September 23, 2017: Verse of the day

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Divine Preservation in God’s Kingdom

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven. (10:20)

Satan may, if God permits, bring trials into our lives as he did to Job (Job 1:6–12; 2:1–7), Peter (Luke 22:31), and Paul (2 Cor. 12:7). But he can never take away our salvation or separate us from God’s love (John 10:27–29; Rom. 8:28–39; Jude 24–25). The cause for that confidence lies in the final reason for the seventy’s rejoicing.

Although they rejoiced in the power over and protection from Satan’s kingdom of darkness the Lord had granted them, there was a far more significant reason for the seventy to rejoice. Jesus exhorted them not to rejoice merely because the spirits were subject to them, but rather that their names are recorded in heaven. They would not only experience God’s power and protection in this life, but also His blessing forever.

The wondrous reality that the seventy were genuine disciples was the supreme cause of their joy. Success in evangelism and power over Satan’s kingdom are for this life only. Believers’ knowledge that their names are recorded in heaven, never to be blotted out (cf. Dan. 12:1; Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27), far surpasses all earthly joys.[1]


20 This verse, with its call to rejoicing in the supreme blessing of assurance of heaven, is one of Jesus’ great sayings. “Do not rejoice” does not exclude the disciples’ taking joy in spiritual victories but rather introduces a strong and typically Semitic comparison. The idea of the names of God’s faithful people as being written down in heaven is common in biblical and extrabiblical Jewish writings. In those days it was natural to refer to this through the metaphor of a book or scroll (e.g., Ex 32:32–33; Ps 69:28; Da 12:1; Mal 3:16; Rev 20:12–15).[2]


20. Nevertheless, it is not this in which you should rejoice, that the spirits submit to you, but this, that your names are recorded in heaven.

Jesus does not mean that these men erred in rejoicing over their God-given power over demons. Did not their ability to cast them out redound to God’s glory? Did it not also result in delivering the enslaved from the powers of darkness? What the Master must have meant was that authority over demons was, after all, insignificant in comparison with having one’s name recorded in heaven’s book of life. Cf. Isa. 4:3; Dan. 12:1; Rev. 3:5; 20:12, 15.

Casting out demons ceases when life here on earth ends. But right standing with God, resulting in everlasting salvation to his glory, never ends. Besides, authority over demons does not guarantee salvation. It is entirely possible that even upon Judas had been bestowed the ability to cast out demons. See Luke 9:1. But that did not make him a saved man!

For Practical Lessons and Greek Words, etc., see pp. 585–590.

10:21–24 The Rejoicing of Jesus

Cf. Matt. 11:25–27; 13:16, 17

21 At that time Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise thee Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and learned (people) and didst reveal them to babes; yes Father, for such was thy good pleasure. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

23 And turning to his disciples he said privately, “Blessed (are) the eyes that see what you are seeing! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you are seeing, but did not see it, and to hear what you are hearing, but did not hear it.”

The beginning of this paragraph so closely resembles what is found in Matthew’s Gospel that the opinion of many, namely, that the same event is being described in Matt. 11:25 ff. as here in Luke 10:21 ff., may well be correct. That event was the return of the “seventy,” or perhaps better, as has been indicated, the “seventy-two.”

Verses 1–24 of Luke’s tenth chapter are clearly a unit: the charge to the seventy-two (verses 1–12), the serious consequences of rejecting their (hence their Savior’s) message (verses 13–16), their return and exuberant report (verses 17–20), and Jesus’ own rejoicing coupled with the benediction he pronounced on the seventy-two (verses 21–24) belong together.[3]


20 Though sometimes identified as Lukan composition (e.g., Fitzmyer, 859 “v 20 may also be of Lukan composition”), only the πλήν (a strong form of “but”) with which the verse begins lies under suspicion of being Lukan (see the discussion in Miyoshi, Anfang, 107–9). There is, however, a difficulty about the form in which such a saying could have been transmitted. Different scholars have identified as the original unit vv 17, 20; vv 18, 20; and vv 19, 20. The best of these suggestions is the first (cf. Grelot, RSR 69 [1981] 88–89; rejoicing, the submission of the demons, and the role of the name link vv 17 and 20). This suggests that we should choose (from the options canvassed at v 17 above) in favor of heavy Lukan over-writing rather than Lukan composition. Could the original unit here have run something like, “They returned saying, ‘Even the spirits are subject to us [in your name].’ He said, ‘Do not rejoice in this; rejoice, rather, that your names have been recorded in heaven’ ”? (For a negative version of this sentiment, cf. Matt 7:22–23.) Luke (or his source) will have developed the parallelism between the two parts through the insertion of vv 18, 19.

Heavenly books of life are known from ancient Sumerian and Akkadian times (see Paul, JANESCU 5 [1973] 345–53). In the OT see Exod 32:32–33; Pss 69:28; 87:6; Isa 4:3; and esp. Dan 12:1; and cf. Mal 3:16–17. In the NT cf. Phil 4:3; Heb 12:23; Rev 3:5; 13:8. See also 1 Enoch 47:3; 108:3, 7; 1QM 12:2. The image is that of a register of citizens and is to be distinguished from the equally widespread image of God’s record book of the deeds of the people upon earth (the images are at times merged). An assured place in the kingdom of God is the supreme benefit that emerges through the experience of God’s grace in the ministry of Jesus. Note the contrast between Satan fallen from heaven and the names of the disciples now recorded in heaven.

Explanation

The Seventy(-two) have been involved in a mighty work and are excited by what they have experienced as they have in their mission explored the reality of the authority entrusted to them by Jesus. Jesus acknowledges and interprets this experience but bids them focus rather on the place secured for them in God’s future for his People.

We are to glean the success of the mission from the announcement of the returning messengers. We have no broader report, but at least they have had a heady experience of the reality of supernatural and spiritual power. As they have used his name, Jesus has been demonstrably Lord over the demons.

Jesus responds by reporting to them his own vision of Satan’s fall. This can be understood as simply a metaphorical description of the significance of what has been occurring in the disciples’ mission, but is probably better taken as referring to an actual visionary experience, like those of some of the OT prophets (Amos 8:1–2; Jer 1:13–19; etc.). In vision the prophets saw what God intended and found their own role in relation to it. Jesus saw that God intended the downfall of Satan and that it was his task to achieve this in God’s name.

In various circles of Jewish thought there was an expectation that the coming of the end-time would involve a final conflict between God and Satan, which would result in Satan’s decisive defeat. Jesus shared this view and allowed it to define his own role. But not only does this define his own role; it also defines the role of the disciples who are called to share in and extend Jesus’ own ministry. Through exorcism, healing, and proclaiming of the kingdom of God, Jesus’ vision becomes tangible reality upon the earth.

v 19 uses the imagery of trampling down one’s foes to develop the thought further. Jesus has imparted to his disciples the authority to move with impunity against all the forces of evil. In this verse there are probably allusions to Deut 8:15 and Ps 91:13. The former draws a connection between these present promises and God’s protection of the Israelites in the dangers of the Exodus wanderings. The latter provides a link to the protection promised by God to the one who makes God his shelter. Similarities with Rev 9:3–4 increase our confidence that the text here is using imagery of the end-time conflict between good and evil. The reality of this divine empowering and protection is pictured in Acts (e.g., 28:3–5), but the coming fate of Jesus in Jerusalem, which is so stressed in this journey section of the Gospel and also in other elements of the Acts portrayal, should warn us against taking this language in a way that is too triumphalist and that leaves no place for the Christian call to suffering (compare the paradoxical juxtaposition in Luke 21:16–17 and v 18).

One can easily be carried away by the experience of power. In v 20 Jesus expresses to the disciples just this concern. The prime goal of his ministry has been to restore people to God—to provide for them a secure place in the kingdom of God. To put it in terms that look ahead in the Gospel, the goal of Jesus’ ministry has been to see prodigals restored to their Father. The disciples are to rejoice that they have been recorded in heaven, for life in the kingdom of God (compare Dan 12:2).[4]


10:20 Yet they were not to rejoice in their power over spirits, but rather in their own salvation. This is the only recorded instance when the Lord told His disciples not to rejoice. There are subtle dangers connected with success in Christian service, whereas the fact that our names are written in heaven reminds us of our infinite debt to God and His Son. It is safe to rejoice in salvation by grace.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2011). Luke 6–10 (p. 342). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 194). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke (Vol. 11, pp. 582–583). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[4] Nolland, J. (1998). Luke 9:21–18:34 (Vol. 35B, pp. 565–567). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1409). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

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September 22, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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BLOOMBERG

A wave of fake bomb threats across Russia has entered its second week in what a senior lawmaker called a “full-scale cyberwar” against the country that authorities are ill-equipped to fight.

Russia issued an unusually blunt warning to the U.S. that it will retaliate against American-backed fighters in Syria, accusing them of firing on government troops battling for territory in a strategic region bordering Iraq.

Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information.

North Korea struck back at U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to destroy it, with Kim Jong Un warning of the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” and his foreign minister suggesting that could include testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in made a plea at the United Nations to scale back tensions with North Korea, warning of accidental war from the same podium where President Donald Trump threatened two days before to “totally destroy” Kim Jong Un’s country.

The thirty-two states that increased their Medicaid coverage for low-income people would lose $180 billion, but states that didn’t would gain $73 billion from 2020 to 2026.

Hewlett Packard is planning to cut about 10 percent of its staff, or at least 5,000 workers, part of a broader effort to pare expenses as competition mounts.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hails its database of company filings as an innovation that’s dramatically boosted corporate transparency. But a hack that led to the theft of market-moving secrets is the latest sign that technology also brings dangers the SEC is struggling to combat. The breach adds to a growing list of SEC embarrassments over Edgar, a massive online system where companies are required to disclose everything from stock sales by top executives to regulatory investigations.

AP Top Stories

President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Friday that Iran would boost its missile capabilities despite warnings from Washington that it is ready to ditch a landmark nuclear deal over the issue.

Russia on Thursday issued a stern warning to U.S. forces and their allies in Syria, saying it has deployed Russian special forces alongside Syrian government troops in the battle for the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province and that Moscow would retaliate if the Russians come under fire.

A New Jersey man who won nearly a $340 million jackpot in the Powerball lottery four years ago has been charged with sexually assaulting a minor over the course of three years, prosecutors said.

Russia’s military has accused U.S. intelligence of ordering militants affliated with Al-Qeada to attack government forces in order to divert their attention from a battle they are fighting against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). Bashar al-Assad’s regime is battling ISIS in Deir Ezzor, once a stronghold of Islamist extremists.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday declared the time for dialogue with North Korea is over and rallied behind a US warning that “all options” are on the table.

Pope Francis, in some of his most candid and personal comments on the sexual abuse of children by priests, said on Thursday that the Catholic Church had “arrived late” in dealing with the problem.

The UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously decided to set up an investigation team to collect evidence on the massacres of Iraq’s Yazidi minority and other atrocities committed by the Islamic State group in Iraq.

BBC

The rapid spread of “super malaria” in South East Asia is an alarming global threat, scientists are warning. This dangerous form of the malaria parasite cannot be killed with the main anti-malaria drugs.

The death toll from Mexico’s powerful earthquake has risen to 273, officials say, as rescuers race against the clock to reach trapped survivors.

Scientists have engineered an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates.

Donations to an Australian school’s “wear a dress day” charity drive have skyrocketed after the event was criticized by a Conservative senator. Cory Bernadi criticized the event as “absurd” and “gender morphing”.

At least 50 migrants are feared drowned after their boat ran out of fuel and capsized off the Libyan coast.

Emmanuel Macron has formally signed an overhaul of France’s labour laws, a key platform of his presidency. Thousands of protesters have condemned the reforms, which make it easier for companies to hire and cheaper to fire staff.

WND

A Kansas prison inmate filed suit Wednesday alleging that prison officials are violating her constitutional rights by “imposing Christian beliefs” on inmates.

A teacher took down a gunman inside an Illinois high school after he opened fire in the school’s cafeteria on Wednesday. Police say Angela McQueen’s quick response saved lives. A 16-year-old student was shot and later released from the hospital, and the suspect, who the police said was a student, is in custody.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, really stepped in it when he compared illegal immigrants living in the U.S. to Jews who suffered in Nazi Germany.


The Briefing 09-22-17

Is work a prerequisite for food? For able-bodied people, state of TN says yes, so does the Bible

ACLU targets religious exemptions for adoptions, and in turn the children of Michigan

As U.S. debates monuments, monument to Russian general behind AK-47 comes under fire

Worldview book recommendation — Worth Dying for: The Power and Politics of Flag

The post The Briefing 09-22-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


News – 9/22/2017

A North Korea nuclear test over the Pacific? Logical, terrifying
Detonating a nuclear-tipped missile over the Pacific Ocean would be a logical final step by North Korea to prove the success of its weapons program but would be extremely provocative and carry huge risks, arms control experts said on Friday. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho suggested leader Kim Jong Un was considering testing “an unprecedented scale hydrogen bomb” over the Pacific in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat at the United Nations to “totally destroy” the country.

Russian sub fires cruises missiles at militants in Syria
Russia’s defense ministry says its submarine in the Mediterranean Sea has fired cruise missiles at militant positions in northwestern Syria. The Russia military said the missiles strikes from the Veliky Novgorod submarine earlier on Friday targeted militants, ammunition depots and fortifications in Syria’s Idlib province, which is dominated by the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee.

Turks and Caicos brace for Hurricane Maria after devastating Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic
Widespread damage and power outages have been reported in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as Hurricane Maria lashes the northern Caribbean islands.

The Iraqi militia helping Iran carve a road to Damascus
In late May, an Iraqi cleric called Akram Kaabi visited militia fighters in a desolate Iraqi town near the Syrian border. Kaabi, who heads a Shi’ite Muslim militia named Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba, was decked out in a camouflage uniform and led the fighters in prayer on mats laid on the dusty ground. A video of the session showed heavily armed militiamen standing guard.

Arab media reports Israeli airstrike on Damascus Airport
Arab media reports on Thursday night claimed that Israel attacked a weapons depot next to Damascus International Airport. A report…said that a series of explosions shook the airport. Al Masdar News, a Lebanese outlet, also reported that an Israeli drone attack the airport, citing a report from the Syrian military that the attack did not seriously damage the airport or its surroundings, and that there were no casualties.

Kim says ‘deranged’ Trump shows need for nuclear programme
Kim Jong-un has said remarks by “deranged” US President Donald Trump have convinced him he is right to develop weapons for North Korea. In an unprecedented personal statement, via state media, Mr Kim said Mr Trump would “pay dearly” for his recent speech to the UN. The US president said on Tuesday that if America was forced to defend itself it would “totally destroy” North Korea.

In defiance to US, Iran unveils latest missile during parade
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Friday unveiled its latest ballistic missile capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including Israel, while the country’s president vowed that Tehran would press ahead with its missile program in defiance of U.S. demands to the contrary. The unveiling came during a military parade in Tehran that commemorated the 1980s Iraq-Iran war.

Turkish president’s bodyguards pummel protesters again
The Turkish leader…was attempting to address the Turkish American National Steering Committee…in Times Square… As soon as Erdogan enters the stage a protester can be heard on a Periscope video shouting “You’re a terrorist! Get out of my country!” The assembly soon turned into a battle royale…as security guards hurried them out of the room. The demonstrators can be seen being pummeled by punches as they attempt to leave.

The Worst Mistake In US History
“The worst mistake in U.S. history was the conversion after World War II of the U.S. government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the U.S. military.”

Active Volcano Mt. Rainer Shaken By ‘Swarm’ Of 23 Earthquakes
Some two dozen earthquakes have shaken Washington State’s Mt. Rainer over the past two weeks – but seismologists say people who live nearby shouldn’t panic.

End-of-world prediction interrupts TV broadcasts in Orange County
Some Orange County residents were stunned Thursday, Sept. 21, when television programming was suddenly interrupted for about a minute with an ominous message predicting the end of the world. Stacy Laflamme of Lake Forest said she was watching the HGTV channel via Cox Communications about 11:05 a.m. when suddenly an emergency alert flashed across her screen followed by a voice.

Ex-CIA agent tweets article blaming Jews for US wars, then apologizes
Valerie Plame Wilson, a former CIA agent and author, came under fire on Thursday after she tweeted a link to a piece titled “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars.”

Pope Francis Welcomes Leader of Muslim World League to Vatican

Pope Francis met with the secretary general of the Muslim World League (MWL) in the Vatican Wednesday, a group that has been tied to Saudi financing of jihadist terrorism and the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

D.C. court rules tracking phones without a warrant is unconstitutional
Law enforcement use of one tracking tool, the cell-site simulator, to track a suspect’s phone without a warrant violates the Constitution, the D.C. Court of Appeals said Thursday in a landmark ruling for privacy and Fourth Amendment rights as they pertain to policing tactics.

BREAKING: Ben Carson Makes Horrifying Discovery
According to Judicial Watch, many employees working for HUD have been embezzling and wasting thousands of dollars. Lorena Loren, executive director of HUD in Michigan was caught stealing $336,000 from low-income families.

Palestinian President Abbas says peace closer with Trump engaged
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed optimism on Wednesday about reaching a peace agreement with Israel this year and said U.S. President Donald Trump’s commitment to the issue would help create the “deal of the century” in the region.

Smart billboards size up drivers, and target ads to them
Here is what’s around the corner: Smart digital billboards will detect the make, model and year of oncoming vehicles and project ads tailored to the motorist.

Levin: Our Media Is Really No Different from Media in Any Dictatorship or Communist Regime

“You see, ladies and gentlemen, our media, for the most part, it’s really no different from the media in any dictatorship or any communist regime,” stated Mark Levin. “It’s groupthink. It’s a gang attack. It’s a propaganda enterprise.”

View Article

September 22, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — President Trump in his U.N. speech failed to mention that Russia and China are responsible for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. What’s worse, Trump actually thanked Russia and China for helping to somehow restrain North Korea through the ineffective United Nations…. (more)

September 22, 2017
ALICIA POWE — The Republican Party has swept all of the special elections to replace members of Congress tapped by President Trump for posts in his administration. But there’s another one coming up: next week’s GOP runoff in Alabama between seated temporary Sen. Luther Strange, the state’s former attorney general, and Judge Roy Moore, the state’s former Supreme Court chief justice…. (more)

September 22, 2017

BREITBART — Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King announced his endorsement of Judge Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate. “Judge Roy Moore has shown time and time again that he will stand strong against the prevailing winds to champion causes that are important to conservatives,” King said Thursday about the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice…. (more)


September 21, 2017
WESLEY PRUDEN — We’ve heard the words and music of this song before. The hoariest cliche in American politics, presented as accomplished fact by every wise head in academe and media after every wipe-out election, is that the losing party is finished. Kaput. Destroyed. Done for. Dead, as in the graveyard…. (more)

September 21, 2017

PHILIP KLEIN — Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Tuesday said that President Trump must first decertify the Iran deal before Congress makes any changes to the legislation governing the agreement…. (more)


September 21, 2017

BOB UNRUH — It was only a few months ago that James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, issued a flat denial when asked if he knew of a FISA court order to wiretap the Trump campaign in 2016…. (more)


September 21, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson says media outlets are “diving deeply into minutiae” to avoid a stark development: President Trump’s previously ridiculed “wiretapping” claims appear to be true. Ms. Attkisson has warned of the weaponization of intelligence agencies since her laptop for CBS News stories was hacked on multiple occasions in 2013. An op-ed she wrote for The Hill on Wednesday presented an extensive case that U.S. intelligence agencies under former President Barack Obama were manipulated for political purposes – – and that pundits are willfully ignoring it…. (more)

September 21, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Sparring with celebrities and Al Gore over global warming may not be what Roy Spencer had in mind when he earned his Ph.D., but it’s certainly become a bustling sideline for the University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologist. A month after rebutting Mr. Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Mr. Spencer has published another short e-book, this one challenging statements by Jennifer Lawrence, Bill Nye, Stevie Wonder and others linking global warming to this year’s active hurricane season…. (more)

September 21, 2017

CAL THOMAS — While campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump more than once referred to the United Nations as a “useless” organization and “not a friend of democracy.” In his speech Tuesday to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, he apparently has discovered the often dysfunctional body can be useful, if it adopts the reforms he is proposing and accepts an agenda that includes uniting to stop North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons and missiles to strike at U.S and other targets…. (more)


September 20, 2017
NEWSMAX — Evangelist Franklin Graham called on his followers to pray for President Donald Trump, applauding him for his speech before the United Nations General Assembly…. (more)

September 20, 2017
ART MOORE — President Trump’s tough talk regarding the North Korean nuclear threat in his U.N. speech – – including referring to dictator Kim Jong Un as “rocket man” and threatening to “totally destroy” the communist nation – – has rattled Trump’s critics in establishment media and the Democratic Party, but some in the international community appreciated his “blunt, honest approach,” according to U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley…. (more)

September 20, 2017
CHERYL CHUMLEY — MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, normally no fan of Donald Trump’s – – to put it mildly – – nonetheless came out in defense of the president’s speech before the United Nations. In short, Scarborough actually liked it…. (more)

September 20, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Vice President Mike Pence called on the United Nations to end its “forum for anti-Semitism” against Israel and to boot repressive countries off the U.N. Human Rights Council. In a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Mr. Pence noted that former President John F. Kennedy had warned the world body 50 years ago not to become a “forum for invective.”… (more)

September 20, 2017
NEWSMAX — Rex Tillerson and Nikki Haley are squaring off over the Iranian nuclear deal, with the secretary of state pushing President Donald Trump to remain in the accord while the U.N. ambassador fights for the president’s agenda, The Washington Free Beacon reported…. (more)

September 20, 2017

RARE — A professor at a John Jay college in Manhattan has been placed on administrative leave after he tweeted that he’s glad to teach “future dead cops.” Economics professor Michael Isaacson, 29, caught his moment in the spot light last week when he appeared on Fox News to discuss his remarks and his status as an Antifa activist. The tweet, which read in full, “Some of y’all might think it sucks being an anti-fascist teaching at John Jay College, but I think it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops,” was roundly condemned. On Friday, the school announced that Isaacson is being placed on leave, the New York Daily News reports…. (more)


September 20, 2017
NEWSMAX — Freedom of expression is in jeopardy at U.S. colleges and universities, according to a survey of students conducted by John Villasenor at Brookings. Villasenor noted that the survey was vital because students are “de facto arbiters of free expression on campus … if a significant percentage of students believe that views they find offensive should be silenced, those views will in fact be silenced.”… (more)

September 20, 2017
LEO HOHMANN — The St. Louis Young Democrats are working hand-in-hand with Black Lives Matter to organize protests in the city, now entering their sixth night, and the mayor says she is “listening.” The Young Democrats tweeted Wednesday at about 12:20 p.m. that the next “protest” in response to the not-guilty verdict in the Jason Stockley trial was planned for Wednesday evening, instructing rioters where to show up and at what time, hashtagging #Black Lives Matter on the tweet…. (more)

September 20, 2017

WIONEWS.COM — Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico on Wednesday and left the entire island without power as 150 mile-an-hour winds whipped the capital and sent thousands scurrying to shelters.After killing at least nine people in the Caribbean, Maria slammed into Puerto Rico’s southeast coast at daybreak before churning across the US territory which is home to 3.4 million people… (more)


September 20, 2017
NEWSMAX — Samantha Power, a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President Barack Obama, put in more than 260 unmasking requests regarding intelligence reports last year – – and submitted others just days before President Donald Trump was inaugurated…. (more)

September 20, 2017
BOB UNRUH — A Utah cop has expressed remorse after he handcuffed a hospital nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient, according to the officer’s lawyer. And the cop, who was suspended after the incident, says he would do things differently if presented with the same situation…. (more)

September 20, 2017
MCCLATCHY DC — A federal appeals court will hear a case brought by Judicial Watch on Friday to make public draft indictments of Hillary Clinton from the Whitewater scandal in the 1990s. Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that files Freedom of Information Act requests, wants copies of the documents that the National Archives and Records Administration has declined to release. It filed a FOIA request for the documents in March 2015 and in October 2015 the group sued for the 238 pages of responsive records…. (more)

September 18, 2017
ALAN KEYES — Has the United States ever been short on demagogues? I just typed the word into the Google search box. The first definition listed is reasonably complete and accurate: demagogue; plural noun: demagogues… (more)

September 18, 2017

CLIFF KINCAID — The comical publication the Onion ran a special volume, Homeland Insecurity, with the headline, “Run for Your Lives.” I thought of that in the wake of the decision by hard-liners Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka to voluntarily leave the White House rather than continue to fight for rational pro-American policies in the Trump Administration against what has been called the Deep State…. (more)


September 18, 2017
PUBLIUS HULDAH — The danger of an Article V convention (which made James Madison “tremble,” caused Alexander Hamilton “dread,” and Chief Justice John Jay to say that another convention would impose an “extravagant risque”) is this: the delegates to the convention can run away: instead of proposing amendments to our existing Constitution, they can write a completely new Constitution with a new – – and easier – – mode of ratification…. (more)

September 18, 2017
ALICIA POWE — Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is holding a hefty lead in Alabama’s special election GOP runoff against interim Sen. Luther Strange in a race that analysts claim embodies a war inside the GOP between establishment and anti-establishment forces…. (more)

Mid-Day Snapshot

Sept. 22, 2017

Obama Weaponized Gov’t Agencies Against Opponents

Ambassador Samantha Power made 260 requests to unmask American citizens in 2016 alone.

The Foundation

“No compact among men … can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.” —George Washington (1789)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: September 22

  • North Korea Ramps Up International Rancor With H-Bomb Threat (Read More)
  • A nuclear test over the Pacific? Logical, terrifying (Read More)
  • What’s a ‘dotard’? Kim’s insult to Trump (Read More)
  • From Rubble and Ruin, a Mexican Town Wonders How to Rebuild After the Earthquake (Read More)
  • Bonuses Are Shrinking. Blame Hurricanes and Trump (Read More)
  • OPEC’s ‘Problem Children’ Are Holding Down Oil Prices (Read More)
  • Trump Backers Cheer Economic Agenda, Blame GOP for Setbacks (Read More)
  • Turkey to deploy troops inside Syria’s Idlib – Erdogan (Read More)
  • Uber Loses Its License to Operate in London (Read More)
  • Alabama Senate race tests Trump’s ability to deliver his voters (Read More)
  • Puerto Rico: No Power, No Phones and Lots of Damage (Read More)
  • Mnuchin’s Incomplete Treasury Staff Could Be a Risk in Crisis (Read More)
  • Why Wages Aren’t Growing (Read More)
  • Trump’s Travel Ban Decision Could Set Off New Wave of Turmoil (Read More)
  • Corporate America Has Amassed a Record Amount of Cash (Read More)
  • Hurricane Maria churns toward Turks and Caicos and leaves 32 dead (Read More)
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Featured Blogs


Headlines – 9/22/2017

UN dedicates annual Peace Day to safety, respect for refugees and migrants

Israel on UN list of states punishing human rights activism

Ex-CIA agent tweets article blaming Jews for US wars, then apologizes

Contradicting IDF, US says it didn’t establish military base in Israel

Two U.S. Rabbis Say Bahrain’s King Wants Arab Boycott of Israel to End

Relations between Israel and US Jewry must be mended

Syrian Media Report Israeli Strike on Weapons Depot Near Damascus Airport

With sharp words and stealth strikes, Israel sends a message to Hezbollah and U.S.

Israel Simulates War With Hezbollah, but Iran Will Orchestrate Next Conflict in Lebanon and Syria

Russia says will target US-backed fighters in Syria if provoked

American, Russian generals talk face-to-face on Syria

UN sets up probe of IS atrocities in Iraq

Erdogan: Turkey to deploy troops inside Syria’s Idlib

Trump: Turkey’s Erdogan Has Become a Friend of Mine, He Gets High Marks for His Leadership

Fighting Breaks Out at Turkish President’s Speech in New York

Protesters violently ejected from Erdogan speech in NYC

Turkey, Iran and Iraq warn of ‘counter-measures’ against Kurd vote

Kurds to Vote for Statehood. Neighbors Say No Way

UN Security Council warns Iraqi Kurd vote ‘potentially destabilizing’

Kexit? Iraqi Kurdistan referendum explained

Aoun: Sectarian division of states will increases wars

US-made bomb killed civilians in Yemen residential building, says Amnesty

India calls Pakistan ‘Terroristan’ in UN speech row

Trump’s war strategy hailed by Afghan president: ‘A difference of day and night’

More than 100 migrants missing after shipwreck off Libya

At UN, Bangladesh PM urges ‘safe zones’ for Myanmar’s Rohingya

Myanmar protesters try to block aid shipment to Muslim Rohingya

British police make sixth arrest in Tube bomb investigation

Defiant Rouhani says Iran will press on with missile program

In defiance to US, Iran unveils new missile during parade

Report: Faulty devices help keep Iran in nuclear deal limits

World powers rally to defend value of Iran nuke accord

German minister: Ending Iran deal would be setback for curbing nuclear arms

Rouhani: Iran nuclear deal cannot be renegotiated

Iranian president says 2015 nuclear deal will ‘collapse’ if Trump pulls the U.S. out

Iran’s Rouhani takes the stage at UN to lambast ‘ignorant’ Trump

Iran’s top leader dismisses Trump’s ‘ugly, foolish’ remarks

Iran Foreign Minister: If U.S. Wants New Nuclear Concessions, We Do, Too

China says N.Korea situation shows importance of Iran nuclear deal

EU officials reach draft deal on more North Korea sanctions

Trump says will be putting more sanctions on North Korea

Trump signs order aiming to cut off funding for North Korean missile program

Trump’s financial strategy persuades China to put screws to North Korea

North Korea says sanctions threaten survival of its children

Trump imposes new sanctions on North Korea; Kim says he will ‘tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire’

North Korea’s Kim: ‘Mentally Deranged’ Trump Proves Nukes Were ‘Correct Path’

Kim vows to make Trump ‘pay dearly’ for threatening N Korea

Kim Jong Un to consider ‘highest level of hard-line measure’ against US

N.Korea official says North may consider hydrogen bomb on Pacific Ocean

A North Korea nuclear test over the Pacific? Logical, terrifying

South Korean President Calls For Eased Tensions Over Nuclear Crisis

In South Korea, daily stresses outweigh North Korea missile worries

China banks reportedly to halt business with North Korea as South Korea sends $8 million

World shares fall on North Korea concerns, China rate cut

US urges all nations to stop the spread of nuclear weapons

Poland, NATO troops hold drills amid security concerns

Bomb kills 4 soldiers, wounds 6 in southern Thailand

Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte ‘dictatorship’

Rodrigo Duterte tells Philippines police to kill his son if drug allegations are true

Catalan leader presses on with banned vote on split from Spain

Catalonia referendum: Spain PM calls for ‘escalation’ to stop

Spain Hires Cruise Liner to House Police in Rebel Catalonia

Britain’s Theresa May is trying to keep E.U. ‘divorce’ from going totally off the rails

Sanders: Diplomacy, human rights must drive US world affairs

Zuckerberg: I Don’t Want Facebook Used to Undermine Democracy

Mark Zuckerberg’s Fake News Problem Isn’t Going Away

Hackers use security utility to lock Macs in blackmail scheme

Elon Musk facing growing chorus of critics on ‘evil’ artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence pioneer calls for the breakup of Big Tech

Could Russia (or Mexico) bribe the feds to regulate conservative news websites?

D.C. court rules tracking phones without a warrant is unconstitutional

U.S. Monitored Manafort After He Left Trump Campaign as part of a counterintelligence probe into Russian interference with presidential election

Senator asks FBI if it warned Trump campaign about Russian meddling

Rep. Maxine Waters: ‘Impeachment Is About Whatever the Congress Says It Is’

U.S. Household Wealth Rises $1.7 Trillion to Another Record

Home Prices Soar in Disaster-Prone Areas

TV programs in California interrupted with end-of-world prediction

Hubble spots a strange new type of celestial object

Is the U.S. Overdue for a Catastrophic Earthquake? These Cities Are Most at Risk

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 21,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 13,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

Puerto Rico’s GOP congresswoman: ‘This is not the same island’ after Hurricane Maria

‘Total destruction’ in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and more rain is on the way

Maria to threaten lives, property in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos

After Harvey and Irma, states grapple with millions of tons of garbage

After Hurricane Harvey, what will happen to the hundreds of thousands of flooded cars?

Climate scientist rebuts Hollywood hurricane hype: ‘This is what weather looks like’

On last day of summer, California is hit by unusual snow and hail storms

Soon it will be just the U.S. and Syria rejecting the Paris accord

Malfunction halts Israel’s natural gas production

Flint’s lead-poisoned water had a ‘horrifyingly large’ effect on fetal deaths, study finds

Monsanto’s Weed Killer, Dicamba, Divides Farmers

Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases could invade 75% of America, warns US government

Australia’s tough flu season may be bad news for U.S.

Australian schoolgirl raises alarm over flesh-eating disease

7-year-old fitted with 3-D printed hand to throw first pitch at World Series

Patriotic parent balks at teacher’s gender-neutral Declaration of Independence

Trump judicial pick’s remarks on transgender children draw Dems’ ire

Alarmed by Islam, Europe’s Gays Are Moving to the Right

Whisper It, but Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Community Is Starting to Talk About Homosexuality

Pope admits Catholic Church waited too long to respond to clergy abuse crisis

Pope Francis Welcomes Leader of Muslim World League to Vatican

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and porn are inspiring sexual violence in Iran. Women are saying enough

Murderer sues Kansas prison for ‘imposing Christian beliefs’

‘Stupidly politically correct society is the death of comedy’, warns veteran comedian Mel Brooks

Being Able to Discern False Teaching

Benny Hinn Is My Uncle, but Prosperity Preaching Isn’t for Me

If You Believe The End of The World Will Happen Sept. 23, Sign Over All Your Assets to Me Effective Sept. 24

End-of-world prediction interrupts TV broadcasts in Orange County

Will the world end on Saturday?

5 Marks of a False Gospel

The Shadowy Origins of C.I. Scofield: Godfather of Christian Zionism

Dr Brown Burnt By Authentic Fire

Joel Osteen Opens Lakewood Church to Jewish Congregation After Hurricane Damages Synagogue

New Mexico ‘Church’ Becomes First in Mennonite Church USA to Appoint Openly Lesbian ‘Lead Pastor’

Christians are the world’s most-persecuted religion — here’s how they react under fire

Christian Woman Fired After Revealing She’ll Vote ‘No’ in Australia’s Gay Marriage Referendum

No, God Did Not Prescribe the Use of Cannabis in the Bible

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 07:08 AM PDT

(By Dr. Michael Brown) Just when you think you’ve heard it all, a pastor calls your radio show asking how to respond to a congregant who claims that cannabis was sanctioned by God in the Torah. That’s right, sanctioned by the Lord Himself, not to be smoked but to be burned in large quantities by the priests of Israel. Far out! To be sure, there was a time in my life when I would have readily believed something like this, since I spent 1969-1971 as a heavy drug-using, hippie rock drummer, consuming everything from pot to LSD and from

speed to heroin. Not surprisingly, when my two best friends starting reading the Bible, telling me about the more esoteric passages in the Scriptures—all kinds of visions and dreams and revelations—I asked them in jest, “What were they smoking?” That, in fact, is what I asked the pastor (again, in jest) who called the show: What is this congregant smoking? It turns out that there is an alleged scholarly basis for this bogus belief, namely, that the Hebrew words qaneh-bosem in Exodus 30:23 refer to marijuana, or, more specifically, hemp. READ MORE

Chain of quakes rattling regions in the Pacific sparks fears California could be next

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 06:59 AM PDT

A series of powerful quakes struck countries in a tremor danger zone known as the Ring of Fire this week. A magnitude 7.1 earthquake devastated Mexico, killing at least 273, on Tuesday followed by ruptures in New Zealand on Wednesday and Japan, Vanuatu and Indonesia on Thursday. Up to 81% of

the world’s worst earthquakes occur in the Ring of Fire, United States Geological Survey figures show. But baffled scientists have been left stunned by the “unusual” frequency of the quakes – leading to concerns California could be in danger. The series of recent earthquakes were triggered by seismic waves travelling along the fault lines that are in constant motion, according to experts. READ MORE

Hurricanes, Terrorist Attacks and Violent Unrest—How Are Christians Responding to This ‘Message?’

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 05:55 AM PDT

A rare eclipse across the U.S., two major hurricanes in Texas and Florida, a pair of deadly earthquakes in Mexico, a terrorist attack in London, wildfires in the West, and violence and unrest in St. Louis. What kind of message is being sent to the world—and how are Christians responding? The daily radio ministry of American Pastors Network (APN, www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net ) “Stand in the Gap Today,”

which airs on 425 stations nationwide, recently addressed these world events and asked if God is trying to get the world’s attention. “America and the world have seen much tragedy and turmoil over the past several weeks,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, “and while it would be easy to become downtrodden and defeatist, we know that, ultimately God is in control and He will work through His people for good. Jesus never promised that the life of the believer would be easy or without strife. READ MORE

Water mysteriously disappears from beaches in Guaratuba, Brazil

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 05:46 AM PDT

Scientists say the ocean receding phenomenon is due to a huge storm sucking up the waters, building up the storm surge. This is, however, the fourth time that such an anomalous tidal effect is recorded along the Atlantic coast of Brazil and prior of Uruguay. And I doubt that each time a giant hurricane the power of

Irma was the cause. I haven’t heard of any. So what’s going on along the Atlantic’s South American coast? The Atlantic water receding phenomenon started in August 2017 in Uruguay, than in Brazil.Beginning of Sept. 2017, the sea water disappeared in the Bahamas. The building up of Irma’s storm surge was most probably responsible for the water receding in the Bahamas: READ MORE

DEVELOPING: North Korea Could Soon Test Powerful Hydrogen Bomb In Pacific

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 05:38 AM PDT

Pyongyang may consider conducting its second hydrogen bomb test, which would be the “most powerful detonation” in the Pacific Ocean, the North Korean foreign minister told the media, commenting on Kim Jong-un’s latest response to Donald Trump. The latest round of war of words between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership risks escalating into yet another show of force by Pyongyang, as it allegedly weighs the option of testing an H-bomb, according to a suggestion made by

Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday. It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific,” Ri said, as quoted by South Korean agency Yonhap. However, the official then added he is not aware of what exactly Kim intends to do in response to Trump’s saber-rattling, as the governmental decision is solely the leader’s responsibility. READ MORE

Man Who ‘Hated’ Christianity Goes to a Bible Study to ‘Attack’ Believers – Then God Took Over

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 05:34 AM PDT

Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach knows the debate over traditional Christian teaching and LGBTQ issues quite well, as both his mom and dad came out as gay and divorced when he was a toddler — and he was subsequently raised going to gay pride parades. At first, he loathed Christianity. But something changed for Kaltenbach when he decided to attend a Bible study at his high school in an effort to try and debunk scriptural arguments, as he told “The Church Boys” podcast.

“I grew up in high school hating Christians, and so I decided that I wanted to attack Christianity,” he said. “Here [was] my plan, and it didn’t work out too well. I got invited to this Bible study by a friend … so I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to go pretend to be a Christian, I’m going to learn about the Bible and I’m going to dismantle their arguments because no one should follow somebody like Jesus who hates people.” READ MORE

LA School District Teaching LGBT-Inclusive Sex Ed Course to Kids as Young as 9

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 05:28 AM PDT

California’s largest school district will test out an LGBT-inclusive sex education course that will be taught at selected schools for children in the fourth through sixth grades this year. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Los Angeles Unified School District will begin offering sex education lessons for students as young as 9 years old that will include lessons from a course titled “Puberty: The Wonder

Years,” which is authored by Michigan-based health educator Wendy Sellers. Sellers told Los Angeles’ second-largest daily newspaper that her course is inclusive of LGBT identities. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the course “doesn’t assume traditional gender roles in describing relationships.” Sellers explained that while the course doesn’t have lessons that define same-sex relationships, it integrates examples of same-sex couples into lessons. READ MORE

 

School Bans Student-Led Prayers at Football Games

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 05:21 AM PDT

(Reported By Todd Starnes) Faith and football go hand in hand across the fruited plain – especially in the great state of Alabama. It’s not all that unusual for high school football games to start with a moment of prayer – an invocation. The game announcer will ask folks to stand to their feet and remove their hats as the marching band belts out the Star-Spangled Banner. Then, he’ll hand the press box microphone to a student who will thank God

and ask for His blessings upon the evening’s game. It’s a longtime tradition – a beloved tradition where folks of all colors and backgrounds unite as one people – in public – before all you-know-what breaks loose on the field. But that tradition has come to an abrupt end in Lee County, Alabama. The school district recently announced that student-led prayers will no longer be permitted before high school football games. READ MORE

Half-a-Million Gather in Streets of Ukraine to Praise the Name of Jesus

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 05:14 AM PDT

The streets of Kiev filled with songs of praise and thanks as 500,000 evangelical, Ukrainian Christians gathered to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. “Many traveled from all four provinces there just to be a part of that celebration, to thank God for the freedom to worship, to thank God for the freedom to preach the Gospel in their country, and to celebrate God’s faithfulness,”

Sergey Rakhuba with Mission Eurasia told Mission Network News. The gathering came after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed an order recognizing the anniversary of the Reformation. “It was so exciting to see on the screen of my computer where I was watching young people with so much joy. They glorify God in the midst of their capital. READ MORE

8 Dooms-Day Predictions in the Past that Flopped

Posted: 22 Sep 2017 05:09 AM PDT

Saturday is the end of the world. OK, it’s probably not, but David Meade, a Christian and self-published author of end-of-the-world survival guides says so. Meade makes the claim using “astronomical, scientific, the Book of Revelation and geopolitics” ideology, laid out in his book Planet X — The 2017 Arrival. His is the latest in a very long line of self-proclaimed prophets who claim they know when — sometimes to the hour — the biblically predicted “end times” will arrive. While we wait for Sept. 23, here are some noteworthy Doomsday predictions:

July 29, 2016 – The group End Times Prophecies once announced the world would end on July 29, 2016, because of something called a “polar flip.” It was predicted the stars would race across the sky and the atmosphere would be pulled along the ground. It turns out such a reversal is a common phenomenon occurring when iron shifts in the Earth’s core. This prediction turned out to be a bust, as did the group’s prognosis that former President Barack Obama would reveal himself to be the Antichrist. CONTINUE 

Economics expert warns stock market meltdown looming and No one is prepared

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 10:22 AM PDT

Devastating economic chaos could be looming, sparked by a stock market crash, according to an expert known as ‘Dr Doom’. Share prices in the US have posted fresh record highs in recent days as fears over North Korea fade. But a sharp downturn is coming and will be as bad as the 2008 shock, according to Marc Faber, who has warned investors are too complacent. He told CNBC: “You don’t see, and I don’t

see. And, nobody sees. That’s why people keep buying stocks. “And yet, something will happen one day.” He previously said billions of pounds worth of holdings will be lost when stocks fall a huge 40 percent.And said the crash is likely to happen when Wall Street least expects it.  There are several scenarios that could trigger market carnage, according to Mr Faber. READ MORE

Parents outraged at explicit homework brought home from kids

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 10:13 AM PDT

Parents of a Dekalb County School District middle school were shocked and outraged when their kids brought home worksheets that included explicit lyrics for their music class. What was the lesson they were learning from explicit music lyrics? An outraged mother went to Carl Willis of WSBTV to get the full story about the explicit homework. He posted the lesson with the questionable lyrics blurred out.The

lyrics are from a song called “Drowning” from rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie featuring Kodak Black. Apparently, the sixth graders were told to rewrite the lyrics with a positive spin. The mother was shocked that her children were exposed to the language she had tried to keep them from listening to. READ MORE

Scientists Warn Of Apocalyptic Mass Extinction Coming in 2100

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 09:48 AM PDT

A mass extinction that wipes out humanity will be under way by the year 2100, scientists have claimed. By the end of the century, it’s feared that so much carbon will have been added to the oceans that the planet will have passed a “threshold of catastrophe” which leads to the destruction of our species. In the

past 540 million years, the planet has endured five such wipeouts — including the extinction of the dinosaurs. The worst took place 252 million years ago and is known as the Great Dying. This disaster killed off more than 95 percent of marine life when the seas suddenly became more acidic. READ MORE

Meteorologist warns Carolinas, Virginia and NJ ‘may have to deal with Maria’

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 09:38 AM PDT

Hurricane Maria is the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than eight decades. It leveled hundreds of homes and knocked out power for the entire island. It also caused intense flooding. “This is the strongest storm to have hit Puerto Rico that I’ve ever seen,” Joe Bastardi, the chief forecaster for

WeatherBELL Analytics, told CBN News. “And looking at it, for instance, Harvey, was not the strongest storm to hit where it hit in Texas. There have been several hurricanes stronger.” “And the Florida Keys, hit directly by Irma – first 1935 and Hurricane Donna back in 1960 – were stronger than that,” he continued. “But this looks like the worst storm I’ve ever seen to hit Puerto Rico.” READ MORE

Will the Esthers and Deborahs Please Rise Up?

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 09:29 AM PDT

(By Jennifer Leclaire) Jehovah Nissi deployed both Esther and Deborah to demolish the enemy’s plans to kill, steal and destroy His people at strategic times in the nation’s history. Esther stood in prayer and fasting that I believe unleased the heavenly host to execute God’s will in the earth. Deborah ran to the battle line with a natural army that saw enemy plots quashed. Both women displayed faith and works and saw life spring

forth where the enemy planned to bring death and destruction. Now, once again the Lord is calling women to the frontlines to combat the wicked forces working to push Jesus out of the public square, take the next generation captive to deception and otherwise stall a third Great Awakening. As the 30-day fast leading to the culmination of the historic Rise Up prayer gathering in Washington, D.C., in October, the enemy is raging against the land. READ MORE

UPDATE: 230 Dead, Hundreds Missing in Mexico City Days After Earthquake…

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 09:24 AM PDT

Rescue workers, hampered by heavy rains, continued to search for survivors early Thursday from this week’s deadly earthquake that killed at least 230 people, a toll that seemed sure to rise amid reports of nearly as many people missing. Overnight, the body of a 58-year-old teacher was removed from the collapsed remains of the Enrique Rebsamen primary school in southern Mexico City. The school, which

accounted for the greatest loss of life during the quake, was the focus on an intense recovery effort aimed at rescuing what appeared to be one or more girls trapped inside. By early Thursday, the attempts had not been successful. An estimated 1,800 people in central Mexico were injured, federal officials said. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Quake Swarm Happening Under Mt. Rainier in Washington

Posted: 21 Sep 2017 09:16 AM PDT

Nearly two dozen small earthquakes have rattled Mount Rainier over the past week, but seismologists say there’s no cause for worry. “In the past, these swarms last a couple of days to a week or so and then die out,” said Paul Bodin, of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington. The

first of the 23 quakes struck on Sept. 11 near the volcano’s summit. The largest of the quakes registered magnitude 1.6. Earthquake swarms are common at volcanos, and usually don’t signify any threat of eruption, Bodin said in an email. “So I’m treating this as a single eyebrow raised halfway,” he wrote. “Yeah, I see you and will be watching, but I don’t think you’re going to attack.” READ MORE

New Mexico ‘Church’ Becomes First in Mennonite Church USA to Appoint Openly Lesbian ‘Lead Pastor’

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 08:04 PM PDT

A “church” in New Mexico has become the first in the Mennonite Church USA to appoint an open lesbian as “lead pastor.” Albuquerque Mennonite Church, which affirmed homosexual relationships a decade ago, made the announcement on Monday that it had chosen Erica Lea as its new leader. It remarked that Lea has a “strong call to connect with and serve people affected by current immigration policies and

racial, social and economic discrimination—as well as a call to provide a beacon and safe haven for the LGBTQ community.” “We look forward to finding more ways of articulating and sharing an Anabaptist faith that can flourish in locally derived expressions of Jesus’s call to discipleship, peacemaking and justice,” said search committee member Andrew Clouse. “We think Erica is well-equipped to help us do this.” READ MORE

What we need to learn about the Nicolaitans

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 07:43 PM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this second part of our message regarding the Church of Ephesus mentioned in the Book of Revelation, We will discuss why the Lord hated the “Doctrine of the Nicolaitans” and their deeds. We will show you why he commended the Church of Ephesus for also hating their doctrine and deeds. We will show you what this doctrine was and why it is still around today and why it is so dangerous! For the entire message watch the video below:

 

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Powerful 6.4 earthquake strikes Vanuatu

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 07:31 PM PDT

A large earthquake has struck Vanuatu, a small Pacific island nation to the east of Australia. The 6.4 magnitude quake sparked fears of tsunamis in the Pacific, including Hawaii. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) sent the US state a tsunami bulletin in the wake of the quake, which occurred at

a considerable depth of 124 miles. The report to Hawaii said there were no fears of an imminent tsunami, despite the earthquake. The PTWC said: “Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.” Vanuatu has a population of more than 250,000 people. READ MORE

What is The Gospel?


Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him:

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?


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Three Tests God Ordains for His People

As a teacher, I don’t ask test questions because I need to know the answers. I ask questions because my students need to know the answers. Likewise, God ordains tests for us, not for his sake, but for ours. He ordains tests today just as he did in the Old Testament with the testing of his people, and in the New Testament with the testing of the disciples.

Tests are not for the sake of the teacher, but for the benefit of the student.

As a teacher, I don’t ask test questions because I need to know the answers. I ask questions because my students need to know the answers. Likewise, God ordains tests for us, not for his sake, but for ours. He ordains tests today just as he did in the Old Testament with the testing of his people, and in the New Testament with the testing of the disciples.

From those who have gone before us, we find several reasons for tests in Scripture. And knowing that tests are purposeful, we can rest, understanding that the Master is fully in control of both the test and the outcome.

Diagnostic Tests

I remember seeing the eyes of the people around me for the first time in elementary school once I got glasses. I didn’t know I couldn’t see until I took a vision test in fourth grade. My eyesight had gradually weakened, until I thought that blurry faces and faint lines on the chalkboard were normal. That simple diagnostic test revealed an issue I never knew existed.

Just as medical tests reveal our health conditions, God tests us to reveal our spiritual condition, as he did for Israel:

And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. (Deuteronomy 8:2)

Their forty-year test in the wilderness revealed just how easily the Israelites could forget the God who brought them out of Egypt. Likewise, our tests may reveal just how easily we fall back into old patterns of:

  • Gossip
  • Complaining
  • Laziness
  • Lust
  • Pride
  • Anger
  • Selfishness

God tells us that he never tempts us to sin (see James 1:13). The tests we face are not designed to lead us to sin; rather, they reveal the sin that already lurks in our hearts, ready to show itself at any opportunity.

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The post Three Tests God Ordains for His People appeared first on The Aquila Report.

Friday’s Featured Sermon: “The Freedom of True Discipleship”

John 8:31–36

Code: B170922

The only thing postmodernists are certain about is that nobody can be certain about anything.

That idea isn’t only a logical fallacy. It’s also antithetical to the teaching of Jesus Christ. He promised that His true disciples “will know the truth, and the truth will make [them] free” (John 8:32, emphasis added).

We weren’t meant to live lives of wavering confidence and vague certainty. Christ promised fixed and settled knowledge of the truth—concerning both Himself and our status as His disciples—to all who belong to Him.

From a biblical perspective, authentic Christianity is synonymous with true discipleship. In fact, “Christian” was a term originally used by the surrounding culture to describe Christ’s early disciples (Acts 11:26). The definition of true discipleship gets to the heart of who is truly saved.

To that end, John MacArthur explores the defining characteristics of an authentic Christian in his sermon “The Freedom of True Discipleship.”

“If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31). This is about being a true disciple. This is an urgent and important subject.  Many people profess Christ. Many people declare themselves to be believers in Christ. Many people give witness to the fact that they are Christians. In fact, that’s fairly common even in our culture, but who is a true Christian? Who is a real disciple? This is an urgent and essential question. You have to be able to answer it for yourself, and you have to be able to answer it for those around you. It’s not superficially answered.

Tragically, evangelicalism now offers up plenty of superficial answers. Walking an aisle, praying a prayer, and signing a card are all widely treated as the seal of one’s salvation. Thankfully, we have the clear biblical testimony concerning the authenticity of our discipleship. Even more, it doesn’t hinge on anything we do to merit God’s favor.

But Scripture does point to our works as a powerful indicator of our standing with God. In “The Freedom of True Discipleship, John MacArthur brings clarity and confidence regarding genuine salvation and true discipleship. In the message he examines Christ’s words in John 8:31–36, a passage that lays out the benchmark and the benefit of authentic saving faith.

Our confidence in our heavenly citizenship can be anchored to a solid biblical foundation. “The Freedom of True Discipleship” shines a light on that foundation and the liberty we can enjoy as God’s children with a secure eternity. That’s why God’s people love to obey His commands and are able to joyfully endure the adversity of this present world.

Click here to watch or listen to “The Freedom of True Discipleship.”

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170922
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September 22, 2017 – This ‘n’ That

  • Conrad Mbewe shares some reflections on pastoring his church for 30 years.
  • Prepackaged sermons are like a mediocre mug of cocoa.
  • Proclaim the gospel and leave the saving work to God.
  • A brief biographical sketch of John Wycliffe, the Morning Star of the Reformation.
  • What are angels really like?
  • These types of questions are definitely not helpful ones to ask in small group Bible study.
  • Squirrels may be organizing their nutty finds, but are they able to locate them later?
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable. Warning: this may make your eyes water.
  • I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but you are not amazingly awesome.
  • Can someone please give Rick a copy of Galatians?
  • I don’t normally recommend reading Christianity Today, but this article by Costi Hinn is an exception.
  • What is the origin of bad theology?
  • A little background on John Calvin.
  • Christian yoga is an oxymoron.
  • Visit one of these Christmas towns and live your own Hallmark movie.
  • This is from a series of lectures about the Reformation that Dr. Carl Trueman delivered at The Master’s Seminary. You can find the rest of the lectures here.

Source: This ‘n’ That

Joel Osteen Launches Line Of Pastoral Wear: ‘Sheep’s Clothing’

HOUSTON, TX—Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, and preacher—and now, he’s also the head of a profitable pastoral fashion line: “Sheep’s Clothing by Joel Osteen.” The line of suits, pants, shirts, ties, and dress shoes is designed to distract from a pastor’s empty theology and dangerous heresies by disguising […]

. . . finish reading Joel Osteen Launches Line Of Pastoral Wear: ‘Sheep’s Clothing’.

September 22, 2017: Verse of the day

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34:30 I … their God. An oft-repeated OT theme (cf. Ge 17:7, 8). This speaks of the ultimate salvation of Israel as in Ro 11:25–27.

MacArthur Study Bible

34:30 with them … my people. The essence of God’s covenant with Israel was that the Lord would be their God, and they would be His people (11:20; 36:28; Ex. 6:7; Lev. 26:12; Deut. 7:6; 14:2; 27:9; 29:13; Ps. 50:7; Is. 51:22; Jer. 7:23; 11:4; 30:22; Joel 2:27).

Reformation Study Bible

September 21, 2017: Verse of the day

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The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her,

“Behold, you are pregnant

and shall bear a son.

You shall call his name Ishmael,

because the Lord has listened to your affliction.

12    He shall be a wild donkey of a man,

his hand against everyone

and everyone’s hand against him,

and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” [1]


7–12 The location of the narrative shifts from the household of Abram to the desert. Hagar leaves Sarah and flees to the “desert” (v. 7). There she stays until instructed by the angel to return to her mistress, Sarai.

While Hagar is in the desert, the angel of the Lord comes to her by a well of water. The identification of the spring as the “spring that is beside the road to Shur” (v. 7) suggests to the reader what might otherwise only be suspected: Hagar is returning to Egypt (see 25:18). This is one of several “woman at the well” scenes in the Bible (e.g., Ge 24:11; 29:2; Ex 2:15; Jn 4). The meaning of such scenes may lie in the fact that a well is a primary source of water in a dry region and is thus readily identifiable as a source of blessing (cf. Jn 4:7–10). In addition, the fact that a well is open to all and that anyone may drink from it suggests the universal nature of the blessings spoken there.

The angel says to Hagar: “I will so increase [ʾarbeh] your descendants that they will be too numerous to count” (v. 10). His words are similar to the “blessing” to be received by Abram (17:2: “I will increase” [ʾarbeh]) and Ishmael (17:20: “I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers [hirbêtî]”). The author’s purpose in so linking these blessings is to connect them to the primeval blessing promised to all humanity: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the land” (1:28). The focus of the Abrahamic blessing is on “all peoples on earth” (12:3).

The associations between ch. 16 and ch. 3 continue in this section of the narrative. Just as after the fall the Lord sought out Adam and Eve with a question (3:9), “Where are you?” so the angel of the Lord finds Hagar in the desert and greets her with a question (16:8): “Where have you come from, and where are you going?” As in 3:15, the angel of the Lord offers a blessing to Hagar (16:10–12). The child to be born will be called “Ishmael” (yišmāʿēʾl), because “the Lord has heard” (kî-šāmaʿ yhwh) her distress. Hagar has been afflicted by Sarai (v. 6), and the Lord has heard her cry (v. 11).

Hagar’s “blessing” draws on a wordplay between “wild donkey” (pereʾ) and “Paran” (pāʾrān; cf. 21:21), the biblical location of the tribes of Ishmael. A “wild donkey” describes “Ishmael as a free nomad” (BDB, 825). The expression “his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him” (v. 12) is linked to a parallel description of Ishmael in 21:21, “he lived in the Desert of Paran.” The fact that “he shall dwell upon the face of all his brothers” (lit. trans. of v. 12b) means, “he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen” (RSV; cf. NIV mg.), that is, he shall dwell in the desert as a nomad.[2]


16:7–12 / The angel of Yahweh found Hagar near a spring in the desert, namely, the spring beside the road to Shur. Shur was a site in the Negev on the way to Egypt; its location indicates that Hagar was fleeing toward her homeland. Assuming that Abram was living near Mamre (13:18), she had traveled a long distance. Addressing Hagar as servant of Sarai, the angel asked where she had come from and where she was going. She responded that she was running away from her mistress Sarai. Her answer indicates that she had been so distraught that she had fled without any specific destination in mind.

The identity of “the angel of Yahweh” is a mystery. This angel is a heavenly servant, one of a kind, who appeared on earth to do God’s bidding. At times this angel appears to be identified with God. The translation “messenger” suits this account better because Hagar first took this angel to be a human. By speaking directly to her the messenger affirmed Hagar, raising her self-esteem. Then he gave her a divine word in three speeches (vv. 9–12).

The angel first instructed Hagar to return to her mistress and submit to her. “Submit” intimates that she would continue to face mistreatment at Sarai’s hands. The messenger then encouraged her to endure any abuse with the wonderful promise that he would increase her descendants (seed) beyond number. Hagar is the only woman in Genesis who received such a promise directly from God. Next the messenger blessed her with the promise that she would bear a son. Given the large number of pregnancies that did not come to full term and the number of deaths at childbirth in ancient times, this promise of bearing a healthy boy was an assuring word to Hagar. The messenger then spoke about the character of the child. Hagar was to name the child Ishmael, meaning “God has heard,” for indeed Yahweh had heard of her misery. Ishmael’s character would be comparable to that of a wild donkey or an onager. The onager, a sturdy animal of the desert, is impossible to domesticate. In exchange for its fierce love of freedom, it has to endure the sparse food supply of the desert (Job 39:5–8). Ishmael was to have such a love of freedom that he would gladly live in the harsh land of the desert. His offspring would develop into an independent tribal federation away from the centers of civilization and enter into fierce conflict with those who traveled through the desert, even with those related to them.[3]


7 “The angel of the Lord” (מלאך יהוה) is mentioned fifty-eight times in the OT, “the angel of God” eleven times. Angels of the Lord appear either singly as here or in groups. When first seen, they are usually taken to be men, but by the end of the encounter one of them is realized to be God (18:2, 22; Judg 6:11–22; 13:3–22). When, as here, the text simply speaks of a single angel of the Lord, this must be understood as God himself appearing in human form, nearly always to bring good news or salvation. The angel of the Lord appears frequently in Genesis and in the Book of Judges but rarely in the literature dealing with later periods. The exact relationship between the angel and God himself has been the subject of much inconclusive discussion. The Fathers identified him with the Logos. Modern scholarship has seen the angel as a creature who represents God, as a hypostasis of God, as God himself, or as some external power of God. (For further discussion, see THWAT 2:900–908; Westermann, 2:289–91; EM 4:975–90; G. von Rad, OT Theology, 1:285–89.) Within Genesis, the angel of the Lord tends to appear at moments of dire personal crisis (cf. 21:17; 22:11, 15).

This story, like others in which the angel of the Lord appears, presupposes that initially Hagar did not realize to whom she was talking. He was just a man who had come to the well, a typical setting for male/female encounter in OT narrative (cf. 24:11; 29:2). It was only in the course of the conversation that she realized his identity, though to readers who knew the law was given at Sinai, it was perhaps not surprising that divine revelation occurred in this region.

“The way to Shur” denotes the more southerly of the routes from Canaan to Egypt, from Beersheba via Kadesh-Barnea to the Bitter Lakes. “Shur” is also the name of the desert in northwestern Sinai, next to Egypt (Exod 15:22). It may mean “wall” and be named after the frontier fortification of Egypt, “the wall of the ruler,” though this is disputed by Naaman, who thinks Shur is located between Gerar and Kadesh, possibly at Tell el-Farah (TA 7 [1980] 95–109; cf. EM 7:600–602).

8 For the first time, Hagar is addressed by name and is called “Sarai’s maid.” This may have surprised Hagar. How could a stranger have known about her identity? The reader, knowing that the stranger is the angel of the Lord, is not surprised. But the question that follows, “Where have you come from?” although sounding quite natural to Hagar, strikes the reader as rhetorical. It is as unnecessary as the Lord asking Adam “where are you?” (3:9) or Cain “where is Abel?” (4:9). This is, in fact, the first time the Lord has asked someone their whereabouts since Gen 4, and it emphasizes the parallel between this story and those earlier ones.

But whereas Adam and Cain prevaricated, Hagar is perfectly honest in her answer, “I am running away from Sarai, my mistress.” She admits that she is a runaway slave, and her chosen verb “run away” implies she has very good reason to escape (cf. v 6).

9 The threefold repetition of “The angel of the Lord said to her” has prompted the suspicion that one or more of vv 9–12 are redactional. But it is hard to know which. At any rate, in its present setting this introduction serves to underline the importance of the angelic words and helps to explain how Hagar came to recognize his identity.

“Return to your mistress and submit.” Note how the angel reaffirms that Sarai is still Hagar’s mistress. This harsh and uncompromising command seems callous, the more so when it is realized that “submit” (hithpael of ענה) comes from the same root as “humiliate” (v 6) and “oppress” (15:13). Hagar is being told to submit not just to her mistress’ authority but to suffering at her hand. The reason for this surprising injunction begins to emerge in the subsequent promises.

10 “I shall so greatly multiply your descendants” is a regular ingredient of the promises to the patriarchs (cf. 17:2; 22:17; 26:24). Again the phraseology “I shall greatly multiply” seems to echo Gen 3:16, but there it was part of God’s curse; here it is part of divine reassurance. Abram has been told his descendants will be too many to count (13:16; 15:5; cf. 32:13), and now Hagar learns that her offspring are included in that promise. Just as Abram had been told in chap. 15 that suffering and numerous descendants are interconnected, so too is Hagar here.

11–12 The mysterious identity of the one who can make such harsh demands and make such amazing promises is at last apparent when the angel of the Lord gives a birth oracle, an annunciation that was to become a hallmark of angelic prediction in the Bible (cf. 18:9–15; Judg 13:3–7; Isa 7:14–17; Luke 1:31–33).

In the other biblical oracles, the statement about pregnancy usually refers to the near future; here the angel comments on Hagar’s present condition. The promise of a son looks to the future as does his name Ishmael. This is a common Semitic name meaning “El [God] has heard” the parents and given them a son, or “May El [God] hear” the boy and help him. The particular interpretation given here is closest to the first, “The Lord has noticed [lit. ‘heard’] your oppression.” As elsewhere in the patriarchal stories, El/God is identified with the Lord (Yahweh), the God of Israel. עני “oppression” is the noun derived from the verbal root ענה used in vv 6, 9. So although Hagar was not promised relief from oppression, she was reassured that her suffering had been and would be taken note of by God. Similarly, Leah says “The Lord has seen my oppression” in 29:32, as does Hannah in 1 Sam 1:11. It is also used of the sufferings of Israel in Egypt (Exod 3:7; 4:31; Deut 26:7).

12 This verse describes Ishmael’s future destiny, to enjoy a free-roaming, bedouin-like existence. The freedom his mother sought will be his one day. The “wild ass” (פרא, Equus hemoinus hemippus) lives in the desert, looks more like a horse than a donkey, and is used in the OT as a figure of an individualistic lifestyle untrammeled by social convention (Jer 2:24; Hos 8:9). “He will be against everyone.” “Ishmael’s love of freedom will bring him into mutual conflict in his dealings with all other men” (Gispen, 2:128). “He shall dwell apart from his brothers” describes the bedouin living on the fringes of a more permanent settlement. על־פני “apart from,” “opposite” suggests the haughty, defiant attitude of Ishmael toward those caught up in a more conventional way of life (cf. 25:18).[4]


16:7 the angel of the Lord. This special individual spoke as though He were distinct from Yahweh, yet also spoke in the first person as though He were indeed to be identified as Yahweh Himself, with Hagar recognizing that in seeing this Angel, she had seen God (v. 13). Others had the same experience and came to the same conclusion (cf. 22:11–18; 31:11–13; Ex 3:2–5; Nu 22:22–35; Jdg 6:11–23; 13:2–5; 1Ki 19:5–7). The Angel of the Lord, who does not appear after the birth of Christ, is often identified as the pre-incarnate Christ. See note on Ex 3:2. Shur. South of Palestine and east of Egypt, which meant that Hagar attempted to return home to Egypt.

16:8 Hagar, Sarai’s maid. Both the salutation and the instruction (v. 9, “Return … submit …”) given by the Angel and the response by Hagar treated the mistress-servant relationship as if it were still intact. Rebelling and absconding was not the solution (v. 9)!

16:10 I will greatly multiply. A servant she might have been, but mother of many she would also become, thus making Abram the father of two groups of innumerable descendants (see 13:16; 15:5).

16:11 call his name Ishmael. With her son’s name meaning “God hears,” Hagar the servant could not ever forget how God had heard her cry of affliction.

16:12 a wild donkey of a man. The untameable desert onager (wild donkey) best described the fiercely aggressive and independent nature Ishmael would exhibit, along with his Arabic descendants.[5]


16:7 The angel of the Lord. The Hebrew word for “angel” may also be translated “messenger.” There is an element of mystery about this figure. In 19:1 the “two angels” who arrive at Sodom resemble human beings (in 18:2 they are called “men”). When “the angel of the Lord” speaks, his words are perceived as being God’s words. Therefore, the impression is given that the angel is identical with God. On this basis some Christians believe that “the angel of the Lord” is the preincarnate Christ. Others, however, hold that the reference here is to an angel who has been commissioned to speak as God’s representative, and so the angel’s words are God’s words. the spring on the way to Shur. Hagar’s flight takes her in the direction of Egypt, her homeland. The location of the spring/well is clarified in 16:14, when it is named “Beer-lahai-roi.” It “lies between Kadesh and Bered.”

16:9 submit to her. Hagar is commanded by God to transform her attitude toward her mistress, Sarai; instead of despising her, she is to submit to her authority.

16:10 By way of encouragement, the angel of the Lord promises Hagar that she will have numerous descendants; cf. 17:20; 25:12–18.

16:10 Because of the line of chosen offspring, leading to Christ (Gal. 3:16), some blessings overflow and extend even to collateral descendants like Ishmael.

16:11 Ishmael means “God hears.” Hagar’s harsh treatment by Sarai has not gone unobserved by God.

16:12 The angel promises Hagar that her son will become a strongly independent person. Unlike his mother, he will not need to be servile toward others, but he will live a life of hostility toward others.[6]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 16:7–12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Sailhamer, J. H. (2008). Genesis. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis–Leviticus (Revised Edition) (Vol. 1, pp. 176–177). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hartley, J. E. (2012). Genesis. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 166–167). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Wenham, G. J. (1998). Genesis 16–50 (Vol. 2, pp. 9–11). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 16:7–12). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 78). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

September 20, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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BLOOMBERG

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, will join a meeting of foreign ministers responsible for the Iran nuclear deal that President Donald Trump has called an “embarrassment to the United States” and “the worst deal ever.”

Mexican search and rescue teams worked through the night after an earthquake rocked one of the world’s largest urban centers, killing hundreds and reducing buildings to rubble. The 7.2 magnitude quake ravaged the area of more than 20 million people, killing at least 217 people and leaving an unknown number of others still unaccounted for.

Hurricane Maria slammed into southeastern Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm with the potential to inflict $30 billion in damages just two weeks after Irma ravaged the cash-strapped island.

Venezuela says it’s prepared to defend itself against aggression from U.S. and its allies as they ratchet up pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Swiss voters want to make sure they don’t run out of food ever again. They’re going to the polls on Sunday to decide on a constitutional amendment to guarantee food supply.

France’s Socialists – who are reeling from this year’s damaging electoral defeat – are so broke they are putting their famed Paris headquarters up for sale.

As the Jewish High Holiday season moves in, Israel is getting set to welcome a throng of religious visitors — evangelical Christians. Thousands will pour in from more than 80 countries to the streets of Jerusalem in early October for an annual march celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, or the Jewish festival of Sukkot.

Bitcoin is looking increasingly likely to splinter off again in November, creating a third version of the world’s largest cryptocurrency as miners and developers pursue separate visions to scale its rapidly growing marketplace.

Hotel workers in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York have been gathering for training sessions recently on how to handle visits from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, emphasizing employees’ right to refuse to answer questions or show identification.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, which devastated parts of Florida, Texas and the Gulf Coast, also hit some of the nation’s least-insured crops.

AP Top Stories

French police encircled a makeshift migrant camp in a wooded area near Dunkirk on Tuesday, evacuating 557 people, the prefecture of the Nord region said. It was the second such operation in two days in northern France, where asylum-seekers and migrants gather in hopes of making it across the English Channel to Britain.

A Czech zoo on Tuesday burnt 72 pounds of rare rhino horns, including some it sawed off its own animals in the wake of a brutal attack on a French zoo. Poachers broke into the Thoiry zoo near Paris in March and killed a critically endangered white rhino, hacking off its horns and putting zoos across the world on high alert.

Turkey escalated its opposition to a Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq on Tuesday, training tank guns and rocket launchers across the southern border and saying the break-up of its neighbors could lead to global conflict.

U.S. Senator John McCain called on Tuesday for an immediate stop to U.S. sailors working over 100 hours a week as top Navy leaders struggled to explain a series of fatal naval collisions in the past few months.

French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and a senior Vatican official were on Tuesday ordered to stand trial for allegedly covering up for a pedophile priest accused of abusing several boy scouts in Lyon in the 1980s.

Two Russian military jets entered NATO ally Lithuania’s airspace over the weekend, a violation which prompted the Lithuanian government to demand an “immediate explanation” from the Russian ambassador.

The United States on Tuesday urged Ethiopia to investigate deadly clashes between two of the country’s major ethnic groups that have caused tens of thousands to flee.

BBC

About 100,000 Canadians may have been caught up in the Equifax data breach, the company said on Tuesday. Personal data on up to 143 million Americans and about 400,000 Britons was also stolen from the credit-report giant between mid-May and July.

Brazilian activists and celebrities have condemned a court ruling that approves a “cure” for gay people. Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in the capital Brasilia, backed a psychologist who had her license revoked for offering so-called “conversion therapy”.

A group of refugees from Australia’s offshore detention centers have become the first to be accepted by the US under a resettlement deal. About 50 people from the Papua New Guinea and Nauru centers will be taken to the US

An Australian school discriminated against a five-year-old Sikh boy when it prevented his enrolment because he wore a turban, a tribunal has found. The uniform policy of Melton Christian School in Melbourne prohibits non-Christian head coverings for boys.

A US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters says it has driven Islamic State (IS) militants out of 80% of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.

Saudi Arabia is lifting a ban on voice and video calling apps such as WhatsApp and Skype, in a move aimed at boosting productivity and economic growth.

WND

Every player on the Cahokia Quarterback Club football team (8 years old and under) took a knee during the national anthem ahead of Sunday’s game in Belleville.

Instances of hostility to religion across America surged 133 percent during the last five years of the Obama administration, according to a new report that documents more than 1,400 incidents ranging from the Obamacare attacks on faithful Christians to various prison restrictions on Muslims and Sikhs.


News – 9/20/2017

Judge Roy Moore: We Removed God from Schools, Shootings and Death Filled the Void
“You wonder why we’re having shootings, and killings here in 2017? Because we’ve asked for it,” Moore said. “We’ve taken God out of everything. We’ve taken prayer out of school, we’ve taken prayer out of council meetings.” In a video of Moore’s speech to Citizen Impact USA, he can be heard saying, “There’s no truth, no mercy, no knowledge of God in the land.”

‘We’re basically in World War Three’
“We’re basically in World War Three,” he said. “Iran has promised to kill everyone in America: Death to America, genocide against America, [and] now genocide against Israel, too. But as President of the United States, he has a responsibility to protect us.” “It’s one thing to speak about Iran, it’s another thing to do something about Iran. The administration hasn’t yet realized that there’s no non-military solution for Iran and North Korea. When you’re dealing with professional terror organizations like that, you can’t negotiate your differences.

Tillerson: The Iran deal has to change
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Fox News on Tuesday that the Iran nuclear agreement must be changed in order for the United States to be able to remain part of it. “I think we’re all well familiar with the flaws of the Iranian nuclear deal, and the most glaring flaw is the sunset provision. We all know that this is a merely a ‘kick the can down the road’ agreement,” said Tillerson.

Mexico earthquake death toll surpasses 200
Tuesday’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico was becoming a greater tragedy with each passing hour. Early Wednesday, the death toll stood at 217, after being revised downward from 248, the Associated Press reported, as rescue teams continued to search for survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings in Mexico City and surrounding states.

Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico after lashing Virgin Islands – latest news
Hurricane Maria has made landfall in Puerto Rico, bringing “catastrophic” 155mph winds and dangerous storm surges, after battering the Virgin Islands. The “monster” storm began lashing the US Virgin Island of St Croix early on Wednesday, as it continued to cut a deadly north-westerly path through the Caribbean.

Citing Bible, Netanyahu Reminds UN Israel Has Divine Ally Against Enemies
“As the prophet Isaiah said, ‘I have made you a light unto the nations, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth,’” Netanyahu quoted. He concluded that Israel is amidst a “great revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations.” Over and over, the Israeli premiere emphasized the divine origin of Israel’s great contributions to the world.

Israel intercepts Iranian drone on Syrian border
Israel intercepted an Iranian- built unmanned aerial vehicle that breached the “Bravo line,” which marks the Syrian demilitarized zone, by firing a Patriot anti-ballistic missile stationed near Safed on Tuesday. IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said Hezbollah operated drone took off from Damascus International Airport and was followed in real-time by the army before it crossed into the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria…

Palestinian activist admits: Flotillas are for propaganda, not humanitarian goals
Hamas-affiliated flotilla leader Zaher Birawi has admitted that the goal of flotillas sailing toward Gaza is not really humanitarian, but propaganda, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported on Tuesday. The British-Palestinian activist has also predicted that the next flotilla designed to break Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas in Gaza will take place in summer 2018.

First Australia refugees approved for US resettlement
A group of refugees from Australia’s offshore detention centres have become the first to be accepted by the US under a resettlement deal. About 50 people from the Papua New Guinea and Nauru centres will be taken to the US, the Australian government confirmed on Tuesday. Under a resettlement deal struck with the Obama administration in 2016, the US agreed to take up to 1,250 refugees.

Mexico: Huge earthquake topples buildings, killing more than 200
A strong earthquake has struck central Mexico, killing more than 200 people and toppling dozens of buildings in the capital, Mexico City. President Enrique Peña Nieto said more than 20 children had died and 30 were missing after a school collapsed. The 7.1 magnitude quake also caused major damage in neighbouring states.

Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria, the devastating storm pushing north-west through the Caribbean has landed in Puerto Rico. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it arrived in Yabucoa in the east of the US territory, producing winds of 150 mph (250 km/h). The hurricane earlier hit St Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

Iraqi forces ‘attack last IS bastion on Syria border’
Iraqi forces are reported to have launched an operation to recapture the last stronghold of so-called Islamic State in the country’s western desert. A military source told the BBC that soldiers, Anbar provincial police and Sunni Arab tribal fighters began moving on the town of Ana on Tuesday morning. Their progress was slowed initially by dozens of booby-traps, the source said.

Trump administration prepares to ease export rules for U.S. guns
The Trump administration is preparing to make it easier for American gun makers to sell small arms, including assault rifles and ammunition, to foreign buyers, according to senior U.S. officials. Aides to President Donald Trump are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department, four officials told Reuters.

Illinois Unpaid Vendor Backlog Hits A New Record At Over $16 Billion
“We need to come up with roughly half a billion (dollars) of cuts just to be able to service a bond offering…”

Manafort Calls On DOJ To Release His Intercepted Phone Calls; Demands Investigation Of Leaks
“Mr. Manafort requests that the Department of Justice release any interceptsinvolving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there.”

Israel and US Open First American Military Base in Israel
Israel and the U.S. inaugurated the first American military base on Israeli soil on Monday, which will serve dozens of soldiers operating a missile defense system.

Bolton: ‘This Was the Best Speech of the Trump Presidency’
John Bolton says President Donald Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly was the “best speech of the Trump presidency.” Bolton, a former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said the centerpiece of Trump’s speech was his criticism of the behavior of North Korea and Iran.

5-Star’s young, popular Di Maio charts course to be Italy PM
Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement looks poised to name Luigi Di Maio as its candidate for prime minister in elections early next year and, if opinion polls are to be believed, the earnest 31-year-old has a good chance of winning.

6.1 Earthquake Off New Zealand Follows 7.1 Quake near Mexico City — 119 Dead
A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck off of New Zealand on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning local time). This was the second quake today on the “Ring of Fire” zone in the Pacific Ocean.

Obama’s UN Global Expansion of Community Organizing
It should surprise no one that former President Barack Obama will host an upcoming gathering of civic leaders from around the world on the 31st of October, the day the United Nations celebrates ‘World Cities Day’. Obama and the UN are on the same obsessive mission to take over the world country by country by first globalizing the West, city by city.

Netanyahu on Trump UN Speech: In More than 30 Years at UN, Have Not Heard a Speech So Bold And Courageous
The US president delivered a fearless speech to the international body. President Trump slammed the terrorists of Hezbollah, the dangers of socialism, the murderous Iranian regime, Obama’s embarrassing Iranian nuclear deal, and North Korean ‘rocket man’ Kim Jong Un.

First time in years, a U.S. President manages to address the UN—without trashing The United States I won’t bother listing examples, because there are so many that it would take all day.  Suffice it to say that, if you spent any part of the last 8 years watching President Obama address the United Nations, you saw a U.S. President belittle his own county.  Obama’s speeches were, almost without exception, apologetic affairs designed to acknowledge the left-wing “truth” that America is the source of all the world’s ills.


Top Financial Expert Warns Stocks Need To Drop ‘Between 30 And 40 Percent’ As Bankruptcy Looms For Toys R Us

Will there be a major stock market crash before the end of 2017?  To many of us, it seems like we have been waiting for this ridiculous stock market bubble to burst for a very long time.  The experts have been warning us over and over again that stocks cannot keep going up like this indefinitely, and yet this market has seemed absolutely determined to defy the laws of economics.  But most people don’t remember that we went through a similar thing before the financial crisis of 2008 as well.  I recently spoke to an investor that shorted the market three years ahead of that crash.  In the end his long-term analysis was right on the money, but his timing was just a bit off, and the same thing will be true with many of the experts this time around. (Read More…)

Mid-Day Snapshot

Sept. 20, 2017

Trump’s Reaganesque UN Speech

He didn’t shy away from challenging the UN to stand with the U.S. in fighting against tyranny.

The Foundation

“I am persuaded that a firm union is as necessary to perpetuate our liberties as it is to make us respectable.” —Alexander Hamilton (1788)


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: September 20

  • Fed Poised to Set Portfolio Reduction Plan in Motion (Read More)
  • Dollar close to 2015 lows as conflicted Fed prepares policy update (Read More)
  • The Risk of a New Economic Non-Order (Read More)
  • A last, last chance: Republicans strain for Obamacare repeal (Read More)
  • McConnell Won’t Promise Obamacare Repeal Vote as Foes Mobilize (Read More)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Rips Into GOP Health Bill for Failing ‘Kimmel Test’ (Read More)
  • Stress at UN Not Shared on Wall Street as Stocks Set Records (Read More)
  • Trump’s North Korea threat leaves Asia struggling to explain (Read More)
  • China offers support for strife-torn Venezuela at United Nations (Read More)
  • States Need $645 Billion to Pay Full Health-Care Costs (Read More)
  • Trump Aides Caught in Russia Probe Face Legal Bills and Paranoia (Read More)
  • Police arrest high-ranking Catalan officials in raids (Read More)
  • Opioids on the Job Are Overwhelming American Employers (Read More)
  • Russia’s B&N Bank seeks bailout: central bank (Read More)
  • Toys ‘R’ Us Will Live Because Mattel and Hasbro Can’t Let It Die (Read More)
  • From Russia with fuel – North Korean ships may be undermining sanctions (Read More)
  • Two Big Words Show Why U.S. Oil May Finally Be Turning a Corner (Read More)
  • How $5 billion of debt caught up with Toys ‘R’ Us (Read More)
  • Why This Hurricane Season Is So Intense (Read More)
  • Buffett calls pessimists about United States ‘out of their mind’ (Read More)
  • Uber reviews Asia business amid U.S. bribery probe (Read More)
  • Amazon Is a Lifeline for Retail Workers. (If They Live in the Right City.) (Read More)

Headlines – 9/20/2017

UN chief: Two-state solution remains the ‘only way forward’

Egypt’s Sissi makes impromptu plea at UN for Israeli-Palestinian peace

Egypt’s Sisi urges Palestinians to unite, co-exist with Israelis

Al-Sisi urges Israelis to ‘support your leadership’

Egyptian leader Sissi is showing his mettle by posing with Netanyahu

Report: Netanyahu and al-Sisi agree to hold winter summit with PA and Jordan

From applause to denial, Middle East media react to Sisi-Netanyahu meeting

Hamas invites Abbas to resume control of Gaza

Hamas concessions don’t guarantee Palestinian reconciliation

The Doomed Palestinian Reconciliation Plan

Hamas Offer Reflects Pressure From Egypt and Fatah

Omitting Mideast peace from speech, Trump opts again for the unorthodox

S. African twins put on terror list for plot to bomb Jewish targets, US embassy

Rivlin urges world Jewry to fight terror, racism together

Israel’s Southern Wall Proves 100 Percent Effective in Preventing Infiltrations

Hamas operative killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

Quietly, Israeli high-tech companies contract Gaza engineers

In first, US establishes permanent military base in Israel

IDF fires Patriot to intercept Hezbollah drone in Golan Heights

Israel: ‘We have shot down Iranian-supplied Hezbollah drone’

Galant warns Iran against ‘adventures’ with Israel

Rivlin says Iranian presence on northern border intolerable

Urging end to Iran deal, Netanyahu envisions march of the sanctions

Netanyahu to UN: Change Iran deal or cancel it, fix it or nix it

‘Flawed’ Iran nuke deal must be reworked, Tillerson says

Tillerson: Iran nuclear deal must be changed for US to remain in pact

Iran Threatens to Destroy Israel’s Tel Aviv, But Gulf Arab States Appear Closer to Former Foe

Israel Atomic Energy Commission head warns of Iran’s nuclear threat

Iran nuclear deal drives wedge between US and France

Trump slams ‘murderous regime’ of Iran at United Nations

Korean peninsula draws range of military drills in show of force against North Korea

In UN speech, Trump calls Kim Jong Un ‘Rocket Man’ and threatens to ‘totally destroy North Korea’

Democratic Senate leader calls Trump’s ‘Rocket Man’ remark at UN ‘risky’

S.Korea says Trump’s warning to N.Korea “firm and specific”

China says N.Korea issue should be resolved peacefully

Trump’s UN Speech Receives Immediate Support From Netanyahu

Iran’s Zarif blasts Trump’s ‘ignorant hate speech’ at UN

World leaders skip out on Trump to avoid the embarrassment

French President slams Syria’s President Assad, calls him ‘a criminal’

Iraqi forces ‘attack last IS bastion on Syria border’

US-backed force takes 90 percent of Syria’s Raqqa from ISIS

Clashes erupt in Iraqi city of Kirkuk over Kurdish vote

Turkish tanks trained on northern Iraq in show of force ahead of vote

Curfew imposed in Iraqi city before Kurdish independence vote

Iran: Kurdish independence to ‘create another Israel’ – Ayatollah Jannati

Arab quartet meet in New York to discuss new approach to Qatar crisis

Egypt’s Sisi on Qatar: It’s time to confront supporters of terrorism

Trump denies warning Saudi Arabia over military action against Qatar

Saudi forces carry out operations near Yemen border, killing 70 Houthis

UN calls on Congo to protect refugees after deadly shooting

UN chief urges Myanmar to halt military campaign against Rohingya

The satellite images that prove Myanmar horrors

Putin displays massive firepower in Russian war games on border with Europe

NATO leader: Russian military exercises appear to be preparation for ‘big war’

Russian army helicopter accidentally fires at spectators

Trump’s lawyer denies collusion with Russia in 2016 election

Trump’s lawyer trashes Russia dossier, says document ‘riddled with total falsehoods’

Mueller v. Trump is about to blow up

Trump vindicated? Manafort wiretapping report lends credence to claim

James Comey Tried to Discredit Trump’s Wiretapping Assertions That Proved True

Did Obama Know about Comey’s Surveillance? The media is less interested in Obama Administration wiretapping than in how Trump described it.

Before the massive Equifax breach, there was another one

Tech Firms Face Fines Unless Terrorist Material Removed in Hours

Google launches UK ‘anti-terror fund’

Suspicious object detected in luggage triggers bomb scare at Mangalore Airport

UK police arrest two more people in London subway bombing, bringing total to five

Trump slams Venezuela at UN; Maduro calls him ‘Hitler’

Trump: ‘The Problem in Venezuela Is Not that Socialism Has Been Poorly Implemented’ but ‘Faithfully Implemented’

Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog hits a record $16 billion

The World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Hits $1 Trillion

Dow posts record close as Fed meeting starts, Trump talks to the UN

Retail Apocalypse: 20 big retailers closing stores in 2017

Rare Celestial ‘Occultation’ Event Sees New Moon Blocking Out Three Planets and Bright Star

Hours after an earthquake drill in Mexico City, the real thing struck

Mexico City hit by deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake on anniversary of 1985 disaster

Central Mexico earthquake kills more than 240, topples buildings

New Zealand hit by strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake just hours after Mexico City disaster

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Arequipa, Peru

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Namie, Japan

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Gerash, Iran

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Blenheim, New Zealand

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kerman, Iran

San Andreas Fault: 3.6 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Los Angeles

The Really Big One – An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 23,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Category 5 Maria closing in on Puerto Rico, a hurricane disaster unavoidable

Maria ‘potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century’: Governor

Puerto Rico Faces Hurricane Maria After Irma’s $1 Billion Damage

Trump Approves Puerto Rico Emergency Declaration As Maria Strengthens Into “Potentially Catastrophic” Cat-5 Hurricane

Hurricane Jose, Expected to Stay Offshore From East Coast, Still Churning in Atlantic

Hurricane Irma leaves behind foul stink across Central Florida

Senators push for churches to get disaster relief grants

Democrats urge full review before Senate vote on Obamacare attack

Israeli Kibbutz to Become Worldwide Medical Marijuana Hub

WHO warns the world is running out of antibiotics

Israeli court awards cancer-stricken nuclear reactor workers with $22 million

AI can detect Alzheimer’s a decade before symptoms show

Hepatitis A outbreak declared in Los Angeles County

Brazilian Judge Sparks Outrage By Approving Gay Conversion Therapy

Mike Oppenheimer – Witnessing to Someone in a Cult

Are Bill Johnson and the New Apostolic Reformation Really Doing Miracles?

The Cautionary Tale of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker

False Teacher of the Day: Kyle Martin, Time to Revive Ministry

Two (Female) Pastors in Love (with each other), and Only God Knows

Houston Church Blocks Jewish Lesbian From Volunteering to Help Hurricane Victims

Studies Suggest There Is No Long-Term Harm on Minors Who Have Sex With Adults; Christian Sociologist Responds

Anti-Population Growth Group Expresses Support for Planned Parenthood as Means to Combat ‘Overpopulation’

A Jewish Council Decided That Jesus Christ Must Die Because Many Would Believe In Him!

Jim Bakker Claims “Every Prophecy I’ve Made Has Come True.” Also, Donald Trump Watches His Show

Spiritual Disciplines and the Appearance of Wisdom

Oregon governor celebrates law making abortions free for all, including illegal immigrants

Chinese Christian Academy Banned for ‘Brainwashing’ Children

The Invisible Christians of North Korea – Surviving by God’s Grace Alone

Maria Slams Puerto Rico, One Million Without Power, Could Be Months Without Power

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 07:32 AM PDT

Metal roofs were flying off buildings and windows were breaking in San Juan, Puerto Rico even before Hurricane Maria made landfall as a Category 4 storm on the island’s southeastern coast early Wednesday morning. According to the Associated Press, nearly 900,000 people were already without power as the storm approached. Those who sought shelter at a coliseum in San Juan were moved to the building’s second and third floors.

Puerto Rico’s weather radar stopped operating as the storm came ashore, transmitting its last image around 5:50 a.m, the Washington Post reports. There are reports of widesrpead damage on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands as a result of Hurricane Maria, the VI Consotrium reports, and many are pleading for help in compromised buildings. READ MORE

 

The World Is Running Out of Antibiotics!

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 07:03 AM PDT

Concern about growing global antibiotic resistance has come to a head: The World Health Organization is now warning that the world is running out of antibiotics. There aren’t enough truly new antibiotics being developed, especially for the most concerning antibiotic-resistant infections, according to a WHO report released Tuesday. The United Nations health agency has aired its concerns about antibiotic

resistance, which makes it more difficult to treat infections, for some time. Some of the group’s latest moves included updating guidelines for treating sexually transmitted infections and cautioning that just three antibiotics are being developed to treat gonorrhea, a “fairly grim” situation. But the latest WHO report takes a broad and prospective look at antibiotic development, and what it describes is not a pretty picture. READ MORE

 

National Geographic Attempts To Reveal the Face of Mary Magdalene

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 06:51 AM PDT

National Geographic reports you can now see the face of Mary Magdalene, following the forensic and artistic reconstruction of the face of a woman whose skull remains behind a glass barrier in France. That is, if you are convinced that the woman who is recorded in the New Testament as a follower of Jesus somehow made her way from what now is Israel to France before she died. And if you believe that the

skull, in a crypt behind a basilica in a medieval town in the south of France, is hers. The report identified Mary Magdalene as “one of the Catholic Church’s most infamous women” and says some have described her as a prostitute. Lest anyone jump to conclusions, Philippe Charlier, a biological anthropologist from the University of Versailles, told National Geographic: READ MORE

 

100-Year-Old Woman Continues Using Gift The Lord Gave Her

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 06:36 AM PDT

Living to 100 is one of the ultimate life goals for many people, but most don’t think they’ll be doing much work if they are lucky enough to get there. Not Eva Bossenberger. The centurion works hard everyday, waking up before dawn to sew dresses for little girls for the Operation Christmas Child endeavor. The ministry packs shoeboxes full of items for children and they come with the message of Jesus’ love as well.

She started out wanting to help and it quickly became her life’s work, literally. Eva says at first it took her over a day to make one dress — but not she can sew three in one day, making her a huge blessing to the ministry and the girls they serve. “I love it. The Lord gave me hands with no arthritis. I’m doing what the Lord has asked me to do,” she said. READ MORE

SPREADING: Hepatitis A Outbreak Reaches Los Angeles

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 06:30 AM PDT

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has declared a local outbreak of hepatitis A. The health agency said the declaration was issued after the most recent new cases of the disease appear to have been locally acquired. So far, 10 cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed among the high-risk homeless population in Los Angeles County, according to a press release from the department.

Four of the confirmed cases were in individuals who had been in San Diego and Santa Cruz. Three other cases were identified in a health facility in Los Angeles County. Two of those cases appear to have been acquired locally, according to the health department. READ MORE

PROPHECY WATCH: Supermarket offers ‘finger vein’ payment in worldwide first…

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 06:27 AM PDT

UK supermarket has become the first in the world to let shoppers pay for groceries using just the veins in their fingertips. Customers at the Costcutter store, at Brunel University in London, can now pay using their unique vein pattern to identify themselves. The firm behind the technology, Sthaler, has said it is in “serious talks” with other major UK supermarkets to adopt hi-tech finger vein scanners at pay points

across thousands of stores. It works by using infrared to scan people’s finger veins and then links this unique biometric map to their bank cards. Customers’ bank details are then stored with payment provider Worldpay, in the same way you can store your card details when shopping online. Shoppers can then turn up to the supermarket with nothing on them but their own hands and use it to make payments in just three seconds. READ MORE

Maria most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 100 Years

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 06:23 AM PDT

As residents of Puerto Rico brace for Hurricane Maria — which slammed into the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm Monday night — Puerto Rico’s governor is calling the storm “the biggest and potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century.” Maria, which has left at least two dead in the Caribbean, is forecast to “remain an extremely dangerous Category 4 or 5 hurricane” as it approaches Puerto Rico early Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Maria could bring life-threatening flooding and mudslides, as well as a 6- to 9-foot storm surge, to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Dangerous flash flooding and mudslides are also possible, especially in mountainous regions in Puerto Rico. As of 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Maria’s maximum sustained winds had decreased to 160 mph, but it remained a Category 5 storm. Maria’s maximum sustained winds had been as high as 175 mph during the day Tuesday. READ MORE

Is North Korea a Smokescreen for a Potential Armageddon in the Middle East?

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 06:19 AM PDT

The threats of the North Korean dictator are frightening indeed and could well ignite a nuclear war, but they are part of a bigger picture of a worldwide rebellion against the God of creation. On a more specific front, they’re a smokescreen for a potential Armageddon in the Middle East as Russian-backed Iran and its allies move dangerously close to Israel’s borders. Only last week (Sept. 7) Israel carried out a daring

air strike against an Iranian-run weapons factory in the heart of Syria, severely damaging (if not destroying) the facility where chemical and biological munitions, as well as medium-range missiles, are being developed. Syria has, in turn, warned about “dangerous repercussions”.  The strike took place exactly 10 years after Israel—the only country in recent years that has stood up to North Korea until now—destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor being built with the help of the rogue regime. READ MORE

When Sin Goes From Shocking to Amusing

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 06:14 AM PDT

(By Shane Idleman) “Remember ever, and always, that your country was founded by the stern old Puritans whose first act on touching the soil of the new world was to offer on bended knees thanksgiving to Almighty God” (paraphrase of Henry Wilson; 18TH U.S. Vice President). Unlike today, many early political leaders were not ashamed to admit the true source of America’s strength—they were biblically correct, rather than politically correct. They were statesmen, not politicians. A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.

You may say, “Times change.” And you are correct, but God’s standards do not. The sin that once amazed us now amuses us; just look at what is considered “entertainment” today. When sin begins to amuse us, we are dangerously close to the edge—”Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20). Darwin is praised and curriculum that removes God is applauded. Boys can be girls, and girls boys. Men can marry men—women marry women. Chaplains can no longer look to the true source of truth and comfort. Up is down and down is up. America, wake up—we are a nation void of understanding … void of truth. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Ring Of Fire Awakening as Powerful Quakes Continue

Posted: 20 Sep 2017 06:11 AM PDT

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck off of New Zealand on Tuesday night, just hours after the deadly M7.1 earthquake killed at least 119 people in Mexico. A M6.1 earthquake hit 256km W of Auckland Island, New Zealand on September 20, 2017. This was the second powerful quake within 7 hours on the “Ring of Fire” zone in the Pacific Ocean after that M7.1 near Mexico City.

The underwater earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 magnitude struck in the remote Southern Ocean south of New Zealand on Wednesday. The quake, at a shallow depth of 10km, was recorded 211km west of the sub-Antarctic Auckland Island, off New Zealand’s South Island. READ MORE


What is The Gospel?


Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him:

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
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Back Pew Voted Best Spot In Church Fifty-Eighth Year Running

U.S.—The back pew at church was voted the best seat in the house among churchgoers for the 58th year running, sources at LifeWay Research confirmed Tuesday. Regular church attendees were polled on their preferences for a place to sit during a service, with options ranging from the various pews in the sanctuary and the overflow […]

. . . finish reading Back Pew Voted Best Spot In Church Fifty-Eighth Year Running.

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The post The Briefing 09-20-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.