Prophecy Update Newsletter
November 22, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
A Gotterdammerung Moment - By Matt Ward - http://raptureready.com/soap2/ward73.html
Gotterdammerung is a term that comes from the work of composer Richard Wagner. It refers to the final, dramatic moment at the conclusion of Hitler's favorite opera, "Der Ring des Nibellungren." In this scene the mass destruction of all the protagonists and everything they knew or once cared about is decreed.
It is a depiction of a final, fatal and spiteful self-destruction from which nothing can or does survive. It was their Gotterdammerung moment, the final nihilistic act of utter rebellion that ensured their own, and everybody else's destruction. It inspired Hitler immensely. He thought there was "poetic justice" in it. The last few days and weeks of Hitler's life have come to be known as his own "Gotterdammerung moment."
It was the time when Hitler, at the very conclusion of the European war, was confined to his famous Fuhrer bunker, deep under the Reich's chancellery in Berlin. He was a dead man walking at this point and he knew it. It was this last phase of his life, more than any other, which saw Hitler descend into unrestrained delusional madness.
The spark which began this final descent into madness came a little while before when Hitler received a telegram from Hermann Goering, on April 23rd, 1945. It read:
My Fuhrer! In view of your decision to remain in post in the fortress of Berlin, do you agree that I take over at once that total leadership of the Reich, with full freedom of action, at home and abroad, as your deputy in accordance with your decree of 29th June 1941? If no reply is received by 10 o'clock tonight, I shall take it for granted that you have lost your freedom of action, and shall consider the conditions of your decree as fulfilled, and shall act in the best interests of our country and our people. You know what I feel for you in this gravest hour of my life. Words fail me to express myself. May God protect you, and speed you quickly here in spite of all.
Your loyal Hermann Goering.
Goering was abandoning Hitler and Hitler was incensed by it. From this point the blows came thick and fast. Next, it was revealed to Hitler that Heinrich Himmler, the most loyal of the loyal, had been secretly negotiating a surrender with the allies behind his back. Hitler was apoplectic with rage and ordered Himmler's summary on the spot execution.
The final hammer blow came when Hitler learned of the complete destruction of his treasured home near Berchtesgaden-to an allied air raid, his "Eagles Nest." Berchtesgaden had come to represent all of his aspirations-his vision for a perfect Aryan utopia. Now it was destroyed, it laid in ruins. These events shattered Hitler. They broke him and enraged him at the same time.
It was at this moment, during the savage and brutal fighting in the Battle for Berlin, that Hitler ordered the total destruction of his capital city in order to punish those who he believed had betrayed him. It was Hitler's own Gotterdammerung moment.
Donald J. Trump fully intends to rip Barack Obama's entire legacy up by their roots. Obama, in the final weeks of his presidency has to sit and watch the increasingly detailed and public planning for the systematic dismantling of all he has worked towards over the past eight years. Still the formal occupant of the Oval Office, Obama can do next to nothing to thwart Trump at this point. The forthcoming destruction of his legacy will come at the hands of a man completely ideologically opposed to him. It must gall Obama to the core.
Highlighting this unease, Obama has recently voiced his "concerns" over president-elect Trump, noting that the two "could not be more different." Obama has good cause for concern because Donald Trump, if he is true in any way to his pre-election mandate, is going to expunge the achievements Obama holds most dear from American history altogether.
Everything Obama has come to cherish about his time in government is going to be wiped out. Obama's flagship policy of Obamacare will be heavily amended, repealed or revoked under Trump. The major international climate change accords signed by President Obama which encompass some of the toughest climate rules in history will be left by the wayside, to the chagrin of many on the left, at the UN and in Europe.
Indeed, Donald Trump does not even really believe in or accept climate change as being legitimate science, and he may even go so far as to scrap climate regulations altogether for American business and industry.
Obama's example on LGBTQ issues will not be something the incoming administration wishes to emulate. Instead of packing the Supreme Court with far left leaning judges, Trump will select candidates distinctly right of center. It will impact upon American civil society in a very specific, much more conservative way.
Trump intends to dismantle the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, with the abolishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, to the consternation of many "social justice warriors" on the left. Stealing from the rich to give to the poor is not going to become a reality of Donald Trump's presidency, as they imagined it might with Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.
Surprisingly though, in light of how much domestic change Trump will likely attempt, it will be in the fields of foreign policy that he will be able to make the most immediate and significant impact. Obama's policy of assuaging Iran, sometimes irrespective of their flagrant breaches of recently signed accords, will almost certainly end.
Indeed it is highly probable that at some point in the near future we may witness a surgical military strike against Iran from America, as a way of demonstrating U.S. displeasure at Iran's refusal to live up to its side of the nuclear accord, signed under Obama. Especially, since they have been recipients of billions of freed up U.S. sanctions money recently.
Obama's recent Cuba deal will also likely be reversed by Trump. The president-elect has stated quite clearly that he intends to reverse the deal struck by Obama until Cuba restores political freedoms to its people, "...all of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done with Executive order, which means the next president can reverse them. And that is what I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands."
As well as these obvious initial changes, Trump also seems intent upon building a barrier of sorts between Mexico and the United States-as well as seriously examining the possibility of restricting Muslim immigration into the U.S., especially from known "trouble spots" around the world.
Before this election, Barack Obama must genuinely have believed that he was going to be recorded by history as one of the most important presidents of recent times, certainly since Ronald Reagan. He must have believed he was going to be remembered as liberal icon, a president who genuinely reshaped the government.
That dream now lays in tatters, and his legacy is greatly imperiled. Trump's agenda is pure anti-Obamaism, and Obama knows it. Worse for Obama, Trump can initiate most of these changes by Executive power alone. For everything else there is the strong support of a newly elected Republican Congress.
Obama is totally powerless to stop Trump at this point, with one notable exception-Israel. The Middle East and the so-called peace process remain the single area where Obama, in the time still left to him as president, can make his mark on both history and also leave an indelible and lasting legacy.
It is entirely possible that Obama may now decide to use his remaining months in the White House to ensure that a UN resolution recommending the recognition of a Palestinian state be permitted to pass.
Such an act, should it be permitted by America, or even actively supported or pushed, would be to cross God's clearly defined red line for Israel. Yet it seems likely that this may soon happen.
Camille Mansour, former Soborne Professor and international advisor to the Palestinian leadership has recently stated, "Now that he is freed from elections-related political shackles, he can allow for Palestine to join the UN as a state under occupation."
It is a view shared by many in the international arena, by many at the UN, many within Europe, and especially amongst the political left in America. It is a great paradox, but many have now come to believe that it is only because of this defeat to a man like Trump, that Barack Obama will now act.
Many feel that now is the time for Obama to step forward and either acquiesce if a proposal is put forward, or actively seek UN sponsored recognition for a Palestinian state on either the 1967 lines or, even more radically, on the 1948 lines.
If Obama led America in either of these directions in the closing weeks of his presidency he would effectively be handing Trump a fait accompli on January 20th. There would be an internationally recognized Palestinian State, Israeli land would be divided to provide for it, and there would be absolutely nothing Trump could do to change it.
Daniel 9:27 tells us that the ruler to come, the man of lawlessness will, "...confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.'" The Antichrist will not initiate a covenant, he will confirm one that is already in place.
It is possible that in his last months in office President Barack Obama will allow, or will actively participate in enforcing a Palestinian state upon Israel at the UN. If he does, then it is highly likely that this agreement, if it were to take place, could be the one later "confirmed" by the Antichrist himself, an event which would begin the clock on the Tribulation period.
"Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it." (Isaiah 28:18)
Is this a part of the potential future agreement that God describes as being with "the realm of the dead," an agreement that God has said He annuls? Is this what Barack Obama may be seeking in the final weeks of his presidency?
Only time will tell.
If Obama does take this path he will certainly have ensured a unique legacy for himself. Yet it would be a legacy of eternal infamy. He would have also decreed his own personal Gotterdammerung moment, a final moment wherein he ensures his own personal judgment.
However, ominously, because he is still the president of the United States and therefore acting in an official capacity, it would have national consequences, too. With a decision such as this, dividing the land of Israel and disinheriting the Jewish people of their God-given right to the land, it is almost certain that the hammer blow of judgment would also come to the nation he leads as well.
The Bible is abundantly clear: The Lord Almighty will judge all nations who divide the land of Israel. Such a decision would be a Gotterdammerung moment for the United States too, not just for Obama personally. In one of his final acts as president, Obama could pull America over the abyss with him.
Truly, the United States has never faced such a potentially perilous time as in the next two months. We have much to watch for and pray.
Nearing Midnight: Heaven's Post-election Priorities - Terry James - http://raptureready.com/rap16.html
News pundits are pontificating in every direction about what President-Elect Donald J. Trump's priorities will be come January 20, 2017.
We are told about building the wall on our southern border. There is much talk about repealing and replacing Obamacare. We hear about the new president's intention to power up the faded U.S. military and to do away with many of the executive orders that he believes have helped bring the American economy and social structure to an unacceptable status.
The new president's priorities are, of course, important. We welcome new direction as we sense reprieve from the God of Heaven this election has brought. The prayers of God's people, as I've pointed out previously has, I believe, helped win that reprieve from what seemed impending judgment.
Perhaps correction would be the most appropriate term. God's people prayed that God would hear from Heaven and would put the nation on a course correction.
This, He seemingly has done.
He intervened a century ago to make a profound course correction following the raucous Gay Nineties and the debauched era following World War I termed the Roaring Twenties.
Writer John Steinbeck captured this corrective era in his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. And, it was indeed an era when the crops of corrective judgment, whose seeds of refusing to follow the God-designed course for America had been planted more than a decade earlier, came to fruition.
Again, the tremendous Dust Bowl of the 1930s, I'm convinced, was a corrective easure while God prepared the American people for the Second World War-a conflict God didn't cause, but certainly used to temper and harden this nation to make it ready to meet its destiny.
That destiny was primarily to bring modern Israel to birth on May 14, 1948. Also, to spread the gospel to the world through advancing communications technologies. The United States was blessed, economically, from that point, making it the wealthiest and most technologically advanced nation that has ever existed.
So, while Mr. Trump's political agenda is important, even critical, to achieving worthy, laudable goals in turning America in the right direction, Heaven's priorities are truly the matters for which God's reprieve have been so mercifully given.
Of course, the Church (all born-again believers) should take this reprieve as a mandate to recapture moral ground--to roll back some of the social evils the Obama administration has brought forth--most through executive fiat. It is that very Church which has, in my estimation, allowed this slide toward the moral abyss through her acquiescence.
However, that said, I am convinced that the same two major issues are involved in this God-given reprieve.
Heaven's post-election priorities again involve 1) seeing to it that the gospel message is carried forth throughout the world; and 2) that the nation Israel continues to have the most powerful nation on the planet as an ally and protector.
It is beyond argument that God doesn't need the United States to protect Israel. But, it is also beyond argument--to my way of thinking, at least--that the Lord has used America to act first as midwife in birthing Israel into modernity and then to act as guardian during decades since that rebirth. The Lord of Heaven has chosen America for this specific function, it is likely, for as long as the planet remains in the pre-Tribulation era.
There will come a time when Israel will be under the wrathful hand of Antichrist and the rest of the world. God will intervene directly at that time. Daniel the prophet, passing along the angel's words, puts it this way:
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." (Dan 12: 1)
So, while we watch the unfolding of post-election aftermath, let us view things through the prism of Bible prophecy. We are not about to go into an era that offers prospect of the Church building Heaven on earth as the Kingdom-Now purveyors would have it. All is further stage-setting for the Rapture of the Church and the appearance of the son of perdition .
But, it is a reprieve from Heaven we are witnessing and living, so let's keep in mind Heaven's priorities.
The Great Commission is still the top priority. Bringing as many lost people as possible into God's family before the time of Tribulation is our post-election mandate.
Israel: Iran is smuggling weapons to Hezbollah on commercial flights - http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/Israel-Iran-is-smuggling-weapons-to-Hezbollah-on-commercial-flights-473344
Iran is smuggling weapons and ammunition to Hezbollah through commercial flights from the Islamic Republic to Lebanon, according to intelligence information revealed by Israel's UN ambassador to the Security Council, which was cleared for publication on Tuesday.
UN Ambassador Danny Danon sent an urgent letter to the Security Council members in which he revealed the smuggling route from Iran's Revolutionary Guards to Hezbollah: "The Iranian Al-Quds Force packs weapons, ammunition and missile technology to Hezbollah in suitcases and puts them on Mahan Air flights."
Danon added that "these planes fly directly to the airport in Lebanon or Damascus and from there the weapons are transferred on the ground to Hezbollah."
The UN envoy wrote that "Iran continues to violate Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 1701 and 2231." Iran arms terrorist organizations in the Middle East and works to undermine stability in the entire region, he added.
Security Council Resolution 2231 adopted the nuclear deal with Iran and placed further restrictions on the Islamic Republic and Resolution 1701 brought the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah after the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), reported some two weeks ago that Iran had violated the conditions placed upon it by the nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of worlds powers.
In July, Danon told the Security Council that Hezbollah possessed 17 times the number of missiles it did 10 years ago when UN Security Council Resolution 1701 was adopted.
Iranian proxy Hezbollah has "more missiles below ground in Lebanon than the European NATO allies have above ground," Danon said as he presented recently-released IDF intelligence about the terrorist organization to the Security Council, including aerial photographs revealing Hezbollah positions and statistics about the organization's weapons stockpiles.
According to Dannon, Hezbollah, at the time, possessed about 120,000 missiles, compared to 7,000 from 10 years ago.
Why did the Russian Prime Minister just visit Jerusalem and Jericho? - Joel C. Rosenberg - https://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/why-did-the-russian-prime-minister-just-visit-jerusalem-and-jericho-moscow-is-moving-aggressively-to-fill-the-vacuum-obama-created-in-the-middle-east/
Moscow is moving aggressively to fill the vacuum Obama created in the Middle East.
Make no mistake: the Kremlin is not waiting for the Trump-Pence administration to staff up and figure out its policies in the epicenter.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev are moving aggressively to meet with Middle Eastern leaders, court them, woo them, sell them weapons, sell them nuclear technology, and whisper in their ears that Moscow - not Washington - is the friend and ally they can trust over the long haul.
Last week, just days after the stunning American elections, I arrived in Jericho to host a conference of Palestinian pastors and ministry leaders and their wives. As it happened, when my wife and I arrived at the hotel where the conference was to be held, we found it surrounded by heavily armed soldiers. There were new checkpoints on all the nearby roads. There were snipers on the roof. There were armed bodyguards everywhere, and the lobby was filled with dozens of advisors and protocol officers, standing around smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.
Why? Because Medvedev was on his way to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (aka, Abu Mazen).
Over the course of several days, the two leaders discussed the future of Moscow's relationship with the Palestinians, and specifically the Kremlin's offer to host peace talks between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Abbas also used the occasion to name a street in Jericho after Medvedev to thank him for all the money the Kremlin has poured into the Palestinian Authority in recent years.
Medvedev's first stop on this Mideast tour was in Israel where he met privately with Mr. Netanyahu. Officially, they marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between Israel and the Russian Federation. But they also discussed Netanyahu's concerns about Russian military involvement in Syria, and the growing Iranian threat to the region, even as Moscow keeps selling Tehran nuclear technology and advanced military equipment.
The Russian premier also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (who himself recently visited Moscow). Medvedev also toured Yad Vashem, and visited the Western Wall.
This was Medvedev's first state visit to Israel and the P.A. He was last here as a private citizen in 1990.
So why did Medvedev decide to come to the epicenter now - for the first time in two and a half decades - and just hours after the American presidential elections?
The answer is obvious: the Russians want to be the dominant global power in the Middle East. Putin and Medvedev see an enormous vacuum in the Middle East created by President Obama's steady and foolish retreat, and they are making all kinds of moves to fill that vacuum with Russian money, arms and technology before the next President decides exactly what U.S. foreign policy in the region will be.
Consider just a few examples of Russian efforts in the region:
President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence have their work cut out for them.
How Hebrew Reveals Deep Hidden Meanings of Biblical Names - By Tsivya Fox - http://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said: 'Because the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.'" Genesis 29:32 (The Israel Bible™)
Many people have either a Biblical Hebrew name or a name which connects to the Bible. In Jewish tradition, one's name contains a spiritual dimension. Naming a child is not just a random happening that parents impose upon their children. The Bible is actually replete with stories which reflect the importance of a name.
"There are generally three ways in which a Hebrew name expresses something important about a person," explained Roni Segal, academic adviser for eTeacher, an online language academy specializing in Biblical Hebrew, to Breaking Israel News. "Sometimes the name represents the essence of a person. Sometimes it reflects an aspect from the birth the child and sometime it shows the purpose of the person in this world."
The essence of the first man is reflected in his name. Called Adam, we know that he was created from the earth - adama (אדמה) in Hebrew.
Biblical Father Jacob's name is Yaakov in Hebrew. This name is used to record the unusual circumstances of his birth. Jacob emerged from his mother's womb holding the heel of his twin brother, Esau.
Heel in Hebrew is akev (עָקֵב) the same root as Yaakov. Already from the womb, Jacob was on the heels of Esau, chasing the rights of the first-born child. The Bible records that Esau received his name because he emerged hairy, as if he were "completely made". In Hebrew, asah means to "make" (עשה).
Similarly, although Biblical commentators state that Moses - Moshe (משה) in Hebrew - had no less than ten names, he is generally referred to only by his Egyptian name, Moshe. Exodus 2:10 explains that Pharaoh's daughter saw a child in a basket floating down the Nile River. She drew him out and became his step-mother, a dangerous act as it was decreed that all Jewish males be killed. She named him Moshe, which literally means "to draw out". This is the name used throughout the Bible to give honor to this act of great self-sacrifice.
There are several times in the Bible when God changes a person's name to better reflect their purpose in this world. For instance, Abraham's original name was Abram
(אַבְרָם֙). Abram means "high father." By changing his name to Abraham (אַבְרָהָם), his future mission is reflected; Abraham means the "father of multitudes". He becomes the father to all who believe in one God.
God also changed the name of Abraham's wife. In order for Abraham to fulfill his mission, he needed his wife by his side in a similarly lofty spiritual level. Therefore, God changed her name from Sarai (שָׂרי), which means "princess", to Sarah (שָׂרה) meaning the "mother of nations". Together they become the parents of innumerable disciples.
Lastly, we have Biblical צother Leah naming her children to represent her feelings and desires at the time of their births. We know that Jacob's first choice for a wife was Leah's sister Rachel. But Leah's father tricked him into marrying her first. In order to provide Leah with appeasement for being the second-choice wife, God opened Leah's womb and she merited to give birth to four sons.
Each of their names tells of Leah's emotional state at the time. Her first son, Reuven
(רְאוּבֵן) is named from the Hebrew word ra'a (רָאָה) to which means "see". The Bible states, "God saw my pain at being the less-desired wife and my husband will see that I deserve to be married to him."
Leah's second son is Shimon (שִׁמְעוֹן). Shimon comes from the Hebrew word shema
(שָׁמַע) which means "hear". Leah expresses that God heard her cries and blessed her with a second son.
Levy (לֵוִי) is related to the Hebrew word for attach, y'lavey (יִלָּוֶה). Jacob named him Levy to express that he will be more attached to Leah through this child.
Most telling is the fourth son's name, Yehuda (יְהוּדָה). Yehuda comes from the Hebrew word for praise, oh-deh (אוֹדֶה). With this birth, Leah publicly praises God for giving her a great portion in the creation of the tribes of the Jewish people. Additionally, it also represents her essence. She is known for praising God both in challenging and good times.
"By reading the Bible in the language it was written, Hebrew, we understand much deeper God's messages for His children and all of mankind," shared Segal.
My Review of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?"
Over the last 35 years, I have literally read hundreds of books on Bible Prophecy and End Time signs. I especially enjoy books on the Rapture, and I have read almost every Rapture-related book published. In all those years, devouring thousands of pages, and millions of words, I have not read a better book on the Rapture than, Rapture Ready...Or Not?
Terry James might be physically blind, but he is spiritually sharp and well discerning beyond most authors. In "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" Terry has nailed the pre-trib Rapture, and removed any doubt what so ever about the Church going through the Tribulation. With great insight and Godly discernment, Terry explains with simple, yet profound words, why and how that he has come to believe the ways he does about the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the End Times scenario. I think after reading "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" you too will believe as Terry does, and be Ready for the Rapture like never before! - Randy Thomas - Publisher / Editor - Prophecy Update
For more information and or to get your copy of "Rapture Ready...Or Not?" use this link: http://www.raptureready.com/terry/book35.html
More Regions Going Down the Dark Path of Assisted Suicide - Tom Olago - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=817
Euthanasia, mercy killing, assisted suicide - all euphemisms for legalizing premature deaths using medical mechanisms.
These processes are slowly gaining traction worldwide through their proponents and activists, and the mentally ill are the latest targets. How long will it be before literally everyone is fair game?
According to a recent news report by Paul Brian for thefederalist.com, such liberalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide is leading us down a dark path, as those jurisdictions that previously legalized suicide have now expanded the list of eligible persons to those suffering mental illness.
A few examples given by Brian also illustrate how watered down the sanctity of life has become. Reasons given for euthanasia and related practices range from the frivolous and flimsy to the bizarre and irrational - ignoring the myriad of medical and social support options available.
A sexual abuse survivor in her 20s suffering from "incurable" severe anorexia and PTSD was euthanized in the Netherlands, which has experienced a 75 percent rise in euthanasia in the past five years.
Autism is being treated, ultimately, by lethal injection. Individuals seek and receive assisted death because they are "tired of living" or no longer beautiful.
Brian notes that, according to people like Australian "humanist" Philip Nitschke, choosing when to end one's life is "a fundamental human right" for every adult of sound mind.
In Nitschke's case, it is difficult to overlook the irony of his 'sound mind' caveat--but he's also praised American "Dr. Death" Jack Kevorkian as an example of "true heroism." Critics accuse the late Kevorkian, incidentally, of following euthanasia practices that at times preyed on the mentally ill.
The scourge continues to snowball globally, nonetheless. Canada passed a law this summer allowing assisted suicide, which is also legal in parts of the U.S such as Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, Montana and New Mexico--but these laws have restrictions against the mentally ill requesting death, to an extent. Colorado is the latest state to legalize assisted suicide after voters approved a ballot initiative recently.
In Oregon, for example, a mentally ill person may request euthanasia but only if they have a concurrent terminal physical medical condition.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide in cases of terminal illness and physical disease are controversial and heated subjects for religious and personal reasons to many people who are both for and against.
However, as Brian further explains, incidences now occurring of people seeking a state-sanctioned, physician-assisted end to their life due to mental illness are unprecedented.
Removing mental health stigma is a big step forward; removing the stigma along with removing the person himself or herself is a step into the Twilight Zone.
Canada's parliament was considering allowing psychological reasons to be considered in its euthanasia law, as desired by some vehement politicians, but the final bill ultimately stopped short of allowing such.
When the prospect arose prior to final resolution, those potentially affected by it--such as Lucy Waters, mother of a mentally ill man--were horrified. "It's scary, really scary," Waters said. "It is just so wrong to even consider it with mental illness."
Brian concludes that there are a lot of people suffering from some degree of mental illness--approximately one-in-four people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Those suffering deserve encouragement and treatment, not the idea that checking out is a solution.
Wesley Smith for Lifenews.com recently noted: "... once a society accepts the premise of euthanasia--that it is acceptable to eliminate suffering by eliminating the sufferer--there is no way to restrict the putative "right to die" to the mentally healthy".
And the 'slippery slide' doesn't stop there. Smith further noted that euthanasia of the mentally ill is a growing phenomenon in the Netherlands, where the practice has even been boosted by psychiatric journals, and in Belgium.
In the latter country, doctors now even condone the medicalized killing of mentally ill people with consensual organ harvesting. California's End of Life Option Act, which went into effect earlier this year, legalized assisted suicide for the terminally ill who have the "capacity to make medical decisions."
Soon after the California law went into effect, a regulation was quietly promulgated guaranteeing institutionalized mentally ill patients access to assisted suicide if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Not only that, but the rule permits such people to receive a court-ordered release from institutionalization--not because their underlying condition has been successfully treated, but for the specific purpose of killing themselves with drugs prescribed by a doctor.
This boggles the mind, Smith observed. The regulation puts the state in the business of directly causing the deaths of mentally ill patients under court-ordered custodial care.
It goes beyond merely legalizing assisted suicide; it elevates euthanasia access for the institutionalized mentally ill into a court-enforceable right, all without public debate,
passage through the usual legislative process or so much as a news story to alert the people of California that the scope of their new assisted-suicide law has been radically extended.
And yet, despite all the ethical and moral loopholes that easily allow for gross abuse of the euthanasia processes, the number of countries joining the bandwagon internationally continues to swell.
A case in point is in Canada, where americamagazine.org notes that with euthanasia occurring in Quebec at triple government predictions, obtaining accurate statistics on medically assisted deaths across Canada and/or its abuse, is almost impossible.
A recent report from the Quebec government showed 262 euthanasia deaths in the first seven months after the province legalized the practice last December.
Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette told journalists he was surprised at the figure, which is about three times higher than anticipated. He said the number of euthanasia deaths in the province could reach 300 by the end of the year, but the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition believes the figure will be closer to 450.
According to Coalition Director Alex Schadenberg, even in Quebec where the requirements for reporting and oversight are the most rigorous, euthanasia deaths are likely being underreported.
He also expressed frustration at a lack of transparency in other provinces, making it impossible to compile accurate statistics on assisted suicide and euthanasia, leaving no way of identifying instances of abuse.
"A system was promised, but we don't know what it is," Schadenberg said. "The doctor does the death...but there is no way of knowing if he or she reports all of them, especially those that fail to meet the government's criteria, he said.
As of mid-October, in addition to the euthanasia cases in Quebec, there had been about 200 known cases of assisted suicide in other provinces, according to various media reports. But Schadenberg said some smaller hospitals are not releasing any data for privacy reasons, and he predicted that could become a trend.
In Quebec, the government report included three cases of euthanasia that did not comply with the law, but there is no information on what, if anything, will happen in those cases, said Aubert Martin, executive director of the province's grassroots anti-euthanasia organization, Living with Dignity.
"We're talking about killing a human being," Martin said. "This is criminal. Is there going to be any follow-up?"
Despite its surprise at the high numbers, the Quebec government is considering proposals to soften safeguards, such as no longer requiring the approval of a second doctor for each euthanasia request, Martin said.
Caroline Winter for abc.net.au narrated the story of Helen Clark of Australia. A 54-year-old wife and mother of two adult children, for 30 years Helen was a primary school teacher, a job she loved.
Last year, she was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. She can no longer speak or swallow, has trouble breathing and muscle weakness is progressively robbing her of her mobility. She has decided to opt for assisted suicide if and when it becomes legally available.
That option would be open to Helen if voluntary euthanasia becomes law in South Australia via the 'Death with Dignity' Bill 2016 currently before the state's Parliament.
The new legislation includes a raft of amendments which, among other things, require a person to have a terminal illness, be suffering unbearable pain and be acting on their own free will to be considered eligible. The decision also must be endorsed by two doctors before being granted.
Michael Clark is Helen's husband and spokesperson. As difficult as it is, Mr. Clark said he respects his wife's wishes. "Helen's made a conscious decision, a choice; her choice is based around when she's no longer able to feed herself or cleanse herself in that way, she would like to have the option to die with dignity and I support her with that."
According to South Australian Liberal MP Duncan McFetridge: "People are realizing that this is not a terrible way for people to look at life...this is a sane and sensible way to give someone who is dying and in terrible pain the ability to take control and die with dignity."
But opposition to the bill and voluntary euthanasia is strong. Independent MP in the Labor Government Martin Hamilton-Smith said it was a slippery slope and he would be voting against it.
"What will happen in my opinion is there'll be a second bill, then a third bill, then a fourth bill in the year or two that follow that seek to then change the definition of what is unbearable suffering and a terminal illness and there'll be an amendment to the bill that seeks to lower that threshold," he said.
Outside of Parliament, there are concerns that not enough safeguards are in place. Tracey Watters from Palliative Care SA said the group is worried about the practical consequences of the legislation.
They are particularly concerned about the ethics, lack of access to palliative care, the competencies of the people that will be asked to implement the legislation and the lack of wider consultation.
Neighboring New Zealand is engaged in a similar debate. A recent press release by the Conservative Party states that the Party believes that the debate should be on "suicide on demand" as that will be the outcome.
The Conservative Party also believes that it should be up to the people of New Zealand to decide through a binding referendum after a healthy debate.
In another recent report, the Christian Institute noted that assisted suicides increased by more than a quarter in just one year in Switzerland, according to newly released figures.
There were 742 cases of assisted suicide in 2014, up 26 percent over the previous year. There has been a steady rise in the country which has seen a 250 percent increase in assisted suicides since 2009.
Last month, a Swiss nursing home was ordered by the Federal Court to allow the practice to take place on its premises. The Christian-run home, which belongs to The Salvation Army, had previously contested a Swiss law that allows assisted suicide to take place in charitable institutions if requested by a patient.
They said that it conflicted with their religious beliefs and violated their freedom of conscience. However, federal judges rejected their complaint and said the law allows individuals to decide how and when they want to die.
There are a few countries, however, still resisting the euthanasia 'domino effect'. Last year at Westminster, an assisted suicide Bill for England and Wales was heavily defeated by MPs in the House of Commons by 330 votes to 118.
Conservative MP Caroline Spelman said in the debate: "Life is a gift from God with all it entails". She highlighted the "increasing secularization of society" as a cause behind older people "feeling a burden".
Daily Jot: Taking control as Christian Americans - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Just like we took control of the election, Christian Americans need to take control of the narrative surrounding a divided nation. We were able to look beyond the rhetoric and the false polls of the media, and the media's negative and false reporting, and the Democratic Party's class and social warfare of division to foster change from the leftist tyrannical policies of globalism. We need to find ways to change the narrative of hate and take control of bringing a divided nation to unity. We can do this. But we have to set our emotions aside, hold in check our tendency toward offense, and pray and act with a purpose in mind. The current situation represents a tremendous opportunity to shine the light of Christ.
We rejected the policies of division and tyranny at the ballot box. Those who were rejected have taken personal offense and labeled us haters. In doing so, they are showing hate. They are demonstrating, rioting, physically assaulting, and verbally abusing those with whom they disagree. It is so easy to respond with an eye for an eye. But brothers and sisters, this is the time when we need to speak into our nation, speak into our states, into our communities, into our neighborhoods and into our families. We need to talk about a time for peace and reconciliation. We need to be able to say and show that folks who did not vote for Hillary Clinton were voting for common sense change, not against any race or people group.
We need to dismiss the premise of hate and bigotry and build our case for unity, and in doing so, show the light of Christ. This is a time when we need to deescalate the rhetoric and angriness of people who spew hate by accusing others of hate by saying, "I know you are upset, but isn't it time to put that aside and work for a better country? Isn't it time to see that your fellow Americans are not what the news media and the political establishment labeled them, but just people like you and me that want something better for their country, for their futures, even for their children? We have a system of laws and elections and decent people follow laws and respect the will of the people. I know you are a decent person."
Then we need to demonstrate that treating everyone one fairly under the law is a good thing. It's time to come together and put aside the rhetoric and the hurt of the campaign, and reunite as a nation. Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." He also told us we were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. May the Holy Spirit guide us in being so.
Daily Devotion: The Thanks We Owe - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! -Psalm 107:21
How like us to forget to give thanks. We are so quick to come to God in times of need. We pray, "Lord, get me out of this" or "Lord, intervene" or "Lord, provide for me." We call on the Lord and then when He answers, we don't offer up a word of thanks.
Worse yet is when we chalk it up to dumb luck. It reminds me of the guy who was on the roof of a three-story house, nailing down a loose shingle. Suddenly he lost his footing and began to slide. Knowing he was about to fall to his death, he cried out to God, praying, "Help me! Save me! God, don't let me die! God, do something! Save me!"
Then, as he was nearing the edge of the roof, his belt loop suddenly caught on a nail, which stopped him. This allowed him to grab hold and then climb back up again. Reaching safety, he called out, "It's okay, God! I got caught on a nail!"
That is how we are sometimes. We say, "Oh, Lord, provide for me. I have this financial need. Lord, You've got to come through for me."
Then the next day, a rebate check for the exact amount arrives in the mail. "It's okay, Lord," we say. "The rebate check showed up."
Do we ever stop and think, however, that God has provided that for us?
Are you giving God the glory for what He has done? We are so quick to ask for His help. But let's remember to give Him the praise when He comes through. We should be as definite in returning thanks as we are in requesting help. Far too often we call on God in times of crisis, but we don't follow through with our thanks.
FROM THE HEART
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