June 27, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Jun. 27, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

At least three Republican senators said they would vote to block the current version of their party’s health-care bill from advancing, endangering Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to repeal Obamacare.

The U.S. has a unique opportunity to develop a “North American energy strategy” with Canada and Mexico, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said, striking a conciliatory tone with the other members of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Angela Merkel’s main election challenger demanded a parliamentary vote on gay marriage this week, stepping up pressure on the German chancellor over a divisive topic for her party bloc. Merkel said Monday that she’s open to having lawmakers vote their conscience on legalizing gay marriage, which her Christian Democrat-led bloc officially opposes, though she said she wants to keep it out of this year’s campaign. Social conservatives among her lawmakers view traditional marriage as a party hallmark that needs to be defended.

Google lost its biggest regulatory battle yet, getting a record $2.7 billion fine from European Union enforcers who say the search-engine giant skewed results to thwart smaller shopping search services.

The Trump administration said the U.S. suspects that Syrian forces are planning another chemical-weapons attack on rebel forces and issued a warning that President Bashar al-Assad risks paying “a heavy price” if it proceeds.

According to a Pew Research Center public survey of 37 countries, a median of just 22 percent of respondents have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in international matters, compared with 64 percent at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. As a country, the U.S.’s favorable rating fell in the same period to 49 percent from 64 percent.

Basic rules of the road are needed before lawmakers allow companies from Apple Inc. to Ford Motor Co. to dramatically expand testing of self-driving cars, safety and consumer advocates will tell lawmakers Tuesday.

The U.S. will impose further punitive tariffs on imports of softwood lumber from Canada, escalating a longstanding trade dispute that’s already led to higher timber prices.

CNN accepted the resignations Monday of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund.

Sustained increases for home prices in 20 U.S. cities in April indicate the housing industry is juggling stable demand with a shortage of inventory.

AP Top Stories

An oil tanker truck crashed on a busy highway in Pakistan Sunday, killing at least 153 people when it exploded as crowds rushed to the scene to collect leaking fuel.

A civil rights historical marker in Mississippi has been vandalized, obliterating information about black teenager Emmett Till, who was kidnapped and lynched in 1955. The slaying galvanized the civil rights movement when Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, had an open-casket funeral in Chicago to show how her 14-year-old son had been brutalized while he was visiting the Mississippi Delta.

Chelsea Manning has attended her first LGBTQ Pride event in New York City as a free woman. The network security expert who leaked nearly three-quarters of a million classified and not-classified military documents to WikiLeaks was seen during the massive march on the streets of Manhattan riding in a red convertible and waving a flag.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Sunday for a “lowering of rhetoric” between Qatar and a four-nation group led by Saudi Arabia after Doha denounced their sweeping list of demands.

Six people, including three children, were injured Sunday after a car ran into a large crowd gathered to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in the northern English city of Newcastle. Police said there was no information suggesting the incident was terror-related.

A Canadian soldier made history Monday by becoming the first woman to lead the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London.

BBC

Firms around the globe are reporting that they have been hit by a major cyber-attack. Ukrainian firms, including the state power distributor and Kiev’s main airport were among the first to report issues. Some experts are suggesting that it could be a ransomware attack, similar to Wannacry which hit last month.

The world’s food security is increasingly reliant on 14 “chokepoints” for trade, a think-tank report has warned. UK-based Chatham House says more needs to be done to protect key transport routes such as the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal and the Turkish Straits. Almost 25% of the world’s food is traded on international markets. Infrastructure at the chokepoints is often old and would struggle to cope with natural disasters which are expected to grow in frequency as the planet warms, the report authors add.

Seven people have died after a passenger boat sank on a reservoir in north-western Colombia, officials said. 158 people were rescued, but two are still missing.

Authorities in north-eastern Nigeria have begun digging a 27km (17 mile) trench around the University of Maiduguri to prevent attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Fifty-two migrants have been found dead in the deserts of central Niger, near Séguédine. A group of 75 set out in three vehicles but were abandoned by traffickers, who feared the security forces.

India’s Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to stop the government making a controversial biometric identity card mandatory for social welfare schemes.

WND

UK – A private school for Orthodox Jewish girls aged three to eight faces closure because pupils are not taught about homosexuality or gender reassignment.


The Briefing 06-27-17

SCOTUS story #1: Big win for religious liberty as Supreme Court rules 7-2 in favor of Trinity Lutheran

SCOTUS story #2: Unanimous Supreme Court decision upholds most of President Trump’s travel ban

SCOTUS story #3: SCOTUS reverses AR Supreme Court, disestablishing biology-based birth registration

SCOTUS story #4: Supreme Court to hear momentous gay wedding cake case on religious liberty next term

The post The Briefing 06-27-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top News – 6/27/2017

All Aboard the Temple Mount Express: Massive Government Infrastructure Underway to Bring Millions of Worshipers to Temple
For the first time in approximately 2,000 years, since the time of the Second Temple, plans are being formed by the Israeli government to build an effective infrastructure for Jews to make their obligatory pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.

EU fines Google record $2.7 billion in first antitrust case
EU antitrust regulators hit Alphabet (GOOGL.O) unit Google with a record 2.42-billion-euro ($2.7 billion) fine on Tuesday, taking a tough line in the first of three investigations into the company’s dominance in searches and smartphones.

‘Reform Jews, stay in America and don’t interfere here’
Haredi MK praises PM’s decision to freeze Western Wall plan, calls on Reform Jews to stay in US – and out of Israeli politics.

Bahrain accuses Qatar of military escalation in Gulf row
Bahrain’s foreign minister accused Qatar on Monday of creating a military escalation in a dispute with regional powers, in an apparent reference to Doha’s decision to let more Turkish troops enter its territory.

Kazakhstan seeks role as capital of ‘New Silk Road
Hosting major international fora, Astana is becoming an important venue for Euroasian economy.

Shin Bet chief warns of ‘real world surprises’ if cyber attackers go after Israel
Cyber attackers “can expect real world surprises” if they go after Israel, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Nadav Argaman told a Tel Aviv University cyber conference on Tuesday. In his first cyber speech since taking over the elite Israeli security agency in May 2016, Argaman said “our defense does not recognize any borders.” “We follow threats everywhere,” he said, adding “We connect the cyber and the physical world.”

Israel gears up for Jerusalem sovereignty fight in UNESCO
Israel is pushing to sway the 21 nations on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to reject a resolution disavowing Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, when the committee meets in Krakow, Poland, July 2-12. The diplomatic battle comes at the same time Israel is dealing with the American Jewish community over the centrality of the Western Wall as a global Jewish symbol.

Germany: Merkel paves way for gay marriage vote
German MPs are pressing Chancellor Angela Merkel for a free vote in parliament soon on legalising same-sex marriage, after she signalled a shift in her party’s position on it. Mrs Merkel surprised the German media by saying she favoured a “decision of conscience” on gay marriage. Her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) have previously opposed it – unlike unlike the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens.

US warns Syria over ‘potential’ plan for chemical attack
The US says Syria’s government appears to be preparing for a chemical weapons attack and has warned that it will “pay a very heavy price” if one takes place. The White House said similar activities had been seen before bombs containing the nerve agent Sarin were allegedly dropped on a rebel-held town in April. Dozens of people were killed, prompting President Donald Trump to order a missile strike on a Syrian airbase.

Syria war: Air strike on IS prison in Mayadin ‘kills dozens’
Almost 60 people have been killed in a suspected US-led coalition air strike on a prison run by so-called Islamic State in eastern Syria, activists say. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 42 prisoners and 15 militants died when the facility in the Mayadin area was hit early on Monday. The activist-run Deirezzor24 website said the prisoners included civilians and Syrian rebels opposed to IS.

Biology no longer the only factor in birth certificates
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that states must list both people in a same-sex couple as a child’s parents on their birth certificate, whether or not they are the child’s biological parents. The 6-3 decision overturned the Arkansas Supreme Court’s earlier ruling, which said that “it does not violate equal protection to acknowledge basic biological truths.” Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented in the Supreme Court decision.

Christian Preschoolers Banned from Saying ‘Amen’, Talking About the Bible
Children at a Christian preschool in Sweden are no longer allowed to say grace at mealtimes, “Amen”, or talk about the Bible, after a ruling by the Umeå municipality. Visiting the preschool for an inspection, supervisors…said the activities run contrary to the Education Act, which forbids educational content during school time from containing confessional elements, and states that children at must always have the choice of whether or not to participate.

Anti-Trump Leak Campaign Damaging U.S. and Allied Operations
A new wave of leaks targeting the Trump administration has actively endangered ongoing intelligence and military operations being conducted by the United States and its allies, sparking anger and concern inside and outside the White House, according to multiple conversations with senior U.S. officials intimately familiar with the situation.

Russian submarine successfully test-fires Bulava intercontinental missile
The Russian Northern Fleet’s Project 955 underwater missile cruiser Yuri Dolgoruky has successfully test-fired a Bulava missile from the Barents Sea and hit all the designated targets at the Kura practice range in Kamchatka, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday.

Fighting intensifies in Syrian Golan Heights
Fighting between government forces and opposition fighters has intensified in the Quneitra province in Syria’s south, situated in the 30 percent part of the Golan Heights under Syrian control.

Germany Tells Erdogan His Bodyguards “Not Welcome” At Next Week’s G-20 Summit
Ahead of the G-20 summit to be held in Hamburg next week where Turkey will be present, Germany has warned Turkey that members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail who were involved in a bloody melee in Washington last month “are not welcome in Germany.”

Broadway Play “1984” Is Causing Audiences To Vomit And Faint
Geroge Orwell’s legendary book, “1984“, was not in any way meant to be a prediction of our future, yet that’s exactly what appears to have happened. And now that there’s a Broadway play which follows the events in the book closely, many are finding it difficult to stomach.

OUTRAGE IN ISRAEL: New report finds that Turkey is paying Muslims in Israel over $1,250 a month to riot and terrorize Jews in Jerusalem
A Turkish organization funded partially by the Turkish government invested in a project intended to bring 500 thousand Israeli Arabs to the Al-Aqsa Mosque “to protect it against Israeli invasion and the threat of its destruction,” according to an investigation by Israel Hayom.

WATCH: Canadian Muslim Demands Pedophilia Be Legal
Canadian Muslims are happy the way Islam is going in Canada under Justin Trudeau, so far they’ve gotten all their demands met, like M-103 for example, will they earn their way to legalizing pedophilia? In Canada Bestiality is now legal, anything can happen it seems.

‘Unprecedented’ Amount of Child Porn Discovered in the Vatican 
As the Catholic Church battles to stem their continuing exposure of clerical pedophilia, detectives have uncovered an “unprecedented” amount of child pornography including images, videos and other explicit content discovered within the walls of the Vatican.

JW “Considering Legal Options” To Obtain Obama Spying Scandal Docs HIDDEN At Presidential Library
“There is no spying on Americans, we don’t have a domestic spying program,” former President Barack Obama said in 2013, and yet, that’s exactly what he did.

74,531,002 Enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP
…The total Medicaid/CHIP enrollment of 74,531,002 for April was greater than the population of France, which the CIA reports was 66,836,154 as of July 2016. It was also greater than the population of the United Kingdom (64,430,428) and Italy (62,007,540).

EXPLOSIVE: Mueller Personally Conducted Transfer Of Highly Enriched Uranium To Russia
Uranium One officials donated millions to the Clinton Foundation amid the sale of U.S. uranium to Russia.  It is now common knowledge that the foundation received millions of dollars from investors as Putin took over 20 percent of U.S. uranium deposits.


Project Veritas Catches CNN Producer On Tape Admitting That Trump-Russia Narrative Is Fake

Project Veritas has released a video of CNN Producer John Bonifield who was caught on hidden-camera admitting that there is no proof to CNN’s Russia narrative.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If this was a baseball game, we would be saying “CNN, 3 strikes your out”. As in lights out. Project Veritas strikes again in bringing us what the Liberal fake news media is really saying when they think the cameras are not rolling. The Trump-Russia hoax is officially dead, good riddance to bad rubbish. 

“I mean, it’s mostly b******t right now,” Bonifield says. “Like, we don’t have any giant proof.”

He confirms that the driving factor at CNN is ratings:

“It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss… All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business.”

According to the CNN Producer, business is booming. “Trump is good for business right now,” he concluded.

Bonifield further goes on to explain that the instructions come straight from the top, citing the CEO, Jeff Zucker:

“Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN (Jeff Zucker) said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with that, let’s get back to Russia.”

Bonifield also acknowledged: “I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime.” He continues:

“I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”

“To report not on facts, but instead on narratives that yield high ratings, is exactly the definition of fake news,” said James O’Keefe. “We said we are going after the media, and there is a lot more to come.” source


Even The Fed’s Own National Economy Activity Index Just Collapsed In May

06-26-2017 • http://www.zerohedge.com

Lies, Damned Lies, and Fed Press Conferences. The incessant outpouring of confidence in the future of economic growth in America espoused as reasoning for raising rates (when all around them, signals are collapsing) just got another slap in the face… this time self-inflicted.

The Chicago Fed National Economic Activity Index plunged to -0.26 in May – the biggest drop since August 2016…

The index draws on 85 economic indicators, and only 32 of the 85 monthly individual indicators made positive contributions.

Of course, this should hardly be a surprise…


John Bonifield, CNN Producer Says Russia Narrative “Mostly bulls–t right now,” President Trump is Right About Witch Hunt (VIDEO)

Sometimes Project Veritas is just a tad too smug for me. But they often do excellent work. Sometimes they hit. Sometimes they miss. This video is a base hit and doesn’t appear to be overly edited. Though some of the questions are a bit leading. Judge for yourself.

If Russia is a ratings winner for CNN, if what appears to be flat out “fake news”

Read More


The Federal Government Owns 61 Percent Of Idaho, 64 Percent Of Utah And 84 Percent Of Nevada

Did you know that the federal government owns 28 percent of all land in the United States?  Today, the feds control approximately 640 million acres of land, and after decades of very poor management, many are calling on the states to take a larger role.  This is particularly true in the 11 western states where the federal government collectively owns 47 percent of all land.  East of the Mississippi River, the feds only own 4 percent of all land, and there is no reason for such a disparity to exist.  In Connecticut and Iowa, the federal government only owns 0.3 percent of all land.  Such an arrangement seems to work very well for those states, and so why can’t we dramatically reduce federal land ownership in the western states as well? (Read More…)


The Senate GOP’s Healthcare Plan Breaks Their Promises

Let’s concede two points. First, let us concede that the Senate Republicans’ healthcare plan does not repeal Obamacare. Despite years of promises, the GOP has no intention of repealing Obamacare.

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Post-MAGA, Pre-Apocalypse

Omega Letter

Events today are spinning faster and faster out of control. Unlike times past where one could point to the troubled shores of Europe and say…war is coming, today there are no safe harbors anymore. There isn’t a place on earth today that isn’t racked by violence, war, crime, depravity, or corruption. We don’t even have the luxury of pointing to some impending sign and say, “it” is coming.

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Why Teach The Second Coming? – Hal Lindsey

Jesus said to “watch” for His return. In Matthew 24:42, He said, “Be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”

That means we need to know the signs of His coming. We need to study, and see how scripture lays out God’s end-times program. We need to know the promises He has made — including His promises to Abraham. We know He will keep His word. He will fulfill every bit of it. And that means, He will come again!

View Article


Gender-Confused Kids Need Protection, Not Exploitation

In a piece over at LifeZette, Dr. Meg Meeker warns us that the moment we stop seeing children’s problems as problems, we stop helping them. “And when we cross boundaries,” says Meeker, “and force others to see their problems as normal, we solidify craziness as the norm.”  She writes:

Once more, the media have gone over the edge and made a mockery of little children. They ran a story about a child who alerted his parents to struggles over gender dysphoria — at the tender age of three.

And shame on his parents for letting them do so. MSN recently reported on the child — named Colt at birth — who rejected his gender and insisted on being called Emma because he said he was really a girl.

OK, I get it. The child has psychic turmoil and needs help. Or he’s playing a game. It’s hard to tell — because when he declared his gender confusion, he was three. Yes, three years old.

But that’s not really the problem. The real beef I have is with adults, particularly those in the media who push their agenda with a finger in our faces, saying, “See, we told you so,” by exploiting small children like Colt/Emma.

View article →

Mid-Day Snapshot

June 26, 2017

A Supreme Second Amendment Disgrace

SCOTUS declines to hear a critical case about bearing arms after the Ninth Circuit’s egregious self-reversal.

The Foundation

“Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect.” —James Madison (1820)

They Will Stop the Music When They’re Sure Trump Can’t Find a Chair

The global financial system is the shakiest it has been since 1929 – with quadrillions in incredibly leveraged debt issued by governments, the big banks, Wall Street, and central banks around the world. Long-term bonds are down 20-40% globally over the past year – a strong indicator of things to come. Almost anything could trigger that collapse (i.e., the collapse of a major bank like the German Deutsche Bank, a major debt default of a European country, etc.). Or the system could be intentionally pushed over the edge by the Establishment at “just the right time, when they are hedged to profit most from the collapse and Trump can be completely blamed.

It is a given that all financial markets around the world are completely manipulated by the powers that be for their own benefit (profit), and in the instance of the recent election, the US stock market (which is poised for a giant crash) was held up (manipulated higher) to make Obama, Hillary, and the Democrats look good. It didn’t really help since the great majority in middle America are not even invested in the stock market.

Likewise, starting the day of the election and for weeks following, the gold market was manipulated in the futures market and fell from it highs close to $1350 to around $1207 – a drop of over $140. Never underestimate the manipulation of the powers-that-be. Of course they make billions off of such manipulations. But the day is coming (probably within 12 months) when the Establishment will lose total control of the markets in an unstoppable avalanche, and the stock market crash that should have happened before the election, but for their manipulation, will happen.

The Establishment definitely wants that to happen on Trump’s watch…. At some time in 2017, when they are properly prepositioned (hedged), they will very likely intentionally trigger the collapse and the depression that will follow. You should be well positioned in gold before that time.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, December 2016)


 Featured Blogs


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: June 27

  • Stocks, dollar ease as central bank officials take center stage (Read More)
  • Euro surges on Draghi comments, dollar slips (Read More)
  • Yuan Surges in Afternoon Trade Amid Talk PBOC Supported Currency (Read More)
  • U.S. threatens Syria, says Assad is planning chemical weapons attack (Read More)
  • Google Gets Record $2.7 Billion EU Fine for Skewing Searches (Read More)
  • Senators Considering Breaking Fannie-Freddie Into Pieces, Sources Say (Read More)
  • Banks’ blockchain consortium picks IBM for trade finance platform (Read More)
  • Nestlé Unmoved by Demands From Activist Investor Third Point (Read More)
  • Republican leaders work to buoy Senate healthcare bill (Read More)
  • Rising Inequality May Be the Real Risk of Automation (Read More)
  • This Shipping Magnate Is Calling a Bottom in the Oil Rout (Read More)
  • Half of High-Skilled EU Workers Consider Leaving UK, Study says (Read More)
  • Anxious Investors Try to Hedge Against a Big Selloff, Even as Good Times Roll (Read More)
  • Bank of England Orders Banks to Boost Capital (Read More)
  • British Households Are Finding It Easier to Pay The Bills (Read More)
  • World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Refuses to Be Silenced  (Read More)
  • Court confirms Dutch U.N. peace-keepers partly liable for Srebrenica massacre (Read More)
  • Can the City Survive? (Read More)
  • China, Kyrgyzstan border forces hold exercises to stop arms smuggling (Read More)
  • U.S. judge halts deportation of Iraqis nationwide (Read More)

Top Headlines – 6/27/2017

Sharansky warns some Diaspora Jews are rethinking Israel ties over Western Wall crisis

In first-ever direct challenge, Jewish Agency urges Israel to reinstate Western Wall deal

Fuming opposition looks to fell government over Western Wall reversal

Charging ‘betrayal’ over Western Wall, Reform leaders cancel Netanyahu meeting

Cabinet secretary slams Western Wall backlash, says critics ‘not paying attention’

Ultra-Orthodox parties look to put brakes on Saturday bus service

Latest UNESCO resolution targets Hevron, Jerusalem

Israel scrambles to quash UNESCO vote on holy sites

Trump pressure on settlements disappoints

Former anti-Semitism envoys warn of ‘terrible loss’ of post under Trump

Group of Top Ex-Israeli Security Officials Back US Legislation to Cut Funding of Palestinian Authority Over Terror Payments

US, Israel set up team to combat cybersecurity threat

Gaza rocket hits open area in southern Israel, no injuries

Israel strikes Hamas posts in Gaza after rocket-fire

IDF: bullets hit UN camp in Golan Heights

After IDF retaliates for spillover, Syrian army warns Israel

Syria warns Israel of ‘dangerous repercussions for aggressive action’

Liberman: No plans to attack Syria, but we won’t ignore provocation

Top Russian and US diplomats discuss cease-fire for Syria

What’s Behind Moscow’s Latest Threats in Syria

U.S. government websites hacked with pro-ISIS rant, officials say

Over 40 Convicted Terrorists Have Used Human Rights Laws to Stay in the UK

Trump Is on a Collision Course with Iran

Key senator says Congress to stop arms sales to Gulf until Qatar crisis is solved

Bahrain accuses Qatar of military escalation in Gulf row

Trump claims victory as travel ban partially reinstated

Supreme Court allows limited version of Trump’s travel ban to take effect and will consider case in fall

US says it will work with travel industry to implement travel ban

Trump travel ban: GOP lawmakers want Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from case

Trump’s Indonesian business partner slapped with travel ban

Asylum seekers in Canada who fled Trump now trapped in legal limbo

Baltimore Restaurant Owner Says 30 Employees Left Due To ICE Crackdown On Immigration

New U.S. ambassador to China says North Korea a top priority

Lecturer canned for saying student ‘got what he deserved’ in North Korea

Japan on alert: Residents told to seek shelter or lie on ground in event of North Korea missile attack

Missile Threats Surging Worldwide, U.S. Defense Study Finds

Russian navy test-fires submarine-launched missile

Stalin tops Putin in Russian poll of greatest historical figures

Trump Pushes Aside Fearful Advisers, Calls For Big Showy Meeting With Putin

Trump eager for big meeting with Putin, but some advisers wary

Trump says Obama ‘colluded’ on Russia, without giving evidence

Trump blasts Obama, demands ‘apology’ over Russia probe

Trump believes Russia ‘probably’ behind election hacking

Mueller mum on much of team; members at risk of cyberintrusions from hackers they’re investigating

Three journalists quit CNN in fallout from retracted Russia story

Real-life drama in age of Trump challenges TV’s storytellers

Three-quarters of world has little or no confidence in Trump, Pew study finds

Loretta Lynch faces possible felony if alleged DNC emails exist: Judge Napolitano

Bernie Sanders and wife hire lawyers as FBI probes $10M loan

For Sale: Puerto Rico

After Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis, Worries Shift to Virgin Islands

Illinois in danger of entering financial ‘death spiral’

Great recession fears as bankers warn next global crash could arrive ‘with a vengeance’

Why Americans Feel So Good About a Mediocre Economy

Seattle’s minimum wage hike hurting low-level workers, study says

Italy forced to bail out two more banks for 5.2bn euros

UK reveals details of post-Brexit offer to EU citizens

Google Could Be a Day Away From At Least $1 Billion EU Antitrust Fine

Is Amazon getting too big?

China’s All-Seeing Surveillance State Is Reading Its Citizens’ Faces

Someone made a ridiculous video about NASA finding aliens. News outlets took the bait.

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits south of the Fiji Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Santa Monica, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Gharm, Tajikistan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Leof, Indonesia

Strong earthquake activity on Kolbeinsey ridge

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Bezymianny volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

Nishinoshima volcano on Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Ulawun volcano on Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Hurricane Dora Becomes the First Hurricane of the Eastern Pacific Season off Mexico’s Coast

Western fires continue raging even after scorching heatwave lets up

California to list glyphosate as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight

Two Cases of Plague Confirmed in New Mexico

Pharmacy head to be sentenced in deadly meningitis outbreak

Senate Obamacare Repeal Draft Includes Planned Parenthood Defunding, Pro-Life Language

Supreme Court takes on new clash of gay rights, religion

Supreme Court to hear case of baker’s refusal to make wedding cake for gay couple

Supreme Court to decide if gay rights trump everyone else’s rights

Gay Couples Entitled to Equal Treatment on Birth Certificates, Justices Rule

Same-Sex Marriage Support At All-Time High, Even Among Groups That Opposed It

ADL demands apology after Jewish participants kicked out of Chicago pride event

Jewish marchers say they were kicked out of a rally for inclusiveness because of their beliefs

Jewish groups blast ‘hypocritical’ ban on Jewish Pride flags at gay march

44 people detained during Istanbul’s banned LGBT pride event

US to say China among worst on human trafficking

When Evangelicals Become Useful Idiots for Islam

Ecumenical vs. Evangelical

Bethel Church peddling New Breed heresy (Part 3): Vallotton claims “You are gods”

Thrive Conference Video – Cool People Becoming Effective Visionary Leaders of Influence and Stuff!!

Southern Baptist Church in Tennessee Names Female Pastor

Pastor’s drug ring: Two cops, missing money and a threat

Swedish PM to Force State Church Priests to Perform Gay Marriages

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Arkansas Must Allow Lesbian ‘Spouses’ to Be Listed on Birth Certificates

6 Christians Charged With Forced Conversions in India After Taking 72 Children to Vacation Bible School

BREAKING NEWS: Utah’s Brian Head Fire Is Now Largest Active Wildfire in U.S.

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 08:00 AM PDT

Authorities ordered more evacuations near the site of a wildfire that has forced more than 1,500 people from their homes and cabins in southern Utah. The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Supreme Court Orders States to List Same-Sex Parents on Birth Certificates

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 07:51 AM PDT

The United States Supreme Court has reversed a lower court that upheld an Arkansas law that treated same-sex and opposite-sex married couples differently regarding the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Judgment, Wrath and Deceiving Spirits: You Won’t Hear Too Many Prophecies Like This Today

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 07:39 AM PDT

(By Bert Farias)”With great judgments will I plead with the population of this country. Great darkness is coming upon the countries that have heard My…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Most Blasphemous Film of the Year’ Based on the Life of a Saint

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 07:32 AM PDT

Typically, a film based on the life of a saint doesn’t involve blatant blasphemy. However, The Ornithologist has decided to break every single boundary while relating the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Trump Warns Assad Will ‘Pay Heavy Price’ If He’s Plotting Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 07:20 AM PDT

The White House warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday that he and his military would “pay a heavy price” if it conducted a chemical…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Kansas School District Stops Team Prayers After Atheist Group FFRF Files Complaint

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 07:17 AM PDT

A public school district in Kansas has assured an atheist group that an inspiring moment when its boys basketball team came together at mid-court to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

6 Christians Charged With Forced Conversions in India

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 06:54 AM PDT

Six Christians who were arrested in May for taking 72 children to a Vacation Bible School camp in Madhya Pradesh state, India, have reportedly been…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Ukraine struck by massive cyber attack…

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 06:45 AM PDT

Ukraine’s national bank, state power company, and largest airport are among the targets of a huge cyber attack on government infrastructure. Rozenko Pavlo, the deputy…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

EU Slaps GOOGLE With Record $2.7 Billion Fine For Manipulation Searches

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 06:41 AM PDT

Google suffered a major blow on Tuesday after European antitrust officials fined the search giant a record $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring some of its…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

BREAKING NEWS: Israel Strikes Hamas Targets Following Gaza Rocket Attack

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 05:46 PM PDT

The Israeli Air Force targeted Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip on Monday night following an earlier rocket attack from the Hamas-controlled territory, according to a statement…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Yemen Now Facing ‘Worst Cholera Outbreak In The World

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 05:32 PM PDT

Seized by violence and teetering on the edge of famine, Yemen is grappling with another danger that threatens to outpace them both: cholera. “We are…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Residents in Japan told to seek shelter or lie on ground in terrifying TV broadcast

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 05:28 PM PDT

Residents in Japan have been told to seek shelter or lie on the ground in the event of North Korea missile strike in a terrifying…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Man Owns 3,000 weapons, Calls himself the “Most Armed Man in America”

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 05:15 PM PDT

IN a country where it is believed there are two guns for every resident – one pistol-packing American is doing his bit to bump up…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Main Stream Media Promoting “Fake News” Of Noah’s Ark Exhibit Sinking!

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 05:06 PM PDT

A couple of Internet postings in the past few days have attacked the Ark Encounter, the massive reproduction in Kentucky of the biblical Noah’s Ark, blasting…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Nearly 100 Feared Dead After Devastating Landslide

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 05:03 PM PDT

Rescue workers in southwestern China pulled bodies out of piles of rock and mud on Sunday as they searched for 93 people missing after a landslide buried a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

California to list glyphosate as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 04:58 PM PDT

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co’s popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California’s list of chemicals known to cause…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Latest UNESCO resolution targets Hevron, Jerusalem

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 12:58 PM PDT

A new United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution backed by Arab countries and submitted at the behest of the Palestinian Authority declares…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Drag queen story hours for children are happening across the country

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 12:53 PM PDT

Audrey Cisneros was 8 years old when she attended her first drag show. Now 9, she considers herself an expert on Fresno’s thriving drag scene…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Nearly Half of Americans Say They Pray Before Meals

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 12:50 PM PDT

About half of all Americans say a prayer over their food at least a few times a week which is an unusual commonality in a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Texas Gov Signs Off on Bill to Keep Sharia Law Out of Courts

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 12:38 PM PDT

Texas has moved forward with legislation that would essentially ban Sharia law from taking precedent in the state’s courts.  Gov. Greg Abbott has signed Texas…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Supreme Court Takes on High-Stakes Gay Wedding Cake Case

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 12:34 PM PDT

The Supreme Court is taking on a new clash between gay rights and religion in a case about a wedding cake for a same-sex couple…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Using Worship to Equip Your Child to Resist the Devil

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 12:31 PM PDT

Music is one of the most powerful influencers in the world. Music has the power to transport listeners to another place—it evokes deep emotion, celebration…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


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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Eight Reasons to Cling to Scripture in Suffering

Recently, a friend and I were interviewed on a radio show about the book we’d writtenon suffering. One of the host’s questions struck me: In the midst of the refiner’s fire, how do we keep from going through the motions? How do we have a sense of the abundance God promises us?

I immediately thought of Psalm 119:50: “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” And so I responded, “I have to be in God’s Word every day.”

Eight Reasons to Cling to Scripture in Suffering

Are you suffering right now? Would you say along with the psalmist that you’re afflicted? If your answer is no, this life guarantees that all of us will hurt in some degree before we meet the Lord. If your answer is yes, take heart; you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who’ve known suffering in all its depths…and have endured.

Whether affliction has touched or devastated you, God promises in his Word to be your help, just as he did the psalmist. See in Psalm 119:49-56 eight reasons to cling to Scripture in your suffering:

1. Scripture will give you hope when you feel hopeless.

Remember your word to your servant,

in which you have made me hope. (v. 49)

When circumstances seem hopeless, how do we not despair? We open our Bibles and behold God’s salvation plan from Genesis to Revelation. God speaks to us through Scripture so we may know the hope to which he has called us (Ephesians 1:18). And what is this hope?

…the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places. (vv. 19-20)

Our circumstances may feel hopeless, but Scripture reminds us we are not. God raised Jesus from the dead, and with that same power, someday he will raise us to glory in his presence!

2. Scripture will right your perspective when trials come.

This is my comfort in my affliction,

that your promise gives me life. (v. 50)

Suffering shakes us from the delusion that this world is our home. It proves to us that our ultimate comfort can’t be in possessions, plans, or people—because any and all of these can be stripped from us. So when affliction comes, where do we turn for true comfort?

The psalmist prays in his affliction, “I know now that true comfort is found in the eternal reality that my soul is safe because of your salvation. And no affliction can strip that comfort from me.” God’s promise of eternal life gives us right perspective when trials come.

3. Scripture will guard you from the evil that suffering exposes.

The insolent utterly deride me,

but I do not turn away from your law. (v. 51)

How do we react to suffering? We resist, grumble, grow bitter, rage in anger, ignore problems, numb the pain. And at the worst, we reject God. This isn’t to say we shouldn’treact to suffering, or that every angle of these responses is sinful; grief, confusion, and lament are biblical, and we should bring even our messiest emotions to God.


Cling to God’s Word today, and he will comfort you in your affliction.
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But more often than not, suffering exposes sin. Like a hammer chipping away at the rough edges of our hearts, our God uses suffering to rid us of sin and restore in us a softened, submitted spirit to his refining work. Though our flesh, the world, and the enemy “utterly deride” us, to turn us away from God, Scripture guards and shields us with the truth. God leads us to his Son, the only One who kept his law perfectly and covers us in this perfection when we trust him.

4. Scripture will anchor you in eternal realities.

When I think of your rules from of old,

I take comfort, O Lord. (v. 52)

From beginning to end, God and his Word stay the same. He doesn’t change, even though our circumstances do. When trials come and people disappoint us and the future looks unclear, we can take comfort in God’s “rules from of old.” What a balm for our souls!

We can choose to open our Bibles every day, to “think of,” or meditate on, God’s Word to us. A sure and steadfast anchor, Scripture grounds us in eternal realities when temporal ones threaten to overwhelm our gaze and shake our confidence. Our comfort in our affliction is that we serve an immoveable God, even in impossible circumstances.

5. Scripture will change your affections.

Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,

who forsake your law. (v. 53)

In the thick of affliction, it can feel like suffering is our biggest problem—but in actuality, sin is. Suffering may destroy our bodies, but sin destroys the soul.

One great blessing of suffering, then, is that it points us to the deeper soul-disease we’ve been rescued from by Christ. The more we see the gravity of sin in God’s Word, the more we’ll begin to hate it as God does. He will use Scripture as an instrument to conform and change our affections as we see and love his goodness more and more.

6. Scripture will lead you to praise even in your wandering.

Your statutes have been my songs

in the house of my sojourning. (v. 54)

To “sojourn” is to be a stranger on the earth, to wander in a place that isn’t truly home. All of us are sojourners, then, because we wait for a better country. At home with Jesus, we will be settled, secure, and satisfied—finally and forever.

Until that day, we sojourn in our earthly tents, facing the elements of this life. But here the psalmist proclaims how he’s able to praise God in such uncertainty: Scripture! God’s Word has been a springboard for worship, his song in suffering. We also need God to tune our hearts to his truth and plans through Scripture, so we too can sing in times of suffering.

7. Scripture will help you endure the darkness.

I remember your name in the night, O Lord,

and keep your law. (v. 55)

In the dark night of the soul, suffering shakes our faith and causes us to doubt God’s goodness. But Scripture will help us remember what’s true so we can endure.

God’s Word is our lifeline, leading us to truth when trials tempt us to believe lies. And it’s our food and water, when affliction saps us of spiritual strength. “In the night,” run to the Word, remember all God has spoken to you and promised in Jesus, and you will endure the darkness.

8. Scripture will sustain your obedience.

This blessing has fallen to me,

that I have kept your precepts. (v. 56)

Suffering makes obedience hard. When all we want to do is control our circumstances, grow bitter, ignore the pain, turn inward, or despair, God’s Word will help us resist these things to walk in his Spirit. As we fix our eyes on Christ, we will be transformed into his likeness and filled with spiritual strength for obedience and faith—and this is a blessing from God’s hand.

Suffering and Scripture go hand-in-hand. So cling to God’s Word today—seek him in the pages of your Bible—and you will be comforted, even in your affliction, by God’s promise of life in Jesus Christ.

[Photo Credit: Lightstock]

why does god answer some prayers

The post Eight Reasons to Cling to Scripture in Suffering appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

June 27, 2017: Verse of the day

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8 Micah now asks and answers the question, “What does the Lord require of you?” He does so in a verse justly regarded as one of the memorable and timeless expressions of OT ethical religion (cf. Jas 1:27). It is a heart’s response to God demonstrated in the basic elements of true religion, as shown to Israel in the social concerns reflected in the Mosaic legislation.

God has told his people what is good. The Mosaic law differentiates between good and bad and reflects God’s will in many areas of their religious and social lives. It indicates what God requires (dāraš, “seeks”) of them. They are to act justly (lit., “do justice,” mišpāṭ). The word “justly” here has the sense of “true religion,” that is, the ethical response to God that has a manifestation in social concerns as well (cf. Note on 3:8). “To love mercy” is freely and willingly to show kindness to others (cf. Notes below). The expression “to walk humbly with your God” means to live in conscious fellowship with God by exercising a spirit of humility before him. These great words recall similar words of our Lord in Matthew 23:23.

The prophet is not suggesting that sacrifice is completely ineffectual and that simply a proper attitude of heart toward God will suffice. In the preceding verse he painted a caricature—a purposefully exaggerated picture—of the sacrificial system to indicate that God has no interest in the multiplication of empty religious acts. Jeremiah 7:22–23 is often appealed to as evidence that the prophets rejected the Levitical system; yet Jeremiah promised that the offerings would be acceptable if the people were obedient (Jer 17:24–26). A similar attitude toward sacrifice is expressed in Psalm 51:16–17, but the succeeding verses show the author to be indicating that the Levitical sacrifices are acceptable to God only when accompanied by a proper attitude of heart toward him (51:18–19).

The ethical requirements of v. 8 do not comprise the way of salvation. Forgiveness of sin was received through the sacrifices. The standards of this verse are for those who are members of the covenantal community and delineate the areas of ethical response that God wants to see in those who share the covenantal obligations.[1]


6:6–8 What does the Most High seek in return for this? Not extravagant animal sacrifices! Certainly not human sacrifices! But justice, and mercy, and humility. Verse 8 describes what God requires; to obey this a person must have divine life. An unconverted person is totally incapable of producing this kind of righteousness.[2]


6:8 Micah’s terse response (v. 8) indicated they should have known the answer to the rhetorical question. Spiritual blindness had led them to offer everything except the one thing He wanted—a spiritual commitment of the heart from which right behavior would ensue (cf. Dt 10:12–19; Mt 22:37–39). This theme is often represented[3]


6:8 The Lord desires the primary forms of love—justice (do justice), mercy (love kindness), and faithfulness (walk humbly)—as the expressed response of his people to his redemptive acts (Matt. 23:23; cf. Deut. 10:12–13; 1 Sam. 15:22; Isa. 1:11–17; Hos. 6:6). On the meaning of “justice,” see notes on Isa. 42:1; Jer. 22:3; Amos 5:7. your God. The complement to “my people” (Mic. 6:3, 5).

6:8 Sacrifices cannot replace the need for justice and kindness. The focus on real righteousness anticipates Jesus’ teaching (Matt. 5:23–24; 9:13; 15:10–20) and is fulfilled in Jesus’ own righteousness (Acts 3:14; Rom. 8:1–4).[4]


6:8 does Yahweh ask from you This verse gives the answer to the question the prophet asked in Micah 6:6–7. What God requires is heartfelt love and obedience.

to do justice A proper relationship with God also involves a proper relationship with one’s neighbor. See 3:1; Isa 5:7 and note.

kindness The Hebrew word here often occurs in reference to Yahweh’s covenant with Israel (see Deut 7:9, 12; 1 Kgs 8:23; Neh 1:5).

humbly This Hebrew word occurs only here in the ot. It traditionally has been understood as referring to humility, but it also can indicate carefulness or thoughtfulness.[5]


[1] McComiskey, T. E., & Longman, T. I. (2008). Micah. In D. E. Garland (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, p. 540). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1135). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Mic 6:8). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1705). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Mic 6:8). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

June 26, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Jun. 26, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

Senate leaders are expected to release a revised version of their health-care bill as early as Monday, according a person familiar with the matter, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tries to win over at least six Republican holdouts.

Technology for ballistic and cruise missiles is advancing in countries from North Korea and Iran to Russia and China, increasing potential threats to the U.S. even if they don’t carry nuclear warheads, according to a new Pentagon report.

The websites of Ohio Governor John Kasich and other state government agencies were hacked on Sunday with a posting professing love for the jihadist group Islamic State. Ten state websites and two servers were affected, and they’ve been taken off line for an investigation.

Donald Trump will tout surging U.S. exports of oil and natural gas during a week of events aimed at highlighting the country’s growing energy dominance. The president also plans to emphasize that after decades of relying on foreign energy supplies, the U.S. is on the brink of becoming a net exporter of oil, gas, coal and other energy resources.

Health insurers criticized the steep cuts to Medicaid proposed in the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as “too much, too fast.”

Gold sank like a stone at 9 a.m. in London after a huge spike in volume in New York futures that traders said was probably the result of a “fat finger,” or erroneous order. Trade shot up to 1.8 million ounces of gold in just a minute, a level not reached even with the surprise election of U.S. President Donald Trump or Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. “No-one has a clue, apart from the unfortunate individual that pressed the wrong button.”

Another luxury condo at Manhattan’s One57 is scheduled for a foreclosure auction — the second time in a month that a property seizure is being sought at the Billionaires’ Row tower following a mortgage default. And it might be the biggest in New York City residential history. Apartment 79, a full-floor penthouse that was the eighth-priciest sold in the building, is scheduled for auction on July 19, according to real estate data firm PropertyShark. The owner of the condo, a shell company listed in public records as One57 79 Inc., bought the 6,240-square-foot residence in December 2014 for $50.9 million.

Italy orchestrated its biggest bank rescue on record, committing as much as $19 billion to clean up two failed banks in one of its wealthiest regions, a deal that raises questions about the consistency of Europe’s bank regulations.

AP Top Stories

At least 123 people were killed and scores injured in a fire that broke out after an oil tanker overturned in central Pakistan early Sunday and crowds rushed to collect fuel.

The pilot twice asked passengers to pray on Air Asia flight D7237 from Australia to Malaysia as the plane shook like a “washing machine” for two hours, according to passengers.

Nationwide, hot car deaths are up and there’s a push for new legislation in Congress that would require all passenger motor vehicles to be equipped with a child safety alert system.

Fears grew for 141 people missing in China after a landslide buried their mountain village in southwestern Sichuan province on Saturday, with reports that only three survivors had been pulled out of the mud and rock hours after the calamity struck.

Israeli forces fired on Syrian regime positions after projectiles from the war-torn country hit the occupied Golan Heights on Sunday, the army said, in the second such exchange in two days.

An Asian carp has been found just miles from the Great Lakes, beyond an electrified barrier designed to keep the invasive species from entering the ecosystem and wreaking the sort of damage seen elsewhere in the US. The carp can weigh up to 100lbs and often outcompete other fish, typically consuming up to 20% of their body weight a day in plankton.

After a month of fasting, prayer and alms-giving, Muslims around the world will end Ramadan either June 25 or 26, depending on when the new moon is seen. Eid al-Fitr means “festival of the breaking of the fast” and it is one of the biggest celebrations in the Islamic year.

Tens of thousands of marchers paraded through New York streets Sunday in a huge Gay Pride parade, with many proudly carrying rainbow flags or waving virulently anti-Trump signs.

BBC

Hostage Johan Gustafsson, held by al-Qaeda in Mali since 2011, has been freed, the Swedish government said.

Iraqi forces have repelled counter-attacks by so-called Islamic State (IS) as they push the group into a corner of Mosul’s Old City.

US President Donald Trump has broken a nearly 20-year-old tradition by failing to host a dinner marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Organizers of an LGBT-rights festival in Chicago are being accused of anti-Semitism after they expelled marchers carrying the Star of David.

The Great Barrier Reef is worth $42bn and is critical to supporting economic activity in Australia.

Russia’s FSB security agency has said the Telegram mobile messaging app was used by a suicide bomber who killed 15 people in St Petersburg in April.

Yemen is now facing the worst cholera outbreak anywhere in the world, the United Nations has warned. The number of suspected cholera cases in the war-torn country has exceeded 200,000. So far more than 1,300 people have died – one quarter of them children

WND

A tiny stretch of Arctic water has become a hotbed of military activity amid fears it could become the next flashpoint in a global conflict between the US and Russia.

A huge compilation of Microsoft’s proprietary Windows 10 software code has been leaked online. The leak contains more than 32 terabytes of data and includes both the Windows 10 source code and other code intended only for internal use at Microsoft.

The human race must start leaving Earth within 30 years to avoid being wiped out by over-population and climate change, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.


The Briefing 06-26-17

A reversal of medical logic: Families are now suing doctors for saving the lives of their loved ones

What our relationship with animals reveals to us about ourselves and the glory of God

The surprising reason why the New York Times discontinued their “engagements” section in 1994

The post The Briefing 06-26-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top News – 6/26/2017

U.S. Supreme Court reinstates Trump travel ban, will hear arguments
The Supreme Court is letting the Trump administration mostly enforce its 90-day ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, overturning lower court orders that blocked it. The action Monday is a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.

NEW ATMOSPHERIC RADIATION RESULTS
For the past two+ years, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been monitoring cosmic rays in the atmosphere above California using high-altitude space weather balloons. After more than 100 flights, they find that dose rates have increased over the Golden State by 13% since March 2015. Now we know the same thing is happening over New England–only more so……a 19% increase in New England vs. 13% in California.

North Korea v US LIVE: Updates as North Korea refuses to halt nuclear development – latest
NORTH Korea has rejected calls to halt its nuclear programme despite Donald Trump’s administration ramping up pressure on Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Former Al-Jazeera anchor says TV network aids terrorists
Fahmy is preparing a lawsuit against his former employers. And while he is still highly critical of the regime that imprisoned him, he also says the Egyptian government is correct in saying al-Jazeera is really a propaganda channel for Islamists and an arm of Qatari foreign policy.

World heading for financial crash as China on verge of ‘boom gone wrong’
A GLOBAL financial crash is brewing as China and other emerging markets are binging on debt, the world’s central bank watchdog has warned. A number of economies in developing countries look worryingly similar to the US and UK before the devastating crash hit in 2007, with soaring house prices, slow economic growth, and a large credit bubble.

What next for the troubled holy site at the Western Wall?
What’s next for this troubled holy site of ours? Taken superficially, it would appear that the haredi parties United Torah Judaism and Shas have truly got one over on the progressive Jewish movements by nixing the agreement that would have given them true, if symbolic, recognition by the State of Israel as legitimate expressions of Judaism in the Jewish state.

Bahrain accuses Qatar of military escalation in Gulf row
Bahrain’s foreign minister accused Qatar on Monday of creating a military escalation in a dispute with regional powers, in an apparent reference to Doha’s decision to let more Turkish troops enter its territory. Bahrain, alongside Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar three weeks ago, accusing it of backing militants – then issued an ultimatum, including demands that Qatar shut down a Turkish military base in Doha.

Pro-ISIS hackers break into U.S. government sites
Several United States government pages were hacked on Sunday with messages advocating support for the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group. Among those websites to be hacked was the official site of Ohio Governor John Kasich, reported Fox News.

Latest UNESCO resolution targets Hevron, Jerusalem
Israel scrambles to block PA-backed resolution declaring Tomb of the Patriarchs a ‘Muslim shrine’, denying Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Turkey’s Failed Grand Design for the Middle East
Very important Turks in dark suits saw the start of the Arab Spring as a golden opportunity to realize their neo-Ottoman ambitions. In Tunisia, their Islamist brothers in arms, the Ennahdha Party, would come to power and annihilate the “secular infidels.” Rachid Ghannouchi, Ennahdha’s chief ideologue, never hid his admiration for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s stealth Islamization by popular vote.

Syria warns Israel: Further attacks will have serious repercussions
The Syrian military threatened Israel on Sunday evening that should it launch any further attacks on Syrian army targets, Israel will have to take the responsibility for repercussions that can ensue… This threat comes after the IDF struck targets belonging to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in response to the errant fire that hit northern Israel earlier in the day.

In stinging blow to Diaspora Jewry, government reneges on Western Wall deal
Bowing to haredi pressure, the government on Sunday delivered two fierce and stinging blows to progressive Jewish denominations in Israel and the Diaspora, as well as moderate Orthodox groups in Israel, by indefinitely freezing its Western Wall resolution and approving a bill granting the Chief Rabbinate a total monopoly on conversion.

Italy forced to bail out two more banks for 5.2bn euros
Italy’s government is bailing out two banks in the Venice region at a cost of 5.2bn euros (£4.6bn; $5.8bn). The move comes two days after the European Central Bank warned that Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca were failing or likely to fail. The banks’ “good” assets will be taken on by Intesa Sanpaolo banking group.

Ohio sites hacked with IS message
A number of government websites in the US state of Ohio, including that of Governor John Kasich, have been hacked to display a pro-IS message. It said President Donald Trump would be held accountable for “every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries” and ended “I love Islamic state”. The hacking was carried out by a group calling itself Team System DZ.

Trump breaks White House Eid dinner tradition
US President Donald Trump has broken a nearly 20-year-old tradition by failing to host a dinner marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The White House event had been held every year since President Clinton’s tenure. The Eid al-Fitr feast ends Ramadan, a period when Muslims fast and focus on charitable giving.

Parliament hit by ‘sustained’ cyber-attack
The “sustained” hack began on Friday night, prompting officials to disable remote access to the emails of MPs, peers and their staff as a safeguard. The parliamentary authorities said hackers had mounted a “determined attack” on all user accounts “in an attempt to identify weak passwords”. Government sources say it appeared the attack has been contained but it will “remain vigilant”.

Fed’s Williams sees gradual rate hikes as key to further U.S. growth
With the U.S. economy at full employment and inflation set to hit the Federal Reserve’s 2-percent target next year, the U.S. central bank needs to keep raising rates gradually to keep the economy on an even keel, a Fed policymaker said Monday. “If we delay too long, the economy will eventually overheat, causing inflation or some other problem,” San Francisco Fed President John Williams said in remarks prepared for delivery to the University of Technology Sydney.

OPEC Looks Totally Bewildered by the Oil Market
It may be too soon to write OPEC’s obituary, but the oil producer club appears in urgent need of late-life care. It shows little understanding of where it is, how it got there or where it’s going. While it still manages to collect new members here and there, its core group looks more fragile than at any point in nearly 30 years.

Arctic outpost becomes hotbed of Russian military activity
A TINY stretch of Arctic water has become a hotbed of military activity amid fears it could become the next flashpoint in a global conflict between the US and Russia.

Maxine Waters bars Trump supporters from town hall meeting
Supporters of President Trump were hoping to be a part of Maxine Waters’ town hall meeting in Gardena on Saturday, but they were barred from entering the building. The Trump supporters received tickets for the event, but were treated as “second class citizens” because they supposedly did not live in her district.

How the 10th Commandment Is Collapsing the Economy
Traditionally, Americans’ saving habits are far below what they should be. Conventional wisdom says that everyone should aim to have at least six months’ worth of expenses socked away for the unexpected.

Obama Ordered Cyberweapons Implanted Into Russia’s Infrastructure
A new report from the Washington Post today quoted a series of Obama Administration officials reiterating their official narrative on Russia’s accused hacking of the 2016 election. While most of the article is simply rehashes and calls for sanctions, they also revealed a secret order by President Obama in the course of “retaliation” for the alleged hacking.

Trump: Obama Not Leading Resistance
… “I don’t think he’s leading it,” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” about claims Obama is the leader of the resistance, a political no-no in the long U.S. tradition of a peaceful transition of power.

Hysterical Democrats who say health care reform will “kill people” don’t seem to realize how many Americans are already killed every year by the medical system
…Somehow, Democrats have decided that none of these deaths count. Nope, all the people who died under Obama’s health care fiasco are forgotten and swept under the rug.


The Way Congress Is Handling Health Care Shows Why They Only Have A 17 Percent Approval Rating

The Senate health care bill was unveiled on Thursday, and it appears to be dead on arrival.  At least four conservative senators say that they can’t vote for the current version because it doesn’t go far enough, while several moderate Republicans are expressing concerns that it goes too far in repealing popular Obamacare provisions.  You can read the full text of the bill here.  Since Democrats are going to be united in voting against any bill that the Republicans put forward, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two Republican votes if he wants something to pass.  I don’t know how that is going to be possible, and so in the end we may be stuck with Obamacare for the foreseeable future and that would be a total disaster. (Read More…)


Fallout From CNN Anti-Trump Fake News Story Now Reaching As High As Network President Jeff Zucker

The ‘very fake news’ scandal that is engulfing CNN inside and outside the left-wing network now reaches its highest levels as even CNN president Jeff Zucker is personally involved in the internal investigation into a now-retracted hit piece, sources inside CNN with direct knowledge confirmed to Breitbart News.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For 9 months now, CNN and the rest of the very fake news media have willingly and deliberately colluded together to promote the false narrative of Donald Trump and the Russians working together to “hack” the elections. There is not now nor has there ever been one, single shred of evidence to support this. With the publishing and subsequent retraction of the 100% false anti-Trump story about Anthony Scaramucci, the very foundation on which CNN rests is crumbling at their feet. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats find themselves on the hot seat as insiders point to leftist staff for members like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) as being responsible for the thinly-sourced hit piece. Staff for Harris deny any involvement, but Warren staff have not responded.

These new revelations come on the heels of a BuzzFeed News report citing internal sources at CNN calling the decision to print the “very fake news” hit piece on President Donald Trump and his associates that inaccurately alleged they were under Senate and Treasury investigation—a piece a Breitbart News investigation forced CNN to retract—a “massive, massive screw up.” BuzzFeed’s Jon Passantino reported that CNN sources told him that Zucker is “directly involved” in the matter now, as is the head of HR at CNN, and that “people will be disciplined.”

CNN was warned that perusing false Russia-Trump collusion story would blow up in their face:

“Deleting stories without explanation is considered a serious lapse of journalistic ethics,” Passantino and Jim Dalrymple wrote for BuzzFeed on Saturday. “Other outlets, including BuzzFeed, have faced considerable criticism and embarrassment for deleting content. And while CNN deleted its story, a cached version was still available online because nothing ever truly disappears on the internet.”

CNN has still not officially confirmed to anyone key details about what happened, despite being asked by both Breitbart News and BuzzFeed News, among others.

In addition to Breitbart News’ independent investigation that forced CNN’s retraction, sources close to Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci—one of the Trump associates targeted by CNN in the fake hit piece that inaccurately linked him to a Russian investment fund—confirm that he aggressively pushed back behind the scenes. Within hours of CNN posting the story Thursday evening, Scaramucci had assembled a legal, public relations, and rapid response team, the sources say, which terrified CNN since it knew the story was not solid.

Scaramucci has accepted CNN’s apology, taking the high road as the network withers under scrutiny. But he did tell Fox News’ Howard Kurtz, himself a former CNN anchor, that he was “disappointed” CNN ran the story in the first place since it was a “lie.”

Kurtz served as the anchor of CNN’s Reliable Sources program for more than a decade before he moved to Fox News, and his successor in the CNN show Brian Stelter has emerged as one of CNN’s most ardent defenders while Kurtz and other ex-CNN current Fox News reporters like Ed Henry regularly criticize CNN’s heavily anti-Trump bent.

On Kurtz’s Media Buzz Fox News program on Sunday morning, he and Henry bashed CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta—an eventual successor of Henry, who once held that job—for whining that the White House has moved press briefings off television cameras. They said television personalities, especially attention seekers like CNN’s Acosta, seek to use on-camera briefings to advance their careers and get famous by picking fights with White House staff rather than as a tool for journalism.

You published a hit job on @Scaramucci on the word of a @SenWarren staffer (egged on by a @SenKamalaHarris staffer). Good luck w/ this, pal. https://t.co/fvOWH16k7p

— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) June 25, 2017

Stelter, like Zucker, has found himself in the hot seat as this scandal engulfs CNN, a network President Trump has identified as pushing “very fake news.”

Stelter has been unwilling for months to appear on Breitbart News radio on SiriusXM when asked if he would do so to publicly defend CNN, refusing yet again to appear on the program this weekend as this scandal consumes the network. While Stelter did tweet about the retraction on Saturday, he has not been aggressively reporting on CNN’s mistakes here–not mentioning it again since that original Tweet.

Like Stelter, Zucker is currently not willing or able to publicly do interviews defending CNN’s conduct here. Network spokeswoman Emily Kuhn, who continues refusing to answer questions on the matter as a whole, will not provide Zucker for an interview on his role in the investigation when asked if he is courageous enough to defend CNN.

Most editorial staffers at CNN, inside sources say, are embarrassed at the way Zucker has handled himself here — and at the way the network has handled itself generally on this and related matters.

Kuhn similarly has refused to answer questions about which editor or editors were involved in the publication of the very fake news piece, and how many other people in the editorial process allowed this blatantly inaccurate piece that CNN was forced to retract to be published in the first place. It is also unclear what exact discipline is expected to be handed to down to everyone involved. As of this time, it appears reporter Thomas Frank—the one on the now-retracted very fake news piece byline—is still employed by CNN. Frank did eventually on Twitter post the link to the editor’s note about the retraction.

But this is hardly the only problem that Frank presents for the network. Frank’s Twitter account is loaded with leftist activism, not journalism, including political recommendations for the House Democratic conference should they decide to oust House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi has come under fire in the wake of Hollywood-backed Jon Ossoff’s failure to win in the special election in Georgia’s sixth congressional district. Despite record-breaking historic fundraising behind Ossoff—estimates expect the race between Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel will have cost nearly $50 million the majority of which was spent on Ossoff’s behalf, the most expensive House race in history—Handel defeated him. As a result, Pelosi has faced a revolt inside the House Democratic conference as several members including Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY) question publicly whether she can continue to lead their party in the House.

CNN’s Frank, the reporter on the byline of this anti-Trump hit piece that has now been retracted, took time out of his Thursday—the day the piece was published—to tweet political advice to House Democrats if they remove Pelosi.

“If #Democrats replace #NancyPelosi they cannot pick a male speaker; horrible optics would enrage the female base and intellectual leaders,” Frank tweeted.

Kuhn, CNN’s corporate spokeswoman, has not responded to multiple inquiries from Breitbart News on whether a CNN reporter providing this political advice via social media to the Democratic Party is acceptable editorial behavior.

What’s more, in addition to all of the above, a key part of the genesis of this very fake news piece is a leftist pipe dream that seemingly originated in the annals of the office of anti-Trump “Resistance” leader Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The idea that Scaramucci and others would be investigated for “meeting” with executives for the Russian investment fund in question is something Warren and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) pushed now-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to look into before President Trump was inaugurated.

“The matter has been reviewed and determined to be without merit,” a senior Trump administration official told Breitbart News for the original investigation that prompted CNN’s retraction. In other words, Mnuchin looked into the allegations and found that there is nothing to it.

But now reports are surfacing that CNN’s sole source for the hit piece seems to have been a staffer for Warren who was apparently “egged on” by staff for Harris. Harris is a freshman Democrat Senator who has aligned herself with the Warren-led “resist” movement, using congressional hearings to increase her profile nationally by arguing with Trump administration officials. While Warren’s team is not responding, Harris’s office denies the reports. Warren’s office has not responded to requests for comment on this matter. CNN’s Kuhn has not denied that Warren or Harris staff were involved in the publication of the hit piece the network has retracted. A spokeswoman for Harris, Lily Adams, when sent the above Tweet denied it. “I have never heard of this person but his accusation is 100% false,” Adams said in an email on Sunday, also adding in a follow-up that she is certain that nobody from Harris staff was involved. It is unclear how Adams would know for certain that nobody from Harris’s staff was involved in this matter, as her response came a little over two hours after Breitbart News’ original press request on Sunday morning–and it strains credulity that she was able to ask every single person on Harris’s staff in that timeframe if they had involvement in this matter. source


Mark Levin: We’ve started on the road to single-payer health care

“This is the week that the road to single-payer health care, European-style centralized health care, has been paved,” Levin said. The Republicans in the U.S. Senate have enshrined the core of Obamacare in all of their proposals to reform health insurance.

Access Audio and Video


Analyzing Annihilationism: Will Those in Hell Cease to Exist?

Eric Davis of The Cripplegage examines the eternality of hell. “The misery of it all is simply unfathomable,” says Davis. “It is one that must move us to the deepest reverence before God and compassion towards sinners

In yesterday’s post, the miseries of hell were briefly described. When the unredeemed enter, there will be a shock as the magnitude of hell sets in. One of the greatest miseries of hell will be the eternality of it: there will be no end to the conscious torment.

However, there have been questions as to the eternality of hell. The biblical teaching of unending punishment in hell has often been under attack. Do those in hell suffer forever? Or will they experience annihilation at some point and cease to exist? Annihilationism teaches that those in hell will eventually cease to exist. They will not be punished forever, but for a length of time, culminating in their annihilation.

View article →


Pro-Family Groups Push Back After GuideStar Labels 46 American Organizations ‘Hate Groups’

Christian News reports:

Over 40 pro-family groups recently signed a letter to the charity database site GuideStar after it labeled dozens of organizations as “hate groups” based on a list compiled by the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). “The ‘hate group’ list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies. The list is ad hoc, partisan, and agenda-driven,” the correspondence read. GuideStar added a banner atop the info pages of 46 nonprofits, which reads, “This organization was flagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

View article →

Mid-Day Snapshot

June 26, 2017

Time to Appoint a Second Special Counsel

With Mueller’s investigation becoming increasingly free-ranging and politicized, Trump can fight fire with fire.

The Foundation

“There are certain social principles in human nature, from which we may draw the most solid conclusions with respect to the conduct of individuals and of communities. We love our families more than our neighbors; we love our neighbors more than our countrymen in general. The human affections, like solar heat, lose their intensity as they depart from the centre.” —Alexander Hamilton (1788)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: June 26

  • Italian Bank Deal Raises Questions About Eurozone Rules (Read More)
  • UK PM May strikes $1.3 billion deal to get Northern Irish DUP support for her government (Read More)
  • Nestle Targeted by Dan Loeb in Activist’s Biggest-Ever Bet (Read More)
  • Nestle ‘committed’ to strategy as activist investor moves in (Read More)
  • Troubled Air-Bag Maker Takata Files for Bankruptcy (Read More)
  • Merkel’s Election Opponent Slams Her for Being Too Nice to Trump (Read More)
  • Berlusconi Stages Comeback to Frontline Politics (Read More)
  • European Stocks Jump as Crude, Nestle Power Gains (Read More)
  • Amazon’s Grocery Ambitions Spell Trouble for Food Brands (Read More)
  • Clogged oil arteries slow U.S. shale rush to record output (Read More)
  • U.S. warship stayed on deadly collision course despite warning – container ship captain (Read More)
  • How Earthquakes Are Rattling a Dutch Province Atop One of the World’s Richest Gas Troves (Read More)
  • Deutsche Bank Fund Buys London Office Buildings for $395 Million (Read More)
  • Trumpmania Cools in This Pennsylvania Town (Read More)
  • Asylum seekers in Canada trapped in legal limbo (Read More)
  • Saudi Religious Police Return, Just With a Little Less Vengeance (Read More)
  • New U.S. ambassador to China says North Korea a top priority (Read More)
  • Bankers Have Less to Fear From ‘Stress Tests’ (Read More)
  • Europe Doesn’t Need American Climate Scientists. It Needs American Climate Data (Read More)
  • SpaceX Executes Back-to-Back Launches in Roughly 48 Hours (Read More)
  • U.S. court hears challenge on Texas law to punish ‘sanctuary cities’ (Read More)
  • OPEC Looks Totally Bewildered by the Oil Market (Read More)
  • Bankers Are Hiring Cyber-Security Experts to Help Get Deals Done (Read More)

Top Headlines – 6/26/2017

Hamas: Eliminate the ‘cancer’ Israel

Will Iran’s Israel doomsday clock join history’s list of failed predictions?

Israel freezes plan for mixed-sex Jewish prayer site at Western Wall

Bowing to ultra-Orthodox pressure, PM halts pluralistic Western Wall deal

US liberal Jews decry ‘slap in the face’ from Netanyahu on Western Wall prayer

Liberman: Shelving Western Wall plan a ‘severe blow’ to Jewish unity

Netanyahu tells thousands of Birthright youths they secure Israel’s future

Israel’s settlement policy is not irreversible

IDF, settlers clash during razing of illegal structure in Yitzhar

Bennett: Allowing Palestinian refugees to return would be ‘demographic nightmare’ for Israel

Israel bars UNESCO team from Hebron field visit

UK pro-Palestinian event may be canceled over alleged Hamas support

German MPs set ultimatum that could torpedo Israel drone deal

Errant Syrian fire spills over into Israeli Golan for second time in two days

Projectiles from Syria land in Golan Heights; no injuries

Netanyahu warns Iran over Syria involvement after Golan exchange

Iraqi forces say major Islamic State attack blocked outside old city of Mosul

UN rejects Israel claim that Hezbollah violated cease-fire

IDF girds for possible Hezbollah clash during border fence construction

As Islamic State wanes, Iran and Hezbollah could turn on Israel

Iran mocks reports its Syria missile strikes fell short

Iran says arrests 50 suspected of links to militant groups

Iran’s drug problem: Addicts ‘more than double’ in six years

Qatar demands difficult to meet, says US

US urges Qatar, neighbors to ‘sit together’ to ease tension

Erdogan says ultimatum on Qatar ‘against international law’

Erdogan rejects Saudi demand to pull Turkish troops out of Qatar

Europeans learn to live with – and adapt to – terror attacks

The TSA is going to look through your books but promises not to notice what you’re reading

White House blames Obama for failing to stop Russia collusion

Top Democrat slams Obama administration’s response to Russian hacks

Trump: Hillary Clinton colluded with Democrats to defeat Bernie Sanders

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers

It’s going to end ‘extremely badly,’ with stocks set to plummet 40% or more, warns Marc ‘Dr. Doom’ Faber

Trump to Call for U.S. ‘Dominance’ in Global Energy Production

OPEC Looks Totally Bewildered by the Oil Market

In 10 Years, Your iPhone Won’t Be a Phone Anymore

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Nuku’alofa, Tonga

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Alaqahdari-ye Kiran wa Munjan, Afghanistan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits southeast of Easter Island

Nevado Chachani volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Ulawun volcano on Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Southern Mexico to face increased downpours from Tropical Storm Dora

Arizona is so hot right now planes can’t take off and plastic and paint is melting

Grenfell Tower fire: Dozens of UK high-rises fail fire safety tests, government says

Swedish PM to Force Priests to Conduct Gay Marriages, Compares them With Abortions

It’s okay to decorate a police car with rainbow flags, but not Bible verses

Gaga on gay pride: It’s a time to shine light on equality

Turkey LGBT: Istanbul’s Gay Pride organisers to defy ban

Turkish police disperse Gay Pride march, fire rubber bullets

3 asked to leave Chicago LGBT march over ‘triggering’ Star of David flags

New York Pride marchers target Trump, San Francisco parties

Gay pride parades sound a note of resistance – and face some

More blood but no victory as Philippine drug war marks its first year

Prosperity Pimp Todd Coontz Indicted on Federal Tax Charges

Keith Green’s Prophetic Words About The Roman Catholic Church

Darren Wilson Whining About People With Discernment, Yet Again

Word of Faith Fellowship – Authorities delayed investigating gay ‘demons’ case

Yoga: How did it conquer the world and what’s changed?

Houston Police Department’s rainbow cruiser raises eyebrows but ready to go for Pride Parade

Pro-lifers stop Planned Parenthood from opening inside high school – for now

New Mexico taxpayers pay hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for abortions

Abortion Has Killed More Black Americans Than Crime, Accidents, Cancer or AIDS

President Trump just ended a long tradition of celebrating Ramadan at the White House. Note – “long tradition” began in 1996 

United Methodist Conference Faces ‘Unprecedented Financial Crisis’ After Election of Lesbian Bishop

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 06:19 AM PDT

A United Methodist Church regional body says it’s been experiencing an “unprecedented financial crisis” since the election of a married lesbian as bishop. Yellowstone Annual…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

First-Ever ‘Africa Study Bible’ Released; ‘Watershed Moment’ in History

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 06:14 AM PDT

A new study Bible with a distinctly African voice has been launched to equip and disciple the churches in Africa, which is growing exponentially. An…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Ohio Government Websites Hacked With Pro-Islamic State Messages

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 05:57 AM PDT

The websites of Ohio Governor John Kasich and other state government agencies were hacked on Sunday with a posting professing love for the jihadist group…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Bankers warn next global crash could arrive ‘with a vengeance’

Posted: 26 Jun 2017 05:53 AM PDT

A new financial crisis is brewing in the emerging economies and it could hit “with a vengeance”, an influential group of central bankers has warned….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

President Trump Breaks with Tradition, Skips Annual Ramadan Dinner

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 06:21 PM PDT

For the first time in nearly two decades, the White House has decided to skip hosting the annual Eid al-Fitr dinner celebrating the end of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: It’s okay to decorate a police car with rainbow flags, but not Bible verses

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 06:07 PM PDT

(Reported By Todd Starnes) It’s permissible in the United States to decorate police cars with rainbow flags to celebrate gay pride, but it’s not permissible…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Consuming less sugar is more powerful than any medication doctors could prescribe

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 05:56 PM PDT

A doctor has revealed the secrets behind the “world’s healthiest village”– and there it all comes down to eating less sugar. Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Extreme Heat in Arizona preventing planes from taking off and melting plastic and paint

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 05:48 PM PDT

Arizona is no stranger to heat waves. But even by natives’ own high standards, the past week has been scorching. The Guinness World Record for hottest…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Financial Expert Warns Stocks Will plummet 40% or More

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 05:42 PM PDT

If the man often hailed as the original “Dr. Doom” is right, the stock market could see another “lurch” higher — at which point investors…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


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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A More Sure Word of Prophecy

2 Peter 1:16-18

Code: B170626

Go with your gut.

That might be good advice when shopping for shoes online, but it’s not a reliable means for interpreting or understanding God’s Word. Too many people in the church today trust the inclinations of the upper abdomen to be the final arbiter that determines both when God is speaking and what He is saying.

As we saw last time, that is a dangerous approach—one that will likely lead to spiritual confusion and chaos. If we turn our faith into an entirely subjective exercise, we’re left with no reliable way to determine what is actually true.

Scripture very clearly addresses that issue. The apostle Peter settled the matter by proclaiming the authority and supremacy of Scripture when he wrote,

We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”—and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain (2 Peter 1:16–18).

Peter was describing an event that may have been the most spectacular spiritual experience of his life. This was the transfiguration of Christ, when our Lord appeared in His full glory. Peter heard the voice of God and saw Moses and Elijah face to face. Best of all, he got a preview of Christ in His glory.

This was not a dream or vision. It was not an impression in Peter’s mind, or a figment of his imagination. It was real life (“we did not follow cleverly devised tales”). He saw it with his own eyes (“we were eyewitnesses”). He heard the voice of God with his own ears (“we ourselves heard this utterance”). He was there in person with other apostolic eyewitnesses (“we were with Him”). There was nothing subjective about this experience.

Yet Peter goes on to say that even what he heard with his own ears and saw with his own eyes was not as authoritative as the eternal Word of God contained in Scripture:

We have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:19–21).

Peter is not saying that his eyewitness testimony makes the “prophecy of Scripture” more sure. He is saying that the written Word of God by its very nature is more sure than his own experience. This is confirmed by Peter’s argument in verses 20–21, where he establishes the authority and divine origin of every “prophecy of Scripture.”

The Greek word order in verse 19 also supports this as the true meaning of the text: “We have more sure the prophetic Word.” More sure than what? More sure than experience—even the valid, genuine, eyewitness experience of the apostles. Peter is saying that the written Word is an even more reliable source of truth than his own experience. To paraphrase Peter’s message to his readers, it is this: “James, John, and I saw Christ’s glory firsthand. But if you don’t believe us, there is one authority even more certain than our testimony: the written Word of God.”

The “we” at the beginning of verse 19 is generic, not emphatic. It means “you and I”; not “we who witnessed the Transfiguration.” Peter is saying, in effect, “All of us who are believers have a word of prophecy that is more sure than any voice from heaven. It is the ‘prophecy of Scripture’ (v. 20) which is more sure, more reliable, more authoritative than anyone’s experiences.”

That surely puts subjective impressions in their proper place. Remember, Peter’s experience was not subjective. What he saw and heard was real. Others experienced it with him. But Peter knew that the written Word of God is even more authoritative than the shared experience of three apostles.

Why would anyone seek truth in subjective impressions when we have such a sure Word? Peter admonishes his readers with the reminder that they would “do well to pay attention [to Scripture] as to a lamp shining in a dark place” (v. 19). The imagery here speaks of a single source of light, like a night light, shining in an otherwise dark place. Peter’s point is that we needn’t grope about in the dark in search of truth. Rather we should focus all our vision on the light cast by that single source—the written Word of God.

Moreover, we are to maintain that focus “until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” This phrase is admittedly difficult to understand, but we discover a clue in the fact that Revelation 22:16 refers to Christ as “the bright morning star.” He is the incarnate Word of God, the one who is light (John 8:12). The apostle John wrote, “When He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). And Paul wrote of that same day, “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

This is what Peter seems to be saying: “In the midst of the darkness of this age, keep your eyes fixed on the lamp of Scripture—until that day when Christ returns and our knowledge of truth is made perfect—that day when the Morning Star Himself arises in our hearts and we are made like Him, to know as we are known.” It is a reference to the Second Coming, the only remaining revelation for which we wait.

Meanwhile, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, emphasis added). Those who turn aside from the lamp and grope in the darkness after subjective impressions open themselves up to deception, disappointment, spiritual failure, and all manner of confusion. But those who keep their hearts and minds fixed firmly on the lamplight of Scripture—they are the truly discerning ones. That is Peter’s message.

During the Great Awakening Jonathan Edwards wrote,

Why cannot we be contented with the divine oracles, that holy, pure word of God, which we have in such abundance and clearness, now since the canon of Scripture is completed? Why should we desire to have any thing added to them by impulses from above? Why should we not rest in that standing rule that God has given to his church, which the apostle teaches us, is surer than a voice from heaven? And why should we desire to make the Scripture speak more to us than it does? [1]

Why indeed! Elsewhere Edwards penned this warning:

They who leave the sure word of prophecy—which God has given us as a light shining in a dark place—to follow such impressions and impulses, leave the guidance of the polar star to follow a Jack with a lantern. No wonder therefore that sometimes they are led into woeful extravagances. [2]

Surely the best advice of all comes from Scripture itself:

For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:3–6, emphasis added).

We don’t need to hear something fresh and unique from God—He has already spoken to us clearly and comprehensively through the Bible. God’s Word consistently testifies to its own sufficiency: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Moreover, Scripture never encourages us to look beyond its pages for another source of truth—it always calls our attention back to itself.

God’s people should want to hear from Him. But rather than chasing fanciful impressions and private revelations, that longing ought to prompt us to become eager students of His Word. He has already said everything He needs to say—it’s our job to strive to understand it.

(Adapted from Reckless Faith.)

 


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The New, Truly Confused Evangelicals – Eric Barger

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

Too often believers reject unfavorable news about pastors or teachers they are personally endeared to. Instead of consumers reevaluating their positions and coming to grips with biblically-based data, a continued blind acceptance of error is often the result.

Illustrating with a clip excerpted from “The New, Truly Confused Evangelicals” DVD set, Barger asks, “Can we ever separate Jesus from the Bible?” The answer is NO, but this deceptive, liberal, postmodern error is taught – and insisted on – by popular Atlanta pastor to over 20,000, Andy Stanley.

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Part 4

As the culture around us quickly declines, Christianity has its own set of resident anarchists determined to overthrow biblical truth with a new unholy reformation. The research is disturbing and the conclusions shocking to those uninformed but the fact remains – evangelicalism is in desperate trouble.

 

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Part 5

In part five of the series, Eric Barger details the ongoing theological collapse of modern evangelicalism underway around us. He documents the disturbing trends resulting in belief becoming secondary while and the actions and activities of men becomes primary in the Church. After gathering considerable data and communicating with many victims of the “new”evangelicalism, Eric Barger simply notes that according to the law of physics where a void exists something must fill it. Now, as alarming numbers abandon the long-held mission of the Church, the cry of “social justice” is now trumpeted from many once-conservative pulpits. But where are the calls for biblical evangelism, repentance, and holiness heard not long ago?

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The New, Truly Confused Evangelicals – Part 6 – Eric Barger

This segment examines two tragic elements of confused Evangelical thinking as both Universalism and Mysticism have become a staple in postmodern thought.

For many decades once-faithful Christian leaders, denominations, and seminaries have been moving further and further from Scripture to adopt what they view as only “positive” attributes of the faith – while discounting or completely ignoring what they deem as unseemly. Seeking only a God of love while ignoring the equal attribute of His justice, the perverse view of universal inclusion now reigns as the politically correct, more charitable stance on eternity but completely betrays the overall teaching of Scripture.

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Ecumenical vs. Evangelical

Mike Riccardi of The Cripplegate lays out some of the the problems that can result from trying to mix oil with water, as you will see in the case of trying to mix liberalism and historic orthodox Christianity. The result is that the Person and work of Jesus Christ has been compromised for the sake of […]
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When Evangelicals Become Useful Idiots for Islamism

James White is a well-known conservative Christian evangelist who has been seduced by the siren call of the Interfaith Dialog, and has partnered with a Muslim Imam, Dr. Yasir Qadhi, to “educate” Americans on the Muslim religion. White finds their budding relationship “refreshing” and expounds on how much he has learned about Islam from his newfound friend. He calls Qadhi his “mentor” on aspects of Islam. He bristles at those who suggest he is being used, and instead has gone on offense, engaging his allies among Christian conservatives to attack his critics.

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June 26, 2017: Verse of the day

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The Representation of True Unity

even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, … The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity (17:21b–23a)

The unity of nature Christ prayed for reflects that of the Father and the Son, which is expressed in Christ’s words You, Father, are in Me and I in You. Because of His unity with the Father, Jesus claimed in John 5:16ff. to have the same authority, purpose, power, honor, will, and nature as the Father. That startling claim to full deity and equality with God so outraged His Jewish opponents that they sought to kill Him (5:18; cf. 8:58–59; 10:31–33; 19:7).

The unique intra-Trinitarian relationship of Jesus and the Father forms the pattern for the unity of believers in the church. This prayer reveals five features of that unity the church imitates.

First, the Father and the Son are united in motive; they are equally committed to the glory of God. Jesus began His prayer by saying, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You” (v. 1), as He had done throughout His ministry (v. 4). In verse 5 He added, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Finally, in verse 24 Jesus expressed to the Father His desire that believers would one day “be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me.” In John 7:18 Jesus declared that He was constantly “seeking the glory of the One who sent Him.” He did not need to seek His own glory (8:50), because the Father glorified Him (8:54). Both Jesus and the Father were glorified in the raising of Lazarus (11:4). In John 12:28 Jesus prayed, “ ‘Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came out of heaven: ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ ” Shortly before His High Priestly Prayer, Jesus had said to the disciples, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately” (13:31–32). Jesus promised to answer the prayers of His people “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (14:13).

The church is also united in a common commitment to the glory of God. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do,” Paul wrote, “do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

Second, the Father and the Son are united in mission. They share the common goal of redeeming lost sinners and granting them eternal life, as Christ made clear earlier in this prayer:

Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.… I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. (vv. 2–4, 6)

God chose in eternity past to give believers to Christ as a gift of His love, and Christ came to earth to die as a sacrifice for their sins and redeem them. That the church lives to pursue the one goal of evangelizing the lost is clear from Jesus’ words in verse 18: “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (cf. Matt. 28:19–20).

Third, the Father and the Son are united in truth. “The words which You gave Me,” Jesus said, “I have given to them” (v. 8), while in verse 14 He added, “I have given them Your word.” Earlier that evening Jesus had told the disciples, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (14:10; cf. 3:32–34; 7:16; 8:28, 38, 40; 12:49).

The church is also unified in its commitment to proclaiming the singular truth of God’s Word. In Romans 15:5–6 Paul prayed, “Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (cf. Acts 2:42, 46; Phil. 1:27). Far from dividing the church, a commitment to proclaiming sound doctrine is what defines it.

Fourth, the Father and the Son are united in holiness. In verse 11 Jesus addressed the Father as “Holy Father,” and in verse 25 as “righteous Father.” The utter holiness of God is expressed throughout the Old and New Testaments. God’s holiness is His absolute separation from sin. In Habakkuk 1:13 the prophet declared, “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor.” In Isaiah’s vision of God the angelic beings cried out, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isa. 6:3; cf. Rev. 4:8). The writer of Hebrews described Jesus as “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners” (Heb. 7:26). In Revelation 4:8 the heavenly chorus unceasingly cries out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

When they see believers united in the pursuit of holiness, unbelievers will be drawn to Christ. In Hebrews 12:14 the writer of Hebrews exhorted his readers, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” If a church tolerates sin, it not only obscures the glory of Christ it is called to radiate, but also faces the discipline of the Lord of the church (Rev. 2:14–16, 20–23).

Finally, the Father and the Son are united in love. In verse 24 Jesus affirmed that the Father had “loved [Him] before the foundation of the world.” In John 5:20 Jesus said, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing” (cf. 3:35). Both at His baptism (Matt. 3:17) and at the transfiguration (Matt. 17:5), the Father declared Jesus to be His beloved Son. Similarly, love is the glue that binds believers together in unity (Col. 3:14; cf. 2:2), and it is that love for one another that is the church’s ultimate apologetic to the lost world (John 13:34–35).

Though not to the same infinite divine extent, the spiritual life and power that belongs to the Trinity belongs also in some way to believers and is the basis for the church’s unity. This is what the Lord meant when He said, The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as we are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity. That stunning truth describes believers as those to whom the Son has given glory—that is, aspects of the very divine life that belongs to God. The church’s task is to so live as to not obstruct that glory (Matt. 5:16).[1]


The Fifth Mark of the Church: Unity

John 17:20–23

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Considering all the divisions that have plagued Christendom for two thousand years, it is amazing that God has continued to use the church to extend his kingdom.”

This statement by John White, an InterVarsity Chrisitian Fellowship worker and writer, introduces us to the subject of Christian unity in two important ways: first, by portraying the unfortunate lack of unity that has plagued the church throughout its history and, second, by suggesting why Jesus asked that the church might be marked by unity at this particular point in his high priestly petition. The divisions that exist today are too obvious to need comment. They lie both on the surface and within. Battles rage. Highly praised church mergers not only fail to heal these divisions but also usually lead to further breakups involving those who do not like the new union. So far as Christ’s reasons for praying for unity go, it is simply that he foresaw these differences and so asked for that great unity that should exist among his own in spite of them.

Another way of pointing to Christ’s interests is to note that all the marks of the church concern the Christian’s relationship to some thing or some person and that unity is to be the mark of the church in the relationships that exist between its members. Joy is the mark of the Christian in relationship to himself. Holiness is the mark in relationship to God. Truth is the mark in his relationship to the Bible. Mission is the mark in his relationship to the world. In this mark, unity, and the last, love, which in some sense summarizes them all, we deal with the Christian’s relationship to all who are likewise God’s children.

What Kind of Unity?

But what kind of unity is this to be? This is an important preliminary question, for if the unity is to be an organizational unity, then our efforts to achieve and express it will be in one direction while, if it is to be a more subjective unity, our efforts will be expended differently.

One thing for sure—the church is not to be is a great organizational unity; for whatever advantages or disadvantages may be involved in massive organizational unity, this in itself obviously does not produce the results Christ prayed for, nor does it solve the church’s other great problems. Moreover, it has been tried and found wanting. In the early days of the church there was much vitality and growth but little organizational unity. Later, as the church came to favor under Constantine and his successors, the church increasingly centralized until during the Middle Ages there was literally one united ecclesiastical body covering all Europe. But was this a great age? Was there a deep unity of faith? Did men and women find themselves increasingly drawn to this faith and come to confess Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord (for that is what Christ promised, namely, that if the church were one, men and women would believe on him)? Not at all! On the contrary, the world believed the opposite. Spurgeon once wrote, “The world was persuaded that God had nothing to do with that great crushing, tyrannous, superstitious, ignorant thing which called itself Christianity; and thinking men became infidels, and it was the hardest possible thing to find a genuine intelligent believer north, south, east, or west.”

Certainly there is something to be said for some form of outward, visible unity (at least in most situations). But it is equally certain that this type of unity is not what we most need, nor is it that for which the Lord prayed.

Another type of unity that we do not need is conformity, that is, an approach to the church that would make everyone alike. Here we probably come closest to the error of the evangelical church, for if the liberal church for the most part strives for an organizational unity—through the various councils of churches, the Consultation on Church Union, denominational mergers, and so forth—the evangelical church for its part seems to strive for an identical pattern of looks and behavior among its members. This is not what Jesus is looking for in this prayer. On the contrary, there should be the greatest diversity among Christians, diversity of personality, interests, lifestyle, and even methods of Christian work and evangelism. This should make the church interesting, not dull. Uniformity is dull, like rows upon rows of Wheaties boxes. Variety is exciting! It is the variety of nature and the character and actions of our God.

But if the unity for which Jesus prayed is not an organizational unity or a unity achieved by conformity, what kind of unity is it? The answer is that it is a unity parallel to the unity that exists within the Godhead; for Jesus speaks of it in these terms—“that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you … I in them, and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity” (vv. 21, 23). This means that the church is to have a spiritual unity involving the basic orientation, desires, and will of those participating. Paul points to this true unity in writing to the Corinthians, saying, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men” (1 Cor. 12:4–6).

This is not to say that all believers actually enter into this unity as they should. Otherwise, why would Christ pray for it? The actual case is that, like the other marks of the church already considered, unity is something given to the church but also something for which the body of true believers should strive. There is a sense in which we already are one in Christ. But there is also a sense in which we must achieve that unity.

Brothers and Sisters

Here we are helped by the various images used of the church throughout the New Testament, one of the most valuable being that of the family. Christians belong to the family of God, and therefore they are rightly brothers and sisters of one another.

The unique characteristic of this image is that it speaks of relationships and therefore of the commitments that the individuals must have to one another. The relationships are based upon what God has done. Salvation is described in the verses that use this image as God begetting spiritual children, who are therefore made members of his spiritual family through his choice and not through their own. John even says this explicitly in the preface to his Gospel, when he writes of our having become children of God “not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (1:13). There is a tendency in the world to talk about all men and women as brothers and sisters, but while this is true in a certain humanitarian sense it is nevertheless not what the Bible is talking about when it speaks of Christian brotherhood. This is something that God has intervened to establish among his own regenerated children.

This fact has two important consequences. First, if the family to which we belong has been established by God, then we have no choice as to who will be in it or whether or not we will be his or her sister or brother. On the contrary, the relationship simply exists, and we must be brotherly to the other Christian, whether we want to be or not.

The second consequence is related to this, simply that we must be committed to each other in tangible ways. We must be committed to helping each other, for example, for we all need help at times, and this is one clear way in which the special bond among believers can be shown to the watching world. A number of years ago I walked into the bathroom in our home and found one of my children sitting on the floor with a large pile of unrolled toilet paper beside her. She had been spinning the roll and watching it pile up in intricate patterned layers as it settled. I took one look at her and said, with a note of astonishment in my voice, “What in the world are you doing?”

“I’m unrolling the toilet paper,” she answered. There was no questioning the truthfulness of that.

“Why are you being naughty?” I countered.

She said, “Nobody helps me to be good.” I suspect that her answer was a carefully worded excuse (and also not nearly so truthful as her first statement.) But whatever her reasons, the statement did at least point to a true need. We do need help as Christians, and we need it from Christians. Moreover, we must be ready to give help, just as we would to a needy member of our own human family.

A Fellowship

The second important image used to portray the unity of the church of Christ is a fellowship, which the New Testament normally indicates by the Greek word koinonia. Unfortunately, neither the word “fellowship” nor the word koinonia is very helpful in conveying what we mean. This is because the English word commonly means only a loose collection of friends, and the Greek word has become something of a theological cliché. Actually, the word has to do with sharing something or having something in common. The common Greek of the New Testament period is called Koine Greek. Partners, as those who hold property in common or share in a business, are koinonoi. In spiritual terms koinonia, or fellowship, is had by those who share a common Christian experience of the gospel. In this respect the New Testament speaks often of our fellowship with the Father (1 John 1:3), with the Son (1 Cor. 1:9), which is sometimes described as a fellowship in the blood and body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16), and with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14). This obviously involves the totality of our experience of God’s grace.

But fellowship is not only defined in terms of what we share in together. It also involves what we share out together. And this means that it must involve a community in which Christians actually share their thoughts and lives with one another.

How is this to be done practically? It will probably be done in different ways in different congregations depending upon local situations and needs. Some churches are small and therefore will have an easier time establishing times of sharing. Here church suppers, work projects, and other such efforts will help. Larger churches will have to break their numbers down into smaller groups in various ways. At Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, which I serve as pastor, we have tried to do this in three ways simultaneously. First, we have tried to divide the congregation according to age levels. Thus we have a fully graded Sunday school, and on the upper levels we have tried to establish groups for college students, postcollege students, young couples, other adult classes, and meetings for senior citizens. Part of this is an adult elective program. Second, we have tried to divide the congregation geographically. Tenth Church members come from a large and scattered metropolitan area. Some of them drive twenty, thirty, or more miles to get there. Midweek meetings at the church are impractical for most. Therefore we have established area Bible studies, where people can meet weekly with those in their area. They meet to study the Bible, share concerns, and pray together. These area groups are probably the least structured but also the most profitable of all the church activities. Finally, we have also begun to divide the church according to professional interests. In this area there are regular meetings by groups of artists, musicians (we have a chamber orchestra), medical students and nurses, and ministerial candidates and young pastors.

My own experience in this area conforms to that of John R. W. Stott, who experimented with similar groups in his own London parish. He has written on the grounds of his experience, “The value of the small group is that it can become a community of related persons; and in it the benefit of personal relatedness cannot be missed, nor its challenge evaded. … I do not think it is an exaggeration to say, therefore, that small groups, Christian family or fellowship groups, are indispensable for our growth into spiritual maturity.”

Once again, this is an area in which Christian unity can become a visible and practical thing, and its unique and desirable qualities can be made known to the world.

The Body

The third important image used to stress the unity of the church is the body. Clearly, this image has many important connotations. It speaks of the nature of the Christian union—one part of the body simply cannot survive if it is separated from the whole. It speaks of interdependence. It even suggests a kind of subordination involving a diversity of function; for the hand is not the foot, nor the foot the eye, and over all is the head which is Christ. Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians saying, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many” (12:12–14).

However, the one function of the body that is unique to this image is service, for just as the family emphasizes relationships, and fellowships emphasizes sharing, so does the body emphasize work. The body exists to do something and, since we are talking about unity, we must stress that it exists to enable us to do this work together.

In the book from which I quoted earlier, Stott speaks of this service flowing out of the small groups that his church emphasizes. “It must be admitted that several have been unsuccessful—through lack of time or of enterprise,” he writes. “Others, however, have offered their practical services as a group. … Certainly without some such common concern and service, the fellowship of any Christian group is maimed.”

Your Part

The question we end with is simply: What is to be your part in this area? What will you do? Obviously you cannot change the whole church, but, as one writer puts it, “You can begin in your own life to be an answer to the high priestly prayer of Christ. You can become a small focus of change.” First, you can become aware of that great family, fellowship, and body to which you already belong, and you can thank God for it. Second, you can join a small group, where the reality of Christian unity is most readily seen and experienced. Third, you can work with that group to show forth Christian love and give service. If you are willing to do that, you will find God to be with you, and you will be overwhelmed at the power with which he works both in you and in others whom he will be drawing to faith.

But perhaps you are not a part of that family, the family of God, in the first place. You may be a Baptist, a Presbyterian, a Roman Catholic, a Pentecostal. But you have never been born into God’s family. If so, do not let pride of denomination (or of anything else) keep you from the reality of Christianity. Run to Jesus and enter in through him, the only true door.[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2008). John 12–21 (pp. 290–292). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 1327–1332). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

June 24-25, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 06/24/2017

Christian School Fires Preschool Teacher Who Refuses to Leave Porn Industry   Jun 23, 2017 03:51 pm

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Christian school in California has reportedly fired a preschool teacher after giving her the choice of leaving the pornography industry or losing her job working at the faith-based institution. Nina Skye told Fox11 News this week she was informed by the school, which has not been identified, that her lifestyle was in violation of the…

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Cities Across America Creating Rainbow Crosswalks to Celebrate ‘LGBTQ Pride’   Jun 19, 2017 03:32 pm

Several American cities recently approved the creation of rainbow crosswalks to celebrate “LGBTQ pride,” and homosexual advocacy groups are circulating petitions to request that more cities paint their crosswalks with the “diversity” stripes. Houston, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia and Washington, D.C. created rainbow crosswalks to coincide with their June homosexual…

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Tennessee Homeowner Credits Jesus Christ After Georgia Fugitives Surrender in His Driveway   Jun 17, 2017 03:36 pm

Photo Credit: Tennessee Borough of Investigations CHRISTIANA, Tenn. — A Tennessee homeowner rejected the label of hero and instead pointed to Jesus Christ while speaking at a press conference on Friday about the capture of two escaped Georgia inmates who murdered two correctional officers while in transport to another prison. Patrick Hale, 35, says that he…

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Oregon Becomes First State to Allow Residents to Be Neither Male or Female on Driver’s License   Jun 20, 2017 12:06 pm

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon has become the first state to allow residents to identify as neither male or female on their driver’s license and identification card. Beginning on July 1, residents can select an “X” for their gender instead of “M” or “F.” The new policy was unanimously agreed upon by the Oregon Transportation Commission. According to Reuters, the…

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Court Rules Woman Did Not Suffer ‘Emotional Distress’ From Planet Fitness’ Allowance of Man in Women’s Locker Room   Jun 17, 2017 11:59 am

MIDLAND, Mich. — The Michigan Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that a woman did not suffer sexual harassment and emotional distress when her local Planet Fitness allowed a man who identifies as a woman to use the women’s locker room. “Plaintiff’s allegations that defendants’ policy is extreme and outrageous because ‘it would allow men to be present…

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Big Bang in Trouble? Physicists Challenge Key Component of Cosmological Theory   Jun 19, 2017 06:01 am

A team of physicists from Harvard and Princeton universities recently ignited a controversy among the scientific community by pointing out apparent weaknesses in a key element of the Big Bang theory. Physicists Anna Ijjas, Paul Steinhardt, and Abraham Loeb wrote a critique of the standard model of the universe’s beginnings in an edition of the Scientific…

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Man Who Was Upset Girlfriend Didn’t Abort Allegedly Beats Daughter Into Coma on Father’s Day   Jun 22, 2017 04:35 pm

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A Brooklyn man who had expressed hatred toward his girlfriend for not obtaining an abortion is accused of beating his infant daughter into a coma on Father’s Day. Shaquan Taylor, 19, had posted on social media in February of last year that he felt “disrespected” when his girlfriend told him that she planned on keeping their baby. “Told that…

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Atheist Activist Group Takes Issue With Alabama Police Department’s Mix of God With Government   Jun 18, 2017 05:59 pm

Photo Credit: Wetumpka Police Department/Facebook WETUMPKA, Ala. — A prominent professing atheist group recently sent a letter to officials with a city in Alabama to assert that its police department’s mixture of God with government is unlawful. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote to the City of Wetumpka on June 7 after learning…

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California AG to Refile After Judge Dismisses 14 of 15 Charges Against Man Who Recorded Undercover Planned Parenthood Videos   Jun 22, 2017 06:00 am

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — A superior court in California has temporarily dismissed 14 of 15 charges filed against David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, but with leave to amend—that is, allowing the prosecution to refile their complaint with more specificity. “Following the defense’s complaint that there are too many surreptitious recordings to know…

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Woman Turns From Abortion, Trusts Christ and Marries the Father of Her Child—All in One Week   Jun 19, 2017 06:02 am

Photo Credit: Vicky Kaseorg CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina woman changed her mind about obtaining an abortion last week and instead turned to Christ, quickly becoming convicted in her new life that she and her longtime boyfriend should finally marry and honor God. Vicky Kaseorg of Cities4Life shared the story on her blog on Friday, referring to the woman…

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Top News – 6/24-25/2017

Loretta Lynch, Clinton Campaign, Soros Officials All Caught Up in Senate Probe of Comey Firing
The New York Times reported this April that not only had Lynch told then-Director Comey in September of 2015 to refer to the investigation of Secretary Clinton and her staff as a “matter,” but that the Justice Department obtained a Russian document in March 2016 showing a “Democratic operative” expressing “confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.”

…Reasons why Nasrallah’s threat to use Iraq and Iran fighters against Israel is alarming
In a startling revelation on Friday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that the next war with Israel could see thousands of Shia militia fighters join forces with Hezbollah to fight Israel. “This could open the way for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of fighters from all over the Arab and Islamic world to participate – from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said…

UN rejects Israeli claims of Hezbollah operating under guise of fake NGO
The United Nations rejected Israeli claims on Friday that Hezbollah militants were operating under the guise of an environmental NGO in order to setup observation posts near Lebanon’s southern border, according to AFP. The UN decision came one day after the IDF released footage of what it claimed were Hezbollah fighters operating near the Blue Line bordering Lebanon and Israel.

Berlin mayor allows Hezbollah to march in ‘Zionists out of Israel’ rally
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller permitted nearly 600 Hezbollah supporters and members – and pro-Iranian regime activists – to march on Friday in the heart of the German capital at the al-Quds Day rally calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. Writing in Israel’s embassy newsletter, Rogel Rachman, the head of Israel’s public diplomacy at the embassy in Berlin, said the Social Democratic mayor’s decision was “not to be tolerated and wrong as only wrong can be.”

China landslide leaves at least 140 missing in Sichuan
More than 140 people are feared buried in a landslide in Sichuan province in south-western China, state media say. About 40 homes were destroyed in Xinmo village in Maoxian county, after the side of a mountain collapsed at about 06:00 local time (22:00 GMT Friday). Rescue teams are frantically searching for survivors trapped beneath rocks.

Qatar says list of demands not realistic
Qatar’s foreign minister has rejected a list of 13 conditions set by four Arab states for lifting sanctions, saying it is neither reasonable nor actionable. Qatar is under strict sanctions from Saudi Arabia and its allies, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain. They accuse Qatar of backing terrorism. Among other things, they have demanded the closure of Al Jazeera TV, which is funded by the Qatari government.

Has China developed the world’s most powerful submarine detector?
Chinese scientists claim to have made a major breakthrough in magnetic detection technology that could bring unprecedented accuracy to the process of finding hidden metallic objects – from minerals to submarines. The Chinese Academy of Sciences, the country’s largest research institute, said in an article on its website on Wednesday that a “superconductive magnetic anomaly detection array” has been developed in Shanghai and passed inspection by an expert panel.

Vladimir Putin’s new weapon in Russian arsenal – lasers to shoot down enemy drones
VLADIMIR Putin’s scientists have developed technology capable of zapping enemy drones by laser while also remotely recharging friendly Russian unmanned flyers in the sky. The technology was presented at an innovation exhibition this week, but pictures were not permitted, it was reported. Researcher Grigory Filimonov said “highly efficient fibre lasers” are used which permit remote recharging.

China, U.S. agree aim of ‘complete, irreversible’ Korean denuclearization
China and the United States agreed that efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula should be “complete, verifiable and irreversible”, Chinese state media said on Saturday, reporting the results of high level talks in Washington this week. “Both sides reaffirm that they will strive for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” a consensus document released by the official Xinhua news agency said.

Court Dismisses Charges Against Pro-Life Activists, For Now
David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt now face only 1 of original 15 felony charges in California related to undercover videos about fetal tissue procurement.

MASSIVE oil discoveries in Israel is TEN TIMES larger than world average – could sustain the Jewish State for decades 
A big oil deposit has been found in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, with enough reserves to last Israel for decades, according to the country’s media. The Israeli presence in the Golan Heights is in dispute.

FEMA Is Preparing For A Solar Storm That Would Take Out The Grid
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) is planning for a massive solar storm that would be so strong, it would take down the power grid. Noting that the rare, yet “high-consequence” scenario has “the potential for catastrophic impact on our nation and FEMA’s ability to respond.”

Some US Airlines Are Testing Mandatory Facial Recognition Scans On Americans Flying Abroad
Just when you thought air travel couldn’t get any more invasive, authoritarian and downright miserable, the Department of Homeland Security and two U.S. carriers are determined to prove you wrong.

Illinois’ Obamacare plans seek big 2017 premium hikes 
Insurers want to crank up the cost of health insurance premiums by as much as 45 percent for Illinois residents who buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace.

North Korea Blames Obama Administration For Warmbier’s Death
A day after US student Otto Warmbier was laid to rest at a funeral service in his home town of Cincinnati on Thursday, the North Korean foreign ministry released a statement to local state-controlled television saying his death was a mystery and dismissing accusations that he had died because he was tortured and beaten during his captivity, according to Reuters. Instead, the North’s foreign ministry blamed the Obama administration for Warmbier’s death, which never formally requested Warmbier’s release, claiming Warmbier was “a victim of the policy of strategic patience.”

President Trump Holds The Keys To A Dramatic Conservative Realignment Of The Entire US Court System 
It used to take 60 votes to advance district and circuit court nominees, but senate democrats changed the filibuster rule in 2013 in order to get around a republican blockade on Obama’s court picks. Now Trump the benefits of that change.

Netanyahu warns Iran over Syria involvement after Golan exchange
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran on Sunday that Israel “views gravely” its attempts to set up a military presence in Syria and to arm Hezbollah with advanced weaponry via Syria and Lebanon. His comments at the weekly cabinet meeting came a day after the IDF responded to mortar fire from Syria by attacking Syrian army targets across the border.

Israel bars UNESCO team from Hebron field visit
Israel has refused to allow a UNESCO investigatory team to make a field visit to Hebron in advance of pending July vote to register its Old City on the list of World Heritage in Danger under the “State of Palestine.” This is a “principled and strategic” stand, Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris Carmel Shama HaCohen said on Saturday.

Netanyahu hails ‘historic’ visit by Indian prime minister
Ahead of the expected visit to Israel next week of Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi, Israel’s cabinet was set to approve a number of measures aimed at enhancing the relationship between the two countries. Speaking at the start of the of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the visit, scheduled for July 5, “historic” and stressed its importance as a lever for a major increase in trade.

Netanyahu to attend Central European summit
Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to Budapest next month for a meeting with the heads of the four central European countries that make up the Visegrad group, as Israel continues to try to build relationships with various regional subgroupings around the world…Israel has adopted a policy of forging close ties with specific countries or groupings of countries inside the EU who are more sympathetic to Israel’s position and are also interested in having close bilateral relations.

Pakistan oil tanker inferno kills at least 140
At least 140 people were killed when a lorry transporting oil burst into flames near the Pakistani city of Ahmedpur East, local officials say. A crowd had gathered reportedly to collect fuel leaking from the overturned vehicle when it caught fire. Dozens are being treated in hospital. It appears the tanker blew a tyre while rounding a sharp bend in the road.

Turkey LGBT: Istanbul’s Gay Pride organisers vow to defy ban
Organisers of Istanbul’s annual Gay Pride march say it will go ahead despite a ban by the authorities of Turkey’s largest city. The event has been called for Sunday evening in the city’s Taksim Square. Authorities banned the march for third year in a row, citing security concerns after threats from far-right groups.

Egypt’s president ratifies islands deal with Saudi Arabia
Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has ratified a controversial treaty that transfers two largely uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The deal to hand over Tiran and Sanafir was agreed during a visit to Egypt by Saudi King Salman a year ago. It was backed by Egypt’s parliament last week. It has sparked rare protests in Egypt, with Mr Sisi being accused of “selling” territory in return for Saudi aid.

Tornado knocks out half the Pentagon’s fleet of nuke-proof ‘Doomsday’ planes
Two of the Pentagon’s four specially reinforced ‘Doomsday’ planes, designed to withstand the heat from a nuclear blast, have been grounded after being damaged by a tornado. The Air Force said Friday that two E4-B Boeing 747s were damaged when a tornado whipped through Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base with little advance warning on June 16.

UN rejects Israel claim that Hezbollah violated cease-fire
The UN peacekeeping force on Lebanon’s border with Israel has not seen any violations of the UN-brokered cease-fire that ended a war with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in 2006, as Israel claims, the UN said Friday. Israel filed a complaint Tuesday with the UN Security Council accusing Hezbollah of setting up observation outposts along the border on land purportedly used by an environmental advocacy group called Green Without Borders.

Angry Dems Turn On Obama, Pelosi, Schumer: “Talk Less About Russia”
“We can’t just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren’t really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday.

Obama library snatches Susan Rice unmasking docs – for 5 years!
In a potentially bombshell development, the NSC said those documents have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library, while pointedly adding, “you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.” It’s not yet known if that would block congressional investigators, the FBI, or Special Counsel Robert Mueller from obtaining the documents.

Massive Russian collusion found, but not by Trump
Is it just me, or is everyone missing the biggest, most mind-boggling part of the never-ending “Trump-Russia collusion” drama? I’m talking about something more troubling than ex-FBI chief James Comey being one of the biggest leakers, or his refusing for months to inform Americans that Donald Trump was never under FBI investigation – while capitulating to Obama AG Loretta Lynch’s demand that he hide the fact that Hillary Clinton was under investigation. I’m talking about something more absurd than an investigation lasting almost a year – entirely without evidence of a crime!

Supreme Court to Hear Landmark Gerrymandering Case
Obama and Soros leading challenges to Republican-drawn districts

Preparing For War? US House Wants To Create First New Military Branch Since 1947
There’s currently a push in the halls of Washington D.C., to establish a new branch of the military by 2019, one whose focus would be operations among the stars. Proposed legislation by House representatives would create a ‘Space Corps’.

Senate Democrats Plan to Stall Obamacare Repeal, Threaten to Freeze Chamber in Protest
Senate Democrats plan to stall Obamacare repeal late Monday in a protest against the GOP’s ‘closed-door’ repeal and replace process.

CNN deletes, retracts story linking Trump and Russia
On Thursday evening, CNN investigative reporter Thomas Frank published a potentially explosive report involving an investigation of a Russian investment fund with potential ties to several associates of President Donald Trump. But by Friday night, the story was removed from CNN’s website and all links were scrubbed from the network’s social media accounts.

Madison Wisconsin Building May Be Named For Obama
Local leaders in and around Madison, Wisconsin are seeking to rename the main county government building after former President Barack Obama — “the JFK of our generation.”


Yellowstone Super Volcano: 40 Earthquakes in One Week

Should we be concerned?

Yellowstone supervolcano has been hit by a series of earthquakes, with more 400 recorded since June 12. The latest was recorded on Monday, June 19, with a magnitude 3 earthquake striking 8.6 miles north northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana.

View Article


Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers

Bernie Sanders’s economics are terrible. Just awful. No one as old as he is, who has seen what he has, should hold fast to “socialism” the way that he does. On the other hand I don’t dislike him personally and am impressed by his challenge to the Clinton machine.

I’m sorry to see this story. We’ll see how it washes out.

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Canadian Christian School Reportedly Told Not to Teach ‘Offensive’ Bible Verses to Children

According to Christian News:

A Christian school in Canada says that it is shocked after recently being told by the local school board that it should not teach any “offensive” Bible verses to children, particularly those those that refer to homosexuality. Cornerstone Christian Academy in Kingman, approximately an hour outside of the provincial capital of Edmonton, says that it was recently approached by the Battle River School Division and asked to remove 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 from its student handbook.

View article →


Preacher who lived a life of luxury indicted on tax fraud

The indictment accuses prosperity preacher William Todd Coontz of a check-cashing scheme. Coontz is charged with hiding income from the IRS “by claiming travel as a business expense while using reimbursements as personal income.” Joe Marusak of Charlotte Observer has the story:

A former Charlotte preacher who wrote the book “Please Don’t Repo My Car” was indicted on tax charges Thursday.

William Todd Coontz enjoyed a life of luxury, federal prosecutors contend, by claiming as business expenses the $1.5 million condo he and his family lived in as their parsonage and the luxury vehicles they drove, including three BMWs, two Ferraris, a Maserati and a Land Rover.

He also claimed a Regal 2500 boat, 400 charges at movie theaters, $228,000 in clothing purchases and $140,000 in meals and other entertainment as business expenses with no proof the expenses were for business, according to a federal criminal bill of indictment returned by a grand jury in Charlotte on Thursday.

View article →


The Success Affair

“Working with such couples, I’ve found it interesting to note when the affairs happen. Often pastors get into an affair when ministry is going well, when they are achieving their ministerial career goals and dreams. Why is this so? Why would someone have an affair when everything seems to be going well?”


Ecumenical vs. Evangelical

This is a fantastic little overview of the history of ecumenism. “One of the most devastating attacks on the life and health of the church throughout all of church history has been what is known as the ecumenical movement—the downplaying of doctrine in order to foster partnership in ministry between (a) genuine Christians and (b) people who were willing to call themselves Christians but who rejected fundamental Christian doctrines.”


Will All People Be Equal in Heaven?

Randy Alcorn takes on a question with important implications. “Because God promises to reward people differently according to their differing levels of faithfulness in this life, we should not expect equality of possessions and positions in Heaven.”


9 Things You Should Know About North Korea

Here is another of Joe Carter’s helpful FAQ articles.


India’s Dangerous Trend on Religious Liberty

ERLC tells how religious liberty in India is on the decline. This is background to how Compassion and other organizations were kicked out.

WEEKEND SNAPSHOT

JUNE 24, 2017
TOP STORIES THIS WEEK
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“You have to look very hard — and you have to spend a long time looking — to find a genuinely happy or content left-wing political person. … The bottom line is: You just don’t encounter happy, laughing liberals. Even their comedians are consumed by hatred. The Democrat Party’s become the largest hate group in this country. Even their comedians are angry and enraged, and that suffices as comedy. I think it’s one of the reasons why left-wing comics have become primary sources of news for other left-wing liberals.” —Rush Limbaugh

Top Headlines – 6/24-25/2017

Abbas said enraged by Kushner meet, refuses to halt pay even to worst terrorists

Palestinians say US is not demanding end to terrorist stipends as a precondition to talks

Former Israeli generals warn against US bill slashing funds to PA

Israel Will Not Accept a Single Palestinian to Old Borders, Says Defense Minister

Palestinians reportedly return monument to Maalot terrorist after intense pressure from PM Netanyahu to remove it

Netanyahu to beef up security at Damascus Gate

Arrest extended for mother of one of terrorists responsible for Jerusalem terror attack

Turkey Says Israel Paid Compensation to Families of 2010 Flotilla Raid Victims

MK warns of rift with US Jewry if Western Wall plan nixed

Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. begins drilling in Israel

Danon says UN turning a blind eye to Hezbollah

UN rejects Israel claim that Hezbollah violated cease-fire

UN rejects Israeli claims of Hezbollah posing as NGO

Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Neighboring Arab nations

C.I.A. Set Up Secret Back Channel With Syria to Try to Free U.S. Hostage

Loose Definition of Terrorism Upends a Syrian Asylum Seeker’s Life

Commentary: Terrorism is winning in Europe

Trump considering Camp David-style summit to unite Arab leaders to fight terrorism

Saudis ‘foil suicide attack’ on Mecca’s Grand Mosque

Suicide bomber targeting Mecca injures 6 pilgrims, police say

Iran condemns plot targeting Mecca

Iran nuclear chief warns US over support for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, Waging War in Yemen, Gives It $66.7 Million in Cholera Relief

How war brought cholera and polio back to the Middle East

U.S. air strike kills regional Al-Qaeda leader and two associates in Yemen’s Shabwa province

Qatar blockade exposes rifts in Trump administration’s ‘peculiar’ foreign policy

UAE minister: Qatar undermining reconciliation

Qatar given 10 days to meet 13 sweeping demands by Saudi Arabia

Qatar: Demands made by Saudi-led allies not ‘reasonable’

‘We call on all governments to respect media freedoms’: al-Jazeera on Saudi demands for its closure

To end crisis, Arab states demand Qatar sever Iran ties

Iran’s president heckled at rally after criticism by supreme leader

Pakistan: 62 killed, 100 injured in multiple attacks on eve of Eid

Trump approves $2B sale of drones to India ahead of meeting

Japanese warship takes Asian guests on cruise in defiance of China

North Korea denies it cruelly treated or tortured an American student who died days after North released him

North Korea says it is ‘biggest victim’ in US student’s death

North Korea Blames Obama Administration For Warmbier’s Death

Fears growing over N. Korea ability to launch EMP attacks

Russian jet buzzes US recon jet: Pictures released of ‘unsafe’ incident

CIA knew in August that Putin sought to boost Trump – report

Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault

Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response

Trump appears to acknowledge Russian election meddling – and blames Obama

W. House says Trump tweet meets Comey tapes records request

Trump argues tape allegations meant to keep Comey honest, calls Mueller-Comey ties ‘bothersome’

Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets

Senate announces probe of Loretta Lynch behavior in 2016 election

‘I’m glad he got shot’: Nebraska Democrat caught on tape criticizing Rep. Steve Scalise

Google Redefines The Word ‘Fascism’ To Smear Conservatives, Protect Liberal Rioters

Trudeau: Trump does listen, NAFTA will remain

Number of refugees admitted to U.S. drops by almost half

Google now has all the data it needs, will stop scanning Gmail inboxes for ad personalization

Snapchat’s new map feature raises fears of stalking and bullying

McDonalds Is Replacing 2,500 Human Cashiers With Digital Kiosks: Here Is Its Math

Some US Airlines Are Testing Mandatory Facial Recognition Scans On Americans Flying Abroad

FEMA Is Preparing For A Solar Storm That Would Take Out The Grid

Forget Planet 9 – there’s Evidence of a Tenth Planet Lurking at the Edge of the Solar System

Hoax or not? 3-fingered ‘humanoid’ mummy reportedly found in Peru, sparks skepticism

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Dondo, Mozambique

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Mid-Indian Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Lata, Solomon Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Vaini, Tonga

Yellowstone earthquake swarm slowing, but ongoing – nearly 770 quakes so far

Bogoslof volcano on the Aluetian Islands erupts to 36,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Pavlof volcano in Alaska erupts to 12,000ft

Ulawun volcano on Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Landslide buries mountain village in southwest China, fears for 141 people

Southern Mexico to face increased downpours from budding tropical system

Floating Fire Ant Balls: Tropical Storm Cindy’s Lesser-Known Danger

Heavy rains have killed 15 in Ivory Coast

U.S. Military’s Vital ‘Doomsday Planes’ Damaged in Tornado

Starvation looms as food runs out in drought-hit Ethiopia

Jury awards $218 million to farmers in GMO corn suit

‘Woefully incomplete’ universal health bill dead for the year in California

Republican senators’ revolt puts health bill in jeopardy

Clinton: GOP will become the ‘death party’ if Senate bill passes

Planned Parenthood Battle Could Sway Fortunes of GOP Health Bill

Pride and prejudice? Race tinges LGBT celebrations

Three Men Get ‘Married’ in Colombia and There Is No Slippery Slope

United Methodist Conference Faces ‘Unprecedented Financial Crisis’ After Election of Lesbian Bishop

Christian Orgs Labeled Hate Groups on Top Charity Site

Can Yoga Be Christian?

International Yoga Day: 300,000 participate in world’s largest yoga session

Breaking News – Prosperity Pimp Todd Coontz Indicted on Federal Tax Charges

Palestinian sources: Trump may drop Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

White House official rejects rumors of Trump planning to drop peace talks

Energy minister: Israel should restore full power supply to Gaza

Truck smashes into crowded gas station near Jerusalem

IDF arrests 23 Israelis for trying to illegally enter site of Joseph’s Tomb

Millions attend anti-Israel al-Quds Day rallies in Iran

Iran’s president rushed away from anti-Israel rally amid taunts

5 reasons why Nasrallah’s threat to use Iraq and Iran fighters against Israel is alarming

Amid Hezbollah threats, Israel said to warn Iran against arming group

Berlin mayor allows Hezbollah to march in ‘Zionists out of Israel’ rally

Lebanon’s Hezbollah condemns Mecca bombing

IDF releases footage of strikes on Syrian military targets

Israel attacks Syrian tanks in response to wayward projectiles in spillover from internal fighting

Several hits recorded in Golan Hights, no injuries or damage reported

Liberman: Assad regime will continue to suffer consequences of attacks

Syria Frees Hundreds of Detainees Ahead of Muslim Holiday

Commando Raids on ISIS Yield Vital Data in Shadowy War

Kurdish designers bring fight with IS to Paris catwalk

Kurds see chance to advance their cause in ruins of Islamic State

Iran says it captured IS cell planning bombing attacks

Jordan to cancel ‘marry the victim’ clause shielding rapists

Egyptian police say they foiled church bombing

Egypt’s Sisi ratifies agreement transferring Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia

At center of Qatar crisis, a $1 billion ransom

UAE: Arab states don’t seek ‘regime change’ in Qatar

Tale of 2 princes: Trump, Saudi king rely on son, son-in-law

Trump may call major summit to unite Arabs against extremism

Trump wishes Muslims ‘warm greetings’ for Eid

Turkish President Erdogan faints during Eid al-Fitr prayers due to low blood sugar

Muslims in Asia Pray for Peace as Ramadan Holy Month Ends

Battle for Philippine town abates as troops mark Islamic holiday

Philippine troops declare 8-hour cease-fire in besieged city

Overturned oil tanker explodes in Pakistan, killing 120

CIA chief: Iran, North Korea threaten US national security

China, U.S. agree on aim of ‘complete, irreversible’ Korean denuclearization

The grim video of a Venezuelan protester being shot on live TV

In Venezuela, prisoners say abuse is so bad they are forced to eat pasta mixed with excrement

Venezuelan bonds are a fabulous investment, if you don’t mind the starvation

Blackmail fears after Parliament hit by ‘sustained and determined’ cyber attack leaving MPs unable to access their emails remotely

UK Labour chief Corbyn will ‘try to force early election’

UK police brace for trouble as far-right and anti-racist groups protest

CIA chief: Intel leaks on the rise, cites leaker ‘worship’

Preparing For War? US House Wants To Create First New Military Branch Since 1947

Loretta Lynch, Clinton Campaign, Soros Officials All Caught Up in Senate Probe of Comey Firing

Chaffetz: Justice watchdog also looking at Lynch’s role in FBI’s Clinton email probe

Dershowitz: Mueller Made a ‘Mistake’ Hiring Lawyers Who Supported Clinton

Trump says Comey-Mueller friendship ‘bothersome’

Trump has ‘no intention’ of firing special counsel

CNN deletes, retracts story linking Trump and Russia

Dems push leaders to talk less about Russia

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Retirement Rumors Has Washington on Edge For Next Term

Democrat official fired after caught on tape saying he’s ‘glad’ Scalise got shot

Marc Thiessen: America is on its way to divorce court

Illinois could be 1st state with ‘junk’ credit due to budget

A Second, Even Bigger Foreclosure Reaches NYC Billionaires’ Row

L.A.’s new tallest building is poised to become a lightsaber with massive LED displays

Mark Zuckerberg’s snub of White House could backfire as Europe goes after U.S. Internet giants

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Coracora, Peru

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Ina, Japan

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 23,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 13,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

Ulawun volcano on Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Southern Mexico to face increased downpours from Tropical Depression 4-E

12 billion gallons of water pour into Lake Tahoe amid this week’s heat wave

Texas mom left 2 toddlers in hot car to ‘teach them a lesson,’ police say

Yemen Now Faces ‘The Worst Cholera Outbreak In The World,’ U.N. Says

UN: More than 200,000 suspected cholera cases in Yemen

Marriage equality to be on new Malta government’s agenda

Dozens of Serbia gays say election of gay PM-to-be historic

Once cheering diversity, Istanbul braces for Pride Week

Istanbul bans gay and transgender pride march for second year

Vermont bar changes name under pressure from LGBT activists

Microphone cut after Mormon girl reveals she’s gay at church

16 photos that show the evolution of American gay pride celebrations over four decades

Texas pastors reject LGBT school curriculum: ‘This is Houston, not San Francisco’

Turkey to stop teaching evolution in high school

South Korea ramp up tensions with the North as ballistic missile is tested in front of new president

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 07:52 PM PDT

South Korea has ramped up tensions with North Korea with a test-launch of a ballistic missile. President Moon Jae-in watched over the launch as tensions…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Arizona so hot weather map almost runs out of colors

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 07:35 PM PDT

Arizona truly has some extreme heat going on today. It’s going to be so hot, the high-temperature map will almost run out of colors. I’ve…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Top 10 Bible-Minded Cities in US for 2017 Revealed

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 07:22 PM PDT

How do Americans from each region interact with the Bible? A study by Barna Group explores the faith profile of 131 cities to identify the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Man Nearly Dies, Claims He Visited Heaven — and Here’s How He Describes Jesus

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 07:16 PM PDT

A man is sharing his harrowing story of reportedly visiting heaven after nearly dying as the result of a severe allergic reaction. Steven Musick, author of the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Strange meat allergies triggered by ticks, continues to spread

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 02:24 PM PDT

First comes the unscratchable itching, and the angry blossoming of hives. Then stomach cramping, and—for the unluckiest few—difficulty breathing, passing out, and even death. In…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NASA’s New Assignment Is To Find Aliens and Prove Evolution

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 02:15 PM PDT

The National Space and Aeronautics Administration has done some amazing things for the United States over the years: the initial short flights into space, then…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: 400 more homes evacuated by growing fire near Utah

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 01:50 PM PDT

A wildfire near a southern Utah ski town that has forced hundreds of people to evacuate has doubled in size in high winds and drove…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Pregnant Mother Insists She Is a Man

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 11:13 AM PDT

A woman is insisting she is still a “transgender man,” even though she is visibly pregnant and has also stopped taking male hormones. Kaci Sullivan,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: Earthquake Swarm at Yellowstone reaches 500-plus since June 12.

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 11:00 AM PDT

Seismologists are studying a swarm of 500-plus earthquakes that have rattled the Yellowstone Park area since June 12. Most are centered 8 miles north-northeast of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

5 Reasons the End Times are Upon Us Now

Posted: 23 Jun 2017 10:39 AM PDT

It may come as a surprise to some, but many contemporary theologians and pastors believe that they are observing numerous signs in our culture that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Thousands of Palestinians Flood Temple Mount on Last Day of Ramadan

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 05:50 AM PDT

Over 300,000 Palestinians flooded the Temple Mount in Jerusalem overnight on Thursday to observe Laylat al-Qadr (night of power), the last night of the month-long…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Researchers Claim Mysterious ‘unseen planetary mass’ is lurking at edge of solar system

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 05:46 AM PDT

A mysterious, unseen, planetary object with a mass somewhere between that of Mars and Earth may be lurking in the outer reaches of our solar…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

A Deadly Deception Emerging in the Prophetic Movement

Posted: 25 Jun 2017 05:41 AM PDT

(By Jennifer Leclaire) The church needs prophets who can rightly discern the moving of the Lord—and the moving of the enemy. We need prophets who…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Nebraska ‘Tri-Faith Initiative’ Building Church, Synagogue, and Mosque Side by Side

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 06:16 PM PDT

A groundbreaking was recently held as part of a Nebraska building project that will erect a church, synagogue and mosque side by side on the same…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: 770 earthquakes recorded at Yellowstone Park in 2 weeks

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 06:02 PM PDT

Almost 770 earthquakes have been recorded in Yellowstone Park over the past two weeks. This is more than normal but not a sign of volcanic…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Illinois could be first state with ‘junk’ credit due to budget

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 05:47 PM PDT

Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to “junk” status, which would deepen its multibillion-dollar deficit…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

PROPHECY WATCH: Kushner looking for Middle East peace with Netanyahu and Abbas

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 05:42 PM PDT

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, met Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his senior advisers to try…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

It’s time to get back up and back in the fight

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 02:38 PM PDT

( By Ricky Scaparo) In this segment, we will discuss how the enemy wants to knock you down and keep you down! But it’s time…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Anonymous believes NASA is poised to announce discovery of aliens

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 02:26 PM PDT

Hacking collective Anonymous claims US space agency NASA is about to announce the discovery of intelligent alien life. “NASA says aliens are coming!” the group…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

New Law Protects Religious Liberties in Florida Schools

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 12:27 PM PDT

Florida lawmakers passed a bill that protects religious students, parents, and faculty from being punished by the school system for their religious beliefs. SB 436,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

PROPHECY WATCH: Hezbollah warns ‘100s of thousands’ would retaliate if conflict with Israel erupts

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 12:24 PM PDT

The next war with Israel would draw hundreds of thousands of fighters from across the entire Middle East, Hezbollah’s leader has warned after the Israeli…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Alabama school bans Reagan, Coulter and other Conservatives from reading list

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 12:15 PM PDT

The summer reading list for Gene Ponder’s AP Government and Economics class at Spanish Fort High School in Alabama is causing some trouble.  Mr. Ponder filled…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Turkey to stop teaching evolution in high school

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 12:09 PM PDT

Turkish high school students will no longer be taught the theory of evolution. The subject has been cut from the curriculum under changes made to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Tornado Cripples 2 US ‘Doomsday Planes’ in Nebraska

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 12:00 PM PDT

Two US E-4B aircraft, otherwise known as ‘Doomsday Planes’, which are designed to survive an electromagnetic shockwave in the event of war, were damaged and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Israeli warplanes target 2 Syrian tanks over spillover cross-border fire

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 11:56 AM PDT

The Israeli Defense Force has attacked two Syrian army tanks after a dozen spillover projectiles landed in the Israel-controlled part of the Golan Heights from…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UK Parliament hit by cyber attack…

Posted: 24 Jun 2017 11:47 AM PDT

Hackers have targeted Parliament’s email system in an attempt to access the accounts of hundreds of MPs, Lords, aides, and staff. Security services are to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


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
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to YouYou may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).


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June 25, 2017: Verse of the day

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Second Day, Second Group, Second Emphasis

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” (1:29–34)

The phrase the next day introduces a sequence of days, which continues in verses 35, 43, and 2:1. Apparently, the events from John’s interview with the delegation from Jerusalem (vv. 19–28) to the miracle at Cana (2:1–11) spanned one week. On the day after he spoke to the delegation, John saw Jesus coming to him. Faithful to his duty as a herald, and defining a momentous redemptive moment, John immediately called the crowd’s attention to Him, exclaiming “Behold, the Lamb of God.” That title, used only in John’s writings (cf. v. 36; Rev. 5:6; 6:9; 7:10, 17; 14:4, 10; 15:3; 17:14; 19:9; 21:22–23; 22:1, 3), is the first in a string of titles given to Jesus in the remaining verses of this chapter; the rest include Rabbi (vv. 38, 49), Messiah (v. 41), Son of God (vv. 34, 49), King of Israel (v. 49), Son of Man (v. 51), and “Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (v. 45). That was not a guess on John’s part, but was revelation from God that was absolutely true, as the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus proved.

The concept of a sacrificial Lamb was a familiar one to the Jewish people. All through Israel’s history God had revealed clearly that sin and separation from Him could be removed only by blood sacrifices (cf. Lev. 17:11). No forgiveness of sin could be granted by God apart from an acceptable substitute dying as a sacrifice. They knew of Abraham’s confidence that God would provide a lamb to offer in place of Isaac (Gen. 22:7–8). A lamb was sacrificed at Passover (Ex. 12:1–36; Mark 14:12), in the daily sacrifices in the tabernacle and later in the temple (Ex. 29:38–42), and as a sin offering by individuals (Lev. 5:5–7). God also made it clear that none of those sacrifices were sufficient to take away sin (cf. Isa. 1:11). They were also aware that Isaiah’s prophecy likened Messiah to “a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Isa. 53:7; cf. Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19). Though Israel sought a Messiah who would be a prophet, king, and conqueror, God had to send them a Lamb. And He did.

The title Lamb of God foreshadows Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross for the sin of the world. With this brief statement, the prophet John made it clear that the Messiah had come to deal with sin. The Old Testament is filled with the reality that the problem is sin and it is at the very heart of every person (Jer. 17:9). All men, even those who received the revelation of God in Scripture (the Jews), were sinful and incapable of changing the future or the present, or of repaying God for the sins of the past. Paul’s familiar indictment of human sinfulness in Romans 3:11–12 is based on Old Testament revelation. As noted in the discussion of 1:9–11 in chapter 2 of this volume, kosmos (world) has a variety of meanings in the New Testament. Here it refers to humanity in general, to all people without distinction, transcending all national, racial, and ethnic boundaries. The use of the singular term sin with the collective noun world reveals that as sin is worldwide, so Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient for all people without distinction (cf. 1 John 2:2). But though His sacrificial death is sufficient for the sins of everyone (cf. 3:16; 4:42; 6:51; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 4:14), it is efficacious only for those who savingly believe in Him (3:15–16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:40; 11:25–26; 20:31; Luke 8:12; Acts 10:43; 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16; 3:21–24; 4:3–5; 10:9–10; 1 Cor. 1:21; Gal. 3:6–9, 22; Eph. 1:13; 1 John 5:1; 10–13). This verse does not teach universalism, the false doctrine that everyone will be saved. That such is not the case is obvious, since the Bible teaches that most people will suffer eternal punishment in hell (Matt. 25:41, 46; 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 14:9–11; 20:11–15; cf. Ezek. 18:4, 20; Matt. 7:13–14; Luke 13:23–24; John 8:24), and only a few will be saved (Matt. 7:13–14).

John for the third time (cf. vv. 15, 27) stressed his subordinate role to Jesus, the eternal Word who had become a Man, acknowledging, “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ ” John was created. Jesus’ higher rank was infinite. He was the One who created everything (1:1–3), including John. Though John was actually born before Jesus, Jesus existed before him. And though John was a relative of Jesus’ (probably His cousin), since their mothers were related (Luke 1:36), he still did not recognize Him as the Messiah until he baptized Him, so that He might be manifested to Israel. For that most significant of all John’s baptisms, he declared, “I came baptizing in water,” though he was reluctant to baptize Jesus (Matt. 3:14). It was at Jesus’ baptism that God, who sent John to baptize in water, fully revealed Jesus as the Messiah through a prearranged sign. John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him” (cf. Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22). That sign was supernatural proof of Jesus’ messiahship, because God had told John, “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.” Like Peter (Matt. 16:17), John understood who Jesus truly was only through divine revelation. That Jesus is far greater than John is reinforced in that He baptizes in the Holy Spirit.

For the sixth time in his gospel (cf. 1:7, 8, 15, 19, 32), John the apostle refers to the Baptist’s witness to Christ, recording his affirmation, “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” As noted in chapter 1 of this volume, witness, or testifying, is thematic in this gospel. John’s testimony in verse 34 is a fitting conclusion to this section, as the narrative makes the transition from him to Jesus. Although believers are in a limited sense children of God (Matt. 5:9; Rom. 8:14, 19; Gal. 3:26; cf. John 1:12; 11:52; Rom. 8:16, 21; 9:8; Phil. 2:15; 1 John 3:1–2, 10), Jesus is uniquely the Son of God in that He alone shares the same nature as the Father (1:1; 5:16–30; 10:30–33; 14:9; 17:11; 1 John 5:20).

To his first emphasis—Messiah is here—John added an equally compelling exhortation: Recognize Him for who He is—the Son of God, the Messiah, the ultimate sacrificial Lamb for the sin of the world.[1]


Witnessing to Jesus Christ

John 1:29–34

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

How can a believer witness to Jesus Christ? It is an important question, not only because each of us is called upon to witness (as we have already seen) but also because the expansion of the gospel in our time (as in all ages of the Christian church) depends in no small measure upon whether or not we will do it and, if we do, how well.

We have already looked at the first great principle for being a witness: the witness must recognize that he has no independent importance in himself. The evangelist expresses this in the case of John the Baptist, whose witness has been the basis of our story, by reminding us that he was not the Light. This teaches us, among other things, that a Christian will never be an effective witness if he is placing either himself or his own needs first in his thinking. Our own needs possess a certain degree of importance, of course. But we will never be able to focus on the needs of others if our own needs dominate us. For one thing, there is a sense in which our own needs are already met, whether we recognize it or not, for Paul wrote to the Philippians, saying, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Our needs are met in Christ, and we have little to testify of if we do not see that clearly. Besides, we cannot really show love to the other person, which is the essence of witnessing, if we are not placing his needs before our own.

All that is true. Yet, we must go on from this point to see that our recognizing that we are not the Light is not in itself witnessing. That is only the first and preliminary principle.

A Verbal Witness

The second great principle for witnessing is that we must bear witness to the Light, and this means that we must witness verbally. Our witness must move out of the area of life and into the area of words. If it does not, we will be like the young man who went from a Christian home to a secular college. His parents were concerned how he would make out. So when he arrived home at Christmas they asked him anxiously, “How did you get along?” He answered, “Oh, I got along great. No one even knows that I’m a Christian.” I am not denying the importance of the Christian life, of course. There must be the kind of upright character and true commitment to Christ that will back up the witness by words. We will see more about this in our next study. But, important as it is, the living of the Christian life by itself is not enough for a complete witness; there must also be a verbal witness.

We can easily see why this must be so. For one thing, a nonverbal witness is at best merely puzzling to the non-Christian, and it can be totally misunderstood. Some time ago, after I had mentioned witnessing in the context of a message I was giving in a church other than my own, a woman came up to me to tell how she was bearing a witness in her place of employment. She apparently worked in a large office. Just that morning, so she said, as she was going out to lunch, one of the other workers handed her fifty cents and asked her to pick up a packet of cigarettes for him. What did she do? She returned the money, saying that she did not believe in smoking. She said to me that she believed God had helped her to bear a witness for Christ in that situation.

I do not want to be too hard on this woman. She had a right, if she wished, to disapprove of smoking. In view of the warnings being given in our day about smoking, probably more non-Christians than ever before are taking this position. Still, the point that I want to make here is that in this case the “witness” to Christ that the woman thought she was giving was really no witness at all. For had I been the man who had asked the favor and been refused, I would probably have considered her rude and never even have thought of her views in terms of Christianity.

The second reason why a nonverbal witness is inadequate is that, if it is effective at all, it should lead to a verbal witness. That is, if you are attempting to honor Christ by the way you are living, the things you are doing should lead to conversation about Jesus Christ and what he has meant in your experience.

Someone will say, “Oh, but isn’t it true that many persons have been led to Jesus Christ by means of the conduct of some Christian?” That is quite true; many have! The conduct of Christians has been an important step, even an essential step, in the salvation of many thousands of persons. But I am convinced that the matter has never stopped on that level and that these thousands would never have come to Christ unless the witness through the lives of Christians had not moved beyond actions at some point to a consideration of the person and claims of Jesus Christ as these truths were presented to them verbally.

People who have greatly moved the world for Christ have been ready to speak at any opportunity. In his book Henceforth, Hugh E. Hopkins tells of Douglas Thornton, an English believer who was being seen off at a railway station in Egypt. With some difficulty his friend found him an empty compartment on the train: “An empty compartment!” Thornton exclaimed. “Why, man, I want to fish.” He moved into a crowded compartment. It is also recorded that, when exploring the Great Pyramid on the outskirts of Cairo, Thornton redeemed the time by evangelizing the guide who was then crawling up a narrow passage on his hands and knees behind him.

We find another example in the conversion experience of John Wesley, the father of the Methodist church. Wesley had been a preacher for years before he was genuinely born again, and during this time (as might be expected) his ministry was a failure. After a particularly discouraging experience in the United States, as he was returning from Georgia to England by ship, he came into contact with a body of Moravian Christians. He was very much impressed with the calm they maintained in the midst of a storm at sea. It was not on the ship, however, but later at a meeting in the little chapel at Aldersgate in London, while someone was reading from Luther’s exposition of the letter to the Galatians, that Wesley “felt his heart strangely warmed” and was converted. After that he became one of the greatest evangelists in church history.

A verbal witness is a true witness. Thus, throughout the Gospel of John, the stories of those who are reached by Jesus Christ almost without exception end with a spoken profession of their belief. The man born blind is last seen in an attitude of worship, voicing the confession: “Lord, I believe” (John 9:38). The woman of Samaria grows in her understanding of Jesus. At the beginning of the narrative she regards him merely as a Jew (John 4:9). In verse 12 she raises the possibility that he may be greater than the patriarch Jacob. In verse 19 she calls him a prophet. The conclusion comes in her testimony to her neighbors when she argues that he is the Messiah (v. 29). In the same way John the Baptist testifies to the One who takes away the sin of the world.

The Message

Now, if we are to bear a witness to Jesus Christ, clearly we must know something about him. And this means that we must have a message. What is our message? The major parts of the answer to this question are suggested in our story. They are: 1) a witness to who Jesus Christ is; 2) a witness to what he has done; and 3) a witness to how a man or woman can come to know him personally.

First, we witness to who Jesus Christ is. John did this when he testified, “This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me’ ” (v. 30). Again, “I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God” (v. 34). This is where we begin in our witness, because most of the points of Christian doctrine gain their significance from the fact that Jesus Christ is God. If Christ were only a man, then his death on the cross might have been inspiring as an example or a means by which we are excited to good works. We might say, “I never want such a tragedy to happen again” and become a great social worker. But if this is all that Christ is, then his death was in no sense an atonement; he did not die for our sin, and we are still under the condemnation of God and are still the children of wrath. In the same way, if he is not God, then we have no living God to worship, for we cannot know God apart from Jesus Christ.

As you begin to witness, let me suggest that you begin here. Begin with Christ’s claims about himself. You might refer to John 5:18, which tells us that Jesus “was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” He said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). He told the disciples: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Most non-Christians have never actually faced these claims, and many have never even heard them.

Second, we witness to what Jesus Christ has done. In one sense, of course, this is an overwhelming topic. For if Jesus is God, then all that God has done, and does, Christ does. He has been active in the creation of the world, in guiding the history of redemption, in giving us the Old and New Testaments, in helping us today in temptation, and in other things. Yet there is a sense in which the work of Christ focuses on something much more limited and therefore much easier to share. The focus of Christ’s work is to be found in his death on the cross. Hence, we want to share the meaning of his death when we try to tell others about him.

In his day, John the Baptist did this by reference to the Jewish sacrifices. He said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (v. 29). Have you ever given thought to what must have been involved in that statement—for John and for his hearers? For centuries Israel had known all about the sacrificial lamb. They had learned about it first from the story of Abraham, who was the father of their nation. At God’s command Abraham had been going up the mountain to sacrifice his son Isaac when Isaac had turned to him and asked, “Father, … Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb?” Abraham had answered, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” And God did! Israel had also known about the lamb as a result of the institution of the Passover. On that occasion the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the house was the sign for the angel of death to pass by. Moreover, they knew that daily in the services of the temple lambs and goats were sacrificed. They knew that in every instance the sacrifices meant the death of an innocent substitute in place of the one who had sinned.

On this basis John the Baptist came along and exclaimed, “Look, the Lamb of God.” He recognized that the sacrifices were to be fulfilled in Jesus and that he would bear our sin as Isaiah had said. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. … he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:4–5).

I like to think, as many other commentators have suggested, that as John identified Jesus as the sin-bearing Lamb, there may have been passing by the flocks of lambs that were driven up to the walls of Jerusalem each year to serve as sacrificial lambs for the Passover. The Passover feast was not far off (John 2:12–13). Perhaps John was led to refer to Jesus in this fashion because it showed vividly that he was able to deliver from death those who believed on him.

Do you believe that? Jesus is able to deliver us from death today. There is that final death, the second death, which is the separation of the soul of the individual from God. He delivers from that. But there are also the little deaths that we experience daily because of our natural alienation from God. Jesus is the answer to those deaths also. If you are a Christian, it is your privilege to tell others of the means by which sin is removed—through faith in the person and death of Jesus Christ—and that the one who believes in him is given new life, peace, joy, and freedom of access to God.

Finally, we also witness to the way in which a person can come to know and trust Jesus for himself. John did it by pointing to the fact that Jesus is the giver of the Spirit. He said, “I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit’ ” (v. 33). What does that mean? It means that Jesus Christ was the One who would give of his Spirit to those who should follow him. Or, to put it another way, it means that Jesus would come to live within the lives of his followers. Thus, when we bear witness to Jesus today, we talk not only of who Jesus is and of what he has done but also of how a person can come to have him enter his life and fill it.

Opening the Door

Someone will ask, “You say that Christ must enter our lives, but you have not told us how that can happen. How does that happen?” The answer is that it happens by faith as we “receive” him or “open” the doors of our lives to his knocking. One statement of that principle occurs in this same chapter in the verse that says: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (v. 12). Another verse is Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” According to these verses there are two steps to the process. There is the step in which we first “hear” his voice or “believe” in him. Then there is the step in which we “receive him” or “open” to his call.

We do this by praying. We say, “Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am a sinner and in need of the salvation that you bring to men. I believe that you died for me, so that my sin is atoned for and borne away forever. I now open the door and invite you into my life and ask that you will cleanse me and rule my life forever. Amen.” It is as simple as that, but it must be a definite commitment. The act itself is indispensable.

Have you done that? If you have not, you are not a real Christian. It is not enough merely to know about Christ; you must belong to him. On the other hand, if you have done that, then let me ask whether you have ever invited another person to make the same commitment. I can tell you on the basis of my own experience—and that of many others—that there are few joys equal to that which is ours when the invitation is given to believe in Jesus and the person to whom we are witnessing responds and comes to him.[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). John 1–11 (pp. 55–57). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 109–114). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.