IS TRUMP DRAINING THE SWAMP AS PROMISED?

Even before Trump’s January 2018 State of the Union Address, his administration had waded into the swamp and begun the cleanup process, fully embracing 64 percent of the agenda items proposed by the conservative Heritage Foundation for changing the way Washington works.

Pulling America out of the Paris Agreement on climate change turned out to be a major public relations victory for the president, sending a warning salvo across the bow of Washington, D.C.’s entrenched climate-change lobby and earning plaudits from his anti-globalist base.

Ending Obama-era regulations on net neutrality was another.

Then proposing and passing a once-in-a-generation tax reform package—over the objections of legislators from both parties—was an important sequel leading to, contrary to some media warnings, higher take-home pay and bonuses for American workers.

Using the provisions of the Congressional Review Act, the administration worked with Congress to eliminate 14 regulations adopted in the waning days of the Obama administration. The president made it clear he intended to wage war on over  regulation and began by lifting Obama’s moratorium on coal leases on federal lands. He then instructed all executive branch agencies to review all new rules, with the goal of eliminating two regulations for every new one. By year’s end, the administration had withdrawn, delayed or made inactive 1500 proposed regulations, saving more than $8 billion in lifetime net regulatory costs, with the promise of increasing savings to $9.8 billion with regulatory cost-cutting in 2018.

Another priority of President Trump’s agenda is the nomination and confirmation of conservative constitutional judges, perhaps best illustrated by the appointments of Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. Trump also appointed and gained confirmation for 12 circuit court of appeals judges before the end of his first year in office. This was the largest number of appellate judges confirmed during the first year of any American president. However, the challenge would become more complicated the following year, as more than 90 of the president’s appointments were blocked in the Senate.

Nominating and confirming strict constitutionals to the federal bench, as the Trump team has repeatedly pointed out, is an important step in reducing bureaucratic entanglements since most federal cases are settled at the appellate level. As many as 8,000 cases are filed before the Supreme Court each year, which is far more than any court can consider. Plenary review with oral arguments by attorneys for both sides is granted in about 80 cases each term, and as many as 100 cases may be disposed of without plenary review. Only one of every 700 cases heard by the appellate courts will find its way to the Supreme Court, so reducing the number of activist judges, eliminating needless bureaucracy and resolving disputes at the earliest possible level is a victory for the rule of law.

And by God’s grace, we will see an increase in this kind of victory in the Supreme Court. I encourage you to read more about this topic in Steve Strang’s Trump Aftershock.

JESUS AS A MAN OF WAR

“You are going to see the Man of war that I am, for I have not come to bring peace, but to bring the sword with which to rightly divide the sheep from the goats, the true from the counterfeit and the religious from the pure in heart.

Those who only see Jesus as the gentle Lamb of God forget that He is also the fierce Lion of Judah. When Jesus said, “I am meek and lowly” (Matt. 11:29), He did not mean that He is soft, timid or weak. Rather, He is power under control.

In Revelation 1:12-18, we read that the glorified Christ has eyes of blazing fire, feet of bronze, a voice like rushing waters, a face like the sun and a sword coming out of His mouth. This image made the apostle John fall at his feet as though dead—and it should fill us with awe and wonder that such a great and holy God would give His life for us.

Do not question the Potter as to the clay He chooses to mould and shape. Many question God’s choice of Donald Trump for President of the USA and yet he has supported Christian values with the appointment of conservative Supreme Court judges, he is pro Israel, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he is pro life and pro traditional family. He delights in having Christians pray for him even in public. He is God’s wrecking ball, a man who is not afraid to war against those who oppose God in the high places of darkness and deception.

Recently, we have seen God appoint Christian leaders in Australia, Brazil, Guatemala and all were most unlikely candidates. Collective fasting and prayer can cause God to step in and change circumstances and I am sure this was the case in all three of these nations. God is always on the move. The question is are we in step with Him?

 Are you in a church that believes and preaches the inerrant word of God, that understands we are in the “last days,” and is raising up disciples to reach out to the lost? Do we know God’s call on our life and are we pursuing it, totally, trusting in Him for guidance and provision? Are we prepared for the coming tribulation even great tribulation? 

 

SHAPING HISTORY THROUGH FASTING AND PRAYER

USA President Zachary Taylor called for a “Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer” on August 3, 1849. The Resolution stated in part: ” It is recommended to persons of all religious denominations to abstain as far as practical from secular occupations and to assemble in their respective places of public worship, to acknowledge the Infinite goodness which has watched over our existence as a nation, and so long crowned us with manifold blessings, and to implore the Almighty in His own good time to stay the destroying hand which is now lifted up against us.”

In St. Louis alone 120 died of cholera in April, 1849.  “The toll grew six-fold in May…reached 2,200 in July..;.with a weekly toll of 640, seven times the city’s normal death rate… bodies were buried in ditches.. the official death toll was 4,317…The number of deaths dropped suddenly in August. President Taylor’s Proclamation of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer was observed Friday, August 3, 1849, and by the end of the month, the death toll had ‘dropped suddenly.’  [Miracles in American History,  Susie Federer,  Amerisearch, Inc, 2012, p.121]

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Queen Esther ponders Mordecai’s news. Ezra 8:21-23 and Esther in the fourth chapter of the Book of Esther provide other incredible examples of God stepping in to change the course of history in response to collective fasting and prayer.

All of the above examples relate to Israel but Scripture provides us with an example of a gentile nation, Assyria, at the time the most powerful empire in the ancient world. The Book of Jonah records God’s dealings with Nineveh (capital of Assyria). The response to the reluctant Jonah’s message was immediate and dramatic: “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them to the least of them. The king decreed “… and cry mightily unto God :yea let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if Cod will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not.” Jonah 3:5-9. Moreover we know the outcome – much to Jonah’s dismay God ” repented of the evil that He said He would do unto them” and we know Nineveh continued as a more or less stable and prosperous city for 150 years before God did ultimately judge the city and nation.

In God’s dealings with nations His promise of blessings and His warnings of judgement are both alike conditional. Judgement may be averted – even at the 11th hour- by repentance. Conversely, blessing may be forfeited by disobedience. If only the leaders of our nations understood this edict.