Sen. Graham on Critics of the US Embassy in Jerusalem: ‘Take It Up with God’

For those who have a problem with the United States operating its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has a message, “Take it up with God, He did this.”

The senior senator from South Carolina made the remarks during an interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro on Fox News over the weekend.

Graham is a long-time, staunch supporter of Israel and led the congressional delegation that attended the opening ceremony for the embassy Monday.

He says President Trump’s decision to follow through on his campaign promise and move the embassy sends a message of strength to America’s enemies.

“He’s telling North Korea that I’m going to be different than every other president before me. When I say I’m going to do something, I mean it,” Graham continued in the interview.

“I said I was going to move the embassy to Jerusalem and I did it,” Graham eluded to Trump’s message to the world.

“I said I was going to withdraw from the Iranian deal cause it sucks and he did,” Graham also said in referencing Trump’s actions.

A fired up Graham also threatened North Korean leader Kim Jong Un using the nickname “Rocket Man” that Trump gave him earlier this year, saying he hopes he comes to an agreement with the US, “But if we don’t have an agreement and you keep threatening our country then you’re going to be next.”

Source: CBN

‘We’re Seeing Prophecy Unfold’: Trump’s Jerusalem Embassy Sends a Message to Israel’s Enemies

JERUSALEM, Israel – Seventy years to the day and nearly the same hour that President Harry Truman recognized Israel as a sovereign nation on May 14, 1948, the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem. Many believe the day was history in the making.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin unveiled the seal and Ivanka Trump introduced the new embassy.

“On behalf of the 45th president of the United States of America we welcome you officially and for the first time to the embassy of the United States here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” she said.

In a video, her father, President Trump, said his decision to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem acknowledged reality.

“Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Yet for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious, the plain reality that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem,” the president said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it historic.

“What a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history,” he said.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman hosted the event. He told CBN News how he felt about the historic day.

“The inspiration was palpable. Candidly it was a little bit of a relief because we’ve been planning for this for 25 years and thank God it came. It was just an incredible moment, one that will probably take me weeks to process all my emotions.”

After nearly 23 years, the Jerusalem Embassy Act has been fulfilled with the embassy of the United States of America here in Jerusalem. Some say it’s not only history making but prophecy unfolding.

“We’re seeing prophecy unfold. I don’t know when the Lord is coming, but I know today it got a little bit closer,” said Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas.

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell with Pastor Jeffress, Photo, CBN News

“This was an historic moment of mega proportions,” Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel (CUFI). This was also a prophetic moment because God promised Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy concerning the nations, ‘I will make you the head and not the tail.'”

Pastor John Hagee with CBN News‘ Chris Mitchell, Photo, CBN News

Others saw it as Israel taking its place among the nations.

“The world has treated Israel unfairly and applied a double standard, and one of the most visible manifestations of the double standard is that it’s the only country in the world not allowed to announce its own capital,” said attorney Alan Dershowitz. “I hope we see the beginning of the end of that and for the Israeli people will be treated like first class citizens of the world and that’s essential to peace.”

“It also tells Israel’s enemies this is the capital,” said radio talk show host Mark Levin. “The American embassy is here. Now deal with it. There are other issues we want to talk about, that’s fine, but Israel is the capital of Israel and it’s the capital of the Jewish people.”

READ: ‘The City of God…Where Messiah Will Come’: US Dedicates Jerusalem Embassy in Historic Event

Nearby in the same neighborhood, police officers intervened in a demonstration against the embassy opening.

“During the left-wing demonstration that took place in Jerusalem, protesters did not keep to the terms that the protestors had agreed upon with police,” a statement by Israel Police read, saying about 100 protesters took part in the demonstration.

“After protestors and Arab MKs lifted banners and Palestinian flags and chanted Alah Akbar [Allah is greater] at the scene, police removed the flags and pushed back the protesters making 14 arrests. Only then did the protest continue peacefully,” the statement concluded.

Meanwhile thousands of Palestinians rioted along the Israeli Gaza border to protest the embassy move and mark what they call the Nakba – the catastrophe – that befell Palestinians when Israel was created.

During the riots, Gazan officials said nearly 60 died and hundreds more were wounded.

The IDF dropped thousands of leaflets warning protestors to stay away from the border and blamed the Hamas terror group for the uprising.

“Our message to the Hamas is clear: We will not tolerate this violence. We will continue to defend our sovereignty, our civilians and our border. We will do so while trying to minimize the amount of casualties, but we will not let the rioters through to harm Israeli civilians that are a running distance away.”

Israel said captured Gazans told them Hamas encourages children to cross the fence. They said they want the riots to be seen internationally as a popular uprising and not inspired by Hamas.

Source: CBN

Anglican Head Urges People to ‘Come Back’ to Jesus, Stop Wandering Away; Christians Join Prayer Wave

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who is the leader of the Anglican communion, urged people to stop “wandering away” from Jesus Christ as he launched the Thy Kingdom Come initiative, which Christians around the world are joining.

“Come back to Him today. Turn around if you’ve been facing the wrong direction; turn that walk into a run if you’re already heading towards Him,” Welby said on Thursday, Ascension Day, which marked the beginning of the 10-day initiative.

“Now, pray for those friends whose lives would be utterly different if they joined you in running to Jesus, instead of wandering away from Him.”

Churches from various denominations, along with individual believers, are being urged to join the global prayer movement in the days leading to Pentecost. Participants are specifically called to pray “for more people to come to know Jesus Christ.”

The initiative, which began in 2016, has three main hopes, namely that “people will commit to pray with God’s world-wide family — as a church, individually or as a family;” that churches will hold “24-7 prayer, prayer stations and prayer walks, across the U.K. and in other parts of the world;” and that “people will be empowered through prayer by the Holy Spirit, finding new confidence to be witnesses for Jesus Christ.”

The Thy Kingdom Come website features an interactive map of the world under its Pledge2Pray section, which lights up a light for every church or individual that has signed up to be part of the movement. Presently there are lights from every continent in the world, though most are concentrated in Europe and the United States.

post-event survey on the 2017 initiative found that the videos promoting the call to prayer have received more than 2 million views, with Christians in more than 85 countries around the world deciding to participate. More than 500,000 prayer resources were delivered, and were translated into different languages.

Talking about the success of the prayer initiative, Welby said: “I cannot remember in my life anything that I’ve been involved in where I sensed so clearly the work of the Spirit.”

“In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities,” the archbishop added.

The website features material and videos that both inspire people to share and grow in their faith, as well as advice on how to reach out to others and get them involved. It also states that God will use people to help answer the prayer of sharing Jesus with others.

“He will give us opportunities to witness to Him with the people we have been praying for. He will use us to invite people to know and experience the goodness of His Kingdom and to join His family. But we also know that most of us find speaking of our faith daunting,” it says.

“We feel ill equipped. We assume someone else, maybe anyone else, is better suited, or we think that sharing faith is someone else’s job. All Christians are appointed as God’s witnesses. It is not a choice. The only choice is whether we are good witnesses or bad ones.”

This year’s prayer movement comes as many American churchgoers (51 percent) say they are not familiar with the term “Great Commission,” according to a study conducted by the Barna Group and the Seed Company. The “Great Commission” is a term used to describe Jesus’ call to evangelism in Matthew 28:18-20.

Source: ChristianPost

‘No One Should Live in Fear Because of Their Beliefs’: Ambassador Brownback’s Plan to Fight Christian Persecution

US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback is unveiling new plans to combat persecution of Christians around the world.

“No one should live in fear because of their religious beliefs,” Brownback said.

The religious freedom ambassador is attending a policy hearing by members of the International Catholic Legislators Network and the Religious Freedom Institute.

Members of both non-profit groups told stories of religious persecution from countries like China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

“Distributing Bibles in Saudi Arabia is illegal,” said Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom. “Priests must go underground and undercover as cooks and mechanics. The fanatical intolerance of Christians extends to a crackdown on red roses on Valentine’s Day.

Jacqueline Halbig von Schleppenbach with International Catholic Legislators said, “In Mexico, during the past six years, more than 25 priests have been murdered. In the past few weeks, at least three murders have taken place. I’ve heard of four now.”

Amb. Brownback said, “We’ve got a global cold war in religion, a hot war in some places going on now.”

He warns religious persecution is a growing crisis. But he is working to stop it.

He told CBN News he is talking directly with leaders of countries to fight persecution of Christians.

“Just this week, I’ve had conversations with an ambassador in another country that wants to do a lot more on religious freedom,” said Brownback. “They’ve been a very bad actor for a long period of time. I believe their primary reason is they want to grow their economy.”

He says foreign countries are realizing in order to keep and attract smart people, you cannot have a narrow view.

Ambassador Brownback says he has data to back it up.

He warns countries must realize if they want less terrorism, they have to have more religious freedom.

Brownback adds the Trump administration strongly believes in religious freedom and says this administration will continue to name and shame countries that make war on Christians.

.Source: CBN

Before taking on the role of Adam in the latest installment of the “God’s Not Dead” film franchise, actor Mike C. Manning spent his time in the heart of Hollywood. The MTV star is known for his roles in “The Real World DC” and “Teen Wolf” as well as Disney Channel’s “Cloud 9,” but recently decided to take a leap of faith with his first Christian film, “God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness.”

Before taking on the role of Adam in the latest installment of the “God’s Not Dead” film franchise, actor Mike C. Manning spent his time in the heart of Hollywood.

The MTV star is known for his roles in “The Real World DC” and “Teen Wolf” as well as Disney Channel’s “Cloud 9,” but recently decided to take a leap of faith with his first Christian film, “God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness.

 Manning told The Christian Post that Christianity has played a major role in his life and he just wanted this role to reflect that.
“There have been many times where I’ve turned to God for help and guidance and support, and He was there for me through those struggles,” Manning said.
He went on to say that Christianity is about love and kindness and living the example of Jesus but that worldly things often distract others from that.
“I think the world today is in need of healing. You have different sides fighting each other and refusing to listen,” Manning noted. “The media is less and less about educating us than it is about giving us ‘ammunition’ to fight the other side.”
“I think this film points that out — that as long as you are yelling, you’re not listening,” he said. “I think for Pure Flix to create a film like this, who as a company is quickly becoming a ‘go to’ place for faith-based entertainment, was admirable.”
Manning noted that his role as the bad guy turned good in the Pure Flix film is one role that’s had the biggest impact on him.
“For me, when accepting an acting job it’s always about the character and the story first. As a ‘good guy in a bad situation,’ I felt like the character of Adam immediately spoke to me,” Manning explained.
“I am beyond proud to be part of a film that holds the message of helping others, forgiveness, growth and making it okay to ask for help,” he continued. “My character, Adam, is a completely different person in the end of the film than he was in the beginning, and that transformation is largely because those closest to him helped him through hard times, forgave him and didn’t turn away when things became difficult.”
“I can definitely relate that to my own life and hope that when others watch the film, they can too,” he added.
The Pure Flix film hit theatres on Easter this year, bringing in more than $2 million during opening weekend.
Source: CBN

‘Serious Power and Security in God’s Love’: NBA’s Jeremy Lin Says Powerful Lesson in Studying Old Testament Heroes

NBA basketball star Jeremy Lin recently told his online prayer group about a powerful lesson he learned while studying “sinful” Old Testament heroes.

According to The Gospel Herald, Lin, a devout Christian, revealed how it struck him that God uses imperfect people to fulfill the work of his kingdom.

This truth, Lin says, gave him “serious power and security.”

In an email to his prayer group, the Brooklyn Nets point guard says while reading about the lives of Abraham, Jacob, Noah and other Bible “heroes,” he realized just how sinful they are were.

“Seriously, God has been really impressing on my heart that He continually uses broken, imperfect people,” he wrote. “I often put pressure on myself to be as close to perfect as I can otherwise God can’t use me. But the reality is that God uses sinful, doubtful and proud people all through Scripture.”

“Even with Abraham, he wasn’t willing to wait for God to fulfill His covenant so he took matters into his own hands,” Lin continued. “He also lied out of a lack of faith by saying his wife was his sister. I guess my encouragement to everyone is that we don’t have to be perfect. God loves us enough that He’s willing to include us in His kingdom work. He doesn’t need us, but He loves us so much that He’d rather use us than not. There is serious power and security when we understand our Father’s love!!”

Lin, 29, had to sit out this last season due to a torn patellar tendon in his right knee.  He also asked for prayer for a “very productive” next season.

“I’ve spent 5 straight months building a foundation for my body and knee in Vancouver, so I’m hoping to really take off in the next 5 months that are this offseason,” he wrote in the email. “Specifically please pray that I’d be able to implement a lot of the new movement techniques and tons of body changes that we’ve made. It’s a daunting process to tackle so many improvements at once, but I’m hoping that everything will stick and get fully implemented into my game for good.”

Read Brooklyn Net’s Jeremy Lin Launches ‘Rehab for a Cause’ Fundraiser for Girl’s Empowerment 

Lin also asked his group to pray for his friends.

“I’ve seen many friends get interested in Christianity, but it’s not as often that one of my friends dives headfirst into giving his/her life to Christ.” he wrote. “I know it’s God’s job to allow spiritual growth so please pray for the softening of some of my non-believing friends’ hearts.”

“Lastly, please continue to pray for our nation and world,” he concluded. “We’re surrounded by tragedy so please pray for our nation and world leaders. That God’s truth would be further lived out in this world!!”

Source: CBN

Pastor Unseats Sitting US Congressman: Could This Be a New Trend?

WASHINGTON – In a stunning upset, Mark Harris defeated Rep. Robert Pittenger Tuesday night in North Carolina’s 9th District primary.

Harris, a former pastor of a mega-church in Charlotte, is one of many candidates across the country with a ministerial background.

One of his staunchest supporters is David Lane, founder of the American Renewal Project, an organization that aims to encourage and equip pastors to run for office with the goal of affecting the culture.

Lane tells CBN News his organization doesn’t keep track of individual races but knows of at least 300 pastors running at the local level.

“A grassroots, precinct-level explosion is occurring across the country by evangelical and pro-life Catholic Christians,” Lane said.

It was a close race between Harris and Pittenger who also faced off against each other in 2016.

“I invite the congressman and his supporters to join our journey as we focus on keeping the 9th District red in November, ensuring the hard-working people of the 9th District have a congressman who is focused on representing them and their values,” Harris said in his victory speech.

Pittenger, a Christian himself, bowed out graciously.

“I wish him the best,” he said in his concession speech.

Harris tells CBN News he believes it’s important Christians, and especially pastors, be involved in politics.

“There is no realm that God has made an exception for that He doesn’t intend for believers to be salt and light,” he said. “Every arena God expects us to be engaged.”

Lane agrees and is looking ahead to 2020 when he hopes even more pastors will throw their hats into the ring.

“Imagine in 2020 a thousand evangelical pastors running for local office: city council, school board, parks and recreation,” he said. “If they averaged 500 volunteers per campaign, that would be a 500,000 grassroots, precinct-level explosion in the public square on November 3, 2020.”

This November, Harris will go up against Democrat Dan McCready in what’s expected to be another very close race.

Source: CBN

Juanita Bynum Reunites With TD Jakes for ‘Woman Thou Art Loosed’ Conference

Nearly 20 years after her controversial exit from the lineup of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ popular “Woman Thou Art Loosed” annual conference, televangelist Juanita Bynum is set to return to the stage of the event that made her a household name this fall.

About two weeks ago, Bynum teased a one-minute promotional clip on Facebook of her pending appearance at Jakes’ “Woman Thou Art Loosed: Master Class” set for Oct. 18-20, sparking excitement among her supporters.

The event, which will be held in Dallas, Texas, promises an “unforgettable weekend” to women who will be attending from around the world.

“Trust us, when we say this conference is not only going to impact you spiritually but catapult you to a level of success making you the master of your journey! So prepare yourself for Woman Thou Art Loosed Master Class!” the Potter’s House said.

Along with Bynum, the event will feature Bishop Jakes, his daughter, Sarah Jakes Roberts, and Pastor Sheryl Brady.

Bynum shot to fame after her 1997 “No More Sheets” sermon at the “Woman Thou Art Loosed” Conference. In that sermon, she discussed her battle with her sexuality and her longing for a husband. She described the bedsheets as all the empty sex she’d had with men.

“Why am I not married?” she asked the women at the conference. “But I find it very difficult to listen to anybody preach to me about being single when they got a pair of thighs in [their] bed every night … and you keep telling me to ‘Hold on, honey, stay there by yourself’ … and you goin’ home to big old muscles and thighs? … I wanna hear ‘hold on’ from somebody that knows my struggle!”

By about 2002, the year she got married to Rev. Thomas W. Weeks, Bynum was no longer a featured speaker at the conference, after discord strained her relationship with Bishop Jakes.

Five years later, Bynum and Weeks headed for divorce court after a very public beating in an Atlanta parking lot.

She later confessed in 2012 to using drugs and engaging in same-sex relationships.

“I’ve been there and I’ve done it all. I did the drugs, I’ve been with men, I’ve been with women. All of it,” she said on the “Frank & Wanda in the Morning” radio program. “I took full responsibility in every area because every choice that I made, nobody put a gun to my head. I made those choices due to a lack of wisdom.”

The Christian Post reached out to both Bynum and the Potter’s House for comment on the reunion Monday but a response was not immediately available.

Source: CBN

Christian Singer Jamie Grace Keeps Wedding Secret Until Now (See Photo)

Grammy-nominated Christian singer Jamie Grace had the wedding of her dreams last month but managed to fly under the radar until now.

The young YouTube star has shared her stunning wedding photos exclusively with People magazine.

Grace, who has been battling Tourette’s syndrome since she was 11, has defied the odds time and again.  She was wed at North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia, on April 14 to Atlanta-native, model and actor, Aaron Collins.

“I was more giddy than anything,” the singer told People magazine of how she felt when reciting traditional vows.

The couple invited 1,500 friends, family and fans to the wedding. The church was filled to capacity with standing room only while an additional 1,000 were on a waiting list to get in since the singer opened her wedding invitation to the public.

“I was genuinely surrounded by every person who could calm any possible nerves,” Grace revealed. “It was an absolute fairytale wedding and I almost couldn’t believe it was happening.”

The California native wore a custom-made gown by designer Johana Hernandez that featured a 14-foot train.

“Aaron is, by far, the most amazing man I have ever met,” she gushed about her husband.

Her declaration of love comes after years of dating struggles.

“I always felt like I was kind of in a limbo when it came to dating and telling guys that I had Tourette’s because it wasn’t something life-threatening, and it wasn’t something that I, in a dating relationship, really needed them to do anything,” she told Essence in March.

The former Gotee artist-turned-indie announced that she was engaged to Collins in January after courting for two months.

The singer posted a photo of herself and her beau posing together and sported the engagement ring.

“I SAID YES!” she exclaimed on Instagram.

“We met a little over a year ago. Then, my 26th birthday was the loveliest yet. It was the start of what feels like an old-fashioned courtship from a beautiful book, movie or song I couldn’t compose even if I tried,” Grace explained.

“Everything about Aaron is a reminder of how good God is and how faithful He is to fulfill His promises for those who wait. I’ve been so overwhelmed with God’s joy and peace. … I’ve been giggling nonstop since he asked,” she added.

Grace was discovered by TobyMac in 2010 and has had a very successful career to date. Despite having Tourette’s syndrome she was determined to make her dreams come true and the Dove Award-winning songwriter, musician and actress is an inspiration to many.

She has helped encourage others around the world by founding and the Jamie Grace Foundation, both which provide resources and content to help children and families who are coping with severe illnesses and disorders.

Source: CBN

‘Prayer Changes Hearts’: President Trump Honors God’s Redemptive Work in Former Bank Robber’s Life

Jon Ponder was an inmate that was given a second chance and he says it did not come from a prison reform program, but from the hand of God.”I invited Jesus to be the Lord of my life and life just went in a 180-degree turn,” Ponder told Fox & Friends.

President Trump honored Ponder and the work he is doing with prison inmates during the National Day of Prayer Thursday.

“Your story reminds us that prayer changes hearts and transforms lives,” the president said. “It uplifts the soul, inspires action, and unites us all as one nation under God.”

Ponder took to Twitter hours later to thank the president.

“What an absolute honor to have the @POTUS @realDonaldTrump acknowledge the transformative power of God at work in my life and validate the great work God is doing through the ministry,” he wrote.

Ponder, now the CEO and founder of Hope For Prisoners Inc., spent his time in and out of prison starting at the age of 12. He was arrested for bank robbery and sent to a maximum security prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

“Jon soon ended up in federal prison relegated to solitary confinement. That’s where God found him,” Trump told the crowd gathered at the White House Rose Garden Thursday. “Jon began to read the Bible and listen to Christian radio.”

That when the transformation took place.

“I remember one time I was in prison in solitary confinement and I had a little transistor radio and in that transistor radio, I heard a Billy Graham sermon,” Ponder told Fox News. “I woke up in the middle of the night and Billy Graham was sharing a story of the prodigal son and at the end of that message he made the call to surrender your life to the Lord and I invited Jesus to be the Lord of my life.”

Jon spent the rest of his time in prison praying, studying the Bible and leading fellow inmates to Christ.

Jon was released from prison years later at the age of 38. The day after his release he was visited by the man who put him in jail, FBI special agent Richard Beasley.

Richard told Jon he had been praying for him while he was in jail.

The pair are now best friends.

“I love him,” Jon told Trump at the event.

Jon now shares the love of Christ by helping other former inmates receive a second chance by providing them job training, Christian discipleship, and financial literacy courses.

“When a person gets out of prison, he or she wants to change, but many don’t know how to change,” Ponder told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2016. “It’s our job to help the ex-offenders become a valuable part of society.”

“I tell people that Hope for Prisoners is something that God impregnated me with many years ago while I was in prison,” he continued.

Trump told listeners at the White House that there is power in prayer.

“Jon and Richard you are the living testament of the power of prayer,” he said. “Our country was founded on prayer, our communities are sustained by prayer, and our nation will be renewed by hard work, a lot of intelligence, and prayer.”

Source: CBN