May 28, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Devotional Guide Collection

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May 28

O PERFECT LOVE

Dorothy B. Gurney, 1858–1932

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31)

A perfect union of selfless and totally committed love, not an indulgent form of physical gratification, is God’s plan for the human race. Kindness, patience, forgiveness, and demonstrated affection for each other are the ingredients of a happy marriage. The desire to put the needs and interests of one’s mate first before your own is the basis of matrimonial harmony. Marriage has been instituted by God to be a picture of the sacrificial and unending love of Christ for His bride, the church, and the bride’s loving and devoted responses to her Lord. Yet today we see an epidemic of broken marriages, lack of genuine faithfulness, self-centered conflicts between husbands and wives—even among professing Christians.

A beautiful portrayal of ideal married love is given in this wedding hymn as it describes the harmony that exists when God is the foundation of the marriage relationship. Dorothy Gurney, an English woman, was asked by her sister, who was soon to be married, if she would try writing some suitable words for a favorite hymn tune that could be used at the wedding. Dorothy went off by herself for only 15 minutes and returned with the text of “O Perfect Love.” Her sister was delighted with it and insisted that it be sung at the wedding.

Mrs. Gurney stated that the writing of the hymn “was no effort whatever after the initial idea had come to me of the two-fold aspect of perfect union—love and life—and I have always felt that God helped me write it.” Although this was the only hymn she wrote, it has been recognized as one of the finest wedding texts in the English language.

O perfect love, all human thought transcending, lowly we kneel in prayer before Thy throne, that theirs may be the love which knows no ending, whom thou forevermore dost join in one.

O perfect life, be Thou their full assurance of tender charity and steadfast faith, of patient hope, and quiet, brave endurance, with child-like trust that fears nor pain nor death.

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow; grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife, and to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow that dawns upon eternal love and life!

For Today: Genesis 2:18–25; Mark 10:7–9; Ephesians 5:21–33; 1 Peter 3:7

Reflect on this statement: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Determine to let your marriage more fully imitate Christ’s love for His bride, the Church.[1]


May 28: Through Despair

1 Chronicles 23:1–23:32; 2 Timothy 3:1–9; Psalm 88

Sometimes we go through dark periods in our lives where the misery feels never-ending. Trial hits, pain hits, and just when we think life might get “back to normal,” we are hit by yet another difficulty. At times like these, we may feel forgotten by God.

In Psalm 88, we find one of the most utter prolonged cries of despair: “O Yahweh, God of my salvation, I cry out by day and through the night before you,” the psalmist begins (Psa 88:1). This psalm never climaxes or hints of hope, and it ends even more desperately than it begins. The psalmist, feeling abandoned by God, has his loved ones taken from him. He is left to navigate the darkness alone (Psa 88:18).

How do we deal with our own misery when confronted by a tragic psalm like this? How should we respond to God?

We can start with what the psalmist, despite his prolonged suffering, acknowledges about God. Although his troubles are still present, he also recognizes God as his deliverer (Psa 88:6–9). He appeals to God’s reputation as a God of wonders, deserving of praise: “Do you work wonders from the dead? Or do the departed spirits rise up to praise you?” (Psa 88:10). He appeals to God’s loyal love, faithfulness, and righteousness: “Is your loyal love told in the grave, or your faithfulness in the underworld? Are your wonders known in the darkness or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” (Psa 88:11).

The psalmist never comes to a place where he expresses even a glimmer of hope. But through cries, questions, and torment, he holds on to what he knows to be true about God. In his very cry, the psalmist acknowledges that God will be present in his situation. While the questions in this psalm remain unanswered, we see that the psalmist lives in the awareness that God cares and will eventually act. In the meantime, he places himself in God’s faithfulness.

We see a parallel situation in Paul’s letter to Timothy; Paul addresses the difficult days that will come. He says they will be difficult for one reason: disobedience. In those days, “people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, hardhearted, irreconcilable, slanderous, without self-control, savage, with no interest for what is good” (2 Tim 3:2–3). The list goes on further, describes all types of disobedience against God—something that is absent from the psalmist’s cries. What’s most fascinating about the parallel is that it hints at the root of what the psalmist is experiencing: disobedience may not be acknowledged in his cry (he is innocent), but the world is a disobedient place. It is full of sin and oppression. Ultimately, it’s the sins of humanity that brought pain to the world.

In this life, we’ll go through dark times and struggles that may never end. We may even feel forgotten. But despite what we think or feel, we can’t abandon what we know to be true of God. Even when our state or our emotions are contrary to the desire to worship Him, we are called to trust in Him and in His love.

If He was willing to abandon His only son on a cross to redeem you, then He is certainly trustworthy. If you trust in Him, He will not forsake you.

How are you trusting God through dark times? How are you reaching out to someone who is struggling?

Rebecca Van Noord[2]


May 28

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Deuteronomy 21 through 24. Our lesson is from Deuteronomy 24:14, “You shall not oppress a hired servant [who is] poor and needy, whether [he is] one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns.” (NASU)

Lesson

Relationships are so important throughout the Bible. Let’s look at three truths from our text.

First, Israel was not to exploit the poor. The needy hired servant should not be oppressed by God’s people. Throughout the Bible and in real life situations, we see incidents of exploitation of those who are in need. Sinful human nature makes a person or people want to take advantage of another human being. This is why these words are so revolutionary; they go against basic human behavior. If we are on the receiving end, we want to be treated fairly but when it is the opposite, we tend to take advantage of others.

In this passage, the poor person who took out a loan would give a pledge (possibly his cloak) as a guarantee of the repayment of the loan. The cloak was not only used for dress but also as a blanket when one slept. Lenders were to treat borrowers fairly especially if they were poor. Just because something is common practice does not excuse us from obeying the Scriptures.

Next, Israel was not to exploit their own countryman. Our text is a little more specific now. Business practices throughout the world are culturally diverse. However, the principle is the same: The lender is not to exploit the laborer. The Bible justifies a profit for the businessperson but does not tolerate abuses and the taking advantage of workers. Mistreatment of employees is totally forbidden by the Scriptures. The principle here is the same as for the foreign worker: The employer is to treat the national worker well. Business practices should be guided by God’s Word. We should treat others the way we want to be treated.

Modeling God’s principles is so important. If God’s people treat each other fairly, outsiders will take notice, and that will provide an opportunity to witness. Bible based business practice is effective evangelism.

Last, Israel was not to exploit the foreigner in their midst. The wonderful thing about Scripture is how it takes into consideration all people. The way Israel was to behave to each other was to be extended to the non-Israelite.

In summary, Israel was not to exploit the poor. Israel was not to exploit their own countryman. Israel was not to exploit the foreigner in their midst.

Let’s learn to be a people who treat each other fairly in all areas. There is no room for behavior that is selective or exploitative. This does not honor God or His people.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Deuteronomy 25 through 29. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


May 28

Jesus Purposely Selects a Traitor (Judas Iscariot)

The twelve apostles included “Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:4).

✧✧✧

God works all things together for His purposes.

At one time the little town of Kerioth was a relatively obscure Judean town, but all that changed when it produced the most hated man who ever lived—Judas Iscariot.

The first mention of Judas is here in Matthew’s list of disciples. We have no record of his call, but we know Jesus did call him along with the others, and even gave him authority to minister in miraculous ways (Matt. 10:1). His first name, Judas, is despised today, but it was a common name in the days of Christ. It is the Greek form of Judah—the land of God’s people. Iscariot literally means, “a man from the town of Kerioth.”

People commonly ask why Jesus would select such a man to be His disciple. Didn’t He know how things would turn out? Yes, He did, and that’s precisely why He chose him. The Old Testament said the Messiah would be betrayed by a familiar friend for thirty pieces of silver, and Jesus knew Judas was that man (John 17:12).

Some people feel sorry for Judas, thinking he was simply misguided or used as some kind of pawn in a supernatural drama over which he had no control. But Judas did what he did by choice. Repeatedly Jesus gave him chances to repent, but he refused. Finally Satan used him in a diabolical attempt to destroy Jesus and to thwart God’s plan of salvation. The Devil’s attempt failed, however, because God can use even a Judas to accomplish His purposes.

Undoubtedly there are people in your life who wish you harm. Don’t be discouraged. They are as much a part of God’s plan for you as those who treat you kindly. You must reach out to them just as Jesus reached out to Judas. God knows what He’s doing. Trust Him, and rejoice as you see His purposes accomplished even through your enemies.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His sovereign control over every circumstance and for the promise that His purposes will never be thwarted.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 26:14–50 and 27:1–10. ✧ How did Jesus reveal that it was Judas who would betray Him? ✧ What reaction did Judas have when he heard that Jesus had been condemned?[4]


May 28

Rock-Solid Friendship

There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

People need people. We each need relationships with others who are “comparable to us”—like us in values, desires, goals, beliefs, and to a degree, personality—so that we might receive help from them and help them in return. We need other people in order to grow into the fullness of our own potential and in order that we might experience a mutual giving and receiving of love and kindness.…

A real friend is one who sticks closer than a brother—he will be there through thick and thin, in good times and bad. He will provide strength so that you do not crumble in the face of evil or calamity. He remains rock-solid and steadfast in times of trauma.[5]


May 28

Time Alone with God

Scripture reading: Luke 12:16–21

Key verse: Luke 12:31

Seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

As a young man, he set a goal to retire before age thirty–five. He worked seven days a week in an effort to build up his business. After several years, he found himself alone. Fed up with his workaholic attitude, friends and family members had moved on and left him wondering how he had become so out of step with God’s will. From the world’s perspective, he was a success, but from God’s viewpoint he was a spiritual and emotional pauper.

A wondrous mystery is hidden within the cliché that beckons us to “stop and smell the roses.” The memory of a sunset spent with a loved one lasts longer when we take the time to enjoy it. The sweetness that comes from sharing our lives with those around us is a part of the good things in life.

However, even this can become blurred and out of focus if we are out of fellowship with Christ. Taking time to worship God and listen for His voice through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not something we can switch on or off.

Ask yourself how long it has been since you have spent quality time alone with the Lord. If your schedule has you tied up and out of reach of the good things in life, then maybe it’s time to take a serious look at where you are going. Will you like yourself once you get there? Love and friendship are two of the most priceless treasures we will ever know.

Thank You for the privilege of having fellowship with You, Lord. I value the time I spend alone in Your presence.[6]


May 28

Our Home

Our citizenship is in heaven.

Philippians 3:20

Christians are not citizens of this world. The Greek word for “citizenship” in today’s verse refers to a colony of foreigners. In a secular source, it is used to describe a capital city that kept the names of its citizens on a register. Indeed, we are registered citizens of another place—heaven. Our names are there, our Father is there, our brothers and sisters are there, and our inheritance is there—it is our home.

The Israelites taken into the Babylonian Captivity give us a historical parallel to the contemporary church. Their home was still the Promised Land even though they lived for so many years in a foreign company. But when it came time to return, many had become so entrenched into the Babylonian culture that they didn’t want to leave. When the Lord says it’s time to go to heaven, we fight it as if it were the worst thing imaginable because this world has become everything to us. That’s why we must always be reminded that our citizenship is in heaven.[7]


May 28         An Accurate Diagnosis

scripture reading:
Judges 2:7–19

key verse:
Judges 2:19

It came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.

A young boy was assigned the chore of weeding his father’s garden. At first glance, the lad appeared to have done a fine job.

To the eye, the garden was weed–free. However, after a few days and a good rain, the rows again sprouted with the unsightly greenery. The youngster had superficially achieved his assignment. He had removed the tops of the weeds but failed to uproot them.

The problem was not solved.

We tend to take the same ineffective approach concerning temptation, dealing with the surface symptoms rather than the root cause. That can explain why we frequently commit the same sin. We repeat the distasteful cycle—temptation, yielding, sin, confession—with predictable regularity.

We wrestle with drugs and alcohol without identifying the anger driv–ing us to indulgence. We grapple with a critical spirit while ignoring the poison of bitterness that nourishes its presence.

Ask God’s Spirit to illumine the root problem pertaining to a particular, persistent temptation. Depend on His grace and His power to pull down its stronghold and defuse its allure. An accurate diagnosis is the first step to healing.

Help me deal with root causes instead of surface symptoms, O Lord. Reveal the problems behind my persistent temptations, then give me the power to pull down these strongholds.[8]


May 28

Rejoicing in Salvation

Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 1:12–15

Key verse: Psalm 55:9

Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues,

For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

The person who used the word joy more than any other writer of Scripture was the apostle Paul. That appears incredible. Wasn’t Paul beaten, stoned, ridiculed, and mocked wherever he preached? Wasn’t Paul the fellow who knew the inside of a prison cell better than the average criminal?

How could he even think of rejoicing, much less use it so liberally in his epistles? Paul’s delight came from an overwhelming gratitude for God’s work of salvation: “The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant … This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Tim. 1:14–15).

If you have placed your faith in Christ as Savior, think of the supernatural transformation that transpired. You were brought from the domain of Satan into the kingdom of God; you were delivered from unending punishment and gifted with everlasting life.

You became God’s friend, His child. He became your heavenly Father because through the agency of His Spirit, you were born again. Consider the greatness of your salvation, then rejoice in it today.

God, You are my Friend and my heavenly Father. I rejoice in You and my salvation.[9]


May 28

The Ground of Victory

Scripture Reading: Psalm 96

Key Verse: Psalm 96:4

The Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.

General Norman Schwarzkopf revealed after the Persian Gulf War that the one–hundred-hour battle was decided in the very first minutes when Allied planes savaged Iraqi air defenses.

“When I saw our planes knock out their radar, I knew at that very moment we had them,” Schwarzkopf said.

There is a very distinct parallel for Christians. Although we are in a very real war, with enticements to sin and an adversary who harasses us, the outcome of the conflict has been decided.

That occurred at Calvary when Jesus “disarmed the rulers and authorities, [making] a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Col. 2:15 nasb). Jesus defeated Satan on the cross. He took away the sting of death by bearing our sins, making reconciliation between God and man possible.

The man or woman who has believed in Him and received His forgiveness of sins is on the winning side. But we deal with our foe on the ground of victory. We are not helpless, frightened little children but sons and daughters of God who triumph over Satan “through Him.”

Don’t shrink from the battle. It was won at Golgotha, and you share in its victory through your union with the Victor, Jesus Christ.

O God, thank You that the battle was already won at Golgotha. I share in its triumph through my union with Christ. I praise You that I deal with the enemy on victory ground![10]


May 28

The Content of Prayer

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:9–13

Key Verse: Colossians 1:9

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

While reading today’s Scripture passage from Colossians, ask yourself: What specific things about Paul’s prayer life made them worthy of inclusion in God’s Word? As you study, you may want to consider this outline of five elements Paul used to keep his prayer life active and fresh:

  1. Paul made specific requests. Instead of using phrases like “God, bless everyone in the world,” Paul prayed for tangible, measurable things, such as patience, strength, and wisdom for specific people.
  2. Paul asked for big, “God-sized” things. Nothing was out of the question for the God of the universe.
  3. His prayers were always Christ-centered. Never selfish, Paul petitioned God with a servant’s heart, demonstrating submission and humility.
  4. His prayers were kingdom-related. Paul’s ultimate goal in prayer always centered on God’s kingdom being increased.
  5. Paul’s prayers brought glory to God. Paul remembered to recognize and give thanks to God for His faithfulness.

How does your prayer life compare with the attributes on this list? Is there an area in which you need strength or improvement? If you are unsure, take time to ask God for specific insight and guidance today.

Lord, I need courage to trust You with the specifics of the needs that are laid on my heart. In sharing the details, let me also seek Your will, not mine.[11]


May 28

Joy in Spite of Death

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Philippians 1:21

✧✧✧

In addition to Scripture, God has given us more than adequate spiritual resources to meet suffering and death.

Wall Street, the name synonymous with the American stock market and financial investing, is a place where confidence can rise and fall with great force and unpredictability, right along with the rising or sinking level of stock prices. Prices always seem to even out, but who can be certain about how they will behave in the future?

The apostle Paul’s spiritual confidence was not based on the changeableness of financial markets but on truths that are stable and reliable. Yesterday we saw his confidence in God’s Word, and today we’ll look at three more reasons Paul could confront death confidently.

First, Paul had confidence in the prayers of other believers. But it was not a presumptuous confidence because he believed in asking others to pray (see Rom. 15:30). Paul was convinced that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).

Second, Paul was confident that the Holy Spirit would supply all necessary resources to sustain him through any suffering, even death. All Christians can have that same confidence: “The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26).

Third, Paul had the utmost confidence in Christ’s promises. The apostle was sure that God had called him to a specific ministry (Acts 26:16) and that if he was faithful, he would never suffer shame (Mark 8:38). Jesus never abandons His sheep, no matter how bleak and frustrating their circumstances seem (John 10:27–28).

Our verse from Philippians summarizes Paul’s confidence and joy in spite of possible death. As long as he was serving Jesus Christ, he’d just as soon die because death frees the believer from the burdens of earth and lets him glorify Christ in eternity. We can rely on the same promises and provisions as Paul did and have his kind of joy. Jesus “is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Confess any ways in which you have a misplaced confidence. ✧ Ask the Lord to reinforce in your heart a Pauline confidence that rejoices no matter what.

For Further Study: Read Romans 8, and list as many spiritual resources and reasons for rejoicing as you can from the chapter.[12]


May 28

We also eagerly wait for the Savior.

Your grace, Lord God, that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching me that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, I should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of my great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for me, that He might redeem me from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. I, according to Your promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, looking forward to these things, I will be diligent to be found by You in peace, without spot and blameless.

Christ was offered once to bear my sins. To those like me who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. And I will say in that day: “Behold, this is my God; I have waited for Him, and He will save me. This is the Lord; I have waited for Him; I will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

I await Christ’s coming! He who is King of kings and Lord of Lords shall reign forever! Hallelujah!

Philippians 3:20; Titus 2:11–14; 2 Peter 3:13–14; Hebrews 9:28; Isaiah 25:9[13]


May 28

Abundantly Good

Psalm 145:3

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.

When the Bible writers call God good, they are thinking of all those things about His character which we admire: His perfection, His compassion, His mercy, His grace, and perhaps most of all, His generosity.

Whatever God is, He is abundantly! God is good in a generous way. That means God loves to lavish upon His children that which blesses them. God is blessed in His life when He brings joy and blessing to those who depend upon Him for sustaining grace. Just as we have a real sense of joy in our hearts when we are able to do something good for another person, God has an intense joy in His heart as He expresses His goodness to all of us.

Have you ever heard a sermon about the prodigal son where the father is described as prodigal? Prodigal means lavish, unrestrained, and unlimited. If you want to see the prodigal in that story, examine the heart of the father who never stopped loving his wayward son. Who waited every day to see him come home. And who, when his wayward son walked back into the family home, put on a feast to welcome him back. There was nothing that father would not do for his son. That’s the way God is. He lavishes Himself upon His people.[14]


Day 28

Adoration

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

Our Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. (Galatians 1:3–5)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,

Whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity

And in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away

Through my groaning all day long.

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

My strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to You

And did not hide my iniquity.

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”

And You forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:1–5)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

May I take heed not to practice my righteousness before men to be seen by them. Otherwise, I will have no reward from my Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)

May I not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather, may I fear the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;

Let me never be ashamed;

Deliver me in Your righteousness.

Since You are my rock and my fortress,

For Your name’s sake lead me and guide me.

Into Your hands I commit my spirit;

Redeem me, O Lord, God of truth. (Psalm 31:1, 3, 5)

Spiritual Insight

Understanding and insight into the word

Understanding my identity in Christ

Who I am

Where I came from

Where I am going

Understanding God’s purpose for my life

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

You have given us a new commandment to love one another even as You have loved us; so we must love one another. By this all men will know that we are Your disciples, if we have love for one another. (John 13:34)

Believers

Personal friends

Those in ministry

Those who are oppressed and in need

Special concerns

Affirmation

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:2–3)

An hour is coming when all who are in the graves will hear the voice of the Son of Man, and will come out—those who have done good to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to a resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28–29)

In the resurrection of the dead, the body that is sown is perishable, but it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, but it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, but it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, but it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42–44)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;

Make His deeds known among the nations.

Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;

Tell of all His wonders.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. (Psalm 105:1–3)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

The Lord gives wisdom;

From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,

Guarding the paths of justice

And protecting the way of His saints. (Proverbs 2:6–8)[15]


May 28

Him they compelled to bear his cross

Matt 27:32

There are many Christians of whom this is true. They are compelled to bear the cross, but how does it come? It comes by their running away from it. They make up their minds they won’t have Christ’s cross; and they find when the cross does come that it comes in a more terrible form, with a more crushing weight than ever it would have come had they only been content to submit themselves to the divine direction; for the cross has to come to all who are to be prepared for glory hereafter.

W. Hay Aitken[16]


May 28

 

IT has been asserted that God cannot be known. Those who say this declare that they themselves know nothing but phenomena.

He who made the world was certainly an intelligent being, in fact the highest intelligence; for in myriads of ways his works display the presence of profound thought and knowledge. Lord Bacon said, “I had rather believe all the fables of the Talmud and the Koran than that this universal frame is without a mind.” This being so, we do in that very fact know God in a measure; ay, and in such a measure that we are prepared to trust him. He that made all things is more truly an object of confidence than all things that he has made.[17]


Morning, May 28 

 

“Whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

— Romans 8:30

 

Here is a precious truth for thee, believer. Thou mayest be poor, or in suffering, or unknown, but for thine encouragement take a review of thy “calling” and the consequences that flow from it, and especially that blessed result here spoken of. As surely as thou art God’s child today, so surely shall all thy trials soon be at an end, and thou shalt be rich to all the intents of bliss. Wait awhile, and that weary head shall wear the crown of glory, and that hand of labour shall grasp the palm-branch of victory. Lament not thy troubles, but rather rejoice that ere long thou wilt be where “there shall be neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” The chariots of fire are at thy door, and a moment will suffice to bear thee to the glorified. The everlasting song is almost on thy lip. The portals of heaven stand open for thee. Think not that thou canst fail of entering into rest. If he hath called thee, nothing can divide thee from his love. Distress cannot sever the bond; the fire of persecution cannot burn the link; the hammer of hell cannot break the chain. Thou art secure; that voice which called thee at first, shall call thee yet again from earth to heaven, from death’s dark gloom to immortality’s unuttered splendours. Rest assured, the heart of him who has justified thee beats with infinite love towards thee. Thou shalt soon be with the glorified, where thy portion is; thou art only waiting here to be made meet for the inheritance, and that done, the wings of angels shall waft thee far away, to the mount of peace, and joy, and blessedness, where,

 

“Far from a world of grief and sin,

With God eternally shut in,”

 

thou shalt rest for ever and ever.

 

Evening, May 28

 

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.”

— Lamentations 3:21

 

Memory is frequently the bond slave of despondency. Dispairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right a wealth of hopeful signs. She need not wear a crown of iron, she may encircle her brow with a fillet of gold, all spangled with stars. Thus it was in Jeremiah’s experience: in the previous verse memory had brought him to deep humiliation of soul: “My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me;” and now this same memory restored him to life and comfort. “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” Like a two-edged sword, his memory first killed his pride with one edge, and then slew his despair with the other. As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort. There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as aforetime. Be it ours to remember the lovingkindness of the Lord, and to rehearse his deeds of grace. Let us open the volume of recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of mercy, and we shall soon be happy. Thus memory may be, as Coleridge calls it, “the bosom-spring of joy,” and when the Divine Comforter bends it to his service, it may be chief among earthly comforters. [18]


Love, Joy, and Peace

May 28

I am very glad you write to me so freely, although it makes me sad to see that the world has such a strong hold on your heart. I know it is natural, and I can sympathize with your feelings, but I see plainly where your mistake is. It is just because you do not know the joys of God’s salvation yet, and therefore the duties connected with it appall you.

I wish, my precious boy, that you would just pray now for one thing that God will give you the joys of His salvation. I will ask this for you, and you must ask it for yourself. It is not a long prayer and you can easily remember to say it morning and evening, and when once your soul is filled with joy all the rest will come right. You are looking at the thing now in a dreadfully legal way, and making the Gospel out to be bondage, whereas, really and truly, it is the greatest liberty; and its special element is joy.

Dear Frank, the Gospel is good news, something to make people happy; not a law to bind them. You can never know all about it until you get hold of it at the right end, the end beginning with “Love, joy & peace.” Just ask for joy, as I have said and let all the rest go. Say night and morning, and whenever through the day you think of it, “Dear Lord make me happy in you,” and leave it there. All the rest will come out right when once you are happy in Him. And this happiness will be the beginning; remember; “love, joy & peace” are the first fruits mentioned.

—To Frank, November 14, 1870[19]


May 28th

Unquestioned revelation

And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. John 16:23.

When is “that day”? When the Ascended Lord makes you one with the Father. In that day you will be one with the Father as Jesus is, and “in that day,” Jesus says, “ye shall ask Me nothing.” Until the resurrection life of Jesus is manifested in you, you want to ask this and that; then after a while you find all questions gone, you do not seem to have any left to ask. You have come to the place of entire reliance on the resurrection life of Jesus which brings you into perfect contact with the purpose of God. Are you living that life now? If not, why shouldn’t you?

There may be any number of things dark to your understanding, but they do not come in between your heart and God. “And in that day ye shall ask Me no question”—you do not need to, you are so certain that God will bring things out in accordance with His will. John 14:1 has become the real state of your heart, and there are no more questions to be asked. If anything is a mystery to you and it is coming in between you and God, never look for the explanation in your intellect, look for it in your disposition, it is that which is wrong. When once your disposition is willing to submit to the life of Jesus, the understanding will be perfectly clear, and you will get to the place where there is no distance between the Father and His child because the Lord has made you one, and “in that day ye shall ask Me no question.”[20]


May 28

Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81–82; Isaiah 29; 3 John

In the third major section of his book (chaps. 28–35), Isaiah focuses on the central issue that the Jerusalem monarch faces. Will the southern kingdom turn to Egypt as it seeks to withstand the aggression of Assyria, or will it trust the Lord? The nature of the crisis and the abysmal voices circulating in the court occupy chapters 28–29. Chapters 30–31 pronounce woes on all who rely on Egypt: in that direction lies only disaster. Chapters 32–33 depict the godly solution: trust the living God who reigns as King in the midst of his people. The last two chapters of the section, 34 and 35, display respectively the scorched earth of judgment that will result from trusting pagan nations, and the garden of delight that awaits those who trust the Lord.

Isaiah 29, then, is part of the description of the crisis. Jerusalem is addressed as “Ariel” (29:1, 2, 7). We know this stands for Jerusalem, because it is described as “the city where David settled” (29:1). The coinage is almost certainly Isaiah’s; there is no record of any earlier use of this word for Jerusalem. “Ariel” is a pun on “altar hearth”—the flat surface on the altar where the fire consumed the sacrifices (cf. Ezek. 43:15). God says he is going to “besiege Ariel,” which will be to him “like an altar hearth” (29:2): God will ignite the fires of judgment under Jerusalem.

The tragedy of the situation lies in the sheer blindness of the people. This is simultaneously their perversity and God’s judgment (29:9–10). No matter what God discloses through Isaiah, the people simply blank out when they hear his words. The truth they cannot fathom; they have no categories for it, for their hearts are far removed from God’s ways (29:13). For them, all that Isaiah says remains like words sealed up in a scroll they cannot read (29:11–12). Even their worship becomes little more than conformity to rules (29:13b). So when God does finally break through, it will be with “wonder upon wonder,” all designed to overthrow the pretensions of the “wise” and “intelligent” (29:14) who counsel the king to do what God forbids.

The ultimate fulfillment of this pattern takes place in gospel times. Paul understands perfectly well how the person without the Spirit of God finds the truth of the Gospel largely incoherent, how the “wise” and “intelligent” broach many schemes, none of them consistent with the Gospel (1 Cor. 1:18–31; 2:14). Here, too, God destroys the wisdom of the wise (1 Cor. 1:19; Isa. 29:14), for his own way is what none of the wise had foreseen: the sheer “foolishness” of the cross.[21]


May 28

Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81–82; Isaiah 29; 3 John

“open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (Ps. 81:10): the symbolism is transparent. God is perfectly willing and able to satisfy all our deepest needs and longings. Implicitly, the problem is that we will not even open our mouths to enjoy the food he provides. The symbolism returns in the last verse: while the wicked will face punishment that lasts forever, “you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (81:16).

Of course, God is talking about more than physical food (though scarcely less). The setting is a common one both in the Psalms and in the narrative parts of the Pentateuch. God graciously and spectacularly rescued the people from their slavery in Egypt, responding to their own cries of distress. “I removed the burden from their shoulders,” God says. “In your distress you called and I rescued you” (81:6–7). Then comes the passage that leads to the line quoted at the beginning of this meditation:

Hear, O my people, and I will warn you—

      if you would but listen to me, O Israel!

You shall have no foreign god among you;

      you shall not bow down to an alien god.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.

Open wide your mouth and I will fill it (81:8–10).

Historically, of course, the response of the people was disappointing: “my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me” (81:11). In that case, they were not promised the satisfaction symbolized by full mouths. Far from it. God says, “So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices” (81:12).

Of course, the nature of the idolatry changes from age to age. I recently read some lines from John Piper: “The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18–20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable” (A Hunger for God [Wheaton: Crossway, 1997], 14).

“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”[22]


May 28.—Morning. [Or October 22.] “Now will I sing to my Well-beloved a song.”

THAT the poetical nature of the Song of Solomon may be more clearly seen, we have now before us a passage in which the original form of the Canticle is preserved, and its meaning made more clear by an improved translation.

Song 3:6–11

The first speakers are the Daughters of Jerusalem.

What is this coming up from the wilderness,

As if it were pillars of smoke,

Odorous of myrrh and frankincense,

With all the fragrant dust of the merchant?

The Friends of the Bridegroom then reply.

Behold his Chariot,

It is Solomon’s;

Sixty valiant men around it

Of the valiant of Israel;

All of them graspers of the sword,

Trained unto battle;

Every man his sword on his side

Against alarm by night.

The chariot made him King Solomon,

Of the trees of Lebanon;

10 Its pillars made he silveren,

The seat thereof golden,

Its covering of crimson,

The midst thereof inlaid with love

For the daughters of Jerusalem.

11 Go forth and look, ye daughters of Zion,

On King Solomon

In the diadem

Wherewithal his mother crowned him,

Upon the day of his espousal,

And the day of the gladness of his soul.

Then follows a song of The King, in which he extols the beauty of his bride.

Song 4:1–7

Lo thou fair one,

My companion,

Lo thou fair one!

Thine Eyes are doves within thy locks;

Thy Hair like a flock of the goats,

That hang adown Mount Gilead.

Thy Teeth like a flock of sheep even shorn,

That had come up from the washing,

That are all of them twin-bearing,

And bereft not one among them.

Like a line of scarlet are thy Lips,

And thy speaking beauteous;

Like to a pomegranate cloven

Are thy Temples through thy locks.

Like the Tower of David is thy Neck,

Builded for an armoury,

With a thousand shields hung upon it,

All bucklers of the mighty;

Twain breasts of thine like a pair of fawns,

Twinlings of the roe,

That are feeding among the lilies.

Until breathe the day,

And flee away the shadows,

I will go my way

To the Mount of Myrrh,

And to the Hill of Frankincense.—

Thou art all fair,

My Love, and no spot in Thee.

In the first song the king is seen in his travelling palanquin or chariot-bed, coming up from the wilderness. We may expound the picture as representing our Lord and King going up into his glory from this wilderness world. Mark the sweet odours of his merits, and the smoke of his sacrifice, observe also the attendant angels, as Milton calls them, “the helmed cherubim and the sworded seraphim,” who, having kept watch around him in the wilderness, now attend him to swell the pomp of his ascension. Thus will Jesus come a second time, and his church shall go forth and gaze upon him. That glorious chariot of love, whose purple canopy well sets forth the atoning blood, is his salvation in which the church rides and rests with her Lord. Happy those who are in it by faith.

The song in which the king extols his bride will be understood by those who know that the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus puts upon the saints a perfect comeliness, so that they are “all fair” in the sight of God. Every single line has its meaning, and spiritual minds will find great delight in reading the works of such writers as Gill, or Durham, or Moody Stuart, upon this priceless book.

May 28.—Evening. [Or October 23.] “Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse.”

OUR last reading gave us two parts of a delightful Canticle: we will now read the third portion, in which the King is the chief speaker, and rejoices to extol his bride, even as the Lord Jesus rejoiceth over his church.

Song 4:8–16

The King thus speaks

Along with me from Lebanon, my Bride,

Along with me from Lebanon, come;

Look from off the top of Amana,

From the top of Shenir and Hermon,

From the dwellings of the lions,

From the mountains of the leopards:

Jesus would have us look above the highest earthly delights, and leave all earthly loves for his sake. Shall he say, “Come with me,” and shall we refuse to follow? Hear how he sets forth his love to us, his joy over us.

Thou hast taken my heart, my Sister, my Spouse,

Thou hast taken my heart with one

Of thine eyes, with a single chain of thy neck;

Though but one grace be seen in us, Jesus spies it out, and is charmed with it; such is his condescending love.

10 How pleasant is thy love, my Sister, my Spouse,

How good is thy love above wine,

And the odour of thine ointments above all perfumes!

11 Honey from the comb dropping are thy lips, my Spouse,

Honey and milk are under thy tongue,

And the scent of thy garments like the scent of Lebanon.

In the esteem of Jesus, the love, the spirit, the words, and the outward conduct of his people are all acceptable.

12 A garden enclosed,

My Sister, my Bride,

A spring shut up,

A fountain sealed:

13 Thy plants a Paradise

Of granate-apple trees,

Along with fruits most choice;

Of henna-plants with nards,

14 The spikenard and the saffron,

The sweet cane and cinnamon,

With all trees of frankincense;

Of myrrh and the lign aloes,

With all the chief of spices:

15 A fountain for the gardens,

A well of living waters,

And streams out of Lebanon.

Jesus thus extols his beloved Church, but having done so, he intercedes for her that the Holy Spirit may visit her, for what would she be without him? Listen to the Redeemer’s prayer.

16 Awake, O North wind;

And come, thou South;

Breathe upon my garden,

Flow its odours forth.

Moved by the love of her Lord, and influenced by the Spirit, the Church begs the Lord to come nearer to her.

Come, let my Loved One into his garden

And let him eat his pleasant fruit.

To her he answers lovingly.

Song 5:1

I am come into my garden,

My Sister, my Bride;

I have gathered my myrrh

Along with my balm;

I have eaten my honey

With my honey-comb;

I have drunk my wine

Together with my milk;

Eat, O friends, drink and quaff ye,

O well-beloved.

Jesus accepts us and our fruits; let us therefore rejoice in him and feast upon him.

He calls me from the lion’s den,

From this wild world of beasts and men,

To Zion, where his glories are—

Not Lebanon is half so fair;

Nor dens of prey, nor flowery plains,

Nor earthly joys, nor earthly pains,

Shall hold my feet, or force my stay,

When Christ invites my soul away.[23]

 


May 28 – The Plea for Forgiveness

“‘“And forgive us our debts”’” (Matthew 6:12).

God will not forgive our sins if we do not confess them. John makes that condition clear when he declares, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Confession simply means we agree with God that our sins are evil and defiling and we do not want them to taint our walk with Christ.

Our sinful pride makes it difficult to confess sin, but it is the only way to the free and joyful Christian life (cf. Prov. 28:13). John Stott said, “One of the surest antidotes to the process of moral hardening is the disciplined practice of uncovering our sins of thought and outlook as well as word and deed and the repentant forsaking of the same.”

We must never take God’s promise of forgiveness as a license for sin or as an excuse to presume on His grace. Instead we must view forgiveness as an aid to our sanctification and be constantly thankful to the Lord for His loving forgiveness.

Your prayer ought to coincide with the Puritan one: “Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, and the exceeding wonder of grace. I am guilty but pardoned. I am lost but saved. I am wandering but found. I am sinning but cleansed. Give me perpetual broken-heartedness. Keep me always clinging to Thy cross.”

Ask Yourself

How can one walk in an awareness of his own wretchedness while also living in the confidence of Christ’s righteousness and salvation? Actually, it is only by realizing our great need for Him that we can enjoy the grace that overwhelms our sin. Seek this biblical balance in your own life.

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


Reading for Today:

1 Kings 3:1–4:34
Psalm 68:15-20
Proverbs 17:10-12
John 10:1-23
Notes:

1 Kings 3:7 little child. Since Solomon was probably only about 20 years of age, he readily admitted his lack of qualification and experience to be king (1 Chr. 22:5; 29:1).

1 Kings 3:8 a great people. Based on the census, which recorded 800,000 men of fighting age in Israel and 500,000 in Judah (2 Sam. 24:9), the total population was over 4 million, approximately double what it had been at the time of the conquest (Num. 26:1–65).

1 Kings 3:9 an understanding heart. Humbly admitting his need, Solomon sought “a listening heart” to govern God’s people with wisdom.

1 Kings 3:10 pleased the Lord. The Lord was delighted that Solomon had not asked for personal benefits—long life, wealth, or the death of his enemies.

John 10:7–10 I am the door. This is the third of 7 “I AM” statements of Jesus (6:35; 8:12). Here, He changes the metaphor slightly. While in vv. 1–5 He was the shepherd, here He is the gate. While in vv. 1–5, the shepherd led the sheep out of the pen, here He is the entrance to the pen (v. 9) that leads to proper pasture. This section echoes Jesus’ words in 14:6 that He is the only way to the Father. His point is that He serves as the sole means to approach the Father and partake of God’s promised salvation. As some Near Eastern shepherds slept in the gateway to guard the sheep, Jesus here pictures Himself as the gate.

John 10:17, 18 take it again. Jesus repeated this phrase twice in these two verses indicating that His sacrificial death was not the end. His resurrection followed in demonstration of His messiahship and deity (Rom. 1:4). His death and resurrection resulted in His ultimate glorification (12:23; 17:5) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (7:37–39; Acts 2:16–39).

DAY 28: What does it mean to have Jesus as the “Good Shepherd”?

In John 10:1–39, Jesus’ discourse on Himself as the “Good Shepherd” flowed directly from chapter 9, as Jesus continued to talk to the very same people. The problem of chapter 9 was that Israel was led by false shepherds who drew them astray from the true knowledge and kingdom of Messiah (9:39–41). In chapter 10, Jesus declared Himself to be the “Good Shepherd” who was appointed by His Father as Savior and King, in contrast to the false shepherds of Israel who were self-appointed and self-righteous (Ps. 23:1; Is. 40:11; Jer. 3:15; see Is. 56:9–12; Jer. 23:1–4; 25:32–38; Ezek. 34:1–31; Zech. 11:16).

Jesus spoke in vv. 1–30 using a sustained metaphor based on first-century sheep ranching. The sheep were kept in a pen, which had a gate through which the sheep entered and left. The shepherd engaged a “doorkeeper” (v. 3) or “hireling” (v. 12) as an undershepherd to guard the gate. The shepherd entered through that gate. He whose interest was stealing or wounding the sheep would chose another way to attempt entrance. The words of Ezekiel 34 most likely form the background to Jesus’ teaching since God decried the false shepherds of Israel (i.e., the spiritual leaders of the nation) for not caring properly for the flock of Israel (i.e., the nation). The Gospels themselves contain extensive sheep/shepherd imagery (Matt. 9:36; Mark 6:34; 14:27; Luke 15:1–7).

The doorkeeper was a hired undershepherd who recognized the true shepherd of the flock, opened the gate for Him, assisted the shepherd in caring for the flock, and especially guarded them at night (v. 3). “The sheep hear his voice.” Near Eastern shepherds stand at different locations outside the sheep pen, sounding out their own unique calls which their sheep recognize. As a result, the sheep gather around the shepherd.“ He calls his own sheep by name.” This shepherd goes even further by calling each sheep by its own special name (see 3 John 15). Jesus’ point is that He comes to the fold of Israel and calls out His own sheep individually to come into His own messianic fold. The assumption is that they are already in some way His sheep even before He calls them by name (vv. 25–27; 6:37, 39, 44, 64, 65; 17:6, 9, 24; 18:9).

Unlike Western shepherds who drive the sheep from the side or behind, often using sheep dogs, Near Eastern shepherds lead their flocks, their voice calling them to move on (vv. 4, 5). This draws a remarkable picture of the master/disciple relationship. New Testament spiritual leadership is always by example, i.e., a call to imitate conduct (1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet. 5:1–3).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


Thu, May 28, 2015

MAN HAS LOST GOD

The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search and struggle throughout his lifetime. He does not really know what he is doing here. He does not know where he is going. The sad commentary is that everything he is doing is being done on borrowed time, borrowed money and borrowed strength-and he already knows that in the end he will surely die! It boils down to the bewildered confession of many humans that they have lost God somewhere along the way. Man, made more like God than any other creature, has become less like God than any other creature. Created to reflect the glory of God, he has retreated sullenly into his cave-reflecting only his own sinfulness. Certainly it is a tragedy above all tragedies in this world that love has gone from man’s heart. Beyond that, light has gone from his mind. Having lost God, he blindly stumbled on through this dark world to find only a grave at the end!

Verse
Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to dust.
Psalm 104:29

A. W. Tozer


THANKSGIVING: Thank God for Christ’s Intercession

2.2.20

For the intercession which he ever lives to make in the virtue of his satisfaction.

We thank you that having bore the sin of many, Christ makes intercession for transgressors, Isaiah 53:12(ESV) and prays, not only for those who were given to him when he was on earth, but also for all those who will believe in him through their word; that they may all be one. John 17:20-21(ESV)

That we have an Advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the righteous, 1 John 2:1(ESV) who is therefore able to save to the uttermost all those who draw near to God as a Father, through him as a Mediator, since he always lives to make intercession for his people. Hebrews 7:25(ESV)

That we have a High Priest chosen from among men and appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifice for sin, who can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward; Hebrews 5:1-2(ESV) and that he has become the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Hebrews 5:9(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method For Prayer


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (pp. 163–164). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[2] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Venditti, L., & Venditti, N. (2012). Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 161). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 161). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 155). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 165). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 155). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 155). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 155). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 163). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 155). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.

[16] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

[17] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 152). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

[18] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[19] Smith, H. W., & Dieter, M. E. (1997). The Christian’s secret of a holy life: the unpublished personal writings of Hannah Whitall Smith. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[20] Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

[21] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[22] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[23] Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 311–312). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

 

When Jesus Illuminates Our Hearts to Understand His Word

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

Dennis Johnson’s new book, Walking with Jesus Through His Word: Discovering Christ in All the Scriptures (P&R 2015), has just hit the shelves! Johnson writes with exegetical care, pastoral sensitivity, and a redemptive-historical hermeneutic that wonderfully draws together parts of God’s word that sometimes feel quite disparate. Here is a nice section from the first chapter:

Jesus had been telling his disciples for weeks, perhaps months, what was going to happen when they got to Jerusalem. Not only had he been preparing them for the bad news – his rejection and gruesome execution – but he had also been telling them the good news of his resurrection. Yet when what Jesus had told them would happen did actually happen, they were first shattered by his death and then dubious about the reports of his resurrection. These men were not in the same spiritual state of outright rebellion as…

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Some mistaken notions about repentance

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. (Ezekiel 36:30-31 NASB)

The following is the full text of a sermon by C.H. Spurgeon titled “Mistaken Notions About Repentance.”

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The Johnson Amendment and the Agenda to Silence Christians

Originally posted on Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America:

first amendment truth

We did not get here overnight. Attacks on religious freedoms and on the speech of Christians in America did not just appear in the last several years. The attempted muzzling of Christian churches and religious groups has gradually increased since a pivotal law was passed by a shrewd politician to intimidate people of faith. The repercussions have been devastating.

The 1954 Johnson Amendment passed by Congress stated that non-profits (read: Christian churches and organizations) could not speak in favor of any political candidate. Was this even constitutional?

This key but forgotten event paved the way for the increased squelching of free speech and because of the confusion and misinformation about the law, many religious leaders have been unnecessarily self-censoring for decades.

The following is an excerpt from the chapter, “The Separation of Christianity and State” in the book, The Cost of Our Silence:

“Texas Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, was a…

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“Better gear up for the 5 major changes coming to the Church” by Marsha West

Originally posted on My Word Like Fire:

John Burton has written a piece entitled “Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church.”  Before you get all excited, or maybe even concerned over those changes, you should know a bit more about Burton.  As it turns out he’s a “prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement.

According to his blog, John Burton, he “has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. Burton has authored ten books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.”

That Burton was associated with IHOP-KC could only mean that he has served under IHOP’s Pied Piper Mike Bickle.  I spent quite a bit of time researching Bickle for a piece I wrote and discovered his strong ties to the NAR or what…

View original 1,902 more words

GodLife: Can I earn God’s love?

Scripture: “…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” – Titus 3:5

Are you keeping a checklist of all the things you need to do to make sure you can earn God’s love?

The good news is you can throw away your list! Good deeds will not earn God’s mercy and love. You may feel like you’ve done things that are unforgivable, but no sin is so horrible that God won’t forgive. When you simply confess your sins to God, believe in Jesus and follow Him, you will receive God’s mercy.

Read: Know Jesus

The Popularity of Heresy Explained in One Simple Sentence

Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

Heretics like Rob Bell and the Emergents and the Seeker Sensitives have audiences and followers for one amazingly simple reason:

The majority of people who call themselves Christians aren’t.  Ergo, it’s quite simple for false teachers and false teaching to take hold in their unanchored Christless lives and ignorant minds.

Unfamiliar with Scripture, for them, any lie will do.

View original

May 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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May 27, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The Obama administration expanded protections for waterways to keep them free of pollutants, defying the Republican-led Congress as well as farmers, ranchers and builders who fought what they call overreach by government.

Identity thieves stole information on 104,000 U.S. taxpayers from the IRS website and used the data to file fake tax returns that yielded as much as $50 million in refunds.

The rise of Islamic State extremists in the Middle East can be traced to Republicans who backed arming fighters in the region, presidential candidate Rand Paul said in an interview broadcast.

Vice President Joe Biden praised Irish voters for making their country the first to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.

Texas lawmakers passed a bill allowing faculty and students to carry concealed handguns inside classrooms on public and private college campuses. The legislation prevents schools from establishing their own rules banning guns, though under a last-minute amendment they can create “reasonable” regulations pertaining to the presence of firearms on school grounds. It exempts campus hospitals and preschools and allows officials to regulate the storage of handguns in dormitories. Students must be over 21 with a permit to carry.

The new group, MICHauto, unveiled an initiative Wednesday to promote Detroit and Michigan for development of a new generation of mobility, including self-driving cars. The coalition includes Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford and General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra.

Merion Homes bought two dozen rambler-style houses in Northern Virginia’s Pimmit Hills community for about $450,000 each, just to knock them down. Now it’s selling customized residences three times larger at prices topping $1 million. “The original homes don’t fit today’s market.”

AP Top Stories

France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday his country would not back any nuclear deal with Iran unless it provided full access to all installations, including military sites.

A Kenyan lawyer has offered President Obama 50 cows and other assorted livestock in exchange for his 16-year old daughter Malia’s hand in marriage. Felix Kiprono said he was willing to pay 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats in order to fulfil his dream of marrying the first daughter.

The Israeli air force carried out four strikes on militant targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, eyewitnesses said, hours after a cross-border rocket attack on the Jewish state.

An Idaho woman who was having an affair orchestrated a gruesome Las Vegas hatchet attack that left her husband dead with his head nearly severed while they were on a family trip on Memorial Day, police said.

Police in Papua New Guinea vowed to find the men who axed to death a woman accused of using witchcraft to spark a measles outbreak in the country’s remote jungle highlands.

German authorities evacuated around 20,000 people from their homes in the western city of Cologne on Wednesday after a World War II bomb was unearthed during construction work. The unexploded US-made device, which lay 16 feet underground and was discovered Friday, was set to be defused later in the day.

The U.S. government will pay an Atlanta woman $2 million for the Hawaii beating death of her 5-year-old daughter at the hands of a former soldier.

A top NATO commander warned on Wednesday that “continual attacks” against Ukraine were hampering Kiev’s efforts to modernize its army enough to one day join the Western military bloc.

The Vatican’s secretary of state has called the Irish vote to legalize gay marriage a “defeat for humanity,” evidence of the soul-searching going on in Catholic circles after the predominantly Roman Catholic country overwhelmingly rejected traditional church teaching on marriage.

Japan and the Philippines are set to bolster security ties when President Benigno Aquino visits Tokyo next week, the latest move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations facing China’s growing naval ambitions.

A genetically modified herpes virus was effective in fighting skin cancer by infecting and destroying cancer cells as well as triggering an immune response, according to results of a clinical trial.

BBC

The European Commission has called on EU member states to take in 40,000 asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea who land in Italy and Greece over the next two years. Germany, France and Spain would receive the most migrants under the Commission’s latest plan.

The Vatican’s finance chief George Pell has offered to testify in a high-profile Australian inquiry into institutional child sex abuse.

Nigeria’s army has sacked at least 200 soldiers for cowardice and failure to fight against Boko Haram militants.

Heatwave conditions continue to sweep India where more than 1,100 people have died in the past week. Although temperatures have marginally fallen, they continue to hover around 113F.

At least 17 Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a series of suicide attacks by Islamic State (IS) militants in Anbar province, security officials said.

WND

Attorneys for two chimpanzees head to court Wednesday to argue the animals ought to be granted “personhood” status and released from their Stony Brook University confines.

The unanimous Supreme Court decision in Tibble v. Edison has once again stoked ongoing fears in the financial services industry that the Obama administration might be preparing for a takeover of private retirement savings.

Imagine being able to see three times better than 20/20 vision without wearing glasses or contacts – even at age 100 or more – with the help of bionic lenses implanted in your eyes.


Top News – 5/27/2015

In Jerusalem, Jewish Priests Perform Pentecost Temple Service in Fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy
All three of the major components of the holiday service – bringing of the first fruits, preparation of two loaves of bread using the season’s new wheat, and a special holiday offering – were conducted to as great a level of detail as is possible at this point in time.

Kenyan lawyer offers livestock to wed Obama’s daughter: report
A Kenyan lawyer has offered US president Barack Obama 50 cows and other assorted livestock in exchange for his 16-year old daughter Malia’s hand in marriage, a report said Tuesday. Felix Kiprono said he was willing to pay 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats in order to fulfil his dream of marrying the first daughter.

US probing 11 threats to international flights
One flight, Air France flight 22 from Paris was escorted by two US F-15 fighter jets to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after authorities received a threat, said the officials, who asked not to be identified. The plane landed safely and was cleared with no incidents or hazards reported by passengers or crew, said J. Peter Donald, an FBI spokesman.

Marine Court-Martialed for Refusing to Remove Bible Verse
The plight of Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling seems unbelievable – a member of the Armed Forces criminally prosecuted for displaying a slightly altered passage of Scripture from the Old Testament: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

Earthquake hits in Irish Sea
A magnitude three earthquake struck in the Irish sea this afternoon. It occurred at 3.41 pm, just 6 km off the Welsh coast, close to the island of Anglesey and Holyhead, The British Geological Survey have said.

Earthquake: 3.0 quake strikes near Isla Vista
According to the USGS, the epicenter was 32 miles from Goleta, 33 miles from Santa Barbara and 37 miles from Carpinteria.

Scorcher in Israel, Stay indoors
The temperature in the Greater Tel Aviv area is expected to hit 107 degrees Fahrenheit, and a burning 111 degrees in Tiberias, Eilat and the Jordan Valley.

Egyptian Court: ‘We Can’t Label Israel as a ‘Terrorist State”
The Abdeen Court of Urgent Matters in Cairo, Egypt, stated on Monday that it has no legal authority to consider a lawsuit demanding the designation of Israel as a ‘terrorist state’ Egyptian media reported.

Obama’s Forthcoming Executive Action Could Impact Your Property
The Obama administration is expected to announce final details of “Waters of the United States” rule this week that could impact any property owner with water or a ditch that occasionally fills with water on their land… The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have sought to provide more clarity to what bodies of water are protected under the 1972 Clean Water Act…

Islamic State launches wave of suicide attacks on Iraqi troops
Islamic State extremists unleashed a wave of suicide attacks targeting the Iraqi army in western Anbar province, killing at least 17 troops in a major blow to government efforts to dislodge the militants from the sprawling Sunni heartland. The attacks came just hours after the Iraqi government announced the start of a wide-scale operation to recapture areas under the control of the IS group in Anbar.

Charlie Charlie Challenge: Catholic priest ‘issues urgent warning over dangers of demon summoning game’
A Catholic priest has apparently issued an urgent warning about the dangers of “summoning a demon” by performing the weird Charlie Charlie Challenge. In an open letter to pupils at a well-known Catholic school, Father Stephen McCarthy appears to have told told pupils there was no way of knowing what would happen if they decided to invite a Mexican ghoul into their home.

The silent missile that can destroy enemy electronics with microwave PULSES: Air Force confirms terrifying new weapon
…For years, scientists have been attempting to create such a weapon as part of Champ, or the Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile Project. Now, the US Air Force claims it has advanced the technology, and says it can deploy it using the stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM).

US-China war ‘inevitable’ unless Washington drops demands over South China Sea
China’s armed forces are to extend their operations and its air force will become an offensive as well as defensive force for the first time, in a major shift in policy that will strengthen fears of accidental conflict. A policy document by the state council, or cabinet, said China faced a “grave and complex array of security threats”, justifying the change.

Iran nuclear deal unlikely by June 30-French envoy
An Iran nuclear deal is not likely by June 30 because technical details will remain to defined and Iran will not get sanctions relief before the end of the year in the best of cases, western ambassadors said on Tuesday. Six major powers are seeking to negotiate an agreement under which Iran would limit its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Even in flood-prone Houston, 11 inches of rain catches many unprepared
…More than 11 inches of rain transformed their neighborhood and others in Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, into a disaster zone. Those caught off-guard sheltered where they could overnight: in offices, the Galleria mall, an ice rink and even the Toyota Center, where about 1,000 Houston Rockets fans got stuck after Monday’s NBA playoff game. Highways were blocked. Public transportation shut down. Schools closed.

Gaza: Hamas killed and tortured, says Amnesty
Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip committed serious human rights abuses including abductions, torture and extra-judicial killings of Palestinian civilians in 2014, a report says. Most of the victims were accused of collaborating with Israel, Amnesty International investigators report. The report says no-one had been brought to account for the abuses, suggesting they were officially sanctioned.

No let-up in massive India heatwave
Heatwave conditions continue to sweep India where more than 1,100 people have died in the past week, officials say. Although temperatures have marginally fallen in the worst-hit states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, they continue to hover around 45C (113F). But clouds have formed over some parts of the two states and weather officials say pre-monsoon showers are likely to provide some relief in the coming days.

Egypt to Israel: Hold back your aggression
Egyptian officials demanded Wednesday that “Israel hold its aggression” and practice restraint toward the Gaza Strip. The comments, told by a third-party diplomatic source to Palestinian Ma’an news, came only hours after Israel responded to a Gazan rocket that was fired into the heart of Israeli civilian areas.

Appeals court keeps Obama immigration program locked up
The Obama administration suffered another immigration setback Tuesday, as a divided federal appeals court declined to lift a injunction imposed by a Texas-based trial judge. The 2-1 decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means President Barack Obama’s executive action deferring deportation of certain immigrants will remain locked up in court for the foreseeable future. It also could force officials to make some tough legal and political choices.

Rocket fired from Gaza lands near Israeli port Ashdod: police
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near the Israeli port city of Ashdod on Tuesday but no casualties or damage were reported, police and the military said. Palestinian militants in Gaza launched thousands of rockets and mortar bombs into Israel during a war last July and August in which Israeli shelling and air strikes battered the small, coastal Palestinian enclave. The region has been largely quiet since the August ceasefire.

China to extend military reach, build lighthouses in disputed waters
China outlined a strategy to boost its naval reach on Tuesday and announced plans for the construction of two lighthouses in disputed waters, developments likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing’s maritime ambitions.

Iraq Shi’ite militia take lead in campaign to reverse Islamic State gains
Iraq’s Shi’ite paramilitaries said on Tuesday they had taken charge of the campaign to drive Islamic State from the western province of Anbar, giving the operation an openly sectarian codename that could infuriate its Sunni Muslim population.

Taliban claim attack on Kabul guesthouse after overnight siege ends
The Taliban claimed responsibility for an overnight attack on a guesthouse in the diplomatic enclave of the Afghan capital that ended on Wednesday morning after a stand-off with Afghan government forces.


Top Headlines – 5/27/2015

EU: Stop building outside settlements to show world commitment to two-state solution

Netanyahu offers to resume peace talks with settlement focus, official says

Netanyahu said open to drawing up boundaries for settlement blocs

PLO official Ashrawi blasts Netanyahu plan to keep settlement blocs

After four weeks of silence, Gaza rocket explodes in the South

Rocket fired from Gaza lands near Israeli port Ashdod: police

Israeli warplanes strike Gaza targets after rocket attack

Amnesty International accuses Hamas of torturing, killing Palestinians in new report on Gaza conflict

Israeli NGO demands FIFA kick out Palestinian soccer head for supporting terror

FIFA Officials Arrested in Federal Corruption Investigation

Israel drawing up ‘wish list’ of US sweetners over Iran deal

Iran launches trial for US journalist on ‘absurd’ charges, renewing nuke talk concerns

Iran nuclear deal unlikely by June 30-French envoy

Iran’s mixed messages – Rouhani talks peace, while military flexes muscles

UN chief confirms delay in Yemen peace talks

Bulletin warns US analysts overwhelmed by pro-ISIS social media, military posts threatened

Syrian state TV signal blocked, blames foreign enemies

Poland to resettle 60 Christian families from Syria

Fighting, airstrikes reported near Ramadi as Iraq launches operation to retake city

Libyan prime minister says survives assassination attempt

Muslim Mob Loot Christians’ Homes, Attempt to Burn Down Church After Mentally Ill Man Is Accused of Burning a Quran in Pakistan

Chinese military sets course to expand global reach as ‘national interests’ grow

China to extend military reach, build lighthouses in disputed waters

China says it will expand its naval power

US-China war ‘inevitable’ unless Washington drops demands over South China Sea

Beijing warns US: ‘We will fight back’ as battle of words escalates over South China Sea

Japan to join U.S., Australia war games amid growing China tensions

South Korea, US, Japan envoys discuss North Korea nuclear concerns

Obama heralds first U.S. Memorial Day without ground war in 14 years

US probing 11 threats to international flights

Congress: Terror-Tied Aliens Seeking Asylum in U.S.

Despite Border Patrol’s best efforts, our border is still wide open

Walker: We’d Be Sending in Navy to Stop Illegals if They Were Swarming Our Sea Ports Like They Do Southern Border

Federal court blocks Obama’s immigration plan

Self-parking Volvo ploughs into journalists after owner neglects to pay for extra feature that stops cars crashing into people

Social media elevate school fights to new realm

Nearly half of the global population will be using the internet by the end of this year, according to a new report

IRS Says Thieves Stole Tax Info From 100,000

Brazilian Senate Passes Controversial Fiscal Austerity Bill

Euro and Greek bonds hit by bailout fears

Queen Elizabeth to unveil EU referendum plans as UK parliament opens

13 trillion electronvolts! Large Hadron Collider sets new record

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Calama, Chile

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Manokwari, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Manokwari, Indonesia

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Telica volcano in Nicaragua erupts to 14,000ft

Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Storms kill 15 in Texas, Oklahoma; Houston flooded

Dam ruptures at Bastrop State Park Lake

Taxing organic products could solve California water problem, experts say

India heatwave kills 800 as capital’s roads melt

Searing Heat Wave Headed to Israel Wednesday

World first as scientists provide proof that viruses can combat cancer

Lassa fever death evokes Ebola fears

California Assembly votes to make pregnancy centers tell women of abortion option

Israelis are ready to follow Ireland’s lead and legalize gay marriage

Vatican cardinal calls Irish gay vote ‘defeat for humanity’

Marine court-martialed for refusing to remove Bible verse

Baltimore breaks city murder record following deadly Memorial Day weekend

Police: US Airman Shoots Wal-Mart Workers, Kills Self

Mike Oppenheimer – The most dangerous of all false teaching

The Creepy Fundamentalist Homeschool Cult That Trained the Duggars

Two Presbyterian Pastors Face Likely Death Penalty in Sudan

How I Escaped from North Korea, and the crucial role the Chinese church played


Daily Digest

May 27, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“[H]onesty will be found on every experiment, to be the best and only true policy; let us then as a nation be just.” —George Washington, Circular letter to the States, 1783

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Amnesty Suffers Another Stinging Rebuke

The Obama administration’s legal woes continued on Tuesday after government lawyers failed to convince a federal appeals court to overturn a temporary injunction against executive amnesty issued by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen. In February, Hanen blocked the first phase of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program and reaffirmed his decision in April partly because government lawyers misled the court, granting work permits to 100,000 illegals before the executive action was temporarily blocked. Two of the three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit — Jerry Smith and Jennifer Walker Elrod — “found that the states had sufficient legal grounds to bring the lawsuit and that the administration had not shown that it would be harmed if the injunction remained in place and the programs were further delayed,” The New York Times reports. Tuesday’s ruling isn’t a final verdict — the case could eventually make it to the Supreme Court — but the administration is now 0-for-2, and it’s looking likelier it will strike out. Obama spokesman Brandi Hoffine responded to the decision by insisting they know the Constitution better than anyone, saying Judges Smith and Elrod “chose to misinterpret the facts and the law in denying the government’s request for a stay.” If that’s the case, how do Democrats expand this nugget from The Washington Post? “Obama’s second-term agenda, it seems, is in the hands of the courts. Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Climate change. And now immigration. And in many cases, there is significant doubt about whether his signature initiatives will stand legal scrutiny.” Tell us again who “chose to misinterpret the facts and the law”?

IRS Data Breach Leaves Tax Info of 100K in Hackers’ Hands

Using the service to request former tax returns and filings from the IRS, a group of hackers stole confidential information on over 100,000 taxpayers. Using the information, the hackers can file false tax returns, stealing directly from the American taxpayer. “Eighty percent of the identity theft we’re dealing with and refund fraud is related to organized crime here and around the world,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “These are extremely sophisticated criminals with access to a tremendous amount of data.” It’s easy to see that the agency is running damage control. It’s not saying if the hackers were foreign or domestic, and Koskinen said people filing fraudulent tax returns only netted $50 million this year. However, the IRS gave identity thieves $5.8 billion in 2013. As Hot Air’s Mary Katharine Ham notes, only 6% of Americans believe the U.S. government does a good job protecting their information. With this news, we guess the IRS will get a budget boost in the next few months — whether it needs it or not. More…

Now’s a Good Time to Develop a Strategy Against ISIL

With the fall of Ramadi, it may be a good time for the Obama administration to pause, take a step back and reconsider what it has tried and what that has done against ISIL. On Sunday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter blamed the fall of the strategic city on the Iraqi army. “The Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight,” Carter said on CNN. “They were not outnumbered. In fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight and withdrew from the site. … We can give them training, we can give them equipment. We obviously can’t give them the will to fight.” Meanwhile, it appears the U.S. has the equipment, but it too doesn’t have the will to fight. The New York Times reports that U.S. planes only fly 15 strikes a day against ISIL, compared to the 800 flown every day during the 2003 Iraq War. Furthermore, only during one out of four flights does the pilot fire munitions. Part of this is due to concern that any civilian deaths would translate into propaganda for ISIL. Part of the hesitation is because the pilots cannot rely on soldiers on the ground pointing out targets and delineating allies. There’s plenty for Carter and the rest of the Obama administration to consider. How about sending arms and training to the Kurds? Or sending more U.S. troops to spot U.S. airstrikes? More…

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

GOP, Prepare for SCOTUS’s ObamaCare Ruling

By Jim Harrington

2015-05-27-bd7a5fe4_large.jpg

If the Supreme Court rules against the “Affordable” Care Act in King v. Burwell sometime in late June, it could leave the act in deep water, or it could leave Republicans with the dilemma of fixing a problem they didn’t create. So says conventional wisdom.

SCOTUSblog.com writer Amy Howe discusses the case: “There are three key parts to the ACA. The first is the ‘non-discrimination’ rule… The second is the individual mandate, which the Court upheld three years ago… Third, because everyone has to buy insurance, there are tax subsidies to make sure that lower- and middle-income Americans can afford to comply with the individual mandate by buying insurance.”

David King is the primary plaintiff in King v. Burwell. He and three other Virginians, for their own reasons, decided they did not want to buy insurance. Virginia, incidentally, joined the federal marketplace, and King has insurance that would cost him $648 per month, but with his subsidy, costs $275. His suit was tossed out of a lower court, but with the help of the American Enterprise Institute he got a writ of certiorari, and he and his fellow plaintiffs’ case was picked up by the Supreme Court.

The fight is about four words — “established by the State” — just a few found in the 2,700-page act.

Now pundits and party operatives are scrambling to figure out what will be the outcome if the plaintiffs win or lose. Popular opinion sides with Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, a health care reporter for the Associated Press, who thinks it’s “Republicans — not White House officials — who have been talking about damage control. A likely reason: Twenty-six of the 34 states … most affected by the ruling have Republican governors, and 22 of the 24 GOP Senate seats up in 2016 are in those states.”

He cites Sandy Praeger — a Republican — saying the fallout of SCOTUS striking down the law will be “ugly.” Praeger said, “People who are reasonably healthy would just drop coverage. Only the unhealthy would keep buying health care. It would really exacerbate the problem of the cost of health insurance.”

Alonso-Zaldivar also cites a crucial issue: This decision is “bad timing.” Governments’ fiscal years are ending, and state legislatures are readying their summer recesses. Arranging a quick fix would be very difficult, and Obama will veto any Republican bill.

But New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin sees it differently. If the plaintiffs win, 13 million people in 34 states will be profoundly affected. “[I]t’s likely that most of them will no longer be able to afford their insurance,” he says. Toobin then paraphrases Colin Powell’s Pottery Barn axiom. (Many of us know it as: You break it, you bought it.)

Toobin writes, “Obama will have broken health care, so he owns it. To the vast mass of Americans who follow politics casually or not at all, Obamacare and the American system of health care have become virtually synonymous … The scope of the Affordable Care Act is so vast, and its effects so pervasive … if millions lose insurance, they will hold it against Obamacare, and against Obama.”

But one problem Toobin ignores is the Democrats’ twin propaganda mills — the schools and the media. Republicans will have to toughen up for this popularity contest.

How did four words undo the greatest legislation in America? According to The New York Times, there were two different Senate committees working on writing the law. Now for some excuses:

“I don’t ever recall any distinction between federal and state exchanges in terms of the availability of subsidies.” —former Republican Sen. Olympia J. Snowe

“As far as I know, it escaped everyone’s attention, or it would have been deleted.” —former Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman

“I remember meeting after meeting in which we went through the language of the legislation line by line. I do not recall any discussion of a distinction between federal and state exchanges for the purpose of subsidies.” —Robert D. Greenawalt, former senior tax advisor to Sen. Harry Reid

Obviously, we have trouble with members reading “line by line.” We know there wasn’t a handful in Congress that even read the bill before it passed. Oh, that’s right! Republicans didn’t get a chance to. This is a classic study of Big Government’s incompetence and corruption.

However SCOTUS decides, Obama will still be in the driver’s seat. With his veto pen in hand, he can keep Republicans at bay.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

OPINION IN BRIEF

Stephen Moore: “Earlier this month the Illinois Supreme Court overturned a state law that would help fix the state’s notorious pension crisis. … Illinois has one of the deepest public employee pension holes in the nation. The long-term deficit is estimated at above $110 billion and the red ink rises every year. Even in California — where several cities have declared bankruptcy — the pension sink hole isn’t as deep on a per capita basis. … Thanks to this ruling, there is no way out of the pension calamity absent a repeal of the pension clause in the Illinois Constitution. The state can’t borrow — it already has the worst credit rating in the nation. It has to borrow less — not more. … If courts won’t allow states to trim pension costs, eventually states like Illinois will rush to Washington for federal bailout money. With more than $1 trillion in unfunded public pensions nationwide, Illinois is looking like the canary in the coal mine. What a tragedy if courts in other states prevent legislatures from defusing these fiscal time bombs.”

SHORT CUTS

Upright: “From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; 
you cannot subvert your neighbor’s rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.” —Senator Carl Schurz (1829-1906)

Braying Jackass: “I don’t think that Congress ought to have any right to circumvent the president. … I will say to my friends, be very, very careful about how you treat this president, because turnabout is fair play. And I think that this president has not been treated with dignity and respect that he should be treated with.” —Rep. James Clyburn

Village Idiots: There is no role whatsoever for American soldiers on the ground to go back [to Iraq], other than in the capacity as trainers and advisers.” —Hillary Clinton

Non Compos Mentis: “[Benjamin Franklin] liked to have a really good time, folks. And he didn’t spare the booze, and while he was in Paris he led a life that clearly meant that had he lived today and been nominated, he would never have been confirmed for office.” —John Kerry

Dezinformatsia: “[D]o we have too many scientific deniers in our country or do we give too much prominence to those who want to look the other way on science?” —PBS’s Charlie Rose

And last… “On the White House’s list of 34 effects of global warming: allergies, asthma, downpours, poverty, and terrorism. They left off #35: million-dollar climate study grants.” —Fred Thompson

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Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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The Briefing

1) Secularists note Gates’ membership proposal purely seeking survival of corporation

Why the Boy Scouts can do no right politically, Washington Post (Sarah Kaplan and Michael E. Miller)

Gates, Gays, and the Boy Scouts, National Review (Kevin D. Williamson)

2) Boy Scouts’ rules against water gun fights furthers estrangement from actual boys

Water guns OK for target shooting, not for firing at other Scouts, Scouting Magazine (Bryan Wendell)

The end of the Boy Scouts, World Magazine (D.C. Innes)

The Boy Scouts Continue To Devolve Into A Garden Club, Federalist (Rich Cromwell)

3) Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts membership decisions reveal shrinking moral middle ground in culture

Girl Scouts welcomes transgender girls, CNN (Katia Hetter)

Boy Scouts Are From Mars, Girl Scouts Are From Venus, The Atlantic (Kate Tuttle)

4) Surge of cremation popularity in America linked to decline of Christian worldview in society

Cremation in America, Slate (Andrew Kahn)

In other news…

The Straight Parents’ Guide to How Not to Raise a Homophobe—and How to Be a Better Ally, Slate (Linda Rodriguez McRobbie)

Cleveland Police Accept Use of Force Limits in Justice Dept. Deal, New York Times (Mitch Smith And Matt Apuzzo)
 Doubts About Study of Gay Canvassers Rattles the Field, New York Times (Benedict Carey And Pam Belluck)The end of casual Christianity, Washington Post (Michael Gerson)

Getting It Right, New York Times (Ernest Sosa)

The Cost of an Adjunct, The Atlantic (Laura McKenna)


 

Prepare Your Homes And Neighborhoods For The Violence That Is Going To Sweep America

Crime - Bloody Handprint - Public DomainThe thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis is beginning to disappear, and a new era of chaos and anarchy is coming to our cities.  I don’t know if you have noticed, but violence is increasing on the streets of America.  Over Memorial Day weekend, 29 people were shot in Baltimore and 55 people were shot in Chicago.  But of course the trend that I am talking about is much broader than that.  According to the FBI, the number of police officers “feloniously killed” in the line of duty rose by an astounding 89 percent in 2014.  We live at a time when Americans are becoming extremely angry and extremely frustrated, and this is only going to intensify as economic conditions worsen.  But already we have seen some of this anger and frustration boil over into violence in Ferguson and in Baltimore.  And you know what?  The vast majority of Americans expect more of the same in the coming months.  According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey that was recently released, 96 percent of all Americans believe that there will be more civil unrest in America this summer.  What we have seen up until now is just the warm up act.  The main event is still to come. (Read More…)


Stocks Began Falling Right At This Time Of The Year Just Prior To The Last Financial Crisis

Stock Market Crash Bear - Public DomainHave you heard of the saying “sell in May and go away”?  Traditionally, the period from May through October has been a time of weakness for stocks.  In fact, on average stocks hit their lowest point of the year on October 27th.  And most people don’t remember this, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average actually began plunging right at this time of the year just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.  Most people do remember the huge stock crash that happened in the fall of that year, but the market actually started to slide in May.  Throughout the first four and a half months of 2008, stocks moved up and down in a fairly narrow range, and the Dow closed at a short-term peak of 13,028.16 on May 19th.  From there it was all downhill for the rest of the year.  So will a similar thing happen in 2015 as we approach the next great financial crisis?  Since March 20th, the Dow Jones Transportation Average has already fallen by almost 800 points.  So will the Dow Jones Industrial Average soon follow?  Well, only time will tell, but the Dow was down 190 points on Tuesday.  Signs of trouble are popping up all over the place, and the “smart money” is getting out while the getting is good. (Read More….)


 
Doing the research and investigative work that the major U.S. media have all but abandoned, an organization called the American Life League (ALL) has uncovered dramatic evidence of links between the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church and an international communist group known as the World Social Forum. The evidence suggests overt Marxist influence on the climate change movement that Pope Francis and his top advisers are now embracing. The ALL report, a 76-page PowerPoint presentation complete with original source material and numerous photographs, documents how Caritas…
 


 
All over the planet, large banks are massively overexposed to derivatives contracts.  Interest rate derivatives account for the biggest chunk of these derivatives contracts.  According to the Bank for International Settlements, the notional value of all interest rate derivatives contracts outstanding around the globe is a staggering 505 trillion dollars.  Considering the fact that the U.S. national debt is only 18 trillion dollars, that is an amount of money that is almost incomprehensible.  When this derivatives bubble finally bursts, there won’t be enough money in the entire world to bail…
 


Author(s): Phyllis Schlafly

 
The 2016 presidential campaign is in full swing, but candidates have already demonstrated they are “not ready for prime time” to answer questions from the voters and the press. The leading Republican candidate, Jeb Bush, stumbled all over himself with conflicting answers to a question about whether we should have gone to war in Iraq, while the leading Democrat, Hillary Clinton, continues to ignore fair questions about her missing emails, her foundation’s foreign fundraising, and her checkered career in and out of government. Since the Republican Establishment had prematurely declared Jeb a…
 

ERLC to address culture at SBC meeting

by Marsha West

According to Baptist Press:

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will cosponsor a conversation on church and culture, launch a new equipping initiative for ministry to gays and lesbians, and relaunch a magazine during its participation at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting June 16-17 in Columbus, Ohio.

The ERLC will partner with 9Marks church health ministry for “Connecting Church and Culture” on the eve of the SBC meeting. Russell Moore, the ERLC’s president, and Mark Dever, president of 9Marks and senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., will discuss cultural engagement by the church and answer questions from the audience. The event will be at 9 p.m. June 15.

Read more


Ireland will not force churches to wed gays

by Marsha West

DUBLIN– Ireland on May 22 became the first country to hold a public vote amending its constitution to allow gay marriage, but the change will not force houses of worship to perform the unions. Instead, gay couples will be able to enter in “civil marriage,” a separate institution from but affording all the legal benefits […]

Read more of this post


Twitter trend ‘Charlie Charlie Challenge’ has teens trying to summon demon

The latest topic to create some commotion on Twitter has teens trying to summon a demon named Charlie.

The Charlie Charlie Challenge surfaced Thursday on Twitter and has gone viral across social media platforms.

View Article & stunning short video


Will Feds Grab Retirement Money?

May be time to just put it under a mattress . . .

The unanimous Supreme Court decision in Tibble v. Edison has once again stoked ongoing fears in the financial services industry that the Obama administration might be preparing for a takeover of private retirement savings.

View Article


The Johnson Amendment and the Agenda to Silence Christians

“Texas Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, was a powerful politician running for reelection as Senator, but two anti-communist, tax-exempt groups were opposing him and passing out literature during the campaigns. He contacted the IRS and found the group’s activity was legal, so he sought other options to fight them.

Johnson shrewdly appeared on the Senate floor on July 2, 1954, and offered his amendment to a pending, massive, tax code overhaul bill. The bill was supposed to modernize the tax code. Records indicate an absence of committee hearings on the amendment. No legislative analysis took place to examine the effect the bill and the amendment would have, particularly on churches and religious organizations. The amendment was simply created to protect Johnson.

View Article


Federal Hocus Pocus Lets She-Males in the Girls’ Room

Schools are being told that boys must be allowed to use girl restrooms and locker rooms and play on girl sports’ teams– that this is now federal policy. But no such law exists. It’s “translegal” hocus-pocus once again from the Obama administration, which has dressed up Title IX (sex discrimination law) to become whatever “drag” law they need it to be.

Still, God’s created order remains unchanged.

View Article


1/3 of Americans Say Animals Deserve the Same Rights as People, While Unborn Babies Have No Rights

Bioethics watchdog Wesley Smith noticed a recent polling question from Gallup noting that one-third of all Americans think animals should have the same rights as human beings. This comes at the same time that 34% of Americans think unborn babies should have no rights at all.

As Wesley notes:

View Article


Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, May 27, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Suspected Boko Haram Militants Kill 29 in Brutal Nigeria Attack

Scott Walker Makes Pitch to D.C. Conservatives

Scouts President: Gay Leader Ban Unsustainable

Matt Chandler’s Megachurch Accused of Disciplining, Shaming Woman over Divorce

Pastor Shot Outside Connecticut Church as He Put Up Flags for Memorial Day

Israeli Diplomat Cites Bible to Claim God Gave the Land of Israel to the Jews

TLC Pulls ’19 Kids’ Over Josh Duggar Misconduct Scandal

South Central United States Slammed with Tornadoes, Floods

Tennessee Governor Signs 48-hour Abortion Waiting Period into Law

Cuban Government Lifts Ban on Bible Distribution in Dramatic Policy Shift

Opinion

The Biggest Lie Employers Tell Employees

Dr. Robert George’s Defense of Marriage: Meet This Year’s Wilberforce Award Winner

Memorial Day | Don’t Let the Stories Die!

The Duggar TV empire made all kinds of people nervous

Yoga Pants and What the Bible Really Says About Modesty


“Charlie Charlie” Ouija Board-Like Challenge Has Youth Trying to Summon A Demon

by Marsha West

We’re posting this Christian News Network piece to alert parents that their child may be attempting to summon a demon. Doing that sort of thing “just for fun” is dangerous for both children and adults. In the Bible, God makes it clear that Christians are not to attempt to contact the spirit world.

We must also point out that some of the weird and scary experiences kids who have played “Charlie Charlie” claim they’ve had does not line up with the Bible’s teaching on demons.

A new challenge being shared on Twitter has youth across the nation and around the world engaging in an Ouija board-like ritual in an attempt to summon a demon.

According to reports, the “Charlie Charlie” challenge involves a Mexican occultist ritual of writing “yes” and “no” on a sheet of paper and crossing two pencils. The ritual is stated to be a type of “rite” for Mexican children.

“Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” those sitting around the paper chant, and then wait to see if the pencils move to point to either yes or no. If yes, those involved ask the demon questions to see how he will answer.

Read more


Forget the numbers. The big story is that religion has lost social influence. (ANALYSIS)

(RNS) Behind the story of Christian decline and the rise of “nones” is a long-standing debate about what religion theorists call “secularization,” the broad process by which religion gradually loses its social influence.


What might tomorrow’s faith community look like? (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) The big downtown church isn’t empty because church leaders failed or people were unappreciative. It’s empty because people are finding life elsewhere.


TV and Internet? Meh. What the pope really misses are pizza outings.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis isn’t keen on TV or the Internet and misses being able to pop out for pizza, telling the newspaper that “ordering one in the Vatican is not the same thing.”


News in Review Around the World with Understand the Times


Northern + Southern California hit by Earthquakes at Dormant Volcanoes

Posted: 27 May 2015 06:49 AM PDT

Over the past 24 hours there have been a series of earthquakes which developed directly at (or very close to) multiple dormant volcanoes in California, and Nevada. Northern California has now seen seismic activity very close to Mount Lassen volcano, with a M3.0 earthquake striking next to a chain of smaller nearby volcanic buttes. 

The screenshots below show the volcanoes nearby this current earthquake epicenter. Places with names like “Black Butte” and “Tuscan Buttes” within just a few miles where the earthquake struck.Further South in California, just across the border in Baja Mexico (Gulf of California), another series of dormant buttes showed seismic activity in the same few hours time. FULL REPORT

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Earthquake swarm reported outside Costa Rican capital – region shaken by 23 tremorsPosted: 27 May 2015 06:41 AM PDT

In a span of eight hours on Monday night and into early Tuesday, experts from the University of Costa Rica and the National University registered at least 23 temblors with epicenters located north of the province of Cartago, some 22 kilometers northeast of the Costa Rican capital.

Ronny Quintero, a seismologist at UNA’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) reported that the temblors originated on local faults west of Irazú Volcano’s main crater. Experts said they are not directly related to the volcano’s activity. The first occurred at 8:19 p.m. with a magnitude of 3.1 and and an epicenter 10 kilometers northwest of Pacayas. Several minor earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 2.4 to 3.7 followed, mainly in areas north and east of Cartago in the cantons of Jiménez and Oreamuno. Most of the minor quakes went unnoticed by local residents. FULL REPORT

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Deadly Tornado that struck border city in Mexico was most powerful tornado in 100 yearsPosted: 27 May 2015 06:20 AM PDT

In six seconds, a tornado ripped through the border city of Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, with a ferocity that officials said hasn’t been witnessed in more than 100 years. At least 13 people were killed, including three children, Acuña Mayor Evaristo Lenin Perez said. Another 200 were injured. Photos from the scene, which sits right across the border from Del Rio, Texas, showed cars blown upright, front bumper on the ground and leaning against homes. The twister flipped over school buses and damaged about 400 homes. Officials said records don’t show such a powerful tornado hitting the city in more than a century.

The storm system that spawned the deadly tornado is the same one whose rains have caused flooding in Central Texas. Neighbors from across the international bridge in Del Rio. Acuña is a historic border city that people outside of Mexico know as the setting for Robert Rodriguez’s films “El Mariachi” and “Desperado,” and George Strait’s song, “Blame it on Mexico.” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that he will visit Acuña, about 155 miles west of San Antonio, Texas, to survey the damage. FULL REPORT

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Over 430 hospitalized in Japan over heat wavePosted: 27 May 2015 06:06 AM PDT

More than 430 people in Japan have been admitted to hospitals nationwide in a current heat wave in several regions of the country, Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) said Tuesday. FDMA, in charge of ambulance services, cites data between May 18 and 24. Cases of hospitalization because of heat were reported in Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as in the Saitama, Aichi, Fukushima and Fukuoka prefectures, among others. The temperature in some regions of Japan is predicted to rise above 30 degrees Celsius [86 Fahrenheit] on Tuesday, according to Japan Meteorological Agency. Experts warn about the dangers of outside overexposure and urge people to refrain from outdoor physical activity.

In May and June, a high probability of above-normal temperatures (above 40 degrees Celsius) on the islands of Okinawa and Amami is forecast. In April, an extraordinary warm air mass moved across parts of East Asia, bringing severe high temperatures to Japan. The temperatures in some of the country’s prefectures were reported to be record-breaking. During May 11-17 period, two people died and 480 were hospitalized in Japan for heat exhaustion, according to FDMA. Japanese authorities have expressed concern that high heat could affect scheduled 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. The officials are considering introducing measures to deal with high temperatures, including stadium air conditioning and green space promotion. FULL REPORT

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Death toll in India’s intense and deadly heat wave soars to over 1,100Posted: 27 May 2015 05:55 AM PDT

India’s heat wave has now claimed over 1,100 lives, with spiking temperatures melting roads in the capital, New Delhi, as the country awaits the arrival of the annual monsoon rains. More than 850 people have succumbed in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where extreme temperatures claimed more than 200 lives in one district alone. In neighboring Telangana state, at least 266 people have died, officials say. Deaths have also been reported in the eastern states of Odisha and West Bengal, and in Gujarat on the country’s western coast. With temperatures in parts of the country nearing 122°F (50°C), most of the deaths have been reported over the past week.

In New Delhi, where temperatures have been hovering around the 113°F (45°C) mark, the local Hindustan Times newspaper carried a picture on its front page on Tuesday of the disfigured white stripes of a pedestrian crossing as the asphalt on a city road melted in the extreme heat. Twitter users posted similar images. Most of the victims of the heat wave sweeping across the country were elderly, homeless or construction workers forced to work outside even as temperatures climbed, the paper said. Annual monsoon rains that are expected to hit southern India in the coming days will bring some relief — although it will take some time for the rains to reach northern India, Agence France-Presse reports. Even as the rains are forecast to arrive in the south of the country, meteorologists expect above normal temperatures in north and central India until the weekend, the Economic Times newspaper reports. In New Delhi, substantial relief is only expected to arrive in early June. FULL REPORT

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Alleged “Prophet” predicts HORROR earthquake to hit America in TWO DAYSPosted: 27 May 2015 05:46 AM PDT

ATTENTION: The prediction in this article does not reflect the views of End Time Headlines

Time will tell if the man making this prediction will be yet another “Echo” or creditable in the coming days. The clip which first appeared on YouTube and has been shared across social media sites claims there will be a monstrous earthquake in Los Angeles and San Francisco on Thursday at about 4pm local time.

The disastrous prophecy claims the quake will measure 9.8 on the Richter Scale – two points higher than the devastating Nepal earthquake last month. The video made by Ditrianum Media, is narrated by a man from the Netherlands called Frank who claims to have warned of the Nepal earthquake five days before it struck.

It includes a 3D moving map of the solar system showing the alignment of the planets on May 28, claiming it will disrupt geological processes on Earth. But astronomer Phil Plait, who writes for New Scientist, said: “I’m seeing some buzz on social media that a planetary alignment on May 28 will cause a huge magnitude 9.8 earthquake. “Let me be clear: No, it won’t. It can’t. Worse, there’s not even an alignment on that date, at least not with the Earth. It’s all baloney. “This all stems from a video by someone who I believe is sincere but also profoundly wrong on essentially every level. It’s been picked up by various credulous places online, then spread around by people who haven’t been properly sceptical about it.” FULL REPORTThe post Alleged “Prophet” predicts HORROR earthquake to hit America in TWO DAYS appeared first on .

Beijing warns US: ‘We will fight back’ as battle of words escalates over South China SeaPosted: 27 May 2015 05:37 AM PDT

China has upped its military posturing, issuing a strategy paper saying Beijing would “surely counterattack if attacked” by an enemy amid concerns from the US and neighbouring countries over its developments in the South China Sea. The release of the document came shortly after Beijing lodged a complaint against the US for flying a surveillance jet over disputed territory in the South China Sea, where China is building artificial islands.

Chinese state media reported that the white paper, issued by the state council, the country’s cabinet, underscored that Beijing was committed to world peace and believed that a world war was unlikely. But it added that “small-scale wars, conflicts and crises are recurrent in some regions”. The state-owned news agency Xinhua highlighted one particular phrase, which appeared in the “Strategic Guideline of Active Defence” section: “We will not attack unless attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked.” FULL REPORT

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George W. Bush reportedly offered to officiate same-sex weddingPosted: 27 May 2015 05:29 AM PDT

Former President George W. Bush may have campaigned against same-sex marriage a decade ago, but he more recently offered to officiate a lesbian wedding, according to the Boston Globe. In an article about the Bush family’s longtime ties to the town of Kennebunkport, Maine, the Globe mentions that former President George H.W. Bush in 2013 attended the wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, two general store owners in Kennebunkport. In face, George H.W. Bush served as a witness at the wedding. The article also says, “George W. Bush offered to perform the ceremony but had a scheduling conflict.”

Mr. Bush’s spokesman Freddy Ford told CBS News that while the former president is indeed friends with Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, he doesn’t recall making an offer to officiate their wedding. The Bush’s relationship with the Kennebunkport couple illustrates the evolution of opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage, as well as the conflicting messages some Republicans have sent. In 2004, George W. Bush supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, and he made it an issue in his re-election campaign. Yet in her 2004 memoir, Mr. Bush’s wife Laura Bush said she urged the president to drop the issue out of respect for their gay friends. FULL REPORT

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Plague found in ground squirrel near BoisePosted: 27 May 2015 05:24 AM PDT

Idaho public health officials and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are cautioning the public after a ground squirrel found south of Boise tested positive for the plague. They are urging people to take extra precautions as they head outdoors for the Memorial Day weekend. Plague is a bacterial disease in rodents that can cause serious illness to people and pets if not treated quickly. The disease is generally transmitted by bites of infected fleas. It can also be transmitted by coming in direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, rabbits and pets. Rodents include ground squirrels, rats and mice.

“We have investigated reported mortalities of ground squirrels in the area southeast of Boise during May,” State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew said. “Dogs and cats can be infected with plague through hunting rodents, playing with or consuming their carcasses, or by exposure to their fleas.” Plague activity usually increase in the spring and summer when rodents are more active. People can become exposed when pets have contact with rodents or fleas. Health officials say you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming infected with the plague by taking these precautions: FULL REPORT

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IT BEGINS: US Marine Court-Martialed For Refusing To Remove Bible Verse From Computer

The plight of Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling seems unbelievable, but it’s disgustingly all too real

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17 (KJV)

They say that if you put a frog into boiling water, it will jump out. But if you put the same frog in cold water and gradually turn up the heat, it will never jump out until it’s too late, and get cooked. That’s exactly how the Obama administration is removing our freedoms, one at a time. And he has been astonishing successful. America in 2015 is a place Jesus Christ and the Bible are considered hate speech, and the LGBT Agenda is glorified. A place where everyone has rights except the bible believing Christian, run by an administration that allows Iran to have nuclear weapons but posting a Bible verse to your personal computer is illegal.

America, the wolf is in the White House and you are losing the battle for your liberty. It’s time to wake up, or admit defeat.

A United States Marine was convicted at a court-martial for refusing to remove a Bible verse on her computer – a verse of Scripture the military determined “could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline.”

lance-corporal-monifa-sterling-court-martialed-for-refusing-to-remove-bible-verse-isaiah-54-17-kjv-united-states-marines

The plight of Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling seems unbelievable – a member of the Armed Forces criminally prosecuted for displaying a slightly altered passage of Scripture from the Old Testament: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

Sterling, who represented herself at trial, was convicted February 1, 2014 in a court-martial at Camp Lejune, North Carolina after she refused to obey orders from a staff sergeant to remove the Bible verses from her desk.

She was found guilty of failing to go to her appointed place of duty, disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer, and four specifications of disobeying the lawful order of a noncommissioned officer.

Both lower court and the appellate court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act did not apply to her case because displaying a Bible verse does not constitute religious exercise.

However, a religious liberty law firm and a high-powered, former U.S. solicitor general have taken up her case and have filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

“If the government can order a Marine not to display a Bible verse, they could try and order her not to get a religious tattoo, or go to church on Sunday,” said Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry. “Restricting a Marine’s free exercise of religion is blatantly unconstitutional.”

Sterling wised up and finally got legal counsel. Now representing her are the Liberty Institute along with former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, also a law professor at Georgetown University. Clement most recently won a Supreme Court victory on behalf of Hobby Lobby against the Affordable Care Act.

Ronald Reagan Warned Us On The Gradual Creep Of Socialism:

Liberty Institute and Clement plan to argue that the appellate court should have applied the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Sterling’s case – protecting her right to post Bible verses as a form of religious exercise.

According to the appellate court’s decision, they were not convinced “that displaying religious text at a shared government workstation would be protected even in a civilian federal workplace.” They also considered the fact that Sterling’s desk was shared by other Marines.

“The implication is clear – the junior Marine sharing the desk and the other Marines coming to the desk for assistance would be exposed to biblical quotations in the military workplace,” the court declared. “It is not hard to imagine the divisive impact to good order and discipline that may result when a service member is compelled to work at a government desk festooned with religious quotations.”

Festooned with religious quotations?

Attorney Berry points out that other Marines were allowed to decorate their desks. However, the lower courts refused to allow that evidence to be admitted. And at the time of the incident – Sterling was not sharing a desk.

“This was a conflict between her and her supervisor,” he told me. “Her supervisor clearly said she did not like the tone of the Bible verses.”

Berry said the supervisor cursed at Sterling and ordered her to immediately remove the verses. She refused the order. The following day, she discovered the verses had been removed and thrown in the trash.

“Adding insult to injury, the government charged her with the crime of failing to obey a direct order because she did not remove the Bible verse,” Berry said.

According to court documents, the military maintains the “verbiage” – “No weapon formed against me shall prosper” could “easily been seen as contrary to good order and discipline.”

“Maintaining discipline and morale in the military work center could very well require that the work center remain relatively free of divisive or contentious issues such as personal beliefs, religion, politics, etc.”

Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser told me it was outrageous “that such a small strip of paper could so frighten a drill sergeant.”

“This is a very scary time when you are not allowed to have a very small printed Bible verse in your own personal workspace because it might offend other Marines,” Sasser told me. “Our Marines are trained to deal with some of the most hostile people on the planet. I don’t think they are afraid of tiny words on a tiny piece of paper.”

Reagan Warned Us About Obama, We Didn’t Listen:

The Bible verse incident happened in May 2013. A few months later she was accused of failing to wear an appropriate uniform because of a medical condition. Berry told me he believes the military was trumping up the charge sheet “to make it look that things were worse than they were.”

As it now stands – Sterling is unemployed and looking for work. It’s a process made harder because of the bad conduct discharge from the military.

Hopefully Liberty Institute will be able to restore this Christian Marine’s good name and expunge the charge. Anything less could jeopardize the standing of every person of faith serving in the Armed Forces. Should that happen – God help us all. source

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan, January 5, 1967

The post IT BEGINS: US Marine Court-Martialed For Refusing To Remove Bible Verse From Computer appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Don’t be Left Behind

View two-minute video


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

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May 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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An Open Letter to Christian Parents of Unbelieving Adult Children

Dear Christian parent, your trial is great, but your God is greater still. He is not blind to your anguish and He does not ignore the prayers of His children. May God hear your heart’s cry, answer, and work in your child’s life. May He take your child and make him or her His own. He is worthy of our trust, pour out your heart before Him (Psalm 62:8).

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Love Theologically

The Bible nowhere suggests that good theology can hinder love. Paul spends the first half of his letters expounding good theology. When he transitions to application in the second half, he never warns that some of that good stuff he mentioned up front might now become a hazard. And neither should we.

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Republication of the Covenant of Works

So here is where I currently am: I advocate a form of republication that is very similar to Colquhoun’s. The republication was given to Israel primarily for the purposes of the pedagogical use of the law (though not only for this purpose). Of course, it is helpful to bear in mind that in this pedagogical sense, the covenant of works is always republished throughout the entire Bible. It is always there, sometimes more in the background, sometimes more in the foreground.

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The Rural Church Dilemma

Be energized by the concept that your church could become the most loving church in the world. I find this compelling. There will be many things your church may not be. It may not be the most educated church or the most innovative church, or the most evangelistic church, etc., but it can be the most loving church. There is nothing to stop that from happening except your lack of determination and/or the will of the people. Love, after all, is the sign of maturity as a church.

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Workout for the Soul: A Review of Theological Fitness

For fitness fanatics, fitness fakers, and everyone in between, the searching questions and robust exegesis of Theological Fitness contain a workout plan for the soul. Writing about 1 Pet. 3:15, Byrd explains: “There are two qualifications of fitness here: knowing God’s truth, and the patient endurance of suffering for the sake of it. This requires conditioning, strengthening, and training. Just as our bodies need continual practice in any kind of physical training, so do our minds in theological growth.” (p. 85)

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Witsius on Law, Gospel, and Antinomianism

“Therefore every prescription of virtues and duties, all exhortations and dissuasions, all reproofs and threatenings also all the promises of a reward in recompense of perfect obedience, belong to the law. But to the gospel appertains whatever can give a sinner the hope of salvation, namely, the doctrine concerning the person, offices, states, and benefits of Jesus Christ, and all the promises wherein is included the pardon of sins, and the annexed possession of grace and glory, to be obtained by faith in him. This is the strictest notion of both words, to which we must attend, in the whole of this disputation.”

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7 Sure-Fire Ways to Recognize False Teachers

A false teacher isn’t going to tell you he’s teaching heresy. In fact, he’ll usually look and sound so sincere and passionate that you wouldn’t know he’s actually twisting God’s Word. The size of the crowds around him won’t tell you much either, since many people have been and continue to be led astray by teaching that pleases their ears.

The prophet Jeremiah kept telling the people of Judah over and over what God planned for Jerusalem, urging them to turn from their wicked ways. But the people preferred to listen to false prophets who told them what they wanted to hear. We have to make sure we’re not doing the same.

So, how exactly can you tell if someone is “wolf in sheep’s clothing”? You become a “fruit inspector,” just as Jesus said (Matthew 7:15–16). According to Pastor Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship, there are 7 telltale signs that can take the wool from our eyes:

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In Faith Communities Like the Duggars, Abuse Victims are Encouraged to be Filled with Grace

Easy “forgivism” may gloss over the terrible situation in the short term, but it reinforces to everyone that the egregious, soul-siphoning sin committed against the victim was trivial, easy to get over. It forgets Jesus’ strong admonition that “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

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God Gave You the Holy Spirit … For a Reason

by Pastor J.D.

There was a time, believe it or not, when churches didn’t call themselves “missional.” Missions was, for most Christians, what other people did. It was for the elite, the varsity level, the Navy Seals of the Christian world. The rest of us praised our missionaries and considered them heroes…but we never really considered that we, too, were supposed to be missionaries.

That attitude is beginning to change, but the American church has a long way to go. It is immensely encouraging to hear of churches around the country catching the vision that mission is part of the very essence of the church. God doesn’t call us into his kingdom, and only at some later time call a few more of us into his mission. His call to join him in mission is tied up in his call to salvation. “Follow me,” Jesus said, “And I will make you fishers of men.”

As Charles Spurgeon so prophetically put it, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.” That doesn’t mean that every believer must pack up their bags and move to Afghanistan (though many more should!). It means that the call to follow Christ is a call to follow him where he goes, as he seeks to make his name known throughout the world. It means that whether you’re a hairdresser or a pastor, a stay-at-home mom or an overseas missionary, God’s got a mission for you. He gave you the Spirit, and he did that for a reason.

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Habits

by Scott Aniol

Last week I suggested that data transmission alone does not create disciples. Rather, we must focus upon the heart’s inclinations in order to shape one’s behavior.

With the limits of data transmission in mind, what will it take, then to nurture true discipleship? If cultivating holy behavior requires influencing the heart’s inclinations, how does this take place?

First, we must recognize that there is a difference between what we might call higher and lower inclinations. The lower inclinations—or passions—are those impulses that respond primarily to physical appetites. Paul describes those who live according to these lower appetites: “their god is their belly” (Phil 3:19). When set in conflict with the mind, these lower appetites will always win since, as I have already claimed, we act primarily on the basis of inclination. Thankfully, there is a second aspect to our inclinations, the higher inclinations—or affections—of the soul. When the affections are cultivated toward what is right and good, we act accordingly. Notice that we still nevertheless act according to out inclinations, but as C. S. Lewis so famously stated, “The head rules the belly through the chest.” ((C. S Lewis, The Abolition of Man, New Ed (HarperOne, 2001), 24.)) Therefore, if we want to produce disciples characterized by holy behavior, then we must give attention to cultivating noble inclinations for what is true and good. Peter tells us to “put on affections of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Yet the question still remains, how is this accomplished? How do we teach people’s affections?

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The 7 Characteristics of Servant Leadership

I think it is so important for the church to understand the real meaning of servant leadership. So important.

“But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles ilord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but kto serve, and lto give his life as a ransom for many’ (Matthew 20:25-28).”

“‘But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are hall brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted’” (Matthew 23:8-12).

A servant leader:

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About those gifts

There are a lot of Christian leaders out there who are manipulating everything from spiritual gifts tests to oracles from God to signs and wonders in their church services. There are those who are cessasionists – who believe speaking in tongues and speaking prophecies are not active for today, and those who believe the gifts […]

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Cold Case Christianity: Why We Need to Stop Teaching (and Start Training) Young Christians – Part 2 (Video)

J. Warner Wallace (author of Cold-Case Christianity) speaks to Green Bay Community Church about the important difference between teaching and training. How can a shift in our thinking help young Christians learn how to defend their faith? In this video, J. Warner finishes his description of five key characteristics of training.


“Charlie Charlie” Ouija Board-Like Challenge Has Youth Trying to Summon A Demon

by Marsha West

We’re posting this Christian News Network piece to alert parents that their child may be attempting to summon a demon. Doing that sort of thing “just for fun” is dangerous for both children and adults. In the Bible, God makes it clear that Christians are not to attempt to contact the spirit world.

We must also point out that some of the weird and scary experiences kids who have played “Charlie Charlie” claim they’ve had does not line up with the Bible’s teaching on demons.

A new challenge being shared on Twitter has youth across the nation and around the world engaging in an Ouija board-like ritual in an attempt to summon a demon.

According to reports, the “Charlie Charlie” challenge involves a Mexican occultist ritual of writing “yes” and “no” on a sheet of paper and crossing two pencils. The ritual is stated to be a type of “rite” for Mexican children.

“Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” those sitting around the paper chant, and then wait to see if the pencils move to point to either yes or no. If yes, those involved ask the demon questions to see how he will answer.

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An Ode to Conservatism

by Christopher Ames

While we believe that Roman Catholicism has strayed from the truth due to a rather early set of unscriptural innovations away from orthodoxy and orthopraxy, some (certainly not all) Roman Catholics have managed to conserve vestiges of orthopathy. This, I believe, is why Rome is often attractive to those who wish to recover a rightly proportioned set of affections: they almost never get to see such affections in the evangelical world. In light of this, we don’t automatically label people who make such an ill-fated conversion idiots: we seek to recover orthopathy in our own churches.

Dwight Longenecker may have swum the Tiber after graduating from BJU, but he did not leave all of his good sense on the hither bank. This article avoids the pitfalls of theological differences (which are, by the way, a life-and-death issue) and focuses on what ought to be the essence of conservatism. I can commend this article to you because it is devoid of reference to doctrine or practice in particular, and its principles are, in the best sense, universal.

Intercollegiate Review | How to Be a Creative Conservative


Better gear up for the 5 major changes coming to the Church

Marsha West
May 27, 2015

John Burton has written a piece entitled “Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church.” Before you get all excited, or maybe even concerned over those changes, you should know a bit more about Burton. As it turns out he’s a “prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. According to his blog, John Burton, he “has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist . . . [Click for more]


After Relationships Shatter

Some conflicts are so egregious, believers can actually find reconciliation and forgiveness a distasteful calling. When a professing believer has left a community and caused a great deal of harm and has lived unrepentant for a long time, his repentance and return is often met with anything but a joyful heart. Yet, Scripture guides the church in how to respond in this type of difficult situation. Continue reading


When Assurance is Lacking

Today’s post is taken from a letter to an individual who is struggling with assurance of salvation.

DoubtDear ____________:

I am so sorry to hear about your struggle with the assurance of your salvation. Seasons of doubt can be some of the most difficult valleys we walk through. Maybe you’re doubting God’s love (“Could he really love someone like me?”), the reality of your conversion (“I don’t think I’m regenerate because I___”), the possibility of certainty (“Can I even know for sure that I’m saved?”), or something else. Whatever the case, know that this is a common battle. You are not alone.

I understand a bit of what that is like as I battled with the darkness of doubt for a time in seminary. The source of my doubt was multi-faceted. On the one hand, it arose from a sudden realization of previously unseen sin. I claimed to believe in the gospel, but my “new” sin seemed to eclipse the cross. My excessive self-analyzing exacerbated the problem. The deeper and longer I beheld my thoughts, the more assurance fled (as it often will). Maybe you are experiencing doubt for those reasons. Or maybe it’s Satan, your natural temperament, or something else. I don’t know.

So, I want to share with you a few things that I have found helpful in battling the darkness of doubt.

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9 Things You Should Know About Mental Health

In 2013, President Obama proclaimed May as National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time set aside to bring the issue of mental health to the attention of the American public. Here are nine things you should know about issues related to mental health:

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Seven Concerns about Christians and Tipping

The following is a true story. Granted, it happened several years ago. But I wonder how often such scenarios unfold.

Two pastors were at lunch together. The older pastor paid for their previous meal, so the younger pastor picked up the tab for this meal. The younger pastor paid cash for the meal, so his older friend asked if he had included a tip. He said he forgot the tip, so he put some cash on the table.

As they were departing, the younger pastor said he forgot something, and returned to the restaurant. The other pastor saw him through the window. The younger man went back to the table, picked up the cash, and put it in his pocket.

Hopefully, such stories are rare. But we do have reasons to be concerned when church members and Christian leaders treat restaurant servers and other service employees so poorly. Allow me to outline seven key concerns.

  1. Tipping is an opportunity we may not otherwise have. We have social contact with people with whom we may not interact on a regular basis. This is our opportunity to represent the name of Christ well. God has put these people in our paths for a reason.
  2. Our generosity is one way we point people toward Christ. We demonstrate our priorities with the ways we spend money. We have seen in numerous studies that churches with a passion and heart for their communities are the churches making a difference. We can’t have a positive witness with a greedy attitude.
  3. We can help counter some of the negative impact of other church members. A server in a restaurant told me she hated working the Sunday lunch shift. She said church members were the rudest and stingiest customers she encountered. Our positive witness with a generous tip can counter some of the negativity caused by others.
  4. Generous tipping reflects a compassionate and grateful heart. Many servers work long hours and endure verbal abuse on a regular basis. Often their pay is very low. They may depend on tips to make ends meet. When we tip generously, we are demonstrating compassion for these servers, and we are expressing our gratitude for their service.
  5. Most of us are blessed with abundance. We should be generous with that which God has given us. Healthy tipping is thus a matter of evangelistic witness and wise stewardship.
  6. Generous tipping can reinforce positive conversations with servers. If we are kind to servers, and if we speak with graciousness and gratitude toward them, our witness is reinforced when we tip generously.
  7. Poor tipping can be a negative witness that takes time to overcome. A few years ago, several people in my organization went to lunch together. They tipped very poorly. The server wrote on Facebook about these employees with clear reference to our organization. Our witness was thus compromised with the server and with the public in general.

I have little patience with those who are stingy to servers. If we can afford to eat out, we can afford to tip generously. Church leaders would do well to remind their members about this often-neglected topic of witness in the community.

By the way, the older pastor in the story I began above went back to the restaurant and apologized to the server. He also left her a 100 percent tip.

It is both amazing and tragic how the simple act of tipping can affect our witness in the communities in which we live. What do you think about this topic? Let me hear from you.

The post Seven Concerns about Christians and Tipping appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Those Who Once Stood With Us in the Gospel Now Capitulating to the World.

It always saddens to me see those who once stood with us to go out from us by capitulating to the world and its narrative. It is especially distressing to see this among professing Christians. Dr. Adrian Warnock’s recent article, among other things, is a call for Christians to apologize and repent for calling to those with same-sex attraction to faith and repentance. He clearly seems to be advocating the idea that those Christians who proclaim the gospel to those with same-sex attraction are Pharisees because, he believes, very few persons in this category can change, so it is abusive and hurtful to call them to repent of something they are unable to repent from.  Never mind what they Bible teaches.

I am wondering whether Dr. Warnock understands that the Bible declares that none of us can change ourselves. Does he think those with same-sex attraction are alone in their moral inability to change? As such would he affirm the following statement which the Bible indicates is true about all sinners?

Source


Is America Post-Christian?

We hear a lot these days about America being “post-Christian.” This sort of language has accelerated in recent weeks, with the Pew Center survey demonstrating a spike in the numbers of Americans who claim no religious affiliation.


Arminian vs Reformed on Justification


Who are ‘the least of these’? Scholars say they may not be the poor

(RNS) According to a growing chorus of prominent Bible scholars, Jesus was speaking about persecuted Christians rather than the poor.

The post Who are ‘the least of these’?


Since Grace is Free, YES … You CAN just go sin all you want

I hold to radical, outrageous, shocking, scandalous, limitless grace. I believe there is no other kind of grace.

But whenever I teach or write about this sort of grace, it is almost guaranteed that someone will object by saying, “So are you saying that we can just go sin all we want?”

sin all you wantThey are referring, of course, to the statement in Romans 6:1 where a person objects to Paul’s teaching about grace in exactly the same way. And Paul’s answer, of course, is “God forbid!”

Can I sin all I want?

In the past, I have responded similarly as Paul. I say “No, of course not!” And then I go on to explain that just as obedience does nothing to help us earn or keep eternal life, sin does nothing to cause us to lose it or prove we never had it. ⇦ Tweet that!

The reason God doesn’t want us to sin is because sin damages us.

(By the way, if you have a presentation of the Gospel which never gets the Romans 6:1 objection, then I submit to you that you are probably not teaching the same Gospel Paul was. If, after teaching about grace, no one says to you, “So are you saying I can just sin all i want?” then you probably have not taught grace. I call this question the Grace litmus test.)

But this past week I was talking to someone about grace, and they objected with the grace litmus test, and I don’t know what happened, but I sighed out of exasperation and decided to give a different answer than the one I had always given before.

The man said to me, “So are you saying I can just go sin all I want?”

And I smiled and said, “Yep. If that’s what you want to do, go right ahead.”

I got the “Deer in the headlights” look back from him. I think he had heard rumors that my type of theology existed, but he had never met anyone who was so willing to give him a license to sin as I had just done.

license to sinSo yes, in a way, grace is a license to sin.

He started getting huffy with me, and tried to show that my response to him was different than what Paul said in Romans 6:1, and how therefore my understanding of grace different from that of Paul and so on…

But the more he preached at me the more convinced I became of what I had said out of exasperation.

Grace allows you to sin all you want … if that’s really what you want

If you really understand grace, and if you really understand God, and if you really understand God’s love for you, and after understanding all this, you really want to go sin, then be my guest, go right ahead.

Although grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust (Titus 2:12), grace also allows you to go sin all you want … if that is really what you want. ⇦ Tweet that!

Let me put it another way.

If I told my daughters that I loved them completely, and that no matter what they did, I would always love them, forgive them, and be willing to die for them, and if, after I told them this, one of my daughters looked at me and said, “So I can just go stick my hand in the blender and you will still love me?” I would look at her a little strangely and say, “Well … yes … if that’s really want you want to do, go ahead. But know that if you do that, it’s going to be extremely painful. I will, of course, pull your hand out of the blender and rush you to the hospital to stop the bleeding and rescue what I can of your hand. But no matter what, I will still love you and cherish you as my daughter.”

This is what Paul means in Romans 6 when he responds with “God Forbid!” He is not saying, “No, you cannot!” but rather, “Why would you want to?”

grace sin all I wantYou see, sin doesn’t stop God from loving us, nor does it stop God from doing everything He can to rescue us from the devastating and destructive consequences of sin. Sin definitely doesn’t prove that we were never His son or daughter to begin with.

No, sin hurts us. It cuts us. It ruins us. Sin destroys our relationships, our health, our finances, our marriages, our jobs, our longevity, our emotions, our psyche.

Asking the question “So I can just go sin all I want?” simply shows that you do not fully understand the love of God, the grace of God, or even God Himself! It also reveals that you do not understand the devastating and destructive consequences of sin.

Asking the question, “So I can just go sin all I want?” reveals that you don’t understand how painful sin can be.

Asking the question “So I can just go sin all I want?” is like asking, “So I can take this knife and stab it into my leg?” … Yes, if that really what you want to do, go right ahead.

The post Since Grace is Free, YES … You CAN just go sin all you want appeared first on Redeeming God.


 Dr. Robert George’s Defense of Marriage

So what is marriage anyway, and why is the Supreme Court case so important? I’ll let one of the smartest men I know fill you in.
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Humility and Anxiety

The Bible’s solution to anxiety can seem a bit strange. The Bible impresses upon anxious souls the importance of humility. In writing to Christians undergoing severe persecution the apostle Peter guides them to a place of confidence and rest outside of themselves. We see this in 1 Peter 5:6-7. Humility is the key to overcoming fear, worry, and anxiety. Continue reading


The Pattern Among Fallen Pastors

During my time in seminary I took a leadership course taught by the late, great Howard Hendricks. As we studied the life of David, Hendricks shared a study he conducted with a group of men in full-time ministry who had fallen into a morally disqualifying sin.

At the time, I had only been a Christian for a few years, but unfortunately the subject was all too relevant. During my early days I had witnessed several men whom I loved and respected fall into serious sinful compromise. At one point in those days, the falls came so frequently I felt as if I was on the spiritual beach of Normandy watching buddies’ lives get blown apart all around me.

Fallen Soldiers of Christ

The study examined 246 men in full-time ministry who experienced moral failure within a two-year period. As far as Hendricks could discern, these full-time clergy were born-again followers of Jesus. Though they shared a common salvation, these men also shared a common feat of devastation; they had all, within 24 months of each other, been involved in an adulterous relationship.

After interviewing each man, Hendricks compiled four common characteristics of their lives:

  • None of the men was involved in any kind of real personal accountability.
  • Each of the men had all but ceased having a daily time of personal prayer, Bible reading, and worship.
  • More than 80 percent of the men became sexually involved with the other woman after spending significant time with her, often in counseling situations.
  • Without exception, each of the 246 had been convinced that sort of fall “would never happen to me.”

As I reflect on this study, four lessons come to mind. These are applicable for pastors, plumbers, stay-at-home moms, and anyone else who seeks to follow Christ.

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Video: Answering Questions Non-Christians Ask by Michael Ramsden

For more about Michael Ramsden, see here.  If you have not had a chance to listen to him,  I encourage you to do so.

Source


5 Things Every Christian Leader Should Pray for Themselves Everyday

Kevin Halloran:

I desperately wanted to honor Christ and influence others toward Him, but learned the hard way how to damage relationships by trying to force-feed them what I thought was best—I tried to do the work of the Holy Spirit. Reading Jesus’ words “you can do nothing” at the close of the year seemed to be a fitting description of the recent fruit of my labors for the Lord. I quickly learned that I couldn’t bear fruit apart from abiding in Christ.

An Open Letter to Christian Parents of Unbelieving Adult Children

Jason Helopoulos:

“What about our son?” “What about our daughter?” As a pastor there are conversations that I routinely have with parishioners. One of the regular exchanges I have had over the years begins with a Christian parent or both parents approaching with downcast gazes. The discouragement, and at times even despair, are apparent in their eyes. The opening words are either, “Pastor, would you pray for our child?,” or “Pastor, what advice would you give to us for child?” They then proceed to explain that their adult child has wandered from the faith. With anguish in their words, they detail how they brought him or her up in the faith: their child had attended Sunday School each week, participated in corporate worship, and attended Youth Group. A few times, I have even been told that they were a paragon of virtue and seemed to love the Lord in their teenage years. Their parents were not shy about sharing the faith with their child at home and they tried to surround him or her with good and godly friends. But now, sadly, their child has rejected Christ. They are living a life of unbelief and their parents are filled with grief.

Christian Ethics, Evangelicals, and Functional Marcionism

Jake Meador:

All we need, apparently, is the red letters. The Old Testament God is angry and vengeful and not very Christian, but New Testament God is great. Old Testament God is just God in his teen years when he was ready to fight if you looked at him the wrong way. But New Testament God has grown up. He doesn’t lose his temper over little things any more. He’s chill now. He listens to NPR and loves Portlandia and is kinda embarrassed by all that wrath and judgment stuff in the Old Testament. So don’t worry about that 2/3 of the Bible. Just read about Jesus and you have everything you need to understand Christian ethics.

Of course, to any student of church history this thinking should sound familiar. All of these arguments trade in a form of Marcionism, the ancient Christian heresy attributed to Marcion, a second century Christian who rejected the Old Testament.

Letter to a Teen Unboxing Their First Smartphone

Tim Challies:

You just got your first smartphone! This is a major milestone in your life. That phone you are about to take out of the box is one of the most amazing devices ever created, and it is going to be your constant companion for the next couple of years. It is an incredible piece of technology that can be used in many different ways.

It can be used to do so many good things, but if you are not wary, it can also be used to do an awful lot of bad things. So before you power it on for the first time, I think it would be wise to invest just a few minutes in thinking and planning.

How to get millennials back in church


 

The Daily Discovery (May 27, 2015)

 

Social Justice and Scripture: Untie the Knot Pt.13 – “Many Christians (including professors, pastors, and leaders) reason that since God desires us to do good toward others, the government should step in to provide for those whose needs are not met. They call this the ‘safety net.’ They consider it an aspect of caring for one’s neighbor. They deny that the result is “confiscation” and “redistribution” of wealth.”

Who Holds the Media Accountable? – “Another anti-AiG article full of misinformation and untruths told by a secular media source (this time in my native Australia) has made me once again think about who holds the media accountable. It seems they are often a law unto themselves. And it also appears that for much of the media, freedom of speech includes making up whatever reporters want, and they can spread untruths to the public without much or any accountability.”

Deuteronomy – “The book of Deuteronomy (meaning: ‘second law’), serves as an imperative to the sons of Israel. We will briefly examine what Yahweh (יהוה) required of Israel. We will also examine what the book of Deuteronomy revealed about יהוה. The Laws, statutes and ordinance are vital to the understanding of God requirements and His character. The fear of יהוה, the worship of Him, Idolatry and the land will be discussed in light of Deuteronomy’s revelation of יהוה.”

What Does “coram Deo” mean? – “I remember Mama standing in front of me, her hands poised on her hips, her eyes glaring with hot coals of fire and saying in stentorian tones, ‘Just what is the big idea, young man?’”

Grabbing a dog’s ears. – “In Sunday School recently, we began working through the Sermon on the Mount, so this verse was pretty fresh in my mind: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Something I shared in the Sunday School discussion last Sunday was that peacemakers don’t pick fights with others, provoke fights between others, or extend fights that should be ended.”


SERMON:

Charles Spurgeon – Heaven and Hell


VIDEOS:

I’ll See Ya In Hell Buddy

Andy Stanley: Expositors are cheaters


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

Source



Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Don’t be Left Behind

View two-minute video


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

May 27, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Warning over Religious Believers in Chinese Communist Party Ranks

ICC Note: The Chinese Communist Party has long been concerned about its maintaining control of the general population in China, including control of religious beliefs. A newsletter article from the CCP makes it clear that its members do not have religious freedom.


Radical Buddhist Monk Responsible for Attacks on Religious Minorities Arrested in Sri Lanka

ICC Note:

Radical Buddhist monk and leader of the Buddhist extremist group Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), Galgoda Aththa Gnanasara, was arrested yesterday by authorities of the new government in Sri Lanka.


Christian Homes in Lahore Damaged Following Blasphemy Accusation

ICC Note:

Following an accusation of blasphemy being leveled against a Christian in Lahore, Pakistan, a mob reportedly attacked a Christian neighborhood, damaging both homes and a local church.


Daily Prayer – Wednesday 27 May 2015

Praise God for the safe arrival in Iraqi Kurdistan of the 30 containers of high quality insulated tents and associated equipment that will comprise Sawra (Hope) Village for displaced Iraqi Christians.


Coptic Coalition Demands Maspero Killings Case Reopened

ICC Note: Egyptian Christians are still seeking justice from 2011 when 27 Christians were killed when army vehicles drove through a protest. Despite investigations into the matter the case has not been resolved and it continues to mark the sense of vulnerability that Egypt’s Christians face.


Two Pastors in Sudan Face Death Over Christian Faith, Trial to Begin Next Week

ICC Note: The possible death penalty case of 2 South Sudanese pastors in Sudan has grabbed international attention as religious freedom advocates fear the real possibility that the Sudanese government will truly execute the two men.


Arizona Restrictions on Church Signs Reach Supreme Court

After filing a lawsuit in 2008 against a municipal law, Good News Community Church of Gilbert, Arizona, is taking their case to the Supreme Court. Due to the city’s sign ordinance, the church was forbidden from displaying directional signs on public roadways more than twelve hours prior to their services and no more than one hour after services ended.


Boko Haram Could Be Using Kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirls As Suicide Bombers

ICC Note: Islamist terror group Boko Haram is increasingly using abducted girls for suicide bombings, carrying out multiple attacks this month in northern Nigeria . Officials from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) fear that some of the young girls are those who Boko Haram kidnapped from Chibok just over a year ago that sparked the international Bring Back Our Girls Campaign.


Boko Haram Suspected in Killing of at Least 29 People, Mostly Christians, in Nigeria

ICC Note: Boko Haram has murdered nearly 30 people in attacks across Adamawa state in the past 10 days, mostly Christians. The latest assault occurred Monday, May 25, when militants raided a town in the Madagali local government area, hacking to death 10 members of a Brethren church with machetes.


Suspected Fulani Herdsmen Kill At Least 23 Christians in Central Nigeria

ICC Note: Muslim Fulani herdsmen have reportedly murdered another 23 Christian farmers in central Nigeria. The assault occurred Sunday when unknown gunman attacked a Christian community in the Logo local government area of Benue state.


Heilongjiang Authorities Shutdown House Church Gathering

ICC Note: Although the officials of the District Public Security Bureau claim to have only enforced the regulations and to have followed the ‘normal procedures’, it is difficult to see how these regulations and procedures are compatible with the central Chinese government’s claim that China’s citizens have freedom of religion.

Albert Mohler Blog: “A Requiem for the Boy Scouts”

In this blog essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler’s reflects on the recent comments made by President Robert M. Gates of the Boy Scouts of America regarding the inclusion of gay scout leaders, and the now seemingly inevitable demise of the Boy Scouts movement and ideal. Mohler writes:

“The Boy Scouts were doomed the moment the national leadership decided to preserve the organization at the cost of the values and ideals that gave it birth. Speaking to a national meeting of Boy Scouts of America leaders, President Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, called for the B.S.A. to abandon its policy of allowing the participation of openly gay scouts, but not the involvement of openly-gay adults.”

Click here to read more

A Demon-Possessed Christian?

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

Satan Cast Out: A Study in Biblical Demonology There are not a lot of solid biblical books on the topic of demons and demon possession (there are, however, plenty of bad ones!).  Here’s a good one worth mentioning:Satan Cast Out [Frederick Leahy (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1975)].  This book is balanced, full of biblical references and summaries, Christ centered, and it is written from a Reformed point of view.  One part asks – and answers well – the question: “Can a Christian be demon-possessed?”  I’ve edited it for length:

“In the light of Scripture we are compelled to reject the view that the Holy Spirit and an evil spirit can co-exist in the same person.  …When missionaries provide ‘examples’ of ‘believers’ being possessed, two questions immediately arise: Were the victims [truly] regenerate?  Were they actually possessed?  Passages of Scripture sometimes used to support this view prove no such thing.  There is no reason to believe…

View original 335 more words

Advice for Christian parents from a woman who left Christianity at university

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

If you want real confidence, try studying instead of yelling If you want your children to accept Christianity, then apologetics is needed

This is from the Beyond Teachable Moments blog – a great blog for Christian parents who want to raise effective, influential children.

Intro:

I recently had the opportunity to meet an intelligent young Christian woman who is proactively learning how to discuss her faith in a secular society.

Why is she so dedicated to doing this?  Because her Christian upbringing had completely failed to prepare her for the challenges of secularism, religious pluralism and atheism at university.

This young woman grew up in close-knit, loving Christian home.  She faithfully attended church.  She was enrolled in a Christian school that taught subjects such as apologetics, hermeneutics, inductive Bible study and managing relationships.  Her parents cared about her spiritual formation.

And yet, this is how she describes her university experience:

“Although I was still living at home during the beginning…

View original 1,225 more words

May 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Devotional Guide Collection

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May 27

HAPPY THE HOME WHEN GOD IS THERE

Henry Ware Jr., 1794–1843

… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

The beauty of the home is order; the blessing of the home is contentment;

The glory of the home is hospitality; the crown of the home is godliness.

Unknown

This is the season when our attention is especially directed to the basic social institution in society, the home, with special days for recognizing mothers, fathers, and children. The strength of any nation is the quality of its homes. “In love of home, the love of country has its rise” said Charles Dickens.

Home should be the holy of holies in a person’s life, a place where ultimate love and acceptance are found between parents and with the children. The real test of a parent’s spirituality is his home life—the daily demonstration of a Christ-like character. As parents, our responsibility is not only to feed and clothe our children’s bodies, but to nurture their spirits, their minds, and their moral values. By word and by personal example we must carefully guide our children and fervently seek to show them what it means to be a Christian. Good parenting also involves maintaining strong lines of communication between all members of the family. This demands quality time spent together in discussions, social times, daily spiritual retreats, and weekly periods of instruction and worship in the local church.

This fine text was written by an ordained Unitarian minister, Henry Ware, who later became pastor of the Second Unitarian Church in Boston, Massachusetts. The well-known American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, served for a time as Ware’s assistant. The hymn first appeared in Selection of Hymns and Poetry for Use of Infant and Juvenile Schools and Families, published in 1846.

Happy the home when God is there and love fills ev’ry breast, when one their wish and one their prayer and one their heav’nly rest.

Happy the home where Jesus’ name is sweet to ev’ry ear, where children early lisp His fame and parents hold Him dear.

Happy the home where prayer is heard and praise is wont to rise, where parents love the sacred Word and all its wisdom prize.

Lord, let us in our homes agree this blessed peace to gain; unite our hearts in love to Thee, and love to all will reign.

For Today: Deuteronomy 6:7 Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 5:21–23; 6:4

Reflect on ways that you could improve the quality of your home. Does God really have His rightful place as the foundation of the home? Carry this musical message with you as you seriously consider these matters—[1]


May 27: Math: Maybe Not a Mystic Language After All

1 Chronicles 21:1–22:19; 2 Timothy 2:14–26; Psalm 86:1–87:7

In a world of metrics, it’s easy to become obsessed with statistics and start to quantify every aspect of our lives. Stats can even become a type of scorekeeping between churches or pastors: “We have more members than you do.” We may never say those words out loud, but we think them; more than one person has made the mistake of measuring a ministry based on attendance. But God has His own method for measuring success.

Prompted by an adversary (“Satan” is often better translated as “adversary” or “accuser” in the Old Testament), David decides to seek metrics—to count the people of Israel. This account illustrates the harm of seeking gratification or understanding in numbers. In 1 Chronicles 21, major problems emerge from this: including placing an adversary’s will above God’s and predicting God’s will rather than seeking it regularly.

Rather than counting our successes, we should be counting on God for success. We should also be tallying how often He is faithful rather than how many we are in number. We’re more likely to see God’s faithfulness when we’re looking for it rather than looking for probabilities. David succeeded as a warrior and king not because he deserved it, but because God chose for him to do so. In 1 Chronicles 21, David forgets God’s role, even though his (often wrong and bloodthirsty) general reminds him otherwise. In fact, God’s use of Joab as His messenger demonstrates that God’s providential will can come from the least likely places.

Keeping a tally isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and we shouldn’t avoid metrics and stats. But we need to keep information in perspective. It’s not about baptizing 200 people on a Sunday—although that’s a blessed thing. It’s about lives being transformed and people being blessed so that they can experience transformation.

How can you count on what God is doing instead of counting what you deem success?

John D. Barry[2]


May 27

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Deuteronomy 17 through 20. Our lesson is from Deuteronomy 18:9, “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.” (NASU)

Lesson

I so enjoy receiving a gift. Whether it is Christmas, a birthday or another holiday, gifts are always welcomed. Israel had high expectations about entering the Promised Land. Let’s explore three things they anticipated.

First, the people of God would receive their inheritance. Several centuries before, the Lord had made a covenant with Abraham and promised him a land that he would inherit. His descendents would also be a blessing to many nations. Now the people of God were very close to receiving the long awaited benefits. It was a very emotional moment.

Next, the people of God were not to imitate the detestable things of the nations. The religious practices of the nations were offensive to the Lord. Throughout a good portion of the Old Testament, God exhorted His people not be like the people whose land He was going to give to Israel. The Lord knew His people would be tempted to imitate the ways of the Canaanites and others.

The Canaanites were notorious for practicing the occult. Deuteronomy lists the following practices: “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.” Tragically, Israel did not always listen to the commands of the Lord.

Third, the people of God were to be blameless. This has to do with honesty and truth. As previously noted, the people of God were admonished to not be like other nations. Here God gives the reason why. His purpose for His people was that they were to be an example to the nations.

The role of God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments is to model the behavior expected by the Lord so that others would desire to be like them. By Israel walking intimately with God, the other nations would desire that very same relationship. But Israel did not obey God’s commands.

In conclusion, Israel was to receive her inheritance. Israel was not to imitate the detestable things of the nations. And Israel was to be blameless.

Let’s learn to obey God’s commandments given in the Bible. His Word nourishes our soul and meets our every need. As believers, we should desire to know Scripture and have an insatiable appetite for learning the Word. With God’s help we can finish well and receive our full inheritance.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Deuteronomy 21 through 24. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.[3]


May 27

From Terrorism to Discipleship (Simon the Zealot)

The twelve apostles included “Simon the Zealot” (Matt. 10:4).

✧✧✧

Even people of vastly different backgrounds can minister together for Christ.

During the time between the Old and New Testaments, a fiery revolutionary named Judas Maccabaeus led the Jewish people in a revolt against Greek influences on their nation and religion. The spirit of that movement was captured in this statement from the apocryphal book of 1 Maccabees: “Be ye zealous for the law and give your lives for the covenant” (1 Maccabees 2:50). That group of politically-oriented, self-appointed guardians of Judaism later became known as the Zealots.

During the New Testament period, Zealots conducted terrorist activities against Rome to free Israel from Roman oppression, prompting Rome to destroy Jerusalem in a.d. 70 and to slaughter people in 985 Galilean towns.

After the destruction of Jerusalem, the few remaining Zealots banded together under the leadership of a man named Eleazar. Their headquarters was at a retreat called Masada. When the Romans laid siege to Masada and the Zealots knew defeat was imminent, they chose to kill their own families and to commit suicide themselves rather than face death at the hands of the Romans. It was a tragedy of monumental proportions, but such was the depth of their fiery zeal for Judaism and their hatred for their political enemies.

Before coming to Christ, Simon was a Zealot. Even as a believer, he must have retained much of his zeal, redirecting it in a godly direction. We can only imagine the passion with which he approached the ministry, having finally found a leader and cause transcending Judaism and political activism.

It’s amazing to realize that Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax-gatherer ministered together. Under normal circumstances Simon would have killed a traitor like Matthew. But Christ broke through their differences, taught them to love each other, and used them for His glory.

Perhaps you know believers who come from totally different backgrounds than yours. Do you have trouble getting along with any of them? If so, why? How can you begin to mend your differences? Be encouraged by the transformation Christ worked in Simon and Matthew, and follow their example.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray for a spirit of unity in your church.

For Further Study: According to Romans 12:9–21, what attitudes should you have toward others?[4]


May 27

Let God Handle It

As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:11

Adversity can be handled one of two ways. Either you can deal with it on your own, or you can allow God to carry your burden for you. The first requires human strength and effort, which are rarely sufficient in handling grievous trials. Heartache erodes human ability.

The wiser course of action is to allow God to handle your adversity. His ability to provide goes beyond our greatest imagination. He is the God who has the ability to calm every storm.[5]


May 27

Prayer Power

Scripture reading: James 4:3–7

Key verse: James 4:7

Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Satan’s strategy includes the destruction of the church body, society, and nations, not just the torment of the individual believer. That was why Paul implored the Ephesians to be in constant prayer for all saints.

By craftily waging war on an individual basis, he can turn our focus of prayer away from the body of Christ to the problems of self. This breakdown of prayer focus can be the beginning of a snowball effect of carnal selfishness.

Society shows proof of this tearing down in many areas. Anthony Evans explains in America’s Only Hope:

The loss of mankind’s fellowship with God and participation in His will has staggering repercussions for individuals, families, and nations. Fellowship with God alone produces purpose in life. A lack of purpose in life eventually leads to despair that we try to alleviate with drugs, sex, and materialism. Purposelessness in families is evidenced by no-fault divorces, abuse of wives and children, incest, and a desire for perpetual entertainment.

Pray daily for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask God to keep you sensitive to the spiritual needs of others.

Dear God, keep me sensitive to the spiritual needs of others. Remind me to pray daily for my brothers and sisters in Christ.[6]


May 27

Where’s Your Treasure?

Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.

Matthew 6:20

Leaving this earth and going to heaven is not a popular thought in the contemporary church. The increasing emphasis on success, prosperity, and personal problem–solving reflects our earthbound perspective.

It’s also hard for us to comprehend a future heavenly reward. In this materialistic age, we rarely experience delayed gratification. Almost anything we want, we can have immediately. We don’t even need money—we can use a credit card. We don’t have to build anything—we can buy it. And we don’t have to go very far to get it.

The lack of interest in heaven is the other side of the preoccupation with this world. Heaven is virtually ignored by modern evangelicals. There is little preaching or teaching on the subject, but there are mammoth amounts of material available on prospering in this life. To pursue Christ with the same passion as Paul, we must focus on the world to come.[7]


May 27         A Reinforcement for Your Faith

scripture reading:
Hebrews 4:11–16

key verse:
Hebrews 4:14

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Temptation is universal. It tantalizes young and old, educated and unschooled, monks and mechanics. Its presence and constant pull, however, are not indictments of our spiritual condition. Indeed, when we resist them, God can use our temptations to reinforce our faith.

British author C. S. Lewis revealed in his book Mere Christianity how God can turn the tables on the tempter’s evil desires:

A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.…

A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.

We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it; and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.

Guilt should never accompany temptation. Turn it away by turning to Christ.

Lord, temptations are strong, but You are stronger! Help me turn away temptations by turning to You. Let me eliminate guilt by fighting every evil impulse.[8]


May 27

Devotion to God

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 11:22–28

Key verse: Psalm 26:3

Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,

And I have walked in Your truth.

Love for God is the foundation for true obedience. Likewise, your obedience to Christ demonstrates the reality of your love for Him. Both parts of the equation are true, but devotion to God not dread or duty, properly primes and fuels the disciple of Jesus Christ. When you heed God’s Word and keep His ways because you love Him, you declare your reverence and honor for who He is.

God is the almighty One, the Alpha and Omega, the Creator and Redeemer, the Lord and King of both heaven and earth. Who cannot love such a God whose lovingkindness and faithfulness are always perfectly expressed toward His people? He is worthy of your sincere adoration and explicit love.

When you obey God out of a heart of devotion, you affirm your allegiance to Him. He is the Master of all, but is He your Master? Your loving obedience demonstrates your joyful, voluntary servanthood to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each act of obedience confirms your willing servitude to the gracious Lord. God sets you free to follow Him. The more you love and obey Him, the more exciting and rewarding your journey of discipleship and your worship experience will become.

You are worthy of my praise, O Lord. Thank You for Your lovingkindness and faithfulness to me. Give me a heart that obeys You out of love rather than dread or duty.[9]


May 27

Standing Strong in His Grace

Scripture Reading: Psalm 46

Key Verse: Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

What is grace?

Grace is help.

We all need God’s help. Apart from the gift of His Son, we couldn’t be saved from sin. Apart from the gift of the Holy Spirit, we couldn’t experience His divine provision.

Never be too proud to ask for God’s help. Refusing His aid is like a starving man rejecting a sumptuous feast. The psalmist wrote, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).

Grace is acceptance. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, you never have to earn God’s approval. You already have it. While He does discipline His children, God never rejects us for performance. The love of God is abundantly yours through Christ. His acceptance of you as a member of His family is irrevocable.

Grace is compassion. Jesus sympathizes with us. He identifies with our weaknesses, our fears, our anxieties. God is not distant, cold, detached. When Christ became flesh, He took on all the infirmities of mankind. Though sinless, our God weeps with us in sorrow, is grieved by our sin, and is exhilarated by our obedience.

Stand strong in His grace. Receive His help. Relax in His acceptance. Bask in His compassion. The God of grace is with you.

Dear Lord, You are my refuge and strength, a present help in time of trouble. Thank You for unconditional acceptance and unlimited compassion. Help me stand strong in Your grace.[10]


May 27

Answered Prayer

Scripture Reading: John 16:23–27

Key Verse: John 16:24

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

We can be assured that God will answer our prayers in Jesus’ name because of our

  • Association: After salvation, we have a new relationship with God through His Son Jesus. Our association with Christ makes it possible to have intimacy with God the Father.
  • Access: We can come to God’s throne of grace with boldness and confidence. The reason is that Jesus’ death and resurrection blotted out our sin problem and cleared the way for us to have unhindered access to God the Father.
  • Authority: Because of the shed blood of Jesus, believers are coheirs with Him (Romans 8:17), identified eternally with God’s holy Son. As such, we are delegated His authority and have the right to pray in Christ’s name. Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father, gives us this privilege.
  • Agreement: To pray in Christ’s name, we not only must have His authority but also be in agreement with Him. If we ask for something outside of God’s will, we can be assured that it will not be granted. Our request must be in keeping with the character of God and the content of His Word. Essentially, when we ask something in Jesus’ name, we are saying that we believe Jesus Himself would make the same petition, were He in our situation.
  • Assurance: Asking “in Jesus’ name” means praying in confidence. Jesus meant it when He said He would give us what we ask—as long as we are in association and agreement with Him.

Lord, thank You for answered prayer! I claim the access, authority, agreement, and assurance that makes this knowledge a reality.[11]


May 27

Confidence in the Face of Death

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Philippians 1:21

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We can count on Scripture to give us confidence in the face of death.

A few years ago my radio ministry heard from a listener who was exhibiting exactly the right attitude in the face of a terminal illness. A teenager from the Midwest sent a prayer request concerning her recently diagnosed Lou Gehrig’s disease. That Christian young woman, who by now is probably with the Lord, accepted her condition with grace and optimism. Here is part of what she wrote to us: “I love the Lord very much and feel the Lord is using my condition to work in different peoples’ lives. Please pray with me that He would continue to use me no matter what the outcome.”

Her sentiments were right in step with Philippians 1:21, in which the apostle Paul proclaims his joy and confidence at the possibility of death. What enabled him to rejoice was his complete confidence in the Word of God.

Earlier Paul had articulated his trust in God’s promises when he wrote these familiar words in Romans 8:28, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Now he shared verbatim with the Philippians from Job 13:16, “For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance” (Phil. 1:19). That too was a trustworthy promise from the Word, and it made Paul confident that his current trials would have a positive outcome.

Whether suffering was of long or short duration, Paul knew that the righteous would be delivered from their temporal trials. That was certainly borne out when God restored Job from his difficult, lengthy ordeal of testing.

Knowing all this, and realizing that all of God’s written Word is available to us, we can certainly have Paul’s type of confidence as we consider the inevitability of death. And we can “keep on rejoicing” (1 Peter 4:13), even if it’s the Lord’s will that we experience an early departure from this life.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for the provision of His Word, which is such an infallible guide as you deal with the uncertainties of death. ✧ Pray for someone you know at your church or in your neighborhood who may be facing death right now.

For Further Study: Read Psalm 34:17, 19; 37:39–40; 91:3; 97:10. What theme runs through these verses that would help you deal as you ought with trials and sufferings?[12]


May 27

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.

I praise You, the Lord of hosts, for You, Lord, are good, for Your mercy endures forever. You, Lord God, are my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. I say of You, Lord, “You are my refuge and my fortress; my God, in You I will trust.” Who is like me, one saved by You, Lord, the shield of my help and the sword of my majesty! As for You, God, Your way is perfect; Your word is proven; You are a shield to all who trust in You. For who is God, except You, Lord? And who is a rock, except You, my God?

If I love You, I am known by You. Your solid foundation stands sealed with: “You know those who are Yours” and “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” You, Lord, know the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. I have found grace in Your sight, and You know me by name.

What a privilege to be known by You, Lord God! What a foundation for peace and hope!

Nahum 1:7; Jeremiah 33:11; Psalm 46:1; Psalm 91:2; Deuteronomy 33:29; 2 Samuel 22:31–32; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 2 Timothy 2:19; Psalm 1:6; Exodus 33:17[13]


May 27

The Spirit’s Presence

1 Corinthians 6:19

Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?

Paul said to the Corinthians, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” Why was he telling them that? Because the Corinthians were doing things with their bodies that were an embarrassment to the Holy Spirit. They were living lives divorced from the awareness of His holy presence within them.

Perhaps you’ve found yourselves at certain crossroads recently where you didn’t know whether you should go to a certain place or participate in a certain activity because you are a Christian. The fact is, where you go, the Holy Spirit goes with you. So before you go, you’d better ask Him if He wants to go. And whatever He tells you, you do it.

Many Christians don’t even think about that. They just drag the Holy Spirit everywhere into all kinds of things that are dishonoring to His first name, which is Holy.

The Holy Spirit permanently indwells you. If you grasp that concept, it could have a life-changing impact on you. He is there. He is in you. He will never leave you.[14]


Day 27

Adoration

Heaven is Your throne,

And the earth is Your footstool.

Your hand made all these things,

And so they came into being. (Isaiah 66:1–2a)

Your hand laid the foundations of the earth,

And Your right hand spread out the heavens;

When You summon them, they all stand up together. (Isaiah 48:13)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Surely You desire truth in the inner parts,

And in the hidden part You make me know wisdom. (Psalm 51:6)

Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.

Renewal

Like Josiah, may I do what is right in the sight of the Lord and walk in all the ways of David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. May I turn to the Lord with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my might, in accordance with all of Your Word. (2 Kings 22:1–2; 23:25)

These are the things I want to do: speak the truth to others, judge with truth and justice for peace, not plot evil against my neighbor, and not love a false oath; for all these things the Lord hates. (Zechariah 8:16–17)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May I not be afraid of my adversaries, but remember the Lord, who is great and awesome. (Nehemiah 4:14)

Growth in Wisdom

Developing an eternal perspective

Renewing my mind with truth

Greater skill in each area of life

My activities for this day

Special concerns

Intercession

May I do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility may I esteem others as more important than myself. Let me look not only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3–4)

Family

My immediate family

My relatives

Spiritual concerns

Emotional and physical concerns

Other concerns

Affirmation

Jesus will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:32–33)

The heavens will vanish like smoke;

The earth will wear out like a garment,

And its inhabitants will die in the same way.

But Your salvation will last forever,

And Your righteousness will never fail. (Isaiah 51:6)

God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Christ and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:19–20)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

Let those who love the Lord hate evil.

He preserves the souls of His saints

And delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Light is sown for the righteous

And gladness for the upright in heart. (Psalm 97:10–11)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

The Lord has established His throne in heaven,

And His kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Mighty in strength who do His bidding,

Obeying the voice of His word.

Bless the Lord, all His hosts,

You His servants who do His will.

Bless the Lord, all His works,

In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. (Psalm 103:19–22)[15]


May 27

Whatsoever ye do.… do all in the name of the Lord Jesus

Col. 3:17

Do little things as if they were great, because of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, who dwells in thee; and do great things as if they were little and easy, because of His omnipotence.

Pascal[16]


May 27

MOREOVER, we may not refuse reliance upon God on the ground of our insignificance; for it is not conceivable that anything can be too little for God. The wonders of the microscope are quite as remarkable as those of the telescope; we may not set a bound to the Lord in one direction any more than in the other. He can and will show his divine skill in a man’s life, as well as in a planet’s circuit.

Witnesses are alive to testify to the Lord’s making bare his arm on the behalf of them that trust him. Any man may also put the principle to the test in his own instance; and it is memorable that none have done so in vain.[17]


Morning, May 27 

 

“So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.”

— 2 Samuel 9:13

 

Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he had a continual place at David’s board, because the king could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan. Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?” but still the Lord indulges us with most familiar intercourse with himself, because he sees in our countenances the remembrance of his dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord’s people are dear for another’s sake. Such is the love which the Father bears to his only begotten, that for his sake he raises his lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to courtly companionship, noble rank, and royal provision. Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileges. Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if he could run like Asahel. Our right does not limp, though our might may. A king’s table is a noble hiding-place for lame legs, and at the gospel feast we learn to glory in infirmities, because the power of Christ resteth upon us. Yet grievous disability may mar the persons of the best-loved saints. Here is one feasted by David, and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go up with the king when he fled from the city, and was therefore maligned and injured by his servant Ziba. Saints whose faith is weak, and whose knowledge is slender, are great losers; they are exposed to many enemies, and cannot follow the king whithersoever he goeth. This disease frequently arises from falls. Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover, and sin in other cases brings broken bones. Lord, help the lame to leap like an hart, and satisfy all thy people with the bread of thy table!

 

Evening, May 27

 

“What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”

— 2 Samuel 9:8

 

If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David’s kindness, what shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known to what to compare themselves, their sense of unworthiness has been so clear and keen. “I am,” says holy Rutherford, “a dry and withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not able to step over a straw.” In another place he writes, “Except as to open outbreakings, I want nothing of what Judas and Cain had.” The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference above itself, because they have never contracted sin: a dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is soon won to love its master, and is faithful unto death; but we forget the goodness of the Lord, and follow not at his call. The term “dead dog” is the most expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is none too strong to express the self- abhorrence of instructed believers. They do not affect mock modesty, they mean what they say, they have weighed themselves in the balances of the sanctuary, and found out the vanity of their nature. At best, we are but clay, animated dust, mere walking hillocks; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus should set his heart’s love upon such as we are. Dust and ashes though we be, we must and will “magnify the exceeding greatness of his grace.” Could not his heart find rest in heaven? Must he needs come to these tents of Kedar for a spouse, and choose a bride upon whom the sun had looked? O heavens and earth, break forth into a song, and give all glory to our sweet Lord Jesus. [18]


Your Will Be Done

May 27

The very thought of seeing Him face to face and sitting down in His presence to never leave again, thrills me with such a sense of eager anticipation, that I hardly like to think of the imperative claims of my nursery, which forbid every such longing! I can almost demand, as my right, some special and powerful manifestations of the presence of my soul’s Beloved. And I surely thought I had the Scriptures all on my side. But now I have discovered myself to be so very important to Him, and am so sure that my Master always does just what is right that I can only say continually, “Your will be done—your will, not mine.”

How thankful I am for this clause in the prayer our Master left us. What better petition could have been put into our hearts and on our lips. What could we ask or want beside? “Your will be done, and done too on earth here, just as it is done in Heaven.” Why that would be a Heaven of itself at once!

—To a Friend, The Barracks, July 3, 1870[19]


May 27th

The life that lives

Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49.

The disciples had to tarry until the day of Pentecost not for their own preparation only; they had to wait until the Lord was glorified historically. As soon as He was glorified, what happened? “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” The parenthesis in John 7:39 (“For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified”) does not apply to us; the Holy Ghost has been given, the Lord is glorified; the waiting depends not on God’s providence, but on our fitness.

The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Immediately Our Lord was glorified in Ascension, the Holy Spirit came into this world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revelation that He is here. The reception of the Holy Spirit is the maintained attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive quickening life from the ascended Lord.

It is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost which changes men, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into men’s lives by the Holy Ghost that changes them. We too often divorce what the New Testament never divorces. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ: it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Ghost does not make you think of Time or Eternity, it is one amazing glorious NOW. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee.” Begin to know Him now, and finish never.[20]


May 27

Numbers 36; Psalm 80; Isaiah 28; 2 John

Even a cursory reading of 2 John shows that the background to this short epistle overlaps in some measure with the background to 1 John. In both epistles there is a truth question tied to the identity of Jesus Christ. “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world” (2 John 7). These particular deceivers denied “Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh”—which, interpreted paraphrastically, means they denied that Jesus was Christ come in the flesh. They introduced a hiatus between the flesh-and-blood Jesus and the “Christ” who came upon him. Thus they denied the essential oneness of Jesus Christ, the God/man, the one who was simultaneously Son of God and human being. There were many sad implications.

The reasons for this doctrinal aberration were bound up with widespread cultural pressures. Suffice it to say that these “deceivers,” these “errorists” (as some have called them), thought of themselves as advanced thinkers, as progressives. They did not see themselves as evaluating the Christian faith and choosing to deny certain cardinal truths, picking and choosing according to some obscure principle. Rather, they saw themselves as providing a true and progressive interpretation of the whole, over against the conservatives and traditionalists who really did not understand the culture. That is why John speaks of them, with heavy irony, as running ahead of the truth: “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (9). John’s stance is much like the old minister who hears some newfangled doctrine and opines,

You say I am not with it.

My friend, I do not doubt it.

But when I see what I’m not with,

I’d rather be without it.

The crucial issue, of course, is not whether one is “progressive” or not, or a “traditionalist” or not: one could be a progressive in a good or a bad sense, and a traditionalist in a good or a bad sense. Such labels, by themselves, are frequently manipulative and rarely add much clarity to complex matters. The real issue is whether or not one is holding to the apostolic Gospel, whether or not one is continuing in the teaching of Christ. That is the perennial test.

Which contemporary movements fail this test, either because they rush “ahead” of the Gospel in their drive to be contemporary or because they have become encrusted with traditions that domesticate the Gospel?[21]


May 27

Numbers 36; Psalm 80; Isaiah 28; 2 John

We are first introduced to Zelophehad and his daughters in Numbers 27:1–11. Normally inheritance descended through the sons. But Zelophehad had no sons, only five daughters named Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Zelophehad belonged to the generation that passed away in the desert. Why, the daughters asked Moses, should his family line be prohibited from inheriting just because his progeny were all female? Moses, we are told, “brought their case before the Lord” (27:5). The Lord not only ruled in favor of the daughters’ petition, but provided a statute that regularized this decision for similar cases throughout Israel (27:8–11).

But a new wrinkle on this ruling turns up in Numbers 36. The family heads of Manasseh, to which the Zelophehad family belongs, ask what will happen if the daughters marry Israelites outside their tribe. They bring their inheritance with them to the marriage, and it would get passed on to their sons, but their sons would belong to the tribe of their father—and so over the centuries there could be massive redistribution of tribal lands, and potentially major inequities among the tribes. On this point, too, the Lord himself rules (36:5). “No inheritance may pass from tribe to tribe, for each Israelite tribe is to keep the land it inherits” (36:9). The way forward, then, was for the Zelophehad daughters to marry men from their own tribe—a ruling with which the Zelophehad daughters happily comply (36:10–12).

If this offends our sensibilities, we ought to consider why.

(1) Pragmatically, even we cannot marry anyone: we almost always marry within our own highly limited circles of friends and acquaintances. So in Israel: most people would want to marry within their tribes.

(2) More importantly, we have inherited Western biases in favor of individualism (“I’ll marry whomever I please”) and of falling in love (“We couldn’t help it; it just happened, and we fell in love”). Doubtless there are advantages to these social conventions, but that is what they are: mere social conventions. For the majority of the world’s people, marriages are either arranged by the parents or, more likely, at very least worked out with far more family approval operating than in the West. At what point does our love of freedom dissolve into individualistic self-centeredness, with little concern for the extended family and culture—or in this case for God’s gracious covenantal structure that provided equitable distribution of land?

We live in our own culture, of course, and under a new covenant. And we, too, have biblical restrictions imposed on whom we marry (e.g., 1 Cor. 7:39). More importantly, we must eschew the abominable idolatry of thinking that the universe must dance to our tune.[22]


May 27.—Morning. [Or October 20.] “Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house.”

THE consecration of Solomon’s temple brings to our mind his father’s delightful Psalm, in which he expressed his love to the worship of the Lord his God.

Psalm 84

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! (More delightful than tongue can tell are the assemblies for divine worship. They are lovely in prospect, lovely at the time, and lovely to the memory afterwards. Under heaven, no place is so heavenly as the church of the living God.)

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Do we feel the same burning desire after God? If so, we shall not need urging to attend his worship. Some need to be whipped to worship, but David is here crying for it; he needed no clatter of bells to ring him in to the service, he carried his bell in his own bosom.

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. (He envied the little birds which lodged about the tabernacle. When far away from the Lord’s altars he wished he had wings to fly to them, as the sparrows did, or build near them after the manner of the swallows.)

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

He wished he could be always employed about the sacred tent, for he thought that even the menial servants of such a Lord would be always praising him. Dwelling so near him, their joy would never cease, their praises would sound forth both day and night.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. (Or, “in whose heart are thy ways.” None find joy in worship but those who throw their hearts into it. Neither prayer, nor praise, nor the hearing of the word will be profitable to persons who have left their hearts behind them.)

Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.

The pilgrims who went up to the temple found refreshment in the dreariest part of the road, even the gloomy vale of tears became delightful to them. They made desolate valleys to be as cheerful as the wells where men and women were accustomed to meet for social intercourse. What will not holy fellowship and hearty praises do?

They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

God’s people hold on their way, grow stronger, and at last reach their journey’s end, for they have an almighty Convoy who will not suffer them to fail.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. (The doorkeeper is first in and last out, and he has less comfort than anyone, yet David would sooner have the lowest place in God’s house, than the highest in the tents of sin. Quaint old Secker says, “Happy are those persons whom God will use as besoms to sweep out the dust from his temple, or who are allowed to tug at an oar of the boat wherein Christ and his people are embarked.”)

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (What a great promise, or set of promises! Here we have all we need for all time, yea, and for eternity. What an encouragement to pray! If all things are freely given to us of God, let us open our mouths wide in our petitions. What more can God himself say than he has said in this most precious verse?)

12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

How pleasant, how divinely fair,

O Lord of hosts, thy dwellings are!

With long desire my spirit faints

To meet the assemblies of thy saints.

My flesh would rest in thine abode,

My panting heart cries out for God;

My God! my King! why should I be

So far from all my joys and thee?

May 27.—Evening. [Or October 21.] “My beloved is mine, and I am his.”

IT is possible that in those golden days when Solomon walked with God, he was inspired to write the matchless book of Canticles, which is the Holy of holies of the Scriptures, standing like the tree of life in the midst of the garden of inspiration. The song is highly allegorical, and describes Christ and his church as a bride and bridegroom who sing to each other and of each other. The passage we are about to read is a dialogue.

Solomon’s Song 2

The Bridegroom first speaks, and says—

I AM the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. (Who can this be but Jesus, in whose person the rose and lily are combined?

“White is his soul, from blemish free,

Red with the blood he shed for me.”

He paints his church as a lone lily growing amidst a wilderness of thorns, among them but not of them, her beauties being all the more conspicuous by contrast.)

Then the Bride or the church exclaims—

As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. (The golden citron excels all other trees, and Jesus is far more excellent than all others. Shade and fruit, protection and provision, are found in him. He is all in all to us who believe in him.)

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. (Love to Jesus sometimes becomes so vehement a passion that the soul cannot bear it, and the bodily frame is ready to swoon under the supreme excitement.)

His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

7, 8, 9 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please. (The spouse now hears the voice of her husband, and rejoices to see him coming to her with all the sacred haste of omnipotent love.) The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. (When doubts and fears, trials and distresses are over and the heart is full of music, we should go forth in holy fellowship, and delight ourselves with the Lord Jesus. Dark days may come, let us spend our joyful seasons in the most profitable manner, walking with our Lord in the light while the light lasts.)

The Bridegroom still speaks, and calls to his beloved, saying—

14 ¶ O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. (Come out from the hiding-places of fear or worldliness and own the Lord.)

15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

The church sings again—

16, 17 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether [or division]. (If we have lost the presence of the Lord, it is our duty and our privilege to cry to him to return swiftly and triumphantly, like the fleet roe which overleaps mountains and defies all difficulties.)

Yes! my Beloved to my sight

Shows a sweet mixture, red and white:

All human beauties, all divine,

In my Beloved meet and shine.

All over glorious is my Lord,

Must be beloved, and yet adored;

His worth if all the nations knew,

Sure the whole earth would love him too.[23]

 


Reading for Today:

1 Kings 1:1–2:46
Psalm 68:11-14
Proverbs 17:7-9
John 9:24-41
Notes:

1 Kings 1:5 Adonijah. Adonijah was the fourth son of David (2 Sam. 3:4) and probably the oldest living son, since Amnon (2 Sam. 13:28,29) and Absalom (2 Sam. 18:14,15) had been killed, and Chileab apparently died in his youth, since there is no mention of him beyond his birth. As David’s oldest surviving heir, Adonijah attempted to claim the kingship. chariots and horsemen. Like Absalom (2 Sam. 15:1), Adonijah sought to confirm and support his claim to kingship by raising a small army.

1 Kings 1:13 Did you not…swear…? This oath was given privately (unrecorded in Scripture) by David, perhaps to both Nathan and Bathsheba. Solomon’s choice by the Lord was implicit in his name Jedidiah, meaning “loved by the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:24,25) and explicit in David’s declaration to Solomon (1 Chr. 22:6–13).

1 Kings 2:4 His word. The unconditional Davidic covenant was made by God with David in 2 Samuel 7:4–17 and confirmed to Solomon in 1 Kings 9:5, promising the perpetuation of the Davidic dynasty over Israel. If your sons take heed to their way. David declared that the king’s obedience to the Law of Moses was a necessary condition for the fulfillment of divine promise. The Book of Kings demonstrates that none of the descendants of David remained faithful to God’s law; none of them met the conditions for the fulfillment of the divine promise. Rather, David’s words provided a basis for explaining the Exile. Thus, the ultimate and final King of Israel would appear at a later, undesignated time.

John 9:35 Do you believe…? Jesus invited the man to put his trust in Him as the One who revealed God to man. Jesus placed great emphasis on public acknowledgment of who He was and confession of faith in Him (Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8). Son of God. This should be Son of Man (see 1:51; 3:13, 14; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28).

John 9:41 your sin remains. Jesus had particular reference to the sin of unbelief and rejection of Him as Messiah and Son of God. If they knew their lostness and darkness and cried out for spiritual light, they would no longer be guilty of the sin of unbelief in Christ. But satisfied that their darkness was light and continuing in rejection of Christ, their sin remained.

DAY 27: How did the simple logic of the healed man outwit the religious authorities?

In John 9, the religious authorites wanted the man to own up and admit the truth that Jesus was a sinner because He violated their traditions and threatened their influence (see Josh.7:19). “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner” (v. 24). Enough unanimity existed among the religious authorities to conclude that Jesus was a sinner (8:46). Because of this already predetermined opinion, they refused to accept any of the testimony that a miracle had actually taken place.

In order to forcefully emphasize their hypocrisy, the healed man resorted to biting sarcasm when he suggested they desired to be Jesus’ disciples (v. 27).

“You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples” (v. 28). At this point, the meeting degenerated into a shouting match of insults. The healed man’s wit had exposed the bias of his inquisitors. As far as the authorities were concerned, the conflict between Jesus and Moses was irreconcilable. If the healed man defended Jesus, then such defense could only mean that he was Jesus’ disciple.

In vv. 30–33, the healed man demonstrated more spiritual insight and common sense than all of the religious authorities combined who sat in judgment of Jesus and him. His penetrating wit focused in on their intractable unbelief. His logic was that such an extraordinary miracle could only indicate that Jesus was from God, for the Jews believed that God responds in proportion to the righteousness of the one praying (Job 27:9; 35:13; Pss. 66:18; 109:7; Prov. 15:29; Is. 1:15; see 14:13,14; 16:23–27; 1 John 3:21,22). The greatness of the miracle could only indicate that Jesus was actually from God.

“You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” (v. 34). The Pharisees were incensed with the man, and their anger prevented them from seeing the penetrating insight that the uneducated healed man had demonstrated. The phrase also revealed their ignorance of Scripture, for the Old Testament indicated that the coming messianic age would be evidenced by restoration of sight to the blind (Is. 29:18; 35:5; 42:7;Matt. 11:4, 5; Luke 4:18, 19).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.


May 27 – The Problem of Spiritual Debt

“‘“And forgive us our debts”’” (Matthew 6:12).

Sin dominates the hearts and minds of lost men and women, separates them from God, and is therefore their greatest enemy and problem. It is the common denominator for every crime, immorality, pain, and sorrow—and there is no natural cure: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil” (Jer. 13:23). The natural individual does not even want his or her sin cured (John 3:19).

If sin is our greatest problem, our greatest need is the forgiveness God provides. Though forgiven from sin’s ultimate penalty (cf. Rom. 8:1), believers need God’s constant forgiveness for sins they still commit. The apostle John cautions us, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9).

Jesus’ act of washing the apostles’ feet (John 13:5–11) is more than a picture of humility; it also portrays God’s repeated, cleansing forgiveness to His disciples. The forgiveness that secures our saving position in Christ at regeneration does not need repeating; but we need God’s practical forgiveness every day to cleanse us from sin’s contamination as we live in this world. Out of God’s vast heart of forgiveness He is ever willing to continually pardon His children (cf. Neh. 9:17; Rom. 5:20).

Ask Yourself

There are probably a small number of things in your life that are clearly in violation of what you know to be right—things that are top-of-mind as you consider again the depths of our sin and our need for God’s forgiveness. Deal with these in prayer today as you repent before the Father and receive His promised mercy.

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.


Wed, May 27, 2015

IN THE BEGINNING

None of us can approach a consideration of the eternal nature and Person of Jesus Christ without sensing and confessing our human inadequacy in the face of the divine revelation. John, in his gospel, provides a beautiful portrait of the eternal Christ, starting with those stark, incredible words: “In the beginning!’, My brethren, that is where we start with the understanding and the revelation of Christianity! Many others have made a variety of claims but only our Christ is the Christ of God. Certainly it was not Buddha and not Mohammed; not Joseph Smith, not Mrs. Eddy and not Father Divine! All of these and countless others like them had beginnings-but they all had their endings, too. What an incredible difference! Our Christian life commences with the eternal Son of God. This is our Lord Jesus Christ: the Word who was with the Father in the beginning; the Word who was God; and the Word who is God! This is the only one who can assure us: “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me!”

Verse
In the beginning was the Word… and the Word was God.
John 1:1

A. W. Tozer


THANKSGIVING: Thank God for Christ’s Ascension into Heaven

2.2.19

For his ascension into heaven, and his sitting at God’s right hand there.

We bless you that our Lord Jesus has ascended to his Father and our Father, to his God and our God; John 20:17(ESV) has ascended on high, having led a host of captives in his train, and has received gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there. Psalm 68:18(ESV)

That as the Forerunner he has for us entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf: Hebrews 9:24(ESV) a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, in the midst of the throne. Revelation 5:6(ESV)

That he is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, Hebrews 8:1(ESV) with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 1 Peter 3:22(ESV)

That he has gone before, to prepare a place for us in his Father’s house, where there are many rooms; John 14:2-3(ESV) and though where he has gone we cannot follow him now, yet we hope to follow him hereafter, John 13:36(ESV) when he shall come again to take us to himself, that where he is, there we may be also. John 14:3(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method For Prayer


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (pp. 162–163). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

[2] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Venditti, L., & Venditti, N. (2012). Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 160). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 160). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 154). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 164). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[8] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[9] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 154). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 154). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 154). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[12] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[13] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 162). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 154). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

[15] Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.

[16] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

[17] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 151). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

[18] Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

[19] Smith, H. W., & Dieter, M. E. (1997). The Christian’s secret of a holy life: the unpublished personal writings of Hannah Whitall Smith. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[20] Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

[21] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[22] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[23] Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 309–310). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

 

Words, Faith and Prosperity – Part 1

Originally posted on Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...:

Today I’m going to be posting up the the first part of my notes from the fourth and final talk I gave at the Last Days Bible Conference.  That talk was about the Prosperity Gospel.  Today, I’m going to be posting the notes about the Word of Faith movement and how it sets the theological stage for the Prosperity Gospel.

I hope to make things clear and I want to help people understand the theology (as best I can) of the Prosperity Gospel.  Just to be clear, not all people in Word of Faith circles believe or teach the Prosperity Gospel.  Jim Bakker is a prime example of someone who holds to Word of Faith theology but doesn’t take it to the extent of embracing the Prosperity Gospel (and in the 1980’s he was the prince of Prosperity Gospel preachers; it’s amazing what a decade alone with a Bible…

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What is the source of true joy?

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

21 “ Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? ’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from ME, you who practice lawlessness. ’
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears…

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May 26, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

IMG_2196


May 26, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Iraqi forces had “no will to fight” when they lost control of the city of Ramadi to Islamic State militants this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said.

Orders for capital equipment rose in April for a second straight month, a sign U.S. business investment could pick up in the second half of the year.

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at 5 percent, a faster pace than projected in the year through March, reflecting a limited number of available properties on the market.

Nestle’s plan to bottle Oregon’s spring water is stoking a fight with lawmakers and environmental activists who say a corporation shouldn’t be allowed to profit from a natural resource as drought spreads across the state.

The International Monetary Fund dropped a long-held view that the yuan was undervalued, contradicting the U.S. assessment and strengthening China’s case for the currency to win reserve status at the lender in a coming review.

Taco Bell, which won over younger customers with unorthodox creations like Doritos-shelled tacos and fried cinnamon-bun balls, is now trying to appeal to millennials in a different way: cutting unnatural ingredients. Taco Bell will remove artificial colors and flavors, high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats from 95 percent of its menu by the end of the yearPizza Hut, another brand owned by Yum, said Tuesday it would remove artificial colors and flavors from “nationally available” pizzas by the end of July.

Iraq announced the launch of a major military operation to drive the Islamic State from the western Anbar province and retake the Sunni heartland where the extremist group captured the provincial capital, Ramadi, earlier this month.

AP Top Stories

At least 800 people have died in a major heatwave that has swept across India, melting roads in New Delhi as temperatures neared 122 Fahrenheit.

Rescue workers searched on Tuesday for 12 people missing in Texas after torrential rains slammed the state and Oklahoma during the Memorial Day weekend, killing six people and causing floods and tornadoes that destroyed homes and swept away bridges.

Fighter jets scrambled following at least 6 reports of threats to passenger planes, officials said. At least six flights were impacted by threats at airports in New York, New Jersey and Boston today, according to airlines and law enforcement.

An elderly husband and wife stranded for two weeks in Southern California’s high desert ate oranges and a pie and drank rain water that they collected in cups, but the 79-year-old husband died at some point before the couple’s rescue, authorities said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has hailed the recent test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) — which was viewed with wary skepticism outside the reclusive state — as a miraculous leap forward.

Boko Haram fighters hacked to death 10 people in a remote village in northeast Nigeria, a local government official told AFP.

China said it would project its military power further beyond its sea borders and more assertively in the air, defending the construction of artificial islands which sparked concern in Washington.

The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba has led to a stunning 36 percent increase in visits by Americans to the island, including thousands who are flying into Cuba from third countries like Mexico in order to sidestep U.S. restrictions on tourism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s new Russia looks more like a copy of a totalitarian state from Europe’s dark past, dressed in 21st century clothing.

BBC

A volcanic eruption on the Galapagos Islands has raised fears the ecosystem that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution may be under threat.

Up to 50 Australians fighting overseas with terror groups could lose their citizenship under new government rules.

Malaysia has begun exhuming bodies suspected to be migrants buried in 139 grave sites close to the Thai border. Authorities believe they were held for ransom by gangs of human traffickers.

A 14-year-old boy has been convicted of terrorism offences in Austria, including a potential plot to bomb a railway station in the capital, Vienna. The court sentenced him to a minimum of eight months in detention with another 16 months of his sentence suspended.

Russia’s military forces have begun a large exercise involving around 250 aircraft and 12,000 service personnel, according to its defense ministry. The tests began on the same day as Nato and some of its partners started an Arctic training exercise.

WND

Washington lawmakers are demanding an accounting of how many airport security badges have been lost or stolen around the country as an NBC News investigation reveals the problem may be bigger than originally thought.

The rich are set to become God-like cyborgs in what could be the ‘biggest evolution in biology’ since life emerged. This is according to Yuval Noah Harari, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who believes the radical shift will take place in the next 200 years.

It’s no accident that America’s education system is struggling, according to international journalist and educator Alex Newman, who believes American children are being intentionally dumbed down so they can be more easily controlled.

Hackers working for Islamic terror groups and the Chinese government set their sights on America’s media outlets, breaking into several U.S. news organizations’ websites recently.

The parents of a healthy 21-year-old woman who collapsed at her home and died in a hospital three days later, say doctors told them the birth-control pill their daughter had been taking for just 25 days was to blame.


Top News – 5/26/2015

13 trillion electronvolts! Large Hadron Collider sets new record.
Scientists operating the world’s biggest particle collider say they have set a new energy record ahead of the massive machine’s full restart in June. The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, says it succeeded late Wednesday in smashing together protons at 13 trillion electronvolts.

WASHED AWAY At least 9 dead in Texas, Okla. floods
Recovery teams were resuming the search early Tuesday for 12 people who are missing after a rain-swollen river in Central Texas carried a vacation home off its foundation, slamming it into a bridge downstream. The hunt for the missing picked up after a holiday weekend of terrible storms that dumped record rainfall on the Plains and Midwest, caused major flooding and spawned tornadoes and killed at least nine in Oklahoma and Texas.

Japan to join U.S., Australia war games amid growing China tensions
Japan will join a major U.S.-Australian military exercise for the first time in a sign of growing security links between the three countries as tensions fester over China’s island building in the South China Sea.

Germany sees progress on Greece, EU officials to confer on Thursday
A senior German official said on Tuesday there was no reason to believe Greece would be in default after a 300 million euro payment to the IMF falls due on June 5.

Westminster Abbey accused of ‘denial of Christ’s Lordship’ in Muhammad prayer row
Westminster Abbey has been accused of “denial of the Lordship of Jesus Christ” after the prophet Muhammad was described as “the chosen one” in a prayer at a First World War service.

USGS: Magnitude 4.8 earthquake in Fox Islands region
The Alaska Earthquake Center says there were no reports of the quake being felt or causing damage. The Fox Islands are more than 950 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Russia launches massive air force exercise with 250 aircraft
The Russian military has launched a massive exercise involving 250 aircraft and other weapons. The Defense Ministry said…the drills will involve air force and air defense units of the Central, Western and Southern Military Districts totaling 12,000 servicemen. Combat aircraft will deploy to temporary bases and air defense systems will be sent to the Ashuluk and Kapustin Yar shooting ranges in southern Russia…

HSBC fears world recession with no lifeboats left
The world economy is disturbingly close to stall speed. The United Nations has cut its global growth forecast for this year to 2.8pc, the latest of the multinational bodies to retreat. We are not yet in the danger zone but this pace is only slightly above the 2.5pc rate that used to be regarded as a recession for the international system as a whole.

Texas and Oklahoma flooding: Three dead and several missing
At least five people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed in flash flooding in the southern US. Two people were killed in weather-related accidents in Oklahoma and three lost their lives in San Marcos, Texas. Some areas saw up to 10 inches (25cm) of rain over a 24-hour period, with more predicted across the region.

Iraq starts operation to drive Islamic State from Anbar
Iraqi government forces have formally launched an operation to drive Islamic State (IS) out of Anbar province. The announcement was made by a spokesman for the Popular Mobilisation (al-Hashd al-Shaabi), a volunteer force comprising dozens of Shia militias. The operation would see troops and militiamen move southwards from Salahuddin province and seek to cut off IS militants in Ramadi, he said.

Wolf volcano erupts on Galapagos island
A volcanic eruption on the Galapagos Islands has raised fears the ecosystem that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution may be under threat. On Monday, the Wolf volcano on Isabela Island erupted for the first time in 33 years, spewing fire, smoke and lava. Experts say the eruption poses no risk to people living on the island.

Mexico and Texas hit by deadly storms
At least 13 people have been killed by a tornado that hit the northern Mexico border city of Ciudad Acuna. Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed in the city, in Coahuila state, just across the border from Del Rio, Texas. The US state has had big floods, with at least three dead and 12 missing.

India heatwave toll ‘nears 800′
The death toll in the heatwave sweeping India has reached nearly 800 with temperatures nearing 50C (122F) in some areas. Most deaths have taken place in the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where more than 750 people have died since last week. Reports say 24 people have died from the heat in West Bengal and Orissa.

Chinese navy to focus on ‘open seas’, paper says
China is to focus on projecting its military presence beyond its borders at sea, according to a strategy document. The navy will shift its focus to “open seas protection”, rather than “offshore waters defence” alone. It will also speed up developing its cyber force to tackle “grave security threats”, the State Council said.

Syrian state TV jammed, Damascus points fingers at foreign enemies
Syria’s government-run satellite television channels were interrupted on Tuesday due to…interference by enemy countries…to “block out the voice of truth.” Syria TV…flickered on and off and then issued a news flash, before going totally dark, saying that signals were being interrupted. Its broadcasting was then switched to the frequency of another state-run channel, Syrian Drama TV.

China and Chile sign currency swap agreement
China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed a currency swap deal on Monday seeking to deepen economic ties by boosting trade and investment.

Greece rules out capital controls if bailout talks fail
Greece’s government on Monday ruled out restricting access to bank accounts and the free movement of money if there is no breakthrough soon in tortuous talks with bailout creditors and its dwindling cash reserves dry up.

The world is drowning in debt, warns Goldman Sachs
The world is sinking under too much debt and an ageing global population means countries’ debt piles are in danger of growing out of control, the European chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management has warned.

Twitter trend ‘Charlie Charlie Challenge’ has teens trying to summon demon
The latest topic to create some commotion on Twitter has teens trying to summon a demon named Charlie. The Charlie Charlie Challenge surfaced Thursday on Twitter and has gone viral across social media platforms. The challenge includes putting two pencils on a piece of paper in the shape of a cross. The words “yes” and “no” are written in boxes outlined by the pencils. Then the participants say “Charlie, Charlie are you here?”

Russia, Iran talks on S-300 missiles end in ‘success’
Moscow and Tehran have concluded talks on the delivery of Russian S-300 missiles to Iran which should take place “quite” soon, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday. “The negotiations on the subject have ended in success. I estimate that the S-300 delivery will take place in quite a short time,” Amir-Abdollahian said in Moscow.

28 Shootings, 9 Fatal, Over Memorial Day Weekend In Baltimore
It’s been a violent weekend in Baltimore after a surge of shootings–some deadly across the city. Amy Yensi has more. Police say 28 people were shot, 9 of them killed over this weekend, adding to the record-breaking violence.


Top Headlines – 5/26/2015

Hamas Declares Jerusalem ‘Eternal Capital’ of Islamic World

Jews, Muslims Arrested in Temple Mount Confrontation

Israel’s first Jordanian PhD wants to bring peace through water

Netanyahu proposes talks on borders of settlement blocs

‘World encourages violence by condemning Israel constantly’

Ex-IDF chief: Hezbollah knows price of a future war, so it won’t start one

Hezbollah seizes hilltops from al-Qaida in Syrian province bordering Israel

Hebrew inscriptions, jewels of Palmyra’s Jewish past, may be lost forever

Islamic State’s Gains Reveal New Prowess on Battlefield

Obama has not done a ‘d-mn thing’ to confront ISIS, Iranian commander says

Carter saying Iraqi forces losing ‘will to fight’ sparks more criticism, concern about Obama plan

Shock Poll: 81% Of Al Jazeera Arabic Poll Respondents Support Islamic State

Blast in downtown Damascus kills Syria general

Cameron and Putin Agree to Start Talks on Syria Crisis

Turkey says it struck deal with US on air support for Syria rebels

Sunnis Seize Key Military Sites from Houthis in Yemen

Rising fears of chemical attack by UK jihadists

Ethiopian Christian Ordered at Gunpoint to Murder Two Pastors or Have His Children Killed

Iran hopes sanctions will be lifted by December

Russia, Iran talks on S-300 missiles end in ‘success’

Russia launches massive air force exercise with 250 aircraft

Amid Russia Tensions, 100 U.S., European Jets Hold Drills in Arctic

American destroyer joins large-scale military exercise in the Black Sea this week

Budget cuts impact US ability to fight the enemy, Air Force general warns

Fighter Jets Scramble Following at Least 6 Reports of Threats to Passenger Planes, Officials Say

Air France flight to New York’s JFK escorted after threat

Drone Crashes, Hits 2 People During Marblehead Parade

Greece rules out capital controls if bailout talks fail

The world is drowning in debt, warns Goldman Sachs

HSBC fears world recession with no lifeboats left

Japan rocked by 5.6 magnitude earthquake

Quake Hits Tokyo Days After Japan OK’s Third Nuclear Restart

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits South of Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Preobrazheniye, Russia

Two tremors struck Nepal today amid rehabilitation attempts

UN: Donor Fatigue Hits Nepal One Month After Mega Earthquake

India rescues children from traffickers exploiting Nepal earthquake aftermath

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Volcano “Wolf” erupts in Galapagos Islands after 33 years of dormancy

Galapagos volcano’s eruption raises fear for world’s only colony of rare pink iguanas

Catastrophic flooding hits Texas and Oklahoma

Flash Floods Force Thousands in Texas to Flee

At Least 5 Are Killed and 12 Are Missing as Storms Ravage Texas and Oklahoma

Texas governor says deadly flooding is worst ever seen

Texas Governor Declares State of Disaster After Violent Tornado Ravages U.S.-Mexico Border

Twister kills 13 in Mexico border city; 12 missing in Texas

India heatwave: More than 500 dead as temperatures near 50 degrees Celsius; Andhra Pradesh and Telangana worst-hit states

Turning sewage into drinking water gains appeal as drought lingers in California

March Against Monsanto: Thousands Worldwide March to Protest Against GM Crops

Mystery over 1,300 birds found dead on Chilean beach

Mass death of seabirds in Western U.S. is ‘unprecedented’ – unexplained changes within ocean to blame

Hundreds of starving sea lion pups stranding on California beaches; rescue centers overwhelmed

Social Media Blamed in Part for HIV, Syphilis Spike in Rhode Island

FDA ticks off first drug to treat radiation sickness after nuclear disasters

Humans ‘will become God-like cyborgs within 200 years’

Brain-Controlled Bionic Legs Are Finally Here

Women are buying more sex than ever before, new research claims

Sweeping Maryland LGBT measures to take effect without new gov’s signature

Obama: Churches should spend less time focusing on abortion and same-sex marriage

Church of England to consider ‘transgender baptism’ service

Twitter trend ‘Charlie Charlie Challenge’ has teens trying to summon demon

Prison riot in Brazil ends, leaving 8 inmates dead, one decapitated

Thousands descend on Negev for Midburn – Israel’s version of Burning Man, celebrates radical culture and self-reliance

6 Of The Most Ridiculous Stunts Pastors Have Pulled To Get People To Church

“God” tells NAR “prophet” about Dominionist Seven Mountains plans

Video – Fake or Demonic? Glory Feather Cloud from an “Apostolic and Prophetic” ministry

Frank Viola – Shocking Beliefs of D.L. Moody

Pope Says The Devil Is Keeping Evangelicals and Catholics Divided: ‘We Are One….’

City Harvest trial: Twists, turns and tears enough to fuel a Korean drama

From Southern Baptist to Goddess Worship, Sue Monk Kidd

Biology Professor: Humans ‘will become God-like cyborgs within 200 years’

Convert to Islam or Die! Mayor of Antwerp Given Ultimatum by Muslims


Iran’s Kurdish Rebellion :: Schwartz in Huffington Post

by Stephen Schwartz
The Huffington Post
May 22, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5258/iran-kurdish-rebellion


Research on the Islamic State :: Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi

by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi
various publications
April 1-May 15, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5257/research-isis-syria-iraq


The McAvany Intel Memo

The idea of a common core of educational standards sounds terrific on the surface. Who wouldn’t want all of our children to get an education that exceeds the standards of other nations? Who wouldn’t want all of our children to reach some basic standard of education? Going against such ideals makes you seem unkind and anti-child. However, even its very name should suggest that the new Common Core educational curriculum is anything but pro-child. Any time our government uses the word “common,” there is only one way to interpret it – socialism.

After all, that’s the heart of socialism, that we hold all things in common. It strips us of individuality. It strips us of our identity. And it strips us of all that America was built on – and that made it great. At its core, Common Core is about indoctrination and dumbing down America’s children to a lowest common denominator so that they can be controlled. It is designed to eradicate a child’s thinking, reasoning, discerning, and creative skills – so the children can become mindless serfs in the coming world socialist society.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, March 2015


The Elite Have A Great Fear Of Death

Death Skull - Public DomainIf there is one thing that the elite of the world fear more than anything else, it is death.  They spend an extraordinary amount of time and energy attempting to shield themselves from potential threats, to separate themselves from the general population and to do whatever they can to extend their lifespans.  They travel with multiple bodyguards, they install “safe rooms” in their homes, they buy private islands on the other side of the world and they invest huge amounts of money into life extension technologies and research.  They do all of these things in a desperate attempt to battle an enemy that they have never been able to defeat – death.  And in this day and age, the elite are becoming more paranoid than ever.  They know that as the gap between the wealthy and the poor has exploded that they have become bigger targets than ever.  So firms that provide private security, “safe rooms” and high tech “security bunkers” for the elite are doing a booming business these days.  Many of the elite live in constant fear and absolutely crave security, and they are willing to pay big bucks to get it. (Read More…)


Is The 505 Trillion Dollar Interest Rate Derivatives Bubble In Imminent Jeopardy?

Bubble In Hands - Public DomainAll over the planet, large banks are massively overexposed to derivatives contracts.  Interest rate derivatives account for the biggest chunk of these derivatives contracts.  According to the Bank for International Settlements, the notional value of all interest rate derivatives contracts outstanding around the globe is a staggering 505 trillion dollars.  Considering the fact that the U.S. national debt is only 18 trillion dollars, that is an amount of money that is almost incomprehensible.  When this derivatives bubble finally bursts, there won’t be enough money in the entire world to bail everyone out.  The key to making sure that all of these interest rate bets do not start going bad is for interest rates to remain stable.  That is why what is going on in Greece right now is so important.  The Greek government has announced that it will default on a loan payment that it owes to the IMF on June 5th.  If that default does indeed happen, Greek bond yields will soar into the stratosphere as panicked investors flee for the exits.  But it won’t just be Greece.  If Greece defaults despite years of intervention by the EU and the IMF, that will be a clear signal to the financial world that no nation in Europe is truly safe.  Bond yields will start spiking in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and all over the rest of the continent.  By the end of it, we could be faced with the greatest interest rate derivatives crisis that any of us have ever seen. (Read More….)


Daily Digest

May 26, 2015   

THE FOUNDATION

“[A]ll speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest numbers of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.” —John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Cleveland Settles With DOJ Over Policing Investigation

It’s become a trend in cases involving police shootings: While the individual officer is let off the hook for using lethal force and sparking protests in the community, the Department of Justice usually finds something wrong with the larger department. Cleveland has reached a settlement with the DOJ after the agency accused the city’s finest of engaging in patterns of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force,” including tasing and punching handcuffed suspects. The investigation was launched after a 2012 car chase involving 100 police officers ended with officer Michael Brelo standing on the roof of the Chevy Malibu used to flee from the police and firing 15 times into the vehicle. On Saturday, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell found Brelo not guilty of killing the two suspects because it was not clear if it was Brelo’s rounds that killed them. When issuing his verdict, O’Donnell said, “Guilty or not guilty, the verdict should be no cause for a civilized society to celebrate or riot.” Still, on Saturday night, some protestors grew violent and 71 were arrested. It just goes to show that improvements still need to be made before we can have a civilized society. More…

House Considers Fast-Tracking Obama’s Pacific Trade Deal

In the coming days, members of the House will decide whether Congress should fast-track approving Obama’s trade deal with Pacific countries, or whether to defend its constitutional role of advisor when the U.S. enters into treaties. Already, 48 Republicans and 14 Democrats in the Senate approved fast-track legislation Friday, a move that would only give the legislative body the ability to approve the treaty with a yes-no vote. While everyone from Obama to the GOP leadership agrees that a trade deal is needed and beneficial (especially because of China’s growing aggression in the South China Sea), lawmakers question the way it’s coming about. Rep. Jim Jordan said, “I’m concerned about giving this president the authority” to be the sole person negotiating deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Furthermore, the House is the young blood of the lawmaking body, as only 55 members were around when Congress deliberated over the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. Members in office because of the 2014 Republican wave should remember they are in office because voters wanted change, not Obama’s status quo.

Another Holiday Regulatory Dump

Friday was the dawn of a holiday weekend, which could mean only one thing: Time for another big regulatory release from the Obama administration. It wasn’t exactly a Friday news dump, as it came out Thursday, but, as The Hill points out, “The White House is notorious for releasing its Unified Agenda on the cusp of a holiday when most people are headed out of town to celebrate the long weekend. The release of the spring 2015 edition was no exception, coming one day before the long Memorial Day weekend.” According to The Daily Signal, there are 136 significant rules in this release: “These include an Environmental Protection Agency rule tightening already-tight carbon emission regulations for power plants, Food and Drug Administration regulations for all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars, and new Consumer Product Safety Commission safety standards for off-road vehicles.” The cost of Barack Obama’s enormous regulatory burden is a serious drag on the economy. In fact, compliance costs nearly $15,000 per American household, but it’s a cost that’s more easily hidden than taxes. Still, it’s no wonder Obama likes to bury regulation releases just before a holiday.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Emails Cast More Guilt on Clinton and Obama

By Lewis Morris

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Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attend the Transfer of Remains ceremony for the four Americans who died in the Benghazi attack Sept. 14, 2012.

On Friday, the State Department made public some 300 messages from Hillary Clinton’s email collection pertaining to Libya and the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attack that left Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead. The Friday afternoon document dump was no doubt timed with the long weekend in hopes that the information contained in these emails would be downplayed in the holiday shuffle.

Fortunately, no such luck. The Benghazi attack and the cover-ups and stonewalling by the Obama administration and presidential candidate Clinton have made this particular embarrassment hard to bury. Despite the best efforts of the administration and its minions in the media, the hunger for more information at this point seems insatiable.

The batch of emails released last week shed a little bit of light on questions that the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been asking since it was formed in May 2014. A number of emails released from Clinton’s once-private collection include information about growing concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Libya going back to April 2011. In fact, Stevens, who at the time was an envoy, voiced concerns about safety.

“The situation in [the Libyan town of] Ajdabiyah has worsened to the point where Stevens is considering departure from Benghazi,” states an April 10, 2011, message. “The envoy’s delegation is currently doing a phased checkout.”

Stevens ultimately stayed in Libya, but his concerns and the concerns of CIA analysts ultimately fell on deaf ears.

Other information drawn from the emails include communications between Clinton and her team in the days following the attack, speech preparation, updates on press coverage, even coverage of how then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney was speaking on the issue.

The emails released by the State Department that used to live on Clinton’s private server raise more questions than they answer, which helps ensure this issue will not go away soon. Several gaps in the timeline are evident, which leave open questions about Clinton’s role and input in shaping Libyan policy post-Qaddafi, how State was dealing with growing instability in the country, and the thought process that went into extending the Benghazi mission in early 2012.

Administration stonewalling on Benghazi is bad enough, but the fact the whole matter is tied in to how Clinton mismanaged her emails makes the issue that much worse.

Clinton’s now-famous private email server was politically motivated because she wanted to keep her work from the prying eyes of the “vast Right wing conspiracy.” Instead, she invested in a private server that was hacked at least once and was not nearly as secure as the government server that she was lawfully required to use for classified materials. Apparently, protecting data from the GOP was more important than protecting it from the Russians or the Chinese.

Clinton claimed two months ago that she never broke the law in maintaining her own private server. In Clinton-speak that is true — kind of. Documents related to Benghazi that have recently been reclassified as secret were not secret when they existed on her server. But they were certainly sensitive; otherwise there would be no need for the reclassification. Yet, there is no hard and fast rule that bars Clinton from storing sensitive documents on her server.

There are also different email addresses that Clinton herself used on her server, possibly to help categorize which topic or issue she was addressing. This is just a theory so far. Not enough emails have been released to detect such a pattern. Yet, it is clear that not only was the server itself politically motivated, but how she dealt with the information on that server was politically motivated as well.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the Benghazi committee, put some perspective on Friday’s email release. “More than six months after the Select Committee first discovered Secretary Clinton’s unusual email arrangement with herself … State Department transferred 300 messages exclusively reviewed and released by her own lawyers. To assume a self-selected public record is complete, when no one with a duty or responsibility to the public had the ability to take part in the selection … strains credulity.”

Of course, the partisan wheels continue to turn despite Gowdy’s logical skepticism. Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) issued his own statement praising Clinton for being so forthcoming. “The American people can now read all of these emails and see for themselves that they contain no evidence to back up claims that … Republicans have made for years.”

So, according to Cummings, now that we have access to the slightest fraction of 50,000 emails that have been thus-far out of reach from the public record, we can plainly see that there is no smoking gun — therefore we should leave Hillary Clinton alone and elect her emperor president already.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Linda Chavez: “Yes, [Freddie] Gray’s life mattered. Black lives matter, as protesters remind us following every such incident involving the death of a black man at the hands of police. But so, too, should the 87 black lives (and 13 others) lost on the streets of Baltimore this year. By focusing almost all of our national attention on the horrific death of one black victim while in police custody, we avoid the larger problem of violence within the black community. Worse, by making the police out to be the greatest threat to the black community, we risk allowing criminals to go unchallenged within those communities. Justice for Freddie Gray would best be served by better policing in the neighborhood where he lived — not by less policing.”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “In America, our origins matter less than our destination, and that is what democracy is all about.”

Demo-gogues: “This may be the first Memorial Day since the end of our war in Afghanistan. But we are acutely aware, as we speak, our men and women in uniform still stand watch and still serve, and still sacrifice around the world. Several years ago, we had more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 10,000 troops remain on a mission to train and assist Afghan forces. We’ll continue to bring them home and reduce our forces further, down to an embassy presence by the end of next year.” —Barack Obama

The BIG Lie: “I can say that no U.S. President, no administration has done more to ensure that Israel can protect itself than this one.” —Barack Obama

The annals of the absurd: “[Stopping ISIL’s momentum is] an enormous challenge. And we have to fight it on every front, including the front of social media. That’s a place where they have really made more advances than you would have suspected. And that is where we have to fight them, as well.” —Nancy Pelosi

Non Compos Mentis: “When you have people denying [science], and how we all got here, it’s offensive to me intellectually. And I happen to think it’s unpatriotic. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution says the government shall ‘promote the progress of science and useful arts.’ So if you’re a politician looking to derail the progress of science, I think you’re not doing your job.” —Bill Nye (Context means everything, right? Importantly, the rest of the quote from Article I, Section 8 reads, “…by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” No wonder Nye left that part out.)

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


The Briefing

1) Irish landslide for gay marriage shows breakdown of cultural shaping power of Catholicism

Ireland approves gay marriage, talks about a revolution, Associated Press (Shawn Pogatchnik)

Landslide, The Economist

Same-sex marriage: Catholic church needs reality check, says Dublin archbishop, The Guardian

Irish Catholicism supports same-sex marriage!, Religion News Service (Mark Silk)

2) Boy Scouts leaders urges capitulation to call for gay leaders to preserve national presence 

Boy Scouts’ President Calls for End to Ban on Gay Leaders, New York Times (Erik Eckholm)

National Annual Business Meeting Remarks, Boy Scouts of America (Robert Gates)

The Boy Scouts Fall Short, New York Times (Editorial Board)

Limping Between Two Opinions: The Moral Evacuation of the Boy Scouts of America, AlbertMohler.com (R. Albert Mohler)

In other news…

Texas tornado leaves one dead as 12 missing in floods, USA Today (William Cummings)

Cleveland, Justice Department Reach Policing Deal, New York Times (AP)

‘Skin and bone': Exhumed bodies confirmed to be migrants, CNN (Euan McKirdy)

Islamic State burned a woman alive for not engaging in an ‘extreme’ sex act, U.N. official says, Washington Post (Ishaan Tharoor)

Stop boring on about feminist role models in books: children don’t care, says Helen Skelton, The Telegraph (Alice Vincent)


Where do people like me go now?

Joseph Farah asks where Christians can escape during ‘suicidal embrace of Islam’

As for me and my offspring – my children and grandchildren – where will we go when America completely loses connection with its Christian roots and heritage? What new world can we dream about as America’s new god of multiculturalism self-immolates in its suicidal embrace of Islam? Where will you go?

View Article


Obama’s Memorial Day Ice Cream Gloat

The picture Herman Cain writer Dan Calabrese calls “the worst Memorial Day photo ever” should be going viral now if Obama Google pals don’t bury it.

The photo shows for once and for all how President Barack Obama really feels about Memorial Day, the one day a year set aside to pay respect to the sacrifice of the highly venerated war dead.

Just like the man the photo depicts, the picture not only swaggers across the stage, it leaps, bounds and somersaults into view, walking on stilts across our troubled minds.

View Article & Photo


Getting You Ready For The Anti-Christ? Fox network launching new TV series that glorifies Lucifer

NOTE: We wish we were making this up but many news sources substantiate this. — OTM

The more subtle side of satanism in Hollywood entertainment is now a thing of the past, as primetime television airs blatantly evil shows like the upcoming Fox drama Lucifer, which glorifies the goings about of the “lord of hell” after he fictitiously leaves the lake of fire and retires to Los Angeles.

View Article


Obama Gives Green Light to Force Palestinian Statehood?

Report alleges Obama is plotting with the UN and EU to unilaterally carve up Israel.

According to an exclusive Debkafile report, President Obama has given the “green light to European governments to file a UN Security Council motion proclaiming an independent Palestinian state.”

View Article


ISIS Suggests It Can Smuggle a Nuke Into US Through Mexico

The Islamic State is using the latest issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq to pose the “far-fetched” hypothetical of purchasing its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within a year and getting it into the United States through the porous Southern border.

View Article


Don’t be Left Behind

View two-minute video


1/3 of Americans Say Animals Deserve the Same Rights as People, While Unborn Babies Have No Rights

Bioethics watchdog Wesley Smith noticed a recent polling question from Gallup noting that one-third of all Americans think animals should have the same rights as human beings. This comes at the same time that 34% of Americans think unborn babies should have no rights at all.

As Wesley notes:

View Article


Decisions ahead for Irish churches after country adopts same-sex marriage

by Marsha West

DUBLIN — Ireland became the first nation to adopt same-sex marriage by popular vote May 22 after a months-long campaign by advocates of traditional marriage to preserve the institution failed. The referendum drew more than 1.2 million people to the polls for the vote, which has now shifted once-conservative Ireland squarely into the liberal column […]

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Catholics Organize to Promote Pope’s Climate Change Message

by Marsha West

Associated Press reports:

There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines.

When Pope Francis releases his much-anticipated teaching document on the environment and climate change in the coming weeks, a network of Roman Catholics will be ready. These environmental advocates – who work with bishops, religious orders, Catholic universities and lay movements – have been preparing for months to help maximize the effect of the statement, hoping for a transformative impact in the fight against global warming.

Read more


The March To Economic Totalitarianism: Pensions At Risk Of Being Seized By Government In Next Collapse

Economist Martin Armstrong warns that a Supreme Court ruling last week has set the stage for the federal government to begin seizing private pension funds …………. Click here for full story


June 5th Deadline Approaches – What Does A Greek Default Mean For Europe?

All over the planet, large banks are massively overexposed to derivatives contracts. Interest rate derivatives account for the biggest chunk of these derivatives contracts. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the notional value of all interest rate derivatives contracts outstanding around the globe is a staggering 505 trillion dollars …………. Click here for full story


Legion Of Foreign Fighters Battles For Islamic State

One day this April, instead of coming home from school, two teenagers left their valley high in the Caucasus, and went off to war ………… Click here for full story


Chrislam Infiltrates Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey has been accused of “denial of the Lordship of Jesus Christ” after the prophet Muhammad was described as “the chosen one” in a prayer at a First World War service ……….. Click here for full story


Transhumanism Marches On As “Human Chipping” Becomes Trendy

Undergoing a somewhat painful injection to have a microchip implanted into your hand might not be something most sane individuals would ever consider doing voluntarily, but for a growing number of people, it has actually become a fashionable trend………… Click here for full story


Transhumanism

So would you like to live forever armed with superhuman powers? To be your own god? The enemy of our souls would like you to believe that you can do just that. And many people are embracing this idea called transhumanism. It literally means “beyond human”. All over the world, scientists and intellectuals are joining […]

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Do Churches Fail the Poor?

“This is the striking story of the last 30 years: Despite the stereotype of religion as something that people “cling to” (to quote a different moment of condescension from this president) in desperate circumstances, actual religious practice has collapsed more quickly among Americans with weaker economic prospects than it has among the college-educated upper class.”

Read more


Practicing Homosexuality Does Not Contradict Christian Doctrine, United Methodists Claim

Posted: 26 May 2015 08:06 AM PDT

The United Methodist Church took one step closer to apostasy this week. At Nashville meetings, Methodist leadership voted to submit what is aptly called a “compromise” legislative proposal to its 2016 General Conference that removes “prohibitive” language from The United Methodist Book of Discipline concerning homosexuality. 

Specifically, the proposal would allow United Methodist pastors to perform same-sex marriages in United Methodist churches. As if that’s not defiant enough to God’s Word, this same proposal would also remove the blatant practice of homosexuality and the performance of same-sex weddings from the list of chargeable offenses. But wait, there’s more. The newfangled proposal even removes all language that in any way suggests or even hints that the church does not condone the practice of homosexuality. In other words, this proposal does not consider homosexuality incompatible with Christian teachings even though Methodists have historically recognized the practicing the sin as sinful. FULL REPORT

 

The post Practicing Homosexuality Does Not Contradict Christian Doctrine, United Methodists Claim appeared first on .

Netanyahu Ready to Create Palestinian State

Posted: 26 May 2015 08:02 AM PDT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday stated clearly that he supports the creation of a Palestinian Arab state as the outcome of a bilateral agreement to end the present conflict. “I don’t support a one-state solution – I don’t believe that’s a solution at all,” said the Israeli leader. “I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.”

The prime minister made the remarks just prior to meeting with visiting European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (pictured), with whom Netanyahu said he was “look[ing] forward to discussing with how we can advance that vision forth in a practical, secure, and responsible way.” Following the recent Israeli national elections, European and American leaders loudly voiced concerns over Netanyahu’s campaign rhetoric, which suggested the Israeli leader saw little justification for permitting the creation of a Palestinian state. FULL REPORT

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Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

Posted: 26 May 2015 07:52 AM PDT

The theme throughout the New Testament is clear: Only believers are baptized. The Bible says that faith in Christ alone saves. Romans 10:9 states, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If baptism was the final saving mechanism, then we’d be guilty of baptizing unbelievers.

Here are a few misunderstood passages:

1. Acts 2:38, “Peter said, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins … .’” Repentance is the key to remission (forgiveness), not baptism. Baptism identifies the believer with Christ much in the same way that circumcision identified the relationship that God had with the Old Testament saints. Circumcision did not save, believing did: “Abraham believed in the Lord, and God counted it to him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3). Baptism does not save; it reflects what has already been done in the heart.

The Jews knew of John’s baptism and the baptism of the Gentiles into Judaism, but not necessarily baptism in the name of Jesus. Peter was clarifying that there is a distinct difference: “Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” To be baptized “in the name of Jesus” was a radical step. Unlike today in America, it often resulted in the loss of family, association and employment. A person who was baptized was serious about their conversion. They truly understood Jesus’ words, “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10:33). FULL REPORT

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El Nino Data Mimic Record 1997-98 Event as IMF Warns on Food Crisis

Posted: 26 May 2015 07:43 AM PDT

The El Nino taking hold across the Pacific strengthened, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, citing indexes of sea-surfaces temperatures that showed the same trend for the first time since the event in 1997-1998. All five NINO indexes, averaged over the past four weeks, exceeded plus 1 degree Celsius, the bureau said in its fortnightly update on Tuesday. That’s the first time this has occurred since the 1997-1998 El Nino, the bureau said.

Australia this month joined the U.S. and Japan in declaring that the first El Nino since 2010 had begun. The 1997-1998 event was the strongest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The weather patterns can bake parts of Asia, hurting crops from rice to palm oil, while crimping the hurricane season in the Atlantic and bringing more rain across the southern U.S.“The area of warm anomalies in the tropical Pacific now more resembles a classical El Nino pattern,” the bureau said. “Sea-surface temperatures will remain well above El Nino thresholds at least into the southern hemisphere spring.” FULL REPORT

The post El Nino Data Mimic Record 1997-98 Event as IMF Warns on Food Crisis appeared first on .

ISIS Suggests It Can Smuggle A Nuke Into US Through Mexico

Posted: 26 May 2015 07:31 AM PDT

The Islamic State is using the latest issue of its propaganda magazine Dabiq to pose the “far-fetched” hypothetical of purchasing its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within a year and getting it into the United States through the porous Southern border. The terrorists raise the issue in an op-ed piece entitled “The Perfect Storm” that it attributes to John Cantlie, the British photojournalist whom ISIS took hostage in November 2012, The Independent reports. Cantlie has since appeared in many of the group’s propaganda videos.

Here are the key sections of the piece, according to the Independent Journal Review: “Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table. The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilayah (Province) in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region. The weapon is then transported overland until it makes it to Libya, where the mujahidin move it south to Nigeria.

“Drug shipments from Colombia bound for Europe pass through West Africa, so moving other types of contraband from East to West is just as possible. The nuke and accompanying mujahidin arrive on the shorelines of South America and are transported through the porous borders of Central America before arriving in Mexico and up to the border with the United States. FULL REPORT

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Hundreds of Security Badges ‘Missing’ from Airports

Posted: 26 May 2015 06:46 AM PDT

Washington lawmakers are demanding an accounting of how many airport security badges have been lost or stolen around the country as an NBC News investigation reveals the problem may be bigger than originally thought. “Clearly there are an awful lot of things falling through the cracks and there’s just no room for error when it comes to this issue. We need answers. They’re not providing them,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who chairs the Transportation Committee.

Thune and two other committee members have sent a letter to the Transportation Security Administration seeking more information. As NBCDFW reported in March, more than 1,400 of the badges — which allow employees to access secure areas like runways and boarding gates — went missing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport over approximately two years.Now, the station, in partnership with NBC San Diego, has learned that more than 270 badges went missing at the San Diego International Airport in the last two years. FULL REPORT

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Christians ‘Most Persecuted’ Religious Group in the World

Posted: 26 May 2015 06:39 AM PDT

Americans are well familiar, from events and court rulings over recent years, with the diatribes against Christians and Christianity – they are told they legally can’t refuse to promote “gay marriage,” for example. Also, Christian holiday events are forced to be “winter festivals,” Christian symbols are banned from many displays and any statement of biblical belief, such as support for biblical marriage, becomes the latest “phobia,” almost certainly “violating” someone’s rights. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court now is considering whether to make that very belief a federal offense.

But now an international conference speaker has warned that Christians “are the most persecuted religious group on a global level, even in countries where they constitute a majority.” A report from the European Center for Law and Justice documents comments and submissions from several experts at the recent conference held by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on “enhancing efforts to prevent and combat intolerance and discrimination against Christians, focusing on hate crimes, exclusion, marginalization and denial of rights” in Vienna. FULL REPORT

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Boeing Unveils Amazing, Slightly Terrifying New Electromagnetic Pulse Weapon

Posted: 26 May 2015 06:32 AM PDT

Born into Generation X, I grew up with the threat of nuclear war — and all its corollaries, from visions of mushroom clouds to “duck and cover” drills in high school to Terminator movies, and of course, the ever-present worry that one day a sneaky Soviet satellite would detonate way up in the sky and fry all of our electronics with an “electromagnetic pulse.” So imagine my surprise when the U.S. Air Force confirmed last week that it’s developed an electromagnetic pulse weapon of its own, and that Boeing (NYSE: BA ) is helping to build it.

The weapon in question: Boeing’s “CHAMP,” short for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project. It’s essentially the old nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapon that we used to worry so much about — but without the nuclear part. CHAMP carries a small generator that emits microwaves to fry electronics with pinpoint accuracy. It targets not nations or cities but individual buildings, blacking out their electronics rather than blowing up physical targets (or people). FULL REPORT

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2,000-Year-Old Water Supply System Uncovered in Jerusalem

Posted: 26 May 2015 06:26 AM PDT

Part of an ancient aqueduct built more than 2,000 years ago to transport water into the city of Jerusalem was uncovered during a recent construction project, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. A section of the so-called Lower Aqueduct was discovered in the modern-day neighborhood of Umm Tuba, in East Jerusalem, during efforts to construct a new sewer line. The Lower Aqueduct was originally built more than 2,000 years ago by kings in the Hasmonean dynasty, who ruled Judea and its surrounding regions from about 140 B.C. to 37 B.C., and preceded King Herod the Great.

The sprawling, 13-mile-long (21 kilometers) aqueduct carried water to the capital, and “operated intermittently until about 100 years ago,” Ya’akov Billig, director of the aqueduct excavation with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), said in a statement.The Lower Aqueduct fed from the En Eitam spring, which is located near three ancient reservoirs known as Solomon’s Pools that are about 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Bethlehem. As water passed through the channel, it flowed down a gentle slope to Jerusalem, passing through the modern-day neighborhoods of Umm Tuba, Sur Bahar, East Talpiot and Abu Tor, according to the IAA. FULL REPORT

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Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake Strikes Ferndale, California

Posted: 26 May 2015 06:21 AM PDT

The USGS has reported a Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake striking the Ferndale, California Region. No reports of injuries or damage at this time. USGS

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Christian Headlines Daily – Tuesday, May 26, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Boy Scouts President Calls for Withdraw of Ban on Gay Leaders

State Department Denies Visas for Assyrian Christians

Nigerian Army ‘Relocates’ 260 Boko Haram Survivors

Christian Rock Band U2 Show Support for Equal Marriage on Instagram

Mother Teresa to be Canonized as Early as Next Year

United Methodists: Practicing Homosexuality Doesn’t Contradict Christian Doctrine

Josh Duggar Sex Abuse Scandal Emerges

Church of England to Consider ‘Transgender Baptism’ Service

Castro Regime Heightens Christian Persecution in Eastern Cuba

Franklin Graham’s Facebook Prayers Target Supreme Court Justices on Gay Marriage

Opinion

Memorial Day | Don’t Let the Stories Die!

The Duggar TV empire made all kinds of people nervous

Yoga Pants and What the Bible Really Says About Modesty

Seeking the complete financial ruin of a Christian family

Josh Duggar and the Problem of Easy Forgiving


Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

May 26, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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Identity, Ethnicity, Culture, and the Gospel

“Before my identity was ruined for/in Christ (more on this later), I found a big part of my identity in my ethnicity. I am the only child of a white father and a Puerto Rican mother. When we visited family when I was growing up, I always felt different. I “felt” Puerto Rican around my white family, but I also “felt” white around my Puerto Rican family.”

Read more


Keeping Faith: The Changing Face of Religion in Canada

“An online survey on religion released in March by the Angus Reid Institute suggests that the percentage of God-denying Canadians has doubled from six per cent of the population in the 1970s to 13 per cent now — with about one in four Canadians saying they’re inclined to reject religion.”

Read more


Theology Feud Pits Half of Town’s Protestant Churches Against Another

“Eight churches — including Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and non-denominational congregations—in Fountain Hills have teamed up for a campaign of public banners and sermons aimed at the theology of a nearby Methodist church.”

Read more


In Praise of the Dying Art of Civil Disagreement

“I think the lack of civil disagreement in the classroom is best understood as a function of larger social and political trends. As I have noted on this site before, oppression is now a psychological category. This subverts the crucial moral difference between an actual crime, a speech crime, and (increasingly) a thought crime.”

Read more


Can Someone Who Believes in Limited Atonement Plead With Sinners?

“A belief in limited atonement does not make you unable to proclaim the gospel directly to every sinner. In fact if taken whole such a doctrine may actually give you more confidence in proclaiming—knowing that His sheep will indeed answer the gospel call.”

Read more


The Tapestry of Sovereign Grace

“It is not just that all of creation and providence contribute together in totality to the glory of God. It is that these two strands are inseparably tied together. This theological knot, so evident in Scripture, is nevertheless at times hidden from view in our lives—like a tapestry’s beauty on top is so contingent on the knots that bedeck it underneath.”

Read more


The PCA And The Right Against Self-Incrimination: Against Overture 7

How did the right against self-incrimination become part of the BCO? As we will see, it was not because the PCA was influenced by civil protections, such as the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Instead, it was the contributions of our Reformed forefathers that helped shape the American religious and civil protections against self-incrimination we now take for granted.

Read more


I Love Your Love But I Hate Your Tolerance

“We want to be loving. We can be loving in so many other areas, and yet our tolerance could be the very thing that gives a green light for God’s people to sin. Protecting perpetrators of both spiritual and physical harlotry is not loving.”

Read more


A Pastoral Perspective on Illegal Immigration

Today’s post comes from a Grace Community Church “Pastoral Perspective” on illegal immigration:

According to recent estimates, there are over 21 million people living in the United States illegally. On a political level, much controversy centers around how illegal immigration might be better regulated, and how the government should respond to the immigrants who are already here. On an economic level, experts debate how the influx of immigrants has affected the American economy.

But our primary concern is neither political or economic. Rather it is theological and pastoral. From a biblical and practical perspective, how should pastors and church leaders respond to this issue? As those who minister in Los Angeles, this question is not hypothetical for us. Nor is it hypothetical for a growing number of churches across our nation.

Though not an exhaustive response, below are ten considerations (organized under four headings) which outline Grace Church’s pastoral perspective on this issue.

Read more


The West’s Hatred of Children – and Families

by Bill Muehlenberg

The first thing that entered my mind when the Irish decided to commit national suicide by voting for the destruction of marriage was: “As in the days of Noah…” Back then evil became so pronounced, so widespread, and so terrible, that only a handful of people were spared the just judgment of God.

ireland voteThe West is in no better place today. It has declared war on marriage, on family, and on children. In doing so of course it has declared war on God. How much longer the West can survive is a moot point. But it is no longer a question of if it will perish, but when.

One of the greatest evils in the recent Irish vote of course was the total disdain shown to the children. They have been denied the fundamental human right to be raised by their own mother and father. This is nothing less than child abuse.

Read more


Apostate Churches Promoting Sin

by Marsha West

From Berean Research:

Bill Muehlenberg has spent thirty years of his life writing books on the culture war. He’s one of the few Christians who actually understand what radical homosexual activists have in mind. “And it sure ain’t pretty.” Their final goal,” he says, “is to totally silence the churches – the true churches that is. They have no problems at all with the lukewarm and compromised churches – indeed, they love them, and are fully using them to achieve all their goals.” So my brethren, don’t say you weren’t warned.

I know I should no longer be surprised about these sorts of things happening, but it still leaves my head and spirit reeling: I will write about something so utterly clear in Scripture that no biblical Christian could differ, yet that happens anyway.

I will get bus-loads’ full of so-called Christian pastors, leaders and others absolutely foaming at the mouth at me and what I write. Instead of agreeing with God about clearly defined sin, they will blast me for daring to affirm biblical truth and morality.

Read more of this post


The Unseen Foe Behind Rising Evil

by Berit Kjos, 5/1/15 Crossroad

We don’t hear much about spiritual warfare these days. Most churches seem to ignore the reality of Satan and the evil he inspires. God’s warnings about compromise with a corrupt world simply don’t fit the new image of Jesus as a gentle, tolerant, pluralistic helper. Since the 18th century’s birth of the “Age of Reason,” an increasing number of “enlightened” Western leaders and influential “change agents” have tried to discredit the Bible and silence Christian believers. More recently, a vast number of politicians, media masters and educators have joined the battles against Biblical truth and morality.

Click here to read this article!


Letter to the Editor: “Awakening America Alliance” Brings SBC President Ronnie Floyd Together with New Age Roma Downey

by Lighthouse Trails, 4/28/15 LT Publishing

I’m sending you this e-mail (see below) that I got from the “Awakening America Alliance” about their recent biennial “RESET SUMMIT” held in Atlanta, Georgia. “Awakening America Alliance” states this as their ultimate goal: “The Alliance’s ultimate goal is serving kingdom initiatives for spiritual awakening and missional living. The Reset Summit is a part of their pursuit of a fresh Christ-Awakening across the nation-in every state, every county, every church, and every heart. Gathering leaders from these various spheres of influence not only builds relationships, but reflects one of their foundational principles-“history is transformed among friends.” I am sending you this because I noticed that participants included Roma Downey (and husband Mark Burnett)! This is a conference for national Christian leaders, and Ronnie Floyd (President of the Southern Baptist Convention) along with other denominational prayer and church leaders participated. What is Roma Downey doing at a National Christian Leader’s conference for an American “spiritual awakening”?

Click here to read this article!


The Labyrinth Journey: Walking the Path to Fulfillment?

at Lighthouse Trails, 4/27/15 LT Publishing

The following article is also in booklet form. Click here to see if there are labyrinths in your region. The number of them is growing significantly as contemplative spirituality continues overtaking many denominations and ministries.

Click here to read this article!


If a Duggar came out as a homosexual who’d acted out in the mid-teen years…

by Scott Alan Buss

There can be little doubt that if a Duggar came out as a homosexual who’d acted out sexually in their mid-teen years, they’d be the most celebrated, adored and defended creature in the modern mainstream media universe. That much should be obvious at this point, whatever one’s perspective might be on the many tragic aspects of the […]

Read more of this post


Do I Have to Close My Eyes When I Pray?

by Erin Davis | 5/26/15

I admit it. I peek. When everyone else’s heads are bowed and eyes are closed during corporate prayer, I’m the one with my head up scanning the crowd. I just love to catch a glimpse of my entire church family praying together.

In fact, it was during one of those moments that I got an idea for a series for this blog. The big idea is to take a look at the postures of our faith.

Why do we close our eyes and bow our heads when we pray?
Why do we (or don’t we) raise our hands when we sing worship songs?
Why do we get so sad-faced during communion?
Are these postures that the Lord calls us to in His Word, or are they simply rooted in tradition? What does God want us to do with our bodies during spiritual practices like prayer and worship? Does He care?

Over the next three days, we will examine the postures of our faith, starting with prayer. Ready? Now, everyone bow your heads and close your eyes . . .(Just kidding! How would you read the post that way, silly?)

Read more


THE EMERGENT CHURCH CULT OF POSTMODERN LIBERAL THEOLOGY

by Marsha West

Before he went to be with the Lord, our brother Ken Silva went to great lengths to warn the flock of the impending danger of what he referred to as the “cult of postmodern liberal theology.” Sadly, his warning was largely ignored by Christian leaders who thought Ken was just a clanging symbol. Well he wasn’t. And neither was the founder of the Christian Research Institute, Dr. Walter Martin, who took a lot of heat for shouting from the rooftops that “historic, orthodox Christianity” was being invaded by liberals and cultists.

With that in mind, we’re linking to a piece over at Apprising Ministries Ken put together back in 2011 that includes strong words from Dr. Martin:

Apprising Ministries brings to your attention the following hard-hitting and prophetic words, circa 1986, from “the father of modern cult apologetics” Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989). No matter what you may think of some things he taught, it is simply beyond question that, in his day, Dr. Martin was a foremost defender of what he so often called “the historic, orthodox Christian faith.”

Theological poison is, right now, seeping into the veins of the mainstream evangelical camp the upgraded sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church with its postmodern Progressive Christian theology—a Liberalism 2.0—that they often refer to as “big tent” Emergence Christianity.

So if you want to know the Truth about its infiltration of orthodox seminaries and Bible colleges, who err in assuming many of their professors are the same, then read on. And if not; well then, you might have just qualified yourself to become a leader within evangelicalism…

Read more


America Rising, America Falling

by Bill Muehlenberg

The greater anything is, and the higher it rises, the greater the fall if it does fall. There is no question that this can be said about the late great country known as America. Once a mighty nation and a morally good nation, it is now in free fall, thanks in large part to those who hate it and are actively seeking to bring about its ruin.

America is one of the more unique nations on earth, with a unique beginning. This was a nation specifically founded in the search for religious liberty. The idea of being a “light on the hill” in the biblical sense was integral to who and what this early nation was all about.

Of course revisionist historians seek to downplay the deeply ingrained religious aspects of America’s founding. They want to pretend biblical and Christian values and beliefs had little or nothing to do with the great success of America. I wonder how many American school kids today even know about the religious roots of their nation.

I have written before about the vitally important religious makeup of the American experiment, and will continue to do so. One such earlier piece is this: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2013/05/08/obama-versus-the-founding-fathers/

But I happen to be back in America again at the moment, and the contrast between what I now see in America, and what I used to know when younger is quite profound. The earlier tremendous rise of America is today so starkly contrasted with its rapid decline.

Read more


Decisions ahead for Irish churches after country adopts same-sex marriage

DUBLIN — Ireland became the first nation to adopt same-sex marriage by popular vote May 22 after a months-long campaign by advocates of traditional marriage to preserve the institution failed. The referendum drew more than 1.2 million people to the polls for the vote, which has now shifted once-conservative Ireland squarely into the liberal column […]

Read more of this post


What Used to Be Called Sin

All talk about sin, say the self-expressionists, is utterly foolish, leading to self-repression, which is, they aver, the only sin. What used to be called sin is just expression of self, the greatest and the most vital possession that man has, they say. Not to sin, according to the old meaning of the term, is to do violence to the greatest gift he possesses. They plead, therefore, for the abolition of the word sin in its earlier associations. They deplore what they term the tragic spectacle of mankind shackled against its highest good by adherence to the warnings of the Bible, the Church, and the saints.

Read more


Voddie Baucham’s big move to Africa

by Marsha West

Reformed pastor Voddie Baucham talks with World Magazine’s Warren Cole Smith about his work at home and explains his bold move to Zambia with his wife and seven of their children.

Voddie Baucham is a husband, father, pastor, author, professor, conference speaker, and church planter. He currently serves as pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas. He’s also served as an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Houston. Whether teaching on classical apologetic issues such as the validity and historicity of the Bible or the resurrection of Christ or teaching on cultural issues, such as gender roles, marriage, and family, he says his goal is to help people understand the significance of thinking and living biblically in every area of life. We had this conversation at an event hosted by Alliance Defending Freedom.

Read more


Boy Scouts of America president says ban on gay leaders unsustainable

May 21, 2015 04:09 pm | Marsha West

 

AOL reports that the radical homosexual lobby may finally have their way with the Scouts.  According to  Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality. “We are 180 degrees from where we were a year ago.  This is a very, very positive development.”  Bible believing Christians vehemently disagree with Mr. Wahls that gay leaders in the Scouts is […]

The post Boy Scouts of America president says ban on gay leaders unsustainable appeared first on Berean Research.


Study of attitudes to same-sex marriage retracted over ‘fake data’

May 21, 2015 04:53 pm | Marsha West

 

The study, using gay political canvessers, alleged that a conversation with a gay person could soften attitudes on same-sex  marriage.  But evidence has has been presented showing the study was a complete fabrication. The Guardian has the details: The senior author of a study claiming to find that a brief, face-to-face conversation with a gay political canvasser had […]

The post Study of attitudes to same-sex marriage retracted over ‘fake data’ appeared first on Berean Research.


Ireland’s Gay Marriage Referendum a Sign of Roman Catholic Decline

May 22, 2015 10:21 am | Marsha West

 

“In Ireland,” says a character in a 1904 George Bernard Shaw play, “the people is the Church, and the Church is the people.” But not so much anymore. On Friday (May 22), voters in this once deeply Roman Catholic country will decide whether the country’s constitution should be amended to allow for gay marriage. If […]

The post Ireland’s Gay Marriage Referendum a Sign of Roman Catholic Decline appeared first on Berean Research.


Trail Life USA reacts to Boy Scout president on gay leaders

May 23, 2015 11:56 am | Marsha West

 

Berean Research reported on the Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates’ comment that the status quo on not allowing homosexual Scout leaders cannot be sustained. Seems the Scouts’ board chairman disagrees with Gates. According to the Christian Examiner: Responding to an announcement yesterday that Boy Scouts of America legal position on banning gay Scout leaders has […]

The post Trail Life USA reacts to Boy Scout president on gay leaders appeared first on Berean Research.


Gay Ireland hails “a new Republic” as same-sex marriage approved

May 23, 2015 12:19 pm | Marsha West

 

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Gay couples flocked to central Dublin to celebrate a “historic watershed” on Saturday as a large majority in the traditionally Catholic country voted to allow same-sex marriage, the culmination of a four-decade struggle for gay rights. Waving rainbow flags, embracing and crying, two thousand people gathered to watch the official results in […]

The post Gay Ireland hails “a new Republic” as same-sex marriage approved appeared first on Berean Research.


The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims

May 23, 2015 04:21 pm | Marsha West

 

For those who have never heard of “mindfulness,” it is a Buddhist meditation practice that’s emphasized in Zen Buddhism.  Zen Buddhism is a mixture of Taoism and Buddhism.   Practitioners claim that mindfulness is spiritually neutral.  Right.  And I’m Tinkerbell. In her piece “Mindfulness For Children: Buddhism For Tots” former New Ager and long time astrologer Marcia Montenegro, explains […]

The post The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims appeared first on Berean Research.


Church daycare must pay lesbians a huge fine after couple violates employees’ moral clause

May 24, 2015 09:50 am | Marsha West

 

A church daycare must pay a lesbian couple more than $28,000 after the women violated an employee agreement to live in celibacy as long as they taught at the Christian educational facility. As part of the settlement, the church must also meet with homosexual activists. When Jaclyn Pfeiffer and her partner Kelly Bardier went to […]

The post Church daycare must pay lesbians a huge fine after couple violates employees’ moral clause appeared first on Berean Research.


Americans Greatly Overestimate Percent Gay, Lesbian in U.S.

May 24, 2015 10:39 am | Marsha West

 

The radical homosexual lobby has been successful in brainwashing Americans into believing that more than one in five Americans are gay or lesbian.  Not even close.  According to Gallup the latest estimate shows that 3.8% actually identify as LGBT. Take a look at the Gallup report: The American public estimates on average that 23% of Americans are […]

The post Americans Greatly Overestimate Percent Gay, Lesbian in U.S. appeared first on Berean Research.


Voddie Baucham’s big move to Africa

May 25, 2015 03:00 pm | Marsha West

 

Reformed pastor Voddie Baucham talks with World Magazine’s Warren Cole Smith about his work at home and explains his bold move to Zambia with his wife and seven of their children. Voddie Baucham is a husband, father, pastor, author, professor, conference speaker, and church planter. He currently serves as pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church […]

The post Voddie Baucham’s big move to Africa appeared first on Berean Research.


“God” tells NAR “prophet” about Dominionist Seven Mountains plans

May 25, 2015 04:27 pm | Marsha West

 

John Lanagan alerts us to yet another NAR false prophetess, this time Lana Vawser, who has supposedly uttered a prophetic word form God…..that He never spoke.  God speaks to us through His Word, not through pretend prophets. The New Apostolic Reformation is not an organization. These are networks of “apostles” and “prophets” who believe the Second […]

The post “God” tells NAR “prophet” about Dominionist Seven Mountains plans appeared first on Berean Research.


News in Review Around the World with Understand the Times


Witnessing To Pagans

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q. Peace and grace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ. I have a question concerning witnessing to pagan followers. I have been talking with a few that point out that all religions, including Christianity, are actually a derivative of some former pagan belief. They point out that paganism has been around much longer then Christianity or Judaism for that matter. So, in their mind, it seems logical that when they hear a story or teaching in Christianity that is like one of their own from paganism, that it must have come from paganism.

What helps can I find that will give me a sufficient answer for why it appears that Christians borrow it’s teachings from pagan myths? I understand that Nimrod and the city of Babel is the birthplace of all paganism, but what can I show my pagan friends as evidence that this is true?

continue reading


The Body Of Elijah

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  I love the vivid word picture describing Elijah, the fiery chariots, and charioteers. And I believe he will return, stand, preach, be killed and resurrected in the streets of Jerusalem during the Great Tribulation period. And I also know bodies will rise from the grave to meet Jesus in the Rapture.

But in the mean time, where is Elijah’s earthly body? I wonder if the fire consumed his body for this time until he inhabits it again during the Tribulation? Or is the body he’ll inhabit in Jerusalem already glorified?

continue reading


Spiritual Wickedness In High Places

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  Every morning when I read my daily Scriptures … I always read Ephesians 6:10-20 to put on the armor of God before I start my day. I think it is a great reading for all to read to protect themselves with before starting the day.

My question is regarding Ephesians 6:12 where it says ” … against spiritual wickedness in high places.” I also have read versions where it states “heavenly places”.

The question is where is “spiritual wickedness” in “high” or “heavenly” places? May God forgive me but where would evil lurk in “high” or “heavenly places”?

continue reading


Featured Blogs


Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

May 26, 2015 EMB News Report

Email Brigade News Report


What doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. ~ Micah 6:8

May 26, 2015

 

 

MARSHA WEST’S COLUMN

New! MOVIEGUIDE Props Up Profane Preacher

Anyone who follows the news knows that mega pop-star Justin Bieber has made headlines for behaving badly.  What some of you may not know is that Justin’s a professing Christian.  Don’t stop reading here.  This isn’t about bad-boy Bieber.

Liberalism’s warm fuzzy god

Glenn Beck receives a “mantle” from a false prophet

 

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MARSHA IS GENERAL EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN RESEARCH NETWORK

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

New

The Rise of House Clinton—Jonah Goldberg

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/418794/rise-house-clinton-jonah-goldberg

Bill Clinton is the greatest gaslighter in modern American politics. This is from the Wikipedia entry on “Gaslighting”: Sociopaths frequently use gaslighting tactics. Sociopaths consistently transgress social mores, break laws, and exploit others, but typically, are also charming and convincing liars who consistently deny wrongdoing. Thus, some who have been victimized by sociopaths may doubt their perceptions. Some physically abusive spouses may gaslight their partners by flatly denying that they have been violent. Gaslighting describes a dynamic observed in some cases of marital infidelity: “Therapists may contribute to the victim’s distress through mislabeling the woman’s reactions. . . . The gaslighting behaviors of the husband provide a recipe for the so-called ’nervous breakdown’ for some women [and] suicide in some of the worst situations.”

WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

New

Laughter Yoga founder spreads his message to stressed-out Hong Kong

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-beauty/article/1807012/laughter-yoga-founder-spreads-his-message-stressed-out-hong

A new twist on having a howling good time in Hong Kong will leave you cheerful, less stressed and not out of pocket

 

NEWS TO KNOW

New

Ferguson Protesters Now Protesting Over Not Getting Paid http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Ferguson-Missouri-paid-protesters/2015/05/25/id/646587/

Budget cuts impact US ability to fight the enemy, Air Force general warns

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/25/budget-cuts-impact-us-ability-to-fight-enemy-air-force-general-warns/

 

Drone hits 2 people during parade

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/05/25/drone-crashes-hits-2-people-during-marblehead-parade/

 

HEALTH

New

Stem cells can be safely infused in brain to promote stroke recovery, study finds

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/05/21/stem-cells-can-be-safely-infused-in-brain-to-promote-stroke-recovery-study/

 

CULTURE CLASH

 

CULTURE

Previous

Flashback: “O’Reilly, Letterman, and the Culture War”

http://www.pearceyreport.com/blog/2015/05/good_riddance_to_letterman_flashback_oreilly_letterman_culture_war.php

“David Letterman’s departure isn’t the end of an era,” Daniel Greenfield writes at Frontpagemag.com. “The era of late night talk shows ended a while back. In Johnny Carson’s final week in the nineties, he played to an audience of twenty million. Lately, Letterman has been lucky to get 2 million. His final shows have played to around 5 million viewers.”

 

EDUCATION – Research Links

Dangerous:  Common Core

New

Teacher bans pastor’s daughter from mentioning God in “all about me” assignment

http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/24/teacher-bans-pastors-daughter-from-mentioning-god-in-all-about-me-assignment/

Previous

The Slow Death of Common Core—Alan Caruba

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/caruba/150521

 

LGBT ISSUES — Research Links

 

The revolution of the family: the Marxist roots of ‘homo-sexualism’

Porn may be only place gay youth see gay sex portrayed ‘positively’: UK ‘sex health’ charity head

300 Articles You Have to Read to Understand Homo-fascism

‘Gay’ Promiscuity: Breeding a national health problem

Big ‘Gay’ Brother is Watching You

Truth-Telling About Gays

 

New

Are gays ‘born that way’? Most Americans now say yes, but science says no

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/for-the-first-time-a-majority-of-americans-believe-homosexuals-are-born-tha

For the first time, a majority of Americans say that homosexuals are “born that way.”

According to the latest Gallup poll, 51 percent of Americans say that people are born gay or lesbian, while only 30 percent say outside factors such as upbringing and environment determine sexual orientation.

 

Church daycare must pay lesbians a huge fine after couple violates employees’ moral clause

http://bereanresearch.org/church-daycare-must-pay-lesbians-a-huge-fine-after-couple-violates-employees-moral-clause/

 

EX-GAYS/EX TRANSEXUALS

 

Trouble In Transtopia: Murmurs Of Sex Change Regret

Truth Matters In Ex-Gay Debate

Nine fallen ‘exgay’ leaders seek spotlight with therapy ban alliance

Why Gays Cannot Speak for Ex-Gays

120 EX-GAY video testimonies

 

Previous

Former Lesbian Petitions Obama to Hear Voices of Those Christ Has Set Free from Homosexuality

http://christiannews.net/2015/05/09/former-lesbian-petitions-obama-to-hear-voices-of-those-christ-has-set-free-from-homosexuality/

 

LEFT-WING MEDIA

New

Nets Ignore as Obama Blames Rise of Terrorism on Climate Change http://newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2015/05/21/nets-ignore-obama-blames-rise-terrorism-climate-change

 

LIFE & DEATH – Research Links

 

Parents Release Photo of Daughter Born at 24 Weeks to Stop Late-Term Abortions

Amazing Video Shows Life Before Birth: “Everything a Newborn Baby Does, a Fetus Has Already Done

Abortion, Depression, Suicide

 

New

Activists Push Abortion in Ireland After Marriage Referendum Vote, But True Equality Includes the Unborn

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/05/25/activists-push-abortion-in-ireland-after-marriage-referendum-vote-but-true-equality-includes-the-unborn/

 

MARRIAGE & FAMILY

 

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. ~ Heb 13:4

 

On Attending Homosexual Weddings

The Purpose of Marriage

Understand the Same-Sex Marriage Issue

Ryan Anderson explains why gay marriage doesn’t exist

Our last chance to save traditional marriage

 

New

Fake Christian, Fake Marriage—Bill Muehlenberg

http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/05/23/fake-christians-fake-marriage/

One so-called believer who has worried me greatly for years has in my eyes nailed his coffin completely by his recent support of sodomite marriage. Bono and U2 are going utterly brain-dead in supporting the Irish vote on homosexual marriage. …

 

RELIGION

 

OF INTEREST

New

MUST READ

Apostate Churches Promoting Sin–Bill Muhlenberg

http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/05/25/apostate-churches-promoting-sin/

I know I should no longer be surprised about these sorts of things happening, but it still leaves my head and spirit reeling: I will write about something so utterly clear in Scripture that no biblical Christian could differ, yet that happens anyway.

Previous

Rifqa Bary details transformation from Islam to Christianity

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/05/19/rifqa-bary-book.html

 

CREATION VS EVOLUTION – Research links

 

Why is biblical Creationism so important?

The Giraffe: God’s Outstanding Animal

 

Previous

Skin

https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/skin/

Only a few millimeters of skin separate our bodies from the dangers of the outside world. Yet skin’s multilayered design provides us with the perfect combination of strength, flexibility, and durability. Unlike any spacesuit or body armor designed by man, this protective covering is alive, constantly repairing and renewing itself.

 

TEACHING/DEVOTIONAL

New

God is love—Ray Stedman

http://www.raystedman.org/daily-devotions/1-john/god-is-love

 

WATCH OUT—APOSTASY ALERT!

 

A discerning Christian is one who seeks to walk in repentance for he or she will be in a constant state of self-examination. ~ Mike Ratliff

 

Where do Christians get solid food? From voices in their heads, intuition, imaginations, flights of fancy, signs, wonders? No. Solid food is consumed by feeding on the meat of

the written Word of God. ~ Sandy Simpson

 

Alcoholics Anonymous

Disturbing History of AA

New Booklet Tract: The Spiritual Truth Behind Alcoholics Anonymous–And Why Christians Should Think Twice About Joining A.A.

 

Previous

The demonic origin A.A.’s 12 Steps—John Lanagan

http://mywordlikefire.com/2015/05/14/the-demonic-origin-a-a-s-12-steps/

 

Angels – Research links

 

Three Reasons You Should Not Try To Bind Satan

Unbiblical ideas About Angels

 

Ann Voskamp

Loving God is not erotic (no matter what Voskamp says)

Romantic Panentheism, a Review of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Christianized Version of “Sexytime” with Ghosts?

 

Beth Moore

 

Why Beth Moore and Not Me? The Danger of Claiming to Receive Direct Revelation

Has so-and-so false teacher always been false, or did it just start now?

The Low-Information Evangelical, Part 1  Part 2

Examining Beth Moore’s teaching

Previous

Beth Moore’s “most singularly bizzarre applications ever” of Exodus 15

http://churchwatchcentral.com/2015/04/30/beth-moores-most-singularly-bizzarre-applications-ever-of-exodus-15/

 

 “Blood Moons”

 

Is Jesus going to return during the blood-red moon of 2015?

Divine Sign for Israel? Hagee Explains Blood Moons

Will Lunar Eclipses Cause Four Blood Moons in 2014 and 2015?

 

Books on Heaven

 ‘Boy who came back from heaven’ recants story, rebukes LifeWay and other buyers/sellers of ‘heaven tourism’

LifeWay returns ‘Boy Who Came Back From Heaven’ books to publisher

 

Charismatic Movement

 

Strange Fire Q&A: Answering the Critics—Phil Johnson interviews John MacArthur

Where is IHOP Going? An interview with Sarah Leslie

 

Christians and Conspiracy Theories

Sola Sisters has compiled articles that were written in order to biblically address the reality of conspiracy theory websites that Christians are sometimes drawn to, but which we feel are unbiblical and cause Christians to become unbalanced and unsteady in their walks. Be blessed.

http://www.solasisters.com/2015/02/christians-and-conspiracy-theories.html

 

Church Growth Movement/Seeker/Market-Driven

 

Church of Tares: Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive

Be Skeptical of Dr. Oz’s Remedies and Rick Warren’s “Plans”

Straight Talk About the Seeker Church Movement

Why this pastor left the church-growth model

Who is Peter Drucker, and what did he do with our church?

Rick Warren’s Catholic television interview

 

Previous

Feel the Love Tonight? Rick Warren, Elton John Hold Hands, Joke About Kissing Before AIDS Panel

http://christiannews.net/2015/05/10/feel-the-love-tonight-rick-warren-elton-john-hold-hands-joke-about-kissing-before-aids-panel/

 

Rick Warren’s weight-loss plan named Christian Book of the Year

http://bereanresearch.org/rick-warrens-weight-loss-plan-named-christian-book-of-the-year/

 

Contemplative Prayer – Research Links

 

The “Tree of Contemplative Practices” – Is Your Church Practicing Some of These?

What Is Spiritual Formation and Why Does It Matter?

Contemplative Terms

 

Ecumenism

 

Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns

 

Emergent Church – Research Links

 

The Emerging Global Church

McLaren’s CANA Initiative marks new era for Neo Emergents

Listen: Emergent Church finally shows its real intentions!

Emerging towards convergence

Emergent /Emerging Church Documentary

 

Previous

Emergent Catalyst conference says it’s time to “awaken your wonder”

http://bereanresearch.org/emergent-catalyst-conference-says-its-time-to-awaken-your-wonder/

 

Hillsong Church/Music

 

The Hillsong cult’s “infallible” prophets? (Part 1)  (Part 2)

Why Hillsong music is dangerous to sing in your church

Hillsong NYC’s “biblical” silence about homosexuality

Hellsong – The Music of Hillsong – In Praise of Folly

 

Previous

Hillsong’s 2015 Rose-Tinted-Glasses “Vision”?

http://www.alittleleaven.com/2015/03/hillsongs-2015-rose-tinted-glasses-vision.html

 

“Jesus Calling” – Research Links

 

Jesus calling messages compared to channeled spirit messages

In Jesus Calling: Jesus Contradicts Himself

Is Hit Book “Jesus Calling” Pushing New Age?

Articles and links exposing the New Age “Jesus” and New Age teachings

in Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” devotional

 

Previous

“Jesus Calling” Book Sales Soar After Walker Speech at Iowa Faith Summit

http://bereanresearch.org/jesus-calling-book-sales-soar-after-walker-speech-at-iowa-faith-summit/

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses Research Links

Previous

Hermeneutics and Blood Transfusions–Bill Muehlenberg

http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/04/09/hermeneutics-and-blood-transfusions/

 

Joyce Meyer

 

The Prosperity Priestess and the Pied Piper of IHOP

Joyce Meyer’s teaching

 

Previous

Eye of Newt, And Toe of Frog, In the Name of Jesus, Abracadabra, Amen—Pamela Couvrette

http://pamelacouvrette.com/name-of-jesus/

 

Kay Arthur

 

Kay Arthur With Erroneous Contemplative Interpretation of Psalm 46:10

Christian Meditation: What’s Biblical and What’s

 

“The Message” Bible

 

Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” is a parody of the Bible

 

Previous

Gay activist says church leaders “must be made to take homosexuality off the sin list”—John Lanagan

http://mywordlikefire.com/2015/04/09/gay-activist-says-church-leaders-must-be-made-to-take-homosexuality-off-the-sin-list/

 

Mormonism — Research Links

Why I Am Not A Mormon

Mormonism’s Pre-existence

Mormon Church Admits Founder Joseph Smith Had About 40 Wives

Was Joseph Smith Really a Prophet from God?

What is Mormonism – What do Mormon’s Believe

 

New

Early Mormon Leaders on the Inhabitants of the Sun and Moon

http://www.mrm.org/moon-men

Previous

Glenn Beck receives a “mantle” from a false prophet—Marsha West

http://bereanresearch.org/glenn-beck-receives-a-mantle-from-a-false-prophet/

 

New Age Movement/New Thought/Spirituality — Research Links

 

Roma Downey posting this quote on her Facebook page

“An angel can illuminate the thought and mind of man by strengthening the power

of vision.” ~ St.Thomas Aquinas

 

Be Skeptical of Dr. Oz’s Remedies and Rick Warren’s “Plans”

New Age Pandemic In The Church

The New Age Peale Factor: Norman Vincent Peale and the Occult, Part 1  Part 2

Mysticism & Global Mind Change

Panantheism

What is “The Secret”? What is the “Law of Attraction”?

 

Previous

Oprah reinventing prayer outside the box

http://bereanresearch.org/oprah-reinventing-prayer-outside-the-box/

 

Pastors push musical “tones” to reach God and heal our DNA—Amy Spreeman

http://bereanresearch.org/pastors-push-musical-tones-to-reach-god-and-heal-our-dna/

 

New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism – Research Links

 

Glenn Beck Receives a “Mantle” From A False Prophet

Voice of the [false] Apostles 2015 conference

New Apostolic Reformation in Your Church

We have had enough of false prophets

Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A Comedy of Errors Part 1  Part 2

What is an Apostle?

Rick Joyner’s alleged visit to heaven where he claims he met Enoch

 

New

“God” tells NAR “prophet” about Dominionist Seven Mountains plans—John Lanagan

http://mywordlikefire.com/2015/05/25/god-tells-nar-prophet-about-dominionist-seven-mountains-plans/

Previous

Assemblies of God exposed to New Apostolic Reformation Through Empowered 21—John Lanagan

http://mywordlikefire.com/2015/05/21/assemblies-of-god-exposed-to-new-apostolic-reformation-through-empowered21/

 

Occult – Research Links

Previous

Talk with your deceased loved ones using new virtual-reality software

http://bereanresearch.org/talk-with-your-deceased-loved-ones-using-new-virtual-reality-software/

 

Praise & Worship Music (Hillsong & Jesus Culture)

 

Bill Johnson, Jesus Culture and Bethel Church

 

Previous

Worship Pastors—Glenn Chatfield

http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2014/09/worship-pastors.html

 

Roman Catholicism

 

Pope Francis: You Cannot Be A Christian Outside the Church

Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns

The Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church

Do eucharistic miracles really happen?

 

New

Catholics Organize to Promote Pope’s Climate Change Message

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_REL_POPE_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-05-24-12-09-46

 

Social Justice/Progressive Christianity

 

Shameful Social Gospel

The Social Justice Gospel, Yesterday and TodayPart 2

 

Previous

Pitiable Capitulating Pro-family Leaders – Part 1  Part 2—Marsha West

I don’t believe for one minute that the Lord would have those who say they represent Him resort to cleverly contrived manipulation tactics to accomplish His work. …

 

Transhumanism/Nephilum

 

Spiritual Seduction

Extraterrestrials, Noah’s Flood, Pseudo-Humans, Pseudo-Science,

Nephilim and Space Alien DNAPart 2

Previous

“Demons, Daughters and DNA”: A Sequel and Response—Larry DeBruyan

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2015/03/demons-daughters-and-dna-sequel-and.html

 

Vision Casting

 

Casting a Vision of Commandeering Control

Previous

The Hillsong cult’s “infallible” prophets? Part 1   Part 2

 

Witchcraft – Research Links

 

Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel — Research Links

 

Why the Prosperity Gospel Is the Worst Pyramid Scheme Ever

Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A Comedy of Errors, Part 1   Part 2

The True Origins of the Prosperity Gospel

T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer teaching word-faith “Little Gods” doctrine

 

Previous

Prosperity pastrix Paula White marries rocker Jonathan Cain in third marriage

http://christiannews.net/2015/05/10/megachurch-preacher-paula-white-marries-rocker-jonathan-cain-in-third-marriage/

 

Eye of Newt, And Toe of Frog, In the Name of Jesus, Abracadabra, Amen—Pamela Couvrette—Pamela Couvrette

http://pamelacouvrette.com/name-of-jesus/

May 25, 2015 RenewAmerica Newsletter


ALAN KEYES — In my WND column, I apply the logic of America’s founders to the constitutional issue raised by Obama’s refusal to defend the DOMA signed into law during the Clinton era… (more)


May 25, 2015
All honor to American soldiers, our humble gratitude and heartfelt thanks
ALAN KEYES — This weekend, formally commemorated on the fourth Monday of every May, America unites in Memorial Day solemn remembrance of every member of the Armed Forces who has fought and died defending our nation, in the never-ending struggle to preserve and protect the God-given liberty enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, and codified as law in our Constitution… (more)

May 25, 2015
ALAN KEYES — Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster against the so-called Patriot Act ended on Wednesday night. Reported the Washington Times: “Mr. Paul, who spoke for more than 10 hours, finally relinquished the chamber floor at 11:49 p.m. saying, ‘My voice is rapidly leaving. My bedtime has long since passed.'”… (more)

May 25, 2015
TOBY WESTERMAN — In 1960, Sam Cooke released a hit song which began with the words “Don’t know much about history.” Beginning in 1990, Kenneth C. Davis began a popular series of books on history using Cooke’s initial five words… (more)

May 25, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Around the turn of the 20th century, a young Christian man with an entrepreneurial spirit by the name of Joseph Farah left Lebanon with dreams of what he could do and how he could live in the New World of America…. (more)

May 25, 2015
NEWSMAX — Former President George W. Bush did not lie about the presence of weapons of mass destruction to justify the Iraq War, journalist Bob Woodward said Sunday. The argument has been used for years by Democrats and other detractors, but Woodward said on “Fox News Sunday” that his own 18-month investigation showed that Bush was actually skeptical that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had WMDs as Saddam claimed…. (more)

May 25, 2015
ROBERT KNIGHT — As the calendar slips toward the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, there’s a storm cloud hanging over America that will release its thunder in late June. That’s when the U.S. Supreme Court is widely expected to declare a constitutional right to same-sex “marriage.”… (more)

May 24, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — Republican operative Karl Rove writes in The Wall Street Journal that “few demonstrate as much contempt for journalists as do Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.” That may be true for Obama, but Mrs. Clinton has taken a different approach… (more)

May 24, 2015
NEWSMAX — Conservative media mogul and Internet pioneer Matt Drudge blasted Senate Republicans on Twitter Friday for approving legislation that would give fast-track authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate foreign trade deals…. (more)


May 24, 2015
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Well, you heard it here first. Today, the State Department released Benghazi-related email from the private server and one of the (at least) two private email accounts on which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official business – – recklessly and in violation of laws and guidelines relating to the exchanging and preservation of electronic communications. Within hours, the Obama administration was forced to concede that at least one of the emails contained classified information…. (more)


May 23, 2015
NEWSMAX — The Rev. Franklin Graham, the prominent evangelist, denounced Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates on Friday and accused him of putting children at risk with his call for an end to the organization’s ban on openly gay scoutmasters…. (more)


May 23, 2015
MATT BARBER — I said it was coming. Many of us did. Two years ago this week the Boy Scouts of America voted to welcome into its ranks “open and avowed” homosexuality (boy-on-boy sexual attraction and behavior), thereby disavowing the “morally straight” Scout Oath its members are sworn to uphold…. (more)

May 23, 2015
RAYMOND IBRAHIM — For months, many Western observers have been closely following the minute-by-minute developments concerning the battle between Islamic State and coalition forces in the hopes that such data will help them discern what the future may hold…. (more)

May 23, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — A group of 14 Democrat senators has written a letter to President Obama urging him to “dramatically increase” the number of Syrian refugees being resettled into American cities and towns…. (more)

May 23, 2015
BOB UNRUH — A federal judge hearing the contempt of court case against Maricopa, Arizona, County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Friday stayed further proceedings until a dispute over his involvement in the case is resolved…. (more)

May 23, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — After weeks of wrangling, Senate lawmakers approved legislation that would give President Obama “fast track” powers to negotiate international trade deals…. (more)


May 22, 2015
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER — Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The great 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition so grandly proclaimed by the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen. Instead, it’s the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who’s in charge – – while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America’s alleged strategy for combating the Islamic State is in free fall…. (more)

May 22, 2015
NEWSMAX — President Barack Obama may insist the United States is not losing the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) – – but he’s lying, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says…. (more)

May 22, 2015
WASHINGTON TIMES — FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating…. (more)

May 22, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe is blasting President Obama for telling U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduates Wednesday that climate change is one of the most serious threats to security here in the U.S. and around the world…. (more)

May 22, 2015
WORLDNETDAILY — The Federal Election Commission has backed off its plans to regulate political content on the Internet in the face of mounting criticism after it suggested that online political activity should be regulated…. (more)


May 22, 2015
PEW RESEARCH CENTER — The new Republican-led Congress is drawing harsh reviews from the public – – including most Republicans. Just 23% of Americans say congressional Republicans are keeping the promises they made during last fall’s campaign, while 65% say they are not…. (more)

May 22, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — How much trouble is Hillary Clinton in over the formation of a nonprofit foundation that took in massive amounts of foreign money while she was serving as secretary of state? Is it possible she could be indicted at the same time she is seeking the presidency of the United States?… (more)

May 22, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Sidney Blumenthal, the former Bill and Hillary Clinton aide whose role as an informal adviser to the secretary of state has sparked controversy in recent days, defended his interaction with the presidential candidate in a statement Thursday evening…. (more)


May 22, 2015
YAHOO NEWS — The national president of the Boy Scouts, Robert Gates, says the organization’s longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults is no longer sustainable and is urging change in order to avert potentially destructive legal battles…. (more)


May 22, 2015
MICHELLE MALKIN — Patent law is not something most Americans are passionate about or have ever contemplated – – which is exactly why the Obama White House and Congress got away with making radical changes to our time-tested traditions of protecting the fruits of entrepreneurial inventors’ labor…. (more)

 

An Ancient Prayer for Government

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

Apostolic Fathers, The, 3rd ed.: Greek Texts and English Translations The Bible clearly calls Christians to honor, obey, and pray for those in authority over us, such as our civil government (Jer. 29:7, Rom. 13, 1 Pet. 2:13-17, Titus 3:1, etc.).  Although it’s not always easy to do, God’s people have been doing it for a long, long time!  One ancient example is found in 1 Clement, a letter written to Christians in Rome somewhere between 80 and 100 AD.  Here’s the excerpt of a prayer for civil government, found in 1 Clement 60:4-61:3:

“…[Lord], give harmony and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth, just as you did to our ancestors when they reverently called upon you in faith and truth, that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and to our rulers and governors on earth.”

“You, Master, have given them the power of sovereignty through…

View original 174 more words

The Real Reasons Why Youth Are Leaving Church

Originally posted on hipandthigh:

youthI hadn’t planned writing a follow up to my previous post, but I started thinking about what I wrote and I thought I should offer a more comprehensive reason why I believe people are leaving church.

I say just people, rather than “young people,” because currently, alarmist types want us to believe it is college aged young people freshly set free from the concentration camps of their stifling and non-thinking fundamentalist churches and rigid homeschooled families who are running away from Christianity in vast numbers. But people of all ages leave church on a regular basis. In fact, generations of “young people,” upon leaving home for college or moving away from their parents after getting married stop attending church, so it’s not like this is a recent epidemic or something.

There were a ton of kids in my youth group at the church I attended when I was in…

View original 1,489 more words

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