Daily Archives: September 7, 2015

The Christian, the Church and the State: Navigating a Delicate & Dangerous Matter

The Confessional ARP

The following is largely a response I gave recently to a friend regarding this topic. I hope in some measure it helps others know how to think about and make decisions regarding the issues addressed.

It is one thing for Christians to function within, as Augustine put it, “the city of God,” that is, within the Church and God’s Kingdom (the former is not to be simply equated with the latter; God’s Kingdom is a broader reality than the Church, although the Church is in God’s Kingdom) and another for them to function within the “city of Man”—part of which is expressed in “the State.” The two. the city of God and the city of Man are organically joined, and yet distinctly two different realities; they overlap, for now. According to Scripture, “The State” (Scripture does not use this term) is on its way to eternal destruction because it is…

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Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less


Buddy breathing Buddy breathing

Note: I am re-posting a series of five Bible studies this week that I wrote last year. Every 2 PM post Monday to Friday this week will be a Bible study.

I have been getting into disagreements with the woman I am mentoring in apologetics, where she has been telling me that accurate assessments of my strengths are “proud” and that I need to be more humble. So I thought I would explain what I take humility to mean.

Here’s something from J. I. Packer:

“Being humble is not a matter of pretending to be worthless, but is a form of realism, not only regarding the real badness of one’s sins and stupidities and the real depth of one’s dependence on God’s grace, but also regarding the real range of one’s abilities.Humble believers know what they can and cannot do. They note both their gifts and their…

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September 7, 2015 Truth2Freedom US and World Briefing Report


Top News – 9/7/2015

Black Lives Matter under fire as a ‘hate group’
Progressive on the defensive as law-enforcement casualties pile up. Without a doubt, Black Lives Matter is a hate group,” Peterson told WND. “If a white group was encouraging violence and targeting police, they would be rightfully labeled a ‘hate group’ by the mainstream media and by far-left groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and People For the American Way.”

A tsunami warning for Europe
These are not migrant workers from Africa, who seek an improved quality of life. The refugees from Muslim nations are running for their lives. Professor Arnon Soffer has for years claimed that this tsunami was on the way. Now he claims it’s only the beginning and that the real tsunami has not yet arrived.

Russia starts building AIR BASE in Syria so its pilots can launch airstrikes against Isis
RUSSIA is building an AIR BASE in Syria where it can station fighter pilots and troops to battle Islamic State (Isis) in a desperate bid to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad, it emerged today.

Islamic State takes Syrian state’s last oilfield
Islamic State fighters have seized the last major oilfield under Syrian government control during battles over a vast central desert zone, a group monitoring the conflict said on Monday.

Massive fireball from space witnessed in Thailand, explosions heard
A massive fireball, believed to be a meteorite, has fallen on Thailand. Awestruck commuters witnessed the spectacle, describing a green and orange glow, as it took a nosedive toward Earth.

Europe’s Fate will be that of the Roman Empire
It is the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire all over again. It always ends the same way: civilization reaches a stage of maturation where it is not only unable to defend itself, but where it in a seemingly incomprehensible manner worships its own enemy”.

World Powers Are Preparing for Space Warfare
The entire network of U.S. military and intelligence satellites may soon be controlled through a single command center, jointly operated by the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. This is the latest in a recent string of global developments around space warfare, each of which was significant enough to have experts question whether something more is at play behind the scenes.

A lopsided coronal mass ejection (CME) that left the sun on Sept. 4th will probably miss Earth. A first-look analysis at the time of the explosion suggested a possible CME strike on Sept. 7-8. Subsequent modeling, however, has lowered the odds of an impact.

USGS confirms STL area earthquake
A geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey says the USGS is officially ruling Saturday’s event as an earthquake. The quake, measuring between 2.5 to 2.6, occurred in the St. Louis metro area around 5:23 p.m. between Kirkwood and Festus and Belleville and Washington.

Father of the euro fears EU superstate by the back door
Professor Otmar Issing, the chief architect of monetary union through its early years, said it would be “dangerous” to transfer control over tax and spending to the EU federal level before full political union has been established first on democratic foundations.

AOPA seeks answers about ADS-B notam
AOPA is trying to get to the bottom of ambiguous notam language and determine why the aviation community was given just one day’s advance notice of military exercises that could make Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and TCAS unreliable along a significant portion of the East Coast for a month.

Magnitude 6.1 earthquake strikes off Fiji coast Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/09/07/19/46/magnitude-6-point-1-earthquake-strikes-
An earthquake registering a magnitude of 6.1 has reportedly struck south of the Fiji Islands. The seismic movement was recorded at 6.36pm (AEST) at a depth of 573km.

DNC head Wasserman Schultz chokes up announcing Iran deal vote
The head of the Democratic Party, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., choked up while discussing her “gut wrenching” decision to vote in favor of the Iran nuclear deal. “There’s nothing that’s more important to me, as a Jew, than to ensure Israel’s existence is there throughout our generations,” she said Sunday, choking back tears.

Syria war: France to prepare for IS air strikes
President Francois Hollande has ordered preparations to begin for air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria. He said France would start reconnaissance flights on Tuesday with a view to launching attacks, but ruled out sending troops on the ground. Russia has responded to growing concern that it is increasing its military support for President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian Druse stand between ISIS and Israeli border, Druse sheikh warns
Israeli Druse leaders told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the southern Syrian Druse city of Sweida serves as the last barrier separating Islamic State from Israeli territory on the Golan Heights. If Islamic State gets past Sweida, it puts Jordan and the Israeli border areas at risk, Israeli Druse spiritual leader Sheikh Maufak Tarif told the Post.

‘Hamas’s long-term goal is to replace us; Ours is to replace it’
Hamas in Gaza has not swerved from its long-term goal of destroying and replacing Israel, and Israel’s long-term goal is to replace Hamas with another entity, IDF Southern Command chief, Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgerman, said on Monday. The commander…spoke at the Terrorism’s Global Impact summit in Herzliya, which was organized by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

India’s Abstention at the UNHRC: Implications for Indo-Israeli Relations
On July 3, 2015, in a manner uncharacteristic of its longstanding position on the Israel-Palestinian issue, India abstained from voting on a UN Human Right Council (UNHRC) resolution that censured Israel for “alleged war crimes” during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Traditionally, India has almost unfailingly supported resolutions condemning Israel’s alleged violations regarding the Palestinian issue. On this occasion though, India joined Kenya, Macedonia, Ethiopia, and Paraguay in abstaining. Of the remaining 42 members of the UNHRC, 41 voted for the resolution, and only the United States voted against it.

Obama Created EU Refugee Crisis
The absence of a solid U.S. foreign policy doctrine and leadership under U.S. President Obama has resulted in the deadly combination of power vacuums across the Middle East and little to no fear of consequential American military action challenging the war-crime infused tribalism filling these vacuums. This failed responsibility of the world’s Super Power to inject the strategic counterbalance now has the European Community in uncharted chaos in the Obama-created refugee exodus that rivals biblical events.

Where to bury your depression when Pope Francis is in America
In all the hoopla surrounding Pope Francis’ first trip to America, the angels must be singing the blues. From the “simple oak chair being built by immigrant laborers for Mass at Madison Square Gardens”, to the 30,000 tickets set aside for his fans to get a closer view when the pontiff parades twice through downtown Philadelphia, Pope Francis is coming to America.

Mankind’s last call for survival
You know, throughout the last eight years, I have spent quite a bit of time writing articles about Barack Obama and his administration. I even went as far as writing a 400+ page book, regarding this obscure character, we call the president of the United States of America. I christened my book with the title, ‘The Beginning of the End’, which tells you, but in a few words, precisely how I feel about this enigmatic individual and his administration.

The Terrifying Tentacles of One World Governance
The late Henry Lamb and Tom DeWeese have been working tirelessly for decades to unravel the thorny and terrifying tentacles of U.N.‘s Agenda 21, a soft law signed in 1992 by 178 countries. But the idea of a one world government/order has been around since the turn of the 20th century. It suffices to look at the back of a dollar bill to see the evidence. Featured prominently under the Masonic Pyramid are the Latin words, Novus Ordo Seclorum, the New World Order.

Why Can’t the Kentucky Clerk Get Bail?
Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis has been jailed without bail since Thursday for refusing to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her attorney, Matthew Staver, says that even some people accused of murder are allowed to be free on bail while their trail is pending. one of the U.S. marshals when they were directed by the judge to take her into custody told her he had never arrested somebody who had not committed a crime.”

DIVINE? ‘Hillary’ replaces ‘Jesus’ in campaign rally song
An all-women’s choir called “Voices From the Heart” performed at Clinton’s Portsmouth, New Hampshire rally Saturday. There, they serenaded the former Secretary of State with an old gospel tune, “Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind on Jesus).” Except in this version, from the self-dubbed “woman’s alternative chorus,” “Jesus” is replaced with “Hillary.”

Giuliani: De Blasio’s progressivism created city’s homeless crisis
A  city with homeless on its streets is a city that has no love of its people. The so-called “progressive” view, that people have a right to live on the sidewalk, is not only legally devoid of any merit but is inhumane, indecent and dangerous. As is the case in many other policies — redistribution of wealth, social engineering, weak national defense — it’s a contradiction to describe this stance as progressive. It should properly be regarded as retrogressive.

Netanyahu says will not allow Israel to be ‘submerged’ by refugees
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he would not allow Israel to be “submerged” by refugees after calls for the Jewish state to take in those fleeing Syria’s war.

Top Headlines – 9/7/2015

Abbas to declare end of Oslo peace process – report

PA official: Obama should recognize Palestinian state in his UN speech

Israel unmoved by EU proposal to expand Arab role in peace talks

Hamas: Long-term truce with Israel only after Gaza gets airport, seaport

Netanyahu: Israel determined to be world power

IDF to unveil new radar system for mortar shells

Laser-guided weapons, GPS-guided weapons, and unguided weapons: IAF trains with USAF in Nevada

Security forces arrest ISIS-affiliated Palestinian attempting to enter Israel

100,000 Palestinians have fled Syria to Europe, official says

Thousands of Isil fighters could use migrant crisis to ‘flood’ into Europe, Nigel Farage warns

Migrants in the Balkans: Everyone wants to be Syrian

WATCH: Footage Emerges of ‘Refugees’ Abusing Police, Throwing Food and Water Away onto Train Tracks

Turkish PM slams refugee policy of ‘Christian fortress Europe’

Germany pledges $7 billion for refugees

Stream of refugees through Austria slows as Hungary PM slams EU quotas

Cyprus says it could take up to 300 preferably Christian refugees

Syria says militant confesses to car bombs that killed dozens in south

Iraq mounts air operation against ISIS with F-16s from US

DNC head Wasserman Schultz chokes up announcing Iran deal vote

Colin Powell says Iran nuclear agreement ‘a pretty good deal’

Hundreds of Christian leaders join hands to urge US Congress to junk Iran nuke deal

Iran hopes to export gas to EU through Spain

Austrian president says seeks to build bridges in Iran

Erdogan Vows to Strike Back After PKK Kills Turkish Soldiers

Pak army chief warns India of ‘unbearable cost’ in case of war

North Korea apparently building at nuclear site, IAEA says

Gunman walks up to Las Vegas cops, starts shooting into car

Al-Jazeera journalists jailed for airing ‘false news’, Egyptian court ruling says

EU, U.S. clinch data-sharing deal for security, terrorism cases: document

Father of the euro fears EU superstate by the back door

Europe’s Biggest Bank Dares To Ask: Is The Fed Preparing For A “Controlled Demolition” Of The Market

Asia subdued as China stocks see-saw after trading resumes

Lunar Eclipse-Supermoon Duo to WOW Earth this September

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

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits South of the Fiji Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Honiara, Solomon Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Fais, Micronesia

When it comes to earthquakes, only Alaska surpasses Oklahoma

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 28,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 18,000ft

Typhoon Kilo Nears Japan; Tropical Depression Poses Greater Threat

Hurricane Linda Is Rapidly Intensifying in the Eastern Pacific

Jimena May Bring Flooding Downpours to Hawaii Late Week

Seven fishermen killed by Hurricane Fred: maritime officials

20 killed by lightning as heavy rains lashed Andhra Pradesh

Wildfires threaten Russia’s unique Lake Baikal

‘New Ebola case’ in quarantine village

High schoolers use e-cigarettes to vape marijuana: U.S. study

White lesbian woman, accidentally impregnated with black man’s sperm, loses in court

Kentucky clerk who refused same-sex marriage licenses starts new appeal

‘Kim Davis – Like Jews Under Nazis’

Kasich on Same-Sex Marriage: I’m Afraid GOP is Turning Young People Away From God

China’s anti-Christian crusade

‘Hillary’ replaces ‘Jesus’ in campaign rally song


Daily Digest

September 7, 2015


“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” —Thomas Jefferson, 1824


Unemployed Labor Day


As most Americans are grilling in the backyard to celebrate Labor Day, there isn’t as much labor to go around as we all would like. In his weekly address for Labor Day weekend, Barack Obama boasted of “the longest streak of job creation on record.” Indeed, Friday’s jobs report had some good headline numbers — who could argue with 5.1% unemployment? But the underlying story isn’t so hot. As we noted Friday, black unemployment is at 9.5%, which increased 0.4% from July. And as has been true throughout the Obama “recovery,” much of the decline in the overall unemployment rate was caused by people leaving the workforce. The labor force participation rate remained at 62.6% — the lowest level since 1977 — and there are a record 94 million Americans not in the workforce. As for Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while second-quarter growth was a seemingly healthy 3.7%, that number could be revised down closer to first quarter numbers. The Daily Signal reports, “Gross Domestic Income (GDI) grew at just 0.6 percent, after 0.4 percent growth in the first 1st quarter. GDI is a more accurate measure of the health of the economy. When the government revises GDP figures as more data comes in, it tends to get revised towards the initial GDI estimates.”

Obama turned his address into a call for a budget from Congress that will “support working Americans and strengthen our middle class.” Naturally, he wants “investments” in the same old stuff — infrastructure, schools and research. All fine things, but when 94 million Americans aren’t working (and aren’t paying taxes to support that budget), Obama’s promises and braggadocio ring hollow.

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Clinton’s Secret Server Had a Secret IT Guy

Turns out, once a Clinton lackey, always a Clinton lackey. IT specialist Bryan Pagliano was paid by the Clintons to run Hillary’s secret email server while she headed the State Department, Clinton’s campaign admitted last week. Pagliano worked on Hillary’s failed 2008 presidential campaign and then moved over to the State Department. But he never stopped getting paid by the Clintons. According to the Post, Pagliano disclosed to State in April 2009 that the Clintons paid him $5,000 for his tech expertise. But for some reason, Pagliano then quit reporting his Clinton income. Was it just a matter of convenience, to avoid awkward questions? Or, as Ed Morrissey wonders, was it something more sinister, like a bribe to keep the email server secret? When three congressional committees asked Pagliano to the Hill to testify about the server last week, Pagliano declined, invoking the Fifth Amendment. Some members of Congress indicated that they might grant Pagliano immunity if he testifies against his former employers, which indicates there are bigger fish to fry, namely fish of the Slimis Clintonus variety.

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West Hammers Trump

Donald Trump interviewed with radio host Hugh Hewitt and badly fumbled a foreign policy question. “I’m looking for the next commander in chief to know who Hassan Nasrallah is, and Zawahiri, and al-Julani, and al-Baghdadi,” Hewitt said. “Do you know the players without a scorecard, yet, Donald Trump?” Trump, who is about attitude, not details, called it a “gotcha question.” But it doesn’t matter anyway, he explained. “You know, I’ll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed. They’ll be all gone. I knew you were going to ask me things like this, and there’s no reason, because, number one, I’ll find — I will hopefully find Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the pack.” He then boasted, “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.” Ah, well, never mind then!

Lt. Col. (ret.) Allen West’s response to Trump’s vacuous and ignorant answer was perfect: “No, I don’t think it’s a gotcha question. When you are running for the presidency of the United States of America, the most important title is commander in chief. … This is a great teachable moment. … Our national politics are starting to resemble American Idol. … I want to see our candidates out there that understand the geopolitical scene and not be like President Obama.”

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Beefing Up Obama’s Pro-Amnesty Agenda

By Arnold Ahlert


The Obama administration’s intention to force-feed a pro-amnesty agenda to a recalcitrant American public has reached a new low. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced it had reached an immigration-related settlement with Nebraska Beef Ltd., a meat packing company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. The DOJ had accused the company of discrimination — because the meat packing company demanded that workers show proof of immigration status to demonstrate they were eligible to work legally in the United States.

The DOJ insisted Nebraska Beef violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because it required “non-U.S. citizens, but not similarly-situated U.S. citizens, to present specific documentary proof of their immigration status to verify their employment eligibility.” Yet the act itself states that “employers may hire only persons who may legally work in the United States (i.e., citizens and nationals of the U.S.) and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. The employer must verify the identity and employment eligibility of anyone to be hired, which includes completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9).” Adding insult to injury, the act warns employers that they can be penalized if they fail to complete and/or retain those I-9 forms.

Judicial Watch put this outrage in the proper perspective: “You know the nation is in trouble when a U.S. business gets investigated by its own government for following the law.”

Regardless, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, was adamant. “The department is committed to ensuring that individuals who are authorized to work in the United States can support their families and contribute to our country’s economic growth without facing unnecessary and discriminatory barriers to employment,” she stated. “We will vigorously enforce the law to remove such barriers where we find them, and ensure that affected individuals have a means of seeking relief.”

“Relief” in this case amounts to Nebraska Beef paying $200,000 in a civil penalty settlement, establishing an uncapped back-pay fund for people who lost wages because they could not prove they are in the country legally, and two years of compliance monitoring. The company is also required to train employees on the anti-discrimination provision within the Immigration and Nationality Act and to revise policies within its office.

The anti-discrimination provisions of the act can be seen here. The germane clause states that employers “may not treat individuals differently based on citizenship or immigration status. U.S. citizens, recent permanent residents, temporary residents, asylees and refugees are protected from citizenship status discrimination.” All well and good, save for one seemingly inherent contradiction:

How is a company supposed to determine a potential employee’s status and eligibility to work in the United States without documentary proof?

A 2014 federal audit conducted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general revealed the bigger stakes in play here, noting the Obama administration has not only been “inconsistent” in enforcing the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), but it reduced the average fine for businesses caught hiring illegals by a whopping 40% between 2009 and 2012. Now the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division is getting in on the act, helping to facilitate the administration’s pro-amnesty agenda.

All Americans should be outraged, but none more so than black Americans. Another disappointing jobs report Friday revealed that only 173,000 jobs were created in August, despite predictions of 220,000. And though the unemployment rate dropped to 4.4% for whites, a drop of 0.2% from July, black unemployment is 9.5%, up 0.4% from July.

Unfortunately, both of those figures hardly tell the real story. The daunting reality is that a record-setting 94,031,000 Americans were not in the labor force last month, and the labor participation rate is 62.6% — the lowest level since 1977. When those people are counted, the overall unemployment rate, trumpeted to be 5.1%, more than doubles to 10.3%. Even worse, wages for all American workers have declined from the time the so-called recovery began in 2009, right through 2014 — with lowest paid workers taking the biggest hit.

All while Obama champions amnesty for million of illegals who would drive those wages even lower — for as long as a decade.

In short, the fundamental transformation, or more accurately, the balkanization of America, continues. Assimilation has been tossed on the ash heap of history, in favor of the multiculturalist “celebrating our differences” nonsense that is tearing this nation apart. The transnationalists who would abet our descent into Third World-ism for cheaper labor and reliable big-government votes must be thoroughly rejected by an electorate that still treasures national sovereignty. And it’s about time presidential candidates other than Donald Trump heartily embrace the one irrefutable statement he has made (echoing Ronald Reagan, by the way): A nation without borders is no nation at all.

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George Will: “Massachusetts’ flag shows a Native American holding a bow and arrow, a weapon that reinforces a hurtful stereotype of Native Americans as less than perfectly peaceful. A gimlet-eyed professor in Wisconsin has noticed that Minnesota’s flag includes the state seal, which depicts two figures, a pioneer tilling a field, and a Native American riding away — and carrying a spear. A weapon. Yikes. The farmer is white and industrious; the Native America is nomadic. So, Minnesota’s seal communicates a subliminal slander, a coded message of white superiority. Who knew that Minnesotans, who have voted Democratic in 10 consecutive presidential elections since 1972, are so insensitive? This is liberalism’s dilemma: There are so many things to be offended by, and so little time to agonize about each.”

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Insight: “We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.” —The Gipper

Upright: “A state official who objects to protecting enumerated constitutional liberties is hardly in the same position as a person objecting to facilitating a ‘right’ five justices created out of whole cloth (historically speaking) five minutes ago. If one can’t see the difference in those propositions, then we should just give up on public discourse entirely because reason and logic no longer matter.” —David French in National Review

The BIG Lie: “I’m doing all that I can now to try to be as transparent about what I did have on my work-related emails, and I think that they will be coming out. I wish it were faster. … At the end of the day I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions.” —Hillary Clinton, apologizing to all you confused rubes out there

Friendly fire, part I: “At this point, to suggest that as secretary of state, as much as [Hillary Clinton had] been around, she didn’t think about the impact and the possibility of hacking, just astonishes me. I think it takes away from her big argument of ‘I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I know what I’m doing.’” —Tom Brokaw

Blame the system: “[T]here’s a massive amount of overclassification [in government]. People just stamp it on quickly because it’s a way to sort of be correct if anybody had a judgment that somehow they had been wrong about whether it should be classified or not. So the easy thing is classify it and put it away.” —John Kerry defending the presumed Democrat presidential nominee

Friendly fire, part II: “In itself, the Iran deal would appear to reward Tehran for defying the world, make funds available for its extremist activities and generally make it stronger militarily and economically. Although the agreement provides for a temporary delay in Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability, it allows Tehran to retain its nuclear infrastructure and obtain sanctions relief. The risk is that Iran could become an even bigger threat to the region.” —former Obama Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

Belly laugh of the week: “Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated Kim Davis’s political affiliation. She is a Democrat, not a Republican.” —New York Times

And last… “Nothing says ‘I’m innocent’ like paying a State IT guy to setup a secret server who ‘forgets’ to report the income and later pleads the 5th.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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

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


From This Point Forward, Christians Are Going To Be Banned From Holding Many Jobs In America

Unacceptable - Public DomainChristianity is being criminalized in the United States.  No, I am not talking about the kind of Christianity that is so prevalent in America today where “Christians” just ignore what the Bible says and do whatever they wanted to do in the first place anyway.  Rather, I am talking about the kind of faith that Kim Davis has demonstrated.  Christians all over this country are being put into positions where they must choose to either submit to the “new morality” or potentially lose their jobs.  For Kim Davis, deciding to take a stand meant that she was thrown into prison.  The radical judge that threw her into prison has said that she will stay there until she is willing to change her mind. (Read More…)

The Elite Have Prepared For The Coming Collapse – Have You?

New Zealand - Public DomainWhy are the global elite buying extremely remote compounds that come with their own private airstrips in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the planet?  And why did they start dumping stocks like crazy earlier this year?  Do they know something that the rest of us don’t?  The things that I am about to share with you are quite alarming.  It appears that the global elite have a really good idea of what is coming, and they have already taken substantial steps to prepare for it.  Sadly, most of the general population is absolutely clueless about the financial collapse that is about to take place, and thus most of them will be completely blindsided by it. (Read More….)

Gaffe Machine Joe Biden Says Obama Economy Has Been “Devastating For Workers.”

Biden Blasts Economy; ‘Devastating for Workers,’ ‘Tax Code’s Not Fair’

EDITOR’S NOTE: In what may well be the most truthful words uttered by any Democrat running for office in 2016, ‘Gaffe Machine‘ Joe Biden blasted the Obama administrations handling of the US economy and called it “devastating for workers.”  But hey, wait a second Joe…aren’t YOU the Vice President in the Obama regime? Oops……unintentional truthiness just slipped out.

Sounding very much like a candidate for president, today Vice President Joe Biden spoke at an AFL-CIO Labor Day event in Pittsburgh, Pa. “I’m mad, I’m angry,” Biden thundered, attacking the U.S. economy as “devastating for workers.”


Biden, who is openly considering running against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, thanked “my friend” Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. ”

“There wouldn’t be a single basic right, from a 40-hour week to sick leave, there wouldn’t a single basic right out there … but for labor,” Biden said. “You build the middle class. That’s not an exaggeration.”

The vice president also attacked growing inequality.

“Let me tell you something, man,” Biden said. “The tax code’s not fair. The wealthy aren’t paying their fair share.”

“Today 1 percent of Americans owns 40 percent of all wealth in America,” the vice president said. “A level playing field doesn’t exist.”

“It’s the way the tax code has been setup,” Biden charged. source

Faux Jew Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Sells Out Israel With Iran Nuclear Deal

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Sells Out the Jews on Iran Nuclear Pact

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” Psalm 83:4 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The curious phenomena of the liberal American Jew, only one generation removed from the Auschwitz death camps of Hitler’s Holocaust, who stab Israel in the back every chance they get has always amazed me. Today, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has validated Obama’s Iranian death pact that guarantees nuclear weapons will be flying towards Israel sooner rather than later. She is a double traitor, selling out the American people and betraying her fellow Jews just like George Soros did with the Nazis in WWII.

Pamela Geller says that Jewish Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a US representative from Florida, announced on CNN on Sunday, September 6, 2015 that she is endorsing the Iran deal. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz had said she will base her decision on “my Jewish heart.”


She’s the head of the DNC — the party of treason. This faux Jew is not giving that up, no matter how much blood she gets on her hands. I blame the people of Florida for re-electing this notorious kapo. She has been Obama’s organ grinder’s monkey for years.

She then pretended to cry when ace reporter Jake Tapper asked her what she will say when remembered for selling out Israel. Like all traitor Jews, she lied. She claimed that Iran will be held to strict inspections. That’s laughable. They are self-inspecting.

This is not rocket science. Iran has vowed to annihilate Israel — it is a promise that goes back to the overthrow of the Shah by the murderous Mullahs. They have never had the means to do it. Obama’s nuclear pact changes that.

Schultz is now officially part of the group of the most notorious self-loathing Jews, joining Noam Chomsky, Norm Finkelstein, et al in infamy. The head of the Democratic Party, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., choked up while discussing her “gut wrenching” decision to vote in favor of the Iran nuclear deal.

George Soros: Helping the Nazis “Was The Happiest Time of my Life”

“There’s nothing that’s more important to me, as a Jew, than to ensure Israel’s existence is there throughout our generations,” she said Sunday, choking back tears. Wasserman Schultz announced her vote for the deal, which will ease economic sanctions in return for Iran scaling back its nuclear program, on CNN’s “State of the Union” and in an op-ed for the Miami Herald.

Holding back tears, Wasserman Schultz said that in her op-ed, she talks about her “Jewish heart and how important this [decision] was to me … as a Jewish mother.” source

Faux Jew Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Sells Out Israel With Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted: 07 Sep 2015 05:11 AM PDT

Faux Jew Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Sells Out Israel With Iran Nuclear DealDEBBIE WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ SELLS OUT THE JEWS ON IRAN NUCLEAR PACT

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” Psalm 83:4

EDITOR’S NOTE: The curious phenomena of the liberal American Jew, only one generation removed from the Auschwitz death camps of Hitler’s Holocaust, who stab Israel in the back every chance they get has always amazed me. Today, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has validated Obama’s Iranian death pact that guarantees nuclear weapons will be flying towards Israel sooner rather than later. She is a double traitor, selling out the American people and betraying her fellow Jews just like George Soros did with the Nazis in WWII.

Pamela Geller says that Jewish Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a US representative from Florida, announced on CNN on Sunday, September 6, 2015 that she is endorsing the Iran deal. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz had said she will base her decision on “my Jewish heart.” FULL REPORT

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New Hillary Email Reveals Obama’s Israel Strategy

Posted: 07 Sep 2015 05:03 AM PDT

New Hillary Email Reveals Obama's Israel StrategyThe newly-declassified emails of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton have unexpectedly revealed a key part of the Obama administration’s strategy in dealing with Israel. Among the Clinton emails released this week was a 2010 memo from the Obama administration’s chief Middle East negotiator, Martin Indyk. Friends of Israel have long harbored deep concerns about indications that Indyk was unfriendly to Israel. But this is one of the rare instances in which we can see, in Indyk’s own words, how he crafted the strategy for U.S. pressure on Israel.

In the memo, Indyk accuses Prime Minister Netanyahu of “humiliating” Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, which “raises doubts about his seriousness.” Abbas’s refusal to disarm and outlaw terrorist groups, or extradite terrorists to Israel, apparently raised no doubts in Indyk’s mind. Nor did the constant flow of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda from Abbas’s PA appeared to have troubled Indyk very much. No, in the mind of President Obama’s emissary, it is Netanyahu who is the problem, first, foremost, and always.

Indyk then explains, in the memo, what he sees as the most effective way of countering Netanyahu’s “inflated demands” (you know, such as expecting the Palestinian Authority to oppose terrorism). If the Israeli leader falls to succumb to U.S. pressure, “avoid recriminations” and instead portray the situation as “a ‘clarifying moment’,” Indyk advised. “The world will of course blame [Netanyahu]. But you should avoid any kind of finger-pointing in favor of a repeated commitment to a negotiated solution and a willingness to engage with both sides in trying to make that happen, when they’re ready.” FULL REPORT

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Massive fireball from space witnessed in Thailand, explosions heard

Posted: 07 Sep 2015 04:18 AM PDT

Massive fireball from space witnessed in Thailand, explosions heard BREAKING NEWS – According to reports,A massive fireball, believed to be a meteorite, has fallen on Thailand. Awestruck commuters witnessed the spectacle, describing a green and orange glow, as it took a nosedive toward Earth. The event took place during the morning rush hour at about 8:45am local time in Bangkok, although the meteor did not make an audible sound as it struck the ground.

The size of the fireball is judged to be quite substantial, as residents of the Sisawat district in Kanchanaburi province, some 200km from the capital, also described seeing the meteorite. They say they also heard a thunderous explosion, according to Thai PBS. Some even reported hearing two explosions, so a team of rescue workers was dispatched to where the crash site was assumed to be. FULL REPORT

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Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended for refusing to serve alcohol

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 09:47 PM PDT

Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended for refusing to serve alcoholA Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended by ExpressJet for refusing to serve alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith. In a bid to get her job back, Charee Stanley filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday for the revocation of a reasonable religious accommodation. She wants to do her job without serving alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith — just as she was doing before her suspension, her lawyer said.

“What this case comes down to is no one should have to choose between their career and religion and it’s incumbent upon employers to provide a safe environment where employees can feel they can practice their religion freely,” said Lena Masri, an attorney with Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. FULL REPORTThe post Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended for refusing to serve alcohol appeared first on .

Preparing a Generation for The Mark of the Beast

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 09:22 PM PDT

Preparing a Generation for The Mark of the Beast In this segment we will discuss how the RFID technology is thrusting society to embrace a future system that will be implemented that will require a Buying and Selling System involving the Hand and the Forehead. For More Information on please watch the video Below:

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US To Accept 5000-8000 Syrian Muslim Refugees Next Year

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 09:00 PM PDT

US To Accept 5000-8000 Syrian Muslim Refugees Next YearAccording to Agence France-Presse, the United States will accept between 5,000 and 8,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. This is a modest number when measured on the scale of mass migration – a veritable drop in the bucket compared to the tide sweeping through Europe – but still much larger than what Americans were previously told to expect by their government. Previous statements spoke of less than 2,000 Syrian refugees this year, and an increase of only “a few thousand” in 2016.

The number may very well rise. “State Department spokesman John Kirby also said 15,000 Syrian refugees have been referred to the US for resettlement by the U.N. refugee agency,” writes AFP. “In December, Washington had said it had received 9,000 referrals from the U.N.” It is further stated that the U.S. has faced criticism for “not taking more of the estimated four million refugees fleeing the civil war that began in 2011.”

The pressure to accept more than even the 8,000 currently floated by the Administration will be great, especially since their Plan B for resolving the refugee crisis isn’t very plausible. “What we’re really committed to is helping to foster the kind of political transition inside Syria, so that it is a safe environment for Syrian people to return, including the millions that are seeking refuge in Turkey right now,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

What sort of “safe environment” could possibly be engineered in that war-torn hellscape that would persuade these millions of refugees to return home? If the Assad regime doesn’t drop a barrel bomb on their homes, they’re getting kidnapped and murdered by ISIS and al-Qaeda, and now they have to worry about chemical weapons spewing from every corner of the conflict. FULL REPORT

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The Elite Have Prepared For The Coming Collapse – Have You?

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 08:50 PM PDT

The Elite Have Prepared For The Coming Collapse – Have You?Why are the global elite buying extremely remote compounds that come with their own private airstrips in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the planet? And why did they start dumping stocks like crazy earlier this year? Do they know something that the rest of us don’t? The things that I am about to share with you are quite alarming. It appears that the global elite have a really good idea of what is coming, and they have already taken substantial steps to prepare for it.

Sadly, most of the general population is absolutely clueless about the financial collapse that is about to take place, and thus most of them will be completely blindsided by it. As I discussed the other day, the only way that you make money in the stock market is if you get out in time. The elite understand this very well, and that is why they have been dumping stocks for months. This is something that has even been reported in the mainstream news. For example, this comes from a CNBC article that was published on June 16th. FULL REPORT

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Kentucky Clerk Appeals Order Putting Her In Jail

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 07:48 PM PDT

Kentucky Clerk Appeals Order Putting Her In JailA Kentucky county clerk has appealed a judge’s decision to put her in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Attorneys for Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis officially appealed the ruling to the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sunday. The three page motion does not include arguments as to why Davis should be released but amends Davis’ earlier appeal of the judge’s order. Davis objects to same-sex marriage for religious reasons and stopped issuing all marriage licenses in June after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.

Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis to issue the licenses and the Supreme Court upheld his ruling. But Davis still refused to do it, saying she could not betray her conscience. Thursday, Bunning ruled Davis was in contempt of court for disobeying his order and sent her to jail. Her deputy clerks then issued marriage licenses to gay couples Friday with Davis behind bars. FULL REPORT

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Coming disaster to ‘make Katrina look like Disney World’

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 05:53 PM PDT

Coming disaster to 'make Katrina look like Disney World'Ten years ago, those who lived through the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina learned how fragile civilization really is. Calm suburbia one day, and gang-controlled no man’s land the next.  But now some are warning another disaster is inevitable – and Americans are not prepared. Manny Edwards, an emergency preparedness and security consultant and the host of “Survival Tips” on WND TV, says it is “for sure” the country will see something like Katrina again.

“And the next time it happens,” he warns, “it will make Katrina look like Disney World.” Following Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago, civil order in the city of New Orleans broke down, with widespread looting and property destruction. Heavily armed street gangs actually invaded the city and terrorized residents before order was restored, drawing comparisons to Iraq. One military analyst on Fox even alleged New Orleans police officers were complicit in the looting.

WND reported several years back when the National Rifle Association released a series of videos revealing how, following Katrina, authorities simply seized thousands of weapons – legally obtained and owned – after New Orleans Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass III announced, “Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.” FULL REPORT


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Firebomb Thrown at New York Church

Posted: 06 Sep 2015 01:05 PM PDT

Firebomb Thrown at New York ChurchPolice in New York are investigating after a firebomb was thrown inside of a door at a non-denominational church on Saturday. The incident occurred early Saturday morning at approximately 5:30 a.m. as a yet unidentified suspect threw a Molotov cocktail threw a glass door at the Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville.

The explosive then started a fire in the vestibule, which set off the sprinkler system and flooded the entryway. The Getzville Fire Department and the Amherst Police Department responded to the four-alarm incident, according to assistant Police Chief Charles Cohen. “The fire inspectors office determined up to $10,000 in water damage,” he said.Police are now looking at surveillance footage from both the church and area businesses to obtain clues as to who might have thrown the explosive at the church. Officials are also considering whether the act can be considered a hate crime. FULL REPORT

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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

Resource Links

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.

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

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

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

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

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed

Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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September 7, 2015 Truth2Freedom Christian Briefing Report


Killing Sin by the Spirit, Post 4 (Put Off and Put On)

Colossians 3 and Ephesians 4 give a number of specific examples of this kind of behavior change, but these chapters are not giving us exhaustive lists. Notice also that when Paul tells us to put off sinful patterns in these chapters, he also uses the language of putting these things to death. In other words, we’re not supposed to be putting things off and folding them and putting them in a drawer to be brought out later when we want to wear then again. We’re to put them off and put them to death!

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He Who Has Ears

Dear Christian, you may be sitting in corporate worship while the pastor is preaching, but this is no idle exercise. We are to be engaged with the Word. The little effect many sermons have upon listeners is less often due to the preacher’s lack of skill in preaching, but rather due to our lack of effort in listening. Listen astutely, attentively, reverently, prayerfully, and responsively. “He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9).

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“In this World You Will Have Trouble” — Welcome to Rowan County

What this story reveals beyond the headlines is that the moral revolution on marriage and human sexuality will leave nothing as it was before. No area of life will be untouched, and no address will be far removed from the front lines of the revolution. This story comes from Rowan County, Kentucky. A County Clerk is headed for jail. A legion of Christians struggles to be faithful in their own situations, responsibilities, and callings.

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The Shrug That Scares Me to Death

The shrug is the sign we have become a shell of humanity – a soulless society where the baby hearts we sell are bigger than our hearts that are still beating. We live in a world in which people can look square into the faces of tiny human beings and talk about how much money their organs will bring in. “Shallow are the souls that have forgotten how to shudder,” says Leon Kass. The absence of societal shuddering in response to the Planned Parenthood videos frightens me more than the videos themselves.

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Should Adulterous Pastors Be Restored?

Pastoral adultery, moreover, is an even greater sin. Why? Some sins are more damaging than others precisely because of who it is that commits them. As the Westminster Larger Catechism(Questions 150-51) reasons, persons who are eminent for their profession, gifts, and office are particularly serious offenders because of their influence upon others. This added seriousness is found in every case of a minister who commits adultery. Add to this James 3:1, which suggests that pastors will be held to stricter judgment, and we have a strong argument that pastoral adultery is an even graver sin than adultery in general.

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It’s Good to be a Sheep

But for those who hear the voice of Christ, and are known by Him, they follow their Shepherd (John 10:27). In this sense, sticking out, going against the flow, and not blending in would be a sign of disobedience and rebellion. We are not autonomous. As followers of Christ, we revel in our lack of autonomy! Unfortunately, this is not the case for many evangelicals today who equate an independent and autonomous spirit with spiritual growth and maturity.

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Not All Conservatives

I grew up in a low-income setting where people didn’t have much choice about which “jobs” they took. Today I live and worship in a working-class community where very few of the women in our church have the luxury of not working outside the home. Even fewer would have the luxury of turning down a promotion if it meant she’d find herself “leading” a male co-worker. And yet, these folks would be the first to affirm that “father is head of the home” and that the office of pastor is restricted to men.

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Seven Reasons Why We Should Not Abandon the Term “Church Member”

The essence of church membership is the sense of belonging to something so much greater than any one of us individually. We are thus motivated to give, serve, love, and care. The biblical understanding of church membership is an incredible concept. It is not a term we should abandon.

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 Over 30 North Carolina Judges Opt-Out of Officiating ‘Gay Weddings’ Following New Law

Over 30 North Carolina Judges Opt-Out of Officiating ‘Gay Weddings’ Following New Law

Posted on September 7, 2015 by Christian News

RALEIGH, N.C. — Over 30 judges in North Carolina have opted out of officiating &gay weddings& following the passage of a bill that allows magistrates to decline because of their religious convictions. According to reports, the state court system has received 32 notices from judges since the law took affect in June. The figure amounts…

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5 Subtle Lies Pop Culture Tells Us

5 Subtle Lies Pop Culture Tells Us

Posted on September 7, 2015 by Crosswalk

We can often underestimate just how much control pop culture exerts over our lives. Here are five subtle lies it frequently tells us,

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Labor Day: 8 Biblical Principles of Work

Labor Day: 8 Biblical Principles of Work

Posted on September 7, 2015 by Crosswalk

Work: Some hate it. Some love it. Some avoid it. Some do it too much. This remains constant: God has a perspective on our work and we are to align our thoughts with His.

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Where You Stand with the Ten Commandments

Monday, September 7, 2015
“All these I have kept.” Matthew 19:20 (NIV)
Take a moment to consider where you stand in relation to the Ten Commandments. Here are three possibilities:
1. Some of us think we’ve climbed the wall.
A man was talking with Jesus about the Ten Commandments and he said, “I’ve kept them all!” He hadn’t murdered anyone, told any whopping lies, or raided a bank. He was a good citizen who flossed his teeth and paid his taxes, but he misunderstood the commands. The commandments aren’t limited to actions, and if you’ve never struggled to keep them, it’s probably time to get started!
2. Some of us are stretched out on the wall.
Maybe God’s called you to work in a hostile environment and the pressures are enormous. You’re exhausted from the struggle. The fact that you’re struggling means you are on the wall. The Heidelberg Catechism asks about the Ten Commandments, (Q): Can those converted to God obey them perfectly? (A): No. In this life, even the holiest have only a small beginning of this obedience. Nevertheless… they do begin to live according to all, not only some, of God’s commandments. Christians make a beginning of integrity, a beginning of worship, and a beginning of contentment, but it is a true beginning, and one day it will be complete!
3. Some of us have fallen off the wall.
There was a time when you were walking with Christ, but you lost your footing. Maybe it was a workaholic lifestyle, an unresolved conflict, or a secret deception. Thank God for his mercy! If it was not for God’s mercy, you would be lost forever. But mercy’s rope held you. You are not where you used to be, but there is hope for you. Get back on the wall and start climbing.
Where do you stand?
That’s this week’s LifeKEY!
Colin S. Smith
*This devotional is taken from the sermon series The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life by Pastor Colin S. Smith.  

J.D. Greear: How I dumped the mega-church model

From FoxNews.com “Each year, the “nones” in our society (those who check “none” for religious affiliation) grow at an astounding rate. Some have used those statistics to declare the end of the American church. And while this fear of secularism is a bit overblown, the stats do raise an essential point: Churches that want to […]

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Brian Houston August 4, 2015 Statement on Homosexuality

Brian Houston released the following statement.

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Surely it Is Near

The bottom line is that there is a strikingly unusual uptick in sin and it has a strange resemblance to Tribulation period events. Surely the Rapture is near and there is no reason for God’s people to despair because Jesus is preparing new homes for His people.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

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Is September the End? – Eric Barger

Are you focused on doom instead of Him?

The peril of risking your testimony on speculation, wild guesses and faulty conclusions

As some of you may be aware, there is an uncanny, even unprecedented, convergence of events set to take place in the next few weeks that have been the cause of great consternation by some who track such activities. Like many others, I am indeed interested in events forecast for this month, September 2015. My intent with this piece is both to inform and also to encourage Christians to remain focused and on point with what God would have us do when faced with scenarios such as those we are told are just ahead of us.

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Where to bury your depression when Pope Francis is in America

That the president of the United States and the leader of the Catholic Church on earth would come together to shill global warming/climate change as humanity’s biggest scourge is nothing less than an outrage of surrealistic dimensions.

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Why are Democrats Willing to Strengthen Iran and Hurt Israel?

Democrats in Congress are willing to betray their country rather than stand up to a rogue President. What is more important to the liberal politicians? The favors and threats that we know have been emanating from the White House, or decades of bi-partisan support for our national security? Easy answer for these career politicians: first their careers, then their perks, then their Democratic Party. American national interest is no longer on the list.

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On the Syrian Refugees

There are always certain issues, especially when clouded with emotive media imagery, which can result in people ceasing to reflect critically but simply run on emotions. The refugee issue is one such topic where emoting instead of thinking tends to predominate.

This has certainly been the case with the tragic Syrian refugee problem, with many saying we must do something, and we must do it now. Well, critical reflection is actually preferable to knee-jerk reactions, lest we simply make things far worse.

syria 5People are complaining that Europe, Australia and other places must simply take in far more refugees, no matter what. But a few facts and bits of evidence need to be considered here, instead of simply running on feelings. Let me offer a number of such facts.

Tony Abbott has just announced that he will take in more Syrian refugees. And according to a recent United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report on resettlement, Australia is among the world leaders in helping such refugees: http://www.unhcr.org/543408c4fda.pdf

As I have written elsewhere, no nation can have open slather polices here, and each nation has a right to defend its borders and determine what is a feasible number of refugees or asylum seekers that can be accepted. I discuss in greater detail the political as well as biblical data on this here: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2010/11/09/christians-and-asylum-seekers/

And when it comes to Muslim immigration, we must be even wiser, as the spread of political Islam and creeping sharia is often accomplished by means of immigration. Please read this for more detail: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/08/27/western-immigration-and-global-jihad/

For example, the BBC reports that fake passports are already being used to get jihadists into Europe: “German customs officers have seized packages containing Syrian passports and police suspect they are being sold illegally to asylum seekers. A finance ministry official said both genuine and forged passports were in the packets intercepted in the post.”

And IS has threatened to send 500,000 migrants to Europe as part of jihad:

ISIS has threatened to flood Europe with half a million migrants from Libya in a ‘psychological’ attack against the West, it was claimed today. Transcripts of telephone intercepts published in Italy claim to provide evidence that ISIS is threatening to send 500,000 migrants simultaneously out to sea in hundreds of boats in a ‘psychological weapon’ against Europe if there is military intervention against them in Libya.
Many would be at risk of drowning with rescue services unable to cope. But authorities fear that if numbers on this scale arrived, European cities could witness riots. Separately, the militants hope to cement their control of Libya then cross the Mediterranean disguised as refugees, according to letters seen by Quilliam the anti-terror group, reported by the Telegraph.

Or as another report warns:

ISIS says thousands of fighters are already in place in Europe, disguised as refugees, just waiting for the signal. An operative working for Islamic State has revealed that the terror group has successfully smuggled thousands of covert Jihadists into Europe, the Express writes.
The Syrian operative claimed more than 4,000 covert ISIS gunmen had been smuggled into western nations – hidden amongst innocent refugees. The ISIS smuggler, who is in his 30s with a trimmed jet-black beard, revealed the ongoing clandestine operation is a complete success. “Just wait,” he smiled.

We must also ask why most rich Muslim nations are refusing to take in these refugees. Perhaps they know something we don’t: “Five of the wealthiest Muslim countries have taken no Syrian refugees in at all, arguing that doing so would open them up to the risk of terrorism. Although the oil rich countries have handed over aid money, Britain has donated more than Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar combined.”

Imagine that: Muslim nations admitting that Muslim refugees pose a genuine terrorist threat. Yet the West is supposed to throw its doors wide open with no questions asked. That is a recipe for national suicide. Nonie Darwish, who has had to flee the Middle East herself, says this about “why Muslim countries rarely prepare for disaster to save lives of other Muslims and heavily rely on the West to rescue victims of Islamic jihad”:

-Muslim countries know that the West will take care of their mistakes so they don’t have to avoid the negative consequences of their actions.
-Western countries quickly come to the rescue, open their wallets and land to prove to the world that they are not Islamophobes.
-Arab countries lack compassion and action to rescue each other despite the rhetoric of Arab/Islamic unity. Saudi Arabia and Gulf nations never open their borders to poor Muslims in distress. Even Egypt rejected the Darfur refugees who were later forced to go to Israel, which took them.
-Oil rich Arab countries make it very difficult for other Arabs to visit except for haj. They are very tribal and refuse to dilute their culture with influx of foreigners. Third world country workers are treated inhumanely and are rarely given permanent residency, citizenship or equal rights as citizens.
-Arabs would rather spend their petrodollars on expanding their influence in the West rather than making life better for their own citizens or supporting other Muslim nations who are financially less fortunate.
-Islamic groups believe that refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan will spread Sharia in Europe, which is the main goal of jihad.
-By clearing the area from the opposition and citizens who are not contributing to the empowerment of ISIS, clears the way for ISIS to expand beyond Syria and Iraq. Europe and America are absorbing the opposition to ISIS, so why stand in the way?

Emotive images, like that of the poor dead boy lying on the beach, are relied upon to pull Western heartstrings, instead of having them think critically and rationally. As to the tragic case of the boy and his family, they of course had been living comfortably in free housing in Turkey for three years.

As one commentator writes, “Aylan was not in ‘harm’s way’. He was not a refugee. His family was not fleeing danger. Indeed, what his father particularly sought in Europe was a good dentist. Yes, Aylan’s terrible death does not tell us to open our borders. If anything, it warns us to be wary of the consequences of badly directed ‘compassion’.”

And as mentioned, humanitarians concerns must be balanced with national security concerns. The Prime Minister of Hungry has rightly argued that “Those who are overwhelmed cannot offer shelter to anyone”. His entire speech is well worth reading: http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/those-who-are-overwhelmed-cannot-offer-shelter-to-anyone

English commentator Peter Hitchens offers some sober thinking on all this. He is worth quoting at length:

Having seen more than my share of real corpses, and watched children starving to death in a Somali famine, I am not unmoved by pictures of a dead child on a Turkish beach. But I am not going to pretend to be more upset than anyone else. Nor am I going to suddenly stop thinking, as so many people in the media and politics appear to have done.
The child is not dead because advanced countries have immigration laws. The child is dead because criminal traffickers cynically risked the lives of their victims in pursuit of money. I’ll go further. The use of words such as ‘desperate’ is quite wrong in this case. The child’s family were safe in Turkey. Turkey (for all its many faults) is a member of Nato, officially classified as free and democratic. Many British people actually pay good money to go on holiday to the very beach where the child’s body was washed up.
It may not be ideal, but the definition of a refugee is that he is fleeing from danger, not fleeing towards a higher standard of living. Goodness knows I have done what I could on this page to oppose the stupid interventions by this country in Iraq, Libya and Syria, which have turned so many innocent people into refugees or corpses.
But I can see neither sense nor justice in allowing these things to become a pretext for an unstoppable demographic revolution in which Europe (including, alas, our islands) merges its culture and its economy with North Africa and the Middle East. If we let this happen, Europe would lose almost all the things that make others want to live there.
You really think these crowds of tough young men chanting ‘Germany!’ in the heart of Budapest are ‘asylum-seekers’ or ‘refugees’? Refugees don’t confront the police of the countries in which they seek sanctuary. They don’t chant orchestrated slogans or lie across the train tracks. And why, by the way, do they use the English name for Germany when they chant? In Arabic and Turkish, that country is called ‘Almanya’, in Kurdish something similar. The Germans themselves call it ‘Deutschland’. In Hungarian, it’s ‘Nemetorszag’.
Did someone hope that British and American TV would be there? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: spontaneous demonstrations take a lot of organising. Refugees don’t demand or choose their refuge. They ask and they hope. When we become refugees one day (as we may well do), we will discover this.
As to what those angry, confident and forceful young men actually are, I’ll leave you to work it out, as I am too afraid of the Thought Police to use what I think is the correct word. But it is interesting that this week sees the publication in English of a rather dangerous book, which came out in France just before the Charlie Hebdo murders.
Submission, by Michel Houellebecq, prophesies a Muslim-dominated government in France about seven years from now, ushered into power by the French Tory and Labour parties. What they want, says one of the cleverer characters in the book, ‘is for France to disappear – to be integrated into a European federation’. This means they’d much rather do a deal with a Muslim party than with the National Front, France’s Ukip equivalent. If any of this sounds familiar to you, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s amazing how likely and simple the author makes this Islamic revolution sound.
Can we stop this transformation of all we have and are? I doubt it. To do so would involve the grim-faced determination of Australia, making it plain in every way that our doors are open only to limited numbers of people, chosen by us, enduring the righteous scorn of the supposedly enlightened.
As we lack the survival instinct and the determination necessary, and as so many of our most influential people are set on committing a sentimental national suicide, I suspect we won’t.
To those who condemn reasonable calls for national self-defence as bigotry, hatred and intolerance (which they are not), I make only this request: just don’t pretend you’re doing a good and generous thing, when you’re really cowardly and weak.

As I said, emotional reactions are clearly not what we should rely upon when considering important international issues such as this. Clear thinking and critical evaluation of the evidence and the facts is what is required. And that seems to be in short supply in so much of the West today.

I close with the words of Paul Zanetti:

If there’s any one underlying message that must be read into the story of little Alyan it is that illegal human trafficking must be stopped, that the Abbott government’s successful policies must be widely adopted or the drownings will continue.
This must be balanced with an increased selective intake by all nations of genuine refugees, fleeing persecution or war or both. Australia has a proud history of settling refugees and migrants. This must continue.
Migration has been an overwhelmingly positive contributor to the growth, success and affluence of this nation – with exception, namely criminal ideologists who wish us harm, currently being addressed. Careful, selective immigration and genuine refugee intakes – not open border anarchy – will strengthen Australia and save lives while meeting out international obligations.


Righteous Anger and Sinful Anger — Martyn Lloyd-Jones

A large painting of Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” – Ephesians 4:26-27

In his commentary on Ephesians 4:17-5:17, taken from among the 232 sermons he preached on that book between the years 1954 and 1962, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones stated this regarding the right use of anger:

There are some people who think that it means that if you cannot get rid of anger altogether, the best thing to do is to suppress it, and to hold it down as much as you can. And that, I suggest, is quite wrong. The Scripture knows nothing of such teaching. That is what the world does, and the result is that ever and again when men are taken unawares, the trap door suddenly opens and the whole thing reappears, as violent as it ever was before. No, suppression is certainly not the Christian way of dealing with anger and its problems. What then does the Apostle mean? Clearly and obviously this is a positive command. It is not some concession that is made to a weakness. He says that it is out duty to be angry in certain respects, but that we must never be angry in a sinful manner, never in a temper.

There are times when we are meant to be angry—‘Be ye angry’! But never in a way that becomes sinful, and never in a way that opens the door of opportunity to the devil. How are these things to be reconciled? how do we work it out? We can do nothing better, it seems to me, than to take the Apostle’s statements as he puts them, starting with `Be ye angry’. In other words, there is a right kind of anger. In and of itself anger is not sinful. It is a capacity which is innate in every one of us, and clearly put into us by God. We can really call it one of the natural instincts. The capacity for anger against that which is evil and wrong is something which is essentially right and good; and it is because the non-Christian moralists so frequently forget this, that those who follow them find themselves in a false position. The pagan idea always is that you are to crucify your instincts, no matter what they are. But that is a false asceticism. The Bible never teaches us to crucify a natural instinct. What we are to do with them is to control them, not to get rid of them altogether. The Stoics believed in getting rid of them; they tried to kill them; the Epicureans just regarded them with disdain, and both were wrong. According to the Christian teaching, the instincts are to be governed, to be controlled and to be rightly used. Anger is something which is placed in us by God; it is a capacity within man which results in his being roused by the sight of certain things. And the result is that it is a priceless and precious thing.

To prove that anger is not sinful, and indeed something which is altogether right in and of itself, I simply need to draw attention to a statement which is made in the Gospel according to St. Mark about our Lord Himself: `And when he had looked round about on them (the Pharisees) with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts …’ (3:5). A similar statement is found in Luke’s Gospel: `The Lord then answered him and said, Thou hypocrite’! (13:15) One of these lawyers, Pharisees, teachers of the law, was trying to trap Him and to trip Him, and our Lord turned upon him and said, ‘Thou hypocrite’! He spoke with anger! Again, read the account, in John chapter 2, of the Lord’s anger with those men trading in the Temple: `When he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables’ (2:15). Here was our Lord in righteous anger and indignation, making a scourge of small cords and literally driving the traders out, and cleansing the temple.

Furthermore, no-one who is at all familiar with the Bible can have failed to observe a term which is used constantly in the Old Testament and the New about God Himself—the wrath of God! For example, the Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, says: `I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith’ (1:16-17). Why is Paul so pleased about this? Why is he so anxious to preach it and to proclaim it in Rome and everywhere else? He gives the answer in verse 18: `For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold down the truth in unrighteousness.’ The wrath of God! Both John the Baptist and our Lord preached and exhorted people to `flee from the wrath to come.’ The Apostle John in the Book of Revelation, speaking about the end of the world and of time and history, and about the judgment that will be ushered in by the Lord Jesus Christ, says graphically `for the great day of His wrath is come’ (6:17). So we realize that this is something that we must not dismiss.

And again the Apostle Paul, in writing to the Corinthians in the Second Epistle, makes this thing quite explicit and shows how at a given point we should feel anger and a righteous indignation, with ourselves. He is talking about godly sorrow, and says, `Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge!’ (7:10-11) Indignation! Anger! They were angry with themselves and the cause of the trouble, with the man who had sinned and with their own failure to recognise the sin, and with their failure to react to it as they should have done. The lesson for us is that we should always be angry against and about sin and evil. `Be ye angry’, says the Apostle! In a sense he is just putting in New Testament language what one of the Psalms puts like this: ‘Ye that love the Lord, hate evil’! (97:10) The two things go together: if you really love the Lord you must hate evil; evil and sin are definitely to be hated.

It is not at all surprising that the Apostle should give this exhortation to the Ephesian believers, these Gentiles, whose manner of life before their conversion he describes in the words: ‘having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness’ (4:18-19). We have earlier seen that ‘past feeling’ meant that their consciences had become calloused and hardened, their sensibilities had become dull and blunted, they could not react to anything; they were `past feeling’, they were so steeped in sin that nothing any longer could move them or shock them. They were past feeling!—they had become morally indifferent, they had become supine. This is always characteristic of godlessness and irreligion. It is one of the terrible aspects of paganism, that men and women become so steeped in sin that they are not ware of the fact that they are sinning, they cannot react at all, they never feel any sense of indignation or horror; they never come angry at all; they are past feeling. In the second half of the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, Paul tells us all about it. Men and women had forgotten God, and were worshipping birds and four-footed beasts and insects; they were also worshipping one another. And not only had they become immoral, they had almost lost a sense of morality; they were guilty of the most foul and repulsive perversions. The whole world had become a sink of iniquity.

Paul therefore says to the Christians, You have to get right away from the world’s sins; you have got to learn to be angry about them; you must be roused; you must not be complacent and say that sin does not matter! Such an attitude belonged to their past, he said, but they must not be like that any longer. A failure to react with indignation and anger against sin and evil is always a sign of moral decadence and of godlessness and irreligion. I remind you of a word that I quoted earlier from the prophet Jeremiah, chapter 8, which describes sin at its acme. Let me give you the climax to the whole statement because it is such a great one. Listen to this. He says, `Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush.’ What a terrible state to get into! You are not quite hopeless while you can still blush, it means that there is still something in you that makes you feel a sense of indignation and of shame and of anger. But certain people had become so sunk in sin that the prophet says `Neither could they blush’. And what we need if we are in that condition is this exhortation of the Apostle: Be angry! rouse yourselves! Do not allow yourself to be governed by that old mentality! put off that old man, put on the new man! We must learn, says Paul, to be really angry against iniquity and sin. God made us in such a way that that should be our natural reaction; it was the natural reaction of the Lord Himself; it is God’s reaction to sin.

And how greatly this exhortation to anger is needed in the world today! Is not one of the greatest tragedies in the world at this hour the failure to feel moral indignation and wrath because of things that are happening? Is not there a fatal tendency to be complacent and to explain everything away, and to remain indifferent? Even though we hear people `on the air’ and on public platforms deliberately teaching `Evil, be thou my good’, still there seems to be no protest. We seem to have lost the capacity to be roused morally by a sense of indignation. This is, to me, one of the major problems in the world today. There has been a steady decline in morals, not only in behaviour but in outlook and in reaction. We merely shrug our shoulders and allow sin to go unrebuked. I believe this was true of the attitude of the world to Hitler before the Second World War. This attitude would have been unthinkable fifty years before. There would have been protests, and Hitler would have been stopped. But not so in the world decadence of the thirties! We could not be bothered, we wanted to go on enjoying ourselves and having our good time, and we somehow hoped that world troubles would not affect us and all would be well. And so the whole sorry process was allowed to start and to continue.

But this is not only evident in our attitude towards international affairs—as, for example, towards the rise of dictators and the toleration of things in nations, which should never be tolerated—but it seems to me that it is also creeping into the whole of life. I myself cannot be but appalled at the reaction to such a document as the Wolfenden Report [¹], with its idea that you can regard certain perversions as natural. The plain fact faces us that the whole category of sin is rapidly disappearing. Indeed, many are claiming that there is no such thing as sin. No—the man was born like that, he has just got that tendency in him, and it is very strong in him, not so strong in another! Evil is explained away; there is no protest, there is no moral indignation. And it is into such a situation as this that the word of the Apostle, the word of God, comes: `Be ye angry!’ Learn to react against these things! Feel a sense of indignation! There are certain things that should rouse us and should be denounced. An absence of a sense of shame and of anger and of righteous indignation is always the hallmark of deep degradation and sinfulness, and of a loss sense of God. Our Lord was angry when He observed manifestations of sin. And what measures our approximation to Him is that we manifest a similar reaction when confronted by similar things. It is our duty to be angry at certain points and with respect to certain matters.

But we move on to a second point, for the Apostle adds to `Be ye angry’, `Do not sin’! that is, do not be angry in a sinful manner. We have been looking at the right kind of anger, we must now look at the wrong kind of anger. Notice that we are walking on a kind of knife edge. In other words, we can swing from one extreme to the other, and in consequence we have to be very careful. We have already seen other examples of this. The Apostle has already told us to speak the truth in love. Some people put the whole emphasis on truth, while others put it on love; the first set of people have no love, the second set of people have no truth; but they are both wrong, for we must speak the truth in love! Similarly here—`Be angry, but do not sin!’

There is a wrong way of being angry. And what is this? What must we never be guilty of? First, we must never be bad-tempered people. That is entirely and utterly wrong. To be bad-tempered, to be irritable or irascible, is something which is sinful and is condemned everywhere in the Scripture. So it is no use saying, `Ah! but I happen to have been born like that.’ If you are a Christian, you have been born again, so you must not use that argument. It is wrong at any time and on any showing. We are not to explain what we are and what we do in terms of the balance of the various ductless glands, for that would be to do away with sin. We have to know ourselves and we have to deal with ourselves; and we are forbidden to be bad-tempered, irritable, irascible people. But we do not stop at that; there is another thing which we must not be. We must not be easily provoked. In the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians the Apostle says that one of the most glorious things about love is that it is not easily provoked. A man who is easily provoked is bound to fall into sin very frequently. We must not be fiery. But let me put the case positively, in terms of the way James in his Epistle describes the wisdom that is from above: `The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy’ (3:17). We must not be easily provoked. Yet how easily provoked some of us are, by all sorts of things! Now here is the test. Are you easily put off or put out by anything? It does not matter what it is. And can it upset you and disturb you and keep your mind on it and prevent your concentrating on something else? Christians often express to me their irritation at hymns or tunes and such-like things, and I get the impression sometimes that they have been so put out and so put off that they cannot settle down and listen to the sermon. Easily provoked! That is sinful. We should not be easily provoked. We must seek after the love which enables us to hear all things, and which is easy to be entreated.

But we must go further. Any anger or expression of anger that is excessive, violent, uncontrollable, out of control, is a wrong sort of anger. We talk about a man being in a towering rage. That is definitely, utterly sinful. We talk about people seething with anger, shaking with anger. Oh! that is sinning in anger—the white face, the very body trembling, the eyes blazing… . You have seen it, have you not? Now that is altogether wrong and sinful. It is lack of control, and such a man is being angry and sinning; he is being angry in a sinful manner.

The next step is the one that the Apostle himself gives us, in the words, `Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.’ In the original the word wrath is not the same word as anger; hence it is a pity that the Revised Standard Version has put anger in both places. The second word, `wrath’, is a stronger word than `anger’. It means exasperation, it means anger roused and nursed and nourished until it becomes a settled condition; it means hatred, bitterness of spirit, vindictiveness. It means that you are determined to get your own back, to seek vengeance and absolutely determined to get it. It is a settled condition of anger; it has become part and parcel of you; it is a mood; it is a condition which is permanent; and it is bitter and hateful and determined to get its own back. That is wrath as the Apostle uses the word here, but that is not the wrath of God, there is nothing of that in God’s wrath. What the Apostle is condemning is the wrong sort of anger. The anger that we are to feel as Christians must never be felt by us just because we happen to be the sort of person that easily becomes `heated’. That is always wrong. In the same way our anger must never be personal, but rather against the principle of iniquity and sin. My anger must never be the result of my being the sort of man who is rather peppery, as we say, and testy, and a bit on edge always, easily provoked and ready to explode. That is the thing that we are required to put off. In other words, the anger about which the Apostle is speaking is an anger that should always be aroused against evil and sin —those things that caused the anger and the indignation seen in our blessed Lord Himself.

from: Jones, D. Martyn. Darkness and Light: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:17-5:17. Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Book House, 1989.

¹ Wolfenden Report – a study containing recommendations for laws governing sexual behaviour, published in 1957 by the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in Great Britain. It was named for Sir John Wolfenden, the chairman of the committee. Using the findings of psychoanalysis and social science, the report urged that public statutes avoid the attempt to legislate morality and that they concern themselves only with sexual acts that offend public decency or disrupt order. The committee therefore recommended that private homosexual liaisons between consenting adults be removed from the domain of criminal law. Legislation implementing these recommendations was enacted in the Sexual Offences Act (1967).

See also:

Having a Righteous Anger Against Evil — B.B. Warfield

Harvard Announcement: Hir and Ze will be allowed

You know, you just can make this stuff up. From Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post: A school at Harvard University has announced that they will allow students to identify with nontraditional gender pronouns like “hir” and “ze.” Harvard’s faculty of arts and sciences’ registration tool has expanded the number of pronouns students can use to […]

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Mark Driscoll, Tullian Tchividjian, and Reformed Baptist Polity

It has been roughly a year since the evangelical and small-c calvinist worlds were embroiled in the ongoing collapse of Mars Hill Church and the once booming ministry of Mark Driscoll. A cascade of revelations, from plagiarized material to authoritarian abuses to dishonest financial practices all resulted in the collapse of Driscoll’s reputation and, ultimately, […]

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3 Reasons God’s Holiness Terrifies Us

C.S. Lewis once noted that many people talk about “meeting God” as if it would be a warm, cozy experience. “They need to think again,” he says. I’ve recently been reading through scenes in Scripture that depict people meeting God. And Lewis is right: it’s never an experience that creates warm fuzzies. More often than not, it’s a scene of abject terror.

Isaiah illustrates this well. When Isaiah saw God in his holiness, Scripture says,

“And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said, ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’” (Isaiah 6:4–5)

Isaiah, God’s prophet, catches a glimpse of God in his perfection. But his response isn’t, “How cool!” Rather, it’s “I’m lost!” That’s what seeing God’s holiness does. It terrifies us. The seraphim—creates whose name literally means “blazing ones” because they are too brilliant to look at—are here covering their faces before God. And the pillars of the temple—God’s holy house—are shaking. They aren’t even people, and they’re quaking in fear.

Why is God’s holiness terrifying? I see three reasons.

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The Guilt and the Shame

It is a theme I have been thinking about quite a lot. It is a theme I have known in my own life at various times and in certain circumstances. I have pondered guilt and shame, and today I want to return to some reflections on them.

So many Christians live their lives racked with guilt and shame. They think back to the things they did, the sins they committed, whether two days ago or two decades, and they live under a cloud of shame. This shame hurts, it burns, it incapacitates. It raises this question: What is the place of guilt, what is the place of shame, in the life of the Christian?

We need to begin by distinguishing between guilt and shame. Here is how I differentiate between them: Guilt is the objective reality that I have committed an offense or a crime; shame is the subjective experience of feeling humiliation or distress because of what I have done. God has made us in such a way that sin incurs guilt and guilt generates shame. But there is a catch and a caution: Guilt and shame come in helpful forms and in paralyzingly unhelpful forms. Guilt and shame can be a good gift of God or a curse of Satan.

When I sin against God I may find that my conscience accuses me, that it convicts me that I have done wrong. My guilt, the realization that I have sinned, brings a feeling of shame. This guilt and shame is a good gift of God when it motivates me to repent of my sin, to look again to the cross of Christ.

When I repent of sin, I am assured by God that Christ himself has already dealt with the guilt of it. At the cross the guilt of that offense was transferred to Christ. He took that sin—the full, objective, legal guilt of it—upon himself to such an extent that my sin became his sin. Jesus Christ took every hateful thought and adulterous glance and spiteful word and every other sin upon himself. He took that sin to the cross and suffered God’s wrath against it to the point that justice was satisfied. This means that the offense has been truly and fully paid for. It is gone. I am no longer guilty before God!

But Christ did more than that. Not only did he take away my guilt, but he also gave me his righteousness. This is the great exchange of the gospel, that my sin was transferred to him and his righteousness was transferred to me. I am not only not sinful, but I am actually righteous. Because the guilt of the offense is gone, the shame is gone as well. Because that sin is no longer my own, the shame is no longer my own.

Think about this. The sin is no longer my own, which means the guilt is no longer my own, which means the shame is no longer my own. The guilt and the shame of that sin now belong to Christ. If anyone ought to be feeling shame for that sin, it is not me but Christ! Do you think Christ is at the Father’s side today racked with shame because of the adultery and murder and envy that he took upon himself? Of course not! Christ knows that those sins have been dealt with, that they have been forgiven, that they have been removed as far as east is from west. There is no shame left for him to feel.

So why, then, do I feel shame for sins I committed so long ago? Why do I get all wrapped up in guilt and shame? Because Satan wants me to be incapacitated by that shame, to doubt that it has been dealt with, to convince me that I still need to carry the weight of it. He wants to destroy my joy, to cripple my usefulness to the church, and he can do this by wrapping me up in guilt and shame.

The hymn “Before the Throne of God Above” speaks powerfully about forgiveness for guilt and shame.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,

Here is Satan, actively drawing old sins to mind, and convincing me that I still bear the guilt and shame of each one of them. But…

Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

The guilt of my sin, the shame of it, cannot withstand just that one glance at the cross, for there I see the death of Christ and with it, the death of sin, guilt and shame.

Christian, when you commit sin and feel shame, embrace it as an opportunity to turn again to the Lord, to repent of that sin, to preach the gospel to yourself, to assure yourself once more of the Lord’s grace for those who put their faith in Christ. And then embrace the freedom of forgiveness and let Jesus feel the shame.

How to Stay Christian on Campus

How to Stay Christian on CampusThey call it “the bubble.” It’s the perception that your campus, however big or small, college or seminary, is cozily quarantined off from the surrounding world. Life is different when you’re safe “in the bubble.” At least for now, you’re protected from the real world and the suffocating responsibilities that being an “adult” will one day bring.

True, the realities of campus life and being a fulltime student often produce a sense of disconnectedness from society. College and grad students aren’t always the sharpest on keeping up with what’s happening outside the bubble.

But while there may be some truth to the bubble experience, it can be unhelpfully deceptive and give way to a crippling lie: that campus life isn’t real life. My race hasn’t started yet. School is just a scrimmage; the real thing begins after graduation. This is one of the most important myths to dispel for the Christian student.

Pop the Bubble

After living four years “in the bubble” as an undergraduate, then working on staff with a college ministry for four more, taking graduate courses, and now interacting with students about How to Stay Christian in Seminary, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned personally, and am eager to pass along to fulltime students, is this: Pop the bubble.

Don’t believe the lie that life really hasn’t begun because you’re a fulltime student. Don’t think that what you do, or don’t do, on campus won’t affect the trajectory of the rest of your life and bring consequences that can be hard to shake. In particular, don’t give yourself a pass on the normal Christian life because “this is a special season” that somehow makes you immune to temptation, demonic attack, and the deep deceitfulness remaining in your own heart.

If you’re a student fulltime, it is a special season for growth — for study, for developing habits of mind and heart that will benefit you, and others, for a lifetime. It is a springboard to lifelong learning, not one long last day of recess. Be vigilant to protect class and study time, within reason; if God’s call on your life for now is to be a student, embrace his call and don’t squander this season of preparation for a life of need-meeting.

But it is vital to fight the instinct to think of ourselves as exceptional. That we’re exempt from saturating our lives in the word of God, or continually availing ourselves of his ear in prayer, or genuinely belonging to his body in a local church. You are not a student first, but ten thousand times a Christian first.

And in Christianity, there are no holding patterns, no pauses or time-outs, no respites from everyday soul-care. No bubbles. Today always matters (Psalm 95:7; Hebrews 3:13) The risen Christ is ever on his throne. Satan is always scheming. And your heart is never in neutral, but either getting hotter or colder. This “special season” of life is way too special (and normal) to give yourself a pass on Jesus, his gospel, or his church.

This Is Real Life

It’s important to hear that the life of a student is not a retreat from real life; it is real life. Real faith, real holiness, real warmth and softness of heart, real relationships, real eternity lie in the balance. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “There is no such thing as a holiday in the spiritual realm.”

The secret to “staying Christian” as a student, whether at a secular college or a Christian seminary, is that there’s no real secret. It’s just ordinary, everyday, world-transforming Christianity. The key to staying Christian in any season of life, any place on the planet, any time in history is simply this: being a Christian today. Hearts don’t harden all at once, but a day at a time.

There’s a sense in which it can be even more dangerous for the Bible and seminary student than for the student at a secular university. If the gospel is the aroma of life to life, and death to death, then studying theology is either the fast-track to sanctification or to condemnation (2 Corinthians 2:15–16), to increasing faith or diminishing belief.

But what’s true in the incubator of Bible college is true as well on the secular campus. All things were created in, through, and for Jesus (Colossians 1:16). Every course of study is about Jesus, if we only have the eyes to see. And “he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). Biology, physics, business, chemistry, communications, literature, medicine, philosophy, and political science will either draw you nearer to Jesus or pull you farther from him.

Your Most Important Homework

Heart-work, said Puritan great John Flavel, is the “one great business of a Christian’s life.” If you are a Christian, your most important homework (and classwork, for that matter) is heart-work. The life of the student is cognitively demanding, but we should relentless labor to make our mind-work serve our heart-work.

And we do so, not leaning on our own understanding and resources, but with the wind of the Holy Spirit in our sails. Staying Christian in college, seminary, or any other season of life means expending energy to “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). And that is the very thing he stands ready to do for and through us: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling” (Jude 24).

Related Resources

Some of the Most Educated People Are Christians

What Every Christian Should Know

If you only had a brief time with a new convert, what are the most important things you would want him to know that would establish him in his Christian faith?

Text: Romans 5:1-11


Talking to Your Children about Creation, Christ, and Heaven

You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15, ESV)

Second Timothy was Paul’s last letter, written from prison shortly before his execution. In this letter he left final instructions to Timothy, whom he had mentored.

Paul tells Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice” (2 Timothy 1:5). In the absence of a father, Timothy’s mother and grandmother did what God calls fathers to do. They passed on their faith in a way that made Timothy want to take ownership of it. How? In 3:15 Paul says, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Hearing God’s Word cultivates saving faith (Romans 10:17). God used His Word to bring Timothy to faith, apparently at a very early age.

The word for “childhood” here is often translated “infancy.” Parents are called to read Scripture to their children at very early ages. Some of our daughters’ earliest spoken sentences were verses, and both Karina and Angela came to Christ very young. There is no set age at which children can come to faith, but there does need to be some understanding of right and wrong, and of the fact that Jesus died so that we might be forgiven and live with Him in Heaven.

May we all look for opportunities to share Scripture and talk about Jesus and Heaven with the children we love. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you sensitive to the needs and interests of your children (and grandchildren). The following points might be good starting places for your conversations with them:

The World God Made

God made the earth, the sun and moon, and all the stars and planets. And He made the animals, then Adam and Eve. He put them in the beautiful Garden of Eden to work and rule the earth and to enjoy God and each other. It was a perfect place. (See Genesis 1–2.)

Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God. This is known as the Fall. Now we are under the Curse. People—and the earth—are no longer perfect. (See Genesis 3.) This is all because of our sin. God is perfectly holy, so He couldn’t let people get away with sinning. Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden, and work became harder. Suddenly there was suffering and death. Minds and hearts and bodies didn’t work right anymore. It was very sad.

God never gave up his original plan. That plan is for people who love and obey Him to rule a perfect earth, like the one God originally created.

Jesus and Us

Jesus, God’s Son, came from Heaven to earth. He became a human being and grew up to be a carpenter. Carpenters make things and fix things. Someday Jesus will fix us up so we’ll be perfect forever. He will make the earth perfect forever too! Jesus said that everything will be made like new again (see Matthew 19:28; Revelation 21:5).

Jesus loves us so much that He died on the cross for our sins. Then He came back to life. That’s called his resurrection. When we believe that this is true and ask Jesus to forgive us, He becomes our Savior!

We can let Jesus take charge of our lives because He knows what’s best for us. (Sometimes that includes difficult things, such as having a disability or sad things happening.) Letting Jesus be our King means we can enjoy having Him as our friend and leader, now and forever.

Heaven and Us

Heaven for KidsWhen people die, those who know Jesus as their Savior and King will go to Heaven. Life there is much better than it is here and now (see Philippians 1:21-23).

When people we love go to Heaven, we feel sad because we miss them. But we can be happy that they are in a wonderful place. If we love Jesus, we will see them again and live with them forever.

After Jesus comes back to earth, Heaven will be even more wonderful, because God will come down to live with us in a perfect New Earth. Even animals will no longer suffer. (See Romans 8:19-21.) It will be like the Garden of Eden, but better. Nothing bad or sad will be there (see Revelation 20:10; 21:1-4).

On the New Earth we will eat and laugh and play. We will have resurrection bodies like Jesus has (see Philippians 3:20-21). We know Jesus has a physical body, because after his resurrection He ate and let people touch Him. He said, “A ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (see Luke 24:38-43).

There will be a great city, the New Jerusalem, where we will worship God and serve Him and rule the earth with Him forever (see Revelation 21:1-2; 22:3-5). This means that we will never be bored. There will always be fun and exciting things to do! We will do what people were made to do—worship and talk and walk and eat and run and play and rest.

People of all different races and nations will be on the New Earth, and they will bring beautiful things to God, the King on the throne in the New Jerusalem (see Revelation 21:23-26). Since God will live there, the New Earth will be at the center of Heaven.

The tree of life, which was inEden, will be there, and we will eat from it (see Revelation 2:7; 22:1-2).

God will live with us, and we’ll never cry or get sick or have pain or disabilities (see Revelation 21:3-4). We’ll live forever with Jesus, the person we were made for, and we’ll live in Heaven, the place we were made for!

Blood Moons: Predicting the Unpredictable

moon over jerusalemThe reason a bevy of justifiably smug journalists was camping on Harold Camping’s front lawn on May 21, 2011 is because yet another of the preacher-cum-radio-broadcaster’s predictions of rapture had misfired.

One would think that after his failed prediction of 1988 Camping’s popularity as an authority on date-setting would have waned. If not then, perhaps after his 1989 repeat performance. Incredibly, his credulous followers remained obdurate about Camping’s abilities to pinpoint an event the Bible says is impossible to predict. When he suddenly appeared to the salivating pack of reporters on his lawn Camping explained that his prophecy must have been fulfilled in a “spiritual” way (preterist much?) but that he foresaw the literal coming of Christ happening on October 21, the same year.

Anyhoo… The reason for this trip down memorable mishap lane, is that it’s about that time of the millennium again, so we are faced with a new date-setting phenomenon at which to furrow our brows. This time the mania for rapture takes on slightly more of a lunatic hue. I mean that fairly literally.

The “blood moon tetrad” is the latest prophecy to make the rounds on social media.

Admittedly, I can’t wax eloquent on its finer details, but as I understand it the prediction is elastically derived from the prophet Joel’s words that reoccur on Peter’s lips in his Pentecost sermon of Acts 2:20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

Obviously that verse must be referring to the blood moon tetrad. What’s that, you ask? It’s only the most rare event in the history of history. Kinda.

A blood moon tetrad is when four consecutive lunar eclipses, with six full moons in between, but no partial lunar eclipses interfering, happen to coincide with Jewish feasts. Got that? The first in the series was during last year’s Passover: April 15, 2014 (a possible portent of death and taxes?) and sported a deep red coloration. The crimson imbuement is caused by Rayleigh scattering and is not at all uncommon with eclipses, but still. Red. Like blood. Very cool.

The other eclipses presented themselves dutifully during the Feast of Booths on October 8, 2014, then again at the following Passover on April 4 (also the date of Martin Luther King’s assassination, just saying).

And here’s the good part: the final climactic eclipse will be during the Feast of Booths on September 28. Yup, this very month.

Tetrads are gratifyingly rare, but by no means historic. There have been 62 since Jesus’ first advent, and eight of them have coincided with two Jewish feasts.

What do we make of this? Pastor Mark Biltz, pastor and author John Hagee, and apparently enough readers to make his book on this topic a bestseller,  have taken this to be a cosmic omen of Christ’s return or the end of the world as we know it.

This is reminiscent of the Mayan calendar’s 2012 prediction (proven wrong in 2012 in case you haven’t noticed), and like Camping’s pertinacious predictions, and like every other prediction of Christ’s return—ever. Methinks there will be some embarrassed blushing on September 29. If it’s me who’s wrong, I’ll write a retraction. Mayan pacepalm

If only the Bible had something to say about this stuff. Oh wait…

Mark 13:32-33 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.”

Luke 21:7-8 And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.

When someone presents you with a date that Jesus will definitely return, you can go to your calendar, circle that day, and mark it as “not today.” But then go read 2 Pet 3:11 and remember that any reminder that Jesus is coming back should make us ask “…what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness”? Even when that reminder is a well-meaning crazy person predicting the unpredictable.

Check out


When Does Your Religion Legally Excuse You From Doing Part of Your Job? | Washington Post: Eugene Volokh
Bookmark this one. You will probably need it.

The Next Front on the War on Religious Freedom | David Harsanyi

Trump, The Power of Positive Thinking, and American Evangelicalism | Cameron Fowler Laberge

Pastor-Scholar? Not Likely | Ref 21: Mark Jones
“The so-called pastor-scholar…This is a term I’m starting to feel a little suspicious about, especially if the words “pastor” and “scholar” are not going to be diluted regarding their meaning or compromised regarding the quality demanded of each job.”

I Don’t Want to be a Groupie | The Upward Call: Kim Shay
Here are Kim’s six suggestions to prevent you becoming a Christian Groupie.

Thinking of Having an Affair? Count the Cost | Michael Hyatt
nd here’s Russell Moore on Ashley Madison is Just the Beginning.

A Triage For Marriage Conflicts | ACBC: Matthew Haste
“Just as Christian thinkers need a theological triage to sort through their doctrines, Christian couples need a moral triage to sort through their conflicts….In this series, we will set forth a moral triage based on four categories found in the Scriptures: sin, wisdom, conscience, and preference.”

An In-depth Interview With Vern Poythress on Biblical Theology and Christ in the Old Testament | Justin Taylor
Well worth study and meditation.

Kindle Book

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision by William Lane Craig $0.99. (25o reviews on Amazon).

Recommended New Book

Gospel Conversations: How to Care Like Christ (Equipping Biblical Counselors) by Bob Kellemen $12.99.


It’s Time to Defend the Defenseless

A La Carte (September 7)

Happy Labor Day! Today’s new Kindle deals include: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? and The Holy Spirit (free) by Kevin DeYoung ($5.99); Running Scared by Ed Welch ($0.99); The Reformation by Stephen Nichols ($2.99); Zondervan has put the whole Counterpoints series on sale at $4.99 each, and it includes: Four Views on the Book of Revelation; Four Views on Eternal Security; Four Views on God and Canaanite GenocideThree Views on Creation and EvolutionThree Views on the MillenniumFive Views on ApologeticsFour Views on Hell; Five Views on SanctificationFour Views on the Historical Adam; Two Views on Women in Ministry; Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest ChaptersFour Views on Divine Providence; Two Views on the Doctrine of the Trinity; Four Views on the Apostle Paul; Four Views on the Lord’s SupperThree Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament; Five Views on Law and Gospel; Four Views on Christian Spirituality; Three Views on Remarriage after Divorce; Four Views on Baptism; Six Views on Worship; Four Views on Church Government; and Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?

What Girls Should Demand

This one is targeted squarely at young ladies. “There aren’t that many things in this life that I believe we are called to demand of others. But, this thing, girls, this demand that I am laying before you today, is a big one. It is a demand that goes against everything society is telling you to do.”

When Religion Excuses You From Your Job

The Washington Post: “Can your religion legally excuse you from doing part of your job? This is one of the questions in the Kentucky County Clerk marriage certificate case. But it also arises in lots of other cases…”

What Is a Fetus?

Justin Taylor turns to Peter Kreeft to give the answers to a simple question: What is a fetus?

You Can’t Stop Me

Here’s how Andy Mineo’s song “You Can’t Stop Me” become the top walk-up song in baseball.

Sexual Immorality: My Personal Insights

If you are even beginning to consider going down the path of adultery, or if you are dabbling in deeper and deeper sexual sin, this article will give you fair warning of all the devastation you will bring.

How Sinful Is Man?

You may have encountered R.C. Sproul’s answer before, but I find it worth reading every time.

Monergism Books

Monergism continues to grow their library of excellent classic theological works. They are all free for the taking.

Christian Headlines Daily –


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

Resource Links

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.

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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Capture Test the spirits 1 John 4 1

Have you unknowingly been lured intoNew Agemystical practices by teachers claiming that certain “new waysto pray” will bring you closer toGod? Have you signed up for classes inSpiritual Formation? Have youbeen involved inCentering Prayer ,Contemplative Prayer, or Lectio Divina? Have you read books or taken part in “Bible studies” that focused on books written by people who claimed to teach you how to hear God speak to you, instead of focusing on books in the Bible? Well, this new series of posts in the new Category of posts that I have entitled ‘MYSTICISM MONDAYS‘ will attempt to peel back the layers of spiritual deception and present you with the truth of God’s Word that will expose the dangers of these practices. Lord willing, at least once a month on a Monday, I will be sharing teachings with…

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Donald Trump is a Democrat, he holds no conservative views at all


Donald Trump should stick to Miss Universe pageants Donald Trump should stick to Miss Universe pageants

I’ve been trying not to pay attention to the fact that a Democrat is leading the Republican primary. You see, I’m actually familiar with Trump’s previous positions on things like taxes (he’s for raising them), partial-birth abortion, i.e. – infanticide (he supports it), amnesty (he’s for that), socialized medicine (he’s for it)… and so on. In fact, Donald Trump’s record is not conservative on a single issue. Not one. He’s a Democrat, through and through.

What this 90-second video, showing Trump in his own words:

Leftist clowns like him do not change their positions short of some serious study, and there is no evidence that he has studied a thing.

Here’s Jonah Goldberg writing in National Review to express how frustrating it is to people like me who prefer conservative candidates who have actual records of achievement on conservative issues.

Jonah says:

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GTY Blog – Gideon: A Weak Man Made Strong

Judges 6:11-40

Code: B150907

by John MacArthur

In Israel’s history, no group of heroes is more unlikely than the judges of the Old Testament. The chaotic nature of the time period combined with the unique (and sometimes uncivilized) individuals whom God chose to lead His people resulted in scenarios that were often complex and even bizarre.

Nowhere is that seen more clearly than in the lives of the two men we will consider this week. Gideon and Samson were both men with serious faults and would have been rejected by wise men from any critical duty of leadership. Yet the Lord chose them to sustain His people and to fulfill His redemptive purpose. Their weaknesses only serve to highlight God’s infinite power—which triumphed through them in spite of their imperfections.

Let’s begin by looking at God’s strength displayed in the life of a deliverer named Gideon.

The Leader Who Lacked Courage

The account of Gideon begins in Judges 6. From the outset, he is depicted as a man whose fear was greater than his faith. The same was true of his fellow countrymen. For seven years, they had lived in perpetual dread of the bordering Midianites and Amalekites, who repeatedly raided Israel’s land, destroying their crops and stealing their livestock. Weary of hiding in caves in the mountains, the Israelites finally cried out to the Lord for help.

That the Lord selected Gideon as the answer to deliver Israel is proof that His power cannot be limited even by the most unlikely human instrument. When we first meet Gideon, he is hiding from the Midianites—attempting to covertly thresh wheat in a winepress (Judges 6:11). The process of beating out grain and separating it from the chaff normally took place out in the open, on a hilltop, where the breeze would blow the chaff away. But fearful that enemy marauders might spot him, Gideon took cover in the quarried shelter of a winepress. The location was far from ideal for winnowing wheat, but at least his efforts would go undetected, or so he imagined.

As Gideon worked his humdrum task with fearful fervency, an astonishing event happened—the Angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him. The evidence in the Old Testament of such appearances indicates that the Angel appeared in a form like a man, and that is why there is no shock and panic as might occur if the appearance were of heavenly glory. Gideon did not fall into a traumatic sleep like those who actually saw the glory of God (such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, John, and Paul). Instead, he carried on a conversation.

No doubt what startled him was the reality that his hiding place had been discovered. But Gideon would have been even more surprised to hear the Angel speak to him and say, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” (Judges 6:12). From Gideon’s perspective, both parts of that greeting were questionable. “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” he asked in verse 13. “And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Driven by doubt, Gideon went on to deny that he was a man of bravery: “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house” (v. 15). Clearly, faith and fortitude were qualities Gideon sorely lacked.

Yet in calling him a man of valor, the Angel of the Lord was not referring to what Gideon was, but what he would become by the strength that God provided. Thus, He said to Gideon, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man” (v. 16). When the Lord came upon him, this faithless coward would accomplish incredible feats of bravery in delivering Israel. Gideon was so skeptical that such a possibility could come from a doubting coward like him that he demanded a sign from God. The Lord graciously consented. When the faithless farmer offered bread and meat to his heavenly visitor, He miraculously consumed it with fire before disappearing from his sight (v. 21).

It is important to note that the Angel of the Lord is identified in Judges 6 as the Lord Himself (vv. 14, 16, 23, 25, 27). That is why He gladly accepted Gideon’s offering of worship (vv. 18–21)—something an ordinary angel would never do (cf. Revelation 22:8–9). When Gideon finally realized that it was the Lord Himself he had seen, he was certain he would die.

When Gideon saw that He was the angel of the Lord, he said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” The Lord said to him, “Peace to you; do not fear, you shall not die.” (Judges 6:22–23)

The weight of biblical evidence indicates that the Angel of the Lord was the pre-incarnate Christ, the second member of the Trinity, appearing in bodily form—as He did on a number of occasions throughout the Old Testament era (cf. Genesis 16:7–14; Exodus 3:2–5; Numbers 22:22–35; Joshua 5:13–15). The Angel’s appearances throughout Israel’s history, along with passages like Isaiah 9:6 and Daniel 7:13, provide strong Old Testament evidence for the deity of Jesus Christ.

That night, the Lord came to Gideon and instructed him to tear down an altar to Baal that was near his father’s house. The young man obeyed, though with great trepidation. According to Judges 6:27, “Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.” Again, courage was not a familiar virtue to Gideon. Nonetheless, he had shown a willingness to obey the Lord, and that was progress in his faith.

Testing the Lord

When he heard that the Midianite invaders had returned, Gideon summoned the men of Israel to fight. In a remarkable display of valorous volunteerism, some thirty-two thousand warriors responded. But even with such a sizeable force under his command, Gideon doubted that he was the right person to lead them into battle. Once again, his faith was faltering, so he demanded another sign that God would be with him.

Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.” And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground. (Judges 6:36-40)

Though the Lord graciously consented to his request (as He had to a similar one by Moses in Exodus 33:12ff), Gideon’s actions should not be viewed as a pattern for believers to follow. As Christians, we do not ascertain the validity of God’s Word by asking Him for miraculous confirmation. Instead, we live according to His will by believing Him and being obedient to His Word. The Lord had already told Gideon that He would be victorious over the Midianites. That revelation should have been sufficient. By asking the Lord not to be angry with him before his request, Gideon, driven by his doubt, showed that even he knew he had overstepped his bounds. He acknowledged his faith was weak, but that he was in danger of sinfully putting God to the test (cf. Deuteronomy 6:16).

The Lord could have punished Gideon for his lack of faith, but He didn’t. But a braver or more faithful man would not have fit the role God had prepared for Gideon. As we’ll see next time, his weaknesses formed the perfect canvas for the Lord to display His power.

(Adapted from Twelve Unlikely Heroes.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150907
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

The Glorious Awakening

Unfathomable Grace

Lazarus appears to have been one of Jesus’ best friends, and as such he was the source of much comfort, joy, and encouragment. However, towards the end of Jesus earthly ministry, Lazarus died. A few days later, Jesus addressed his lady-friends, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” (‭John‬ ‭11:11‬)

Jesus then travelled to Bethany, and after some dialogue with friends and foes, believers and unbelievers, Jesus went to work, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me … thenhe cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’” (John‬ ‭11:41-43‬) On the command of Jesus, death and the grave could not hold Lazarus. Upon the command of Jesus, Satan proved to be impotent. Yes, when Jesus decided to speak and act, unbelievers could only stand around in fear and trembling as their faithlessness proved to…

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