He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.”
(Romans 4:20)
Staggered Not

Dear Friends

Greetings!

A promise:

a : a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified

b : a legally binding declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act” Merriam-Webster

Salvation has always been based on faith in a promise of God's grace and mercy through His Christ.

This is true in both the Old and New Testaments.

King David said in the Psalms:

For he remembered his holy word, which he promised to Abraam his servant. Thy merciful promise is unmeasurable and unsearchable.” Psalm 106: 42, Psalm 152:6

Paul, a reknowned Pharisee, who knew the law of the Old testament in minute detail also said:

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Romans 4:13, Romans 9:8

The pivotal promise God gave to Abraham can be found in the book of Genesis chapter twenty-two:

And an angel of the Lord called Abraam the second time out of heaven, saying, I have sworn by myself, says the Lord, because thou hast done this thing, and on my account hast not spared thy beloved son, surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is by the shore of the sea, and thy seed shall inherit the cities of their enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast hearkened to my voice.” Genesis 22:15-18

Paul said in the book of Romans:

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. ” Hebrews 8:6-9

Salvation has always been based on faith in the belief of a promise(s) given by God.

Hebrews chapter eleven is all about how the great men of the Old Testament went forward by faith.

***

Click to View PDF online
or Right-click to Download PDF.

Magnified Thy Word.pdf














***

MailOnline

Alibaba's AI outperforms humans in one of the toughest reading comprehension tests ever created in a remarkable world first

  • AI was created by retail firm Alibaba’s Institute of Data Science and Technologies

  • It took part in Stanford Question Answering Dataset reading comprehension test

  • It scored 82.44 in the exact answer category beating the human score of 82.304

  • The company said it’s the first time a machine has out-done a real person

By Tim Collins For Mailonline

PUBLISHED: 15:47, 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 21:47, 15 January 2018

Artificial Intelligence software has beaten humans in one of the world’s most-challenging reading comprehension tests.

In a feat being hailed as a world first, a deep neural network scored higher than the average person on a Stanford University designed quiz.

The breakthrough could lead to more advanced robots and automated systems, capable of solving complex problems and answering difficult questions.

Future applications could range from customer service to helping tackle social and political issues, like climate change and conflicts over resources.

Artificial Intelligence software has beaten humans in one of the world’s most-challenging reading comprehension tests. In a feat being hailed as a world first, a deep neural network scored higher than the average person on a Stanford University designed quiz

The AI, created by retail firm Alibaba’s Institute of Data Science and Technologies, based in Hangzhou, China, took part in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (Squad).

Squad is a large-scale reading comprehension dataset comprised of over 100,000 question-answer pairs based on over 500 Wikipedia articles.

It is seen as the world’s top machine reading-comprehension test and attracts universities and institutes ranging from Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft to Carnegie Mellon University, Stanford University and the Allen Research Institute.

Teams competing in the challenge have to build machine-learning models that can provide answers to the questions in the dataset.

Alibaba's deep neural network model scored 82.44, beating the human score of 82.304 in providing exact answers to questions.

The company said it’s the first time a machine has out-done a real person in such a contest.

Microsoft Research achieved a similar feat, scoring 82.65, but those results were finalised a day after Alibaba’s, the firm said.

Luo Si, chief scientist for natural language processing at the Alibaba institute, said in a written statement: 'It is our great honor to witness the milestone where machines surpass humans in reading comprehension.

'That means objective questions such as "what causes rain" can now be answered with high accuracy by machines.

'The technology underneath can be gradually applied to numerous applications such as customer service, museum tutorials and online responses to medical inquiries from patients, decreasing the need for human input in an unprecedented way.'

The accuracy of Alibaba's AI is tied to its ability to infer meaning, narrowing down from paragraphs to sentences to words, locating precise phrases that contain potential answers.

In a process known as natural language processing (NLP), machines mimic human comprehension of words and sentences.

The model, which uses the company's Hierarchical Attention Network, is viewed as having strong commercial value, particularly in Asia.

Alibaba has used the underlying technology in its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, the largest online shopping day in the world but celebrated only in China on November 11.

The breakthrough could lead to more advanced robots and automated systems, capable of solving complex problems and answering difficult questions. Future applications could range from customer service to helping tackle social and political issues

For several years, Alibaba's machines have answered large numbers of inbound customer inquiries using the AI system.

The Chinese e-commerce group is one of a number in the region in a race to develop advanced AI.

Tencent Holdings and Baidu are also competing to create smart software that can enrich social media feeds, target ads and services or even aid in autonomous driving.

The government in Beijing has endorsed the technology in a national-level plan that calls for China to become the industry leader by 2030.

Mr Si added: 'We are thrilled to see NLP research has achieved significant progress over the year.

'We look forward to sharing our model-building methodology with the wider community and exporting the technology to our clients in the near future.'

(Alibaba, as some of you may remember, is one of the most famous of the Arabian Nights stories, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. In the story Ali Baba uses magic words to gain his treasure and fortune.)

***

RT

Cryptocurrencies may disappear but technology behind them will remain – Medvedev

January 16, 2018

© Michael Weber / Reuters

Virtual currencies are a new challenge for governments and businesses and could soon disappear, but the technology they are based on might remain, as happened with the internet, said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

During his speech at the Gaidar Economic Forum in Moscow, Medvedev said that theorists had predicted the emergence of cryptocurrencies already in the middle of the last century. Nevertheless, digital currencies are a challenge for everyone, including the experts, he said.

“Today, everyone is wondering where’s the end for this ‘cryptocurrency race’. Maybe it’s the dead-end path of the cyber-revolution?” said Medvedev.

He added that he couldn’t completely rule out a repeat of the early 1990s scenario when a large number of new companies emerged due to the developing internet, but later disappeared. The technology itself – the internet – not only remained, but also now plays a key role in our life, according to the Russian PM.

“Similarly, in a few years, cryptocurrencies may disappear but the technology, on the basis of which they evolve, blockchain, will become a part of everyday reality. Such a scenario cannot be excluded,” Medvedev said.

(Is Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies a Beta test that will allow a world government to step in to regulate a new cryptocurrency, the Phoenix, leading to the “mark of the beast”? It is easy to see how this article and the preceding article are moving very rapidly now in that direction.)

***

RT

Putin: Communist ideology similar to Christianity, Lenin’s body like saintly relics

©Vladmir Vyatkin / Sputnik

Russian President Vladimir Putin has likened communism to Christianity and Vladimir Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square to the veneration of the relics of saints.

“Maybe I’ll say something that someone might dislike, but that’s the way I see it,” Putin said in an interview for the documentary Valaam, an excerpt of which was broadcast on Russia 1. “First of all, faith has always accompanied us, becoming stronger every time our country, our people, have been through hard times.

“There were those years of militant atheism when priests were eradicated, churches destroyed, but at the same time a new religion was being created. Communist ideology is very similar to Christianity, in fact: freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice – everything is laid out in the Holy Scripture, it’s all there. And the code of the builder of communism? This is sublimation, it’s just such a primitive excerpt from the Bible, nothing new was invented.”

Putin went further by comparing the Communists’ attitude to the Bolshevik leader Lenin to the veneration of saints in Christianity. “Look, Lenin was put in a mausoleum. How is this different from the relics of saints for Orthodox Christians and just for Christians? When they say that there’s no such tradition in Christianity, well, how come, go to Athos and take a look, there are relics of the saints there, and we have holy relics here,” Putin concluded.

After Lenin died in 1924, his body was embalmed and put on display in a mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow. The cult of Lenin was part of Soviet ideology. The public debate about the possibility of giving Lenin’s remains a proper burial began during the early days of Perestroika in the 1980s.

Putin’s words were music to the ears of Communist Party members. “I think these words of the president very effectively and reasonably smooth out the acute angles around the theme of the mausoleum,” Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Ivan Melnikov said on Sunday, as cited by Interfax.

He said however, that “communists and all the leftist patriotic forces [in Russia] understand that communism is close to Christianity as much as the form of capitalism that exists in our country and our economy today is far from Christianity.”

Earlier this year, Gennadiy Zyuganov, the head of the Russian Communist Party, said Putin had promised him that as long as he remains president, Lenin’s body would remain in the mausoleum in Red Square.

Putin promised to keep Lenin’s body in Moscow mausoleum, communists say

“As long as I sit here, there will be no barbarism in Red Square,” the Communist chief quoted Putin as saying at a conference with Russian party leaders.

According to Zyuganov, Putin also dismissed allegations that Lenin was not buried in accordance with Christian traditions. “As far as the form of the burial is concerned, they used the one that is also used in Orthodox Christianity – he lies a meter and a half below the ground level. Sepultures and cave burials have been known for a long time,” Putin said, according to Zyuganov.

(It has been said that one of the great differences between Christianity and communism is that Christianity says what's mine is yours and I want to share it with you. Communism says that what is yours is mine and I am going to take it away from you at the point of a gun.)

***

Veritas Vincit: The Truth Shall Prevail

Pope to U.N. Assembly: I come “in my own name”

June 11, 2017

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2015 in New York, Pope Francis chose not to mention the name of Jesus Christ. Rather, he addressed the assembled nations “in his own name”.

Below is the opening statement of the speech of the Pope:

Following a tradition by which I feel honored, the Secretary General of the United Nations has invited the Pope to address this distinguished assembly of nations. In my own name, and that of the entire Catholic community, I wish to express to you, Mr Ban Ki-moon, my heartfelt gratitude.

The name of Jesus was never mentioned during the entire speech. In his subsequent addresses to the U.S. Congress, as well as in the White House, the name of Jesus still was not mentioned. Following the speech, many Catholic commentators pointed out that the Pope speaks in the name of Jesus, and should therefore explicitly invoke his name in order to direct national and world leaders to the light of Christ and His teaching.

Many argued in response that the U.N. function, as well as the White House and U.S. Congress speeches, were diplomatic functions, justifying that it may not be appropriate to mention the Lord’s name. It will be helpful to recall Scripture and the experience of Peter and the Apostles in the face of government and religious authorities’ prohibition of using the name of Jesus: “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name.” [Acts 5:28] St. Peter and the apostles did not obey the restriction, obviously. Shouldn’t the present successor of St. Peter likewise do the same and follow his example?

John Paul II Made Reference to Jesus Six Times in His U.N. Address

When St. Pope John Paul II addressed the U.N. General Assembly on October 5, 1995 in New York, he explicitly mentioned Jesus six times.

Here is what John Paul II said to the U.N. Assembly:

As a Christian, my hope and trust are centered on Jesus Christ, the two thousandth anniversary of whose birth will be celebrated at the coming of the new millennium. We Christians believe that in his Death and Resurrection were fully revealed God’s love and His care for all creation. Jesus Christ is for us God made man, and made a part of the history of humanity. Precisely for this reason, Christian hope for the world and its future extends to every human person. Because of the radiant humanity of Christ, nothing genuinely human fails to touch the hearts of Christians. Faith in Christ does not impel us to intolerance. On the contrary, it obliges us to engage others in a respectful dialogue. Love of Christ does not distract us from interest in others, but rather invites us to responsibility for them, to the exclusion of no one and indeed, if anything, with a special concern for the weakest and the suffering. Thus, as we approach the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of Christ, the Church asks only to be able to propose respectfully this message of salvation, and to be able to promote, in charity and service, the solidarity of the entire human family.

Benedict XVI’s Address to the U.N.

In his address to the U.N. General Assembly on April 18, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI referred the United Nations to the “saving work of Jesus Christ”:

In my recent Encyclical, Spe Salvi, I indicated that “every generation has the task of engaging anew in the arduous search for the right way to order human affairs” (no. 25). For Christians, this task is motivated by the hope drawn from the saving work of Jesus Christ.

Seven Speeches, No Mention of Jesus

Pope Francis has a history of choosing to omit the name of Jesus in various speeches. In November 2014 he also omitted the Name of Jesus from his speech to the European Parliament. In July, 2014 when giving his “Top Ten List” about “how to be happier”, Pope Francis proposed many ideas, including “live and let live“, “stop being negative“, “respect nature”, but without mentioning Jesus Christ as the true source of joy in human life.

The website www.wildvoice.org analyzed seven major speeches of the Pope during trips to the United States and Cuba. The speeches were the following: Speech to Cuban Youth, September 20, 2015; In-flight Press Conference, September 22, 2015; Speech on White House Lawn, September 23, 2015; Address to United States Congress, September 24, 2015; Address to United Nations, September 25, 2015; Speech at “Ground Zero” at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, September 25, 2015; Address to World Meeting of Families, September 26, 2015. The analysis revealed that the 7 speeches had roughly 13,000 words, but zero mention of Jesus. Below are some of the top words used in the speeches:

“I” – 198 times
“human” – 42 times
“society/social” – 42 times
“dream(s)/dreaming” – 36 times
“Me” – 28 times
“environment” – 18 times
“future” – 21 times
“brother” – 13 times
“economic” – 11 times
“fraternity/fraternal” – 7 times

***

WND

FACEBOOK BLOCKS FUNDING FOR MAJOR PRO-LIFE MOVIE

Theatrical drama to tell 'true story' of Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood

Art Moore

January 12, 2017

Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger

A crowdfunding site for a theatrical drama in production that promises to tell the “true story” of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a “right” to abortion has been blocked by Facebook.

The movie’s producer, Nick Loeb, told WND the content of the pro-life movie, which exposes Planned Parenthood’s roots in the eugenics movement, clearly is the reason for the censorship.

“They have even blocked people sharing the ads I paid for,” Loeb said.

“This is stealing or fraud.”

Facebook has not responded to requests for an explanation.

Loeb told WND he and his colleagues are looking for a lawyer to take on the case.

The executive producer of the movie is Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr. and the head of the group Civil Rights for the Unborn.

The film features Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight as a Supreme Court justice.

On the film’s Indiegogo crowdfunding page, the makers describe it as “the real untold story of how people lied; how the media lied; and how the courts were manipulated to pass a law that has since killed over 60 million Americans.”

“Many documentaries have been made, but no one has had the courage to make an actual feature film, a theatrical movie about the true story.”

The producers, calling it the “most important pro-life movie in history,” say Hollywood “only wants you to hear their version of the story,” noting there are three movies in development that take a pro-abortion stance.

“But you shouldn’t be surprised. Hollywood has always had an agenda to influence Americans to accept abortion, even if they have to re-write history to do it.”

The movie opens with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, speaking about her “Negro project” initiative aimed at reducing the growth of African-American population in the United States.

It continues as abortionist Bernard Nathanson joins with famed feminist-activist Betty Friedan and Planned Parenthood to recruit for a legal case “a broke girl with a 10th grade education named Norma McCorvey,” who became known as “Jane Roe.”

The opposition to the activists seeking to legalize abortion is led by the film’s protagonist, Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, who believed “that she became a doctor to protect life, not destroy it.”

Later, Nathanson, through the help of new sonogram technology, “realizes he is killing babies, confesses to all the lies and becomes a leading activist in the pro-life movement,” and McCorvey, realizing she had been manipulated, also joins the pro-life cause.

Internet freedom

WND reported last month censorship of Christian and conservative speech online by tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple is the target of an initiative called Internet Freedom Watch, launched by the National Religious Broadcasters.

The initiative has established a website, InternetFreedomWatch.org, to document cases, including

Twitter’s removal of an ad by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in October and Facebook’s removal of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s post supporting Chick-fil-A in 2012.

NRB, which has published a chart with more than 30 instances of Internet censorship, said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and a former Federal Communications Commission commissioner have endorsed the effort.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has accused Twitter and other tech companies of being disingenuous by arguing for a free and open Internet while they “routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.”

NRB also wants Congress to hold hearings on the “severe problem of viewpoint censorship on the Internet.”

In a recent case noted by Internet Freedom Watch, PJ Media D.C. editor Bridget Johnson was suspended from Twitter with no warning or explanation.

WND reported in August that days after the launch of a book arguing fascism and Nazism are ideological spawns of the left, author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and his promotion team were locked out of his Facebook page by hackers.

***

''free e books, free Bible studies, free songs, mission news, great blogs available at: www.missionarychristian.org

***

INDEPENDENT

Jerusalem's new British-born deputy mayor: Israel is no apartheid state - it just has an issue with bad PR

Interview: Fleur Hassan-Nahoum wants to become an ambassador for Israel and says the country's poor international reputation is simply a matter of 'atrocious' PR

January 16,2018

Born in London and raised in Gibraltar, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum has Donald Trump to thank for making her new job one of the most interesting and controversial in the world.

She has been named as the new deputy mayor of Jerusalem, weeks after the US President declared that his country would recognise the city as Israel’s capital, sparking international condemnation.

Ms Hassan-Nahoum is the first British citizen to hold a senior political role in Israel’s history. Yet despite her own international background and her evident pleasure with Mr Trump’s recent Israel policy, the 44-year-old makes clear in an interview with The Independent that it is not a matter for any foreigner to decide how Israel conducts its affairs.

The perception among the international community of her adopted country – she completed her aliyah (or move) to Israel in 2001 – is more a matter of “atrocious” PR than the reality on the ground, she says, adding that there must be something more sinister at work to explain “how the liberal public in Europe have so blindly accepted the rhetoric” of the Palestinian side.

“The world shouldn’t take this totally one-sided narrative of the poor Palestinian and this brutal, apartheid Israeli rule,” she says. “I can only conclude that the oldest hatred in the world, antisemitism, is just at play here.”

Her campaign was regarded by many as a breath of fresh air - contrasting with traditional Israeli politicians who typically pander to powerful members of ultra-religious groups.

But she says she believes that her city must cater to all who call Jerusalem home, from zealot Haredi rabbis born in Israel to Jewish orphans who have relocated to the city from former Soviet bloc nations.

“As municipal leader, the first thing I want to do is to even out spending and make sure they get more resources,” she adds.

Ms Hassan-Nahoum was born in London but spent her childhood in Gibraltar where her father, Sir Joshua Hassan, was the Chief Minister for over 20 years.

She moved back to the UK at the age 18 to study law at King’s College London and fondly recalls legal dinners with friends from across the globe and watching Bob Dylan live at the first Party in the Park.

She then worked as campaign director at the World Jewish Relief charity and credits her time living in the multicultural capital as inspiring her pluralist policy in Israel.

But despite her London connection, she is dismissive of the city’s former mayor Boris Johnson and his recent comments, as Foreign Secretary, suggesting Israel must make the two-state solution a reality and face up to the actuality of its “apartheid” system.

“I don’t think it is up to Boris Johnson to tell us how any peace deal should look,” she says. “We should have the say on what our borders will look like, not a British Foreign Secretary.”

Conversely, Ms Hassan-Nahoum embraces the recent recognition given by Donald Trump when affirming Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state.

“Absolutely, we welcomed it, even if it does nothing more than confirm a reality which already exists on the ground,” she says.

“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, always has been, every independent country should have the right to choose its own capital.

“It is not just the capital of the state of Israel but also the capital of the Jewish people and it has been for thousands of years.

“Yes, I’m very happy that they gave us that recognition. Did we need it? No. Is it significant geopolitically? Yes.”

For her own part, Ms Hassan-Nahoum believes a two-state solution is indeed the answer to the Palestinian question – the details of which should be agreed between Israel and the Palestinians beforehand.

On the morning of our interview, Ms Hassan-Nahoum visited a school in underdeveloped East Jerusalem, home to a significant Palestinian population, and says that “as municipal leader the first thing I want to do is to even out spending and make sure they get more resources”.

From her political leader father, Ms Hassan-Nahoum says she “picked up many things ... but the one I always think of is his love for people”.

Ms Hassan-Nahoum traces the start of her career in politics to being president of the King’s College Jewish Society.

And she is outspoken about what she sees as the rising levels of antisemitism on university campuses across the UK and its pervasion through British politics.

“I think it’s tragic what is happening in the Labour party,” she says. “When I went to England in April I met with a lot of city councillors from the Labour party. They are so angry at what is going on in the party.

“I do feel that this has only got worse since my time at university and in England – it’s what I hear from my friends in London. The fact is that you can wear a hijab and not have to make an excuse for yourself, yet friends of mine in London have to take off their yarmulkes because they are scared of getting attacked.”

She adds: “You can agree or disagree with Israeli policies but ultimately if Jewish students feel threatened in a campus environment there is something very wrong with this picture.”

​A proud Zionist with otherwise liberal policies, Ms Hassan-Nahoum has been tipped as a future prime minister of a modern Israeli state, but she says she sees herself more in a diplomatic role.

While dismissing the UN as a “morally warped organisation which sanitises world dictatorships”, she says she “can see [herself] in a foreign role long term, [such as] Israeli ambassador to the UN”.

“Israel’s PR is currently atrocious and we are war criminals in the foreign media. I intend to become an important figure for Israel in terms of how we are represented outside of our country,” she says.

People around the world believe a “false narrative” propped up by the media, she says, of “a brutal genocidal Israeli apartheid rule”.

She insists it is in fact the Palestinians who “time and again, when they are at a crossroads of peace or war, have chosen the path of war”.

“I will never understand how the liberal public in Europe have so blindly accepted the rhetoric from misogynist, homophobic and genocidal groups in Palestine without question,” she adds. “It does just make you wonder if antisemitism is not just that little bit deeper than everything else.”

***

MEM

Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett has declared that the “era of the Palestinian state” is over, era of annexation has begun
January 16, 2018

Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett has declared that the “era of the Palestinian state” is over, renewing calls for the annexation of land in the occupied West Bank, reported Arutz Sheva.

Bennett, who heads the coalition party Jewish Home, yesterday spoke at a meeting of his faction, attacking Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

“The time has come to think about the day after, and the time has come for us to all internalise the end of the era of the Palestinian state, and the beginning of the era of sovereignty,” a reference common amongst the Israeli right to the formal annexation of some or all of the occupied West Bank.

“Abbas and the idea of a Palestinian state are fading away, and the man has lost his connection to reality,” Bennett added.

The minister told his colleagues that the tide was turning in their favour.

“Six years ago, we placed the sovereignty plan on the public agenda. At that time we were at the height of negotiations with the Palestinians to establish a state, and sovereignty seemed far-reaching,” he said.

“In the meantime, the reality has changed completely and everyone understands that the vision of a Palestinian state has dropped from the agenda, and therefore we have to move to an optimistic and pioneering message of sovereignty. A national and political consensus is emerging,” he added.

Bennett also claimed that his “friend”, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon who heads the Kulanu party, “also supports the immediate application of sovereignty over the [settlement] blocs”.

“The time for sovereignty has arrived, and it’s time to bring this idea from potential to reality. We’re in a very unique window on this matter.”

***

MEM

Israel secutity official: Gaze's collapse will see “uncontrollable blow up”

January 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Gaza is on the verge of collapse, Israeli security officials have said while warning of an “uncontrollable blow up” from the enclave.

One security official cited by Haaretz said that the Gaza economy and the infrastructure was “like from zero to below zero” while voicing concerns over the Strip’s total collapse.

Over the weekend, Israel accelerated its destruction of tunnels, which are a life-line for the besieged population of Gaza. Israeli politicians are said to be taking advantage of Hamas’ political and economic weakness.

Israeli politicians are also accused of burying their heads in the sand in thinking that they can continue to act as if military pressure can put on the enclaves 2.5 million residents without “risking uncontrollable blow-up in the Strip”.

Haaretz previously reported that the number of trucks passing between Israel and Gaza has been reduced by half; about 95 per cent of Gaza’s water is undrinkable; unemployment in the strip is inching towards 50 per cent.

***

SPUTNIK

Egypt Moves Ahead With Plans to Outlaw Atheism

January 16, 2018

Blasphemy is already widely criminalized in many Islamic countries but making a lack of belief in God a crime has drawn a largely negative response online.

The head of Egypt's Parliamentary Religious Council 'Amr Hamroush on January 15 called atheists a threat to the nation and its society, calling on the world's most populous Arab state to formally criminalize atheism. Mr. Hamroush made the statements to the daily newspaper "al-Shorouq."

In 2015 a 21-year-old Egyptian man was given a jail sentence on the grounds of him being an atheist, despite it not formally being an offence at the time.

The proposed legislation was brought before the Egyptian Parliament in December 2017 by Mr. Hamroush. The move has elicited largely negative online reactions from both the religious and non-believers.

Irreligion is treated as a capital crime in at least twelve Muslim-majority states and Nigeria which is predominantly Christian, although levels of enforcement vary widely from country to country.

The issue of blasphemy is already highly charged in many such states, where perceivedinsults to the Prophet Muhammad or disrespect shown to the Qur'an has led many to call for alleged offenders to be punished by the state.

There remain however varying interpretations within Islamic authorities around the world over what constitutes blasphemy or atheism. The proposed legislation to outlaw atheism however reportedly has support from the al-Azhar Institute in Cairo, one of the most influential centers of Islamic scholarship in the world.

***

SPUTNIK

Giza Pyramid: Scientist Suggests There is an ‘Iron Throne’ in Unexplored Cavity

January 12, 2018

The newly discovered cavity in the Giza Pyramid has left scientists around the world wondering what lies inside the mysterious chamber. Italian mathematician Giulio Magli may have some answers.

In November 2017, the magazine Nature published the results of the ScanPyramids project revealing that there is a large cavity at least 30 meters long within the Pyramid of Cheops (Giza Pyramid) in Egypt. Since then, scientists and archaeologists around the world have been trying to discover what this void contains and what its purpose was.

Giulio Magli, professor of Mathematics and Archaeoastronomy at the Politecnico di Milano, has proposed one of the first hypotheses; his conclusions were published by Eurekalert.

According to the scientist, the newly found chamber was hardly a mistake made during the construction, neither did it carry an architectural function such as reducing the load on the main corridor of the pyramid, as some experts have suggested.

Magli believes that the answer can be found in the burial religion of the ancient Egypt.

"There is a possible interpretation, which is in good agreement with what we know about the Egyptian funerary religion as witnessed in the Pyramids Texts. In these texts it is said that the pharaoh, before reaching the stars of the north, will have to pass the "gates of the sky" and sit on his "throne of iron,” Magli was reported as saying by Eurekalert.

“The room may contain, at its upper end and exactly under the apex of the great pyramid, an object needed by Cheops after crossing the doors: the "iron throne" mentioned in the Pyramid Texts,” Magli said.

The scientist noted that in the pyramidthere are four "air ducts" along which the spirit of the deceased ruler could "get out", while the passage leading to the north ends with a sealed door. It is behind this door, according to Magli, that there is chamber containing the throne.

He recalled that inside the same pyramid the throne of Cheop’s mother Queen Hetepheres had been discovered. It had a low cedar base covered in gold and faience.

“Cheops' could be similar, but coated with thin iron sheets. Of course it would not be melted iron, but meteoritic iron, that is, fallen from the sky in the form of Iron meteorites [distinguishable due to the high percentage of Nickel] and again cited in the Texts,” Magli said.

The pyramid of Cheops also known as the Giza Pyramid is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which was built in the middle of the third millennium BC, at the time of Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops), representative of the Fourth Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian Kingdom.

The structure, 145 meters in height and 230 meters in width, remains one of the tallest and largest structures ever built by mankind.

***

EXPRESS

Mystery of 24 alien black-boxes discovered near Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza

THEY weigh more than 100 tons, they are solid Aswan granite, and they are precision engineered to tolerances which would be deemed remarkable even today.

By PAUL BALDWIN

January 13, 2018

So how did the ancient Egyptians build and put in place the 24 strange and sinister coffin shaped black boxes discovered buried in a hillside cave system, 12 miles south of The Great Pyramid of Giza?

And more importantly, why?

The skilfulness of the stone cutting, accurate to just a few microns, is so remarkable that some experts have concluded that they were not built for Egytian pharaos but in fact left on earth by and alien race and simply appropriated by the kings.

The tombs are believed to be the burial places of Apis bulls, worshipped as deities in Ancient Egypt

The stark black boxes do display some hieroglyphics but they are of such poor quality that the scribbles are regarded as graffiti.

The real purpose and function of the boxes remains unclear, but the were clearly of importance, as they were cut with such precision they would remain airtight for many millennia.

They are known as the Serapeum of Saqqara in the now abandoned city of Memphis, Egypt.

In Egyptology a serapeum is a temple or other religious institution dedicated to the syncretic Greco-Egyptian deity Serapis, who combined aspects of Osiris and Apis in a humanized form.

Serapis was recognised across the Mediterranean region and emerges in both Greek and Gnosyic religions – usually in the guise of a man with a three-headed dog on a chain.

<

p> It remains a mystry how the ancient culture were able to carve such huge and accurate sarophagi

The formal burial site is believed to have been built sometime 3300 years ago by Ramesses II.

Recent research suggests it was a burial place of Apis bulls, which were worshipped as incarnations of the god Ptah.

Egyptologists say that because the bulls were honoured as gods Khaemweset, a son of Ramesses II ordered that a tunnel be excavated through one of the mountains at the site and designed with side chambers to contain large granite sarcophagi weighing up to 100 tons each, to hold the mummified remains of the bulls.

The temple was discovered by Auguste Mariette, who had gone to Egypt to collect coptic manuscripts, but later grew interested in the remains of the Saqqara necropolis.

In 1850, Mariette found the head of one sphinx sticking out of the shifting desert sand dunes, cleared the sand and followed the boulevard to the site.

After using explosives to clear rocks blocking the entrance to the catacomb, he excavated most of the complex.

Zero Hedge (We have not included the links from the original article. The article may appear somewhat disjointed.)

Residents "Crying And Screaming" After False "ICBM Threat" Alert Rattles Hawaii; Gabbard Slams Trump

Update 2: More details are coming out surrounding just how this terrifying false alert impacted Hawaii's citizens.

January 13, 2018

NBC News reports that the ballistic missile threat left people "crying and screaming" in Hawaii on Saturday, the state's officials said the message was sent in error.

California resident Elizabeth Fong is in Hawaii looking to buy a house and received the alert. She said she didn't receive a correction alert, stating it was a false alarm, until 8:46 a.m.

The aftermath of the false alert was "crazy," she told NBC Bay Area, and prompted people to run around on the streets "crying and screaming," wondering what to do.

"I prayed to God and asked for forgiveness of my sins and for Him to protect us," she said, adding that people are still shaken up.

Andy Thammavongsa, who tweeted a screenshot of his phone that showed the time between each alert, lives in Ewa Beach and told NBC in a Twitter message, "Everyone was panicking, the whole island was awake and alert."

He added that "there's nothing really you can do honestly" if the alert were real, saying there's "nowhere to take shelter, the island is only so big."

As we detailed below, many people in Hawaii took to social media during and after the alert.

*

Update 1: Gov. David Ige and head of Hawaii's Emergency Management agency, Vern Miyagi, told Hawaii News Now that the false alert was the result of human error - and boiled down to someone pushing the wrong button.

Oddly, while the local officials proclaimed it an error, The White House described a false inbound missile alert received by Hawaii residents on Saturday morning as an "emergency management exercise," offering no further explanation for the erroneous warning.

"The President has been briefed on the state of Hawaii's emergency management exercise," White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"This was a state exercise," she added.

*

Shortly after 8am local time Saturday, Hawaii's emergency alert system sent out a shocking tweet to its citizens: "Ballistic Missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek Immediate shelter, This is not a drill."

The emergency alert was sent to all cellphones...

And interrupted Hawaiian TV...

The moment the EAS alert interrupted Hawaiian TV is terrifying

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) 6:31 PM - Jan 13, 2018

Hawaiians who got up early to watch soccer or basketball instead got the scary, robotic voice warning of a missile’s imminent impact.

Holy hell this is terrifying.
This is the exact moment the Hawaii Emergency Alert System for the Ballistic Missile alert interrupted Hawaiian TV. #Hawaii #BallisticMissle #EAS

— Chris Strider (@stridinstrider) 6:42 PM - Jan 13, 2018

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency responded 20 minutes later...

NO missile threat to Hawaii.

— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) 6:20 PM - Jan 13, 2018 · Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza confirmed it's a false alarm. He says the agency is trying to determine what happened.

And Rep. Tulsi Gabbard quickly took to Twitter to confirm the emergency alert a false alarm...

HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE.

— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) 6:19 PM - Jan 13, 2018

U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Cmdr. David Benham said in a statement that PACOM "has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii" and that an "earlier message was sent in error."

Politicians wasted not time in pointing fingers and assigning blame...

“It was a false alarm based on human error,” Democratic Senator Brian Schatzof Hawaii later said on Twitter, without offering evidence. Schatz said Hawaii’s roughly 1.5 million residents were “terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process.”
“At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to the community is accurate,” Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat, said on Twitter. “We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.”

And Gabbard was then quick to take to MSNBC proclaiming that "our leaders have failed us. Donald Trump is taking too long... he's not taking this [nuclear] threat seriously..."

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) Politicizes False Missile Alert: “Our leaders have failed us. Donald Trump is taking too long. He's not taking this threat seriously ..."

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) 7:32 PM - Jan 13, 2018

Hawaii has been on high alert given claims by North Korea that its newest intercontinental ballistic missile could fly 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles). If true, that would put even the mainland U.S. within range from Pyongyang. The isolated nation conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, and launched more than a dozen missiles in the past year.

Hawaiians on Twitter are not happy about this false alarm and who can blame them.

@MatthewBringas - Fuck u hawaii alert system

@KDombri - This mistake caused me to cry...I had a the best morning until I got this stupid notification

@mastermindhi - Held my babies and prayed

@MichaelRobison - So, is this truly a mistake?!!!?? Sirens are going off and people are in absolute panic....

In the last month they have begun preparations for a nuclear attack, as SHTFplan.com's Mac Slavo details...

The previously retired air raid warning sirens from the Cold War era in Hawaii will be wailing again come December. Only this time, it’s due to the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Hawaii has long been a military defense outpost, sparking fears that North Korea could target the island.

“I suppose that’s necessary as a precaution,” said Ted Tsukiyama, a Hawaiian resident, and WWII veteran.

“But I don’t think North Korea is gonna attack,” Tsukiyama said. “They’d be foolish to threaten South Korea or Japan or the United States.”

But the concerns are growing as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly threatened to drop a bomb over the Pacific Ocean, and President Donald Trump has threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. In turn, North Korea has continually failed to abide by the United Nations sanctions placed on them, as they advance their weapons of mass destruction.

Sirens were installed around Hawaii after the second world war started, according to Tsukiyama, and there would be periodic tests.

“I remember hearing the sirens going off. The radio would give us a warning: ‘This is only a test, don’t get alarmed,’” said Tsukiyama, who was born and raised in Hawaii.

According to Vern Miyagi, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), which is part of the state’s Department of Defense, the chances North Korea will act are unlikely, but making sure Hawaii is prepared is still vital.

“If North Korea launches against us or our allies, the retaliation would be complete and they would defeat North Korea’s ambition to continue its regime. The regime would probably end,” explained Miyagi.

He notes Hawaii is protected under the U.S. Pacific Command’s defensive umbrella, the anti-ballistic missile system, and it is home to the Pacific Command, the military’s headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region.

Miyagi has pointed out that “Hawaii is a likely target because we’re closer to North Korea than most of the continental United States… As we track the news and see tests, both missile launches, and nuclear tests, it’s the elephant in the room. We can’t ignore it. People of Hawaii need to know what Hawaii is doing in preparation for this.”

Hawaii has been ramping up their preparations in advance for a potential nuclear attack by North Korea.

WND

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: 'WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD 20 MINUTES TO LIVE?'

Evangelist uses Hawaii nuke scare to spark life-changing conversation about eternity

January 16,2018

Evangelist Franklin Graham

Evangelist Franklin Graham is using Hawaii’s horrifying nuclear scare to ignite a meaningful conversation with Americans about eternity, asking: “What would you do if you only had 20 minutes to live?”

As many news agencies reported Saturday, a Hawaii state official issued a false warning about an incoming ballistic missile. The alert scared Hawaiians for a full 38 minutes before the state issued a correction.

Thousands of Hawaii residents and tourists panicked and took cover. Children were seen entering manholes. Cars ripped through streets at eye-popping speeds. Stores closed their doors to people desperately seeking shelter. One man suffered a massive heart attack.

Fortunately, the missile alert was a false alarm.

But a terrorizing experience like that tends to get people thinking – about priorities, about life, even about eternal salvation.

And Graham attempted to do just that in a thought-provoking Facebook post on Jan. 14.

“A friend of mine in Hawaii said he ran to the window to see everyone running off the golf course, and then he sat in front of the television,” said Graham, who is CEO of both the Samaritan’s Purse worldwide ministry and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “I read about another man who got in the bathtub with his family and prayed.”

But after several minutes, the people in Hawaii learned it was a false alarm.

“What would you do if you only had 20 minutes to live?” Graham asked.

“Would you call on the name of God?” Graham continued. “Would you ask forgiveness for your sins? Would you contact your loved ones? Would you drink a Coke?”

Graham encouraged his Facebook friends to share their thoughts on what they might do in those 20 minutes.

The response was near-unanimous. Nearly all respondents said they would immediately begin praying.

Some responses included:

  • “I would fall to my knees and ask the Lord to help me through whatever was about to happen.” – Carol Waffel

  • “Pray for God to save my soul.” – Patricia Ann Wright

  • “I would call on God to ask for forgiveness and courage.” – Pamela Bennin

  • “I’d being praying to Jesus to reveal anything that was lacking in my life that I needed to repent of within that 20 minutes.” – Luann Jackson

  • “I would pray for [loved] ones who are not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ!” – Kathleen Fishero

  • “Just like I did on 9/11, momentarily panic, then give it up to the Lord to handle and pray to prepare for whatever may come.” – Diane Belden-Rosenthal

  • “Call everyone I know who has rejected Christ and tell them in 20 minutes you will reach your destination, heaven or hell. And hopefully they will accept Christ right then and there as their Lord and Savior.” – Shirley Souto

Just one day after the scare, a new survey revealed that even one in four atheists and agnostics resort to prayer when they’re faced with a crisis.

***

Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

20 Minutes To Go

Links:
This site is partially sponsored by Association of Missionary-Minded Christians.


http://www.missionarychristian.org