Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.”
(Acts 1:22)
Witness With Us

CBNNEWS.COM

The Eyewitness Testimony That’ll Make You Never Doubt the Resurrection Again

04.14.2017 Paul Strand

Christianity's core belief is that the Son of God took on human form, died for our sins and then rose from the dead to give us eternal life. But if Jesus Christ didn't come back to life, it undoes His claim to be the all-powerful, eternal Son of God, Savior and Messiah. So, Christianity hangs on the Resurrection.

To believe the events around that first Easter, you pretty much have to believe that Jesus did indeed exist and that the New Testament can be trusted.

At the Impact 360 school in Pine Mountain, Georgia, Prof. Jonathan Morrow preps college-bound Christians in how to fight with the facts of their faith.

Jesus Isn't Just in the Bible

He told CBN News, "Investigating the Resurrection is a historical question that you can do with eyes wide open; it's not a blind faith kind of thing, like believing in the Easter Bunny or a lucky rabbit's foot. This is real world kind of stuff. And you can investigate the data for it."

Morrow added, "So when it comes to the Resurrection, we say 'Well, how do we know Jesus existed?' Some people even doubt that. The fact is, we have far more sources for Jesus of Nazareth than we do for many historical figures in the first century. We have at least 18. Twelve of those are non-Christian sources."

There's more evidence Jesus existed than Julius Caesar. Anyone doubt Caesar existed?

As for the Scriptures, Prof. Darrell Bock of the Dallas Theological Seminary explained that any piece of a surviving ancient work is called a manuscript. And more ancient pages or fragments of the Bible have survived by far than any other book from antiquity.

"It's exceptional," Bock said. "You're talking about over 5,800 Greek manuscripts, over 8,000 Latin manuscripts. Most books that we work with in the ancient world have maybe at best a dozen manuscripts."

Christians: If Jesus Is Dead, So Is Your Religion

For some people, they might be ready to believe the Bible is legitimate, but they have a hard time believing Jesus Christ could have actually risen from the dead.

The problem with that, as far as Morrow is concerned, is that everything hangs on that fact.

This author of Questioning the Bible explained, "Paul made the argument in I Corinthians 15, saying 'Look, you can test this: if the Resurrection didn't happen, Christianity is false. Whether you believe it or not, whether you're sincere about it, if the Resurrection didn't happen, Christianity's false - go to the next religion."

If He's Dead, Then They Lied

Some suggest that the apostles all lied in a vast conspiracy to turn the deficit of Jesus' death into the positive of a risen Lord. But biblical apologists insist when you examine it all the way through, it's actually easier to believe in the Resurrection than its alternatives.

Such Bible experts say that to dismiss the Resurrection, any theory you come up with to explain the historical happenings has to explain away three historical facts:

  • That there was an empty tomb three days after Jesus's body had been placed in it, though it had been constantly guarded by Roman soldiers;

  • Jesus appeared to hundreds of people in numerous places for almost seven weeks after His crucifixion;

  • And something huge did happen to suddenly and forever turn all the cowering, cowardly disciples into bold believers, proclaiming a risen Messiah they were willing to be tortured and die for.

Did Jesus Die, or Just Almost Die?

Still, alternative theories live on.

Some theorize that Jesus didn't die on the cross but just went into a death-like state that fooled everyone who checked His body. Then under this theory, He awoke in the tomb, got up and walked out. Proponents say that explains His many appearances after His supposed death.

What this doesn't explain is how in a near-death state and with exceedingly crippling wounds, He could work His way out of tightly-wrapped, glued-on burial garments and then roll away the massively heavy stone sealed onto the tomb by the Romans. And it doesn't explain why He'd suddenly disappear after several weeks among His disciples, never to be seen again. Nor does it explain how so many people saw Him ascending up into the heavens.

Oops, Wrong Tomb

Some suggest the female disciples who first found the empty tomb might have just had the wrong one, and the other disciples took advantage of that, concocting a Resurrection myth to explain the empty tomb. But surely the Jewish leaders who'd had Roman guards placed by Jesus' burial place, and Joseph of Arimathea who owned the tomb where Jesus' body had been laid, would have quickly displayed the body and corrected the mistake if indeed the women had gone to the wrong tomb.

"If you're going around preaching Jesus was physically raised from the dead and people knew where He was buried and knew where they could find His bones, that message wouldn't even get off the ground," insisted Bock, author of Truth Matters.

Not Smart to Lie Where Everyone Knows You're Lying

Josh McDowell, author of New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, said the disciples knew this well.

"In the Resurrection, where was the hardest place in the world to convince anyone it was true if it was false? Jerusalem, where a 15-minute walk by anyone could confirm the emptiness of the tomb," McDowell said."

Matthew 28 points out the Jewish leaders bribed the tomb's guards to say they'd fallen asleep and the disciples then stole Jesus' body. But if these guards were asleep, how would they know it was the disciples? And how could they have slept through the disciples rolling away the huge stone that covered the entrance to the tomb, a stone some have suggested was so heavy, it may have taken more than a dozen men to push it away?

Debunking this conspiracy idea, Morrow said, "Conspiracy theories unravel very quickly because people will eventually tell what they know. And the more people who are involved, and the more people who saw the event, you multiply your chances of the story getting out. So that's the first thing. The second thing is the Gospels, the earliest historical record we have, don't show the tales of being doctored to say the same thing, like they got their stories straight. They had the ring of truth to them."

Would You Die for a Lie You Made Up?

And if the disciples were making up Jesus' Resurrection, would they have lived and died for Him and a fiction they themselves made up?

McDowell explained, "They said after He was crucified and buried, He was raised from the dead and for 40 days — not 40 hours, not four days — for 40 days, they lived with Him and walked with Him, with overwhelming proof that He'd been raised from the dead."

McDowell concluded, "If the Resurrection was a lie, they had to know it. And if they knew it, then you'd have to say here were these men who not only died for a lie, but they knew it was a lie. I challenge you to find others in history who that's true of. It's not."

Morrow added, "The earliest disciples would have known - not just believed, but would have known - that either Jesus was who He claimed to be and was actually raised from the dead or they were making this thing up. And yet history tells us that we have good reason to think they all went to their death with the exception of one for that core belief: that Jesus was raised from the dead. They didn't recant that. Conspiracies break down under pressure. And this conspiracy would have cost them their lives."

What Would Cause Such Radical Transformations?

These and other experts say that in truth, it would take something as radical as Jesus' Resurrection to completely transform the disciples like cowardly Peter, who was so scared just before the crucifixion, he swore he didn't even know Jesus.

But just a few weeks later Morrow pointed out Peter went from hiding away, fearful the Jewish leaders might have him killed as well, to boldly preaching salvation through Christ before a crowd of thousands, including some who sought Jesus' death.

Morrow explained, "You see Peter with this radical transformation, going from coward to this courageous champion who's saying 'Look, here I stand, this is what I'm saying, this is what's true. You crucified this guy, but this is what He offered.' You've got that radical transformation right at the heart of what's going on around that earliest Christian movement."

From Christ-Hater to Christian Martyr

Morrow pointed out Jesus' doubting brother James was also instantly changed.

He said, "James – the brother of Jesus —didn't follow Jesus during His earthly ministry; thought He was crazy."

McDowell agreed, saying, "James despised his brother. Thought He was embarrassing the family. And then Jesus appeared to him in James' own word, and he became the leader of the church of Jerusalem."

Morrow added, "And after the fact, James becomes an early leader in the Church, and was persecuted and eventually killed for that belief."

And biblical apologists say it could only be a resurrected Jesus showing up forcefully and vividly two to three years later that could transform the church's worst persecutor into its main missionary.

Greatest Murderer Turned to Greatest Missionary

"Saul of Tarsus was anything but a follower who believed in Jesus," McDowell said. "He went from city to city casting his vote to have them imprisoned and executed. But in his own words, Christ appeared to him. Whether you believe that or not, something took. One of the greatest murderers into one of the greatest missionaries. A Christian-hater to a Christian-lover."

Morrow stated, "What in the world would flip Paul - or actually, Saul of Tarsus - to Paul, the chief proclaimer in the early Church? He was a smart guy. He was holding the coats when people were killing the first Christians. He was adamantly opposed to this movement. And then he became a Christian. What accounts for that?"

Short of the risen Jesus appearing to Paul, Bock believes it's an unfathomable transformation.

As he put it, "So the main thing is just explaining how someone like a Saul who becomes Paul even exists."

McDowell concluded, "Something happened in Paul's life that I've never found any other explanation that even comes close to satisfying me intellectually except: 'And Jesus appeared to Paul after the Resurrection.'"

Liars Wouldn't Have Testified About the Female Disciples' Role

Another crucial factor that debunks the idea all these disciples were trying to sell a false Resurrection to the world: the fact that they proclaimed it was females who found the empty tomb and let the male disciples know Jesus was missing.

The first century Jews believed women were second-class citizens. So if the disciples were lying about the resurrection, they made their story all the harder to accept by putting women at the forefront.

"Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - they all recount Jesus' earliest women followers finding the empty tomb," Morrow said. "In the first century, where a woman's testimony would have been about the level just above a slave, that would not be your best foot forward."

Bock imagined being with the disciples plotting how they'll push a false Resurrection.

The Criterion of Embarrassment

"'We're going to sell this difficult idea, and the people we're going to get to sell it are people that the culture doesn't believe have the right to be witnesses,'" Bock imagined them saying.

But he insisted, "You'd never make up a story that way. This is what's called the Criterion of Embarrassment in historical Jesus studies: that you'd never make up the story this way. So the reason the story is this way is because it must be grounded in what happened."

Morrow completely agreed, stating the Gospel writers testifying about the women's role has "the ring of truth."

Morrow said, "That would have been an embarrassing detail you would have never led with UNLESS it actually happened. And the fact that all four (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) say it happened just gives it that much stronger evidence that it actually did happen."

Hard to Simply Dismiss 500 Eyewitnesses

Saying the disciples lied about Jesus' resurrection doesn't explain His post-Resurrection appearance before 500 people. The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15 suggested doubters go talk to them.

Morrow said of that, "You've got living history. You've got the people who were there to cross-check whatever message is being put out there. So, it's not as though these things could have been invented and no one would have challenged it. You've got this idea that 'there are witnesses; go investigate them.'"

He added about this call in I Corinthians to talk to witnesses, "Ancient historians loved eyewitness testimony. That's what they all wanted. Livy, Herodotus, Tacitus, Thucydides - they all wanted eyewitness testimony to get back to the original. And that's what you have."

McDowell said of such eyewitness testimony, "I put a lot of weight on this. You see, people today say, 'How do you know Jesus said that? How do you know He did that?' Well, they had the same question in the New Testament times. Even more so than today because they were dying for it. And they wanted to know: 'Is this true? Did Jesus really do this? Did He really say this?' "

'Can't Get Much Better Evidence'

McDowell pointed out, "In I John 1, how did John answer that? They said 'How do we know this is true?' John said , 'What our eyes have seen, what our eyes have heard, what our hands have handled is what we're declaring unto you.' In other words, 'We were eyewitnesses. We were there.' And then with their opponents they would say, 'You were there, too. You saw Jesus do this; you heard Him do this.' And you can't get much better evidence historically than that. And we have that in the Scriptures."

Morrow returned to how Paul pushed his readers in I Corinthians 15 to gather proof that Jesus rose from the dead: "He says, 'It's not a matter of wishful thinking. Investigate this.' That's why he mentions the eyewitnesses. He mentioned that Jesus appeared to more than 500, and as well as His disciples, and to Paul himself and to others. Because eyewitnesses authenticated that event. And it was central to Christianity."

Morrow concluded, "It has all the ring of truth and not the ring of that conspiracy theory where they just made this thing up to invent their own religion."

Could 500 People Have the Same Hallucination?

Some doubters try to do away with all the post-Resurrection appearances by saying those who thought they were seeing, talking to and touching Jesus were all hallucinating, even the 500 Paul discussed in I Corinthians.

McDowell told CBN News believing that takes more faith than simply accepting that Jesus really did rise from the dead.

The writer explained, "Here's the key: what is a hallucination? A hallucination is an internal experience, not triggered by anything externally. This is why no two people ever have the same hallucination. Because it's all internal; subjective. Well, to have 500 people have the same hallucination would be 500 miracles equal to the Resurrection."

Speaking of miracles, Morrow called on people to not dismiss them as casually as most folks do these days.

If God Exists, so Can Miracles

"When historians investigate this, in our modern mindset, there's this idea that 'Look, miracles are out of bounds.' Well, why? Because if it's at least possible that God exists, then miracles become possible," he insisted.

But Morrow added, "We shouldn't believe just any and every miracle. We then investigate them on a case-by-case basis. And when you look at the Resurrection evidence, it's pretty remarkable how strong it is, and that's why it's at the core of Christianity. And so, I don't think it's intellectually credible to rule out miracles before you investigate the event, out of hand."

Bock insisted, "The faith is very, very defendable. That's why it's lasted for 2,000 years. And not only that. There's a rationale that shows the uniqueness of what Jesus is that's important to appreciate as well. And so all the time that's often spent on the Resurrection makes sense because that really is the hub of the discussion."

Morrow added, "Christians don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead because the Bible says so. They believe He rose from the dead because that's what the earliest and best historical documents show, and that's what's the best explanation of the data."

Early Is Important

Just like historians put great weight on eyewitness testimony, they also give more respect to early historical writings done close to the events they discuss.

With Peter, John, and James, you have both: They're eyewitnesses who wrote early.

"You can push the earliest core teaching of Jesus - His death, deity, and Resurrection - within months of the Resurrection. Because then it goes back to Peter, James, and John," Morrow said. "These people were eyewitnesses, they were there, and it was early."

Paul's encounter with Jesus came just two or three years after Christ's death and Resurrection, and not long after that, he interviewed Peter, James, and John.

"Then 18 years later he cross-checked himself again," Morrow said of Paul. "In I Corinthians 15, he goes 'Look, I met with them again and they added nothing to my gospel. We're preaching the same exact thing.' This is the core message. And you can trace it back to the beginning, that there was never a Christianity without that at the heart of it."

Bock said that's crucial knowledge for those who might instead have believed these key Christian doctrines were dreamed up much later.

He explained, "The issue that's sometimes raised up: 'well, these books were written many decades later. And so they reflect a theological development coming down the road.' All that shrinks back when you look at the person of Paul."

"He was writing within a few years of the time of Christ," McDowell added. "And this is why for many of the scholars will give I Corinthians incredible credence: because of its closeness."

The Resurrection Proves Jesus Was Who He Said He Was

Morrow said of Paul, "He understood why Jesus of Nazareth was different in the unique claims that He made, but that then those claims were authenticated through His Resurrection that said 'What I said is what is real. This is who I am.'"

Morrow summed up, "These claims to forgive sins sound crazy unless you're the Son of God, you're the Son of Man, you're the Messiah. And that's who He showed Himself to be. And Paul is probably our earliest and best witness to that. And our critical scholars will grant us Paul being that eyewitness."

McDowell spoke of evidence that can help readers believe the words of Paul and other New Testament writers, like archaeological findings.

He explained, "Right now you can almost say every single reference in the Book of Acts has already been verified through archaeology: 600 some references to kings, people, places, everything. In Luke 3, in the first three verses, there are 17 historical references. Every single one now has been confirmed by archaeology."

'The Evidence Is Only Getting Better'

Biblical expert Bock flat-out stated, "These books are the best-attested pieces of ancient literature we possess."

Morrow added, "One of the fascinating things about New Testament manuscripts: We have over 5,700 Greek manuscripts alone. And more manuscripts are being discovered all the time."

He summed up, "I think what Christians need to know is that there's really good reason why we believe what we believe, and the evidence is only getting better. The more we discover and the more we find, the more confidence you can have that this is really true."

BBC

Russia court outlaws 'extremist' Jehovah's Witnesses

  • 20 April 2017

Russia's Supreme Court has accepted the government's request to designate Jehovah's Witnesses as an outlawed religious group, deeming it to be an extremist organisation.

The justice ministry argued that the group had distributed pamphlets which incited hatred against other groups.

Lawyers representing the group reject the claims and say they will appeal.

The denomination says it has 175,000 members in Russia - a country where it was persecuted during the Stalin era.

An estimated eight million people worldwide are part of the Christian-based movement, best known for going door-to-door looking for new converts.

Jehovah's Witnesses at a glance

Practitioners of the faith argue that it means their activities from now on will be criminalised.

The justice ministry urged the court to close the group's national headquarters near St Petersburg, Russian news agencies reported, in addition to banning some of its "extremist" publications.

The court in Moscow on Thursday (above) accepted the government's argument that Jehovah's Witnesses fomented extremism

One pamphlet distributed by the group quoted the novelist Leo Tolstoy as describing the doctrine of the Russian Orthodox Church as superstition and sorcery.

Officials have accused the religion of destroying families, propagating hatred and endangering lives.

Jehovah's Witnesses say the accusations are completely untrue. A spokesman told the AFP news agency that he was "shocked" by the ruling.

"I didn't expect that this could be possible in modern Russia, where the constitution guarantees freedom of religious practice," Yaroslav Sivulsky said.

The Jehovah's Witnesses group was founded in the United States in the 19th century.

They take most of the Bible literally and refuse blood transfusions. They are not seen by traditional Christian Churches as a mainstream denomination.

During Joseph Stalin's reign of terror in the Soviet Union it was outlawed and thousands of members were deported to Siberia. Other Christian groups were also persecuted.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, there was a revival of Christianity in Russia and the ban on Jehovah's Witnesses was lifted in 1991.

Gradually attitudes towards the movement hardened again and in 2004 it was accused of recruiting children and preventing believers from accepting medical assistance.

Human rights group Sova has argued that an "official repressive campaign" has been conducted against the movement for years and many of their members have been physically attacked.

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WND

PUSH-TO-REBUILD-JERUSALEM-TEMPLE-HAS-EARTH-SHAKING-IMPLICATIONS

Many Christians consider it 'a sure sign the last days are about to be fulfilled'

Published April 18, 2017

The future Third Temple … as it might appear

There is probably not a more disputed parcel of real estate than the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

A portion of the land there is occupied by an Islamic mosque, yet there are developing plans to rebuild the prophesied third Jewish Temple.

That leaves the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a political situation that offers no easy way out.

One American pastor now is telling Christians they need to pay careful attention to what happens next.

During Passover, Jewish activists held a ritual sacrifice in view of the Temple Mount as part of a larger effort to encourage the rebuilding of the Temple. Attending the ceremony was Yehuda Glick, an American-born Knesset member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party. The ceremony was held outside the Hurva Synagogue in what was widely perceived as a prestigious location that gave the ritual a certain amount of legitimacy. One of the activists involved predicted it would only be “a few more years” before sacrifices were held on the Temple Mount itself.

But even attempts by Jewish activists to begin hosting sacrifices on or even near the Temple Mount have led to increased tensions with the Muslim community, and the Muslim authorities who govern the Temple Mount have forbidden any sacrifices on the Temple Mount itself.

Israeli police recently arrested five Jewish men who were attempting to pray on the Temple Mount, as well as 17 people in a separate incident who were trying to smuggle goats onto the site to offer a sacrifice.

Netanyahu cannot afford to antagonize religious Jews or the Orthodox parties, as they form an important part of his political coalition. And he’s already having a hard time keeping his coalition together, as the leaders of the ultra-Orthodox Israeli political parties have publicly announced their opposition to any unilateral attempt by the prime minister to dissolve the government.

At the same time, the nascent Sanhedrin, a group attempting to revive the ancient Jewish legal institution, is also attempting to promote a rebuilding effort.

In response to a conflict between Netanyahu and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the group invited Iran to rebuild relations with the Jewish state by endorsing a rebuilding of the Temple.

Netanyahu points out that Iranian leaders have vowed to wipe out the Jews. In response, Zarif reminded the Israeli leader it was Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, who had helped to build the Second Temple.

Mark Biltz, author of “God’s Day Timer” and “Blood Moons” and a passionate advocate of renewing biblical Jewish traditions within Christian worship, says the political conflicts within Israel are standing in the way of reconstruction.

“The biggest problem for Israel in building the Temple is not needing Iran to somehow give permission or assistance but for the nation of Israel itself to make it happen,” he told WND. “It’s Israeli politics that stands in the way, for good or ill, depending on your position about whether we should see the Third Temple. It’s a matter of separation of synagogue and state. Do you really think the politicians want the ultra-Orthodox or a new Sanhedrin determining what laws all Israelis must follow?”

As Biltz explained, though many religious groups and some activists associated with the Jewish right are eager to build the Third Temple, there is passionate theological debate within the Jewish community itself about whether the Temple should be constructed.

“Within the Orthodox Jewish community, some hold that they must wait for their Messiah, whose name is the Branch, to build the Temple based on the verse in Zechariah 6:12-15, which says ‘He shall build the temple of the Lord,'” he said.

“Others say the situation now is similar to when the prophet Haggai complained about how some were content without a Temple. He argued they needed to get to work and rebuild the Temple that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. If you believe God wants the Temple rebuilt, why would you stand idly by and not be doing all you can to bring God’s presence back, especially if we really want true peace on earth?”

One group, the Temple Institute, has been actively pushing to create or acquire the elements needed to build the Third Temple. It re-created the holy altar, drew up architectural plans to actually build the Temple and even began raising the sacred red heifers needed for ceremonial purposes in Israel.

Biltz says Christians need to be closely following these developments. Though he cautions “of that day and hour no one knows,” the reconstruction of the Third Temple would be a critical sign the last days are actually at hand.

“In the Christian community many are waiting for the Temple to rebuilt as a sure sign of the last days about to be fulfilled,” he said. “One thing we know for sure is history keeps repeating itself. We don’t know the form yet. Whether it’s a full-blown Temple or just a prefab one that can be thrown together quickly, we will have to wait and see. It may not be anything more than an altar doing Passover sacrifices.

“But one thing is for sure. If the Temple is rebuilt and sacrifices are resumed, hold on to your shorts as the time is short!”

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telesur

China: World Must fix 'Historical Injustice' Against Palestine

Published 13 April 2017

"This is unfair. This kind of historical injustice must be corrected. It cannot continue," Wang said.

On Thursday China's Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said Palestinians must be able to build an independent state to correct a "historical injustice."

In a press conference in Beijing with Palestine's Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, Wang reiterated China’s longstanding support for an end to Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Wang noted that 70 years after the U.N. General Assembly passed Resolution 181 calling for the creation of an independent Palestine alongside Israel, Palestinians are still being denied their independence.

"This is unfair. This kind of historical injustice must be corrected. It cannot continue," Wang said.

Wang further noted the urgency of restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which remain stalled in the face of Israel’s continued construction of illegal settlements and a U.S. administration seemingly hell-bent on entrenching the most extreme of Israel’s apartheid policies.

Palestine's al-Maliki said he hopes China will play a greater role in brokering a peace agreement.

"And we do encourage China to do more of this kind of approach, in order to see peace ultimately achieved in our region," he said.

While it has traditionally played a minor role in the region, last year China's President Xi Jinping committed US$7.6 million in aid to Palestine in a historic address to the Arab League.

Wang's statement came as a group of Palestinian political prisoners in Israel's Nafha prison announced they would join the upcoming mass hunger strike, led by imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, scheduled for April 17, Palestinian Prisoner's Day.

In a statement released on Wednesday the prisoners — who come from several different political factions of the Palestinian independence movement — said they would unite in their demands for an end to repeated humiliations and deprivations at the hands of Israeli authorities.

"We shall gain our dignity and rights by facing the arrogance of the occupier with our empty stomachs, armed by the justness of our cause and popular support."

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BREITBART

Jesuit Superior: Jesus Was Not ‘Black and White’ on Man/Woman Marriage

Franco Origlia/Getty Images

by DR. SUSAN BERRY5 Apr

The new superior of the worldwide Jesuit religious order said recently that, as Jesus Christ’s words about marriage were never recorded, there is no basis for a “black and white” church doctrine centering on lifelong marriage between one man and one woman.

In a recent interview with Vatican journalist Giuseppe Rusconi of the Italian Catholic blog Rossoporpora, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal states that Jesus’s words about marriage must be “contextualized” and “discerned.”

“Human reality is much more nuanced” and “never black and white,” said Abascal, who was elected superior of the Society of Jesus in October.

LifeSiteNews has published the translation of the interview – which included the topic of remarriage following divorce. Abascal, who is from Venezuela, was asked by Rusconi about Jesus’s teaching regarding marriage as provided in the Gospel of Matthew:

He said to them, “Have you not read that He Who made them in the first place made them man and woman? 5 It says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will live with his wife. The two will become one.’ 6 So they are no longer two but one. Let no man divide what God has put together.”

Rusconi stated to Abascal that the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, Cardinal Gerhard Műller, observed the words of Jesus were clear, and that “no power in heaven and on earth, neither an angel nor the pope, neither a council nor a law of the bishops has the faculty to modify them.”

“At that time, no one had a recorder to take down his words,” the Jesuit superior responded. “What is known is that the words of Jesus must be contextualized, they are expressed in a language, in a specific setting, they are addressed to someone in particular.”

Asked whether the words of Jesus, then, have an “absolute value,” Abascal replied:

Over the last century in the Church there has been a great blossoming of studies that seek to understand exactly what Jesus meant to say… That is not relativism, but attests that the word is relative, the Gospel is written by human beings, it is accepted by the Church which is made up of human persons… So it is true that no one can change the word of Jesus, but one must know what it was!

Asked whether he is questioning Jesus’s words, Abascal said he agrees with Pope Francis – also a Jesuit. “One does not bring into doubt, one brings into discernment…” the superior said.

Rusconi replied that, with discernment, “the final decision is based on a judgment relative to different hypotheses,” and, thus, “brings the word of Jesus into doubt.” Abascal responded that he did not mean, “the word of Jesus, but the word of Jesus as we have interpreted it… Discernment leads to a decision: one must not only evaluate, but decide.”

The Jesuit superior continued that the Church has always made “personal conscience” a “priority.”

“Doctrine is a word that I don’t like very much, it brings with it the image of the hardness of stone,” Abascal said. “Instead the human reality is much more nuanced, it is never black or white, it is in continual development.”

(“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1)

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bigthink

Scientists Are Attempting to Unlock the Secret Potential of the Human Brain

By PHILIP PERRY

April 16,2017

Sometimes, it occurs when a person suffers a nearly fatal accident or life-threatening situation. In others, they are born with a developmental disorder, such as autism. But a slim margin of each group develop remarkable capabilities, such as being able to picture advanced mathematical figures in one's head, have perfect recall, or to draw whole cityscapes from memory alone. This is known as savant syndrome. Of course, it’s exceedingly rare. But how does it work? And do we all hide spectacular capabilities deep within our brain?

In 2002, 31-year-old Jason Padgett, a community college dropout and self-described “goof,” was mugged outside of a karaoke bar. Two men knocked him down and kicked him in the back of the head repeatedly, leaving him unconscious. Padgett was checked out and sent home from the hospital that same night.

He’d suffered a serious concussion but didn’t know it, until the next morning when he noticed something peculiar. Upon entering the bathroom and turning on the faucet, he saw “lines emanating out perpendicularly from the flow.” He couldn’t believe it.

“At first, I was startled, and worried for myself, but it was so beautiful that I just stood in my slippers and stared.” It was like, “watching a slow-motion film.” He soon realized that he could see geometric shapes and fractals—irregular patterns that repeat themselves, in everything. “It’s just really beautiful,” he said.

Padgett began to find that he could intuitively understand the mathematical nature of everything around him. Before, he never rose beyond pre-Algebra. After the incident, he became infatuated with fractals and pi. His perception had completely changed. He soon grew obsessed with all the shapes he found in his house.

In his memoir, Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel, Padgett writes, “I noticed the light bouncing off a car window in the form of an arc, and the concept came to life. It clicked for me-because the circle I saw was subdivided by light rays, and I realized each ray was really a representation of pi.”

Freehand fractal drawing created by Jason Padgett. Wikimedia Commons

He soon locked himself away and began drawing precise and beautiful geometric figures for days and sometimes, weeks at a time. Padgett is one of the few people on earth who can draw fractals accurately, freehand. He became a germaphobe too and rather than seeing it as a gift, he started to wonder whether or not he was mentally ill.

He’d acquired an exceedingly rare condition. Only about 70 people in the world so far have been identified with savant syndrome. There are two ways for it to occur, either through an injury that causes brain damage or through a disorder, such as autism.

We’re familiar with the autistic savant, like the 1988 hit movie Rain Man, where the main character, played by Dustin Hoffman, can count a large number of toothpicks spilled onto the floor, instantaneously. It’s estimated that around 50% of those with savant syndrome are autistic.

The other 50% are either due to an injury to the central nervous system or a developmental disorder. Some researchers believe at least 10% of those with autism have some form of savant-like talent. Acquired savant syndrome is far rarer.

World renowned savant Daniel Tammet. Getty Images.

Things changed for Padgett after he saw a BBC documentary about Daniel Tammet. The British, autistic savant can recite pi to the 22,514thplace, speaks 10 different languages—two he made up himself, and performs intricate mathematical calculations in his head, at lightning speed.

He’s also a synthete, meaning he experiences numbers not only visually, but as colors and geometric figures, as well. (Synesthesia is the blending of the senses, like certain letters having corresponding colors or letters-flavors. Or how certain people claim to smell music, in addition to hearing it. Synesthesia occurs in a variety of ways and differs widely from one person to the next).

Other famous savants include British-borne Stephen Wiltshire, who can draw panoramic cityscapes accurately, from memory, Dr. Anthony Cicoria, an orthopedic surgeon from New York, who, after being struck by lightning, can suddenly play the piano, and Alonzo Clemens who, after falling on his head as a child, can sculpt any animal from memory—down to the minutest detail.

Padgett soon contacted psychiatrist Dr. Darold Treffert, who’s been studying savant syndrome for over 50 years. “The most common ability to emerge is art, followed by music,” Treffert told The Guardian. “But I’ve had cases where brain damage makes people suddenly interested in dance, or in Pinball Wizard.”

In 2011, Padgett underwent an fMRI, along with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). It was discovered the left side of his brain had become more active, while the right side far less so. Dr. Treffert contends that savant syndrome has to do with neuroplasticity—the brains remarkable ability to repair and rewire itself. Studies have shown that those who have acquired savant syndrome often sustained damage to the front area of their left temporal lobe.

According to Dr. Treffert,

Following an injury to the brain, there’s recruitment of undamaged cortex from elsewhere in the brain, then there’s rewiring to that undamaged area, and a release of dormant potential. It’s a compensatory mechanism involving areas that may have been dormant, or areas that are ‘stolen’ and their function changed.”

Scientists began to wonder, what if they were to induce such conditions. Would it trigger a savant-like state in a subject?

Neuroscientist Allan Snyder at the University of Sydney, Australia, is doing exactly that, with what he calls the “thinking cap." This is a rubber strap with two conductors. It’s fastened around the head and provides low levels of electricity to incapacitate a certain part of the brain. Tests on subjects have shown it induces savant-like skills including improved memory, better attention to detail, more creativity, better proofreading skills, and even better problem-solving. These capabilities fade about an hour after the cap is removed.

We are just now entering a golden age of neuroscience, according to neurobiologist Nicholas Spitzer at the University of California, San Diego. Initiatives to unearth the secrets of the human brain are ongoing at numerous institutions around the world. Prof. Spitzer predicts that in the coming decades, besides advancements in imaging technology, we’ll be able to send nanobots inside the brain that are so small, they’ll be able to enter and travel along neurons. Moreover, they’ll be able to communicate back their findings through Wi-Fi.

We’ll also be able to attach implants that can hook our brains up to computers and Wi-Fi, giving us instantaneous knowledge, and the ability to control devices with our minds. It may also be possible to identify and stimulate innate capabilities and in this way, awaken one’s latent savant. First, we’ll have to figure out if everyone has the ability to become a savant or not. And if so, what’s required on a neurological basis to get us there

(“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1John 3:2)

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CHRISTIAN TRUTHER

Spiritual Technology: The Coming Age of Transhuman Beasts from the Pit of Hell

By Nate Brown

04/18/2017

Within our lifetimes, man and machine will merge, the impact will be Biblical, and the outcome will be detrimental.

Our future is being guided not by those who have the best in mind for humanity but rather by lunatic “enlightened” scientists, futurists, and technologists. God predicted these days in scripture, and an age old deception carries on. This time around, the “Apple” mentioned in Genesis is technology, and the Serpent is in the machine.

Through technology, mankind has crafted exceptional tools to further humanity and make work easier. But also through technology comes the aspect of spiritual science and spiritual technology is known as metaphysics.

According to one individual Ray Kurzweil, the author of The Age of Spiritual Machines and the current director of engineering at Google, machine intelligence will match that of humans by 2029, and by roughly 2045 man and machine will merge, entirely. With technology continually on an exponential timeline, a machine could match human intelligence much sooner than the date Kurzweil gave because there are significant technological advances every two years, the same goes for the merger.

Kurzweil recently stated “what’s actually happening is [machines] are powering all of us. …They’re making us smarter. They may not yet be inside our bodies, but by the 2030s, we will connect our neocortex, the part of our brain where we do our thinking, to the cloud.”

Kurzweil is a philosopher, and he is not the only one pushing the agenda of transhumanism, there are many others dating far back to who is known as the originator of transhumanism ideology. No, it’s not a “techy” from the 1950’s, it was actually a priest, a Jesuit priest named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Pierre was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man.

Upon tracing the origins of transhumanism, several names come about, and a couple of them are Julian Huxley, a well-known eugenicist, and Nikolai Fedorov a Russian Orthodox ascetic. Understanding the origins of transhumanism can shed light on just how this will impact the church as a whole because most of the people involved in bringing this futuristic enlightenment about are church rejects or occultists, not atheists.

Being that the originators are not atheists, but rather the majority of them are in fact ex-members of churches, and/or religions we can contrive that their ideology is based on spiritual practice rather than mere material aspirations. Just as Adam and Eve were deceived by the serpent to disobey God, so are the ‘enlightened’ deceived by the serpent to aspire to be God.

The Attack

The New Age movement, the age-old recurrence of ideological subversion began in America in the 18-1900’s, the effects of this attack are manifesting across the country and in large-part will entirely come about in the next few years.

First, they struck the churches and pastors lost their fire, then they struck the schools and children lost their minds, then they struck the homes and husbands lost their wives; this multifaceted attack is in large part described as cultural, ideological subversion. This silent war happens in four stages; Demoralization, Destabilization, Crisis, and Normalization.

Those that are currently coming against the Christian are not currently wielding swords and guns, but rather are wielding lies, indoctrination, media, corruption, and convenience. According to an article posted by the Guardian titled God in the machine: my strange journey into transhumanism, authored by Meghan O’Gieblyn; “The greatest threat to humanity’s continuing evolution,” writes the transhumanist Simon Young, “is theistic opposition to Superbiology in the name of a belief system based on blind faith in the absence of evidence.”

The greatest threat to their agenda of singularity, hive mind machinery, and artificial intelligence isn’t the guy wielding the worlds most powerful weapons, it’s the church that’s rooted in foundational Christian scripture, it’s the pastor that spits fire, it’s the child whose moral compass is pointed at God, and it’s the husband and wife whose relationship is based on the rock that is Jesus Christ.

Faith is their enemy and culture is their weapon, the ‘enlightened’ agenda that is the transhumanist plan begins with subversion and ends with totalitarianism. A mind uploaded to a machine is no longer a mind but a rather a bee in a bee hive, instead of individualism it’s collectivism, instead of biology it’s data, and instead of rights, it’s writes. We are but a pesky problem, that just won’t go away.

But, just how big is this agenda? One glance at the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and history we can derive from their publishings and their policies that this plot is much larger than a single company and much larger than that of a single occurrence, their agenda is so vast that it has taken several centuries, several governments, and several ‘revolutions,’ to bring the world to this very moment, the precise turn that changes man into machine and The World Economic Forum calls this the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The Crisis

After several years of their tactics, and agenda something has happened to the people of America especially the latest generation, the millennials. Millennials are the least ‘religious’ generation, and studies show that only four percent hold a Biblical Worldview. Only four percent? What does that mean for future generations?

Scripture tells us to be watchful and wary of the devil who tramps around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Well currently in America 96 percent of the youth have been led to the devouring, whether it be by parents or teachers or preachers, the agenda is clear. The effect of their subversive tactics have taken hold of this generation, and to a great part it will be this generation that follows down the hell hole that is transhumanism. According to studies Millennials are hungry for purpose in this life, and they don’t hate Jesus, but the pastors have no fire to fill their bellies, and the broken home has no foundation to stand on.

WORKS CITED

Meghan O'Gieblyn. “God in the machine: my strange journey into transhumanism.” The Guardian. . (2017): . .

Peter Rejcek. “Can Futurists Predict the Year of the Singularity?” Singularity Hub. . (2017): . .

MICAH REDDING. “The Jesuit Priest Who Believed in God and the Singularity.” Motherboard. . (2016): . .

cbnnews.com. “The Real Reason Why Millennials Aren't Going to Church, and It's Not Because They Hate Jesus.” CBN News. . (2017): . .

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MailOnline

'I've rarely felt more fearful for the future': PETER OBORNE, the first journalist to visit the Syrian village hit by Trump's missiles, says peace has been set back years in a war where truth and logic have gone to hell
By Peter Oborne For The Daily Mail

PUBLISHED: 01:44, 15 April 2017 | UPDATED: 05:24, 15 April 2017

Ever since the start of the terrible Syrian conflict almost six years ago, the British government has wanted Western military intervention to help get rid of President Assad.

But this policy seemed to have failed. Assad appeared close to winning the war, as Trump acknowledged last week when his press secretary said that Asad staying was a 'political reality that we have to accept.'

But then came Tuesday's dreadful chemical attack on the village of Khan Shaikhoun in northern Syria.

Instantly, the British and American governments blamed Assad for the horror, and within 72 hours the U.S. launched a revenge missile assault on the airbase from which the chemical attack was believed to have been launched.

The exultation in Whitehall at this turnaround of events is all the greater because it marks such a extraordinary volte face by Donald Trump.

For it is less than three months since he took office and pledged non-intervention in Syria.

In order to counsel his White House team about the folly of this course, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson went to Washington to lobby them.

That attempt may have been fruitless at the time but Trump has now, it seems, been converted to supporting the need for military intervention.

Unfortunately, I cannot share the British government's exultation which evokes the mood in No. 10 on the eve of the Iraq war in 2003 - with Theresa May now at risk of copying the poodle-like subservience Tony Blair showed to the then US President George W Bush.

Back then, Blair took us to war on the assurances that it was being done with the noble motive of getting rid of the evil dictator Saddam Hussein who posed a threat to world peace.

We were told that western intelligence services (including MI6) had irrefutable evidence that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, which he was ready to use against his own people and the rest of the world.

Similarly, today, we are told with cast-iron certainty that Assad ordered this week's chemical attack and that he is an evil man in the Saddam mould.

Naturally, Assad denies using chemical weapons and his claim is backed by his Russian allies.

Indeed, considering that Assad has been in a stronger position than at any point in the last five years, what would be the point in inviting widespread censure for ordering such an illegal and horrific attack.

The truth is that he has all but won the war. It is only a few days until a major international conference in Paris is due to discuss the Syrian situation.

Meanwhile, it is important to remember that his beleaguered opponents have never shown a scintilla of concern about slaughtering innocent people and had every reason to orchestrate such an atrocity themselves - and blame Assad - in the hope of triggering Western military intervention which would change the course of the war.

The truth is that, at present, no-one can prove what actually happened during Tuesday's village attack.

All we know for sure is that Trump ordered an attack on a Syrian airbase in revenge.

This brings me to the collusion of the British government.

Why was Theresa May happy to welcome Trump's intervention - which Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov swiftly pointed out was an illegal assault on a foreign country?

I believe that Mrs May's only responsible course of action should have been to wait until Britain's intelligence services could gather the evidence and ascertain the truth about the village attack.

The failure to do this means that, as in Iraq, MI6 risks being used as part of the propaganda arm of government to make the case for war rather than do its real job of reporting soberly on events. If so, we haven't learnt any of the lessons from the Iraq disaster.

I am convinced that one man in particular is to blame.

He is Matthew Rycroft, Britain's ambassador at the United Nations and a worryingly gung-ho supporter of US military action. Indeed, he was loudly demanding it before yesterday's US missile attack.

Unfortunately, Rycroft has form as a hawk. He played a key role behind the scenes as a Downing Street official on the eve of the Iraq War.

He was the author of the notorious 'Downing Street memo' which showed that Blair believed that war with Saddam was 'inevitable' eight months before the invasion began and that the Labour PM was committed to support US plans for 'regime change' in Iraq.

Most cynically in that memo, Rycroft recorded that 'the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy.'

This shameful document dictated the tone for the subsequent fabricated dossier on weapons of mass destruction which falsely set out the basis for going to war with Iraq.

Sadly, this wretched episode did no harm to Rycroft's career, seeing him rise to his current post which is Britain's most important diplomatic job on the world stage.

It is, therefore, no surprise that the man who played a central role in the damnable conspiracy which took Britain to war with Iraq is at it again - banging the drum and demanding military action in Syria.

So what of the future?

I have travelled very widely through the Middle East and Syria as a journalist over the last five years and I have to record that these developments chill me to the bone.

This Syrian conflagration has from the start had the dreadful potential to extend into a third world war because bloodshed can spill into neighbouring states and then drag in the superpowers.

Yesterday's air-strikes by America makes that more likely. They will embolden Assad's domestic enemies. Russia and Iran will become enmeshed deeper in the crisis. It will extend terribly a war which had appeared to be coming to an end. Millions more refugees will flee to Europe.

It will do nothing at all to help the children such as those killed last Tuesday. On the contrary, thousands more will die.

Will we never learn?

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CNN

Turkey referendum: Erdogan declares victory

By Kara Fox, Eliott C. McLaughlin and James Masters, CNN

Updated 2220 GMT (0620 HKT) April 16, 2017

Ankara (CNN)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the country's prime minister have declared victory in a Sunday referendum designed to hand Erdogan sweeping powers.

The Turkish Election Commission has yet to release its official results, and the opposition promised to contest at least a third of the votes cast. But according to the state-run Anadolu Agency, with 99.8% of the ballots counted, Erdogan appeared poised to win with 51.4% of voters casting ballots in his favor.

A total of 47.5 million votes were cast, Anadolu said.

Supreme Electoral Council President Sadi Guven also confirmed that the "yes" votes had prevailed, according to unofficial results. He said official results would arrive in about 10 days, after any objections had been considered.

Voters were asked to endorse an 18-article reform package put forward by the ruling Justice and Development Party that would replace the current system of parliamentary democracy with a powerful executive presidency.

"God willing, these results will be the beginning of a new era in our country," Erdogan said at a news conference Sunday night, explaining that unofficial totals indicated the "yes" votes had prevailed in the referendum by about 1.3 million ballots, while Anadolu pegged it at closer to 1.14 million.

Several groups fighting in Syria tweeted their congratulations to Turkey, and according to Anadolu, Azerbaijani, Palestinian, Qatari, Pakistani, Hungarian, Macedonian, Saudi, Sudanese and Kenyan leaders passed along congratulatory messages to Turkey's Foreign Ministry.

'This is a message to the world to shut up'

Shortly before Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım declared a victory for Erdogan, thousands converged in celebration at the Ankara headquarters of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, that Erdogan founded. The revelers danced, sang, chanted, lit flares, honked their car horns and waved Turkish flags along with white flags saying, "Evet" -- Turkish for yes -- which appeared to be the way the majority of voters cast their ballots.

Many in attendance saw the referendum's result as an important message for the world, not just the nation. Wasin Yalcin, 24, said the vote represented "a new hope for us to get rid of foreign forces," while Yusuf Basaran, 20, said he believed "Europe's spine has cracked. This referendum will be the most effective thing in the rebirth of the Ottoman Empire."

Added Aysel Can, a member of the AKP's women's branch, "For a strong Islamic state, for a strong Middle East, Turkey had to switch to this executive presidency system. This is a message to the world to shut up; Turkey is getting stronger. America has to know this, too. We are the voice, we are the ears, we are everything for the Middle East."

Erdogan called Yıldırım and the leaders of the right-wing National Movement and Great Unity parties to offer "congratulations for the referendum victory" before the final vote tally was announced, according to Anadolu.

Yildirim later took the stage at AKP headquarters in Ankara to herald a win for the "yes" vote. He said those who voted yes and those who voted no remain one, and now the country will look to improve the economy, expedite development and fight its foreign and domestic enemies.

"No one should have an offended or broken heart," the prime minister said. "There's no stopping. We will continue our path. We will continue marching on from where we left."

Partial recount coming?

The opposition took issue with the results, saying the country's electoral authority had decided to "change the rules in the middle of the game." The High Electoral Board announced it would not accept ballots that were missing ballot commission stamps. But the board changed course after voting was underway, saying it would accept unstamped ballots "unless they are proven to have been brought from outside."

The opposition said this would affect the legitimacy of the vote and called for a partial recount of about 37% of the votes, said Erdal Aksunger of the Republican People's Party, or CHP. He left the door open to challenging a higher percentage of the ballots.

"The High Electoral Board has changed the rules after the voting started. There is a clear clause in electoral law saying unstamped ballots will be invalid and the High Electoral Board issued its notice in compliance with this law," CHP deputy chairman Bulent Tezcan said.

Later, CHP leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu said in a news conference, "On what grounds do you declare these valid? ... You should not change the rules in the middle of the game. ... This is not right. We will never accept this."

Guven of the Supreme Electoral Council said the board has made similar decisions in the past. He said the board made the decision before results began coming in.

"Due to the complaints of non-stamped votes being given -- with the request from the representative of AKP -- our committee decided unless there is proof that they came from outside, we decided to accept non-stamped ballots and envelopes (as) valid," he said.

Three killed on election day

Erdogan, who cast his vote in Istanbul amid tight security, said he hoped Turks would make the "expected" choice.

Earlier in the day, three people were reported to have died after an exchange of gunfire near a polling station in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

A violent argument erupted at a polling place in the village of Yabanard. Two men, age 68 and 32, were shot after two families got into an argument, Anadolu reported.

As a minibus transported the wounded men to Siverek Public Hospital, it was attacked by people with guns and stones. Another villager was injured. All three victims, who shared the same last name, later died, the news agency reported.

If passed, the measures will represent the biggest constitutional upheaval in the country since its

foundation in 1923 after the demise of the Ottoman Empire.

They would cement Erdogan's grip on a country whose divisions have deepened since a failed coup attempt in July that ended with the deaths of more than 250 people and led to the imposition of a fierce crackdown on dissent.

Those who support the reforms believe they will kick-start a lethargic economy and stabilize a nation dealing with the resurgence of a 30-year conflict with militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party. But opponents argue the proposals will lead to the formation of a constitutional dictatorship.

What does more power mean?

If Erdogan prevails in the official election results, his grip on power would be considerably tightened. Term limits for the presidency would be reset and, if he wins elections in 2019 and 2024, he could be in power until 2029.

After serving as prime minster for more than a decade, Erdogan became President in 2014. By little more than force of personality, he turned a largely ceremonial post into a vehicle of significant power.

He has initiated a widespread crackdown on opposition, which intensified after last year's botched coup, for which he blamed US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Critics say the clampdown has gone beyond the supporters of the coup and was designed to silence dissent in the run-up to the referendum.

The arrests of 47,155 government critics, academics, journalists, military officials and civil servants have drawn widespread international condemnation and strained Turkey's relations with the European Union.

CNN's Hande Atay Alam and Deborah Bloom contributed to this report.

Express

EU LEADERS ‘TERRIFIED TURKEY COULD TURN ITS BACK ON CONTROVERSIAL MIGRANT DEAL

by Vincent Wood

April 18, 2017:

Europe is preparing for another migrant crisis over fears Turkey’s newly empowered President Erdogan will turn his back on the nation’s long-awaited EU membership.

Officials across the continent are expecting Erdogan to square up to Brussels, reinstating the death penalty and demanding visa-free travel within the EU’s Schengen area.

The increasingly authoritarian Turkish president, who narrowly won a referendum granting him more control over key areas of the government, made an agreement with the EU to home some three million migrants during the height of the migrant crisis.

But Erdogan’s willingness to square up to the bloc’s “red line” opposition to capital punishment has led to fears they may allow their migrant population to move into Europe.

It follows last week’s stern warning from Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who claimed Turkey would throw away the EU’s migrant deal if free movement was not granted.

The Italian leader of the socialists in the European Parliament Gianni Pittella said MEP’s were concerned about building closer ties with the Islamic republic ahead of a vote on visa-free travel next week.

He said: “We’ve always been very reluctant to ensure a visa-free regime to Turkey as, in our opinion, Ankara does not match the democratic criteria.

“Now after the referendum our concerns are even bigger.”

Meanwhile the Greek military is preparing to act on emergency plans in the event of another migrant crisis.

A senior Greek official told The Times: “There was a lot of steamy, bellicose rhetoric made by Erdogan ahead of the referendum.

“If he continues with belligerent policies then Greece will be the first to face the fallout.

“The fear is real but the question is whether Erdogan will risk turning into a regional pariah.”

Omer Celik, Turkey’s minister for EU affairs, claimed Ankara will push ahead with their visa-free travel plan and tell the EU to drop calls for reform to their hardline anti-terror legislation – or face the consequences.

BREITBART

Orban Easter Speech: ‘Battlefield Europe… Stop Mass Migration. The Future of Europe Is at Stake’

by VICTORIA FRIEDMAN16 Apr 2017

Calling international politics a “battlefield”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told newspaper Magyar Időkthat Hungary’s sovereignty is under constant attack from foreign interests and the powerful left wing activist George Soros. Adding that mass migration threatens the future of Europe, he urged for the preservation of Christian civilisation.

“Today we live in a time when international politics is a battlefield,” Prime Minister Orbán said on Easter Sunday. “The independence and freedom of European nations are at stake. And at the centre of the battlefield is migration.”

“This is what our future stands or falls on,” he said, “the fate of Europe. The question is whether the character of European nations will be determined by the same spirit, civilisation, culture and mentality as in our parents’ and grandparents’ time, or by something completely different.”

Discussing how his government has come under criticism following the implementation of stricter border controls and asylum policies in the ongoing migrant crisis, Mr. Orbán observed that “those calling themselves liberal and left-wing – who are supported with the money, power and networks of international forces, with George Soros at the forefront – claim that taking action against migration is wrong, impractical and immoral”.

Contrasting that with the wishes of the Hungarian people, Orbán said: “…we want to preserve the foundations of Europe. We do not want parallel societies, we do not want population exchanges, and we do not want to replace Christian civilisation with a different kind. Therefore we are building fences, defending ourselves, and not allowing migrants to flood us.”

– ‘National Governance Under Pressure’ –

The Hungarian government, led by Orbán’s Fidesz party, is also coming under attack from the European Union, the U.S. State Department, and nongovernmental organisations for its commitment to implementing legislation on transparency for foreign NGOs and universities operating in the country – issues the prime minister referred to as “secondary battlefields”:

“National governance in Hungary is under continuous pressure and attack … the most important thing at stake is whether we will have a parliament and a government that will seek to serve the best interests of the Hungarian people, or a parliament and a government that will seek to serve foreign interests.”

Affirming that conflicts with external forces was a part of defending a nation’s sovereignty, the conservative Central European leader said: “If we were to accept that Brussels or other political and financial centres should dictate to us, or that Hungarian or American billionaires should tell us how things should be in our country, then we would have no conflicts.”

– George Soros –

The prime minister singled out several times during the interview Hungarian-born billionaire and open borders financier George Soros, whose lobbyists Orbán claims are agitating European, the EU, and the U.S. governments to put pressure on Hungary over its domestic policies.

“George Soros must not be underestimated: he is a powerful billionaire of enormous determination who, when it comes to his interests, respects neither God nor man. We want to protect Hungary, and so we must also commit ourselves to this struggle.”

“[He] is spending endless amounts of money to support illegal immigration. He wants to keep the pressure on Hungary: the country which expects even the likes of George Soros to observe its laws.”

When it comes to personal attacks against him, Orbán, a great admirer of the late British prime minister, quoted Margaret Thatcher:

I always cheer up immensely if one is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

ANCIENT ORIGINS

Uncovering Ancient Pyramid Science at Teotihuacan, Where Men Become Gods

14 APRIL, 2017 – 23:01 CLIFF DUNNING

Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings , a television special, took an hour long look at the great city, its inhabitants, and the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, (also known as the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.) The program revealed evidence of advanced engineering built into a tunnel system, and placed directly underneath the Pyramid. As a team excavated the tunnels, viewers witnessed what must be considered the interior of an ancient generator, where combinations of chemical, mineral, water (and possible electromagnetic fields) were introduced into chambers, resulting in some form of energy. How and where this energy was delivered is still unknown, but based on the design of the complex, we can now speculate as to how the entire facility may have operated. (Note that I have purposely called Teotihuacan a facility, as this is exactly what it was and not a city as many have speculated. Here’s their amazing discovery.

Teotihuacan, Mexico. ( Public Domain )

Mysterious Tunnel

In 2003, Archaeologist Sergio Gomez was walking by the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, when he noticed a large crack in the ground approximately 20 feet (six meters) from the foot of the stairs. Recent rains had opened a surface area, leaving a noticeable divot and exposing tourists to possible injury. Gomez, who had worked at Teotihuacan for over 30 years, inspected the site and determined that something curious laid underneath. Teotihuacan is considered an archaeological park and most archaeologists know that every square foot of land can hold artifacts and important evidence to the past history of the area.

Gomez, a member of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), received permission to investigate the area, and later that year assembled a team of experts who began carefully removing surface debris. Archaeological excavation is a slow process and as they worked their way down they uncovered a round shaft, similar to a well, perfectly crafted of cement and stone.

Archaeologist Sergio Gomez is lowered into a perfectly formed stone and cement well shaft that passes underground 14 feet and opens to a deep cavern. At the time of the pyramid’s assembly, the shaft may have delivered a combination of water and chemicals which reacted directly underneath the pyramid, delivering its charge to nearby pods. (PBS TV, Teotihuacan’s Lost King’s. Screenshot via Youtube)

Unknowingly, they’d uncovered the main access point to the original design of the complex that dropped down over 40 feet (12 meters). As they descended down into the shaft which opened into a cavern, they cleared over 400 tons of dirt, debris and portions of discarded buildings, carefully looking for artifacts.

Once in the cavern they noticed the space had been carefully cut out of solid bedrock and opened into a large tunnel. Before the team began removing the debris that blocked entry to the tunnel, Gomez had the space laser-scanned to determine its depth and other clues to its formation. The scans returned images of a precisely cut tunnel that ran more than 330 feet (100 meters) under the pyramid. The scans also revealed odd pockets or small repositories that dropped down from the main shaft and which had the appearance of small rooms.

As the team began to excavate the tunnel, they made the first of many discoveries of artifacts and tools left by those they reasoned were the builders. At the 100-foot mark (30 meters), over 50,000 artifacts were recovered, leading the team to consider a royal tomb was close by.

A portion of the main tunnel with evidence of high water mark, reaching the top. The tunnel is divided into sub-chambers, (noted by the very dark sub-walls) where perhaps heavy metals fell and were contained in mixing stations before delivering a charge or chemical reaction to a central area directly underneath the pyramid. Archaeologists appear to be completely unaware of the unknown science that once may have played a role in the pyramid complex. (Source: DigitalJournal)

Strange Pyrite Spheres Discovered

The excavation team also found the first of a number of chemical and mineral deposits buried in the dirt. Hundreds of golden spheres were uncovered in various states of decomposition. They were composed of Pyrite (Fool’s Gold) and a mixture of adobe and crushed rock.

A very rare, very fine pyrite ball, from Peru. (Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com / CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Gomez had also noticed that the walls were covered in pyrite, which gave off a strange glow-in-the-dark effect in the unlit portions of the tunnel. Careful to check the remaining area, Gomez requested another laser scan of the tunnel to determine what laid ahead. To his surprise the shafts ended in a cross-shaped enclosure, the center positioned directly under the highest point of the pyramid.

3D laser scan created by a drone shows that depth and length of the tunnel carved into solid bedrock. The small cavities (lower spaces) in the tunnel may have been chemical mixing chambers as evidence by the water, pyrite, mercury, and radon gas that was discovered. (Source: La Razón)

As of this writing, the excavation continues in an attempt to discover a royal tomb, but there are a number of critical discoveries which point to the actual purpose of the tunnel system. First, it’s believed the artifacts and offerings were left by the people who rediscovered Teotihuacan over 1,800 years ago and had nothing to do with the original design of the system. A number of important clues offer us a glimpse of the original intent of the pyramid complex and other components which make up this discovery.

Geomagnetic Fields and Pyramids

Recent discoveries in ancient pyramid engineering have suggested that a large number were designed as some form of energy generators by different cultures around the world. In some locations, including Central and South America, construction techniques appear to have been shared. John Burke, a businessman and scientist, made an important discovery on pyramid electromagnetic energy in 2005. Burke had detected geo-magnetic discharge at a number of North American and European megalithic and mound sites, including Stonehenge, The Serpent Mound in Ohio, and a variety of smaller stone enclosures up and down the eastern coastlines. Using state-of-the-art scanning equipment, including a Magnetometer and Electrostatic Voltmeter, he was able to determine that each location had been chosen because of its naturally occurring telluric energy field that pulsed up and into the structure or surrounding area.

What these sites were used for is anyone’s guess, but we now understand that they may have a positive effect on human physiology and greatly enhanced crop seeds. What’s baffling is how the builders knew how to find the telluric fields without scanning equipment?

Sensing there might be more to electromagnetic energy enhancement, Burke begin scanning pyramid complexes in Central America which were designed with a high level of precision. He would eventually learn about a specific pyramid at Tikal, an ancient Maya city in Guatemala, which was used by the local farmers to enhance their seeds. Known as the The Mundo Perdido (Spanish for "Lost World") Pyramid, and considered one of the oldest pyramids in the entire complex (600 BC). Burke and his research partner Kaj Halberg discovered electro-magnetic signatures that measured impressive charges on top of the pyramid. In a series of scans, the readings showed an average change of 908 volts over a short period of time, which was concentrated in the early morning hours. Burke mentions the readings and states, “These voltages might sound lethal and if it were a household current they could be. However, static electric charge in the air is a different type of electricity and even a thousand volts is not dangerous.” His discovery of pyramid field generation is fascinating, but what he actually uncovered was a means of generating and perhaps distributing electomagnetic energy within a pyramid complex.

What we don’t know about the Lost World Pyramid is if it has other components built into its construction, similar to the Pyramid of the Serpent. We now understand that at a number of Maya pyramids there are key components designed into their construction that act as magnifiers. These components appear to be important in the creation, magnification and distribution of telluric fields:

  1. Water, either moving naturally including rivers or cenotes (found at El Castillo at Chichen Itza) or by artificial canals or tunnels, similar to the Temple of Inscription found at Palenque.)

  2. Geo-magnetic fields. Naturally formed telluric fields that have high and low period throughout day and night.

  3. Pyramid design. The specific pyramid shape appears to greatly enhance the telluric fields that pulse up and into the center of the chamber.

  4. Pyramid interior fill. At a number of pyramids, rocks that are good electromagnetic conductors fill the interior of the pyramids and are used to enhance the pulsing field. Rocks that have veins with quartz, granite, and other electrical conducting properties appear to be favored.

The chemical and mineral discoveries that Gomez made at Pyramid of the Serpent have many of the same properties found at Maya pyramid locations, with a few twists.

What Made the Pyramid Run?

As Gomez and his team were excavating the tunnel, they discovered water marks high up on the wall. The mark runs the entire length of the tunnel, indicating the space would constantly fill with water. The marks are almost black and appear to have been etched with some chemical concentrate.

The transportation of water was delivered through the stone well shaft from the surface and directed to flow over specific regions of the tunnel.

Director of the excavation, Sergio Gomez, inspects a portion of a stone wall found throughout the tunnel. A high water mark that covers the entire tunnel and cavern area are evidence that water was an important ingredient in some chemical reaction. (Source:TheYucatanTimes)

Recent discoveries of mineral and chemical residue and the design of the well shaft, cavern, and tunnel system, allow one to conclude that the underground system was designed to create some type of discharge which may have taken place in the small chamber that leads to the main cross shape configuration at the end of the tunnel.

This discovery of water, minerals and chemicals has never been a consideration of Gomez or the other archaeologists whose main goal is excavating the tunnel. In the last few years, the following chemicals and mineral combinations have been uncovered in large quantities throughout the tunnel system. Pyrite and pools of Mercury have been uncovered, and a few years ago, Radon gas was detected passing through a number of areas of the tunnels, requiring workers to wear protective breathing gear. If you combine these elements and a geomagnetic telluric field, the effect may be many times what was detected by Burke at the Lost World pyramid. This is a profound discovery. An ancient, unknown science designed to create energy directed up and into the pyramid is fascinating to consider and must be analyzed further. Unfortunately, we’re left with more questions than answers. Who were the builders of Teotihuacan?

References

John Burke and Kaj Halberg, 2005. ‘Seed of Knowledge Stone of Plenty’. Publisher: Council Oak Books (Nov. 7 2005)

Matthew Shaer, 2016. Smithsonian Magazine. ‘A secret tunnel found in Mexico may finally solve the mysteries of Teotihuacan’. [Online] Available at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/discovery-secret-tunnel-mexico-solve-mysteries-teotihuacan-180959070/

Paula Mejia, 2015. Newsweek. ‘Liquid mercury found in Mexican pyramid could hold secret of Teotihuacan’. [Online] Available at: http://www.newsweek.com/liquid-mercury-found-mexican-pyramid-could-hold-secrets-teotihuacan-325450

Macrina Cooper-White, 2015. Huffington Post. ‘Liquid Mercury discovered under ancient temple may shed new light on Teotihuacan’. [Online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/28/mercury-royal-tomb_n_7152990.html

Michael Naughton, 2015. Harvard News. ‘Exploring the Ancient City of Teotihuacan’. [Online] Availableat: http://hds.harvard.edu/news/2015/10/02/exploring-ancient-city-teotihuacan

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Ancient CODE

Experts BAFFLED by the discovery of HUNDREDS of mysterious tunnels in Brazil

Hundreds of tunnels—which date back at least 10,000 years—have been discovered in Brazil. Some of the tunnels feature mysterious claw marks’ on the walls. “There’s no geological process in the world that produces long tunnels with a circular or elliptical cross-section, which branch and rise and fall, with claw marks on the walls,” says a geologist. “I’ve [also] seen dozens of caves that have inorganic origins, and in these cases, it’s very clear that digging animals had no role in their creation.”

Experts in Brazil have discovered hundreds of underground tunnels which date back over 10,000 years.

Interestingly, experts believe that these mysterious tunnels were NOT carved by humans, but by an extinct ancient species.

The discovery was made by Heinrich Theodor Frank, a geologist at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul—one of the largest federal universities in Brazil.

As Heinrich was driving on the national Novo Hamburgo highway, he noticed a strange hole of around one meter in diameter at a construction site which caught his attention. Since he was in a hurry to get home, he did not stop. However, a few weeks later he went back to the same place with his family, where he stopped and asked them to wait a moment in the car while he investigated the tunnels.

“I noticed that it was a tunnel, about 70 centimeters high and a few meters in length. The interior was full of scratches,” explains Theodor Frank to National Geographic.

“When I got home I looked for an explanation on the internet, but I did not find anything.” Since then I have heard that the tunnels are huge anthills or that they were created by Indians, Jesuits, slaves, revolutionaries and even bears. Some even talk about a great mythological serpent, which dug the tunnels “he says.

Trying to get to the bottom of the mystery, Theodor Frank eventually sent some photographs to Marcelo Rasteiro, a member of the Brazilian Society of Speleology, who responded by sending an article about paleoburrows, tunnels excavated by any type of living organism in any geological age.”For example a worm in the Cambrian, a mollusk in the Mesozoic or a rat in the Pleistocene.”

“I didn’t know there was such a thing as paleoburrows,” says Frank. “I’m a geologist, a professor, and I’d never even heard of them.”

So who could have dug those terrifying labyrinthine tunnels, with their walls covered with scratches? “When you explore the burrows you sometimes have the feeling that there is a creature waiting for you after the next curve as if it were the lair of a prehistoric animal,” says Frank in an article published by Discovery.

Certainly, these tunnels were not created by the natives of Brazil. “The Indians who lived in Brazil before the arrival of the Europeans did not know about the existence of iron and therefore had no tools to dig through the hard rocks in which these tunnels are dug,” explains National Geographic.

Curiously, there are hundreds of these tunnels all over Brazil, although many Curiouslyletely filled with sediment that accumulated after the tunnels were abandoned, but the entries are still distinguished in a circular or elliptical form.

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RT

Enormous iceberg crawls right up to Canadian coast

Published 19 April, 2017

A huge iceberg has closed in on the shores of Newfoundland, providing an unexpected tourist attraction to the sparsely populated region on Canada’s east coast.

Sensational photos of the giant iceberg towering over Ferryland has put the town with a population of a little more than 400 people on the map.

Ferryland Mayor Adrian Kavanagh said Monday that the enormous floating ice mass appeared grounded and looked like it would stick around for a while. "It's the biggest one I ever seen around here," he said.

The 10,000-year-old iceberg has positioned itself in the aptly named Iceberg Alley – home to hundreds of glacial giants from spring until late September every year.

Some 616 icebergs have floated into the North Atlantic shipping lanes so far this year – compared to 687 by the season's end last year, according to CTV News. The surge in activity is likely caused by both uncommonly strong winds drawing the icebergs south and global warming.

Kavanagh isn’t ruling out the arrival of more seafaring glacial visitors, saying that stronger winds could bring up to six more distant icebergs toward the town.

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Natural News

Dairy industry front group declares eating “clean food” promotes disease; tells youth to drink DIRTY MILK for lifelong health

Thursday, April 13, 2017 by: Mike Adams

(Natural News) In the latest hilarious example of fake science from a dirty, dishonest industry, the so-called National Osteoporosis Society — little more than a junk science front group for the dirty dairy industry — has declared clean eating to be a “dangerous timebomb.” According to the group, clean food promotes disease, while the best way to support lifelong health is to consume dirty foods such as processed milk and cheese that are loaded with artificial hormones and pesticides. (I’m not making this up. See the link below…)

Right on cue, the dishonest mainstream media now decrees clean eating to be a “cult” that could cause horrible disease. Anyone who avoids processed sugar, homogenized milk, pesticide-laden foods or nutritionally-depleted refined starches is now condemned as a “cultist” by the hopelessly dishonest (and nutritionally illiterate) media, which depends on dairy industry advertising for its revenues.

“[T]he charity said many of those following the trends had no idea that cutting out major food groups could jeopardise their long-term health, with bones still developing in early adulthood,” reports The Telegraph in a dairy industry propaganda piece that demonizes clean food diets. The same article goes on to condemn celebrities “who have boasted how they have cut out gluten, dairy, grains and refined sugars” as if that’s a horrible sin of some kind.

People who choose to eat clean food are further smeared in the story which somehow equates clean food with a “poor diet,” explaining:

A poor diet for those in their teens and early twenties now could see a significant rise in the numbers of people suffering fractures and the complications associated with them in the future.

The story goes on to ridiculously equate drinking milk with preventing osteoporosis while insisting that people who eat clean, unprocessed foods are committing nutritional suicide.

Yes, The Telegraph is the same UK-based publication that openly attacks breastfeeding, falsely declaring that breastfeeding does nothing for the IQ of your child while promoting anti-breastfeeding propaganda groups that push infant formula from globalist food conglomerates. The message from The Telegraph? Human breast milk is BAD for babies, but processed, homogenized cow’s milk is GREAT for children and teens.

Folks, it doesn’t get any more idiotic than this. The Telegraph has just labeled itself a media “DUNCE” for life (as well as a real danger to the health of UK children who might be negatively influenced by the publisher’s dangerous nutritional illiteracy). If there’s any publication that should be labeled “fake news” on health matters, it’s The Telegraph. And this story was authored by their Health Editor!

Fact check: Processed MILK does not equal strong bones

The wildly dishonest dairy industry has long attempted to equate drinking milk with developing strong bones while glossing over the cardiovascular risks of consuming a processed, homogenized, pasteurized milk product.

Here are some truths about milk the dairy industry doesn’t want you to realize:

Truth #1) Strong bones depend far more on vitamin D than milk. Most people get plenty of calcium in their diet, but without sufficient vitamin D in your blood, your bones can’t efficiently use the calcium you’re consuming.

Truth #2) While raw milk can be very healthy, homogenized milk is artificially altered to change the structure of the fat molecules, making them more dangerous to your health and a major contributing factor to cardiovascular disease (and atherosclerosis).

Truth #3) The pasteurization of milk destroys the lactase enzymes that make milk more easily digestible by consumers. This is one reason why so many people can’t consume milk without experiencing extreme mucous, sinus congestion and even constipation: They can’t digest the product because the lactase has been deactivated, causing many people to believe they are lactose-intolerant.

Truth #4) There’s more calcium in a glass of broccoli juice than a glass of milk. If you really want calcium and other nutrients, raw food juicing is by far the best way to get more calcium into your diet. The “milk = calcium” myth is a total fabrication of the dishonest dairy industry, which has about as much scientific credibility as Big Tobacco.

Truth #5) Most commercial dairy operations are cruel, inhumane animal factories that subject dairy cows to excruciating pain and suffering in order to produce corporate profits.

Truth #6) Both BLOOD and PUS are legally allowed in commercial milk products. Few consumers know that pasteurized milk contains 150 times higher levels of blood and pus than fresh, raw milk.

The dairy industry is totally freaking out that people are learning the truth about “dirty milk”

As the truth about the deceptions of the factory-run dairy industry continues to spread across social media, the dairy industry is ramping up its public relations propaganda arm, now trying to scare people into drinking more milk by claiming their bones will break if they don’t. Even more shockingly, by attacking the “clean eating” movement that avoids processed dairy and cheese products, the dairy industry is admitting its products are DIRTY food.

Even more absurdly, the industry insists that you can only be healthy if you eat sufficient quantities of their “dirty food” which is waning in terms of public demand.

It’s already obvious this deceptive P.R. campaign is going to wildly backfire on the dairy industry. Do these corporate morons really believe that they can scare people into drinking more dirty milk by running around screaming that “clean food” is a horribly harmful diet?

It’s just laughable. Pathetic, sad and laughable. If anything, all this is yet another great reminder why you should never buy factory produced milk or cheese products again.

Personally, I’m a fan of making my own almond milk using a blender, fresh almonds, a nut milk bag and some water. It’s the best-tasting milk in the world, and it’s not produced with hormones, GMOs, pesticides or cruelty. If you want to consume cow’s milk, get whole, fresh RAW cow’s milk from a local farmer (and hope the food police don’t arrest you for the “crime” of purchasing real food).

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Until next week...keep on believing.

Almondtree Productions

And it shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the fountains of Juda shall flow with water, and a fountain shall go forth of the house of the Lord, and water the valley of flags.”

(Joel 3:18)


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