July 3, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

IMG_2324


Jul. 3, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Two Republican presidential candidates with family ties to Cuba are vowing to block the appointment of the first U.S. ambassador to the Communist island nation in more than 50 years.

Law enforcement officials declared the Washington Navy Yard safe after a security lockdown prompted by a report of gun shots that later proved unfounded.

Foreign ministers will reconvene in Vienna on Sunday to try and hammer out on the final sticking points separating six world powers from concluding a nuclear agreement with Iran.

The head of Vietnam’s Communist Party will meet President Barack Obama next week, the first party chief to visit the U.S. as the two countries seek closer ties 40 years after they fought a war.

Aetna Inc.’s agreement to buy Humana Inc. for $37 billion is another link in a chain of U.S. health insurance acquisitions spurred by Obamacare.

AP Top Stories

Islamic State group militants have destroyed six archaeological pieces from the historic town of Palmyra that were confiscated from a smuggler, the group said.

President Obama’s Kenyan grandmother vowed Friday to cook a traditional meal for her grandson when he visits the East African nation, the birthplace of his father, later this month.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday defended a weekend referendum he hopes will reset bailout negotiations and demanded creditors forgive a third of the country’s debt and allow delayed repayments for the rest.

Goodbye Washington, hello Moscow? Saudi Arabia finds friendly face in Putin. The two oil-producing giants seem to have made a breakthrough last month in their often adversarial relationship, signing several cooperation pacts. But incompatible foreign policies may yet cool the new warmth.

A senior Islamic State leader who coordinated suicide bombings and recruited funds and fighters for the jihadists has been killed in a coalition air strike in Syria, the Pentagon said Thursday.

China’s Foreign Ministry expressed anger after the Pentagon’s updated National Military Strategy slammed Chinese claims in the South China Sea as aggressive and inconsistent with international law.

Google’s new image-recognition program misfired badly this week by identifying two black people as gorillas, delivering a mortifying reminder that even the most intelligent machines still have lot to learn about human sensitivity.

An experimental Johnson & Johnson vaccine completely prevented HIV infection in half of monkeys that got the shot and then were exposed to high doses of an aggressive virus, results that spurred the company to test the vaccine in people, academic and company researchers said.

Several mysterious dark spots on the surface of Pluto have caught the attention of NASA researchers as the New Horizons probe makes its final approach to the dwarf planet.

Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed nearly 150 people in northeastern Nigerian villages, mowing down men and children while they prayed in mosques and shooting women preparing food at home, witnesses said Thursday.

Winning admission to the prestigious University of California was harder for California students this year than it was for international applicants, according to data released on Thursday likely to further fuel debate over the system’s mission.

Palestinian forces have arrested around 100 Hamas members in the West Bank, a security official said Friday, raising tension between the Islamist movement and its Ramallah-based rivals.

Chinese stocks tumbled again on Friday, taking the week’s losses to more than 10 percent, as the securities regulator said it was investigating suspected market manipulation and announced a slew of measures aimed at heading off a full-blown crash.

BBC

Iceland’s parliament has abolished its blasphemy laws, despite opposition from some of the country’s churches. The bill said it was “essential in a free society that the public can express themselves without fear of punishment”.

Oil and gas giant Shell is expected to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic within the next two weeks. Thirty ships left Dutch Harbor in Alaska on Thursday for the Arctic to support two initial exploratory wells.

The area used for the coca cultivation in Colombia increased by 44% last year. Most of the rise in the cultivation of coca leaves – the raw ingredient for cocaine – comes from southern areas controlled by left-wing Farc rebels.

Australia’s national carrier, Qantas Airways, will pay a one-off bonus payment of about $68m to employees affected by an 18-month wage freeze.

WND

The White House has issued an ultimatum of sorts to the Redskins football operation, telling the powers-who-be they can’t buy the land they want for a new stadium unless they first change the Washington team’s name.

School-based health clinics in at least 13 Seattle-area middle and high school students can’t get a Coca-Cola or a candy bar at 13 Seattle public schools, but they can get a taxpayer-funded intrauterine device (IUD) implanted without their parents’ consent.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision mandating that states reward same-sex marriages throughout the nation, churches across the country prepare for the inevitable assault on their tax-exempt statuses.

Anti-gay comments could ‘trigger a thought’ in teachers’ minds about possible radicalization said Nicky Morgan, U.K. education secretary, as she outlines anti-terror plans.


Top News – 7/3/2015

North Korean farmers face dry fields, drought
North Korean farmers work to pump underground water into parched fields. Instead of rice seedlings standing in flooded paddies, the baked earth is cracked. A big lake that used to supply surrounding farmland with water is almost completely dry. …While the situation in this area visited by the AP looks grim, it is unclear how severe the drought is in the rest of the country.

Schools Implant IUDs in Girls as Young as 6th Grade Without Their Parents Knowing
Earlier this month, LifeNews.com reported on a high school in Seattle, Washington that is now implanting intrauterine devices (IUD), as well as other forms of birth control…without parental knowledge or permission. …So, a young teen in Seattle can’t get a coke at her high school, but she can have a device implanted into her uterus, which can unknowingly kill her unborn child immediately after conception.

CDC Official Calls Obama Worst President, Amateur, Marxist After Influx of Illegal Alien Minors
Following the influx of illegal immigrant minors from Central America, an official at the federal agency charged with protecting public health describes Barack Obama as “the worst pres we have ever had,” an “amateur” and “Marxist,”… Tens of thousands of Central Americans came into the United States…and contagious diseases—many considered to be eradicated in the U.S.—became a tremendous concern.

MOD to release UK’s top secret UFO ‘X-Files’ that ‘could prove aliens exist’
…UFO researchers, backed by House of Lords peer, have been fighting for the release of 18 top secret Ministry of Defence (MoD) files about UFO sightings from more than 30 years ago. …Lord Black of Brentwood, who asked the Government for an update through a Parliamentary question, was assured yesterday – the day before World UFO day – the files would be released by the MoD to the National Archives by March next year.

CO2 emissions threaten ocean crisis
Scientists have warned that marine life will be irreversibly changed unless CO2 emissions are drastically cut. Writing in Science, experts say the oceans are heating, losing oxygen and becoming more acidic because of CO2. They warn that the 2C maximum temperature rise for climate change agreed by governments will not prevent dramatic impacts on ocean systems.

Israel to temporarily close southern Highway 12 amid Sinai tensions
During a security assessment Thursday night, Israel’s defense establishment decided to temporarily close Highway 12 in the South…amid tensions in the nearby Sinai Peninsula. The IDF has increased vigilance in light of fighters linked to Islamic State having taken control of an Egyptian military armored vehicle and tank, creating concern that the Islamists in the volatile region might attempt to break into Israeli territory.

Police boost security in Old City and at checkpoints
Against a backdrop of lonewolf terrorist attacks…police said extra units will be on hand for Friday prayers in the capital. Prayers will proceed as planned as thousands of Palestinians are expected to convene at al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount for the third week of Ramadan, though with a greater police presence,” Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Thursday.

Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Nathan Collier said he was inspired by the recent Supreme Court decision that made marriage equal. He said he was particularly struck by the words of dissenting Chief Justice John Roberts who claimed giving gay couples the right to marry, might inspire polygamy.

China’s stocks hit critical low despite government lifelines
A series of lifelines from Beijing failed to stop the slide in the mainland’s stock market on Thursday, with the key Shanghai Composite Index closing below the critical 4,000 mark for the first time in almost three months. Analysts warned that the nation’s leadership would pay dearly if it failed to stabilise the market and prevent millions of small investors from losing their life savings.

Syria conflict: ‘Massive rebel assault’ to take Aleppo
Syrian rebels led by Islamist groups have begun a massive assault that aims to take full control of the northern city of Aleppo, monitors report. Rebels fired hundreds of rockets and missiles into government-held areas in a multi-district attack, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

No breakthrough at Iran nuclear talks, ministers push for deal soon
Tehran and world powers were still shy of a breakthrough at nuclear talks on Thursday as foreign ministers flew in to help push for a swift deal and resolve disputes over how sanctions could be lifted and how Iran’s compliance would be monitored.

Greece ‘No’ voters in lead ahead of bailout referendum
Almost half of Greeks intend to vote ‘No’ in a weekend referendum on the terms of its bailout, but capital controls are boosting the ‘Yes’ camp, a poll showed Wednesday.

Cash-strapped UN food agency reduces help to Syrian refugees
The United Nations’ food agency is cutting back on assistance to thousands of Syrian refugees after an appeal for a ceasefire to enable Syrians feed themselves went unheeded, World Food Program Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said on Friday.

Boko Haram guns down 97 people praying in mosques in Nigeria
Boko Haram extremists gunned down nearly 100 Muslims praying in mosques in a northeast Nigerian town during the holy month of Ramadan, a government official and a self-defense fighter said Thursday.


Top Headlines – 7/3/2015

Europe’s leadership says final Iran deal not yet secured

France’s Fabius hopes powers, Iran can move towards nuclear deal by Sunday

China says ‘high possibility’ of nuclear deal with Iran soon

Iran says it will comply with UN protocol on access

Iran Violates Past Nuclear Promises on Eve of Deal

Russia’s deputy FM reportedly leaves Iran’s talks in Vienna

Kremlin: Russia’s Putin to meet Iran’s Rouhani next week

Congress Demands Obama Step Back From Iran Nuclear Deal

Netanyahu: ISIS brutality will seem like nothing compared with a nuclear-armed Iran

Analysis: Egypt is losing its war against ISIS in Sinai

Hamas aiding ISIS-affiliated group that carried out terror attack in Egypt, IDF says

Netanyahu: We see ISIS at the gates in Sinai and Golan

For Egypt, avenging Sinai attack may include striking Gaza

Ariel Sharon’s son: My father would have responded to Gaza rocket fire with full force

In major crackdown, Palestinian forces arrest dozens of Hamas men in W. Bank

Poll: Majority wants to remove leniencies on Palestinians

Iron Dome gets mysterious upgrade

Expert warns on Daesh terror threat to European Jews

Obama administration will ignore ‘Israel-controlled territories’ in anti-BDS law

Cruz blasts Obama for opening embassy in Havana before Jerusalem

Temple Mount Activist Yehudah Glick Travels to Turkey for Ramadan Peace Mission

Watch: In twisted revenge, Syrian rebels execute Islamic State fighters in orange jumpsuits

Syria rejects UN criticism of barrel bombs, says ‘technical’ issue

Syrian Islamist insurgents launch battle to seize government-held Aleppo

Iraqi forces say most of Baiji town recaptured from Islamic State

UNESCO: Islamic State looting Syrian, Iraqi sites on industrial scale

Islamic State takes sledgehammer to ‘irreplaceable’ ancient Palmyra ruins

Turkey ‘planning to invade Syria’

Turkey reinforces Syria border, Davutoglu says no incursion planned

Morocco breaks up militant cell linked to ISIS

Lost boys: Moms of radicalized Western jihadists form support group

Cash-strapped UN food agency reduces help to Syrian refugees

Eight dead in new Saudi-led strikes on Yemen’s Sanaa – agency

Car bomb explodes near Yemeni mosque in downtown Sanaa

US calls for Ramadan pause in Yemen conflict

Boko Haram guns down 97 people praying in mosques in Nigeria

Terror-struck Tunisia Fears Fighters Coming From Libya

Putin’s Recipe for Power

Despite past quarrels with Russia, Georgians are returning to its orbit

Meditating Portuguese actor mistaken for terrorist on Paris plane

Potential Holiday Threats Assessed With Focus on ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorists

Washington Navy Yard on lockdown amid reports of shots fired

Soros helps pro-Clinton Super PACs to $24 million haul

BP settlement: States to accept $18.7 billion in damages

Labor Market Runs in Place; More Jobs, Participation Lowest Since 1977

Record 93,626,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Declines to 62.6%

Mixed U.S. jobs report dampens September rate hike bets

Greece debt crisis: Country on course to hold EU referendum as eurozone leaders reject new bailout request

Hopeful Start to Greek Debt Negotiations Quickly Soured

Tsipras urges Greeks to defy creditors’ ‘blackmail’

Greece ‘No’ voters in lead ahead of bailout referendum

Greek banks down to 500m Euros in cash reserves as economy crashes

Young Greeks flee abroad as crisis deepens

China’s stocks hit critical low despite government lifelines

Woman jumps to her death in Shanghai’s IAPM mall after stock market dive

Economic exodus means two-thirds of Puerto Ricans may soon live in US

128 Unaccompanied Alien Children Caught at Mexican Border Per Day in May

Man tracked down by drone charged with robbery, auto theft

Black ‘flying saucer’ UFO is captured hovering over Stonehenge

China Says 6.5 Quake in Far West Kills 6, Collapses Homes

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Santa Monica, Philippines

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Port Blair, India

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Lae, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

Two Hundred Earthquakes off Southwest Iceland

Iceland Earthquakes Die Down, Eruption a Possibility in Volcano Eldey

Fear of Volcano eruption in Ukhrul

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Cyclone Raquel forms as earliest big storm recorded off Australia’s north-east

Typhoon Chan-hom: Guam Fourth of July Threat

Strengthening Tropical Depression Poses Risks to Philippines

Countries must deal with health risks of more frequent heatwaves: UN

Unprecedented wave of shark attacks causes terror in North Carolina

Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life

Measles kills first patient in 12 years

Scientist Sentenced To Prison For AIDS Research Fraud By Spiking Vaccine With Rabbit Blood

Seattle 6th Graders Can’t Get a Coke at School, But Can Get an IUD

Sex Offenders Sue, Cite Indiana’s Religious Objections Law

Forget gay marriage: ‘Fornicators and adulterers’ in church a bigger issue, says actor Kirk Cameron

Country’s First Gay Divorce Firm Opens In Philadelphia

Kentucky couples sue for marriage licenses after gay marriage ruling

Entire Tenn. county clerk’s office resigns over same-sex marriage licenses

Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives

Child’s Right to Have a Relationship With Both Mother and Father Totally Ignored by Supreme Court, Ryan Anderson Proclaims

Trouble Brewing in South Carolina? Black Panthers Plan Rally to Counter KKK

‘Dukes’ star compares TV Land decision to Nazi Germany

Google unit sorry for including concentration camps in game

Couple calls ghostbuster after claiming demons molest them in their sleep

Joel Miller – Why the gay marriage debate was over in 1950

Video – Very good teaching on homosexual sin and what it means for society

Glenn Beck, ‘Born-Again Mormon Christian’, Defends Pastor Ed Young Jr. Amid ‘Attacks’

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee puts Sentosa Cove home for sale for $10m

‘Disturbing and upsetting’ Jews For Jesus shop opens in Hendon UK


July 2, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — “Homo is Healthy” was one of the signs on the official gay pride website for the big march celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage on Sunday, June 28, in New York City. It was brought to you, in part, by Walmart, a high-level Platinum sponsor that happens to be America’s largest private sector employer…. (more)

July 2, 2015
JOE KOVACS — A New York mother is at the center of an online firestorm after letting her 8-year-old son dress up and dance in the city’s Pride March on Sunday. Young Desmond Napoles, of Brooklyn, stole the show, according to some parade watchers, as he strutted his way down Fifth Avenue in a rainbow-colored tutu and gold sequined cap…. (more)

July 2, 2015
CHERYL CHUMLEY — Radio host Glenn Beck took to airwaves with harsh words for the Walt Disney Company, saying its recent decision to light its signature Cinderella Castle at Disney World in rainbow colors was hardly a family-friendly move…. (more)

July 2, 2015
BOB UNRUH — Franklin Graham’s word is respected worldwide, through his work with Samaritan’s Purse and the organization his father founded, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and now he’s begun warning America of God’s looming judgment…. (more)

July 2, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — With his decision to legalize same-sex marriage, Catholic Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy betrayed Christ similarly to Judas, a Catholic activist said Wednesday. “Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Anthony Kennedy betrayed him with a vote,” Hugh Brown of the American Life League said at a press conference on the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide…. (more)

July 2, 2015
CBS NEWS — A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife…. (more)

July 2, 2015
THE TELEGRAPH — The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, The Telegraph has learnt…. (more)


July 2, 2015
AARON KLEIN — Marking a significant development in Mideast affairs, Salafists in the Gaza Strip plan to officially pledge allegiance to ISIS and openly fight under its banner, a senior Salafist militant in Gaza told WND in a phone interview…. (more)

July 2, 2015
CBS NEWS — The world’s Jewish population has almost rebounded to pre-Holocaust numbers, according to a new report. The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) estimates there are currently 14.2 million Jewish people in the world today…. (more)

July 2, 2015
KOAT.COM — A former CNN correspondent was shot three times late Tuesday night during an attempted robbery at an Albuquerque motel…. (more)


July 2, 2015
BOB UNRUH — In a move described as a “stunning repudiation” of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his “anti-gun Democrat allies,” residents of the state have issued a “veto” of a new gun regulation. By simply ignoring it…. (more)

July 2, 2015
POLITICO — In her early months in office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in contact with unofficial adviser Sidney Blumenthal more often and on a wider range of topics than was previously known, a set of about 3,000 Clinton emails released Tuesday night by the State Department revealed…. (more)

July 2, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The big find in the first dump of emails from Hillary Clinton’s secret email server, aside from a few insulting comments about Cuban Floridians, is the fact that The New York Times was on to a much bigger story in May than it realized…. (more)

July 2, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Obama announced the opening of embassies in Cuba and the United States, formally beginning the process to establish diplomatic relations with the communist island nation after 54 years of American isolation…. (more)


July 2, 2015
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — Jim Carrey is speaking out against new legislation requiring all public school children in California to be vaccinated starting in 2016. Carrey, who has been an outspoken critic of vaccinations, said Gov. Jerry Brown needed to be stopped…. (more)

July 1, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Was June 2015 the biggest news month of our generation? I would argue it was right up there with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. Two stories broke this month that taken together or separately will have ramifications and reverberations every bit as momentous as the aftermath of Dec.7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001…. (more)

July 1, 2015
BREITBART — White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett was one of the mobilizing forces behind the decision to light up the White House with the colors of the gay pride movement to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage…. (more)

July 1, 2015
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Millennials in San Diego signed a petition to ban and replace the American flag, as seen in a video published on Monday. Mark Dice, a media analyst, started a fake petition that called for the removal of Old Glory and then filmed himself as he walked around San Diego asking young adults to sign it. Even with the approach of Fourth of July weekend, a surprising amount did…. (more)

July 1, 2015
WASHINGTON FREE BEACON — Iran will be permitted to operate more than 5,000 nuclear centrifuges under any final deal secured in the coming days, according to Western sources who fear that the Islamic Republic could use such technology to continue building a nuclear weapon…. (more)

June 30, 2015
NEWSMAX — The Supreme Court acted Monday to keep Texas’ 19 abortion clinics open, amid a legal fight that threatens to close more than half of them. The justices voted 5-4 to grant an emergency appeal from the clinics after a federal appeals court upheld new clinic regulations and refused to keep them on hold while the clinics appealed to the Supreme Court…. (more)

June 30, 2015
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY — Justice Kennedy’s opinion for a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court has rightly been condemned for its lack of grounding in the constitutional text he is sworn to uphold. Unable to find “gay marriage” in either the due process clause or the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, Kennedy ultimately rests his case on what Justice Clarence Thomas sarcastically called the “dignity clause” of the Constitution…. (more)

June 30, 2015
JOSEPH FARAH — Barack Obama pondered the Supreme Court edict pronouncing as discriminatory the institution of marriage, as it has been known for 6,000 years of human history – – with men and women joined together in sacred unions…. (more)

June 30, 2015
NEWSMAX — To no one’s surprise, the nuclear talks with Iran that were supposed to produce an agreement by tomorrow have been extended. Critics of the nuclear deal sought by President Obama fear that this will be a dangerous deal because of too many one sided U.S. concessions to Iran…. (more)

June 29, 2015
ALAN KEYES — Note: In a column published this week on my blog, I began a discussion of the demand that South Carolina cease its display of the Confederate battle flag. In my column today, I conclude that discussion…. (more)

June 29, 2015
CLIFF KINCAID — Commentators have missed the real significance of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in the gay marriage case. He calls the decision a judicial “Putsch,” an attempt to overthrow a form of government – – ours. His dissent, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, was written “to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.”… (more)


They Want To Use ‘Hate Speech Laws’ To Destroy Freedom Of Speech In America

Censored - Public DomainHate speech laws are going in all around the world, and progressive activists in the United States want to use these kinds of laws to destroy free speech in America.  You see, the truth is that these hate speech laws that are being implemented all over the planet are not just about preventing speech that promotes violence or genocide against a particular group of people.  Instead, these laws are written in such a way that anyone that says something that “offends” or “insults” someone else is guilty of “hate speech”.  Even if you never intended to offend anyone and you had no idea that your words were insulting, in some countries you can be detained without bail and sentenced to years in prison for such speech.  Today, there are highly restrictive hate speech laws in Canada, in Mexico and in virtually every single European nation.  The United States is still an exception, but the truth is that our liberties and freedoms are being eroded every single day, and it is only a matter of time until “hate speech laws” are used to take away our freedom of speech too. (Read More…)


Guess What Happened The Last Time The Chinese Stock Market Crashed Like This?

Question Button - Public DomainThe second largest stock market in the entire world is collapsing right in front of our eyes.  Since hitting a peak in June, the most important Chinese stock market index has plummeted by well over 20 percent, and more than 3 trillion dollars of “paper wealth” has been wiped out.  Of course the Shanghai Composite Index is still way above the level it was sitting at exactly one year ago, but what is so disturbing about this current crash is that it is so similar to what we witnessed just prior to the great financial crisis of 2008 in the United States.  From October 2006 to October 2007, the Shanghai Composite Index more than tripled in value.  It was the greatest stock market surge in Chinese history.  But after hitting a peak, it began to fall dramatically.  From October 2007 to October 2008, the Shanghai Composite Index absolutely crashed.  In the end, more than two-thirds of all wealth in the market was completely wiped out.  You can see all of this on a chart that you can find right here.  What makes this so important to U.S. investors is the fact that Chinese stocks started crashing well before U.S. stocks started crashing during the last financial crisis, and now it is happening again.  Is this yet another sign that a U.S. stock market crash is imminent? (Read More….)


Obamacare Bonzanza: Fat times in the health insurance industry

The more complicated a government program, the more crony it is.

So let’s see…Obamacare has infused the health insurance companies with heaps and heaps of taxpayer dollars. Big Pharma has done almost equally as well under the cronycare regime. Premiums for terrible policies – which as I see it could largely be bought for the same or lower prices before Obamacare – are going up.

Yup, this thing worked out great.

Read More


Has the world learned nothing from History?

Indifference is never an option  . . .

View important 2 1/2 minute video


The biggest news month of our lives – Joseph Farah

Was June 2015 the biggest news month of our generation?

I would argue it was right up there with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor.

Two stories broke this month that taken together or separately will have ramifications and reverberations every bit as momentous as the aftermath of Dec.7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001.

What are those two stories?

View Article


Don’t give up on America – David Limbaugh

Leftists are not about live and let live. They are about wholesale control. Their movers and shakers see society as their project, and they can change everything and everyone through government and their domination of the culture. There is no live and let live in their bones.

In view of all this, it is amazing that so many conservatives, traditionalists and Christians are blind to the hostile, aggressive and unquenchable appetite of the leftist movement. It is chilling to me that they don’t realize this trend is going to continue until there is either a cultural or legal confrontation or the left stamps out all dissent.

View Article


Tom DeLay: DOJ wants to legalize bestiality, pedophilia

“We’ve already found a secret memo coming out of the Justice Department,” DeLay said. “They’re now going to go after 12 new perversions, things like bestiality, polygamy, having sex with little boys and making that legal. Not only that, but they have a whole list of strategies to go after the churches, the pastors, and any businesses that tries to assert their religious liberty. This is coming and it’s coming like a tidal wave.”

View Article


Greek Banks Down To Nearly No Cash Reserves As Their Economy Crashes

The daily allowance of cash from many ATM machines has already dropped from €60 to €50, purportedly because €20 notes are running out

Greece is sliding into a full-blown national crisis as the final cash reserves of the banking system evaporate by the hour and swathes of industry start to shut down, precipitating the near disintegration of the ruling coalition.

Business leaders have been locked in talks with the Bank of Greece, pleading for the immediate release of emergency liquidity funds (ELA) to cover food imports and pharmaceutical goods before the tourist sector hits a brick wall.

greek-economy-crashes-as-bank-cash-reserves-vanish-alexis-tsipras-eu-july-2015

Officials say the central bank will release the funds as soon as Friday, but this is a stop-gap measure at best. “We are on a war footing in this country,” said Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister.

The daily allowance of cash from many ATMs has already dropped from €60 to €50, purportedly because €20 notes are running out. Large numbers are empty. The financial contagion is spreading fast as petrol stations and small businesses stop accepting credit cards.

Constantine Michalos, head of the Hellenic Chambers of Commerce, said Greek Banks are simply running out of money. “We are reliably informed that the cash reserves of the banks are down to €500m. Anybody who thinks they are going to open again on Tuesday is day-dreaming. The cash would not last an hour,” he said.

We are in an extremely dangerous situation. Greek companies have been excluded from the electronic transfers of Europe’s Target2 system. The entire Greek business community is unable to import anything, and without raw materials they can’t produce anything,” he said. source


Rocket Alert Sirens Shatter Otherwise Calm Friday In Southern Israel

Rocket alert sirens sounded Friday afternoon in southern Israel’s Eshkol Regional Council in light of an apparent single rocket launching.

According to initial indications, there was a possibility that a projectile emanating from the Sinai Peninsula had triggered the alarms. The IDF said it was looking into the incident. No injuries or damage were initially reported.

rocket-fired-into-southern-israel-from-sinai-peninsula-july-3-2015
Searches for possible remnants of a projectile were being conducted in the area.

On Sunday, sirens rang out in the Hof Ashkelon area sending Israelis running for shelter. The IDF said no rockets fell inside Israel and later determined that the sirens had falsely been alarmed.

Sunday’s occurrence comes after multiple recent rocket launchings toward Israel by terrorists in Gaza have broken the relative quiet since last August’s cease-fire ending a 50 day conflict between Israel and Hamas. source


Independence Day 2015

July 2, 2015

Independence Day

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” —John Adams (1813)

And thus it remains “in the minds and hearts” of Patriots to this day.

On this, our nation’s 239th Celebration of Independence, I invite you to read our primer on Independence Day and our concise exposition on the Unalienable Rights of Man. For further reading, see our Essential Liberty selection of essays.

As always, join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — and all who stand in harm’s way in defense of Liberty. Pray also for their families.

 “The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”


They Want To Use ‘Hate Speech Laws’ To Destroy Freedom Of Speech In America

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:23 AM PDT

Hate speech laws are going in all around the world, and progressive activists in the United States want to use these kinds of laws to destroy free speech in America. You see, the truth is that these hate speech laws that are being implemented all over the planet are not just about preventing speech that promotes violence or genocide against a particular group of people. Instead, these laws are written in such a way that anyone that says something that “offends” or “insults” someone else is guilty of “hate speech”. Even if you never intended to offend anyone and you had no idea that your words were insulting, in some countries you can be detained without bail and sentenced to years in prison for such speech.

Today, there are highly restrictive hate speech laws in Canada, in Mexico and in virtually every single European nation. The United States is still an exception, but the truth is that our liberties and freedoms are being eroded every single day, and it is only a matter of time until “hate speech laws” are used to take away our freedom of speech too. If you don’t think that this could ever happen in America, you should consider what the American Bar Association has to say on the matter. This is the national organization that represents all of our lawyers, judges, etc. So when the ABA speaks on legal matters, it carries a significant amount of weight. The following is how the American Bar Association defines “hate speech”… FULL REPORT

The post They Want To Use ‘Hate Speech Laws’ To Destroy Freedom Of Speech In America appeared first on .

The Sanctified Sin in the Church

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:19 AM PDT

Ownership of our sugar or food addiction is a huge part of the process of not only weight loss, but total transformation and getting a REAL life. If there is one pivotal moment in our healthy living LIFEstyle journey, it is the moment we own our issue. I don’t watch much television, but I do watch a few shows I DVR. Recently I watched two shows that depicted polar opposite reactions to their weight issues.

On one show two individuals went all out and reached their goals six months early. One lost 123 pounds and the other over 247 pounds. Both ended up fit and healthy. On the other show, a woman had weight loss surgery and lost 150 pounds, but could never get past that. She was stuck weighing over 520 pounds and in danger of death. What was the difference? Two owned their issue and changed. The other never owned her issue. She had decided she could eat what she wanted, just less at one time, and not move. Her weight loss all happened in the hospital. Outside the hospital her weight never moved. FULL REPORT

The post The Sanctified Sin in the Church appeared first on .

“Strange” spike in shark attacks puzzles experts

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:13 AM PDT

Andrew Costello was attacked by a shark Wednesday in North Carolina, becoming the eleventh person to be bitten by a shark since mid-May. Costello, 67, suffered wounds to his rib cage, lower leg and hip. He was waist deep about 30 feet offshore near Ocracoke Island when the 6 to 7 foot shark pulled him under. Costello, the former editor of the Boston Herald, was airlifted to an area hospital, where he is listed as being in good condition.

The recent spate of shark attacks has left many beachgoers nervous. Dr. Samuel Gruber, the director of the Bimini SharkLab research facility in the Bahamas, says the spike in attacks suggests something strange is going on. “The trend is normally zero or one attack in that area in any one year,” said Gruber. Theories as to why this is happening range from time of day, to bait fishing, sea turtle migration, lunar cycles and global warming. FULL REPORT

The post “Strange” spike in shark attacks puzzles experts appeared first on .

Officials Warn of ‘Lone Wolf’ Attacks on July 4 Holiday

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 07:04 AM PDT

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, American counterterrorism officials have increased security at national landmarks and large public events ahead of major holidays or significant anniversaries, and issued bulletins calling for increased vigilance by the public. But this Fourth of July weekend has spawned particularly strong warnings about a potential attack as the federal authorities and national security experts say the United States is more susceptible now because of tactics chosen for recent terrorist strikes by the Islamic State.

Officials cite an increased effort by the Islamic State to galvanize its sympathizers in the United States and elsewhere since Memorial Day and during this Ramadan season to carry out acts of violence on their own — so-called lone-wolf attacks. Those potential plots by individuals are harder for the authorities to detect and disrupt, senior American officials say, and have led the F.B.I. to put more Americans under investigation for suspected ties to terrorist groups than at any point since Sept. 11. FULL REPORT

The post Officials Warn of ‘Lone Wolf’ Attacks on July 4 Holiday appeared first on .

Tom DeLay: Justice Dept. Wants to Legalize 12 ‘Perversions’

Posted: 03 Jul 2015 06:59 AM PDT

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay claims the Justice Department has drafted a memo that spells out a dozen “perversions,” including bestiality and pedophilia, that it wants legalized. “We’ve … found a secret memo coming out of the Justice Department. They’re now going to go after 12 new perversions.

Things like bestiality, polygamy, and Phedolphilia making that legal,” DeLay said Tuesday on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV. “Not only that, but they have a whole list of strategies to go after the churches, the pastors and any businesses that try to assert their religious liberty. This is coming and it’s coming like a tidal wave.” The Texas Republican’s bombshell claim comes four days after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states — a landmark decision DeLay strongly opposes. FULL REPORT 

The post Tom DeLay: Justice Dept. Wants to Legalize 12 ‘Perversions’ appeared first on .

Obama Authorizes 13 Tons Of Gold Released To Iran As Sanctions Are Stopped

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 08:19 PM PDT

IRANIAN OFFICIALS SAID MONDAY THAT THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC’S CENTRAL BANK HAS SUCCESSFULLY REPATRIATED 13 TONS OF GOLD AS PART OF A PACKAGE OF SANCTIONS RELIEF PROVIDED TO IRAN BY U.S. AND WESTERN POWERS.

EDITOR’S NOTE: After all this time and all the talk, US president Barack Obama and the United States have failed and are failing to stop Iran from obtaining both nuclear power and weaponry. Obama has ordered sanctions, the only thing really preventing a nuclear Iran, to be stopped, and has rewarded the terror-supporting rogue nation by releasing 13 tons of gold back to them. Mission Accomplished.

The gold was transferred to Iran by the government of South Africa, which had been holding onto the assets due to harsh sanctions meant to pressure Tehran to rein in its rogue nuclear program. The gold appears to have been released as part of a sanctions relief package that will have awarded Iran nearly $12 billion in unfrozen cash assets by the time negotiations wrap up next week. FULL REPORT

The post Obama Authorizes 13 Tons Of Gold Released To Iran As Sanctions Are Stopped appeared first on .

Michigan government seizes kids to punish family for off-grid camping trip

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 07:59 PM PDT

Is there a concerted effort on the part of authorities on the state and federal level to find ways to criminalize individual preparedness and any exercise of liberty? Some Americans might think so after the nightmare a Michigan family has endured, and all for the crime of camping. According to various reports, the family had their six children seized by Michigan state officials after they learned that the kids (and the adults) were living in tents.

The experience began for Christopher and Antonia Hernandez May 19 when Otsego County Sheriff deputies and an official from the state’s Children’s Protective Services initially confiscated the children; it ended June 10 when the kids were returned to their parents following a court victory in which the Hernandez’s successfully argued that their kids are eligible for enrollment in the Tlingit Native American Tribe. “The federal Indian Child Welfare Act makes it more difficult for state officials to separate Native American families. Michigan has a similar state law,” said a report at Off the Grid News. FULL REPORT

 

The post Michigan government seizes kids to punish family for off-grid camping trip appeared first on .

Millennial Republicans Urge GOP to Support “Gay Marriage”, Time to get with the Times

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 07:53 PM PDT

Millennials in the Republican Party are telling their GOP elders to shape up or be prepared to ship out – gay marriage isn’t going anywhere and they need to embrace the issue or face voter backlash. “This issue is not going away – it’s not a fad,” said S.E. Cupp, a self-described conservative who contributes to CNN. She gave a near-tearful commentary on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, praising the decision as a boon for America.

“I didn’t get emotional because of the politics,” she said, the Hill reported. “It’s about millennials watching their friends come out, this is about parents who have seen their gay teens commit suicide. … This is personal for people.” Now those of the millennial generation – defined as between the ages of 18 and 34 – who also tout conservative politics are pressing their Republican colleagues to back gay marriage. FULL REPORT

 

The post Millennial Republicans Urge GOP to Support “Gay Marriage”, Time to get with the Times appeared first on .

Final order! Christian bakers must pay $135,000

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 07:41 PM PDT

The Christian owners of a former bakery were officially ordered Thursday by the Oregon labor commissioner to pay $135,000 in fines to a lesbian couple after the bakers declined to bake a wedding cake for the couple due to their religious beliefs. The ruling, issued by Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, upheld an earlier finding by administrative judge Alan McCullough, who determined that Sweet Cakes owners Aaron and Melissa Klein had discriminated against the women based on their sexual orientation.

The Kleins said their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage had prevented them from complying with the cake request. The Kleins were forced to close their storefront in Gresham, a suburb of Portland, Oregon, in 2013 shortly after the lesbian couple filed a civil rights complaint against them. At that time, same-sex marriage still wasn’t legal in Oregon. The lesbian couple will receive the funds for “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.” FULL REPORT

The post Final order! Christian bakers must pay $135,000 appeared first on .

DOMINO EFFECT – Montana man requests right to marry two wives!

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 07:36 PM PDT

Nathan Collier said he was inspired by the recent Supreme Court decision that made marriage equal. He said he was particularly struck by the words of dissenting Chief Justice John Roberts who claimed giving gay couples the right to marry, might inspire polygamy. And so this week, Mr Collier and his two wives, Victoria and Christine, entered a courthouse in Billings, Montana, and sought an application to legalise the trio’s polygamous union,

“Right now we’re waiting for an answer,” Mr Collier told The Independent. “I have two wives because I love two women and I want my second wife to have the same legal rights and protection as my first.”He added: “Most people are not us. I am not trying to define what marriage means for anybody else – I am trying to define what marriage means for us.” FULL REPORT

The post DOMINO EFFECT – Montana man requests right to marry two wives! appeared first on .

 


Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, July 3, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

How Gay Marriage Ruling May Impact Christian Colleges

What One Israeli Couple Found while Undergoing a Home Renovation

Survey: 53 Percent of Americans Believe God has ‘Special Relationship’ with US

Man Known as British ‘Schindler’ Dies

Ebola Back in Liberia 2 Months after Being Declared Free of Virus that Killed Over 11,000

Once Patrons, Now Landlords — Churches Rehab Buildings for Artist Spaces

Report: Fire at Black Church in S.C. was Not Arson, Feds Say

California Governor Signs Vaccination Law for Students Forcing Parents to Homeschool

Homeless Man Who Returned Found Money Donates Reward

Pastors Arm Churches after Charleston Shooting

Opinion

Is Involuntary Euthanasia in Our Future?

America’s Slippery Slope to Physician-Assisted Suicide and Polygamy

After Same-Sex Marriage, is Polygamy Next?

Why We Don’t Have to Worry about Overpopulation

Will Religious Organizations Lose Tax-Exempt Status?


What is The Gospel?


“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


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.

Posted in News/Commentary Collection | Leave a comment

July 3, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

IMG_2442


Why Good Works?

In our time, of course, we’ve seen the same sort of ping-ponging. We have the self-described, so-called Federal Vision movement arguing essentially the Arminian doctrine of salvation and calling it Reformed. Among the evangelicals there are antinomians arguing that the moral law no longer applies to Christians and then there are moralists (nomists) who teach that  we are justified and saved because we cooperate sufficiently with grace. So, we are not much better off in the early 21st century than we were in the mid-sixteenth century.

Read More


Working Out What God Has Worked In

Someone once said, “We must work out what God has worked in.” Jesus saves us as a gift, and “sanctifies” us, or sets us apart for himself. We then must begin to walk out that “sanctification,” in which the Holy Spirit moves and empowers us to cooperate with him to become like Christ. Someday we’ll be as much like God as any creature can possibly become. We won’t be gods, but we’ll be more like God even than the angels! He’s changing us to think, act and reflect the glory of Christ.

Read more


4 Perfections of God’s Transforming Word

Third, God’s Word is right, pure, and clean. Here is the Old Testament statement of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. The Word is said to be right or straight because it does not deviate from perfect conformity to any just standard by which truth is measurable. The Word is pure as a pure light is clear and bright.

Read more


How Should You Talk to Your Children About Same-Sex Marriage?

The Bible isn’t nearly as antiseptic as Christians sometimes pretend to be, and it certainly doesn’t shirk back from addressing all the complexities of human life. If we are discipling our children, let’s apply the Scriptures to all of life. If we refuse to talk to our children about the reality of the world they live in, our children will assume we are unequipped to speak to it, and they’ll eventually search out a worldview that will.

Read more


Dear Christian Friends: Remember You Are Not Home

Finally, remember that Jesus never called the church to redeem culture or create a Christian America. Our job is to glorify God by declaring and demonstrating the gospel. The church is an embassy of grace on foreign soil. And we must remember that this church has been, is being, and will be built by Jesus Christ (Mt. 16:18). The gospel will advance and the church will be built whether the cultural wind at our backs or in our face. Our death-conquering King ensures it.

Read More


Since It Is God’s Law…

Watson goes on to say that in a legal sense no one can obey the law because of the fall and our sinful nature.  However, he notes, in a gospel sense we can obey the law.  “Gospel obedience consists in a real endeavor to observe the whole moral law (Ps. 119:166):”

Read more


40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

Read more


Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?

Bradley said many Christian leaders have inadvertently encouraged the radical message by calling young people to make a difference and change the world. A growing disdain for American suburbs in favor of the inner city has also contributed as has the missional church movement, which encourages people to be missionaries in their own communities.

Read More


Marsha West: “Are you a member of the HFIB Club?”

Many Bible believing Christians are members of the HFIB club. The acronym stands for hate, fear, ignorance and bigotry. To be inducted into HFIB all one has to do is oppose homosexual “marriage” or – gasp! – proclaim that homosexuality is a sin against a holy God . . . [Click for more]


Where is Our Allegiance?

As we prepare for another 4th of July celebration in the United States, I notice a change in how I feel this time every year.  I used to feel a sense of pride when I was younger, placing my hand on my heart and pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.  […]

Read more of this post


Homosexuality: What Believers May Rightly Hope from Their Government

I cannot compete with the vast onslaught of blog heavyweights who have all, it seems, trained their guns on last week’s SCOTUS decision. But I’d like to chip away at one question that seems to be less than fully addressed, viz., the precise nature of government’s role in this question and what our expectation of government should be as we pick up the pieces and move forward.

Most Christians recognize that the government is at times too heavy-handed and at times too laissez-faire in fulfilling their God-given role. But we don’t always draw our lines at the same place, because we don’t agree on a standard by which those judgments are made. Let’s look at the following scenario, involving two situations on which there is fairly broad agreement among believers:

The Offense Violation of the first and greatest command to love God exclusively Violation of the sixth command to not murder
The Theocratically Mandated Response Purge the offender from the land with up to and including capital authority (Exod 22:20; 34:10–16; Deut 6:14–15; 7:1–6; 13:6–11) Purge the offender from the land with up to and including capital authority (Exod 21:12, etc.)
The Church’s Anticipated Response Remove the offender from the Church but tolerate him in civil society (Matt 18:15–18), praying that the State will fulfill its mandate to… Remove the offender from the Church but tolerate him in civil society to the degree required by the State, praying that the State will fulfill its mandate to…
Government’s Anticipated Response Establish a society where those who embrace this command and those who reject this command can live together with mutual respect and toleration (1 Tim 2:2) Punish the offender with up to and including capital authority (Gen 9:6; Rom 13:4)

In the Mosaic economy, the first and sixth commands are treated more-or-less the same: the Jewish collective were to remove violators of both commands alike from society with expulsive or capital force. But with the dissolution of that economy and arrival of the New Testament arrangement and its separation of powers (Caesar and Church—Matt 22:21), surprising changes occur, especially when we get to the role of human government. The government is to take a rather ambivalent approach to violations of the “first and greatest commandment,” assuming at best the role of civil peacekeeper, but is to move swiftly and savagely to address violations of the sixth and not-the-greatest commandment. How do we explain this?

Read more of this post


Distinguishing the Spirit from the Serpent – Sinclair Ferguson: “How do we distinguish the promptings of the Spirit of grace in His guiding and governing of our lives from the delusions of the spirit of the world and of our own sinful heart?”


The Top Five Forgotten Founders

Lemuel Haynes: born in Connecticut to a white mother and black father, Haynes worked as an indentured servant prior to enlisting in the Massachusetts militia, and then the Continental Army. Haynes also experienced evangelical conversion and came under the tutelage of local Calvinist pastors. Shortly after the Declaration of Independence, Haynes wrote “Liberty Further Extended,” possibly the most powerful argument against slavery from the Revolutionary era.

When Americans speak of the “Founding Fathers,” they usually have a group of about six men in mind: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, and John Adams, for sure, and maybe Alexander Hamilton or Samuel Adams. These Founders are endlessly fascinating, but if all we do is focus on this short list, we get a skewed view of the Revolution.

I recently contributed an essay on Patrick Henry to Mark David Hall and Gary Gregg’s America’s Forgotten Founders (now in its 2nd edition, from ISI Books), which introduces readers to some of the lesser-known Founding Fathers. As I also discuss in my biography, Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots, Henry is probably one the best known of those forgotten Founders, but he is not quite in the top tier of those we remember….

John Witherspoon: a Scots Presbyterian minister, president of Princeton, and teacher of James Madison, Witherspoon was elected to serve in the Continental Congress, and signed the Declaration of Independence (the only clergyman to do so)….

Lemuel Haynes: born in Connecticut to a white mother and black father, Haynes worked as an indentured servant prior to enlisting in the Massachusetts militia, and then the Continental Army….

Roger Sherman: another devout evangelical from Connecticut, Sherman was the only Patriot to sign all four of the great American founding documents….

David Avery: converted under George Whitefield’s preaching, Avery worked as a pastor in Vermont until the outbreak of the Revolution, when he became one of George Washington’s key chaplains….

John Zubly: the wildcard of the list, this Swiss Presbyterian pastor of Savannah, Georgia, became perhaps the most fascinating American Loyalist of the Revolution….

Read More


 

John Piper: “Weeping,” not celebrating, correct response to “shameless” homosexuality

Christians are looking to their leaders for guidance and wisdom on SCOTUS’ disastrous ruling on same-sex “marriage.” Enter John Piper. Dr. Piper was once considered a leader in the Church. However, in the past couple of years he has been under fire for uniting with and giving his stamp of approval to false teachers. Thus, a number of people who held him in high esteem have become disenchanted with him. Even so, there are people who still want to hear from Dr. Piper on issues pertaining to the Church and the culture, particularly those who share his Reformed views.

ChristianExaminer has a piece with Dr. Piper’s reaction to the High Court’s ruling and also informs us what one high profile Canadian pastor has to say on the subject.

Read more


Paving the Way for the Antichrist – Hal Lindsey

This may help pave the way for the Antichrist because he cannot sweep to power without imperial authority or the judicial ratification of his authority. He’ll have no time for confirmation of his sweeping initiatives through drawn-out legislative processes. He needs a body of authority that acts quickly. He needs an easily controlled, small body of people with the ultimate power to make laws. Laws that favor him.

Until recently, that did not describe the Supreme Court. But now it does.

View Article


Seeker Friendly to Contemplative Spirituality

The seeker-friendly model was the brainchild of Peter Drucker. The concept of finding out what a consumer would like in a church has been a very successful way to get people to come to a church. At least for a while! This consumer-friendly model worked as long as sinners were not faced with the message of the cross, hell, and other convicting things the Bible teaches.

View Article


Rick Warren will speak at Papal Mass in Philadelphia

Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren will be a part of the ecumenical and interfaith gathering this September where Pope Francis himself is expected to appear. In the Catholic Herald piece we learn that the most important thing that can happen at the week long congress is conversion so that “families can become a force of change for good.” Obviously the conversion they’re referring to is placing their faith in Roman Catholicism. So it’s doubtful that the purveyor of pragmatism, Rick Warren, will share the true gospel of Jesus Christ during his speech, as that would certainly be viewed as divisive. But we shall see.

The Catholic Herald’s report begins:

More than 1.5 million people are expected for the Mass with Pope Francis in Philadelphia this September, said organisers of the next World Meeting of Families.

A high-level delegation from Philadelphia, led by Archbishop Charles J Chaput, was in Rome as of Monday to meet Vatican officials, review some of the planning and promote the week-long congress.

Read more


Patriotism: Remembering the Dead

While our nation’s fathers blessed us and gave us virtues worth defending, we have failed and live in a nation over which we should be ashamed.


Loving and Celebrating a Defective Nation

July 4th is the day we Americans set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation, the ideals it represents, and the freedoms we enjoy.


New Radio Interview with Jan Markell and Caryl Matrisciana

Jan Markell recently interviewed Caryl Matrisciana, talking about Caryl’s new documentary film, Wide is the Gate, Volume 3. Jan is founder and director of Olive Tree ministries and a Lighthouse Trails author; Caryl is director and founder of Caryl Productions and a veteran Christian film maker.


SEEKER FRIENDLY TO CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY

By Roger Oakland Understand the Times International The seeker-friendly model was the brainchild of Peter Drucker. The concept of finding out what a consumer would like in a church has been a very successful way to get people to come to a church.


Letter to the Editor: Rick Warren to Co-Preach Keynote Address at Pope’s U.S.A. Visit in September

Dear Lighthouse Trails: I thought you might want to know that Rick Warren is going to co-preach the Keynote Address with a priest for Pope Francis’ visit in September 2015.


The Origins of Children’s Church (Or Not) (Aaron Denlinger)

The fine team of scholars working around the clock at Lutheran Satire have unearthed footage detailing the late Victorian era origins of Children’s Church.

If you’re not already familiar with Lutheran Satire, you probably should stop whatever you’re doing and bring yourself up to speed on their work. Their slogan says it all: “teaching the faith by making fun of stuff.” True to Lutheran form, they’re a bit unfair when they take on historic Reformed teaching. But they’re spot on when they target the philosophy driving much modern worship or bad analogies for the Trinity. Regardless, they never fail to deliver on the comedy front.

Source


How Should Christians Respond to the Homosexual Movement?

If you’ve been watching the headlines over the last couple years (and especially the last few days), you have undoubtedly noticed the incredible surge of interest in affirming homosexuality.


Public, Grievous Sins: The Good & The Bad (Mark Jones)

I find that there are two important biblical perspectives we ought to keep in mind when a Christian or Christians commit a grievous, public sin. These perspectives are sometimes lost, or at least fade into the background, when in fact they should be uppermost in our thinking.


The Sermon on the Mount according to Congressional Jesus

Jesus sermon on the mount

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For they can get a job at minimum wage.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they made their bad decisions and must suffer the consequences.
Blessed are the meek,
For we can take advantage of them.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For we can promise them free food to get them to vote for us.
Blessed are the merciful,
For we will remove them from their positions for not being “tough on crime.”
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they are the most gullible.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they know how to make peace through war.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake,
For they will turn over secrets about their terrorist activities.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for this proves that you are standing up for the right things in the right way.

You are the salt of the earth. That is why old white guys must rule you. We must preserve our society and culture the way it has always been. If we allow the pepper to rule, they will only trample us underfoot.

You are the light of the world. That is why we need incandescent lightbulbs instead of those energy-saving fluorescents. We don’t want our light to be hidden. We like using a lot more electricity to light a room. This is what glorifies the freedom our Father in heaven gave us.

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to uphold the sanctity of the Constitution. It is the most perfect document ever written, and our interpretation of it is the only right one. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle (that word always makes me laugh) will by no means pass from the Law until the whole world follows it.

Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be stripped of his freedoms and liberties and given a life sentence in prison. But whoever does and teaches them, he shall be given special privileges and favors in my Kingdom. For I say to you do exactly what I tell you all the time, you won’t ever get a seat at the table.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder,” and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother has just cause to do so if that brother is a liberal, a gay, or a Muslim. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!” will not be understood, because nobody says that anymore. But whoever says, “You fool!” shall be called a sissy-ninny for not using stronger language.

Therefore if you are bringing your gift as a donation to my re-election campaign, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift with my campaign manager, and then go away to your brother, and blackmail him into also donating to my campaign. This way, you will shut him up, and if your gifts are large enough, both of you will receive favors from me later on.

But if he takes you to court, get your own lawyer quickly, and counter-sue the pants off him. Otherwise, he will deliver you over a judge who has probably been bribed, and you could end up in prison. Then all that you worked so hard for will go to your enemy who put you in prison. It is much better to sue him and take his money first. This way, you can give it to me.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that it is perfectly normal for a man to look at pretty young women who are on their staff, and that what your wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her. So go to the strip clubs and have fun. Hire the prostitutes on your trips to Europe. Take your girlfriend with you South America. After all, adultery for real is much more fun than adultery in the heart.

If your right eye starts to look at a beautiful woman as she walks by, let your left look also. You get better depth perception that way. It is more profitable to take a good look, and then later to ask her out for drinks, than to let your member burn with passion. And if your right hand causes you to sin, make sure you use lotion.

Jesus politicsFurthermore, it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that it looks bad to divorce your wife, so stay married for appearance sake, while you sleep around as much as you want. If you can get your wife to agree to this, even better, for it’s not adultery if your wife knows what you’re doing.

Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.” But I say to you, say whatever it is you need to say to get the deal done, and then feel free to do exactly the opposite later on. Let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No,” “No” when the person is in front of you, but after they leave, go ahead and renege on everything you said.

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I tell you to not resist an evil person; just kill him. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, pull out your .357 and let the bullets fly. If anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, sue him first and take his tunic and his shoes. And whoever compels you to go one mile, drag your feet and go as slow as possible so it wastes their time. Give to him who asks you, but at a decent return, and from him who wants to borrow from you, make sure you charge a high percentage rate.

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you to walk softly and carry a big stick. Strike hard and strike fast before your enemy can strike you. Remove the threat before you yourself are threatened. Bomb your enemies, sue those who curse you, do harm to those who hate you, and picket those who spitefully use you or persecute you. This is how you will be sons of your Father, for He sends AIDS on gays, tsunamis on Indonesian Muslims, hurricanes on New Orleans, and famine on lazy Africans.

For if you love those who love you, you will be able to reward each other’s good health and prosperity. That’s how tax collectors get so rich. Therefore, you shall be perfect, and everybody else in the world can be despised as ignorant scum.

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them, unless there is a camera crew nearby who can print their pictures in the newspaper and post them online. Otherwise, your good deed is wasted. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound the trumpet before you, because everyone will just thank you’re strange. Instead, send out a press release to the local newspaper, or allow a staff member to leak your plans to the local press. This will get you the glory before men that you need.

But when you do your charitable deed, do not try to type your Tweets and Facebook updates into your iPhone with your left hand, for this is how many unfortunate typos have brought scorn upon others. A good deed with an embarrassing typo ruins the good deed. This way, your charitable deeds will look unplanned and ordinary, but everybody will see you do them and will think you’re a great guy, and you will receive your reward openly from all.

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. They love to pray standing in front of churches and religious people that they may be seen. But nobody in church takes pictures. So you, when you pray, go onto the floor of the Senate, or stand before the National Prayer Breakfast, and say your prayers there. People will take pictures and write down your prayers for publication in the newspaper, and everybody will see what a devout person you really are.

When you pray, do not try to pray off the cuff. This will only cause you to repeat yourself and babble like an incoherent idiot. Instead, have a team of professional writers draft your prayers. Make theme eloquent and poetic, so that everybody will praise you for how in touch with God you must be to utter such beautiful prayers.
In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come through me and my political platform,
Your will be done through the bills I want to pass,
Since our plans for this earth match your plans from heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, along with prime rib and fancy French wine,
And forgive us our debts, because you know we’re never paying off $14 Trillion.
But we won’t forgive our debtors, because they owe us money.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil gays, Muslims, and Liberals.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, and we want some of it for ourselves.
Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, you are letting them take advantage of you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, you will have the power to control and manipulate their lives.

Moreover, when you fast … on second thought, just don’t fast. Why would you do that to yourself? If you are overweight, you might want to go on a diet, but who can diet when there is fried chicken to eat, and 64-oz Cokes to drink? I can’t believe Bloomberg outlawed large sodas in New York and Hillary is trying to make school lunches healthy! What happened to our Constitutional freedom to slowly kill ourselves and our children by eating too much unhealthy food? But you should wash your hands before you eat. If you don’t, that just gross.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. Instead, put your treasures in a bank or a 401(k) where your money is FDIC insured and you can invest it. This will allow you to lay up even more treasure for yourself, and best of all, the government only taxes investment income at 15%, which is less than they tax the poor schmuck who works at McDonalds. Best of all, if you get rich enough, you can make horrible decisions with your money, and the government will bail you out because you are too big to fail. In this way, moths and rust will never destroy what you have and thieves can never steal it. For where your treasure is, there is your future security.

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore you eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, go get Lasik surgery. It’s come a long way and wearing glasses makes you look old and weak.

sermon on the mount Jesus politiican

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despite the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon. The best route is to act like you are serving God so that everybody who does serve Him will give you money.

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, not about your body, what you will put on. If you become rich enough, restaurants will let you eat for free and clothing chains will give you clothes to wear if only you announce that they are your clothing line of choice. Look of the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns. Instead, they steal seed from farmer’s fields and kill worms for their breakfast. Are you not more important than birds? So don’t worry about where your food and clothing will come from; just take it from others.

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. That’s because Solomon had silks and jewels, which is better by far than any flower I’ve ever seen. Besides, those flowers wither away and get burned up in the sun. Solomon’s reign, with his nice clothes and good food, lasted quite a bit longer than that.

For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness by donating to my campaign, and I will see what you have done, and will make sure to reward you later on.

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. Give me your money, and let me take care of tomorrow for you. Each day has enough trouble of its own, so come to me and let me provide for your future.

Judge not, that you not be judged. Unless you have the legal standing to make your judgment, and can defend your case before a court of law. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, unless the judge is a friend of yours and owes you a favor. For with whatever measure you paid him off, he will measure back to you with an important court decision.

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? The reason is because we must never admit we are wrong, even when it is obvious to everyone else. Deflect the blame by pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye. Don’t say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye,” because then there won’t be anything you can blame him for. You can get people to stop focusing on the plank in your own eye by pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye. The people will believe this, because they are like dogs and swine. Their attention simply needs to be diverted to someone else before they trample you under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him to knocks the door will be opened, so that whatever favor I give to you will be returned to me when I call upon you later on. What man among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? Give people “bread and circus,” and you can do anything you want. If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to those who back you, how much more can you expect good gifts from those who need your support? Therefore, whatever you want men to do for you, do also for them, but in a way that puts them at your mercy and in your debt.

Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that everyone else enters by, and I don’t want them to see you visit me late at night. The narrow gate is out behind the house. I’ll give you the passcode for the keyless entry lock on the door. This gate is narrow and it is difficult to find, but this way we can do our business without prying eyes.

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. It is essential you teach your immigrant workers the difference between the good fruit and bad fruit, or you will never get any profits from your vineyard. Tell them that a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. They might be able to understand that.

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall be able to work for me. It’s not what they say that matters, but what they are willing to do for me. Many come to me and promise to bring me large profits, to cast out the illegal immigrant demons from our country, and create many jobs in my name, but when they fail to do what was promised, I cast them away from me, and get them fired from their jobs or sent to prison for lawlessness.

Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon the rock. It was high up on a hill and very beautiful. We had many great parties there where he introduced me to many large donors. When the economy descended and the political flood rose, and the media winds blew and beat against his house, I was able to pull some strings and protect him. He did not fall from his position, for he was founded on the rock.

But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. He had an oceanfront home near Santa Barbara. It also was very nice, but did not do what I asked him and so when the economy fell and the political flood rose, and the media winds blew and beat against his house, I stood back and watched is fall with a grin on my face. It was a great fall and the man is now in prison.

The post The Sermon on the Mount according to Congressional Jesus appeared first on Redeeming God.


50 Resources for Equipping the Church on Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage

The Gospel Coalition exists to serve the church. To help fulfill this mession, TGC has joined with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention on Equip, a project to provide a broad range of resources on homosexuality and same-sex marriage issues to prepare your church for a changing culture.


Bread, Circuses, and the Coliseum

While the Christians who went to their deaths under the empire of Rome died for their faith, I fear they did not die for our faith. First, we must understand what Rome had against these saints. Part of the genius of the Roman empire was their “broad-mindedness.” They did not roll into town after their phalanxes had left not one brick upon another and rebuild from scratch. Instead it was their habit to assimilate. As they did with the Pharisees, they cut a deal. We will rule over you, but you can, by and large, keep doing what you were doing.  Keep your temple. Worship there. Keep your traditions, your way of life.  All we ask of you is that you pay your taxes, acknowledge our authority, and then this one other little thing- we need you to acknowledge that Caesar is Lord. Burn a pinch of incense, bow the knee, and then go back to what you were doing. You don’t even have to mean it.

The Christians’ problem was more political than narrowly theological. You see the very first creed of the church was just three words long, but managed to confront Rome at its heart. Christians were those who confessed Christ is Lord. They died by the thousands because they would not confess that Caesar is Lord.

Which brings us to our faith. We’re like the Pharisees. We have our worship services, our private convictions, and that’s where our faith ends. The rest of our lives are committed to the authority of the state, and to the diversions and distractions the broader culture provides. We are in no danger because we are no danger. When the world calls our convictions “hate” we simply change them, insisting that our response to the wholesale turning over of God’s created order is more love, more appeasement, more assurance that we are not a danger. Some of us reinterpret our Bibles to get with the times. Some simply look away awkwardly when the Bible embarrasses us. We conflate the Biblical notion that all sin is rebellion against the living God and deserving of His judgment into the much safer notion that all sins are equal, making all of them innocuous, not worthy to be mentioned.

When the Supreme Court made its most wicked ruling, upending the natural, God created order of things, we ignored it. When we finally woke up, we found safe, reasonable, Rome approved ways of “fighting” it. 42 years later and still three thousand little babies are murdered every day, right in our own neighborhoods. And we are more interested in our favorite football team.

We worship a Jesus who will save us from our sins, but whose reign we’re willing to negotiate. We worship a state that simply requires of us that we be nice and keep our convictions to ourselves. We worship distraction, so that we won’t have to face our idolatry. We worship the acceptance of the broader culture, and sacrifice all else to get it. We’re not like our fathers who died for Jesus, but like our fathers that killed Him and the prophets God sent to call us to repentance, because they, like we, worship the god of this age.

Until we stop repenting to the god of this age for the plain teaching of the living God, and start repenting to the living God for bowing before the god of this age, we will be trodden underfoot. Until we weep for our sin, until we tear down the high places, until we cease to hand our children over to Moloch we will burn with Rome. Lord be merciful to us, sinners.

The post Bread, Circuses, and the Coliseum appeared first on R.C. Sproul Jr..


Greasing the Slippery Slope

I can’t get the Cole Porter song “Anything Goes” out of my head. Even worse, I hear Justice Kennedy singing it.
Listen Now | Download


13 Truths about Spiritual Warfare for Leaders

By Chuck Lawless

Over the past twenty years, I have studied, written, and taught about spiritual warfare. Based on that work, here are some warfare reminders for church leaders:

  1. The Bible is not a book about the devil. The Bible is about God. This truth matters, as many people interested in spiritual warfare give the devil more attention than the Bible does. That approach simply distorts the biblical picture of warfare.
  2. The enemy is real. Paul was clear that we wrestle against principalities and powers (Eph. 6:12). Peter knew an enemy seeks to devour us like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8). No hermeneutical gymnastics can legitimately erase this spiritual reality.
  3. The battle is not ours. David recognized that when he fought Goliath (1 Sam. 17:47). Jehaziel reminded Jehoshaphat of that truth (2 Chron. 20:15). God is our warrior (Exo. 15:3). He always has been and always will be.
  4. People are not the enemy. Paul was equally clear that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Even when people frustrate and anger us, they are not the enemy. When we remember this truth, we will love, shepherd, and pray for people differently.
  5. Leaders are a primary target for the enemy. That truth shouldn’t surprise us. The enemy knows that when leaders fall, followers are wounded in the process. I doubt I need to spend time listing the prominent Christian leaders who have fallen in the last few years.
  6. The enemy strikes at marriages. Satan sought to divide Adam and Eve (Adam turned on Eve and blamed her after their sin in Gen. 3), and he has attacked marriages since then. When marriages are destroyed, their witness to the gospel (Eph. 5:25) gets distorted – and, future generations are harmed in the process.
  7. Self-dependence is evidence of the enemy’s work. Satan is not alarmed by church leaders who operate in their own ability. All of our training and experience is no match for the subtle schemes of the enemy.
  8. Hiddenness is a warning signal. The enemy often operates in the darkness. He delights when we sin and choose to keep our sin in the secret places of our lives. In no way does he want us to confess our sin.
  9. Leaders often fight their battles alone. Sometimes leaders must stand alone, but too often they have no close team around them to help them win spiritual battles. Loners are by nature vulnerable to attack and defeat.
  10. Sometimes leaders take on the enemy with too little prayer. Self-confident leaders are like Jesus’ disciples who tried to cast out a demon without praying (Mark 9:14-29). They do not pray, pray only superficially, or pray only after the battle has been lost.
  11. Even the best leaders may find themselves in non-stop warfare by God’s design. The Apostle Paul was God’s uniquely called apostle, but still he dealt with an ongoing thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7-10). God left Paul in the battle so he would always recognize God as his strength.
  12. Spiritual defeat need not be final. Simon Peter failed miserably when he denied knowing Jesus (Luke 22:54-61), but the story was not over. Jesus welcomed him back into His band of disciples and then used him to preach the gospel to Jerusalem (Acts 2).
  13. The enemy will not ultimately win. He will spend eternity in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). Whether planting churches or revitalizing established congregations, church leaders can know they are ultimately on the winning side. Hell will not defeat the church.

Take time now to thank the Lord for victory in the battle.

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.The post 13 Truths about Spiritual Warfare for Leaders appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


10 Cross-Focused Principles Versus 10 Horizontal Strategies for Dealing with Anger

You’re reading Part Three of a three-part BCC Grace & Truth blog miniseries on Biblical Counseling and Anger. In today’s post, Tim Allchin contrasts 10 Cross-Focused Principles Versus Horizontal Strategies for Dealing with Anger. Continue reading →


The Glorious Privilege of Freedom in Christ

There’s no such thing as freedom — at least not in the sense that we can do whatever we please without restraint or consequence. That’s been Satan’s lie since the Garden of Eden: “Sure, Eve, you can eat the forbidden fruit.


What Does God Say About Abuse?

What does God say about abuse, specifically emotional abuse in marriage? Today’s guest blogger is Lilly Park. Lilly is Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, IN. This article (Responding to Emotional Abuse in Marriage) first appeart on the Biblical Counseling Coalition website and is used with permission.

logo

This post is dedicated to the women I’ve met who have inspired me by their faith and strength in the midst of painful marriages.

I’ve seen marriages that reflect Christ and the Church: husbands lovingly leading their homes and wives lovingly submitting to their husbands. How good (and hope-filled!) it is to see real life examples, especially at a time when marriages are being attacked from pornography, homosexuality, and cohabitation. I’ve also seen broken marriages and emotionally abusive relationships, which has taught me a lot about faith.

The women I’ve met believed in submitting to their husbands and tried to do so. At some point, however, they began to change negatively without knowing it. They isolated themselves. They questioned themselves. They started to make excuses for their husbands’ sins.

What do you do when your husband emotionally abuses you? Some might say that you should continue to submit to his leadership, pray for him, and trust God. Is it acceptable to seek help and possibly even separate, if necessary? When I think of marriage, “protection” is one of the concepts that comes to mind. Perhaps that’s why emotional abuse, or any kind of abuse for that matter, in marriage saddens me in a different way.

My desire is that God might use this blog post to encourage those who are weary, to challenge those who are not trusting God or seeking counsel, and to provide some help to those who are not sure how to help women in emotionally abusive relationships. I’ve also met men who have been abused by their wives, so I certainly do not believe that only women are abused.

The Bible doesn’t use the label “emotional abuse,” but it does prohibit it. First, we are not to curse people who have been created in the image of God (James 3:9). Second, emotional abuse violates the two greatest commandments: love God and love others as yourself (Matthew 22:35-40). Third, emotional abuse violates God’s design for marriage where the husband lovingly leads and the wife lovingly submits (Ephesians 5:21-33). Fourth, it violates Christian living by denying yourself (Mark 8:34) and speaking wholesome words (Ephesians 4:29). Fifth, it displays pride and a lack of fear of God, which leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:18). A husband who commits emotional abuse deceives himself to be a king who deserves glory, honor, and praise. Sixth, emotional abuse is betrayal to God and people by trying to be like God and deceiving others.

The Nature of Emotional Abuse

A common term found in the definition of emotional abuse is control. Emotional abuse occurs when someone tries to control you through actions or words. They might not physically hurt you, but they know how to instill fear through intimidation and manipulation. If emotions are produced by your evaluations or perceptions,[1] then emotional abuse involves hurting how you view yourself and others. Over time, you negatively view yourself. You might question yourself, blame yourself, or not see the severity of the situation. You become a weary person, trying to please your husband’s unreasonable demands but rarely is he pleased.

Emotional abuse is more deceitful than physical abuse. The women I’ve met endured emotional abuse for years and no one knew about it. They didn’t even know until they finally talked to someone. (Of course, the same could happen with physical abuse.) Emotional abuse is unacceptable and sinful. It is slowly killing a person. It is also not the same as occasional arguments in marriage; it occurs frequently.

Common Themes in Emotional Abuse

Anger. Emotionally abusive anger is a sin (Colossians 3:8). In this case, it reveals a desire for control. For example, a husband sends texts or calls throughout the day from work and gets angry if the wife responds too slowly. Or, he gets angry if she disagrees with him.

Manipulation/hypocrisy. This sin is revealed in different ways:

  1. The husband is a different person in front of a church leader and others. He knows how to blame the wife.
  2. The husband starts crying in the counseling session and convinces the pastor or friends. Then, everything that the wife had shared in the past carries little weight. After all, he cried. The wife trusts people even less.
  3. The husband meets with other family and friends to win them over.

Fear/Threats. In some cases, this involves finances or child custody if the couple is in the process of a divorce.

Blameshifting/Denial. “If you did what I told you to do, then I wouldn’t have been angry.” “When did I say that to you?”

Isolation. The wife spends less time with family and friends because her husband does not want to see them or another argument happened.

Minimizing the problem. The husband says that the wife is exaggerating. Sometimes, the wife minimizes the problem. Another instance is when the person trying to help is deceived or doesn’t know how to help. “Every marriage has problems.” “Both the husband and wife have issues.”

In-laws. Leaving and cleaving never happened in the marriage. The in-laws are the leaders in the marriage, not the husband. The in-laws believe that their son is perfect or they see their son’s faults but place the blame on his wife.

What to Do For the Wife

It is not uncommon for emotional abuse to lead to physical abuse, so seek counseling as soon as possible. We might think that emotional abuse would not happen in Christian marriages. I’ve seen cases where the husband was a church leader.

Don’t keep it private. You think that your spouse will change or won’t get angry again if you’re more obedient. Be careful of such thinking. In a way, it deceives you to think that you’re in control of the situation.

Find someone who will believe you. Sometimes, church leaders are deceived or don’t want to get involved in messy problems. Don’t give up until you find a godly person who knows how to help.

Biblical submission. This is not obedience at all costs. Yes, wives are to submit to their husbands, but not to sin or sinful treatment.

Prayer. Pray for the spouse’s repentance. If the spouse is not saved, pray for his salvation. Pray that God would protect your heart from anger and bitterness.

Trust God. It is so hurtful when family or friends don’t believe you or desert you, but God knows the truth. You can rest in His care and know that vengeance belongs to Him.

Remember God’s character. He is faithful. He is all-knowing. He will never desert you.

If someone shares about any kind of abuse with you, know that a lot of courage and trust were involved. Be careful of shattering it! Most likely, this person is vulnerable and fearful. As I often tell people, good intentions are not enough. I’ve seen friends get involved by meeting with the husband and then they are left more confused.

Watch out for complaining and gossip. Use wisdom in determining how much the person should share with you. In the end, our effort to minister shouldn’t have enabled a venting session, but a return to God’s perspective session, which gives hope and honors God.

One woman said to me: “If God allowed this pain to happen so that my husband might know Christ, then it was worth it.” She also recognized that God used the trial to draw her closer to Him. At that moment, this person who never completed college taught me about faith in a way that I didn’t learn from books and lectures.

It’s easier to submit to a loving leader in the home, but to love a husband who constantly questions you, belittles you, and lies to you is a powerful display of faith in God.

Join the Conversation

What additional biblical counsel would you give to an emotionally abused wife?


[1]Brian Borgman, Feelings and Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2009), 26.

Resources for YOU!

COUNSELING: Are you or a friend in an emotionally abusive relationship? May we encourage you to seek help from a trust-worthy person at your church or from one of our biblical counselors? Please contact us.

DOWNLOAD: Here’s a helpful reminder of who you are in Christ. Click here to get it.

 

The post What Does God Say About Abuse? appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.


Suffering for Christ: A Gift of Divine Grace

“For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake,
not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”
– Philippians 1:29 –

Phil 1;29This text, along with the rest of the New Testament (cf. John 16:33; 2 Tim 3:12; Jas 1:2–4; 1 Pet 4:12–16) establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt that suffering inevitably comes to the true believer in Christ. Last week’s Supreme Court ruling, which mandated all 50 states to redefine marriage, is a loud and clear statement that all who do not conform to the new (im)moral orthodoxy will not be tolerated in contemporary society. For those who submit to the authority of the Word of God, suffering, in one form or another, is sure to come.

But a question we need to ask is: Where does it come from? Does suffering originate merely in the hostility of the opponents themselves? Does it come from a random, chaotic, uncontrolled universe, so that we’ve simply drawn the short straw and need to make the best of things? Does it come from some impersonal governing force like fate, so that we just have to grin and bear it? Does suffering ultimately come from Satan or demons?

Ultimately, we have to answer, “No,” to all of those questions. Ultimately, suffering comes from God. You say, “How do you know that?” Well, for a couple reasons. One is that Scripture calls God the one “who works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11). “And we know,” Romans 8:28, “that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose.”

All things. Not just the good things. And not: “God turns all the bad things into good things for those who love Him.” God doesn’t just make the best of a bad hand He was dealt. He ordains all things for His purpose to glorify Himself. Joseph said that in Genesis 50:20: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Job says the same thing: “The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity” from Him as well (Job 2:10)? And as Jeremiah stands in the rubble of the ravaged city of Jerusalem at the time of the Babylonian invasion, he asks, Lamentations 3:37, “Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?”

A Gift of Grace

But even if I didn’t have all those verses to turn to, Philippians 1:29 says that it has been granted to us not only to believe, but to suffer. Who has granted that we believe? Certainly not our opponents of the Gospel. And certainly not Satan! It’s God who has granted us faith (Eph 2:8–9). And in the same way, it is God who grants us to suffer.

And He grants us to suffer. This word “granted” is the Greek verb charizomai, from charis, which is the word for grace. It means “to give as a gift,” or “to give freely.” It’s the same word in Romans 8:32, where Paul says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” What Paul is teaching us here is that the suffering that comes upon the people of God as a result of our faithful obedience to Christ in a hostile world is nothing less than a free gift of sovereign grace.

Now, does God give poor gifts? Does He give gifts that are without purpose and without wisdom? Does He ever give gifts that are not beneficial and for the greatest good of those He gives them to? Of course not! You know all of God’s gifts to His children are good for us. Well, this text tells us that He gives us suffering, for Christ’s sake, as a gift of His loving, unmerited favor.

Keep on Rejoicing

Now if some of you are thinking, “What kind of favor is that? Suffering?!” If you’re thinking that, I want you to know that the apostles would have had absolutely no idea where you were coming from. In Acts 5, the Sanhedrin had already thrown the apostles into prison for violating their command not to preach any longer in the name of Jesus. But the angel of the Lord came in the middle of the night and freed them. And the next morning they were back in the temple preaching, and so the Jews called them before the Council again. And after some discussion about what should be done to them, it says “they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:40–41).

This generation of professing Christians seeks to run from shame as far and as fast as possible, as if it were a pure, unmixed evil! The apostles’ generation rejoiced that they had been considered worthy to receive the divine favor of suffering shame for the matchless name of the Lord Jesus Christ. May God grant that we see the glory that they saw—that we would be so satisfied by Christ that we would count it a privilege to meet the world’s shame if it means that we can put His glory on display.

Years after being flogged that day, Peter would write, “To the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing,” and, “if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but to glorify God in this name” (1 Peter 4:13, 16).

Glorify God in This Name 

See, suffering for Christ’s sake provides us a wonderful opportunity to put the worth and sufficiency of Christ on display. It gives us an opportunity to magnify Him by being more satisfied in Him than by all that this world can offer and by all that death can take.

To illustrate, the third verse of that great hymn, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, says, “His oath, His covenant, His blood / support me in the whelming flood. / When all around my soul gives way, / He then is all my hope and stay.” Commenting on that line, John Piper writes, “If we hold fast to Him ‘when all around our soul gives way,’ then we show that He is more to be desired than all we have lost” (Desiring God, 266). And magnifying Christ—showing that He is more to be desired than all that we could lose—is the very thing that we were created to do (Isa 43:7; Phil 1:20–21). If we understand this, it’s clear to see that it’s a divine gift to suffer on behalf of Christ. It is a gracious gift of unmerited favor to be given the privilege of being prisms to reflect the glory and sufficiency of Jesus to the world.

Jesus Doeth All Things Well

And so when suffering and persecution come from those who would oppose Christ and His Gospel—when it gets hard, and starts to hurt, and threatens those things and those people whom you most treasure—don’t try to save God from His sovereignty by supposing that those trials originate from someone other than your Father. Don’t cut the legs out from under the theology of sovereign grace upon which you stand. You would destroy the very comfort you seek if you did that.

Another great hymn says, “Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort / Here by faith in Him to dwell / For I know whate’er befall me / Jesus doeth all things well.” Where do heavenly peace and divine comfort come from? From the knowledge that whatever happens, Jesus the sovereign Lord is doing it, and He doeth all things well. So when suffering comes—and it’s coming, if it’s not already here—don’t try to save God from His sovereignty, and in the same breath steal your heavenly peace and divinest comfort. Instead, count that suffering as a gracious gift, direct from the loving hand of your Father, of the opportunity to magnify the worth of Christ in your response to it. Then, you would suffer in a manner worthy of the Gospel.

Source


The Daily Discovery (July 3, 2015)

My Open Letter of Apology to the Gay Community (From A Christian) – “I’m seeing quite a few open letters of apology from Christians to the gay community in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. At first, I was angry. ‘What are we apologizing for again?!?,’ I thought. As a conservative Christian, I was annoyed. It seemed – at first – to be capitulation on a very important issue. After reading more than a few of these open letters of apology, however, my heart has softened on the issue. I realize that conservative Christians like myself are in the clear minority. The Supreme Court has ruled. Other churches, like the Episcopalians just yesterday, have found it in their heart to soften from their historic, traditional opinions. And as much as religious people love the past, I’ve had to come to grips with the reality that this – gay marriage – is our present and no doubt, our future.

Abusing Freedom – “Our culture is changing fast. Things that would have seemed absurd to most people’s moral intuitions are now championed. Even some things that still seem odd are accepted because our culture accepted a definition of freedom some time ago that is playing out.”

America Is Not Great – “Happy Fourth of July. America is not great. Not anymore. America is a land where babies are murdered, the family is disintegrating, marriage is perverted, and every institution is dominated by nihilists and self-worshiping liberals. That’s America. It has betrayed God, and any true patriot should feel a deep and profound anger, not false confidence in our alleged greatness.”

Matthew Vines’ Precommitments in His Case for Gay Christians Part 1: Humanistic Consequentialist Ethics – “Matthew Vines has written a book titled God and the Gay Christian in which he argues that ‘Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationship’ (Page 3).   Al Mohler and the faculty at Southern Seminary has published a book-length response titled God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines, which they have made available as a free e-book.  In their responses Al Mohler, James Hamilton, Denny Burk, Owen Strachan, and Heath Lambert addressed the biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral issues raised by Vines’s best-selling book.”

Gurnall on the “heroic impulse,” and how it is not a good thing – “It is an erratic spirit, that usually carries men out of their place and calling. I confess there is an heroicus impetus, an impulse which some of the servants of God have had from heaven, to do things extraordinary, as we read in Scripture of Moses, Gideon, Phineas, and others.”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – Hope for a Doomed Nation


VIDEOS:

The Slavery of Serving Worldliness

The cure for Transgenderism and Transsexualism


“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



Christian Headlines Daily – Friday, July 3, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

How Gay Marriage Ruling May Impact Christian Colleges

What One Israeli Couple Found while Undergoing a Home Renovation

Survey: 53 Percent of Americans Believe God has ‘Special Relationship’ with US

Man Known as British ‘Schindler’ Dies

Ebola Back in Liberia 2 Months after Being Declared Free of Virus that Killed Over 11,000

Once Patrons, Now Landlords — Churches Rehab Buildings for Artist Spaces

Report: Fire at Black Church in S.C. was Not Arson, Feds Say

California Governor Signs Vaccination Law for Students Forcing Parents to Homeschool

Homeless Man Who Returned Found Money Donates Reward

Pastors Arm Churches after Charleston Shooting

Opinion

Is Involuntary Euthanasia in Our Future?

America’s Slippery Slope to Physician-Assisted Suicide and Polygamy

After Same-Sex Marriage, is Polygamy Next?

Why We Don’t Have to Worry about Overpopulation

Will Religious Organizations Lose Tax-Exempt Status?


What is The Gospel?


“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


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.

Posted in Christian Blog/Article Collection | Leave a comment

GTY Blog – John: Willingness to Suffer for God’s Glory

Code: B150702

 

By John MacArthur

The modern aversion to any form of human suffering is nothing new. The idea of suffering was not an enticing prospect for Jesus’ apostles either—they all forsook Jesus and fled on the night of His arrest (Mark 14:50). They were completely unable to reconcile suffering with God’s sovereign purposes. John, in particular, not only had an aversion to suffering, he had also harbored strong ambitions for glory.

Both desires are perfectly understandable. After all, John had seen Jesus’ glory firsthand on the Mount of Transfiguration, and he treasured Jesus’ promise that he would share that glory (Matthew 19:28–29). How could he not desire such a blessing? On the other hand, suffering is a hallmark of hell and absent in heaven—why would anyone want to embrace it now?

There was nothing inherently sinful about John’s desire to participate in the glory of Jesus’ eternal kingdom. Christ had promised him a throne and an inheritance in glory. Moreover, it is my conviction that when we see Christ’s glory fully unveiled we will finally understand why the glory of Christ is the greatest reward of all in heaven. One glimpse of Jesus in the fullness of His glory will be worth all the pain and sorrow and suffering we have endured here on earth (cf. Psalm 17:15; 1 John 3:2). Participation in Christ’s glory is therefore a fitting desire for every child of God.

But if we desire to participate in heavenly glory, we must also be willing to partake of earthly sufferings. This was the apostle Paul’s desire: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10). Paul wasn’t saying he had a masochistic lust for pain; he was simply recognizing that glory and suffering are inseparable. Those who desire the reward of glory must be willing to endure the suffering.

Suffering is the price of glory. We are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:17). Jesus taught this principle again and again:

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 16:24–25).

Suffering is the prelude to glory. Our suffering as believers is the assurance of the glory that is yet to come (1 Peter 1:6–7). And “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). Meanwhile, those who thirst for glory must balance that desire with a willingness to suffer.

All the disciples needed to learn this. Remember, they all wanted the chief seats in glory. But Jesus said there is a price for those seats. Not only are those seats reserved for the humble, but those who sit in those seats will first be prepared for the place of honor by enduring the humility of suffering. That is why Jesus told James and John that before they would receive any throne at all, they would be required to “drink the cup that I drink” and “be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized” (Mark 10:38).

How eagerly and how naively James and John assured the Lord that they would be able to drink of the cup He would drink and be baptized with a baptism of suffering! “They said to Him, ‘We are able’” (Mark 10:39). At that moment they had no real clue what they were volunteering for. They were like Peter, boasting that they would follow Jesus to the death—but when faced with the opportunity, they all forsook Him and fled.

Thankfully, Christ does not regard such failures as final. All eleven of the disciples fled on the night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. But every one of them was recovered, and every one of them ultimately learned to suffer willingly for Christ’s sake.

In fact, all of them except John suffered and ultimately died for the faith. They were martyred one by one in the prime of life. John was the only disciple who lived to old age. But he suffered, too, in ways the others did not. He was still enduring earthly anguish and persecution long after the others were already in glory.

On the night of Jesus’ arrest, John probably began to understand the bitterness of the cup he would have to drink. We know from his account of Jesus’ trial that he and Peter followed Jesus to the house of the high priest (John 18:15). There he watched as Jesus was bound and beaten. As far as we know, John was the only disciple who was an actual eyewitness to Jesus’ crucifixion. He was standing close enough to the cross for Jesus to see him (John 19:26). He probably watched as the Roman soldiers drove in the nails. He was there when a soldier finally pierced his Lord’s side with a spear. And perhaps as he watched he remembered that he had agreed to partake of this same baptism. If so, he surely realized then and there how awful the cup was he had so easily volunteered to drink!

When John’s brother James became the church’s first martyr, John bore the loss in a more personal way than the others. As the other disciples were martyred one by one, John suffered the grief and pain of additional loss. These were his friends and companions. Soon he alone was left. In some ways, that may have been the most painful suffering of all.

Virtually all reliable sources in early church history attest to the fact that John became the pastor of the church the apostle Paul had founded at Ephesus. From there, during a great persecution of the church under the Roman Emperor Domitian (brother and successor of Titus, who destroyed Jerusalem), John was banished to a prison community on Patmos. He lived in a cave there. It was while there that he received and recorded the apocalyptic visions described in the book of Revelation (cf. Revelation 1:9).

I have been to the cave in which he is thought to have lived and in which he is believed to have written the book of Revelation. It was a harsh environment for an aged man. He was cut off from those whom he loved, treated with cruelty and reproach, and made to sleep on a stone slab with a rock for a pillow as the years passed slowly.

But John learned to bear suffering willingly. There is no complaint about his sufferings anywhere in his epistles or the book of Revelation. It is certain that he wrote Revelation under the most extreme kind of hardship and deprivation. But he makes scant mention of his difficulties, referring to himself as “your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (Revelation 1:9).

Notice that in the same breath he mentioned “tribulation,” he speaks of the patience that enabled him to bear his sufferings willingly. He was looking forward calmly to the day when he would partake in the promised glory of the kingdom. That is the right balance and a healthy perspective. He had learned to look beyond his earthly sufferings in anticipation of the heavenly glory.

As we have seen in this series, the changes in John’s character as he matured form a worthy pattern for our lives. Zeal for truth must go hand in hand with love for people in order for both traits to bring glory to God. Likewise, our ambitions must be tempered with Christlike humility. And suffering should not surprise or discourage us, but encourage a sanctifying expectation for the glory to come. Believers have much to gain from the careful study of John’s teaching and his life. His theology is rich, revealing a man who was profoundly transformed by His relationship with Christ.

(Adapted from Twelve Ordinary Men)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150702
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Posted in Biblical Lesson/Teaching, Christian Living | Leave a comment

Governments Around the World Deserve Contempt, Not Respect

Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

This is why people despise their governments. The policies enacted by the oligarchs ALWAYS hurt the people and ALWAYS enrich the powerful.  What is happening to Greece can happen to any country where the wealthy are allowed to freely set the course.  This will be what happens to America when the Koch Brothers finally have everything they want.

An elderly man is crying outside a national bank brunch as pensioners queue to get their pensions, with a limit of 120 euros, in Thessaloniki on 3 July, 2015. Greece is almost evenly split over a crucial weekend referendum that could decide its financial fate, with a 'Yes' result possibly ahead by a whisker, the latest survey Friday showed. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's government is asking Greece's voters to vote 'No' to a technically phrased question asking if they are willing to accept more tough austerity conditions from international creditors in exchange for bailout funds. AFP PHOTO /Sakis MitrolidisSAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images An elderly man is crying outside a national bank brunch as pensioners queue to get their pensions, with a limit of 120 euros, in Thessaloniki on 3 July, 2015. Greece is almost evenly split over a crucial weekend referendum that could decide its financial fate, with a ‘Yes’ result possibly ahead by a whisker, the latest survey Friday showed. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government is asking Greece’s voters to vote ‘No’ to a technically phrased question asking if they are willing to accept more tough austerity conditions from international creditors in…

View original 26 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

Polygamy is next: Montana throuple applies for wedding license

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

Marriage and family Marriage and family

The Supreme Court redefined marriage so that it no longer means one man, one woman, for life. What follows from attaching the word “marriage” to people who have temporary feelings of love for other people?

Here’s the story from MSN.com.

Excerpt:

A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage. Montana, like all 50 states, outlaws bigamy — holding multiple marriage licenses — but Collier said he plans to sue if the application is denied.

“It’s about marriage equality,” Collier told The Associated Press Wednesday. “You can’t have this without polygamy.”

[…]The Supreme Court’s ruling on…

View original 854 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | 2 Comments

A Question Bound To Be Raised and a Gracious Answer by Kevin DeYoung

Originally posted on The Protestant Pulpit:

https://www.facebook.com/CrosswayBooks/videos/10153377208258632/?fref=nf

I am not always on the same page that DeYoung is on, and I am not a person who likes the associations to which he belongs, but I believe that his answer here is a correct and appropriate response.

I would add that, while we do not want to come across unloving to them, we have a higher allegiance in our love — our love to our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To condone what Christ died for is to undermine the cross; to celebrate that which seeks to dethrone God is to erode His kingship. I love Jesus more than my and your sin!

Lord, help us to be faithful unto death. And Lord help us to be those who “in meekness,” go about “instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25).

View original

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

Constantine the Damned, the Puritans, and the Culture Wars

Originally posted on Zwinglius Redivivus:

When the servant of Hell baptized pagan Rome, pagan Rome remained pagan.  Baptizing pagans only makes for wet, damned, pagans.  But these wet damned pagans took up their alloted spaces in the Church hierarchy and from thence the Church was little more than a slave of the State.  “Instead of the Church going into the world, the world came into the church” (von Harnack).

Centuries pass and the Puritans attempt to purify the Church but they lose the culture war because they still had to do with wet, damned, pagans.

And so we come to today when too many still view the Church as something with which the world is at peace and which should itself be at peace with the world.  Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth but the sad fact remains, the Church is still heavily comprised of wet, damned, pagans who are as unregenerate…

View original 101 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

“We[e] [on] the People…”

Originally posted on No Apologies Allowed:

image

In the aftermath of the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex “marriage”, other people have come out to demand their marriage rights, too.There’s a guy in Billings, Montana pointing to the horrid SCOTUS decision and demanding the right to take multiple wives — and he plans on suing if his “rights” are denied. And there is that professor at Columbia University who wants to marry his adult, consenting daughter. Oh, and the two gay brothers who want to tie the knot. I guess two people loving each other is enough to allow them to “get married”, right?

Oh, wait. Why just 2 again? Why not 3? 4?

Given the (bad) logic of gay marriage proponents, which includes ejecting gender distictions from the equation (an ignorantly calculated move that undermines any subsequently and arbitrarily assigned limit to the number of spouses within any given marriage union), the so-called “rights”…

View original 78 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

A Brief Theology of the Book of Galatians

Originally posted on The Protestant Pulpit:

Looking back over the entire Letter to the Galatians, we can say some vitally important things about (a) the cross of Christ, (b) the Holy Spirit, (3) faith, (4) the law, and (5) Christian living

The Cross of Christ:

Salvation and the cross are inextricably intertwined. The Galatians’ temptation to undergo circumcision demonstrated a shocking misunderstanding of the role of the cross. Paul wonders if the Galatians had been bewitched or had a spell cast over them so that they no longer grasped the significance of Christ crucified (3:1). We must not make the mistake of thinking the cross is central only where Paul uses the term “cross,” as if a word study approach will suffice. The theology of the cross in Galatians is present wherever Paul speaks of the death of Christ, and the cross is introduced in a variety of ways in the letter.
From the inception of…

View original 4,143 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

Couple fined $135,000 for declining to participate in gay marriage

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

States with non-discrimination laws States with non-discrimination laws

How much does it cost to be an authentic Christian? You might think that in America, the land of religious freedom, that being a Christian would be free.

And you’d be wrong.

Here’s the story from Oregon Live.

Excerpt:

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian on Thursday ordered the owners of a former Gresham bakery to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple for refusing to make them a wedding cake.

Avakian’s ruling upheld a preliminary finding earlier this year that the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa had discriminated against the women on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Bakery owners Melissa and Aaron Klein cited their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage in denying service.

[…]Avakian’s final order makes clear that serving potential customers equally trumps the Kleins’ religious beliefs.

[…]The commissioner ordered the Kleins to pay $75,000 to Rachel Bowman-Cryer and $60,000 to…

View original 454 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

A Good Conscience

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life One aspect of being created in God’s image is the fact that humans have God-given consciences (cf. Rom. 1:19-20).  Our consciences are a sort of moral compass to help us know the difference between right and wrong.  Since sin has entered the world, the conscience does not function perfectly, although we still have them and they work to some extent by God’s common grace (Rom 2:15-16).  As Richard Sibbes said, “Conscience …is either the greatest friend or the greatest enemy in the world.”

When God regenerates a sinner, his conscience is also affected in a good way.  He knows his sin, repents of it, and trusts in the blood of Christ to cleanse him from all unrighteousness.  The healed (or renewed) conscience tells the person that he is justified, loved by God, and no longer guilty before the Lord.  Here’s a sample of what the Puritans said about a healed…

View original 282 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

Christian, You are a Citizen of Heaven

Originally posted on airō:

citizens-20of-20heaven_t_nv-1040x780Christian, not only are you a pilgrim residing in a foreign land (the common kingdom), but you are a citizen of heaven.

Jesus tells us His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36) – we are citizens of that kingdom, and that kingdom is not on this earth except in the hearts of God’s people. After calling out the antinomian or Judaizing false teachers of verse 19, Paul tells us in Philippians 3:20:

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…

Paul is contrasting the difference between people of two different kingdoms. While we are living in the common kingdom alongside false teachers and all sinners pursuing the gratification of the lusts of their flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), our true or ultimate citizenship is in heaven. We are on a journey to that better place, where our names…

View original 561 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 3, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Devotional Guide Collection

IMG_2440


July 3

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

Horatio G. Spafford, 1828–1888

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Inner peace through an implicit trust in the love of God is the real evidence of a mature Christian faith. Only with this kind of confidence in his heavenly Father could Horatio Spafford experience such heart-rending tragedies as he did and yet be able to say, “It is well with my soul.”

Spafford had known peaceful and happy days as a successful attorney in Chicago. He was the father of four daughters, an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and a loyal friend and supporter of D. L. Moody and other evangelical leaders of his day. Then, a series of calamities began, starting with the great Chicago fire of 1871 which wiped out the family’s extensive real estate investments. When Mr. Moody and his music associate, Ira Sankey, left for Great Britain for an evangelistic campaign, Spafford decided to lift the spirits of his family by taking them on a vacation to Europe. He also planned to assist in the Moody-Sankey meetings there.

In November, 1873, Spafford was detained by urgent business, but he sent his wife and four daughters as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Harve, planning to join them soon. Halfway across the Atlantic, the ship was struck by an English vessel and sank in 12 minutes. All four of the Spafford daughters—Tanetta, Maggie, Annie and Bessie—were among the 226 who drowned. Mrs. Spafford was among the few who were miraculously saved.

Horatio Spafford stood hour after hour on the deck of the ship carrying him to rejoin his sorrowing wife in Cardiff, Wales. When the ship passed the approximate place where his precious daughters had drowned, Spafford received sustaining comfort from God that enabled him to write, “When sorrows like sea billows roll … It is well with my soul.” What a picture of our hope!

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll—Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul.

Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come, let this blest assurance control, that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate and shed His own blood for my soul.

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll: The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, “Even so”—it is well with my soul.

Chorus: It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

For Today: Psalm 31:14; 142:3; Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 4:19

Ask yourself if you can truthfully say, “It is well with my soul,” no matter what the circumstances may be that surround you.[1]


July 3: God’s Unseen Work

1 Samuel 5:1–7:17; James 1:19–27; Psalm 119:33–48

We often fail to discern when and how it happens: God will work something out in our lives that seems virtually impossible. We get an unexpected insight into the workings of God in 1 Sam 5.

After defeating Israel in battle, the Philistines stole the ark of the covenant, recognizing it as a powerful weapon of war. They didn’t realize that it couldn’t be wielded by human hands. They set it up next to the idol of their god, Dagon, unaware that the ark was the representation of Yahweh on earth. Yahweh does what He wills. In this case, He willed the ark to be returned to Israel, so He destroyed the idol and afflicted the people with disease. First Samuel notes, “The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people,” (1 Sam 5:6); in fact, it was so heavy that the Philistines wanted the ark gone. After seven months, they returned it to the Israelites (1 Sam 6:10–16).

If the Philistines could recognize the work of Yahweh among them, you would think the Israelites could do the same. They should have responded to the ark’s return by praising God, rejoicing, and turning back to Him. But in their failure to discern God’s hand in the event, they continued to worship foreign gods until Samuel, their judge and prophet, demanded that they change their actions (1 Sam 7).

This illustrates a problem with our perception of God’s work: We fail to see His work on our behalf and chalk things up to circumstance or coincidence. We stick with our idols because it’s easier than admitting the truth to ourselves—for the moment we acknowledge God is at work, we must turn away from the easy path of selfish ambitions and actions.

When God’s people pray, He answers—often in unexpected and miraculous ways. While we don’t often see His hand at work, we do have an opportunity each day to look for God acting among us and turn away from anything we put in His place. Let’s do so today.

Where have you seen God working in your life? What idols is He asking you to turn away from?

John D. Barry[2]


July 3

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Matthew 9 through 12. Our lesson is from Matthew 12:18, “BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL IS WELL—PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES.” (NASU)

Lesson

The verses previous to our text have to do with Jesus and the religious leaders’ interpretation of the Sabbath. The result of the confrontation is that the leaders banded against Jesus. Matthew quotes the prophet Isaiah in today’s verse to show how Christ fulfilled the message of the prophet. Let’s examine five statements from our text.

First, Jesus is the Servant of the Lord. “Serving” in the Bible is an important theme especially in the life and ministry of Jesus. He admonished the disciples a number of times to serve each other and others. The question to us is this: Are we also servants? I hope our answer is a resounding yes.

Second, Jesus was chosen by the Lord. This has to do with Jesus’ mission to reconcile humanity with God. Jesus was God’s chosen vessel to fulfill His plan to reestablish the relationship with humanity, i.e., that which Adam and Eve had enjoyed with Him before they sinned in the Garden of Eden.

Third, Jesus is loved by the Lord. This reminds us about the two times in which the Father calls Jesus His beloved son: when Jesus is baptized and at the transfiguration. Jesus Christ has a unique relationship within the Godhead with the Father.

Next, Jesus is pleasing to the Lord. This is because He always obeyed the will of the Father. The Bible states that Jesus was obedient even unto the death. What mattered most to Jesus was to submit to the Father and His will. This is what pleased the Lord.

Finally, Jesus will proclaim justice to the gentiles. Jesus is the perfect demonstration of who God is. Only Jesus Christ is just and blameless before the Lord.

Jesus as the perfect God/man is the Just Judge against sin, Satan and the kingdom of darkness. He will one day execute the sentence against evil and perfect justice will reign forever and ever.

In summary, Jesus is the Servant of the Lord. Jesus is chosen by the Lord. Jesus is loved by the Lord. Jesus is pleasing to the Lord. And Jesus will proclaim justice to the gentiles.

Let’s learn to be like Jesus and submit totally to God. This will enable us to fulfill our destiny. We are to be imitators of Christ in all aspects of our lives. His holiness and righteousness are ours as we walk in faithful discipleship. Ask the Lord right now for this to be a priority of your life and service to Him.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Matthew 13 through 16. 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]


 

July 3

 

Christ: The Living Stone

 

“… coming to [Christ] as to a living stone” (1 Peter 2:4).

✧✧✧

Jesus is the only source of eternal life and the foundation upon which the church is built.

Peter’s description of Christ as “a living stone” is paradoxical because stones aren’t alive. In fact, we sometimes speak of something being “stone dead.” Yet Peter’s symbolism is profound because it beautifully incorporates three realities about Christ.

First, Jesus is the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. The Old Testament referred to the Messiah as a “stone,” and Peter incorporated those texts into His description of Jesus in 1 Peter 2:6–8: “Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed” (Isa. 28:16); “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone” (Ps. 118:22); and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (Isa. 8:14). The parallel is obvious and would be especially meaningful to Peter’s Jewish readers. The expectations of pious Jews throughout history were realized in Christ. God had kept His promise to send the Messiah!

Second, Jesus is a “stone” in that He is the focal point of His spiritual house, the church. The Greek word translated “stone” in verse 4 sometimes referred to the stones used in building projects. They were cut and chiseled to fit perfectly into a specific location and were practically immovable. Not only is Jesus a stone; He is the cornerstone, which is the most important stone in the entire building. From Him the church draws its spiritual symmetry.

Finally, Jesus is “living.” That’s an appropriate description because everything Peter said in this epistle is based on the fact that Jesus is alive. That’s the believer’s hope and the basis for every spiritual privilege you have. You “have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3, emphasis added).

Interestingly, the literal rendering of 1 Peter 2:4 is, “Coming to Him as to living stone.” Christ is a unique stone—the stone that possesses life. All who come to Him receive eternal life (cf. 1 John 5:11).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise the Lord for His unchangeable character and irrevocable promises.

For Further Study: Read Acts 2:22–47. ✧ What was the central point in Peter’s sermon? ✧ How did the people respond to his preaching? ✧ How many people were baptized? ✧ What were some of the activities of the early church?[4]


July 3

The Vine and Branch

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit.

John 15:5

jesus makes a clear distinction between the vine and the branch. The two are not the same. He is the vine; we are the branches. The two are joined but not one. The common denominator in nature is the sap. The sap is the life of the vine and its branches. Cut off the flow of sap to the branch, and it slowly withers and dies.

As the branch draws its life from the vine, so we draw life from Christ. To abide in Christ is to draw upon His life. His life is made available through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.[5]


July 3

Committed to Growth

Scripture reading: 2 Peter 3:11–18

Key verse: 2 Peter 3:18

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Many think tennis is a game of power and strength, but it is much more. It is also a game of strategy and endurance. Hours of practice and dedication are needed if one wants to become a better player.

The Christians whom Peter addressed in 2 Peter 3 had gained a great deal of spiritual knowledge over the years, but they stopped growing spiritually. They thought they knew all they needed to know. The spiritual danger was not the temptation to deny their faith, but to become complacent and drawn away by a lack of spiritual dedication.

Peter exhorted them to be on guard lest they be carried away by error. Spiritual growth is not meant for a season; it is to be a lifetime activity.

The measure of our spiritual growth is always found in Christ. The more time we spend with Him, the more we become like Him. Ask Him to help you make a commitment to Him and His Word. Dedication, endurance, and practice of the things of God are the winning combination for spiritual growth.

Lord, help me to make a commitment to You and Your Word. As I spend time in prayer and Your Word, make me more like You.[6]


July 3

Being Self–disciplined

To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

Colossians 1:29

As a Christian, learn to cultivate self–discipline. Here are some practical ways to reach that objective:

Start small. In your home, for example, begin the housekeeping in the main bedroom. When that discipline is established, extend it to the rest of your home.

Be punctual. Make it a habit to be on time.

Deal with difficult tasks first. If you do the hardest jobs first, you will not leave them undone.

Be organized. Instead of merely reacting to circumstances, plan your day and your week.

Be grateful for correction. Don’t shun constructive criticism; welcome it as a means for self–improvement.

Practice self–denial. This can begin in simple ways—substitute a healthy snack for junk food. Discipline in the physical realm carries over to the spiritual realm.

Take on responsibilities. Welcoming a new opportunity forces you to be organized.

These may seem insignificant, but they can be good practice in becoming a better servant of Christ.[7]


 

July 3            Equipped for Service

scripture reading:

 

Hebrews 13:20–21

 

key verse:

 

Mark 2:17

 

When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Jesus told us in Mark 2:17 that He did not come to the healthy. Instead, He came to the sick. In the Greek, sick is used metaphorically of mental ailments.

The people of Jesus’ day were in need of much more than a physical touch. They were in need of a Savior. They struggled with depravity. Instead of worshiping God in purity, they often were bound to the darkness of their day. Paganism and legalism were just two of the infirmities plaguing them.

Once they were set free, Jesus commissioned them for service. He told them to go and share what God had done for them:

  • The woman caught in adultery told of God’s forgiveness.
  • The demon–possessed lad told of Christ’s deliverance.
  • Mary told of the Savior’s unconditional love.
  • Matthew shared how he had been freed from greed.
  • And Peter spoke of God’s restoration.

That was how the gospel spread, by the testimony of those Jesus touched and healed. It is also how God equips us for service. Believers, once mentally insensitive to the things of God, are freed to share the hope of Jesus Christ.

Your life is a living testimony of the healing power of God. Ask Him to show you how you can share His victorious truth with someone today.

My life is a living testimony to Your power, O God. You changed everything! Show me how to share Your saving power with someone today.[8]


July 3

Peace with God

Scripture reading: Romans 5:1–11

Key verse: Romans 5:10

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Thirty years after the crime, he was finally apprehended, tried, and found guilty by a jury. The arrest and conviction shocked both family and community. His life had been pleasant enough, raising a family, working as a salesman, even participating in many civic activities.

Men and women who are separated from God are in a similar predicament. While they may enjoy reasonably happy and successful lives, they live at enmity with their Creator and Judge.

Paul noted, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Rom. 5:10). Other passages refer to man’s alienation from God and his position as an enemy of “the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18).

Yet the love of God stretches across the chasm of sin and offers a solution to the hostility. The only path to true peace is faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. That decision alone gives a person peace with God, establishing an eternal relationship with Christ.

True peace—the kind that lasts forever, the kind that reconciles God and man—is yours through faith in Christ. Don’t deceive yourself or others with false appearances. Trust Him today.

Dear Lord, I thank You that true peace is mine through faith in Jesus Christ. I trust Him today![9]


July 3

Freedom from Wrong Emotions

Scripture Reading: John 10:7–15

Key Verse: John 10:10

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

You see a moving television program—tears flow.

A drunken man at the basketball game leans over and spills his drink on you—anger swells.

You drive up to your house surrounded by paramedics and ambulances—fear surges.

Each is an emotion, an intrinsic part of every individual’s personal identity.

We talk of emotional moments. We say that some people are unemotional while others freely express their feelings.

Whether suppressed or inhibited, the emotional makeup of a person is an integral part of his behavior. As such, it can be a problematic area for many Christians.

The good news for the believer is that you are now inhabited by the person of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit searches the innermost parts of your being, seeking to touch every aspect of your personality. Progressively He can heal damaged emotions, control runaway passions, and harness selfish affections.

If your emotions are fragile or volatile, the Holy Spirit can act as the inner healer, providing an unseen source of comfort. Your emotional infirmities are His supernatural specialty.

O God, I yield my emotions to You. Holy Spirit, be my source of comfort. Help me realize that my emotional infirmities are Your supernatural specialty.[10]


July 3

What Is Truth?

Scripture Reading: John 8:31–36

Key Verses: John 8:31–32

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

You may know when sin has a stranglehold on your life, but it is more difficult to discern the subtle traps of inferiority, inadequacy, and insecurity that the enemy may use to enslave you. Jesus said the truth will make you free. What is the truth? It can be found in His Word.

The truth is related to your position, person, and possessions in Christ. You will be made free when you stop living by perceptions and feelings and start living by fact. For believers, these are the facts:

  • Position: As a child of God, you have been forgiven of your sins because of your acceptance of Christ. God has applied the righteousness of Christ to your account and sent His Spirit to live inside of you. Why should anyone feel inferior when God loved them enough to do all of that?
  • Person: You have been redeemed and justified because of Christ’s work. You are a child of God, the son or daughter of the King of the universe, a saint on the way to glory. You are worthy, no matter what anyone else says or thinks! God says so!
  • Possessions: Paul summed it up in Philippians 4:13 when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You should have a great sense of confidence to know that you have the Spirit of the living God inside of you, equipping you for whatever God requires of you.

Father, help me to stop living by perception and feelings and start living by fact. I am Your child. I have been redeemed and justified. I can do all things through You.[11]


 

July 3

 

Peace with God

 

“Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 5:1

✧✧✧

Peace with God is the first link in the chain that securely binds a true believer to Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the most significant attack Satan wages against Christians is raising doubt about the reality and security of their salvation. He continually promotes the destructive notion of a works–righteousness system as a means of salvation, thus making the preservation of one’s salvation totally dependent upon the believer’s faithfulness.

To counteract such a misguided interpretation of what the Bible teaches about salvation, the apostle Paul wrote Romans 3 and 4 to establish that salvation comes only on the basis of God’s grace working through man’s faith. Quoting Genesis 15:6, Paul said, “ ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’” (Rom. 4:3).

Because some might have questioned if good works, which offer no security at all, were then the conditions under which a person preserved salvation, Paul wrote Romans 5:1–11 to further cement in believers’ minds that our hope as Christians is not in ourselves but in our great God (cf. 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 10:23). Six links bind us to our Lord and Savior, and our passage for today describes the first: peace with God.

It’s hard to imagine that we were ever enemies of God, but the sad fact is that all unbelievers are at war with God and He is at war with them (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 5:6). Yet every individual who has been justified by faith in Christ receives reconciliation with God, which also brings peace with Him. And this peace is permanent and irrevocable because Christ “always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).

Not only did Jesus Christ establish eternal peace between us and God the Father, but also “He Himself is our peace” (Eph. 2:14). That emphasizes Christ’s atoning work as the basis for our assurance. Such absolute and objective facts are what allow you to stand firm under Satan’s attacks. They free you from focusing on your own goodness and merit and allow you to serve the Lord with the confidence that nothing can separate you from your Heavenly Father (Rom. 8:31–39).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for saving you and establishing peace between you and Him. ✧ Ask Him to guide you into opportunities of service.

For Further Study: Read Romans 3–4. What verses establish that salvation is solely the work of God? Keep a list for reference when Satan may attack your faith.[12]


July 3

If children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.

Heavenly Father, if I am Christ’s, then I am Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Behold what manner of love You, Father God, have bestowed on me, that I should be called Your child! Therefore I am no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then Your heir through Christ. You, Lord God, predestined me to adoption as a son by Jesus Christ to Yourself, according to the good pleasure of Your will.

Father, Jesus desired that we whom You gave Him may be with Him where He is, that we may behold His glory which You have given Him.

If I overcome, and keep Jesus’ works until the end, to me He will give power over the nations. If I overcome, Jesus will grant to me to sit with Him on His throne, as He also overcame and sat down with You, Father God, on Your throne.

What a glorious future You have for Your heirs, Father God! Thank You that I am numbered among them!

Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:29; 1 John 3:1; Galatians 4:7; Ephesians 1:5; John 17:24; Revelation 2:26; Revelation 3:21[13]


July 3

Caring for Single Saints

Acts 2:44–45

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

I want to address a word to single parents—and to those in the churches they attend. I know of no greater need for a ministry of support and encouragement than to those who are handling the pressures and responsibilities of vocation and childrearing alone. Single parents are fighting battles that no one else in the church is facing.

God can use our resources to help meet the needs of the single parents in our churches. He wants to use people to meet the needs of people in our churches today—especially the needs of all our single saints.

Are you a single Christian? Then do what you can to express a desire for ministry and a desire to be ministered to. If you are a leader in your church, do what you can to raise the priority and resources given to ministry to singles. This growing segment of the church must no longer feel as though they are outsiders. They must be as welcome as the most famous single person of all time—Jesus Himself.[14]


Fri, July 03, 2015
Concentrating on Things that Really Matter
In the Christian life also we find this pattern repeated: a few important things and a world of burdensome but unimportant ones. The Spirit-taught Christian must look past the multiplicity of incidental things and find the few that really matter. And let it be repeated for our encouragement, they are few in number and surprisingly easy to identify. The Scriptures make perfectly clear what they are: the fact of God, the Person and work of Christ, faith and obedience, hope and love. These along with a few more constitute the essence of the truth which we must know and love. Christ summed up the moral law as love to God and man. Salvation He made to rest upon faith in God and in the One whom He had sent. Paul simplified the wonders of the spiritual life in the words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The temptation to forget the few spiritual essentials and to go wandering off after unimportant things is very strong, especially to Christians of a certain curious type of mind. Such persons find the great majors of the faith of our fathers altogether too tame for them. Their souls loathe that light bread; their appetites crave the gamy tang of fresh-killed meat. They take great pride in their reputation as being mighty hunters before the Lord, and any time we look out we may see them returning from the chase with some new mystery hanging limply over their shoulder. Usually the game they bring down is something on which there is a biblical closed season. Some vague hint in the Scriptures, some obscure verse about which the translators disagree, some marginal note for which there is not much scholarly authority: these are their favorite meat. They are especially skillful at propounding notions which have never been a part of the Christian heritage of truth. Their enthusiasm mounts with the uncertainty of their position, and their dogmatism grows firmer in proportion to the mystery which surrounds their subject.

Verse
always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
2 Timothy 3:7

Thought
Seizing upon minor issues and becoming engrossed in details can be an excuse for failure to live the unmistakable truth.

Prayer
O God, You are the Light. The closer I come to You the more clearly the dark holes of my heart are exposed. Shine on me and burn away the dross. For Christ’s sake.

A. W. Tozer


July 3 – Discerning False Prophets: The Character Test

“‘You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit’” (Matthew 7:16–17).

One’s basic character—attitudes, inner motives, loyalties, standards—eventually manifests itself in his or her life. Christians produce good fruit in their attitudes and actions. But unbelievers, especially false prophets, will eventually manifest bad fruit.

False teachers can hide their true fruit for a time behind ecclesiastical trappings, evangelical vocabulary, and false fellowship. But how they behave when not around Christians will soon enough reveal their true loyalties and convictions. Unless they exhibit “moral excellence . . . knowledge . . . self-control . . . perseverance . . . godliness” and so forth (see 2 Peter 1:5–8), we can be sure God has not sent them and they do not belong to Jesus Christ. Another crucial indicator of character that we can look for, as summarized by Christ Himself, is this: “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but Hhe who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (John 7:18).

The teacher who emulates Christ and wants to glorify Him is a genuine servant of the Lord. But the false one, no matter how clever, can’t hide for long his corrupt character—and the discerning believer will recognize this. As John Calvin wrote, “Nothing is more difficult to counterfeit than virtue.”

Ask Yourself

How does this teaching coexist with the “judge not” command from earlier in Jesus’ sermon? What happens when character judgments are treated as taboo by the people of God? How have you witnessed this occurring?

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:

2 Chronicles 1:1–2:18
Psalm 79:1-4
Proverbs 20:8-9
Acts 11:1-30
Notes:

2 Chronicles 1:17 six hundred shekels. Assuming a shekel weighs .4 ounces, this represents 15 pounds of silver for one chariot. one hundred and fifty. Assuming the weight is in shekels, this would be about 3.75 pounds of silver. Deuteronomy 17:16 warned against the king’s amassing horses.

2 Chronicles 2:1 temple for the name of the LORD. God’s covenant name, Yahweh or Jehovah (Ex. 3:14), is in mind. David wanted to do this, but was not allowed to do any more than plan and prepare (1 Chr. 23–26; 28:11–13), purchase the land (2 Sam. 24:18–25; 1 Chr. 22), and gather the materials (1 Chr. 22:14–16).

Psalm 79:1–13 The historical basis for this lament psalm was probably Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of the temple in 586 B.C. (Ps. 74; 2 Kin. 25:8–21; Lam. 1–5). The psalm contains prayer for the nation’s spiritual needs, curses against the enemies of God’s people, and praises in anticipation of God’s actions. The psalm helps the believer express his anguish in a disaster when it seems as though God is aloof.

Psalm 79:1 nations. In this context, the word refers to heathen, pagan people. inheritance. The inheritance of God was national Israel, and specifically its capital city, Jerusalem, where the temple was located.

Acts 11:3 ate with them! The Jewish believers were outraged over such a blatant breach of Jewish custom. It was difficult for them to conceive that Jesus could be equally Lord of Gentile believers.

Acts 11:18 God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life. One of the most shocking admissions in Jewish history, but an event that the Old Testament had prophesied (Is. 42:1, 6; 49:6; Acts 2:38).

Acts 11:27 prophets. Preachers of the New Testament (1 Cor. 14:32; Eph. 2:20).

Acts 11:28 Agabus. One of the Jerusalem prophets who years later played an important part in Paul’s ministry (21:10, 11). a great famine. Several ancient writers (Tacitus [Annals XI.43], Josephus [Antiquities XX.ii.5], and Suetonius [Claudius 18]) affirm the occurrence of great famines in Israel ca. A.D. 45–46. all the world. The famine reached beyond the region of Palestine. Claudius Caesar. Emperor of Rome (A.D. 41–54).

DAY 3: How does the baptism with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13) relate to the Spirit’s activities in the Book of Acts?

Acts describes a number of occasions in which the Holy Spirit “fell on” or “filled” or “came upon” people (2:4; 10:44; 19:6). Here in Acts 11:16, 17, Peter recounts how the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles just as it had the early Jewish disciples. Peter identifies these actions by God as a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28–32).

Viewed from the perspective of the entire New Testament, these experiences were neither the same nor replacements for what John the Baptist (Mark 1:8) and Paul described as the baptism with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). The baptism with the Spirit is the one-time act by which God places believers into His body. The filling is a repeated reality of Spirit-controlled behavior that God commands believers to maintain (Eph. 5:18). Peter and others who experienced the special filling on Pentecost Day (2:4) were filled with the Spirit again and again (4:8, 31; 6:5; 7:55) and so boldly spoke the word of God. That was just the beginning. The fullness of the Spirit affects all areas of life, not just speaking boldly (Eph. 5:18–33).

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.


CONFESSION: Consider your Evil Sins in Light of the Mercies and Warnings of God

8.3

The more mercies we have received from God, the greater has been our sin.

You have reared and brought us up as children, but we have rebelled against you. Isaiah 1:2(ESV)

We have ill repaid you, O LORD, as foolish and senseless people: You are our Father who created us, who made us and established us, yet our mark has not been the mark of your children. Deuteronomy 32:5-6(KJV)

We have not made return according to the benefit done to us. 2 Chronicles 32:25(ESV)

8.4

The fairer warning we have had from the word of God and from our own consciences concerning our danger of sin and danger by sin, the greater is the sin if we go on in it.

We have been often reproved, and yet have stiffened our neck, Proverbs 29:1(ESV) and have gone on backsliding in the way of our own heart. Isaiah 57:17(ESV)

You have sent to us, saying, “Oh, do not do this abomination that I hate!” But we have not listened or inclined our ear. Jeremiah 44:4-5(ESV)

The word of God has been to us precept upon precept and line upon line; Isaiah 28:13(ESV) and though we have looked intently at our natural faces in a mirror, yet we have gone away and at once forgotten what we were like. James 1:23-24(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method For Prayer


Day 3

Adoration

The Lord Most High is awesome,

The great King over all the earth!

God is the King of all the earth,

And I will sing His praise.

God reigns over the nations;

God is seated on His holy throne. (Psalm 47:2, 7–8)

You must be treated as holy by those who come near You, and before all people, You will be honored. (Leviticus 10:3)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

Lord, I have heard of Your fame, and I stand in awe of Your deeds.

O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years,

In our time make them known;

In wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2)

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 not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all my heart. May I not turn aside to go after worthless things which do not profit or deliver, because they are useless. (1 Samuel 12:20–21)

The works of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envyings, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:19–23)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

When I ask, it will be given to me; when I seek, I will find; when I knock, the door will be opened to me. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7–8; Luke 11:9–10)

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

For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you in my prayers. (Romans 1:9)

Believers

Personal friends

Those in ministry

Those who are oppressed and in need

Special concerns

Affirmation

The Lord is a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Him, but showing lovingkindness to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. (Exodus 20:5–6; Deuteronomy 5:9–10)

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change his mind. Has He spoken and not done it? Has He promised and not fulfilled it? (Numbers 23:19)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

I will remember the works of the Lord;

Surely, I will remember Your wonders of long ago.

I will meditate on all Your works

And consider all Your mighty deeds.

Your way, O God, is holy.

What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who works wonders;

You have revealed Your strength among the peoples.

You redeemed Your people with Your power,

The descendants of Jacob and Joseph. (Psalm 77:11–15)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

O come, let us sing to the Lord;

Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;

Let us shout for joy to Him with psalms. (Psalm 95:1–2)

O sing to the Lord a new song;

Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, bless His name;

Proclaim the good news of His salvation day after day.

Declare His glory among the nations,

His marvelous works among all people. (Psalm 96:1–3)[15]


July 3

Jesus.… being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did

John 4:6, 8, 39

The bits of wayside work are very sweet. Perhaps the odd bits, when all is done, will really come to more than the seemingly greater pieces!… It is nice to know that the King’s servants are always really on duty, even while some can only stand and wait.

Frances Ridley Havergal[16]


July 3

COULD faith believe in a Being more answerable to all our needs, more helpful to our noblest longings? Allied to Jesus, we confidently aspire to such likeness to our Creator as it is possible for a creature to bear. Nor is the advantage less in the other direction, for here is a Man, bound to us by relationship and affection the most intense, who is not only tender to the last degree of our suffering nature, but is also as wise as he is brotherly, and as mighty to subdue our faults as he is gentle to bear with our frailties. His Manhood brings Jesus down to us, but united with the divine nature it lifts us up to God. The Lord Jesus thus not only ministers to our comfort, but to our betterment, the greater concern.[17]


Morning, July 3 

 

“The ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven wellfavoured and fat kine.”

— Genesis 41:4

 

Pharaoh’s dream has too often been my waking experience. My days of sloth have ruinously destroyed all that I had achieved in times of zealous industry; my seasons of coldness have frozen all the genial glow of my periods of fervency and enthusiasm; and my fits of worldliness have thrown me back from my advances in the divine life. I had need to beware of lean prayers, lean praises, lean duties, and lean experiences, for these will eat up the fat of my comfort and peace. If I neglect prayer for never so short a time, I lose all the spirituality to which I had attained; if I draw no fresh supplies from heaven, the old corn in my granary is soon consumed by the famine which rages in my soul. When the caterpillars of indifference, the cankerworms of worldliness, and the palmerworms of self-indulgence, lay my heart completely desolate, and make my soul to languish, all my former fruitfulness and growth in grace avails me nothing whatever. How anxious should I be to have no lean-fleshed days, no ill-favoured hours! If every day I journeyed towards the goal of my desires I should soon reach it, but backsliding leaves me still far off from the prize of my high calling, and robs me of the advances which I had so laboriously made. The only way in which all my days can be as the “fat kine,” is to feed them in the right meadow, to spend them with the Lord, in His service, in His company, in His fear, and in His way. Why should not every year be richer than the past, in love, and usefulness, and joy?—I am nearer the celestial hills, I have had more experience of my Lord, and should be more like Him. O Lord, keep far from me the curse of leanness of soul; let me not have to cry, “My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me!” but may I be well-fed and nourished in thy house, that I may praise thy name.

 

Evening, July 3

 

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.”

— 2 Timothy 2:12

 

We must not imagine that we are suffering for Christ, and with Christ, if we are not in Christ. Beloved friend, are you trusting to Jesus only? If not, whatever you may have to mourn over on earth, you are not “suffering with Christ,” and have no hope of reigning with him in heaven. Neither are we to conclude that all a Christian’s sufferings are sufferings with Christ, for it is essential that he be called by God to suffer. If we are rash and imprudent, and run into positions for which neither providence nor grace has fitted us, we ought to question whether we are not rather sinning than communing with Jesus. If we let passion take the place of judgment, and self-will reign instead of Scriptural authority, we shall fight the Lord’s battles with the devil’s weapons, and if we cut our own fingers we must not be surprised. Again, in troubles which come upon us as the result of sin, we must not dream that we are suffering with Christ. When Miriam spoke evil of Moses, and the leprosy polluted her, she was not suffering for God. Moreover, suffering which God accepts must have God’s glory as its end. If I suffer that I may earn a name, or win applause, I shall get no other reward than that of the Pharisee. It is requisite also that love to Jesus, and love to his elect, be ever the mainspring of all our patience. We must manifest the Spirit of Christ in meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness. Let us search and see if we truly suffer with Jesus. And if we do thus suffer, what is our “light affliction” compared with reigning with him? Oh it is so blessed to be in the furnace with Christ, and such an honour to stand in the pillory with him, that if there were no future reward, we might count ourselves happy in present honour; but when the recompense is so eternal, so infinitely more than we had any right to expect, shall we not take up the cross with alacrity, and go on our way rejoicing? [18]


 

Unquestioning Acquiescence

 

July 3

 

I trust I have learned a lasting lesson in regard to permitting myself to dwell and brood over my troubles and grievances. I am sure for me it is wicked and would end always in utter misery to myself and others. While if I number my blessings and the good things in those around, I find myself happy and able to make others happy.

The dear Lord knew the secret of our needs when He told us to forget the things that are behind and to take no thought for tomorrow! The present moment is always bearable. Having laid all my cares, therefore, onto the Lord afresh, I am at peace and can rest in His will in happy submission. I am not called upon to glorify Him by any especially fervent or delightful emotions as some of you are. My mission is to glorify the Lord by the steadfastness of my faith in the midst of a storm of doubts and reasonings and by my unquestioning acquiescence in His will in circumstances of peculiar trial.

The one continual cry of my soul is “Lord I believe” and “Thy will be done.” Beyond this I cannot go. It would be very nice to be emotional and to have the wonderful outpourings that you have, but I have to be content without them; and, after all, there is an evenness about a life of faith that has its compensations.

—To Robert, August 16, 1873[19]


July 3rd

The concentration of personal sin

Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips. Isaiah 6:5.

When I get into the presence of God, I do not realize that I am a sinner in an indefinite sense; I realize the concentration of sin in a particular feature of my life. A man will say easily—‘Oh yes, I know I am a sinner,’ but when he gets into the presence of God he cannot get off with that statement. The conviction is concentrated on—‘I am this, or that, or the other.’ This is always the sign that a man or woman is in the presence of God. There is never any vague sense of sin, but the concentration of sin in some personal particular. God begins by convicting us of one thing fixed on in the mind that is prompted by His Spirit; if we will yield to His conviction on that point, He will lead us down to the great disposition of sin underneath. That is the way God always deals with us when we are consciously in His presence.

This experience of the concentration of sin is true in the greatest and the least of saints as well as in the greatest and the least of sinners. When a man is on the first rung of the ladder of experience, he may say—‘I do not know where I have gone wrong, but the Spirit of God will point out some particular definite thing.’ The effect of the vision of the holiness of the Lord on Isaiah was to bring home to him that he was a man of unclean lips. “And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” The cleansing fire had to be applied where the sin had been concentrated.[20]


July 3

Joshua 5; Psalms 132–134; Isaiah 65; Matthew 13

Isaiah has prayed, “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down” (64:1). Now (Isa. 65) God replies with two complementary perspectives.

First, God says that he is not as distant as Isaiah thinks. Throughout Israel’s troubled history God revealed himself to the people again and again (65:1). He kept disclosing himself, through a long stream of prophets, to people who did not ask for him, to those who did not seek him, to a nation that did not call on his name. He was busy saying, “Here am I, here am I” (65:1)—but they proved to be an obstinate people, walking “in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations” (65:2). Doubtless Isaiah wants God to come near, but by their persistent rebellion in every domain the people are saying, in effect, “Keep away; don’t come near me, for I am too sacred for you!” (65:5). This habit of thinking oneself better than God is prevalent today. We are so interested in “spirituality” and so committed to exonerating ourselves on every side that we cannot possibly allow ourselves to submit to what God says. We judge what he says to be unreasonable; we are wiser and better than God, more sacred than he. That is what stands behind his judgment (65:6–7).

Second, notwithstanding the threat of judgment, God holds out a vastly different prospect for the chosen remnant who seek his face in contrition and faith. What he promises them is far more than a somewhat more secure empirical Zion. He holds out to them nothing less than a “new heavens and a new earth” (65:17). That is what “Jerusalem” ultimately means (65:18–19); as in Revelation 21, Jerusalem is not so much a center in the new heavens and the new earth as another way of conceptualizing the same reality. The vision is spectacular (65:17–25), akin to what was foreseen earlier (2:2–5; 11:1–16). But it is not for everyone without exception. As clearly as any in the book, this chapter distinguishes between, on the one hand, God’s chosen ones (65:22), the people blessed by the Lord (65:23), those who seek him (65:10), his servants (65:9), and, on the other hand, those described in the first seven verses, who amuse themselves with notions of magic, playing their games of Fortune and Destiny (65:11). The bottom line is that when God called they did not answer, when he spoke they did not listen. “You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me” (65:12). Nowhere is the distinction clearer than in 65:13–16. “My servants,” God says, will experience unimaginably fine blessings, but the “you” whom he addresses will face utter abandonment and reprobation.[21]


July 3

Joshua 5; Psalms 132–134; Isaiah 65; Matthew 13

Three elements are striking in Joshua 5.

(1) Circumcision is now carried out on all the males that were born during the years of wilderness wandering. At one level, this is rather surprising: How come they weren’t done as the boys were born? In many instances the multitude stayed in one place for long periods of time, doubtless developing community life. What prevented them from obeying this unambiguous covenantal stipulation?

There have been many guesses, but the short answer is that we do not know. More important, in this context, is the fact that the rite is carried out now universally. It thereby stands as a decisive turning point, a symbol-laden community-wide affirmation of the covenant as the people stand on the verge of entering the Promised Land. Egypt is now behind; the promised rest awaits. “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you” (5:9).

(2) The manna stops (5:10–12). From now on the people will draw their nourishment from “the produce of Canaan.” This, too, was a dramatic signal that the days of wandering were over, and the fulfillment of the promise for a new land was beginning to unfold before their eyes. The change must have been both frightening and exciting, especially to an entire generation that had never known life without the security of manna.

(3) In the opening chapters of this book, Joshua experiences a number of things that mark him out, both in his own mind and in the mind of the people, as the legitimate successor to Moses. This chapter ends with one such marker. Doubtless the most dramatic one before this chapter has been the crossing of the Jordan River—a kind of miraculous reenactment of the crossing of the Red Sea (Josh. 3–4). Quite apart from providing an efficient way to move the multitudes across the river, the personal dimension is made explicit: “That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses” (4:14—though the last clause must be judged just a little tongue in cheek).

But now, there is another step: Joshua encounters a “man” who appears to be some sort of angelic apparition. He is a warrior, a “commander of the army of the Lord” (5:14). On the one hand, this serves to strengthen Joshua’s faith that the Lord himself is going before him in the military contests that lie ahead. But more: the scene is in some respects reminiscent of Moses at the burning bush (Ex. 3:5): “The place where you are standing is holy ground.” However unique these circumstances, we too must have leaders accustomed to standing in the presence of holiness.[22]


July 3.—Morning. [Or January 2.] “O Lord, I will praise thee.”

IN the days of Jotham, as in the reign of Uzziah, the great prophet Isaiah was pouring forth his eloquent utterances. He is the great gospel seer, who spake more of Jesus Christ than all the rest. We will now read three of his prophecies, which he gave forth in the form of songs. The first song describes Israel under the figure of a vineyard, and was, from its form and beauty, well fitted to win the attention of the people.

Isaiah 5:1–7

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.

What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

How much is our condition like that of Israel and Judah! What more could God have done for us? We have the Bible and the ministry of the gospel: as a family we are a garden walled around, and our country is the fruitful field of true religion. What fruit are we yielding? If we are barren, what must we expect? Judgment is always in proportion to privilege misused. May grace be upon us all, that we may bear much fruit unto the Lord our God.

SPEAKING of the coming of the Lord Jesus, the prophet says:—

Isaiah 12

1, 2 And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. (What a sweet gospel song. None can sing it but those whose sins have been washed away in the blood of Jesus, and to them it is a rapturous hymn. They are no longer afraid to believe the promises, and to go to the Lord for blessings: the wells are free to the citizens of Zion, and they draw water exultingly.)

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. (It is the delight of saved souls to magnify the Lord; they cannot contain their joy, they shout as those who divide the spoil.)

WHEN God has rebuked his people’s enemies, another song shall be on their lips.

Isaiah 26:1–4

In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.

Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

Happy are those who are protected and kept in peace by their Omnipotent God. Is there one in our house who does not trust in the Lord? Let us pray that all our minds may be stayed on God.

July 3.—Evening. [Or January 3.] “All we like sheep have gone astray.”

2 Kings 16:1–4

IN the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, (king of Israel,) Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.

He was the bad son of a good father, and under him the kingdom of Judah relapsed into the sad state out of which Jotham had raised it.

2, 3 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not right in the sight of the Lord his God, like David his father. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel.

And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. (He was not satisfied with the ordinary idolatries, but sought out the vilest forms of superstition, and practised the unnatural and cruel rites peculiar to the demon Moloch. Old historians assert that the image of Moloch was of brass, and when heated red-hot, children were placed in its arms to be consumed. What shame that the ruler of the chosen people should be guilty of so terrible a crime as to expose his own son to such a death! We may well blush for human nature: an old divine once quaintly said that it was half beast and half devil, and he was very near the mark.)

IN such times as those of Ahaz the word of the Lord, as contained in the first chapter of Isaiah, was greatly needed.

Isaiah 1:2–9

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. (It is not the heathen nor strangers that the Lord here upbraids, but his own highly-favoured people, his lovingly-nurtured children, in whom sin was doubly sinful.)

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. (Men are more brutish than the beasts. They receive all at the Lord’s hands, and then utterly forget him. Alas, Lord God, that thou shouldst thus be treated!)

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

5, 6 ¶ Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. (During the reign of Ahaz the troubles of the people were extreme, as we shall see in succeeding readings, but they were none the better for being afflicted. The nation was like a man who had been beaten till there remained no place for another stripe; yet still they loved their idols and their sins.)

7, 8 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

Jerusalem stood alone, and in great dilapidation, like the temporary hut which the keepers of a vineyard put up hurriedly to shield them from the sun. Their palace city was like a hovel, and where once cities clustered in every vale and hung on every hillside, all was desolation.

Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. (So wicked were they, that, but for the faithful few, God would have cursed the land as he did the cities of the plain. Oh, wretched plight of a favoured people. The Lord save our country from the same backsliding!)

Oh, shall I never feel

The meltings of thy love?

Am I of such hell-harden’d steel

That mercy cannot move?

Chasten’d full sore I am,

And bruised in every part,

But judgments fail to break me down

And subjugate my heart.

Look on me, Lord of love!

O turn thy gracious eyes!

Then all my soul to penitence

Shall melt with sweet surprise.[23]

 


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 202). 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. 197). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 200). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 194). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 204). 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. 194). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 194). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 194). 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. 202). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 194). 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. 188). 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. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 392–393). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Posted in Daily Devotional Guide | 3 Comments

July 2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

IMG_2317


Jul. 2, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Security was stepped at U.S. government buildings in the nation’s capital on Thursday after the Washington Navy Yard was shut down while authorities investigated initial reports of an active shooter. There was no confirmation from the Navy or law enforcement authorities of a shooting, a suspect or any injuries.

Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana conceded their court fights to uphold state laws banning same-sex marriage after last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing it in all 50 states. The states asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans to rule in favor of gay and lesbian couples suing the states. The court issued its rulings in favor of the couples on Wednesday.

BP will pay a record $18.7 billion to resolve claims by the U.S. and five states along the Gulf of Mexico related to the 2010 oil spill. The payments will be spaced out over as long as 18 years. A record $5.5 billion will cover federal penalties under the Clean Water Act, topping the previous high of $1 billion. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas will also receive payouts for harm done in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

The U.S. labor market took one step forward and one back in June as job creation advanced while wages stagnated and the size of the labor force receded.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell below the 4,000 level for the first time since April, as margin traders continued to unwind positions amid doubts over the effectiveness of government measures to support equities.

Apartment rents in the U.S., already at record highs, have yet to cool down. Effective rents, the amount tenants pay after concessions from landlords, climbed 1 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months to an average of $1,144.

The share of U.S. home purchases made with cash has fallen to a five-year low as investors pull back from a property market that’s rebounding without them. Fewer than 25 percent of single-family home and condominium purchases were all-cash transactions in May, the lowest level since November 2009 and down from a peak of more than 42 percent in February 2011

AP Top Stories

A robot has killed a contractor at one of Volkswagen’s production plants in Germany. The 22-year-old was part of a team that was setting up the stationary robot when it grabbed and crushed him against a metal plate.

America’s new military strategy singles out states like China and Russia as aggressive and threatening to US security interests, while warning of growing technological challenges and worsening global stability.

A seventh shark attack has been reported in North Carolina when a man swimming in Outer Banks’ Ocracoke Island was bitten on Wednesday.

With speculation swirling that Greece might be forced out of the euro and have to print its own money after a weekend referendum, its finance minister on Thursday said the country no longer had the presses to make drachmas. “We don’t have the capacity.”

Egypt’s army said more than 100 militants and 17 soldiers were killed after simultaneous assaults on military checkpoints in North Sinai, in the deadliest fighting in years in the restive province.

North Korea has opened a sleek new airport terminal, hailing it as a showcase of leader Kim Jong-Un’s achievement after its construction had to be stopped halfway and redone at his whim.

The U.S. military is reportedly developing a hypersonic jet plane that could soar at up to five times the speed of sound – faster than a bullet, which generally travels at Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound.

The Supreme Court’s decision last week did make gay marriage legal around the nation. Unfortunately for social conservatives, it did not, however, make nullification legal around the nation. Nullification is the historical idea that states can ignore federal laws, or pass laws that supersede them. This concept has a long but not especially honorable pedigree in U.S. history. Its origins date back to antebellum America, where Southern states tried to nullify tariffs and Northern states tried to nullify fugitive-slave laws.

Up to 11,000 Australian dental patients were urged to see their doctors Thursday over fears they may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis due to hygiene breaches at clinics in Sydney. New South Wales Health advised patients to get blood tests for HIV as well as Hepatitis A, B and C as a precaution.

Confederate flags will continue flying at Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta because Georgia law prevents their removal, the head of a state authority that oversees the park said Wednesday.

New orders for U.S. factory goods fell 1.0 percent, more than expected in May, on weak demand for transportation and electrical equipment, a sign that manufacturing remained mired in a soft patch.

BBC

More than 5,000 residents of Maryville, Tennessee have been evacuated after a freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed and caught fire.

Egypt has vowed to rid its Sinai Peninsula of militants after major clashes with Islamic State fighters there killed more than 100 people.

WND

A married Montana man has taken his wife and his girlfriend to the Yellowstone County Courthouse and told the clerk: Marry us – if the Supreme Court OK’d “gay” unions, then we should be allowed to join together in holy polygamy.

The Defense Department is the latest in a list of federal entities warning America to be on high alert this Fourth of July – terrorists could very well take advantage. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI just issued similar warnings.

U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed 46.1 million Americans were receiving food stamps as of March 2015, the latest month for which statistics were available. One in five American families were receiving food stamps as compared to the 1970s, when about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.


Top News – 7/2/2015

Ebola Returns to Liberia
Less than two months after Liberia was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization, the virus is back in the country. Over the weekend, a 17-year-old boy died in a small town outside the Liberian capital of Monrovia, The New York Times reports. His family had the burial team swab his body to test for the virus. The tests came back positive, as did a blood test taken by an Ebola response team on Tuesday. According to The Times, a clinic initially diagnosed the boy with malaria, which has similar symptoms to the early stages of Ebola.

Crater expands, ejection of more smoke and ashes reported Panic continues to grip Wahong village
On July 5, a team of Manipur University’s Earth Sciences Department led by Dr S Manichandra will visit the site. They will bring necessary equipment to study the matter.

Turkey ‘planning to invade Syria’
Turkey has sent shock waves through the Middle East by preparing plans to send troops into Syria for the first time, turning the civil war into an international conflict on Europe’s borders.

All-Out War South of Israeli-Sinai Border
The northern Sinai Peninsula south of the border with Israel is engulfed in an all-out war. Egyptian F-16 warplanes attacked Islamic State (ISIS) and other jihadists’ positions for several hours Wednesday afternoon and killed more than 90 jihadists following massive ISIS attacks. Most of the 70 Egyptian casualties were soldiers and policemen, and the death toll is not final.

Congress Demands Obama Step Back From Iran Nuclear Deal
Leading members of Congress are pressing US President Barack Obama to abandon his attempts to force through a nuclear deal with Iran, after the deadline for talks was extended on Tuesday to July 7 in a last gasp week-long reprieve.

Analysis: Egypt is losing its war against ISIS in Sinai
Wednesday’s terror attack was the largest ever carried out by the Sinai Province, Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate, since it began its fight against the government in Cairo some four years ago.

Eruption Update: Quake Swarms Hit Iceland, Japan Rumbles
Steam rises from a slope near the hot springs resort of Hakone, Kanagawa prefecture on June 30, 2015. Meanwhile, after a few months of volcanic quiet in the island nation, a new earthquake swarm has started off Iceland’s southwestern coast.

5.8-magnitude earthquake strikes off Solomon Islands
A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands early Thursday, US geologists said, but there were no initial reports of damage and no tsunami warnings were issued. The quake hit at a depth of 8.9 kilometres (5.6 miles), 92 kilometres from Kirakira and 334 kilometres from the capital Honiara.

Unprecedented wave of shark attacks causes terror in North Carolina
A seventh person in North Carolina has been bitten by sharks in what is becoming an unprecedented wave of attacks on tourist beaches. The 68-year-old man was flown to hospital after being bitten on his hands and leg as he swam off the shore of Ocracoke Island.

US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State
The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, The Telegraph has learnt. Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.

World’s Jewish Population Approaching Pre-Holocaust Numbers
The world’s Jewish population has almost rebounded to pre-Holocaust numbers, according to a new report. The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) estimates there are currently 14.2 million Jewish people in the world today. That estimate approaches 16.2 million, the number of Jewish people in the world before World War II, when Nazis and their collaborators killed 6.1 million Jews.

Ebola crisis: Liberia’s new outbreak spreads
Two more cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Liberia following the death of a teenager from the virus on Sunday, officials say. The country had been declared Ebola-free more than seven weeks ago. Both of the new cases were in Nedowein, the same village where the boy died, the ministry of information says.

Egypt: Sinai operations will last ‘until IS removed’
Egypt has vowed to rid its Sinai Peninsula of militants after major clashes with Islamic State fighters there killed more than 100 people. Operations will not stop until the area is cleared of all “terrorist concentrations”, the army said. Air strikes continued into the early hours of Thursday.

The Latest: Muslim Brotherhood calls for Egypt ‘rebellion’
The Muslim Brotherhood says its leaders killed in a Cairo apartment were murdered in “in cold blood,” calling for a rebellion against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who it calls a “butcher.”

Oppose Gay Marriage, But Avoid Two Big Mistakes
And just like the U.S. legalization of abortion in 1973, this newest decision has occurred in a Sabbath rest year, a year of spiritual significance that was designed by God for restoration and renewal – for setting things right – not a year to invent new forms of social rebellion against the Almighty. For me, the timing of Friday’s decision seems eerily like a divine setup for some kind of God-ordained response this Fall.

US warns of Russia, China military threat amid growing chaos
America’s new military strategy singles out states like China and Russia as aggressive and threatening to US security interests, while warning of growing technological challenges and worsening global stability.

Iran Repatriates 13 Tons of Gold Under Sanctions Relief
Iranian officials said Monday that the Islamic Republic’s Central Bank has successfully repatriated 13 tons of gold as part of a package of sanctions relief provided to Iran by U.S. and Western powers.

ECB will not increase liquidity lifeline to Greek banks: source
The European Central Bank’s governing council on Wednesday decided not to increase the liquidity lifeline to cash-strapped Greek banks, a Greek banking source said.


Top Headlines – 7/2/2015

Terror in the Sinai: Ongoing battles, police under siege, at least 100 dead

Bodies of dead militants shown on Egyptian TV after terrorist attack

Egyptian Military: We won’t stop until Sinai is clear of terror

The Latest: Muslim Brotherhood calls for Egypt ‘rebellion’

ISIS in Sinai is a serious threat to Israel

Hamas has close ties to IS affiliates in Sinai, say Israel, Egypt

Israel closes crossings with Egypt, Gaza, following ISIS Sinai terror attacks

Netanyahu: We are partners with Egypt in the fight against ISIS that has reached our borders

Report: IDF to okay bolstered Egyptian forces in Sinai after deadly attacks

Bayit Yehudi threatens coalition crisis over terror attack

Analysis: West Bank unrest may not be an intifada, but it poses a serious threat nonetheless

Israelis protest against deadly Palestinian attacks

Abbas outs top PLO official on suspicion of ‘conspiracy’ to undermine PA

Hamas, Hezbollah said to discuss Israel ceasefire

Jewish, Arab, Iranian Believers Prove Peace is Possible

Bennett to Netanyahu: Cancel Ramadan exemptions for Palestinians

Jewish Home Demands Construction in Response to Terror

Opposition joins Netanyahu in lobbying against anti-Israel resolution in UNHRC

Op-Ed: The Vatican Wants the Temple Mount Taken From the Jews

UNESCO Head Warns Against ‘Culture Cleansing’ of Jihadists

US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State

Stop calling terror group ‘Islamic State': Cameron tells media it gives undue credibility to the “poisonous death cult”

74 children executed by ISIS for ‘crimes’ that include refusal to fast, report says

Child labor on the rise among Syrian children as crisis spirals

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after IS bombing

Free Syrian Army: Our struggle is increasingly against Iran

Netanyahu: For Iran’s mullahs ‘Israel is the small Satan and American is the great Satan’

IAEA says Iran uranium stockpile reduced, but questions remain

Iran deadlines swept aside as negotiators settle on moment of truth

Congressional pressure building on Obama as Iran talks drag out

US prepares for ‘staggeringly consequential’ Iran deal

Iran Threatens to Go Nuclear If Talks Fail

Iran Repatriates 13 Tons of Gold Under Sanctions Relief

Iraq, North Korea failures shadow nuclear talks with Iran

US warns of Russia, China military threat amid growing chaos

Two Jews tortured by Ukraine rebels land in Israel

Idaho refugee center targeted by closure campaign over extremism fears

U.S., Cuba restoring diplomatic ties after 54 years

Not so fast? Lawmakers poised to fight Obama on Cuba ambassador pick, embargo

Cruz bashes Obama on Cuba embassy opening; calls it ‘a slap in the face’ to Israel

Survey says: 35 percent of Americans would expatriate

Puerto Rico power company forced to sell bonds amid crisis

Greece’s Tsipras defiant as banks shut, markets rocked by bailout referendum

Tsipras offers conditional okay to bailout, creditors skeptical

ECB will not increase liquidity lifeline to Greek banks: source

Moody’s cuts Greece’s ratings after default, following Fitch and S&P

Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves

Carney: UK stability outlook has ‘worsened’ in light of Greece

What If Gold Is Declared Illegal?

China’s role highlighted at global Internet governance meeting

China Approves Sweeping Security Law, Bolstering Communist Rule

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Macquarie Island, Australia

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Muzaffarabad, Pakistan

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Scotia Sea

Earthquake swarm continues on Reykjanes ridge, small chance of eruption

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

D.C. endures worst storm since Derecho 2012 – here’s how it happened

California cities show biggest water use reduction yet in drought

California Communities Ban July Fourth Fireworks Amid Historic Drought

London weather: Highest UK July temperature EVER recorded at Heathrow as capital swelters

Shark Attack: Man Airlifted to Hospital After 7th Reported Incident in North Carolina

Is Global Warming Causing More Shark Attacks?

1 dead after Ebola reappears in Liberia

More than 100 had contact with Liberian teen who contracted Ebola

Starting Wednesday, ObamaCare will punish businesses who help employees with health care

Jim Carrey Brands California Governor ‘Fascist’ Over Vaccine Law

New Zealand: Free contraception suggested for pre-teens

Bill Gates Foundation working on “Birth Control Chip”

Disney Castle Lit up with Gay Pride Rainbow; Social Media Erupts

Kids’ TV needs more gay characters, says Norman Lamb

County Clerk Resigns Instead of Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses

Man Applies for Marriage License to Have Two Wives

US Episcopalians vote to let gay couples wed in churches

Mozambique decriminalises gay and lesbian relationships

Officials: Students’ gender identity determines restroom use

TV Land Pulls ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Episodes Amid Confederate Flag Uproar

A Church of Cannabis Tests Limits of Religious Law in Indiana

Smacking must be banned to bring UK into line with international law – report to UN insists

Political correctness 101: Praising America, virtues of hard work dubbed ‘micro-aggression’ on campuses

Caleb Flores – Four Things Jesus Didn’t Die For

Mormon Glenn Beck to headline July 4 Freedom Experience at Ed Youngs Mega-Church

Is Colombia’s Megachurch La Ministerial a profiteering cult?

Joel Osteen Avoids Political, Social Issues: ‘It’s Not What I’m Called to Do, I Lift People Up’

Episcopal leadership votes to allow gay marriages in churches

Montana polygamist family applies for marriage license


Government Trolls Are Using ‘Psychology-Based Influence Techniques’ On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter

Troll Warning - Photo by GilHave you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll?  Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things.  Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online.  If we do not stand up and object to this kind of Orwellian behavior, it is only going to get worse and worse. (Read More…)


Why The Puerto Rico Debt Crisis Is Such A Huge Threat To The U.S. Financial System

Puerto Rico Map On A Globe - Photo by TUBSThe debt crisis in Puerto Rico could potentially cost financial institutions in the United States tens of billions of dollars in losses.  This week, Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla publicly announced that Puerto Rico’s  73 billion dollar debt is “not payable,” and a special adviser that was recently appointed to help straighten out the island’s finances said that it is “insolvent” and will totally run out of cash very shortly.  At this point, Puerto Rico’s debt is approximately 15 times larger than the per capita median debt of the 50 U.S. states.  Yes, the Greek debt crisis is larger, as Greece currently owes about $350 billion to the rest of the planet.  But only about $14 billion of that total is owed to U.S. financial institutions.  But with Puerto Rico, things are very different.  Just about the entire 73 billion dollar debt is owed to U.S. financial institutions, and this could potentially cause massive problems for some extremely leveraged Wall Street firms. (Read More….)


Tom DeLay: DOJ wants to legalize bestiality, pedophilia

“We’ve already found a secret memo coming out of the Justice Department,” DeLay said. “They’re now going to go after 12 new perversions, things like bestiality, polygamy, having sex with little boys and making that legal. Not only that, but they have a whole list of strategies to go after the churches, the pastors, and any businesses that tries to assert their religious liberty. This is coming and it’s coming like a tidal wave.”

View Article


Episcopalians Vote to Allow Same-Sex Weddings in Churches

This will be the first of several denominations. We are in the “days of Noah.”

Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church’s embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the pioneering election of the first openly gay bishop.

View Article


America’s Destiny in the Balance

Over the past fifty years, as the foundation of the United States was being stealthily eroded, the vast majority of the American people slumbered content in unprecedented peace and prosperity. Regardless of who was in the White House or in control of Congress, no one has been able or willing, as by-product of this public apathy, to curtail the incessant spread of so-called Progressivism in the nation’s institutions as well as the exponential growth of government with its tentacles increasingly intertwined in the day-to-day lives of all Americans.

View Article


Daily Digest

July 2, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Every prudent and cautious judge … will remember, that his duty and his business is, not to make the law, but to interpret and apply it.” —James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

June’s Job Gains Are Good, but the Devil’s in the Details

The U.S. economy is like a car that won’t shift from second gear into third: It’s moving forward and that’s great, but we’re not on the road that brings 3% GDP growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its June jobs report this morning and the economy did generally what economists predicted it would do. The economy added 233,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3%. The U-6 measure of labor underutilization dropped to 10.5%. But here comes the frustrating part. The percentage of Americans who are working declined by 0.3% to 62.6%, the lowest since 1977. In fact, 432,000 Americans left the workforce — about twice the number that joined last month. Additionally, wages didn’t rise from last month’s $24.95 average hourly wage. After a couple months in which wages increased, another bump in pay would have indicated that the U.S. economy was healthy. The kinds of jobs added in June were encouraging, as there were increases in architectural and engineering services, health care and computer systems design. Interestingly, BLS reports that the gains in the financial sector increased mostly around insurance carriers. “Commercial banking employment declined by 6,000,” the report read. “Employment in financial activities has grown by 159,000 over the year, with insurance accounting for about half of the gain.” While Americans have been buying more insurance, coerced or otherwise, fewer of them have been frequenting their local bank. Could this be a small sign of the decline of the middle class?

Editor’s Note

Tomorrow we will begin to celebrate Independence Day so there will not be a regular Digest. We’ll be back on Monday. God bless the USA!

Leftmedia: Say, There Are Too Many Guns Out There

A new survey asserts that nearly a third of American adults own a gun. Who knew? Frankly, we wish that number were higher. But as it is, the study’s author and the Leftmedia couldn’t be more concerned. “Considering the presence of deeply rooted gun culture and the estimated number of guns in the U.S. to be 310 million, we (suspected) that social gun culture is associated with gun ownership,” said vexed lead author Bindu Kalesan of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. The researchers’ math depended on a 2013 online survey of 4,000 people from all 50 states and DC, so it’s hardly a conclusive measure. Undeterred, however, researchers and their accomplices in the press insist that more guns lead to more accidents, injuries and homicides. Lefty journalist Ed Kilgore, for one, is downright petrified, and he identifies the problem: conservatives. “[T]here is something fundamentally disquieting about the fact that the Americans most likely to own guns are also the Americans most likely to embrace a political rationale for gun ownership and most likely to believe they’re getting outvoted by people who don’t share their values,” he frets. “Somewhere in these overlapping circles is a hard core of dangerous folks who are being told constantly by Republican politicians that they are losing or have already lost their most fundamental rights. And this is why political extremism is a bad thing even if its devotees lose most elections.” That dreaded “gun culture” may concern leftists, but we prefer to call it Liberty.

Chick-fil-A Keeps Doing It Right

It’s interesting that just days after the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage is a heretofore undiscovered constitutional right Chick-fil-A came out on top in a customer service satisfaction survey. In fact, the Atlanta-based fast-food chain registered the highest score in the history of the survey. What does same-sex marriage have to do with fried chicken? Recall that, in 2012, the company became the Rainbow Mafia’s number one target after Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy voiced his support for biblical marriage. Leftists tried to organize a boycott, but it fell flat as a conservative counter-boycott gave franchises their longest lines ever as people flocked to grab a tasty sandwich on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. The lesson: Stand by solid principles and make a great product, and people will come. They’ll like it, too.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Independence Day and the Future of Liberty, a tribute to our Patriot Founders and the Liberty they, and generations since, have fought to sustain.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Hillary’s Email Troubles Reach Beyond Benghazi

By Dan Gilmore

2015-07-02-bcb2c5e8_large.jpg

The Left sees the issue of Hillary Clinton’s emails as a liability for the Right. If Republicans aren’t careful, that may prove true.

In March, Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted, “The email trap: If the Rs make HRC email an obsessive fixation, to the exclusion of larger concerns of people, they will pay a price. Again.”

Thanks, Axelrod. An enemy multiplies kisses. After all, there are concerns about the economy, ObamaCare, immigration and what to do with a Supreme Court bent on making this nation ruled by a five-vote majority of a nine-judge panel. But Hillary Clinton’s emails are the perfect profile of Machiavellian politics that she hopes lead to a Clinton White House 2.0.

On Tuesday, the State Department released 3,000 pages of Clinton’s email from her time as secretary of state. This release is simultaneously huge and insignificant. Finally, after years of failed requests via the Freedom of Information Act, journalists and the public can start reading the email exchange showing Clinton telling retired four-star general John Podesta to “please wear socks to bed to keep your feet warm.”

It’s a massive document dump — 3,000 pages of Clinton scheduling meetings, replying to intelligence reports or firing off curt replies. Yet, it’s only a fraction of the 55,0000 pages of emails the State Department will release over the next few months. And it only happened because a federal judge ordered it after VICE News sued.

When the State Department finishes, it will be January 2016 and well into presidential primary season — long enough to cause Hillary some heartburn, but also long enough to cause the public to tune out.

Unfortunately, Clinton’s lawyers got to the emails first. Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy, notes the emails were “heavily curated,” and so there’s a slim-to-none chance there will be “anything surprising or unexpected, let alone compromising.”

Yet these pages reveal yet again Hillary’s secrecy, dishonesty and incompetence. Here are three examples:

  1. Sidney Blumenthal was more involved in her leadership than she previously disclosed. “Are you still awake?” Clinton wrote to Blumenthal in October 2009. “I will call if you are.” This email alone blows away Clinton’s claim that Blumenthal sent her only unsolicited and un-vetted intelligence reports about Libya. While not serving in any official capacity, Blumenthal was an influential figure in Clinton’s State Department. Blumenthal advised Clinton to stay mum on the issue of torture and he was an intermediary between Clinton and the Northern Ireland peace process. His involvement with Clinton’s leadership team is a lot like a private email server — secret, no accountability and something Clinton alone can control.
  2. However convoluted the issue may seem, Hillary writhed away from transparency. Sending her lawyers to curate the emails? Printing out 55,000 pages of electronic communication and dumping it all on the State Department to re-digitize, vet and release? While Clinton may say she wants her emails out in the public, her actions don’t match what she’s saying. During their investigation into the Benghazi attack, the House Select Committee on Benghazi discovered that Blumenthal gave them 15 emails that were not in the pile Clinton handed to State. In other words, Clinton had been trimming emails that had to do with her involvement in Libya.
  3. Hillary struggles with attending meetings and operating fax machines. Honest question here for the “most qualified candidate ever to run for president.” What is the prerequisite skills needed to become leader of the free world, commander in chief of America’s Armed Forces? In the world of management, politics and communication, you’d think sending a fax would be a necessary skill that’s been around, oh, since at least the ’90s. But there’s Clinton in December 2009 emailing one of her staffers to ask about working the ol’ faxer. And this was the woman who managed to operate a home-brewed email account. Furthermore, Clinton once heard about a cabinet meeting through listening to the radio (just like Barack Obama learns about every scandal on the news). “Can I go?” she wrote. “If not, who are we sending?” These are mistakes you’d expect an intern to make. But by all means, let’s give her the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the nuclear launch codes.

The issue running through all of this is Clinton’s culture of ignoring rules and oversight, dodging transparency. And the State Department is implicated in this. The public wouldn’t have known about Clinton’s secret email server if it wasn’t for the probing of the Benghazi committee.

The State Department has been dragging its feet since the committee asked for some of Clinton’s emails last November. By March, the committee had to release a subpoena.

During a press briefing June 26, State spokesman John Kirby told reporters, “We were in receipt of the email traffic that former Secretary Clinton provided, that she had gone through and decided were official in scope.”

He also explained that the department had an “original mandate,” which was to get the email communication regarding the Benghazi attack, then Clinton’s communication regarding Libya. But the record was incomplete, as at least 15 emails are missing from the State Department’s records. Still, State will do nothing, even knowing that its record-keeping rules may have been violated. Kirby said he knows of no investigation and that it’s “a matter between the select committee and former Secretary Clinton.”

The Left has been trying to make the Clinton emails and the original issue, the Benghazi attacks and cover-up, as big a political trap as they can for the Republican Party. Clinton has already created an attack ad over it. And the ranking Democrat member of the Benghazi Committee has been saying weekly that the investigation is only a partisan attack, and that the Republican House is wasting taxpayer money.

Both her secret servers and her Benghazi cover-up are critically important and, we think, disqualify Clinton from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, Clinton and the Democrats may succeed in dragging things out so long that these stories really are “old news” and voters will care even less than they do now. People expect the Clintons to be corrupt. So when corruption is exposed, they shrug and move on.

2015-07-02-9f9c1248_large.jpg

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Victor Davis Hanson: “California keeps reminding us what has gone astray with America in recent years. The state is in the midst of a crippling four-year-old drought. Yet California has built almost no major northern or central mountain reservoirs since the New Melones Dam of 1979. That added nearly 3 million acre-feet to the state’s storage reserves — a critical project that was almost canceled by endless environmental lawsuits and protests. Although California has almost doubled in population since the dam’s construction, its politicians apparently decided that completing more northern and Sierra Nevada water projects was passé. So the parched state now prays for rain and snow rather than building reservoirs to ensure that the next drought won’t shut down the state. Curiously, once infrastructure projects such as the New Melones Dam are finished, few seem to complain about the life-saving water they provide the public in times of existential drought. California has taught the nation its unique hypocrisy. We have stopped the Keystone pipeline for now, but if it gets built eventually, few consumers will complain that it transfers oil at a cheap cost and with greater safety. California has also schooled the nation on mutually exclusively goals. Its lax immigration policies have made for a rapidly expanding population, and yet it expects a sophisticated infrastructure that ensures plentiful, clean water — and dreams of a pristine, green, 19th century paradise in a depopulated state.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The two highest achievements of the human mind are the twin concepts of ‘loyalty’ and ‘duty.’ Whenever these twin concepts fall into disrepute, get out of there fast! You may possibly save yourself, but it is too late to save that society. It is doomed.” —American writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988)

Alpha Jackass: “There are those in politics who seek to demonize the opposition and polarize them. And it’s not helpful to the country.” —Howard Dean, former head of the party that specializes in demonization

Maybe the anti-Reagan: “Obama in many ways has helped start the same kind of political revolution that Reagan did.” —former campaign manager Jim Messina

Village Idiots: “We believe we’re making progress. We have our own sense of deadline.” —John Kerry on the Iran nuke deal

Dezinformatsia: “Although Frank J. Schwartz, a shark biologist with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, says there’s too much natural variability in weather cycles to blame the recent shark attacks on global warming, Burgess says the link is plausible. ‘Clearly global climate change is a reality and it has resulted in warmer temperatures in certain places at certain times,’ says Burgess.” —National Geographic

Sounds suspicious: “Girl Scouts is for every girl, and every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.” —Megan Ferland, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western Washington, who claims she returned a $100,000 donation after the donor requested the check not be used to support “transgendered girls.” She then launched a crowd-funding campaign and raised $100K to replace that donation. (We would like to see the evidence such a check was ever received and the stipulation wording. Otherwise this sounds like a PR stunt to raise some money.)

“If emails show Hillary was dumbfounded by a fax machine, maybe we don’t want her having our nuclear launch codes.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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/ )”


Obama Authorizes 13 Tons Of Gold Released To Iran As Sanctions Are Stopped

Iranian officials said Monday that the Islamic Republic’s Central Bank has successfully repatriated 13 tons of gold as part of a package of sanctions relief provided to Iran by U.S. and Western powers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: After all this time and all the talk, US president Barack Obama and the United States have failed and are failing to stop Iran from obtaining both nuclear power and weaponry. Obama has ordered sanctions, the only thing really preventing a nuclear Iran, to be stopped, and has rewarded the terror-supporting rogue nation by releasing 13 tons of gold back to them. Mission Accomplished.

The gold was transferred to Iran by the government of South Africa, which had been holding onto the assets due to harsh sanctions meant to pressure Tehran to rein in its rogue nuclear program. The gold appears to have been released as part of a sanctions relief package that will have awarded Iran nearly $12 billion in unfrozen cash assets by the time negotiations wrap up next week.

iran-receives-13-tons-gold-rouhani-obama-nuclear-talks-sanctions-ended

Iran received $4.2 billion in unfrozen assets under the 2013 interim agreement with the United States and was then given another $2.8 billion by the Obama administration last year in a bid to keep Tehran committed to the talks.

The State Department calculates that Iran will have received a total of $11.9 billion in cash assets.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hinted this week that Iran would decide to fully pursue its nuclear program in a way “harsher than what they [the United States can] imagine” if Western powers fail to uphold any nuclear agreement expected to be finalized in the coming days.

28 Times Obama Said He’d Prevent Iran from Getting a Nuclear Weapon

Rouhani’s comments come as negotiators in Vienna struggle to solve disagreements over a range of issues concerning the future of Tehran’s nuclear program. The ongoing disputes prevented the sides from finalizing the agreement before a self-imposed June 30 deadline.

Talks are now expected to continue through July 9.

“If the the P5+1 negotiating countries breach the nuclear agreement, we immediately go back to the old path, harsher than what they imagine,” Rouhani was quoted as saying this week in Persian language media reports that were independently translated for the Washington Free Beacon.

Some have interpreted these comments as Rouhani threatening to boost a range of nuclear efforts that Western powers suspect have been used to construct a nuclear weapon.


Obama Blocks Attempts By Arab Allies To Fly Heavy Weapons Directly To Kurds To Fight ISIS

The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq

Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.

obama-blocks-attempts-by-middle-east-allies-to-supply-weapons-to-kurds-fight-isil-isis

They now say they are willing to “go it alone” in supplying heavy weapons to the Kurds, even if means defying the Iraqi authorities and their American backers, who demand all weapons be channelled through Baghdad.

High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.

The officials say they are looking at new ways to take the fight to Isil without seeking US approval.

If the Americans and the West are not prepared to do anything serious about defeating ISIS, then we will have to find new ways of dealing with the threat,” said a senior Arab government official. “With ISIL making ground all the time we simply cannot afford to wait for Washington to wake up to the enormity of the threat we face.” source


OFFICIALS: STUDENTS’ GENDER IDENTITY DETERMINES RESTROOM USE

 

The AP reports:

The U.S. Justice Department says in a court filing that transgender students must be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The department says in a statement of interest filed Monday that failure to do so amounts to sex discrimination under Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972. The document is in response to a federal lawsuit filed against the Gloucester County School Board by a 16-year-old transgender student who wants to be allowed to use the boys’ restroom.

Read more


Girl Scouts reject $100G donation over anti-transgender provision

 

According to Fox News:

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington said it refunded a $100,000 donation because it came with a provision that the money couldn’t be used to support transgender girls.

The group said it sent the money back in May after the donor had asked that the gift be returned unless the group guaranteed it would not be used to benefit transgender girls.

“Girl Scouts is for every girl, and that is every girl regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion. Every girl is every girl,” Megan Ferland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, said in an interview Tuesday. “It was a sad decision, but it was not a difficult decision. There was no way I would be put in a situation of refusing a girl participating because of a gift. It was really that quick.”

Read more


FBI sets up 56 centers to monitor Fourth of July Terror Threat

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:39 AM PDT

The FBI is setting up command centers at all of its 56 field offices across the country ahead of the July 4 weekend, to monitor any potential terrorist threats, law enforcement sources have revealed.
Sources told Fox News that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. will be reporting any information about possible attacks to these command centers – where officials will decide how to respond.

The move comes amid growing fears that the terror group ISIS is working to awaken sleeper cells in Western nations, after sympathizers were linked to three back-to-back attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia last Friday. While the FBI says there has been no specific credible threat so far, it seems to be more active in its warnings and actions ahead of Independence Day this year than previously. Another law enforcement source told Fox that the FBI has even been working to take known sympathizers for groups like ISIS off the streets of America before the symbolic holiday.  That could mean arresting these alleged sympathizers on U.S. soil on lesser charges and building a broader case while they are temporarily in custody over the holiday weekend. FULL REPORT

 

The post FBI sets up 56 centers to monitor Fourth of July Terror Threat appeared first on .

Kiss the Confederate Flag at Fort Sumter Goodbye!, Ordered to be removed by National Park

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:31 AM PDT

The historic site where the first shots of the Civil War were fired is no longer flying versions of the Confederate flag above it. The U.S. National Park Service ordered all flags except the U.S. flag to be taken down at the Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston Harbor.

The banners that were removed are neither the traditional Confederate flag that’s most typically displayed by individuals nor the battle flag version that has been flying on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia. Instead, the flags taken down were the less frequently seen national banners of the Confederacy. The park service also took down the South Carolina state flag. On April 12, 1861, the Confederate army fired artillery at the federal military installation, which is located in Charleston Harbor, in the first armed conflict of the Civil War. Union forces surrendered 34 hours later, and for four years, the fort remained in Confederate hands. FULL REPORT

The post Kiss the Confederate Flag at Fort Sumter Goodbye!, Ordered to be removed by National Park appeared first on .

Name Change Considered for Little Rock’s Confederate Blvd

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:24 AM PDT

The remains of more than 600 confederate soldiers are buried in the Little Rock National Cemetery and some believe that’s reason enough to keep the name of the road that runs in front. “I just really believe that it ought not to be changed because that’s a National Cemetery. There’s a lot of dead heroes there,” says Jim Roy Warden. Warden owns a burger joint along Confederate Boulevard. “They don’t even need to consider changing it in my opinion,” Warden says.

But others see the name as a reminder of Arkansas’ painful past. “Having something like a street or the flag its a symbol of slavery and it’s a symbol of oppression and I don’t thin it’s something we need to have,” says Little Rock City Director Kathy Webb. Webb says the time is right to change the name, “It came about partially as a result of the horrible massacre in Charleston but I think it was also something that’s been on people’s’ minds for quite some time.” FULL REPORT

 

The post Name Change Considered for Little Rock’s Confederate Blvd appeared first on .

DC Navy Yard on lockdown after report of shots fired

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:16 AM PDT

DEVELOPING: The Washington Navy Yard where a gunman killed 12 people in 2013 is on lockdown Thursday after reports of an active shooter. The National Military Command Center confirmed reports that shots were fired on the installation. U.S. Park Police told FoxNews.com that officers are at the scene. The first-responders on scene are engaged in “a very time-consuming process that cannot be rushed,” Frank Wuco, former Naval Intelligence Officer, told Fox News.

A heavy police and fire department presence begins blocks away from the Navy Yard, with roads blocked off and a helicopter hovering overhead. The scene is unfolding about a half mile from the U.S. Capitol. Lt. Cmdr. Scott Williams, who is stationed at the facility, described a chaotic scene. He said he heard shouting and law enforcement officers told him to exit the facility. FULL REPORT

The post DC Navy Yard on lockdown after report of shots fired appeared first on .

Christian Hardware Store Owner Posts ‘No Gays Allowed’ Sign, Then Replaces It With This One After Receiving Threats

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 06:07 AM PDT

Following the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide, Jeff Amyx got defiant. “They gladly stand for what they believe in; why can’t I?” the eastern Tennessee hardware store owner asked WBIR-TV. ”They believe their way is right; I believe it’s wrong. But yet I’m going to take more persecution than them because I’m standing for what I believe in.”  By “they,”

Amyx was referring to the gay community. And as for the persecution he predicted he’d receive, it all revolved around a sign posted on the front of Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Washburn: “No Gays Allowed.”“The reason I put up the sign is to let the homosexual people know that there are Christian people that are willing to take a stand,” the Baptist minister told WATE-TV. FULL REPORT

The post Christian Hardware Store Owner Posts ‘No Gays Allowed’ Sign, Then Replaces It With This One After Receiving Threats appeared first on .

MasterCard will approve purchases by scanning your face

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 05:56 AM PDT

This fall, MasterCard will start experimenting with a new program: approving online purchases with a facial scan. At checkout, you’ll be asked to hold up your phone and snap a photo. MasterCard’s thinking? It’s easier than remembering a password. “The new generation, which is into selfies … I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” said Ajay Bhalla, who’s in charge of coming up with innovative solutions for MasterCard’s security challenges.

This is MasterCard’s way of cutting down fraud. Currently, customers can set up something called “SecureCode,” which requires a password when shopping online. This stops credit-card-number-stealing hackers from actually using your card on the Web. It was used in 3 billion transactions last year, the company said. FULL REPORT

The post MasterCard will approve purchases by scanning your face appeared first on .

5,000 Residents Evacuated From Maryville, TN Train Derailment

Posted: 02 Jul 2015 05:49 AM PDT

More than 5,000 residents were evacuated after a freight train carrying a “highly flammable and toxic gas” partly derailed and caught fire early Thursday just outside Knoxville, Tennessee, officials said. Seven officers were hospitalized after breathing in fumes, Blount County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Marian O’Briant told NBC News. One car of the train derailed and was on fire, railroad officials said.

An evacuation zone is in place over a two-mile radius from the derailment, near Maryville, and could be in place for up to 48 hours, the fire department said. Two shelters were being opened for residents including one at a local high school, according to David Kitchen, senior disaster program Manager for the Tennessee Volunteer Region of the Red Cross. FULL REPORT

The post 5,000 Residents Evacuated From Maryville, TN Train Derailment appeared first on .

Gay Activists Demanding Churches Lose Their Tax Exempt Status

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 08:04 PM PDT

The Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage makes it clearer than ever that the government shouldn’t be subsidizing religion and non-profits Two weeks ago, with a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on the way, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which ensures that religious institutions won’t lose their tax exemptions if they don’t support same-sex marriage. Liberals tend to think Sen. Lee’s fears are unwarranted, and they can even point to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Friday’s case, which promises “that religious organizations and persons [will be] given proper protection.”

But I don’t think Sen. Lee is crazy. In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be. I’m a gay-rights supporter who was elated by Friday’s Supreme Court decision — but I honor Sen. Lee’s fears. FULL REPORT

The post Gay Activists Demanding Churches Lose Their Tax Exempt Status appeared first on .

Florida dealership forced to remove American flag banners or pay county code violation fine

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 07:38 PM PDT

A local car dealership may be paying a price for patriotism. The Kia car dealership on South Military Trail was issued a code-enforcement violation from Palm Beach County for displaying American Flag banners on its property. The notice cites a Unified Land Development code that prohibits displaying banners, streamers, pennants, balloons or other signage made of lightweight fabric, plastic, or similar material.

The six American flag banners currently wave proudly at the entrance of the dealership. “We’re just trying to show our patriotism,” said Mike Wangle, General Manager of the dealership. The banners are on dealership property. The notice served this week says the banners have to be removed by the fourth of July or there will be a daily fine of up to $1,000. “You would think they they would let us leave it up during the fourth and then say take them down after the holiday,” added Wangle. FULL REPORT

The post Florida dealership forced to remove American flag banners or pay county code violation fine appeared first on .

PBS Now Promoting the Transgender Lifestyle to Children

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 07:22 PM PDT

The Public Broadcasting Service has approved “Growing Up Trans,” which aired June 30. Keep in mind that children and teens stay up later during the summer months. Obviously, PBS is attempting to desensitize America’s youth by airing a program starring children. This alone will entice kids to watch. PBS’ website describes the program: “Just a generation ago, it was adults, not kids, who changed genders.

But today, many children are transitioning, too—with new medical options, and at younger and younger ages. In ‘Growing Up Trans,’ a 90-minute special airing June 30 on PBS, FRONTLINE takes viewers on an intimate and eye-opening journey inside the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families.” The show is attempting to normalize the transgender lifestyle and make it appear OK while using young cast members to lure a young audience. Many families have already discovered that PBS is anything but family-friendly. But 1MM thought a warning should still be sent out for anyone who continues to watch the channel. FULL REPORT

The post PBS Now Promoting the Transgender Lifestyle to Children appeared first on .

Christian Headlines Daily –

http://www.christianheadlines.com/


What is The Gospel?


“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


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.

Posted in News/Commentary Collection | Leave a comment

July 2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

IMG_2438


When Leaders Fall, All Are Punished

The immorality of leaders has been a reality among God’s people for as long as God has had a people. The temptations for leaders are as real as they are for the rest of us, but the consequences are more severe. When a leader falls, all are punished. Not punished for the pastor’s sin, but by his sin. It’s fair, then, to say they are punished because of his sin.

Read more


Cheers to the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta talks of rights, but these are not Lockean Natural Rights, given to individuals through the unmediated powers of their Creator. Quite the contrary, the opening articles of the Magna Carta clearly assert that rights come from God (not “the Creator”) to the king who then bestows them, not to individuals, but to communities. All these communal, inherited rights come with duties attached to them. If any community failed to uphold their obligations, their freedoms would be jeopardized, and not only for themselves, but for their descendants, too.

Read more


The Multi-Dimensional Love of Christ

One multi-year study did find that over 60% of all songs in the Top 40 were love songs. Not surprising really, given how wonderful an experience it is to love and to be loved. However, a large number of love songs, perhaps the majority, lament the difficulties and disappointments of human love.

Read more


Dear Pope Francis: Here Are Five Times Weapons of War Saved Christians

One the most famous naval engagements in history pitted forces of the Holy League, Christians supported by Pope Pius V, against the invading Ottoman Turks. It was the first major victory for a Christian naval force over a Turkish fleet, a victory driven, by, among other things, technological advances in weaponry.

Read More


A Summary of PCA Statements on Homosexuality

In light of recent decisions by some denominations to approve ordaining openly homosexual individuals to the ministry, to allow ministers to officiate and bless same-sex marriages, and because of the public debate on legalizing same-sex marriages, it is appropriate to note that not all denominations have taken these actions. And since one of these denominations in the news recently is “Presbyterian,” it is important to note that there are a number of Presbyterian denominations and that not all of them have taken the above actions. One of these churches is the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Here is a brief overview of actions on sexuality of past PCA General Assemblies.

Read more


Lessons Learned From The Civil Rights Resolution At The 2015 PCA General Assembly

How then do we add feet to our repentance regarding the Civil Rights era, while maintaining this purely spiritual mission and authority?  That is what we will need to work out in the year to come in our sessions and presbyteries.  I might suggest that we begin by looking to the book of Philemon as a patient model of how to urge repentance that stems from sincere love, rather than that which is merely external and formal, which no one wants. 

Read more


Why The Gay Marriage Debate Was Over In 1950

Once self-fulfillment becomes the end towards which individuals are moving, then there is no longer any fixed council or direction to govern any particular individual’s choice—only what a person claims will lead to his personal betterment, as only he is entitled to determine. Individual autonomy and self-indulgence trump all else…. Having enshrined individual autonomy as authoritative, it’s just a question of time and the tide of personal inclination. Justice Kennedy based his opinion on just such an appeal…. The battle wasn’t over marriage. It was over what’s left of the traditional Christian understanding of human design and destiny.

Read More


The Symbolism of the Rainbow

God, by placing the rainbow in the sky, was, in a sense, aiming His weapon of war and judgment at Himself; and, as it was with the cutting of the covenant with Abraham in which God alone passed through the animals that had been cut apart in judgment, God is saying in the Noahic covenant that there will be judgment; but, for those for whom the Father has sent the Son into the world to redeem, that judgment will fall on Himself at the cross.

Read More


Episcopalians Approve Religious Weddings For Gay Couples

On Tuesday, the House of Bishops had approved the resolution, 129-26, with five abstaining, and it was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Deputies, the voting body of lay people and clergy, on Wednesday… The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the global Anglican Communion, and before the vote, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby had expressed concern about redefining marriage.

Read More


Clueless Christians are Crippling the Church

Let me offer a brief but tragic history lesson, at least of more recent history. It has to do with self-professed enemies of the church, and how believers have responded to them. It especially has to do with whether or not the church has taken seriously these threats, or simply capitulated and compromised.

Sadly all too often it seems the threats are minimised while ignorant believers side with these opponents. It seems hardly a day goes by when I am not discussing this with yet another Christian who is so very clueless as to the war(s) we are involved in.

clueless 2These folks have their heads in the sand concerning the very real threats which exist to faith, family and freedom. And they seem to take pride in their ignorance and lack of understanding. So let me offer three recent example of this:
-We had clueless Christians siding with the communists during the Cold War.
-We have clueless Christians siding with Islam now.
-We have clueless Christians siding with the homosexual agenda now.

All three groups almost drive me to despair with their inability to think clearly and to perceive danger when it stares them in the face. No wonder the church keeps losing and losing and losing. When the church cannot or will not identify its own enemies, it is asking for trouble.

Read more


Cowardice in Leadership

Today we continue to look at the fall out from the legalization of homosexual marriage and how Christian “leaders” are responding.  Some government employees are refusing to issue homosexual marriage licenses, citing religious conviction.  The response: comply or be fired. And Joel Osteen has weighed in on the decision.  Could he actually have a strong […]

Read more of this post


Cold Case Christianity: Now More Than Ever, It’s Time for the Church to Be a Thermostat

Thermostat Instead of a ThermometerSometimes it feels like we, as Christians living in the twenty-first century, are the first to find ourselves surrounded by a culture that seems to reject much of what we believe. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. The earliest Christians, struggling to survive in the first century, were surrounded by a far more hostile culture. In spite of the obstacles and challenges, this group continued to grow, unlike the present Church in America, which appears to be shrinking each and every year. What’s the difference between these two groups? One important distinction is simply the response each group expressed (and is currently expressing) toward the culture in which they live(d). The first century Church was a thermostat, while the twenty first century Church (in America, at least) is often little more than a thermometer.

Thermostats control the temperature, while thermometers simply reflect it. The first century Church was well trained by its Master. Jesus told the earliest disciples and followers that they needed to resist the temptation to simply reflect the temperature of their culture:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)

Jesus told his followers to set the tone for the world around them. To change the flavor of the culture rather than simply adopt the flavor of their first century environment. We are salt. And we are light:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Light guides and exposes. Jesus’ command to be “light” assumes two things. It assumes the world around us is dark and needs light, and it assumes the practices and beliefs of the culture are misguided and need correcting. That’s why we need to be thermostats rather than thermometers. We are called to set the tone, add truth to the culture, shine a light on the darkness and guide people to something better. The Church is at a crucial point of decision. We can acquiesce, shrink in silence, or stand tall in spite of the consequences. Jesus called his followers to do the latter. That’s why he did his best to prepare them for the reaction they would surely receive from the culture:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)

There would be no reason to prepare His followers for persecution if Jesus intended them to either compromise or remain silent. He must want something more from us as His ambassadors. He must want us to do the right thing, not the easy thing.

But we can’t (and won’t) do anything if we aren’t sure about what we believe and why our beliefs are true. Sadly it seems many of us are willing to compromise and reflect the views of the culture (like thermometers) rather than attempt to impact the world for Christ (like thermostats). Thermometers don’t effect change, they simply record it. Jesus never took this approach and He never advocated such an approach for His disciples. Christ followers are called to be uncompromising change agents. That’s why it’s time for all of us to be thermostats rather than thermometers.

Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity


Night Is Falling

From this moment on we will never be as free as we once were in our faith. We will be systemically harassed. I believe that there will be a brief pause now, a moment of calm while people and forces take stock of what has happened and what it means.

Then will come the outright persecution. You are in the crosshairs. You have been warned.

Attend to your God and His Son and be about His work. The night is coming when it is not possible to work. In fact, I think that dusk has already begun to settle on this fallen world.

View Article


Watchman Warning: Troubled Greece – Hal Lindsey

This is more than a global economic event. As a minister and former pastor, it breaks my heart to see such suffering. Think about what it would be like to have your life’s savings in a bank in a country that might confiscate it. Imagine working forty years expecting a certain pension, only to have most of it taken away just as you’re set to retire. Imagine stocking up on toilet paper this week because next week the store shelves could be bare.

View Article


Gay Pride Came Before America’s Fall—Franklin Graham Sounds Off

Franklin Graham has been outspoken about the judgment of God in the wake of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling.

Now, he’s quoting Scripture—and one dissenting Supreme Court justice—in his latest comments about the misuse of the rainbow: “Pride goeth before a fall.”

View Article


The US Supreme Court “gay marriage” ruling – how we got to this, and what do we do now?

Supreme Court 5-4MassResistance (MR), a pro-family group based in Massachusetts, admits that the pro-family movement as a whole made huge blunders in their approach to winning the “culture war.” According to MR, the “religious pro-family establishment is as treacherous and opportunist as the national Republican Party establishment.” No surprise there. Many of us in online discernment have reported on the deceptive pro-family movement for years. Our beef with pro-family groups is mainly who they choose to align themselves with. One example is the apostate New Apostolic Reformation. So that you’ll know who these pro-family leaders are and the ways in which they’ve given credibility to the worst sort of false teaching imaginable, we’re including a few eye-opening articles:

The Religious Right uniting with religious renegades, part 1 part 2 part 3

Pitiable capitulating pro-family leaders part 1 part 2

Assemblies of God Exposed to New Apostolic Reformation through Empowered21

Read more of this post


4 Things the “Same-Sex Marriage” Ruling Isn’t

by Erin Davis | 7/01/15

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the historic decision passed down by the Supreme Court last week legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. I don’t know what’s happening in your world, but in mine, people are either over the moon excited or totally freaked out about the ruling. I finally deleted Twitter from my phone because the reactions on both sides were so fast and furious that my head started to spin.

Getting some distance from the hype allowed me to squeeze the Supreme Court’s decision through the grid of God’s Word. Yes, it’s true that the Court’s ruling and the changes happening right now in our culture are a big deal. But God’s Word allows us to see the bigger picture. Here’s what the Supreme Court’s ruling on “same-sex marriage” isn’t.

Read more


Help for Making Hard Decisions

by Samantha Loucks | 7/02/15

I still remember sitting at my youth leader’s kitchen table, a senior in high school, worrying about having to choose a college. A deadline was quickly approaching, and I was frustrated that God didn’t send a messenger who would put me out of my misery by telling me which one to pick.

I was passionate about fulfilling God’s will for my life. I knew He was placing desires and dreams in my heart. But I also thought achieving those big, huge, massive dreams hinged on just a few big, huge, massive decisions in life.

God walks with us, blesses our faithfulness, and directs our hearts when we don’t even realize it.

And I was really scared to make those big decisions. I didn’t want to make the wrong choice, the one that would lead me down an entirely different path, far far away from my dreams and goals. I wanted a sign. Something from God that said: “Pick this one!”

Why doesn’t He give us heavenly road markers? Why did this feel like a guessing game? If I picked Door #1, would I be blessed? If I picked Door #2, would I
be smacked in the face with failure and disappointment?

Read more


Driscoll Publicly Repents…For Criticizing Osteen

“At the end of the day we’re all on the same side,” says Hillsong celeb Brian Houston of Mark Driscoll’s sudden attack of conscience.  Our friends at Pulpit & Pen have audio of Driscoll’s statement. Here is a snippet, but do go to the site and listen for yourself: Speaking at the Hillsong conference, Mark […]

Read more of this post


Driscoll Publicly Repents…For Criticizing Osteen

From Pulpit & Pen:

Courtesy Berean Research. Cartoon by Rod Anderson.

Courtesy Berean Research. Cartoon by Rod Anderson.

Speaking at the Hillsong conference, Mark Driscoll repented for a number of things. Praise God. Hallelujah.

Milking the Best-Seller’s List by Improperly Using Church Funds

Asking staff about their wive’s favorite sexual position

Well more than a dozen counts of plagiarism

Porno-graphic discerno-vision

Throwing people under the Mars Hill bus

No. Driscoll didn’t repent for any of that stuff. Driscoll repented for having criticized Joel Osteen.

Pulpit & Pen has the audio.

Read more


“Weeping,” not celebrating, correct response to “shameless” homosexuality, Piper says

Christians are looking to their leaders for guidance and wisdom on SCOTUS’ disastrous ruling on same-sex “marriage.”  Enter John Piper.  Dr. Piper was once looked upon as a leader in the Church. However, in the past couple of years he has been under fire for uniting with and giving his stamp of approval to false teachers.  Thus, many […]

Read more of this post


Cold Case Christianity: Why the Case for Christianity Is More Important Than Ever (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast #36)

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner Wallace returns to the recent Pew Research Poll data and makes an important observation about the state of belief in America. Does this data reveal a unique opportunity for those of us who want to make the case for Christianity? Is America becoming a more secular nation, or does theism still rule the day? Here is part 1 of this week’s broadcast:

Here is part 2 of this week’s broadcast:

Here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):


What your average evangelical is concerned about after Obergefell

The video above is from a Roman Catholic group, but I can testify that many evangelical Christians are feeling the same way these folks are.

I am a pastor, and the testimonies in this video look very similar to what I have been seeing with the folks in my church. Our members by and large don’t have questions about the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage. They get that. Nor do they have questions about their obligation to love their neighbor, to seek their good, and to be at peace with everyone (Mark 12:29; Luke 6:33; Rom. 12:18). They get all of that. Read more of this post


Resources about the sin of homosexuality for believers, parents, and gay folks wanting to emerge from their sin

With the Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage in every state of the US last Friday, many people have come forward to me and others with questions on how to help those on bondage to it, or how to help parents struggling to come to grips with their child’s sin of homosexuality, or how to respond in apologetics to those Christians waving a rainbow flag in affirmation of the decision, or many other issues concomitant. As I saw good and trustworthy resources come across my laptop, I saved them and systematized them into groupings. I hope any of this may help as you witness to the truth regarding this particular sin.
Read more

Rainbow White House

I write this post not as a partisan, but as an American. The White House should not ever be used as an icon or celebration for any particular political or even social cause or purpose, regardless of our personal belief on the rightness of that cause. It just shouldn’t.

There are many reasons.

Read more


Seven Key Reasons Your Church Attendance May Be Declining

My five-year old grandson asked me how old I was. When I told him I would turn 60 in a few weeks, he responded: “I didn’t realize people got that old.”

Indeed, in 60 years, like any of us who have lived a few years, I have seen change, lots of change. And I am seeing change in local congregations faster than any time in my lifetime. One of the most disheartening changes I am seeing is the declining attendance in a majority of churches. I am asked repeatedly to diagnose and help with these challenges.

Though addressing the issue of declining attendance cannot be covered in a brief blog post, I hope it will be helpful to share some high-level perspectives. See if any of these seven reasons apply to your church.

  1. “Cultural Christians” no longer see the need to attend church. “Cultural Christian” is really an oxymoron. I refer here to those men and women who once attended church for social, political, or business reasons. Most of them no longer feel it is necessary to be in church to be a regarded citizen in the community.
  2. Church members are attending less frequently. I have noted in other articles how I see this development as potentially the greatest contributor to attendance decline. Three decades ago, a very active church member attended three times a week. Today we call those who attend three times a month an active church member.
  3. Expectations are lower for church members. One of the reasons church members attend less frequently is that very little is expected of them in many churches. If we expect little of our members, that is exactly what we will get.
  4. Insufficient emphasis on groups. This reality may be one of the most neglected areas of church life. Groups of all kinds – home groups, small groups, Sunday school classes, life groups, and others – are key to assimilation and greater commitment. The importance of groups must begin with the pastor and all other key leaders in the church.
  5. Inward focus. In too many churches, the emphasis is on “me, myself, and I.” Some members are more concerned about the temperature in the worship center than the eternal destinations of their neighbors. The “me-focused” church is on its way to decline.
  6. No clearly defined process of discipleship. Eric Geiger and I reported on this issue in our book, Simple Church. Growing churches are much more likely to have a clearly grasped and implemented process of discipleship than declining churches.
  7. No strategic plans for multi-venues or multi-campuses. As I noted in my post Monday, the trend of multi-venue and multi-campus churches may be the most significant in church practices in the past three decades. Even smaller churches are now planning for more than one site or venue. Those churches not making such plans are more likely to be declining.

Decline in church attendance cannot be defined in seven simple statements. But these reasons are at least broad explanations of what is taking place in many of our congregations. I would love to get feedback from you on these issues.

The post Seven Key Reasons Your Church Attendance May Be Declining appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


God and Country, Crucified: Why It’s Time to Exchange Our Civil Religion for a Cross

In the video below you can watch my sermon, delivered at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, on 2 Chronicles 7:1-22.


The Rapture And The Anti-Christ

What view do you hold based on Scripture with regard to the amount of time that may lapse between the Rapture and the revealing of Antichrist? Dave Hunt spoke convincingly of a very short duration between the two events. What say you?

continue reading


More On Jephthah And His Daughter

We were doing a bible study on book of judges 11 about Jephthah’s daughter.  This caused a debate. Some said that it could have been her virginity that was taken or some other sacrifice, not necessarily Jephthah killing his daughter.  In a recent post you said it was an abomination to the Lord to do that so therefore unlawful. Could you please clarify what actually happened.  Did Jephthah sacrifice his daughter?

continue reading


More Forgiveness

This past weekend I heard a wonderful TV sermon on forgiveness. I have been struggling with a certain person and situation for about 15 years and had no desire to forgive him because he continually hurt me emotionally. Praise God, at the end of the program I was able to raise my hands, ask God for forgiveness and then to forgive those I felt had hurt me. The lifting of the burden was instantaneous and I am at such peace. My question is: Do I need to get in touch with the people I have forgiven or is that forgiveness between me and God? Thank you for your insight and God Bless you for your wonderful teaching!

continue reading


The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

unmerciful-servant

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.

continue reading


understandthetimes.org

Seeker Friendly To Contemplative Spirituality

The seeker-friendly model was the brainchild of Peter Drucker. The concept of finding out what a consumer would like in a church has been a very successful way to get people to come to a church. At least for a while! This consumer-friendly model worked as long as sinners were not faced with the message of the cross, hell, and other convicting things the Bible teaches.

However, as everyone knows, trends come and go like waves on the ocean. The seeker-friendly wave will not last forever. This, of course, is predictable. Fallen man has had a spiritual void since the fall of man. Satan is more than happy to fill that void and has always had a deceptive plan to do so.

This is why I was not surprised when Pastor Bill Hybels, founder of the Willow Creek church-growth model, announced that their church had repented from their seeker-friendly ways and was now moving towards a method that would transform Christianity by introducing spirituality. Here’s how one Christian reporter explained the transition:

Willow Creek has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. The study’s findings are in a new book titled Reveal: Where Are You? co-authored by Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Hybels himself called the findings “earth shaking,” “ground breaking,” and “mind blowing.” And no wonder: it seems that the “experts” were wrong. [1]

Or this is what Bill Hybels said:

Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for. [2]

Certainly, the results of this survey should not come as a surprise to Hybels and the Willow Creek bunch. Dan Kimball, author of The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations, predicted the seeker-friendly movement would give way to the emerging church years ago. Postmoderns, you see, want a God they can smell, feel, touch, taste and see. The seeker-friendly movement does not provide this environment. It was only a matter of time for the seeker-friendly wave to crash.

Actually, Bill Hybels’ consultant Peter Drucker had previously informed him what was coming years ago. Faith Undone explains how Hybels was connected to Leadership Network founded by Bob Buford and Drucker. [3] Certainly, Hybels would have known about the next wave coming that Drucker understood. Another influential pastor influenced by Drucker was Rick Warren. He knew this as well! He wrote a foreword to Dan Kimball’s book in 2003 published by Zondervan stating that the emerging church was only what the purpose-driven church would become in the postmodern era. [4]
So what will the Willow Creek spiritual transformation (aka “spiritual formation”) look like? It will be contemplative, mystical, and sensual. It will become the full-blown emerging church. The teachings will pave the way toward Christian Babylonianism, otherwise known as the Last Days apostate church.


The Daily Discovery (July 2, 2015)

Rainbow White House – “I write this post not as a partisan, but as an American. The White House should not ever be used as an icon or celebration for any particular political or even social cause or purpose, regardless of our personal belief on the rightness of that cause. It just shouldn’t.  There are many reasons.”

Love Didn’t Win– It Was Redefined – “‘Love wins’ is the hashtag of choice for those in support of the newest Supreme Court decision that passed that legislative body by a 5-4 vote. If you’re not content with that, you’re just an evil bigot who needs to shut up and support this new legislation. Forget the fact that you have very rational reasons for keeping marriage between a man and a woman. For example, genderless marriage changes the cultural understanding of marriage from the well being of children to merely the romantic desires of adults. Mothering and fathering certainly isn’t genderless. For kids who all deserve a mom and a dad and need a culture to support that, love hasn’t won.

Driscoll Publicly Repents…For Criticizing Osteen – “Driscoll used the opportunity to publicly apologize for having ever criticized Osteen, and claimed to have asked Osteen permission to send him a private letter of apology. Houston, of course agrees, and says ‘…at the end of the day, we’re all on the same side.’”

Something Dreadful – “‘Hypochondriasis’ was first diagnosed as we understand it today in the 19th century. This debilitating condition is the result of an inaccurate perception of the condition of body or mind despite the absence of an actual medical condition. An individual suffering from hypochondriasis is known as a hypochondriac. “

Socialism Isn’t A “Right-Wing” Issue – “What happens when the government can’t fund coverage for the sick, the disabled and the elderly? Will our government now be in the business of selecting who lives and who dies?”


SERMON:

Tim Conway – God’s Testimony Must Be In Us


VIDEOS:

Are You Clothed With Power?

The Sanctification debate: Holy Water?


“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



What is The Gospel?


“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


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.

Posted in Christian Blog/Article Collection | Leave a comment

GTY Blog – John: The Apostle of Godly Humility

Code: B150701

 

By John MacArthur

All of us have desires and ambitions. For the Christian, the challenge is to discern between the desires that are rooted in and feed our fallen flesh and the desires that have God as their source and His glory as their aim. Our conformity to Christ is tied to conforming our desires to His agenda in our lives. And that is precisely the process the apostle John went through as he was personally discipled by His Lord.

John had ambitious plans for himself in his youth. It’s not inherently wrong to aspire to have influence or to desire success. But it is wrong to have selfish motives, as John apparently did. And it is especially wrong to be ambitious without also being humble.

That is an important balance to strike, or else a virtue turns into vice. Ambition without humility becomes egotism, or even megalomania.

In Mark 10, one chapter after the incident where John rebuked a man who was ministering in Jesus’ name, we find Mark’s description of how James and John approached Jesus with their request to be seated on His right and left in the kingdom. Ironically, Jesus had just reiterated the importance of humility. In Mark 10:31, He told them, “Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.” Jesus was simply reiterating the same lesson He had taught them over and over about humility (cf. Mark 9:35).

Nonetheless, just a few verses later (10:35–37), Mark records that James and John came to Jesus with their infamous request for the chief thrones. In Matthew’s account of this incident, they actually enlisted their mother to intercede for them (Matthew 20:20–21). Here we discover that they were seeking this favor secretly, because the other disciples learned of it afterward (Mark 10:41).

Coming as it did on the heels of so many admonitions from Jesus about humility, the brothers’ request shows amazing audacity. It reveals how utterly devoid of true humility they were.

Again, there is nothing wrong with ambition. In fact, there was nothing intrinsically wrong with James and John’s desire to sit next to Jesus in the kingdom. The other disciples certainly desired it, and that is why they were displeased with James and John. Jesus did not rebuke them for that desire per se.

Their error was in desiring to obtain the position more than they desired to be worthy of such a position. Their ambition was untempered by humility. And Jesus had repeatedly made clear that the highest positions in the kingdom are reserved for the most humble saints on earth. Notice His response:

Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your servant. And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42–45).

Those who want to be great must first learn to be humble. Christ Himself was humility personified. Furthermore, His kingdom is advanced by humble service, not by politics, status, power, or dominion. This was Jesus’ whole point when He set the child in the midst of the disciples and talked to them about the childlikeness of the true believer (Mark 10:13–16). Elsewhere, He had also told them, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14; cf. Luke 14:8–11).

Again and again, Christ had emphasized this truth: If you want to be great in the kingdom, you must become the servant of all.

It is astonishing how little this truth penetrated the disciples’ consciousness, even after three years with Jesus. But on the final night of His earthly ministry, not one of them had the humility to pick up the towel and washbasin and perform the task of a servant (John 13:1–17). So Jesus did it Himself.

John did eventually learn the balance between ambition and humility. In fact, humility is one of the great virtues that comes through in his writings.

Throughout John’s gospel, for instance, he never once mentions his own name. (The only “John” who is mentioned by name in the Gospel of John is John the Baptist.) The apostle John refuses to speak of himself in reference to himself. Instead, he speaks of himself in reference to Jesus. He never paints himself in the foreground as a hero, but uses every reference to himself to honor Christ. Rather than write his name, which might focus attention on him, he refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20), giving glory to Jesus for having loved such a man. In fact, he seems utterly in awe of the marvel that Christ loved him. Of course, according to John 13:1–2, Jesus loved all His apostles to perfection. But it seems there was a unique way in which John gripped this reality, and he was humbled by it.

In fact, it is John’s Gospel alone that records in detail Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet. It is clear that Jesus’ own humility on the night of His betrayal made a lasting impression on John.

John’s humility also comes through in the gentle way he appeals to his readers in every one of his epistles. He calls them “little children,” “beloved”—and he includes himself as a brother and fellow child of God (cf. 1 John 3:2). There’s a tenderness and compassion in those expressions that shows his humility. His last contribution to the canon was the book of Revelation, where he describes himself as “your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (Revelation 1:9). Even though he was the last remaining apostle and the patriarch of the church, we never find him lording it over anyone.

Somewhere along the line, John’s ambition found balance in humility. John himself was mellowed—although he remained courageous, confident, bold, and passionate.

(Adapted from Twelve Ordinary Men)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150701
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Posted in Biblical Lesson/Teaching, Christian Living | Leave a comment

The Defense of God’s People: A Practical Exposition of Psalm 20 (Part Two)

Originally posted on The Protestant Pulpit:

The Prayer of God’s People (vv. 1-5)

The words of this Psalm were, as we explained already, to be sung on behalf of a king who was about to go forth to war against his enemies. And we have already mentioned that this is prophetic. In this prayer, we see the people praying that God would give the king success in war.  Obviously, David is a type of Christ. Christ is the ultimate King, and this does relate to Him.  As such, this is a prayer to assist the church in praying for His success.

The Time of the Prayer

Notice the time when we should pray for success. “The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble.” The word “trouble” speaks of being surrounded by foes. If we take this concerning the Lord, it would refer to the time of the cross, when in the words of Psalm 22…

View original 1,947 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

All evidence points to Hillary Clinton as source of Internet video lie

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

What difference does national security make? What difference does national security make?

Investors Business Daily reports on the latest e-mails requested and received by Judicial Watch, a government watch-dog organization. The title for this post is a shortening up of a line from Judicial Watch, by the way.

Excerpt:

History recorded that the White House’s United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice appeared a few days after the terrorist incident on a number of Sunday television news shows saying that attack, which killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was provoked by an Internet video.

It was just a few Islamic hotheads, she suggested, who took a protest over the video too far. We were assured the violence was in no way connected to President Obama’s Libya policy.

Judicial Watch, however, has been combing through the emails and finds they tell a different story.

They indicate a cover-up occurred. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the…

View original 512 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

Christian, You are a Pilgrim

Originally posted on airō:

pilgrims-progress

There is an unbiblical idea that America is or was a Christian nation. There is no such thing, never has been and never will be. The idea of a “Christian nation” or establishing one through any supposed dominion mandate goes against every biblical reference of God’s people being pilgrims. If such a nation existed, we would no longer be pilgrims, and Scripture knows no time this side of the Second Coming that that would be so.

You will always be a pilgrim, Christian. Peter uses that very term in 1 Peter 2:11:

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul (KJV)

Other translations offer the following: foreigners and exiles (NIV); temporary residents and foreigners (NLT); sojourners and exiles (ESV); aliens and strangers (NAS); strangers and temporary residents (HCSB).

That should paint a clear picture for us. That we are strangers…

View original 830 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

July 2, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Devotional Guide Collection

IMG_2435


July 2

IN MY HEART THERE RINGS A MELODY

Words and Music by Elton M. Roth, 1891–1951

Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him. Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music. (Psalm 98:1, 4)

King Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, once made this observation: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit” (Proverbs 15:13). The medical profession has also long realized that happy people are the healthiest people. But how does one achieve that happiness—that joy? The child of God knows that it comes from living close to the Savior. And beyond that—joy experienced should also be joy expressed.

This ought to be true in our individual lives as well as when we gather in our church services. True worship must have the ingredient of festal joy. The Psalms insist that we “burst into jubilant song with music” and that we praise our God with “trumpet, lute, harp, timbrel, and loud crashing cymbals.” Too often believers give the impression that the Christian experience is a cheerless journey of harsh self-discipline that must be painfully endured until the heavenly rewards are finally realized. Little joy or praise is evident in such a testimony.

The author and composer of this hymn, Elton Roth, was a well-known musician of his day. It was while assisting with evangelistic meetings in Texas on a hot summer day in 1923 that the words and music for this hymn suddenly came to him. Mr. Roth recalls, “That evening I introduced the song by having more than 200 boys and girls sing it at the open air meeting, after which the audience joined in the singing. I was thrilled as it seemed my whole being was transformed into song.”

When our worship and personal experience are full of joy and song, it will be easier for our lives to encourage others to know this same happiness also.

I have a song that Jesus gave me; it was sent from heav’n above; there never was a sweeter melody; ’tis a melody of love.

I love the Christ who died on Calv’ry, for He washed my sins away; He put within my heart a melody, and I know it’s there to stay.

’Twill be my endless theme in glory; with the angels I will sing; ’twill be a song with glorious harmony, when the courts of heaven ring.

Chorus: In my heart there rings a melody, there rings a melody with heaven’s harmony; in my heart there rings a melody, there rings a melody of love.

For Today: 1 Chronicles 16:8–10; Nehemiah 8:10; Colossians 3:16

Consider thoughtfully—Am I truly a happy Christian? Does my life express the joy of the Lord? Does my church worship produce joy in my life? Ask God to change whatever may be lacking. Then sing joyfully as you go—[1]


July 2: Conflict and Certainty

1 Samuel 2:22–4:22; James 1:9–18; Psalm 119:17–32

Conflict drives fiction and riveting movies, but if we had it our way, we’d live stable, stress-free lives. We might crave the excitement or change of a vacation, but we rarely welcome an unexpected complication. So when James says to “count it all joy … when you meet trials of various kinds” (Jas 1:2), we are tempted to dismiss his perspective as something that works on paper but should not disrupt our real lives.

James shows us how to internalize a faithful response to unwelcome conflict. He starts by describing a negative reaction: When difficult times come, we might be like the person who prays and then doubts that God will provide him with wisdom for the situation. This person complicates the conflict by internalizing it with uncertainty and doubt. He is “like the surf of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed about” (Jas 1:6).

The irony is that, although we only create more conflict when we doubt, we like to think we can trust ourselves. As long as we remain in control (we tell ourselves), we can avoid the storms of life. It’s tempting to manufacture an attitude of stubborn self-sufficiency—of inner strength.

That’s the opposite of how we should respond. God wants us to meet the chaos by trusting in Him. We might feel tossed about by life’s events, but God provides us with wisdom for the chaos we encounter. When we ask Him and trust that He’ll provide us with wisdom, He gives generously and without reproach (Jas 1:5).

Stability isn’t an inner strength, but certainty in God’s provision is. We can meet the uncertain with the certain when we trust God to help us work through the chaos. We can also remember that, at the end of the novel, the protagonist who endures conflict is changed by the experience. In the same way, God is working through the conflict in our lives to make us more wholly devoted to Him, since “testing produces steadfastness” (Jas 1:3). And there will be an end: We’ll “receive the crown of life that he has promised to those who love him” (Jas 1:12).

How are you turning to Christ in the midst of difficult circumstances?

Rebecca Van Noord[2]


July 2

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Matthew 5 through 8. Our lesson is from Matthew 8:13, “And Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed that very moment.” (NASU)

Lesson

During Jesus’ ministry on earth, He ministered almost exclusively to His fellow Israelites. However, there were some notable exceptions. Our text is one of those examples of a cross-cultural encounter. Let’s examine three aspects of the encounter with the centurion in the light of the ethnocentric mindset of the Jewish leaders.

First, the centurion was considered a marginalized religious person. Many of the Jews did not have fellowship with the gentiles because they were thought to be religiously and ceremonially unclean. They were not circumcised. They did not respect the kosher laws in their dietary habits. To some Jews this was enough of a reason not to have any kind of relationship with them. Others looked down upon gentiles as being unclean and thus not capable of having fellowship with God or His people. Jesus, on the other hand, treated the centurion with dignity.

Secondly, the centurion was considered a marginalized political person. Rome was the occupying army in Israel. They were foreigners who controlled the political life of Israel. Israel had to pay taxes to the Roman authorities. This meant that Israeli money was leaving the country to build palaces and other monuments for Caesar and his subjects. It was totally unjust, according to the Jewish leaders.

Yet Jesus looked beyond the exteriors. Some would have thought that Jesus was a traitor because he was willing to help such a person. Jesus saw a man in need and not a political adversary. He saw a man who loved his servant and was willing to ask a Jew for help. Christ was not ashamed to extend kindness to foreigners, prostitutes and other persons that society thought of as undesirables.

Thirdly, the centurion was a man of faith, according to Jesus. This is one of the most amazing observations of the entire encounter. A person who was not a Jew is called by Jesus a man of faith. The centurion believed that God could heal his servant. True faith is demonstrated in moments of testing. The centurion passed the exam with flying colors. The result was that his servant was healed in that instant.

In review, the centurion was marginalized religiously. The centurion was marginalized politically. And the centurion was a man of faith.

Let’s follow his example in having a humble heart to beseech Jesus in our moment of need. Jesus continues to be available to all who seek Him through the Holy Spirit. Call on Him to help you in your area of need right now!

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Matthew 9 through 12. 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]


 

July 2

 

Coming to Christ

 

“… coming to [Christ] as to a living stone” (1 Peter 2:4).

✧✧✧

Jesus Christ is the source of every spiritual privilege.

Often Christians speak of salvation as “coming to Christ.” That’s an accurate, Biblical description, for Jesus Himself said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28); “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35); “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). Those are metaphors for salvation.

Coming to Christ initiates all your spiritual privileges because in Him God “granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Paul said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

The Greek word translated “coming” in 1 Peter 2:4 conveys more than initially turning to Christ for salvation. It implies remaining with Him. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament this word was used of those who drew near to God for ongoing worship. It was also used of Gentile proselytes—those who chose to identify themselves with God’s people.

When you came to Christ, a permanent relationship of intimate, personal communion was established. Before that, you were rebellious toward God, without hope, and alienated from God’s promises. Now you’ve been born again to a living hope, you abide in Him and in His Word, and you have wonderful spiritual privileges.

Indeed, you are a privileged person, and the greatest of those privileges is your personal relationship with Christ Himself. Continue to draw near to Him today through prayer and worship.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Tell Jesus how much you love Him and how you want your relationship with Him to be all it should be.

For Further Study: Read Ephesians 2:1–22. ✧ How did Paul describe our spiritual condition before salvation? ✧ How are sinners reconciled to God? ✧ What analogy did Paul use to describe our relationship as Christians to Jesus Christ?[4]


July 2

Unconditional Love

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.

1 John 4:10

a person can disobey God—either willfully or unknowingly—but he cannot disappoint God. A person can sin or rebel against God, and reap God’s consequences for that sin as a means of chastisement. But a person cannot disappoint God.

Stop to think about it for a moment. A God who can be disappointed is a God who loves conditionally—a God who loves us when we perform well, and then withdraws His love if we perform badly. The truth of God’s love is that His love is unconditional. He loves us at all times with an infinite, overwhelming, merciful, gracious, passionate love![5]


July 2

A Formula for Growth

Scripture reading: James 1:1–25

Key verse: James 1:22

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James used the word scattered in James 1:1 to indicate the plight of early Christians living outside Palestine. God used Nero’s persecution to scatter thousands of believers throughout Asia Minor so the gospel message would continue to grow and spread.

However, instead of carrying the Word of God to new converts, believers became spiritually bogged down by sin. Gossip, selfishness, and the pursuit of material gain caused deep division within the church. Almost overnight their focus had changed from the deeper things of God to envy and strife.

At the center of their problems was a lack of spiritual maturity. They had learned to talk the talk, but failed to walk the Christian walk of faith. We face this same problem. Too many go to church, give of their resources, and even read their Bibles, but fail to grow spiritually.

James admonished the early church to be more than mere hearers of the Word; he urged them to be doers of the Word. The formula for personal, spiritual growth is applying God’s truth to every area of your life. Practice this, and the seed He plants within your heart will yield a great and mighty harvest.

Lord, I want to grow spiritually. Plant the seed of Your Word in my heart.[6]


July 2

Why Be Self–Disciplined?

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God.

2 Timothy 2:15

Concerning disciplined living, Richard Shelley Taylor writes, “Disciplined character belongs to the person who achieves balance by bringing all his faculties and powers under control…. He resolutely faces his duty. He is governed by a sense of responsibility. He has inward resources and personal reserves which are the wonder of weaker souls. He brings adversity under tribute, and compels it to serve him.”

The Lord uses only the disciplined mind to think clearly, understand His Word, and present its truth effectively to the world. Only the disciplined mind consistently discerns truth from error. And only the disciplined Christian is a good testimony, within the church and before the world.

Simply stated, self–discipline is obedience to God’s Word and willingness to submit everything in life to His will, for His ultimate glory.[7]


July 2            Step Out in Faith

scripture reading:

 

Exodus 4:10–17

 

key verse:

 

Exodus 4:12

 

Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.

Moses thought he was the wrong man for the job. Why should a pharaoh listen to a man who had spent the last forty years tending sheep?

However, God reminded Moses of his true identity: “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Ex. 4:11 nasb). In other words, God put Moses’ attention and focus back on Him.

Not one detail of Moses’ life or background had escaped God’s attention. Moses belonged to God alone. The Lord created him specially for His purposes, called him, and promised to supply everything for the tasks ahead.

You can understand your identity and the unique works that God has planned for you only when you identify yourself fully with Jesus Christ. You are an eternal part of God’s family. Insecurity, emptiness, and purposelessness have no place in your life—the Lord provides fulfillment and direction.

Do you feel inadequate or unprepared for a specific challenge? Is the threat of failure eroding your faith? Remember that God is sovereign and gives you the strength and wisdom for what He asks you to do. He calls you to step out in obedient faith, letting Him handle the details.

I feel inadequate for the challenges ahead, O God. The task is great, and the threat of failure looms. But I step out in faith, knowing You will give me the strength and wisdom to accomplish what You have asked me to do.[8]


July 2

Childlike Faith

Scripture reading: John 3:1–17

Key verses: Ephesians 2:8–9

By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Every once in a while you hear someone say, “God helps those who help themselves.” However, the truth is, God helps those who are quick to admit their need and absolute dependency on Him. As long as we think we can somehow work our way into heaven or perform some great deed on our own, we receive very little from the hand of God.

Jesus instructed the disciples to become like children in their approach to God. The issue He was addressing was one of pride. A child looks to his mother or father for support and help. He may try to do things on his own, but when frustration comes, he knows he can turn to his parents for a solution.

A young father told how he secretly watched his three-year-old daughter struggling to put on her shoes. The more she tried lacing and tying the shoes on her own, the more frustrated she became. Finally in desperation, she dropped back on her bed and loudly proclaimed: “Help me, God. I just can’t do it.”

Nicodemus had a hard time understanding Jesus’ concept of a new birth. As a member of the Sanhedrin, he was highly educated. Still the only way he could expect to spend eternity with God was to place his childlike faith in Jesus Christ. It was not a matter of intellect; it was a matter of humble faith and grace. Take time to tell the Savior you need Him more than anything else.

Give me childlike faith in You, dear Lord. I need You more than anything else.[9]


July 2

The Message of Freedom

Scripture Reading: Psalm 107:1–9

Key Verse: Psalm 119:25

My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word.

We receive all kinds of messages in life. Messages tell us how to live, where to vacation, what to eat, how to cook it, and then how to exercise it all away.

God’s first concern is always toward the spiritual part of a person’s life, not the physical. Because of the relentless spotlight placed on the need to look and act a certain way, depression, eating disorders, and anxiety top the list of problems people are most likely to struggle with.

However, these are only symptoms of a more serious dilemma. When we seek to become something apart from Jesus Christ, we end up chasing a very elusive shadow. Even if we do achieve a certain status, there is always something else on the horizon demanding more from us. Someone is always ahead of us causing us to think we need something other than what we have in order to be happy.

The person who finds his identity in Jesus Christ has freedom and peace. If you are struggling with thoughts of inadequacy, ask God to make His love for you very clear. He will never place unhealthy expectations on you. Nor does He say you have to reach a certain status before He can love you.

The moment you accept His Son as your Savior, He comes into your heart with perfect love and acceptance. He created you and is bound in love to you forever.

Heavenly Father, I want to find my true identity in You. Free me from the bondage of my limiting inadequacies.[10]


July 2

The Freedom We Need

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18–25

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The mother wonders if her daughter will ever speak to her again. The father wonders if his relationship with his son can be restored. The young man wonders if the damage in his relationship with his best friend will ever be repaired.

When situations in our lives appear broken forever, despair can settle in our hearts if we don’t turn to the source of ultimate freedom: our heavenly Father.

As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he explained that the word of the Cross—the death of Christ there and what that means to us today—is what brings power to our lives. Jesus’ death and resurrection was the ultimate portrait of freedom from a life of despair.

The sin of the world seemed far beyond forgiveness, and the weight of all that sin rested on the shoulders of Jesus. Yet, through His death and resurrection, He not only paid the price for our sin, He brought us freedom, both for now and eternity.

It doesn’t matter how desperate our situations appear to be here on earth now; we can always find hope in God. As we read Scripture and seek Him in prayer, we discover that He desires to free us from the bondage of despair, giving us the freedom we need to trust in Him.

Lord, I relinquish to You the sins that would own me. In Your forgiveness lies my power to overcome.[11]


 

July 2

 

Is Assurance Objective or Subjective?

 

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!”

2 Corinthians 13:5

✧✧✧

True believers will see the glory of Christ reflected in their lives when they examine the genuineness of their salvation.

Assurance of one’s salvation has been a key issue throughout the history of the church, especially the Reformers’ reaction to the Roman Catholic Church’s assertion that since salvation is a joint effort between man and God, the outcome is in doubt until the end. John Calvin, the leading sixteenth–century Reformer, taught that believers can and should be assured of their salvation. He made the grounds for assurance objective, urging believers to look to the promises in God’s Word to gain a sense of personal assurance.

Later Reformed theologians (including the seventeenth–century English Reformers known as Puritans), however, recognized that genuine Christians often lacked assurance. So they emphasized the need for practical evidences of salvation in a believer’s life. Thus they tended to emphasize a subjective means of establishing assurance, counseling people to examine their attitudes and actions for evidence of their election.

The question is: Should Christians derive assurance through the objective promises of Scripture or through subjective self–examination? The Bible teaches that both will lead to assurance. The objective basis for salvation is the finished work of Christ on our behalf, including the promises of Scripture (2 Cor. 1:20). The subjective support is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians, including His convicting and sanctifying ministries. Romans 15:4 refers to both aspects of assurance: “Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance [subjective] and the encouragement of the Scriptures [objective] we might have hope.”

The Holy Spirit applies both grounds of assurance to believers: He “bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16). Are you sure of your salvation? Ask yourself the objective question: “Do I believe?” If you truly believe, you can be sure you are saved (John 3:16; Acts 16:31). The subjective question is: “Is my faith real?” That’s why Paul said, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” (2 Cor 13:5). Use the remaining days of this month as an opportunity to take the test.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to reveal your true heart attitude toward Him. Make Psalm 139:23–24 your prayer.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 3:18. How might this be considered part of Paul’s test? ✧ What should true believers be looking for in their lives?[12]


July 2

This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat it.

Father, in Christ I have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. Unless I am born again, I cannot see Your kingdom, Lord God. At that time I was without Christ, being an alien from the commonwealth of Israel and a stranger from the covenants of promise. But now in Christ Jesus I who once was far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For Jesus Himself is my peace, who has made both Jews and Gentiles one, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.

Now, therefore, I am no longer a stranger and a foreigner, but a fellow citizen with the saints and members of Your household, Lord God.

If I hear Jesus’ voice and open the door, He will come in to me and dine with me, and I with Him.

What a privilege to be a member of Your household, a citizen of Your kingdom, Lord God. May my life reflect that status.

Exodus 12:43; Hebrews 13:10; John 3:3; Ephesians 2:12–13; Ephesians 2:14–15; Ephesians 2:19; Revelation 3:20[13]


July 2

Worship Courageously

Psalm 138:1

I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You.

David was not ashamed of his God. He would boldly praise the God of Israel in the presence of false gods without worrying what anyone said or thought of him. Are you willing to do that today?

I can remember when it was very common to see families and others in restaurants bowing their heads and joining hands to worship and thank God before their meal. Our family does that, but I don’t see as many today as I used to. It is a wonderful way to encourage other families. People who are not ashamed to pray publicly to their God stand out in an age when it is common to be ridiculed for your faith.

I see some people who sort of bow their head, or look like they’re looking for their napkin, or scratch their forehead—trying to pray before their meal without looking like they’re praying. Who are they fooling? David said, “I will praise my God before all the pagan gods.” He praised God courageously.[14]


Thu, July 02, 2015

Growing Oaks or Ears of Popcorn

The church must claim again her ancient dowry of everlastingness. She must begin again to deal with ages and millenniums rather then with days and years. She must not count numbers but test foundations. She must work for permanence rather than for appearance. Her children must seek those enduring things that have been touched with immortality. The shallow brook of popular religion chatters on its nervous way and thinks the ocean too quiet and dull because it lies deep in its mighty bed and is unaffected by the latest shower. Faith in one of its aspects moves mountains; in another it gives patience to see the promises afar off and to wait quietly for their fulfillment. Insistence upon an immediate answer to every request of the soul is an evidence of religious infantilism. It takes God longer to grow an oak than to grow an ear of popcorn. It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run–and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that.

Verse
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:6

Thought
Abraham believed God and kept on believing God. He waited 25 years for the birth of Isaac. In his lifetime, Abraham never saw the emergence of the people Israel or experienced possession of the promised land. He just believed and kept on believing. What

Prayer
Father, You are everlasting. You are forever. Help me to trustfully walk with You through the valleys and over the mountains. I want to be an oak.

A. W. Tozer


July 2 – False Prophets Are Deceptive

“‘Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves’” (Matthew 7:15).

False prophets are most dangerous because of their deceptive nature. We can easily recognize and defend against an enemy that poses for what it is. But when that enemy appears as a friend, it is much harder to defend against.

Heretics and apostates make no claim to biblical truth and are recognizable. But deceivers disguise themselves as true shepherds. They give the appearance of orthodoxy and claim to teach the truth, but their intent is to deceive and destroy God’s people.

Paul explains this phenomenon: “Such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Cor. 11:13–15; cf. 2 Tim. 3:13). Such false prophets are demonically deceived, convinced that their perverted, distorted views are correct. They are so steeped in falsehood that darkness seems to be light, blackness white, and error truth.

This calls for genuine discernment. But how is this best done? It’s by realizing that such men show themselves by what they do not say—they seldom affirm the great doctrines of the faith, but rather ignore them. In our day of confusion and indifference, we need to pray and vigilantly “test the spirits to see whether they are from God. . . . Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:1, 2).

Ask Yourself

What constitutes false teaching today? Why do such philosophies continue to find room to work in hearts and minds, even of believers? What can we do to keep them away from our churches?

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 Chronicles 28:1–29:30
Psalm 78:67-72
Proverbs 20:6-7
Acts 10:24-48
Notes:

1 Chronicles 28:2–8 For the assembly’s sake, David testified to the Davidic Covenant originally given by God to him in 2 Samuel 7 (17:7–27; 22:6–16). David makes it clear that Solomon was God’s choice (v. 5) as had been frequently intimated (2 Sam. 12:24, 25; 1 Kin. 1:13), just as the coming Christ will be God’s chosen Son to ultimately fulfill the kingdom promise.

1 Chronicles 28:19 in writing. David wrote down the plans under the Holy Spirit’s divine inspiration (non-canonical, written revelation). This divine privilege was much like that of Moses for the tabernacle (Ex. 25:9, 40; 27:8; Heb. 8:5).

1 Chronicles 28:20, 21 Solomon’s associates in the building project were God, the owner and general contractor (28:20), plus the human workforce (28:21).

Acts 10:28 unlawful. Literally, “breaking a taboo.” Peter followed the Jewish standards and traditions his whole life. His comments reveal his acceptance of a new standard in which Jews no longer were to consider Gentiles profane.

Acts 10:34 God shows no partiality. Taught in both the Old Testament (Deut. 10:17; 2 Chr. 19:7; Job 34:19) and the New Testament (Rom. 2:11; 3:29, 30; James 2:1). The reality of this truth was taking on new dimensions for Peter.

Acts 10:36 preaching peace. Christ, by paying the price of sin through His sacrificial death, established peace between man and God (Rom. 5:1–11).

DAY 2: What does God desire in our giving?

King David called for consecrated giving to the building of the temple, based on his personal example of generosity (1 Chr. 29:3, 4). David gave his personal fortune to the temple building, a fortune almost immeasurable. He says that “over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir.” Assuming a talent weighed about 75 pounds, this amounts to almost 112 tons of gold. This was held to be the purest and finest in the world (Job 22:24; 28:16; Is. 13:12). Plus the 7,000 talents of silver, which would be 260 tons, the total worth of such precious metals has been estimated in the billions of dollars.

As he addresses the people, David notes the phrase “with a willing mind” (vv. 6–9). Here is the key to all freewill giving, i.e., giving what one desires to give. Tithes were required for taxation, to fund the theocracy, similar to taxation today. The law required that to be paid. This, however, is the voluntary giving from the heart to the Lord. The New Testament speaks of this (Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:1–8) and never demands that a tithe be given to God, but that taxes be paid to one’s government (Rom. 13:6, 7). Paying taxes and giving God whatever one is willing to give, based on devotion to Him and His glory, is biblical giving.

The people rejoiced in their offering to the temple which was “five thousand talents…of gold” (1 Chr. 29:7).This amounts to 187 tons of gold. Add to that 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze, and 3,750 tons of iron. The sum of all this is staggering and has been estimated into the billions of dollars. David responds to the phenomenal offering expressing amazing sacrifices of wealth with praise in which he acknowledges that all things belong to and come from God (vv. 10–15). David says that opportunities for giving to God are tests of the character, “test the heart,” of a believer’s devotion to the Lord (v. 17). The king acknowledges that the attitude of one’s heart is significantly more important than the amount of offering in one’s hand.

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.


ADORATION: Humbly Profess the Desire of your Heart for God

10
We must humbly profess the desire of our hearts towards God, as our felicity and portion and fountain of life and all good to us.

Whom have we in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that we desire besides you or in comparison with you. When our flesh and our heart fail, Lord, be the strength of our heart and our portion forever, Psalm 73:25-26(ESV) the chosen portion of our inheritance in the other world and of our cup in this; and then we will say that the lines have fallen for us in pleasant places, and that we have a beautiful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6(ESV)

Your name and remembrance are the desire of our souls; our souls yearn for you in the night, and our spirits within us earnestly seek you. Isaiah 26:8-9(ESV)

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants our soul for you, O God; our soul thirsts for God, for the living God, Psalm 42:1-2(ESV) who commands his steadfast love by day, and at night his song is with us; a prayer to the God of our life. Psalm 42:8(ESV)

O that we may come hungering and thirsting after righteousness, Matthew 5:6(ESV) for you fill the hungry with good things, but the rich you send away empty. Luke 1:53(ESV)

O that our souls may thirst for you, and our flesh faint for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water; that we may see your power and glory, as we have looked upon you in the sanctuary. Your steadfast love is better than life; Psalm 63:1-3(ESV) our souls will be satisfied with that as with fat and rich food, and then our mouths will praise you with joyful lips. Psalm 63:5(ESV)

Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer


Day 2

Adoration

How great are Your works, O Lord!

Your thoughts are very deep.

The senseless man does not know;

Fools do not understand

That when the wicked spring up like grass

And all the evildoers flourish,

They will be destroyed forever.

But You, O Lord, are exalted forever. (Psalm 92:5–8)

You are the Lord, that is Your name.

You will not give Your glory to another,

Or Your praise to idols. (Isaiah 42:8)

Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.

Confession

I will endure discipline, for God is treating me as a son. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If I am without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then I am an illegitimate child and not a true son. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them; how much more should I be subjected to the Father of spirits and live? (Hebrews 12:7–9)

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

Christ must increase; I must decrease. (John 3:30)

You are the true vine, and Your Father is the vinedresser. He cuts off every branch in You that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. May I abide in You, and You in me. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can I, unless I abide in You. (John 15:1–2, 4)

Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.

Petition

May I follow Abraham’s example of willingness to offer all that I have to You, holding nothing back and trusting in Your character and in Your promises. (Genesis 22:2–12, 16)

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 we rejoice, become complete, be of good comfort, be of one mind, and live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with us. (2 Corinthians 13:11)

Family

My immediate family

My relatives

Spiritual concerns

Emotional and physical concerns

Other concerns

Affirmation

When I give, it will be given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into my lap. For with the measure I use, it will be measured back to me. (Luke 6:38)

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one should give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to us, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, we may abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad His gifts to the poor;

His righteousness endures forever.”

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase our seed and will increase the fruits of our righteousness. (2 Corinthians 9:6–10)

Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.

Thanksgiving

We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. (Revelation 11:17)

There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the new Jerusalem, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no night there; they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:3–5)

Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.

Closing Prayer

Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever,

For wisdom and power belong to Him.

He changes the times and the seasons;

He raises up kings and deposes them.

He gives wisdom to the wise

And knowledge to those who have understanding.

He reveals deep and hidden things;

He knows what is in the darkness,

And light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:20–22)[15]


July 2

Being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God

Acts 1:3

This lingering for forty days is the crowning proof of Christ’s tender regard for His little flock. He who had laid down His life for them is loath to leave them. Though they had forsaken Him, and doubted Him, they had not wearied, much less had they worn out, His love. He stays to look again, and yet again, and yet again, upon them, as if turning back and lingering to bless them. It is all of a piece with His life of love. Everywhere He meets them without a touch of upbraiding, without recalling a single memory of all His bitter suffering, revealing Himself to the disciples with a tenderness and blessedness indescribably beautiful.

How can He go till He has healed the Magdalene’s broken heart? He must linger till poor Peter can venture near to have his forgiveness assured. He must stay to strengthen Thomas’ faith. He must tarry with them till He has made them feel that He is just the same friendly, brotherly Jesus that He has ever been, caring for them in their work, watching them with a yearning pity, stooping to kindle a fire for their warmth, and to cook the fish for their meal, and then to bid them come and dine.

Mark Guy Pearse[16]


July 2

FRIENDSHIP, however, though very pleasing and exceedingly blessed, has been the cause of the greatest misery to men when it has been unworthy and unfaithful; for just in proportion as a good friend is sweet, a false friend is full of bitterness. “A faithless friend is sharper than an adder’s tooth.” It is sweet to repose in some one; but O! how bitter to have that support snapped, and to receive a grievous fall as the effect of your confidence. Solomon declares that “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” That friend, I suppose, he never found in the pomps and vanities of the world. He had tried them all, but he found them empty; he passed through all their joys.[17]


Morning, July 2

 

“Our heart shall rejoice in Him.”

— Psalm 33:21

 

Blessed is the fact that Christians can rejoice even in the deepest distress; although trouble may surround them, they still sing; and, like many birds, they sing best in their cages. The waves may roll over them, but their souls soon rise to the surface and see the light of God’s countenance; they have a buoyancy about them which keeps their head always above the water, and helps them to sing amid the tempest, “God is with me still.” To whom shall the glory be given? Oh! to Jesus—it is all by Jesus. Trouble does not necessarily bring consolation with it to the believer, but the presence of the Son of God in the fiery furnace with him fills his heart with joy. He is sick and suffering, but Jesus visits him and makes his bed for him. He is dying, and the cold chilly waters of Jordan are gathering about him up to the neck, but Jesus puts His arms around him, and cries, “Fear not, beloved; to die is to be blessed; the waters of death have their fountain-head in heaven; they are not bitter, they are sweet as nectar, for they flow from the throne of God.” As the departing saint wades through the stream, and the billows gather around him, and heart and flesh fail him, the same voice sounds in his ears, “Fear not; I am with thee; be not dismayed; I am thy God.” As he nears the borders of the infinite unknown, and is almost affrighted to enter the realm of shades, Jesus says, “Fear not, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Thus strengthened and consoled, the believer is not afraid to die; nay, he is even willing to depart, for since he has seen Jesus as the morning star, he longs to gaze upon Him as the sun in his strength. Truly, the presence of Jesus is all the heaven we desire. He is at once

 

“The glory of our brightest days;

The comfort of our nights.”

 

Evening, July 2

 

“Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.”

— Psalm 28:1

 

A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear, and his ability to aid, we shall see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries.

 

Be not silent to me.” Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot; they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will—they must go further, and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest; and those replies they long to receive at once, they dread even a little of God’s silence. God’s voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness; but his silence is equally full of awe to an eager suppliant. When God seems to close his ear, we must not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, he will not long deny us a hearing. What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become for ever silent to our prayers? “Lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell. We must have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for he never can find it in his heart to permit his own elect to perish. [18]


 

God’s Justice is a Bed

 

July 2

 

I have been thinking for the last day or two about the justice of God, and it seems to me that this is after all almost a greater rest than the thought of His love. Faber says,

God’s justice is a bed where we

Our anxious hearts may lay;

And, weary with ourselves, may sleep

Our discontent away.

I have used the thought for my bed for two or three nights, and my sleep has been sweet! The thought came to me one day when one of the children said, Alice I think, that she wished she had made the world and it belonged to her, and I replied, “Oh Alice don’t wish that, for if you had made it, you would be responsible for it, and just think how unhappy you would be if things went wrong like they do.” Then it flashed on me, “God made us, and therefore He is responsible for us, and his justice demands that He cares for us.” And oh it was such a rest!

Muse on His justice, downcast soul

Muse, and take better heart;

Back with your angel to the field,

And bravely do your part.

—To Robert, July 20, 1873[19]


July 2nd

The conditions of discipleship

If any man come to Me, and hate not …, he cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26, also 27, 33.

If the closest relationships of life clash with the claims of Jesus Christ, He says it must be instant obedience to Himself. Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person, Our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a difference between devotion to a Person and devotion to principles or to a cause. Our Lord never proclaimed a cause; He proclaimed personal devotion to Himself. To be a disciple is to be a devoted love-slave of the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not devoted to Jesus Christ. No man on earth has this passionate love to the Lord Jesus unless the Holy Ghost has imparted it to him. We may admire Him, we may respect Him and reverence Him, but we cannot love Him. The only Lover of the Lord Jesus is the Holy Ghost, and He sheds abroad the very love of God in our hearts. Whenever the Holy Ghost sees a chance of glorifying Jesus, He will take your heart, your nerves, your whole personality, and simply make you blaze and glow with devotion to Jesus Christ.

The Christian life is stamped by ‘moral spontaneous originality,’ consequently the disciple is open to the same charge that Jesus Christ was, viz., that of inconsistency. But Jesus Christ was always consistent to God, and the Christian must be consistent to the life of the Son of God in him, not consistent to hard and fast creeds. Men pour themselves into creeds, and God has to blast them out of their prejudices before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.[20]


July 2

Joshua 4; Psalms 129–131; Isaiah 64; Matthew 12

In a previous chapter, isaiah wrote, “You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isa. 62:6–7). Now Isaiah follows his own advice. Isaiah 64 (more precisely, 63:7–64:12) records one of the great intercessory prayers of Scripture.

The earlier part of the prayer (63:7–19) begins with an affirmation of God’s goodness, manifested especially in the rescue of Israel in the days of Moses. Isaiah does not sugar-coat the problem: the people rebelled so grievously that God himself became their enemy (63:10). But to whom else could Isaiah possibly turn? He appeals to God’s “tenderness and compassion” (63:15), to God’s covenantal faithfulness as the Father and Redeemer of his people (even if Abraham and Jacob might want to disown the people, 63:16).

But now in Isaiah 64, the prophet utters one of the most wrenching pleas found in Holy Scripture: “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!” (64:1). That is the only hope we have: we cannot save ourselves. Nothing of our resolutions and gimmicks and religion will suffice. God himself must rend the heavens and come down. Isaiah is not denying God’s immanence; rather, he is saying that God must actively intervene on our behalf to save us, demonstrating his power once again, or we are lost.

Three other elements of Isaiah’s intercession must not be missed. First, no one recognizes more clearly than Isaiah that the God to whom he is appealing is also the Judge whom we have offended. “But when we continued to sin … you were angry. How then can we be saved?” (64:5), he asks. That is the heart of the dilemma—and the hope. Second, not only does Isaiah understand that sin separates us from God, he also identifies himself completely with his sinful people: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (64:6). The greatest intercessors have always recognized that far more connects them with the common lot of sinners than what distinguishes them—and in any case they do not hesitate to plead with God on behalf of those who will not plead for themselves. Third, Isaiah deeply understands that if God rescues us, he must do so out of grace, out of mercy, out of pity—not because we have any claim on him. That accounts for the moving tone of 64:8–12.

When have we last prayed with such insight and passion?[21]


July 2

Joshua 4; Psalms 129–131; Isaiah 64; Matthew 12

From out of what kind of “depths” is the psalmist crying in Psalm 130:1? In other psalms the sheer despair of the expression is bound up with treasonous “friends” and overt persecution (Ps. 69), or with illness and homesickness (Pss. 6, 42). In this case, however, what has plunged the psalmist into “the depths” is sin and guilt: “If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?” (130:3).

Four reflections:

First, this accent on the misery of guilt and the need for forgiveness from God serves as a welcome foil to some of the psalms that ask for vindication on the grounds that the psalmist is fundamentally just or righteous (see meditations of April 10 and 24). Such claims could scarcely be taken absolutely; genuinely righteous people invariably become more aware of their personal guilt and need for forgiveness than those who have become so foul and hard they cannot detect their own shame.

Second, the connection between forgiveness and fear is striking: “But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (130:4). Perhaps this pair of lines hints that assurance of sins forgiven was at this stage in redemptive history not as robust as it would become this side of the cross. More importantly, the “fear of the Lord” is portrayed as not only the outcome of forgiveness, but one of its goals. It confirms that “fear of the Lord” has less to do with slavish, servile terror (which surely would be decreased by forgiveness, not increased) than with holy reverence. Even so, this reverence has a component of honest fear. When sinners begin to see the magnitude of their sin, and experience the joy of forgiveness, at their best they glimpse what might have been the case had they not been forgiven. Forgiveness engenders relief; ironically, it also engenders sober reflection that settles into reverence and godly fear, for sin can never be taken lightly again, and forgiveness never lightly received.

Third, the psalmist understands that what he needs is not forgiveness in the abstract, but forgiveness from God—for what he wants and needs is reconciliation with God, restored fellowship with God. He waits for the Lord and trusts his promises (130:5). He waits like a watchman waits for the dawn through the most frightening hours but with the assurance that the dawn’s breaking is inevitable (130:6).

Fourth, what is most precious about this psalm is that even though the culmination of redemption’s plan is still centuries away, the focus is not on the mechanism but on God. “O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins” (130:7–8).[22]


July 2.—Morning. [Or December 31.] “Here am I; send me.”

UZZIAH lived for some time shut up as a leper. The year in which he died was the occasion of one of Isaiah’s visions: that eminent prophet exercised his ministry in this and the next three reigns.

Isaiah 6

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (Isaiah saw the Messiah, as we learn from John 12:41. His glorious apparel and magnificent state filled the Holy of Holies with splendour.)

Above it stood the seraphims: (Those holy ministers stood around the throne of glory, adoring, and waiting as servants to obey their King’s behests:) each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

Milton thus poetically describes a seraph:—

Six wings he wore to shade

His lineaments divine; the pair that clad

Each shoulder broad, came mantling o’er his breast

With regal ornament; the middle pair

Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round

Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold,

And colours dipt in heaven; the third his feet

Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail,

Sky tinctured grain.”

3 4, And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

¶ Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. (A sense of the Lord’s presence humbles even the best of men: we cannot see the glory of God and continue to glory in ourselves. Humility is an indispensable preparation for the Lord’s work. Isaiah must first feel his sinfulness before the live coal can touch his lips.)

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

When a man’s lips have felt the sacrificial flame, he is bold to go upon the Lord’s errands, though it were to the world’s end.

9, 10 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

11, 12 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate. And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. (On account of their sin the people could find no blessing in the ministry, but even the voice of God was a savour of death unto death unto them.)

13 ¶ But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof. (As a tree has life in it when the leaves are gone, so would the nation still live on, to be in due season restored to its former glory.)

THE evangelist John applied these words of Isaiah to the times of our Lord, and in that connection they were solemnly fulfilled.

John 12:37–41

37, 38 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

39, 40, 41 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

Sovereign Ruler, Lord of all,

Prostrate at thy feet I fall;

Hear, oh, hear my earnest cry;

Frown not, lest I faint and die.

Vilest of the sons of men,

Chief of sinners I have been:

Oft have sinn’d before thy face,

Trampled on thy richest grace.

Justly might thy fatal dart

Pierce this bleeding, broken heart;

Justly might thy angry breath

Blast me in eternal death.

Jesus, save my dying soul;

Make my broken spirit whole;

Humbled in the dust I lie;

Saviour, leave me not to die.

 

Sinful, sighing to be blest,

Bound, and longing to be free,

Weary, waiting for my rest;

“God be merciful to me!”

Holiness! I’ve none to plead,

Sinfulness in all I see;

I can only bring my need;

“God be merciful to me!”

Broken heart, and downcast eyes,

Dare not lift themselves to thee,

Yet thou canst interpret sighs;

“God be merciful to me!”

There is One beside the throne,

And my only hope and plea

Are in him, and him alone;

“God be merciful to me!”

 

Thou art my refuge, Lord, I flee

From other safeguard unto thee;

Now by thy hand of power divine,

Sustain this feeble soul of mine.

Uphold my feet, so quick to fail,

And in thy strength I shall prevail;

Go thou before me, lead me on,

Until the heavenly home be won.

Thy wisdom every day I prove,

And learn thy endless, quenchless love!

By grace upheld, by grace restored,

Thou knowest that I love thee, Lord.

A good High Priest is come,

Supplying Aaron’s place,

And, taking up his room,

Dispensing life and grace.

Woe to the man who dares pretend

His sacrifice with Christ’s to blend.

He died; but lives again,

And by the altar stands;

There shows how he was slain,

Opening his piercèd hands.

Our Priest abides; ’tis he alone

Who can for guilty man atone.

I other priests disclaim,

And laws, and offerings too,

None but the bleeding Lamb,

The mighty work can do.

Away, ye base pretenders all,

Ere yet the vengeance on you fall!

 

O thou who didst the temple fill

With thy resplendent, awful train,

The glory of thine Israel still,

Appear in those bright robes again.

Thrice holy, holy, holy Lord,

Thou art by seraphim adored;

And, while they stand around thy seat,

They veil their faces and their feet.

Lord, how can sinful lips proclaim

The honours of so great a name!

O for thine altar’s glowing coal

To touch my lips, to fire my soul!

Then, if a messenger thou ask,

A labourer for the hardest task,

Through all my weakness and my fear,

Love shall reply, “Thy servant’s here.”

 

I will praise thee every day!

Now thine anger’s turn’d away,

Comfortable thoughts arise

From the bleeding sacrifice.

Jesus is become at length,

My salvation and my strength;

And his praises shall prolong,

While I live, my pleasant song.

Raise again the joyful sound,

Let the nations roll it round!

Zion shout, for this is he,

God the Saviour dwells in thee.

July 2.—Evening. [Or January 1.] “He prepared his ways before the Lord his God.”

UZZIAH, king of Judah, who became a leper, was succeeded by his son Jotham.

2 Chronicles 27

Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok.

And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the Lord. (We should imitate our parents’ excellencies, but not their failings. It is well that Jotham took warning from his father’s sin.) And the people did yet corruptly. (They would have followed the king had he been a worshipper of idols, but they would not go with him in adoring the Lord. There was even a conspiracy hatched against him to sct up the son of Tabeal, but it came to nothing.)

He built the high gate of the house of the Lord, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.

Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers. (He did what he could for the material benefit of the people, greatly mourning that they were so indifferent to their own spiritual good.)

He fought also with the king of the Ammonites, and prevailed against them. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second year, and the third.

For one good man’s sake God blessed the whole nation. It is sad to think that this did not lead them to follow the example of their pious king; yet how many children there are with godly parents who nevertheless continue to sin against the Lord, and grieve their father’s heart. May there never be any such in this house; and if there be, may the Lord Jesus look upon them and grant them repentance unto life.

So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.

He was careful and thoughtful in his conduct, and fearful lest he should sin by inadvertence, and therefore he became strong. There is a great deal of meaning in the expression “he prepared his ways before the Lord his God;” it implies that he did not follow men, or seek their approbation, but lived as in the immediate presence of the Lord, and desired above all things to please him.

Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

8, 9 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.

Thus passed away one of the six best kings of Judah; happy nation lo have known such a ruler.

It may be for our instruction to notice that, during the long reign of Uzziah over Judah, the unhappy kingdom of Israel had been a scene of strife. For many years no king sat upon the throne, and when at last Zechariah, the fourth descendant from Jehu, assumed the crown, his reign was ended in six months by Shallum, who killed him in the presence of the people. Shallum also destroyed all the members of the family of Jehu, and thus the prophetic threatening was fulfilled. Shallum, the murderer, enjoyed the throne for only one month, and was in his turn murdered by Menahem, who for the next ten years oppressed the people, who were wholly given to their idols. At this period we hear, for the first time, of an Assyrian invasion, and Menahem purchased peace by paying a heavy subsidy and yielding a number of his subjects as captives. At Menahem’s death his son Pekahiah mounted the guilty throne, to pursue the same course of sin as his predecessors, but in the brief space of two years his reign was over, for Pekah, one of his captains, assassinated him, and began to reign at about the same period, or a little before Jotham; so that Pekah, as king of Israel, was contemporary with Jotham and Ahaz kings of Judah. Do not feel troubled by these details, for nothing in God’s word is trivial. Those who love the Lord love every letter of his Book. The prophecy of Hosea will lose much of its interest to us if we are not acquainted with the times in which he lived. The histories of Scripture are as much inspired as the Psalms or the Gospels, and it is a shame for Christians not to be well acquainted with them.[23]

 


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 201). 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. 196). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 199). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 193). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 203). 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. 193). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 193). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 193). 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. 201). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[14] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 193). 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. 187). 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. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 389–391). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Posted in Daily Devotional Guide | 3 Comments

Theological Coffee.

Originally posted on Wretched with Todd Friel:

Episode 1644

View original

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

What helps young men resist peer disapproval?

Originally posted on WINTERY KNIGHT:

Tough enough to not care about peer pressure Tough enough to not care whether you approve of what he’s doing

A post by Nick Peters about young people and apologetics, at the Christian Apologetics Alliance blog.

Excerpt:

Now picture a teenage youth who is a Christian. Is he on the outs with his peers in any way? Well if he’s a good and observant Christian, he’ll be a virgin (since most teenagers in high school aren’t married). Will that lead to any shame to his peers? Yep. Especially since they consider “getting laid” to be a rite of passage and a sign that you are a real man or woman.

So what happens with a boy who’s seventeen and can drive and who is with the guys who are talking about their sexual exploits and the guy has nothing to contribute? If he is asked why he’s not “getting some” he replies that he is a Christian. Is…

View original 575 more words

Posted in Reblogged Guest Post | Leave a comment

July 1, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

IMG_2302


Jul. 1, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Senior Obama administration officials, including former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, knew as early as 2009 that Hillary Clinton was using private email address for government. correspondence.

When she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton and her staff fretted over her press coverage, celebrating favorable stories and trying to tone down others, some 3,000 e-mails released late Tuesday by the State Department showed.

Now you can take selfies on the White House tour. Visitors strolling through the executive mansion will be allowed to take photos for the first time in more than four decades.

Along with West Virginia and Missouri, California now has some of the most stringent vaccination requirements in the country after Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, on Tuesday signed into law a bill limiting exemptions

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has pledged to give away $32 billion over the coming years. There is no time scale set for the donation, which represents all of his fortune. The billionaire is the world’s 20th richest person with $30.5 billion. The gift would benefit Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

The U.S. and Cuba will announce on Wednesday the restoration of diplomatic relations and plans to reopen embassies after 54 years, according to a U.S. official.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a six-foot-tall granite slab etched with the Bible’s Ten Commandments must be removed from the state capitol grounds as it violates the separation of church and state.

Average hourly earnings in industries paying less than $12.50 an hour a year ago rose 3.2 percent in the 12 months through April, about 1 percentage point more than wage growth for the job market as a whole.

AP Top Stories

Islamic militants unleashed a wave of simultaneous attacks, including suicide car bombings, on Egyptian army checkpoints in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 50 soldiers, security and military officials said.

Eurozone stocks and peripheral bonds rallied on Wednesday, extending gains after a report that Greece was ready to accept most conditions from its international creditors in order to reach a deal over its debt crisis.

A Syrian rebel group operating around Damascus has executed 18 alleged members of the Islamic State group in a video mimicking the extremist organization’s own productions.

Islamic State jihadists have beheaded two women in Syria for “witchcraft and sorcery”, a monitor said on Tuesday, in the group’s first known decapitation of female civilians.

A move in Russia to review the legality of a 1991 decision formally granting Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia independence from the Soviet Union has alarmed the Baltic States and stoked tensions in ties with Moscow.

Three major cables delivering Internet service to the Sacramento area were severed on Tuesday in what appears to be a coordinated attack. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was investigating the incident, which appeared to be the latest in a string of fiber cable cuts in the San Francisco Bay area over the last year.

A flood of people leaving the Dominican Republic for Haiti could grow into a humanitarian disaster and regional security threat, Port-au-Prince warned Tuesday.

OH – A 4-year-old girl who was shot in the leg when a police officer fired at a dog is recovering after surgery as her family questions how the officer responded.

Cuba on Tuesday became the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, the World Health Organization said.

The interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools said Tuesday 1,400 jobs will be “impacted” after Illinois lawmakers failed to provide relief and the financially struggling district had to borrow money to make a $634 million contribution to its teacher pension funds.

BBC

Mozambique has decriminalized homosexuality in its new penal code, making it one of a few African countries where same-sex relationships are legal. The revised code, in force from Wednesday, dropped a colonial-era clause outlawing “vices against nature”.

Cameroon has started to release some of the 84 children detained for more than six months after a raid on Koranic schools. The authorities had claimed the schools were being used as fronts for Boko Haram training camps. Amnesty International says some were as young as five years old.

The European Commission has pledged to send financial aid and experts to Hungary to help tackle an influx of migrants arriving via Serbia. The EU will provide more than $9m in aid, tents and experts to fingerprint migrants, process asylum requests and help with expulsions.

Iran and six world powers have extended into next week their talks on finding a comprehensive agreement of Tehran’s nuclear program.

About 1,200 prisoners, including al-Qaeda suspects, have escaped from a prison in central Yemen, officials said.

WND

Your Facebook feed is probably looking a little more colorful this week. In celebration of the Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage, the site is offering users a tool to overlay their profile photos with a rainbow filter. And it’s proved hugely popular. Within a few hours of the ‘Celebrate Pride’ tool launching; more than a million people changed their profile photos.

The nation’s tenth largest school district, Fairfax County in Fairfax, Virginia, voted 10-to-2 to teach gender identity and transgender issues as part of seventh-through-tenth-grade sex education curriculum.


Top News – 7/1/2015

Tsipras offers conditional okay to bailout, creditors skeptical
In the letter, seen by Reuters, Tsipras asked to keep a discount on value added tax for Greek islands, stretch out defense spending cuts and delay the phasing out of an income supplement to poorer pensioners.

Jewish, Arab, Iranian Believers Prove Peace is Possible
Although working mainly among Jews since its founding in 1809 by slave trade abolitionist William Wilberforce and others, CMJ has also consistently reached out to Arabs over the years and, in 2012, held their first At the Crossroads conference at their Jerusalem headquarters to enable Jew and Gentile to express their oneness in Christ and work together to spread the gospel on the basis of a prophecy from Isaiah (chapter 19) of a “highway” of peace and reconciliation from Egypt to Assyria (which includes much of the modern-day Arab world) via Israel.

Obama Promises That Events In Greece And Puerto Rico Will Not Cause A Global Financial Crisis
Obama says that we shouldn’t be alarmed by what is happening over in Greece. On Tuesday, he told reporters that this “is an issue primarily of concern to Europe” and that “I think the markets have properly factored in the risks involved“. And apparently Obama is not too concerned about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico either. In fact, the Obama administration has already completely ruled out any sort of federal bailout for the island.

ISIS Vows to Conquer Gaza, Israel & Palestinian Authority
ISIS not satisfied with the way Hamas terrorists have governed the Gaza region – has decided to seize control of the enclave itself. And the terrorist organization says it does not plan to stop there, either — the group apparently issued a video statement Tuesday warning of its intent to conquer the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority as well, according to the Reuters news agency.

ISIS Attacks Kill 64 Egyptian Soldiers in Sinai, 42 in El Arish
Approximately 64 Egyptian soldiers and police officers have been killed in a multi-prong attack at five checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula, according to international media sources.

Helium is leaking from San Francisco’s fault lines, and it could cause a huge earthquake
It sounds like something straight from a big-budget disaster movie, but a huge fault in the Earth’s crust is leaking helium – and it could cause a devastating Earthquake.

Iran nuclear talks: Deadline extended to 7 July
Iran and six world powers have extended into next week their talks on finding a comprehensive agreement of Tehran’s nuclear programme. The deadline for reaching an agreement was 30 June, but all parties agreed to extend it by another week, to 7 July. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that a deal was now “within reach”.

US-Cuba ties: Washington and Havana to announce embassies
The US and Cuba will on Wednesday announce the opening of embassies in each other’s capitals, a major step in re-establishing diplomatic ties severed in 1961, a senior US official has said. Relations had been frozen since the early 1960s when the US broke links and imposed a trade embargo with the Communist island. But the US and Cuba agreed to normalise relations at the end of 2014.

China security law tightens control of cyber security
China’s legislature has passed a wide-ranging and controversial national security law which tightens government control over many areas of life. The law broadly defines national security as covering everything from finance and cyber security to religion. State media said it would “protect people’s fundamental interests”.

Mozambique decriminalises gay and lesbian relationships
Mozambique has decriminalised homosexuality in its new penal code, making it one of a few African countries where same-sex relationships are legal. The revised code, in force from Wednesday, drops a colonial-era clause outlawing “vices against nature”. There were no prosecutions under that clause but rights activists have said this change is a symbolic victory.

Foreign Ministry: United Church of Christ’s decision to divest from Israel ‘immoral’
The Foreign Ministry called the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) decision to divest from companies operating beyond the Green Line “immoral” in a statement released Wednesday. “People of faith and religion should work to facilitate peace and not try to hurt the side [Israel] aspiring for peace,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

Israel closes crossings with Egypt, Gaza, following ISIS Sinai terror attacks
Israel closed the Nizzana and Kerem Shalom border crossings Wednesday following militant attacks in Egypt’s North Sinai that killed at least 30 in one of the biggest coordinated assaults yet in the insurgency-hit province. Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate, Sinai Province, claimed responsibility for the attacks against security forces in North Sinai, according to a statement on Twitter.

When gold is declared illegal…
As regular readers know, we recommend having some cash on hand in case of a monetary emergency. But a reader asks: In the same vein as your reader’s question as to what good cash is when it’s declared illegal, what good is gold when gold is declared illegal? First, precious metals aren’t illegal, so far. Second, making something illegal doesn’t necessarily make it unpopular.

Suicide truck bomb kills two, wounds 40 in Afghanistan: officials
A suicide truck bomb in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday killed two civilians and wounded more than 40, officials said, in the latest attack since the Taliban began their annual offensive.

Ukraine suspends Russian gas purchases
Russian gas purchases have been suspended by Ukraine after a breakdown in talks aimed at keeping supplies running for three to six months. The Ukrainian state energy company, Naftogaz, said it would continue transporting Russian gas supplies to other European customers.

Around 1,200 escape from Yemen prison, including al Qaeda suspects
Around 1,200 prisoners, including al Qaeda suspects, escaped during clashes at a jail in central Yemen on Tuesday, officials said.

What Netanyahu Really Thinks About Military Action Against Iran
Israel’s former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, is on a crusade to discredit President Obama and derail a possible nuclear deal with Iran — and his new memoir contains interesting information about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s real thoughts on how to stop the Iranians getting a nuclear weapon.

Small earthquake recorded in west Alabama
The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 3.8 tremor was recorded Tuesday morning near Eutaw — roughly 35 miles southwest of Tuscaloosa.

Second Earthquake Since May Rattles Lower Michigan
A shallow earthquake jolted lower Michigan Tuesday morning, marking the second time in two months the region — which is fairly a stranger to earthquakes — has felt a tremblor.

Greece Defaults on IMF Debt
Greece made last-minute overtures to its international creditors for financial aid on Tuesday, but it was not enough to save the country from becoming the first developed economy to default on a loan with the International Monetary Fund.


Top Headlines – 7/1/2015

Italian FM: Peace deal could send signal of stability to Middle East

Foreign Affairs Ministry: UCC decision to divest ‘immoral’

US church votes to divest from companies operating in West Bank

Website records testimonies of anti-Semitism on US campuses

Belgium to provide $4 million in security funding to Jewish institutions

Israel’s new kamikaze drone

Shin Bet chief says Palestinian terror attacks up 50% since 2012

Palestinian shot after attempting to run through Jerusalem checkpoint shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’

950 Hezbollah operatives, 300 Hamas members in Germany – intelligence report

Islamic State threatens to topple Hamas in Gaza, ‘uproot the Jewish state’

Islamic State captures district in Syrian border town

Syria’s Defense minister’s advisor: War-torn nation is undergoing de facto partition

Israeli official: Syria is dying, the funeral will be declared in due time

Isis militants behead two Syrian women for witchcraft

Global support for ISIS includes up to 42M Muslims, group claims

United against ISIS… or is it ISIL, IS, or the Islamic State?

Israeli cartoon warns – ‘Iran is like ISIS, just much bigger’

Obama warns Iran in eleventh hour nuclear negotiations

Obama: I will walk away from Iran talks if its a bad deal

Iranians arrive in Vienna to seal the deal; interim agreement extended 7 days

UN to report Iran reduced uranium stockpile to required level, envoys say

Nuclear Deal Would Leave Iran With 5,000 Centrifuges

BDS in Ireland: Shops nix Israeli goods, but fine with N. Korean, Iranian products

Egypt’s Sisi calls for new measures against terrorism following assassination of top prosecutor

Three killed in car bomb in suburb west of Cairo

Year into Sisi’s power, Egyptians lament persistent hardships

Kuwait says in ‘state of war,’ warns of other militant cells

Kuwait government says mosque suicide bomber was Saudi national

Suicide truck bomb kills two, wounds 40 in Afghanistan: officials

Around 1,200 escape from Yemen prison, including al Qaeda suspects

South Sudan conflict: Army ‘raped and torched girls’

Hindu Radicals Threaten to ‘Burn’ Indian Pastor Alive, Wipe Congregation From Town Following Church Attack

Rivlin: Ramadan has become month of worldwide terror

Concerns Of Muslim Immigration Surge Into Western World Come Into Focus

School Warns Parents To Dress Daughters Modestly To Avoid Offending Muslim Refugees

London exercise tests readiness for potential terrorist attack

Terror Suspect Arrested In NJ; NYPD On High Alert For July 4 Fireworks

Washington, D.C. ‘No Drone Zone’ on July 4

FBI investigating 11 attacks on San Francisco-area Internet lines

Huckabee: Maybe We Should Ask Chinese Hackers For Lois Lerner’s Emails

US, Cuba to announce opening of embassies on Wednesday

Greece’s bailout expires, country defaults on IMF payment

Greece enters uncharted financial territory amid crisis

Eurozone ministers to weigh latest proposal from Greece as country defaults on its IMF payment

Online payments halted in Greece, citizens eye Bitcoin to protect savings

Greek debt crisis: In Athens, scavenging from bins has become a way to survive

Puerto Rico poses bigger threat to U.S. investors than Greece

15 Weeks: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000

Ukraine suspends Russian gas purchases

World Asteroid Day: ‘Figure out what a life is worth’ – Astronomer warns asteroids could kill thousands

Toshiba readies scorpion-like robot for Fukushima nuclear plant

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohonua, Tonga

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kiska Volcano, Alaska

Small 3.8 earthquake recorded in west Alabama

3.3 earthquake recorded this morning in Michigan, felt by many

Latest Michigan quake has scientists puzzled

Strong earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge

Oklahoma’s fracking “game changer”: A big spike in earthquakes has regulators considering tougher drilling regulations

Drilling, not quake, caused Indonesia mud volcano: paper

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Ubinas volcano in Peru erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Small volcanic eruption closes parts of resort near Tokyo

Floods kill 55 in western India as relief work continues

Californians struggle for ‘normal life,’ without water

California Drought Taking Serious Toll On Aging Sewer System In San Francisco

Western Europe bakes in heatwave

White House says US welcomes China’s climate change plan

Beware of animal diseases as biological weapons, health experts say

Public Health Officials Know: Recently Vaccinated Individuals Spread Disease

Whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they’re infectious?

Gov. Brown Signs Law Ending Personal, Religious Exemptions to School Vaccine Requirements

Judge blocks Florida abortion waiting-period law

Gender Identity Curriculum Including Instruction on Oral and Anal Sex Angers Parents in Virginia

Harvard athlete among first openly transgender NCAA swimmers

Transgender immigration detainees may be housed by gender they identify with

Girl Scouts rejects $100Gs donation with anti-transgender restriction

Same-sex marriage fight turns to clerk who refuses licenses

Churches remain divided over gay marriage, debate shifts from court to pews

Gov. Mary Fallin signs bill allowing Oklahoma ministers to refuse to perform gay marriage

Christian Preachers Brutally Beaten at Gay Pride Festival

Haredim hire Mexicans to protest NY pride parade

After ‘gratifying’ week, Obama sees long to-do list in time left

For Obama, rainbow White House was ‘a moment worth savoring’

Jim Bakker: Supreme Court Ruling Bringing ‘Abandonment Wrath’ on Nation

10 Commandments statue must be removed from state Capitol, Oklahoma Supreme Court rules

Greeleyville AME church seventh burned across South in wake of Emanuel shooting

Hawaiian Natives and Astronomers Clash on ‘Holy Mountain’ over natives gods

Recreational-use marijuana to become legal in Oregon

Oregon Has More Marijuana Shops Than Starbucks or McDonald’s

Controversial Church of the Wells Members To Blame For Heckling Joel Osteen

First ever ‘Navy Gay Pride’ events on military base

Oklahoma Supreme’s: Ten Commandments at Capitol unconstitutional, must come down

Kevin Kleint – The Legalization of Gay Marriage, God’s Judgment on the American Church

Nasa forced to address claims a giant asteroid will soon destroy humanity


Daily Digest

July 1, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“The truth is, that, even with the most secure tenure of office, during good behavior, the danger is not, that the judges will be too firm in resisting public opinion, and in defence of private rights or public liberties; but, that they will be ready to yield themselves to the passions, and politics, and prejudices of the day.” —Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Man Who’s Never Had a Real Job Makes Rules for Businesses

With a wave of his magic wand, Barack Obama just gave five million workers a raise — or so he’d like you to believe. In an op-ed explaining his new regulations on overtime pay for salaried workers, Obama wrote, “We’ve got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded. Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve. That’s partly because we’ve failed to update overtime regulations for years — and an exemption meant for highly paid, white collar employees now leaves out workers making as little as $23,660 a year — no matter how many hours they work. … [M]y plan [is] to extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016, covering all salaried workers making up to about $50,400 next year.” And who doesn’t want a raise? Naturally, his proposal will be popular with those who think they stand to benefit, as well as those in need of an Economics 101 refresher. The real-world results will be that employers hire fewer workers, pay lower base wages, cut hours and nix benefits like work-from-home scenarios for employees who now have to scrupulously track their hours. Just mandating higher wages doesn’t mean businesses can afford to pay them. The conservative approach is to actually grow the economy — which, notably, Obama has not done. As John F. Kennedy once said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Not just the ones Obama points to with his wand.

State Dragging Its Feet During Clinton Email Release

Last night, the State Department released 3,000 pages of Hillary Clinton’s email from when she served as secretary of state. This is the first batch of emails it released in response to a judge ordering the department to place Clinton’s emails in the public record on a rolling basis. Americans will get an email dump every month until the Democrat primary in January. Cue a Hillary headache. Nate Jones, expert in the Freedom of Information Act at the National Security Archive housed at George Washington University, said he would be watching how much information the State Department redacts. “The emails were unclassified, so it will be eyebrow-raising if any more content is retroactively classified by State,” Jones said. “It will be extremely troubling if State wastes its resources to unnecessarily censor ‘deliberative process’ emails which Clinton herself stated she wants released.” Sure enough, the State Department redacted 25 emails because it deemed them classified. It also went ahead and struck the name of a man whose birthday Clinton’s office was celebrating. Last week, the House Select Committee on Benghazi discovered through interviewing Clinton lackey Sidney Blumenthal that Clinton’s staff sanitized the emails before dumping them on State. For all the platitudes, the effort to get the Clinton docs in the public record is all but sincere.

Justices to Rule on Forced Union Dues

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to add to next term’s docket Friderichs v. California Teachers Association, a lawsuit that could significantly loosen teachers unions grip over California and 19 other states. Because those states abide by the “closed shop” rule, collective bargaining requires that public teachers, even non-unionized ones, turn over portions of their paychecks to Democrat activists masquerading as unions. That’s not a bargain at all, which is why lead plaintiff Rebecca Friedrichs, a frustrated teacher veteran, filed a lawsuit two years ago to abolish the arbitrary system. Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, the firm representing the plaintiffs, said in 2013, “We are going to get this case to the Supreme Court and win, and if we do, we will eliminate the close shop rules.” He was right about the first part, but we won’t know about the second for another year. But Reason’s Robby Soave believes that SCOTUS will get this one right. “The conservative 5-4 majority in 2012’s Knox v. SEIU essentially invited such a challenge, and the decision today by the Court to hear the case is a very good sign,” he writes. Furthermore, “A big win for Friedrichs could have massive consequences. California is just one of 20 ‘closed-shop’ states that require non-members to pay union dues. Compulsory unionization could be ruled unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds nationwide.” Recent rulings — namely on ObamaCare — caution us against high expectations, but unions have been put on high alert either way. Even an unfavorable ruling won’t silence the growing, vocal opposition to union contortions.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Could the Obergefell Decision Mean National Concealed Carry?

By Jim Harrington

2015-07-01-a5e265f1_large.jpg

The Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision forcing states to recognize same-sex marriage has sparked a debate about whether the decision also provides legal precedent requiring states to recognize concealed carry permits. Let’s weigh that argument.

Bob Owens at Bearing Arms fired first, explaining, “The Court used Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to justify their argument. … By using the Constitution in such a manner, the Court argues that the Due Process Clause extends ‘certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy’ accepted in a majority of states across the state lines of a handful of states that still banned the practice.”

Comparing Obergefell to concealed carry reciprocity, Owens points out, “The vast majority of states are ‘shall issue’ on the matter of issuing concealed carry permits, and enjoy reciprocity with a large number of other states.” And concealed carry is certainly “accepted in a majority of states across the state lines of … states that still [ban] the practice.” Before Obergefell, 14 states did not recognize his concealed carry permit. He argues the ruling means they must.

It’s certainly interesting that attorney Marc Greendorfer’s amicus brief against same-sex marriage filed for the Obergefell case invokes the Second Amendment. Greendorfer wrote, “One day, this Court will have to explain how sweeping restrictions on every aspect of firearms ownership and use can be upheld yet traditional and long-standing regulations on marriage cannot be tolerated in any form or in any jurisdiction. … [After Heller], a number of state and local governments imposed draconian restrictions on firearms, claiming that the restrictions were reasonable and common sense, and did not infringe the core right protected by the Second Amendment.”

It’s true that the Supreme Court did not limit its interpretation of Due Process to same-sex marriage. But we also don’t hold out much hope that Owens’ interpretation will, er, carry the day.

Three legal experts weighed in on the subject for Independent Journal Review, and their take is more sobering.

Ilya Somin, professor of law at George Mason University, offered some optimism. “I think this argument may be plausible, but it is far from an open and shut case,” he said. “[T]he Supreme Court has not ruled that having a concealed carry permit is a ‘personal choice central to individual dignity and autonomy.’ It hasn’t even (so far) ruled that the right to conceal-carry … is protected by the Second Amendment. … [I]n the case of concealed carry permits, the Court has never ruled that states are required to issue them to their own citizens. I think such a ruling might well be required by the Second Amendment. But it hasn’t happened yet.”

But Robert A. Levy, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at Cato Institute, put a damper on even such guarded optimism: “No. The Obergefell Court applied the Due Process Clause to ‘certain personal choices central to personal dignity and autonomy.’ I doubt that the Court would interpret that phrase to encompass a federal constitutional right to concealed carry. Nor would the Court rule that any right enforceable under the laws of, say, 36 states must therefore be extended to the remaining states.”

And Trevor Burrus, Research Fellow at Cato, warned, “If proponents want to bring a case on concealed carry and cite the Obergefell opinion, they are free to… [But] gay marriage [doesn’t] automatically convey a right to concealed carry in 50 states. Moreover, by using these spurious arguments, advocates … harm the overall movement for gun rights. Bad arguments can create bad precedents that could impair the expansion of the right to self defense.”

Finally, economist John Lott, who has written extensively on guns, wrote our publisher Mark Alexander to give his opinion: “I don’t think that the decision will make any difference for gun rights, as the four liberal justices who voted for it don’t believe that there is a right to self-defense or a right to own guns, let alone a right to be able to carry a concealed handgun. You might get one vote for a pro-gun position using that argument, but it would only be Kennedy.”

In the world of SCOTUS and the Left, you must be careful what you wish for. We don’t exactly trust our “Supremes” to read the Second Amendment any better than they do the Tenth and Fourteenth. But that isn’t to say national concealed carry reciprocity isn’t worth aiming for.

2015-07-01-d08137a2_large.jpg

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Star Parker: “[Justice Anthony] Kennedy is so absorbed in creating reality that he appears oblivious that any reality might exist outside his own imagination. He notes ‘deep transformations’ in our understanding of marriage, and that ‘these new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution of marriage.’ Really? In 1960, 9 percent of American adults over 25 had never married. Today it is 20 percent. In a recent Pew Research survey, only 47 percent said it is ‘very important’ that a couple legally marries if they plan to spend the rest of their lives together. In 1960, about 5 percent of our babies were born to unwed mothers. Now it is 41 percent. Sixty-one percent of Americans now say out-of-wedlock birth is morally acceptable. … The marriage redefinition movement has been driven by two motivations: 1) de-legitimization of religion, and 2) expansion of the welfare state. … It is no accident that as marriage has broken down, dependence on government has exploded. The percentage of our national budget consisting of transfer payments to individuals has expanded from less than 30 percent in 1960 to around 70 percent today.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The danger when men stop believing in God is not that they’ll believe in nothing, but that they’ll believe in anything.” —G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Upright: “If justices cannot resist the urge to legislate, let’s drop the pretense that constitutional law is guided by neutral principles and at least give the people the option to vote justices in (and out).” —Mona Charen

Braying Jenny: “Whiteness is most certainly and inevitably terror. … White folks think that if they are nice to you they are above a critique of whiteness, white supremacy, or structural racism.” —now-terminated University of Memphis professor Zandria Robinson

Non Compos Mentis: “Maybe we now realize the way racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it.” —Barack Obama

Beware: “[My to-do] list is long and my instructions to my team and my instructions to myself have always been that we are going to squeeze every last ounce of progress that we can make … as long as I have the privilege of holding this office.” —Barack Obama

Friendly fire: “On the world stage, I think [Obama’s accomplishments] have been minimal. I think he has done some good things domestically, like health reform and so forth. But on the world stage, just to be objective about it, I can’t think of many nations in the world where we have a better relationship now than when he took over.” —Jimmy Carter

Late-night humor: “After Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about immigrants, NBC has officially canceled ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ Donald Trump isn’t even president yet and he’s already made America a better place.” —Conan O’Brien

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/ )”


Barack Obama Promises That Events In Greece And Puerto Rico Will Not Cause A Global Financial Crisis

Barack Obama Giving Speech - Photo by Gage SkidmoreBarack Obama says that we shouldn’t be alarmed by what is happening over in Greece.  On Tuesday, he told reporters that this “is an issue primarily of concern to Europe” and that “I think the markets have properly factored in the risks involved“.  And apparently Obama is not too concerned about the debt crisis in Puerto Rico either.  In fact, the Obama administration has already completely ruled out any sort of federal bailout for the island.  Barack Obama is assuring us that everything is going to be just fine and that we are not headed for another global financial crisis.  So is he correct?   (Read More…)


The 75 Trillion Dollar Shadow Banking System Is In Danger Of Collapsing

Shadow Banking System - Public DomainKeep an eye on the shadow banking system – it is about to be shaken to the core.  According to the Financial Stability Board, the size of the global shadow banking system has reached an astounding 75 trillion dollars.  It has approximately tripled in size since 2002.  In the U.S. alone, the size of the shadow banking system is approximately 24 trillion dollars.  At this point, shadow banking assets in the United States are even greater than those of conventional banks.  These shadow banks are largely unregulated, but governments around the world have been extremely hesitant to crack down on them because these nonbank lenders have helped fuel economic growth.  But in the end, we will all likely pay a very great price for allowing these exceedingly reckless financial institutions to run wild. (Read More….)


LGBT activists: Marriage was never the ‘end game’

Some admit they seek radical ‘transformation’ of society

Now, the real fight begins, say leaders in the LGBT movement.

And it won’t be for the faint of heart.

So-called “marriage equality” is not the end-game, according to the activists. It’s merely a window through which they will push for other rights, in housing, education, health care, employment and religious practice.

View Article


Obama the Lawless and the Coming Day of the Lord!

Obama, like the countless others (Pharaoh, Cesar, Hitler, Stalin Mao, Mussolini, Castro etc.) of world’s history who choose to out work a vain, godless and lawless ideology (Rom. 1:18-32) have all been Lucifer’s pawns and tools for setting the stage for his lawless masterpiece, the “Anti Christ” (Eph. 6:12, 2 Thess. 2:3-12, Rev.13).

View Article


ISIS Threatens Mass Slaughter of Christians in Israel Before End of Ramadan

Islamic militants claiming to be representatives of terror group ISIS in Jerusalem have threatened to “cleanse” Israel of all Christians and “non-believers” unless they leave the country. The extremists are accusing Christians of encouraging Muslims to abandon their religion.

View Article


Homeland Security In New Jersey Fears ISIS Macy’s Fourth Of July Fireworks Attack

ISIS Terror Suspect Arrested In NJ; NYPD On High Alert For July 4 Fireworks

EDITOR’S NOTE: Obama’s “JV Team” ISIS has gotten their varsity letter, as the FBI puts New Jersey and the Tri-State area on surveillance lockdown ahead of this weekend’s Fourth of July fireworks celebrations. ISIS in New Jersey…just let that sink in for a moment. Savor it, thank a Democrat. Happy 4th. This is Obama’s America. 

Another suspected member of a reportedly ISIS radicalized terror cell was arrested in New Jersey Monday, as the metropolitan area goes on hyper-alert for the threat of an attack during the Fourth of July holiday.

new-jersey-york-on-high-alert-isis-terror-cells-4th-july-fbi-jv-team-islam-religion-of-peace

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported Monday, experts said they think the terror threats are very real, because ISIS is actively trying to radicalize people in the Tri-State Area.

Among those radicalized people, according to authorities, was Alaa Saadeh – the 23-year-old West New York, New Jersey man arrested Monday. He was believed to be part of a group interested in detonating a pressure cooker bomb at a New York landmark.

New Jersey Raid Leads to Fourth ISIS-related Arrest in Tri-State Area

Saadeh was the fifth person arrested recently on terror-related charges in New York and New Jersey.

The NYPD and some 18,000 law enforcement agencies around the nation have been ordered by Homeland Security officials to be especially “vigilant and prepared” for the possibility of an attack during the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks show celebrations. ISIS has asked supporters to murder the enemy this month during Ramadan.

The two main fears I would have would be the random attack — as we saw with hatchets or knives against individuals – probably police officers or uniformed personnel; military people who might be on leave. And the other is the IED – the improvised explosive device,” King said.

The NYPD is especially concerned about a planned attack with multiple actors, which could include either one large explosion or a series of smaller explosions. source


The Vatican Wants The Temple Mount Taken From The Jews

The Vatican-PLO agreements have been signed to enable the eviction of the Jews from Jerusalem.

“Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.” Jeremiah 4:16 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Make no mistake about it, people, the Vatican State corporation’s main aim concerning Jerusalem is to take it from the Jews and hand it to the Palestinians. Last week, the Vatican signed a peace treaty and gave official recognition to the state of Palestine. The handwriting, as Daniel noted, is clearly and plainly “on the wall”.

In 2000, speaking in a mosque in Palestinian-held Ramallah, Yasser Arafat declared, “No one will succeed in removing us from our land, including Jerusalem, and the Palestinian flag will fly from the Temple Mount and from the churches in Jerusalem.”

pope-francis-vatican-wants-temple-mount-old-city-jerusalem-taken-from-jews-given-to-palestinians

The Vatican signed a treaty with the “State of Palestine” on Friday, saying it hoped its legal recognition of the state would help stimulate peace with Israel and that the treaty itself would serve as a model for other Mideast countries.

Arafat could say that because he had won the Vatican’s support for his terroristic strategy. On June 26th, 2015, the Vatican signed its first treaty with the “State of Palestine”. It is the logical conclusion of a long path.

When the pontiff John Paul II ascended to the Temple Mount in 2000, Judaism’s most holy site, he wasn’t welcomed by Israeli officials, but by representatives of the Palestinian Authority, and the holy complex was bedecked in Arab flags. It was the Pope’s implicit recognition of Islamic hegemony. It was taken to mean that Islam and Christianity superseded Judaism and have the right to “inherit” its holy places.

Since then, the Holy See’s taking a stance as the ally of the heads of the Palestinian Authority in the place most holy to the Jewish people, became almost a fait accompli.

The Catholic de-legitimization of Israel passes through the war on Jerusalem and the war on Jerusalem passes through the Temple Mount. The site where the Jewish people worshipped for hundreds of years and the focal point of every practicing Jew’s prayers is under assault from the Vatican.

Jerusalem is forever the eternal capital of God’s Holy Land of Israel

The Vatican-PLO agreements have been signed to enable the eviction of the Jews from Jerusalem. This follows a memorandum signed by Palestinian and Vatican officials in 2000 which repeated the Vatican call for an international mandate to preserve “the proper identity and sacred character” of Jerusalem. It means a return to a time when half of Israel’s capital was under Islamic control, the Old City was closed to Jews, the synagogues were desecrated, and walls, barbed wire, and snipers divided the city by force.

The Vatican is consistent. In 1964, when Pope Paul VI made the first papal visit to Jerusalem, Jews and Christians with Israeli passports were barred from entering the Old City. And no Vatican official complained about that. source


Jim Bakker: Supreme Court Ruling Bringing ‘Abandonment Wrath’ on Nation

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 09:39 AM PDT

Jim Bakker, host of The Jim Bakker Show broadcast throughout the world, told Charisma on Friday that God partially lifted his hand of protection off America during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but he expects that God will fully lift his hand of protection off the nation now. “As I’m talking to you the Supreme Court just handed down a few moments ago the ruling that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex marriage couples the same benefits as those in traditional marriages,” Bakker said. “Rabbi (Jonathan) Cahn mentioned to me earlier that if they make this official—Rick Wiles said it too; Chuck Missler said it to—that it would take down the hand of (God’s) protection. It’s abandonment wrath.” Bakker said there are six types of wrath in the Bible and America will likely now experience “abandonment wrath.”

“It would be the final sign of all these piles of signs—the blood moons, the Shemitah years—and all about to take place on Elul 29 (Sept. 13, the last day of the Shemitah). I believe in the last decade America has done more to abandon God, turn our back on the Bible, outlaw the cross, outlaw the Ten Commandments, outlaw prayer—all these things. Be not deceived. God is not mocked. America has mocked God. We have been a blessed nation, but we are not a blessed nation any longer.” FULL REPORT

The post Jim Bakker: Supreme Court Ruling Bringing ‘Abandonment Wrath’ on Nation appeared first on .

WARNING FROM HEAVEN? D.C. endures worst storm since Derecho 2012

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 09:35 AM PDT

Here we are less than a week into a major Supreme Court ruling regarding Same Sex Marriage in all 50 States and ordering the removal of the ten commandments monument from the Oklahoma State Capitol! In the middle of the night, in July’s opening moments, the most violent complex of the storms since the June 2012 derecho blasted the immediate D.C. area. It downed scores of trees and produced blinding rain and almost non-stop lightning as it swept straight up the I-95 corridor from near Dale City through the District and into Baltimore. This morning, area utilities, including Pepco, are still dealing with thousands without electricity.

Many eyewitnesses, awakened and rattled by the storm, described it as the scariest they could recall — jarred by the deafening thunder, continuous lightning, pounding rain and roaring winds. The intense but very localized storm complex formed from the merging of multiple thunderstorm cells just to the south of Washington after midnight. Cell mergers are known to produce exceptionally strong thunderstorms. The updraft and rain mass of one cell combines with similar features of another cell. The combination can lead to a surge in updraft intensity, lightning generation and subsequent generation of damaging winds. FULL REPORT

The post WARNING FROM HEAVEN? D.C. endures worst storm since Derecho 2012 appeared first on .

Indonesia raises alert as Mt Raung volcano erupts

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 09:11 AM PDT

Indonesian authorities on Monday (Jun 29) raised the alert level after Mount Raung in East Java erupted, causing ash to land in surrounding villages. The eruption at Mount Raung on Sunday evening was heard 20 kilometers away, and ash fall was seen in villages about 10 kilometers away from the summit. Aircraft pilots also reported seeing large amounts of ash at a height of 3,500 meters. Authorities cordoned off a two-kilometre radius around the volcano, and raised the alert level to “Siaga”, the second highest level.

The Head of Prevention and Disaster Preparedness at the local Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency added the eruption could be seen from a lookout post in Banyuwangi, East Java. Volcanologists have recorded an increase in volcanic activity and tremors on the 3,332-metre high Mount Raung since Jun 24. Apart from Mount Raung, other volcanoes for which Indonesian authorities have raised the second highest alert level are Mount Karangetang, as well as Mount Soputan and Mount Lokon in Sulawesi. FULL REPORT

The post Indonesia raises alert as Mt Raung volcano erupts appeared first on .

Volcano alert raised for Japan’s Mount Hakone after small eruption

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 09:06 AM PDT

Authorities on Tuesday raised the volcano alert for Mount Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture, restricting access to the area after a small eruption at the popular tourist site. The Meteorological Agency said it confirmed volcanic ash was emitted from the area, which has been venting unusual amounts of steam in recent months. The agency said the ash deposits indicate that a small eruption occurred between Monday evening and Tuesday. Mount Hakone, about 80 km south of Tokyo, last erupted between the late 12th century and 13th century, according to experts. Volcanic activity in the area began intensifying in late April but recently showed signs of subsiding.

The alert level was raised from 2 to 3 on the 5-point scale as the agency warned that large volcanic cinders could fall in areas as far as 700 meters from where experts believe a new crater has been formed. The higher alert restricts people from entering the area. Level 2 restricts people from getting close to the crater. The alert came after an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 3.3 on the seismic intensity scale of 7 occurred at 6:56 a.m. Tuesday in the Yumoto district of the town of Hakone. It was the strongest quake recorded at the mountain since volcanic activity began increasing April 26, the Meteorological Agency said. FULL REPORT

The post Volcano alert raised for Japan’s Mount Hakone after small eruption appeared first on .

Confederate Flags Set On Fire In Chicago

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 08:19 AM PDT

Members of a group called Chicago Uprising gathered near the Lincoln Memorial in Lincoln Park Saturday night and set fire to several Confederate flags, officials said. The flags are now the focus of a renewed debate, which was sparked by the deadly Charleston church shootings.

Two people were arrested in South Carolina Saturday after an activist climbed a 30-foot flagpole and removed the Confederate flag from in front of the state capitol.South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the flag last week, although conservative politicians who have led the state for a quarter-century have rebuffed many previous calls to remove the flag. FULL REPORT

The post Confederate Flags Set On Fire In Chicago appeared first on .

The Vatican Wants the Temple Mount Taken From the Jews

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 08:10 AM PDT

THE VATICAN-PLO AGREEMENTS HAVE BEEN SIGNED TO ENABLE THE EVICTION OF THE JEWS FROM JERUSALEM.

“Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.” Jeremiah 4:16 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Make no mistake about it, people, the Vatican State corporation’s main aim concerning Jerusalem is to take it from the Jews and hand it to the Palestinians. Last week, the Vatican signed a peace treaty and gave official recognition to the state of Palestine. The handwriting, as Daniel noted, is clearly and plainly “on the wall”.

In 2000, speaking in a mosque in Palestinian-held Ramallah, Yasser Arafat declared, “No one will succeed in removing us from our land, including Jerusalem, and the Palestinian flag will fly from the Temple Mount and from the churches in Jerusalem.” Arafat could say that because he had won the Vatican’s support for his terroristic strategy. On June 26th, 2015, the Vatican signed its first treaty with the “State of Palestine”. It is the logical conclusion of a long path. FULL REPORT

The post The Vatican Wants the Temple Mount Taken From the Jews appeared first on .

1 Prophetic Word and 4 Keys for Intercessors Contending for Revival

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 08:05 AM PDT

A few months ago as I was speaking at a conference the Lord began to release a word concerning alignment. At the time I knew that only part of the word was released and that there was more to come. About a month ago as I was seeking the Lord concerning his body and the nation, I received the fullness of the word. I saw a plumb line being released from heaven. The plumb line swung back and forth quickly and then progressively slower until it hovered over the nation. As the plumb line became steady I asked the Lord what he was saying to me. I heard the Lord say:

“Alignment is the assignment. Many think alignment for assignments, but I say alignment is the assignment. I’m releasing a plumb line of awakening for the nation. I’m looking for a greater agreement between heaven and earth. Intercessors arise, awake, align, and appeal. I’m releasing my revivalists and reformers into the regions to survey the land. They will carry the plumb line of awakening and co-labor with the master builder to establish regional strongholds of the kingdom. Just as the sound of Nehemiah’s trumpet called the people to work and war at the wall, I’ve released a sound to war in prayer and labor in love rebuilding the walls of intercession in the regions. Those with a mind to work can discern the sound. Do not grow weary, a fresh wind is being released and will empower you to contend for what you’ve been called to build.” FULL REPORT

The post 1 Prophetic Word and 4 Keys for Intercessors Contending for Revival appeared first on .

Will America Survive Without Another Great Spiritual Awakening?

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 08:01 AM PDT

America’s Founding Fathers, without exception, would be appalled at the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. The Founders, even the so-called nonreligious ones, believed Christian morality and virtue to be necessary for a stable and prosperous society. This is what John Adams was referring to when he said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” This is why, in a circular letter addressed to the states in 1783, George Washington prayed that God would bind the nation together and grant its citizens “the social and personal virtues necessary for its survival.”

Two hundred and thirty-nine years ago this week, the United States of America was formed out of a great spiritual awakening that had swept over the 13 Colonies. All the Founders, to one degree or another, were impacted by this awakening, and all agreed that Christianity was necessary to restrain evil and produce a stable and prosperous society. The Founders knew that a people not restrained by religious conviction would turn liberty into licentiousness and freedom into anarchy. Professor Barry Shain has quoted a host of writers from the founding generation demonstrating that they believed that “when sin abounds, natural liberty ends.” FULL REPORT

The post Will America Survive Without Another Great Spiritual Awakening? appeared first on .

Mystery sea creature washes ashore in eastern Russia

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 07:57 AM PDT

The carcass of a mysterious sea creature has washed ashore in eastern Russia, but its identity remains under debate and adding to the intrigue is that the animal was reported to have fur on its tail section. The marine mammal, about twice the size of a human, with an elongated skull, and with some of its with ribs exposed, was found on Sakhalin Island.

According to Sakhalin Media, local residents who found the creature described it as resembling a dinosaur, but with “a huge nose like a bird’s beak.” Some suggested that the animal is an endangered Ganges River dolphin from India, but it’s much larger than the average river dolphin, and it’s unlikely that a freshwater river dolphin could have traveled to the frigid North Pacific. The Sakhalin Media report cited a stark resemblance to the river dolphin, aside from the size and the fur on the tail. FULL REPORT

 

The post Mystery sea creature washes ashore in eastern Russia appeared first on .

Black Hole just erupted for the first time in 26 years

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 07:52 AM PDT

Lurking 8,000 light years from Earth is a black hole 12 times more massive than our sun. It’s been peacefully sleeping for 26 years. But on June 15, astronomers detected something signaling that it had woken up. Now, scientists around the world are using highly sophisticated instruments to learn as much as they can about this mysterious beast of nature before the black hole returns to its slumber, which will be soon.

Black holes are very dense, massive objects in space that have an immensely powerful gravitational field that traps anything and everything that comes too close, including light. But on occasion they’ll spit out material as well as suck it in. On June 15, one of NASA’s satellites picked up a torrent of x-rays all coming from a single source: the black hole. FULL REPORT

The post Black Hole just erupted for the first time in 26 years appeared first on .

 


Christian Headlines Daily –

http://www.christianheadlines.com/


What is The Gospel?


“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


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.

Posted in News/Commentary Collection | Leave a comment

July 1, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

IMG_2433


Theories of the Atonement: What Happened on the Cross?

Throughout church history, there have been various views and theories that conceptualize the nature of Christ’s work on the cross. Because the atonement runs to the very heart of the Gospel, it’s important for us to know how people throughout the history of the church have understood the work of Christ, and to be able to test each by Scripture. Today, I want to briefly survey and evaluate some of the main theories of the atonement.

Read More


Monogamy is No Joke

I agree with Marceau that “MONOGAMY IS NO JOKE.” I may even join her in using all caps. It’s an honor. It is our godly context for sexually intimate relationship and family while we await something even greater on the new heavens and new earth. Because God is faithful, I can be faithful. But this author has got it all wrong when she says, “love, in monogamy, is a selfish pursuit.” That is a one-sided relationship and there is nothing intimate about it.

Read More


Now’s the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions

So yes, the logic of gay-marriage rights could lead to a reexamination of conservative churches’ tax exemptions (although, as long as the IRS is afraid of challenging Scientology’s exemption, everyone else is probably safe). But when that day comes, it will be long overdue. I can see keeping some exemptions; hospitals, in particular, are an indispensable, and noncontroversial, public good. And localities could always carve out sensible property-tax exceptions for nonprofits their communities need. But it’s time for most nonprofits, like those of us who faithfully cut checks to them, to pay their fair share.

Read More


When Everything Seems to Be Changing

Things will continue to change. Both in our world and in our daily life. Some of those changes will feel like a tiny ripple and others will crash into our life and turn it inside out. But no matter what changes we face, we don’t have to fear. We don’t have to hide. Because our anchor is our unchanging God whose character, word, and promises remain fixed forever.

Read more


Russell Moore’s ERLC Posts a Flawed “Evangelical Declaration on Marriage”

Far from Christians being too outraged and too panicked over the last two decades, many Christians, especially among ‘elite’ evangelicals, have exhibited a dearth of outrage and alarm, so as to appear reasonable to the broader culture. Many elite evangelicals have contended that the homosexualist push in the country was only one of many issues to consider in elections. Many still live in that denial, even after the SCOTUS decision. The last thing evangelicals need is another statement from elites that outrage and alarm are antithetical to trust in God.

Read More


The Church in Exile

No doubt there are those reading this article who find my own position to be one of cultural surrender. Should we not be taking to the streets and the ballot boxes in order to take back what is ours? It might well be that thoughtful political engagement by individual Christians will slow the tide of moral collapse in the civic sphere, or perhaps even reverse it. Our faith should indeed shape how we think and behave in the civic sphere. But I would suggest that whatever one’s eschatology or understanding of the relationship between church and state may be, the practical reality is that we must prepare at least in the short term for the social marginalization of the church and a form of cultural exile.

Read more


What Churchgoers Should Do If Churches Lose Tax Exemption Status

Do not use this as an excuse to shy away from the opportunity to speak into the political system. Certainly, such a decision is not the desired outcome. And we could easily decide to give up. But it is a mistake to completely abandon the opportunity this governmental structure gives us. It is an opportunity that many around the world would cherish.

Read more


Don’t Expect a Flood of Gay Marriages

If I hated God and despised Christians, I’d be an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage. What better way to express enmity against God and His people? That’s a major reason why so many homosexuals who will never marry, and why so many heterosexuals who have no interest in same-sex marriage, wanted it legalized and mandated by the Supreme Court.

Read more


The Irony in the Quest for Equality

Facebook friends will immediately flee and label me a bigot just for the title of this piece. Most of them will not read what we have to say because they can reach their conclusion simply on suspicion that we might be on the wrong side of marriage equality.


I AM WHO I KNOW

Last week I wrote to you about the temptations and dangers of seeking identity in what we achieve. Today I want to expose an equally appealing and hazardous identity trap: our relationships.

Read more


Corporate America’s Big Gay Push (Or: “Mark of the Beast” economics, here we come!)

How much harder is it for a Christian to get a job or keep a job with a major American corporation than it was, say, 15 years ago? What if that Christian has taken clear, public stands in obedience to Christ and out of loving concern for the lost in accordance with the Gospel and […]

Read more of this post


Fake it ’til ya break it: What the Greek implosion tells us about America’s future.

What would you do if you found out that banks in America were not going to open today – or anytime at all this week – and that all bank-held accounts were effectively frozen, with a $60 daily limit on withdrawals? With the first of the month coming up, how would you pay your mortgage? Or, more […]

Read more of this post


Will America repent or will America be destroyed?

Can we stop with the “blame Obama” spiel, please? Can we please stop blaming the Democrats, the Progressives and the homosexual activists for leading the culture to ruin when they’re just doing what we’ve taught ’em to do? Let’s face it: Some version of “Can you believe how wicked and evil President Obama is?!” has become an […]

Read more of this post


American Public Schools are Officially Gay

On Friday, millions upon millions of American “Christians” were outraged – outraged, I tell you! – at the “Supreme Court” vote in favor of “gay marriage” as the “law” of the land. Then on Monday the vast majority of these very same outraged Christian conservatives freely shipped the delicate, impressionable little boys and girls that […]

Read more of this post


Limp Wristed Gospels Make Limp Wristed Cultures

How’s that “real world”, “pragmatic political” approach to life working out for you, American Christian? How’s it actually shaping and molding the future of your children and grandchildren here in the “land of the free” and the home of the NSA? How are all o’ those mountains of votes and billions of dollars spent on “good […]

Read more of this post


Let’s play the “I identify as…” game! (Spoiler alert: I am Batman…and Spider-man, too.)

When I was three, I wanted to be Spider-man. Or an Astronaut. Whichever would be fine. Later in life I came to realize that the Astronaut option pro’ly wasn’t gonna pan out. Even so, I remained hopeful for a radioactive spider bite, so I consoled myself with knowledge that there was always at least an outside shot of […]

Read more of this post


“Supreme Court” Votes for Wrath of God Upon America

The “Supreme Court” verdict is in: “Gay marriage” is legit. [insert “U! S! A!” chant here] Of course, in Reality – as in, the unbreakable reality of a universe defined and held together by God – there is no such thing as “gay marriage”. (See: The Eternal Model for Marriage is Christ the King and […]

Read more of this post


Greece is the word. (That nobody wants to hear.)

There are two topics that we write on fairly regularly here that routinely cause site traffic and interest to dive. But we keep writing about ’em anyway because they’re important. One of those subjects is technology. The other is economics. For various reasons – many of which are rooted in lousy “end times” views that fuel […]

Read more of this post


So why can’t Dolezal be black and Jenner be a woman? Isn’t that the new American way?

Okay, so by now we all know that it’s really, really easy to point, mock, and snicker at the raging, babbling insanity of many around us as we shake our heads in disbelief and self-righteously ask, “What is wrong with these people?!” You know the people I mean: People like Bruce Jenner, who recently “came out” […]

Read more of this post


Bill Hybels: Coffee With God

Does God like dark roast or medium blend?  This is what happens when we allow the seeker model to disciple seekers. Or maybe it’s the chair.  God puts thoughts in your mind when you have the right chair, and you’ll feel His presence for sure. Tips for viewing this new slick flick from Bill Hybels: […]

Read more of this post


Free health care sounds like such a great idea, doesn’t it? But there are huge ramifications for Christians. We can talk about coverage for unbiblical practices now – like abortion and sex change operations, but that’s just the beginning. Wait until socialized medicine is free. What happens when the government can’t fund coverage for the […]

Read more of this post


Feeding Sheep, or Amusing Goats?

An evil is in the ‘professed’ camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most short-sighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has developed at an alarming rate. It has worked like leaven, until the whole lump ferments!

The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony–then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!

Read more of this post


 


Homosexual, Transgender Activists Blaspheme Jesus Christ at Brazilian Pride Parade

According to Christian News Network:

Brazil Pride ParadeImages taken at a recent homosexual pride parade in Brazil are raising concern as they show a number of attendees blaspheming Christ and desecrating religious images during the event.

One of the photographs creating the greatest stir is that of “transgender” actor Viviany Beleboni riding in a two million spectator pride parade in Sao Paulo as he hangs from a cross.

According to BuzzFeed, Beleboni asked an effects artist to simulate Christ’s bloody wounds on his body, and then was affixed to a cross wearing a crown of thorns and only a loin cloth. The sign over Beleboni’s head read “Enough of Homophobia.” He said that the depiction was to parallel Christ’s suffering with that of homosexuals.

Read more of this post


Overthrow the Judicial Dictatorship

Commentators have missed the real significance of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in the gay marriage case. He calls the decision a judicial “Putsch,” an attempt to overthrow a form of government—ours. His dissent, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, was written “to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.” His comment about the Court using […]

Read more of this post


This is How Homosexual Marriage Impacts Me

I have lost count of the number of times homosexual activists and their supporters have asked me the question: “How does gay marriage personally impact you?” Incredibly, they really believe that this question is some sort of knock-down argument which will forever silence me and others. Yeah right – as if.

I well remember one of these occasions. I had a radical reporter from a leftist newspaper who was likely a lesbian herself ask me this question over and over. I tried to assure her it certainly does affect me personally, and I told her that just an hour earlier I was physically manhandled by angry homosexual activists trying to prevent me from entering a pro-family conference.

As these militants were chanting their pro-homosexual marriage slogans, they were abusing me and others seeking to enter the event. It was only because police were on hand to take on the love brigade that we were able to make it in. I would say that is one clear way in which this impacts on me – personally.

homo 80But of course it impacts on everyone. I told this reporter that my new book offers nearly 200 documented examples of people who have been fined, fired or jailed for simply disagreeing with homosexual marriage. They were certainly personally impacted by it.

And we must not forget the normative effect of the law. When a law passes, it is making a statement – it is telling us society approves of this or disapproves of that, and so must we. So when it passes a law allowing homosexual marriage it is telling everyone that this is what is right, and you must get on board – or else.

Read more


Finding Peace in a World of Turmoil

Imagine a state of perfect peace. What do you picture? For me, I imagine retreating alone to the ocean, looking out into the vastness, beauty, and power of its waters.


You Will Be Persecuted with Words

What does it mean to be persecuted for our faith?

Quite often I hear people say that Christians aren’t being persecuted in the United States. What they mean is that we aren’t suffering…


Is There Such A Thing As A Gay Christian?

I have been asked this quite a few times over the years and the issue was brought up again recently due to the Supreme Court ruling on Friday.


Hope and Help for the Porn Addict


The Gospel Doesn’t Allow for Prejudice

Prejudice is inherent to humanity. Prejudice, in its most heinous form, can be seen in the recent events of South Carolina. In a stirring article by Albert Mohler on his website, he writes, “The ideology of racial superiority is one of the saddest and most sordid evidences of the Fall and its horrifying effects. Throughout history, racial ideologies have been driving forces of war, of social cohesion, of demagoguery, and of dictatorships.”

As Mohler reflects on and acknowledges this own denominational tradition, one whose founders expressed racism openly, he writes this:

Racial superiority is also directly subversive of the gospel of Christ, effectively reducing the power of his substitutionary atonement and undermining the faithful preaching of the gospel to all persons and to all nations.  To put the matter plainly, one cannot simultaneously hold to an ideology of racial superiority and rightly present the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think that Mohler is expressing something that Paul states clearly in 2 Corinthians 4:14-16. The apostle reflects on the love of Christ expressed through the fact that Christ “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” And then he draws this conclusion:

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.

What does it mean that we regard no one according to the flesh? The NIV helpfully translates that last phrase, “We regard no one from a worldly point of view.” As Christians, we don’t look at people like the world does. Perhaps more importantly, we don’t look at people the way our hearts often want us to look at them: dividing them up by external things. For those who truly know Christ, there is no place for prejudice that primarily regards people according to their class, clothing, race, education, or other factors.

In fact, Paul says that part of the reason we no longer regard people according to the flesh is that we no longer regard Christ according to the flesh. When Jesus walked the earth, he was dismissed because of the town he lived in, because of the occupation of his father, and for countless other reasons.

As Isaiah 53:2-3 prophesied hundreds of years before Christ would walk the earth,

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him and no beauty that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hid their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not.

And yet, for those whose eyes have been open to see the true beauty of the glory of Christ and his work, we regard him thus no longer. We see the reality of who he really is and what he had done for us. More so, if we once looked at Christ as the world does but now see his beauty and glory, how can we still look at the world as the world does? How can we still regard people in a worldly way?

I was given a sobering reminder of the seed of this prejudice while I was on a service project last week with our middle school students. A group of us were working at a homeless shelter, and I told our students that we would be eating with the guests at the shelter that afternoon. Almost immediately there was a look of anxiety and questions as to whether we really had to do that because the people smelled weird and were scary.

Wanting to regard people from a worldly perspective is natural to us as sinful people. I remember feeling exactly same way the first time I ate at a homeless shelter when I was a middle school student. Yet, the gospel does not allow for prejudices to remain. In fact, the reality that Christ died for all — the smelly, the unattractive, the high class, the low class, and every color on the spectrum — drives us to no longer regard people as we once did.

If we learned anything from Veggie Tales “Larryboy and the Fib from Outer Space,” it’s that sin that isn’t confronted grows and grows and grows. Let’s not leave our prejudices to fester into something more heinous and ugly. Confront them now with the truth of the gospel and the glory of who Christ is. Let’s put aside external illusion according to the flesh and allow the Holy Spirit to readjust our eyes to the reality of the gospel.

RELATED POSTS:


Is Love All You Need?

“All you need is love.”

So said the Beatles. If they had been singing about God’s love, the statement would have a grain of truth in it. But what usually goes by the name love in popular culture is not authentic love at all; it is actually a deadly fraud. Far from being “all you need,” the world’s distorted view of love is something Christians desperately need to avoid.

The apostle Paul makes that very point in Eph 5:1–3. He writes, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”

The simple command of verse 2 (“walk in love, as Christ loved us”) sums up the whole moral obligation of the Christian. After all, God’s love is the single, central principle that defines the Christian’s entire duty.

That kind of love really is “all you need.”

Romans 13:8–10 says, “The one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments . . . are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Galatians 5:14 echoes that selfsame truth: “The whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Jesus likewise taught that all the law and the prophets hang on two simple principles about love—the First and Second Great Commandments (Matt 22:38-40).

In other words, “love . . . is the bond of perfection” (Col 3:14, NKJV). When Paul commands believers to walk in love, the context reveals that in positive terms, he is talking about being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving to one another (Eph 4:32). The model for such selfless love is Christ, who gave His life to save His people from their sins. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). And “if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).

In other words, true love is always sacrificial, self-giving, merciful, compassionate, sympathetic, kind, generous, and patient. Those and many other positive, benevolent qualities (cf. 1 Cor 13:4-8) are what Scripture associates with divine love.

But notice the negative side as well, also seen in the context of Ephesians 5.

The person who genuinely loves others like Christ does must refuse every kind of counterfeit love. The apostle Paul names some of these worldly forgeries. They include immorality, impurity, and covetousness. The passage continues:

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them (vv. 4–7).

Immorality is perhaps our generation’s favorite substitute for love. Paul uses the Greek word porneia, which includes every kind of sexual sin. Popular culture desperately tries to blur the line between genuine love and immoral passion. But all such immorality is a total perversion of genuine love, because it violates both the Great Commandment (Mark 12:29-30) by disobeying God’s Word, and the Second Great Commandment (Mark 12:31; cf. Rom 13:9-10) by seeking self-gratification rather than the spiritual good and sanctification of others.

Impurity is another devilish perversion of love. Here Paul employs the Greek term akatharsia, which refers to every kind of filth and impurity. Specifically, Paul has in mind “filthiness,” “foolish talk,” and “crude joking,” which are the peculiar characteristics of evil companionship. That kind of camaraderie has nothing to do with true love, and the apostle plainly says it has no place in the Christian’s walk.

Covetousness is yet another corruption of love that stems from a narcissistic desire for self-gratification. It is the exact opposite of the example Christ set when He “gave Himself up for us” (v. 2). In verse 5, Paul equates covetousness with idolatry. Again, this has no place in the Christian walk, and according to verse 5, the person who is guilty of it “has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

Such sins, Paul says, “must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (v. 3). Of those who practice such things, he instructs his readers to “not associate with them” (v. 7), but rather to “expose” their deeds of darkness (v. 11).

Christians, then, are not showing authentic love unless they courageously speak the truth about all the popular perversions of love. Most of the talk about love these days ignores that principle. “Love” has been redefined as a broad tolerance that overlooks sin and embraces good and evil alike. But that is not love; it is apathy mixed with compromise.

God’s love is not at all like that.

Remember, the supreme manifestation of God’s love is the cross, where Christ “loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (v. 2). Thus Scripture explains the love of God in terms of sacrifice, atonement for sin, and propitiation: “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

In other words, Christ made Himself a sacrifice to turn away the wrath of an offended Deity. Far from dismissing our sins with a benign tolerance, God gave His Son as an offering for sin, to satisfy His own wrath and justice in the salvation of sinners. That is the very heart of the gospel.

God manifest His love in a way that upheld His holiness, justice, and righteousness without compromise. True love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor 13:6). That is the kind of love we are called to walk in. It is a love that is “first pure, then peaceable” (cf. Jas 3:17).

Conversely, any so-called “love” that ignores God’s holiness or denies biblical truth is a deadly counterfeit that threatens to enslave and to deceive. It is the love you don’t need, because it is not really love at all.

* * * * *

Today’s post is adapted from Dr. MacArthur’s article in The Master’s Seminary Journal entitled: God’s Word on Homosexuality: The Truth about Sin and the Reality of Forgiveness.

The post Is Love All You Need? appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.


The Christian’s Response to the World Doing What the World Does

scotus-GettyImages-478622912

Now that we Christians have had a few days to cool our jets a bit, we can reposition and recalibrate ourselves. Events like those transpiring last Friday provide opportune times of reminder for God’s people of our mission. When some of the more powerful human courts in the world express their fallenness, and the grandstands of culture erupt in praise, Christians are handed an occasion to be reminded of what we’re doing here on earth.

Humanity is still fallen. Jesus is still risen. Christians are still commissioned.

Being bestowed with every spiritual blessing from heaven means we have a responsibility to be a blessing on earth. One helpful place to go for biblical instruction on the matter is the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Colossian church. These believers lived in a culture which clashed with the biblical worldview. Things like homosexuality and unfriendly political stances were the norm. So, how did God, through the pen of the Apostle, shepherd his people to respond?

“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Col. 4:5-6).

Overall, the idea is that when lost people do what lost people do, God keeps his church in their midst, as fellow-sinners (who have been saved by Christ), in order to wisely and humbly interact for his glory and their salvation.

Here are a few reminders to help us respond wisely as we live among the lost:

Read more


The Daily Discovery (July 1, 2015)

You Don’t Really Know Who You Friends Are Until… – “You don’t really know who your friends are until their relationship with you becomes a liability instead of a benefit. Many celebrities, and even Christian celebrities, have learned this lesson the hard way. In the blink of an eye, or the release of a news story, they went from fêted to ignored, from celebrated to invisible. They learned quickly that many of their so-called friends had actually not been friends at all, but people thriving on a kind of symbiotic relationship where each benefited the other. When the relationship become a liability, their friends were suddenly nowhere to be found.”

40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags – “For evangelicals who lament last Friday’s Supreme Court decision, it’s been a hard few days. We aren’t asking for emotional pity, nor do I suspect many people are eager to give us any. Our pain is not sacred. Making legal and theological decisions based on what makes people feel better is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. Nevertheless, it still hurts.”

4 Perfections of God’s Transforming Word – “What are the particular traits or characteristics of God’s Word that render it so useful a tool and so powerful a weapon in the hand of the Holy Spirit? Hebrews 4:12 and Psalm 19:7–9 address this question directly. From Hebrews 4:12, we learn that God’s Word is quick and powerful. From Psalm 19:7–9, we learn that God’s Word is perfect and sure; right, pure, and clean; true and righteous altogether.”

The Christian’s Response to the World Doing What the World Does – “Now that we Christians have had a few days to cool our jets a bit, we can reposition and recalibrate ourselves. Events like those transpiring last Friday provide opportune times of reminder for God’s people of our mission. When some of the more powerful human courts in the world express their fallenness, and the grandstands of culture erupt in praise, Christians are handed an occasion to be reminded of what we’re doing here on earth.”

Can Evangelicals See Themselves in the LGBT Movement? – “Rod Dreher recently posted a letter from one of his readers. The letter recounts the experience of a Millennial for whom a change of heart on the issue of same-sex marriage led to his departure from evangelicalism. Responding to Dreher’s contention that the arguments of same-sex marriage advocates are founded upon emotion, the letter writer counters that many Christian opponents of same-sex marriage “have traded in nothing but emotion for the last 30 years.” He suggests that, having grounded their opposition to same-sex marriage solely in an unexamined disgust, the moment young evangelicals have humanizing engagements with gay persons they are left without any argument against same-sex marriage, and their Christian convictions are thrown into confusion.”


SERMON:

James White – Total Depravity vs Free Will


VIDEOS:

How Much Do You Study Your Bible?

It’s Just the Truth


“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



The Star Of Bethlehem Again?

Our Pastor told us about this but I could only find basic info online about this conjunction on June 30th. If you watched the Bethlehem Star documentary, you know that Regulus and Leo were involved in the process then making it KING KING KING. Well, it is about to happen again and we think it must mean that our Father is soon to start the 7 year return process for Jesus. We pray that is the case!!!

continue reading


Jephthah’s Daughter

I have recently read your post on Jephthahs daughter. I have a “vow” that haunts me to this day. As a young teen I felt very guilty over a sin. I told God “if I do this again, you can take my salvation away.” Of course I committed that sin (and still do). I am terrified that because I made that “vow” that I am held to it. Here I am 32 years old and I am still struggling with the fear. It is stories like this in the Old Testament that haunt me. I would love some insight.

continue reading


Temporary Bodies In Heaven?

I’ve heard the idea of temporary bodies at death discussed both pro and con, that when a person dies, and are immediately in the presence of the Lord, they appear to be in spirit form, hence, the spirit would be without a body. However, in Rev. 6:10-11, referring to Tribulation Saints in Heaven, they ask why has God not avenged their blood on those who dwell on the earth, they are then given white robes to wear for a little season until their fellow servants, who should also be killed, arrive in Heaven. Would this indicate that even though we arrive in Heaven in a spirit form after death we are given some kind of body in which to reside until the Rapture?

continue reading

 


What is The Gospel?


“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

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.

Posted in Christian Blog/Article Collection | Leave a comment