Friday Briefing Oct 19, 2018 –

The culture of death extends its grip to Canada: Toronto doctors lay out procedures for euthanasia for children, without parental consent

As #Metoo movement celebrates its anniversary, the situation turns out to be more complicated than our society understands

What does the word ‘sin’ mean in a secular age?

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— Read on

We’re Not Battling Craziness. We’re Battling Evil.

Today’s liberalism isn’t merely “intrinsically uncivil,” but rather inherently evil.

Ever since the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the American left has been – as my mother likes to put it – in “rare form.”  Such “form” these last two years has resulted in obscene fits by individual leftists and, yes, liberal mobs.  Someone should ask these petulant, angry leftists – as did my mother when she encountered a tantrum (usually from a child): do you get a fever with those fits?

The answer is no, because – in spite of what many have implied as they’ve witnessed the rage, violence, and vulgarities so often employed by today’s liberals – we’re not dealing with sickness or mere lunacycrazinessstupidity, or even the deranged.  These characterizations are tempting – I’ve used them myself – and often accurate, but they fail to describe best what we are dealing with.

As Selwyn Duke alluded to recently, and others noted more directly years ago, modern liberalism – aided and abetted by the Democratic Party – is a dastardly tool of the enemy of all mankind.  It’s like a modern-day Mephistopheles luring hordes of Faustian fools with promises of worldly pleasure – especially sex – and perpetual provision from a paternalistic, godless nanny state.  Such dark pursuits consume their personal lives and thus their politics as well.  This is what results when one makes a god of government.

Speaking of “dark pursuits,” it seems that witches 

Part of this coping involves placing hexes on Justice Kavanaugh.  New York City witches have an 

As Rod Dreher implies, it’s no surprise that witchcraft attracts feminazis who wish to rebel against age-old family norms and anything remotely resembling Christianity.  Thus, it’s also little surprise that witchcraft fits so nicely under the tent of modern liberalism.

It seems Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, who’s battling Colonel Martha McSally – a former fighter pilot and combat veteran – for Jeff Flake’s seat in the U.S. Senate, has long been impressed with those who invoke the “dark arts.”  As the 

It was during the height of the Iraq War when Sinema, then a far-left protest-organizer, summoned supernatural help to stop the war.

Emails obtained by the Washington Examiner show Sinema inviting a prominent coven of feminist witches in Arizona called Pagan Cluster to celebrate International Women’s Day and to protest the war in March of 2003.  Code Pink protesters wore pink, obviously enough, and the Women in Black wore black.  But Sinema encouraged the witches to wear “colorful clothing and come ready to dance, twirl, and stay in touch with your inner creativity and with the Earth.”

Today’s liberalism isn’t merely “intrinsically uncivil,” but rather inherently evil. What else would you call a cause so devoted to killing the most innocent and helpless among us? What else would you call a cause so devoted to keeping legal the gruesome act of killing the most innocent and helpless among us that they would stoop to the disgraceful display (including witchcraft) witnessed during the Kavanaugh confirmation?

What else would you call a cause that is so devoted to the perverse LGBT agenda?  What else would you call a cause that deliberately seeks to ruin Christian business-owners because they refuse to bow to the perverse LGBT agenda?  What else would you call a cause that refuses to acknowledge who is a male and who is a female – and makes expensive and oppressive public policy based on such absurdities?

Whether a baker, a florist, a coach, a campus speaker, an insurance company, a fast food chain, a Supreme Court justice, or the president of the United States, anyone or anything who stands in the way of the wicked efforts of American liberals to remake our nation into a pagan utopia has become a target of the angry, vengeful left.  Ugly mob tactics (which are encouraged by elected Democrats) and witchcraft (which, as noted above, was embraced by wannabe-elected Democrats) are just two of the despicable means employed by those corrupted by liberalism.

— Read on

Slander — No Compromise Radio Podcast

What we can learn in this parable is that every believer is blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, and the gift of salvation is equally distributed to them. Being a believer for 50 yrs or 5 minutes is the same when it comes to salvation.
Does God owe people Grace?
Does God love you more when you obey Him.. and love you less when you disobey? If you say yes – you haven’t fully experienced grace.
When did God determine to give believers this grace? (Read Ephesians 1:4)
Listen in as Mike talks about this amazing grace and what the Bible says about it.

Pastor Mike discusses the subject of slander from a Biblical perspective. Slander is basically speaking badly about someone. This is a cowardly sin that God hates. If you are guilty of slander, confess your sin to God. Here are 4 reasons to not be slanderous taken from James 4:11-12:

  • 1. The person is your brother in the faith
  • 2. You are judging the law itself
  • 3. God alone is the lawgiver and judge
  • 4. You are not capable to judge

Semper Reformada in Context

The phrase ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always reforming) has been used so often as to make it a motto or slogan. People have used it to support a surprising array of theological and ecclesiastical programs and purposes. Scholars have traced its origins to a devotional book written by Jodocus van Lodenstein in 1674. Van Lodenstein, no doubt, had no intention of being a phrase-maker or sloganeer. What was his intention, and what did he mean by this phrase?

Van Lodenstein was a minister in the Reformed Church of the United Provinces in what we know today as the Netherlands. This church was born of decades of faithful preaching by ministers—many educated in Geneva—who risked their lives to carry the gospel, first into the French-speaking regions of the Low Countries, and later into the Dutch-speaking regions farther north. Some ministers were martyred for their faith, but they gathered a rich harvest of committed believers. Their message of the need for the reform of the church according to the Bible resonated with many who saw the corruptions of the old church.

Under the rulers Charles V and Philip II, the government of the Low Countries made every effort to suppress the Reformed religion, which was a large part of the reason for the Dutch revolt against their Spanish overlords. This revolt (1568-1648) became known as the Eighty Years’ War, giving birth to a new state in the northern part of the Low Countries. In this new state—the Dutch Republic, also known as the United Provinces—the Reformed Church was dominant, receiving government support and becoming the church of the majority of the population by the middle of the seventeenth century.

This church subscribed to the Belgic Confession (1561) and the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and had an essentially presbyterian form of government. Interference from the Protestant civil authorities of the new state limited the freedom of the Reformed Church, particularly in matters of discipline. That interference, in part, led to a crisis in the church in the early seventeenth century with the rise of Arminianism. That crisis was addressed and settled at the great international synod held in the city of Dordrecht in 1618-19. The Canons of Dort prepared at this synod became another doctrinal authority in the life of the church.

Jodocus van Lodenstein was born into a prominent family in the city of Delft in 1620. He was educated by two of the most distinguished Reformed professors of the day: the scholastic and pietist theologian Gisbertus Voetius of Utrecht and the covenant theologian Johannes Cocceius of Franeker. While being personally friendly with both theologians, he was more influenced by Voetius. Voetius stressed both precise theology and Christian living. Van Lodenstein was called to serve as a pastor in Utrecht, where he ministered from 1653 until his death in 1677. As a pastor, he always encouraged the faithful to disciplined, vital Christianity.

Van Lodenstein was an inheritor of a body clearly and fully reformed according to the Reformed or Calvinistic interpretation of the Bible. The Calvinists often described their vision of the church in three categories: doctrine, worship, and church government. In all three of these areas, the Dutch Reformed Church was thoroughly Calvinistic, similar in most ways to Calvinistic churches throughout the rest of Europe.

No church’s life is ever static, however, and van Lodenstein certainly saw some changes in his lifetime. In doctrine, for example, Reformed theologians were developing a covenant theology that would give great insight into both the structure of the unfolding revelation of the Bible and the work of Christ. Most Reformed Christians have seen this as a real theological advance. Van Lodenstein also saw the increasing use of the organ in public worship in the Reformed churches in his time. He knew the debates as to whether this change was a reformation or a deformation in the worship of the church. Are these the kinds of changes that he had in mind when he wrote about a church reformed and always reforming?

The answer to this question is no. Van Lodenstein was not thinking about adjustments and improvements to the church’s doctrine, worship, and government. These matters of external reform had been absolutely necessary when the Reformers accomplished them in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. But for Calvinists like van Lodenstein, they had been definitively accomplished and settled. He was not contemplating the value of relatively minor changes. He was not a man of later centuries who believed progress and change were necessary and good in and of themselves. He believed the Bible was clear on the foundations of doctrine, worship, and government, and that the Reformed churches had reformed these things correctly. In this sense, reform was a return to the teaching of the Bible. The Reformers had gotten these things right, and they were settled.

The great concern of ministers like van Lodenstein was not the externals of religion—as absolutely important as they are—but rather the internal side of religion. Van Lodenstein was a Reformed pietist and part of the Dutch Second Reformation. As such, his religious concerns were very similar to those of the English Puritans. They all believed that once the externals of religion had been carefully and faithfully reformed according to the Word of God, the great need was for ministers to lead people in the true religion of the heart. They saw the great danger of their day not as false doctrine or superstition or idolatry, but as formalism. The danger of formalism is that a church member could subscribe to true doctrine, participate in true worship in a biblically regulated church, and yet still not have true faith. As Jesus had warned against the Pharisees of His day, citing the prophet Isaiah, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matt. 15:8).

The part of religion that always needs reforming is the human heart. It is vital religion and true faith that must be constantly cultivated. Formalism, indifferentism, and conformism must all be vigorously opposed by a faithful ministry.

Van Lodenstein and those who stood with him believed that the Canons of Dort presented a vision of true religion like their own. In the battle against Arminianism, one of the great issues had been the doctrine of regeneration. In sixteenth-century Reformed theology, theologians used regeneration as one of several synonyms for sanctification. So, for example, Article 24 of the Belgic Confession could state that we are regenerated by faith. But in the struggle against the Arminians, regenerationtook on a more technical meaning, referring to the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in planting the new life in the soul that is necessary for faith. This new use of regeneration explained how faith was a gift of God, not the work of human free will. But it also explained how Christians were, by the grace of God, able to live a new life, pursuing holiness. The Canons of Dort declared:

When God carries out this good pleasure in his chosen ones, or works true conversion in them, he not only sees to it that the gospel is proclaimed to them outwardly, and enlightens their minds powerfully by the Holy Spirit so that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God, but, by the effective operation of the same regenerating Spirit, he also penetrates into the inmost being of man, opens the closed heart, softens the hard heart, and circumcises the heart that is uncircumcised. He infuses new qualities into the will, making the dead will alive, the evil one good, the unwilling one willing, and the stubborn one compliant; he activates and strengthens the will so that, like a good tree, it may be enabled to produce the fruits of good deeds.

This doctrine of regeneration was used, then, to stress the new principle of life in the Christian and the need for that new life to be lived out. The Christian needed to eschew formalism and live out his faith in the daily struggle against sin, finding rest and hope in the promises and Spirit of God.

So what did van Lodenstein mean by his famous phrase reformed and always reforming? Probably something like this: since we now have a church reformed in the externals of doctrine, worship, and government, let us always be working to ensure that our hearts and lives are being reformed by the Word and Spirit of God. Whatever other meanings may be made of this phrase, this original meaning is well worth pondering and preserving.

This post was originally published in Tabletalkmagazine.

— Read on

Why It’s Important to Seek a Correct Understanding of God (Orthodoxy) — Cold Case Christianity

The word “orthodox” does not actually appear in the Bible, but its meaning is affirmed throughout the Scriptures. The Bible describesthe existence of objective Biblical truth and prescribes the teaching and defense of this truth. We’re living in an age where it’s stylish for Christians to be involved in an open “conversation” about the questions and doctrines of the faith, without making decisive proclamations about what is true (or false). Many Christians have embraced a form of relativism and allowed it to influence their view of Biblical truth. But for the earliest believers (those closest to the original authors of scripture) truth was objective and exclusive:

Ephesians 4:4-5
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

Early Christians sought the truth about God, fully aware of the importance of “right belief”. Scripture commanded them to find the truth and carefully share it with others:

Titus 2:1
But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.

There was no hesitancy on the part of the first believers and leaders of the faith when it came to taking a stand for exclusive claims about the nature of God, Jesus or Salvation. These objective truths were cherished as a precious gift; believers were called to guard them carefully:

2 Timothy 1:13-14
Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

In a relativistic world in which all truths are deemed equally valid and true, a call to seek singular, objective truth (and then defend it to those around you) seems ridiculous. But this has always been the nature of the Christian faith. The Bible proclaims some things are true about God and some things are false. Scripture acknowledges the importance of faith, but also recognizes faith, in and of itself, has no power unless it is grounded in truth. That’s why the truth matters to God.

There is a common objection to the idea of Christian orthodoxy, however. It’s often said that heretics don’t think that they’re heretics at all. It sometimes seems like religious majorities get to decide what is orthodox and what is not. In most cases, it’s the majoritywho becomes the authority by which minorityviews are deemed heretical. Who is to say which side is actually orthodox and which side is heretical? As always, it comes down to authority. The fact two sides may argue about a truth claim does not negate the existence of objective truth. Just as every truth relies on some authority, we, as Christians, should not accept a claim purely because some group accepts it. As Christians, we must never let a group be our authority. The Bible alone must be our authority and each of us has been given the ability to read and determine what the Bible says on key issues.

As a Christian, I believe there are certain core objective truths related to the Christian faith; there are some Biblical truths we can know with certainty. These particular “essential” truths have been clearly described and affirmed historically. I don’t embrace them because the creeds are authoritative, but because the Scriptures are authoritative. These “essentials” are repeatedly taught in the Scripture for a reason: They are important to God. As a result, they ought to be important to us. When I disagree with a brother in Christ about a particular theological issue, I am open to discussing it, if my brother is willing to make a case from the Scripture. That’s why case making is a critical skill set and discipline for Christians. Yes, it’s important to seek a correct understanding of God. But, we must be prepared to make the case for objective Biblical truth to those within the Church before we can ever hope to make the case to the world around us.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case DetectiveChristian Case Maker, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and the author of Cold-Case ChristianityCold-Case Christianity for KidsGod’s Crime SceneGod’s Crime Scene for KidsForensic Faith, and Forensic Faith for Kids.

Why It’s Important to Seek a Correct Understanding of God (Orthodoxy) — Cold Case Christianity

October 19, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

8. And each of the four living creatures had six wings, around and inside they were full of eyes, and they had no rest day or night. They were saying,

“Holy, holy, holy,

Lord God Almighty,

who was, and who is, and who is to come.”

  • “And each of the four living creatures had six wings.” The resemblance to the visions of the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel is clear, but there are differences. The living beings in the Old Testament passages are either seraphim or cherubim, while John refrains from giving them names. In the prophecy of Isaiah these angelic beings have six wings: two to cover their faces, two to cover their feet, and two for flying (Isa. 6:2), but in the Ezekiel passage they have four wings (Ezek. 1:6). The number six ought not to be interpreted as the sinister number of incompleteness but rather as three sets of two, with each set having a distinct function. These wings furnish cover when the angels stand before God, and in flight they provide speed.

Even though John echoes phrases taken from the prophecies of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, he himself was given the privilege of looking into heaven to testify “to the things he saw” (1:2). We acknowledge that John’s understanding of the heavenly things was illumined while he was “rapt in the Spirit.”

  • “Around and inside they were full of eyes.” This is a throwback to verse 6, which describes the living creatures as covered with eyes. The question here concerns the word inside. The image of these angelic beings with eyes all around their body is clear, but a literal interpretation of eyes within their bodies is impossible. Perhaps the mental picture John wishes to convey is that of folded wings that kept eyes hidden, but when these wings were outstretched their eyes were on the underside (compare Ezek. 1:18).
  • “And they had no rest day or night.” This clause should not be interpreted to mean that angels sing praises to God without ceasing. There is a difference between doing something continually and continuously. Although John introduces a time division of day and night (see 14:11), he employs human terminology in expressing the concept of eternity. Time and space limit human beings on earth but angels live in eternity. Angels worship God without rest day or night in heaven and, by contrast, worshipers of the beast have no rest day and night in hell (14:11).
  • “They were saying ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.’ ” Notice that this song mentions the holiness, exclusive power, and eternity of God but says nothing about the redemption of human beings. Chapter 4 depicts the throne and the holiness of God, while chapter 5 portrays the Lamb and the redemption of his people.

The angelic song recorded in Isaiah 6:3 is sung by seraphim. There is no reason to suggest that the four living creatures called cherubim cannot sing these words. Aune is of the opinion that this angelic song “may have been part of a hymn regularly chanted in the temple liturgy or at least a cultic liturgical formula.” Also in Christian hymnody the threefold use of the adjective holy is well known from the words of Reginald Heber,

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise

to Thee;

Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and mighty!

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

In this throne-room chapter, the words Lord God Almighty proclaim the truth of God’s omnipotence. Nothing and no one in all creation can rival the Almighty. It is he who said, “I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isa. 45:6). He is the one “who was, and who is, and who is to come.” The sequence differs slightly from the earlier order, “who is and who was and who is to come” (1:4, 8; see also 16:5). These words describe God as timeless from eternity to eternity.[1]

4:8 — And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

In a sense, the whole Book of Revelation proceeds out of this verse. God judges the earth and every individual in it on the basis of His holiness, and He can tell us what is coming because He inhabits eternity.[2]

4:8 full of eyes. See note on v. 6. Holy, holy, holy. Often God is extolled for His holiness in this 3-fold form, because it is the summation of all that He is—His most salient attribute (see note on Is 6:3).[3]

4:6–8 The sea of glass appears in prophetic visions of God’s throne room (Ex. 24:10; Ezek. 1:22, 26; Rev. 15:2). It is the “floor” of heaven and the “ceiling” of the created universe, and its transparent tranquility shows heaven’s peace in contrast to earthly turmoil. Four living creatures exhibit features of cherubim (full of eyes; lion; ox; man; eagle) and seraphim (six wings; “Holy, holy, holy”) glimpsed by previous prophets (Isa. 6:2–3; Ezek. 1:10, 18). Variation and blending of such features is a reminder that in prophetic visions, images symbolize mysterious unseen realities. These close attendants represent and yet transcend the whole of the created order on earth and in heaven as they ceaselessly praise God for his intrinsic attributes: infinite holiness and power, and eternal life (in the repeated description, “who lives forever and ever,” in Rev. 4:9–10). When the Lamb breaks the scroll’s seals, these living creatures will summon four horsemen to bring judgment (6:1–8).[4]

4:8 The mention of the creatures having six wings and the words holy, holy, holy echo the description of the seraphim in the heavenly throne room in Is 6:1–3. On who was, who is, and who is to come, see note at 1:4.[5]

[1] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Vol. 20, pp. 191–193). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[2] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Re 4:8). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Re 4:8). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2470). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] Luter, A. B. (2017). Revelation. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 2024). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

THE CARAVAN OF LIES & MANIPULATION: The Democrats Fear That Their Blue Wave Isn’t Coming And Now They Have Timely Latched On To The Incoming Caravan Of Immigrants To Help Them Win The 2018 Elections : These Christian Times

Don’t let Democrats phony sympathy for immigrants fool you. They didn’t care before when Obama was President and they don’t care now. Democrats fear that Latino’s aren’t energized to vote and could doom the Democrats chances of getting the house back. This has cause fear among the party as they look for ways to get them to vote. Cue the incoming caravan of illegal immigrants making its away to America. How wierd that the one vote the Democrats want consists of Latinos coming across the border. Democrats do not care for Latino’s. They only want to use them to get them to vote and a prime example is how they are using the caravan as a sympathy tool. Don’t fall for this Democratic ploy and don’t fall for their false sympathy for illegal immigrants.

— Read on

72% of LA Hate Crimes Hit Jews, Only 12% Muslims | Frontpage Mag

The media yammers compulsively about Islamophobia. And yet, in reality, the majority of religion-based hate crimes target Jews.

In Los Angeles, it’s 72%.

The latest report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations shows that 72 percent of hate crimes against religion in the county were against Jews in 2017.

Following Jews on the list were Muslims, Catholics and Protestants:

Muslims were at 12%. Catholics at 11%.

A recent brutal videotaped attack by a Muslim against an Orthodox Jew in New York, pictured above, should serve as an important reminder that Muslim anti-Semitism is a much more serious problem than any supposed Islamophobia.

And it’s a problem that no one is allowed to talk about.
— Read on

EPIC: Hispanic CNN Guest Triggers Panel By Calling Out It’s Left Wing Bias : These Christian Times

CNN will never back away with it’s bias on President Trump. At least you know you will get that from the Fakenews network. The Left continues to push their crazy worldview. They also continue to create a worldview of deception. Watch as a Hispanic CNN guests triggers the leftists about their rhetoric and bias. Doesn’t get better than this.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Oh boy, this one for the ages. Steve Cortes calls out Cuomo for being a left wing shill and Cuomo gives the lamest defense, then goes on to lob softballs to the far left Simone Sanders. Unbelievable how deluded these propagandists are. Their entire network is based on fear of the right! #redwave #jobsnotmobs
— Read on

GTY Blog Post – Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Preaching the Word in an Out-of-Season Culture”

In the closing lines of his final epistle, the apostle Paul charges Timothy, his young apprentice in the faith, to “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2, emphasis added).

You may read that verse and wonder, as many have, what Paul means regarding the timeliness of the teaching of God’s Word. How can biblical preaching be “in season and out of season”?

In his sermon “Preaching the Word in an Out-of-Season Culture,” John MacArthur explains the simple point of Paul’s exhortation.

We might debate exactly what Paul had in mind, but we cannot debate that there are only two possibilities. You can either be in season or out of season. What he is simply saying is all the time. . . . When it seems to be popular and when it is unpopular. When it is seasonable and when it is unseasonable.

While the church has enjoyed a few brief centuries of relative détente with western culture, all signs today point to a looming end to that cease-fire, if it hasn’t already ended. Cultural trends today are profoundly opposed to the authority of God’s Word and the purity of the church. For many in the church, the Word of God is as out-of-season as it has ever been in their lifetimes.

And as an encouragement to hold fast to the truth of the Word in such wicked days, John MacArthur looks to Paul’s urgent words to Timothy. “Preaching the Word in an Out-of-Season Culture” spans more than a chapter of Paul’s epistle, and redirects his words of warning and encouragement to the twenty-first century church.

This is frightening stuff, folks. Here is a man, the great apostle Paul, into his sixties, at the end of his life. He’s given all these years to the establishment of the church and the proclamation of truth. He is passing the mantle to Timothy, and Timothy’s beginning to show signs of failure and weakness. [Paul] calls him to stir up the gift, not to be a coward, not to be ashamed and, amazingly, to hold on to sound doctrine. Because what happens under pressure is, you begin to soften your message.

Paul wanted Timothy to be aware of the threats that surrounded his ministry—we need to heed that warning as well. In 2 Timothy 3:1, he wrote, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.” In his sermon, John explains the apostle’s words are not merely a vague warning, but instead that they speak to specific seasons or epochs of savage danger aligned against the church. John then looks back through church history to identify some of those seasons, including sacramentalism, rationalism, liberalism, mysticism, and subjectivism.

In light of the unending assault on the authority of Scripture and the constant threats to the purity and health of the church, the church desperately needs to heed Paul’s warning. We need to understand the world’s opposition to the truth, and the danger of its influence in our midst.

God’s people need to love His Word, and faithfully deliver it to a world that wants nothing to do with it. To encourage you in that daily struggle, we hope you’ll listen to “Preaching the Word in an Out-of-Season Culture.”
— Read on

October 19 Jesus’ Deity in His Judgment

For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.—John 5:22

Jesus’ authority to grant spiritual life to whomever He chooses is consistent with His authority to judge all men on the last day (cf. 3:18–19; 12:48). Since God is the “Judge of all the earth” (Gen. 18:25), the fact that the Father judges no one, but “has given all judgment to the Son,” further attests to Christ’s deity. Because their wills are in perfect harmony, all judgment can be given to Christ in the assurance that His judgment will be, in fact, the very same as the Father’s judgment. Although judgment was not the primary purpose of Christ’s first coming to earth (3:17; 12:47), it remains the inescapable final result of rejecting the salvation He offers (3:18).

In the future, “the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess. 1:7–8), because God “has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). On that final, terrible day of judgment, those who rejected Jesus will hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 7:23).

Take the time right now to examine your relationship to Christ. Make sure you are depending on His grace and mercy for salvation, not on your own sincere efforts.


Knowing ourselves and our tendency to sin, our view of God’s power is perhaps most clearly seen, not in His ability and authority to judge but in His willingness to continually restrain it. That He doesn’t begrudge His sacrifice but keeps applying it to our need is evidence of the highest form of mercy. Thank Him heartily for this today.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 301). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

Saudi Arabia transfers $100 million to U.S. on day of Pompeo visit to discuss missing journalist – Chicago Tribune

The timing of the transfer, first reported by The New York Times, raised questions about a potential payoff as Riyadh seeks to manage the blowback over allegations that Saudi agents were responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The United States received a payment of $100 million from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the same day Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh to discuss the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a State Department official confirmed Wednesday amid global calls for answers in the case.

Saudi Arabia publicly pledged the payment to support U.S. stabilization efforts in northeastern Syria in August, but questions persisted about when and if Saudi officials would come through with the money.

The timing of the transfer, first reported by The New York Times, raised questions about a potential payoff as Riyadh seeks to manage the blowback over allegations that Saudi agents were responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance. The State Department denied any connection between the payment and Pompeo’s discussions with Saudi officials about Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist.

“We always expected the contribution to be finalized in the fall time frame,” Brett McGurk, the State Department’s envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition, said in a statement. “The specific transfer of funds has been long in process and has nothing to do with other events or the secretary’s visit.”

Saudi Arabia, an oil rich monarchy and staunch U.S. ally, has long relied on its financial largesse to persuade partners to support its foreign policy objectives. Western diplomats suspect that the kingdom will also compensate Turkey for its willingness to launch a joint investigation on Khashoggi’s disappearance – a payback that could come in the form of large-scale debt relief, strategic buyouts or other arrangements that boost Turkey’s ailing economy.

Khashoggi’s disappearance has hurt the reputation of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, whose close relationship with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has put him at the center of the administration’s Middle East policy.

Turkish authorities say Khashoggi was killed Oct. 2 during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document required to get married.
— Read on

Saudis Likely to Follow Key Machiavellian Principle in Handling Khashoggi Incident Fallout – Stephen Lendman

by Stephen Lendman (  Home – Stephen Lendman)

There’s little doubt about Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman’s dirty hands all over Jamal Khashoggi’s elimination.

Turkey claims to have key incriminating evidence, proving kingdom culpability, indicating high level responsibility.

In The Prince, Machiavelli explained how rulers should distance themselves from state-sponsored criminality – shift blame onto convenient patsies.

The Saudis are likely to follow this principle. Its Istanbul consul general Mohammed al-Otaibi was recalled to the kingdom and sacked – step one in shifting blame.

Clearly no one at his level would order the disappearance and killing of a former Saudi insider/turned critic on his own, notably a US resident in a foreign country.

Reportedly Otaibi is under investigation for the Khashoggi incident. He and perhaps others dispatched from the kingdom to Istanbul will likely be blamed for what happened, an attempt to shield the crown prince (MBS) from culpability.

According to the Turkish Yeni Safak broadsheet, Khashoggi was killed in minutes after entering the consulate, his fingers severed. Beheading and dismemberment followed, according to a cited audio recording.

Reportedly the consulate and consul general’s residence were bugged, enabling Turkish intelligence to monitor what went on inside.

Otaibi reportedly was heard on tape saying: “Do this outside. You’re going to get me in trouble.” One of the Saudi officials involved in the incident was heard telling him: “Shut up if you want to live when you return to” the kingdom.”

Asked about the incident when in Turkey, Mike Pompeo said “I don’t have anything to say about that.” His spokeswoman Heather Nauert said he hadn’t heard the alleged audio.

Ankara hasn’t released it or video evidence of Khashoggi’s slaying it claims to have. Washington and perhaps EU governments have their own.

Riyadh failed to comment publicly on the incident – other than king Salman and MBS telling Trump they have no knowledge about what happened – what’s clearly untrue.

The Trump regime is providing cover for the Saudis, intending to keep US relations with the kingdom unchanged.

According to Middle East analyst Simon Henderson, “(t)he US is organizing a diplomatic clean-up operation for MBS and (his) regime,” clearly what’s going on.

In his last Washington Post column, Khashoggi said Middle East regimes “continue silencing the media at an increasing rate” – failing to explain Western print, electronic and social media self-censor, the way all totalitarian regimes operate worldwide.

On Wednesday, Turkish forensic investigators finished examining the Istanbul consulate and official residence of its consul general.

According to the Turkish prosecutor’s office, samples were recovered with no further elaboration.

It’s unknown if Khashoggi’s DNA or blood traces were found. Unnamed sources said evidence discovered indicated what happened to him.

The forensic search included the consulate’s garage and garden, investigators seen leaving the premises with boxes and bags, their contents unrevealed.

According to Turkey’s interior ministry, results of the investigation will be “shared with the world.”

The notion of Saudi self-investigation about what happened is all about wanting blame shifted from king Salman, MBS, and other key officials to lower-level ones.

There’s little doubt about kingdom responsibility for Khashoggi’s fate at the highest level.

There’s no doubt about Western/Saudi relations remaining unchanged once the current furor fades.

A Final Comment

According to the Arabic-language al-Ahd broadsheet, “signs of a political deal among Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the US in Khassogi’s assassination case have appeared in the past three days,” adding:

“Possibly they want to implement a plot like the Lockerby case and say that three (Saudis) abducted Khashoggi, and then put them on trial to exonerate” king Salman and MBS.

What’s coming by the kingdom will likely be something like the above scenario.

Whether it’s enough for MBS to remain crown prince remains to be seen. His involvement in what happened clearly showed he’s inept, failing to consider the potential consequences of his action.

— Read on

Brannon Howse: October 18, 2018 | Worldview Weekend

Topic: The proven steps to brainwashing of Americans (Part 2 of 3). Today Brannon beings to layout the very specific steps that have been used by the communists to brainwash American prisoners of war during the Korean War. You will hear numerous audio clips from William E. Mayer who conducted a detailed study of 1,000 Korean War Veterans. The study by Major William E. Mayer was released in October of 1956 and revealed how these P.O.W. turned to defending and promoting communism without be persuaded by torture or drugs. So just how were these men in the 1950s convinced to embrace and promote communism and how are these same brainwashing techniques being used today in America to accomplish the same goals?

Download File Here
— Read on

10/19/18 Prayers of the Heart —

READING: Matthew 19, Mark 10:1-31, Luke 16:1-18:30

“God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”

Luke 18:13

I wonder what my prayers reveal about my heart. I do not usually think about that question, but today’s reading in the Gospel of Luke takes me in that direction.

Jesus was speaking about people who “trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else” (Luke 18:9), and He used the illustration of two men praying to make His point. The first man, a religious leader/Pharisee, thanked God that he was better than others. He made it clear that he fasted twice a week and tithed of his wealth. Another man, a hated tax collector, “would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’” (Luke 18:13). It was the latter man that Jesus said went home justified.

Again, the point of the story is to show the foolishness of trusting in one’s righteousness, but Jesus nevertheless painted the picture in light of prayer. The men revealed their hearts by the way they prayed. Thus, I wonder today if my prayer shows things like a heart more focused on myself or on others, a heart broken over lostness, and a heart committed to interceding for our church staff. I want my heart to reflect the heart of Jesus.


  • Evaluate the focus of your praying.
  • Focus your prayers today on others.

PRAYER: “Father, turn my heart to You above all things. Let that focus be heard in my prayers.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 20, Mark 10:32-52, Luke 18:31-19:2

via 10/19/18 Prayers of the Heart —

The Arabian Game Of Thrones Heats Up | Zero Hedge

“The Saudis are only matched by Israel in their total disregard for international norms of behavior in the Middle Eastern region as they and their cohorts engage in their bloody ‘Game of Thrones’…”

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Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The reported torture, murder, and dismemberment of Washington-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate-general in Istanbul reminded the world that an intense power play is now taking place within the monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula and between them. 

In November 2017, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered the arrest and detention at the Riyadh Ritz Carlton Hotel of over 200 members of the Saudi royal family, including eleven rival princes, as well as government ministers and influential businessmen. That came after an October 2017 meeting in Riyadh between MBS and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, conclave that lasted well into the early morning hours. At the meeting, Kushner is said to have turned over to MBS a list of the names of the Crown Prince’s opponents:leading figures of the Saudi royal house, government, and major businesses.

The list may have also contained the name “Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi.”

The list of Saudi names was, reportedly, compiled by Kushner from top secret special code word documents he had specifically requested from the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency. The documents were specifically requested by Kushner, not because he was an expert in communications intercepts, but because he likely had a control officer who told him what files to obtain. The Kushner family have longstanding ties to the Israeli Likud Party, as well as the Mossad intelligence service. The Mossad enjoys a close working relationship with the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate, which is now firmly committed to MBS after a previous purge of its upper ranks following MBS’s rise to the heir apparent position in the House of Saud.

Those on the list handed over to MBS by Kushner were all subjects of NSA and CIA communications intercepts of phone calls, video conferences, and emails. Kushner is said to have had a phone conversation with MBS a day before Khashoggi was murdered.

Reports from U.S. intelligence sources report that the NSA had intercepted high-level communications between the Saudi government in Riyadh and the Saudi consulate-general in Istanbul indicating thatthere was a plot afoot to either kidnap Khashoggi and fly him back to Riyadh or murder him on the spot. Kidnapping and detention is definitely part of MBS’s playbook as seen with his kidnapping and detention in Riyadh on November 3, 2017 of arriving Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. No sooner had Hariri’s plane touched down in Riyadh, was his cell phone confiscated by the Saudis and he was detained. Hariri was forced to resign in a forced statement read by him on a Saudi television network. MBS was hoping to replace Hariri with his older estranged brother, Bahaa Hariri, someone that MBS had in his pocket.

MBS had bragged to close advisers that he also had Jared Kushner “in his pocket.”Lebanese President Michel Aoun demanded Hariri’s immediate release by the Saudi regime and his return to Beirut. Just as Riyadh denied it had murdered Khashoggi, it refused to admit that it was holding Hariri against his will. MBS ordered Hariri flown to Abu Dhabi to meet with MBS’s on-and-off-again ally, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), the heir apparent to the presidency of the United Arab Emirates. At the age of 57, MBZ is not as brash as the young and impetuous MBS. This has been witnessed by MBZ’s willingness to work with Jordanian King Abdullah II to seek an accommodation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. MBS is reportedly furious with MBZ and Abdullah, the latter a member of the Hashemite family, who were ejected from their rule over Mecca and Medina by the British and Sauds, following World War I. Ever since the Hashemites’ loss of the Hejaz region of Arabia to the radical Wahhabist Sauds, there has been bad blood between Riyadh and Amman.

MBS is also upset over MBZ’s support for rival claimants to power in South Yemen.MBS is supporting the rump Yemeni government, much of it in exile in Saudi Arabia, against the Iranian-supported Houthi government ruling from Sana’a in north Yemen in a bloody and genocidal war being orchestrated by Riyadh, with the support of the Trump adminstration and the Israeli regime.

The UAE has been supporting the Southern Transition Council (STC), which strives for South Yemen’s reversion to an independent state, a status it enjoyed before a forced merger with north Yemen in 1990. Caught in the middle are forces loyal to Sheikh Abdullah bin Issa al Aafrar, the Sultan of the Mahra State, which was disestablished when South Yemen achieved independence in 1967. The Mahra Sultan, who is living in the neighboring Sultanate of Oman, under Sultan Qabus bin Said’s protection, is also in the gun sights of MBS, who does not want any competition for Saudi control of all of Yemen.

Oman is reportedly backing the Al-Mahra and Socotra People’s General Council, which is composed of the Mahra Sultan and Mahri tribal elders. This rival governing authority wants to be free of any control by the Saudi, Emirati, Houthi, and the pro-Saudi Yemen government. Through the offices of Oman’s mission to the United Nations, the General Council has been in direct contact with the UN Security Council. The STC also includes members of the tribes and royal families of other former states of the British colonial era Federation of Arab Emirates of the South and Protectorate of South Arabia. These include the Kathiri State, Sultanate of Lahej, the Qu’aiti State of Hadhramaut, and the Emirates of Dhala and Beihan.

MBS is known to be angling to select the successor to Qabus, who has no children and has been a thorn in Riyadh’s side.Under Qabus, Oman has been friendly to Iran and the Assad government in Syria, as well as Qatar, where the 36-year old Emir, Tamim bin Hamad, has infuriated MBS by maintaining relations with Iran. In 2013, Tamim’s father, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, formally abdicated the throne in favor of his son. However, it is well known that Hamad still pulls the strings in Doha. In 1995, Hamad deposed his father, Khalifa BIN Hamad al Thani, who was undergoing medical treatment in Geneva. In 1972, Khalifa ousted his cousin, Ahmad, while he was on a hunting trip in Iran. Ahmad settled in Dubai, where he married the daughter of the Emir of Dubai. MBS and MBZ are anxious to prop up a rival to the current Qatari emir from the ranks of potential claimants to the throne in Doha, including two rival al-Thani clan members who the Saudis have claimed have rightful claims to the Qatari throne – Abdulla bin Ali Al Thani and Sultan bin Suhaim Al Thani.

MBS, along with all the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, have instituted a punishing economic and diplomatic embargo on Qatar. There is some speculation in the Middle East that MBS is quietly backing to succeed Qabus, Taimur bin Assad, the 37-year old son of Qabus’s cousin, Said Assad bin Tariq. As the deputy prime minister for international cooperation, Said Assad bin Tariq was designated as the official heir to the ailing Qabus.

In this Arabian “Game of Thrones,” MBZ may have his own favorites among other claimants to the sultan’s throne in Muscat. These include Said Assad bin Tariq’s half-brothers, Haitham bin Tariq, currently the culture minister, and Shihab bin Tariq, a former commander of the Omani navy. MBZ is reportedly running a network of spies within the Omani royal court to influence the succession to Qabus. There is another, non-Arabian prince, who could also have a great deal of influence in the Omani royal succession. He is the Prince of Wales, Charles, the future King of England, who has been a longtime friend and confidante of Sultan Qabus.

Oman and Qatar have their own agents of influence within the royal families of the seven emirates that make up the UAE. In July, Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad al-Sharqi, the second-in-line for the throne in Fujairah, the UAE emirate that borders Oman, turned up in Qatar to ask for asylum. He said that MBZ’s government was using extortion to eke out transfers of large sums of cash by Emirati royal families to unknown parties around the world, including those in Ukraine, India, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria. The UAE, along with the Saudis, are major financial supporters of jihadist elements around the world. Sheikh Rashid has also provided Qatari intelligence with details of discontent among the emirates of the dictatorial policies of MBZ in Abu Dhabi. The other emirs are also critical of the UAE’s involvement in the genocidal civil war in Yemen, one in which troops from Fujairah, Umm al Quwain, Ajman, Sharjah, and Ras al Khaimah, are used for cannon fodder, while those from the wealthier Abu Dhabi and Dubai avoid frontline combat.

Recently, the Saudis have pressured their puppet king in Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to fire his uncle, Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Prince Khalifa is the world’s longest-serving prime minister. However, he has apparently irritated MBS with his work to protect the rights of foreign workers, including those from the Philippines and south Asia, in Bahrain and the wider Gulf region.

MBS and Kushner are known to view Iran as the chief threat to peace in the Middle East. MBZ shares in their view of Iran, something that is, apparently, not shared by the emirates of the northern Gulf region, including Fujairah. From their actions, MBS and MBZ are, along with their Israeli and American allies, the major threat to peace in the region. The assassination of a journalist resident in the United States in a third country, Turkey, and the kidnapping and house arrest of a sitting prime minister of another nation is unprecedented behavior in the Middle East. The Saudis are only matched by Israel in their total disregard for international norms of behavior in the Middle Eastern region as they and their cohorts engage in their bloody “Game of Thrones.”
— Read on

The Corporatist War On Free Speech – Are We A Nation Of Sheep? by Ron Paul

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The attacks on free speech are not coming from uniformed government officials shutting down newspapers. But that doesn’t mean they are not coming from the government. How are “social media” companies and government working together to turn us into a nation of sheep?

Media Congratulates Meghan Markle On Meaningless Blob Of Tissue Developing In Her Womb | The Babylon Bee

WORLD—Media outlets worldwide congratulated Meghan Markle after it was announced earlier this week that she has a meaningless blob of tissue developing in her womb.

Despite happening many times per day, the world showed it hasn’t lost its appreciation for the miracle of new, utterly insignificant groupings of cells being formed inside women’s reproductive systems.

“Meghan Markle Glowing After Announcing Potential Human Life Growing Within Her,” read the New York Times headline, while across the pond, the BBC ran “Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Expecting Royal Clump Of Cells” and The Daily Mail pondered “Is That a Fetus Bump We See Already?!”

“I’m so excited to meet the Royal Parasite!” said one Londoner. “I ran down to Tesco straight away to get as many magazines as I could. I just love devouring information about a totally not human, completely purposeless little growth inside another woman, one that she could terminate at any time if she chooses to, as is her right.”

The Washington Post devoted some time to discussing the potential future office of the pregnancy, depending on what gender the amorphous parasite would eventually choose for itself.
— Read on

Video: “All Prayer” by Alistair Begg

Christians know that prayer is essential, but we often struggle with knowing how to pray best. As Paul instructed the Ephesians in wielding the spiritual weapon of prayer, he both exemplified and explained how to pray, when to pray, and what to pray for. Walking us through Paul’s imperatives on prayer, Alistair Begg helps us understand what it means to pray continually, varyingly, and perseveringly for all our brothers and sisters in Christ with God-centered perspective and trust.

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October 19: Big Picture Hope

Ezekiel 38:1–39:24; Revelation 19:1–10; Job 38:12–24

Some Bible passages are so perplexing that we’re not really sure what to make of them. Such is the case with Ezek 38:1–39:24. As we closely examine this text, we can easily lose sight of its message. We can find ourselves so lost in the details that the big picture becomes fuzzy. So what is the big picture presented in this passage? God is on the side of His people; He will fight for them.

This message is comforting. We all experience times when we feel like an ancient Israelite, lost and wandering in the desert. We go through times when we’re not sure what’s next or how it will all end up. But when we realize that God is there to war on our behalf—even in the midst of supreme chaos and paradise interrupted (compare Ezek 37)—our viewpoint quickly shifts.

When we feel as though we’re blindly grasping for answers in the smoke that is the future, startling realizations like the type Ezekiel envisions can provide us with the hope we need (compare Heb 11:1). The book of Revelation casts similar visions. After the lament over Babylon and all the “woes,” John the Apostle experiences rejoicing in heaven—salvation has arrived: “After these things I heard something like the loud sound of a great crowd in heaven saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, because his judgments are true and righteous, because he has passed judgment on the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and has avenged the blood of his slaves shed by her hand!’ ” (Rev 19:1–2).

The big picture of the confusing passages of the Bible is indeed big. God is bringing judgment against the evil in the world and ushering in His great and glorious salvation. He will war on our behalf against all we fear. He has, and will, fight for us. He is a glorious and powerful God, worthy of praise.

What is the big picture of the current situation you’re dealing with? How does it give you hope?

John D. Barry[1][1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.