Daily Archives: May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily News/Commentary Collection

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May 18, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

BLOOMBERG

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, own assets worth $1.9 million to $6.9 million, according to financial disclosures released Friday.

A vote Thursday evening in the House of Representatives provided a jarring reminder of how far the national immigration debate has shifted in the last two years. By a margin of 221 to 202, the chamber voted to strip language from the National Defense Authorization Act that would have encouraged the Pentagon to allow young undocumented immigrants to serve in the military if they’re protected under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (commonly called DACA).

Greek bonds plunged, pushing 10-year yields to the highest this month, as speculation grew that the nation’s financial system may be weeks from running out of cash.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warns that government debt is still expensive, but a growing number of investors are finding value after the four-week exodus sent yields soaring.

The New York Federal Reserve’s lead supervisor of Goldman Sachs has quit for a job advising other financial firms, triggering concerns within the Wall Street bank that some of its business secrets might not stay so secret.

People are racing to spend their money as fast as they can, trying to keep ahead of consumer price increases that Bank of America Corp. estimates could almost reach 200 percent this year. Yet because that inflation surge has decimated the value of Venezuela’s money, shopping with cash would require carrying around a brick-sized wad of 100-bolivar bills — not a great idea in a country with the world’s second-highest murder rate.

A Saudi-led military coalition resumed airstrikes in Yemen targeting Shiite Houthi rebels after a five-day humanitarian cease-fire ended.

AP Top Stories

Law enforcement remained on alert in Waco, Texas, after a deadly shootout between rival biker gangs shook up the community, and attempts at intimidation ensured officers will stay on the streets. Waco police said 192 people have been arrested on charges of engaging in organized crime following the Sunday afternoon brawl at a Twin Peaks restaurant that left nine bikers dead and at least 18 more wounded.

Islamic State militants likely killed up to 500 Iraqi civilians and soldiers and forced 8,000 people to flee from their homes as they captured the Iraqi city of Ramadi, a provincial official said Monday, while the extremists went door-to-door looking for policemen and pro-government tribesmen.

Britain’s Royal Navy said it had launched an inquiry after a sailor who served on its submarines armed with nuclear weapons said the vessels had major security flaws and were a “disaster waiting to happen”.

Pope Francis canonized two nuns from what was 19th century Palestine on Sunday in hopes of encouraging Christians across the Middle East who are facing a wave of persecution from Islamic extremists.

Nine months after police in riot gear dispelled racially charged protests, President Obama is prohibiting the federal government from providing some military-style equipment to local departments and putting stricter controls on other weapons and gear distributed to law enforcement.

Singapore condemned Iranian forces for firing warning shots in the Gulf at a commercial ship registered in the Asian city-state, calling it a “serious violation of international law”.

Russia managed on a second attempt to restart the engines of a Progress spacecraft attached to the International Space Station (ISS) and shift the station’s orbit. The success of the maneuver is a much-needed scrap of good news for Russia’s beleaguered space program after a spate of high-profile malfunctions that saw a spacecraft fail to dock with the ISS, astronauts stranded temporarily in space and the loss of a Mexican satellite.

A US special forces raid in eastern Syria killed 32 members of the Islamic State jihadist group, including four leaders, a monitoring group said Sunday.

BBC

Shia militias are assembling east of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to prepare for a counter-attack against Islamic State militants who captured it on Sunday.

Nigeria’s army said it has cleared 10 more camps used by Boko Haram in the north-east of the country.

The World Health Organization will set up a $100m emergency contingency fund following the Ebola outbreak, its director-general has announced.

The UN has condemned the refusal of South-East Asian countries to rescue thousands of migrants adrift at sea. At least 700 Bangladeshis and Rohingya from Myanmar were rescued off Aceh last week by locals, bringing the numbers in camps there to at least 1,500.

An Indian nurse who spent 42 years in a persistent vegetative state after being raped and strangled has died.

WND

A record U.S. outbreak of avian flu would limit its supply of eggs and chickens that lay them for nine to 18 months.

A Nigerian restaurant has reportedly been shut down for cooking human flesh and serving it to customers. They raided the hotel restaurant to discover human heads which were still dripping with blood in plastic bags.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a 13-point national “Progressive Agenda” that is being touted as the liberal “Contract with America.” Most of the 13 points in de Blasio’s “Progressive Agenda” can also be found in the manifestos and literature of the Communist Party USA and the Socialist Party USA.


Top News – 5/18/2015

Hundreds of Kenyan pastors to Obama: Stop preaching homosexuality


Hundreds of Kenyan pastors have had enough of President Barack Obama’s aggressive push for African nations to forsake their religious convictions and fully embrace homosexual behavior and same-sex “marriage.”   

Scientists Discover First-ever Warm-blooded Fish
In a press release on Tuesday, NOAA Fisheries confirmed that the opah circulates heated blood throughout its body much like birds or mammals, albeit at a much lower temperature. “Fish that typically inhabit such cold depths tend to be slow and sluggish, conserving energy by ambushing prey instead of chasing it,” NOAA stated. “But the opah’s constant flapping of its fins heats its body, speeding its metabolism, movement and reaction times, scientists report today in the journal Science.”   

Sorry, Your Holiness, You Are Dangerously Wrong
Those who forget that the Vatican is a city-state and not just the home office of the Catholic Church got a reminder this past week of just how its sovereignty works. Its decision to formally recognize “Palestine” as an independent nation was not a theological position but one in keeping with the policies of the rest of Europe which has chosen to promote the Palestinian Authority’s ambitions despite its repeated refusal to make peace and its lack of control of much of the territory it claims.   

Christians need to face the bad news about Christianity
Christianity isn’t normal anymore, and that’s good news. The Book of Acts, like the Gospels before it, shows us that the Christianity thrives when it is, as Kierkegaard put it, a sign of contradiction. Only a strange gospel can differentiate itself from the worlds we construct. But the strange, freakish, foolish old gospel is what God uses to save people and to resurrect churches (1 Cor. 1:20-22).   

Turkey to Help Hamas Rebuild 19 Destroyed ‘Missile Mosques’
Turkey has offered money to Hamas to re-build 19 mosques that were used to store or launch missiles on Israel before the IDF destroyed them in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio reported Monday morning.   

Netanyahu Vows on Jerusalem Day, Capital Undivided ‘Forever’
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday at a Jerusalem Day ceremony that the Israeli capital will remain undivided “forever.” Speaking at the government’s official Jerusalem Day ceremony held at Ammunitition Hill, Netanyahu said, “We need to tell the truth without fear. This is where we began our path as a nation.   

‘RAMADI HAS FALLEN’: Iraqi troops flee as ISIS seizes control of key city
ISIS overran the beleaguered Iraqi army to take control of the key city of Ramadi Sunday, killing an estimated 500 soldiers and civilians, sending thousands of residents fleeing for their lives and grabbing up U.S.-issued arms left behind as the embattled nation’s fighters fled, witnesses reported.   

Obama to set new limits on police use of military equipment
Obama plans to put in place new restrictions on the use of military equipment by police departments, following unrest in U.S. cities over the deaths of black men at the hands of police officers, the White House said on Monday.   

Kilaueas southwest rift heading towards eruption?
For the last few weeks, we were all watching the overflowing lava lake at the summit caldera of Kilauea. Last week, the lava lake levels dropped precipitously, ending the lava flows that were repaving the pit crater floor. That could have been the end of the activity, but over the past few days, an earthquake swarm has been rumbling at the Hawaiian volcano.   

NO IMPACT
A CME expected to sideswipe Earth’s magnetic field on May 17th either missed or its impact was undetectable. As a result, geomagnetic activity is low and likely to remain so for the next 24 to 48 hours.   

Exclusive: Mother Of Boston Marathon Bomber Says US Will Burn
With her terrorist son sentenced to death, the mother of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sent raging messages to his supporters… “They think that they are killing us and they celebrate this, but we are the ones who will rejoice when Allah grants us the chance to behold them in the flames of an eternal and terrifying fire, an otherworldly flame,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva wrote Sunday…   

Yemen conflict: Saudi-led air strikes resume as truce ends
A Saudi-led coalition has resumed air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen after a five-day ceasefire ended, Yemeni officials and witnesses say. Aircraft targeted rebel positions in the southern city of Aden overnight, despite a UN call for the truce to be extended to allow in more aid. Yemeni parties are in negotiations in Saudi Arabia on how to end the crisis.   

China’s new home prices fall for eighth month
The price of new homes in China fell for the eighth consecutive month in April, showing the property sector continues to be a major drag on the world’s second-largest economy. The average price in China’s 70 major cities fell 6.1% from a year ago – the same rate of decline as in March. A large inventory of unsold homes is weighing on the once red-hot market.   

Saudi Arabia to buy nuclear bombs from Pakistan: report
Saudi Arabia will join the nuclear club by buying “off the shelf” atomic weapons from Pakistan, US officials told a London newspaper. The Saudis — who financed much of Pakistan’s nuke program — are fearful of international efforts to keep its enemy Iran from acquiring a bomb, the Sunday Times of London reports. The Saudis think the deal, backed by President Obama, will actually accelerate Iran’s nuke push.   

Ukraine crisis: ‘Russian special forces’ captured
Ukraine’s military says its forces have captured two Russian soldiers fighting with rebels in eastern Ukraine. The troops were seized in the town of Shchastya, near the line of separation.   

Islamic State ‘seizes Iraqi city of Ramadi’
he Iraqi city of Ramadi has fallen to Islamic State (IS) after government forces abandoned their positions, officials say. The police and military made a chaotic retreat after days of intense fighting.   

It’s time to give Israel the means to take out Iranian nukes
The negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program have engendered furious debate in Washington and in capitals across the world. But there are steps outside of the nuclear talks that President Obama can take to help ensure that the United States and its allies are stronger and more secure the day after a deal than they were the day before. One such step would be to provide Israel with GBU-57 30,000-pound bunker-buster bombs (known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrators, or MOPs) and the means to carry them, in a quantity sufficient to destroy Iran’s most deeply buried nuclear sites.   

Greece warned of cash shortage ahead of deadline: report
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had warned foreign officials that Athens would not be able to pay the 750 million euros ($845 million) due this month to the International Monetary Fund, Greek newspapers said Sunday.   

Why Russia fears an Iran nuclear deal
Immediately after six world powers, including Russia, reached an interim deal with Iran on curbing its nuclear program, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting a ban on the delivery of S-300 anti-missile rocket systems and Moscow announced the start of an oil-for-goods swap with Iran.  

Top Headlines – 5/18/2015

Mideast experts blast European group’s call to punish Israeli government 

Netanyahu Pledges: Jerusalem Will Never be Divided Again

Netanyahu: Jerusalem has and always will only be the capital of the Jewish people 

Clashes erupt amid ‘Jerusalem Day’ march through Old City 

Mortar shell lands near Israel’s Golan border, no injuries 

Report: ‘Unprecedented’ number of Hezbollah fighters killed 

Egypt executes 6 Islamic militants for attack on soldiers 

ISIS gains full control of Iraqi city Ramadi 

As ISIS overtakes Iraqi city, US tries to plays down the impact 

Sources: Islamic State breaks into military base in Iraq’s Anbar 

Report: Syrian army kills 5 ISIS leaders 

US claims to have killed top ISIS leader in raid 

US lawmakers praise ISIS raid, seek long-term strategy 

Islamic State militants ‘smuggled to Europe’

Why Russia fears an Iran nuclear deal

Iranian ship carries aid, activists into waters off Yemen 

Humanitarian truce in Yemen broken as Saudi-led coalition resumes air strikes 

Report: Saudis may purchase Pakistani atomic bomb

Afghanistan: Suicide Bomber Hits E.U. Convoy

Nigerian military says has destroyed 10 Boko Haram camps in Sambisa 

Hotel restaurant in Nigeria shut down for serving human flesh 

Mother Of Boston Marathon Bomber Says US Will Burn

Nine Killed in Biker War at Waco, Texas, Restaurant

Immigration: 445,000 awaiting a court date, which might not come for 4 years 

Thousands rally against embattled Macedonian government 

Greece warned of cash shortage ahead of deadline: report

In Ukraine, Corruption Concerns Linger a Year After a Revolution

Ukraine crisis: ‘Russian special forces’ captured

China Making Some Missiles More Powerful

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Lata, Solomon Islands

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near the South Sandwich Islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Yigo Village, Guam

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Jiwani, Pakistan

Death toll from earthquakes now highest in Nepal’s history

Earthquake Phobia Leading To Medical Disorders, Claim Doctors

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Flooding Rains to Inundate Plains This Week

Drought So Bad This California Kid Has Never Seen Rain

Drought could spell trouble for California Democrats 

Bee crisis deepens; Pa. keepers turn to making honey over pollination

2 million more Minnesota chickens to be destroyed due to flu

AIDS expert flays Kremlin, says Russia’s HIV epidemic worsening

Russian police detain activists at gay flashmob in Moscow

World’s first 3D printed photosynthetic wearable embedded with living matter unveiled at TED2015

Buff Scott Jr. – Church-Goers Losing Interest in Partisan Religion

The Subtle Difference Between Demonic Faith and the Faith of Abraham

Hillsong Insider (Part 1): “My exit out of a mega church… Never to return again”

Looking Beyond a Church’s ‘Statement of Faith’

Some Christians Object to Our Muhammad Cartoon Contest. Here’s Why They’re Wrong

Church of Scotland votes to allow gay ministers in civil partnerships


What IS this strange sound from the sky? Odd noise heard across the globe……. 

Hillary Wants the Power to Ban Books and Movies that Criticize Her

79 Members Of Congress Have Been In Office For At Least 20 Years

 

US Capitol Building - Public DomainNo wonder Washington never changes – 79 members of Congress have been there since Bill Clinton’s first term in the White House.  This list includes names such as Reid, Feinstein, McConnell, McCain, Pelosi, Boehner, Rangel and Boxer.  In this article, I am going to share with you a complete list of the members of Congress that have been “serving” us for at least 20 years.  They believe that they are “serving” us well, but without a doubt most Americans very much wish that true “change” would come to Washington.  In fact, right now Congress has a 15 percent approval rating with the American people, and that approval rating has been consistently below 20 percent since mid-2011.  So of course we took advantage of the 2014 mid-term election to dump as many of those Congress critters out of office as we possibly could, right?  Wrong.  Sadly, incumbents were re-elected at a 95 percent rate in 2014.  This just shows how broken and how corrupt our system has become.  The American people absolutely hate the job that Congress is doing, and yet the same clowns just keep getting sent back to Washington again and again. (Read More…)


Daily Digest

May 18, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.” —Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richards Almanack, 1749

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

DHS Report Undercuts Obama’s Amnesty Rationale

While Barack Obama’s amnesty actions are held up in court, the administration has argued Obama’s power grab is simply prosecutorial discretion and a prioritization of enforcement. Specifically, Obama’s Justice Department says it can “focus limited resources on higher priority aliens” who pose “threats to national security, border security, and public safety.” That’s a convenient lie, however, as revealed in a recent report from DHS Inspector General John Roth: “DHS uses prosecutorial discretion in deciding to what extent it will enforce immigration laws, including whether to place aliens in or take them out of the removal process. However, the Department does not collect and analyze data on the use of prosecutorial discretion to fully assess its current immigration enforcement activities and to develop future policy. … As a result, DHS may not be using its significant investment in immigration enforcement as efficiently as possible. The Department may also be missing opportunities to strengthen its ability to remove aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety.”

In other words, DHS isn’t collecting the information needed to even assure that it’s doing what Obama claims is a “priority” — removing dangerous aliens. We’re pretty sure the Fifth Circuit Court would find this report relevant as it considers the legality of Obama’s actions. More…

It Will Be Years Before Tsarnaev Pays for His Crimes

On Friday, a Boston jury condemned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombers, to death by lethal injection for detonating his pressure-cooker bomb that killed four people. Now, the years of legal red tape begins — the appeals, the stays, the years of waiting. Death is the most just punishment society can mete out to this jihadi; life in prison wouldn’t have been enough. Since 1988, the federal government has sentenced 80 people to death, yet only three have received their penalty. Jazz Shaw at Hot Air notes, “But now, this very young terrorist will awaken each day and go to bed each night counting the days he has left, looking at a life far shorter than any his less heinous peers envision. Will the next appeal be approved? Will he be granted a stay? Can he hang on to precious life, no matter how lonely and morbid, for just a little longer before he faces the darkness of eternity?” Now, Tsarnaev’s defense team will test every procedure of the trial, trying to find a crack that will overturn his sentence. Boston.com says his defense will most likely make issue that the trial was not held outside Boston, and that some of the evidence was sealed for the sake of national security. More…

Ramadi Falls to ISIL

Using car bombs and suicide bombers, ISIL launched an attack Sunday that overran the Iraqi city of Ramadi, capital of the Anbar province and once home to 850,000 people. The Iraqi government was so desperate to hold the city that it called up Shiite militias backed by Iran, a move the Obama administration discourages because it heightens the chance of sectarian war. However, the Pentagon is spinning the defeat, saying the capture of Ramadi is little more than a propaganda victory for ISIL. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said, “ISIL seems to have the advantage. They will use this for their own propaganda purposes, but it doesn’t give them a significant tactical advantage.” But Obama’s former ambassador to Iraq has a different take. James Jeffrey told Bloomberg, “It’s a desperate situation in Ramadi. … We can’t assume time is on our side. It isn’t. My feeling is something needs to happen quickly or we’re going to lose all of Anbar.” On Saturday, the Pentagon announced that U.S. Special Forces killed a senior ISIL leader who controlled the group’s moneymaking schemes. While the Pentagon is taking it on the chin for Obama’s failed military strategy, silent professionals are doing their jobs.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Hysterical Democrats Take the Exploitation Train

By Robin Smith

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In the case of hysterical leftists, their response to every crisis, real or manufactured, is to find the political angle that supports a statist or collectivist policy and begin the echo chamber of victimization and mass protest. The horrific Amtrak derailment is no exception.

First, the facts. Forensic examination of video footage from cameras mounted on the Amtrak passenger train shows that it inexplicably accelerated from 70 mph to 106 mph in the 65 seconds before the crash, all while heading into a turn with an authorized speed limit of 50 mph. This feat, according to Amtrak and the National Transportation Safety Board, should have been impossible due to the train’s design, which allows it to accelerate only via manual control.

Amtrak train No. 188 crashed due to the defiance of the laws of nature and, quite possibly, human error.

Oh, but ne’er a crisis should be lost as an opportunity to level political blame at those who demand accountability, transparency and results in government spending and programs.

After the Philadelphia Amtrak train met with calamity, the eight lives lost and the two hundred plus injured passengers were converted from tragic victims of a horrific accident to props in political theater.

A harsh statement? Well, let’s roll tape.

At a House Transportation Committee hearing Wednesday, only one day after the train wreck, Oregon Democrat Rep. Peter DeFazio was shown blasting Republicans who should be “cognizant of the real world out there, of what happened last night, of what the capital needs of Amtrak are, and will not engage in short-sighted budget cutting.”

Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) decried that a decision to block a $1 billion spending increase was directly responsible for the deadly incident and its victims: “Last night we failed them. We failed to invest in their safety.” This Democrat’s statement was made so early in the first responders’ rescue and recovery phase that not all the victims had yet been cleared from the wreckage.

And Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) declared, “We don’t know the connection between funding and this incident, but regardless, Amtrak needs more funding.”

Presstitutes lined up to do their part, parroting the DNC-approved narrative that “mean Republicans wouldn’t increase spending by $1 billion as requested, so people died!” (Imagine that spoken in the most dramatic, angst-filled oratory to get the full intended effect.)

News accounts attempted to tie the House Appropriations vote to the absence of a high-tech safety system — the Positive Train Control (PTC) — that theoretically would govern the Philadelphia train and override any human error or mechanical failure that could cause such a dramatic and inappropriate increase in speed.

NTSB member Robert Sumwalt told reporters Wednesday evening, “Based on what we know right now, we feel that had such a system been installed in this section of track, this accident would not have occurred.” Leading the crash probe, Sumwalt was interviewed just hours after the House Appropriations Committee “voted down a Democratic amendment that would have offered $825 million for the technology known as positive train control,” according to Politico.

Ready for the fact-filled footage that didn’t make the edits?

The House Appropriations Committee only rejected a $1 billion increase, which would have almost doubled Amtrak’s annual budget from $1.4 billion to $2.4 billion. But, why, oh why, you ask, would there be any hesitation to approve such a massive increase in Amtrak spending?

According to its own records, Amtrak operated at a $1 billion loss in 2014 and $1.2 billion losses in 2012 and 2013. To Democrats and their presstitutes, billion-dollar losses each year merit more money to lose.

The NTSB showed its own reckless behavior in making erroneous and accusatory remarks. The PTC safety system is in place on the very Amtrak line where this crash occurred. Why was this advanced safety system not operational? Government regulation, of course.

The PTC operates through wireless networks requiring Federal Communications Commission approval. FCC negotiations have been ongoing since 2011 to award Amtrak use to implement this system.

Ready to anticipate the next straw-man argument? Following an investigation by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the NTSB, the FBI and other agencies, should this awful catastrophe be proven the result of human error, the Democrats will only add to their talking points. Be ready.

In addition to the lie that funding kept the safety system from being installed, the new narrative around the train’s unsafe acceleration will be that Republicans are attacking the engineer for his homosexual and pro-union activism. Funny, the only folks reporting this man’s personal life are the same ones who keep blaming funding for a system already in place but choked in Obamaland bureaucracy.

The Left rewrites the truth one social media hashtag at a time and cranking up the decibel of protest.

Mark Twain seems to capture the value Democrats place on veracity and our fellow American citizens: “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

John Goodman: “Here is what everyone needs to understand. It doesn’t matter what teenagers earn in their first job. Whatever they earn, they will likely spend on fun and frolic. But the skills they learn — showing up for work on time, following orders, being respectful — are skills that will pay off for a lifetime. Meanwhile, employers are substituting capital for labor — including greater use of robots — just about everywhere in the labor market. For example, there is now a 14-arm, automated harvester that can wheel through rows of strawberry plants, distinguish the ripe from the unripe and pick the berries from the green leaves surrounding them. At $100,000, the robot is not cheap. But no one in Congress is insisting that farmers pay the robot more than it’s worth and there are no laws requiring farmers to provide the robot with Obamacare or other expensive benefits.”

SHORT CUTS

“I have witnessed five major wars in my lifetime, and I know how swiftly storm clouds can gather on a peaceful horizon. The next time a Saddam Hussein takes over Kuwait, or North Korea brandishes a nuclear weapon, will we be ready to respond? In the end, it all comes down to leadership, and that is what this country is looking for now.” —The Gipper

Demo-gogues: “Everything we’ve done over the past six years has been in pursuit of one overarching goal: creating opportunity for all. … What we’ve long understood is that some communities have consistently had the odds stacked against them. … That sense of unfairness and powerlessness has helped to fuel the kind of unrest that we’ve seen in places like Baltimore, Ferguson and New York.” —Barack Obama (Nothing says fairness like gang shootings.)

Non Compos Mentis: “I’ve been watching politics since [Dwight] Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and Obama is my favorite, favorite president. I am just thankful for every day that he’s in office. … I’ve never seen a Congress that has been so obstructive and so contrary and so committed to doing anything that will foul up this administration. I just think it’s an absolute scandal that he has had so little cooperation.” —singer/songwriter James Taylor

Village Idiots: “ISIL’s momentum has indeed been blunted, its ability to mass and maneuver forces degraded, its leadership cells pressured or eliminated, its command-and-control and supply lines severed.” —Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz, whose remark came as jihadists were overrunning Ramadi, Iraq

The BIG Lie: “Make no mistake: [Dzhokhar Tsarnaev] claimed to be acting on behalf of all Muslims. This was not a religious crime. And it certainly does not reflect true Muslim beliefs. It was a political crime, designed to intimidate and to coerce the United States.” —U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, dismissing Tsarnaev’s jihad motives

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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


The Briefing

1) Death penalty given to Boston Bomber in right recognition of need for justice

Death Sentence for Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Unsettles City He Tore Apart, New York Times (Katherine Q. Seelye, Abby Goodnough, Jess Bidgood)

Death For Tsarnaev, Wall Street Journal (Editorial Board)

2) House passing 20-week abortion ban exposes institutionalized worldview division between parties

House votes to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Washington Times (Tom Howell, Jr.)

House Approves Revised Measure Banning Most Abortions After 20 Weeks, New York Times (Emmarie Huetteman)

An Abortion Ban’s Bogus Arguments, New York Times (Editorial Board)

Pain-capable opponents ignore science, Washington Times (Diane Black)
In other news…

Nine Killed in Biker War at Waco, Texas, Restaurant, NBC News (M. Alex Johnson and William J. Gorta)

Engineer in Amtrak Derailment Didn’t Tell Dispatchers Train Had Been Struck: NTSB, TIME

Burundi president warns of Islamist threat as U.S. helps four Canadians leave volatile capital, The Globe and Mail (Goran Tomasevic and Njuwa Maina)

Wichita Bookstore Expresses Its Founder’s Eclectic and Christian Tastes, New York Times (Mark Oppenheimer)

Why the Left Will Never Talk about Its Real Agenda, National Review (Jonah Goldberg)

The end of religion as we know it: Why churches can no longer hide the truth, Salon (Andrew Aghapour)

Clintons have made more than $25 million for speaking since January 2014, Washington Post (Matea Gold, Rosalind S. Helderman and Anne Gearan)


Pope Francis Receives Palestinian President Abbas as ‘Angel of Peace’

Our upside down world: The world’s worst terrorist called a man of peace by one deceived and deluded Pope . . .

Pope Francis called Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas “an angel of peace,” as the two met in the Vatican Saturday, days after the Catholic Church officially recognized a Palestinian state in a treaty, which “disappointed” Israel.

View Article


Abbas to Syria’s Palestinian Refugees: Go to Israel or ‘Die in Syria’ :: Joffe and Romirowsky in American Interest

by Alexander H. Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky
The American Interest
May 17, 2015
http://www.meforum.org/5245/abbas-refugees-syria


The Greatest Water Crisis In The History Of The United States

What are we going to do once all the water is gone? Thanks to the worst drought in more than 1,000 years, the western third of the country is facing the greatest water crisis that the United States has ever seen …………. Click here for full story


In September, The UN Launches A Major Sustainable Development Agenda For The Entire Planet

The UN plans to launch a brand new plan for managing the entire globe at the Sustainable Development Summit that it will be hosting from September 25th to September 27th. Some of the biggest names on the planet, including Pope Francis, will be speaking at this summit …………. Click here for full story


The Vatican Will Not Protect Christians By Recognizing ‘Palestine’

When it comes to Israel, the Vatican sometimes cannot seem to get it right. And the announcement on Wednesday that it had concluded a treaty to recognize Palestinian statehood is yet another indication that the Vatican might want to follow Jesus’ admonition to give unto God what is his, and leave unto Caesar the affairs of men ………… Click here for full story


United Methodist Lobby Proposes Divesting From Israel, Investing In North Korea, Legalizing Prostitution

The world’s lone Jewish state must be singled out for punitive divestment campaigns, while we should at the same time promote economic investment in North Korea, whose government has done absolutely nothing in the area of human rights worthy of specific criticism. And we should take our broad support for sex outside of marriage one step further by advocating legalizing prostitution ……….. Click here for full story


Girl Scouts Of America Allowing Boys Who Identify As Girls To Be Members

Concerns are being raised over revelations that the Girl Scouts of America (GSUSA) is allowing boys who identify as girls to enroll as members ……….. Click here for full story


Sex Education Today

I’ll bet many parents are unaware of the questions their kids must answer on public school surveys.  According to Renew America columnist Alan Caruba, surveys were given to children in Massachusetts and schools across America with questions such as: “Have you ever had sexual intercourse (oral, anal, vaginal?)” “How old were you when you had […]

The post Sex Education Today appeared first on Berean Research.


Girl Scouts Of America To Accept Cross-Dressing Boys As Members

The Girl Scouts of America is the latest organization to cave to pressure from the LGBTIQA lobby, adapting its policies to extend membership to boys who identify as girls.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Penny Nance from Concerned Women for America called the decision “just one more slap in the face to Christian parents.” On the GSA website, the association states: “If the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.”

girl-scouts-to-accept-cross-dressing-boys-transgender-as-members-gsa

The conservative American Family Association expressed its outrage at the policy change, accusing scout leaders of “losing their moral compass.” This is the case of adults being “willing to experiment on our kids—both the boys who are confused and the girls who will wonder why a boy in a dress is in the bathroom with them.”

“Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk,” the group said.

This isn’t the first time that the issue of transgender boys wanting to join the Girl Scouts has come up, though such cases are fairly uncommon. In early 2012, seven-year old Bobby Montoya, who was living as a girl, was allowed to join his local Girl Scout troop in Colorado. source

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Will Your Religious Thinking Reject the Emerging Move of God?

Posted: 18 May 2015 07:19 AM PDT

A powerful plan is unfolding in the body of Christ for this hour. As God’s purposes are being revealed for this generation, there are many transitions in how the church functions, what it looks like and its structure. Father is raising up revival hubs in various regions. They carry something unique and significant. There is a prophetic picture coming forth of a new wineskin (structure) emerging to return the church to her roots. We can look back at the Old Testament to get some insight into what is coming forth. The body is moving from the House of Saul to the House of David.

There are fresh messages coming forth! The Lord is taking the fiery coals from the Holy place and touching the lips of His servants to give voice and expression to what He is saying to His bride. There are messengers arising carrying the announcement of the new season. There is also an ongoing clash between the Houses of Saul and David. During his reign as King, Saul was transformed from a meek, passionate lover of God to a domineering, oppressive ruler who actively fought against those whom God was raising up. David was a powerful young prophet who found his identity in the presence of God. Saul ruled with an iron fist and resisted the emerging ministry of David. FULL MESSAGE

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Is There a Spirit of Abortion in the Church?

Posted: 18 May 2015 07:15 AM PDT

As is necessary when addressing an ultra-sensitive issue, I will make some qualifications on the front end: God is, without question, and I will declare without apology, passionately interested in blessing His children. It is fully appropriate to give a measure of attention to the wondrous process of discovery of God’s abundant life, overwhelming benefits and blessings. That being said, I now must move on to offering some analysis on a hidden crises.

As a prophetic messenger, a primary driving force of my daily life is to reveal and help destroy any barriers to kingdom advancement and the revelation of the cross and resurrection of Christ. In fact, we all must have our eyes wide open to this disturbing movement that is overtaking the church and stand in unity against its advance. Now, of course, the thought of the spirit of abortion in the church is potentially offensive and certainly provocative. It’s a bold statement to say the least. FULL MESSAGE

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Atheist Seeks to Use Religious Freedom Law to Remove ‘In God We Trust’ From U.S. Currency

Posted: 18 May 2015 07:09 AM PDT

A prominent atheist is again on a quest to remove the motto ‘In God We Trust’ from American currency after losing attempts to do so thus far, and is now seeking to use the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in his strategy. As previously reported, atheist Michael Newdow, who has filed numerous suits challenging the mixture of God and government, first submitted a complaint in the Southern District of New York in March 2013, asserting that the motto violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution as it serves to proselytize unbelievers.

But in September of that year, U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer, Jr., nominated by Bill Clinton, rejected Newdow’s arguments, opining that “the inclusion of the motto on U.S. currency . . . does not violate the Establishment Clause [of the Constitution].” He consequently appealed his case to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, but last May, the court likewise ruled against the prominent atheist. FULL REPORT

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A look back 35 years after Mount St. Helens’ deadly eruption

Posted: 18 May 2015 07:00 AM PDT

Thirty-five years ago, Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington state erupted, killing 57 people, blasting more than 1,300 feet off the top and raining volcanic ash for miles around. Today, the volcano has become a world-class outdoor laboratory for the study of volcanoes, ecosystems and forestry, as well as a major recreational and tourist destination.Within minutes of a 5.1 earthquake that hit at 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980, the volcano’s north flank collapsed, triggering the largest landslide in recorded history.

That set off powerful explosions that sent ash, steam, rocks and volcanic gas upward and outward. The lateral blast scorched and flattened about 230 square miles of dense forest. Soon after, a plume of volcanic ash rose over 80,000 feet and rained down as far as 250 miles away in Spokane.

Pushed by winds over the next few days, the ash cloud traveled east across the U.S. and encircled the globe in 15 days. The eruption blew about 1,314 feet off the volcano and created a horseshoe-shaped crater in the mountain, which now stands at 8,363 feet. FULL STORYThe post A look back 35 years after Mount St. Helens’ deadly eruption appeared first on .

Girl Scouts Of America To Accept Cross-Dressing Boys As Members

Posted: 18 May 2015 06:52 AM PDT

THE GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA IS THE LATEST ORGANIZATION TO CAVE TO PRESSURE FROM THE LGBTIQA LOBBY, ADAPTING ITS POLICIES TO EXTEND MEMBERSHIP TO BOYS WHO IDENTIFY AS GIRLS.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 

Penny Nance from Concerned Women for America called the decision “just one more slap in the face to Christian parents.” On the GSA website, the association states: “If the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.”

The conservative American Family Association expressed its outrage at the policy change, accusing scout leaders of “losing their moral compass.” This is the case of adults being “willing to experiment on our kids—both the boys who are confused and the girls who will wonder why a boy in a dress is in the bathroom with them.”

“Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk,” the group said. FULL REPORT

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Obama Restricts Military-Style Gear For Cops

Posted: 18 May 2015 06:46 AM PDT

President Obama on Monday is traveling to Camden, New Jersey, to announce new federal rules for police – including bans on certain types of military equipment. The president’s announcement comes on the heels of the White House creation of a task force to look at policing around the nation and determine recommendations for agencies to better, and more safely, serve their communities. Obama announced the task force after the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, that began over the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, and then spread around the nation via a “Black Lives Matter” and “hands up, don’t shoot” campaign.

In Camden, Obama will first visit with police at their headquarters and then head to a community center to speak with youth and deliver formal remarks, the New York Times reported. “I’ll highlight steps all cities can take to maintain trust between the brave law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line and the communities they’re sworn to serve and protect,” Obama said during a weekly address over the weekend, the Huffington Post reported. FULL REPORT

 

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Killer Hornets Invade Britain, Threatening Honey Bee Colonies

Posted: 18 May 2015 06:37 AM PDT

Asian hornets about four times the size of a regular wasp – the same type blamed for killing six in France in the last year – have touched down in Britain and begun terrorizing the local honey bee population. The species is the largest wasp in the world and its venom contains eight kinds of chemicals. Swarms can takes out a bee colony in just a few minutes, Express reported. They hit up to three inches in size and will, when provoked, attack people.

Just this past year, six in France were killed by Asian hornet stings, Express reported. The hornets eat other insects, particularly those of the bee and wasp families, and can hit flying speeds of 25 miles per hour. They can also travel up to 60 miles at a time. One British homeowner, Kirsty Everard, 25, said she found one in her Westbourne bedroom. “I could hear it before I could see it,” she said, Express reported. “It sounded like a small plane going over the house. I went into the bedroom and there it was. It was absolutely huge, about four times the size of a wasp.” FULL REPORT

 

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‘Massive’ die-off of turtles: Dozens of dead diamondback terrapins wash up along Flanders Bay beaches

Posted: 18 May 2015 06:31 AM PDT

Dozens of dead turtles have been washing up on beaches along Flanders Bay— with little explanation as to what is killing them. The bloated bodies of dozens of diamondback terrapins, a species of turtle that can be found in coastal wetlands along the East Coast, have been found scattered across the shores of several Jamesport and Flanders beaches since late April. “A woman called who said her daughter had seen a hundred turtles dead on the beach,” said Jim Divan, Riverhead Town Bay Constable. “I was like — a hundred turtles? That sounds crazy.”

But when he arrived at the beach, residents there told him they’d taken “about 100 of them” from the beach over the weekend. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Divan said. “They were all dead.”“We’ve just been getting more and more calls every single day,” said Karen Testa, executive director of Jamesport-based Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons.

Testa has collected the bodies of at least 50 terrapins since April 21, when the first report came in. “And that’s just the ones that happen to wash up, the ones we happen to find,” Testa said. “People don’t walk the entire shoreline of the island. These turtles could be dying in the middle of the bay, and they just float down to the bottom and no one ever finds them. FULL REPORTThe post ‘Massive’ die-off of turtles: Dozens of dead diamondback terrapins wash up along Flanders Bay beaches appeared first on .

Ireland could be first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote

Posted: 18 May 2015 06:23 AM PDT

Catholic and deeply conservative, Ireland was long known as one of the toughest places in the Western world to be gay. Homosexuality was decriminalized here only in 1993, after years of pressure from European authorities. But now Ireland may be preparing for its coming-out party, with a referendum on Friday that could make it the world’s first country to approve same-sex marriage in a popular vote.

That such a momentous event in the gay rights struggle could happen here, of all places, reflects the breathtaking social change that has swept Ireland in recent years — and the weakening hold of the scandal-scarred Catholic Church. The church has come down firmly against the referendum. But in a country where priests once held unquestioned sway and where 85 percent of the nation still identifies as Catholic, a large majority of Ireland appears ready to defy church teachings and vote to give same-sex partners the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. FULL REPORT

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2 million Minnesota chickens to be destroyed due to bird flu

Posted: 18 May 2015 06:16 AM PDT

One of the nation’s largest egg producers says it will destroy 2 million egg-laying hens in Minnesota due to a deadly bird flu virus. The development at the south-central Minnesota chicken farm brings the total of affected birds to 35 million in 15 states, with Minnesota and Iowa poultry flocks hit the hardest. The chickens will be destroyed in the next four weeks at Rembrandt Enterprises farm in Renville, the Star Tribune reported Saturday.The company’s vice president of marketing, Jonathan Spurway, said one barn holding around 200,000 birds was infected, but the entire flock will be killed as a precaution.

Chickens at the farm have tested “presumptive positive” for the disease “despite the herculean efforts of Rembrandt’s employees to keep our facilities virus-fee,” Spurway said. Rembrandt Enterprises suffered an outbreak in its Rembrandt, Iowa, facility May 1, contaminating one barn housing about 250,000 hens. A third plant in Thompson, Iowa hasn’t been affected. “We’re doing everything we possibly can (to protect flocks), and we don’t know of anyone who’s doing anything we’re not already doing,” Spurway said. “The industry is lost for words.” FULL REPORT

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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

Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist). “A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

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

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May 18, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

May 18 Quotes


Presbyterians Collapsing, or “Settling Into The New Thing God is Creating”?

“The PC(USA) is a church made up of vibrant congregations doing their best to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ in their communities and in the world,” an apparently unfazed Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PCUSA, soothed. “Membership declines continue, but on a whole the denomination is settling into the new thing God is creating.”

Read more


6 Reasons Why Membership Matters

But it’s not just about being cared for, it’s about making a decision and sticking with it-something my generation, with our oppressive number of choices, finds difficult. We prefer to date the church-have her around for special events, take her out when life feels lonely, and keep her around for a rainy day. Membership is one way to stop dating churches, and marrying one.

Read more


Our Family Narrative: Why Christians Should Study Church History

Augustine’s Confessions felt like reading my own journal at times. By becoming familiar with the Christian historical narrative, one quickly realizes that the “New Atheists” aren’t actually saying anything new at all and that the Biblical canon wasn’t simply decided upon at random. Studying Church history can help us develop a strong sense of what Dr. Duke calls our “intergenerational self.” Or, as Feiler puts it, we begin to understand that we’re part of something much bigger than ourselves.

Read more


No Time Left for You

Maintaining godly priorities is a challenge. But, I know that if I neglect my relationship with God or am stingy with my love and service to others, I am not glorifying to Him. I need to consider how filling my time with endless tasks crowds out more important things. And, I am not too busy for that.

Read more


5 Lies of Technology

What happens in social media is the same as reality: Here’s a big lie that’s easy to fall prey to. We think that the interactions we have with people online is the same as relationships we have in real life. The truth is, most of the people we talk with online we will never meet in person. They are not the ones who will come over to our house with a pot of soup when we are sick. They are not the ones who will watch our kids when we have to go to the doctor. They are not the ones who will invest their lives in ours.

Read more


The Perils of Pulpit-Pandering

The great danger of pulpit-pandering really comes down to a hazardously low view of Scripture. I mess with Scripture because I suppose that I am superior to it. I apologize for it because I have determined by my judgment that there is something wrong with it. I skip over it and preach around it because I assume by my reasoning that only fractions of it are helpful and relevant. I argue against it because I suppose by my judgment that I am right and it is wrong.

Read more


A Grand Deception: The Successful Response of Sex Offenders

Those who don’t buy into the deception and who aren’t willing to “move on” from this “minor indiscretion” are labeled as unforgiving, self-righteous, and a lot of other ugly pious words. Oftentimes, offenders don’t even have to carry out this dirty work themselves. By this step in the process, a growing number of deceived sympathizers have stepped forward to use all forms of spiritual guilt in attempt to silence those who aren’t being deceived.

Read more


Church of Scotland Votes To Allow Gay Ministers In Civil Partnerships

A further vote will be held this week on whether or not to extend ordination to ministers in same sex marriages. Supporters said it was time for the church to be inclusive and recognise the “mixed economy” of modern Scotland. Opponents warned that the move was contrary to God’s law, would prove divisive and lead to resignations.

Read more


The Squishy Center – Church & Culture Blog

Last week the Pew Research Center released an update to its massive 2007 study of the American religious landscape with an equally expansive look at how things have changed over the last seven years.

They found that the “nones” have continued to rise, now representing nearly one out of every four adults, and that Christianity is shrinking, falling from nearly 80 percent of the adult population to barely over 70 percent.

So is the Christian sky falling?

No.

Any informed observer knows the following:

*Christianity is on the rise worldwide, particularly in the global South

*Evangelical Christianity is holding its own in the U.S.

*Christianity remains the world’s largest faith, and the most distant projections to 2050 holds it maintaining that lead (this includes the U.S., with 70 percent currently affirming a Christian faith)

So rumors of Christianity’s death are premature.

But…

Any informed observer also knows the following:

*the rise of the “nones” throughout the West is real and cannot be ignored

*Islam is growing faster than Christianity

*the “squishy center” is shifting away from Christianity, and is changing the American cultural landscape

The last one leave you a bit puzzled?

Read more


Plumbline #12: The Great Commission Is Completed through Multiplication, Not Addition

by Pastor J.D.

Plumblines are a series of short, pithy statements that we, at the Summit, use as rallying points for our staff. They are a way to encapsulate our theology and philosophy in short, memorable phrases.

Plumbline #12 is: “The Great Commission is completed through multiplication, not addition.”

Jesus’ vision of the church was not a group of people gathered around one anointed leader, but multiple leaders going out in the power of the Spirit. It’s a claim that very few of us take seriously: Jesus literally said that that a multiplicity of Spirit-filled leaders would be greater than his earthly, bodily presence (John 14:12).

Can you imagine the power of a church in which ordinary members know what it means to be filled with the Spirit of God and led by the Spirit of God? God’s plan to glorify himself in the church never consisted of platformed megapastors, cutting edge art, or expensive buildings. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things in themselves, but the real power in the church is found the Holy Spirit moving through ordinary people as they carry his presence into the streets.

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The Pastor and Social Media

Pastors (and others) may do well to read these comments by Nicholas Batzig. “I have to insist that to write off this medium wholesale … is shortsighted at best. Similarly, judging others for their use of social media is shortsighted at best as well.”

A number of years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend who has a fairly substantial public ministry. We were discussing the issue of motives in ministry and the perception of opportunism among ministers. Knowing my own sinful heart and mixed motives within, I said to him, “I suppose it would simply be better not to use social media or to speak on conference circuits at all.” My friend wisely replied, “If God has given a man gifts and things to say to build up the church and to speak to a generation that is listening and that needs to hear solid teaching and preaching, why wouldn’t we seek to use our gifts as broadly as possible?”

That being said, I have observed a somewhat disturbing trend among ministers in recent years. If a man posts links to his own sermon audio, things about the church he pastors or to books, articles or posts that he has written then he is often painted by the social media police as being driven by self-aggrandizement, opportunism and desire for celebrity status. Judging the motives of others is an extremely spiritually unwise and unhealthy practice. The Scriptures say, “Let another mouth praise you and not yourself,” not “Let another man post links to your sermons, books and writings and not yourself.” We need to guard our hearts against sinfully judging the motives of those who do. In short, we must guard against setting ourselves up as self-appointed social media police.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones once voiced the opinion that audio recordings of sermons were a “peculiar and special abomination.” Ironically, if it weren’t for audio recordings we wouldn’t be able to listen to Lloyd-Jones sermons and to learn from one of the greatest preachers of the modern age. Additionally, if it hadn’t been for cassette tapes we wouldn’t have the enjoyment of hearing him make such a ridiculous comment in his 1969 Westminster Theological Seminary lectures on “Preaching and Preachers!” While I understand that Lloyd-Jones was seeking to highlight the primacy of “real presence” in preaching–and agree with him that the God ordained medium is the personal presence of a preacher interacting with a congregation by a monologue proclamation of the Gospel rather than a video or audio recording–I have to insist that to write off this medium wholesale as a “peculiar and special abomination” is shortsighted at best. Similarly, judging others for their use of social media is shortsighted at best as well.

There is an old man/new man (flesh/Spirit) principle that will most certainly help us move forward in a Christ-honoring way. The new man rejoices when the Gospel is proclaimed on social media–even when there is a suspicion that the persons motives are driven by pride. The old man disobeys Scripture and judges others motives in propagating truth on social media–before the time (1 Cor. 4:5).

The way forward is the way of constantly reminding ourselves of the following:

I need God’s grace in the Gospel to continue transforming my mind and heart to make me less judgmental of the motives of others. I need God’s grace to help me focus on my own motives. I need my own mind and heart renewed by the Scriptures and the Gospel. I need to ‘judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God’ (1 Cor. 4:5). I need love “to cover a multitude of sins” (Prov. 10:12). I need to be happy that others are preaching Christ even if it was with wrong motives (Phil. 1:18). I need to rejoice with those who rejoice–which means rejoicing when God uses others in greater or different ways than He seems to be using me (Romans 12:15). I need to remember that it is God’s grace that enables some to labor more abundantly–and in different settings–than others (1 Cor. 15:10). I need to realize that zeal is not coterminous with self-aggrandizing pride. I need to seek to remove what should appear like a log from my own eye before I seek to help remove what should appear only as a speck in the eye of my brother (Matt. 7:3).

Additionally, I would suggest that there are at least six reasons why ministers should continue to seek to use social media wisely:

Read more


The Altered States of Contemplative Prayer

Today we’re talking about Contemplative Prayer. Right off the bat, we need to define our words. When we warn you of the dangers of Contemplative Prayer, what we’re not talking about is meditating on God’s Word or contemplating His holy nature and character. We are talking about the man-made methodologies used as a spiritual exercise […]

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Prizing the Intellectually Disabled

When it comes to ministering to the intellectually disabled, who is ministering to whom?
Listen Now | Download

 


MOVIEGUIDE Props Up Profane Preacher

by Marsha West

Anyone who follows the news knows that mega pop-star Justin Bieber has made headlines for behaving badly. What some of you may not know is that Justin’s a professing Christian. Don’t stop reading here. This isn’t about bad-boy Bieber. What it’s about is his pastor, Judah Smith, who is a rising star in Christendom. Smith […]

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Words of Comfort: Decision vs Repentance

Keep planting and don’t be tempted to revert to using the methods of modern evangelism to get “decisions for Christ.” That may make you rejoice because you think you are seeing fruit, but keep in mind that while we may rejoice over “decisions,” Heaven reserves its rejoicing for sinners who repent (see Luke 15:7), and repentance is God-given (see 2 Tim. 2:24–26). Sow in tears, and you will reap in joy—in God’s time.   From, The Evidence Bible

Source


Does The Bible Teach That The Charismatic Gifts Have Ceased For Our Dispensation?

Not only has revelation been completed and ceased, but so have the signs that revelation is in progress.

“Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” John 4:48 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article will prove from Scripture, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that the apostolic gifts of healings and tongues ceased with the end of the apostles. We dearly hope you will read this article and compare it to the Bible, but watching any one of these videos included here will also clearly demonstrate the fraudulent nature of the modern-day Charismatic and Pentecostal movements.

Can cessationism the view that they have ended, be proved? Some say that the cessationism cannot be conclusively proved from Scripture. We believe, however, that the ceasing of revelatory and sign-gifts in the time of the apostles is very plainly taught in God’s Word, so plainly, in fact, that the opposite view has only seriously appeared in the last 100 years or so.

The term cessationism comes from the great 17th-century confessions of faith, such as the Westminster and Baptist confessions. These both use the same word. Speaking about how God has revealed his will and committed it to the Scriptures, the confessions say, ‘Former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased’. This word does not actually come from the Bible, but the doctrine does.

signs-miracles-wonders-charismatic-perntacostal-church-holy-laughter-benny-hinn-faith-healer

Not only has revelation been completed and ceased, but so have the signs that revelation is in progress. Here is a brief summary of six biblical proofs that the revelatory gifts have ceased (visions, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, and prophecies), and also the sign-gifts (healings and speaking in tongues). God still heals, of course, but in answer to prayer, and not through the hands of a gifted healer.

The controversial passage of 1 Corinthians 13.8-10 will not be used in this article to prove the ending of the gifts. We will refer only to passages which we believe to be conclusive.

1. Not since the apostles

The first proof for cessationism (the ending of revelatory and sign-gifts) is that healings and wonders could only be done by apostles, and were their special authenticating signs. In 2 Corinthians 12.12 Paul says: ‘Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.’

There were some people in the church at Corinth who challenged Paul’s apostleship. To defend himself he draws attention to his gift of healing and of working other miraculous signs, stating that only the apostles could do such things.

“Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” 2 Corinthians 12:12 (KJV)

An apostle was someone who had accompanied the Lord, seen him after his resurrection, and been personally commissioned by him. As a special witness of the resurrection he was given power to heal. He was also a person who would be shown ‘all truth’ by the Holy Spirit (John 14.26 and 16.13), and would either write or endorse inspired Scripture.

Believers would need to know who the true apostles were in order to respect their unique authority. They would know them by their healings and other signs. People who did not belong to the band of apostles (which included two named assistants) could not do these things. If they had been able to do them, then no one would have been certain who were true apostles.

Kenneth Hagin Performing “Holy Laughter” While “Drunk” In The Spirit:

Scary, scary stuff here. This Charismatic Movement has led millions away from the truth of Bible doctrine and replaced it with frauds like this.

In Acts 2.43 and 5.12 it is again made clear that all the miracles were performed ‘by the hands of the apostles’. This was exclusively their sign. Also, in Hebrews 2.3-4 the healing gifts are firmly linked to the apostles. Paul was an apostle by virtue of having seen the risen Lord, and having been directly commissioned by him. His lack of training by Christ was made good by his receiving special and unique revelations. He states that he was ‘one born out of due time’ (1 Corinthians 15.8), indicating that he was the only apostle outside the original band and therefore the last apostle. (Modern claims to apostleship do not match the biblical qualifications and are improper and wrong.)

When people say that cessationism (the ceasing of sign-gifts) cannot be proved from Scripture, they forget that the book of Acts says specifically that healings and other wonders were exclusive to the apostles, who have now passed away. When the churches had grown and multiplied Peter went to Lydda, and then Joppa, famously healing Æneas and raising Dorcas from the dead. Entire communities were astonished, because none of the other believers in such places could do these things.

When a lad fell out of a window in Troas, there was only one person present who could raise him up, and that was Paul. The charismatic idea that healings were performed by numerous Christians is simply not to be found in the New Testament. Only the apostles are recorded as having healed, together with two apostolic assistants or delegates, Stephen and Philip, and possibly Barnabas.

The only time someone outside this group performed a healing was when the Lord told Ananias to heal Paul. There is no other healing apart from these in the early church. The Pentecostal/charismatic idea that healings took place constantly by Christians at large is not taught in the Bible. Thus the infallible record of Scripture shows the entire charismatic approach to healing to be a mistake based on a myth. The record proves that the healings and mighty deeds were restricted to a class of people who have passed away.

2. The temporary purpose of tongues

The second proof that cessationism can be proved from the Scriptures (sign-gifts have ceased) is about tongues-speaking. It is the biblical statement that tongues-speaking was given by God specifically as a sign for Jews, signalling to them that the new era of Messiah had arrived.

In 1 Corinthians 14.21-22 Paul says this:

‘In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.’

In other words, the gift of tongues was a miraculous proof to Jews who were resistant to believing in Christ, that the new age and a new church order had arrived. It was not for the benefit of Jews who had come to believe, but a sign of promise and warning to those who did not believe. It was not intended for Gentiles, but Jews.

Benny Hinn Performing His Phony “Healing”:

If you can watch this video and see anything biblical happening here, there is something seriously wrong. At the very least, this type of junk is a tragic, misleading joke, and at it’s worst it is demonic activity.

Paul quoted from Isaiah 28.11, a chapter in which Isaiah prophesies Christ’s coming. As a sign to Jews, Isaiah says Jewish people will be addressed by those with ‘stammering lips and another tongue’. Gentile languages will challenge them, a most belittling experience for Jewish people. At the same time it was a sign that the Messianic age would bring Gentiles into the church, and the Gospel would be preached in other languages.

This would be a mark of the new age when God would pull down the flag of the Jewish church, and run up the flag of the Jewish-Gentile church of Jesus Christ. Unbelieving Jews, who resisted Christ and clung to the skirts of Moses, would find the    Word of God being preached to them in barbarian, Gentile languages.

All this came to pass, beginning on the day of Pentecost. The Jews were duly called and warned, but tongues are not mentioned outside the Acts of the Apostles and 1 Corinthians 12-14, showing that they had accomplished their purpose of warning the Jews that the new era had arrived. This announcing of the church age was accomplished while the apostles lived, and the sign has been withdrawn. What passes for tongues-speaking today is not done in the presence of doubting Jews, and has nothing to do with the sign of the New Testament. The sign that the church age has come has served its purpose, and been surpassed by the reality. The Gospel is now preached in virtually every language in the world, and the sign that this would happen is long extinct. The purpose of tongues (according to Paul’s teaching) has been fulfilled, proving their discontinuation.

3. Tongues were real languages

The third proof of cessationism adds to the second, and it is this – that a gift of real languages was given on the day of Pentecost (and for a while afterwards), which has never been seen since that time. It should be obvious to us that the miraculous languages of the books of Acts and 1 Corinthians have never occurred since those days.

Tongues-speaking of modern times is never any known human language, but only meaningless, disjointed speech. Nothing miraculous happens. In New Testament times the tongues-speaker was given by the Spirit the ability to speak in a real language which he had never learned, and people who had grown up with him were astonished. Jewish people would be present (as it was specifically a sign for them). On the day of Pentecost many Jews who lived in foreign regions heard their own languages spoken, and attested the genuineness of the speakers. After Pentecost the Spirit would give the miraculous gift of understanding to interpreters so that the authenticity of the language would be proved. Nothing like this has been seen since Bible times.

Today those who advocate tongues-speaking point to 1 Corinthians 13.1 where Paul, speaking hypothetically, says that even if he spoke an angelic tongue, without love, it would amount to nothing. Desperately looking for a text, charismatic teachers take Paul’s words as a justification for ecstatic, non-linguistic tongues, but it is plain to any thinking person that this is a serious misuse of the verse.

By describing literal languages, the Bible effectively warns us that these gifts have been withdrawn. They simply have not happened at any time in history, anywhere in the world, since the very early days of the church. What happens today is that people (who may be sincere Christians), in their desire to do what their leaders insist is right, seek to give utterance outside the rules of speech. However, they do not speak real languages, or even understand what they are saying. Cessationism is clearly taught in Scripture, by virtue of the fact that the very precise description of real languages given in Scripture cannot be applied to anything that has taken place since.

Since Bible times we have had glorious events of reformation and mighty revivals, when the Spirit of God has been pleased to work in exceptional power. Yet we have not one reported or recorded claim of anyone speaking a real language they had never learned. This is certain proof that the gift of biblical tongues has ceased.

4. No instructions to appoint prophets

The fourth proof for cessationism is this: there are no New Testament instructions about appointing apostles, prophets, healers, or anything of the kind. This is a matter of tremendous significance, because God has given a detailed pattern for the church in the New Testament. It is true that some Christians do not believe that the Bible provides a blueprint for the church, but most people who are of baptistic, Bible-believing persuasion do.

Modern Chaos: The Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements

The apostle Paul commands us repeatedly to be the most careful imitators of him in our church polity and conduct, and the pastoral epistles set out how we should behave and function in the church of God. We are given the precise pattern for the church for all time. We have instructions that most carefully set out how to select preaching and ruling elders and deacons, but no instructions about the appointment of apostles (because they were not to be perpetuated), or on how to recognise or accredit a prophet (because revelatory gifts ended with the completion of the Bible). Nor are there instructions about appointing healers.

This is not merely an argument from silence, but a proof that these offices and functions were not to continue. The instructions for all matters of church organisation are complete and  detailed and all-sufficient for the church until Christ comes again. We disobey God’s perfect pattern if we make appointments in the church that he has not prescribed and commanded. We disobey Scripture.

How can it be said that there is no certain scriptural proof that the gifts have ceased, when the pattern for the church gives no instructions for the continuation of inspired spokesmen and sign-workers? This is conclusive proof of cessationism – unless we do not hold to the sufficiency of Scripture, and do not believe that God has given a pattern for his church.

5. Revelation is now complete

The fifth proof for cessationism is that the Bible plainly teaches that revelation is now complete. There can be no new revelation after the time of the apostles. We have already noted that in John 14.26 and in John 16.13 the Lord Jesus Christ says twice to the disciples that the Holy Spirit, when he comes, will lead them into all Truth.

They would be the authors of New Testament books, and the authenticators of inspired New Testament books not from their own pens. Soon all the Truth would be revealed, and after the apostolic era there would be no more revelation of Scripture. The Word would be complete.

How glad we are of that! What a state we would be in if people could pop up here, there and everywhere (as they do in the charismatic world) giving us new revelations. Who would know what was right, and what was true? But the Scripture is the final yardstick for everything, being complete and perfect, sufficient and trustworthy.

Jude was able to speak about the faith which was ‘once delivered unto the saints’. His epistle was written possibly 25 years before the final book of the Bible, but late enough for all the main doctrines and church instructions to have been revealed. At this late stage of revelation he speaks of the faith once delivered, or better, once for all delivered. It is virtually complete; soon (from Jude’s standpoint) there will be no more revelation.

The closing verses of the Bible warn that nothing must be added or taken from the words of the book of Revelation, but this clearly applies to the whole Bible, not just the last book. We know this because the warning closely echoes the one given by Moses in the first book of the ­Bible (the first five were originally one book), namely Deuteronomy 4.2, ‘Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it’ (words repeated by Moses in Deuteronomy 12.32).

The completion of revelation is also proved by the fact that apostles and prophets are described as the foundation stage of the church.

In Ephesians 2.20 the church is described as being – ‘built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets [that is – New Testament prophets], Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone’. A foundation is something completed and stable, while the building continues to be constructed.

What about Joel’s prophecy, quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost, saying that when the Spirit is poured out, all believers, male, female, old and young will prophesy? Is it not implied that this will go on literally until the Lord’s return? No, because our understanding of this prophecy must agree with the unassailable teaching of the Bible that revelation was soon completed, and then ceased.

It is this completed revelation (especially the Gospel) that will be the witness of believers of all ages, male and female, through all the world, until the end. Believers will continue to see visions and dream dreams in the sense that they embrace, reflect upon, and proclaim the infallible ‘­visions and dreams’ given to them in the Bible. They will not ‘prophesy’ in the sense of receiving new revelation. They will also dream dreams of Gospel plans and conquests. In this sense the prophecy of Joel is still being fulfilled.

The extraordinary manifestations such as tongues had clearly vanished by the time Peter wrote his two epistles, for he gives no hint whatsoever that these features of the early scene were still operating.

As revelation was completed in the time of the apostles, we see that the task of apostles and prophets is over. And if the gifts of revelation are ended, then so are the authenticating signs of inspired penmen. We remember how Paul said, ‘Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in…signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds’ (2 Corinthians 12.12).

How can it be said that there is no biblical proof for cessationism when Scripture emphatically says that all revelation has been completed, like a foundation, at the beginning of the church age?

6. Scripture witnesses the end of gifts

The sixth proof for cessationism is that Scripture shows that they were in the process of being withdrawn at that very time. Paul, for example, who possessed apostolic power to do signs and wonders and mighty deeds, could not, in the course of time, heal Timothy or Trophimus or Epaphroditus.

We also see the withdrawing of the healing gifts in James 5, where James gives instructions about praying for the sick, and how the elders may lay hands upon the bedridden. It is obvious in this passage that there is no gifted healer in sight, only elders, who pray.

Anointing is mentioned, but the Greek term for religious anointing is not used. The Greek uses a very practical word that means ‘rub down’ with oil, more like a remedy for bedsores. James effectively says, ‘Don’t be so heavenly-minded that you are of no earthly use, but take some physical relief for the suffering person.’

What matters most is prayer. It is certain in the instructions of James that no gifted healer is brought in to command healing, or to give a healing touch. The laying on of hands of ordinary elders is a symbolic act, communicating the church’s love, care and responsibility.

The passage of James contains four exhortations to pray, and it follows his teaching that we ought to say, ‘If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.’ We can and must pray for healing, but it may be God’s will that a sufferer should witness to God’s grace in the illness. The main point for us in this article is that there is no one possessing personal power to heal in James 5. Healing is by God in answer to prayer. The ongoing stance of the church is seen as praying for healing, remembering that some are called to live as ‘an example of suffering affliction, and of patience’ (James 5.10).

The fact that James does not mention healing gifts shows unmistakably that the possession of healing power was withdrawn quite early in the course of the apostolic era.

Would a neutral reader assume Bible gifts were for every age?

It has been suggested that if a new convert with no experience of church life were shut in a room with a Bible, it would never occur to that person that the charismatic gifts had ceased. The opposite is true. There are many people (we know some) who come from other faiths who have been converted to Christ by private Bible reading, and subsequently found their way into a church. From the Bible alone they received no expectation of a charismatic scene. Much more frequently – increasingly so as time passes – believers leave charismatic churches having realised that what takes place there is not what they find in the Bible.

On reading Acts carefully, they discover that only the apostolic band healed, and feel they have been misled by the Pentecostal-charismatic notion that numerous people did so. Some wonder what the original significance or purpose of tongues was, and when they learn from Paul that they were specifically for Jews, they again feel misled by their teachers.

They also feel mis-taught when it becomes obvious that tongues were real languages, a vastly more miraculous matter than incomprehensible sounds. Then, as soon as these believers appreciate the importance of the scriptural pattern for the church, the question sometimes arises in their minds – ‘Where are the Bible’s instructions for appointing apostles, prophets and healers today?’ They find there are none, and become even more critical of the teaching they have received.

Then the question of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture intrudes, and they think, ‘Is not revelation complete? How, then, can modern prophecies be valid and inspired?’ It becomes obvious that all the ‘authoritative’ prophecies they have heard are a great mistake, and a delusion. Many thinking believers see for themselves that to charismatic people, Scripture is second in importance to human imagination and mysterious experiences.

Finally, the more these friends study the Word, the more they see the evidence that the signs disappeared soon after their spectacular initial outpouring. None of this means that the Lord does not move his people to remember duties or truths, or urge them to do certain things, or warn them of imminent dangers. These are divine intimations, not revelations or gifts.

In the history of the church, there are recorded instances of people having an intimation from God about some threatening event or person, but these are never revelations of doctrine. We find such things in times of severe persecution. For instance, up until Perestroika in Russia, we heard of very credible instances when God’s key servants were wonderfully delivered from arrest because the Lord impressed on someone not to go to some particular place. It was later discovered that a KGB-police ambush lay in wait for them. However, no recipient of such an intimation was given a regular gift, and certainly not an authoritative revelation of doctrinal truth. God can do all kinds of things to deliver and bless his people, but this is not in any way the reappearance of apostolic or prophetic gifts bestowed on individuals.

The damage of charismatic teaching

Many charismatics are coming to see the enormous gap between the ­Bible and what they have been taught. Such doubters are often troubled by the fact that huge numbers of Catholics, who depend on Mary, the Mass, and works for salvation, are also able to speak in tongues and prophesy. Many also worship in exactly the same way as charismatic Protestants.

Charismatic doubters may also hear that non-Christian cults also speak in tongues. You do not need to be a saved Christian to speak in charismatic-style tongues, because it is not a true gift of the Spirit.

There are many sincere Christians in the charismatic movement, but we believe that the attempt to revive revelatory and sign-gifts is a very harmful mistake. We can see the harm in the emergence of huge sections of the movement in which the Gospel has virtually disappeared, buried under unbiblical extravagances. There are large charismatic groups that now deny the penal substitution of Christ, and some even deny the Trinity. (One of the world’s most famous charismatic preachers and authors denies the doctrine of the Trinity.)

Worldly entertainment-style ­music dominates charismatic churches, even music of the most extreme and godless kind. The theatrical antics of money-grabbing charismatic leaders may be seen at any time on religious TV, and the prosperity-gospel heresy is seemingly everywhere.
Numerous charlatans and rogues have built large followings, carrying out their supposed ‘healings’ at venues throughout the world. Even music-hall fortune-telling techniques are being presented as spiritual wonders, in once respected churches.

The powerful current that constantly propels the charismatic constituency further and further from the Bible is evidence of a serious fundamental error, namely, the idea that the ­revelatory and sign-gifts are for all time. To experience them involves a twofold mistake: firstly, the downscaling of the gifts to something non-miraculous (eg: turning real languages into non-linguistic utterances); and secondly, the downgrading of Scripture, which must bow to imagined experiences of dreams, visions, ‘words from the Lord’, and similar revelations. There is harm done also to individual Christians whose faith is greatly diverted from the Lord and his Word, to phenomena and sensations.

We sincerely pray that God will deliver those who are his true children from the accumulating harm of this wildly mistaken departure from Scripture.It is perfectly possible to prove that cessationism is a Biblical truth. source

TAKE THE NTEB CHARISMATIC GIFTS CHALLENGE: If you have gotten this far, congratulations, you actually read the entire article, and not just responded emotionally after reading the headline. If you believe that the charismatic and apostolic gifts are for today, then we offer you a challenge. Come to Florida, and accompany us to the local hospital. We will go from room to room, and you can lay hands on and pray over some truly sick and injured people, and we will video the results and post it to the front page of this website. If you can immediately heal the sick folk there, to the point where they get out of their bed miraculously and fully healed, and be verified through a physician’s diagnostic examination, NTEB will issue a full retraction of this article. The following Scripture illustrates the type of healing I am talking about:

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” Acts 3:6,7 (KJV)

So how about it, Charismatic and Pentecostal people, any takers?

The post Does The Bible Teach That The Charismatic Gifts Have Ceased For Our Dispensation? appeared first on Now The End Begins.


The Daily Discovery (May 18, 2015)

The Standing Miracle of the Church – “His salvation is cleansing from sin, and if we love sin we are not saved from it. We cannot have justification without sanctification. There is no use in quibbling about it; there must be a change, a radical change, a change of heart, or else we are not saved.”

Help for The Malarkeys – “Please pray for Beth and Alex Malarkey, two precious saints in Ohio with severe needs. Yes, this is the same Alex Malarkey of the [discredited] Boy Who Came Back From Heaven book. A complicated situation, but prayers and perhaps a financial gift would be deeply appreciated. We were not asked to raise money for the Malarkey’s, but over the past year have developed a friendship with this mother and son, and feel compelled to do so. Even if you are unable to give financially, please take a moment and share this post on your social networks.”

Sex Education Today – “I’ll bet many parents are unaware of the questions their kids must answer on public school surveys. According to Renew America columnist Alan Caruba, surveys were given to children in Massachusetts and schools across America with questions such as…”

If we’re not communing with God… – “One of the things my father-in-law often says he has little time for is navel-gazing. That is, the incessant paralyzing introspection that is the aim of the modern self-help industry. We get advice from Oprah and her cabal. We run to Dr. Phil. We dig into some Tony Robbins. We do the hokey pokey and we turn ourselves around. And while we might get a little dizzy, we still don’t know what it’s all about.”

Mark Driscoll Demonstration Taking Place at Gold Creek Community Church – “Mark Driscoll is speaking at Gold Creek Community Church (the live feed freezes often but you can catch some of it here) while a demonstration is taking place outside.  He is speaking about Hebrews 11.  Outside former Mars Hill members are giving out a flyer about their actions (click the link to read it).”


SERMON:

John MacArthur – The Illuminating Role of the Holy Spirit


VIDEOS:

The Spiritual Dangers and Opportunities of the iPhone

Do Not Be Anxious About Tomorrow


“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


In The Spirit

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. Thank you for your website. It is a daily source of spiritual encouragement. One of the best on the Internet.  My question is, what is meant by the phrase “in the spirit” or “in the Spirit”?  Is it a state we should try to attain or something that just happens when God wants it to? If it is a state we should attain, how does one do it?

continue reading


Explaining Our Disappearance

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. When the Rapture happens and people are left behind, how is the disappearance of so many explained? Won’t people realize that the prophecy of end times has begun, and won’t it create a breakdown on the economy?

continue reading


What’s Special About The Olive Tree?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I would like to know what is so significant about the olive tree. My Pastor is leaving us and I would like to give him a special gift to show him how much I appreciate all that he has done. For a while I couldn’t think of anything, so I prayed about it and now for some reason when I think about my Pastor I have the picture of an olive tree in my mind and I can´t seem to get away from it.

continue reading

 


 


Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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

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 Myth of Mary Magdalene

Code: B150518

 

by John MacArthur

Who is Mary Magdalene? What it is about her that garners so much attention? Was she a prostitute, a disciple, or even the wife of Jesus Christ? The legends surrounding this woman range from the innocuous to the blasphemous. The real tragedy, however, is how such myths distract us from the reality of God’s grace in this woman’s life.

Mary Magdalene is one of the best-known and least-understood names in Scripture. God’s Word draws a curtain of silence over much of her life and personal background, but she still emerges as one of the prominent women of the New Testament. She is mentioned by name in all four gospels, mostly in connection with the events of Jesus’ crucifixion. And she has the eternal distinction of being the first person to whom Christ revealed Himself after the resurrection.

Some church traditions dating back to the early fathers have identified Mary Magdalene with the anonymous woman (identified only as “a sinner” in Luke 7:37), who anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair (Luke 7:37–50). But there is absolutely no reason to make that connection. Indeed, if we take the text of Scripture at face value, we have every reason to think otherwise, since Luke first introduced Mary Magdalene by name in a completely different context (Luke 8:2) only two verses later. It seems highly unlikely that Mary Magdalene could be the same woman whom Luke described but did not name in the preceding account. Luke was too careful a historian to neglect a vital detail like that.

Some early commentators speculated that Mary Magdalene was the woman described in John 8:1–12, caught in the very act of adultery and saved from stoning by Christ, who forgave her and redeemed her. There is no basis for that association, either.

Mary Magdalene has also been the subject of a lot of extrabiblical mythology since medieval times. During the early Middle Ages, some of the gnostic heresies virtually co-opted the character of Mary Magdalene and attached her name to a plethora of fanciful legends. Apocryphal books were written about her, including one purporting to be Mary Magdalene’s account of the life of Christ, The Gospel of Mary. Another, the gnostic Gospel of Philip, portrayed her as an adversary to Peter.

In recent years, some of those legends have been resurrected, and many of the long-discredited apocryphal stories about Mary Magdalene have been republished. She has become something of an icon for women in the “spiritual” fringe of the feminist movement who like the idea of Mary Magdalene as a kind of mythical goddess figure. Many of the ancient gnostic tales about her are well suited for that perspective.

On a different front, one bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, adapted several long-forgotten gnostic legends about Mary Magdalene and wove them into an elaborate conspiracy theory that included the blasphemous suggestion that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were secretly married and even had children. (According to that view, she, not the apostle John, was the beloved disciple mentioned in John 20:2 and John 21:20.)

A seemingly endless procession of books ranging from utterly frivolous speculations to quasi-scholarly works have further revived selected gnostic fabrications about Mary Magdalene. And a few highly sensationalized television documentaries have further reinforced the popularity of the revived myths.

So while Mary Magdalene is being talked about more than ever, much of the discussion is mere hype and hyperbole borrowed from ancient cults. What Scripture actually says about her is extraordinary enough without any false embellishment. We don’t know if she was an adulterer, but we do know she had a dark and demonic past. She may not have been a champion for women’s rights, but she certainly was a trophy of God’s grace. And while she wasn’t secretly married to Christ, she did play a pivotal role as a herald of His resurrection.

This week we’re going to push aside the gnostic traditions, extrabiblical agendas, and conspiracy theories, and look at what God’s Word tells us about this fascinating woman. The truth is far more glorious than the fiction when it comes to the story of Mary Magdalene. And that’s where we’ll pick it up next time.

(Adapted from Twelve Extraordinary Women)


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COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Popularity: A Pastor’s Fiery Trial

The Reformed Reader

  Near the beginning of his 1830 publication on the pastoral ministry (The Christian Ministry), Charles Bridges discussed the trials and difficulties of the ministry.  In this section he wrote that for pastors, “the greatest difficulties derive their origin and power from ourselves.”  This whole section is outstanding, and very much worth reading.  One part of it that stuck out for me was what Bridges said about opposition to the ministry on the one hand, and popularity on the other.

Opposition to our ministry and message may stir up a selfish, unhumbled spirit.”

Popularity is yet more dangerous.  The few who escape its influence unhurt have been exercised in painful conflict, such as have shown their deliverances from this fiery trial to have been nearly miraculous.  Symptoms of success, unless tempered with personal abasement and habitual watchfulness, excite to self-confidence.”

Bridges’ words really caught my attention! …

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Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman explains what it is like to face persecution

WINTERY KNIGHT

This article appeared in the Washington Post, and I though it might be good for us to find out what it is like when big government comes after you for taking the Bible seriously.

Barronelle writes:

I’ve been a florist in Richmond, Wash., for more than 30 years. In that time, I’ve developed close relationships with many of my clients.

One of my favorites was Rob Ingersoll. Ingersoll came in often and we’d talk. Like me, he had an artistic eye. I’d try to create really special arrangements for him. I knew he was gay, but it didn’t matter — I enjoyed his company and his creativity.

Then he asked me to create the floral arrangements for his wedding. I love Rob, and I’d always been happy to design for his special days. But there’s something different about a wedding.

Every person in the creative professions regularly has to make decisions about…

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Albert Mohler Blog: “The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age”

This blog essay is a reproduction of Dr. R. Albert Mohler’s remarks upon receiving the 2015 Edwin Meese III Award for Originalism and Religious Liberty from the Alliance Defending Freedom. Mohler writes:

“Religious liberty is under direct threat. Just days ago the Solicitor General of the United States served notice before the Supreme Court that the liberties of religious institutions will be an open and unavoidable question. Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues that religious liberties must give way to the new morality, its redefinition of marriage, and its demand for coercive moral, cultural, and legal sovereignty.”

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Tongues, Healing and Prophecy Notes- Part 1

Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

Today I’m going to be posting up the the first half of my notes from the third talk I gave at the Last Days Bible Conference.  That talk was about a biblical understanding of tongues, healing and prophecy.  Much of the content was already available on this blog, but some of it was found in other things I’ve written (that aren’t online) or was original (or spontaneous).  My main objective in addressing the subject was to try to give, from the Bible, a definition of tongues, healing and prophecy as practice by Christ, the prophets and apostles.  There are always innumerable questions regarding these things, but a majority of them are adequately addressed by dealing with the issue on a definitional level.

The questions are always phrased: “well, such-and-such occurred, so how does your definition explain that?”

Question

The proper question should always be: “The Bible says this is the…

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Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. (Romans 6:5-7 NASB)

Several years ago Rick Warren made the follow statements in a tweet that he claimed were from his sermon that day:

To change ask: WHERE am I now? WHAT do I want? WHY do I want it? WHY don’t I have it already? WHAT’s my plan? Is it worth it?

Every time I come across this it is like my spirit is startled and I ask, “really?” What or who is the focus of…

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