April 28, 2015 Daily Devotional Guide Collection

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April 28

WERE YOU THERE?

Spiritual

It was the third hour when they crucified Him. (Mark 15:25)

Folk songs are generally described as songs of which the origins have been lost but which express the heartfelt traditions and experiences of a particular culture or people. Therefore, they become greatly cherished by each succeeding generation.

The Negro spirituals represent some of the finest of American folk music. These songs are usually a blending of an African heritage, harsh remembrances from former slavery experiences, and a very personal interpretation of biblical stories and truths. They especially employ biblical accounts that give hope for a better life—such as the prospects of heaven. They symbolize so well the attitudes, hopes and religious feeling of the black race in America.

To better understand a Negro spiritual, one must feel even as a black singer does that he or she is actually present and very much involved in the event itself. The event being sung—in this case the story of Christ’s suffering, death, and ultimate resurrection—becomes a very intensely emotional experience. It is told with much feeling and freedom of spirit, generally without any instrumental accompaniment.

The lesson for each of us to learn from a Negro spiritual like this is that truths such as the redemptive work of Christ must have much more than just our mental assent. The biblical account must become a very personal conviction in our lives, and our very souls should be gripped by its emotional power.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they pierced Him in the side?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised Him from the dead?

Sometimes I feel like shouting glory, glory, glory! When I think how God raised Him from the dead!

For Today: Isaiah 53:4–12; Matthew 20:28; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 1:5, 6

Imagine yourself standing at the foot of the cross when Christ was tortured and crucified. Then place yourself outside the empty tomb when the angelic announcement “He is not here …” was given. Try to relive the emotional feelings that would have been yours. Allow this song to minister to you as you go through the day—[1]


April 28: The Subtle Sinner

Joshua 19:10–20:9; 2 Corinthians 12:11–21; Psalm 57:1–58:11

Some sins slip through the cracks—the ones that emerge in hushed tones between like-minded Christians. Sometimes these sins seem respectable because they occur out of supposed concerns for the Church or others. But they can leave deep gashes in the life of a community because they often go unchecked. And it’s these sins that Paul addresses shortly before closing his letter to the Corinthians:

“For I am afraid lest somehow when I arrive, I will not find you as I want, and I may be found by you as you do not want. I am afraid lest somehow there will be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, pride, disorder” (2 Cor 12:20).

While the Corinthians were guilty of flagrant sins like impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness, they were also sinning in ways that subtly undermined Paul’s authority. Slander and gossip created deep divisions in the Corinthian church, just as they do in our churches today.

We often don’t realize we’re committing these sins until rumors reach the individual we’re gossiping about. Paul had been absent from the Corinthian community for some time. During his absence, dissenters slandered him. The Corinthians should have defended Paul while he was away, but instead, he was forced to defend his own ministry (2 Cor 13:2–3). He anticipated that his return to the community would reveal the true state of the situation.

Ultimately, these subtle sins were an attack on the good news—not just Paul. Because his integrity was brought into question, the authenticity of his message was also criticized. In addition, Paul was forced to address their sin before he could reach out to other communities with the good news (2 Cor 10:15).

The decisions we make on a daily basis can lead to division or unity in our community. And choosing to be a faithful peacemaker in the midst of divisive sins might have a bigger impact than we can imagine.

What are your subtle sins that are wrongfully condoned?

Rebecca Van Noord[2]


April 28

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Psalm 106 through 112. Our lesson is from Psalm 110:1–2, “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’ The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, [saying], ‘Rule in the midst of Your enemies.’ ” (NASU)

Lesson

Psalm 110 is known as a messianic psalm. This means that it is Old Testament prophecy which is fulfilled in the New Testament in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. Let’s review three promises made in our text.

First, God will honor the Messiah. In Middle Eastern culture especially at the time of the psalmist, sitting at the right hand was a place of high privilege and honor. This was a way of demonstrating the authority and influence of that person who sat at the right hand.

Beginning in Genesis 3:15, God promises to send His Messiah to defeat the works of Satan and to reestablish the relationship between God and humanity that had been broken. The agent for fulfilling the plan of God is Jesus Christ. After his death and resurrection, the Epistle to the Hebrews witnesses to the fact that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Second, God will extend the rule of the Messiah. The scepter is an instrument that symbolizes government, i.e. the right to rule. God Himself extends the government of the Messiah, according to our text. In the New Testament Jesus Christ announces and advances the kingdom of God. God’s rule presses forward and overcomes Satan and the kingdom of darkness.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus declares that those who see Him see the Father who sent Him. In Matthew Jesus declares that all authority is His, both in heaven and on earth. He can say this because He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to send the Messiah to save Israel and humanity.

Third, God will humble the enemies of the Messiah. Our text states that God will make his enemies a footstool for His feet. God is the Almighty King of kings and Lord of Lords. There is nothing or no one who is more powerful.

The apostle Paul in First Corinthians 15 reminds us that God will put all of Christ’s enemies under his feet. The last enemy is death. The Messiah then will subject Himself to the Father so that God may be all in all. This is the blessed future and provision in Christ Jesus.

In summary, God will honor the Messiah. God will extend the rule of the Messiah. And God will humble the enemies of the Messiah.

Let’s thank God for His work in Jesus Christ. It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we have eternal life and hope.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Psalm 113 through 118. 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]


April 28

Three Kinds of Persecution

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me” (Matt. 5:10–11).

✧✧✧

When you speak out for Christ, you can expect harassment, insults, and slander.

Jesus mentioned three broad categories of suffering that Christians will experience. The first is persecution. “Persecuted” (Matt. 5:10) and “persecute” (v. 11) both come from the same Greek root, meaning “to pursue” or “to chase away.” Over time it came to mean “to harass” or “to treat in an evil manner.” Verse 10 literally reads, “Blessed are those who have been allowing themselves to be persecuted.” You are blessed when people harass you for your Christian stance and you willingly accept it for the sake of your Lord.

The second form of suffering is “insults” (v. 11), which translates a Greek word that means “to reproach,” “to revile,” or “to heap insults upon.” It speaks of verbal abuse—attacking someone with vicious and mocking words. It is used in Matthew 27:44 of the mockery Christ endured at His crucifixion. It happened to Him, and it will happen to His followers as well.

The final category Jesus mentioned is slander—people telling lies about you. That’s perhaps the hardest form of suffering to endure because our effectiveness for the Lord is directly related to our personal purity and integrity. When someone’s trying to destroy the reputation you worked a lifetime to establish, that is a difficult trial indeed!

If you’re going through a time of suffering for righteousness’ sake, take heart—the Lord went through it too, and He understands how difficult it can be. He knows your heart and will minister His super-abounding grace to you. Rejoice that you are worthy of suffering for Him and that the Kingdom of Heaven is yours.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray for those who treat you unkindly, asking God to forgive them and to grant them His grace. ✧ Pray that you might always treat others with honesty and fairness.

For Further Study: Throughout history God Himself has endured much mocking and slander. Read 2 Peter 3:3–9, then answer these questions: ✧ What motivates mockers? ✧ What do they deny? ✧ Why doesn’t God judge them on the spot?[4]


April 28

Helpmate and Friend

It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.

Genesis 2:18

History bears out the truth that most highly successful men have a woman in their lives who loves them, motivates them, encourages them, and helps them to achieve their best and highest. It may be a mother, a sister, an aunt, or a wife. Every good marriage I have ever witnessed bears this quality that both the husband and the wife encourage each other to walk in godly wisdom and to be and do their very best.

The creation of Eve was about far more than God providing a sexual companion for Adam. Eve shared the totality of Adam’s life. She was a helper “comparable to him” and he, in turn, was of help to her (Gen. 2:20). They shared not only a garden home, but also a purpose for living and a responsibility before God.[5]


April 28

Satan’s Final Defeat

Scripture reading: Luke 22:31–34

Key verse: 1 John 5:19

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

Since his fall, Satan’s corrupt activities against man have been intended for one purpose: to prevent the salvation of mankind through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, it was during Jesus’ ministry that Satan’s attacks against the Messiah were most intense. Once Jesus went to the Cross, Satan’s defeat would be ensured.

The devil attacked overtly in the wilderness, trying to get Christ to yield to his temptations. But each time Satan attacked, Christ used the Holy Scriptures to ward off Satan’s attacks.

He dealt covertly against Jesus through those closest to Him. Peter’s seemingly strong defensive stand for Christ (Matt. 16:22–23) was nothing more than a last-ditch effort on Satan’s part to stop Jesus’ divine destiny. However, with one straightforward statement—“Get behind Me, Satan!”—Christ exposed the deception of His adversary.

But Satan could not thwart God’s plan. Satan already has been judged and condemned; the sentence of eternal death has been pronounced. All that remains is the execution of the sentence. Satan has been conquered by the Conqueror. Christ’s victory is yours today.

Father, when Satan attacks, help me use the power of Your Word. Your victory is mine today![6]


April 28

Illustrating Salvation

[God] waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

1 Peter 3:20

Genesis 6:9 through 8:22 tells how Noah and his family were delivered through the Flood. They were the only people who believed God’s warning of the coming worldwide catastrophe. As a result, all mankind was drowned in judgment, except them.

Noah preached the righteousness of God for the hundred and twenty years it took him to build the ark. The size of a modern ocean liner (Gen. 6:15), it was sure to attract attention. But it must have been discouraging to build that ark and preach its meaning for over a century, yet have only your immediate family believe.

Noah’s tremendous effort was spent on building a vessel he would spend only a year using, but those eight people were safe from God’s judgment when it came. The ark served as their shelter from the encompassing judgment of God. What a graphic illustration of salvation![7]


April 28        God’s Ultimate Intention

scripture reading:
John 3:1–21

key verse:
John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The attributes of God are many—love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, goodness. Yet none of these marvelous qualities would be known to humankind without the character trait–giving God, who by His own choice holds nothing to Himself. His love, mercy, and grace are generously bestowed upon us because He has sovereignly willed to share Himself and His bounty with us.

We have life only because He has created us by an exercise of His will. We can receive salvation only because He wills to grant it. The ultimate testimony to the Giver of all good things is, amazingly, the saints, the redeemed ones, “in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7 nasb).

The Supreme Giver’s gift to us of salvation through Christ will resound throughout eternity. Believers will be the showcase, the tangible evidence of His ever–giving heart. Thus, while we enjoy the eternal fundamental benefits of salvation, its root lies in the reality that is the preeminent Giver—God. All of the heavenly hosts will marvel without end at that truth.

You are a divine Giver, O Lord. I thankfully accept Your gifts of love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, and goodness.[8]


April 28

God’s Best for Your Life

Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:14–21

Key verse: Ephesians 1:3

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.

The discovery of King Tut’s tomb is considered one of the richest in history. However, archaeologists had no idea what waited for them beyond the first chamber; robbers had earlier plundered it. Yet a closer examination revealed an undisturbed sepulchral chamber and treasure room.

Excavators found priceless gold and silver items along with precious stones. There was also an abundance of rings and bracelets so ingenious and perfect in design that even a magnifying glass could not reveal the soldered joints.

With gold, silver, and priceless jewelry surrounding them, archaeologists could not help wondering why earlier intruders had stopped at the outer chamber. Did they not realize they had entered the burial chamber of a king?

As puzzling as this may seem, many of us do the same thing in our Christian walk. We plunder the outer chamber of God’s blessings, never realizing there is an entire throne room waiting for us if only we would seek Him above all else.

Don’t allow yourself to be robbed of God’s best for your life. Ask Him to make you aware of the blessings He has for you. As you seek His will, submit all that you are to all that He is; and His wealth of eternal blessings will be yours.

I don’t want to be robbed of Your best, God. Make me aware of the blessings You have for me. I submit all that I am to all that You are.[9]


April 28

A New Look at the Cross

Scripture Reading: Luke 23:26–46

Key Verses: John 10:29–30

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.

A believer who is unsure if his actions adversely affect his security in Christ lives on a spiritual tightrope, fearing doom with every misstep. Thinking that his salvation is in limbo is a poor foundation for confident Christian living.

The Christian who is unsure that he is secure in his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ will live in confusion. He is not quite sure whether God accepts him or not. He is perplexed at which decisions and actions endanger his security and which do not. How does he keep a list? He is also anxious and fearful. He cannot wake up each morning with confidence that a loving, forgiving God has him perfectly in His eternal grip. He is dependent on his performance:

  • Is it good enough?
  • Have I done enough?
  • Have I overlooked anything?

A new look at the Cross will remove all doubt:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Rom. 8:1–2 nasb)

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:29–30 nasb)

Dear Lord, help me realize that my security rests in the Cross, not in my performance. No one—no person or circumstance—is able to snatch me out of Your hand.[10]


April 28

The Heart of God

Scripture Reading: John 3:1–18

Key Verse: John 3:17

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Have you ever wanted to peek into someone’s heart—his very spirit—to see what is really going on in there? We all desire this at times; in fact, the more we are able to get glimpses into a person’s heart, the better we can determine what kind of man he is. That is a basic way we grow to trust and love other people.

If we want to apply this concept to our relationship with the Lord, we need to look only one place: the Cross. There we can see a perfect picture of God’s heart and His view of sin, love, and mankind. The most overwhelming image of the cross is the complete justice of God. The Lord’s justice simply means He does the right thing—the righteous thing—in every situation.

When it came to dealing with mankind’s sin and wickedness, a problem arose that needed an eternal solution. The issue was the fact that God’s perfect holiness stood in complete opposition to man’s sinfulness. Because of His unwavering justice, He could not simply ignore our sin. Therefore, He had only two options: either abandon man to his sinfulness or provide a perfect sacrifice to atone for the sin of the world. In His love, He chose the latter.

The cross of Jesus represents the only answer to a cosmic problem. Despite the great cost—His only Son—God worked to bridge the gap caused by sin. With His justice satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice, God’s eternal love can now welcome us into His holy presence.

Have you trusted Jesus as Savior and acknowledged the sacrifice He made on your behalf?

Lord, I am so grateful for the perfect sacrifice made on my behalf. Thank You that You did not abandon me in sin.[11]


April 28

The Resurrection: Motive for Sanctification

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’ Become sober–minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”

1 Corinthians 15:33–34

✧✧✧

Trusting in the fact of Christ’s resurrection and looking forward to our own rising from the dead ought to stimulate us toward sanctification.

Like any essential teaching of Scripture, the doctrine of the Resurrection can be studied and discussed from an academic standpoint only. When that happens, we usually acquire a factual understanding of the topic and perhaps some appreciation of how the doctrine supports our faith—but that’s as far as we go.

However, our studies on the Resurrection have already taught us some of the implications this Bible truth ought to have for our conduct. The hope of the Resurrection can give everyone an incentive to be saved and believers an incentive for service. This hope also provides a third incentive: the motivation toward sanctification.

The apostle Paul knew that those in the Corinthian church were being exposed to the heretical theology that there is no real resurrection from the dead. This false teaching was having a bad influence on the Corinthians’ behavior. That’s why Paul tells them in today’s verse, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” It is impossible to be around evil people and not be contaminated both by their ideas and their habits. The apostle goes on to urge those believers who hoped in a resurrection to be a positive influence on others and lead them to the truth.

This glimpse at the situation in Corinth proves that sound doctrine matters and does affect how people live. We see all around us today what results when there is no belief in a resurrection. People become short–sighted and live as they please because ultimately nothing keeps them accountable. This is all the more reason for us to hold firm to the truth of the Resurrection, live in its hope, and proclaim it to others.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: How is the pursuit of holiness coming in your life? Pray that the Lord would increase your diligence and help you especially in an area of weakness.

For Further Study: Read 1 Peter 1. List all the verses that refer to God’s plan for Christ’s death and resurrection. ✧ How does the existence of such a divine plan strengthen your hope? ✧ Write a theme sentence for the chapter.[12]


April 28

Numbers 5; Psalm 39; Song of Songs 3; Hebrews 3

Self-discipline is normally a good thing. Indeed, Christians believe that God has given them “a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7). But certain forms of self-discipline are ignoble, even dangerous.

For example, the Stoics in the days of the apostle Paul thought that it was the part of wisdom to live in harmony with the way things are in the world, and that this entailed living apart from the “passions,” in perfect accord with reason. Motivated by high moral principles, they prided themselves in living above the emotions, above deep personal commitments that could bring suffering. At one level, such “stoicism” is admirable. But it is a long way from the personal commitments that the Gospel mandates, complete with the vulnerability and suffering that are a part of this fallen order. In fact, that is the problem with the Stoic worldview: its view of the world and what is wrong with it is so far removed from what the Bible says that it defines what is good in ways that owe more to a certain kind of pantheism than to anything else. So from a Christian perspective, even if there is something admirable to Stoic self-discipline, it can never be judged genuinely good. Some self-discipline merely puffs people up with the pride of resolution.

Another kind of questionable self-discipline occurs in the opening verses of Psalm 39. David has resolved not to speak. It is not entirely clear whether his self-disciplined resolution not to say anything, especially in the presence of the wicked (39:1), is motivated by fear that otherwise he is in danger of joining them, or more likely out of fear that if he speaks he will let slip something that might be dangerous in this company, or simply out of some misplaced conviction that it is enough to keep silent and not lend them support. Clearly, however, it was a moral resolve, in some ways commendable—and wholly inadequate. For as he kept silent, he did not even say anything good (39:2). One way or another he was trying to beat sin by disciplined silence.

David learned a better way. He speaks—but in his speech he addresses God (39:4ff.). He is aware of life’s fleeting passage, and concludes that, in the end, we have nothing to look for except to put our hope in the Lord (39:7). God alone can save us from our transgressions and enable us to escape the snares of opponents (39:8). Resolute silence in the face of the mystery of providence is no way forward (39:9); it is a false self-discipline, an ugly defiance rather than a cheerful submission to God’s “discipline” (39:11).[13]


April 28

Numbers 5; Psalm 39; Song of Songs 3; Hebrews 3

If the end of song 2 finds the beloved and the lover fervently expressing their mutual devotion to each other and the exclusiveness of their love each for the other, Song 3 begins with the woman, the beloved, almost frantically searching for her lover. Many commentators have suggested that chapter 3, and perhaps the entire unit of chapters 3–6, is a dream sequence. That may be right: “All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves” (3:1, italics added), the beloved says. In the first panel (3:1–5), the beloved searches for her lover, and simply assumes that because she knows the man for whom she is looking, everyone else should too—including the night police officers (“the watchers”). She finds him and brings him to her mother’s bedroom (3:4), signaling official consummation.

The coherence of the next panel (3:6–11) is disputed. The best guess is that “this” in 3:6 (feminine Hebrew pronoun) refers to the woman. She is being brought up from her dwelling in the country to the court—and in Solomon’s carriage, a gloriously designed and luxurious vehicle. Solomon himself is present, and “the daughters of Zion” watch and “ooohh and aaahh” as the couple make their way to their new home. This then leads to the extravagant language of the lover in chapter 4.

Whether or not this is a dream sequence (I am inclined to think it is), one thing abundantly clear is that the language of love is the language of mutual praise and mutual invitation. Anything less will stifle love. If the language of praise and invitation operates only one way, for instance, it will tire in time or leave the speaker feeling servile or perhaps desperate. If the language of love is the language of praise but not of invitation, it may never breed intimacy—a good relationship but not good sex; if it is the language of invitation but not of praise, it may degenerate into mutual gratification but not mutual edification—good sex but not a good relationship.

Many of us who are married and who reflect on the language of Song of Songs are slightly embarrassed at its sensual abandon. But that may say more about who we are than about what God wants us to be. Like everything else that God made good, marriage and sex and intimacy can be trivialized and sensationalized and brutalized. But God made them good. Believers are bound, so far as their transformed natures can take them this side of the new heavens and the new earth, to display God’s goodness in every arena to which he calls us. We who are married ought, intentionally, to develop the language of mutual praise and invitation.[14]

 


April 28 – Jesus and Non-Retaliation: Liberty

“‘Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two’” (Matthew 5:41).

The concept of liberty is much cherished in the United States and other democratic nations. The Declaration of Independence famously speaks of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Patrick Henry of Virginia used the bold oratory, “Give me liberty or give me death!” These sentiments were derived from biblical principles, although sometimes altered from those ancient origins.

God’s intention from the beginning was for mankind created in His image to live in perfect liberty, both spiritually and physically. But the Fall ruined this ideal and introduced such corrupt concepts as slavery and subjugation to totalitarian governments. Democratic governments have tried, although imperfectly, to protect the liberty of their citizens—sometimes even extending such freedoms to foreign visitors and immigrants. However, civil liberties should not supersede our duties to righteousness or our obligations to display a faithful witness.

Jesus here makes the analogy between surrendered liberties and the Roman law that could force civilians to carry a soldier’s pack for a mile. Except for facing them in battle, Roman troops were not as despised by their opponents as when those people were obligated to carry the troops’ packs or other equipment.

Yet our Lord teaches that we should be willing to go the extra mile for someone else—even at the expense of our cherished liberty. In so doing, we are worthy ambassadors for Christ, realizing that in Him we have an eternal liberty that can never be taken.

Ask Yourself

Who in your life regularly asks you to go the second mile for them? What is your usual response to their demand for your time and energy? How do you strike the balance between being sacrificial and maintaining boundaries that help you protect other godly priorities?

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:

Ruth 1:1–2:23
Psalm 52:1-5
Proverbs 15:4-5
Luke 19:28-48
Notes:

Ruth 1:16 And your God, my God. This testimony evidenced Ruth’s conversion from worshiping Chemosh to Yahweh of Israel (see 1 Thess. 1:9, 10).

Ruth 2:12 wings…refuge. Scripture pictures God as catching Israel up on His wings in the Exodus (Ex. 19:4; Deut. 32:11). God is here portrayed as a mother bird sheltering the young and fragile with her wings (see Pss. 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7; 91:1, 4). Boaz blessed Ruth in light of her newfound commitment to and dependence on the Lord. Later, he would become God’s answer to this prayer (see 3:9).

Psalm 52:1 mighty man. A reference to Doeg, the chief of Saul’s shepherds, who reported to Saul that the priests of Nob had aided David when he was a fugitive (see 1 Sam. 22:9, 18, 19).

Luke 19:40 the stones would immediately cry out. This was a strong claim of Deity and perhaps a reference to the words of Habakkuk 2:11. Scripture often speaks of inanimate nature praising God. (See Pss. 96:11; 98:7–9; 114:7; Is. 55:12.) See also the words of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:9; note the fulfillment of Jesus’ words in Matthew 27:51.

Luke 19:41, 42 Only Luke recorded the weeping of Jesus over the city of Jerusalem. Christ grieved over Jerusalem on at least two other occasions (13:34; Matt. 23:37). The timing of this lament may seem incongruous with the Triumphal Entry, but it reveals that Jesus knew the true superficiality of the peoples’ hearts, and His mood was anything but giddy as He rode into the city. The same crowd would soon cry for His death (23:21).

DAY 28: Why is the “kinsman-redeemer” a prominent part in the story of Ruth?

In Ruth 2:20, the great kinsman-redeemer theme of Ruth begins (cf.3:9, 12; 4:1, 3, 6, 8, 14). A close relative could redeem 1) a family member sold into slavery (Lev. 25:47–49), 2) land which needed to be sold under economic hardship (Lev. 25:23–28), and/or 3) the family name by virtue of a levirate marriage (Deut. 25:5–10). This earthly custom pictures the reality of God the Redeemer doing a greater work (Pss. 19:14; 78:35; Is. 41:14; 43:14) by reclaiming those who needed to be spiritually redeemed out of slavery to sin (Ps. 107:2; Is. 62:12). Thus, Boaz pictures Christ, who as a Brother (Heb. 2:17) redeemed those who 1) were slaves to sin (Rom. 6:15–18), 2) had lost all earthly possessions/privilege in the Fall (Gen. 3:17–19), and 3) had been alienated by sin from God (2 Cor. 5:18–21). Boaz stands in the direct line of Christ (Matt. 1:5; Luke 3:32). This turn of events marks the point where Naomi’s human emptiness (1:21) begins to be refilled by the Lord. Her night of earthly doubt has been broken by the dawning of new hope (cf. Rom. 8:28–39).

When Boaz negotiated with another relative about the settlement of Elimelech and Naomi’s estate in Ruth 4:1–12, he referred to a law established by Moses in Deuteronomy 25:5–10. That law set out specific actions to be taken by the surviving family if a married son were to die without a son to inherit or carry on his name. Another (presumably unmarried) man in the family was to marry the widow. The first resulting child would inherit the estate of the man who had died.

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.


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (pp. 131–132). 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. 131). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 129). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 123). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 133). 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. 123). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 123). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 123). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[13] 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.

[14] 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.

Slaves and shame

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and *said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it…

View original 1,717 more words

April 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

Christ is much more powerful to save, than Adam was to destroy. —John Calvin

April 27 Quotes


Apr. 27, 2015

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a historic clash that may legalize gay marriage nationwide.

In a closed-door meeting with Jewish donors on Saturday night, former President George W. Bush delivered his harshest public criticisms to date against his successor on foreign policy, saying that President Barack Obama is being naïve about Iran and the pending nuclear deal and losing the war against the Islamic State.

A majority of American voters say businesses should not be allowed to refuse services to gays and lesbians, even on the basis of religious beliefs, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

Austerity programs enacted after the 2008 global financial crisis, featuring deep cuts in public spending, hurt women more than men and helped to reinforce rising income inequality, the UN said.

F-35 engines from United Technologies Corp. are proving so unreliable that U.S. plans to increase production of the fighter jet may be slowed, according to congressional auditors.

Amazon.com Inc. wants a chance to prove that a drone delivery service would be safer than the U.S. government thinks.

Deutsche Bank AG’s plan to cut costs by selling Postbank and shrinking the securities business is leaving investors cold as the overhaul pushes back targets that management has failed to deliver.

The Bank of Israel left its interest rate unchanged after cutting the benchmark to a record two months ago, amid expectations prices will start rising again.

U.S. car thefts with keys left inside jumped 14 percent from 2012 to 2014, reaching 44,828 last year, according to a study issued Monday by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The actual number is probably higher because some people don’t admit their carelessness to police or their insurer.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has eliminated genetically modified organisms from all its ingredients, an unprecedented move for a national U.S. restaurant chain that may give it a marketing edge over fast-food rivals.

AP Top Stories

Shelter, fuel, food, medicine, power, news, workers – Nepal’s earthquake-hit capital was short on everything Monday as its people searched for lost loved ones, sorted through rubble for their belongings and struggled to provide for their families’ needs. The death toll soared past 3,700, even without a full accounting from vulnerable mountain villages that rescue workers were still struggling to reach two days after the disaster.

A week of heavy fighting between security forces and the Islamic State jihadist group in the Ramadi area of Anbar province killed 30 police, a top officer said.

New earthquake hazard maps signal a watershed moment: They show that fracking’s byproducts are clearly to blame for swarms of earthquakes plaguing several states.

Hundreds of farm workers exposed to a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu have been offered antiviral medication as a preventative measure in recent days, U.S. public health officials said.

Reclamation work in the disputed South China Sea, where China has constructed an airstrip and other structures on coral reefs, threatens to “undermine peace, security and stability” in the region, Southeast Asian leaders warned Monday.

Boko Haram gunmen massacred residents who tried to jump into Lake Chad seeking safety and burnt others alive after overpowering soldiers in a weekend attack in the restive region.

Kazakhstan’s long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev apologized on Monday for winning re-election with 97.7 percent of the vote, saying it would have “looked undemocratic” for him to intervene to make his victory more modest.

BBC

People living in the vicinity of the Calbuco volcano in Chile are trying to save their homes and their livestock after tons of ash rained down following two volcanic eruptions. The roofs of a number of homes and businesses collapsed under the weight of the ash and residents feared for their sheep and cows.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been re-elected with 94% of the vote.

France and Australia have condemned the death penalty as executions for three of their nationals loom in Indonesia. Earlier, Australia called on Indonesia to delay executing two convicted Australian drug traffickers until corruption claims were investigated.

EU leaders are in talks with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko covering trade and peace efforts, as heavy shelling intensifies in the east.

An Israeli air strike has killed four militants armed with a bomb along the Israeli-Syrian frontier in the Golan Heights, the Israeli military has said.

Islamist rebels in Syria have taken over the key north-western town of Jisr al-Shughur.

Islamic State appears to have released a promotional video for its own health service featuring NHS-style branding and an Australian doctor. The video has not been verified but was being circulated by IS-affiliated social media accounts and bears all the hallmarks of previous IS productions.

WND

Montana’s governor has signed into law a bill that “would heavily diminish the effect of federal programs that militarize local police.” The bill, HB330, bans state or local law enforcement from receiving military equipment from the Pentagon’s “1033 Program.”

More than one-third of babies are tapping on smartphones and tablets before they learn to walk or talk, and by one year of age, one in seven toddlers is using devices for at least an hour a day, according to a study.


Top News – 4/27/2015

PLO’s Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday to redefine relations with Israel

The PLO’s Central Council is due to meet Wednesday to redefine its relationship and its economic and security cooperation with Israel, the Palestinian chief negotiator said Sunday.   

Senior Turkish judge: New constitution for Turkey ‘an inevitable necessity’
Turkey needs a new constitution and all parties involved in drawing it up need to reconsider their demands and reach consensus, the newly-elected president of the constitutional court said on Monday.   

Bush Bashes Obama: Naive on Iran, Losing to ISIS
In meeting with Jewish supporters, former president slams Obama for global ‘retreat,’ not knowing how to ‘kill ’em’ in war on terror. Former US President George W. Bush leveled rare words of sharp public criticism against his successor, … Barack Obama. “In order to be an effective president…when you say something you have to mean it,” Bush said. “You gotta kill ’em.”   

If Greece falls, no one wants their prints on the murder weapon
“We’re going bust.” “No, you’re not.” “You’re strangling us.” “No we’re not.” “You owe us for World War Two.” “We gave already.” The game of chicken between Greece and its international creditors is turning into a vicious blame game as Athens lurches closer to bankruptcy with no cash-for-reform agreement in sight. Europe’s political leaders and central bankers and Greek politicians agree on only one thing: if Greece goes down, they don’t want their fingerprints on the murder weapon.   

Desperate Nepalis flee capital as aftershocks spread fear
Thousands of Nepalis began fleeing the capital Kathmandu on Monday, terror-stricken by two days of powerful aftershocks and looming shortages of food and water after an earthquake that killed more than 3,700 people.   

VOLCANIC PLUME, COLORFUL SUNSETS
European MetOp satellites have been monitoring aerosols blasted into the atmosphere by Chile’s Calbuco volcano on April 22nd. This 5-day movie shows a plume of sulfur dioxide spreading east from Chile to Brazil:   

Set to begin, U.S. plan for Syrian rebels already mired in doubt
Hundreds of Syrian rebels are approaching the start of U.S. training to battle Islamic State, without knowing whether or how Washington would come to their aid…the proxy army could spark opposition infighting. The U.S. plan to train and arm a force that is expected to eventually total more than 15,000 troops…is a major test of President Barack Obama’s strategy of engaging local partners to combat extremists.   

Chile’s Calbuco volcano covers town of Ensenada in ash
People living in the vicinity of the Calbuco volcano in Chile are trying to save their homes and their livestock after tonnes of ash rained down following two volcanic eruptions. The roofs of a number of homes and businesses collapsed under the weight of the ash and residents feared for their sheep and cows. Soldiers have been deployed to help with the clean-up.   

America’s place in a multi-polar world
At a global conference a few years ago, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers revealed that Americans would really prefer to be the G1. Not the G7 grouping of the biggest economies, or even the G3, but the G1 – where America would be the sole decision-maker. It may not be too surprising since the US has been the sole economic superpower for most of the post-war period.   

Major US military law experts: IDF ‘contentious’ targeting complies with int’l law
Two leading US experts on the law of armed conflict have concluded that IDF targeting complies with international law even where it was “contentious” and that IDF positions “on targeting largely track those of the US military.” …the…conclusion of the report is to support the IDF’s approach almost across-the-board in the principles it brought to targeting during the war – principles at the core of the public debate over alleged war crimes.   

Fighting escalates across Yemen, air strikes on capital Sanaa
Air raids, naval shelling and ground fighting shook Yemen on Sunday in some of the most widespread combat since a Saudi-led alliance intervened last month against Iranian-allied Houthi militia who have seized large tracts of the country.   

Israel arrests Palestinian over Jerusalem car attack
Israeli police announced Sunday they had arrested a Palestinian suspected of deliberately ramming his car into three police officers in east Jerusalem following a day of clashes and deadly violence.   

Israeli Airstrike Kills 4 Suspected Syrians Militants in Golan Heights
Israeli forces on Sunday killed four suspected militants whom it says were caught trying to plant a bomb in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israeli military officials say they launched an airstrike on the militants near the town of Majdal Shams, close to the Israeli-Syrian border.   

Capital Controls Arrive: Greece Begins Confiscating Deposits Of “Small Debtors”
If the “temporary” local government reserve sweep constitutes what we have branded “soft” capital controls, we now have the first evidence that the “hard” variety may have arrived because as Kathimerini reports, Greek debtors are having their deposits seized in lieu of payment.   

Israel president marks Armenian massacre for first time
President Reuven Rivlin met Armenian community leaders Sunday on the centenary of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians, the first time an Israeli head of state has marked the killings.  


Top Headlines – 4/27/2015

IAF kills 4 terrorists who crossed into Israel from Syria and planted bombs 

Report: Israeli strike in Syria was aimed at thwarting attack on strategic targets in Golan 

Official: Palestinian operatives helped free Syria hostages

Ya’alon: Iran is currently seeking to smuggle advanced arms to Hezbollah 

Israel to observe first UN nuclear meeting in 20 years in bid to foster Arab ties 

Palestinian official skeptical about peace with next Israeli government

PLO’s Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday to redefine relations with Israel 

Anti-Semitism rising again, Jewish leader warns 70 years after death camp’s liberation 

Europe recalls the horror 70 years after Nazi camps liberated

European Jewish Congress gives Kiev Jews $100,000 for security 

German police remove Israeli flag from soccer game ‘for fear of Palestinian violence’ 

At correspondents’ dinner, Obama jokes over Israel tensions 

Human Rights Watch: Egypt’s trial of Morsi ‘badly flawed’ 

Turkey scrambles two F-16 jets on Syrian border 

Islamic State suicide bombers kill Iraqi soldiers at Jordanian border 

Car bombs, suicide attack kill at least 22 in Iraq 

US Secretary of State Kerry to meet with Iran foreign minister on Monday 

Saudi-led air strikes hit Yemeni capital, ships shell Aden-residents 

Yemen militia make gains against Houthis in central city 

Former U.N. envoy says Yemen political deal was close before Saudi airstrikes began

Malaysia foils attacks in capital by suspected militants 

Three suspects held in French investigation into failed church attack 

Russian Jews face ‘grave dangers’ if Putin is ousted, warns senior rabbi

Putin Vows to Keep Hold of Crimea in Documentary

Russia ponders raising retirement age in budget crunch

More central banks meet, but ability to pilot economies in doubt

George W. Bush, saying voters do not like dynasties, plans to stay off campaign trail

Maryland Dem: Baltimore rioters ‘mainly from out of town’

US unveils 6-year-old report on NSA surveillance 

McCain renews push to have military, not CIA, manage drone strikes

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Santiago de Cao, Peru

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Nagarkot, Nepal

Tremors, aftershocks, strike India and Nepal sparking fears of further deterioration 

Nepal Terrorized by Aftershocks, Hampering Relief Efforts

Nepal Earthquake Poses Challenge to International Aid Agencies

Relief efforts to find survivors intensify amid powerful aftershocks

Chile begins volcano clean-up under eruption threat

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 24,000ft

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 15,000ft

Officials Say Heavy Rains Kill 37 in Northwest Pakistan

Chipotle to Stop Serving Genetically Altered Food

Three New Avian Flu Viruses Leave American Scientists Scrambling For Answers

Measles vaccination mix-up leaves 15 infants dead in northern Syria 

Scientists urge moratorium after Chinese ‘edit’ human embryos

France’s gay ambassador-nominee poses special challenges for ‘Who am I to judge’ Pope Francis

Will Bruce Jenner’s coming out make Americans more accepting of transgender people?

Marco Rubio To Brody File: There Is No Constitutional Right To Gay Marriage

Q&A: What’s at stake in Tuesday’s Supreme Court gay marriage arguments

Pope Francis Tells Priests and Nuns: If They Do Not Love the Mother (Mary), and Pray the Rosary, Then Mother (Mary) Will Not Give Them The Son!

The ‘NAR’-tional Day of Prayer?

Bill Ayers to Students: America’s ‘Game Is Over’ and ‘Another World’ Is Coming

Dear Churches in America: Prepare to Be Treated Like 1st Century Christians in Rome

Hillary: Religious Beliefs Must Be Changed For Abortion Rights

Jeb Bush thinks NSA spying is the ‘best part of the Obama administration’

Baptist Pastors Won’t Hear Ben Carson after Young Pastors Object

Sex club seeks Nashville blessing by vowing to be a church

N. Ireland officially recognizes pagan religion, Order of the Golden River


There Will Be Earthquakes: The Crust Of The Earth Violently Roars To Life In Chile And Nepal

Nepal Earthquake 2015 - Photo by Krish DulalJust within the past few days, one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Chile erupted for the first time in 42 years and the nation of Nepal was hit by the worst earthquake that it has seen in 80 years.  Even though the crust of the Earth seems to be shaking more violently than ever, most of the experts continue to assure us that what we are witnessing is “normal” behavior.  But the cold, hard numbers tell a very different story.  As I pointed out in a previous article, the number of volcanic eruptions that are happening right now is greater than the 20th century’s average for an entire year.  Our planet appears to be getting more unstable, and that is not good news for any of us.  In fact, it was recently reported that 150 million Americans live in areas that are prone to earthquakes.  No matter how advanced our technology becomes, the truth is that we are still very much at the mercy of the forces of nature, and what just happened in Chile and in Nepal are clear reminders of this reality. (Read More…)


Daily Digest

April 27, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“No people will tamely surrender their liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders.” —Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 1775

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Joked at Nerd Prom While Baltimore Rioted

Once again, Hollywood celebrities and DC politicians gathered in Washington Saturday for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner — AKA nerd prom. It’s an opportunity for Nancy Pelosi to rub shoulders with the likes of Jane Fonda and for Barack Obama to further his agenda and take down political opponents by dishing out punch lines. This year, the dinner only showed how out of touch the two institutions are with the rest of the nation, because while attendees were slurping down Foraged Wild Mushroom Ragout and Seared Alaskan Halibut protests became violent in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, who died because of injuries he received while in police custody.

While the baseball game at Baltimore’s Camden Yards went into lockdown because of protests outside, three big television networks — CNN, MSNBC and CSPAN — kept their cameras trained on the White House Correspondents’ Dinner because Obama was going to start his jokes soon. Never mind that the latest chapter in the debate over modern day policing was being punctuated by vandalized police cars and smashed storefronts an hour away.

Obama was once again selling the tired issue of “climate change,” trying to make it matter to everyday Americans. “I am determined to make the most of every moment I have left,” Obama said. “After the midterm elections, my advisors asked me, ‘Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?’ And I said, ‘Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.’ Take executive action on immigration? Bucket. New climate regulations? Bucket. It’s the right thing to do.” But as executive editor of the Washington Free Beacon Sonny Bunch pointed out in a piece titled “This Is Why They Hate Us,” no one except those inside the Beltway cares about nerd prom.

Clinton Foundation Refiles Taxes as Media Grows Suspicious

On Sunday, the Clinton Foundation admitted it did not properly disclose which foreign governments donated to the organization while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state. As a result, it is refiling taxes because of the “mistakes.” Acting CEO of the nonprofit Maura Pally issued a statement, saying, “So yes, we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don’t happen in the future.” This comes as liberal media organizations become increasingly suspicious of Clinton because of reports she favored foreign bureaucrats and oligarchs who donated to the Clinton Foundation during her time as madam secretary. This admission of fault from the Clinton Foundation is a way of damage control. If they own up to it and appear to fix the problem, then maybe they can move past the nasty headlines. But as the talking heads at The New York Times editorial board, ABC’s “World News Tonight,” MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and CNN all said last week: These allegations are not about to go away. More…

Study Finds Significant Economic Effects of Immigration Surge

A new study from the Congressional Research Service discovered an interesting interrelation between depressed middle class incomes and increased immigration. The Washington Examiner reports that in 1945 the foreign-born population of the United States stood at 10,971,146, but by 1970 it slid to 9,740,000 for a net loss of 1,231,146 foreigners. At the same time, says the CRS, “The reported income of the bottom 90% of tax filers in the United States increased from an average of $18,418 in 1945 to $33,621 in 1970 for an aggregate change of $15,202 or a percent increase of 82.5% over this 25 year period.” In contrast, from 1970 to 2013, the foreign-born population blossomed from 9,740,000 to 41,348,066, a 324.5% increase. However, “The reported income of the bottom 90% of tax filers in the United States decreased from an average of $33,621 in 1970 to $30,980 in 2013 for an aggregate decline of $2,641 or a percent decline of 7.9% over this 43 year period.” There’s no question high-skilled emigrants who go through the system legally contribute positive economic effects. The issue is that our basically open borders has allowed the population of unskilled illegal immigrants to swell, which undoubtedly strangles the overall economy. Border security must be Congress’ top priority to fix the overarching issues affecting America’s middle class.

2015-04-26-192f276e_large.jpg

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

The Wisconsin Left Tried to Criminalize Free Speech

By Arnold Ahlert

2015-04-27-64947a87_large.jpg

Anyone still wondering how low the American Left will sink in pursuit of its agenda should turn their gaze toward Wisconsin. In a blatant attempt at political intimidation masquerading itself as legitimate investigation, police conducted a series of early morning raids at the homes of several Wisconsin conservatives. Dozens of armed officers showed up for pre-dawn raids with battering rams, swarming into houses and threatening the people inside with arrest if they didn’t cooperate, even as they seized personal property. And on the way out, the invaders gave every person they encountered the same warning: Don’t call your lawyer, and don’t tell anyone about what happened, because a gag order is in place.

How is it that people can be forced to remain silent even as police conducted large, noisy raids more suitable to taking down a drug kingpin right in front of their neighbors? Because law enforcement officials in Wisconsin are allowed to conduct John Doe investigations, defined as “an independent, investigatory tool to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and if so, by whom.” And unlike other investigations that require probable cause to pursue, John Doe investigations are conducted to establish the existence of probable cause itself.

Under the rubric of looking for campaign-finance violations, the investigations were initiated by Milwaukee district attorney John Chisholm, a partisan Democrat — whose wife is a teachers’ union shop steward — and a man determined to find anything that could undermine the political career of rising Republican star Gov. Scott Walker. Walker has thwarted Wisconsin leftists at every turn, winning three elections, including a recall effort, in just four years.

Chisholm’s undertook his first John Doe investigation in 2010, when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive. After three years, it netted all of six individuals who pled guilty to crimes ranging from stealing money from a veterans’ fund, and sending political emails on government time, to violation of state campaign finance laws and contributing to the delinquency of a child. Walker himself? Never even charged.

Undaunted, Chisholm launched a second John Doe investigation shortly after Democrats failed to remove Walker in the recall election in 2012, an act of naked revenge precipitated by the passage of Walker’s “budget repair bill” known as Act 10. Act 10 limited the collective bargaining power of unions — including the teachers union to which Chisholm’s wife belonged. The machination surrounding the passage of Act 10 included Democratic state legislators fleeing the state to prevent a vote on the issue, an effort to affect a liberal majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the purpose of overturning the law after it was passed, and the recall election.

The second probe, led by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, targeted Walker and 29 conservative groups. Dozens of subpoenas were issued demanding documents related to the 2011 and 2012, campaign, all based on the theory that these groups had illegally coordinated their activities during recall campaigns of Walker and other Republican legislators targeted for supporting Act 10. National Review’s Rich Lowry aptly described what really occurred. “Walker’s opponents weaponized campaign-finance law, literally,” he explains.

One of those groups, Wisconsin Club for Growth (WCFG), and its founder Eric O’Keefe filed suit. In 2014, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa granted a preliminary injunction halting the investigation, and hammered prosecutors “for exercising issue advocacy speech rights that on their face are not subject to the regulations or statutes the defendants seek to enforce.” The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case on appeal, but not because they disagreed with Randa’s interpretation, but because the Anti-Injunction Act prohibited federal courts from intervening in a state criminal investigation based on the cited principles of “equity, comity, and federalism.” Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook characterized the ruling as victory for states’ rights.

Nonetheless it remain clear O’Keefe’s rights were violated and Section 1983 of the U.S. Code allows citizens to be granted relief under federal law if their rights have been violated by state officials. Last Friday, the Supreme Court began deliberations to determine if O’Keefe v. Chisholm will be heard by the highest court in the land. The Wall Street Journal insists such a hearing is critically necessary because the theory of coordination, allowing “vast investigations to be instigated on the thinnest evidence” it is part of yet another leftist effort to undermine the Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling that lifted unconstitutional restrictions on spending by corporations and labor unions. That would be the very same Citizen’s United decision that former IRS hack Lois Lerner was bemoaning at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy on Oct. 19, 2010 when she stated that the “Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it; they want the IRS to fix the problem.”

The IRS decided to “fix” the problem by denying or delaying conservative groups’ tax-exempt status, and attempting to coordinate with the Eric Holder-led Justice Department to tamp down revelations regarding that scandal. Wisconsin Democrats chose to fix it by conducting two separate witch-hunts replete with dawn raids and gag orders. In a better world, lots of people would be getting disbarred and/or going to jail. In this one, the American Left will continue its attempt to criminalize speech with which they disagree — by any means necessary — until they are stopped.

Stopped from doing what? Try this, courtesy of National Review’s David French:

“As I finished an interview with one victim still living in fear, still shattered by the experience of nearly losing everything simply because she supported the wrong candidate at the wrong time, I asked whether she had any final thoughts. ‘Just one,’ she replied. ‘I’m hoping for accountability, that someone will be held responsible so that they’ll never do this again.’ She paused for a moment and then, with voice trembling, said: ‘No one should ever endure what my family endured.’”

Here’s hoping the Supreme Court agrees — in no uncertain terms.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

OPINION IN BRIEF

Stephen Moore: “[B]illionaire Tom Steyer convened the uber-rich liberal donor base at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle — nice — to pontificate about how much they care about polar bears, the Arctic ice caps and rising sea levels. … A Gallup poll found in March 2015 that only 2 percent of Americans perceive the ‘environment/pollution’ as the nation’s ‘most important problem.’ And a Bloomberg poll last year specifically listing climate as a candidate for ‘most important issue’ found only 5 percent of Americans concurring. Polls also show the richer Democrats are, the more they care about climate change. Maybe that’s because green policies hurt the poor and working class — starting most obviously with opposition to modern drilling techniques such as fracking, and with blocking infrastructure projects that would create tens of thousands of high-paying union jobs. … No one on the left, least of all the donors who are funding the climate change scare campaign, seem to care about how the poor will cope with slow growth and higher costs. The Sierra Club’s Lexus liberals can afford a future with less growth, fewer jobs and higher costs for everything. The middle class can’t. Democrats have abandoned the financial interests of these Americans. Republicans really are the stupid party if they can’t win these disenchanted voters.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States.” —The Gipper

Non Compos Mentis: “It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that [the Baltimore protesters] were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” —Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Regardless of whether her intent was to defend rioting, it will be interesting to see the mayor defend this regrettable remark on the campaign trail.)

Demo-gogues: “I’ve gotta give it to the citizens of Baltimore. I was there all day. It was very peaceful, all day, thousands of people. And then at the end there were a few people who said, ‘We’re gonna turn this city down [sic], we’re gonna close it down,’ and the next thing you know we had a few people mainly from out of town … start beating up on police cars and throwing all kinds of projectiles. But the fact is that, for the most part, it could have been worse. But again, this whole police-community relations situation … is the civil rights cause for this generation.” —Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)

Race bait: “With an institution like American policing, that I believe is founded on anti-blackness, on slave patrols, there are things that are so institutionally ingrained in terms of how we police communities, that are anti-black. They may not say specifically in the language, in the words, that they’ll stop and target black people, but when you do this type of proactive policing … these disproportionately [affect] black and brown and poor communities. So, these things are not only racist, they are also classist.” —community organizer Cherrell Brown (Start with giving police a reason not to disproportionately patrol black communities that have disproportionate levels of crime.)

Village Idiots: “What the Clinton Foundation has said is that we will be even more transparent, even though Transparency International and others have said we’re among the most transparent of foundations. I very much believe that that is the right policy. That we’ll be even more transparent. That to eliminate any questions while we’re in this time, we won’t take new government funding, but that the work will continue as it is.” —Chelsea Clinton

Late-night humor: “It’s being reported that Google spent over $5 million on lobbying just during the first quarter of this year. You’d think Google wouldn’t really need to lobby politicians. All they have to say is, ‘We have your search history. Do what we tell you.'” —Jimmy Fallon

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.

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Nepal Earthquake Death Toll Rises above 4,000

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 08:19 AM PDT

Nepal Earthquake Death Toll Rises above 4,000 Hundreds of American citizens remain in Nepal, with many of them sheltering in compounds and others trying to leave amid fear and frenzy in the earthquake-ravaged country. The death toll from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks rose above 4,000 today, according to officials. Many streets in Kathmandu were impassable, filled not only with rubble but with the injured and with people unwilling to go into any building, fearing the effects of another aftershock.Ineke Stoneham, press and information officer with the public affairs section for the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu, said hundreds of inquiries — from Kathmandu and through the Washington consular call center — have been made regarding the welfare and whereabouts of American citizens. About 3,000 American citizens reside in Nepal, and 3,000 to 4,000 Americans usually visit Nepal during the current peak tourism season, Stoneham said. About 75 American citizens are sheltering in the embassy, while about 150 others are sheltering at the Phora Durbar compound, Stoneham said. MORE

The post Nepal Earthquake Death Toll Rises above 4,000 appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Aadhaar world’s largest biometric ID system

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 08:13 AM PDT

Aadhaar world’s largest biometric ID systemThe Aadhaar card has emerged as probably the world’s largest biometric identification programmes in the world with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issuing nearly 82 crore cards. Available data shows that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) biometric database is way behind with 15 crore and with more Indians expected to register for Aadhaar, it could emerge as the largest programme of its kind globally. Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of enrolments with 10.48 crore cards while Maharashtra had 9.19 crore and West Bengal 6.12 crore up to April 20. Data showed that the UIDAI has issued 81.78 crore cards, covering nearly 67% of the population. The unique ID card programme, which was on the brink of being abandoned after the NDA government was swept to power in May last year, has been pursued vigorously by the Modi administration as it pushed to tackle unwieldy subsidies and roll out its massive Jan Dhan financial inclusion drive.The government persisted with Aadhaar after the former chairman of UIDAI Nandan Nilekani detailed the benefits of the Aadhaar card to PM Narendra Modi. MORE

The post Aadhaar world’s largest biometric ID system appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Mysterious ‘god’ cloud and lightning appear over Chilean volcano

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 08:07 AM PDT

Mysterious ‘god’ cloud and lightning appear over Chilean volcanoA Mysterious  “god like” person has appeared in a cloud following the Calbuco volcano eruption in Chile. The photo, which shows a cloud that resembles a human-like figure, is believed to be a sign from the gods by locals after the volcano blew for the first time in 40 years. On Wednesday local time, a state of emergency was declared in the town after the volcano violently erupted, sending ash soaring into the stratosphere. The eruption itself wasn’t anticipated by either the government or scientists.Above the mysterious cloud, the eruption showed one of the most dazzling light displays the world has ever seen. Huge lightning strikes were caused as the volcano erupted due to particles mixing together in liquid and ice states. These then cause an electrical charge to build up, just like it does in a typical thunderstorm. MORE

The post Mysterious ‘god’ cloud and lightning appear over Chilean volcano appeared first on End Time Headlines.

America’s new LGBT envoy

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 08:00 AM PDT

America’s new LGBT envoyHis job is to promote the human rights of gays and lesbians around the world. When officials at the State Department began mulling the notion of creating a special LGBT envoy, there was some trepidation. A few worried that designating an envoy expressly for the purpose of promoting the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people around the world — an official goal of U.S. diplomacy since 2011 — would stovepipe the issue and lead others at State to neglect it. Others, according to a State employee involved in the process, wondered if including “LGBT” in the title would hurt the envoy’s ability to get meetings with senior officials in countries such as Uganda and Russia, where gays have increasingly come under legal attack. In February, veteran U.S. diplomat Randy Berry was named to the carefully titled position of America’s “special envoy for the human rights of LGBT persons,” and it’s clear he has no intention of being isolated either at State or by any state.
In an interview with POLITICO, the 50-year-old, openly gay diplomat sketched out an ambitious agenda, one he hopes will mean forging ties with activists, companies and governments everywhere, including in places hostile to people such as himself. Of the thousands of positive messages he’s received so far — he can’t think of a negative one — Berry points out that a big chunk came from the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose former president insisted the country had no gays. Surely, he argues, even the most ardent opponents of gays wouldn’t object to having a discussion on whether people in the LGBT community deserve basic human rights. MORE

 

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Top U.S. court appears on cusp of declaring right to gay marriage

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 07:54 AM PDT

Top U.S. court appears on cusp of declaring right to gay marriage The U.S. Supreme Court’s arguments on Tuesday over same-sex marriage will cap more than two decades of litigation and a transformation in public attitudes. Based on the court’s actions during the past two years, a sense of inevitability is in the air: That a majority is on the verge of declaring gay marriage legal nationwide. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s pivotal member on gay rights, has been marching in this direction with opinions dating to 1996. In his most recent gay rights decision for the court in 2013, rejecting a legal definition of marriage limited to a man and woman for purposes of federal benefits, Kennedy deplored that U.S. law for making gay marriages “unequal.” That 5-4 decision did not address a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, but lower court judges interpreted the ruling as an endorsement of it and began invalidating state bans. When states appealed rulings striking down their same-sex marriage prohibitions, the Supreme Court declined to intervene, most notably in October 2014 when it denied appeals in seven cases on a single day.Instead, the nine justices are hearing in Tuesday’s oral arguments an appeal of the sole decision from a regional U.S. appeals court that went the opposite way. Last November, the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit upheld gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. MORE

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US National Guard’s drills in public aimed at dealing with Domestic “Dissidents”

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 07:39 AM PDT

US National Guard’s drills in public aimed at dealing with Domestic "Dissidents"US Army field manuals admit that public drills are aimed at dealing with political dissidents that need to be “reeducated to gain a new appreciation of US policies,” Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars Editor at Large told RT’s In the Now.

RT: The police in the US are accused more than ever now of militarization. A video has appeared online showing armed national guardsmen conducting exercises near a children’s playground in Virginia. We contacted the infantry brigade – here’s what they told us: coordination was made with the Staunton Police Department, these are freshers who are training on basic military subjects like drill and ceremonies, basic first aid, military courtesies and the guns they carry are replicas. What is wrong with it?

Paul Joseph Watson: What is wrong with that is the fact that they are doing it not on base but in public. And we have to put this in the context of a spate of videoswhich have emerged in the recent weeks with not only National Guard but US Army troops in some cases working with police conducting these public drills which in some cases, not in this case but others, are based around crowd control and civil unrest. And the line they always give us that it’s designed for overseas combat, foreign operations. But if you then read the US Army’s actual manuals that they release, it’s clear that it’s for dual purpose, it’s for “dissidents” on US soil. So the media regurgitate this claim that all these drills are just foreign operations. Yet they are doing it in public, in plain sight, while privately in their own field manuals admitting that it’s to take on “dissidents within the continental US.” That’s why people are concerned about it and a lot of our audience is National Guard or former or current US military. They are concerned about these public drills. They didn’t enlist to police the US people which is a lot of this seems to be geared towards. MORE

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New Video Shows Tennessee Cops & National Guard in Riot Control Exercise

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 07:33 AM PDT

New Video Shows Tennessee Cops & National Guard in Riot Control Exercise New video footage has emerged of Tennessee Air National Guard troops training with the Knoxville Police Department to deal with civil unrest, just the latest of a spate of examples of authorities gearing up for domestic disorder. The training exercise, which took place earlier this month, shows Guard troops and police officers taking turns to play the role of rioters, throwing objects and powder at each other during the crowd control drills. The training, which involves troops from the 134th Air Refueling Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard, is now taking place once a month, according to one of the officials quoted in the video, who also noted that the Knoxville Police Department’s “riot control team” is involved in the exercises. The police officers are training the Guard troops, “in case they ever come in contact with a riot control situation,” according to the official. Another National Guard official interviewed for the piece stated, “We use this training because we know that if we have to use it in the outside world or within a base then we’re ready.” Over the last few weeks, we have featured numerous video clips of training exercises based around riot control and martial-law style scenarios being carried out by police, National Guard and U.S. military forces across the United States. MORE

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Freak hailstorm pounds the southeast, causes widespread damage to homes and disables SES headquarters

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 07:05 AM PDT

Freak hailstorm pounds the southeast, causes widespread damage to homes and disables SES headquartersA FREAK hailstorm that pelted southeast Sydney on Saturday caused widespread damage and disabled the Randwick State Emergency Service headquarters. Ominous clouds rolled in about 5pm on Saturday and unleashed a deluge of small hail stones and rain for close to an hour. It surprised thousands out and about winding down after record attendance at Anzac Day commemorations across the southeast. In a dramatic turn of events the SES headquarters in Maroubra was forced to relocate to a Randwick City Council depot after its ceiling collapsed. It came as volunteers scrambled in response to 210 calls for assistance. Randwick SES spokesman Terry Pappas said staff were preparing for an influx of call outs during the storm when they noticed water running down from the ceiling. “We heard the hail, which was quite deafening, and we noticed that the ceiling had collapsed in several places and water was running down the corridor,” Mr Pappas said. “And then systemically it caused a collapse in all of the room’s ceilings. The worst call out was a 90 year old deaf lady in Maroubra (the worst hit), who had all of her ceilings collapse while she was inside,” he said. “She literally had nothing left in her house … she lost everything.” On Sunday morning adventurous residents took advantage of the freak weather event to build snowmen. Some used the opportunity to break out toboggans and snowboards. The deluge came just two days after the southeast was battered by its worst storm in 16 years. EP

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3 Ways to Stoke the Fire of Personal Revival

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 07:00 AM PDT

3 Ways to Stoke the Fire of Personal RevivalSo many people ask me how I keep my personal passion for God burning so hot all the time. I tell them its very simple; there are three things you must do: Read the Word of God, and pray and fast on a regular schedule. The Word of God is so clear on how we are to keep the fire of personal daily revival going. Lets start off with Mark 1:35, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” Before the day even got started the Son of God knew the importance of being ready to face the day and all it had for Him. Your early morning prayer time lets you connect with God first thing in the morning without you waking up late and rushing around. Honestly if you start your day rushed, you’re rushed all day. So wake up early and start your day as Jesus did with the Father. Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” When we have the Word of God hidden in our heart, it will guide us in all our ways, its truly a light unto our path. The Word says people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge. The book of Proverbs is all about knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Get into the Word and remember John 1:1, which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” MORE

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America Is Ignoring God’s Clear Warning Signs

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 06:56 AM PDT

America Is Ignoring God's Clear Warning SignsAlthough fictitious, these imaginary headlines may be more fact than fiction if America continues to ignore the warning signs. Mandatory Euthanasia Bill: What many call genocide, Congress calls necessary to curtail rising healthcare costs. In the hope of reclaiming financial stability, many legislators plan to sign a mandatory Euthanasia Bill. In defense of the Bill, some State Representatives claim that abortion has helped to offset rising healthcare costs. This new legislation will include those with terminal or chronic illnesses—life will be terminated when rehabilitation is uncertain, and/or when lingering illnesses threaten the economy. Those with extreme religious views, and the elderly, are also being considered. Congress Lowers Age of Sexual Consent: Congress will vote later this year to lower the age of sexual consent to 12. Members have agreed to consider new research indicating that sex between children and adults may be beneficial. Although this new research is absurd and appears extremely problematic and biased, it may have prompted a trend in the lower Courts to assign convicted pedophiles lesser penalties such as community service, or rehabilitation, for committing lewd acts with children. This movement may explain why many judges now offer rehabilitation rather than imprisonment. Even though research confirms that punishment reduces crime, many appear eager to facilitate this new trend. MORE

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Obama Says No To Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’ Clause In Iran Nuclear Deal Framework

A State Department official dismissed a plea Friday from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Iran nuclear agreement include clear recognition of his nation’s “right to exist,” declaring negotiations are “only about the nuclear issue.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, in a terse response to a question about Netanyahu’s concerns, told reporters, “This is an agreement that is only about the nuclear issue” — a comment that indicates the Obama administration is not looking to enshrine Israel’s security into a final agreement.

Harf, for her part, suggested the talks are complicated enough already. “This is an agreement that doesn’t deal with any other issues, nor should it,” she said.

Obama administration officials have insisted all along that despite their public disagreement with Netanyahu over the Iran deal framework, the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security is unwavering. Further, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters on Air Force One on Friday that the U.S. would not agree to any deal that would threaten Israel.

The Israeli prime minister, though, made the call for the “right to exist” measure during brief remarks early Friday. He blasted the Iran framework deal and said his Cabinet is uniformly opposed to it. He closed his brief address by demanding that any final agreement include “a clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel’s right to exist.”

The statement was prompted by reported statements from a top Iranian military official, who was quoted saying “erasing Israel” off the map is “non-negotiable.”

To that, Netanyahu said: “The survival of Israel is non-negotiable.”

Israel’s objections promise to be a major hurdle for the Obama administration as its representatives huddle with those from Iran and five other world powers in pursuit of a final deal by a June 30 deadline. source

The post Obama Says No To Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’ Clause In Iran Nuclear Deal Framework appeared first on Now The End Begins.


The Briefing

1) In aftermath of Nepal quake moral evil mixed with natural evil

Fear of aftershocks has Nepal on edge, Washington Post (Rama Lakshmi and Annie Gowen)

2) Power of Chile volcano eruption reminder of power and wisdom of Creator

Flights canceled as ash cloud pours from Chile volcano, Reuters (Rosalbo O’Brien and Anthony Esposito)

3) Oral arguments before Supreme Court great moral event of our age

Long courtship leads to high court’s altar for gay marriage, USA Today (Richard Wolf)

4) Cincinnati’s shift on gay marriage civic example of evaporation of moral traditionalism

Gay Marriage Case Caps Cincinnati’s Shift From Conservative Past, New York Times (Sheryl Gay Stolberg)
In other news…


America: On a Collision Course with God

Jan Markell and Eric Barger talk to White House correspondent Bill Koenig about America’s collision course with God. Koenig has been a White House journalist since 2001 and shares insights in the third in our series of our Washington watch. Koenig connects some more final days dots and concurs with Franklin Graham that there is an “antichrist movement” in Washington now. He offers insights listeners will not hear other places. We use the mobile app at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


Silent No More: George W. Bush Bashes Obama on Middle East

In a closed-door meeting with Jewish Donors Saturday night, former President George W. Bush delivered his harshest public criticisms to date against his successor on foreign policy, saying that President Barack Obama is being naïve about Iran and the pending nuclear deal and losing the war against the Islamic State.

View Article


Kings Of The North And South Update

Commentary by Jack Kelley

Over the past five years or so I have written several times about the middle eastern kings of Daniel 11 known as the kings of the north and the south. In these studies I’ve shown how these two kings will become prominent again in the end times as the Shiites (king of the north) and the Sunnis (king of the south) vie for supremacy in the Islamic movement. Before getting a look at what’s currently happening in this coming clash, let’s have a quick review of their origins.

View Article


A Nation in Trouble

Instead of preaching the way of the Lord, some are preaching the way of political correctness. And instead of growing their church spiritually, they have led their flocks away from God and watched their churches decline.

Now America is reaping the results of this sinful demise in moral character, and the anemic commitments made to our Lord and Savior. We have built wealth without building people spiritually.

View Article


Jonathan Cahn Addresses United Nations About Christian ‘Holocaust’

And now as we meet in the city of the bystanders of that crime, another crime is taking place outside our closed windows. Seventy years after the bystanders of Nazi Germany walked through the death camps of the holocaust, another stream of victims are being led to their deaths.

Again it involves a satanic evil of hatred, violence, and sadistic cruelty. And again it involves an innocent people marked for destruction—the followers of Jesus, known throughout the world as “Christians,” those who are taught, when struck, to turn the other cheek, when cursed, to bless, and when persecuted, to forgive those who oppress them.

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New Christian Zionists Seek Distance From ‘Wild, Crazy Popular Apocalypticism

Many popular Christian books about the end times were based upon some dispensational-type teachings. In the 1970’s, for instance, Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth was a best selling book, which led to a cottage industry of end times books. There were also popular fictional works, such as Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind series, which have been made into films. A recent example is Pastor John Hagee’s Four Blood Moons. Christianbook.com currently has a “Prophecy & End Times” section with 1,458 works.

This pop-apocalypticism was also on display recently when former congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said on a radio show that the end times were near and associated that prediction with President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

View Article


Christian Headlines

Top Headlines

5 Things You Need to Know about the Earthquake in Nepal

‘A.D.’ can’t match ‘The Bible’ in ratings

Baptist Pastors Won’t Hear Ben Carson after Young Pastors Object

Nepal seeks help, death toll seen rising after devastating quake – SRN News

Ancient Pottery Shards Analyzed by Israeli Scientists Seem to Support Biblical Narrative

Can a robot copy sacred scriptures?

On The Ground At The Nepalese Earthquake

Actor Found Himself Doing Things That Violated His Christian Faith. Then, He Made a Promise to God That Changed Everything.

Religious Persecution in China Dramatically Worsened in 2014, Group Says

Catastrophic 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Nepal

Opinion

How God is Redeeming the Armenian Atrocites

Going with Jesus into Our Fears

Christians Thrown Overboard by Obama

How Christianity invented children

I’m Kimmy Schmidt, Minus the ‘Unbreakable’


Our Time is Short

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


“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.


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)

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.

April 27, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blogroll Collection

Christ is much more powerful to save, than Adam was to destroy. —John Calvin

April 27 Quotes


The Master of the World!

by Landon

1 Chronicles 29:10-12 “So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly; and David said: Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone!”

In these days of man-centered religion, verses like these have been ignored. The pulpits of our land preach a defeated God, a disappointed Christ and a defenseless Holy Spirit. Man has been deified, and God dethroned. Most preachers today hold to the theory that man is a free agent and the determiner of his own destiny. God has been relegated to the background.

The God most people believe in has benevolent intentions, yet He is unable to carry them out. He wants to bless men, but they will not let Him. The average churchgoer thinks Satan has gained the upper hand, and that God is to be pitied rather than worshiped. Modern preaching is so lopsided that when we mention God, people immediately think of a babe in a manger, or a dead man on a cross. Much Christian service is rendered to get God out of an embarrassing situation. The God of popular Christianity has a weak smile and a halo.

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Complementarian Organizations and Where Women Belong

When we confuse parachurch organizations with the local church, we end up with a muddled mess. We can’t definitively answer a question of “where does a woman belong in a complementarian organization?” because applications about teaching and authority only make sense in context of a community that actually possesses authority. Some would say to simply “err on the safe side” and apply the dynamics of local church ministry to parachurch organizations. But doing this may actually minimize the significance of the local church the same way that calling a woman to submit to all men diminishes the significance of her submission to her own husband.

Read more


The New Reformation Study Bible is Out–and It Looks Great

It’s an honor to be a contributor because this new study Bible is packed with wonderful articles and essays from some of the top Reformed thinkers today. Included in this list is a number of professors from Reformed Theological Seminary (past and present): Guy Waters, Roger Nicole, John Currid, Sean Lucas, Mark Futato, Bruce Waltke, Richard Pratt, Willem VanGemeren, Knox Chamblin, Charles Hill, Dennis Ireland, Reggie Kidd, Simon Kistemaker, and Derek Thomas.

Read more


Martin Luther’s Definition of Faith

Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they’re smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools.

Read more


The Ditches of Discipline

The Holy Spirit works in us to will and to do, but it seems his work of both motivating and enabling is deeply related to our earnest efforts to desire and do his will (Col 1:29). Instead of trying to find the starting point of the circle, let us simply remember that what Spirit-prompted flames of desire are present need to be fanned into flame by disciplined, dependent obedience.

Read more


The Sweet Direction of the Law

“In the first covenant, man was bound to do this in order that he might live (to deserve life); but in this [covenant of grace] he is bound to do the same (not [so] that he may live, but because he lives) to the possession of the life acquired by Christ and the testimony of a grateful mind (as the apostle in the same place exhorts believers to obedience).”

Read more


What Should the Church Say to Bruce Jenner?

The hope for Bruce Jenner, and for others like him, is not to alter the body with surgery or to flood their system with hormones. The answer is to realize that all of us are born alienated from what we were created to be. We don’t need to fix what happened in our first birth; we need a new birth altogether.

Read more


How Do You Know You’re Repentant?

Repenting people, typically, are zealous about casting off their sin. That’s what God’s Spirit does inside of them. When this happens, one can expect to see a willingness to accept outside counsel. A willingness to inconvenience their schedules. A willingness to confess embarrassing things. A willingness to make financial sacrifices or lose friends or end relationships.

Read more


A Love that Sharpens

To “love” someone, according to our society, is to affirm every decision they make and to applaud them just for being them. In fact, there is nothing more hateful, according to our corrupt culture, than to tell someone they’re wrong, and that they need to change in some considerable way in order to be pleasing to God. But this is precisely what love demands.

Read more


Gay Marriage, Part One – Church & Culture Blog

*Editor’s Note: As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on same-sex marriage this week, the Church & Culture Team felt it timely to take a recent address by Dr. White on the matter and turn it into a four-blog series that will be issued Monday-Thursday of this week.

*****************

Today we talk about one of the biggest cultural issues of our day:

Gay marriage.

Some of you here today are gay. And you are anxiously awaiting what I’m going to say.

Well, first things first. Let me just say a few things to you.

Read more


Resources On Same-Sex Attraction

by Pastor J.D.

This weekend we looked at one of the toughest and most controversial questions of our day: what does the Bible teach about same-sex attraction? The video of that message will be up on our website soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to provide some resources to help supplement that message. I pray these help you think through how to share Jesus’ heart toward those in the LGBT community.

Here is a recent interview I had with Rosaria Butterfield, the (incredibly wise and scary smart) author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert:

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Ben Witherington’s hard-hitting critique of Rachel Held Evans’ new book

by Denny Burk

New Testament scholar Ben Witherington has penned a fairly hard-hitting review of Rachel Held Evans’ new book Searching for Sunday., which landed on The New York Times
bestseller list last week. Witherington likes Evans personally and even affirms her as a “genuine Christian person.” He is generally sympathetic with some of her complaints about evangelicalism. Nevertheless, he comes down pretty hard on her affirmation sex outside of marriage. He writes:

I wish Rachel had continued her studies in a formal way and been better trained in Biblical interpretation and how to deal with difficult ethical and theological issues. I have seen what happens when Christian college kids come to seminary and realize in their first year of seminary that college has given them just enough reading and training to make them dangerous and half-baked when it comes to understanding the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

Rachel with her keen mind has overcome not only some of her context but some of her education, but it would have been so much better if she had continued that education, not merely by continuing to read, but by having good dialogue partners who are not just pastors, or peers. But alas, this apparently has not happened, and as result, she uses her blog and her books to promulgate her heartfelt convictions, even when, had she run them by some older and wiser professors of faith, she might have thought better of some of the things she has said and is saying. And of course, there are thousands out there in the blogosphere prepared to give the Amen to her pronouncements, thousands who resonate with and feel like her. That sort of affirmation is intoxicating, but it is not the approval of the one person who really needs to pass judgment on what we say— the Lord Jesus Christ.

That Jesus tells us plainly enough that there are only two options for Christians— chastity in singleness, and fidelity in marriage, with the latter clearly enough defined as the relationship between a man and woman (Mt. 19/Mk. 10), who alone have the possibility of sharing a one flesh union in Christ, because of course the image of God is male and female, not male and male, or female and female… There are two callings Jesus offers, and Paul affirms. Not three, four or ten…

… If we don’t believe the grace of God is greater than the power of our sinful inclinations, then we have given up on the power of the Gospel.

Read the rest here.


How the Prosperity Gospel Hurts Racial Reconciliation – Russell Moore: “You cannot reconcile people across carnal divisions with a gospel based on carnal promises.” So true.


Standing on the rock

Today we covered many news stories, including these headlines: Pastor: “I Love Planned Parenthood.” Calls Abortion Business a “Resurrection Ministry” Judge Seeks $135,000 Fine Against Christian Bakers for Declining to Make Cake for ‘Gay Wedding’ New Apostolic Reformation using Empowered21, Assemblies of God, to further agenda? Glenn Beck receives a “mantle” from a false prophet […]

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Andy Stanley Removes Shame from Homosexual Sin

As a Christian man, I struggle with sin; “Struggle” being the key word. The apostle Paul spoke of the ongoing battle that is a part of every Christian’s life. We can draw comfort from his words, knowing that our experience is not unusual— that we are not failing as Christians because we are engaged in a fight.

I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. (Romans 7:21-23 NASB)

This struggle can sometimes wreak havoc in us mentally, spiritually, and even physically. As a help, we should “lean on” one another. As a man, I find it helpful to talk about my latest sins and temptations with other Christian men. In fact, the bible tells us we should do so in James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

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Seven Reasons Some Church Members Don’t Want Their Churches to Grow

It is highly unusual to hear church members say that they don’t desire their churches to be obedient to the Great Commission. Indeed, it is common for the members of a pastor search committee to tell a prospective pastor that they are looking for a leader who will guide the church toward growth.

And most church members do desire to see their churches grow . . . until the growth affects them. It is at that point they can become disillusioned and critical.

So what is it about growth that impacts some members negatively? Let me suggest seven reasons.

  1. Loss of familiarity. When a church is growing, it becomes a different church over time. The difference is not necessarily good or bad, but it’s not the same as it was in earlier years. Some church members grieve when they see their churches change. They miss “the good old days.”
  2. Loss of memories. I recently heard a poignant story from a lady whose church was demolishing the old worship center to build a new one to accommodate growth. She and her husband were married in the old worship center. She understandably grieved at the loss of that physical reminder of their wedding.
  3. Loss of comfort. Growth can mean that the closest parking spots are no longer available. Growth can mean that the traffic flow in the parking lot is more difficult. Church members can feel that their creature comforts are compromised by growth.
  4. Loss of power. New people in a church can mean that power bases are diluted. The growth can result in new influencers in the church. Some of the longer-tenured influencers may not like that.
  5. Loss of perceived intimacy. It’s a common response: “I used to know everyone in this church. I just don’t feel as close to members as I once did.” Indeed, growth can mean that all the members may not know each other as they did when the church was smaller.
  6. Loss of worship style. New members and attendees might have different worship style preferences. They often influence church leaders to make changes. Existing members may resent these changes. They might also start worship wars.
  7. Loss of worship time. Growth in the church may necessitate adding worship services or changing times of worship services. Some members may be frustrated that they have lost “their” worship time.

Obedience to the Great Commission often results in growth in the church. But growth in the church is not always received well by some members. Some of these members have an attitude that the church is there to serve them and to cater to their needs. Healthy church members understand they are to be giving and sacrificial members of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12). They will rejoice when more members join the fellowship, and when more people become believers in Christ.

Have you experienced the phenomenon of anti-growth members in your church? How did it manifest itself? I look forward to hearing from you.

The post Seven Reasons Some Church Members Don’t Want Their Churches to Grow appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


The Daily Discovery (April 27, 2015)

Dear Bruce Jenner: Please Consider Your Children’s Emotional Well-Being – “America is watching intently as you seek to transition from man to woman. So are your daughters. As a daughter who watched her own father make the same choice, I plead with you to reconsider. My father’s revelation to me that he wanted to become a woman sent my life into a tailspin.”

Make Your Calling and Election Sure – “Why is calling here put before election, seeing election is eternal, and calling takes place in time? I reply, because calling is first to us. The first thing which you and I can know is our calling: we cannot tell whether we are elect until we feel that we are called. We must, first of all, prove our calling, and then our election is sure most certainly.”

Hall of Shame – Always follow your notes! – “Well, I just wrapped up giving four talk on the issue of the Charismatic Renewal movement. Things went pretty well (though as a speaker you never really know how things went; my self perception is always highly inaccurate), but I made one error big enough that I feel the need to point it out and offer some correction.”

Presbyterian Pastor: “I Love Planned Parenthood.” Calls Abortion Business a “Ministry” – “Life News reports on a pastor who loves abortion mill Planned Parenthood…”

Equipping Eve Episode 13: Life Verses and Labyrinths – “One website defines a life verse as “the scripture quote that seems to speak to you directly – the one that holds a personal meaning for you.” What is the danger of committing yourself to one “life verse” that has been divorced from its broader context? Also—what is a prayer labyrinth and are they biblical?”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – The Power of Persecution


VIDEOS:

Horrible Bible Studies

Gospel starts with “Go”


“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



Our Time is Short

http://youtu.be/CbS0NaBeNrM

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


“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.

http://youtu.be/gIDYvg73RuM


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)

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.

The Uniqueness of Scripture

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

One of the attributes of Scripture that we might not think about so much is the fact that it is completely unique.  Scripture is the only clear, sufficient, necessary, authoritative, and perfect source of saving knowledge of our Triune God (Ps. 12:6, 2 Pet. 1:21, John 10:35, Rom. 3:4, 2 Tim. 3:15-17, etc.).  John Murray stated this well in a lecture he gave to an Inter-Varsity Fellowship group in 1960:

“Apart from the Scriptures and the knowledge derived from them, we today would be in complete darkness respecting the content of our Christian faith.  We must not deceive ourselves as to the darkness and confusion that would be ours if there were no Bible.  We depend upon the message of Scripture for every tenet of our faith, for every ray of redemptive light that illumines our minds, and for every ray of hope against the issues of time and eternity. …

View original 287 more words

Faithfulness to the Master (Luke 12:40-48)

Originally posted on Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

TimeTalentTr2012_jpgJesus has entrusted us, as His servants, to do His work and be obedient to the truth we’ve received. In Luke 12:40-48, He is telling us we are all to be managers of important resources. Some people do a good job and others are poor spiritual managers. In verse 35, Jesus begins warning His disciples to be ready for His return. Then, in verse 40, He says,

You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I…

View original 1,391 more words

GTY Blog: Shade for Our Children

Ephesians 6:4

Code: B150427

by John MacArthur

An old Chinese proverb says, “One generation plants the trees and another gets the shade.” Our generation lives in the shade of many trees that were planted by our ancestors.

In spiritual terms, we derive shade from our parents’ and grandparents’ ethical standards, their perceptions of right and wrong, their sense of moral duty, and above all, their spiritual commitment. Their ideals determined the kind of civilization we inherited from them, and our generation’s ideals will likewise shape tomorrow’s culture for our kids.

There’s no question that society is in a serious state of moral and spiritual decline. So the question that faces Christian parents today is whether we can plant some trees that will shade future generations from what may well be the blistering heat of anti-Christian values in an anti-Christian world. Are we planting the right kind of shade trees, or are we leaving our children totally exposed?

The Demise of Modern Society

It should be obvious to anyone who is committed to the truth of Scripture that our culture is rapidly disintegrating morally, ethically, and above all spiritually. The values now embraced by society are badly out of sync with God’s divine order.

In fact, the only taboo these days is holding to the absolute moral standards the Lord instituted in His Word. Lifestyles of promiscuity, debauchery, rebellion, and lawlessness aren’t merely tolerated—they’re celebrated. Selfishness, greed, and dishonesty are accepted and even expected.

And the standards for the family aren’t any better. Divorce is available on demand for any reason, or for no reason at all. Married women with children are encouraged to work outside the home. Entertainment, and television in particular, dominates home life. The genocide of unborn children is aggressively defended. Gender differences have been downplayed, suppressed, and—as much as possible—eliminated from public discussion. And homosexual marriage is aggressively promoted throughout the culture—to the point that anything less than celebrating it is viewed as bigotry.

In short, our society is waging an all-out war on the biblical standards for morality, and the family is one of the key battlegrounds.

Where Is the Church in All of This?

As the building block of society, the family needs to be protected and defended. But mere moral reform is not the solution for all that ails our secular society. This is not a rallying cry for Christians to be more aggressive in pursuing political action. Far too much of the church’s effort in recent years has been squandered trying to confront anti-family trends, such as abortion and homosexuality, through legislative efforts alone. Reform is no answer for a culture like ours. Redemption is what is needed, and that occurs at the individual, not societal, level. The church needs to get back to the real task to which we are called: evangelizing the lost. Only when multitudes of individuals in our society turn to Christ will society itself experience any significant transformation.

Meanwhile, Christian families have an obligation to plant shade trees for future generations of children. But, frankly, even in the church, the family’s condition looks pretty bleak.

Not that there aren’t positive signs. For nearly three decades there has been a tremendous preoccupation among evangelicals with the need to rescue the family. Christian bookstores are well-stocked with books on marriage and the family. Christian radio is also crowded with family-oriented programming. There is no shortage of Christian programs, seminars, and ministries devoted to the family and parenting.

Despite all the ink and air time such ministries have devoted to the subjects of parenting and the family, though, statistics still show that in general, Christian families are not in much better shape than the families of their non-Christian neighbors. Children from Christian families are not immune to the lure of drugs, gangs, promiscuous sex, and all the other evils plaguing the youth of today. By and large, Christian families are suffering from all the same woes as non-Christian families.

Something is clearly wrong.

Is It Biblical, or Just “Christian”?

Part of the problem is that many of the parenting and family programs being labeled “Christian” today are not truly Christian. Some are nothing more than secular behaviorism papered over with a religious veneer—an unholy amalgam of biblical-sounding expressions blended with humanistic psychology. Even some of the better Christian parenting programs focus far too much on relatively petty extrabiblical matters and not enough on the essential biblical principles. One book I consulted spent chapter after chapter on issues like how to make a chore list to hang on the refrigerator, how to organize your child’s schedule to limit television time, games to play in the car, and similar how-to advice. Such pragmatic concerns may have their place, but they don’t go to the heart of what Christian parents in a society like ours need to address. (That particular book actually had very little that was distinctively Christian, outside the author’s preface.)

Some Christian parenting programs seem to begin well but quickly move away from biblical principles and into other things. Those other things often receive more stress than more vital issues that are truly biblical. Parents who sign up for such programs demand detailed, heavily regimented programs or turnkey parenting systems that work right out of the box. So that is what the experts try to produce. The resulting lists of rules and how-tos quickly supersede the vital biblical principles. The lure in this direction is subtle but strong, and rare is the parenting guru who successfully avoids it.

What we desperately need is a return to the biblical principles of parenting. Christian parents don’t need new, shrink-wrapped programs; they need to apply and obey consistently the few simple principles that are clearly set forth for parents in God’s Word, such as these: Constantly teach your kids the truth of God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:7). Discipline them when they do wrong (Proverbs 23:13–14). And don’t provoke them to anger (Colossians 3:21). Those few select principles alone, if consistently applied, would have a far greater positive impact for the typical struggling parent than hours of discussion about whether babies should be given pacifiers, or what age kids should be before they’re permitted to choose their own clothes, or dozens of similar issues that consume so much time in the typical parenting program.

Over the next few days, we’re going to closely examine those biblical parenting principles and others, and consider God’s design for the family, and how best to provide shade for your children by training them up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

(Adapted from What the Bible Says About Parenting.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150427
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Physicist Victor Stenger debates William Lane Craig: Does God Exist?

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

This debate took place on March 1, 2010 at Oregon State University.

In this debate, Victor Stenger does affirm his belief that the universe could be eternal in his second rebuttal (1:02:30), thus denying the standard Big Bang cosmology. He also denies the law of conservation of energy and asserts that something can come from nothing in his concluding speech (1:33:50). He also caused the audience to start laughing when he said that Jesus was not moral and supported slavery. There is almost no snark in this summary. Instead, I quoted Dr. Stenger verbatim in many places. I still think that it is very entertaining even without the snarky paraphrasing.

The debate includes 30 minutes of Q&A with the students.

Here is the MP3 file for the audio.

Here’s the video of the debate:

Dr. Craig’s opening speech:

  • The ontological argument
  • The contingency argument
  • The cosmological argument
  • The moral argument

View original 1,501 more words

April 27, 2015 Daily Devotional Guide Collection

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April 27

ABIDE WITH ME

Henry F. Lyte, 1793–1847

But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to tarry with them. (Luke 24:29 KJV)

Yes, life is like the Emmaus road, and we tread it not alone

For beside us walks the Son of God, to uphold and keep His own.

And our hearts within us thrill with joy at His words of love and grace,

And the glorious hope that when day is done we shall see His blessed face.

Avis Christiansen

The author of this text, Henry F. Lyte, was an Anglican pastor. Though he battled tuberculosis all of his life, Lyte was known as a man strong in spirit and faith. It was he who coined the phrase “it is better to wear out than to rust out.”

During his later years, Lyte’s health progressively worsened so that he was forced to seek a warmer climate in Italy. For the last sermon with his parishioners at Lower Brixham, England, on September 4, 1847, it is recorded that he nearly had to crawl to the pulpit. His final words made a deep impact upon his people when he proclaimed, “It is my desire to induce you to prepare for the solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely appreciation and dependence on the death of Christ.”

Henry Lyte’s inspiration for writing “Abide with Me” came shortly before his final sermon, while reading from the account in Luke 24 of our Lord’s appearance with the two disciples on their seven mile walk from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus on that first Easter evening. How the hearts of those discouraged disciples suddenly burned within them when they realized that they were in the company of the risen, the eternal Son of God!

Abide with me—fast falls the eventide. The darkness deepens—Lord, with me abide; when other helpers fail and comforts flee, help of the helpless, O abide with me!

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; change and decay in all around I see—O Thou who changest not, abide with me!

I need Thy presence ev’ry passing hour—What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r? Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be? Thru cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy word before my closing eyes. Shine thru the gloom and point me to the skies; heav’n’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee—In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

For Today: Psalm 139:7–12; Luke 24:13–35; 1 John 3:24

Relive the thrill expressed by the two Emmaus disciples when their spiritual eyes were opened and they first realized that they were in the presence of their risen Lord. Use this hymn to help—[1]


April 27: Walking in Circles

Joshua 18:1–19:9; 2 Corinthians 12:1–10; Psalm 56:1–13

I often wish things were more obvious. I ask God to help me understanding His timing so that I can easily act. I ask for everything to happen at the right moments. I ask Him to give me such clear directions that I can’t fail in following them. I used to think this was a good thing, but I realize now that all my questions could indicate a lack of faith. It seems that my questions lead to more questions. Like a man losing his memory in old age, I end up walking in circles around the block rather than finding my way home.

Maybe it’s not the lack of knowing that disturbs me, but that when I really know what God wants, I will have to act. In general, this seems to be the problem with faith in western Christianity. We say we don’t know what God wants. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, perhaps we don’t really want to know what God wants. In our hearts, we’re certain that knowing will mean uncomfortable change.

Joshua calls the Israelites on this type of faith problem: “How long will you be slack about going to take possession of the land that Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” (Josh 18:3). The same question applies to us. How long will we wait? We really know what we’re supposed to do? If we don’t, might the reason be that we don’t want to know?

Often we hesitate because we’re afraid of our weaknesses—that we don’t think we have what it takes. Paul addresses this when discussing his own weaknesses: “And [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, because the power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore rather I will boast most gladly in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may reside in me’ ” (2 Cor 12:9).

Rather than live in fear, we should boast in our weaknesses. Christ is working in us, to use us, in spite of them. No one is perfect; only Christ has the honor of perfection. And while we are weak, He will give us strength in Him. His strength can overcome whoever we are, wherever we have been, and whatever we will do.

Rather than walking in circles looking for home, let’s realize that we are already home. Our home is Christ.

In what ways are you currently walking in circles? What should you be doing instead?

John D. Barry[2]


April 27

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Psalm 101 through 105. Our lesson is from Psalm 105:17–21, “He sent a man before them, Joseph, [who] was sold as a slave. They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons; Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him, The ruler of peoples, and set him free. He made him lord of his house And ruler over all his possessions.” (NASU)

Lesson

Today’s Psalm is a faithful record of the Lord’s involvement in the life of His people. Here we see that God intervenes for His people when they are obedient to His commands. The point of the Psalm is that Israel must learn how to wait on God’s timing. This is illustrated in the life of Joseph. Let’s examine three stages in Joseph’s life as mentioned by these verses.

First Joseph is sent by God. Normally we think of “missionary” when we hear that one is sent. So by this definition Joseph was a missionary. The Lord called him as a young man through two dreams. Our text states that he was sent to Egypt “before them” (his family) to prepare the way for them. Joseph’s family would become the nation of Israel and thus part of God’s plan of salvation.

Second Joseph is tested by God. As human beings, we like benefits and blessings but not trials and testing. Joseph was tested by the Lord, which prepared him for God’s purpose for his life. God prepared Joseph to be the instrument for saving Joseph’s family from the famine that would have destroyed them. Joseph probably did not immediately recognize the crisis in Potifar’s house—which landed him in jail—as coming from the Lord, but through it he learned to trust in God. His descendents would also be severely tested centuries later through the attempted genocide of the Hebrew children at the hands of Pharaoh.

Last Joseph is approved by God. Through an astounding, God-directed turn of events, Joseph is released from prison and brought before the royal court to interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams. Pharaoh appoints Joseph to the second highest position in the government in charge of all of the Pharaoh’s possessions. At the end of his life Joseph is honored and respected not only by the Egyptians but also by his own family. The dream of his calling is fulfilled.

In review, Joseph was sent by God. Joseph was tested by God. And Joseph was approved by God.

Let’s allow God to determine our destiny. This is done by submitting to Him. God’s faithfulness and His intervention in our lives can assist us in fulfilling His plan for us. May we be moldable and willing to say yes to our Lord!

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Psalm 106 through 112. 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]


April 27

Are You Avoiding Persecution?

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness” (Matt. 5:10).

✧✧✧

If you don’t experience persecution, people probably don’t know you’re a Christian.

I heard of a man who was fearful because he was starting a new job with a group of unbelievers whom he thought might give him a bad time if they found out he was a Christian. After his first day at work his wife asked him how he got along with them. “We got along just fine,” he said. “They never found out I’m a Christian.”

Silence is one way to avoid persecution. Some other ways are to approve of the world’s standards, laugh at its jokes, enjoy its entertainment, and smile when it mocks God. If you never confront sin or tell people that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, or if your behavior is so worldly no one can distinguish you from unbelievers, you will probably be accepted and won’t feel the heat of persecution.

But beware, for Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you. … Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory” (Luke 6:26; 9:26). The last thing anyone should want is for Christ to pronounce a curse on them or to be ashamed of them. That’s an enormous price to pay for popularity!

If you take a stand for Christ and manifest Beatitude attitudes, you will be in direct opposition to Satan and the evil world system. And eventually you will experience some form of persecution. That has been true from the very beginning of human history, when Abel was murdered by his brother Cain because Cain couldn’t tolerate his righteousness.

You should never fear persecution. God will grant you grace and will never test you beyond what He enables you to endure (1 Cor. 10:13). Nor should you ever compromise Biblical truth in order to avoid persecution. In Philippians 1:19 Paul says persecution is as much a gift of God as salvation itself. Both identify you as a true believer!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Memorize 1 Peter 2:20–21. Ask God to continually grant you the grace to follow Christ’s example when difficulties come your way.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 11:23–33, noting the severe persecution Paul endured for Christ’s sake.[4]


April 27

Safe in God’s Arms

He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Focus on God’s unconditional love for you and anybody else who may be involved in the crisis you face. Focus on His power and ability to control all circumstances. Focus on His always-listening ear that hears you and His always-watchful eye that sees you day and night.

Remember this: The larger your thoughts about God, the smaller your thoughts about your problem!

Refuse to have a pity party or slide into depression. Choose instead to see God’s loving arms wrapped around you, lifting you up to safety, provision, and peace![5]


April 27

Giving In

Scripture reading: 1 Kings 11:1–8

Key verse: James 1:15

When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

When faced with temptation, we often rationalize or justify what we want to do, thinking that giving in on small things is not harmful. But disobedience of any kind is a compromise, a partial surrender to sin that hinders our relationship with the Lord and can grow into bigger sin.

King Solomon, the son of David, was the wisest man who ever lived. But God specifically commanded Solomon not to take foreign wives because He knew the end result: “For it came about when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (1 Kings 11:4 nasb).

What started out as admiration from afar led to association, which soon led to close relationships. Eventually Solomon built altars for false gods; he was totally possessed by his sin. And he paid a price. To punish Solomon’s disobedience, God took the kingdom away from his children.

The good news is that wherever you may be on the road of compromise, the Lord will restore you to right fellowship with Him if you ask Him. No sin is too big and no failure too large for the power of the Cross. Recognize your sin, repent, and let the Holy Spirit rebuild your life and ground your heart in His truth.

Lord, there is no sin too great for the power of the Cross. I repent.[6]


April 27

Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Hell

He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

Genesis 3:15

Since the beginning of time Satan and his cohorts have been at war with God. We see that cosmic conflict reflected many times in Scripture (e.g., Job 1; Daniel 10:13). After Satan’s apparent triumph in bringing about the Fall of mankind, God predicted his eventual destruction by the Messiah, who would triumph ultimately in spite of a seeming setback (Gen. 3:15).

As a result, Satan attempted to destroy the Messianic line by destroying God’s people. When that failed, he tried to slaughter the infant Messiah (Matt. 2:16–18). When that didn’t work, he attempted to corrupt the Messiah (Matt. 4:1–11). Failure in that attempt caused him to instigate mobs to kill Him. He even tried to make sure the Messiah couldn’t come forth from the tomb.

It’s been said that hell must have been in the midst of its carnival when Jesus arrived. They were probably celebrating the victory they had tried so hard to secure—but were abruptly disappointed.[7]


April 27        Clearing Up Conversion Confusion

scripture reading:
1 John 5:10–15

key verse:
Ephesians 1:13

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

The most important decision you will ever make is whether to receive or refuse the offer of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Since your eternal destiny depends upon such a determination, do you think God wants you to be in continual confusion concerning the consequences of your decision?

Absolutely not. God is interested in your developing a growing, loving, secure relationship with His Son. As your Father, He wants you to be aware of your indisputable relationship as His child.

John’s epistle removes any doubt about salvation being a vacillating experience—moving in and out of the presence of God, forever wandering between heaven and hell: “He who has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12). When you invite Christ in as Savior, He is there to stay. He will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5). You are sealed with the Holy Spirit. You are a child of God.

Jesus abides in you because you are forgiven of your sins through His death. The obstacle to knowing God has been removed through His sin–bearing work at Calvary.

Your acceptance of His salvation by faith is a decisive act that puts Christ in you forever. Your behavior may hinder your enjoyment of God’s presence, but it can never for one second alter your oneness with Him.

Heavenly Father, clear up my confusion. Give me security in our relationship. I am Your child. We are together forever.[8]


April 27

The Fullness of Your Position

Scripture reading: Ephesians 3:11–13

Key verse: Hebrews 10:10

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Up until they accepted the Son of God as their Savior, Gentiles existed in a world of paganism. Paul wrote that their god had been their appetites or stomachs (Phil. 3:19). He meant that their selfish, lustful desires ruled their lives.

However, when the mystery of salvation was revealed, God established a new basis for spiritual living. Man’s emotions and desires were no longer to have charge over him. Once he became a believer, he was given a new nature with a built-in desire for the things of God. Paul called early Christians saints, a word strongly related to sanctification. Both words mean to be “set apart” for God. When we trust Christ as our Savior, we are spiritually taken out of the world and “set apart” for God in Christ.

Paul cautioned early believers to stand firm in their new faith because their citizenship was no longer of this world but of heaven. Therefore, they should live accordingly and not be drawn aside by the temptations of a pagan society.

God’s redemptive plan is no longer a mystery! Ask Him to help you understand the fullness of your position in Christ. Only then can you enjoy living completely committed to all He calls you to do.

Dear heavenly Father, help me to stand firm in my faith. Help me to understand the fullness of my position in Christ.[9]


April 27

A New Beginning

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:6–11

Key Verse: Hebrews 13:5

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Do you ever wish for a new beginning? We can make such a mess of our lives that we may think: I wish I could start all over again. It would be different this time. Perhaps that would happen, but we might find ourselves in the same dilemma.

The good news of the gospel is that we can have a new start. When we receive Jesus Christ as Savior and commit our lives to Him, Christ fully forgives our sins. Our guilt is removed; our stains are washed by the blood of Christ. Though we may still reap the consequences of our past behavior, we are no longer under God’s condemnation or in sin’s captivity.

We also have the power of God to guide and help us in the present. We can be different because the Holy Spirit of God indwells us. He is our daily Companion; He is greater than our emotional or physical habits; He can deliver us.

Also, our future is secured. We have everything to look forward to since Christ will never leave us or forsake us. We may face many difficult situations, but we have Christ. We are bound for heaven through His guarantee; we cannot slip or fall from His grip. His love and grace continually surround and enfold us.

You can have a new start that never ends when you receive Christ as your Savior, Lord, and Life. He will never fail you (Heb. 13:5).

Father God, today is a new beginning for me. The past is forgiven. My future is assured. This is the day You have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it![10]


April 27

The Power of the Gospel

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1–12

Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 2:4

But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

By itself, knowledge of the gospel—the power that saves us from our sins by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection—is powerless. In fact, many people have heard the gospel but refuse to believe its truth. It’s not until we see the gospel at work in our lives or in the lives of those around us that we realize the power it possesses.

In Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica, he wrote openly about the gospel and its potential impact in their lives. Just like Paul, we also are entrusted to deliver the message of the gospel. Whether with our mouths or through our actions and deeds, we should always be a witness of the power of the gospel. And here are four points we need to remember about the power of the gospel:

  1. It’s a superior message. The gospel is more important than anything we’ve ever heard, because the mind of God is in it.
  2. It’s a simple message. We can never fathom all the wisdom of God, yet His saving message is easy enough for a child to comprehend.
  3. It’s a sure message. Anyone from anywhere can be saved when they embrace the gospel.
  4. It’s a sufficient message. The Bible contains an answer for every trial or situation we encounter.

Lord, thank You for the power of the gospel—that it is superior, simple, sure, and sufficient for all my needs.[11]


April 27

The Resurrection: Motive for Service

“If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

1 Corinthians 15:32

✧✧✧

The truth of the Resurrection is an incentive for believers to persevere in service for Jesus Christ.

Certainly Paul’s statement in today’s verse is an extraordinary one, but it reiterates that the truth of Christ’s resurrection and the hope of believers’ resurrection are definite incentives for Christian service. It allows us to look more closely at what motivated Christians like Paul, and how we also should be motivated for service.

The apostle may have fought with literal wild animals at Ephesus. Or he may be speaking figuratively of the wild Ephesian mob that opposed him in Acts 19. But whatever the case, Paul knows that no mere human motives were compelling him to engage in such battles or continually risk his safety in other ways. He would not have put up with so many difficulties had his purposes and objectives been only temporal and worldly.

Paul and all Christians throughout history have been willing to labor under adversity, suffer, be persecuted, and continue diligently in the Lord’s service because they were convinced God’s kingdom extends beyond the frailties and limits of this life (Rom. 8:18). If our ministry on earth were an end in itself, then it would make sense to “eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

However, you can praise God today that your life does not have to end simply with sensual pleasures and comforts. The hope and motivation in all your service for Christ can be identical to faith’s giants in Hebrews 11 who earnestly served, that they “might obtain a better resurrection” (v. 35).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray that God would use the truth of the Resurrection to motivate you toward more faithful service in a difficult area of ministry or in a ministry in which you have been inconsistent.

For Further Study: Memorize 1 Corinthians 15:58. What does the “therefore” refer to? Make this verse a constant reminder of the incentive you should have for serving the Lord.[12]


April 27

Numbers 4; Psalm 38; Song of Songs 2; Hebrews 2

One of the most attractive features of David is his candor. At his best he is transparently honest. That means, among other things, that when there is an array of things going wrong in his life he does not collapse them into a single problem.

Nothing could be clearer from Psalm 38. Commentators sometimes try to squeeze the diverse elements in this psalm into a single situation, but most such re-creations seem a trifle forced. It is worth identifying some of the most striking components of David’s misery.

(1) He is facing God’s wrath (38:1), and (2) suffering from an array of physical ailments (38:3–8). (3) As a result he is full of frustrated sighing and has sunk into depression (38:9–10). (4) His friends have abandoned him (38:11). (5) Meanwhile he still faces the plots and deception of his standard (political) enemies (38:12). (6) He is so enfeebled that he is like a deaf mute (38:13–14), unable to speak, for his enemies are numerous and vigorous (38:19). (7) Meanwhile he is painfully troubled by his own iniquity (38:18).

One can imagine various ways to tie these points together, but a fair bit of speculation is necessary. What stands out in this psalm is that even while David is asking for vindication against his enemies, he does so in the context of confessing his own sin, of facing, himself, the wrath of God. It is quite possible that he understands both his physical suffering and even the loss of his friends and the opposition of evil opponents to be expressions of God’s wrath—which intrinsically he admits to deserving. In this psalm David does not ask for vindication grounded in his own covenantal fidelity. He frankly confesses his sin (38:18), waits for the Lord (38:15), begs God not to forsake him (38:21), entreats God to help him (38:22) and not to rebuke him in anger and wrath (38:1). In short, David appeals for mercy.

This is another face of the vindication theme (see the meditation for April 24). Yes, we want God to display his justice. In circumstances where we have been frankly wronged, it is comforting to recall that God’s justice will ultimately triumph. But what about the times when we are guilty ourselves? Will justice alone suffice? If all we want from God is justice, what human being will survive the divine holocaust?

While pleading for vindication, it is urgently important that we confess our own sin, and entreat God for mercy. For the God of justice is also the God of grace. If this be not so, there is no hope for any of us.[13]


April 27

Numbers 4; Psalm 38; Song of Songs 2; Hebrews 2

Occasionally we have overlooked the theological significance of Jesus’ humanity. That is one of the important themes of Hebrews 2.

Both the one who makes human beings holy—Jesus himself—and the human beings who are made holy are of the same family. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers (2:11). Since we have flesh and blood, he shared in our humanity (2:14)—which of course implies that this was something not intrinsically his, but something he had to take on (the eternal Word “became flesh,” John 1:14). He did this so that by his death (something he could never have experienced if he had not donned flesh and blood) “he might destroy him who holds the power of death … and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (2:14, 15). Jesus did not don the nature of angels (2:16—which shows that Jesus was not a merely angelic being). Rather, he became a human being, a human being with a genuine lineage—the lineage of Abraham (2:16). If he was to serve as mediator between God and human beings, “he had to be made like his brothers in every way” (2:17—which presupposes that he already was like God in every way). So it was entirely “fitting,” then, that God should make the author of our salvation “perfect through suffering” (2:10). The idea is not that Jesus gains through suffering a moral perfection he otherwise would have lacked, but that the perfection of his identification with us depended on participating in our common currency, which is suffering.

The author of Hebrews has already hinted at the problem that Jesus came to resolve. Originally human beings were made to be God’s vice-regents over the entire creation, a point not only made by the creation accounts (Gen. 1–2) but reiterated in the superb poetry of Psalm 8 (cited in Heb. 2:6–8). But as the author of Hebrews points out, we do not yet see everything under our feet, as Genesis 1 and Psalm 8 envisage. Of course not: the Fall has intervened, and death takes its unvarying toll. But what do we see? “[W]e see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (2:9). The point is not exactly that Jesus is the “man” envisaged in Psalm 8, as if he were being prophetically described, but that by his mission, by his identification with us, and by his death, he becomes the first human being to be crowned with such glory and honor, as he brings many sons—a new humanity—to glory.[14]

 


April 27 – Jesus and Non-Retaliation: Security

“‘If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also’” (Matthew 5:40).

Most people in New Testament times owned just one coat and likely just one or two shirts. Shirts were undergarments, and coats were outer garments that also served as blankets overnight. This kind of coat was important, what the Mosaic law required be returned to its owner “before the sun sets, for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body” (Ex. 22:26–27).

Jesus’ reference here is not to a theft, when someone wants to steal another’s garment, but to a legitimate lawsuit in a legal court. In those days the courts often mandated that fines or judgments be paid in clothing. The illustration is that a genuine follower of Christ will be willing to surrender even his most valuable coat to an adversary rather than cause offense or hard feelings. The judge could not require a specific coat in payment, but the person could voluntarily give it up.

Even if a settlement against us is fairly arrived at for a certain amount, we should be willing to pay more to demonstrate sincere regret for the wrong done and the pain inflicted on another. Most of us have probably never considered this option, but it shows the love of Christ and genuineness of our faith.

Ask Yourself

Notice again that this series of scenarios from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount consistently calls for more than the law demands. What does that tell you about the way we’re supposed to respond in situations in which our personal integrity or the cause of Christ is being challenged?

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:

Judges 20:1–21:25
Psalm 51:12-19
Proverbs 15:1-3
Luke 19:1-27
Notes:

Judges 20:18 to inquire of God. The Lord gave His counsel from the location of the ark at Shiloh, probably through the Urim and Thummim (vv. 27, 28). The tribe of Judah was responsible to lead in battle since God had chosen a leadership role for that tribe (Gen. 49:8–12; 1 Chr. 5:1, 2).

Judges 20:22–25 The Lord twice allowed great defeat and death to Israel to bring them to their spiritual senses regarding the cost of tolerating apostasy. Also, while they sought counsel, they placed too much reliance on their own prowess and on satisfying their own outrage. Finally, when desperate enough, they fasted and offered sacrifices (v. 26). The Lord then gave victory with strategy similar to that at Ai (Josh. 8).

Judges 21:25 Judges 17–21 vividly demonstrates how bizarre and deep sin can become when people throw off the authority of God as mediated through the king (see 17:6). This was the appropriate but tragic conclusion to a bleak period of Israelite history (see Deut. 12:8).

Luke 19:17 faithful in a very little. Those with relatively small gifts and opportunities are just as responsible to use them faithfully as those who are given much more. over ten cities. The reward is incomparably greater than the 10 minas warranted. Note also that the rewards were apportioned according to the servants’ diligence: the one who gained 10 minas was given 10 cities, the one who gained 5 minas, 5 cities (v. 19), and so on.

DAY 27: How did Zacchaeus personify why Jesus came to this world?

Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, who probably oversaw a large tax district and had other tax collectors working for him (Luke 19:2). Jericho alone was a prosperous trading center, so it is certain that Zacchaeus was a wealthy man. Zacchaeus was among “the crowd” in Jericho who lined the street to see Jesus pass through. They had undoubtedly heard about the recent raising of Lazarus in Bethany, less than 15 miles away (John 11). That, combined with His fame as a healer and teacher, stirred the entire city when word arrived that He was coming. Zacchaeus was so desperate to see Christ that he took an undignified position for someone of his rank (v. 4).

Both the religious elite and the common people hated Zacchaeus. They did not understand, and in their blind pride refused to see, what possible righteous purpose Jesus had in visiting such a notorious sinner (v. 7). But He had come to seek and to save the lost, which is exactly what happened here (v. 10).

Not only did Zacchaeus receive Jesus joyfully (v. 6), but his willingness to make restitution was proof that his conversion was genuine (v. 8). It was the fruit, not the condition, of his salvation. The law required a penalty of one-fifth as restitution for money acquired by fraud (Lev. 6:5; Num. 5:6, 7), so Zacchaeus was doing more than was required. Zacchaeus judged his own crime severely, acknowledging that he was as guilty as the lowest common robber. Since much of his wealth had probably been acquired fraudulently, this was a costly commitment. On top of that, he gave half his goods to the poor. But Zacchaeus had just found incomprehensible spiritual riches and did not mind the loss of material wealth.

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.


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (pp. 130–131). 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. 130). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 128). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 122). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 132). 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. 122). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 122). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 122). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[13] 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.

[14] 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.

Christ is both God and man

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 NASB)

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)

If we listen to some today it is as if the Incarnation of Christ was to show Man how to live in such a way that there would be no war, no hunger, no sickness and that the Earth be recovered back to the pristine state of Creation. Was this His mission? If you go to any secular book store either such as Barnes and Noble or even Amazon.com and browse the religious/theology section you will find a large number of books that attempt to blend Jesus Christ into all religions or even non-religious causes. I…

View original 1,281 more words

Godlife: 3 Challenges for the Perfectionist

Scripture:

“…rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality… These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.” Colossians 2:17, 23

Sometimes it’s hard to be honest about our sin and forgive ourselves. It’s almost as hard as forgiving others. Some of us even honestly admit that it’s hard to love God when things in life don’t seem perfect. These feelings show how the pressure of legalism (following rules) and perfectionism (the desire to be perfect) harms our identity and our relationship with God and others.

Click here to learn how God’s Word lifts the weight of these challenges.

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April 26, 2015 Daily Devotional Guide Collection

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April 26

BECAUSE HE LIVES

Gloria Gaither, 1942–

William J. Gaither, 1936–

Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:19)

Christ’s resurrection is our guarantee of at least two basic truths: First, He has the power to give His life to us and to bring us ultimately to glory to reign with Him forever. And second, His resurrection makes it possible for Him to live in our hearts and to be an integral part of our daily living.

For the past two decades the music of Gloria and Bill Gaither has greatly enriched evangelical hymnody. But the song that has especially highlighted the Gaither’s ministry is one that reflects their own philosophy—the resurrection principle in the daily routines of life—“Because He Lives.” Bill Gaither recalls the circumstances that prompted the writing of this favorite:

We wrote “Because He Lives” after a period of time when we had had a kind of dry spell and hadn’t written any songs for a while … Also at the end of the l960’s, our country was going through some great turmoil with the height of the drug culture, and the whole “God is Dead” theory was running wild in our country. Also it was the peak of the Vietnam war. During that time our little son was born— at least Gloria was expecting him. I can remember at the time we thought, “Brother, this is really a poor time to bring a child into the world.” At times we were even quite discouraged by the whole thing. And then Benjy did come. We had two little girls whom we love very much, but this was our first son, and so that lyric came to us, “How sweet to hold our new-born baby and feel the pride and joy he gives, but better still the calm assurance that this child can face uncertain days because Christ lives.” And it gave us the courage to say, “Because Christ lives we can face tomorrow” and keep our heads high.

* * * *

God sent His son—they called Him Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive; He lived and died to buy my pardon; an empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

How sweet to hold a new-born baby and feel the pride and joy he gives; but greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because Christ lives.

And then one day I’ll cross the river; I’ll fight life’s final war with pain; and then, as death gives way to victory, I’ll see the lights of glory—and I’ll know He lives.

Chorus: Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone; because I know He holds the future and life is worth the living—just because He lives.

For Today: John 6:40; Colossians 3:3, 4; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 John 5:11

Live in the joyous confidence that the living, victorious Christ is guiding your life. Carry this musical truth with you as you go—[1]


April 26: Bitter and Betrayed

Joshua 16:1–17:18; 2 Corinthians 11:24–33; Psalm 55

The betrayal of a loved one can shake our world. It can make us feel vulnerable and used, and if we’re not careful, it can cause us to be bitter and suspicious toward others. The psalmist in Psalm 55 experiences such a betrayal from a friend who feared God: “We would take sweet counsel together in the house of God” (Psa 55:14).

The psalmist agonizes over how he was deceived: “The buttery words of his mouth were smooth, but there was battle in his heart. His words were smoother than oil, but they were drawn swords” (Psa 55:13). How does someone move beyond a violation of trust? Instead of growing bitter, the psalmist puts his trust in Yahweh: “Cast your burden on Yahweh, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be moved” (Psa 55:22).

Similarly, in 2 Corinthians, Paul tells the church in Corinth about his sufferings. Among Paul’s lashings, stonings, shipwrecks (three of them), and robbings, he also lists “dangers because of false brothers” (2 Cor 11:26). He suffered anxiety because of the churches (2 Cor 11:28).

Paul adds to this list by discussing a force of oppression over him. He states that he prayed for his “thorn” to be taken from him (2 Cor 12:8). However, the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, because the power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). This reshapes Paul’s perspective on suffering: “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in calamities, in persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10). By submitting to Christ, Paul relied less on himself and more heavily on God. As a result, God’s grace and power was manifested within him.

Betrayal causes bitterness that can poison our hearts. But, like Paul, we should use trials as an opportunity to submit more fully to God, and to show others His work in us.

How are you holding onto bitterness? What would God have you do instead?

Rebecca Van Noord[2]


April 26

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Psalm 96 through 100. Our lesson is Psalm 100, “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; [We are] His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving [And] His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.” (NASU)

Lesson

Today’s Psalm is one of the shortest in the entire Psalter. It is only 5 verses long. Yet it is one of my favorites on praise and worship because it expresses the heart of worship in a simple but profound way. Let’s look at four exhortations in the Psalm.

The first exhortation is an invitation. All the earth is to praise the Lord shouting with joy. It is to be very expressive and emotional. There is an excitement which surpasses any sporting match or event in the world. Only the Lord can bring full satisfaction to the human heart. Concerts or other occasions will fade away but a real experience with the living God will endure an entire lifetime.

The second exhortation is to recognize the Lord. God is identified as Lord and Creator. Lord has to do with our relationship with God as Sovereign and Governor. He is the maximum authority in the universe and should be revered as such.

God as Creator means that we owe Him respect and honor because He made us. The Bible states that Adam and Eve were made in the image of God. We have personality because of God’s image. This does not make us God or God-like, rather it shows how we as humans are God’s supreme creation. Thus we are to praise and worship Him.

The third exhortation is to be thankful. Being thankful demonstrates the intentions of the heart. If we are not thankful for all of God’s mercy, we show prideful arrogance and human sinfulness.

The last exhortation is to bless the name of the Lord. The Lord does not need to be blessed by anyone but by blessing His name we illustrate our human frailty and humble ourselves before Him because His name is above all names.

In summary, the psalmist invites to praise. The psalmist exhorts to recognize the Lord. The psalmist exhorts to be thankful. And the psalmist exhorts to bless the name of the Lord.

May we take to heart the exhortations of the author. Read our psalm one more time. As you read it praise God and reflect on His goodness. Do this as an expression of your love for Him.

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Psalm 101 through 105. 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]


April 26

Paying the Price of Righteousness

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness” (Matt. 5:10).

✧✧✧

There is a price to pay for being a Kingdom citizen.

Unlike many today who try to make the gospel palatable for reluctant sinners, Jesus made it clear that following Him had its price. Rather than acceptance, fame, prestige, and prosperity, you can expect rejection and persecution. That’s not a popular approach to evangelism, but it’s honest. Also, it ensures that no one will try to enter the Kingdom on the wrong basis.

Jesus wanted His hearers to count the cost of discipleship. He knew that many of them would be disowned by their families and excommunicated from the Jewish synagogues. Many would suffer persecution or martyrdom at the hands of the Roman government. They needed to count the cost!

Persecution did come to those early Christians. The Emperor Nero smeared many of them with pitch, crucified them, and then burned them to light his garden parties. He condemned Christians for refusing to worship him as a god and blamed them for the burning of Rome in a.d. 64. Christians were also accused of cannibalism because Jesus said, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (John 6:56). They were also said to be revolutionaries because they believed that God would one day destroy the earth.

The world’s animosity toward Christians hasn’t changed. You might not face the severe persecutions the first-century believers faced, but you will be persecuted (Phil. 1:29). Even new Christians often face difficulties. If they refuse to join their former friends in sinful activities, they might be rejected. If they work for a dishonest boss who expects them to participate in or condone his evil practices, they might be fired or have to quit their jobs. That might bring extreme financial hardship to their families.

God won’t always shield you from persecution, but He will honor your integrity and give you strength to endure any trial that comes your way. Praise Him for His all-sufficient grace!

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray for those you know who are suffering hardship for Christ’s sake. ✧ Ask God for the wisdom and strength to face persecution with integrity and unwavering faith.

For Further Study: Read James 1:2–4 and 1 Peter 5:10. ✧ What purpose does suffering serve? ✧ How should you respond to suffering?[4]


April 26

True Peace

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 55:22

From the world’s perspective, there are many places you can go to find comfort. But there is only one place you will find a hand to catch your tears and a heart to listen to your every longing. True peace comes only from God. No situation is so great that God is not greater still.

Is urgency in your heart? Something that threatens your emotional well-being as well as your ability to perform in life? Take it to Jesus.[5]


April 26

Transforming Thoughts

Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:17–24

Key verse: Ephesians 4:23–24

… and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.

In 1758, when Robert Robinson was a vibrant and energetic twenty–three-year-old pastor, he penned the words to the beloved hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”

Many years later on a stagecoach trip, he sat next to a woman singing his hymn. When she asked him if he was familiar with the song, he began to cry and replied, “Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds to enjoy the feelings I had then.”

The man who wrote the words “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it” experienced the same discouragement in his walk with the Lord that we often feel. But God does not want us to ride an emotional roller coaster; He wants us to abide in the security of His truth.

God’s desire is “that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph. 4:23–24 nasb).

The Lord renews your mind when you acknowledge your position in Christ that was secured at the cross and choose to set your mind on this truth. Read and study God’s Word each day, and let Him transform your thoughts with His perspective.

Father, please renew my mind. I want to put on the new me that is in Your likeness, created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.[6]


April 26

Proclaiming Victory

He went and preached to the spirits in prison.

1 Peter 3:19

Christ went to preach a triumphant sermon before His resurrection Sunday morning. The term for “preached” in today’s verse refers to making a proclamation or announcing a triumph. In ancient times, a herald would precede generals and kings in the celebration of military victories, announcing to all the victories that were won in battle.

That’s what Jesus went to do—not to preach the gospel but to announce His triumph over sin, death, hell, demons, and Satan. He didn’t go to win souls but to proclaim victory over the enemy. In spite of the unjust suffering they subjected Him to, He could declare ultimate victory over sin and death for you and me.[7]


April 26        Satisfying Your Greatest Need

scripture reading:
Luke 10:38–42

key verse:
Matthew 6:33

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

What would you list as your single greatest need today? A new house? A better job? A marriage partner? A genuine friend? An increase in income? What if that need were dramatically met before this day was over? You moved into a beautiful home, got the job you wanted, found the perfect mate, met a true friend, and came into a healthy inheritance. Would you still have a pressing need in a week or two?

You’re never without needs. That’s why the answer to the original question—“What would you list as your single greatest need today?”—can only be, “An intimate, steadfast, growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” That is your greatest need.

When you know Christ, you can have all of your emotional needs met: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy–laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 nasb).

When you make knowing God your chief priority, your physical needs are met: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things [clothing, food, drink, the necessities of life] shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33 nasb).

To know God is to have a vital relationship with the Author, Sustainer, and End of all things. That is really the only necessary thing. Is it yours?

I have many needs, but my greatest need is for an intimate relationship with You, Lord. Make this the primary focus of my life. I really want to know You.[8]


April 26

An Ambassador of Peace

Scripture reading: Ephesians 2:11–14

Key verse: 2 Corinthians 5:20

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

Since the collapse of communism, many extraordinary events have occurred, most exemplary. However, there has been a darker side that exposes one of sin’s most subtle, yet heinous, streaks.

In parts of Europe, there is now much hatred and rivalry between nationalities formerly separated by political barriers. Various ethnic groups that were kept in check by the oppression of Communist rule now rage against each other.

Paul wrote that Christ broke down all barriers between Jew and Gentile—every man, woman, or child of non-Jewish descent. The cross of Christ transcends cultural obstacles.

As a Christian, you must realize that once you receive Christ, you have been placed into the body of Christ. All believers of every ethnic origin who put their faith in Christ are members together of that body.

As a believer, you are to work for peaceful relationships with the unsaved as well. You are an ambassador for Christ who looks at the souls of individuals, not skin color or cultural heritage. Only the Christian is equipped to bring true peace—God’s peace—to a world steeped in the evil of sin.

Thank You for making me a member of Your body, dear Lord. Make me an ambassador of Your peace who looks at the souls of individuals, not skin color or cultural heritage.[9]


April 26

The Offer of God’s Grace

Scripture Reading: Romans 7:5–25

Key Verse: Romans 5:6

When we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

It wasn’t long ago that a Texas toddler named Baby Jessica captured the hearts of Americans. Her plight dominated the media for days as she was trapped in a narrow, abandoned well shaft. Offers to help rescue the little girl poured in from across the nation, which celebrated her subsequent deliverance.

In a striking way, all of mankind, apart from God, is in a similar predicament. Paul put it this way: “While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6 nasb).

Baby Jessica, tightly wedged in the shaft, was utterly helpless to save herself. Left to her own devices, she would have perished. Her only hope was an able rescuer.

Hopelessly trapped in sin, man can receive salvation only through the grace of God. We are as helpless as Baby Jessica to extricate ourselves from our spiritual pit of death. It is tough to admit that we are powerless, but that is our condition before a holy God.

Either we must embrace the offer of His grace through Jesus Christ, or we shall die in our sins. Have you received the offer of God’s grace, the forgiveness of your sins through His death on the cross? Only His grace can save you.

Precious heavenly Father, I embrace the offer of Your grace through Jesus Christ. I accept its liberating truth to free me from the deep well of my sin. Thank You for rescuing me.[10]


April 26

Our Great Salvation

Scripture Reading: Luke 7:44–48

Key Verse: Luke 7:47

Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.

Did you ever make a decision that proved to be full of unforeseen consequences? Things can snowball until the final product is far beyond what we could ever have imagined. Sometimes this can be positive and sometimes negative. So it is with Jesus. To accept Him introduces us to unimaginable glories, while to reject Him dooms us to unthinkable misery.

When we first get saved, we have little idea of the scope and depth of our salvation. As we progress to Christian maturity, however, we begin to discover the astonishing power of the gospel. This discovery is facilitated by a genuine understanding of how totally lost we were before Jesus found us. Jesus said that he who is forgiven much loves much (Luke 7:47).

The point is that, through the Cross, we have all been greatly forgiven, but few of us realize how much. If your unsaved heart were put under a divine microscope and you were allowed to fully view its desperate wickedness, you would have little trouble appreciating your great salvation. Any remedy that can present you blameless before the presence of His glory is a remedy that demands our entire life’s devotion.

The Bible says that God made us alive together with Christ so “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). Apparently these riches are so unsearchable that it will take ages to properly display and understand them, but our gratitude can begin here and now.

Lord, through the Cross You have forgiven me of so much. Thank You for the divine remedy of the Cross that presents me blameless in Your presence.[11]


April 26

The Resurrection: Motive for Salvation

“What will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?”

1 Corinthians 15:29

✧✧✧

The fact of the Resurrection often is a powerful testimony to draw people to saving faith in Christ.

The apostle Paul knew that believers who face death with joy and hope can present powerful testimonies to unbelievers. The prospect of life in Heaven and a reunion with loved ones is a strong motive for people to hear and receive the gospel. When believers die, their spirits go immediately to be with the Lord. And one day in the future their glorified bodies will rejoin their spirits, and Christians will worship and enjoy God for all eternity.

First Corinthians 15:29 uses the term “baptized” to refer to those who were testifying that they were Christians. Although the mere act of baptism does not save a person, anyone who is an obedient Christian will be baptized. In Paul’s day, the church assumed that any believer would have been baptized, and people were not baptized unless the church was confident their profession of faith was genuine.

“The dead” in 1 Corinthians 15:29 could also include believers, those who have died and whose lives were persuasive testimonies to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. People were being saved (baptized) in Corinth because of (“for”) the faithful witness of deceased believers.

The Resurrection is still a powerful incentive to salvation. In my years as a pastor I have seen people come to Christ after the death of a believing spouse or parent. Those husbands and wives, sons and daughters could not bear the thought of never seeing their loved one again. Those converted survivors were unknowingly touched and changed by the reunion hope that already sustains believers. That hope, based on the promise of resurrection, upheld David after the death of his infant son: “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Sam. 12:23).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord’s forgiveness for times when your testimony has been weak and the resurrection hope in your life has not been evident.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 22:23–33. What did the Sadducees’ hypothetical story demonstrate about their belief concerning resurrection? ✧ How important was the doctrine of resurrection to Jesus? ✧ To what did He appeal in correcting the Sadducees?[12]


April 26

Numbers 3; Psalm 37; Song of Songs 1; Hebrews 1

From sinai on, the Levites are treated differently from the other tribes: they alone handle the tabernacle and its accoutrements, from them come the priests, they are not given a separate allotment of land but are dispersed throughout the nation, and so forth. But here in Numbers 3, one of the most startling distinctives is portrayed.

All the males one month of age and up from the tribe of Levi were counted. Their total was 22,000 (3:39). Then all the firstborn males one month of age and up from the rest of the Israelites were counted. Their total was 22,273 (3:43): the differential between the two figures is 273. God declares that because he spared all the Israelite firstborn at the first Passover in Egypt, the firstborn are peculiarly his (3:13). The assumption, of course, is that at one level they too should have died: they were not intrinsically better than the Egyptians who did. They had been protected by the blood of the Passover lamb God had prescribed. Clearly God was not now going to demand the life of all the Israelite firstborn. Instead, he insists that they are all his in a peculiar way—but that he will accept, instead of all the firstborn males of all Israel, all the males of the tribe of Levi. Since the two totals do not exactly coincide, the 273 extra firstborn males from Israel must be redeemed some other way, and so a redemption tax is applied (3:46–48).

There are some lessons to be learned. One of them is intrinsic to the narrative and already noted: the Israelites were not intrinsically superior to the Egyptians, not intrinsically exempt from the wrath of the destroying angel. More importantly, those saved by the blood belong to the Lord in some peculiar way. If God has accepted the blood that was shed in their place, he does not demand that they die: he demands that they live for him and his service. Owing to the covenantal requirements of the Sinai code, a substitution is accepted: the Levites substitute for all the Israelites who should have come under the sweep of the Passover requirement.

The fulfillment of these patterns under the terms of the new covenant is not hard to find. We are saved from death by the death of the supreme Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7). Those saved by his blood belong to the Lord in a peculiar way, i.e., not only by virtue of creation but by virtue of redemption (1 Cor. 6:20). He demands that we live for him and his service, and in this we constitute a nation of priests (1 Peter 2:5–6; Rev. 1:6).[13]


April 26

Numbers 3; Psalm 37; Song of Songs 1; Hebrews 1

Although (or perhaps because) the Song of Songs is one of the most difficult of biblical books, it has been extraordinarily popular with both Jews and Christians. It has called forth a large number of commentaries and sermons. Space here is far too limited for a discussion, but perhaps I should record my tentative conclusions on four matters before reflecting on Song 1.

(1) Although some have denied that this book is about sexual love in any primary sense, but is an allegory of either the love between Yahweh and Israel or between Christ and the church, I doubt it. So many details of Song of Songs are so explicitly human and sexual (all the more so when the ancient Semitic symbolism is appreciated) that to argue that the meaning of the text is allegorical is unlikely. Moreover, there are many parallels in other love poetry in ancient near eastern Wisdom Literature, so that one must conclude the genre was well known.

(2) On the other hand, after fully acknowledging the human and sexual love that this book celebrates—for God has made us human and sexual, and Wisdom Literature often focuses on the glory of the created order—we may not be far off the mark if we also see, within the canonical framework, a typological connection with God and Israel, with Christ and the church. For that is a theme repeatedly picked up in both Testaments (see, for instance, Hosea, or Rev. 21).

(3) Some have seen three principal figures in this book: the woman, her shepherd-lover, and the lascivious king who is trying to add the woman to his harem. On balance, it seems better to see only two primary parties, the woman and the king-shepherd-lover. The “daughters of Jerusalem” who keep reappearing (e.g., 1:5) are the woman’s female companions.

(4) Although it is reasonably clear that consummation takes place in 3:6–5:1, complete with wedding song, this does not mean there are no sexual overtones earlier in the book. Yet far from endorsing promiscuity (as a few commentators have suggested), the book is committed to exclusive, monogamous love. What is less clear is that the thought is sequential, merely linear.

The “beloved,” the woman, often takes the initiative (1:2ff.). Yet she is unsure of herself. Her long exposure to the sun, apparently imposed on her by brothers (Is her father dead?) who insist that she tend the vines, means she is a sun-darkened country lass (1:5–7). Her friends reassure her (1:8)—as does her lover (1:9–11). After her sensual soliloquy (1:12–14), a series of bantering exchanges between the beloved and her lover bring the section to a close (1:15–2:2). One remembers Proverbs 30:19.[14]

 


April 26 – Jesus and Non-Retaliation: Dignity

“‘Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also’” (Matthew 5:39).

God has created every human being in His image, and therefore He demands that we treat one another with basic respect, dignity, and consideration. But in a sinful world, this will not always happen, so believers can expect to suffer persecution simply because of their basic testimony (cf. Matt. 10:16–23; John 15:18–16:3). This leaves one inevitable issue to deal with: how should Christians respond to ridicule, insult, or physical abuse.

The Lord Jesus, of course, is the perfect example of how to behave when personally attacked. When the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers physically abused Him and mocked Him prior to His crucifixion, He did not react in words or actions (Matt. 26:67–68). As Jesus hung from the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Peter summarizes well how we should respond in view of Christ’s example:

When you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (1 Peter 2:20–23)

Ask Yourself

When have you succeeded in practicing this kind of self-control and restraint? What happened as a result? Even if it left you feeling misunderstood and stepped upon, what value did you experience from obeying what Jesus has commanded?

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:

Judges 17:1–19:30
Psalm 51:7-11
Proverbs 14:33-35
Luke 18:24-43
Notes:

Judges 19:22 perverted men. Literally, “sons of Belial,” i.e., worthless men, who desired to commit sodomy against the Levite. The phrase elsewhere is used for idolaters (Deut. 13:13), neglecters of the poor (Deut. 15:9), drunks (1 Sam. 1:16), immoral people (1 Sam. 2:12), and rebels against the civil authority (2 Sam. 20:1; Prov. 19:28). “Belial” can be traced to the false god Baal and is also a term for yoke (they cast off the yoke of decency) and a term for entangling or injuring. It is used in the New Testament of Satan (2 Cor. 6:15).

Judges 19:25 the man took his concubine…to them. This is unthinkable weakness and cowardice for any man, especially a priest of God. Apparently he even slept through the night or stayed in bed out of fear, since he didn’t see her again until he awakened and prepared to leave (see vv. 27, 28).

Proverbs 14:33 is made known. Wisdom is quietly preserved in the heart of the wise for the time of proper use, while fools are eager to blurt out their folly (see 12:23; 13:16; 15:2, 14).

Psalm 51:7 hyssop. Old Testament priests used hyssop, a leafy plant, to sprinkle blood or water on a person being ceremonially cleansed from defilements such as leprosy or touching a dead body (see Lev. 14:6ff.; Num. 19:16–19). Here hyssop is a figure for David’s longing to be spiritually cleansed from his moral defilement. In forgiveness, God washes away sin (see Ps. 103:12; Is. 1:16; Mic. 7:19).

DAY 26: What did the anointing of the Holy Spirit mean in the Old Testament?

Old Testament Israel had mediators who stood between God and His people. To empower the Old Testament mediators, the Holy Spirit gave special administrative ability to carry out the management of the nation and military skills which enabled them to defeat the theocracy’s enemies. The Lord first anointed Moses with this ministry of the Spirit, and then in a truly dramatic scene, took some of this ministry of the Spirit and shared it with the 70 elders. Thus they were enabled to help Moses administer Israel (Num. 11:17–25).

Also Joshua (Deut. 34:9), the judges (Judg. 3:10; 6:34), and the kings of united Israel and the southern kingdom were anointed with this special ministry of the Spirit. When the Spirit of the Lord came upon King Saul, for example, he was in effect given “another heart” (1 Sam.10:6–10). This does not mean that he was regenerated at this point in his life, but that he was given skills to be a king. Later the theocratic anointing was taken from Saul and given to David (1 Sam. 16:1–14). Saul, from that time on, became a totally incapable leader.

King David no doubt had this special ministry of the Spirit in mind in his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51. He was not afraid of losing his salvation when he prayed, “Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11), but rather was concerned that God would remove this spiritual wisdom and administrative skill from him. David had earlier seen such the tragedy in the life of Saul when that king of Israel lost the anointing of the Holy Spirit. David was thus pleading with God not to remove His hand of guidance.

King Solomon also perceived his youthful inabilities at the beginning of his reign and requested God to give him special wisdom in administering Israel. God was greatly pleased with this request and granted an extra measure to the young man (1 Kin. 3:7–12, 28; 4:29–34). Although the Old Testament is silent in this regard about the kings who succeeded Solomon, the theocratic anointing of the Spirit likely came on all the descendants of David in connection with the Davidic Covenant.

When the theocracy went out of existence as Judah was carried away into captivity and the last Davidic king was disempowered, the theocratic anointing was no longer given (Ezek. 8–11). The kings of the northern tribes, on the other hand, being essentially apostate and not in the Davidic line, never had the benefit of this special ministry of the Spirit.

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.


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (pp. 129–130). 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. 129). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 127). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 121). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 131). 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. 121). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 121). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 121). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[13] 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.

[14] 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.

Being humble in all circumstances

Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:

by Mike Ratliff

12 οἶδα καὶ ταπεινοῦσθαι, οἶδα καὶ περισσεύειν· ἐν παντὶ καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν μεμύημαι, καὶ χορτάζεσθαι καὶ πεινᾶν καὶ περισσεύειν καὶ ὑστερεῖσθαι· 13 πάντα ἰσχύω ἐν τῷ ἐνδυναμοῦντί με. (Philippians 4:12-13 NA28)

12 I know both how to be humbled and how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound and to have lack. 13 I can do all things in the one empowering me. (Philippians 4:12,13 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

The enemy of our souls, Satan, does not attack believers in such a way that we should recognize him as being who he is. Instead, he comes disguised as the voice behind the theologian from the best seminary who may be the leader with a huge church empire and also be the author of many best-selling books. How does he attack what…

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April 25-26, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend News/Commentary Collection

If we love God’s fame and are committed to magnifying His name above all things, we cannot be indifferent to world missions. —John Piper

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April 26

More than 2,500 confirmed dead in Nepal earthquake
Sleeping in the streets and shell-shocked, Nepalese cremated the dead and dug through rubble for the missing Sunday, a day after a massive Himalayan earthquake killed more than 2,500 people. Aftershocks tormented them, making buildings sway and sending panicked Kathmandu residents running into the streets.   

US unveils 6-year-old report on NSA surveillance
With debate gearing up over the coming expiration of the Patriot Act…the Obama administration on Saturday unveiled a 6-year-old report examining the once-secret program to collect information on Americans’ calls and emails. …The Patriot Act expires on June 1, and Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that would allow continued collection of call records of nearly every American.   

FBI probes possible ISIS-inspired threat
The FBI is investigating a possible ISIS-inspired terrorist threat in the United States, law enforcement officials said Saturday. The investigation originated from intercepted chatter and other intelligence information that led officials to believe a possible plot could be in the works, the officials said. …It’s not clear whether the threat is real or aspirational.   

Did exaggerated records make global warming look worse? Scientists to investigate whether ‘adjusted’ temperatures skewed data
An international panel of scientists will today launch a major inquiry to discover whether official world temperature records have exaggerated the extent of global warming. The panel, convened by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)…will focus on thousands of ‘adjustments’ that have been made to temperature records kept at individual weather stations around the world.   

Baltimore Freddie Gray death protest turns violent
More than 1,000 protesters have marched in Baltimore over the death of a black man in police custody a week ago. But after hours of peaceful demonstrations, some protesters smashed police windows and shop fronts. At least 12 people were arrested. Freddie Gray was arrested by police on 12 April and then suffered spinal injuries leading to death a week later.   

IDF search and rescue team, field hospital to depart for Nepal tonight
An IDF Home Front Command search and rescue team and a fully equipped field hospital will take off for Nepal on Sunday night, army officials have said. Col. Yoram Laredo, commander of the Home Front Command’s conscripted battalions, is heading the Israeli assistance team, and said some 260 personnel will board an air force cargo plane and an El Al Boeing 737 for a 12 hour journey to the earthquake-stricken country.   

Tremors, aftershocks, strike India and Nepal sparking fears of further deterioration
A strong earthquake aftershock struck India and Nepal on Sunday, shaking buildings in New Delhi and triggering an avalanche in the Himalayas. The United States Geological Survey said the tremor was 6.7 in magnitude, less than the 7.9 quake that struck the region on Saturday killing at least 1,900 people.   

Obama Makes Fun Of Those Who, Somehow, Still Think He Is A Muslim
President Barack Obama poked fun at those who still suggest he is a Muslim during the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday. “Being president is never easy. I still have to fix a broken immigration system, issue veto threats, negotiate with Iran, all while finding time to pray five times a day,” Obama said.   

Islamic State suicide bombers kill Iraqi soldiers at Jordanian border
Suicide car bombings by Islamic State militants at an Iraq-Jordan border crossing left at least five Iraqi soldiers dead Saturday and crippled the movement of trucks between the two Middle East nations.   

Nepal steps up rescue efforts as quake toll jumps to 1,800
Nepal ramped up efforts on Sunday to rescue people trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings after an earthquake devastated the heavily crowded Kathmandu valley, killing at least 1,800, and triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest. People used their hands in many places to dig for survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings.   

Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists trade accusations as Minsk deal frays
The Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine traded accusations on Saturday, reviving concerns that a peace deal signed in Minsk in February may collapse, although monitors said the violations were still relatively limited.   

Russian Hackers Read Obama’s Unclassified Emails, Officials Say
Some of President Obama’s email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers last year in a breach of the White House’s unclassified computer system that was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged, according to senior American officials briefed on the investigation.   

Bombshell Interview: Obama’s Brother Says Barack Is ‘Cold And Ruthless…Dishonest And A Schemer’
In an interview conducted earlier this month, film maker Joel Gilbert, who produced the film “Dreams from My Real Father,” (which suggested that Obama’s Communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, may be his real father) talks to President Obama’s brother Malik, who has some very strong views about his half-brother – including his own doubts as to Obama’s parentage.   

Syrian Town Jisr Al-Shughour Seized By Rebels In Major Blow To Assad
Hard-line Syrian rebel groups seized a strategic town Saturday in northwestern Syria, sending government troops fleeing after intense clashes that have seen the opposition take nearly all of a crucial province.  


Headlines – 4/26/2015

Marco Rubio Files Amendment to Force Iran to Recognize Israel as Jewish State

Republicans blast White House for ‘imperiled’ Israel ties, pledge improved relations 

Obama quips at strained US-Israel ties, jokes Boehner booked Netanyahu to speak at funeral 

Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

Four police officers wounded in Jerusalem terror attack

100,000 in Gaza still homeless after war with Israel

Car bombs hit Iraq-Jordan border crossing at Tureibil, killing 4 

FBI investigating possible ISIS terror plot in the US 

Syrian Town Jisr Al-Shughour Seized By Rebels In Major Blow To Assad

Saudi-led air strikes hit Yemeni capital, ending lull 

Russian Hackers Read Obama’s Unclassified Emails, Officials Say

Ukraine’s DIY drone war: Self-taught soldiers facing up to Russian-backed war machine

Deep Support in Washington for C.I.A.’s Drone Missions

Declassified Report Shows Doubts About Value of N.S.A.’s Warrantless Spying 

Twelve arrested in Baltimore after march to protest black man’s death 

Rich get richer in UK index of wealthiest people

Nepal earthquake: death toll approaches 2,000 as rescue attempts continue

Nepal quake triggers avalanche on Mount Everest; 17 dead

Magnitude 6.7 aftershock hits Nepal, causes panic 

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Chongdui, China

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ambunti, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Yonakuni, Japan

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 24,000ft

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 12,000ft

Asosan volcano in Japan erupts to 12,000ft

Chile volcano ash cloud reaches Brazil; some flights canceled

Chilean authorities urge 2,000 people near volcano to evacuate as precaution

Locals baffled by expanded coastline in eastern Hokkaido

‘High level’ of radiation detected in Tokyo park

Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures

Whooping cough increase related to current vaccine

Mitochondria editing tried in mice

An Estimated 780,000 Americans in Same-Sex Marriages

Thousands march in US capital against gay marriage


Headlines – 4/25/2015

Israel reportedly hits Hezbollah, Assad targets in Syria

‘IAF struck missile bases in Syria,’ Al-Jazeera report says 

‘Hezbollah built airstrip for Iranian-made drones in Lebanon’

Israel says it won’t tolerate ‘a dribble of rockets’ from Gaza

IDF troops shoot, kill knife wielding Palestinian near Jerusalem checkpoint

Israel shocked by ultra-Orthodox mob assault of IDF officer in Jerusalem

100 Palestinian doctors authorized to work in Israeli hospitals, reversing intifada ban

Family of Jewish victim of US drone attack ‘disappointed’ in Obama

Obama vows ‘we’re going to review what happened’ in hostage death case

New York transit agency may change rule to block ‘Killing Jews’ ad

Mideast arms sales surging to record $18b in 2015, with Saudis in lead

Former Yemen president calls for political dialog to end war

More fighting, air strikes in Yemen, civilian death toll exceeds 550

Yemen conflict: Over 115 children killed in month – UN

Saudi Arabia foils ISIS-backed plot on its grounds 

UN aid chief urges Syria sanctions, Jolie pleads for refugee help

U.N. Refugee Official Calls Situation in Syria and Iraq ‘Unsustainable’

Al-Qaida suspects may have been targeting Vatican

Faith turns Christians into terrorist targets

Admiral Warns: Potential for Islamist Raids on European Islands

Taliban launch spring offensive with rocket attack on US base

Turkey says ‘rejects and condemns’ Putin calling 1915 Armenian massacre ‘genocide’

Putin Aims to Destabilize Ukraine, Former US Envoy Says 

Statue Of Liberty, Liberty Island Evacuated Over Bomb Threat

Close call between drone and plane landing at Dulles airport

Military holds decontamination exercise in city

Major Greek bank says to wipe debts of poorest clients

Veteran defense lawyers see possible criminal inquiry for Clintons

Deadly 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Nepal triggers avalanches in Mount Everest region

Powerful Nepal quake kills at least 449, toll expected to rise 

6.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Lamjung, Nepal

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Bella Bella, Canada

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Xegar, China

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Kodari, Nepal

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Yigo Village, Guam

Magma intrusion is likely source of Columbia-Ecuador border quake swarms

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 17,000ft

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

Volcanic Ash Grounds Flights in Costa Rica’s Capital City

Flights grounded as Chile volcano erupts

More activity expected from Calbuco Volcano in Chile

Israel’s Mount Hermon Gets ‘Snow You Only See in January’

Nevada’s Lake Mead on track to reach record low water level amid drought

Drought Hypocrisy: San Francisco Using Drinking Water To Heat City Hall, Other Buildings

California Drought Drawing Rodents Into Homes During Breeding Season

Researchers Discover New Tick-Borne Disease

HIV outbreak in Indiana grows

Diet Pepsi dropping aspartame on customer concerns

Could virtual reality bring your loved ones back from the dead?

Security Experts Hack Teleoperated Surgical Robot

America’s transgender moment

Parents Share 5-Year-Old Son’s Transgender Journey

Supreme Court to hear arguments on same-sex marriage 

Same-sex marriage debate forces GOP contenders to tread carefully

Straight pride fliers removed from YSU campus

FYI Orders Spouse-Swap Series ‘The Seven Year Switch’

Sex club seeks Nashville blessing by vowing to be a church

Dear Churches in America: Prepare to Be Treated Like 1st Century Christians in Rome


Protesters against gay marriage shout slogans in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, March 26, 2013. (photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

On April 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether states have the right to determine their own definition of marriage, or whether the Constitution requires all 50 states to make same-sex ‘marriage’ legal. Two members of the U.S. Supreme Court, both viewed as potential swing votes on the right of gay couples to marry, raised doubts about California’s gay marriage ban on Tuesday as they questioned a lawyer defending the ban.

Religious leaders from a wide array of denominations have released a joint statement reaffirming their support for traditional marriage ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing of oral arguments on Tuesday. The Christian leaders have said that reaffirming marriage as being between one man and one woman is vital for protecting children and offering them both a father and a mother.

“As religious leaders from various faith communities, we acknowledge that marriage is the foundation of the family where children are raised by a mother and a father together,” the statement reads, in part.


April 25

Earthquake in Nepal Kills Hundreds and Levels Buildings
An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.9 shook Nepal on Saturday near its capital, Katmandu. By midafternoon the United States Geological Survey had counted 12 aftershocks, one of which measured at a magnitude of 6.6.   

Everest hit by avalanche after Nepal earthquake
A powerful earthquake in Nepal on Saturday triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, climbers said, raising fears for those on the world’s highest peak a year after another avalanche caused the deadliest incident on the mountain. An official from the Nepal tourist board confirmed that part of Everest base camp had been buried, and that eight people had been killed.   

Syria conflict: Islamists ‘capture Jisr al-Shughur’
Islamist rebels in Syria have taken over much of the key north-western town of Jisr al-Shughur, activists say. It is the last major town under government control in Idlib province and correspondents say it could give them a route into the heartland of the ruling elite’s power. The Islamist forces, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, began the assault on Thursday.   

Russia and Argentina agree framework energy deals
Russia and Argentina have signed a series of framework agreements on economic and energy co-operation following talks in Moscow. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Russian leader Vladimir Putin hailed their co-operation as a “comprehensive strategic partnership”. The agreements include Russian investment in a hydroelectric plant and a nuclear power plant in Argentina.   

‘IAF struck missile bases in Syria,’ Al-Jazeera report says
Israel Air Force fighter jets struck Syrian military bases housing long-range missiles on Friday, the Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite television network said on Saturday. According to the report, the bases, near the Syrian-Lebanese border, belong to Assad regime brigades that possess weapons such as Scud missiles. The attacks allegedly targeted multiple targets in the area.   

Nevada’s Lake Mead on track to reach record low water level amid drought
Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest capacity reservoir in the United States, is on track to drop to its lowest water level in recorded history on Sunday as its source, the Colorado River, suffers from 14 years of severe drought, experts said on Friday.   

Putin Aims to Destabilize Ukraine, Former US Envoy Says
A former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine says recent military moves by Russia show that President Vladimir Putin’s “minimal goal is to destabilize the current government” in Ukraine. John Herbst, who now directs the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank, said from Kyiv that Putin is seeking to ratchet up the pressure on Ukraine, “and in order to do that, he can’t simply sit behind the cease-fire line. He needs to move forward to cause additional instability in the country.”   

U.S. may revamp overseas hostage-rescue program
The White House is considering revamping its overseas hostage-rescue program after CIA drone strikes that mistakenly killed an American and an Italian held captive by terrorists in Pakistan, the latest incident to reveal gaps in U.S. counter-terrorism efforts.   

Israeli forces shoot and kill Palestinian armed with knives
Israeli troops shot and killed a young Palestinian man wielding two knives on Saturday as they gave chase after he tried to attack the troops near a checkpoint in the Jerusalem area, police said. The incident occurred at around midnight near the A-Zayyim checkpoint at the outskirts of East Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, land Israel captured in a 1967 war that Palestinians seek for a state.   

Brian Williams Inquiry Is Said to Expand
An NBC News internal investigation into Brian Williams has examined a half-dozen instances in which he is thought to have fabricated, misrepresented or embellished his accounts, two people with knowledge of the investigation said.   

Major Greek bank says to wipe debts of poorest clients
One of Greece’s largest banks says it will wipe away the debts of clients who owe up to 20,000 euros ($21,600) in a one-off gesture to ease the burden on its crisis-hit customers.   

40 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000
According to the Daily Treasury Statement for Wednesday, April 22, which was published by the U.S. Treasury on Thursday, April 23, that portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed the day at $18,112,975,000,000—for the 40th day in a row.  


The Incredible Story Of How Kim Kardashian’s Ancestors Escaped The Armenian Genocide

Between 1915 and 1917, 1.5 million Armenians (most of them Christians) were slaughtered by the Turks. Armenians were systematically abducted, tortured and marched to their deaths just because of who they were and what they believed. At one point, 60,000 corpses were found in a single mass grave. It was one of the greatest genocides in history, but it didn’t end in 1917. Between 1920 and 1923, Turkey either deported or wiped out almost all of the Armenians that had survived the first wave of persecution. This genocide was one of the most horrifying examples of how evil humanity can be, and yet to this day the U.S. government continues to refuse to call it a “genocide”. Because of the sensitive nature of our relationship with the Turkish government, Barack Obama absolutely will not use the “g word” when speaking of what happened to the Armenians. And as I wrote about the other day, Obama also seems to care very little about the Christian genocide that is going on in parts of the Middle East controlled by ISIS today. But whether Obama ever recognizes the Armenian genocide or not, it is vitally important that the world remembers what happened to those precious people. One very prominent celebrity that is leading the call to remember the Armenian genocide is Kim Kardashian. In this article, I am going to share the story of how her ancestors were able to escape the genocide. I promise you, it is a story that you are not likely to ever forget. (Read More…)


Why Is JP Morgan Accumulating The Biggest Stockpile Of Physical Silver In History?

Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than 55 million ounces of physical silver? Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver. Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment. But in recent times, the price of silver has actually fallen quite a bit. As I write this, it is sitting at the ridiculously low price of $15.66 an ounce. So up to this point, JP Morgan’s investment in silver has definitely not paid off. But it will pay off in a big way if we will soon be entering a time of great financial turmoil. (Read More….)


Students Asked to ‘Pretend to Be Muslim’

A school district in Wisconsin has received dozens of complaints after high school world history students were recently asked to “pretend” to be a Muslim in an essay that was to include an outline of the hardships an Islamist might face in the United States.

View Article


A Look Back at Israel’s Miraculous Rebirth

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Backgrounder: The Armenian Genocide


Why Iraq’s ISIS Escapees Are Coming to Christ in Droves

According to Klein, this trip was the hardest trip he’s ever made. It forced him to ask an important question. “I thought: ‘Could this happen to us in America? Could we be forced with a decision? Are we going to follow Christ or walk away from everything we own?’ I pray that the church in America would love him passionately, that we would not lose our first love.”

The spread of ISIS is also impacting nominal Muslims who are helping refugees. Klein says, “A lot of people—Muslims—are saying, ‘If this is what Islam is, we don’t want to be Muslims anymore,’ and they’re opening up to the gospel.”

View Article


America: On a Collision Course with God

Jan Markell and Eric Barger talk to White House correspondent Bill Koenig about America’s collision course with God. Koenig has been a White House journalist since 2001 and shares insights in the third in our series of our Washington watch. Koenig connects some more final days dots and concurs with Franklin Graham that there is an “antichrist movement” in Washington now. He offers insights listeners will not hear other places. We use the mobile app at http://www.oneplace.com.

Access Programming Here or Here


Dear Churches in America: Prepare to Be Treated Like 1st Century Christians in Rome

In our time this means local churches that do not embrace same-sex marriage would find their legal status shaky or non-existent, as well as parachurch groups, conservative Christian colleges, church-based humanitarian agencies, and all other religious institutions – Christian and otherwise – supporting the traditional view of marriage.

Without state-recognized corporate status everything from mortgages and building permits to employment and hiring practices is threatened – all of them essential for institutional function.

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Obama ‘Obscured’ Iran Nuclear Breakout Time for Years

Obama stressed breakout time of 1 year, but knew Iran only needed 2-3 months to obtain enough fuel for a bomb.

Writing in Bloomberg View on Monday, journalist Eli Lake says US President Barack Obama has known for years that Iran needed only 2-3 months to produce enough fuel for a nuclear bomb, but purposely avoided saying so publicly, stressing instead that a full year was needed for Iran to build a nuclear bomb.

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Hillary: Change ‘religious beliefs’ of nation

More from the Godless Left . . .

More to point, she said, “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” to give women full access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth,” the news outlet said.

“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” Clinton said. “As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone – and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.

View Article


The Christian Post: Watch 5,000 Years of Religious History in 90 Seconds to See the Amazing Impact of Christian Missions

An animation map showing 5,000 years of religious history in 90 seconds shows the effect of Christian missions on the spread of Christianity. (Nazworth, The Christian Post)

Full Story


Christian Headlines

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Nashville Sex Club Seeks Blessing by Vowing to Become a Church

Activists Demand Obama Appoint Envoy for Persecuted Middle Eastern Christians

Creflo Dollar Doesn’t Care What You Think about His Dreams for a New Jet

Marco Rubio Was Asked If He Believes ‘Homosexuality Is a Choice’. Here’s How He Responded.

Former ‘Real World’ Star Thinks Christianity Has Become Too ‘Feminized’

Jindal NYT Op-Ed: We Will Not Be Bullied Into Dumping Religious Freedom

100 Years Later, Turkey’s ‘Cultural Genocide’ of Armenian History is Ongoing

Ethiopia Mourns ISIS Christian Executions

Senate, Clearing Hurdle, Sets a Thursday Vote on Loretta Lynch

1 Dead, 20 Sick After Eating Church Potluck

Opinion

How God is Redeeming the Armenian Atrocites

Going with Jesus into Our Fears

Christians Thrown Overboard by Obama

How Christianity invented children

I’m Kimmy Schmidt, Minus the ‘Unbreakable’


Baltimore Becomes War Zone As #BlackLivesMatter Protest Goes Ultra-Violent (VIDEO)

As Obama dined sumptuously with the Washington elites mere miles away racial violence engulfed the city

BALTIMORE, Maryland — Racial protests supposed to be peaceful quickly turned into violent riots on Saturday evening, closing down the city of Baltimore for some time—and creating a panic for thousands of people as just 50 miles away elites in Washington partied with President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

They were protesting the death of Freddie Gray, who Agence France Press newswire wrote “died last Sunday from spinal injuries, a week after his arrest in the city’s impoverished west side.”

“In a press conference Friday, officials acknowledged Gray should have received medical help at the moment of his arrest, when he was seen by bystanders — and caught on video — howling in apparent pain,” AFP wrote, providing the background of the simmering tensions in the mid-Atlantic port town. “They also revealed that Gray, contrary to police department policy, was not buckled into his seat in the van, which made at least three unexplained stops on its way to the Western District police station. Gray died Sunday with 80 percent of his spine severed at the neck, lawyers for his family have said. His funeral is scheduled for Monday. Six officers have been suspended with pay as the police investigation inches closer to a May 1 deadline to submit findings to a Maryland state prosecutor, who could decide to press charges.”

GRAPHIC WARNING: This video contains foul language and violent scenes

All of a sudden, everything went haywire. What were peaceful marchers holding up signs turned into violent rioters. Innocent fans standing by were confronted by the rioters, who physically and verbally threateningly engaged many of them—and then the protesters got even more violent.

All of a sudden, beer bottles and cans, and other projectiles were lobbed by the protesters into the crowds of fans. To get those projectiles, the protesters stole them forcibly from the bartenders and vendors set up outside each of those three bars. One beer can whizzed by my brother’s face, missing him by about six inches, and more flew all over the crowded area.

The crowd of protesters then stopped a blue station wagon carrying a white family as they tried to drive past Pickles, Bullpen and Sliders along a narrow one-way stretch between the bars and the main road. As a horde of them smashed their open and closed fists on the hood of the car—while impeding them by standing in front of them—the driver backed up on the one way pass in a desperate attempt to get out of dodge. Then, stopped on the other side with nowhere to go, protesters ripped open the passenger door of the car and began reaching around inside the vehicle. As hundreds of people looked on, including several police officers who didn’t engage the violent protesters, the white woman in the front seat—middle-aged and a little heavyset with dark hair—was visibly terrified. The group of black men who ripped open the car door suddenly realized they were separated from the larger group of protesters and abandoned their quest to seemingly either carjack the station wagon or rob the people inside in front of hundreds, driving out of the one-way street back onto the main road and presumably out of dodge.

As projectiles continued flying everywhere from each part of the crowd—like a war-zone—another black man then charged into the crowd of Red Sox and Orioles fans standing outside Pickles Pub and tore the metal barricades apart throwing them into the now-crowded one-way pass where the assaulted station wagon was a moment ago. source

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Texans blame secret military takeover for Walmart closings, secret tunnelsPosted: 25 Apr 2015 08:00 PM PDT

Texans blame secret military takeover for Walmart closings, secret tunnelsNews of the Army’s operation Jade Helm stirred up widespread fears and deep mistrust of the American government in a sizable bloc of the public. Thousands of tweets, dozens of online publications and plenty of Chron.com commenters sounded the alarm of an impending military takeover. Now the virtual world of alternative news has added a new twist to the tale: Walmart is in on it, and there are secret underground tunnels. Multiple websites drew links between the suspiciously swift and simultaneous closure of a half dozen Walmarts nationwide and the military training drill that will have some of America’s most elite units–Green Berets and Navy SEALS among them–trying to blend in to the civilian population in Texas and the Southwestern states. It may seem crazy, but the fearful aren’t a totally marginal crowd. Online outcry over the original plans to hold the so-called realistic military training in American cities drew an official response from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Stars and Stripes, the news publication of the U.S. military, ran an article titled “Army Special Operations Command pushes back against alarmist claims about upcoming exercise,” The Washington Post wrote “Why Operation Jade Helm 15 is freaking out the Internet—and why it shouldn’t be” and VICE News reported “conspiracy theorists think an army training exercise will bring martial law to the US this summer.” MORE

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37 tons of dead fish removed from Rio Olympic rowing venuePosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:54 PM PDT

37 tons of dead fish removed from Rio Olympic rowing venueRIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Fish continued to die by the ton Thursday in a Rio de Janeiro lake that’s slated to host Olympic rowing events, while city authorities and biologists argued about the cause of the die-off. Rio’s Comlurb waste management company said that as of Wednesday night, it had collected more than 37 tons of dead fish from the Rodrigo de Freitas lake since the die-off started late last week. Garbage collectors were out in force again on Thursday to rake dead fish off the water’s surface, and Comlurb said the effort would continue till the die-off subsides. The decomposing fish, a small silvery species called twaite shad, were trucked to the city’s main dump. But an overwhelming stench still enveloped the lake, sparking complaints by angry neighbors and passers-by Such die-offs are common in Rio, where rivers, lakes and even the ocean are blighted by raw sewage and garbage. In February, twaite shad died en masse in the blighted waters of the Guanabara Bay, where the Olympic sailing events are to be held. Rio’s environmental secretariat insisted Thursday that the latest incident is the result of a sudden change in water temperature. MORE

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Bakers face $135,000 fine for refusing to make cake for gay weddingPosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:43 PM PDT

Bakers face $135,000 fine for refusing to make cake for gay weddingThe owners of an Oregon bakery learned Friday that there is a severe price to pay for following their Christian faith. A judge for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) recommended a lesbian couple should receive $135,000 in damages for their emotional suffering after Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to make them a wedding cake. As a result – Aaron and Melissa Klein could lose everything they own — including their home. The Oregonian reports the recommended penalty is not final and could be raised or lowered by State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. The controversy started in 2013 when Aaron Klein declined to provide a cake for a lesbian wedding. Later that year, the women filed a complaint against Klein and his wife, Melissa. “The facts of this case clearly demonstrate that the Kleins unlawfully discriminated against the Complainants,” read a statement by the BOLI to the Oregonian. “Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion. Our agency is committed to fair and thorough enforcement of Oregon civil rights laws, including the Equality Act of 2007.” MORE

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Magnitude 3.4 Earthquake strikes near Cobb, CaliforniaPosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:38 PM PDT

Magnitude 3.4 Earthquake strikes near Cobb, CaliforniaA shallow magnitude 3.4 earthquake was reported Saturday morning two miles from the town of Cobb in Northern California’s Lake County wine country, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 9:05 a.m. Pacific time at a depth of 1.2 mile. According to the USGS, the epicenter was 12 miles from Clearlake, Calif., 14 miles from Healdsburg, Calif., 17 miles from Windsor, Calif. and 68 miles from Sacramento. In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby. This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author. Los Angeles Times

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New avian flu viruses send U.S. scientists scramblingPosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:34 PM PDT

New avian flu viruses send U.S. scientists scramblingThree highly pathogenic avian flu viruses that have infected poultry and wild birds in the U.S. Midwest appear unlikely to present a significant risk to humans. But the presence of the viruses in North America has scientists scrambling to understand their potential long-term threat. One of the viruses, H5N2, has already led to the slaughter of millions of turkeys and chickens, as commercial farms try to control the spread of the virus. No humans have yet become infected, but scientists say it is possible that someone in direct contact with sick birds might catch the virus, though it is extremely unlikely that an infected human could pass the disease on to another human. “Most of the time, these viruses don’t have human disease potential, but obviously you need to be very careful,” said Dr. Stephen Morse, an expert in emerging infections at Columbia University. “Nowadays, you can’t say anything about flu with certainty ” MORE

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Los Angeles Airport Security Boosted Amid Possible ISIS ThreatPosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:28 PM PDT

Los Angeles Airport Security Boosted Amid Possible ISIS ThreatBREAKING NEWS – Security is being stepped up in Los Angeles, its area airports and other parts of Southern California amid new ISIS-related threats calling for attacks on uniformed personnel, several U.S. officials told NBC News on Friday. ISIS, which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq, has long called on its sympathizers to attack Western interests around the world.  Los Angeles had already started using two-man patrols as a precaution. Upgraded measures were extended to Los Angeles International Airport this week, officials said. Investigators said there was no specific plot but concerns increased as result of intelligence from overseas as well as ongoing monitoring of suspected radicals inside the United States. FBI Director Jim Comey has said investigations into suspected ISIS sympathizers are underway in all 50 states. Fears revolve around threats to uniformed personnel or locations that lone actors may want to target, the sources said, speaking on a condition of anonymity. MORE

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Bruce Jenner Tells Diane Sawyer He’s a WomanPosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:23 PM PDT

Bruce Jenner Tells Diane Sawyer He's a Woman“WE’RE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD WITH WHAT WE ARE DOING” – BRUCE JENNER

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” 1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV)

Bruce Jenner sat down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, and finally admitted that he feels that he is a woman in a man’s body. His hair is very long, his lips are filled with silicon plumping material, and his fingernails are long and polished. The man once called the “world’s greatest athlete” now says he can no longer hide the fact that he is, in fact, female.Jenner fully intends to use his situation to, as he says, “change the world”. MORE

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Sentencing of Christians explodes 10,000% in ChinaPosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:16 PM PDT

Sentencing of Christians explodes 10,000% in China China’s sentencing of Christians exploded more than 10,000 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to a new report from China Aid Association, an organization that exposes religious freedom and human rights abuses. The group’s annual report notes that it tracks six categories of religious persecution, and since it obtains information directly from Christians inside China, most of its information concerns the Christian house church movement. The “Year of ‘Persecution and Endurance’” report said persecution rose, sometimes dramatically, in all six categories studied. For example, the number of citizens sentenced for their beliefs rose from 12 in 2013 to 1,274 in 2014, up 10,516.67 percent. The organization collected information on 572 cases of religious persecution, an increase of 300 percent. “Of the 17,884 people who were persecuted for their religion, more than 1,592 were church leaders, which represents a 140.89 percent increase over the previous year. The 2,994 people who were detained constituted an increase of 103.67 percent over the previous year. The CPC sentenced 1,274 people, a 10,516.67 percent jump over 2013.” MORE

 

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2 U.S. agencies warn on imminent ISIS attackPosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:11 PM PDT

2 U.S. agencies warn on imminent ISIS attack While the FBI investigates a possible ISIS terror attack on the basis of intercepted chatter and intelligence information, the TSA issued a classified warning that ISIS is planning an attack on U.S. soil. Little is known about the nature of the attack other than its imminence, which has prompted the TSA to deploy its new Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams, or VIPR, to various undisclosed locations. The VIPR teams include airports, train stations and other busy transportation hubs.One law enforcement source suggested parts of California were of special concern. As a result of the FBI warning, some cities have increased security as a precaution, but those cities have not been disclosed. The TSA classified warning was issued Friday. The FBI investigation was confirmed Saturday. MORE

 

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Chile volcano ash cloud reaches BrazilPosted: 25 Apr 2015 07:05 PM PDT

Chile volcano ash cloud reaches BrazilAsh from the Chilean volcano Calbuco, which erupted without warning this week, reached as far as southern Brazil on Saturday and prompted some airlines to cancel flights to the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Calbuco, considered one of the most dangerous along Chile’s chain of around 2,000 volcanoes, erupted twice in 24 hours on Wednesday and Thursday, sending up a spectacular 17-km-high (11-mile) cloud and coating nearby towns in a thick layer of gray ash. Authorities have set up a 20-km (12-mile) cordon around Calbuco, in the scenic Los Lagos region, around 1,000 km (620 miles) south of the capital Santiago, evacuating more than 6,500 people in the area. “The dangerous nature of volcanic activity like this, plus the volcano’s current instability that could lead to more intense activity in the short term, indicates we should maintain the perimeter,” Chile’s national office of emergency said in its latest report. MORE

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Nepal Earthquake Triggers Deadly Mount Everest Avalanche

Posted: 25 Apr 2015 06:34 AM PDT

Nepal Earthquake Triggers Deadly Mount Everest AvalancheClimbers on Mount Everest ran for their lives on Saturday when a massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal and set off at least one avalanche. At least eight people died and more than two dozen were injured in the avalanche on the world’s highest mountain, according to The Associated Press. Jelle Veyt was just getting back to base camp when suddenly the earth “shook for a couple of seconds — badly,” the Belgian climber told NBC News. A sherpa just a few feet ahead turned and pointed behind him, Veyt recalled, saying he then turned around himself and saw a “huge cloud of snow” heading his way. “I started running for my life….trying to be in a tent before it hit me,” he said, telling NBC News he wasn’t thinking about “much” other than running “as fast as I could to the tents” which were only about 200 feet away. Before he could reach the tents Veyt said he felt a “huge blow.” “It felt like a wind in the back but more powerful,” he said. Then, he said, he was “just surrounded by snow then. I couldn’t see my own hands.” While Veyt said he first tried hiding behind a rock, he “felt like I couldn’t breathe” so tried to make his way to the tent despite the “very low visibility.” MORE

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Two earthquakes rock North Idaho, Cluster ContinuesPosted: 25 Apr 2015 05:39 AM PDT

Two earthquakes rock North Idaho, Cluster ContinuesSANDPOINT, Idaho – The Inland Northwest was rocked by two earthquakes on Thursday night, both which had epicenters in North Idaho. “I heard a sound and then felt it a little bit,” said Allura Livingston, who was performing in a play in Sandpoint when the first one hit. “I thought like a lightbulb blew or something until someone was like, ‘Oh my gosh that was just an earthquake.’” According to United States Geological Survey, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake hit just southeast of Sandpoint near Lake Pend Oreille at 7:32 p.m. Their website shows that more than 350 people from 51 area codes reported feeling shaking. A second earthquake occurred just hours later and north of Sandpoint’s quake. According to USGS, at 10:43 p.m. a magnitude 4.2 hit near Ponderay. Their website shows almost 600 people from 75 zip codes said they felt it. “I did feel a little bit of shaking and it wasn’t anything major, but it was definitely something there,” Gabriel Marithew said. People in areas as far south as Orofino and all the way up to the Canadian border, as well as in Washington with residents Colville and Spokane reporting feeling movement. “It felt like the seats were shaking, I mean it felt like a base,” Jo Livingston, Allura’s grandmother said. “I thought something was wrong with the speakers because we were in watching a play, but I could feel it.” MORE

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Town centre brought to a standstill after 15-foot sinkhole opens up in street – almost swallowing up carsPosted: 25 Apr 2015 05:33 AM PDT

Town centre brought to a standstill after 15-foot sinkhole opens up in street - almost swallowing up cars A busy town centre was brought to a standstill this afternoon after a mysterious 15-foot sinkhole opened up in the road without warning – almost swallowing a number of cars in the process.  Motorists had to swerve out of the way of the giant hole after it appeared on the residential Earl Street in Northampton at around 2pm, just hours after part of a London pavement collapsed, swallowing a pedestrian. Shocking pictures show the gaping chasm – which was around eight foot (2.4 metres) wide – with a section of surrounding road also looking on the verge of collapse. Police quickly closed off Earl Street, causing traffic chaos and leaving locals without water following damage to a water main. A barmaid from the Charles Bradlaugh pub, opposite the hole, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘We saw it from inside the pub. ‘It was weird. It just collapsed but it gave way really slowly. It was gradual. ‘I am not at all sure why it happened. It was really strange.’ Eyewitness Matthew Green, 24, was in the pub when he heard a loud bang. He said: ‘I was just having a drink with my mate when there was this loud crashing noise. ‘I thought there had been an accident but when I went outside, I saw the road had collapsed. ‘The hole is massive. It must nearly cover half of the width of the whole road. ‘Police were here pretty quick but cars had to swerve out of the way until we went out and stopped them. MORE

 

 

 

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India rushes aid to the east after storm kills 48, displaces thousandsPosted: 25 Apr 2015 05:28 AM PDT

India rushes aid to the east after storm kills 48, displaces thousandsThe Indian authorities were rushing food rations, clothes and cooking utensils to villagers in the east of the country on Thursday after a storm killed at least 48 people and left thousands more homeless, government officials said. With wind speeds of up to 70 km per hour (43 mph) and heavy rains, the storm struck Bihar state late on Tuesday, uprooting trees and electricity poles, ripping through farmland and destroying over 25,000 mud-and-thatch homes. State officials said 12 of Bihar’s 38 districts had been affected, including Purnia, Madhepura and Saharsa. “Now we are rushing relief, food items and utensils to the affected families,” Anirudh Kumar, a state disaster management official, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. As well as ripping apart homes and destroying possessions, the storm also flattened banana plantations and maize and wheat fields, causing many villagers to lose their livelihoods, he said. Officials said they were still assessing the scale of the devastation, a process hindered by snapped telecommunication lines and villages cut off by uprooted trees blocking roads. “The damage is huge although we cannot provide the exact figure because we are still assessing the extent of damage,” said Sudhir Kumar, a senior official in Purnia. MORE

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The ash cloud from Chile’s volcanic eruption blankets much of the continentPosted: 25 Apr 2015 05:20 AM PDT

The ash cloud from Chile’s volcanic eruption blankets much of the continentWhen Volcano Calbuco erupted in Chile on Wednesday for the first time in five decades, everyone within a 12 mile radius was evacuated immediately. The ash cloud from the explosion, however, reached 9 miles into the sky and has already covered much of the continent. Flights from Argentina have been canceled as experts say the ash is heading over the Andes mountains and could reach as far as the Buenos Aires province — 1500 km to the east — by next week. The volcano itself is still puffing out ash and smoke, Reuters reported. A 2011 volcanic eruption in Chile sent ash so high up into the atmosphere that flights flying out of Australia were canceled as a safety precaution. The small village of Ensenada, Chile and some towns in Argentina have been blanketed with a thick layer of ash and soot capable of causing respiratory infections and contaminating water, the Guardian reported. The weight of the ash has caused roofs to cave in. While most of Ensenada has been evacuated, about 30 people have remained behind, not wanting to leave their homes or their animals. “We woke up today with a blanket of fog and it hasn’t cleared,” a resident of Puerto Varas, Chile told the Guardian. “We have a layer of smoke above us.” Officials have warned residents of the affected towns that a third “and even more aggressive” explosion is likely, “We are praying that the volcanic activity will be as short as possible,” said Villa La Angostura, Argentina mayor Roberto Cacault. MORE

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Dust storm, lightning kill five in UP – epidemic of suicides reported, as climate unravelsPosted: 25 Apr 2015 05:17 AM PDT

Dust storm, lightning kill five in UP – epidemic of suicides reported, as climate unravelsUTTAR PRADESH, India – Five people including a woman were killed late Friday after a dust storm and lightning hit many parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Saturday. While two people died in Jaunpur after being struck by lightning, two others died in Pratapgarh and a woman lost her life in Azamgarh. Police said Afroz and Preeti were struck by lightning in Jaunpur and died later on way to a local medical facility.  Heavy rainfall and lightning in Pratapgarh killed two people while a woman, identified as Ramawati was killed in Kamharia village of Azamgarh when her mud house caved in due to the dust storm. Extensive damage to vegetable yield and wheat crop has also been reported. Hailstorm has been reported from Rasra in Ballia, leading to damage of crop and many vehicles. Extensive damage to vegetable yield and wheat crop has also been reported. Unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm in the past 40 days led to crop damage in the state, leaving the farmers devastated. Hundreds of farmers have committed suicide while many died due to shock over losing the harvest. Extinction Protocol

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Military holds ‘Dirty Bomb’ drills in MI CityPosted: 25 Apr 2015 05:11 AM PDT

Military holds 'Dirty Bomb' drills in MI CityA fake rental truck with a fake dirty bomb inside triggered a practice military response Friday in Battle Creek. Army National Guard members converged on a parking lot outside ABC Warehouse at 5700 Beckley Road for training and an evaluation of their response to a critical incident. A similar exercise was held earlier this week at C.O. Brown Stadium and and more will be next week again at the stadium and at the former W.K. Kellogg Middle School. About 160 members of the 460th Chemical Company of the Army National Guard based at Fort Custer Training Center in Augusta participated Friday as well as civilian volunteers who played victims of the incident. The parking lot was filled with military vehicles and decontamination tents as members of the unit dealt with people posing as victims and evaluated the threat posed by a chemical weapon. The military units are trained to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents, according to the 460th’s executive officer, First Lt. Travis Williams of Midland. The exercises this week and next are to determine whether the units are prepared to respond quickly to an incident. He said the operation was set up in 21/2 hours. It was designed to evaluate the incident and begin treating and decontaminating about 40 ambulatory patients and 20 non-ambulatory patients per hour. MORE

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STARBUCKS Hit With Nationwide OutagePosted: 25 Apr 2015 05:07 AM PDT

Starbucks systems back up after nationwide outageA widespread systems outage which hit Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada Friday night, leading to some stores giving away free drinks, has now been resolved. Shortly after midnight eastern time, Starbucks posted an update on Twitter which said that the issue has been resolved and stores will open normally on Saturday. Many stores closed early Friday, according to a statement posted on Starbucks’ website. An earlier statement said that the point-of-sale systems at company-operated stores went down during a daily update. The outage also affected Evolution Fresh and Teavana stores. Twitter and other social media lit up late Friday with reports that stores’ computer systems were down. Media reports suggested the outage began just after 7 p.m. ET. CNBC News

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Catastrophic 7.9 Earthquake Strikes Nepal, 688 Plus Deaths, Worst Quake in 80 YearsPosted: 25 Apr 2015 05:01 AM PDT

Catastrophic 7.9 Earthquake Strikes Nepal, 400 Plus Deaths, Worst Quake in 80 Years

BREAKING NEWS –  A powerful earthquake struck Nepal Saturday, leaving at least 688 people dead, as the violently shaking earth collapsed houses, leveled centuries-old temples and triggered avalanches in the Himalayas. It is the worst temblor to hit the nation in more than 80 years. The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 struck the country before noon and was severely felt in the capital as well as the densely-populated Kathmandu Valley. A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit about an hour later, and smaller tremors continued to ripple through the region for hours. The Home Ministry initially said in a statement that 71 people were killed in Nepal, but did not give any more details. One Chinese citizen was killed on the border, two Bangladesh and six in Tibet in the quake. Dozens of others were being brought to the main hospital in Kathmandu. One laborer, Pashpa Das, ran from the house when the first quake struck but could not escape because a wall collapsed, injuring his arm. “It was very scary. The earth was moving … I am waiting for treatment but the (hospital) staff is overwhelmed,” he said, gingerly holding his right arm with his left hand. As he spoke dozens of more people showed up with injuries, mostly from falling bricks. FULL REPORT

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Why Is JP Morgan Accumulating The Biggest Stockpile Of Physical Silver In History?Posted: 24 Apr 2015 09:21 PM PDT

Why Is JP Morgan Accumulating The Biggest Stockpile Of Physical Silver In History?Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than 55 million ounces of physical silver? Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver. Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment. But in recent times, the price of silver has actually fallen quite a bit. As I write this, it is sitting at the ridiculously low price of $15.66 an ounce. So up to this point, JP Morgan’s investment in silver has definitely not paid off. But it will pay off in a big way if we will soon be entering a time of great financial turmoil. During a time of crisis, investors tend to flood into physical gold and silver. And as I mentioned just recently, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon recently stated that “there will be another crisis” in a letter to shareholders. Some things never change — there will be another crisis, and its impact will be felt by the financial market. The trigger to the next crisis will not be the same as the trigger to the last one – but there will be another crisis. Triggering events could be geopolitical (the 1973 Middle East crisis), a recession where the Fed rapidly increases interest rates (the 1980-1982 recession), a commodities price collapse (oil in the late 1980s), the commercial real estate crisis (in the early 1990s), the Asian crisis (in 1997), so-called “bubbles” (the 2000 Internet bubble and the 2008 mortgage/housing bubble), etc. While the past crises had different roots (you could spend a lot of time arguing the degree to which geopolitical, economic or purely financial factors caused each crisis), they generally had a strong effect across the financial markets. MORE

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Hillary Clinton Says Christianity Must Change To Accommodate Abortion-On-Demand (VIDEO)

“Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed to provide reproductive health care for all women”

“Thou shalt not kill.” Exodus 20:13 (KJV)

That Hillary Clinton is a lying, duplicitous, cold-as-ice political game player has long been established beyond discussion. She will say anything, do anything, and be anything she thinks you want her to be in order to win votes and fill the coffers of the Clinton Foundation.

But she also is an abortion-on-demand advocate who, if elected to president, will raise the number of babies killed in this country to never before seen levels of slaughter. About Abortion vs. Christianity, Clinton says that things must change. Drastically.

She told attendees at the sixth annual Women in The World Summit that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.” “Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton said.

“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

Whenever a woman talks about “reproductive rights” it is always about having access to abortion-on-demand. Make no mistake about it, she is not any type of Christian found in the bible. She loves to throw the label around, but she is as liberal and as apostate as they come.

When Hillary said that “religious beliefs and structural biases have to change”, that is nothing more than politician-speak to say that Biblical Christianity must step aside to allow for the killing of the unborn on demand. In any trimester, right up to the moment of birth. And why stop there?

No, if Hillary gets elected in 2016, you better prepare for the blood of the unborn to run in the streets with the ferocity of a summer storm. She is every bit as evil as Obama, and perhaps even more so.

 

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Obama’s Greatest Legacy Just Might Be The Queering Of America

It’s only April, but 2015 may be remembered as the year the term “transgender” fully entered mainstream consciousness.

EDITOR’S NOTE: No other president in United States history has done more to force the LGBTQ agenda down America’s throats than Barack Hussein Obama. As a direct result of his unfettered support of the queer agenda, the floodgates have opened for all manner of immorality and perversion to go mainstream. It was never about tolerance, certainly not just acceptance, but it’s about controlling the narrative to reward those who will further the LGBTQ agenda, and to punish those who oppose it.

In January, President Obama condemned the persecution of “people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” becoming the first president to utter the word in a State of the Union address.

“Transparent,” about an aging father who begins living as a woman, won two top awards at the Golden Globes, while transgender actress Laverne Cox of “Orange is the New Black” — who made the cover of Time magazine last year — was just cast in a new CBS drama.

The May issue of Vogue has a photo spread with transgender model Andreja Pejic, who said on Instagram this week that she “was told by various people many times over that the chances of me ending up on these pages were slim to none.” A transgender character had a recurring storyline on the just-wrapped final season of “Glee,” while transgender activist and YouTube star Jazz Jennings will star in a reality show debuting on TLC this summer.

And then there’s Bruce Jenner, whose physical appearance has become more feminine in recent months amid reports — yet to be confirmed or denied by him — that the Olympic hero turned reality TV star is exploring a very public gender transition.

We’ll learn more Friday night, when Diane Sawyer’s long-awaited interview with Jenner — conducted in February — airs on ABC.

Whatever Jenner says it’s clear that transgender people, long relegated to society’s shadows, are finally stepping into the light.

“We are at a social inflection point on transgender issues,” says Riki Wilchins, a former transgender activist and author of three books on queer theory, who believes all the attention could have a positive impact. “Civil rights for minorities come in fits and starts. We’re on an upswing now.” source

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Islam In America: Lawfare And Sharia Law Compliance

Recognizing the second of the three phases of Islam is critical for concerned American citizens to stop the ongoing subversive expansion of Islamic and Sharia Law throughout America.

All phases of Islam evidence regulation of religious, political, legal, and social norms, through judicial, militia, and/or military means under Shari’a law.

In phase two, the shorter chapters located towards the back of the Qur’an supersede the earlier transcribed texts, according to the Islamic doctrine of abrogation. They parallel the time in Muhammad’s life when he formed alliances with groups outside of Mecca and began fighting non-believers who rejected Islam (22:39,40).

Mirroring this time in Muhammad’s life, these texts apply to Muslims who have become or are becoming a majority in a neighborhood, city, or region. They outline the groundwork necessary to develop a totalitarian political system that eliminates a country’s existing laws.

One predominant approach of defensive Jihad is legal. Muslims seek to de-legitimize existing laws, redefine legal terms related to human rights, and silence and punish free speech through “lawfare.” Threats increase against non-Muslims via lawsuits and dissemination of false and/or misinformation.

For example, Dearborn, Mich., “protesters” assert that their “civil rights” justify stoning Christians. Muslim communities argue their “civil rights” enable them to use their own de facto legal system (Islamic tribunals) instead of state law. Muslims successfully and intentionally censor media coverage while promoting shari’a on public school property—without consequence due to intimidation, legal threats, and blatant discrimination.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate constitutionally protected rights under the guise of “Shari’a compliance.”

The Center for Security Policy reported earlier this year that in 32 states, 146 cases existed where litigants sought to resolve a dispute applying Shari’a law instead of state law. Previously, in 2011, it discovered that in 23 states, American courts applied Shari’a law to rulings that infringed the constitutional rights of women and/or children.

Last month, Michigan’s Taylor City Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting a campaign for shari’a under the guise of “hate based on religion.” Last year, Michigan’s transit authority, SMART, banned “Leaving Islam?” bus ads designed to help Muslim girls (American citizens) who are threatened and killed—on American soil— according to Shari’a apostasy and blasphemy laws.

Eliminating constitutional rights extends to the public school classroom. Under the guise of “world religions,” Common Core teaches Islam, violating at a minimum the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Taxpayers fund “Arabic Immersion” for public schools, teaching even kindergarteners in Arabic 50 percent of the time and about “Middle Eastern culture.”

Read the rest of the story on Western Journalism…

 

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Bruce Jenner Tells Diane Sawyer That He Is A Woman

“We’re going to change the world with what we are doing” – Bruce Jenner

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” 1 Corinthians 6:9 (KJV)

Bruce Jenner sat down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, and finally admitted that he feels that he is a woman in a man’s body. His hair is very long, his lips are filled with silicon plumping material, and his fingernails are long and polished. The man once called the “world’s greatest athlete” now says he can no longer hide the fact that he is, in fact, female.

Jenner fully intends to use his situation to, as he says, “change the world”. This is fully in line with the mandates of the Obama administration to continue with the queerification of America. In 2015, it is all about change. This is the “change” that Obama promised America, and boy, is ever ever making good on that promise.

The Bible says that during the time of the Tribulation, people will be wholly-given to idolatry, idol worship and manifold, sexual perversion.

“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” Revelation 9:20,21 (KJV)

We are rapidly approaching that time. If you are saved, you will be pulled out in the Rapture. If you are unsaved, then you will experience the Great Tribulation.

The choice is yours, God is not a Calvinist. You have free will, choose wisely.

 

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What Heaven Will Be Missing

by Marsha West

Nathan Busenitz of The Cripplegate paints a picture of heaven as a place of: “vibrant color, good food, loud music, close friendships, as well as physical activity.”

But what will be missing from heaven? Busenitz puts forward a list of 17 items that the Apostle John reveals in the book of Revelation that will be missing in heaven. It’s reassuring to know that “Each of these represents some aspect of fallenness, rebellion, or divine judgment connected to this present world. And there will be no sign of corruption or judgment in the world to come.”

Read more


‘You Cannot Stop Me': Televangelist Creflo Dollar Defies Opponents in Effort to Buy $65 Million Jet

by Marsha West

According to Christian News Network:

Televangelist Creflo Dollar defied opponents of his global effort to purchase a $65 million dollar jet in a recent message delivered to his congregation.

“Let me tell you something about believing God. I can dream as long as I want to. I can believe God as long as I want to,” he states in a video posted to YouTube by a group not affiliated with Dollar. “If I want to believe God for a $65 million plane, you cannot stop me. You cannot stop me from dreaming.”

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‘You Cannot Stop Me': Televangelist Creflo Dollar Defies Opponents in Effort to Buy $65 Million Jet

(CN) — Televangelist Creflo Dollar defied opponents of his global effort to purchase a $65 million dollar jet in a recent message delivered to his congregation.

“Let me tell you something about believing God. I can dream as long as I want to. I can believe God as long as I want to,” he states in a video posted to YouTube by a group not affiliated with Dollar. “If I want to believe God for a $65 million plane, you cannot stop me. You cannot stop me from dreaming.”

Alabama Senate Opens With Prayer Seeking Forgiveness for ‘Allowing Sexual Perversions’

(CN) — The Alabama Senate was opened with a prayer on Tuesday that sought forgiveness for the nation’s embrace of sexual perversion.“Forgive us for allowing sexual perversions to be considered as normal,” prayed David Gonnella, pastor of Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore.

Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz Urges Pastors to Preach About Biblical Marriage

(CN) — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has sent a letter to tens of thousands of pastors nationwide, urging them to preach about biblical marriage the weekend before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments over states’ rights regarding the definition of marriage.“On Tuesday, April 28, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in favor of ‘same-sex marriage.’ How will the American church respond?” he asked. “The prophet Daniel described the people who know their God as people who do two things: display strength and take action (Daniel 11:32).”

‘You Will Not Have Safety Until You Accept Islam': ISIS Kills 30 Ethiopian ‘Followers of the Cross’

(CN) — A gruesome new video released by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS, which identifies itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, shows approximately 30 Ethiopians, who they identified as “followers of the cross,” being massacred in Libya.The 29-minute video, entitled “Until It Came To Them—Clear Evidence,” begins with what is called a history of relations between Muslims and Christians, followed by footage of Islamists destroying churches, smashing gravesites and destroying religious icons.

Other Top News Stories of Interest:


New Christian Zionists Seek Distance From ‘Wild, Crazy Popular Apocalypticism

Many popular Christian books about the end times were based upon some dispensational-type teachings. In the 1970’s, for instance, Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth was a best selling book, which led to a cottage industry of end times books. There were also popular fictional works, such as Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind series, which have been made into films. A recent example is Pastor John Hagee’s Four Blood Moons. Christianbook.com currently has a “Prophecy & End Times” section with 1,458 works.

This pop-apocalypticism was also on display recently when former congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said on a radio show that the end times were near and associated that prediction with President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

View Article


GoFundMe blocks fundraiser for Christian bakery

In the wake of what many are viewing as a crushingly punitive and unfair judgment, former bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein were ordered by administrative judge Alan McCullough to pay $135,000 in fines to a lesbian couple. The Kleins declined to bake a wedding cake for the couple due to their religious beliefs.

Almost immediately, supporters set up a GoFundMe page on behalf of the family. Within seven hours, at approximately 6:30 pm Pacific time, it had received nearly $80,000 in funding.

View Article


2 U.S. agencies warn on imminent ISIS attack

FBI, TSA issue back-to-back alerts based on intercepts

While the FBI investigates a possible ISIS terror attack on the basis of intercepted chatter and intelligence information, the TSA issued a classified warning that ISIS is planning an attack on U.S. soil.

View Article


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

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

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April 25-26, 2015 Truth2Freedom Weekend Christian Blogroll Collection

If we love God’s fame and are committed to magnifying His name above all things, we cannot be indifferent to world missions. —John Piper

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The Seed of Divorce

“It may be that in your marriage, you have allowed the seed of divorce to grow. Perhaps it has already put down roots and is digging in. Maybe it has already poked its head through the soil and begun to grow to full bloom. Do not despair. There is still hope for your marriage. A marriage is not ruined by the presence of such seeds but by accepting, ignoring, or embracing them.”

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Don’t Be Scared off From Reading the Puritans

“I have been leading my small group through one of these works, The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes. It is a Christian classic for a reason. If you haven’t read it, buy a copy and reward your soul.”

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Using Your Tongue for God’s Glory

“We can counter the effect of a bad tongue by modeling a good tongue. We should speak honestly but lovingly. Also, we should speak kind words to others and go out of our way to compliment people who deserve it. How many times have we complimented our children this past week? How often did we tell them we love them?”

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Calvin the Exegete

“When passages of Scripture are taken up at random, and no attention is paid to the context, we need not wonder that mistakes of this frequently arise. Yet it was an instance of very gross ignorance, to imagine that Lucifer was the king of devils, and that the Prophet gave him this name. But as these inventions have no probability whatever, let us pass by them as useless fables.”

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Why Is Sola Fide So Important?

“In the medieval and later Romanist program, God was said to recognize as just those who are completely sanctified. The Protestants rejected that scheme as contrary to the biblical teaching that sinners are justified by divine favor alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide) which rests and trusts in Christ alone as the Righteous One.”

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Dangerous Calling – A Review

“Paul Tripp, in his book Dangerous Calling, takes a look at Christian ministry from another angle. His contention is that there is something desperately wrong with ministers and ministry culture. The book is really trying to expose the danger of hypocrisy in the life of the Pastor. Many have found this book hugely helpful and it has made it on to a variety of top 10 lists of Christian books.”

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Al-Shabab, Christian Persecution, and Psalm 23

“Today, I remember the Good Shepherd in light of the persecuted church. As I write, headlines tell of the murder of some 147 students in Kenya. At 5:30 AM on Thursday, April 2, students attending Garissa University College—a school seated near the Kenyan/Somali border—were battered by gunfire.”

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Christological Ultrasounds

“The Old Testament is filled with “ultrasounds” of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, I believe–as our own David Murray has said–“on every page”, we will find our Savior, if we only have the eyes to see Him. He does however, appear in the rough and sometimes two-dimensional form that ultrasounds present our children in the womb.”

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Annihilation versus Eternal Torment: What Does the Bible Really Teach?

by JC Lamont

Entire books on this subject have been written, as well as innumerable articles, with both sides claiming Bible verses to support their interpretation. And while this topic will likely be debated until Jesus returns, it is one that I feel I cannot be silent on as the very character of God is at stake. Please […]

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U.S. Military ‘Hostile’ To Christians Under Obama; Morale, Retention Devastated

Mr. Berry said he thinks the “hostile work environment” that is forcing the most religious persons out of the military is only getting worse, and that while in the past problems were mainly in the Air Force, religious liberty issues have spread throughout all the services. “The problem is getting worse, not better, despite our efforts,” he said. “There is a culture [of] hostility [toward] religion in the military right now.”

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Shaken Family

During Josh’s civil and criminal trials, a total of five doctors testified in his defense, arguing Naomi’s medical condition was not conclusive for abuse. They pointed to a crucial factor: Naomi’s traumatic birth. Brenda labored for four hours before hospital staff unsuccessfully attempted to extract Naomi with a vacuum device. When the baby finally emerged during an emergency cesarean section, she had a baseball-sized bruise on her scalp. The birth likely caused initial, unnoticed bleeding on the membrane surrounding her brain.

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Faith No More: How The British Are Losing Their Religion

For the past two or three hundred years, at least since the civil war, most British Christianity has been like that. Then, in the last 50 years, it fell off a cliff.. In the last 30 years alone attendance at mainstream churches has just about halved. The way this has happened is also important: adults did not stop going to church, but they failed to transmit the habit to their children and now they are dying out. The culture has changed and the Christianity which was so deeply rooted in the old culture has had its roots torn up.

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‘OPC Singles’: A Place for Singles in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church to Meet

Many smaller congregations seem to have too many single men or too many single women. But by making the pool of potential spouses a bit larger, Bressler believes that the Internet can increase fellowship with others by providing a godly environment for single adults in the OPC to meet and build God-blessed relationships.

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Bells, Loneliness and Scripture

This is what Scripture is meant to do. It is written for our encouragement (Romans 15:4) and our “instruction” (1 Corinthians 10:11 cp. 2 Timothy 3:15). We ignore what Scripture teaches about God’s intention for human sexuality at our peril. We will end up in the lonely place of an imploded cultural wasteland with only pagan-inspired spiritual navel-gazing, “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). That is the dreadful state of metaphysical loneliness.

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My Father Was Gay. Why I Oppose Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage.

When same-sex marriage passed in Canada in July 2005, parenting was immediately redefined, removing parentage from its biological origins. Canada’s gay marriage law, Bill C-38, included a provision to erase the term “natural parent” and replace it across the board with gender-neutral “legal parent” in federal law. Now, all children have “legal parents,” as defined by the state, which means parental rights have been usurped by the government. In effect, same-sex marriage permits state powers to override the autonomy of biological parents.

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Christians Thrown Overboard By Obama

Religious persecution of Christians is rampant worldwide, as the Pew Research Center has noted, but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where followers of Jesus are the targets of religious cleansing. Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the persecution and begged the world for help, but it has had little impact. Western leaders — including Obama — will be remembered for their near silence as this human rights tragedy unfolded.

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Shepherding: The Rest Of The Story

To say the Lord is my shepherd is to say more than the Lord is my guardian. It is to say the Lord is my captain, and He is the captain of others conscripted to serve with me. He leads me not only beside still water and into green pastures, he leads me into battle for His name’s sake. With Jesus at our side we lack nothing, not only for living but also for striving for the sake of His kingdom.

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For All Intents and Purposes, I’m a Platypus

by Bill Muehlenberg

People look at me differently. They see you as this macho male, but my heart and my soul and everything that I do in life – it is part of me. That platypus side is part of me. That’s who I am.

OK, maybe not. But I might as well come out and say something this idiotic. After all, if Bruce Jenner can say much the same, why can’t I? The former hero of athletics, and more recently a big part of the travelling circus known as the Kardashians, he is now making a whole lot of media noise – and money – telling us he is a woman.

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Did the Early Church Fathers Believe in Sola Scriptura?

by C Michael Patton

Definition of Sola Scriptura

Sola Scriptura: the reformed Protestant believe that the Scriptures alone are the final and only infallible authority for the Christian. This does not mean that Scriptures are the only authority (nuda or solo Scriptura), as Protestants believe in the authority of tradition, reason, experience, and emotions to varying degrees (after all, “sola scriptura” itself is an authoritative tradition in Protestantism). It does mean that Scripture trumps all other authorities (it is the norma normans sed non normata Lat. “norm that norms which is not normed”).

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Controversy of Sola Scriptura

Sometimes people get the idea that sola Scriptura was a 16th-century invention. While it was definitely articulated a great deal through the controversies during the Reformation, its basic principles can be found deep in church history. Take a look at some of these early church fathers who seemed to believe in the primacy of Scripture:

Related Resource: Six Myths About Sola Scriptura by C. Michael Patton

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Russell Moore answers this question: What Should the Church Say to Bruce Jenner?


WEEKLY APOLOGETICS LINKS:

Preaching
Why Suffering?
Facts vs. Faith
God and complexity
Nabeel Qureshi on Truth
Has Science Buried God?
The Magical Moral Mystery
5 Mistakes Apologists Make
Why is Apologetics Important?
The Case for the Resurrection
Street Epistemologists – On Guard
Master of Arts in Apologetics with HBU
Verifiability Is A Christian Distinctive
Debate: Frank Turek vs. Michael Shermer
Evolution and Design: Articles and Resources
Reasonable Faith Conference: Bakersfield, CA
Three Steps to Protect Christian Wedding Vendors
What is the Free Will Defense to the Problem of Evil?
Common Objection #25- “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.”
Video: Evidence for God- Key Arguments for a Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
Now on Audible! Grand Central Question: Answering the Critical Concerns of the Major Worldviews

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This ‘n’ That

  • “Too many pastors use illustrations as a substitute for exegesis, rather than as something that illumines or applies their exegesis.”
  • I think I’ve asked this before, but how do we get Roma Downey to stop?
  • I’ve had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of Dr. Greg Harris, and, even though I do not have nor plan to have children, I still especially enjoyed this article where he shares what he prays for his children.
  • “Pope Francis…will pray in front of the shroud [of Turin] on June 21.” The blind continues to lead the blind.
  • Really, why has it taken the medical community this long to accuse Dr. Oz of being a quack?
  • Why is John MacArthur #82 on this list? Also—Gavin MacLeod? The Love Boat captain? (HT to Ray for this one.)
  • Oh, brother. Creflo Dollar says the devil is stopping his dreams of owning a private jet. Do people like this ever actually hear the ridiculous things they say?
  • The lordship of Christ is essential for salvation.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • The seeker-driven movement has rejected sola Scriptura.
  • My church had the privilege last weekend of welcoming Pastor Steve Kreloff of Lakeside Community Chapel and Verse by Verse ministries to preach at our Spring Bible Conference. We were immensely blessed by his preaching and I knew I wanted to add him to the roster of preachers featured here each week. I think you’ll agree with that choice:

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Articles of the Week

Four Things the “Hate Psalms” Teach Us, Wendy Stringer. The Psalms are usually one of people’s favorite books of the Bible. And it’s no surprise why: Israel’s ancient songbook contains the most profound and moving poetry ever written. But it’s not all rosy: there are also the so-called “imprecatory” psalms, those unsavory psalms that invoke God’s wrath and revel in his violence. Feel like skipping them? Stringer urges us not to.

A Theology of Sports, David Roark. In case you’re curious: yes, theologians are allowed to simply add “theology of” in front of whatever term they like. But even though you’re not likely to find a theology of sports in your average systematic textbook, it’s worth pondering. We Americans tend to either make sports an unhealthy idolatry or to disparage them completely. Is there a more excellent way? Roark gives us a start.

Every Pastor Should Be An “Iceberg” Pastor, Andrew Haslam. There is one rule that I think ought to underpin every pastor’s understanding of his calling, which is that he needs to be an iceberg. What do I mean? Simply this: that whatever public ministry he engages in (that bit above the surface) needs to be built upon a lifetime of preparation, growth, character, learning, and reliance on God (the mass under the surface). Public prayers ought to be a taste of how he prays in private. Preaching ought to be the cream scraped off the top of his brain.”

“But Jesus Never Talked About …” Karen Swallow Prior. The argument has becoming vogue of late—in discussions ranging from homosexuality to street preaching—to appeal to Jesus’ silence. The argument runs roughly like this: “If Jesus never addressed it, then we shouldn’t either.” As Prior beautifully points out, this is a wildly inconsistent and unhelpful hermeneutic.

Twelve Reasons Churches Don’t Practice Church Discipline, Chuck Lawless. Church discipline has to qualify as one of the clearest parts of New Testament . . . that is regularly ignored by most churches. Lawless seems to have put his finger on the biggest reasons they avoid it. It’s understandable but sad how many of these boil down to something like, “They don’t do it because it would be really difficult.”


Reaching Youth While remaining True to the Gospel
Apr 24, 2015 06:24 am | Mike

What “version” of Christianity are we passing down to our next generation?  Biblical Christianity built on the solid rock of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the infallibility of the Bible?  Or a “Christianity” that can be formed and molded into a religion that suits the beliefs and desires of the individual, allowing them to […]

The post Reaching Youth While remaining True to the Gospel appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Is Christian Persecution Coming to America?
Apr 20, 2015 08:32 am | Mike

Every day it seems comes news of more murders of Christians in Africa and The Middle East.  In fact it has become so common, many media outlets seem to think it is no longer “news worthy”. In America we are still safe.  But for how long?  Is it just a matter of time before Christians […]

The post Is Christian Persecution Coming to America? appeared first on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Is-Christian-Persecution-Coming-to-America_.mp3 24 MB


Repentance as a path to joy

Every person experiences feelings of guilt over sinful actions and choices, and every person responds to those feelings in some way. The Bible explains that a Christian response to guilt over sinful actions ought to be rooted in faith and repentance.


The Daily Discovery (April 25-26, 2015)

Oceanic Dispersal Rafted Worm Lizards Around the World – “Worm lizards, burrowing reptiles native to continents and islands around the globe, appear at about the same place in the fossil record all over the world, just above the K-T (Cretaceous-Paleogene, aka Cretaceous-Tertiary) boundary. These creatures are not particularly mobile, so how did they get there? The solution to this biogeographical mystery is startling to evolutionists but supports an idea long held by many Bible-believing scientists.”

How Blue the Sky Was – “All right. I suppose I should explain to you all what was up with my near-week-long involuntary hiatus from blogging. There were various factors in play, but the central one was my misguided belief that I was somehow included in all that free speech business that Madison wrote about in the First Amendment. You see, say I were to write a ‘controversial’ post about the homo-jihad, and say this post went nuts on Facebook with people reading it and stuff, suppose something like that. One of the things that usually happens when I misbehave like this is a series of cyberhack attacks on my server, conducted by the Anarchist Brotherhood in their ongoing fight for the Free Exchange of Ideas.”

Gospel Irony: When the Gospel Prevails in Unlikely Places – “What better symbol of Roman strength and power than the awe-inspiring Praetorian Guard. These were the Navy Seals of their day. These were the renowned Seal Team Six. So powerful were they that the Caesars feared a military coupe by them at any time. Ironic, since the Praetorian Guard was established to serve as the personal protection team for the Caesars in the first place.”

Thank God for Life, and Ask for More – “As the earth screams through space, balanced exactly on the edge of everyone burning alive and everyone freezing solid, as we shriek through deadly obstacle courses of meteor showers and find them picturesque, as the nearest fiery star vomits eruptions hundreds of times bigger that our wee planet (giving chipper local weathermen northern lights to chatter about), as a giant reflective rock glides around us slopping the seas (and never falls down), and as we ride in our machines, darting past fools and drunks and texting teenagers, how many times do we thank God?”

Turretin On Merit In The Covenant Of Works – “The covenant of nature is that which God the Creator made with innocent man as his creature, concerning the giving of eternal happiness and life under the conditions of perfect and personal obedience. It is called “natural,” not from natural obligation (which God does not have towards man it is also called “legal” because the condition on man’s part was the observation of the law of nature engraved within him; and of works because it depended upon works or his proper obedience.”


SERMON:

Steve Lawson – The Invisible War


VIDEOS:

Sproul: Questions and Answers

Todd Friel on Benny Hinn


“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

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Notable Voices: April 25, 2015

10 Pointers for Evangelistic Preaching — Peter Mead

Continuing his “10 Pointers” series, this week Peter turns his attention to evangelistic preaching.

 


Four Common Lies We Believe About Looking for a New Job — Sarah Newsome

Whatever your vocation, whether it is a secular job or in ministry, there are a handful of misnomers when it comes to looking for a new position. Sarah explains four of these lies and how to not be fooled by them.

 


No, Hanging Out With Your Friends Is Not the Church — Aaron Earls

In what appears to be a fad among Millennial Christians, some are choosing spiritual hangouts with friends over corporate gatherings of believers. Aaron explains why this is both concerning and unbiblical.

 


8 Reasons Church Change Is so Difficult — Charles Stone

Change is inevitable in churches. Charles explains how our brains process change and how best to communicate it to your people.

 


7 Basics for Better Staff Meetings — Eric Geiger

Staff meetings, when led well, can be incredibly productive and helpful. When they are led poorly, they can be a miserable waste of time. If you leda staff meetings at your church or office, these tips will help you lead a more effective meeting.

 


In Praise of Hymns — CBS Sunday

Keith and Kristyn Getty were recently featured in a report about hymns and modern hymn writing on CBS Sunday.

The post Notable Voices: April 25, 2015 appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


What Should the Church Say to Bruce Jenner?

Russell Moore:

Bruce Jenner, of course, is a symbol, a celebrity spokesperson for an entire mentality that sees gender as separate from biological identity. So is there a word from God to the transgender community? How should the church address the Bruce Jenner in your neighborhood, who doesn’t have the star power or the Malibu mansions but who has the same alienation of self?

The Holiness of God: the app

Ligonier has introduced a new free app version of R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God teaching series for the iPhone and iPad. Enjoy! (P.S.: an Android version is coming soon.)

Martin Luther’s Definition of Faith

This is a really great excerpt from Luther’s An Introduction to St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans.

How to Practice a Gospel-Centered Spirituality

Donald S. Whitney:

However, the common perception of spirituality is not the biblical one. I’m writing from the perspective that spirituality includes—but transcends—the human spirit, and involves the pursuit of God and the things of God, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit in accordance with God’s self-revelation (that is, the Bible).

You Have Just Enough Time

Jon Bloom:

But to call busyness (meaning a frenetic, distracted lifestyle) “moral laziness” suddenly makes us uncomfortable. It means that busyness is not something that merely happens to us. It is something we choose. As objections begin to rise in our minds, it is helpful to remember what Jesus said to busy Martha: “Mary has chosen the good portion” (Luke 10:42). Martha, you have chosen something else.

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This Week in Calvinism – April 24, 2015

  • Calvinism refuted. *Sigh* Again.
  • Calvinism cannot be true because damnation is infinitely evil. Wait…what?
  • Atheists love to make moral arguments about God. Regarding these moral arguments, atheist Reddit user Terraplanetommy notes, “I’ve never really come across one that can’t be jettisoned in favor of the calvinst (sic) viewpoint of god (sic).”
  • Roger Olson praises the book Grace for All: The Arminian Dynamics of Salvation, calling it “a welcome addition to contemporary Arminian literature.” It’s the book about which Terry L. Miethe, former dean of the Oxford Study Centre, said, “I cannot think of a more dangerous unbiblical teaching than Calvinism! I recommend this book highly.” Looks like a must-read.
  • A brief review of the booklet What is Experiential Calvinism? from Pastor Dave.
  • Regarding the purpose and goal of debating and challenging Calvinism, Arminian William Birch writes:

    We believe that Calvinism is error. But we can in no sense whatsoever know objectively if this is God’s absolute truth — that Calvinism objectively is, in fact, error. We must, in humility, confess that we believe that Calvinism is in error, and that Arminian theology rightly divides the word of God’s truth, while also declaring the possibility that we could be wrong. Therefore we do not seek for Calvinism to be entirely eradicated, even if, at the same time, we seek to challenge its assertions and limit its converts. Because if Calvinism is true, and we are, in our fallen state, blind to its truths, then to eradicate Calvinism altogether would be to eradicate the truth of God’s word. Therefore we seek God’s truth, God’s glory, and, of course, a most diverse unity among all believers.

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Kings Of The North And South Update

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Commentary by Jack Kelley

Over the past five years or so I have written several times about the middle eastern kings of Daniel 11 known as the kings of the north and the south. In these studies I’ve shown how these two kings will become prominent again in the end times as the Shiites (king of the north) and the Sunnis (king of the south) vie for supremacy in the Islamic movement. Before getting a look at what’s currently happening in this coming clash, let’s have a quick review of their origins.

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First Resurrection

Ask a Bible Teacher

Q.  Revelation 20:5 refers to the “First Resurrection.” I myself am a Pre-tribber and see the many strong arguments supporting a Pre-trib rapture. However, I can not satisfactorily resolve for myself the fact that Revelation 20:5-6 calls the Post-trib resurrection the “first resurrection” and the Pre-trib rapture seems to be, apparently, not counted as a resurrection for one reason or another. I am much looking forward to your insight on this. Can you clear it up for me?

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The Multitude Of Rev. 7

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Q.  Recently I started reading your book, Understanding Revelation. Coming to chapter 7, you commented that perhaps the multitude of believers that John sees who have come out the great tribulation came to faith from knowing the Rapture had taken place. I have always taken the position that those who heard the Gospel before the Rapture, but rejected it because they did not come to love the truth (2 Thess. 9-12) will then be forced to believe the lie, whom I see as the anti-christ. No doubt there are millions of people who have not heard the Gospel, who will be given the chance to come to faith as a result of the faithful Jewish witnesses of chapter 7.

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Does God Cause Bad Things To Happen?

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Q. My husband is a commuter and listens to the Christian radio station on his way home from work.  Tonight he said there was a preacher on saying that God causes bad things to happen for the “greater good”.  I told him that is a false teacher because God is light and there is no darkness in Him the bible tells us.  We started talking and he brought up things like the flood and Exodus 11, where the first born Egyptian males were killed.  I told him the angel of death killed them not God but then I looked it up.  God
says in verses 4-7 that in essence it was Him.  Then I thought that was the old testament and since Jesus came, it’s different.  But  God is the same and doesn’t change the bible tells us. How exactly do I answer him based on God’s word?

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Another Forgiveness Question

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Q.  I’ve been having thoughts of past hurts in my life caused by others. I have handed it over to God and have forgave them and have prayed for them as well. But at times when things get tough for me I resort back to the past hurts.  I don’t want to blame others and I believe I’ve gained knowledge and strength over it. But since I think of it when things start going wrong or I feel overwhelmed, it makes things worse for me. So is it unforgiveness I’m holding on to or the devil taunting me to make me hurt worse?  I’ve tried everything. Is it a sin if I can’t control it?

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Dominionism

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I recently heard two Christians say, “Who cares when the Rapture occurs?  We should be busy tearing down the devil’s strongholds.”  Something about this really bothered me. Isn’t there a crown for those watching and waiting for Jesus to return?  And doesn’t the devil have his day with the AC until Jesus Himself returns to tear it down?

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Christian Guilt

Q&A-chalkboard

Q.  Hebrews 10:1-2 reads, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.  Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.”

If we flip this verse around it’s also saying, promising actually, the reverse, i.e. that those who have accepted Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf and have accepted Him as Personal Savior will no longer experienced guilt.  Why then are so many Christians tortured with guilt?

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Creflo’s 65 Million Dollar Theological Tantrum

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Program segments:

• Creflo’s 65 Million Dollar Theological Tantrum
• John Hagee Warns of Imminent World Economic Crash
• Bobbie Houston Says Giving Is Our Power
• Patricia King Discusses Divine Wealth
• Sermon Review: Silent Saturday by Brian Houston


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


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GTY Blog: The Unshakable Love of a Godly Husband

Ephesians 5:25-32

Code: B150424

by John MacArthur

Imagine how precarious your relationship with Christ would be if He only loved you when it was convenient for Him, or only when you were most attractive to Him. Everyone knows what it’s like to be loved imperfectly—and, if we’re honest, what it’s like to love someone else imperfectly.

Believers ought to be perpetually grateful that God’s love for us isn’t conditional, and that He loved us even while we rejected Him (Romans 5:8). In Ephesians 2, Paul wrote about God’s transcendent love for us in the midst of our rebellion.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins. . . . Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1-6)

So moments later, when Paul penned the instruction for husbands to love their wives “just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25), he was not speaking about God’s love in vague terms. His original audience understood that he was not telling husbands to love their wives if the wives deserved it, or if the husbands felt like it.

He gave an absolute command. Biblical love is a willful commitment to self-sacrifice, and it is not at all based on how we might “feel” at any point about the object of our love.

Sacrificial Love

A husband who is unwilling to sacrifice for his wife does not even know what true love is. Those who regard their wives as servants under their sovereign headship haven’t begun to appreciate the true biblical pattern for marriage and family. Selfish husbands therefore will never know what it is to have a fulfilled marriage and family. True happiness in marriage is possible only to those who follow the divine pattern.

Properly understood, Ephesians 5:25 demands that the husband die to self. In effect, he is called to crucify himself for the sake of his wife. It’s not talking about some petty sacrifice, such as helping with the dishes now and then. It means the husband must devote his entire life—and quite literally even be willing to die—for the good of his wife.

Remember, genuine love “does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5). The man who is concerned only with getting what he can from marriage is sowing the seeds of destruction in his family. To love your wife as Christ loved the church is to be preoccupied with what you can do for her, not vice versa. After all, Christ loves us not for selfish gain, but because He is a gracious Lord who delights to bestow His favor on us.

Protective Love

The love of a godly man for his wife is not only sacrificial, it also safeguards her purity. Paul said Christ’s sacrifice for the church had this ultimate object in mind: to sanctify and cleanse her “that she would be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:26–27). Her purity was His primary concern.

Likewise, in marriage, it is every husband’s solemn duty to guard his wife’s purity. No one would ever deliberately defile someone he really loves. How could a loving husband ever delight in something that compromises the purity of the one he loves?

On the contrary, the husband who loves his wife as Christ loves the church will naturally hate anything that defiles her. He will guard her from anything and everything that might dishonor her, degrade her, demean her, or tempt her to sin. He will never knowingly lead her into any kind of sin, but protect her against any threat to her virtue. He won’t deliberately provoke or exasperate her so that she succumbs to anger or any other temptation. And he himself will be an example of purity, knowing that whatever defiles him will ultimately defile her too.

Notice the primary way Christ maintains the purity of the church: “by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26). Husbands have a duty to ensure that their wives are regularly exposed to the cleansing and purifying effect of the Word of God. The husband is to be the spiritual leader and priestly guardian of the home. It is his duty to make sure the Word of God is at the center of the home and family. He ought to lead his family in participation in a church where the Word of God is revered and obeyed. And above all, he himself needs to be devoted to the Word of God and proficient enough in handling the Scriptures that he can be the true spiritual head in the marriage (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:34–35).

Caring Love

Genuine love also involves tender care, and Paul expressed that idea this way: “Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies” (Ephesians 5:28). We take care of our bodies constantly—giving them whatever food, clothing, comfort, recreation, relaxation, or rest they need. We’re attentive to our own bodies, concerned with their needs, sensitive and responsive to whatever they desire.

That is the kind of love Paul commanded husbands to show their wives. Notice, once again, Scripture is not describing love only as an emotion. This sort of love is active, voluntary, dynamic—something we do, not something we passively “feel.”

It’s only reasonable that a man would love his wife the way he loves his own body, because in marriage, “the two . . . become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31). That is the way God designed marriage. Paul was actually quoting from Genesis 2:24, which describes how God first ordained marriage itself. It applies universally and it has been true from the beginning. Husbands ought to love their wives with the same care they give to their own bodies because, after all, the two are one flesh.

Enduring Love

Since the husband’s love for his wife pictures Christ’s love for the church, it must also be the kind of love that outlasts every trial and overcomes every obstacle. When Christ was questioned about divorce, He quoted the same verse Paul referenced from Genesis, then underscored the permanence of the union: “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

Every marriage is consummated in an earthly sense by a physical union: “The two shall become one flesh.” Children conceived by that union will literally bear the genetic pattern of two people who have become one flesh. But marriage also involves a spiritual union. God is the one who joins husband and wife together. Marriage is the union of two souls knitted together in every aspect of life. Their emotions, intellects, personalities, desires, and life goals are inextricably bound together.

Naturally, then, God also designed marriage to be a permanent union, unbroken and uncorrupted. The biblical terminology of Ephesians 5:31 stresses the permanence of the marriage union: “A man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife.” The word translated “be joined to” is a Greek term (proskolla) that literally speaks of gluing something together. It describes a permanent, unbreakable bond. That is an apt description of God’s ideal for marriage. It’s a union held together by lasting love that absolutely refuses to let go.

Christlike Love

Scripture is clear: God’s plan for the family begins with life-long monogamous marriage, which is grounded in sacrificial love. Why is this of such supreme importance? Paul gave the answer in Ephesians 5:32: “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” In other words, the husband’s love for his wife is a sacred duty because of what it illustrates.

Christ is the heavenly Bridegroom and the church is His bride (Revelation 19:7–8; 21:9). Because marriage pictures that union, the husband must be Christlike in his love for the wife, and she must be submissive to his headship. Otherwise, the divine object lesson is destroyed.

What higher motive could there be for a husband to love his wife? By loving her as Christ loved the church, he honors Christ in the most direct and graphic way. He becomes the embodiment of Christ’s love to his own wife, a living example to the rest of his family, a channel of blessing to his entire household, and a powerful testimony to a watching world.

(Adapted from The Fulfilled Family)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150424
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Ryan T. Anderson: background on the same-sex marriage case before the Supreme Court

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

This Daily Signal article is a great summary of everything that a lay-person like me or you ought to know about the case that is going to be decided by the Supreme Court.

Here are a few of the points I thought were most interesting:

2. The overarching question before the Supreme Court is not whether a male–female marriage policy is the best, but only whether it is allowed by the Constitution. The question is not whether government-recognized same-sex marriage is good or bad policy, but only whether it is required by the Constitution.

Those suing to overturn male-female marriage laws thus have to prove that the man–woman marriage policy that has existed in the United States throughout our entire history is prohibited by the Constitution. They cannot successfully so argue.

3. As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito pointed out two years ago, there are two different visions of what…

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William Lane Craig debates Alex Rosenberg: Does God Exist? Video, audio and summary

Originally posted on Wintery Knight:

Below, please find my summary of the Craig-Rosenberg debate, which occurred on February 1st, 2013 at Purdue University.

Brian Auten has posted the MP3 audio of the debate at Apologetics 315.

The debaters

Below is the summary.

Dr. Craig’s opening speech:

The topic: What are the arguments that make belief in God reasonable or unreasonable?
First speech: arguments for reasonableness of belief in God
Second speech: respond to arguments against reasonableness of belief in God

Eight arguments:

  1. Contingency argument: God – a transcendent, personal being – is the explanation of why a contingent universe exists.
  2. Cosmological argument: God is the cause of the beginning of the universe, which is attested by physics and cosmology.
  3. Applicability of mathematics to nature: God is the best explanation for the applicability of mathematics to nature.
  4. Fine-tuning argument: God is the best explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe to…

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The Biological Basis For Religion?

Originally posted on The Reformed Reader:

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Douglas Groothuis’ Christian Apologetics has many strong points.  One part I appreciated was his section on neurotheology, which is the study of the biological basis for religious beliefs.  Some scientists today believe that religious beliefs (e.g. belief in God) can be explained “on the basis of certain functions in the brain.”  In other words, the only reason people have religious beliefs is because of the way our brains work – there is no external or objective basis for religion and faith.  Religion is a figment of our biological and neuro makeup – so they say.

The first thing Groothuis mentions about this is that it is begging the question since these scientists start with a materialistic presupposition: “Since we know there is no God and no sacred realm (all is material), we need to explain (and explain away) why so many have religious…

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April 25, 2015 Daily Devotional Guide Collection

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April 25

HE LIVES

Alfred H. Ackley, 1887–1960

He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. (Matthew 28:6)

“Why should I worship a dead Jew?”

This challenging question was posed by a sincere young Jewish student who had been attending evangelistic meetings conducted by the author and composer of this hymn, Alfred H. Ackley. In his book, Forty Gospel Hymn Stories, George W. Sanville records Mr. Ackley’s answer to this searching question, which ultimately prompted the writing of this popular gospel hymn:

He lives! I tell you, He is not dead, but lives here and now! Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as the testimony of countless thousands.

Mr. Sanville continues:

Mr. Ackley’s forthright, emphatic answer, together with his subsequent triumphant effort to win the man for Christ, flowered forth into song and crystallized into a convincing sermon on “He Lives!” In his re-reading of the resurrections of the Gospels, the words “He is risen” struck him with new meaning. From the thrill within his own soul came the convincing song—“He Lives!” The scriptural evidence, his own heart, and the testimony of history matched the glorious experience of an innumerable cloud of witnesses that “He Lives,” so he sat down at the piano and voiced that conclusion in song. He says, “The thought of His ever-living presence brought the music promptly and easily.”

The hymn first appeared in Triumphant Service Songs, a hymnal published by the Rodeheaver Company in 1933. It has been a favorite with evangelical congregations since that time.

I serve a risen Savior; He’s in the world today; I know that He is living, whatever men may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him He’s always near.

In all the world around me I see His loving care, and tho my heart grows weary I never will despair; I know that He is leading thru all the stormy blast; the day of His appearing will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King! The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find, none other is so loving, so good and kind.

Chorus: He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart ! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

For Today: Job 19:25; Romans 6:9, 10; Philippians 3:10, 11; Revelation 1:18

Determine to greet everyone in such a way that they will know unmistakably that Jesus is alive and living in your life. Sing as you go—[1]


April 25: Bound for the Promised Land

Joshua 14:1–15:63; 2 Corinthians 11:16–23; Psalm 54:1–7

Faith is not just about being faithful; it’s also about trusting in God’s faithfulness.

For years God dealt with the confused and waning nature of His people while they were in the wilderness. They wondered, “Will God actually do what Moses has told us?” They had seen God repeatedly act on their behalf, but they continued to grow frightened and faithless. In return, the first generation that left Egypt never saw the promises of God. Instead, a later generation witnessed His faithfulness.

In Joshua 14:1–15:63, we see God fulfilling His words. Caleb and Joshua get a chance to witness this faithfulness, but the Hebrews who doubted that God would act on their behalf did not (Josh 14:6–15; also see Num 13:25–14:45). This is an incredible moment: these two men had watched the failures of their elders and led their peers and people younger than them so that they could witness the faithfulness of God together. You can almost hear them singing, “It is well with my soul.”

Faith is a two-way street. We are to be faithful, but we must also have faith in God’s faithfulness. God will do what He has told us He will do. He will act upon His word like He did with Joshua and Caleb.

We will be able to look back upon the events in our lives and say, as the psalmist does, “I will freely sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Yahweh, because it is good. Because he has delivered me from all trouble” (Psa 54:6–7).

Since we know that day will come, why should we not freely sacrifice to Him now? He will overcome our opposition. Why should we not boldly proclaim, as the old hymn says, “I am bound for the promised land,” and use it as leverage to say, “God will be faithful, so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be”?

God has bound us to His faithfulness; Christ’s death and resurrection shows that He blesses us beyond measure. So let’s be bound to God with the knowledge that we are bound for the heavens that He has promised.

In what ways has God been faithful to you? How can these moments be a reminder to you now to be faithful?

John D. Barry[2]


April 25

Intro

Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Psalm 91 through 95. Our lesson is from Psalm 95:1–2, “O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” (NASU)

Lesson

Today’s psalm is about praise and worship. But it also warns the people of God not to imitate Israel’s murmuring at Meribah when they tested the Lord. Let’s look at these verses.

The psalmist’s first invitation is to sing to the Lord. The Psalms are songs. Sometimes we do not realize the importance of music and especially song. All cultures have songs, although some may appear to sound strange to our ears. Songs are an expression of the heart. The beauty of the Psalms is that in the hands of a capable composer, they can be sung in many different cultures. These different cultural expressions anointed by the Holy Spirit are wonderful ways to spread the kingdom of God.

The psalmist’s second invitation is to shout joyfully to the Lord. Just like other songs, some are joyful and upbeat; others express sadness or any other human emotion. But this psalm is a summons to shout joyfully. It is an animated way of demonstrating an interior emotion. Some people do not care for this enthusiasm or think that a church service must be somber. There is room for both. At times solitude and quietness are appropriate. At other times, celebration should be expressed. In all, we must make sure that respect and honor of God prevail.

The psalmist’s last invitation is to show gratitude to the Lord. Thanksgiving is a display of genuinely being appreciative of what the Lord has done for us. There are so many things to be grateful for. Just take a moment to reflect on God’s grace and mercy in your life. You’ll probably have a list a mile long! There is no way that we could ever repay Him for what He has done for us. He truly is an unbelievably generous and giving God!

Let’s summarize. The psalmist’s invitation is to sing to the Lord. The psalmist’s invitation is to shout joyfully to the Lord. And the psalmist’s invitation is to show gratitude to the Lord.

May we be a people who love to praise and worship the Lord in all circumstances and in diverse ways. Let us not be limited by our own cultural expressions in worship.

Try to find a psalm sung in another language and listen to it. Another suggestion is to see if you can locate a recording of a psalm with a Middle Eastern flavor to it. Learn to appreciate different cultural expressions. Enjoy praising the Lord!

End

It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Psalm 96 through 100. 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]


April 25

Messengers of Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

✧✧✧

You are a messenger of peace!

When Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,” He was referring to a special group of people whom God called to restore the peace that was forfeited because of sin. They may not be politicians, statesmen, diplomats, kings, presidents, or Nobel prize winners, but they hold the key to true and lasting peace.

As a Christian, you are among that select group of peacemakers. As such you have two primary responsibilities. The first is to help others make peace with God. There is no greater privilege. The best way to do that is to preach the gospel of peace with clarity, so people understand their alienation from God and seek reconciliation. Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!” The early church preached peace through Christ, and that is your privilege as well.

Your second responsibility is to help reconcile believers to one another. That’s a very important issue to God. He won’t accept worship from those who are at odds with each other. They must first deal with the conflict (Matt. 5:23–24). That is especially true within a family. Peter warned husbands to treat their wives properly so their prayers wouldn’t be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).

Peacemakers don’t avoid spiritual conflicts. Rather, they speak the truth in love and allow the Spirit to minister through them to bring reconciliation. If you see someone who is alienated from God, you are to present him or her with the gospel of peace. If you see two Christians fighting, you are to do everything you can to help them resolve their differences in a righteous manner.

Of course, to be an effective peacemaker you must maintain your own peace with God. Sin in your life will disrupt peace and will prevent you from dispensing God’s peace to others. Therefore continually guard your heart and confess your sin so God can use you as His peacemaker.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray for those close to you who don’t know Christ. Take every opportunity to tell them of God’s peace.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 5:17–21. ✧ How did Paul describe the ministry of reconciliation? ✧ What was Christ’s role in reconciling man to God?[4]


April 25

Doing Our Part

I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.

Psalm 40:8

What is the way out of a circumstance created by an unwise decision? A wise decision. And who is primarily responsible for meeting the need? The person who has made the unwise decision.

What is God’s role in this?… I believe that God will give daily guidance to any person who requests it, and that He will give courage, fortitude, and willpower to any person who requests these qualities.…

He will not do our part, but He will assist us so that our efforts will succeed and we will have both the courage and the endurance necessary to see a problem resolved fully or a need fully met.[5]


April 25

The Risen Christ

Scripture reading: Acts 2:23–24, 32–36

Key verse: 2 Timothy 2:9

The word of God is not chained.

In her book, Shadow of the Almighty, Elisabeth Elliot offers penetrating insights into the life of her husband and missionary martyr, Jim Elliot. Ever the seeker, Elliot disliked any attempt to contain or confine the fires of God in the human life. He wrote this while a student at Wheaton College:

2 Timothy 2:9 says, “The word of God is not bound.” Systematic theology—be careful how you tie down the Word to fit your set and final creeds, systems, dogmas, and organized theistic philosophies!

The Word of God is not bound! It’s free to say what it will to the individual and no one can outline it into dispensations which cannot be broken. Don’t get it down “cold,” but let it live—fresh, warm, and vibrant—so that the world is not binding ponderous books about it, but rather the world is shackling you for having allowed it to have free course in your life.

Although Jesus was not a revolutionary, what He began on Resurrection Sunday has transformed millions of men and women through the centuries.

When you are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, you are filled with the power of the risen Christ. You are joined with a Savior with whom nothing is impossible. Never be surprised at what He will do next.

Father, I claim the power of the risen Christ in my life. Renew my strength by Your Spirit.[6]


April 25

Staying Alive

But made alive in the spirit.

1 Peter 3:18, nasb

Today’s verse makes a specific reference to the life of Jesus’ spirit—it does not refer to the Holy Spirit. The apostle Peter is contrasting what happened to the flesh (or body) of Jesus with what happened to His spirit. His spirit was alive but His flesh was dead.

Some think “made alive in the spirit” refers to Christ’s physical resurrection, but that would necessitate a statement like, “He was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the flesh.” The resurrection was a spiritual and physical occurrence. Thus Peter’s point has to be that though Christ was physically dead, His spirit was still alive.

On the cross, Christ’s spirit experienced brief separation from God. He said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46). The separation ended quickly, however, for shortly after our Lord’s lament, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46). Then, His spirit was no longer separated from God; it was committed to the Father.[7]


April 25        God Is for You

scripture reading:
Romans 8:31–39

key verse:
Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Not only is God’s Spirit in you, but also God is for you. There are amazing power and freedom in knowing that almighty God is now on your side.

Have you blown your marriage due to immorality? If you are a believer, God is still for you.

Have you backed off from your commitment to God? Have you ignored His counsel, refused His direction? As staggering as it seems, God is still for you.

Here’s why. When Christ died, God’s judgment was fully executed on His Son. His wrath against sin was vented. God’s love is steadfast for those who receive the gift of eternal life by faith in Christ Jesus. You may sin and rebel, but His love for you does not change.

Yes, He will discipline you; yes, He will chastise you if necessary. But all correction is filtered through His loyal, blessed love.

God is for you, not against you. Because of the Cross, you can abide in His presence permanently and experience His love by personal faith in Jesus Christ. Paul declared that nothing can “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).

Thank You, Father, that even when my commitment to You is feeble, You are still for me. Thank You that nothing can separate me from Your love.[8]


April 25

Contentment in All Circumstances

Scripture reading: Philippians 4:11–19

Key verse: Philippians 4:19

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Our materially oriented culture is programmed to generate discontentment. That is why each year brings new cars, new fashions, new improvements, all designed to make us dissatisfied with our present status or possessions.

Cultivating contentment in the Christian life begins with understanding that things never define your value. Your job, neighborhood, or net worth does not figure into God’s equation for value and worth. Your value lies in your priceless relationship with God as your Father.

Still more, you can counter the anxious and stressful tug of discontentment with a solid understanding of several basic scriptural truths.

God cares for you. Because you are His child, He has assumed responsibility for providing for your emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. He will do so as you trust Him without reservation while you go about the routine tasks of each day.

God is in control. When a job is terminated, a mate quits, a friend deserts, God is quietly but sovereignly at work for your good. You are not a victim of the economy or another’s decision.

You can be content in any circumstance when you are sure of God’s unceasing care and absolute control of every detail. Rest in His ability, and contentment will follow.

Father, I am so thankful that You are in control of every circumstance of my life. You care for me and have assumed responsibility for me as Your child.[9]


April 25

Forever Is Guaranteed

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:26

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

It’s a cold winter day. The canvas awning under which you sit flaps roughly. The people behind you cry silently. Those gathered around the sides are red-eyed and somber.

In front of you a preacher stands next to the casket of your loved one—the one with whom you ate, laughed, walked, and communed for all these years.

Long minutes pass. It is over. Friends hug you; the preacher consoles you; and you return to your car for the lonely trip home.

In this setting of grim, undeniable reality lie the profound and majestic hope, comfort, and assurance of the Christian faith—forever set in the scriptural jewel of John 11:25 (nasb): “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.”

Death isn’t the final act. It isn’t the ultimate farewell scene.

Because Jesus confronted death and emerged the Victor, we who believe in Him also will live—even though we die. Because of Christ’s resurrection, our forever is guaranteed. Our faith is valid; our hope is sure; our expectations are fulfilled. Christ, the Death Slayer, has won the ultimate battle and invites all who believe in Him to experience the delightful fruit of His victory—eternal life.

Dear God, I praise You that my forever is guaranteed. My spiritual journey will not end with death. It will continue for eternity.[10]


April 25

After the Cross

Scripture Reading: John 14:16–19

Key Verse: John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

It is possible that we can walk away from the Holy Spirit’s control and endure a life that is less than Spirit filled. This is one of the reasons many believers endure defeated lives even after experiencing great joy for a period after salvation.

The Spirit-filled life is not about how much of the Holy Spirit a believer can gain. At salvation, God indwells you fully, forever, with His Holy Spirit. The Spirit-filled life is about how much of you the Holy Spirit can gain.

Many believers are defeated because they have not been properly taught about the Holy Spirit. Some refer to the Holy Spirit as an “it” and fail to recognize Him as a person. He is a person of the Trinity who comes into the life of the believer at the moment of salvation. There doesn’t have to be an accompanying experience, feeling, or manifestation.

The Bible clearly states that the Holy Spirit is a person, and God is not going to equip you with a partial person or with a person who darts in and out of your life based on your successes or failures in the Christian walk. But if we are not taught properly, or if we burn out by attempting to walk and serve in our own power, we naturally are going to become discouraged and defeated.

Praise the Lord that the role of the Spirit is to enable us to live as God desires, after our lives are changed at the Cross.

Holy Spirit, help me to seek not what I can get from You, but what Your power can enable me to do for You.[11]


April 25

The Resurrection: So What?

“If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most to be pitied.”

1 Corinthians 15:19

✧✧✧

Without Christ’s resurrection, our individual Christian lives would be pathetic exercises in futility.

In ancient times the strongest swimmer among the sailors on a ship was called the archegos, a Greek word that means “front–runner” or “pioneer.” If as the ship approached shore, it got caught in waves so strong that a safe landing was doubtful, the archegos would fasten one end of a long rope to the ship, tie the other end around himself, jump into the water, and guide the ship to land. Once on land, he would secure the rope to a rock or tree. Then the other passengers could disembark and use the rope as a safety tether to reach the shore.

Jesus is our archegos. If He didn’t overcome death and make a way possible for us to do the same, we would have nothing more to look forward to than life on earth, which would leave us with no brighter hope than the typical unbeliever (Rom. 6:23).

The archegos illustration shows us once again the crucial importance of Christ’s rising from the grave. Without the Resurrection, Christianity loses its doctrinal strength, as we saw in yesterday’s study. Furthermore, the Christian life would become futile and pathetic if we could not point to the truth of the Resurrection. If our Lord were still in the tomb, He could not help us regarding eternity or our earthly ministry. We would have nothing to justify our efforts in Bible study, preaching, teaching, witnessing, or any activity of Christian service.

However, God the Father did raise “Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom. 4:24–25). Because Christ lives, we too shall live (John 14:19). This great certainty should give us all the confidence and motivation we’ll ever want or need as we serve our Lord and risen Savior, Jesus Christ.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Based on the reality of the Resurrection, ask God today to give you fresh incentive to be His faithful servant.

For Further Study: Read Luke 24:1–12. What immediate effect did knowledge of Jesus’ resurrection have on Mary Magdalene and the other women? ✧ How did their reaction differ from most of the disciples’?[12]


April 25

Numbers 2; Psalm 36; Ecclesiastes 12; Philemon

Among the insights the Psalms convey, some of the most penetrating deal with the nature of wickedness and of wicked people. Rarely are these put into abstract categories. They are almost always functional and relational.

What lies at the heart of the “sinfulness of the wicked”? “There is no fear of God before his eyes” (Ps. 36:1). This means something more than that the wicked person is foolishly unafraid of the punishment that God will finally mete out (though it does not mean less than that). It means that the wicked are so blind that they do not see the ultimate realities. They either do not see God at all, or, scarcely less horribly, they do not see God as he is.

All appropriate behavior and outlook for human beings made in the image of God find their reference point and measure in God himself. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of both knowledge (Prov. 1:7) and wisdom (Prov. 9:10), for “knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). The converse is utter folly: “fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Prov. 1:7). Small wonder the psalmist insists that it is the fool who says, “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1). Scarcely less foolish is the conjuring up of domesticated gods we can manage, or of savage gods that are brutal and immoral, or of impersonal gods that depersonalize God’s image-bearers. When one is blind to the true God, including his glorious holiness that must rightly instill fear in image-bearers as rebellious as we, there is no stopping place in our descent into the abyss of folly.

The blindness of the wicked extends to their assessment of themselves. “For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin” (Ps. 36:2). If he could see well enough to detect his sin, to see it for what it is—rebellion against the living God—and hate it for its sheer vileness and utter arrogance before the majestic holiness of his Maker, inevitably he would also fear God. The twin blindnesses are one.

This, of course, is why philosophical debates about the existence of God can never be resolved by reason alone. It is not that God is unreasonable, still less that he has left himself without witness. Rather, the tragedy and ignominy of human sin leave us, apart from God’s grace, horribly blind. Yet this blindness is culpable blindness: the wicked have no fear of God before their eyes. Paul understands the point so well that he makes this the culminating proof-text in his proof of human lostness (Rom. 3:18). Thank God for the next thirteen verses the apostle pens.[13]


April 25

Numbers 2; Psalm 36; Ecclesiastes 12; Philemon

Although the teacher never arrives at the fullness of perspective that characterizes the writers of the new covenant Scriptures, his skepticism now shrinks as he encourages some fundamental stances that depend absolutely on a just God who knows the end from the beginning, even if we do not. In this vein, he has already told his readers two things: (a) refuse to live just for today; boldly invest in the future, remembering that this world is God’s (11:1–6); (b) live gratefully and joyfully with the good gifts you have received (11:7–10).

In Ecclesiastes 12, Qoheleth offers one final exhortation: be godly, beginning in your youth; for whether or not we find meaning “from below,” we may be certain that God brings everything to judgment. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (12:1), the Teacher writes. To “remember” God is not simply to recall the bare fact of his existence, but to abandon all illusions of independence and self-sufficiency as God regains his rightful centrality in our lives. God made everything, he alone sees the entire pattern, he is the One who has put eternity into our hearts (3:11). He is the One who made everything good, and we are the ones who have done so much damage with our schemes (7:29).

So remember him, Qoheleth exhorts us, “before the days of trouble come” (12:1)—and then in graphic terms he spells out what old age looks like. In advanced years we may no longer find pleasure in our days (12:1). We reach the winter of life (12:2); we become like an old, decaying house, falling apart, with only a few relics left (12:3). Our hearing fades (12:4b); instead of robust walking or skipping over rocks, we are afraid of heights and fearful of being jostled in the streets. The almond tree has a dark head in winter and turns white with spring blossoms, just as our hair turns white (12:5). Suffering from arthritis and worn-out joints, we hobble along like an ungainly grasshopper (12:5). The silver cord is probably the spinal cord, the golden bowl the skull; the pitcher is the heart: everything decays, and we return to the dust from which we sprang—as God himself, this side of the curse, has said we would (Gen. 3:19). It is far from clear that by “our eternal home” (12:5) and “the spirit returns to God who gave it” (12:7) Qoheleth means everything that New Testament writers mean by such expressions, yet even he is now quite certain that “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing” (12:14). So, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (12:13).[14]

 


April 25 – A Perspective on Non-Retaliation

“‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, do not resist an evil person’” (Matthew 5:38–39).

Christians are to “resist the devil” (James 4:7; cf. 1 Peter 5:9) and all that his evil world system stands for (Matt. 6:13; Rom. 12:9; 1 Thess. 5:22). This proves that, although Jesus refuted the Jewish leaders’ wrong teaching that people should take revenge in personal matters, our Lord did not teach that His followers simply had to tolerate all sorts of sinful misconduct and evil.

The resistance of evil and wrong, if done properly, will occur within the church. Jesus’ instruction on church discipline concludes with this command: “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matt. 18:17; cf. 1 Tim. 5:20). A sinning member who rejects one-on-one reproof as well as reproof from two or three others and from the entire church must be excluded from the fellowship. Concerning unrepentant immorality in the church, Paul instructed—quoting the Old Testament—“Remove the wicked man from among yourselves” (1 Cor. 5:13).

In contrast to this, Jesus clarifies that His followers must not resist or take vengeance regarding supposed harm done to them personally. Such retaliation has no place in society at large, much less among Christians. Paul later wrote, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone” (Rom. 12:17; cf. v. 19). Instead, God calls us to overcome others’ bad treatment of us by doing good to them (Rom. 12:21).

Ask Yourself

What are the main reasons for this kind of rebuke and discipline? What are its goals and objectives? When do circumstances become necessary to perform it?

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:

Judges 15:1–16:31
Psalm 51:1-6
Proverbs 14:31-32
Luke 18:1-23
Notes:

Judges 16:20 he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. Here was the tragedy of the wrath of abandonment. His sin had caused him to forfeit the power of God’s presence. This principle is seen throughout Scripture (Gen. 6:3; Prov. 1:24–31; Matt. 15:14; Rom. 1:24–32).

Judges 16:24 they praised their god. It is tragic when a person’s sin contributes to the unsaved community’s giving praise to a false god, for God alone is worthy of praise.

Psalm 51:1 lovingkindness. Even though he had sinned horribly, David knew that forgiveness was available, based on God’s covenant love.

Psalm 51:4 Against You, You only. David realized what every believer seeking forgiveness must, that even though he had tragically wronged Bathsheba and Uriah, his ultimate crime was against God and His holy law (see 2 Sam.11:27).

Psalm 51:5 brought forth in iniquity. David also acknowledged that his sin was not God’s fault in any way (vv.4b, 6) nor was it some aberration. Rather, the source of David’s sin was a fallen, sinful disposition, his since conception.

DAY 25: Why is human righteousness so insufficient for salvation?

The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9–14 is rich with truth about the doctrine of justification by faith. It illustrates perfectly how a sinner who is utterly devoid of personal righteousness may be declared righteous before God instantaneously through an act of repentant faith. The parable is addressed to Pharisees who trusted their own righteousness (vv. 10, 11). Such confidence in one’s inherent righteousness is a damning hope (see Rom. 10:3; Phil. 3:9), because human righteousness—even the righteousness of the most fastidious Pharisee—falls short of the divine standard (Matt. 5:48). Scripture consistently teaches that sinners are justified when God’s perfect righteousness is imputed to their account (see Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:4, 5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:4–9)—and it was only on that basis that this tax collector (or anyone else) could be saved.

For the Pharisee to fast twice a week (v. 12) was more than is required by any biblical standard. By exalting his own works, the Pharisee revealed that his entire hope lay in his not being as bad as someone else. He utterly lacked any sense of his own unworthiness and sin.

The tax collector’s humility is notable in everything about his posture and behavior (v. 13). Here was a man who had been made to face the reality of his own sin, and his only response was abject humility and repentance. He contrasts with the Pharisee in virtually every detail. “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” He had no hope but the mercy of God. This is the point to which the law aims to bring every sinner (see Rom. 3:19, 20; 7:13; Gal 3:22–24). He was “justified” (v. 14), i.e., reckoned righteous before God by means of an imputed righteousness.

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.


 

[1] Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (pp. 128–129). 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. 128). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[5] Stanley, C. F. (2004). God’s way day by day (p. 126). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 120). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 130). 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. 120). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[10] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 120). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 120). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[13] 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.

[14] 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.

April 24, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

Be careful what books you read, for as water tastes of the soil it runs though, so does the soul taste of the authors that a man reads. —John Trapp

Print


Apr. 24, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on same-sex marriage, Senator Ted Cruz has filed two bills to protect states that bar gay couples from marrying.

Purchases of new U.S. homes slumped more than forecast in March from a seven-year high, a sign progress in the industry will be halting. Sales dropped 11.4 percent to a four-month low.

The number of Americans getting fired is hovering near the lowest levels in almost 15 years, indicating the slowdown in hiring last month will prove temporary. An average 284,500 workers a week filed claims for jobless benefits over the past month.

The debut of Apple Inc.’s first new device in five years is looking more like an event from the fashion world rather than the tech world. This time, there won’t be long lines of faithful gadget lovers waiting for hours and days to buy the latest product. The Apple Watch ranges in price from $349 to $17,000 for a gold version. Apple Stores are only showcasing the device, and the company is urging customers to place orders online.

The chances of Greece missing some of its debt payments in the coming weeks are 40 percent, while the probability of an exit from the 19-nation currency bloc stands at 30 percent, according to median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of 29 economists. Almost four in five respondents said a default won’t trigger an exit.

Orders for business equipment unexpectedly fell in March for a seventh consecutive month, a sign business investment will remain sluggish.

AP Top Stories

The 100th anniversary of the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire will be commemorated on April 24, and Pope Francis recently referred to it officially as “the first genocide of the 20th century.” The mass killings, which began in 1915, have long been a topic of controversy between Turkey and Armenia.

The students of Johns Hopkins University have a message for Chick-fil-A: No, thank you. The university’s Student Government Association approved a resolution this week saying that university officials should pick “other non-discriminatory options” and rule out any “current and future Chick-fil-A development plans” if searching for new dining vendors on campus.

The killing of an American who directed al Qaeda’s media campaign from his Pakistani hideout is likely to be a blow for the militants, especially as they wage a propaganda war with Islamic State.

An Iranian ship convoy suspected of carrying weapons for Shiite rebels in Yemen has turned back, US officials said, as Saudi-led warplanes kept up air strikes on the anti-government forces.

Indonesia is expected to soon execute by firing squad a group of 10 convicts, most of them foreigners, for drug offences on the prison island of Nusakambangan in Central Java.

Taliban insurgents shot rockets onto a U.S. base outside Kabul and targeted Afghan government buildings in a provincial capital on Friday, as they officially launched their spring offensive in a year that has already seen fierce fighting.

Nigerian troops were forced to retreat from Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold in the restive northeast after a landmine blast killed one soldier and three vigilantes.

The parents of Teddy Houlston, a twin boy born without a brain, decided to donate his organs when he died just 100 minutes after his birth, making him the youngest organ donor in Britain.

The chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday called Hillary Rodham Clinton to testify at a public hearing next month, setting up a high-profile showdown over the Democratic presidential candidate’s use of a private email account and server while she was secretary of state.

The trial of German former SS officer Oskar Groening, dubbed the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, heard horrific descriptions Wednesday of the Nazi death camp, from prisoners’ arrivals to grisly “medical” experiments.

One of Greece’s largest banks says it will wipe away the debts of clients who owe up to $21,600 in a one-off gesture to ease the burden on its crisis-hit customers.

Saudi Arabia has a response to the global surplus of oil: Raise output to near-record levels and then pump even more.

BBC

David Petraeus, a retired US four-star general and former CIA director, has been put on probation and fined for leaking material to his mistress. He was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $100,000.

The man accused of captaining a boat that capsized off Libya with the loss of more than 750 lives has appeared in court on the Italian island of Sicily.

Russia and Argentina have signed a series of framework agreements on economic and energy co-operation following talks in Moscow.

Niger has begun a mass vaccination campaign as it struggles to control a meningitis outbreak that has now killed 129 people.

WND

Underneath the bubbling geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming sits a volcanic hot spot that has driven some of the largest eruptions on Earth. Geoscientists have now completely imaged the subterranean plumbing system and have found not just one, but two magma chambers underneath the giant volcano.

Any New Jersey school that fails to have 95 percent of its students take the PARCC exams will be placed on a corrective action plan, and schools with especially high opt-out rates could have state funding withheld.

One week before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on the controversial issue, The New England Journal of Medicine, published since 1812, oldest medical journal in the U.S., has taken an editorial position in support of same-sex marriage.


3 Earthquakes Rattle Northern Idaho
Three Earthquakes were recorded near Sandpoint, ID Thursday night and early Friday Morning. The most recent was a magnitude 3.3 recorded at 1:28 AM Friday morning 8 miles East Southeast of Sandpoint, ID.   

Researchers Discover New Tick-Borne Disease
Ticks can carry more than Lyme disease, as a newly published study reminds us. Researchers from China and the University of Maryland School of Medicine uncovered a previously unknown tick-borne illness after last spring examining 477 Chinese patients who had suffered tick bites.   

Iranian Warships Halt near Yemen Port
Iranian warships neared the southern Yemen port of Aden Thursday despite the presence of several U.S. warships in the area as well. It is believed the Iranian vessels are carrying weapons to re-arm the Shiite Houthi rebels who have seized control over the port city and the nation’s capital, Sa’ana. The Iranian vessels since have stopped approaching Aden, but reports that they have turned back have not been confirmed,.   

Russia Backs Down and Says Iran Won’t Get S300 System in ‘Near Future’
Russia has backed down on delivering the advanced S-300 advanced anti-missile system to Iran in the “near future,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Russian media on Thursday Moscow announced two weeks ago that it was lifting the bean of selling Iran the S-300, causing “concern” in Washington and fierce anger in Jerusalem. Netanyahu told Russian president Vladimir Putin last week that Israel would bomb the S-300 systems if Iran were to ship them to Syria or the Hezbollah in Lebanon.   

Poll Shows Most People Don’t Trust Clinton
A Quinnipiac University published on Thursday revealed that only 38 percent of the respondents trust Clinton, while a majority of 54 percent thinks she is not honest or trustworthy.   

Dear Churches in America: Prepare to Be Treated Like 1st Century Christians in Rome
The United States Supreme Court may soon liberate the biblically conservative church from old “prejudices” that should have long ago been “jettisoned,” forcing it into “rightly bowing to the enlightenments of modernity,” in the words of a recent writer in The New York Times.   

Taliban launch spring offensive with rocket attack on US base
Taliban insurgents shot rockets onto a US base outside Kabul and targeted Afghan government buildings in a provincial capital on Friday, as they officially launched their spring offensive in a year that has already seen fierce fighting.   

Evolutionary Embarrassment: Part of Famous ‘Ape-Man’ Skeleton Actually Came from Baboon
Last week, scientists announced that the famous skeleton includes at least one bone that likely came from a baboon. According to New Scientist, Gary Sawyer and Mike Smith at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, along with New York University’s Scott Williams, came to this conclusion after they analyzed the Lucy specimen and “noticed something odd.” “Mike pointed out that one of the [vertebra] fragments, which no one, including me, had really paid close attention to, looked fairly small to fit with the rest of Lucy’s vertebral column,” Williams said.   

German parliament to label mass killing of Armenians as genocide
Germany’s parliamentary speaker says the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks 100 years ago was genocide, saying Germany’s own past makes it important to speak out.   

Italian Police Foil Al Qaeda Attack on Vatican
Police raids in Italy may have been targeting 18 Al Qaeda-linked suspects who were planning an attack on the Vatican, a state prosecutor revealed Friday. Chief Prosecutor Mauro Mura revealed to Reuters that the suspects had been planning a bomb attack at the Catholic spiritual center and that a suicide bomber had arrived in Rome.   

VOLCANIC LIGHTNING
For the first time in more than 42 years, the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile has erupted. Two blasts in 24 hours on April 22nd sent plumes of ash and volcanic gases shooting at least 33,000 feet high, well into the altitudes where planes fly. One of the eruptions occured at night and put on a spectacular display of volcanic lightning:   

Strong earthquake rocks New Zealand
A strong 5.9-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand on Friday, seismologists said, panicking shoppers and residents but causing no major damage.   

Winter makes an annoying comeback with late April snow
Late April is starting to feel more like mid-winter for many parts of the U.S. this week. The Great Lakes and Northeast woke up to snow on Thursday morning and for some, it was actually the fourth day in a row of the wintry weather. Since Sunday, it has snowed in at least 23 states, as far south as New Mexico, according to the national snow analysis from the National Weather Service.   

Peering Inside Yellowstone’s Supervolcano
A giant reservoir of magma and hot rock beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano has been found and imaged. The newly found reservoir lies 12-28 miles below the surface, and is four-and-a-half times larger than the shallower, hot melted rock zone that powers current Yellowstone geysers and caused the caldera’s last eruption some 70,000 years ago.   

Yemen conflict: Over 115 children killed, UN says
At least 115 children have been killed and 172 maimed in a month of fighting and air strikes in Yemen, the UN children’s agency Unicef says. About half were killed by coalition bombing, the agency said, and others by mines, gunshots, and shelling. The Saudi-led coalition has continued air strikes on rebel forces, despite announcing the end of its air campaign.   

Calbuco volcano blankets towns in Chile with ash
Residents and emergency workers in southern Chile have been clearing ash that rained down on towns after an eruption of the Calbuco volcano. The volcano, which had been dormant for four decades, erupted on Wednesday, sending a plume of smoke and ash 10km (6 miles) into the sky. Authorities evacuated people living within a 21km (13 mile) radius.   

Ongoing tensions over Temple Mount stoked by Jordanian-funded carpet
Tensions over limited Israeli archeological preservation and oversight on the Temple Mount flared once again this week, when the Muslim Wakf religious trust replaced the worn carpeting inside the Dome of the Rock without first alerting the Antiquities Authority. The renovation…renewed concerns…of Muslim indifference and destruction of Jewish antiquities at the contested holy site.   

U.S. Officials: Iranian Ships Moving Away From Yemen
U.S. officials say Iranian ships suspected of carrying weapons for Shi’ite Huthi rebels are moving away from Yemen. The unidentified officials were quoted as saying that the nine-ship convoy had turned around and headed north, away from the war-torn country.   

With the latest anti-Assad offensive, Syria’s civil war is reaching a tipping point
Rebels led by the Al-Nusra Front have launched a blistering three-pronged offensive aimed at consolidating their Idlib victory and rolling back the regime in northwest Syria.   

This is why red light cameras are doomed
Authorities across the country are increasingly putting the brakes on red light cameras. Opposition to the hated devices may finally have reached a tipping point as lawmakers in Illinois, Texas and California move toward legislation to ban them on both civil rights grounds and monetary reasons.   

Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash
The war on cash is escalating. Just a week ago, the infamous Willem Buiter, along with Ken Rogoff, voiced their support for a restriction (or ban altogether) on the use of cash (something that was already been implemented in Louisiana in 2011 for used goods). Today, as Mises’ Jo Salerno reports, the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., which has enacted a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets; bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and disallows the storage of “any cash or coins” in safe deposit boxes.  


Rape Culture, Feminism, And The Shocking Truth That You Aren’t Being Told

Does a “culture of rape” exist in the United States? For years, feminists have been speaking of a “rape culture” that exists in this country. They claim that rape has become “pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality“. But what they won’t tell you is that the “sexual revolution” that they championed back in the 1960s and 1970s is at the very root of the explosion of sexual violence that we have seen in this nation since that time. Once upon a time, you could actually let your kids run over to the local playground and play for hours unattended. I know, because that is what my parents did with me when I was growing up. But now you have to watch your children like a hawk because there are hundreds of thousands of sexual predators running around out there. Today, the average American spends more than five hours watching television, and most of the “programming” that Americans allow to be poured into their minds is hypersexualized. The filth that spews forth from our television sets teaches us that the value of a woman is in how she looks, that the number one goal in life for men is to “score”, and even our children are taught to “dress sexy”. Our hypersexualized culture is constantly fanning the flames of sexual desire while at the same time teaching us to disregard all of the traditional boundaries for sex. Needless to say, the results have been absolutely disastrous. (Read More…)


11 Signs That We Are Entering The Next Phase Of The Global Economic Crisis

Well, the Nasdaq finally did it. It has climbed all the way back to where it was at the peak of the dotcom bubble. Back in March 2000, the Nasdaq set an all-time record high of 5,048.62. On Thursday, after all these years, that all-time record was finally eclipsed. The Nasdaq closed at 5056.06, and Wall Street greatly rejoiced. So if you invested in the Nasdaq at the peak of the dotcom bubble, you are just finally breaking even 15 years later. Unfortunately, the truth is that stocks have not been soaring because the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong. Just like the last two times, what we are witnessing is an irrational financial bubble. Sometimes these irrational bubbles can last for a surprisingly long time, but in the end they always burst. And even now there are signs of economic trouble bubbling to the surface all around us. The following are 11 signs that we are entering the next phase of the global economic crisis… (Read More….)


Daily Digest

April 24, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our country is superior to all other considerations.” —George Washington, letter to James Madison, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Drone Killed American Hostage and Obama Barely Apologizes

In January, the U.S. drone program killed three American citizens in Pakistan, one of them Maryland doctor and al-Qaida hostage Warren Weinstein. After piecing together drone footage and intercepted jihadi communications, U.S. officials concluded that a “signature strike” killed hostages Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian. A signature strike is a drone attack where the CIA doesn’t know exactly who is on the ground, yet they take action based on suspicious activity.

Officially, Barack Obama apologized. “As president and as commander in chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations, including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni,” he said. “I profoundly regret what happened.” But then Obama spokesman Josh Earnest and the CIA undermined the executive’s apology by insisting Obama didn’t sign off on this particular strike. What a stark contrast to Obama’s obnoxious victory laps after Navy SEALs dispatched Osama bin Laden.

The other two Americans killed in January strikes were al-Qaida jihadists — one of them the first American convicted of treason since World War II. Yet because the strike killed hostages it raises questions about Obama’s management of the U.S. drone program itself — his signature counter-terrorism strategy. That said, it’s an effective tool that’s far more precise than conventional World War II bombing raids or coating Vietnam forests with Agent Orange, though as long as jihadis hide among civilians, avoiding civilian casualties will be difficult. And Obama isn’t doing nearly so well at it as he claims. More…

Did the IRS Intentionally Provoke Customer Service Woes?

Remember when federal agencies were ordered to intentionally manipulate the impacts of the government “shutdown” to take political advantage? The Internal Revenue Service is apparently borrowing from the same playbook. Commissioner John Koskinen testified that stringent budget cuts by Congress have hampered the agency’s ability to adequately handle certain functions, like customer service. Just recently the Treasury’s inspector general found that before March 7 nearly 4 in 10 customers who called into the agency never reached a representative — a drastic spike from the 1-in-10 ratio of a decade ago — and those that did waited an average of 25 minutes. A headline from The Hill described it as “IRS service worse than expected,” but a new report suggests the abysmal service was self-inflicted — and potentially strategically implemented.

Here’s how: “While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities,” reports John McCormack of The Weekly Standard. “In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015 — a 76 percent cut.” In other words, the agency could have helped more Americans with our complicated tax-filing system but instead diverted funds elsewhere (perhaps toward targeting conservative groups?). At best, it’s government inefficiency, and, at worst, the agency is caught in more malfeasance. Considering its track record, forgive us for assuming the latter. More…

Parents of Michael Brown File Civil Suit Against Ferguson

Michael Brown’s mother and father won’t stop until they see their definition of “justice” carried out. First, a grand jury declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the self-defense shooting death of their son. Then, Eric Holder’s race-baiting Department of Justice not only declined to charge Wilson on civil rights violations but vindicated his actions. Still eying the prospect of winning the legal lottery, however, Brown’s parents are going to try one more time. They filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the City of Ferguson, former police chief Thomas Jackson and Wilson. The suit seeks $75,000 and changes in the way the city conducts policing, because the Ferguson Police Department “had a custom or policy of negligently hiring and retaining officers, failing to property train and/or supervise officers in the use of deadly force,” the suit reads. The lawsuit builds off the DOJ’s report, which found the city practiced racial bias, with employees distributing racist jokes by email, for example. There are examples of the Ferguson PD seemingly abusing its power, such as one woman’s illegally parked car turning into a six-month legal battle, $1,000 in fines and six days in jail. Abusive systems should certainly be reformed. But how many times must Darren Wilson prove his innocence? More…

2015-04-24-b8136d46_large.jpg

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Rubio, Walker Struggle With Immigration Footing

By Lewis Morris

2015-04-24-9d9c35f2_large.jpg
Walker and Rubio

Immigration is likely to become a major issue in the 2016 presidential race, which is a good thing because the nation’s immigration policies could use some reform. Unfortunately, any attempt at discussing reform will bring bombast, pandering rhetoric and misstatements of the facts.

GOP candidates Marco Rubio and Scott Walker have already been caught up in the debate, taking heat from all sides for their recent statements. And the changing positions these two men have held on the issue hasn’t done either of them any favors.

Right now, the focus is on Barack Obama’s amnesty plan, which thankfully has been stalled in the courts. Given Obama’s habit of thumbing his nose at the Constitution and circumventing the law to suit his political needs, we can be sure the matter won’t end there. But there is a larger issue at play than just the 12 million illegals being recruited to join Democrat ranks.

Recently released U.S. Census figures reveal America is in the midst of an immigration wave unlike any the country has ever experienced. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “Absent a change in current policy, the Census Bureau projects that in 2023 the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) will reach 14.8 percent (51 million) of the total U.S. population — the highest share ever recorded in American history.” And by 2060, one in five people in the U.S. will be an immigrant.

These are astounding numbers, and, while America is a nation of immigrants, such a large influx raises questions. What will the impact be on American workers, our schools and our infrastructure? How will we be able to assimilate all these new arrivals? What if they don’t want to assimilate? After all, the Left tells them not to. Thanks to our current lack of direction on immigration policy, there are no sure answers.

One thing is certain: The American people are concerned. Every major polling organization from Pew to Gallup and beyond indicate Americans want to see some level of restrictions on immigration. They are concerned about the impact on their ability to get jobs, the downward pressure mass immigration puts on wages, and what will happen to an entitlement system already stretched to the breaking point.

For his part, Rubio has recently voiced support for an enforcement-first immigration policy that includes an E-Verify system in which all businesses large and small would take part. But, to many conservatives, Rubio’s bona fides were sullied by his involvement in crafting the Gang of Eight’s plan that eventually turned into an elaborate mask for amnesty. Rubio originally participated because he was motivated by the idea of comprehensive immigration reform, although he walked away from it after realizing (or perhaps we should say proving) Democrats couldn’t be trusted. Piecemeal reform, starting with enforcement and border security, is really the only way to go, he now says.

CBS’s Bob Schieffer tried to catch Rubio in a gotcha moment with the question of whether a President Rubio would sign into law the Gang of Eight bill he once championed. Rubio ducked by saying, “That’s a hypothetical that will never happen,” because such a bill would never survive the House. True enough, but a simple yes or no answer that more clearly illustrated his current position could have mitigated the appearance of pandering.

Walker has similarly taken heat from all sides because of recent statements on his immigration position. In an interview with Glenn Beck, Walker asserted, “The next president and the next Congress need to make decisions about a legal immigration system that’s based on, first and foremost, on protecting American workers and American wages.”

That makes sense, and it’s in line with what the vast majority of Americans believe. However, The Washington Post accused Walker of being protectionist, and others have accused him of being a flip-flopper because he had previously suggested support for a path to legalization for illegal immigrants. Of course, his idea of legalization didn’t approach amnesty, but his position has been rather hard to pin down.

The vitriol Rubio and Walker face is due in large part to voicing the idea that legal immigration needs to be curbed and illegal immigration needs to be dealt with by enforcement before any other means. (No doubt they’re both moving Right for the primary.) While a majority of Americans, as well as a sizable number of recent immigrants, hold these views, the “enlightened” leftist elites in Washington don’t think this is the answer. And that’s only because they see a fresh block of voters who will support Democrats indefinitely if they can get them securely into the U.S.

Standing with the majority of Americans on immigration is a good start for both Rubio and Walker. But they will also need to be clearer in their messaging and remain consistent if they hope to be taken seriously.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

OPINION IN BRIEF

“Between 2001 and 2013, Bill Clinton earned more than $100 million in speaking fees, $26 million of which came from donors to the Clinton Foundation. What’s more, the foundation itself has accumulated $250 million in assets, much of it from foreign donors, The New York Times has reported. The Times … described the ‘special ethical challenge’ the foundation faced accepting huge sums of money ‘even as (Bill Clinton’s) wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.’ The Times piece focused on the possible role that cash paid to the foundation and to Bill Clinton personally might have played in a deal that handed Russia effective control of 20 percent of the United States’ uranium reserves. … [I]t gave the Russians control over uranium mines and exploration in several Western states. As a result, Russia now controls 20 percent of U.S. uranium. Hillary Clinton’s campaign would like to ignore this story. But it is unlikely … that they can sweep it entirely under the rug. But who knows? Does anyone even remember that the Whitewater investigation was sparked not by sex between a president and a White House intern, but by a land deal meant to enrich then Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife?”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.” —Columbia University professor Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)

Race bait: “‘Those six [Baltimore] police officers acted like a lynch mob against Freddie Gray. … The police [have] been ISIS to us. We’ve been terrorized with no accountability.” —Rev. Jamal Bryant, Empowerment Temple AME Church

Demo-gogues: “When people say this [Trans-Pacific Partnership] trade deal is bad for working families, they don’t know what they’re talking about. I take that personally. My entire presidency has been about helping working families. … I’ve got some of these folks who are friends of mine, allies of mine, saying this trade deal would destroy American working families, despite the fact that I’ve done everything in my power to make sure that working families are empowered.” —Barack Obama

Village Idiots: “At this point there has not been any evidence presented that would prompt the president or anybody at the White House to be unsettled by Secretary Clinton’s conduct as secretary of state. In fact, everyone here at the White House including the president continues to be very proud of her service to this country as secretary of state of the United States.” —Josh Earnest, denying the cloud of corruption surrounding the Clintons

Braying Jenny: “America moves forward when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby.” —Hillary Clinton

And last… “A new study shows that President Obama’s new coal-plant-killing EPA rules could destroy up to 300,000 jobs. So, only marginally worse than the programs he passes to save jobs.” —Fred Thompson

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/ )”


11 Signs That We Are Entering The Next Phase Of The Global Economic Crisis

Posted: 23 Apr 2015 09:43 PM PDT

11 Signs That We Are Entering The Next Phase Of The Global Economic CrisisWell, the Nasdaq finally did it. It has climbed all the way back to where it was at the peak of the dotcom bubble. Back in March 2000, the Nasdaq set an all-time record high of 5,048.62. On Thursday, after all these years, that all-time record was finally eclipsed. The Nasdaq closed at 5056.06, and Wall Street greatly rejoiced. So if you invested in the Nasdaq at the peak of the dotcom bubble, you are just finally breaking even 15 years later. Unfortunately, the truth is that stocks have not been soaring because the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong. Just like the last two times, what we are witnessing is an irrational financial bubble. Sometimes these irrational bubbles can last for a surprisingly long time, but in the end they always burst. And even now there are signs of economic trouble bubbling to the surface all around us. The following are 11 signs that we are entering the next phase of the global economic crisis…FULL REPORT

The post 11 Signs That We Are Entering The Next Phase Of The Global Economic Crisis appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Houthis threaten to attack Saudi Arabia if bombing continuesPosted: 23 Apr 2015 09:40 PM PDT

Houthis threaten to attack Saudi Arabia if bombing continuesYemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels have threatened to launch an attack on Saudi Arabia if the bombings in Yemen do not stop. The Zaidi group has sent the warning to Riyadh and demanded that UN-brokered political dialogue be resumed in Yemen. The Houthis “will carry out a military attack on Saudi Arabia, if the airstrikes on Yemen don’t come to an end,” Mohammed Bahiti, member of the Ansar Allah movement, told TV channel Al Mayadeen.Bahiti stressed that the Houthi rebels “do not require missiles” to carry forward with their promise, referring to Yemeni military depots destroyed in the airstrikes. He also rejected claims that Operation Decisive Storm, led by Saudi Arabia, was able to successfully destroy the Houthi rebels’ military capabilities. FULL REPORT

The post Houthis threaten to attack Saudi Arabia if bombing continues appeared first on End Time Headlines.

California’s ‘Big One’ could trigger super cycle of destructive quakesPosted: 23 Apr 2015 09:37 PM PDT

California’s ‘Big One’ could trigger super cycle of destructive quakesA major earthquake – the Big One – is statistically almost certain in California in the coming decades, and there is even worse news below the ground: it is likely to be followed by a series of similar-sized temblors, according to a leading seismologist. The current relatively quiet seismic period – in which “far less” energy is being released in earthquakes than it is being stored from tectonic plate motions “cannot last forever,” said University of Southern California earth sciences professor James Dolan while delivering a new paper during the Seismological Society of America conference in Pasadena. “At some point, we will need to start releasing all of this pent-up energy stored in the rocks in a series of large earthquakes,” Dolan stressed. The earthquake could spark a “super cycle,” meaning “a flurry of other Big Ones, as stresses related to the original San Andreas fault earthquake are redistributed on other faults throughout Southern California,” he said.While there would not be a literal cannonade of destruction, the earthquakes could come just decades apart, like, for example, the 7.5 major quake in 1812 on the San Andreas fault, followed by a 7.7 in 1857. FULL REPORT

The post California’s ‘Big One’ could trigger super cycle of destructive quakes appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Powerful Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes New Zealand, Felt in Multiple CitiesPosted: 23 Apr 2015 09:32 PM PDT

Powerful Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes New Zealand, Felt in Multiple CitiesBREAKING NEWS – A strong magnitude 6.3 earthquake has hit 40 kilometers off the New Zealand town of Kaikoura, GeoNet reports. Witnesses reported feeling tremors as far as Auckland. The earthquake was clearly felt in the cities of Wellington and Christchurch. The quake centered in Nelson region at the depth of 80 kilometers, according to GeoNet. The US Geological Survey, meanwhile, reported a lower magnitude of 5.9 at the epicenter. There were no immediate reports of any major damage caused by the quake, however, local public transport services were temporarily halted. The power of the earthquake’s tremors knocked off food items from their shelves in the stores and set off alarms. FULL REPORT

The post Powerful Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes New Zealand, Felt in Multiple Cities appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn Addresses United Nations About Christian ‘Holocaust’Posted: 23 Apr 2015 09:25 PM PDT

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn Addresses United Nations About Christian ‘Holocaust’Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, The New York Times best-selling author of The Harbinger and The Mystery of the Shemitah, addressed the United Nations on Friday about the worsening persecution of Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Cahn, the senior rabbi at the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, New Jersey, was invited along with other Jewish and Christian leaders, businessmen and high-ranking military officials, to speak at the conference entitled, “The Persecution of Christians Globally: A Threat to International Peace and Security.” It is April, 2015. Seventy years ago, this spring, the concentration camps of the Third Reich were liberated. In their liberation, the allies forced the nearby townsfolk to walk through the camps to face the unimaginable depths of horror that Nazism had led to. But for most of those who lived in those towns by the camps and, for that matter, throughout Germany, it was not unexpected. It was well-known that the Jews were being hunted down and taken in cattle cars to concentration camps where horror and likely death awaited them. They knew it, but did nothing to stop it. They themselves weren’t in danger. Why should they have risked their comfort, their safety, their well-being for those who were? FULL REPORT

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Washington Earthquake’s Mysterious Source DiscoveredPosted: 23 Apr 2015 09:21 PM PDT

Washington Earthquake's Mysterious Source DiscoveredGeologists have finally solved a 142-year-old earthquake mystery in central Washington state. Until now, no one knew the source of a powerful earthquake that rattled windows from Washington to Montana on Dec. 14, 1872. The quake’s size, based on historical accounts, was magnitude 6.8. At the time, newspapers put the epicenter in several areas, from underneath the Puget Sound north to Vancouver, British Columbia. But Washington’s eyewitness reports, slower to arrive in the sparsely populated state, centered the most intense damage east of the Cascades, near Wenatchee, where a giant landslide temporarily dammed the Columbia River. FULL REPORT

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Chechnya leader gives ‘shoot to kill’ orders on Russian forcesPosted: 23 Apr 2015 09:16 PM PDT

Chechnya leader gives 'shoot to kill' orders on Russian forcesChechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on Thursday ordered his troops to “shoot to kill” if they encountered any unauthorised Russian forces on the territory of the small republic in the volatile North Caucasus region.”I am officially stating that if (a soldier) appears on your territory without authorisation, whether he comes from Moscow or Stavropol, shoot to kill,” the Kremlin-loyal strongman said in a video broadcast by the local Grozny TV station. “They need to take us into account,” he added.Kadyrov appeared to be speaking at a gathering of representatives of the special forces in the mainly Muslim autonomous region, where separatists fought two wars against Russia in the 1990s.”We don’t have the right to leave our territory to conduct anti-terrorist operations against extremists in Ingushetia,” Kadyrov said, referring to a neighbouring region. “If you are the masters of your territory, then you need to watch over it.”Russia’s interior ministry called the remarks “unacceptable”, while a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin declined to respond directly to the Chechen leader’s remarks. FULL REPORT

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Minnesota declares state of emergency over bird flu in poultryPosted: 23 Apr 2015 09:09 PM PDT

An egg-producing chicken farm run by Sunrise Farm is seen in this aerial photo in Harris, Iowa, April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Ahlquist

An egg-producing chicken farm run by Sunrise Farm is seen in this aerial photo in Harris, Iowa, April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Ahlquist

BREAKING NEWS – The highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of bird flu has been identified on 46 Minnesota farms in 16 counties and affected more than 2.6 million birds in the state. State health officials said they were expediting prescriptions for the antiviral drug Tamiflu for farm workers and others who have been in direct contact with infected flocks. No human infections have been reported in this outbreak. “There’s no reason for anybody in the state of Minnesota to be concerned about their own health,” Governor Mark Dayton said at a press conference on Thursday after declaring the state of emergency. Federal and local public health authorities have said the risk of human infection is low. The state’s action to provide antiviral drugs follows recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Minnesota’s health department approached 140 farm workers and others who had been in direct contact with infected birds and advised 87 of them to take the Roche antiviral medication as a preventative measure, the department’s spokesman Michael Schommer said. Seventy of them took the drug, he said. Of the 62 people that state health officials have followed up with so far, none have been infected by the virus, Schommer said. FULL REPORT

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Lightning Strikes One World Trade Center in Stunning Earth Day 2015 DisplayPosted: 23 Apr 2015 09:05 PM PDT

Lightning Strikes One World Trade Center in Stunning Earth Day 2015 DisplayMother Nature’s magnificent power was on full display when lightning struck One World Trade Center in New York City during late afternoon storms Wednesday, on Earth Day. The New York City skyline provided the perfect backdrop as a cold front moved through the metro area, producing a few lightning strikes, said weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce. As skies darkened, New York amateur photographer Max Giuliani captured the remarkable moment when the lightning bolt struck the top of the skyscraper. “Whenever there is a thunderstorm in the area, I grab my camera and hit Hudson River Park,” he told the New York Daily News. Despite how threatening Giuliani’s photograph appears, a Port Authority spokeswoman told the Daily News there was no damage to the building. Thousands of miles away, another stunning Earth Day display shook Chile, where the Calbuco volcano erupted twice and sent thick smoke and ash plumes skyward. FULL REPORT

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Support for Gay Marriage Reaches Record HighPosted: 23 Apr 2015 09:00 PM PDT

Support for Gay Marriage Reaches Record HighA week before a closely watched U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the issue, public support for gay marriage reached a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with 61 percent of Americans – more than six in 10 for the first time – saying gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry legally. Identical or similar majorities favor gay marriage on two key issues before the court: Sixty-one percent oppose allowing individual states to prohibit same-sex marriages. And 62 percent support requiring states to recognize gay marriages performed legally in other states. These views extend a dramatic, decade-long evolution in public attitudes on gay marriage – one of the most remarkable re-evaluations of views on a basic social issue in more than 30 years of ABC/Post polling. As recently as June 2006, just 36 percent of Americans said it should be legal for gays and lesbians to marry. That advanced to 49 percent in 2009, reached a majority, 53 percent, in early 2011, and, as noted, 61 percent now. Further, “strong” support for allowing gay marriage exceeds strong opposition by 15 percentage points in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, matching the largest pro-gay marriage margin in intensity of sentiment on record. In a similar question in 2004, by contrast, strong opposition exceeded strong support by 34 points. FULL REPORT

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NTEB Exclusive Interview With Author And Activist Pamela Geller

 

Sounding the alarm to wake a sleeping America

This afternoon, NTEB invited Pamela Geller into our studios for an exclusive interview. Believe us when we tell you that she is an amazingly busy and accomplished person. Pamela is the founder, editor and publisher of Atlas Shrugs.com and President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA).

She is the author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, with Robert Spencer; Freedom or Submission: On the Dangers of Islamic Extremism and American Complacency; and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. She is also a regular columnist for World Net Daily, the American Thinker, Breitbart.com and various other publications.

As she visited in our studios, we had some important questions for her that our readers have wondered about over the years, and she graciously took the time to answer them.

NTEB Question #1: In your opinion, what is the greatest threat to worldwide peace and safety, and why do you think that?

Pamela Geller: Islamic jihad is the main issue. Over 25,000 lethal jihad attacks have been carried out worldwide since 911, each with the imprimatur of a Muslim cleric. There is no other group carrying out attacks on such a scale. Meanwhile, jihad leaders openly boast about their coming conquest of the West, and our leaders are in denial or are compromised.

NTEB Question #2: President Obama tells us that we can successfully make a deal with Iran to ensure that they will never get a nuclear weapon. Do you think that’s true, and why do you think that?

Pamela Geller: No. Even as he has negotiated with Iran, the Supreme Leader has screamed, “Death to America!” They’ve also made their genocidal intentions toward Israel abundantly clear. There is no reason to think Iran has abandoned these views and will abide by any agreement, and considerable evidence that it won’t.

Pamela Geller Counters Attacks on AFDI Islamic Jew Hatred Bus Ads:

NTEB Question #3: Your latest bus ad campaign really has people talking, tells us what it’s about and why you are doing it.

Pamela Geller: It is about calling attention to the genocidal statements of Hamas, and to Islamic antisemitism in general. It is scandalous that even one penny of American aid goes to these people who nurse this genocidal blood-lust.

NTEB Question #4: People say that the only Muslims we have to worry about are the ones who have been radicalized. What do you think?

Pamela Geller: How can you tell a Muslim who may be “radicalized” from one who never will be? There is no way. The Quran is what “radicalizes” Muslims, and all devout Muslims read it.

NTEB Question #5: Do you receive death threats, and if so how do you handle that?

Pamela Geller: Yes. I turn some over to the FBI, and when I speak, I have guards. This is the life anyone who speaks the truth about the jihad threat has to live.

NTEB Question #6: Tells us about what your “great passion” is right now, what’s your 5-year plan for the work you do?

Pamela Geller: My great passion is freedom; telling the truth and combating lies and disinformation. In five years I’d like to see our ads blanketing the nation.

Pamela Geller on Hannity discussing Hillary Clinton, Foreign Cash, and Saudi Women’s Rights:

NTEB Question #7: Your book, “Stop The Islamization Of America” woke a lot of people up to the threat of Islam. How close are we to a fully-Islamized America?

Pamela Geller: The main problem is our clueless and compromised authorities. We would have no problem regarding Islamization were it not for them.

NTEB Question #8: How do you feel about the leadership of PM Netanyahu in Israel, are they on the right track? In not, what could they be doing differently?

Pamela Geller: He is a great statesman who sees the threat clearly. He faces stiff opposition from the Israeli left and from Obama.

NTEB Question #9: What type of President would Hillary Clinton make? And if you could place anyone into office, who do you think would make the best president for America?

Pamela Geller: Disastrous. John Bolton would make an excellent president.

Thank you, Pamela, for taking the time to visit with us today. Much appreciated!

 

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Russian Cash Flowed To Clinton Foundation After Hillary Approved Uranium Mine Sale

In a shocking story, broken by none other than the NY Times, it is being reported that the Clinton Foundation received steady cash payments as Russians pressed for and got control of a uranium mining company.

“Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.”
Micah 2:1-3 (KJV)

I recently wrote a piece on the long list of dead bodies linked to the Clintons, during their many years on the political stage in the U.S. It seems that now we can add a scandal exposing the Clintons as traitors and thieves.

Sleeping with the enemy does not go over well — not even with those who would have Hillary Clinton as the next president. The Clintons are professional criminals. They have made it through their scandals unscathed. Perhaps this is the SCANDAL of scandals, which will finally bring down the Clinton empire. If justice is served, Bill and Hillary Clinton will spend the rest of their lives in a prison.

The headline in Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir V. Putin’s latest coup, its nationalistic fervor recalling an era when the newspaper served as the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.”

The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, had taken over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal made Rosatom one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain.

But the untold story behind that story is one that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company’s assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show.

The New York Times’s examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.” Mr. Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, said no one “has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation.” He emphasized that multiple United States agencies, as well as the Canadian government, had signed off on the deal and that, in general, such matters were handled at a level below the secretary. “To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless,” he added.

American political campaigns are barred from accepting foreign donations. But foreigners may give to foundations in the United States. In the days since Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy for president, the Clinton Foundation has announced changes meant to quell longstanding concerns about potential conflicts of interest in such donations; it has limited donations from foreign governments, with many, like Russia’s, barred from giving to all but its health care initiatives. That policy stops short of Mrs. Clinton’s agreement with the Obama administration, which prohibited all foreign government donations while she served as the nation’s top diplomat.

Either way, the Uranium One deal highlights the limits of such prohibitions. The foundation will continue to accept contributions from foreign individuals and businesses whose interests, like Uranium One’s, may overlap with those of foreign governments, some of which may be at odds with the United States.

When the Uranium One deal was approved, the geopolitical backdrop was far different from today’s. The Obama administration was seeking to “reset” strained relations with Russia. The deal was strategically important to Mr. Putin, who shortly after the Americans gave their blessing sat down for a staged interview with Rosatom’s chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko. “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves,” Mr. Kiriyenko told Mr. Putin.

Now, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, the Moscow-Washington relationship is devolving toward Cold War levels, a point several experts made in evaluating a deal so beneficial to Mr. Putin, a man known to use energy resources to project power around the world.

“Should we be concerned? Absolutely,” said Michael McFaul, who served under Mrs. Clinton as the American ambassador to Russia but said he had been unaware of the Uranium One deal until asked about it. “Do we want Putin to have a monopoly on this? Of course we don’t. We don’t want to be dependent on Putin for anything in this climate.”

Donations to the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian Uranium Takeover

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side. Uranium investors’ efforts to buy mining assets in Kazakhstan and the United States led to a takeover bid by a Russian state-owned energy company. The investors gave millions to the Clinton Foundation over the same period, while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office was involved with approving the Russian bid.

The two men had flown aboard Mr. Giustra’s private jet to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where they dined with the authoritarian president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. Mr. Clinton handed the Kazakh president a propaganda coup when he expressed support for Mr. Nazarbayev’s bid to head an international elections monitoring group, undercutting American foreign policy and criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, his wife, then a senator.

Within days of the visit, Mr. Giustra’s fledgling company, UrAsia Energy Ltd., signed a preliminary deal giving it stakes in three uranium mines controlled by the state-run uranium agency Kazatomprom.

If the Kazakh deal was a major victory, UrAsia did not wait long before resuming the hunt. In 2007, it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia, in what was described as a $3.5 billion transaction. The new company, which kept the Uranium One name, was controlled by UrAsia investors including Ian Telfer, a Canadian who became chairman. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million, said he sold his stake in 2007.

Soon, Uranium One began to snap up mining companies with assets in the United States. In April 2007, it announced the purchase of a uranium mill in Utah and more than 38,000 acres of uranium exploration properties in four Western states, followed quickly by the acquisition of the Energy Metals Corporation and its uranium holdings in Wyoming, Texas and Utah. That deal made clear that Uranium One was intent on becoming “a powerhouse in the United States uranium sector with the potential to become the domestic supplier of choice for U.S. utilities,” the company declared.

Still, the company’s story was hardly front-page news in the United States — until early 2008, in the midst of Mrs. Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, when The Times published an article revealing the 2005 trip’s link to Mr. Giustra’s Kazakhstan mining deal. It also reported that several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

Though the article quoted the former head of Kazatomprom, Moukhtar Dzhakishev, as saying that the deal required government approval and was discussed at a dinner with the president, Mr. Giustra insisted that it was a private transaction, with no need for Mr. Clinton’s influence with Kazakh officials. He described his relationship with the former American president as motivated solely by a shared interest in philanthropy.

As if to underscore the point, five months later Mr. Giustra held a fund-raiser for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, a project aimed at fostering progressive environmental and labor practices in the natural resources industry, to which he had pledged $100 million. The star-studded gala, at a conference center in Toronto, featured performances by Elton John and Shakira and celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Robin Williams encouraging contributions from the many so-called F.O.F.s — Friends of Frank — in attendance, among them Mr. Telfer. In all, the evening generated $16 million in pledges, according to an article in The Globe and Mail.

“None of this would have been possible if Frank Giustra didn’t have a remarkable combination of caring and modesty, of vision and energy and iron determination,” Mr. Clinton told those gathered, adding: “I love this guy, and you should, too.”

But what had been a string of successes was about to hit a speed bump.

Arrest and Progress

By June 2009, a little over a year after the star-studded evening in Toronto, Uranium One’s stock was in free-fall, down 40 percent. Mr. Dzhakishev, the head of Kazatomprom, had just been arrested on charges that he illegally sold uranium deposits to foreign companies, including at least some of those won by Mr. Giustra’s UrAsia and now owned by Uranium One.

Publicly, the company tried to reassure shareholders. Its chief executive, Jean Nortier, issued a confident statement calling the situation a “complete misunderstanding.” He also publicly contradicted Mr. Giustra’s contention that the uranium mining deal had not required government blessing. “When you do a transaction in Kazakhstan, you need the government’s approval,” he said, adding that UrAsia had indeed received that approval.

But privately, Uranium One officials were worried they could lose their joint mining ventures. American diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks also reflect concerns that Mr. Dzhakishev’s arrest was part of a Russian power play for control of Kazakh uranium assets.

At the time, Russia was already eying a stake in Uranium One, Rosatom company documents show. Rosatom officials say they were seeking to acquire mines around the world because Russia lacks sufficient domestic reserves to meet its own industry needs.

It was against this backdrop that the Vancouver-based Uranium One pressed the American Embassy in Kazakhstan, as well as Canadian diplomats, to take up its cause with Kazakh officials, according to the American cables.

“We want more than a statement to the press,” Paul Clarke, a Uranium One executive vice president, told the embassy’s energy officer on June 10, the officer reported in a cable. “That is simply chitchat.” What the company needed, Mr. Clarke said, was official written confirmation that the licenses were still valid.

The American Embassy ultimately reported to the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton. Though the Clarke cable was copied to her, it was given wide circulation, and it is unclear if she would have read it; the Clinton campaign did not address questions about the cable.

What is clear is that the embassy acted, with the cables showing that the unnamed energy officer met with Kazakh officials to discuss the issue on June 10 and 11.

Three days later, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rosatom completed a deal for 17 percent of Uranium One. And within a year, the Russian government would substantially up the ante, with a generous offer to shareholders that would give it a 51 percent controlling stake. But first, Uranium One had to get the American government to sign off on the deal.

The Power to Say No

When a company controlled by the Chinese government sought a 51 percent stake in a tiny Nevada gold mining operation in 2009, it set off a secretive review process in Washington, where officials raised concerns primarily about the mine’s proximity to a military installation, but also about the potential for minerals at the site, including uranium, to come under Chinese control. The officials killed the deal.

Such is the power of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The committee comprises some of the most powerful members of the cabinet, including the attorney general, the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce and Energy, and the secretary of state. They are charged with reviewing any deal that could result in foreign control of an American business or asset deemed important to national security.

The national security issue at stake in the Uranium One deal was not primarily about nuclear weapons proliferation; the United States and Russia had for years cooperated on that front, with Russia sending enriched fuel from decommissioned warheads to be used in American nuclear power plants in return for raw uranium. Instead, it concerned American dependence on foreign uranium sources. While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves, according to Marin Katusa, author of “The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp.”

The Russians are easily winning the uranium war, and nobody’s talking about it,” said Mr. Katusa, who explores the implications of the Uranium One deal in his book. “It’s not just a domestic issue but a foreign policy issue, too.”

When ARMZ, an arm of Rosatom, took its first 17 percent stake in Uranium One in 2009, the two parties signed an agreement, found in securities filings, to seek the foreign investment committee’s review. But it was the 2010 deal, giving the Russians a controlling 51 percent stake, that set off alarm bells. Four members of the House of Representatives signed a letter expressing concern. Two more began pushing legislation to kill the deal.

Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, where Uranium One’s largest American operation was, wrote to President Obama, saying the deal “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”

“Equally alarming,” Mr. Barrasso added, “this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”

Uranium One’s shareholders were also alarmed, and were “afraid of Rosatom as a Russian state giant,” Sergei Novikov, a company spokesman, recalled in an interview. He said Rosatom’s chief, Mr. Kiriyenko, sought to reassure Uranium One investors, promising that Rosatom would not break up the company and would keep the same management, including Mr. Telfer, the chairman. Another Rosatom official said publicly that it did not intend to increase its investment beyond 51 percent, and that it envisioned keeping Uranium One a public company

Among the Donors to the Clinton Foundation

  • Frank Giustra: $31.3 million and a pledge for $100 million more He built a company that later merged with Uranium One.
  • Ian Telfer: $2.35 million. Mining investor who was chairman of Uranium One when an arm of the Russian government, Rosatom, acquired it.
  • Paul Reynolds: $1 million to $5 million. Adviser on 2007 UrAsia-Uranium One merger. Later helped raise $260 million for the company.
  • Frank Holmes: $250,000 to $500,000. Chief Executive of U.S. Global Investors Inc., which held $4.7 million in Uranium One shares in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Neil Woodyer: $50,000 to $100,000. Adviser to Uranium One. Founded Endeavour Mining with Mr. Giustra.
  • GMP Securities Ltd.: Donating portion of profits. Worked on debt issue that raised $260 million for Uranium One.

American nuclear officials, too, seemed eager to assuage fears. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote to Senator Barrasso assuring him that American uranium would be preserved for domestic use, regardless of who owned it.

“In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use reactor fuel,” the letter said.

Still, the ultimate authority to approve or reject the Russian acquisition rested with the cabinet officials on the foreign investment committee, including Mrs. Clinton — whose husband was collecting millions of dollars in donations from people associated with Uranium One.

Undisclosed Donations

Before Mrs. Clinton could assume her post as secretary of state, the White House demanded that she sign a memorandum of understanding placing limits on her husband’s foundation’s activities. To avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, beyond the ban on foreign government donations, the foundation was required to publicly disclose all contributors.

To judge from those disclosures — which list the contributions in ranges rather than precise amounts — the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians. With the Russians offering a special dividend, shareholders like Mr. Telfer stood to profit.

His donations through the Fernwood Foundation included $1 million reported in 2009, the year his company appealed to the American Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; as well as $600,000 in 2011; and $500,000 in 2012. Mr. Telfer said that his donations had nothing to do with his business dealings, and that he had never discussed Uranium One with Mr. or Mrs. Clinton. He said he had given the money because he wanted to support Mr. Giustra’s charitable endeavors with Mr. Clinton. “Frank and I have been friends and business partners for almost 20 years,” he said.

The Clinton campaign left it to the foundation to reply to questions about the Fernwood donations; the foundation did not provide a response.

Mr. Telfer’s undisclosed donations came in addition to between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions, which were reported, from a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia, the company that originally acquired Uranium One’s most valuable asset: the Kazakhstan mines. Without those assets, the Russians would have had no interest in the deal: “It wasn’t the goal to buy the Wyoming mines. The goal was to acquire the Kazakh assets, which are very good,” Mr. Novikov, the Rosatom spokesman, said in an interview.

Amid this influx of Uranium One-connected money, Mr. Clinton was invited to speak in Moscow in June 2010, the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One.

The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that has invited world leaders, including Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, to speak at its annual investor conference.

Renaissance Capital analysts talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a “buy” rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets. In addition, Renaissance Capital turned up that same year as a major donor, along with Mr. Telfer and Mr. Giustra, to a small medical charity in Colorado run by a friend of Mr. Giustra’s. In a newsletter to supporters, the friend credited Mr. Giustra with helping get donations from “businesses around the world.”

A Renaissance Capital representative would not comment on the genesis of Mr. Clinton’s speech to an audience that included leading Russian officials, or on whether it was connected to the Rosatom deal. According to a Russian government news service, Mr. Putin personally thanked Mr. Clinton for speaking.

A person with knowledge of the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising operation, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about it, said that for many people, the hope is that money will in fact buy influence: “Why do you think they are doing it — because they love them?” But whether it actually does is another question. And in this case, there were broader geopolitical pressures that likely came into play as the United States considered whether to approve the Rosatom-Uranium One deal.

Diplomatic Considerations

If doing business with Rosatom was good for those involved with the Uranium One deal, engaging with Russia was also a priority of the incoming Obama administration, which was hoping for a new era of cooperation as Mr. Putin relinquished the presidency — if only for a term — to Dmitri A. Medvedev.

“The assumption was we could engage Russia to further core U.S. national security interests,” said Mr. McFaul, the former ambassador.

It started out well. The two countries made progress on nuclear proliferation issues, and expanded use of Russian territory to resupply American forces in Afghanistan. Keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon was among the United States’ top priorities, and in June 2010 Russia signed off on a United Nations resolution imposing tough new sanctions on that country.

Two months later, the deal giving ARMZ a controlling stake in Uranium One was submitted to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for review. Because of the secrecy surrounding the process, it is hard to know whether the participants weighed the desire to improve bilateral relations against the potential risks of allowing the Russian government control over the biggest uranium producer in the United States. The deal was ultimately approved in October, following what two people involved in securing the approval said had been a relatively smooth process.

Not all of the committee’s decisions are personally debated by the agency heads themselves; in less controversial cases, deputy or assistant secretaries may sign off. But experts and former committee members say Russia’s interest in Uranium One and its American uranium reserves seemed to warrant attention at the highest levels.

This deal had generated press, it had captured the attention of Congress and it was strategically important,” said Richard Russell, who served on the committee during the George W. Bush administration. “When I was there invariably any one of those conditions would cause this to get pushed way up the chain, and here you had all three.”

And Mrs. Clinton brought a reputation for hawkishness to the process; as a senator, she was a vocal critic of the committee’s approval of a deal that would have transferred the management of major American seaports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, and as a presidential candidate she had advocated legislation to strengthen the process.

The Clinton campaign spokesman, Mr. Fallon, said that in general, these matters did not rise to the secretary’s level. He would not comment on whether Mrs. Clinton had been briefed on the matter, but he gave The Times a statement from the former assistant secretary assigned to the foreign investment committee at the time, Jose Fernandez. While not addressing the specifics of the Uranium One deal, Mr. Fernandez said, “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter.”

Mr. Fallon also noted that if any agency had raised national security concerns about the Uranium One deal, it could have taken them directly to the president.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s director of policy planning at the time, said she was unaware of the transaction — or the extent to which it made Russia a dominant uranium supplier. But speaking generally, she urged caution in evaluating its wisdom in hindsight.

“Russia was not a country we took lightly at the time or thought was cuddly,” she said. “But it wasn’t the adversary it is today.”

That renewed adversarial relationship has raised concerns about European dependency on Russian energy resources, including nuclear fuel. The unease reaches beyond diplomatic circles. In Wyoming, where Uranium One equipment is scattered across his 35,000-acre ranch, John Christensen is frustrated that repeated changes in corporate ownership over the years led to French, South African, Canadian and, finally, Russian control over mining rights on his property.

“I hate to see a foreign government own mining rights here in the United States,” he said. “I don’t think that should happen.”

Mr. Christensen, 65, noted that despite assurances by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that uranium could not leave the country without Uranium One or ARMZ obtaining an export license — which they do not have — yellowcake from his property was routinely packed into drums and trucked off to a processing plant in Canada.

Asked about that, the commission confirmed that Uranium One has, in fact, shipped yellowcake to Canada even though it does not have an export license. Instead, the transport company doing the shipping, RSB Logistic Services, has the license. A commission spokesman said that “to the best of our knowledge” most of the uranium sent to Canada for processing was returned for use in the United States. A Uranium One spokeswoman, Donna Wichers, said 25 percent had gone to Western Europe and Japan. At the moment, with the uranium market in a downturn, nothing is being shipped from the Wyoming mines.

The “no export” assurance given at the time of the Rosatom deal is not the only one that turned out to be less than it seemed. Despite pledges to the contrary, Uranium One was eventually delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and taken private. As of 2013, Rosatom’s subsidiary, ARMZ, owned 100 percent of the company.” [1] – source

 

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On today’s Episode of The Briefing

1) Arrest of ‘Flash Crash’ instigator exposes critical need for trust for economic success

‘Flash Crash’ arrest shakes investors’ confidence, USA Today (Kaja Whitehouse)

2) Chinese scientists manipulate human genome in attempt to redefine the species

 The rumors were true: Scientists edited the genomes of human embryos for the first time, Washington Post (Rachel Feltman)

3) Tendency of media to celebrate violence result of allure of sin in fallen world

What’s the allure of graphic images?, USA Today (Rem Rieder)

4) Scalia tribute to Ginsberg asserts value of learning from those who disagree with you

The 100 Most Influential People, TIME
In other news…

Killing of Americans Deepens Debate Over Use of Drone Strikes, New York Times (Mark Mazzetti)

Poll: Gay-marriage support at record high, Washington Post (Scott Clement and Robert Barnes)
British Teen Charged With Inciting Terrorism, Wall Street Journal (Alexis Flynn)
Ariz. same-sex couples can again adopt, foster together, The Arizona Republic (Alia Beard Rau and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez)

Michael Brown’s family files wrongful-death lawsuit, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Staff)America’s transgender moment, CNN (Brandon Griggs)

Why the Stakes in 2016 Are So High, Wall Street Journal (Fred Barnes)

Creflo Dollar: The devil is trying to discredit me over jet campaign

Atheists Outnumber Southern Baptists in US Military

Head transplant doctor admits aim is immortality


James Dobson: Christians soon to be ‘hated minority’

James Dobson hosted a panel of Christian leaders on his “Family Talk” radio show Wednesday and warned that Christians are about to face a new status in America as a “hated minority” if the U.S. Supreme Court decides, as many expect, to mandate same-sex “marriage.”

“The heart of what’s happening is an attempt to impose a new morality on all of America,” said Maggie Gallagher, a traditional-marriage advocate for 25 years.

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Marriage Ordained by God, Redefined by the SCOTUS?

Will this pivotal decision be the Roe v Wade of marriage? Similar to that tragic turning point in our nation back in 1973, many of us believe redefining marriage is way outside the authority of government. It will only lead to a chaotic, genderless institution where anything goes including polygamy, pedophilia, cohabitation, open marriages, and other societal problems.

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The Reality of Heaven

In the previous article, we looked at the biblical evidence for the sad reality of hell. There is another reality……one that will b