Katy Perry: I Believe in Aliens and Astrology But Not God

Katy Perry, who has never shied away from talking about her faith and her Christian upbringing, recently opened up about answered prayers, spirituality and her boyfriend, John Mayer.

Perry, whose given name is Katheryn Hudson, was raised in a Pentecostal home as the middle child of two traveling ministers. In an interview for the February cover story of GQ, Perry talked about how God answered her prayers about her body at age 11.

“I’ve never had any plastic surgery,” the pop superstar said. “Not a nose, not a chin, not a cheek, not a t–. So my messages of self-empowerment are truly coming from an au naturel product.”

The 29-year-old also discussed her on-again-off-again relationship with John Mayer.

“I think that I needed to grow up,” she said. “I’m just having a wonderful experience with a wonderful guy. There’s no rush.”

Perry’s 14-month marriage to Russell Brand ended when he sent her a text message that he was filing for divorce.

She wrote about the ordeal in “By the Grace of God,” a soul-bearing song on her latest album: “By the grace of God (there was no other way)/I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)/I put one foot in front of the other/And I looked in the mirror and decided to stay/Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way.”

“That song is evident of how tough it really was at a certain point,” Perry told Billboard magazine. “I asked myself, ‘Do I want to endure? Should I continue living?’ All the songs are real-life moments.”

Last month Perry made it clear that she no longer identifies with Christianity. “I don’t believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne. I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable,” she said.

In the GQ interview, the pop star said she sees “everything through a spiritual lens.”

She added, “I believe in a lot of astrology. I believe in aliens. I look up into the stars and I imagine: How self-important are we to think that we are the only life-form?”

click to http://www.charismamag.com/life/culture/19625-katy-perry-i-believe-in-aliens-and-astrology-but-not-god

‘Govt. to Split Jerusalem – Where are the Rabbis?’

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel wonders at fellow rabbis’ silence over plan to give away Jerusalem holy sites.

The government is planning to cede several sites in ancient Jerusalem to Muslim and Christian ownership, and Israel’s rabbis remain silent, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel has accused.

“There is a terrible plan, called the ‘holy basin,’ to split Jerusalem between Christians, Muslims and Jews,” Rabbi Ariel said, speaking to Arutz Sheva.

Rabbi Ariel, who heads the Temple Institute, continued, “The Christians will get the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Mount Zion, the Muslims will get the Temple Mount, and we Jews will need to visit the Kotel (Western Wall) under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.”

The Palestinian Authority (PA) denies the Jewish connection to the Western Wall, and PA TV has labeled Jewish worship at the holy site “sin and filth.”

Even if Jewish worship at the Kotel were to continue freely, the loss of access to the Temple Mount would be highly significant. The Temple Mount is the holiest site on earth according to Judaism, and is the place where the First Temple and Second Temple once stood.

The plan to split Jerusalem’s holy sites between various religions “has existed for some time, and now they’re going to implement it in stages,” Rabbi Ariel warned, adding, “During the Pope’s next visit they plan to transfer the Cenacle on Mount Zion to him, turning it into a pilgrimage site.”

He criticized Israel’s rabbis, including the Chief Rabbis, for their silence. “Not long ago they gave the Russian Compound to Russia, now the Christians are restoring a church – unused until now – on the Mount of Olives, and thus they slowly sell Jerusalem, and nobody raises their voice in protest,” he charged.

“Where is the Chief Rabbinate? They’re going to take the heart of Jerusalem and make it a Christian center,” he continued.

“Remember Rabbi Nissim. When the Pope came to visit fifty years ago, he insisted that if the Pope wanted to meet him he could come to his office in Jerusalem, he would not go greet him,” Rabbi Ariel recalled.

He accused his fellow rabbis of focusing on “price tag” vandalism of Arab property rather than the future of Jerusalem. “Three hundred rabbis spoke out against ‘price tag.’ Is this what you’ve found to get involved with, is this what pains you?

“Instead of meeting with the Prime Minister to protest the sale of Jerusalem, you’re speaking out against a handful of youths who burned a rug,” he accused.

Click to http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/176629#.UuW-Lpbn-c-

Kerry: If talks fail, Israel’s future as a democratic Jewish state is at stake

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Kerry says ‘today’s status quo cannot last forever.’

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that if Israeli-Palestinian negotiations fail, Israel’s future as a democratic Jewish state is at stake.

“If talks fail, for Israel, the demographic dynamic will make it impossible to preserve its future as a democratic Jewish state,” Kerry said during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Kerry said that today’s status quo cannot last forever, and that a failure to make peace will lead to a deteriorating security environment and growing isolation that can put economic prosperity at risk.

Kerry also stressed the U.S. commitment to Israel security. “There cannot be peace unless Israel’s security and its needs are met,” he said. “Security is a priority – because we understand that Israel needs to be strong to make peace, but we also believe that peace will make Israel strong.”

Kerry said that the Palestinians are risking losing their last chance for an independent state.

Kerry outlined several U.S. principles for solving the core issues: an independent state for the Palestinians wherever they may be; security arrangements for Israel that leave it more secure; a full, phased and final withdrawal of the Israeli army, a just and agreed solution to the Palestinian refugee problem; an end to the conflict and all claims; and mutual recognition of the nation-state of the Palestinian people and the nation-state of the Jewish people.

He spoke about the security plan the U.S. government arranged for the border between the West Bank and Jordan. He admitted that technology alone is not the answer, but it can contribute significantly to security, such as the case with Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. He said that in coordination with Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians could establish the most secure border in the world.

Kerry said that he is working with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on a framework for negotiations that would include principles for the core issues. “At the end of the day, it is up to Netanyahu and Abbas to recognize that peace is in the best interest of their people,” Kerry said.

The U.S. secretary of state on Thursday told Al Arabiya that, at this stage, the sides were unable to bridge the differences and agree on a draft agreement.

“We’re still negotiating,” he said. “We’re working in good faith with both of the parties. The leaders have been very, very committed to this process. My hope is we can achieve the framework for final status negotiations. But it’s very, very difficult and we have a lot of work to do.”

The framework agreement, Kerry noted, would clarify how both sides see a final peace deal and the end of the conflict.

“The framework agreement would be the best thinking of both parties as to what the endgame of a peace agreement could look like and what they would agree to as a matter of principles as to how they would negotiate towards that endgame final status agreement… we don’t want an interim agreement – but … a final status agreement where you have end of conflict, end of claims, there’s a Palestinian state, there’s an end of occupation, and security for Israel is clear, and people can see the future.”

Click to http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.570411

Israeli minister calls for ‘Third Temple’ in Al-Aqsa compound

Palestinians are suspicious of so called archeological excavations taking place under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Israel Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel on Friday expressed his wish to see the construction of a “Third Temple” in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Al-Quds (East Jerusalem).

According to the Alray Palestinian News Agency, Uri Ariel said “The first Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE, the second Temple in 70 CE, and ever since the Jews have been mourning its loss.”

He then went on to say “Al-Aqsa Mosque is currently in place of the temple, despite the temple being much holier than it. Al-Aqsa Mosque is only the third most holy mosque in Islam.”

“Now that Israel has once again become a Jewish sovereign state, there have been occasional calls to rebuild the Temple,” he added.

Palestinians who have stated their desire to see Israeli occupying forces retreat out of East Jerusalem back to their 1967 borders are suspicious of so called archeological excavations taking place under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. They believe the works are destabilizing the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and have already reported damage to the building.

In recent months, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has been subject to numerous raids by far-right Jewish settlers under the protection of Israeli security forces, who have performed Jewish rituals on the site. On a number of occasions last year, the Israeli authorities banned Muslim congregational Friday prayers at the mosque.

Click to http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=127633

PART 4: PERSECUTION – Then, Now, And Coming

Let’s return for a moment to the hours just before our Lord Jesus went to the cross. 

He sat upon the Mount of Olives with His disciples while the group looked down at the Temple sitting atop Mount Moriah. One of His disciples wanted Him to look at the beauty of the great structure. It was a magnificent sight. They were having a time of fellowship, and it must have seemed that nothing bad could come of their circumstances.

Jesus, however, knew what He faced. More than that, He was concerned for His friends and disciples. He knew they had to get a grip on reality as they faced the satanic war that lay before them. Very soon they would see Him die in the cruelest method known to man at the time. They must be given truth upon which they could reflect during the uncertain days ahead. Although they wouldn’t understand for the moment, the prophecies Jesus gave that day in His Olivet Discourse would echo mightily through the centuries until the very end of the age.

“The Olivet Discourse forms Jesus’ last major discourse and His most prophetic sermon,” notes author and eschatologist Tim LaHaye. “While the message includes a prediction of the imminent fall of Jerusalem, it also looks to the distant future of the ‘times of the Gentiles’ (Luke 21:24), which will continue until the end of the Great Tribulation.”

Temple Toppled

Jesus told His disciples that the beautiful Temple they were looking at would soon be completely wiped off Moriah; its destruction would be so complete that “there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). (The Temple Jesus was referring to was the Second Temple; the first, built by Solomon, had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.)

Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the Second Temple came to pass some thirty-seven years later, when the soldiers under Roman General Titus not only toppled the Temple, but removed from the surface of Moriah every huge stone that had made up the building. Titus tried to stop the soldiers from destroying the structure, but Roman soldiers were often given the freedom to plunder any place they conquered, and they went into a frenzy. Going after precious stones and the gold and silver inlaid within the building, they set fires, causing the gold and silver to melt into the cracks and crevices between the stones. The greedy troops then tore the stones apart in order to retrieve every trace of the valuable metals.

Later, after the scavenger soldiers had picked the site clean, the Temple Mount was leveled and smoothed, then salt was poured on top of the soil so nothing would grow. This, too, fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. But this was just the beginning of Israel feeling the chastening hand of God. He was going to use the Romans to drive most of the Jews from the land.

The words of Christ about the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem would have been deeply troubling to the disciples.

“To the very end of His earthly ministry the apostles had been waiting for Jesus Christ to overthrow Roman rule in Palestine and to usher in the glorious Messianic kingdom,” notes author Arthur Kac. “When, therefore, instead of fulfilling their hopes the Lord Jesus began to speak of his approaching death and the coming destruction of Jerusalem the apostles became deeply distressed.”

“Run for Your Lives!”

In the same Olivet meeting with His disciples, Jesus forewarned that the people of the area would have to run for their lives (Matthew 24:16). There was coming, He prophesied, a time of great trouble in the land. Jesus said the people who lived in and around Jerusalem shouldn’t even take time to pack; they should just run for the hills of Judea when they heard of the Temple being attacked and the city being overrun.

The prophecy, of course, proved absolutely true. The Jewish population—and other people, too—were slaughtered if they stuck around once the looting and plunder started. Many soldiers for hire, along with the Roman forces, combined to massacre many. Hundreds upon hundreds were nailed and tied to crosses much like the one on which Jesus was crucified. The roads leading into and out of Jerusalem were lined with dead and dying people upon crosses.

The most infamous case of Rome crushing the Jewish rebellion is at Masada (Hebrew for “fortress”), which was the last Jewish stronghold in the Promised Land “located atop an isolated rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.” Several years following the destruction of the Temple, “after Judaea became a province of the Roman Empire…the last survivors of the Jewish revolt…chose death rather than slavery when the Roman besiegers broke through their defences.” The stand on the high plateau remains one of the greatest stories of courage in Jewish history.

The Jews’ attempts to take the heavy yoke of Rome from their necks ended with thousands fleeing the land to stay alive. Many others were taken as slaves. Most everyone who was Jewish, whether those who converted to Christianity, those who practiced Judaism, or those who professed no religious affiliation, were either murdered or scattered to other parts of the Middle East and other lands beyond. Around AD 135, Rome dispersed the Jews because it considered the militant uprising against Roman authority a mostly Jewish rebellion. Many of Israel ended up in Rome, where the church of the Lord Jesus Christ would grow into a mighty movement.

“The Jew living now in the various parts of the Roman Empire was painfully aware of the fact that he had no National Home,” states Kac. “And by this time the great bulk of the nation lived outside of Palestine. With the loss of the Jewish National Home in AD 70, the long exile actually began, and the Jews became wanderers over the face of the earth, a people without a country.”

God’s chosen people were chastened by God for rejecting their Messiah. They were chased across the world by the forces of Satan. But the Jews had produced the most important gift ever given anyone: the Savior of the world. The Lord of heaven had already kept His promise to make Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s descendants a blessing to all nations. He will yet make His chosen people the head of all nations as well.

While in Rome…

Meanwhile, Christianity was growing by leaps and bounds. The Jewish religious leaders had for many years persecuted Christians at every opportunity. The apostle Paul of Tarsus, a Christian-hating Jew before God changed his name from Saul, had been one of the worst of all persecutors of Christians.

Saul had held the robes of those who stoned to death the great hero of the Christian faith, Stephen. Saul had also gone into the homes of Christians and pulled them out so they could be imprisoned or murdered. This treatment, in the earliest time of the developing church, had been more the usual way of Jews treating Christians than the unusual.

When Saul saw Jesus in a blinding light on the road to Damascus, he was instantly converted to the Christian faith. Like Abraham, his name was changed to reflect the transformation of his life, and he became Paul, an evangelist for the gospel of Christ unlike any other who has ever lived. He then became the hunted and hated Christian whom the super-pious Jews wanted dead.

Over the hundred years following Paul’s death, the Jews were absorbed into the Roman Empire and given the right to be citizens. But when the Jews found themselves at the center of growing rebellion against their Roman masters, they were scattered throughout the developing medieval states and persecuted almost everywhere they went. Christians, too, were greatly persecuted. Most Christians were Jews who had been converted from Judaism during this time. Satan’s war-making in the Middle East and elsewhere appears to have been even more intense against Christian Jews than against the Jews in general. While in Rome, if Christians and Jews who held to Judaism didn’t repent and do as the Romans did, there was a mighty price to pay.

Christians Forced into Catacombs

Christianity continued to grow tremendously during the second, third, and fourth centuries and beyond. Jesus’ words, foretold to Peter and other disciples—“upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18b)—echoed across the barren wasteland of the Middle East and regions to which God’s children traveled.

Hundreds upon hundreds of Christians—including, many believe, Peter and Paul—died martyrs’ deaths under Roman Emperor Nero and the Caesars who followed. They faced gladiators, bears, and lions in the Roman arenas to entertain Caesar and his mocking friends. Many Christians were set on fire and used as torches to light the night skies for the various sporting events. It was the bloodiest time of Christ’s church. Thousands found shelter and safety in the catacombs, the underground tunnels that were Rome’s cemeteries. Drawings on the catacomb walls tell a story of an underground church in the most literal sense of the word.

Modern Martyrs for Christ

Today in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, China, and many other places around the world, Christians are facing tortures and atrocities as terrifying as the horrors faced by the early Christians. The following reports offer a striking example:

  • Roadside Ambush in Nigeria Leaves Five Christians Dead and Four Wounded—On the evening of August 29, 2013, near Jos, Nigeria, Emmanuel Sunday was riding his motorcycle towards his village when the nineteen-year-old college student was stopped by an armed group of Islamic jihadists known as Boko Haram. The gunmen asked Emmanuel to identify his religion. He told them he was a Christian. As the young man looked ahead, he saw that the gunmen had detained a minibus and ordered a group of passengers who had also identified themselves as Christians to lie down on the roadside.

As darkness fell, the gunmen robbed the Christians, and as the jihadists began shooting their captives, Emmanuel escaped by running toward a nearby maize farm. He then continued to run for two hours before finally reaching his village.

Five Christians were killed in the attack, including two from Emmanuel’s village. Four were wounded, including a pregnant woman.

Boko Haram, whose name loosely translated means “Western education is sinful,” so far is contained within Nigeria. Its leader, Abubakr Shekau, clearly states the group’s mission: “Let the world know that we have been enjoined by Allah to kill the unbeliever.”

  • Seventy-two Civilians Killed in Mall Massacre in Kenya—Shortly after noon on Saturday, September 21, 2013, gunfire and grenade explosions erupted as Somalian Islamic militants known as al-Shabab launched a massacre at the packed Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, a mall frequented by expatriates and the rising middle class of Nairobi.

According to Joshua Hakim, a born-again Christian, the terrorists shouted for all Muslims to leave the mall. When Hakim realized that the attackers were targeting non-Muslims, he pulled out his identification card and covered his first name with his thumb. Seeing only his Arabic last name, the terrorists let Hakim go; however, the Indian man next to him was not so fortunate: He was shot when he couldn’t answer the question, “What is the name of Muhammad’s mother?” More than seventy-two civilians were killed and two hundred were wounded in the attack.

  • Suicide Bombers in Pakistan Kill Nearly Ninety after Sunday Services—After services on Sunday morning, September 22, 2013, about 550 worshippers were exiting the 130-year-old All Saints Church, a Protestant congregation in Peshawar, Pakistan, unaware of two Taliban suicide bombers in their midst. The explosion killed nearly ninety, many of them women and children; more than 120 people were injured, and the church was destroyed.

“I heard two explosions,” said one parishioner who survived. “People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church.” At the time of the interview, she was still searching for her sister.

It is sad to have to say that while many of us here in America often will not let ourselves be inconvenienced enough to read our Bibles or pray, thousands of Christians are still laying down their lives for the Lord Jesus. According to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, more than 200 million Christians are being persecuted worldwide; they are brutalized, sold as slaves, imprisoned, tortured, threatened, discriminated against, arrested, and killed—solely because they refuse to renounce or hide their faith in Jesus Christ.But the long history of persecution that continues into our time will soon enter one of its darkest, most vicious eras.

TO BE CONTINUED…