Daily Archives: August 12, 2015

To operate in any part of the social strata that requires us to compromise the exclusivity of Christianity excludes us from taking part in it

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

30 ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν. (John 10:30 NA28)

30 “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Genuine Christianity, not the false versions of it, is unique when compared to the world’s religions. In fact, those false versions of it are just like the rest of the world’s religions in one regard that makes genuine Christianity absolutely unique. All other “religions” are based upon some form of works based theology and belief system in which a some form of justification is made through those works which increase the value of the person in that religion thereby gaining the reward. On the other hand, genuine Christianity is nothing like that at all. Salvation or justification comes as a result of something God has set out to do and has completed. Those who are justified were elected by him before the foundation…

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August 12, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report

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Aug. 12, 2015

BLOOMBERG

Hillary Clinton has directed her aides to hand over to the Justice Department a private e-mail server that she used during her tenure as secretary of state, her presidential campaign said Tuesday.

Ukraine said pro-Russian militants intensified attacks on government troops overnight in a bid to win ground, a sign the recent surge in fighting is worsening.

China’s shock devaluation of its currency is designed to cushion it from strengthening along with the dollar after a projected interest-rate increase from the Federal Reserve, according to Goldman Sachs.

Florida sued to block a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that would require 35 states to take additional steps to cut carbon emissions from power plants.

The nation’s environmental chief apologized for a mine blowout that fouled a Colorado river with 3 million gallons of toxic water, as lawmakers criticized the response of the Environmental Protection Agency to the accidental spill. “I’m absolutely, deeply sorry that this ever happened,” Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA, said at an event in Washington. “EPA is taking responsibility to make sure it is cleaned up.”

Many of the 700,000 transgender people in the U.S. are forced to make careful calculations about what to say-and how to look-at work.

With the job market improving and the millennial generation born after 1980 reaching its prime child-bearing years, demand for daycare will probably continue to outstrip supply, driving costs up faster than overall inflation. That could have wide-ranging economic repercussions, including limiting consumers’ ability to spend on other goods and services and, in the extreme, preventing some parents from joining the workforce.

As bad as things are for emerging-market currencies, China is about to make them a whole lot worse. Its devaluation of the yuan risks a new round of competitive easing that may send currencies from Brazil’s real to Indonesia’s rupiah tumbling by an average 30 percent to 50 percent in the next nine months, according to investor and former International Monetary Fund economist Stephen Jen.

As Google Inc. reorganizes into Alphabet Inc., the conglomerate has promised a new era of transparency. Now, investors and analysts are working on wish lists of the kind of information they want to see from the Web company.

AP Top Stories

China cut the yuan’s value against the dollar for the second consecutive day Wednesday, roiling global financial markets and driving expectations the currency could be set for further falls.

North Korea’s vice premier Choe Yong-Gon has been executed for voicing frustration at the policies of leader Kim Jong-Un, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Wednesday, citing an anonymous source.

Before a 19-year-old girl from a small city in Mississippi was charged with attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS, the young woman allegedly praised the Chattanooga shooting, which claimed the lives of five American servicemen.

The United States said on Tuesday it has intervened in a lawsuit against Palestinian authorities over attacks in Israel that killed and injured Americans, arguing that a high bond could compromise the Palestinians’ financial stability.

Islamic State sympathizers circulated an image Wednesday that appears to show the grisly aftermath of the beheading of a Croatian hostage abducted in Egypt, which if confirmed would mark the first such killing of a foreign captive in the country since the extremist group established a branch here last year.

On August 12, 1898, the United States and Spain reached a cease-fire agreement in its brief conflict over Cuba and the Philippines. The war marked America’s entrance onto the global stage as a military power. The Spanish-American War is just one of five conflicts where Congress approved an official declaration of war using its constitutional powers. In total, war declarations have been declared by Congress in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II.

U.S. crude could fall to the $30 to $40 per barrel range sooner than expected following China’s yuan devaluation, analyst John Kilduff said Wednesday.

Most people forget that when they download an app or sign-in to a website using their Facebook login, they’re giving those companies a look into their Facebook profiles. Your profile contains a lot of personal information that can often include your email address and phone number, but frequently also your work history and your current location. And most people don’t realise that if you’re sharing any of that data with your friends then apps used by those friends can see that data too!

BBC

Italy’s navy said it has rescued 52 migrants from a sinking rubber dinghy in the Mediterranean, but about 50 others are missing.

New York’s police union is encouraging its members to take photos of homeless people to bring attention to what they view as an increase in “quality-of-life offences” in the city.

Gay Australians will never be allowed to marry under a Conservative government, says the Labor opposition.

WND

The EPA’s triggering of massive water pollution in four states is further proof that the federal government has lost sight of its environmental responsibilities and has no business burdening Americans with costly rules on emissions, water or ozone.

Thousands of displaced Arab refugees, including a large number of Christians and Yazidis, are continuing to flee Iraq following the Islamic State’s mass execution of around 2,000 Iraqis in the city of Nineveh – followed by a series of car bombs in Baghdad on Monday – resulting in dozens of causalities, according to Reuters.


Top News – 8/12/2015

US Congressmen Harassed By Angry Muslim Mob On Temple Mount
A group of US Congressmen in Israel on a working policy trip were attacked by a mob of Muslims while visiting the Temple Mount Tuesday. The lawmakers are part of a delegation organized by the Israel Allies Foundation, which works with Congress and parliaments around the world to mobilize political support for Israel based on Judeo-Christian values.

Three Years of Rain Falls in 12 Hours as Deadly Storm Causes Flooding, Mudslides in Chile
At least six people are dead in Chile after a potent weekend storm brought unusual rains to Chile’s Atacama desert region, while the coast was battered by destructive waves and strong winds. Antofagasta, Chile, saw 0.55 inches (14 mm) of rain in just 12 hours Saturday into Sunday. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually more than three years worth of rain for this town where the average annual rainfall is just 0.14 inches

Obama Blocks Release Of Report Of Russian Nuclear Weapons Treaty Violation
Hicks said, however, that steps are being taking “across the government to address Russia’s violation of the treaty, including preserving military response options—but no decision has been made with regard to the type of response, if any.”

German Media Alarmed by ‘To Berlin!’ Slogan on Modern Russian Bombs
The German tabloid Bild has been alarmed with pictures from the recent Russian naval aviation military exercises featuring bombs attached to Antonov An-26 military transport aircraft with WWII era-slogans such as “To Berlin!” and “For Stalin”. What made the situation even more peculiar is that the military exercises were staged a mere 500 kilometers away from the German capital.

Could NASA be hiding ‘proof that ISS is being monitored by aliens’?
It all started with a YouTube viewer who examined the ISS footage and decided the station was being “monitored by extraterrestrials.” He posted the short version of the video, which shows the ISS cam panning to the right, before it freezes and, indeed, shows a pink and gold UFO just sitting there.

Stocks, yields tumble after China pushes yuan lower again
Markets around the world fell for a second day on Wednesday, with stocks, the dollar and emerging market currencies all under pressure after China pushed the yuan lower again overnight, boosting the appeal of top-rated government bonds.

Turkey PM: Syria no-fly zone needed
The Turkish prime minister has told the BBC that Turkey will push again for a no-fly zone over northern Syria to protect civilians fleeing both Islamic State and Syrian government forces. Ahmet Davutoglu said he would work with the US to establish a “safe area” for people displaced by Syria’s conflict. Mr Davutoglu did not rule out sending Turkish troops in to protect the area.

Ukraine surge in fighting violates ceasefire – EU
The European Union says escalating attacks on government-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine violate a February peace deal with pro-Russia separatists. “The Minsk Agreements must be implemented in good faith, starting with full observation of the ceasefire and genuine withdrawal of heavy weapons,” the EU said. Ukraine on Monday accused rebels of carrying out the heaviest shelling since the truce was agreed.

China’s yuan currency falls for a second day
China’s Central Bank has again cut the guiding rate for the national currency, the yuan, a day after Tuesday’s record 1.9% devaluation. …The yuan fell another 1% on Wednesday, marking the biggest two-day lowering of its rate against the dollar in more than two decades.

Israeli combat troops react angrily to new rules of engagement in West Bank
…Israeli defense establishment on Tuesday temporarily revised the rules of engagement for combat soldiers on the ground serving in the Palestinian territories… …IDF soldiers were furious… The…defense establishment is now requiring soldiers to hold their fire except for instances in which there is a genuine threat to their lives.

NGO calls to raze outpost homes: ‘Israel’s complicity in illegal building is outrageous’
Yesh Din has petitioned the High Court of Justice to force the demolition of nine illegally built homes in the Derech Ha’avot outpost in the Gush Etzion Region of the West Bank. It focused on these nine homes in particular because they are under construction and located on land which Yesh Din claims belongs to residents of the nearby Palestinian village of al-Khader.

Amnesty approves policy to decriminalize sex trade
Amnesty International approved a controversial policy Tuesday to endorse the de-criminalization of the sex trade, rejecting complaints from some women’s rights groups who say it is tantamount to advocating the legalization of pimping and brothel owning.

China’s move to devalue currency could reverberate globally
China’s surprise move Tuesday to devalue its currency has intensified concerns about a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, whose growth rate has reached a six-year low. It is also fanning tensions with the United States and Europe, whose exports could become comparatively costlier.

The FBI Considers The IRS & DOJ, Domestic Terrorists
Eventually it was bound to happen. The ever increasing ambiguous laws that allow the government to prosecute, or worse, simply negate all Constitutional protections of its citizens would come back to hang them. In an unusual circumstance, what is essentially one party in D.C. when it comes to matters of covering up governmental criminality, has split into a two party system. Specifically, a sect of the Republican party known as Tea Partiers pushed unrelentingly to expose the criminality acted upon members of its own tribe by various government agencies.

At least 47 dead in market bomb blast in NE Nigeria
At least 47 people were killed and dozens wounded in a bomb blast Tuesday in a part of northeast Nigeria frequently targeted by Boko Haram Islamists, a medical source and witnesses said.

Why Iran’s Anti-Semitism Matters
A few days ago, I spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about the politics of the Iran deal (you can find the full interview here), and at one point in our conversation I put to Kerry what I thought was—to be honest—something of a gimme question: “Do you believe that Iranian leaders sincerely seek the elimination of the Jewish state?”

Clinton relents, gives up possession of private email server
Hillary Rodham Clinton relented Tuesday to months of demands she relinquish the personal email server she used while secretary of state, directing the device be given to the Justice Department.


Top Headlines – 8/12/2015

PA to present UN Security Council with resolution to end Israeli ‘occupation’

Arrest Netanyahu for war crimes, British petitioners demand

Israel tightens rules of engagement for combat troops in West Bank

Shin Bet: Hamas fighter gives up trove of intel on group’s plans to attack Israel

IDF Says it is Aware of New Hamas Terror Tunnels

U.S. State Department Interferes in Favor of PLO Terrorists

US appeals Palestinian Authority terrorism fine

Islamic Jihad: “Every Israeli city is in rocket range”

AIPAC: Obama administration peddling ‘inaccuracies’ about us

Obama’s Iran nuclear deal rhetoric troubles American Jews

Retired US generals, admirals back Iran nuclear deal, say no option of rejecting it

Iraq Vets Take On Obama Over Iran Deal

Israel expects US Congress to block Iran nuclear deal, top Likud figure says

House members’ trip to Israel allows Netanyahu to press case against Iran nuclear deal

Kerry: Dollar could suffer if US walks away from Iran deal

Kerry doubles down on Iran deal, says Tehran has not pursued nuke since 2003

Senior Iranian Officials Disclose Secret History of Nuclear Talks – Obama Admin Recognized ‘Right to Enrich’ in 2011

After nuclear deal, Pakistan and Iran seek to increase trade

Syria’s Aleppo marked as international city under Iran peace plan

2 day ceasefire to begin between Syrian insurgents, Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters

No consensus on Assad’s fate as Saudis, Russia walk away from talks

Saudi Foreign Minister says Assad has no place in Syria future

Russia says ‘early details’ of plan to fight Islamic State start to emerge

Ankara’s attacks in Syria bad for Kurds and Assad, good for Islamists and Erdogan

Kurdish militants claim responsibility for Istanbul police station blast

Violence erupts as Greek island of Kos struggles with migrant crisis

Turkey rescues 330 Greece-bound Syrians amid record surge of refugees

Islamic State attacks Syrian rebels near Turkish border

Over 15,000 Assyrian Christian Families in Danger From ISIS Following Mass Kidnappings of Hundreds

ISIS releases 22 abducted Christians

Mississippi arrests: How social media is being used against the Islamic State

Report: Man in Dubai lets daughter drown to preserve her ‘honor’

Blast kills around 50 in Nigeria’s Borno state

EU says renewed escalation in Ukraine violates ceasefire

Iran, Russia Hold Wargames

Are NATO and Russian war games making real conflict more likely?

3 maps that show the military concerns for both Russia and NATO

Migrants seek millions in damages for detention conditions

George Soros funds Ferguson protests, hopes to spur civil action

Around St. Louis, bloodshed rises in year since Michael Brown was killed

Clinton turns over private server to Justice Dept amid report it contained ‘top secret’ emails

Krauthammer on Clinton email revelations: ‘Nothing she says ever is true three weeks later’

China’s currency devaluation sends global exporters reeling

China Roils Markets Second Day as Yuan Cut by 1.6%; Bonds Rally

China devaluation sparks fear of currency war, angers U.S. lawmakers

Presidential candidate Trump: China devaluation will devastate US

China’s move to devalue currency could reverberate globally

Greek PM requests parliament meeting to guarantee bailout agreement approval

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Raoul Island, New Zealand

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Hilda could bring several inches of rain to Hawaii; Tropical Storm watch posted

California drought dries up Guadalupe River in San Jose

Climate change: Australia sets new emissions target

Toxic spill from Colorado mine creeps through US southwest

Healthy Woman Euthanized So She Wouldn’t be a “Burden” to Her Family

Drugmaker Glaxo shuts down plant over Legionnaires’ bacteria

Israeli scientist claims breakthrough in HIV research

Amnesty approves policy to decriminalize sex trade

Tony Abbott blocks free vote on same-sex marriage in Australia

Anti-gay marriage leader vows Australians can vote on same-sex marriage if he’s re-elected

The Christian purge has begun: Chaplains banned from preaching that homosexuality is a sin

Christianity facing threat of being rendered illegal under Nepal’s new constitution

Team of Scientists Find Stonehenge Like Monoliths at Bottom of the Mediterranean Sea


The Briefing

1) Study presenting difficulty of parenthood reveals focus of happiness in status, not family

It turns out parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment — even the death of a partner, Washington Post (Ariana Eunjung Cha)

2) Question of affordability of having kids unique question of secular worldview

A millennial couple asks: Can we afford to have a baby?, Washington Post (Jonelle Marte)

3) Indian political controversy over beef trade shows constant influence of theology

With Beef Bans, India Moves to Protect Sacred Cows, Wall Street Journal (Jesse Pesta and Saptarishi Dutta)

In other news…


Daily Digest

August 12, 2015

THE FOUNDATION

“The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.” —Fisher Ames, speech in the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

New Video: Fetal Traffickers Ignored Consent Law

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Holly O’Donnell. Screenshot courtesy of Center for Medical Progress

Planned Parenthood and procurement company StemExpress did not properly get the consent of women undergoing an abortion before taking the aborted baby for its organs, alleges a video released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) Wednesday. The video continues the account of Holly O’Donnell, a former procurement technician who worked for StemExpress, as she recounts how she and her co-workers would monitor the women going to Planned Parenthood clinics, looking for babies that matched their procurement needs and then pressure the women to consent to give their aborted baby up for medical research.

“If there was a higher gestation, and the technicians needed it, there were times when they would just take what they wanted,” O’Donnell said. “And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.” In some cases, the woman would be crying, throwing up in the trashcan when the StemExpress employee would walk into the room to have the talk. Sometimes, it was right after the woman learns she’s pregnant. “Some women, they come in, do a test and find out that they’re pregnant,” O’Donnell said. “Then you can consent them. So pregnancy tests are potential pregnancies, therefore potential specimens.”

CMP notes in their press release accompanying the video that it is against federal law to acquire and then use fetal tissue without the consent of the woman. The consent must also happen after she consents to an abortion. Planned Parenthood clinics in California were allowing a specimen procurement company access to virtually every woman that walked through their doors, with or without consent. Where’s the medical ethics in that? Are we still naïve enough to believe that Planned Parenthood provides vital woman’s health services?

Another Illegal Commits Murder

Early last month, we noted the story of Kathryn Steinle, a San Francisco woman murdered by a repeatedly deported illegal alien. But Nancy Pelosi’s hometown is a “sanctuary city,” and the illegal found refuge there. Unfortunately, Steinle did not. Just weeks later, Marilyn Pharis, a 64-year-old Santa Maria woman, was brutally raped and beaten with a hammer. She died eight days later. One of her attackers was an illegal alien with six prior arrests. Santa Maria police chief Ralph Martin explained that his department had its hands tied and couldn’t hold him. “We had to cite him out,” Martin said. “That’s the problem with this system. This is not just in Santa Maria, this is all over the state of California and all over the United States.” Immigration and Customs Enforcement never provided a detention order, and the SMPD had to release the suspect. Martin didn’t hold back blame, saying, “[F]rom Washington DC to Sacramento there’s a blood trail leading to the bedroom of Marilyn Pharis.” Our broken immigration system demands fixing, but the establishment of both parties is invested in the status quo. Democrats in particular want Hispanic votes more than they want Rule of Law. But Americans like Steinle and Pharis shouldn’t pay the ultimate price for Democrats’ vote-buying schemes.

Monty Python and the Rick Perry Campaign

In campaigns past, a lack of funds was a plague that felled many a candidate in primary races. And if Rick Perry was running for president eight years ago, his campaign might have been officially declared dead, as the campaign has stopped paying its employees because it just didn’t have enough money in the bank (according to financial disclosures, Perry’s campaign had less than $1 million in cash July 15). But in the words of an anonymous villager, he’s “not dead yet.” Perry’s campaign manager, Jeff Miller, says the campaign will have to prioritize time and money to target the key swing states of New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa. Perry can continue the race on volunteer time and what amounts to pocket change. John McCain pulled off something similar in the GOP presidential primary of 2007. But this is 2015, the era of Super PACs. According to Austin Barbour, a senior adviser to Perry’s Super PACs, the PACs have amassed a $16.8 million war chest for the former Texas governor. Perry’s not alone. Carly Fiorina has relied on her Super PAC for most of the heavy campaign lifting, and Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Rick Santorum also have small campaign budgets. We’ve reached a weird place in American politics where the fate of many candidates rests not in their own hands but in organizations that are required, by law, not to coordinate with the candidates.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Hillary Finally Turns Over Scrubbed Server

By Nate Jackson

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“As president, I would do my very best to model the kind of behavior that I would hope all of our citizens would have,” Hillary Clinton told a New Hampshire audience Tuesday. So what kind of behavior would that be? Using a private email server instead of a government one to conduct (classified) business as secretary of state, and then taking years to scrub it of anything inconvenient before releasing it in a phony show of “transparency.” The difference is few other citizens could get away with such a thing.

By now, everyone knows the story of her majesty’s secret server. Everyone knows she dumped 55,000 printed pages on the State Department to reprocess — after she deleted more than 30,000 emails she called “personal.” In March, she insisted the server “will remain private.” That’s because it took a village to scrub her server of anything that might implicate her in cases like the Benghazi narrative, and her geek squad needed time to erase the most damaging stuff not just to and from her, but from staff who also used the server.

Of course, most Democrat voters won’t care about any of this when they arrive at the voting booth next November, though it is notable that Bernie Sanders now leads the polls by seven points in New Hampshire. When the scandal broke, Hillary led by 37 points. Perhaps she evitable.

On Tuesday, Clinton announced she would turn over her server to the FBI, though we’re pretty sure that’s more a case of seizure than voluntary transparency. If it had been the latter, we might have been treated to a network news exclusive interview with her touting her “above and beyond” efforts to placate the vast right-wing conspiracy.

But what difference, at this point, does it make? We’ll see what the techs at the FBI are able to uncover — it all depends on how thoroughly her server was scrubbed.

Already, Justice Department Inspector General I. Charles McCullough found emails on the server that contained “top secret” information, the highest level of classification. He warned of “potentially hundreds of classified emails” on the private server.

Just last month, Clinton told us, “I am confident that I never sent or received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received.” She went on, “The facts are pretty clear: I did not send or receive anything that was classified at the time.”

Her weasel words weren’t good enough. According to an IG statement last month, “These emails were not retroactively classified by the State Department; rather these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to IC classification officials, that information remains classified today. This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”

Classified information isn’t the only problem. Many things are sensitive if not classified, and Hillary could hardly perform her duties as secretary of state without communicating these things by email.

As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy explains, “Mrs. Clinton’s emphasis on classified documents diverts attention from another significant problem: Most sensitive information in government is not classified, but government officials are still not allowed to communicate, transmit or store it outside government communications channels and filing systems. And quite apart from any criminal liability in this regard, this point goes to Mrs. Clinton’s fitness for high office — since she not only flouted laws, regulations and guidelines; she was head of the State Department at the time and was thus obligated to enforce these laws, regulations and guidelines.”

Meanwhile, Hillary signed an affidavit Monday saying, under penalty of perjury, that she had turned over all copies of government records from her tenure at State. Clintons and perjury just keep running into each other.

One of Clinton’s defenses is that the State Department’s email system was also compromised. But that doesn’t excuse her own behavior, and she conveniently left out the fact that she oversaw that system for four years.

Now, back to the quote at the beginning: “As president, I would do my very best to model the kind of behavior that I would hope all of our citizens would have.” Hillary and her husband are secretive, hypocritical, serial liars. They operate without any moral code beyond what benefits them. And they want to take the reins once again. Perish the thought.

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TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

OPINION IN BRIEF

Walter Williams: “From the Nazis to the Stalinists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, and why is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control and confiscation. Free speech is a basic tool for indoctrination, propagandizing, proselytization. Once the leftists gain control, as they have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses. … Western values of liberty are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality before the law with entitlement. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any terrorist organization or rogue nation. Leftist ideas are a cancer on our society. Ironically, we not only are timid in response, but also nourish those ideas with our tax dollars and charitable donations.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The governments of the great states have two instruments for keeping the people dependent, in fear and obedience: a coarser, the army; and a more refined, the school.” —Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Fund this, not that: “The problem that I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. It is like an abortion factory, frankly. … And you just shouldn’t be funding it. That should not be funded by the government, and I feel strongly about that. What I would do when the time came, I’d look at the individual things they do. … I’m sure they do some things properly and good and that are good for women, and I would look at that.” —Donald Trump (Except that’s what the law says now, and it doesn’t mean a thing.)

Village Idiots: “Donald Trump seems to have realized that banning all abortions, shutting down the government, and defunding Planned Parenthood are extreme positions that are way too far outside the mainstream for even him to take. We hope that the rest of the GOP field will wake up and reconsider their extreme and unpopular positions on defunding preventive care, abortion bans, and the other economic issues that women and their families care about.” —Planned Parenthood

Alpha Jackass: “The police have weaponized blackness. To be black is considered a threat [in Ferguson] and in cities across the country.” —Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson

Braying Jenny: “There’s really no point in confronting the GOP, at least I think during the primaries. Because GOP members will pretty much flatly tell you that they don’t care about black lives. So instead we really need to put pressure on people who claim that they care about black lives.” —Black Lives Matter activist Marissa Johnson

And last… “Just to keep things equal with the line of questioning at the Republican debate, the first question that should be asked of Hillary Clinton at a Democrat debate: ‘Mrs. Clinton, let me mention seven names: Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky, Beth Dozoretz, Denise Rich. Now, tell us: How can you look at anyone with a straight face and talk to them about family values, when It Takes a Village to satisfy your husband?'” —Rush Limbaugh

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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The Universe Is Steadily Deteriorating And So Is The Human Race – Why Is This Happening?

Lens Flare Earth - Public DomainDid you know that scientists have come to the conclusion that “the universe is slowly dying”?  In fact, they have found that the universe is only producing about half as much energy as it once did, and they have also found that the level of energy is continuing to fade.  Not only that, our sun also appears to be dying.  Solar activity has slowed down to a level not seen for about 100 years, and scientists are not quite sure what to make of it.  Pretty much all scientists agree that the sun will die “one day”, but could it be possible that it is happening faster than any of them ever imagined?  In addition, in this article I will include information about how the human race itself is deteriorating.  There is a common misconception that humanity has been constantly improving and getting better, but scientists have discovered that the exact opposite is actually true.  So why is this happening?  Why is everything steadily decaying and deteriorating? (Read More…)


12 Signs That An Imminent Global Financial Crash Has Become Even More Likely

Time Spinning Skyline - Public DomainDid you see what just happened?  The devaluation of the yuan by China triggered the largest one day drop for that currency in the modern era.  This caused other global currencies to crash relative to the U.S. dollar, the price of oil hit a six year low, and stock markets all over the world were rattled.  The Dow fell 212 points on Tuesday, and Apple stock plummeted another 5 percent.  As we hurtle toward the absolutely critical months of September and October, the unraveling of the global financial system is beginning to accelerate.  At this point, it is not going to take very much to push us into a full-blown worldwide financial crisis.  The following are 12 signs that indicate that a global financial crash has become even more likely after the events of the past few days… (Read More….)


China the Ultimate Crony Capitalist State devalues its currency, World markets shudder, expect more trouble going forward

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In case you haven’t noticed things aren’t so hot in China. In fact the country, the Ultimate Crony Capitalist State is in serious trouble. Today it devalued the yuan, its currency.

We have been sounding the alarm on China for a very long time. Not that we’ve been the only ones. That China has been headed for real trouble has been obvious to many for quite a while, years. Regardless, trouble is here now. The world’s second largest economy is pretty much in crisis mode, or very near it and this state of affairs will have an impact (it already has) globally.

What should also be understood is that this is not a separate episode from the initial financial crisis which hit much of the world in 2008. China, Greece, Japan, it’s a continuation of the Great Recession. We’re not out of it. Indeed, some believe that we likely have not seen the worst of it.

Read More


Russian Warships Dock In Iran for War Training

Is this a warm-up for Gog-Magog?

Two Russian warships have docked in northern Iran for a series of naval training exercises with the Islamic Republic, according to Persian-language reports translated by the CIA’s Open Source Center.

View Article


Obama’s Betrayals: Willfully Supporting Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood

Dare anyone call it treason?

It doesn’t get any more explosive than this: a high-ranking former Obama administration official charging that the administration made a conscious decision to support al-Qaeda – so where is the mainstream media?

View Article


Iran Deal: When Will Israel Go To War?

If the Iran deal guarantees war–as argued by a former adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–then the question is when…………  Click here for full story


U.S. Intelligence Suspects ISIS Planning Mass-Casualty Attack

Analysts in the intelligence community warned the Islamic State may be preparing to carry out a mass-casualty terrorist attack, rather than encouraging its international supporters to carry out ‘lone-wolf’ attacks……..  Click here for full story


Only Israel – Amazing Facts About Israel

Israel has many enemies around the world, not only in Gaza and in Teheran. There are many also in the Western media, in the “humanitarian” NGOs and legal forums, in the European Parliaments and United Nations, in the US Congress and think tanks, and in Israeli society itself ………..  Click here for full story


Bundled Cable Television Getting Pounded By Cheaper, Better Internet Streaming Services

BUNDLED CABLE DEATH WATCH: Q2 CORD-CUTTING SOARS TO 566,000

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bundled Cable is nothing but a scam and should be illegal. NetFlix is great and has some awesome programming, but has a lot of trash as well. We recommend that you check out the Christian movie and video streaming site called PureFlix.com. Wholesome, family entertainment for about the same price as Netflix. We use it and love it. (NTEB received no compensation for this information).

The largest swindle big business ever played on the American people — forcing us to pay huge cable bills for dozens of channels we never watch — is slowly coming apart. Even with an ever-increasing population, the pay TV industry (cable and satellite) lost a net 566,000 subscribers last quarter. When you add in Q1, that’s a total of 887,000 lost customers in just six short months.

There is just no question that customers are getting tech savvy and budget savvy. The result is a growing wave of cord-cutters (last quarter was the second biggest drop in pay TV customers in history) as people discover the beauty of streaming on budget-conscious services like Netflix and Amazon, that charge around $10 a month.

bundled-cable-getting-pounded-by-internet-streaming-services-pure-net-flix

For $10 a month you are not only getting more television than you could ever possibly watch in a lifetime, better still, there are no commercials and Netflix is always updating their service with their own programming.

Meanwhile, for around $100 a month pay TV is not only pummeling you with about 20 minutes of ads an hour, but forcing you to pay for a ton of networks you hate. Moreover, many of these networks get a chunk of your cable bill. Even if you don’t watch left-wing CNN and MSNBC, if they are on your package, chances are a part of your bill is going directly to both.

If you want to put CNN, MSNBC, MTV, and all these other low-rated, left-wing networks out of business, not watching them makes absolutely no difference.

You have to cut the cord.

Nearly half of CNN’s revenue comes from this immoral revenue stream. CNN is taking your money to attack you all day every day.

And that is the great con the gigantic left-wing multinationals have pulled off for decades. Something like 100 million homes keep hundreds of networks profitable by forcing those customers into overpriced cable packages. Maybe 15 cable networks could survive solely on ad revenue generated by actual eyeballs. The rest would go poof, and good riddance.

Based only on this con and nothing even close to merit, while Obama’s economy falters and an influx of illegal aliens keep wages depressed, our cable bills go up and up. The Hollywood rich just keep getting richer.

The pressure the cord cutting revolution puts on cable and programming providers was already enormous before these latest stats.

Your local cable company is desperate to hold on to customers, which means cutting costs, which means negotiating for lower pricing with the handful of multinationals that own almost all of the cable networks. This means that ratings start to matter as cable providers ask why they are  being forced by Time Warner to force their customers to pay for CNN when almost none of their customers watch  CNN.

Even when the talking heads said this could never happen, even when the Big Media CEOs happy talked around The Obvious, for years now Breitbart News has been way ahead of the curve on this. Stay tuned. The most important cultural and technological revolution since the invention of television itself is just getting started.

The death of the pay TV cable bundle is the healthiest thing that could ever happen to your pocketbook or our culture.

Cut the cord. source


In September 2015, Agenda 21 Will Be Transformed Into The 2030 Agenda

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:37 AM PDT

If you didn’t like “Agenda 21″, then you really are not going to like “The 2030 Agenda”.  Next month, the United Nations is going to launch “The 2030 Agenda” at a major conference that will be held from September 25th to September 27th in New York City.  The Pope is actually traveling to New York to deliver an address which will kick off this conference. 

Unlike Agenda 21, which primarily focused on the environment, the 2030 Agenda is truly a template for governing the entire planet.  In addition to addressing climate change, it also sets ambitious goals for areas such as economics, health, energy, education, agriculture, gender equality and a whole host of other issues.  As you will see below, this global initiative is being billed as a “new universal Agenda” for humanity.  If you are anything like me, alarm bells are going off in your head right about now.

This new agenda is solidly rooted in a document known as “Agenda 21″ that was originally adopted by the United Nations back in 1992.  The following comes from Wikipedia FULL REPORT

The full text of Agenda 21 was made public at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit), held in Rio de Janeiro on June 13, 1992, where 178 governments voted to adopt the program. The final text was the result of drafting, consultation, and negotiation, beginning in 1989 and culminating at the two-week conference.

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Glenn Beck Gives list of 15 cities to avoid like the plague when things go bad

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:33 AM PDT

Glenn beck released an interesting list of cities on his website. Why is it so interesting? Because according to Glenn Beck this is the list of places you do NOT want to be when things get really bad? He unveils a list of the top ten cities to avoid in a time of crisis – and some of the entries may surprise you. What do places like Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, and Columbus, OH all have in common? First, the list. They’re all bad, but this goes from bad to “Don’t even step foot in there”:

15. St. Louis 14. Washington, DC 13. Minneapolis-St. Paul 12. Las Vegas 11. Milwaukee 10.Los Angeles 9. Boston 8. Detroit 7.Columbus, Ohio 6. St. Petersburg, Florida 5. Phoenix 4. Denver 3. Seattle 2. San Francisco 1. Portland, Oregon

How did Glenn compile the list? “This is the list of the top 15 least religious cities in America,” Glenn said. “These are the cities to avoid like the plague. And if you look at that list, these are the cities that already having trouble. We haven’t even hit the road bump.” FULL REPORT

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Warning to parents: pro-gay cartoons are on the rise

Posted: 12 Aug 2015 05:22 AM PDT

When the animated series The Legend of Korra ended its three-season run with the two heroines holding hands and dissolving into a mist – thus making explicit a lesbian love interest that hitherto had only been hinted at – children’s TV was likely changed forever.

Or so claimed Vanity Fair arts writer Joanna Robinson, who enthusiastically lauded the December 2014 finale of the Nickelodeon show as perhaps the “most subversive television event of the year.”

But for Christian media watchers like Jeff Johnston, that lesbian fairytale ending (the two characters were actually bisexual, having each dated a boy in previous episodes) was just the inevitable next step in a clearly discernible trend. “There are definitely more gay and transgender characters and stories in children’s television,” Johnston, issues analyst for Focus on the Family, told LifeSiteNews in an email. FULL REPORT

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Cramer: China’s trade war on the US could be huge

Posted: 11 Aug 2015 08:26 PM PDT

Did the entire market come down with a case of amnesia, and forget all about when the miners, industrials and biotechs roared on Monday? Judging by the action on the averages on Tuesday, Jim Cramer suspects that could be the case.

“Last night I tried to be skeptical, if not downright critical, about the rally, suggesting it could easily be repealed as the week went on. I didn’t know it would be repealed immediately,” the “Mad Money” host said.

That’s because Cramer was not expecting that investors would be dealing with a Chinese currency devaluation, which makes China’s goods cheaper to export and U.S. goods more expensive to sell there. FULL REPORT

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More than 5,000 earthquakes have hit northwest Nevada since swarm started in July 2014

Posted: 11 Aug 2015 08:22 PM PDT

Seismologists studying a year-long swarm of thousands of mostly minor earthquakes in northwest Nevada say they could be the precursor for a “big one,” although speculation that they’re related to a series of extinct volcanoes can’t be ruled out.

The University of Nevada’s Reno Nevada Seismological Laboratory announced Tuesday that there have been 5,610 earthquakes in a swarm that started in July 2014 in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge near the Oregon border. More than 200 have registered at a magnitude of 3 or greater, which is enough to be felt by ranchers and residents nearby.

The largest one hit on Nov. 6 with a magnitude of 4.7, although there’s also been a recent flare-up since mid-July. “It’s kind of usual that it has lasted so long,” said Ken Smith, a seismologist. It’s been a topic of discussion whether or not those quakes stem from the extinct volcanos in the Sheldon refuge collectively known as the High Rock Caldera, which is at least 15 million years old. FULL REPORT

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Chaplains banned from preaching that homosexuality is a sin

Posted: 11 Aug 2015 01:45 PM PDT

It appears that Kentucky is holding true to their promise of purging Christian Ministers who refuse to comply to their new rules regarding “Homosexuality” ! According to a report from Todd Starnes with Fox News It wasn’t so much a choice as it was a demand.

Chaplain David Wells was told he could either sign a state-mandated document promising to never tell inmates that homosexuality is “sinful” or else the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice would revoke his credentials. “We could not sign that paper,” Chaplain Wells told me in a telephone call from his home in Kentucky. “It broke my heart.”The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice revoked his volunteer credentials as an ordained minister – ending 13 years of ministry to underage inmates at the Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center.“

We sincerely appreciate your years of service and dedication to the youth served by this facility,” wrote Superintendent Gene Wade in a letter to Wells. “However, due to your decision, based on your religious convictions, that you cannot comply with the requirements outlined in DJJ Policy 912, Section IV, Paragraph H, regarding the treatment of LGBTQI youth, I must terminate your involvement as a religious volunteer.” FULL REPORT

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Faith Really Can Battle Cancer, Study Shows

Posted: 11 Aug 2015 01:31 PM PDT

Cancer patients who report more religiousness or spirituality may also experience fewer physical symptoms of cancer and treatment and more social connection, several new papers suggest. The new analyzes reviewed previous studies of spirituality involving more than 44,000 cancer patients altogether.

The studies varied in many ways, but religion and spirituality were associated with better health regardless of specific religion or set of spiritual beliefs.

Some previous research has found this connection while others have not, said Heather Jim of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, who led one of the new studies. “Patients should not be pressured into adopting religious or spiritual beliefs,” Jim said. “Although our data suggest that patients with greater religion/spirituality tend to have better perceived physical health, these are aggregate-level data.” “Patients who are not religious or spiritual can also experience good health outcomes,” she said. FULL REPORT

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Firestorm erupts over Trump’s ‘Bible Connection’

Posted: 11 Aug 2015 12:32 PM PDT

A Christian minister in Florida has ignited a firestorm over his suggestion that God is using Donald Trump as a divine instrument in the 2016 presidential election cycle. In a column published in Charisma magazine, Jeremiah Johnson of Behold the Man Ministries in Lakeland, Florida, said he was praying several weeks ago “when God began to speak to me concerning the destiny of Donald Trump in America:”

The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet. Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election. FULL REPORT

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Ohio Judges Must Officiate Same-Sex ‘Weddings’ Despite Religious Beliefs

Posted: 11 Aug 2015 10:31 AM PDT

The Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio has discharged its formal assessment with respect to whether judges must direct same-sex “weddings” regardless of their religious feelings, announcing that gay people must be obliged regardless. “Ohio judges who perform common relational unions may not morally decline to perform common relational unions including same-sex couples while keeping on performing relational unions including inverse sex couples,” the board composed on Friday. “Ohio judges may not morally decrease to perform all relational unions keeping in mind the end goal to abstain from wedding same-sex couples in light of their own, good, or religious convictions.”

The board had gotten demands for direction on the matter after the U.S. Incomparable Court issued its decision in June on account of Obergefell v. Hodges, proclaiming that all states must sanction same-sex “marriage.” An unspecified number of judges and a legal affiliation had asked of the board whether judges are allowed to decay to administer same-sex ceremony or bow out of directing over weddings inside and out. As its would see it, the board indicated the legal pledge of office, in which judges must guarantee to “loyally and fairly release and perform the greater part of the obligations occupant upon me as a judge as indicated by the best of my capacity and seeing.” However, the promise closes with the expression, “This I do as I should answer unto God.” FULL REPORT

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British Petitioners Demand Netanyahu Be Arrested For War Crimes!

Posted: 11 Aug 2015 09:38 AM PDT

We know according to the bible that as we approach closer to the “Coming of the Lord” that all Nations will eventually turn against Israel and the Jewish people and now according to a shocking report a number reaching into the tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters, have signed an online petition demanding that Scotland Yard arrest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged war crimes once he steps foot on British soil this coming September. The petition was created through the British parliament website.

It mandates that British lawmakers debate a motion if a petition reaches 100,000 online signatures. Benjamin Netanyahu is to hold talks in London this September,” the petition’s author, a British national who goes by the name of Damian Moran, wrote. “Under international law he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014.” FULL REPORT

The post British Petitioners Demand Netanyahu Be Arrested For War Crimes! appeared first on .

 


Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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

Source


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

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

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

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August 12, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report

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Defending Planned Parenthood: Do The Arguments Work?

I am reminded of the way the world looked at the German people after the Holocaust had ended. The issue was not just how the Nazis could commit such unthinkable atrocities. The issue was how the entire German nation could stand by and watch it happen and do nothing. Of course, there were some in Germany who fought against the Nazis. And there are some (thankfully) in America that fight against abortion. But, America, as a whole, is turning a blind eye.

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Exceptionally Ordinary

Do you really think God needs you or I to do anything in order to accomplish what he wills? We’re overestimating our value by 100% if we do. God uses means to accomplish his will, yes. However, he decides the means, not us. He chooses his servants, both great and small, to accomplish the tasks he wants them to do. We’re going by the wrong economy if we measure kingdom impact by worldly numbers.

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Theology for Every Woman

But we don’t need to limit ourselves only to women authors and women’s issues. While it is good for us to read about feminism, marriage, parenting, and homemaking, there is more to a woman than this. Ask your elders about some good commentaries to use for an expositional Bible study. Ask your pastor what systematic or biblical theologies you might learn well from. Become a well-rounded theologian. Read from some dead guys (and gals). They aren’t just for seminary students and pastors.

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When the ‘P’ Word is Apparently Not ‘Presbyterianism

Thus it is with Tullian Tchividjian’s fall and rise.  All of the celebrity conventions are there: The use of a well-known counselor brought in specially, the faux intimacy of the twitter feed, and now a slick podcast on coming back after a fall– less than two months since his confession that he betrayed his wife and broke his marriage vows.  There are even the predictable fans out there who seem to think that Tchividjian is essential to the gospel, as the message clearly depends upon his return to the pulpit ASAP.   I confess, I have no idea why he has this compulsive need to make the whole of his life a public performance or why people fall for it. 

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Do We Alienate Our White Brothers and Sisters?

As we seek to form our responses to the racial atrocities of our day, we must wrestle with why and how we respond. Our voices are important, but we must use them with prudence. When we do harm to our white brothers and sisters in our speech, we are harming members of our own family.

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Greear’s “Gaining by Losing” – A Review

The second critique I have of this book is that it is sort of a guilt trip.  In fact, it reminded me of David Platt’s book, Radical.  Greear does refer to Platt from time to time, so there are parallels.   I realize Greear said he was trying to avoid the guilt-trip aspect of evangelism, but it was there in back-door form.  For example, he writes, “Failure to risk our lives to the fullest potential for the kingdom of God is as wicked as the most egregious violations of the laws of God” (p. 181).  “When is the last time your sacrifices for the mission made someone question your sanity?” (p. 59).

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The Smell of Babies Burning

The most famous example is Bernard Nathanson, cofounder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, the original NARAL. By his own reckoning Nathanson performed more than 60,000 abortions, including one on his own child. But over time he began to fear he was involved in a great evil. Ultrasound images pushed him over the edge. “When he finally left his profession for pro-life activism, he produced The Silent Scream (1984), a documentary of an ultrasound abortion that showed the fetus scrambling vainly to escape dismemberment.”

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Why Theology Matters

Have you ever heard someone in your church dismissively say, “Theology isn’t for me” or “I don’t think theology is important; we just need to love Jesus and love people”? While I understand the sentiment behind these statements, as a pastor it grieves me. Far too many people in the church see theology as an abstract academic discipline with no bearing on the day-to-day Christian life. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

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T.D. Jakes “Shocked” After Theology Called Into Question Following Remarks Respecting “Gay Rights”

Berean Research reports the latest on the T.D. Jakes dust up:

T.D. Jakes

T.D. Jakes is a master of obfuscation. This was very apparent in his recent TV interview with Huffington Post’s Marc Lamont Hill. Thus, a controversy erupted over some of the things he said – and failed say. That he’s a master of obfuscation was also obvious during the Elephant Room 2 controversy that came about over whether or not Jakes’ view of the Trinity is biblical. Most people are unaware that he has been associated with modalism, a heretical belief that rejects the orthodox view of the Trinity. For those who are unclear about this, a belief in the Trinity is an essential of Christianity and one of the non-negotiables. So if a person chooses to deny the existence of the Trinity or rejects the settled orthodox view set forth in Scripture, he/she is not a true Christian. During the E-2 discussion to clarify his beliefs with regard to the Trinity, Jakes did anything but clarify. His tap dance made Gene Kelly look like a rank amateur. Although he tried his best to come across as a true trinitarian, his arguments were unconvincing. (Daniel Neades makes the case)

There’s more. Jakes not only denies the Bible’s clear teaching with regard to the Trinity, he preaches the Word of Faith-prosperity gospel which comes out of the metaphysical New Thought teachings of Phineas Quimby. Word-faith is the belief that faith is a force and words are the containers of the force. Words can be used to manipulate the faith-force — name it and claim it. By manipulating the faith-force we can create our own reality. Those who hold this view also believe Scripture promises health and wealth which is where we get terms such as “prosperity gospel” and “health & wealth gospel.” With this in mind, is “Bishop” Jakes a true Christian or a counterfeit?

The answer is that those who are outside the bounds of historic orthodox Christianity are counterfeit Christians.

T.D. Jakes “Shocked” After Theology Called Into Question Following Remarks Respecting “Gay Rights”


The Christian purge has begun: Chaplains banned from preaching that homosexuality is a sin – Todd Starnes

It wasn’t so much a choice as it was a demand.

Chaplain David Wells was told he could either sign a state-mandated document promising to never tell inmates that homosexuality is “sinful” or else the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice would revoke his credentials.

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Michele Bachmann Is ‘Extremely Excited’ for Iran Deal Because It Will Usher God’s Judgement on the World as Foretold In Zechariah 12:3

NOTE: Zechariah 12:3 does not talk about God’s judgment on the world. It talks about the world’s abandonment of Israel. The Christian Post should know better. — OTM

Former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Republican, has proclaimed that the nuclear agreement reached between Iran, the United States and five other world powers is nothing more than the fulfillment of End Times prophecy found in the Bible, and added that the world will likely see the “strong right arm” of the Lord strike in judgement.

While speaking on Jan Markell’s “Understanding the Times” evangelical radio program last Saturday, the 59-year-old Bachmann argued that if Congress fails to strike down the agreement reached with Iran, then Christians should rejoice because it is a sign that the End Times are coming to fruition.

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Do You Have Your Left Behind Letter Ready?

I have been praying for an extra amount of boldness in my witness. I have asked the Lord to help me to sound the alarm, no matter what the reaction. If someone was running toward the edge of a cliff, would you not yell STOP? These people, unless they die first, will go through the Tribulation. I cannot even imagine it. If they die before the Rapture, and have not been born again, they will spend eternity in hell.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

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Goddess Kali projected on New York’s Empire State Building

In a breathtaking spectacle, Goddess Kali was projected on the Empire State Building in New York.

Artist Andrew Jones designed the portrait of the goddess to make the point that Mother Nature now more than ever needs a fierce avatar to fight the dangers of pollution and extinction, Firstpost.com reported.

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Blood Moon, Super Moon Combine For One Spectacularly Bright Lunar Eclipse This Fall

Moon gazers, mark your calendars. A “Blood Moon” and “Super Moon” combine on September 28 for a spectacularly large total lunar eclipse with the Moon passing Earth at the closest distance all year…………  Click here for full story


Politics and Christianity

Every four years Americans are given a choice between several political candidates to choose from as our next President.  And of course every one of them promises to “make America great again”.  As Christians we are, of course, to follow Jesus Christ.  Unfortunately, He is not on the ballot.  So how do we balance the […]

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Discussions with Carl Lentz

From Berean Research:

By keeping you updated on the continuing exposure of the opposing statements that continue to contradict what one of the largest megachurches in the world has said about two gay men serving in its church, some will tell us we are “beating a dead horse.” We could easily listen to those voices and stop reporting these very disturbing new twists and turns, but then many sheep would be continuing to be mislead by taking Hillsong’s do-what-I-say statements as fact. We are all to contend for the faith, expose lies and teachings that directly contradict God’s Word and point people to the true Gospel of Christ.

No, we are not beating a dead horse, but sounding the alarm so that those who are caught up in deception may be snatched away from its destructive flames. Here then is the latest from ChurchWatch Central

Recently we posted an article explaining how we are concerned that Carl Lentz had made misleading statements to Dr. James White about Hillsong’s position on the acceptance of gay people within the Hillsong Community. Our unease stemmed from a recent episode of The Dividing Line in which Dr. White discusses some email interaction he had with Carl Lentz, and his concerns about a recent statement made by Brian Houston about the inclusion of unrepentant homosexuals as congregation members of Hillsong Church.

Discussions with Carl Lentz


Human Capital – Episode 2: Inside the Planned Parenthood Supply Site

The Center for Medical Progress has just released the second video in the series they’re producing on Planned Parenthood’s barbaric practice of selling aborted baby body parts:

Baby in the womb

The second episode in a new documentary web series highlights a young woman’s eyewitness narrative of the daily practice of fetal body parts harvesting in Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, describing tissue procurement workers’ coordination with abortion providers, the pressure placed on patients, and disregard for patient consent.

The “Human Capital” documentary web series, produced by The Center for Medical Progress, integrates expert interviews, eyewitness accounts, and real-life undercover interactions to explore various themes connected to Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetal tissue. Episode 1, “Planned Parenthood’s Black Market in Baby Parts,” premiered last month. Episode 2, “Inside the Planned Parenthood Supply Site,” launches today at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABzFZM73o8M

The series follows the personal narrative of Holly O’Donnell, a former Blood and TIssue Procurement Technician for StemExpress, a start-up biotech company from northern California that partners with Planned Parenthood clinics to purchase their aborted fetus parts and resell them for scientific experimentation. As a procurement tech, O’Donnell’s job was to identify pregnant patients matching the specifications of StemExpress customers and to harvest the fetal body parts from their abortions.

http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/2015/08/human-capital-episode-2-inside-the-planned-parenthood-supply-site/


10 Thoughts from a Bride-to-Be – Lies Young Women Believe

Samantha Loucks

At this very moment, Samantha is on her honeymoon. Here’s a peek into her brain in the days before she said, “I do.” Whether you’re a bride, a perpetual bridesmaid, or years away from the altar, you will relate!

I’ve got butterflies in my stomach and a hundred emotions swirling in and out of my head. I’m up to my ears in votive candles, and the pink pen I use for my wedding to-do list is running out of ink. I have just twenty-three days until I change from “Miss” to “Mrs.”

God is giving me the opportunity to put Christ’s relationship to the Church on display. That’s worth more than any fairy-tale dream I’ve had.

The days are ticking down, and I realize I’m a ball of unsorted emotions—happy, sad, nervous, anxious, tired, nostalgic, and even scared. I’m not the glowing bride full of joy and excitement I thought I’d be—the bride I’d like to be. I’m quickly learning that getting married isn’t made up of one big happy emotion. It’s made up of a whole gamut of emotions, and I haven’t been fully embracing them, until now.

I’m writing straight from my emotion-filled heart with the hope that some of my thoughts might touch your heart in return.

1. Insecurity:

I’ve often had mini freak-out moments when I stop and think to myself, Get married? Am I crazy? There’s no way I can be everything my husband will need me to be. And then Jesus reminds me of grace. He showers it upon me daily. And He’ll give me what I need to become a wife who respects her husband, cooks what he likes, and keeps up with laundry. (Lam. 3:22–23; 2 Peter 1:34)

2. Lots of nerves:

What if it rains on the wedding day? Will I ugly cry on the way down the aisle? What if I trip? Will guests like the décor? What if I forget a guest’s name when I’m greeting them? This is when God reminds me of His goodness. My wedding planner loves to say, “He’s got this.” She’s right. (Jer. 32:17)

3. Giddy girl giggles:

Yes, I am really excited about signing the marriage certificate and becoming man and wife. But I’m also over-the-moon excited to spend the day with my bridesmaids, too. These girls have invested their hearts into mine, and it’s very possible that my heart will burst when all of them are in one place with me. Godly friends and family are precious. (Ecc. 4:9– 10)

4. Disbelief:

Am I really about to have a husband? And I’m going to be a wife? This feels like the big leagues! When did I get old enough to have the “Mrs.” title? (Trust me, time flies!)

5. A desire to serve:

As I’ve worked through months of wedding planning, this prayer has been ringing in my heart: “God, help my wedding to serve Christ and to serve my guests.” Only by His grace has this desire been placed in my heart, and He often tenderly reminds me when I’ve lost sight of that goal. Weddings are an incredible opportunity to encourage your guests in Christ. I would be honored if guests leave my wedding feeling loved and served. (Phil. 2:1– 5)

6. Seriousness:

I used to think getting married was all about giddy feelings and being hopelessly in love and always happy. But marriage is serious business. It shouldn’t be entered lightly, and, in fact, it displays a powerful picture that I want to honor—the gospel. In my marriage, God is giving me the opportunity to put Christ’s relationship to the Church on display. That’s worth more than any fairy-tale dream I’ve had. That’s of
eternal value. What a privilege He gives to us as couples! (Eph. 5:22– 33)

7. Humility:

I have so much to learn. I still ask my mom which settings to choose on the washer. My husband might eat some not-so-perfectly-cooked meals. I’m not the best budgeter. I can never remember how to fold those fitted sheets . . . Growing up, I thought I’d have it all together when I got married. I was wrong. Oh, so wrong. I have a long way to go in my homemaking journey—and in my spiritual journey. I’m thankful I’ll have a husband who will grow with me. (I don’t think he knows how to fold a fitted sheet, either.)

8.Thankfulness:

So many friends and family have invested time, ideas, support, and money into our wedding day—and words of thank you don’t feel like they could ever be enough. I’m honored and undeserving to receive the help and support everyone has so kindly offered. And I love this: Recently, one of my best friends, on the night before her wedding, looked at me and said, “There’s no way I’m ever going to be able to thank my parents enough for what they’ve done for me.” I completely agree. (Col. 3:15; Ps. 106:1; James 1:17)

9. Sadness:

I’ve grown up in the same house for my entire life in a small town. I love where I live. I love that my family lives down the road. I love the lake cottage where we’ve spent summer after summer. And my heart doesn’t want to let go of the blessings I experience here. But my new house is 661 miles from the place I grew up. I can’t shake off the sadness of a big move like that. I’m going to miss my family. I’m going to have tough
days. But Jesus is going with me. And for all of those miles, He’ll always take care of me. (Phil. 4:4– 7)

10. A sense of adventure:

I’m not really the adventurous type. I’m a cautious introvert whose idea of a good time is eating ice cream directly out of the carton. But marriage? That’s going to be an adventure. And if I’m not willing to go all in, I’ll miss out on what God has for us. I’m twenty-three days away from holding his hand, looking in his eyes, and saying, “Let’s go on an adventure together.”

In marriage, in singleness, He is good. In exuberant joy, in deep sorrow, He is faithful.

In all of these emotions, our God is the same. In marriage, in singleness, He is good. In exuberant joy, in deep sorrow, He is faithful. In the big things, in the everyday things, He is sovereign.

I can’t believe that in twenty-three days, Lord-willing, I’ll be wearing a wedding dress and entering a holy covenant before Him. But even more than a wedding, I can’t believe God would choose a sinner to be used in His plan. Truly, He is so good.

If you’d like to read more of how God’s worked in my heart and in my relationship, you can read these posts:

What Are Your Expectations for Marriage?

20 Lessons on Dating and Love

What’s the Purpose of a Wedding?

If you’d like to dig into God’s purpose and meaning for marriage and weddings, I’d recommend these fantastic resources:

The Meaning of Marriage
by Timothy Keller

The Mingling of Souls
by Matt Chandler

A Christ-Centered Wedding
by Catherine Parks

For Women Only
by Shaunti Feldhahn

This Momentary Marriage
by John Piper

When God Writes Your Love Story
by Eric and Leslie Ludy

And, if you’re curious (because I know I’d be!), our wedding hashtag was #NievesWeddingDay. And I’m giving you full permission to be a total Instagram stalker.


Obama Refuses To Allow Yazidi Christians Fleeing ISIS To Enter United States

Yazidi refugees flee ISIS, but find door to US asylum closed

EDITOR’S NOTE: Immigrants from the Middle East are currently the fastest growing immigration demographic coming into the U.S., a recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies shows. America in just three years imported more immigrants from the Middle East than from Mexico and Central America combined. But when it comes to allowing in Christian Yazidis who are fleeing for their lives from ISIS, the Obama administration says no. 

A year after U.S. airstrikes and Kurdish fighters saved Iraq’s Yazidi population from death at the hands of ISIS atop Mount Sinjar, the historic Christian enclave is facing death in its homeland and a cold shoulder from America, say activists.

Despite the ongoing threat of execution in Iraq, nearly all Yazidis, a Kurdish-Christian community that lives throughout Iraq, Syria, Turkey and even Armenia and Georgia, who have applied for asylum in the U.S. have been rejected, FoxNews.com has learned. The reason why is not clear, but advocates say Washington is turning a blind eye on the situation.

yazidi-refugees-christians-iraq-flee-isis-not-allowed-to-enter-us-asylum

What we are seeing, in real time, is genocide,” said Frank Wolf, a former congressman from Virginia and senior fellow at 21st Century Wilberforce, a nonprofit that seeks to protect Christians in the Middle East. “To declare it genocide, that would expedite relief. You can’t allow it to go on.”

The dramatic rescue of the Yazidi came in August 2014, after ISIS fighters chased an estimated 40,000 Yazidi men, women and children from the town of Sinjar and onto a nearby mountain to which they then laid siege. With the mountain surrounded, and supplies running low, the Yazidi faced certain death until airstrikes and boots on the ground cleared an escape route. The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government estimated in December that 4,000 Yazidi were killed before international help arrived.

At the outset of the Iraq War in 2003, there were nearly 1.4 million Christians in the country. Estimates today say the total is likely fewer than 250,000.

Of the tens of thousands of Yazidis uprooted from their homes, only 10 families have been granted asylum in the U.S., according to Yazda, an American-based Yazidi advocacy group. None of the visas were issued due to religious persecution faced at the hands of ISIS.

“None of these families [in U.S.] are related to the crisis,” Abid Shamden, who works with Yadza, told FoxNews.com, adding that the visas were given as part of a special program for translators who worked with the U.S. military during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. “But many are still there. They are not given any special status. They are all treated as the same. My family has been waiting since 2012 for visas.”

Shamden’s colleague, Murad Ismael, added that several families who sought help under the translator program have even been denied.

Some of them worked for the U.S. and they are not being allowed to come here,” he said. “Those who have gotten here have family members who were killed by terrorists back home.”

Officials for the State Department declined to comment, saying specific cases involving visas are confidential.

Many of the Christian population in Iraq and Syria — Yazidi or otherwise — have been seeking asylum in the U.S. since ISIS launched its violent offensive, carving out a caliphate the size of Indiana in northern Syria and Iraq. But the process is arduous, and often fruitless, say experts.

“The procedures to get a U.S. visa are very complicated,” Jameel Ghanim, executive director of Yazda’s operations in Iraq, told FoxNews.com. “I can say it is impossible for the regular person to gain a visa unless he is business man, a diplomat,or already has one of his relatives with U.S. citizenship.” source


As the Planned Parenthood Videos Continue, May We Remember the Women Who Were Told Lies

Should we view and share the Planned Parenthood expose videos? Yes. Even a secular news source such as MSN addresses “Why Every American Should Watch the Planned Parenthood Videos.”

And as we continue to do so—with more of these videos yet to come—may we also remember the women who have been lied to by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. There are two victims in an abortion—one dead, one damaged. Abortion is horrible because it’s a process in which instruments of death invade a woman’s body and kill her innocent child. Neither laws nor slogans nor attractive waiting rooms nor advanced medical equipment can change that reality. Nor can they remove the guilt and pain resulting from abortion.

Ann Voskamp offers some honest thoughts about how we can understand and sympathize with those who choose abortions, while holding firm to the conviction that abortion is a moral evil that kills one person while damaging the other.

Our dear friend Diane Meyer shared with me this blog post by Anne Marie Gurney. (In Friday’s blog, I’ll be sharing some of Diane’s own perspectives.) This is vitally important for us to remember as Christ followers:

Missing a Compassion Component

I am in my mid-forties and approaching an anniversary date from 25 years ago that turned my life on a completely different trajectory—though few know about it. I was sexually assaulted on August 4, 1990. I became pregnant from that assault and chose to have a second trimester abortion. It was horrific.

Annie Marie Gurney speakingI have walked a journey of healing and restoration since then. As the videos revealing the insidious intentions of Planned Parenthood’s to harvest fetal body parts are published, I am having a hard time. As a person who has done a very thorough and personal inventory of her abortion experience and laid it before God and mankind, I am struggling with these videos.

We need a component of compassion as these videos are released. And they should be released and need to be released. Planned Parenthood has gotten away with murder for too long.

I spent years after my abortion, by the grace of God, finding healing. I consider myself extremely fortunate. I know of many women who live empty shells of lives because of the trauma of their abortion choice and were not able to find the kind of help I was able to.

Additionally, I also spent a few years leading post abortion support groups. I have been given a gift. It is a gift of sincere peace and forgiveness from my abortion experience that only God can provide. Let me repeat that…there is no pill, doctor, prescription, book, YouTube video or app that can fix that kind of pain. Only God, creator of this universe yet intimately involved in the inner workings of my soul, can fix that kind of messed up pain.

In the ensuing years I have not been shy about sharing my experience. I have shared my story before churches, groups, youth and on the radio.

As I follow the methodical and timed publishing of undercover videos depicting Planned Parenthood administrators peddling human body parts for profit, the voice inside my head strongly exclaims, “Good! Finally!”  I am glad the inside workings of Planned Parenthood, their motivations and their tactics, are finally being revealed.

Yet I have not watched one of them from start to finish. I can’t. Even after all I’ve been through, it hurts… A lot.

I am a tough cookie. There’s not a lot you can say to me to make me change my mind on being pro-life. Try calling me a hypocrite. I’ll quickly reply, “No. I learned my lesson the hard way. I am pro-life not only based on medical facts, but on personal experience.”

I say this to my fellow pro-life friends publishing these videos and disseminating them through media. First I say, “Don’t stop and keep going!”

Next I say, please take a moment each time you share these videos to also share hope. There are post abortive women watching these, and reeling from them. They are hurting….badly. I cannot stress enough. These videos are pouring salt on a seeping, gaping wound that hasn’t healed.

Anne Marie and her familyFor those who are struggling, it is causing nightmares, increased depression, despair, and potential increase in destructive behaviors such as addiction if that is their coping mechanism to make the pain go away. I am saying this not as a professional counselor, but as someone who has walked this path and had to refer women to professional services for these very things…when videos weren’t being published.

Let’s make sure not to forget the second victim in abortion, and that is the mother. She was fed the lie that abortion was “the best decision”, “she had to do it” and “it’s only tissue”. No woman ever wakes up and says, “Hey, this is a great day to abort my baby!” No. Women choose abortion as a last resort under immense pressure and extreme situations. She has the abortion to end the immediate pressure, but the emotional consequences afterwards are a horrifying reality that don’t go away on their own—they are permanent and despairing.

There is hope. If you live in the Portland METRO area, I strongly recommend HEART (Healing Encouragement for Abortion Related Trauma). You can find them at this website. All services are confidential and free.

*All views are my own.

If you or someone you know has had an abortion, there are Bible studies designed for women, and others for men, offering compassionate help and healing. Many online resources can help you find the support group you need.

See Silent No More, Heart Beat International’s Abortion Recovery Ministries or Hope After Abortion to connect with a post abortion healing group in your area.


Check out

Blogs

Ask R.C. Is it a Sin to be Wealthy? | R C Sproul Jr.
Not a question most of us have to trouble ourselves with.

Three Dangers Associated With Studying Backgrounds | Bible X
Good caution for my students about to start Old Testament Introduction.

Confessions of a (more recent) Bibliophile | Credo: Timothy Raymond
“Should every Christian aspire to be a bibliophile?  Only if every Christian desires to be increasingly conformed to the image of Christ.”

An Introverted Christian | Tim Challies
Like Tim, I’m naturally on the introvert side of the scale. I appreciate his challenge.

Self-Care and Self-Denial | TGC: Amie Patrick
This is such a good article: “Many of us don’t consider the issue of self-care until a crisis forces us to wake up. God, in his kindness, uses these crises to take us to places we wouldn’t choose on our own, but in these places we find greater freedom and joy in him.”

Five Important Theological Pairs | Christward Collective: Nick Batzig
“One of the many wonderful things about the Westminster Shorter Catechism is that it includes several extremely important theological pairs (i.e. joint categories) in the opening questions that help us robustly systematize the biblical truth concerning our relationship to God, God’s work in the world, the nature and effects of man’s sin and the saving work of the Redeemer.”

Hope For The Unhappily Single | Desiring God: Marshall Segal
“There is a new and widespread epidemic in our nation and even in our churches. It’s called the not-yet-married life.”

Kindle Books

A couple of Kindle devices have dropped in price for a few days with the entry level Kindle coming in now at $59.

On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church by Deepak Reju $4.99.

Mindscape: What to Think About Instead of Worrying by Timothy Witmer $0.99.

The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World. Price of the Kindle book has dropped a few dollars to $6.99.

Recommended New Book

A Well-Ordered Church: Laying a foundation for a vibrant church by Danny Hyde and Bill Boekestein $5.99 (Kindle).

Video

Stories of God’s Grace: Stephen and Ellen

W.O.W!


A La Carte (August 12)

Here are today’s Kindle deals: I’ve heard nothing but good about Karen Swallow Prior’s Fierce Convictions ($1.99). Also consider: Death by Living by N.D. Wilson ($1.99); Cross edited by John Piper ($1.99); The Gospel According to Daniel by Bryan Chapell ($3.99); 20 Compelling Evidences That God Exists by Ken Boa & Robert Bowman ($0.99); A Short World History of Christianity by Robert Mullin ($4.99); In God We Trust by Steve Ham ($2.99).

The Biggest Story

Westminster Books has a great deal on a book you can’t buy anywhere else right now: Kevin DeYoung’s new The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden. It’s a great book to read to your kids.

9 Ways to Protect Your Children from Sexual Abuse

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb offer 9 practical things you can do to protect children from sexual abuse. Be sure to check out their forthcoming kids’ book God Made All of Me. I’ve read it; it’s excellent.

12 Things That Every First Time Dad Should Know

Deepak Reju: “So your wife is expecting? How kind of God to give you a child. There are many things to think about as you prepare for fatherhood. Here are 12 for you to consider as you get ready to meet your son or daughter.”

Compelling Interest

Here’s a bonus free audiobook from Christian Audio. “In Compelling Interest, author Roger Resler draws on original sources, including the actual transcripts for oral arguments, the majority and minority opinions, and comments by the lawyers and others involved to take a careful look at the real story behind the historic Roe v. Wade decision.”

Against the Grain

Here’s why it’s so important to cut your steak against the grain rather than with the grain.

This Day in 1812: Archibald Alexander became the first professor at the newly founded Princeton Theological Seminary. For the first academic year he would serve as the only professor, before being joined the next year by Samuel Miller. *

Unanswered Prayer

Why does God sometimes choose not to answer prayer? Tim Lane has a possible answer.

Stories of God’s Grace: Stephen and Ellen

Here’s an encouraging little video about Stephen and Ellen, parents of quintuplets. “Our life is a testimony to the strength that God gives you when you think you have nothing…”


Links I like

Links

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Today, Karen Swallow Prior’s excellent book, Fierce Convictions, is on sale for $1.99. If you need some encouragement to get this one, be sure to read my review. Also on sale:

Over at the Westminster Bookstore, Kevin DeYoung’s first children’s book is on sale for dirt cheap—get The Biggest Story for $12, or $10 when buying five or more copies. Here’s a look at the trailer:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/135876132

Finally, at Christian Audio, they’re giving away Compelling Interest: The Real Story Behind Roe v. Wade by Roger Resler until the end of the month. Be sure to download this.

Praying in the Spirit

Colin Smith has a new eBook out, Praying in the Spirit. You can get it free by subscribing to his blog.

The most insane/brilliant political ad I’ve ever seen

I can guarantee I’d never vote for this dude (not just because he’s in British Columbia and I’m not), but dang. Also, mild language warning:

Your move, Donald Trump. (Here’s also an article explaining this whole… whatever this is.)

Sex is More AND Less Important Than You Think

Trevin Wax:

“Sex is everything,” goes the idea in the 21st century. “And sex is nothing.”

This paradoxical view of sexuality in our society requires a paradoxical response from the Church. Our Christian witness must “put sex in its place” – meaning, we will need to take sexuality more seriously and less seriously than the rest of society.

An Introverted Christian

Tim Challies:

There is no doubt that I am an introvert. If we place introversion and extroversion on opposite sides of a line and say that each one of us falls somewhere between the two extremes, I would be pretty far from center along the introvert side of the scale. I may not be as far along as some people, and I still enjoy some exposure to crowds of people, but at heart I gain energy and perspective in solitude and then expend it in a crowd. My default reaction to a crowd is to run away to find a place of quiet. I love and enjoy people, but do better with small groups than large ones. Even after several years of public speaking, it still takes a lot of effort and self-denial to stand in front of a crowd. I walk to the front of a room slowly and, when finished, sprint to the back. That’s just the way I am.

5 Important Theological Pairs

Nick Batzig:

One of the many wonderful things about the Westminster Shorter Catechism is that it includes several extremely important theological pairs (i.e. joint categories) in the opening questions that help us robustly systematize the biblical truth concerning our relationship to God, God’s work in the world, the nature and effects of man’s sin and the saving work of the Redeemer. Much of the disagreement in theological matters, in our day, comes from only holding to one of the two truths set out in each of these pairs. As we labor to spiritually grasp both aspects of these pairs we will find that we become better equipped to spot theological error, defend the truth and to minister more effectively to others with theological precision and care.

ND Wilson on the problem of evil

This is great:

The post Links I like appeared first on Blogging Theologically.


China vs. the Cross

Communist authorities are attempting to remove the cross from China. But Chinese Christians are responding in dramatic ways. Listen Now | Download

Nine Steps to Using Social Media and Blogs without Losing Your Ministry

As in any practice, there are extremes. Some pastors and staff steadfastly refuse to get involved in technology, social media, or blogs. On the other extreme, some ministers misuse and abuse the helpful tools and media available to them.

After nearly a decade of involvement in social media and, later, the blogosphere, I have seen the best and the worst. Allow me to share what I have learned from the best in ministry who are active in this realm.

  1. Be involved in technology, social media, and blogs. It is missiologically irresponsible not to be. That is where the growing mission field resides, and you need to be among them.
  2. Be informal most of the time. Social media and blogs are conversations; they thus have a certain informality to them. There is a place for formal writings, but it is not here. By the way, informality and poor grammar are not synonymous.
  3. Don’t be too informal. We can get too relaxed and write things we regret. Being informal doesn’t mean being stupid.
  4. Watch your tone. Different researchers have noted that we see our own writings in social media as friendlier than readers perceive them. Harvard Business Review advocates to business and political leaders to write 30% friendlier than you would normally. But don’t ask me how you measure friendly writings.
  5. Read your writings out loud. It hardly takes any time. You will catch things you would not otherwise, and it can save you a lot of embarrassment.
  6. Embrace humor, but do so cautiously. I have been told on too many occasions I am sarcastic. I mean to be humorous, but my writings can sometimes come across differently to readers. I am working on this area of improvement.
  7. Avoid or, at least minimize, acronyms and emoticons. Many people don’t know what those letters mean. And if you overuse some, like omg, lol, or smh, you can seem like a silly teenager. This next statement is my personal peeve; many people disagree with me. I wish emoticons would be banned from usage forever!
  8. Minimize bragging or humble bragging. Sometimes we just need to celebrate some big wins and big news. That’s okay. We can overdo it though. It can be especially irritating if it’s humble bragging.
  9. Remember: The Internet is permanent. There is no such thing as making your words disappear forever. I can assure you someone has taken a screenshot of almost every crazy or dumb thing written on the Internet. And there are a lot of smart folks who can find things you thought had been deleted. Too many ministers have forfeited or minimized their ministry future by not being wise on the Internet. And more search committees are doing social media and blog checks on candidates. Be wise with what you write or what you share through links and photos.

There is indeed a great mission field on the Internet in social media and the blogosphere. We need to be leading the way to reach and to minister people who are there. But we need to do so graciously, wisely, and with great discernment.

Let me hear from you.

The post Nine Steps to Using Social Media and Blogs without Losing Your Ministry appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Is the Pope Catholic? Who Knows? Mark 1:1 and Bart Ehrman. More on Hillsong

Addressed an interesting article about Pope Francis, spent a good bit of time on a textual variant and Bart Ehrman (Mark 1:1), and then had only a few moments to comment on the need for “balance” in doing apologetics (well, and everything else in the Christian life).

https://www.sermonaudio.com/code_sourcefeatured.asp?iframe=TRUE&reversecolor=FALSE&showoverview=FALSE&flashplayer=TRUE&tiny=FALSE&minimal=TRUE&eventtype=EVENTID&series=SUBTITLE&speaker=SPEAKERNAME&sermonid=811151350324

Here is the YouTube link:

The post Is the Pope Catholic? Who Knows? Mark 1:1 and Bart Ehrman. More on Hillsong appeared first on Alpha and Omega Ministries.


Abortion Is the Anti-Gospel

Abortion Is the Anti-GospelYou are going to have a healthy baby boy.

Those are the words every expectant couple wants to hear. But what happens when a couple gets the most stomach-churning news imaginable — news that there’s a medical issue with the tiny little baby growing in his mother’s womb? Parents start to ask questions. Will my baby be okay? What will our little boy’s life be like? How will this boy’s health affect our lives? Will it all be worth the struggle?

A set of parents I know had the same questions race through their minds. They brought a tiny little boy into the world — born without arms. In the face of all those fears, these parents were told the little boy would be helpless and entirely dependent on their care for the duration of his life. The news was grim as doctors painted a picture of toil and frustration in the life of this boy.

Fear and worry flooded their hearts, but for all the bad news, these parents were resting on good news. God loved this little boy. God fearfully and wonderfully made this little boy. God had a plan for this little boy. They shoved fear and doubt to the side and embraced the little boy God had given them.

Parenthood as the Gospel

The realities of the gospel are intoxicating in the book of Romans. In Romans 5:6, Paul writes, “While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Christ died for us when we were spiritually helpless. He takes those who are helpless and broken and redeems us. And not only does he rescue the spiritually helpless, but the physically helpless as well.

While the gospel reveals a Savior who lays down his life for those who ran from him, abortion reveals humans extinguishing a life we were meant to love and protect. As you scan the pages of Scripture, it is clear that abortion is the anti-gospel.

Abortion says,

  • Unborn babies have value only as expendable commodities.
  • Each baby is only a clump of tissue, devoid of any purpose or life.
  • There’s not a place for you in my plan right now.
  • Disability limits a chance at any manner of a quality of life.

But the gospel says,

  • We have tremendous value as God’s image-bearers (Genesis 1:27).
  • Each one of us is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
  • We have lovingly “received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15).
  • God’s glory and grace shine even, and especially, in those with physical limitations or weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Abortion is an assault on the image, character, grace, gospel, and glory of God. For the Christian to see it as anything less than that is to reject a biblical view of God’s gospel and God’s glory. John 9:1–3 shows us how God himself, in the person of Christ, viewed human life as he walked among us, as one of us.

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

While the disciples saw the man’s blindness as a direct result of sin, Jesus saw him as a vessel of God’s grace and glory. Every life is uniquely formed by God to be powerfully rescued and redeemed in Christ for the glory of the Father. Every child in the womb is a masterpiece shaped by the master craftsman.

All Human Life with a Gospel Lens

That baby boy born with no arms is me. Thirty-one years later, God has crushed the professional opinions of skeptical doctors. I’ve been in student ministry for nearly a decade, I have a remarkable wife of nine years, and we have a beautiful three-year-old boy, with a little girl on the way.

I thank God I had parents who willingly and joyfully embraced me with all the challenges that came with having a baby with a disability. They could have chosen to give me up for adoption, or put me in state care, or they could have chosen to abort me. For my parents, abortion would have never been an option. The realities of me being made in the image of God and being wonderfully made in the womb by the Father were forefront in their minds.

Human life is the physical handiwork of God — created in God’s image for God’s glory. Every man or woman that is formed in the hands of the faithful Father has value, purpose, and grace. Never determine the value, quality, or sanctity of a life on the basis of socio-economic background, family structure, ethnicity, or any sort of disability. View human life through the lens of the gospel — that the work of God might be displayed in every single life.


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True Faith Will Make You a Fighter

True Faith Will Make You a FighterGrowing up, I wasn’t much of a fighter. Despite my disposition, my big mouth and stubbornness placed me in situations where I had to defend myself. I fought in the classroom, in the hallway, on the school bus, and even at the bus stop. A part of me would love to report that I was the undisputed, undefeated champ in my home town — but it would be a lie.

I had a small problem. I was often on the receiving end of punches because I was a passive fighter. I rarely threw a punch and anxiously awaited the end of the fight. As a fighter, I didn’t have a wartime mentality.

I didn’t want to suffer through a long and hard fight, so I gave into my opponent and would try to restrain him until he calmed down. It rarely worked. This mentality is common among professing Christians in how we engage sin. But this mindset is inconsistent with biblical Christianity. True faith will make Christians fighters.

Preservation Produces a Wartime Mentality

Once saved, always saved.

The phrase is meant to communicate that once we become Christians, we will always be Christians. When I became a Calvinist, I assumed this statement summed up the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints. The phrase is accurate but fails to paint a full picture of perseverance of the saints due to its passive undertone.

Easy-believism in evangelicalism exposes what many take this phrase to mean. The impression was that, because certain people walked down the aisle and prayed a prayer, they were Christians — eternally secure, regardless of what their lives looked like. John Piper explains what we mean by Perseverance of the Saints:

We believe that all who are justified will win the fight of faith. They will persevere in faith and will not surrender finally to the enemy of their souls. This perseverance is the promise of the new covenant, obtained by the blood of Christ, and worked in us by God himself, yet not so as to diminish, but only to empower and encourage, our vigilance; so that we may say in the end, I have fought the good fight, but it was not I, but the grace of God which was with me (2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 15:10).” (Five Points, 16)

The reality of this doctrine at work in our lives produces a wartime mentality. That is why Scripture continuously exhorts us to fight and warns us of what will happen if we don’t:

  • “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
  • “If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)
  • “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19–21)

We’re commanded to suffer through long and hard fights with sin and temptation without giving up or forsaking Christ. We’re called to pursue holiness that is characterized by repentance and faith.

The doctrine of perseverance doesn’t just promise the believer’s survival; it guarantees that Christians will fight until the end.

God Saves and Sustains

Our ability to survive is not dependent on our disposition or willpower — God saves and sustains. Christ is the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). No amount of willpower, determination, or resolve can even exist unless God acts first and continues to act in the human heart. True faith is a gift from God — so we have no room to boast in our ability to survive (Ephesians 2:8). R.C. Sproul says it best:

The process by which we are kept in a state of grace is something that is accomplished by God. My confidence in my preservation is not in my ability to persevere. My confidence rests in the power of Christ to sustain me with His grace and by the power of His intercession. He is going to bring us safely home.

Isaac Newton, the famous physicist and mathematician, taught that every object will remain at rest unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. This law of motion is helpful when we think about the doctrine of perseverance.

Habitual sin, inactivity, and passivity in the life of a Christian point to the absence of essential activity by an external force: God. In other words, God’s preserving work compels us to become active participants with wartime mentalities against indwelling sin.

God Made a Fighter Out of Me

Like my childhood opponents, my sin isn’t interested in making peace with me. My sin will launch blow after blow until it destroys me. All of my endeavors to make peace with it will be futile. My efforts to become my flesh’s friend will be costly. Attempts to ignore this body of death will end in my death. I can’t afford to treat my sin the way I treated my human opponents.

The reality of God’s persevering work in my life made me a fighter. My opponent is no longer flesh and blood, but sin and Satan (Ephesians 6:12). Christ’s preserving work in my life doesn’t produce a passive lifestyle or someone who makes ongoing peace with sin. I’m sustained in Christ for good works (Ephesians 2:10). A sign of God’s sustaining work in my life is evident by my new disposition to fight and kill sin.

If God doesn’t preserve Christians, we will never fight and we will die. Our disposition to fight is proof that God is perfecting our faith. We will stumble and struggle, but we will never make lasting peace with our sin. True faith makes us fighters, and in Christ we are more than conquerors; we’re heirs with him (Romans 8:16–17, 37).


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Baptized with the Transgressors

baptism

The baptism of Jesus is one of the most significant redemptive-historical events in the Scripture; yet one the is so often greatly misunderstood.There is a scene on the show Lost in which Mr. Eko–the Nigerian Drug Lord turned Priest–makes an outrageously blasphemous statement about the Savior. While is baptizing Clair and her baby, Eko tells her, “It is said that when John the Baptist baptized Jesus the skies opened up and a dove flew down from the sky. This told John something – that he had cleansed this man of all his sins. That he had freed him. Heaven came much later.” Contrary to such a wickedly perverse explanation of the biblical record of the Savior, the Scriptural record everywhere teaches the absolute moral perfection and perpetual sinlessness of Jesus. Nevertheless, we still have to answer the question, “Why did Jesus receive a sign that God had appointed to symbolize the need to be cleansed of sin?” The Holy Spirit has given us the answer to the question in the record of the interaction between John the Baptist and Jesus.

When Jesus came to John at the river Jordan, John tried to stop Him saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” Jesus immediately responded to John’s refusal to baptize Him, saying, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:13-15). John recognized that Jesus was the only one who didn’t need to be baptized, because He was the only sinless individual on the face of the earth. Jesus insisted that part of the work that He came into the world to do was to keep the Law of God, thus meriting righteousness for His people. Isaiah had prophesied that the Suffering Savior would come and would be “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). Though he was not a transgressor, He would–by imputation of the sins of all His people throughout all time–be treated as if He were the worst sinner who ever walked the face of the earth. This is, of course, most evidently so at the cross when he hung next to the two thieves. In that moment of His agony and soul abjection, the Savior–whose innocence was acknowledged by one of the thieves next two whom He hung (Luke 23:41), as well as by one of the soldiers who was looking on (Luke 23:47)–was being counted as a sinner (Isaiah 53:4; Luke 22:37). 

The imagery of what transpired at Jesus’ baptism is often lost on us. We see the Holy Spirit descending on Him like a dove. We hear the voice from heaven saying, “This is My Beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” We are caught up in this glorious revelation of the Triune God. We acknowledge the echoes of Old Testament redemptive-history. We remember how God saved Noah and his family through the water (1 Peter 3:20-21)–a dove landing on the Ark to intimate that they were entering into a typical new creation. The scene also draws our minds back to the crossing of that very river in which Jesus was being baptized–when God brought His people across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. We realize that this One standing in the water is the fulfillment of all of these types–that in Him, God was bringing about the new creation and leading His people into the heavenly Promised Land. Still, we fail to stop and meditate on what it meant for Jesus to be there in time and space with all those who needed their sins forgiven. Along these lines there is rich symbolism to help deepen our understanding of why Jesus was there.

Sinclair Ferguson has captured the imagery so well when he explains that when Jesus stepped into the water–after so many had already come to John to be baptized–He was stepping into a river that was symbolically polluted by the sin of the people. When John poured the water over Him, he was symbolically pouring dirty water poured over the sinless Savior. In this, we have a picture of Jesus bearing the sin of His people. Geoff Thomas captures the imagery from another angle–namely, by envisaging Jesus standing in line with sinners waiting to be baptized with them:

There is a great line of repentant sinners standing soberly and sorrowing on the bank of the Jordan waiting to go down into the waters to John to be baptized. Survey them there in your mind with me, standing in that long guilty line. There’s a thief, a drunkard, an adulterer, a liar, a bully, a wife-beater, an idol-worshiper, a torturer, Jesus, a murderer, a forger, a troublemaker, a braggart, a terrorist, a blasphemer, an abuser of children, a spendthrift . . . and hundreds more, every one a sinner, and there is Jesus made in the likeness of sinful flesh standing in line between the torturer and the murderer, indistinguishable outwardly, but inwardly he is wholly without sin. As the prophet said, Messiah would be numbered with the transgressors. He stands with sinners in solidarity; he stands for sinners in substitution. He will hang on a tree as the Lamb of God and bear the sins of the world. At the last he will do more than stand with them in their sin, he will be made sin for them. That is why he stands here in this sinner’s baptism because one day he will climb Golgotha in love and stand in the closest possible contact with sinners, taking responsibility for their sin and answering for it before the throne of God.

The Lord Jesus has taken the sinner’s nature, and his low condition, and his religion too – he has been circumcised on the eighth day. Throughout his childhood he sat in the synagogue, surrounded by sinners, and he went up to Jerusalem to the Temple and the feasts three times a year, and he was surrounded by sinners. He made his own a sinner’s religion of confession and imploring the mercy of God. He sang the psalms of sinners. Now he takes a sinner’s baptism, and he is pre-enacting the actual baptism into the wrath and curse of God which would soon take place on Golgotha when all the waves of judgment which our sins merit would fall on him, not us.

In his baptism Jesus proclaims his unspeakable closeness with sinners. He abhors not standing with them, identifying with them, because for this reason he has come into the world, to save them from their sin. He is saying to us, “Don’t be afraid of me. There is no reason to be afraid. When I come to you in the Word, then receive me and all I have to offer you. Confess you need of me. Repent of your sins and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins. You too shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the inward witness of the Father’s love.”

How can our minds and hearts not be filled with gratitude when we consider what the Savior subjected Himself to for us and for our salvation. His baptism means our salvation. His baptism in the Jordan was a prelude to His baptism on the cross–where the Father would pour out all of His holy and righteous wrath on the Son in order to wash away our sins. He was baptized with the transgressors so that we–who trust in Him–might be counted among the saints.

The post Baptized with the Transgressors appeared first on Feeding on Christ.


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08/12/15 For Us or against Us?

READING: Jeremiah 18-22

TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Have you ever seen repeated phrases and ideas in the scriptures? Look at these texts, and note the similarities about God, the Divine Warrior:

Deut. 4:34  Or has a god attempted to go and take a nation as his own out of another nation, by trials, signs, wonders, and war, by a strong hand and an outstretched arm, by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

Deut. 5:15a Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.

Deut. 26:8  Then the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, with terrifying power, and with signs and wonders.

Psalm 136:10-12  He struck the firstborn of the Egyptians . . . and brought Israel out from among them . . .with a strong hand and outstretched arm.

Jer. 21:4-5  This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will repel the weapons of war in your [Judah’s]  hands . .  .  . I will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, with anger, rage, and great wrath. 

Look at the texts closely, noting the change in Jeremiah 21. The same God who delivered Israel from Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm — the One who was Israel’s Divine Warrior — is the God who turned on His people with the same righteous ferocity in Jeremiah’s day. Even the reversal of the phrases (from “strong hand and outstretched arm” to “outstretched hand and a mighty arm”) suggests something is now different.

God is both deliverer and judge. He can intervene to free from bondage, or He can step in to send into exile. He will fight for us, or He will sometimes fight against us. He makes the call.

Jeremiah’s words in these chapters are stark reminders that we must be faithful to God. Though His love for His people and His commitment to His Word always lead Him to guard His remnant, we are foolish to assume that God will not fight against us in judgment when we turn to idols of our own making. Frankly, that thought is arresting to me.

As it should be.

PRAYER: “God, I never want to be in a place where you must battle against me. You are my Savior and my Deliverer. Let me live in that light, turning from my wrong long before you must execute judgment.”


The Greatest Enemy of the Church

The Greatest Enemy of the ChurchThese are times that try men’s souls, but who is the enemy — the greatest enemy — of God’s people?

Perhaps it’s liberal Supreme Court judges and the sexual ethics of secular society. Or maybe it’s ISIS and the looming threat of radical Islam. Perhaps it’s the rapid increase of those that identify religiously as “none.” Or maybe it’s Planned Parenthood and others who advocate for an adult’s right to comfort over a child’s right to life and barbarically snuff out life in the very womb that is for its protection and growth.

As I look, from my limited vantage, around our world today, I don’t know the answer to this question — at least, I don’t know the answer exhaustively. But I do know the answer that the Book of Judges gives, which is the same answer the whole Bible gives. According to Judges, if the people of God want to know who their greatest potential enemy is, they need only do one simple thing: look in the mirror.

The Real Enemy in Judges

In the time of the judges, there were some scary-strong enemies. They oppressed, they pillaged, they raped as they saw fit in their own eyes. And I’m sure if you did some man-on-the-street interviews, you would have heard all sorts of external reasons for their problems. “They have chariots and we don’t,” one Israelite might have said. “They are better fighters on the plains than we are,” says another. Or, “They have better generals, better kings; that’s why we’re not inheriting the land.”

Perhaps the Jerusalem Post of the day even ran headlines telling this tale of woe. But if they did, it would have been superficial reporting. These were not the deepest issues. The greatest enemies were not external, but internal. And the Book of Judges both shouts and whispers this indictment.

Consider the last sentence in the book. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25; see also Judges 17:5). This is the ancient equivalent of bold, italics, underline, and all caps — an example of the book shouting that the greatest enemy is internal.

Another place is Judges 2:10, which is a key verse in the book. Here the blame is laid on the fact that “there arose another generation . . . who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.” Again, the foe is internal, not external.

But the book also whispers this message. For example, consider the judge Tola (Judges 10:1–2). He, like another named Shamgar, was a deliverer only mentioned in a verse or two (Judges 3:31). But unlike Shamgar, who delivers from an external enemy (the Philistines), no enemy is listed that Tola fought. This is because when Tola comes to save, he saves Israel from Israel. And this is why the book, as a whole, concludes with an appendix of sordid stories likely from an earlier time in the book, stories of a greedy priest, a Levite who dismembered his concubine, and a civil war that nearly annihilated one of the tribes. Internal enemies, not external.

The Real Enemy in the Bible

But it’s not only Judges that makes this point, is it? Across covenants and authors — from Abraham, to David, to exile, to the church, to the second coming — the greatest issue is the purity and fidelity of our faith.

Peter speaks of Satan as our “enemy” and a “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8), and Paul writes of our battle against “spiritual forces” (Ephesians 6:12), but when Adam led us all into rebellion against God, his excuse that “the devil made me do it” didn’t fly. Adam and Eve stopped delighting in God. Sure, there was an external enemy, but it was their faith, their inner life, that mattered most and led to their fall.

Consider when the twelve spies did their recon in Numbers 13–14. They felt like grasshoppers facing giants, but the issue was never their relative size, but rather this: Would Israel trust the God of the grasshoppers?

And what about the end of Romans 1? After a notorious list of sins, the veritable punch in the gut is to the religious types, that is, those who should know better but apparently don’t (Romans 1:32).

And consider the letters to the churches in Revelation. The issue was not merely that someone, somewhere in the world was teaching something wrong, say, the “teaching of Balaam” or the “Nicolaitans.” Rather, the issue was that some in the church “held” to this teaching (Revelation 2:14–15). And sure, in Thyatira “that woman Jezebel” was doing her thing, but God was on it (“I gave her time to repent . . . I will throw her onto a sickbed . . . I will strike her down,” Revelation 2:20–24). The greatest threat to the church is whether they will “hold” to Jezebel’s teaching or remain faithful to God’s.

We could go on, but the point is clear: not only Judges, but the whole of Scripture, teaches that the greatest enemy to God’s people is internal.

Will We Acknowledge This Enemy?

And yet we deeply resist this. Don’t believe me? Does your church have a list of prayer requests? How many are related to spiritual apathy, fear of the Lord, love for the lost, divisions among brothers and sisters, and our subtle syncretism? How many prayer requests do we make to find our greatest joy in our Father’s delight over us on account of the gospel? Not enough.

Friends, the greatest threat to the church is not ISIS or Planned Parenthood. It’s not Hollywood. It’s not atheist professors who ruin the faith of our sweet, Christian college freshmen (who must not have been truly Christian in the first place if they fell away so quickly). And the greatest enemies are not secular politicians and Supreme Court judges, or greedy corporations who hurt the poor and destroy the environment.

These challenges are real. The reality of babies killed, chopped, and sold as scrap metal is evil. And the Canaanite general Sisera, who “oppress[ed] the people of Israel cruelly” and raped captured women was evil too (Judges 4:3; 5:28–30). However, it was when the people of God “abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth” (Judges 2:13), when their faith lost its purity and fidelity, and when internal (not external) idolatry became pandemic that the cookie crumbled.

If we want to know the worst enemy — the one that, apart from the sustaining grace of God, could eternally destroy us — then we must look in the mirror. Doing this won’t be easy; it will be uncomfortable. But a long look into our own souls and indwelling sin might catch our melanoma while it’s early. And if it does, praise God we have the gospel for our healing.


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The Absurd is Flooding…

 …Into Generic Evangelical Churches 

An Editorial By Dr. Orrel Steinkamp*

To illustrate this I draw attention to a real but an unnamed historical Pentecostal family tree Sunday school class. This class meets in a historic church in the USA and is filled with elderly believers. These believers have all been soundly converted from theologically dead mainline churches that for decades have not preached the Gospel, and also some from a Roman Catholic upbringing.

These elderly saints all have the scars and experience to prove their hard won evangelical status. But with the onrush of postmodern Christianity via the evangelical media this Sunday school class also exhibits the “sloppy agape” of the postmodern evangelical church.

But the absurdity comes in by off-the-cuff remarks in this class that betray the absurdity of false prophecies which are now being accepted, without even a second thought or concern. A class member talking about most any subject will interject that they heard a (proven) false prophet say this or that on TV.

This reveals that a wide range of prophetic voices are being accepted and consumed by these evangelical veterans, who are accepting these words (claimed to be from the Lord Himself) that have NO biblical reference point whatsoever. Only someone who follows the TV scene would even know who these personages are, let alone their steady stream of imaginary false prophesies.[1]

One gray-haired lady simply dropped the name of prophet Kim Clement, a regular prophetic voice on TBN. Kim Clement is known as the singing prophet and for often singing his prophesies. Bill Hamon laid hands on him to become a prophet back in 1983. Bill Hamon, by the way, is known as the premier Latter Rain prophet. Hamon possesses years of notebooks of his personal prophesies that forms the basis of his Latter Rain ministry.

Recently Charisma magazine honored Hamon as one of the 40 most influential persons in Pentecostal history.

Kim Clement‘s recent prophesy about Pope Francis deserves our attention: Clement asserts:

“I was in a state of “ecstatic perception” caught in prophetic elevation and during this moment I caught a glimpse of religious garments and oil being poured on them. Then I saw Pope Francis… I speak of the one who calls himself St. Francis of Assisi. The Spirit spoke to him to come and stand at the head. This man has been appointed to join the hearts of the Protestant faith and the Catholic (faith)… They will try to kill him 3 times and poison him but his voice will not be stopped, says the Lord.”(Source)

Its just all cut and dried for these elderly saints, and apparently consulting these false prophets on TV is just as normal as checking the weather forecast. This shows that false words, supposedly of Jesus, are continuing to be placed in the center of the heartland of the pan-evangelical church.

Another elderly lady, speaking about another subject altogether, then just casually dropped the name Bill Johnson, whom she said she is watching daily on TV, and also she mentioned Heidi Baker as well. Indeed, Bill Johnson and his companions provide a steady diet of new revelations on the net. Their latest thoughts are found in a book called The Physics of Heaven.”[2]

Space does not allow for all the revelation knowledge that surrounds Bill Johnson and those who minister with him. Notably, Jonathan Welton, who wrote a chapter in the above mentioned book, presented himself as a “seer” prophet obviously to be considered on a par with the Old Testament “seer prophets.”

Bill Johnson was honored to be on the steering committee and a participant at the international gathering of world Pentecostals called Empower 21 held this year in Jerusalem on Pentecost. Heidi Baker participates in these conferences and is involved in the full panoply of revelations that are beyond Scripture. Bill Johnson’s view of Scripture may give us a clue as to how he ended up being attracted to extra-biblical prophesy. According to Johnson:

“None of us has a full grasp of Scripture, but we have the Holy Spirit. He is our common denominator who will always lead us into truth. But to follow him we must be willing to go off the map – to go beyond what we know.”[3]

Co-author Ellyn Davis of The Physics of Heaven and Bill Johnson’s personal secretary writes in the book: “It wasn’t that I wanted to become a New Ager, I just wanted to find out if maybe they had uncovered some truths the church hadn’t.”[4]

It is as if the new Christians in Acts 19, who burned their occult books, checked out their occult materials to see if there was good revelation contained in them!

Bill Johnson and Heidi Baker have already become accepted furniture in house of the Lord. These TV prophetic oracles are no longer the camel getting its nose under the tent, but these camels apparently have the run of the tent.

Apparently, Big Tent evangelicalism has no apparent concern for these supposed words of Jesus being an accepted as a normal diet for the church. If the historic elderly have long since accepted a wide range of current prophetic words, supposedly spoken by Jesus himself, what chance is there in the long run for the pizza and fun youth group?! Once they are old enough they will just go with the flow as expected.

Broadly speaking a few decades ago the battle for an inerrant Scripture was won, especially within the Southern Baptist Convention. But now the greater concern is the sufficiency and uniqueness of Scripture.

The previous decades have done their work. The church has now apparently accepted the idea that God continues to speak verbally and currently reveals Himself directly to His church through these modern-day prophets. But this leaves us with an unavoidable problem. Should not these words of Jesus, if truly His words, be recorded and decimated to the church? How could some of the words of Jesus be less authoritative than any other words of Jesus? But if we accept the words from these self-proclaimed prophets as coming directly from the Lord Himself, and still hold to a closed Canon (the 66 books of the Bible), then no matter what we say this denigrates the Bible and the Canon of Scripture which has been accepted as the Word of God for centuries.

The Scriptures need NO further editions with new content and new biblical authors!

http://empowered21.com/about/leadership/

At the recent attempted replay of Pentecost in Jerusalem at Empower 21 not only was apostle Bill Johnson (Word-Faith pastor who avoids that title, he prefers “apostle”) was honored along with Kenneth Copeland. Copeland is the de facto leader of the Word-Faith movement.

(Charisma)

Recently, Copeland and over a thousand Word-Faith pastors were gathered in a yearly conference and received a direct communication from the Vicar of Christ upon the earth, direct from the Vatican, none other than Pope Francis. In this direct smart phone projection of Francis, the new Pope called upon the charismatic communion to come into fellowship with the Vatican. Kenneth Copeland positively returned the smart phone communication to the pontiff, and the over one thousand Word Faith pastors in attendance cheered together.

But the point here about Kenneth Copeland is that as a traditional Word-Faith teacher he lives and breathes what they call “revelation knowledge”. This “revelation knowledge” was bequeathed to him by none other than Kenneth Hagin, the originator of Word-Faith teaching. Revelation knowledge simply means that one can receive and live daily with a continual stream of the extra-biblical words of Jesus. Kenneth Copeland is openly the leader of the Word-Faith churches having succeeded Kenneth Hagin. Copeland is now apparently reconciled to the Pope.

Among the false direct words and revelation knowledge supposedly from Jesus given to Copeland is one oracle that is especially alarming. I quote Ken Copeland:

“Don’t be disturbed when people accuse you of thinking you’re God… They spoke that way of Me, should they not speak that way of you? …The more you get to be like Me, the more they’re going to think that way of you. They crucified me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah. That’s what you’re doing.”[5]

2Timothy 3:16f establishes that “Scripture is “God-Breathed.” It affirms that “God-Breathed” Scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, correction and training in righteousness. This passage finally asserts that Scripture adequately equips the man of God for every good work. The sufficiency of Scripture is here established. Consequently, the Copelands and Clements are clearly deemed not only unnecessary, but also nothing but vacuous imitational false prophets. John MacArthur has sounded the warning:

“Christians must not play fast and loose with the issues of inspiration and revelation. An accurate understanding of these doctrines is essential for distinguishing the voice of God and the human voice… It has always been important to be able to separate God’s Word from that which is false… that the whole church might have a clear standard.”[6]

Larry DeBruyn speaks plainly:

“If the Bible is no longer considered sufficient, the coming of ‘new revelations’ raises the following conundrum. I repeat it. “If added revelations repeat what is in the Bible, they are unnecessary. If new revelations contradict the word of God, they are heresy. And if they supplement God’s word, the new revelations imply the Scripture is insufficient. Proverbs 30:6 warns ‘Add thou not unto His [God’s] word lest He [God] reprove you and you be found a liar.”[7]

An admonition from the Word of God:

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate,
sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The aged women likewise,
that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness,
not false accusers, not given to much wine,
teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young…

(Titus 2:1-4)

Endnotes:
1. TV isn’t the only problem. Check out the list of authors and books deemed “Christian Bestsellers, July 2015,” http://christianbookexpo.com/bestseller/all.php?id=0715
2. See Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s 9-part series reviewing The Physics of Heaven:
Read Part 1: “The Physics of Heaven”
Read Part 2: “The Power of the Zero-Point Field”
Read Sidebar: “Jesus’ Lesser Works”
Read Part 3: “Extracting the Precious From the Worthless”
Read Part 4: “Vibrating in Harmony With God”
Read Part 5: BILL JOHNSON: Squandering Our Spiritual Inheritance
Read Part 6: Unsagacious Seers
Read Part 7: Bad Vibes
Read Part 8: “Sound of Heaven, Symphony of Earth”
Read Part 9: Quantum Charismatics
3. The Physics of Heaven, Kindle location: 392.
4. Ibid, Kindle edition p.392.
5. Voice of Victory, Take Time to Pray, Feb.1987, p.9.
6. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p. 76.
7. Larry DeBruyn, “The Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture,” http://guardinghisflock.com/2014/03/29/the-holy-spirit-and-holy-scripture/.

*Considering this article’s topic, Dr. Steinkamp wishes his readers to know that he is nearly 82 years old.



Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, August 12, 2015

http://www.christianheadlines.com/

Top Headlines

Franklin Graham Receives Nearly $1 Million from Ministries

T.D. Jakes Involved in Controversy over LGBT Comments

Christian Universities Grapple with Implications of Gay Marriage Ruling

Pro-Lifers Organize Planned Parenthood Protests in 180 Cities Nationwide

Hillsong NYC’s Gay Couple Claim They Did Not Hide Relationship from Church

Atheist Minister Facing Possible Dismissal for Lack of Belief in God

16 States Support Christian Universities in Challenge to Obamacare

ISIS Conducting “Christian Holocaust” While World Remains Indifferent

Ohio Supreme Court Says Judge Must Perform Same-sex Marriage

Moody Radio Listeners Reach Beyond to Make a Difference in Mongolia

Opinion

Why Some Conservative Christians Like Donald Trump

Planned Parenthood’s Phony Package Deal

Beyond Bounds: God’s Love for You in Christ

Government Intervention: A Sure Way to Prevent Job Growth

Holy Versus Happy: Combating a Consumerist Culture


Only Two Religions!

I don’t know if you know this but there are only two religions in the entire world.

You might say I’m nuts.  There are hundreds if not thousands!

wearing masksBut there is one religion that likes to put on hundreds if not thousands of different masks on, and so ultimately there are only two: the religion of Human Achievement and the religion of Divine Accomplishment.

You see Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism and every single religion that you have ever heard of, ultimately teaches some form of a works-based salvation. They say that you have to be a little more good than bad in order to make it to heaven. These religions encourage you to hand God a resume when you face Him one day. The resume will be filled with all your accomplishments. It will list everything you’ve done for other people, every penny you’ve given to charity and every good deed you’ve done. God will look over this resume and say, “Good job! You’ve made it into heaven”.

The problem is that if you were to enter into heaven because of a resume based on your accomplishments God would get no glory; you would be the one who gets all the praise. In fact, Ephesians 2:9 would say that salvation is not of works lest you patting-self-on-back-1should boast! Genesis chapter one shows us that God created the entire universe including you. Everything He created is designed to bring Him glory. The problem is that sin has entered the world, and from birth we all have replaced exalting God with exalting ourselves. Everything we do from birth is geared towards bringing us glory and bringing praise to ourselves. We all have a throne in our hearts that God should be sitting and reigning on, but instead we are born with ourselves sitting on it. We are so used to it we don’t even notice it to the point where we all think that our resumes are good enough to get us into heaven.

my mom thinks im coolOf course we are going to think that we are good people! Of course my mom is going to tell me I’m a good person! But what does your Creator think? He says in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. He also says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. So if we stand before God and start listing accomplishments or hand Him a resume we might as well slap Jesus in the face because God is going to look at the resume and say, “I killed my only Son because you were not good enough to get to me!”

And that’s where the only other religion comes in.

The religion of Divine Accomplishment. God saw your situation, and decided that since man was so sinful and could not save himself, that He would come Himself and take the form of a man. He humbled himself, spent nine months in a womb he created, grew up with every temptation you and I face every day, but without sinning. He then died on the cross for our sins, and then rose from the dead and defeated death. He made it possible for human beings to stand before God one day and not hand Him a resume and condemn themselves further, but rather, tell God that they deserve His wrath but have placed their faith and trust in the work that Jesus did on their behalf on the cross and through His resurrection.

You see we need someone to be a substitute for us because no matter how hard we try, we can never bridge the gap between God and us. And the substitute can’t be merely a human.  It must be God Himself.

Do you see the difference between Christianity and every other religion?

Source


The Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest StoryGod’s goal in all of His creative and redemptive work is to bring glory to Himself (Isa 43:7; cf. Eph 1:6, 12, 14).

Read more


What is The Gospel?


CanIKnowGod.com

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

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

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

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

Source


Our Time is Short

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


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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

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GTY Blog: Meet the Bereans

Acts 17:11-12

Code: B150812

By Cameron Buettel

I am convinced that the most dangerous lie is the one that is almost true. The regenerate believer can usually see through most pseudo-Christian scams, whether they be online, on TV, or in the pulpit. But Satan doesn’t always deploy his deceptions through shallow charlatans—he also carefully cloaks them in the garb of orthodox Christianity.

More and more false teachers conceal their heresies in the Trojan horse of sound doctrine. And like termites ravaging a house, the signs of trouble are evident only after the damage is done.

We need razor-sharp biblical discernment as our frontline defense against the stealth invasions of theological error. Paul and Silas encountered that type of discernment on their missionary travels when they ministered to the Jews in Berea. Luke reported on their ministry there and described the Berean Jews as: “More noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed” (Acts 17:11–12).

The Berean’s familiarity with the Old Testament Scripture equipped them for embracing the new teaching they were hearing from Paul. They weren’t gullible, but neither were they incapable of learning something new—provided it could be corroborated by God’s Word. John MacArthur describes it this way:

The Bereans received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether the things preached by Paul were so. They were open to the truth and searched their scrolls for themselves. No wonder Luke describes them as more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica.

Examining is from anakrinō, a word sometimes used of a judicial investigation. The noble Bereans carefully sifted the evidence and concluded that the gospel Paul proclaimed was the truth that fulfilled Old Testament promise.[1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Acts 13–28 Chicago: Moody Press, 1994, 121.

Scripture clearly held the highest possible authority among the Bereans. It was the final arbiter on their evaluation of Paul’s preaching and, as such, they were able to weigh Paul’s words on the scales of their thorough biblical analysis.

Scripture was the Bereans’ accurate and effective filter for receiving truth and rejecting error. The fact that they read Scripture “daily” also points to a high degree of biblical literacy. They didn’t merely dip their toes in the reading of favorite stories and the memorization of “life-verses.” They were fully immersed in God’s Word and studied it as a collective whole, being able to identify the story of Christ woven throughout the Old Testament.

It is also telling that there is no mention of the Bereans consulting with any sources other than Scripture. Their belief in the sufficiency of Scripture is evident by their use of it as the sole, necessary plumb line of truth.

The church in Berea may no longer be in existence but their legacy ought to live on in the church as we carefully examine Scripture in discerning truth from error. Modern wolves now roam among God’s flock in sophisticated sheep-skins. The seriousness of such a threat demands that we be present-day Bereans, and develop the necessary discernment to intercept these wolves at the point of entry into our churches.

To naively assume that these threats don’t apply in your church context is to buy into the lie that the enemy wants to sell you. In the words of John MacArthur,

Christians are not supposed to be gullible. We are not to turn a blind eye to the danger. We are not to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them (Ephesians 5:11). We simply cannot be all-embracing without allowing false teachers to infiltrate and be destructive.[2] John MacArthur, The Truth War (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 174.

In the days ahead we’ll lay out a more detailed biblical battle plan to emerge victorious in the war for truth.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150812
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

Presented Faultless

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Taken and adapted from the “Gospel Standard”
The following was a sermon preached March 10, 1867, at the Pavilion Chapel, Brighton,
by William Brown

judegraphic

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”  —Jude 24-25.

This epistle contains a most awful and solemn description of false professors…

…which is a proof that even in the first ages of the Christian church there were hypocrites, who crept in and deceived the apostles and disciples. God’s people are simple; they are easily deceived. Simon Magus was not discovered by the apostle till after he had been baptized, and circumstances made him manifest as being still in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity. What…

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The Wednesday Word: I know I am a Christian

Reformedontheweb's Blog

How Do I Know I’m a Christian?

I know I am a Christian because the Eternal God became a man for me (1 Timothy 3:16).

I know I am a Christian because it was promised that Christ Jesus, the God/Man, would save me (Matthew 1:21).

I know I am a Christian because Christ lived for me and credited all to me (1 Corinthians 1:30).

I know I am a Christian because Jesus became a wrath offering for me (Romans 3:25).

I know I am a Christian because Christ has given the gift of eternal life to me (John 10:28).

I know I am a Christian because Christ Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has never lost a sheep (John 18:9).

I know I am a Christian because Christ Jesus is the Lawyer who has never lost a case (John 10:27-30).

I know I’m a Christian because Jesus is the leader…

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Evangelism: Jesus’ Only Conference 2015

The Domain for Truth

10983208_10101605166400767_7063569019689003639_n

This was from this year’s “Jesus Only Conference,” a one-day Conference in Southern California for high schoolers, college students and young adults.

The following are the videos from the three main sessions.

Session #1: Predestination, Proclamation, Praise: The Sovereignty of God and Evangelism

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Daily Devotionals: (12th Aug.) An Unwilling Confession of Sin

thinkGOSPEL blog

Reading: Genesis 3:11

After the fall into sin, God made it easy for Adam to present a simple and honest confession of sin. The question “Hast thou eaten …?” is so pointed and precise that it calls for a simple yes or no answer. But depravity had squeezed itself through every fibre of Adam’s being and caused him to avoid giving an honest answer.

Adam and Eve, rather than facing up to their falling short, tried to excuse their actions. How like our first parents we are and how futile this is for “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper” (Proverbs 28:13).  There are two common mistakes we make when confronted by sin: self-pity and self-preservation.

Adam began with his feelings: “I was afraid.” He attributed his fear to the fact that he was naked. But Adam focuses on the effects of his sin, his nakedness, and not on…

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Baptism, Regeneration, and Sin. Answered from the Context of, “Shall we continue in sin?” Taken from Romans 6

Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation

Taken and adapted from, “Epistle to the Romans, a Commentary, Logical and historical”
Written by James M. Stifler, Professor of New Testament Exegesis in Crozer Theological Seminary

license-to-sin

“Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”

Romans 6:1

The question comes logically from the last two verses in the preceding chapter, where Paul virtually says, the more sin, the more grace. But it looks back also necessarily over the whole discussion of justification. That this question, involving such an answer as that which follows, should emerge at all shows clearly Paul’s idea of justification. If the latter signifies “to make good,” the question would be impossible. If justification means “to declare good,” the question is pertinent. If the sinner is justified on the ground of any personal merit, for any good that he is doing with a view to justification, the question is inexplicable. But if God by his free…

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Discussions with Carl Lentz

Recently we posted an article explaining how we are concerned that Carl Lentz had made misleading statements to Dr. James White about Hillsong’s position on the acceptance of gay people within the Hillsong Community. Our unease stemmed from a recent episode of The Dividing Line in which Dr. White discusses some email interaction he had with Carl Lentz, and his concerns about a recent statement made by Brian Houston about the inclusion of unrepentant homosexuals as congregation members of Hillsong Church.

Source: James White, Seer Stones, Hillsong Church, and KJVOnly Deceitfulness, Alpha & Omega Ministries, http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2015/08/05/seer-stones-hillsong-church-and-kjvonly-deceitfulness/, 26:17-27:50, Published 05/08/2015. (Accessed 10/08/2015.)

In this episode, Dr. White demonstrates that both Brian Houston and Carl Lentz have made contradictory statements about Hillsong’s position (e.g. that gay people are not allowed to be in positions of leadership, yet current news reports show that they are in fact in leadership positions). The transcript of…

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Preaching the Gospel at Pentecost

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them:“Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘ And it shall be in the last days, ’ God says,
‘ That I will pour forth of MY Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
18 Even on MY bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of MY Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
19 ‘ And I will grant wonders in…

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