Prophecy Update Newsletter
December 2, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Post US Election Ramblings - Alf Cengia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8347
Now that it's all over, I'm indulging in some post US election ramblings.
Indulge is the right word for it, I think. I won't have anything staggeringly wise to say that someone else hasn't already noted. No doubt many will disagree with me, and they'll probably be right. I'm just another guy with an opinion. So here I go...
When Donald Trump first announced he was running for president, I immediately shrugged it off as another publicity stunt. In fact I inserted my foot into my mouth on several forgetful occasions during conversations with my neighbor. Trump is a flash in the pan, I assured him. He was never, ever going to get the Republican nomination.
At best I thought he was indulging a whim. At worst he was a saboteur. I couldn't have been more wrong. And I wasn't alone!
Trump stood out as the wild man of the bunch. He survived a rough and bloody Republican Party presidential primary. Many called it a fiasco. What had the Republican Party descended to? Should Americans look to a fresh alternative to the GOP after the inevitable defeat? It seemed that way.
In contrast, the Democrats (in my opinion) ran a tighter race with far less infighting. There certainly were quarrels between Clinton and Sanders. But the Republican brawls made the Democrat race look almost like a Brady Bunch squabble.
The Republican spats drew attention from evangelicals who normally wouldn't have commented so directly on politics. I shared their concerns. Is this what we should expect from presidential aspirants? Clinton generally got a free pass.
Evangelicals focused on Donald Trump's public sins, past and present. It didn't matter so much that Hillary championed Planned Parenthood and the promotion of enforced homosexual-practice acceptance across the market place. Under her administration, Christian colleges would come under scrutiny for teaching biblical standards against homosexual sins.
There was also the Israeli paper which kept pushing articles which suggested Trump was anti-Semitic. Does Hillary love the Jewish State? Well, not according to her emails. But the popular thing to do was demonize Trump because he was an easy target.
Everyone did such a fantastic job that Clinton's victory was presumed a mere formality. Here, I must confess enjoying the videos of the celebrity media types who mockingly wrote Trump off. I'm just glad there isn't one around of me. Ha, ha!
Such was the confidence that even when it began looking bad for Clinton on election night, the media put on a stoic mask. Those of us who followed certain Twitter analysts got a more accurate picture of the trend. The rest is surreal history.
Then there was The Meltdown. I'm not only talking about Hillary Clinton. Some dismiss the rumors surrounding Clinton's state of mind on election night. The fact remains she didn't show herself or concede defeat until the following day. This speaks volumes.
We also saw media and celebrity meltdowns. I don't really think any fearful-tearful celebs flew to Canada, Cuba or Mexico. There were the riots...notably, neither Clinton nor Obama attempted to quell the capricious rioters who insisted that Trump wasn't their president. Some College Campuses even staged "Cry Ins."
Even the fickle Stock Markets wavered before rallying.
Fear mongering abounded. The day after the election, one gay activist claimed several transgender teens had committed suicide out of fear of Trump. There were no citations, no fact-checking. It was deceitful propaganda aimed at presenting Trump as a threat to the LGBTQI+ community.
Democrats and leftists continue wistfully wondering what could have been. The Washington Post recently opined that Sanders could have won the election had he run:
Donald Trump's stunning victory is less surprising when we remember a simple fact: Hillary Clinton is a deeply unpopular politician. She won a hotly contested primary victory against a uniquely popular candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
As the song goes..."I think you're just a little bit late." Anyway, didn't Clinton win the popularity vote? Isn't this why they wanted a recount? Shall we move on?
Perhaps people simply got fed up with the current preachy-condescending-nanny-state's controlling ideology. Did I use enough adjectives? I doubt Sanders could have presented himself as viably different enough from Obama to pull it off.
I find it interesting how both Obama and Trump came out of the blue to be elected. Obama was a relatively unknown junior senator and Trump a well-known tycoon. Trump's victory shocked most pundits. This shows how unpredictable and volatile our world is. It could happen again.
Mr. Obama and his ideological friends aren't going to crawl away and hide forever. Once they've licked their wounds, they'll be back at it with new people. You can be sure of it.
President Trump has four years to perform. He may ease the US economy, and he may take some pressure off Christian witness in the market place. Trump may even make America's borders more secure. Yet people can be fickle, and voters are especially. The pendulum could swing back quickly.
From a prophetic standpoint, I doubt Mr. Trump can positively influence the Middle East. The dynamics set in place with the Russian-Iranian alliance and the Syrian implosion won't go away through diplomacy. Moreover, saber rattling will only exacerbate the situation.
Mr. Trump's stated intention to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital will ignite more conflict (if he follows through). Neither can he change the hearts of those who hate Israel. What he can do is keep Israel strong, despite the misgivings of some Israeli journalists.
His victory possibly parallels a rise of the right in Europe. Europeans are growing dissatisfied with Islamic appeasement, as well as fears about Russia. This was to be expected. Is it a death-knell to globalism? How does this affect Bible prophecy?
I'm no prophecy expert, but the Antichrist globalism Scripture reveals only comes after major conflict. Look at the seal judgments of Revelation (e.g., Rev 6:4). The Antichrist reigns for forty two months after he has conquered (Rev 13:5). Are we seeing the germination of a global conflict right now? Only time will tell.
In the interim, God is always in control. Our trust is in Him only. God pulls the strings for His own purposes and glory. When He says it's time for the rapture, or the 70th week to begin, then it will all happen very quickly - like a flood!
As far as prophecy is concerned, don't look at America. Look to Israel.
Why Would Israel Strike Near the Heart of Damascus? - Tzippe Barrow - http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2016/december/why-would-israel-strike-near-the-heart-of-damascus
In two separate sorties, Israeli fighter jets targeted a Syrian military convoy on the Damascus-Beirut highway and a weapons warehouse outside Damascus overnight Wednesday, the London-based Rai al-Youm reported.
If the report proves accurate, it won't be the first-time Israel has prevented weapons transfers to Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanese-based terror proxy, and it probably won't be the last.
Israel has consistently stated it will not allow advanced weapons systems to be delivered to Hezbollah, including but not limited to long-range missiles and air defense systems.
Israel rarely owns up publicly to the airstrikes. For the most part, there's no need to. The Syrians (and Iranians) know who's responsible. But last April, during a visit to the northern border, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an exception.
"We are proud that in the stormy and volatile Middle East we were able to maintain relative calm and relative safety in Israel," Netanyahu said publicly.
"We act when we should act, including here, across the border, in dozens of attacks, to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring game-changing weaponry," he said. "This is our country, and we need to defend it; nobody else will defend it except us."
The latest airstrikes took place days after ISIS terrorists opened fire on Givati Brigade soldiers patrolling the Golan Heights from a heavy machine gun mounted on a truck, followed by mortar shell attacks. In response, Israel targeted the vehicle, killing the four insurgents in the truck.
Not surprisingly, Syria blamed Israel for Wednesday's airstrikes.
"The criminal attack carried out by the Zionist entity's military was intended to divert attention from Syria's army's successes opposite the terrorists, Israel's allies, working in the country, with aim of boosting the morale of the terrorist organizations dealt defeats in the battles against the Syrian army," SANA (Syrian Arab News Agency) reported.
There was also media speculation that Israel coordinated the airstrikes with Russia. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly after Russia announced its plans vis-à-vis Syria. They've met and spoken by phone several times since to avoid any mishap between Israeli and Russian air forces.
Obama's last licks - By Caroline B. Glick - http://jewishworldreview.com/1216/glick120216.php3
Israel's coalition crisis over the settlements regulation bill is not a normal power struggle between overweening politicians. It is not popularity contest between Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and his Kulanu Party and Education Minister Naftali Bennett and his Bayit Yehudi Party.
It is also not about contenders for the helm challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political primacy.
The settlement regulation bill proposes to extend the authority of the Military Government in Judea and Samaria to seize privately owned land. That authority is now limited to seizure for military purposes. The bill would allow the Military Government to seize land for the purpose of private construction as well.
The political fight over the bill is not merely a fight over the community of Amona, which will be destroyed by order of the High Court if the law isn't passed before December 25.
The fight over the law is a fight about the character of Israel.
Opponents of the bill argue that the law undermines the power of the Supreme Court and endangers Israel's international standing. Proponents of the bill argue that Israel needs to ensure the primacy of the Knesset. They further argue that there is no point in bowing to the will of an international community that is constitutionally incapable of ever standing with Israel.
In case you were wondering, proponents of the bill have it right.
The settlement regulation bill is not a radical bill. It is a liberal reform of a legal regime that harms the civil rights of both Palestinians and Israelis.
Palestinians today are denied their full property rights. Shortly after its establishment in 2004, the Palestinian Authority made selling land to Jews and Christians a capital offense. Dozens of Palestinians have been murdered over the past two decades in extrajudicial executions by both Palestinian security forces and by terrorist militias working hand in glove with Palestinian security forces for the "crime" of selling their land to Jews.
Earlier this year, the Israeli group Ad Kan documented employees of the European-financed far-left groups Ta'ayush and B'Tselem conspiring to hand over to Palestinian forces a Palestinian landowner who expressed interest in selling his land to Jews. During surreptitiously recorded exchanges, they acknowledged that the PA would likely execute him.
The settlement regulation bill empowers the military commander to seize privately owned land and compensate the owners. In other words, it provides a means for willing Palestinian sellers to sell their property to willing Jewish purchasers without risking the lives of the owners.
As I noted in a column on the subject of the bill last week, the legal opinion published by Attorney- General Avichai Mandelblit opposing the settlement regulation bill included four arguments.
Prof. Avi Bell from the Bar-Ilan University School of Law rebutted all of Mandelblit's claims in an article published two weeks ago in Yisrael Hayom.
As Bell showed, Mandelblit's claim that the proposed law breaches international law is both irrelevant - since Knesset laws supersede international law, and at best arguable.
Mandelblit further argued that the Knesset has no right to pass laws that supersede international laws pertaining to the belligerent occupation of land seized in war. But Bell demonstrated that the opposite is true. For instance, Israel's Golan Heights Law from 1981 canceled the military government on the Golan Heights and applied Israeli law to the area.
Mandelblit claimed that eminent domain cannot be used to seize land for private construction projects. But as Bell showed, there are dozens of decisions by US courts permitting eminent domain to be used in just such cases.
Finally, Mandelblit argued that the Knesset doesn't have the authority to pass laws that contradict High Court decisions. Here too, Bell showed that the opposite is the case.
Israel's constitutional order is based on its Basic Laws. Basic Law: Knesset defines the Knesset as the highest legislative authority. In line with this, the Knesset has passed numerous laws over the years that have overturned High Court decisions.
On the basis of Mandelblit's last argument, on Monday, Kahlon announced that Kulanu would not support the settlement regulation law.
Kahlon insisted that his party would not support any law that undermines the court's authority and since the court ruled that Amona must be destroyed and its residents rendered homeless by December 25, Kahlon will take no action to save the community.
Kahlon insists that he is motivated by a desire to protect the court's prerogatives. But when assessed in the context of actual laws, it is clear that his position doesn't primarily defend the court. Rather it undermines the Knesset, and through it, Israeli democracy.
If the Knesset doesn't have the right to pass laws that run counter to Supreme Court decisions, then the public that elected the Knesset is effectively disenfranchised. Far from securing Israel's democracy and constitutional order, opposition to the settlement regulation bill undermines both.
Then there is the issue of Israel's international standing.
On Monday the security cabinet convened to discuss the settlement regulation bill. According to leaked accounts of the six-hour meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Bennett that passage of the bill is liable to cause the International Criminal Court's Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to indict Netanyahu as a war criminal.
He also warned that passage of the bill is liable to induce US President Barack Obama to enable an anti-Israel resolution to be adopted by the UN Security Council.
Netanyahu's claims are deeply problematic.
Insofar as the ICC is concerned, three points counter Netanyahu's argument. First, Bensouda is already conducting an investigation of Israel.
She opened her investigation shortly after she wrongly admitted "Palestine" as a state member of the ICC.
The ICC will continue to investigate Israel whether or not the Knesset passes the settlement regulation law. And the merits of the bill will have no impact on the ICC's decision to prosecute or close the investigation.
The second problem with Netanyahu's claim is that just by making it - and leaking it to the media - he empowered the ICC.
The ICC is becoming weaker by the day. Angry over the political nature of its prosecutions, African states are abandoning it. Russia also has announced it is walking away.
Israel should welcome this development.
The Treaty of Rome which established the ICC made clear that one of the court's purposes is to criminalize Israel.
By arguing that the ICC will respond to the passage of the regulation bill by indicting Israel, Netanyahu is lending credence to the false claims that there is something unlawful about the bill on the one hand, and that the ICC's politically motivated investigation of Israel is legally defensible on the other hand. Indeed, by claiming wrongly that passing the bill will expose Israel to ICC investigation, Netanyahu is effectively inviting the ICC to persecute him.
The ICC, like its comrades in the lawfare campaigns worldwide, always target those perceived as vulnerable to pressure. This is why leftists like former justice minister Tzipi Livni are targeted for war crimes complaints while current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is left alone.
The most extraordinary example of this sort of political targeting came on Monday. The same day Netanyahu was making the case for the ICC and Obama in the cabinet, word came that Palestinian immigrants in Chile have filed a war crimes claim against three High Court justices. Former Palestinians from Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem, filed war crimes charges against retired Supreme Court president Asher Grunis and sitting justices Uzi Vogelman and Neal Hendel, all being accused of committing war crimes for their decision last year regarding the route of the security barrier around Jerusalem.
There is no governing institution in Israel more sensitive to war crimes accusations than the Supreme Court. To avoid just such charges, justices routinely second-guess military commanders and the government and deny them the right to use their best professional judgment to defend the country.
In the decision for which they are accused of war crimes, the three justices gave qualified approval to the IDF to complete the security barrier around Jerusalem on land owned by the petitioners in Beit Jala. In their ruling, the justices actually sided with the petitioners' claim that the proposed routes harmed their rights and insisted that the IDF prove that it had no means of defending the capital without building the barrier along the proposed routes.
And for their efforts, the justices are now being accused of war crimes.
The same flawed premise at the heart of Netanyahu's claim that approving the bill will cause Israel to be prosecuted for war crimes stands at the heart of his claim that passing the law will increase the possibility that Obama will allow an anti-Israel resolution to pass in the UN Security Council.
The problem with this argument is that it ignores the basic fact that Obama's desire to stick it to Israel at the UN Security Council has been a consistent feature of his presidency for eight years. Obama has wielded this threat against Israel without regard for its actual policies. He has threatened us when the government froze Jewish building rights. He has threatened us when the government respected Jewish building rights. If Obama decides to enable an anti-Israel resolution to pass through the UN Security Council during his remaining seven weeks in office, he will do so regardless of whether the Knesset passes or scuppers the settlement regulation bill.
The only thing likely to prevent Obama from harming Israel at the Security Council at this point is a clear message to the UN from the incoming Trump administration.
For instance, if President-elect Donald Trump announces directly or through an intermediary that Security Council action against Israel over the next seven weeks will induce the Trump administration to withhold US funding from the UN, UN officials will likely stuff draft resolutions to this effect into a drawer.
Netanyahu's actions do more to harm his future relations with Trump than advance his current relations with Obama. If Netanyahu blocks passage of the settlement regulation bill, he is likely to enter the Trump era as the head of a government on the verge of collapse. Rather than be in a position to reshape and rebuild Israel's alliance with the US after eight years of Obama's hostility, Netanyahu may limp to his first meeting with the new president, the head of dysfunctional government beyond his control, and at the mercy of a legal fraternity and an international judicial lynch mob that he will have just empowered.
DNA Tests Could Fulfill God's Promise to Abraham by Revealing Millions of Jews. But How Jewish is Jewish Enough? - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore." Genesis 22:17 (The Israel Bible™)
Recent advances in DNA testing are the final stage in bringing about a special vision of Messiah, one that will fulfill God's promise to Abraham while uniting all three major Abrahamic religions, believes a prominent rabbi and former member of Knesset.
"This is the special function of the final generation before the Messiah, which we are clearly in right now: to bring close all the descendants of Jews that were lost to the Jewish people," Rabbi Chaim Amsalem, a prominent Sephardi rabbi, recognized authority on halacha (Torah law), and former Knesset member for Shas, told Breaking Israel News.
"We need to bring close those who have their roots in Israel, those souls who stood at Mount Sinai with us, but their souls were lost to us because of the exiles and the catastrophes and tragedies that befell us throughout history."
Making God One
DNA testing graphically illustrates how mankind is one large interconnected family. Rabbi Amsalem understands this universal reality to have repercussions for the Jewish role in bringing the Redemption.
"Christians believe in Hashem (God), each branch in its own way. Even the Muslims believe in Hashem in their own way. It is the Jews' purpose to bring about Messiah by uniting the world in the service of Hashem," Rabbi Amsalem said, quoting a verse in Zechariah.
And Hashem shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall Hashem be One and His name one. Zechariah 14:9
"Not to convert them," the rabbi noted. "But anyone who discovers that they are descended from Jews, we are required to help them. The non-Jews will remain as they are, but we have to reconnect to those souls that were lost."
Rabbi Amsalem based this on chapter 34 in Ezekiel.
The weak have ye not strengthened neither have ye healed that which was sick neither have ye bound up that which was broken neither have ye brought back that which was driven away neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force have ye ruled over them and with rigour. Ezekiel 34:4
The task set out by Rabbi Amsalem, inconceivable just a few short years ago, is at hand. A simple DNA test is performed at home with a cheek swab, which is then mailed to a laboratory. For less than $200, anyone can learn their ancestry going back six generations - including if they have any Jewish genes.
Bennett Greenspan, president and CEO of Family Tree DNA, a leading genetic testing company, has watched this phenomenon grow for 15 years. His company performs hundreds of thousands of these tests each year. Greenspan explained to Breaking Israel News how the test determines Jewish ancestry.
"We compare the subject's DNA with those of verified DNA databases that have been established for specific ethnic groups, "Greenspan explained. "These databases are based on hundreds of thousands of samples and the level of certainty is extremely high. We can tell you what percentage of your ancestors were from different ethnic groups.
"We have a database of DNA for people who are verifiably Ashkenazi Jewish, or verifiably Sephardic Jewish," Greenspan told Breaking Israel News.
With DNA testing becoming so accessible, the number of people discovering their Jewish roots is growing exponentially. Some tests show that almost 20 percent of people originating from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) have a high rate of Jewish ancestry. About one in ten Hispanics from North and South America tested by Family Tree DNA showed Semitic ancestry, strongly suggesting a Jewish background.
Jewish roots are showing up in the most unexpected places. Professor Tudor Parfitt, a British historian who specializes in the study of Jewish communities around the world, found the Kohen modal haplotype, frequently called the Cohen gene, in nine percent of the Lemba tribe in Africa.
Greenspan noted that DNA testing in Europe is revealing the Jewish roots of children hidden during World War II who were previously unaware of their true identities.
Greenspan, as a Jew, understands this as an imperative for the Jewish people in this generation.
"I have seen so many tears in the faces of those who were ripped away from the body of Judaism by hatred, fear, distortion and outright lies," said Greenspan. "Bringing any of those people, these lost souls, back to Judaism is a mitzvah (Torah commandment) and should be considered an obligation of our generation."
Rabbi Amsalem noted the urgency of connecting to people with Jewish ancestry. "We will never be at peace in our land until we perform this function, of bringing everyone together to serve Hashem, each in their own right," Rabbi Amsalem said.
Finding Abraham's Seed: The Biblical Promise
As the co-author of the book, "Do you have Jewish roots?", and the founder of Shavei Israel, Michael Freund is intensely interested in genetic testing. He has been searching the far corners of the globe for almost 20 years, trying to find people with roots in Israel in order to help them reconnect to the Jewish People.
"Genetics has the potential to make the question of Jewish identity both more complicated and more interesting, " Freund told Breaking Israel News. "It can open up new chapters in the destiny of the Jewish people as more people discover the secret of their past buried in their chromosomes. This is definitely an issue we are going to hear a lot more about in the near future."
DNA testing has become one of the tools Freund uses in his search for communities around the world with ancestral connections to the Jewish people, but he recognizes its limits.
"DNA testing can be one factor that we consider as part of the big picture, but it is only one piece of the puzzle," Freund explained. "We look at a broad range of factors, such as history, background, folklore and customs. Jewish identity is much more complex than the results you get in a petri dish."
Freund predicted that advances in DNA technology "herald a global movement of return," noting that this new wave of people discovering their Jewish ancestry may have a Biblical basis.
I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. Genesis 22:17
"There are an estimated 14-15 million Jews in a world population of seven billion. That makes us a very miniscule drop in a very large bucket. So what happened to those promises made to the Biblical Patriarchs?" asked Freund. "Perhaps the answer is that there are a lot more of us out there than we realize and maybe DNA technology will encourage many non-Jews with Jewish ancestry to reconnect with their Jewish roots, and encourage other Jews to return to the fold."
Status Versus Identity
Greenspan is careful to add a disclaimer about the significance of the results of genetic tests.
"We are not saying that the DNA proves Jewish status," he said. "It doesn't work that way. We can scientifically prove that a person has Jewish ancestors but that does not give them Jewish status. That has its own specific set of rules, and isn't a result of scientific proof."
According to Jewish law, Jewish status is matrilineal, transferred from the mother to her children. The child of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother is not considered as having the status of a Jew.
Jewish status can also be the result of conversion. Therefore, the lack of Jewish ancestors does not mean a person is not Jewish, since a female ancestor could have converted to Judaism. Similarly, Jewish ancestry does not prove Jewish status, since a female ancestor may have converted to another religion.
Thus, a person can have the halachic status of being a Jew while not having the corresponding genetic identity. Or he can have Jewish ancestors, even on his mother's side, and still not fulfill the halachic requirements of being a member of the tribe.
This does not detract from the significance of DNA testing, noted Greenspan.
"It is certainly an important factor for identity," he contended. "For the past 15 years, I have seen how it affects people when they discover Jewish roots they were previously unaware of. Their connection was buried due to our tortured history. People take a DNA test, find out they have Jewish ancestry, and become intellectually interested. Usually they become supporters of Judaism and Israel."
Freund cautioned that the issue is complex. "Identity is important and it is very personal," he said. "But it does not obligate society or the community to accept that identity or confer recognition or status. There are many people who, based on the result of a DNA test, mistakenly assumed that they were Jews, and mistakenly assumed on that basis they would be able to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel)."
According to Freund, Jewish identity is found in the soul as much as it is in the chromosomes.
"I think the Jewish spark can never be extinguished. It might be buried or hidden, but at some point it is going to burst forth," Freund said. "I've heard from countless people who related that they always felt an inexplicable attraction or connection to the Jewish people, and after DNA testing showed a genetic connection, it answered that question for them."
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com
When Fidel Castro died last week, the various reactions were no surprise.
Critics spoke of his bloodthirsty, totalitarian regime that continues to systematically oppress the Cuban people. It once brought the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Admirers cited his "charisma," and spoke of how he and his fellow romanticized revolutionaries had "liberated" the Cubans from the corrupt Batista regime.
Oh, and they never forget to mention Cuba's universal healthcare, as if that somehow justifies the firing squads, the imprisonment of dissidents, the confiscation of private property and wealth, the export of communism to other Latin American nations, and the blanket of fear that has shrouded Cuba the last six decades.
Castro's admirers, mostly on the Left and throughout the media, seem to overlook the fact that he sold Cuba to the highest bidder -- at the time, the Soviet Union -- then spent the next 30 years as the USSR's puppet. When Cuba's benefactor and sustainer collapsed in 1991, Cuba's economy was unmasked as puny, withered, and unsustainable.
After a few years, Venezuela stepped in and began subsidizing Cuba with its oil money. But with the death of Hugo Chavez and the collapse of Venezuela, Cuba once again was exposed and once again began to feel the sting of U.S. sanctions.
Finally, the Castros were ready to negotiate. And the United States came to the rescue. But the Obama administration chose to rescue the corrupt Cuban government, not the Cuban people. This allowed Communism to remain ultimately in control.
Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo described the Obama policy this way: "...a string of concessions, many of us would call rewards, for the Cuban government that has represented literally billions of dollars in new revenues for that government and very little reciprocity from the dictatorship. ... The Cuban government continues to oppress, to beat people, to imprison them for their political beliefs...."
And the much vaunted "universal" healthcare? It's true, common Cubans can get free healthcare, but only if they are willing to use rundown, often unsanitary facilities that were already antiquated decades ago. And they must be willing to wait and wait and wait.
When the American and international media visit the island nation, under the watchful eye of Cuban authorities, they are shown good quality clinics and hospitals. That's because Cuba has two healthcare systems. High government officials and well-heeled foreigners able to pay exorbitant costs get one level of care. Ordinary Cubans get something else.
Perhaps in Fidel Castro's rise and rule, all nations should see a warning.
Before the revolution, Cuba was a nation of terrible debauchery. All kinds of unthinkable sexual activity was on display and for sale. It was known as the "brothel of the Caribbean."
The debauchery led to Castro's dictatorship.
It's an old story found throughout history. Righteousness leads to freedom. Sin leads to bondage.
In Israel, wildfires have been roaring throughout the land. According to the New York Times, "Fires... erupted throughout the country, blazing through parched forests, incinerating scores of homes and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee. Two prisons were also evacuated."
After several years of drought, the entire nation is a tinderbox.
New evidence indicates that many of the fires have been started by terrorist arson attacks. So far, there have been more than 20 arrests.
Critics of the Israeli government argue that they can't be terrorist attacks because they can't be proven to be "coordinated by... one source...."
We all know that terrorists don't need to work in cells to be effective. And the terror cells don't have to be "coordinated by... one source" to cause tremendous destruction. Radical jihadists respond to general instructions announced by their Islamic leaders or jihadist authority figures. Then they do as their "leaders" say -- at a time and place of their own choosing.
That's one of the reasons that Israel finds it impossible to make a peace treaty with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He regularly encourages violent actions against Israelis by praising terrorists and rewarding them.
And the Palestinians are taught from their earliest days in school that it is their duty before Allah to destroy the nation of Israel.
So when terrorists strike -- particularly in copycat actions like driving cars onto crowded sidewalks and in the most recent "knifing Intifada" -- Israel must tighten its security.
When it does, all Palestinians suffer. The world sees this and blames Israel. And the self-appointed global "referees" choose to penalize the Jewish State, not the terrorist leaders who provoked the clampdown.
Meanwhile, as fire roars across Israel, most Muslims in the region are cheering it on.
Here in America, we are on the verge of seeing fire of another sort about to erupt.
It now appears that the Democratic National Committee is poised to choose another chairman. Most recently, it was Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, then Donna Brazile. Both of those women were disgraced and forced out when it was revealed (by leaked emails) that they had intervened to assure the presidential nomination went to Hillary Clinton (Wasserman-Schultz) and deviously supplied Ms. Clinton with the questions she would be asked in the presidential debates (Brazile).
So after the scandals, the Democrats appear ready to go in a new direction. They are about to name a Muslim to be the new leader of the Democrat party.
But Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota -- the first Muslim to be elected to Congress -- is not an ordinary Muslim. He is an anti-Semite with a long history of involvement with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. He also has a long association with CAIR, which was named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the notorious Holy Land Foundation trial and conviction. The FBI called CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations), "...a front group for Hamas."
Ellison was also involved with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The ISNA has called the United States "a terrorist nation" and called for the destruction of Israel.
Before Ellison decided to run for public office, he attempted to distance himself from Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. He claimed to have never realized that the organization was anti-Semitic.
Either he is breathtakingly uninformed, disturbingly dense, or he lied. He was associated with the Nation of Islam for ten years, publicly defended Farrakhan numerous times, and even functioned as their spokesman on occasion.
He obviously considered himself a genuine member of the cult. At one point, he renamed himself "Keith X. Ellison," in homage to Malcolm X. He also went by the name "Keith Ellison Mohammed."
Folks, this is not a man who just happens to be a Muslim. And in today's politically correct society, it's not surprising that he could get himself elected to Congress. But Keith Ellison has been closely associated with the radical elements within Islam, which ties him to terrorist organizations. And he's on the verge of becoming the next leader of one of the two major U.S. political parties! It's a position of enormous influence that can shape the American political landscape immeasurably for years to come.
If this is not a wake-up call for Americans, we are past napping. We are comatose!
Finally, I want to discuss a question this week that grows more relevant daily: "What is the Church?" It may not be what you think it is. Tune in this week to find out more!
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, The Word Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
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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
Now What? - By Grant Phillips - http://raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips349.html
Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th President of the United States on November 8th, 2016. Almost no one believed it could actually happen. The Democrats were already preparing for their victory celebration, but around 8:00 P.M. that evening something happened. The tide began changing. Suddenly, the clouds grew darker and darker over the Clinton camp, until the realization finally sunk in, that there would be no celebration that night.
Since then, true to form, those who opposed Donald Trump for President have been whining, throwing tantrums, destroying property, attacking individuals, and making threats against Mr. Trump. We who have supported Mr. Trump may be the "deplorables," but those who are making all this 'noise' are typical of the liberal reaction in this country when they don't get their way. George Soros is behind much of this illegal activity by paying hired thugs to cause intimidation and destruction.
When we lost to Obama in 2008 and 2012 none of this garbage occurred, but look at what is happening now. Obviously, this says a great deal about the character of those who support the liberal Democratic agenda. How many will actually leave the country who promised to do so if their nominee lost? Hopefully, all of them. I would gladly help them pack.
Doesn't this sound exactly like children who are spoiled brats? They get mad, fight, threaten, and take their toys and leave. Fine, be gone with you! Do they really think they are so important that they will be missed? They probably do.
There is one absolute, positive outcome of this election. The election results were clearly by the grace of God. Many Christians were praying, and actually went out to vote. The hard-working, common folk of America had had enough, and made their voices heard. Yet, there is an equal amount of citizenry who actually wish to retain sinful ways and corrupt leaders. We need to remember that.
The election of Donald Trump made history on November 8th. I think the Lord likes to take impossible situations sometimes and show us just what He can do. This was nothing to Him. It was a piece of cake, but the message is clear. God has put Mr. Trump in office for whatever His reason may be. Perhaps it's one final opportunity to see His power and return to Him in true repentance.
Folks, we aren't out of the woods yet. Many things can happen. Mr. Trump cannot save this country or make it better, but God can, IF His people will glorify His name and continue to do so. The liberal left will not give up. Nothing they do would surprise me. They are rabidly energized by satanic forces to accomplish their evil agenda. We are in a spiritual battle.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)
So now what? What do we do? The election was won because God's people prayed and God granted our request. Therefore, the answer is obvious. We need to stay on our knees (metaphorically) praying for our new President and those around him. We need to be much in prayer for Congress. There are still those in Congress who hate God and are influenced by evil forces. We need to pray for each other, that we not become lazy. Satan's forces will be looking for weak spots to attack.
My prayers are that abortion will be reversed, ILLEGAL aliens will be removed and kept out of this country, the Constitution will be upheld by newly appointed Supreme Court judges that believe it means what it says, that homosexual marriage and 'transsexual' bathroom usage will be reversed, that the 1st and 2nd amendments will be honored, and all the other liberal hair-brained laws will be reversed. That's a lot to ask, but nothing is impossible with our God. The Lord God can use our new President and Congress to reverse all that is an offense. Will He? Maybe, it may depend on what we do now with the opportunity the Lord has given us.
Either way, God is always in control. Whether this is the beginning of reversing the anti-God movement in this country or if this changes nothing at all, we have nothing to fear if we are on the Lord's side. Whether the days ahead are much brighter or darkness regains control of the reigns, our God is still on His throne and nothing will happen without His permission.
We, as true Christians, just need to let our lives glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, share His Word with those who remain lost, and pray, pray, pray.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: A blessing multiplied uniquely - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The closing out of this year and moving ahead into 2017 presents an awesome time to be alive. We, as a Christian people, are seeing more prophetic events on a daily basis than ever before. Throughout the year, The Daily Jot has tried diligently to provide you with information and analysis from a biblical world-view. These are times when we must watch and pray, and act each day because the Day of the Lord draws closer. Without you, we could not operate; we could not reach out even in the little way that we do. What I'm trying to say is that I value you and your readership, your prayers, your active goodwill. Without it, we could not do what we do. We believe there is a "blessing multiplied" between us.
As we close out the year, please consider the value that The Daily Jot provides to yourself and others. We have subscribers around the world. Subscriptions are free. We are an online church that preaches the word everyday in a very distinctive way as it relates to current events. In addition, we put our words into action through various ministry works, especially to the impoverished rural area of Ghana, West Africa where Islam threatens lives and tries to anchor itself through leverage of force and intimidation. Clean water, food and clothing given freely in the name of Christ go a long way to providing hope, comfort and Christian example to the children and families there.
Your support of this ministry, whether it is financial or in prayer, empowers The Daily Jot to do what it does. Without you, we could not operate; we could not reach out even in the little way that we do. Your reading of The Daily Jot blesses me because you are fulfilling part of my God-given mission in watching current events and writing about how they relate to the holy scripture. Your readership is also a blessing in that it may equip you in some way to share the word using current events, or give you a perspective of value. Here is what a few readers say about The Daily Jot:
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As Galatians 6:9-10 says, "And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." As you pray about your year-end giving, please consider The Daily Jot. Your blessing is multiplied in a very unique way. We wouldn't ask if there was no need.
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Daily Devotion: Joseph, the Unsung Hero - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. -Matthew 1:19
Joseph is the unsung hero of the Christmas story. For the most part, there are no Christmas songs about Joseph. Yet he really is a hero. The Bible tells us that Joseph was a "good man" (Matthew 1:19). Deeply in love with Mary, he was no doubt jolted by the news that she was pregnant.
Joseph and Mary were engaged, which, in their culture, was like being married. Once a couple entered into this engagement, or espousal, period, it was like being married, although they lived in separate houses. It was during this time that Mary became pregnant.
Yet Joseph loved Mary, and the Bible tells us that he "did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly" (Matthew 1:19). In other words, Joseph was thinking, I'm going to say that I can't marry her now, but I'm certainly not going to publicly shame Mary, either.
While he was pondering this, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him, "Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (verses 20-21).
That was all Joseph needed to hear. He could have walked away, even after he knew the truth. But he stood by Mary. And just as surely as God chose Mary to be the mother of the Messiah, he chose Joseph to be a father figure on earth for Jesus.
When God uses a person, there is a sacrifice to make. It won't be an easy path, but it will be a fruitful one-and you will look back later in life and be glad that you took it.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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