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The Daily Brief Thursday, March 21, 2013 Special Edition
"What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
The Daily Brief
1. Cyprus banks to remain shut until Tuesday amid bailout crisis - NBC News
Banks in Cyprus will remain closed until Tuesday as the country tries to avert financial meltdown after rejecting the terms of a controversial bailout, turning instead to Russia for help.
- Lord, we ask that You assist the people of Cyprus in finding a solution to their financial woes. We also pray against any covenants they may be trying to make
- "but they did not ask counsel of the Lord" (Joshua 9:14b)
2. Israel's Peres Says Obama Would Order Iran Strike to Prevent Nukes- Fox News
Israeli President Shimon Peres said Thursday he believes that if all diplomatic options get exhausted "America is not a chicken" and President Obama is prepared to launch a U.S. strike against Iran to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Peres stressed that "shooting is the last option," but said he believes -- based on private talks he had Wednesday with Obama and public comments Obama made at a separate news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- that the Obama administration is ready to take military action if necessary.
- Lord, while this news seems good on the surface, we pray that any hidden agendas and plans be revealed to the leadership of Israel. We pray against deception and ask Your protection over them.
-"As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show them wonders. The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;" (Micah 7:15-16a)
3. DHS questioned over decision to let Saudi passengers skip normal passport controls- Fox News
A Department of Homeland Security program intended to give "trusted traveler" status to low-risk airline passengers soon will be extended to Saudi travelers, opening the program to criticism for accommodating the country that produced
15 of the 19 hijackers behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
- Father, this DHS decision seems completely illogical. We ask that You raise up leaders with the wisdom to see the danger in allowing travelers from Saudi Arabia an easy pathway through American security. We ask You to overrule this policy by Your mighty hand, moving upon the hearts of our leaders to do so. In Your Name, amen.
- "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first" (Matthew 12:43-44)
4. Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper signs landmark gun-control bills - NBC News
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed landmark new gun laws on Wednesday expanding background checks on gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines, placing the traditionally firearm-friendly state among the handful to pass new restrictions in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Conn.
- Father, even if the Colorado governor signed this bill into law; the state's own Sheriffs have refused to enforce it. We pray that this bill be repealed quickly, and that over-reactions to national events be eliminated.
- "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7)
5. Test of anthrax vaccine in children gets tentative OK - Reuters
A presidential ethics panel has opened the door to testing an anthrax vaccine on children as young as infants, bringing an angry response from critics who say the children would be guinea pigs in a study that would never help them and might harm them.
- Lord, we call for this dangerous plan to be averted. We ask that You stop it at its very source, and protect these children from any vaccine that can hurt them.
- "He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor." (Psalm 72:4)
6. ObamaCare weighs in: CVS tells employees to reveal personal health info -- or pay up- Fox News
Looks like ObamaCare may be rearing its head. In the wake of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, CVS is telling its employees they need to reveal their height, weight, body fat percent and other personal information for health insurance purposes.
The Rhode Island-based company, which employs around 200,000 individuals, is telling workers who use its health insurance they need to have a wellness review done -- or pay up.
Father, we know that many companies have been using some form of health prevention figures on employees since the early 1990s. But the government's intervention in these programs is new. We pray that You will protect the citizens of America against the continued encroachment of this law into our lives.
- "Many seek the ruler's favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord."
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"In this house, and in Jerusalem, which God has chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my Name forever; Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I, God, gave their fathers." (II Kings 21:7-8)
1. Kerry expected to revive 2002 Saudi peace initiative - Times of Israel
While US President Barack Obama's visit to the region has been described as a listening tour, for Secretary of State John Kerry the visit is all business. According to a report in Yedioth Ahronoth Tuesday, Kerry is in the region to kick-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, using the 2002 Saudi Peace initiative as the starting point of future talks.
2. Netanyahu backs two states for two peoples; Obama keeps 'all options open' on Iran - Times of Israel
President Barack Obama is making his first visit to Israel as president, the fifth serving US president to do so. He's been in Jerusalem since early afternoon, on the working part of his trip, after an airport welcome and a tour of the Iron Dome missile defense system.
3. Obama vows unwavering support for Israel - AP
Renewing U.S. support for the difficult "work of generations," President Barack Obama assured Israel on Wednesday that his administration would pursue an elusive Mideast peace that would allow residents of the Jewish state to live in peace and free from the threat of terror.
4. Obama's Middle East Map Erases Israeli Territory - Washington Free Beacon
The map of the Middle East displayed in an Obama administration video released days before President Barack Obama's visit to Israel shows the Jewish state dispossessed of substantial parts of its current territory, including its capital.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive
to their cry . . ." (Psalm 34:15)
1. The Hypocrisy of Muslim Discrimination against Christians in Pakistan - Pakistan Today
Two hundred houses were looted and burnt - Bibles were burnt to ash and crosses put to flame - by a mob of over 2,000 Muslims at Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh in Lahore. At the heart of it was a drunken exchange of abuses between two men: a Muslim and a Christian. Somehow, after one day of silence, the exchange was reported to have involved certain allegedly 'blasphemous' remarks against the Prophet (PBUH).
Sunni Tehreek activists entered the fray to act as 'witnesses' to the apparent quarrel in the Christian's billiards shop. First: the accused's father was arrested under mob pressure last Friday, then the accused turned himself in. However, the climate was reported to have been amplified by the entry of certain external actors and police officials who asked the over 200 Christian families in Joseph Colony to leave. They did.
The next morning, it was as if police had invited the mob to ransack, loot and burn Joseph Colony as they stood and watched. Media got a full out view of the mob attack. And slowly but surely viewers began to react and condemn the incident - but while confined to drawing rooms.
2. Bombing of Christians in Nigeria Renew Fears of New Wave of Attacks - The Christian Science Monitor
Two suicide bombers attacked a bus station in a mostly-Christian suburb of Kano, Nigeria on Monday, killing at least 41 and injuring an additional 44.
The bombers - suspected to be associated with the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram - drove a blue VW Golf into a bus waiting to depart for the city of Lagos, says Musa Daura, Kano's police commissioner. Four other buses nearby were also destroyed.
If confirmed as a Boko Haram attack, the bombing would be the latest incident in the effort by the Islamist insurgents to overthrow the government and create a "pure" Islamic state by primarily targeting the Christian minority in Nigeria's impoverished north. The group is widely believed to be responsible for some 800 deaths last year, and dozens more have died so far in 2013.
3. Christian working in Libya now faces imprisonment, death - Catholic Online
BENGHAZI, LIBYA (Catholic Online) - Egyptian Copts are angry over the suspicious death of one of their own at the hands of his Libyan captors. A shopkeeper, who was also a Copt, was arrested by a Benghazi militia and accused of "proselytizing." That individual was later allegedly tortured and killed while in detention.
Dozens of other Copts are also in detention accused of similar "crimes."
Copts are one of the largest minorities of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, and their leadership is based in Egypt. Despite their native status to the region, they face increasing persecution from Muslims in both Egypt and Libya as Muslims see them as a threat to their virtual stranglehold on religious thought.
Supreme Court Prayer Guides
Reformation Prayer Network (RPN) Publishes Prayer Guides
for Supreme Court Hearings Next Week:
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8
The Reformation Prayer Network is publishing daily prayer guides in advance
of the two hearings next week at the U.S. Supreme Court regarding "gay marriage:"
Tuesday, March 26th - Proposition 8
Wednesday, March 27th - DOMA
Please take time to delve into these excellent guides to prayer, which include specific topics and targeted prayer points. The first two guides are cited below; others will follow in the days ahead.
We wish to thank Mike and Cindy Jacobs and the RPN for granting permission to forward these prayer guides to you. Praise the Lord for the unity of the Body of Christ!
The definition of marriage in the United States hangs in the balance. On March 26th and 27th the Supreme Court will convene to rule on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which protect the definition of marriage as solely between a man and a woman. If they are struck down then homosexual marriage would most likely be legalized on a federal level.
The Reformation Prayer Network has developed a prayer guide for these few days leading up to the hearings. We encourage you to read them, and pray with us as we battle in prayer for biblical marriage in our nation.
Update: Same-Sex "Marriage"
Are Voters Getting Cold Feet on Same-sex 'Marriage'?
The Washington Post thought it knew where the American people stood on marriage. Just two days ago, news outlets were plastering its poll results of "record" backing for same-sex "marriage" on their websites--only to see the support vanish as quickly as it appeared. Today, the Reuters Corporation released the results of an even bigger poll than the Post's and found that only 41% of America supports the case being made by Ted Olson and David Boies at the Supreme Court.
In an astonishingly large survey sample, 24,455 people (23,000 more than the Washington Post's survey!), barely four out of 10 Americans thought homosexuals should be allowed to "marry." Those numbers are far and away more consistent with the findings of trustworthy survey houses in the last few months on marriage. It also shows the unreliability of the media's polling. In 48 hours, we've seen a 17-point swing in public opinion on marriage.
Of course, as we mentioned yesterday, the Post's questions were specifically structured to generate a more favorable response. When you frame the debate as the Post did--in criminal terms--Americans are far more wary of opposing same-sex "marriage." In the meantime, Reuters' numbers are even more significant when you consider that they come from a news agency with a public interest in redefining marriage. Last month, the Reuters Corp. threw objectivity out the window by signing on to an amicus brief urging the court to embrace same-sex "marriage." If 41% was all the support Reuters could scrounge up for same-sex "marriage," then you know they exhausted every avenue trying to push that number higher--and couldn't.
Let me be very clear: we don't arrive at our policy positions because of polls. The point of sharing this is to once again draw attention to the media's efforts to make you feel that same-sex "marriage" is inevitable--and that everyone but YOU thinks it's okay. Trust me, as this latest poll shows, you're far from alone in your support for natural marriage. Encourage your family and friends by sharing this truth with them! (Tony Perkins; Family Research Council)
Prophetic Symbolism from Israel
Prophetic Symbolism from Israel
(The Daily Jot; Thursday, March 21, 2013)
The media covering the Occupant of the Oval Office's trip to Israel is prophetic symbolism, probably unbeknownst to them. Certainly, the news media is like most people and some pastors in that they do no know the Bible or what they know of it is steeped in error. Such is the case where the media missed the irony in one of the first stories emanating from the Holy Land. The Occupant's six ton armored Cadillac nicknamed "The Beast" sputtered to a stop between Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem. "The Beast" was totally disabled and had to be hauled away because it seems one of the entourage filled it with diesel fuel instead of unleaded. Most think it's a funny story, unless you know the rest of the story.
The Beast Empire rules the Middle East prior to the return of Jesus Christ. It is led by the Beast, also known as the antichrist. When Jesus returns, he meets the beast in the Jezreel Valley, where the final battle of Armageddon will see the defeat of the beast. Revelation 19:19-20 says, "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse (Christ), and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
Another analysis written by AP discusses Israeli settlements as the core of the conflict between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations and their terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Fatah. Fatah is the military faction of the so-called moderate Palestinian Authority, formerly the terrorist group Palestinian Liberation Organization. The story points out that the settlements are on war-won land. Certainly, the land is a symptom of what is at the core of the Middle East strife. The truth, however, is found as early as Genesis 3:15 when YHVH God told the serpent (satan), "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Years later, we see another prophecy in Genesis 16:12 of Ishmael, "And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren." Ishmael's seed grew into a great multitude, the Arabs and Islam. All the nations mentioned in the Bible as coming against Israel in the final Day of the Lord are Arab-Islamic. They are trying to drive Israel from the land God gave it, and destroy the seed of the woman. While the land is the physical core of modern strife in Israel, the spiritual reasons for the lack of peace are already written. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world has blinded in the minds of them which believe not . . ." And know you know the rest of the story.
White House Israel Map
White House Israel Map--already two states with no Jerusalem
(The Daily Jot, Wed., March 20, 2013)
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes does a preview of the Occupant of the Oval Office's trip to Israel--only it's not the Israel that exists today. The video is entitled "The President's Trip to Israel, The West Bank & Jordan." A map of the area is shown in very general terms at least three times and it is a depiction of a nation already divided into at least two states and Jerusalem is nowhere to be seen as part of it. The map specifically identifies Judea and Samaria, known also as the West Bank, as a separate entity. The new White House map of Israel does not include Jerusalem. The White House video by Rhodes was published on March 15. But there is much more to the story.
The Occupant has landed safely in Israel and is making his way to meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Simon Perez. A good deal has been written about the prophetic undertones of this trip--that he is entering Jerusalem during similar time frame as did Jesus Christ, his symbol is a donkey and Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. If he is crucified and resurrected there may be some Biblical significance to this trip, but it is obvious that this president has no similarities to Jesus Christ, although some leaders, even Christian leaders, have tried to make it so. The purpose of the Occupant's trip is to do an end run on Netanyahu and take the case of dividing Israel to Israeli citizens.
The Financial Times reports that he has his work cut out for him--"one poll last week showing that only 10 percent of Israelis view him favorably." There are too many memories that make this president one of the most anti-Israel, pro-Islam in the history of America. Beginning early in his first term, he sent his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to APAIC with the message--either support a two-state solution or we will back off pressure on Iran to end its nuclear quest. To this day, the Occupant is pressing a worn out and ineffective position: "Now is the time for the Iranian government to take immediate and meaningful steps to reduce tensions and work toward an enduring, long-term settlement to the nuclear issue."
So here you have the Israel visit in a nutshell--an attempt to undermine Netanyahu as Israel's leader, charm Israelis into accepting the White House map, and giving Iran incentive to back off its threatening nuclear aggression. He will visit just enough holy sites to make people think he cares about Israel's religious heritage when he said in his June 2009 Cairo speech that Israel was born out of the holocaust--a clear belief that Israel has no traditional heritage in the land. I'm sorry. There is one Biblical type and shadow that comes to mind with this visit--Daniel 11:38-39, "But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces . . . and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain." Enough said.
Obama arrives in Israel
Obama arrives in Israel:
3 questions he needs to answer on Iran nuke threat
WITH IRAN NUCLEAR THREAT GROWING, THREE CRITICAL QUESTIONS PRESIDENT OBAMA NEEDS TO ANSWER DURING HIS VISIT TO THE EPICENTER
By Joel C. Rosenberg
(Washington, D.C., March 20, 2013) -- To say that the pundits have low expectations for President Obama's trip to Israel and Jordan this week would be putting it mildly. Most expect a series of photo ops, but no serious progress on the three major issues: the Iran nuclear threat, the implosion of Syria, and the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Actually, much is necessary. The president needs to "re-set" U.S.-Israeli relations in a positive way after a contentious relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the first term. But that is the just the beginning.
There are three critical questions the president needs to answer on this trip: 1) Have diplomacy, sanctions and covert operations failed to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons?
2) If so, will President Obama order airstrikes against Iran, or give Israel the "green light" to hit Iran's nuclear sites since other measures have failed?
3) If not, why not?
The administration has been giving mixed messages in recent weeks. Top officials have suggested diplomacy and sanctions are not working, but the President seemed to suggest the world has at least another year before Iran could get The Bomb, implying there is quite a bit more time. The Israeli leadership has a different view. They believe time is short and the clock is running. These questions need to be asked by PM Netanyahu -- and by journalists -- and answered clearly and decisively by the President.
Meanwhile, Syria -- already on the agenda for the President's trip -- is taking on growing importance. CNN reports a "high probability" that chemical weapons were used Tuesday in Syria, killing dozens and wounding dozens more. The White House chief of staff is calling the development a "game changer" if proven true. Much of the US and Israeli media is talking about the chemical weapons story as part of the President's arrival coverage, and there is speculation about possible US and allied airstrikes against Syria's WMD storehouses.
Please keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem and all in the region, and wisdom for our leaders to know how best to proceed.
Secret Iranian Nuke Site Revealed
SECRET IRANIAN NUCLEAR SITE PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN TO WESTERN INTELLIGENCE REVEALED. HAS IRAN CROSSED THE "RED LINE"?
By Joel C. Rosenberg
Washington, D.C., March 21, 2013) -- "Iranian scientists are working on nuclear warheads - and trying to perfect them - at an underground site unknown to the West, according to a high-ranking intelligence officer of the Islamic regime," reports Reza Kahlili, a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officer who joined the CIA and became a double agent against the Iranian regime.
"The officer, who has been assigned to the Ministry of Defense, not only provided the coordinates to this vast site but also details of its operation," Kahlili reports. "The site, approximately 14 miles long and 7.5 miles wide, consists of two facilities built deep into a mountain along with a missile facility that is surrounded by barbed wire, 45 security towers and several security posts. The new secret nuclear site, named Quds (Jerusalem), is almost 15 miles from another site, previously secret but exposed in 2009, the Fordow nuclear facility. The power to this site comes from the same source as Fordow -- the Shahid Rajaei power plant -- with high power towers surrounding the site. Construction of the site started about the same time as Fordow, and in the second half of 2010 all industrial tests were completed. The site became 60 percent operational in 2011."
In an op-ed in today's Washington Times, Kahlili writes: "Images of a secret nuclear site known as Quds . . . show the regime has crossed the nuclear red line. In collaboration with North Korea, it is now steps away from arming its missiles with nuclear warheads. According to information from a high-ranking intelligence officer assigned to the Ministry of Defense, the regime's scientists have made a significant breakthrough in not only enriching to weapons grade, but have converted the highly enriched uranium into metal, a key step in building nuclear warheads. Moreover, successfully using the metal in making a neutron reflector indicates the final stages for a nuclear-weapons design that would be a two-stage, more sophisticated and much more powerful nuclear bomb."
Should Kahlili's disturbing new information be verified by U.S. and Israeli intelligence, it could prove a game-changer. It would mean Iran is at - or has crossed - the "red line," forcing President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu to take more decisive steps to neutralize the Iranian threat, and more quickly that perhaps they had planned.
* Note from Joel Rosenberg: I'm scheduled to be on the Sean Hannity show on Fox News on Friday at 9pm eastern for a one-hour special on the President's trip.