Prophecy Update Newsletter
December 19, 2016
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Wise Men - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8356
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." Matthew 2:1-2
A first question that comes to mind is, how did these 'Wise Men' know about the birth of Jesus? What did they know about it? What does their visit mean for us today in the 21st century? Well for starters, let's find out how they knew.
If you go back to Daniel chapter 2, we read that the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, set out and conquered the nation of Judah. He did it in three separate times, but he began in 605BC. The first iteration, he took back with him, the best of the young Jewish boys, primarily to serve in his kingdom. Of the young men, the book of Daniel primarily focuses on four; Daniel, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abed-nego). In Daniel chapter 2, we read that King Nebuchadnezzar has a troubling dream, and he asks his wise men to interpret it. But first, he asks them to tell him what the dream is before they interpret it, so he can know they could interpret it. Here we read...
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, "My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap. However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards, and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation." Dan. 2:5-6
So the story goes that Nebuchadnezzar decree went forth, and they (the Babylonians) began slaughtering the wise men (Chaldeans) and their families. Daniel beseeches God, and God grants him the ability to both know what the dream is, and then interpret to interpret the dream. We know the dream was about the multi-metallic statue representing the kingdoms of this age who would rule, sequentially, beginning with Babylon down to Rome. At this point, Daniel was elevated to the number two person in the kingdom, and here we read that he is made ruler over not just Babylon proper, but also to the wise men.
Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king. Dan. 2:48-49
Now, imagine you're a 'Wise man' who not only got your life spared by a young Jewish kid, but also all of your family were spared as well. I imagine that would evoke a lot of loyalty towards someone like that. You would listen to this kid, even though he was Jewish and much younger than probably most of you were. Daniel through God's grace and purpose, just saved a lot of lives.
So, going back to Matthew 2, we know that Babylon is east of Israel by several hundred miles. You probably already knew that at the time Christ was born, the Parthians were in power over what was then, Babylon. Their kingdom was never conquered by the Romans, and there were a series of wars between the two empires. Now, imagine you're a half-Jewish, puppet king, installed by Rome in a backwater province of the Roman Empire known as Judah. Imagine you're just minding your business and then one day, an entourage of men, from the enemy kingdom show up at your door and ask for the one 'BORN King of the Jews'...
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Matt. 2:3
A common misconception perpetuated by Christmas cards is that there were three Wise Men on camels. Another misconception perpetuated by a lot of churches is that there were 'more' than three, but not a lot more. (6-8 maybe) I don't think Herod nor all of Jerusalem would be startled by three (or 8) guys riding up on camels. I think (my opinion) is that these guys should up en masse, perhaps a caravan of a hundred to two hundred or more. Obviously, all of Jerusalem wouldn't have been in King Herod's castle, hearing the question asked about where the 'King of the Jews' was, so what startled them was to see such a large entourage of enemy Parthians showing up.
Now, Herod, truly shaken by their presence and their question, turns to his religious leadership for guidance...
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.'"
Notice they are quoting Micah 5:2...or rather, misquoting it. Here is what the Prophet Micah actually stated.
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
The high priests and scribes were scared of Herod, so they were tailoring their message to fit the audience. So we know from the start, who took the scriptures literally, and who didn't. Thus far, we know why Parthian Wise Men would know about a Jewish Messiah in the first place. And we know how they knew where the Messiah was going to hail from.
So how did the Wise Men know when?
Well going back to Daniel, we know that he received from the Angel Gabriel, a prophecy concerning the future known commonly as 'Daniel's 70 Weeks'. From here they would have understood, that from the going forth of the commandment (Nehemiah 2) given by Persian (now Parthian) King Artaxerxes...when exactly that would have been. The question many would be asking themselves is, 'yeah, but that would point them directly to Palm Sunday of AD33, not when He was born.' I'm glad you asked.
The Wise Men would have been exposed to the Jewish Scriptures (the OT) through Daniel, and it's no stretch to imagine that He would have explained these to them and possibly, entrusted to them to continue watching long after he was gone for the coming Messiah. Not only that, but Daniel would have also explained, that Messiah would come in part as a Priest. (In order to fulfill Daniel 9:24). Furthermore, this is the cool part, they would have made a reasonable assumption, that according to the Scriptures (Numbers 4) a priest could not enter service until he was 30 years of age. So all they had to do, was calculate the 483 years from Daniel's 70 Weeks prophecy, and then back that up thirty years, and they would be very close to the mark. Ok, so that gets them to the year maybe, but how would they know exactly when The One would be born.
Well, again, they went back to the Scriptures of their beloved Daniel, and read them. Not only did they read them, they believed them.
"I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel... Numbers 24:17
"We have seen His Star in the East, and have come to worship Him" the Wise Men told Herod. They knew, what the Scribes and Pharisees should have known. And they came bearing gifts not only fit for a King (Gold), but also for a Priest (Frankincense) because again, they studied the Old Testament. They also came bearing Myrrh, which was a sweet smelling spice you could apply to the dead as an act of honor. They knew this because in Daniel's prophecy, that Messiah the Prince would be 'cut off, but not for Himself'.
And isn't it just like God to bring in some Gentiles to be the first people in the New Testament, to come and worship the King of Kings? The Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus as the Lion of Judah, the rightful heir to the throne, and these Gentile 'kingmakers', came first (Law of First Mention) to demonstrate to the people in whom Jesus would offer His Kingdom too, He had arrived.
Just thinking about that gives me goose bumps in how awesome our God is, and how detailed He is in setting about events, exactly as He wants them too. And although it is fascinating, I began to think back to Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. We are now living in the days of a revived Roman empire (toes of iron mixed with miry clay). Although we have not seen it (or may not see it fully) materialize before the Rapture, we are the generation living in the shadow of Nebuchadnezzar's multi-metallic statue. Just as precisely as God used those Wise Men to be the ones to worship Him at His first Coming, so too is the timing and event that would lead to Israel becoming a nation again in 1948. And wouldn't you know it that exactly when Israel becomes a nation again after almost 2,000 years in Diaspora, so too is a final version of the revived Roman Empire appearing again, to rear its wicked head (1948).
A lot of prophetic events are lining up these days, from turmoil in the Middle East, to technology and global governance. From false messiah's and false religions, to a luke-warm apostasy spreading within Christendom. Events are speeding up, and the days are growing wicked. For those of us who are watching and waiting, I fear many tire waiting and have given up, or worse fallen into false teachings that dash a believers hope. [Don't let it steal your crown!]
Dear friends, don't get discouraged or dismayed that certain days or events have passed us by, where we thought He would return, but failed to appear. Don't let the onslaught of bad news snuff out the light of the 'Blessed Hope' we have guiding us in these dark days. God is in control, and we too, should be looking for our Star to appear. Remember, Christ said...
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
Calling Out the Media for Biased Coverage on Palestinian Terror - Stephan M. Flatow - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=887
When is a Palestinian terrorist attack not worthy of serious attention, in the eyes of America's major daily newspapers?
When there's no way to make the Palestinian attacker look sympathetic, of course.
In Jerusalem Dec. 14, a Palestinian terrorist named Khamad Khadr Ashikh stabbed two Israeli police officers and a 12-year-old Israeli boy in the head with a large screwdriver.
The New York Times has a bureau in Israel, with a staff of reporters. So does the Washington Post. Either of them could have sent a reporter to the hospital to interview the victims.
Their reporter could have called the victims' families. He or she could have visited Khamad Khadr Ashikh's home town, and asked his relatives and neighbors whether they consider the stabber to be a terrorist or a hero.
The Times or the Post at least could have told its readers what the Palestinian Authority (PA) was saying about the attack on PA-controlled television and radio stations.
But that kind of reporting is fraught with risk, if you have a pro-Palestinian agenda. Hospitalized stabbing victims inevitably generate sympathy for Israel's side. Palestinian neighbors and relatives typically praise perpetrators of anti-Jewish violence, so that would make the Palestinian cause look bad.
As for the PA, its official print, TV and radio outlets always portray Palestinian terrorists as heroes--so acknowledging what the PA is saying would further discredit the Palestinian cause.
So, instead of doing their duty as journalists, the Times and the Post posted a very brief Associated Press (AP) article about the attack. That enables them to say they didn't ignore the story.
But the AP's report really wasn't much better than ignoring the story altogether.
To begin with, the AP did not even mention the 12-year-old Israeli boy who was stabbed. Was it sloppy reporting, or a deliberate attempt to slant the story? Hard to say.
But this much is undeniable: when Israeli children are stabbed, that generates sympathy for Israel; by contrast, police officers are armed, so attacks on them don't necessarily seem quite as outrageous.
A journalist who champions the Palestinian cause will always prefer to make it appear as if Palestinians only attack armed security personnel, not defenseless civilians.
Next came the AP's turn to moral equivalency. In the past year, according to the AP, "Palestinian attackers have killed 36 Israelis" while "228 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire." The AP continued, "Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were attackers while the rest died in clashes with troops."
Notice the phrase "Israel says," as if it's just a claim that can't be verified. Are the AP reporters in Israel for some reason unable to review the circumstances of each incident to determine the simple truth? Are they afraid that Israel's "claim" would be proven true.
As for the AP's distinction between the deaths of "Palestinian attackers" and the deaths of Palestinians who "died in clashes with troops," that's just fiction intended to make some of the Palestinian deaths seem unjustified.
A "clash with troops" means Palestinians attack Israeli troops with deadly rocks and firebombs, and get shot by the Israelis in self-defense. Israeli troops do not randomly target innocent Palestinians, starting "clashes" with them in order to shoot them. The "clashers" are "attackers."
The AP concluded its report on the stabbing with a thinly veiled attempt to provide justification for the attack: "Israel says the violence is driven by a Palestinian campaign of incitement, while Palestinians say it's the result of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation and dwindling hopes for an independent state."
So once again, the AP presents the "two sides" as if they are equally plausible interpretations of the events. What the AP neglected to mention is that the stabber, 21-year-old Khamad Khadr Ashikh, never lived under "Israeli occupation."
He was born and raised in the village of Beit Surik, and the year he was born, 1995, was the year that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin withdrew Israel's troops from Beit Surik and the other cities where 98 percent of the Palestinians reside.
Ashikh lived his whole life under the rule of the PA. The AP's suggestion that he stabbed Jews because of the "Israeli occupation" is a lie. And the fact that The New York Times and Washington Post reprinted the AP's lie doesn't make it any less of a lie.
UN Chief Admits Biased Treatment Of Israel - http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2016/december/un-chief-admits-biased-treatment-of-israel
As he nears the end of his term, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted Friday the organization has a "disproportionate" amount of resolutions against Israel.
He says the anti-Israel sentiment has "foiled the ability of the U.N. to fulfill its role effectively."
"Over the last decade I have argued that we cannot have a bias against Israel at the U.N.," Ban told the U.N. Security Council.
"Decades of political maneuvering have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel," he added.
"In many cases, instead of helping the Palestinian issue, this reality has foiled the ability of the U.N. to fulfill its role effectively," he emphasized.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said that Ban "had admitted the clear truth."
He also added that the U.N.'s hypocrisy toward Israel had "broken records over the past decade."
"During this time the U.N. passed 223 resolutions condemning Israel, while only eight resolutions condemning the Syrian regime as it has massacred its citizens over the past six years. This is absurd," Danon said.
He also added that Israel looks forward to a new secretary-general.
"With a new secretary-general set to take office next month, we look forward to the possibility of a new era of fairness at the U.N," Danon said.
"Israel needs to understand the reality that a democratic state which is run by the rule of the law, which continues to militarily occupy the Palestinian people, will still generate criticism and calls to hold her accountable," said Ban.
This comes after the U.N. recently passed a series of resolutions during its annual "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People," even as Palestinians stepped up violent attacks against Israeli civilians and security officers.
Thirty-three Israelis and two foreign visitors have been killed in Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car rammings since October of last year.
More than 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in the period. Israel says that 156 Palestinians were carrying out or attempting attacks, while others were killed during protests.
Ban is expected to be replaced in January by former prime minister of Portugal, Antonio Guterres.
Who's afraid of Donald Trump in the Middle East? - http://www.debka.com/article/25843/Who's-afraid-of-Donald-Trump-in-the-Middle-East-
Not much can be ascertained about President-elect Donald Trump's administration future policies for the Middle East - any more than for most other parts of the world, except that his starting points are likely to be diametrically opposed to those of Barack Obama.
It is all still in the making. The Russian policy he decides to pursue after he enters the White House and his administration is in place is as unfathomable as are the motives that led him to appoint his lawyer and close adviser, the pro-settlement David Friedman, as US ambassador to Israel.
The Democratic Party, in pain from Hillary Clinton's defeat by Trump, is presenting him as a slavish fan of Putin and has sold this perception to much of the mainstream media.
However, it defies belief that the new president will succumb to Putin's wiles and allow America's global stance to be shaped in Moscow. Trump will far more likely present the Kremlin with a clear proposition for measuring Putin's willingness to follow the Trump line. In as far as he does, the Russian leader will enjoy cooperation in Washington.
The president-elect's approach to Israel may be equally clear-cut. In this case, the Israeli and US media joined in a front-page chorus denigrating the Friedman appointment as signaling that Donald Trump was ready to ignite a Middle East conflagration by moving the US embassy forthwith to Jerusalem, abandoning the two-station solution of the Israel-Palestinian dispute adopted by his two predecessors, and promoting Israel's instant annexation of the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria.
None of this can be inferred from the president elect's statement Thursday, Dec. 15:
"Friedman has been a longtime friend and trusted adviser to me. His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East."
The ties Netanyahu has quietly built with moderate Sunni powers in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, may play out as pertinent to Trump's wish to strengthen ties with "our allies" (plural) and "strive for peace in the Middle East."
He clearly does not share the view that the Friedman appointment is an obstacle to either goal, even if he does operate from a US embassy relocated to Jerusalem.
The media presentation of the designated US ambassador as the guiding force of Trump's policy on Israel and the Palestinians, who takes dictation from Bet El in Judea - which Friedman succored for many years - may be just as wide of the mark as presenting the designated Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as Putin's pawn in Washington.
That Israel will finally have a friend at the US embassy for the first time in 16 years, instead of adversarial figures, some of whom represented the far-left circles in the United States, can only strengthen the ties which soured seriously under the Obama administration.
However, although the Jewish Home party leader, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, was the first Israeli politician to be received after the election in Trump Tower does not mean that the president elect has automatically bought that party line.
More significantly, Israel's top security chiefs were sent to New York last week by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to brief US President-elect Donald Trump's transition team on where the Israeli government stands on current Middle East affairs, including Iran's nuclear program, the crisis in Syria, terror threats and the Palestinian issue.
It was led by the Mossad Director Yossi Cohen and National Security Council adviser Yaakov Nagel. Israel's ambassador Ron Dermer joined the meeting.
Their main purpose was to lay the foundations for liaising on security and intelligence matters relating to the Middle East with the newcomers in their field.
For the most part, they answered questions, which were undoubtedly friendly. But policies are not governed by sentiments, however well-intentioned. The group of Israeli security chiefs came away from Trump Tower hardly wiser than when they went in. The impression they gained was that decisions were still in the making and had not yet gelled into policies.
According to debkafile's sources in New York and Washington, Trump is genuinely keen on pursuing peace between Arab nations and Israel as a framework for resolving the Israel-Palestinian dispute - though not as his immediate priority. If in consequence, Egypt and Jordan establish embassies in Jerusalem, moving the US embassy to the Israeli capital would not present a difficulty.
As for the Palestinians, after refusing to play ball with Barack Obama and John Kerry's efforts to bring them to the negotiating table and rejecting every Arab plan put before them, they can't expect a better deal than they were offered hitherto.
Netanyahu still holds to the two-state solution - against the opposition of members of his government and party. Ambassador designate Friedman has written extensively against this plan. But, as Donald Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus stressed in a Fox interview Sunday on this very question, policy is made in the Oval Office and diplomats have the job of execution.
But meanwhile, more thinking appears to be going forward. Some of the thinking today turns on the resurrection of the old Jordanian-Palestinian confederation plan that would grant Palestinian independence or autonomy, or maybe an updated version of the Alon plan for secure Israeli borders, which left major Palestinian towns under self-rule (as they are at present) while drawing Israel's eastern border along the Jordanian River Valley.
There is also talk of Trump naming his son-in-law Jared Kushner as his special Middle East peace envoy. That too is not clear.
The only element of future Trump Middle East policy that appears to be solidifying, according to our sources, is his determination to drastically clip Iran's wings in the region and stand the Obama policy in this respect on its head. While never admitting as much, Obama preferred Iraq, Iran, Syria and the Shiite Muslim camp to the Sunni side. His successor will likely turn the wheel round in the opposite direction and restore the Sunnis their former pre-eminence in the region.
Trump's strategic advisers believe that if Moscow can be persuaded to go along with this policy, the Palestinians will find they have no option but to drop their perennial rejectionism and come round to what could be their last chance for an accommodation.
The Birth and Second Coming of Jesus - By Daymond Duck - http://raptureready.com/featured/duck/dd258.html
About 700 years before Jesus was born, God said, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah,' yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2).
There were thousands of towns in Judah that God could have picked for the birth of Jesus, but He chose a little town called Bethlehem.
There were two Bethlehems in Israel so God revealed which one He was talking about by adding the word "Ephratah." Jesus would be born Bethlehem, Ephratah.
This was a remarkable prediction, but few people realize just how remarkable it was. You see, God promised King David that the Messiah would be one of his descendants (II Sam. 7:8-17).
And during the 700 years that passed between the life of King David and the birth of Jesus, all of King David's descendants moved away from Bethlehem, Ephratah.
They scattered in every direction. Only one family in David's line lived in the area. And this family didn't live in Bethlehem, Ephratah. This family lived in Nazareth.
Anyway, 700 years passed. And none of King David's descendants lived in Bethlehem, Ephratah. But God said Jesus would be born in that little town.
How could this be? It is explained in the book of Luke. Caesar Augustus decreed that all the world should be taxed. And he added that everyone should be taxed in their own city (Luke 2:1-3).
So God used a pagan Roman Emperor to move two of King David's descendants to the exact town where He said Jesus would be born.
Mary was great with child when she made the trip. Physically speaking, she probably shouldn't have done it. But God brought her through. And Jesus was born at the prophesied place.
A short time later, wise men traveled to Jerusalem. They went to King Herod and asked about the King of the Jews (Matt. 2:2).
King Herod consulted the chief priest and scribes. They had not seen the new born Jesus, but they knew the prophecy. They could even quote it.
Herod demanded that they tell him where the Christ should be born and they said, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for it is written by the prophet" (Micah 5:2).
Herod called the wise men in for a private meeting. He sent them to Bethlehem, Ephratah to find the young Jesus.
They went. They found Him. They fell down. They worshipped Him. They gave Him gifts.
Thus, God's 700 year old prophecy was partially fulfilled. He moved two of King David's descendants to Bethlehem Ephratah so Jesus could be born exactly where the Bible said he would be born.
Why was this a partial fulfillment? Notice, the rest of the verse, "Yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel" (Micah 5:2).
Jesus is destined to be ruler in Israel. He didn't rule when He came the first time. But He is coming back to rule.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder . . . ." (Isa. 9:6).
"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer. 23:5-6).
"And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one" (Zech. 14:9).
He taught Christians to pray, "Thy KINGDOM come . . ." (Matt. 6:9-13).
And it will. When He comes back He will have "on his vesture 'KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS'" (Rev. 19:16).
This is why the return of Israel is so significant to students of Bible prophecy today. The first half of Micah 5:2 has been literally fulfilled and prophecy students believe we are on the brink of the rest of it being literally fulfilled.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
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
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com
Mr. Geert Wilders leads the main opposition party in the Netherlands parliament. It is growing so rapidly that it is possible Wilders will be Holland's next prime minister.
In other words, Geert Wilders is an established, well-known, respected public servant in the Netherlands.
Last week, a Dutch court made Wilders a convicted criminal. It convicted him of what amounts to "hate speech." It was the first time in that nation's history that a court ruled against freedom of speech.
It's true that Mr. Wilders has said controversial things throughout the years, especially regarding the dangers of Islam. In fact, we have extensively reported his remarks on this program.
What did he say that was so horrible? Remember, Wilders is a prominent politician speaking to a crowd on the topic of immigration -- definitely an important aspect of public policy that affects all Dutch citizens.
Wilders asked the group: "Do you want more or fewer Moroccans in this city and in the Netherlands?"
For asking that question, he was charged with and convicted of "hate speech."
Keep in mind, it's not "racism." Moroccans aren't a race. But even if he had said something that almost everyone considered deplorable, he should still have the right to say it -- then bear the resulting recriminations and criticism, if need be.
But all of us should be concerned when a western nation's government can convict a member of the political opposition for saying something the present regime does not like.
Once a government can silence you because what you say is inconvenient for them or at odds with the official position, there are then no more checks and balances. And that means there are no more practical legal limits to what a sitting government can and will do.
It's the same with so-called "fake news." It is true that there are websites that purposely invent things that they think either conservatives or liberals will click on and read (mostly so they can sell advertising that targets those audiences).
But when the government decides what is and is not "fake news," then it can shut down anything or anyone who expresses opinions it doesn't like. Had the government been able to officially brand reporting on Watergate or Monica Lewinsky as "fake news," those activities by sitting Presidents would never have been finally exposed.
If today the government can shut down "fake news" sites, then tomorrow it can use the same pretext to shut down Fox News or MSNBC.
Further, people who do not believe the Bible will call the miracles of Jesus "fake news" and forbid discussion of them. They will call the Bible's condemnation of sin "hate speech."
For a free society to remain free, government must not be allowed to regulate the discussion or presentation of ideas and information.
Political Correctness has made Geert Wilders a condemned man. It has turned Amnesty International into Amnesty Hypocritical.
It is ironic that Islam is probably the greatest beneficiary of Political Correctness. Yet Islam is hostile to the main tenets of Political Correctness.
Homosexuals once held the highest level of "protected status" among the politically correct. But it now seems that the gay community's "most protected" status has been replaced by love of Mohammed.
His religion despises, outlaws, and punishes gays. It regards women as commodities, to be bought and sold with the goats. But the PC people don't care about that, and apparently, neither does Amnesty International.
The once highly respected human rights group has apparently decided to cast its lot with Islam. It promotes and supports individuals who are not only sympathetic to Islam and its many terror organizations, but who actively associate with and campaign on behalf of those terrorist organizations. It now even fires its officials who point out the incongruity.
So for a preeminent "human rights" organization to champion the world's most intolerant religion, one that suppresses and abuses human rights, virtually shouts "hypocrisy," at the least, and "insanity" at worst.
Theirs is the confused thinking of a world at war with God.
The Bible warns time and again that when people throw away the knowledge of God, they can't even think straight. They cannot see the contradictions in their own thoughts.
Amnesty International, in defending a warped version of human rights, helps destroy real human rights.
Romans 1:28 says, "Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind." This means their intellects become so corrupt they can't even think in their own best interest.
Europe was once considered Christian. Today, the powers-that-be have made Islam the continent's favored religion. It gets special protections and privileges. That makes no sense. Long term, Islam will utterly destroy the current liberalism of the continent and replace it with a rigid, hard-nosed theocracy -- hardly the ideal of the global elites.
But they have become so Godless, they don't even realize the danger they have allowed in.
It's a funny thing. During the primaries, many Christians opposed Donald Trump because he wasn't "Christian" enough. But since he won the presidential election, some of those Christians have decided that these may not be the end-times after all.
They place so much hope in President-Elect Trump that they foresee only good things happening in the United States and the world. And it's true that some positive things have already taken place.
Now, I don't know how the President-Elect will do as President. I sincerely hope he does well. But I believe we will continue moving toward a soon-Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 24:8, Jesus compared the signs of His coming to "birth pangs." To relax now is a little like a first-time mother confusing one of the first contractions of childbirth with the last one. After each contraction, she feels better, but it's not over. More contractions are coming.
Birth pangs come and go. So do the signs of Christ's coming. One minute the world is in the midst of intense labor pain. Then the contraction subsides. But until the birth takes place, we can know for certain that more will come. And they will come with greater frequency and intensity.
So now is not the time to relax. We must be diligent and watchful. Be in constant prayer for our new President, that God will grant him wisdom, courage, and personal safety.
His election, the turmoil it has caused, and the hope it promises are surely a "birth pang" in the process carrying us to the soon return of Christ. It places us in the center of some amazing events and on the threshold of that great event -- no matter who serves as President.
Finally, this week I want to continue my recent discussion regarding the Church and, specifically, the believer.
There is an exclusive description given in the Bible only to the believer in Christ. It is a simple prepositional phrase that is repeated some 165 times in the epistles.
It is variously stated as "in Christ," "in Jesus Christ," "in Him," "in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." These phrases describe the eternal, inseparable, personal union that each believer has with the Lord Jesus through the baptism of the Spirit.
Virtually every benefit of salvation that the Heavenly Father bestows upon the believer is transmitted through this union with Christ.
Tune in this week to learn more about this wonderful gift from God on this week's program.
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.
For those of you who watch "The Hal Lindsey Report" on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), please note that we are moving to a new time. Beginning Friday, January 6, 2017, the Report will be seen 30 minutes later, beginning at 6:00 pm Pacific/9:00 pm Eastern. Hopefully, this new time will make it even more convenient for those of you in the western United States.
Merry Christmas, y'all!
Watch this week's Report before it airs! An HD quality MP4 download of each week's show will now be available for purchase from the website. Visit the store at www.hallindsey.com to get your report.
Daily Jot: The no hope president - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Some eight years ago Americans were duped into believing they needed hope and change. Taking the bait, and swallowing the hook, line and sinker, America's hope turned out to be a Marxist Islamic revolutionary that put the country on the path to destruction-millions dropped out of the workforce for no hope of ever having a job; millions more could no longer afford health insurance; terror attacks on American soil increased and continued; millions of impoverished illegals stormed our unsecured borders bringing crime and disease; laws were not followed nor enforced; race relations deteriorated. And now, on her way out, the "first lady" says America is feeling what not having hope is like. How ironic.
In her last interview from the White House and her first direct response to the November 9 election result, the "first lady" told Oprah Winfrey, "Now we're feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary." These remarks underscore the epitaph of a failed presidency. To be so narcissistic to think that you are the only one that can bring hope to America and that when you are gone, Americans will no longer know what hope feels like is a sad statement. The hope the current "president" brought to America was the hope of Marxists and Islamists that the nation would be remade into a totalitarian regime-not the hope of improving a free republic.
Now, rejected by the American public, these impostors are incredulous that their revolution was not allowed unabated. They are making up stories of fake news and state actors influencing the election. They try to blame others for bringing their dirty deeds to the light; trying to shift responsibility of their failure to secure sensitive data, instead of taking responsibility for the horrible underhanded, unethical, and possibly illegal actions that were exposed because of their failures. In reality, it was their fake news narrative that their revolution was so supported and so popular that those opposing it shouldn't even bother to vote. They are paper lions roaring squeaks of failed propaganda.
The hope and change "president" ends his reign with his wife saying America has no hope. That pretty much sums up the last eight years, although she was speaking of the future. For me and my house, we have hope. While the election results were encouraging, our hope rests not on a politician, but on the Messiah. As Jesus said in John 8:12, "
I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." It is in Christ that our hope should rest-not in some godless politician. Hope and faith are intrinsically wound together. As in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." If you have faith, you have hope. That speaks volumes about the "first lady's" comments.
Daily Devotion: A Divine Birth Announcement - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. . . . Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." -Luke 2:8, 10
If you are a parent, then you can remember the first people you called after you became one. You gave them the weight and length of the baby and the actual time when he or she was born. You shared the news with those who were closest to you.
When God announced the birth of His Son, whom did He tell first? It seems likely that He would have started with Caesar Augustus. He could have sent the angel Gabriel to appear in Caesar's court and announce, "Check this out, buddy. You are not God! The Savior of the world has arrived!"
Or He might have had Gabriel appear to the religious leaders and say, "Wake up! The Messiah has been born! The One you talk about, the One you pray for-He is here!"
But that didn't happen. Instead, God first announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds. We tend to romanticize the shepherds along with everyone else in the Christmas story, but we don't understand who they were. In this culture, shepherds lived at the bottom of the social ladder. Shepherds were so despised that their testimonies were not even allowed in a court of law. Shepherds did the work that no one else wanted to do. They worked hard, but they were perceived as unclean because they could not observe the ceremonial hand washings. They were the outcasts, the nobodies.
The only people less-regarded than shepherds were those who were suffering from leprosy. Yet God decided to announce His news to some shepherds in the fields as they kept watch over their flocks at night. This was the modus operandi of Jesus, from birth to death. He always appealed to the outcast, to the common, to the ordinary. And that should give hope to ordinary people like us.
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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