallace-Wells) –
Roy Moore and the Invisible Religious Right
4) The urgency of fire as wildfires expand in California
New York Times (Adam Nagourney) –
California Today: A Weekend of Fires
News – 12/12/2017
Messianic Trump-Cyrus Connection Revealed Through Hebrew Numerology, Bible Codes
President Trump is similar to Cyrus in a number of observable ways, rabbis and commentators have noted. Though separated by 2,500 years, both men rule the greatest nation of their respective eras. Cyrus, like Trump, was powerful and rich but not at all devout. And like Cyrus, Trump supports Jewish national aspirations. Now, a Messianic connection has come to light.
North Korean defector describes forced abortion, said bodies fed to dogs in prison
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea where one defector spoke about how she was forced to have an abortion following her repatriation from China. The woman, Ji Hyeon-A, describes a harrowing scene of prison dogs eating dead bodies at her prison camp. She pleaded for the world to act.
100,000 Still Stranded Amid California Fires; Giant Thomas Fire Only 20% Contained
In an unexpected run of good fortune, a shift in the powerful winds that have fanned the SoCal wildfires over the past week and a half has pushed the Thomas Fire – the largest of the six uncontained blazes – away from nearby communities while also clearing the air of smoke, improving visibility for the beleaguered firefighters working tirelessly to suppress the flames. Meanwhile, further south, firefighters have managed to achieve upwards of 90% containment for the Rye, Lilac and Creek Fires:
Iron Dome intercepts missile fired from Gaza to Israel
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted at least one rocket fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory Monday night, the IDF’s Spokesperson’s office said in a statement. No one was injured and no damage was caused as a result of the fire and interception. Rocket alarm sirens blared across communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, but the rocket fire appeared to be aimed at the coastal city of Ashkelon, some 20 kilometers away.
IDF demands answers after Palestinian ambulance filmed carting protesters
A senior Israeli commander demanded answers from the Palestinian Red Crescent on Monday after one of its ambulances was captured on video appearing to drop off masked protesters at an active demonstration in Ramallah. The video distributed by the IDF shows masked men disembarking from the ambulance that then continues to the scene of the confrontation, at a demonstration against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Right-wing groups call for international recognition of Temple Mount
Less than a week after the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, leader of the Zionist movement World Betar is calling for international recognition of the Temple Mount, Nablus and Hebron. “After the Trump declaration, the time has come to recognize the heart, the Temple Mount,” said Neria Meir, head of the Betar World leadership.
Catalonia independence: Spain removes art work from Lleida
Police in Spain’s Catalonia region have begun transferring medieval artefacts on Madrid’s orders in an ownership battle with neighbouring Aragon. The operation, which started before dawn on Monday, involves 44 items stored in the Catalan Museum of Lleida but originally from Sijena monastery. Aragon claims they were sold illegally by the monastery’s nuns.
Netanyahu: Iran eyes sending 80,000 Shiite fighters to ME
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday of Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, as his official visit to Paris and Brussels was winding down. “If Iran makes good on its threat, it will do so by utilizing 80,000 Shiite fighters, which will cause religious wars to erupt again,” Netanyahu said in a press briefing before returning to Israel.
Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman: Ultra-Orthodox spiritual leader dies in Israel
The death has been announced in Israel of one of the leading figures in ultra-Orthodox Judaism. Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman – who was widely regarded as “Gadol Hador” or “Leader of the Generation” – died in hospital at the age of 104. Israel’s president said he had “carried the entire weight of the existence of the Jewish people on his shoulders”.
Bucking a trend, these churches figured out how to bring millennials back to worship
…By updating…dress codes and preaching styles, attitudes toward the secular, a willingness to discuss the taboo — and embracing modern music and technology (AD3 preaches not from a Bible but from his iPad), these churches brim with youthful vivacity…Like City of Truth, The Cause strives to free younger people from the rigid rituals and judgment of more traditional churches…“So often people approach topics putting the focus on sin,” Kyle says. “For people to change their life, they need to see that God is good, not that God is a tyrant.
Taxes on Meat Could Join Carbon and Sugar to Help Limit Emissions
Move over, taxes on carbon and sugar: the global levy that may be next is meat. Some investors are betting governments around the world will find a way to start taxing meat production as they aim to improve public health and hit emissions targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Socially focused investors are starting to push companies to diversify into plant protein, or even suggest livestock producers use a “shadow price” of meat…to estimate future costs.
Five years after Sandy Hook, U.S. gun-control advocates switch strategy
Five years after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, advocates who are disappointed with the failure of efforts to limit access to firearms are changing their strategy. Instead of pressuring lawmakers to push new gun-control measures through the U.S. Congress, volunteers from groups including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are now running for office themselves.
Judge accused of seizing Trump’s authority on transgenders in military
A federal judge – already criticized for acting as the “supreme judicial commander of the military” by usurping the president’s authority – doubled down Monday on her ruling allowing transgenders to enlist in the military.
Plasma For Pay: Broke Millennials Sell Blood Just To Survive
There is no doubt, in a period where burdensome student loans and wage stagnation are crushing the hopes of achieving the American dream while living in their parents’ basements, the millennial generation is struggling to survive.
High premiums for Obamacare and no subsidies
As open enrollment for Affordable Care Act coverage nears the deadline of Dec. 15, and Florida once again leads all states using the federal exchange at healthcare.gov, Heidi and Richard Reiter sit at the kitchen table at their Davie home and struggle to piece together the family’s health insurance for 2018.
Putin Orders Withdrawal Of Russian Troops During Surprise Syria Visit
Drawing a stark contrast between himself and his counterpart in the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise appearance at Khmeimim Airbase in Syria – which has traditionally been used by the Russian air force – on Monday morning, where he ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, now that the ISIS insurgency that once controlled roughly one-third of the country’s land area has been effectively dismantled.
AMERICAN BOMBSHELL: ICE confirms that deadly California fires were set by illegal alien arrested & released 5 times by sanctuary city cops…ignoring ICE detainer requests each time
The acting director of ICE has confirmed that not only is the individual responsible for setting many of the fires consuming California an illegal alien, he has been arrested by local Sonoma County police at least five times.
Vatican Echoes Arab League Appeal for Meetings Concerning Jerusalem Status
On Sunday the Vatican issued a communiqué appealing for cooperation with groups like the Arab League that are concerned with the recent decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
[VIDEO] Is The Flu Shot An IQ Test To Eliminate Stupid People?
Is the flu shot a nationwide IQ test or experiment being run by globalists to “thin the herd” and eliminate people who are stupid enough to line up for flu shots? One YouTube channel has tackled this very issue, and their take on it is extremely unnerving.
Trump’s First Year Debt is One-Third of Obama’s Debt and Most of the Debt is Due to Yellen’s Interest Rate Increases
President Trump held the longest and largest decrease of US Federal Debt in US history at $100 Billion, earlier this year, however, this is now over. When President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017 the amount of US Federal Debt owed both externally and internally was over $19 trillion at $19,947,304,555,212. As of last Thursday, December 7th, 2017, the amount of US Debt increased this year by $594 billion or 3 percent.
UK MPs Demand Ban Of Franklin Graham
More than 6,000 people joined members of the British parliament in demanding that American evangelist Franklin Graham be banned from the U.K. over his views on homosexuality and Islam.
Pentagon Defies Commander in Chief Trump – Will Allow Transgenders into Military in January
Let’s face it. We live in a lawless country. Obama caused much more ruin than any of us realized. The Pentagon announced today they will defy their Commander in Chief and allow transgenders into the military.
FIGURES. George Soros-Funded Group Behind Effort to Parade Out Trump’s Accusers
Brave New Films hosted the fake news conference Monday morning where debunked accusers were paraded out rehashing accusations against President Trump. Who are Brave New Films’ donors? George Soros, naturally.
Mormon Church gives $5 million to help resettle refugees in U.S.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has donated $5 million worth of aid to the nine federal refugee resettlement agencies in the U.S., according to the Deseret News.
NHS Gives 10 Year-Olds Gender Survey
Britain’s major health organization is now asking pre-teens in schools across England to take a survey asking whether they feel comfortable with their biological identity.
One of the things that I love about Bitcoin is that the fun never seems to end. On Sunday, Bitcoin futures began trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange for the first time ever, and within minutes the CBOE’s website crashed. What a perfect metaphor. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are completely and utterly disrupting the global financial system, and the financial establishment is still groping for a cohesive response to this growing phenomenon. (Read More…)
The left is willing to use any means necessary to get rid of Donald Trump, and so it should be no surprise that they are now using the #metoo movement as a weapon in their crusade against him. Personally, I have been a big fan of the #metoo movement, and I have been thrilled to see so many sexual predators exposed in recent months. I applauded the exposure of Hollywood giants such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, and I believe that the resignations of Al Franken and John Conyers will be followed by many others as the truth about what has been happening on Capitol Hill continues to come out. (Read More…)
Palm Springs Becomes First City Council in Nation to Be All Homosexual, Bisexual or Transgender
Christian News reports:
The City of Palm Springs, California has sworn in a man who identifies as a woman, as well as a woman who identifies as bisexual, making its city council all-“LGBT” as its other three members identify as homosexual.
Lisa Middleton, a man who identifies as a woman (pictured), and Christy Holstege, an attorney who identifies as bisexual, were both sworn in on Wednesday after being elected last month.
They join Mayor Robert Moon and Councilman Geoff Kors, who both are “married” to men, and Councilman J.R. Roberts, who likewise identifies as homosexual.
America’s malls are rotting away
The worst is yet to come for American shopping malls.
As Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears and other major department stores close their doors, the malls that housed those stores are facing a serious crisis.
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, warned Saturday that climate change could bring more wildfires to the state as firefighters continue battling at least six blazes that have spread throughout Southern California…. (more)
YOUTUBE — Sean Hannity and Ben Shapiro break down why the news surrounding the actions and biases of FBI agent Peter Strzok, a former member of the Mueller investigative team, is so crucial…. (more)
ZeroHedge Frontrunning: December 12
- Parties Make Final Push Ahead of Dramatic Alabama Senate Race (Read More)
- Oil hits two-and-a-half year high on pipeline shutdown, stocks take breather (Read More)
- Alabama drama nears an explosive end (Read More)
- Moore, Jones Expose Rural-Urban Divide That Defines Alabama Race (Read More)
- The Force Behind Bitcoin’s Meteoric Rise: Millions of Asian Investors (Read More)
- Austrian Explosion Rattles Europe’s Gas Market (Read More)
- Scant oversight on building adds to hurricane costs (Read More)
- Optimism Among U.S. Small Businesses Jumps to Highest Since 1983 (Read More)
- As Fed Deliberates, Amazon Is Making Its Job More Difficult (Read More)
- Trump’s push to cut federal jobs has modest impact, mostly in defense (Read More)
- Westfield Agrees to European Takeover Valued at $16 Billion (Read More)
- Risks lurk as yen keeps BOJ from faster tapering despite stronger economy (Read More)
- A Manager of $42 Billion Fears Bubble in World’s Biggest Stocks (Read More)
- Japan air force drills with U.S. bombers, stealth fighters near Korean peninsula (Read More)
- What Hedge Funds Will Do After the Hedge Fund Model Dies (Read More)
- Be careful, murdered Iranian activist’s daughter tells European exiles (Read More)
- Audi CEO drops plan to sell motorcycle brand Ducati (Read More)
- Trump May Actually Be Right About the Trade Deficit With Canada (Read More)
- PepsiCo makes biggest public pre-order of Tesla Semis: 100 trucks (Read More)
- Lockheed’s Littoral Ships Running 11 Months Late, U.S. Navy Says (Read More)
- Musk’s SpaceX Doubles Down on Method for Cheaper Rocket Launches (Read More)
- Macron seeks climate action after U.S. withdrawal from Paris accord (Read More)
Headlines – 12/12/2017
|Is humanity being groomed for the coming “Image of the Beast”?
Posted: 12 Dec 2017 05:37 AM PST
(By Ricky Scaparo) In this special segment, we will show you technology is paving the way for the coming “Image of the Beast” mentioned in the book of Revelation. We will also reveal to you the preview of this event from the Book of Daniel and what al this means for you and me. For the entire message watch the video below:
|Artificial Intelligence machine can identify 2 Billion people in seconds
Posted: 12 Dec 2017 05:09 AM PST
A leading tech company has developed an Artificial Intelligence machine that can identify two billion people in a matter of seconds. Yitu Technology has made an AI algorithm that can connect to millions of surveillance cameras and instantly recognize people. The company – based in Shanghai, China – developed Dragonfly Eye to scan through millions of photographs that have been logged in the country’s national database.
This means it has a collection of 1.8 billion photos on file, including visitors to the country and those taken at ports and airports. It may also have access to the photos of every one of Hong Kong’s identity card holders, although Yitu has refused to confirm this. The cutting-edge technology is now being used track down criminals, with the early stages of use showing it has been a hugely successful. READ MORE
|PROPHECY WATCH: ‘Global War’ on followers of Jesus Increasing– including in America!
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 08:00 PM PST
The story of Jesus Christ raising Lazarus from the dead is one of the most dramatic in the New Testament. Yet, almost as amazing as bringing a man back to life after four days in the grave is the authorities’ reaction to this astonishing miracle: It made them want to kill Jesus. This cosmic irony – of genuine godliness inspiring loathing and violence – has been reflected throughout the world ever since. Christianity inspired hostility from the beginning; not only was Jesus crucified, but 11 of the 12 apostles
were martyred. Today, sincere followers of Jesus Christ are under attack everywhere, not only in lands dominated by religions and governments hostile to Christianity, but increasingly in those parts of the world historically home to, and founded by, Christians. Think of it. The most transcendent way of life a man or woman can embrace on this earth – one that commands not only that you love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself, but that you love your enemies, “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you” – is cursed, hated and persecuted. READ MORE
|Interstellar ‘comet’ is being investigated for signs of extraterrestrial technology
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 07:48 PM PST
Astronomers are set to scan an ‘alien’ comet for signs of extraterrestrial technology. The cigar-shaped asteroid, named ‘Oumuamua by its discoverers, sailed past Earth last month and is the first interstellar object seen in the solar system. A team of alien-hunting scientists, led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, will scan the comet this week before it sails beyond the reach of Earth’s telescopes. They say they are looking for radio signals, claiming the mysterious visitor could be an alien spaceship.Milner, the
business mogul behind Breakthrough Listen, a $100 million (£75m) search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, received an email about the object last week from one of his chief scientists, the Atlantic reports. ‘The more I study this object, the more unusual it appears, making me wonder whether it might be an artificially made probe which was sent by an alien civilisation,’ Professor Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard’s astronomy department and one of Milner’s advisers on Breakthrough Listen, wrote in the email. READ MORE
|The Jezebel Seduction Is Alive and Well
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 07:43 PM PST
(By Shane Idleman) In Revelation 2:20, Jesus addresses the church in Thyatira, “… I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality…” Who was Jezebel? In short, she enticed Israel to worship false gods. Psalm 106:35-37 gives us a glimpse into the debauchery, “but they mixed among the nations and learned their deeds; they served their idols, which were a snare to them. Yes, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.”
Before we judge, do we not sacrifice our children and unborn on the altar of convenience and pleasure? What do we allow into our homes through the internet and television? What do we allow in our churches as we continue to embrace sexual activity outside the boundaries of marriage between a man and a woman? The Jezebel seduction is alive and well. The power of the Jezebel seduction is only as strong as her fuel source. She is alive and well in those who continue to fuel her desires. The more you feed her the stronger she will become. READ MORE
|CA wildfires larger than Boston and NY combined have destroyed 1,000 structures
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 05:13 PM PST
One week after the Thomas Fire exploded from a brush fire to a raging inferno, hundreds of firefighters are still struggling to contain it. The blaze is larger than all of New York City and was only 15% contained as of Monday, according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE. But it’s only one of six major wildfires torching the state, which have destroyed more than 1,000 structures. As the flames move on to
new neighborhoods, some evacuated residents have returned to find no home standing. David Karian used a hand rake to sift through the charred rubble of his elderly parents’ home in Ventura. 7 images show why the Southern California wildfires are so dangerous“There’s not much, but if there’s a few things that will help them have some connection to the past, then that what I’m trying to do,” he said. “That’s what it is … memories of a lot of years.” READ MORE
|ISIS warns NY Attack linked to recognition of Israel, Makes Threat To Times Square
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 05:08 PM PST
ISIS supporters online linked today’s Port Authority Bus Terminal explosion in New York to last week’s administration recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a new propaganda poster. The poster also revives ISIS backers’ holiday threats against Times Square, showing a hand holding an explosive device photoshopped over an image of the busy Broadway block. “The recognition of your dog ‘Trump’
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, will make us recognize explosives as the capital of your country,” the message on the poster said. ISIS supporters also cheered news of the attack on their Telegram channels. ISIS’ official Amaq news agency had not yet issued any claim for the attack, in which three commuters suffered minor injuries as a bomber partially detonated his explosives. READ MORE
|US Military Training Drills Take Place Over DC
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 05:02 PM PST
A training exercise involving several military aircraft will take place early Tuesday over the D.C. region, authorities said. The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its Continental U.S. NORAD Region will be conducting the exercise, called Falcon Virgo 18-03. It will include an F-16 fighter, a C-21 transport plane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, which will fly over the D.C. region from about midnight until 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.
In the event of bad weather, the drill will be moved to Wednesday morning. Continued bad weather will postpone the exercise or it will be canceled, officials said. The exercise involves training flights, officials said, with the cooperation of the Federal Aviation Administration, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center and the Office of National Capital Region Coordination. READ MORE
|CUP OF TREMBLING: Iran Warns “Trump’s Jerusalem Move Will Hasten Israel’s Destruction”
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 04:58 PM PST
Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will hasten the country’s destruction, Iran’s defense minister said on Monday, while a top Revolutionary Guards commander phoned two Palestinian armed groups and pledged support for them. Leaders of Iran, where opposition to Israel and support for the Palestinian cause has been central to foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution, have denounced last week’s announcement by the US president, including a plan to move the US embassy to
the city. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. “(Trump’s) step will hasten the destruction of the Zionist regime and will double the unity of Muslims,” Iran’s defense minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, said on Monday, according to state media. The army’s chief of staff, General Mohammad Baqeri, said Trump’s “foolish move” could be seen as the beginning of a new intifada, or Palestinian uprising. READ MORE
|Pentagon announces that transgenders will be able to enlist in military beginning January 1st
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 12:56 PM PST
The Pentagon is allowing transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite President Donald Trump’s opposition. The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue, and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump’s demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Two federal courts already have ruled against the ban. Potential transgender recruits will have to overcome a lengthy and strict set of physical, medical and mental
conditions that make it possible, though difficult, for them to join the armed services. Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, says the enlistment of transgender recruits will start Jan. 1 and go on amid the legal battles. The Defense Department also is studying the issue. Eastburn told The Associated Press on Monday that the new guidelines mean the Pentagon can disqualify potential recruits with gender dysphoria, a history of medical treatments associated with gender transition and those who underwent reconstruction. READ MORE
|European Court to Decide if Islamic Sharia Law Can Override a Nation’s Civil Law
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 12:50 PM PST
Can Islamic religious sharia law override a country’s domestic law in Europe? That’s a question the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights is weighing. The Court heard a case this week that involves applying sharia law to a disagreement between citizens of Greece who are Muslims. Christian Concern, a non-profit organization based in London, intervened in the case “because of the
importance of the case in European law and its implications for countries across Europe, including the UK,” according to a news release from the organization.”We intervened in the case in order to make clear that sharia law is fundamentally incompatible with human rights,” wrote Tim Dieppe, head of public policy of Christian Concern, on the organization’s website. “We hope and pray that the judges will see this and act accordingly.” READ MORE
|U.S., Israel and Saudis working ‘hand in hand’ on new “peace deal”
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 12:46 PM PST
A much-overlooked motive for President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is to jump-start the Middle East peace process, and do it on terms more favorable to Israel, experts on the Middle East tell WND. As the world will soon find out, Arab leaders in Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan who would have normally balked at such a deal, are now eager to see it consummated. A key line in President Trump’s speech announcing his change of longstanding U.S. policy toward Jerusalem
was this: “It is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.” The call for younger voices to be heard was a direct jab at Mahmoud Abbas, the entrenched, corrupt 82-year-old Palestinian leader. Abbas’s days may be numbered, says Dr. Mark Christian, a former Islamic imam who converted to Christianity and founded the Omaha, Nebraska-based Global Faith Institute. He says back-channel peace negotiations have been going on for months. READ MORE
|Why humans will happily follow a robot messiah
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 10:46 AM PST
A religion based on a robot god will succeed because humans tend to ‘worship supreme understanding’, experts have claimed. One researcher has said the same drive that compels people to believe in higher beings and follow religions will also work for so-called AI ‘Godheads’. Others have commented that, like religion, people will eventually rely on a ‘robot messiah’ to solve society’s problems. Last month, former Uber and Google engineer Anthony Levandowski formed the first church to follow an artificially intelligent being.
The religion, known as ‘Way of the Future’, claims our species can better itself by following the instructions of a robot that is ‘a billion times smarter than humans’. Now AI expert and lawyer John Mitchell has said humans have a tendency to ‘worship supreme understanding’, and that this also applies to AI. ‘We [believe] there must be some higher power that causes lightning, sunsets, and crashing waves – or at least speaks to the bottom of our beings, rather than ignore them as ho-hum background,’ he told Fox News. READ MORE
|What You Need to Know About the Number of the Beast
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 10:23 AM PST
(By Michael S. Heiser) If there’s one part of the Bible virtually everyone has heard of, it’s 666—the “number of the beast.” And if there’s one thing no one can agree upon, it’s what that number stands for. We find the number in Revelation 13:18, “Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast. It is the number of a man. His number is six hundred and sixty-six.” The wording here is important: John tells readers that the number needs to be “calculated,” which means there must be a hidden meaning behind it. But how do we calculate it? One option for solving this biblical riddle is gematria, the idea that numbers have symbolic meaning.
While some have called gematria a tool for speculation, it actually derives from an ancient convention in languages like Greek and Hebrew where letters of the alphabet are used to represent numbers. But gematria is not limited to just Revelation; the New Testament contains several other symbolic figures. The 153 fish of John 21:11could be interpreted as ancient symbolism for the church, the body of Christ and the Old Testament sons of God as analogous to believers in the church. The Greek word for “dove,” like the dove that descends on Jesus at His baptism, has a numerical value equivalent to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, thus symbolizing the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1:8). CONTINUE
|Largest Christian Music Fest Founder Charged With Child Molestation
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 10:17 AM PST
The founder of Creation Festival—the nation’s largest Christian music festival—has been “indefinitely suspended” from the ministry and his position as pastor of his New Jersey church after he was arrested on charges of child molestation. Harry L. Thomas, 74, was charged Wednesday (Dec. 6) with sexually assaulting four minors “over a lengthy period of time ending two years ago,” according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charges include one count of aggravated sexual assault, three counts of sexual assault and four counts of endangering the welfare of children. Those alleged assaults occurred over a 16-year period between 1999 and 2015 in Medford Township, N.J., where Thomas lives, according to the prosecutor’s office. His church—Come Alive New Testament Church, which has been described as charismatic—also is in Medford Township. READ MORE
|NYC Bombing Witness: ‘If I Didn’t Believe in God, I Believe in God Today’
Posted: 11 Dec 2017 10:14 AM PST
A woman who was in the passageway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal saw the explosion and thought of her maker. “If I didn’t believe in God, I believe in God today,” says Christina Bathea, 29. As she was headed to Manhattan, she says she heard a bang and saw smoke.
According to Reuters: A man with a bomb-like device strapped to his body set off an explosion at one of New York’s busiest commuter hubs at rush hour on Monday, injuring himself and three others in what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect in the incident at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, a block from Times Square, was identified as Akayed Ullah, the New York Police Department commissioner said. The suspect had burns and lacerations while three other people, including a police officer, had minor injuries. 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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